------------------------------------------------------------------- Amendment To Restrict Federal Medical Marijuana Funding Passes (News Release From Office Of US Senator Gordon Smith Of Oregon Says His 'Sense Of The Senate' Amendment To The 1999 Budget Proposal Was Approved By The Senate Last Night, Instructing Congress To Prohibit Federal Funds From Being Used For Any Medicinal Marijuana Research Except That Currently Being Conducted At The National Institutes Of Health And The Food And Drug Administration) From: "sburbank" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Phil Smith (email@example.com) Subject: Amendment to restrict federal medicinal marijuana funding passes Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 11:32:03 -0800 I am sick to report the following. This is totally disgusting. I believe that this may backfire on Sen. Smith. Let's hope so. Of course I'm asking for folks to write a letter explaining your thoughts about his action. Sandee *** NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 1998 From: GORDON H. SMITH United States Senator for Oregon 202/224-8329 Contact: John Easton 202/224-8316 or Mary Healy SEN.. SMITH PASSES AMENDMENT TO RESTRICT FEDERAL FUNDING OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA Washington--Senator Gordon H. Smith passed legislation last night that instructs Congress to prohibit federal funds from being used for medicinal marijuana. His amendment, included in the 1999 budget proposal approved by the Senate last night, applies to all federal funding except research currently being conducted at the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. In light of the movement by several states to relax marijuana laws, Smith said his amendment will help ensure that America's children are not sent mixed messages on drug use. "By proposing legalization or medicinal use laws, we are proceeding down a dangerous path that sends a mixed message to our children that marijuana use is acceptable. It is not, It is dangerous, and it is deadly," said Smith. Smith argues that we should be spending funds to find alternatives, such as more effective prescription drugs, rather than spending them on the medicinal use of illegal drug that is highly addictive and dangerous to our children. He cites experience in California and Arizona where communities are already feeling the adverse effects of legalized medicinal marijuana as reasons not to provide funding. "In California, the law has become incredibly difficult to enforce," said Smith. "Law enforcement officials have found it nearly impossible to determine who is using marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. With drug abuse by our children on the rise, this is no way to win a war on drugs." Smith's amendment is a "Sense of the Senate" which will now help guide Congress as the determine funding levels for health and research programs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Amendment To Restrict Federal Medicinal Marijuana Funding Passes (US Senate Roll Call Vote On Gordon Smith's Amendment) From: LawBerger (LawBerger@aol.com) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 15:47:41 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Amendment to restrict federal medicinal marijuana funding passes Is this it? Lee *** (Rollcall Vote No. 84 Leg.) April 2, 1998, 10:13 PM BILL NO.: S.CON.RES.86 TITLE: s.con.res.86 as amended REQUIRED FOR MAJORITY: 1/2 RESULT: Amendment Agreed to YEAS---57 Abraham Faircloth McConnell Allard Frist Moynihan Ashcroft Gorton Murkowski Bennett Gramm Nickles Bond Grams Robb Brownback Grassley Roberts Burns Gregg Roth Campbell Hagel Santorum Chafee Hatch Sessions Cleland Hutchinson Shelby Coats Hutchison Smith (NH) Cochran Inhofe Smith (OR) Collins Jeffords Snowe Coverdell Kempthorne Specter Craig Kyl Stevens D'Amato Lott Thomas DeWine Lugar Thompson Domenici Mack Thurmond Enzi McCain Warner NAYS---41 Akaka Feingold Leahy Baucus Feinstein Levin Biden Ford Lieberman Bingaman Glenn Mikulski Boxer Graham Moseley-Braun Breaux Harkin Murray Bryan Hollings Reed Bumpers Johnson Reid Byrd Kennedy Rockefeller Conrad Kerrey Sarbanes Daschle Kerry Torricelli Dodd Kohl Wellstone Dorgan Landrieu Wyden Durbin Lautenberg NOT VOTING---2 Helms Inouye
------------------------------------------------------------------- Stop The Marijuana Task Force, Week Five (News Release From American Antiprohibition League In Portland Publicizes Weekly Demonstration 4-6 PM Friday Outside Downtown Justice Center, Protesting The Marijuana Task Force And Police 'Knock And Talk' Tactics) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 02:45:54 -0800 (PST) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: Portland OR City Council -- Comish Charlie Hales (firstname.lastname@example.org), Comish Erik Sten (Esten@ci.portland.or.us), Comish Gretchen Kafoury (email@example.com), Commish Jim Francesconi (firstname.lastname@example.org), Mayor Vera Katz (email@example.com) cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com), PPB (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: STOP THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE, WEEK 5 The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com Friday, April 3, 1998 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Week 5: STOP THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE "Pro pot posse" rides for PEACE Portland, Oregon -- Between the Buzzed and Buzz, Willamette Week's crude jabs at Sheriff Dan Noelle, the late Steven Dons and death with dignity one can not but suffer the fools on their day. Oh hum. Yet the Marijuana Task Force and 'knock & talk' go on as though Jan. 27 never happened. The only journalist in Portland that's noticed, and had the guts to point it out, is Jim Redden. Who, by the way, claims he doesn't even know Rupert Murdoch... Despite a "flurry of correspondence" writes WW's Maureen O'Hagan, adult marijuana prohibition remains a top law enforcement priority in Portland with Mayor Katz and the City Council cheering the troops on. Correspondence condemning and questioning the MTF, its actions and the utter lack of action on the part of these so-called public servants. Between the wasted newsprint Ms. O'Hagan tightropes across some kind of "political spectrum." She tries vainly to establish a nefarious relationship between us and the Southern Oregon Militia. For the record, the American Antiprohibition League has no affiliation with the SOM or any other militia type organization. We are not revolutionaries, nor are we "pro pot activists," as O'Hagan called us, again. We do not promote the use of any drug, period. We want "Drug Peace!" Not drugs. Frankly I'm a little tired of reminding her. It's good to know Sgt. James Hudson still has his famous sense of humor and gets a laugh out of O'Hagan's fantasy she calls a "conspiracy." Frankly though we are much more worried about over zealous cops like Hudson and his MTF gang, than we ever have been of any "militia." PROTEST, SPEAK-OUT AGAINST THE MTF & PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCK ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon) *** "Suspend & Review" Endorsements Lee Berger, local attorney Radical Women Cannabis Liberation Society Gary L. Dye, candidate Metro Dist. 7 Lewis & Clark College Hemp Club Stuart Sugarman, local attorney N.O.R.M.L., Portland/Vancouver Spencer M. Neal, local attorney Pacific Party, Portland James Brewster, Lib candidate U.S. Senate Jim Redden, PDXS Dr. Ruben Botello, Amer. Homeless Society Paul Loney, local attorney Oregonians for Personal Privacy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jail Sentence For Police Officer (KOIN 6 News Says Portland Police Officer Steven Regalado Was Sentenced This Morning To Serve 18 Months In An Out-Of-State Jail For Selling Drugs) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 05:07:32 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: COP IS SNETENCED FOR POT! Jail Sentence For Police Officer Judge Calls Him 'Traitor To His Badge' PORTLAND, Posted 1:37 p.m. April 03, 1998 - The judge called him a "traitor to his badge." KOIN 6 News reported Portland police officer Steven Regalado, pictured, was sentenced this morning to serve 18 months in jail for selling drugs. At Multnomah County Courthouse, Judge David Gernant ordered Regalado to serve his jail time possibly out of state, to protect him from other inmates. "Your crimes, I'm guessing, are not the product of stupidity or of a deprived life, but of greed and of arrogance," Judge Gernant said. KOIN reported Regalado might be moved to a boot camp after seven months, which could shave four months off his jail time. Regalado told the court his arrest exposed him to public humiliation, and made life difficult for his family. According to KOIN, he can't explain why he did it. "I don't know where it came from," Regaldo said. "I don't know what brought it on. I wish I did. I think it was an accumulation of a lot of things. Some personal problems at home." According to KOIN, Regalado told the court this was his first attempt to sell drugs, and it wasn't successful. He also was charged with bribery and official misconduct.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Aided Suicide Causes Storm In Congress ('The Oregonian' Says At Least 138 Members Of The House And Senate Have Written To US Attorney General Janet Reno Urging Her To Rule That Federal Officials Can Block Oregon's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law) The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Letters to editor: email@example.com Web: http://www.oregonian.com/ April 3, 1998 Aided suicide causes storm in Congress At least 138 members have urged U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to rule that federal officials can block the Oregon law By Dave Hogan and Jim Barnett of The Oregonian staff WASHINGTON - Momentum appears to be building in Congress for an attack on Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. As U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno continues to study whether federal officials can block the Oregon law, at least 138 members of Congress have urged her to say the answer is yes. The issue has gained renewed attention and urgency on Capitol Hill since last week's news that at least two Oregonians have died using assisted suicide. The latest salvo came Thursday, when 53 members of Congress sent a letter urging Reno to uphold the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's position that doctors who prescribe lethal medication could be sanctioned. Lawmakers who have signed letters to Reno include House Speaker Newt Gingrich, other Republican leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., the chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees. Hyde said he would consider drafting legislation if Reno decides the DEA position is wrong. "We'll take a look at it," Hyde said Wednesday. "I'm interested in the subject. ... I wouldn't say anything definite, but I'm interested in it." The letters to Reno indicate there would be widespread - and powerful - support for legislation seeking to block the Oregon law. They are the latest developments in a five-month saga that began in November. At that time, DEA Administrator Thomas A. Constantine replied to an inquiry from Hatch and Hyde by saying his agency interpreted the Controlled Substances Act to say the DEA could discipline Oregon doctors who prescribe drugs for assisted suicide. Reno quickly said Constantine had not consulted her office before sending that letter, and she initiated a review of the issue. In January, a team of Justice Department attorneys reported to Reno their conclusion that federal law does not prohibit doctors from carrying out Oregon's assisted-suicide law. Since that time, however, Reno has said only that she is continuing to review the matter and that she expected to have a decision shortly. In the meantime, the White House began participating in the review process. On Thursday, Reno said only that the review is continuing and she is waiting for specific recommendations. "What we've tried to do is to make sure that everybody has an opportunity to be heard," she said. "I am now anticipating some decision memos giving the different perspectives of the department so that I can take final action." In the past month, the number of congressional letters to Reno has increased. In Thursday's letter, Gingrich, House Majority Leader Dick Armey, House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and 50 others wrote: "In light of the incident last week in which the death of an elderly woman was assisted by a physician in Oregon, we urge you to act swiftly to enforce the federal Controlled Substances Act and prevent the deliberate and lethal misuse of prescription drugs in the future. ". . . We are gravely concerned that the delay in completing this review will lead many to believe that this administration is willing to condone assisted suicide. ..." Like many of the other letters from Congress, obtained by The Oregonian, they said all three branches of the federal government have agreed in recent decisions that assisted suicide should not receive assistance or recognition from the federal government. They noted a unanimous Supreme Court decision last year saying the Constitution does not recognize a right to assisted suicide. They also mentioned a 1997 law that bans federal financing for physician-assisted suicide. The law passed last April by a 99-0 vote in the Senate and 398-16 in the House. In addition, President Clinton has publicly stated his opposition to assisted suicide. "A decision by a state to rescind its own penalties for assisting a suicide cannot supersede federal laws, compel federal support or remove federal responsibility to uniformly enforce laws passed by Congress and approved by the president," Thursday's letter said. Among the signers of all the letters are 34 senators, including seven members of the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee. And of the 104 signers in the House, 12 are members of the 35-member House Judiciary Committee. Those committees oversee the Justice Department. Of the Senate and House members who sent letters, 105 are Republicans and 33 are Democrats. Only six members of Congress - all five Oregon Democrats plus Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. - have argued that the federal government should not intervene in Oregon law. Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., has said he would support an effort by the Clinton administration to enforce the DEA's interpretation of the Controlled Substances Act, but he has not signed on to a letter to Reno. "He's just not taking the lead on this," said John Easton, a Smith spokesman. Given the number of letters to Reno and last year's votes prohibiting federal financing of assisted suicide, Congress will step in if Reno decides that federal law does not authorize a federal response to the Oregon law, predicted Richard Doerflinger, who has monitored the issue for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. But, he said, he is unsure whether Congress would turn to legislation or oversight hearings or some combination that included both. If there is legislation specifically granting federal authority to take action against doctors who prescribe lethal medication, it would pass, he said. "Not only would it pass, but I think the president would sign it," Doerflinger said. In addition to the letters to Reno, two senators have written to Donna Shalala, the secretary of Health and Human Services, expressing concerns about Oregon's decision to include physician-assisted suicide in procedures subsidized through the Oregon Health Plan. Because the health plan is partially financed by federal Medicaid money, Sens. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., and Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., asked Shalala what steps were being taken to make sure there was no violation of the law prohibiting federal money from being used to pay for assisted suicide. Oregon has specified that the state will bear the entire cost of assisted suicide through the health plan. Similarly, the health plan pays for abortions entirely from state money.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon Medical Group Winds Up Visit To Netherlands ('The Oregonian' Says A Delegation Of Seven Oregon Medical Professionals Visited The Netherlands This Week To Learn How To Improve The State's Unique, Voter-Approved Assisted-Suicide Process) The Oregonian 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.oregonian.com/ April 3, 1998 Oregon medical group winds up visit to Netherlands After talking with Dutch authorities, the delegation's emphasis is on how to better monitor assisted suicide By Erin Hoover of The Oregonian staff While politicians devise ways to stop physician-assisted suicide, a delegation of Oregon medical professionals visited the Netherlands this week to learn how to improve the practice. The seven-person delegation wrapped up its trip Thursday and will return to Oregon focused on how to better monitor assisted suicide, said Dr. Bonnie Reagan, who spoke on behalf of the delegation in an interview from the Netherlands. "We're wondering if there is a way to obtain more definitive information from people," said Reagan, a Portland family practice doctor. "I don't think the public needs to know the details of the cases. That's patient confidentiality. What the public needs to know is the process." Debate over monitoring assisted suicides reignited last week when the state's first two known cases were confirmed. Oregon law requires doctors to report to the Oregon Health Division such information as whether the patient was deemed mentally sound. But Reagan said other information, such as how the doctor determined that the patient had less than six months to live or whether the patient had hospice care, would be useful. Hospice tends to the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the dying, which some people argue could lessen the desire for assisted suicide. Oregon's law requires only that a doctor inform the patient that hospice is available. The Oregon group included five members of the Task Force to Improve the Care of Terminally Ill Oregonians, a group neutral on the issue of assisted suicide. The group published a guidebook on Oregon's law in March and will continue in other ways to affect public policy on the issue. Assisted suicide and euthanasia are illegal in the Netherlands. But doctors have helped ailing patients kill themselves or have given lethal injections since 1973 and are generally not prosecuted. Dutch officials told the Oregon group that in 1995, an estimated 4,500 people died by euthanasia and another 500 died using assisted suicide, for a total of 3.7 percent of all deaths in the Netherlands. Dutch officials' focus on how to get the most complete information about euthanasia and assisted suicide cases piqued the Oregon group's interest. The Dutch require doctors to report certain details, but officials also send a survey to families and physicians, allowing them to describe their experiences anonymously. The Oregon group, most of whom paid their own way to the Netherlands, met with officials from the Royal Dutch Medical Association, the Royal Society of Pharmacy, the ministries of Health and Justice, the Free University and people from advocacy and opposition groups. Oregon's delegation included Reagan and fellow task force members Kathleen Haley, executive director of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners; Ann Jackson, head of the Oregon Hospice Association; Joseph Schnabel, an Oregon Board of Pharmacy member, and Dr. Terri Schmidt, an emergency room doctor. Dr. Peter Rasmussen, a Salem oncologist, and Barbara Glidewell, a patient advocate, joined them.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren Motion Denied - San Francisco Buyers' Club To Remain Open Pending Jury Trial (California NORML Notes California Superior Court Judge David Garcia Issued A Preliminary Ruling Yesterday In The Dennis Peron Case, Allowing The San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club To Remain Open Pending The Outcome Of A Trial Scheduled To Begin April 27) email@example.com using -f From: Randallcha (Randallcha@aol.com) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 18:29:10 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: San Francisco News Sender: email@example.com 6. LUNGREN MOTION DENIED - SAN FRANCISCO BUYERS' CLUB TO REMAIN OPEN PENDING JURY TRIAL - Dale Gieringer, redistributed from California NORML, http://www.norml.org/canorml/ April 2, 1998: According to a press release from Californians for Compassionate Use, California Superior Court Judge David Garcia issued a preliminary ruling in the case of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club, denying the motion of Attorney General Lungren to close the club, padlock its doors, confiscate all property, and evict all persons from the premises. He also denied the motion by defendants Dennis Peron and Beth Moore to dismiss the case outright. Instead, Garcia ruled that there are try-able issues concerning the concept of "caregiver" and ordered that a jury trial be scheduled beginning April 27th. "This vindicates our position that we are legal and that we are working within the guidelines of the Court of Appeals decision," said Peron, " We look forward to our Day in Court."
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Lawyer Asks Judge To Close Cannabis Club ('Associated Press' Version) firstname.lastname@example.org using -f Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 00:38:35 -0700 (PDT) From: Randy Chase
To: email@example.com Subject: HT: DND: State Lawyer asks Judge to Close Cannabis Club (fwd) Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: 3 April 1998 STATE LAWYER ASKS JUDGE TO CLOSE CANNABIS CLUB SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Describing San Francisco's major medical marijuana club as a ``drug house,'' a state lawyer urged a judge Friday to change his mind and order the club closed immediately. The latest faceoff between Attorney General Dan Lungren's office and Dennis Peron, founder of the Cannabis Cultivators' Club, took place in a courtroom filled with Peron's clients and supporters and presided over by a judge who has issued a tentative ruling in Peron's favor. Superior Court Judge David Garcia's tentative decision, issued before the hearing to guide lawyers' arguments, was to deny closure of the club and send Lungren's civil suit to a jury trial, now scheduled April 27. Garcia said there appeared to be disputed factual questions, to be resolved at a trial, about whether Peron and his club could qualify as ``primary caregivers'' allowed to furnish medical marijuana under Proposition 215. The November 1996 initiative, sponsored by Peron, allows patients or their primary caregivers to cultivate and possess marijuana if recommended by a doctor to treat the effects of AIDS, cancer therapy and other illnesses. But Senior Assistant Attorney General John Gordnier said a state appeals court has already decided that Proposition 215 did not legalize clubs like Peron's that distribute marijuana to large numbers of patients. ``Drug houses like the one Mr. Peron operates are not sanctioned by the voters,'' Gordnier told Garcia. ``He wants to continue to provide drugs to thousands, and the Court of Appeal has said you can't do that.'' Peron's lawyer, J. David Nick, argued that the appellate court had merely denied the ``primary caregiver'' label to businesses that sold marijuana to patients coming in off the street, without establishing a long-term exclusive relationship of providing health care. He said he could show that Peron, since passage of Proposition 215, was acting legally as the exclusive caregiver for his clients, charging them only for the cost of growing and providing marijuana. ``This man is doing the work of God,'' Nick said, as Peron sat in the front row. Garcia said he would rule in the near future. The U.S. Justice Department is also seeking to close six medical marijuana clubs in Northern California, including Peron's, the oldest and largest. The government contends the clubs violate federal laws against possessing and furnishing marijuana, regardless of Proposition 215. A federal judge has deferred a ruling until after a final round of written arguments, due April 16. Peron's club, then called the Cannabis Buyers' Club, has been allowed to operate by San Francisco authorities. But Lungren ordered a raid in August 1996 by state agents, who said they seized large amounts of marijuana, found minors on the premises and saw marijuana being sold to customers who lacked a doctor's recommendation. Lungren obtained a criminal indictment from an Alameda County grand jury against Peron and five others. He also got an injunction shutting down the club. But Garcia allowed it to be reopened after Proposition 215 passed, saying the initiative allowed the club to act as a primary caregiver and provide marijuana to patients who were unable to get it themselves. The 1st District Court of Appeal overruled Garcia and said the club was not a primary caregiver, a ruling that Lungren's office contends could be used to close all marijuana clubs in the state. But the ruling did not prohibit charging patients for the cost of growing and supplying marijuana, and specified that someone like a hospital administrator could be the primary caregiver for multiple patients -- language that Peron contends could be applied to him.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Candidate - High Hopes, High Visibility ('Los Angeles Times' Interviews Dennis Peron, Nemesis Of California Attorney General Dan Lungren Both In The Courtroom And In The Race For California's Republican Gubernatorial Nomination) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:46 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Candidate: High Hopes, High Visibility Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield and "Frank S. World"
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer POT CANDIDATE: HIGH HOPES, HIGH VISIBILITY SAN FRANCISCO--Here's one way the nation's best-known marijuana distributor campaigns to be the Republican candidate for governor: He goes to court. Actually, he is taken to court. As a defendant. For distributing marijuana to the ailing. And one of the people who keeps dragging him there is none other than his most powerful opponent in the California gubernatorial race. Dennis Peron--a chain-smoking, pot-toking, commune-living, gay, vegetarian, Buddhist Vietnam veteran--is trying to make life miserable these days for Dan Lungren, state attorney general, presumptive Republican nominee for governor and none of the above. Yes, Peron is a blip on the California political radar, an unlikely Republican--an unlikely candidate--running with $10,000 (in small checks) and a vision. Yes, his court appearances are far more reliably scheduled than his campaign appearances. But unlike the dozen or so other political hopefuls setting their sights on the governor's mansion from the very fringes of the political landscape, Dennis Peron is a major minor candidate. He can't afford to buy commercials--but he makes it to the top of the news anyway, talking about pot when pot is hot. And for the past month--perhaps for the rest of the primary season--marijuana is in the spotlight, thanks to the ongoing battle over Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana when it was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 1996 and which Lungren opposed. Pressure on Lungren Expected Peron "will certainly have Lungren defending his position all over the state on medical marijuana," says San Francisco Dist. Atty. Terence Hallinan, a medicinal pot proponent. "I don't envy him that." "Is Dennis any relation to Evita, I wonder?" quips Republican analyst Tony Quinn. "He has about as much chance of getting elected." Peron, of course, begs to differ. Sitting in his second-story office at the Cannabis Cultivator's Co-op, the smell of Big Bud and True menthols in the air, Peron is eloquent and optimistic--if occasionally soft on the details, like where he's speaking on a given day. "What I really speak about most of the time is hope, empowerment and compassion. So many people have just given up on America. They don't want to be on juries. They don't vote. These are the people I want to bring back. I know the economic picture is so rosy, but so many people slip through the cracks. I look outside my office and see people sleeping in the doorways. How can we allow this to happen? How?" An equally perplexing, though less weighty, question is how a man with Peron's past and predilections finds himself in the political company of men and women like Newt Gingrich, Orrin Hatch, Anita Bryant, Strom Thurmond. What could possibly be the Republican credentials of a man who came back from Vietnam with two pounds of pot secreted in his luggage? A man who has been imprisoned twice on marijuana charges? Who founded the co-op in memory of his young lover--Jonathan West, who died from AIDS in 1990 and left Peron with a hole in his heart? "I'm not tax-and-spend. I believe government has a role in your life, but it's not going to solve all your problems. Every time [Democrats] start talking about a new program, I cringe. Welfare keeps people down. I want to eliminate the sales tax and the business tax." It's 11:15 on a recent Tuesday morning, hours before Peron and his fellow defendants--a.k.a. "the Compassionate 10"--are due in Department 8 of the Phillip Burton Federal Building, where Judge Charles Breyer is set to hear oral arguments in the U.S. government's case against six Northern California cannabis clubs. A crew from "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," fresh from an interview with Peron, wanders around the club shooting footage of buying, puffing, chatting members. Supporters from the Orange County Cannabis Co-op arrive to throw their support behind Peron during a day filled with rallies and legal wrangling. "I admire everything you're doing, and I'm glad to get a chance to meet you," says Jack Shachter, co-director of the Orange County club. "Hey, Dennis, good luck, dude," pipes up Steve Morris of Los Angeles, as Peron distributes "California's Choice, Dennis Peron Governor" placards and the group heads to a pro-pot march from the Castro district to the federal courthouse. The protesters stroll down the busy street. Burnelle Silk, 49 and resplendent in black cape with big green marijuana leaf, hops up onto a garbage can, shouting, "Dennis Peron for governor!" "I am the spokesmodel for medical marijuana," Silk smiles. "I'm a disabled Vietnam vet, and I'd be standing on the pyramids naked shooting people without my medicine." Dapper in donated gray tweed, Peron waves his campaign sign and joins the march. The smell of pot wafts in the air. A KCBS radio reporter descends on the candidate, who takes a breath and starts his spiel: We'll spread a new era of hope in America. It's more than marijuana. It's about who we are and where we're going. It's about democracy now. Picture of Bush on Wall Noon, back at the club, the candidate is seated behind his desk. A framed picture of George Bush picked up for pennies at a garage sale smiles from a nearby wall. Robo wanders in with a big white plastic bag. The men put their heads together and do business, a neat deal for $2,400 worth of weed. "It's called Big Bud," Robo says. "It's a mellower kind." Peron shrugs and smiles: "The show must go on." By 2 o'clock, the candidate is back at the courthouse for the tail end of a pre-hearing rally. Scores of supporters in tie-dye and wheelchairs pack the small plaza as the speeches drone on. An impassioned Peron defends marijuana for patients with AIDS, with glaucoma, suffering from cancer, from depression, from life. "I have come to the conclusion," he intones, "that all use of marijuana is medicinal. If you believe in recreational marijuana, you believe in recreational Prozac." And he's off: "It's about who we are as a people. It's about where we're going as a country. We're not just defending medical marijuana. We're defending democracy. I'm glad to be here today. I'm proud to be your leader, and I'm going to be your governor!" A police officer has one question for the candidate: "What's your stand on gun control?" A young hair-wrap artist, new to the city, clutches a voter registration card and shares a joint with the candidate. Thirty minutes later Peron is in court. Peron is due in court again today, this time on civil charges stemming from an injunction Lungren obtained in August 1996 to shut down Peron's club. He also faces criminal charges that he worries could put him behind bars for up to a dozen years. "We don't take him seriously," says Lungren campaign spokeswoman Sara Brown. "I don't know if anybody takes seriously a candidate who's under criminal indictment." Field Full of Minor Candidates One does not need to be under criminal indictment not to be taken seriously in this race. Even avid newspaper readers would be hard pressed to say how many candidates are running (19) or name anyone without money who's angling for the office. Few know that Steve Kubby is running under the Libertarian banner because he wants "the government to just leave my family and me alone, respect my private property and stop treating me like a child." Dan Hamburg, who represents the Green Party, may have it just a little better. A former Democrat, he once was a congressman from Ukiah. Today, he is "pushing things like a living wage for Californians," he says. Pia Jensen, a city councilwoman in the Northern California town of Cotati and a Democratic candidate for governor, finds the anonymity of being an unknown candidate "extremely frustrating." "The most frustrating piece is to sit back and calculate how much free advertising the other candidates get," she says. "When you're in the spotlight like they are, not only do they get attention, they get money funneled to them." Peron is perhaps the luckiest of the bunch, with cause and candidacy in timely conjunction. Although there's no way to know how many votes he will garner, he is definitely getting attention. One supporter notes in a donation letter to the cannabis candidate: "In theory, [running for governor] is only a gag to get free publicity." But "if Lungren slips on some sort of banana peel, God forbid, just before the primaries. . . ," the Walnut Creek resident writes, then anything goes. Oh, and the $100 check enclosed? It's not for the campaign, the donor writes, but for Peron personally. "Would you please buy something for yourself and enjoy." Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cancer Patient, Medical Marijuana Patient Todd McCormick Jailed For Three Weeks Because Federal Prosecutor Was 'Not Ready For The Hearing' (News Release By Peter McWilliams, From 'Marijuanamagazine.com' - Plus Tips From The Colorado Hemp Initiative Project On What Activists Can Do To Help Persuade McCormick's Judge To Have Mercy) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 18:21:16 -0700 (MST) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) Subject: Todd jailed - prosecution presents no evidence Update from Peter McWilliams firstname.lastname@example.org April 3, 1998 For background on Todd's case, see: The Medical Marijuana Magazine http://marijuanamagazine.com Cancer Patient Medical Marijuana Patient Todd McCormick Jailed for Three Weeks Because Federal Prosecutor was "Not Ready for the Hearing" Todd McCormick, who voluntarily surrendered himself this morning at 9:00AM as he had agreed to do yesterday, was taken before Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon at 11:00 AM this morning. The federal prosecutor claimed McCormick had violated his parole by using medical marijuana. McCormick claims he did not. The prosecution, however, did not call the necessary witnesses-or any witnesses, for that matter-to substantiate its claim. The federal prosecutor admitted the government was not ready for the hearing. "Mr. McCormick is not a flight risk," McCormick's attorney, Eric Shevin, told the court. "He turned himself in this morning, as agreed. He is out on $500,000 bond. He is not a danger to the community. He is charged with a nonviolent act, legal in California. There is no logical or legal reason to imprison Mr. McCormick just because the government is not ready to present its evidence." Nevertheless, Judge McMahon jailed McCormick until April 22, 1998, while the federal prosecutors call witnesses that could easily have been called today. McCormick had passed every one of the almost 100 drug tests he was subjected to since his release on bail in August 1997. Deprived his drug of choice, medical marijuana, he has been in unbearable cancer-induced pain. And yet, he remained marijuana-free for seven months. In early March 1998, McCormick received a prescription for Marinol(r) from his physician. Marinol(r) is a powerful synthetic form of THC, an active ingredient in medical marijuana. McCormick informed the government of his prescription, and took this FDA- and DEA-approved medication until March 17, 1998, when Judge McMahon ordered him to stop using it. McCormick was then drug tested five days in a row. The results of those tests, as expected, show fluctuating levels of THC, spiraling downward. This is precisely the pattern scientists would expect as the body eliminates an oil-based prescription medication. In today's non-hearing, the federal prosecutor failed to call the necessary scientific expert(s) to present it's case that McCormick had used marijuana. (The federal prosecutor thought another federal agency had done this, but the other agency thought the prosecutor had.) The government only had a piece of paper with test results, but no one to verify whose test results they were or what the test results-a series of numbers-actually mean. Without at least one expert witness, such a scientist from the laboratory that had tested McCormick, there was no legal way to link McCormick to the test results or even know the meaning of the results. The prosecution was simply not ready for the hearing. Furthermore, because the government failed to call its expert witness(es) as required, McCormick's attorney could not prove under cross examination what any expert in drug-testing knows: If you take synthetic THC in the legal form of Marinol(r), your urine will test positive for THC for weeks thereafter. So, without a formal hearing, McCormick is being held in federal custody. This concerns his friends greatly, who have noticed a marked deterioration in McCormick's physical and mental condition. The constant pain he has had to endure for more than seven months is taking its toll. "I cannot sleep for more than an hour a night," he wrote a friend. "Every time I turn over, the pain wakes me up." The agony is so great as to cause mild nausea; McCormick's weight is dangerously low. A motion for an emergency appeal is being filed this afternoon. The earliest it could be heard is next week. Meanwhile, McCormick sits in federal custody, without a formal hearing, for taking a prescription medication. *** WHAT YOU CAN DO: >From the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project Please copy and re-distribute this announcement. Please write and call Judge McMahon and ask that he have leniency on Todd McCormick and allow Todd to remain free on bail until his trial, scheduled to begin on May 27. BE RESPECTFUL! Todd's liberty is at stake. We don't want to irritate the judge, but we do want him to know that a lot of people are concerned about this case Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon Phone: (213) 894-6500 (Judge McMahon's law clerk) If you can, send a letter to Judge McMahon asking that he exercise his powers of leniency, compassion, and mercy over Todd: Federal Magistrate Judge James McMahon U.S. District Court Central District of California 312 N. Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 If possible, send copies of any letters sent by email to the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project, Ann McCormick (Todd's mother) and Peter McWilliams (Todd's publisher). email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com *** DONATE TO TODD'S LEGAL DEFENSE FUND Todd McCormick Defense Fund c/o David M Michael Client Trust Account, Bank of America # 16644 11541, Pier 5 North The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111, 415-986-5591 *** WHAT ELSE CAN I DO??? 1)Write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR of these California newspapers. Express outrage at the persecution Todd McCormick. Tell them to STOP THE WAR ON SICK PEOPLE!! For help on letter-writing, see the Media Awareness Project at http://www.mapinc.org. California Newspapers (compiled by Jim Rosenfield: firstname.lastname@example.org) email@example.com(Contra Costa County Times Calif.) firstname.lastname@example.org(San Francisco Chronicle) email@example.com(San Mateo Times) firstname.lastname@example.org(BLK, LTE's) email@example.com(San Francisco Examiner) firstname.lastname@example.org(Los Angeles Times) email@example.com(The Orange County Register) firstname.lastname@example.org(Modesto Bee) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org(San Francisco Bay Guardian) email@example.com(San Jose Mercury News) letters@TheReporter.com(Vacaville Reporter) firstname.lastname@example.org(San Diego Union Tribune) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org(Santa Rosa Press Democrat) email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com(Daily Bruin UCLA Viewpoint) firstname.lastname@example.org *** 2) SEND POSTCARDS to and CALL federal and state elected officials. SEND EMAIL to the few who have email. Tell them to help FREE TODD MCCORMICK! Use this short email list to cut and paste into the Bcc: field of your email program. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com STATE GOVERNMENT Governor Pete Wilson State Capitol, 1st Floor Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-2841 Fax: (916) 445-4633 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis State Capitol, Room 1114 Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-8994 Fax: (916) 323-4998 Email: email@example.com Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren 1300 I Street Sacramento, CA 95814 Phone: (916) 445-9555 Fax: (916) 324-5205 Attorney General's Office Public Inquiry Unit Web: http://caag.state.ca.us/piu/mailform.htm Email: firstname.lastname@example.org *** CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY AND SENATE: Email list: http://www.sonnet.com/CriminalJusticeReform/legislators.html Other lists: http://www.state.ca.us/s/govt/legisca.html http://clerkweb.house.gov/mbrcmtee/members/mbrsstate/uolmfram.htm *** U.S. CONGRESS U.S. Senators of California: Boxer, Barbara (D) email@example.com Feinstein, Dianne (D) firstname.lastname@example.org For U.S. Senators in other states, see: http://www.senate.gov/senator/membmail.html http://www.earthlaw.org/Activist/senatadd.htm U.S. Representatives: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ *** EMAIL THE WHITE HOUSE: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com *** U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE Central District of California Criminal Division 312 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org *** For background on Todd's case, see: The Medical Marijuana Magazine http://marijuanamagazine.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Enthusiast Hauled To Jail ('KNBC' In Los Angeles Says Todd McCormick Tested Positive For Cannabis Metabolites Three Times - Woody Harrelson's $500,000 Bail At Risk - Bail Revocation Hearing Set For April 22 - URL To Post Your Opinion) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 14:20:34 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: Medical Marijuana Enthusiast Hauled To Jail Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (ann mccormick) Source: KNBC - Channel 4 - Los Angeles Pubdate: 3 April 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KNBC/ Editors note: The station writes: 'Post your opinion on the NBC4 BBS today!!!' Todd's mom did. You can, also, by going to: http://bbs.msnbc.com/bbs/local-knbc/index.asp MEDICAL MARIJUANA ENTHUSIAST HAULED TO JAIL LOS ANGELES, April 3 - A federal magistrate judge Friday ordered that a Proposition 215 advocate Todd McCormick be locked up since he tested positive for marijuana three different times. U.S. Magistrate Judge James McMahon set an April 22 bail revocation hearing. Then it will be decided if McCormick will be locked up until trial, and whether the $500,000 bail that actor Woody Harrelson posted for him must be forfeited. But McCormick attorney Eric Shevin immediately filed an emergency appeal with U.S. District Judge George King, who will preside over McCormick's trial, asking that McMahon's order be overturned. He expects to talk with King by phone on Monday, because the judge is out of town. If the judge doesn't "do something," Shevin says he will appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The desperate legal maneuvering came after McCormick at Friday's hearing pleaded with the magistrate judge to keep him out of jail. "Your honor, putting me in jail will serve no one," he said through his tears. "There is not justice in this. I didn't use any illegal substances. I am not using marijuana." McCormick, 27, gave the judge a history of his medical problems, which include 10 bouts of cancer since childhood, five fused vertebrae and one hip shorter than the other. "I am in constant pain, your honor," he said. "I sleep on a special bed with a special pillow. Over there at the jail, the mattress is only about two inches thick." Outwardly, the judge was unmoved. "Mr. McCormick was clearly on notice of what this court required the last time he was in here," McMahon said. Marshals leading him away refused to let McCormick take the special pillow he had brought in case he did get sent back to jail. "I can't believe this," McCormick said, burying his face in his hands as his attorney held him. "I don't deserve to go to prison." McCormick was arrested last July 29 in a rented Bel-Air mansion, after authorities discovered he was growing more than 4,000 marijuana plants. He is set to be tried later this year on one count of "manufacturing" pot. He faces a minimum 10-year sentence. Whatever evidence there is that McCormick violated the terms of his bail is unclear. But under the terms of his release, he was forbidden to use marijuana. The order recently was expanded to include all prescription drugs, including Marinol, a legally prescribed drug that contains synthetic tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the essence of pot. McCormick was hauled into court March 3, after he tested positive for marijuana use on Jan. 20. That's when the judge ordered him to stop taking Marinol and "hemp" seed oil. Then on March 12, 16 and 18, McCormick again tested positive for THC, the judge said today. Shevin says those "dirty" tests reflect Marinol still in his client's system, and that the levels of THC are falling. He claims McCormick's body does not shed THC as fast as other people, supposedly because his client's liver is damaged from radiation and chemotherapy treatments. The judge said he would allow McCormick to undergo drug testing while in jail, until the hearing, to determine what the levels are. After Friday 's session, Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Aenlle-Rocha was asked to comment on the latest developments. "I have nothing to say. We're standing by the probation officer's report," he said. U.S. marshals showed up at McCormick's scaled-down home, this one in Laurel Canyon, Thursday night to arrest him. But he wasn't there. He agreed later to surrender Friday on his own. McCormick claims he has the right to grow and use pot under California's Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative voters approved in 1996. Outside court, Shevin said he was "sick to my stomach" over the developments. "This man should not be in jail. He has done nothing wrong."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rogan At Center Of Medicinal Marijuana Controversy (Glendale, California, 'News-Press Leader' Suggests US Representative James Rogan Still Doesn't See The Hypocrisy In His Vote For Anti-Medical Marijuana House Resolution 372)Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:15 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Rogan at Center of Medicinal Marijuana Controversy Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Glendale News-Press Leader (CA) Contact: FAX: 818-241-1975 Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Jacqueline Fox ROGAN AT CENTER OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA CONTROVERSY GLENDALE - It was never supposed to go this far. That's the sentiment expressed by Congressman Jim Rogan Thursday, a Republican who represents Glendale, on the growing controversy over his stand on the medicinal use of marijuana. Rogan first came under fire after voting March 4 to support a House resolution that states marijuana "is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use." The "sense of Congress resolution" carries no legal weight but instead helps gauge support for future legislation on the issue. Before voting on the resolution, Rogan spoke about a cousin, who in 1980 was diagnosed with cancer. In transcripts from remarks made in front of the Judiciary Committee ~ to which Rogan was recently named ~ Rogan said his cousin's use of marijuana for treatment "had everything to do with him being able to get out of bed, eat, go to work and be productive for another decade." Rogan said his support of the House resolution is consistent with his earlier approval of a medicinal marijuana bill during his stay in the state Assembly. But on Monday, several demonstrators gathered outside his Washington, D.C. office to protest what they said is a blatant "flip-flop" on the issue. During the protest, Cheryl Miller, a 51-year-old woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis, and her husband, Jim Miller, 45, were arrested after Cheryl allegedly ate marijuana in Rogan's office. The Millers, from Silverton, N.J., were arrested by Capitol Police on suspicion of possession of marijuana and later released. They are scheduled to go before a Washington judge next month, according to Capitol Police Sgt. David Nichols. In Washington, it is a criminal offense to possess any amount of marijuana, Nichols said. The demonstration was coordinated by the Marijuana Policy Project, a D.C.-based advocacy group started in 1995. However, Robert Kampia, the group's co-founder and director of government relations, said the idea to protest at Rogan's office was the Millers' alone. "Rogan said his support for medicinal marijuana and his support for this bill is consistent," Kampia said. "But we say it is completely inconsistent. In D.C. he voted for a resolution that says marijuana has absolutely no medical value. It is the exact opposite of what he voted on in 1995. You can't have it both ways." But Rogan insists he never changed his stand on the issue. He said the resolution he was voting on was merely an opinion, adding that, when he spoke about his cousin, he, too was merely giving his opinion. "I was told the resolution was just Congress expressing its point of view," Rogan said Thursday. Rogan said he has always supported the use of medicinal marijuana for limited purposes only, such as treating the terminally ill, alleviating nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and possibly for patients suffering from glaucoma. But he stresses he does not support full legalization of marijuana, and said he would only support a medicinal marijuana bill if it specified limited use of the drug for certain cases and included stringent regulations over who could administer it. "If this had been a bill I would have sought permission to draft an amendment to it," Rogan said. "I would vote today if a bill said marijuana would be prescribed by a doctor for terminally ill patients for legitimate reasons. But I don't want to see it prescribed for headaches or toothaches." Rogan said members of Congress are not required to vote on a resolution to speak on it, and said he could have abstained from voting altogether. He voted on the resolution on his first day meeting with the committee. "This was not a bill at all. It's an opinion piece," Rogan said. Rogan said the Millers and he sat down in his office before their arrest to discuss the issue. "I told them, `I don't know what you were told about my position,' and told them what my position was," Rogan said. "And Mr. Miller told me that that was not what he was told. When he heard the facts, he was apologetic." In a telephone interview, Jim Miller said he "felt much better" about the issue after speaking with Rogan. Demonstrators also gathered at Rogan's Pasadena office Monday; however, no one was arrested, said Jeff Lennan, a spokesman for Rogan's office.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tenants Sue To Fight Drug Evictions ('Associated Press' Item In 'Los Angeles Times' About Lawsuit Filed By Senior Citizens In Oakland, California, Notes Federal Housing Laws Now Permit One-Strike-You're Out Evictions - No Conviction Required) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:26:44 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Tenants Sue To Fight Drug Evictions Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Michelle Locke, Associated Press Writer TENANTS SUE TO FIGHT DRUG EVICTIONS OAKLAND, Calif.--From his cramped living room 13 floors above the midday growl of downtown traffic, 75 -year-old Herman Walker wonders what he'll do if he's thrown out of his public housing apartment. Walker is one of millions of tenants subject to a federal "one-strike" drug law that can result in eviction for the wrongdoing of visitors or relatives. Officials say they found crack cocaine or crack pipes on three visits to Walker's apartment. His caretaker and a friend were arrested on drug charges. Walker and three other elderly residents of Oakland public housing who face eviction aren't going quietly. They are suing the city and federal housing officials in federal court to stop the evictions, claiming such a move would violate their civil rights. Walker, Barbara Hill and Pearlie Rucker, both 63, and Willie Lee, 71, claim it's unfair to punish them for alleged drug activity they knew nothing about and couldn't have prevented. "They're standing up for all of the seniors and all the disabled and all the elderly people that are just getting thrown out and treated like garbage," said Donna Teshima, one of the group's attorneys. The one-strike-and-you're-out policy under which tenants can be evicted if they or their guests are arrested -no conviction required -was announced by President Clinton in 1996. Nationwide, 3,847 public housing tenants were ousted in the policy's first six months. That was an 84 percent increase over the number evicted for drugs and other crimes in the previous six months, according to a 1997 survey of about half the nation's housing authorities. Oakland, which owns about 3,300 housing units, evicted 18 tenants under the policy last year. Oakland Housing Authority officials deny they've picked the wrong targets in the fight against drugs. "The authority believes we have probable cause to move to evict the people, notwithstanding the fact of their age," said Randolph Hall, the assistant city attorney defending the housing authority. Ms. Rucker supports efforts to sweep drugs out of public housing, but she doesn't think throwing her out along with them is going to help. She received an eviction notice after police cited her mentally disabled daughter for possession of cocaine, about three blocks from their home. Housing officials have dropped the eviction threat, but Ms. Rucker is pursuing her suit. Ms. Rucker, who also takes care of two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, said she searches the apartment regularly and hasn't found drugs. But she said she can't control what may happen when her 42 -year-old daughter is outside. She and Walker also are seeking protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act -Ms. Rucker because of her daughter's condition and Walker because he is partially paralyzed from a stroke. Walker, an ex-serviceman and retired warehouse worker who pays $125 a month for the apartment, got his eviction notice after the caretaker and friend were arrested. Walker fired his caretaker after he got his notice, but he said it's unreasonable to expect him to quiz guests about drug use. In the other two cases, Ms. Lee's grandson was cited for possession of a marijuana cigarette in a nearby parking lot. Ms. Hill also is in trouble because of a grandson getting caught smoking marijuana -in the parking lot of her complex. Hall, the housing authority attorney, said tougher policies are crucial for residents who don't have the means to move away from drug problems. "If you look at the total impact on a captive, non-criminal population -that's the driving impetus to trying to get this type of activity out of these people's lives," he said. Ira Jacobowitz, one of the attorneys representing the Oakland tenants, disagreed. "Anybody who says that throwing out an 85-year-old grandmother is going to do anything meaningful about the drug problem is fooling themselves," he said. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Older Tenants Decry Drug Laws (Different Version In 'San Diego Union Tribune') Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:28 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Older Tenants Decry Drug Laws Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Michelle Locke - Associated Press OLDER TENANTS DECRY DRUG LAWS Wrongdoing by others could lead to evictions OAKLAND -- From his cramped living room 13 floors up, 75-year-old Herman Walker wonders what he'll do if he's thrown out of his downtown public housing apartment. He didn't do anything wrong. He's facing eviction because his former caretaker was arrested on drug charges. Under tough federal "one-strike" anti-drug laws, tenants can be evicted for the wrongdoing of visitors or relatives. Walker and three other older residents of Oakland public housing are suing the city and federal housing officials for a court order to stop the evictions and claim the evictions violate their civil rights. Walker, Willie Lee, 71, Barbara Hill and Pearlie Rucker, both 63, claim it's not fair to punish them for alleged drug activity they knew nothing about and couldn't have prevented. Their lawsuit was filed in federal district court. "They're standing up," said Donna Teshima, one of the attorneys representing the four. "They're standing up for all of the seniors and all the disabled and all the elderly people that are just getting thrown out and . . . treated like garbage." Walker's apartment is barely big enough to hold his collection of family photos and Mahalia Jackson album covers. But for $175 a month -- with a view of Oakland's charming Lake Merritt -- it's a bargain. And it's a lot better than the street, which is where Walker predicts he could end up if he is forced out. "I hate to be moving," he said. "It's a job to be moving." Oakland Housing Authority officials deny they've picked the wrong targets in the war on drugs. "The authority believes . . . we have probable cause to move to evict the people notwithstanding the fact of their age," said Randolph Hall, the assistant city attorney defending the housing authority. The "one strike and you're out," policy under which tenants can be evicted if they or their guests are arrested -- no conviction required -- was announced by President Clinton in 1996. Oakland evictions were based on a previous local policy, Hall said. "The one-strike policy basically to us is a 5 o'clock political sound bite," he said. "The real issue is whether or not there is sufficient legal basis to uphold the eviction." Tenant Rucker supports efforts to sweep drugs out of public housing. But she doesn't think throwing her out along with them is going to help: "No, not that way." Rucker received an eviction notice after police cited her mentally disabled daughter for possession of cocaine about three blocks away from their home. Housing officials later dropped the eviction threat, but Rucker is pursuing her suit. Rucker, who also takes care of two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, said she searches the apartment regularly and hasn't found drugs. But she can't control what may happen when her 42-year-old daughter is outside. She and Walker also are seeking protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act -- Rucker because of her daughter's condition and Walker because he's partially paralyzed from a stroke. Walker, an ex-serviceman and retired warehouse worker, got an eviction notice after his caretaker and a friend were caught with crack and a crack pipe in his apartment, according to the lawsuit. Officials say they found crack or crack pipes on three visits to the apartment. Walker has since fired his caretaker, but he said it's unreasonable to expect him to quiz guests about drug use. "If a man's sick . . . you'll be glad to see help," he said. In the other two cases, Lee's grandson was cited for possession of a marijuana cigarette in the parking lot. Hill also is in trouble because of a grandson getting caught smoking marijuana in the parking lot of her complex. Nationwide, 3,847 public housing tenants were ousted in the first six months of the new policy, an 84 percent increase over the number evicted for drugs and other crimes in the previous six months, according to a 1997 survey of about 50 percent of the nation's housing authorities. Oakland, which owns about 3,300 units, evicted 18 tenants under the policy last year. "Anybody who says that throwing out an 85-year-old grandmother is going to do anything meaningful about the drug problem is fooling themselves," said Ira Jacobowitz, one of the attorneys representing the Oakland tenants. But assistant city attorney Hall said the tougher drug policies are crucial for residents who don't have the means to move away from drug problems. "If you look at the total impact on a captive, noncriminal population -- that's the driving impetus to trying to get this type of activity out of these people's lives," he said. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Public Housing Tenants Sue To Fight Evictions Under Drug Law (Another 'Associated Press' Version With Extra Paragraph) Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 18:10:42 -0400 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Public Housing Tenants Sue to Fight Evictions Under Drug Law To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Phil Smith Source: Associated Press Pubdate: 3 April 1998 Author: Michelle Locke PUBLIC HOUSING TENANTS SUE TO FIGHT EVECTIONS UNDER DRUG LAW OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- From his cramped living room 13 floors above the midday growl of downtown traffic, 75-year-old Herman Walker wonders what he'll do if he's thrown out of his public housing apartment. Walker is one of millions of tenants subject to a federal "one-strike" drug law that can result in eviction for the wrongdoing of visitors or relatives. Officials say they found crack cocaine or crack pipes on three visits to Walker's apartment. His caretaker and a friend were arrested on drug charges. Walker and three other elderly residents of Oakland public housing who face eviction aren't going quietly. They are suing the city and federal housing officials in federal court to stop the evictions, claiming such a move would violate their civil rights. Walker, Barbara Hill and Pearlie Rucker, both 63, and Willie Lee, 71, claim it's unfair to punish them for alleged drug activity they knew nothing about and couldn't have prevented. "They're standing up for all of the seniors and all the disabled and all the elderly people that are just getting thrown out and ... treated like garbage," said Donna Teshima, one of the group's attorneys. The one-strike-and-you're-out policy under which tenants can be evicted if they or their guests are arrested -- no conviction required -- was announced by President Clinton in 1996. Nationwide, 3,847 public housing tenants were ousted in the policy's first six months. That was an 84 percent increase over the number evicted for drugs and other crimes in the previous six months, according to a 1997 survey of about half the nation's housing authorities. Oakland, which owns about 3,300 housing units, evicted 18 tenants under the policy last year. Oakland Housing Authority officials deny they've picked the wrong targets in the fight against drugs. "The authority believes ... we have probable cause to move to evict the people, notwithstanding the fact of their age," said Randolph Hall, the assistant city attorney defending the housing authority. Ms. Rucker supports efforts to sweep drugs out of public housing, but she doesn't think throwing her out along with them is going to help. She received an eviction notice after police cited her mentally disabled daughter for possession of cocaine, about three blocks from their home. Housing officials have dropped the eviction threat, but Ms. Rucker is pursuing her suit. Ms. Rucker, who also takes care of two grandchildren and one great-grandchild, said she searches the apartment regularly and hasn't found drugs. But she said she can't control what may happen when her 42-year-old daughter is outside. She and Walker also are seeking protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act -- Ms. Rucker because of her daughter's condition and Walker because he is partially paralyzed from a stroke. Walker, an ex-serviceman and retired warehouse worker who pays $125 a month for the apartment, got his eviction notice after the caretaker and friend were arrested. Walker fired his caretaker after he got his notice, but he said it's unreasonable to expect him to quiz guests about drug use. In the other two cases, Ms. Lee's grandson was cited for possession of a marijuana cigarette in a nearby parking lot. Ms. Hill also is in trouble because of a grandson getting caught smoking marijuana -- in the parking lot of her complex. Hall, the housing authority attorney, said tougher policies are crucial for residents who don't have the means to move away from drug problems. "If you look at the total impact on a captive, non-criminal population -- that's the driving impetus to trying to get this type of activity out of these people's lives," he said. Ira Jacobowitz, one of the attorneys representing the Oakland tenants, disagreed. "Anybody who says that throwing out an 85-year-old grandmother is going to do anything meaningful about the drug problem is fooling themselves," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Schooled On Designer Drug ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes Police Are Alarmed At Three Deaths In California Attributed Over Last 25 Years To Use Of Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate, Or GHB - More Than 100 Police And Nurses Crowded An Auditorium In San Jose Yesterday For A Daylong Seminar On How To Detect Whether Someone Is Under The Influence And What To Do If Someone Is) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 12:56:06 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US CA: Police Schooled on Designer Drug Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Stacy Finz, Chronicle Staff Writer POLICE SCHOOLED ON DESIGNER DRUG Daylong Seminar In San Jose Addresses Dangers Of GHB It's been two years since a 25-year-old Contra Costa County man died in his sleep after drinking a designer drug that's growing in popularity. Jeffery Fraga and his friends chugged beer and Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB), a salty clear liquid that causes a euphoric feeling. Then Fraga passed out. His friends figured he was drunk and carried him into a bedroom to sleep it off. But he never woke up. Officials say GHB, which has earned the street name ``great bodily harm,'' was the cause of Fraga's death. He and two others, from Orange County, are the only official casualties of the drug in California, according to police. But investigators believe there may be many more who have died from GHB, but traces of the drug went undetected. They also believe that the substance has been used in date rapes. To address these problems, nearly 100 local law enforcement officials and nurses crowded into an auditorium in San Jose yesterday for a daylong seminar on how officers can detect whether someone is under the influence of GHB and what to do if someone is. Officials from the Los Angeles Police Department, Drug Enforcement Agency and the San Francisco Poison Control Center talked about the deadly drug. The forum was hosted by the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. GHB is a behavioral central nervous system depressant that was originally used by bodybuilders who believed it would stimulate their production of growth hormones, according to the Food and Drug Administration. It's now the drug of choice on the Los Angeles party scene and is widely used from San Francisco to San Diego, according to police. GHB overdoses have also been reported in Florida and Texas. ``We don't want Santa Clara County to become another Los Angeles or Miami,'' said Sheriff's spokeswoman Nancy Csabanyi. There has been 105 GHB overdoses in the Bay Area during 1997, said Jo Ellen Dyer, of poison control. But Santa Clara County has not reported any, Csabanyi said. ``It may just be that we didn't know what to look for,'' she said. ``We're hoping today will give us better knowledge of what the drug is about.'' This year possession of the substance was outlawed. But before 1990, when the FDA banned its sale, GHB was sold over the counter in vitamin stores. Now, people make the substance in large pots by mixing such ingredients as gamma butyl lactone and drain cleaner, said Los Angeles narcotics Detective Trinka Porrata. It's odorless and is usually mixed with Gatorade, she said. ``The single most unique and terrifying thing about this drug is simply its unpredictable nature,'' she said. ``While one person may use it for a long period of time and perhaps in high doses, the next person may die from a single dose.'' Fortunately, say police, the drug's salty taste can act as a warning to people who have had the substance dropped into their drinks. ``After today we'll be telling women not to leave their drinks alone when they're in a bar,'' Csabanyi said. ``And if they feel woozy they should immediately ask for help.'' (c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A22
------------------------------------------------------------------- SF Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Up Drug Deal ('San Francisco Chronicle' Says The 25-Year-Old Man Was Indicted In 1993 As Part Of A Federal Move Against The Wo Hop To, A Hong Kong Crime Syndicate) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:26:32 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: S.F. Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Up Drug Deal Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 S.F. MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SETTING UP DRUG DEAL Oakland -- A 25-year-old San Francisco man accused of being a member of an Asian organized crime syndicate has pleaded guilty to using a telephone to set up a cocaine deal for the organization's alleged boss. Andy Li pleaded guilty during an appearance before U.S. District Judge D. Lowell Jensen on Wednesday. He could receive a sentence of as long as four years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced July 15. Li was one of 19 people indicted in 1993 as part of a federal crackdown on the U.S. operations of the Wo Hop To, a Hong Kong-based criminal society. His guilty plea leaves only Raymond ``Shrimp Boy'' Chow, an alleged boss of the Wo Hop To, awaiting trial for criminal charges contained in a 103-page federal racketeering indictment. Chow, 37, whose first trial for racketeering ended in a hung jury in 1996, faces retrial May 18. He is already serving a federal prison sentence for his conviction on a separate charge of trafficking in firearms. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Slain Informer Snitched On Friend ('Orange County Register' Update On The Case Of 17-Year-Old Chad MacDonald, Tortured And Killed After Being Turned Into A Drug Informant By Police In Brea, California) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:19:05 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Slain Informer Snitched On Friend Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Author: Bill Rams and Stuart Pfeifer-Orange County Register SLAIN INFORMER SNITCHED ON FRIEND Chad MacDonald was close to a man arrested on a tip he provided, the man's stepmother says. YORBA LINDA-One of the men whom Chad Allen MacDonald helped police arrest for making methamphetamine in the man's bedroom was MacDonald's good friend, according to the man's stepmother. Working as a confidential informant, MacDonald told police about his buddy's methamphetamine lab in the 4600 block of Avenida del Este in Yorba Linda, less than a mile from MacDonald's home. MacDonald agreed to help police after being arrested Jan. 6 with about 11 grams of methamphetamine. He made one undercover, supervised drug buy Jan. 15 - six weeks before he was killed. He also led them to his friend's meth lab, where he spent several hours a week, the stepmother said. MacDonald would watch television or hang out in the bedroom of Daryl William Hood, 21, said Dolores Hood. It was in that bedroom that police found a methamphetamine recipe, a matchbox with 1 gram of meth inside and other materials used to make the drug, a search warrant affidavit says. Orange police, acting on tips from their own informants and corroborated by MacDonald, raided the home Jan. 19 and arrested Hood and Ryan Patrick McGreevey, 22, on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of the drug and possession of materials to manufacture. Both initially pleaded not guilty but changed their pleas Feb. 27, two days before MacDonald and his girlfriend disappeared. At least one student believes that MacDonald's snitching on Hood and McGreevey led to his death. She called police the day after MacDonald's body was found in a south-central Los Angeles alley. "Chad was rumored to be the narc that got a meth lab taken down," the girl told police, according to a Brea police report released Thursday by MacDonald's family attorney, Lloyd Charton. It is unclear whether Hood and McGreevey had any connection to the Norwalk home where MacDonald was tortured. Dolores Hood said Thursday that she believes MacDonald had something to do with her stepson's arrest. But she did not know at the time that he was a police informant. "You have to pay the consequences if you're going to do something like snitch on somebody," she said. "You're entering a dangerous world then."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Billboard Ad Disturbs Sixth Graders ('Associated Press' Article About Kids In Moline, Illinois, Doesn't Even Mention The Hemp Product Kids Object To, But It's Interesting To Wonder How Many Youngsters That Age 30 Years Ago Would Have Recognized A Cannabis Leaf) Date: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 19:32:38 -0400 From: "R. Lake"
Subject: MN: US IL: Wire: Billboard Ad Disturbs 6th-Graders To: DrugSense News Service Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: GDaurer Source: Associated Press Pubdate: 3 April 1998 BILLBOARD AD DISTURBS 6th-GRADERS MOLINE, Ill. (AP) - Kids 1, Hemp 0. About 20 Ericsson School sixth-graders were shocked to see a billboard featuring what looked like a huge marijuana leaf go up outside their school. So they decided to write a letter to urge the advertising company to relocate the ad for a hemp-based shampoo. ``We know that your job is to sell advertising space,'' the students wrote in their letter to Lamar Advertising on Tuesday. ``We do not expect you to censor your client's ads, but we object to the placement of this ad so close to our school.'' By the time classes began Wednesday morning, the offending ad was gone. ``I am extremely proud of them. The kids were disturbed by it, and they did something about it,'' Principal Patricia Nelson said. While industrial hemp can be used to make a variety of products - including paper, clothing, construction materials and rope - it is a member of the cannabis family, which includes marijuana. The two kinds of plant are often difficult to tell apart. ``Had we known that there was a hemp leaf on the board, we would never have placed it near a school,'' said Chris Iversen, Lamar Advertising's general manager.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Needles Taken To Madison Drug Users ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says The Madison, Wisconsin-Based AIDS Network Has Contracted With The AIDS Resource Center Of Wisconsin To Provide Staffing And Supplies For A Mobile Needle Exchange Program, Which Has Already Begun Making Rounds) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:25:48 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WI: Needles Taken to Madison Drug Users Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Author: Kevin Murphy of the Journal Sentinel staff NEEDLES TAKEN TO MADISON DRUG USERS Exchange in minivan supplements anti-AIDS efforts at clinics Madison -- A minivan making stops around Madison on Thursday began exchanging the first of 70,000 needles an AIDS prevention agency expects to distribute to intravenous drug users this year in exchange for their used needles. Madison-based AIDS Network has contracted with AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin to provide staffing and supplies in an outreach program aimed reducing the spread of HIV among drug users who share dirty needles. Madison in 1996 became the first Wisconsin city to fund a needle exchange program, and the city Health Department's program now serves about 600 intravenous drug users a month through a program operated largely at clinics. However, the program that started Thursday was needed to reach the high-risk drug users who are unlikely to go to a clinic to exchange their needles, said Mary Turnquist, executive director of the AIDS Network. "A mobile van is more confidential and more anonymous than a fixed site," she said. "A focus group of injection drug users told us that few of them ever used fixed sites but that a van coming into their community would be used." Efforts were made to keep the van's stops secret to keep potential needle exchangers from being scared off by inquisitive news media. However, by early Thursday afternoon, the van's staff had reached about 12 people, providing condoms and exchanging about 60 needles, said Rudi Baker-Jambretz, associate director of the AIDS Network. "The people want the service and are glad it's here," Baker-Jambretz said. "We're following up on the relationships established by our outreach counselor, who has been working in the injection drug community the past seven years." Although the program's priority is to exchange needles and save lives, it also encourages people to get off drugs and into drug treatment, said Doug Nelson, executive director of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, which for the past four years has run a needle exchange program in Milwaukee and Racine. "We go where the drug users are: in the streets," Nelson said. "We want them to access the program and counsel them on a daily basis on how to get into drug treatment. It's an outreach program to get them to improve their lives." Nelson said a 1997 study showing that only 2% of Milwaukee's intravenous drug users were infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, compared with 20% in Chicago, provided clear proof that the needle exchange program reduced HIV transmission. "Also, in the past year we got more than 200 drug users in treatment and off drugs. That's a new record," he said. AIDS prevention groups are urging the Clinton administration to accept several studies concluding that needle exchanges don't increase drug use but decrease the spread of HIV, said Turnquist. AIDS Network will pay about $30,000 for the van and staff to make twice-weekly visits to the Madison area, and it will spend $23,000 on staffing for intensive counseling and treatment services, Turnquist said. After the program is established in Madison, it will be expanded to Rock County, one of the 13 counties in the AIDS Network's service area.
------------------------------------------------------------------- AIDS Prevention Workers Begin Needle Exchange ('Wisconsin State Journal' Says AIDS Prevention Workers Will Take A Van To Madison's South Side Today To Distribute Free Needles To Drug Abusers - The Privately Funded Effort Will Initially Cost About $30,000 A Year And Should Reach About 400 Of The Region's 1,500 Users) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:56:06 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WI: AIDS Prevention Workers Begin Needle Exchange Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.madison.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 AIDS PREVENTION WORKERS BEGIN NEEDLE EXCHANGE Dean Mosiman City government reporter AIDS prevention workers will take a van to Madison's South Side today and distribute the first of tens of thousands of free needles to drug abusers. The most ambitious needle exchange effort ever is intended to slow HIV infection among an estimated 1,500 injection drug users in greater Madison and their sexual partners. The AIDS Network of Madison contracted with the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin to deliver the Lifepoint program. It will provide 70,000 clean needles the first year and 100,000 annually afterward, center director Doug Nelson said. ``Our purpose is to save lives,'' Nelson said. ``We will reduce the HIV infection rate and help hundreds of people remain HIV free.'' National data show half of new HIV infections are traced to injection drug use, experts said. ``Needle exchange is an absolutely essential part of a comprehensive AIDS strategy in Madison,'' AIDS network director Mary Turnquist said. In addition to one-for-one needle exchanges, the program offers counseling, 000 . 0002.08 treatment referrals, and HIV care and support. It has operated for four years in Milwaukee and Racine, where a million needles have been swapped. Madison Mayor Sue Bauman applauds the effort, which requires no formal city approval because needle exchanges are exempt from drug paraphernalia laws. ``Anything we can do to rid society of AIDS, the better off we are,'' Bauman said. The city has a limited needle exchange program run from clinics, Bauman said. The Lifepoint van, staffed by two AIDS prevention counselors, will be accessible to drug users throughout the city. ``We go out where the drug users are,'' Nelson said. The van will initially operate twice weekly, and start at unidentified spot on the South Side, Nelson said. It will eventually visit other parts of the city and make regular stops, he said. Lifepoint chooses spots that won't trouble residents and that are away from schools, churches and public facilities, Nelson stressed. And it's not a drug enforcement trap, Bauman said. The privately funded effort will initially cost about $30,000 a year and should reach about 400 of the region's 1,500 users, Nelson said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Why Needle Exchange Programs Are Not The Answer ('San Diego Union Tribune' Columnist Asserts 'The Efficacy Of Needle-Exchange Programs Is Far From Indisputable') Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:57 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Why Needle Exchange Programs Are Not The Answer Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Joseph Perkins - San Diego Union Tribune WHY NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAMS ARE NOT THE ANSWER The Clinton administration made a sop to the loud and often acerbic AIDS lobby five years ago when it created the President's Advisory Council on AIDS. Now that pandering has come back to bite them. Two weeks ago, the council embarrassed the Clintonites by going public with a unanimous expression of no-confidence in the administration's commitment to fight AIDS. Now the council is calling for the resignation of Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who has refused, so far, to bestow her blessing on controversial needle-exchange programs. A congressional moratorium on federal funding of needle exchanges expired Tuesday. That means that communities throughout the country will be free to use federal health money to pass out clean needles to junkies if Shalala certifies that such programs help stop the AIDS virus without increasing drug use. The AIDS lobby, unconcerned about the nation's drug epidemic, insists that needle exchange has no effect whatsoever on drug use. "The science is indisputable," claims Dr. Scott Hill, chairman of the president's AIDS council. Apparently, Dr. Hill is unfamiliar with a 1997 study published in the respected American Journal of Epidemiology. It found that junkies who participated in Montreal needle-exchange programs were more than twice as likely to contract the AIDS virus as those who didn't participate. Robert Maginnis, a senior policy adviser with the Washington-based Family Research Council, also cites the experience of Vancouver, Canada, which boasts North America's largest needle-exchange program. Since 1994, a recent study found, the incidence of AIDS transmission among intravenous drug users has rapidly increased in Vancouver, rather than decreased. So, clearly, the efficacy of needle-exchange programs is far from indisputable. And even if Dr. Hill and other needle-exchange advocates trot out their own studies to "prove" that needle-exchange "works," there remain profound moral and legal questions about passing out clean hypodermics and syringes to drug addicts. Indeed, it hardly seems moral, not to mention rational, to deliver a pitiable soul from one form of death - AIDS - to another - drugs. It's like government saying that it's all right to pump your veins full of poison as long as you don't pass along the AIDS virus. Also, if the federal government sanctions needle exchange, allowing tax dollars to be used to dispense free needles, it will effectively decriminalize intravenous drug use. For one of the conditions of needle-exchange programs is that the junkie who turns in a dirty needle - which he or she has used to shoot up with cocaine, heroin or LSD - may not be arrested. That's why the director of the White House Office of Drug Policy Control, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, so strenuously opposes needle exchange. "As public servants, citizens and parents, we owe our children an unambiguous 'no use' message," he recently declared. "And if they should become ensnared by drugs, we must offer them a way out, not a means to continue addictive behavior." So how, then, to staunch the spread of AIDS through intravenous drug use, if not by needle-exchange programs? Simple. By attacking the real root of the problem, which is illegal drug use. This is best accomplished not by giving junkies clean needles, which only aids and abets their deadly habit, but by getting them into drug treatment programs. Maginnis, of the Family Research Council, cites a 1996 study of a Chicago treatment program which found that risky behavior by intravenous drug users could be significantly curbed without handing out needles. By providing health care, counseling, food and housing, the dangerous sharing of needles was reduced 85 percent among participants. This is the approach Shalala ought to embrace. It accomplishes the equally important public-health goals of treating hard-core drug abuse, while also slowing the spread of the AIDS virus among a high-risk cohort. It may happen that the Health and Human Services secretary bows to the political pressure of the president's AIDS council and certifies that needle-exchange programs do not increase illegal drug use. In that case, drug czar McCaffrey ought to resign in conscientious objection. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Testing Industry Urges Prohibition Of Legal Hemp Products ('Liberator Online' Notes Bladder Cops Want Legal Hempseed Oil To Be Outlawed)Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 17:03:44 +0000 From: Jay Stewart
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Liberator OnLine, Vol. 3, No. 7 From: Advocates for Self-Government (email@example.com) Subject: Liberator OnLine, Vol. 3, No. 7 Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 13:19:20 -0800 (PST) Reply-to: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Drug-Testing Industry Urges Prohibition of Legal Hemp Products A leading drug-testing industry trade journal is calling on Congress to amend federal law to prohibit the possession and sale of currently legal hemp products -- despite the fact that those products are endorsed by health experts and have no mind-altering qualities. The call is in response to mounting scientific evidence demonstrating that standard drug tests cannot distinguish whether an individual has smoked marijuana or consumed legal hemp products such as hemp oil. "There is little question that the most pressing issue in drug testing today is the commercial distribution of hemp products, ...which when used or ingested result in forensically significant amounts of cannabinoids in urine, blood, saliva, and hair," Theodore Shults wrote in the January 1998 edition of MRO Alert. "... The solution is to draft acceptable federal legislative action that will amend the Federal Drug Control Act. Essentially, this would remove products that would cause a positive urinalysis from distribution and make their use 'illegal.'" The importation and possession of hemp fiber, seeds, and products is legal under federal law. Hemp health products, such as hemp seed oil, are sold commercially in health food stores across the nation. Some prominent health professionals, such as Dr. Andrew Weil, tout the nutritional benefits of hemp oil, noting that it is second only to soy in protein and contains the highest concentration of essential amino and fatty acids found in any food. A series of studies conducted this past summer and reported in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology indicated that regular users of the oil may test positive for low levels of THC. Recently, a jury in Delaware overturned a U.S. Air Force court martial after hearing evidence that hemp oil may test positive for marijuana on a urine test. Shults warned that unless such products are banned, "it is only a matter of time before federal drug testing programs will be legally challenged on this constitutional issue." (Source: National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws [NORML]) Jay Stewart Vice President Olympia Networking Services - "Premier Internet Access" Phone (360) 753.3636 Fax (360) 357.6160 http://www.olywa.net/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Drug-Czar Blast Hemp-Crop Advocates (Letter To Editor Of Louisville, Kentucky, 'Courier-Journal' From The President Of The Kentucky Hemp Growers Co-op Rebuts Ignorant Statements About Industrial Hemp Made To The Newspaper By US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey) Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 08:32:23 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US KY: PUB LTE: Response to March 11th article - Drug-Czar Blast Hemp-Crop Advocates Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joe Hickey Source: The Louisville Courier-journal Author: Andy Graves, President, KY Hemp Growers Co-op Pubdate: 3 April 1998 Contact: http://www.courier-journal.com/cjconnect/edletter.htm Website: http://www.courier-journal.com/ LETTER TO THE EDITOR, In response to your March 11th article, "Drug-czar blast hemp-crop advocates," it is evident that Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey's contention that "the cultivation of hemp is economically not feasible in the United States," is merely a personal opinion. Although he says he is open to new evidence that proves otherwise, he has consistently refused to meet with individuals who are truly knowledgeable regarding industrial hemp. It seems the only real reason the cultivation of industrial hemp is not economically feasible in the United States is simply because of the absurd restrictions imposed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, i.e., high barbed wire fences, 24 hour armed guards and so forth. The reality is, the United States is the only industrialized country that effectively prohibits the cultivation of industrial hemp. McCaffrey's belief that industrial hemp production "would completely disarm all law enforcement from enforcing anti-marijuana production laws," appears to be self-serving at best, since industrial hemp is grown commercially in every industrialized country, including our neighbors to the north, Canada. Law enforcement officials in these other countries have no problem distinguishing between industrial hemp and marijuana. So why does this issue causes such a problem for U.S. law enforcement officials? Could it be because state and local law enforcement officials receive over $500 million annually through bounties from the Federal Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program? This program, according to the DEA's own figures, indicates that more than 98% of those plants eradicated were ditchweed, i.e., wild hemp left over from WWII. McCaffrey's statement that efforts to legalize industrial hemp "is a thinly disguised attempt to legalize the production of pot," is little more than a slanderous attempt at character assassination. Would an informed person honestly believe the Ministers of Agriculture in Canada, England and other European Communities are proponents for the legalization of marijuana? The fact that Canada will be commercially cultivating industrial hemp this year should be a wake-up call for American agriculture and our elected representatives. As a Kentucky farmer, it is my belief that we should explore all possible opportunities to offset the impact of our declining tobacco industry, including an unbiased evaluation of industrial hemp's potential. To do otherwise, puts our farmers and our economy at a competitive disadvantage. Andy Graves, President (606) 293-0579 KY Hemp Growers Co-op P. O. Box 9395 Lexington, Kentucky 40533
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teenage Smoking Increases Sharply ('Los Angeles Times' Says According To The US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, The Rate Of Tobacco Use Among High School Students Increased Nearly One Third Over The Last Six Years, From 27.5 Percent In 1991 To 36.4 Percent In 1997) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:36 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Teenage Smoking Increases Sharply Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Title(1): STUDY FINDS SHARP RISE IN TEENAGE TOBACCO USE Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell"
Title(2): TEENAGE SMOKING INCREASES SHARPLY Source: San Fransisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Tobacco use among teenagers jumped by nearly one-third during the past six years, with an especially alarming increase among black youths, federal health officials reported yesterday. Rates of tobacco use - which includes consumption of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco - rose among high school students from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 36.4 percent in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And smoking among black teens hailed not too long ago as the one success story in an otherwise bleak picture has almost doubled, the CDC said. The latest findings almost certainly further fuel efforts on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to devise more effective ways to curb tobacco use among young people. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee approved sweeping tobacco legislation that sets specific targets for reducing teen smoking and establishes penalties against the tobacco industry if these goals are not met. "We're losing ground in the battle to protect our children," said Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. "There is no excuse for delay. Congress must act promptly to enact comprehensive tobacco control legislation." Health officials said the latest trends are especially disturbing, given the attention directed in recent years toward the problem of teenage tobacco use. "People ask: 'How can this be happening when so much attention is being paid to teen smoking?"' said Dr. Michael Ericksen, director of the CDC's office on smoking and health. I think the answer is that there has been a lot of rhetoric but virtually no action. I think it's time for the rhetoric to stop and the action to start!' Ericksen and other health officials believe an approach that includes product price increases, severe advertising restrictions and beefed up education through the schools, community and media would have a notice. able impact on teen tobacco use. 'We know what works, but we haven't done what works," Ericksen said. The Senate Commerce Committee bill contains some of the provisions called for by Ericksen. It would raise the price of cigarettes by $1.10 a pack over the next five years bringing the average price at the cash register to more than $3 a pack and authorizes a variety of public education programs designed to reduce tobacco use. Lawmakers also are pushing for tobacco companies to agree voluntarily to advertising limitations intended to curb their access to the teenage market. The new CDC data, from the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, measured tobacco use among more than 16,000 U.S. students in grades 9 through 12. The study found that nearly half 48.2 percent of male students and more than a third - 36 percent - of female students had reported using cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco during the past month. The report also found that the consistent decline in smoking once seen among black youth has now reversed sharply in recent years, increasing by an estimated 80 percent between 1991 and 1997, from 12.6 percent to 22.7 percent. The prevalence of smoking among black males doubled during that period, from 14,2 percent to 28.2 percent, and increased 54 percent among females, from 11.3 percent to 17.4 percent. Health officials said they are baffled by the dramatic changes among black teens, particularly Lmong girls. Since 1976 - and until this latest report smoking had been declining among black teens while increasing for white youths. Health officials had believed that many black youths viewed smoking as "a white thing," Ericksen said. He also said that past interviews with teenagers indicated that black girls regarded smoking as a liability, which makes them look trashy, unlike white girls, who think it makes them look older and glamorous," Ericksen said. But now, apparently, We are losing the only edge we had " he said. He added: In 1976, there was no difference between blacks and whites. Then there was this huge divergence, and now it has turned around, and we don't know what happened." Among white students, 51.5 percent of males and 40.8 percent of females reported using cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco during the past month, the study said. Also, use of any tobacco product was higher among white high school students - 46.8 percent - than Latinos - 36.8 percent - and black Americans - 29.4 percent,. the CDC said. Cigarette smoking was highest among whites, at 39.7 percent, having increased from 30.9 percent in 1991. For Utinos, smoking increased from 25.3 percent in 1991 to 34 percent last year. About 1 in 5 students reported using cigars during the past month; an estimated 3 in 10 male students used cigars, compared with about 1 in 10 female students, the agency said. On another tobacco-related issue: M Alarm raced through Washington yesterday on tobacco critics' claims that R.J. Reynolds was pulling out of the proposed settlement with 40 states' attorneys general that had formed the basis for congressional legislation. But by afternoon, the company vehemently denied it planned to do so, M Senator John McCain, RAriz., who authored a Senate bill designed to curb tobacco use by teenagers and raise $506 of billion for the government, warned that tobacco companies that don't cooperate with the legislation could face less than pleasant" alternatives. Congressional officials said privately that those alternatives could include stiffer cigarette taxes and limits on how many cigarettes companies can export overseas - their fastest-growing markets.
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Teens Using Tobacco (Version In Everett, Washington, 'Herald') Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 21:01:46 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US: More Teens Using Tobacco Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Marlene Cimons, Los Angeles Times MORE TEENS USING TOBACCO Use By Black Youths Has Nearly Doubled In Past Six Years Tobacco use among teenagers jumped by nearly one-third during the past six years, with an especially alarming increase among black youths, federal health officials reported Thursday. Rates of tobacco use - which includes consumption of cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco- rose among high school students from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 36.4 percent in 1997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And smoking among black teens hailed not too long ago as the one success story in an otherwise bleak picture has almost doubled, the CDC said. The latest findings almost certainly further fuel efforts on Capitol Hill and elsewhere to devise more effective ways to curb tobacco use among young people. On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee approved sweeping tobacco legislation that sets specific targets for reducing teen smoking and establishes penalties against the tobacco industry if these goals are not met. "We're losing ground in the battle to protect our children," said Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala. "There is no excuse for delay. Congress must act promptly to enact comprehensive tobacco control legislation." Health officials said the latest trends are especially disturbing, given the attention directed in recent years toward the problem of teenage tobacco use. "People ask: 'How can this be happening when so much attention is being paid to teen smoking?"' said Dr. Michael Ericksen, director of the CDC's office on smoking and health. I think the answer is that there has been a lot of rhetoric but virtually no action. I think it's time for the rhetoric to stop and the action to start!' Ericksen and other health officials believe an approach that includes product price increases, severe advertising restrictions and beefed up education through the schools, community and media would have a notice. able impact on teen tobacco use. 'We know what works, but we haven't done what works," Ericksen said. The Senate Commerce Committee bill contains some of the provisions called for by Ericksen. It would raise the price of cigarettes by $1.10 a pack over the next five years bringing the average price at the cash register to more than $3 a pack and authorizes a variety of public education programs designed to reduce tobacco use. Lawmakers also are pushing for tobacco companies to agree voluntarily to advertising limitations intended to curb their access to the teenage market. The new CDC data, from the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, measured tobacco use among more than 16,000 U.S. students in grades 9 through 12. The study found that nearly half 48.2 percent of male students and more than a third - 36 percent - of female students had reported using cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco during the past month. The report also found that the consistent decline in smoking once seen among black youth has now reversed sharply in recent years, increasing by an estimated 80 percent between 1991 and 1997, from 12.6 percent to 22.7 percent. The prevalence of smoking among black males doubled during that period, from 14,2 percent to 28.2 percent, and increased 54 percent among females, from 11.3 percent to 17.4 percent. Health officials said they are baffled by the dramatic changes among black teens, particularly Lmong girls. Since 1976 - and until this latest report smoking had been declining among black teens while increasing for white youths. Health officials had believed that many black youths viewed smoking as "a white thing," Ericksen said. He also said that past interviews with teenagers indicated that black girls regarded smoking as a liability, which makes them look trashy, unlike white girls, who think it makes them look older and glamorous," Ericksen said. But now, apparently, We are losing the only edge we had " he said. He added: In 1976, there was no difference between blacks and whites. Then there was this huge divergence, and now it has turned around, and we don't know what happened." Among white students, 51.5 percent of males and 40.8 percent of females reported using cigarettes, cigars or smokeless tobacco during the past month, the study said. Also, use of any tobacco product was higher among white high school students - 46.8 percent - than Latinos - 36.8 percent - and black Americans - - 29.4 percent,. the CDC said. Cigarette smoking was highest among whites, at 39.7 percent, having increased from 30.9 percent in 1991. For Utinos, smoking increased from 25.3 percent in 1991 to 34 percent last year. About 1 in 5 students reported using cigars during the past month; an estimated 3 in 10 male students used cigars, compared with about 1 in 10 female students, the agency said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Youth Smoking On The Upswing ('Orange County Register' Version) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 10:16:14 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Youth Smoking On The Upswing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Author: M.A.J. McKenna-Cox News Service YOUTH SMOKING ON THE UPSWING Forty percent of high school students use tobacco. Despite anti-smoking campaigns,the numbers continue to rise. Two out of every five high school students in the United States regularly use some kind of tobacco, and the percentage of teens who smoke is still increasing despite efforts to discourage them,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Cigarette use by high school students has risen one-third over just six years, the agency said. And though whites remain the heaviest users, smoking had almost doubled among black students, a particularly troubling finding given black teens' longtime resistance to smoking's heavily advertised allure. "These numbers are alarming and surprising - and depressing," said Dr. Michael Eriksen, director of CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "We had hoped that we would start to see a turnaround, and we haven't yet." The Clinton administration has mounted strong but unsuccessful efforts to stifle teen smoking. The statistics were released Thursday to coincide with Kick Butts Day, a national observance for which administration members led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala made appearance across the country. The numbers come from the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, a national survey of 16,000 teens taken every two years. In 1991, the agency said, 27.5 percent of all high school students and 12.6 percent of black students smoked. In 1997, the most recent survey, the number for all students rose to 36.4 percents, and the proportion of blacks who smoked rose to 22.7 percent. Those rates mean that roughly 5.5 million of the 15 million high school-age teens in the United States are smokers, according to CDC. That is a higher rate of smoking than among adults; roughly 25 percent of U.S. adults smoke, a percentage that has held steady for several years. In the 1997 survey, the agency measured teens' use of all tobacco products on the market: cigarettes, smokeless chewing tobacco and, for the first time, cigars. The results were striking: 42.7 percent of high schoolers had used some form of tobacco at least once in the previous 30 days. Among white teen boys, the rate was 51.5 percent. "Tobacco causes cancer whether you smoke it in cigarettes or cigars or chew it in your mouth," Eriksen said. "To think that over half of the white boys in high school are using tobacco is a disgrace; it's a failure for adults and for our society." The survey also found: The rate at which black teens smoke rose the fastest, but it is increasing for every group: a 28 percent increase for whites, 43 percent for Hispanics and 80 percent for blacks over the six years. Overall, almost 47 percent of white teens, almost 37 percent of Hispanic teens and more than 29 percent of black teens now use tobacco in some form. Girls smoked more than boys during the 1980s, but both genders now smoke to almost the same degree - though boys are 10 times more likely than girls to use smokeless tobacco. More than one out of every five students smokes cigars regularly.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Needs You - Help Wanted And Needed (News Service Dedicated To Publicizing Drug Policy Reform Developments Around The Globe Needs Editors To Process Submissions) Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 08:16:59 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense needs YOU - Help wanted and needed VOLUNTEER HELP NEEDED Friends: 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 DrugSense 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 email@example.com 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 understanding 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 firstname.lastname@example.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! Thanks for your consideration from Mark Greer Executive Director Richard Lake Senior Editor and the entire DrugSense board of directors
------------------------------------------------------------------- Patching An Anti-Drug Alliance (Staff Editorial In 'San Francisco Examiner' About The 54-45 Vote In The US Senate Rejecting Decertification Of Mexico As An Ally In The War On Some Drugs Asserts Washington DC's Expectation Of A Little Help From Its Friends, Meaning Mexico, Is Only Reasonable) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:56:24 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Patching an Anti-Drug Alliance Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 PATCHING AN ANTI-DRUG ALLIANCE THE U.S. Senate came within a few votes last week of favoring decertification of Mexico for failing to be "fully cooperative" with this country in fighting the international drug traffic. The bid to rebuff the Mexican government, for permitting corruption to ruin any chance of stopping drug lords from shipping their products to American users, was led for the second year running by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. She likened Mexico's policing of drug laws to "an inflated balloon - impressive to look at but hollow at the core and easily punctured." Mexican drug enforcement, despite repeated unveilings of joint strategies with the United States, is a practically unbroken series of disappointments. Military, police and other officials seem unable or unwilling to act effectively against violent drug rings sending illicit supplies across the 2,000-mile border. The Clinton administration, however, decided to recertify Mexico as an ally in the war on drugs rather than give up on any possible improvement and invite broader trouble in U.S.-Mexican relations. Most senators evidently agreed with the administration's policy of settling for less-than-perfect cooperation and hoping for better in the future. Feinstein was on the losing end of a 54-to-45 vote on decertification, making the issue moot in the House because both chambers would have had to agree to overrule the administration. Mexico's indignation about the certification process rings hollow because its police effort is undermined by corruption. The lesson to be gained from the embarrassing Senate debate is that the Mexican government must do better on drugs in order to improve its standing on a whole range of other international issues. The United States cannot evade its own primary responsibility for the drug problem on U.S. streets, but Washington's expectation of a little help from its friends, to cut the international traffic, is only reasonable. 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Addictive For Troubled Teenagers, Study Finds (Biased Account Of Biased NIDA Study In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, 'Record') From: "Starr" (email@example.com) To: "maptalk" (firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Pot addictive for troubled teens Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 13:11:18 -0500 [sender's comment:] Here is what The Record here in Kitchener-Waterloo Canada picked up from the Reuters story. They left out the part about how most of the teenagers were troubled before their use. Please feel free to respond. I need more comments from the public in my local paper. *** Source: The Record email@example.com Date: Friday April 3, 1998 POT ADDICTIVE FOR TROUBLED TEENAGERS, STUDY FINDS Troubled teenagers who use marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado researchers reported this week. More than two-thirds of teens referred for treatment by social service or criminal justice agencies complained of withdrawal symptoms when they stopped using marijuana, Dr. Thomas Crowley of the University of Colorado and colleagues reported. "This study provides additional important data to better illustrate that marijuana is a dangerous drug that can be addictive," Dr. Alan Leshner, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse(NIDA), which paid for the study, said in a statement. Crowley's team at the university's Addiction Research and Treatment Service studied interviews, medical examinations and social histories of 165 boys and 64 girls aged 13 to 19. More than 80 per cent of the boys and 60 per cent of the girls were clinically dependent on marijuana. When asked, 97 per cent of the teens said they still used marijuana even after realizing it had become a problem for them. Eighty-five per cent of the teens admitted their habit interfered with driving, school, work and home life, while 77 per cent said they spent "much time" getting, using or recovering from the effects of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Overdosing On Ritalin ('Vancouver Province' Says British Columbia's Top Medical Watchdog, Dr. Rick Hudson, Medical Consultant To The Canadian Health Ministry, Has Called For A Probe Into The Prescribing Of Ritalin To Children, After A 'Province' Investigation Found Huge Variations In The Use Of The Drug In 22 Communities - Canada's Top Health Adviser Is Also Urging The Federal Government To Launch A Nationwide Study) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Overdosing on Ritalin Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 09:35:12 -0800 Source: Vancouver Province Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fri 03 Apr 1998 A1 / Front Overdosing on Ritalin: A staggering increase in the number of children using the `chemical straitjacket' sparks renewed calls for a full investigation By: Ann Rees, Staff Reporter B.C.'s top medical watchdog has called for a probe into the prescribing of the drug Ritalin to children. His move comes after a Province investigation found huge variations in the use of the controversial drug in 22 communities. The north Okanagan proved to be a centre of use, with more than 10 per cent of Vernon boys aged nine and 11 on the drug. Dr. Rick Hudson, medical consultant to the health ministry, called the worrying increase in use ``a chemical straitjacket.'' And Canada's top health adviser is urging the federal government to launch a nationwide study.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Top Court Defends 'Charter Revolution' - Judges Order Alberta To Protect Homosexuals ('Ottawa Citizen' Says The Supreme Court Of Canada Declared Yesterday That Unelected Judges Have A Constitutional Duty To Overrule Elected Legislators If They Fail To Protect Minorities, Reversing A Policy Previously Cited By Canadian Judges Who Refused To Rule In Favor Of Constitutional Challenges To Cannabis Prohibition, Even When The Evidence Warranted It) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Top court defends 'charter revolution' Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 09:37:02 -0800 Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: email@example.com Friday 3 April 1998 Top court defends 'charter revolution' Judges order Alberta to protect homosexuals Stephen Bindman The Ottawa Citizen The Supreme Court of Canada confronted its critics head-on yesterday, declaring that unelected judges have a constitutional duty to overrule elected legislators if they fail to protect minorities. The court ordered Alberta to include protection for homosexuals in its human-rights legislation, commenting that the province's failure to do so "sends a strong and sinister message, ... tantamount to condoning or even encouraging discrimination against lesbians and gay men." Speaking with rare unanimity, the country's top court said yesterday such judicial activism under the charter of rights, far from being undemocratic, actually "enhances the democratic process." And it again reminded politicians that they may have the final say by invoking the controversial notwithstanding clause -- the "ultimately parliamentary safeguard" -- to override the court's rulings. Although individual judges have expressed similar sentiments before in speeches and interviews about judicial power, rarely has the entire court found it necessary to devote so much time in a judgment to a justification of its own role. The ruling is also significant because it is one of the first times the top court has explicitly told a government what it must do in passing a law as opposed to what it may not do. The Alberta government and several religious groups argued it is up to elected legislators, not appointed judges, to decide such contentious issues as gay rights. The ruling ends a seven-year dispute that started when an Edmonton religious school fired teacher Delwin Vriend upon discovering he was gay. Mr. Vriend went to court after learning he couldn't complain to the Alberta Human Rights Commission because the law didn't cover his grievance. In 1994, the Court of Queen's Bench ruled in Mr. Vriend's favour; however, the decision was overturned by Mr. Justice John McClung of the Alberta Court of Appeal. Judge McCLung ruled in 1996 the human rights law was not unconstitutional, and slammed "crusading, ... ideologically determined, ... constitutionally hyperactive judges." Much of yesterday's ruling was devoted to a detailed rebuttal of that scathing critique, which one conservative commentator heralded as the first shot in the "charter counter-revolution." Writing for the Supreme Court, Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci said "hardly a day goes by" without some criticism that, through charter of rights rulings, courts are meddling or wrongfully usurping the role of legislatures. But such critics, Judge Iacobucci wrote, misunderstand what transpired when the charter was passed by Parliament and the provinces in 1982, "commanding" judges to invalidate unconstitutional laws. He called the charter a "new social contract that was democratically chosen. "Our charter's introduction and the consequential remedial role of the courts were choices of the Canadian people through their elected representatives as part of a redefinition of our democracy," he wrote. "Our constitutional design was refashioned to state that henceforth the legislatures and executive must perform their roles in conformity with the newly conferred constitutional rights and freedoms. "That the courts were the trustees of these rights insofar as disputes arose concerning their interpretation was a necessary part of this new design." He said courts are not meant to second-guess legislatures and the executive or to make value judgments on what they regard as policy decisions. "Rather the courts are to uphold the Constitution and have been expressly invited to perform that role by the Constitution." He explained the charter has given rise to a "dialogue" between the different branches of government -- the courts speak to the legislature and executive by reviewing laws to ensure they are constitutional and the legislature responds to the courts by introducing new legislation. "This dialogue between, and accountability of, each of the branches have the effect of enhancing the democratic process, not denying it." The court's reminder that the notwithstanding clause gives politicians "the final word in our constitutional structure" is significant, given that Alberta Premier Ralph Klein has set up a special committee to decide whether to use the section to override yesterday's ruling. Last month, a massive public outcry forced Mr. Klein to abandon efforts to use the section to limit compensation for the victims of forced sterilization. Judge Iacobucci said democracy means more than majority rule: It also requires legislators to take into account the interests of majorities and minorities alike. "Where the interests of a minority have been denied consideration, especially where that group has historically been the target of prejudice and discrimination, I believe that judicial intervention is warranted to correct a democratic process that has acted improperly." But the court's self-defence did little to convince University of Calgary political scientist Ted Morton, who has emerged as one of the leading critics of judicial activism. He called the Supreme Court's latest comments "facile legalism." "Maybe they realize this is an unsurpassed example of judicial law-making and they finally are having pangs of conscience," he said. Mr. Morton said the only minorities the court is prepared to protect are those "favoured by the social left." "Why not unborn children, why not smokers, why not gun owners? There are more restrictions on smokers and gun owners in Alberta than there are on homosexuals. "There's a political bias. This minorities game can be played left, right and centre and the court plays it right down the left lane." Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen
------------------------------------------------------------------- Parliament Takes Joint Approach (First Of Three Articles In New Zealand's 'National Business Review' Shows Things Are Heating Up On The Cannabis Front There) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 17:01:25 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: NZ: NBR (1) Parliament takes joint approach Three articles in this week's influential National Business Review confirm that things are really heating up on the cannabis front here in New Zealand. Source: The National Business Review (NZ), p.1 Pubdate: Friday, 3 April 1998 Author: Deborah Hill Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Parliament takes joint approach The country's lawmakers have decided to take a big inhalation and address the hot issue of cannabis law reform. The pot issue has been put on the business and political agenda this week with the release of a report from a high level think-tank recommending cannabis should be regulated and taxed. Parliament's select committee has announced it will hold an enquiry on cannabis. The inquiry has limited terms of reference focusing on the effect of cannabis on mental health. · Ministry of health backs hemp - page 10 · The $3 billion cannabis industry - page 11
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ministry Of Health Paves Way For Lifting Ban On Hemp Cultivation (Second Of Three Articles In New Zealand's 'National Business Review' Says A Confidential 1997 New Zealand Ministry Of Health Report Backs Trials Of Industrial Hemp Cultivation) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 17:01:39 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: NZ: NBR (2) MOH paves way for hemp Source: The National Business Review (NZ), p.10 Pubdate: Friday, 3 April 1998 Author: Deborah Hill Contact: email@example.com Ministry of health paves way for lifting ban on hemp cultivation A confidential Ministry of Health report is backing trials of cannabis cultivation as industrial hemp. The September 1997 report has been kept from the public, but a copy obtained by The National Business Review reveals the ministry's chief adviser on regulation and safety, Bob Boyd, suggests New Zealand should commence trials of hemp cultivation. If adopted, the report's recommendations are likely to open the way for hemp to again become a major commodity, as it was in the US up until the 19th century. This week a major New Zealand company added its voice to the call for free[ing] up cannabis laws to allow hemp to be cultivated as a crop. The Body Shop's local franchise holders are planning to meet with Health Ministry, Maf [Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries] and Customs officials as well as police to discuss reform allowing the growth of cannabis for hemp. Body Shop director Michael Ogilvie-Lee said the restrictions on hemp were preventing New Zealand businesses benefiting from a valuable opportunity. "If New Zealand wants to remain competitive internationally it must show the ability to move efficiently past legislative hurdles that have little merit or logic," Mr Ogilvie-Lee said. Industrial hemp and marijuana are both classified as cannabis sativa, although the strain used for hemp has very low levels of tetrahydro-cannabinol (THC). THC is the psychotropic substance concentrated in the flowering tops and leaves and used as a recreational drug. Cannabis strains for hemp contain 0.3-1% THC whereas varieties grow for drug use contain 10-15% THC. There are more than 25,000 industrial applications for hemp, spanning products from chipboard, paper, fabric and biodegradable plastics made from the fibre to soap, moisturiser and cosmetics made from the oil of the hemp seed. The Body Shop markets a hemp dry-skin range but is prevented from selling it in Australia under current law which classifies hemp seed oil as a poison. Hemp clothing is sold on small scale in New Zealand but products containing hemp oil could be illegal. The Body Shop founder and retailing guru Anita Roddick wrote to Prime Minister Jenny Shipley from the UK last December asking for hemp to be able to grown legally in New Zealand. Ms Shipley wrote back to Ms Roddick in general terms without responding to the hemp question, but if the Health Ministry report on hemp is adopted it could fulfil Ms Roddick's request. The report followed a research visit by Dr Boyd to look at Australia's licensed hemp programme, in which license to cultivate for trial purposes were issued in most states. Dr Boyd concluded growing cannabis for industrial hemp did not cause a security problem as there was minimal interference with the crops and no arrests. National Organisation for reform of Marijuana Law (Norml) promotions director Chris Fowlie said no one would bother trying to steal cannabis plants grown for hemp because its THC levels were too low to have any effect. The Ministry of Health report stated clearly it was dealing only with cannabis in its capacity as a source of hemp, excluding the issues of drug reform. Dr Boyd reported that no one he had spoken to in his research considered the Australian trials had made cannabis sativa more acceptable as a drug. Norml's Mr Fowlie said the UN convention on psychotropic drugs specifically excluded hemp and seeds. Norml imports raw hemp fabric and gets it made into T-shirts and jeans which are sold through its Hemp Store in Auckland's Queen Street. The plants for hemp look different as they're cultivated close together to foster the tall stalks which provide tough fibres. According to drug mythology, newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, industrial giant DuPont and the US organisation now known as the Drug Enforcement Association [sic] (DEA) conspired to ban cannabis in 1937. It was Mr Hearst, the "real" Citizen Kane, who dubbed the plant "marijuana" after the Mexican name and masterminded the anti-cannabis campaign after having tracts of forest he owned returned to Mexican nationalists. Mr Hearst did not want hemp to overtake wood pulp as a prime source of paper, while DuPont had just invented nylon and didn't want hemp to take over as a prime source of fibre. Alcohol prohibitionn had just come to an end and the DEA had 30,000 officers, which it didn't want to get rid of, but had nothing for them to police. The congress passed the anti-cannabis legilsation in 1938 [sic] which met all three parties' needs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kiwi Green Becomes Big Business (Third Of Three Articles In New Zealand's 'National Business Review' Says The Country's Cannabis Crop Is Up There With Kiwifruit, Wool And Forestry As A Major New Zealand Commodity - In Northland Marijuana Is Considered The Biggest Cash Earner In The Regional Economy) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 17:01:46 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: NZ: NBR (3) Kiwi green becomes big business Source: The National Business Review (NZ), p.11 Pubdate: Friday, 3 April 1998 Author: Deborah Hill Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Kiwi green becomes big business Pot, weed, dope, cannabis, marijuana - call it what you like, the country's cannabis crop is up there with kiwifruit, wool and forestry as a major New Zealand commodity. Legitimate cannabis cultivation for industrial hemp is estimated to yield up to $800 per acre whereas cannabis grown for sale as a recreational drug is about as lucrative as it gets - provided you don't get caught. "It's not a boutique industry anymore, it's a mainstream crop," one drug world source said. In economic terms, marijuana has become a currency of its own. "A bag of cannabis may leave, say, the Coromandel and goes through a series of transactions before it arrives in a joint between someone's finders. Each one of the those transactions is untaxable and untraceable," a drug world source explained. In Northland marijuana is considered the biggest cash earner in the regional economy, with locals citing two operators who grossed $5 million in one season from plants grown in the Puketoto Hills as an example of the money to be made. Drug reform campaigners say prohibition is leading to a "drug and dole" economy. They warn New Zealand is following the US down the road to gang warfare, and a blood-soaked drug underworld. A high-powered group of physicians and professionals agree prohibition has failed and this week their independent Drug Policy Forum put the issue firmly back on the political and business agenda. A report from the trust, released this week, recommends a body be set up to develop and enforce regulations for the production, distribution, sale and use of cannabis. "New Zealand politicians and public should accept that cannabis has become part of our culture. Whatever harms are associated with cannabis are magnified by driving its use underground," the trust concludes. The trust, which includes Auckland Medical School medicine department head Norman Sharpe and other respected health and legal figures, concludes the health effects of cannabis are no worse than alcohol and tobacco. It suggests a tobacco, alcohol and cannabis authority should be set up to regulate the three substances, including setting age and point-of-sale restrictions. The trust's suggested regime would allow the government to reap millions of dollars of tax revenue. Inland Revenue figures for the year to June 30, 1997 show $35 million in tax was assessed from people involved in illegal activities. In the late 1980s the annual value of the national cannabis crop was estimated at $300 million, twice the value of kiwifruit exports or all the cheese export trade. More recent figures are hard to come by as the government appears reluctant to conduct research - some say they don't want more proof showing prohibition doesn't work. Australian research found its cannabis industry was worth $18 billion and on that basis New Zealand's industry would be worth about $3 billion. In "New Zealand Green" Redmer Yska wrote that a nationwide wholesale and retail marijuana network had developed linking the regions, and syndicates bought between the regions to manipulate higher prices and bigger margins. "[In the 1980's] drug barons squared off against the 'side roaders' in a shadowy and ruthless turf war that has fed off faltering regional farm economies and spiralling unemployment," Mr Yska wrote. The homegrown industry became more sophisticated with new strains of seeds and cultivation techniques which more than doubled the average potency of marijuana. Most New Zealand cannabis seeds originated from the "buddha sticks" imported in bulk from Thailand by Marty Johnstone and his Mr Asia syndicate in the late 1970s. The violence surround the Mr Asia crime ring served to demonise cannabis in middle New Zealand, who classified it as the same as the narcotics which the ring also trafficked. In the late 1990s drug reform campaigners want to separate "soft" and "hard" drugs, pointing to the Netherlands' experience where an attempt was made to keep the two separate. A report by Netherlands Trimbos Institute says the more cannabis users become integrated into a drug subculture where, apart from cannabis, hard drugs can also be obtained, the greater the chance they will switch to hard drugs. "Separation of the drug markets is therefore essential," the report said. New Zealand already has its own version of the crack house in the "tinny house" - a gang-run dope shop operated on a strict business scheme marketing to school students which minimises risk while maximising revenue. It works like this: the gang rents a house near a high school which because it is not owned, cannot be taken off them under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The "shop" is staffed by young people of only 13-14 years who, due to their age, cannot be arrested. As less than an ounce of marijuana is kept on the premises the risk of serious charges is reduced. A motorcycle courier keeps the "shop" stocked, delivering packages of drugs hourly, and the drugs, often pre-rolled into joints, are sold at highly inflated prices of up to $20 for two joints. The tinny shops get their name from the tin foil in which the marijuana is wrapped. The infamous "hole in the wall" drug house in Yates Rd, Mangere, which was raided in 1988, is believed to have generated many millions of dollars in tax-free revenue for its gang masterminds. The police estimated the Yates Rd house had turnover of $9 million but a drug source said, as it was running 24 hours a day for several years, this would be a conservative assessment. "You're talking tens of millions of dollars, You have to have your own accountants to launder the money so you can't get it taken off you," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Debate Debased By Dope (Britain's 'Independent' Says A Wednesday Evening Debate On Decriminalising Cannabis, Sponsored By The National Union Of Students, Between Howard Marks, The Patron Saint Of Dope, And Peter Hitchens, Outspoken Conservative 'Express' Columnist, Ended In A Riot) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 17:11:47 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: Debate Debased By Dope Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 DEBATE DEBASED BY DOPE Civilised men and women may wish to think twice before accepting any invitation from the National Union of Students in future. On Wednesday evening, at the NUS's annual convention in Blackpool's Winter Gardens, a debate on the legalisation of cannabis was held in which two of the featured participants were Howard Marks, the patron saint of dope, and Peter Hitchens, outspoken conservative Express columnist. The evening ended in a riot, with a Blackpool police in body armour called to quell an outraged crowd that was literally baying for Mr Hitchens' blood. According to Stuart Jackson, a student journalist at the event, many in the crowd had been drinking heavily and the core protesters were members of an activist lesbian-gay-bisexual group. Mr Hitchens' opening statement went: "According to your categories, I am a reactionary sexist homophobic and an ex-Trotskyist...what is even worse, I am proud of it." He was booed by some, then interrupted by three women shouting "Fascist" who had to be removed by security guards. By all accounts, the debate then settled down into a very lively, entertaining and provocative encounter. "One of the best debates I've heard on cannabis legalisation," Mr Hitchens said later. Unfortunately, before its conclusion one Douglas Trainer, president of the NUS, arrived on stage and ordered Hitchens to leave the platform for being in violation of NUS statutes against sexism and homophobia. "If he's going, I'm going too," declared a truly libertarian Mr Marks, who put his arm around Mr Hitchens and helped him through a throng of emboldened protesters. Punches and rubbish were thrown but, happily, Mr Hitchens was unhurt. In fact, the next day he told Pandora that he was far more shocked by the curtailment of his freedom of speech than he was worried about the angry mob. "I've been in very frightening situations in my career, but I just did not feel it there," he said. According to other witnesses, however, it was a nasty scene outside the room where he was hiding with Mr Marks and others. Finally, once the police had convinced Mr Hitchens to leave, Mr Trainer addressed the crowd and apologised profusely for ever having invited Mr Hitchens to speak. Such good manners! Pandora would like to salute Mr Trainer, obviously a bright new star in the firmament of political correctness. Doug, at the end of the 20th century, it's not easy to set new standards in fascism but you've done far more than just that. You've turned Peter Hitchens into a victim.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Substitute Sold By Doctor Killed Drug Addict (Britain's 'Independent' Says Deaths From Prescribed Methadone Poisoning Increased To 154 Among The 14,000 Addicts In Britain And Wales - Last Year, Methadone Killed Three Times As Many People In Scotland As Heroin, With 91 People Dying From Methadone As Opposed To 31 From Heroin) Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 17:24:21 -0500 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: Heroin Substitute Sold By Doctor Killed Drug Addict Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: Independent, The (UK) Author: Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 HEROIN SUBSTITUTE SOLD BY DOCTOR KILLED DRUG ADDICT Tougher measures to curb the prescription of methadone by private doctors was urged yesterday following fresh concerns at the rising death toll among addicts using the drug. A leading coroner called on Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, to set up an inquiry into the apparent easy availability of methadone, used as a supposedly less dangerous substitute for heroin. This followed the latest methadone fatality - a 41-year-old woman from Chelsea, south-west London, who had been paying £30 a week for her drugs from a private doctor. The number of deaths among notified addicts caused by over-dosing on methadone rose in England and Wales to 116 in 1995 from 74 in 1993; it now makes up about one-fifth of all fatal overdoses among registered addicts. The number of methadone notified addicts dying from poisoning increased to 154 in 1995, also a record total. About 14,000 people in England and Wales were registered as methadone addicts in 1996. Last year, methadone killed three times as many people in Scotland as heroin - 91 people died from the drug as opposed to 31 heroin deaths. A Department of Health working group is looking into the issue of how best to help people withdraw from heroin use, which includes the issue of methadone. There is evidence, backed by recent Home Office research, of a flourishing black-market in methadone often linked to lax prescribing practices. Dr Paul Knapman, the Westminster coroner, yesterday expressed his worries about the availability of the drug after hearing how Stephanie Jean Lea, 41, died after overdosing on methadone last February. Dr Knapman recorded a verdict of death by methadone intoxication caused by drug dependency. The inquest at Westminster coroner's court was told that Mrs Lea paid a weekly sum of £30 to her private doctor in exchange for a cocktail of drugs, before she was struck off last November. Reading a statement from an earlier hearing by Mrs Lea's husband, Dr Knapman said: "Mr Lea says it is simple. He suggests that if you have the money then you can get drugs. He says it is like a business transaction that doctors know about." But Mrs Lea's former doctor, Dr Tom Onen, described her as a "chronic drug addict" and blamed the increase in methadone deaths on lack of funding which meant inadequate services. After the inquest, Dr Knapman disclosed that he had written to the Home Secretary last month voicing his concerns about methadone prescriptions. His letter said: "I hope that you may consider a review of the present situation whereby any doctor may prescribe injectable methadone privately to any patient, and to consider a review of monitoring procedures with a view to possible regulation." Methadone-related deaths are frequently linked to a thriving black market where it is sold as a cut-price fix. Drug dealers posing as heroin addicts defraud the health service of hundred of thousands of pounds a year, duping gullible clinics and GPs into giving them the liquid drug and then selling it on at prices way below those commanded for other class A drugs. According to Home Office officials and medical experts, many doctors' surgeries are targeted by dealers who see them as a "soft touch".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gardai Warn That Rise Of Cocaine Could Herald Crack Epidemic (Ireland's 'Examiner' Says The Head Of The Garda National Drugs Unit, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty, Warned Yesterday That Crack And A Drug Called Meth-Amphetamine, Or 'Crank,' Could Be The Next Illegal Drug Scourge To Hit The Irish Market - His Comments Follow A Seizure In Clontarf Six Weeks Ago Of 40,000 Meth-Amphetamine Tablets, The First Consignment Of Crank Found In Ireland) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:26:23 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: Gardai Warn That Rise of Cocaine Could Herald Crack Epidemic Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Author: Brian Carroll -Security Correspondent GARDAI WARN THAT RISE OF COCAINE COULD HERALD CRACK EPIDEMIC Gardai have warned about the threat of a crack cocaine epidemic in Ireland and the danger of organised criminal gangs manufacturing a new drug known as "poor man's cocaine". The head of the Garda National Drugs Unit, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty, warned yesterday that crack and a drug called meth-amphetamine, or "crank", could be the next narcotic to hit the Irish market. His comments followed a seizure in Clontarf six weeks ago of 40,000 meth-amphetamine tablets. It was the first consignment of crank found in Ireland. The garda drugs squad is also concerned about the increasing amount of cocaine being seized in Ireland. Assistant Commissioner Carty fears the beginning of a crack problem here. "There has been an increase in the seizures of cocaine over the last number of years in Ireland," he said. "Before, it tended to be the drug of the affluent and was not used in socially deprived areas. That trend has been reversed in the last two to three years." At a conference in Monaghan of drug enforcement officers from Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States and Sweden yesterday, Assistant Commissioner Carty warned of the devastation crack and crank could cause. "We want to raise awareness about these drugs," he said. "We don't have a problem with crack or meth-amphetamine here as yet, but we want people to know that the threat exists. "Communities in the United States have been devastated and we are looking now to see what we can do to learn from that. It is not a problem now but the threat is out there. "The seizure of 40,000 tablets of meth-amphetamine in Dublin six weeks ago was significant by any standards. There have been small instances of crack cocaine, so it is out there." The garda drugs boss said that there had been several large seizures of speed over the past six months and the drugs were of an extremely pure quality, destined for distribution around the country. Assistant Commissioner Carty criticised those in the pop music industry who portrayed ecstasy as attractive. He said they were putting young people's lives in danger. "Ecstasy ravages through the brain like a hurricane. For somebody to promote that is like telling somebody to play Russian roulette, because there is absolutely no control over it," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Police Urge Battle On Drugs At Local Level (New York Police Department Deputy Inspector Tom Dale And Ireland's 'Examiner' Promote Sensationalism, Fear, Ignorance And Misunderstanding In Ireland, While Telling Anyone Who Wants To Know That The International Bible For Drug Production Now Is Alexander Shulgin's 'Pihkal - A Chemical Love Story,' Available On The Internet, Containing Formulas For Making 179 Different Kinds Of Ecstasy) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:26:06 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: US Police Urge Battle on Drugs at Local Level Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 Author: Brian Carroll US POLICE URGE BATTLE ON DRUGS AT LOCAL LEVEL IRISH drug officers are concerned about a possible epidemic of crack cocaine and meth-amphetamine, the poor man's cocaine, here. Concerns arise about the devastation such drugs have caused in the United States and their creeping invasion into Britain and Europe. To date, nine illegal laboratories have been raided by British drug officers who found organised criminals attempting to manufacture meth-amphetamine for distribution in the UK. Six weeks ago Irish drug officers discovered 40,000 tablets of that drug in Clontarf in what was alarmingly the first ever major seizure of the drug here. The head of the Garda National Drugs Unit, Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty, warned yesterday that cocaine, which used to be the preserve of the wealthy, is now becoming much more available to the masses in Ireland and that ecstasy and speed are available at "almost every cross-roads in the country." There is a danger that crack cocaine will be the next new drug on the Irish market, along with meth-amphetamine which is sometimes known as crank. In America crack caused incredible devastation on the East Coast, resulting in whole parts of New York becoming no-go ghettos. Over on the West Coast crank caused social chaos. Because it was cheap, readily available and could induce highs that lasted over 20 times as long as a hit from cocaine. Ten dollars could buy you one tenth of a gram and within seven seconds of snorting it you would get an eight-hour high. Crank addicts have gone on binges that allow them to go without sleep for 15 days, detectives describe crank as the poor man's cocaine. Easy to produce and giving a much stronger high, crack and crank are attractive propositions for international drug dealers. The international bible for drug production now is Alexander Shulgin's PIHKAL - A Chemical Love Story. Shulgin's book contains formulas for making 179 different kinds of Ecstasy. He has been described as the Delia Smith of the drugs world. Les Fiander, a London Metropolitan Police officer with the National Criminal Intelligence Service, warned Irish drug officers yesterday that this book is been found in raids on illegal drug manufacturing plants all over England. It is available on the Internet also and drug users are now using this medium to consult with each other about manufacturing problems. The worry now is that Irish criminal gangs will start to follow suit and begin manufacturing crack and crank here using Shulgin's chemical recipes. The only intelligence to date of a drug manufacturing culture here came when the Garda's Operation Barbie discovered two Ecstasy manufacturing laboratories in Dublin. Because Ecstasy can now be imported at #2 a tab from Amsterdam, drug officers believe the market is too favourable now for drug dealers to risk manufacturing E tabs themselves. However, tablets are the coming thing, and the biggest buzz and profits come with crack and crank. Low cost production, coupled with massive profits, is an attractive proposition for organised criminals but a cocktail which could have unimaginable social consequences here. NYPD Deputy Inspector, Tom Dale, warned yesterday: "You have cocaine here so if they are able to transform cocaine into crack, you're going to have trouble because it's extremely addictive and that's what caused New York to burn down in the mid-80's. We are only recovering from that disaster now." "Local communities have got to get involved. If you target it now you can stop it before it comes," Inspector Dale said. Assistant Commissioner Kevin Carty agrees: "What we want to do is raise awareness. We don't have a problem with crack or meth-ampethamine as yet, but we want people to know that threat exists. Whole communities have been devastated in the US, we have to learn from that. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Media Groups Win Court Bid To Get Drug Reporting Ban Lifted (Ireland's 'Examiner' Says Several British Media Won A Supreme Court Challenge Yesterday, Reversing A Circuit Court Judge's Decision To Ban Day-To-Day Reporting Of A Major Trial In Cork In February Last Year Following The Seizure Of £47 Million Worth Of Cocaine At Cork Harbour) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 19:26:14 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Ireland: Media Groups Win Court Bid to Get Drug Reporting Ban Lifted Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 MEDIA GROUPS WIN COURT BID TO GET DRUG REPORTING BAN LIFTED A NUMBER of media organisations yesterday won their Supreme Court challenge to a Circuit Court judge's decision to ban day-to-day reporting of a major drugs trial in Cork in February last year. The trial followed seizure of £47-million worth of cocaine at Cork harbour. The High Court, in a judgement last November, had rejected an appeal against the Circuit Court decision. But the media groups took an appeal to the Supreme Court where, yesterday, the five judges came out unanimously in their favour. The appeal was taken by Independent Newspapers, Irish Times Ltd, Examiner Publications (Cork) Ltd, News Group newspapers and RTE. Four foreign nationals were accused of drug-related offences. One pleaded guilty prior to trial and the other others were eventually acquitted. After the trial opened, Judge Anthony Murphy ordered that there should be no contemporaneous reporting other that the trial was proceeding in open court; the names and addresses of the accused and the charges. The Circuit Court judge made his remarks after reports relating to the case on a radio station and in a local newspaper. Allowing the appeal, Chief Justice Liam Hamilton said he was satisfied the Circuit Court judge had, in the circumstances of the case, no jurisdiction to make the order sought to be quashed and that he erred in law in so doing. The Chief Justice said that in the recent past, many trials had been aborted because the trial judge considered the integrity of the trial process had been interfered with by reason of the manner in which the trial was being reported in the media and that there was a real risk of an unfair trial. The trial judge was entitled to discharge a jury in circumstances only if he was satisfied the risk of an unfair trial could not be avoided by appropriate rulings and directions. Save in exceptional circumstances, said the Chief Justice, a trial judge should have confidence in the ability of a jury to understand and comply with such directions, disregard any inadmissible evidence and give a true verdict in accordance with the evidence. "It is only when this is not possible that the extreme step shall be taken of discharging the jury," he added. Mr Justice O'Flaherty, in his judgement, said the blanket ban imposed by the trial judge went too far and was not justified. It was an order to prevent what was only a possibility of harm - though made, he had no doubt, for the best of motives. He added: "The risk that there will be some distortion in the reporting of cases from time to time must be run. The administration of justice must be neither hidden nor silenced to eliminate such a possibility. The light must always be allowed shine on the administration of justice. That is the best guarantee for the survival of the freedom of the people of any country."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sex And Drugs Crime On Increase (The Possibility That Police Are Redirecting Their Priorities Seems To Elude 'The Scotsman' - 'Drugs Workers Said They Knew Of No Massive Increase In Drug Use Or Drug Availability Last Year That Would Account For The 22 Per Cent Rise In Arrests For Possession') Date: Sun, 05 Apr 1998 21:15:31 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: UK: Sex And Drugs Crime On Increase Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Source: The Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Pubdate: Friday, 3 April 1998 SEX AND DRUGS CRIME ON INCREASE Pattern Shifts Away From Break-ins And Assaults THE pattern of crime in Scotland is shifting, with fewer break-ins and assaults, but more sex attacks and drugs offences recorded by the police. In the last six years, crime has fallen back to levels not seen since the early days of the Conservative government in 1981, reported crime statistics for 1997 published by the Scottish Office yesterday suggest. Last year, crime fell 7 per cent. Property crime fell the most, with housebreaking halved in six years to 55,500 cases and car theft down 16 per cent. Violent crime was down by 11 per cent on 1996, with the number of serious assaults down 13 per cent or 900 cases. Within the broad picture of less crime and fewer victims, reports of serious sexual assault rose by 14 per cent, an extra 250 incidents. The police also arrested 66 per cent more women for prostitution (1,550 instead of 930), and 25 per cent more people for drug possession - 20,900 instead of 16,700. The home affairs minister, Henry McLeish, said: "My judgment is that the number of sexual offences has increased. To what extent, it is difficult to gauge. More people are now coming forward to tell the police about sexual abuse crimes which may have been committed against them years and years ago." The Scottish Office has set up two pilot projects to analyse whether the extra sexual offences being reported are recent or happened in the past, Mr McLeish said. Women's groups have estimated that as few as one in 20 sex attacks are reported. Against this backdrop, 28 per cent more women came forward last year to complain of rape (123 extra cases), 39 per cent more cases of lewd and libidinous practices were recorded (534 more reports), and 62 per cent more families reported incest (37 extra cases recorded by the police). Mr McLeish said Labour had cracked down on sex offences, creating the sex offender register, proposing sex offender orders and much longer and stricter supervision of released perverts, and setting up a panel under Lady Cosgrove to look strategically at the whole issue. He revealed that in June he would be launching a Scotland-wide campaign to clamp down on violence against women and children. There would, however, be no new funds for the campaign, a fact greeted with concern by hard-pressed charities helping abused women. June Strachan, an outreach worker with Edinburgh Rape Crisis Centre, said it was ironic that Mr McLeish should highlight violence against women the day after the Rape Crisis Centre suffered massive cuts to its core funding. "I basically agree with Mr McLeish. More women are feeling confident to report rape to the police these days," she said. "As to whether these crimes are increasing, there is no way of knowing. "We would like service provision to keep pace with the rising numbers of incidents being reported. Next year, we will be struggling to provide the same level of service, and will have to fundraise very hard simply to keep going." Alison Patterson, the director of Victim Support Scotland, whose Scottish Office funding was frozen this year, said more women were coming forward to report sex attacks, but they were still being let down by the legal system. "Significant numbers who have reported and go through the system then find there is no prosecution, or their experience in court is so horrendous they would have been better not reporting," she said. A spokesman for the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland said the rising number of sexual assaults was "worrying", but many of the reports were historic, relating to crime committed several years previously. The rise showed victims had more confidence in the police and the courts. Drugs workers said they knew of no massive increase in drug use or drug availability last year that would account for the 22 per cent rise in arrests for possession. The police's crime clear-up rate rose in 1997 from 37 per cent to 39 per cent. Strathclyde was the most crime-ridden area of Scotland, with 926 recorded crimes per 10,000 people. Second came Tayside with 885 crimes per 10,000 people, followed by Grampian with 835, and Lothian and Borders with 818. The Highlands were the most law-abiding area of Scotland, with just 437 crimes recorded per 10,000 people. Sir Robert Smith, the Scottish Liberal Democrats' crime spokesman, said the rise in crimes of indecency was concerning. Roseanna Cunningham, the justice spokeswoman for the Scottish National Party, saidScotland urgently needed a strategy to tackle the whole spectrum of crimes related to violence against women. Paul Cullen, the home affairs spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: "These figures for sexual and drug-related crime are very disturbing."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 36 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's News Summary For Activists Features 13 Original Articles Including - 'Free Will Foster' Rally To Be Held In Oklahoma City; AIDS Advisory Council To Vote On Resolution Calling For Shalala's Resignation; Shalala Milk Ad Parodied By Pro-Needle Exchange Group; RIT Students Defend Open Debate - Campus Marijuana Law Reform Group Pushes For University Recognition) Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:57:28 EST Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #36 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #36 -- APRIL 3, 1998 -- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. DRCNET MEMBERSHIP DRIVE A SUCCESS -- NEW OFFER FOR APRIL http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#members 2. "FREE WILL FOSTER" RALLY TO BE HELD IN OKLAHOMA CITY http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#freewill 3. AIDS ADVISORY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON RESOLUTION CALLING FOR SHALALA'S RESIGNATION http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#shalala 4. SHALALA MILK AD PARODIED BY PRO-NEEDLE EXCHANGE GROUP http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#drinkmilk 5. SENATE FAILS TO REVERSE MEXICO'S CERTIFICATION http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#mexico 6. LUNGREN MOTION DENIED -- SAN FRANCISCO BUYERS' CLUB TO REMAIN OPEN PENDING JURY TRIAL http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#lungren 7. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS PATIENT, IN ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, CONSUMES CANNABIS IN CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#protest 8. RIT STUDENTS DEFEND OPEN DEBATE: Campus marijuana law reform group pushes for university recognition. http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#rit 9. MURDERED TEEN INFORMANT MADE DEAL DIRECTLY WITH BREA POLICE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#informant 10. LAWMAKERS CALL FOR FURTHER ARMS BUILDUP IN COLOMBIA http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#colombia 11. HIGH-POWERED NEW ZEALAND GROUP ISSUES REPORT: LEGALIZE AND REGULATE CANNABIS http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#nzdpft 12. LINK OF THE WEEK: Take a Close-Up Look at the Action http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#link 13. EDITORIAL: Escalation in Colombia -- on a path into the jungle http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#editorial *** 1. DRCNET MEMBERSHIP DRIVE A SUCCESS Our heartfelt thanks to the many of you who responded to our March 31 call for members. When we put out the bulletin Tuesday afternoon, we were still 22 paying members short of our 1st quarter of 750. By the end of the day, we had topped 780, and many more have come in since then. Your donations provided much need cash, and most importantly, helped us reached our goal. Now we can go to our funders and show them that our members support us and that we are on the right track. Their major support will help us build the rapid response team from its nearly 5,000 subscribers now, to 50,000, and from 50,000 to 100,000. Those of you who stepped up to the plate this week should be proud. You are part of the solution; together we will help lead the world out of the darkness of Prohibition and the War on Drugs. Our second quarter goal, however, is much more ambitious: we are trying to reach 1,300 paying members by July 1. That means we need nearly 40 new people to send in dues each week, nearly 6 per day. This ambitious goal is necessary, in order to secure DRCNet's long-term financial stability, so that we can advance to the next level. Some of these new members will come in naturally, as the rapid response team continues to grow. And some of them may come from prospect mailings and events. You can help by getting more people to subscribe to this list -- just tell them to go to http://www.stopthedrugwar.org and enter their name, e-mail address and state or country. If you are involved with drug policy or other relevant events, or come into contact with people on a regular basis, you can bring DRCNet e-mail signup sheets with you and send them back to us with new subscribers. (Please write if you are interested in helping in this way.) We also have brochures that we will gladly send to anyone who will distribute them. If you haven't yet sent in your full membership dues or $10 virtual dues, you may be interested in the following offer, good through the end of April: We will send free copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts to anyone sending in the basic $25 annual dues ($5 down from the usual $30). As excellent a book as MMMF is, we won't be offering it this way for more than a few more months, so get your copy now! Please visit our secure registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html, or mail your checks to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. (Credit card donors should make sure to follow the link to the secure version.) *** 2. RALLY TO FREE WILL FOSTER SCHEDULED FOR OKLAHOMA CITY At noon on April 20, people from Oklahoma and across the country will hold a rally on the steps of the state capitol in Oklahoma City to protest the 93 year sentence being served by medical marijuana patient Will Foster. Foster, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, was sentenced on February 27, 1997 to 70 years for cultivation, 20 years for cultivation in the presence of a minor (his children, who had no idea that their father was growing his medicine in a bomb shelter, under lock and key underneath the house), two years for intent to distribute (which is assumed for possession of more than 10 grams in Oklahoma) and an additional year for failure to have a tax stamp. The Fosters' home was stormed by state, county and local agents acting on an anonymous tip. Foster, who is 39 years old, ran his own software business from the house and had no prior record. His sentences are set to run consecutively. We urge all of our subscribers in the Oklahoma City region to attend this event and to urge your friends and family in the area to attend. Featured speakers will include Meg Foster (Will's wife) and DRCNet associate director Adam Smith. The rally is being sponsored by Oklahoma NORML. If you'd like more information, or to make a contribution, you can call them at (405) 366-8058. *** 3. AIDS ADVISORY COUNCIL TO VOTE ON RESOLUTION CALLING FOR SHALALA'S RESIGNATION April 1 was an important date in the debate over the ban on the use of federal anti-AIDS funds for syringe exchange. It was on that date that a congressional moratorium forbidding such funding expired, at which time the decision on whether or not to lift the ban was left entirely in the hands of Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala. With April 1 come and gone, and no such action taken by the Secretary, the Associated Press reported that the Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS has drafted a resolution calling on the President "to direct the Secretary... to immediately certify the efficacy of needle exchange programs in preventing HIV infection while not encouraging drug use... and, if she fails to expeditiously take such action, to ask for her immediate resignation." Two weeks ago, the Presidential Advisory Council on AIDS issued a unanimously approved double-barreled resolution, expressing "no confidence" in the Clinton Administration for their handling of the syringe-exchange issue, and strongly urging Secretary Shalala to make the official determination that syringe exchange reduces HIV transmissions without fueling increased drug use. Such a determination is a prerequisite to the lifting of the ban. The Week Online has learned that in a private discussion at the time of the resolution, members of the council made it known that they would not abide by more delay, and that even stronger action would be taken within 2-3 weeks if the secretary failed to act. Last week, however, the politics of the decision became even murkier as a letter from Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey to AIDS Policy Director Sandra Thurman indicating McCaffrey's opposition to syringe exchange was leaked to members of Congress and the press. While the decision is not McCaffrey's to make, the retired four-star general's opinion and support carry much weight as Republicans gear up for a Drug War legislative blitz later this month in an attempt to paint the Clinton Administration as "soft" on drugs. The draft resolution, to be voted on by the Council on April 9, cites a "pattern of inaction, misrepresentation, disingenuous communication, inconsistent messages, and broken promises" which "has seriously eroded the secretary's and the administration's credibility on all AIDS prevention and related public health matters." The Week Online spoke with Robert Fogel, a member of the Council and an outspoken critic of the administration's failure to lift the ban. "There was a conference call with members of the Process Committee earlier this week" said Fogel. "We had already been told that HHS was nearing the end of its review process, and so we felt that it was time, past time in fact, to make it clear that a determination has to be made on this issue." Fogel continued, "The resolution is addressed to the President, not the Secretary. After months of being dealt with in a less than forthright manner by the Secretary, we felt it was important that the President be responsible to answer to us. We're giving the President time to return to the country and to take action on this, as the Council won't vote on it until the ninth. But I have little doubt that at that time the Council will pass the resolution, probably unanimously." At a news conference last week (3/27), democratic lawmakers and health experts teamed up to urge that the administration lift the ban. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters, "the science is in. The findings are clear. The administration has the evidence." Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) joined Pelosi at the event. *** 4. SHALALA MILK AD PARODIED BY PRO-NEEDLE EXCHANGE GROUP (The National Coalition to Save Lives Now has been an outspoken and provocative force in the national debate. They may have outdone themselves this week, however, with their stinging parody of Secretary Donna Shalala's recent milk ad, online at http://www.harmreduction.org/ncsln/. Print a copy out and fax it to her, with your name and address, at (202) 690-6166, and/or call her at (202) 690- 7694 or (202) 690-7000. Also call President Clinton at (202) 456-1414. Urge them to deregulate federal AIDS funding and let state governments decide on needle exchange for themselves.) *** 5. SENATE FAILS TO REVERSE MEXICO'S CERTIFICATION Despite loud protestations from a bipartisan group of Senators, including California Democrat Diane Feinstein and Georgia republican Paul Coverdell, an attempt to overturn the Clinton Administration's recent "certification" of Mexico as a "fully-cooperative" partner in the Drug War was defeated 54-45 last week (3/25). The vote came just days after a secret DEA report was leaked to legislators detailing corruption within the Mexican military far in excess of previous estimates. The corruption is thought to be so pervasive that one unnamed U.S. official told the Washington Post last week that "it points to much of our work in Mexico being an exercise in futility." The certification process, under which the administration makes unilateral determinations as to which countries are adequately cooperating, has come under heavy criticism in recent years by the source and transshipment countries. Those criticisms focus on the fact that it is U.S. demand which drives the international drug trade, while the countries who are most negatively impacted are judged. A decision to decertify a country requires the U.S. to withdraw certain aid and to vote against loan requests from that country in the World Bank. In other news from Mexico, national broadcaster Radio Red reported last week (3/27) that Adrian Carrera Fuentes, former director of the Federal Judicial Police, was detained on charges of conspiring with the Arellano Felix brothers and their violent and prolific Tijuana cartel. *** 6. LUNGREN MOTION DENIED - SAN FRANCISCO BUYERS' CLUB TO REMAIN OPEN PENDING JURY TRIAL - Dale Gieringer, redistributed from California NORML, http://www.norml.org/canorml April 2, 1998: According to a press release from Californians for Compassionate Use, California Superior Court Judge David Garcia issued a preliminary ruling in the case of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club, denying the motion of Attorney General Lungren to close the club, padlock its doors, confiscate all property, and evict all persons from the premises. He also denied the motion by defendants Dennis Peron and Beth Moore to dismiss the case outright. Instead, Garcia ruled that there are try-able issues concerning the concept of "caregiver" and ordered that a jury trial be scheduled beginning April 27th. "This vindicates our position that we are legal and that we are working within the guidelines of the Court of Appeals decision," said Peron, " We look forward to our Day in Court." *** 7. MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS PATIENT, IN ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, CONSUMES CANNABIS IN CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE - Troy Dayton for DRCNet Washington, DC: On Monday, March 30, Cheryl Miller, a Multiple Sclerosis patient who uses marijuana for medicinal reasons, consumed marijuana -- with the help of her husband Jim -- in the office of Congressman Jim Rogan (R-CA), protesting House Resolution 372. Both were arrested for their acts of civil disobedience. House Resolution 372 is a non-binding resolution that is "unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana for medicinal use" and "urges the defeat of State initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use." Congressman Rogan was targeted because he has supported favorable medical marijuana legislation in the California State Legislature and also had a cousin who used marijuana successfully to alleviate the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy, yet he voted for H. Res. 372 in committee. "Patients nationwide are angry and are beginning to target hypocritical members of Congress with direct action. Patients are ready for civil disobedience. We've only begun to turn up the heat," said Chuck Thomas, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the organizers of the event. "We can't let this awful resolution pass. I was arrested today so that some day, other patients will not have to be," said Cheryl Miller. Cheryl, age 51, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1971. She and her husband Jim live in Silverton, New Jersey. She has tried all the standard drugs to treat MS, most of which had horrific side-effects. She has even been prescribed Marinol (synthetic THC), but finds marijuana in its natural form to be the most helpful for her muscle spasticity. Also on hand were about a dozen protesters including another patient and a doctor. Michael Krawitz is a 35-year-old father and disabled veteran living in Elliston, Virginia. Fifteen years ago, he fell victim to a poorly constructed roadway and crashed his motorcycle. "I've had ten surgeries and two total artificial hips," Mike explained "I use cannabis as an adjunct to my narcotic pain medicine in treating my sometimes extreme pain. Cannabis also treats the nausea caused by my internal injuries." Dr. Dennis Petro is a neurologist who has been studying marijuana's therapeutic effects since the late 70's. Dr. Petro has published many studies showing marijuana's medical efficacy in peer-reviewed medical journals. This is the first act of civil disobedience on this issue in Congress and it garnered national media attention. Dozens of journalists were on hand to report on the event, including reporters from all three networks, CNN, Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times and more. The Week Online asked Rob Kampia, Director of Government Relations for MPP, why he felt this act of civil disobedience was so successful. "We've tried reason, we've tried lawsuits, we've tried the FDA, we've tried to get co-sponsors for Barney Frank's medical marijuana bill, and we've got public opinion on our side, but Congress is just not responding. In fact, they are doing the opposite." He pointed out that civil disobedience is only helpful for causes that garner wide public support. "I strongly urge against using civil disobedience for recreational use because the public and the media aren't with us." You can find the Marijuana Policy Project on the web at http://www.mpp.org. (The vote on H.R. 372 has been postponed until after the current Congressional recess. Please contact your Representative in opposition to this bill -- info at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-18-1.html. And try and make an appointment with your Reps while they are in their home districts this month.) *** 8. RIT STUDENTS DEFEND OPEN DEBATE - Troy Dayton for DRCNet Students at Rochester Institute of Technology demonstrated outside of an administrative building this Friday to protest President Albert Simone's decision to deny official club recognition to the Rochester Cannabis Coalition. Approximately 130 students gathered in one of the main quads on campus. As they marched to the administrative building their numbers grew to approximately 300 as they chanted "Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho! Al Simone has got to go!" Once they reached the administrative building, they set up sound equipment. RCC President Shea Gunther stood on top of a garbage can to address the crowd. "This country was founded on the principle that if you don't like the way something is done, you can work to change it. President Simone is undermining that principle by not allowing us the same rights as other clubs on this campus," said Gunther. It also happened to be "Prospective Freshman Day" so parents and high school seniors were on hand to watch the demonstration. Unfortunately, the president was not in his office, so he was unable to speak to the demonstrators. RIT has no further comments on the situation. "We won't give up. An important part of the Drug War is stifling discussion of alternative policies. We will continue to fight for our right to be a recognized club and I call on all who believe in encouraging honest debate of public policy to join the RCC in this fight," said Gunther. (Help the RCC gain university recognition: call RIT President Albert Simone at (716) 475-2394 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Shea Gunther can be reached at email@example.com.) *** 9. MURDERED TEEN INFORMANT MADE DEAL DIRECTLY WITH BREA POLICE - Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet Last week, DRCNet reported on the death of Chad MacDonald, a minor who was murdered in the Los Angeles area after having been used by the Brea police department as an informant. In that report, we indicated MacDonald may have been acting pursuant to a court plea arrangement. Further investigation reveals that the case may not have ever made it as far as court. According to Lloyd Charton, the attorney for Chad MacDonald's mother, MacDonald entered into an arrangement with the Brea police department to avoid filing of charges stemming from his arrest by the department. MacDonald's mother, Cindy MacDonald, signed a "release" form at the department's request. Charton reports that the boy had been apprehended by police. Mrs. MacDonald was contacted, and she proceeded directly to the police station. However, by the time she arrived, she was told that Chad, who was in tears, had "sung like a canary" and was looking at substantial jail time if charges were filed. Mrs. MacDonald was assured he would not be in danger if she agreed to allow him to act as an informant as they proposed. Thereafter, the department decided MacDonald should make a "buy" while wearing a wire. Mrs. MacDonald was not informed of this arrangement until after the buy had taken place. In our story last week, we concluded the arrangement had been the result of a court plea agreement, based on the fact that Brea police department had filed a petition with the juvenile court seeking authorization to release details about the arrangement. When asked whether the petition had been filed in the action pending against MacDonald or separately, Brea police chief Lentini indicated the petition was filed in a separate action -- not mentioning that in fact, no proceeding had been brought involving MacDonald in the first place. The unilateral action by the police department to coerce MacDonald into acting as an informant by offering not to file charges effectively prevented any involvement of the district attorney or the juvenile court in determining whether such activity would be in the best interests of the minor -- who, if successfully prosecuted, would have become a ward of the court. According to Charton, MacDonald was arrested with 1/2 ounce of speed in January. He also had a glass pipe at the time of the arrest, but his mother, Cindy MacDonald, was not told about the pipe, nor was it suggested to her that her son had a drug problem, which may have qualified him for drug treatment rather than the prison term that his mother was hoping to avoid by signing the release. MacDonald was accused of dealing the drug, along with other persons. *** 10. LAWMAKERS CALL FOR FURTHER ARMS BUILDUP IN COLOMBIA Legislators as well as administration officials were calling for more military support to be sent to Colombia in the wake of admissions by both President Ernesto Samper and Colombian military officials that their nation's 35 year-old civil war will not be won without substantial help. Congress this week passed, by voice vote, a resolution urging the Clinton administration to provide three sophisticated Black Hawk helicopters to the Colombian National Police. According to the Washington Post, the Administration is considering supplying advanced communications equipment, intelligence support and additional training to the Colombian military. The Colombian government has also requested 12 Cobra attack helicopters. Other U.S. military aid, some of which has been held up as the Colombian army searches for a unit which has not been implicated in human rights atrocities, and which would therefore be eligible to receive it, includes 1,000 M-16A1 rifles and 500 M-60 machine guns. The aid, of course, is labeled as "counter-narcotics" but virtually no one familiar with the situation believes that there is any way to keep their use separate from the counter-insurgency activities of the military. There are no units of the Colombian military dedicated solely to counter- narcotics operations. Complicating matters is the fact that the right wing paramilitaries, who operate with the unofficial backing of the military and who have been widely implicated in the massacre of thousands of civilians, are also heavily financed by the coca trade. In addition, it is well known that much of the Colombian military, as well as elements within the national Police, have been corrupted. Even President Samper is believed by the U.S. to have taken millions in contributions from traffickers. The State Department recently opposed the transfer of the Black Hawks to Colombia's police. An unnamed State department official told the Post, "We are really not interested in getting sucked into this." (If you missed our special report on Colombia, check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#colombia.) *** 11. HIGH-POWERED NEW ZEALAND GROUP ISSUES REPORT: LEGALIZE AND REGULATE CANNABIS The New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust, a group of highly respected doctors and professionals, released a report this week (3/29) urging the government to legalize, regulate and tax the sale of cannabis products in that country. The report, a draft of which was issued last year for public comment, says that in addition to massive savings in law enforcement expenditures, tax revenue on the sale of cannabis would bring in $50 million. The group is confident that the report will start the ball rolling toward a more rational discussion of cannabis policy in New Zealand. DRCNet Advisory Board member Dr. David Hadorn, who heads the group, told The Week Online "Our recent recommendations have picked up some political support already and I expect more will be forthcoming. Realistically, the best chance for reform will come in the year 2000, after the next election. It's unlikely that the existing government will try anything so risky as cannabis law reform in the run-up to that election." But the political impact of the report is already being felt. On April 1, the New Zealand Parliament's health select committee announced that it will be holding an inquiry into the effects of cannabis. Brian Neeson, committee chair, told New Zealand's newspaper, The Dominion, "Given the current level of public interest in the cannabis issue, the intention of the inquiry is to gain as much information as possible about the effects of cannabis on mental health." The government has indicated that no move will be made to decriminalize before the results of the inquiry are in. The NZDPFT report states that approximately 50 percent of New Zealanders aged 15-50 have tried cannabis, and that "nothing short of a scorched-earth policy will ever rid New Zealand of cannabis." It recommends that a Tobacco, Alcohol and Cannabis Authority be established to regulate all three substances, issuing licenses for production and overseeing packaging. Regulations would include age and point-of-sale restrictions, but personal-scale production would be allowed. (The New Zealand Drug Foundation is hosting an online copy of the NZDPFT report as well as last year's report and a discussion forum, at http://www.nzdf.org.nz/dpf.htm.) *** 12. LINK OF THE WEEK You'll need to have your video browser plug-in set up to check this one out, but it was too good for us to pass up. Cheryl Miller and the MPP's medical marijuana protest made the Associated Press' "video of the day". Check it out at http://wire.ap.org/APpackages/video/0331videoday.html and see how exciting it is to be a part of the movement. Get involved, and you could be a part of the next event! *** 13. EDITORIAL Each week, the situation in Colombia seems to grow worse. And each week, the call from U.S. drug warriors for increased military involvement in the region grows louder. But contrary to the oversimplified version of the situation -- calls for help in the Colombian's fight against "narco-guerrillas" -- the issues and the players involved in that conflict are quite complex. It is imperative that the magnitude of the problem, and the extent to which American policy and American money have exacerbated it, be considered and understood before we once again find ourselves involved in a no-win situation deep in a foreign jungle, fighting an enemy we cannot see and depending on allies whose allegiance we do not have. It is the nature of the Drug War that nearly every debate and every decision is dominated not by possible outcomes or careful strategies but by political grandstanding and electoral considerations. But if such realpolitik generalship is unwise when it leads to ineffective policy, it is also morally reprehensible when it leads, as in the case of Colombia, to untold death and suffering, and to the hastening of the demise of long standing democratic institutions. US officials have, in recent times, attempted to shape the debate over the war in Colombia by consistently referring to rebel forces as "narco-guerrillas". While it is certainly true that these forces, which control nearly 50% of the country, are funding their efforts largely through "taxes" levied on traffickers who are allowed to operate in those areas, they are by no means alone. Right-wing paramilitaries, unofficially allied with the Colombian military, are also steeped in the cocaine trade. These groups serve a vital purpose in the conflict by carrying out massacres of civilians and practicing death squad tactics with the tacit approval of the Colombian military, which has an interest, though rarely successfully maintained, in keeping its hands clean for the benefit of its American benefactor. The military itself is known to be up to its hips in drug corruption as well, and their record on human rights has been called "atrocious" and "the worst in the world" by human rights groups. But all of this is bothersome nuance in the world of U.S. officials and lawmakers hoping to appear as if they are fighting the Drug War with fierce determination. The Colombian government has to be the "good guys" in order to allow us to help fight the "bad guys" responsible for Colombia's position as the largest producer and exporter of cocaine in the world. The fact is, however, that the war in Colombia has been going on for over 30 years, and started long before coca became an issue. But it is coca and its derivative cocaine, both in the value it has attained under American Prohibition, and in the money and hardware introduced into the region to eliminate it, which has fueled the escalation of hostilities and which has given both sides of the conflict the power to inflict damage -- upon each other and upon hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians - - heretofore unimagined in the Andean rain forest. One would think (if one were inclined to think at all) that an intelligent strategy for trying to contain a decades-old civil conflict between two (actually three) sides -- none of whom having any claim to righteousness, each of whom having been corrupted by the very economy we are supposedly fighting to eliminate, and all of whom having proven murderous to the civilian population -- would be to starve the conflict of easy cash and sophisticated weaponry. One would think that at the first sign of stalemate (which is where the situation appears to be at the moment) the strategy would be to flood the country with negotiators for peace, not with more weapons of war. But the Drug War has been nothing if not a thinking-person's nightmare. So the U.S. doubles the number of "military advisors" in Colombia (to go along with the untold numbers of DEA, CIA and other operatives already on the scene), legislators and members of the administration call for the introduction of even more sophisticated weaponry into the conflict, and the public is treated to a very tidy, but purely fantastical account of the situation, pitting the good democratic government of Colombia against the evil "narco-guerrillas" in a morality play with nothing less than the health and safety of America's children hanging in the balance. US politics, of course, is playing a very important role in this "debate" over Colombia. The Republicans are set to introduce a drug war legislative package this spring with the intention of making the Clinton Administration's drug strategy appear weak. Newt Gingrich, his eyes fixed on the White House, has decided that Clinton is vulnerable on the drug issue, and he intends to take full advantage, leading a charge of Republican legislators in a "World War II-style victory campaign for a drug free America." Among his stated goals is an 80% reduction in the supply of drugs, laughable by any measure but truly an empty pledge without in some way taking control of the situation in Colombia. Democrats, for their part, seem split between those who will refuse to be "out-toughed" on the issue and those who have begun to embrace some modest harm reduction strategies, and who are therefore left with the international war, source and transshipment country efforts, as their "tough-on-drugs" proving-grounds. And where will this lead? Thus far it seems to be leading straight into the jungle, down a path toward increased U.S. involvement in Colombia's civil war. Each "side" of the American political aisle seems to have painted itself into a corner with its rhetoric. One needn't look too far into America's past to see that official misrepresentation and oversimplification of an international conflict can easily lead to our involvement in a military quagmire -- although the word hardly seems adequate to convey the suffering and brutality of such a situation. We seem committed to pour gasoline onto a fire. It is a fire which will consume whatever good will is left between the U.S. and the citizens of Latin America. A fire which will justify domestic repression as we flail about to stop the flow of drugs in, and cash out of our country. A fire in which tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent people will be burned. And it is a fire which is unlikely to be contained by national borders once it gets roaring. It is not a situation from which we will find it easy to walk away. Our "side" in the conflict will eventually need troops. They will be needed to go into the jungles to fight a guerrilla war. But the war, from our perspective, is against an ubiquitous cash economy, and that economy is not only serving the interests of all of the combatants, but it is also, in reality, besides the point of the conflict itself. In Washington D.C. this week, a trail is being blazed that leads deep into the Andean jungle. From the looks of it, however, there may not be a safe way out. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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