Portland NORML News - Friday, April 3, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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" (sburbank@orednet.org)
To: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
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: pdxnorml@pdxnorml.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 (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Portland OR City Council -- Comish Charlie Hales (chales@ci.portland.or.us),
Comish Erik Sten (Esten@ci.portland.or.us),
Comish Gretchen Kafoury (gkafoury@ci.portland.or.us),
Commish Jim Francesconi (jfrancesconi@ci.portland.or.us),
Mayor Vera Katz (mayorkatz@ci.portland.or.us)
cc: Portland Police -- CW Jensen (OfficerJensen@kgw.com),
PPB (police@teleport.com)
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 (nepal@teleport.com)
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com)
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:
letters@news.oregonian.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:
letters@news.oregonian.com
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)

talk@hemp.net using -f
From: Randallcha (Randallcha@aol.com)
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 18:29:10 EST
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: San Francisco News
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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)

talk@hemp.net using -f
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 00:38:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Randy Chase 
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Candidate: High Hopes, High Visibility
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield and "Frank S. World" 
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.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" (cohip@levellers.org)
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (cohip@levellers.org)
Subject: Todd jailed - prosecution presents no evidence

Update from Peter McWilliams
peter@mcwilliams.com
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).

cohip@levellers.org, annmaria@webtv.net, peter@mcwilliams.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: jnr@insightweb.com)
cctletrs@netcom.com(Contra Costa County Times Calif.)
chronletters@sfgate.com(San Francisco Chronicle)
feedback@smctimes.com(San Mateo Times)
letters@blk.com(BLK, LTE's)
letters@examiner.com(San Francisco Examiner)
letters@latimes.com(Los Angeles Times)
letters@link.freedom.com(The Orange County Register)
letters@modbee.com(Modesto Bee)
letters@news.latimes.com
letters@sfbayguardian.com(San Francisco Bay Guardian)
letters@sjmercury.com(San Jose Mercury News)
letters@TheReporter.com(Vacaville Reporter)
letters@uniontrib.com(San Diego Union Tribune)
mail@newtimes-slo.com
opinion@bakersfield.com
opinion@sacbee.com
pdletters@aol.com(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
triblet@angnewspapers.com
tribletter@aol.com
viewpoint@asucla.ucla.edu(Daily Bruin UCLA Viewpoint)
voice@villagevoice.com

***

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.

petewilson@ca.gov, gray.davis@ltg.ca.gov, piu@hdcdojnet.state.ca.us,
tmrozek@usdoj.gov, senator@boxer.senate.gov, senator@feinstein.senate.gov,
president@whitehouse.gov, vice.president@whitehouse.gov,
first.lady@whitehouse.gov

STATE GOVERNMENT
Governor Pete Wilson
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 445-4633
Email: petewilson@ca.gov

Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis
State Capitol, Room 1114
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-8994
Fax: (916) 323-4998
Email: gray.davis@ltg.ca.gov

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: piu@hdcdojnet.state.ca.us

***

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) senator@boxer.senate.gov
Feinstein, Dianne (D) senator@feinstein.senate.gov

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:
president@whitehouse.gov
vice.president@whitehouse.gov
first.lady@whitehouse.gov

***

U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE
Central District of California
Criminal Division
312 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Email: tmrozek@usdoj.gov

***

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: annmaria@webtv.net (ann mccormick)
Source: KNBC - Channel 4 - Los Angeles
Pubdate: 3 April 1998
Contact: msnbc@tvsknbc.nbc.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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 22:55:15 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Rogan at Center of Medicinal Marijuana Controversy Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Tenants Sue To Fight Drug Evictions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Older Tenants Decry Drug Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom Murlowski 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US CA: Police Schooled on Designer Drug
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Fri, 03 Apr 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: S.F. Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Up Drug Deal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Slain Informer Snitched On Friend 
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WI: Needles Taken to Madison Drug Users
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WI: AIDS Prevention Workers Begin Needle Exchange
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Contact: wsjopine@statejournal.madison.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Why Needle Exchange Programs Are Not The Answer
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom Murlowski 
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Contact: letters@uniontrib.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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 17:03:44 +0000 From: Jay Stewart To: psavin@olywa.net, admins@olywa.net, scott@olywa.net Subject: Re: Liberator OnLine, Vol. 3, No. 7 From: Advocates for Self-Government (advo@best.com) Subject: Liberator OnLine, Vol. 3, No. 7 Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 13:19:20 -0800 (PST) Reply-to: liberator@lists.best.com To: liberator@lists.best.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Teenage Smoking Increases Sharply
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Title(1): STUDY FINDS SHARP RISE IN TEENAGE TOBACCO USE
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Newshawk: "Tom O'Connell" 
Title(2): TEENAGE SMOKING INCREASES SHARPLY
Source: San Fransisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Herald, The (WA)
Contact: letters@heraldnet.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Youth Smoking On The Upswing
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 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: mgreer@mapinc.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 editor@mapinc.org by our Newshawks
for posting, are processed by a team of volunteers - Olafur Brentmar,
Joel W. Johnson and Richard Lake. Sharing the workload, at about 10
minutes of work per item, they ensure that the format is proper, the
contact info is present, and create the necessary leads and titling
information in our normal format.

We need a few volunteers to reduce this every day workload and allow
for the workload to be more easily shifted so that folks may take a
break or vacation.

We would like to just say, 'If not YOU, Who?' But the volunteer work
involves being able to use an email program with filters -
understanding how Internet email functions - and an 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 rlake@mapinc.org He
will gladly send you more details to include background discussions used in
training. Plus, when you are ready, he can add you to the private mailing
list just for the team.

Please consider helping. We want to continue to provide and expand the
our service. All of our volunteers are our most valued resource. You
are making a difference!

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Patching an Anti-Drug Alliance
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
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" (seedling@golden.net)
To: "maptalk" (maptalk@mapinc.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
recordletters@southam.ca
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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Overdosing on Ritalin
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 09:35:12 -0800

Source: Vancouver Province
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca

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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Top court defends 'charter revolution'
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 1998 09:37:02 -0800
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
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: editor@nbr.co.nz

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.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: editor@nbr.co.nz

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
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: editor@nbr.co.nz

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Author: Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Gardai Warn That Rise of Cocaine Could Herald Crack Epidemic
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: US Police Urge Battle on Drugs at Local Level
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Media Groups Win Court Bid to Get Drug Reporting Ban Lifted
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Examiner, The (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
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:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or
mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org 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
ajspro@rit.edu. Shea Gunther can be reached at
gun@pongo.filment.net.)

***

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/

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

[End]

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

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

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

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for April 2-8

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980403.html

Home