------------------------------------------------------------------- Program For First-Time Drug Offenders Shows Results ('The Oregonian' Gives A Glowing Report About A Treatment Program Designed By Law Enforcement - Multnomah County Drug Court - For The Two-Thirds Who Don't 'Graduate,' The Punishment Is Automatic Guilt In Stipulated Facts Hearings Based On Police Reports, And An Automatic Sentence Of Jail Time - Those Who Want To Help Bankrupt The War On Some Drug Users Can Grow A Plant And Turn Themselves In - It Costs $10,151 To Arrest, Convict, Jail And Provide Probation Supervision For An Offender, $4,522 To Put An Individual Through STOP - Sanction-Treatment-Opportunity-Progress) Program for first-time drug offenders shows results The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com/ 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ April 6, 1998 Program for first-time drug offenders shows results A study finds that Multnomah County's drug court, which offers a clean slate upon graduation, not only works but saves money By Cara Rubinsky of The Oregonian staff It's a Wednesday afternoon in drug court. Six people are graduating from an intense yearlong drug treatment program. And all six will have felony drug charges wiped from their records. That's the promise and reality of Multnomah County's groundbreaking drug court, formally known as Sanction-Treatment-Opportunity-Progress (STOP). The successful outpatient drug diversion program, which has been copied in Oregon and throughout the country, offers first-time drug offenders a chance to avoid jail and get treatment for their addictions. The secret to the court's success is simple: Participants waive their right to trial and agree to a year of treatment. If they fail, they are automatically convicted of felony drug possession. If they succeed, their slate is clean. The first evaluation of STOP, released early this year, indicates that its graduates had 76 percent fewer subsequent arrests than a comparison group of people who were eligible but did not participate in the program. The evaluation, prepared by Michael Finigan of the Northwest Professional Consortium, found that graduates also had 80 percent fewer serious felony arrests and 85 percent fewer subsequent drug arrests. Evaluators also found that STOP saves the county and state more than it costs. The county spends $4,522 to put an individual through STOP. It costs $10,151 to arrest, convict, jail and provide probation supervision for an offender. Finigan found that Multnomah County saves more than $2 million a year by using STOP. And because program graduates commit fewer crimes after graduation, STOP saves the state of Oregon more than $10 million that would otherwise be spent on police protection, court costs, supervision costs, jail and prison costs, increased medical assistance, food stamps and other costs, Finigan said. Multnomah County's drug court is one of the first programs of its kind nationwide - following only Miami and Oakland, Calif. More than 300 such courts now span 48 states, including a handful of others in Oregon. STOP costs local, state and federal agencies about $800,000 a year. Judge Harl Haas, who founded STOP in 1991 after observing Miami's drug court program, said the study's results prove that treating addicts is more effective than convicting them. "Treatment works," he said. "What doesn't work is putting people in prison and then just releasing them again." Robert Williams, STOP program manager, works out of the Metropolitan Public Defender office and has been with STOP since its inception. In addition to the existing Oregon drug courts, four or five more are in planning stages, Williams said. He is working with his counterparts in other counties to start an Oregon Drug Courts Association. Multnomah County's program is unique because it accepts people with some criminal history, as long as the district attorney approves. Change seen after three months Williams estimates that 6,000 to 6,500 people have entered STOP since 1991. About 2,000 have graduated. But judges and attorneys involved say graduation statistics don't tell the whole story. Finigan's evaluation found that people who had only been in STOP for three months had a lower recidivism rate than counterparts who had been arrested and convicted. "Even for people who don't finish, the seeds of recovery have been planted," Williams said. "We have to look at the reasons people don't finish. ... We're dealing with the human condition here. But the seeds will stay with them as they work through other problems." But STOP is a risk. Williams stresses this every morning to a new group of potential participants who were arrested the day before and referred to his office by the district attorney. If they enter and fail, they automatically will be found guilty in stipulated facts hearings, which are based on police reports. They will receive 18 months of formal probation, pay $400 to $800 in fines and be sentenced to jail time for each count against them. But a person who successfully completes STOP will not appear before a grand jury, be indicted or enter a plea. And there is no record of conviction. "Once there is a guilty verdict, at that moment in time, and possibly for the rest of your life, you have that label: convicted drug felon," Williams tells his orientation group. "You are among a small percentage of people who are given a chance to enter and exit (the criminal justice system) with no record that you were here." Participants have 14 days after the initial orientation to drop out of STOP and reclaim their rights to a trial. The district attorney and judge also have 14 days to rescind offers of enrollment. Participants undergo random full-spectrum urine tests at least twice a month. They may be tested more frequently if tests are positive or if their home or work situations seem unstable. If a person fails to show up for a STOP court appointment, a bench warrant for $55,555 is issued. Haas said the program works because everyone involved closely supervises participants. "Suddenly, these people have someone who cares, someone who'll give them every chance to make it," he said. "I've learned that relapses happen. It takes effort, and it takes time, and it takes compassion." It also takes commitment from the participants. "We're just gyroscopes and compasses to keep people balanced and pointed in the right direction," Williams said. "These people do the work. We just help guide them." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narcomaniacs (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Chronicle' Says Police In San Jose, California, Reneged On Their Promise To Respect The Right Of Patients To Medical Marijuana Without Police Interference) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 17:10:11 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Narcomaniacs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 NARCOMANIACS Editor -- The police raid on the patient files of the San Jose cannabis club is typical of the treachery of narcotics enforcement. The San Jose narcomaniacs have already reneged on their agreement to respect the right of patients to medical marijuana without police interference under Proposition 215. The drug war is a colossal failure and blaming medical marijuana for the failure of Reefer Madness law enforcement to stop drug use is the biggest of lies. Drug prohibition is a catastrophe that has always caused more trouble than it is worth. When these marijuana madmen insist on depriving the sick and dying of a valuable medicine they violate fundamental human rights and go too far. REDFORD GIVENS San Francisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida Vice Principal Linked To Cocaine Ring (Brief Item In 'San Jose Mercury News' Says A North Miami Vice Principal Was Busted Friday After Accepting 66 Pounds Of Cocaine From Federal Undercover Investigators Two Blocks From His Middle School) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 18:53:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US FL: News in Brief: Florida Vice Principal Linked to Cocaine Ring Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 FLORIDA VICE PRINCIPAL LINKED TO COCAINE RING A North Miami vice principal has been arrested on charges of working for a cocaine ring that has smuggled 11 tons of cocaine into the United States over the years. Willie James Young, 53, was arrested Friday after accepting 66 pounds of cocaine from federal undercover investigators two blocks from his middle school. From Mercury News wire services
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alcohol A Factor In 40 Percent Of Violent Crime, Study Shows ('Orange County Register' Notes US Justice Department Report Released Sunday) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 18:53:28 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Alcohol a Factor in 40% of Violent Crime, Study Shows Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 ALCOHOL A FACTOR IN 40% OF VIOLENT CRIME, STUDY SHOWS Alcohol abuse is a factor in nearly 40 percent of violent crime in the United States, despite declines in alcohol consumption and other offenses usually tied to drinking, the U.S. Justice Department said Sunday. In the first Justice Department survey that combined wide-ranging statistics on crime and alcohol use, agency researchers estimated that nearly four in 10 violent felonies, approximately 3 million annually, were committed by someone who had been drinking.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alcohol Linked To 37 Percent Of Violent Crimes, Data Shows ('San Jose Mercury News' Version Notes Alcohol Is An Even Bigger Factor In Violence By Current Or Former Spouses, Boyfriends Or Girlfriends - Victims Of Those Attacks Cited Alcohol As A Factor In Two-Thirds Of Them, And Victims Of Spouse Violence Alone Said Three-Fourths Of Their Attackers Used Alcohol) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 18:53:21 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Alcohol Linked to 37 Percent of Violent Crimes, Data Shows Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 ALCOHOL LINKED TO 37 PERCENT OF VIOLENT CRIMES, DATA SHOWS WASHINGTON -- Although declining as a cause of death, alcohol remains a factor in nearly 40 percent of violent crimes, the Justice Department reported Sunday. Alcohol is an even bigger factor in violence by a variety of intimates -- a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. Victims of those attacks cited alcohol as a factor in two-thirds of them. Victims of spouse violence alone said three-fourths of their attackers used alcohol. The report by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that, among the 7.7 million violent crimes each year where victims can tell whether attackers used alcohol, drugs or both, 37 percent thought their assailants were using alcohol or alcohol with drugs. Of the 5.3 million convicted adult offenders in prison, jail or on parole or probation in 1996, 36 percent reported they had been drinking at the time of the offense for which they were convicted, the report estimated. The report also said one in five victims of alcohol-related violence reports a financial loss. When injury occurred, the average out-of-pocket medical expense was $1,500. Overall, 500,000 victims suffer financial losses each year in alcohol-related violence, and their losses total more than $400 million, the report said. Meanwhile, the rate of all alcohol-induced deaths fell 19 percent between 1980 and 1994, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. The arrest rate for driving under the influence of alcohol dropped by 24 percent since 1990. In the last decade, highway fatalities blamed on alcohol sank from 24,000 in 1986 to 17,126 in 1996. Nevertheless, local police made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide in 1996 for driving under the influence of alcohol. That was down from the peak of 1.9 million arrests in 1983 when 33 states permitted alcohol consumption before age 21. Since then, responding to federal highway funding requirements, every state has gone to a minimum drinking age of 21. The most common state laws define intoxication as 0.10 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, but the Clinton administration wants that lowered to 0.08. California already has adopted the lower limit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alcohol Remains Factor In Crime ('Los Angeles Times' Version) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 11:57:40 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Alcohol Remains Factor in Crime Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 ALCOHOL REMAINS FACTOR IN CRIME WASHINGTON--In nearly 40 percent of violent crimes, alcohol is a factor, even as it declines as a cause of death, the Justice Department reports. Alcohol is an even bigger factor in violence by a variety of intimates - a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. Victims of those attacks cited alcohol as a factor in two-thirds of them. Victims of spouse violence alone said three-fourths of their attackers used alcohol. The report, released Sunday by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics, said that among the 7.7 million violent crimes each year where victims can tell whether attackers used alcohol, drugs or both, 37 percent thought their assailants were using alcohol or alcohol and drugs. Of the 5.3 million convicted adult offenders in prison, jail or on parole or probation in 1996, 36 percent reported they had been drinking at the time of the crime for which they were convicted, the report estimated. The report also said one in five victims of alcohol-related violence reports a financial loss. When injury occurred, the average out-of-pocket medical expense was $1,500. Overall, 500,000 victims suffer financial losses each year in alcohol-related violence, and their losses total more than $400 million, the report said. Meanwhile, the rate of all alcohol-induced deaths fell 19 percent between 1980 and 1994, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. Also, the arrest rate for driving under the influence of alcohol dropped by 24 percent since 1990. In the last decade, highway fatalities blamed on alcohol sank from 24,000 in 1986 to 17,126 in 1996. Nevertheless, local police made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide in 1996 for driving under the influence of alcohol. That was down from the peak of 1.9 million arrests in 1983 when 33 states permitted alcohol consumption before age 21. Since then, responding to federal highway funding requirements, every state has gone to a minimum drinking age of 21. The most common state laws define intoxication as 0.10 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, but the Clinton administration wants that lowered to 0.08. A Senate bill would reduce federal highway aid to those states that refuse to adopt the 0.08 definition, but after heavy lobbying by the liquor industry the House highway bill does not contain that administration-backed provision. Among state prisoners who drank at the time of their offense, the average alcohol concentration was 0.28 for inmates convicted of violent crimes, 0.30 for those convicted of property crimes, 0.23 for those convicted of public disorder and 0.19 for those convicted of drug offenses. National estimates of the annual per capita consumption of alcohol have declined 10 percent since 1990 -from 40 gallons to 36 gallons. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alcohol Still A Big Factor In Violence ('San Diego Union Tribune' Version) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 23:03:23 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Alcohol Still a Big Factor in Violence Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 Author: Michael J. Sniffen - Associated Press ALCOHOL STILL A BIG FACTOR IN VIOLENCE WASHINGTON -- Although declining as a cause of death, alcohol remains a factor in nearly 40 percent of violent crimes, the Justice Department reported yesterday. Alcohol is an even bigger factor in violence by a variety of intimates -- a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend. Victims of those attacks cited alcohol as a factor in two-thirds of them. Victims of spouse violence alone said three-fourths of their attackers used alcohol. The report by the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that, among the 7.7 million violent crimes each year where victims can tell whether attackers used alcohol, drugs or both, 37 percent thought their assailants were using alcohol or alcohol with drugs. Of the 5.3 million convicted adult offenders in prison, jail or on parole or probation in 1996, 36 percent reported they had been drinking at the time of the offense for which they were convicted, the report estimated. The report also said one in five victims of alcohol-related violence reports a financial loss. When injury occurred, the average out-of-pocket medical expense was $1,500. Overall, 500,000 victims suffer financial losses each year in alcohol-related violence, and their losses total more than $400 million, the report said. Meanwhile, the rate of all alcohol-induced deaths fell 19 percent between 1980 and 1994, according to National Center for Health Statistics data. And the arrest rate for driving under the influence of alcohol dropped by 24 percent since 1990. In the last decade, highway fatalities blamed on alcohol sank from 24,000 in 1986 to 17,126 in 1996. Nevertheless, local police made 1,467,300 arrests nationwide in 1996 for driving under the influence of alcohol. That was down from the peak of 1.9 million arrests in 1983 when 33 states permitted alcohol consumption before age 21. Since then, responding to federal highway funding requirements, every state has gone to a minimum drinking age of 21. The most common state laws define intoxication as 0.10 grams of alcohol per deciliter of blood, but the Clinton administration wants that lowered to 0.08. A Senate bill would reduce federal highway aid to those states that refuse to adopt the 0.08 definition, but after heavy lobbying by the liquor industry the House highway bill does not contain that administration-backed provision. Among state prisoners who drank at the time of their offense, the average alcohol concentration was 0.28 for inmates convicted of violent crimes, 0.30 for those convicted of property crimes, 0.23 for those convicted of public disorder and 0.19 for those convicted of drug offenses. National estimates of the annual per capita consumption of alcohol have declined 10 percent since 1990 -- from 40 gallons to 36 gallons. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Experts Baffled By Rise In Teen Smoking ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Gives A Local Perspective On Recent Survey From US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Suggesting 36.4 Percent Of High School Students Used Tobacco Last Year, Up From 27.5 Percent In 1991 - Among Blacks, The Numbers Rose From 12.6 Percent To 22.7 Percent) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 22:48:24 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WI: Experts Baffled by Rise in Teen Smoking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 Author: Joe Manning and Jack Norman of the Journal Sentinel staff EXPERTS BAFFLED BY RISE IN TEEN SMOKING Officials try to snuff out ads, peer pressure The three girls are 14 years old -- they look not a day older -- and have been smoking cigarettes since they were 10. They represent a bewildering puzzle to health authorities. It's against the rules to smoke on school grounds, so the girls crossed E. Locust St. before lighting up one day last week. One cigarette among the three freshmen, passed puff-to-puff as they shivered in the cold afternoon wind across the street from Milwaukee's Riverside University High School. "Marie," "Christine" and "Mandy" are names they chose for the interview instead of their real names. Their moms know they smoke and don't approve. "I got caught the first time I smoked," said Mandy. "I got grounded. But the second time she knew she couldn't do anything about it. She knows, but she just doesn't want to see it." Others in their families smoke. "My Dad smokes." "My mom's boyfriend smokes." Even though smoking is known to cause disease and early death, the growing number of teen smokers baffles experts seeking ways to stamp out cigarette and tobacco use among youth. "Obviously, we need a new anti-smoking message," one psychologist said. What's fueling the nearly one-third jump over six years in the number of teenagers admitting to the nasty habit? The likely ingredients include: peer pressure; low self-esteem; wanting to be cool; keeping weight down; Joe Camel and the Marlboro man and other advertising and promotions; smoking by actors on television and in movies; parental smoking; defiance of adults and authority; and the teenager's view that the health consequences of smoking are a long way off. But, one consequence of smoking is not off in the distant, smoky future -- addiction. "I started because of peer pressure," said Marie. "Everybody I know smokes." The girls said they smoke four to 10 cigarettes a day. Do they want to quit? "Yes." "Yes." "Yes," was the chorus of answers. Teens get hooked easily, and it's harder for them to break the habit than adults, said Douglas Jorenby, a clinical psychologist in charge of clinical services at the Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Smoking teens are under a lot of peer pressure to keep smoking, Jorenby said. They aren't fully aware of the tragic consequences of smoking, and being cool is currently more important, he said. Older smokers trying to quit have supporters who are not sabotaging their efforts, Jorenby said. The center runs stop-smoking clinics for teens, and the percentage of teens that go back to smoking exceeds that of adults. One of the smoking girls spoke the word "addiction," and nobody challenged that. Still, they think willpower is the issue, not biology. "If I desperately wanted to quit, I could," said Marie. "Well, I want to, but I don't want to." Said Mandy: "I don't want to smoke, but -- I have willpower, but not enough willpower." What's the positive side of smoking? "If I'm under a lot of stress, I chain smoke," answered Marie. "When I have a problem, if I'm about to fight, I take out a cigarette," said Mandy. "I calm down. "I wouldn't want to be a part of making someone start smoking," she added. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36.4% of high school students used some form of tobacco last year, up from 27.5% in 1991. Among blacks, the numbers rose from 12.6% to 22.7%. Michael Fiore, director of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tobacco center, blamed increases in smoking directly on tobacco companies. "The numbers reflect the pattern of the tobacco companies marketing successfully to children. With the lack of limits on advertising and little effective counter-advertising -- as well as the absence of enforcement of laws preventing children under 18 purchasing cigarettes -- we are leading another generation of kids into addiction," he said. The dire warning to kids -- and the one they seem not to get -- is: "Fully half of those who begin smoking will die prematurely of a disease caused by that addiction," Fiore said. So what to do? "Are we reaching kids? We are not as effective as we want to be. We don't have all the answers," said Jeff Propp, public health educator with the Milwaukee Health Department. "We try to reach them at a level they can accept and understand. But, you have to second-guess yourself when you look at the climbing numbers. "We are not standing still. We are trying. It takes time. You cannot just walk up to a kid and expect him to stop smoking," Propp said. Stop-smoking services as well as education programs are available to kids, he said. The Common Council passed a law last month forbidding tobacco billboard advertising in residential areas, he said. Also, a proposed federal settlement with tobacco companies seeks to curb advertising. Not one of the three smokers has a problem acquiring cigarettes. Sometimes they walk into a store and buy a pack. Other times, they have an older-looking friend make the purchase. Any of the 37% of Wisconsin teens who want help in kicking addiction can call the Health Department at 286-3616 STYL parameter error Propp said. Experts agreed that little has been done to stop tobacco advertising to youths, and a counter-ad campaign is feeble in comparison. Mike Harryman, public relations director for Hughes, Ruch & Murphy Advertising Marketing and Communications in Brookfield, said his firm is developing public service announcements to counter the efforts of tobacco advertising. But, the ads have had limited exposure and rely on the largess of broadcasters for air time. The ads are being developed free in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin. As advertising has undoubtedly contributed to tobacco abuse among teens, Dick McDonald, managing officer for BVK/McDonald, said an effective ad campaign could offset much of the damage. But McDonald said he was unaware how to wage a campaign that would be effective in reaching kids. "How do you reach that 10-year-old boy and 12-year-old girl? What research tells me what works? There would have to be a lot of trial and error to discover the appeal avenue to get there," he said. "We need to give adolescents a new message, but we don't have that message yet," said Heather Cecil, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She said when she did a study of the health warning labels on cigarette packages she found that teenagers did not believe them or did not feel they applied to them. Also, many did not know what carbon monoxide was. Cancer, a consequence of smoking, was "far too remote for kids. Adolescents don't have a real appreciation of harmful consequences, and it is hard to believe that something will happen in the future. "They tend to live here and now," she said. The "easy solution" to reducing teen smoking is to raise the price of cigarettes, Cecil said. Parents need to stop smoking too and get involved in their children's lives, she said. "Give them a future to work for. Promote a healthy lifestyle. We need to get the message across that smoking is not a cool thing to do," said Cecil. "Teens don't realize how addicted they are until they try to quit. It is very sad." Said Christine, "Cigarettes could go to $5 a pack, that'd be OK."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Science Starting To Tackle Teen Smoking ('Los Angeles Times' Reviews A Mix Of Real And Junk Science Being Applied To The Problem Of How To Prevent Or Stop Teens From Using Tobacco) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:10:40 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Science Starting to Tackle Teen Smoking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 Author: Kathleen Doheny, Special to The Times SCIENCE STARTING TO TACKLE TEEN SMOKING Behavior: Researchers know adolescents kick the habit for different reasons than adults, but there's little data to show which methods work and why. How can a teen be convinced to stop smoking--or persuaded never to take up the habit at all? Those questions became even more crucial last week, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that tobacco use among teenagers increased by nearly one-third in the last six years. In 1991, 27.5% of teens used cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or cigars. In 1997, 36.4% did. Teen smoking prevention and cessation "is an area woefully understudied and underresearched," says Dr. David Sachs, clinical associate professor of pulmonology and critical care medicine at Stanford University and a smoking cessation expert. But that's changing, he says, as more researchers become involved in the field, more research is funded and experts realize that teen smokers are not simply youthful versions of adult smokers. Teens have their own issues, their own persuasion trigger points, their own pressures. What works for adult smokers--and researchers are still trying to figure out that problem too--may backfire for adolescents. In California, a phone counseling program that has been in place since 1992 ( 7-NO BUTTS) began providing teen counseling in 1996. The format has been fine-tuned for teens "who get turned off if you ask them a lot of direct questions," says April Roeseler, a health educator and chief of local programs for the Tobacco Control Section of the California Department of Health Services, which runs the California Smokers' Helpline. With teenagers, counselors aim to be more conversational. The first call generally takes about 45 minutes, with discussion about why the teen began smoking and the extent of the habit. In the next few weeks, the counselor sets up additional telephone appointments, with up to eight sessions total. Since 1992, more than 3,000 teens, ages 14 to 17, have called, Roeseler says. Now 260 teens who have participated in the program are being followed, says Shu-Hong Zhu, assistant professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the principal investigator for the project. Researchers want to see whether the teens who quit remain nonsmokers. "Things are looking promising," he says, but he could offer no success-rate figures. >From data collected so far, Roeseler says, "teens tend to be less addicted [than adults] but find it harder to quit." About 70% of teen smokers report that a family member smokes, she says. And if a mother smokes, it seems to have a bigger influence on teens taking up the habit than if a father smokes, she says. Another smoking cessation expert has found that teens who enroll in formal cessation programs have much less success than adults. Steve Sussman, USC associate professor of preventive medicine, recently reviewed 34 programs (half of which focused on prevention, half on cessation) and discovered that 21% of the teens were able to quit immediately after the program. In general, the adult "quit rate" after such a program is about 50%, he says. At six months, 13% of the teens who graduated from cessation programs were still nonsmokers, Sussman found. (His review is due to be published in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.) At six months, in general, about 25% of adult program graduates are still not smoking. Success has been elusive, says Dr. Neal Benowitz, chief of clinical pharmacology and toxicology in the department of medicine at UC San Francisco. "Kids don't stay in the programs. The best likelihood of success is to tie in the cessation program with an activity the kid likes," Benowitz says. That might be athletics, he says, or a church youth group or other activity, making participation in one dependent on the other. What's also worth a try, in his view, is nicotine patches for teens 15 or older. Meanwhile, other efforts are focusing on prevention. In Project Towards No Tobacco Use, a prevention program funded by the National Cancer Institute and tested on 7,000 12-year-olds by Sussman's group, researchers found that teaching assertion skills can help young people refuse offers of tobacco. In another strategy, the program leader takes an anonymous classroom poll of smokers, demonstrating that far fewer 12-year-olds smoke than many think. Reducing exposure to tobacco promotional materials can go a long way toward preventing youth smoking, says John Pierce, professor of cancer research at UC San Diego School of Medicine and head of cancer prevention at the UCSD Cancer Center. In a study published in February in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., Pierce and his colleagues followed 1,752 teens who had never smoked over a three-year period, taking into account their exposure to tobacco ads and trendy promotional materials such as T-shirts and workout bags, and concluded that "tobacco promotional activities are causally related to the onset of smoking." Pierce estimates 34% of California teens' experimentation with tobacco in his 1993-96 study can be attributed to tobacco promotions. His best advice for parents? "Don't give tobacco promotional items to your children," he says. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug McCzar E-Mail Address (Contact Information For General Barry McCaffrey, Director Of The Office Of National Drug Control Policy) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 00:30:36 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: AMMO (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Drug McCzar Email Address Office of National Drug Control Policy White House Washington, D.C. 20503 Email: email@example.com Phone: (202) 395-6618 http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/ *** Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 13:42:30 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Peter Webster To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Drug McCzar Email Address At 00:30 06/04/98 EDT, AMMO wrote: >Office of National Drug Control Policy >White House >Washington, D.C. 20503 >Email: firstname.lastname@example.org >Phone: (202) 395-6618 >http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov/ I've got the following: MCCAFFREY_B@a1.eop.gov ONDCP Drugs & Crime Clearinghouse P.O. Box 6000 Rockville, MD. 20849-6000 800-666-3332 301-251-5212 (fax) email: email@example.com General McCaffrey Executive Office of the President Office of National Drug Control Policy Washington, DC 20503
------------------------------------------------------------------- Noriega's Drug Conviction Upheld ('Associated Press' Article In 'Los Angeles Times' Says US Supreme Court Refused To Review 11th US Circuit Court Of Appeals' Ruling Last Year That The Former President Of Panama Doesn't Deserve A New Trial Because He Failed To Prove That The Outcome Of His Trial Would Be Different If It Were Revealed In Court That Federal Prosecutors Paid $1.25 Million To A Colombian Drug Trafficker To Secure One Witness' Testimony Against Him) Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 12:14:58 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Noriega's Drug Conviction Upheld Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: April 6, 1998 Author: Richard Carelli, Associated Press Writer NORIEGA'S DRUG CONVICTION UPHELD WASHINGTON--Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega failed today in a Supreme Court challenge of his drug-trafficking conviction and the 40-year prison sentence it drew. The nation's highest court, acting without comment, let stand a ruling that said Noriega received a fair trial. The man who prosecutors say collected more than $20 million in drug money, and who himself claimed to have been paid $10 million by the CIA, received the court's permission to file his appeal without the usual $300 fee. Noriega is serving his sentence at a prison in Homestead, Fla. He was taken into federal custody in 1990 after surrendering to U.S. troops that had invaded Panama following his indictment on drug trafficking charges in Miami. Noriega, who had become Panama's political leader in 1988 after President Eric Arturo Delvalle was ousted, was convicted on racketeering and cocaine-trafficking charges for protecting Columbian smugglers who routed drugs through Panama. Noriega was on the CIA payroll in the 1980s. Government records said he was paid about $800,000, although he claims the payments were more than $10 million. The appeal acted on today contended that Noriega's federal trial was tainted because federal prosecutors never revealed a deal they had made with a Colombian drug trafficker to secure one witness' testimony against Noriega. Prosecutors indeed had agreed to seek a reduced sentence for Lucho Santacruz-Echeverri, a high-ranking member of the drug ring known as the Cali Cartel, if Ricardo Bilonick of Panama testified in Noriega's case. Noriega's appeal contended that the drug cartel then paid Bilonick $1.25 million to testify falsely against him and that the government must be held responsible for the alleged bribe. Justice Department lawyers urged the court to reject Noriega's appeal, contending that even if bribery had occurred "the government cannot be charged with responsibility for it." In upholding Noriega's conviction last year, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that he failed to prove that his knowing about the government's deal concerning Bilonick's testimony would have changed the outcome of his trial. The case is Noriega vs. U.S., 97 -7331. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence Escalates As Island Nations Crack Down On Drugs ('San Diego Union Tribune' Says An Increase In Violence Against Law Enforcement Officials In The Caribbean Is Attributable To An Increase In Regional Trafficking Of Illegal Drugs) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 23:06:53 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Caribbean: Violence Escalates as Island Nations Crack Down on Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 Author: Robert Hoffman - Associated Press VIOLENCE ESCALATES AS ISLAND NATIONS CRACK DOWN ON DRUGS ST. JOHN'S, Antigua -- Antigua's top anti-drug official had just leaned over to turn up a cricket match on his car radio when a bullet smashed through the rear window, showering him in shattered glass. "If it were not for the cricket, I probably would not be here now," said Wrenford Ferrance, who believes he was targeted because he is making it harder to launder drug profits in this Caribbean nation. In Trinidad, a former attorney general was shot repeatedly in front of his home in a 1995 assassination that investigators blame on drug traffickers even though the crime officially remains unsolved. No one has been arrested in the Feb. 13 attack on Ferrance either. But he and other Antiguan officials say it will not deter their efforts to fight the illegal drug trade. In recent years, the Caribbean has become a major drug trafficking route between the cocaine producers of South America and consumers in the United States and Europe. To help fight that trend, the United States and Britain are urging several Caribbean nations, including the dual-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, to take another look at their international banking businesses. In some cases, drug traffickers look to Caribbean-based banks to turn huge amounts of cash into bank deposits that appear legitimate. Ferrance is tightening up banking rules in Antigua, which has long had a reputation for lax bank regulation. The island also has been tarred with allegations of drug-related corruption. In 1990, for example, a brother of Prime Minister Lester Bird was named a conspirator in a shipment of 10 tons of Israeli arms to the Medellin cocaine cartel in Colombia. The brother, Vere Bird Jr., maintained his innocence in the fraud and customs law case, although a British judge brought in to hold a public hearing found he was implicated along with an Antiguan colonel and several Israelis. There never was a trial, but the prime minister fired his brother from the Cabinet. Last year, however, Vere Bird Jr. was brought back into the government as an adviser. Another Bird brother, Ivor, was arrested in 1995 at the island's airport, allegedly with 22 pounds of cocaine in his possession. He was sentenced to a fine of $28,000 or two years in jail. He paid the fine. Such incidents heighten fears that drug gangs are seeking, and sometimes gaining, political clout in the small island nations of the Caribbean. On nearby St. Kitts, a large delivery of cocaine brought down the government in 1994 after some of the cocaine was found in a house shared by three sons of Deputy Prime Minister Sidney Morris. One brother disappeared with his companion, and their skeletons later were found in the trunk of a car. The island's police superintendent, who was investigating their disappearance, was shot and killed. A Scotland Yard detective gave reports to the St. Kitts government that never were published. The two surviving Morris brothers, who were suspects in the killing of their brother, were arrested but later released -- one after a local judge denied a U.S. extradition request on drug charges. The scandal forced elections three years early that unseated the party that had governed St. Kitts for nearly 15 years. On Antigua, since 1996, Ferrance has revoked the licenses of seven "offshore" banks, which take deposits from foreigners. And he is proposing to prohibit offshore banks from accepting cash deposits and to require them to report suspicious clients. Ferrance also assembled computer experts, lawyers and former agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and Drug Enforcement Administration to train Antiguan regulators. A British drug agent, meanwhile, is being assigned to Antigua for two years. Patrick T. O'Brien, a former U.S. Customs Service agent who served on one Antigua task force, said the attack on Ferrance was typical of the response seen in drug-producing countries like Colombia when officials crack down on trafficking. "It was not just a warning," O'Brien said. "If these types want to issue a warning, they put a bullet through your house window in the middle of the night. When they fire directly on an occupied vehicle, they are playing for keeps." Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trinidad And Tobago Lauded For Role In Drug War ('Associated Press' Article In 'San Diego Union Tribune' Says US Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright Was In Black Rock, Tobago, Yesterday Calling For More Cooperation Against Drug Traffickers And Praising Trinidad And Tobago For Leading The Way) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 23:09:33 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Carribean: Trinidad and Tobago Lauded for Role in Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 Author: Michelle Faul - Associated Press TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO LAUDED FOR ROLE IN DRUG WAR Albright to seek more help at meeting today BLACK ROCK, Tobago -- U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called yesterday for more cooperation against drug traffickers and praised Trinidad and Tobago for leading the way. In 1996, Trinidad and Tobago became the first Caribbean nation to sign an agreement allowing U.S. authorities to pursue suspected drug traffickers into its territorial airspace and waters. Albright said she would discuss "the increased need to cooperate even further . . . on a scourge that knows no boundaries" at a meeting today with foreign ministers of the 15-member Caribbean Community. The 1996 agreement led to severe criticism from neighboring islands, which accused Trinidad of sacrificing its sovereignty, Prime Minister Basdeo Panday said yesterday after meeting with Albright. Since then, most Caribbean islands have signed drug-fighting pacts with Washington, some allowing only air or sea pursuits. Albright said that "each nation's sovereignty is enlarged and not diminished" by cooperating against drug traffickers who many fear are gaining political influence on some islands. Albright and Panday also signed agreements to share technology, protect the marine environment and control air pollution. At today's meeting on Trinidad, both sides likely will lament a lack of progress on regional issues since President Clinton met with Caribbean leaders in Barbados in May. Then, Caribbean leaders hailed as a breakthrough a U.S. agreement to link the drug war to helping develop tiny Caribbean economies dwarfed by the resources of drug cartels. The United States is sending four aircraft and two patrol boats to help Trinidad and Tobago track down traffickers, Albright said. But she cautioned "our finances are limited" and did not mention ways to increase island trade opportunities. Caribbean nations once buoyed by generous U.S. aid have lost thousands of jobs because of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. Clinton left the Barbados summit promising to send Congress legislation expanding trade opportunities for the region. But Congress refused to do so. Trinidad and Tobago, which had the region's best chance of winning NAFTA-type parity, appears to have given up. "NAFTA is now a bad word in the United States," Panday said. "We're going alone to other areas where we could effectively be in NAFTA." Panday's oil-rich country already has a free trade agreement with Mexico and, through the Caribbean Community, with Canada. The Caribbean Community, the prime minister said, was discussing similar trade pacts with the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Colombia. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Enforcers Challenge Cannabis Liberation Movement (Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Gives A Relatively Lengthy Account Of Current And Past Pot Prohibition In Canada, Noting The Consistent Roles Of Ignorance And Law Enforcement In Promoting And Maintaining The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 14:41:32 -0400 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Canada: Enforcers challenge cannabis liberation movement To: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Globe and Mail, April 6, 1998, Page A6 Newshawk:email@example.com contact: letters@GlobeAndMail.ca Enforcers challenge cannabis liberation movement By Isabel Vincent The Globe and Mail On Sept. 15, 1997, Lynn Harichy set out to break the law. The 36-year-old resident of London, Ont., contacted the local news media and announced she was on her way to the London Police Department to smoke marijuana. By the time she arrived, a crowd of cheering supporters had rallied outside the police station and were handing her marijuana cigarettes as she walked defiantly up the station steps. Ms Harichy, who didn't even have a chance to light up, was arrested on the spot. "I felt I had to make a point," said the soft-spoken woman, who has multiple sclerosis and says she has been smoking marijuana for a year in an effort to relieve her pain. "I can't live without it [marijuana] and I didn't want my neighbours to call Crime Stoppers and bother my children, so I went to them. I went to get arrested." Ms. Harichy is one of several Canadians who have gone directly to the police and the courts in the past two years to challenge what they say are the country's anachronistic drug laws. Along with many AIDS sufferers, who smoke marijuana to treat nausea and vomiting associated with the disease and AZT drug therapy, Ms. Harichy wants legislators to decriminalize marijuana for therapeutic use. The decriminalization movement is joined by hundreds of recreational smokers who also say that the country's laws against cannabis are outdated and out of step with the rest of the Western world, where many governments have eased restrictions on possession and use of the drug in the past few years. The decriminalization proponents have lately found themselves in a pitched battle with Canadian law -enforcement officials, who say cannabis is a dangerous drug, and its possession and consumption should not be tolerated in any circumstances. "This is the greatest injustice being committed in Canada," said Marc Emery, a Vancouver-based professional activist and publisher of Cannabis Canada Magazine. Mr. Emery, who used to own an Amsterdam-style coffee house in Vancouver where patrons could buy and smoke marijuana, is paying for Ms. Harichy's legal defense and is bankrolling a number of other cannabis-related cases in an effort to force a political and legal reckoning on use of the drug in Canada. "Three million people in Canada use marijuana. Many people grow it in their homes, and the police go after them with automatic weapons and SWAT teams. It's ludicrous," said Mr. Emery, who has been arrested four times for selling high-grade cannabis seeds to buyers in the United States. Mr. Emery, who is facing 15 counts of trafficking and possession, said he was recently forced to sell his Cannabis Cafe, which had been raided twice by law-enforcement officials. Like his counterparts in the decriminalization crusade, Mr. Emery, 40, says the drug is relatively harmless and much safer than alcohol or tobacco. Moreover, he argues, poll after poll has shown that a majority of Canadians support the decriminalization of the drug, or at least a change in policy regulating its use. But many law-enforcement officials argue that medical research on the effects of the long-term use of marijuana are inconclusive, and that contemporary marijuana, which is produced from the cannabis plant, is much stronger that than it was in the 1960s. They say marijuana's THC levels are much higher today than they were 20 years ago. THC stands for tetrahydrocannabinol and is the active ingredient in the drug that gives smokers their high. "Right now, the THC level in marijuana is between 16 and 20 per cent. Twenty years ago it was between 3 and 5 per cent," said RCMP Constable Scott Rintoul, who is part of the force's drug-enforcement unit in Vancouver. But the higher THC content means people actually need to smoke less of the drug to get high, decriminalization supporters say. "We're really concerned," said Constable Rintoul, adding that, according to some of the scientific studies distributed by the RCMP, marijuana's effects last up to eight times longer than those of alcohol. "Right now, aside from alcohol, marijuana is the No. 1 drugs that we find on impaired drivers. We can't handle all the problems that we have with alcohol and tobacco right now. Why would we want to decriminalize another menacing drug?" He said the RCMP is so concerned about marijuana-impaired drivers that the force has recently trained 40 "drug-recognition officers" in British Columbia. These traffic officers now administer a series of drug tests to impaired drivers to determine whether they have been smoking marijuana. British Columbia, where statistics show marijuana consumption is the highest in the country, is the first province to implement this strategy, which the RCMP hope to adopt in other provinces. According to Constable Rintoul, the RCMP have been concentrating on the traffickers and those who grow marijuana in their homes for profit. Although they are concerned about marijuana users, who they say are more likely than non-users to try harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin, their focus is now almost exclusively on the production end of cannabis and not on recreational use. According to Statistics Canada, cannabis accounted for 72 percent of the 65,000-plus Canadian drugs offences reported in 1996 and for 67 per cent of the 43, 855 people charged. Critics cringe when they see such statistics arguing that law-enforcement officials spend more time cracking down on cannabis related offences than they do on more serious crimes such as homicide and sexual assault. "Most of the RCMP claims about the dangers of marijuana are idiotic, unfounded and inaccurate," said Alan Young, a professor of law at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto who has been researching cannabis policy for the past 10 years and is lead defense counsel on several cases, including Ms. Harichy's, that are seeking to force the decriminalization of cannabis. "The only way that the prohibition of this drug is maintained is through the dissemination of propaganda and the use of medical studies that are outdated and discredited by the scientific community," he said. Indeed, in a recent Ontario case in which Christopher Clay was charged with trafficking in cannabis, the presiding judge said that after, analyzing the scientific evidence on the effects of marijuana presented at the trial, he had concluded that "consumption of marijuana is relatively harmless compared to the so-called hard drugs and including tobacco and alcohol." Although Mr. Clay was found guilty of trafficking, Mr. Justice J.F. McCart of the Ontario Court's General Division said that "there exists no hard evidence demonstrating any irreversible organic or mental damage from the consumption of marijuana." Decriminalization advocates such as Mr. Young, who is appealing the decision in Mr. Clay's case argue that if the drug were to be legalized regulations could be introduced that would prevent unscrupulous traffickers from selling marijuana mixed with sometimes harmful contaminants. Although both sides cannot agree on the drug's long-term effects, both accuse the federal government of being totally unresponsive to the issue. "It's the ostrich effect," Mr. Young said. "They just ignore the whole issue in the hope that it will go away." Charles Perkins, a member of one of the few Canadian anti-cannabis groups, agrees. "I have been to Ottawa several times to discuss this issue and I've been totally ignored," said Mr. Perkins, spokesman for the Sarnia-based Lambton Families in Action for Drug Education, Inc. which promotes drug awareness in local schools. According to a 1995 study by Health and Welfare Canada, 70 per cent of Canadians want a change in the law in drug policy related to cannabis and said they were opposed to the use of jail sentences to combat marijuana use. For different reasons, many activists on both sides of the decriminalization struggle say that the Canadian legislation on cannabis is rather outdated and vague. In this country, the history of drug prohibition legislation goes back to the 1911 Opium and Drug Act, which contained no reference to marijuana. In 1923, cannabis was added to the list of prohibited drugs, without any discussion or debate in the House of Commons about its inclusion. Why, critics ask, was the drug included, especially given that until 1937 there were no convictions for possession of marijuana, and for the next 20 years the conviction rate hovered between zero and 12 per cent? In fact, there were no significant numbers of recorded offences until the late 1960s, when marijuana increased in popularity among young, upper-middle-class adults. Many critics say the inclusion of the drug in the act was spurred by the writings of a crusading Edmonton magistrate named Emily Murphy. In 1920, she published a series of sensational articles in Maclean's magazine on the "horrible" effects of drug use and the deliberate attempts of "evil," mainly foreign, drug traffickers to corrupt Canadian youth, the articles were collected in a book called The Black Candle, which was published in 1922. Ms. Murphy's extremist views were derived from mainly from interviews with U.S. law-enforcement officers. In one instance she quotes the Los Angeles chief of police on the evils of marijuana: "Persons using this narcotic smoke the dried leaves of the plant, which has the effect of driving them completely insane. The addict loses all sense of moral responsibility. Addicts to this drug, while under its influence, are immune to pain, and could be injured without having any realization of their condition. while in this condition they become raving maniacs and are liable to kill or indulge in any form of violence to other persons, using the most savage methods of cruelty without, as said before, any sense of moral responsibility..." According to Judge McCart, who cited Ms. Murphy's views in the Clay case, "it was in this climate of irrational fear that the criminal sanctions against marijuana were enacted." The law has remained largely unchanged since the 1920's even though a royal commission in 1973 concluded that the government should consider its decriminalization. In the Netherlands, marijuana can be openly purchased in licensed establishments throughout the country. In Germany, public prosecutors now have discretionary power to dismiss minor cases of drug possession unconditionally, or they can levy fines and insist that the accused do community service for the infraction. In Spain, a 1995 amendment to the penal code says that possession of any illegal drug for personal use is no longer subject to criminal sanctions. Proponents of decriminalization say that Canadian legislators are loath to reform cannabis policy because of pressure from the United States, where in most parts of the country the possession of cannabis is still subject to criminal sanctions. "We can't seem to get beyond the repressive American policy on drugs," said Mr. Young, citing what he called the strong influence of the U.S. government's so-called war on drugs, which came to a head under the Republican administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush in the 1970s and 1980s. "If we were to reforms our laws, it would put tremendous pressure on U.S. lawmakers to do the same. So we maintain this cowardly insistence of being little foot soldiers to the American war on drugs." For their part, Canadian law-enforcement officials say they are under pressure from their U.S. counterparts to get tougher on marijuana, especially its export to California, Washington and Oregon, where a great deal of marijuana grown in British Columbia ends up. Although there are no official statistics on the amount of cannabis grown in B.C., both police and cannabis supporters say it is a mutibillion-dollar industry in the province. The RCMP and regional police forces are pushing for stricter legislation to allow them to get tough with those who have turned the cultivation of cannabis into a lucrative and growing cottage industry, using hydroponic gardens in their homes. Despite the efforts of local authorities, civil disobedience on the decriminalization issue appears to be growing exponentially. According to Mr. Young, "every major municipality has a hemp store, openly selling drug paraphernalia, despite the fact that there is a law in the books prohibiting the sale of drug paraphernalia." In Toronto There is a 24-hour cannabis-information line, run by a cannabis retail and advocacy group called The Friendly Stranger. Those fighting for decriminalization on the medical front got a boost last December when an Ontario judge ruled that Terry Parker could cultivate and possess cannabis to control his epilepsy. Buoyed by the decision, Ms Harichy and others have joined to set up buyers' clubs, groups that buy marijuana and distribute it to those who have demonstrated medical need of it. Ms. Harichy, who recently opened the London Cannabis Compassion Centre, says the organization plans to sell marijuana to those who present the group with and authorized physician's note. "Civil disobedience is necessary," Ms. Harichy said. "The police will not listen to facts. All they are interested in is putting more 'reefer madness' out there."
------------------------------------------------------------------- That Pot Problem (Staff Editorial In 'Edmonton Sun' About Justice Minister Anne McLellan's Planned Meeting With Edmonton Police Chief John Lindsay To Discuss Edmonton's Blooming Reputation For Growing Marijuana Says The Newspaper Is Opposed To Both Medical Marijuana And Decriminalisation)Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 14:09:00 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Editorial: That Pot Problem Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: April 6, 1998 Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/ THAT POT PROBLEM Justice Minister Anne McLellan is supposed to meet with Edmonton police chief John Lindsay this week to discuss Edmonton's blooming reputation for growing highly potent marijuana. It appears McLellan is embarrassed that her home town's "City of Champions" slogan is now being applied to the really good quality dope being grown here and exported abroad. "I am going to get to the bottom of the concern," she has stated. By why? McLellan, after all, has mused aloud about decriminalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Didn't we all rally around Ross Rebagliati after the International Olympic Committee stripped him of - and then reinstated - his snowboarding gold medal after testing positive for marijuana? Indeed, Solicitor General Andy Scott, who has been invited to sit in on McLellan's meeting with Edmonton's top cop, declared of Reefer Ross at the time that "every Canadian would love to see him have his medal." No wonder Rebagliati was confused by the spectacle that followed his drug test. Because government and society in general are confused about where to draw the line on marijuana. Olympic athletes who smoke marijuana are heroes. Sick people deserve our compassion and should be allowed to use marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. We've all heard the argument that ordinary people who grow or use dope in their own home aren't harming anyone, so where's the crime? And now McLellan is worried because Edmonton grows some wicked weed? Apply the Ross test to Edmonton, and McLellan should be proud of our city's reputation for major-league dope! Who knows, maybe we'll corner the snowboard market in the process. Perhaps the cops' recent bust of big hydroponic dope operations has deprived suffering individuals of much-needed pain relief. Yes, we're being facetious. In fact, we're glad that McLellan is taking the pot issue seriously and meeting with police. What we're complaining about is the lack of consistency from our elected officials. Either marijuana is illegal or it is not. We do not support the decriminalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes, as we don't believe the medical evidence supports it. So as McLellan meets with Edmonton cops this week to find a way to crack down on Edmonton's growing pot industry, she needs to make sure her stance on the marijuana issue is the same, through and through. Mixed messages on drugs are just dopey. Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs Bogged Down Over Scandal ('Scotland On Sunday' Suggests Allegations Of Nepotism Are Making The Mission Of The Scottish Health Promotions Agency More Difficult) Date: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 14:38:22 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: War On Drugs Bogged Down Over Scandal Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 6 Apr 1998 Source: Scotland on Sunday Contact: Letters_sos@scotsman.com Author: Stephen Fraser WAR ON DRUGS BOGGED DOWN OVER SCANDAL Head of health promotion body complains of smear campaign as volunteer groups cry foul. Bitter infighting has been exposed after a senior health executive claimed she was the victim of a smear campaign. Louie MacAllan, chief executive of the Health Promotions Agency, an offshoot of Grampian Health Board, said people were trying to exploit her marriage to Frank Hartnett, the board's general manager, to damage her professional reputation. Allegations of nepotism have also been circulating after it emerged that her daughters, Katie and Kara, temporarily worked for the agency, which uses both public and private funds to provide health advice across Grampian. The row comes as volunteer drugs counselling groups in Aberdeen, known as Scotland's heroin capital, accuse the official drugs agencies of trying to take over their work. Senior politicians in the area have now become involved. Alex Salmond, the SNP leader and MP for Banff and Buchan, said: "I know there has been infighting and I would appeal for it to stop so that people can focus on reducing the problem of drug use in these communities." MacAllan, 50, has played a prominent part in influencing Grampian Health Board's strategy in her role at the health promotions agency, the only unit of its kind in the UK. Yesterday she said: "We have nothing to hide. Both Frank and I are in prominent positions and because I'm outspoken I have made a lot of enemies and there are people out there with grudges." She added that some people also resented successful women and chose to ignore their abilities and pinpoint their sexuality as the reasons behind their success. "We both realise that this is something we have to put up with and we have adopted special procedures to avoid Frank having any input into my organisation," she added. These involve Hartnett delegating decisions on budgets and strategy for health promotions to his deputy and the board's director of public health. MacAllan maintained she had no interest or involvement in the health board's current plans to revamp drugs treatment strategy in Grampian which have sparked a messy 'turf war' with volunteer self-help groups. One of the groups is Grampian Addiction Problem Services in Banff and Buchan, set up by Janice Jess. Her organisation counselled more than 1,000 drug addicts in towns such as Fraserburgh and Peterhead last year. Jess left MacAllan's Health Promotions Agency after an argument over policy and fears the health board plans to try and close her volunteer effort down. She maintains workers for the official drugs agency, Aberdeen Drugs Action, had "no street credibility" and no grasp of Buchan's unique problem. She has raised the issue of MacAllan's connections in letters to Salmond, Scottish Office health minister Sam Galbraith and Labour leader Tony Blair, and is calling for a public inquiry into Grampian Health Board. The SNP leader said he had not yet read the letter but could vouch for Janice Jess's credibility. Yesterday, MacAllan said she would welcome a Scottish Office inquiry into the running of the Health Promotions Agency. Grampian Health Board have already called in accountants Cooper & Lybrand to check recruitment and selection procedures to ensure they were not being abused. The recent independent audit, which the board says was routine, found that though MacAllan had to approve formally the appointment of staff, the decision as to whether or not a job had to be filled or a new position created was left to individual health promotions programme managers. MacAllan's role was largely supervisory. The accountants also concluded the recruitment procedures were in line with those used by the board, which have been approved by the Scottish Office.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rob Pilatus, 32, Half Of Pop Duo Milli Vanilli (Obituary By 'Associated Press' Says The Would-Be Singer Had Been In Germany Since The Fall Undergoing A Drug Withdrawal Program, But Died In A Frankfurt Hotel Room Late Thursday After Consuming Alcohol And Pills) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 17:11:35 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Rob Pilatus, 32, Half of Pop Duo Milli Vanilli Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 06 Apr 1998 ROB PILATUS, 32, HALF OF POP DUO MILLI VANILLI Hamburg, Germany (AP) - Rob Pilatus, a former model whose career as half of the pop music duo Milli Vanilli crashed in disgrace and drug addiction after it was revealed that the group lip-synched its songs, has died, Bild am Sonntag newspaper said Sunday. He was 32. Mr. Pilatus was alone when he died in a Frankfurt hotel room late Thursday after consuming alcohol and pills, the newspaper reported. The newspaper quoted Milli Vanilli producer Frank Farian as saying Mr. Pilatus had been drinking Thursday evening, but "we didn't know . . . that he was taking tablets that are very dangerous with alcohol." An autopsy was being conducted, the newspaper said. Frankfurt police refused to comment on the report. Mr. Pilatus and his Milli Vanilli partner, Fabrice Morvan, won a 1989 Grammy for Best New Artist after hits like "Blame it on the Rain" and "All or Nothing." But in late 1990, the performers were stripped of the award after it was revealed that neither actually sang on Milli Vanilli records; that was done by studio musicians who were not credited. Morvan said in an interview with the VH1 cable music network last year that he and Mr. Pilatus were deceived into fronting the phony group. Mr. Pilatus had been in Germany since the fall undergoing a drug withdrawal program, the newspaper quoted Farian as saying. The son of a U.S. soldier and a German mother, Mr. Pilatus was born in New York but grew up in Munich. He worked as a model and dancer before joining Morvan in 1988 to form Milli Vanilli. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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