------------------------------------------------------------------- Warrant Needed To Scan Home With Imager, Court Rules ('San Diego Union Tribune' Notes Ruling On Thermal Or Infrared Searches By Ninth US Circuit Court Of Appeals In A Case From Florence, Oregon, Would Vacate The Defendant's 1992 Guilty Plea, Allowing Him To Avoid Prison, Unless US Supreme Court Takes Up The Issue) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Warrant needed to scan home with imager, court rules Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 16:43:36 -0700 Lines: 44 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 WARRANT NEEDED TO SCAN HOME WITH IMAGER, COURT RULES SAN FRANCISCO -- Federal agents need a warrant before scanning a home with a thermal imager, which is supposed to detect heat from indoor drug labs but also may be able to peek into bedrooms, the federal appeals court for nine Western states ruled yesterday. As technology improves, heat-sensitive scanners are being developed "which are increasingly able to reveal the intimacies that we have heretofore trusted take place in private," said the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a case from coastal Oregon. The court noted that an advertising brochure for the device used in this case touted its ability to distinguish between heat levels emitted by an animal and a person from 1,500 feet away in complete darkness. A government witness said an imager could detect people through curtains near a window. A defense lawyer said the device could pick up general outlines of objects through walls. Other federal appeals courts, however, have ruled that thermal imagers merely measure the heat given off by the outside of a home and can be used by police without a warrant. Some state courts have agreed, but courts in California, Washington and Montana have required search warrants, said Kenneth Lerner, lawyer for defendant Danny Lee Kyllo. With the courts divided, "I think the Supreme Court has got to wrestle with how you evaluate technology that can intrude into people's homes," Lerner said. Government lawyers were unavailable for comment. Kyllo, of Florence, Ore., pleaded guilty in 1992 to manufacturing marijuana after a federal judge upheld a search of his home, based on a warrant that was obtained after officers used a thermal imager to scan the home. He was sentenced to five years and three months in prison but has remained free during his appeal, Lerner said. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ninth Circuit Tosses Pot Conviction Case ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version Says The Florence, Oregon, Defendant Will Still Have To Go Through A Retrial In Portland - Thermal Imaging Device Was Originally Borrowed By Cop From Oregon National Guard, Illustrating One Way The Military Is Used To Enforce Civil Laws In Oregon) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Ninth Circuit Tosses Pot Conviction Case Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 16:53:49 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Page: A24 Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 NINTH CIRCUIT TOSSES POT CONVICTION CASE Heat detection device ruled illegal A federal agent who used a heat detection device to gather evidence against an alleged Oregon marijuana grower violated the suspect's constitutional right against unreasonable searches, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. In a split ruling, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco threw out the conviction of Danny Kyllo, an Oregonian who was arrested in 1992 for cultivating and distributing marijuana. In a move almost certain to be appealed further, the court ordered Kyllo's case sent back to U.S. District Court in Portland for a new trial. Kyllo was arrested in 1992 after an investigator for the federal Bureau of Land Management searched his home, which revealed marijuana, drug paraphernalia and weapons. According to court files, the agent obtained a warrant to search the residence after surveying it from a distance with a high-tech thermal-imaging device he had borrowed from the Oregon National Guard. The gadget detected high levels of heat radiating from parts of Kyllo's home, and the agent cited the results in his request for a warrant, arguing that the heat was produced by high-intensity lights frequently used by pot cultivators to covertly grow the plants indoors. Kyllo appealed his conviction, arguing that the use of the thermal-imaging equipment was an intrusive surveillance method that violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable government search and seizure. Based on earlier appellate cases involving the issue, Kyllo's appeal was rejected by the U.S. District Court in Oregon. But in its split decision yesterday, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Judges John T. Noonan, Michael Daly and Robert R. Merhige, Jr., ruled that Kyllo's objection to the device had merit. Writing for the majority, Judge Merhige said the device was capable of detecting such minor household activities as using a shower, taking a bath or operating household appliances, and that the constitution prohibited the government from monitoring private activities in such detail without a court-authorized search warrant. ``Even the routine and trivial activities conducted in our homes are sufficiently `intimate' to give rise to Fourth Amendment violation if observed by law enforcement without a warrant,'' Merhige wrote. In a dissenting opinion, Judge Hawkins argued that the agent who used the detection gear had not entered Kyllo's home or violated his constitutional rights. ``The thermal-imaging device employed here intruded into nothing,'' Hawkins said. ``The use of thermal-imaging technology does not constitute a search under contemporary Fourth Amendment standards.'' 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Urban Pulse - 'H' Is For Hawthorne ('Willamette Week' In Portland Notes Some Merchants Along Portland's Gentrified Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard Are Finding Heroin Prohibition Is Making Their Lives Increasingly Scary And Difficult - As A Consequence, The Young, Poor And Homeless Face More Suspicion, Hostility) Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - email@example.com Web: http://www.wweek.com/ April 8, 1998 Context: Jerry Shover, owner of Gold Door Antiques & Art at 1434 SE 37th Ave., says last month's Starbucks heroin overdose is part of a "heroin epidemic." Panhandling is legal in Portland. Aggressive panhandling, such as blocking someone's path or refusing to take no for an answer, is illegal. Several Hawthorne merchants have posted flyers discouraging shoppers from giving money to panhandlers. *** Urban Pulse - 'H' Is For Hawthorne * A heroin overdose and gunpoint stickup have Southeast merchants feeling uncharitable toward panhandlers. BY JOSH FEIT firstname.lastname@example.org Photos: MARC CARLETON Laura is an unlikely poster child for the perceived crime wave on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. A rag-doll panhandler who looks like a lost Manson family teen-ager, Laura was a daily fixture at the corner of Hawthorne and Southeast 38th Avenue this winter. From her perch outside the Bank of America, she'd flash a melancholy smile and sad bright eyes, asking strangers for money. Panhandling is nothing new in the bustling Hawthorne District. Nonetheless, Laura, 23 going on 40, has unnerved local merchants. Store owners like Greg Klaus, owner of Greg's at 3737 SE Hawthorne Blvd., say Laura is part of a new wave of panhandlers that has brought heroin and crime to a street that is better known for handmade fettuccine and poetry readings. Concerns peaked last month after a homeless man died of a heroin overdose in the bathroom of Starbucks. According to a police report, 46-year-old John Ellis Whitefoot disappeared into the coffeeshop's bathroom at approximately 4:45 pm on March 2. Fifteen minutes later Starbucks staffers found him dead, a needle and cook lid resting on the toilet. For business owners on the busy shopping strip, the death wasn't so much a wake-up call as the confirmation of a creeping feeling that all is not groovy. In November, employees at Oasis Pizza were forced to lie on the floor at gunpoint during a drug-related robbery. Today rumors of two heroin deaths at the Daily Grind health-food store are making the rounds of Hawthorne-area shopkeepers (police deny the deaths). This is all very new for a neighborhood where crime is generally relegated to the mystery section of the local Powell's. Last week a group of Hawthorne shopkeepers met to discuss beefing up private security. On March 28 they started selling $2 coupons for meals at the Sisters of the Road Cafe--a low-cost eatery catering to the homeless--which customers can purchase and give to panhandlers instead of money. In addition, merchants say, they've contacted the police. Merchants say that last week, two new bicycle officers arrived and have been more active about discouraging aggressive panhandling. Police say the new officers are part of a routine spring patrol. "The panhandling has become intense in the last two to three months," says Daniel McDermott, co-owner of Sorel Vintages Ltd. at 3713 SE Hawthorne Blvd. "It was like someone put word out on the Internet that Hawthorne is a good place to panhandle." Julien Sorel, McDermott's business partner, says the store has experienced a recent "mass of undesirables" and an "increase in shoplifting." He says he has taken to watching people who come into the store--"checking pupils." Merchants say they've witnessed Laura doing drug deals on Hawthorne. "One day I saw the gal get in a nice car with guys in business suits and then get out one block later," says Klaus. "What's not right about that picture?" Laura says she's not dealing drugs. She says she and her boyfriend, Andrew Phillips, lost their jobs as janitors at OMSI several months ago and have been living on the street ever since. Officer John Kuechler of the neighborhood response team says the perception of drug dealing on Hawthorne is greater than the reality. He says Phillips has been arrested once for possession of a small amount of cocaine, but the couple is not dealing. "If you're out there panhandling, you're not dealing heroin," Kuechler says. Laura says the shopkeepers' accusations of drug dealing are just an excuse to get rid of her. If so, they've succeeded. Last week, she and Andrew set up shop in downtown Portland. --Ruth Rowland contributed to this report. *** [Portland NORML notes - The "OMSI" referred to in the preceding story is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, once a major attraction in Portland for kids and families that is gradually losing its various sources of public funding and slowly fading away because of society's shifting priorities, particularly the war on some drugs and the prisons and other law-enforcement costs that result.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Deputies Find Drugs Sewn Into Boxer Shorts ('Associated Press' Doesn't Explain Why The Union County Jail Inmate In La Grande, Oregon, Didn't Just Buy His Methamphetamine From Guards Like Everyone Else - Since The Jail Is Located Between La Grande Middle School And Eastern Oregon University, The Inmate Was Also Charged With Delivery Of A Controlled Substance Within 1,000 Feet Of A School) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "-news" Subject: OR Deputies find drugs sewn into boxer shorts Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 18:42:46 -0700 Deputies find drugs sewn into boxer shorts The Associated Press 04/08/98 4:40 PM Eastern LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies seized boxer shorts sent to a Union County jail inmate and found drugs sewn into a wide front seam. Deputies intercepted underwear that arrived in the mail Tuesday afternoon for inmate Glen Wayne O'Brien, 21, who was being held pending trial on robbery and assault charges. Methamphetamine had been sewn into them, Sheriff Steve Oliver said. "We had information it was coming in," he said. Deputies still are investigating who may have sent the drugs. The package was mailed from the La Grande Post Office, just five blocks from the jail. Oliver said O'Brien faces new drug possession, delivery and conspiracy charges, as well as a charge of supplying contraband. Because the jail is located between La Grande Middle School and Eastern Oregon University, he also was charged with delivery of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school, Oliver said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Bar A Pain Killer OKd By Voters (Op-Ed By San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown In 'Los Angeles Times' Says Elected Representatives Should Work To Find A Middle Ground Between Local Discretion And Federal Supremacy So Californians With Life-Threatening Diseases Can Continue To Receive Medical Marijuana) From: email@example.com Date: Wed, 08 Apr 98 20:35:35 EST Subject: San Francisco Mayor Wille Brown Op-ed on Med Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The following op-ed, by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, ran in today's Los Angeles Times. It provides a valuable perspective on the current struggle in California. EN Los Angeles Times COMMENTARY Wednesday, April 8, 1998 Don't Bar a Pain Killer OKd by Voters Marijuana: U.S. action would deprive sufferers of AIDS, cancer and other illnesses of a beneficial substance. By WILLIE L. BROWN JR. For San Francisco resident Dixie Romagno, something as simple as taking a shower or climbing stairs can make her double over in excruciating pain. Dixie is in her 20th year of chronic multiple sclerosis. To alleviate the agonizing bone pain, spasms and spinal cord problems that wrack her body, this 46-year-old grandmother of two uses marijuana. Five million Californians backed her right to do so when they approved a 1996 ballot measure that allows the use of marijuana for people who suffer from AIDS, cancer and other serious illnesses. In San Francisco, we've worked hard to honor that right by making marijuana obtainable through a dispensary clinic that operates with the cooperation of local authorities. But now the federal government wants to take away that right. In January, the Justice Department filed a civil suit to shut down six medical marijuana dispensaries in Northern California, including the San Francisco Marijuana Cultivators Club, which Dixie, along with 8,000 other ailing Californians, depend on for their medicine. The Justice Department views the suit as a simple case of state law tangling with the supremacy of federal law. "The issue is not the medical use of marijuana," U.S. Atty. Michael Yamaguchi has said. "It's about the persistent violation of federal law." But as mayor of a city that has seen more than its share of people suffering and dying from AIDS, I know that's not the end of the issue. The debate over medical marijuana is, above all else, about compassion for people in pain. Enforcing a law for its own sake can still cause unintended harm to innocent persons. The closure of cannabis patient clubs would force individuals like Dixie to suffer needless agony. Many will be compelled to buy their medicine from the streets. This would endanger their lives and place undue burden on local law enforcement whose time would be better spent pursuing real criminals, not desperate patients. In San Francisco and in cities across the state, local health and police officials have worked with medical marijuana dispensaries to ensure that they operate in the spirit of the law. Controls have been encouraged and implemented to guard against abuse, including the use of standardized medical forms from doctors and photo identification cards certifying legitimate patients. The current system isn't perfect. But until marijuana is approved by the Federal Drug Administration as a prescription drug, California's medical marijuana dispensaries are a viable medical alternative. Many of the tens of thousands of patients who use marijuana do so often as a last resort when all other prescribed medicines have failed, or produce side effects that cancel out their benefits. Most of them can't cultivate their own marijuana; that's why they rely on the clubs. Rather than censure this public health crisis with a lawsuit, the Justice Department should urge the Clinton administration to work with local and state governments to implement a plan for distributing medical marijuana that complies with both federal and state law and that puts the needs of patients first. The California Senate is reviewing a bill to establish a task force that would research and make recommendations about the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to patients in medical need. In December, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is expected to release the results of a study that will report on marijuana's medical effectiveness. These initiatives are promising, but the process will take time. In the interim, the federal government should impose a moratorium on enforcement of marijuana laws that interfere with the locally regulated operation of cannabis patient clubs and allow patients access to their medicine. Californians with life-threatening diseases shouldn't have to suffer while their elected representatives work to find a middle ground between local discretion and federal supremacy. Willie L. Brown Jr. Is the Mayor of San Francisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- Santa Cruz CBC Closed (Press Release From Scott Imler Of The Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers Club Says The Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club Is Closed Permanently - Internal Conflicts And Nervous Doctors Cited) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 14:30:30 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Scott Imler
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Santa Cruz CBC CLOSED Press Release April 8, 1998 For More Information Call: 408-429-8819 Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club Closes For Good Internal Conflicts and Nervous Doctors Cited The Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club is closed permanently. The primary reason cited for the club's closure was that one of the employees ran off with the patient list and the marijuana supply to open his own program, leaving 74 year-old club director Fred Seike with a $7,000 debt and no way to pay the rent or bills. Additionally, as a result of federal legal action to close the Santa Cruz club and five others in Northern California, the local medical community has become increasingly reluctant to write and verify medical marijuana recommendations, which has made it all but impossible to ascertain the legitimacy of patients' exemptions under Proposition 215. Seike, who has been in failing health over the past year due to a stroke, relinquished control of day to day management responsibilities last October and said he will move out of the Maple Street facility as soon as he can find another place to live. "We tried our best," said Seike. "I have no regrets, other than being done in by people who we thought were our friends." Patients wishing to pick up their medical documentation may do so between now and May 1st. Please call ahead, 408-429-8819, to arrange a time. *** Let me cut right to the chase here. This is a great example of why medical marijuana needs to be made prescriptively available and why CBCs which rely on black-market sources are not a viable longterm solution to the access problem. Greedy dealers have their hands in patients' pockets and intend to keep them there at all costs. The truth of the Santa Cruz disaster is that one employee conspired with the supplier to manufacture an artificial supply crisis in order to effect a hostile takeover of a vulnerable CBC. The renegade employee's first demand was that Fred get out in ten days or they would cut off the supply to the patients. When Fred, to his credit, resisted delivering the club to the control of a for profit pot dealer, they took the patient list and opened shop a few blocks away. Goddess mother hemp plant, indeed. RESCHEDULE NOW! scott Scott Imler SCCU/LACBC
------------------------------------------------------------------- GOP Senate Hopeful Slams Clinton, Boxer - Darrell Issa Criticizes Stand On Drugs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes The Conservative Republican Candidate For The US Senate, A Multimillionaire Who Is Putting Up His Own Money For The Primary Race, Forayed Into Northern California To Speak At A Lunch Meeting Of The Comstock Club In San Francisco) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 17:16:05 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: GOP Senate Hopeful Slams Clinton, Boxer Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 Author: John Wildermuth, Chronicle Political Writer GOP SENATE HOPEFUL SLAMS CLINTON, BOXER Darrell Issa criticizes stand on drugs America's long-running war on drugs is one that President Clinton and other Democratic politicians aren't willing to win, Republican Senate candidate Darrell Issa said yesterday in one of his first campaign forays into Northern California. At a lunchtime meeting of the Comstock Club, the San Diego-area businessman slammed ``moral defeatists'' who say that the country can't stop the flow of drugs across its borders and that adults should be allowed to decide what they put into their bodies. ``The Clinton administration's policy of neglect sent a not-so-subtle message to America's youth that drug use is no big deal,'' Issa said. ``If America's president winks at drug use, we should not be surprised to find more teens using drugs.'' Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who Issa will challenge if he wins his party's primary in June, also took come lumps. Boxer has called for pulling money away from drug interdiction programs at the border and voted against a federal death penalty for large-scale drug dealers, Issa said. ``Tragically, it seems Barbara Boxer is more concerned with saving dolphins from Mexican fisherman than with saving our children from drug cartels,'' he said. But the supporting information Issa's staff supplied with his speech suggested that the attack on Boxer was overstated. While Boxer in the past has called for reducing the amount of the money now being spent for anti-drug efforts at the border, she has wanted those funds to be shifted to drug abuse prevention and treatment programs in an effort to dry up the demand for narcotics. Issa also said there is a need for effective drug prevention programs, although the efforts he suggested have had only limited effectiveness in the past. ``Stopping the supply (of drugs) will be . . . impossible unless we also reduce the demand for drugs here in America,'' he said. Those methods include building anti-drug coalitions in local communities, working on a national media campaign to let children know that drug use is ``dangerous, illegal and wrong,'' and combining stiff prison sentences for drug dealers with tough, intensive treatment programs for users, Issa said. ``Strong families and vigorous institutions of civil society are the most effective defenses against the drug culture,'' Issa said. ``By instilling in our children the moral virtues that will inoculate them against seduction by the drug culture, we will ultimately rid ourselves of the drug scourge.'' It wasn't only Democrats that were lectured by Issa yesterday. He said the Republican congressional leadership should be ashamed of their support for a $217 billion transportation bill filled with special highway construction goodies for legislators across the nation. ``Over $30 billion of that bill is not only pork, but re-election pieces of pork (legislators) can take back to their districts,'' he said. Issa, a multimillionaire who is putting up his own money for his primary race, also called for lower taxes, especially on wealthy Americans, ``although I won't qualify as rich by the end of this campaign,'' he joked. America's tax policy is designed to use class envy as an excuse for sticking it to the rich, Issa said. ``Is it fair to say the rich should pay a bigger share of (the nation's) support?'' he asked. ``That argument has been devisive since the income tax came in, when it was used to stick it to the Rockefellers and the Carnegies.'' Issa quickly ducked one controversial local issue when he declined to say whether he supported construction of the Auburn Dam, a decades-long bone of contention between environmentalists and state water interests. ``I'm not going to get involved in the internal politics of California,'' he said. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supporter's Cannabis Pitch Fails To Take Root With Council ('San Diego Union Tribune' Guide For Hempsters On How Not To Lobby Local Government Officials) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Supporter's cannabis pitch fails to take root with council Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 16:51:31 -0700 Lines: 52 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Anthony Millican STAFF WRITER SUPPORTER'S CANNABIS PITCH FAILS TO TAKE ROOT WITH COUNCIL MEMBERS Dion Markgraaff's idea went up in smoke as quickly as it was presented to the San Diego City Council yesterday. In the span of three minutes, Markgraaff demanded that council members declare a state of emergency, come up with a policy on helping sick people who need medical marijuana and, well, that they get a load from his exhibits. Markgraaff passed out T-shirts and newspapers promoting cannabis. He handed over hemp oil. Then, he produced a bag of hemp seeds. Befuddled city clerks thought the bag contained plain old marijuana. Police arrived. The pseudo-pot was confiscated. As it turned out, the seeds had been sterilized and can't grow, which makes them legal. Council members did not take action on Markgraaff's requests. Hemp, which grows wild throughout the world, is a type of cannabis plant that is used to make rope, paper and other products. It has little of the intoxicating substance found in more potent types of marijuana. Markgraaff is free on bail awaiting trial in one of the county's first tests of voter-approved Proposition 215, the medical marijuana measure. He addressed the council during the public comment portion of yesterday's council meeting. Even seen-it-all council observers couldn't recall a similar episode. Markgraaff, 28, an SDSU political science and history graduate, says he was just trying to "plant the seed of a little bit of knowledge." An indignant Councilman Juan Vargas left his seat, grabbed one of the T-shirts and handed it back to Markgraaff in the audience. "I won't be needing this," Vargas told him. "Well, then do your job," Markgraaff shot back. It's a good thing the seeds didn't spill onto the carpet, quipped City Clerk Chuck Abdelnour. The carpet is so bad, the seeds might have taken root there. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jail Inmates Use Meditation To Overcome Anger, Cravings ('San Diego Union Tribune' Says Petty Criminals, Alcoholics And Drug Addicts At Seattle's North Rehabilitation Facility Sit Silently In A Dark Room For 10 Hours A Day Engaged In Vipassana, 'The Marine Corps Of Meditation') From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: Jail inmates use meditation to overcome anger, cravings Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 16:41:39 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: David Foster ASSOCIATED PRESS ON THE INSIDE JAIL INMATES USE MEDITATION TO OVERCOME ANGER At Seattle's North Rehabilitation Facility, petty criminals, alcoholics and drug addicts sit silently in a dark room for 10 hours a day, hoping to bring inner peace to their messed-up lives. For these dropouts of 12-step programs and halfway houses, it's worth a try. "What else do I have to lose?" asked Rose Clinton, 31, one of seven women who volunteered this month for the jail's second Vipassana course. She has had two crack-addicted babies, one of whom died, and has lost count of the times she has been in jail for drug dealing, prostitution, robbery and assault. Her forehead bears a jagged scar from a bottle hurled by an angry drug dealer. Welts on her wrists remain from the day in 1992 when they took her third baby away and she tried to slash her wrists with a broken crack pipe. For most of Clinton's adult life, introspection has been limited to the desperate, daily calculus of an addict: "You think about where your next hit's gonna come from, or who you're gonna beat for some money." For 10 days ended March 7, Clinton pursued purer thoughts. Waking at 4 a.m. to the sound of a gong, she spent hours in "noble silence," sitting on a cushion, her eyes closed, a blanket wrapped around her. With help from a Vipassana instructor, she and her fellow students learned to observe their breathing and other bodily sensations. They learned to feel an itch and not scratch it, and they saw at least the possibility of doing the same with the anger and craving that have ruled their lives. "We call it mental boot camp," said jail administrator Lucia Meijer, who authorized the program last fall after being persuaded to attend a 10-day Vipassana course herself. Her first impression, as she struggled to hold a meditation position for an hour, was that "these people must be sadists." No magic, no pills Later, she decided Vipassana meditation has the potential for building inmates' self-discipline and insight. "It's not a magic trick or a pill," Meijer said. "It's hard, conscious effort. It teaches them how to control themselves, how to go inside and deal with what's there." Meditation comes in many forms, from the contemplations of Christian and Buddhist monks to the secular Transcendental Meditation. Vipassana is considered the Marine Corps of meditation. As taught today by Indian teacher S.N. Goenka, it claims a direct lineage to techniques practiced 2,500 years ago by Buddha. Its nonsectarian approach welcomes students of any religious belief. But its rigors put off most people: Of the 4,000 students who take courses each year at the four Vipassana centers in the United States, only an estimated 10 percent embrace it permanently. Adherents believe they have found a captive, eager audience in jails and prisons -- if only they can convince skeptical jailers. Even at Seattle's North Rehabilitation Facility, a minimum-security jail with a reputation for innovation and a focus on treating chemical dependency, the Vipassana program is a major disruption. Prisoners separated The students must be housed in a separate wing. Instructors and assistants insist on living at the jail during the course. The kitchen must prepare special vegetarian meals. Loudspeakers must be disconnected. Everyone who works with the students, including guards, must be graduates of a 10-day Vipassana course. In the program's favor: It's free. All Vipassana courses are run by volunteers. It's too soon to tell how well the Seattle program keeps inmates on the virtuous path after their release. But jail officials say behavior changes were striking after the first course in November, which graduated 11 men. Everyone mentions Ernest, a huge, menacing ghetto warrior who spoke in grunts before the Vipassana course. Afterward, he was hugging everybody and declaring that love is the answer. Richard Jimerson, whose alcohol-related crimes have bounced him in and out of jail for years, has attended two more Vipassana courses and volunteered to help at three since his release from jail in December. A year ago, Jimerson was "sad, lost, a waste," said Stephanie Maxwell, a vocational specialist at the jail. Now, she said, he is "focused, honest, thoughtful." Jimerson, 31, put it this way: "The rattling in my brain got put to sleep." Seven started, seven finished Vivian Snyder, instructor for the women's Vipassana course, said her inmate students were more chatty than those on the outside. But they were typical in other ways: They fell asleep in the first days. They threatened to quit. They thought they were being brainwashed. They were wracked by headaches and nausea. Lila Bowechop, 33, said one side of her face went numb -- the same feeling she used to get after alcoholic binges -- and she thought she might die. In the end, though, they rallied. Seven women started and seven finished, an improvement over the men's course, which lost six students. "They worked harder than any group I've seen," Snyder said. "They didn't spend a lot of time on philosophical debates. They know they're suffering." On the seventh day, rage boiled up within Clinton. It was a stew of old pains and regrets, made all the more maddening because she thought she had dealt with them long ago. She cursed. She cried. She knew she'd have to quit. And then the anger passed. Like an itch. Clinton hopes to keep meditating on the outside. She hopes to get a high school equivalency diploma. She'll settle for avoiding behavior of the sort that put her away most recently: stabbing a woman with a screwdriver and a knife. "Now I know I don't have to get that mad," Clinton said. "I know there's a way I can come out of that anger." Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp.Net Presents - The Hemp Calendar (URL For Activist Event Listings Maintained By Washington State Cannabis-Law Reformers) Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 15:59:58 -0700 (PDT) From: Ben
Reply-To: Ben To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Hemp.Net Presents: The Hemp Calendar Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org April 8, 1998 HEMP.NET PRESENTS: THE HEMP CALENDAR In an effort to make event information more accessible to the plethora of dedicated online activists, drug policy reform supporters, legislators, DEA agents, non-active potheads and those NSA agents who are tapping your line and decyphering your encrypted IP packets, Hemp.Net proudly presents The Hemp Calendar, an online listing of activist events. The Hemp Calendar is a free service that provides a one page listing for your event, complete with title, date, time, location, description, contact information and links to your contact email and/or web page. Are you a technophobe without the slightest clue about HTML? Just fill out our addition form and a page will be generated for your event. If you didn't have a web page, you will now. If you did have a web page, it will have a link to it. The Hemp Calendar can be found at http://www.hemp.net/calendar/. Please help the drug policy reform community by adding your event and passing this information on to friends, associates and interested parties. Any questions, comments or random mumblings should be directed to Ben Livingston (email@example.com). A few thanks go out to the workhorses at the November Coalition, the techno-savvy email newshawks at the Media Awareness Project, all of our awesome activists in Washington who put aside differences to fight for a common cause, everyone's hero Ralph Seeley, and all of the activists throughout the world who are doing something, no matter how simple or complex, to end the drug war.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Arrest Warrant Issued For Hornets Guard Vernon Maxwell ('Associated Press' Notes A Texas Court Has Issued A Warrant For Basketball Player Vernon Maxwell After The US Supreme Court Refused To Hear His Appeal Of A Sentence For A 1995 Marijuana Possession Conviction) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Arrest warrant issued for Hornets guard Vernon Maxwell Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 15:57:20 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 ARREST WARRANT ISSUED FOR HORNETS GUARD VERNON MAXWELL HOUSTON (AP) -- Charlotte Hornets guard Vernon Maxwell faces an arrest warrant, following the rejection of the former Houston Rockets star's appeal of a 1995 marijuana possession conviction. County Court-at-Law Judge Don Jackson issued the warrant Tuesday in response to a request by the Harris County district attorney's office. "They urged me to issue the warrant and showed me where the appeals in the case had been finished," Jackson said. Jackson said he has not yet received a formal notice that Maxwell's appeal of his sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court had failed, but prosecutors had. The Supreme Court refused in late February to hear Maxwell's appeal, which was based on ineffective assistance of counsel. If Maxwell doesn't surrender in Charlotte or Houston, the Harris County sheriff's department will ask authorities in North Carolina to arrest the player. A deputy would then be sent to bring him back to Texas. Maxwell's attorney, State Rep. Ron Wilson, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday, the Houston Chronicle reported today.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Votes To Approve $600,000 To Combat Use Of Meth In Iowa ('Des Moines Register' Says The Iowa House Of Representatives Voted Tuesday To Spend Some $350,000 Next Year On Programs To Educate The Public, Especially Schoolchildren, And $236,000 For The Iowa Department Of Public Safety To Make Undercover Drug Buys And Reward Informants) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 21:38:05 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US IA: House Votes to Approve $600,000 to Combat Use of Meth in Iowa Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen"
Source: Des Moines Register Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 Author: Jonathan Roos - Register Staff Writer; Jonathan Roos can be reached at (515) 284-8443 or email@example.com. HOUSE VOTES TO APPROVE $600,000 TO COMBAT USE OF METH IN IOWA The Iowa House voted Tuesday to spend nearly $600,000 on new efforts to combat methamphetamine. Some $350,000 would be spent in the next budget year on programs to educate the public, especially schoolchildren, about the dangers of the highly addictive drug. An additional $236,000 would be allocated to the Iowa Department of Public Safety for undercover drug buys and for a proposed reward fund for informants. The anti-meth provisions were inserted in a health and human rights budget bill, which the House approved on an 88-7 vote and returned to the Senate for more debate. A separate bill moving through the Legislature provides for stiffer penalties for repeat offenders of drug possession laws, enforcement of mandatory minimum sentences for meth dealers and new law enforcement tools to nab drug-using motorists. State lawmakers this session have reacted with alarm to the explosive growth of meth use in Iowa and heavy trafficking in the drug. Both Republicans and Democrats have offered anti-meth plans. In the House, Democrats contend the plan endorsed by the Republican majority doesn't go far enough. One complaint is that it contains no additional money for drug-abuse treatment. Without treatment, "the problem will go on. It will continue to ruin our families," said Rep. Michael Moreland, D-Ottumwa. Republicans counter that tens of millions of dollars already are being spent on treatment programs in Iowa. The House, in an amendment to the bill debated Thursday, called for an inter-agency study of the effectiveness of such programs. Some Democrats also criticized a proposed "Meth Stoppers" reward fund. An informant could receive a $1,000 reward for a tip leading to conviction of a dealer or a successful meth lab bust. "This smacks a little of vigilante efforts," said Rep. Richard Myers, D-Iowa City. "It could turn people into amateur police officers." Backers of the proposal said it is no different from other crime hot lines and reward programs for tipsters. Both the House and Senate versions of the health and human rights budget bill would shift more than $1 million from the state's gambling treatment fund to other programs, including the anti-meth initiatives approved Tuesday. Some lawmakers complain that too much of the money flowing into the gamblers' treatment program is being spent on television advertising. They want to cap the program's income from lottery and gambling tax revenue. The House voted in favor of a one-year cap set at $1.9 million.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Witness - Attorney Said Cops Would Drop Charges For $50,000 ('Associated Press' Article In 'Boston Globe' Says Boston Lawyer Joseph P. Murphy Went On Trial In US District Court Wednesday, Charged With Buying Off Police For His Clients Charged With Illegal Drug And Other Offenses - Two Boston Police Officers Have Already Admitted Pocketing More Than $200,000 From Murphy's Clients) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 21:48:09 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US MA: Witness: Attorney Said Cops Would Drop Charges for $50,000 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans"
Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Thu, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Sharon L. Lynch, Associated Press WITNESS: ATTORNEY SAID COPS WOULD DROP CHARGES FOR $50,000 BOSTON (AP) - Boston cops will get your loved ones out of jail for $50,000. That was the message attorney Joseph P. Murphy delivered to his client's girlfriend on behalf of two Boston police detectives, the woman told jurors at Murphy's federal trial in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. The offer allegedly came after the 1992 cocaine-trafficking arrest of Bruno Machore and Saturnino Garcia in the city's Jamaica Plain section. Olga Taveras, who is Machore's girlfriend and Garcia's sister, met with Murphy -- who was representing Machore -- while the two men were being held in jail, she testified. "The policemen wanted a deal with my brother and Bruno," Taveras said Murphy told her. "If they gave them $50,000, (police) were not going to submit charges." Murphy told Taveras that two of the Boston detectives working Machore's case had offered to fail to show up at court hearings in exchange for money, Taveras testified. She said she was told that after 90 days, the men could be released without bail and later have the charges dropped if the detectives failed to appear. The two detectives in question, Walter F. Robinson Jr. and Kenneth Acerra, already have admitted pocketing more than $200,000 from drug dealers and other criminals. Each has agreed to serve three years in prison. Now Murphy faces charges of extortion, conspiracy and attempted extortion for acting as a go-between in the detectives' alleged offer to his client. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in prison. Detective John Brazil, who worked with Robinson and Acerra and is testifying under immunity, told jurors the senior detectives taught him to make up details when trying to obtain search warrants. Brazil also said he found $8,000 in cash during the May 29, 1992, raid of Machore's apartment and turned it over to Robinson. Prosecutors, however, presented evidence that the money never turned up in the police department's Financial Evidence Office. Defense attorney Peter Parker on Wednesday suggested Taveras, an illegal immigrant from the Dominican Republic, may have slanted her testimony against Murphy because prosecutors have agreed to recommend that the Immigration and Naturalization Service allow her to stay in the United States. Taveras, who has lived in Boston for more than a decade and works as a housekeeper and baby sitter, admitted she was previously denied legal residence here.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Extortion Trial Witness Tells Of Police Abuses ('Boston Globe' Version) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 23:59:02 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US MA: Extortion Trial Witness Tells of Police Abuses Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans"
Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Patricia Nealon EXTORTION TRIAL WITNESS TELLS OF POLICE ABUSES A Boston police detective yesterday became the first officer to testify publicly about the shady practices he learned from two former colleagues who have admitted stealing more than $200,000 from drug dealers and other criminals in an on-the-job crime spree. Since Walter F. Robinson Jr. and Kenneth Acerra have pleaded guilty to avoid trial, the testimony of Detective John Brazil offers the first glimpse into the crooked world of phony search warrants and stolen drug money perfected by his two mentors on the night shift. Brazil was the lead government witness against attorney Joseph P. Murphy of Milton, who is on trial in US District Court for allegedly engaging in an extortion scheme with Robinson and Acerra. Authorities say Murphy twice told defendants that drug charges could be dropped or they could get out of jail before trial if they made payoffs to the two detectives. Brazil, currently on administrative leave from the Boston Police Department, has been granted immunity in exchange for his testimony. Last month, Robinson and Acerra each pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy, civil rights violations and tax fraud shortly before they were to stand trial. They did not plead guilty to the extortion charges involving Murphy. Under a plea agreement, the two detectives will serve three years in prison and repay as much as $100,000 if US District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock accepts the deal at their sentencing May 21. Under the terms of the agreement, the extortion charges against them involving Murphy will be dismissed. The federal investigation that prompted their indictment was sparked by a Globe Spotlight Team report in February 1996. On the witness stand yesterday, Brazil, 51, described how he met Robinson and Acerra in the fall of 1991 while working at the Area E station, which covers Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury. ''I wanted to learn how to do search warrants,'' Brazil testified. So his supervisor, Sergeant Leonard W. Marquardt, put him in touch with Robinson and Acerra, who were known for being ''efficient'' at preparing search warrants, Brazil said. That efficiency, Brazil testified, was grounded in a system of lying on search warrant applications - using made-up informants and nonexistent surveillance. Soon, Brazil was filling out search warrant applications and affidavits for Robinson and Acerra using the tricks of the trade they'd taught him. If he needed informants' names to boost the credibility of an application, he was told, ''Just put down the last person that you arrested,'' Brazil testified. He did just that on a May 6, 1992, application that is central to the case against Murphy. That warrant was used to raid a Jamaica Plain apartment as well as a taxi owned by Bruno Machore, a suspected drug dealer who will be a key prosecution witness against Murphy. According to court documents filed after the raid and admitted as evidence yesterday, Robinson, Acerra and Brazil found four bags of cocaine and drug paraphernalia in the apartment and $7,500 in cash in Machore's cab parked outside. The government alleges that Murphy told Machore that if he paid Robinson and Acerra $1,000 each, the case against him would be dismissed. That happened after neither detective showed up in court. Robinson later appeared before a judge and said that the money had been taken for safekeeping and was not part of the search. It was returned to Murphy, according to prosecutors. Three weeks after the Jamaica Plain search, Robinson, Acerra and Brazil raided two apartments on Edgemere Road in West Roxbury, where Machore was arrested again. Brazil testified that he broke open a strong box he'd found under the bed and discovered about $8,000 packaged in eight bundles. He testified that he gave the money to Robinson. But Robinson never mentioned the cash in an incident report, and didn't fill out a form used to keep track of seized money. And Acerra never listed the money - which prosecutors said could have been as much as $17,000 - in a document filed in West Roxbury District Court. Brazil testified that he overheard Robinson and Acerra talking about the money in the detective squad. Robinson said he knew Murphy, who was Machore's attorney; before becoming a defense lawyer, Murphy was an assistant clerk magistrate at West Roxbury District Court for 12 years. ''I'll talk to him,'' Robinson said, according to Brazil. ''We can work this out.'' In the summer of 1992, prosecutors say, Murphy visited one of Machore's co-defendants in prison four times and told him that for $50,000 - $25,000 each for Robinson and Acerra - they would be released from jail pending trial. Neither paid the money but both were released. Both are expected to testify. In a related development, a Boston attorney yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against Robinson, Brazil and the city of Boston, claiming that his client, Jose de La Rosa, was falsely charged with cocaine trafficking and robbed of $2,300 by Robinson and Brazil in September 1991. The 11-page complaint filed by attorney Howard Friedman claims that Robinson - after he and Brazil searched de La Rosa's apartment but found no drugs - produced a bag of cocaine at the police station and said it would be used as evidence against de La Rosa. The encounter took place, according to the complaint, after de La Rosa insisted he was not a drug dealer and could not ''set up'' a drug deal for Robinson, Acerra and Brazil. In October, after the cocaine trafficking charge against de La Rosa had been pending for six years, it was dismissed, the complaint says.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boxer Slams GOP On Judiciary Process ('San Diego Union Tribune' Says US Senator Barbara Boxer, Speaking Yesterday To The National Association Of Women Lawyers Meeting At San Diego's US Grant Hotel, That A Bloc Of Conservative Senators Have So 'Warped And Distorted' The Process By Which Judges Are Approved That The Federal Judiciary Is In A State Of Crisis - Republican Opposition To 'Judicial Activists' Is Not An Attempt To Weed Out Liberals So Much As To Weed Out Independent Jurists) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Boxer slams GOP on judiciary process Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 16:44:46 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Gerry Braun STAFF WRITER BOXER SLAMS GOP ON JUDICIARY PROCESS Conservatives blamed for judgeship delays U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer yesterday said a bloc of conservative senators have so "warped and distorted" the process by which judges are approved that the federal judiciary is in a state of crisis. The Democratic senator said many qualified nominees have been scared off by the Republicans' tactics and withdrawn their names from consideration, while others have seen their nominations languish for years without reaching the Senate floor for a vote. "They're being held up by the three I's -- intimidation, innuendo and ideology -- and we cannot allow that to dominate," Boxer told the National Association of Women Lawyers meeting at San Diego's U.S. Grant Hotel. "We have a crisis when we have 90 openings and we're moving one judge a week, maybe." The notion of a federal judiciary in crisis has been taken up by others before Boxer, including William Rehnquist, the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both have contended the lack of new judges endangers the system's integrity. However, Boxer has first-hand experience combating conservatives over judicial appointments. In 1993, she recommended Superior Court Judge Judith McConnell of San Diego to the federal bench, only to have McConnell withdraw her name from consideration after Republicans launched a campaign against her and other Clinton nominees. Republicans focused on a 1987 case in which McConnell awarded custody of a 16-year-old boy to his deceased father's gay partner instead of the boy's mother. Other nominees that Boxer has recommended to the White House have come before the Senate only after long delays. More recently, Boxer was peppered with radio commercials in which Republican challenger Darrell Issa claimed "some of Barbara Boxer's choices for federal judge were so liberal even President Clinton rejected them." Boxer, however, said Republican opposition to "judicial activists" is not an attempt to weed out liberals so much as to weed out independent jurists. "Who is a 'judicial activist' anyway?" Boxer asked. "I think it's anyone with a pulse and heartbeat. Are you supposed to be someone who's never done anything in your life? Are you supposed to be someone who's never had an opinion in your life? It's a frightening prospect. "They oppose people for having a thought in their heads. They have warped and distorted the nomination process." Boxer said she has sought to nominate as many women as men to the bench, and "worked very hard to make the American judiciary look more like America." She said the screening process she has created to review potential nominees assesses them solely on their qualifications. "I haven't known one of the people I recommended to President Clinton," she said. "They have all made it on their own." Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prescription Drugs - Danger Within the Cure (Op-Ed In 'Los Angeles Times' By Thomas J. Moore Of George Washington University Medical Center, Author Of 'Prescription For Disaster - The Hidden Dangers In Your Medicine Cabinet,' Says It Is Estimated More Than 100,000 Americans Die Every Year From FDA-Approved Prescription Drugs, And Another One Million Are So Severely Injured They Require Hospitalization, Yet Just 54 Federal Employees With A Budget Of About $7 Million Are Responsible For Monitoring The Safety Of 5,000 Prescription And Over-The-Counter Drugs On The Market) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 23:47:32 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Prescription Drugs: Danger Within the Cure Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Thomas J.Moore - a senior fellow in health policy at the George Washington University Medical Center, is the author of "Prescription for Disaster: The Hidden Dangers in Your Medicine Cabinet." PRESCRIPTION DRUGS: DANGER WITHIN THE CURE Imagine a war on crime in which nobody knew how many murders occurred, or a Federal Aviation Administration that was unaware of how many airplanes had crashed. Suppose we were so casual about fatal automobile accidents that it was not necessary to report one. This is how we monitor the risks of prescription drugs, though they account for more deaths each year than all murders, auto accidents and airplane crashes combined. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people die every year from the adverse effects of prescription drugs, and 1 million are injured so severely they require hospitalization. Many of these deaths and serious injuries could be prevented with better programs and policies to limit the dangers involved. Many people take pills confident the Food and Drug Administration has ensured that only safe drugs reach consumers. While the FDA has a generally competent and dedicated staff, this is not what happens. The FDA's job is to make sure each new drug is tested thoroughly enough to identify its risks, and provide substantial evidence that it has medical benefits. This means approved drugs usually have their benefits celebrated in the growing flood of direct-to-consumer advertising. But they also have major risks that are inadequately monitored, often ignored by doctors and seldom understood by consumers. The leading painkillers frequently cause perforated ulcers, requiring emergency surgery and resulting in 70,000 hospitalizations a year. Digoxin, a best-selling heart drug, caused more than 200,000 hospitalizations over a seven-year period. Even the awesome power of antibiotics carries risks that must be managed. They can create conditions in which intractable intestinal infections flourish or trigger a life-threatening allergic reaction. Millions more are afflicted with moderate side effects, including rashes, insomnia, nausea, hair loss, depression and sexual dysfunction. Drugs are inherently risky, and from the FDA to the consumer's medicine cabinet, were doing a poor job minimizing those dangers. The problem begins at the FDA, and the priorities imposed by limited budget and congressional mandates. For years, the chief complaint was that the FDA was too slow to approve new drugs. When given additional funds collected from drug companies, the FDA responded impressively. With a 40% increase in the drug-review staff since 1993, the FDA now approves new drugs as fast or faster than in Europe. Unfortunately, the narrow focus on new drugs has made worse the already inadequate safety monitoring of drugs being taken by millions of consumers. The FDA has more than 1,500 full-time employees with duties mainly related to evaluating new drugs. However, a fulltime staff of just 54 is responsible for monitoring the safety of the 5,000 prescription and over-the -counter drugs already on the market. There are more full-time federal employees in the U.S. Naval Academy laundry (a total of 107), than assigned to monitor the risks of drugs taken by millions of consumers. To detect drug-related injuries and deaths, the FDA relies mainly on a voluntary system so widely ignored by health professionals that 99% of all adverse effects are never reported. As a result, the FDA cannot say whether deaths and serious injuries from drugs are increasing or reliably identify which drugs require greater vigilance in their use. As the diet-drug debacle with fenphen proved, without better monitoring, people may continue to be harmed for decades before the danger is identified. We have even more serious problems in the doctor's office than at the FDA. The medical journals are filled with research that documents in horrifying detail an err0r-plagued system. For example, studies show that one of five elderly are prescribed at least one drug that is inappropriate or dangerous in an older population. Another revealed that 21% of all prescriptions for antibiotics were inappropriately given to combat the common cold, a virus against which these drugs are risky and ineffective. Government surveys show that more than two of three doctors fail to tell patients anything about the risks of the drug they just prescribed, despite a legal and ethical obligation to do so. Of equal concern are the alarming number of simple medication errors in hospitals, pharmacies and doctors' offices. Common mistakes include confusing the drug name, getting the dose wrong or ignoring the results of a diagnostic test or a plainly documented drug allergy. Reported deaths from medication errors, now more than 7,000 a year, have nearly tripled in a decade's time. Yet, many fatal medication blunders undoubtedly are never reported on death certificates. While the nation's hospitals are now paying more attention to the drug-safety breakdown, the doctor's office remains dangerously error prone. Without new tools and a better system, even the most conscientious of doctors is likely to make an unacceptable number of errors. In such a poorly managed, inherently dangerous system, consumers must pay far more attention to risks and benefits of the drugs they take. Can thay recognize the adverse effects of the drugs they're taking, especially the subtle ones like fatigue or mild depression? Is this one of the drugs where a small overdose is dangerous? Do consumers know when they take one of the many drugs with alarming withdrawal effects if discontinued suddenly? These are just a few of the many questions that must be answered to use drugs wisely. While individuals can do much to reduce their risks, an effective solution requires action by a concerned nation the usually does not neglect important safety issues. For example, we spend $3 billion annually to install air bags in new automobiles, hoping to save about 300 lives a year. Responding to the fatal crash of a TWA airliner near New York, in which terrorism was not involved, the federal government launched a massive counter-terrorism effort with 200 new employees at the FAA and another 1,300 at the FBI. Yet, with 1 million severely harmed each year by prescription drugs, the FDA monitoring program has a budget of about $7 million. You don't have to an expert to grasp how many lives we could save, and injuries we might prevent, with even a modest investment in drug safety.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Exporting Disease ('Washington Post' Staff Editorial In 'International Herald-Tribune' Says The United States Congress Should Limit Tobacco Companies' 'Predatory' Behavior Overseas, Because A Recent Study By The World Health Organization And The World Bank Estimated That Diseases Caused By Smoking Would Increase Worldwide From 2.6 Percent In 1990 To 9 Percent By 2020) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 00:06:06 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Exporting Disease Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.iht.com/ Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Author: Washington Post Editorial Board EXPORTING DISEASE As communism fell in Eastern Europe, the Marlboro Man rode into town. U.S. cigarette makers were in the vanguard, exporting their lethal products as symbols of Western glamour and free-market prosperity. In the former Soviet Union, the three big multinational tobacco firms became, along with energy companies, the biggest investors. When Western advertising began to provoke a nationalist backlash, a new brand appeared. "Peter the Great" cigarettes were designed - according to an inscription on each pack - for those who "believe in the revival of the traditions and grandeur of the Russian lands." They are made by, yes, the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The tobacco industry may be on the defensive in America, but it is unashamedly on the march overseas, trying any trick to lure old smokers to new brands in ex-Communist countries and to hook new smokers there as well as in the developing world. The big three - Reynolds, Philip Morris Inc. and British-American Tobacco Co. - want a settlement in large part so that legal challenges in their stagnant home market would not distract them from growth opportunities in the Third World. But an agreement that protects some American children from tobacco addiction at the expense of many more children in foreign countries would not be much of a victory. That is why it is important that any tobacco bill include some measures to limit tobacco's predatory behavior overseas. Senator John McCain's proposal - with support from Senators Ron Wyden, Dick Durbin and others - would prohibit the U.S. government from promoting the U.S. tobacco industry abroad. It also would step up U.S. efforts against cigarette smuggling and assist other nations in their anti-smoking efforts, with funding coming from a two cents-a-pack "fee" on overseas sales of U.S. cigarettes. Perhaps most important, it would seek to impose the same restrictions against selling or marketing to children overseas as would apply in America. Some of these provisions are modeled on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a precedent for U.S. regulation of companies' overseas behavior. But it is not clear whether they could apply to foreign subsidiaries, and even in their present forrn they are under attack from some senators and the tobacco industry. The administration should work with Congress in passing the strongest legally defensible provisions possible. President Bill Clinton also should provide more leadership of an international coalition against smoking. Tobacco accounted for 2.6 percent of the worldwide burden of disease in 1990, according to a recent study by the World Health Organization and the World Bank. By 2020, that figure will grow to 9 percent - more than malnutrition, HIV or any single disease. U.S. firms bear considerable responsibility for that sad statistic.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Raps US Over Elusive Drug Barons ('Chicago Tribune' Notes US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey Was Embarrassed Yesterday When Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo Criticized US Law-Enforcement Officials For Failing To Capture The Leaders Of One Of Mexico's Most Powerful Drug Cartels, The Tijuana Organization Headed By The Arellano-Felix Brothers) From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "Talk" Subject: HT: Mexico raps U.S. over drug barons Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 18:49:42 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Mexico raps U.S. over elusive drug barons by Paul de la Garza Chicago Tribune MEXICO CITY - With U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey sitting at his side, Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo yesterday criticized U.S. law-enforcement officials for failing to capture the leaders of one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels. Veering from diplomatic protocol, Madrazo lashed out at the United States during a packed news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Relations after two days of talks between anti-drug officials from both countries. During his visit, which ended yesterday, McCaffrey and Mexican officials worked on establishing practical ways to measure each other's success in the drug war. Appearing agitated, Madrazo said Mexico had evidence that the leaders of the Tijuana cartel, the Arellano-Felix brothers, had spent time between 1993 and 1994 in Las Vegas, San Diego and Colorado. "We are not satisfied with the efforts of the United States, just as the United States is not satisfied with us, because the Arellano-Felix brothers are still at large," he said. McCaffrey, who joined Madrazo and Foreign Minister Rosario Green at the news conference, said the reason drug barons could travel between the two countries is the sheer size of the border. He said 250 million people crossed the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border last year. "This is the largest open border on Earth," McCaffey said. Madrazo's criticism was startling because McCaffrey is one of Mexico's biggest cheerleaders when it comes to the drug war. Madrazo's rebuke indicated the frustration Mexico - and other nations - feel about the annual U.S. certification process, in which the U.S. president certifies whether a country has done its share in the drug war. President Ernesto Zedillo has even suggested that certification is a threat to the sovereignty of Mexico. Some officials consider certification hypocritical, in light of the fact that Americans are among the biggest consumers of illegal drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tired Of Criticism, Mexico Says US Hardly A Hero In Drug War (Different, Lengthier Version Of Same Story From 'Chicago Tribune') Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 19:28:21 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US IL: Tired Of Criticism, Mexico Says US Hardly A Hero In Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World" Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune Contact: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/interact/letters/letted.htm Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com Author: Paul de la Garza Tribune Foreign Correspondent TIRED OF CRITICISM, MEXICO SAYS U.S. HARDLY A HERO IN DRUG WAR MEXICO CITY With U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey sitting nearby, Mexican Atty. Gen. Jorge Madrazo on Tuesday criticized American law-enforcement officials for failing to capture the leaders of one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels. Veering from diplomatic protocol, Madrazo lashed out at the U.S. during a packed news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Relations after two days of talks between anti-drug officials from each country. During his visit, which ended Tuesday, McCaffrey and Mexican officials worked on establishing ways to measure each other's success in the drug war. Appearing agitated, Madrazo said Mexico had evidence that the leaders of the Tijuana cartel, the Arellano-Felix brothers, had spent time between 1993 and 1994 in Las Vegas, San Diego and Colorado. "We are not satisfied with the efforts of the United States, just as the United States is not satisfied with us, because the Arellano-Felix brothers are still at large," he said. McCaffrey, who joined Madrazo and Foreign Minister Rosario Green at the news conference, said the reason drug barons could travel freely between the countries is the size of the border. He noted that 250 million people crossed the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border last year. "This is the largest open border on Earth," he said. Madrazo's criticism was startling because McCaffrey is one of Mexico's biggest cheerleaders when it comes to the drug war. Last year, he had to backpedal after praising Gen. Gutierrez Rebollo, then the Mexican drug czar, whom he had characterized as a man of integrity. Not long after taking office, Rebollo was arrested on charges of protecting drug barons in exchange for bribes. He has been convicted and sentenced to prison. Madrazo's rebuke indicated the frustration Mexico and other nations feel about the annual U.S. certification process, in which the American president certifies whether a country has done its share in the drug war. President Ernesto Zedillo has suggested that certification is a threat to the sovereignty of Mexico. Some officials consider certification hypocritical, in light of the fact that Americans are among the biggest consumers of illegal drugs. In February, to the chagrin of members of Congress who criticize Mexico as a "narco-state," President Clinton certified Mexico as an ally in the war on drugs. Recently, the leaders of several Latin American countries have talked about subjecting the U.S. to a certification process based on guidelines set by the international community. At a breakfast with reporters before the news conference, McCaffrey said he would welcome it. "Sure, why not?" he said, adding he would be willing to share the successes of U.S. anti-drug efforts with other countries. He added that the U.S. and Mexico "should not beat each other up" when it comes to the drug war but establish "effective cooperation." Although Americans consume about 240 metric tons of cocaine annually, and about 13 metric tons of heroin, McCaffrey noted that drug use was beginning to spread in Mexico.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Anti-Drug Leaders Slap US ('San Diego Union Tribune' Version) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 23:38:04 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexican Anti-Drug Leaders Slap U.S. Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 MEXICAN ANTI-DRUG LEADERS SLAP U.S. Cite failure to nab visiting traffickers MEXICO CITY -- Top Mexican anti-drug officials turned the tables on their visiting U.S. counterparts yesterday by criticizing their failure to capture Mexican cocaine traffickers they say regularly visit the United States. White House drug policy director Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who bent over backward to praise Mexico's progress in the drug fight during a three-day visit that ended yesterday, instead got an earful from Attorney General Jorge Madrazo. "We are not very satisfied with the effort the United States has carried out, just as they are not satisfied with our efforts," Madrazo told a news conference. Mexico's most wanted drug traffickers, the Tijuana-based Arellano Filix brothers, visited Las Vegas, Colorado and San Diego between 1993 and 1994, Madrazo said. Top members of the Arellanos' gang captured by Mexican authorities also said they spent time recently in San Diego, he added. McCaffrey declined to comment on the claims and said it would be best if U.S. law enforcement officials took up the issue instead. A CNN camera and sound crew who attended the news conference was robbed at gunpoint in the Foreign Ministry parking lot after leaving the event, CNN employees said. Taken from the two-man crew were a van, sound and video equipment and a cell phone, whose total value was more than $50,000. Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New US Rules In Measuring Mexico's Anti-Drug Efforts ('San Jose Mercury News' Quotes US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey, After A Meeting With Top Mexican Officials, Saying The United States Would Begin Using 'Concrete Measurements' To Evaluate Mexico's Status As An Ally In The United States' War On Some Drugs, Which 'Over Time Will Make Irrelevant The US Process Of Certification) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:07:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: New U.S. Rules in Measuring Mexico's Anti-Drug Efforts 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: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 NEW U.S. RULES IN MEASURING MEXICO'S ANTI-DRUG EFFORTS Mexico City (AP) -- Moving to ease a sore point in U.S.-Mexican ties, President Clinton's top drug adviser Tuesday announced a new way to evaluate Mexico's anti-drug efforts. After a meeting with top Mexican officials, Barry McCaffrey said the change would apply "concrete measurements" to the anti-drug efforts of both the United States and Mexico in areas such as drug seizures and arrests. The new evaluation system would apparently help equalize the roles of Mexico and the United States in the fight against drugs because both will be obliged to report on progress. It is hoped the procedure will reduce the political battles that have occurred in the U.S. Congress during the certification process, which has been roundly criticized by Mexico and several other Latin American nations. "We do believe, many of us, that the evidence (of the measurement program) . . . over time will make irrelevant the U.S. process of certification," said McCaffrey, who was in Mexico to coordinate anti-drug strategy. The U.S. government currently certifies every six months whether key nations are cooperating in the fight against drugs. Those not certified face economic and other sanctions. The process infuriates officials in Mexico and other countries, who charge that the United States creates most of the drug problem with its vast market for illegal narcotics. While U.S. politicians have long called on Mexican authorities to do more to catch drug traffickers, the tables turned Tuesday when Mexico's attorney general said U.S. police could be doing more to capture the Arellano Felix brothers, who head a Tijuana-based cocaine cartel presumed to be Mexico's largest. Attorney General Jorge Madrazo said at a press conference at the end of the two-day meeting that the brothers are probably hiding in San Diego. "We are perhaps not very satisfied with the United States' efforts, or they are not very satisfied with our efforts, because at this time we do not physically have the three Arellano Felix brothers in prison," Madrazo said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Standards Set For Mexico's Anti-Drug Effort (Different 'Associated Press' Version In 'Orange County Register') Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 23:52:06 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: New Standards Set For Mexico's Anti-Drug effort Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Author: Mark Stevenson - Associated Press NEW STANDARDS SET FOR MEXICO'S ANTI-DRUG EFFORT The 'concrete measurements' are designed to mollify Latin nations that complained of U.S. political posturing. Mexico City - Moving to ease a sore point in U.S.-Mexican relations, President Clinton's top drug adviser Tuesday announced a new way to evaluate Mexico's anti-drug effort - a method aimed at making the nations equal partners in the drug war. After meeting with top Mexican officials, Gen. Barry McCaffrey said "concrete measurements" would be used to evaluate the anti-drug seizures and arrests. The procedure is supposed to reduce the political posturing in the congressional certification process, which has been roundly criticized by Mexico and several other Latin nations. "We do believe, is supposed to reduce the political posturing in the congressional certification process, which has been roundly criticized by Mexico and several other Latin nations. "We do believe, many of us, that the evidence (of the measurement program)...over time will make irrelevant the I.S. process of certification," said McCaffrey, who was in Mexico to coordinate anti-drug strategy. The U.S. government currently certifies every six months whether key nations are cooperating in the fight against drugs. Those not certified face economic and other sanctions. The process infuriates officials in Mexico and other countries, who charge that the United States creates most of the drug problem because of its vast market for illegal narcotics. The new evaluation system would make Mexico and the United States more equal partners in the fight against drugs because both sides will be obliged to report on progress. While U.S. politicians have long called on Mexican authorities to do more to catch drug traffickers, the tables were turned Tuesday when Mexico's attorney general said U.S. police should be doing more to capture the Arellano Felix brothers, who head a Tijuana-based cocaine cartel believed to be Mexico's largest. Attorney General Jorge Madrazo said at the news conference that concluded the two-day meeting that the brothers probably are hiding in San Diego. "We are perhaps not very satisfied with the United States' efforts, or they are not very satisfied with our efforts, because at this time we do not physically have the three Arellano Felix brothers in prison," Madrazo said. Benjamin, Ramon and Francisco Arellano Felix are believed to be the biggest suppliers of cocaine to the United States. Mexico has offered a $1 million reward for each. Ramon Arellano Felix is on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List, and federal authorities have offered a $2 million reward for information leading to his arrest. McCaffrey referred questions on the druglords' whereabouts to U.S. law-enforcement agencies such as the DEA and FBI. Madrazo also denied that U.S. drug agents had received tacit authorization to carry guns in Mexico. That was a sensitive issue before Clinton's visit to Mexico in May 1997, when both nations said they had taken unspecified steps to protect such agents. That announcement was widely interpreted at the time as implying that the DEA agents were given unstated approval to carry weapons on Mexican soil, an interpretation Madrazo denied Tuesday. "The means of protecting those agents is not by giving them arms," Madrazo said. U.S. officials are concerned that their agents could meet a fate like that of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who was kidnapped Feb. 7, 1985, in Guadalajara, Mexico, and taken to a druglord's home where he was tortured and killed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War Against Drugs, Relations With Mexico And Life In US (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Examiner' Says The Newspaper Is Correct To Say Mexico's Civil Disorder Is Caused By Demand For Drugs In America, But The Real Drug War Front Is Here At Home, As Shown By Mandatory Drug Testing, The Resulting Unemployment, And All Those New Prison Cells Being Built) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 23:39:56 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: War Against Drugs, Relations With Mexico and Life in U.S. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
and Jerry Sutliff Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 WAR AGAINST DRUGS, RELATIONS WITH MEXICO AND LIFE IN U.S. In your editorial ( "Patching an anti-drug alliance," April 3), you wrote of Sen. Dianne Feinstein's effort to deny Mexico certification as being fully cooperative with our government's attempt to stem the flow of illegal drugs. Should she take the time to investigate, she would learn, among other things, that the money paid in bribes to law enforcement officials is twice the entire budget of the Mexican attorney general's office. Those top officials who are in a position to be effective usually have to choose between being paid off or killed off. Mexico is helping all it can and paying a terrible price for trying. The destruction of civil order at the border is caused - you called it correctly - by the demand for drugs in the streets of America. Economic demand moves goods and services. How do we reduce demand? One way is to make drug users unemployable through mandatory drug testing. Another way is to jail as many drug users as possible. For whom are all those new prison cells being built? The drug war front is here at home. Its conduct requires us all to face the political question of how much personal and economic freedom we are willing to cede to the moral police in order to reduce demand for illegal drugs to near zero. And were the zero demand circumstance to eventuate, would you want to live here? Gerald M. Sutliff, Emeryville
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chief Allays McLellan's Pot Fears ('Edmonton Sun' Says Edmonton Police Chief John Lindsay Has Disavowed Alarmist Statements His Department Made To The Newspaper Last Week That Caught The Attention Of Federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan, Who Is Also A Member Of Parliament For Edmonton West) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Chief allays McLellan's pot fears Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 08:31:31 -0700 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Edmonton Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Author: BART JOHNSON -- Staff Writer CHIEF ALLAYS MCLELLAN'S POT FEARS Federal Justice Minister Anne McLellan's concern over pot farms in Edmonton appears to have been nipped in the bud by police Chief John Lindsay. McLellan, MP for Edmonton West, had a meeting with the chief yesterday and left satisfied the growth in hydroponic marijuana operations in the city is not out of control. "In Western Canada right now there is some increase in the number of cultivation operations and clearly that's something that the Edmonton police force and other police agencies are watching very carefully," she said. "But at this point, there does not appear to be any necessity for any change in the law." City police told reporters last week that Edmonton pot growers are producing such high-quality weed that it's now being exported south of the border and even into Mexico, itself a prolific pot exporter. "It's a big problem in the city and it's a big problem in the province," drug unit boss Staff Sgt. Nick Bok said at the time - although a police spokesman later downplayed the concern. News of Bok's comments reached McLellan in Ottawa, prompting her to set up a meeting with Lindsay to discuss her concerns during a trip home for Easter. "The chief and I discussed it this morning and clearly, where these operations exist, the police are working hard to identify them and deal with the people involved," McLellan said after the meeting yesterday. "But I didn't get a sense from the chief that Edmonton is out of line with other communities, and certainly not out of line with other western Canadian communities, in relation to this issue." Police spokesman Sgt. Bryan Boulanger confirmed yesterday that Lindsay and the justice minister met, but would not discuss details of their chat. "They discussed issues of mutual concern," Boulanger said. "But (the chief) didn't wish to make a comment with respect to their private conversation."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalized Drugs Would Help To Reduce Crime (Letter To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' Praises Columnist Rosie DiManno's Column, 'Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay') Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 11:25:01 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Dave Haans
Subject: PUB LstE: Toronto Star Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Source: Toronto Star Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Page: A21 Legalized Drugs would help to reduce crime I'm glad that Star columnist Rosie DiManno has taken up the cudgels to advocate what some of us have been suggesting for years -- that drugs be made available to all who want them (column, April 1). The rationale is not a moral one but rather one of common sense; anyone who wants drugs today can get them quite readily. It isn't the availability of the drugs that creates the problem, it's raising the cash to pay for them. To that end, the druggies will steal, injure and, if necessary, murder. They are going to get the drugs under any circumstances; it's just a question of who gets hurt in the process. Police sources have stated that 54 per cent of all crime is drug-related. How can we continue to ignore that fact? This isn't to say that there shouldn't be some strings attached, like registering at a pharmacy or any other common sense steps. But for heaven's sake, let us stop pouring money down an open sewer, call a spade a spade and make a realistic move toward cutting down on the criminal activities that hurt us all, when there is a simple, albeit unpopular, solution to the problem. William L. Tredrea Pickering
------------------------------------------------------------------- Let's Take Argument To Extremes (Another Letter To The Editor Of 'Toronto Star,' Responding To The Same Column, Willfully Ignores The Difference Between Real And Victimless Crimes - And Which Ones Taxpayers Can Afford To Prosecute) Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 11:14:08 -0400 From: Carey Ker
Subject: LTE: Let's take argument to extremes To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Star Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Page: Letters Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Start columnist Rosie DiManno says we are not winning the war on drugs by law enforcement (Waging war on drugs does not pay, April 1). She has the solution: decriminalize drugs. This has great possibilities. We are not winning the wars on theft and murder by law enforcement, either. Now we can eliminate those crimes by making it legal to take anything we want, or to kill anyone we don't like. Instantly there are no more thieves or murderers. While we are at it, we can stop the crime of running red lights by making all traffic lights permanently green, both ways. When we have eliminated all crime this way, we can fire our police forces. Think of the money we'll save. Alan Craig Brampton
------------------------------------------------------------------- Depression Also Has Strong Psychological Components (Another Letter To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' About Rosie DiManno's Column Alleges, Without Citing Any Real Evidence, That DiManno Was 'Wrong In Her Claim That New, Anti-Depressants Can Almost Immediately Accomplish What Therapy Could Not') Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 11:25:01 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: Dave Haans
Subject: PUB LstE: Toronto Star Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Source: Toronto Star Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com Page: A21 Depression also has strong psychological components Rosie DiManno is right in saying that it took us a "hundred years" to "realize that perhaps depression is physiological in nature for many people" (Column, April 1). But it took us a few decades longer to realize that it also has strong psychological components. Biology merely disposes one to it. She is wrong in her claim that "new, anti-depressants can almost immediately accomplish what therapy could not." Anti-depressant medications usually take several weeks to work, and in clinical trials, have success rates similar to those for verbal therapy. In fact, cognitive therapy seems to produce lower relapse rates than drug treatments. DiManno further suggests that we conduct research to find new drugs in order to cure those "predisposed to drug addiction." Research has shown little support for the existence of an "addictive personality," but even were we to accept that such a thing existed, is it really a good idea to preemptively put healthy people on drugs to stop them using drugs? Alex Gunz Etobicoke
------------------------------------------------------------------- Applause For Columnist, But Not For Her Cure (Letter To Editor Of 'Toronto Star' Praises Rosie DiManno's Conclusion That 'Waging War On Drugs Does Not Pay,' But Criticizes Her Wish For A Pill To 'Cure' Addiction) Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 11:06:03 -0400 From: Carey Ker
Subject: PUB: Waging war on drugs does not pay To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com) Source: Toronto Star Pubdate: April 8, 1998 Page: Letters Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com I applaud Rosie DiManno for having the guts to tell it like it is (Waging war on drugs does not pay, April 1). I agree that the War on Unpopular Drugs is unwinnible, unworkable, and that it's about time we change the course of our policy, preferably through decriminalization. I have fears, however, that her policy cure may be as bad or worse than the so-called disease. She suggests that we redirect our efforts towards finding a cure for addiction, perhaps in the form of a pill. This suggests that every single person who smokes pot, snorts cocaine and injects heroin is sick. It also suggests that all drug users desire to be cured. In the absence of criminal sanctions, would the state feel obliged to force recalcitrant drug users into treatment for their own good? Or would we simply provide drug users with whatever quantity of drugs they can afford to buy? It is a question left unanswered by DiManno. In that respect, I am inclined to agree with the views of the American psychologist Thomas Szasz, as expressed in his seminal work "Ceremonial Chemistry". We must recognize the modern drug war for what it is; a moral crusade to purify the soul of the country. Kelly T. Conlon Hamilton
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jail Unit With Half Inmates On Drugs ('The Scotsman' Says More Than Half The 50 Inmates At The Maximum Security National Induction Centre, A Separate Unit Within Shotts Prison Which Takes Only Prisoners Serving Eight Years Or Longer, Are Showing Positive For Drugs In Random Mandatory Tests - Other Scottish Prisons Aren't Much Better - Full Details Of Drug Test Failure Rates At All Jails Will Be Published Next Month By The Scottish Prison Service) Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 19:28:21 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Jail Unit With Half Inmates On Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 Source: The Scotsman Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com Author: Jenny Booth Home Affairs Correspondent JAIL UNIT WITH HALF INMATES ON DRUGS Shotts Induction Centre Tops Prison Abuse League DRUG barons, murderers and the most dangerous prisoners in Scotland are relaxing in their cells with heroin and other hard drugs. More than half the 50 inmates at the maximum security National Induction Centre, a separate unit within Shotts prison which only takes prisoners serving eight years or longer, are showing positive for drugs in random mandatory tests. The rate of positive tests is half as high again as other maximum security jails and more than twice as high as at Scotland's largest young offender institution, Polmont. NIC inmates are testing positive for opiates rather than for soft drugs such as cannabis, it is understood. The NIC governor, John Gerrie, confirmed: "It is true, we are over 50 per cent. "It is not entirely surprising, given that a large number of our prisoners have been involved in illicit drug activities and that they are all starting out on very long sentences. "Some of them are facing more than two decades in prison and won't even be considered for liberation until well into the next century. They're going through all kinds of adjustments, as they start to realise what this long sentence means to them and to their families." Mr Gerrie added: "We are not being complacent, far from it. "What we want to do is to introduce an addictions worker, to inform them about the harm they are doing to themselves with drugs and reinforce that is important to stay healthy." Drug-taking is rife in Scottish prisons, although most inmates only have access to minute quantities of drugs smuggled in by family and friends, much of which has been heavily "cut", or diluted with flea powder and other impurities. In Aberdeen's Craiginches jail, where a prison officer had his throat cut by a prisoner on Monday, Kitkat chocolate bars have been withdrawn from sale because inmates were using the silver paper to "chase the dragon", the slang term for smoking heroin. But the level of positive tests at the NIC is nearly twice as high as in other prisons. In Perth, a maximum security jail which takes some long-term prisoners, positive drug tests are understood to be 35 per cent. In Polmont young offenders institution, where all the prisoners are under 21, fewer than a quarter of inmates are testing positive. Full details of the drug test failure rate at all Scotland's jails are due to be published by the Scottish Prison Service next month. Long-term prisoners will spend an average nine months in the NIC at the start of their sentences, being assessed and analysed and put through various intensive courses, before they are sent on to Perth, Glenochil or Shotts main jail to serve the rest of their sentence. They include west coast drugs barons who have made a fortune from their illegal trade and international drugs smugglers. The normal penalties for being caught taking drugs have little meaning for them - docking up to two weeks prison pay, at UKP6.50 a week or adding a maximum of 14 days to a 20-year sentence. A prisons insider commented: "If your release date is April 2018, it is not going to make much difference to you now if you are getting out two weeks later. "People serving life sentences have no idea when they're going to get out and the idea their sentence is going to be extended by a very few days is really not the issue. "We tell them if they are not going to kick their drugs habit they are going to have a hard time in prison, as they put themselves at the mercy of the people who supply drugs." A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service said that there were now moves to introduce weekend drugs testing, to clamp down on the syndrome of prisoners getting high during the extra long hours they spend locked up on Saturdays and Sundays. Till now prisoners have only been drug tested during the week. Rumour has it that many inmates are switching to heroin at weekends, secure in the knowledge that it leaves no trace in the system after a couple of days. Cannabis lingers in the body for up to six weeks. The spokesman added: "A lot of the drugs problems at the NIC is the nature of the prison. "Mr Gerrie is dealing with virtually every high profile prisoner in Scotland. He has got some very, very difficult and unusual people in his jail. A lot of them are the major drug dealers." A report on the NIC by Scotland's prisons inspectorate is due out tomorrow.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis To Remain Off Limits ('Irish Independent' Says Proposals To Legalise The Use Of Cannabis Were Rejected Yesterday By Police In The Association Of Garda Sergeants And Inspectors Who Would Prefer Coerced Rehabilitation For Marijuana Addicts) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 09:13:57 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Ireland: Cannabis To Remain Off Limits Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 Source: Irish Independent Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.ie/ CANNABIS TO REMAIN OFF LIMITS Proposals To Legalise The Use Of Cannabis Were Rejected By Gardai Yesterday. Mid-ranking members of the force warned that decriminalisation would not take the major money out of drug importation and contribute positively to diminish the problem. General secretary of the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, George Maybury declared: "If you want to reform an alcoholic you hardly increase his access to a full range of alcohol." "Similarly, if you want to reform drug addicts, you do not allow free access to these mentally and physically destructive substances," he told the annual conference. Mr Maybury said cannabis was a gateway drug which led to the taking of more lethal drugs and damaged attention spans and motivation to achieve. The drugs menace presented a complex problem which required: * strict legal enforcement by gardai and customs in relation to the importation and sale of illicit substances * counselling and rehabilitation for addicts striving to kick the habit of drug taking and * a well resourced education of young people at an early age. Mr Maybury also emphasised the expanding role played by Europol in the fight against crime across Europe and said it would develop further as eastern European nations joined the EU. This would make the work of the force more complex and demanding than ever. He said his members were facing into an era of major change with the report of the SMI review group identifying rosters, performance development, civilianisation and information technology as key issues to be addressed in improving the efficiency of the force.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 41 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists, Including Original And Excellent Commentary Such As The Feature Article, 'Thoughts Inspired By A Visit To San Francisco,' By Kevin Zeese, President, Common Sense For Drug Policy) Date: Wed, 08 Apr 1998 13:14:15 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer
Subject: DrugSense Weekly April 8, 1998 #041 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly #041 April 8, 1998 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org/ *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: Feature Article- Thoughts Inspired by a Visit to San Francisco by Kevin Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy Weekly News In Review- Medical Marijuana- Felony Charges in Pot Case News Analysis: Medical Privacy at Issue in Pot Club Records Seizure Pot Candidate: High Hopes, High Visibility Medical Marijuana Enthusiast Hauled To Jail Cannabis- Study: Marijuana Is Addictive Corrections- O.C. Jail Crowding Leads U.S. Forfeiture- ACLU Challenges Oakland Over Car-Seizure Law Hemp- LTE - Response to March 11th article - Drug-Czar Blast Hemp-Crop Advocates International News- Crime Kings Meet To Carve Up Europe Canada - Stirring The Pot With New Marijuana Club Canada - Pot Trial of MS Sufferer on Hold UK - Young Scots a Generation of Criminals UK - Army Of Addicts Costs City 400M Pounds Each Year Hot Off The 'Net DrugSense Tip Of The Week *** FEATURE ARTICLE Thoughts Inspired by a Visit to San Francisco by Kevin Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy, email@example.com A visit to San Francisco is refreshing for a Beltway insider like myself. The day I arrived I heard this story: a medical marijuana patient goes into a bar. An older women was smoking a cigarette (illegal in Califoria bars since January 1). The patient asked the bartender if he minded if he smoked his medicine. The bartender said "no problem." As he lit the joint, the tobacco user said: "You're breaking the law." The marijuana user replied, "No, you are." The next day, a headline in the Examiner proclaimed: "Hallinan: Pot Will Be Available." The top law enforcement official was promising that if the federal government closed Cannabis Buyers' Clubs he would personally assure that marijuana would be distributed by city officials. When I discussed this with Hallinan, he said he considered safe access to medical marijuana to be critical to the health of the many ill San Franciscans who use it. When I discussed the issue with Dr. Mitchell Katz, director of the Health Department, he agreed Hallinan was on the right track. When I come to California I joke with my hostess, Marsha Rosenbaum of the Lindesmith Center, that there is so much drug news, reading The San Francisco Chronicle is often like reading High Times. The next day the Chronicle reported that four mayors (three from the Bay area the other from West Hollywood) urging President Clinton to stop the prosecution of the marijuana clubs. On the following day, the Chronicle editorialized in support of the mayors and district attorney and against more court battles over the humane use of marijuana. The Bay area is often portrayed as so out of touch with the rest of America, as to be irrelevant to national culture and politics. In reality, the Bay area has been in the forefront of change, whether on women's rights, gay rights, environmentalism, social justice, health care, or economic development, Bay area trends have become national policy more often than not. When I spoke at a rally for the Compassionate 9 -- the marijuana dispensary operators sued by the federal government -- I emphasized two points. First, this was a national issue. The federal government knows that if medical marijuana distribution succeeds in the Bay area many states will follow suit and the federal government will lose control. Secondly, I emphasized that moral authority is on the side of reformers, who are protecting health by allowing safe access - not criminal access, to medicine. Reformers are following the will of the voters, not attempting to veto their vote. The federal government and state attorney general are propping up failed drug prohibition in ways that make seriously ill people suffer needlessly. Prohibitionists are clearly the ones without moral authority. Inside the Beltway, Congress is moving to pass resolutions against medical marijuana, an idea supported by over 60% of the public in national polls (In San Francisco 80% voted for Proposition 215, 78% in Oakland). The Congressional Right is moving toward what they describe as a World War II style drug war as the linchpin of this congressional election year. This seems out-of-step with the public on drug issues. They keep pursuing the drug war path as more and more of the public recognizes the drug war cannot succeed. For the first time in my twenty years working in drug policy, drug warriors are less in tune with the public than reformers. The medical marijuana issue is only one example. The Moyers TV series, while imperfect, certainly made the point that policy makers are behind the voters when it comes to recognizing the drug war is failing and public health solutions are needed. Polls on medical marijuana, needle exchange, treatment availability, education vs. prison all show support for reform, but Congress, mired in the drug war past, continues to pursue the same old failed strategies. This fall will help tell us where we are. Will California Attorney General Dan Lungren, the most outspoken opponent of medical marijuana in the state, be elected governor? Will medical marijuana initiatives likely to be on the ballot in six states and the District of Columbia go in the direction of California or the resolutions of the Congress? Will referenda in Oregon and Arizona challenging drug war legislation on marijuana recriminalization in Oregon and overturning the 1996 Arizona initiative be successful? Sometimes in politics, a bread and butter winning issue suddenly becomes a political albatross and the politicians backing it become national jokes. Southern politicians of another era who automatically voted for Jim Crow laws and got re-elected by shouting nigger and standing in the way of integration quickly became political embarrassments. While a few David Dukes remain, they receive minimal support and are anathema to mainstream politicians. This November we'll be able to gauge public mood on the drug war as never before. Are elected officials out of step and supporting out-dated ideas?. If the votes go the way polls are suggesting, drug war politicians may be becoming political embarrassments, just like race baiting politicians. Are we about to take the first step in transforming the "Drug War" from national policy into political history? *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Medical Marijuana *** Felony Charges in Pot Case News Analysis: Medical Privacy at Issue in Pot Club Records Seizure Pot Candidate: High Hopes, High Visibility Medical Marijuana Enthusiast Hauled To Jail COMMENT: This improbable grouping of news articles speaks volumes about the impact of 215 in California and the savage response it has provoked from fascists at both the state and federal levels. Three proprietors of buyers' clubs have been charged with felonies; two are functionally out of business, but the third, lucky enough to live in San Francisco (See Feature Article) is not only in business, he's running for governor! In the most savage case of all, a chronically ill medical marijuana advocate and user has been deliberately (and probably illegally), sent back to jail by an inhuman federal judge who seems to have learned justice from Torquemada and compassion from Adolf Eichmann. FELONY CHARGES IN POT CASE Ukiah--Yvette Rubio, the woman arrested last fall for growing marijuana she said was for the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club, has been charged with felony counts of possession and cultivation of marijuana for sale. Rubio, 31, is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Northern Lake County Municipal Court. If convicted, she could be sentenced to three years in state prison. In September, authorities seized 51 plants from Rubio's property, which is on the western border of Lake County. [snip] Source: Santa Rosa Press Democrat Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Author: Andrew LaMar Press Democrat Bureau URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n243.a04.html *** NEWS ANALYSIS: MEDICAL PRIVACY AT ISSUE IN POT CLUB RECORDS SEIZURE Civil liberty groups, doctors denounce San Jose police raid It is one of an AIDS patient's worst nightmares: Medical records bearing the intimate details of illness are seized by police and pored over by strangers. Last week, (1) it happened in San Jose to some 270 patrons of the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, a club that provides marijuana to chronically ill patients under the rules established by Proposition 215. [snip] (1) (Note- The March 25 San Jose Mercury-News report of CBC operator Peter Baez's arrest on felony charges was commented on in last week's DS Weekly) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n239.a02.html *** 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. [snip] Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 Author: Maria L. La Ganga, Times Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n243.a02.html *** MEDICAL POT ACTIVIST RETURNED TO JAIL AFTER FAILING DRUG TESTS Los Angeles (AP) - Medicinal marijuana activist Todd McCormick was ordered back to jail Friday for violating bail by failing drug tests three times this month. "Your honor, putting me in jail will serve no one," McCormick said through tears to U.S. Magistrate Judge James McMahon. "There is not justice in this. I didn't use any illegal substances. I am not using marijuana." Judge Unmoved The judge appeared unmoved by McCormick's sobs, and even refused to allow McCormick to take his "special pillow" with him when marshals took him into custody. "I can't believe this," McCormick said, burying his face in his hands as his attorney put his arms around him. McCormick said the pillow, like marijuana, helps ease the pain of a rare cancer he has suffered since childhood. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 4 Apr 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n249.a09.html *** Marijuana *** Study: Marijuana Is Addictive COMMENT: This is a continuation of the bogus campaign orchestrated by Alan Leshner, the drug war's Josef Goebbels. It began with the July 1997 publication of rat brain research purchased by NIDA and shamefully over interpreted by Leshner- its purpose is to convince voters that marijuana is just as dangerous as heroin, at least to teens. U.S. STUDY: MARIJUANA IS ADDICTIVE WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Troubled teenagers who use marijuana can quickly become dependent on the drug, Colorado researchers reported Tuesday. 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. ``It also identifies the devastating impact marijuana dependence can have on young people and highlights the fact that many both need and want help dealing with their addiction,'' he added. [snip] Pubdate: Tuesday, March 31, 1998 Source: Reuters URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n234.a04.html *** Corrections *** O.C. Jail Crowding Leads U.S. COMMENT: Most stories about incarceration focus on conditions in the nation's prisons. This one illustrates that local jails, which house up to 1/3 of those in custody, are not in any better shape. O.C. JAIL CROWDING LEADS U.S. Jammed local lockups are forced to release thousands of inmates early. Hundreds are soon charged in new crimes. Orange County has the most overcrowded jails among the 25 largest county systems in the nation, resulting in the early release of criminals, who sometimes are quickly arrested again for new offenses. [snip] The five-jail system run by the Sheriff's Department is at 140 percent of its capacity, cramming a daily average of 5,368 inmates into what was designed to hold 3,821. That exceeds the packed conditions in jails in New York City and Los Angeles County, and significantly outstrips the next most overcrowded jail system, in Atlanta's Fulton County, which is at 133 percent of its capacity, figures from the U.S. Justice Department show. Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 28 Mar 1998 Author: David Parrish-OCR URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n232.a05.html *** Forfeiture *** ACLU Challenges Oakland Over Car-Seizure Law COMMENT: Oakland, in a creative extension of the forfeiture principle, is targeting both illegal drug customers and suburban johns. I guess a city stuck with the Warriors, Raiders, and As, has to find revenue wherever it can. ACLU CHALLENGES OAKLAND OVER CAR-SEIZURE LAW Ordinance lets police take autos of alleged drug buyers A pioneering Oakland city ordinance that allows police to seize alleged drug buyers' cars is wobbly if not flat-out baseless under California law, the American Civil Liberties Union said yesterday, citing an opinion by state lawyers. But the criticism was denounced with equal intensity by one of the city's legal advisers, who told police they can continue to enforce the law with confidence that there is no basis on which it could be overturned. [snip] In January, in the first test of ``Beat Feet,'' police arrested 14 drug buyers on East Oakland streets that have long served as a regional drive-through drug market. Police seized the suspects' vehicles -- a move sure to discourage others from coming to town to buy drugs, the law's backers believe. On Friday, a police sting on San Pablo Avenue netted 17 men on suspicion of soliciting acts of prostitution. Many of them commuters on their way home to the suburbs, these suspects, too, were deprived of their vehicles and subjected to the mortification of ``Beat Feet.'' [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Wed, 01 Apr 1998 Author: Rick DelVecchio, Chronicle Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n237.a05.html *** Hemp *** LTE: Response to March 11th Op-Ed; Drug-Czar Blast Hemp-Crop Advocates COMMENT: This LTE confirms the remarkable arrogance of US drug policy. Prior to the '96 vote on 215. McC was tweaked editorially for "exceeding his credentials" after he lectured on proper medical practice in the San Francisco Chronicle. This year, in Kentucky he's opposed to legalization of hemp, so he persuaded the Courier-Journal to provide a platform from which to air his non-existent expertise in agricultural economics. 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. [snip] 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/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n245.a01.html *** International News *** Crime Kings Meet To Carve Up Europe COMMENT: This may sound like a mixture of James Bond and Mario Puzo, but the fact that it appeared in the London Times and carries an endorsement from de Borchgrave gives it an aura of verisimilitude. Isn't it comforting that our drug laws help make it all possible? CRIME KINGS MEET TO CARVE UP EUROPE "Dividing Europe's spoils of crime" IN the ancient French town of Beaune, the strange mix of nationalities and expensive limousines escaped the notice of most residents, who were more interested in the price of wine at a nearby auction. Only now has the reason for an autumn gathering of Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Colombian "businessmen" at a hotel in the heart of Burgundy become apparent. According to newly disclosed French intelligence reports, representatives of the world's leading organised crime syndicates were holding a summit to discuss carving up western Europe for drugs, prostitution, smuggling and extortion rackets. [snip] Arnaud de Borchgrave, director of the global organised crime project at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, said: "We know organised crime groups have met to carve up the planet . . . There has been an astonishing growth in transnational groups. The legal economy has gone global and the crime economy has gone global as well." [snip] Source: Sunday Times (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 29 March 1998 Authors: Andrew Alderson and Carey Scott, Paris URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n249.a01.html *** Canada: Stirring The Pot With New Marijuana Club Pot Trial of MS Sufferer on Hold COMMENT: In Canada, where hemp production was recently approved, Terry won the right to use medicinal cannabis and the Constitutional challenge by Chris Clay was a partial victory, Lynn Harichy's personal campaign for medical marijuana is attracting increasingly favorable notice, as these two articles attest. The postponement of her trial until November is not seen as a setback. STIRRING THE POT WITH NEW MARIJUANA CLUB TORONTO (CP) - She knows firsthand the devastating effects of having her home raided by police searching for pot. That's why Lynn Harichy is willing to risk going through it again. She's started a medical marijuana club that begins distributing pot today, providing a service she hopes will stop anyone enduring what she did. [snip] Members are given a quarter ounce of organically grown marijuana a week or one ounce a month, said Harichy. She says she's met both Health Minister Allan Rock and Prime Minister Jean Chretien and she believes medical marijuana will soon be available. Derek Kent, a spokesman for Rock, declined comment on Harichy's club. [snip] Source: Canadian Press Pubdate: March 31, 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n234.a02.html *** POT TRIAL OF MS SUFFERER ON HOLD UNTIL RULING ON MEDICAL DEFENCE Mindful that a milestone marijuana-as-medicine case is working its way toward the Ontario Court of Appeal this fall, a judge has postponed the trial of London's Lynn Harichy. Harichy, 36, was to go on trial April 27 on a single charge of possessing marijuana, which she insists she needs to ease the spasms and pain of multiple sclerosis. [snip] Federal prosecutor Bill Buchner said the Crown agrees to the adjournment sought by the defence team. Harichy's four-day trial is now set for Nov. 17 to 19 and Nov. 23. [snip] Source: London Free Press (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Pubdate: Thu, 2 Apr 1998 Author: Don Murray -- Free Press Court Reporter URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n238.a02.html *** UK: Young Scots a Generation of Criminals UK: Army Of Addicts Costs City 400M Pounds Each Year COMMENT: There was an amazing display of tunnel vision in the March 31 Scotsman: one long article dealt with the staggering increase in youthful prisoners, another with the equally staggering increase in hard drug use among juveniles, yet the prison article didn't once refer to drugs and the drug article didn't mention prisons. YOUNG SCOTS A GENERATION OF CRIMINALS One In Ten 18-Year-Olds Convicted In Court CRIME is a young man's game, with a staggering one in ten of all 18-year-old Scottish youths convicted in the courts of serious crime in 1996. Figures released by the Scottish Office yesterday showed how conviction rates among 18-year-old males are more than 11 times the rate among men over 40. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 Source: The Scotsman Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n235.a08.html *** ARMY OF ADDICTS COSTS CITY 400M EACH YEAR About 400 million worth of goods are stolen every year in Glasgow to buy supplies for the city's 10,000 hard-drug users. The cost of the city's ever-increasing drug problem was tallied yesterday by the Greater Glasgow Drug Action Team. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 31 Mar 1998 Source: The Scotsman Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com Author: Karen McVeigh URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n235.a09.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** MSNBC maintains a UK site, which this week is featuring a fascinating seven part look at the criminal drug market in Britain as seen through the various eyes of dealers, customers, cops, coroners, and do-gooders. Go to: http://news.uk.msn.com/default.asp?feature=drugs If this link is no longer active as you're reading this, the text of the seven articles can be found at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n247.a01.html *** The Addiction Treatment Forum Web Site (http://www.atforum.com) was updated on April 6. New News Briefs included for April are: - New Gene Linked To Addiction - Drug Markets Differ Dramatically - Hardcore Drug Use Higher Than Thought - Needle Program Needed, AIS Panel Says - Experts At Odds With Public Over Addiction Tx - Accept Pain, Commit To Valuable Life - New Treatment Commands - Doc Gets Patent for Rapid Heroin Detox - NEURAAD Rapid Heroin Detox in Tampa - Quest For Potent Problem-Free Pain Relief - Researchers Discover Two New, Natural Painkillers - Epidemic of Drug Rebound Headaches Unrecognized - Heredity Prompts Alcoholism In Women - Hydromorphone Under Junkies' Skin - Inmates Need Drug Treatment, Reno Says A free subscription to the Addiction Treatment Forum newsletter is available at the website. *** TIP OF THE WEEK by Mark Greer *** WAYTAGO "REDFORD"!! SF Chronicle circulation 518,000 Ad value $1,243 I'd like to make a few points to all those who are frustrated and want to help bring about reform. Writing a letter to the editor is an excellent way to take action that really can make a big difference. Especially when combined with the efforts of thousands of others letter writers. Sometimes we can take our individual efforts and successes for granted because we are getting to where we see published reform LTEs in major papers on a near daily basis but think about what Redford has done in the letter below. Half a million people may have read this letter. It may have made them think, or may have encouraged them to get active in reform or it may simply have sent the message that status quo thinking may be flawed. How many of us can afford to contribute $1,200 to reform in a given year? Givens and hundreds of others have essentially taken out "ads" on behalf the reform movement in the form of published letters. The value of these letters is an impressive return on the time invested and both benefits the entire reform movement and influences the media to give more attention to reform issues. What better way can the average reform minded person invest some time than to browse through the DrugSense Weekly or the news archive, find an article that gets them motivated and write a letter. If every reformer who receives this post took that simple action once a week _No Matter What_ the cumulative results would be nothing short of amazing. Just DO it - It's FUN and it really makes a difference. >At 10:35 PM 4/6/98 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: >SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE >Pub: April 6, 1998 >Contact: email@example.com >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 *** QUOTES OF THE WEEK In a column by Jack Anderson in the Washington Post, June 24, 1972, p.31, Mr. Ingersoll had this to say about the subject of legalization.... "Not only are we here to protect the public from vicious criminals in the street but also to protect the public from HARMFUL IDEAS." (Emphasis added) Robert Ingersoll...then Director of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. (In 1974 he became the first Director of the DEA.) Submitted by Erik Skidmore Or how about this one from Newt Gingrich at the President's Day Republican fundraiser: "Totalitarianism is when people believe they can punish their way to perfection." Submitted by Donald Topping *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. COMMENTS Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org/ http://www.drugsense.org/ Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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