------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Senator Wants To Extend Marijuana Prohibition To Include Medical Research; Use Of Thermal Imaging Without A Warrant Unconstitutional, Ninth Circuit Rules; Hawaii Health Committee Urges Federal Government To Expedite Medical Marijuana Research) From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 18:08:14 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 4/9/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. April 9, 1998 *** Senator Wants To Extend Marijuana Prohibition To Include Medical Research April 9, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The Senate approved a "sense of the Senate" resolution on April 3 denying funding for any future medical marijuana research projects. The amendment -- introduced by Sen. Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) -- is included in Senate Concurrent Resolution 86, a measure outlining Congressional budgets for the next five years. Although the amendment is not legally binding, the resolution may influence Congress when determining funding levels for health and research programs. "The language proposed by Smith represents the extreme position of those in Congress who stand against the use of marijuana as a medicine," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup. "This amendment is a slap in the face to respected scientific and medical institutions such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Academy of Sciences, the American Cancer Society, and others -- all of which have recently urged the federal government to facilitate clinical trials to better determine marijuana's therapeutic potential." Senate Amendment 2180 states that "no funds appropriated by Congress should be used to ... fund or support, or to compel any individual, institution, or government entity to ... support any item, good, benefit, program, or service, for the purpose of marijuana for medicinal purposes." Smith argued that his amendment will help ensure that America's children are not sent mixed messages on drug use. Federal funds should only be spent on research to discover more effective prescription medications, and not on the "medicinal use of an illegal drug that is highly addictive and dangerous," he added. Presently, all scientific protocols to examine marijuana's medical potential must receive federal funds. According to Rick Doblin -- head of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) -- this is because the only legal supplier of marijuana for research purposes remains the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and that agency will only consider providing marijuana to projects that have passed the NIH grant review process. Presently, the NIH is funding only one study regarding marijuana's medical potential. "Senator Smith's amendment suggests that he cares more for anti-medical marijuana rhetoric than he does for people who suffer from the diseases for which marijuana is claimed to be effective in treating," said Doblin, who also serves of NORML's board of directors. "Hopefully, neither he nor any of his loved ones will come to regret this triumph of ideology over medicine." Senate Con. Res. 86 now goes to the House for consideration. For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Use Of Thermal Imaging Without A Warrant Unconstitutional, Ninth Circuit Rules April 9, 1998, Portland, OR: The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protects citizens against the warrantless use of thermal imaging scanning devices to measure heat emissions from residences. The Court rejected contrary case law from the seventh, eighth, and eleventh circuits on grounds that they improperly analogized excess heat from residential interiors to heat emanating from trash. "This decision affirms the right of individuals to be free in their home from unreasonable searches," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. Stroup noted that the conflicting decisions by the circuit courts may persuade the Supreme Court to rule on the issue. Thermal scanners detect heat from numerous sources inside the home such as bathing, ovens, indoor gardening, and sexual activity. The technology is often used by law enforcement officials to identify possible indoor marijuana-grow operations. The details unveiled by a thermal imager are sufficiently intimate to give rise to a Fourth Amendment violation, declared Judge Robert Merhige, writing for the court. "While the imager cannot reproduce images or sounds, it strips the sanctuary of the home of the 'right to be let alone' from arbitrary and discriminatory monitoring by government officials," he said. "The use of a thermal imager to observe heat emitted from various objects within the home infringes on an expectation of privacy that society deems reasonable." Dissenting Judge Michael Hawkins argued the use of thermal imaging fails to constitute a search "under contemporary Fourth Amendment standards." Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation, praised the majority opinion. "Fortunately, two of the three judges in this case looked to common sense and the privacy expectations of typical reasonable persons to be free in their homes." The case is United States v. Danny Lee Kyllo, No. 96-30333 (9th Cir. filed April 7, 1998). For more information or to notify the NORML Foundation of additional thermal imaging cases, please contact Tanya Kangas @ (202) 483-8751. For more information on thermal imaging and the law, please contact NORML Legal Committee member John Henry Hingson @ (503) 656-0355. *** Hawaii Health Committee Urges Federal Government To Expedite Medical Marijuana Research April 9, 1998, Honolulu, HI: Hawaii's House Committee on Health approved a resolution on Saturday urging the federal government to expedite research into the medical efficacy of marijuana. "This measure makes it clear that the medical value of marijuana should be determined by science, not politics," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. David Tarnas (D-South Kohala). "The state is taking this reasonable and measured step specifically because the federal government has a history of refusing to take action [on the medical marijuana issue.]" Earlier this year, Tarnas introduced legislation exempting patients and their primary caregivers who possessed or cultivated marijuana for medical use from criminal penalties. The Health Committee rejected that bill in February, but Chairman Alex Santiago (D-Pupukea) encouraged Tarnas to draft a separate resolution endorsing research. "It is ... appropriate to urge the federal government to move more swiftly in its establishment of rigorous scientific protocol standards to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II drug," Santiago said. At least five states -- California, Michigan, New Hampshire, and Missouri -- have previously approved resolutions urging the government to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said he supported state resolutions aimed at reforming federal law, but emphasized that state laws are also necessary to protect patients already using medical marijuana from state criminal charges. "States must realize that they can play a pivotal role in protecting the health and safety of bona fide medical marijuana patients," he said. For more information, please contact either Rep. David Tarnas @ (808) 586-8510 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- PUC Chief Is Grilled About Pot, Not Power ('The Oregonian' Describes Reefer Madness At The Oregon Legislature, Where The Republican Majority Has Made Marijuana The Biggest Issue In State Government, And On Wednesday Engaged In Chemical McCarthyism In An Attempt To Discredit Ron Eachus, Chairman Of The Oregon Public Utility Commission) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ April 9, 1998 PUC chief is grilled about pot, not power A Senate panel targets Ron Eachus' college days during a hearing on his reappointment By Gail Kinsey Hill of The Oregonian staff SALEM - Oregon's top utility regulator came under fire at a reappointment hearing Wednesday - not about energy issues but about his 1960s college days, marijuana smoking and involvement in anti-war protests. Ron Eachus, chairman of the state Public Utility Commission, faces a vote today in the conservative Oregon Senate that could end his tenure as the commission's most experienced member. Eachus, a Democrat renominated by Gov. John Kitzhaber, has been skeptical of energy deregulation plans by Enron Corp. and tough on phone provider US West for chronic service problems. But the focus of questioning at the Senate Executive Appointments Committee meeting was on the politics of an entirely different era. The committee's chairman, Sen. Randy Miller, R-Lake Oswego, grilled Eachus about a trip to Hanoi in the late 1960s to protest U.S. engagement in Vietnam. He also wanted to know whether Eachus smoked marijuana while at the University of Oregon. After a tense exchange - Eachus defended his stance on Vietnam and admitted smoking marijuana in college - the committee voted to send Eachus' reappointment to the full Senate without recommendation. Miller said he asked about Vietnam and drugs because he had received letters from several people asking him to do so. He would not disclose who wrote the letters. Eachus is a former Democratic legislator whose trip to Hanoi as a student was well-known. Still, the issue was raised in February by Miller and other Republicans, who control the Senate 20-10. Eachus states his case In his testimony Wednesday, Eachus tried to clarify his position. "Intentionally or not, my previous anti-Vietnam War activities were raised as an issue in a manner that appeared to question my character," he said. "One is always on shaky ground discussing one's own character, but I have never hidden my anti-war activities, nor have I hidden from them. What I did, I did out of conscience and sincere beliefs that what was happening was bad for our nation." When quizzed further about his anti-war activities, Eachus said, "I don't believe what I did 30 years ago is relevant." Miller countered that war veterans who had contacted his Senate office thought otherwise. "I received calls from people who believed it was inappropriate," Miller said. Miller also wanted to know whether Eachus had ever done anything illegal. Eachus said he had exceeded the speed limit a time or two. What about drugs? Miller asked. Yes, Eachus said, his voice growing angry. "I was a student at University of Oregon between 1965 and 1970," he said. "If I told you I did not, you probably wouldn't believe me anyway." Eachus said he has not smoked marijuana for a long time. At one point, Sen. Randy Leonard, D-Portland, objected that the questions were offensive. "I'm having a hard time sitting here listening to this," Leonard said. "This is the United States of America. If he was a student activist 30 years ago, well ... who wasn't?" If Eachus is voted down in the Senate today, he could lose his job. But even with the opposition of some Republicans, the governor's chief of staff, Bill Wyatt, said the nomination should go through. "We have reason to feel fairly confident of the ultimate results," said Wyatt, who met with key Republicans on Wednesday in search of votes. Kitzhaber considers Eachus' reappointment critical to the continued restructuring of the electricity industry, Wyatt said. Even Miller, by the end of the day, said he might vote in favor of reappointment. "It's possible," said Miller, who said he appreciated the direct, honest way Eachus answered his questions. "I might support him." Miller emphasized that the committee's main concern was with Eachus' job performance and his ability to oversee the utility industry. The three-member PUC is charged with ensuring that utility customers receive safe, reliable service at reasonable rates. Eachus has been on the panel for 10 years. Miller targets 'enemy' comment The PUC recently has trained its regulatory eye on US West, demanding service improvements and threatening millions of dollars in fines. Miller said he received no direct opposition from US West about Eachus' nomination, but Miller referred to a radio talk show on which Eachus referred to US West as "the enemy." "No regulator should see the regulated as the enemy," Miller said. Eachus said his comments, made in jest, were taken out of context. Neither is he "out to get" US West, as some Republicans suggested, Eachus said. Several representatives from utilities were at the hearing, but none from US West. Denise McPhail, a lobbyist for Portland General Electric, said her company supports Eachus' reappointment despite an edgy relationship. "We disagree strongly at times," she said. But "he's honorable and knowledgeable ... and we want restructuring to move forward." Enron Corp. is PGE's parent corporation and has proposed allowing the utility's 667,000 customers to choose their electricity suppliers in a deregulated market. Consumer groups and other power companies have criticized the plan, saying there is no guarantee that rates would be lower. McPhail said she isn't concerned about Eachus' past use of marijuana. "If he were doing opinions on utilities and tokin', that might be something different," she said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reappoint Ron Eachus (Activist Says Even 'The Oregonian,' In A Staff Editorial, Was Disturbed By Yesterday's Scene At The Oregon Legislature, And Apparently So Were Others - Chairman Of Oregon PUC Won Reappointment In 23-5 Vote By Senate Executive Appointment Committee) From: "sburbank" (firstname.lastname@example.org> To: "Phil Smith" (email@example.com) Subject: smoking pot Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 12:42:37 -0700 In case you missed it: Events in Oregon surrounding the reappointment of Ron Eachus, who is currently chairman of the Public Utilities Commission, may be of interest to you. At a hearing before the Senate Executive Appointment Committee, Sen. Randy Miller (R-Lake Oswego) asked Mr. Eachus about his past anti-war activity and if he had smoked marijuana thirty years ago when he was a student at the University of Oregon. Sen. Miller was a strong proponent of the Oregon recrim bill. [quote deleted here from today's 'Oregonian,' article, above] In an editorial "Reappoint Ron Eachus" in the same paper they say that these attempts..."are making a mockery of the Senate confirmation process and giving the institution's advise and consent role a bad name." Today's paper reports that Euchas was re-appointed by a 23-5 vote. I'm told it contains another editorial that expresses concern about such attacks. Denise McPhail, a lobbyist for Portland General Electric who was at the hearing, said that though they disagree strongly at times, Eachus is honorable and knowledgeable. She said she isn't concerned about his past marijuana use. Interesting, Sandee
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Rules Against Use Of Thermal Imaging Device (List Subscriber Relays Information From The Web Site For KATU, Portland's ABC Affiliate, Noting A Federal Appeals Court Ruling In A Case From Florence, Oregon) Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 02:16:37 -0700 From: Paul Freedom
To: Cannabis Patriots Subject: CanPat> COURT RULES AGAINST USE OF THERMAL IMAGING DEVICE Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org [Found at ] THE KATU WEB PAGE: [http://katu.citysearch.com/local/] COURT RULES AGAINST USE OF THERMAL IMAGING DEVICE Ruling in a case out of Florence, Oregon, a Federal appeals court has decided that federal agents must have a warrant before they use thermal imagers to scan homes and pick up heat signatures from indoor drug labs. Critics say these heat sensitive scanners can also reveal routine activities by residents inside houses. Other federal appeals courts 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Offers More Money For Gambling Addiction (KOIN Channel 6 News, Portland's CBS Affiliate, Says The Oregon Legislature's Emergency Panel Has Tentatively Approved $448,000 To Help Reduce The Backlog Of People Seeking Help After Becoming Addicted To The Oregon Lottery's Video Poker - Final Vote Tomorrow) KOIN Channel 6 Portland, Oregon http://www.koin.com/ letters to editor: email@example.com State Offers More Money For Gambling Addiction SALEM, Posted 9:22 p.m. April 09, 1998 -- State lawmakers have tentatively decided to spend more money to help people who have become addicted to the Oregon Lottery's video poker game. KOIN 6 News reports a legislative panel voted today to spend an additional $448,000 to help reduce the backlog of people who are seeking treatment for gambling addiction. That money would be in addition to the $4 million that's already been set aside for those programs. Backers of the move said the state has a moral obligation to help those who have become addicted to the state's highly profitable video poker game. The legislative emergency board will take a final vote on the issue tomorrow. Compiled by Channel 6000 Staff
------------------------------------------------------------------- County Wasting Lives And Money Storing Addicts (Staff Editorial In 'The Columbian,' In Vancouver, Washington, Says That While Addiction Is Considered A Sin By A Lot Of Moralists, It Is Not A Crime By Any Specific Statute Or Law, Yet Policies In Clark County, Washington, And Elsewhere Are Bent On Making It Next To Impossible For Addicts To Improve Themselves) The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion >From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.columbian.com/ [Portland NORML notes: For those of you far away, Vancouver, Washington, is just north across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon] In Our View: Thursday, April 9, 1998 County wasting lives and money storing addicts While addiction is considered a sin by a lot of moralists, it is not a crime by any specific statute or law. Medical and other sciences approach consensus that addiction is either a complex disease or a deep syndrome that can be and sometimes is successfully treated. And yet most people in local jails, state penitentiaries and federal prisons are there owing to various addictions. While incarcerated they get little or no useful treatment. Many find ways to continue their addictions behind bars. When they get out, as all but a very few do, more than half quickly resume bad habits and a lot of them end up back in jail. Incarceration is about 10 times as expensive as better proven treatments for addiction. But society in general and Clark County in particular prefer to spend rare dollars keeping addicts in storage for most of their lives rather than trying to fix the addicts so they can become productive parts of the economic system. Such realities were demonstrated anew Tuesday in the article by The Columbian's John Branton, "Suspended drivers cram the docket; big fines and long jail stays can result for offenders caught in an escalating spiral." Most of the men and women serving time in the jammed cells at the Clark County Jail, Branton noted, were caught driving while their licenses were suspended. That usually is the easiest case to make against somebody who is off on a criminal track, and the Legislature has added more and more reasons for suspending a license with every passing session. The state Department of Licensing yanked 112,374 licenses in 1992, 328,973 last year. Almost all of the reasons from drunken driving to failure to pay child support are incidental to drug or alcohol addiction. While incarcerated or barred from driving, the addicts cannot pay the penalties or restitution demands that are based on the thoroughly discredited premise that addictive behavior can generally be changed by threat of a monetary penalty. Neither can they meet such other obligations as family financial responsibility. The crazy cycle must eventually reach a breaking point. How much worse must it get before legislators and the justice system realize that better treatment of addiction is the way out? -- D. Michael Heywood, for the editorial board
------------------------------------------------------------------- Resignation Stirs Pot Advocates ('San Jose Mercury News' Says Reactions Are Mixed Among Bay Area Medical Marijuana Activists To News That Peter Baez, Co-Founder Of The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, Plans To Resign From His San Jose Dispensary And May Shut It Because Of His Legal Trouble) Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 02:48:58 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Resignation Stirs Pot Advocates 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: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Author: Bill Romano RESIGNATION STIRS POT ADVOCATES Reaction was mixed -- but sharp -- among Bar Area medicinal marijuana advocates to news that Peter Baez, co-founder of the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, plans to resign from his San Jose dispensary and may shut it because of his legal trouble. "It's all political," said Jeff Jones, head of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, who defended Baez and lamented his decision last week to start refusing prospective clients. "You didn't see them selling to kids. . . . Now, they've stopped doing intakes and might fold up because Peter is quitting." But others say it's local officials who should be supported for their efforts to maintain a workable relationship with the center over the past year. Dennis Augustine, a retired Saratoga podiatrist who once served as a volunteer and fundraiser for Baez's center, said he stands behind the police and the district attorney, who have been under pressure from the state and federal authorities long opposed to Proposition 215. Local officials "took a leap of faith like all of us who are interested in seeing the center make good," said Augustine, leader of Friends of Cannabis Under Seige -- a medical marijuana advocacy group. The March 23 arrest of Baez and his subsequently being charged with six counts of illegally selling pot surprised some, considering how often his operation had been touted nationally as a model of how to implement Proposition 215, California's voter-approved initiative legalizing medicinal marijuana. Baez, 34, who suffers from colon cancer, on Monday pleaded not guilty in Santa Clara County Municipal Court to the charges and then announced his plans to step down as the center's executive director as early as the end of the month and possibly abandon the center. He suggested Wednesday that others who want to submit an application for a new San Jose municipal center are welcome to try. "Good luck," he said. "Where will the people go for their pot? Probably back to the street." Center co-founder Jesse Garcia said he has no interest in carrying on should Baez close the Meridian Avenue center. City and county officials have repeated stated they have no desire to drive the center out of business and added that Baez's troubles simply stem from his failure to comply with local regulations governing the dispensing of medicinal marijuana. He's been accused of illegal sales of marijuana for providing pot for clients without a doctor's authorization -- allegations he strenuously denies. Also, authorities have frozen nearly $30,000 in center assets and seized copies of client records. "I don't know how they think we can continue to run the place," Baez said. "We need to pay bills and buy marijuana. Pot growers don't like to give you stuff and bill you later." Dennis Peron, co-author of Proposition 215 and founder of the San Francisco's 10,000 member Cannabis Cultivators Club, sides with Baez. "It's awful. They want to take his money, prosecute him and throw him in prison," Peron said. "He should just fight it. Don't give up." Baez's problems arose after a San Jose man, Enrique Robles, was cited and convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Police said Robles had claimed to be taking pot with a doctor's verbal approval. But, police said a check with the doctor failed to substantiate the claim. Valerie Corral, founder and director of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a non-profit Santa Cruz group that gives pot free to the seriously ill, believes Baez was the victim of a bureaucratic snafu. "In my opinion, there seems to have been a red tape foul-up," she said." I think that's what happened with Peter. Why jeopardize everything for a handful of marijuana for a few people?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hempfest San Diego - Help! (Volunteers Sought For First Of What Is To Be An Annual Event August 1) From: "Hempfest San Diego" (Hempfest@hempworldwide.com) Newsgroups: rec.drugs.announce,rec.drugs.cannabis,sdnet.hemp Subject: Hempfest San Diego - Help! Date: Thu Apr 9 12:41:00 1998 The First Annual Hempfest San Diego needs your help! It will happen, but it will be a challenge and it has to be with YOUR help. Many and varied skills are useful and needed. How can you contribute? What skills do you have? Do you have any good contacts to lend us? Please visit http://hempworldwide.com/ or email Hempfest@hempworldwide.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- City Tops State In Drug Deaths ('San Francisco Examiner' Says A Report Released This Week By The California Department Of Health Services Shows San Francisco Had 20.5 Drug-Related Deaths Per 100,000 People, Or One Death For Every 4,901 Residents, Compared To A Statewide Average Of Eight Drug Deaths Per 100,000 Residents) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 00:04:55 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: City Tops State in Drug Deaths Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 Author: Lisa M. Krieger - Examiner Medical Writer CITY TOPS STATE IN DRUG DEATHS Higher grade, lower cost of heroin are major factors, health officials say San Francisco leads the rest of California in drug-related deaths, with twice the death rate of the state, according to a new report by state health officials. The growing purity and decreasing cost of local heroin is driving the trend, said city drug experts. "Speed kills -- but not as much as heroin," said Dr. John Newmeyer, an epidemiologist with the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic. Cocaine is also lethal, he said. Competition among heroin dealers here has helped push down the price of the drug to one-quarter the cost of 15 or 20 years ago, said Newmeyer. The dense urban environment of San Francisco, as well as its reputation of tolerance, also may contribute to The City's high drug-related death rate. The report, released this week by the state Department of Health Services, shows The City had 20.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000 people, or one death for every 4,901 residents. This compares with a statewide average of 8 drug deaths per 100,000 residents. The lowest rate in the state was in Santa Clara County, with 4.7. The City also ranks first in the number of cases of tuberculosis and AIDS per 100,000 residents. The good news is that San Franciscans are less likely to die of car crashes, homicide, cancer or heart disease than the average state resident. The City's teen pregnancy and infant mortality rates also are far below the state average. The birth rate among teens in Tulare is double that of teens in San Francisco. The overall death rate in San Francisco has dipped slightly since last year but remains one of the highest in the state, surpassed only by Lake and Yuba counties. The City's death rate was 547 per 100,000 residents, down from a rate of 576 in last year's report and 599 in the report before that. The report compares 20 health-related indicators of San Francisco residents -- rates of death, diseases and prenatal care -- to residents of other California counties. Most of the rates are three-year averages for 1994, 1995 and 1996, the most recent data available. The data were age-adjusted, compensating for the different age compositions of county populations. San Joaquin County is the syphilis capital of the state. Kern County ranks highest in infant mortality. Tulare County leads in teen pregnancies -- and also youth poverty. The report also found that: RTulare County has the state's highest percentage of poor children and youth. Thirty-three percent of children under age 18 lived in poverty there, compared with only 6.3 percent in Marin County. About 18.6 percent of San Francisco's youth are poor. This is close to the state average of 18.2. RThe Gold Country region of Calaveras County has a death rate due to auto wrecks that is five times higher than San Francisco: 42 vs. 8 per 100,000 residents. San Mateo County, with a death rate of only 6.4, has the safest roads in the state. RLos Angeles has the state's highest homicide rate, as well as the highest rate of deaths from firearms injuries. Los Angeles reported 19.4 homicides per 100,000 population, followed by Fresno County with 15.4 deaths. Alameda County placed fifth, with 14.3 homicides per 100,000, and San Francisco had a rate of 10.8, slightly lower than the statewide average of 11.8. RLake County had the highest suicide rate in the state, with 30 cases per 100,000 -- more than threefold the rate of Santa Clara County, with a low of 8.6 per 100,000 cases. San Francisco's suicide rate is 15.7, significantly higher than the state average of 10.7. RAs expected, San Francisco had the highest AIDS incidence in the state, with 191 cases per 100,000 residents. This is down from 233 cases in last year's report and 291 cases the year before that. The City has three times as many AIDS cases per 100,000 residents as the statewide average -- and more than 32 times the number of lowest-ranking Tulare County. The county with the next-highest incidence of AIDS was Marin, followed by Los Angeles, San Diego, Alameda and Sonoma. RTuberculosis cases, perhaps related to the immune devastation of AIDS, are also most common in San Francisco. The City has 36 TB cases per 100,000 residents, compared with the state average of 14.4. The City's drug epidemic is an intransigent problem, worsened by the lack of adequate treatment, according to city drug-abuse experts. As of Jan. 31, there were 1,072 applicants waiting for substance-abuse treatment in public programs. Minority populations are disproportionately affected, according to epidemiologist Al Abramowitz of the San Francisco Health Department. African Americans were hospitalized for heroin overdose at a rate threefold that of other San Franciscans. They were hospitalized for cocaine at a rate fivefold that of other city residents. After San Francisco, the counties with the next-highest rate of drug deaths were Humboldt, Kern, Santa Barbara and San Joaquin. "Many people pack their bags and move west," said Abramowitz, "only to find that their problems have been stowed away in their baggage." 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rush To Forgive Drug-Related Arrest Of Socialite (Three Letters To The Editor Of The 'Los Angeles Times' Address Hypocrisy And The Perception Of A Double Standard) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 22:53:38 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: LTE's: Rush to Forgive Drug-Related Arrest of Socialite Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: April 9, 1998 READERS RESPOND The rush to forgive the drug-related arrest of socialite Tina Schafnitz leaves readers wondering whether others would be forgiven as quickly. Regarding the arrest of Tina Schafnitz for selling cocaine, I note that Ms. Peggy Goldwater Clay and her other wealthy friends believe she "needs help and should not go to jail." I assume these people would have the same compassion for a Latino or black person who was caught selling a little marijuana now and then. I think not. These folks would say, "Lock 'em up and throw away the key." ARTHUR JOHNSON Costa Mesa *** I love it. A prominent Newport Beach socialite gets busted for dealing drugs, and all the talk is about rehabilitation and getting help for poor Tina. But these same people, I'm sure, would very quickly change their tune if a Juan Gonzales of West Side Costa Mesa had been busted dealing drugs. I think a jail sentence is in order for Tina, not a high-priced addiction clinic. Let's see how the courts handle this matter. MARTIN MULVIHILL Costa Mesa *** Reading the published comments of local society figures regarding the alleged sale of cocaine by one of their number makes one wonder. There seems to be an initial rush of some to minimize the crime and put a better spin on it by confusing the two issues involved, namely dealing versus using. Dealing in cocaine, obviously, is a much more damning crime than the other, although neither can be excused. Dealing is vicious and considered a crime against society committed for profit. It represents a deliberate decision to spread the addiction, to gain new sufferers and to destroy more people all for the sake of profit. Money is the name of the game. Using cocaine and heroin, while still a serious problem and a crime, primarily harms the user even though it tears at the fabric of society itself in an evolving and ever-widening pattern. The dealer, however, knows only too well he is spreading the use of cocaine and heroin. Doing so is his stock in trade. His profit outweighs any moral consideration. His product is human misery, and he sells to the highest bidder. It is well to remember such distinctions when trying to control the drug trade and addiction. It doesn't matter if the person charged is your friend, a member of your class, or one of your pals. It's all the same; no matter who's doing it. REBA WILLIAMS Newport Beach
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wiretap Ruling Rocks LA Legal, Police Circles ('Los Angeles Times' Describes A Court Case That May Limit The Use Of Illegal Wiretaps By Los Angeles Police Department And Prosecutors Putting Together Drug Cases) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Wiretap Ruling Rocks LA Legal, Police Circles Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 17:04:25 -0700 Lines: 237 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Nora Callahan
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: GREG KRIKORIAN, Times Staff Writer WIRETAP RULING ROCKS LA LEGAL, POLICE CIRCLES Law: All sides are watching whether judge's order to reveal phone surveillance information will affect other cases. Some see a threat to the practice of concealing informants. In the abstract, there are few civil liberties the average person holds as dear as the constitutional protection against unlawful searches and seizures. But that affection is often tested when the 4th Amendment, like a bolted front door, is all that stands between police and the arrest of someone who officers say is a criminal. That is precisely the issue in what many legal observers are calling a groundbreaking case now before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gregory Alarcon. Last month, Alarcon rocked Los Angeles' legal and law enforcement circles when, after months of legal wrangling, he ordered the district attorney's office to turn over a wiretap application that - through a backdoor police procedure known as a "handoff" - led to the 1996 arrests of three men and seizure of about $20 million worth of cocaine. At the heart of the case, and debate, is how Los Angeles Police Department narcotics detectives - with the guidance of the district attorney's office - put together drug cases originating in wiretap information passed from one group of investigators to another. As outlined in court documents, when LAPD detectives on surveillance glean information about a possible new suspect, they sometimes "hand off" the tip to another set of detectives in the department without identifying its source - in this case, the wiretap. The second group of detectives can then launch an investigation that, if it results in arrests, would not expose the ongoing wiretap - or allow attorneys representing the accused to challenge the legality of the electronic search, because they would not be made aware of its existence. Now the question is whether Alarcon's ruling, if applied in other cases, will affect only a few proceedings or undermine hundreds of prosecutions - and convictions - dating back a decade. "It is a non-issue," said prosecutor Jason Lustig, echoing the comments of others in the district attorney's office and LAPD. But others, including defense attorneys assigned to the cocaine case, say that Alarcon's ruling could have far-reaching consequences. "Who knows the extent of this?" asked attorney Roger Rosen, who represents one of the three defendants in the case. "It could potentially affect every major narcotics case in which a search warrant begins with a surveillance." Law professor and former federal prosecutor Laurie Levenson said: "In terms of whether it will open the jail doors for a lot of these defendants, I don't think we can say that yet . . . [but] I think it is a big deal [for] prosecutions and the Police Department in terms of a questionable practice." Documents and interviews suggest that the handoff approach was developed more than a decade ago by detectives and the district attorney's office and that neither has plans to discontinue it, notwithstanding the recent court ruling. "The district attorney's office would never sanction a procedure that we felt was improper. We think we are on firm legal ground here," said Deputy Dist. Atty. David Demerjian, who directed the office's narcotics operation until recently. 'Idea Is to Keep Your Source Confidential' Capt. Ron Seban, who oversees the LAPD's narcotics bureau, said: "We apprehend. We don't make laws. So until we are directed otherwise, we will continue using the wire intercept when legal." The LAPD, Seban said, has only used two wiretap operations since they were permitted by state law in 1989. And in this case, he said, detectives are willing to turn over the wiretap application at a court hearing a week from today because they no longer worry that it will expose an ongoing investigation. "We are more than willing to give it up," Seban said. "There is a time and place where every wiretap has run its natural course, and in this case, we feel that it has." As for past or future wiretaps, he added: "The whole idea is to keep your source or your informant confidential. The source could be the wiretap or the individual . . . [and] every time that handoff process has been used, it has been approved by the district attorney's office. We don't keep any secrets from them." 'It Is Horrible What They Tried to Do' The real issue, defense attorneys counter, is that authorities should not be allowed to keep such matters secret from individuals accused of crimes. "It is horrible what they tried to do," said defense attorney Rosen. "At the very least it was disingenuous, and at the very most it was unethical. They were trying to get these defendants to take a deal and were not telling the defendants what they had [in evidence]." Court records show that in May 1996, Los Angeles police arrested Antonio Gastelum, Carlos Lobo and Lauro Gaxiola allegedly for attempting to sell cocaine - investigators put the amount at 193 kilograms - from a Hacienda Heights residence. During the subsequent court proceedings, as they were attempting to get the defendants to agree to a plea bargain, authorities showed some reluctance to reveal how they learned of the alleged drug sales. And, in an unusual but not extraordinary move, prosecutors asked to meet several times with Judge Alarcon alone in his chambers. Transcripts of those 1997 court proceedings underscore why. With defense attorneys pressing for discovery documents from the prosecution, Deputy Dist. Atty. Lustig and, later, a supervising prosecutor in the narcotics office urged Alarcon not to order disclosure of the government's source - in part, because it should be kept secret and in part because it undermined their case, they argued. "There's nothing in those statements that I could find that would in any way help [the defendants'] case here. All they could do is hurt [the] case," Lustig said at one of the closed-door hearings with the judge a year ago. Two days later, prosecutor Nancy Lidamore joined Lustig in asking the judge not to allow release of the information. "If we were required to reveal all defendants' statements, there would never be an informant in any case that wasn't revealed because by its very nature, informants speak to defendants. That's how they get the incriminating information they pass on to police," Lidamore said. "And if the rules were such that we had to pass over every defendant's statement, there would never be an informant that was kept confidential." But the judge disagreed. "I have to tell you that I've spoken to virtually every judge in this building and had a unanimous response with respect to this issue," Alarcon, a former federal and county prosecutor, told the deputy district attorneys at a hearing last April. "The court finds, based upon the review of the information, that the privilege [to withhold] must give way to the due process rights of the defendants to have the statements that they are entitled to for trial," Alarcon said. In that ruling and later court hearings, including the pivotal decision last month, the judge rejected authorities' claim that there was probable cause - apart from the wiretap - for their case. As such, he left them the option of turning the information over to the defense or of risking a dismissal of the charges. As Alarcon said during one of the court proceedings last year: "Well, let me put it this way. I used to be in the drug unit in the U.S. attorney's office, and our office would have to make a decision if we were going to prosecute or not prosecute based on the fact that those statements would have to be turned over." 'Fruit of the Poisonous Tree' Without commenting on the facts in the case before Alarcon, John Gordon, chief of the U.S. attorney's narcotics section in Los Angeles, said the office does not hand off information culled from a wiretap to another agency with the understanding that a defendant will never be informed. "If we intercept someone on a wiretap and use the information as the basis for investigating someone, we have taken the position that if we initiate a prosecution, we would reveal the fact that we learned about the person's activities because of the wiretap," Gordon said. And that, historically, is how many law enforcement agencies and courts have viewed the law, interviews show. "The courts apply a 'but for' kind of test that says . . . 'but for' the wiretap, the investigation would never have been conducted," said law professor and constitutional scholar Gerald Uelmen. As such, he said, defendants are "certainly entitled" to know about the wiretap and litigate the issue of whether the probable cause for their arrest is tainted evidence - known in legal parlance as "fruit of the poisonous tree." Otherwise, said prominent defense attorney Harland Braun, "the real vice . . . is that a defendant never knows there is a wiretap that he could have challenged." Years ago, Braun said, he represented a defendant who was wrongly accused in a narcotics deal solely because a courier - being followed by police - mistakenly gave the man a cache of drugs. Only by determining that the arrest followed a vague tip by an anonymous informant, Braun said, was he able to prove that detectives unwittingly arrested the wrong man. "[Determining] the source of the information . . . may be the only hint that you have gotten the wrong guy," said Braun, a former county prosecutor. "And that is the worst thing that can happen." But, the LAPD's Seban argues, wiretaps are not routinely handed out by judges. "Before a law enforcement agency can listen to any type of electronic communication, an affidavit has to be prepared which delineates the probable cause for doing so," he said. And in addition to 72-hour progress reports on the wiretap, Seban said, authorities must renew their affidavits every 30 days by showing a judge there is sound reason to continue the tap. '4th Amendment Is Not a Technicality' Seban also insists that the handoff procedure used in this case by detectives is anything but unusual in law enforcement circles - a contention supported by others in the district attorney's office and other police agencies. "Is it better to listen to the telephone and apprehend the people who are introducing narcotics into our country . . . or do we allow them to continue corrupting our society?" Seban asked. "In my estimation, that is what the reviewer of facts has to weigh in making [the] determination of whether or not to institute a wiretap." But defense attorneys, including those involved in this case, say that the issue - and case - is not that simple. "This doesn't just go to drug trafficking. They are using this [technique] on many investigations to protect the source of information . . and a person who may be wrongly charged will never get to the true source of the information," said attorney Philip DeMassa, who represents Gaxiola. "I think the public has a right to know whether law enforcement is doing its job correctly, because in the end, if you don't do it the right way, all you are doing is creating more litigation in a system that is already overburdened. "And the 4th Amendment is not a technicality," DeMassa said. "It is an amendment to the Constitution." Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bill Targets Driving While Using Drugs ('Des Moines Register' Notes A Bill Passed The Iowa House Of Representatives Wednesday On A 92-1 Vote That Would Presume Impairment In Anyone Testing Positive For Any Controlled Substance, Including Marijuana, Though Everyone Seems To Be Mischaracterizing The Proposed Law As A Get-Tough-On-Methamphetamine Bill Because It Would Also Increase Punishment For Meth Offenders) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 00:06:42 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US IA: Bill Targets Driving While Using Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Carl E. Olsen"
Source: Des Moines Register Contact: http://www.dmregister.com/letter.html Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Author: Jonathan Roos, Register Staff Writer -- Jonathan Roos can be reached at (515) 284-8443 or email@example.com. BILL TARGETS DRIVING WHILE USING DRUGS The House measure would make it easier to convict users of meth and other substances. Prosecution of drug users who drive on Iowa roads would become easier under "drugged driving" legislation approved Wednesday by the House. The bill, sent to Gov. Terry Branstad for his signature also contains other provisions aimed at combating use of methamphetamine and other illicit drugs. Rep. Jeffrey Lamberti, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it is very difficult under the state's current drunken-driving law to convict drivers impaired by illegal drugs. The law sets no legal threshold for drugs other than alcohol, so prosecutors face the problem of proving impairment without an objective standard on which to rely. The legislation would make detection in a driver's body of any level of drug such as heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine grounds for obtaining a conviction. Urine or blood tests would be used to detect the drugs, based on national standards. "It's a big change in the law," said Lamberti, R-Ankeny. Only a handful of states have such an expanded drunken-driving law in force. Other parts of the bill, approved on a 92-1 vote, would: * Increase penalties for repeat violations of drug-possession laws. A third offense could be punished by a five-year prison term. * Enforce mandatory minimum sentences for meth dealers. No suspended or deferred sentences would be allowed. But minimum sentences for those who plead guilty or cooperate with authorities could be reduced. * Deny appeal bonds for convicted dealers, so they would have to remain behind bars while appealing their sentence. * Allow judges to withhold certain state and federal benefits, such as college student aid, to convicted drug offenders. The anti-drug legislation already approved by the Senate, was spurred by lawmakers' concern about Iowa's mushrooming meth problem. The highly addictive drug has become widely available. A separate bill moving through the Legislature would spend more than $600,000 on more law-enforcement and drug prevention efforts.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Admits Lying On Warrant Forms ('Boston Globe' Article About A Lawyer Charged With Paying Bribes To Police Officers To Get Clients Off Notes Boston Police Detective John Brazil Admitted Under Oath In Federal Court On Tuesday That He Routinely Lied On Applications For Search Warrants) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 21:52:22 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US MA: Officer Admits Lying on Warrant Forms Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "Dick Evans"
Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Author: Patricia Nealon, Globe Staff OFFICER ADMITS LYING ON WARRANT FORMS Boston Police Detective John Brazil admitted under oath in federal court on Tuesday that he routinely lied on applications for search warrants. And yesterday, under cross-examination, he acknowledged that he never mentioned finding packets of money when he testified in 1993 about a raid at the suspected drug den where the money was found. Brazil, who has been on paid leave from the Boston police for two years, is a key witness in the federal trial of Joseph P. Murphy of Milton, a lawyer charged with funneling thousands of dollars from a client to two detectives who worked with Brazil. In exchange for the alleged payments of $52,000 to former detectives Walter F. Robinson Jr. and Kenneth Acerra, drug charges against a client of Murphy's were either dropped or the client was released from jail pending trial, federal prosecutors allege. Robinson and Acerra, who were charged in a sweeping indictment last year with stealing more than $200,000 from drug dealers and other criminals during searches, pleaded guilty last month to three charges and face up to three years in prison and repayment of up to $100,000 each when they are sentenced next month. Yesterday, Murphy's lawyer, E. Peter Parker, tried to damage Brazil's credibility by pointing out that Brazil never mentioned finding an estimated $8,000 in bundled bills during a May 28, 1992 search of two apartments in West Roxbury when he testified at the trial of one of the suspects. The defendant was acquitted. On Tuesday, as the lead government witness in Murphy's trial in federal court, Brazil did testify about finding the money. He said he gave it to Robinson and later overheard he and Acerra talking about ''working out'' something with Murphy regarding the money. Boston police have no record of any money being turned in after the raid in West Roxbury in which Brazil said he found at least $8,000 in a storage box under a bed. Prosecutors allege that Murphy told a defendant in the case that he could be released from jail if Robinson and Acerra were paid $50,000. Under questioning by Assistant US Attorney Ben T. Clements, Boston Police Sergeant Edward Miller, who handled money seized in drug raids as the department's financial evidence officer, testified yesterday that $7,500 seized during a May 6, 1992 Jamaica Plain raid involving Murphy's client, Bruno Machore, was returned to Murphy the following month. Prosecutors allege that the money was given back after Robinson had the charges dropped, in exchange for $1,000 payments to him and Acerra.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DARE's Effectiveness Questioned (Columnist For 'Daily Hampshire Gazette' In Northampton, Massachusetts, Recounts The Evidence Showing DARE Is Counterproductive) Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 21:57:10 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US MA: DARE's Effectiveness Questioned Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dick Evans" Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Source: Daily Hampshire Gazette (Northampton, Mass.) Author: Bill Newman Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://gazettenet.com/index2.shtml DARE'S EFFECTIVENESS QUESTIONED Publicly criticize DARE - the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program? Until recently, anyway, you'd do better to condemn mom, apple pie and Betsy Ross on the Fourth of July. Former Police Chief Daryl Gates created the program in Los Angeles in 1983. In 1986 Northampton became the first Massachusetts municipality to adopt it. Since then, more than 80 percent of America's schools - nearly 90 percent in Massachusetts - have adopted DARE. Many people love DARE. Public school administrators love it because it gives them an anti-drug program for free; Politicians love it because it presents great photo ops that show them in action in the war on drugs; Police departments love it because it allows them to develop positive relationships with kids and gives them great p.r.; Some parents love it because it makes them feel that their school system is aggressively fighting drugs. And a lot of kids initially love DARE, too. The fifth or sixth graders who take the 17-hour course, and received introductory lessons in earlier grades, are impressed with the concern and dedication of their DARE officer. They also like the paraphernalia - the DARE TO KEEP KIDS OFF DRUGS sweatshirts, pencils, and the ubiquitous bumper stickers. But DARE has a problem. It doesn't work. In 1991, a U.S. Justice Department study determined that kids who had gone through a DARE program used drugs as often as kids who had not. A 1993 Government Accounting Office report criticized bureaucrats for restricting drug education funding to programs that hewed the "Just Say No" line. And a 1998 U.S. Department of Education analysis of over 10,000 public school students found that other programs had better outcomes than DARE. More than 15 university and government studies have concluded that DARE doesn't reduce drug use or abuse. The most recent one, conducted by the University of Illinois and published this year, is perhaps the most disturbing. It determined that kids in the suburbs who participated in DARE "had significantly higher levels of drug use" than those who didn't. This phenomenon reflects what critics of DARE call "the boomerang effect" - that is, DARE puts some kids at risk by increasing their interest in drugs. The number of teen-agers in America using drugs has risen dramatically - from 1.1 million in 1992 to 2.4 million in 1995, according to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. Locally, the story is the same. A 1995 survey of students in Northampton, Easthampton and Belchertown found that 80 percent of our 15-18-year-olds had used alcohol within the previous 12 months. More than 50 percent had used marijuana. And most alarming, almost 30 percent had used other illicit drugs, including barbiturates, cocaine, heroin and other narcotics. Experts offer a number of explanations for DARE's failure. An effective drug education program is, to begin with, difficult to devise. Some youths don't trust information from the police. And there's little reason to believe that a 17-hour course in the last year of elementary school will have any significant effect. There's another problem. DARE dumps all drugs - it defines drugs as "anything but food that affects your body and mind" - into the same condemned category. As local attorney Richard Evans, a DARE critic, explains, "Some kids who discover that DARE's lessons don't square with their own experience reject everything the program tried to teach. And that's tragic," Evans adds. "Heroin and crack kill." But efficacy is not a criterion for continued government funding. DARE has become a government-sanctioned monopoly. The Drug-Free School and Communities Act mandates that a hefty percentage of federal drug education money be spent on programs taught by uniformed police officers in public schools. In Massachusetts, DARE became entitled to $20 million a year from the state's cigarette tax by adding an anti-smoking message. "It hurts me to sit here and tell you that DARE does not work," said Dennis Rosenbaum, in a recent TV interview. Rosenbaum is head of the University of Illinois Criminal Justice Department and author of the comprehensive 1997 study. "But," he added, "it's time for us to go back to the drawing board and figure out how it can be improved or (in) what better ways we can better spend our money..." Fortunately, other models appear promising. Santa Barbara recently instituted a program called "Fighting Back," which uses trained professionals and peer counseling to work with kids who appear at risk. Pilot programs that use rehabilitated former abusers as counselors have had good results. Even Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, Kathleen M. O'Toole, a DARE supporter, announced last year that she would consider proposals for alternatives. DARE's supporters want kids to make informed and intelligent choices. They want to make sure that kids don't mess up their lives with drugs. And DARE critics want exactly the same thing. Northampton demonstrated leadership in 1986 when it instituted DARE. Communities in Hampshire County once again should act innovatively and join cities such as Seattle and Oakland which have dropped DARE, and develop a workable alternative. As the Boston Herald editorialized, "The same old methods (of drug prevention and education) - and that includes DARE - aren't working. We know that. We know that more kids are experimenting with drugs and alcohol than before. We owe it to all kids to try another way." Bill Newman, a Northampton lawyer, writes a monthly column.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Use Penalty Weighed At Southwest Texas State University ('San Antonio Express-News' Says A Tribunal Met In San Marcos, Texas, Behind Closed Doors Thursday To Decide The Punishment Of A Student Who Openly Smoked Marijuana On Campus To Challenge The School's Zero Tolerance Policy - The Student, Bryan Anderson, And His Attorney Walked Out Of The Hearing In Protest, Pledging To File Suit If Anderson Is Suspended) Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:28:01 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: US TX: Pot Use Penalty Weighed At SWT Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Harald Lerch Pubdate: Thursday, 09 Apr 1998 Source: San Antonio Express-News Contact: Editors@expressnews.net Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Author: Roger Croteau, Express-News Staff Writer POT USE PENALTY WEIGHED AT SWT SAN MARCOS -- A tribunal made up of two students and a faculty member met behind closed doors Thursday afternoon to decide the punishment of a Southwest Texas State University student who openly smoked marijuana on campus to challenge the school's zero tolerance policy. The student, Bryan Anderson, walked out of the hearing in protest. The tribunal, known as the Student Justice Council, reached a decision, but would not tell Anderson what it was, saying he will be notified by mail. On Jan. 28, Anderson stood on the Quad, a gathering place on the university campus, read a statement denouncing the zero tolerance policy, and lit a marijuana cigarette in front of campus police officers. The university policy calls for a two-semester suspension for any student in possession of drugs. Anderson also faces a Class B misdemeanor charge in San Marcos Municipal Court. The student and his attorney, David Sergi, walked out of his hearing Thursday, claiming the proceeding violated the Open Meetings Act by barring members of the media. Sergi also claimed the student members on the tribunal were not impartial because they are "handpicked by the university," and objected to his being barred from questioning witnesses. "We do not feel it is a fair hearing," he said. Sergi said if Anderson is suspended, he will file for an injunction in district court in an effort to keep the suspension from being enacted, and will pursue a civil case against the university. Dean of Students John Garrison said that although the university's drug policy is commonly referred to as "zero tolerance," it is not. Although the majority of first-time violators are given two-semester suspensions, the vice president of student affairs or the university president can reduce the penalty, he said. (c) 1998 San Antonio Express-News.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Caning - Gateway To Drugs ('Christian Science Monitor' Says Michael Fay, The Boy Who Gained International Notoriety In 1994 For Being Caned In Singapore, Pleaded Guilty In Florida Last Week To Possession Of Marijuana) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 14:51:26 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Doug Keenan"
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Caning: gateway to drugs http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1998/04/09/fp18s3-csm.htm BOSTON - THURSDAY, APRIL 9, 1998 Boy Caned in Singapore Makes News Again B. Greisch of Page, Ariz. asks, "Whatever happened to the American boy who was caned in Singapore in 1994?" American teenager Michael Fay grabbed headlines in 1994 when he was sentenced to 83 days in a Singapore prison and six strokes of a cane for spray-painting cars. Four years later, Mr. Fay is once again in the news. Last week, Fay was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia in Winter Park, Fla. But what has Fay been doing between newsmaking events? During his imprisonment in Singapore, Fay's parents appealed to the international community for clemency, maintaining his innocence. But few people protested the way his parents had hoped and a plea from President Clinton to the Singapore government resulted in only two fewer lashes. After serving his sentence, Fay returned home to Ohio with his mother. Family problems erupted the following summer, and in the fall of 1994, Fay was treated for burns that he said were related to a drug habit he acquired while dealing with the aftermath of the caning. In 1995, Fay moved to Florida, took a job at Universal Studios, and later enrolled at Valencia Community College, in Orlando, Fla. Last week, Fay pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and was released from an Orange County jail after posting a $500 bond. - Kerry A. Flatley
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Politics Of Needles And AIDS (Op-Ed In 'New York Times' By The Authors Of The Two Canadian Studies Cited By US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey As Justification For Not Funding Needle Exchange Programs Says The General Errs In His Interpretation) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 21:58:47 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: NYT: OPED: The Politics of Needles and AIDS Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com and Jim Rosenfield
Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 Authors: Julie Bruneau and Martin T. Schechter OPINION: THE POLITICS OF NEEDLES AND AIDS Debate has started up again in Washington about whether the Government should renew its ban on subsidies for needle-exchange programs, which advocates say can help stop the spread of AIDS. In a letter to Congress, Barry McCaffrey, who is in charge of national drug policy, cited two Canadian studies to show that needle-exchange plans have failed to reduce the spread of H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, and may even have worsened the problem. Congressional leaders have cited these studies to make the same argument. As the authors of the Canadian studies, we must point out that these officials have misinterpreted our research. True, we found that addicts who took part in needle exchange programs in Vancouver and Montreal had higher H.I.V. infection rates than addicts who did not. That's not surprising. Because these programs are in inner-city neighborhoods, they serve users who are at greatest risk of infection. Those who didn't accept free needles often didn't need them since they could afford to buy syringes in drug stores. The also were less likely to engage in the riskiest activities. Also, needle-exchange programs must be tailored to local conditions. For example, in Montreal and Vancouver, cocaine injection is a major source of H.I.V. transmission. Some users inject the drug up to 40 times a day. At that rate, we have calculated that the two cities we studied would each need 10 million clean needles a year to prevent the re-use of syringes. Currently, the Vancouver program exchanges two million syringes annually, and Montreal, half a million. A study conducted last year and published in The Lancet, the British medical journal, found that in 29 cities worldwide where programs are in place, H.I.V. infection dropped by an average of 5.8 percent a year among drug users. In 51 cities that had no needle-exchange plans, drug-related infection rose by 5.9 percent a year. Clearly these efforts can work. But clean needles are only part of the solution. A comprehensive approach that includes needle exchange, health care, treatment for drug addiction, social support and counseling is also needed. In Canada, local governments acted on our research by expanding needle exchanges and adding related services. We hope the Clinton Administration and Congress will provide the same kind of leadership in the United States. Julie Bruneau is an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Montreal. Martin T. Schechter is a professor of epidemiology at the University of British Columbia. PLEASE SEND YOUR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Letters must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Those selected my be shortened for space reasons (ie. the shorter the better). Fax letters to 212-556-3622 or send by email to email@example.com, or by regular mail to Letters to the Editor, The New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientists Determine That Members Of Congress And Drug Czar Have Misinterpreted Results Of Canadian Needle Exchange Studies ('The Lancet,' Britain's Leading Medical Journal, Says It In A Way Even The Drug Czar Will Understand - 'The Science Is Clear - Needle Exchange Programs Work') Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 22:03:00 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Members of Congress and Drug Czar Have Misinterpreted Results of Canadian Needle Exchange Studies Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Lancet, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 98 SCIENTISTS DETERMINE THAT MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND DRUG CZAR HAVE MISINTERPRETED RESULTS OF CANADIAN NEEDLE EXCHANGE STUDIES Science is Clear: Needle Exchange Programs Work NEW YORK - The authors of the two studies most cited by critics of needle exchange programs have concluded that U.S. officials have misinterpreted the results of their studies. In a powerful op-ed in today's New York Times, Drs. Julie Bruneau and Martin T. Schechter debunk claims by some major U.S. officials, including Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, that needle exchange programs do not reduce the spread of HIV. "As one of the authors of the Canadian studies, I must point out that some U.S. officials have misinterpreted our research," said Dr. Schechter. "Our research showed that needle exchange is a necessary but not sufficient component of HIV prevention efforts. Clean needles are only part of the solution. A comprehensive approach that includes needle exchange, health care, treatment for drug addiction, social support and counseling is also needed." Numerous studies have concluded that needle exchange programs dramatically reduce the spread of HIV and do not encourage drug use. Given the strength of the evidence supporting needle exchange programs, opponents have had very little information to use as evidence against needle exchanges. Opponents have frequently cited the Canadian studies as evidence that needle exchange programs do not stem HIV infections. "Opponents of needle exchange programs are playing politics with people's lives by intentionally misinterpreting scientific results," said Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith Center. "Needle sharing contributes to over 50% of all pediatric AIDS cases. Many of these infections could have been avoided if the Federal government funded these crucial, life saving programs." Needle exchange programs are supported by the American Medical Association, the National Academy of Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Public Health Association as well as other prestigious medical and public health organizations. In addition, the American Bar Association and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have urged the federal government to allow states and localities to use Federal HIV prevention funds to implement needle exchange programs. Currently, federal law bans the use of federal HIV prevention funding for needle exchange programs. Secretary Donna Shalala has the authority to allow funding, but has so far failed to act. Polls have shown that Americans support lifting the ban on federal funding of needle exchange programs. A recent Harris poll found that 71% of Americans believe that cities and states -- and not the federal government -- should decide whether federal HIV prevention funds can be spent on needle exchange programs. Based in New York, the Lindesmith Center is a drug policy research institute that concentrates on broadening the drug policy debate. The Lindesmith Center is a project of the Open Society Institute. Founded by philanthropist George Soros, the Open Society Institute promotes the development of open societies around the world through projects relating to education, media, legal reform and human rights. The founder and director of The Lindesmith Center is Ethan Nadelmann, J.D., Ph.D. , author of Cops Across Borders: The Internationalization of U.S. Criminal Law Enforcement (Penn State Press, 1993) as well as numerous articles on drug control policy in leading scholarly and popular journals. For Further Comment: Dr. Martin Schechter University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC (Pacific Standard Time) 604-822-3081
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Deal Up In Smoke, Makers Say ('Associated Press' Article In Everett, Washington, 'Herald,' Says US Tobacco Companies Have Called Off Last Summer's Tentative Settlement Because Congress Has Twisted Their Offer To Help Cut Teen Smoking Into A Harsh Attack On Their Industry And Sharp Tax Increases For American Smokers) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 19:49:04 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Deal Up In Smoke, Makers Say Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: Laura Meckler, Associated Press Writer TOBACCO DEAL UP IN SMOKE, MAKERS SAY Firms Say Federal Pressure Too Harsh, Jeopardizing Last Year's Pact With States WASHINGTON -- The nation's major cigarette makers sounded a death knell yesterday for last summer's historic tobacco settlement, saying Congress has twisted their offer to help cut teen smoking into a harsh attack on their industry and sharp tax increases for American smokers. Led by Steven Goldstone, head of No. 2 tobacco maker RJR Nabisco, the companies vowed to fight efforts by President Clinton and Congress to increase prices and fashion tougher restrictions on advertising. "Those price increases will destroy the domestic tobacco business, and I don't just mean my company," Goldstone told the National Press Club. But Clinton and congressional leaders insisted they will press forward with efforts to pass a comprehensive law meant to curb teen smoking and compensate states for treating sick smokers -- with or without the industry's cooperation. "They can be part of it or they can fight it," an angry Clinton said on his return from a trip to Chicago. "I think they ought to rethink their position because we're going to get this done one way or the other." The companies had warned for weeks they would walk away. But yesterday, Goldstone said the process was "broken beyond repair." "We have failed in our effort to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the contentious issues surrounding tobacco in our country," he told the National Press Club. The leading proposals in Congress would raise cigarette prices too much, he said, without regard for adult smokers and businesses that depend on tobacco sales. "Washington has rushed to collect more tobacco revenues while playing the politics of punishment," said Goldstone, whose company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., makes Winston and Camel brands. White House spokesman Mike McCurry said Goldstone's remarks show how worried the tobacco industry is that Congress will pass tough legislation. "It's a mark of how serious the effort is in Congress," he said. The leading Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would cost the industry $506 billion and force tobacco companies to curb advertising that critics say helps lure teens to smoke. It overwhelmingly passed a Senate committee last week. It is tougher than the settlement tobacco companies negotiated with states and public health advocates last June. That deal -- had Congress approved it -- would have given the industry significantly more legal protection from product liability suits and would have cost companies $368 billion. McCain agreed with Clinton that the effort will continue with or without industry support. "In the most charitable terms that I can describe it, the tobacco companies do have an enormous credibility problem." "Tobacco companies are not in a position to dictate to Congress," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a longtime tobacco foe. "We don't need their permission." But Congress might need the industry's cooperation to ensure that advertising restrictions are implemented. Tobacco companies have fought these restrictions in court before, saying the Constitution protects their right to free speech. Goldstone said his comments yesterday were not coordinated with other tobacco companies, but other companies immediately endorsed them. "It would be irresponsible -- to our customers and our company -- to agree to the kind of proposals now before Congress," said Lorillard Tobacco Co. Philip Morris, maker of No. 1-selling Marlboro cigarettes, said a solution is "no longer possible" and promised to fight McCain's bill. "We regret that a historic opportunity to resolve decades-old controversies surrounding tobacco has been lost," the company said in a statement. The industry continues to face a host of lawsuits from states looking to recover the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. Legislation would have settled those suits, but state attorneys general said that if no national deal is reached, they will move forward in the courts. A handful of states have already settled individually with the companies, collecting money but failing to impose the broad national restrictions possible under a congressional deal. Goldstone said he hasn't decided whether to try to settle those cases out of court but said his instinct is to continue fighting. Tobacco stocks, which had fallen about 15 percent in recent weeks as tough legislation gathered support in Congress, were up for the day. RJR Nabisco held on to a $1.06 increase, and Philip Morris was up $2.25 a share.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Companies Say Deal Is Up In Smoke (Lengthier Version Of 'Associated Press' Article In Massachusetts' 'Standard Times') Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 19:52:59 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Companies Say Deal Is Up In Smoke Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Laura Meckler, Associated Press writer TOBACCO COMPANIES SAY DEAL IS UP IN SMOKE WASHINGTON -- The nation's major cigarette makers sounded a death knell yesterday for last summer's historic tobacco settlement, saying Congress has twisted their offer to help cut teen smoking into a harsh attack on their industry and sharp tax increases for American smokers. Led by Steven Goldstone, head of No. 2 tobacco maker RJR Nabisco, the companies vowed to fight efforts by President Clinton and Congress to increase prices and fashion tougher restrictions on advertising. "Those price increases will destroy the domestic tobacco business, and I don't just mean my company," Goldstone told the National Press Club. But Clinton and congressional leaders insisted they will press forward with efforts to pass a comprehensive law meant to curb teen smoking and compensate states for treating sick smokers -- with or without the industry's cooperation. "They can be part of it or they can fight it," an angry Clinton said on his return from a trip to Chicago. "I think they ought to rethink their position because we're going to get this done one way or the other." The companies had warned for weeks they would walk away. But yesterday, Goldstone said the process was "broken beyond repair." "We have failed in our effort to achieve a comprehensive resolution of the contentious issues surrounding tobacco in our country," he told the National Press Club. The leading proposals in Congress would raise cigarette prices too much, he said, without regard for adult smokers and businesses that depend on tobacco sales. "Washington has rushed to collect more tobacco revenues while playing the politics of punishment," said Goldstone, whose company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., makes Winston and Camel brands. White House spokesman Mike McCurry said Goldstone's remarks show how worried the tobacco industry is that Congress will pass tough legislation. "It's a mark of how serious the effort is in Congress," he said. The leading Senate bill, sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would cost the industry $506 billion and force tobacco companies to curb advertising that critics say helps lure teens to smoke. It overwhelmingly passed a Senate committee last week. It is tougher than the settlement tobacco companies negotiated with states and public health advocates last June. That deal -- had Congress approved it -- would have given the industry significantly more legal protection from product liability suits and would have cost companies $368 billion. McCain agreed with Clinton that the effort will continue with or without industry support. "In the most charitable terms that I can describe it, the tobacco companies do have an enormous credibility problem." "Tobacco companies are not in a position to dictate to Congress," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., a longtime tobacco foe. "We don't need their permission." But Congress might need the industry's cooperation to ensure that advertising restrictions are implemented. Tobacco companies have fought these restrictions in court before, saying the Constitution protects their right to free speech. Goldstone said his comments yesterday were not coordinated with other tobacco companies, but other companies immediately endorsed them. "It would be irresponsible -- to our customers and our company -- to agree to the kind of proposals now before Congress," said Lorillard Tobacco Co. Philip Morris, maker of No. 1-selling Marlboro cigarettes, said a solution is "no longer possible" and promised to fight McCain's bill. "We regret that a historic opportunity to resolve decades-old controversies surrounding tobacco has been lost," the company said in a statement. The industry continues to face a host of lawsuits from states looking to recover the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. Legislation would have settled those suits, but state attorneys general said that if no national deal is reached, they will move forward in the courts. A handful of states have already settled individually with the companies, collecting money but failing to impose the broad national restrictions possible under a congressional deal. Goldstone said he hasn't decided whether to try to settle those cases out of court but said his instinct is to continue fighting. Tobacco stocks, which had fallen about 15 percent in recent weeks as tough legislation gathered support in Congress, were up for the day. RJR Nabisco held on to a $1.06 increase, and Philip Morris was up $2.25 a share. Goldstone accused the administration, Congress and public health advocates of undercutting the deal by demanding more than the industry agreed to in June. "The administration, while publicly praising the concept, privately dismantled it piece by piece," he said. "This resolution cried out for strong, bold political leadership. Precious little was forthcoming." But he said the industry also shouldered some of the blame for misunderstanding public anger about past industry practices such as targeting young people. "(We) did not fully appreciate the depth of the mistrust and anger that existed," he said. "We did underestimate ... how angry people have been over this issue." Associated Press writer SOME QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE TOBACCO DEAL AND TOBACCO LEGISLATION: Q: What was last summer's historic tobacco agreement? A: To settle lawsuits brought by 40 states, the tobacco companies signed a deal in June with state attorneys general, offering to pay $368 billion over 25 years, most of it for anti-smoking campaigns, and to repay state Medicaid money spent treating sick smokers. In exchange, the tobacco companies would get sharp reductions in their future legal liability, and thus a measure of financial certainty. Q: Why wasn't that agreement implemented? A: Congress had to approve it first. But lawmakers instead decided to write their own agreement -- one that was tougher on the industry. The leading bill, approved by a key Senate committee last week, would require the industry to pay $506 billion over 25 years and curb advertising. It also calls for fining companies billions of dollars if teen smoking rates do not drop significantly. And to the companies' anger, it would not provide the protections from smokers' lawsuits that they had gotten in last June's agreement with the states. Q: What did the cigarette makers say yesterday? A: Led by RJR Nabisco, corporate parent of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, the cigarette manufacturers said they would stand behind last summer's deal, but would fight congressional efforts to enact legislation that would be more costly and restrictive to the companies. They said they believe last summer's deal, because it lacks support in Congress, is now dead. Q: Why should Congress care if the tobacco companies cooperate and back the tobacco bill? A: Many lawmakers and President Clinton say they don't care if the tobacco companies are on board. However, the tobacco companies have threatened to sue if the resulting bill overly restricted their advertising, saying that would violate their First Amendment right of free speech. Many analysts believe that could tie the issue up in courts for years. Q: How does yesterday's announcement by the tobacco companies affect the agreement negotiated last summer by the state attorneys general? A: Those state lawsuits are still pending, and many states will press forward with them while the debate in Congress continues. Mississippi, Texas and Florida have already signed individual deals with the tobacco companies, collecting millions of dollars in compensation for sick smokers, and the tobacco companies' new position will not affect those.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Estimate Too High - Analysis Is Needed (Two Letters To The Editor Of 'The Record' In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Criticize Junk Science Behind New US Study Claiming Cannabis Is Addictive For Troubled Teens) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: PUB LTE: Pot estimate too high : Analysis is needed Date: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 17:34:38 -0700 Lines: 61 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Starr (email@example.com) Pubdate: April 9, 1998 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org POT ESTIMATE IS TOO HIGH Both the Record and Dr. Alan Lesher seem to have misinterpreted the findings of Dr. Thomas Crowley of the University of Colorado in the April 3 article, Pot Addictive For Troubled Teenagers. When we learn that two thirds of teens "referred" to treatment centres for cannabis dependence report symptoms of dependence, the first question that comes to mind is, why only two thirds? A survey of compulsive gamblers in treatment for gambling should report that all of them are dependent on gambling. Similarly, a survey of patients in a weight-loss clinic should reveal that all of them are clinically dependent on food. Could we safely conclude that some people are susceptible to compulsive disorders and the best place to find them is in a weight-loss clinic? In reality, less than five per cent of cannabis users become dependent on the herb. I suspect many non-dependent cannabis users are accepting treatment in lieu of punishment. Matthew M. Elrod Victoria, B.C. *** ANALYSIS IS NEEDED It was disturbing to see the April 3 story, Pot Addictive For Troubled Teenagers reprinted without a critical analysis. For example, where in the story does it say that these were troubled teens, all of whom had problems before they started using marijuana, as it does in other versions of the story? And what makes marijuana "dangerous" in this case? Many people report that coffee is a difficult thing to give up, yet we don't see stories on the addictiveness, and, therefore, dangerousness, of coffee. The Record must be aware that the studies the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse is waging a campaign against marijuana, making vague and unsubstantiated assertions about studies they fund which are never adequately reported. I realize newspapers are under pressure to fill pages. However, printing these types of stories without analysis makes the Record a party to U.S. drug war propaganda. The Record might want to reconsider carrying similar stories in the future. Dave Haans Toronto
------------------------------------------------------------------- British Columbia Is Going To Pot ('The Record' In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Thinks The Grass Is Greener On The Left Coast, And Quotes Gene Davis, Deputy Chief Patrol Agent For The Blain Region Of Northern Washington State, Who Says, 'The Potency Of The Canadian Marijuana Is Such They'll Trade, Pound For Pound, Cocaine For Canadian Marijuana - There Is Nowhere That's Got Better Quality Marijuana Than BC') From: "Starr"
To: "mattalk" Subject: B.C. is going to pot Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 16:01:14 -0400 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) email@example.com Date: April 9, 1998 By: Ken MacQueen (Southam Newspapers) Vancouver B.C. IS GOING TO POT PROVINCE HAS WORLD-CLASS REPUTATION FOR MARIJUANA PRODUCTION A world-class reputation is a carefully cultivated thing, and so it is with B.C. pot. Within the span of a generation, home-grown marijuana has gone from outlaw weed to major export item by following--with glaring exception of the Criminal Code-- all the accepted rules of commerce. Imported expertise, initially in the form of Vietnam-era draft dodgers, research and development, security of supply and international marketing have all played their part. Even the U.S. Border Patrol, run ragged by B.C. pot-smuggling traffic, pays a grudging compliment. "The potency of the Canadian marijuana is such they'll trade, pound for pound, cocaine for Canadian marijuana," says Gene Davis, deputy chief patrol agent for the Blain region of northern Washington State. "There is nowhere that's got better quality marijuana than B.C." Davis says this with the resigned air of a man who knows the record 160 kilograms his agents have seized this year represent the tip of the iceberg. Local police are also fighting an uphill battle - against the scale of the endless harvest, and the weight of public and judicial indifference. NUMBERS IN THOUSANDS Apart from outdoor cultivation--hidden in forest, field and island outpost--police estimate indoor hydroponic operations in Greater Vancouver alone number in the thousands. Most growers/operators without previous convictions face fines and equipment seizure, something they treat as a business tax, says RCMP Sgt. Chuck Doucette, provincial drug awareness co-ordinator. Busts do little to undo the marketing bonanza that B.C. pot has enjoyed in both the international mainstream and the outlaw media in recent years. Consider the protective public attitude to Whistler snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, whose gold metal redefined the Olympic ideals of Faster, Higher, Stronger. His pot-positive urine sample, far from generating outrage, became an endorsment of the power of B.C. pot. "Our boy shredded!" said a recent Doonsbury comic. "He's way worthy, man. Who cares if he hangs with stoners?" Put aside for a moment the nagging question of its illeglity (as do 12 per cent of British Columbians who smoke pot, according to a Health Canada estimate) and you have an economic success story akin to the reborn B.C. wine industry. Except, very probably, the numbers are larger. REVERENTIAL DESCRIPTIONS Even marijuana seed catalogues are reminisent of the Wine Spectator's reverntial descriptions of taste and lineage: "Northern Lights (10 seeds, $300) has dominated the various Harvest Festivals." "Slyder" offers "a strong lethargic stone." "Western Winds" is "fantastic for conversation or romance, with its relaxing and invigorating qualities." The RCMP's Doucette won't publicly estimate the value of the pot crop, saying it gets too much glorification as it is. CNN, ABC, the New York Times and Wall Street Journal are among the latest media outlets to look at B.C.'s high test pot and tolerant judiciary. Most recently, the April 2 Rolling Stone magazine celebrated "Vansterdam's" easy ways: "The drug is being cultivated, smoked and championed in Vancouver more openly than...anywhere else on the continent. Will this "common-sense drug policy" spread, asked the magazine, "or is it just a Prague Spring for pot activists?" Lately, the betting is on prague Spring. Such articles have a way of getting up the authorities' nose. Raids have a tendency to follow with renewed vigor. Even Marc Emery, ex-Vancouver mayoral candidate and the city's most visible potrepreneur, has been laid low by successive series of police raids. Several pending trafficking charges over the sale of marijuana seeds, a mountian of legal bills, and Vancouver's withdrawal of his business licence forced the sale of Hemp B.C. and Cannabis Cafe to some of his 30-odd employees. CAFE REMAINS OPEN Still, the cafe remains open, as does the rival Amsterdam Hemporium around the corner. Emery is still publishing the bi-monthly Cannabis Canada magazine, and his Internet seed outlet is still operating, although down from his preraid high of $20,000 a week in sales. "I'm a bit despondent actually," says Emery, who nonetheless talks in exclamations points. Not just police are barking at his heels. He is now going--head to head--against four or five seed order competitors. Emery estimates B.C.'s crop has an annual value of $2 billion to 44 billion. He credits his ability to sell his message in the media for much of this. His critics tend to agree. "There is no more perfect economy than pot,' Emery says ona recent afternoon in the funky Gastown distribution centre for Hemp B.C. "Here you start with bull-s---, water, a few seeds and some dirt. Three months later, an American is giving you a big wad of money, taking your stuff, going home--and he burns it!" With bull and seeds Emery grew what he calls a "revolution by retail" since 1994, although he claims to have never sold pot. His niche is serving those who grow and those who smoke. (Vancouver Sun)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Delay Granted In City's Case Against Church ('The Record,' In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Notes The Cannabis-Friendly Church Of The Universe Has Received A Temporary Reprieve)From: "Starr"
To: "mattalk" Subject: Delay granted in city's case against church Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 17:21:45 -0400 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) firstname.lastname@example.org Date: April 9, 1998 Cambridge DELAY GRANTED IN CITY'S CASE AGAINST CHURCH A brief was granted Wednesday in court proceedings aimed at removing a marijuana-smoking church from an abandoned Cambridge factory. The City of Cambridge is trying to get the Church of the Universe out of the old Kanmet foundry site in the Preston area, where it now has its headquarters. The city is asking Kitchener general division court to uphold Cambridge bylaws that govern who can live on an industrial site. The site is owned by john Long, but used by the church, which has made marijuana-smoking a ritual. On Wednesday, micheal Baldasaro and Walter Tucker, both reverend brothers with the church, wearing their multi-colored hemp hats, argued against a request for an adjournment by the city. They said the city doesn't even have jurisdiction to launch the proceeding. "All they really have is an illegal investigation by the fire department," Baldasaro said. "They lied to get on to the property. In reality, their purpose is to get rid of the Church of the Universe." At one point, tucker chastised the city's lawyer, Brian Law, for not addressing him the way he prefers. "It's Reverend Tucker, by the way," he told him. "I don't like to be addressed as Mr. Tucker." The pair were to be back in court this morning at 10a.m. Neighbors near the factory have long been concerned about the state of the property. But it could cost more than a million dollors to clean up contaminated soil and demolish the building. The church moved to Cambridge last year after being evicted from a Guelph foundry that had been owned by Long and is now owned by the city.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Deaths Down ('Toronto Sun' Says An Annual Report On Drug Use In Toronto Shows The Number Of Illegal Drug Related Deaths In 1996 Was The Lowest In Over A Decade - A Surge In Marijuana Use Among High School Students In The 1980s Seems To Have Tapered Off, With Just 19 Percent Of Junior High And High School Students In Toronto Admitting To Using Pot In The Past Year, A 1 Percent Increase Over 1995) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 13:04:24 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: Canada: Drug Deaths Down Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Author: Scot Magnish -- Toronto Sun DRUG DEATHS DOWN More Addicts Seeking Treatment, Study Shows Drug deaths are down, more heroin addicts are seeking treatment and pot use is waning among students, according to an annual report on drug use in Toronto. A record 3,500 recovering addicts in Ontario are receiving methadone treatments, double the level of two years ago. "New data from the coroner's office indicates the total number of drug-related deaths in Toronto in 1996 was the lowest in over a decade," said Dr. Joyce Bernstein of the city's health department and co-author of the report released yesterday. Bernstein said the decrease seems to be a trend. There were 96 overdose deaths in '96, compared to 130 in '95 and 173 in '94. "An important part of this overall decrease was the decline in heroin-related fatalities," she said. "For the the second year in a row, we've seen a drop in heroin-related deaths with 38 reported for 1996, compared to 67 just two years before." The decline in fatalities can be linked to both an increased number of addicts seeking treatment and a drop in the purity levels of the drugs, the report said. HEROIN PURITY Heroin purity has dropped from 72% to under 50%, with similar drops in the level of cocaine purity to 62.8% -- its lowest level since monitoring began. Crack cocaine, however, has increased in purity for the first time in the 1990s to 77.6%. The boom of marijuana use among high school students recorded in the 1980s seems to have tapered off, according to the report. Just 19% of junior high and high school students in Toronto admitted to using pot in the past year -- a 1% increase over '95. There was some bad news, however: Prenatal drug exposure among infants born last year is up. Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Panama Ponders Anti-Drug Installation ('Christian Science Monitor' Notes Panamanians Who Are Weary Of A Century Of US Occupation Are Trying To Figure Out How To Stop A Proposed International Drug-Fighting Center That Would Operate On One Of The US Military Bases With At Least 2,500 US Soldiers) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:20:05 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Panama Ponders Anti-Drug Installation Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Dave Cull"
Source: Christian Science Monitor Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.csmonitor.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 98 Author: Howard LaFranchi, Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor PANAMA PONDERS ANTI-DRUG INSTALLATION PANAMA CITY -- On a tropical patio in a middle-class neighborhood, a group of Panamanian intellectuals sit around a table littered with position papers, sodas, and bowls of limp cheese puffs. They are trying to figure out how to stop what they see as the next United States invasion of Panama. "We've been an occupied country for 100 years," says Diogenes Arosemena, an international law expert. "So it's all the more painful that just when we thought we were about to become truly sovereign, we realize the American soldiers are coming again." Talk of a US invasion in this Central American home to the Panama Canal may sound cold-war-ish and anachronistic, and probably comes as a surprise to the Pentagon. Under a US-Panama treaty ratified in 1978, the US is to relinquish control of the canal and all remaining military bases by Dec. 31, 1999. But Mr. Arosemena and his friends say a proposed international drug-fighting center that would operate on one of the US military bases here, with the support of at least 2,500 US soldiers, means occupation all over again. "Just as Britain turned over Hong Kong to China, the United States is to turn over its remaining military bases by the end of next year. But this [drug center] is a sure sign that both sides are getting cold feet," says Miguel Antonio Bernal, a prominent political analyst here. "But what the Panamanian government thinks makes good economic sense, and what the US thinks serves its geopolitical interests, does not fit our vision of an independent Panama," he adds. The proposed multilateral antidrug center, or CMA as it is known by its Spanish acronym, may be literally unheard of in the US. The idea is to provide a civilian-run facility where antidrug officials throughout the continent (and eventually perhaps Europe) could receive training and access to drug-trafficking intelligence. "We've learned from experience that if you don't have countries working together on [drug trafficking], you just push the activity from one place to another," says US Ambassador to Panama William Hughes. Yet because the center would include a sizable US military presence for logistical support - and perhaps because the Panamanian government has failed to explain openly what the CMA would and wouldn't do - the proposal is causing considerable hand-wringing in Panama. And with the sense of uncertainty rising, it may well touch off an ugly demonstration or two before the issue is settled. In the government's favor are opinion polls showing that a majority of Panamanians support some kind of US military presence. That feeling dates from the canal's construction, but was heightened in 1989 after the US invaded to restore democracy and topple military strongman Manuel Noriega. But Mr. Bernal and his "national consensus" group say such numbers reflect a fear of the unknown - the US has been a presence in Panama since President Theodore Roosevelt caused the new country to be carved out of Colombia in 1903. That public uncertainty about a Panama without Uncle Sam can be reversed, they say, with education and national pride. The CMA proposal actually came out of the office of President Ernesto Perez Balladares in late 1995 as a response to those "US stay here!" opinion polls. Many Panamanians were worrying about the effect of a full US withdrawal and an estimated $200 million in lost economic activity. Some shippers and other business leaders were also jittery about the prospect of a canal without a US presence. The government said it would only advocate creating such a center if it were multilateral and civilian-run. The idea was also supported by the US, which carries out regional antinarcotics surveillance from the canal area's Howard Air Force Base, and which already hosts military liaison officers here from a half-dozen South American countries. Howard's antinarcotics surveillance activities have already had a regional impact, US officials say, by curtailing the infamous "air bridge" that Colombian drug lords developed to ferry huge amounts of cocaine and other drugs north to the US. A regional center would augment that, they insist, by offering more extensive training and reaching more participants. US officials also strongly counter arguments that the CMA is nothing more than a US military base in disguise. "We don't need a military base in Panama, and we certainly don't need it to project power or collect information today," says one US official in Panama. The center, unlike a military base, would not be fenced off from Panamanian society, the official says. An agreement creating the CMA was set for signing late last year. But Panama surprised the US by presenting a new list of suggested amendments, most of which reflected concerns of other Latin countries, especially Mexico and Brazil. The concerns included wording that speaks vaguely of other uses for the center beyond antinarcotics work that would leave the door open to US military intervention in the region. The US and Panama say the wording refers to benign activities like disaster relief. Mexico especially appears to be concerned that the center would be another step toward what it considers a worrisome militarization and creeping interventionism of regional antidrug activities. Those arguments and more are fueling Panamanian opposition to the center. Critics like Bernal say the "secrecy" in which the Panamanian government has cloaked the proposal only raises doubts. Some US officials agree with that point, saying the government could have taken the proposal to the people "in town hall format" without revealing sensitive specifics. Other opponents, like Panama City architect Ricardo Bermudez, say the center would disrupt the chance this booming city was finally getting to integrate its "heart" with the rest of the community. "These bases occupy some of the city's finest jewels, and Howard is [in] the heart of the heart," he says. Yet like other critics, Mr. Bermudez says the central drawback of the CMA proposal is that it denies Panama the possibility to finally stop living as an "adolescent" under the American guardian and develop as a truly sovereign nation. "No one's against waging this battle against drugs," he says. "But at what price for Panama?" Copyright 1998 The Christian Science Publishing Society. All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombia Says Major Drug Ring Has Been Dismantled ('Orange County Register' Says The DEA And Police In Mexico, Guatemala, Panama And Chile Helped Colombia Break Up The Illegal Drug Ring That Operated Out Of At Least Five Countries To Ship Cocaine And Heroin To New York) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 22:54:08 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Colombia Says Major Drug Ring Has Been Dismantled Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 COLOMBIA SAYS MAJOR DRUG RING HAS BEEN DISMANTLED Officials in Colombia said Wednesday that they had dismantled a drug ring that operated out of at least five countries to ship cocaine and heroin to New York. "This is one of the most important operations against multinational drug traffickers that we've carried out in the last few years," national Police Chief Gen. Rosso Jose Serrano said. He said the crackdown on the criminal organization, called "Operation Pelican," was conducted in close cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and police in Mexico, Guatemala, Panama and Chile. ELSEWHERE IN THE REGION: UNDER CONTROL: Hundreds of police and army troops took over Bolivia's cocaine-producing region Wednesday and cleared roadblocks after a week of violence that left at least four dead. Soldiers encountered some resistance, but were able to clear the roads for hundreds of vehicles stranded for nearly a week.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Warnings To Pupils 'May Have Opposite Effect' (Britain's 'Telegraph' Quotes A Variety Of Interesting Sources Who Suggest 'Drug Education' And 'Prevention' Efforts May Only Increase Illegal Drug Use - And That Alcohol Use Is A Bigger Problem And Health Risk Anyway) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 11:00:27 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Drug Warnings To Pupils "May Have Opposite Effect" Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Derrick Large Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 09 Apr 1998 DRUG WARNINGS TO PUPILS "MAY HAVE OPPOSITE EFFECT" Drugs counsellors in schools can do more harm than good by inadvertently glamorising the use of illegal substances, teachers said yesterday. Too much stress on information about where to get help and too little on pointing out the dangers could create the wrong impression, they said. In one school a pupil had walked out of a session saying that the discussion had made her feel like taking drugs for the first time, a teacher claimed. In another, according to a school governor, a nine or 10 year old told his mother that he might try drugs after listening to a talk from a drugs education worker. Teachers said they needed more information about drugs themselves and advice on how to educate the children who often knew more than they did. Drug education should be a compulsory part of teacher training, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers decided at their annual conference in Bournemouth. More comprehensive drugs education should be carried out, starting in primary schools, they decided. Alcohol use, solvent abuse and smoking, particularly among girls, were also high-lighted as growing problems. David Lutwyche, a house-master from Lancing College, West Sussex, described how one pupil had punched his wife after drinking several lagers and a bottle of vodka. Another pupil had such problems with school that he was drying out in a private clinic over the Easter holidays ready to take his A-levels next term. "A year ago I lost five boys when they were expelled for drugs offences. So clearly the drugs education we gave them did not prove effective. But over 16 years I have had more problems sobering up 14 and 15 year olds from the effects of alcohol." David Britton, a teacher at the Skinners Company Girls School in Hackney, east London, said: "We have the Hackney drugs support unit which does a difficult job going to schools talking to young people about drugs. "A group of 11 year olds had been unresponsive to the information and afterwards one of them said, 'These people are making us feel that we want to take drugs and we would never have dreamed of doing it before'." However Dudley Craig, team leader for the drugs education project run by Tower Hamlets NHS Trust, said it was funded by the Home Office and follows guidelines from the Department for Education and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. The project, which is being monitored by the Roehampton Institute, had been in the schools since 1995 and parents were very complimentary about it. It had run 1,200 sessions for 9,000 pupils in 60 Hackney schools. The sensitivity needed when educating primary pupils about drugs was raised by Judith Bennet, a retired teacher and a member of the School Governors Association in Oxfordshire. A parent of a child aged nine or ten at a rural primary school had told of her concern over the drugs education given by a young man who had visited the sc hool. She noticed that the young man was talking a lot about where to get help when you were involved in drugs which she felt was not the appropriate advice she would give to nine and ten year olds. It worried her because she thought it was inappropriate and afterwards she asked her son what he thought of it. He said that before the talk, drug taking was something which had never occurred to him, but now he might try it. Peter Smith, the union's general secretary, said drugs education should become part of the teachers' qualification because it needed sensitive handling.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cheap Cigarettes Supplied By Drugs Gangs ('The Scotsman' Says Organised Criminals Involved In Illegal Drug Dealing Are Also Behind A Deluge Of Cheap Cigarettes Being Smuggled Into Scotland) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 13:18:08 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Cheap Cigarettes Supplied By Drugs Gangs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com Author: Graeme Stewart CHEAP CIGARETTES SUPPLIED BY DRUGS GANGS Organised criminals involved in drug dealing are behind the deluge of cheap cigarettes being smuggled into Scotland. The trade in smuggled cigarettes costs the Scottish economy tens of millions of pounds every year and particularly hits corner shops and tobacconists. Customs officers are bracing themselves for a vast increase in cigarette smuggling into Scottish airports between now and 1 December when 20p goes on to the price of a packet of 20 in the United Kingdom. John MacDougall, the head of FAST, the Flexible Anti- Smuggling Team, based at Glasgow Airport, said that in all major UK cities gangs involved in drug dealing were behind the cigarette-smuggling trade. The huge profits they gleaned off the sale of the illegal cigarettes helped to fund their drugs operations, he said. Some 2.5 million bootleg cigarettes, worth tens of millions of pounds, were seized at Scottish airports over the past 12 months. Customs investigators are convinced organised crime is behind the smuggling racket, with drugs barons paying unemployed "mules" to travel to the Canary Islands with empty cases to load with cheap cigarettes. Popular brand names can be bought for only UKP7 a carton, or a quarter of what they cost in Britain. They are then sold on to street traders, markets and shopkeepers, who sell them at a huge profit. The Customs and Excise warning came as the Scottish Grocer's Federation warned that organised gangs of bootleggers were costing independent retailers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. The difference in duty rates between the UK and the rest of Europe means that criminals are using the more flexible arrangement now allowed under the free market conditions to bring millions of pounds worth of goods, including alcohol, from abroad to be resold at less than half the price of UK duty-paid goods. The smugglers are costing British taxpayers an estimated UKP1 billion a year in lost duty. The president of the federation, Eddie Thompson, said: "Unless the Government takes the strong action they have promised, this criminal activity will continue to escalate ...There are warehouses full of cheap cigarettes in these holiday isles which we are sure have been organised by criminal groups based in the UK. "We reckon the gangs are involved in the supply of drugs... the huge profits these gangs make from cigarete smuggling go towards drugs operations."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Brewer Fights Tougher Driving Laws ('The Scotsman' Says Representatives Of The Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers And The Campaign Against Drinking And Driving Attacked The Edinburgh-Based Brewing Conglomerate Scottish & Newcastle Because It Wrote To 8,000 Pubs, Clubs And Bars Asking Them To Join An Appeal Against A Proposal To Lower The Legal Limit For Blood-Alcohol Levels) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 13:21:53 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: Brewer Fights Tougher Driving Laws Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com Author: Jean West BREWER FIGHTS TOUGHER DRIVING LAWS THE brewing conglomerate Scottish & Newcastle was attacked yesterday for challenging government plans to toughen drink-driving laws. Directors of the company have written to 8,000 pubs, clubs and bars asking them to join an appeal against the proposal to lower the legal driving limit from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg - a figure approved by British Euro-MPs. The company claims that the move could herald the death of some pubs and is urging its customers to lobby their local MPs with concerns about the effects on the industry. The move comes after the Government announced in the green paper Combating Drink Driving that it was considering reducing the legal limit to cut road deaths and injuries. Last night, the Campaign Against Drinking and Driving attacked the brewer's campaign as a disgrace. The CADD secretary, Maria Cape, said: "They are putting profits before lives." Isobel Brydie, of the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers, said: "No amount of money could ever compensate the families I have known over the last 12 years for the loss of a life. Certainly the profit motive is very disappointing if that is what is going to come into the debate. How do you compare profit with loss of life?" The Edinburgh-based Scottish & Newcastle - the parent company for brewers including Courage, John Smith and William Younger - made its views clear in mailshots sent to landlords. One sent by a Courage business director said: "I am writing to you to ask for your help in a matter that threatens both our businesses, namely the Government's proposal to reduce the drink-drive limit. "Under these plans drinking anything over a pint puts your customers at risk of prosecution by turning a fair law into an unreasonable one. "Like many, Courage has been an active supporter of the current law and condemns those who drive while they are drunk. However, there are powerful arguments against a change in the law and you can be sure that we will be working hard to bring these matters to the attention of government ministers and other opinion formers." Scottish & Newcastle yesterday defended the letter and said that it had been approved and sent by the company to all its customers around the country. Spokesman Nigel Pollard said: "We feel the current limit is a sensible one and the message is getting home to people about the dangers of drink driving. "There are a lot of people who act within the law and are being responsible. They might have a quick drink after work before going home, and stay well within the limit. "This new law will put a lot of people off going to the pub and the reality is that many pubs, which are already struggling for survival anyway, will go out of business. "We are certainly not putting business before road safety." A further press release from S&N added: "The majority of drink-drive accidents involve drivers who are at least double the current limit. "Scottish & Newcastle believes that the Government should focus its attention on these hard core drink offenders, as well as speeding motorists, who cause far more deaths and are punished much less harshly." There are, on average 540 deaths attributed to drink-driving in the UK each year, compared to 1,500 recorded annually in the late 1970s. The release continued: "This reduction has been achieved through a combination of highly visible public awareness programmes, partly supported by the drinks industry-sponsored Portman Group; the more rigorous enforcement of the 80mg legislation and the application of the toughest penalties on conviction anywhere in the world." Scots publicans themselves could see both sides of the coin. John Taylor, landlord of The Unicorn Roadhouse, Newmills Road, Dalkeith, said: "We get people coming for a couple of pints and then going away again because they have the car. Reducing this to one pint is cutting the amount they can drink in half, they might not think this is worth it. "But as far as the safety side of it goes, it would probably make a difference." George MacDonald, of The Golfer's Rest, North Berwick, said: "It will hit a lot of people going to the country pubs who need to drive to get there. Here, locals just walk." Neil Greig, roads and environment officer with the Automobile Association, said the organisation had surveyed its members and 80 per cent were in favour of reducing the limit. He said: "Ultimately we advise people not to drink and drive."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report Year 4, Number 7 (Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, From CORA In Italy) Date: Thu, 9 Apr 1998 10:56:16 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: CORAFax #7 (EN) ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#7 Antiprohibitionist action report April, 9 1998 - (Year 4) #7 *** CO.R.A. Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-126.96.36.199 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: email@example.com *** CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA *** ITALY: NATIONAL MOBILIZATION 56 denounces filed by CORA on the negligence of public services for drug addiction. After the cities of Pisa and Campobasso took into consideration the complaint, the general procurator has decided to take action on a larger scale. CORA writes to the president of the Commission for the Investigation of the Sanitary System. ARLACCHI/BONINO/TALIBANS AFTER PINO ARLACCHI'S LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION IN WHICH HE STRONGLY CRITICIZED BONINO'S SKEPTICISM ON UN DRUG-RELATED ISSUES IN AFGHANISTAN, MEMBERS OF THE RADICAL PARTY TAKE HER PARTS. DECLARATION OF MEPS GIANFRANCO DELL'ALBA AND OLIVIER DUPUIS, SECRETARY OF THE RADICAL PARTY. With his behavior, quite similar to his taliban friends, Pino Arlacchi manifests also at an international level his arrogance and justicialism already known in his Italian activities. Bonino is to blame for having said loud and clear what everybody is thinking about Mr. Arlacchi's project of financing the talibans for a crop eradication project that, that is, to say the least, a nonsense. Does Mr. Arlacchi know that the European Parliament has unanimously adopted last February a resolution on Afghanistan in which, besides reiterating its "firm condemnation of the taliban regime" it also expressed its "preoccupation for the agreement reached by UNDCP and the talibans"? Does he know that the EP also invited "the European Commission and the Member States to closely monitor the actual implementation of the agreement;" and urged the international community to suspend all the cooperation, including Arlacchi's, with the exception of humanitarian aid in the country? Does he know that the Vice-President of the European Commission Mr. Marin, in his intervention at the European Parliament has affirmed that "the Commission shares the preoccupation of the EP on the feasibility of the UNDCP project in conjunction with the talibans [...] and that the current situation in Afghanistan cannot allow the implementation of such a project"? Does he know that the UN has recently withdrawn its officers from the region? CORA ON THE BONINO/ARLACCHI AFFAIR The taliban of anti-drugs Mr. Arlacchi is isolated. His arrogant letter to the President of the European Commission Jacques Santer is a clear evidence. Good for Mr. Snater to have replied with the same tone. The letter sounds like a direct threat to 'non-aligned' on the eve of the UNGA Special Session on Narcotics, which Mr. Arlacchi wants to armor against any criticism on the failures of the prohibitionist strategy of the UN. Mr. Arlacchi should be more cautious, because this behavior could backfire on him. *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD THE NETHERLANDS Nimwegen - The police have halted representatives of "Centrum Demokraten", the party of the conservative right, while they were giving heroin to addicts in order to collect signatures to present candidates in the next May elections. Party leader Hans Janmaat told "De Telegraaf" that his organization is not against this type of practice. (SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 26/3) AUSTRIA The spokesperson for the Minister of Justice, Gerhard Litzka has affirmed that the increasing criminalization of youth for drug-related activities must be stopped. It is much more important to inform them than to punish them. Mr. Litzka has also said that when Austria will be the rotating President of the European Union it will try to raise the question of alternative models of support to addicts. (DIE PRESSE 26/3) SWITZERLAND The spokesperson for the Minister of Health Lorenz Hess has rendered public the favorable opinion of the Ethic Commission regarding the enlargement of the controlled heroin distribution program to 200 new addicts. The Commission has also forwarded two requests: to offer more cures to rehabilitated addicts and establish an office for the monitoring of the experimentation. SAN MARINO In a workshop hosted by the Council of Europe, researchers from various European countries have gathered to discuss ecstasy. It was clear that, despite the lack of studies concerning the consequences of the use of MDMA, we can exclude physical damages or lethal effects but still monitor the cerebral metabolism. What is very dangerous is MDMA consumption with other narcotics, because it aggravates the toxic aspects of the drug and can endanger cerebral functions like concentration and/or memory. In the long term the major risk is depression. (FRANKFURTER ALLEGEMEINE ZEITUNG 27-18/3, IL MESSAGGERO 28/3) AUSTRIA Vienna - The local section of the Liberal Party has criticized teachers in favor the distribution of hashish. Party Counselor Karin Landauer, quoting a study according to which 65% of Austrian teachers are for free hashish, has affirmed: "if it was only a personal opinion for me it would have been ok, but if they are diffusing it while working, they should be sanctioned." (DIE PRESSE 26/3) BOLIVIA The Government has started to diminish the subsidies for coca growers that decide to join the program for alternative development. The U.S. has reduced its aid for the war on drugs, and the Government is willing to find funds somewhere else, notably the EU. Peasants, once received the money, simply move their coca crops to other fields. (FINANCIAL TIMES) MEXICO While a controversial resolution on the 'certification' of Mexico was introduced at the Senate a document of the DEA, was rendered public by the higher house. In the text it appears that numerous high commanders of the Mexican Army continue to have relationships with mobs of narco dealers. (EL PAIS 27-8/3) BURMA The U.S. and Japan have jointly allocated $3.8 billion to help the Government to eradicate poppy along the border. The initiative was discussed in a seminar on poppy eradication strategies held in Rangoon organized by UNDCP, the UN agency to fight drugs, in conjunction with the local and the Japanese Government. (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE 2/4) WORLD International duel between Pino Arlacchi, Director of UNDCP, and European Commissioner Emma Bonino. The argument regards the adoption of the means for the war on drugs: Mr. Arlacchi supports the re-conversion of crops a strategy that Ms. Bonino considers old and ineffective. (LA REPUBBLICA 27/3, CORSERA, IL GIORNALE, IL MESSAGGERO, LA STAMPA 28/3) WORLD Costa Rica - At the XVI International Conference on Drug Control, the director of the Colombian police has declared that South American, Italian and Russian Mafias have struck a deal to increase the production of drugs for the European market during the football World Cup in France this coming Summer. (LE MONDE 2/4) THE NETHERLANDS A new medicine has arrived in pharmacies: Marinol, with THC tetrahydrocannabinoid - the principal active substance of marijuana. The medicine is destined to people with AIDS, cancer and sclerosis. Despite its high price the medicine sells well. (LIBERATION 30/3) FRANCE Six months, parole and some administrative sanctions. This is the penalty requested for the President of the Center the Research on Cannabis (CIRC) Jean-Pierre Galland, and for other antiprohibitionist militants that some months ago sent a joint to every French MPs. GREAT BRITAIN London - Over 1,000 people from all over Europe participated in the demonstration in support of the legalization of hashish. The march was organized by the director of the Independent of Sunday Rosie Boycott as the final event of the IoS campaign against prohibition. (CORSERA 29/3, LIBERATION, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG, SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 30/3) COLUMBIA Representatives of 54 Spanish and Latin American organizations have founded a network of Non-Governmental Organizations specialized on narcotics. The objective is to facilitate the cooperation and the interchange of expertise on prevention, assistance and personnel training. (EL PAIS 6/4) *** JOIN THE CORA *** Yes, I want to be member (send by Email, or fax, or Mail) Name and Surname ........................................ Address, Post code, City, State .......................................... Email ..................................... Occupation ............................................. Date of Birth .............................. Phone home .............. office ................. fax ...................... mobile ..................... and I am enclosing a membership fee of ..................... By means of /Postal Order to CORA /Crossed Cheque to CORA /ccp (only in Italy) /Bank Account (choose below) /Credit Card type ........................................... no ......................................................................Expiry Date ...................... MEMBERSHIP FEE OF CORA 1998 IN EUROPEAN UNION Austria 800 ATS, Belge 2000 Bfr, Denmark 500 DKK, Finland 400 FIM, France 330 FF, Germany 100 DEM, Great Britain 35 GBP, Greece 5000 GRD, Ireland 20 IEP, Italy 100.000 LIT, Luxembourg 2000 Lfr, The Netherlands 100 , LG, Portugal 5000 PTE, Spain 5000 ESB, Sweden 500 SEK BANK ACCOUNT - no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy - no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France - no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge MAIL CCP: ONLY IN ITALY - c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma *** CORA -COORDINATION RADICALE ANTIPROHIBITIONNISTE -ANTIPROHIBITIONIST RADICAL COORDINATION -COORDINAMENTO RADICALE ANTIPROIBIZIONISTA Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I consultative status at the UN Emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet -------------------------------------------------------------------
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