------------------------------------------------------------------- High Court Trashes Rights - Week 6, Stop The Marijuana Task Force (Weekly News Release From Portland's American Antiprohibition League Notes New Oregon Supreme Court Decision Limiting The Fourth Amendment, And Publicizes The Sixth Public Demonstration 4-6 PM Friday Against The Marijuana Task Force And Its 'Knock And Talk' Tactics) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 03:41:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg
To: AAL@inetarena.com Subject: OR High Court Trashes Rights, Week 6: STOP THE MTF The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax:503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, April 10, 1998 Oregon Supreme Court trashes 4th Amendment protections Week 6: STOP THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE, PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" Portland, Oregon -- History will note Thursday, April 9, 1998 as a very dark day for Oregonians protection against unreasonable search and seizure. Drug war apologist will claim the police need this latitude to be more effective. They are right. If you buy the prohibition model we now labor under. Rich Republicans give a wink and a nod. After they arrogantly ask why did it take so long to give police this expanded power to search at will? After all they will sing, only the guilty would object. Many liberals will wring their hands, feign concern ... but hey this is "war," they will rationalize. We must "protect the kids," and if it means sacrificing rights for a little more safety then so be it. They are right. In fact if we were to suspend all rights and subject everyone to random drug tests we could fill an athletic stadium and simply execute them all. Wala, a "drug free" Oregon. Wouldn't it be grand? Messy, but grand. Antiprohibitionists do not equivocate on the problem, the very real problem of drug abuse in our society and especially among the young. It is a terrible problem and it's getting worse all the time. How long will we keep doing the same thing, expecting different results? Our state government has a schizophrenic drug policy. While we do more than most other states to treat abuse and provide harm reduction (e.g. needle exchange), even drug courts. Yet it persist on misappropriating the lion's share of "drug" dollars to futile and pernicious enforcement, ever expanding prisons. It's obvious which approach our state's high court prefers. The ramifications could be with us for a very long time to come. Read the summary below, if it does not scare you then you should read the Constitution of these here United States and this here Oregon State to see just how far we have drifted from the original intent. On April 9, 1998, the Oregon Supreme Court decided the case summarized below. *** State v. Martin (SC S44459) HOLDING: A police officer has probable cause to arrest a man who exhibits behavior consistent with a drug transaction in a place known as a center of drug activity. SUMMARY: Martin was charged with unlawful delivery and unlawful possession of cocaine after a warrantless search on his person found cocaine. The arresting officer testified that he observed Martin standing on a corner well known for drug transactions. When hailed by the occupant of a van stopping at the corner, Martin looked around as if to assure himself that he would not be observed before approaching the van. Martin subsequently reached into the van and then appeared to place something in his back pocket. Martin was again observed on the same corner approximately two hours later. The trial court concluded that since the officer failed to see any object in Martin's hand, the officer lacked an objective basis for the arrest. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court concluded that under the totality of the circumstances, the officer's conclusions were objectively reasonable. Because of the officer's knowledge of the corner as a "drive-up drug dispensing location" and the specific actions he observed, he had probable cause to arrest the defendant and the search was lawful. source: Oregon Court News, 4/9/98, Willamette University Law Online *** Week 6: STOP THE MARIJUANA TASK FORCE PROTEST, SPEAK-OUT AGAINST THE MTF & PRAY FOR "DRUG PEACE!" EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCKS ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon) *** "Suspend & Review" [The MTF] Endorsements Lee Berger, local attorney Radical Women Cannabis Liberation Society Gary L. Dye, candidate Metro Dist. 7 Lewis & Clark College Hemp Club Stuart Sugarman, local attorney N.O.R.M.L., Portland/Vancouver Spencer M. Neal, local attorney Pacific Party, Portland James Brewster, Lib candidate U.S. Senate Jim Redden, PDXS Dr. Ruben Botello, Amer. Homeless Society Paul Loney, local attorney Oregonians for Personal Privacy Stan Khan, Pacific Party Dist 14 D. Paul Stanford, Demo Dist. 14
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hello Grants Pass From OCTA! (Bruce House, A Volunteer For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative Campaign, Notes Another Volunteer From Grants Pass Has Forwarded A List Of Potential Activists - The Addresses Of Around 70 People Busted Locally On Marijuana Charges In The Past Year) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 16:56:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org () Subject: Hello Grants Pass from OCTA! To: email@example.com OCTA notes. A neat thing happened, although it made getting out the bulk rate mail twice as long, a lady in Grants Pass sent us around 70 addresses of people who've been busted for marijuana charges since up to a year ago in Grants Pass. As we know, felons can vote in Oregon as long as they are not in jail. It was sad reading all the news-clippings of police violence against marijuana users over the last year. It motivated me to include them in this weeks' OCTA bulk rate mail, as it motivated our volunteer in Grants Pass to send them to us. Many thanks to our volunteer in Grants Pass for sending the addresses! That's an idea. Anyone can gather addresses of people who want us to send them a petition package, and we're getting them out in a weekly bulk-rate mail! For Peace, Bruce House Registered Libertarian CRRH/OCTA Office Volunteer Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp! CRRH PO Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Sponsors of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act http://www.crrh.org *** Phone: 503-235-4606 Fax: 503-235-0120 Video archive: http://www.crrh.org/video.html Streaming Video of reform related shows *** Credit Card web donation site: http://www.crrh.org/credit_cards.html We need cash to pay petitioners! *** You can now subscribe or unsubscribe to the octa99 emailing list automatically by using a web browser. Go to: *** http://webcom.com/terrakor/octa_email to subscribe or unsubscribe to the firstname.lastname@example.org email list.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Todd McCormick Update From Peter McWilliams (Heartbreaking Account From Editor Of 'Marijuanamagazine.com' Says The California Cancer Patient Continues To Be Held By Federal Authorities Without A Hearing Or Medical Care - Demonstration 6:30 PM Monday In Los Angeles) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 00:20:24 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: AMMO
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Todd McCormick Update (4/10/98) Update from Peter McWilliams April 10, 1998 CANCER PATIENT MEDICAL MARIJUANA USER TODD McCORMICK CONTINUES TO BE HELD BY FEDERAL AUTHORITIES WITHOUT A HEARING. COMPLETE UPDATE - FOUR IMPORTANT NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS *** RECORDED INTERVIEW WITH TODD McCORMICK FROM FEDERAL CUSTODY NOW AVAILABLE http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/toc.htm THIS IS AVAILABLE FOR USE BY ALL MEDIA, IN WHOLE OR PART, WITHOUT FURTHER PERMISSION OR NEED TO CREDIT *** "FREE TODD McCORMICK" RALLY SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, APRIL 13, 1997, 6:30 PM (sharp) AT THE FEDERAL COURTHOUSE IN DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES ON MAIN STREET NEAR TEMPLE. Scheduled to speak are McCormick's mother, Ann McCormick, who is flying out from Rhode Island for this event and to visit her son; Dennis Peron, Republican candidate for Governor; and Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." *** RESULTS OF TODD McCORMICK'S MARCH 31, 1998, DRUG TEST: NEGATIVE The results of the urine sample taken from McCormick on March 31, 1998, have been released by the federal government: negative. The sample was given two days BEFORE the warrant for his arrest was issued. The results of this test-that prove McCormick had, indeed, stopped using Marinol(r)--were not revealed at McCormick's non-hearing on April 3, 1998. *** CANCER PATIENT TODD McCORMICK IN SUCH FRAGILE CONDITION, HE IS TRANSFERRED TO THE PSYCHIATRIC WARD Even a physician, a physician's assistant, and a psychologist-all on the federal government's payroll-agree: Todd McCormick is in bad shape. McCormick has been prescribed and is being given an anxiety and pain-relieving medication, in addition to a pain-relieving medication. He has been moved to the medical-psychiatric section of the federal holding facility where he can get better-although pathetically substandard-medical care. For fifteen years-from the time he was twelve-McCormick has successfully treated his intense cancer-induced pain and, secondarily, his clinical depression with medical marijuana. This was all under the care and with the approval of a long list of physicians. In July 1997, the DEA arrested McCormick on medical marijuana cultivation charges and took away the medicine that uniquely treated McCormick's conditions-medical marijuana. Since then, he has deteriorated physically and mentally. He has lost a considerable amount of weight. The constant pain causes a low-level nausea that makes eating difficult and sometimes impossible. The depression has been grinding. After seven months of torment, in late February 1998, McCormick was finally persuaded to try Marinol(r)--a prescription form of THC, an active ingredient of medical marijuana. To McCormick's delight, the Marinol(r) seemed to be working-not as well as his medication of choice, but a noticeable improvement, "Todd started to become himself again," said his publisher Peter McWilliams. Then, only two weeks after starting the Marinol(r), the federal government ordered McCormick to stop taking not only his legally prescribed Marinol(r), but also hemp seed oil and other hemp seed nutritional products that McCormick uses as part of his anti-cancer diet. The return of the physical pain when he was forced off Marinol(r) triggered a new level of emotional pain. "They're trying to kill me," McCormick said as he spiraled into depression. "They take away my medicine, they take away my food. They want me to get cancer again and die. Then I won't be any trouble to them any more." He spent his time contemplating the rest of his life in pain in a federal prison-all for treating his illness with a plant he grew himself, in accordance with California law. While he was in this fragile condition, two weeks later, the government issued a warrant for the arrest of Todd McCormick. His urine, it seemed, had shown the presence of THC. This was fully expected. The powerful synthetic THC, Marinol(r), McCormick had been legally taking only days before the tests was still in his body. To top that off, the witness that could have vindicated this scientific fact was not called by the prosecution, as required by law. So McCormick-who gave himself up at the precise time he agreed to-was sent to prison for the government's error. McCormick was "processed" (strip-searched and given prison uniforms) in a room with a leaking sewage pipe. The floor, on which McCormick had to walk barefoot, was covered with human urine and excrement. McCormick was not allowed to bring the special orthopedic pillow he uses to support his head-his top five vertebra were fused together during cancer treatment when he was two years old. Inside federal prison, he was told that there were "no more pillows," not of any kind. In the medical-psychiatric ward he shivers in the flimsy cotton federal detention uniform-the prison is kept inhumanly cold 24 hours a day. The cold creates muscle cramping, that creases pain, which thrusts McCormick deeper into despair. For more information, see: http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/toc.htm http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Club Closes Its Doors In Santa Cruz ('San Jose Mercury News' Elaborates On The Unprofessional Behavior That Led To The Demise Of The Medical Marijuana Dispensary)Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 02:49:05 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Cannabis Club Closes Its Doors in Santa Cruz 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: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: Lee Quarnstrom CANNABIS CLUB CLOSES ITS DOORS IN SANTA CRUZ The Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club shut down last week after its supplier refused to extend further credit and an associate took off with the club's patient list, the club's founder said Thursday. Fred Seike, founder of the club, said he will not reopen the downtown medical-marijuana facility. "I'm 74, I'm crippled and I'm getting very, very tired," said Seike, who has been the mainstay of the club and one of the town's leading proponents of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. The club, located at Maple and Center streets, closed when its marijuana supplier, thinking he would not be paid a $7,000 debt the club owed him, refused to extend further credit, Seike said. Seike, who in recent months had turned over day-to-day operations of the club to others, blamed the organization's demise on one of his former associates. He said that person told the supplier the $7,000 debt the club owed would not be paid. Seike would identify neither the former buyers' club associate nor the dealer. "We'd been in that place before, three or four times, and we'd always been able to pay him off. But this time, an in-house person apparently convinced him that we were not going to be able to pay him." That individual, he said, took the club's patient list and indicated he planned to open his own medicinal marijuana club in the Santa Cruz area. Seike noted, however, that so far he has not heard of any such operation opening in town. He said that the 200 or so patients who purchased medical marijuana from the Cannabis Buyers' Club "will have to scrounge around looking for their local pot dealer" if they plan to continue using the substance. "If another buyers' club opens, it's not going to be with my assistance," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Dose Disables Fremont Teacher ('San Jose Mercury News' Says A 19-Year-Old Student From Union City, California, Was Arrested On Suspicion Of Possessing And Selling Methamphetamine After A Respected Fremont High School Teacher Developed Near-Fatal Heart Problems Triggered By Snorting Crank He Allegedly Bought From The Teen) Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 02:49:12 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Drug Dose Disables Fremont Teacher Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: Dennis Akizuki DRUG DOSE DISABLES FREMONT TEACHER A respected Fremont high school teacher who suffers from a rare hereditary disorder is recovering at home after a near-fatal heart problems triggered when he snorted methamphetamine allegedly purchased from a former student. The 19-year-old student, a Union City resident, was arrested on suspicion of possessing and selling methamphetamine. Both the student and the teacher confessed to police, according to court documents. Fremont police and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office and continuing to investigate the case and would not comment. The teacher, a respected six-year veteran at Kennedy High School, has been on sick leave since the incident last month. The Mercury News is not naming the teacher because he has not been arrested or charged with a crime. It's precisely for that reason that the Fremont Unified School District has not initiated action against the teacher. The Mercury News also is not naming the former student because the status of criminal charges against him was unclear Thursday. A man identifying himself as the teacher's brother answered the door at the family home Thursday and said no one had any comment. His brother, the man said, is not physically up to speaking. Court documents indicate the teacher is not only a former drug user who missed the rush that "crank" would give him, but a man haunted by him imminent mortality because of his rare hereditary disorder. The teacher suffers from Marfan syndrome, according to a letter from his lawyer, Byron C. Thompson, contained in the court file. Marfan syndrome is a sometimes fatal disorder of the connective tissue that can produce heart, skeletal and eye abnormalities. When he was diagnosed with Marfan at age 27, the teacher was told his life expectancy was 45 years, Thompson said in the letter. The diagnosis touched periods of depression. Thompson called his client a "dedicated teacher" who single-handedly put together the technology program at the school by soliciting corporate donations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Senate Committee OKs Bill To Ease Three-Strikes Law ('Los Angeles Times' Says Prospects For Enactment Of The Bill, Which Would Require That The Third Strike Conviction Be A Violent Offense In Order For The Maximum Sentence To Be Imposed, Appear Dim) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:59:38 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: CA Senate Committee OKs Bill to Ease Three-Strikes Law Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: Max Vanzi, Times Staff Writer CA SENATE COMMITTE OK'S BILL TO EASE THREE-STRIKES LAW For maximum sentence, third conviction would have to be violent offense. Measure's prospects are uncertain. SACRAMENTO--Urged on by Southland supporters who took an all-night bus ride to get here, a state Senate committee approved a measure Tuesday to ease California's tough three-strikes sentencing law. Prospects for enactment of the bill, which would require that the third-strike conviction be a violent offense before the maximum sentence could be imposed, appear dubious. The legislation would remove what is widely viewed as the law's harshest component: a 25-year-to-life sentence upon conviction of a third felony, even if the third conviction is for a nonviolent, low-impact crime. In an emotion-charged atmosphere in the hearing room, created by relatives and supporters of inmates from Los Angeles, Orange County and other areas, senators on the Senate Public Safety Committee heard from witnesses who said the three-strikes law often sends felons to prison for seemingly minor offenses. Roberta Robles of Santa Ana, co-founder of Californians Against Three Strikes, said her husband received a 25-years-to-life prison term for "attempting to possess" imitation rock cocaine--which turned out to be a macadamia nut--offered to him by undercover police. Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), chairman of the committee and author of the bill (SB2048), said the Robles incident "makes the law incredible and stupid." Other witnesses related statistics, supported by the Department of Corrections, showing that most California inmates are serving time for nonviolent offenses. About 45 supporters from two organizations with chapters throughout the state attended the hearing, then moved outside for a peaceful demonstration on the Capitol steps. On Monday night, about half of the activists had set out by bus for the Capitol from Southern California. The Vasconcellos bill would require amending a statute that was enacted at the polls as well as by the Legislature in 1994. Backers' most likely course to change the law would be to secure two-thirds majority passage in both houses and the signature of Gov. Pete Wilson--who vigorously supported the three-strikes law as it stands today. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Official Web Page For I-692 (List Subscribers Post Three Different URLs With Text, Other Information For Activists About Washington State Medical Marijuana Ballot Initiative) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 15:28:00 -0700 (PDT) From: Ben
To: email@example.com Subject: Re: HT: The Official Web Page for I-692 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Just to let everyone know, Hemp.Net has an I-692 site with more of an activist edge than the Secretary of State's site. :) The Secretary of State has a _great_ site, but hopefully the Hemp.Net site will keep you better informed on how the initiative is doing and what you can do to help it pass. - Hemp.Net's I-682 Website http://www.hemp.net/news/initiative.html - Official (WCMR) I-692 Website http://www.eventure.com/i692/ - Secretary of State's Official I-692 Complete Text http://www.wa.gov/sec/inits/text/1692.txt Ben Livingston -- Hemp.Net Number 2 Geek email@example.com -- http://www.hemp.net/~ben Pager: (206) 405-5862 --- (360) 971-5233 P.O. Box 95227 -- Seattle, WA 98145-2227 "Who needs sleep? We've got computers." *** On Fri, 10 Apr 1998, Randy Chase wrote: > To all, > > The official web site for Initiative 692, Washington State Medical > Marijuana Initiative is at: > > http://www.wa.gov/sec/inits/text/i692.htm > > Thanks again to all folks who participated in drafting the language. > > Randy > > Randy Chase > Seattle, WA
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Forget - Campus Recruit Program Tomorrow! (Medical Marijuana Now! Is Sponsoring A Meeting In Seattle Tomorrow To Show You How To Recruit College Students For The Washington State Initiative Campaign) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 16:55:46 -0700 (PDT) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: DONT FORGET: CAMPUS recruit program TOMMOROW! Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com The RANDY one said: To all, A planning meeting for a college campus activist recruitment program is being scheduled for Saturday, April 11th. Some schools terms end in May for the summer, if any field operations are to be coordinated for the fall, planning and recruitment need to be scheduled ASAP. If you can spare some time to help organize our younger brothers and sisters into action for the medical marijuana issue, great come to the meeting. If you can only spare two hours to contribute ideas, please bring your plans to this meeting. If you are a college student or have friends attending college now or in the fall. We need you. At this time this project will be under the Medical Marijuana NOW banner, when plans are finalized the work may be done using another organizational name. Any and all are welcome to this public meeting. Planning for campus medical marijuana membership drive. SGN office Saturday April 11th, Noon - 2 pm. 1605 12th Ave. (Capitol Hill) Bring notepad and pen and ideas. Randy Chase Campus Field Campaign coordinator Medical Marijuana NOW! 206-323-1229 Randy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narcotics Force Busts Sophisticated Indoor Pot Farm ('Associated Press' Says The Thurston County Narcotics Task Force Seized About 500 Marijuana Plants They Claim Were Worth $1,250 Each, Near Rochester, Washington) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Narcotics force busts sophisticated indoor pot farm The Associated Press 04/10/98 3:05 PM Eastern OLYMPIA (AP) -- Thurston County's drug trade took a hit when agents dismantled a sophisticated indoor marijuana-growing operation they said yielded $1 million a year in wholesale revenues. About 500 marijuana plants were seized in Thursday's raid, some as tall as 6 feet and ready to be harvested. Police said the pot farm had been operating near Rochester in southwest Thurston County for at least two years, supplying mostly a local market. The man who lived in the house, Cameron N. Smith, 42, was arrested for investigation of manufacturing marijuana with intent to deliver while armed, and other charges, said Detective Jim Black of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force. Three men caught with him were charged with possessing stolen property and methamphetamine. Smith also could face charges of defrauding a public utility for allegedly stealing about $1,000 worth of electricity per month by splicing a nearby service line, said Lance Brown of Puget Sound Energy. The plants were grown with the use of $20,000 in lighting equipment. The plants were valued at about $1,250 each, or about $600,000 total, Black said. Police believe Smith harvested the plants three times a year, which could have yielded as much as $1.8 million annually, he said. Detectives from other police agencies also raided three homes and two storage lockers in Thurston County, netting another 21 marijuana plants, $20,000 in cash and a stolen truck. Police hope to arrest at least four more people. Despite the big bust, Black said other growers will fill the void. "You'll probably see the availability diminish a little bit, but not much," he said. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narcotics Force Busts Pot Farm (Version In 'The Daily Olympian') From: "W.H.E.N."
To: "Talk" Subject: HT: Big Oly Pot Bust - 2 Olympian Articles Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 20:54:56 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Both articles in this post are about the "BIG POT BUST" in Rochester last week, as reported in the Daily Olympian. The second article below is a follow-up article. Bob Owen *** 4/10/98 By Joel Coffidis The Daily Olympian (Olympia, Washington) Narcotics force busts pot farm BANNER DAY-. Police raid several county drug houses, including one with 500 marijuana plants. MARIJUANA GARDEN: Washington State Patrol Trooper Jim Aye descends into the main growing space at a busted marijuana farm Thursday. An upper level contained starter plants. The operation used grow lights powered by an allegedly illegal electrical diversion. THURSTON COUNTY - Drug agents on Thursday dismantled an indoor marijuana-growing operation they said yielded $1 million, a year in wholesale revenues. It had been operating near Rochester in the southwest county for at least two years, supplying mostly a Thurston County market, police said. "This was a big one, this was a real big one," said Lt. Bill Flinton of the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force. However, other growers will fill the void left in the Thurston County drug market, said Detective Jim Black of the task force. "You'll probably see the availability diminish a little bit, but not much," Black said. The man who lived at the raided house on 168th Avenue Southwest, Cameron N. Smith, 42, was arrested on suspicion of manufacturing marijuana with intent to deliver while armed and other charges, Black said. About 500 marijuana plants, some as tall as 6 feet and ready to be harvested, were seized, along with a rifle and .380-caliber handgun from the Rochester-area home, he said. The plants were valued at about $1,250 each, or about $600,000 total, Black said. It's believed that Smith harvested the plants three times a year, which could have yielded between $600,000 and $1.8 million annually, Black added. Detectives from other police agencies also raided two homes off Nisqually Cut-Off Road, a home off Sitkum Drive and two storage lockers off Martin Way all in Thurston County, Black said. Twenty-one mar ij uana plants were seized at one of the homes, and more than $20,000 cash was seized at another, Black said. Police hope to arrest at least four other people, possibly more, stemming from the other raids, he added. The suspect in the Rochester raid was a sophisticated grower, Black said. Lighting equipment worth more than $20,000 helped grow the plants, and it is believed Smith sold the drug to distributors in the greater-Olympia area. Smith was also arrested on suspicion of first-degree possession of stolen property and possession of methamphetamine. He was being held at the Thurston County Jail on Thursday night without bail. When detectives raided the home at about 7:10 a.m. T hursday, Smith and three other men were in the garage, taking parts off a stolen pickup truck, Black, said. About three grams of methamphetamine - with a street value of about $300 - was nearby, he added. Also arrested on suspicion of possessing stolen property and methamphetamine were John D. Palmer, 29, of Oakville, released on $5,000 bail; Greg S. Warren, 34, of Vircon Drive, Rochester, released on $2,500 bail; and Marc C. Core, 29, of Susan Court Southeast, Lacey, released on $7,500 bail. Smith also could face charges of defrauding a public utility for allegedly stealing about $1,000 worth of electricity per month, said Lance Brown of Puget Sound Energy. The suspect allegedly spliced into a nearby service line, he said. All four suspects are expected to have preliminary appearances today in Superior Court, police said. About 40 officers and detectives, participated in the six raids, Black said. Joel Coffidis covers courts for The Olympian. He can be reached at 7545447.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seattle Hempfest Benefit May 2 (List Subscriber Publicizes Musical Benefit At Rexville Grange) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 10:35:01 -0700 From: Allison Bigelow (whc@CNW.COM) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Press release for Seattle Hempfest Benefit, May 2nd Sender: email@example.com Grass Roots Love, a gathering of our community in celebration, will be held at the Rexville Grange beginning at 3pm on Saturday, May 2nd. It is an evening of music, theatre, and rainbow magic featuring Spirit Union Revival, Arizona's Family Groove Band, that will be stopping in on their 1998 Spring Tour. We'll also be treated to the swirling rainbow jams of The Freedom Tribe, as well as be enlightened by The Everchanging Festival of Now, an ecclectic troupe performing theatre, clowning, fire dance, and music . This event is a Seattle Hempfest benefit, and will cost $8.00 at the door. Chili, cornbread, and salad are available for a $3.00 donation to the Green Cross. Tell your friends that this is one show that they won't want to miss! For more information call Allison at (360) 422-5097. Non profit booths and vendors welcome.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wages Paid To Inmates Rile Labor Leaders ('Des Moines Register' Says Iowa Labor Leaders Are Complaining That Some State Prisoners Are Being Hired By Private Industries At Higher Wage Rates Than Those Paid To Thousands Of Lawabiding Iowans) Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 11:39:09 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US IA: Wages Paid to Inmates Rile Labor Leaders Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Carl Olsen Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: William Petroski WAGES PAID TO INMATES RILE LABOR LEADERS Iowa labor leaders are complaining that some state prisoners are being hired by private industries at higher wage rates than those paid to thousands of lawabiding Iowans. "It is morally wrong if a freeworld worker is making a penny less than an inmate in prison, period," said John Rowen, president of Local 1868 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Polk County. In Fort Madison, AFSCME union members plan an informational picket today near the Iowa State Penitentiary to protest inmate employment programs. The starting pay for some private sector inmate jobs is higher than that for some prison employees, union officials said. Iowa Corrections Director W. L. "Kip" Kautzky said Thursday that wages paid to inmates by private employers range from $5 to $10 an hour, but most jobs are for lower-range pay. The top wages are received by a few inmate welders at Mount Pleasant who have special skills, he said. Federal law prohibits Iowa from allowing inmates to take jobs normally held by so-called "freeworld" workers, Kautzky said. The prisoners are simply filling a need that can't be met in Iowa's tight job market, he said. "Every one of these companies say they are interested in us only as long as the economy limits the labor supply in such a dramatic way," Kautzky said. Rowen and several other Iowa union officials met Thursday with Des Moines Register editors and reporters. They expressed concerns about state officials' plans to make Iowa a national leader in private industry employment of prisoners. About 145 inmates from prisons in Mitchellville, Newton, Rockwell City and Mount Pleasant are now working for private employers. In addition, there are plans to create 275 more jobs at the new prison in Fort Dodge. The work varies from telemarketing chores to making sandwiches to operating factory equipment. Employers do not provide health insurance or worker compensation benefits. Kautzky said the private industry program is beneficial because inmate workers can be charged for part of the cost of their incarceration, easing a taxpayer burden. Money is also deducted from inmate paychecks for taxes, child support, court-ordered restitution and victims' compensation, and to set money aside for their eventual release. The March edition of Iowa AFL-CIO News carried an article titled "Prisoners Stealing Your Job?" The story explained how the Iowa Legislature is considering a proposal to spend $2.2 million to construct prison industries buildings in Newton and Mitchellville to provide places for businesses to establish factories. A cartoon accompanying the article shows an unemployed person who commits a crime out of desperation and is sent to prison, where he then gets a job. Mark Smith, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, AFLCIO, said he is concerned that the state's prison job plans will hold down wages for lawabiding, lowerpaid workers. At the very least, prison officials should go slowly until more is known about how the plans will affect Iowa workers, he said. Reporter William Petroski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (515) 2848547.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Campaign To Kill House Resolution 372 (Bulletin From Marijuana Policy Project Updates Status Of US House Of Representatives' Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 00:27:42 -0400 From: Marijuana Policy Project
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project Reply-To: MPP@MPP.ORG Sender: email@example.com Subject: 4/10/98 update: The campaign to kill H.Res. 372 TO: Interested.firstname.lastname@example.org FROM: Robert D. Kampia, MPP director of government relations DATE: Friday, April 10, 1998 SUBJECT: The campaign to kill House Resolution 372 MPP recently turned up the heat in its campaign to oppose House Resolution 372, holding simultaneous protests in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., on March 30 that resulted in a marijuana-using patient getting arrested in an act of civil disobedience in a congressional office. (Please see below for details.) As reported in MPP's last legislative update on March 27, the U.S. House of Representatives has delayed its vote on House Resolution 372, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution, until Tuesday, April 21, at the earliest. This would be the first ever congressional vote on medicinal marijuana legislation. (Please note that the abbreviation for this resolution is "H. Res. 372," not "H.R. 372.") If you are a patient, doctor, or otherwise have a personal story to tell about medicinal marijuana, please call the office of your U.S. representative to schedule a meeting while he or she is visiting his or her office near your home town during the April 4 - 20 congressional recess. Please call MPP for background materials to take to the meeting. Since MPP's last update, the opposition to House Resolution 372 has grown: * The March 19 protest outside of the office of U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) -- the sponsor of House Resolution 372 -- was covered by the _Tampa Tribune_, _Orlando Weekly_, WESH-TV in Orlando, 89.1 FM in Gainesville, University of Florida public radio, and Tampa public radio. * MPP helped launch a similar protest outside the office of U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan (R-CA) in Pasadena on March 30. Rep. Rogan flip-flopped on the medicinal marijuana issue by voting for House Resolution 372 in committee on March 4, 1998, even though he voted for positive medicinal marijuana legislation in the California legislature in 1995. * MPP also organized a protest inside Rep. Rogan's office on Capitol Hill the same day. Cheryl Miller, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, traveled from her home in New Jersey to Washington, D.C., with her husband Jim to protest House Resolution 372. In an act of civil disobedience, Jim fed marijuana to Cheryl in front of 20 TV cameras and a dozen other reporters. (To view footage of this protest on-line, please see http://www.mpp.org/millers.html.) The two were arrested and released two hours later; Cheryl now faces six months in D.C. jail. This arrest and the Los Angeles protest were covered by: -- CNN, ABC's _World News This Morning_, and Fox News Channel's _Fox News Now_; -- WBZ-AM and WFXT-TV (Boston); WJBK-TV (Detroit); KABC-TV, KCAL-TV, KNBC-TV, and KTLA-TV (Los Angeles); WINS-AM (New York); KGW-TV (Portland); KX-TV (Sacramento); KING-TV (Seattle); KTVI-TV (St. Louis); News Channel 8, WJLA-TV, and WRC-TV (Washington, D.C.); and -- _USA Today_, _Los Angeles Times_, _Orlando Sentinel_, _Glendale News-Press Leader_, _Pasadena Star-News_, and AP's on-line "video of the day." * On April 3, _AIDS Treatment News_, based in San Francisco, published MPP's legislative update in its twice-monthly newsletter. Additionally, MPP received word from AIDS Treatment Initiatives in Atlanta that it is opposing House Resolution 372. Other health, medical, and patient-services groups are encouraged to contact MPP if they oppose this resolution. * MPP allies and members are getting their letters-to-the-editor opposing House Resolution 372 published in their local newspapers. For a sample letter-to-the-editor, please see http://www.mpp.org/hres372ltr.html. While MPP is lobbying against House Resolution 372 on Capitol Hill, we cannot stop it without your help. By expressing your strong opposition now, we can kill this resolution if and when it reaches the House floor. House Resolution 372 states, in part, the following: "The U.S. House of Representatives is opposed to legalizing marijuana ... a dangerous and addictive drug ... for medicinal use, and urges the defeat of state initiatives which would seek to legalize marijuana for medicinal use." Please call, fax, or write and say the following: "I am [writing/ calling] to urge [you/Representative _________] to vote against House Resolution 372, the anti-medicinal marijuana resolution. I believe patients should be allowed to use medicinal marijuana if their doctors approve of such use. At the very least, Congress should not take any action on this issue until the Institute of Medicine completes its review of medicinal marijuana this coming December." (Institute of Medicine's phone number is 202-334-1805.) *** To find out the name of your U.S. representative (on the Web): First, find out your ZIP+4 ... http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html Then, use it to get the name of your U.S. representative ... http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html TO CALL: To call your U.S. representative's office, please call the congressional switchboard operator at 202-225-3121. The operator will ask you for your zip code if you do not know who your U.S. representative is. TO FAX: To fax your U.S. representative, please call your U.S. representative's office or e-mail MPP@MPP.ORG for his or her fax number. If you choose to e-mail MPP, please be sure to include your U.S. representative's name. TO WRITE: U.S. Rep. [name] U.S. House of Representatives Washington, D.C. 20515 TO E-MAIL: Please DO NOT e-mail your U.S. representative unless you have already called or faxed. *** For up-to-date information on the status of House Resolution 372 and how to oppose it, please visit the MPP's World Wide Web site at http://www.mpp.org/la031398.html. *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support the MPP's work and receive the quarterly "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 202-232-0442 FAX
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rebuttal Of House Resolution 372 - A Case Of Mistaken Identity ('The Nation' Provides A Point-By-Point Refutation Of The Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution To Be Voted On By The US House Of Representatives April 21)Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:30:22 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Rebuttal of H. Res. 372- A Case of Mistaken Identity Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Ed Glick
Source: The Nation (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thenation.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: Ed Glick, RN REBUTTAL OF H. RES 372 - A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTIDY Introduction H. Res.. 372 was introduced in the House of Representatives on February 26, 1998. It constitutes a "sense of the House of Representatives that marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medicinal use." This paper is a rebuttal of H. res. 372 and an argument that marijuana has several extensively documented applications and a high safety margin with medically supervised use. In addition it refutes the rhetorical tool of of connecting the issues of substance use and abuse to medically supervised use as inconsistent with the accepted protocols which govern the medical research process. It questions the underlying legal, moral and political priorities which criminalize sick, suffering and dying people for their medically supervised use of marijuana as fundamentally inconsistent with basic tenets of nursing practice which strive to care for and support ill people with compassion. Each rebuttal paragraph corresponds to the item of the same number in the text. The vote on H. Res.. 372 is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 21'st, 1998. 1. The Controlled Substances Act was signed into Law in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. It classifies certain drugs or substances with a high potential for abuse into schedules. There are 5 schedules which represent graded levels of control. Schedule one is for drugs which do not meet any of the three basic requirements of listing: 1.No recognized medical value; 2. Toxic; 3. Highly dependence forming Schedule one placement of marijuana is inappropriate on two of the three parameters. Numerous scientific studies document five notable uses. (anti seizure effects, anti nausea effects, appetite stimulant effects, analgesic effects and intraocular pressure reduction effects.) In 1987 DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young conducted extensive and well documented hearings into marijuanas placement into Schedule 1. He subsequently ruled that marijuana should be immediately reclassified into schedule 2 His ruling was dismissed by DEA Administrator John Lawn claiming the evidence was not scientific enough. In the intervening decade documentation about the therapeutic uses of cannabinoids (the chemicals in marijuana responsible for its effects) has increased including numerous books, research papers and patient accounts. 2. Marijuana use is not associated with domestic violence when used alone. Alcohol is. Marijuana is ranked as one of the least toxic drugs in wide-spread use today. There is no documented mortality associated with acute overdose of cannabis in the medical literature encompassing 5000 years of use. In contrast, four hundred-thousand Americans die each year from diseases brought on by tobacco smoking. Research citing increases in traffic accidents related to cannabis intoxication is ambiguous at best. Some studies show that drivers intoxicated by marijuana actually compensate for their impairment by driving more carefully. Alcohol use is clearly associated with more aggressive driving patterns. Obvious wisdom would dictate that driving while under the influence of ANY drug is foolish. 3. This paragraph in H. Res. 372 expands upon and repeats paragraph 1. Research clearly shows that medical complications of Heroin, PCP, and Cocaine use can be severe and life-threatening. Approximately twenty-five thousand Americans die each year from complications of illegal drug use such as heart attacks and strokes. Medical contraindications of marijuana relate to a large extent on inhaling as the route of delivery. Pulmonary complications such as bronchitis, and respiratory infections can and do occur. Immune impairments are probably minimal, with some studies showing enhanced immunity. Cognitive impairments can occur to some heavy conic users-most notably reversible short-term memory deficits. Cannabis Dependence Syndrome is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorders (DSM-IV) as an affliction based upon inability to control use. Reproductive research is far from conclusive, and has often been based upon large doses of cannabinoids infused rapidly into rodents. Research purporting to prove the existence of withdrawal symptoms also is based upon wildly unrealistic research protocols in rodents. There is no documented malignant pathology (cancer) associated with exposure to marijuana in humans in spite of the fact that marijuana smoke contains many of the same harmful combustion by-products as tobacco smoke. Large scale mortality research has shown no increase in mortality associated with marijuana use when confounding variables are considered. By far the greatest contra-indication to marijuana is that associated with its illegal status. These include arrest, prosecution, loss of home and employment, fines, jail time and child protective service investigations. 4. Dronabinol, known by the trade name Marinol is a synthetic version of the THC molecule-one of the major cannabinoids. It is approved for use by the FDA as a schedule 2 drug for appetite stimulation related to AIDS wasting syndrome and as an anitemetic in cancer chemotherapy. Marinol costs $15 or more per capsule and is dispensed in 2.5 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg doses in a sesame oil formulation. It is effective for some patients however others prefer the ease and speed of the inhaled route. The lungs deliver cannabinoids to the brain in 1-10 minutes allowing patients to easily self regulate the dose and effect. Marinol may take 3 hours to digest and patients complain of excessive sedation, dizziness. Patients who are nauseated often cannot tolerate pills. Phase 3 clinical trials by the FDA have not been conducted in spite of much evidence of efficacy. In February 1997 The National Institute of Health conducted an inquiry about medical uses of marijuana and concluded that several indications merit further study. 5. Marijuana has an extensively documented history of medical use spanning 5000 years. Marijuana was widely prescribed by physicians in Europe and America as a tincture (an alcohol based preparation) until its use was effectively banned in 1937 by passage of the Marihuana Tax Act. In western medical science drugs are evaluated primarily for efficacy. Many obscure, dangerous and potent drugs exist and are used when necessasary by physicians. 6. Numerous governmental and scientific commissions have publicly positioned themselves in support of a medically supervised and regulated supply of marijuana. These include The World Health Organization, and many physician and nursing groups. Unfortunately, decades of Federal Government obstruction has confused Americans. 7. In November of 1996 voters in the states of Arizona and California approved initiatives which legalize marijuana for medical use. Shortly thereafter, on December 30th 1996, HHS Secretary Donna Shalala, National Drug Coordinator Barry McCaffery and Attorney General Janet Reno conducted a press conference openly threatening to revoke the DEA license of doctors who prescribe marijuana to their patients. Doctors filed suit and gained an injunction forbidding Federal authorities from carrying through on their threat. 8. Shortly after Arizona voters approved of the medical use of marijuana legislators in Arizona passed legislation nullifying the vote. Voters refiled another petition to bring the question to a vote. Arizonans will again vote on the issue this November. 9. In the United States there are no laws which completely forbid citizens of one state from financially supporting legislative or political efforts underway in another state. Millions of dollars cross state lines each year for many different issues. 10. Organizations like the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) have long supported compassionate use of marijuana when governmental and health care agencies have not. Many other pro-legalization groups have advocated for reform of laws surrounding the war on drugs. Public support of medical marijuana may be a result of widespread experience of loved ones, family members and friends who have benefited by using marijuana. Americans overall oppose unregulated access to marijuana but continue to support medically supervised access. 11., 12. Many children in the United States have drug abuse problems. Many parents do also. Problems of addiction in the United States cost billions of dollars annually and result in approximately half a million deaths. Billions more dollars are spent in interdiction efforts. Drug availability on the street remains high, prices for hard drugs have fallen and purity has increased. Marijuana use in children has risen in recent years partly because of a perception of safety. But many children appear confused about the mixed messages they receive about substance use in our society. These messages that connect legal drug use with prosperity, glamour and health are pervasive. The DARE program, ostensibly a medical class taught by law enforcement personnel, is in 80% of public schools. It has repeatedly been shown as ineffective at teaching children the risks and benefits associated with all drugs. There is simply no logical connection between safe and effective drugs used under medical supervision and their potential for abuse by others, a point repeatedly acknowledged by governmental commissions. 13. References to statistical associations between marijuana use and hard drugs are misleading and inconclusive. The 1997 National Drug Strategy reports that some 80% of marijuana users do not use hard drugs. Increased use of hard drugs by marijuana using teenagers can be explained by looking at personality types which are more risk-taking. Troubled youths coming from troubled homes are more likely to behave in anti-social or unhealthy ways-including using marijuana. This does not make marijuana a causative agent in the progression to more deadly substances. There is no biochemical connection between marijuana use and the use of other substances. Marijuana users are more likely to drink alcohol. It is absurd to assert that marijuana use leads to alcohol use, or vice-versa. The gateway theory has been repeatedly used as a pretext for marijuana prohibition. It has been discredited by studies which describe it as faulty logic with no basis in fact. There is a statistical association with alcohol use and violence. Alcohol works on parts of the brain which affect self-control. This is a biochemical explanation. Tobacco use over many years is statistically associated with cancer. This also is a biochemical association. Cocaine, Heroin, PCP and Methamphetamine use is statistically and causally related to a variety of medical complications including death. IV injection of drugs with contaminated syringes has a clear statistical association with increases in the transmission of the AIDS virus. Use of marijuana by children does not lead to hard drugs. Government interdiction efforts which strive to end the massive flow of drugs into the United States however seem to be statistically correlated with increases in hard drug use in this country. 14. In US society children receive many ambiguous messages regarding sexual activity, drug use, and money through practically all mass media but particularly through television. But cultural messages which glamorize drug use have nothing to do with medically supervised access to a valuable medicine. Marijuana occupies a niche along with thousands of other plants and drugs. Appropriate medical use of a drug does not glamorize inappropriate use of it and is a spurious argument. On the other hand, deceptive emotional laden rhetoric which persistently assigns moral overtones to a medical or public health issue is a disservice to Americans who depend on their government to be honest. Many other public health or medical issues have been mischaracterized by politicians, mostly republicans, as breakdowns in moral fabric, including passing out condoms, sterile needles and elective abortion. Not only does this deceive Americans, but it neglects to evaluate public health issues on a balanced playing field. There is widespread addiction , mortality, morbidity and suffering associated with substance use. Legal behaviors kill half a million Americans each year. 15. 16. Many Americans, particularly teenagers are distrustful of the Federal Government. Poor quality politically motivated drug education epitomized by the DARE program, serves to cultivate ignorance, apathy and distrust of the Federal Government. Inequities in public health policy abound. Children perceive an illogical association between the high rate of legal tobacco related death and the non-existent death associated with illegal marijuana. In addition, children have seen first hand how loved ones have benefited from using marijuana, or watched them slowly die from using tobacco. As such, the more Americans understand about the medical use of marijuana, the more they approve of it. It is mostly conservative politicians and Federal Government agencies which continue a long tradition of misinforming the public about the beneficial uses of marijuana. As a result, large numbers of patients endure arrest, and prosecution because of their use of it. CONCLUSION H. Res. 372 represents an attempt to maintain polarization in the debate about medical marijuana and illegal drug use by disregarding a large body of evidence which supports medically justified use. Many of the assertions made in H. Res. 372 are either demonstrably false, or casually unrelated to the risk/benefit assessment that governs drug research and use in this country. It fails to place the relatively small issue of medical marijuana into a balanced perspective of drug use and addiction in our society. By deflecting attention away from public health behaviors which cause an alarming degree of mortality and morbidity, like tobacco use, H. Res. 372 serves to misinform the public. Americans , and particularly children are distrustful and cynical about government. Large numbers of sick and dying patients are currently using marijuana for documented relief of several conditions. Federal attempts to criminalize patients, and their health care providers result in more pain and suffering, a more intrusive Federal Government and a more cynical and uninformed public. Within the medical framework of the United States compassion and knowledge should be integrated. Disallowing a valuable medicine for poorly documented and morally dubious reasons is inconsistent with the basic cornerstones of medical care. Edward Glick, RN
------------------------------------------------------------------- Uncommon Practice ('San Francisco Chronicle' Examines 'Off-Label' Drug Prescribing By Doctors In The United States - FDA Regulations Allow Any Drug Approved For One Condition To Be Freely Prescribed For Any Other Condition, As Long As The Doctor Sees A Benefit - Fully Half Of All Prescription Drugs Sold Are Used For Ailments Other Than Those They Were Approved For) Date: Sat, 11 Apr 1998 09:37:17 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Uncommon Practice Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Gerald Sutliff
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 Author: Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Staff Writer UNCOMMON PRACTICE Patients going beyond drug's label to treat their ailments Dr. Richard Glogau doesn't have the FDA's blessing when he injects patients' armpits with botulism toxin to treat their problems with excess sweat. But the San Francisco dermatologist administers the unorthodox treatment regularly winning raves from drenched hyperhidrosis sufferers, a byline in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Dermatologic Surgery and even a few visits from intrigued network news shows. "This is a significant advance for patients," he said. It also highlights one of the more peculiar features of the American medical system: Fully half of all prescription drugs sold are used for aliments other than those they were approved to treat. Glogan and his patients are pioneers in what's known as "off-label" drug use. That refers to any use other than that listed on the Food & Drug Administration approved product description. FDA regulations allow any drug approved for one condition to be freely prescribed for any other condition, as long as the doctor sees a benefit. There's no solid proof of safety and efficacy, but patients often are the last ones to complain. "I was desperate," said Brandon Burg, 30, a San Francisco medical-management software consultant bedeviled since childhood by wildly overactive sweat glands. Multiple rounds of painful cutting, scraping and liposuction didn't work. Ready to try anything, Burg found his way to Glogau's clinic at the University of California at San Francisco and soon was undergoing injections of a drug called Botox. It's sold by Irvin based Allergan Inc. with full approval of the FDA. But the only FDA-sanctioned use, based on extensive, rigorously controlled clinical trials, is to control certain nervous disorders affecting muscles of the eyelids and face. Botulism toxin is deadly at full strength - a much feared agent of biological warfare that paralyzes victims in seconds. But in its dilute form, the same toxin can be used safely to tame overactive nerve junctions in the muscles. Along with at least two other researchers showing similar results, Glogau found that Botox also keeps sweat glands under control, inhibiting the neurotransmitter that causes muscles surrounding the glands to contract. The only drawback so far seems to be that the effect wears off in a few months, forcing patients back for repeat treatments. Each round of injections costs $600 to $1,000. >From the standpoint of practitioners like Glogau, there's no reason to wait for the government's permission to do what he can to help people. "That's not how medicine operates," he said. Glogau notes that only about half of his patients' insurance companies are willing to pay for what some consider an experimental cosmetic procedure. The FDA system doesn't allow Allergan to proclaim Botox's efficacy in fighting sweat - unless the company is willing to finance full-blown c~mical trials of Botox for sweat control. Which it isn't. Instead, Allergan is studying Botox as a treatment for cerebral palsy, migraine headache, adult spasticity, spi~al cord in-jury and lower back pain. "You want to take a look at the bigger markets obviously because they bring are-turn on your investment faster," said an Allergan spokesman. "Excess sweating af-fects a narrow range of the population. It's not a place where we have placed a lot of research money." In fact, the company can't even say very much about what independent researchers are doing. Even while drug ads flourish on TV, manufacturers are strictly forbidden to discuss off-label uses of their products. This policy is supposed to provide an incentive for the company to undergo expensive product testing. Now, though, the restrictions are starting to ease. Congress ordered the FDA to implement new rules by November that allow companies to hand out unsolicited copies of materials on off label drug use. However, only medical-journal articles and other specialty materials can be distributed, and then only if the drugmaker undertakes a clinical trial within three years. "There's an open question as to how much this will change things," said Michael Landa, staff attorney at Fenwick & West in WashingtQn, D.C. Some legal specialists charge the new law doesn't go nearly far enough, suggesting there's no reason to restrict the free flow of information to physicians trained to digest it. "There's a natural conservatism among physicians, a built-in skepticism about any new drug or untried use of an old drug," said Jonathan Emord, a Washington, D.C., lawyer representing doctors and some health-product makers. "Not many doctors are eager to be on the cutting edge experimenting with human beings as guinea pigs. There are some cases where they have no choice. To fear the dissemination of science to scientists is just absurd," Emord said. But most drugmakers seem reluctant to press the point, partly because the 1997 law eased other restrictions, such as those on advertising, that they had chafed against, partly because doctors can find all the information they need and then some just by searching the Internet. "I haven't heard many complaints," said Carl Feldbaum, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. He called the new change on off label information "a careful compromise." Many patient groups wanted the off-label rules lifted altogether, but consumer advocates maintain it would be a big mistake to give manufacturers free rein. "The system is supposed to provide an incentive to conduct studies, and this amounts to an end-run around the system," said Arthur Levin, director of the Center for Medical Consumers, an advocacy group based in New York.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boston Radio Show (Ron Smith At WBAL Says While American Anti-Drug Boss Barry McCaffrey And Top Mexican Crime Officials Were Giving A Briefing Tuesday Inside The Mexican Foreign Ministry Building In Mexico City, A CNN Camera Crew Outside In The Parking Lot Was Robbed Of A $25,000 Camera And Other Equipment) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 17:28:51 -0700 (PDT) From: email@example.com (Darral Good) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: BOSTON RADIO SHOW Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Email Ron Smith  email@example.com RON SMITH'S SOMETHING TO SAY Friday, April 10, 1998 Friends don't let friends... Things aren't going all that well south of the border...down Mexico way. A CNN camera crew discovered that first-hand Tuesday when they left the Mexican foreign Ministry building and were held up at gunpoint with numerous bystanders, including police, looking on. The TV people were relieved of a $25,000 camera and other equipment. The robbery took place while American anti-drug boss Barry McCaffrey and top Mexican crime officials were giving a briefing inside. A CNN spokesman said the incident took place within a foreign ministry parking lot, but the Mexican government issued a statement saying the robbery took place at a nearby car park. A bit embarrassing, dont you think? Its part of the routine in Mexico City, however, especially since the peso was devalued in 1994. Crime is the big Mexican growth industry, compounded by a corrupt and inefficient police force. The State Department has issued a warning to US citizens not to take taxis down there since New York real estate agent Peter Zarate was murdered in a taxi-cab robbery last December. Last week an American woman was raped and murdered on a beach in southern Mexico. The Victim, a former art instructor at Yale University had been bitten, raped, and thrown into the sea. These and numerous other incidents, which are not well publicized in this country, have led some folks to conclude that friends dont let friends vacation in Mexico. copyright (c) 1998 - wbal radio References 1. http://wbal.com/shows_smith.htm 2. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Edmonton Police Claims Of Major Crime Rings And International Conspiracies Are Just An Effort To Procure Money For A War On Marijuana Growers (Letter To Editor Of 'Edmonton Sun' By Canadian Man Charged With Marijuana Cultivation) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: LTE: Edmonton Sun Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 11:48:52 -0700 Newshawk: Carey Ker
Source: Edmonton Sun Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: April 10, 1998 Comment: Parenthetical remarks are the Sun editor's I WAS charged by the Edmonton city police with marijuana cultivation. The next day on the news they were linking me to a major crime ring and international conspiracy. These, however, are not the facts. In the police effort to procure money for a war on marijuana growers, I feel they are also targeting Joe Average who goes to work and pays his taxes. This, I feel, is not right because although my reasons for smoking are medicinal, I'm not going to lie to you and tell you I don't enjoy it. I guess the question I would like to ask Canadians is, "Do they believe Joe Average should be in jail for growing his own marijuana?" And second, "Do they believe one single person ever quit smoking marijuana because they were charged with a marijuana offence?" In my 25 years of smoking marijuana and the last three years of growing and researching marijuana, I can honestly tell you the two bad things smoking marijuana can do to you and the benefits that are too numerous to mention. I'm asking on behalf of all Canadians, please do not let the police persecute the little man. Harland Calliou (That may be a pipe dream, Harland. It is against the law to possess marijuana)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - That Pot Problem (Letter Sent To Editor Of 'Edmonton Sun' Faults Staff Editorial Opposing Both Medical Marijuana And Decriminalisation Because They Would Send Mixed Messages) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 12:52:30 -0700 Subject: SENT:That pot problem From: "D. Harper" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) I know this is probably too long, but had to get my two cents in. *** To The Editor: When I began reading "That pot problem," Apr. 6, I was elated to hear another voice of reason coming from mainstream journalism in Alberta. But the words "Yes, we're being facetious" slammed me back to reality. How many of you smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, or ingest prescription drugs for whatever reason? Did it ever occur to you how hypocritical you are to the silent majority out here who are getting weary of it? If you factor in the 600,000 with cannabis convictions and a low estimate of 5 family members and 5 friends, co-workers, etc. also affected, it amounts to over half the population of this country that have been impacted by this mean-spirited legislation, and that is the real problem. You admit to being uncompassionate to the sick and that is a crime before God in almost anyoneıs book. How can you justify your support for prohibiting something that has never directly caused a single death in 5,0000 years? What kind of medical evidence do you need? Name me one other drug that can make that claim. Wake up people! We have enough stress in our lives without bureaucrats treating us like children. Government imposed parental authority over adults forces many to live perpetually as rebellious teen-agers.Remove the stigma and shame so families will no longer have to go through this unnecessary suffering. Just let us live as adults too. If the government wonıt do anything I pray the Supreme Court will. We have to have some hope for a future without anarchy. D. L. Harper
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dutch Research On Cannabis Use (Correspondent In The Netherlands Notes The University Of Amsterdam Has Just Released Findings Which Show Official Estimates Of Cannabis Use In The Netherlands - Already Among The Lowest In Europe - Are Much Too High)Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 13:16:44 +0200 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: mario lap
Subject: dutch research on cannabis use Friday 10 April 1998 The University of Amsterdam has just released findings which show that the official estimations on cannabis use in the Netherlands are much too high. As asserted by other Dutch experts such as the Trimbos Insitute the number of cannabis users in The netherlands is to be estimated at 300 to 400.000 on a population of 15.000.000. Official documents (government) up to now had a figure of 600.000 which research now shows way too high mario The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 37 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's News Summary For Activists Features 11 Original Articles Including - Free Todd McCormick Rally Monday, April 13, In Los Angeles; Needle Exchange Funding Band Decision To Be Released Within Two Weeks; 'It's The Pain, Stupid' - Kevorkian, Pain, And The DEA; Update On Drug And Harm Reduction Policies In Central And Eastern Europe And The Newly Independent States; German Doctors Vote In Favor Of Heroin Prescription; Medical And Public Health Organizations Oppose Criminalization Of Pregnant Addicts; And, Vaclav Havel's Second Prague Spring, By Adam J. Smith) Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 07:40:15 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #37 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #37 -- APRIL 10, 1998 -- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) SPRINGFIELD, MASS: Springfield Harm Reduction Conference Friday 4/10 (today), 9am - 4pm, Springfield Marriott corner of Boland & Columbus Ave., FREE LOS ANGELES: Free Todd McCormick Rally! Monday, April 13, 1998, 6:30pm, Federal Courthouse, Downtown L.A., Main St. near Temple St. For info and background, see http://www.marijuananews.com/free_todd_mccormick_rally.htm OKLAHOMA CITY: Free Will Foster rally! Capitol Building, April 20, 4:00pm (mistakenly reported as noon last week). Info: Call OK NORML at (405) 366-8058, or visit http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-3.html#freewill VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA: Sensible Solutions to the Urban Drug Problem, A Fraser Institute Conference, April 21 Info: Patrick Basham, (604) 688-0221 x329 firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.fraserinstitute.ca JOIN DRCNET: $25 or more for one-year membership plus free copy of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, this month only! http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html or mail to DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Donations not tax-deductible. (DRCNet apologizes for the double posting last week, which was due to a technical error -- you're not subscribed twice, unless you received four copies!) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. DRCNET EXCLUSIVE: SYRINGE EXCHANGE FUNDING BAN DECISION TO BE RELEASED WITHIN TWO WEEKS http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#dhhs 2. OAKLAND ASSET FORFEITURE LAW CHALLENGED -- AND, FEDERAL FORFEITURE UPDATE http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#forfeiture 3. SENATE WOULD EXTEND MARIJUANA PROHIBITION TO INCLUDE MEDICAL RESEARCH http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#senate 4. FELONY CHARGES FOR WOMAN CULTIVATING MARIJUANA FOR UKIAH CANNABIS BUYERS' CLUB http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#ukiah 5. "IT'S THE PAIN, STUPID": KEVORKIAN, PAIN, AND THE DEA http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#bostonbill 6. VACLAV HAVEL VETOES BILL CRIMINALIZING DRUG POSSESSION http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#havel 7. UPDATE ON DRUG AND HARM REDUCTION POLICIES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#nis 8. GERMAN DOCTORS VOTE IN FAVOR OF HEROIN PRESCRIPTION http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#maintenance 9. DRUG POLICY LETTER FOCUSES ON WOMEN AND DRUGS http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#dpletter 10. MEDICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSE CRIMINALIZATION OF PREGNANT ADDICTS http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#whitner 11. EDITORIAL: VACLAV HAVEL'S SECOND PRAGUE SPRING http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#editorial *** 1. DRCNET EXCLUSIVE: SYRINGE EXCHANGE FUNDING BAN DECISION TO BE RELEASED WITHIN TWO WEEKS - Adam J. Smith The Presidential Advisory Commission on HIV/AIDS was all set to vote (4/9) on a resolution which would have demanded that the President direct Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala either make a determination regarding the ban on federal funding for syringe exchange, or resign. That vote, however, has been put on hold in the wake of information that a decision is forthcoming. Sources familiar with the situation told the Week Online that President Clinton's Chief of Staff, Erskine Bowles, called commission chairman Dr. Scott Hitt on the eve of the vote to tell him that Secretary Shalala is "supportive of the issue" of exchange, and that HHS' internal review would be complete and a decision announced within two weeks. While the White House has not guaranteed what the decision would be, the Commission has decided to table any action on the resolution pending prompt action by Shalala. The Department of Health and Human Services did not return calls for comment. In a letter that was leaked to Congress and the New York Times last week in which Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey indicated his opposition to lifting the ban, McCaffrey pointed to two Canadian studies as evidence that syringe exchange does not necessarily prevent, and may actually increase HIV transmission. Syringe exchange opponents in Congress also pointed to the studies as evidence mitigating against lifting the ban. On Thursday, April 9, however, Drs. Julie Bruneau and Martin T. Schechter, the authors of the studies, published an op-ed in the Times claiming that the officials had misinterpreted the research and that factors such as the population sample, the type of drugs injected (cocaine, which is generally injected far more frequently by users than heroin) and the under-provision of exchange services were responsible for the high transmission rates that the studies reported. *** 2. OAKLAND ASSET FORFEITURE LAW CHALLENGED -- AND, FEDERAL FORFEITURE UPDATE - David Borden The American Civil Liberties of Northern California sent a letter last week to the Oakland City Council, notifying them of a recent opinion issued by the Legislative Counsel of California which concluded that the City of Oakland's vehicle seizure and forfeiture ordinance "is void as contradictory to state law." At issue is an ordinance titled "Operation Beat Feet", which the Oakland Police Department has utilized to seize and sell automobiles allegedly used to solicit acts of prostitution or acquire illegal drugs -- even when there is no criminal conviction. State law prohibits forfeiture in such cases, except when following conviction and proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For more info on the Oakland issue, visit http://www.aclunc.org/pressrel/980331-seizure.html. On the national front, Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR) reports that HR 1965, a bill that would have further increased federal powers and weakened citizens' protections against property seizure, has been abandoned by its sponsor, Rep. Henry Hyde. Hyde's support for HR 1965, a bill drafted in close consultation with the Dept. of Justice, was considered by forfeiture reform advocates to be odd, given his formerly strong advocacy on behalf of reform, including authoring of a book, "Forfeiting Our Property Rights: Is Your Property Safe from Seizure?", published by the Cato Institute, endorsed in a press conference by the ACLU, and his sponsorship of HR 1835, a decent forfeiture reform bill supported by advocates. Hyde's apparently contradictory positions led to speculation (unconfirmed) that he may have been misled by staff members, or that the illness and death of his wife may have been a contributing factor in his misjudging DOJ's bill. Hyde is again supporting HR 1835, but forfeiture reform is still very much an uphill battle. For further information on forfeiture and how to get involved in reform efforts, visit FEAR's web site at http://www.fear.org. (Two important books on asset forfeiture are Henry Hyde's book, mentioned above, and "A License to Steal: The Forfeiture of Property", by Leonard W. Levy, professor of law at the University of North Carolina. Both books can be purchased from amazon.com by following the links from http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-10.html#forfeiture; DRCNet will earn 15% of your purchase price on Levy's book but not Hyde's. The Hyde book can also be purchased directly from the Cato Institute, http://www.cato.org.) *** 3. SENATE WOULD EXTEND MARIJUANA PROHIBITION TO INCLUDE MEDICAL RESEARCH - adapted from NORML weekly news, http://www.norml.org/ 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-OR), 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. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup said, "This amendment is a slap in the face to respected scientific and medical institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, the American Medical Association, 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." Currently, 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 -- this is because the only legal supplier of marijuana for research purposes remains the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and that agency will only consider providing marijuana to projects that have passed the NIH grant review process. NIH is currently funding only one study regarding marijuana's medical potential. Senate Con. Res. 86 now goes to the House for consideration. For more information, contact either Paul Armentano or Keith Stroup of NORML at (202) 483-5500. *** 4. FELONY CHARGES FOR WOMAN CULTIVATING MARIJUANA FOR UKIAH CANNABIS BUYERS' CLUB - Troy Dayton On April 2, Lake County, California district attorney Stephen Hedstrom slapped Yvette Rubio with felony counts of possession and cultivation of marijuana for sale. Rubio was arrested last fall. Rubio was supplying marijuana to Cherrie Lovett, medical marijuana patient and founder of the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club. Rubio cultivated the plants assuming she was covered by Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. The 51 plants were surrounded by fences with copies of a contract identifying the crop as a supply for a cannabis buyers club. If convicted, Yvette Rubio could face three years in state prison. Rubio's property lies on the border between Lake County and Mendocino County. Mendocino County's Board of Supervisors has written letters and passed resolutions denouncing federal opposition to the Ukiah CBC. Evidently, Lake County does not feel the same way. Marvin Lehrman, Director of the Ukiah CBC told the Week Online, "This is a big step backward. We were moving in the other direction. People in need are getting relief from this plant. I can't understand why anyone would want our potential suppliers prosecuted. Luckily, for our patients, we were able to find other sources." Rubio, however, is not as lucky. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, Lake County district attorney Stephen Hedstrom maintains that his actions are within the guidelines of Prop. 215. According to Hedstrom, the recent ruling against Dennis Peron of the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club makes it clear that marijuana cannot be grown as a commercial enterprise. Hedstrom claims he waited for the outcome of the Peron case before deciding whether to prosecute Rubio. "We are not a commercial enterprise. We are a volunteer, not-for-profit organization, dedicated to providing patients with safe, affordable marijuana in a safe environment under a law passed by the majority of Californians," said Lehrman. Rubio's attorney, David Nelson, told the Press Democrat, "What we don't like is the felony prosecution. She's got plans in her life. She wants to go to school. It's a killer." *** 5. "IT'S THE PAIN, STUPID": KEVORKIAN, PAIN, AND THE DEA - David Borden A March 16 Boston Globe article reported that Bill Connaughton of West Roxbury, Massachusetts, known as "BostonBill" in the online chat rooms that he organized for people with fibromyalgia, became the 98th client of Dr. Kevorkian. BostonBill was active to the end, providing advice, encouragement and support to his fellow patients through the net. Hence, his sudden end was a shock to the online patient community. The Globe article, which can be accessed by visiting http://www.boston.com and going to keyword "BostonBill", discussed and quoted extensively from the ensuing online debate over physician-assisted suicide (though in a letter distributed posthumously, BostonBill explained that he considered it to be submitting to euthanasia, rather than suicide, considered a sin in his religion, Catholicism. A side of the issue not discussed, however, was the reason so many chronic pain patients consider the suicide option: undertreatment of pain. In a post on the Usenet titled "It's the Pain, Stupid", an individual, perhaps another patient, wrote: "I just feel I need to shout out how sad it is that a fibromyalgia patient has to resort to Dr. Kevorkian for relief from his pain. If we didn't have so many doctors scared to prescribe the medicine necessary to relieve the pain, BostonBill would still be alive today, helping others in need and advancing the cause to find a cure for this DD. I think it is just about criminal to let patients suffer when there are meds available." In 1996 DRCNet reported on the case of Dr. William Hurwitz, a Virginia physician whose license was revoked for pain treatment practices that were lauded by experts but considered controversial by the state's Board of Medicine (see http://www.drcnet.org/guide10-96/pain.html to read about the incident and the harassment suffered by some of his former patients at the hands of DEA agents). Hurwitz followed the principle that the appropriate dose of medication for a pain patient is the dose that relieves the patient's pain. In a dramatic turnaround last year, the board, with many of the same members, restored Hurwitz's license to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances, and voiced their approval of Hurwitz's general method of pain control. Hurwitz is still not back in business, however, as the DEA has continued to withhold his federal controlled substances license, leading some pain patient advocates to conclude that the DEA is the enemy in the fight for pain relief. Skip Baker, President of the American Society for Action on Pain (ASAP), commented, "that pain could have been controlled if Dr. Hurwitz was permitted by the DEA to do his life saving work the DEA is now blocking... It's not a matter of physician assisted suicide, it's a matter of no pain control in America making physician assisted suicide necessary!" ASAP is a patient support network advocating for adequate use of opioids (narcotics) in pain treatment. Check them out at http://www.actiononpain.org and read about ASAP's March on Washington this June. *** 6. VACLAV HAVEL VETOES BILL CRIMINALIZING DRUG POSSESSION - Adam J. Smith Vaclav Havel, legendary fighter for freedom and human rights and now President of the Czech Republic, has vetoed a bill this week (4/6/98) which would have banned possession of drugs for personal use in that country. Havel cited human rights concerns. Spokesman Ladislav Spacek told Reuter's News Service, "The President reached the opinion that the law would lead to the prosecution of victims rather than culprits." Reuter's also reports that experts have warned the Czech president that such a law would drive up drug prices, fueling crime, and that criminalized addicts would be less likely to seek treatment. NOTE: See this week's editorial. *** 7. UPDATE ON DRUG AND HARM REDUCTION POLICIES IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE AND THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES - Jean Paul Grund for DRCNet These are interesting times for drug policy in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States (NIS). In the Russian federation, rather draconian drug laws have recently been passed which will turn providers of needle exchange or substitution treatment into criminals -- even discussing safer drug use practices with an injection drug user could be construed as "inciting to use drugs" under the new law -- and have disastrous consequences for the prevention of AIDS and Hepatitis C. Meanwhile, we are witnessing the dawn of an explosive HIV epidemic in Russia, which will make the epidemic in the U.S. look futile. On the other hand, countries like Poland, Hungary, and Lithuania seem bound on a more pragmatic path. All three countries recently introduced legislation which allows for (increasing) substitution treatment with methadone, and, in Lithuania, other opioid agonists. In the Czech Republic and Slovakia, methadone treatment was introduced in 1997. This treatment is also available in Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia and Estonia. While Poland recently criminalized possession of drugs, it exempted small quantities for personal use. In the Ukraine, which is confronted with an immense injection-related HIV epidemic, the Deputy Minister of Justice recently signed a statement that harm reduction interventions are not in contradiction with the national legislation of the country. The latest decision of President Vaclav Havel to veto the law banning possession of drugs for personal use, citing human rights concerns, is definitively a victory for common sense and pragmatic drug policy. This is a very promising action, especially when taken by a revered man such as Havel, but it does not come totally out of the blue. While the prohibitionist forces are definitively part of the policy spectrum in the Czech Republic, it seems that at present drug policy is made by people with pragmatic and harm reduction oriented attitudes. Pavel Bem, for example, the chairman of the national drug commission (the Czech drug czar), is a young psychiatrist and a very sophisticated thinker. Likewise, drug services in Prague are increasingly working with harm reduction models and cannabis use seems to be tolerated and not a reason for major concern. During my recent visit to the Czech Republic I witnessed rather open use of this drug in several music clubs. In my view the drug policy situation in the Czech Republic resembles the situation in the Netherlands in the 1980s. Perhaps the country can become an example for sensible and pragmatic drug policy for the whole CEE region. I don't know what it's worth as an indicator, but until now, there is hardly any injecting related HIV reported in the Czech republic. (Jean-Paul C. Grund, Ph.D. is Director of International Harm Reduction Development for the Lindesmith Center, a project of the Open Society Institute. You can find them on the web at http://www.lindesmith.org.) *** 8. GERMAN DOCTORS VOTE IN FAVOR OF HEROIN PRESCRIPTION - Adam J. Smith The British Medical Journal (4/4) reported that the German Medical Council has voted unanimously in favor of allowing heroin to be prescribed to long-term addicts. The issue will now go to the Minister of Justice, with the Council's recommendation, for approval. Council member Dr. Ingo Flenker told the BMJ that the doctors were influenced by the results of the Swiss maintenance trials, in which over 1,000 addicts were given access to the drug over a three year period. The results of that experiment are considered by the Swiss to be overwhelmingly positive, with marked improvement in housing, employment, admissions to treatment, health and mortality among participants. The BMJ further reports that a poll, taken by the German newspaper Die Woche, found that 55% of Germans support making the drug available to hard core addicts under a doctor's supervision. Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank, told the Week Online, "The Swiss experiment proved that heroin maintenance can be a successful part of an overall policy aimed at reducing the harms of substance abuse both to the user and to society. It is truly encouraging that the German Medical Council has followed the science, rather than ideology in making this recommendation. With more and more countries, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg and now Germany expressing interest in replicating the Swiss model, and assuming that the results of future trials are similar to what we have already seen, it's going to be difficult for countries like the U.S. to continue to denigrate this modality and to dismiss it out of hand." (The First International Conference on Heroin Maintenance will take place on June 6, at the New York Academy of Medicine, 5th Ave. and 103rd St. in Manhattan. For information, contact the Lindesmith Center at (212) 548-0695 or e-mail email@example.com.) If you missed our story on how Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved of heroin maintenance, check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/9-28-1.html#switzerland. And if you missed our story on back-door U.S. pressure on Australia to not conduct a similar trial, check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/7-24-1.html#blackmail. *** 9. DRUG POLICY LETTER FOCUSES ON WOMEN AND DRUGS - David Borden The current issue of the Drug Policy Letter, publication of the Drug Policy Foundation, focuses on the topic "Women and Drugs". Articles include "Women and Treatment", by Marsha Rosenbaum, discussing the biases and shortcomings faced by women seeking treatment; "Dorothy Gaines: Guilt by Association", by Rob Stewart, the story of an innocent woman serving a 19-year, 7-month sentence for conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine; "Caught in the Crossfire", by Robin Lloyd, chair of the Drug Policy Committee of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, on the Colombian women's movement opposing aerial fumigation of coca fields and the increasing presence of the Colombian military; "The Price of Principle", statement of Sherry Hearn, a former high school teacher in Chatham County, Georgia who was subjected to persecution after criticizing the school and local police's random, lockdown searches in the schools; an essay by Scott Ehlers on the women's repeal movement, based on a book by Kenneth D. Rose, American Women and the Repeal of Prohibition. "In Their Own Words", by Whitney Taylor, features conversations with members of the Bridgeport Needle Exchange Program's Women's Group, a group of 50 women in various stages of use, recovery and abstinence. Insights shared by members of the group, gained from their real-world experience, verify the claims made by reformers and medical and public health groups that fear of the system drives pregnant women drug users away from the treatment services and prenatal and other health care that they and their children need. "Here in Connecticut," says a woman named Kathy, "if a woman is pregnant and she has a heroin habit and she going into the hospital to have her child, they will take her children away... It is making them go further and further out into the street. They're afraid." "The United Nations & the Taliban", by Karynn Fish, describes the unholy alliance between the United Nations Drug Control Program and the extremist religious group that has seized control of two-thirds of Afghanistan and has institutionalized a system of extreme discrimination against women (see http://drcnet.org/rapid/1997/12-5-1.html#taleban for background). The UNDCP's plan to fund the barbaric Taliban is one of the issues to be protested during the Global Days Against the Drug War this June 6-8 -- see http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ for more information and to sign on. To join the Drug Policy Foundation and subscribe to the Drug Policy Letter, send $25 or more for annual membership dues to: DPF, 4455 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008, or sign up online at http://www.dpf.org, or write or call (202) 537-5005 for a sample copy. *** 10. MEDICAL AND PUBLIC HEALTH ORGANIZATIONS OPPOSE CRIMINALIZATION OF PREGNANT ADDICTS - David Borden Last November we reported that the South Carolina Supreme Court had upheld an 8-year prison sentence for a woman whose newborn child tested positive for cocaine from her cocaine use. This week, a coalition of physicians, health advocacy groups and drug treatment providers filed a "friend of the court" brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today opposing Whitner v State, a South Carolina Supreme Court decision which allows a woman to be criminally prosecuted for conduct during her pregnancy. According to Margaret W. Crawford, Board Chair of The Alliance for South Carolina's Children, "This case is about ensuring newborns a healthy future. South Carolina's Attorney General Charles Condon thinks jail will deter substance abuse. However, treatment centers are already reporting that far fewer women are seeking treatment and prenatal care due to this policy -- causing further harm to women, children and families." Daniel Abrahamson, Director of Legal Affairs for The Lindesmith Center, stated, "Mr. Condon has ignored the countless pleas of physicians and alcohol and drug treatment providers to treat, not prosecute, pregnant women suffering from chemical dependence. Now, the women and children most in need of help are suffering horribly as a result of Mr. Condon's misguided and draconian policies." Among the medical groups and public health organizations submitting the brief are the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Women's Association. For the full list of signatories, a fact sheet on the Whitner case, a fact sheet on cocaine and pregnancy, and selected news articles about the case, visit the Lindesmith Center's Office of Legal Affairs web site at http://www.lindesmith.org/about_tlc/legal.html. *** 11. EDITORIAL: Vaclav Havel's Second Prague Spring In the Czech Republic last week, Vaclav Havel, true to his history, took a courageous stand for liberty, human rights, and the rational ordering of society when he vetoed a bill which would have criminalized the possession of drugs for personal use. In doing so, he cited not only the cruelty of punishing the victim, but also the absurdity of driving up prices, fostering crime and empowering the forces of the black market. Havel, a writer and intellectual, played an active role in the democratization and renewal of culture that took place in 1968, helping to usher in a brief moment of freedom in Czechoslovakia before the Soviet tanks rolled in to reassert their dominance and put an end to that now- legendary Prague Spring. Much has changed since 1968. Havel, who was jailed by the Communists as a dissident, is now the President of the Czech Republic. And although its dominance over Havel and his compatriots lasted for another twenty-one years, the Soviet Empire, unable to maintain their control over information in an age in which walls could no longer keep out words, is no more. But in vetoing that bill, in refusing to subvert the rights and the well-being of people to the dictates of ideology, Havel, and the world, may very well find that it is 1968 once again, and that the tanks are gathering at the gates, preparing to crush a rising rebellion. Across the globe, the movement to end the Drug War is growing. And just as Alexander Dubcek, Vaclav Havel and a generation of Czechs were responding to the failures and the oppression of Communist rule, so too today's dissidents are responding to the failures and oppression of the Drug War. But now as then there is much at stake for the ideologues: money, careers, power, control. And now as then, dissent itself poses a real threat to an ideology without intellectual or moral legitimacy. In June, the United Nations will hold its first-ever Special Session on Narcotics. Far from an open discussion of the impact and effectiveness of the global war, the agenda will be tightly controlled. Its mission, as stated, is to encourage greater international cooperation and wider participation in the war effort. Vaclav Havel's writings during his years under Communist rule often spoke to the intellectual contortions of people striving to function under an obviously flawed and illogical system. At the UN, a similar display is in the offing as the Session's attendees attempt to ignore the fact that the enemies in their war -- a global criminal network, legions of corrupted officials and institutions, and the proliferation of dangerous and addictive substances -- have all been either exacerbated or created entirely by the very system that the session is designed to perpetuate. Ironically, it is the United States, arch-enemy of the old Soviet empire, that is the driving force behind the global Drug War. Domestically, the war has made the U.S. the world's number one per capita incarcerator, highlighted by an astounding one in three young African-American males under criminal justice supervision. That such oppression has failed to reduce the availability of drugs has only made the prohibitionists more determined. According to America's Republican Congressional leadership, legislation will be introduced this spring which will outline "a World War II- style" effort to replace the "half-hearted" and "weak" status quo. Internationally, the prosecution of the war has led the U.S. to steadily increase its military involvement in Latin America, including arms and personnel sent into a 35 year-old Colombian civil war -- a war which has grown exponentially as the native coca crop has been alchemized by prohibition -- and a planned "Hemispheric Anti-Narcotics" military base in Panama. It is illustrative that Drug War dissenters within the U.S. have often faced Soviet-style silencing. In 1993, Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders was first marginalized, and ultimately forced to resign after suggesting that the legalization of drugs be studied. In 1994, Representative Gerald Solomon sponsored a bill which would have stripped the tax-exempt status of any non-profit organization advocating the legalization of drugs. In 1996, California Attorney General Dan Lungren held a press conference to urge that the nation's newspapers refuse to run a Doonesbury comic strip supportive of a state medical marijuana initiative. And over the past two years, Barry McCaffrey, dispensing the powers of the aptly named office of the "Drug Czar", has met several times with American media executives to lay out the government's views on the proper and improper depiction of drugs and the people who use them. Despite, or rather because of the escalating and heavy- handed methods of the U.S.-led Drug War, voices of dissent are rising up not only in America but around the world. It is becoming quite apparent that this dissent, and the obvious failure to which it points, have made the prohibitionists desperate to prove that their system can work. Their only possible response, given their lack of success at the current level of repression, and their steadfast support of the prohibitionist model, will be to escalate. This week, Vaclav Havel stood up once again for the rights, the freedoms and the dignity of Man. As in 1968, his action comes amidst a growing spirit of reform, and a sense of hope that an age of repression is ending. But now as then the ideologues cannot allow the reform movement to grow, and the forces of repression, this time American-led, will undoubtedly respond. But instead of the Czechs, standing in the path of the coming onslaught will be the peoples of Central and South America, of Central Asia, of the United States, and of any nation that follows her lead. Make no mistake, the current ascendancy of reform is but another Prague Spring, and the tanks are even now gathering at the gates. But unlike the last time, Vaclav Havel and the rest of the world will not have to suffer for a generation before the ideologues fall. Because this is 1998. And today, unlike thirty years ago, we are living in an age of electronic communication and the free flow of information. And information is the single most potent weapon in the fight against repression. Just ask the Soviets. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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