Portland NORML News - Sunday, April 12, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

New Drugged Driving Legislation (Letter To The Editor By Carl Olsen
Of Iowa NORML Explains Why A Bill Expected To Become Law In Iowa
That Supposedly Targets 'Drugged' Drivers Will Come Down Hardest
On Marijuana Users - And Will Cost Taxpayers Much More Than Anyone Let On
During The Meager Legislative Debate)

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:17:08 -0500
To: iowanorml@commonlink.com
From: "Carl E. Olsen" 
Subject: New drugged-driving legislation
Iowa NORML
Post Office Box 4091  Des Moines, Iowa 50333  515-262-6957
INTERNET: http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/NORML/
E-mail: iowanorml@commonlink.com

April 12, 1998

Dear Editor,

A new drugged-driving law was passed by the Iowa House on March 31 by a
vote of 96-3 and by the Iowa Senate on April 6 by a vote of 44-2. The
legislators must have congratulated themselves with a stiff drink as a
reward for their hard work. Perhaps they even had a stiff drink before
voting on this bill, as there was almost no debate in the House and none in
the Senate.

Actually, this bill is much more than a drugged-driving bill. It doubles
the current penalties for second offense possession of illegal substances,
and multiplies them by a factor of four for third and subsequent offenses.
That means that people who now face a six month jail term in Iowa for
simple possession of small amounts of marijuana will now face up to two
years in prison for third and subsequent offenses.

Are the tax payers ready to pay the bill? No one asked them. The
legislators just assumed that Iowa taxpayers would be happy to pay any
expense to win the war on drugs. The war on drug users has replaced the
cold war as a favorite passtime.

Iowa Governor Branstad will undoubtedly sign this monster into law this
week. However, before he has the chance to turn Iowa into a police state,
the American public should at least be aware of what this law contains.
This new law allows a police officer to stop any driver and ask for a urine
sample, as long as the police officer has a "reasonable suspicion" that the
person is operating under the influence of an illegal substance. So much
for the Fourth Amendment.

The new law also allows metabolites of controlled substances to be used as
evidence of impairment. Since metabolites of marijuana remain in the body
for up to 30 days after use, this new law will, for the first time in the
history of the United States, allow metabolites of marijuana to be used as
evidence of a crime.

I don't know how many people smoke marijuana, but the government estimates
that between 10 and 20 million Americans use it at least once each month.
That means that at least one out of every 20 drivers is going to test
positive for metabolites of marijuana at any given time. That could get
extremely expensive, as all these people get drunken-driving convictions
and end up being sent to Iowa prisons. Iowa is already facing a critical
shortage of prison space.

Are the Iowa taxpayers ready to pay the bill? They better get ready,
because Governor Branstad is going to stick it to them, and then he's going
to take a stiff drink to celebrate. He's not running for re-election, so
he won't have to stick around and clean up the mess.

The text of this bill can be found at:

http://www.legis.state.ia.us/GA/77GA/Legislation/SF/02300/SF02391/Current.html

Sincerely,

Carl E. Olsen
1116 E. Seneca Ave., #3
Des Moines, Iowa 50316
515-262-6957
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Truth Becomes The First Casualty In Marijuana War (Letter To Editor
Of 'Times Union' In Albany, New York, From Walter F. Wouk,
President Of NORML, Corrects Misrepresentations Of Fact By The DEA,
Whose Agenda 'Doesn't Include Providing Accurate Information
Regarding Marijuana')

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:14:36 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US NY: PUB LTE: Truth Becomes
The First Casualty In Marijuana War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Walter Wouk 
Source: Times Union (Albany, NY)
Contact: tuletters@timesunion.com
Website: http://www.timesunion.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 1998

TRUTH BECOMES THE FIRST CASUALTY IN MARIJUANA WAR

Terry O'Neill's letter, "Effective illegal-drug policy must include
prevention,'' (Times Union April 2) contains misleading statistics
regarding the increase in teenage marijuana use.

According to the 1997 Monitoring The Future Study, considered the best
early warning system for drug use among youth, marijuana use among eighth-,
10th- and 12th-graders is down 41 percent from its peak in 1978.

Mr. O'Neill's mistake was relying upon information taken from the Drug
Enforcement Administration Web page. The DEA has its own agenda -- and it
doesn't include providing accurate information regarding marijuana. For
example, the DEA claims, "There are over 10,000 scientific studies that
prove marijuana is a harmful addictive drug.''

According to Beverly Urbanek, research associate of the University of
Mississippi Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the "10,000
studies'' claim is simply not true.

The institute maintains a 12,000-citation bibliography on the marijuana
literature. Ms. Urbanek explained, "Many of the studies cited in the
bibliography are clinical, but the total number also includes papers on the
chemistry and botany of the cannabis plant, cultivation, epidemiological
surveys, legal aspects, eradication studies, detection, storage, economic
aspects and a whole spectrum of others that do not mention positive or
negative effects.''

"However, we have never broken down that figure into positive/negative
papers, and I would not even venture a guess as to what that number would
be. You cannot provide a list of 10,000 negative studies,'' she said.

When the government declared war on marijuana, truth was the first casualty.

WALTER F. WOUK
President
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
Howes Cave
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug War Has Led To Prisons Built As Profit (Letter To Editor
Of Lexington, Kentucky, 'Herald Leader' Says Current Policy Is Forcing
Our Nation Into A Prison-Dependent Society, With An Economy
Based More And More On Prison Building And Staffing)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 13:04:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US KY: PUB LTE: Drug War Has Led To Prisons Built As Profit
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: C.S. Ford
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 1998
Source:Lexington Herald Leader (KY)
Contact:hledit@lex.infi.net
Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/
Author: Melodi Cornett

DRUG WAR HAS LED TO PRISONS BUILT AS PROFIT

Jefferson George's March 4 article, "Counties see inmates as a source of
income," brought home the practice of warehousing humans as a means of
profit. Current policy is forcing our nation into a prison-dependent
society, with an economy based more and more on prison building and
staffing.

The availability of big profits in the prison industry, combined with
corruption in law enforcement and government, is jeopardizing our future as
a free nation.

Violent criminals are not the ones filling our jails and prisons beyond
capacity. The drastic increase since the early 1980s is not because of a
huge increase in violent crimes. The overcrowded jails and prisons
nationwide are the result of the "war." This nation's "War on Drugs" is a
war against the people.

There are currently more people per capita incarcerated than at any other
time in history. The United States imprisons more of its citizens than any
other country in the world. Rights that have been protected since our
nation's beginning are being thrown out in the name of the war.

Prohibition creates huge organized crime rings and the violence that
accompanies them. Keeping certain drugs illegal and controlled by the
black market ensures big profits. The availability of easy money attracts
the poor and uneducated, ensuring a steady stream of drug offenders.

Is the fear of drugs worth losing our freedom over? Is that what we want
for our children? This war is going to destroy our nation if we don't stop
the madness.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Kids' Drug Use Underestimated ('Associated Press' Briefly Publicizes A Survey
By The Partnership For A Drug-Free America Showing That Baby Boomer Parents
Don't Always Know When Their Children Have Used Marijuana)

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:55:40 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Poll: Kids' Drug Use Underestimated
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Silkhart
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: April 12, 1998

POLL: KIDS' DRUG USE UNDERESTIMATED

NEW YORK (AP) - A study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America says
Baby Boomer parents are convinced that increasing marijuana use among young
people doesn't apply to their children. The poll found 21 percent of
parents surveyed thought their teen may have experimented with marijuana,
while 44 percent of teens said they actually had. The study also revealed
that while 33 percent thought their kids viewed marijuana as harmful, among
teens, only 18 percent felt that smoking marijuana was risky.

Copyright 1998 Associated Press.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Firing Line' Talks Drugs (List Subscriber Reviews William F. Buckley's
Public Broadcasting Service Talk Show Today, Featuring Ethan Nadelmann,
Lynn Zimmer)

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 23:55:41 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Phillizy 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Firing Line Talks Drugs

Today, on his PBS TV Show "Firing Line" ... William F. Buckley hosted a
discussion on legalizing drugs with guests Ethan Nadelmann of the Lindesmith
Center and Lynn Zimmer, one of the authors of Marijuana Myths Marijuana Facts:
A Review Of The Scientific Evidence.

While the discussion was wide ranging, covering the gamut of illegal drugs and
a host of legal and societal issues, medical marijuana was the main topic of
their commentary this afternoon. They all agreed that drug prohibition was
more a matter of politics than rational government. They also agreed that
medical marijuana would eventually prevail because a growing majority of
voters could see through the propaganda to the efficacy of this drug in a host
of medical situations.

It was a great show. Chalk one up for the guys in the white hats.

Lizy

***

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 15:15:43 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Don Raichle" 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: RE: Firing Line Talks Drugs

For videocassette information:

[quote:]

FIRING LINE
2700 Cypress St.
Columbia, S.C. 29205
803.799.3449
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Late Drug Figure's Doctor Reportedly Gets US Protection ('Reuters' Article
In 'Boston Globe' Cites 'Washington Post' Article Yesterday
Said The United States Has Given Refuge To A Doctor, Pedro Rincon,
Previously Thought Dead, Who Was Involved In The Plastic Surgery Operation
On Mexican Drug Cartel Leader Amado Carrillo Fuentes In July 1997,
That Led To His Death)

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 11:46:57 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Late Drug Figure's Doctor Reportedly Gets US Protection
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dick Evans (Mass.)
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 1998

LATE DRUG FIGURE'S DOCTOR REPORTEDLY GETS US PROTECTION

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has given refuge to a doctor
involved in a botched plastic surgery operation on a Mexican drug figure
who died afterward, The Washington Post reported yesterday.

Pedro Rincon and his family were clandestinely taken to the United States
last November and put under the witness protection program, US officials
told the newspaper.

Amado Carrillo Fuentes - nicknamed ''The Lord of the Skies'' for his
ability to move cocaine in retired jetliners - died following major plastic
surgery in July 1997.

Two other doctors involved in the operation were tortured and killed and
their bodies stuffed into concrete-filled steel drums, the Post said.

Rincon turned himself into Mexican police and asked for protection. The
Mexican government offered to turn him over to US intelligence agencies,
and Rincon accepted, the Post said.

According to the newspaper, US sources familiar with Rincon's statements
said he maintained that Carrillo's death was the result of medical failures
and that Carrillo had hepatitis when they operated.

Mexican officials say Carrillo's death was part of a plot by rival drug
gangs or enemies within his organization, the Post said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

We're The Top In Pot ('Toronto Sun' Claims Canada Produces The Best Cannabis
And Lots Of It, And Quotes Marc Emery Saying It's A $4 Billion Business
In British Columbia And A $7- To $8-Billion Industry Throughout Canada -
And 98 Percent Of What's Smuggled Across The United States Border
Arrives At Its Destination)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: We're the top in pot
Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 15:59:46 -0700
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: Sunday, April 12, 1998
Author: CIRAN GANLEY, Toronto Sun

WE'RE THE TOP IN POT

Canada now a major exporter of marijuana

Police examine an elaborate underground hydroponics marijuana lab just
southeast of Hamilton. Canada has become a major pot exporter and
shipments of top-quality weed are pouring over the U.S. border just
like whiskey did in the 1920s.

"You don't hear of boatloads or airplane shipments of weed coming into
the country -- there's no need to import from Jamaica, or Mexico or
Thailand anymore," said Det. Bryan Baxter of the Hamilton-Wentworth
Regional Police vice and drug squad.

"Today pot is being exported from Canada -- particularly B.C. and
Ontario -- instead of being imported. Really good product is being put
out here," he said.

Marc Emery of Vancouver, one of Canada's top champions of marijuana
legalization, said there's a good reason we're now an exporting
nation.

HYDROPONICS

"We have the best pot," said Emery, whose trials and tribulations with
Vancouver officials are featured in Rolling Stone magazine's April 2
issue.

"Pot is now one of Canada's primary agricultural products," said
Emery, who was forced in January to sell his Cannabis Cafe and Hemp
B.C. head shop to his employees, close down his Little Grow Shop and
restrict his worldwide, mail-order seed sales on the Internet after
city officials revoked his business licences.

Emery says pot is a $4-billion business in B.C. and a $7- to
$8-billion industry Canadawide.

Most of it goes to the U.S. -- particularly Oregon, California and
Washington states from B.C. suppliers, and to New York and other
eastern states from Ontario suppliers.

Emery says 98% of the exported weed -- moved in everything from
backpacks to ships -- gets through.

U.S. authorities have some 7,000 agents patrolling the 3,200-km
Mexican border but only 300 covering the 8,850-km Canada-U.S. border.
Emery says B.C.'s pot is the best in the world and Ontario's is just a
cut below.

Emery attributes that to B.C.'s long pot history -- going back to the
American draft dodgers of the '60s -- and decades of experimentation.
Another reason for Canada's reputation as a supplier of quality pot is
the continuing development of hydroponic pot growing.

"Hydroponic is the preferred way to grow pot today," said Det. Rick
Chase of the Toronto Police's Central Command drug squad.

Indoor hydroponic growing is a trend that began in the mid-'80s and
has largely replaced outside "grows," as they say in the business.
In a hydroponic operation, plants are fed nutrient-rich water and
nurtured under artificial high-intensity lights.

Instead of soil, various substances, such as porous spun or wool rock,
are used to anchor plants and nutrients are taken from the water
instead of soil.

"You can have a large, lucrative setup in a relatively small area,"
said Chase.

"In addition you get a better quality product -- it's all bud with no
'shake' (leaves and stems)."

Another advantage of hydroponic is the fact growers can get three or
four crops a year -- compared to only one crop grown outside, said
Baxter of the Hamilton drug squad.

It used to be you could only get about 60 grams of weed from a plant
but with hydroponics you can get about half a kilo per plant, he said.
And the THC content in today's marijuana is just "wild" (up to four
times as much) as the smoke of yesteryear, Baxter said.

THC is tetrahydrocannabinol, the major psychoactive agent in
marijuana.

Over the past decade indoor pot growers -- particularly in B.C. --
have developed strains of marijuana with a THC count of 10%-20% or
more compared to the pot of the '60s and '70s, which averaged 5% or
less.

"There has been a dramatic increase in hydroponically-grown pot over
the past several years," Baxter said.

He said every year there are more and more hydroponic equipment stores
popping up.

"There's four now in Hamilton -- three years ago there weren't any."
An estimated 95% of the people growing pot in Southern Ontario are
growing it to sell it, said Toronto drug squad's Chase.

"That's obvious just from the sheer amount they grow -- there's no way
it's just for personal use because they couldn't smoke that much in a
lifetime."

A lot of growers are supplying bike gangs who take care of the
distribution, he said.

The majority of pot busts in the past five years in this area involved
hydroponic operations.

$5M A YEAR

One of the larger busts in the Hamilton area involved a massive
underground hydroponic operation on a farm producing $5 million worth
of pot a year.

The operation included surveillance cameras hidden in an elevated
birdhouse.

Chase said growers are using closets, basements and even renovating
their homes with false walls in order to grow hydroponic pot.
Others rent apartments or set up storefront businesses with rooms they
can use to grow pot.

"Indoor grows have jumped 500%-600% in the past few years -- it's very
conducive to growing large amounts in the small areas and hi-tech,
efficient equipment is easily and readily bought in hydroponic stores
or hardware stores."

Chase said even though hydroponic store owners are legitimate, a lot
of the equipment they sell is used to grow pot, not vegetables and
flowers.

"We've found the bills from hydroponic stores after busts and when we
approached the store owners they just played dumb," Chase said.
"We have no affiliation with any contraband," said Homegrown
Hydroponics owner Cindy Rea, whose family operates the largest
hydroponic store chain in this area.

"We have a huge clientele of legitimate growers and contrary to
popular belief most people we deal with are home hobbyists who grow
vegetables, flowers and herbs for their own use and pleasure."
Rea and her sister Shelley opened Homegrown in 1985 and have since
grown to 23 stores in the Golden Triangle.

"We do not promote marijuana growth in any way and we never have,"
Shelley Rea said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Campaign - Competition Winner (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday'
Continues Its Weekly Push For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws
By Featuring The Winning Essay From A Contest It Sponsored For Students)

Date: Mon, 13 Apr 1998 11:39:01 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign - Competition winner
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Apr 1998
Note: comment email: cannabis@independent.co.uk

CANNABIS CAMPAIGN - COMPETITION WINNER

We challenged Britain's students to come up with an original contribution
to the decriminalise cannabis debate. The competition, arranged jointly
with the internet magazine, 'studentUK' , drew hundreds of lively
responses. The winning entry, published here, was written by Tim Samuels of
St Andrews University who takes the top prize of holiday flights worth 600
with the German airline, Lufthansa.

***

YOU wouldn't expect a Home Secretary to be deeply troubled by a rise in the
price of cannabis. After all, the current incumbent could move to allay any
resultant family disquiet by slipping his son a few more pennies in
pocket-money.

However, the rising cost is not in marijuana's street value, but in the
price being borne by a criminal justice system that has witnessed a
ninefold increase over the last decade in the number of cautions issued for
possession of the drug.

The latest figures (for 1995) reveal that more than 40,000 cautions were
made for basic unlawful possession - that is, possession without intent to
supply.

The Audit Office estimates that a caution costs in the region of 1,200 - a
startling figure made more comprehensible by the fact that each caution
involves a minimum of three police officers and associated administration.

It hardly requires Carol Vorderman to do the sums: it's costing around 48m
a year to caution people for personal possession of cannabis. Actual
prosecutions for possession, and the whole spectre of dealing, aren't even
part of this conundrum.

But is this 48m money well spent? Should decriminalisation of cannabis
just happen to remove the illegality of personal possession, what could
Jack Straw, let loose with 48m, fill his shopping trolley with?

Feeling altruistic, he may hand the money over to David Blunkett, who could
buy five shiny new secondary schools and seven primary schools - serving
6,000 children in all. A whip-round for another two million quid, and he
could get Frank Dobson a district general hospital.

Or if he was suffering from short-term memory loss - maybe William had made
pudding - Jack might forget his past as a paid-up member of parliamentary
Labour CND and lend George Robertson the cash to procure four Trident
missiles (warheads not included).

Should he want to keep the money for the Home Office, he could use the #48m
to put 2,826 bobbies on the beat. Or maybe, as a treat for the staff, he
could buy every police officer a 32-year subscription to Freemasonry Today.

Straw - of which he could purchase 72 million bales - might splash out
closer to home on a personal passion. The moolah would acquire the current
Blackburn Rovers squad - a snip at 21.5m - and leave enough change to
bring Shearer, Le Saux and Berg back to Ewood Park. Move over, Walker,
there would truly be a new "Uncle Jack" in town.

If none of these appealed, he could always take advantage of the
decriminalised status of cannabis: 48m could get Jack 16 tonnes of
hashish, about 32 cubic metres in dimension, which funnily enough would fit
snugly into The Body centrepiece of the Millennium Dome. Now there's a
cautionary tale.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Lockerbie - Alternate Scenario (URL Posted For Review By Paul Foot
From 'The London Review Of Books' About The Lockerbie, Scotland,
PanAm Jumbo Jet Disaster And Its Origins
In A CIA 'Controlled Drug Buy' Program)

Date: Sun, 12 Apr 1998 15:14:26 +0000
To: press@drugtext.nl
From: Peter Webster 
Subject: Lockerbie Alternate Scenario

A book review by Paul Foot from The London Review of Books about the
Lockerbie PanAm disaster and its origins in a CIA "controlled drug buy"
program is now in The Drug Library at the URL:

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/media/lockerbie.htm

Peter Webster
email: vignes@monaco.mc

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

[End]

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