Portland NORML News - Tuesday, April 14, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Critique Of Oregon Association Of Police Chiefs News Conference
(List Subscriber And Other Members Of Public Are Barred
From Anti-Medical Marijuana Copfest Featuring US Senator Gordon Smith)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 23:51:46 -0700 From: Dan Koozer (dkoozer@pond.net) Organization: Koozer Draws To: "octa99@crrh.org I missed the 5:00 o'clock news so I haven't been able to see (or hear) what went on in the news conference. Even though I posted this event on five lists on the internet there were only a handful of us there. We were denied access to the Downtown Athletic Center where the news conference was being held. There was a "list" and we weren't on it. I confronted Sen Gordon Smith and Larry Campbell as they entered the building. I told them that the public was being denied access to the news conference. The just smiled but said nothing. Then I asked them if they were afraid of the truth and Sen Smith waved a piece of paper in the air and said, "I have the truth right here." as he went thought the door. The place was crawling with law enforcement as I walked around outside with my signs: Oregon Assoc of Police Chiefs + Sen Gordon Smith = Clueless Marijuana Prohibition Who's Profiting? Law Enforcement! Do We Want Cops Writing Laws? About all I can do now is write letters. I'm writing letters to the newspaper, Sen Gordon Smith, 359 Dirkson Building, Washington, DC 20510 and the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, 620 Main St, Lebanon, Oregon 97335-3337. Dan *** Dan Koozer, President Cannabis Liberation Society PO Box 10957 Eugene, Oregon 97401 Voice Mail & Event Line: (541) 744-5744 http://www.efn.org/~cannlib/
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Ann Landers' Denial (Syndicated Advice Columnist Assumes An Oregon Physician
Who Has Used Amphetamines For 40 Years
With No Adverse Reported Effects Has A Problem)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 20:24:29 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Gerald Sutliff 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Ann Landers' Denial, 4/14/98

Dear Talkers,

Ann Landers seems to be in denial again. This time she can't believe that
a pill popping pill pusher doesn't have a problem. I say, "What problem?"
He has been popping pills for 40 years, is still healthy, working
productively, and remains married to the same woman. Furthermore he has no
supply problem.

Ann should have asked "Somewhere in Oregon" if she really prepared for what
might emerge if her husband "went straight."

BTW does Ann know that the doctor has harmed anyone because of his drug
use? Of course not.

vty, Jerry Sutliff

Read on:

***

Dear Ann Landers: My husband is a 65-year-old M.D. who did his internship
and residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago in the early '50s. When he
was on those brutal 12- and 36-hour shifts, he took uppers and downers.
Every night, he took sleeping pills. The next morning, in order to be
"sharp," he took amphetamines. I was concerned and questioned him about it,
but he said he needed the pills to do his Job.

Today, 40 years later, he is still taking those pills. So far as I know,
his pill dependency is not evident to our friends or the people he works
with. He knows he has a problem but refuses to get professional help.

How wonderful it would be if addicted doctors like my husband would come
out of the closet and get the help they need. If you knew how many there
were, you would be shocked.

(Signed:)

Somewhere in Oregon

Dear Oregon: Here's your letter and my thanks for having the courage to
write it. I would like to say to all doctors who are addicted, please, for
the sake of your family members and the patients who place their lives In
your hands, get the help you need to beat your addiction. You alone know
how many patients you have harmed because of your drug habit. Please pay
attention to this column. It could make an enormous difference in your life
and the lives of your patients.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Warrant Needed For Heat-Seeking Search (UPI Recaps Last Week's Decision
By US Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 18:59:09 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: AMMO 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Warrant needed for heat-seeking search

Tuesday April 14 2:42 PM EDT

Warrant needed for heat-seeking search

SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 (UPI) - The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has
ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before ``entering'' a
person's home by scanning it with a heat-seeking device.

The case involved a marijuana-grower whose operation was, in part,
detected by a heat-radiation scan of his home. The court ruled the scan
violated the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search
and seizure.

Judge Robert Merhige wrote that the technique ``strips the sanctuary of
the home of one vital dimension of its security: the right to be let alone
from the arbitrary and discretionary monitoring of our actions by
government officials.''

The heat-seeking devices detect the heat from the high intensity lamps
used by pot-growers as a light source in their inside operations.

Such devices as Forward Looking Infrared or FLIR are used to find fleeing
suspects or people who are lost. They have extremely sensitive
photoelectric cells that can detect minute differences in the
temperatures of objects.

The court ruled in last week's opinion that the images that result from
scanning a home with an infrared device are sufficiently ``intimate'' as
to constitute a Fourth Amendment violation.

Copyright 1998 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judge Orders Release Of Medical Marijuana Ally (MSNBC
Notes US District Judge George King Orders Cancer Patient
Todd McCormick Released From Federal Detention)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 14:15:55 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: AMMO 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Todd to be Released!!!!

http://www.msnbc.com/local/KNBC/57402.asp

Judge orders release of medical marijuana ally

LOS ANGELES, April 14 - A federal judge ordered officials to release
Todd McCormick custody Tuesday. The decision came on the heels of a
recent public protest aimed at pressuring authorities to free the medical
marijuana activist.

McCormick, 27, was arrested last July when authorities found more than
4,000 pot plants in his rented Bel Air mansion.

He was locked up earlier this month after he tested positive for marijuana
use while free on bail.

U.S. District Judge George King warned McCormick that if
he is found to be using pot in the future, he'll face another arrest.

McCormick claims this month's test was skewed because he was taking
Marinol, which is a legal drug containing a synthetic form of pot.

McCormick's lawyers announced Tuesday that a test taken two days
before he was jailed showed no traces of marijuana. Assistant U.S. Attorney
Fernando Aenlle-Rocha said he was not aware of the test results, but said he
had no reason to believe McCormick' camp is lying.

Based on the latest test, McCormick's lawyers asked the judge to overturn
U.S. Magistrate James McMahon's ruling to free their client.

The hemp enthusiast says he needs marijuana to treat pain brought on by
bouts of cancer, five fused vertebrae and a hip problem.

He claims he has the right to grow and smoke pot under Proposition 215,
the medical marijuana initiative 56 percent of California voters approved in
1996.

On Monday, more than 50 medical marijuana activists rallied near the
federal courthouse in downtown Los Angeles, demanding the release of
McCormick, who was jailed for allegedly smoking pot while on bail.

"This is an outrage!" fumed Dennis Peron, the San Francisco man
sometimes referred to as the "godfather of Proposition 215." California voters
approved the medical marijuana initiative in 1996.

"They have put a sick man in jail for doing what he is entitled to under
California law," said Peron, who is running for the GOP gubernatorial
nomination.

"Everything (the government) is doing right now is going to backfire on
them," predicted Peron, who is fighting three legal battles of his own over
selling pot at Cannabis Buyer's Clubs in the Bay area.

Ann McCormick, Todd's mother, flew in from Rhode Island to attend the
rally in a small park across from the U.S. District Courthouse. She said she
feels "betrayed" by her government.

"I'm here and I'm not going to leave until my son is home with his Marinol,"
she said.

Ann McCormick said she first gave her son marijuana as a child, during one
of his many bouts with cancer. She said it helped him battle the disease and
caused him to grow up to be a medical marijuana activist.

***

For background on Todd's case, see:
The Medical Marijuana Magazine http://marijuanamagazine.com
Levellers: http://www.levellers.org/toddtoc.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Rally In Los Angeles (Correspondent Recounts The Demonstration Monday
In Support Of Medical Marijuana Patient Todd McCormick)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 07:04:40 -0700
From: "Charles P. Conrad" 
To: drctalk@ns2.calyx.net
Subject: FREE TODD McCORMICK

To everyone I plagiarized for my open letter to Judge Hatter, I'm sorry and
thanks. We've been under a lot of pressure to deliver quality material to
as many people as possible to get the word out about Todd.

Around 125 people showed up at the LA Mall, between the old and new fed
courthouse to hear Ann McCormick, Todd's mother, Jack Herer, and Dennis
Peron. Peter McWilliams had flown Ann McCormick in from Rhode Island over
the weekend.

We marched the couple of blocks to the fed detention center where we made a
couple of boisterous passes through the property and were seen by Todd. We
then headed back to the steps of the old court, where Judge McMahon does
his Star Chamber work, and held a candle light vigil.

People turned out from as far away as Olympia, WA. For an LA event it was
well attended.

>From a 7 am announcement on KABC 790am, to what I saw on NBC at 11 pm, I
think we got good local media.

The appeal of Todd's incarceration is being held at 9:30 pdt in the new
courthouse.

FREE TODD McCORMICK

Peace, Love, and Solidarity

Chuck

chuck@freecannabis.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Home Again, For Now . . . (Brief Message From A Shaken Todd McCormick
Confirms His Release)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 15:34:29 -0700
From: Todd McCormick (todd@a-vision.com)
To: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)

Subject: Home Again, For now...

Dear Friends,

I am back among the "free". Ha Ha, Free looks so funny... As if we ever
were.

Let me collect some thoughts and e-ya later...

Thanks for all the emotional support, it really helped.

Love and Hempyness,

Todd
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Todd McCormick Released - Federal Judge Rules, And Federal Prosecutor Admits,
McCormick's 12-Day Incarceration Was Illegal (Bulletin From Todd McCormick
Himself - Press Conference Noon Thursday At Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 23:00:00 -0700
From: Todd McCormick (todd@a-vision.com)
To: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: What Happened to Todd

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Todd McCormick Released-
Federal Judge Rules, and Federal Prosecutor Admits, McCormick's 12-Day
Incarceration Was Illegal

Press conference Thursday, April 16, 1998, 12 Noon, Hollywood Roosevelt
Hotel, Academy Room

In a stunning display of justice, Federal Judge George King released
Todd McCormick today-because there was no federal law to have had
McCormick imprisoned in the first place.

"Is there a case law I am not aware of under which we can hold Mr.
McCormick until his hearing?" Judge King asked Federal Prosecutor
Fernando Aenlle-Rocha.

"Not that I am aware of," Aenlle-Rocha answered.

In other words, on April 3, 1998, when the government asked Federal
Magistrate Judge McMahon to lock up McCormick, Assistant United Stated
Attorney Aenlle-Rocha knew there was no federal case law under which to
do so.

"How could this man watch Todd led away in tears two weeks ago when
Assistant United States Attorney Aenlle-Rocha knew all along that what
the government was doing was illegal?" asked Peter McWilliams,
McCormick's publisher. "There are four Federal Prosecutors working on
McCormick's case. None of them said, 'Wait a minute. We've locked up
this guy illegally.' This was prohibited by the Bail Reform Act of 1984.
This is not new law. The government had to know it was illegal.
Apparently people can be locked up just because the government asks for
it. That's how dangerous to all of our liberties the federal war on
California medical marijuana patients has become."

Prosecutor Aenlle-Rocha (pronounced eye-in-jah roach-a) was not
available for comment.

"It's so good to be out," said McCormick, embracing his mother who
traveled from Rhode Island after his imprisonment. "In custody, I was
placed in a room with urine and human feces on the floor, moved to a
cell with no pillow, and finally transferred to the psychiatric ward. I
was tortured for twelve days illegally by the federal government. They
admit it. I hope people are made aware of this. If it can happen to me,
it can happen to anyone."

McCormick, who had cancer nine times before he was ten, was arrested in
July 1997 for cultivating medical marijuana in his rented Bel Air home.
Although medical marijuana cultivation is specifically permitted by
California law (the Compassionate Use Act of 1996), the federal
government is pressing for a mandatory minimum ten year sentence, a
possible life sentence, and a $4 million dollar fine.

On April 2, 1998, nine Federal Marshals broke into the McCormick's
current residence in Laurel Canyon in an attempt to arrest him.
McCormick was not home. McCormick voluntarily turned himself in on the
morning of April 3, 1998, and was immediately brought before Federal
Magistrate Judge McMahon on charges of traces of THC in his urine.
Prosecutor Aenlle-Rocha was not prepared to present his evidence.
McCormick, therefore, could not present his evidence that it was, in
fact, the residue of the legal prescription medication Marinol(r), not
marijuana, that was in his urine.

Although admittedly unprepared for the April 3, 1998, hearing, the
government asked for McCormick's imprisonment until the federal
prosecutors were ready for the hearing. Not only is there no law under
which McCormick could be imprisoned, locking up defendants with a
hearing is specifically prohibited by federal law (the Bail Reform Act
of 1994). Nevertheless, McCormick was held in appalling conditions for
almost two weeks, and would still be in federal custody had Judge King
not today granted an emergency appeal hearing.

At the start of today's proceedings, Judge King made it clear that he
would only hear evidence on whether or not McCormick should be held
until his hearing, currently scheduled for April 22, 1998, before
Magistrate Judge McMahon. The government, nevertheless, continued to
point to the THC in McCormick's urine, which was not the subject of
today's hearing. Finally, Judge King asked if there was any case law
under which McCormick could be held, and Prosecutor Aenlle-Rocha
admitted "Not that I'm aware of."

A great deal of press attention has been focused on the plight of the
Northern California buyers' clubs and the federal government's civil
lawsuit against them. Until his recent arrest, relatively little press
has been focused on McCormick's case. McCormick faces not mere civil
penalties, as do the Northern California clubs, but the most severe
criminal penalty short of a death sentence - life in prison.

Further, McCormick's case is unique in that, unlike the buyer's clubs,
McCormick is charged only with cultivating ("manufacturing") medical
marijuana, not with selling, distribution, or even intent to conspire to
distribute.

To contact Todd McCormick prior to the press conference: 213-650-4906

The following Federal Prosecutors are in charge of McCormick's case
(listed in this order on court papers):

Nora Manella, United States Attorney
David Scheper, Assistant United States Attorney; Chief, Criminal Division
Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, Assistant United States Attorney, Narcotics
Section 213-894-2481
Mary Fulginiti, Assistant United States Attorney, Narcotics Section,
213-894-6681
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pot Activist Released From Prison ('Sacramento Bee' Version)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 20:15:33 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Activist Released From Prison
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Author: Linda Deutsch - AP Special Correspondent

POT ACTIVIST RELEASED FROM PRISON

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Medical marijuana activist Todd McCormick was ordered
freed from prison today but told he could return there if he is found to be
using the drug.

"If you are playing any games or trying to skirt anything, you will pay the
price for it," U.S. District Judge George H. King warned.

"Have I made myself clear to you?"

"Very clear," McCormick replied.

King ordered McCormick released from prison until an April 22 court
hearing. He said McCormick will be tested periodically by federal
authorities to ensure he is not using marijuana.

McCormick, 27, is charged with growing marijuana. He and four other people
were arrested on July 29 after authorities raided his rented Bel-Air
mansion and found 4,116 marijuana plants.

He pleaded innocent Nov. 10 and was free on $500,000 bail posted by actor
and fellow marijuana activist Woody Harrelson. Part of McCormick's bail
condition was that he not use marijuana. McCormick was ordered to jail on
April 3 for violating that bail after he failed three drug tests in the
past month.

McCormick claims the results were skewed because he was taking Marinol, a
legal drug containing a synthetic form of marijuana.

Under the conditions set by the judge, McCormick will not be able to take
that drug, said his lawyer, Eric Shevin.

McCormick says marijuana helps ease the pain of a rare form of cancer he
has suffered since childhood. He also suffers pain from hip and back
problems.

"He's not a marijuana addict, he's a cancer patient," Shevin said outside
court after the hearing.

About 20 supporters, including McCormick's mother and girlfriend crowded
the courtroom and later gathered outside. Some carried signs, including one
that read: "Stop Arresting Sick People."

McCormick maintains that he hasn't done anything illegal under Proposition
215, passed by California voters in November 1996, which legalized the
cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes on a
doctor's recommendation. Federal courts have not recognized the state law.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Legal Haze Clouds Medical Pot Law ('San Jose Mercury News'
Notes Legal Difficulties Besetting Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
In California)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:16:20 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Legal Haze Clouds Medical Pot Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (jwjohnson@mapinc.org)
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Howard Mintz and Jeordan Legon - Mercury News Staff Wrtiers

LEGAL HAZE CLOUDS MEDICINAL POT LAW

Just 17 months after California voters decisively approved Proposition 215
, the state's medicinal marijuana law is under seige.

One by one, the prophets of the medical pot movement have found themselves
in need of lawyers and bail money as the fate of the law becomes more and
more precarious. That's not exactly what pot activists had in mind
endorsed the medical use of marijuana for patients suffering from such
painful and debilitating diseases such as cancer and AIDS.

>From San Diego to San Jose and San Francisco to Ukiah, owners of cannabis
centers are either mired in lawsuits brought by state and federal law
enforcement officials or defending themselves against criminal charges
related to their operations. Others, such as the proprietors of Santa
Cruz's now-defunct dispensary, are simply shutting their doors -- unable to
effectively operate under a law which appears increasingly in need of
revision to survive.

When San Jose police last month arrested Peter Baez, the co-founder of
Santa Clara County's only medical pot facility, it marked the latest bad
turn for Proposition 215 advocates.

Baez's San Jose-based Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center had been
held up as an example of how well the law can function when local law
enforcement and city officials can agree on regulation of medicinal pot
dispensaries.

Instead, the charges against Baez and the seizure of his clients' records
have contributed to mounting distrust among the many factions struggling to
provide medical marijuana without running afoul of state and federal drug
laws on the books for decades. Baez has pledged to close his year-old
operation in the wake of six felony charges alleging he illegally sold pot
out of his center. The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office
insists it's not interested in closing the facility. Still, Baez -- who
pleaded not guilty to the charges last week -- could face nine years in
prison if convicted, and the prospect of jail time has taken its toll.

"The blood of the patients who will suffer because of our closure will be
on the hands of the San Jose police," he said, "not on my hands."

Enforcement Varies

Meanwhile, the law is seen through a different lens in every county.
Enforcement varies dramatically from place to place. The estimated 14 to
20 clubs operating in California nervously exist under the watchful eye of
state attorney general and governor candidate Dan Lungren.

Lungren already has gone to court to close San Francisco's Cannabis
Cultivators' Club, run by Proposition 215 co-author Dennis Peron, who
declared his own bid for governor in reaction to the state attorney
general. Lungren, however, is counting on local police departments across
the state to close pot clubs in their cities, according to his spokesman
Matt Ross.

There are even fissures within the medical pot movement that may contribute
to its own undoing.

Peron, Proposition 215's pied piper, has drawn criticism from other pot
club operators who don't allow smoking on premises chafe every time TV news
reports include shots of Peron's patrons toking in his smoky Market Street
club.

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, a strong medicinal
marijuana supporter, identified such infighting as a chief reason the clubs
can't agree on procedures to comply with Proposition 215.

"Undoubtedly, if they had presented a united front -- if they had all
agreed to comply with the rules -- it would have made it easier," he said.
"But the way it is now, there are 58 counties and 58 different ideas about
how it should be done."

Still, most pot center owners -- such as Peron and Oakland club owner
Jeffery Jones -- are vowing to stay open, depsite legal obstacles and, in
some instances, personal sacrifices. While Peron and other operators
acknowledge their differences, they're quick to pin blame for their
troubles on Lungren.

"It's not really a split," Peron said. "It's different ways of doing
things. Some people have not liked the way I have operated here in San
Francisco. But we're all fighting the same battle to provide marijuana to
those who need it."

Bad News for Clubs

Peron and other owners could easily be more pessimistic. Consider these
developments of the past year:

- The California Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that favored
Lungren's bid to close Peron's club. A state appellate court, in a
decision severely limiting cannabis clubs' ability to operate, concluded
only "primary caregivers" qualify to dispense medical pot. The court found
that Peron's club does not qualify as a primary caregiver, although a San
Francisco judge is still considering that determination.

- The Clinton administration filed to suit to close six Northern California
clubs, arguing that federal drug laws supercede Proposition 215. San
Francisco U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer is weighing arguments in
the case, but most legal experts say the clubs have an uphill fight. If
the Justice Department's case succeeds, it could effectively sound the
death knell for all of California' pot clubs.

- In the first interpretation of the appellate ruling in the state's case
against Peron, a Ventura County judge last month issued an injunction
closing a cannabis dispensary in Thousand Oaks. The local district
attorney's office had sued to close the club, contending that it was acting
as a pharmacy and failing to comply with Proposition 215. The judge's
decision is being appealed.

- Prosecutors in Orange, San Diego and Los Angeles counties have brought
criminal charges against the operators of cannabis centers, just as Santa
Clara County has brought it's own case against Baez. All of the cases test
elements of Proposition 215.

Against this backdrop of legal woes, many activists remain convinced the
law is workable, particularly when medical pot dispensaries collaberate
with public officials. In the Bay Area, the marijuana centers in San
Francisco, Oakland and San Jose enjoy support from politicians and law
enforcement.

The latest experiment to be touted by medical pot advocates is in Arcata, a
small town in Humboldt County where the police chief is so involved in
making sure pot distribution complies with the law, he personally issues
cards to patients found eligible to use the drug. The Arcata City Council
approved an ordinance this winter endorsing Police Chief Mel Brown's
approach.

The Humboldt Alliance for Medical Rights, which backs Arcata's medical pot
law, has offered to replace Baez's San Jose club if city officials modify
the local ordinance to bring it closer to the Arcata model.

In a March 24 letter to San Jose Mayor Susan Hammer, a lawyer for the
Humboldt group indicated a new club could operate locally if agreement
could be reached on a number of issues, including the possibility of the
city helping to find a site to grow marijuana. How marijuana is supplied
to clubs is viewed as one of Proposition 215's flaws.

Clubs Need Growing Sites

Dispensaries continue to rely in part on the black market for medical pot.
Even if they grow their own, they run into problems if it isn't cultivated
at the club site. State law bars transporting the drug, making it
necessary to find ways to grow pot on a site where it could then be
distributed to legitimate patients.

San Jose City Attorney Joan Gallo said that while some modifications to the
local regulations are being considered, officials are not contemplating
direct involvement in choosing or providing sites to grow medical pot.

"We have never discussed providing a site," Gallo said.

Medical pot advocates insists Proposition 215 will protect patients in need
of the drug, regardless of crackdowns on the clubs. For example, they say
patients with a doctor's recommendation for pot are protected by the law if
they are found possessing marijuana. Growing small amounts of pot for
personal use also appears sage under Proposition 215, say most advocates.

But Proposition 215's broader promise appears to be vanishing in the legal
haze. Large scale operations set up to provide medical pot to the
seriously ill are endangered.

About the only agreement in Proposition 215's now-Balkanized atmosphere is
that the federal government has the sole power to answer everyone's
concerns. Pot supporters say if federal officials reclassify the drug to
permit its use for medical purposes, other obstacles will drift away.

FADING AWAY (side bar)

Fueled by passage of Proposition 215, the state's medical marijuana
intitiative, close to 30 medical pot dispensaries were operating in
California by October 1997.

While the number are constantly changing, based on figures compiled at the
first California Conference of Medical Marijuana Providers in Santa Cruz
last fall, there are estimated 14 clubs of varying scope that remain open:

- Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, San Jose
- MedEx Delivery Service, Santa Cruz
- Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Santa Cruz
- Cannabis Buyers' Club, San Francisco
- C.H.A.M.P., San Francisco
- Medical Cannabis Delivery Service, San Francisco
- Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, Oakland
- Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Fairfax
- Sonoma Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Jenner
- Humboldt Cannabis Center, Arcata
- Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers' Club, Los Angeles
- Southern California Medical Cannabis Consumers' Co-Op, Beaumont/Riverside
- Compassionate Use Co-Op, Rackerby
- Access Unlimited, Ventura County
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Assault On Proposition 215 (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Chronicle'
Says California Voters Must Be Getting Pretty Tired
Of The Continuing Attempts By Federal And State Authorities
To Subvert The Compassionate Use Act Of 1996)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 10:19:40 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Assault on Prop. 215
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998

ASSAULT ON PROP. 215

Editor -- California voters must be getting pretty tired of the continuing
attempts by federal and state authorities to subvert Prop. 215. Instead of
people being able to legally use medicinal marijuana, as voters surely
intended when they passed this initiative, they are seeing patients thrown
in jail, cannabis clubs threatened and sick people forced to buy their
medication on the streets.

Lame-ducks Lungren and Clinton should get back to the business voters
selected them to do, instead of going out of their way to harm sick people
and using our tax dollars to do it.

What part of democracy do they not understand? The people have spoken. Let
Prop. 215 be implemented so no more sick people have to suffer needlessly.
Let the clubs do their job and free all the patients being victimized by
this assault on our democratic process!

GARY STORCK Madison, Wis.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Schafnitz Pleads Not Guilty To Drug Charge ('Orange County Register'
Says The lawyer For A Socially Prominent Newport Beach, California,
Woman Arranged For An Orange County Judge To Reschedule Her Arraignment
On Cocaine-Sale Charges In Order To Avoid Press Coverage)

Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:56:47 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Schafnitz Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Author: John McDonald

SCHAFNITZ PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO DRUG CHARGE

The socialite's lawyer gets her arraignment moved up a day to avoid media
coverage.

The lawyer for a socially prominent Newport Beach woman arranged Monday for
an Orange County judge to reschedule her arraignment on cocaine-sale
charges in order to avoid press coverage.

Tina Schafnitz, 38, pleaded not guilty to the drug-sale charge before
Central Orange County Municipal Court Judge Stephen Perk. He ordered that
she remain free on $25,000 bond pending a hearing April 21.

Schafnitz's arraignment had been scheduled for today. Up until 10 minutes
before her court appearance, courtroom staffers told reporters the case
would be called today.

Perk declined to comment; the case is pending in his courtroom.

Robert Kuehl, executive officer of central municipal court, told the truth,
but Schafnitz's lawyer obtained a last-minute schedule change. Almost any
reason, including convenience, would justify the change, he said.

Schafnitz's lawyer, Robert Newman of Tustin, said, "the court never asked
why I wanted it." He acknowledged he wanted it to avoid press coverage.

Terry Francke of the California First Amendment Coalition said he is aware
of no law governing arraignment schedule changes. "I question their
language on the lawyer's convenience."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Zero Tolerance Suffers Setback ('Orange County Register'
Says School Districts' Zero Tolerance Drug Policies Could Come Under Fire
Throughout California After Superior Court Judge Robert E. Thomas Ruled
Monday That The Newport-Mesa School District Denied Ryan Huntsman
Due Process When It Transferred The Corona Del Mar High School Senior
To Another School)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 20:07:09 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Zero Tolerance Suffers Setback Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: letters@link.freedom.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 Author: Brady Rhoades ZERO TOLERANCE SUFFERS SETBACK A judge rules that a Corona del Mar High senior was denied due process when he was transferred to another school. School districts, zero-tolerance drug policies could come under fire statewide after a Monday court ruling. Superior Court Judge Robert E. Thomas ruled that the Newport-Mesa School District denied Ryan Huntsman due process when it transferred the Corona del Mar High School senior to another school under the district's 8-year-old zero-tolerance policy. "Districts might have to have a more spelled-out or detailed policy, as far as what steps they need to take before a student is transferred or expelled," said Doug Stone, director of communications for the state Department of Education. Zero tolerance, which has been upheld many times in court, could be in jeopardy, said board President Jim Ferryman. "Any parent who gets an attorney will challenge the district's policy, which has been very effective in controlling drug use among students," said board member Wendy Leece. Huntsman, 18, was ordered to transfer to Newport Harbor High on Feb. 19, one day after Newport Beach police allegedly confiscated drug paraphernalia from his car near Corona del Mar High. Huntsman was cited for playing his stereo too loudly. The police report - which states that a pipe and plastic bag with trace amounts of marijuana were found - was sent to school officials. Accounts differ on whether Huntsman was driving from school. Under the district's policy, a student can be transferred or expelled, without a hearing, if found with drugs, alcohol or firearms on campus, at a school-sanctioned event or while traveling to or from school.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Ruling Leaves Districts, Drug Policy In Doubt ('Orange County Register'
Sidebar With More Details On Zero Tolerance School Polices For Students)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 20:09:24 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Ruling Leaves Districts, Drug Policy In Doubt
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W. Black
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: Brady Rhoades

RULING LEAVES DISTRICTS, DRUG POLICY IN DOUBT

Q. What is zero-tolerance drug policy?

A. Zero-tolerance policies, most of which were implemented by school
districts eight to 10 years ago, are aimed at decreasing drug and alcohol
use in schools. Most policies call for suspension, transfer or expulsion of
students caught with drugs or alcohol on campus, at school-sanctioned
events or traveling to or from school. The policies go above and beyond
rules set down in the State Education Code.

Q. How common are zero-tolerance policies in Orange County? In the state?

A. A majority of Orange County districts have zero-tolerance policies,
according to Ken Williams, Orange County Board of Education member. The
same is true statewide, according to Doug Stone, director of communications
for the state Department of Education. Numbers were not available late
Monday.

Q. How many Newport-Mesa students have been transferred or expelled under
zero-tolerance policies?

A. In 1996-97, 125 students in the Newport-Mesa School District were
transferred to other schools, according to school board President Jim
Ferryman.

Q. Why is the Ryan Huntsman case special?

A. Judge Robert E. Thomas' ruling casts a shadow over zero-tolerance
policies. A transfer ordered during a senior's second semester is
tantamount to an expulsion, he ruled, because the student will never again
have the opportunity to attend that school. Because it is tantamount to an
expulsion, the student has a right to due process, he ruled.

Q. How will the decision affect zero-tolerance policies?

A. Local, county and state education experts say that at the very least the
decision will make school districts re-examine their zero-tolerance
policies. At most, the decision could handcuff districts. A few opinions:

"This could have a rippling effect" - Jim Ferryman.

"There is the potential for all kinds of appeals to the county on this" -
Ken Williams.

"It has undercut the school's ability to determine whether kids who are
caught taking drugs can stay on campus" - Doug Stone.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judge Overturns Student's Transfer Over Drug Policy
('Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:13:12 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Overturns Student's Transfer Over Drug Policy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Author: Thao Hua, Times Staff Writer

JUDGE OVERTURNS STUDENT'S TRANSFER OVER DRUG POLICY

SANTA ANA--In a ruling that may lead to a review of Newport-Mesa's "zero
tolerance" policy, a college-bound senior expelled over suspicions he had
been smoking marijuana has won the right to return to Corona del Mar High
School, his attorney said Monday.

The student, Ryan Huntsman, said the empty zip-lock bag and pipe that a
police officer found in his car two months ago belonged to a friend. The
18-year-old took and passed a drug test to prove his innocence, said David
Shores, the student's attorney.

But school officials concluded that he had violated their "zero tolerance"
policy by being caught with drug paraphernalia--the pipe--and ordered that
he attend a different school, Newport Harbor.

Huntsman challenged the transfer in court, saying that school officials did
not adequately allow him the right to defend himself before effectively
expelling him from Corona del Mar, where he has been enrolled since his
freshman year.

On Monday, a judge ruled in Huntsman's favor.

"I immediately called all my friends and told them that we had won, and
that I'll see them all at school on Monday," said Huntsman, who is on
spring break this week. "It has been tough. . . . I'm so excited that it's
finally over."

Serene Stokes, vice president of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District,
said officials will reconsider the punishments meted out under the
district's anti-drug policy, especially for students who are in the same
situation as Huntsman.

In Monday's one-page ruling, Superior Court Judge Robert Thomas wrote that
the 90-day suspension imposed by the school district in Huntsman's case was
the "functional equivalent of an expulsion" since there were less than 90
school days left before Huntsman's June 18 graduation. Therefore, Huntsman
was effectively denied his due process rights, which would have required
that he merely be suspended, not expelled, authorities said.

"We had never looked at it that way, so we'll have to look at it," Stokes
said. "I think [the ruling] may redefine the policy somewhat for seniors.
But in general, I don't think it's going to make too much of a difference."

School officials have not decided whether they will appeal the judge's
ruling. In the 1996-'97 school year, 72 students in the 1,100-student
school district were transferred to different schools within the district
for drug or alcohol violations, district officials said.

"I really think the policy has curbed the use of drugs and alcohol in
schools," Stokes said. "We always have to look at it and see if there are
room for improvements. But overall, it's been such a deterrent."

Huntsman's brush with authorities began Feb. 18, when a Newport Beach
officer stopped the teenager for playing his car stereo too loud. In a
subsequent search, which Shores alleged was illegal, the officer found the
drug paraphernalia and reported it to the school, which suspended Huntsman
the next day.

On March 3, Thomas ordered that Huntsman be allowed to go to Corona del Mar
while the issue was being decided. School trustees upheld Huntsman's
suspension earlier this month, but that decision was overturned by Thomas
in Monday's ruling.

"Justice prevailed," said Huntsman's mother, Kathleen. "Hopefully, we can
put this behind us and Ryan can graduate with his class."

"I just have to do really really well from now until the end of the year,
or else I might not graduate," said Huntsman, a yearbook staff member who
also had played on the golf team. "But then again, I don't think they would
want to deal with me for another year."

Copyright Los Angeles Times
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Report - Feds Investigate Drug Experiments On Children ('Associated Press'
Says The 'New York Post' Reported Today That The New York State
Psychiatric Institute, the Psychology Department Of Queens College,
And The Mt. Sinai School Of Medicine Subjected More Than 100 Children
Ages 6 To 11 In New York City To Fenfluramine, Part Of The Now-Banned
Drug Combination Known As Fen-Phen, Found To Cause Heart Damage
In 90 Percent Of Adults Who Used It To Lose Weight)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Report: Feds investigate drug experiments on children
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 09:33:39 -0700

Report: Feds investigate drug experiments on children

NEW YORK (AP) More than 100 city children were the subjects of an
experiment involving a controversial diet drug that was pulled from
the market last year, the New York Post reported today.

Advocacy groups have filed complaints with government agencies,
saying the institutions two hospitals and a college violated federal
research regulations because the experiments provided no medical
benefits to the children.

Boys between the ages of 6 and 11 were given fenfluramine, part of
the now-banned drug combination known as fen-phen, as part of a study
of brain activity and aggression. The studies were conducted by the
New York State Psychiatric Institute, the Psychology Department of
Queens College and the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine.

Officials at those facilities said the experiments were done before
fen-phen was pulled from the market. The boys were each given a single
dose of up to 10 milligrams of the drug to see if it raised serotonin
levels in the brain.

Increased serotonin is believed to reduce aggression. Theresearchers
told the Post that some of the boys were chosen because they had older
siblings who were juvenile delinquents.

The researchers said that the experiments were conducted after
parents were informed of the risks and that the dosages were in no way
health or life threatening.

The federal government has begun an investigation, said Dr. Susan
Krandall of the Office of Protection from Research Risk in Rockville,
Md.

Fen-phen was found to cause heart damage in 90 percent of adults who
used it regularly to lose weight.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Feds Probe Drug Experiments (Different 'Associated Press' Version
In 'New York Times')

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 10:28:09 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Feds Probe Drug Experiments
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998

FEDS PROBE DRUG EXPERIMENTS

NEW YORK (AP) -- More than 100 children were the subjects of an experiment
involving a controversial diet drug that was pulled from the market last
year, the New York Post reported today.

Advocacy groups have filed complaints alleging two hospitals and a college
in New York City violated federal research regulations because the
experiments provided no medical benefits to the children.

Boys ages 6 to 11 were given fenfluramine, half of the now-banned drug
combination known as fen-phen, as part of a study of brain activity and
aggression. The studies were conducted by the New York State Psychiatric
Institute, the Psychology Department of Queens College and the Mount Sinai
School of Medicine.

Officials said the experiments were done before fen-phen was pulled from
the market.

The boys were each given a single dose of up to 10 milligrams of the drug
to see if it raised serotonin levels in the brain. Increased serotonin is
believed to reduce aggression.

Researchers told the Post that some of the boys were chosen because they
had older siblings who were juvenile delinquents.

The researchers said the boys' parents were informed of the risks and
maintained the dosages were not health-threatening.

The federal government has begun an investigation, said Dr. Susan Krandall
of the Office of Protection from Research Risk in Rockville, Md.

The federal Food and Drug Administration has estimated that one-third of
the adults who took the diet pills regularly could have suffered
significant heart valve damage as a result.

The manufacturer recalled fenfluramine and the related drug Redux last
summer at the FDA's request.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Report - Feds Investigate Drug Experiments On Children
(List Subscriber Notes Inconsistent US Policies Regarding Fen-Phen
And Medical Marijuana)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Report: Feds investigate drug experiments on children (fwd)
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 12:04:40 -0700
--- Forwarded message ---
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 14:56:27 -0400
From: "billyg" 
To: "William M. Goldhart" 
Subject: Re: Report: Feds investigate drug experiments on children

I have been reading everything posted in this forum but until now have not
said anything. After reading this, I have to ask why are these drugs e.g..
fen-phen, allowed on the market and THEN found to have caused heart damage?
I have also read time and time again that the government demands further
testing of MJ, before it could even think of legalization, or
decriminalization. MORE testing? Do they think they can test it out of
existence? It occurs to me that there is somewhat of a double standard in
use here. --Surprise, Surprise!! I become incensed to the point of
frustration.

HISTORY HAS INDICATED THAT THE ONLY WAY TO MAJOR SOCIO-ECONOMIC CHANGE IS
THROUGH VIOLENT REVOLUTION. ....So, where do we go from here?

In 1972, the government was talking about decriminalizing "soft drugs".
Talk, talk, talk. Let's shoot Rock, and hope that the next doublespeaking,
forktongued politician thinks twice before accepting the position. Why can
we not have a referendum on topics like this, and others that the government
has labelled hot potatoes, political suicide, untouchable? Personally, I
have no faith or trust in the people who govern. They are too far out of
touch. They have their own agendas. None are accountable.

I can only wonder why when folks who are terminally ill, and have only a
little time left are they so-o-o complacent. Why is there not a single
aids/multiple sclerosis/cancer patient out there that has had enough, and be
willing to make the ultimate sacrifice? Why is there not open season on
politicians? Why can't I get a pension like they do? Why are they in my
bedroom, in my face, in my space. We are told that we live in a free
society, but don't you believe it. We are only free to do what we are
allowed to do. I've said enough, though I could go on, I think you get the
flavor.

In a free country I would be able to sign this without fear of who will tap
my phones, intercept my e-mail, and start a file on me.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medications Kill 100,000 Annually, Study Says ('Los Angeles Times'
Reports New Study Appearing In Today's
'Journal Of The American Medical Association'
Finds Properly Prescribed Medications Killed Between 76,000 And 137,000
Americans In 1994, Taking More Lives Than Diabetes Or Pneumonia,
Making Pharmaceutical Drugs The Sixth To Fourth Leading Cause Of Death
In The United States)

Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:04:44 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Medications Kill 100,000 Annually, Study Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield and Chris Clay 
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Author: Terence Monmaney

MEDICATIONS KILL 100,000 ANNUALLY, STUDY SAYS

Health: Adverse reactions to prescribed drugs are found to be far more
common than previously thought. But some question research methods.

Properly prescribed medications may kill more than 100,000 people a year,
taking more lives than diabetes or pneumonia, according to a new analysis
that suggests prescription medications cause more harm than previously
believed.

The study, appearing today in the Journal of the American Medical Assn.,
estimates that 76,000 to 137,000 people died in 1994 from such treatments.
That would make so-called adverse drug reactions between the sixth and
fourth leading cause of death in the United States.

Moreover, of the 33 million hospitalized patients in 1994, some 2.2 million
had a nonfatal reaction serious enough to require medical attention, the
researchers say.

Although some experts questioned the study's methods, the new estimates put
the problem in the most dramatic light yet.

The study ''puts into clear perspective that adverse drug reactions are a
major form of death and injury that can be prevented,'' said Dr. Sidney
Wolfe, director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group. He said the
injuries and deaths detailed in the study are nearly twice as high as
estimates recently done by his consumer group.

The findings should not encourage people to abandon vital medications, said
the study's leader, Dr. Bruce Pomeranz of the University of Toronto, who
said he was surprised by the death toll. ''What's needed is more awareness
of the potential problems with taking some drugs. Before you take a
medication you should know about its risk-benefit ratio,'' he said.

In addition, Pomeranz and other researchers say that the new findings
should spur hospitals and doctors to monitor patients more closely to
reduce potential toxic drug reactions.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, an drug industry
group, cautioned patients not to panic. ''Prescription medicines are safe
and effective when used properly,'' president Alan Holmer said in a
statement.

The analysis did not specify which drugs were most risky or what diseases
patients had when the adverse reactions occurred. But other studies have
found that the drug types causing the most serious medical problems in
hospitalized patients are painkillersfrom narcotics that halt breathing to
aspirin pills that induce stomach bleeding; antibiotics and antiviral
drugs, which can cause severe diarrhea, and cardiovascular and
anticoagulant drugs, which can cause a range of problems including internal
bleeding.

In addition, some people are allergic or sensitive to particular drugs,
while other bad reactions happen when two or more drugs are combined. For
instance, the widely prescribed allergy drug terfenidine, or Seldane, was
withdrawn from the market this year after reports that it triggered heart
rhythm problems in people also taking the commonly administered antibiotic
erythromycin.

Adverse drug reactions especially trouble the elderly, experts say, because
they are more likely to have multiple underlying health problems and also
tend to have a weakened liver and kidneys, the organs that break down and
eliminate medications.

Medical researchers believe that adverse drug reactions have been
underestimated for years. That is chiefly because hospitals and physicians
seldom report such reactions, dismiss them as unavoidable or mistake them
for disease symptoms.

The U.S. Health Care Financing Administration last fall proposed new
federal regulations requiring hospitals to step up drug-reaction
monitoring. But some physicians have criticized the proposed monitoring
system, which would involve periodic reviews of patient charts, as
intrusive and costly.

In their study, the Toronto researchers pooled and analyzed data from 39
U.S. studies on adverse drug reactions published between 1964 and 1996.
They looked at two groups: Patients who underwent an adverse drug reaction
while in the hospital that was at least serious enough to prolong their
stay, and also outpatients who had a drug reaction bad enough to
hospitalize them.

While other studies have looked at those two groups separately, this was
the first to combine them, leading to the ''extremely high'' prevalence of
drug reactions, as the researchers called it.

Between the upper and lower fatality estimates is the midpoint of 106,000
drug-induced deaths. That means that in 1994 - which the researchers chose
as a representative year - 0.32% of patients on a prescription drug, or
three out of every thousand, had a fatal reaction.

Their approach was ''conservative,'' the researchers said, in that they
focused only on correctly prescribed drugs. Their analysis did not consider
other sources of prescription drug problems, such as patient compliance
errors, intentional overdoses, narcotic abuse and accidental poisonings.

Nor did the researchers consider the presumably large number of people with
bad drug reactions who were not subsequently hospitalized.

''The truth is we missed a lot of people,'' Pomeranz says, including those
who ''died at home.''

Still, other researchers questioned aspects of the study because it is a
''meta-analysis,'' which involves statistically analyzing data pooled from
other studies, rather than studying real people. It is often difficult to
establish that a very sick person died from a drug reaction rather than an
underlying illness, said Dr. John Burke, a medical epidemiologist at LDS
Hospital in Salt Lake City, who has studied adverse drug reactions.

He urged caution in accepting the study as fact, but also praised it as a
''spur to action'' in attacking the problem of adverse drug reactions. At
LDS Hospital, which has one of the nation's few computer systems for
linking drug reactions and patient records, doctors have reduced adverse
events by 50%.

Dr. David Bates of the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, who has
studied hospital reporting of adverse drug reactions, said ''even if the
true incidence of [adverse drug reactions] is somewhat lower'' than the
Toronto researchers say ''. . . it is still high, and much higher than
generally recognized.''

Wolfe, co-author of the book ''Worst Pills, Best Pills,'' said the analysis
underscored that the United States is ''an over-medicated society.''
Patients being prescribed a drug should ask if it is absolutely necessary,
he said, and should also be sure to tell doctors of any other drugs they
may already be taking.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A New Generation Gap ('San Francisco Chronicle' Notes New Survey
From Partnership For A Drug-Free America Showing Some Parents
Don't Realize Their Teens Have Tried Marijuana)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 10:21:59 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: A New Generation Gap
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998

A NEW GENERATION GAP

ONE MIGHT think that many Baby Boomers, after their own youthful
experimentation with marijuana, would be quick to detect any sign of
indulgence by their own children.

Not so, according to a new study.

The survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America showed that marijuana
experimentation increased significantly in certain age groups --
particularly among children ages 9 to 12, as well as 17- and 18-year-olds.

Most telling was the contrast between parents' perceptions and their
children's experience. Only 21 percent of parents believed their teenager
could have experimented with pot, but 44 percent of the teenagers said they
had done so. There also were distinct generational differences in
perceptions of the availability of marijuana.

Perhaps this ``not-my-child'' syndrome represents a massive case of denial
by Baby Boomers, particularly those who may be anxious about how to explain
their own past dabbling to their kids.

Or maybe it just shows -- yet again -- that the generation gap was not an
isolated phenomenon of the 1960s. Then, as now, there is an obvious need
for more communication to bridge that gap.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Times Aren't A-Changin' ('San Francisco Examiner' Version)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 20:18:43 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Times Aren't A-Changin'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "Frank S. World" 
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/

THE TIMES AREN'T A-CHANGIN'

WHEN the baby boomers were children, President Dwight D. Eisenhower
expressed memorable, if somewhat confusing, words to live by: "Things are
more like they are now than they ever were before."

How true. In the 1960s, many moms and dads of the Leave-It-to-Beaver
generation were regarded as hopelessly square and, in a phrase subsequently
popular, deeply in denial. Marijuana was tried at least once by about three
out of five of the formerly young. Even today, these middle-aged folks
often can be prodded into remembering a few lines of callow arrogance from
Bob Dylan's "Times They Are A-Changing":

Come mothers and fathers throughout the land And don't criticize what you
don't understand. Your sons and daughters are beyond your command, Your old
road is rapidly agin' . . .

Those were the days, my friend; we thought they'd never end. But the
boomers no longer are rebellious youngsters. They're parents themselves.
And, according to a national study by the New York-based Partnership for a
Drug-Free America, they also tend to be deeply in denial about pot-smoking
by their own children.

The organization's poll showed that 21 percent of parents acknowledge that
their teenagers have been offered drugs, but the young people put the
figure at 59 percent. Marijuana use by 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds
increased from 41 percent in 1996 to 48 percent last year.

"Boomers - many of whom have "been there, done that' - are surprisingly and
ironically out of step with the reality of drugs in their children's
lives," said Richard D. Bonnette, president of the advocacy group.

No big surprise, said Dr. Herbert Kleber, who had some anti-pot advice for
parents who had a toke or two in their youth and don't want to sound
hypocritical. Talk to your kids, he said.

We have heard that before. Ike was right.

1998 San Francisco Examiner
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Parents Play Ostrich On Kids' Marijuana Use ('Dallas Morning News' Version)

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 19:27:06 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Parents Play Ostrich on Kids' Marijuana Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998

PARENTS PLAY OSTRICH ON KIDS' MARIJUANA USE

NEW YORK - Although more kids are trying marijuana at an earlier age, Baby
Boomer parents are convinced that doesn't apply to their children,
according to a national study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

"Boomers - many of whom have 'been there, done that' - are surprisingly and
ironically out of step with the reality of drugs in their children's
lives," Partnership President Richard D. Bonnette said.

Past Partnership studies showed that 60 percent of the Boomers had tried
marijuana at least once.

The group's 10th poll, released Sunday, showed that parents underestimated
the availability of marijuana, their children's view of its risks, and
whether their children's friends were smoking.

"Few sincerely believe their children are exposed to drugs, that drugs are
widely available in the schools their children attend," Bonnette said.

The current study showed that among children ages 9 to 12, the number who
had tried marijuana was up from 334,000 in 1993 to 571,000 last year - an
increase from 3 percent to 5 percent of that age group.

Marijuana use among ages 13 to 16 remained stable, but there was a
significant increase among 17- and 18-year-olds - from 41 percent in 1996
to 48 percent last year.

And among parents, the study found:

Forty-three percent believed their teens could find marijuana easily. Yet
58 percent of children said pot was readily available.

Thirty-three percent thought their kids viewed marijuana as harmful. Among
teens, only 18 percent - less than one in five - felt that smoking
marijuana was risky.

Forty-five percent felt their teen had a friend who smoked marijuana. Among
teens, 71 percent said they had a friend who had used marijuana.

Twenty-one percent thought their teen could have experimented with
marijuana, while 44 percent of the teens said they actually had.

The Partnership is a private, nonprofit coalition of communications
industry professionals, known for its anti-drug advertising campaign.

The survey was conducted last year among 1,922 children, 6,975 teens and
815 parents.

The margin of error for the children's data was plus or minus 2.2
percentage points; the teens, plus or minus 1.2; for the adults, plus or
minus 3.4.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

On My Mind - Lean Back Or Fight (Editorial In 'New York Times'
By Drug Warrior AM Rosenthal Exhorts The Troops To Fight On)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:39:56 -0700
From: Randy Chase 
Organization: Medical Marijuana NOW!
To: Hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: New York Times Editorial
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

A.M. Rosenthal: Lean Back or Fight

ON MY MIND / By A.M. ROSENTHAL

"It's nice to think that in another five or ten years maybe the right over
one's consciousness, the right to possess and consume drugs, may be as
powerfully and as widely understood as the other rights of Americans are."

If that thought strikes you too as nice, you don't have to do much. Just
lean back and enjoy the successes of Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, who said it in 1993,
and other executives of well-financed "drug reform" foundations.

Maybe he is a little optimistic about his timing. But he and others who
would like now-illegal drugs to be a right certainly have made political
headway since his pronouncement at the San Francisco conference to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of the discovery of LSD.

Still, perhaps the thought that narcotics will become a basic American right
strikes you as plain horrible. Perhaps you have love for your children, or
theirs, or for the mental, moral and civil stability of the country in which
you live.

Perhaps you will become worried about a new report from the Partnership for
a Drug-Free America. It shows that marijuana use among children and teen-agers
is increasing, and parents don't know it, and that children and teen-agers
find it much easier to get, and parents don't know it, and that among the
youngsters the fear of the risks of the drug is decreasing -- and parents
don't know that either.

Or, maybe you will be startled at the report's finding that parents think
they talk to their children about drugs a lot more than than their children
recall hearing -- and wonder if the parents remember right.

Or it could be that you are sick to the gorge of the press and TV accepting
the flood of false compassion that reformers used to attain the triumph of
"medicalization" of marijuana in California and Arizona.

Perhaps you know the "reformers," supported by benefactors like George
Soros, Peter Lewis of Ohio and John Sperling of Arizona, plan to use the same
weapon in other referendums across the country.

Then, under any of those conditions, the time has come for you to get up and
fight against drugs, instead of just looking worried. Here are three ways:

1. With your votes, letters, mouths and religious and social organizations,
pressure the people you elect to every level of government. Demand detailed
exposure of backdoor legalization, its funders and techniques.

Ask the President, again and again and again, to become the political,
passionate leader against drugs that the country lacks and so terribly needs.

Maybe he will never do it, which does not excuse us from saying it is his
duty.

2. Join and support organizations that actively fight drugs and ask that
Congress fully restore the funds it cut from their anti-drug education work.
Pester newspapers and TV to give full hearings to the organizations and to the
anti-drug case.

And if the organizations are not on the Internet, tell them they are
surrendering to the crowds of legalizers who are.

(National Families in Action, an anti-drug organization, publishes "A Guide
to the Drug Legalization Movement and How to Fight It," a most useful book in
which I came across Dr. Nadelmann's "nice" thought. Ten dollars, Suite 300,
2296 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30345; (770) 934-7137;
www.emory.edu/NFIA).

3. Any way you can, spread the truth that law enforcement, drug interdiction
and therapy are all necessary to fight the war, and that therapy, especially
in prisons, is not getting enough government funds. Help therapeutic
communities like Phoenix House, Daytop Village and others.

Expect no medals. Many journalists have used drugs, particularly marijuana,
and having survived themselves think everybody can. And America's best-known
writers are either cold to the drug war or apparently never heard of it.
American pop stars would rather go bald than fight narcotics.

But 87 percent of Americans are against legalization, which is why
legalizers use euphemisms and back doors and have to depend on big donors, not
little ones.

If you help the huge anti-drug majority know its strengths and the backdoor
techniques of the legalizers, then parents and their children will not only
talk at home about drugs, but hear each other.

Tuesday, April 14, 1998
Copyright 1998 The New York Times
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Focus Alert Number 59 - AM Rosenthal In 'New York Times'
(Media Awareness Project Asks You To Write A Letter To The Editor
Protesting The Drug Warrior Columnist's Errors)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 11:53:48 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: FOCUS ALERT #59 Abe Rosenthal NY Times

PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #59

A. M. Rosenthal attacks Internet Reformers in the New York Times.

WRITE A LETTER MAKE A PHONE CALL- HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

***

Abe Rosenthal is at it again. In the editorial below we reformers are
described as "well funded" (if he only knew) and "legalizers" (whatever
that may mean) Time to come to the reform movements defense.

Just DO it!

***

CONTACT INFO

New York Times
Letters letters@nytimes.com
Editorials edpage@nr.infi.net

NY Times - feedback@nytimes.com

Note feedback@nytimes.com
(always gets an acknowledgment)

New York Times
229 West 43rd Street #1105
New York
NY 10036
212-556-1234
FAX 212-556-7126

***

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID (Phone fax etc.)

Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you
are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting
REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or emailing to MGreer@mapinc.org

***

ORIGINAL ARTICLE

April 14, 1998

ON MY MIND / By A.M. ROSENTHAL

Lean Back or Fight

"It's nice to think that in another five or ten years maybe the right over
one's consciousness, the right to possess and consume drugs, may be as
powerfully and as widely understood as the other rights of Americans
are."

If that thought strikes you too as nice, you don't have to do much. Just
lean back and enjoy the successes of Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, who said it in
1993, and other executives of well-financed "drug reform" foundations.

Maybe he is a little optimistic about his timing. But he and others who
would like now-illegal drugs to be a right certainly have made political
headway since his pronouncement at the San Francisco conference to
celebrate the 50th anniversary of the discovery of LSD.

Still, perhaps the thought that narcotics will become a basic American
right strikes you as plain horrible. Perhaps you have love for your
children, or theirs, or for the mental, moral and civil stability of the
country in which you live.

Perhaps you will become worried about a new report from the Partnership
for a Drug-Free America. It shows that marijuana use among children and
teen-agers is increasing, and parents don't know it, and that children
and teen-agers find it much easier to get, and parents don't know it,
and that among the youngsters the fear of the risks of the drug is
decreasing -- and parents don't know that either.

Or, maybe you will be startled at the report's finding that parents
think they talk to their children about drugs a lot more than than their
children recall hearing -- and wonder if the parents remember right.

Or it could be that you are sick to the gorge of the press and TV
accepting the flood of false compassion that reformers used to attain
the triumph of "medicalization" of marijuana in California and Arizona.

Perhaps you know the "reformers," supported by benefactors like George
Soros, Peter Lewis of Ohio and John Sperling of Arizona, plan to use the
same weapon in other referendums across the country.

Then, under any of those conditions, the time has come for you to get up
and fight against drugs, instead of just looking worried. Here are three
ways:

1. With your votes, letters, mouths and religious and social
organizations, pressure the people you elect to every level of
government. Demand detailed exposure of backdoor legalization, its
funders and techniques.

Ask the President, again and again and again, to become the political,
passionate leader against drugs that the country lacks and so terribly
needs.

Maybe he will never do it, which does not excuse us from saying it is
his duty.

2. Join and support organizations that actively fight drugs and ask that
Congress fully restore the funds it cut from their anti-drug education
work. Pester newspapers and TV to give full hearings to the
organizations and to the anti-drug case.

And if the organizations are not on the Internet, tell them they are
surrendering to the crowds of legalizers who are.

(National Families in Action, an anti-drug organization, publishes "A
Guide to the Drug Legalization Movement and How to Fight It," a most
useful book in which I came across Dr. Nadelmann's "nice" thought. Ten
dollars, Suite 300, 2296 Henderson Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30345; (770)
934-7137; www.emory.edu/NFIA).

3. Any way you can, spread the truth that law enforcement, drug
interdiction and therapy are all necessary to fight the war, and that
therapy, especially in prisons, is not getting enough government funds.
Help therapeutic communities like Phoenix House, Daytop Village and
others.

Expect no medals. Many journalists have used drugs, particularly
marijuana, and having survived themselves think everybody can. And
America's best-known writers are either cold to the drug war or
apparently never heard of it. American pop stars would rather go bald
than fight narcotics.

But 87 percent of Americans are against legalization, which is why
legalizers use euphemisms and back doors and have to depend on big
donors, not little ones.

If you help the huge anti-drug majority know its strengths and the
backdoor techniques of the legal izers, then parents and their children
will not only talk at home about drugs, but hear each other.

***

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear Editor

In his latest rant A.M. Rosenthal bemoans the fact that the Internet is
losing the propaganda war on drugs. He snivels about "well-funded
reformers" who are fighting to change our drug laws.

The truth is that thousands of dedicated individuals have at long last
found a place on the Internet to let the truth be known about the 70 year
failure we call the war on drugs.

If Rosenthal wants to talk about well-funded organizations perhaps he
should look at the multi-million dollar Partnership for a Drug Free America
who got its start with contributions from the liquor industry and freely
admits taking money from pharmaceutical companies. Who's really addicted
to drugs? Perhaps he should look at the Office of National Drug Control
Policy (ONDCP) where we throw $17 billion down a rat hole every year while
teen drug use continues to rise.

Rosenthal further warns readers about the latest statistics showing an
increase in marijuana use among teens. It apparently never occurs to him
that the reason for this increase is not in spite of our current drug
policy it is because of it. Drug prohibition increases drug use. It only
takes a little rational thought to realize this.

As one who thinks that reforming our drug laws is long past due I'm
delighted to see Rosenthal jump on his bandwagon. In his call to action to
get people writing letters and contacting politicians on drug policy
matters he plays right into our hand. Any one who goes to the trouble to
begin looking into the facts on these issues, will quickly come to the
realization that the war on drugs is the biggest con ever foisted upon the
American public.

If your readers are interested in learning the truth about the drug war,
rather than putting up with Rosenthal's inane foolishness, a visit to any
of hundreds of Internet web sites will prove enlightening indeed. Most of
these sites have a much higher regard for truth, science, accuracy, and
reason than either Mr. Rosenthal or the federal government.

***

Word Count 340

Mark Greer is the Executive Director of the Media Awareness Project (MAP)
Inc. A non- profit corporation dedicated to improving media accuracy and
public education on matters related to drug policies. Greer is a published
author, has had opinion pieces and letters published nationwide including
the LA Times, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning
News, and many other national publications. Greer also speaks regularly on
these subjects and has appeared on national television and radio regularly
over the past 3 years.

Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project
PO Box 56
Porterville,
CA 93258

CONTACT: Mark Greer 800 266 5759

Mark Greer
Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense
MGreer@mapinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/
http://www.mapinc.org
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Lean Back Or Fight (Letters Sent To Editor Of 'New York Times'
In Response To AM Rosenthal's Rant)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 17:03:54 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Arthur Livermore 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: LTE re: "Lean Back or Fight" - April 14, 1998

New York Times
229 West 43rd Street #1105
New York, NY 10036

To the editor:

Mr. Rosenthal asserts that medical marijuana is "false compassion". What
does he mean by this statement? Does he think that patients should suffer
needlessly? Prohibiting the medical use of marijuana is cruel. Patients
whose suffering is relieved by marijuana are not criminals. Medical
marijuana restores the use of cannabis to its proper place in medical
treatment.

Mr. Rosenthal says that "law enforcement, drug interdiction and therapy are
all necessary to fight the war". How does treating the ill like scum fit
into his war plan?

Sincerely,
Arthur Livermore
LIVERMORE CONSULTANTS
P.O. Box 36
Arch Cape, OR 97102 USA
503-436-1882
alive@pacifier.com
http://www.pacifier.com/~alive/

***

From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: letters@nytimes.com, edpage@nr.nfi.net, feedback@nytimes.com
Cc: bc616@scn.org
Subject: A. M. Rosenthal
Date: Tue, 14 Apr

Dear editor

As a parent of a pre-teen I would like you to know that I am not worried
about a new report from the "Partnership for a Drug-Free America" nor am
I pleased that tax dollars are going to support this biased organization.
If I want studies ( as opposed to polls and surveys) on drugs and their
effects on human beings I go to places like the Centers for Disease
Control ( not one recorded death ever from marijuana use) or the World
Health Organization for their scientific studies such as the latest from
the WHO which determined that long-term
use of marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco.
( you won't find that on the PDFA's web site!)

A hypocrite is a caught liar and the partnership for a drug free America
has been caught lying before, a while back they showed the supposed
"brain waves" of a pot smoker's EKG that in reality was hooked up to nothing.

Their latest POLL ( not a study) has about as much credibility as that test.

W.H.E.N. will it end?

Linkname: Compare Legal Drugs with Illegal Drugs
URL: http://www.olywa.net/when/main.html

DARRAL GOOD

***


Subj: SENT On My Mind, 4-14-98
From: Mark Greer 
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 08:56:27 -0700

From: STEVE_BEITLER@HP-PaloAlto-om13.om.hp.com
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 18:38:30 -0700
Subject: On My Mind, 4-14-98
TO: letters@nytimes.com, MGreer@mapinc.org

To the Editor:

A. M. Rosenthal's foul-tempered and ill-informed rant against drug
"legalizers" (On My Mind, April 14) gives unwitting support to the
reformers he excoriates. Marijuana use by teens and children is up?
It is - among the same kids who have had more drug "education" than
any group in history. Medical marijuana making headway in the states?
The case for medical marijuana is compelling to anyone who cares to
study the issue with an open mind. Our political leaders not
committed enough to the war on drugs? After spending more than $300
billion of taxpayers' money in the last 15 years, and after arresting
millions of non-violent, first-time drug offenders, what would
sufficient commitment look like?

Mr. Rosenthal and other defenders of the drug war, in fact, have a
lot to answer for, given the overwhelming failure, waste and
collateral harm of the drug war. The desperation he voices is one of
many signs that, slowly but surely, the public is coming to see the
hard truth about that war's many lies.

Steve Beitler
Palo Alto, CA

***

Subj: SENT Re: A.M. Rosenthal/Lean back or Fight?
From: Mark Greer 
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 08:53:32 -0700

From: Steve Bazyl (Bazyl@exchange.process.com)
To: "'feedback@nytimes.com'" (feedback@nytimes.com)
Subject: Re: A.M. Rosenthal/Lean back or Fight?
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 20:27:37 -0400

Lean Back or Fight?

A.M Rosenthal is a master at spreading misinformation. Contrary to his
claims, the people working to reform drug laws are not power-hungry
billionaires trying to hook your kids on drugs, but ordinary people with
ordinary lives. They have dedicated countless hours in the attempt to
combat the senseless ideology that has dominated drug policy for the past
several decades. And rather than use deception and scare tactics, a
technique he embraces in his own writings, they have resorted to nothing
less than science, compassion, and common sense.

Fortunately, the already shaky foundations of the current policy are
starting to crumble. A recent MSNBC poll showed that 90% of over 11,000
respondents supported marijuana legalization. Additional polls show that
over 1/3 of American adults have tried or regularly use marijuana, while
recent initiatives to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes have seen
tremendous public support. While Mr. Rosenthal may be correct that 87
percent do not support widespread and uncontrolled legalization of all
drugs, it does not reflect that the vast majority of people both support and
desire a more rational policy than what politicians are willing to offer.

Contact Info:

Steven Bazyl
bazyl@process.com
994 Old Conn Path
Framingham, MA 01701
(508) 877-4844

***

Subj: SENT A. M. Rosenthal's 4/14 column
From: Mark Greer 
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 08:53:04 -0700

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 20:12:10 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: A. M. Rosenthal's 4/14 column
From: gene tinelli (genet43@dreamscape.com)
To: feedback@nytimes.com
CC: letters@nytimes.com

Abe, as a board certified addiction psychiatrist, I can use my expertise to
state that you've finally gone over the edge, down the slippery slope of
illogical hyperbole, distorted facts, and meaningless waste of energy. Your
call to arms reminds me of the French defense of Dien Bien Phu. Brave,
tragic and foolish.

Your 4/14/98 column, "Lean back or fight", is reminiscent of the views of
the "hawks" in the last days of the Vietnam War. You know, fight the gallant
fight, a moral holy war where the battle is more important than the outcome.

The war on drugs is lost. That doesn't mean failure or capitulation, just
that an unwinable war was fought. There was both courage and tragedy, just
like Vietnam, but the result was preordained. Drug use has been recorded
through all history, through all cultures. To try to prohibit something that
is unprohibitable is folly.

We went through this with alcohol earlier in this century. Your column
reminds me of the foresight of Prohibitionist Texas senator Morris Shephard,
who confronted those who would repeal alcohol Prohibition with the statement
that there was "as much chance of repealing the Eighteenth Amendment as
there is for a hummingbird to fly to the planet Mars with the Washington
Monument it's to its tail."

We'll eventually use our common sense and scrap the Drugs Prohibition for a
public health approach, just like we've done with alcohol (and are currently
trying to do with tobacco).

Your pathetic plea to fight the unwinnable battle only prolongs the
suffering.

Keep an eye out for the hummingbirds. If your vision is keen, notice what's
attached to their tails.

Gene Tinelli, MD, PhD
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
SUNY Health Science Center
Syracuse, NY 13210

***

Subj: SENT: New York Times LTE
From: Kevin and Melodi (mrhorse@kih.net)
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 14:18:53 -0400

To the Editors of New York Times:

On April 14, A.M. Rosenthal churned out the typical political rhetoric,
attacking those who are demanding alternatives to the failed war on drugs.
He quotes known government propaganda machines, advertising their
misinformation. Following the standard procedure of all drug warriors,
Rosenthal fails to acknowledge the truth.

Drug prohibition promotes corruption, violence and drug use by minors, just
as alcohol prohibition did in the thirties. The original drug laws were
passed based on erroneous information, racism, and hidden economic agendas.
Laws have since been strengthened and publicly supported based on lies and
government-induced hysteria. We cannot solve the problem of drugs in our
society by declaring war.

It is time for a calm, rational analysis of the facts concerning drugs,
their history and the real reasons behind the war. Most who research these
topics soon come to the conclusion that our children and our society will be
safer from drugs and violence if we authorize and control the sale of drugs.
Tightly regulate drugs for use by adults only; get them out of the black
market, off the streets and away from our children.

We should reach out to our poor and addicted as well as those sick and
afflicted. Why not provide services that help them to overcome their
problems? Instead, we are systematically forcing them into criminal behavior
and throwing them into prison.

The war on drugs has inflicted enough violence upon our people. It has
invalidated the documents on which this country was founded. It has turned
our legal system into a mockery of justice. The damage wrought by the war
has far exceeded that caused by drugs. The drug war must stop soon, before
it destroys our nation.

Melodi Cornett

Contact Information:
(snip)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Caine Court Date (Randy Caine Says His Constitutional Challenge
To Canada's Marijuana Laws Has Been Postponed Again, Briefly)
Link to earlier story
From: "Randy Caine" To: Subject: Caine Court Date Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 17:24:56 -0700 Hello everyone, I'm sorry to say but my trial has been delayed once more. We were expecting to hear Judge Howard's findings in this case tomorrow however we were notified at 4:30 pm today that she is ill and will need to adjourn this matter. We will be rescheduling the trial date tomorrow. Our hope is to conclude this trial by next week. Will post that info when I get it. Randy Caine
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Canada `Easy' On Dirty Money ('Ottawa Citizen'
Says The US State Department's Annual Report On The International Drug Trade
Has Labelled Canada An 'Easy Target' For Drug Traffickers And Other Criminals
Looking To Launder Dirty Money)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 13:04:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Canada: Canada `Easy' On Dirty Money
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada)
Section: A1 / Front
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/
Author: Jim Bronskill

CANADA `EASY' ON DIRTY MONEY

The United States has labelled Canada an ``easy target'' for drug
traffickers and other criminals looking to launder dirty money.

The U.S. State Department's annual report on the international drug trade
says lax Canadian laws leave the door open for shady financial transactions
intended to hide the source of ill-gotten funds. The department, which has
previously singled out Canada, continues to take a hard line despite
Liberal government promises to crack down on disreputable dealings.

``Canada still remains an easy target for drug-related and other types of
money laundering,'' says the recently released International Narcotics
Control Strategy Report.

It lists Canada as a nation of ``primary'' concern -- the most severe
rating -- along with several other places considered attractive for hiding
cash, including Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Colombia, Italy and Japan.

Money laundering usually involves a series of transactions to disguise the
source of illegally gained assets and make the money appear legitimate. The
State Department estimates the annual worldwide value of laundered funds at
between $300 billion and $500 billion U.S. The practice fuels drug and arms
dealers, and terrorists.

Canada's vulnerability stems from its high volume of cross-border trade
with the U.S., open financial system and ``fragmented'' approach to
combatting shady money transfers, says the report.

It criticizes Canada's lack of legislation to control the flow of money
across borders or to require banks and other financial institutions to
report suspicious transactions -- measures adopted by many other countries.

The report acknowledges, however, that the Liberal government has promised
to bring in such laws.

Currency exchange houses, particularly near the U.S. border, are believed
to move large amounts of drug money between the two countries, the report
says. It suggests Canada establish a financial intelligence unit to collect
and analyze information, then alert police.

The State Department echoes concerns voiced by Canadian police, who also
want more legal weapons to battle organized crime. The government took
initial steps last year, bringing in rules governing casinos and giving
police some additional powers.

Solicitor General Andy Scott has promised new legislation that would make
suspicious transaction reporting mandatory and allow authorities to monitor
the flow of cash across borders.

Mario Possamai of Forensic Investigative Associates in Toronto says the
U.S. clampdown on money laundering may have attracted more criminals to
unscrupulous Canadian operators.

``Our laws and restrictions are not as tough right now as theirs are, and
they should be.''

Mr. Possamai added, however, that the challenge is to bring in controls
without putting too onerous a burden on banks and other institutions.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Tougher Anti-Butt Ads Urged - Expose Cigarette Biz, Rock Told
('Toronto Sun' Says That, Even Though Canadian Laws On Tobacco
Tighten October 1, Anti-Smoking Groups Are Urging Health Minister Allan Rock
To Spend More Money On Anti-Smoking Ads, As Well As $100 Million
To Replace Tobacco Companies' Funding For Sports And Cultural Groups)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: TOUGHER ANTI-BUTT ADS URGED
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 09:32:07 -0700
Source: Toronto Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com

April 14, 1998

TOUGHER ANTI-BUTT ADS URGED

EXPOSE CIGARETTE BIZ, ROCK TOLD

By ROBERT FIFE -- Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA -- Health Minister Allan Rock is being pressed to counter
advertising by tobacco firms with hard-hitting TV ads that discourage
kids from smoking.

A coalition of anti-smoking groups called a news conference for today
to unveil what it calls "ground-breaking" TV commercials from the
U.S., which expose "the dishonesty of the tobacco industry."

"These hard-hitting ads represent a brand new approach to public
health commercials built around a de-glamorizing strategy which
exposes the business side of the tobacco industry and re-positions the
manufacturers as the problem," the coalition said.

The group, which includes the Non-Smokers Rights Association and
National Cancer Institute, accuse cigarette manufacturers of using ads
to attract new smokers, mainly youths.

It wants Rock to counter the industry ads with strong public service
messages similar to those in the U.S. that it says have helped
teenagers rebel against tobacco firms.

The coalition also wants Rock to force tobacco firms to put
cigarettes in plain packages with dramatic warnings about the dangers
of smoking.

The Liberal government already has rejected the idea of plain
packages, but the coalition is hoping to persuade Rock to take the
idea back to cabinet.

The anti-smoking groups also will call on Rock to table tough new
regulations to enforce changes to the Tobacco Act.

Under legislation passed last April, tobacco advertising was supposed
to be limited.

Effective Oct. 1, cigarette firms will not be allowed to use their
logos or brand names in promotional advertising.

Tobacco companies have threatened to withdraw funding for sports and
cultural groups, and now Rock is trying to win cabinet approval for a
$100-million fund to give these organizations time to replace their
tobacco sponsors.

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths of Canadians,
killing 10,600 men and 6,500 women a year.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Silly Politics Of Puff ('Financial Post' Article In 'Calgary Sun'
Says The Only Intelligent Debate Governments Should Indulge In
Is Whether Smoking Should Be Legal Or Illegal - If It Is Legal,
They Should Butt Out Because Their Arguments -
Like Their Advertising Restrictions And Lawsuits -
Are Unjust And Based On Pacifying A Vocal
And Tiresome Anti-Smoking Lobby)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Silly politics of puff
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 09:30:20 -0700
Source: Calgary Sun
Contact: callet@sunpub.com
Author: DIANE FRANCIS -- The Financial Post

April 14, 1998

SILLY POLITICS OF PUFF

MEDDLESOME AND MISGUIDED GOVERNMENTS SHOULD MAKE SMOKING ILLEGAL
OR SIMPLY BUTT OUT

The B.C. government's attack against tobacco companies is nonsense.
First, I must declare a conflict. I'm a smoker and have a right to be
one as long as cigarettes are legal.

I don't, however, have a right to blow smoke in anyone's face and
agree with constraints on smoking areas.

But the politics of puff is ridiculous. The only intelligent debate
governments should indulge in is whether smoking should be legal or
illegal. If it is legal, they should butt out because their arguments
-- like their advertising restrictions and lawsuits -- are unjust and
based on pacifying a vocal and tiresome anti-smoking lobby.

Smoking should remain legal, even though I agree it is an unhealthy
habit. But so is driving fast cars or eating fast food or drinking
alcohol or watching too much television. We can't make all indulgences
of life illegal because, quite frankly, they will become black market
items anyway.

Instead, we have meddlesome and misguided governments. It's not
surprising that leading the attack would be Canada's most inept
politician, B.C.'s New Democratic Premier Glen Clark.

His government in January instigated a class- action lawsuit against
tobacco companies to get back some of the province's estimated $1.5
billion in smoking-related health costs. This is rubbish and
anti-smoker lobby propaganda.

The $1.5 billion is questionable and should be proven. Is an
overweight smoker who dies of a heart attack a victim of cigarettes or
doughnuts? Is an alcoholic smoker who dies of a heart attack a victim
of cigarettes or booze? There are a great deal of phony figures in all
of these estimates.

There's also the issue of double counting. For instance, a lung
cancer victim who dies prematurely at age 55 would die anyway,
presumably older and after having racked up exponentially greater
medical costs by the age of 77 or more than he or she racked up at 55
years. Or would Clark and the anti-tokers have us believe non-smokers
live forever, thus never costing the medical system a dime?

Then there is the issue of obscene profits earned by tobacco
companies selling a product, albeit legal, that is harmful. Well, how
about governments like B.C. that have collected obscene tax revenues
over the decades from the sale of a product, legally allowed by their
own edict, that is harmful?

Here we have governments suing companies for distributing a product
governments allow (even though warnings are required by governments)
and that has reaped a windfall for governments. Does that not make
governments a co-defendant?

These political rocket scientists who battle the weed -- but not
other more harmful commodities -- fail to do their math in another
important way.

To be maudlin, anti-smoke folk and litigious governments fail to
publicize the other, revenue-enhancing side of the equation. Smokers
die prematurely, which saves governments billions in future pension
entitlements.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Taking Pot Shots At Illogical Laws (Britain's 'Herald' Says Clearly,
The Statistics Reflect Rapidly-Changing Attitudes Towards Cannabis -
Privately, Many Influential People, Such As MPs And Police Officers,
Believe Something Needs To Change - Slowly, Public Policy Is Catching Up
With The Public Mood)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 13:04:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Taking Pot Shots At Illogical Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Petrie 
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Electronic Herald The (UK)
Contact: herald@cims.co.uk.
Website: http://www.theherald.co.uk
Author: Denis Campbell
Note: Discussion of these and other issues raised in the Electronic Herald
is welcomed.

TAKING POT SHOTS AT ILLOGICAL LAWS

CANNABIS is safer than either alcohol or tobacco. Says who - the lead
singer of Oasis? Some bunch of pot-smoking students? Or some trendy
legalise cannabis campaigners? No. Says the World Health Organisation,
actually.

Two months ago, New Scientist magazine published a leaked copy of a WHO
report which concluded that waccy-baccy does less harm than either the
demon drink or cigarettes.

While the last two are legal and readily available, cannabis is a
controlled drug, consumption or supply of which can land you in jail.
Logical? No. But the situation with cannabis in Britain is anything but
logical.

After alcohol, cannabis is undoubtedly the nation's favourite drug.
Millions enjoy it regularly and most available evidence shows very few
suffer any serious, lasting side effects. Unlike other illicit .

Clearly, the statistics reflect rapidly-changing attitudes towards the
drug. Privately, many influential people - such as MPs and police officers
- believe something needs to change. Slowly, public policy is catching up
with the public mood. - Apr 14
-------------------------------------------------------------------

We'll Take Homes Of Suspected Drug Barons, Says Straw (Britain's 'Telegraph'
Notes That Jack Straw, British Home Secretary, Instead Of Giving In
To The Clamor For A Discussion Of Cannabis Decriminalisation,
Is Proposing New Forfeiture Laws For Marijuana Cultivators
And Others Involved In Money Laundering, Racketeering, Fraud
And A Variety Of Other Crimes)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:32:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: We'll Take Homes Of Suspected Drug Barons, Says Straw
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke" 
Source: Telegraph, The (UK)
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Author: Tom Baldwin and James Hardy

WE'LL TAKE HOMES OF SUSPECTED DRUG BARONS, SAYS STRAW

SUSPECTED drugs barons who have not been prosecuted for a criminal offence
will have their homes and cars seized, under Home Office plans.

Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, is determined to bring forward new measures
against the "Mr Bigs" of organised crime - the masterminds who flaunt their
wealth and stay one step ahead of the law. Senior police chiefs have grown
frustrated at their inability to seize the assets of major criminals
because they cannot gather sufficient evidence to make a prosecution stick.

Home Office officials are now drawing up proposals whereby police could
apply to the civil courts for the confiscation of the personal fortunes
amassed by drug dealers. The proposal is aimed primarily at drug
traffickers but will also allow police to hit back at gangsters engaged in
money laundering, racketeering, fraud and a variety of other serious crimes.

At present, drugs money can be confiscated only when a defendant has been
convicted in a criminal court - where the standard of proof is "beyond
reasonable doubt". Last year 25 million was seized in this way, but this
was still only a tiny fraction of the multi-billion-pound profits from the
trade. The system is likely to be based on laws in the Republic of Ireland
where civil courts decide on "the balance of probabilities" whether
someone's wealth has been earned legitimately. This has been credited with
significant victories against the underworld.

Following discussions with Janet Reno, the United States Attorney General,
Mr Straw is understood to have rejected a more draconian scheme where
individuals have to show that their wealth has not come from crime -
effectively making people guilty until proved innocent. However, Mr Straw's
new measures, part of a wider review of the seizure of assets disclosed in
The Sunday Telegraph last month, will cause further dismay among civil
liberties groups which are increasingly critical of the Government's
hard-line law and order policies.

But a ministerial aide said: "This is about organised crime and serious
money. It is for the Mr Bigs who don't necessarily get their hands dirty,
but about whom the police have strong suspicions. It's not about burglars
or petty offenders." A recent report from Northumbria Police highlighted
the case of an "untouchable" suspect living in a council house but owning
three Porsche sports cars for which he had paid cash. The man had no bank
account or visible means of support and surveillance had failed to prove
positive links with crime.

Supt Bob Pattison, who drew up the report, said: "Money and assets are the
base of the triangle which supports drug barons, their criminality and drug
trafficking. By removing the financial power base their operations
collapse." Fraser Kemp, the Labour MP for Houghton and Washington East,
said: "Our cities are being blighted by organised drug barons who live
ostentatiously off their ill-gotten gains. We need to hit them where it
hurts - in the pocket. The innocent will have nothing to fear."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Law Turns Blind Eye To Cannabis (Britain's 'Herald'
Claims Decriminalisation Of Marijuana In Scotland Is Almost De Facto -
Home Office Statistics Show The Number Of Cannabis Smokers
Warned Rather Than Taken To Court Has Leapt 15-Fold In Less Than 10 Years,
From 7 Percent Of Offenders To 35 Percent)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 13:04:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: The Law Turns Blind Eye To Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Petrie 
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Electronic Herald The (UK)
Contact: herald@cims.co.uk.
Website: http://www.theherald.co.uk
Author: Denis Campbell
Note: Discussion of these and other issues raised in the Electronic Herald
is welcomed.

THE LAW TURNS BLIND EYE TO CANNABIS

POSSESSION of cannabis is well on the way to becoming effectively
decriminalised in Scotland, according to official figures obtained by The
Herald.

Previously unpublished Home Office statistics show the number of cannabis
smokers warned rather than taken to court has leapt 15-fold in less than 10
years. Where previously only 7% of offenders avoided prosecution, now 35%
escape with a warning.

In 1986, only 108 of the 1625 offenders caught possessing cannabis received
some sort of let-off, most usually a fiscal warning. By 1995, however, 1628
of the 4697 offenders detected by police were not prosecuted.

On current trends, Scotland will soon go the same way as England, where the
majority of those caught with cannabis do not have to go to court.
Offenders north of the Border already have a one-in-three chance of getting
away with no real punishment.

The figures were obtained by Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Jim Wallace,
whose party wants a Royal Commission to examine whether cannabis should
remain illegal.

Scotland's Home Affairs Minister, Mr Henry McLeish, told Mr Wallace in a
covering letter that some of those not taken to court avoided prosecution
because their offences were regarded as "trivial".

Mr Wallace, the Orkney and Shetland MP, said last night the Home Office
data showed informal decriminalisation of cannabis was already occurring in
Scotland because of the rapidly-rising number of people who were not taken
to court.

"These figures suggest there's been a significant change in approach by the
prosecution authorities, and arguably they illustrate that a measure of
decriminalisation is already going on," Mr Wallace said.

The Liberal Democrat leader urged Scotland's top law officer - the Lord
Advocate, Lord Hardie - to explain what was going on.

"We need a thorough-going inquiry into how the possession and use of
cannabis is dealt with by the authorities in Scotland.

"It's better we debate this subject openly and honestly, with all the
arguments for and against decriminalisation, including the medical
arguments, rather than have some policy being implemented by stealth by the
Crown Office."

Mr Wallace said that while he personally remained unpersuaded of the case
for legalising cannabis, "there's a proper debate to be had. Cannabis
shouldn't become a political no-go area. There are serious issues to be
thrashed out here."

Mr McLeish said the growing number of non-prosecutions included warnings by
the procurator-fiscal or the police, cases diverted from the court system,
reports marked "no proceedings" or "no further proceedings", and juveniles
reported to the Children's Panel.

In another significant move, The Herald has learned that many police
officers across Scotland are turning a blind eye when they come across
people who have a small amount of cannabis for personal consumption.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the country's leading police
officers revealed that, while forces report almost 5000 people a year for
possession of cannabis to the procurator-fiscal, at least the same number
again suffer no criminal sanction.

"The way we operate nowadays, it's unusual and rare to report someone to
the fiscal for a small amount of cannabis for personal use.

"There's an acceptance that that type of thing just doesn't go to the
fiscal these days. It just doesn't happen. If it's supplying cannabis,
that's another matter," he said.

When the police catch a young person with cannabis, they will usually speak
to the offender's parents rather than instigate any legal proceedings,
according to the officer, who has 25 years' experience.

Last night, however, representatives of Scotland's 14,000 police officers
claimed the procurator-fiscal service's workload and lack of resources were
mainly to blame.

Chief Superintendent Jack Urquhart, president of the Association of
Scottish Police Superintendents, said: "Fiscals are seeing these cases as
not a priority because they are so overloaded and can't prosecute every
case the police give them. They see this as a lower priority than other
crimes."

Mr Doug Keil, general secretary of the rank-and-file Scottish Police
Federation, denied there was "back-door decriminalisation" but said many
other offences - minor assaults, breaches of the peace, low-value thefts,
and motoring offences - were also no longer being prosecuted.

America's baby-boomer parents are clueless when it comes to their own
children and drug use, according to a report released yesterday. The
Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, an ongoing study of more than 9700
children, teen-agers, and parents, found a "dramatic gap" between what
parents thought their children were doing and what was actually going on.

Only 21% of parents thought their teenage children might have used
marijuana but 44% of the teens surveyed said they had tried it. That
compares to 60% of the parents who said they had tried drugs at some point.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Huge Increase' In Customs Drugs Seizures ('The Scotsman'
Says Scottish Customs Officers Will Today Reveal There Was A Large Increase
In Smuggled Drugs And Other Contraband Coming Into The Country
Over The Past Year - Especially Tobacco)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:32:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: 'Huge Increase' In Customs Drugs Seizures
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com
Author: Graeme Stewart

'HUGE INCREASE' IN CUSTOMS DRUGS SEIZURES

Scottish customs officers will today reveal there was a large increase in
smuggled drugs and other contraband coming into the country over the past
year.

The figures come just a week after 'The Scotsman' revealed that organised
criminals involved with drug dealing were behind a deluge of cheap
cigarettes being smuggled into Scotland.

The trade in cigarettes costs the Scottish economy tens of millions of
pounds every year and particularly hits corner shops.

The figures unveiled by HM Customs and Excise will show a record number of
drugs seizures in the UK in the last year. Some areas, including Scotland,
will show increases of up to 20 per cent on 1996.

Custom's officers were reluctant to speak ahead of today's announcement,
but it is known that Britain's frontline customs officers have warned
officials that cash cuts could lead to a further increase in smuggled goods
reaching the country.

Some officers have been so angered by the cuts that they have instructed
their trade union, Public and Commercial Services, to prepare a ballot
which could lead to its first strike in almost 20 years.

A customs and excise spokeswoman said the officers did not face a cut in
basic pay but an adjustment to additional payments such as those for
working at evenings and weekends.

Customs officers in Scotland are bracing themselves for a vast increase in
cigarette smuggling into Scottish airports between now and 1 December, when
20p goes on to the price of a packet of 20 in the UK.

John MacDougall, the head of FAST, the flexible anti-smuggling team based
at Glasgow Airport, said that in all major UK cities, gangs involved in
drug dealing were behind the cigarette smuggling trade.

Some 2.5 million bootleg cigarettes, worth tens of millions of pounds, have
been seized at Scottish airports over the past 12 months.

Customs investigators are convinced organised crime is behind the smuggling
racket, with drugs barons paying unemployed "mules" to travel to the Canary
Isles with empty suitcases to load with cheap cigarettes.

Popular brand names can be bought for as little as UKP7 for a carton of 200
- a quarter of what they cost in Britain. They are then sold on to street
traders, markets and shopkeepers who sell them at a huge profit.

The smugglers cost British taxpayers an estimated UKP1 billion a year in
lost duty.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Old Hippies Out Of Touch On Children's Drug Use ('The Scotsman'
Is So Out Of Touch It Suggests A Survey Of American Parents
By The Discredited Partnership For A Drug-Free America
Is Relevant To Its Readers)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 16:32:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: UK: Old Hippies Out Of Touch On Children's Drug Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Author: Annette Witheridge in New York.

OLD HIPPIES OUT OF TOUCH ON CHILDREN'S DRUG USE

Baby boomers who frittered away the Sixties in a haze of marijuana smoke
cannot get to grips with their own children taking drugs.

Just like their parents a generation before, yesterday's hippies seem to
have forgotten what it was like to be young, according to a new study by
the Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

Even though youngsters are experimenting with drugs at an earlier age,
parents are burying their heads in the sand and convincing themselves that
their own children are not following in their footsteps.

"Boomers, many of whom have 'been there, done that', are surprisingly and
ironically out of step with the reality of drugs in their children's
lives," said Partnership president, Richard Bonnette. "Few sincerely
believe their children are exposed to drugs, that drugs are widely
available in the schools their children attend."

The poll, involving 9,000 youngsters, showed that parents were seriously
underestimating the availability of marijuana, their children's views of
the risks of drug-taking and whether their children's friends were smoking.

While 60 per cent of the baby boomers questioned admitted taking drugs in
their youth, they seem to be adopting a "do as I say, not as I did"
approach for their own offspring.

US schools have adopted a tough "say no" approach, lecturing children on
the dangers of drink, drugs and cigarettes. But the message does not seem
to be getting across when it comes to marijuana.

The study found that the number of children between nine and 12 who had
tried dope had gone up from 334,000 in 1993 to 571,000 last year.

Marijuana use among 13- to 16-year-olds remained stable, but 17- to
18-year-olds were using it more and more, almost half smoked regularly,
compared to 41 per cent in 1996.

But baby-boomers - named after the post-Second World War boom days when
teenagers had supposedly never had it so good - had a completely different
perspective when it came to their own children. Just 21 per cent of parents
thought their teenager had experimented with marijuana, while in reality 44
per cent of the teens said they actually had.

***

[Portland NORML notes - What better documentation could one offer
proving that prohibition increases forbidden behavior than the statistics
cited in this article and the article below, from CEDRO in The Netherlands?
Together they suggest that 44 percent of teens have used cannabis in America,
where penalties and hysteria are maximized, compared to at most 3 percent
in Holland, where even 16-year-olds can freely purchase cannabis
at coffeehouses without fear of arrest.]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

CEDRO - The Netherlands Probably Has A Far Lower Number Of Cannabis Users
Than Previously Assumed (Press Release From The Centre For Drug Research
At The University Of Amsterdam Says The Latest Estimate Is That Holland
Has Between 220,000 And 400,000 Cannabis Users, Or 1.7 Percent To 3.0 Percent
Of The Population Age 12 And Older)

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 21:04:37 +0200
To: press@drugtext.nl
From: mario lap 
Subject: CEDRO PRESS RELEASE

CEDRO PRESS RELEASE

Estimated cannabis use in the Netherlands substantially lower

The Netherlands most probably has a far lower number of cannabis users than
previously assumed. According to research into drug use in Tilburg and
Utrecht, the estimated number of cannabis users in the Netherlands is
between 220.000 and 400.000. This represents 1.7 to 3.0 percent of the
population ages 12 years and older. Tilburg is a medium-sized town in
Southern Holland; Utrecht is the country's fourth largest city and situated
in the centre.

The use of other illegal drugs (cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, LSD and
heroin) is low in both towns. In Utrecht, 6.8 percent of the population had
previously used one of the above substances; for Tilburg, this percentage
is 3.2 percent. However, the use of other illegal drugs in the month
preceding the survey is considerably lower, i.e., 1.4 percent in Utrecht
and 0.4 percent in Tilburg. Therefore, much of the consumption of other
illegal drugs is experimental rather than regular drug use.

These are the findings of a survey by the Centre for Drug Research (CEDRO)
at the University of Amsterdam.

Also examined was the use of legal drugs and the consumption of sleeping
pills/tranquillisers.

39.9 percent of the Tilburg population and 41.0 percent of the people of
Utrecht smoke cigarettes. This is almost the same percentage as in
Amsterdam (40.8 percent). The consumption of alcohol in the capital is
slightly lower than in the other two towns. There, 69.3 percent had used
alcohol in the last month, compared to 73.5 percent in Utrecht and 74.9
percent in Tilburg.

The use of sleeping pills and tranquillisers in Utrecht and Tilburg is low.
Between five and seven percent of the population had taken sleeping pills
in the previous month; between four and six percent had used
tranquillisers. These medicines are nearly always prescribed by a physician
unless they are homeopathic remedies.

Finally, the number of persons not using any drugs at all (including
alcohol and tobacco) was investigated. Strikingly enough, Amsterdam takes
the lead again: approximately one fifth of the population had not used any
drugs - including alcohol and tobacco - in the month preceding the survey.
In Utrecht this applied to 17.2 percent and in Tilburg to 14.7 percent of
the population.

National cannabis use

Since there are no new national studies on drug use in the Netherlands, the
figures that are going around are based on estimates. The new estimation of
the total number of cannabis users is specifically based on cannabis use in
Tilburg. With regard to housing, age structure and employment situation the
population of Tilburg is very typical for the Dutch population. The best
known estimate of the number of cannabis users is 675.000. This number was
used at the drug debate in the Dutch Lower House (1996) and is also
mentioned in the official Dutch drug report to the European Union. However,
this estimation was based on the cannabis use in Amsterdam and on a
national survey that was carried out in schools. In both cases it is
doubtful whether the examined groups are representative of the Dutch
population as a whole. Amsterdam has considerably more 'singles' and young
adults, i.e., groups with a generally higher prevalence of use. Neither can
students be considered representative of the Dutch population.
Incidentally, figures for the entire country will soon no longer have to be
based on local surveys since a national study on drug use in the
Netherlands is currently being carried out by CEDRO.

"Het gebruik van legale en illegale drugs in Utrecht en Tilburg" was
written by Marieke Langemeijer, Roelf-Jan van Til and Peter Cohen of the
Centre for Drug Research (CEDRO) at the University of Amsterdam.

Editorial note

For research review copies, please contact the public relations department
of the University of Amsterdam, Klaas Dijkhuis, tel.: (+31) 20 525 2695.

For further information: CEDRO, Marieke Langemeijer,
M.P.S.Langemeijer@mail.uva.nl

"Het gebruik van legale en illegale drugs in Utrecht en Tilburg" (135
pages, NLG 25.-) is available in any bookstore in the Netherlands and
Flanders, and can be ordered from publishing house Mets in Amsterdam. The
book can also be ordered via Internet: http://www.frw.uva.nl/cedro/order/

***

The drugtext press list.
News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy
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-------------------------------------------------------------------

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