------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (New Zealand Report Urges Government To Legalize Marijuana, Exposes US Role In Maintaining Worldwide Prohibition; San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordered Closed By Judge; Iowa Legislature Okays Bill Enhancing Marijuana Penalties, Granting Police Power To Drug Test Drivers; Oklahoma Rally To Be Held Monday To Address Plight Of Medical Marijuana Patients) From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 19:14:16 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 4/16/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. April 16, 1998 *** New Zealand Report Urges Government To Legalize Marijuana, Exposes U.S. Role In Maintaining Worldwide Prohibition April 16, 1998, Wellington, New Zealand: Legalizing marijuana would protect public health and raise tax revenue, according to a report released by the New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust. Responding to the report, a spokesman for the Parliament's health select committee announced that the government will hold an inquiry into the effects and legal status of the drug. The NZDPFT report states that "New Zealand politicians [must] ... take control of cannabis commerce." It recommends the government to establish a "Tobacco, Alcohol, and Cannabis Authority" to develop and enforce "regulations concerning the production, distribution, sale, and use of these three substances." Regulations would include age and point-of-sale restrictions, and providing legal penalties for "specified forms of misbehavior caused by deliberate taking of a drug." Cultivation of marijuana for personal use and non-profit distribution of the drug would not fall under the commission's authority. "New Zealand must learn to live with cannabis," the report concludes. "Cannabis has clearly become a part of our culture. It's responsible use by adults should therefore be normalized." The policy paper also highlights the role of the United States in opposing drug reform efforts in other nations. "A related hurdle to reforming New Zealand's cannabis policies will come in the form of resistance from the United States," the NZDPFT states. "Whether present day politicians can withstand such pressure on [this] issue ... remains to be seen, but by anticipating and preparing for [it] the chances are good that we will be 'permitted' to opt out of U.S.-inspired cannabis policies." The report cites a 1996 meeting between the DEA and the Australian government where U.S. officials warned the country not to "make any radical break with the past or with our allies" on marijuana policy. The Drug Policy Forum Trust is composed of several highly respected scientists and health care professionals. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. A copy of the report is available online at: http://www.nzdf.org.nz/1998.htm. *** San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Ordered Closed By Judge April 16, 1998, San Francisco, CA: A Superior Court judge granted an injunction on Wednesday calling for the closure of California's largest medical marijuana dispensary. Club proprietor Dennis Peron, who says his operation serves some 9,000 patients, told reporters that he will defy the order. "You cannot just throw people out in the street; you cannot just stop the will of the people," he said. "We are fighting for the will of the people here." Judge David Garcia said that the club overstepped the provisions of the state's medical marijuana law that legalized the possession and cultivation of the drug for medical use. "The Court finds uncontradicted evidence in this record that defendant Peron is currently engaging in the illegal sales of marijuana," Garcia declared. Garcia's decision reversed his January 1996 ruling authorizing the club to engage in the not-for-profit sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Garcia's earlier ruling was rejected by the state Court of Appeals, First Appellate District. This latest decision okays state Attorney General Dan Lungren's request for a nuisance abatement order allowing the club to be seized and closed by either the county sheriff or the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said that medical marijuana dispensaries such as the San Francisco Cultivators' Club perform a legitimate public health service for the community. "Cannabis buyers' clubs remain the only viable source of medical marijuana in California short of home cultivation or purchasing marijuana on the street," he said. "To close these clubs would force thousands of seriously ill patients to suffer needlessly and force many patients to enter the black market or go without the marijuana they need to survive." For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858. Dennis peron may be contacted at Californians for Compassionate Use @ (415) 621-3986. *** Iowa Legislature Okays Bill Enhancing Marijuana Penalties, Granting Police Power To Drug Test Drivers April 16, 1998, Des Moines, IA: The Iowa Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill enhancing marijuana penalties for repeat offenders, and enabling police officers to conduct drug tests on drivers who appear to be operating under the influence of marijuana. Senate Bill 2391 now awaits action from Republican Gov. Terry Branstad. Carl Olsen, head of Iowa NORML, called the measure "incredibly harsh" and cautioned that the new law could entangle many casual marijuana users in the criminal justice system. "People who now face a maximum six month jail term in Iowa for the simple possession of small amounts of marijuana will face two years in prison and a $5,000 fine for third and subsequent offenses," he said. Senate Bill 2391 also allows law enforcement to check motorists for the presence of marijuana metabolites -- presumably by urine or blood tests -- if there is a reasonable suspicion to believe the motorist is driving under the influence of the drug. Because the law sets no legal threshold for drugs other than alcohol, S.B. 2391 states that the detection of any amount of marijuana metabolites is grounds for obtaining a conviction of driving while intoxicated. The law fails to specify how or where police will administer the drug tests. "The presence of non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites in the urine is not evidence of impairment," warned Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. St. Pierre noted that metabolites often remain in the urine for days and sometimes weeks after the intoxicating effects of marijuana have worn off. "You could have someone who smoked marijuana on Sunday be arrested on Tuesday and charged with driving under the influence," he said. Attorney Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation, questioned the constitutionality of the drug-testing proposal. "Implementing S.B. 2391 will violate privacy and search protections," she said. "Blood tests are excessively invasive; urine tests do not indicate impairment and cannot be collected consistent with constitutional standards for traffic stop searches. We can restrict people from driving while impaired without violating the Constitution as this law proposes." For more information, please contact either Carl Olsen of Iowa NORML @ (515) 262-6957 or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Oklahoma Rally To Be Held Monday To Address Plight Of Medical Marijuana Patients April 16, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: A demonstration will be held on Monday at the Oklahoma State Capitol to bring attention to the plight of medical marijuana patients. The rally will focus on Will Foster, a 39 year old Tulsa native, who is currently serving a 93 year jail sentence for cultivating marijuana for his personal medical use. Foster was a first time offender who suffers from chronic rheumatoid arthritis. State law did not permit him the opportunity to raise a defense of medical necessity at his trial. Adam Smith, assistant director of the Drug Reform Coordination Network, Will's wife Meg Foster, Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML, and Michael Camfield of the American Civil Liberties Union, will speak at the event, which is scheduled to be filmed by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. For more information, please contact either Michael Pearson of Oklahoma NORML @ (405) 840-4367 or Adam Smith of DRC Net @ (202) 293-8340. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- McMinnville - Drug Team Tallies Arrests (Salem, Oregon, 'Statesman Journal' Says The Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team Arrested 28 Suspects On 64 Drug-Related Charges During The First Quarter Of 1998 - To Report Suspected Drug Activity In Confidence, Call The Team's Tip Line, 503-472-6565) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 07:47:34 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - McMINNIVILLE: DRUG TEAM TALLIES ARRESTS Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Statesman Journal Salem, Oregon April 16, 1998 McMINNIVILLE: DRUG TEAM TALLIES ARRESTS The Yamhill County Interagency Narcotics Team arrested 28 suspects on 64 drug-related charges during the first quarter of 1998, officials said Tuesday. Through March, the team seized 2 pounds 12 ounces of marijuana, nearly 4 ounces of methamphetamine, 1.2 grams of tar heroin and 125 marijuana plants. To report suspected drug activity in confidence, call the team's tip line, (503) 472-6565. -- Statesman Journal Staff Reports--
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Orders Pot Club Closed Again ('San Francisco Examiner' Says Superior Court Judge David Garcia On Wednesday Ordered The San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators' Club To Close, Citing Founder Dennis Peron's Admission He Sold Medical Marijuana To Primary Caregivers - Peron Says He'll Appeal) Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:52:45 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Pot Club Closed Again Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 Author: Tyche Hendricks and Anastasia Hendrix of the Examiner Staff JUDGE ORDERS POT CLUB CLOSED AGAIN A Superior Court judge has ordered the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators' Club to close, saying founder Dennis Peron admitted selling marijuana to non-patients. Wednesday's ruling did not address the question of whether the club could legally operate as a primary caregiver for its members under Proposition 215, the November 1996 medical marijuana initiative that Peron sponsored. Instead, Judge David Garcia cited Peron's admission that he had sold marijuana through the club to people who were acting as primary caregivers for bedridden or hospital-bound patients. Those sales are not authorized under any interpretation of Proposition 215 and justify an order permanently closing the club, Garcia said. Peron said he had no intention of shutting his operation and added that he had halted all sales to non-patients as soon as he learned of the judge's decision. "There are too many technicalities (within the laws), and I never knew (selling to primary caregivers instead of patients) was against the law," he said. "We'll be here until they bring the troops in." Peron said he planned to appeal the ruling, which he blamed on Attorney General Dan Lungren's ambition to be governor. "This is a one-man vendetta," he said. "I know it is not over. This scenario is going to continue until we have a new attorney general." Lungren said the decision to shut the San Francisco club reaffirmed his belief that marijuana clubs were illegal. "Today's decision is based on the club's own admission that they were selling to other cannabis buyers' clubs, which is clearly against the law," he said. "The only individual who can provide marijuana under state law to another person is a primary caregiver -- a person who tends to all of an individual's needs, not just supplying the marijuana." Garcia ordered the operators of the Cannabis Cultivators' Club to cease "selling, serving, storing, keeping, manufacturing, cultivating or giving away marijuana at 1444 Market Street," and prohibits them from selling from any location to primary caregivers. However, the ruling says the defendants can legally cultivate and provide marijuana to patients for whom they are bona fide primary caregivers. Under the court order, the San Francisco sheriff is empowered to take possession of the club's property, or, "if the sheriff declines," the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement will do the job. Sheriff Michael Hennessey said he was consulting with the city attorney to determine whether that wording meant he had the option to decline to enforce the order. "If it means I'd be in contempt of the judge's order, I'll comply," he said. "But the state has pursued this matter and has secured the order and apparently is prepared to enforce it. I'd rather not expend local resources on this issue if it's not required." District Attorney Terence Hallinan was more outspoken in his dismay at the ruling. "This is a really bad situation," he said Wednesday night, vowing to do "whatever I can do to make sure these patients are able to legally obtain marijuana for legitimate medical purposes." Peron's club and five others in Northern California are also the target of a civil suit by the U.S. Justice Department, which says they are violating federal marijuana laws and must be closed. The club has been allowed to operate by San Francisco authorities. But Lungren ordered a raid in August 1996 by state agents and obtained a criminal indictment from an Alameda County grand jury against Peron and five others. He also got an injunction shutting the club. Garcia let it reopen in early 1997 after passage of Prop. 215, which allowed patients or their primary caregivers to cultivate and possess marijuana if the drug is recommended by a doctor to ease the effects of cancer therapy, AIDS and other illnesses. In that ruling, the judge said the club could act as a caregiver. The 1st District Court of Appeal then overruled Garcia and said the club was not a primary caregiver. But the court said someone who consistently provided care for a patient could charge for the cost of growing and supplying marijuana, language that Peron argued would permit his club to operate. However, Lungren returned to Garcia's court and sought the club's immediate closure, describing it as a drug house that could not operate legally under Proposition 215. Wednesday's ruling leaves open the possibility that Peron or others might legally supply marijuana at another location to patients for whom they are primary caregivers. Jim Herron Zamora of The Examiner staff and the Associated Press contributed to this report. 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Orders Shutdown Of San Francisco Pot Club ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:46:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Shutdown of S.F. Pot Club Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 Author: Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer JUDGE ORDERS SHUTDOWN OF S.F. POT CLUB Organization's founder says he'll keep selling In a huge blow to the medical marijuana movement, a San Francisco Superior Court judge yesterday ordered the immediate closure of San Francisco's Cannabis Cultivators Club, the nation's largest dispenser of medicinal pot. Superior Court Judge David Garcia rejected the argument of the club's founder, Dennis Peron, that the mass sale of medical marijuana was legal under Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative passed by state voters in 1996. Reached at the club yesterday, Peron sounded shaken, sometimes on the verge of tears. ``This isn't the greatest day in my life,'' he said, ``but it gives me resolve to fight all the more.'' Peron said the club would continue to operate in spite of Garcia's orders. ``There are sick people living in this building,'' he said. ``This is their social club, the only place they have to go. We serve 9,000 people here. If (narcotics agents) want to close it, they're going to have to bring in the tanks and stage another Waco.'' The San Francisco Sheriff's Department has proved unwilling in the past to shut medical marijuana clubs, so any action would probably fall to state agents. Matt Ross, a spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren, said he did not know when or if state agents would move to close down the club. In 1996, before the passage of Proposition 215, state narcotics officers shut the club, on 1444 Market St., during a raid. A criminal case is still pending against Peron and several co-defendants as a result of that action. Before yesterday's ruling, Peron had argued that he could provide marijuana to sick and injured people because he was a ``primary caregiver'' as defined by the language of the initiative. But Garcia said that only patients and their immediate caregivers could possess and cultivate pot under Proposition 215. Under his ruling, marijuana clubs and other outlets do not fall within that category, and pot may not be exchanged between one caregiver and another. Garcia ruled that the evidence that Peron was engaging in the illegal sale of marijuana ``was uncontradicted.'' And he granted a nuisance abatement order that allows either the San Francisco County Sheriff's Department or the California Bureau of Narcotics to close the club and seize its contents. Peron said the judge's ruling is the latest in a series of attempts to undermine the will of the voters. ``It's all this technicality crap,'' he said. ``They hinge the whole thing on `caregivers.' It's not about caregivers. It's about a system that won't give up -- it's about automatic hate.'' Peron said that as he understands the judge's orders, ``we can do what we're doing as long as we are being reimbursed directly by the patients, not other caregivers.'' Lungren said Garcia's decision was based on admissions by San Francisco Cannabis Club staff members that they were selling to other clubs. ``That's clearly against the law,'' he said. ``(Under state law), the only individual who can provide marijuana to another person is a primary caregiver, a person who attends to all an individual's needs, not just the marijuana.'' Lungren said he wanted to put the debate about cannabis clubs behind him and instead finance studies to determine whether marijuana has any genuine medical efficacy. Ross, the spokesman for Lungren, said state agents would not move against primary caregivers who were legitimately growing pot specifically for their patients. ``We've said in the past that we wouldn't do that,'' he said. San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan expressed dismay at the court order. ``I'm afraid we'll have a burst of illegal marijuana dealing in the city,'' Hallinan said. ``It's a sad situation.'' 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Orders Closure Of Marijuana Club ('Orange County Register' Version) Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:58:17 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders Closure Of Marijuana Club Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 JUDGE ORDERS CLOSURE OF MARIJUANA CLUB A judge ordered San Francisco's largest medical marijuana club closed Wednesday, saying founder Dennis Peron has admitted selling marijuana to nonpatients. Superior Court Judge David Garcia sidestepped the question of whether the Cannabis Cultivators' Club could operate legally as a "primary caregiver" for the club's 9,000 members under Proposition 215, the 1996 medical marijuana initiative. Instead, Garcia cited Peron's admission that he had sold marijuana to people who were acting as primary caregivers for bedridden or hospital-bound patients. Those sales are not authorized under Prop. 215, Garcia said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marvin Chavez's Trial (Update From Orange County, California, Correspondent Notes The Co-Founder Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-op Is Being Held In Jail On $100,000 Bail - Body-Neck Brace Disallowed Because It Could Be Used As A Weapon - Next Hearing May 7) From: FilmMakerZ (FilmMakerZ@aol.com) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:12:11 EDT Subject: Marvin Chavez's trial Marvin Chavez was in court again today for charges pertaining to his involvement with the Orange County Cannabis Co-op. He is being held in custody, and bail was set at $100,000. It looks as if they are going to combine Marvin's case and that of Jack Shachter, who was also arrested on April 9, and is still in custody. There have been several additional charges brought against Marvin since his arrest. The DA, Carl Armbrust, was incompassionate, as usual. He had a warrant issued for the arrest of one ill patient who had been subpoenaed but wasn't in court. Marvin didn't look very well. He appeared to be in a lot of pain and was quite pale. He is senselessly suffering in jail. He normally wears a body-neck brace, but hasn't been allowed to have it since his incarceration because the jail personnel say it could be used as a weapon! Club members are looking for funds to post Marvin's bail. If you have information on any organization which may be able to help, it would be appreciated. Marvin is scheduled to appear in court in Orange County again on Thursday, May 7.
------------------------------------------------------------------- On 4-20 'Politically Incorrect' Smokes (Los Angeles Cancer Patient And Medical Marijuana Defendant Todd McCormick To Appear With Actor And Hemp Activist Woody Harrelson On ABC's 'Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher' Monday Night, April 20)Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 14:26:10 -0700 From: Todd McCormick
Subject: On 4-20 Politically Incorrect Smokes Dear Friends, This is just a little note to let you all know that on Monday, April 20th, Woody (Harrelson) and I will be doing Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. Oh and the subject will be, Hmmm, let me see, Cannabis! Politically Incorrect is aired on ABC (owned by Disney) usually at midnight across the Nation. Hey friends in Holland, does it make it to your tv? Also by the way, Peter Jennings is rearing his 'Pot of Gold' Special about growing good old grass on Saturday April 18th, also on ABC, is Disney trying to tell us something? An hour of television really worth watching. And I believe Tuesday PBS is airing a program on the war on drugs, or the war on marijuana. I'm not sure which topic but check your local listings. Peace for now, Todd *** Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 16:37:21 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Todd McCormick (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: POLITICALLY INCORRECT WILL BE... Dear Friends, I was just informed by the folks at Politically Incorrect that the episode we are shooting today will be aired May 14th, 1998. Because Woody has been so busy and difficult to schedule they are filming two shows today. So re-set those VCRs to this new date. Peace, Todd
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Releases Police Transcripts In Slaying Of Teen Drug Informant ('San Diego Union Tribune' Quotes The Lawyer For The Mother Of Slain And Tortured 17-Year-Old Chad MacDonald Saying At A News Conference Yesterday That The Transcripts Of Brea, California, Police Recordings Support Cindy MacDonald's Story That Police Forced Chad To His Death) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 10:02:14 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Court Releases Police Transcripts in Slaying of Teen Drug Informant Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Tom Murlowski
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 Author: Larry Gerber - Associated Press COURT RELEASES POLICE TRANSCRIPTS IN SLAYING OF TEEN DRUG INFORMANT SANTA ANA -- The worried mother of a 17-year-old drug informant called Brea police after his disappearance and was told that the department wasn't responsible, according to police transcripts cited yesterday by her attorney. Cindy MacDonald didn't know at the time that her son Chad was already dead, allegedly tortured and strangled by methamphetamine dealers. Two people have been arrested. Lawyer Lloyd Charton said at a news conference yesterday that the transcripts of Brea police recordings released by a juvenile court judge supported Cindy MacDonald's story that police forced Chad to his death. She maintains they pressed him to snitch on dealers instead of putting him in rehabilitation after his arrest for methamphetamine possession. Brea Police Chief William Lentini said some of the juvenile court records -- mainly audio tape transcripts -- were released only to the family and not to police. "Until we know specifically what has been made public, we have no way of knowing if we would be in violation of the court order by commenting," Lentini said. He added La Brea police had nothing to do with the death. The case has touched off debate about using minors for police work. Cindy MacDonald gave written consent to the undercover work. And police maintain the boy wasn't working for them when he was killed because a second drug arrest had already led to his dismissal as an informant. Chad MacDonald's body was found March 3 after he and a girlfriend visited a drug house in Norwalk. The girl was beaten, raped and shot. She survived. Originally arrested Jan. 6, MacDonald made one supervised methamphetamine buy for Brea police and gave other information on drug dealers, police records say. When he was arrested again Feb. 19, Chad told police word was out that he was a snitch, according to the transcripts. "I've already been harassed, like majorly," he tells officers. "I been hit over the head with a glass. My tires have been slashed." The family had arranged drug rehabilitation outside California, Charton said. Cindy MacDonald alluded to rehab when speaking with police Lt. Billy Hutchinson shortly before Chad's body was found, according to the transcripts. "When I was brought down to that station I should have picked him (up) and removed him from (the) state . . . rather than letting him do this," she says. "Well, let me tell you something, Cindy," Hutchinson says. "He was mixed up with these people before the Brea Police Department got involved. So don't even allude, don't even suggest, that we had something to do with this." Copyright 1998 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Company Starts Test Of Cocaine Vaccine ('Reuters' Notes ImmuLogic In Massachusetts, With NIDA Funding, Has Started Phase I Safety Tests Of A Vaccine Purported To Prevent Users From Getting High - NIDA Believes 10 Percent Of All People Who Try Cocaine Eventually Become Addicted) Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:44:22 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Company Starts Test of Cocaine Vaccine Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: Reuters Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 COMPANY STARTS TEST OF COCAINE VACCINE WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. biotechnology company said Thursday it was starting tests on a cocaine vaccine that would stop users getting a high from the drug. Massachusetts-based ImmuLogic said it was starting Phase I safety tests of the vaccine, which it said had shown promise in trials using rats. ``The vaccine is intended to be used as part of a comprehensive treatment program to prevent relapse. We hope that this vaccine will provide effective therapy for the treatment of the serious disease of cocaine addiction,'' Dr. Joseph Marr, ImmuLogic's president, said in a statement. ``The idea behind it is that the vaccine will induce antibodies that will recognize cocaine,'' Barbara Fox, vice-president of immunology at the firm, said in a telephone interview. ``If the patient then uses cocaine, the antibody binds the drug and cocaine can't get into the patient's brain. The patient can't get high.'' Studies have shown that cocaine acts on dopamine, a neurotransmitter that carries signals between brain cells and which is important to movement and motivation. High levels of dopamine create feelings of euphoria. Cocaine blocks the re-uptake of dopamine, keeping it from being absorbed back into cells and thus keeping more of it around for longer. In 1995 a team at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, said they had created an anti-cocaine vaccine using a chemical very similar to cocaine, known as a conjugate, to create antibodies against the drug. ``(Ours) is a very similar sort of approach,'' Fox said. The ImmuLogic vaccine is synthesized from a derivative of cocaine, which is attached to a protein and to alum, a chemical commonly used in vaccines. The identity of the protein carrier is being kept secret by the company. Fox said the vaccine had shown good results in rats. ``In animal experiments it's been able to prevent rats from taking cocaine, so we think it's all very encouraging,'' she said. Test rats addicted to cocaine and trained to self-administer it by pressing a lever stopped doing so once immunized with the vaccine. ``We think that's a pretty good model,'' Fox said. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is helping fund the study. NIDA estimates that 10 percent of people who try cocaine go on to become addicted. Surveys show some 22 million Americans have tried the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sources - Needle-Exchange Funding Ban To Be Lifted (CNN Cites Unnamed 'Sources' Who Say Clinton Administration Will Override General McCaffrey's Objections And Allow Funding For Needle Exchanges) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 21:51:29 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Fratello
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: CNN: Needle funding ban to be lifted (from CNN website) Sources: Needle-exchange funding ban to be lifted April 16, 1998 Web posted at: 6:02 p.m. EDT (2202 GMT) WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Clinton administration is poised to lift a ban on using federal funds to pay for needle exchange programs, designed to stop the spread of HIV among intravenous drug users, CNN has learned. However, individuals close to the issue say the decision was made over the objections of White House drug policy director Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who, in a letter to Congress last month, said that "we owe our children an unambiguous 'no use' message." Sources say that an announcement on lifting the 10-year-old ban could come as soon as Friday. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala signed off on the change and forwarded it to the White House for final approval, sources say. However, an aide to Shalala denies that any final decision has been made. Critics of needle exchange programs believe they help facilitate drug use by addicts. However, several scientific studies have shown that the programs reduce the rate of HIV transmission among addicts without increasing their drug use. About 80 needle exchange programs are operating around the country, according to the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, which runs one of those programs. However, none of those programs can use federal money to pay for clean needles that are distributed to addicts.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Deadly Prescriptions ('San Francisco Chronicle' Belatedly Notes Report In 'Journal Of The American Medical Association' Finding An Average Of 106,000 Patients Die In American Hospitals Every Year From Adverse Reactions To Prescription Medicines) Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:50:07 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Deadly Prescriptions Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: "Frank S. World"
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 DEADLY PRESCRIPTIONS IS THERE any place left that's safe? Now they tell us an average of 106,000 patients die in American hospitals every year from adverse reactions to prescribed medications. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported this week on the lethal side effects of prescribed drugs, and said another 2.2 million patients suffer serious, but nonfatal reactions to medications approved by their physicians. But the sickening and fatal drug reactions were not the fault of physicians who prescribe the medicines or patients who take them, wrote Dr. Bruce Pomeranz, principal author of JAMA article. He said the deaths occur because virtually all medications can have side effects and some are fatal even in proper doses. ``We're not saying, don't take drugs. They have wonderful benefits,'' said Pom eranz, a neuroscience professor at the University of Toronto. ``But what we're arguing is that there should be increased awareness also of side effects, which until now have not been too well understood.'' But it's not much comfort to the 35 million patients admitted to U.S. hospitals, when 7 percent of them experience side effects from their medications. This is a problem too long ignored by the medical industry, especially when hospitals have the ability to use computers to monitor patients, their reactions to their medications and changes in lab test results. It is only at the hospital level that tracking systems work, but few hospitals have them, according to doctors familiar with such computerized setups. With proper tracking, many dangerous side effects are preventable. Some medicines have safer alternatives and harmful interactions between drugs can be more carefully avoided. But until such prudent precautions are taken in all hospitals, most patients are left with a Hobson's choice -- refuse to take their medicine or risk an adverse reaction or even death. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Use At Border Concerns Authorities ('Orange County Register' Refuses To Acknowledge The Drug War's Role In Exacerbating Illegal Hard-Drug Use At The Mexican Border Town Of San Luis Rio Colorado) Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:41:54 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Drug Use At Border Concerns Authorities Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 Author: Tracey Eaton - The Dallas Morning News DRUG USE AT BORDER CONCERNS AUTHORITIES Mexican town tries to deal with increases in walkthrough drug shacks and crime. SAN LUIS RIO COLORADO, Mexico - Always the innovators, drug dealers in this dusty border town have come up with a novel way to dispense narcotics: They've opened walk-through windows. Indeed, it isn't difficult to find addicts on the streets of San Luis, with some 100 shooting galleries, rundown shacks and abandoned houses where users inject drugs. The customer walks up to an abandoned house, forks over $10 or $12, sticks his arm through an opening and some anonymous soul on the other side injects him with his drug of choice. "It's a quick way to get a fix," said a 55-year-old rail-thin recovering addict. "These little houses are open 24 hours a day. You can get drugs any time." Walk-through windows and other innovations are aimed at feeding a growing number of addicts all along Mexico's northern border. U.S. and Mexican officials are alarmed by the trend and vow to crack down on rising consumption as part of a new bilateral strategy. Residents of Mexico's northern states are particularly worried about skyrocketing drug use, according to a national survey by The Dallas Morning News and the MORI de Mexico polling firm. Eighty-three percent of those surveyed in the north said drug addiction had risen. Nationally, the poll showed. Mexican families in the north say they're also troubled by the violence that often accompanies drug use. Seventy-five percent said they felt threatened by rising crime rates, compared with 60 percent nationally and as low as 43 percent in central states. San Luis Rio Colorado, a city of 200,000 across the border from Yuma, Ariz., in the northwestern corner of Sonora state, is one of Mexico's hot spots for drug consumption. A visit to some of the city's bustling drug rehabilitation centers helps illustrate the severity of the drug problem. Crowded and underfunded, the centers are like pockets of resistance under attack during a war, said Luis Navarro, who directs three rehabilitation centers. "Addicts arrive at all hours, some crying, others yelling hysterically. And more and more of them are teen-agers," Navarro said. "I had one kid come in who was 14 and said he had been using heroin since the age of 9," he said. "It's not like it was in the '70s. Back then, if you wanted heroin, the hard stuff, you had to cross the border into Arizona to get it. No more. Now you can get drugs on practically every street corner." Federal authorities say drug use has climbed not only along the border but also in Mexico City, where an estimated 40 of every 1,000 youths used cocaine in 1997, compared with 15 of every 1,000 in 1993. Overall drug use in Mexico remains low. Fewer than five in 1,000 citizens are thought to consume narcotics, as compared with 60 in 1,000 Americans, according to U.N. estimates. Town officials in San Luis estimate that local addicts, thought to number at least 6,000 are responsible for 80 percent of all reported crimes. Methamphetamine, nicknamed cristal in Mexico, is the latest rage. "I think cristal is the most dangerous drug there is," said Navarro. "It does more damage to your body and it does it faster. You don't need to do drugs for 15 or 20 years to destroy your brain and end up in a nuthouse. With cristal, you can do it in a matter of months." Navarro runs two rehabilitation centers in San Luis and one in nearby Mexicali, tending to about 400 patients in all. The fee for three months' treatment is 400 pesos, or about $48. The tiny centers are crowded and have few comforts of home. Many of those at the center said they paid for drugs by stealing. "I robbed my mother, my father, my brothers. I cheated people on the streets. I was always stealing, stealing and stealing," said Alfredo Fernandez, 35, now assistant director of the centers in San Luis. One day, he said, his mother told him she was going to give him a present. He thought she was going to part with some family land, which he planned to sell to buy more drugs. "Instead she gave me papers showing she had bought two coffins - one for me and one for her," he said. "It was her way of telling me that if I didn't stop using drugs, I would kill myself and that it would kill her, too. I started to wake up after that."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton's Talks To Focus On Trade, Drugs ('Associated Press' Article In Massachusetts' 'Standard-Times' Notes US President Has Arrived In Santiago, Chile, For A Two-Day State Visit) Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 18:21:49 -0400 From: Mike Gogulski
To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: Clinton's talks to focus on trade, drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John Smith Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 Author: Eduardo Gallardo, Associated Press Writer Clinton's talks to focus on trade, drugs SANTIAGO, Chile -- After a two-day state visit, President Clinton will join 33 other leaders at a summit launching formal talks to establish a free-trade area involving every nation in the Americas except Cuba. Clinton arrived here this morning for meetings with President Eduardo Frei and a speech Friday before a joint session of Congress in the port city of Valparaiso. Frei said there is no fixed agenda for his discussions with Clinton because "relations between our countries are good enough as to allow us to discuss any subjects." Trade between Chile and the United States, which boomed to nearly $7 billion in 1997, has been affected by several disputes that are expected to be discussed by Frei and Clinton. They include dumping accusations against Chilean salmon producers and others related to Chile's sales of grapes and wood products. Economy Minister Alvaro Garcia said Chile and the United States might soon sign an accord establishing a mechanism to settle their trade differences, but it wasn't known whether the accord would be ready for Clinton's visit. What is sure to be signed by the presidents, Frei said, is an agreement for cooperation in education, including an exchange of teachers and students. Over the weekend, Frei will be host for the second Summit of the Americas where talks will focus on trade, drugs, democracy and education. Trade is expected to be the dominant topic, including Clinton's failure to get fast-track negotiating authorization from Congress. That stopped talks for Chile's entry into NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Accord made up of Canada, Mexico and the United States. In the first Summit of the Americas in 1994 in Miami, the three NAFTA partners invited Chile to join. But Frei has refused to negotiate unless Clinton gets fast-track authorization, which would ensure Congress would either approve or reject, but not amend, trade accords signed with foreign nations. This week, Frei called the lack of fast track "an internal problem of the United States. Not our problem." He said that "we in Latin America will continue to advance" toward a regional free-trade area and that the presidents attending the summit would agree to open formal talks by June. In Washington, Commerce Secretary William Daley said the lack of fast-track authority from Congress does not preclude progress toward forming the free trade area. Security throughout the city for Clinton and the summit appears tight, although clearly not perfect: Erika Rae Rose, a State Department protocol official, was robbed of her bag with some $3,000 while lunching at a restaurant in the fashionable Las Condes neighborhood. Clinton's audience Friday in Congress may include former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who, at 82, is now a senator-for-life.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Netherlands - Dutch Marijuana Use Lower Than US ('Reuters' Article Broadcast By CNN Notes New Survey By The Centre For Drug Research At The University Of Amsterdam Showing Only 2 Percent To 3 Percent Of Dutch Over The Age Of 12 Had Used Marijuana Over A One-Month Period, Compared To Around 5 Percent In The United States) Date: Sat, 18 Apr 1998 15:53:55 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: Richard Lake Subject: MN: The Netherlands: Dutch Marijuana Use Lower Than U.S Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: CNN Author: Reuters Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.cnn.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 DUTCH MARIJUANA USE LOWER THAN U.S. - STUDY AMSTERDAM, April 16 (Reuters) - The Dutch are less inclined to smoke marijuana than U.S. citizens, although the drug is widely available in Dutch coffee shops, according to a study. The survey by the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Amsterdam found only two to three percent of Dutch over the age of 12 had used marijuana over a one-month period. In the United States, where it is illegal to grow, purchase or use marijuana, a 1996 government study concluded around five percent of the population used the drug at least once a month, the Dutch researchers said. For the past 20 years, Dutch over 18 have been able to buy and use small quantities of marijuana in so-called coffee shops. There are around 300 of these in Amsterdam alone. The Centre for Drug Research conducted its study in three cities -- Amsterdam, Tilburg and Utrecht. Previous surveys, which concentrated solely on Amsterdam, had suggested up to 6.5 percent of the Dutch population regularly used marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Fresh Line On Drugs (Staff Editorial In Britain's 'Times' Says Prohibition Is Not Working And A Royal Commission Should Be Appointed To Examine The Nature Of Britain's Drug Problem And Make Recommendations) Date: Fri, 17 Apr 1998 09:47:04 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: OPED: A Fresh Line on Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: "(Zosimos) Martin Cooke"
Source: Times The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 A FRESH LINE ON DRUGS The Government should appoint a royal commission to examine the nature of Britain's drug problem and make recommendations. The "war" against drugs may or may not be being lost; there is disagreement even about that, but this is certainly one of the classic cases for a commission. A great social evil is destroying the lives of many young people; there is no consensus on the factual basis of the spread of this contagion, or on the medical dangers of particular drugs; there is certainly no consensus on the best way to deal with the problem. Without an authoritative examination of the evidence, policy recommendations can only be speculative opinions. The news from the front is bad. On Tuesday Customs and Excise announced that heroin seizures in 1997 had increased by 135 per cent against the previous year; there has been a steady rise in heroin seizures both by Customs and police for most of the 1990s. This is the best guide we have to the level of importation and abuse. It cannot be a precise one, but it seems certain that heroin use has been rising rapidly. There are stories of heroin dealers targeting the young with free samples and so on; the evidence for this is less certain, but it seems only too likely to be true. There has also been a large increase in seizures of cocaine and synthetic drugs; the cocaine seizures are up by about 80 per cent. The recently appointed "drugs tsar" Keith Hellawell says that "the overall use of illicit drugs has plateaued"; this more optimistic view seems to be true only of cannabis, where the seizures, though huge, were only slightly up on the previous year. Paul Flynn, the Labour MP who is the vice-chairman of the Drugs Misuse Group in the Commons, says that the seizure figures show the "abject failure" of the present policies on drugs, and points to the tripling of deaths from heroin over the past three years. One of the benefits of a royal commission should be that such an inquiry would distinguish properly between the different drugs. The attraction of these illegal drugs, and of many legal drugs as well, is that they give people a high. The drawback is that they present health risks or reduce social competence. No two drugs have the same effect on the mood, and no two drugs present an identical risk to health. For instance, nicotine is an admirable drug in terms of mood alteration it gives a mild lift - and of social competence. Cigarette smokers can actually concentrate better on their work. Unfortunately it is highly addictive and has lethal long-term effects on health. One lobby, which has been led by The Independent, wants to take cannabis out of the illegal group and put it with caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. It is not possible to know whether this lobby is justified without better information about the long-term effects on health of using cannabis. Some doctors believe that substantial long-term use damages the brain, but this is exactly the sort of issue a royal commission could examine in detail. There are claims made for the drug policies of The Netherlands where the decriminalisation of cannabis is said to have reduced the use of hard drugs. Undoubtedly one of the dangers of including relatively mild drugs in the illegal group is that users of these drugs are introduced to suppliers who are criminals. If, by decriminalising cannabis, one could separate the large number of cannabis users from the much more dangerous hard drugs culture, that would plainly be a gain. Whatever its medical effects, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have used cannabis, if only in their student days, and now hold down responsible jobs. A royal commission could examine the experience of The Netherlands in an impartial way. Other drugs have different effects. Ecstasy can lead to sudden death; LSD can produce bizarre and sometimes dangerous hallucinations, and can be followed by recurrent incidents of a schizoid character; cocaine and heroin are both major and damaging drugs of addiction. Yet even in these cases, there is an argument for trying to take them back out of the hands of criminals, and treating addiction primarily as a medical problem. The drugs business is enormously profitable, and it is profitable because it is illegal. If cocaine or heroin were ordinary refined agricultural products, sold in the open market, they would be extremely cheap, as cheap as any other processed plants. If they were cheap, no criminal fortunes could be made from selling them, and no one would have a motive to seduce children into addiction. Some people would still become addicts, simply because the product was inexpensive and available, like laudanum in the 19th century. We cannot tell whether this state of affairs would produce more or fewer addicts; it would, however, remove the criminal profit, and not drive people to crime to pay for their habit. The average heroin addict is said to steal goods worth more than £40,000 every year. Some police officers, who deal with these drug-related crimes, believe that universal drug decriminalisation would both remove the profit of dealing and remove the pressure to commit crimes to pay for drugs. These arguments should be examined with an open mind. Hard drugs are now available throughout the industrialised world; the only countries where they are not almost universally available seem to be those too poor to pay for them. In Boston it is easier for a college student to buy drugs than alcohol; the laws restricting drugs are flouted, those forbidding the sale of alcohol to people under 21 are successfully enforced. A few weeks ago I was reading the local paper in Somerset; it reported a crack cocaine case in Midsomer Norton. If one can buy crack in Midsomer Norton, one can buy it almost anywhere in Britain. One of the side-effects of the global drug business is that it produces a complex of corruption, ranging from the petty corruption of local policemen, through the corruption of banking by money-laundering, to the wholesale corruption of ministers and governments in some countries. As with the experiment of prohibition of alcohol in the United States, the prohibition of drugs naturally leads to the creation of criminal empires. Sixty-five years after the United States repealed prohibition, these organised crime networks still exist and flourish. Once they have been brought into existence by huge criminal profits, they are extremely difficult to get rid of. The main concern for the Government must be the protection of the young. The drugs culture is no respecter of social class; it is to be found in prosperous suburbs as well as in inner-city estates. But the opportunities for the drug culture to expand are greatest where there are few jobs and strong local gangs. Some estates in Manchester seem to be under the virtual control of these drug gangs. Strong policing and heavy sentences have been tried in the United States to break these gangs; as a result there are 400,000 Americans, mostly young and mostly black or Hispanic, in prison on drugs offences. They have often been sentenced to very long terms. That is proportionately more people than are in prison for all offences in Britain. Tough law enforcement may be necessary, but is not an answer. Indeed the United States is an example of how not to deal with drugs. The problem has to be tackled in social, medical and educational terms, as well as in terms of law enforcement. The Americans have put too much pressure on other nations to imitate their over-simple pattern of response. Many people fear that any inquiry would in some way weaken the drive against drugs. Yet Britain's policy is not working, and it is hard to see how a state of ignorance can help to make it work. The present policy is not protecting the young; it is not destroying the criminal network; it has not prevented drugs becoming universally available in Britain. In any social disaster on this scale, the natural course is to review the evidence, listen to the arguments, establish the options and suggest which might work best. That would be rational government. We cannot simply go on sending each generation of children over the top to take their chance of having their lives ruined and of being turned into criminals. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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