Portland NORML News - Wednesday, April 22, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Smith's Actions Prove He Represents Mormons (Letter To Editor
Of 'Statesman Journal' In Salem Says US Senator Gordon Smith
Should Resign Because He's Just A Mormon Missionary,
Without Explaining What If Anything The Book Of Mormon
Has Against Medical Marijuana)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 23:57:16 -0700
From: Paul Freedom 
To: Cannabis Patriots 
CC: oregon@gsmith.senate.gov
Subject: CanPat - Sen. Gorden Smith-LETTER CALLS FOR HIS RESIGNATION!
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

---Letter to the Statesman Journal calls Sen. Smith on Medical Marijuana--

letter to the editor
4-22-98
The Statesman Journal
(Salem, OR)

SMITH'S ACTIONS PROVE HE REPRESENTS MORMONS

It appears that the true U.S. Sen. Gordon Smith has emerged.

Smith is representing his religious group. This is evident by his
recent visit to Russia to clear the pathway for his church to practice
there and increase its worldwide list of converts. He also announced
he will push for tax breaks for large families, which his religious sect
clearly believes in.

He is now willing to fight against the medical use of marijuana that
two states have voted to allow. He needs to represent the total state
of Oregon and not just a certain group that belongs to his religious
sect.

Smith should resign, become a missionary and be open about his views.

Wayne Thomas
Silverton, Oregon

***

Contact info for Senator Gordon Smith

Senator Smith's e-mail address;

oregon@gsmith.senate.gov

Sen. Gordon Smith
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
PH# 202-224-3753
FAX-228-3997

Bend, Oregon office:
131 NW Hawthorne
Suite 208
Bend,Oregon 97701
PH# 541-318-1298
FAX-318-1396

Campaign finance records can be obtained from:

Office of Public Records
Federal Election Commission
999 E Street NW
Washington, DC 20643
1-800-424-9530
FAX 202-219-3880

FLASHFAX SERVICE:

24 hour automated information delivery system that transmits
directly to your fax machine, any day, any hour, any time zone.

Simply dial 202-501-3413 from a touch-tone phone, follow the
instructions, and the information you request will be automatically faxed
to you.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Haunted House - Nearly 20 Years After A Drug Bust Gone Bad,
A North Portland Parcel Of Land Still Is Causing City Officials Grief
('Willamette Week' Conjures Up The Ghost Of Steven Dons
With An Article About The Site Of A Previous Warrantless Break-In
By Portland Drug Warriors That Resulted In A Dead Police Officer)

Willamette Week
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/
April 22, 1998

Politics:

Haunted House - Nearly 20 years after a drug bust gone bad,
a North Portland parcel of land still is causing city officials grief

Context:

A complete 1938 Harley sits in pieces in Anderson's shop, waiting to be
assembled. He recently found an authentic speedometer for $600.

The county offered Anderson several foreclosed properties as potential
even-trades for his 2,000-square-foot house and 25-by-90-foot shop. One, he
says, had broken windows and chipping paint. One was a manufactured home.
When he went to investigate a potential "shop," a one-car garage, the door
fell off its hinges.

Anderson says it'll cost an estimated $18,000 to move the 40 tons of Harley
parts in his shop.

After three years of negotiating with the county, Larry Anderson says he's
had enough.

***

Haunted House
Nearly 20 years after a drug bust gone bad, a North Portland parcel of land
still is causing city officials grief.

BY RUTH ROWLAND
243-2122
Link to earlier story
Photos: MICHAEL OLFERT

One of Portland's more notorious addresses is once again
shaping up as a combat zone between its Harley-riding
occupants and the local powers-that-be.

In 1979, the small house at 9014 N Lombard St. achieved
infamy after a member of the Outsiders Motorcycle Club,
which was headquartered there, gunned down Police Officer
David Crowther during a drug raid at the residence.

The club member, Robert Christopher, was convicted of murder but released
two years later, after it came out that police had lied to obtain their
search warrant and planned to plant drugs at the address. That bust-gone-bad
sparked a probe into the bureau's Special Investigations Division that
resulted in a reversal of more than 50 convictions.

Now the county wants to raze the site to put up a health clinic. But owner
Larry Anderson doesn't want to go.

Anderson has owned the house since 1977 and run the Harley Davidson shop
next door since 1974. He didn't live there in 1979 and says he wasn't
involved in the goings-on that led up to the shooting. It was his former
business partner at the shop who wanted to join the Outsiders and coaxed
Anderson into letting the club move in. On the night of the raid, Anderson
says, he called the house to find out what was happeningand had his phone
answered by Sheriff Dan Noelle.

Today, Anderson shares the property with his wife, Jessica, their toddler
son, and three Rottweilers. That's in addition to the four tenants upstairs
and a couple dozen Harleys in various states of disassembly in the shop next
door.

They could all be moved out if the county sites the health clinic on
Anderson's block. But, like the house's earlier occupants, Anderson is not
keen on the idea of being pried out by the authorities.

"I told them they could come to my front gate and talk to me, but if they
want to kick in any doors they'll be eating lead," he says.

Those types of statements seem to have caught the attention of some police
officers. In recent weeks a rumor has circulated through the cop shop that
Anderson is arming for resistance.

Anderson recalls an incident--shortly after Steven Dons shot and killed an
officer earlier this year--in which an officer approached him while he was
soldering his cyclone-fence gate and asked if he was upgrading his
"fortifications."

"They seemed to picture my place in the same kind of light," he said.

Anderson told WW he's not planning a local version of Ruby Ridge, but he's
also not going to give up his property without a fight.

Anderson first learned of the county's designs on his property several years
ago in the neighborhood paper. Then in March 1996, city building inspectors
found several code violations in the house. Since then, he's been through
several rounds of offers and counter-offers with the county real-estate
department.

The county's first offer, in summer 1996, was for $47,000, close to the
assessed value of his property at the time. Following two appraisals later
that year, the county raised its offer to $180,000, plus relocation costs.

Doing his own research, Anderson in December '96 came up with a
counter-offer of $285,000--plus back taxes, liens and his costs of
moving--and delivered it to the county.

"They gagged on it," he says.

Eddie Campbell, an aide to County Chairwoman Bev Stein, noted that the other
properties on the block sold for either their tax-assessment value or an
appraised value. "Obviously, we're dealing with taxpayers' money," he said.
"Is it fair to pay twice as much?"

Currently, the county is waiting on the results of an updated independent
appraisal, due sometime this week, according to Bob Oberst, county
real-estate manager. Based on that, the county hopes to renew negotiations
with Anderson and come to a resolution.

Anderson, however, says he's had enough. "I don't think I even want to talk
with them anymore," he says. "My place is not for sale."

A weary edge enters Dwayne Prather's voice as he describes the county's
five-year travail in finding a new site for its health clinic.

The clinic slated for Anderson's property currently operates out of three
1940s duplexes shared with the Housing Authority on North Woolsey Street,
about a mile from the new site. Prather, director of support services for
the County Health Department, said the current facility has reached maximum
capacity. Records are stored in what used to be the kitchen of one unit, and
there's room for only six months' worth of files instead of the usual two years.

The new facility will provide primary care and WIC services and offer home
visits through a field nurse office, says health department spokeswoman Gina
Mattioda. The current clinic can provide 40-50 visits a day, whereas the new
facility would allow 80-90.

The clinic has met resistance from the St. Johns Neighborhood Association,
which doesn't want to see a neighbor evicted and resents additional
congestion. "The location is probably one of the second-busiest intersection
areas," says Terri Ratliff of the association. "We have horrible traffic out
here."

Prather says Anderson's block was not the first one considered. But after
ruling out virtually every other nearby property, he says, "We've been sort
of forced to look at that area."

If Anderson refuses to sell and the county wants to proceed with its
development plans, the county ultimately can condemn the property and take
possession, compensating the owner. Except for transit projects, Oberst
said, the county hasn't condemned property for development in at least 10 years.

Meanwhile, Anderson walks around his shop, pointing out skeletons of
motorcycles and shelf upon shelf of parts lining the walls. He says
Mayflower movers figured it would cost $18,000 to relocate the 40 tons of
inventory. Anderson's understanding is that the government would foot the
bill as one of his relocation "benefits."

"Benefits, my ass," he concludes. "I wouldn't have to bother with the
benefits if I didn't have to move."

Originally published: Willamette Week - April 22, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Jack Shacter Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Out On Bail
(Local Correspondent Notes Next Court Dates, Other Developments
In Case Of Shacter And Marvin Chavez)

From: FilmMakerZ (FilmMakerZ@aol.com)
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 01:43:49 EDT
Subject: Jack Shacter of the OC Cannabis Co-op out on bail

Jack Shacter, of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op, has been able to get out of
jail with borrowed money to post his $25,000 bail. He is being charged with
selling cannabis to an undercover officer who posed as a legitimate patient's
caregiver. The officer was given the cannabis and then chose to make a $20
donation. Jack was arrested and his house was raided. Jack has a locked box
where he keeps important items for safety. He had prescription medications in
there, including his cannabis. He also kept his guns locked up in there.
Because the guns and cannabis were locked up together, there have been
additional weapons charges added to his case.

Funds are being sought to post Marvin Chavez's $100,000 bail and to help with
legal costs for both Jack and Marvin. Marvin is not only being denied his
body-neck brace in jail -- they are also denying him pain medication. Checks
can be made out and sent to:

Jack Shacter
2032 Nelson St.
Garden Grove CA 92840
(714)537-4880

Jack will be in court again on Friday, April 24, 8:30 am, at the West Orange
County Municipal Courthouse, 8141 - 13th St., Division 17, in Westminster.

Marvin will be in court on Thursday, May 7, 8:30 am, at the Orange County
Central Courthouse, 700 Civic Center Drive West, division 313, in Santa Ana.

If you are able, please come to court and support both Jack and Marvin.

Mira
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Initiative Petitioner Gets $2 Million Damages (Unfortunately, 'Associated Press'
Says The Oregon Court Of Appeals Judgment Against Fred Meyer Shopping Centers
Doesn't Benefit Petitioners For Any Of The Five
Drug Policy Reform Initiatives Circulating)

From: "W.H.E.N." 
To: "Talk" 
Subject: HT: OR Initiative petitioner gets $2 million damages
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 20:05:50 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Initiative petitioner gets $2 million damages

By CHARLES E. BEGGS
The Associated Press
04/22/98 7:42 PM Eastern

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Court of Appeals reversed a lower court
Wednesday in upholding a $2 million punitive damage award against Fred
Meyer stores for falsely arresting a petition circulator.

The case stems from the October 1989 arrest of Lois Stranahan at a Fred
Meyer store in southeast Portland.

Fred Meyer attorney Charles Hinkle of Portland said the decision will be
appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Portland lawyer Greg Kafoury, representing Stranahan, said the appeals
court had upheld two of the "great pillars of Oregon law: respect for the
verdict of a jury and respect for the initiative rights of the people."

Stranahan was collecting signatures for two proposed ballot measures, one
involving sales taxes and another seeking more rights for initiative
petitioners.

Fred Meyer employees had her arrested after she refused to leave an area
outside the store. She was released because the Multnomah County district
attorney's office was not prosecuting such cases at the time and Fred Meyer
knew of that policy, the appeals court said.

Stranahan injured her back as she got into a police car, and a circuit
court jury awarded her $125,000 in compensatory damages for injuries.

The jury also awarded her $2 million in punitive damages, which are meant
to punish and deter similar conduct in the future.

Circuit Judge Robert Redding reduced the punitive damage award to $375,000
on grounds the jury's figure was unreasonably high. But the appeals court
panel, in its 2-1 ruling, disagreed and reinstated the original $2 million
award.

"The jury could reasonably conclude that Fred Meyer acted in wanton
disregard of Stranahan's rights," the panel's majority said in an opinion
by Judge William Riggs.

"Arrests in the course of, and because of, constitutionally protected
political activity such as initiative petitioning certainly may have a
chilling effect on the exercise of the constitutional right involved,"
Riggs said.

"Such a chilling effect extends beyond the plaintiff in this case to every
Oregonian who has a right to engage in such protected activity," he said.

The decision is the latest in a series of legal battles over rights of
petition circulators to seek signatures at privately owned shopping
centers.

"Fred Meyer has been going to court since 1984 to try to get its rights
clarified," Hinkle said.

He noted that the appeals court opinion acknowledged in a footnote that "it
is not easy to discern a unifying theme" in the various court rulings on
the issue.

The Oregon Supreme Court has said there is a limited right to carry
petitions at privately owned shopping centers, subject to reasonable
restrictions.

Fred Meyer contends its stores are not like large shopping malls with
common public areas and that the retail chain is not legally obliged to
allow any petitioning at its grocery-variety stores.

Judge Jack Landau, dissenting from the court panel's majority, said the
Fred Meyer store involved is not located in a shopping center "in any
reasonable sense of the term" and so is not subject to rights of petition
carriers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

San Francisco Marijuana Club Reopens Peacefully To Cheers
('Standard-Times' In Massachusetts Notes California Attorney General
Dan Lungren Is Already Considering Action Against The New Center)

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:03:39 -0400
From: Mike Gogulski 
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: San Francisco marijuana club reopens peacefully to cheers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Richard Cole, Associated Press writer

SAN FRANCISCO MARIJUANA CLUB REOPENS PEACEFULLY TO CHEERS

SAN FRANCISCO -- A San Francisco marijuana club reopened under another name
yesterday just a day after a court order shut down its predecessor.

About 40 patients and supporters cheered as Wayne Justmann, head of security
for the new Cannabis Healing Center, unlocked the front door.

First in line was Gilbert Abeyga, who said he couldn't understand why state
Attorney General Dan Lungren had pursued the court order that shut down the
Cannabis Cultivators Club on Monday.

"I'm in pain, and it helps a lot. It keeps me going," said Abeyga, adding he
used marijuana to fight AIDS symptoms. "If it wasn't for this I'd be skinny
and dying by now."

Replacing the former director and club founder Dennis Peron, who is running
against Lungren in the Republican gubernatorial primary, was Hazel Rodgers,
who celebrated her 79th birthday Monday as sheriff's deputies locked the
club's doors.

Rodgers said she believed legal attacks on the center would continue.
"There's too much opposition," she said.

Rob Stutzman, spokesman for Lungren's office, said the attorney general was
considering action against the new center.

"You can change the name on the door, but it's still an illegal drug house,"
Stutzman said.

The attorney general contends that Proposition 215, the medical marijuana
initiative approved by California voters in 1996, "allows only primary care
givers to supply the marijuana," the spokesman said.

The court-ordered shut down Peron's club was based on its sales to "care
givers," rather than directly to patients. Yesterday, Justmann posted a
large sign banning care givers from entering the club.

Rodgers is introducing a new brand of marijuana -- Holy Smoke -- to
celebrate the center's opening. The name emphasizes the spiritual nature of
the drug, she said, noting it was used for religious purposes in Jamaica.

Rodgers, who suffers from glaucoma and diabetes and has had breast cancer,
said she began using marijuana in 1992. Along with relieving her symptoms,
pot had an unexpected side effect, she said.

"It's helped my relationship with my 44-year-old son," she said. "We were
estranged but now we speak the same language."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Calling Itself A Healing Center, Defiant Marijuana Club Reopens
('New York Times' Version)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 09:27:50 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Calling Itself a Healing Center, Defiant Marijuana Club Reopens
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998

CALLING ITSELF A HEALING CENTER, DEFIANT MARIJUANA CLUB REOPENS

SAN FRANCISCO -- After a brief court-ordered closing, this city's most
famous medical marijuana club reopened Tuesday under a new name and
director, once again thwarting efforts by the California attorney general
to shut it down.

The closing resulted from a ruling in San Francisco County Superior Court
on April 15 that the Cannabis Cultivators Club, which opened in 1992 and
has a membership of 8,000, was "clearly engaging in the illegal sale of
marijuana." The court also ordered the club's founder, Dennis R. Peron, to
quit selling marijuana.

The ruling came out of a civil case brought by Attorney General Dan Lungren
after a 1996 raid on the club by state drug agents. Sheriff's deputies
closed the club on Monday.

But in a plan hatched last week and widely reported in newspapers here,
Peron stepped down as director and turned over the lease to a member, a
79-year-old woman who proceeded to reopen the club Tuesday as the Cannabis
Healing Center.

"You can say it's all semantic mumbo jumbo," said Peron, who also said the
club was operating lawfully under the 1996 state law legalizing marijuana
for medical use, which he helped write. "But they wanted to shut down the
club on a technicality, and so we're going to go with the letter of the
law." Peron promised to have nothing further to do with club management and
devote all his time to his long-shot campaign against Lungren for the
Republican nomination for governor.

But Peron also faces criminal drug charges brought by Lungren across the
San Francisco Bay, in Alameda County. And he is a co-defendant in a federal
civil case brought by the United States Justice Department seeking to close
down six Northern California marijuana clubs.

Rob Stutzman, a spokesman for Lungren, said the attorney general was
considering action against the new center.

Legal questions remain for the future of the medical marijuana outlet. In
1996, about 56 percent of California voters approved a state initiative,
Proposition 215, legalizing the possession of marijuana for the seriously
ill and their caregivers.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

San Francisco Marijuana Club Changes Name, Reopens
('Associated Press' Version In 'Orange County Register')

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 12:01:51 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: SF Marijuana Club Changes Name, Reopens
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: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Richard Cole - The Associated Press

S.F. MARIJUANA CLUB CHANGES NAME, REOPENS

Marijuana advocates have the upper hand for now in their battle with
Attorney General Dan Lungren.

San Francisco-The club is dead. Long live the club-the San Francisco
marijuana club, that is, which reopened under another name Tuesday just a
day after a court order shut down its predecessor.

About 40 patients and supporters cheered as Wayne Justmann, head of
security for the new Cannabis Healing Center, unlocked the front door and
announced the center was open.

First in line was Gilbert Abeyga, who said he couldn't understand why
Attorney General Dan Lungren had pursued the court order that shut down the
Cannabis Cultivators Club on Monday.

"Why is everybody putting such a strain on the club?" he asked. "It's not
hurting nobody, nobody."

Abeyga said he uses marijuana to fight AIDS symptoms.

"I'm in pain, and it helps a lot. It keeps me going. If it wasn't for this,
I'd be skinny and dying by now," he said.

Replacing the former director and club founder Dennis Peron, who is running
against Lungren in the Republican gubernatorial primary, was Hazel Rodgers,
who celebrated her 79th birthday Monday as sheriff's deputies locked the
club's doors.

She said she will appoint a medical director to make the center more legitimate.

Rodgers said she believed that despite the state's medical marijuana law
and the center's policy changes, legal attacks on the center would
continue.

Rob Stutzman, spokesman for Lungren's office, said the attorney general was
considering action against the new center.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Lawyers Say Marijuana Club Illegal ('Los Angeles Times'
Takes The Government's Side Without Even Mentioning
It Will Require A Jury To Convict Anyone Of Anything)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 12:19:52 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Lawyers Say Marijuana Club Illegal
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: April 22, 1998
Author: Richard Cole, Associated Press Writer

LAYWERS SAY MARIJUANA CLUB ILLEGAL

SAN FRANCISCO--No matter what the name, the San Francisco marijuana club
is still illegal in the eyes of state prosecutors. The Cannabis Healing
Center replaced the Cannabis Cultivators Club on Tuesday, a day after the
old club was shut down under a court order. The new center has the same
address and most of the same personnel.

"You can change the name on the door, but it's still an illegal drug
house," said Rob Stutzman, a spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren. He
said the passage of Proposition 215, the state medical marijuana law, did
not allow an operation like the Cannabis Healing Center.

"There's nothing they can do to (legally) operate as a distribution
center," Stutzman said. "Proposition 215 only allows primary care givers
to supply the marijuana."

About 40 patients and supporters cheered as Wayne Justmann, head of
security for the new center, unlocked the front door.

First in line was Gilbert Abeyga, who said he couldn't understand why
Lungren had pursued the court order.

"I'm in pain, and it helps a lot. It keeps me going," said Abeyga, adding
he used marijuana to fight AIDS symptoms. "If it wasn't for this I'd be
skinny and dying by now."

Replacing the former director and club founder Dennis Peron, who is running
against Lungren in the Republican gubernatorial primary, was Hazel Rodgers,
who celebrated her 79th birthday Monday as sheriff's deputies locked the
club's doors. Rodgers said she believed legal attacks on the center would
continue. "There's too much opposition," she said.

The attorney general contends that Proposition 215 allows only primary care
givers to supply marijuana.

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

Only The Name Has Changed At San Francisco Pot Club (Bedridden Patients
Who Can No Longer Obtain Medical Marijuana Via Their Caregivers
Might Disagree With 'San Francisco Chronicle,' Among Others)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 09:41:32 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US CA: Only the Name Has Changed at S.F. Pot Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writer

ONLY THE NAME HAS CHANGED AT S.F. POT CLUB

Peron Stays as Consultant

Dennis Peron was trying very hard yesterday not to be in charge of the new
marijuana club on Market Street.

He was not the director, he kept announcing, and never mind that he was
spending a lot of time in the director's office, sort of directing, with
his feet on the desk, his coffee on the desk and his dog under the desk.

``It's like the grand opening of a new restaurant,'' said Peron.
``Restaurants change their names all the time. But the cuisine is
similar.''

The cuisine at the new Cannabis Healing Center, which opened yesterday, is
very much the same as the cuisine at the old Cannabis Cultivators Club,
which closed Monday. The cuisine comes in plastic bags for $20 or so, and
portions are small, like the cuisine in many fine restaurants.

On Monday, sheriff's deputies ``evicted'' the club from the three- story
building at 1444 Market Street, after a judge ordered the operation closed.
Yesterday, the building reopened with a new sign in front -- and a very
nice 79-year-old woman sitting in Peron's chair in the director's office.

The woman, Hazel Rodgers, said she was in charge. For most of the morning,
Peron was not far from her side, and neither was his small white dog,
Pinky.

``Hazel is the good vibe monitor,'' said Peron, ``and I'm here, breaking
her in. The law says I may consult, so I'm consulting.''

``Dennis,'' said Rodgers, sweetly, ``is showing me where all the skeletons
are.''

The only change between the old and new clubs, said Peron, was the decision
to stop selling marijuana to 500 or so caregivers of users too ill to visit
the club themselves.

It was the sale to nonpatients that Attorney General Dan Lungren had cited
when he began the legal action that led to shutting the club. The change in
management did little to satisfy Lungren, whose office released a statement
yesterday saying the club is still breaking the law.

DIRECTOR SAMPLES

Rodgers, herself a club member who smokes marijuana to relieve her
glaucoma, spent part of the morning sampling a new shipment of pot to find
out if it was everything it was supposed to be.

``Let's have a smell,'' said Rodgers, with a twinkle.

She sniffed the baggie, she held it up to the light, she commented
knowledgeably on texture and aroma. She lit up and partook.

``Very good,'' she said and graciously offered some to a reporter, who declined.

Rodgers, a former administrator for the carpenters union, said she had
agreed to become director to help the club in its hour of peril, and she
was determined to be the very best 79-year-old director of a marijuana club
that she could be.

``I've got to be careful,'' she said. ``I still could be arrested if I
don't watch my step. I'm counting on them not to arrest a woman of my age,
you know, because of the publicity.''

By all appearances it was a typical morning at the club, with lots of talk
by staff members about which of the dozens of people in front of the
building might be an undercover narcotics cop. A man with a red parrot on
his shoulder was walking around, and Woodstock-vintage tunes were thumping.

SALES AND CAMPAIGNING

Upstairs, at the sales counter, baggies were selling for $5 to $65, and
there were no complaints. Small announcements were taped all over,
declaring the new incarnation of the club to be an ``important occasion in
our constant struggle for freedom.''

Staff members who were not distributing marijuana were distributing
Peron-for-governor buttons.

Peron, a former restaurateur and Vietnam War veteran, founded the club four
years ago and helped lead the successful 1996 statewide campaign to pass
the medicinal marijuana law. He is currently running for governor as a
Republican -- against Lungren.

Throughout the day, authorities laid low. San Francisco Sheriff Mike
Hennessey said that he was all through evicting for now and that he would
not move against the new club.

``I support the medicinal marijuana law in the state of California, and it
does seem this is an attempt to thwart that law,'' Hennessey told a
reporter. ``I think most people in this city want to keep that law carried
out.''

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

The Fight Over Medical Marijuana (Columnist Peter H. King
In 'The Sacramento Bee' Recaps The Case Of Myron Carlyle Mower,
Convicted By Tuolumne County Superior Court Of Growing Medical Marijuana
Despite Proposition 215, But Fails To Explain Why The Terminally Ill Man
Wasn't Given A Jury Trial)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:50:07 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Column: Peter H. King: The Fight Over Medical Marijuana Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: opinion@sacbee.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com Author: Peter H. King Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 THE FIGHT OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA SONORA, Calif. -- Monday was judgment day in Department Two of Tuolumne County Superior Court, with a couple dozen defendants awaiting their sentences. Some shuffled awkwardly into the courtroom in orange jail uniforms, legs shackled in chains. Others came in civilian clothes with their families, hopeful that the judge might be softened by a mother's presence, or at least by a clean T-shirt. Mainly this seemed to be a routine, dreary lineup of robbers, parole violators, drunken drivers. One fellow, at least, was notable for his creativity under pressure: He had pulled a gun in an insurance office and demanded cash. Told there was none, he said, well, fine, make me out a personal check. Needless to say, Lt. Columbo would not be required to crack the case. Also there was the matter of the People of California vs. Myron Carlyle Mower. Now here was an interesting true crime tale. Mower is a severe diabetic, legally blind, unable to hold down food. The only thing that seems to help his condition is marijuana. Mower believed Californians had cases like his in mind when they voted in 1996 to legalize medicinal marijuana. The law believed different. Guess who won? Eighteen months have passed since 5.3 million Californians voted for it, and still the battle over medicinal marijuana rages on. Perhaps this is because Proposition 215, like most initiatives, was about more than what was printed on the ballot. It became a chance for the citizenry to question, however obliquely, the whole War on Drugs strategy. Indeed, some advocates of narcotics decriminalization described the proposition's victory as a message to the nation's drug generals: Call off the war, find a better way. No more prisons crammed with users. No more narcotics units corrupted by evidence room cash. No more Tijuana mansions for drug lords made rich by a policy of prohibition. In this context, the reaction of many law enforcement officials was predictable: No surrender. Fight to take back every inch of ground lost to the potheads. Caught between the trenches of this larger struggle, unfortunately, are sick people like Mower. His doctor has described the 35-year-old's condition as "severe and terminal." He vomits whenever he eats. He cannot work. He has lost his teeth, gone blind in one eye and all but blind in the other. "The only time I have observed his condition to be medically improving," his doctor noted in a letter filed with the court, "is when he has been home and is reporting smoking marijuana on a daily basis. He cultivates a small number of plants in his home for personal use only." The drug law enforcers didn't buy the diagnosis. Acting on an anonymous tip, investigators raided his house last summer and discovered 31 plants. This, they concluded, was 28 plants too many. All but three were ripped out, and the detectives went looking for Mower. They found him in the hospital, hooked to a morphine drip. "My health was all in that garden," Mower told them. "You guys don't know what you've done to me." In the hospital interview -- conducted before Mower was read his rights -- he acknowledged that he also was growing marijuana for two other sick people. He later recanted this statement, and attempted in trial to demonstrate that his garden's potential yield was hardly abundant. He was convicted nonetheless. Mower had grown more plants than Tuolumne County deemed necessary, and that was that. "I'm a felon now," he said glumly in court Monday. When they called his name, he put a hand on his lawyer's shoulder and followed her to the defense table. His face was a sickly blend of gray and yellow. He said little, and the judge pushed through the paces. Had the probation report been read to him? Yes, your honor. Was he willing to sign it? Yes, your honor. His attorney guided his hand to the appropriate line. Mower signed -- a promise to limit his pot garden to three plants, and to pay more than $1,000 in fines, and to submit to five years of house searches and drug tests. They even made the blind man surrender his driver's license. In exchange, the people of California agreed not to stick Mower's failing body in state prison for the crime of growing medicine. He better be grateful. Peter H. King is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee in California.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed By Pro-Pot Advocates ('Hawaii Tribune Herald'
Says A Federal Judge Ruled Roger Christie And Aaron Anderson
Did Not Sufficiently Show That The Hawaii County Prosecuting
Attorney's Office Had An Actual Policy Singling Them Out For Prosecution
Because Of Their Outspoken Views In Favor Of Cannabis Law Reform)

Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 07:31:00 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US HI: Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed By Pro-Pot Advocates
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Roger Christie
Pubdate: 22 April 1998
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald
Contact: htrib@interpac.net
Author: Crystal Kua

JUDGE DISMISSES LAWSUIT FILED BY PRO-POT ADVOCATES

The Two Claimed They Were Unfairly Prosecuted For Views

The question of who can and cannot set policy for the Hawaii County
Prosecuting Attorney's Office has led a federal judge to toss out the
remaining claims in a $3 million dollar federal lawsuit filed by two Big
Island marijuana advocates.

U.S. District Judge David Ezra ruled that the county, the only remaining
defendant in the lawsuit, is not liable because Roger Christie and Aaron
Anderson did not sufficiently show that the office had a policy singling
them out for prosecution because of their outspoken pro-marijuana views.

"There is no evidence that a policy of selective prosecution of (Christie
and Anderson) existed at the time of the indictment or throughout the
proceedings," Ezra wrote in a 26-page decision.

The judge said he was "concerned" over what he called "acts of impropriety"
by the deputy prosecutor handling the case but found that her actions did
not constitute policy.

"While the court agrees that (Deputy Prosecutor Kay) Iopa's conduct is not
without controversy, and that she may well have individually acted in bad
faith with regard to her position and plaintiff's criminal case. Her
aberrant behavior cannot be considered 'policy,'" Ezra wrote.

The 1995 lawsuit stems from the state prosecution of Christie and Anderson
for felony commercial promotion of marijuana for a shipment of hemp seeds
they ordered from a mainland seed company in 1991.

The charge has since been dismissed against both men.

The pair alleged in their lawsuit that prosecutors violated their
constitutional rights because the pair were targeted for prosecution as a
result of their vocal views on marijuana.

Ezra had already dismissed Iopa and Prosecutor Jay Kimura, who were named
individually as defendants, because they are immune from litigation in
their roles as prosecutors.

The county was the only defendant going into the March 30th hearing on the
county's request to dispose of the case without going to trial.

County Deputy Corporation Counsel Steve Christiansen said the judge's
ruling in essense puts to rest any remaining claims in the lawsuit.

Christiansen said that the judge said because Iopa is not in a position to
set policy, her actions are not binding to the county.

"It's not attributable to the county," Christiansen said.

Steve Strauss, who represents Anderson and Christie, did not return a call
for comment but reportedly said that he plans to appeal the decision.

Anderson said he doesn't believe the case is dead. "It's just a step along
the way," he said.

Ezra wrote that the County Charter designates the prosecutor and the first
deputy prosecutor as the only individuals with policymaking powers for the
office.

Ezra said there is also nothing to suggest that Kimura delegated any
policymaking authority to Iopa.

Ezra also pointed out that it wasn't Iopa, but another deputy prosecutor,
who initially charged Christie and Anderson.

"It does not appear that Iopa had final decision-making authority regarding
whether to prosecute plaintiffs," Ezra said.

"Additionally, it's clear that the authority that she was vested with did
not provide her the opportunity to make policy decisions for the County of
Hawaii," Ezra wrote.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Marijuana Put On Ballot ('Anchorage Daily News'
Notes The Alaskan State Division Of Elections Announced Tuesday
That The Medical Marijuana Initiative Sponsored By Alaskans
For Medical Rights Will Be On This November's Ballot)

From: "Rolf Ernst" 
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US AK: Medical Marijuana Put On Ballot
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:34:18 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Eric Skidmore
Pubdate: Fri, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Anchorage Daily News
Contact: letters@adn.com
Phone: (907) 257-4200

MEDICAL MARIJUANA PUT ON BALLOT

JUNEAU--Voters will get to decide in November whether marijuana should be
legalized for certain medical uses in Alaska, the State Division of
Elections announced Tuesday. The marijuana question is the last initiative
to be certified by the Elections Division. Alaskans for Medical Rights
gathered enough signatures during a 30-day extension to put the question on
the ballot. To get on the ballot, organizers needed 24,251 registered
voters to sign the petition. The group was 1,068 shy of that number when it
turned in petitions in January. The initiative would allow patients to use
marijuana for treatment if their doctors found they had debilitating medical
conditions. The measure is the fifth initiative to make the ballot,
according to the Elections Division. Also approved were initiatives that
would allow candidates for Congress and the Legislature to take a voluntary
pledge to limit their terms of office, mandate English as Alaska's official
language, ban billboards in Alaska, and prohibit the use of snares to trap
wolves. If the Legislature enacts a law similar to any of the initiatives
this session, that question would be pulled from the ballot. An initiative
to create an education endowment failed to draw enough valid signatures, and
organizers did not take up the division's offer of an extension to gather
more.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Legalize Marijuana As Medicine (Letter To Editor
Of 'Anchorage Daily News' By Kim Kentch,
One Of Three Sponsors Of The Proposed Alaskan Voter Initiative)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkar@hotmail.com
Subject: Alaska Bill to make marijuana legal as medicine
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:31:38 PDT
US AL:PUB LTE: Legalize Marijuana As Medicine
Newshawk: Dave Fratello
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Anchorage Daily News
Contact: 74220.2560@compuserve.com
Author: Kim Kentch

LEGALIZE MARIJUANA AS MEDICINE

I am one of the three sponsors of a ballot initiative whose sole focus
is to legalize marijuana as medicine.

David Pepper's April 11 letter about medical marijuana contained
several factual errors and misconceptions that deserve clarification.

First, Alaskans for Medical Rights' efforts are limited to legalizing the
medicinal use of only marijuana. Mr. Pepper's concerns that the ballot
initiative would legalize other drugs is unfounded.

Second, this ballot initiative would not allow a person who needed
marijuana for medicinal use to give or sell it to anyone else.

Third, the synthetic pill form of THC ( the active ingredient in marijuana)
has several disadvantages that make it far less useful than THC in plant
form. Many people who could benefit from using marijuana as a
medicine have severe nausea, often as a side effect of treatment for
cancer. They vomit so violently that swallowing a pill is a physical
impossibility. Even if they were able to swallow, THC in pill form takes a
lot longer to alleviate the nausea than would THC in plant form.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Accused Counterfeit Drug Dealer Says Politics Prompted His Arrest
(Disturbing Account From 'The Salisbury News And Advertiser'
About A 21-Year-Old Black Political Candidate
Locked Up In Wicomico County Jail Since February 19)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 15:22:50 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: US NC: Accused Counterfeit Drug Dealer Says Politics Prompted His Arrest Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Rob Ryan Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 Source: The Salisbury News and Advertiser Contact: SNAPaper@aol.com Author : Kye Parsons ACCUSED COUNTERFEIT DRUG DEALER SAYS POLITICS PROMPTED HIS ARREST Suspect still jailed two months after candidate tips police Salisbury - Locked up at the Wicomico County jail since Feb. 19, 21-year-old Bryan Pinkett believes he is a political prisoner. Accused of attempting to sell a counterfeit illegal drug and possessing drug paraphernalia, the Baker Street resident's arrest would normally be unremarkable for Salisbury's Hotspot neighborhood where crime is concentrated. However, what makes Mr. Pinkett's case unique is the person who initiated his arrest: Salisbury City Council President Carolyn Hall. On Thursday, Feb 19, Mrs. Hall said she was travelling through the Baker Street area in response to a citizen's complaint about poor street maintenance. According to police records, when Mrs. Hall was in the area of Railroad Avenue and Baker Street, she called the Salisbury Police Department to report that an unknown black male wearing a camouflage green jacket and a similar style cap had attempted to flag her down and sell her drugs. A few minutes later two police officers arrived in the area and using the clothing description provided by Mrs. Hall, approached Mr. Pinkett near Baker and Charles Street area and told him to "hold up." According to the police report, Mr. Pinkett allegedly began reaching toward his right pocket and was ordered to keep his hands out of it. Fearing he had a weapon or was attempting to destroy evidence, the officers grabbed Mr. Pinkett and maced him. A search of Mr. Pinkett revealed that he had several pieces of soap crafted to look like illegal crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia, identified as a plastic baggie in court documents. Mr. Pinkett was taken to the Detention Center and held on $7,500 bond. Unable to meet his bail, Mr. Pinkett is still incarcerated. Mr. Pinkett's arrest would normally be listed in the "Police Beat" section of the daily newspaper. But two days after his arrest, Mr. Pinkett, along with Mrs. Hall, had their pictures one on top of the other over a story titled "Hall tip leads to drug arrest." The arrest even resulted in an anonymously-published parody newspaper titled the Daily Bath that was circulated in the Church Street area and poked fun at the incident. More than two months later, Mr. Pinkett is still troubled about what happened. He acknowledges his past scrapes with the law have lead him to serve time for drug and other violations. But this time, he feels he was set up. "When I saw my picture in the paper I was hurt and angry because I was being used for somebody's political game," Mr. Pinkett said, referring to Mrs. Hall campaign for mayor. Mrs. Hall has long stated even as recently as last Friday's mayoral debate that crime was her number one concern. Mr. Pinkett however, believes he is just a plank in her political platform. "I feel I'm being used because I'm a black man from Baker Street," he said. Mr. Pinkett denies ever attempting to flag down Mrs. Hall to sell illegal drugs or counterfeit drugs. In fact, he said he never saw Mrs. Hall at all prior to his arrest. "I never saw her", he said. He said that while being arrested he did see through his maced-covered eyes, several officers on the scene including Salisbury Police Capt. Leo Bateman and Chief Coulbourn Dykes. In a telephone interview last week, Mr. Pinkett said the soap in his possession did not even belong to him, but he took it from a 14-year-old because he did want the boy, who he treats like a little brother, to get in trouble. According to Mr. Pinkett, " I said to the boy, why are you doing this? He told me, 'Because I'm hungry.'" Mr. Pinkett said at that point he took the fake drugs and in exchange gave the boy a fish sandwich he had picked up from a woman known as the "Chicken Lady," who lives on Charles Street. Mr. Pinkett's story about the events that led up to his arrest are also supported in the police report. According to the report, Mr. Pinkett told his arresting officers, "I took that stuff from a little boy over there. It's not even real, it's DT's (fake drugs). He was hanging around with the boys and that stuff will get you killed." The report filed by Officer Rusty Savage is absent of a statement that Mrs. Hall ever identified Mr. Pinkett personally during or after the arrest, however. Mr. Pinkett told the same story to his uncle, Russell Pinkett, who has not seen his nephew since the arrest. And according to Russell Pinkett, who lives near Baker Street, his nephew told him he never attempted to wave anybody down in order to sell drugs. "(Bryan) told me he was just walking down the street and then all of a sudden cop cars pulled up to him," Russell Pinkett said. "It really was kind of wicked what they did to him." Veteran Baker Street resident Brenda "Mama Dukes" Wallace said it is not normal for neighborhood drug dealers to wave down or attempt to sell drugs --fake or real -- to people who stand out from the crowd. "Them boys ain't going to stop no damn body dressed better than we do," Ms. Wallace said. She also believes Bryan Pinkett was set up for political reasons. When contacted for this story Mrs. Hall said this was the first time she ever heard Mr. Pinkett's allegations. However, due to the nature of the case, she said, "I don't think I can comment." Mr. Pinkett said he has been wanting to tell his story for to his attorney from the Public Defender's Office, but he has not seen her since his Feb. 20 bond review. Also, it is not known when the facts will be heard under oath because a court date has yet to be scheduled.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Patch That Might Keep Tabs On Drug Use Will Be Tested In Philadelphia
('Philadelphia Inquirer' Says The Federal Government Is About To Field Test
A Watch-Sized Patch That Will Send A Signal If The Wearer Takes Drugs,
And Will Relay To Authorities The Person's Whereabouts Within 150 Feet)

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 10:06:22 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US PA: Patch That Might Keep Tabs on Drug Use Will Be Tested in Phila.
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Katknows 
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
Contact: editpage@aol.com
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Marian Uhlman - Inquirer Staff Writer

PATCH THAT MIGHT KEEP TABS ON DRUG USE WILL BE TESTED IN PHILA.

The device would offer ``real-time'' data, rather than after-the-fact screening.

Sweating it out could take on new meaning for drug users caught by the
criminal justice system.

The federal government is getting ready to field test in Philadelphia a
black watch-sized patch that is being designed to send a signal if the
wearer takes drugs. It also has the potential to relay information to
authorities about the person's whereabouts, within 150 feet.

Considering that at least an estimated 50 percent of all defendants
nationally test positive for drugs, the patch could make it easier to
supervise convicted criminals when they return to their communities.

"It could open up a new and possibly foolproof method of monitoring
substance abuse," said Saralynn Borrowman, program manager for
investigative sciences at the National Institute of Justice, a research
agency for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Recognizing the close link between drug use and criminal activity, many
courts have already beefed up their efforts, requiring felons to enroll in
treatment programs and submit to drug tests. If they don't, they can face
jail time. Many courts also are monitoring drug users awaiting trial.

But such oversight can be costly, time-consuming and faulty, some experts
say. The sweat patch offers "real-time" data about drug use, said David A.
Kidwell, who is heading the research for the Naval Research Laboratory in
Washington. Other drug screens, such as hair analysis or urine tests, are
"always after the fact" and sometimes
"beatable," he said.

The patch is built into a band that can be worn on the wrist or the ankle.
In concept, the patch will work like this:

Say a person takes cocaine. The drug molecules are excreted in sweat. The
surface of the patch is coated with a specific antibody that interacts with
the cocaine. In the process, the cocaine molecules dislodge colored
particles on the patch and the released particles are detected by a
built-in sensor. The concept works somewhat like a home pregnancy test, in
which a color indicates a positive or negative result.

The patch then relays the information to a transmitter similar to a pager
-- or potentially a small cellular or satellite phone -- worn by the
person being monitored. In turn, information is forwarded via wireless
e-mail to a computer, possibly several states away, identifying who the
user is and where he or she is.

Kidwell says versions of the patch could be developed for other drugs, such
as heroin and amphetamines.

In the initial tests to be done in Philadelphia, the patches are designed
to detect alcohol use. The aim is to see whether there are technological
bugs in the system. Kidwell said he hasn't yet decided how many people will
be involved in the testing, though the number will be small.

"What we have works," said Kidwell, whose tests so far have been confined
to the laboratory with fellow scientists. But, he said, he needs to find
out "whether it is easy to use."

Among the unknowns are whether the patch will be comfortable for the
wearer, if people can beat the system, and how easy it will be to service
the patches in the field. The patch is designed to monitor not only drug
status, but also skin temperature and whether the patch is in contact with
the skin, as a way of checking that it's being worn.

Kidwell has been working on the device for about three years under a grant
from the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy. For the field
tests, he plans to collaborate with the Institute for Addictive Disorders
at Allegheny University of the Health Sciences. Initially, Kidwell will
track alcohol use among volunteer patients from one or two Allegheny
programs. He also plans to have field tests in New Orleans in conjunction
with the city's district attorney's office.

He projected that it may take another two years before the drug-screening
patch is ready for wide-scale use.

Jerome Jaffe, who recently headed the federal Center for Substance Abuse
Treatment, said the patch might be better at deterring drug use than
methods now in use. The key may be the immediacy of getting caught.

"People have found that the closer you make the consequences and the
behavior, the more likely it is to influence behavior," said Jaffe, now a
psychiatry professor at the University of Maryland.

But for some, the technology is troubling.

"It is like a scarlet letter," said Caroline Cooper, a former public
defender, who is director of the drug court clearinghouse at American
University. She questions whether such constant monitoring would conflict
with the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and
seizures.

"Unless there is some egregious situation that warrants the intrusion,
wearing a patch 24 hours a day would bother me," Cooper said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Gingrich Blasts Clinton Needle Exchange Stance ('San Francisco Examiner'
Allows Congressional Republican Know-Nothings To Practice Demagoguery
Without Citing The Scientific Evidence Contradicting
Their Discredited Rationale)

Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 16:16:07 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Gingrich Blasts Clinton Needle Exchange Stance
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Author: Lisa M. Krieger of the Examiner Staff

GINGRICH BLASTS CLINTON NEEDLE EXCHANGE STANCE

THIS WEEK, House Speaker Newt Gingrich and other top Republicans blasted
President Clinton for endorsing needle exchange programs to prevent AIDS
among drug users, even though Clinton will not allow federal funds for such
programs. "What's a little heroin or cocaine among friends?" Gingrich said
sarcastically at a news conference in which he lambasted Clinton on drugs
and teen smoking, Reuters news service reported. "There's no such thing as
a healthy heroin addict."

"I am personally appalled," said Tom Delay of Texas, the third-ranking
Republican in the House, saying that Clinton was talking about teen smoking
but basically "throwing in the towel" in fighting drug abuse.

"He's trying to take away cigarettes and give them needles to stick in
their arms," Delay said.

He said that if Clinton did not reverse himself, Republicans would push
through legislation against needle-exchange programs. They cited several
studies saying needle exchanges did not prevent AIDS.

The prime mover behind anti-drug legislation in the House, Rep. Rob
Portman, R-Ohio, said Tuesday the Clinton administration's tacit support
for needle exchanges to curb the spread of AIDS sent the wrong message
about narcotics use to the nation's youth.

Portman, who is fashioning an anti-drug package at the behest of the House
GOP leadership, characterized as "bizarre" a report by Health and Human
Services Secretary Donna Shalala that needle exchanges reduced the
incidence of HIV and didn't lead to increased drug use.

"It's as if they're throwing in the towel," he said. "What they should be
doing is redoubling their effort as far as prevention is concerned."

Portman said the administration was sending a contradictory message
expressing support for the idea but refusing to provide money. The better
course, he said, is to send a strong message that intravenous drug use
isn't acceptable.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Monday's decision came after a week of
negotiations between Shalala's staff and the White House, according to two
administration officials familiar with the talks. Shalala had been pressing
to rescind the ban, with some restrictions, and was prepared to defend that
decision on Capitol Hill, knowing it was bound to be controversial.

But the president's policy advisors feared that Republicans might push
through legislation that would strip federal money from organizations that
provide free needles, even though the money was used for other purposes.

Late Sunday, as Clinton returned from Chile, he instructed Shalala to
announce that federal funds would not be released, despite scientific
evidence that needle-exchange programs help prevent the spread of HIV.

Events

*On Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hospice By The Bay and S.F. State will
co-host a Washington, D.C.-based teleconference entitled "Living With
Grief: Who We Are, How We Grieve." It will be held at S.F. State's Guest
Conference Center. Call (415) 626-5900.

*The second meeting of a seven-week career and job search workshop will be
held Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church, 150
Eureka St., presented by the Life Program. Call (415) 537-3990.

* "Healing in Whatever Way You Choose," a free holistic-based educational
program, will be held April 30 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Davies Medical Center,
Auditorium Level B, at Castro and Duboce streets. Call (415) 284-6237.

*The Immune Enhancement Project will hold a reopening ceremony to launch
its newly remodeled facility at 3450 16th St. on May 1 from 5 to 8 p.m. The
program will feature Mayor Brown, AIDS activists, refreshments, food and a
silent auction. Call (415) 252-8711.

*People with HIV-AIDS are invited to participate in a May 2 conference call
at which they can ask questions of leading treatment experts. The call,
sponsored by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, will be held May 2 at 2:30
p.m. Call 1-800-707-BETA for reservations.

Benefits

*The 1998 San Francisco AIDS Dance-A-Thon, to be held starting at 4 p.m.
May 2 and running until 4 a.m., is expected to attract 3,500 to 7,000
participants who will dance for 12 hours to raise money for Mobilization
Against AIDS, Project Open Hand and 17 other Bay Area AIDS organizations.
Call (415) 896-1393.

*Join Project Inform on the May 9 annual Ron Wilmot Bike Ride, a leisurely
7-mile ride through Golden Gate Park to raise money for the group's
treatment and education programs. Wilmot, an avid cyclist and Project
Inform supporter, started the ride in 1995. Call (415) 558-8669, ext. 210.

*A $7 beer-and-soda party to benefit the AIDS Emergency Fund will be hosted
from to 7 p.m. May 9 by the Eagle Tavern, 398 12th St. Call (415) 626-0880.

Another $7 beer-and-soda party, auction, raffle and trivia contest will
held to benefit the AIDS Emergency Fund and Shanti from 4 to 7 p.m. May 10
at Daddy's Bar, 440 Castro St. Call (415) 621-8732.

*The Dr. Andrew Zysman Memorial Benefit to support ACT UP / Golden Gate
will be held from 4 to 7:30 p.m. May 17 at Alfred Schilling's Chocolate
Restaurant, 1695 Market St. Hors d'oeuvres, awards, entertainment and a
silent auction will be held. After the event, join the AIDS Memorial
Candlelight March as it passes. Tax-deductible tickets are $100, $250, $500
and $1,000. Call (415) 252-9200.

*The Wine Ride for AIDS, a 100-kilometer bike ride through the Alexander
Valley, will be held June 13 to raise money for Sonoma-based AIDS services.
Call (707) 544-1215.

The toll

Juk-San, 51, husband, father and an instructor in color and design and
floral arrangement at the Rudolph Schaeffer School of Design in The City.
Born in the Sacramento area, he was originally named Stephen Kwong; his
Japanese tea ceremony name was Chy Ku San Takiyama; the name he used in gay
bars was Sean. A memorial will be held Saturday at his Potrero Hill home at
2203 19th St., 2 to 7 p.m.

Figures are cumulative since June 1981. Government officials now compile
and release statistics quarterly, not monthly. To contribute to AIDSweek,
call (415) 777-7867. AIDSweek columns are available on the Internet at
www.examiner.com / aidsweek / aidsweek.html

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

Clean Needles May Be Bad Medicine (Op-Ed In 'Wall Street Journal'
By Beltway Statistician Says The Science Justifying Needle Exchanges
Isn't Conclusive)

Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 13:46:34 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: US: WSJ OPED: Clean Needles May Be Bad Medicine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: http://www.DrugSense.org/
Source: The Wall Street Journal
Pubdate: Wed, 22 April 1998
Contact: editors@interactive.wsj.com
Mail: 200 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10281
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Author: David Murray
Note: Mr. Murray is director of research for the Statistical Assessment
Service, a nonprofit group in Washington.

CLEAN NEEDLES MAY BE BAD MEDICINE

The Clinton administration on Monday endorsed the practice of giving clean
needles to drug addicts in order to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus.
"A meticulous scientific review has now proven that needle-exchange
programs can reduce the transmission of HIV and save lives without loosing
ground on the battle against illegal drugs," Secretary of Health and Human
Services announced.

The administration is not unanimous, however; the drug czar, Gen. Barry
McCaffrey, who opposes needle exchange, was out of the country Monday.
Who's right? As recently as a month ago, HHS had resisted needle-exchange
programs. "We have not yet concluded that needle exchange programs do not
encourage drug use." spokeswoman Melissa Skolfield told the Washington Post
March 17. By Monday the department had reached that conclusion, though the
scientific evidence that needle exchanges don't encourage drug use is as
weak today as it was a month ago.

In fact, the evidence is far from clear that needle-exchange programs
protect against HIV infection. Most studies have had serious methodological
limitations, and new studies in Montreal and Vancouver have revealed a
troubling pattern: In general, the better the study design, the less
convincing the evidence that clean needle giveaways protect against HIV.

The Montreal study, the most sophisticated yet, found that those who
attended needle-exchange programs had a substantially higher risk of HIV
infection than intravenous drug addicts who did not. In a much-discussed
New York Times op-ed article two weeks ago, Julie Bruneau and Martin T.
Schechter, authors of the Montreal and Vancouver studies respectively,
explained the higher risk this way: "Because these programs are in
inner-city neighborhoods they server users who are at greatest risk of
infection. Those who didn't accept free needles .... were less likely to
engage in the riskiest activities."

Dr. Bruneau is apparently rejecting her own research. For her study had
statistical controls to correct for precisely this factor. In the American
Journal of Epidemiology, Dr. Bruneau wrote: "These findings cannot be
explained solely on the basis of the concentration around needle-exchange
programs of a higher risk intravenous drug user population with a greater
baseline HIV prevalence."

Even more troubling, Dr. Bruneau reported that addicts who were initially
HIV-negative were more likely to become positive after participation in the
needle exchange. Dr. Bruneau speculated that needle-exchange programs "may
have facilitated formation of new sharing networks, with the programs
becoming the gathering places for isolated [addicts]."

Janet Lapey of Drug Watch International says needle-exchange programs often
become "buyer's clubs" for addicts, attracting not only scattered users but
opportunistic dealers. Not everyone agrees. Dr. Schechter says that when he
asked his study's heroin users, they reported meeting elsewhere. But a
delegation from Gen. McCaffrey's office returned from Vancouver in early
April with some startling news: Although more than 2.5 million clean
needles were given out last yet, the death rate from illegal drugs has
skyrocketed. Vancouver is literally swamped with drugs," the delegation
concluded. "With an at-risk population, without access to drug treatment,
needle exchange appears to be nothing more than a facilitator for drug use."

The problem for science is that no study has used the most effective method
for settling such issues - a randomized control trial. Moreover,
needle-exchange programs are usually embedded in complex programs of
outreach, education and treatment, which themselves affect HIV risk. A 1996
study showed that through outreach and education alone, HIV incidence in
Chicago-area intravenous drug users was reduced 71% in the absence of a
needle exchange.

Peter Lurie of the University of Michigan argues that "to defer public
health action on the grounds [awaiting better research] is to surrender the
science of epidemiology to thoughtless empiricism and to endanger the lives
of thousands of intravenous drug users." But Dr. Lurie's reasoning appears
circular. Only someone already convinced that needle-exchange programs are
effective at preventing HIV can claim that addicts are jeopardized by
further testing.

And drug use carries risks besides HIV infection. A recent article in the
Journal of the American Medical Association warned that the arrival of a
new drug from Mexico called "black-tar heroin," cut with dirt and shoe
polish, is spreading "wound botulism." This potent toxin leads to paralysis
and agonizing death, even when injected by a clean needle.

Thus, dispensing needles to the addicted could produce a public health
tragedy if this policy does indeed place than at greater risk for HIV or
enhances the legitimacy of hard drug use. Simply put, the administration's
case is unproven.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Needle Exchange - AIDS Prevention Efforts Should Include Syringe Programs
(Staff Editorial In 'Dallas Morning News' Says The Clinton Administration
Has Sacrificed Public Health On The Altar Of Political Expedience)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 07:00:12 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: EDITORIAL: Needle Exchange

I think I'm wide awake, but I may still be dreaming.
The following was in today's (4-22-98) Dallas Morning News.
If y'all receive this message it means I wasn't dreaming. :)

From the 4-22-98 Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

***

Needle Exchange
AIDS prevention efforts should include syringe programs

04/22/98

Oh, those radicals at the American Medical Association. They endorse
needle exchange programs as one element of a comprehensive AIDS
prevention strategy. They also support less controversial measures such
as expanded drug treatment programs and improved care for HIV-positive
infants and children.

Their position isn't radical; it's common sense. AIDS endangers drug
users and non-users alike. About 40 percent of HIV infections now occur
among intravenous drug addicts - who have used dirty needles - and their
intimate companions.

Nevertheless, the Clinton White House, fearing a conservative backlash,
refuses to allow any federal money to support needle exchange programs.
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala reaffirmed the
administration's position Monday. That decision sacrifices public health
on the altar of political expedience.

Many Americans believe that needle exchange programs are futile at best
and unethical at worst. Critics feel the programs encourage illegal drug
use, and public money shouldn't underwrite illegal behavior.

Public health workers face a different ethical dilemma. Their duty is to
prevent disease and to protect and improve the overall health of a
community. To them, it is unethical not to marshal all effective
voluntary strategies to slow the spread of AIDS.

Those real concerns about public health should give critics pause. No
one wants to encourage drug use; it is harmful even without the threat
of AIDS. But there is little or no evidence that needle exchanges and
the distribution of bleach sterilization kits increase intravenous drug
use. And strong evidence shows that such programs, when carefully
designed, can decrease transmission of HIV.

Needle exchange programs also can serve as a doorway into
rehabilitation. The best programs encourage addicts to seek drug
treatment and view needle exchanges as a way to keep drug users
HIV-negative until scarce treatment slots are available.

If President Clinton and Congress really want to halt the spread of
AIDS, they should allow health workers to incorporate needle exchanges
into publicly funded AIDS prevention programs.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sticking It To Needles (Staff Editorial In 'USA Today'
Gives The Craven Cop-Out Of The Week Award To The Clinton Administration
For Its Decision To Continue Denying Federal Funds
To Needle Exchange Programs Even Though It Believes Such Programs
Slow The Spread Of HIV Without Encouraging Drug Abuse)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 07:45:05 -0400
To: drctalk@drcnet.org, maptalk@mapinc.org, usa@legalize.org,
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: MN: USA TODAY Editorial: Sticking It To Needles
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
Source: USA TODAY
Section: Second Editorial
Pubdate: Wednesday, 22 April 1998
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/

STICKING IT TO NEEDLES

Here it is only Wednesday, and already we have a winner of the Craven
Cop-Out of the Week Award. It goes to the Clinton administration for its
decision to continue denying federal funds to needle-exchange programs even
though it believes those programs slow the spread of HIV without
encouraging drug abuse.

Since 1981, 40% of the nation's 625,000 reported AIDS cases have been
linked to intravenous drug use with dirty needles. Among women of
childbearing age, the rate is 70%; among HIV-positive babies, 75%.

In response, more than 100 exchange programs have sprung up in 28 states.
How are they doing? Great. A New Haven, Conn., program cut the HIV
infection rate among drug users 33%. The National Research Council and the
Institute of Medicine have concluded that exchange programs can cut
transmission 30% or more. The National Institutes of Health concurs.

Drug use? Studies report that properly designed programs are an effective
bridge between users and treatment programs. In one case, participation
tripled in 180 days. In another, 58% of those in the exchange program
joined within six months.

Final statistic: An article in the medical journal Lancet last month
calculated that a national exchange program in the United States could have
prevented up to 9,670 infections since 1987, saving up to $540 million
(calculated against the average $56,000 federal cost per patient). By
comparison, allowing localities to use federal money wouldn't cost
taxpayers one extra penny; AIDS prevention programs would just reallocate
existing funds.

The administration knows all this. Yet fearing a backlash in an election
year, it will only endorse the programs, not fund them. It says the
endorsement alone will inspire local governments to establish exchanges.
But if Clinton won't stand up, why should any governor or mayor? Maybe
because they embrace the principle that health policy should be based on
science, not self-interest. Or maybe simply because they have more
character.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Focus Alert Number 60 - Needle Exchange
(DrugSense Asks You To Write A Letter To The Media
On Behalf Of Needle Exchange Programs)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 14:18:00 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #60 Needle Exchange

PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE

DrugSense FOCUS Alert #60

Needle exchange - Let's capitalize on and support the advance in needle
exchange policy.

WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD

The reform movement made a big stride forward when the administration
lifted the federal ban on needle exchange. We can capitalize on this and
send a strong message of support and of the importance of reform issues in
general to the media, the public, and to politicians by taking immediate
action on this Focus Alert.

In this alert we offer you the option of sending a letter to your local
paper or to USA Today below (or both).

It's not what others do. It's what YOU do!

***

CONTACT INFO

USA Today
editor@usatoday.com

Fax (703) 247-3108

***

PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter,
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

Newshawk: http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
Source: USA TODAY
Section: Second Editorial
Pubdate: Wednesday, 22 April 1998
Contact: editor@usatoday.com
Website: http://www.usatoday.com/

STICKING IT TO NEEDLES

Here it is only Wednesday, and already we have a winner of the Craven
Cop-Out of the Week Award. It goes to the Clinton administration for its
decision to continue denying federal funds to needle-exchange programs even
though it believes those programs slow the spread of HIV without
encouraging drug abuse.

Since 1981, 40% of the nation's 625,000 reported AIDS cases have been
linked to intravenous drug use with dirty needles. Among women of
childbearing age, the rate is 70%; among HIV-positive babies, 75%.

In response, more than 100 exchange programs have sprung up in 28 states.
How are they doing? Great. A New Haven, Conn., program cut the HIV
infection rate among drug users 33%. The National Research Council and the
Institute of Medicine have concluded that exchange programs can cut
transmission 30% or more. The National Institutes of Health concurs.

Drug use? Studies report that properly designed programs are an effective
bridge between users and treatment programs. In one case, participation
tripled in 180 days. In another, 58% of those in the exchange program
joined within six months.

Final statistic: An article in the medical journal Lancet last month
calculated that a national exchange program in the United States could have
prevented up to 9,670 infections since 1987, saving up to $540 million
(calculated against the average $56,000 federal cost per patient). By
comparison, allowing localities to use federal money wouldn't cost
taxpayers one extra penny; AIDS prevention programs would just reallocate
existing funds.

The administration knows all this. Yet fearing a backlash in an election
year, it will only endorse the programs, not fund them. It says the
endorsement alone will inspire local governments to establish exchanges.
But if Clinton won't stand up, why should any governor or mayor? Maybe
because they embrace the principle that health policy should be based on
science, not self-interest. Or maybe simply because they have more character.

***

SAMPLE LETTER

Below is a sample of a letter sent to a local paper on the topic of needle
exchange.

Dear Editor

FAX to 399-6507
April 21, 1998

The Editor
Lancaster Intelligencer Journal

Sir or Madam:

Earlier this week (April 20), the Department of Health and Human Services
published a historic document concerning syringe exchanges which in part
stated:

"HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala announced today that based on the findings
of extensive scientific research, she has determined that needle exchange
programs can be an effective part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce the
incidence of HIV transmission and do not encourage the use of illegal drugs".

" 'This nation is fighting two deadly epidemics - AIDS and drug abuse. They
are robbing us of far too many of our citizens and weakening our future,'
said Secretary Shalala. 'A meticulous scientific review has now proven
that needle exchange programs can reduce the transmission of HIV and save
lives without losing ground in the battle against illegal drugs. It offers
communities that decide to pursue needle exchange programs yet another
weapon in their fight against AIDS.'"

"Since the AIDS epidemic began in 1981, injection drug use has played an
increasing role in the spread of HIV and AIDS, accounting for more than 60
percent of AIDS cases in certain areas in 1995. To date, nearly 40 percent
of the 652,000 cases of AIDS reported in the U. S. have been linked to
injection drug use. More than 70 percent of HIV infections among women of
childbearing age are related either directly or indirectly to injection
drug use. And more than 75 percent of babies diagnosed with HIV/AIDS were
infected as a direct or indirect result of injection drug use by a parent."

"In March, 1997, the National Institute of Health published the Consensus
Development Statement on Intervention to Prevent HIV Risk Behaviors. That
report concluded that needle exchange programs 'show a reduction in risk
behaviors as high as 80 percent in injecting drug users, with estimates of a
30 percent or greater reduction of HIV.'"

Given the relatively high level of HIV/AIDS in Lancaster County which places
all of our families at risk, the time has come for private donors,
volunteers and government officials to cooperate in providing clean
syringes and health information to heroin addicts in order to promote the
health and welfare of the general population and unborn babies.

Sincerely,

Robert E. Field, Chairman
Common Sense for Drug Policy

***

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

Toker To Appeal Roach Ruling ('Vancouver Province' Notes Randy Caine
Will Appeal His Nearly-Successful Constitutional Challenge
To Canadian Cannabis Prohibition)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 19:01:36 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: Canada: Toker To Appeal Roach Ruling Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Chris Clay Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 Source: Vancouver Province Section: p.A6 Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Author: Greg Middleton, Staff Reporter TOKER TO APPEAL ROACH RULING Photo caption: Pot's not so bad, said the judge, but Randy Caine is guilty. A pot smoker who has fought a five-year battle for dope-smokers' rights is vowing to fight on. Randy Caine, 44, of Langley, says he'll appeal his conviction this week for possessing a roach -- the butt of a marijuana cigarette -- in White Rock in 1993. "If the Crown won a victory, it was a hollow victory," Caine said yesterday. "The court said the law has no integrity." Caine argued he had a right to have pot under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as long as he wasn't harming anyone else. Provincial court Judge Frances Howard said she was bound by earlier court decisions to rule that the Charter did not give Caine the right to possess pot. Caine pleaded guilty and got an absolute discharge, meaning his conviction is not recorded and he pays no penalty. Howard said in her ruling there is no evidence marijuana causes health problems, and the laws prohibiting it harm society. "The occasional-to-moderate use of marijuana by a healthy adult is not ordinarily harmful to health, even if used over a long period of time," she wrote. "Countless Canadians, mostly adolescents and young adults, are being prosecuted in the criminal courts, subjected to the threat of -- if not actual -- imprisonment, and branded with criminal records for engaging in an activity that is remarkably benign... [while] others are free to consume society's drugs of choice, alcohol and tobacco, even though these drugs are known killers." Lawyer Peter Durovic and assistant Andrea Turton, marijuana-legalization advocates at the Hemp B.C. Legal Assistance Centre on Hastings, say they were sandbagged by the Crown. They say "back-room dealing" stalled the Caine case while other cases set precedents. "We are a bit disappointed," Durovic said. Dr. Doug Coleman of New Westminster, who treats addictions, said more than 2,000 scientific papers outline the hazards of smoking dope, from lung disease to raising the risk of getting AIDS. "Having a respected person like a judge leave the impression that smoking marijuana is not a health hazard can send a very misleading and dangerous signal to the public," he said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Defiant Cop Says Call Off War On Drugs ('Vancouver Province'
Says Outspoken Vancouver, British Columbia Police Constable Gil Puder
Has Defied Efforts By Police Chief Bruce Chambers To Muzzle Him
From Speaking Freely On Drug Decriminalization - The 16-Year Police Veteran
Faces Disciplinary Action After He Presented A Paper On Drug Policy Reform
At A Vancouver Conference Yesterday)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Defiant cop says call off war on drugs
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 11:34:50 -0700
Lines: 55
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Province
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998

Defiant cop says call off war on drugs

Constable speaks out despite risk of disciplinary action

Holly Horwood
Staff Reporter
The Province

An outspoken Vancouver police constable has defied efforts by police
Chief Bruce Chambers to muzzle him on drug decriminalization.

Const. Gil Puder, a 16-year police veteran who fatally shot a
drug-addicted bank robber in 1984, risks disciplinary action after he
presented a paper on drug-policy reform at a Vancouver conference
yesterday.

"He was told verbally and in writing not to present the paper," Chambers
told The Province.

"He doesn't represent the police department, and his paper, in my opinion,
doesn't represent the views of the police department."

Puder, an instructor at the B.C. Police Academy and Justice Institute of
B.C., has spoken out before. But his speech to 140 delegates at the forum,
organized by the Fraser Institute think-tank, was the hardest-hitting yet.

Called Recovering Our Honor: Why Policing Must Reject the "War on Drugs,"
the paper is critical of what Puder calls "warrior-savior" officers and an
"entrenched police culture."

"Research long ago identified aggressive enforcement and a game-like
atmosphere as features of drug policing, which make it an attractive field
of endeavor," said Puder, who told reporters he spoke as an individual.

"What better way to build your image than with a 'bad guy' in jail and
drug exhibits or some recovered property as your visible evidence of
success?

"Although we relish the prestige of this role, deified police officers
confronting demonized drug users is a recipe for abuse."

In his speech -- which was taped by a Vancouver police inspector -- Puder
called drug-prohibition laws "history's most expensive failed social
experiment."

It's time to legalize marijuana and replicate Switzerland's
decriminalization trials for heroin and other opiates, he said, echoing
other speakers at the conference.

"Which control methodology would prove least harmful to society is, of
course, open to informed speculation. What we've spent billions of dollars
and countless lives proving, however, is that criminal prohibition isn't
it."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Decriminalize Street Drugs, Speakers Urge ('Vancouver Sun' Article
About The Fraser Institute Forum On Tuesday, Sensible Solutions
To The Urban Drug Problem, Says Vancouver Police Constable Gil Puder
Was Joined By 'Many Other Speakers' Who Agreed That 'Decriminalizing
Street Drugs Is The Only Way To Address Drug Epidemics')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Decriminalize street drugs, speakers urge
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 10:51:47 -0700
Lines: 68
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Calgary Herald
Contact: letters@theherald.southam.ca
Source: Vancouver Sun
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998

Decriminalize street drugs, speakers urge

VANCOUVER (CP) - Decriminalizing street drugs is the only way to
address drug epidemics, a city police officer and many other speakers
told a conference Tuesday.

Present drug laws are making drug dealers rich and leaving addicts to
die on the streets, speakers told the Fraser Institute forum, Sensible
Solutions to the Urban Drug Problem.

Decriminalizing some or all drugs for medicinal or recreational use
would help addicts and free up police to chase dealers, who are the
real criminals, said speakers at the one-day meeting.

Const. Gil Puder, a 16-year member of the Vancouver police force, felt
so strongly about the topic he ignored a written order from police
chief Bruce Chambers that he not to appear unless he changed the
material in his presentation.

Puder said decided to go ahead with the speech because he didn't want
to compromise his beliefs, but erased "Vancouver police department"
from his name tag to emphasize his views were his own and not those of
his employer.

Chambers said he was disappointed with Puder but refused to discuss
publicly any disciplinary actions the constable could be facing.

"I am concerned about the accuracy and appropriateness of the speech,
that it didn't meet the standards of the police department," Chambers
said, declining to elaborate.

Former deputy police chief Ken Higgins, when he was still with
Vancouver police last year, also called for decriminalization of
narcotics possession.

Some police drug experts use "smear tactics and conjecture" in
anti-drug speeches to school children, Puder said.

Police are supporting "the black market cash cow for criminals" by not
endorsing a lawful drug supply, he said.

The first change in the system should be the legalization of marijuana
and the decriminalization of heroin and opiates for medicinal
purposes, Puder said.

"Cocaine and chemical drugs might then be critically studied on their
own merits," he said.

Puder called for a controlled drug supply accompanied by health,
education and economic programs.

A lawyer with the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy said his
Ottawa-based group supports making it legal for adults to use and
share small quantities of any drug, to cultivate marijuana, and to use
heroin for medicinal purposes.

Prohibition has not stopped the use of drugs in modern societies such
as Vancouver, which has the highest rate of HIV-infection among
intravenous drug users in the Western world, said Eugene Oscapella.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Officer Slams The War On Drugs (Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Version)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Police Officer Slams the War on Drugs
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 15:43:53 -0700
Lines: 92
Newshawk: Dan (chaplain@hempbc.com)
Source: Globe and Mail
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Pubdate: April 22, 1998
Author: Robert Matas

POLICE OFFICER SLAMS THE WAR ON DRUGS

Vancouver Constable Delivers Scathing Attack on Enforcement Operations

An experienced Vancouver policeman has defied the city s police chief
and publicly delivered a scathing attack on police efforts to respond to
widespread drug use in Canada.

Offering a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the force, Constable
Gil Puder criticized officers who make drug arrests to further their own
careers, and senior managers who publicize gang crime and drug money to
push for bigger budgets.

Constable Puder accused police representatives of misinforming the
public about the dangers associated with drug use. Some officers have
unnecessarily shot and killed unarmed people while making drug arrests,
he said, adding that until police accept that they cannot win the war on
drugs, this unnecessary killing will continue.

Constable Puder, who has been a member of the Vancouver police force for
at least 15 years, has previously spoken out in favour of decriminalizing
heroin and cocaine. But he has never been so outspoken about the operations
of police involved in drug enforcement.

Earlier this week, Vancouver Police Chief Bruce Chambers could
participate in a public conference held yesterday on the problems caused
by illegal drugs in cities. Sponsored by the Vancouver-based Fraser
institute, the day-long session included speakers from Liverpool,
London, Switzerland, San Francisco and Toronto.

In an internal memo, Chief Chambers told Constable Puder not to give the
speech he had prepared, titled "Recovering Our Honour: Why Policing
Must Reject the War on Drugs" or speak about his paper at the
conference.

I wish to make it quite clear, this order prohibits any verbal or
written presentation, in whole or in part, of the material prior to,
during or subsequent to the conference, Chief Chambers stated.

Constable Puder could make a presentation at the conference if and only
if, after my review, I am satisfied that the material is appropriate,
factual and meets the high standards expected of a member of the
Vancouver police department, the chief added.

The order was necessary, Chief Chambers stated, to prevent you from
bringing discredit upon the reputation of the Vancouver police
department. The chief warned that failure to comply with the order
could result in disciplinary action.

Nevertheless, Constable Puder rose from his seat late yesterday
afternoon and walked to the front to make his comments.

While strongly believing in devotion to duty, he told the group of
about 75 participants, "I subordinate the unique requirements of my
profession to my responsibilities as a human being, a parent and
Canadian citizen who has no desire to raise his children in a country
torn by needless criminality."

Outlawing narcotics and trying to enforce the law is history's most
expensive failed social experiment, said Constable Puder, who is also a
part-time instructor at the BC Police Academy. Billions of dollars and
countless lives have been spent to prove that criminal prohibition does
not protect society, he added.

His criticisms of police enforcement include:

-Drug-related arrests can be extremely easy and officers who make
arrests are rewarded with promotions and large amounts of overtime pay
to cover time in court. But police rarely catch the wealthy drug lords.
Arrests usually involve poor, hungry people on street corners or in
rooming-houses and filth-strewn alleyways.

- Self-proclaimed police drug experts readily contradict scholarly
analyses and medical research with smear tactics and conjecture.
Las-enforcement spin-doctoring reinforces the theory that truth is
war s first casualty.

-When applying to the police force, many people confess to having used
marijuana as teen-agers. We can be painfully sensitive to appearances
of institutionalized hypocrisy.

As an alternative to the war on drugs, Constable Puder advocated
fundamental changes in police strategies as well as a
government-regulated distribution system for marijuana and research
projects on the decriminalization of narcotics.

Chief Chambers was not available yesterday for an interview.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Is Safe (Letter To Editor Of 'The Record'
In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Notes That While More Than 100,000 People
Are Killed Annually By Prescription Drugs, Cannabis Has Never Produced
A Single Documented Death In Over 5,000 Years Of Use)

From: "Starr" 
To: "mattalk" 
Subject: Cannabis is safe
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 18:02:30 -0400
source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo ON)
recordletters@southam.ca
Date: April 22, 1998

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

CANNABIS IS SAFE

Thanks to the Record for not bashing medical marijuana activists. After
recent news of more than 100,000 people killed annually by prescription
drugs, it is important to note cannabis has never produced a single
documented death in over 5,000 years of use. Whether people use cannabis
for medical purposes or as a safer alternative to alcohol, they should not
be subject to arrest and imprisonment -- especially when thousands of
violent criminals are released from prison to make room for non-violent
drug offenders.

The Record told the other side of medical marijuana.

Eric Butler
Bryan, Texas
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US Teaches Peru To Plug River Of Drugs ('Washington Post' Article
In 'Seattle Times' Says 30 Members Of Special Forces From The Army,
Navy And Marines Sent To Train And Equip
A Specialized Peruvian Counterdrug Unit That Will Operate On Water And Land
To Cut Off The Increasing Flow Of Cocaine)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 18:22:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Peru: U.S. Teaches Peru To Plug River Of Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Seattle-Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: Douglas Farah, The Washington Post

U.S. TEACHES PERU TO PLUG RIVER OF DRUGS

IQUITOS, Peru - As Seaman Walter Fitzgerald gunned his Boston Whaler boat
out into the Amazon and gently pulled alongside a floating dock as if
approaching another vessel, he kept up a steady stream of talk to his
Peruvian counterparts, explaining each step in nearly flawless Spanish.

Nearby, on land, Warrant Officer Marc Shifanelli crouched in the thick
jungle underbrush, demonstrating to a group of Peruvian police how to
conduct small-unit patrols, including how to carry their AK-47 assault
rifles, with constant reminders not to "aim at anything you don't want to
destroy."

Fitzgerald, a U.S. Navy SEAL, and Shifanelli, of the U.S. Army Special
Forces, are part of a group of 30 specialized American military instructors
implementing one of the most ambitious counterdrug programs the Pentagon
has ever undertaken in Latin America.

Growing U.S. Role

Special forces from the Army, Navy and Marines are training and equipping a
specialized Peruvian counterdrug unit that would operate on water and land
to cut off the growing flow of cocaine that makes its way from Peru to
Colombia on the Amazon, and then on to the United States and Europe.

Of the 30 trainers, 15 are Navy SEALs, 9 are with the Army's Special
Forces, 4 are Marines and 2 are with the Coast Guard. All speak Spanish
competently.

The river training program, begun last month and estimated to cost $60
million over the next five years, underscores the growing U.S. role in
Peru, a country that is scheduled to receive about $110 million in U.S. aid
this year, one of the largest amounts in the hemisphere.

While the United States has long been involved in counterdrug activities
around Latin America, the U.S. military mission in Peru is unprecedented,
according to U.S. and Peruvian officials. In addition to the involvement of
the military, U.S. officials said, the CIA is slated to provide the
Peruvian trainees - drawn from the country's navy, marines and anti-drug
police - with specialized training.

"This is our most robust effort in terms of the actions we have been
involved in, in terms of people and resources," said Lt. Col. Byron
Conover, spokesman for the U.S. Southern Command, which is responsible for
U.S. military programs in Latin America. "Our role is a supporting one, but
a very robust supporting one."

U.S. officials acknowledge that the trainers face some risk operating in
this area, once a designated "red zone" where Marxist rebels operated. Now,
however, the main threat is seen as coming from drug traffickers, so the
trainers are not allowed to participate directly in counterdrug missions.

Success Against Trafficking

The river course, which graduated its first class of 63 on April 4, not
only marks a new level of involvement for the U.S. military in anti-drug
efforts in the Andean region, which produces the world's cocaine supply. It
also indicates a significant shift in allocating resources to combat the
way traffickers have altered the routes they use to get coca paste to
Colombia, where it is made into cocaine hydrochloride.

The American trainers here supplement a force of 35 U.S. troops permanently
stationed at one of the region's most important radar bases, located a few
minutes down the river from the training center.

Built in 1996, the heavily fortified radar installation, surrounded by
sandbags, barbed wire and the latest motion-detection sensors, is an
important link in helping the Peruvian air force track flights across the
region.

The two bases form the heart of U.S.-Peruvian intelligence cooperation,
which both sides say has led to Peru having more success against drug
trafficking than any other country in the region.

A key reason the United States is willing to share drug intelligence with
the Peruvian navy and air force, when it largely declines to do so in other
countries, such as Colombia and Mexico, is the lack of corruption, U.S.
officials said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't Punish Cannabis Users, Says British Medical Association
(Britain's 'Independent' Says The BMA Yesterday Threw Its Weight
Behind Members Of Parliament Who Have Been Campaigning
For Medical Marijuana Reform By Urging The Home Secretary
Not To Punish Sick People For Taking The Drug Illegally)

From: "ralph sherrow" 
To: ralphkar@hotmail.com
Subject: BMA says don't punish MMJ users
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 14:38:53 PDT
UK:'Don't Punish Cannabis Users' Says BMA
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk ( CLCIA)
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Independent, The ( UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author : Colin Brown

UK:'DON'T PUNISH CANNABIS USERS' SAYS BMA

The British Medical Association yesterday threw its weight behind MPs
who have been campaigning for cannabis to be legalised for therapeutic
use by urging the Home Secretary not to punish sufferers for taking the
drug illegally.

A BMA team complained to a Lords committee investigating the scientific
use of the drug that the Home Office appeared to be dragging its heels in
licensing trials for developing drugs from cannabis. There had been no
response to 14 requests for licenses, the peers were told.

"If a patient is not suitable for trial, and there are no other alternatives
available, then we do believe they should be treated sympathetically in
terms of the law and any penalty where they are using herbal cannabis for
their own therapeutic benefit," Professor Vivienne Nathanson told the
Lords committee on science and technology.

Professor Nathanson, head of the BMA's professional resources and
research group, said she believed there could be a big worldwide demand
for a cannabis-based drug which could relieve some of the symptoms of
muscular dystrophy, muscle spasms, glaucoma, vomiting after
chemotherapy and chronic pain.

"The numbers of patients who might benefit in a worldwide context may
be very considerable," she said.

The committee is focusing on the scientific value of developing cannabis,
which it heard had fallen out of use after the Victorian era, when newer
drugs became available. The BMA team told the peers that once drugs
were developed, it was likely they would be administered in the future by
use of inhalers.

But the BMA said smoking a cannabis joint could be five times more
carcinogenic than a tobacco cigarette. The BMA came down firmly
against the legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.

"Because of the way in which it is smoked, a single cannabis joint
delivers the equivalent in carbon monoxide, irritants and carcinogens of
4-5 tobacco cigarettes and carries similar cardiovascular and respiratory
health risks including the risk of lung cancer," said Professor Heather
Ashton, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

Professor Ashton, who was the consultant writer for the BMA report,
Therapeutic uses of Cannabis, told the peers that her own students in
Newcastle were also reporting dependency on cannabis, which was
stronger now than 10 or 20 years ago.

The BMA is calling for research into developing synthetic forms of
cannabis to avoid the side effects - including getting 'high' - in the use of
the drug for therapeutic use.

The health risks associated with smoking cannabis, including possible
passive smoking by the families of cannabis users, reinforced the BMAs
case for new forms of the drug to be developed.

But the team stressed that there were problems with developing drugs
which could avoid the side-effects associated with cannabis. There were
also difficulties in establishing accurate tests for the drug, which had made
it so far impossible to develop a roadside test for drivers like the breath
test for alcohol.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Link To Crime Revealed In Tests (Britain's 'Independent'
Uncritically Publicizes Illusory Correlation In Home Office Statistics
On Prisoners Who Test Positive For Illegal Drugs)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 20:13:36 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Mike Gogulski 
Subject: MN: UK: DRUG LINK TO CRIME REVEALED IN TESTS
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: April 22, 1998
Author: Ian Burrell

DRUG LINK TO CRIME REVEALED IN TESTS

MORE than 60 per cent of criminal suspects who agreed to be tested for
illegal drugs proved positive, according to Home Office research revealed
yesterday.

In the Trafford area of Greater Manchester, 78 per cent of those tested had
used drugs.

The drugs minister, George Howarth, said the research demonstrated the link
between drugs and crime and showed a clear need for the Government's new
Drug Treatment Orders.

The orders, which will begin in pilot form in September, will force
offenders to undergo treatment for their addiction or else be sent to prison.

"The Government has made clear its commitment to breaking the vicious circle
of drugs and crime," said Mr Howarth. "Fast-track treatment will be tough on
the causes of drug-related crime."

Nearly 20 per cent of those tested in five areas across England and Wales
during 1996-7 were using heroin, which Customs chiefs said last week was
being imported in alarming quantities. One in 10 of the suspects showed
positive for cocaine.

The research, based on urine tests, revealed traces of cannabis in 46 per
cent of those tested.

But Mike Goodman, director of the drugs charity Release, warned against
making a link between the soft drug and other criminal activity. "Cannabis
stays in the system for up to 30 days so the fact that it's been detected
does not show any causal link between its use and the commitment of a crime,
apart from some kind of lifestyle association," he said.

The study approached nearly 1,000 people arrested in the five police
stations, selected to be "reasonably representative of urban Britain", said
Home Office statistics chief Chris Nuttall.

Six hundred people agreed to be tested for a range of drugs. Most can only
be detected in urine for a few days after use, while cannabis stays in the
system for three to four weeks.

The results for positive tests for any illegal drug were: Sunderland 49 per
cent, Nottingham 56 per cent, Cambridge 68 per cent, Hammersmith, west
London 73 per cent and Trafford 78 per cent.

A similar study in the United States found just 7 per cent of people
arrested were using heroin - compared to some 18 per cent in Britain.

Cannabis was also more common in Britain than the US, where only one third
of suspects tested positive.

But 40 per cent of Americans arrested had used cocaine.

The total cost of drug-related acquisitive crime was estimated at 2.5bn in
a second Home Office report released yesterday.

Some 130,000 "problem" users need an average of 10,000 a year to feed their
drug habits, said Michael Hough of South Bank University.

They fund half of the 1.3bn a year they spend on drugs through property
crime but the goods they steal raise only one-third of their true worth when
sold on.

The report found that 97 per cent of drug users did not have a problem with
their drug use, a finding which was contested by Mr Howarth.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

What About Addicts' Families? (First Of Two Letters To The Editor
Of Britain's 'Evening News' Worries Drug Policy Reform
Would Leave Families Of Drug Abusers Helpless -
But Fails To Acknowledge That's The Situation Now With Prohibition)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: LTE: What about addict's families?
Cc: press@drugtext.nl, editor@mapinc.org, mape@legalize.org
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 20:50:53 +0100
Source : Evening News, Norwich, UK
Pub Date : 22 April 1998
Contact : EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk

What about addicts' families?

Sirs,

I have been following the articles and letters in both the national and
local press regarding drugs and related issues eg crime, decriminalisation,
legalisation etc, with some interest.

I well appreciate the difference between deciminalisation and legalisation,
and I know some very prominent figures support either or both and no doubt
we all have our own opinions in this very important debate.

But one issue I wonder whether the reformists have considered is the victims
of the crimes of drug addicts.

And I don't just mean the victims of burglaries, robberies etc, but the
families of the addicts themselves.

The ripple effects permeate throughout the whole family, and we are also
blighted by a lifetime of lies, theft, deceit, worry etc.

This gets even worse when an addict has a baby, which brings a further batch
of problems.

I do think these reformists would possibly reconsider their position if they
had personal experience of this scenario.

Name and address supplied
Norwich

***

Sirs,

A few years ago, the Tory government decreased the number of Customs and
Excise officers.

In my letter to the Evening News which you kindly printed, I said at the
time that this action could only result in increased drug smuggling.

Need I say more?

Herbert E Widdows,
Mousehold Lane,
Norwich
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Eastern Europe New AIDS Region, Report Says ('Associated Press' Article
In 'Seattle Times' Notes A United Nations Study Released Today
Says HIV Infection Rates Have Increased At Least Sixfold Since 1994,
A Contagion Rate Driven By A Sharp Rise In The Use Of Injected Drugs)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 18:25:29 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: Russia: Eastern Europe New AIDS Region, Report Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Wed, 22 Apr 1998
Source: Seattle-Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: The Associated Press

EASTERN EUROPE NEW AIDS REGION, REPORT SAYS

MOSCOW - Every minute worldwide, five people between the ages of 10 and 24
become infected with HIV, according to a report released here today.

The UNAIDS report also warned that Eastern Europe is set to become "one of
the next epicenters" of the world AIDS crisis, with HIV infection rates
having increased at least sixfold since 1994.

The report said that 190,000 people in the region are infected, a contagion
rate driven by a sharp rise in the use of injected drugs.

In conjunction with the report, the joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS launched
a yearlong campaign called "Force for Change: World AIDS Campaign with
Young People."

The report said that the young are particularly hard-hit by the world
epidemic, with at least one-third of the 30 million HIV carriers being 24
or younger.

Each day, 7,000 young people worldwide contract HIV, adding up to 2.6
million new infections annually, it said.

The report warned of an explosion in sexually transmitted diseases across
Eastern Europe.

New syphilis cases have gone from 10 per 100,000 people each year in the
late 1980s to - in some regions - hundreds per 100,000.

UNAIDS is a grouping of five U.N. agencies and the World Bank.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

DrugSense Weekly, Number 43 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
Including Original And Excellent Commentary Such As The Feature Article
About HHS Secretary Donna Shalala's Announcement On Needle Exchange Policy,
By Mathilde Krim, Chairman Of The Board Of The American Foundation
For AIDS Research - AmFAR)

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 14:18:33 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense Weekly April 22, 1998 #043

***

DRUGSENSE WEEKLY

***

DrugSense Weekly, April 22, 1998 #043

A DrugSense publication

http://www.DrugSense.org/

***

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

* Feature Article

by Mathilde Krim, Chairman of the Board of the American Foundation for AIDS
Research (AmFAR) on Secretary Shalala's announcement on needle exchange
policy.

* Weekly News In Review

Domestic News*

Needle Exchange-

	CNN - Needle-Exchange Funding Ban To Be Lifted

	Mayors Urge Funding For Needle Exchanges

	GOP Balks at Idea of Lifting Ban on Needle Funding

	White House Needle Swap Surprise

Medical Marijuana-

	Judge Orders Shutdown Of S.F. Pot Club

	Pot Club in Oakland Enduring

	Cannabis Club Closes Its Doors in Santa Cruz

	S.F. Cannabis Club Officially Shut Down, Grand Reopening Today

War on Drugs-

	OPED - Drug War Is a Lost Cause--Like Prohibition

	OPED - Lean Back or Fight

	Prohibition Won't Win Drug War

	CHP Steps Up Drug Interdiction

	Sheriff, Prosecutors End Tiff; Drug Money's Fate Undecided

International News*

Cannabis-

	Canada - Judge defends use of pot

Heroin-

	UK - Drug Tsar Warns of Cut-Price Heroin

	Where Opium Reigned, Burmese Claim Inroads

* Hot Off The 'Net

* DrugSense Tip Of The Week

* Quote of the week

***

FEATURE ARTICLE

The Science is In; Time to Lift the Funding Ban

Dr. Mathilde Krim, Chairman of the Board of the American Foundation for
AIDS Research (AmFAR) The Administration has put science and principle
ahead of politics to save lives with Secretary Shalala's determination
on needle exchange. At this critical juncture, however, we urge the
Administration to make this positive determination a practical reality
across our country by lifting the ban on the federal funding for needle
exchange programs.

A growing number of new cases of HIV infection and AIDS in the United
States are due to the use of HIV-contaminated needles by injection drug
users. The lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children
are threatened today by this source of HIV transmission. Already, the
majority of new cases of AIDS among women are directly or indirectly
associated with injection drug use.

Needle exchange programs have been evaluated by prestigious scientific
and other panels for their ability to reverse the deadly tide. These
programs were repeatedly found capable of stemming the rate of HIV
transmission among exchange participants without contributing to
increased injection drug use.

Since 1988, AmFAR has invested $3.5 million in the planning, conduct
and evaluation of the efficacy of needle exchange programs both in the
Untied States and overseas. AmFAR-funded research showed that needle
exchange reduces HIV infection by two thirds among injection drug users
within three years and does not increase drug use. Today, as the
largest independent funders of research on this issue, we, at AmFAR,
are proud of this important contribution.

We thank the Secretary for accepting the judgment of those who speak
for our scientific, medical, public health and legal communities; for
weighing the facts against speculations, and for arriving at a
determination that will encourage communities to develop comprehensive
HIV/AIDS prevention programs that include a needle exchange component.
We must now urge the administration to go further, and lift the ban on
federal funding for needle exchange programs.

There is only one morally acceptable outcome to a political impasse on
this issue in a society that believes in the inherent value of each and
every human life.

Given today's recognition of scientific fact from the Administration,
the withholding of federal funds for needle exchange programs means the
immoral withholding of a lifesaving intervention from most of those
people that the public health system is there to protect.

***

WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW

***

Domestic News:

***

Needle Exchange

***

CNN: Needle-Exchange Funding Ban To Be Lifted

Mayors Urge Funding For Needle Exchanges

GOP Balks at Idea of Lifting Ban on Needle Funding

White House Needle Swap Surprise

COMMENT:

The ten year effort to lift the federal funding ban came to a head
this week as President Clinton rejected Secretary Shalala's suggestion
that federal funding be allowed and opted instead for a safer, middle
ground position: acknowledge that needle exchange saves lives but
don't fund it. Clinton feared a battle with Congress and his
administration was already divided with drug czar McCaffery openly
opposing AIDS and health officials.

NEEDLE-EXCHANGE FUNDING BAN TO BE LIFTED

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."

[snip]

Source: CNN
Contact: cnn.feedback@cnn.com
Website: http://www.cnn.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n279.a08.html

***

MAYORS URGE FUNDING FOR NEEDLE EXCHANGES

The mayors of five big U.S. cities urged the Clinton administration
Friday to allow federal funds to be used for needle exchange programs
for drug abusers, but a key congressman said he would act to stop it.

The mayors of San Francisco, Detroit, Seattle, Baltimore and New Haven,
Conn., said in a joint letter to Health and Human Services Secretary
Donna Shalala that 33 Americans become infected with the AIDS virus
every day as a result of injecting illegal drugs.

But Rep. Jerry Solomon, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Rules Committee,
said in a statement that he would work to pass legislation permanently
banning such payments, arguing that they would subsidize the habits of
drug addicts.

[snip]

Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 18 Apr 1998
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n280.a04.html

***

GOP BALKS AT IDEA OF LIFTING BAN ON NEEDLE FUNDING

Conservatives threaten bills to prevent White House action

Conservatives reacted angrily yesterday to reports that the Clinton
administration is on the verge of lifting a 10-year-old ban on using
federal funds for needle exchange programs to prevent the spread of
AIDS.

As one Republican lawmaker said he would introduce legislation on
Monday to reimpose a moratorium on the use of federal funds for such
programs, advocates of needle exchange programs privately expressed
concern that the criticism might lead the administration to lose its
nerve and ultimately leave the ban in place.

[snip]

Senator Paul Coverdell, R-Ga., who initiated a program in his home
state called Operation Drug Free Georgia and who is a prominent voice
in the effort to curb international drug sales, said he will introduce
legislation that would bar Health and Human Services Secretary Donna
Shalala from lifting the ban even if she wanted to.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle ( CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 18 Apr 1998
Author: Louis Freedberg, Chronicle Washington Bureau
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n280.a08.html

***

PAGE ONE (WASHINGTON) -- WHITE HOUSE NEEDLE SWAP SURPRISE

Ending weeks of speculation, the Clinton administration yesterday
refused to lift a 10-year ban on using federal funds for needle
exchange programs, despite concluding for the first time that such
exchanges prevent the spread of HIV and do not encourage drug use.

Leaders in the fight against AIDS condemned the unexpected decision,
which was announced by Health and Human Services Secretary Donna
Shalala. ``It is a purely political decision, and an abdication of her
public health responsibilities,'' said Pat Christen, executive director
of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which runs the nation's largest
needle exchange program, which uses private and city funds. ``She has
chosen to protect herself politically, and people will die as a result
of that decision.''

Pounding his fist at an AIDS prevention meeting in San Francisco,
Thomas Coates, director of the University of California at San
Francisco's AIDS Research Institutes, accused Shalala of ``public
health malpractice.''

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Pubdate: 4/21/98
Page: A 1 (Lead)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n286.a08.html

***

Medical Marijuana

***

Judge Orders Shutdown Of S.f. Pot Club

Pot Club in Oakland Enduring

Cannabis Club Closes Its Doors in Santa Cruz

S.F. Cannabis Club Officially Shut Down, Grand Reopening Today

COMMENT:

Northern California has become the battleground on which the war
against medical marijuana is being fought; separate state and federal
efforts, along with local police hostility in San Jose and Ukiah have
taken their toll. The San Jose, Santa Cruz and Ukiah clubs were shut
down; Oakland persists quietly, and in the most publicized location,
Dennis Peron's San Francisco operation was ordered closed, but as this
is written, it is about to be resurrected- thanks to friendly local
officials.

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.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 16 Apr 1998
Author: Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer

***

CANNABIS CLUB CLOSES ITS DOORS IN SANTA CRUZ

The Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club shut down last week after its supplier
refused to extend further credit and an associate took off with the club's
patient list, the club's founder said Thursday.

Fred Seike, founder of the club, said he will not reopen the downtown
medical-marijuana facility.

"I'm 74, I'm crippled and I'm getting very, very tired," said Seike.....

[snip]

Source: San Jose Mercury News
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 10 Apr 1998
Author: Lee Quarnstrom
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n269.a07.html

***

POT CLUB IN OAKLAND ENDURING

Director not worried by recent court rulings

In the midst of legal actions taken against medical marijuana clubs in
San Jose and San Francisco recently, Oakland's pot club appears to be
the last one standing clear and easy -- in a manner of speaking -- in
the Bay Area.

Unintimidated by a recent court ruling ordering the closure of the San
Francisco club and the recent arrest of San Jose director Peter Baez on
drug dealing charges, Jeff Jones, executive director of the Oakland
club, says his organization will endure -- one way or the other.

``So far we've been allowed to operate publicly with full city approval,''
he said. ``The police have helped regulate.''

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle ( CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 18 Apr 1998
Author: Chip Johnson
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n278.a07.html

***

S.F. CANNABIS CLUB OFFICIALLY SHUT DOWN, GRAND REOPENING TODAY

It could have been a scene out of ``Evita'' -- throngs of people
standing on the street, shaking their fists in the air and bellowing:
``PER-ON! PER-ON!''

But they weren't screaming for Juan Peron, the charismatic Argentine
dictator of the 1940s and '50s. They were screaming for Dennis Peron,
the elfin, white-haired, pot-huffing director of the San Francisco
Cannabis Cultivator's Club -- which until its closing yesterday was the
biggest medical marijuana outlet in the country.

[snip]

Peron announced that a new club, called the Cannabis Healing Center,
will open today at the site of the old club. It will be directed by
78-year-old medical marijuana advocate Hazel Rodgers, but it may face
legal challenges, too.

[snip]

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Pubdate: Tuesday, April 21, 1998
Page: A 19
Author: Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer
Contact: chronletter@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n286.a10.html

***

War on Drugs-

***

OPED - Drug War Is a Lost Cause--Like Prohibition

OPED - Lean Back or Fight

Prohibition Won't Win Drug War

Baby Boomer Parents In Denial About Children's Drug Use

CHP Steps Up Drug Interdiction

Sheriff, Prosecutors End Tiff Drug Money's Fate Undecided

COMMENT:

Mike Gray's Op-Ed in the LA Times used well publicized tragedies
stemming from use of teens as police informers to introduce an
important attack on drug prohibition. It's important because his book,
"Drug Crazy," is on the same theme and will be published by Random
House in June.

The other (Right Coast) Times printed a typical fulmination against
"legalizers" by their timeless troglodyte. Perhaps a significant straw
in the wind: they were apparently deluged with letters of disagreement
and published five.

We also learnd from a PDFA survey of parents that they are clueless
about the extent their teen children experiment with drugs. What else
is new? The stories about CHP and the Oklahoma squabble over a drug
dealer's cash emphasize that law enforcement greed is one of the
elements fueling growth of the illegal drug market.

DRUG WAR IS A LOST CAUSE -- LIKE PROHIBITION

Using teenagers as informants is sometimes the only option that police
have.

Sixteen-year-old Jonathan Kollman had been clean for several months--a
struggle, but he was hanging in there. Then he ran into this babe in a
red sports car who offered to buy him a fix.

[snip]

Like a man who has set his hair on fire and is trying to put it out
with a hammer, we will continue to pulverize our principles and devour
our young until the drug war's violence and corruption finally reaches
every nook and cranny of our lives. Only then will we face the fact, as
we did with alcohol prohibition in 1933, that the problem is not what's
in the bottle, but how we've chosen to deal with it.

[snip]

Source: Los Angeles Times ( CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Pubdate: April 19, 1998
Author: Mike Gray
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n282.a08.html

***

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.

[snip]

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

[snip]

Source: New York Times ( NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 14 Apr 1998
Author: A.M. Rosenthal
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n269.a09.html

NOTE

The Focus Alert response to the Rosenthal piece above resulted in
scores of letters to the editor to the NY Times. This resulted in 5
published letters with the headline "PROHIBITION WON'T WIN DRUG WAR."
Among the authors of these letters were some notable high profile
reformers including Joseph McNamara, Dave Borden and Harry Levine The
ad value represented by these published letters was over $13,000

***

BABY BOOMER PARENTS IN DENIAL ABOUT CHILDREN'S DRUG USE

Only 21% of parents polled say their youngsters might have tried
marijuana;44% of teens queried say they have.

WASHINGTON- When it comes to drugs and kids, the baby boom generation
is in denial. Famous for their own forays with mind-altering drugs as
teenagers, members of the now-graying population appear unable to
believe their kids are using drugs and unwilling to broach the touchy
subject with them, a survey to be released today suggests.

[snip]

Source: Orange County Register
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 13 Apr 1998
Author: John Stamper-Knight Ridder Newspapers
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n270.a05.html

***

CHP STEPS UP DRUG INTERDICTION

Officers look for certain signs among the drivers heading up I-5 into
the Pacific Northwest.

REDDING- It seems like your basic traffic stop:A family pushing the
speed limit a bit on the highway is pulled over by a California Highway
Patrol officer.

After following the car into an Interstate 5 rest stop, Patrolman Al
Stallman saunters over to the old full-sized sedan and talks to the
couple in the front while two young boys, 3 and 5 years old, fight in
the back seat over Ritz crackers.

In his uniform, Stallman looks like a regular CHP officer.

He's not.

[snip]

The CHP team members randomly move up and down the highway teeming with
truckers and travelers, trying to spot and stop the smugglers. So far
this year, the effort - called Operation Pipeline - has seized drugs
worth more than $118 million, including 1,200 pounds of cocaine and
more than 7,000 pounds of marijuana.

The framework of Operation Pipeline has been in place for a decade, and
recent increases in drug-fighting money has allowed the state to
bolster the program.

[snip]

Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 13 Apr 1998
Author: Steve Geissinger-The Associated Press
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n270.a06.html

***

SHERIFF, PROSECUTORS END TIFF; DRUG MONEY'S FATE UNDECIDED

SULPHUR -- A tiff between a southern Oklahoma prosecutor and sheriff
apparently has ended after a two-hour meeting.

Still undecided, however, is whether Murray County Sheriff Marvin
McCracken will relinquish $11,000 in forfeited drug money to District
Attorney Gary Henry.

The two and their assistants met Wednesday. When asked Thursday if
he'll give Henry the money, McCracken said, "We're discussing it. We'll
take care of it ourselves."

[snip]

Pubdate: Fri, 17 Apr 1998
Source: Oklahoman, The ( OK)
Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus
Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/
Author: Mark Hutchison Staff Writer
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n278.a03.html

***

International News

***

Cannabis

***

Pubdate: Tue 21 Apr 1998
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/
Author: Rick Ouston
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n291.a02.html

COMMENT:

"While Judge Howard noted in her judgment how and why she is bound by
higher court decisions and political will, she was able to delineate the
criminal and social aspects of existing drug policies. I was found guilty
as charged but given an absolute discharge. The judge further commended
[lawyer John Conroy] and myself for our integrity and commitment to this
case. As a "harm-reductionist" I saw this case as a very clear victory in
principle." -- In Unity, Randy Caine, vcaine@uniserve.com

JUDGE DEFENDS USE OF POT

A lengthy case over the butt of a marijuana joint ends with an absolute
discharge.

There is no evidence marijuana use causes health problems, and the laws
prohibiting the substance cause harm to society, a B.C. provincial court
judge ruled Monday.

[snip]

``The occasional to moderate use of marijuana by a healthy adult is not
ordinarily harmful to health, even if used over a long period of time,''
the judge said Monday in a decision handed down after a five-year court
battle.

[snip]

She was ruling in judgment of Randy Caine, a 44-year-old Langley man
arrested in Surrey in 1993 for possession of a butt of a marijuana
cigarette weighing one gram, or 0.01765 ounces.

[snip]

She said the social harm associated with the pot laws include disrespect
for all laws by up to a million people prepared to use pot and a lack of
communication between young persons and their elders about the drug.

She said there is no evidence that marijuana induces psychosis in healthy
adults, or that it is addictive, is associated with criminality, or that
is is a gateway drug to other, harder drugs. The ``vast majority'' of pot
users do not go on to try hard drugs, she said.

***

Heroin

***

UK: Drug Tsar Warns of Cut-Price Heroin

Where Opium Reigned, Burmese Claim Inroads

COMMENT:

There have been numerous indications that world heroin production is
at an all time high. This is reflected not only by lower prices, but
by increased purity, enabling those averse to injection to get high by
smoking, something that was impossible with the low purity heroin of
the Seventies.

This cluster of articles simply reinforces that impression. An ironic
footnote to the Australian article is that the first fatal heroin
overdose didn't occur there until 1953, after they succumbed to
American pressure and made the drug illegal. As for Burma, whatever
the truth about their production, there are important new sources of
supply from Afghanistan (courtesy of the Taliban and the war against
the USSR), and Colombia, which is now a major North American supplier.

The report from Santa Cruz didn't emphasize the extent to which heroin
is being smoked by Northern California teens, a point that was brought
out much more clearly in the local TV coverage of this shocking event.

Pubdate: Sat, 18 Apr 1998
Source: Herald Sun
Contact: hseditor@ozemail.com.au
Author: Tanya Giles
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n278.a08.html

***

DRUG TSAR WARNS OF CUT-PRICE HEROIN

Record amounts of heroin were seized by Customs last year, reflecting
the increasingly widespread availability of the drug on Britain's
streets, it was revealed yesterday.

A total of 1,747kg of heroin was seized in 1997, a tonne more than the
previous year. Police estimate the haul has a street value of more than
#145m and is the equivalent of 9 million "wraps". A wrap represents
between one and four hits and is being sold on the streets for the same
price as a pint of beer.

At a press conference yesterday at which the annual Customs & Excise
figures were announced, Keith Hellawell, the Government's "drugs tsar",
said heroin dealers were getting youngsters hooked by selling the drug
at a loss and suggesting they smoke rather than inject it.

[snip]

Source: Independent, The ( UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Wed, 15 Apr 1998
Author: Clare Garner
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n279.a05.html

***

WHERE OPIUM REIGNED, BURMESE CLAIM INROADS

LASHIO, Burma -- In the remote valleys and rugged mountains here in
northeastern Burma, opium offers more than a narcotic high. For years,
it has provided a livelihood for hill tribes who inhabit the northern
expanse of the Golden Triangle, the lush, lawless area of Southeast
Asia that is the source of much of the world's heroin.

Opium finances daily needs, from rice and cooking oil to assault
rifles. The rifles are used to wage rebellion and to defend the mule
caravans transporting the sticky, pungent opium to be refined into
heroin for American and European drug habits.

Burma produced an estimated 2,600 tons of opium last year, enough to
make more than 200 tons of heroin -- at least 60 percent of the world
total. But the drug trade is changing along Burma's porous frontiers
with Thailand, China and Laos,...

[snip]

Source: New York Times ( NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 19 Apr 1998
Author: Christopher Wren
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n282.a10.html

***

HOT OFF THE 'NET

The website of Lindesmith Center has undergone a recent face lift and
is worth a visit from any one who hasn't been there for a while, as
well as those who have yet to check it out:

http://www.lindesmith.org/

***

TIP OF THE WEEK

A joint effort has demonstrated the power of the Internet and working
together. On Tuesday April 21 USA Today ran an Internet poll question
which asked "Should federal funds be used for needle exchange. No was
ahead about 65% to 32% with about 5,100 votes cast.

A number of organization including the Harm Reduction Coalition,
DrugSense, DRCNet and the Lindesmith Center geared up to notify on-line
activists.

At last report we had seen a complete reversal. Yes won handily with
70% of the vote to 30% no and over 14,000 total votes cast.

The opportunity to vote is now past but to keep informed of these
opportunities in the future be sure you are signed up for Focus Alerts
at:

http://www.DrugSense.org/hurry.htm

***

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

"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."

-- A.M. Rosenthal, New York Times, April 14, 1998

***

DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers
our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can
do for you.

Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@DrugSense.org)
Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@DrugSense.org)

We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks.

NOTICE:

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior
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REMINDER:

Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug
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PLEASE HELP:

DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE.

We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you
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