------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Alaskan Voters Will Decide On Legalizing Medical Marijuana In November; DEA Marijuana Eradication Program Under Review - Department Of Justice Requests Public Comments; British Nurses To Vote On Medical Marijuana Issue At Annual Conference; San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Reopens As 'Healing Center') From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 20:44:29 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 4/23/98 (II) A NON-PROFIT LEGAL, RESEARCH, AND EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATION THE NORML FOUNDATION 1001 CONNECTICUT AVENUE NW SUITE 710 WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036 T 202-483-8751 o F 202-483-0057 E-MAIL NORMLFNDTN@AOL.COM Internet http://www.norml.org . . . a weekly service for the media on news items related to marijuana prohibition. April 23, 1998 *** Alaskan Voters Will Decide On Legalizing Medical Marijuana In November April 23, 1998, Anchorage, Alaska: Alaskans will decide this fall whether to legalize the medical use of marijuana under a physician's supervision. On Tuesday, the Secretary of State affirmed that petitioners Alaskans for Medical Rights qualified their medical-use proposal for the November ballot. "The federal government's failure to act on the medical marijuana issue leaves proponents no choice but to bring this question straight to the voters," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. The Alaska initiative seeks to allow patients suffering from a "debilitating medical condition" and holding a state-issued identification card to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Registered patients would also be able to cultivate marijuana for medical use. Cultivation limits are set at six plants, with no more than three plants producing usable marijuana at any one time. The initiative also permits non-registered patients to raise the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they face state criminal marijuana charges. Patients who cultivate or possess larger quantities of medical marijuana than specified by the initiative may also qualify to use the affirmative defense. Those who obtain marijuana for medical use would be prohibited from using it in public places, selling or distributing the drug, or "endangering the health and well-being" of others by its use. "The model proposed by Alaskans for Medical Rights is more narrowly defined than the California medical marijuana initiative passed in 1996," Stroup said. "It addresses the concerns of some opponents who felt that Prop. 215 was drafted to loosely and attempts to minimize many of the legal gray areas that arose in California after the vote." Similar initiative efforts are pending in Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. For more information, please contact either Alaskans for Medical Rights @ (907) 276-4704 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** DEA Marijuana Eradication Program Under Review: Department Of Justice Requests Public Comments April 23, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Citizens concerned about the environmental and health hazards posed by the aerial spraying of herbicides in DEA-sponsored marijuana eradication efforts may testify at five public meetings set to take place next month. The public forums are part of an ongoing review of the "environmental impact" posed by the agency's use of herbicides, particularly glyphosate, to eliminate wild growing marijuana. The DEA has not conducted such a review since May 1986. "Evidence from the environmental and scientific community indicates that glyphosate poses serious threats to health and safety when sprayed from aircrafts," said Paul Armentano, Director of Publications and Research at The NORML Foundation. Armentano cited incident reports collected from dozens of Hawaiian residents who reported flu-like symptoms like nausea and headaches shortly after the DEA conducted overflights in 1996. "There is a high risk in aerial spraying," Luis Edwardo Parra, senior researcher at Columbia's National Drug Council, told Reuters News Service last June. "There is a risk to those who may be exposed on the ground. There is a risk of contamination of [the] rivers." Environmental journals have long criticized the aerial use of glyphosate in marijuana eradication efforts. A report in the February 1993 issue of Global Pesticide Campaigner called the tactic "unsuccessful" and highlighted the chemical's potential dangers. "Reports from other countries where aerial spraying has been used in anti-drug programs are not encouraging," it states. "International health workers in Guatemala report acute poisonings in peasants living in areas near eradication spraying, while farmers in these zones have sustained serious damage to their crops." The winter 1995 edition of the Journal of Pesticide Reform reported similar cases in the U.S. "In California, ... glyphosate was the third most commonly reported pesticide illness among agricultural workers," the journal reported. "Among landscape maintenance workers, glyphosate was the most commonly reported cause." The author added that, "Glyphosate exposure damages or reduces the population of many animals, including beneficial insects, fish, birds, and earthworms, [and] in some cases is directly toxic." The journal also reported that aerial movement of the chemical through unwanted drift is "unavoidable." Currently, the DEA rarely engages in the aerial spraying glyphosate outside of Hawaii and South America. However, many drug-reformers believe that the agency intends to popularize the activity in the United States after it completes this latest review. "This is an opportunity for citizens to voice their concerns over glyphosate spraying before the DEA brings it to your state," Armentano said. For more information or a listing of the upcoming public forums, please contact Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** British Nurses To Vote On Medical Marijuana Issue At Annual Conference April 23, 1998, Bournemouth, Scotland: The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will decide on a motion calling for patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other serious medical conditions to be prescribed compounds in marijuana. The vote is expected to take place at this week's RCN annual conference. Celia Manson, an advisor for the group, complained that federal marijuana prohibition compromises research into the drug's therapeutic properties. "Few doctors are able to prescribe [cannabinoids] at the moment," she said. "Nurses from the [Royal College] feel there is potential for much greater use and these should at the very least be investigated." Presently, British law only allows doctors to prescribe one medication derived from marijuana compounds, Naboline. Similarly, U.S. law only allows doctors to prescribe oral THC, marketed as the drug Marinol. Six state nursing associations in the U.S. currently support prescriptive access to whole-smoked marijuana. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or visit the website Marijuananews at: http://www.marijuananews.com. *** San Francisco Medical Marijuana Dispensary Reopens As "Healing Center" April 23, 1998, San Francisco, CA: San Francisco's largest medical marijuana dispensary continues to service patients, despite a judge's order last week to close its doors. Renaming itself the Cannabis Healing Center, and operating without the leadership of Dennis Peron, the club will remain a supplier of medical marijuana for its nearly 9,000 patients. The new club will be run by 79-year old medical marijuana patient Hazel Rogers, and will only distribute marijuana to individual patients. Local authorities, including County Sheriff Michael Hennessey and District Attorney Terence Hallinan, said that they will not move against the club. "This organization is serving a beneficial public need," Hennessey said. Peron said that he believed the name change, along with a shift in how the club is managed would be enough to conform to last week's Superior Court ruling against the club. For more information, please contact The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. -END- MORE THAN 11 MILLION MARIJUANA ARRESTS SINCE 1965...ANOTHER EVERY 49 SECONDS!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana As Morphine - Unacceptable (New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust Donates $2,000 NZ To Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Campaign, Saying Cannabis Law Reform Should Not Be Limited To Medical Patients Only) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 08:08:51 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Marijuana as Morphine: Unacceptable Since the regrettable resignation of Rick Adams from drctalk a month or so ago we have had no discussion concerning the advantages and disadvantages of medical marijuana as a route to full legalisation/regulation of cannabis. This is unfortunate, as I happen to share Rick's feeling that the mmj route is a probable dead-end. The resulting "marijuana as morphine" framework will/would likely prove more difficult to move away from (toward full legalisation/regulation) than the current prohibition framework. That is the main reason why the NZ Drug Policy Forum Trust rejected a mmj model for New Zealand. Indeed, I cringe whenever I see LTEs and editorials that rebut prohibitionist dogma by reference solely to the medical argument, i.e, that suffering patients shouldn't be caught in the cross-fire -- as opposed to more generic arguments (e.g., black-market harm, drugs-as-health/personal-choice). The mmj route seems to me obviously a case of "devil take the hind-most", and as such it seems utterly unacceptable. OTOH, I'm a strong supporter of mmj, and I believe that the California experience, in particular, is (next to OCTA, see below) more likely than any other current project to bring down the Berlin Wall of cannabis prohibition. (What about heroin, cocaine, etc., speaking of "hindmost:? I'm a "one step at a timer" on this thorny question.) What is needed to bring California to fruition, in my view, is (1) a few brave Kevorkian-type maverick doctors willing to "recommend" cannabis freely to all those who feel it provides therapeutic benefit (of whatever kind) and (2) a well-organized system of bona fide caregiver organizations providing (mostly) nursing-type services as well as cannabis cultivation (of the appropriate strain, of course). Despite my enthusiasm for California (and God bless Denis Peron; may he dance on Dan Lungen's bones), I remain concerned that mmj will derail broader cannabis law reform. Matt Elrod's persuasive arguments that cannabis should be treated like St John's Wort notwithstanding, the mostly likely route to an acceptable, long-term viable situation lies in regulating cannabis like alcohol and tobacco. This is the route the NZ Drug Policy Forum Trust recently recommended for New Zealand. In view of our position on this issue, the Forum wishes to foster experiments with cannabis regulation, the only existing example of which this, as far as we know, is the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA). For this reason, I'm pleased to announce (and this will come as a surprise to Paul Stanford & Co.) that the Forum is donating $2,000 NZD (something over $1,000 USD) to OCTA. If there are other examples of regulation-style initiatives that could use a little cash, please advise. In the meantime, please consider this to be an unsolicited endorsement of OCTA, which will be "competing" with a mmj initiative in November (assuming OCTA qualifies). If you share my concerns about the way cannabis policy reform is unfolding, please consider supporting OCTA by making a secure credit card donation via their website: http://www.crrh.org/credit_cards.html or mail to CRRH ; P.O. Box 86741 ; Portland, OR 97286 made out to CRRH (Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp) or "OCTA". This is a particularly good time to donate as an anonymous benefactor has agreed to match donations 3 for 1. So every $1 of your donation will bring another $3 in matching funds toward getting OCTA qualified. See www.crrh.org for more details. The drama of drug policy reform is unfolding in unpredictable and momentous ways. My view is that OCTA, if successful, could do more for the cause of long-term-tenable cannabis/drug policy reform than any other single effort internationally (except perhpas New Zealand regulating cannabis!) I would be glad to hear from those who have other candidates for such an honor, as well as from those who think my take on mmj is misguided. David
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legal Hassles Extinguishing Pot Clubs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Analyzes And Tallies The Closures Of California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries And The Inadequacies Of Proposition 215) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:14:45 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US CA: Legal Hassles Extinguishing Pot Clubs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) and Dave Fratello
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 Author: Maria Alicia Guara, Chronicle Staff Writer LEGAL HASSLES EXTINGUISHING POT CLUBS Prop. 215's weak wording doesn't sway cops, agents Less than 18 months after medical marijuana use was legalized in California by Proposition 215, the network of marijuana clubs, co-ops and dispensaries that arose to deliver pot to patients is collapsing. Of 18 medical marijuana providers operating openly seven months ago, six are out of business and five are facing closure due to criminal or civil lawsuits. The remaining seven groups are still open and not facing legal trouble, but there is constant worry that the next knock on the door could be federal drug agents. ``In general, things statewide are a mess,'' said Scott Imler, director of the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers' Club in West Hollywood. ``We're the only club still standing here in Southern California. Of course we're worried. It's all kind of folding in on itself, one layer after another.'' Even in the Bay Area, where liberal local governments have allowed some clubs wide latitude and political support, legal challenges from the state and federal government have the potential to force the whole movement back underground. This week in San Francisco, Dennis Peron's Cannabis Cultivators Club was closed by order of a Superior Court judge, only to reopen a day later -- under a new name -- with the blessing of local officials. Political support for medical marijuana has been less evident in San Jose, where dispensary owner Peter Baez was recently raided by local police and charged with nine felony counts of selling pot. In Southern California, the options for sick people who use marijuana have never been plentiful. Local law enforcement and city officials in many areas have adamantly opposed organized efforts to distribute pot. The mood at Imler's club has become increasingly nervous as clubs in Santa Ana, San Diego and Thousand Oaks have been closed, their organizers facing jail time or civil fines. CIVIL LAWSUIT FILED In Northern California, where the clubs have been most numerous, six groups have been named in a civil lawsuit by the federal government, and two -- San Jose's and one in Monterey County -- have been hit with criminal charges by local authorities. ``I worry about it every day, the possibility of being dragged out of my bed by narcotics agents,'' said Jeff Jones, executive director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, one of the groups named in the federal lawsuit. ``I'm like a sitting duck in a pond. But I'm going to sit here to the end. We have to get the medicine out to the patients.'' The recent spate of prosecutions has taken many medical marijuana advocates by surprise. Just seven months ago, marijuana providers held an upbeat summit in Santa Cruz to create standards and goals for the dispensaries. ``The high mark of the community-based club movement was probably in October,'' when dozens of activists gathered for a weekend retreat, Imler said. ``But three days after the conference ended, the busts started, and it's been one after another after another. ``There's not going to be much of a conference this year,'' he said. Imler and many other club volunteers across the state believe the backlash against medical marijuana has been encouraged by state Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren, who has challenged the legality of the clubs with a lawsuit against the San Francisco club, the state's largest. FEDERAL OPPOSITION Federal drug enforcement officials are also fighting Proposition 215, arguing in court that marijuana use for any purpose is a violation of federal law. Law enforcement officials say the crackdown is the result of a poorly drafted law and of pot sellers who don't understand what the law allows. But the blame for the chaos may also rest with California's lawmakers, who have shoved the controversy into the court system by refusing to straighten out an incomplete and contradictory - albeit popular - law. Proposition 215, a voter initiative approved in November 1996, allows sick people to grow and use marijuana if a doctor recommends it. It also allows caretakers of sick people to obtain or grow marijuana for them. But 215 did not legalize the sale of marijuana, nor did it make it legal to transport marijuana from one place to another. Medical marijuana supporters point out that growing the plants is not an option for many sick people, especially the thousands of AIDS patients living in apartments in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. And the prohibition against transportation would prevent almost anyone without a secure, sunny garden from obtaining pot. The authors of 215 foresaw the need for legislative tinkering when they added a clause ``encouraging'' the state and federal government ``to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana.'' That ``encouragement'' has not yet resulted in legislative action. The only legislator who has consistently worked to turn 215 into a workable law is State Senator John Vasconcellos, D-San Jose, a longtime medical marijuana advocate - and his efforts have so far been rebuffed by fellow lawmakers. ``It's true, the Legislature hasn't done anything, and as far as I can detect there is no interest other than on the part of me and a couple of others,'' Vasconcellos said. ``It's disgraceful.'' FIRST CLUBS FORMED In the euphoria that followed the passage of Proposition 215, many small pot clubs and co-ops sprang up, most of them founded by people with compelling personal stories. Many had used marijuana surreptitiously for years, while others had nursed loved ones through painful illnesses. Some clubs that had operated for years underground came gratefully into the open. But without clear guidelines, every group created its own rules and bylaws. In some cases, the limits of Proposition 215 were ignored for practical purposes. In others the law was creatively interpreted. But in many - probably most - California counties, law enforcement officials have frowned on a liberal application of the law. In conservative Orange County, Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust repeatedly charged Martin Chavez, the founder of a Santa Ana pot co-op, for criminal sales of marijuana. ``You are not allowed to sell marijuana under Proposition 215,'' Armbrust said. ``So now they say the law isn't well written, and they think they should be able to sell and transport it. But we can't twist the law. And we sure didn't write it.'' In Sacramento County, groups attempting to open a medical marijuana club have been told that public pot distribution will be promptly prosecuted. And county supervisors, nettled by an incident where an AIDS patient lit up and smoked pot in public, have passed a law making the public smoking of medical marijuana subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail. Anyone else smoking pot in public faces a $100 fine. ``It is clear that any kind of dispensary is outside the scope of Proposition 215,'' said Dale Kitching, supervisor of the major narcotics unit for the Sacramento District Attorney's office. ``Those political officials who allow sales and clubs have gone way beyond any reasonable interpretation of the law. (Sick people) who smoke their marijuana quietly and covertly are acting in everybody's best interests.'' NO ORGANIZED LOBBY Some attempts were made to organize the clubs politically, but most club operators were too busy dealing with their businesses and medical conditions to consider hiring a lobbyist. So when the arrests began, there was little organized opposition. ``We were unprepared for the backlash,'' Jones said. ``We didn't have support or funding, and the prosecutions are killing us. We're going broke.'' According to Vasconcellos' chief of staff, Rand Martin, the clubs were easy to divide and conquer. ``They were very easy to pick off because all of them are basically breaking the law,'' Martin said. ``They may be doing the angels' work, but in the black and white of California statute, they're out of line. ``What Lungren and local law enforcement are missing in this is the big picture,'' Martin said. ``When the people of California approved 215, they said that sick people should have access to medical marijuana, and you should find a way to make it work.'' Despite the growing apprehension and dwindling numbers of clubs, medical marijuana is far from dead. With marijuana freely available on the black market, underground distribution groups operate even in areas where law enforcement officials stridently oppose it. Co-operative groups that grow and share their own marijuana - without money changing hands - are thriving in Arcata and Santa Cruz. Several other groups that still rely on the black market are trying to grow their own. The groups also hope that courts now mulling the contradictions of Proposition 215 may produce rulings allowing some buyers' clubs to operate. And Vasconcellos has introduced legislation creating a task force to study the distribution of medical marijuana, and plans to convene a summit on the issue on late May. ``We need to put together a smart and sensible plan,'' Vasconcellos said. ``We're doing what we can to crack this problem, and I think we're making some inroads.'' *** MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLUBS, CO-OPS AND DISPENSARIES IN CALIFORNIA STILL IN OPERATION, NO CHARGES PENDING * Humboldt Cannabis Center, Arcata, Humboldt County 150 active members * Compassionate Use Co-Op, Rackerby, (in Sierra foothills) 45 active members * C.H.A.M.P. (Cannabis Helping Alleviate Medical Problems), San Francisco 500 active members * Medical Cannabis Delivery Service, San Francisco 400-500 active members * Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Santa Cruz 150 members * MedEx Delivery Service, Santa Cruz 9 members * Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers' Club, West Hollywood 460 members *** STILL OPEN, BUT THREATENED BY LEGAL PROBLEMS * San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club, S.F. 9,000 members One of six clubs facing a civil lawsuit filed by the federal government, also facing as criminal charges filed by the state Attorney General * Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, Oakland 1,000 members Facing federal charges * Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, Fairfax 300 members Facing federal charges * Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club, Ukiah 250 members Facing federal charges, and criminal charges in Lake County for illegal cultivation * Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, San Jose 270 members Facing criminal charges from Santa Clara County for illegal sales *** RECENTLY CLOSED * Flower Therapy, San Francisco Named in federal lawsuit * Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers' Club, Santa Cruz Named in federal lawsuit * Medical Marijuana Care Center, Monterey Closed after raid by local law enforcement * Orange County Patient/Doctor/Nurse Support Group, Santa Ana Closed after repeated arrests by local law enforcement * San Diego Cannabis Caregivers' Club, San Diego Closed after charged by local law enforcement, internal problems * Ventura County Medical Cannabis Center, Thousand Oaks Closed after civil charges filed by local law enforcement 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alaska Voters To Consider Medical Marijuana Use ('Reuters' Notes The Initiative Sponsored By Americans For Medical Rights Will Be On November's Ballot) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:26:00 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US AL: Wire: Alaska Voters to Consider Medical Marijuana Use Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Dave Fratello <firstname.lastname@example.org> Source: Reuters Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 ALASKA VOTERS TO CONSIDER MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE ANCHORAGE, Alaska, (Reuters) - Alaska voters in November will be asked to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. A question on the subject will be placed on the November general election ballot, the result of a petition drive that collected 25,090 verified signatures of registered voters, a spokesman for Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer said Thursday. James Kentch, one of the sponsors of the petition drive, said Thursday he believes the initiative has a good chance of passing in November. The ballot initiative would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana if a doctor determines that the drug will be of help. The initiative also provides for a confidential registry of patients who use marijuana for medical purposes. Kentch said he knows of no organized opposition to the ballot initiative. Voters will also consider initiatives to outlaw billboards, ban the use of neckhold snares for trapping wolves, establish English as the state's official language and have candidates for the U.S. House, Senate or state legislature who make term-limits pledges have that commitment printed by their names on future ballots. Copyright 1998 Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Board OKs Jump In Private Prison Beds ('Tulsa World' Says The Oklahoma Board Of Corrections On Wednesday Approved Three Contracts For 2,240 New Private Prison Beds) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:07:30 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: Board OKs Jump in Private Prison Beds Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Michael Pearson Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: Barbara Hoberock World Staff Writer 4/23/98 BOARD OKS JUMP IN PRIVATE PRISON BEDS STRINGTOWN -- The Board of Corrections on Wednesday approved three contracts for 2,240 new private prison beds, a move that would dramatically increase the number of private beds in the state. The action is the largest number of contract beds approved at one Board of Corrections meeting. The three vendors approved Wednesday at the meeting at Mack Alford Correctional Center in Stringtown are: Central Oklahoma Correctional Facility in McLoud, run by Dominion Management, for 500 beds for women at $43.95 a day. A yet to be named facility in Lawton, run by Wackenhut Correction Corp., for 1,500 male beds for $40 a day. North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, run by Corrections Corporation of America, for 240 male beds at $43.49 a day. Sites not selected include Hinton, Hobart, Grandfield and Eldorado. Hinton's Great Plains Correctional Facility already houses Oklahoma inmates but had proposed expanding its prison. The McLoud offer was clearly the best, said Tony Caldwell, a board member, adding that the department received few bids for female beds. All the contracts are for medium-secure beds and give the state the option to buy the facility, said Vince Knight, the department's general counsel. Oklahoma already has 2,755 private prison beds in Oklahoma. Another 1,017 Oklahoma inmates are housed in Texas private facilities. The contracts approved Wednesday will allow Oklahoma to remove all of its inmates from Texas private prisons, said David C. Miller, the department's chief of population management and fiscal operations. Another 600 state-owned beds will be open sometime between June and October, Miller said. The department is building three, 200-bed units at the Oklahoma State Reformatory in Granite, the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center and the Joseph Harp Correctional Center in Lexington. The contracts approved Wednesday are subject to legislative funding, Miller said. "If we don't (get the money), we've got a big problem," Miller said. "For one thing, we will run into some population problems. If we don't get the appropriation, they (private vendors) don't get the business." The chairman of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee dashed cold water on the private prison proposal, saying he does not believe the legislative leadership is willing to appropriate the additional money for up to 2,000 new private prison beds. ``It is late in the (legislative) session for the correctional authority to try to seek $20 million or $30 million new dollars for these new beds,'' said Rep. James Hamilton, D-Poteau. On the other hand, ``I think it does make good fiscal sense and would make good public policy for us to go ahead and purchase beds from private prisons sufficient to move all our inmate population out of private prisons in Texas,'' Hamilton said. Hamilton said the Legislature has already funded the construction of 600 additional public prison beds. Brian Ford of the World Capitol Bureau contributed to this story.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jury Sees Video Of Austin Cops' `Drug Raid' ('Chicago Sun-Times' Follows Trial Of Four Drug Warriors In Austin, Illinois, Caught In Corrupt Acts) Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 14:33:52 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Melodi Cornett
Subject: MN: US IL: Jury Sees Video Of Austin Cops' `Drug Raid' Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Nora Callahan Pubdate: Thu 23 Apr 1998 Source: Chicago Sun-Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.suntimes.com/index/index.html Author: Cam Simpson, Federal Court Reporter JURY SEES VIDEO OF AUSTIN COPS' `DRUG RAID' When three Austin District police officers crept into a West Side apartment with their guns drawn, they thought they were raiding the ``stash house'' of a drug kingpin known as ``Silky.'' What they didn't know cost them their jobs--and a lot more. Silky was an undercover agent, and his ``crib'' was filled with more than money. It also was wired with surveillance cameras that were rolling on Nov. 24, 1996, as the officers allegedly pocketed about $25,000 in cash from a secret compartment in a closet. The dramatic footage from those cameras was played Wednesday for jurors in the trial of four former Austin police officers accused of corruption. The star of Wednesday's film was Edward Lee Jackson Jr., a tactical officer also known as ``Pacman.'' Jackson is the lead defendant in the case. The other two officers involved, Gregory S. Crittleton and Cornelius Tripp, pleaded guilty before the trial. They are expected to testify against Jackson. According to evidence presented Wednesday, the government sting began when an informant working with authorities tipped Jackson to the stash house in November, 1996. Drug dealers use stash houses to hide narcotics, cash and weapons instead of keeping them in their own homes. The informant told Jackson the apartment in the first block of South Mayfield was loaded with cocaine, cash and expensive jewelry, the government said. A police officer working the sting was shown in Wednesday's video placing $25,000 in the apartment--most of it hidden behind a secret panel. A $50 bill was placed on a bed. Authorities did not put cocaine in the apartment, fearing it might end up on the streets, officials said. When the officers entered, they couldn't find the stash. Jackson, using his cell phone, called the informant. The call was intercepted and recorded by the government. ``Ain't nothing in that apartment,'' Jackson said. The informant gave Jackson specific directions to the secret stash. ``Pull that [expletive] wood off, man,'' the informant said of the secret panel. On the other end of the line, Jackson can be heard giving instructions to the other officers, according to tapes played Wednesday. ``Hurry up. Keep going. ... Aw. It's plenty,'' Jackson said after spotting the stash. The video showed Tripp and Crittleton stuffing money into their pockets. According to Tripp's plea agreement, the cops then drove to Tripp's house, where Jackson divided the cash among the officers. The government says the money went into the cops' pockets--not the evidence room. The government's video drama turned into a farce, however, when jurors were shown footage of a maintenance man entering the apartment shortly after police left. Unaware that he was being filmed, the building worker started loading his pockets with cans of soda scattered on the floor. He then went to the bedroom and helped himself to the $50 bill on the bed. Testimony in the trial will resume Monday.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Say Drug Ring Thrived By Saying, `We Deliver' ('New York Times' Notes The Bust Of A Marijuana And Cocaine Delivery Business In Queens, New York - 13 Participants Each Face Life In Prison) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 22:07:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US NYT: Police Say Drug Ring Thrived by Saying, `We Deliver' Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Source: New York Times Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 Author: Kit R. Roane POLICE SAY DRUG RING THRIVED BY SAYING, 'WE DELIVER' Domino's it wasn't, but the service was still swell -- at least until the police placed an order. Such was the end of a Queens operation described by law enforcement investigators as a "customer friendly" full-service drug-delivery business. Clients, the investigators said, would call saying "we're hungry," and cocaine or marijuana would arrive soon thereafter to satisfy their appetites. "They operated much like a pizza delivery service," an investigator, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said of the drug business. "It was immediate gratification. And if a customer didn't like the batch he got, they would always discount the next. They wanted to keep the customer happy." The 13 people arrested included 2 brothers, 2 married couples, a retired correction officer and a man named Giuliani -- no, not that one. All of them were charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and conspiracy to sell it, the Queens District Attorney, Richard A. Brown, said. If convicted, each would face up to life in prison. According to the District Attorney's office, two suspects, Georgios Botonis and his brother, Lambrino, started their business around 1990 in the shadows of a larger operation known as the Michaelidis Crew. Hemmed in, the Botonis brothers and their minions sold small bags of cocaine and marijuana in Queens, their annual revenue topping out at a meager $250,000. But the brothers were able to expand their scope last June, when the police swooped down on the Michaelidis Crew, arresting 20 or so members, prosecutors said. From their bases in Astoria and Long Island City, the Botonis brothers branched out into Flushing, Queens, and Westbury on Long Island, prosecutors said. With little competition, their revenues mushroomed to more than $2 million a year, they said. Dealers employed by the Botonis brothers were supplied with pagers. When an order was placed, a delivery man would rush to the customer's location and hand off what the Botonis brothers apparently referred to as "food," Brown said. But the business collapsed Tuesday night when Queens detectives and investigators executed four search warrants. Among the properties searched was the Flushing home of Maurice Giuliani, 29, where officers found 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, prosecutors said. The District Attorney's office said that Giuliani appeared to be no relation to Rudolph W.
------------------------------------------------------------------- I Was Wrong! Needle-Exchange Programs Work (Syndicated Columnist Ellen Goodman Says In 'The Boston Globe' That The Moral Equation In The Needle Exchange Debate Has Shifted Now That The Scientific Evidence Clearly Contradicts The Fears Promoted By Drug Warriors) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 21:53:30 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mike Gogulski
Subject: US MA: COLUMN: I was wrong! Needle-exchange programs work Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: April 23, 1998 Author: Ellen Goodman (columnist) I WAS WRONG! NEEDLE-EXCHANGE PROGRAMS WORK Sooner or later, anyone who makes a living offering up opinions gets asked the same question: ''Have you ever changed your mind?'' After the ink is dry, after the column is sent into the electronic ozone, have you ever disagreed with you? There must be some primal anxiety behind this frequent inquiry. I suppose people all share a high school nightmare of being exposed, seen mentally unzipped, caught changing our minds in public. But since the only way to avoid changing a mind is by closing that mind, it happens. Today I disagree with me, or rather with the me that once opposed needle-exchange programs. When AIDS activists first proposed that we pass out clean needles to drug addicts as a way of slowing the spread of HIV, I thought it was a bad idea. In the moral struggle between principle and pragmatism, I went for this principle: The government shouldn't oppose drugs with the one hand and provide paraphernalia with the other. Too much ambiguity would be passed out with the needles. Back then in 1988, the evidence, mostly from Europe, was scant. No one knew whether a needle-exchange program truly slowed the rate of HIV infection. No one knew whether it encouraged more drug users. In that atmosphere, there was a strong argument to be made against allowing the same government to arrest a drug user and to supply him with a syringe. Now I know better. Now we all should know better. Now the moral equation has shifted. The pragmatic view is the more principled. On Monday, we got another one of those split-the-difference decisions for which the Clinton administration is infamous. A reluctant Donna Shalala, secretary of health and human services, delivered the real minced message on AIDS and needles: Yes, for the first time, government officials acknowledged scientific evidence proving that needle-exchange programs reduce HIV and save lives without increasing drug use. No, the ban against allowing communities to use federal AIDS prevention money for such programs will not be lifted. They said: We know it works, but we won't do it. They encouraged local communities to support such programs, but refused them federal money. The much-heralded dispute inside the government over this policy could be read in the body language of squirming public health officials. Some 33 people a day are infected with HIV as a result of intravenous drug use. Forty percent of the new cases - addicts, their partners, their children - come directly or indirectly from contaminated needles. By one estimate as many as 17,000 lives could have been saved since 1993 when Clinton came into office. At a cost of 10 cents a syringe. But at the same time, the drug czar, former General Barry McCaffrey was more intent on saving kids from mixed messages than saving civilians from HIV. And the president, who is far better at reading the public than leading it, sided with those political honchos who fear being vulnerable to one virus above all others: political attacks. It was widely assumed that if the White House lifted the ban, the Congress would have clamped it back down with new legislation. But even in this split-the-difference format, Gingrich & Company made a predictable hit. On Tuesday, at a press conference about smoking, Republicans accused the president of throwing ''in the towel when it comes to the war on drugs.'' Indeed, in one of the rare moments when I ring with Gingrichian agreement, the speaker said sarcastically, ''Now the president should be clear. If he thinks that needle exchanges are good, why is he not paying for them?'' May I add seriously: Why not let local communities decide how to use federal money for AIDS prevention? This is a president who picks his fights carefully. So carefully that he rarely loses. And rarely wins. Needle-sharing drug addicts at risk for HIV are nobody's favorite underdog. As a new convert, I am still uneasy about providing addicts with clean needles when we want them to ''get clean.'' But since everybody seems to be worrying about mixed messages, try the far bleaker ones in today's air: We know how to slow a lethal epidemic. We know one way to help prevent the spread of HIV from drug addict to partner to child. We just aren't going to do it. Go ahead, explain that to the kids.
------------------------------------------------------------------- How Can We Lose An Internet Poll? Please Read! (List Subscriber Alerts You To An Online Poll About Needle Exchange Funding Being Sponsored By The Fort Worth, Texas, 'Star-Telegram') Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 10:24:06 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Richard Lake
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: How can we lose an internet poll? Please read! As I send this message out, a poll in which we had pulled ahead is now falling behind. The issue is, not should there be a new massive program for needle exchange (even if that is what the poll implies) but should the funds given to cities and states as block grants be able to be used, by the choice of the local folks, for needle exchange efforts if they feel it is appropriate. Now US regulations do not permit the use of federal funds already provided for HIV prevention to be used for needle exchange, even though the federal government says it will save lives and does not increase drug addiction rates. PLEASE, votes on the internet may seem meaningless, and are for sure not scientific, but we can be sure they will be quoted if in an arena in which we have a clear majority most of the time, how can we fail to insure the success of these polls in sending a message that needle exchanges are OK. The Drug Policy Forum of Texas folks are asking for your support. Take a second, pull up the web page below, and vote! Oh, for those not in the United States, we do not mind you stating your opinion in our polls - just let us know if you have polls that we can vote in and you would like help! Richard Lake Forwarded message: This one needs a few more votes ASAP. Sender: Drug Policy Forum of Texas (DPFT-L@TAMU.EDU) Go to http://www.startext.net/starvote-cgi/starvote and you will see a public opinion poll being conducted by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The question is: SHOULD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FUND A NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM FOR DRUG ADDICTS. Participate now, they will have a new question later this week, perhaps as soon as tomorrow. Larry Nickerson
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sticking Point On Needles (Staff Editorial In 'San Francisco Examiner' Criticizes Clinton Administration's Decision That Needle Exchanges Save Lives But Won't Be Funded) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 10:09:40 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Sticking Point on Needles Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) and Tammera Halphen Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 STICKING POINT ON NEEDLES Even as it provides scientific evidence that needle exchanges work, the administration, for political reasons, refuses to fund them HERE'S an idea with dumb and deadly written all over it: The Clinton administration knows that needle exchange programs save lives, but it won't lift the nine-year-old ban against providing clean needles to drug users. The answer, dear friends, is written in politics. This is an election year, and the Democrats would like very much to win majorities in the House of Representatives and the Senate. Junkies don't have enough votes to help, apparently. But other Americans ought to have enough common sense to know cowardice when they see it. Obligingly, the administration brought along evidence to help its opponents make their case. Federal officials say some 33 people each day are infected with the AIDS virus because of intravenous drug use. Dr. Harold Varmus, director of the National Institutes of Health, cited "increasingly strong evidence" that needle exchange programs reduce sharing of dirty needles. About half of some 3,000 addicts in a Baltimore needle exchange, he said, entered treatment programs. That explodes the myth that exchange programs encourage continued drug use. Still, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the administration's drug czar, fought against needle exchanges because he believes they "send the wrong message" to teenagers. As usual, he's fighting the last war. Had government financed needle exchange programs during Clinton's term in office, 17,000 lives could have been saved, according to researchers for Public Citizen, a government watchdog. Such efforts also would have helped stem the deadly AIDS epidemic and saved millions of dollars in costs for treating the disease. Four of 10 AIDS cases are linked to dirty needles. So are the infections of three of four babies born HIV positive, who are certainly innocent victims. Exchanges, though technically illegal, are in existence in San Francisco and 100 other jurisdictions in 28 states around the country. This is a topic in which science and humanitarian considerations should rule. But don't. Donna Shalala, secretary of Health and Human Services, argued to lift the federal ban on needle exchanges, as did Sandra Thurman, head of the White House office on AIDS policy. Their voices were drowned out by political considerations. White House tacticians fear that Republicans in Congress would reimpose the ban and could make matters even worse by eliminating funds for any organization that provides needle exchanges. Realism dictates upholding the ban, they argue. But from here, the administration's action - or inaction - simply marks one more instance in which the president has failed to stand up for what he believes, what he knows is right and what he knows will save lives. 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clean Needles, No Money (Staff Editorial In 'Washington Post' Notes The Clinton Administration Put Politics Ahead Of Public Health) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:59:13 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WP: Editorial: Clean Needles, No Money Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kendra E. Wright) Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 CLEAN NEEDLES, NO MONEY CLINTON'S latest policy response to a national epidemic -- the spread of AIDS among intravenous drug users -- is little more than a political fix. In one breath, the administration is declaring that needle-exchange programs do help curb the spread of AIDS -- but that no federal funds should be spent on this approach. This half-and-half solution, intended to resolve internal policy disagreements among the president's advisers, puts politics ahead of public health. The administration says the announcement does send out an important message: that even without federal subsidies, the decision that needle exchanges have scientific merit should assist state and local programs in securing financial backing. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala reportedly would have preferred to begin allowing certain programs to qualify for federal aid -- a reasonable introduction. But those in the administration who argued that lifting the ban on federal funding would send a bad message found reinforcements among congressional leaders who said the votes to uphold needle-exchange funding weren't there -- that pressing a fight could result in legislation taking other federal money away from groups or governments that provide free needles. Secretary Shalala has argued since the announcement that the administration's endorsement of the approach will include educational efforts to underscore the findings of all major leading research groups, public as well as private, that needle exchanges are scientifically sound. The federal government should have a clear and important role in this attack on AIDS. Needle exchanges are but part of a broader effort, including improved drug-abuse prevention and treatment. But study after study shows that the exchanges do not promote greater use of illegal drugs. In any event, drug addicts who are not under treatment don't stop their drug use just because clean needles are unavailable. They will go to infected needles. The National Institutes of Health reports that needle exchange has brought about an estimated 30 percent or greater reduction of HIV in injection users of illegal drugs. In terms of money, these programs are a fraction of the lifetime cost of treating a person with HIV/AIDS. Full support, not White House lip service, should be a priority. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Treatment Of Pain In Dying Patients (Letter To Editor Of 'The New England Journal Of Medicine' From A Seattle Physician Discusses The Disturbingly Large Percentage Of Dying Patients Who Experience Unrelieved Pain) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 22:07:08 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Mike Gogulski
Subject: MN: US LTE: Treatment of Pain in Dying Patients Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: New England Journal of Medicine (MA) Edition: Volume 338, Number 17 Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: April 23, 1998 Website: http://www.nejm.org/ Author: Kathryn L. Tucker TREATMENT OF PAIN IN DYING PATIENTS To the Editor: A disturbingly large percentage of dying patients experience unrelieved pain. (1) This percentage is far higher than it should be, given the availability of pain medications and the knowledge of how to use them. Many physicians believe that they could risk disciplinary action if they use high doses of narcotics or other controlled substances to manage pain at the end of life. (2) They also believe that if they undertreat pain, they risk no professional consequences. Dying patients clearly have the right to adequate pain medication; this was recently recognized by the Supreme Court. (3,4) Physicians have not been held responsible for failing adequately to treat the pain of their dying patients. I am unaware of any medical-negligence actions against a physician for such a failure. Medical disciplinary boards have not been active in investigating these situations. In the past, a physician might have successfully defended such a stance by asserting that there was no medical consensus about how to provide adequate pain care. However, with the emergence of national, state, and medical-board guidelines in this area, this is no longer a viable strategy. (5) The time is ripe for such cases to result in professional accountability, including actions by medical disciplinary boards. Compassion in Dying, a public-interest organization that acts as an advocate on behalf of terminally ill persons, recently called on state medical boards to take on this responsibility. (6) It is also necessary to eliminate or change the laws that cause physicians to fear prescribing strong pain medications to their terminally ill patients. Undertreatment of pain should become a risk that physicians will strive to avoid, thus increasing the likelihood that more vigorous, concerted efforts will be made to relieve the pain of terminally ill patients. Kathryn L. Tucker, J.D. Perkins Coie Seattle, WA 98101-3099 References 1. The SUPPORT Principal Investigators. A controlled trial to improve care for seriously ill hospitalized patients. JAMA 1995;274:1591-8. [Erratum, JAMA 1996;275:1232.] 2. Shapiro RS. Health care providers' liability exposure for inappropriate pain management. J Law Med Ethics 1996;24:360-4. 3. Washington v. Glucksberg, 117 S. Ct. 2258, 1997. 4. Vacco v. Quill, 117 S. Ct. 2293, 1997. 5. Joranson DE, Gilson AM. Improving pain management through policy making and education for medical regulators. J Law Med Ethics 1996;24:344-7. 6. Letter to all 50 state medical boards from the Compassion in Dying Federation, Portland, Oreg., January 12, 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawyer In Drug Case Gunned Down ('Chicago Tribune' Says The Attorney Until Recently Represented General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, The Jailed Former Leader Of Mexico's Anti-Drug Campaign) Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 21:57:00 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: Mexico: Lawyer in Drug Case Gunned Down Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 LAWYER IN DRUG CASE GUNNED DOWN A former lawyer for Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, the jailed former leader of Mexico's anti-drug campaign, was slain late Tuesday, officials said. A spokesman for Jalisco State prosecutors said a gunman killed Tomas Arturo Gonzalez Velazquez, 43, while he waited in his car at a traffic light in Guadalajara. The lawyer until recently represented Gutierrez, Mexico's top anti-narcotics official before his arrest early in 1997 on charges of being in the pay of Amado Carrillo Fuentes' Juarez cartel. Gutierrez has been sentenced to about 14 years in jail for abuse of authority and weapons charges; he still faces trial on other charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Accuser Of Top Generals Slain In Mexico ('New York Times' Notes The Assassination In Mexico City Tuesday Of Tomas Arturo Gonzalez Velazquez, A Lawyer Who Accused Top Generals And Relatives Of President Ernesto Zedillo Of Narcotics Corruption As A Defense Tactic In The Trial Of Mexico's Deposed Drug Czar) Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 15:57:22 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: E;NYT: Accuser of Top Generals Slain, Apr 23 (fwd) The New York Times, April 23, 1998 Accuser of Top Generals Slain in Mexico By SAM DILLON MEXICO CITY -- A lawyer who accused top generals and relatives of President Ernesto Zedillo of narcotics graft as a defense tactic in the corruption trial of the Mexican government's drug czar was slain as he drove away from his Guadalajara offices late on Tuesday. The lawyer, Tomas Arturo Gonzalez Velazquez, 43, died in his car after he was shot with a 9-millimeter pistol, the authorities said. Publico, a Guadalajara newspaper, said the killer "had short hair and looked like a soldier." Some witnesses said he acted with the confidence of a police officer. Gonzalez was the architect of the defense of the drug czar, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, after his arrest in February 1997 on charges that he abused his powers to protect one of Mexico's largest traffickers. In several court appearances, Gonzalez portrayed the general's arrest as part of a vast power struggle within the military, in which some top commanders were collaborating with a trafficking group based in Tijuana and others with a rival group based in Ciudad Juarez. He also argued, without providing evidence, that Zedillo's brother-in-law had formed ties with a major methamphetamine trafficker. Mexico's defense minister, Gen. Enrique Cervantes Aguirre, barely contained his fury in several public denials of Gonzalez's charges. But in a classified report presented in February to Attorney General Janet Reno, American officials seemed to give credence to some of the allegations that were first lodged publicly by Gonzalez. The report argued that the arrest of Gutierrez Rebollo was part of a broader web of top generals and traffickers than the Mexican government has acknowledged. Last July, five months into the trial, the military police detained Gonzalez as he attended a court hearing and accused him of orchestrating an attack on a witness scheduled to testify against the general. The lawyer was released without charge, but weeks later he distanced himself from the general's defense team. Gutierrez Rebollo's daughter, Teresa Gutierrez Ramirez, told reporters that Gonzalez had received anonymous death threats, and she accused the authorities of coercing him to resign from the defense team. "It seems like it's a crime to defend Gutierrez Rebollo," she said. "They're trying to intimidate the defense." Wednesday, however, the lawyer who replaced Gonzalez on the general's defense team, Felix Francisco Garza, questioned that interpretation. "Tomas Gonzalez has been separated from Gutierrez Rebollo's defense for many months, he's out of the case, and I don't see any connection between the murder and the general's trial," Garza said. "Maybe this murder is related to some other business or case Gonzalez was handling." Gutierrez Rebollo, who was held for 14 months at the high-security Almoloya Prison west of Mexico City, was convicted of illegal possession of arms and abuse of authority and sentenced in January to 13 years' imprisonment, Garza said. Parallel military courts-martial and civilian trials on bribery and drug charges continue. Before the general's arrest, Gonzalez belonged to a small group of current and former police officials and military subordinates who were the general's closest collaborators during his years as commander of a vast army region based in Guadalajara. Prosecutors have presented evidence that Gutierrez Rebollo protected the Juarez cartel while acting in aggressive pursuit of the Tijuana cartel. In a series of interviews after the general's arrest last year, Gonzalez acknowledged that he had personally taken part in many of Gutierrez Rebollo's antinarcotics operations, once driving a narcotics witness in his own car from Guadalajara to a nearby state to identify detainees and other times participating in often-brutal interrogations of prisoners. Gonzalez acknowledged his friendship with Eduardo Gonzalez Quirarte, a Guadalajara trafficker associated with the Juarez cartel, referring to him in the interviews with an affectionate nickname, Lalo. Gonzalez enjoyed an even closer friendship with Luis Octavio Lopez Vega, a former police chief of the Guadalajara suburb of Zapopan, whom Gutierrez Rebollo set up in a security business and whose private gunmen took part in some army antidrug operations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Queen 'La Senora' Extradited To US ('Seattle Times' Says Mery Valencia, A Naturalized US Citizen From Colombia Accused Of Running A Female-Dominated Drug-Trafficking Ring That Distributed Thousands Of Kilograms Of Cocaine In The United States Since 1986, Has Been Extradited From Brazil To Face Federal Charges In New York And Los Angeles) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 21:59:20 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mike Gogulski
Subject: MN: US: Drug queen 'La Senora' extradited to U.S. Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 DRUG QUEEN `LA SENORA' EXTRADITED TO U.S. A Colombian woman accused of running a female-dominated drug-trafficking ring that distributed thousands of kilograms of cocaine in the United States since 1986 has been extradited from Brazil to face federal charges in New York and Los Angeles of narcotics trafficking and money laundering. Known among her associates as "La Senora," Mery Valencia, 44, operated a sophisticated crime organization from her home base in Cali, Colombia. Nearly every one of her top lieutenants was a woman, and some of those women brought their daughters into the ring, according to an indictment unsealed in New York. In Southern California, authorities said, Valencia maintained a network of stash houses where large drug shipments were stored after being smuggled across the border. Valencia, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was flown to New York on Tuesday night from Rio de Janeiro, where she had been under arrest since 1997. FBI agents from Los Angeles were present when Valencia was seized at the Rio airport. She was carrying false identification papers and had undergone plastic surgery to disguise her appearance.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Smoking Admission Barring Some From US ('Vancouver Sun' Warns That Canadians Who Admit To Ever Having Used Marijuana To US Immigration Inspectors Are Being Denied Entry Indefinitely To The United States - If Canada Applied The Same Rules, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich And Donna Shalala Would All Have To Stay Home) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Pot smoking admission barring some from U.S. Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 08:30:09 -0700 Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Lines: 106 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu 23 Apr 1998 Section: A1 / Front Authors: Jack Aubry with a file from Petti Fong, Vancouver Pot smoking admission barring some from U.S. Canadians reminded entry is a privilege, not a right. OTTAWA -- Canadians are being barred from entering the U.S. after admitting to American immigration inspectors they once smoked marijuana. A recent crackdown includes what some immigration lawyers are calling ``an attitude change'' on the part of inspectors, who have become more aggressive since a tough new U.S. law took effect last April. In one of the reported changes, U.S. officials at pre-flight inspection in major Canadian airports are asking about marijuana use. Canadians who tell the truth are being denied entry indefinitely to the U.S. The same strict adherence to the law on the part of Canadian inspectors would keep U.S. President Bill Clinton, who has admitted smoking, but not inhaling, marijuana, out of Canada. Calgary lawyer Michael Greene told U.S. officials Wednesday during a conference call briefing that instead of facilitating entry, American immigration inspectors have taken ``a gatekeeper approach'' that includes asking about marijuana use. ``Canadian officers are specifically trained not to ask that question because if we did ask, possibly half your population under 50 would be inadmissable to the country,'' Greene told the Americans. Linda Loveless, an assistant chief inspector for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said complaints about the questioning have come to Washington's attention and are being examined. ``It is not a general policy that we should be asking that kind of thing ... and we have not in any way encouraged people to ask that kind of question outright but that is something that we will look at,'' Loveless said from Washington. She said that in 1997 there were about 80 million entries into the U.S. from Canada. Of that number 128,000 were inadmissable for a variety of reasons including lack of citizenship records such as a passport or birth certificate. Ninety-three per cent of those found inadmissable were allowed to withdraw their application to enter the U.S., ensuring no barrier the next time they try to cross the border. The number of individuals turned back for marijuana use was not available but they are counted in the other seven per cent -- about 9,000 -- who leave a record of their failed entry for future attempts. Greene, who has specialized in immigration issues in Calgary for 14 years, reported the case of a 25-year-old woman who complained to him that she was barred from the U.S. for admitting to having smoked marijuana when she was 19. He says he has received complaints about the marijuana questioning but he does not know if similar practices are being exercised by U.S. inspectors in other major cities. Greene, who is national secretary of the Canadian Bar Association's immigration and citizenship section, said Canadians who acknowledge using marijuana are found inadmissable because they are considered guilty of a felony, one of 40 reasons for being denied entry to the U.S. He says ``little white lies'' are being told at the border by some visitors to the U.S. and Canada to get around the stricter rules. ``If they don't have a conviction or your admission to an offence, then they may have a problem refusing entry,'' said Greene. He said he was encouraged by the conference call, which was held in response to recent complaints and media reports about the tougher U.S. position. At Vancouver International Airport, a U.S. Customs officer denied Canadians are being specifically targeted. ``There's not a single law that applies to Canadians only. It's not your right to enter the U.S., it's a privilege,'' said the officer, who declined to be identified. If U.S. inspectors are more vigilant than they used to be, according to the officer, it's because visitor traffic between U.S. and Canada has increased. Last month, the area director for U.S Customs in Blaine said inspectors have been seeing an increase in the number of marijuana smugglers coming from the Lower Mainland. Customs officers are now forced to be more vigilant in questioning visitors, said Gene Kerven. Under the new law that took effect last April, American immigration inspectors must impose a five-year ban on people they judge to be misrepresenting the reasons for their visit. Admissions of marijuana use are entered into U.S. records and will result in future denials by inspectors. Those who admit to marijuana use will only be able enter the U.S. if they obtain a waiver from the immigration service.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Borderline Illegal - US Customs Ripped For Tough Line ('Toronto Sun' Version) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Borderline illegal Date: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 08:36:40 -0700 Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Lines: 39 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: April 23, 1998 Author: ANNE DAWSON -- Toronto Sun BORDERLINE ILLEGAL U.S. CUSTOMS RIPPED FOR TOUGH LINE OTTAWA -- U.S. border guards have no right to ask Canadians if they ever smoked pot, American immigration officials say. Canadians have complained of harsh treatment by U.S. immigration officials, including being barred indefinitely for admitting to simply having once used marijuana, under a tough new law that took effect last April. Linda Loveless of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, said: "We have not in any way encouraged people to ask that kind of question outright. That is something that we will look at." U.S. officials held a cross-Canada briefing for journalists, lawyers and service industry representatives yesterday as a result of all the complaints from Canadians trying to cross the world's longest undefended border. They went to great lengths to assure the new law is not aimed at Canadians and they are working to resolve the problems it entails. The law requires the U.S. immigration service to record the identity of foreigners crossing the U.S. border. While the measure was aimed at illegal immigration from Mexico into the U.S., American legislators overlooked the effect it will have on Canadians. An amendment is being considered, but officials admit there's no guarantee it will pass. Both Canadian and U.S. businesses complain the law will cause financial hardships if they have to check in and out each time they cross the border.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Coca, Poppy Killer May Harm Amazon ('Associated Press' Says The United States Wants Columbian Eradication Forces To Switch From Glyphosate To The More Toxic Tebuthiuron So It Can Be Dropped In Tiny Pellets, Allowing Pilots To Fly Higher And Faster To Avoid Rebel Gunfire That Has Brought Down 12 Anti-Drug Aircraft Since 1994) Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 20:23:29 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Mike Gogulski
Subject: MN: WIRE: COCA, POPPY KILLER MAY HARM AMAZON Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: GDaurer Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 23 Apr 1998 Author: Paul Haven COCA, POPPY KILLER MAY HARM AMAZON BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - Deep in the jungle, a Turbo-Thrush plane swoops to within 100 feet of a field of illegal drug crops, lets loose a cloud of herbicide over the plants and soars skyward again before heavily armed leftist rebels can open fire. It has become an almost daily - if hair-raisingly dangerous - routine in Colombia as police undertake an ambitious program to eradicate thousands of acres of coca and poppy - the plants used to make cocaine and heroin. Now, at the urging of the United States, Colombia is considering switching to a more powerful, granular herbicide called tebuthiuron - a new coca-killer that can be dropped from higher altitudes, out of range of the gun-toting rebels guarding the crops. Environmental groups and some top Colombian officials oppose the switch, contending that tebuthiuron, produced by several companies, is dangerous to human beings, animals and the delicate Amazon rain forest - one of the world's treasure chests of biological diversity. ``We can't authorize at this time a substance that could harm our ecosystem,'' argued Environment Minister Eduardo Verano. ``We cannot attack the Amazon.'' He has refused to sign off on a proposed field test, asserting that tebuthiuron could turn the lush jungle into a prairie. A Colombian government commission will decide in coming weeks whether to approve testing on a wide swath of jungle. Environmentalists in the United States note that tebuthiuron is most often used to clear weeds near highways and is rarely applied near desirable vegetation. ``It is a very large contradiction to say it is safe to use'' in a rain forest, said Mauricio Castro, head of the Colombian office of the World Wildlife Fund. The chemical could seep into ground and surface water in dangerous concentrations, lingering for a year or more, he says. Charles Helling, lead scientist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's narcotics group and member of a U.S. team that briefed Colombian officials on tebuthiuron last month, disagrees. ``The benefits are so strong,'' he said by telephone from his Beltsville, Md., office, adding: ``In my judgment, the environmental risk is very slight.'' The urgency of crop-eradication efforts are evident. Colombia overtook Peru last year as the top coca producer, with 307 square miles of crops under cultivation, the State Department says. Despite a record eradication effort, police haven't destroyed crops as fast as new ones are planted. Colombian traffickers control 80 percent of the global cocaine market and a growing share of the heroin trade. Leftist rebels have increasingly turned to working with drug traffickers and guarding coca crops to finance their decades-old insurgency. So is tebuthiuron, backed by Colombia's police chief, the answer? In the late 1980s, Peru tested the herbicide, but opted against using it for fear of provoking social unrest in coca-growing regions. Ivonne Alcala, head of the Colombian anti-drug office, expects such protests here: In 1996, farmers staged a violent protest against glyphosate, the herbicide currently in use, leaving seven people dead and about 100 injured. ``If we were spraying holy water, they would say the holy water is causing birth defects,'' Alcala said. If it is used, tebuthiuron would be dropped in tiny pellets, not a mist, allowing pilots to fly higher and faster. That would let them avoid rebel fire that has brought down 12 anti-drug aircraft since 1994. The pellets also make the herbicide more resistant to rain, which frequently washes away glyphosate. Helling said tests he conducted indicate the chemical would disappear faster in the humid forest than in the United States, making it less harmful. But even those who say it is relatively safe acknowledge it could be dangerous to children or people with low resistance. ``Individuals have different levels of sensitivity,'' said William Smith, a Cornell University agriculture professor. ``I myself would not like to be in a spray drift area where this material was being applied.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Antiprohibitionist Action Report, Year 4, Number 8 (Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy Reform News, From CORA In Italy) Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 14:03:03 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: CORAFax 8 (G) ANTIPROHIBITIONISTS OF THE ENTIRE WORLD...#8 Antiprohibitionist action report April, 23 1998 - (Year 4) #8 *** CO.R.A. | *** Radical | Association federated with Antiprohibitionist | the Transnational Coordination | Radical Party *** OLD - Observatory of laws on drugs *** PAA - PARLAMENTARIANS FOR ANTIPROHIBITIONIST ACTION European campaign for the revision of international conventions *** CORA-ITALY Via di Torre Argentina 76 00186 ROME Tel:+39-6-68.97.91 Fax:+39-6-220.127.116.11 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org *** CORA-BELGIUM Rue Belliard 97 c/o European Parliament Rem 5.08 1040 BRUSSELS Tel:+32-2-230.41.21 - 646.26.31 Fax:+32-2-230.36.70 E-mail: email@example.com *** *CORAnet http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet (in Italian) *** Director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** NEWS FROM CORA ITALY: CONSTITUTIONAL COURT: CHRONIC ADDICTS ARE NEVER GUILTY. CORA: THE ONLY CHRONIC THING IS PROHIBITIONISM. The latest Constitutional Court's decision on the non-guiltiness of chronic addicts is pure nonsense. It does not take into consideration the failures of a system that ignores science. CORA believes that the only chronic thing is prohibition that, like a cancer, has infected democracy and destroying the rule of law. UN/AFGHANISTAN: NO TO THE TALIBANS DEAL. The Transnational Radical Party, in its capacity of NGO in Consultative Status with the Ecosoc, intervened at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva on the UNDCP project in Afghanistan: "It is not only the fact that a UN branch wants to fund some crop eradication that will simply be moved to other regions; it is not only the fact that the UNDCP will fund a government that has been recognized only by three nations, it is also the UN credibility as a whole that is at stake. While the United Nations is clear about its position on the Talibans, the executive body of a UN agency is proposing a different approach. The credibility of the UN passes through the rigor and the homogeneity of its decisions. In this case, a UN agency that denies the United Nations and the Member States with a proposal, which among other things is scientifically non sounded, undermines the credibility of the international community as a whole. BELGIUM: NEW NORMS ON CANNABIS CONSUMPTION. CORA: THE TRIUMPH OF HYPOCRISY With a brief sent to all Procurators of the Kingdom, the Justice Department invites to consider cannabis consumption as of the lowest judicial priority of the Government's agenda. An indication that does not touch the Mafia market of drugs and leaves a wide margin of maneuver to magistrates. The letter was conceived to help the paralysis of the judiciary and the prison system caused by drug-related crimes; it does not face health questions, money laundering, and other legal issues. The law on narcotics has not been modified, the possession remains illegal and punishable. The law is not effective, but the principle of irresponsibility and cynicism maintains it as it is. CORA denounces this "forfeiture of the legislative power", in a letter of Feb. 24 sent to all the Procurators, in which it clearly asked to them to "refuse to take the responsibility that the Government is 'proposing', and to remind the Government its obligations on the matter." NEWS FROM THE WORLD AMERICAS The leaders of some American States have struck a new alliance against drugs. The new covenant gives to the Organization of American States the evaluation of anti-drug efforts of each State. This multilateral evaluation system, which will be finalized at the Summit of the Americas in Chile, will substitute the US yearly 'Certification' program that caused many problems for Latin American countries. (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE 15/4) FRANCE Paris - The local Court has fined Act Up President Philippe Mangeot, for 30,000 French Francs. Mr. Mangeot distributed the treaty "J'aime l'ecstasy" (I love ecstasy) in 1997. The purpose of the organization is to ask the abrogation of the 1970 drug law that, according to Mr. Mangeot, impedes any debate on the matter. (LIBERATION 9/4) BOLIVIA During the last four years, the anti-drugs police, with the backing of the U.S., have tried to eradicate coca crops in southern forests. The result is that in 1994, Colombians have cultivated some 45,000 hectares of coca; last year 800,000. The persistence of the demand has made Colombians plant more coca to fight the eradication projects. The new technique to destroy crops consists of spraying fields with a new aggressive substance. Environmentalists fear that this new solution will damage forests. (THE ECONOMIST 11/4) WORLD The latest Department of State report on drugs is a mix of hopes and delusions, victories and defeats. The production in Latin America is dropping (the biggest success of the anti-narcos war in 1997), but the war is not won. In Moscow, a gram of cocaine is $300, three times the New York price. (L'ESPRESSO 16/4) IRAN The UN anti-drugs programme, lead by Italy's Pino Arlacchi, will open an office in Teheran to support the country's war against drug-traffickers and restart wheat production all over the country. During the last 10 years, there have been at least 10,000 executions of traffickers. Right after the war against Iraq, Iran declared a 'religious' war on drugs. GREAT BRITAIN UK is invaded by heroin produced by the Talibans. In 1997, The police have confiscated the record amount of 1.5 tons, 95% of which come from Afghanistan. The amount of heroin is so huge that in some suburbs it is sold at the price of a pint of beer. (THE TIMES 12-15/4) ITALY Alcoholics and chronic drug addicts are no longer indictable, they cannot be held responsible for the crimes they commit; their situation is compared to the provisions regarding mentally disturbed people in the Criminal Code. This decision has been confirmed by a Constitutional Court; Italian Rightists have criticized the Court saying that in this way addicts will have a 'license to commit crimes', rehab organizations are saying that one cannot transform addicts into mentally retarded by law. (CORSERA, IL GIORNALE, IL MESSAGGERO, IL SOLE 24 ORE, LA REPUBBLICA, LA STAMPA 17/4) WORLD Washington - UNDCP Director Pino Arlacchi has recently said at a press conference that the international drug-trafficking mobs are organizing themselves to take advantage of the upcoming Football World Cup in France. On that occasion, the market will be invaded by a huge amount of drugs. Mr. Arlacchi has confirmed that the U.S. and Europe remain the most profitable markets for drugs. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 17/4) CZECH REPUBLIC President Havel has sent back to the Parliament the new law on drugs. The bill, voted by the majority of deputies in February, was forwarded to the Senate in March. The contrast between the President and the Parliament lies in the norms that extend the penalties limited dealers also to consumers. (NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 16/4) BOLIVIA With a big protest of 'campesinos', the Army and the police have started to destroy illegal coca crops. The Government wants to eradicate 10,000 hectares per year - a quarter of the existing fields. Moreover, even if coca fields have been legalized in the last five years, those who destroy their crops will receive some money from the Government. (INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, NEUE ZUERCHER ZEITUNG 15/4) GERMANY Representatives of the Heath and Justice Dept. have declared that the Saar region, following the examples of Hessen and Hamburg, wants to establish some "health outpost" for serious drug addicts. The decision was made public after some debate with the Procurator of the Republic. (FRANKFURT ALLGEMEINE 21/4) SINGAPORE The Government wants to reinforce the severe drug laws proposing the death penalty for people caught with big quantities of 'Ice' and ecstasy. Up to now, the capital punishment was reserved to marihuana, morphine and opium trafficking. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG, SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG 21/4) BELGIUM With a brief sent to all Procurators of the Kingdom, the Justice Department invites to consider cannabis consumption as of the lowest judicial priorities of the Government's agenda. This is trying to strike a balance between the French and the Dutch approach. (LE MONDE 21/4) GERMANY The current situation of the "socio-health" offices for drug addicts is as follows: in Frankfurt every day 900 doses of narcotics are delivered to 300 patients; cost: 2 million German Marks per year. Also Hamburg has four offices, while in Hannover there is one that functions since last December. Some more are planned to be opened in Munich, Berlin and in the Westfalen region. (FRANKFURTER ALLGEMEINE ZEITUNG 22/4) ITALY The Ministry of Social Affairs has prepared an anti-drug campaign to limit the damages produced by ecstasy. It is an educational campaign made of slogans like: "do not mix pills with alcohol" or "drink lots of water". This minimalistic approach is not liked by the prohibition community led by the rehab community of San Patrignano. (LA STAMPA 22/4) FRANCE Paris - A center for addicts rehabilitation, that was recently opened in Rue Beaurepaire, is dividing the population. The center, which is part of the national program of risk reduction, will allow addicts to shoot drugs in a safe environment. The association Republique-Canal Saint Martin (200 members) does not agree with the project and has promised opposition. (LIBERATION 21/4) *** JOIN THE CORA *** Yes, I want to be member (send by Email, or fax, or Mail) Name and Surname ........................................ Address, Post code, City, State ......................................... Email ..................................... Occupation ............................................. Date of Birth .............................. Phone home .............. office ................. fax ...................... mobile ..................... and I am enclosing a membership fee of ..................... By means of /Postal Order to CORA /Crossed Cheque to CORA /ccp (only in Italy) /Bank Account (choose below) /Credit Card type ........................................... no .................................................................... ..Expiry Date ...................... MEMBERSHIP FEE OF CORA 1998 IN EUROPEAN UNION Austria 800 ATS, Belge 2000 Bfr, Denmark 500 DKK, Finland 400 FIM, France 330 FF, Germany 100 DEM, Great Britain 35 GBP, Greece 5000 GRD, Ireland 20 IEP, Italy 100.000 LIT, Luxembourg 2000 Lfr, The Netherlands 100 , LG, Portugal 5000 PTE, Spain 5000 ESB, Sweden 500 SEK BANK ACCOUNT - no. 010381 to CORA, Deutsche Bank (Abi 3002, Cab 03270), Italy - no.10067.00101.1032083440/4 to CORA, France - no. 310107591981 to CORA, Belge MAIL CCP: ONLY IN ITALY - c.c.p. 53362000 to CORA, Via di Torre Argentina 76, 00186 Roma *** CORA -COORDINATION RADICALE ANTIPROHIBITIONNISTE -ANTIPROHIBITIONIST RADICAL COORDINATION -COORDINAMENTO RADICALE ANTIPROIBIZIONISTA Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I consultative status at the UN Emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet -------------------------------------------------------------------
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