Portland NORML News - Friday, April 24, 1998

Drug War Czar Condemns Needle Exchange - It Works Too Well; Senator Smith
Attacks Medical Cannabis As Front For 'Legalization'; And Week Eight
Of The 'Drug Peace' Rally To Stop The Marijuana Task Force
(News Update From The American Antiprohibition League In Portland)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 01:35:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: Bill Clinton (president@whitehouse.gov)
Drug Czar Barry R McCaffrey (MCCAFFREY_B@a1.eop.gov)
Subject: Antiprohibition League Press Release, 4/24/98



Drug War, or Drug Peace?


fax: 503-234-1330

Friday, April 24, 1998
For Immediate Release

-- George Orwell

Drug War Czar condemns needle exchange; it works too well
Sen. Smith attacks medical cannabis as front for "legalization"
Week 8: "DRUG PEACE!" Rally -- Stop the MTF

Portland, Oregon -- This week and last, federal drug warriors and
Oregon's Sen. Gordon Smith (R) were busy making reactive and even pre-
emptive attacks against medical cannabis and needle exchange programs
(NEP). One thing is for sure, the prohibitionists are nervous.

So nervous drug czar and retired general, Barry R. McCaffrey, is
reported by an anonymous Whitehouse source to have "had a vigorous
disagreement" with his boss President Clinton, and head of Health and
Human Services Donna Shalala. The stuff hit the fan when Shalala
recently announced to the nation, "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." Rumor is this czar is history. None too soon.

But if Sen. Gordon Smith (R, Oregon) has his way this "war" is far
from over.

Craven henchman that he is, Smith takes merciless aim at the sick and
dying who find relief from cannabis. Even though the petition hasn't
even hit the street yet, Smith has already fired 3 salvos against it:
1) he co-sponsored a "Sense of the Senate" resolution against lifting
the medical prohibition; 2) last week he spent several hours in closed
meetings with the Association of Oregon Chiefs of Police, and their
head lobbyist, Darin Campbell; and 3) while surrounded by kids jerked
from classrooms and bussed to downtown Portland for an anti-medical
marijuana rally... he let the world know "medical marijuana" is an evil
conspiracy by rich foreigners to hook our kids on heroin.

The kids let out a collective yawn, but no matter they were just the
senator's backdrop anyway. Local press and media were way too soft,
looking the other way, tip-toeing around the obvious lies and deceit.
The Oregonian, staunchly prohibitionist, didn't even mention the rally.
Has the senator gone too far, even for them? We'll see.


Week 8: "DRUG PEACE!" Rally -- Stop the MTF


(1120 S.W. 3rd., downtown Portland, Oregon)

Police Can Squeeze Luggage At Airports ('Orange County Register'
Says The California Fourth District Court Of Appeal On Thursday
Upheld The Conviction Of A Man Transporting 38 Pounds Of Cannabis,
Ruling That Police Can Randomly Squeeze Airport Luggage
To Expel Air That Can Be Sniffed For Signs Of Drugs)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:04:25 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Police Can Squeeze Luggage at Airports
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: Fri, 24 Apr 1998


Police can randomly squeeze airport luggage to expel air that can be
sniffed for signs of drugs, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

"The accepted need for heightened security has lessened air travelers'
reasonable expectation of privacy in both checked and
carry-on-baggage," said the 4th District Court of Appeal in a 3-0 ruling.

The ruling upheld David Santana's conviction for transporting 38 pounds of
marijuana, found in his bags at the San Diego airport in September 1995.

Propaganda Or Just Outreach? ('Sacramento Bee' Columnist Dan Walters
In 'The Oakland Tribune' Says California Television Ads
Paid For By Cigarette Taxes That Promote Political Support For The State's
Unique Prohibition On Smoking In Bars Cross The Line From Government
Produced Health Propaganda Into Political Advocacy)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:47:45 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Propaganda or Just Outreach?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Author: Dan Walters - Sacramento Bee
Editor note: Originally published in the Sacramento Bee on Wed, 22 Apr 1998.


We have become accustomed - or perhaps inured -to government- sponsored
exhortations for us to act in ways deemed socially responsible.

We are berated to recycle our trash, use seat belts, stop smoking, be
careful with fire, car pool, conserve water, abstain from liquor while
driving and/or gestating, wear helmets while cycling with or without
motors, obey speed limits and avoid unsafe sex.

Government at all levels spends untold millions of dollars on these
campaigns, often farming out the details of indoctrination to private
public relations and advertising firms. Indeed, obtaining such contracts
has become a lucrative business in Sacramento and other political capitals.

The rationales for such tax-payer-financed behavior modification are that
government should promote public safety and welfare, and the programs
involve, for the most part, the dispensing of factual information.

There is a point, however, when government-produced propaganda crosses a
line into political advocacy.

California's anti-smoking advertising has flirted with that practice when
it moved from highlighting the health dangers associated with cigarettes to
moral condemnation of the executives of companies that produce them. It
was, in effect, hate-mongering - choosing a class of people for official
execration, and in this case a class of people who were doing nothing
illegal, no matter how noxious one may find their activities to be.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is operating close to the same line.

The nine-member authority, created last year, is charged with developing a
plan for a system of high-speed rail that would link major California
cities and, presumably, relieve pressure on both airlines and highways.

Such a system would be enormously expensive, at least $15 billion. Thus, it
would take a major infusion of public finds, such as a bond issue and/or a
special tax, to finance. The rail authority is on the verge of awarding a
contract for a "public outreach program," costing as much as $4 million,
"to enhance and encourage public participation in the planning process
which is expected to result in a measure to be placed on the ballot."

That sounds benign enough, not unlike dozens of other PR programs conducted
by state agencies under the rubric of "outreach," albeit somewhat more
expensive than most.

But will these millions of dollars be spent to help Californians
participate in designing a high-speed rail system or to persuade them to
pass a tax and/or bond financing scheme?

An earlier draft of the project uses these words to describe its goals: "to
promote the concept of high speed rail in California in advance of a
statewide initiative to seek voter approval.

The state's lawyers raised a red flag about that language, saying it would
amount to illegal use of taxpayer dollars to finance a political campaign.
So the words were changed. And the revised version warns bidders that "the
use of public funds to advocate or promote a ballot measure is not

But has the real intent changed? One wonders. It will take a massive sales
campaign to persuade California voters to tax themselves heavily for a
high-speed rail system, and the $4 million would appear to be a down
payment on the drive.

How the actual "outreach" campaign proceeds will answer the question. But
even if the rail authority does develop a plan, including a financing
scheme, there's another questionable provision contained in the authorizing
legislation. The rail authority could place the issue before voters
directly, without having it even approved by the Legislature and the
governor. That's potentially an even more dangerous precedent.

Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. His e-mail address is

War On Drugs Ineffective (Letter To Editor Of 'Daily Arizona Star'
By A Former Heroin Addict Of 25 Years Says Prohibition
Was Never More Than A Brief Nuisance)

From: "Rolf Ernst" 
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US AZ: PUB LTE: War On Drugs Ineffective
Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 10:07:12 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: April 24, 1998
Source: Daily Arizona Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Author: Spence Berry


Re: the war on drugs.

I was a heroin addict for about 25 years and am now clean and attending my
third year of college. During all of my years of addiction, I was never
unable to locate my drug of choice. Furthermore, I never met anyone who
didn't use drugs because they couldn't locate any.

If it were not for the media, I would not have guessed there was a "war on
drugs," except for an occasional police officer being a brief nuisance. The
point I am trying to make is that we are flushing billions of dollars down
the proverbial drain trying to fight this war.

The drug cartels are just like any major business and there is a certain
cost of doing business. They most likely write off 10 percent or so before
shipment ever takes place. In essence, what we are doing is creating very
expensive products (marijuana, heroin, and cocaine) and the drug cartels are
happy as hell about it.

If we can't keep drugs out of a maximum security prison, and believe me we
can't, what would make anyone in his or her right mind think we can keep
drugs away from our borders?

I think we need to develop some backbone by creating strong, strict and
focused international policies and stick to them. I don't pretend to have
the answers or know the solution, but one thing is for sure. What we are
doing isn't working.

Spence Berry

Tulsa Firefighter Charged In Methamphetamine Case
('Tulsa World' Says Tulsa, Oklahoma, Firefighter Johnny Mark Kirk
Is Charged With Keeping An Apartment Where Methamphetamine Was Produced)

Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 19:01:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: Tulsa Firefighter Charged In Methamphetamine Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Michael Pearson 
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com
Author: David Harper World Staff Writer


A Tulsa firefighter was arrested Thursday and charged with maintaining an
apartment used for the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Johnny Mark Kirk is charged with keeping an apartment in Tulsa where
methamphetamine was allegedly produced on June 26, July 5 and July 8.

Kirk, who according to city records has been a Tulsa firefighter since
October 1988, was named in an April 14 indictment that was under seal until
he made an initial appearance late Thursday afternoon in the Tulsa
courtroom of U.S. Magistrate Claire V. Eagan.

At least for now, Kirk waived his right to a detention hearing and will be
kept in custody pending resolution of the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert T. Raley said Kirk was arrested by Drug
Enforcement Administration task force agents about 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

Tulsa police received a tip Thursday morning from a person who reported a
possible sighting of fugitive Linda Sue Bear at Kirk's west Tulsa
residence, Raley said. Bear had been featured in Thursday's Tulsa's Most
Wanted feature in the Tulsa World.

A check of the house by the warrant squad did not net Bear but did
ultimately result in Kirk's arrest by the DEA, Raley said. It is unclear if
Bear really had been at the house or if the tip was a coincidence.

Bear is among 15 people who were charged with conspiracy and manufacturing
methamphetamine in a federal indictment handed down Feb. 13. Seven of the
15 suspects pleaded guilty to various charges on Wednesday.

Kirk is not one of the 15 people charged in the methamphetamine conspiracy
indictment, but his name does appear in the plea agreement of Bristow
resident James Levi Edmondson.

Edmondson pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy, possession with intent to
distribute methamphetamine and maintaining a place for the purpose of
distributing, manufacturing and using methamphetamine.

Edmondson claimed in his plea agreement that in late June 1997, Kirk
provided him with a key to an apartment located in the 6800 block of South
Lewis Avenue. Edmondson maintained that Kirk allowed him to use the
apartment to manufacture methamphetamine and that Kirk was paid one-eighth
of an ounce of meth for his hospitality.

Edmondson claimed that he manufactured the drug at the apartment on three
occasions in July 1997.

Raley said Thursday that the case against Kirk is "a direct spinoff" of the
Edmondson case.

Ex-Con Just Keeps Finding His Way Back To Prison ('Tulsa World'
Notes Oklahoma Keeps Finding A Way To Lock Up A Harmless Man -
This Time He Gets A Year For Failing Urine Tests For Cannabis, Cocaine)

Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 19:01:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: Ex-Con Just Keeps Finding His Way Back to Prison
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Michael Pearson 
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com
Author: World's own Service 4/24/98


The more Milton Thomas Walton gets out of prison, the more he finds new
ways to return.

Little more than a year ago, Walton told a federal judge that his escape
from a halfway house less than two months before his release date "wasn't
the brightest thing I've ever done."

On Thursday, having completed a one-year sentence on that escape charge and
then violating the terms of supervised release, Walton was sentenced to yet
another year in captivity.

He had been sentenced on March 4, 1997, to one year in prison and three
years' supervised release for escaping from custody just 54 days before his
sentence for a 1990 bank robbery conviction was to end.

He had pleaded guilty to walking away from Freedom Ranch, a halfway house
near Turley, on Sept. 3, 1996.

On April 3, the U.S. Probation Office filed a petition claiming that Walton
had tested positive for marijuana eight times since his release. The
petition also cited two positive tests for cocaine use. The office also
alleged that Walton had made an unauthorized trip to Texas in December.

Walton did not dispute the allegations Thursday. He vowed to U.S. District
Judge Sven Erik Holmes that "I won't be back in this situation again. As of
this moment, there won't be any more drug use."

The judge ordered him to spend a year in a facility that provides
substance-abuse help.

Department Of Corrections To Step Up Tests For Drugs ('Tulsa World'
Says Five Percent Of Oklahoma's Inmate Population Of 20,466
Will Be Tested For Drug Use Every Month)

Date: Sat, 25 Apr 1998 19:01:36 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: Olafur Brentmar 
Subject: MN: US OK: DOC to Step Up Tests for Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Michael Pearson 
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com
Author: Barbara Hoberock World Capitol Bureau


OKLAHOMA CITY -- All inmates in Department of Corrections facilities will
be randomly tested for drugs as part of a project that begins next month.

The department will test 5 percent of the inmate population for drug use
each month, said James Saffle, DOC director.

The urine analysis will give department officials some idea about how
pervasive drug use is behind prison walls, said Dennis Cotner, the
department's director of medical and inmate services.

There are 20,466 inmates in the prison system.

Prisons already do random drug testing, but the new push will be more
comprehensive and coordinated, Cotner said, adding that it won't cost that
much more money. DOC also tests inmates who are suspected of using drugs,
he said.

The mandatory drug testing came about after President Clinton directed
Attorney General Janet Reno to promote a policy of zero tolerance of drug
use and trafficking in prisons, Cotner said.

"He directed her to, among other things, amend the drug testing guidelines
to include requirements that states report on drug abuse problems and
progress toward ridding correctional facilities of drugs and reducing the
drug use among offenders," Cotner said.

Cotner said DOC has centralized records from its facilities pertaining to
drug testing. States must report the results to the federal government to
obtain federal dollars, he said.

Judging from serious incident reports from numerous facilities, drug use in
the state's corrections system is far from nonexistent.

On March 31, a construction worker was arrested at Joseph Harp Correctional
Center in Lexington for possession of marijuana, according to the report.

"Charges were filed for distributing drugs inside a penal institution," the
report said.

On March 10 at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester an inmate tried to
put something in his mouth during a strip search.

"The inmate was ordered to get it out of his mouth, " the report said. "He
did so and attempted to flush it. The officer grabbed his arm to deter him
from flushing it. The inmate put the substance back in his mouth. He was
wrestled to the floor."

The inmate eventually spit out "six small bags of a green leafy substance,"
the report said.

On Dec. 27 at Jackie Brannon Correctional Center in McAlester, correctional
officers were searching inmates after visitation. An officer ordered an
inmate to open his mouth and saw a plastic bag with a white substance in
it, the report said. The inmate ended up swallowing the bag and its

"I think they (drugs) are pretty prevalent in most prisons, " said Lynn
Powell, a Tulsan who is president of Citizens United for the Rehabilitation
of Errants. "I don't have a problem with drug testing, but I'd like to see
them test their own personnel to deter the way drugs get into the system."

The department is working on a policy to test employees, said Jerry Massie,
department spokesman.

Staff members determine which inmates on parole and probation must undergo
a drug test, said Stormy Wilson, a department district supervisor.

Parolees and probationers who test positive for drug use won't
automatically go back to prison, he said.

Some may receive an intermediate sanction, such as being required to do
community service, have more supervision or go to a day reporting center,
he said.

Inmates caught with drugs will get a misconduct and possibly additional
felony charges, he said.

Two Caught Selling Cigarettes To Inmates ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Notes The Two Milwaukee Men Face Two-Year Sentences For Passing Legal Drugs
To Jail Inmates At A Huber, Wisconsin, Release Center)

From: "Rolf Ernst" 
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US WI: Two Caught Selling Cigarettes To Inmates
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 18:45:18 -0500
Importance: Normal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: Jim Stingl


Nicotine-craving prisoners at a downtown Huber release center lowered a
basket on a string through a hole in the wall and got a couple guys on State
St. to pass up cigarettes in exchange for money.

The sellers wound up in jail themselves and on Thursday were charged with a
two-year felony -- delivering articles to inmates.

"It was kind of a little impromptu store going on there," said Deputy Daniel
Suszek, who investigated the case. "If you could stand there long enough and
pass stuff up, you could make a tidy sum."

The two men charged in the case are Miller L. Brown, 49, and Seth Allen, 18,
both of Milwaukee.

A few factors were working against this business enterprise. First, it was
going on in daylight, about 6 p.m. Tuesday, along heavily traveled State St.
in front of the Community Correctional Center, 1004 N. 10th St.

Second, law enforcement officers in the County Jail across the street could
watch it from their windows. Sheriff's Capt. Gary Kasza, who works in the
jail record area, notified deputies of the activity and then stayed in radio
communication with them so they could arrest Brown, who tried to get lost in
the line of people waiting next door for a free meal at St. Benedict's.

Right after Brown was arrested, Allen came along. He started passing
cigarettes up the homemade elevator, the criminal complaint says. He, too,
was taken into custody.

By the time the deputies got inside the center, everyone had scattered and
the cigarette passing apparatus -- possibly made from shoelaces -- had been
flushed or otherwise destroyed.

Smoking is not allowed at the center, and cigarettes are considered
contraband. But the former hospital still has nooks and crannies where a
person could sneak a puff.

"One cigarette can go for several dollars. It's a lucrative business," said
Gerald Weinzatl, assistant superintendent of the center, which holds nearly
400 prisoners who are searched each day when they return from work or

Matches and lighters also are forbidden at the center.

"Those would have to come up with the cigarettes," Weinzatl said. "This is
certainly not going to be tolerated."

Dogs were brought in to check the building for illegal drugs, but none was
found. No cigarettes were recovered.

The cigarettes were being passed up one floor above street level through a
hole in a concrete windowsill that had crumbled. Weinzatl said the hole will
be patched.

There was no mention of patches, the nicotine kind, for the inmates.

News Update Of The Global Coalition For Alternatives To The Drug War
(Details On Public Demonstrations Against The War On Some Drug UsersJune 5-10
In 33 Cities Around The Globe)

Date: Sun, 26 Apr 1998 00:30:36 +0200 (CEST)
To: hbego@knoware.nl
From: Harry Bego 
Subject: UPDATE: Global Days against the Drug War, June 5-10, 33 cities!

News Update of the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War

April 24, 1998

Dear drug policy reformer,

This is the next in a series of updates to keep you informed
about the planning of the Global Days against the Drug War,
which will be held on Friday June 5th through Wednesday June
10th, at the occasion of the UN General Assembly Special
Session on Drugs (UNGASS).

On behalf of the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug
War, best regards,

Olivier Dupuis, general secretary, Transnational Radical Party
Kevin Zeese, president, Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation
Adam Smith, associate director, Drug Reform Coordination Network
Harry Bego, coordinator, Global Days against the Drug War

Comments about the contents of this newsletter can be sent to:
For more info visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/


British and French coalitions are formed.
Activities in New York are taking shape.

We've applied for a panel inside the UN on June 9th.
Organisations can join by signing the declaration.

3. ENCOD: The European Council on Drugs and Development
We cooperate with the alliance established by ENCOD

Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days!



At the moment of writing, events are being planned for the
Global Days against the Drug War in 33 cities all over the
world. In alphabetical order, events have been announced for
Alsfeld (Ger), Amsterdam, Auckland (NZ), Berlin, Bonn,
Brussels, Christchurch (NZ), Colville (WS), Dallas, Dunedin
(NZ), Eugene (OR), Houston, Ilmenau (Ger), Jena (Ger), London,
Los Angeles, Madrid, Munich, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Salt
Lake City, San Francisco, Schengen (Lux), Sidney, Stockholm,
Tallinn (Estonia), Tel Aviv, Texoma (Ok), Tucson, Washington,
Wellington and Winnipeg. Information about these events is
available at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

Please note that the duration of the 'Global Days against the
Drug War' has been extended from three to six days, to last
from Friday 5th until Wednesday 10th. We encourage reformers to
consider organising events in yet other cities. Please contact
us at coalition@stopthedrugwar.org.


These weeks, organisational meetings are held in many places
to plan all this activity. To support organisation of events,
national coalitions of reform organisations have been formed
in Britain and France. A recent meeting of the new British
coalition was reported in the Independent (read at our web site).
Yves TÚvessin, spokesperson for the new French alliance,
the "Collectif pour l'abrogation de la loi 70", writes:
"Yesterday we signed your declaration and we decided to
organize an evening with concerts and street theatre on the
6th of June, on 7th of June a big demonstration in the
afternoon, and surely many other surprises". Those of you
who have been following recent French reform activism, will
know that French surprises are always worth anticipating!
The "Collectif" consists of La Ligue des Droits de l'Homme,
le Syndicat de la Magistrature, Auto-Support d'Usagers de
Drogues (ASUD), Act Up-Paris, le Collectif d'Information et
de Recherche Canabiques (CIRC), les Verts, Chiche!, la CORA,
Tekno+, and Substitution Auto-Support (SAS).
Other recent good news from Paris concerns the confirma-
tion that CORA, the Coordinamento Radicale Antiproibizionista,
is organising the CORA congress in Paris on June 5, 6 and 7!


Meanwhile, the plans for events in New York are taking shape.
On Monday June 8th through Wednesday June 10th there will be an
ongoing flower laying ceremony and open drug war seminar, and
daily rallies near the UN. On June 9th, a panel discussion on
UN drug policy reform is planned inside the UN.

Starting on Monday 8th, the center of activity outside the UN
headquarters will be in the Ralph Bunche Park, the small park
across the street from the UN's main entrance. We will have a
protest focused around an ongoing flower laying ceremony along
with an ongoing drug policy seminar, with renowned speakers.
There will be visual displays in memory of drug war victims,
representing drug war issues, and in favor of more peaceful
approaches to drug policy. People will be able to get their
flowers and lay them near the displays. Of course before the
event we want to get people from around the world and the
US to let us know they want flowers in their name so right
from the start there will be a lot of flowers for good visuals.
In the larger park at the other end of the UN we will set
up tables on the various issues and people can pick up their
flowers and walk from the visitor center park to the main
entrance park (about three blocks) and lay their flowers.
In the larger park itself we will have issue-focused rallies
each day. These will be scheduled each day during the lunch
break of the UN meeting so media can attend and so it is easier
for people to attend who are concerned about the issue. Issues
we will cover over the three days include the spread of disease
(AIDS, Hepatitis), incarceration of non-violent offenders with
an emphasis on children without parents due to drug war
incarceration; and the impact of the drug war on developing
countries. Speakers will include not only US spokespersons but
those from around the world.
We also plan to have an open discussion wall where people
can write their thoughts or have a speakers corner where anyone
can speak for five minutes on the drug war. These latter two
ideas are to emphasize the closed nature of the UN discussion
and the openness of ours.

Next to all this activity outside the UN, a panel discussion on
UN drug policy reform is prepared, to be held inside the UN on
Tuesday June 9th. The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the
Drug War, together with several other parties, has submitted a
formal application for the panel with the UN NGO Committee. In
this we with work together with ENCOD (see section 3).

For more information about events in New York, contact Kevin
Zeese, kevzeese@laser.net, or Adam Smith, ajsmith@intr.net.


Meanwhile, recent information, received April 12th, concerns
plans for a manifestation at the "Schengener Bruecke", a bridge
over the Mosel river at the location where the borders between
Germany, France and Luxemburg meet, near the Luxemburg town of
Schengen. In Schengen, a treaty was signed twelve years ago
between several European countries, regulating the free ex-
change of personnel between member states. However, the French
President, Chirac, has in the past years frustrated the full
implementation of the treaty by putting patrols at the borders
between Belgium and France, accusing the Netherlands of causing
drug trafficking problems by its liberal drug laws. The event
at the Schengener Bruecke will probably involve a march across
the bridge and the handing over of some suitable symbolic
commodity from representatives of German drug policy reform
groups, to their French counterparts, and v.v.


Plans are at an advanced stage at the other side of the globe
as well. Chris Fowlie, NORML New Zealand board member, writes:
"The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
(NORML) has lobbied for marijuana law refom in New Zealand
since 1976. NORML NZ supports the establishment of a regulated
legal cannabis market. We'll be organising various activities
around NZ, including a big march up Queen St, Auckland,
Saturday June 6". Together with events announced earlier for
Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, this makes for a total of
4 events in New Zealand so far!

For information about all the other great events being planned
in thirteen countries, see our web pages. Of course we
encourage you to consider planning similar events. Events do
not necessarly have to be big - a forum discussion, a rally,
an anti-prohibition party, a petition, a concert, a press
conference - it is up to you what form and size your
participation will take ... Contact fellow reformers, local
policy reform organisations, clubs, etc., get together and
see what you can do. And inform us, of course!


As you know, we have established the Global Coalition for
Alternatives to the Drug War, which will issue declarations,
and members of which will support the Global Days against the
Drug War.

The coalition is also involved in preparations of an NGO panel
on UN drug policy reform, which is planned to be held inside
the UN on Tuesday June 9th. Together with several other parties
(a.o. ENCOD, see section 3), we have submitted a formal appli-
cation for the panel to the UN NGO Committee. The application
is coordinated by the Transnational Radical Party. See
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ for news about
the UN panel, and for an up-to-date list of over 60
organisations that have joined the coalition.

Organisations are invited to join the coalition by endorsing the
declaration below. Please write to: coalition@stopthedrugwar.org



We, the undersigned, having recognized the extraordinary
damage being caused by the Drug War, join together
in a call for wide-ranging and honest international and
intranational discussion about the effectiveness and
consequences of current, force-based drug policies.
Furthermore, we call upon our governments and fellow
citizens to begin the process of the exploration of alternative
solutions to the issues that these policies are claimed
to address. This process should include, but not be
limited to, a revision of the United Nations conventions
and other international treaties which inhibit nations
from adopting such alternatives.

We believe that in an atmosphere of honest and rational
examination, effective policies can be found which are
based not upon force, repression, prohibition, coercive
government action and the use of violence, but upon the
universal principles of human rights, freedom, justice,
equality under the law, the dignity of the individual,
the health of people and communities, and the sovereignty
of nations.

It should be noted that this coalition represents a
very broad range of political and social viewpoints,
and a wide variety of issue-interests. The heterogeneity
of the signatories to this coalition is evidence of
both the intellectual strength of our position and
the breadth of the destruction being wrought by
current policies. For despite our differences, we stand
together in the knowledge that a policy which mandates
a continuous state of war, in the absence of a true
acknowledgement and assessment of the consequences
and excesses of that war, is objectively flawed. And
that such a policy is in direct contradiction to the
mission and the ideals of the United Nations, and of the
peoples of the earth.

No society, whether local or global, can long endure
under a perpetual state of war. Nor do we choose to
leave as a legacy to our children, and to future
generations, the disastrous results of such a policy.
It is time to find alternatives.

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War.


3. ENCOD: The European Council on Drugs and Development

We work together with the European Council on Drugs and
Development (ENCOD), which took the initiative to build a broad
international alliance of organisations working in the field of
development, human rights, prevention and health care, drug
consumers and peasant drug crop producers to jointly challenge
UNGASS with a set of concrete recommendations for an
alternative drug policy. This alliance currently consist of
some 30 organisations, some of which are members of the 'Global
Coalition' as well. The manifesto "For a just and effective
policy on drugs" attempts to bridge the many different islands
dividing the broad drugs issue and to fully incorporate the
views and worries from the South, often marginalised in the
Northern dominated drugs policy debates. For more information
about ENCOD, extensive information on UNGASS, and the text of
the manifesto, see http://www.worldcom.nl/tni/drugs/

Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days!




The Global Days against the Drug War!

June 5-10

Events in:
Alsfeld, Amsterdam, Auckland, Berlin, Bonn,
Brussels, Christchurch, Colville, Dallas, Dunedin,
Eugene, Houston, Ilmenau, Jena, London, Los Angeles, Madrid,
Munich, New Orleans, New York, Paris, Salt Lake City, San Francisco,
Schengen, Sidney, Stockholm, Tallinn, Tel Aviv, Texoma,
Tucson, Washington, Wellington, Winnipeg ...

Join the Coalition!

As you probably know, the United Nations will hold the
first-ever Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs,
UNGASS, from June 8th to June 10th 1998 in New York.

This session was originally conceived as a critical examination
of worldwide anti-drug policy. The focus of this session has
now been narrowed. According to the new guidelines, only the
expansion of existing policies will be open for discussion. The
United Nations aims to escalate current drug repression tactics
in a catastrophic quest towards a 'drug free' society. In terms
of crime, economic and financial damage, and social and
personal harm, this policy is turning into a worldwide crisis!

It is of great importance that alternative proposals are heard
at the onset of this UN session. A clear statement must be made
that what is needed is not escalated repression, but reform
policies aimed at reducing the damage currently done.

To this aim, a number of organisations have recently united to
form the "Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War".
They have written a declaration that will be published widely.
You can join the coalition by co-signing the declaration; see
the contact info below.

Members of this coalition are also invited to participate in
the the "1998 Global Days against the Drug War", which are held
Friday June 5th through Wednesday June 10th in cities around
the world. This international event will feature discussion
forums, seminars, publications, press conferences,
demonstrations, street parties, concerts, a congress, and other
types of events. The CORA congress will be held in Paris,
Friday 5th through Sunday 7th, and a great three-day event is
planned to take place in New York from Monday 8th through
Wednesday 10th. We have applied for a forum inside the UN on
Tuesday June 9th. At this moment (April 25th), events are being
planned in 33 cities!

You can help make the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War a
success! Make sure your city is part of this event. If you are
a member of a group or organisation that can help, contact us.
Otherwise, you can join one or more of the participating groups
and organisations, or set up your own group. See the contact
info below.

In the weeks before UNGASS we will issue press releases with
the names of all the groups and organisations that have joined
the coalition. Groups and organisations are invited to plan
their own version of the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War,
under their own identity and name. Note however that
participation in the coalition does not itself imply
endorsement of the individual events taking place.

Organisations wishing to join the coalition can send mail to
coalition@stopthedrugwar.org. Individual activists please visit
the web site at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War currently
consists of these and more than 45 other organisations:

The Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), the National
Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Coordina-
mento Radicale Antiprohibizionista (CORA), the November
Coalition, the Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice (CERJ),
the Transnational Radical Party (TRP), Common Sense for Drug
Policy, the Legalize! Initiative, the Media Awareness Project
(MAP), American Society for Action on Pain (ASAP), Compassio-
nate Care Alliance, the Campaign for the Restoration and
Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), HANF! Magazine, National Alliance of
Methadone Advocates (NAMA), and other organisations.

Participate in the 1998 Global Days against the Drug War !

June 5-10

e-mail: coalition@stopthedrugwar.org




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


Vote On House Resolution 372 Is Not On The House Schedule For Next Week
(Bulletin From NORML In Washington, DC, Says The Vote
In The US House Of Representatives On The Anti-Medical Marijuana Resolution
Has Been Delayed Until At Least Tuesday, May 5 - Renewed Call For Letters)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 17:47:06 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Vote on H. Res. 372 is not on the House schedule for next week


The schedule circulated by the Republican Whip's office this afternoon
does not include H. Res. 372 on the schedule for House consideration next
week. Therefore we do not expect this resolution to be called up for a
debate and vote before Tuesday, May 5, 1998. Scheduling is entirely in
the hands of the Republican leadership.

Please keep those cards, letters and faxes flowing to members of
Congress. Send a free fax to your member from the NORML web site (www.
norml.org); call the House of Representatives (202-225-3121); or address
letters to Rep. ___, House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Let
NORML know if your member would like more information and we'll schedule
a meeting with their staff and provide them with a comprehensive packet
of supportive materials.

NORML will be holding a press conference on Capitol Hill on the day the
vote is finally scheduled.

Keith Stroup

DEA Invites Your Comments On Cannabis Eradication In The United States
(List Subscriber Posts Information From Drug Enforcement Administration
About Who To Call, Public Meetings To Attend Around The United States)

From: cwagoner@bendnet.com
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 18:51:43 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: HT: DEA invites your comments on Cannabis Eradication in the
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: DEA invites your comments on Cannabis Eradication in the

hempsters around the world, we must protest america's plan to spray
poison on cannabis. please read this and let your voice be heard!
bast regards.

i am,
john e. dvorak


DEA Requesting Comments on Spraying the Herbicide Triclopyr on
Industrial Hemp Across America

Posted by (Author Unknown) on April 24, 1998

The DEA has proposed a new program for industrial hemp eradication
titled "Cannabis Eradication In The Contiguous United States and
Hawaii," dated April 1998 and is available free at the DEA's Arlington
headquarters (301) 734-4839. [<-- CALL THIS NUMBER!]

There is a potentially serious environmental problem with far reaching
implications which need immediate action. The DEA has proposed a new
program for industrial hemp eradication titled "Cannabis Eradication In
The Contiguous United States and Hawaii," dated April 1998 and is
available free at the DEA's Arlington headquarters (301) 734-4839. It is
the DEA's Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) which seeks
clearance to spray "cannabis" with the industrial herbicide, TRICLOPYR.
The DEA considers spraying Triclopyr so benign to the environment, that
they are not even considered doing a basic Environmental Assessment
beforehand and will not be going through the Environmental Impact
Statement procedures. The DEA has set a deadline of June 01, 1998 to
send comments on their SEIS draft.

If implemented, this program will enable the DEA to harvest an economic
windfall through the wholesale eradication of hundreds of millions of
otherwise inaccessible wild industrial hemp plants. The program will
also give the DEA the ability to greatly increase the percentages of
total industrial hemp plants eradicated far above present levels. The
figures from a Vermont Legislative study reveal that of the $500 million
allocated by the federal government for DEA's Cannabis Eradication and
Suppression Program's budget, 98% was used to destroy industrial hemp
plants. This report is available by calling the Vermont State Auditor at
(808) 828-2281. [See April, 1998 issue of Hemp Magazine for a summary of
this report.] (Note: For environmental reasons, Vermont has halted the
spraying of triclopyr along its railroad system.)

The DEA tried spraying twice before in the early 1980s with paraquat,
but this time they want to substitute paraquat with triclopyr, which is
"supposedly" considered less toxic to humans than paraquat. The question
of whether triclopyr may possibly be a neurotoxic like paraquat has not
been addressed and the DEA has not considered the environmental effects
of triclopyr on migratory birds or their habitat.


[This was the cover letter that I received with the 200+ page report
regarding our government's attempt to make cannabis extinct in America.
Make it a point to comment against this! jd]


U.S. Department of Justice
Drug Enforcement Administration
700 Army Navy Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

April 3, 1998

Dear Reader,

The U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA),
invites your comments on the enclosed environmental document "Cannabis
Eradication in the Contiguous United States and Hawaii, Draft Supplement

to the Environmental Impact Statements, April 1998," (SEIS). This
document was prepared for DEA, with the assistance of the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service (APHIS).

The SEIS was prepared to supplement the following environmental impact
statements previously prepared by the DEA: "Final Environmental Impact
Statement, Cannabis Eradication on Non-Federal and Indian Lands in the
Contiguous United States and Hawaii" (May 1986) and the "Final
Environmental Impact Statement on the Eradication of Cannabis on Federal
Lands in the Continental United States" (July 1985). The SEIS provides
analysis on the following factors affecting the DEA's Cannabis
eradication program: new scientific information regarding the herbicides
considered in the EIS's, changes and improvements in the herbicidal
program delivery, and the consideration of another herbicide for
potential use in the program.

If you wish to provide comments, an original and three copies of your
comments must be received by close of business on June 1, 1998, at the
following address:

Mr. Jack Edmundson
Project Leader
Environmental Analysis and Documentation
4700 River Road, Unit 149
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238

In addition, five public meetings to hear oral public comments on the
draft SEIS are scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, May 12, 4-8 pm, Denver Colorado
Friday, May 15, 4-8 pm, Honolulu, Hawaii
Tuesday, May 19, Boise, Idaho
Thursday, May 21, Atlanta, Georgia
Wednesday, May 27, Washington, DC

If you plan to present oral comments at any of the scheduled meetings,
you may register at the meeting location between 3 and 4 pm on the
meeting date. You can pre-register for the meeting by facsimile at
301-734-3640 any time of day or by calling Ms. Vicki Wickheiser, USDA,
APHIS, at 301-734-4839 between 7:30 am and 3 pm EST. Pre-registrants
should provide their name, organization affiliation (if any), address,
telephone number (optional), and the meeting location that they will
attend. Pre-registration ends at 3 pm EST on May 7, 1998. Speakers are
requested to provide an original and three copies of the written text of
their comments during registration at the meeting.

James A. Woolley
Chief, State and Local
Programs Section


Hemp Magazine

Advertising & subscription info:
Richard Tomcala, Publisher


Hemp news & writers wanted!
Contact John E. Dvorak, Managing Editor



White House Reacts To Congressional Black Caucus Demand For Resignation
Of Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey (Transcript Of Excerpts From The White House
Press Briefing About The Needle Exchange Controversy)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:05:32 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Dave Fratello 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: W. House Reacts to McCaffrey Resignation Demands


TRANSCRIPT (source: whitehouse.gov)



Q Mike, the Congressional Black Caucus is calling for
Barry McCaffrey's resignation over the needle exchange controversy.

MR. MCCURRY: That's unfortunate. And if you think
about Americans who have made a difference in the fight against the
scourge of drugs, I can think of very few people who have been more
personally committed to making a difference in the lives of minority
Americans, especially, who are affected by the scourge of drugs --
can think of few have made more of a difference than General Barry
McCaffrey. I think he has been an internationally recognized leader
in the fight against drugs. I think he has argued strenuously within
the administration to maintain the kind of discipline we need to be
successful in the fight against drugs. And I think he's argued
forcefully for exactly the kind of policy decisions that the
President has made with respect to needles.

Q So he'll be staying on, then?

MR. MCCURRY: No question in my mind of that.

Q But you're not the guy.

MR. MCCURRY: I'm not the General, but --

Q The President.

MR. MCCURRY: I can't speak for the General, I can speak
for the President. The President is very supportive of the work that
he's done and very complimentary of the work of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy.

Q There won't be any reconsideration of the decision?

MR. MCCURRY: The President is confident that we have
got a policy that places the emphasis on building support at the
local community level for programs that both can help those who are
afflicted by addiction to drugs and those who run the risk of
exposure to HIV-AIDS. And his goal was to craft a policy based on
science, acknowledging that what science tells us that will build
local community support, which is where that support has to be for
these programs to be successful, build a policy that actually
requires those communities to find and maintain the kind of support
that they need, both in research and in community involvement that
make needle exchanges effective as both an HIV-AIDS strategy and a
counter-drug strategy.

Q The needle exchange program that Shalala announced
this week, though, was the President's policy, was it not, more than
General McCaffrey's?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, she statutorily had the obligation
to make a determination on the role of scientific evaluation of
needle exchange. That was given to her by Congress as a matter of
statute. But it was a decision important enough that clearly the
President had input on it as we've described to you.

Q But her decision accurately reflected the
President's view on this --

MR. MCCURRY: Correct.

Q -- that it should be done at the local level?

MR. MCCURRY: That is correct.

Q So, Mike, since you're standing behind on General
McCaffrey, is the White House looking at this as somewhat of a
personality conflict between McCaffrey and Congressman Maxine Waters
especially, since McCaffrey hung up on Waters recently?

MR. MCCURRY: Congresswoman Waters has very strong views
on this subject, and we respect her views on it. There is a good
difference of opinion and a fair difference of opinion. We hope that
those issues can be addressed amicably.

Soros Offers Pledge For Needle Programs ('Orange County Register'
Says International Financier George Soros On Thursday Offered $1 Million
In Matching Funds In Response To The Clinton Administration's Refusal
To Fund The Programs)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:06:10 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US: Soros Offers Pledge For Needle Programs
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: Fri, 24 Apr 1998


International financier George Soros on Thursday offered $1 million in
matching funds to support needle-exchange programs.

The move comes in response to the Clinton administration's position that it
does not favor federal funding for the programs, which are credited with
helping slow the spread of the AIDS virus.

The Soros pledge "was in the works, and we decided to announce it when the
federal government decided not to fund programs," said Ty Tippet of the
Lindesmith Center, a drug policy research organization that is part of the
Soros-sponsored Open Society Institute.

$1 Million Pledged For Needle Exchanges ('New York Times' Version)

From: ttrippet@mail.sorosny.org
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 98 09:10:04 EST
To: #TLC__HARM__REDUCTION_at_osi-ny@mail.sorosny.org
Subject: NYT: $1M Pledged for Needle Exchanges
Sender: owner-tlc-activist@soros.org

$1 Million Pledged for Needle Exchanges

Friday, April 24, 1998, p. A14


[Letters to Editor and Grant Information Follows]

A billionaire financier offered $1 million on a matching basis
Thursday to finance the distribution of clean needles to addicts who
inject illegal drugs.

The money pledged by the financier, George Soros, would go to match
increases by other philanthropists and private foundations for what
Soros called "these lifesaving programs."

Soros announced last August that he was making another $1 million
directly available for needle-exchange programs. Explaining his
decision at the time, he said: "Very few politicians dare to stand up.
If they touch the issue, it's like touching a third rail."

Soros, who lives in New York, had been considering making the new
offer of matching money for some weeks. He advanced the announcement
to Thursday after the Clinton administration refused on Monday to lift
a ban on federal financing of such programs, said Ty Trippet, a
spokesman for the Lindesmith Center, a drug-policy institute in New
York that Soros aids.

The offer is open to needle-exchange programs across the United
States that find new financing from other sources to qualify for
matching gifts from Soros. At 10 to 20 cents per needle, the $1
million total promised could buy 5 million to 10 million new syringes
for injecting drug users.

President Clinton declined to act despite a finding by a government
panel of scientists that handing out clean syringes did not increase
drug use and could save lives that might otherwise be lost to AIDS and
other diseases through the sharing of dirty or contaminated needles.

Congress has opposed the financing of sterile needles for drug users
on the ground that doing so would condone their illegal behavior.

The decision not to finance needle exchanges was a victory for Gen.
Barry McCaffrey, the director of national drug policy, who heatedly
debated the issue with Sandra Thurman, the director of national AIDS

McCaffrey prevailed by persuading Clinton that financing
needle-exchange programs would send the wrong message to children and
that such money would be better spent expanding treatment for addicts.

His office also pointed to studies of Canadian needle-exchange
programs in Vancouver and Montreal suggesting that the rate of HIV
infection among drug users rose after they entered the programs.
Proponents of needle exchanges called the conclusions flawed.

Dr. David Satcher, the surgeon general, has said that 40 percent of
new AIDS infections can be attributed directly or indirectly to
infection from contaminated needles.

Soros, who has spent nearly $20 million trying to change the way
Americans think about illegal drugs, rejoined the debate Thursday.

"It has been scientifically proven, and the federal government
agrees, that making sterile syringes readily available to addicts
reduces the spread of HIV and does not encourage drug use," he said in
a statement issued through the Lindesmith Center.

"It is now up to individuals, philanthropic groups and state and
local governments to fill the void left by the federal government," he


Letters must include the writer's name, address and telephone number.
Those selected my be shortened for space reasons (ie. the shorter the
better). Fax letters to 212-556-3622 or send by email to
letters@nytimes.com, or by regular mail to Letters to the Editor, The
New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.


The Grant is being distributed by the Tides Foundation in San
Francisco (415) 561-6400.

HIV's Spread Is Unchecked AIDS-Slowing Treatments ('Washington Post'
Background Article On AIDS And Needle Exchange Programs
Notes Data Released Yesterday By The Centers For Disease Control
And Prevention In The First Direct Assessment Of HIV Infection Trends
Shows HIV Continues To Spread Through The Population Essentially Unabated)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:23:00 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: US WP: HIV's Spread Is Unchecked AIDS-Slowing Treatments
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese 
Source: Washington Post
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998
Author: Rick Weiss Washington Post Staff Writer


Eclipse Rising Infection Rate, Study Says

Although the number of new AIDS cases in the United States has declined
substantially in recent years, HIV continues to spread through the
population essentially unabated, according to data released yesterday by
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first direct assessment of HIV infection trends shows that the recent
decline in U.S. AIDS cases is not due to a notable drop in new infections.
Rather, improved medical treatments are allowing infected people to stay
healthy longer before coming down with AIDS, overshadowing the reality of
an increasingly infected populace.

"The findings of this report give us a very strong message, that mortality
may be going down -- therapy is working -- but HIV continues its relentless
march into and through our population," said Thomas C. Quinn, an AIDS
specialist at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
"These data tell us we have a lot of work to do."

The findings also confirm previously identified trends showing that women
and minorities are increasingly at risk. Especially worrisome, officials
said, is that the annual number of new infections in young men and women 13
to 24 years old -- a group that has been heavily targeted for prevention
efforts -- is virtually unchanged in recent years.

"It certainly documents that we have ongoing new infections in young
people," said Patricia L. Fleming, chief of HIV/AIDS reporting and analysis
at the CDC in Atlanta.

The report also shows continuing high numbers of new infections among
intravenous drug users, a population that has recently been the focus of a
political debate over the value of needle exchange programs that offer drug
users clean syringes to prevent the spread of HIV, the virus that causes
AIDS. [International financier George Soros yesterday offered $1 million in
matching funds to support needle exchange programs around the country, the
Associated Press reported.]

CDC officials would not comment directly on President Clinton's decision
this week to extend a ban on federal funding of needle exchanges. But both
Fleming and Quinn said that AIDS prevention programs in this population
need to be improved.

"It's clear that something stronger is needed to slow this epidemic," Quinn

The new figures, in today's issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report, are based on HIV test results compiled by 25 states from
January 1994 to June 1997. They indicate that the number of new infections
during that period remained "stable," with just a "slight" decline of 2
percent from 1995 to 1996, the most recent full year included in the new
analysis. By contrast, deaths from AIDS declined 21 percent in 1996 and
dropped an additional 44 percent in the first six months of last year.

From 1995 to 1996, the number of HIV infections increased by 3 percent
among women. And it jumped 10 percent among Hispanics, although officials
said that figure was imprecise. Infections declined by 2 percent in the
white and 3 percent in the African American populations.

All told, the study tallied 72,905 infections during the survey period. The
number nationwide is much higher, since participating states account for
only about 25 percent of U.S. infections.

The single biggest risk category was men having sex with other men, but
heterosexual transmission continued its steady increase. Most of those
cases involved women contracting the virus through sex with male drug
users, Fleming said.

The survey is the first to track infection trends by looking directly at
HIV test results in people coming to clinics and other health care outlets.
That's a major change from the previous system, in which officials simply
estimated the number of new infections by counting the number of people
newly diagnosed with AIDS.

The old "back calculation" method worked fine during the first 15 years of
the epidemic, when HIV infection progressed predictably to disease over a
period that averaged about 10 years. With drug therapies now slowing
disease progression, however, the number of new AIDS cases no longer
reflects the number of new infections, and public health officials were
becoming uncertain about how they were doing in prevention efforts.

The new reporting system, now spreading to other states, has helped
officials regain those bearings, Fleming said. And although everyone wishes
the numbers were more encouraging, she said, at least officials now have a
clearer picture of the task at hand.

Tracking the Epidemic

Results of a study of AIDS and HIV diagnoses from 1994 through June 1997:

Who is diagnosed with HIV:

Women 62%

Men 28

Blacks 57

Whites 34

Hispanics 7

How they got it:

Male homosexual sex* 32%

Injecting drugs 18

Heterosexual sex 18

Drugs & homosexual sex 4

Other/unreported 28

* Thought to be underreported.

SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Legal Drugs Kill 20 Times More Americans Than Illegal Drugs,
Says Embarrassing New Study (Press Release From The US Libertarian Party
Criticizes Current Drug Policy In Light Of Recent JAMA Report)

Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 10:25:35 -0500
From: "Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr." (rpearl1@hotcom.net)
To: Cannabis Patriots (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Fwd: Release: deadly prescription drugs
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com



2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037

For release: April 24, 1998

For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com

Legal drugs kill 20 times more Americans
than illegal drugs, says embarrassing new study

WASHINGTON, DC -- Doctors kill far more people every year than
drug pushers do -- a surprising fact that should make sensible
Americans start to question the War on Drugs, the Libertarian Party
said today.

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that
properly prescribed legal drugs kill 106,000 Americans every year -- 20
times more than illegal drugs do.

"Are politicians going to declare a War on Medicine?" asked
Steve Dasbach, Libertarian Party chairman. "Of course not. So why are
we spending $17 billion on the War on Drugs, arresting millions of
people, and restricting civil liberties -- all to try to solve a
problem that's far less dangerous than modern medicine?"

The study found that correctly prescribed medications claim
106,000 lives a year because of toxic reactions. By comparison, only
5,212 Americans die annually from illegal drugs like heroin and
cocaine, according to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health

"This means that doctor-prescribed drugs kill 20 times more
people every year than drugs peddled on street corners," said Dasbach.
"Of course, more people take prescription medication than illegal
drugs, so higher death totals are expected. But the point is that the
health consequences of illegal drugs are vastly overstated by
politicians -- apparently to justify the costly government program they
call the War on Drugs."

In fact, Dasbach pointed out, the government admits that
aspirin killed twice as many people last year as PCP and LSD combined!

"But don't expect a War on Aspirin," Dasbach said. "The
government is less interested in protecting lives than in protecting
the jobs of the government bureaucrats and law enforcement personnel
who are on the Drug Prohibition payroll.

"For example, marijuana has caused no deaths, yet the
government arrested 641,642 Americans last year on marijuana-related
offenses, and is threatening to prosecute doctors who prescribe
marijuana for victims of AIDS and cancer," he noted.

The fact is, the real health threat comes not from drugs, but
from drug prohibition, Dasbach said.

"As Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman says, 5,000
Americans are killed every year solely due to Prohibition-spawned
violence -- meaning that outlawing drugs kills as many Americans every
year as the drugs themselves," he said.

Dasbach emphasized that the Libertarian Party doesn't condone
drug use.

"Too many lives have been ruined by drugs, whether legal or
illegal -- and we mourn a lost life, no matter what the cause," he
said. "But when the government arbitrarily decides which drugs to
outlaw, it transforms a personal tragedy into a national disaster and
turns a medical problem into a moral crusade.

"Politicians who focus obsessively on the drug war -- while
ignoring the fact that other medical problems are far more deadly --
have lost their grip on reality. As this new study makes clear, the War
on Drugs has more to do with political posturing than with public
health -- and that's why it's time to end it."

Version: 2.6.2


The Libertarian Party
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100
voice: 202-333-0008
Washington DC 20037
fax: 202-333-0072

For subscription changes, please mail to announce-request@lp.org with the
word "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" in the subject line -- or use the WWW form.

Hemp Cultivation Sows High Hopes In Canada ('Wall Street Journal'
Notes Canada's Industrial Hemp Industry Is Legal Now And Poised To Dominate
The US Market, While The Main US Lobby Group For Industrial Hemp,
The North American Industrial Hemp Council, Refuses Membership To Anyone
Who 'In Any Way, Form Or Fashion Openly Advocates The Legalization
Of Marijuana Or Any Other Drug')

Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 12:21:39 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald 
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Can: Wall Street Journal on Canadian Hemp Crop

from: http://www.marijuananews.com/

The Wall Street Journal Reports:
"Hemp Cultivation Sows High Hopes in Canada"
In their Commodities Section!
Wall Street Journal

April 24, 1998

By John Urquhart

Hemp is back. Ever since the "Reefer Madness" scare of the 1930s,
both the U.S. and Canada have strictly forbidden farmers to grow the
plant, a relative of marijuana. But now, Canada has broken the taboo.
In the next few weeks, its farmers will seed their first legal hemp
crops in 60 years.

Facts About Hemp:

*Strong fiber used for textiles, building materials, pulp and paper;
its seed produces oil for food, medicine and cosmetics.

*Hemp cultivation requires no pesticides or herbicides.

*Hemp growing countries include China, Romania, France, Germany,
Netherlands, England and Hungary.

*World-wide industrial hemp sales (excluding China) were $75 million
in 1997 and are projected to be $250 million in 1999, according to
HEMPTECH, a California consulting company.

Hemp is back. Ever since the "Reefer Madness" scare of the 1930s, both
the U.S. and Canada have strictly forbidden farmers to grow the plant,
a relative of marijuana. But now, Canada has broken the taboo. In the
next few weeks, its farmers will seed their first legal hemp crops in
60 years.

The Canadians figure this will give them a big jump on American
farmers who are lobbying Washington for permission to cultivate the
crop, too. Hemp farmers see growing markets for the versatile fiber,
used in everything from paper to auto parts. For instance, the
German-made 5 Series BMW care has 44 pounds of natural fibers
including hemp in its roof, door, trunk and other areas.

U.S. Drug law enforcers are watching the Canadian initiative warily.
But Canada insists it will make sure its farmers see only an
"industrial" variety of hemp. This type produces lots of oil and
fiber, but only insignificant amounts of the psychoactive chemical
that put hemp in the doghouse six decades ago.

Hemp was a mainstay crop of early North American settlers. It gave its
name to towns and villages in more than a dozen U.S. States, where it
was cultivated to make rope, paper, cloth and other staples. According
to hemp historians, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were hemp
growers and hemp paper was used for initial drafts of the Declaration
of Independence.

But hemp fell out of favor in the 1930s, partly because of competition
from cotton, but mainly because of fears stirred by such movies as
"Reefer Madness." Originally titled "The Burning Question," the 1936
"warning" film attempted to show how one puff of pot could lead
clean-cut teenagers down the road to insanity and death. Following the
scare, only World War II supply emergencies could move U.S. To make
brief exceptions to its ban on raising hemp.

Despite the ban, hemp has retained a dedicated following among
"hempsters," who extol the nutritious oils of hemp's grain and
the strong fibers of its sturdy stalk.

Modest amounts of hemp fiber, fabric and seed have continued to
trickle into North America from Europe and China to be made into
paper, jeans, socks, cosmetics and edible oils for salad dressing and
the like. California alone has more than a dozen hemp product stores.
The seed sold in such stores must be heat-treated before it is
imported so that it can't be cultivated.

Pro-hemp farmers are quick to distance themselves from marijuana
advocates, who see the legalization of hemp as a step toward the
legalization of marijuana. "We're ropers, and they're
dopers," says Fraser Smith, who is helping to fund an industrial hemp
venture in Ontario province.

The main U.S. Lobby group for industrial hemp, the North American
Industrial Hemp Council, refuses membership to anyone who "in any way,
form or fashion openly advocates the legalization of marijuana or any
other drug," says the council's chairman, Erwin Sholts.

Warnings of a possible wood-fiber shortage and the prospect of tighter
environmental rules favoring natural fibers over synthetic ones have
heightened farmers' interest in hemp. Hemp fiber is strong and
resists mildew. Farmers see big potential demand for it in such
markets as household furnishings and building materials. Cultivation
of this North American native plant requires very little if any
herbicide, pesticide and fertilizer application, and because the plant
actually improves the soil, it is considered an excellent rotational

Farmers expect to seed several thousand acres of hemp in southwestern
Ontario this year. They especially plan to supply non-woven hemp mats
and fiber to the auto and carpet industries. For instance, the German
auto maker Bayerische Motorenwerke AG has pioneered the use of hemp
and other natural fibers in its cars to make them lighter and more

Lack of U.S. competition is giving some Canadian farmers an edge.
Interface Inc., a major Atlanta carpet manufacturer, says it hopes to
have on the market later this year a hemp carpet that could be
composted when the time came to replace it. Interface has contracted
for Canadian hemp supplies, but the company believes the U.S. should
be cultivating the crop, says Ray Berard, senior vice president for
The Canadian government is tightly regulating hemp cultivation to
prevent abuses. Hemp plants must have no more than 0.3% of THC, the
psychoactive element that gives cannabis smokers their high. THC
stands for delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol. The THC level in marijuana
currently runs as high as 16% to 20%, police say.

Canadian hemp growers must be licensed by the federal government and
will be monitored by the police. Officials say they are worried they
won't be able to distinguish legal from illegal hemp acreage,
unless special arrangements are made to map legal crops precisely.

In Washington, the Office of National Drug Control Policy warns that
American marijuana laws could be undermined if industrial hemp were
approved for cultivation in the U.S. The agency notes that industrial
hemp and marijuana come from different varieties of the same plant,
Cannabis Sativa. "The seedlings are the same and in many instances the
mature plants look the same," the agency says.

Government officials also warn that hemp may be risky economically,
especially since some hemp products are costlier than alternatives.
But farmers can't wait to raise the crop. Canada's federal
health department, which is handling the licensing of industrial hemp
growers here, has had trouble fielding all the calls from would-be

Predictions of a growing market influence these farmers. Sally
Rutherford, executive director of the Canadian Federation of
Agriculture, says hemp isn't a bountiful "Cinderella crop." But
she predicts that the hemp market will gradually increase as new
productive seed varieties are introduced and new technologies are
developed for processing hemp fibers.

Big fiber consumers, such as the paper industry, are assessing hemp as
a raw material to supplement wood.

Living Tree Paper Co., based in Eugene, Ore., markets a hemp paper,
milled in Canada, for the fine printing and writing-paper market.
Sotos Petrides, publisher of Commercial Hemp, a Canadian trade
publication, says hemp produces "a high-end paper, no pun intended."

HempWorld, a California publication, figures the rising interest in
the fiber may turn at least one Ontario grower, Jean Laprise, into a
"hemp mogul." Mr. Laprise heads Kenex Corp., which is contracting with
dozens of southwestern Ontario farmers to produce hemp. If all goes as
Mr. Laprise plans, they will have 2,000 acres of hemp growing within

Hemp Store Owner Still In Jail For Literature (Canadian List Subscriber
Seeks Your Help In The Case Of The Proprietor Of Hemp, Head And Sound,
A Hemp Store In Hamilton, Ontario, Who Is Charged
Under An Invalidated Statute)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Hemp Store Owner Still in Jail for Literature (fwd)
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 13:29:55 -0700
Lines: 42
-- Forwarded message --
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 13:24:04 +0100
From: Dan (chaplain@hempbc.com)


By Dan Loehndorf

On April 17, Terry Tew ? owner of "Hemp, Head and Sound", a Hemp Store
in Hamilton, Ontario ? was charged with 462.2 if the Criminal Code for
selling illicit literature and instruments. A customer who was in the
store during the raid was found to be carrying cocaine, and Terry was
held responsible for that as well. 462.2, as it applies to literature,
was ruled invalid in '94 by the Ontario Supreme Court.

Terry is, in his words, an "ex-gangster" and was only recently released
from the penitentiary. He saw his hemp store as a way of earning an
honest living and contributing to society. Now he is in jail at
taxpayers' expense. "I got out of the penitentiary the day before
Christmas and did something with my life."

His accounts were all seized as "proceeds of crime," making it
impossible for him to defend himself or post bail. He is still in jail,
as a result of breaking the conditions of his probation.

About eight Hamilton-Wentworth Regional Police officers conducted the
raid. During the raid they ripped the ceiling out of the store,
fingerprinted all the glass, dumped out the garbages and took all the
merchandise, including Cannabis Canada and High Times.

After Terry had been taken to jail, one officer set about entrapping
more harmless cannabis users. He donned a store T-shirt and began
calling people in Terry's personal telephone book.

"He told one friend of mine that I had taken Doug [a store employee] to
the hospital for a recurring headache caused by an accident last year.
He said that Doug needed some marijuana to help him with the pain. When
the guy showed up with an ounce of marijuana and seven grams of hash the
police tackled him and threw him in jail too."

Terry needs your help. For a contact number or for offers of assistance
call Hemp, Head and Sound at (905) 540-4367.

Cop Shop Bombed ('Canadian Press' Item In 'Toronto Sun'
Says A Dynamite Bomb That Caused Extensive Damage Yesterday
At A Police Station In Saint John, New Brunswick,
Is Believed To Be Connected To The City's Prohibited Drug Trade)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Cop shop bombed
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 09:52:28 -0700
Lines: 26
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: April 24, 1998



SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- A bomb that exploded outside a police station
early yesterday is believed to be connected to the city's drug trade,
police say.

Sgt. Pat Bonner said an off-duty officer spotted a lit fuse and
dynamite on the doorstep of a station and warned officers before the

"He immediately ran around the side of the building... and hollered
at (officers inside) to get out," said Bonner.

As officers scrambled to leave the building, "the bomb went off and
the impact blew the trunks up on police cars parked in the parking
lot," he said.

Three officers were treated for minor injuries. The bomb caused
extensive damage to the building.

How To Lose The Battle ('Ottawa Sun' Says Canada's Rank And File Cops
Are Losing Faith In Tough-Talking Politicians' Rhetoric About Cracking Down
On Biker Gangs, Whom The Newspaper Describes As The New Mafia)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: How to lose the battle
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 09:49:48 -0700
Lines: 114
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Ottawa Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: April 24, 1998
Author: ROBERT FIFE -- Ottawa Bureau



Most people think sleazeballs in $1,000 suits control organized
crime in Canada but, in reality, the mobsters are unshaven,
pony-tailed bikers with tattoos.

Biker gangs like the Hells Angels, Rock Machine and Satan's Choice
are a $1 billion a year business operating on both coasts and in every
major city.

The Hells Angels, for example, run a highly sophisticated organized
crime syndicate that is far more successful than the old U.S.-run
Mafia families that used to operate in Toronto, Hamilton, Montreal and

Like the New York Cosa Nostra, Canada's Mafia is on the wane and
they've been replaced by leather-clad thugs on Harleys.

Biker gangs have set up a vertically integrated drug industry in
Canada as well as running car theft rings, protection rackets, illegal
gambling operations and prostitution.

They've infiltrated the ports of Vancouver, Montreal and Halifax
where they smuggle in drugs and smuggle out stolen luxury cars to
Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Canada's cops have pleaded with the federal government to help them
combat these violent gangsters by giving them the resources and legal
power to put them behind bars.

Just before last year's election, the federal government passed an
anti-biker law that made it a crime to participate in criminal
organizations and gave the police more power to prosecute gang

The law makes the wiretapping of biker gangs a lot easier and allows
the government to seize the proceeds of organized crime.

It also allow peace bonds to be used to prevent gang leaders from
associating with other gang members.

Unfortunately the police are still losing the battle against biker
gangs and have pleaded for immediate action to crack down on them.

Solicitor General Andy Scott responded to this plea by calling the
nation's top cops, prosecutors and agents of the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service to a high-level meeting in Ottawa today.

Scott has promised to bring the bikers to "their knees" by
strengthening criminal intelligence and information sharing, including
possible new measures to combat money laundering."

However, Canada's rank and file cops aren't exactly leaping for joy
at hearing Scott's brave talk. Front line cops are losing faith in the

Scott Newark, executive director of the Canadian Police Association,
said he doubts Scott has the "political will" to give police wider
powers to combat gang activity.

"Anybody can talk tough. Let's see some action. He's a guy whose got
some power but I haven't seen him exercise it yet," says Newark.

Newark, who represents street cops, has been banging the table for
years in an all but fruitless effort to convince Ottawa to act
aggressively against the bikers.

"We're not interested what this government says anymore. We have made
some very constructive and do-able things and we have run into a wall
of indifference."

The police have repeatedly asked Ottawa to crackdown on the Akwasasne
Reserve near Cornwall, Ont., which is purported to be a centre for
smuggling of drugs and other illegal goods into the country for the
outlaw gangs.

"They don't appear to have the political will to permit police to
intercept, for example, traffic off Cornwall Island," says a
frustrated Newark.

Even more baffling is Ottawa's decision to disband the ports police,
which makes it more difficult to control the waterfronts.

Biker gangs are transporting heroin and cocaine through container
terminals at the ports and the drugs are then moved to Canadian cities
and south of the border.

The government also rejected a call by the police to adopt a
U.S.-style law making membership in a biker gang an offence. That law
would have automatically imposed stiffer penalties and tougher parole
for members of biker gangs.

Newark also asked the government to turn over the money from seized
assets to the cops so they can purchase better equipment to fight
organized crime.

And he pleaded with the government to deport landed immigrants who
have committed serious crimes here.

These are concrete measures that should be taken if Scott is really
serious about bringing the outlaw gangs to their knees.

If Scott won't adopt these measures than Newark will be proven right
that the solicitor general is all talk and no action.

City Man Caught With 5 UKP Of Cannabis Lost Job (Britain's 'Evening Express'
Says An Aberdeen Offshore Worker With Five Previous Illegal Drug Convictions
Lost His Job After Being Caught With Cannabis On A North Sea Oil Platform,
And An Aberdeen Sheriff Court Will Send Him To Prison If He Doesn't "Behave'
Over The Next Six Months)

Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 19:18:32 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson)
Subject: MN: UK: City Man Caught With 5 UKP of Cannabis Lost Job
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: J M Petrie 
Source: Evening Express (Aberdeen)
Contact: editor@ee.ajl.co.uk
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998


An Aberdeen offshore worker lost his job after being caught with 5ukp of
cannabis on a North Sea Oil Platform, a court heard today.

Alexander Smith, 33, of Menzies Rd. Torry, was warned at Aberdeen Sheriff
Court he could face prison if he did not behave over the next six months.

Sheriff Colin Harris deferred sentence for that period, because Smith, who
has five previous convictions for drug offences, could not afford to pay a

Smith had previously admitted having cannabis on board the Heather Alpha
platform, 245 miles North east of Aberdeen on September 15, last year.

Depute fiscal Karen Cameron said Smith was caught in the platform's laundry
room with the drug.

All 69 people on board were asked to provide urine samples and only Smith
proved positive.

Defence agent Shane Campbell said Smith had not taken cannabis while on the
platform and had smoked the drug about 10 days before being caught and
while onshore.

Sheriff Harris told Smith: "Given the place the drug was found I consider
this to be a serious matter, particularly as you were on probation for the
self same offence.

"I seriously considered prison but you have already paid a heavy price as
you have lost your job and you may not find employment offshore again,
because of your record."

Testing Of Athletes For Marijuana (Frenchmen's Letter To Editor
Of 'The Scotsman' Says There Is No Logical Reason
For The International Olympic Committee's Decision To Drug Test
Athletes For Cannabis)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:01:20 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: Olafur Brentmar Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Testing Of Athletes For Marijuana Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ TESTING OF ATHLETES FOR MARIJUANA Sir, - I have been trying to understand the reasons for the International Olympics Committee's decision to add marijuana to the list of prescribed drugs for which Olympic athletes will be tested. It cannot be because it is performance-enhancing, because it is not. On the contrary, it is a recreational drug that is notorious for relaxing users and inhibiting performance of any kind. If the IOC wants an all-inclusive list of performance-enhancing drugs, it should have added tea and coffee to its list, not to mention chocolate! It cannot be simply because marijuana is illegal in some countries (although not all), because that logic would oblige the IOC also to ban both alcohol and female athletes. It cannot be to avoid offending the domestic legislation of host countries, because it would not offend in all such, and, besides, athletes are bound to obey the domestic legislation of their host country, regardless of any IOC rule. Clearly, this decision reflects a personal obsession on the part of some IOC members, including, apparently, the president. This obsession is with the completely separate question of the war on illegal recreational drugs. It has nothing to do with the global campaign against performance-enhancing drugs in sport. The war on illegal drugs is contentious, not universal, and certainly does not enjoy unqualified public support anywhere. It is a war which shows every sign of being very expensively lost. The campaign against performance-enhancing drugs in sport is global, universally approved and opposed only by cheats. By irrationally mixing the two campaigns, the IOC has delivered a severe blow to what is left of the ideals of Pierre de Coubertin. As the war on illegal drugs is lost, the public perception of the sporting drugs will now be changed, and, eventually, that will be lost as well, to the great regret of far more people than the short-sighted IOC. Gerard Mulholland Avenue Franklin Roosevelt Chevilly-Larue, France

Italy Joins Belgium In Decriminalizing Marijuana ('Marijuananews.com'
Quotes Britain's 'Telegraph' Saying Italy's Center-Left Government
Is Preparing A Draft Law To Decriminalise The Possession, Use
And Cultivation Of Small Amounts Of Cannabis)

Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 05:58:39 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald 
From: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Italy joins Belgium in decriminalizing mj
Subject: belgium_and_italy_move_to_decrim.htm
April 24, 1998

Italy joins Belgium in decriminalizing mj

From The Telegraph


April 24, 1998

By Bruce Johnston in Rome

ITALY'S centre-Left government is preparing a draft law to
decriminalise the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of

The move coincides with government action, including a media campaign
to begin today, against ecstasy and other synthetic drugs, which are
being blamed for many late-night weekend road deaths. If the Bill
becomes law, people found in possession of marijuana for personal use,
or to be taking it "with friends" or at home, would no longer be
committing a criminal offence, but an administrative offence.

Such offences are punishable by minor penalties such as the temporary
surrender of a driving licence, passport or gun licence. Users might
also be told to attend courses on the dangers of drugs, sign on at a
local police station, or be ordered to stay out of discotheques.

A person found growing cannabis on a window-ledge or in a kitchen
garden would also be committing an administrative offence. But the
growing of acres of the drug would still be a crime. Selling the drug
would also continue to be punishable by imprisonment.

As the law now stands, anyone caught preparing or even taking "soft"
drugs in the company of friends risks being jailed for "passing" them
to third parties. Italy's Justice Ministry said yesterday that it had
decided to design a new law to soften what it called "the very harsh
and even prohibitionist" terms of the present 1990 law and to make it
less confusing.

This was necessary after a referendum five years ago altered the law,
by decriminalising possession of drugs, so long as they were for
personal use and amounted to a "daily dose". A number of conflicting
Supreme Court interpretations of the legal amount made a change in the
law more important.

Although the bill is a government proposal, the ruling coalition is
divided, with the conservative and Catholic elements that underpin it
strongly opposed.

(Ed. note:"CORRECTION: In "For the Record" (Feb. 24) NR reported that
Pope John Paul II wanted the Italian government to ban tobacco as a
hard drug. In fact he was talking about marijuana. So the Pope is
right about tobacco, though wrong about pot." National Review Magazine
/ March 24, 1997 page 6. )

Copyright Telegraph Group Limited 1998.



The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for April 23-29

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980424.html