------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (email@example.com) To: Bill Clinton (firstname.lastname@example.org) Drug Czar Barry R McCaffrey (MCCAFFREY_B@a1.eop.gov) Subject: Antiprohibition League Press Release, 4/24/98 The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE Sponsors of the OREGON DRUGS CONTROL AMENDMENT http://ns2.calyx.net/~odca Drug War, or Drug Peace? 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524 fax: 503-234-1330 Email:AAL@InetArena.com Friday, April 24, 1998 For Immediate Release "IN A TIME OF UNIVERSAL DECEIT - TELLING THE TRUTH IS A REVOLUTIONARY ACT" -- 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 EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 4:00P.M. - 6:00P.M. PARK BLOCK ACROSS FROM "JUSTICE" CENTER (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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Police Can Squeeze Luggage at Airports Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 POLICE CAN SQUEEZE LUGGAGE AT AIRPORTS 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Propaganda or Just Outreach? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Author: Dan Walters - Sacramento Bee Editor note: Originally published in the Sacramento Bee on Wed, 22 Apr 1998. PROPAGANDA OR JUST OUTREACH? 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 permitted. 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 email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: April 24, 1998 Source: Daily Arizona Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ Author: Spence Berry WAR ON DRUGS INEFFECTIVE 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: Tulsa Firefighter Charged In Methamphetamine Case Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Michael Pearson Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: David Harper World Staff Writer TULSA FIREFIGHTER CHARGED IN METHAMPHETAMINE CASE 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: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: Ex-Con Just Keeps Finding His Way Back to Prison Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Michael Pearson Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: World's own Service 4/24/98 EX-CON JUST KEEPS FINDING HIS WAY BACK TO PRISON 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: US OK: DOC to Step Up Tests for Drugs Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Michael Pearson Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Author: Barbara Hoberock World Capitol Bureau DOC TO STEP UP TESTS FOR DRUGS 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 contents. "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: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Author: Jim Stingl TWO CAUGHT SELLING CIGARETTES TO INMATES 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 school. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com. For more info visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ CONTENTS 1. EVENTS ARE BEING PLANNED IN 33 CITIES! British and French coalitions are formed. Activities in New York are taking shape. 2. THE GLOBAL COALITION: OVER 60 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS 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 3. AGAIN: THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days! *** 1. EVENTS ARE BEING PLANNED IN 33 CITIES! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. NATIONAL COALITIONS FORMED IN BRITAIN AND FRANCE 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! PREPARATIONS FOR THREE DAYS OF ACTION IN NEW YORK! 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, email@example.com, or Adam Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org. PLANS FOR A MARCH AT THE "SCHENGENER BRUECKE" ... 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. ... AND AROUND THE WORLD! 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! 2. THE GLOBAL COALITION: OVER 60 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS 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: email@example.com *** Declaration 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/ 3. AGAIN: THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days! *** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE BY EMAIL AND FAX *** 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ e-mail: email@example.com *** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE BY EMAIL AND FAX *** The drugtext press list. News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: RKSTROUP (RKSTROUP@aol.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Vote on H. Res. 372 is not on the House schedule for next week Friends: 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 NORML
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Date: Tue, 28 Apr 1998 18:51:43 -0700 (PDT) Subject: HT: DEA invites your comments on Cannabis Eradication in the To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 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 USDA, APHIS, PPD 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. Sincerely, James A. Woolley Chief, State and Local Programs Section *** Hemp Magazine Advertising & subscription info: Richard Tomcala, Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org 713-523-3199 *** Hemp news & writers wanted! Contact John E. Dvorak, Managing Editor email@example.com *** http://www.marijuananews.com/hemp.htm 617-254-HEMP
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dave Fratello
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: W. House Reacts to McCaffrey Resignation Demands WHITE HOUSE REACTS TO CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS DEMAND FOR RESIGNATION OF DRUG CZAR BARRY McCAFFREY TRANSCRIPT (source: whitehouse.gov) EXCERPTS -- WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING BY MICHAEL MCCURRY, PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SECRETARY FRIDAY APRIL 24, 1998 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US: Soros Offers Pledge For Needle Programs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 SOROS OFFERS PLEDGE FOR NEEDLE PROGRAMS 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 24 Apr 98 09:10:04 EST To: #TLC__HARM__REDUCTION_at_osiemail@example.com Subject: NYT: $1M Pledged for Needle Exchanges Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org $1 Million Pledged for Needle Exchanges Friday, April 24, 1998, p. A14 By CHRISTOPHER S. WREN [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 policy. 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 said. LETTERS TO EDITOR INFORMATION: 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 email@example.com, or by regular mail to Letters to the Editor, The New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036. GRANT INFORMATION: 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: US WP: HIV's Spread Is Unchecked AIDS-Slowing Treatments Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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 HIV'S SPREAD IS UNCHECKED AIDS-SLOWING TREATMENTS 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 said. 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." (email@example.com) To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - Fwd: Release: deadly prescription drugs Sender: email@example.com -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- *** NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY 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 Administration. "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." -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.2 iQCVAwUBNUDsr9CSe1KnQG7RAQHBbQQAiUmdIvZge9B5JKwaep0UlB1zTsTqbsrO WFUAyx6yiUzlIY8Jrn6Cnm6PpJ5U1VKlQdSn7n3k6K5lloTUNddzbRTUhD+CrSyu VpRtG8SZNRl2hobNECQe8jzKlDymllZ4B0QAey5C2sZuPSWTE92uZcANZPldpd55 bgvd1SN5jh0= =qsdu -----END PGP SIGNATURE----- The Libertarian Party http://www.lp.org/ 2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100 voice: 202-333-0008 Washington DC 20037 fax: 202-333-0072 For subscription changes, please mail to firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.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 crop. 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 biodegradable. 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 technology. 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 growers. 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 weeks.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) HEMP STORE OWNER STILL IN JAIL FOR SELLING LITERATURE 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Cop shop bombed Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 09:52:28 -0700 Lines: 26 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: April 24, 1998 COP SHOP BOMBED CANADIAN PRESS 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 blast. "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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: How to lose the battle Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 09:49:48 -0700 Lines: 114 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: April 24, 1998 Author: ROBERT FIFE -- Ottawa Bureau HOW TO LOSE THE BATTLE SOLICITOR GENERAL ANDY SCOTT HAS SOME TOUGH TALK TO OFFER IN THE BATTLE AGAINST CRIMINAL BIKER GANGS, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO WALKING THE WALK, THE GOVERNMENT COMES UP SHORT 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 Vancouver. 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 members. 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 politicians. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Joel W. Johnson) Subject: MN: UK: City Man Caught With 5 UKP of Cannabis Lost Job Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: J M Petrie
Source: Evening Express (Aberdeen) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 CITY MAN CAUGHT WITH 5 UKP OF CANNABIS LOST JOB 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 fine. 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)Date: Fri, 24 Apr 1998 14:01:20 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Olafur Brentmar
Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Testing Of Athletes For Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Italy joins Belgium in decriminalizing mj Subject: belgium_and_italy_move_to_decrim.htm marijuananews.com April 24, 1998 [see BELGIUM DECRIMINALIZES CANNABIS http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-24.html#belgium] Italy joins Belgium in decriminalizing mj From The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk 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 cannabis. 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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