------------------------------------------------------------------- State V. Craig Helm, Day Three, Final Update (Portland Attorney Leland Berger Notes His Client, A Multiple Sclerosis Patient, Was Convicted Yesterday By A Jury In Hillsboro, Oregon, Of Marijuana Cultivation Charges Despite His Ability To Mount A 'Choice Of Evils' Defense, Showing Oregon Law Is Insufficient To Protect Patients From Criminal Consequences For Their Legitimate Medicinal Use) From: LawBerger (LawBerger@aol.com) Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 10:06:05 EDT Subject: State v Craig Helm, day 3, final update Yesterday, Thursday, May 7, Dr Petro completed his testimony. We were able to get in a wide range of evidence, including linking Craig's physical situation and use of med mj to Christopher Reeve's injury. (If we can get Reeve a brownie, we could end the med mj prohibition, nationally.) Although both the DA and I had initially requested an instruction on 'Witness False in Part', I objected to it before lunch, and after lunch the DA withdrew his request. Unfortunately, the judge inadvertantly gave it anyway. The jury deliberated for about an hour and then wanted the Reasonable Doubt instruction submitted to them in writing. Both the DA and I agreed to this. 15 minutes later the jury returned verdicts of guilty on each count (11-1, this being sufficient as Oregon is a non-unanimous jury verdict state) We waived statutory right to delay and Judge Milnes sentenced Craig to 2 years of formal probation with urinalyses at least once every two months (less of an issue, since Craig's Dr. testified she would prescribe him Marinol if he had asked for it) and a $100 statutory assessment to be paid on each of the two counts. Although we were both disappointed with the verdict, Craig felt that he had rejected the pre trial offer and went to trial only in part because of the possibility of success. His hope was that the case would attract some media attention (which it has, locally) to further let people know that there are patients who legitimately need to self medicate in this fashion. The verdict also demonstrates that current Oregon law is insufficient to protect patients from criminal consequences for their legitimate medicinal use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientific Support Lacking For Medicinal Marijuana (Letter To The Editor Of 'The Oregonian' By Sandra And Dr. William Bennett, The Notorious Portland Anti-Marijuana Zealots Who Have Previously Acknowledged Being Motivated By The Cocaine-Related Death Of Their Son In The Basement Of A Eugene Fraternity) From: "sburbank" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: l-t-e Date: Tue, 9 Jun 1998 07:08:56 -0700 *** Oregonian - Letters to the Editor May 8, 1998 (B-11) SCIENTIFIC SUPPORT LACKING FOR MEDICINAL MARIJUANAIt is disappointing to see that Drs. Richard Bayer and Nancy Crumpacker, in their opinion piece, regarding the "therapeutic use" of smoked marijuana cigarettes, advocate use of a substance not proven to be either safe or effective (April 25). The idea that the government has prevented research into the benefits of smoked marijuana cigarettes is ludicrous. Multiple grants to multiple investigators in the last 25 years have been supported by the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies, none establishing benefit of smoked crude marijuana over available legal alternatives. Do Bayer and Crumpacker want us to believe that there is a government conspiracy preventing research about a valuable therapeutic agent that is being withheld from the American public? This is not about the therapeutic benefit of smoked marijuana cigarettes at all, an idea for which there is no credible scientific support, but instead, a well-financed, out-of-Oregon attempt to use medicalization as a tactic to legitimize illicit drug use. William M. Bennett, MD Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology OHSU Southwest Portland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wrongly Convicted Men Say Money Can't Buy Back The Lost Years ('Associated Press' Says Two Men Who Spent Eight Years In Oregon Prison For A Murder They Didn't Commit Settled For $2 Million Against Springfield, Oregon Police Who Allegedly Unduly Pressured Witnesses And Covered Up Evidence - State Crime Lab Also Allegedly Got Test Results Wrong) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Wrongly convicted men say money can't buy back the lost years By CHARLES E. BEGGS The Associated Press 05/08/98 6:49 PM Eastern EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Two men who spent eight years behind bars for a murder they didn't commit said Friday that a $2 million settlement can't buy back the years of their youth that were taken away. "It has been a long journey," Eric Proctor said through tears as he and Chris Boots faced the media in a television studio. "I just lied to myself and told myself I was going home every week." The two men agreed on Thursday to accept the settlement of their lawsuit alleging that Springfield police pressured witnesses and hid evidence in the 1983 convenience store slaying. The pair was convicted, sentenced life and only freed in 1994 when evidence pointed to another man. "I don't know that you can put worth on this," Proctor said. "The money is what society says makes a wrong right." Both men were in their late teens when they were sent to prison. Proctor is now a 33-year-old plasterboard worker in Portland. Boots, 34, has worked in a sawmill in Eugene. Proctor said he learned something about himself during his years in prison: "I am a good person and can rise above it." Boots agreed but said "If I had a choice I'd rather have my youth back." The case began early June 7, 1983, when the body of John Oliver was found in the walk-in cooler at a 7-Eleven store. His hands had been bound with tape and he'd been shot three times in the head with a .22-caliber handgun. Boots admitted going into the store on the night of the killing while Proctor waited outside. Boots said he found no clerk in the store, so he left. Boots said he returned to the store after taking Proctor home, and notified police when he found the body. The case against the men was mostly circumstantial, although prosecutors pointed to what they said was microscopic residue of gunpowder and blood on Proctor's shirt. Their lawsuit alleged that the crime lab test results were wrong, either through negligence or on purpose. In 1994, an unnamed informant said Ricky Kuppens had killed Oliver. Police found the weapon used, matched Kuppens' fingerprint to one found on the tape and got Kuppens to admit the killing. Kuppens committed suicide the day before police planned to arrest him. In making the settlement Thursday, the city admitted no wrongdoing. Both Proctor and Boots said they are not bitter toward the system but believe there are flawed individuals in it. "I don't think anyone has taken the right kind of responsibility for this," said Proctor, adding there is nowhere to turn when a wrongly convicted person is freed. "I got no help. My mother was it." Both men got associate degrees from community college while in prison. Proctor said he plans to use his share of the settlement for living expenses and possibly to go to college. He said he is interested in computers and math courses. Boots said he may get his bachelor's degree -- he is just three hours short of it -- and plans to leave Oregon because of the stigma of the case. "There's still a lot he healing yet to do. Every night I said a prayer hoping that this thing would be over," said Claudia Page, Boots' mother. She said a friend told her at one point that "These are little punk kids. Get over it. They did it."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Wrongly Imprisoned Settle For $2 Million (Version In 'The Oregonian') The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ 05-08-98 2 wrongly imprisoned settle for $2 million * The city of Springfield and police admit no wrongdoing in the mistaken murder convictions By Ashbel S. Green and Janet Filips for The Oregonian Two men who spent about eight years in prison for a murder they did not commit have settled a lawsuit against the city of Springfield and two police officers for $2 million. Eric A. Proctor, 33, and Christopher B. Boots, 34, said Thursday that they finally feel vindicated after serving time for the 1983 execution-style killing of Raymond Oliver, a Springfield convenience store clerk. "No amount of money can ever give us back what we lost," Proctor and Boots said in a statement. "We have always maintained our complete innocence, and now that the defendants have settled with us, we can really try to start our lives over again. We want this nightmare for ourselves and our families to be over with forever." As part of the settlement, the city and the officers named in the suit admitted no wrongdoing. Greg Shaver, president of the Springfield City Council, said the council continues to have confidence in the police department. "I base that on the quality of the individuals that we have hired, the procedures that we use and the integrity and record of our force," he said. The suit was set to go to trial Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Eugene. Separate juries convicted Proctor in 1986 and Boots in 1987 and sentenced them to life in prison for Oliver's murder. But in 1994, an informant told police that Ricky Kuppenswas the killer. A new investigation found the gun that was used to kill Oliver, and police used informants to tape Kuppens admitting he pulled the trigger. But before police could arrest him, Kuppens committed suicide. Police discovered that a mystery fingerprint on tape used to bind Oliver matched Kuppens'. Prison officials released Proctor and Boots in November 1994, and a few months later, a judge dismissed the charges. A year later, Proctor and Boots filed a $42 million federal civil rights lawsuit. The suit named the police department and officers Jerry Smith and Donald Bond, accusing them of pressuring witnesses to lie and hiding evidence that would have helped them. The lawsuit also named a state criminologist, the state and the Lane County district attorney, but a judge later removed them as defendants. Boots and Proctor went to the Springfield 7-Eleven on June 7, 1983 -- the night of the murder -- but left after finding no one in the store. After dropping off Proctor at home, however, Boots returned to the store and discovered Oliver's body in the walk-in cooler. Oliver's hands were bound by tape, and he'd been shot three times in the head with a .22-caliber handgun. Boots called 9-1-1, but he and Proctor quickly became suspects. Police arrested them a few weeks later but released them after J. Pat Horton, then Lane County district attorney, decided evidence was not sufficient to convict them. In 1984, Boots filed a lawsuit for false arrest. This lawsuit was not the same suit that led to the settlement. EldenM. Rosenthal, one of their attorneys, said the prosecution of Boots and Proctor was in retaliation. "We alleged that filing that lawsuit caused the police to reinvigorate that investigation, and we claim that it in fact led them to suborn perjury," Rosenthal said. DouglassHarcleroad, Horton's successor, took up the case, and in 1986, a Lane County grand jury indicted Boots and Proctor. Rosenthal said that at least two of the six witnesses in the criminal trials subsequently said under oath that the police had pressured them into implicating Proctor and Boots. Also, DNA testing that was not available at the time of the murder later supported Boots' claim that he was innocent, Rosenthal said. "What this case should teach everyone is that horrible mistakes can happen in the criminal justice system unless everyone -- the police, the prosecutor, the judge and the jury -- do their jobs well," Rosenthal said in a statement. "We should be thankful we live in a country where mistakes can be eventually undone, and that we have a legal system that allows persons who are wronged to fight back and receive fair compensation for their injuries." One of the two police officers, Smith, is now a captain with the Springfield Police Department. Bond left "years ago," for reasons unrelated to the Boots and Proctor case, said Shaver, who continued to defend the city's actions. "Two separate juries convicted them, based on the evidence that was available and presented, and with the competent defense of the two suspects," he said. Claudia Page, Boots' mother, said no amount of money could compensate for what her son and Proctor went through. "It's been 16 years in hell," she said. "I don't want any mother to see her son come to his father's funeral in chains. I never want to see two boys come out of prison without counseling. My husband died, but thank God I lived long enough to see Chris out. Every day I had to say a prayer and wonder if I'd see the truth." Proctor, who has been a sheetrock worker in Portland since his release, declined to comment Thursday. Boots, who until recently worked in a sawmill in Cottage Grove, thanked one of his attorneys. Peter Farrell of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thurston County's Drug Court Offers A U-Turn On Road To Jail (Tacoma, Washington, 'News Tribune' Describes New Local Coerced Treatment Program Designed By Law Enforcement Officials Rather Than Physicians) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia"
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Thurston County's Drug Court offers a U-turn on road to jail Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 21:18:51 -0700 Sender: email@example.com [Good news! Thurston County's drug problems are history. - Bob_O] *** Thurston County's Drug Court offers a U-turn on road to jail * About 70 drug offenders will be given a chance to straighten out their lives Karen Hucks The News Tribune Before they even appeared in front of the judge, four of the six candidates for Thurston County Superior Court's new Drug Court program already had messed up. One didn't show up for court at all. Another called Tuesday morning to say he couldn't make it for the afternoon arraignments. And a young couple missed an assessment interview with the Drug Court coordinator to determine whether they were eligible for the program. Only Tracy McKee and Richard Davis had done everything they needed to do. Nevertheless, those involved in the program were excited and hopeful. "It's nice to get started," Superior Court Judge Richard Strophy said. "It's exhilarating." The program, funded with $175,000 in federal grants, will allow about 70 people arrested for drug possession and prescription forgery in Thurston County to choose an intensive, heavily supervised rehabilitation program instead of jail. If they complete the program, the charges will be dropped. If they fail, they will go to jail. The eight- to 18-month program sounded like a way to start over to McKee, who said she began using methamphetamine three years ago. She was convicted of possessing the drug in April. Before she could serve her time on electronic home-monitoring, she was charged again. "I'm already going downhill," McKee said. "I'm already 34 years old and I'm not going anywhere." She has an eighth-grade education and doesn't have a job. Her driver's license is suspended, and she recently had to move from Yelm to Tacoma because she broke up with a boyfriend who was supporting her. Most importantly, she is in the middle of a custody battle for her 9-year-old son. "My son comes first, and that's why I'm doing this," McKee said. "I know I can do it. I just gotta really try." If the program can get motivated people like McKee off drugs, it could be a big step toward turning around the county's drug problem. Thurston County had more than 600 felony drug cases last year, deputy prosecuting attorney Steve Sherman said. Many of those defendants already had been in jail for drug charges and were coming through the system again - a common occurrence in the county, he said. "The beauty of this program is (that) for years this country has been fighting the war on drugs and I think we've been losing," said Ellen Goodman, coordinator for the program. Now, rather than focusing only on people selling drugs, the approximately 200 drug courts around the country are teaching users how to turn their lives around, she said. "If people aren't interested in using drugs, the market is going to dry up," Goodman said. Participants will go through 12-step programs, counseling and regular drug testing. They'll also have access to information about education, job training, child care, housing, mental health and health care. "In a lot of cases we're talking about 'habilitation' instead of rehabilitation because some of them have never had the skills in the first place," Goodman said. "We need to be visionary and look at the whole picture." To graduate, participants will have to have full-time jobs, be full-time students or be taking care of children. They also will have to have been off drugs for six months. The fact that Drug Court candidates weren't keeping appointments this week was no big surprise for most involved with the court. "Addicted offenders are notoriously unreliable," said Strophy, the judge. "It's not something that will be treated warmly or tolerated." Strophy gave people some breaks Tuesday, allowing them to reschedule appointments without being punished. But he told them in a no-nonsense way what was at stake. "This is a good program," Strophy told Eddie Martinez-Cortes, the 23-year-old man arrested and charged with his girlfriend, Shannon Richardson. "We think it can help you, but it's not going to help you unless you do your part. "We can kick this out and you can go through the regular mill - get your conviction and go off to jail." Martinez-Cortes shook his head; Drug Court sounded like a better idea to him. Staff writer Karen Hucks covers Thurston County. Reach her at 1-800-388-8742, Ext. 8660, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (c) The News Tribune
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dave Herrick Denied Proposition 215 Defense, Supporters Rally At Courthouse (Update From Local Correspondent On The Cases Of Medical Marijuana Patients Marvin Chavez, Dave Herrick And Jack Shacter, And Yesterday's Demonstration At The Orange County Central Courthouse) From: FilmMakerZ (FilmMakerZ@aol.com) Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 07:36:01 EDT Subject: Dave Herrick Denied 215 Defense, Supporters Rally at Courthouse Carrying signs and chanting, a group of about thirty medical cannabis supporters showed up for a rally at the Orange County Central Courthouse in Santa Ana on Thursday morning, May 7. Their signs read, "Arrest the pain, not the patient," "Don't let me die in jail," "Honor Proposition 215," "Patients are not criminals," and "Free Marvin and Dave." Marvin Chavez and Dave Herrick were both in court on Thursday on charges related to their volunteer work with the Orange County Patient / Doctor / Nurse Support Group. Both Chavez and Herrick are being charged by DA Carl Armbrust with "selling" cannabis. The cannabis was always given for free to patients with confirmed doctor recommendations, and they only asked for a $20 donation to help keep the co-op running. Patients received their medicine whether they made a donation or not. Chavez has been in jail for the past month. He suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a painful degenerative spinal condition, and has been denied his back brace and any pain medication in jail. Herrick, a former police officer, has been in jail for a year. He suffers from chronic back pain due to a dislocated disc, and has been allowed only four Tylenol a week. Another volunteer, Jack Shacter, who has painful detached retinas, is facing similar charges in Westminster court. He is out on bail and was at the rally. Supporters packed Judge Charles Margines' courtroom for Marvin Chavez's case, spilling into the hallway when the seats were filled. Judge Margines continued his case, which is still in the preliminary phase, until May 22, after defense attorneys Jon Alexander and Robert Kennedy were informed that new evidence will be submitted by the prosecution. Outside the courtroom, Alexander and Kennedy, who are working pro bono, told supporters the DA was charging almost $200 for copies of the new evidence. Those gathered instantly offered whatever each could afford, and managed to raise the evidence fee. Supporters then made their way up to Judge William Froeberg's courtroom for Dave Herrick's hearing. Judge Froeberg made supporters take off all of their pro-medical cannabis buttons in the courtroom and the hallway, and crutches and canes were confiscated by bailiffs because they could possibly be used as weapons by the sick and disabled people observing the trial. District Attorney Carl Armbrust made unsubstantiated statements such as, "marijuana causes cancer," and he tried to quote the rebuttal to the argument against Proposition 215 from the 1996 Voter Guide as if it were law. Gasps were heard throughout the courtroom when Judge Froeberg denied Herrick a Proposition 215 or medical necessity defense, and sarcastically asked Public Defender Sharon Petrosino, "Does he think he's Mother Theresa?" Froeberg said giving away medical cannabis to sick patients to help prolong and increase the quality of their lives was not averting a greater evil, even though one of the key witnesses, a cancer patient, rapidly deteriorated and died after cannabis provided by the co-op was no longer available. Petrosino said she has no witnesses to call after being denied any medical defense, and can only use the prosecution's witnesses in the case. Jury selection began Thursday afternoon. The trial begins Monday, May 11, and is expected to be over by the end of next week. The Orange County Central Courthouse is located at 700 Civic Center Drive West, in Santa Ana. Dave's trial is in Division 36, 10th floor. Marvin's is in Division 313, 3rd floor, on May 22. Jack Shacter's next hearing is on May 26 at the West Orange County Municipal Courthouse, located at 8141 - 13th St., Division 17, in Westminster. All cases are at 8:30 am. We would like as many people as possible to be present in court for support. Mira
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ignoring Prop. 215 (Letter To Editor Of 'Orange County Register' Says California Should Implement The Will Of The People By Distributing Confiscated Marijuana For Free To Patients Authorized To Receive It, Or At Least Stop Arresting Others Who Distribute It Freely) Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 17:47:49 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Ignoring Prop. 215 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, 8 May 1998 IGNORING PROP. 215 It seems since the passage of proposition 215 that most of the people who need medical marijuana have a difficult time getting it. The police have arrested those trying to distribute it because they asked for a donation. The government confiscates tons of marijuana every year. Implement the will of the people by distributing this confiscated marijuana for free or stop arresting those who are. Furthermore, I am tired of hearing that the people were deceived into passing a medical marijuana proposition. If anyone was deceived, it was people thinking that they could pass a medical marijuana initiative and act on it without being arrested. If people are in pain, be it physical or psychological, and have a doctor's recommendation it's supposed to be OK now. If they say it relieves their pain, who am I to argue? Marijuana is a herb, not a toxic weed as many have been led to believe by a lying government. John Rachels; Huntington Beach
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren's Obsession (Letter To Editor Of 'San Francisco Chronicle' Suggests Anti-Medical Marijuana Zealot And California Attorney General Dan Lungren Is Afraid To Acknowledge The Latest Research Findings On Cannabis Because He's Running For Governor) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 19:34:56 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lungren's Obsession Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ LUNGREN'S OBSESSION Editor -- Attorney Dan Lungren's rigid opposition to medical marijuana continues -- why hasn't his office revealed the latest research findings since his proposed study on what he considers medicinally ``useless?'' Is he afraid to say? It's election time, you know. RONALD PENNYWORTH Piedmont
------------------------------------------------------------------- Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center Closes (E-Mail From Director Peter Baez Recounts Closing Day Ceremonies, Notes Upcoming Benefits, And Says The Dispensary Could Re-Open If It Can Get Back Its Bank Account, Confiscated By Police Despite The California Compassionate Use Act) Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 21:16:03 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Baez (email@example.com) Subject: Baez 5/898 Closing Ralph.. Hi thanks for being here today at our wake/ceremony. It turns out that not 30 or so attended but a final tally placed it at over 199 people with only 5-8 not wearing black. Joan enjoyed you and all our patients and concerns today. We will have a fundraiser to help me in the legal funds on Sat 5/9 at the Silver Fox in Cuppertino, auction of Joan Baez and Woody Harrelson will be available, etc, please have anyone interested call the Cuppertino 411 number for the club (Silver Fox). It will start about 9 and Joan and Woody may show also. Joan donated $1,000 to legal fund, which is now at about $15,000 (in costs to me personally), but I have four great lawyers to help me ..... We will go to court on 5/11 at 9 a.m. to try to get the money frozen back from the DA in Dept. 15 at 190 W. Hedding St. Municipal Court. If this works, we will open again on Wednesday at 11 a.m. For now though the phone line at SCMCC is to cut off on Saturday, but you all have our e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) Will update you regarding outcome of trial date Monday. Thanks to all who came to help support us today. Our love and prayers, Peter Baez & Jesse Garcia P.S. Great media coverage today - can see tonight on ch. 2 at 10 p.m. or ch. 4, 5, 7, 11 at 11 p.m. again tonight. Love & good health to all, Peter Baez Note: email "email@example.com" is invalid, all email to us should be to firstname.lastname@example.org. Any photos you have of today's events will be appreciated, or mail them to me via snail mail at: sccmmmc 353 E. 10th St., #E-232 Gilroy, Ca 05020 c/o Peter Baez
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Center's Closing Is A Sad Day For San Jose (Op-Ed In 'San Jose Mercury News' By Jesse A. Garcia, Director Of The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center) Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 18:14:35 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Cannabis Center's Closing is a Sad Day for S.J. Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 CANNABIS CENTER'S CLOSING IS A SAD DAY FOR S.J. AFTER putting 15 months of hard work and our lives into getting San Jose city government to work with us on a medical marijuana dispensary, Peter Baez and I have decided to close the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center (Page 2B, May 1). This is the most difficult decision we have had to make since deciding that we would try to create a model medical marijuana center in San Jose for patients to receive the treatment and benefits of marijuana therapy. It broke our hearts even more when we received a distressing call for help from a woman whose husband is dying from cancer. The elderly voice over the phone sounded tearful and said, ``His cancer is so bad that he can't eat; he's lost over 50 pounds in two weeks. We've tried everything. Could you help us?'' Hope is all we have sometimes. Let us hope that the San Jose Police Department and the Santa Clara County District Attorney realize that their acts are incomprehensible. We kept our lines of communication with the city open at all times. We had issues of concern regarding safety, zoning and guidelines set by the police chief. We believed the city would meet us halfway, but they let us down horrendously. Only in meetings with then-chief Lou Cobarruviaz did we accomplish anything. The cannabis center may be dying, but the biggest death is that of the spirit of giving, and that of every sick and dying patient in our county. Peter and I knew that we were doing something right. It was also something that gained San Jose recognition for taking bold but necessary steps on a controversial issue. To now discredit and take unjustifiable legal actions against those people serving our community is an outrage. A year ago, the federal government was recruiting Americans to volunteer in their communities. Today, we're forced to abandon our project because of a communication failure by city officials. San Jose is sending a clear message that it doesn't care about human life. Marijuana helps people; Californians know that, because a large majority of the voters supported it. It is a sad day when two seriously ill citizens have given what could be the last years of their lives only to have city officials turn their backs. -- Jesse A. Garcia Director, Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center
------------------------------------------------------------------- High-Tech Marijuana Operation Shut Down ('Orange County Register' Says Two Men Were Apprehended In Santa Ana, California, With Hundreds Of Plants In Twelve 25-Foot Trailers Inside A Huge Warehouse At The 'Electric Farm') Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 17:47:31 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: High-Tech Marijuana Operation Shut Down 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, 8 May 1998 Author: Karen S.Kim-The Orange County Register HIGH-TECH MARIJUANA OPERATION SHUT DOWN Two men are arrested as 1500 pot plants are seized, 600 of them from a Santa Ana industrial park. SANTA ANA - Orange police on Thursday confiscated 1,500 marijuana plants, including 600 growing in a high-tech cultivation operation in an industrial park. A dozen 25-foot trailers containing marijuana plants were found inside a huge warehouse at The Electric Farm, at 1537 E. McFadden Ave., an industrial park renting space to about 50 small businesses. Police said the growers were cultivating a high grade of marijuana in nutrient rich solutions instead of soil. The trailers were equipped with exhaust fans, heating lamps and complex irrigation systems. The drug, of better quality than other marijuana because of the laboratory conditions, is valued at $5,000 per pound, instead of the typical $500 to $1,000 per pound for marijuana grown in Mexican soil, said Orange police Lt. Art Romo. Two suspects, Gregory William Stefanik, 26, of Newport Beach and Andrew Aguilera, 28, of Chino Hills were found at the site and taken into custody Thursday morning, but police are searching for two or three more suspects. The electricity to run the laboratory was pilfered from Southern California Edison, resulting in a $150,000 loss for the utility company, officials said. Police had a year-old arrest warrant for Aguilera in connection with cultivation of marijuana and had been looking for him, Romo said. The suspects have been renting the industrial space on McFadden Avenue for about two years, said Sgt. Dave Jensen of the Orange Police Department. Romo said he had never encountered such an intricate system of marijuana growth in his 26 years in law enforcement. "I was very impressed by the sophistication the people had to build this up," he said. Officials said the McFadden Avenue operation, under surveillance for several months, is believed to be connected to four other cultivation sites in Orange County, including two in Santa Ana. They wouldn't disclose the locations of the others.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three Strikes Law As Seen From The View Of A Parent (Letter To Editor Of 'Orange County Register' Doubts Supporters Of California's 'Three Strikes' Law Have Children Of Their Own - If So, Would They Still Be Able To Say 'It Doesn't Make Any Difference Whether The Third Strike Is Stealing Jeans Or Robbing A Bank' Or Smoking A Joint In Prison?) Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 17:47:40 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Three Strikes Law As Seen From The View Of A Parent 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, 8 May 1998 THREE STRIKES LAW AS SEEN FROM THE VIEW OF A PARENT We parents with our prodigal children who are facing the three strikes law find it difficult to think of our children in the same cold way that Rodney W.Bell and Jeff Lane seem to think of them ["Society is well served by the three-strikes law," Talk Show, May 5]. I wonder if they have children and, if so, would they still be able to say "it doesn't make any difference whether the third strike is stealing jeans or robbing a bank." Would they say that their child is a "habitual criminal who needs to be off the streets"? Even if the offense has been a non-serious or non-violent crime? The three-strikes law offers no redemption. No mercy. It condemns forever. It is hopeless. It puts even the drug addict into a bottomless pit. It does nothing to produce a positive change, and in 25 years or more, the public reaps exactly what is sown. But for a while, the problem is out of sight, out of mind. "Those criminals" are somebody's children. They might be yours, they could be mine, and I would rather see my child, who is of great value, reach "the bottom" and have the opportunity to change and pull himself out of a hole, even after many, many wrong choices. We, as parents, had better take this merciless three-strikes law serious and get to Doug Kieso's group meetings, Families to Amend California's Three-Stikes. Mercy triumphs over judgement. Barbara J. Brooks: Fullerton
------------------------------------------------------------------- Vote In California Senate To Amend 'Three Strikes' Law Expected May 20 Or 21 (Families To Amend California's Three Strikes - FACTS - Tells You How To Contact State Senators To Change Their Minds About SB 2048) Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 22:23:33 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Cal Senate Bill to Fix "3-Strikes" From: "Douglas W. Kieso" (email@example.com) To: "Dale Gieringer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: 3 Strikes Meeting Tonight Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 14:46:58 -0700 The following information was forwarded courtesy of Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS): A vote in the California Senate to amend the 3-Strikes law (so it is applicable only to violent and serious offenses) is expected to take place on May 20th or 21st. Unfortunately, in order for the vote to succeed, many Senators need to be convinced to change their minds. Please do what you can to contact California State Senators and encourage them to vote "yes" for SB 2048. Phone numbers, addresses and other information concerning the Senators can be found on the web at: http://www.sen.ca.gov/ . California activists are urged to contact their state Senators in support of SB 2048, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Vasconcellos and Hayden. The bill passed Public Safety Committee on a party-line vote; a 2/3 majority will be needed to pass it on the Senate Floor. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- UCSF Opens Addiction Research Center ('San Francisco Examiner' Quotes Dr. Robert Molenka, Director Of The New Center For The Neurobiology Of Addiction At The University Of California At San Francisco Saying, 'San Francisco Is A Very Appropriate Spot For The Center Because It Has The Highest Per Capita Rate Of Addictive Disorders In The Country' - Although That's Not Why It Was Built There) Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 15:37:30 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: UCSF Opens Addiction Research Center Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com Author: Bernice Yeung of The Examiner Staff UCSF OPENS ADDICTION RESEARCH CENTER For San Francisco, a city with one of the nation's worst drug habits, the opening of the country's largest addiction research center offers a ray of hope. "San Francisco is a very appropriate spot for the center because it has the highest per capita rate of addictive disorders in the country," said Dr. Robert Molenka, director of the UC-San Francisco Center for the Neurobiology of Addiction. "The center was not created because of that, but given the new technological tools and scientific knowledge, this is a ripe time to do this research." At the center's inauguration luncheon Thursday, a panel of scientists and addiction specialists explained the neurobiology of addiction to doctors and laypersons alike, using feather dusters to illustrate biological phenomena like synapsis, or cell-to-cell communication. They not only explained the type of research the center would be conducting - from animal and human tissue experiments on the nervous system to studying brain molecules and enzymes - but also emphasized the idea that addiction is a disease, not a moral failing. "At its core, addiction is a brain disease that has behavioral and social aspects embedded into it," said Alan Leshner, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Drug use changes the brain over time, which is the essence of addiction." Addiction has been defined as a disease by the American Medical Association since the 1970s and by the World Health Organization since 1989. S.F. Leads In Speed Emergencies The center was established about eight months before the San Francisco Department of Health announcement this week that San Francisco ranks first in methamphetamine-related hospital emergency room admissions. The City is second in LSD and third in heroin-related cases. San Francisco also leads the state in drug-related deaths. "The center will not have a direct effect on the overdose statistics, unfortunately, because what we need is treatment resources," said Greg Hayner, chief pharmacist for the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic. "But this stuff is always good because the field is changing so rapidly. This research can help us in terms of treatment approaches and prevention programs." Although there are several universities throughout the country that study addiction, such as Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania, only UCSF explores the emotional and environmental factors behind substance abuse. Genetic Studies Of Twins Collecting clinical and DNA data from twins, Cheryl Jay, one of the center's 19 scientists, is supervising a community-based study to determine whether substance abusers are influenced more by genetic or environmental factors. The current focus of the center is to understand the basic brain mechanisms of addiction. The ultimate goal is to contribute to the treatment of the disease, possibly with new medication, in a few years, Molenka said. "Because UCSF already has an existing treatment program, whatever comes from the lab can be translated into the clinical area," said UCSF spokeswoman Ruth Ann Richter. But understanding the problem must comes first, said panel member Dr. Steven Batki of San Francisco General Hospital. "Treatment has limits in the ways that it addresses the changes that occur in the brain," he said. "We need to focus on the medical approach to counteract these changes." According to the center, substance abuse results in more deaths, illnesses and disabilities than any other preventable health condition. The combined cost of national drug-related crimes, accidents, hospitalizations and illnesses is estimated at $257 billion annually. An April 1998 state health report showed The City had 20.5 drug-related deaths per 100,000 people, or one death for every 4,901 residents. The statewide average of eight drug deaths per 100,000 residents. The lowest in the state was Santa Clara County, with 4.7. In 1997, San Francisco led the state in heroin-related hospital admissions - with four times the state average - and ranked third in the country behind Baltimore and Newark, New Jersey. (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 4
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Testing In Iowa - Does It Unfairly Target Employees? ('River Cities' Reader' Notes Iowa's New Law Allowing Private Employers To Test Their Workers' Urine At Will Affords No Protections To Employees) Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 19:14:06 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IA: Drug Testing In Iowa: Does It Unfairly Target Employees? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Carl Olsen Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 98 Source: River Cities' Reader (IA) Section: Business Author: Devin Hansen Fax: (319) 323-3101 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.rcreader.com/ DRUG TESTING IN IOWA: DOES IT UNFAIRLY TARGET EMPLOYEES? "Reasonable Suspicion" Grounds For Random Alcohol & Drug Testing; Civic Employees Exempt From Law; Few Protection Measures For Employees Employers in Iowa now have much more power when it comes to testing their employees and applicants for alcohol or drug use, due to the signing of House Bill 299 by legislators, earlier this month. The bill expands the right of private companies to randomly test sample groups of employees for drugs or alcohol, as well as administer tests to individual employees, based on the employer's "reasonable suspicion." Refusal or failure of any test is grounds for suspension or dismissal, depending on the employers policies. The bill allows employers to test for drugs or alcohol (only urine tests can be administered, no blood tests) of specific employees who are noticeably impaired while on duty, who exhibit abnormal or erratic behavior, or who are directly observed using, or based on a report of alcohol or drug use provided by a reliable source. The bill is a result of heavy lobbying by the association of business and industry in Iowa, according to Iowa Senator Maggie Tinsman. She said, "Most of the larger companies in Iowa were interested in this, Alcoa, Maytag, John Deere. Their main concern appears to be safety in the workplace." Jobs requiring the use of heavy machinery and the operation of large vehicles will be the main targets of employers drug testing. Alcoa representative Mario Dalla-Vicenza said, "if you have people handling cranes, having yourself impaired with either drugs or alcohol is unacceptable. Safety, and impairment at the workplace is what the issue is really all about." Dalla-Vicenza said that drug testing has been a policy at Alcoa for quite some time, and that they test prospective employees, employees that are visibly impaired and employees involved in accidents at the workplace. Bill Doesn't Go Far Enough Opponents of the bill come from both sides of the coin. While some may feel the bill gives too much power to employers, Iowa Senator Tom Vilsack feels it doesn't go far enough. Vilsack voted against the bill because it pertains only to private companies and doesn't include public employees. "Public employees that work with machinery and equipment, like garbage trucks and snow plows, should also be tested. They are not only putting themselves in danger, but their co-workers, and the public as well," he said. Most opponents of the bill say that drug testing infringes on an employees' right to privacy and in violation of the 4th Amendment, which protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure, as well as self-incrimination. Iowa Senator Michael Gronstal said, "I think there are real concerns about the balance between employers' rights and employees' rights. We are giving employers more power than we give to police to enforce drug laws." An employee from a local accounting firm, who wished to remain anonymous said, "I think this gives way too much power to employers. First of all, they are going to use this as a scare tactic against employees. It could be targeted at employees that question corporate actions or rally support against the company. If people are doing drugs or drinking at work, that's a problem, but what people do in their free time is nobody's business. I think they are just worried about insurance claims." Some health costs could befall companies because of this bill. If an employee tests positive for alcohol, and the employer keeps them as an employee, the employer is required to pay for substance abuse treatment for that individual. The treatment would be covered under the company's health plan. But if an employee tests positive for drugs, the employer is not required to pay for treatment. Vern Carlson, a drug abuse counselor at Riverside, disagreed with this disparity, "Casual users are smart enough not to do it at work. With people who are addicted, though, it is frequent. Firing them isn't helpful. If an abuser gets fired, he will not likely seek any help and then turn to other activities to supply his habit. Many people who get treatment turn out to be some of the best employees." Certain Employees Excluded The bill gives employers the right to randomly test a section of the employees, unannounced. According to the bill, the section of employees must be selected by a computer-based random number generator and conducted by an entity independent from the employer. Vilsack feels there are problems with this as well, "The way the law is set up, there are certain groups of employees that will be excluded from the random sampling group and never be exposed to that test." He is referring to the portion of the law that states drug testing will include all employees, "... other than those whose duties include administration of the drug testing program, those without individualized suspicion ... and those who are not scheduled for work at the time of testing because of the status of the employees." Employees who are under suspicion can be subjected to random drug testing at any time during the workday without any advance warning. If an employee refuses a test, they are almost certainly going to be fired, depending on the employer. The employee can go to court and try to disprove any "reasonable suspicion." According to the bill, if an employee fails the test, a second test can be administered, but the cost for that test would fall upon the employee. The employee can be placed on unpaid suspension pending the results of the second test. Other than that, there are no other protection measures for the employees.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hub Officer Allegedly Preyed On Drug Dealers ('Boston Globe' Says Boston Police Officer Adalberto Bonilla Has Been Arrested And Charged With Organizing A Gang Of Gun-Wielding Thugs To Rip Off Cocaine Dealers For Personal Gain) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 19:14:28 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US MA: Hub officer allegedly preyed on drug dealers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Author: Daniel Vasquez HUB OFFICER ALLEGEDLY PREYED ON DRUG DEALERS BOSTON - Using information gleaned from street sources he called ''rats,'' Boston Police Officer Adalberto Bonilla organized a gang of gun-wielding thugs to prey on cocaine dealers, officials say. At times, he even drove his accomplices around Boston to show them known drug dens and offered his handcuffs and police radio to help the band of thieves appear to be Boston narcotics officers or FBI agents during a string of home invasions, according to a federal grand jury indictment. Yesterday, Bonilla, 35, an eight-year veteran of the department, was arrested by fellow officers and federal agents at his Roslindale home. ''He is facing some very serious charges, as he should be, and detectives should be commended for taking a very dangerous group of people off the street,'' said police spokeswoman Margot Hill. Bonilla faces charges of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, using a firearm in a crime of violence and drug trafficking and witness tampering. Four alleged accomplices also were indicted on similar charges in connection with three armed home invasions in Roxbury and Mattapan in March. They are Angelo Perkins, 26, of Roxbury, Shundale A. Wilson, 22, of Mattapan, and Raymond L. Barton, 20, of Columbus, Ohio. The indictment also includes two unnamed co-conspirators and police said more suspects are being sought. Boston Police Commissioner Paul Evans commended detectives who first discovered a link between the home invasions and Bonilla. Soon after the robberies began, the department's anti-corruption unit joined FBI agents in their own investigation, he said, apprehending a ''dangerous gang and a corrupt cop.'' The gang first struck on March 13 in Roxbury, the indictment says. At 4:15 p.m., using information from Bonilla, Barton and Perkins allegedly forced their way into an Elm Hill Avenue apartment, yelling ''FBI.'' Barton waved a .380 caliber semi-automatic handgun and Perkins wore a fake police badge around his neck and carried handcuffs, the indictment charges. They sprayed Mace on one victim and handcuffed another. They pulled out telephone cords, locked the front door and demanded money, drugs and jewelry. They escaped with up to $3,000 cash and other valuables to be split with Bonilla, police said. Three days later, Bonilla provided directions to a drug house on Sonoma Street in Roxbury, police said, and demanded ''a cut.'' On March 16, Barton and Perkins waited until a victim began entering the apartment and rushed in shouting ''Boston police'' and ''FBI.'' At least one victim was handcuffed and about $600 in cash stolen. Two days later they struck in Mattapan, police say. In the early morning of March 18, the three men allegedly broke down the front door of a Monson Street apartment, waved guns, handcuffed a victim and searched bedrooms. It was unclear what they found, but police believe they planned to sell whatever cocaine they might have found.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boston Police Officer And Three Associates Indicted On Charges Of Participating In Armed Home Invasions And Witness Tampering ('Business Wire' Version) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 09:38:43 -0300 From: Keith Alan
To: "email@example.com" Subject: Boston Police Officer Indicted On Charges Boston Police Officer and Three Associates Indicted On Charges of Participating in Armed Home Invasions and Witness Tampering May 8, 1998 BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE) via NewsEdge Corporation -- A Police Officer in the Boston Police Department was indicted today for participating in three armed home invasions in the Boston area and for attempting to tamper with two witnesses. Three others who allegedly were involved with him in armed home invasions were also charged. United States Attorney Donald K. Stern, Barry W. Mawn, Special Agent In Charge of the Boston Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Commissioner Paul Evans of the Boston Police Department announced that an Indictment was returned today charging ADALBERTO BONILLA, also known as "Eddie", 35, of 733 American Legion Highway, Roslindale, Massachusetts, with one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine, two counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime, and two counts of witness tampering. BONILLA has been a member of the Boston Police Department since November 27, 1989. The Indictment also charges the following defendants: ANGELO PERKINS, 26, of 48 Elm Hill Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts, with one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and three counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime; RAYMOND L. BARTON, 20, of 1355 Clinton Street, Columbus, Ohio, with one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and three counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime; and SHUNDALE A. WILSON, 22, of 94 Woodhaven Street, Apt. H., Mattapan, Massachusetts, with one count of conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine and one count of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and a drug trafficking crime. The indictment states that BONILLA provided information to PERKINS, BARTON, WILSON and others that a source or sources of information informed him of locations where drugs and drug money could be found. Thereafter, BONILLA conspired with PERKINS, BARTON, WILSON and others to commit armed home invasions at those locations and split the proceeds of the robberies among themselves. On March 13, 1998, PERKINS and BARTON forced their way into 62 Elm Hill Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts brandishing a .380 caliber semi-automatic pistol, and carrying handcuffs and mace. On March 16, 1998, PERKINS and BARTON forced their way into 12 Sonoma Street, Dorchester, Massachusetts brandishing firearms and yelling "police" and "FBI ". On March 18, 1998, PERKINS, BARTON and WILSON forced their way into 18 Monson Street, Mattapan, Massachusetts brandishing firearms and carrying handcuffs. The indictment further charges that after BONILLA became aware of the federal grand jury investigation involving the armed home invasions, he engaged in witness tampering by telling two people to lie and misrepresent to federal investigators their knowledge of and involvement in the robberies. U.S. Attorney Stern stated, "The involvement of a member of the law enforcement community in this scheme is particularly reprehensible. We will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law." Commissioner Evans stated, "This indictment began with an investigation by district detectives in Mattapan working a series of home invasions in mid-March. Their diligence in bringing essential information immediately to our Anti-Corruption Unit initiated a full-scale joint BPD/FBI criminal investigation, culminating in these charges in just two months. I would like to commend the detectives for their hard work, and the members of the Anti-Corruption Unit and the FBI who took a dangerous gang and a corrupt officer off the streets." Special Agent in Charge Mawn stated, "This joint investigation has resulted in the indictment of a corrupt cop. This is yet another example of effective law enforcement at its best." If convicted, all four defendants face up to 20 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy to interfere with interstate commerce by robbery, and between 5 and 40 years' imprisonment and a $2 million fine on the narcotics count. Additionally, BONILLA faces 25 years' imprisonment consecutive to the prior sentences if convicted of the two counts charging him with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime. PERKINS and BARTON face 45 years' imprisonment consecutive to the prior sentences if convicted of the three counts charging them with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime. WILSON faces 5 years' imprisonment consecutive to the prior sentences if convicted of the one count charging him with using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence or a drug trafficking crime. BONILLA also faces up to 10 years' imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each of the two witness tampering counts. A detention hearing for each of the defendants is scheduled for Monday, May 11, 1998, at 12:00 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert B. Collings. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and by Detectives of the Anti-Corruption Unit, Internal Affairs Division of the Boston Police Department, with the assistance of Mattapan District Detectives of the Boston Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brien T. O'Connor, Chief of Stern's Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit, and Amy B. Lederer, a member of the unit. CONTACT: U.S. Attorney's Office | Amy Rindskopf, (617) 223-9445 Copyright 1998, Business Wire
------------------------------------------------------------------- Another Police Raid On A Home Yields No Drugs, But Much Trauma ('New York Times' Says A Retired Baker In Brooklyn Will Sue New York City For $200 Million After Police Broke Down The Door Of His Family's Apartment With Guns Drawn, Tossed A Stun Grenade Into The Front Hall And Handcuffed Everyone, Including A Mentally Retarded 18-Year-Old Girl Taking A Shower) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 23:16:54 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: Another Police Raid On A Home Yields No Drugs, But Much Trauma Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (kevin b. zeese) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Author: Michael Cooper ANOTHER POLICE RAID ON A HOME YIELDS NO DRUGS, BUT MUCH TRAUMA NEW YORK -- Police officers broke down the door of a Brooklyn apartment, guns drawn, tossed a stun grenade into the front hall and handcuffed everyone inside, including a mentally retarded 18-year-old girl who was taking a shower. They were looking for guns and drugs. They found only a terrified family. "I thought America was invaded, that some force, a foreign force, came to kill us," said Basil Shorter, 62, a retired baker, describing the police raid of his Crown Heights apartment May 1 that turned his family's morning routine into a harrowing confrontation. "My family was helpless. I was helpless." Police officials insisted Thursday that the officers had done nothing wrong and that the raid was done by the book. They said a confidential informant told them that drugs and guns were being sold from the Shorter apartment and from another apartment on the third floor of the building, at 1602 Union St., and that a judge authorized and signed a search warrant for both. A gun and small amounts of drugs were found in the third floor apartment, they said. But the raid on the Shorter residence was the fourth in a series of high-profile cases since late February in which search warrants either failed to yield any contraband or were carried out at the wrong location. As drug dealing has increasingly moved inside from the streets, narcotics officers have come to rely more and more on the search warrants in their efforts to stamp out the drug trade. Critics contend that some no-knock search warrants -- in which officials rely on the word of a confidential informant to obtain the warrant -- violate people's constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The warrants authorize police to break down doors with battering rams in their search for drugs. And they worry that cases like the Shorters', in which a family is traumatized but no drugs are found, could make the city liable to pay millions of dollars in damages in civil suits. "These types of aggressive actions hold the potential for enormous recoveries from the city from future administrations," said City Councilman Sheldon Leffler, who chairs the council's public safety committee. "It's the next regime that will have to pay the piper. I think there is a need for tightening up the procedures." The Shorter family retained a lawyer, Harvey Weitz, who has won a number of multi-million dollar jury verdicts in the past. Weitz said Thursday that he would sue for $200 million in damages. "Something's wrong with police procedures if families like the Shorters go through this kind of terror," Weitz said. According to police and the Shorters, the raid took place at 6:15 a.m. Shorter had just bathed and his daughter Phebi, 18, was in the shower. His wife, Cecelia, 47, a home health attendant, and younger daughter, Isis, 14, were also in the apartment. Suddenly, the door burst open and police threw in a stun grenade, which exploded. Police use such a grenade to disorient the apartment's occupants. In this case, their informant had told them that the apartment was watched by armed guards 24 hours a day. Mrs. Shorter said that she was worried that Phebi, who is mentally retarded, would misunderstand orders and get shot. "I said, 'She's mentally retarded, please don't shoot, please don't shoot,' Mrs. Shorter recalled Thursday. She said police covered Phebi with a robe and handcuffed her but did not heed her warning that her daughter was menstruating and needed a sanitary pad. She said they only gave her one after she was visibly bleeding. At 7:30, police freed the Shorters when they did not find any drugs. They left the apartment and asked the building superintendent to fix the door at police expense. "This is the fourth case in recent months that I know of," Weitz said. "And I've never once seen or heard anything from the City of New York which says we're going to re-evaluate how we execute these warrants." The other recent cases include: -- On Feb. 27 police raided the Bronx apartment of Ellis Elliot. Elliot, who thought he was being robbed when his door was opened, took a gun and fired a shot. Police then sprayed at least 26 bullets into the room. No one was injured; no drugs were found. Officials later said that that they had hit the wrong apartment. -- That same day the police broke down the door of another Bronx apartment only to find an 18-year-old woman who was eight months pregnant napping with her two children. No drugs were found. Police officials later said that they had hit the right apartment, but believed the drugs had been moved. -- On March 18 the police raided the apartment of a family in Brooklyn only to find a grandmother watching television with her daughter and grandson. Police officials later acknowledged that it was the wrong apartment: the officers had apparently misunderstood the directions from undercover detectives. Chief Martin O'Boyle of the Organized Crime Control Bureau defended both police procedures and the raid on the Shorter house. He said that as drug dealing has moved indoors, his bureau has increased the number of search warrants it executes, to 2,900 last year. In the past, he said, a year in which 500 warrants were executed was considered busy. And in about 85 percent of the raids last year, O'Boyle said, police found what they were looking for. In some cases, the police send undercover officers to make what they call "controlled buys" after receiving tips about drug and gun selling from confidential informants. They did not in this case. They did follow other procedures, though, including having a sergeant look at the apartment doors with the informant to make sure they were the correct addresses. Talking of the information supplied by the confidential informant in the Shorter case, O'Boyle said: "What we believe at this point is that the information was good. Why would our source give us bad information on one apartment and good information on the second apartment in the same building?" And privately, several investigators said that drug dealers sometimes figure out ways to operate from the apartments of the most unlikely people, sometimes without their knowledge. Shorter, who was born in Jamaica and lived in England before he became a U.S. citizen, wept as he recalled the sense of shame of seeing his neighbors watch a police raid in his home. "I was so embarrassed," he said. "Everyone passed in the hallway, looking at my house." His daughter Phebi, who talked and sang to herself during the news conference, looked up at her father and said, "He's crying."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Family Says Cops Raided Wrong Home ('Associated Press' Version) Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 19:24:46 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: Wire: Family Says Cops Raided Wrong Home Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org NEWSHAWK: Chris Clay -- http://www.hempnation.com/ Pubdate: 8 May 1998 Source: Associated Press FAMILY SAYS COPS RAIDED WRONG HOME NEW YORK -- A Brooklyn family accused police of breaking into their apartment, throwing tear gas inside, dragging an 18-year-old disabled girl out of the shower, and handcuffing them all while searching for drugs and guns before saying it was all a mistake. "I thought this was a war," said Basil Shorter, 62, who was in the apartment along with his wife and two daughters at the time. "I said to myself some foreign force has come to kill us." But the Police Department has a different version. Yes, they raided the Shorter family's apartment in Crown Heights, handcuffed the family and searched for drugs and guns, and found nothing. But they had a warrant and were at the right apartment. Chief Martin O'Boyle, head of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, said Thursday that police received information from a confidential informant that drugs and guns were being sold at two apartments at 1602 Union St. One of the apartments was the Shorter family's. Before raiding the family's home May 1, police raided Apt. 3C and recovered a gun, a small bag of cocaine, and a small quantity of marijuana, O'Boyle said. "What we believe to this point is the information was good," he said. He added that police had warrants to search Apt. 3C and Apt. 1A, which is the Shorter home. Neither O'Boyle nor Police Commissioner Howard Safir offered an apology to the family. Harvey Weitz, the family's attorney in Manhattan, was furious upon hearing that no apology had been offered. He described the Shorters as regular, ordinary, decent people. "This says to me, and everyone else, this is just another day at the office for the Police Department, Weitz said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shooting Inquiry Centers On Claim Of 'Profiling' By Troopers ('New York Times' Examines The War-On-Some-Drugs Inspired Tactic Also Known As DWB - Driving While Black - And Its Alleged Role In A Recent Incident On The New Jersey Turnpike, When State Troopers Fired 11 Shots Into A Van Carrying Four Young Men On Their Way To A College Basketball Clinic) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 16:15:18 -0400 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NJ: NYT: Shooting Inquiry Centers on Claim of 'Profiling' by Troopers To: DrugSense News Service
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (kevin b. zeese) Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Authors: John Kifner and David M. Herszenhorn SHOOTING INQUIRY CENTERS ON CLAIM OF 'PROFILING' BY TROOPERS The police, among themselves, call it "profiling," making a traffic stop of someone they believe likely to be involved in the drug trade. African-Americans give it another name, "D.W.B." -- Driving While Black. The practice, the subject of growing debate in courts around the country, appears to be central to the inquiry into an incident in New Jersey last month in which state troopers pulled over four young men on their way to a college basketball clinic. Before the incident was over, the troopers had fired 11 shots into the van, wounding three of the passengers, two seriously. For years, there have been accusations that troopers along the New Jersey Turnpike -- where virtually everyone drives over the 55-mile-per-hour limit -- were pulling over black or Hispanic drivers solely based on race, in hope of making drug arrests. Citing a "stark" disparity in which black drivers were 4.85 times as likely as white drivers to be pulled over by troopers, a state court judge ruled in 1996 that the police had a policy of "selective enforcement" by "targeting blacks for investigation and arrest." The judge, Robert E. Francis of Superior Court in Gloucester County, added that "the utter failure of the state police hierarchy to monitor and control a crackdown program" or to "investigate the many claims of institutional discrimination, manifests its indifference if not acceptance." "The eradication of illegal drugs from our state is an obviously worthy goal," Judge Francis wrote, "but not at the expense of individual rights." Despite the court ruling, one of the troopers involved in the latest incident, John Hogan, has made at least 19 arrests as a result of traffic stops that defense lawyers have contended were based on racial profiling of Hispanic or black drivers. And the New Jersey State Police itself has a long history of accusations of racism. Indeed, only last March 24, a Federal District Court judge ruled that a trooper of Filipino origin had suffered racial discrimination and a hostile work environment. The judge wrote that her decision was based on testimony that white officers used a racial epithet to refer to a station with a number of black troopers. She wrote that troopers used racial profiles in traffic stops and that a trooper told a black driver in one instance that he could avoid a ticket if he tap-danced on the side of the road. A supervisor named in testimony as one of the Filipino trooper's main tormentors, Sgt. Ronald Franz, is now a captain in command of Troop D, which patrols the turnpike. Among the issues that lawyers and law enforcement officials have raised about the shooting, which is being investigated by a special state prosecutor, are the following: - Did the state troopers really stop the van because it was speeding or simply because it contained young black and Latino men? - With sharp discrepancies between the accounts of the troopers and those of the young men and a witness, who is telling the truth? - Was the use of deadly force by the troopers justified? Around 11 o'clock on the night of April 23, two New Jersey State Police officers, Trooper Hogan and Trooper James Kenna, stopped a 1997 Dodge Caravan with New York plates on the turnpike in Washington Township. In the van were four New York City men: Danny Reyes, 20; Keshon L. Moore, 22, the driver; Rayshawn Brown, 20, and Leroy Grant, 23. Mr. Reyes was shot four times and remains hospitalized in Camden, N.J., with serious injuries to his right arm and wounds in his torso. Mr. Grant was shot in the knee and was released from the hospital Wednesday. Mr. Brown was grazed by a bullet. Beyond that, nobody agrees on much of anything. The initial press release issued the next day by Col. Carl A. Williams, the State Police Superintendent, said that the incident began when the two troopers "obtained a speed reading from radar" that clocked the van "traveling at 74 m.p.h. in the turnpike's 55 m.p.h. speed zone." It turned out, however, that the two troopers were not equipped with radar, according to lawyers in the case. This discrepancy could be important in light of a finding by Judge Francis in the Gloucester County case that troopers using their own discretion stopped vastly higher percentages of black drivers than troopers using radar, who stopped black drivers in line with their proportion among all turnpike drivers. The state police account said that the two troopers got out of their marked patrol car and approached the van. Then, the police said, the van went into reverse and began moving toward Trooper Hogan. As he tried to get out of the way, the police said, he was struck on the right leg and fell. Trooper Kenna, the police said, having lost sight of Trooper Hogan and fearing that he had been hit by the van, fired at the rear of the moving vehicle. The van continued to back up, according to the police, striking the front of the police car and pushing it back. "Still moving in reverse, the Caravan crossed the southbound lanes of the Turnpike and was struck by a 1988 Honda Accord," the police press release said, adding that the force of the impact drove the Honda into the road divider, causing it to burst into flames, slightly injuring the occupants. "After striking the Honda, the Caravan continued to move forward at troopers Kenna and Hogan," the press release said next, although this would appear to indicate that the van had changed direction. "The troopers fired several rounds from their service weapons at the approaching vehicle," the police version said. "Continuing to move forward, the vehicle crossed the travel lanes of the roadway, finally coming to rest at the edge of the right shoulder." But David G. Ironman, the lawyer for Mr. Reyes, said that when his investigator examined the van and the police car, he found only minimal damage to both rather than the dents to be expected from a forceful collision. Further, Mr. Ironman said, the windows shattered by gunfire were at the back and sides of the van rather than the windshield, as might be expected from police shooting at an oncoming vehicle. A search of the van, Mr. Ironman said turned up, among other things, an English paper graded "C" from Mr. Reyes's course at New York Technical College, a volume of short stories by John Steinbeck, a Bible and the young men's gym clothes for the clinic at North Carolina Central University, but no drugs or other contraband. "I believe it was a profile stop," Mr. Ironman said. "But, of course, these New Jersey State Police cannot admit to it because they know it's illegal. I want to have the question answered by somebody: what was my client accused of doing?" Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., the high-profile defense lawyer, took over the case last week and has instructed his clients not to talk to the news media. But in earlier interviews with The Daily News, Mr. Reyes, who was in the front passenger seat, said that one of the officers -- apparently Trooper Kenna -- broke the side window of the van with his baton and fired inside. Mr. Reyes said that the car was accidentally put into reverse, and that the police kept firing, ignoring his shouts to stop. A witness who drove by the scene has come forward with a description sharply at odds with the police version of events and more consistent with that of Mr. Reyes. Juan Polk, an engineer with the Voice of America in New York, said in a telephone interview that he was coming forward, after worrying for days,because the initial news stories about the incident "didn't sound anything like what I saw." Mr. Polk said he was driving home along the turnpike that night -- carefully, he noted, because as a black man he was wary of the police. The cruise control on his car was set at around 60 m.p.h. when he saw a state police patrol car parked by the side of the parkway, lights off. He had noticed a van traveling with him at about the same speed for a few miles, he said. In his rear view mirror, he saw the police car turn on its flashing lights and pull onto the highway. "He took off and started burning toward us," said Mr. Polk, who first gave his account to Jim Dwyer, a columnist for The Daily News. "I thought, 'Damn, I hope he's not coming for me.' The cops whizzed past me. I thought they were going to whiz past the van, too." Mr. Polk lost sight of the other vehicles around a curve and a hill. When he saw them again, he said, "it was all flashing lights and motion." The van was off the side of the road, he said, with two state troopers firing at it from the back. As he slowed to watch, he said, the van lurched forward, then rolled slowly down into a kind of gully or ravine as the police continued shooting. "They were blasting away," Mr. Polk said. "I heard, like, four shots, then a pause, then they opened up. The van lurches forward, goes maybe 10 or 15 feet out of control, then drives down into the ditch. "They were shooting at the back windows, shooting down into the car. It was going forward; the backup lights never came on. There wasn't much damage to the minivan, just the windows. You could hear the popping sound and the glass exploding." Although the police say that only one police car was involved in the initial stop, Mr. Polk says he believes that he saw two cars parked behind the stopped van, with a trooper taking shelter behind a door of each car while firing. Mr. Polk said that while he was in the area he saw no sign of a Honda bursting into flames. "It was like everything went into slow motion," said Mr. Polk, who initially feared he might be shot himself if people were firing from inside the van. "It seemed like it was happening for 15 minutes, but it could only have been a few seconds." After news surfaced of the van shooting, several public defenders and other lawyers came forward to say they were familiar with Trooper Hogan because they had accused him in court of making profile stops or planned to do so in pending cases. One lawyer, John L. Weichsel of Hackensack, said he had identified a pattern of eight cases since 1995 in which Trooper Hogan pulled over Hispanic van drivers for traffic infractions and later conducted searches resulting in drug arrests. The cases all involved companies providing van service between New York and Philadelphia. Mr. Weichsel is representing Ishmael C. Ramirez, who was arrested by Trooper Hogan on Aug. 9, 1997, and charged with cocaine possession after the van he had been riding in was pulled over on the turnpike in Edison Township. In his report, Trooper Hogan said he had paced the van at 75 to 79 m.p.h. A list of the cases provided to Mr. Weichsel by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's office shows that all involved Dodge vans, the same make as the van involved in the shooting. In every case, the van had out-of-state license plates, the driver had a Hispanic surname and heroin or cocaine was seized. "We would use the information to show a pattern of illegal stops and searches based on the fact that the trooper lacked probable cause," Mr. Weichsel said. "It raises the question in my mind of the trooper's motivation and the reason why he's pulling all these vans over. All I know is that over a relatively brief period of time, there were at least 11 van stops in Middlesex County and 8 of them were by Hogan." It is not unusual for lawyers defending minority clients to seek the suppression of evidence by accusing officers of illegal stops and searches. But several lawyers said they had encountered Trooper Hogan in a remarkable number of such cases. "At least a half-dozen cases when I was with the public defender's office and two pending now," said Robin Kay Lord, a former public defender in Mercer County who is now in private practice, recounting the times she represented minority clients pulled over by Trooper Hogan. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chris Webber Will Get A Jury Trial ('Associated Press' Update On Washington Wizards Basketball Player Chris Webber, Charged With Second-Degree Assault, Resisting Arrest, And Marijuana Possession Stemming From A Traffic Stop In January)Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 09:40:56 -0300 From: Keith Alan
To: "email@example.com" Subject: Chris Webber Will Get a Jury Trial Chris Webber Will Get a Jury Trial May 8, 1998 UPPER MARLBORO, MD. - The Associated Press via NewsEdge Corporation: Washington Wizards forward Chris Webber, charged with second-degree assault, resisting arrest and marijuana possession stemming from a traffic stop in January, made a brief court appearance today to request a jury trial. In a brief appearance at the Prince George's County courthouse, Webber's attorney asked for and was granted a jury trial for his client. The date will be set within the next week. Webber, 25, made no comment as he left the court through a side exit. He was arrested Jan. 20 after being pulled over for speeding in Landover, Md., on his way to a Wizards' practice. Police said Webber could not produce his driver's license or registration. Police said he refused to get out the car and struck the officer on the hand. The officer then used pepper spray to place Webber under arrest. The car was impounded and searched, and police said they found part of a marijuana cigarette and other marijuana residue in the car. In addition to the assault, resisting arrest and marijuana possession charges, Webber is also accused of driving under the influence of marijuana and several other traffic-related violations. The case has no connection to Webber's more recent legal troubles. He and teammate Juwan Howard have been named in a sexual assault complaint filed by a woman after a party April 6 at Howard's home in Montgomery County, Md. No charges have been filed in that case, which is being heard by a grand jury. The Wizards are expected to try to trade Webber, Howard or both during the offseason, but in an interview in Thursday's Washington Post, Webber said he would like to stay in Washington and indicated he was a changed man. ``I've had some revelations, if that's what you want to call it,'' Webber said. ``My whole attitude has changed. And the only reason I don't like saying that my whole attitude has changed is that I know cynics will say, `Oh, of course it's changed. Now, after all this.' ``But I can't worry about that. I'm looking forward to next year, period.'' Copyright 1998, Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Misdemeanor? ('Washington Post' Notes Reefer Madness Beset The Secret Grand Jury Proceedings Of Independent Counsel Ken Starr In Washington, DC, Yesterday When Something That Looked Like A Partially Smoked Marijuana Cigarette Was Found In The Third Floor Ladies' Room Near The Grand Jury Chamber) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 22:42:18 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: WP: High Misdemeanor? Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin b. zeese) Source: The Washington Post Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ HIGH MISDEMEANOR? Amid independent counsel Ken Starr's secret grand jury proceedings yesterday came the first hint of drugs. Maybe. Was that a partially smoked marijuana cigarette (or "roach," to those who inhale) left in the third floor ladies' room near the grand jury chamber? Or was it some exotic hand-rolled tobacco cigarette? Female reporters popped into the loo for a look and a courtroom artist sketched it, reports The Post's Ben White. A U.S. marshal said it could be "reefer" and left it there. Then someone nicked it. (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prosecutor Faces Drug Charge (Lexington, Kentucky, 'Herald-Leader' Says Jefferson County's Top Traffic-Court Prosecutor Was Cited For Marijuana Possession After An Undercover 'Narcotics' Officer Allegedly Spotted Him Smoking Marijuana Saturday At Churchill Downs During The Kentucky Derby) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:55:52 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Prosecutor Faces Drug Charge Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Kevin Cornett Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/ PROSECUTOR FACES DRUG CHARGE LOUISVILLE (AP)-- Jefferson County's chief traffic-court prosecutor has been cited for marijuana possession at the Churchill Downs infield during the Kentucky Derby. An undercover narcotics officer allegedly spotted John A. Wilmes smoking marijuana Saturday. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a $500 fine or both. Most first offenders are referred to drug-education classes instead, court officials said. In being cited rather than arrested, Wilmes was treated like others in the infield on Derby Day. Jefferson County police Capt. Buddy Dumeyer said Saturday that officers had written about 30 citations, more than half of which were for marijuana possession. A person who is cited isn't taken to jail or booked but is allowed to appear later in court to answer to the charge. County Attorney Mike Conliffe also suspended Wilmes for 30 days. Although Conliffe said Wilmes has an "impeccable" service record, he said suspension was "best for everyone involved." Conliffe didn't say whether Wilmes will be retained after his case is resolved. He said Wilmes prosecutes drunken-driving and other traffic cases, but not drug cases such as the one with which he is being charged.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 17 Arrested At Corvette Plant (Lexington, Kentucky, 'Herald-Leader' Says A 14-Month Undercover Drug Investigation At The General Motors Factory In Bowling Green Netted 17 Arrests, No Drugs Inside The Plant And Only 'Small Quantities' Of Marijuana In Three Employees' Cars) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:58:46 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: 17 Arrested At Corvette Plant Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Kevin Cornett Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/ 17 ARRESTED AT CORVETTE PLANT BOWLING GREEN (AP)-- A 14-month undercover drug investigation netted 17 arrests yesterday at the General Motors Corvette Plant. Officers from the Kentucky State Police and the Bowling Green Police Department arrived at the plant at about 7 a.m. CDT, armed with 15 arrest warrants. The suspects were charged with a combined 54 counts of alleged possession, sale and use of illegal drugs. According to a state police statement, the investigation began as a result of anonymous employee tips. State Trooper Nick Stephens said GM officials were aware of the undercover operation and were very cooperative in apprehending the suspects. Many of the suspects were arrested while they worked on the production line. Drug dogs also were used to check employees' cars and the plant's locker area for drugs. Stephens said no drugs were found inside the plant but small quantities of marijuana were found in three employee vehicles. (c) Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Homegrown' - Dead Boss With Drug Cargo - A Stooge's Stuff Of Dreams (Movie Review In 'New York Times' Characterizes The New Stephen Gyllenhaal Film As A Wacky Farce Noir That Crosses 'The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre' With The Three Stooges)Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 23:19:36 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Movie Review: 'Homegrown': Dead Boss With Drug Cargo: A Stooge's Stuff of Dreams Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Author: Lawrence Van Gelder 'HOMEGROWN': DEAD BOSS WITH DRUG CARGO: A STOOGE'S STUFF OF DREAMS Question: What happens when you cross "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" with the Three Stooges? Answer: "Homegrown," a wacky farce noir about three babes in the woods shepherding a huge marijuana crop to marketable maturity when the murder of their wealthy boss fills their fool heads with dreams of becoming the millionaires next door. So, with Stephen Gyllenhaal as director and co-writer with Nicholas Kazan, "Homegrown" is off and romping with its spirited cast through a plot that mingles murder mystery, rustic comedy, outlaw sociology, plant husbandry, lusty romance and layers of old-fashioned avarice, which is to say old-fashioned business. The fun begins when John Lithgow, as Malcolm, the affluent magnate who owns the crop, decides to pay a flying visit to the Northern California forest primeval, where his stooges are doing some figurative flying as they tend the tall plants under their woodland canopy. But no sooner does the helicopter land than the pilot shoots Malcolm dead. The stooges, played by Billy Bob Thornton as the grizzled Jack, Hank Azaria as the horticultural expert Carter and Ryan Phillippe as Harlan, the naive newcomer to the trade, are convinced that the rub-out signals the start of a raid by so-called rippers, who hijack crops. So the stooges gather up whatever marijuana they can carry and make a beeline for the home of Lucy (Kelly Lynch), who isn't exactly Carter's girlfriend any more, but who, nonetheless, isn't exactly unwilling to go to bed with him, either. (And that's even after the filmmakers, in homage to Hitchcock, dispatch him with knife in hand into her steamy bathroom while she is in the shower.) Lucy, the packaging and distribution arm of Malcolm's marijuana business, helps the stooges ready their haul for sale while at least temporarily under the impression that Malcolm is still alive. When the stooges learn that rippers have not stolen the crop, they bury his body, and Jack, supposedly the most mature, experienced and brainy of the lot, hatches the idea of pretending that Malcolm is still alive and arranges to sell the $3 million harvest to Danny (Jon Bon Jovi), one of the local wholesalers. In the meantime, Jack tries his hand at impersonating Malcolm on the telephone and finding out who killed him and why. Along the way, Jamie Lee Curtis turns up as Sierra Kahan, the doyenne of the local growers' association; Judge Reinhold as a police officer who pockets a bribe, and Ted Danson as a man whose name Jack mistakes for Johnny. The name is really Gianni. He represents a large criminal enterprise and likes toys and torture. Gyllenhaal, whose credits include "Paris Trout"; Kazan, who wrote the screenplay for "Reversal of Fortune," and the entire cast have a high old time huffing and puffing their through this happy sermon on the wages of greed. PRODUCTION NOTES HOMEGROWN Rating: "Homegrown" is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes murder, shootouts, copious consumption of illegal substances, terrifying threats, nudity and sexual situations. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal; written by Nicholas Kazan and Gyllenhaal, based on a story by Jonah Raskin and Gyllenhaal; director of photography, Greg Gardiner; edited by Michael Jablow; music by Trevor Rabin; production designer, Richard Sherman; produced by Jason Clark; released by Tri-Star Pictures. Running time: 95 minutes. This film is rated R. Cast: Billy Bob Thornton (Jack), Hank Azaria (Carter), Kelly Lynch (Lucy), Jon Bon Jovi (Danny), Ryan Phillippe (Harlan), Judge Reinhold (Policeman), Matt Ross (Ben Hickson), Matt Clark (Sheriff), Ted Danson (Gianni), John Lithgow (Malcolm/Robert) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Sierra Kahan).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Caper Blurred (Movie Review Of 'Homegrown' In 'San Francisco Chronicle') Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:22:31 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Movie Review: Pot Caper Blurred Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Mick LaSalle, Chronicle Staff Critic POT CAPER BLURRED HOMEGROWN: Caper movie. Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Hank Azaria and Kelly Lynch. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. (R. 95 minutes. At Bay Area theaters.) ``Homegrown'' is a little caper movie about a trio of marijuana growers from Northern California who are forced to free-lance when their boss is gunned down. They pick the crop, process it, bag it and sell it to big-time wholesalers. Along the way, they get stoned and they get shot at. They keep busy. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal, the picture is a strictly low-budget affair. The cost-cutting is most obvious in Trevor Rabin's score, which peppers virtually every moment of screen time with drum machines, rock songs and crashing chords, creating the sense that the actors are there solely to reinforce a point that the music is making. Billy Bob Thornton, Hank Azaria and Ryan Phillippe play the hapless trio, and Kelly Lynch is the love interest. The movie's aim is that we should see the three buddies as lovable bumblers, but they come across as seedy. Still, the plot, which brings in local growers, thieving competitors and the Mafia, is brisk enough to hold interest in a superficial way. The director's background in more A-list features (``Losing Isaiah,'' ``A Dangerous Woman'') shows in the number of famous faces in cameo roles: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judge Reinhold, John Lithgow and, best of all, Ted Danson as an affable but psychotic mobster. (c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Non-Dopey Look At Pot Use ('Toronto Star' Movie Review Of 'Homegrown' Says The Determination To Make This A Comedy Despite The Serious Tone Of The Plot Suggests That Studio Heads Were Looking For Something Along The Lines Of Cheech And Chong's 'Up In Smoke') Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 08:24:58 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans
Subject: TorStar Movie Review: "Homegrown" A non-dopey look at pot use Homegrown (R) Starring Billy Bob Thornton, Hank Azaria, Kelly Lynch, Ryan Phillippe, Jon Bon Jovi and John Lithgow. Directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal. At Cineplex Odeon theatres. * * * (3 stars out of five) By Peter Howell Toronto Star Movie Critic Homegrown is like film noir on drugs. A rare movie that deals with dope as a serious dramatic topic and not just a chance to get silly, it's got paranoia and corruption down to its roots. And there's no paranoid like a stoned paranoid. Especially stoners Jack (Billy Bob Thornton), Carter (Hank Azaria) and Harlan (Ryan Phillippe of I Know What You Did Last Summer), three small-time pot growers in Northern California who work for a big-time drug dealer named Malcolm (John Lithgow). Jack, Carter and new hand Harlan don't trust each other much, but then they don't have to. All they have to do is grow and harvest the weed, with some processing assistance from their lithe female associate Lucy (Kelly Lynch) and they can leave the business deals to Malcolm. Until Malcolm is suddenly shot dead, in the shadiest of circumstances and right at harvest time. This leaves Jack, Carter, Harlan and Lucy with the choice of leaving millions of dollars worth of marijuana to rot in the field, or to harvest it themselves. They opt for the latter, even though they know that whomever killed Malcolm will likely come after them. Not to mention, the police, the Mafia and plundering ``rippers'' who steal crops. Marketed as a black comedy (although it isn't really), Homegrown has pretensions to high art, with veiled references and plot similarities to the Bogart classic, The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. Director Stephen Gyllenhaal (Paris Trout, Waterland) shows the drug underworld from both sides. There's the illicit thrills of the fast buck and the plain hard work of transforming raw bud into ``the smell of money, the sweet stink of success.'' But there's also the drug-fuelled fears of discovery and double-cross, which the main actors all do a fine job of bringing to the fore. Not so the many other stars who have been dropped into the story, for no particular reason other than their availability, it seems. There are cameos by Jamie Lee Curtis, Judge Reinhold and Ted Danson, the latter playing a mob boss who has about as much bite as his `'attack poodle.'' (Christopher Walken must have been busy when the casting director called). The proliferation of characters detracts from the main story, but not so much as the tacked-on ending, which appears to be the result of some serious test marketing. The determination to make this a comedy despite the serious tone of the plot suggests that studios heads were looking for something along the lines of Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke. And that's too bad. If test marketing was around when Easy Rider was made, then Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper probably would have just ridden off into the sunset at the end. You just can't trust The Man, man, when you're making a movie about weed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Number Of Wiretaps Increases ('Associated Press' Article In 'Washington Post' Cites Figures From The Administrative Office Of The US Courts Showing Law Enforcement Agents Sought A Record Number Of Warrants Last Year To Allow Them To Secretly Listen In On More Than 2 Million Private Conversations, 73 Percent For Investigations Related To 'Narcotics,' Up 3 Percent From Last Year) Date: Sat, 09 May 1998 13:53:32 -0500 From: "Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr."
To: Cannabis Patriots Subject: CanPat - Number of Wiretaps Increases Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 20:58:42 -0400 From: "Mark A. Smith" To: David Rydel (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Number of Wiretaps Increases http://search.washingtonpost.com/ Number of Wiretaps Increases By Richard Carelli Associated Press Writer Friday, May 8, 1998; 2:38 p.m. EDT WASHINGTON (AP) -- Law enforcement agents sought a record number of court orders last year to allow them to secretly listen in on more than 2 million private conversations, a government wiretap report shows. The 1,186 wiretap requests approved by federal and state judges in 1997 marked a 3 percent increase over 1996 and surpassed the 1,154 logged in 1994. The total is believed to the highest since Congress in 1968 started requiring the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to compile such records. As in past years, the bulk of the wiretap requests -- 73 percent -- were spurred by narcotics investigations. Crimes otherwise most often cited included gambling and racketeering. The telephone wiretap was the most common device used but other surveillance tools were authorized as well. Investigators actually installed 1,094 wiretaps, and each intercepted an average of 2,081 conversations -- a total of 2.27 million. Only in 1994 were more conversations -- 2.35 million -- subjected to reported government snooping. Federal judges authorized 569 wiretaps; state judges 617. The most orders were issued in New York (304), New Jersey (70) and Florida (57). California, the nation's most populous state, ranked fifth with 29 authorized requests. Pennsylvania was fourth with 42. In all, 23 of the 42 states in which courts can authorize wiretapping reported at least one such authorization last year. Under federal law, prosecutors who apply for court permission to install wiretaps are required to submit reports unless a court order is issued with the consent of one of the parties whose conversations are to be intercepted. (c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senior Drug Abuse Called An Epidemic (Cox News Service Article In 'Contra Costa Times' Says Researchers At The US Government's Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration Claim 'Substance Abuse' Among The Elderly Is An Invisible Epidemic That Affects 17 Percent Of Adults Over 60, Though No Call For Massive Incarceration Is Heard) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:26:27 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Senior Drug Abuse Called An Epidemic Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 08 May 1998 Source: Contra Costa Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.hotcoco.com/index.htm Author: Natalie Hopkinson, Cox News Service SENIOR DRUG ABUSE CALLED AN EPIDEMIC WASHINGTON -- Substance abuse among the elderly is an "invisible epidemic" that now affects 17 percent of adults over 60, a government study reported Thursday. Researchers at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that seniors often begin abusing alcohol and prescription drugs later in life and frequently go undetected. "Many health-care providers don't ask about alcohol abuse if it wasn't a problem in the early years," said Nelba Chavez, the agency's administrator. "But many older Americans turn to alcohol for comfort, and they may not be aware of the effects on their quality of life." The researchers said the 1 million alcoholics older than 60 and countless other seniors who abuse legal drugs put themselves at risk of physical complications because they often take several prescription medications, and because aging makes the body more vulnerable to drugs' effects. Caregivers often assume that older patients who complain of confusion, falls and insomnia suffer from normal signs of aging instead of symptoms of substance abuse, the report said. It said that about one-third of elderly alcoholics -- 29 percent of males and 52 percent of females -- first experienced symptoms between the ages of 60 and 79. These older drinkers often turn to alcohol following major life changes such as retirement, divorce, or the death of a spouse or even a pet. Drinking a couple of beers each day may be suitable for younger adults, said Frederick Charles Blow, author of the study. But as bodies age and older adults begin taking several different prescription drugs, such drinking levels can prove harmful. And with baby boomers soon expanding the elderly population, the problem is expected to spread to marijuana and other illicit drugs, Blow said. The report had the following recommendations for older adults, caregivers and family members who suspect drug or alcohol abuse: Elderly males should limit themselves to a maximum of seven drinks per week and no more than two drinks on any one occasion. The report said women should consume slightly less than that. Every 60-year-old should be screened for alcohol and drug abuse as part of his or her regular physical examination. Anyone who is concerned about an older adult's drinking or drug consumption should ask direct questions about their habits. "Relatives are embarrassed to talk about the fact that their relative has developed a drinking problem. How do I approach my parent? How do I approach my grandmother? How do I tell her I think she's been drinking too much?" Chavez said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Survey - 17 Percent Of Older Americans Are Addicted (Cable News Network Version Suggests Any Respondent Who Consumed More Than One Drink A Day, The Limit Suggested By The National Institute On Alcohol Abuse And Alcoholism, Was Labeled A Drug Abuser And Addict) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 11:39:07 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: TerraCore Communications (email@example.com) Subject: hello phil Saw this on the CNN website at http://cnn.com/HEALTH/9805/08/elderly.substance.abuse/ Survey: 17 percent of older Americans are addicted May 8, 1998 Web posted at: 12:31 p.m. EDT (1631 GMT) BURBANK, California (CNN) -- A survey released by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment suggests up to 17 percent of U.S. citizens aged 60 and older are addicted to substances. "These are mainly problems related to alcohol, tobacco and prescription and over-the-counter medications," Frederic Blow of the Michigan Alcohol Research Center told CNN. Among the survey's findings: 15 percent of men and 12 percent of women regularly drink in excess of the one-drink-a-day limit suggested by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. "Most people are not screened for alcohol abuse, even though there is significant evidence that many abusers of alcohol start later in life," said Camille Barry of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Barry also said that older people are more vulnerable to substance abuse because the over-60 age group takes more prescription drugs than any other age group in the United States. Mixing the prescription drugs with alcohol puts users at additional risk. The survey, released Thursday, was conducted by a non-federal, consensus panel that included primary care doctors, social workers and senior center staff members. The group combined the results of earlier studies done on elderly substance abuse. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment is a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The researchers say several, intertwining factors can contribute to substance abuse among older citizens, including loosing a spouse, loneliness and moving from a long-loved home into an apartment. Physiological changes that accompany the aging process can also make a difference. As you get older, you become more susceptible to the effects of alcohol. "When I was 35, I could definitely have a few more drinks than what I do today. Maybe I'm just slowing down a bit," one woman told CNN. The survey also found that older people are more likely to hide their addiction and less likely to seek professional help. Health officials urge family members to help identify the problem and seek the proper help. Correspondent Jennifer Auther contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thickening Smoke (Staff Editorial In 'Boston Globe' Notes That On Wednesday A Group Of Senate Republicans Cited Figures Purporting To Show That High School Marijuana Use Is Increasing Faster Than Tobacco Use, And Proposed To Use Tobacco Industry Revenues To Enforce Laws Against 'Narcotics,' A Proposal The Newspaper Thinks Plays Into The Hands Of The Tobacco Industry And Shows Republicans Are Allies Of Big Tobacco - Fatuously, And Despite The Evidence Of Recent History, The Newspaper Believes The Only Way To Reduce Teen Smoking Is To Increase The Price Of Cigarettes So Teenagers - And Everybody Else - Can No Longer Afford Them) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 23:21:54 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Thickening smoke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 THICKENING SMOKE The latest strategy to derail tobacco legislation in Congress involves loading it up with unrelated provisions aimed at illegal drug use. This attempt to change the subject (and to embarrass President Clinton as soft on drugs in the process) is a cynical manipulation by Big Tobacco and its allies in Congress. With a majority of Americans wanting a meaningful tobacco control law this year, members need to resist extraneous junk and stay focused on the mission, which is saving a new generation of children from getting hooked on smoking. On Wednesday a group of Senate Republican leaders, citing figures showing that high school marijuana use is increasing faster than smoking, unveiled their proposal to use tobacco industry revenues to enforce narcotics laws. They said they would move to attach it to every tobacco bill that comes up. In the House, meanwhile, Speaker Newt Gingrich is leaning toward submerging his own long-promised teen smoking proposal into a broader bill fighting drug abuse. He appointed Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio to head a GOP task force on tobacco; she promptly depicted teen smoking as less of an epidemic than drugs. While efforts to curb illegal drug use are valuable on their own, these latest proposals will do nothing to stop youth access to smoking. The only practical way to do that is to increase the price of cigarettes so they are unattractive to teenagers. That means increasing the cigarette tax or imposing fines that the tobacco industry will pass on to consumers in the form of higher prices. To that end, Representative Martin Meehan of Lowell submitted legislation, also on Wednesday, to increase the tax on cigarettes by $1.50 a pack, with about 35 percent of the money going to the states for antismoking programs aimed at young people. Most of the revenue would help pay down the federal debt. The bill would also call on each tobacco manufacturer to reduce youth smoking by 80 percent over 10 years, with a schedule of fines if the targets are not met. And unlike the settlement reached with the tobacco industry last June, the bill provides no liability protections from lawsuits. Meehan's bipartisan proposal, cosponsored by Representatives James Hansen of Utah, a Republican, and Henry Waxman of California, a Democrat, has the added advantage of answering critics like Gingrich, who complain that tobacco bills have become excuses to fund social programs and expand government. ''This enables us to separate out all the partisan rhetoric and narrowly define the issue,'' Meehan said yesterday. ''It lets us do the things we need to do without getting into a partisan battle with Republicans over spending priorities.'' Meehan's bill doesn't do everything. It is silent on protecting tobacco farmers and cannot achieve the kinds of severe marketing restrictions outlined in the voluntary settlement. But with tobacco's friends in Congress looking to delay and deceive, it is a direct approach to passing legislation before cigarettes can addict another generation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The New Political Scam - It's All For The Kids ('Washington Post' Columnist Charles Krauthammer In The 'San Jose Mercury News' Criticizes Anti-Smoking Crusaders In Congress For Not Admitting Their Goal Is Prohibition) Date: Sat, 9 May 1998 18:02:09 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: OPED: The New Political Scam: It's All For the Kids Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Author: Charles Krauthammer THE NEW POLITICAL SCAM: IT'S ALL FOR THE KIDS ONCE UPON a time, a politician would promise to do anything -- abolish taxes, hold back the tides, run over his grandmother -- in the name of the ``working man.'' Not anymore. Nowadays everything is done in the name of ``families'' or, better still, for ``children.'' From Iraq to gun control, from global warming to air bags, there is nary a public policy issue that is not sold as a way to protect kids. Sure, gun locks might save an adult or two. But the important thing is what they do for the little ones. Kiddiecentrism abounds because it works. And it works because it sentimentalizes politics and because it flatters baby boomers recently emerged from boundless adolescence to parenthood. Where did this technique start? Hard to say, but it was perfected by Marian Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund. She realized in the early '70s that America had tired of the Great Society: ``When you talked about poor people or black people, you faced a shrinking audience.'' What to do? Recast the very same programs as kids programs. Who's against kids? As Mickey Kaus pointed out in a devastating 1993 dissection of Edelmanism, this political sleight-of-hand served to avoid substantive political debate. Rather than debating, for example, whether welfare -- which after all went to the mothers, not the children -- perpetuates a culture of dependency that breeds misery for both mothers and children, welfare reform was branded as evil for taking bread from the mouths of babes. Now that welfare as we knew it has been successfully abolished -- over the passionate opposition of Edelman, who prophesied that it would push millions deeper into poverty -- you would think that the practice of disguising policy choices as pro-or anti-kid might have suffered a setback. If you think so, you haven't been following the tobacco debate. Read President Clinton's anti-tobacco speech in Carrollton, Ky., last month. It invoked children no less than 34 times in 21 minutes -- a new indoor record. Or consider the tobacco bill that passed the Senate Commerce Committee 19-1. Beyond a curb on advertising and a youth initiative, it includes a $516 billion fine -- oops, ``fee'' -- paid from a $1.10 per pack tax hike, plus full FDA regulation up to and including the power to ban nicotine, and more fees (again paid to the government) for the right to export. All this, you see, to save kids. For kids? Nonsense. The whole point of the anti-tobacco movement is to get everyone to stop smoking. The people huddled miserable, furtive and scorned outside office buildings stealing a smoke are not kids. They are adults, feeling the lash of today's fashionable Prohibition. But the pols can't admit that the only possible logic of an anti-smoking campaign is to strangle the industry that peddles the stuff. They can't admit that the royal ransom being extorted from tobacco companies desperate for liability relief is a way for a Democratic president to fund a wish list of social programs and for a Republican Congress to get tax cuts. So they say this is all for the kids. Look. The two provisions in the commerce committee bill that will have the greatest real effect on teen smoking -- the ad curb and the ``look-back'' measures that penalize Big Tobacco if youth smoking is not reduced -- require the voluntary cooperation of the companies. Congress has the power to tax and gouge, but not to abridge free speech or hold companies responsible for teen behavior. And on these two teen-sensitive provisions the companies are willing to cooperate. They also agreed in their June 1997 deal with the state attorneys general to significant FDA regulation, a $369 billion fine and financial penalties if youth smoking is not reduced by 50 percent within seven years. But the Senate bill upped the ante to a half- trillion dollars -- and took away the liability protection that the attorneys general had given the companies and that had brought them to the bargaining table in the first place. Of course, the companies were for years duplicitous purveyors of (a legal) poison. Perhaps an exemplary criminal liability charge against a few executives -- followed by a good public hanging -- will satisfy our national craving for retribution. But the basic claim underlying civil tobacco litigation -- that individual smokers were innocent victims, unaware that tobacco was addictive and dangerous to their health -- is too ridiculous to be allowed to clog up our judicial system, as it undoubtedly will unless some liability relief is passed. But it probably will not be passed. The politicians are not after a deal but blood money, mountains of it. Consequently, there may be no tobacco legislation at all this year. That is too bad. There is a compromise waiting to be struck, that is if anybody is really doing this for the kids. Charles Krauthammer is a Washington Post columnist.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Europe Inquiry On Smuggled Cigarettes Seeks US Aid ('New York Times' Notes European Governments That Have Imposed Prohibitionist Taxes On Tobacco Are Increasingly Frustrated By The Rising Volume Of American Cigarettes Smuggled Into Europe, And Have Decided To Turn To Washington For Help In Investigating The Suspected Involvement Of American Tobacco Companies, Starting With RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US NY: Europe Inquiry on Smuggled Cigarettes Seeks U.S. Aid Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 13:04:51 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: Raymond Bonner EUROPE INQUIRY ON SMUGGLED CIGARETTES SEEKS U.S. AID European governments, increasingly frustrated by the rising volume of American cigarettes smuggled into Europe, have decided to turn to Washington for help in investigating the suspected involvement of American tobacco companies, starting with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., a senior European Union official said Thursday. It will be the first time for the European Union to formally request help from the U.S. government in combating the illicit cigarette trade, and arises out of a conviction that the American companies are in complicity, European officials said. Prosecutors in Europe say that American tobacco companies have consistently resisted their efforts to obtain the names of international customers in cases under investigation. Now they are asking the U.S. government for assistance. Authorities say they believe that the manufacturers routinely sell American cigarettes to traders and dealers who immediately resell them into black markets set up to evade foreign taxes and offer leading brands at a discount. "We are always puzzled how the cigarette manufacturers are paid and the only way we can obtain this information is from them," Per Brix Knudsen, director of the European Union's anti-fraud unit, which is based in Brussels, said Thursday. "As Reynolds has previously refused any cooperation whatsoever we intend to take up this issue with the U.S. authorities." A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds International in Geneva, Axel Gietz, said that the company does not generally identify its customers but added that it has "always cooperated with authorities." In an interview Thursday, Gietz also said that the company was continuing to sell to a trader who told The New York Times last year that his clients were smugglers. Cigarette smuggling cost European governments $1.5 billion in lost taxes last year, according to a report by the European Union's anti-fraud unit released on Wednesday. Adding to the concern among European governments, the report says that organized-crime syndicates are running the smuggling operations. Around the world, the largest tobacco companies are selling billions of dollars of cigarettes each year into contraband pipelines, say law-enforcement officials. In the last decade, the volume of smuggling has nearly tripled, reflecting a general surge in cigarette smoking abroad, especially of American brands. Experts have estimated that about one-fourth of the cigarettes sold overseas now pass through smuggling rings. In Washington, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said that the government had "responded to similar requests from countries in the past" and that in this case, "we anticipate trying to be as helpful as possible." The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is part of the Treasury Department. Two recent seizures of smuggled American cigarettes highlight the problem in Europe. In one case, more than 80 million cigarettes, primarily Winstons worth more than $3 million, were loaded by Reynolds, the second-largest tobacco company in the United states, onto ships in Charleston, S.C. and Savannah, Ga., and sent to Greece. There they were immediately loaded onto a single ship belonging to a smuggling operation that took the contraband to Barcelona, Spain. Spanish customs authorities intercepted the haul last January. In the other case, Spanish authorities last October seized a ship, the Sea Princess, carrying more than 120 million Winston cigarettes bound for the contraband market. The mastermind of the Sea Princess operation, Spanish and Belgium investigators said, was Michael Haenggi, one of Europe's biggest cigarette traders, who says he has been a Reynolds customer for 15 years and has frequently been a supplier to smugglers who bring Reynolds cigarettes into Spain. The Reynolds spokesman denied Thursday that the company knowingly sold to smugglers, but he said that Reynolds had decided to keep Haenggi as a customer even after Haenggi told The New York Times last summer that he sold to clients he knew to be smugglers. The seizure in Barcelona last January now occupies investigators at the European Union's anti-fraud unit, as well as in Spain and Greece. The huge cargo ship was stuffed with seven long-haul trucks loaded with American cigarettes. It was one of the most sophisticated and well-organized smuggling operations the European authorities have encountered. The shipment began when two boatloads of Winstons left the United States last November, aboard the Zim Asia and the Dagmar Maersk. The bills of lading show they were consigned to a Greek company, in the port city of Piraes, Greece, near Athens. Once they arrived in Greece, the seven truck trailers were loaded onto a single ship bound for Spain. When it reached the east coast of Spain in the early morning hours of Jan. 2, it lowered its loading ramp, and the trucks drove off into the dark. The drivers were arrested immediately. "The key to this case lies with the American authorities," said a Greek official. "They have to find out who paid Reynolds." Investigators are convinced that Reynolds knew the cigarettes were destined for the black markets in Spain. "We intend to prove that," said Carlos Ramos Rubio, chief of the anti-corruption office in Barcelona, and the prosecutor in the case. He knows it will not be easy. "Reynolds is very powerful," he said. "It's not easy to take them on. Reynolds will say they sold the tobacco legitimately, and it is not their responsibility to follow what happened to it." Indeed, Gietz, the Reynolds spokesman, said that Reynolds had sold the cigarettes to a company with which it had "a longstanding relationship." He said that company policy did not allow him to reveal the customer's name. Officials at the European Union find it hard to believe that a company would sell more than 80 million cigarettes without knowing where they were going. Gietz said that the company checked on customers before selling to them. That included Haenggi, he said. Last August, in an interview published in The Times, Haenggi told of one instance in which he sold 160 million cigarettes, to a Panamanian company, which then smuggled them into Spain by ship. Another time, he said, he supplied 220 million cigarettes, to a company registered in Aruba, which then smuggled them into Spain aboard planes leased in Ukraine. Gietz said that after article appeared, Haenggi had been closely questioned by Reynolds, and that the company had decided to continue its relationship with him.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sister Icee Seeks $1 Million For Raid On Hemp BC ('Vancouver Province' Says The Woman Who Bought Hemp BC In Vancouver, British Columbia, From Marc Emery, Only To Have Police Raid It In Pursuit Of Another Indictment Against Emery, Is Suing The City For $1 Million After It Failed To Comply With Her Previous Request For $20,000 In Damages And An Apology) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Sister Icee seeks $1 million for raid on Hemp B.C. Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 07:14:36 -0700 Lines: 39 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Province Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri 08 May 1998 News A4 Author: Frank Luba, Lower Mainland Reporter Sister Icee seeks $1 million for raid on Hemp B.C. By: Frank Luba, Lower Mainland Reporter Shelly Francis, a.k.a. Sister Icee, wanted an apology and $20,000 in damages from city hall. She didn't get it, and now she is suing the city for $1 million. Francis's lawyer filed the writ yesterday in connection with a police raid on her Hemp B.C. store in Vancouver. The raid was based on a warrant naming as owners ``Marc Emery and person or persons unknown.'' But Emery has sold Francis the store. The city knew Emery no longer owned it, said Francis's lawyer Brent Lokash of Jonathan Baker and Associates. The writ was filed after Lokash failed to get a reply to his May 1 request for an apology and damages. Lokash says linking his client to Emery is defamatory. ``It's not frivolous in any sense,'' he said. ``It connects our clients with Marc Emery, who was alleged by the police and the city to have been engaged in criminal activities. ``In our opinion, that affected the police action in getting the search warrant. ``[Former prime minister] Brian Mulroney sued for $50 million and at the time his reputation was a lot worse than our client's is right now in the city and he settled for $2 million. I don't think it's outrageous at all.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Puder Just Biting The Hand That Feeds Him (Mark Tonner, A Vancouver, British Columbia, Police Officer And Columnist For 'The Province,' Attacks Fellow Vancouver Police Constable Gil Puder For Speaking Out And Writing About The Need To End The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 07:47:08 -0700 (PDT) To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Alan Randell) Subject: Puder just biting the hand that feeds him Newshawk: Alan Randell Pubdate: May 8, 1998 Source: Province, The (B.C.) Contact: email@example.com Author: Mark Tonner Puder just biting the hand that feeds him If Const. Gil Puder behaved similarly toward a private sector employer he'd be out of work. Vancouver police Const. Gil Puder has a long history of putting contentious thoughts in writing. He's posted manifestos at headquarters, published them in various print venues, now he's presented one at a conference sponsored by the Fraser Institute. This time he'd been warned against doing so. The paper he presented stepped beyond merely criticizing drug prohibition, to condemning Vancouver's drug enforcement specialists - who were portrayed as being more interested in overtime than social change. As one might imagine, Puder's relationship with our chief of police is not of the see-you-at-Starbucks variety. I've known Gil for years, and while we're on friendly terms, most of the criticisms in his latest paper target things I defend in earnest. Yet I'd chosen to remain silent and watch the goings-on from what seemed a secure distance. That option was recently removed. Last week a group of agitators gathered in the skid row area, to chant from beneath placards, displaying: "PUDER YES - TONNER NO!" The eastside marchers cry for my demise regularly, but never over something someone else has written. Next, MP Libby Davis declared, in an open letter to Vancouver's police chief: "It is ironic that the views of Const. Mark Tonner, which have been extremely destructive and harmful, and negatively stereotype the people of the downside eastside, have been unchallenged by you and the police department." Such mud-slinging and bitterness is especially puzzling, when one considers that everyone involved claims to have the best interests of the addicted at heart. My belief is simply that an addict's only hope in life is to get clean - that discipline is needed and that a free supply of destructive drugs is no service at all. The opposing camp believes a supply of narcotics would restore dignity and remove the necessity for crime. So, we're just that - opposed. And how are those with conflicting views encouraged to interact in this new age? Why they're encouraged to embrace diversity! Yet this column's adversaries cry out against alternative views as energetically as they cry out for acceptance of diversity. But back to Puder and what must be the real issue: How freely should a police officer be permitted to speak on his or her own time? I shudder to think the badge comes with a blinder and a gag. Yet, clearly, some limits are in order. To set the end of the scale, no rational person would approve of an off-duty officer delivering an anti-semitic rant at a Hammerskins meeting. But what should be done when an officer openly criticizes his own department? Questioning ethics from within generates public doubt - and in this case groundless doubt. Vancouver's drug squad members are, without exception, devoted to fighting narcotics. Puder believes deeply in what he says. Yet sincerity isn't the only test - if he behaved that way toward a private-sector employer, he'd be out of work. I don't envy our police chief Bruce Chambers in the least. Any decision he makes regarding Puder will generate criticism in one camp or the other. Meanwhile, politicians use Puder's words to attack, the placard wavers mobilize, but Gil and I continue in amicable disagreement. The opponents of this column might learn a thing or two from that. Mark Tonner is a Vancouver police officer. The opinions and statements contained in this column are those of the writer, not necessarily those of the Vancouver police department or police board. Tonner may be reached at The Province or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Copters Can't Fly In Colombia Drug War ('Washington Post' Article In 'Detroit News' Notes Colombia Wants To Beef Up Its Fleet Of 36 Vietnam-Era Hueys, Mostly Grounded By Age, But Its Arms Supplier In Washington, DC, Delays Money For Maintenance While Politicians Squabble) Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 10:01:37 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: U.S. Copters Can't Fly in Colombia Drug War Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Walter Latham Source: Detroit News (MI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.detnews.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Author: Douglas Farah / Washington Post U.S. COPTERS CAN'T FLY IN COLOMBIA DRUG WAR Vietnam-era Hueys grounded by age; Washington political squabbles delay money for maintenance U.S. Gen. Charles Wilhelm, left, is welcomed by Colombian Gens. Jose Serrano and Manuel Bonett as he arrives at anti-narcotics base Tuesday. The Colombians want new U.S. copters. SAN JOSE DEL GUAVIARE, Colombia -- On an airstrip at this base in the sweltering heart of a no-man's land roamed by Marxist guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitary death squads sits a row of six Huey UH-1H helicopters, the primary weapon Colombian police have to combat the flow of drugs to the United States and the spread of lawlessness here. But the helicopters can't fly. They are part of an aging fleet of 36 Hueys provided to Colombia by the United States -most of which have been grounded over the past two months because of mechanical problems. Helicopters are vital to drug interdiction because there are no roads through this jungle, distances are vast, detection of laboratories from the ground is virtually impossible and access by river is slow and dangerous. But the Hueys were grounded because of structural flaws brought on by age; most were used in the Vietnam War. In the past 10 days, 15 of the 36 helicopters have undergone testing and emergency repairs that allow them to resume flying temporarily, according to State Department officials. In addition to stalling interdiction activities, grounding the helicopters has fanned an already acrimonious debate between the White House and congressional Republicans over the type of anti-drug aid the United States should give Colombia, which produces 80 percent of the world's cocaine and a growing portion of its heroin. The dispute has led to a congressional freeze on $36 million that the administration wanted to spend in Bolivia and Colombia to pay for drug eradication and crop substitution programs. Not only do drug traffickers exercise considerable influence in this region, but some traffickers are closely allied with Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, while others are closely allied with right-wing paramilitary groups. The Clinton administration is trying to walk a fine line, aiding the police and army in combating drug trafficking without getting involved in counterinsurgency -- a line senior administration officials admit is often blurred at best. Many in Congress, especially on the Republican side, are pressing the administration to take a more active role and to increase aid to the military and police because of increased rebel activity in recent months. Rep. Benjamin A. Gilman, R-N.Y., who chairs the Committee on International Relations, has been demanding the administration upgrade the Colombian police's helicopter fleet. Nonbinding language urging the purchase of three Black Hawk helicopters was in the fiscal 1997 budget. The State Department argues that the Hueys can be upgraded and repaired much more cheaply and the Colombian police do not have the training or budget to maintain the Black Hawks. Gilman, in a letter sent Monday to Thomas Pickering, undersecretary of state for political affairs, accused the administration of "trying to fight the war on drugs on the cheap" and said upgrading the existing fleet of Hueys had been promised by the administration for the past two years but never carried out. "It makes no sense to merely upgrade 40-year-old equipment that is already grounded or not operating and cannot survive crashes or ground fire as well as the Black Hawk," Gilman wrote. "Let's get serious and fight this scourge with the tools and equipment our good friends want and need to fight our fight, at its source."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Addicts Swamp GP Surgeries ('The Scotsman' Says Doctors In Aberdeen, Scotland, Are Struggling To Cope With A Huge Surge In Demand For Help From Drug Addicts, Some As Young As 14 - One Inner-City Practice Has Had A 100-Fold Increase In The Number Of People Requiring Treatment In Just Five Years) Date: Fri, 08 May 1998 21:32:41 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK Scotland: Addicts Swamp GP Surgeries Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 8 May 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Farnk Urquhart ADDICTS SWAMP GP SURGERIES Doctors tell of struggle to cope as Aberdeen suffers big rise in numbers using hard drugs Doctors in Aberdeen are struggling to cope with a huge surge in demand for help from drug addicts, some as young as 14. One inner-city practice has had a 100-fold increase in the number of people requiring treatment in just five years. Addicts outside the GP network are having to wait up to ten months to be seen by the city's only dedicated drug abuse service. The burden facing the health services in Aberdeen was revealed yesterday at a seminar for family doctors and pharmacists aimed at streamlining the addiction service and forging it closer links among professionals trying to cope with the heroin epidemic in the city. Dr Stuart Scott, the chairman of a working group set up by the Aberdeen City Drugs Action Team, said that the surge in addiction was already affecting other NHS patients in his care. Some patients are being turned away or have to wait days for an appointment because of the flow of addicts seeking treatment. Nineteen of the 27 GP practices in the Aberdeen area are treating victims of drug abuse. The total number of intravenous drug mis-users in the city is estimated to be between 2,000 and 4,000. And there are at least 850 registered heroin addicts. Dr Scott, a partner in the Holburn Medical Group near the city centre, said: "We have gone from seeing one or two people with a drug misuse problem each month to seeing probably in the region of 25 a week. "If you are seeing 25 drug misusers a week that is 25 other patients that you can't see. It is becoming a large part of the workload which, of course, knocks on to the availability of appointmants for people who don't have a drug mis-use problem. It is becoming so widespread it really is becoming difficult to find time to cope with it." Asked how his ordinary patients felt about the situation, Dr Scott replied: "To be honest, I don't think most of them would be aware that we had these specialist clinics. Drug misusers are not easily identifiable. People can sit in the waiting room with them and not have a clue what their problem is." The explosion in heroin abuse has its roots in drug dealers offering heroin as a substitute depressant when supplies of temazepam became scarce for those on the rave scene trying to counter the effects of ecstasy. Hundreds began smoking the opiate but quickly became addicted - as the dealers intended. Dr Scott said: "Most of the drug misusers we are dealing with are people who have been with the practice all their lives. And that is the really scary thing about it. "These are not people who have moved into the area with a drug misuse problem. It is people who have been brought up in Aberdeen and who have developed the problem. "The youngest patient I have with a heroin addiction problem at the moment is 14 and the oldest is 44. "We have also had a much increased incidence of crack cocaine use within the past three months. I have seen two patients within the past week with major crack cocaine problems, spending upwards of 1,200 per week on the drug." Dr Scott stressed: "We don't have the biggest caseload by any means. There are practices in the Northfield and Mastrick areas of the city who have 60 or 70 patients on a weekly basis." He conceded that doctors were simply "fire fighting" a growing problem. But the aim of the new strategy was to make the existing service, still starved of the funds it needs, more effective. The goal is to try to improve access tot he services for as many people as possible. Joint patient records will be kept and jointly-agreed protocols and guidelines will be worked to. Dr Scott said: "Everyone at the coal-face of drug misuse, if you like, will be trained to carry out this initial screening assessment so that hopefully it is easier for the drug misuser to be directed to where they can access the most appropriate help." Dr Andrew Robinson, the consultant who heads the area's substance misuse service, said the demands for help from addicts who could not be treated by their own GPs was just as overwhelming. The hospital-based centre, which also offers rehabilitation services to addicts, is dealing with 400 drug misusers, the majority of them heroin addicts, with a further 200 on the waiting list. Dr Robinson said: "Having got the waiting list down to managing to see people within three months of referral there are people waiting from July or August of last year who have not been seen yet."
------------------------------------------------------------------- China To Cooperate With UN In Drive Against Narcotics (Itar-Tass Says Lo Gan, A Member Of The Chinese State Council, Pledged To Continue The War On Opiates Begun By US Missionaries For Geopolitical Reasons, During A Meeting With A Delegation Of The United Nations International Drug Control Programme Led By UN Undersecretary-General Pino Arlacchi - China Estimates It Has 540 Thousand Registered 'Drug Addicts,' 80 Percent Of Them Young People) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 12:19:46 -0300 From: Keith Alan
To: "email@example.com" CC: "firstname.lastname@example.org" , "email@example.com" Subject: China to cooperate with UN in drive against narcotics. China to cooperate with UN in drive against narcotics. May 11, 1998 Itar - Tass via NewsEdge Corporation : BEIJING, May 8 (Itar-Tass) - China is going to participate actively in the international effort against narcotics traffic. Member of the Chinese State Council Lo Gan said this during a meeting with a delegation of the United Nations International Drug Control Programme led by U.N. Undersecretary-General Pino Arlacchi, it became known from informed sources on Friday. Lo Gan said the Chinese nation "has suffered greatly from narcotics" and has been exerting considerable efforts during this century to stamp out this evil. He said the Chinese government's effort against narcotics traffic meets the interests of the Chinese people and is a weighty contribution to the world drive to banish narcotics. China, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, will be fully supporting the "anti-narcotics strategy" of the United Nations Drug Control Programme, Lo Gan said. As many as 540 thousand drug addicts, 80 percent of them young people, were registered in China by the end of last year. Experts believe, however, that the actual number is much larger. Despite the increase of narcotics use and contraband of narcotics to China, the Chinese authorities are quite successful in the effort to combat narcotics traffic, particularly as China borders on the "Golden Triangle", the world's main opium-producing region. According to statistics, Chinese police confiscated 1.6 tonnes of heroin and 0.31 tonnes of opium in the first three months of this year, which is 58.6 percent and 98.7 percent more, respectively, than in the same period in 1997. Police has also seized 0.5 tonnes of marijuana. The campaign of combating narcotics had good results last year, too, according to Yang Fanrui, representative of the Chinese drug control committee. Some 2.5 thousand criminal groupings engaged in narcotics traffic were wiped out, some 10,000 narcotics dealers were put on trial, 5,477 tonnes of heroin were confiscated. saf/gor Copyright 1998, Comtex
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 41 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original News Summary For Activists Features Such Articles As - Indiana Reporter Arrested After Exposing Drug Task Force Corruption; Memorial - Wesley Pomeroy, Law Enforcement Professional, Outspoken Advocate Of Reform; Dave Herrick Denied Medical Defense In California; Student-Activist Arrested At RIT; Jurors Outraged At Mandatory Life Without Parole For Woman After First Offense; Australian Study - Marijuana Decriminalization Has No Impact On Rates Of Use; Plus An Editorial By Adam J. Smith, 'Substances, Substances') Date: Fri, 8 May 1998 18:37:36 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #41 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #41 -- MAY 3, 1998 -- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) NOTES: Last week's issue incorrectly identified H. Res. 372, the "Sense of the House" resolution against medical marijuana, as H.R. 372, a different bill altogether. In the meantime, action on House Resolution 372 has been delayed again, perhaps due to the large response generated by activists. If you have not done so already, please contact your Representative and urge him or her to vote NO! Capitol Switchboard: (202) 225-3121. Keep the calls flowing in to the bookstores for Mike Gray's DRUG CRAZY, the book that will blow the lid off of Drug Prohibition's conspiracy of silence. (See our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-29.html.) Your phone calls to bookstores in your area -- whether big chains or local independent stores -- will make the booksellers look twice at Drug Crazy and help propel it to the bestseller list. Just call up, ask them if they have Drug Crazy, from Random House, and say thank you. (You don't even have to order a copy, though you may as well, because it's well worth the price.) Many of you have done this already, and we think it's having an effect. DRCNet is lauded and prominently featured in the book's appendix, together with an Internet directory of drug policy reform and informational resources, so building up Drug Cray will build DRCNet and the movement too! Some book chains that may be in your area: Crown, Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Border's, Doubleday, Brentano's, Scribner's, Waldenbooks -- let us know if we've missed any, so we can add them to the next alert. Call, call, call! Nearly 300 DRCNet members have taken advantage of our offer for free copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. We are planning to continue this offer until the end of May, and then move on. If you want your copy, make sure to send in $30 or more for membership to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or use our secure registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to make a credit card donation. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Large Swath Of Appalachia Declared High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#appalachia 2. Federal Marijuana Eradication Program Seizes Nothing but Ditchweed, State Auditor's Report Says http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#ditchweed 3. Indiana Reporter Arrested After Exposing Drug Task Force Corruption http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#indiana 4. Memorial: Wesley Pomeroy, Law Enforcement Professional, Outspoken Advocate of Reform http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#memorial 5. California: Dave Herrick Denied Medical Defense http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#herrick 6. Student-Activist Arrested at RIT http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#shea 7. Jurors Outraged at Mandatory Life Without Parole for Woman after First Offense http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#jurors 8. Australian Study: Marijuana Decriminalization Has No Impact on Rates of Use http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#decrim 9. Editorial: Substances, Substances http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#editorial *** 1. LARGE SWATH OF APPALACHIA DECLARED HIGH INTENSITY DRUG TRAFFICKING AREA65 counties in Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee have together been declared a "High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area" by the federal government, making it the 20th region in the country so designated. The designation, announced last Wednesday (4/29) means that $6 million in federal money will be spent on marijuana eradication and enforcement in the region. Marijuana has for years been considered the largest cash crop in Appalachia. Senator Wendel Ford (D-KY) told reporters "If we're going to get serious about winning the War on Drugs, it's going to take an innovative, focused effort from all segments of our law enforcement and governmental agencies." *** 2. FEDERAL MARIJUANA ERADICATION PROGRAM SEIZES NOTHING BUT DITCHWEED, STATE AUDITOR'S REPORT SAYS (reprinted with permission from the NORML weekly news, http://www.norml.org) May 7, 1998, Washington, DC: Over 99 percent of the marijuana eradicated by the Drug Enforcement Administration's federally funded "Cannabis Suppression Program" is non-psychoactive hemp, reveals a 1998 Vermont State Auditor's report. "The national total of ditchweed eradicated compared to the total number of plants seized is 99.28 percent resulting in less than one percent cultivated indoor and outdoor plant eradication percentage at the national level," the report concludes. It further notes that each cultivated plant seized by the DEA costs taxpayers an average of $3.02. Nationally, the program spent over $9 million for marijuana eradication in all 50 states in 1996. Wild growing marijuana patches -- known as ditchweed -- are common throughout the southern and mid-western United States. Many of the plants are remnants from government- subsidized plots grown during World War II when low-THC strains of marijuana were harvested for their fiber content. This strain of marijuana will not intoxicate users when smoked. "The millions of taxpayers dollars spent targeting and eliminating ditchweed is a prime example of the type of government waste inherent to the War on Drugs," charged Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation. "It is further counterproductive when one considers the economic and industrial benefits hemp holds as an agricultural crop. While most Western nations are now encouraging their farmers to grow hemp, America blindly continues to support efforts to eliminate this proven worldwide cash crop." Presently, farmers in over 30 countries -- including Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia -- grow hemp for industrial purposes. Vermont state legislator Fred Maslack (R-Poultney), who sits on the House Agricultural Committee, called the findings "damning." "As far as the War on Drugs is concerned, they would be better off pulling up goldenrod," said Maslack, who sponsored a successful hemp research bill in 1996. "It is no wonder the DEA is fighting hemp tooth and nail, because that is what their whole campaign is against, in the form of ditchweed. [This] is a great fraud being perpetrated on the American people ... [and] it is high time to reallocate this law enforcement money." According to the Associated Press, however, federal funding for the eradication program will almost double in 1999. Recently, members of Congress and Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey earmarked six million dollars to combat marijuana cultivation in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Of those three states, West Virginia currently spends the most dollars targeting ditchweed. The Vermont report found that more than 93 percent of the total plants eradicated there were hemp. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** 3. INDIANA REPORTER ARRESTED AFTER EXPOSING DRUG TASK FORCE CORRUPTIONDaniel J. Yovich, a reporter for The Times of Northwest Indiana, was arrested last week (4/24) on a pair of four year-old misdemeanor bench warrants by two officers from Sheriff John Buncich's internal affairs office. For the past several months, Yovich has been investigating and reporting on allegations of corruption and mismanagement at Buncich's federally funded Lake County Drug Task Force. After the arrest, Sheriff Buncich released a statement through his office which read, in part, "I have been advised that congressional funding may not be renewed because of negative reporting by The Times. I, as your sheriff, along with other police chiefs throughout Lake County, will not permit this to happen." It was Yovich's investigative reporting that brought to light $11,000 in missing funds which were signed out by an officer who had been arrested weeks later by the FBI for attempting to extort $25,000 from a drug dealer. The eleven thousand was federal money, received by the Task Force as part of the region's designation as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). According to Yovich's subsequent reporting on the issue, Sheriff Buncich's office didn't tell federal officials that the money was unaccounted for until after Yovich's article was published, more than two weeks after the officer's arrest. Ongoing investigation and reporting by Yovich and The Times has led to a widening federal investigation of mismanagement and the misappropriation of resources at the Sheriff's task force, as well as to questions of conflicts of interest in the state investigation of the matter. Two months ago, Yovich was searched for a wire by Sheriff's officers, who indicated that they believed that he was providing information to federal investigators. Yovich indicated that he has been asked by his employer not to comment on the issue, but he did refer us to Times Executive Editor William Nangle, who told The Week Online, "There is no doubt in our minds that this is an effort by the Sheriff's office to intimidate both the reporter and the publication." Yovich, 36, previously worked as a foreign correspondent for UPI in Bosnia from January, 1994 - June 1996, and then for the Daily Southtown in Chicago. He began working for The Times in August, 1997. *** 4. MEMORIAL: Wesley Pomeroy, Law Enforcement Professional, Outspoken Advocate of Reform - Kevin Zeese, President, Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation I write today to pass along the sad news of the death of one of our greatest allies -- Wes Pomeroy. Wes was an outspoken supporter of reform and brought with him the credibility of being a former police officer. He was the first recipient of Drug Policy Foundation's annual achievement award for police officials: The H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of Control and Enforcement. Below is the award statement which was primarily written by his long-time friend Arnold Trebach, retired President of the Drug Policy Foundation. "Wes Pomeroy has had a remarkable career in law enforcement and government. At the federal level he has served as the Associate Administrator of the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, Special Assistant to the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Associate Director of the White House Office of Drug Abuse Policy. "At the local level, he has served as Undersheriff of San Mateo County, Chief of Police of Berkeley and Chief of Security at the Woodstock rock festival. Today, he is the Executive Director of the Independent Review Panel of Metropolitan Dade County in Miami. Thus he serves as the ombudsman for the people of an area much troubled by drug problems. "Throughout his career, Wesley Pomeroy has demonstrated that he is a committed law enforcement professional who was sworn to uphold the law, including the drug laws. At the same time, he sought to seek compliance with the law by emphasizing persuasion and human relations skills. He also is an advocate of cautious drug law reform through open dialogue and the democratic process." Editor's Note: For those who are interested in honoring Wesley Pomeroy, his family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the following organizations, earmarked Wesley A.C. Pomeroy: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) P.O. Box 315 Opa Locka, FL 33054 Unrepresented People's Positive Action Council (UP-PAC) P.O. Box 693117 Miami, FL 33269 *** 5. CALIFORNIA: DAVE HERRICK DENIED MEDICAL DEFENSE - Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet Causing concerns about his impartiality, Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg on Thursday, May 7, 1998 refused to allow Dave Herrick to present a medical defense to charges of "selling" marijuana. Rejecting Herrick's effort to present a Proposition 215 or medical necessity defense, the judge sarcastically asked public defender Sharon Petrosino, "Does he think he's Mother Theresa?" Herrick, a former police officer, has been in jail for a year on charges of selling marijuana in the course of volunteer work with the Orange County Patient / Doctor / Nurse Support Group. The volunteers gave away marijuana to patients with confirmed doctor's recommendations, requesting a $20.00 donation for the co-op, but providing the marijuana regardless of whether the donation was made. Herrick reportedly suffers from chronic back pain due to a dislocated disc, but has been allowed only four Tylenol a week during his incarceration. His hearing was attended by about 30 medical cannabis supporters, who carried signs and wore buttons supporting the defendants. Canes and crutches of the participants were taken by the bailiffs, due to concern that these items could be used as "weapons." The judge further prohibited the signs and the wearing of the buttons in the courtroom and the hallways, possibly to avoid contamination of the jury. Denied her proposed defense, public defender Sharon Petrosino indicated she would have no witnesses other than those called by the prosecution. Proceedings are still pending for other defendants on related charges, Marvin Chavez and Jack Shacter. *** 6. STUDENT-ACTIVIST ARRESTED AT RIT - Troy Dayton for DRCNet In what some believe was an act of political persecution, Shea Gunther, President of the Rochester Cannabis Coalition (RCC) at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), was arrested last Thursday (4/23) on two counts of disorderly conduct by the Henrietta Police Department, and five counts of campus policy violations. Gunther was asked to leave an academic building -- otherwise open to all students -- where the Board of Trustees was meeting, but refused. He was dragged out in handcuffs without being arrested and was later charged. He has been suspended from the University for one year. Last month, RIT President Albert Simone denied the RCC official university recognition even after it was approved by a student board. In a letter regarding the decision addressed to Gunther, Simone indicated that recognition of such a club would "send the wrong message" and that "local drug dealers" would see the club as a sign that "RIT students use drugs" and would descend upon the campus bringing with them increased violence and drug use. Following that decision, Gunther met with President Simone and his advisor, Barry Culhane, but got no relief. Next, Gunther asked if he could speak to the Board of Trustees and was denied. On Thursday, April 23, the Board of Trustees was meeting in the building from which Gunther was removed. According to Gunther, Culhane spotted him on his way in the building and called Campus Safety. Within minutes, an officer arrived to warn him not to enter the building. Gunther asked what would happen if he did and the officer couldn't produce an answer. Shea entered and was soon surrounded by five officers. Gunther asked if he was being arrested and for what. They did not produce an answer and instead tried to force him out of the building. Gunther resisted and soon found himself face down on the floor with five officers forcibly holding him down and cuffing him. "I knew the meeting was going on but was not planning on doing anything. I had no literature on me and was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. If I were planning on interacting with the Trustees, I certainly would have shown up armed with information and dressed appropriately," said Gunther. The Week Online spoke with William McKee, Director of RIT News Services about the incident. Although the Buckley Amendment prohibits university officials from releasing information about student judicial hearings, McKee did have a statement. "Shea's account is at complete odds with what was reported by campus officials and Monroe County Deputy Officials. When asked to leave the building, he resisted and became violent," said McKee. Approximately 300 students gathered outside during Gunther's judicial hearing, where he was given one year's suspension. When President Albert Simone left the building he was met with jeers from the protesters. "RIT students are deeply concerned about the abuse of power. It's troubling that Barry Culhane would use Campus Safety as his personal S.S. troops. They are not finished with me. They have lost. They just don't know it yet," said Gunther. "I don't care how much a person might hate the idea of cannabis law reform, to go to these extreme measures to silence a voice of dissent is un-American. The thing that gets me is that if we were just approved as an official club, we might have made the six-o'clock news and they would have forgotten about us. As it is now, everyone knows about the Rochester Cannabis Coalition," Shea Gunther told Marijuana News (http://www.marijuananews.com). Gunther plans on taking a year off to start a drug policy reform graphics business and pursue litigation against RIT. NOTE: Shea Gunther, who has been working closely with DRCNet throughout the past five months, has limited means and is attempting to raise $600 to cover the costs of his criminal defense. If you can help at all, please send (non- tax deductible) checks to: Shea Gunther 197 D Perkins Road Rochester, NY 14623 And send us an e-mail indicating that you did so, and what amount. Any additional money will be either returned, or else used for related campus-based organizing, as per your request. Thanks. *** 7. JURORS OUTRAGED AT MANDATORY LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE FOR WOMAN AFTER FIRST OFFENSE Teresa Wilson admits that she sold a 3 oz. vial of a pharmaceutical morphine solution to an undercover officer for $150. In fact, she was caught on videotape. But neither the judge nor the jurors who found her guilty seemed to believe that the sentence of life without parole was reasonable for the drug addicted first-time offender. "In this case the punishment definitely, definitely does not fit the crime," juror Keith Loftus told the Associated Press. Mrs. Wilson, 30, got the prescription drug from a neighbor whose husband had cancer. She was to receive $80, with the other $70 for the neighbor. While the amount of morphine actually contained in the solution was about 0.01 grams, Alabama state law mandates life without parole for anyone who sells at least 56 grams (2 ounces) of morphine or a morphine mixture, as it does for anyone selling 1,000 pounds of marijuana or 10 kilos of cocaine. Theo Lawson, the Birmingham D.A. who prosecuted the case, spoke with The Week Online: "In listening to the tapes, it was apparent that she had sold drugs before. I have no problem with the sentence or the jury's unhappiness with it. What I do have a problem with is the jury's indication that if they knew the sentence, they wouldn't have followed the law. That's not a decision for them to make." Lawson continued, "She (Wilson) did indicate that she had an addiction problem stemming from some old injury when she was on painkillers or something, but we have a law in this state that tacks on five years to any sentence, without possibility of parole, for anyone selling drugs within three miles of a school, and an additional five years for being within three miles of a housing project, on top of a two year sentence for any distribution. There's nowhere in the City of Birmingham which falls outside of either of those conditions, which means that in this city, selling drugs of any kind is a minimum twelve year sentence. That applies to marijuana or anything else. She might not have known she would get life, but we've made it very clear down here that the penalties are severe. She broke the law. It's that simple." Nora Callahan, Director of the November Coalition, told The Week Online, "This case is a perfect example of the thoughtlessness and the cruelty to which we have degenerated. So we put this woman in a cage for the rest of her life, with no hope and with no reason to contemplate self-improvement of any sort. And she goes right in next to hundreds or thousands of others who will also live the rest of their lives in cages. And we think nothing of this... absolutely nothing. "I just received a memo from the US Department of Justice saying that in the federal prison in Sandstone, Minnesota, they are now housing people in corridors. We are stacking them up like so much plywood. My God, my God, what are we doing? Who have we become? What is the Drug War accomplishing to justify this? In service to this fruitless war we have become dehumanizers of people. And in doing so, we have dehumanized ourselves." (The November Coalition is an organization of inmates and their families against the drug war. They do marvelous work and deserve our support. Check out their web site at http://www.november.org and tell them DRCNet sent you.) *** 8. AUSTRALIAN STUDY: MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION HAS NO IMPACT ON RATES OF USE A two-year study carried out by the Drug and Alcohol Council of South Australia found that there was no difference in levels of marijuana use between those states which had harsh anti-marijuana laws and those which had decriminalized personal possession of the substance. The study compared Western Australia, where jail sentences are the norm, with South Australia, where possession of up to 25 grams, or the cultivation of a small number of plants for personal consumption are met with either a warning from police or a small, on the spot fine. Dr. Robert Ali, DASC clinical policy director, told The Australian this week (5/4), "The study showed there was no evidence that the introduction of expiation (small, non- criminal fines) for marijuana use has led to any increase in the prevalence or intensity and frequency of marijuana use." *** 9. EDITORIAL: Substances, Substances As the twentieth century draws to a close, America finds itself embroiled in conflict over substances of all kinds. Newspapers, in fact, are starting to read like pharmacology textbooks. Ritalin, Prozac, marijuana, caffeine, Viagra, tobacco, cocaine, Phen-fen, heroin, Valium, methamphetamine, Thalidomide, MDMA, ginseng, ephedrine, alcohol, and guarana, to name just a few, have all been recent subjects of bitter debate: why or why not, how much is too much, who should have access, and what steps, if any, should be taken to control their use. The past hundred years have brought advances in chemistry so dramatic as to have changed the boundaries of human life itself, and altered our concepts of health and well being. The pharmacopoeia has been radically expanded, and even our understanding of centuries-old substances has been broadened. But nothing comes without a cost, and just as each of these substances can have both desired and undesirable effects, the ability to create more diverse and more interesting substances has brought with it questions that we are obviously still struggling to answer. While it is undoubtedly true that each substance poses its own unique issues, it is also true that arguing each of these issues anew, without reference to a common framework, is a hopeless and a losing battle. The inevitable, interminable arguments, as we are having today, condemn our society to a never ending battle over the science and the details, the risks and the benefits, the hopes, the fears, the morality, and inevitably, if obsequiously, the money. New drugs, new analogs, new substances are being conceived and created at an incredible pace by chemists and mavericks, in labs both corporate and clandestine, for fun and for profit, every single day. We have to start asking larger questions. We have to arrive at more inclusive answers. There are two basic realities that we must decide to accept, if we are ever to become as sophisticated in living with our substances as we are in creating them. The first is that it is beyond the legitimate power of government to use force to control what a free adult citizen may ingest. As radical as that may sound, it is unequivocally true. There is no more sacred right than the right to control ones' body and mind. And the freedom to exercise that control only in ways of which the government approves, is no freedom at all. In matters of personal health and well-being, the government may suggest, it may cajole, it may inform, but it must not demand that individuals maintain themselves in accordance with its wishes. The right to be human is the right to err, or to be foolish, or to be stupid. The second thing that we must come to agreement on is that the government -- state, federal or local, take your pick -- has the right to demand that the thing that is put into the marketplace is precisely what it claims to be, and that care is taken to disclose what it does, and how it does it. And, in addition, that those who bring new substances into the marketplace do ample testing and analysis, and make their best faith effort to be sure that what it says it does is all that it does, and that there are no horrific surprises. And that there are strict and certain penalties for anyone who risks the public health by ignoring these requirements. And that there is no level of wealth or of corporate power which can act as a shield against them. In an age of chemical wonder, and of equally awesome chemical danger, it is imperative that we as a people come to a sane and responsible relationship with the substances we create. That level of responsibility can only be personal and real, not state-mandated and enforced. It must be imbued by the family, by the norms of social groups, by information and by education. It can never be internalized at the point of a gun. If a person, a free person, with full information, wants to trade twenty years of her life for the pleasure of tobacco, flirt with dependence to unwind with valium, or even risk a heart attack to party with cocaine, that is her choice. It is a poor choice perhaps, but a choice nonetheless. And when we come to agree upon that, then and only then will we as a people develop a mature relationship with "drugs", only then will be begin to make better choices, to choose better substances, or to choose none at all. The power of our science is wondrous indeed. But if our ancestors could have foreseen the day when their progeny would have elixirs for nearly everything, they most certainly would have thought that we'd have figured out how to deal with them. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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