Portland NORML News - Sunday, May 10, 1998

Drug Search Ahead (Local Correspondent Notes Police In Vancouver, Washington,
Are Using Constitutionally Dubious Tactics To Snare Nervous Motorists)

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 20:50:49 -0700 (PDT)
From: Terry Miller (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
To: aal@inetarena.com, pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org
Subject: Drug Search Ahead (fwd)

To all,

Just so you know...



-- Forwarded message --
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 16:54:24 -0700
From: t_leger@juno.com
Subject: Drug Search Ahead


Some disturbing news from our friends at Laughing Bird Books. Ian, the
proprietor, tells me that on his return home from his second shift job as
a tow truck dispatcher, while exiting from I-5 on 4th Plain Road in
Vancouver, after turning right onto 4th Plain he encountered a sign
reading "Drug Search Ahead" accompanied by flares on the road. After one
block, Ian turned onto St. Johns Blvd. at the light but never encountered
any type of stop, nor did he see any activity related to an auto stop.
This was apparently a ruse similar to the ones used elsewhere in the
country on the freeways. This ruse is used to make people nervous and
do something stupid, Like litter or stop for no apparent reason, turn
suddenly etc.

They just keep getting more insane with this perversion of power, I
really consider this type of road block either real or imagined as a form
of domestic terrorism. It certainly is abuse of lawful powers.

I wish it were good news,

Marijuana Laws Mean Little To The Suffering (Op-Ed
In 'Orange County Register' By A Man Whose Cancer-Stricken Mother
Vomited For Six Days Without Food Or Water - Until A Little Cannabis
Let Her Eat Like A Horse And Work In Her Garden The Next Day)

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 10:01:25 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Marijuana Laws Mean Little To The Suffering
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Author: Fred Hermon - Santa Ana, Calif.


It saddens me to reads of attitudes toward medical marijuana such as were
expressed in Todd Chisam's "Clever marijuana ruse" letter on April 30. When
cancer strikes someone close to you, as was the case with my mother, you'd,
if need be, enter the gates of Hell to find a substance to lessen the
victims suffering.

At that point, law means nothing. Threats of arrest go unheeded. The whole
"system" of drug laws, prevention, politics and such become barriers to
easing the pain of that person you love so much.

My mother was dying of breast cancer. She had been cut to pieces by
surgeons, her breasts gone, baldheaded from radiation treatments, vomiting
from chemotherapy sessions, six days without being able to eat a bite of
food or sip a teaspoonful of water.

In desperation, I gave her a small amount of marijuana. Her vomiting
stopped immediately. She ate like a horse for ten hours straight. The next
morning she was out of bed and working in her garden.

The awful suffering ended, thanks to marijuana. The substance gave her six
months more of life. In the end she died in her own bed at home, without

Tell me, all you oh-so-cleaver posturing politicians, police chiefs or
whatever, what is your answer? What would you have families like mine do in
cases such as ours? Maybe salute the flag while our loved ones scream in

Folks, when you've lived through what my family has, you'll look at the
medical marijuana issue in a new light. It'll change your politics, I
guarantee you. You'll see through the bigwigs out there who are using the
issue to win re-election and retain their cushy government jobs.

Remember Marijuana On Election Day (Letter To Editor Of 'Oakland Tribune'
Urges California Voters To Remember Gubernatorial Candidate
Dan Lungren's Efforts As Attorney General To Thwart Their Will
Regarding Proposition 215 And Medical Marijuana)

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 10:01:18 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Remember Marijuana on Election Day
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Our Newshawk writes: "Interestingly the editor decided it was necessary to
define 'medicinal hemp.'"


Dear Editor,

If Dan Lungren were more interested in implementing Proposition 215 than
impeding it, the voters of California would have only the federal
government to about on this issue.

Who cares whether medicinal hemp (marijuana) has medical value? It is
indisputable that if provides symptomatic relief for a large number of
suffers. Just ask them.

Aspirin, also, provides mostly symptomatic relief. It also kills several
hundred children and several thousand people a year through accidents and
overdosing. Few, except a few thousand illegal drug traffickers, want to
extend prohibition to include aspirin.

One hopes the voters of California will remember Lungren's opposition to
implementation of Proposition 215 on election day.

Gerald M. Sutliff, Emeryville (CA)


From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Reminder: Politically correct
Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 19:03:37 PDT

Politically Incorrect with Todd McCormick & Woody Harrelson will be aired
on Friday 5-15-98 at midnight. Set your VCR's to this new time.


Don't Forget (List Subscriber Reminds You That 'Politically Incorrect
With Bill Maher' Will Feature Medical Marijuana Defendant Todd McCormick
And Hemp Activist And Actor Woody Harrelson On Thursday, May 14 -
Another List Subscriber Says The Show Airs Friday, May 15)
Link to transcript
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 19:15:37 -0700 (PDT) From: turmoil To: hemp-talk@hemp.net Subject: HT: politically incorrect Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net Don't forget : Todd and Woody Harrelson will be on Bill Maher's Politically Incorrect, May 14. Tune In! music@hemp.net Seattle Music Web turmoil@hemp.net http://seattlemusicweb.com

Slain Old West-Style Lawman Among 122 Officers To Be Honored
('Associated Press' Article About Washington State Police Officers
Who On Monday Will Receive The State's Law Enforcement Medal Of Honor,
Given Only To Those Who Died, Were Grievously Injured
Or Showed An Act Of Valor In The Line Of Duty, Notes Nobody Remembered
The One Who Died Enforcing Prohibition, Shot By His Own Drunk Friend In 1931)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: WA Alc prohibition cops gets award
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 16:49:07 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Sad to say, but this can illustrate to all the Drug War policemen how much
they'll be appreciated --- in the future - Bob_O


Slain Old West-style lawman among 122 officers to be honored

The Associated Press
05/10/98 4:40 PM Eastern

MABTON, Wash. (AP) -- Until word arrived that Marshall George Warring would
receive the state's highest law-enforcement honor, police in this Yakima
Valley town knew nothing of the rough-and-tough cowboy lawman.

Warring roamed south-central Washington's Horse Heaven Hills on horseback
searching for moonshiners and their bootleg whiskey, and was killed in 1931
when he was shot by a drunken friend.

He's the only Mabton officer to die in the line of duty.

Now, 67 years later, Warring is to be among 122 law enforcement heroes who
will receive the state's Law Enforcement Medal of Honor on Monday.

The medal is the state's highest honor for law officers and is given only
to those who died, were grievously injured or showed an act of valor in the
line of duty, said Detective Thor Gianesini of the Tumwater Police
Department. Gianesini is a member of the committee that awards the medals.

The medal was established five years ago to be given to the 247 officers --
city, county, state and federal -- who have been killed in Washington while
serving their communities, Gianesini said. After this round of awards, all
247 officers will have received a medal.

The ceremony is to be held Monday at the Criminal Justice Training Center
in Seattle. Family and friends of the deceased will accept the medals,
which will be handed out by Gov. Gary Locke. State Attorney General
Christine Gregoire will address the audience.

Of the 122 medals to be given, 119 will honor officers who have died
between 1855 and 1997. Three medals will be given to officers for recent
acts of valor.

The Mabton Police Department didn't know one of its own had died in the
line of duty until it got a letter from Gianesini, stating that Warring was
entitled to the medal.

Officer Mike Britton, who was put in charge of finding out more about
Warring, initially found little information. Many city records have been
destroyed in fires.

But two local men -- 92-year-old Milton Holloway and 87-year-old Earl Shirk
-- can paint a vivid picture of Warring from their memories of youth.

Warring was a "tall, slim cowboy" who was always riding horseback, Shirk

Warring would ride across the vacant lot where neighborhood boys played
baseball only to be bucked by the wild horse he was trying to break, Shirk

In addition to serving as marshal, Warring rounded up wild ponies off the
Yakama Indian reservation and hauled hay to boxcars for farmers.

Holloway and Shirk remember that Warring was especially hard on moonshiners
who brewed their booze in stills hidden in the Horse Heaven Hills.

"I think (the moonshiners) liked him but they kind of stayed clear of him,"
Shirk said.

When Britton finally pieced together the story of Warring's death, it
turned out moonshine was involved.

One morning, Bryon Miller of Mabton came home after a drinking binge,
Britton learned.

Warring had thrown Miller in jail a few times for beating his wife, Hattie,
while he was drunk. Other times, Warring spared Miller a few nights in jail
by bringing him home with him.

"He and George were really good friends -- when Miller was sober," Holloway

One day, Hattie called for help, and Warring was shot by Miller shortly
after arriving at the home.

"Why Miller would do anything like that -- it wasn't in his nature," Shirk
said. "I guess moonshining was the cause of it."

Warring died at a hospital in Sunnyside, leaving behind a wife and teen-age
daughter named Ruby.

Miller was found guilty of murder and was hung three years later at the
Walla Walla state prison, Holloway said.

GOP Vs. Democrats (Letter To The Editor Of 'The Dallas Morning News'
Says The Republican Position On Social Issues, Particularly Needle Exchange,
Is Loaded With Mean-Spirited Negativity)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: Gop Vs. Democrats
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 07:41:02 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Author: David Alison


My problem with the Republican Party is neatly presented in your April 30
quote from House Majority Whip Tom DeLay. He opposes slowing the spread of
AIDS through needle exchange programs, calling this a way to oppose "a
deadhead president that supports a program that gives free needles to drug

The Republican position on social issues is loaded with this sort of
mean-spirited negativity. It's an "I'm OK, you're a pile of horse apples"
approach to things that appeals to the worst in us. Those addicts, for
example, don't drop in from Mars. They are our fathers and mothers, sisters
and brothers, neighbors, co-workers and students. They are as trapped in
illegal drugs as others are trapped in other drugs - such as alcohol and
tobacco - for which the politicians take bribes (excuse me, "contributions")
to keep available.

While the Democrats have their own brand of looniness, they do have one
distinguishing characteristic, and that is the compassion so glaringly
absent from judgmental declarations such as this last one from the gentleman
from Sugar Land.

I'm sure that a lot of Texas' middle-class converts to the millionaire's
party will lose their enthusiasm for the GOP when the economy slows. Then,
when they're downsized and apply for help from what's left of the social
safety net, they'll hear the DeLays scold them for being shiftless no-goods.

DAVID F. ALISON, Carrollton

Where Being Black Means Being A Police Suspect ('New York Times'
Article About Racial Profiling In The Affluent Community Of Mercer Island,
Washington, Fails To Examine Role Of The War On Some Drug Users
In Prevalence Of Racial Profiling)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US NY: Where Being Black Means Being A Police Suspect
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:31:17 -0500
Importance: Normal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: May 10, 1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Author: Timothy Egan


MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- A conservative in style and outlook, long active in
business and the community, 53-year-old Wayne Perryman is not the kind of
man who would seem to invite police interrogation. He stands out on this
island in only one regard -- he is one of only 300 blacks among the 21,000
residents of one of the wealthiest communities in America.

"I've been stopped twice by the police for walking," said Perryman, who has
lived on Mercer Island for 20 years. "The last time, not long ago, was while
I was walking to lunch."

The officer asked where he had been. "I said, 'What do you mean, where have
I been?"' Perryman recalled. "He said, 'We got a report of a black guy
hanging around this office complex.' Now, I'm a black who's not quick to
call racism, but this is getting really old."

Perryman's complaint, echoed by more than a dozen middle-class blacks and
people of Hispanic descent who live in this community of software
billionaires and mega-yachts, is not unique to Mercer Island. Whether in the
Gold Coast suburbs of Connecticut or in Beverly Hills, minorities have long
complained that police in wealthy communities view them with suspicion
simply because their color does not match the neighborhood.

But Mercer Island, the Seattle suburb that is home to Microsoft co-founder
Paul Allen and the former professional basketball stars Bill Russell and
Fred Brown, likes to think of itself as an island of civility and tolerance.
The pulling over and persistent questioning of residents who look
"different" has prompted Mercer Island's police force to question the way it
does business. Part of the problem, people here say, may be residents
themselves, who as a reflex sometimes call police when they see a black

"We tell people to call us whenever they see anything that looks like
suspicious behavior," Mercer Island's police chief, Jan Deveny, said. "But
simply being black is not suspicious behavior. And we've got to get that
word out to people."

The department has been holding a series of no-holds-barred community
meetings intended to help officers understand what it is like to be
continually stopped.

The most recent complaints on the island have come as a furor has developed
across Lake Washington in Seattle over remarks by Seattle's police chief,
Norman Stamper. In an interview last month with The Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, Stamper said that as a young officer in San Diego, he
had been part of a "cop culture" that baited and harassed black, Hispanic
and gay people.

While many people have supported Stamper and applauded him for his candor,
the Seattle Police Officers Guild has said his remarks unfairly smeared all
officers of that generation. "Police officers are very sensitive about their
public image," the guild president, Mike Edwards, said in a written

Stamper has apologized to the guild, but has not backed down from his
remarks about police behavior.

His comments ring true to some blacks on Mercer Island. Atteh Nettur, a
music teacher from Africa, takes a bus from Seattle across the Lake
Washington floating bridge to teach children on Mercer Island. As soon as he
enters the island, he says, he is in another world. Three times this year,
he said, police have been called to question him.

"The last time it happened, a student said to me, 'Hey, African teacher, the
cops are here for you again,"' he said while awaiting the bus on Mercer
Island. He said the officers question him about routine things, then leave.
He said he had never been charged with a crime.

Henry Mack, who is black and was a janitor for the Mercer Island School
District, was stopped so many times by police that teachers in the district
gave officers a poster with Mack's photograph, printed with the words, "Not

Mercer Island, with its large, sometimes ostentatious waterfront homes and
impeccably landscaped yards, is five minutes by bridge from Seattle on one
side and Bellevue on the other. Known as the Rock, the island is a
low-crime, generally neighborly community of good schools and passionate
children's sports leagues.

Blacks and Hispanic people each make up slightly more than 1 percent of the
island's population, which is about 90 percent white. About 8 percent of the
population is of Asian descent.

Police harassment has been a persistent complaint by some blacks.

"Whenever a black person drove onto the island, police cruisers would
follow, regardless of how familiar the car and driver might be," Karen
Russell wrote in a New York Times Magazine article 10 years ago. A Harvard
Law School graduate, she is the daughter of Russell, the former Boston
Celtics star and Seattle Sonics coach, and grew up on Mercer Island.

While he acknowledged past mistakes, Deveny, in an interview last week, said
he thought the problem had been solved.

But in the past few months, dozens of new complaints emerged. In response to
critics, Deveny and all officers in the 31-member department have been
meeting with black residents of the island who complain about their cars'
being stopped by police, especially those stopped at night.

One man, who works nights, has been stopped more than 10 times. "You hear
these stories from these people, and it's very powerful," said Deveny, who
has headed the department for 24 years. "I'm trying to get my officers to
consider what they're doing, what it's like to being pulled over for no

Even blacks who have lived on the island for decades complain of continually
being stopped and questioned. "I moved here in 1969, so they know me now,"
said Celestine Massey. "But I have been followed, stopped, questioned time
and again for no reason other than I was a black woman."

Ms. Massey, a former teacher, said a police car had once followed her all
the way to her driveway. She recalled: "I said, 'What did I do?' They said,
'You didn't make a full stop back a few miles ago."'

Several years ago, Ms. Massey helped to form a group of blacks that brought
grievances to police. Since then, the relations between minorities and
officers have improved somewhat, she said. But problems persist.

"The police stopped my son one night recently," Ms. Massey said. "It was for
plain nothing. It was for being on Mercer Island and being a black."

The practice known as "profiling," in which police stop people because they
match a racial profile of a suspected criminal, has generally been held by
courts to be illegal search and seizure.

In a recent decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San
Francisco, the judges ruled in favor of two blacks -- a picture editor with
Sports Illustrated and a program analyst at the Bank of New York -- who were
returning from a baseball game at Dodger Stadium to their hotel in Santa
Monica when they were stopped by police. Officers shined searchlights on
their car, ordered them out at gunpoint and handcuffed them.

The men were released after questioning. Officers said they resembled
suspects in other cases. The men then sued and won in 1994. On appeal, the
9th Circuit Court sided with the plaintiffs in 1996. In a strongly worded
decision, the judges wrote, "The burden of aggressive and intrusive police
action falls disproportionately on African-American and sometimes Latino

The court also made note of something blacks on Mercer Island have brought
up. "There's a moving violation that many African-Americans know as DWB --
Driving While Black," the judges wrote.

Deveny, the police chief, said his officers were not supposed to target
people of a certain race. Violent crime is not a problem on the island, but
there is persistent trouble with car break-ins and car prowling.

"The bottom line is that you have a lot of rich people here," said Dennis
Gac, a white businessman who works on the island and was with Perryman when
he was stopped recently. "So, if somebody even looks suspicious, the cops
are going to pull him over."

Deveny said police had tried to get away from stereotyping by hiring
minorities. But the first black officer hired, Sharon Stevens, sued the
department in 1996, charging racial and sexual harassment.

In her complaint, Ms. Stevens said a fellow officer left an advertisement
from Kentucky Fried Chicken on her desk, implying that she would be better
off working there. Another officer drew a cartoon that she found racially

Her suit was settled out of court last month, and neither side would discuss
the terms. But Deveny confirmed two of Ms. Stevens' complaints and said he
considered her a good officer. She now works for Seattle police.

The Mercer Island Police Department has recently hired a black and a
Hispanic officer, Deveny said.

People of Hispanic descent also complain of police harassment.

One, Juana Villafranca, said: "I clean offices at night, and when I come
home to Mercer Island, they stop me as soon as I get off the freeway. Now I
have to clean in the day because they stop me so much."

Several island residents have taken their complaints to the U.S. attorney's
office in Seattle. But the office would not say whether an investigation was
under way.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

Another Day, Another Atrocity ('New York Times' Columnist Bob Herbert
Describes Anew The Indifferent Cruelty Wielded By New York Police
And The Rudolph W. Giuliani Administration, 'Gun-Waving Storm Troopers'
Who Toss Grenades In The Homes Of People They Consider
Illegal Drug Offenders - Only Once Again, The Victims Were Innocent)
Link to earlier story
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" Subject: MN: US NY: OPED: Another Day, Another Atrocity Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:39:52 -0500 Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: letters@nytimes.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: Bob Herbert ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER ATROCITY. This time the gun-waving storm troopers from the Police Department smashed in the door and invaded the apartment of a quiet and law-abiding family in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The cops, in riot-type gear, set off a stun grenade, which gives the impression that the apartment is being bombed, and then handcuffed everybody, including a petrified mentally retarded teen-aged girl who was pulled naked from a bathtub. As the family members trembled and wept, the cops began their search, rummaging arrogantly through the most personal of items. They claimed, in this home of a retired baker, to be looking for drugs and guns. None were found. "I ran to the bedroom when they came in," said Cecelia Shorter. "They came after me and they handcuffed me." Mrs. Shorter said she was afraid her daughter Phebi, who is 18, would misunderstand the orders being given by the police. "I was screaming, 'Please don't shoot! Please don't shoot! She's mentally retarded!' " Within minutes the entire family was handcuffed -- Mrs. Shorter, who is 47, her husband, Basil, 62, Phebi and Phebi's 14-year-old sister, Isis. "I cannot describe to you how bad I felt seeing my two daughters handcuffed," said Mrs. Shorter. "I felt helpless," said Basil Shorter. The sudden fear that sweeps over an innocent family whose home is invaded by the police is mixed with the sense of rage that results from being so profoundly humiliated. You have no choice but to keep your mouth shut. The fear, as reasonable as it is real, is that you will be shot to death if you say the wrong thing. Neither the Mayor nor the Police Commissioner believe these raids on the homes of the innocent are a problem. If they were occurring in wealthy, white neighborhoods, that would be different. They would end. But they happen only in poor black and brown neighborhoods. And the administration of Rudolph W. Giuliani has made it clear in one policy after another that it is no friend of the people in those neighborhoods. Police Commissioner Howard Safir said the raid on the Shorters' apartment was not a mistake, which leaves the inference that they were drug dealers and that drugs just happened not to have been found during the raid. That is a lousy inference to leave. There is no evidence whatsoever -- none -- that the Shorters were involved in drugs or any other illegal activity. "Any kind of checking would have let the police know this was not a place they should be breaking into," said Harvey Weitz, a lawyer who is planning to sue the city on behalf of the Shorters. "How many times are good people going to have to go through this?" he asked. He noted that the invasion of the Shorters' apartment is the fourth bad police raid to come to the public's attention since late February. In each case the apartment dwellers were traumatized and their belongings trashed, but the police came away with nothing. The legal action is "less about money than it is about trying to wake people up," said Mr. Weitz. "The police need to find out what it is in their procedures that allows them to make these mistakes." He added: "If you do make a mistake, fine. Issue an apology. Tell the people, 'I'm sorry. We're wrong. You did nothing wrong. You're a perfectly decent, respectable family.' Make it clear that there was no basis for the raid in the first place. Nothing like that has been done. No one in the Shorter family has ever been in trouble with the law. Basil Shorter, who described himself on Friday as "very depressed," wanted to get that point across to the police officers who were mistreating his family. He mentioned it when it had become clear that no drugs or guns would be found. "I told one of the officers that I was a law-abiding man," he said. The officer, noticing a Caribbean accent, asked where Mr. Shorter was from. Mr. Shorter replied that he had been born in Jamaica, but that he was an American now. He said the officer told him: "Jamaica sucks. The Jamaican people suck. This is America and if you don't like it, go back to [expletive] Jamaica."

Van Shooting Revives Charges Of Racial 'Profiling' By New Jersey
State Police ('New York Times' Account Of An April 23 Traffic Stop
In Which Two New Jersey State Police Officers Fired 11 Shots
Into A Van Shows How The Drug War Exacerbates
Law Enforcement's Race War On Minorities)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US NY: Van Shooting Revives Charges
Of Racial 'Profiling' By N.J. State Police
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:28:26 -0500
Importance: Normal
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: May 10, 1998
Author: John Kifner


The furor over an incident in which two New Jersey State Police officers
fired 11 shots into a van during a traffic stop comes against a backdrop of
years of allegations that troopers in New Jersey have illegally used
race-based profiles to stop black and Hispanic drivers in hope of making
drug arrests.

In the incident on April 23, Troopers John Hogan and James Kenna stopped a
van carrying four New York City men, including Danny Reyes, 20, who is
Hispanic. The others, Keshon Moore, 22, the driver; Rayshawn Brown, 20, and
Leroy Grant, 23, are black. Three of the men were wounded in the shootings,
two seriously.

Police contend they stopped the van because it was speeding. As they
approached the van on foot, they said, it went into reverse, striking Hogan
and prompting the troopers to open fire. But the occupants of the van say
that they were not speeding and that the van went into reverse by accident.

Johnnie Cochran, the high-profile defense lawyer, has entered the case,
citing the state's record and charging that the shooting was a result of
racial profiling. "This is a case of young men driving while black or
brown," he said at a news conference Friday.

That charge was at the center of the court case that led a Superior Court
judge to conclude in 1996 that the New Jersey State Police had a policy of
"selective enforcement" by "targeting blacks for investigation and arrest."

The ruling followed one of the state's longest evidentiary hearings -- six
months of testimony and 200 exhibits, many of them statistical surveys of
drivers and traffic stops on the southernmost 26-mile stretch of the New
Jersey Turnpike. Judge Robert Francis found that troopers looking for drug
suspects had pulled over an inordinate number of black drivers over a
three-year period simply because of their race.

"It basically confirms what attorneys throughout the state have known for a
long time, that the state police have been targeting minority motorists,"
said Gloucester County Public Defender P. Jeffrey Wintner. He succeeded in
getting the evidence thrown out in the cases of 19 black suspects who had
been stopped on that stretch of the turnpike and charged with drug offenses.

The traffic survey that was central to the defense of the 19 suspects was
perhaps the most thorough documentation of the contention that the police
regularly pulled over black drivers, particularly young men, because the
police thought they were likely to be involved in the drug trade.

The survey first determined that some 98 percent of all the drivers along
the stretch of the turnpike were going over the speed limit of 55 miles per
hour, giving the police latitude to stop virtually anybody. The survey found
that while 13.5 percent of the drivers on the stretch of highway were black,
46 percent of those halted by the police over a 40-month period were black.
"They were pulling over blacks out of all proportion to the population of
the turnpike," said Fred Last, a public defender who helped design the

Dr. John Lamberth of Temple University, who conducted the survey, said the
disparities in the statistics were so huge they precluded any probability of

"The normal statistical signal for that is .05," he recalled in a recent
telephone interview. "The difference in these results was so wide, so big, I
couldn't even get the computer to spit out a number. It poured out like 32
zeros, and we still hadn't gotten a number yet. These were things we just
don't see, its so far off the wall."

Francis agreed, saying: "The statistical disparities are indeed stark." He
added that the "utter failure" of police commanders to monitor the arrests
or "investigate the many claims of institutional discrimination, manifests
its indifference if not acceptance."

The New Jersey State Police have consistently denied that troopers stop
drivers on the basis of their race.

But one striking result of the survey, both the judge and Lamberth noted,
was that troopers using radar tended to stop black drivers at near their
rate in the highway population, while the troopers on road patrol cruising
without radar, who could more freely choose who to stop, arrested far more

"As they got more discretion, they stopped more blacks," Lamberth said. "It
is a telling argument that they are profiling. They get promoted on the
basis of the number of arrests they make, and there is the general mythology
that blacks are more likely than whites to have contraband."

The controversy over profiling is not limited to New Jersey. Katheryn
Russell, a criminology professor at the University of Maryland, writes of
the frequency with which black men are subjected to traffic stops in a book
on race relations, "The Color of Crime" (New York University Press, 1998).

"It seems that no matter what black men do in their cars, they are targets
for criminal suspicion," she writes. "It is so commonplace for black men to
be pulled over in their vehicles that this practice has acquired its own
acronym: DWB (Driving While Black)."

David Rocah, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union in Newark,
N.J., cited similar cases in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania and Illinois.
"The very fact that it has a name -- DWB -- should tell you something,"
Rocah said. "This is documented in study after study. Driving is a
completely disparate experience for whites and minorities."

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

Grand Beginning Or Grandstanding? Anti-Drug Resolution A Symbol Of Something
('Associated Press' Notes A Non-Binding Anti-Drug Resolution
Sponsored By Freshman New Jersey Congressman Mike Pappas,
A Republican From Rocky Hill, Sailed Through The House Of Representatives
408 To 1 Last Week)

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 11:17:18 -0400
From: Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net)
Organization: http://www.november.org/
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: CanPat - Fwd: when@olywa.net: NJ anti-drug resolution sails through
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Just wanted you guys and gals to know that Ron Paul is the ONLY one who
didn't sell his ass in this one......



Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 12:46:38 EDT
Originator: november-l@november.org
Sender: november-l@november.org
Precedence: first-class
From: pcehthns@scn.org (SCN User)
To: Multiple recipients of list (november-l@november.org)
Subject: when@olywa.net: NJ anti-drug resolution sails through

ya know I'm gettin a little scared of what appears to me to be a
manifestation of the same kind of emotional hysteria coming from the
warmongers seeping into many of the folks fighting them. I can hardly
slight anyone for being emotional or hysterical, knowing what evil is
being perpetrated...but that kind of thinking is counter-productive and
self defeating. I'm referring to the one dimensional labeling going on.
I think it's dangerous. But then there's something like this...


From: when@olywa.net ("W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia")
To: when@hemp.net ("-News")
Subject: NJ anti-drug resolution sails through
Date: Sun, 10 May

Grand beginning or grandstanding? Anti-drug resolution a symbol of something

Associated Press, 05/10/98 13:42

WASHINGTON (AP) - Non-binding and not very controversial, an anti-drug
resolution sponsored by a freshman New Jersey congressman sailed through
the House of Representatives last week.

It stood as a symbol, most agreed. But of what? Where proponents saw a
strong statement of government's commitment to fight drugs, critics saw
empty words representing a Congress that talks more than it acts.

The ``sense of Congress'' resolution sponsored by Rep. Mike Pappas, R-Rocky
Hill, declares that all schools should be drug-free; that distribution and
use of illegal drugs in schools is ``unacceptable''; that drug-fighting
agencies should commit to ``a renewed effort''; that politicians and
parents each have a role; and that Washington's goal should be drug-free
schools by the year 2000.

The resolution pledges no money, changes no law, orders no specific change
in strategy. Unlike a bill, the resolution does not go on to the Senate and
then the White House to be signed into law.

It passed by the huge margin of 408 to 1. The sole dissenter was Rep. Ron
Paul, R-Texas, a libertarian who stands alone in his belief that the
federal government should leave tasks like fighting drugs to the states.

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., voted for the resolution but derided it as
``an empty political gesture.''

``Today, the Congress will make this simplistic statement about a very
complex problem,'' Miller said during brief floor debate on the Pappas
resolution. ``It will scapegoat our nation's young people for the problem
for which, in reality, we all should be taking responsibility for.''

So did it really matter? Republicans like Pappas insist it did.

Pappas likened the resolution to an anti-drug television commercial that
shows a father and his daughter side by side in silence. The commercial's
message: another lost opportunity to discuss drugs.

``Passing resolutions and making a statement - `This is wrong' - is very
important,'' Pappas said.

Pappas' spokesman, Sean Spicer, said the resolution should be viewed in the
context of the overall drug effort that Republicans recently began under
the guidance of House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich created the Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America and named
29 House Republicans, including Pappas, to design a ``World War II-style
victory plan'' to save young people from illegal drugs.

At a crowded gathering on April 30, House Republicans donned blue ribbons
and signed a pledge to pass laws this year that will finally turn the tide
in the drug war.

One of the proposed laws has already passed the House. It would ban federal
funding for clean needle programs that proponents say reduce the spread of

Other upcoming initiatives on the Republican agenda would suspend student
loans to recipients convicted of a drug-related offense, provide money to
businesses for drug-free workplace programs, tighten border patrols and
increase penalties for dealing methamphetamine.

The Clinton administration has a 10-year drug-control strategy that it
revamped this year to focus more on youths from 9 to 19. But Republicans
say President Clinton has dropped the ball on drugs, leaving them with an
important responsibility and a potent political issue.

``There's a vacuum of leadership that must be filled,'' Rep. Rob Portman,
R-Ohio, said at a news conference the day after Pappas' resolution was

Pappas told reporters, ``We're not going to speak out of both sides of our

Many Republicans contend Clinton lost the moral authority on drugs because
of comments such as his admission during the 1992 campaign that he tried
marijuana as a young man but ``didn't inhale.''

``That's the wrong signal,'' Pappas said. He hopes his ``sense of
Congress'' resolution sent the right one.

Dominicans Allow Drugs Easy Sailing (Classic Drug Warrior Yellow Journalism
In The 'New York Times')

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 22:21:51 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Dominican Republic: NYT: Dominicans Allow Drugs Easy Sailing
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: kevzeese@laser.net (kevin b. zeese)
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Authors: Clifford Krauss and Larry Rohter
Editors note: This Sunday NYT article was followed up Monday by the article
'LETHAL PARTNERS' on Monday. Sorry we got them posted out of order. -
Richard Lake, Sr. Editor

Dominicans Allow Drugs Easy Sailing

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- In the early 1990's, Colombia's drug
barons were fed up and eager to rearrange their business. Impatient with
the Mexican traffickers who were demanding half of every load delivered and
distributed in the United States, they went looking for a country with weak
law enforcement, proximity to the United States and established drug
distribution networks.

It did not take long for them to find the Dominican Republic. By the spring
of 1995, Colombian cartels were ensconced here and looking to expand their
network, which is what led one boss to invite Hidalgo Elías Vélez, the
Colombian owner of a struggling tropical-woods business here, to a lavish
party outside Bogotá and recruit him as an agent.

The Dominican Republic was "excellent," Mr. Vélez, now serving a prison
term here, recalled being told by his Colombian host.

"You don't have any problems with your merchandise," the Colombian said.

"Getting the money out is easy." Compared to their Mexican and Colombian
counterparts, the Dominican authorities were so inexperienced, unprepared
and ill equipped, "you don't even have to pay protection."

The Colombian drug cartel leaders also recognized, Mr. Vélez said in an
interview recently, that low-level Dominican drug dealers based in New York
City were pushing their way up to the next echelon of the drug business,
bidding for a bigger share of the wholesale distribution of cocaine and
heroin in the New England and mid-Atlantic states.

Just a few years later, the alliance between Colombian cartels and their
Dominican partners has changed the geography of the drug trade once again.
For the first time since American authorities began trying to blockade
South Florida in the early 1980's, a significant portion of the drugs sold
and profits made in the Eastern United States is moving through the island
countries of the Caribbean, with the Dominican Republic, a nation of eight
million, serving as the main gateway.

With that flood of drug profits have come a wave of corruption and a
growing threat to political stability throughout the region. The amount of
money from the United States laundered through Dominican financial
institutions has doubled over the last three years, according to United
States Customs Service estimates, to more than $1 billion annually. Much of
this is being invested in real estate, banks and businesses here.

At the same time, Dominican and Dominican-American drug traffickers are
popping up in Puerto Rico, Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean as the
heads of smuggling operations. Since they are willing to work for
commissions of only 25 percent, or sometimes even for cash rather than
merchandise, they are increasingly favored by the Colombian cartels.

The Dominicans are supported by Colombian cartels determined not to repeat
the error they made with Mexican rings, which are now gobbling up
the Colombians' markets in the United States and even trying to encroach
on operations in South America.

A University of Miami expert on international drug trafficking, Bruce
Bagley, put it this way: "When the Colombians saw the Mexicans becoming
greedier and even develop into rivals, they began to look to the Dominicans
as more reliable partners."

The Colombians moved huge amounts of drugs through the Caribbean in the
early 1980's, prompting the Reagan Administration to mount its major
crackdown. That in turn spurred the Colombians to emphasize other routes,
primarily through Mexico. The alliance that ensued has ravaged that
country's already weak judicial system, corrupted high officials and shaken
its growing partnership with the United States.

While the bulk of Colombian cocaine and heroin continues to move through
Mexico, the Colombian traffickers have in the last few years come full
circle, returning to the Caribbean as a base of operations.

A big obstacle remains in the way of this new breed of techno-savvy
Dominican trafficker: Leonel Fernández, the country's reformist President.
Mr. Fernández, 44, a lawyer, grew up in Manhattan, where in the 1960's he
watched a drug culture emerging around him. It was then, friends say, that
he developed an antipathy for narcotics and the corruption they engender.

But as President, Mr. Fernández must combat a recalcitrant Government
bureaucracy and a political opposition that controls the Congress and is
becoming increasingly dependent on drug money, American and Dominican
officials say.

Those drug profits are finding their way into the economy in this island
nation. Office buildings, hotels and shopping centers are springing up in
Santo Domingo, Santiago and San Francisco de Macorís -- often in a gaudy
style that some describe as narco-deco. Dominican banks have opened
branches as far away as Thailand, raising new fears about the growing
economic influence of the traffickers.

"There is a process of Colombianization going on," Marino Vinicio Castillo,
the outspoken law-and-order crusader whom Mr. Fernández chose as the leader
of his anti-drug program, warned in an interview here. "It is a very
serious threat," he said, adding, "The Colombians may not have been able to
detect it happening there, but here we can see the narcotics traffickers
covertly infiltrating the banking system, political parties and the media."

The Safe Drug Channel: A Nation Ill-Equipped Against Traffickers

To hear Mr. Vélez and American officials tell it, the Dominican Republic in
the mid-1990's was a drug dealer's paradise. Less than 24 hours from
Colombia by fast boat, and only 75 miles from Puerto Rico and American
territory, this country was forced to rely on a weak, corrupt and
ill-equipped military as its main line of defense.

Traffickers were aided, Mr. Vélez said, by Colombian military officials,
who were routinely selling the coordinates of the American and Dominican
vessels on patrol in the Caribbean. With that information in hand, it
became a simple matter to land drug cargos of a ton or more on isolated
beaches here.

"You can get eight days of information for $5,000," said Mr. Vélez, "and I
know because I went to Cartagena and saw it happen with my own eyes." His
job was to supervise the landings and deliver shipments to a warehouser
known to him only as Robocop.

"Without that information, we wouldn't have been able to do what we did."

At that time, as during much of the last three decades, the Dominican
Republic was ruled by Joaquín Balaguer. Now 91 and still politically
active, Mr. Balaguer came to office after the American invasion of his
country in 1965, and kept himself in power through a mixture of guile,
rampant voter fraud and other forms of corruption.

But when the Colombians were moving in here, Washington's main policy focus
was not on drugs. Instead the Clinton Administration was desperately
seeking the Balaguer Government's cooperation with a United Nations
economic embargo aimed at toppling the military dictatorship in Haiti,
which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic.

After a come-from-behind victory in a runoff vote, Mr. Fernández succeeded
Mr. Balaguer on Aug. 16, 1996, promising change and less corruption.
American officials expressed pleasure, describing him as a Kennedyesque
figure who knew the United States intimately and shared the
view of trafficking as a menace to both countries.

Cables from the American Embassy in Santo Domingo in late 1996 drew a grim
picture of the situation Mr. Fernández had inherited. One described
how corrupt personnel routinely incapacitated airport X-ray machines here
to let drugs through. A second cable detailed corruption as "widespread
among airport employees, the national police, military security and the
army's J-2," the military intelligence division.

From the start, Mr. Fernández was also hamstrung by his party's weakness
in Congress, where it controlled less than a tenth of the seats. He has
since faced an uphill fight to cleanse a corrupt bureaucracy, replace
judges and prosecutors who delayed and undermined drug cases, and cajole
banks to tighten rules aimed at thwarting money launderers.

"Fernández can only go so far," said John F. Forbes, a senior United States
Customs investigator who works on Dominican money-laundering cases. "The
head of General Motors can fire people, but the President is stuck with the
existing civil service and bureaucracy from 30 years of one-man rule."

The results so far, American and Dominican officials acknowledge, have been

On the positive side: Dominican drug suspects are for the first time being
extradited to the United States; the tiny budgets allotted to anti-drug
agencies have been increased; more than 50 properties linked to
narcotics-related crimes were seized last year; wiretaps are more widely
used to monitor trafficking groups, and a newly appointed high court has
been given powers to remove corrupt, incompetent judges from lower courts.

In a report issued in March certifying that the Dominican Republic is
cooperating fully with American anti-drug efforts, the State Department
noted that under Mr. Fernández's leadership, "promising reforms began in

But the department also noted that the Dominican Government "only achieved
sporadic seizures" of cocaine and heroin last year, "as it has not
adequately motivated its police and military forces to join in the struggle
against the illicit drug trade."

Drug Enforcement Administration figures indicate that only 1.2 metric tons
of cocaine were seized in the Dominican Republic in 1996, compared with 3.6
metric tons in 1995. Last year, the figure rose slightly, to 1.35 tons, but
arrests for drug-related offenses declined, and the impatience of American
officials has increased accordingly.

"The fact is that under President Fernández, not a single drug-related case
has been prosecuted," said a State Department official who deals with
Dominican policy. And in a recent intelligence report, the Drug Enforcement
Administration asserted that "Colombian and Dominican trafficking
organizations continue to maximize well-established cocaine routes through
the Dominican Republic" and that "heroin trafficking continues to be on the

Meanwhile senior aides to Mr. Fernández, under pressure from voters
demanding that campaign promises to ease poverty and improve public
services be fulfilled, are divided as to how much emphasis to put on
cooperation with the United States to fight drug trafficking. Mr. Castillo,
President Fernández's drug czar, cited the flow of "narco-dollars" into
local political campaigns. He expressed concern that cooperation might
become more difficult after crucial elections scheduled for Saturday to
choose the legislature that would have to approve any new anti-drug
treaties or laws.

Dominican officials say they are doing the best they can with meager
resources at their disposal, which are being drained by the need to patrol
a long, porous border with Haiti. And they assert that even more drugs flow
through the American commonwealth of Puerto Rico than their country.

The country's attorney general, Abel Rodríguez del Orbe, criticized the
United States for a "lack of cooperation."

"If we had the proper equipment," he said, "planes with infrared lights,
for example, we'd be finished with this plague in a year."

The Bend in the River: A Tough New Leader Allows Extradition

At the peak of their criminal careers, Maximo Reyes and Francisco Medina
were among the most wanted men in New York City, accused of the contract
killings of more than 30 people on behalf of Dominican trafficking groups.
With the police closing in, they returned to the Dominican Republic,
certain that they were finally beyond the reach of American authorities.

Last August, however, President Fernández broke with decades of tradition
and bypassed the Dominican Congress, signing an executive order that sent
the two men back to New York City to face charges. That day, law
enforcement authorities in New York City detected a dramatic increase in

telephone conversations among Dominican traffickers alarmed that they would
no longer enjoy impunity in their homeland.

In a larger sense the episode illustrated the strategy that the Fernández
administration, trying to turn a liability into a strength, has adopted.
With limitations on equipment, personnel and spending that weaken its
ability to interdict drugs, the Dominican Government has instead decided to
use the instruments of law to attack traffickers and curb the enormous
profits they make.

"The only thing the cartels fear is extradition," said Mr. Castillo, the
country's anti-drug program director. "That is the most powerful tool in
the hands of both Governments."

Heartened by Mr. Fernández's cooperation, the Clinton Administration is now
seeking the extradition of more than 30 other Dominicans wanted in the
United States. But that process promises to be even more controversial and
convoluted, with resistance rising in the Dominican Congress and media
coverage against returning those on the list, including the two most
prominent, Edmon Elías and Ricardo (Tito) Hernández, both influential

Mr. Elías's interests include casinos as well as hotels and other real
estate investments; Mr. Hernández is an owner of the popular Cibao Eagles
baseball team. Both face charges in Miami concerning a Mexican-American
named Luis Cano. They are accused of having helped him buy airplanes he
reportedly used to smuggle 10 tons of cocaine into the United States.

Mr. Hernández did not respond to calls requesting comment, but Mr. Elías,
in an interview here, denied wrongdoing, calling himself "an enemy of drugs
and a friend of the United States" and dismissing the charges as a
"fantasy." He acknowledged that he had introduced Mr. Cano to leading
Dominicans but said Mr. Cano had gained his confidence under false pretenses.

Still, Dominican law enforcement officials describe the country's casinos,
Mr. Elías's among them, as a main mechanism by which drug profits are
laundered here. They say that banks, boutiques, businesses, sports betting
parlors -- almost all forms of private enterprise -- are being used to turn
illicit cash into tangible, legitimate assets.

As a result, Dominican officials and business people say, more and more
drug money is flowing in unimpeded. The problem is probably most acute,
they maintain, in cities like Santiago and San Francisco de Macorís, in the
northern Cibao Valley, birthplace of many of the most notorious Dominican
traffickers based in the United States.

For instance Santiago, the country's second-largest city, has in the last
two years gained many new businesses like as auto dealerships and hardware
stores. That would not be suspicious in itself, since the Cibao Valley is
enjoying a tobacco-led economic boom. But many of these new businesses are
selling their products below cost.

As one Santiago businessman put it: "How can you buy steel rods or cement
blocks in the capital, transport them up here and then sell them for less
than you originally paid? There are suddenly a lot of people around who
went to New York as nobodies a few years back and have come back with lots
and lots of money whose origins no one seems able to explain."

Along the country's north coast, multimillion-dollar weekend homes are also
going up. Nor is it unusual to come across expensively protected country
mansions adorned with stained glass windows, mock Greco-Roman pillars and
tile images of the Virgin of Altagracia, the country's patron saint.

"All this recycled money that can't be traced is creating a new culture,"
said a lawyer in San Francisco de Macorís. "You go into a restaurant, and
there are all these guys wearing ostentatious rings and glittering
medallions of the Virgin of Altagracia, flashing big wads of thousand-peso
notes and boasting about their big cars outside. It's a new reality that is
very disturbing to us and which no one seems able to control."

The Course Yet Uncharted: A Reformer's Future In the Voters' Hands

This week, voters here will go to the polls for elections that Dominican
and American officials regard as crucial to the Fernández
Government's success during its two remaining years in office. At the
moment, the President's party controls only one of 30 Senate seats and 10
of 120 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, meaning that no legislation can be
passed without the backing of at least one of the two main opposition parties.

The Fernández administration has expressed support for tougher
money-laundering legislation and streamlined extradition procedures, which
Congress would have to approve to go into effect. So it is obvious why the
stakes in the vote are so high. Mr. Castillo, the Dominican anti-drug
chief, said trafficking groups here and in New York and Colombia had
responded by funneling money into the campaigns of candidates they believe
will vote against the proposals.

"This is the greatest problem we face in these elections," he said. "Not
only that, narcotics traffickers from New York are putting their own
people, by which I mean their brothers and cousins, into the campaigns, and
some of the candidates know that."

American officials have long harbored similar suspicions of the Dominican
political process. During the 1996 presidential campaign here, in fact, the
Drug Enforcement Administration, responding to a Central Intelligence
Agency inquiry, took the highly unusual step of organizing a sting
operation in the United States against Mr. Fernández's chief opponent, José
Francisco Peña Gómez, in an effort to determine whether he and his party
were involved in drug trafficking.

Mr. Peña Gómez was running well ahead of Mr. Fernández in election polls
when he took his campaign to New York City's large Dominican immigrant
community early that year. At a rally at the Washington Heights
headquarters of the Dominican Revolutionary Party, or P.R.D., members of
his staff were approached by a couple who said they were representatives of
a Colombian cocaine cartel but in reality were Drug Enforcement
Administration agents working undercover.

The pair offered the Peña Gómez campaign an immediate $50,000 and said
$250,000 more would be forthcoming each month if Mr. Peña Gómez, once
elected, would agree to let five planeloads of drugs land unobstructed.
Such an agreement was already in place with Dominican military and police
authorities, they said, urging Mr. Peña Gómez and his aides to check the
authenticity of their claim with the officials involved.

One of his New York representatives later met the drug agents at an office
at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, but Mr. Peña Gómez eventually
rejected the overture, and shortly afterward he sent a letter of protest to
President Clinton. American suspicions were again aroused, however, when,
just days after Mr. Peña Gómez won the first round of the election and
declared himself "virtually president," several of his party members were
detained and a shipment of 778 pounds of cocaine seized, according to
Dominican officials.

In an interview here, Mr. Peña Gómez attributed the case, which those
officials say is still pending, to a political vendetta against his party.
"An accusation like this can destroy a person in this country," he said,
"and that's what my enemies are trying to do to me. I was the victim of a
campaign in which false denunciations were made to middle-level American
officials in an effort to involve me in this."

Recent polls indicate Mr. Peña Gómez as favorite in the race next month for
mayor of Santo Domingo, the second-most-important elected post in this
country. But Mr. Peña Gómez is also suffering from an advanced case of
pancreatic cancer.

The struggle to succeed him as party leader is already under way, and
American and Dominican law enforcement officials said there is ample
evidence that some of the contenders are receiving support from drug

"The narcotics traffickers don't like to have all their eggs in one
basket," a senior Dominican Government official said, speaking on condition
of anonymity. "And so they donate to all the parties. But the biggest
problem is in the P.R.D. We don't like to say that publicly, however,
because then people think we are acting from political motives."

In the United States, Federal drug agents and local law enforcement
officials have also been looking closely at the party's branches and
leaders throughout the Northeastern United States. The drug enforcement
agency's documents identify the party's New England headquarters in
Worcester, Mass., as a major drug distribution center. They say that local
party officials in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some of whom have
previous drug convictions, are also involved in such activities.

Even if the drug traffickers' candidates are defeated, the rings will offer
no respite, warned Mr. Vélez, the Colombian businessman who is in custody
here. The Colombian cartels, having established an enormously lucrative
foothold in the Dominican Republic, will stop at nothing to expand it, he
said, even if that means "killing judges, lawyers, cops and reporters," as
well as ordinary citizens who stand in their way.

"In whatever country they establish themselves," Mr. Vélez said, "the
cartels get involved in politics and the economy, buying up properties and
infiltrating all aspects of public and private activity. That's what's
coming here, and this country isn't prepared and doesn't know how to stand
up to it. It's going to be a catastrophe."

Drug War News Not Fit To Print (Letter To The Editor, Any Editor,
By Michael Levine, Former DEA Agent And Author Of 'Deep Cover,
The Big White Lie And Triangle Of Death,' Discusses The Difference
Between The Reality Of The So-Called War On Drugs,
And The Fraudulent Way It Is Presented To The World
Through Easily Manipulated Mass Media Coverage)

From: "ralph sherrow" 
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Drug war news not fit to print
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 01:01:53 PDT

Subject: Drug War News NOT Fit to Print
Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 00:58:52 EDT
From: Expert53 (Expert53@aol.com)

Dear Editor:
The following is submitted as a letter to the editor, or, an opinion


by Michael Levine

Host: of THE EXPERT WITNESS radio show
WBAI, 99.5 FM,
Tuesdays, 7-8pm
New York City

Author: of Deep Cover, the Big White Lie and Triangle of Death

After 25 years as a federal agent in the war on drugs and three decades as a
court qualified expert witness in all matters relating to that war, I have
always marveled at how the American taxpayer can spend as much as $50
billion a year (the latest federal and state drug war budget combined) and
almost $1 trillion dollars since President Nixon declared war on drugs in
1972, and tolerate having absolutely nothing to show for that money, without
a whimper of complaint.

As if that weren't bad enough a recent poll of Americans conducted by the
Harvard School of Public Health found that 78 percent of the public believes
anti-drug efforts have failed yet 66 percent were willing to pay more taxes
to fight drugs.

How can that possibly be?

Answer: We have all been the victims of decades of federal bureaucracies and
mainstream media selling us the need for a war on drugs, pretty much the way
(and this is no hyperbole) organized crime sells protection to taxpaying
businessmen. Before you shake your head and dismiss what I've just said,
check out my facts.

In fact, you can see a glaring example of that sell right on the front page
of Today's New York Times (Sunday 5/10/98) in a headline article entitled
"Dominicans Allow Drugs Easy Sailing." Apparently the writers of the
article, or their editor, have rediscovered for twentieth time since the
early eighties when I was heading investigations into Dominican drug gangs
for the Drug Enforcement Administration, that the Dominican Republic is an
"important" part of the route cocaine follows on its trek from Colombia to
the United States.

As a test this article is not only not news that is fit to print, but that
it is part of a sell or con job, review about five years of New York Times
drug war articles keeping my observations in mind, compare them to today's
article and I am certain that the game will become readily apparent.

As you read the articles about drugs you will note that the subject country
(i.e. "danger point in the drug war") shifts from the Dominican Republic to
Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, Russia, Argentina,
Lebanon, Nassau, the Bahamas, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, basically hitting every
country in the world and then back again; the criminal organizations shift
between the Medellin Cartel, to the Russian mafiya, to the Italian Mafia, to
the Mexican Mafia and back again; the names of the "evil drug barons" shift
from Manuel Noriega to Carlos Escobar, to Raul Salinas de Gortari, to
Roberto Suarez, to Gacha, to Ochoa, to Orijuela, to Arce-Gomez or any one of
dozens of other names featured by The Times over the past few years and back
again - yet the "news" story is basically exactly the same. In fact, it is
almost a fill-in-the-blanks duplicate including a space for maps with arrows
and diagrams to illustrate drug routes.

And it is not just The New York Times. This pro forma drug story is
reprinted almost weekly by all the other mainstream magazines and newspapers
from The Washington Post to Newsweek, and retold ad nauseam by every
mainstream media broadcasting company from Frontline to CNN, and all deliver
virtually the same message that today's New York Times piece ended with:
"...It's going to be a catastrophe.." Is this news, or is this the continued
con job of the American taxpayer?

Now let's examine some major news stories from the past and see if we can't
answer that question ourselves:

Dominican Republic look like jaywalking doesn't it? Well it comes from the
Universal News Service and was the headline for many US Newspapers on
February 20, 1931.

Or how about this one from Universal News Service picked up by The New York
Times as well as many other US newspapers on 12/9/34: "TONS OF ILLICIT
more than 64 years old, but I defy anyone to find a difference, other than
the locations, names and amounts, from today's New York Times headline story.

I can cite a steady flow of articles published by mainstream print media and
news specials and documentaries produced for television and radio, covering
the last 60 years, that are, in essence, with names and places ever
changing, the same story. But I think, for some, I have already made my point.

During my quarter of a century as an insider I was always struck by the
startling difference between the reality of the so-called war on drugs, and
the fraudulent way it was presented to the world through easily manipulated
media coverage. (See my books The Big White Lie and Deep Cover for real-life
outrageous examples that were never factually contested by anyone in
government or media).

What I came to realize was that both the federal and state bureaucracies
receiving a drug war budget, nations receiving our taxpayer dollars under
the banner of drug war, and the mainstream media vendors of drug war "news"
have a common customer, or as we say on the street, "mark" - the American

Media uses alarmist drug stories to sell their product and the bureaucracies
use the media to project their need for more tax funds. This tacit agreement
can be reduced to a single sentence: "You give us 'news' to sell our
television program/documentary/newspapers, and we will sell your agency's
budget needs to the American people and congress," An agreement that is all
about money, not truth. Definitely not news that is fit to print.

This explains why, when I began my career in Federal law enforcement in
1965, there were two federal agencies enforcing the federal drug laws - The
Federal Bureau of Narcotics and the Customs Agency Service - whose combined
forces were less than 400 men world-wide, and whose total budgets were less
than $10 million, and the current federal, drug war budget is above $19.5
billion (not counting the combined state budgets) which is doled out to
something like 60 federal regulatory, covert and military agencies, and the
problem, by any measure is worse than it ever was.

This also explains why (as I stated at the beginning of this piece) 66
percent of Americans polled last month - despite more than a trillion
dollars wasted during the past 20 year - want to increase our drug war
spending. When, on my radio show, I say that you can lay every so-called
"news" story ever printed about our endless drug war end-to-end and the
result will be exactly the same story reprinted on enough paper to create a
roll of toilet paper about the size of a small galaxy, some people think
it's funny. It's not meant to be.

What isn't funny is that, at a time that deserving children cannot afford a
college education, the social security system is in danger of collapsing,
hard working Americans cannot get health insurance or afford medical care,
millions are without homes and adequate food, the national debt will
impoverish many future generations and our nation's public education systems
have fallen behind most of the other industrialized nations - our government
is still spending $50 billion a year on that same meaningless story. I just
can't wait to see Part two of today's piece.

Study - NAFTA Boosts Drug Trafficking ('Dallas Morning News'
Says A US Task Force, Operation Alliance, Has Concluded In A 63-Page Report,
Two Years In The Making, That The North American Free Trade Agreement
Has Made It Easier Than Ever For Mexican Illegal Drug Sellers
To Smuggle Goods Across The Border - Phil Jordan,
A Former High-Level Official With The Drug Enforcement Administration,
Says, 'While I Was At DEA, I Was Under Strict Orders Not To Say Anything
Negative About Free Trade')

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 21:10:58 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Study: NAFT boosts drug trafficking

Posted at 4:31 p.m. PDT Sunday, May 10, 1998

Study: NAFTA boosts drug trafficking

The Dallas Morning News

MEXICO CITY -- The landmark North American Free Trade
Agreement has made it easier than ever for Mexican traffickers to
smuggle drugs, and American authorities aren't doing enough to
counter the fast-growing threat, a U.S. task force has concluded.

Sophisticated drug gangs are investing in everything from trucking
companies and rail lines to warehouses and shipping firms to
shield their trafficking activities, according to a confidential report
by Operation Alliance, a task force led by the U.S. Customs

Drug traffickers are using ``commercial trade-related businesses
.. to exploit the rising tide of cross-border commerce,'' said the
63-page report, ``Drug Trafficking, Commercial Trade and
NAFTA on the Southwest Border.''

While many U.S. officials avoid even talking about potential free
trade-trafficking ties, Mexican smugglers have been busy hiring
consultants to learn how to take advantage of NAFTA, some
former drug agents say.

``For Mexico's drug gangs, the NAFTA was a deal made in
narco-heaven,'' said Phil Jordan, a former high-level official with
the Drug Enforcement Administration. ``But since both the United
States and Mexico are so committed to free trade, no one wants
to admit it has helped the drug lords. It's a taboo subject.

``While I was at DEA, I was under strict orders not to say
anything negative about free trade. Now it's come back to haunt

Authors of the Operation Alliance report, nearly two years in the
making, say they weren't out to judge NAFTA. They merely
wanted to know if traffickers were exploiting rising U.S.-Mexico
trade to further their illicit enterprises.

What they found out is that Mexican drug gangs are more savvy
than ever, having learned that they can often get more done with
an MBA than an AK-47.

The Operation Alliance report, marked ``law enforcement
sensitive,'' says traffickers were so gung-ho about free trade they
began studying its intricacies even before NAFTA was approved
on Jan. 1, 1994.

And the report gently criticizes American authorities for not
keeping pace.

``If drug traffickers are researching NAFTA, it would be wise for
more in the law enforcement community to do the same,'' it says.

The free trade agreement is aimed at wiping out all tariffs between
the United States, Mexico and Canada by the year 2008. Its
supporters say it has been a great success, doubling to $168
billion trade between Mexico and the United States.

They dispute the suggestion that the trade agreement has boosted
drug trafficking.

``There's no question that drugs are continuing to go across the
border. But you can't pin the rap on NAFTA. That's a simplistic
leap that some people make,'' said a Senate source who
requested anonymity.

Even before NAFTA, traffickers routinely hid drug loads in
commercial shipments. But some former drug agents say free
trade has given smugglers the upper hand.

``If you believe NAFTA has not adversely affected the fight
against drug traffickers, then you must believe in the tooth fairy,''
said Tom Cash, a former high-level DEA official.

The sheer volume of U.S.-bound cargo, some 400 million tons
per year, makes it harder to find contraband, he and others say.

``The Customs Service has tried to play down the idea that
inspectors have less ability to stop drugs from coming across the
border, but I think it's irrefutable,'' Cash said.

Border inspectors are under intense pressure to speed the flow of
people and goods, he said, and can't always do thorough

Mexican traffickers are believed to smuggle an estimated 330
tons of cocaine, 14 tons of heroin and hundreds of tons of
marijuana into the United States every year.

Some American agents are particularly concerned about a rise in
the use of railcars in trafficking. In 1997 alone, Customs
inspectors seized more than 5,500 pounds of marijuana from
railcars, almost double the amount for the previous nine years.

``You'll see railroad cars loaded with freight containers coming
across the border, and some of the trains will have 100 or more
cars, double-stacked,'' said Richard Gorman, special agent in
charge of the DEA office in Phoenix. ``If you were to try to
inspect all that, you'd have trains backed up all the way to the
Guatemalan border.''

Since NAFTA's approval, Customs has added inspectors,
agents, drug-sniffing dogs and intelligence analysts to cope with
the flood of people, trucks and cargo entering the United States.

And the agency has had some successes. One of the most recent
was the seizure of 1,743 pounds of cocaine last week from a
flatbed truck entering Nogales, Ariz., from Mexico.

The cocaine was cleverly hidden inside two large diesel engines.

``Smugglers' techniques have become extremely sophisticated,''
said Celia De La Ossa, the chief inspector in Nogales. And with
or without free trade, she said, agents will continue fighting the
drug gangs.

``NAFTA has reduced tariffs, but it has done nothing to eliminate
Customs inspections,'' she said.

Even so, Operation Alliance says U.S. authorities can do more.

Agents should beef up inspections at Laredo, El Paso, Nogales,
Ariz., Otay Mesa, Calif., and other busy crossing points, the
report said. Inspectors must learn more about NAFTA and how
traffickers are using it to mask their operations. They should figure
out better ways to better trace cargo shipments. And they need to
do a better job inspecting cargo containers and railcars, the
report said.

Failing to act will only make things worse in the future, when the
trade agreement's full provisions take effect, the report said.

Jordan agreed.

``The more we hush it up, the more drugs, the more poison flows
onto our streets.''

A Secret Look At Mexican Police ('Associated Press' Account
In 'The San Jose Mercury News,' About Two Mexican Sociologists
Who Spent Two Years In A Mexican Police Academy Viewing The Force
From The Inside, Is Longer Than Thursday's Version)

Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 09:43:53 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: A Secret Look at Mexican Police
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Author: John Rice - Associated Press


Undercover study in an unidentified city portrays a force riddled with
criminal gangs

MEXICO CITY -- Two classmates at the police academy admitted to murders. A
few others had not completed primary school. And most of the would-be cops
formed friendships sharing marijuana during recess.

Nearly all wound up as police officers in Mexico after graduating from an
academy where instructors taught the finer points of taking bribes,
according to Mexican sociologists who spent two years viewing a Mexican
police force from the inside.

The study portrays a police force riddled with what amounts to criminal
gangs bent on extorting money from drivers, shopkeepers and criminals in
one of the mega-suburbs ringing Mexico City. The authors insist that one
would find similar circumstances in many other Mexican cities.

It is an apparently unprecedented inside account of one of Mexico's most
pressing political issues: an explosion in crime.

Tourist attacks double

The number of reported tourist attacks -- both on foreigners and Mexicans
-- has doubled, for example, in the first months of this year, to an
average of 20 a day in Mexico City, according to the Tourism Ministry. And
many attacks aren't even reported.

The U.S. State Department last month warned visitors to be extra cautious
in the capital, where it said crime had reached ``critical levels.''

Current and former officers are implicated repeatedly in killings,
kidnappings, drug trafficking and old-fashioned street-corner bribery.

``Restructuring the police force will touch many interests. It would be
very difficult,'' said Adrian Lspez Rivera, who says he spent two years as
a police officer, working under the supervision of his teacher, Nelson
Arteaga Botello of the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico. None
of the police-officer candidates knew they were the subject of a study.

The two men refused to name the city where they did their research and
changed the names of those they quoted. The report was excerpted in the
prestigious magazine Nexos.

Mexico City Police Chief Rodolfo Debernardi indicated he was not surprised
by Nexos' characterization of the neighboring police force.

``Disgracefully, that has existed and we have to diminish those kinds of
activities,'' he said in an interview, insisting that his own force was
attacking corruption.

Academic probes are rare

Academic probes of Mexican police forces, however, are rare -- and require
great courage.

``The problem is that studying the police is dangerous,'' forcing
investigators to immerse themselves in the police culture, Arteaga said.

The fact that the story could be published at all is a sign of greater
transparency in Mexico, though he said the new political openness had not
reduced corruption in cities.

Lspez entered the police academy about four years ago with a seemingly
unpromising group. Many were ``people who had great difficulty writing,
even reading.''

One candidate told Lspez he'd hacked a man to death for suggesting his
brother was gay. ``As a policeman, nobody will hunt me for the dead guy.''

One officer, identified as ``Andris,'' admitted beating his first wife to
death and fleeing vengeance-minded brothers. He was quoted as saying he had
a new girlfriend he ``beats for the heck of it. What's more, she has no

A more typical case was the candidate who figured he could buy a minibus
with three years of salary and bribes.

Others were former officers from other jurisdictions who had been fired for
drugs, robbery or excessive violence.

Recruitment a problem

Recruitment is a serious problem, Arteaga said, and most of the candidates
were relatives and friends of current officers. Bribes were enough to
overcome problems meeting physical or academic requirements.

A psychologist giving a personality test said he would reject all except
those who ``place between the pages of the test the money according to the
result you would like.''

While courses on law were weak, there were other lessons. Several
instructors urged students to ``rob with professionalism,'' according to
the report.

``You don't ask for money, only wait,'' a professor was quoted as saying.
``The people are going to give it to you automatically; you don't have to
say anything.''

Commanders demanded a minimum of $9 a day. For use of a good patrol car,
the payoff was about $60 a day. Officers then earned about $360 a month.

``The policeman always has hopes that a robbery represents not only a
moment to carry out his work -- arrest criminals -- but also permits him to
obtain something else: to rob what is being robbed,'' the report said.

Once on the street, Lspez said, those who failed to take and share bribes
were shunted to marginal assignments.

Debernardi insists that in his department the problems are being addressed
through greater supervision, higher entrance standards and rotation of
commanders. Officials have campaigned against payoffs to superiors.

Police departments throughout Mexico have repeatedly tried cleanup
campaigns, firing thousands of corrupt officers annually.

Arteaga doubts it will help.

``You can't purify the police of all the corrupt members,'' Arteaga said,
``because the moment you do that, what you are doing is sending delinquents
to the street.''

Canada In Uproar Over Immigration Law (Knight Ridder News Service
Says A Year-Old Law That Gives Immigration Inspectors The Power
To Ban Foreigners From The United States For Five Years
Has Canadian Newspapers And Radio Networks Inundated With Stories
About US Border Agents In Detroit And Other Ports Acting Like 'Cowboys,'
Threatening To Lock Up Canadians, Blowing Smoke In Their Faces
And Calling Them Liars)

Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 18:18:49 +1200 (NZST)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: Canada in uproar over immigration law
Cc: editor@mapinc.org

Posted at 6:10 p.m. PDT Sunday, May 10, 1998

Canada in uproar over immigration law

Knight Ridder News Service

DETROIT -- A year-old law that gives immigration inspectors
the power to ban foreigners from the United States for five years
has Canadians in an uproar.

Canadian newspapers and radio networks have been filled with
stories about U.S. immigration inspectors in Detroit and other
ports acting like ``cowboys,'' threatening to lock up Canadians,
blowing smoke in their faces and calling them liars.

``It's unbelievable that these people work at the border,'' said
Steve Williamson, a 28-year-old Oakville, Ontario, resident
banned by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service last
year at the Ambassador Bridge, linking Windsor, Ontario, to

Critics say the law gives low-level government employees
unprecedented power to act as jury and judge. Inspectors at the
border, with approval from their supervisors, decide if foreigners
are lying and then ban them. And their decisions cannot be
appealed, although a waiver may be granted to enter the United
States during the five years.

``It seems so un-American,'' said Sarnia, Ontario, Mayor Mike
Bradley, referring to the lack of appeal.

But a spokesman for the INS in Washington said the law is being
applied fairly; only a few Canadians have been banned, and those
who don't lie about their visit have nothing to fear. The ban, called
expedited removal, provides a faster alternative to deport
foreigners illegally trying to enter the United States.

``The Canadian press has made this a cause celebre,'' said Russ
Bergeron, senior press officer for the INS. ``Far from being unfair
or harsh to Canadians, our implementation of expedited removal
at the northern border has been extremely fair.''

The issue has the attention of Sen. Spencer Abraham,
R-Michigan, who helped draft the 1996 immigration law that
included expedited removals. Joe McMonigle, Abraham's
communications director, said the senator's concerns have been
raised with the INS, and new legislation is under consideration.

The change, effective April 1, 1997, was to crack down on fraud,
but is possibly being handled incorrectly, McMonigle said.

Williamson said it was in his case. He thought he had done
everything right to start his equipment rental business in Phoenix.
He checked with his lawyer and applied for a visa. While waiting
for approval, he packed his duffel bags last June and headed for
Chicago, Denver and Arizona to visit friends.

He planned on vacationing, Williamson said, but inspectors
searched his Jeep and luggage and found papers related to his
venture. They put him in a room for five hours, interrogated and
intimidated him, he said. They accused him of forging a document
and coerced a statement from him that he was coming to the
United States to work, he said.

Williamson, who said he has crossed from Canada into New
York numerous times, wrote the inspector's name and badge
number on the statement. He said he was making the statement
under duress. The inspector saw it, crumpled it and threw it at
him, Williamson said. The inspector then got up, took his jacket
off, put his hand on his gun and walked behind Williamson, he

``It was right out of a movie at that point,'' Williamson said.

He eventually wrote a statement. He was fingerprinted and
photographed and sent back to Canada. His business plans are in

Williamson said he did not plan to work before his visa arrived.
He also did not know he needed to return to Canada once he got
the visa and come back into the United States before he could
start working. If the inspectors had told him, he said, he would
have turned around and waited in Canada until his visa came

``To this point still, I haven't done anything wrong,'' he said.
``Somebody made a judgment, a bad judgment, and I'm paying
the price.''

Williamson is now part of a lawsuit in federal court in Washington
that seeks to stop expedited removals. The law does not allow
those detained to contact a lawyer or make phone calls, and
Anna Gallagher, lawyer with the American Immigration Law
Foundation, said the decisions should be reviewed by an
unbiased immigration judge.

The INS has asked for a dismissal of the lawsuit.

Carol Jenifer, INS district director in Detroit, said she has
received a few complaints, but believes her agents act properly.
Bergeron defended expedited removal and said Williamson
entered the United States with the intent to see friends and then
start working after his visa arrived, which is illegal.

In a given year, 100 million people cross the northern border, and
from April 1, 1997, through Feb. 28 only 359 Canadians were
banned through expedited removal from all U.S. ports, INS
figures show. And 93 percent of those found to be eligible for
expedited removal at the northern border are allowed to just go

Re - Coast Apathy Feeding Local Drug Trade (A Letter Sent To The Editor
Of 'The Reporter' In Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Says It Is Not Apathy
That Feeds The Local Drug Trade, It's The Lucrative Black Market For Drugs,
Made Artificially Expensive By Our Reckless Subsidization
Through Misplaced Law Enforcement)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Sent: Coast apathy feeding local drug trade
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 11:29:43 -0700
Lines: 51

To the editor,

I agree in part with RCMP Cpl. Bob Hall's definition of "harm reduction",
(Coast apathy feeding local drug trade, May 4). "To me, harm reduction
means reducing harm to the citizens of our community who are being
victimized by criminals." I differ with Hall on the cause of this harm and

In 1994, B.C. Chief Coroner Vince Cain recommended the decriminalization
of the currently prohibited drugs citing, among other compelling reasons,
the fact that over 60% of all property crime is prohibition-related.

When I read of drive-by shootings, biker gang turf wars, the spread of HIV,
deaths due to the varying potency and impurity of black market drugs and
the tragic deaths of two small children whose father had been making
weed-oil at home, I place the blame on our failure to regulate these drugs.

The harm caused by Cpl. Hall's perpetuation of "reefer madness" myths to
fatten law enforcement budgets was recently exposed in the Vancouver Sun by
VPD whistleblower Gil Puder and described by B.C. Justice F.E. Howard, who

There is a consensus that there are, indeed, social and economic costs
attached to the prohibition of marihuana. In summary, they are as

1) countless Canadians, mostly adolescents and young adults, are being
prosecuted in the "criminal" courts, subjected to the threat of (if not
actual) imprisonment, and branded with criminal records for engaging [in]
an activity that is remarkably benign (estimates suggest that over 600,000
Canadians now have criminal records for cannabis related offences);
meanwhile others are free to consume society's drugs of choice, alcohol
and tobacco, even though these drugs are known killers.

2) disrespect for the law by upwards of one million persons who are
prepared to engage in this activity, notwithstanding the legal prohibition;

3) distrust, by users, of health and educational authorities who, in the
past, have promoted false and exaggerated allegations about marihuana; the
risk is that marihuana users, especially the young, will no longer listen,
even to the truth;

It is not apathy which feeds the local drug trade. It is the extremely
lucrative black market for drugs made artificially expensive by our
reckless, if well-intentioned, subsidization through misplaced law

Matthew M. Elrod
4493 [No Thru] Rd.
Victoria, B.C.
Phone: 250-[867-5309]
Email: creator@islandnet.com

Burmese Junta Forces Farmers To Grow Opium (Britain's 'Sunday Times'
Says An Investigation By The Newspaper And Human Rights Groups
Has Established That The Military Government Of Burma, The World's
Biggest Producer Of Opium, Has Driven Thousands Of Villagers From Their Homes
In A Programme To Transform Rice Fields Into Poppy Plantations,
Despite Receiving Millions Of Pounds A Year From The United Nations
To Combat Drugs)

Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:06:28 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Burma: Burmese Junta Forces Farmers To Grow Opium
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Source: Sunday Times (UK)
Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk
Author: Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy, Rangoon


THE military government of Burma, the world's biggest producer of opium,
has driven thousands of villagers from their homes in a programme to
transform rice fields into poppy plantations, despite receiving millions of
pounds a year from the United Nations to combat drugs.

An investigation by The Sunday Times and human rights groups has
established that the junta is secretly expanding the number of opium farms
in designated "drug-control areas".

The regime has used video footage which appears to show poppy fields being
destroyed to support applications for UN aid. But interviews with farmers,
soldiers and former civil servants have confirmed that the military
presides over a huge network of opium-producing villages in regions
officially said to be drug-free.

Last January 5,000 people were evicted from one village alone - Ngape, in
the Arakan Yoma mountain range in central Burma. The government claimed
they had been ordered out for refusing to destroy poppy crops. However, a
farmer who sought refuge on Burma's border with India said: "We had never
grown opium before. The soldiers said we had to plant poppies or lose our

Opium farmers were brought in from other parts of the country, according to
a 34-year-old woman from Ngape who left her home and possessions behind.
"This was not a drug clearance scheme - the army hijacked our land to grow
drugs," she said.

Aid workers admit that restrictions on their movements render them
powerless to make checks. "There is no independent monitoring," said a
source at the UN drug control programme, which will spend £4m in Burma in
the next year.

Under the totalitarian rule of the State Peace and Development Council,
Burma has become a narco-dictatorship. According to officials in
Washington, Burma produces 250 tonnes of opium a year, more than twice as
much as Afghanistan, the second-largest manufacturer. Robin Cook, the
foreign secretary, says in a forthcoming report by the South Asian
Information Network, a British human rights group: "The failure of the
regime to address this issue, the production of heroin - indeed, their
apparent willingness to abet and profit from the drug trade - deserves the
strongest condemnation."

The victims of Burma's burgeoning narco-economy can be seen in bamboo huts
in many outlying areas, where addiction to opium is widespread. Pang Sak,
in the northern Kachin state, has become known as the "village of the
widows" following hundreds of deaths from overdoses. Doctors claim there
are "drug addicts in every house here". Among those who died after being
forced by the military to cultivate opium poppies instead of rice was the
father of Aung Than, a seven-year-old boy who now uses an opium pipe
himself. "The smoke makes my hunger go away," he said.

Next door, the women of the Nhkum family are mourning three sons, aged 13,
17 and 21, all of whom died from overdoses of heroin.

The poppies are everywhere. In Chin state, northwestern Burma, which the
government has proclaimed free from opium production, retired police
officers said poppy fields were plentiful. The army has set aside more than
15 acres of land around some villages to grow the crop.

Each grower is obliged to pay an annual licence fee of about £25 to the
Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control, a government department funded by
the UN, and £13 to the police. Every cultivated acre yields 6kg of opium
paste, which is sold for £220. Ten villages can yield enough opium to
produce 80kg of pure heroin in refineries - worth £15m on Britain's streets.

Farmers and former couriers say six new refineries to turn raw opium into
heroin have sprung up along the Chindwin river - all reportedly guarded by
Burmese army battalions. One former army officer said his superior had
recently taken 35kg of heroin in his car and sold it for £500,000 on the
Indian frontier.

Myo Min, a border trader, told Images Asia, a human rights group based in
Thailand, that he had seen many military officials transporting drugs.
"Army officers and soldiers participate in the drug trade. I saw
high-ranking military personnel buying and carrying opium and heroin. I
have never seen them arrested."

Other traders and drivers on the border of Burma and India said they had
been issued with military passes signed by Khin Nyunt, one of the most
powerful men in the junta. On the Thai-Burma border, a checkpoint guard in
eastern Shan state said he had stopped a trailer loaded with heroin and had
been presented with a pass signed by Khin Nyunt. He telephoned the
general's office in Rangoon and was told to let the trailer pass as the
drugs were being transported to a destruction centre. The load was never
seen again.

Cannabis Campaign - 'Independent On Sunday' Wins Unique Freedom Award
(Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Continues Its Weekly Push
For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws By Noting Its Own Success
At This Year's '18 Awards' For Adult Media And Entertainment -
Judges From Print And Broadcast Media Gave The IOS A Unique Award
For Its Influential Campaign To Decriminalise Cannabis Use In Britain,
Which Began Last September)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign - IOS Wins Unique Freedom Award
Date: Sun, 10 May 1998 15:02:41 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie ((Zosimos) Martin Cooke)
Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
Contact: e-mail: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday
1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf
London E14 5DL England
Editor's note: The IoS Cannabis Campaign has web pages at


The Independent on Sunday has won a special award for "Commitment against

In a ceremony held at north London's Alexandra Palace to mark this year's
"18 Awards" for adult media and entertainment, the newspaper was praised for
its influential campaign to decriminalise cannabis use in Britain, which
began last September. Judges, from print and broadcast media, singled out
the IOS campaign as worthy of its own unique award.

The event was hosted byMark Lamarr and Ulrika Jonsson. The IOS award was
accepted by Real Life's Callum McGeoch.

Others awarded for helping to push back social boundaries included Time Out
magazine, former Independent columnist Helen Fielding, comedian Paul
Whitehouse and the controversial radio broadcaster Chris Morris. The Prodigy
won in the best music category, Crash as best film for 1997 and the Royal
Academy of Art's Sensation show was picked as best exhibition.

The awards, in their second year, are designed to encourage freedom of
expression. They are organised by Henry Cobbold and his company Wambam, the
same group behind the newly-launched national "Classification not
Censorship" campaign.

"This was the most important award of all," said Mr Cobbold, heir to the
Knebworth estate. "Papers are becoming more and more conservative, but of
all the broadsheets the IOS is the one that stands out."

In keeping with the Mardi Gras theme of the evening, the waiters and
waitresses wore only body paint and the walls of the palace were decorated
with nude living statues.



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