------------------------------------------------------------------- Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center Update (Peter Baez And Jesse Garcia Say Today A Judge Refused To Release The Medical Marijuana Dispensary's Bank Account, Seized By Police In San Jose, California - Please Send Money) From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Peter & Jesse need help Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 01:47:22 PDT Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 20:08:09 +0000 From: "Baez,Garcia" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: ralph sherrow (email@example.com) Subject: SCCMCC/SJ CLUB We want to inform all that today the judge ruled against us in getting our much needed money un-frozen by the D.A. We could use any and all help financially, as Dr. Mikuriya has told me he is willing to be an expert witness to my case, but his fees are high, $2,000 for a half day in court as an expert witness. My trial begins on 6/16/98 at 8:30 a.m. in San Jose, Ca. If any out there can help us we would really need it. If you wish to help us, please send check, cash or M.O. to: Peter Baez 353 E. 10th St. #E-232 Gilroy, Ca 95020 Thanks...
------------------------------------------------------------------- Battle Rages Over New Prisons ('Sacramento Bee' Columnist Dan Walters In 'The Oakland Tribune' Describes California Politicians Maneuvering To Cope With A System That Lets Voters Mandate New Prisons Without Mandating New Taxes To Pay For Them) Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 09:00:16 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Battle Rages Over New Prisons Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 BATTLE RAGES OVER NEW PRISONS CALIFORNIA voters have demanded - by passing the three strikes and you're out measure, that more felons be locked up for longer terms. But when it comes to building the prisons to house those felons, voters have been much less enthusiastic. They rejected the last state prison bond issue in 1990. Since then, new jails have been constructed through a convoluted leasing arrangement in which a state agency issues "revenue bonds" to build prisons, then rents them to the Department of Corrections. But even that approach has run out of money, and as inmates continue to pour into the prison system - there are about 150,000 now - it's reaching the limits of physical capacity. State prison officials estimate that by 2000, the system will hit 200 percent of design capacity with every non-maximum security cell housing two inmates and every gymnasium and other space filled with beds. Nevertheless, Republican Gov. Pete Wllson and the Democrat controlled Legislature have been locked in a years-long stalemate over whether to build more new prisons. While Wilson wants them, lawmakers -- including some Republicans -- have demanded that the administration make operational changes to reduce prison costs. It is a game of political chicken, each side accusing the other of running the risk of court-ordered inmate releases In a couple of years and each betting that the other will blink first. The confrontation entered another this year when Wilson proposed that in lieu of new state prisons, some low-risk inmates be housed in privately owned and operated facilities. One skirmish occurred this week in the Senate Governmental Organization Committee when anti-privatization forces pushed a constitutional amendment that would prohibit state or local governments from contracting out any correctional or law enforcement operations. Although the committee approved the measure, it was mostly an opportunity for its author, Sen. Bill Lockyer, D-Hayward, to stroke police and guard unions as he runs for state attorney general. "I want to erect the appropriate barrier to further privatization," said Lockyer, adding that he wants to stop the radical expansion of private prisons." The measure has no chance of making it through the full Senate because that approval would require a two-thirds vote and GOP senators could easily block it. The real battle will be part of the annual struggle to write a new state budget. The final budget will either authorize contracts with one or more private prison operators to start the privatization process or block the effort. The private prison conflict, meanwhile, is merely one front in the war over privatization of government functions. Wilson has been trying for years to contract-out such functions as state highway engineering and the affected unions have struck back with lawsuits and. most recently, a ballot measure that would effectively prohibit privatization. The measure, Proposition 224, will be placed before voters next month. THE private prison companies are assuming that as California's prison crunch grows worse and the state runs out of time to build its own new facilities. they will be the only relief valve to prevent large-scale inmate releases. One large company, Corrections Corporation of America, already is in the early phases of building three California prisons on speculation. The prison firms have deployed squads of lobbyists and public relations operatives to press their case. But the key is whether the companies can strike a unionization bargain with the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the prison guards' union that is powerful enough to block privatization. Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Regarding Diane Feinstein On State's Powers (List Subscriber Shares A Letter From California's Senior US Senator, Who Expresses Her Opinions About Proposition 215 And Medical Marijuana) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 20:51:44 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Gerald Sutliff (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Regarding Diane Feinstein on states powers Dear Talkers, If you ever wondered where the Senior Senator from California stood on the issue of federal vs. state powers issue, wonder no more. Just read on. The following is a response to a letter I wrote her complaining about the federal government coming in and, in effect, nullifying Prop. 215. She does say, "However, I do and will support a tightly drawn compassionate use" provision." I think I'll write and ask what she means by that. vty, jerry sutliff *** Dear Mr. Sutliff: Thank you for writing to me regarding Proposition 215, the medicinal marijuana initiative and the Cannabis Buyers Club. I appreciate hearing from you on this$ matter. As you know, recent news rep&rts have indicated teen drug use rose by 105 percent from 1992 to 1995. The Public Statistics Institute, a highly regarded non-partisan research center in California, recently found that emergency room admissions in California related to cocaine abuse reached an all-time high in 1994. It is in this climate of increasing drug abuse, that we must evaluate the wisdom of the marijuana initiative. I opposed Proposition 215 because I believed then and believe now that it is too broadly worded and virtually legalizes the drug. However, I do and will support a tightly drawn compassionate use" provision. Proposition 215 did not define the term "physician" and without a definition, many non-doctors can qualify. Secondly, the proposition states that patients can possess or cultivate marijuana for medical use "upon the written or oral recommendation or approval of a physician." In other words, no written prescription is required and anyone can say they are growing marijuana for medicinal use. The FDA is the proper body to determine which medicines safe and effective and they have not evaluated the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Also, there are legal drugs which can be effectively used today to treat nausea and to diminish pain. Moreover, the National Institute on Drug Abuse announced that it would welcome requests for to fund research proposals on this issue. With respect to concerns about the enforcement of Federal drug laws that may be contrary to those of the States, a string of court decisions in recent decades has provided the basis for a far more active federal role under the Tenth Amendment that historically had reserved "police powers" to the States. According to the Congressional Research Service, perhaps the most significant factor behind the growth of federal police powers has been a broader interpretation of the Constitution's "commerce clause" (u.s. Constitution, Art. I, Section 8, Cl. 2), which explicitly gives Congress power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. A series of court decisions in this century has established that the impact of intrastate commerce on interstate commerce may justify a more inclusive approach. In addition, both Congress and the Court have shown a willingness to view certain kinds of crime, or disorder on a large scale, as threats to commerce in and of themselves. Evidently, it is this jurisdiction that gives Federal law enforcement the power to enforce the Federal drug laws. Again, thank you for writing. If you have any further comments or questions, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (202) 224-3841. With warmest personal regards.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Protests - Denver On Tuesday, Hawaii On Friday (Colorado Hemp Initiative Project Urges You To Speak At Public Hearings Against DEA Plans To Spray Herbicide On Wild Hemp Inside The United States)Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 16:22:52 -0600 (MDT) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) Subject: DEA Protests: Denver (Tues.), Hawai'i (Fri.) REMINDER: Protests against DEA in Denver, Honolulu, Boise, Atlanta, and D.C. Tuesday, May 12, 1998 3:00 pm - Protest/Press Conference Renaissance Denver Hotel 3801 Quebec Street, Denver, Colorado (Directions: Near old Stapleton airport. Take I-70 East from 1-25, exit on Quebec St., turn right on Quebec, bear right across Smith Road, turn right into hotel parking lot.) 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm: Public comments on the DSEIS will be accepted by the DEA and USDA in the Ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel. Friday, May 15, 1998 4 PM - 8 PM Honolulu, Hawai'i Ala Moana Hotel (Hibiscus Ballroom) 410 Atkins Drive Honolulu, Hawai'i 96814 Contact: Roger Christie firstname.lastname@example.org, Hawai'i Hemp Council Tuesday, May 19, 1998 4 PM - 8 PM Boise, Idaho Boise Center on the Grove (The Summit Room) 850 West Front Street Boise, Idaho 83702 Thursday, May 21, 1998 4 PM - 8 PM Atlanta, Georgia Westin Atlanta Airport (Grand Ballroom 1) 4736 Best Road Atlanta, GA 30337 Wednesday, May 27, 1998 4 PM - 8 PM Washington, DC Metro Area Holiday Eisenhower Metro Center (Eisenhower Station Ballroom) 2460 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314 *** For immediate release: May 10, 1998 Contact: Colorado Hemp Initiative Project (303) 938-0195 Environmentalists Protest DEA's Cannabis Eradication Plan [Denver] - On May 12, the Drug Enforcement Administration will take public comment in Denver on a "Draft Supplement to the Environmental Impact Statements for Cannabis Eradication in the Contiguous United States and Hawaii" (DSEIS). The DSEIS is an update to the 1985 and 1986 Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) on cannabis eradication. The DEA will take public comment in Denver, Honolulu, Boise, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. during the month of May. Environmentalists and cannabis activists nationwide are protesting the DSEIS for several reasons. According to a report from the Vermont State Auditor, over 98% of the cannabis the DEA eradicates is classified as "ditchweed." Ditchweed is industrial hemp that grows wild, descendant from hemp cultivated for fiber production during World War II. It has no psychoactive value. Cannabis and industrial hemp proponents worry that the DEA is destroying an important gene pool for future U.S. industrial hemp crops. "To endanger human life and destroy plants which have no drug content is evidence of arrogance, ignorance, paranoia and contempt for the general tax paying public who pay the salaries of these government bureaucrats," says retired state Senator Lloyd Casey, who sponsored industrial hemp legislation in Colorado in 1995 and 1996. Activists say that the DEA eradication program is harmful to the environment. "In Europe, they call pesticides and herbicides 'biocides.' Biocides kill over 5,000 people every year in the U.S. But cannabis, in over 10,000 years of constant use, has caused ZERO deaths," says Michael Perkins, Libertarian candidate for state House District 11. "The DEA will kill or harm more people through their biocide application than cannabis ever did. It's a waste of taxpayer money." Hawai'i has been one of the largest targets of the DEA eradication plan. Former Steamboat Springs resident, Roger Christie, now living in Hawai'i, describes the chemical terrorism of the DEA in Hawai'i, "When the helicopters fly here they often come in at rooftop level and scare the hell out of everyone, especially babies, children, pets, and farm animals. Picture the swirling air under a helicopter... the drift from the poison goes all over the place. It goes in the water tanks, on organic gardens, on our pets, on the fruit trees we like to eat from, and throughout the air we are breathing. All in the name of protecting us against a safe herb. This is a sick, perverted scheme." The DEA is taking public comment on the DSEIS on May 12 at the Renaissance Denver Hotel, 3801 Quebec Street. Opponents to the plan will have a press conference at 3:00 pm outside the hotel. The DEA will accept public comments on the plan from 4:00pm to 8:00pm in the Ballroom of the Hotel. For more information and how to submit written comments, see: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html *** Distributed as a public service by the: Colorado Hemp Initiative Project P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466 Vmail: (303) 938-0195 (temporary) Email: (email@example.com) Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html "Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information with 10,000 years of history and fact." ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE??? *** To be added to or removed from our mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Head Shop' Owner Takes Crusade To Court ('Ottawa Citizen' Says Mike Spindloe Of Saskatchewan Will Challenge The Constitutionality Of A 10-Year-Old Paraphernalia Law That Makes It A Crime To Sell 'Instruments For Illicit Drug Use' - Spindloe's Store In Saskatoon Was Raided Last May By Police Who Took About $4,000 Worth Of Pipes, Scales, Roach Clips, Rolling Paper And Hemp Cookbooks) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 14:03:55 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: 'Head Shop' Owner Takes Crusade To Court Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Author: Stephen Bindman, The Ottawa Citizen 'HEAD SHOP' OWNER TAKES CRUSADE TO COURT Saskatchewan Man Opposes 'hypocritical' Marijuana Laws Mike Spindloe wanted to make a political statement about Canada's drug laws when he began selling hash pipes and scales at his Saskatoon record store three years ago. Today, about 8,000 pipes later, he hopes to make a legal statement too. Mr. Spindloe will be in a Saskatchewan court challenging the constitutionality of a 10-year-old law that makes it a crime to sell "instruments for illicit drug use." The so-called drug paraphernalia law carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and six months in jail for a first conviction and $300,000 and a year for subsequent offences. Mr. Spindloe's is the latest battle in the legal war being waged in courts across Canada to decriminalize marijuana. "The cannabis laws are wrong and if individual people don't stand up and try to change them, nothing will ever happen because we have no political leadership," said the 36-year-old owner of Vinyl Exchange in downtown Saskatoon, who admits he's been an avid pot smoker for 20 years. "It's just hypocritical for them to make cannabis illegal at the same time they sell us tobacco and alcohol. As a recreational drug, it's far less harmful, both in terms of social consequences and potential physical health consequences, than either tobacco or alcohol. "People aren't violent when they smoke dope, they're more than likely to just grab a movie and a bucket of popcorn." Mr. Spindloe is represented by Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, one of the leaders of the recent cannabis court crusade. "This is one more step towards the goal of decriminalization or legalization, to get the government to reconsider their very misguided and myopic drug policy as it relates to marijuana," said Mr. Young. "We will chip away at the whole edifice of narcotics law enforcement. This is a secondary, more minor offence that we feel it's necessary also to challenge on constitutional grounds in order to get to the larger picture of trying to move the government towards a more enlightened drug policy." Mr. Spindloe's downtown store was raided by Saskatoon police last May and about $4,000 worth of pipes, scales, roach clips, rolling paper, hemp cookbooks and cannabis cookbooks were seized. He was originally charged with selling both instruments and literature for illicit drug use but the literature charges, related to magazines such as High Times and Cannabis Canada, were recently dropped. The law that bans literature about drug use was declared unconstitutional four years ago by an Ontario judge and never appealed. Mr. Spindloe says the paraphernalia law is not only a "knee-jerk reaction to the conservative, right-wing war on drugs in the 1980s," it is ineffective to boot. "The law is supposed to somehow prevent people from having access to cannabis, but it is completely ineffective for that because I'm preaching to the converted. If I sell somebody a pipe, it's not because they're thinking of going out and smoking marijuana, it's because they've already got some and they want something to put it in. "If I can sell 8,000 pipes without putting so much as a line in the classifieds in the newspaper, obviously there's a pretty large cannabis community that's letting each other know about my place by word of mouth." Unlike the criminal prohibition against marijuana, which dates back to the 1920s, the paraphernalia law is a much more recent parliamentary creation -- it began life as a private member's bill introduced in 1987 by Conservative MP and former cop Bob Horner. Mr. Horner told the Commons his bill, supported by the RCMP, police chiefs and school principals, would help shut down the hundreds of "head shops" that sell drug paraphernalia even though the drugs themselves are illegal. "I believe that there are unscrupulous people who do not care if they leave a trail of heartbreak behind them. They are in it for the money," the MP said when he introduced the bill. "They are in it for the money. They set up these shops next to video arcades where young people happen to be and they glamourize drug use. They sell products which tell the youth of our nation that drugs are the greatest thing that ever happened and that without drugs they cannot get along." It is extremely rare for a private member's bill, especially in criminal matters, to become law and Mr. Young believes MPs "really didn't consider its implications." The Criminal Code section defines an instrument for illicit drug use as "anything designed primarily or intended under the circumstances for consuming or to facilitate the consumption of an illicit drug." Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not protect economic liberty, Mr. Young has been forced to challenge the provision as "vague and overbroad" and therefore contrary to the constitutional guarantee of life, liberty and security of the person. In his written submissions, the professor argues the law is too broad because it converts "innocent instruments into illegal contraband" based on the intent and use of the purchaser. "The net of criminality is widened too broadly by the failure of the legislation to provide any exemptions for instruments used for legitimate medical use, for scientific research or for the public good. "(It) overshoots the mark by criminalizing conduct which is unnecessary for the achievement of the state purpose of curbing and combatting the illicit drug trade." During debate, one NDP MP complained the bill was so poorly drafted it could outlaw things such as razor blades, syringes, bobby pins and even crisp twenty dollar bills, which can all be used to consume drugs. Last month, the paraphernalia law was upheld in Newfoundland by a judge who ruled the prohibition does not "chill" legitimate businesses and Mr. Young plans similar constitutional challenges later this year on behalf of hemp stores in Kingston and Stratford, Ont. "These minor offences are all part of the government's effort to sweep everything under the carpet, so that people don't talk about drugs -- that's why there's a prohibition on literature -- and people don't sell items that may encourage or glamourize cannabis use." There have been a series of constitutional attacks over the past year against the marijuana prohibition -- the one major success came in December when an Ontario judge ruled that Terry Parker could cultivate and possess cannabis to control his epilepsy. That ruling is being appealed by the federal government, though Justice Minister Anne McLellan has said Ottawa is studying the issue of legalization for medicinal purposes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Students At Miami University In Ohio Clash With Police After Bars Close ('The Chronicle Of Higher Education' Says That, In Addition To The Approximately 500 Students Who Rioted In Ohio This Weekend, About Another 200 Washington State University Students Rioted In Pullman, Washington, On May 3)Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:37:34 -0400 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OH & WA: Students at Miami U. in Ohio Clash with Police After Bars Close To: DrugSense News Service
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Pubdate: 11 May 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://chronicle.com/ STUDENTS AT MIAMI U. IN OHIO CLASH WITH POLICE AFTER BARS CLOSE Alcohol-related violence by college students continued this weekend, as police in Oxford, Ohio, made 39 arrests over two nights of mayhem by Miami University students. Meanwhile, in Pullman, Wash., police opened a World-Wide Web site to help identify Washington State University students who had taken part in a riot on May 3. Lieut. Daniel Umbstead, acting chief of the Oxford Police Department, said that about 500 students had started damaging property and throwing beer cans and bottles at police shortly after the bars in Oxford closed on Friday and Saturday, at 2 a.m. The students were celebrating the end of final examinations. About 20 police officers were able to disperse the crowds in under an hour both nights, he said. One officer suffered minor injuries when he was hit in the hand by a flying bottle. After the town's bars close, students commonly congregate in the area where the disturbances took place, Lieutenant Umbstead said. But an unusually large number of students showed up on Friday. "It was wall-to-wall people," he said. The lieutenant said that students had climbed onto a moving van parked outside a bookstore and had begun jumping off the vehicle and into the crowd. The students later tipped over the truck, which contained $8,000 in computer equipment, and broke a window in a nearby house, Lieutenant Umbstead said. The rioters also tore an awning off a storefront. Several students were charged with misdemeanors, such as a failure to disperse and disorderly conduct. Two were charged with vandalism, a felony, he said. On Friday, the university sent letters to several seniors who had been arrested, telling them that they would have to meet with university officials about the charges against them before May 15. Miami held its graduation ceremonies on Sunday, but might deny diplomas to those students, or delay conferring them, said Holly Wissing, a university spokeswoman. WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY Police in Pullman, Wash., are using an Internet site to solicit tips on which students to arrest for taking part in a riot on May 3 at fraternities near the Washington State campus. The site includes more than 40 photographs of students taken during the riot by police officers, newspaper photographers, and bystanders. It is being updated daily, police said. In a message on the site, police ask anyone who recognizes the pictured students to report their names. The police department is also offering witnesses the opportunity to view videotape of the riot. On Saturday, police reported that the site had received almost 12,000 hits within two days of its posting. Washington State students and faculty members, as well as local residents, had identified more than 100 rioters from the Internet site's pictures or other evidence. Police have arrested four students, in addition to three detained just after the riot, and have charged them with felony riot and other crimes. Police said they planned to forward the names of students identified on the Web site to campus officials, who have said they will take administrative action against the rioters. Police believe that about 200 students took part in the riot, while about 600 other students and local residents witnessed it. In the riot, 23 police officers and 18 students were injured seriously enough to require visits to a local hospital. Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Iron Fist' Of Policing SWAT Team Use Questioned ('Boston Globe' Gives A Rare Acknowledgement Of The Social Trauma Caused By Police Special-Weapons-And-Tactics Teams - Funded By Federal Grants, Money Seized In Drug Raids, And Municipal Budgets, Once Police Have A SWAT Team It Is Hard To Control The Urge To Overuse It) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US MA: 'Iron Fist' Of Policing Swat Team Use Questioned Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 19:44:42 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: May 11, 1998 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Author: Ric Kahn and Zachary R. Dowdy 'IRON FIST' OF POLICING SWAT TEAM USE QUESTIONED First, Clarence Green lost his wife, Olive, to cancer. Then, he lost most of his keepsakes of her, the girl next door he had known since she was born. Gone were photographs of his childhood sweetheart as a raven-haired teenager, and the 1 1/2-carat diamond ring she wore for 44 1/2 years after he proposed on bended knee. The mementos and more were destroyed by a December 1996 fire on Fairmount Street that was preceded by a loud boom and bright yellow light. Green, 69, a retired roofer, thought it was a thunderbolt. But he soon learned it was the flash of Fitchburg's finest: The police Special Response Team had accidentally set his apartment house ablaze with a stun grenade in its quest to catch a dangerous drug dealer on the fourth floor. The episode left six police officers injured, 24 people homeless, and lingering questions about whether strategies of Special Weapons and Tactics or SWAT teams like the Special Response unit are over the top. After all, the same SWAT unit was criticized by civil libertarians two weeks ago for an earlier foray in Fitchburg. The SWAT team had been called in to arrest a group of young men in 1993 for lingering on the sidewalk and blocking the public way. The team had ended up allegedly cursing and kicking some of the men in a police van. A federal jury in Worcester last month absolved the officers of charges they violated the suspects' civil rights, but the case exposed a growing practice of police departments - their use of high-powered SWAT teams to handle everyday predicaments. Even as law-enforcement agencies have adopted community policing as the mantra of the moment, the same police forces are deploying paramilitary squads as neighborhood crime fighters. In growing numbers, small towns are forming SWAT units. ''We're seeing the kinder, gentler approach, certainly, but the growth of the iron fist as well,'' said Peter Kraska, a professor in the police studies department at Eastern Kentucky University. In an era when high-risk incidents appear ever more dangerous, many law-enforcement specialists see the value of having a highly trained squad at the ready. ''My take on them is that conceptually they're absolutely necessary,'' said Peter Klinger, a criminologist at the University of Houston. ''A bombing, or when you have people going into school yards and blowing people away, which is happening more often these days, demonstrates why. Lack of this kind of expertise in those situations often leads to disaster.'' But when such specially trained personnel, pumped up and on high alert, are dispatched on low-key missions, critics say routine operations can become reckless. ''What is a SWAT person: Are they a soldier or a cop?'' asks Peter Cassidy, a Boston industrial analyst who is writing ''Garrison America,'' a book on the militarization of civic institutions. ''It's a conflict within itself and that's why things go wrong,'' said Cassidy. ''It increases the number of guys pretending they're GI Joe.'' The first SWAT team was created by the Los Angeles Police Department in the mid-1960s, following civil unrest. Since then, the trend has quietly spread to communities large and small. Nationally, Kraska said that in 1996, 80 percent of the cities he studied with populations greater than 50,000 had SWAT teams, while 65 percent of smaller cities had tactical units. Though precise numbers are not available, more than 50 municipalities in Massachusetts share SWAT teams with other communities or have their own squad. The communities range from Boston, a metropolis of half a million people, to Harwich, a town on Cape Cod with a population of 11,000. Funded by federal grants, money seized in drug raids, and municipal budgets, and equipped with battering rams, body shields, high-powered weapons and more, the squads are trained to respond to hostage crises, snipers, and suspects who are armed or behind a barricade. Last month, New Bedford's SWAT team got credit for helping to defuse a tense hostage-taking at a McDonald's. Police, however, say one gunman may have been fatally shot by patrol officers before the tactical unit arrived. A second gunman got away, taking two hostages, also before the SWAT unit arrived. While police defend their units as potent weapons in the war on crime, critics say they confer on departments a measure of power and prestige. ''The real reason they have risen in popularity is that they are highly exciting and alluring to a good portion of the police subculture,'' Kraska said. ''It's intoxicating to go out and do raids on homes like Navy Seals.'' Like those in other towns, Harwich police said that in 1996 they formed their unit because they felt they needed a big-city response to the coming of big-city crime. ''We've started to get more of the problems that folks in the city have been dealing with for a while,'' said Lieutenant Barry Mitchell, who oversees the department's Emergency Response Team. Mitchell said Harwich's 10 Emergency Response Team members are called from their regular shifts as police officers about once a month to handle emergencies involving everything from domestic crises to drug dealing. Last month, the emergency team flew into action after a woman who escaped from a home on Main Street told them there was a man inside claiming he was Jesus and threatening to kill her or anyone who entered. As the team plotted strategy, the man walked to a liquor store across the street. He was tackled and arrested. The police posture is that they must always be prepared for the worst, and that a disciplined SWAT team increases the likelihood of crises being resolved peacefully. ''It makes a lot more sense to call in people who are expertly trained in de-escalating the incident,'' said North Andover Police Chief Richard Stanley, control officer for the regional SWAT team in northeastern Massachusetts. But critics say once a department has a SWAT team it is hard to control the urge to overuse it. ''They were once reserved for the most serious situations,'' said Kraska. ''But the definition of a high-risk situation has gone from the most extreme barricade or hostage to ... a situation where anyone refusing to come out of their home is seen as a need to deploy a SWAT team.'' Fitchburg's SWAT team received its marching orders in 1990: ''To establish an organized response to unusual high-risk situations, barricaded suspects, hostage situations and other similar life-threatening events where citizen or officer safety is at risk.'' That night in 1993, when the group of young men were loitering on Green Street, was a busy one for the 10-member Fitchburg Special Response Team. Armed, masked, and dressed in black, the squad had just stormed a Beech Street Lane apartment, deploying a stun grenade that diverts attention with a bang and flash. From a previous undercover buy, police expected to encounter cocaine, and a female drug dealer, armed and behind a heavily chained door. What they found was money, the 38-year-old woman, and her two startled daughters, 15 and 8 years old. ''They'll never trust a cop again,'' said Cassidy. Fitchburg police said that because the response team was already on call that night and in the area, it was then summoned to arrest the nine young men, mostly minorities, who refused to leave the Green Street sidewalk. ''Regardless of how they're dressed ... no matter what they're called ... they're police officers,'' said Captain Charles Tasca of the Fitchburg police. ''They're charged with enforcement of law, protection of property. That's what they did that night.'' Cassidy, however, said such episodes involving SWAT teams can undermine the public trust that the same officers try to forge through community policing. A similar situation occurred in Boston in 1994, when a Boston SWAT team drug raid on the wrong apartment led to the death of the Rev. Accelyne Williams from a heart attack. The city paid $1 millon to his widow, but ripples of mistrust against police remain in the minority community here. Cassidy suggested SWAT money would be better used on youth outreach. Clarence Green would agree. A year-and-a-half ago, the Fitchburg Special Reponse Team targeted and arrested a drug dealer known to carry a gun who lived in Green's Fairmount Street apartment house. Before bursting into his apartment, the team flung a stun grenade to catch him off guard. But the device sparked a fire on the stuffing of a sofa, the blaze spread, and the apartment building was gutted. Now, flies hover around the empty lot where Green used to live. Even though Green had complained to police about the drug dealer in his building, he said of the special unit: ''I think they went wild over it.'' After the fire, Green got a $5,000 settlement from the city. Some of the SWAT officers were cited for bravery.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Lab Procedure To Thwart Nitrite Tampering (PRNewswire Says Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Announced Today The Availability Of A New Testing Procedure Designed To Detect The Presence Of Klear And Similar Commercial Products Sold To 'Drug Abusers' Who Add Them To Drug Test Urine Samples To Prevent Positive Results For Cannabinoids In Immunoassay Testing) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 21:38:34 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Todd McCormick
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: New Lab Procedure to Thwart Nitrite Tampering Monday May 11, 10:41 am Eastern Time Company Press Release SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Quest Diagnostics Introduces New Lab Procedure to Thwart Nitrite Tampering in Workplace Drug Tests TETERBORO, N.J., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Quest Diagnostics Incorporated (NYSE: DGX - news) today announced the availability of a new testing procedure designed to detect the presence of high levels of nitrite in drug testing specimens. Nitrites, in the form of potassium nitrite powder, are sometimes added to urine samples at the time of collection by drug abusers attempting to obtain a negative drug test result. One of the most effective chemical agents used for this purpose is sold under the Klear(R) trademark. Quest Diagnostics' experimental laboratory data indicates that 1,000mg of Klear nitrite added to a urine sample that is positive for cannabinoids will cause the test for cannabinoids to produce a negative result in immunoassay testing. Those specimens, adulterated with nitrite, will not screen positive for cannabinoid marijuana (THC) metabolites and will escape detection. However, the addition of Klear also elevates nitrite levels to unnaturally high levels in the sample. An automated procedure devised by Quest Diagnostics screens the original urine sample to detect unnatural levels of nitrite. Specimens containing these unnaturally high levels will be flagged on the result report as ``Specimen Adulterated - Presence of Nitrite Detected,'' giving employers the option to reject the sample as contaminated. Kenneth W. Freeman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quest Diagnostics, said, ``We are offering this new service to our employer customers to ensure the integrity of the lab test results they rely on for vital information regarding employee drug use. These companies must be certain that their employees, especially those entrusted with public safety, such as airline pilots and train conductors, are not subverting the urine testing program. We perform millions of drug tests every year in our labs. This additional measure ensures the integrity of the data we provide to customers.'' Quest Diagnostics Incorporated is one of the nation's leading providers of diagnostic testing, information and services with laboratories across the United States. The wide variety of tests performed by Quest Diagnostics on human tissue and fluids help doctors and hospitals diagnose, treat and monitor disease. Its Nichols Institute unit, located in San Juan Capistrano, California, conducts research, specializes in esoteric testing using genetic screening and other advanced technologies, performs clinical studies testing, and manufactures and distributes diagnostic test kits and instruments. Quest Informatics collects and analyzes laboratory, pharmaceutical and other data to help large health care customers identify and monitor patients who are at risk for certain diseases. Visit our web site at: www.questdiagnostics.com. The statements in this press release which are not historical facts or information are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause the outcome to be materially different. Certain of these risks and uncertainties are listed in the Quest Diagnostics Incorporated 1997 Form 10-K. SOURCE: Quest Diagnostics Incorporated More Quotes and News: Quest Diagnostic Inc (NYSE:DGX - news) Related News Categories: biotech, medical/pharmaceutical
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Bill Might Cost More, GOP Study Finds (According To 'The Orange County Register,' Congressional Republicans Say The McCain Bill, If Passed, Would Raise $755.3 Billion To $868.9 Billion In 25 Years Rather Than The Clinton Administration's Estimate Of $539.9 Billion To $602.2 Billion) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 16:36:31 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Bill Might Cost More, GOP Study Finds Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 TOBACCO BILL MIGHT COST MORE, GOP STUDY FINDS Consumers and tobacco companies would pay hundreds of billions of dollars more than previously estimated under a tobacco bill to be considered by the Senate this month, a Republican Policy Committee study said Sunday. Some lawmakers and the tobacco industry will likely use the study as ammunition for their arguments against the Senate Commerce Committee's tobacco bill, drafted by Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz. The RPC study said the legislation, if passed, would raise $755.3 billion to $868.9 billion over the first 25 years of its implementation. The Clinton administration's Office of Management and Budget has previously estimated revenues from the McCain bill over 25 years at $539.9 billion to $602.2 billion.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Settlement Fund Battle ('San Francisco Examiner' Says The Likelihood Of Congress Approving A Massive New Tax Increase For Smokers Is Decreasing As Lawmakers Quarrel Over Who Would Get The Spoils) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 00:16:50 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Settlement Fund Battle Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Judy Holland TOBACCO SETTLEMENT FUND BATTLE Congressional grab for money imperils opportunity for legislative accord WASHINGTON - Efforts in Congress to curb teen smoking are being endangered by a fight over how the government should spend the billions of dollars that any new federal tobacco law would exact from the cigarette companies. Some lawmakers want the money to pay for tax cuts, boost the Medicare system or pay down the national debt. President Clinton wants to spend it for child care tax credits, more teachers and school construction. The money fight is being exploited by the cigarette makers, which are claiming in a nationwide advertising campaign that they would be unfairly taxed by the pending legislation to pay for new government spending. One recent tobacco industry ad bears the headline, "Big Taxes, Big Government, There they go again . . ." Longtime smoking foe Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles, called the tug of war over tobacco dollars "an unseemly fight over money" that has threatened to distract Congress from its goal of curbing underage smoking. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., who favors a narrow teen smoking bill rather than the sweeping legislation moving through the Senate, said the money fight "is just another form of greed." He predicted the Senate bill "doesn't have a prayer of passing the House" because there's no public support for it. Fearing that money fights could extinguish chances for enacting anti-smoking legislation, Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, and Rep. Martin Meehan, D-Mass., introduced legislation that would spread the tobacco money around to some of the causes being pushed by their colleagues. The Hansen-Meehan bill - designed to raise about $500 billion over 25 years from the tobacco industry - would earmark 55 percent to pay down the national debt, about 35 percent to settle state lawsuits against cigarette makers and about 10 percent for anti-smoking programs. Hansen, who along with Meehan co-chairs a House tobacco task force, said they were besieged by people wanting a share of any tobacco money. The supplicants included coal miners, asbestos victims, emphysema patients and those wanting money for Medicare and Medicaid. "When anybody sees a pot of money, they all throw their line in hoping to reel one in," Hansen said. The Senate bill sponsored by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. - which would force tobacco companies to cough up $516 billion over 25 years - is silent on the issue of how to spend the money. "We didn't want to have a fight in the (Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation) committee," McCain said. McCain said he wants the money to reimburse states for costs of treating sick smokers, as well as pay for anti-smoking programs, fund federal tobacco research and help veterans, many of whom got free cigarettes in their military rations. But McCain said congressional Republicans won't allow tobacco dollars to pay for any new spending programs, such as the Clinton administration's proposal to spend $65 billion for child care tax credits and early childhood education, more teachers and new school construction. Clinton insists he won't let tobacco legislation die in a dispute with Republicans over how to spend money from an increased cigarette tax. "I would never stand in the way of a tobacco bill that actually reduced childhood smoking because they disagreed with me about how to invest the money," he said last week. Meanwhile, health advocacy groups have their own ideas on how the money should be spent. Bill Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a coalition of major health groups and anti-smoking advocates, said he hopes $3.5 billion would be spent for anti-smoking measures, to help the Food and Drug Administration regulate tobacco and to fund research on tobacco addiction. John Garrison of the American Lung Association said the money fight has obscured the real reason for a cigarette price increase: to make smoking too expensive for minors. (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Deported Criminals Stream Back Into The US By The Thousands ('San Francisco Chronicle' Says The Number Of Illegal Aliens Who Are Deported, Only To Return And Be Arrested Again, Is Increasing Rapidly And Expensively) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 11:51:56 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Deported Criminals Stream Back Into the U.S. by the Thousands Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer DEPORTED CRIMINALS STREAM BACK INTO THE U.S. BY THE THOUSANDS Hector Feliz-Esparza, a 25-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico, was deported on Jan. 8, 1997, following his conviction in Redwood City on drug and weapons charges. Five months later, Feliz-Esparza was arrested in the Bay Area again for drunk driving. He now faces federal immigration charges that could put him in a U.S. prison for up to 10 years. Feliz-Esparza is one of thousands of illegal immigrants arrested in the United States each year -- even though they have been arrested here before and then deported. These revolving-door deportation cases pose a serious challenge to law enforcement agencies and cost taxpayers millions of dollars each year. And with the number of such cases apparently rising, federal officials are beginning to change the way the cases are prosecuted. Federal officials call them ``1326'' cases, referring to the criminal code section the illegal immigrants are charged with violating. It appears the lure is the fact that crossing back into California is so easy -- and the criminal rewards are so lucrative. ``When you are talking about people from Mexico who are burglars or robbers or drug dealers, there's a tremendous pull factor for those individuals to keep coming back because it is simply more profitable for them to ply their trade in the United States,'' said Russ Bergeron, a spokesman for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service. Although the Justice Department does not keep separate statistics on the prosecution of criminal deportees who return to the United States, spot checks of federal judicial districts in California suggest the number of 1326 cases is getting larger. In San Diego, for example, the U.S. Attorney's office prosecuted 1,606 of the cases last year -- an increase of more than 20 percent in the past three years. And federal border jurisdictions like Texas, Arizona and Washington state are also handling a growing number of the cases. In the rest of California, 1326 cases represent a smaller -- but still significant -- portion of each U.S. attorney's criminal caseload. In Los Angeles, for example, federal prosecutors filed 127 of the cases last year, almost one out of every nine criminal cases the office prosecuted. Mrozek said the Los Angeles office screens cases carefully and prosecutes only the deportees with the longest and most serious criminal records. Even in the Bay Area, nearly 600 miles from the Mexican border, prosecution of previously deported criminals forms a major portion of the U.S. attorney's caseload. Last year, the local U.S. Attorney's office processed around 200 criminal returnee cases, according to Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Shefler. ``We consider this a serious problem,'' Shefler said. According to statistics released by the U.S. Justice Department in October, federal immigration officials deported 50,165 aliens for involvement in criminal activity during fiscal year 1997. Nearly twothirds of them had been convicted of crimes considered aggravated felonies and 43 percent had committed drug offenses. On the surface, it would seem simpler and cheaper to deport these criminals instead of prosecuting them as felons and sending them to U.S. prisons. But federal officials said sending criminal deportees back to their native country -- where they are free to return again -only encourages them to keep violating the law. Assistant U.S. Attorney John Kraemer, who oversees the San Diego federal border crimes unit, noted that handing out minor jail sentences to criminal returnees does not keep them from returning to the United States. ``We found that filing misdemeanors was worthless in terms of deterrent value,'' Kraemer said. He said his district replaced that approach with a fast-track program designed to speed resolution of the 1326 cases. The get-tough method requires defendants to waive indictment, a formal presentencing report, and a variety of appellate rights (a typical requirement in plea bargain arrangements). In exchange, the defendants agree in advance to a fixed sentence that is less than the maximum that could be imposed. Because so many time-consuming steps are eliminated, cases are generally resolved in a matter of a few months. ``The stakes have gone up now. If you are deported and you come back and are arrested again, you could do as much as . . . 10 years,'' Kraemer said. The San Diego program has been very successful, Kraemer said, and is credited by local law enforcement agencies with suppressing a great deal of crime in San Diego. ``We've done around 4,700 of these cases this way now, and there are 4,700 people in prison who aren't out on the street committing new crimes,'' he said. ``The word definitely gets around.'' Kraemer said San Diego established its program without increasing the size of its prosecuting staff, requiring additional judges or spending more on detention facilities. In other California jurisdictions, however, 1326 prosecutions are processed like any other criminal case: Each requires the filing of a criminal complaint and a federal grand jury indictment. Each indictment requires spending thousands of taxpayer dollars. In addition, local, state and federal resources committed to tracking down, prosecuting and incarcerating criminal deportees who have unlawfully returned to the United States cannot be used to provide other law enforcement services. Nor do the court costs associated with these cases necessarily end after a conviction. Except in San Diego, guilty verdicts or sentences are sometimes appealed, adding additional legal fees to the taxpayers' bill. For example, in 1997 Ignacio Gonzalez-Valencia appealed the seven-year prison sentence he received for his 1326 case in Sacramento, even though the maximum he could have received was 22 years. Last month, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the sentence -- but only after a transcript of the original case had been prepared and Gonzalez- Valencia's appeal had been heard by a three-judge panel of the appellate court. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Druglords Have Turned To Commercial Ventures To Bring Their Goods Across The Border ('Orange County Register' Article With Tautological Headline Says A Confidential Report By Operation Alliance, The Task Force Led By The US Customs Service, Has Concluded That The 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) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexican Druglords Have Turned To Commercial Ventures Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 07:53:37 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Source: Orange County Register (CA) Pubdate: May 11, 98 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Tracey Eaton Mexican Druglords Have Turned To Commercial Ventures To bring their goods across the border. MEXICO CITY -The 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 Service. 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 ties to trafficking, Mexican smugglers have been busy hiring consultants to learn how to take advantage of NAFTA, some former drug agents say. Authors of the report, nearly two years in the making, say they weren't out to judge NAFTA, seeking instead to know if traffickers were exploiting legal trade to further their illicit enterprises. What they found is that drug gangs have learned they can get more done with an MBA than an AK-47. The report, marked "law-enforcement sensitive," says traffickers were so gung-ho about free trade they began studying its intricacies even before NAFTA was approved Jan. 1, 1994. "If drug traffickers are researching NAFTA, it would be wise for more in the law-enforcement community to do the same," it adds. The free trade agreement is aimed at wiping out all tariffs among the United States, Mexico and Canada by 2008. Its supporters say it has been a great success, doubling trade between Mexico and the United States to $168 billion. 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 drugs 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 said. Border inspectors are under intense pressure to speed the flow of people and goods, he said, and can't always do thorough inspections. 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lethal Partners - Dominicans Now Dominant In East Coast Drug Trade ('New York Times' Follow-Up To Yesterday's Hype) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 21:58:00 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: NYT: Lethal Partners Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: May 11, 1998 Authors: Clifford Krauss and Larry Rohter LETHAL PARTNERS Dominicans Now Dominant in East Coast Drug Trade Ricardo is a foot soldier in New York City's drug wars. He has sold thousands of bags of heroin, worn out countless beepers and become a familiar figure on the streets of Washington Heights and Harlem. Now, he and his Dominican-led gang have dramatically expanded their sales operations, moving well beyond upper Manhattan to deliver Colombian drugs in a territory from Maryland to Massachusetts. In a recent interview on a park bench in Harlem, Ricardo took a break from his routine to describe the new vistas opening to New York's Dominican gangs. "Not long ago Dominicans went no farther than Queens," said Ricardo, who spoke on condition that his surname not be used. "Now Dominicans go everywhere." For two decades, Colombia's drug lords fiercely guarded almost every stage of their business, from the processing of coca base to the wholesale distribution of cocaine in the United States. But over the last several years, they have found a new partner in the delivery and distribution of drugs to the East Coast of the United States. While there are no hard statistics on the illegal trade, American law enforcement officials now estimate that Dominican drug traffickers transport as much as one-third of the approximately 300 metric tons of cocaine that enters the United States each year. Officials believe that the Dominicans' share has more than doubled since the early 1990s, and that the Dominicans' involvement in large-scale distribution has also grown sharply. The emerging leaders of these organizations -- women as well as men -- speak English and Spanish interchangeably and may be as comfortable in a New York nightclub as in a Caribbean village. Officials say they have camouflaged their operations beneath the legitimate businesses of thriving Dominican immigrants in the United States, taking advantage of the growing trade and financial dealings between the two countries. This shift in the multibillion-dollar drug trade has complicated American antidrug efforts, which for more than two decades have focused on dismantling highly sophisticated drug distribution networks run from Colombia. Authorities from Maryland to Vermont find themselves struggling to locate their new adversaries in a sea of hard-working immigrants who have spread across the Northeast in search of a better future for their families. "The Dominicans are our biggest threat," said George Festa, regional director of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New England. "We've seen things we've never seen before, one group dealing crack, cocaine and heroin. We see them making alliances across the board with everyone, including Chinese and Vietnamese groups. They are versatile." Many Dominican-Americans have expressed concern that the well-publicized drug dealing by a tiny minority casts a shadow on a much larger group. More than a million Dominicans are estimated to live in the New York City metropolitan area. "The largest drug operations cracked by the police involve, at most, a hundred people," said Moises Perez, executive director of Alianza Dominicana, a Washington Heights social services agency. "These are small operations when you compare it to the size of the community." Still, drug seizures around the Caribbean illustrate the changing international pattern of smuggling. In fiscal year 1997, the U.S. Customs Service in Florida, the main point of entry for drugs from the Caribbean, confiscated 14,000 pounds of cocaine, a 100 percent increase over fiscal year 1996. In testimony before a Senate committee earlier this year, Thomas Constantine, the DEA administrator, said: "Criminals from the Dominican Republic have emerged as the dominant force in the wholesale cocaine and heroin trade on the East Coast. Their influence is now spreading beyond the big-city landscape into the smaller cities and towns." Law enforcement officials say Dominican drug rings have appeared in every major city in New England, from Lowell, Mass., to Manchester, N.H. Documents seized from one ring recently broken up in Worcester, Mass., and wiretaps of phone conversations indicated that it had sent couriers to New York City an average of twice a week for more than two years with cash shipments as large as $80,000 for eventual wire transfers to the Dominican Republic. In November, 14 members of another Dominican rinc were caught establishing bases in apartments in Portland and Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Investigators who arrested them on trafficking charges expressed amazement at the breadth of their operation, noting that through a beeper operated by the suspects, 814 calls had been detected over a 30-day period from possible purchasers around Maine and wholesale suppliers in New York City. Ricardo's northern Manhattan gang is typical. It once sold cocaine and heroin only to local buyers and small-time dealers who drove to New York City from upstate New York. But over time, Ricardo said, the head of his organization realized that he could increase profits by putting his people on buses and sending them as far north as Boston and as far south as Baltimore with drugs packed inside stuffed animals and resealed coffee cans. (Ricardo is of Puerto Rican origin; the leadership of the gang is reserved for Dominicans.) As a recent classified Justice Department intelligence report put it: "The expansion of the Dominican distribution threat outward from New York City is especially noteworthy because most state and local authorities are not prepared to handle it. Over half of U.S. states have reported Dominican criminal activity, an indicator that the Dominican drug problem is beginning to assume a national perspective." A Partnership Begins: Plenty of Drug Jobs for Needy Immigrants The drug trade involvement of Dominican immigrants, especially those in the United States illegally, goes back more than two decades. The Dominican migration to New York City began to explode just as a broader range of Americans began to acquire a taste for cocaine in the early 1970s. As the drug flowed in ever-greater amounts from Colombia and as Dominican immigration waves to the United States far outstripped Colombian migrations, law enforcement officials say, Colombian cartel bosses hired the Dominicans, numerous and eager for work, as their couriers, street sellers and hit men. When the crack epidemic boomed in the mid-1980s, Dominican street organizations based in Washington Heights took advantage of the expanding sales volumes and gradually began to do some wholesaling of their own. Like previous generations of ethnic organized-crime syndicates, they were flamboyant and violent and competed for turf, sometimes by shooting at one another out the windows of souped-up sports cars speeding up and down Broadway and the Grand Concourse in the South Bronx. But the new generation of Dominican dealers has acquired stealth and sophistication in recent years, law enforcement officials say. They have learned to avoid police attention by tempering their violence and concealing their wealth. Dominicans have also benefited by offering the Colombian drug lords a cheaper alternative to business partnerships with Mexican gangs. A Mexican-Colombian rivalry was created in the early 1990s when the Colombian cartels began paying Mexican drug gangs in cocaine, in part to avoid having to launder cash, and gave them as much as half of each load transported into the United States. The Mexican gangs began selling it directly themselves. The Colombians have struck a less generous deal with their Dominican partners, paying in cash or with no more than 25 percent of the cocaine shipments, officials say. The Dominican gangs are much smaller than the Mexican cartels, and for the moment, the officials add, they are no threat to their Colombian partners. Rene Antonio Aquino, a Dominican who is awaiting trial on drug charges in Hartford, Conn., was one of the pioneers in expanding the territory of Dominican gangs, according to federal drug agents and Connecticut law enforcement officials. Aquino, 34, fits the profile of the typical Dominican immigrant to New York City. He arrived as a teen-ager with his parents, learned English reasonably well and became an ardent Yankees fan. Although he never finished high school, he managed to buy a bodega named Diana's on Wilson Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and enjoyed a middle-class life complete with sports cars and a couple of rental houses in Queens. But there was another side to Aquino. He was arrested on minor drug charges in 1989 and 1990, and federal drug agency officials say he continued as a minor dealer, dodging the law by jumping bail and carrying false identification papers. By the mid-1990s, the officials said, Aquino and a series of partners had considerably expanded their operations. They carved out a niche as heroin wholesalers, transporting the drug across upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Rhode Island and Connecticut, according to the officials. The Connecticut deputy chief state's attorney, Christopher Morano, said Aquino and his partners dispatched runners to Colombia to buy heroin, which was ferried by plane and car to Caracas, Venezuela. The drugs were carried into the United States by Dominican and Puerto Rican women who traveled to Caracas posing as tourists. After sunning themselves on the Venezuelan beaches at the organization's expense, the women would sew the heroin into the linings of their jackets and shoes for the trip back to New York. >From Kennedy Airport, Morano said, the heroin was loaded into a fleet of cars honeycombed with secret compartments. It was bound for distribution not only in Hartford but in cities in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Massachusetts. According to informers recruited from its ranks, the organization would from time to time ship the cars back to the Dominican Republic, with the cash proceeds of drug sales hidden behind trapdoors, investigators said. "Tony decided he could cut out the Colombian middlemen in New York and put more money in his pocket," said Michael Edelwich, a Hartford police detective who worked on the case. Aquino is awaiting trial in Hartford on charges of racketeering, drug trafficking, conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder. His indictment is sealed. John Tauger, his lawyer, denied that his client was involved in the case. But Morano and Hartford police detectives say that in public housing projects there, Aquino's ring distributed bags of heroin stamped with several brand names, including "Gunfire" and "High Power." They said street dealers sold as many as 3,000 bags a day, sweeping through the projects four times weekly. It took the Hartford police nearly two years to trace the origins of the heroin. As they began arresting the organization's runners in 1995, detectives said, they noticed an unusual pattern: Every suspect placed a call from the jail to Diana's bodega in Bushwick and asked to speak with a man called Uncle. Using their informers, the detectives eventually identified Uncle as Aquino. Today Aquino's bodega is shut tight, showing nothing more than a metal gate that serves as a canvas for graffiti. At a recent bail hearing, he stood emotionless in an orange jumpsuit and spotless white sneakers. His short beard was neatly trimmed, and he held his hands loosely behind his back. Hartford detectives said he had shown more emotion when they transported him to Connecticut after his arrest on Oct. 9 in Jackson Heights, Queens. In the police car then, he showed off pictures of his family and asked how the police had penetrated his organization. "He'd squint, as if wondering, 'How did you do that?"' recalled Detective Robert Lawlor. "At the end of it all, he shook our hands." A Network Spreads: Drug Trade Corrupts Legitimate Commerce: The expanding trade between the Dominican Republic and the United States has given rise to a host of new businesses. Moving goods routinely between the two countries, these companies offer drug traffickers a ready network to exploit, provided that the businesspeople involved can be coerced or persuaded to move a different type of product. The experiences of Jose Rafael Knipping, a failed Dominican fruit canner, show how legitimate commerce can give way to illicit trade, Dominican law enforcement officials say. Knipping had long hoped to penetrate the American market with fruit canned in his factory outside Santo Domingo, Haina Agro-Industrial. But by late 1996 his debts were growing. So he placed an advertisement in the Spanish-language edition of The Miami Herald, offering to sell the company for $1.6 million, and waited for a response. Dominican officials say they believe that the advertisement caught the eye of powerful Colombian traffickers who made Knipping an offer: Join the drug trade and save your business. Knipping has denied that he was approached by Colombians. But he has told Dominican investigators that his partner was contacted by a Dominican living in New York who offered to buy the factory for about $1 million, on one condition. The prospective buyer asked Knipping's partner to ship several hundred pounds of jellies, sweets and juices to warehouses in upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Soon after the request was made, the Colombians shipped cocaine by high-speed motorboats to the Dominican Republic, where it was repackaged at Knipping's factory into cans of guava paste, Dominican investigators say. Knipping has denied any knowledge of this operation. Then, in March 1997, U.S. Customs Service agents working in the Port of Newark inspected a shipment of 950 cans of guava paste. Twenty-six of the cans were suspiciously separated from the others by string and bore serial numbers that ended in "2222." When the agents opened the cans, they found 253 pounds of cocaine worth more than $2 million, according to a complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. They replaced the cocaine-filled cans with others bearing identical markings, and New York City police detectives followed the shipment when it left the dock. They watched with hidden cameras as the cans were unloaded at a Dominican-owned food distribution warehouse on West 220th Street. Four Dominicans -- three city residents and one businessman from the island who had learned his English as an exchange university sociologist years ago -- picked up the cans and were arrested as they drove with the illegal shipment down Broadway in a black Ford van. All have been convicted on drug charges and are awaiting sentencing. Knipping, who was in New York at the time of the shipment, fled the United States but was arrested in Santo Domingo. He has pleaded not guilty to drug-trafficking charges and is awaiting trial there. The criminal complaint against him alleges that the cocaine shipment was arranged by Orsi Tineo, the prospective purchaser of the factory. Tineo, one of those arrested in New York transporting the guava paste, has pleaded guilty to trafficking charges. But Dominican investigators say this small-time drug dealer, who works as a Manhattan apartment painter, did not have the $1 million to buy Knipping's factory. Adm. Julio Cesar Ventura Bayonet, inspector general of the Dominican armed forces, supervised the investigation of Haina Agro-Industrial. He said it is likely that Tineo or one of his associates was actually an agent of bigger Colombian traffickers, who "just love to snap up failing factories and companies" in the Dominican Republic. Tineo's lawyer, David Wickstrom, denied that his client was a front for the Colombians but acknowledged that Tineo did not have the means to buy a factory. A Market Develops: Money Transfer Outfits Get Drug Profits Home All drug traders face the same difficulty. Sales of illicit substances produce mountains of cash, which must be laundered, some way or another, into the legitimate economy. Dominican drug dealers have several means of moving money back to their homeland. Many Dominican residents of the United States and Dominican-Americans return home several times a year, offering a perfect camouflage if they agree to tape wads of cash onto their bodies. They also mail home millions of dollars in checks and money orders, which could be used as a cover. The money is just as likely to move through one of the scores of money transfer establishments that have cropped up across the East Coast in recent years, law enforcement officials say. One of these companies, Remesas America Oriental, was one of the fastest-growing Dominican businesses in the country -- until the arrests and convictions last year of more than 20 of its employees in New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Florida and Puerto Rico. They were convicted of laundering more than $800,000 in a series of transactions orchestrated by Customs agents in a sting operation. In 1996 alone, the Treasury Department said, the company handled most of the transfers from New York to the Dominican Republic, $130 million, or almost 24 percent of the total. A federal complaint filed in Manhattan last year offered a road map of how Dominican drug gangs laundered their proceeds. In one August 1994 transaction, for example, an informer went to a Remesas branch on Jerome Avenue in the Bronx and met with Ramon Corporan and Giselle Moya, both managers, to transmit $40,000 to the Dominican Republic. To make clear that he was in the drug business, the informer, according to the complaint, "advised Corporan that Hartford was a good city to open a money-transmitting business because there was a substantial quantity of Dominicans selling drugs in the vicinity of Main Street." The employees agreed to handle the transaction, the complaint charges, and a week later two undercover Customs agents posing as recipients of cash went to an office of Consorcio Oriental, Remesas' parent company, in Santo Domingo, where they received the $40,000. According to the complaint, "The Customs agents were given receipts, which reflected that the cash had been transmitted over a period of six days in eight transactions, each under $10,000." This is important because American law requires banks and other institutions to report all transfers of more than $10,000. "The sender and recipient names on each of the eight receipts were fictitious," the document read. Back in Santo Domingo, Roberto Lopez, an owner of Consorcio Oriental, was recently doing some paperwork in his office off the parking lot of a hotel. His secretary offered a guest coffee or juice, adding tartly, "We don't poison." In an interview, Lopez expressed shock about the bad fortune that had befallen his American operations and blamed his top manager in the United States for the criminal case. "Corporan had worked seven years for Banco de Ponce," Lopez said. "He's an American citizen. He speaks perfect English. Who could have guessed that he would do such a thing?" The Customs Service estimates that New York City transfer establishments sent at least $500 million to the Dominican Republic in 1996 and again in 1997, double the amount sent in 1993. Senior agents in New York estimate that one-fifth of the wire transfers come from the proceeds of drug transactions, "and that's very conservative," said John Forbes, a Customs investigator. For the last six months, the Treasury Department required 15 of the largest companies transferring money to the Dominican Republic to report all transactions larger than $750, well below the $10,000 threshold set by federal law. The move had an immediate effect. In the last four months of 1997, the total value of transfers of $749 or less rose by more than $24 million, to $104.6 million, said Treasury Department officials. Transactions of $750 to $3,000 -- which were now being reported to federal authorities -- fell by nearly two-thirds, the officials said. As Forbes said: "The money laundering is definitely going up as Dominican immigration goes up and the interaction between the Colombians and Dominicans goes up. And New York is ground zero."
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs Disastrous Failure ('Calgary Sun' Editorial Columnist Bill Kaufman Says It's Time For Canada To End Drug Prohibition - More People Are Killed Each Year As A Result Of The War On Drugs - Mainly From The Violence Inspired By Prohibition - Than From Overdoses) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: War on drugs disastrous failure Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 07:21:00 -0700 Lines: 75 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: May 11, 1998 Author: BILL KAUFMANN -- Calgary Sun WAR ON DRUGS DISASTROUS FAILURE OPPRESSIVE FANTASIES OF PROHIBITION CREATE CRIMINALS AS BLINDED LEADERSHIP REMAINS BOGGED IN INERTIA Normally, when a course of action has proven such an overwhelming failure that it feeds the problem, that approach is dropped in favor of new ideas. Not so with the war on drugs. This annual, multi-billion dollar debacle whose prohibition fuels the engine of the black market is curiously defended at all costs by the agents of inertia. They'd rather ply the safe side of the political street than embark on innovative policy requiring leadership. Increasing numbers of law enforcement veterans and conservative pundits are questioning the philosophy of criminalizing the personal use of various drugs. So why do other conservatives worship personal responsibility, yet insist on the criminalization of private choice? In a free society, why should the state intrude on a choice of substance we may deign to use? We know this approach doesn't work and its police state overtones are unworthy of our notions of basic human freedoms. Educate by all means -- as has worked in the case of tobacco -- but to waste scarce crime-fighting resources on such unreachable objectives is clearly preposterous. When $500 worth of heroin or cocaine at the source is transformed into $100,000 on the streets of North America, "all the cops, prisons and executions in the world cannot impede a market with that kind of tax-free profit margin," writes former Kansas City, Mo. police chief Joseph McNamara. "It's the illegality that permits the obscene markup, enriching drug traffickers." Drugs are here to stay; there's no longer any point in pretending otherwise. Learning to better manage their use, as has been done with alcohol, makes more sense than fantasy attempts to prohibit them. Some of those fantasies have led to oppressive agony for Americans, half of whose prison population now consists of drug offenders. Some Americans caught growing larger amounts of marijuana are now imprisoned for the rest of their natural lives, while violent criminals of the worst order can easily see a light at the end of their barred tunnel. Last month in this newspaper, one of the Calgary Police Service's most wanted was a man sought for possession of marijuana and production of a controlled substance. Not enough violent criminals to go around, I guess. More people are killed each year as a result of the war on drugs -- mainly from the violence inspired by prohibition-inflated dope prices -- than from overdose. For Vancouver deputy police chief Ken Higgins, the bankruptcy of laws criminalizing heroin possession in light of that city's AIDS epidemic are obvious. The need to tackle the opiate curse medically are just as clear. "If we wiped the chalkboard clean and said how would we deal with the situation now, the last thing we'd come up with is the present system," Higgins says. Prohibitionists claim decriminalization would create a nation of addicts, with no basis in historical fact. And after any repeal, drug potency and purity would be regulated -- reducing the risk of overdose. These concepts are difficult to embrace, due mainly to the ideological climate that's been so long entrenched.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tony Kant Column (The Columnist For 'The Citizen Newspaper' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Writes About Vancouver Police Gil Puder, Who Defied His Police Chief In Order To Publicly Criticize The War On Some Drug Users In Canada) Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 20:32:20 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Column: Tony Kant Column Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Margot Izard (email@example.com) Source: The Citizen Newspaper (BC, Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 11 May 1998 Tony Kant Column Right about now, all over Vancouver Island, home gardeners are nurturing precious bedding plants, feeding and watering them and hardening them off, getting ready to plant them outside where they will respond to the sunshine and warmth that sustains all growing things. This annual rite of spring has been going on for years and will continue into the foreseeable future, People find comfort and joy in the thought that these seedlings will become vigorous, health plants capable of providing food in the form of vegetables, beauty in the form of flowers and in some cases healing and well-being in the form of certain herbs. It is the latter category that will prove the most troublesome, especially if you are one of the thousands of Islanders who grow the herb cannabis sativa in your garden. Cannabis, commonly known as hemp, is considered a narcotic by the federal government and you could end up in jail for growing the it Just why this is so is beyond comprehension for some people, especially a Vancouver Police officer who has some ideas on drug enforcement that run counter to the usual propaganda that RCMP headquarters wants the public to see. Constable Gil Puder, a member of the Vancouver Police force for the past 15 years, does not go along with the official federal government position on cannabis - in fact he objects to it strenuously and has even gone as far to speak publicly against the barbarian pot policy we live with. It wouldn't be the first time I've heard a police officer disagree with the government's position on the substance but it's certainly the first time we've seen it done in the glare of public scrutiny. Const. Puder made the headlines recently when he defied the City of Vancouver's police chief and publicly delivered a scathing attack on police efforts to respond to widespread drug use in Canada. "Offering a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the police, Const. Puder criticized officers who make drug arrests to further their own careers, and senior managers who publicize gang crime and drug money to push for bigger budgets," a story in The Globe and Mail, datelined Vancouver, stated on April 22. Puder, the story states, accused police representatives of misinforming the public about the dangers associated with drug use. Some officers have unnecessarily shot and killed unarmed people while making drug arrests,, adding that until police accept that they cannot win the war on drugs, the killing will continue. Puder has not exactly enamored himself with the chief of the Vancouver Police with his earlier statements about decriminalizing drugs but he really got Chief Bruce Chambers' dander up when he found out Puder intended to give a speech at a public conference sponsored by the Fraser Institute. Puder's speech was titled Recovering Our Honor: Why Policing Must Reject the War on Drugs." This was contrary to a direct order from the chief who told Puder that anything Puder said at the conference would need his approval. Const. Puder stood up at the conference anyway and made the following comments: While strongly believing in devotion to duty, I subordinate the unique requirements of my profession to my to my responsibilities as a human being, a parent and a Canadian citizen who has no desire to raise his children in a country torn by needless criminality." Outlawing narcotics and trying to enforce the law is history's most expensive failed social experiment, said Constable Puder, who is also a part time instructor at the B.C. POlice Academy. Billions of dollars and countless lives have been spent to prove that criminal prohibition does not protect society, he added. Some of Constable Puder's criticism of police enforcement include: 1. Drug-related arrests can be extremely easy to make and officers who make them are rewarded with promotions and large amounts of overtime pay to cover court time. But police rarely catch the wealthy drug lords. 2.Self-proclaimed police drug experts readily contradict scholarly analyses and medical research with smear tactics and conjecture. "Law-enforcement spin doctoring reinforces the theory that the truth is war's first casualty." The constable recommended that as an alternative to the so-called war on drugs, police should make fundamental changes to their strategies and a government-regulated distribution system for marijuana should be instituted and research projects should be undertaken on the decriminalization of narcotics. My congratulations go out to Const. Gil Puder for his enlightening approach on this subject. His bravery in saying what he did ranks up there with Frank Serpico's whistle blowing about police corruption in New York City almost three decades ago. We also extend condolences to Const. Puder who most certainly will face disciplinary action for his frank analysis of a system that makes criminals of little old ladies who dare to grow a few cannabis plants for their own use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Coast Apathy Feeding Drug Trade (A Letter Sent To The Editor Of 'The Reporter' In Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, Says The Drug Information Forum In Sechelt Was Poorly Attended Not From Apathy, But Because The Information Provided By Police Was Biased, Sensational, Moralistic And Unreliable) Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 09:36:20 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: SENT LtE: Re: Coast apathy feeding drug trade To the editor, Re: Coast apathy feeding drug trade (Monday, May 4, 1998) If one wonders why a drug information forum was poorly attended in Sechelt, one needn't blame community apathy, as the author does, but the information presented in the forum. Researchers of the effectiveness of drug abuse prevention programs have known for years that drug education programs which rely only on sensational and moralistic "facts" about drugs do not work to prevent drug abuse, and instead breed a mistrust of the police, and in some cases increase drug use. If parents needed any excuse not to bring their kids to the forum, it is this. Cpl. Bob Hall play the drug misinformation angle to the hilt, judging by this article. Many of the claims would not be taken seriously by most adults (especially ones who have taken the time to become educated on the subject), and are readily dismissed by kids. If Cpl. Hall wants to reduce drug abuse, he should study and support harm reduction methods (since they reduce both drug abuse and the harm drugs cause to the individual and community), rather than slamming them. Since enforcement has not, in 90 years, stopped or even reduced drug abuse, one has to wonder why he is so reluctant to give a fair shake to alternative methods of reducing drug-related harm. Perhaps he is more worried about his own job than the welfare of Canadian kids and adults? Dave Haans Toronto, Ontario Contact Info: [snip] I also sent them a note assuring them I wasn't blowing smoke; that I knew what I was talking about, and encouraging them to interview Gil Puder.
------------------------------------------------------------------- It's D-Day In War On Bike Gangs ('London Free Press' In Ontario Says Ontario's Top Cops Will Be In London Today To Show Off The New Heat They're Packing In The War Against Outlaw Biker Gangs - Code Words In Canada For 'Illegal Drug Traffickers') From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: It's D-day in war on bike gangs Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 08:01:59 -0700 Lines: 80 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: London Free Press Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: May 11, 1998 Author: Greg Van Moorsel -- Free Press Reporter IT'S D-DAY IN WAR ON BIKE GANGS Ontario's top cops will be in London today to show off the new heat they're packing in the war against outlaw biker gangs. The city will play host to the formal launch of a bulked-up police task force aimed at routing the bikers. The recent Ontario budget promised funding to enlarge an existing OPP anti-biker squad and link it closely with 16 municipal forces and the RCMP. London, Toronto and Ottawa-Carleton police are among those included in the alliance, expected to cost $3.4 million in its first year and $2.7 million a year to operate after that. The launch here is a bow to London police Chief Julian Fantino, who pushed for the project. With the slaying of two bikers in London last month, including the head of the London chapter of the Outlaws, Fantino said he may take Solicitor General Jim Flaherty, one of the officials here today, past a gang clubhouse if he wants a first-hand look. FEDERAL HELP Fantino, who heads a national police strategy to deal with biker gangs and crime, said Ottawa could help by tightening criminal laws and sending more money seized from the proceeds of crime to the provinces, which could direct it to front-line enforcement agencies. "We need some significant help to deal with this problem right across the country and beyond," he said, noting bikers have been linked to dozens of Quebec killings in recent years and Ontario is seeing more of the fallout. Bikers, he noted, were implicated in a bomb blast 1 1/2 years ago at Sudbury police headquarters. The OPP's anti-biker squad will be boosted to 20 members from seven. APPLAUDED London Mayor Dianne Haskett applauded the move, saying she's especially concerned about biker gangs trying to "exploit and control," through drugs and prostitution, young women who work in strip clubs. Last month's two killings, for which two London brothers are wanted, were "a wake-up call to the city" that gangs are a problem, Haskett said. OPP have been directed by the Ontario government to rid the province of outlaw biker gangs, especially the Hells Angels. Police say there are about a dozen biker gangs in Ontario with hundreds of known members. 70 DEATHS Biker wars in Quebec, where the Hells Angels dominate, have claimed about 70 lives in recent years, many of the deaths linked to control of the drug trade. Observers have speculated last month's two fatal shootings in London were a response to bikers muscling in on local drug turf. Ontario, with a hot economy and large population, presents a lucrative market for gang crime, said London South MPP Bob Wood, who sits on the Tory government's anti-crime commission. Wood said the expanded task force should give police a better early-warning and detection system to combat gangs. "What we're really doing is putting more money into what we've already got," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cops Need Cash - Answer To Fight Biker Gangs ('Calgary Sun' Says Calgary Police Commissioner Patti Grier Blamed An Explosion At An Edmonton Strip Club Last Week On Biker Gangs, Indicating Her Suspicions Justify Giving Canadian Crime-Fighters More Money To Fight Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Cops need cash Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 07:22:32 -0700 Lines: 37 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: May 11, 1998 Author: PATRICK CARON -- Calgary Sun COPS NEED CASH ANSWER TO FIGHT BIKER GANGS A Calgary police commissioner says Canadian crime-fighters need more money to fight outlaw motorcycle gangs. Ald. Patti Grier said she was troubled by an Edmonton strip club explosion last week that's suspected to have links to biker gangs. "I think the concern is the escalation of violence with different incidents, and that is, I'm sure, a concern to all citizens," said Grier. She said police across Canada need more money to deal with the problem. But Yves Lavigne, a Canadian author who has written extensively on the Hell's Angels, says outlaw bikers are already entrenched in Canada. "It's too late. They're here forever," said Lavigne. "I blame laziness on the part of police administrators for not taking care of this problem when they had the chance. "If you really want to get rid of biker gangs, you have to have a full-time, life-long commitment, but that would cost money." City police Supt. Bill Sherlock said more money is needed for in-depth investigations to cut into outlaw biker gang activities.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Paraphernalia Law Faces Challenge (Version In The Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, 'Record') From: "Starr"
To: "legalize" , "mattalk" , "maptalk" Subject: Drug Paraphernalia Law Faces Challenge Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 13:15:10 -0400 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) email@example.com Date: May 11, 1998 By: Stephen Bindman- Southam Newspapers DRUG PARAPHERNALIA LAW FACES CHALLENGE SASKATOON -- Mike Spindloe wanted to make a political statement about Canada's drug laws when he began selling hash pipes and scales at his Saskatoon record store three years ago. Today, about 8,000 pipes later, he hopes to make a legal statement, too. Spindloe will be in court challenging the constitutionality of a 10-year-old law that makes it a crime to sell "instruments for illicit drug use." The so-called drug paraphernalia law carries a maximum fine of $100,000 and six months in jail for a first conviction and $300,000 and a year for subsequent offences. Spindloe's is the latest battle in the legal war waged in courts across Canada to decriminalize marijuana. "The cannabis laws are wrong and if individual people don't stand up and try to change them, nothing will ever happen because we have no political leadership," said the 36-year-old owner of Vinyl Exchange in downtown Saskatoon, who admits he's been an avid pot smoker for 20 years. "It's just hyporcritical for them to make cannabis illegal at the same time they sell us tobacco and alcohol. As a recreational srug, it's far less harmful, both in terms of social consequences and potential physical health consequences, than either tobacco or alcohol." Spindloe is represented by Osgoode Hall law professor Alan Young, one of the leaders of the recent cannabis court crusade. "This is one more step towards the goal of derciminalization or legalization, to get the government to reconsider their very misguided and myopic drug policy as it relates to marijuana," said Young. "We will chip away at the whole edifice of narcotics law enforcement. This is a secondary, more minor offence that we feel it's necessary also to challenge on constutional grounds in order to get to the larger picture of trying to move the government towards a more enlightened drug policy." Spindloe's store was raided by Saskatoon police last May and about $4,000 worth of pipes, scales, roach clips, rolling paper, hemp cookbooks and cannabis cookbooks were seized. Spindloe says the paraphernalia law is not only a "knee-jerk reaction to the conservative, right-wing war on drugs in the 1980s," it is ineffective to boot. "The law is supposed to somehow prevent people from having access to cannabis, but it is completely ineffective for that because I'm preaching to the converted. If I sell a pipe, it's not because they're thinking about going out and smoking marjuana, it's because they've already got some and they want something to put it in."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Decriminalisation Calls (Alcohol And Other Drugs Council Of Australia's 'ADCA Daily News' Notes The Victorian Premier's Advisory Council On Illicit Drugs Endorsed Decriminalisation Of Marijuana Yesterday Despite One Panelist's Insistence Heavy Marijuana Use Causes 'Long-Tem Effects On The Brain') Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 00:41:55 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: UPDATE - NEWS - Cannabis Decriminalisation Calls Return-Path: (email@example.com) From: McCormack (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "'ADCA News of the Day'" (email@example.com) Subject: UPDATE - NEWS - Cannabis Decriminalisation Calls Date: Mon, 11 May 1998 11:38:12 +1000 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: McCormack (email@example.com) CANBERRA TIMES 11 May 1998 p3 AUSTRALIAN 11 May 1998 p3 HOBART MERCURY 11 May 1998 p4 DAILY TELEGRAPH 11 May 1998 p16 HERALD SUN 11 May 1998 p8 An expert panel endorsed decriminalisation of marijuana yesterday despite Australian research establishing long-tem effects on the brain. A National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre researcher, Dr Nadia Solowij said her studies showed smoking marijuana more than twice a week or once a month for five years could make it harder for users to remember, pay attention or organise complex information. Dr Solowij stressed the impaired information filtering was only subtle and due to changes in how brains worked rather than brain damage. But Dr Solowij and fellow panelist and chairman of the Victorian Premier's Advisory Council on Illicit Drugs Professor David Penington, insisted it was wrong for marijuana use to be treated as an offence rather than a health issue. "Even though I have identified some harms associated with cannabis use, they are subtle and I think the greater harm....is the fact it's illegal and exposes people to criminal activity and other harder drugs." *** The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) Daily News selects one story only from the many that comprise the national news for posting to this listserv. Copies of articles can be faxed or mailed on request and at no cost. Requests can be made by phone 02 62811002, fax 02 6282 7364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe to this listserv, send the message "subscribe update" (without the inverted commas) in the text field to email@example.com with the subject field left empty.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Keep Marijuana Users Out Of Jail, Say Experts (Version In Australia's 'Daily Telegraph') Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 10:39:54 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Keep Marijuana Users Out of Jail, Say Experts Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia) Contact: email@example.com KEEP MARIJUANA USERS OUT OF JAIL, SAY EXPERTS An expert panel yesterday endorsed decriminalisation of marijuana despite Australian research establishing long-term effects on the brain. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre researcher Dr Nadia Solowij said her studies showed smoking marijuana more than twice a week could make it harder for users to remember, pay attention or organise complex information. Dr Solowij stressed the impaired information filtering was only subtle and was due to changes in how brains worked rather than brain damage. "But it's probable an inability to focus attention and filter out distractors would affect learning in the classroom and work performance in jobs where mental operations predominate," she told a a Science Now! public forum. But Dr Solowij and fellow panellist and chairman of the Victorian Premier's Advisory Council on Illicit Drugs, Professor David Penington, said it was wrong for marijuana use to be treated as an offence rather than a health issue. "Even though I have identified some harms, associated with cannabis use, they are subtle and I think the greater harm ... is the fact it's illegal and exposes people to criminal activity and other harder drugs," she said. Prof Penington said young people rejected arguments that marijuana use should be a criminal offence when alcohol was responsible for far more deaths.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Olympic Ban (A Parisian's Letter To The Editor Of 'The European' Says The Recent Decision Of The International Olympics Committee To Add Cannabis To Its List Of Banned Substances Isn't Rational - 'Clearly This Decision Reflects A Personal Obsession On The Part Of Key IOC Members') From: "ralph sherrow"
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Olympic ban Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 01:13:30 PDT FRANCE: PUB LTE: Olympic Ban Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998 Source: European, The Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-european.com/ Author: Gerard Mulholland OLYMPIC BAN I have been trying to understand the reasons for the International Olympics Committee's decision to add cannabis to the list of proscribed drugs for which Olympic athletes will be tested. It cannot be because cannabis is "performance enhancing". It isn't. On the contrary, cannabis is a relaxing recreational drug that inhibits performance of any kind. If the IOC wants an all-inclusive list of performance-enhancing drugs it should have added tea and coffee to its list, not to mention chocolate. It cannot be simply because cannabis is illegal in some countries, because that logic would oblige the IOC to ban both alcohol and female athletes. It cannot be to avoid offending the domestic legislation of host countries, because it would not offend in all such countries. Besides, athletes are bound to obey the domestic legislation of their host country, regardless of any IOC rule. Clearly, this decision reflects a personal obsession on the part of key IOC members. This obsession is with the separate question of the war on illegal recreational drugs. It has nothing to do with the global campaign against performance-enhancing drugs in sport. The war against illegal drugs is contentious, not universal and certainly does not enjoy unqualified public support. It is a battle which shows every sign of being very expensively lost. The campaign against performance-enhancing drugs in sport is global, universally approved and opposed only by cheats. By irrationally mixing the two campaigns, the IOC has delivered a severe blow to what is left of the ideals of Pierre de Coubertin. As we lose the war against illegal drugs, the public perception of sporting drugs will be changed and eventually that will be lost as well, to the great regret of far more people than the short-sighted IOC. Gerard Mulholland Paris, France. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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