------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Kentucky Farmers File First Ever Federal Lawsuit To End Hemp Prohibition; Judge Orders Closure Of Six California Medical Marijuana Providers - Intent Of Proposition 215 In No Way Challenged By Ruling) From: NORMLFNDTN (NORMLFNDTN@aol.com) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 13:05:56 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 5/15/98 (II) NORML Foundation's Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) Internet: www.norml.org May 15, 1998 *** Kentucky Farmers File First Ever Federal Lawsuit To End Hemp Prohibition May 15, 1998, Lexington, KY: A coalition of Kentucky farmers brought suit today against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the U.S. Department of Justice asserting that Congress never intended to ban industrial hemp. The suit, the first of its kind filed in a federal court, asks a judge to determine whether farmers can use their land to grow and produce hemp for commercial and industrial purposes. "Kentucky farmers deserve the same economic opportunity that Canadian farmers have been given to explore the development of industrial hemp industries," said Andrew Graves, president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. "We should be allowed to utilize industrial hemp to stimulate and create the much needed economic development for our rural farming communities." The plaintiff's attorney, NORML Legal Committee member Michael Kennedy of New York, contends that the DEA has violated the fundamental constitutional doctrine of separation of powers by ignoring the will of Congress, first articulated during the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, which specifically exempted the production of hemp prohibition. "The time has come for a federal court to set the record straight: Congress intended to prohibit marijuana, not hemp. For centuries, hemp has been and will in the future be a valuable and essential part of Kentucky agriculture." Presently, farmers in over 30 countries - including Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia - grow hemp for industrial purposes. Additionally, both the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the General Agreement on Taxes and Tariffs (GATT) recognize the crop as a valid agricultural plant. For more information, please contact either Michael Kennedy @ (212) 235-4500 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Judge Orders Closure Of Six California Medical Marijuana Providers Intent of Prop. 215 In No Way Challenged By Ruling May 15, 1998, San Francisco, CA: U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer complied yesterday with the federal government's request to temporarily enjoin the operations of six California medical marijuana dispensaries named in a civil lawsuit. Breyer found that the defendant's conduct "likely" violates the Controlled Substances Act and concluded that the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution requires the court to order the clubs from continuing to violate the federal statute. The preliminary injunction prohibits the distribution of medical marijuana to seriously ill patients by the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club, the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, San Francisco Flower Therapy, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the Santa Cruz Buyers' Club, and the Ukiah Cannabis Buyers' Club. The clubs compliance with the order may force as many as 10,000 clients to find alternate sources for medical marijuana. Any club continuing to operate in defiance of the order could face contempt of court charges. "This decision sets the stage for a showdown between federal bureaucrats and the people of California who are attempting to meet the legitimate medical needs of patients under Prop. 215," said California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer. "No matter what the courts say, Californians will continue to work to ensure that medical marijuana remains available to patients who need it." The federal Controlled Substances Act forbids the distribution of a Schedule I controlled substance - including marijuana - to any patient outside of a strictly controlled research project approved by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Breyer noted that the passage of California's medical marijuana statute fails to alter the authority of the federal law. However, Breyer specified that his ruling in no way challenges the authority of California's Proposition 215 to exempt medical marijuana patients from the state's drug laws. "Because of the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, the only issue before the Court is whether the defendant's conduct violates federal law," Breyer wrote. "The Court concludes that ... it is likely that it does. "Once again, however, the Court must caution as to what this decision does not do. The Court has not declared Proposition 215 unconstitutional. Nor has it enjoined the possession of marijuana by a seriously ill patient for the patient's personal medical use upon a physician's recommendation. Nor has the Court foreclosed the possibility of a medical necessity or constitutional defense in any proceeding in which it alleged a defendant has violated the injunction issued herein." Breyer rejected defendants contention that Congress lacks the authority to regulate the conduct of state medical marijuana dispensaries because they only engage in intrastate commerce. He opined that although the defendant's conduct may not have had any effect on interstate commerce, "it is not true that the ... nonprofit distribution of medical marijuana necessarily does not affect interstate commerce." Breyer also rejected defendants assertion that temporarily closing the six clubs would infringe upon a class of patients "fundamental right to be free from unnecessary pain, to receive palliative treatment for a painful medical condition, to care for oneself, and to preserve one's own life." While Breyer did not deny that such a right may exist, he held that defendants failed to establish that the right to such treatment is "so rooted in the traditions and conscience of our people as to be ranked as fundamental." Responding to Breyer's decision, medical dispensaries in the Bay Area vowed to violate the injunction and continue providing marijuana to those patients in need. "We will do everything in our power to stay open," said Jeff Jones, director of the 1,300 member Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. "The alternative that the government is giving [patients] is the street; that's not adequate." Jones and others who defy the order will likely face a jury trial where defendants would have the ability to raise the defense of medical necessity. Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, said that the clubs stand a better chance before a panel of their peers. "It has been proved time and time again that the prohibition of marijuana for medical use is a wildly unpopular policy," he said. "In the court of public opinion, the federal government is already in a losing position. If medical marijuana patient advocates are given their day in court, ... the government could - and should - lose big." Oakland Buyers Club defense attorney Robert Raich agreed. "We look forward to being vindicated by a jury of Californians who recognize the medical value of marijuana," he said. Wednesday's ruling is narrow in scope and pertains only to the distribution and manufacture of marijuana by the six defendants. The ruling does not apply to activities of other state medical marijuana dispensaries. NORML Legal Committee member William Panzer, who represents two of the clubs named in the suit, said that this issue is far from over. "We will put the government on trial and show that it has acted arbitrarily and capriciously," he said. For more information, please contact either William Panzer of The NORML Legal Committee @ (510) 834-1892 or attorney Robert Raich @ (510) 338-0700. California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer may be reached @ (415) 563-5858. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregonians For Medical Rights Web Site (Sponsors Of The Oregon Medical Marijuana Initiative Are Now Online) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 21:29:37 -0700 From: Rick Bayer (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Oregonians for Medical Rights Website/ Oregon Medical Marijuana Act listing Dear friends and supporters Just finished Oregonians for Medical Rights website today with the complete copy of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act., etc. Please pass along the URL www.teleport.com/~omr. Any comments, corrections, etc. are welcome. As far as I know, this is the first complete listing on the web of two important medical articles on the value of inhaled marijuana and THC in the papers by Vinciguerra, et al. and Chang et al. respectively. Look under the medical journal articles in the bibliography. If you find them elsewhere, maybe you shouldn't tell me (yes, please do) since getting the tables correct, etc. was a lot of work for this minor league webmaster (web "learner" is more like it). Please forward this website URL to anyone interested in patient advocacy and medical marijuana. Thanks. Rick Bayer, MD 6800 SW Canyon Drive Portland, OR 97225 503-292-1035 (voice) 503-297-0754 (fax) email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moved For PMs ('Associated Press' Says Proposals To Privatize Oregon Prisons Are Expected To Draw Serious Consideration From The 1999 Legislature, Which Convenes In January) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org 05/15/98 5:11 PM Eastern SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Private prisons could be 10 percent cheaper to run than state-run lockups, but a poorly run facility could suck money by getting mired in expensive lawsuits, a national expert told a legislative panel. The Senate Interim Committee on Judiciary is looking into the pros and cons of privatizing at least one Oregon prison. "Assume the worst, and be prepared to handle the worst," warned James Austin, executive vice president of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency. The number of private prisons across the country is growing as convict populations swell because of harsher sentencing laws. During the past decade, the number of jailed Americans more than doubled to 1.8 million. For-profit prisons hold an estimated 95,000 prisoners, mostly in the United States, England, Australia and Puerto Rico. But there have been problems. South Carolina pulled the plug on a privately run juvenile detention center last year amid allegations of abusive treatment of offenders. A federal court recently blocked admissions to a private prison in Ohio after two inmate homicides sparked a flurry of criminal charges and civil lawsuits. Two years ago, 240 Oregon sex offenders were returned from a private prison in Texas after two inmates escaped, prompting an outcry from Taxes residents. However, Austin said, many private prisons operate without significant problems. "Each one can be shaped in a negative way or a positive way," he said. "It all depends on how they're managed." Some states protect themselves with opt-out clauses in their contracts with private prison operators. If state officials are unhappy with the way the prison is being run, they can cancel the arrangement. Austin said private prisons generally cut costs by employing fewer staff than state-run prisons. They also provide leaner fringe benefits, typically by replacing guaranteed pensions with a cheaper stock-ownership plan. "If you have a rich fringe-benefit package in your state, you'll save money," Austin said. In Oregon, proposals to privatize are expected to draw serious consideration from the 1999 Legislature, which convenes in January. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer In Charge Of School Strip Search Gets 30-Day Suspension ('Associated Press' Notes Despite The Zero Tolerance Attitudes Inspired By The War On Some Drug Users, The Fourth Amendment Still Applies To Girls Strip-Searched In McMinnville, Oregon) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com 05/15/98 5:07 PM Eastern McMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) - The police officer who oversaw the strip search of girls at Duniway Middle School has received a 30-day suspension without pay. Police Chief Rod Brown divulged details of the department's disciplinary actions Thursday only after the employees involved agreed to the release. Kent Stuart, a school resource officer at the time of the Jan. 29 search, also had his job status changed from senior officer to officer. He is appealing Brown's decision and has requested and independent arbitrator to hear the matter. The search came after some cash, CDs and makeup were reported stolen from the girls' locker room during a third-period gym class. Under the direction of Stuart and Vice Principal Patricia Jenkins, 37 girls were taken into the locker room with two female police employees and and told to shake out their bras and pull their underwear and pants down and up. None of the stolen property was found. "Our internal investigation of the incident showed that the judgment of the supervising officer in this situation was poor and inconsistent with department policies, " Brown said in a statement. The two women police employees called in for the search, Kathy Holm and Jan Formway, were counseled on the proper procedures of challenging an order in a non-crisis situation. Jenkins resigned shortly after the incident. She is working in the district office until her resignation takes effect June 30. After an investigation by the Oregon State Police, District Attorney Brad Berry declined to bring criminal charges. Many of the families of the girls involved in the search have threatened to sue the school district and the city. The city and the school district have offered a settlement of $5,000 to each family if they agreed not to sue. As of Thursday, 25 families had accepted the settlement and four have formally rejected it. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Judge Orders Closure Of Pot Clubs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version Of Yesterday's News) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 15:45:10 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Federal Judge Orders Closure Of Pot Clubs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS CLOSURE OF POT CLUBS Advocates hope to challenge the ruling in a jury trial Siding with the Clinton administration, a U.S. district judge has ruled that California pot clubs must stop selling medical marijuana in violation of federal law. In a decision released yesterday, Judge Charles Breyer found that whether or not medical marijuana clubs are legal under state Proposition 215 they are not legal under federal statutes that take precedence over California law. U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi, who filed a civil suit to force closure of the clubs in January, called on state marijuana clubs to shut down voluntarily. ``The clubs, and all those acting in concert with them, should immediately cease their operations,'' he said. Breyer issued a preliminary injunction, to take effect Tuesday, barring the clubs from distributing marijuana to chronically ill members. If made permanent, the injunction would eviscerate Proposition 215, without passing judgment on its constitutionality. ``A state law which purports to legalize the distribution of marijuana for any purpose . . . even a laudable one, nonetheless directly conflicts with federal law,'' Breyer wrote. Defiant pot club operators said they were disappointed by Breyer's decision, but nonetheless detected enough legal wiggle room in it to believe that their fight to remain open can continue. Because the judge issued a preliminary injunction, rather than the summary judgment sought by Yamaguchi, club lawyers said they can challenge the ruling in a trial before a jury in San Francisco, where voters passed Proposition 215 by an 8 to 1 ratio. ``It is not against the law to save lives,'' said Dennis Peron, founder of San Francisco's largest medical marijuana club, which has been changing its name as fast as the courts have been issuing injunctions. It is currently called the Cannabis Healing Center, and boasts as many as 8,000 members. The clubs will invoke a ``medical necessity defense,'' arguing that the distribution of pot to those suffering from chronic illnesses can save their lives. They also intend to argue that there is an established constitutional right to be ``free of pain'' and that marijuana acts as a pain reliever. ``We're confident we can win before a jury,'' said Peron. ``We're going to win, and change the medical marijuana laws throughout the country. Medical marijuana is going to be legal in New Jersey.'' But Breyer's ruling suggests that any federal court fight will be an uphill challenge, if only because the case rests on the narrow but solid argument that federal law prohibits marijuana possession except for research and that federal law overrules conflicting state statutes. The thin thread of hope for medical marijuana advocates is that Breyer did not foreclose the possibility of a successful medical necessity defense in a jury trial. Breyer also left open the possibility that federal courts would not attempt to stop the distribution of marijuana to the chronically ill by a government entity - just as the courts have not blocked the otherwise illegal distribution of clean needles to drug users as an AIDS prevention measure. San Francisco attorney Jerrold Ladar, a former federal prosecutor, said the judge's ruling does not mean an end to California pot clubs, but it substantially raises the ante for those fighting to keep them open. ``They've got to leap on the barbed wire,'' he said. ``If they decide to violate the court order, at that point they will be commiting several different offenses, including criminal contempt.'' Ladar said it is unclear whether the pot clubs would be allowed to remain open during the course of a jury trial, which is likely to be lengthy and would not be able to start for months. ``If they try to continue to operate, the court has the power to tell the U.S. attorney to order U.S. marshals to padlock the doors and put a keeper inside.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Tells Medical Marijuana Clubs They're Going Down ('Oakland Tribune' Version) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 15:55:57 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Tells Medical Marijuana Clubs They're Going Down Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Monica Gyulai, staff writer JUDGE TELLS MEDICINAL MARIJUANA CLUBS THEY'RE GOING DOWN A federal judge Thursday told a half-dozen Northern California medical marijuana clubs he plans to shut them down for violating federal drug laws. The federal government and club owners have until Monday to respond to the proposed order by U.S. District Judge Charles R. Breyer, but both parties anticipated the preliminary injunction would be signed. Each side balled the decision as a victory in their battle over the 1996 state Initiative that legalized marijuana for the seriously ill. "Federal law is clear and Judge Breyer's opinion is clear - the distribution or cultivation of marijuana is unlawful," U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi said. De said all medical mari-juana clubs in the state should close voluntarily in light of the decision. Club owners have different plans. By staying open, operators will risk contempt or criminal charges that would pave the way for a jury trial. "Judge Breyer has found a way to let a jury of Californians decide what they think is appro-priate," said Oakland attorney Robert Raich, who represents the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. "We know Californians recognize cannabis as medicine. We look forward to bringing this case before Northern Californians, and we look forward to vindication." Breyer could issue the injunction as early as Tuesday. The federal government then would have to decide whether to go after clubs in Oakland, Ukiah, Santa Cruz, Mann County and two in San Francisco. Although more than 30 medical marijuana clubs may be in the state, only six were named in the lawsuit. "We plan on staying open until they take us away," said Jeff Jones, executive director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. In November 1996, 56 percent of state voters approved Proposition 215, making it legal under California law for seriously ill patients and their primary care givers to possess and cultivate marijuana. But federal, state and local officials and medical marijuana advocates have battled over the specifics of the initiative and whether it should be defended or discarded. Breyer's decision responded to a lawsuit filed by the federal government in January charging that six Northern California cannabis clubs violate the federal Controlled Substances Act. Breyer wrote in his 27-page decision that "there is a strong likelihood" Prop. 215 violates federal law. He ruled that state law legalizing medical marijuana does not override the federal ban.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Says Six Pot Clubs Must Close ('San Jose Mercury News' Version) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 19:15:05 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Says 6 Pot Clubs Must Close Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer JUDGE SAYS 6 POT CLUBS MUST CLOSE Proposition 215: Federal law supersedes state statute, ruling states. A San Francisco federal judge on Thursday nudged the state's medicinal marijuana clubs closer to extinction, siding with the U.S. Justice Department's argument that six Northern California operations must close because they are violating federal drug laws. In a blow to voter-approved Proposition 215, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued a preliminary injunction that essentially forces the clubs to cease dispensing medicinal marijuana or face the prospect of a crackdown by federal law enforcement officials. Breyer concluded in his 27-page ruling that federal drug laws trump the clubs' right to operate under Proposition 215, which legalized pot for medical use. ``A state law which purports to legalize the distribution of marijuana for any purpose, even a laudable one, nonetheless directly conflicts with federal law,'' the judge wrote. ``It does not exempt distribution of marijuana to seriously ill persons for their personal medical use.'' Breyer's ruling is limited and does not invalidate Proposition 215. But it spells trouble for the national movement to legalize medicinal marijuana. There are efforts in at least six states to put similar measures on this fall's ballot, all of which risk legal challenge from the Clinton administration. Breyer tailored his ruling in such a way that the clubs and their attorneys were predicting another showdown with the Justice Department over the medicinal pot law. Among other things, the judge did not foreclose the possibility of the clubs presenting some of their arguments to a jury. The clubs could thus provoke a showdown simply by refusing to comply with Breyer's injunction, a move that would lead to contempt proceedings. Pro-215 forces said Thursday that they'd defy the injunction and expose themselves to contempt charges to take their arguments to a jury. ``This case is going to go on,'' said Oakland attorney William Panzer, who represents the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and clubs in Southern California. ``At least some of them will stay open. It's an opportunity to put the government on trial and show it is acting arbitrarily.'' Justice Department officials had little to say about the judge's ruling, other than to warn all marijuana dispensaries in the state to take notice of the court's conclusions. ``Federal law is clear and Judge Breyer's opinion is clear,'' said San Francisco U.S. attorney Michael Yamaguchi. ``The distribution or cultivation of marijuana is unlawful. I call on all of the marijuana distribution clubs in California to take cognizance of this order and voluntarily shut down.'' The Justice Department sued six clubs earlier this year, arguing Proposition 215 is superseded by federal law. The suit named two clubs in San Francisco, including the now-defunct club owned by Proposition 215 co-author Dennis Peron, and clubs in Santa Cruz, Oakland, Marin County and Ukiah. While the federal case has been pending, state Attorney General Dan Lungren succeeded in shutting down Peron's Cannabis Cultivators Club in a separate state court lawsuit. Peron's club has been replaced by the Cannabis Healing Center, which for now is not affected by Breyer's ruling. The Santa Cruz Cannabis Buyers Club, one of the targets of the federal suit, also has closed on its own in recent months. The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, which closed in San Jose this month because of the arrest of owner Peter Baez, was never a defendant in the federal case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Will Close Clubs For Medical Marijuana ('Orange County Register' Version) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 19:14:56 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Will Close Clubs For Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 JUDGE WILL CLOSE CLUBS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA A federal judge in San Francisco struck a possibly fatal blow to medical-marijuana clubs Thursday, saying he would order closure of six Northern California clubs for violating federal laws against distributing drugs. Proposition 215, the November 1996 initiative that legalized medical marijuana under California law, did not and could not override the federal ban on marijuana, said U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer. He rejected the clubs' argument that they were entitled to furnish the drug because their customers, many of whom suffer from AIDS or cancer, cannot survive without marijuana to ease the pain and side effects of therapy. Nevertheless, San Francisco's largest medical marijuana club, now called the Cannabis Healing Center, said it would defy the order, risk a contempt-of-court charge, and offer a "medical necessity" defense when brought to trial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Peron For Governor Campaign Presents A 'Get Out The Vote' Rally (The Former Director Of The San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club Plans A Benefit There For His Gubernatorial Campaign Next Saturday, May 23) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 20:04:30 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: HSLotsof
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Peron for Gov. CA email@example.com (hal womack) Date: Fri, May 15, 1998 02:12 EDT Message-id: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Peron for Governor Campaign 1444 Market Street San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 621-3986 Fax (415) 621-0604 email: email@example.com *** For Immediate Release May 11, 1998 Who: The Peron for Governor Campaign Presents What: A "Get Out the Vote" Rally featuring Gary Duncans Quicksilver (founding member of Quicksilver Messenger Service) and Linda Imperial & Friends. Where: At the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center at 1444 Market Street (near Van Ness) When: Saturday, May 23rd, from 7:00 p.m.10:00 p.m. There will be a cameo performance by David Nash. Invited guests will include medical marijuana pioneer, Brownie Mary, Margo St. James, founder of C.O.Y.O.T.E., and David Frieberg, former member of the Jefferson Airplane. Plus, there will be a Techno Party on the Third Floor, featuring San Franciscos hottest underground DJs. Refreshments Food Public Invited Suggested Donation: $5.00 For Further Information, Call (415) 621- 3986 "This candidacy is about giving hope for the future, about empowerment of those people who have given up on voting in the past, about bringing back compassionate leadership in our state. Its about who we are as a people and where we are going as a nation." --Dennis Peron
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Clubs Vow To Defy Judge's Order (According To 'The San Francisco Examiner,' Robert Raich, An Attorney For The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, Said Judge Breyer's Decision On Thursday Opened Up A Variety Of Legal Avenues To Pursue In Defense Of The Medical Marijuana Dispensaries) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 03:44:26 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Clubs Vow To Defy Judge's Order Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Ray Delgado, Examiner Staff POT CLUBS VOW TO DEFY JUDGE'S ORDER Citing federal laws, court is demanding they stop giving out medical marijuana Another crushing blow for proponents of medical marijuana, another defiant pledge to keep going. But keeping the doors open to four pot clubs across Northern California isn't going to be so easy in the wake of the strongest legal setback yet delivered by a federal judge. On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer sided with the federal government's argument that the Cannabis Healing Center and three other clubs in Northern California are violating federal drug laws and he ordered the clubs shut down. The preliminary injunction goes into effect once Breyer reviews arguments from both parties and signs the injunction, which could occur as early as Monday afternoon. What happens after that will be up to the clubs. "It's the saddest day for medical marijuana that I can envisage," said Tony Serra, an attorney for local club founder Dennis Peron. "I believe Judge Breyer's decision is morally bankrupt." Several of the clubs, including the S.F. operation, have vowed to defy the injunction and risk a raid by federal marshals if Breyer then holds them in contempt and orders them forcibly shut down. But Breyer could also allow the clubs to remain open while ordering a contempt hearing. That trial would allow the defense to present a number of legal challenges that could keep the clubs open. "We're allowed to argue the medical necessity defense if we break the injunction, which we plan to do," said Peron, who predicted that his act of defiance would be followed by undercover federal marshals trying to purchase marijuana with a doctor's note next week. Breyer's ruling expressly avoided deciding on the legality of a sick person possessing pot for medical use or the possibility that local governments might take over the distribution of medical marijuana, an idea floated by San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan. California's Proposition 215, passed by voters in 1996, legalized the cultivation and medical use of marijuana by patients with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma and a variety of other illnesses. The Justice Department filed civil suits in January seeking to halt operations of six clubs: Peron's Cannabis Cultivators Club and Flower Therapy Medical Marijuana Club in San Francisco, and similar operations in Oakland, Santa Cruz, Ukiah and Fairfax. The Flower Therapy and Santa Cruz clubs have since closed and the Cannabis Cultivators Club renamed itself the Cannabis Healing Center. The other 11 clubs in the state, including major ones in Los Angeles and San Jose, were not named in the suits but could now become targets. U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi hailed Breyer's decision and asked the clubs to close down voluntarily. "Federal law is clear and Judge Breyer's opinion is clear - the distribution or cultivation of marijuana is unlawful," Yamaguchi said. "I call on all of the marijuana distribution clubs in California to take cognizance of this order and voluntarily shut down." Also praising the decision was state Attorney General Dan Lungren, a leader in the effort to shut the clubs down through legal challenges and enforcement efforts soon after they opened. "We're pleased by the court's decision," said Matt Ross, spokesman for Lungren's office. "It's consistent with what we have always held, which is that cannabis buyers' clubs are not allowed under state or federal law." Ross said the attorney general's office would continue to fight in state Superior Court for a preliminary injunction to close down the Cannabis Healing Center. Organizers at three of the four cannabis clubs mentioned in the decision vowed to defy the order while the director of the fourth one, the Ukiah Cannabis Buyer's Club, said he was still weighing the risks. "We're looking at alternatives and seeing what we can do," said Marvin Lehrman, director of the Ukiah club, which treats 200 patients regularly. "It's a daily feeling we have that we're facing down the federal government and they can come at any moment. I see them as being heavy-handed and mean-spirited, but I'm not afraid of them." Oakland Cannabis Club Executive Director Jeff Jones said he would defy the order and was awaiting his day in court. "What we're doing here is a necessity to patients," Jones said. "Because of Prop. 215, we feel that what we're doing here is within the law." Robert Raich, attorney for the Oakland club, said the judge's decision opened up a variety of legal avenues to pursue in defense of the clubs, most notably arguing that marijuana is a medical necessity for sick patients and that citizens have constitutional rights to be free from pain and to dictate their own medical treatment. Those arguments would be heard before a jury and must be either accepted or rejected unanimously, a chance Peron is willing to take. "We believe we can defend ourselves," Peron said. "If we do so successfully, we'll bring this issue into the national arena. We're going to have our day in court." (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trial Hinges On Pot's Purpose ('Sacramento Bee' Describes The Medical Marijuana Trial By Jury Of Placer County, California Defendant David Dale Black - Judge J. Richard Couzens Ruled The Defendant Could Not Invoke Proposition 215 As A Defense Because He Did Not Seek Or Obtain A Doctor's Recommendation To Use Marijuana Until Three Months After His Arrest, Even Though He Has Tourette's Syndrome) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 15:37:02 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Trial Hinges on Pot's Purpose Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Wayne Wilson - Bee Staff Writer TRIAL HINGES ON POT'S PURPOSE Man says it was for medical treatment; DA argues it was for sale He says he smokes marijuana to relieve a stutter that has afflicted his speech for 41 of his 49 years. But prosecutors allege that the pound of marijuana seized by sheriff's deputies in the Dutch Flat home of David Dale Black was not for his personal use - either medicinally or recreationally. They have charged Black with possession for sale, and on Thursday they opened his trial in Placer County Superior Court by contending that a scale, sandwich bags and $3,620 in cash found in close proximity to the weed prove their point. Black's defense - that the drug was used strictly as a medical treatment for a speech impediment - hit a snag Wednesday when Judge J. Richard Couzensruled Black could not rely on Proposition 215, the medical marijuana initiative, as a legal justification. Couzens pointed out that Black did not seek or obtain a doctor's recommendation to use marijuana until three months after his arrest. The judge did say, however, Black could testify about the benefits he receives from marijuana to explain the presence of the pot in his home. It will be up to the jury panel of 10 women and three men (one will be designated an alternate at the close of the case) to decide which scenario is true. According to Deputy District Attorney David H. Tellman, Black admitted on the day of his arrest in February 1997 to selling marijuana to friends. Black's attorney, Robert A. Young, did not offer an opening statement to the jury Thursday, but he said that when his client testifies, it will be clear just how important marijuana is to his well-being. Young said Black has been diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, a neurological disorder caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. In a pre-trial proceeding, Black declared: "I'm in perfect health, except for hyper-anxiety. In other words, I can't talk two words, back-to-back, without smoking marijuana, once every other day, to where it stays in me, you know, as a pill might work." The trial will continue today. Copyright 1998 The Sacramento Bee
------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript Of 'Politically Incorrect' May 15, 1998 (Bill Maher's Topic Is Proposition 215 And Medical Marijuana In A Television Talk Show Featuring Dr. Drew Pinsky, Todd McCormick, Natalie Maines And Woody Harrelson) Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 22:57:37 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Transcript of Politically Incorrect May 15th, 1998 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Frank S. World Source: Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher Contact: Click on "Your 2 Cents" Link Website: http://www.abc.com/pi/index.html Editors note: Thanks to Rolf Ernst of Legalize! USA (and member of your news posting team) this program is available in RealVideo at: http://www.legalize-usa.org/video.htm TRANSCRIPT OF POLITICALLY INCORRECT MAY 15TH, 1998 Guests on this program were: Dr. Drew Pinsky Todd McCormick Natalie Maines Woody Harrelson Bill's Opening [ Cheers and applause ] Bill: Hi, I'm Bill Maher, and tonight we're going to dedicate the program to California's Proposition 215, which says that Californians can use marijuana for pain. It's only a coincidence that it was enacted the same year as the Fleetwood Mac reunion. [ Laughter ] California says it's the law. the Federal Government says it isn't. So they split the difference, it's legal, but if you do it, you're going to jail. [ Laughter ] Well, tonight my guests are an addiction specialist, a marijuana activist, a country and western singer and a movie star. Me, I'm just here to make sure it's all fair, and partial, and as always, satirized for your protection. [ Cheers and applause ] Panel Discussion [ Applause ] Bill: All righty. Let us meet our panel on our special show. He's an actual medical physician and the host of MTV'S "Loveline," Dr. Drew Pinsky. Doctor. [ Cheers and applause ] There's the doc. How are you, doc? Dr. Drew: Hi, good to see you. Bill: Always good to see you. One of the country's most controversial medical marijuana activists, Todd McCormick. Yes, sir. [ Cheers and applause ] There you are, buddy. How are you? Todd: Pretty good. Bill: Good to see you. Her band is Dixie Chicks, her CD is "Wide Open Spaces," Natalie Maines, yeah. [ Cheers and applause ] Hello, young lady. Nice to meet you? How are you? Have a seat. And finally, this guy's an activist for a lot of causes. He dabbles in acting. Woody Harrelson came by. [ Wild cheers and applause ] You don't have to shake my hand. All right. Well, as you probably know, tonight, it's pretty much a one-topic show because we have one of the, as I said in the introduction, a leading medical marijuana activist here, that is Todd McCormick. And medical marijuana has been a hot-button issue, not only in this state, but all across this country. It was passed here in something called Proposition 215. I believe it was the November '96 election where the people of this state said, by a pretty sound majority, that they believe that if you are suffering from cancer, is usually what they use it for, and marijuana helps, you can have this drug available to you. Well, Todd has been testing this and has pretty much landed his ass in jail for doing it. [ Laughter ] And I know you guys are against this, so I just want to start this discussion and say, this poor guy has had cancer since - how old were you? Todd: Since I was 2. Ten times. Bill: Since you were 2? Todd: Since I was 2. Bill: And at some point, your mother gave you a joint, and you said it relieved all the pain? Todd: It was amazing. Actually, I was 9 years old. I had cancer in soft tissue between my left lung and my heart. I was given six months to live. As a last-ditch effort, my mother gave me some marijuana. She'd read in "Good Housekeeping" it may help. Bill: In "Good Housekeeping"? Todd: Of all things. Yeah, yeah. Bill: Are you serious? Todd: In the doctor's column, yeah. Bill: In the doctor's column of "Good Housekeeping." Todd: Yeah, I think it was February of '78, actually. And the doctor said, "He has nothing to lose." And it gave me a regained appetite. It gave me a better mental clarity. It made me feel better. It improved the way I felt about life. Dr. Drew: Did you have a firm diagnosis then? Todd: Yeah. Yes, I've had cancer - Dr. Drew: Because Histiocytosis X, which is what I understand you have, is a pretty benign condition. Todd: Yeah. It was coming on like machine gun fire, actually. Dr. Drew: And so really, it's not really so much, for you, been the cancer. It's - Todd: The treatment it helped me with. Dr. Drew: Right. It's not really a cancer - that isn't really technically a cancer, even. It's sort of a benign, it's a relatively benign tumor of childhood. But if the pain - Woody: Yeah, but when you give him six months to live - Dr. Drew: Well, that's why I'm so surprised, because it is usually a self-limited disease. It goes away on its own. Todd: Right. Up until '85, they treated Histiocytosis X as - Well, I've had radiational therapy, chemotherapy, surgery - Dr. Drew: Yeah, so you had it in the liver, you had it extra - in other organs other than the - Todd: In the spine, the skull, the hips, I was in a wheelchair. Dr. Drew: But it's been the pain, isn't it, that's really been the issue? Todd: Since I was 12, I used it for pain relief. Yeah. My spine is fused together. Bill: I think the issue is if something is helping a guy who's sick, where does the government get the [ bleep ] to say, "You can't have it"? Todd: Well, it's interesting - [ Cheers and applause ] You know, even during alcohol prohibition, Bill, the medical use of alcohol was never prohibited. You could always walk into a pharmacy and pick up medicinal alcohol. It seemed like - Dr. Drew: But don't kid yourself. The government's involved in the patient/physician relationship all over the place. I mean, the insurance companies are involved in it. The government's involved in it. The legal system is involved in it. So it is - Bill: So? Dr. Drew: I don't think it's a good thing. I'm with you. Natalie: I'm back at the beginning. Did you say you have mental clarity because of pot? Todd: Absolutely. Well, when you're stressed out and you're going through all these types of medical treatments, you can really feel down. Dr. Drew: But here, I think we have to be very, very careful of what we're talking about. Bill: Wait a second. Why is that a joke to you? Natalie: Because I don't believe that. You know, I went to high school with people who smoked pot four and five times a day, and they were sitting on their butts. They didn't have mental clarity. And, you know, is it one of those things where, "I drive better under the influence of pot"? Bill: We're not talking about driving now. Natalie: So you don't drive? Bill: I mean, maybe that's you and your friends. I mean, Woody, I know, has better mental clarity under it. [ Laughter ] Woody: There's no question about that, Bill. Thank you. [ Laughter and applause ] I mean, I think the issue is, if he's in pain and the populous decides that they think it's okay for medical - you know, for patients to have it, then where does the government get off saying, "You can't have it"? Natalie: I agree with that. [ Applause ] I agree with that, except that I was talking to Dr. Drew backstage, and he was saying that it's not proven. There's no medical cases that it's proven. Dr. Drew: And really, that's the real crux issue, is that there's difficulty getting the research done. And that's really where there's been a serious problem. Todd: But it's been the government that's prohibited the research. Dr. Drew: I think everyone's pretty much in agreement that the research needs to be done. The problem I have with marijuana - Todd: Yeah, but, I mean, there is a lot of research. Dr. Drew: He's not dying of cancer. It's not like we're going to give him something to prolong - in fact, it may be the wrong drug for him because it's chronic pain that he has. Todd: You know - wait a minute, though. The society for neuroscience, this was just front-page news in the "L.A. Times." They said that over 97 million people would benefit from the chemicals derived from or similar to the ones found in marijuana. Potentially, 97 million Americans - Dr. Drew: But we don't know. That's the problem. We need the research. We really need the research. Bill: But until the research is done, people are suffering. And - Dr. Drew: I got to tell you something. Because I have tons of clinical experience with this stuff. Bill: But he has tons of actual experience. [ Cheers and applause ] Dr. Drew: But in fact, though, Todd - and please, Todd, I don't mean to disparage your condition, but your real condition now is chronic pain? Todd: Right. Dr. Drew: And one of the axioms of chronic pain is getting off all substances before the - and utilizing other than medicinal approaches to the treatment of chronic pain, because activation of the reward system - Bill: You've got to be kidding. This whole country is dedicated to taking a pill for everything - [ Applause ] Dr. Drew: JAMA just published an article this week about adverse drug side effects being the fifth - between fourth and sixth leading cause of death for people in hospitals. Todd: It was just all over the news that prescription drugs kill over 100,000 people a year, also. Cannabis, on the other hand, hasn't taken a life in a 5,000-year history. [ Applause ] Dr. Drew: That is my point. I've gotta tell you. If you hear - it has, unfortunately, and please, bear with me. 'Cause I run an addiction program, and I have to deal with marijuana addiction every day. And the fact is that the incidence of suicidiality of the first six months of marijuana abstinence is substantial. And people don't know that. Bill: I don't think it's the marijuana, it's the fact that they miss it so much.Dr. Drew: They do. Absolutely. It's a very serious reality. And in fact, people who get into marijuana addiction years down the line already get depressed. They get irritable. And usually, they switch to speed - Natalie: Which is why, until the drug - until there is enough research, it is an illegal drug. Bill: Enough research. Natalie: But that research has to be out there. What about years ago when people didn't think cigarettes did anything to you? Now we found out you die of it and people die of it. I agree with that. Woody: Coffee is a legal drug. Natalie: And it shouldn't be. Woody: And sugar's a legal drug. And they're all damn bad for you. Should we round up everybody who goes to Dunkin' Donuts and throw 'em in jail? [ Cheers and applause ] Natalie: We should, as far as cigarettes. Bill: I have to take a commercial. We'll come back to Dunkin' Donuts. [ Applause ] Bill: All right, we were talking about medical marijuana and marijuana in general. And some people watch this and say "Oh, they're talking about drugs, and that's what they care about." To me, it's fundamentally an American issue, about what we want in this country, and what this country means. Do you have the freedom to do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt somebody else? That, to me, is what America is about. [ Applause ] That, to me, should be a conservative standpoint. But it is not. Now, you had mentioned, you said marijuana addiction. You talked about a clinic that you were involved in. Dr. Drew: Yes. Yes. Bill: I've never heard those terms together. Dr. Drew: You know what? I thought that somebody would bring that up. So I just pulled out the first two quarterly journals of "Addiction Disease." And in here, a physician - one of them has a physician paper on how to handle marijuana addiction, and what the American Society of Addiction Medicine's position is on marijuana. Bill: Well, what is addiction, doc? Dr. Drew: Addiction is the progressive use in a biologically prone individual in the face of consequences. If somebody keeps using even when they need to stop and want to stop. Bill: So, food can be an addiction? Dr. Drew: Well, it depends on - Bill: I bet food kills more people than pot. [ Applause ] Woody: Amen, brother. Dr. Drew: But stay with the - I'm not defending - because I'm quasi-anti-prohibition. I think prohibition basically fuels the crime syndicate and doesn't do much for people that use drugs, except it doesn't help addicts contain their behavior, and it allows for abuse of substances for adolescents. Bill: But why is it - some things are not addictive, I assume, we could say. Dr. Drew: I am anti-misinformation on this drug. Unfortunately, I hear the audience snicker when I talk about my experience with this drug in dealing with people who become addicted and looking at the biological concept. Woody: I don't think the issue is whether or not people become addicted because I think it's obvious people become addicted. You know, there's a lot of potheads in the world. But the issue is whether or not we should be throwing them in jail. If there's such a thing as a victimless crime. And we spend $50 billion a year on victimless crimes in this country. [ Applause ] Now, the question is, should we be throwing these people in jail? Should we be - you know, I don't quote George Bush much, but he said something I like. [ Laughter ] He said, "If we've learned anything in the last quarter century, it is that we cannot Federalize virtue." And that, to me, is what's going on here. The United States government - [ Applause ] The United States government is trying to tell us what's right and what's wrong when no one's being hurt by it. If you're not hurting the person or property of a non-consenting other - Bill: But he is being hurt by not being allowed to have even Marinol, which is the prescription version of it. Todd: Right. Yeah, I just spent 11 days in jail because the judge decided that I shouldn't be allowed to use prescription Marinol. Dr. Drew: Does Marinol work for you? Todd: Actually, it does. You know, what happens when I have chronic pain is I can't sleep at night. I wake up chronically fatigued. I lose my appetite. Todd: It works well. Bill: And it has nothing to do with who you got baked with in high school. [ Laughter ] Natalie: Yeah, but the point to that was that it doesn't not do anything to you. And it does affect other people. Your senses get altered, you get behind the wheel of a car, just like you do alcohol, and you put the lives of other people in danger. Bill: Yeah. But - alcohol is not outlawed. You can't outlaw things just because people might screw up with them. Natalie: No. But now that something is illegal, you can't say you can do it just because alcohol is legal. So let's bring a lot of other things legal that hurt other people because we already have one. Bill: Using Democracy doesn't hurt other people. It helps people. Woody: Is this a free country? Do you really think it's a free country? Natalie: Yes. And my mother had cancer, and I have to honestly say that if that helped her and it was legal, then that would be okay. But my worry is - Todd: Did she try it? Natalie: No. Todd: Why? Natalie: She didn't have to because her cancer didn't get that far. Todd: It didn't get that far. Natalie: Right. Todd: But now the people who have had cancer get that far, the people with AIDS, the people with glaucoma, the government supplies one of my dearest friends with 300 marijuana cigarettes for the past ten years because she has glaucoma. Natalie: But what about when you - Todd: It's the only thing that's helped her see. Should she go blind because it's illegal? Natalie: How about this? How about, since you have to smoke it around seven times a day, like all the other addictive drugs in the hospital, why don't you go to the hospital, smoke it seven times a day in a room with a doctor so that you don't go get it at a drug store and pass it off to all your friends? Todd: Do you know how ridiculous that really just sounded? [ Laughter ] [ Cheers and applause ] And that's like saying, "go to the hospital because you've got to take your Prozac." Natalie: Yeah, 'cause I don't want kids getting that, too. Bill: Yeah, Prozac. Todd: When I was 9, I never shared it with my friends. Bill: Kids take Prozac. Todd: I did very well in school. It didn't affect my friends. It affected me. Bill: Your experience is that you saw - Natalie: You were sick. Not all kids are sick. Todd: And they weren't, and I saw a difference. Bill: But why should everybody suffer because the people you went to high school with used it to eat Cheetos and watch cartoons? Natalie: It's not the people I went to high school with, it's kids - [ Applause ] Bill: Not everybody uses it that way. Natalie: But people do, so let's make it more available to them. Bill: But people do? People also drive badly, should we outlaw cars? [ Laughter ] Dr. Drew: Let me turn this a little bit and say that I have yet to have a request for marijuana prescription from somebody who is not a marijuana addict. I have yet to experience that because - Todd: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Dr. Drew: Because, well, let me explain. Hold on. Hold on. Because people who have this predisposition have much more of a euphoric effect from the drug. And I have made cases that we ought to find out what that euphoragen is and take that out, and see if people still want to use this drug for medicinal purposes. Woody: Why throw people in jail because they're feeling euphoria? Dr. Drew: But - right. But wait a minute, this is the question - wait a minute, this is the question - Bill: Hey, let's take the good taste out of chocolate ice cream, doc, while we're at it. [ Laughter ] All right, I've gotta take a commercial. We'll come back to right there. [ Applause ] Bill: All right. This is your record, Dixie Chicks, great record. And I assume it's all done sober. Natalie: Except for the last song. Bill: Except for the last song. What happened there? Natalie: A little wine. Bill: A little wine? Natalie: No pot, though. Bill: Well, why is wine any different? I mean, creativity is enhanced by certain things that nature, God, put on the Earth. There's any number of bands who would testify that they were not, as you say, induced to just zone out when they smoked pot, but they actually had their creativity enhanced. You don't think that that's possible? Natalie: No. Bill: Really, then you're just - Natalie: You just listen to the dobro part on that last song, and it's really out of tune. Bill: You don't think anybody ever had a different experience than the one you characterize with marijuana? Natalie: Yes. But what about every experience I bring up, it's specifically his. Or do you have cancer? Have I missed the bulletin? Woody: I don't have cancer, but I think I have a right to smoke pot, as much of a right as someone has to take Prozac and as much of a right as someone has to smoke cigarettes. Dr. Drew: All right. Here's the deal, though. Really, what we're talking about is, none of us really disagree that if somebody with a terminal condition or even a chronic condition that would be improved by marijuana should categorically not be allowed to use it. But I think the question we're kind of zeroing in on here is, does prohibition work, and do we want a government that utilizes prohibition in our society? Todd: Well, when we had alcohol prohibition, we saw crime increase, we saw gangs - Dr. Drew: If you look at the facts, if you look - Woody: To quote Thomas Jefferson, "I think the government that governs best governs least." [ Applause ] Todd: And then - and then, you know, what kind of resources are being wasted on this drug war right now? I was lookin' at statistics last night. There's over $17 billion this year cast away. That doesn't include the IRS drug budget, the DEA's drug budget, the FBI's drug budget, which closed at $21 billion. Dr. Drew: Oh, I agree with you. But here's my concern is that if we, say, start to legalize various abusive substances and the government gets funds from that, I would be in favor of it if they would use those funds to help treat and educate people about drugs and addiction. The problem is, what do you think would happen to those monies? They would very quickly be siphoned off into God knows what. Todd: Well, wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Bill: So the better answer is to send crop-dusting planes to Colombia? Todd: Yeah, right. Dr. Drew: But the better answer is to contain this. And I think that's what our society is trying to do, is try to help - Todd: But you're not containing it by having a drug war. We are - by feeding the fire, to say the very least, I mean, a person, a family has to pull teeth, sweat bullets, to be able to save up enough money to put their kids through college. And it's so hard to procure a loan and save $14,000 a year just to get money to go to school. But, if you're put in a desperate situation because you have no education, there's $16,000 to $33,000 already put aside to incarcerate you. You know, what are we doing for the children with this drug war? [ Applause ] Natalie: But the point is that it's against the law. You get put in jail because you're breaking the law. Bill: But the law is made by the people, and the people of this state and many others said they don't think it's a just law. They have a sense of what this country is about, which is freedom to do whatever you want to do if it doesn't hurt somebody else. Woody: Halleluja, brother. [ Applause ] Dr. Drew: I have to counter with an Abraham Lincoln quote, which is "The majority cannot decide what the majority cannot decide." Meaning that sometimes - Bill: Why should - Woody: I got another Abraham Lincoln quote - "I've noticed folks with very few vices have very few virtues." Natalie: Hey, I've got a Clinton quote - "I did not inhale." Todd: And now he's a President, but he tried it. Should we imprison him for trying it? And that's what this really should be all about. We are sending people to jail. The government has been trying to put me in jail for ten years to life because I grew my own medicine. Woody: That never hurt anybody. Todd: No. Nonviolent - Dr. Drew: But I read what you were growing. That wasn't all for you, was it? Todd: Yeah, actually, it's research. I mean, now that the laws have changed, anyone with half a mind is going to want to experiment with a plant that has as much diversity as dogs. I mean, if I was allowed to grow dogs, I wouldn't grow chihuahuas to pull a dog sled. And this is the situation we're in. [ Applause ] Bill: Now, how can you say this man is not thinking clearly? [ Laughter ] Could a man make an analogy like that if he wasn't thinking clearly? Dr. Drew: You're not using it continuously, are you? You're using it intermittently. Todd: I used to use - No, no, no, no. When I used marijuana medicinally, I found actually it was quite the reverse. If I used it spontaneously, like a little here and there, I would get high, come down, I'd still be in pain. If I would use it from when I woke up to when I go to sleep, I would not be in a foggy state. I would be able to think clearly. You would never be able to tell if I was smoking or not smoking. And my pain would decrease. I would sleep normally, eat normally. Dr. Drew: Do you use intermittently? That's a no - ? Todd: No. No. I use it all the time. But right now, I'm under severe drug testing because the government is acting as a doctor. Even though I have no less than five recommendations from some of the top American physicians on the subject, the government is saying, "We know best." And that's not Democracy. That's more of a mirror of fascism than it is anything that this country - Bill: They can't deliver the mail, and they're telling him how to run his health regimen? [ Applause ] It just seems wrong. Okay. We have to take a commercial. We'll come back. [ Applause ] Bill: Okay. Last time we talked to you, you wanted to say something about Proposition 215. Dr. Drew: I was really offended by 215. As you know, what I am mostly against is misinformation. And 215, to me, seemed like a sham. It was some sort of Trojan horse, concocted to try to get people - using the sympathies of people about individuals with chronic illness, to try to cram this thing into legality. Todd: No, I started a compassion club in San Diego because I've seen people going blind, dying of AIDS in front of me, and nobody's helping them. And the drugs that you can prescribe don't work. These people shouldn't suffer waiting for you to change your minds and laws. Dr. Drew: Marijuana doesn't work that well. That's misinformation, too. It's a weak drug. It's not a very potent drug for these sorts of things. For you - Todd: It doesn't stimulate appetite? Dr. Drew: It stimulates appetite, but a lot of things - Megase stimulates appetite. That's what's indicated now for AIDS wasting, as a matter of fact. Woody: The question is, should the government have a hand in victimless crimes? *** Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher Executive Producers Scott Carter Bill Maher Nancy Geller Senior Producer Douglas M. Wilson Supervising Producer Kevin Hamburger Created By Bill Maher Directed By Dennis Rosenblatt Writing Supervised By Chris Kelly Writers K.P. Anderson Mark Bruser Bill Kelley Bill Maher Billy Martin Jerry Nachman Ned Rice Cliff Schoenberg Danny Vermont Scott Carter Executive in Charge of Production John Fisher Executive Producers Brad Grey Bernie Brillstein Marc Gurvitz (c)1998 Follow Up Productions, Inc
------------------------------------------------------------------- Addicted To Pleasure And To Pain (An Unapologetic Heroin User Speaks Out In Cintra Wilson's Column In 'The San Francisco Examiner' - 'After Eight Years In Narcotics Anonymous, I Renounced Abstinence From Drugs') Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 01:27:40 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Gerald Sutliff
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: unapologetic heroin user speaks Subject: Addicted to pleasure and to pain Source: Cintra Wilson's column (once weekly), SF Examiner, Living Section (5-15-98) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Cintra Wilson FEELS YOUR PAIN Addicted to pleasure and to pain Dearest Dope-sick and Dry-heaving Readers: The following is an excerpt from a much longer letter (that, if not hurting for space, I would have loved to print in full), from the wise and extreme soul of one Carl L., who offers another refreshingly amoral view of the heroin topic: My Wise, Lovely and Compassionate Cintra: I used heroin, opium and various other opiates continually for 15 years. After eight years in N.A., I renounced abstinence from drugs. It's difficult to write about without turning it into an autobiography or philosophical manifesto; it opens up too many basic questions regarding the nature of good and evil, the meaning of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" in the political philosophy of liberal democracy vs. social 'engineering. Are hedonistic drug vices somehow inherently dehumanizing, worthy of channelizing in order to save civilization from some eventual collective suicidal speed ball run? I would like to add some experience-based perspectives to some of what was written in last Friday's column. Regarding methadone: It sucks! I was on it for 21/2 years. Only about 10 percent of chronic dope fiends are on the program at any given time, and most drink or use other drugs with it. In your last column, it was stated: "Research shows that ... methadone is the most successful treatment for opiate addiction." The reason this is so is because methadone maintenance is opiate addiction - how-ever, it is an opiate few find satisfying enough to trade for heroin. I found long-term use of methadone to be, unlike heroin, debilitating and draining of my energy and ambition. Methadone is far more domplex than organic opiates. It is synthesized from petroleum. It is not quickly processed and expelled from the body, and methadone withdrawal is longer-lasting and more severe than withdrawal from organic opiateL I do not believe that the physiological effects of its long-term use are as benign as those of heroin. Considering the (illegal) context in which heroin use occurs, methadone is a safer and saner alternative that does save lives. Using heroin also means using drugs of varying quality in unknown doses adulterated with a host of different "cuts," most of which are more physiologically damaging than the drug. I once nearly died from shooting dope cut with shoe polish. I never felt quite the same after that unpleasant experience. In your last column, a reader writes of falling into depression in her seventh year clean and turning to antidepressants. My story is very similar: after seven years I went on Prozac. People in recovery commonly voice this same view and speak of having to confront frustrations and personal demons after the first five years and some kind of painful existential abyss during the second five. The antidepressant effects (of Prozac) pretty much ceased for me after a year. Seven years of loneliness and sexual frustration prompted a rational though very passionate decision to inject a jolt of straight-up euphoria and ecstasy into my life: I fixed. To call heroin an antidepressant is an understatement. Within perhaps 30 seconds of a "mainline" injection I become mentally healthy in the extreme. Fear, pain, neuroses and frustration do not exist in this universe; only pleasure, euphoria and optimism. All wants and needs are met. This effect is rather short-lived, and the harder one chases that euphoria the more fleeting it becomes. Narcotics are simple compounds. Human beings, on the other hand, are extremely complex and variable in chemistry and personality, and the result of the mix is highly variable. To suggest that narcotics might have some beneficial therapeutic effects in raising the level of mental health in some individuals would surely infuriate moralists, with their seeming in-ability to grasp concepts like "complexity" or "variability" in regard to questions they feel are moral in nature. Heroin addiction dearly is a form of self-medication. Junkies (myself included) seem to suffer from low self-esteem, social ineptitude and an inability to handle life on its own terms. But to call drug use or drug addiction simply self-medication is to present an incomplete picture. Heroin is great for running from pain, but even better for chasing pleasure in an extreme form. The sensation a dope fiend is chasing is more like that which for me is also available through sex and romantic passion. Had medication of pain been my only objective, some low-class drug like alcohol or Valium would have sufficed. Cintra! How I suffer from, and how I enjoy my tragic romantic personality disorder! I do love pleasure and pain. Both make me feel so alive. So human. I believe many, if not most, addicts suffer from and revel in this affliction. Just listen to the Velvet Underground or to Jim Carroll's "Catholic Boy" album. This angle should be considered in understanding why some people voluntarily make unwise choices. Mental health bores me to death. - Carl L Drug users Tell your happy tales. Please write to: CINTRA WILSON FEELS YOUR PAIN, San Francisco Examiner, P.O. Box 7260, San Fancisco, CA 94120, or email the Psychic Supergenius at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cop Shot In Pursuit Of Drug Suspects ('San Francisco Examiner' Notes Cop Shoots Cop In A Drug War Battle That Has Already Claimed The Life Of One 17-Year-Old Girl, Also Shot By Police) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 03:28:48 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Cop Shot In Pursuit Of Drug Suspects Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Jim Herron Zamora, Eric Brazil and Tyche Hendricks COP SHOT IN PURSUIT OF DRUG SUSPECTS Police sought a fugitive Friday in a bizarre chain of events that included a 17-year-old girl fatally shot by cops during a busted stakeout, a San Francisco police officer shot by another cop, a carjacking, a car wreck and several car chases and arrests. Among those arrested was drug suspect Raymondo Cox, 21. Cox had fled the stakeout Wednesday with an alleged accomplice and the girl, Sheila Patricia Detoy, who was killed, police said, by a shot fired by officers at the fleeing car. The alleged accomplice, Michael Negron, was still at large Friday after smashing his uncle's BMW into a Daly City police motorcycle, San Francisco police said. Cox was in San Francisco County Jail on charges relating to the drug stakeout and resisting arrest. Cox was the target of the initial stakeout that started the hectic chain of events; an FBI-SFPD fugitive team sought to arrest him for failing to appear in court on a series of charges involving possession and sale of crack cocaine. The shooting of one officer by another occurred Thursday night in Visitacion Valley as police were trying to arrest two other men who became involved in the case. The mayhem started Wednesday morning when police tried to arrest Cox at an apartment complex near Lake Merced. In that incident, police said Negron and Cox tried to flee police and FBI agents in a gray Mustang. Detoy was in a passenger seat. Officers Gregory Breslin and Michael Moran fired four rounds as driver Negron accelerated back toward the police, who said they feared they would be run over, according to police reports. Detoy was killed by a bullet in the left ear. Police said the bullet entered through the open driver's side window. "There is no evidence that a bullet was fired from the inside of the vehicle," said Homicide Lt. David Robinson. Negron and Cox sped away but the car crashed head-on into another car on nearby Sloat Boulevard, police said. The two jumped out and carjacked 68-year-old retiree Zayed Zawaydeh's 1987 Toyota Camry, police said. Zawaydeh's car was recovered Thursday afternoon by police at the Tanforan shopping center in San Bruno, Robinson said. On Thursday, investigators who asked not to be named said "we got lucky" with a tip that located Cox and Negron, who also goes by the name Michael Johnson, in the Visitacion Valley area. The tipster told police that Cox was spotted outside a home in the Sunnydale projects Wednesday night, investigators said. Police interviewed a woman who lived there and she admitted her husband was friendly with Cox but had not seen the fugitive that day. She said her husband could be found at another friend's home a few blocks away. Just as police arrived there and began to set up surveillance, they spotted Cox, Negron and two unidentified young men coming out of the house. The two unidentified men got into the front cab of a Toyota pickup, police said. Cox and Negron climbed into the back, which was covered by an opaque camper shell. The truck sped away - with officers in pursuit - and blew past two Daly City motorcycle police officers, who were doing traffic enforcement at the county line, police said. The pickup went onto northbound Highway 101 near Candlestick Point, wound in and out of traffic at high speeds, then exited at Bayshore Boulevard, police said. The truck sped up Cortland Avenue at about 60 mph into Bernal Heights. The four suspects jumped out of the Toyota on Powhatan Avenue, running in different directions, police said. Police Inspector Robert McMillan and two other officers caught Cox as he tried to run down a hill where Powhatan comes into the freeway. Meanwhile, Daly City Officer Richard Woodworth followed Negron to a relative's house on Nebraska Street. There, Negron climbed into his uncle's green 1992 BMW 525i, which was parked on the street, police said. Woodworth ordered Negron to stop and pulled his motorcycle in the BMW's path, police said. Negron allegedly backed over the motorcycle, just missing the officer, and sped away. Police have issued an all-points bulletin for the BMW with the California license number 3XJD434. The man alleged to be driving the pickup was arrested later at his Daly City home, said Lt. Michael Scott of the Daly City police. Joseph Solis, 21, was caught by police as he tried to climb over his back fence at 268 Westlake Ave. at 8:12 p.m., police said. Solis was booked late Thursday by San Francisco police on charges of reckless driving and trying to evade police. At 9:30 p.m., Inspector McMillan and three other officers surrounded a house on Campbell Street in Visitacion Valley where they hoped to find Negron or clues to his whereabouts, according to Robinson. Sgt. Dan Greely intercepted two men fleeing out the back door. As they tried to hop a fence, Robinson said, Greely ordered the men to stop, then fired two shots when he thought he saw one carrying a weapon. Neither of the fleeing men was hurt, but McMillan was hit in the upper thigh. McMillan was taken to San Francisco General Hospital where he remained in serious but stable condition Friday. One of the men was apprehended and the other turned himself in shortly after, Robinson said. The two men's names were not immediately available, nor were the charges they were arrested on. "It's a long saga that started yesterday noontime and hasn't stopped," said Daly City's Lt. Scott after Thursday night's arrests. "It's unbelievable." (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teenage Shooting Victim Ran With Wrong Crowd ('San Francisco Examiner' Tries To Portray The 17-Year-Old-Girl Killed By Police In San Francisco Who Were Trying To Bust A Fugitive Wanted On Crack Cocaine Charges, But Refuses To Examine The Failed Policies That Led To Her Death) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 03:32:34 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Teenage Shooting Victim Ran With Wrong Crowd Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Tyche Hendricks, Examiner Staff TEENAGE SHOOTING VICTIM RAN WITH WRONG CROWD Sheila Patricia Detoy loved to swim in the Russian River and visit with her grandma and her aunts in the tranquillity of their Guerneville home. But the 17-year-old also loved the edgy excitement of hanging out with a fast-living, drug-dealing crowd in her hometown, San Francisco, her aunts said Thursday. It was her association with that alluring underworld that may have led to her death Wednesday. She was shot through the head by a police officer who fired on the getaway car in which she was riding with two alleged drug dealers wanted by police. Thursday night, her aunts Sheila and Patricia Detoy, for whom she was named, remembered their niece as "a brilliant, beautiful girl" whose death, they believe, symbolizes the failings of America's war on drugs. "She was innocent, but she was hanging around with this world like she was living out some hip-hop song," said Sheila Detoy. "I've been scared to death something would happen to her for a long time." Patricia Detoy said her niece didn't realize the danger she was putting herself in. "This was kind of a lark," she said. "How serious are kids at that age?" The aunts described their niece as a precocious young woman who dropped out of St. Ignatius High School because she was unhappy there, but who had promptly gotten her high school general equivalency diploma. The teenager lived at home with her mother and older sister, Sheila Detoy said, adding that the girl's father - a fourth generation San Franciscan, born in his parents' home on Magellan Avenue in Forest Hill - had died in an accident when the girl was 3. She used to love visits with her grandmother in Guerneville, where Aunt Sheila raises flowers that Aunt Patty sells at the farmer's market in San Francisco. "I talked to her the day before (she was killed)," said Patricia Detoy. "We were planning our summer vacation up here." Co-workers at a coffeehouse where Sheila had recently worked also remembered her fondly. Mike Wall, who worked with her at the Java Beach Cafe at the Ocean Beach end of Judah Street, described her as a "very beautiful, charming young lady." He said that young men noticed her waist-length, reddish-blond hair and her smile. "She was very friendly, everyone here liked her a lot," said Wall. "We all loved her," said another co-worker who would not give her name. "We're really sad about this. I can't imagine this happening to her." Her aunts say Sheila was a victim of a high-powered war on drugs that has become a war on kids, leading to unnecessarily violent standoffs such as the one in which she died. "This is a terrible, botched tragedy," said Sheila Detoy. "This cop screwed up; he had to have. Something went really wrong, because a really innocent girl got killed." Rather than putting money into police stakeouts and violent confrontations, she said, more money should be devoted to drug rehabilitation and mental health programs to help kids find a saner life. "This poor policeman," Sheila Detoy said, lamenting the officer who shot her niece. "They're both victims. We're failing our kids and we're failing our cops." (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cocaine Convictions Are Reinstated ('San Francisco Examiner' Says A Federal Appeals Court On Thursday Reinstated The 20-Years-To-Life Sentences Of The Alleged Leader Of An Oakland Drug Gang And Four Of His Colleagues, Overturned By A Federal Judge Because A Juror Commented During Deliberations That He Believed The Leader Of An Associated Gang Had Killed A Government Witness) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 03:41:36 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Cocaine Convictions Are Reinstated Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ COCAINE CONVICTIONS ARE REINSTATED SAN FRANCISCO - The cocaine convictions of the alleged leader of an Oakland drug gang and four of his colleagues, overturned by a federal judge because of jury misconduct, were reinstated Thursday by a federal appeals court. A juror's reported comment during deliberations that he believed the leader of an associated gang had killed a government witness had little to do with the charges against Anthony Flowers and his codefendants, said the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Flowers was convicted in December 1996 of conspiracy to distribute more than 11 pounds of cocaine between January and August 1994. Four other men also were convicted. After the convictions, the jury was supposed to hear other charges, including an accusation that Flowers operated a continuing criminal enterprise, the "drug kingpin" law punishable by 20 years to life in prison. But the jury was dismissed because some jurors had read a newspaper story of post-verdict comments by U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi saying homicides in Oakland had fallen after Flowers and his codefendants were arrested.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DARE We Ask? (Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' From A Parent In Irvine, California, Says The DARE Program There Is Trying To 'Teach' His Son The Dangers Of Private Firearm Ownership) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 10:26:24 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: DARE We Ask? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 DARE WE ASK? I was informed by my son that he was shown a film at Sierra Vista by the DARE officer which was apparently intended to demonstrate the potential horrors of firearm ownership. The film showed a pair of youths getting hold of a handgun belonging to one's parents, terrorizing a local convenience store clerk and then fatally shooting one of the boy's brothers. I did not see the film, so I want to avoid jumping to conclusions, but I am concerned that: The DARE program may have been captured by individuals who intend to use it as a forum for delivering their own social-engineering messages (not so rare in our school system); and DARE is diverting resources from objectives and practices that we all support - the fight against drug abuse - and turning those resources toward objectives that I, and others like me, cannot support. William C. Prentice - Irvine
------------------------------------------------------------------- State High Court Ruling Toughens Three-Strikes Law ('Los Angeles Times' Notes The California Supreme Court Decided Thursday That A Single Criminal Act Can Count As More Than One Crime - 4-To-3 Ruling Upholds Sentence Of 25 Years To Life Given To A Man Convicted Of Stealing A Carton Of Cigarettes Who Had Been Convicted 15 Years Earlier Of Two Felonies Stemming From A Single Knife Attack On A Neighbor) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 15:34:13 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: State High Court Ruling Toughens 3-Strikes Law Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Maura Dolan, Times Legal Affairs Writer STATE HIGH COURT RULING TOUGHENS 3-STRIKES LAW Justice: Two felonies can stem from a single criminal act, majority finds. Three justices issue strong dissent. SAN FRANCISCO--In a ruling that affects scores of criminal defendants, the California Supreme Court decided Thursday that a single criminal act can count as more than one crime under the state's three-strikes law. The 4-to-3 ruling upheld a sentence of 25 years to life given to Russell Benson, a Lancaster man who was convicted of stealing a carton of cigarettes from a Target store. He had been convicted 15 years earlier of two felonies that stemmed from a single knife attack on a neighbor. Had his earlier conviction been considered as only one strike, Benson would have faced a maximum six-year sentence. The court's ruling--its first decision on how the three-strikes law affects such cases--held that multiple felonies can be punished as separate strikes even if they arise from a single criminal act. A 100-year-old law prohibits multiple punishment for a single act, but the majority held that the three-strikes measure supersedes that law. Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who wrote the majority opinion, cited language in the 1994 ballot initiative that said the three-strikes measure applied "not withstanding any other provision of the law." "The Legislature and the voters, through the initiative process, clearly intended that each conviction for a serious or violent felony counts as a prior conviction," George wrote, "even where the convictions were based upon conduct against a single victim committed at the same time with a single intent." Under the court's ruling, a single car hijacking could produce two strikes because defendants in such cases are often convicted of both car hijacking and robbery. In an example cited by the dissenting justices, a person who stops a pedestrian at knifepoint and demands a watch could be convicted of three felonies or strikes: felony false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon and attempted robbery. "The question before us has major practical consequences," Justice Ming W. Chin, a court conservative, wrote in a dissent. "Multiple convictions can often arise out of a single act." "We should not transform one strike into two," said Chin, who was joined by Justices Stanley Mosk and Kathryn Mickle Werdegar. The ruling has "abrogated the fundamental promise that . . . has been made for over a century," Chin wrote, adding that prosecutors may eventually regret their victory. Trial judges, now realizing that felonies from a single crime count as separate strikes, may decide simply to dismiss them. "Dismissal, of course, is exactly what should not happen," Chin wrote. If the defendant's primary conviction is overturned on appeal, the prosecutor would have no other convictions to keep the defendant in prison. But the majority said the ruling was required by the clear language of the three-strikes law. "The courts of this state on occasion have found fault with the imprecise nature of language contained within statutory enactments," George wrote for the court. "We find it difficult, however, to imagine language clearer, or more unequivocal" than the words of the three-strikes initiative. The three-strikes law, designed to put repeat offenders behind bars, doubles a sentence for a second violent felony and carries a 25-year-to-life term for anyone convicted of a third felony. The court's ruling drew praise from law enforcement officials. Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren said the court had interpreted the three-strikes law "as it was intended." "We have a pretty tough three-strikes law, and that is the reason we have seen such a dramatic drop in the crime rate," Lungren added. A spokesman for Gov. Pete Wilson pronounced the governor "pleased with today's strong law-and-order decision." "This ruling puts the teeth back into the three-strikes law and brings us back to the intent of the voters," he said. "There is no doubt this is a strict interpretation of the three-strikes law," said Deputy Atty. Gen. Ellen Birnbaum Kehr, who argued the case before the Supreme Court. The ruling was necessary because it "affects a lot of defendants," she added. "This was not a rare case." But Russell S. Babcock, who represented Benson, called the decision "absurd" and a "shocking result that is going to cause a lot of problems for both the prosecution and the defense as well as the judiciary." "It parts company with 100 years of prior case law," Babcock said. "I don't think voters had a clue that this is what they were getting when they enacted this." Judges have been trying to avoid deciding how to handle multiple felony convictions involving single acts pending the outcome of the current case, Babcock said. With the ruling in place, defendants who were convicted of two prior felonies but received probation could now face life in prison for a relatively minor crime, he said. "It is a really frightening result." Benson was arrested in 1994 and convicted of petty theft with a prior. The judge, assuming the two prior felonies counted as separate strikes, sentenced Benson to 25 years to life. Benson's prior conviction stemmed from a 1979 attack on a woman in his apartment building. Benson had borrowed a vacuum cleaner from her and later returned, saying he had forgotten his keys inside. He stabbed the woman 20 times. The victim identified him to police, and he turned himself in the next day. A jury convicted Benson of burglary and assault, but he was sentenced for only one crime because the felonies stemmed from a single course of conduct--he had entered the apartment not to steal, but to stab the woman. His appellate attorney said Benson was upset with the neighbor for reasons that are now unclear. Under a law passed in 1872, an act that is punishable in different ways is still only subject to a single penalty, regardless of the number of convictions, so long as the criminal violations are all part of a single course of conduct. A man who both rapes and robs a woman, for example, could be punished twice for two criminal acts, but a person charged with rape and lewd conduct would be subject to only one punishment even though the conduct violated two laws. Courts, as in Benson's case, have routinely "stayed" multiple felonies stemming from one act. This allowed the secondary convictions to be resurrected if the primary case was overturned on appeal. Otherwise, the separate convictions would not be used. Benson will now return before the trial judge, who has the option of striking one of the two prior felonies if the judge believes a life sentence would be unjust. At the time Benson was originally sentenced, it was unclear whether judges had that option. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man To Be Evicted (A Reporter For The 'South County Journal' In Seattle Says He Interviewed A Medical Marijuana Patient Today Who Is Being Evicted From His King County Housing Authority Apartment - And Wants To Know About Any Similar Cases Locally) From: WWonders (WWonders@aol.com) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 10:33:14 EDT To: firstname.lastname@example.org Cc: email@example.com Subject: HT: Re: man to be evicted Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org In a message dated 5/14/98 10:34:42 PM, you wrote: Hi, My name is Jackie Reis. I'm a reporter for the South County Journal and interviewed a man today who said he is about to be evicted from his King County Housing Authority apartment because he uses marijuana to relieve the pain of a eight-year-old spinal injury. Have you heard of cases like this before? Is there anything he can do? He says marijuana is the only drug he can take for the pain that will not leave him unable to drive and care for himself and his 12-year-old son. I would appreciate hearing back from you either by e-mail or phone (253) 872-6717, and please specify what can be quoted of what you write or say. Thanks for your help, JR *** High Jackie Yes, I think there was a similar case in King County in the last year or so. I took the liberty of forwarding your message to Hemp-Talk. Someone on this email list may have more information for you than I. Let me (us) know if you plan to write an article, I'm sure you will find several folks on this list more than willing to share their opinion. Shame on the King County Housing Authority for punishing this man AND HIS 12 YEAR OLD SON for using a SAFE, effective herb to find relief from his pain. What will "society" gain by forcing this man and his son to live on the streets? Give attorneys Jeff Steinborn (Steinborn & Assocs., 206 622 5117 - 622 3848 fax) and/or Carolyn Ramamurti (Kolker & Ramamurti, 206 464 1761 - 624 3391) a call, they maybe able to help. Feel free to use anything I said or may say in the future concerning this injustice. Sincerely, ...Jimmy 253 474 0838
------------------------------------------------------------------- District Apologizes For Drunken Driving Exhibit (School Officials In Sandpoint, Idaho, Haul A Smashed Car To School, Providing An Inadvertent Warning To Students About The Dangers Of Sobriety) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com 05/15/98 3:02 PM Eastern SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) - The wrecked car towed to Sandpoint High School was meant to be a graphic display of what happens when people drink and drive. It didn't appear anyone could have survived the 1989 Ford Tempo that had been struck by a train. But Tom and Kathy Parks knew the driver survived, and wasn't on drugs or alcohol. Tom Parks was the driver. School district officials are sending a formal written apology to the Parks family, and the car has been towed from the school, drug education coordinator Don Medrano Tennison said. A high school counselor didn't fully check details about the car before it was brought in, Tennison said. "It was not our intent to cause any harm," he said. "It appears to look dishonest to put a car out there that looks pretty smashed up and imply it was from drinking and driving. This was not a drunk driving accident." The Parks learned the district their wrecked car was on display when their daughter stepped off a school bus at the high school. "The first thing my daughter said was `Oh my God, that's my dad's car.' She called and told me to go to the front of the school. She was pretty much in tears," Kathy Parks said. School officials told Parks they had gotten the car from a wrecking yard and had been unable to locate the owner. "Granted, the car is a total disaster. They were trying to scare students, but one of the students is our 15-year-old daughter," Parks said. "It was the car that brought her to Idaho. It was very upsetting. Kids were asking her how drunk her dad was." But Tom Parks wasn't drinking when the accident occurred last November. He was cited by police for driving too fast for conditions after apparently falling asleep and driving onto railroad tracks east of Sandpoint. The car became stuck. Parks got out before a train arrived and crushed the car. The family plans to talk to an attorney about the fiasco at the school. "We were hoping we had finally gotten the accident out of our minds," Kathy Parks said. "Here it shows up in front of our daughter's high school." Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Customs Seizes Two Tons Of Cocaine In Laredo ('Orange County Register' Says The Load Worth $200 Million, The US Custom Service's Biggest Confiscation Of The 'Narcotic' In At Least Three Years, Was Found By Texan Prohibitionists In A Steel Tank Usually Used To Haul Animal Fat) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 19:14:28 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Customs Seizes 2 Tons Of Cocaine In Laredo Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 CUSTOMS SEIZES 2 TONS OF COCAINE IN LAREDO U.S. Customs Service inspectors in Laredo, Texas, said Thursday that they seized 2 tons of cocaine packed into a tanker truck, making it the agency's biggest confiscation of the narcotic in at least three years. The load, with a street value of $200 million, was hidden in two elaborate compartments in the middle of a steel tank usually used to haul animal fat, said Louis DeAnda, group supervisor for the Customs Service in Laredo. The illicit white powder was packed in more than 1,600 plastic shrink-wrapped bundles and weighed 4,350 pounds.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Student Rioters Demand The 'Right To Party' (First Of Four Articles In 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education' Summarizes The Recent Outbreak Of Campus Violence And Its Connection To Drug Policy) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:30:51 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Student Rioters Demand the 'Right to Party' To: DrugSense News Service
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Pubdate: 15 May 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://chronicle.com/ A SPECIAL REPORT STUDENT RIOTERS DEMAND THE 'RIGHT TO PARTY' It's being called the "Right to Party" movement. On several campuses in recent weeks, large groups of students have clashed with police on a scale not seen since the Vietnam War protests of a generation ago. This time, the protests are over alcohol. The continuing toll of alcohol-related deaths on campus is prompting colleges to crack down against underage and irresponsible drinking -- and students are not taking it well. They are fighting for the right to drink in familiar areas and during traditionalparty weekends. They are demanding to be permitted to drink even though most of them are not of legal age. They want to drink when they have previously agreed that they will not drink, and they want to drink when the clock says No. * At Michigan State University, 2,000 students rioted after administrators announced a ban on alcohol at a popular spot for tailgate parties during football games. * At the University of Connecticut, hundreds of students rioted when police moved in to extinguish a bonfire that threatened to consume an apartment. The conflict with police resumed the next night, when students set a car on fire. * At Washington State University, police used tear gas to restrain hundreds ofstudents who were throwing beer cans and rocks at officers. The riot was sparked by students who were frustrated by a policy banning alcohol at fraternity social functions. At least 24 officers were injured in the five-hour rampage, and three people were arrested. * At Plymouth State College, more than 500 people, many of them students, chanted, burned furniture, and threw rocks and beer bottles at police who tried to stop an annual party called "Spring Fling." Seven people were arrested. * At the University of Tennessee at Martin, police had to use pepper spray to disperse a crowd of 150 at an end-of-the-semester fraternity party that had erupted in violence. One student was arrested. * At Ohio University, students pelted officers with bottles, pieces of asphalt, and coins for the second consecutive year on the day when an hour of drinking time was lost because bar owners turned clocks ahead for daylight time. Some say the violence is just a bad case of spring fever: After a long year, students are bound to go a little crazy. But students see something more noble, and police see something more disconcerting. "It's about basic freedom," says Joe Uscinski, a junior at Plymouth State. "We want the town and college to allow us to have fun for one weekend a year." Robert Hudd, police chief at the University of Connecticut, says even "veteran demonstrators" may agree with him that the violence is gratuitous -- especially when the "issue" is drinking, not peace or civil rights. "There's nota cause, there's not a stand, there's not a message, there's not a theme." Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- At Michigan State, A Protest Escalates Into A Night Of Fires, Tear Gas, And Arrests (Second Of Four Articles In 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education' Says Students, Administrators, And Police Have Different Views About Why 2,000 Students Rioted In East Lansing On May 1, But Admits The Event Began At Munn Field As A Protest Against The Administration's Recent Decision To Ban Alcohol There During Football Season) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:58:47 -0400 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US MI: At Michigan State, a Protest Escalates Into a Night of Fires, Tear Gas, and Arrests 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: 15 May 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://chronicle.com/ Author: Kit Lively A SPECIAL REPORT AT MICHIGAN STATE, A PROTEST ESCALATES INTO A NIGHT OF FIRES, TEAR GAS, AND ARRESTS EAST LANSING, MICH. - Many people at Michigan State University expected something big to happen at Munn Field on the night of May 1. They just didn't know what. E-mail messages had been flying all week, urging people to gather at Munn to protest the administration's recent decision to ban alcohol there during football season. The open, grassy field is a popular spot for students and some alumni to gather for tailgate parties on game days. Many students wanted to demand a greater voice in such decisions. Others were just curious and wanted to watch from a safe distance. But many planned to come packing beer, ready to let loose after the last day of classes before exams. What students found when they arrived on that cold, rainy night was that police had closed the field, with officers standing along the chain-link fence surrounding it. The crowd grew quickly to several hundred people. Around 9:45, students began hurling bottles and cans at the police. Then they toppled the waist-high fence and streamed onto the field. Police responded with brief bursts of tear gas, but the crowd did not disperse. Students milled around the field peacefully for half an hour before a chant went up to march to the president's house. By 11 p.m., the throng, by then more than 1,000 strong, had moved off campus and onto city streets. Many of the original protesters had left, to be replaced by people coming out of neighborhood bars. As the night went on, the crowd grew to about 2,000 and became wilder. By dawn, police had lobbed several rounds of tear gas, and firefighters had extinguished at least half a dozen bonfires, one of which licked higher than a traffic signal above a street. Seventeen students had been arrested on charges including trespassing and kindling a fire. In the aftermath last week, questions and regrets settled over Michigan State like a hangover. Many students and administrators were embarrassed by televised footage of the riot, which was played over and over again on the national news. Michigan State is huge, they said. Even if 2,000 students rioted, that means 40,000 did not. Administrators also regret that the violence eclipsed news that two Michigan State professors had just been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. But if most people deplore the riot, students, administrators, and police have different points of view about why it took place and how it got out of hand. M. Peter McPherson, Michigan State's president, said putting an end to underage drinking at tailgate parties was an easy decision. Students had occasionally burned furniture at Munn parties, and a few times revelers were carted away with blood-alcohol levels four to five times the legal limit for driving. The president called the revels "a riot waiting to happen." Many students, conversely, said the parties were just a good time to socialize with friends. Most people have only a few drinks, students said. "It's fun on Munn," said Laura Coatta, a senior. "Sure, some people get obnoxious and out of hand. But they will do that anywhere they drink." Mr. McPherson reacted to the riot this month by announcing efforts to examine and combat alcohol abuse on campus. The state's "zero-tolerance" law already empowers police to arrest anyone under 21 who has been drinking. But Adam Herringa, a senior who helped organize the demonstration, said a focus on alcohol abuse was too narrow. His main beef was with a series of rules and restrictions that he and other students believe had been imposed with too little student involvement. The Munn Field ban was just the latest, he said. Several students also said the riot might not have erupted if police had not closed the field and confronted students. Bruce L. Benson, the campus police chief, called the tactic a non-violent show of force that was necessary to control the crowd. He closed the field, he said, because he had heard that students planned to bring in alcohol. "If the message had been 'Let's take pizzas and Pepsis and go have a protest on Munn Field,' we would have helped facilitate them in doing that." Many students consider the alcohol ban at Munn "anti-student." The field is the most popular tailgate spot among students -- and now is the only one where alcohol is banned. Alumni and donors will still be able to drink at their own gathering places, said students, who add that adults, too, can get drunk and rowdy. But Mr. Benson said no other tailgate spot has had as many problems as Munn. "We don't care about the age of the people," he said. "The issue is the behavior." One reason Munn has problems, officials said, is its size. At 10.5 acres, it has room for 1,200 cars. Except for a few Saturdays in the fall, the field is used for intramural sports. Ground crews must work weekends after football games to clean up glass and debris so that intramural games scheduled for Mondays can be played. President McPherson and Chief Benson said they had asked student leaders several times to suggest solutions to problems at Munn Field. Last month, they invited four student groups to attend the annual meeting of police and university administrators, at which the merits of a ban were discussed. Only one of the groups sent a representative. Mr. McPherson said he was not sure that more communication would have persuaded students in general to accept the ban, but he acknowledged that he might have pushed harder to have students attend the meeting. For their part, students said the Munn ban was not the only rule that had dampened popular traditions. Last fall, for example, the administration had cut the period during which students move into dormitories, called "Welcome Week," from a week to a few days. Mr. Benson said the two weekends had turned into a time for freshmen to learn how to drink. Students have also complained about restrictions that East Lansing has placed on rental houses, such as limiting the number of unrelated students who can live together. Students said the administration should intercede. "It wasn't just a protest about drinking," said Laurie Denby, a freshman. "It was everything they keep slapping on us. It's No, No, No." Anytime a privilege is taken away, students said, people will rebel. Some students added that banning alcohol would just make it more attractive. Those 21 and over can drink in dormitory rooms at Michigan State, but the university has no pub or liquor store on the campus. Mr. McPherson knows that plenty of students will still drink themselves silly at off-campus bars, but he does not want to appear to endorse underage drinking. The president said he would not back down from the ban at Munn. "The demonstration made the point on why Munn was potentially an explosion point," he said. But more rules aren't necessarily the solution, he added, noting that people need to find a balance between rights and responsibilities. He has announced that Michigan State will have an alcohol-free dormitory next year. He also has said he will appoint a committee, which will include students, to discuss alcohol abuse and hold public forums. Mr. McPherson hopes to persuade the committee to view alcohol as a public-health issue about which attitudes can be changed, just as they began to be changed a generation ago about drunk driving. One way, he believes, is to educate students widely and clearly about the dangers posed by excessive drinking, especially for women. "If you have strong feelings about acquaintance rape, you should be concerned about excessive drinking," he said. He sent an e-mail message to all students last week, inviting them to share their thoughts. Nate Smith-Tyge, a leader in student government, said that the riot may end up having a positive effect if it brings all sectors of the university to the same table. "There is no simple answer to alcohol misuse or student involvement," he said. "It is something we need to sit down and discuss." Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- At Connecticut's Party Weekend, Days Of Music Replaced By Nights Of Vandalism (The Third Of Four Articles In 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education' About Student Violence Notes Another 2,000 Students Fought With Police At The University Of Connecticut In Storrs On The Weekend Of April 25, And Suggests Students Were Rebelling Against Increasing Restrictions On Underage And Other Drinking) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 10:54:33 -0400 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CT: At Connecticut's Party Weekend, Days of Music Replaced by Nights of Vandalism To: DrugSense News Service
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education Pubdate: 15 May 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://chronicle.com/ Author: Ben Gose A SPECIAL REPORT AT CONNECTICUT'S PARTY WEEKEND, DAYS OF MUSIC REPLACED BY NIGHTS OF VANDALISM STORRS, CONN.- The 80 police officers did not move last month as bottles, cans, and rocks were lobbed at them by a crowd of students and their friends partying in a dirt parking lot that adjoins the University of Connecticut campus. When some in the crowd of 2,000 people overturned a black Honda Accord, the police, from university, local, and state forces, stood their ground. Even when some men set a couch on fire, the police remained on the edge of the lot. Only when the students put the burning couch on the Honda -- raising the possibility that its gas tank would explode -- did the police move in, using pepper spray to disperse the crowd. The torching of the Honda on Saturday, April 25, marked the climax of a riotous weekend here. By Sunday morning, six cars had been turned over, numerous bonfires started, and 27 police cars vandalized. Police arrested 87 people, about 40 of them Connecticut students, on charges ranging from inciting to riot to assaulting a police officer. The mayhem, captured on videotape by both the police and students, was the worst ever at University Weekend, the last big blowout here before final exams. The campus tradition is known for parties with names like "Kill-a-Keg." Last year's events, too, were marred by riots and dozens of arrests. Robert Hudd, the university's police chief, said some students these days are looking for any excuse to spar with police. "You almost have the police more in the 'Gandhi-esque' mode," he said. "We took a beating for hours. Our attitude was, 'You can have a party, and you're clearly going to break the law -- just don't break it on a massive scale.'" Students say University Weekend is their big chance to let loose in a small town that offers little excitement -- and they don't like police cramping their fun. On the night before the Honda was burned, police broke up a massive party at Carriage House, a complex of 16 apartments in a wooded area about a mile west of the campus. When a bonfire fed with furniture threatened one of the units, police in riot gear moved in to scatter the crowd as students pelted them with bottles and cans. "It feels awkward to have all those police officers around," said Scott Berni, a sophomore who attended the Carriage House party. "Students see it as a violation of their right to have a good time." Other students said police went too far when they moved to quell the riots. Amy Rydzy, a freshman, said she was merely taking in the spectacle in the parking lot on Saturday night when the police decided to clear the crowd. She was hit in the face and neck with pepper spray and knocked to the ground by an officer's shield, she said. "I was up the entire night with ice on my face and neck," she said. University officials said bystanders should have known better. "Anyone with two cents of intelligence should have been getting their butt out of there," said Vicky L. Triponey, Connecticut's vice-chancellor for student affairs. The riot came despite months of planning by administrators, police, and student leaders, who had hoped that on-campus events would limit any violence. The university held a party featuring rock bands, body piercing, and beer sales, for students who were 21, on the same night as the Carriage House gathering. But only about 100 students attended the university event, compared with 4,000 to 5,000 people in a clearing near the Carriage House apartments. Adrienne Miller, a freshman, said the university's party failed because underage students couldn't purchase alcohol, and because it had been planned by student leaders. "They didn't contact any of the normal kids to see what we wanted to do," she said. The many students with friends in town skipped the university's party because it was open only to Connecticut students, she added. Saturday's disturbances began shortly before midnight, when students in the crowded dirt lot tried to expand the party to an adjoining university parking area. But police had barricaded the area, because they didn't want the gathering of drunken students to spill over into the crowd of 1,700 that would soon be leaving a nearby auditorium where a cultural event known as "Latin Fest" was being held. The presence of the police incited the crowd, Ms. Miller said. "The more authority that shows up, the more people are going to want to rebel. If the people start throwing bottles at police next year, maybe the police should leave." The police who endured the hail of bottles had a different view. "It's like a bunch of spoiled brats who have never been told No," one officer told Ms. Triponey. University Weekend hasn't always created havoc. Karen Williams, a university spokeswoman and a student here in the 1970s, recalls mellow afternoons of cold beer and loud bands on the grass in back of the student union. The minimum drinking age then was 18. "I don't remember any fights or vandalism," she said. But the minimum age was raised to 21 in virtually every state by 1986, when Congress threatened to withhold highway-construction funds from states that didn't do so. That law has "complicated" the way colleges manage social events, said Mark A. Emmert, Connecticut's chancellor. "You combine the 21-year-old drinking law and the fact that students don't consider a party a success unless it has alcohol, and you've got a real recipe for problems," he said. Mr. Emmert will appoint a committee of students, faculty members, and police, which may recommend that University Weekend be scrapped. But doing so may be pointless: Some students are already boasting of plans to flip police cruisers next year. The riots have sparked outrage among the state's citizens, many of whom believe that swift punishment is the only way to prevent more mayhem. "Students involved in the vandalism and arson should be expelled, no questions asked," said an editorial in The Hartford Courant. Governor John G. Rowland has called for the university to change its student code of conduct; currently, the university can't punish students for off-campus offenses. Connecticut officials say they may expand the code so that it applies to the entire local area, but they worry about becoming wrapped up in dealing with crimes that they can't properly investigate. Philip E. Austin, the university's president, conceded that punishments have been lax in the past. But that would no longer be the case, he said. "If, over the years, people are allowed to engage in unacceptable behavior at very little cost, it is not surprising that that behavior would continue. Those who act inappropriately must be expelled." Some students who were arrested in last month's riots worry that their days at Connecticut are numbered. Joshua Satin, a sophomore, faces three misdemeanor charges -- first-degree riot, breach of peace, and third-degree criminal mischief -- for his behavior on Saturday night. Sitting on a couch in the student union, he pointed to bite marks above his elbow that he said he received from a police dog as he fled the dirt lot. When he returned to his dormitory -- with a torn, bloody shirt and his face stinging from pepper spray -- he broke a window (a classmate pushed him into it, he said) and yelled some insults at the police. "I was acting out of rage and fear," said Mr. Satin, who admits that he was drunk that night. "I'll be devastated if I'm expelled." Next year, if he's still around, he plans on taking "a nice weekend trip," out of town, over University Weekend. Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- Some Experts Say Colleges Share The Responsibility For The Recent Riots (Last Of Four Articles In 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education' About Natives Getting Restless On American College Campuses Describes The Recent And Widespread Crackdown On Student Drinking) Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 11:10:24 -0400 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Some Experts Say Colleges Share the Responsibility for the Recent Riots 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: 15 May 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://chronicle.com/ Author: Leo Reisberg Editors note: DrugSense sponsors a University Drug Policy Forum. If you are interested in working on this project, joining our strategy discussion group, discussing ideas on the project or volunteering to organize students and faculty at your school, please send a note to Josh Sinoway (firstname.lastname@example.org) or see: http://www.drugsense.org/udpf/ A SPECIAL REPORT SOME EXPERTS SAY COLLEGES SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE RECENT RIOTS Although many people are quick to chastise the students involved in recent riots in several states, colleges share some of the blame, according to administrators and alcohol experts. For many years, college officials looked the other way when underage students drank. But a string of high-profile, alcohol-related deaths in recent years -- including one last fall at Louisiana State University, and another at Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- has prompted colleges to crack down on minors who drink. Alcohol arrests on college campuses jumped by 10 per cent in 1996, the latest year for which data are available, according to a recent survey by The Chronicle (May 8). Public pressure may also be contributing to stricter enforcement. Last week, in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, David Satcher, the U.S. Surgeon General, described alcohol as "a serious problem with our young people at every age, but especially on college campuses, as we see more binge drinking." The way students see it, their "right" to drink is being stripped away. When they are intoxicated and in large groups, the resulting anger can escalate into mob violence. "Colleges have really gotten themselves into this mess," said Arthur E. Levine, president of Teachers College at Columbia University and author of a new book, When Hope and Fear Collide: A Portrait of Today's College Student (Jossey-Bass). "Over the years, colleges tended to wink at the alcohol policies, and then they started enforcing and changing policies without involving students in the decisions. It was the ideal set of circumstances to bring about these riots." Another theory is that students are acting up because they feel disengaged from their campuses. Vicky L. Triponey, vice-chancellor for student affairs at the University of Connecticut, believes that students are resentful and eager to defy authority because few adults on the campus are reaching out to them. "We've become more segmented," she said, and students feel alienated as a result. "If we can get students connected to something bigger than themselves, they're going to be less likely to behave this way." Others say students cling fiercely to their booze because they see it as a symbol of having escaped their parents. "It represents a sense of autonomy, freedom, and independence -- and it's hard to compete with that," said Philip W. Meilman, director of counseling and psychological services at Cornell University and co-director of the Core Institute, which conducts surveys of student alcohol use. Some students say they simply want the freedom that an earlier generation took for granted. Many of the college officials who are cracking down today drank legally throughout their own college days. "Students are just tired of being busted on," said Joe Uscinski, a junior majoring in political science at Plymouth State College. He was one of hundreds of partyers caught in a melee with police this month. "Everybody in college is 18 and older. We're all adults, and we don't need someone to tell us we can't drink alcohol." When Plymouth State officials tried to stop an annual celebration called "Spring Fling" this month, hundreds of students gathered on a city street, carrying beer and radios. They pelted police with bottles, cans, and rocks, and did not disperse until the officers drew their billy clubs. "You could analyze this to death, but the bottom line is that these are young, immature people who are finding their joy in the wrong way, and they can't handle that amount of alcohol," said Dick Hage, Plymouth State's dean of student affairs. "When you have large groups and a lot of alcohol, it's a lethal combination." Some administrators at the colleges that have experienced riots in recent weeks find hope in the experience of Iowa State University, which managed to pull off a previously notorious spring party with few problems this year. Riots had broken out at the weekend event, known as "Veishea" -- an acronym representing the university's original schools -- in 1988 and 1992, and a visitor was stabbed to death during last year's party. Instead of canceling this year's Veishea, the college asked student-government and Greek leaders to help persuade students to sign a pledge that they would not drink during the festival. For its part, the university agreed to spend $80,000 to add rock bands, such as Tonic, and the comedian Kevin Nealon to the weekend lineup. Only 120 people were arrested or issued citations, down from 420 last year, and just five of the arrests were for underage drinking. "The administration could have shut Veishea down, but instead it gave students an option," said Steve Sullivan, a university spokesman and an adviser to the students who planned the festival. "Alternative events are also important. If a university expects something from the students, they need something in return." That approach hasn't worked at some other places. Connecticut held a university-sponsored party to try to restrain off-campus mischief during the annual spring celebration last month, but students weren't interested. Instead, the vast majority partied off campus -- and rioted on two consecutive nights. Ms. Triponey, the Connecticut dean, said the university's plan "blew up in our faces." "You think you know the nature of these weekends, but it's just not predictable anymore," she said. "From an administrative point of view, that's frightening." Plymouth State officials said they, too, had planned alternative events during Spring Fling. But a play, a concert with a local band, and a health fair all drew meager crowds. The college-sponsored events at Connecticut and Plymouth State were planned with the help of student leaders, who were apparently ill-informed about what most of their classmates wanted. Likewise, at Washington State University, fraternity leaders made a promise that many of their members never intended to follow. The Interfraternity Council agreed last summer to ban alcohol at all social events in fraternity houses. Fraternity members have been grousing about the policy ever since, and the frustration boiled over during the early-morning hours of May 3, when a large crowd of students squared off with police. Manny DeCoria, a senior at Washington State, said he was on his seventh can of Busch beer when police arrived at an off-campus party that had drawn as many as 2,000 people. He kept his distance as students hurled bricks and bottles, and the police responded with tear gas and water hoses. "People started to adopt this idea that, 'Well, we're rebelling, so let's find a cause,'" he said later. "Obviously, an easy cause is the alcohol policy, and how people are feeling more of a crackdown." Last week, the university said it would bar six fraternity chapters that were involved in the riots from rushing new freshmen next fall, unless any new evidence absolves them of blame. The chapters may also be expelled from campus. "The party's over at Washington State University," said Samuel H. Smith, its president. "I am sick of the party school image that refuses to go away." Colleges should brace for more protests, said Thomas G. Goodale, who organized a national conference on college drinking last month at the College of William and Mary (The Chronicle, April 30). "We're going to have a lot more of this for a period of time, until we move from being a permissive, laissez-faire environment to one where students are held more accountable for their behavior," said Mr. Goodale, an education professor at the college. "We're in a transition." Copyright (c) 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wrong Police Raid Brings $20 Million Lawsuit ('United Press International' Says A Brooklyn Woman Is Suing The City Of New York For $20 Million Over Police Who Terrorized Her And Her Young Children By Raiding Their Apartment For Drugs By Mistake Last June) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 20:24:14 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: Wire: Wrong police raid brings $20M lawsuit Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: James Hammett
Source: United Press International Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 WRONG POLICE RAID BRINGS $20M LAWSUIT NEW YORK, May 13 (UPI) - A Brooklyn woman who says she and her young children were terrorized by police who raided their apartment for drugs and guns by mistake is suing the city of New York for $20 million. Attorney Susan Karten says this is the second time in a week a lawsuit has been filed charging the city's police with going to the wrong apartment to execute a search warrant and harassing the people who live there. She is filing her suit today in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The lawyer tells United Press International, ``You can't suspend the rights of minorities in the name of a drug crackdown.'' Karten's client is a 29-year-old Hispanic woman and mother of four children. Two of the children, ages 2 and 7, were home during the raid. The attorney says that last June, 15 narcotics detectives stormed her client's apartment, dragged the almost-naked woman from her bed and held a gun to her head, demanding to know where her stash of guns and drugs were. Karten says the woman's baby was screaming in terror and the police refused to let her comfort the child. She adds that while some of the detectives spent nearly two hours ransacking the woman's apartment, others interrogated her 7-year-old, asking for information about the woman and her boyfriend. She says that when her client asked the officers for a search warrant, she was ordered to ``shut up.'' Karten adds that the police neglected to apologize to her client when they realized they had the wrong apartment. The lawyer says she will release photos of the ransacked apartment and a copy of the search warrant that authorizes the Brooklyn Narcotics Swat Team to search apartment 2M of 396 New Jersey Ave. for drugs and guns. The woman and her children live in apartment 2L at that address. In a similar, unrelated incident last February, Bronx narcotics cops mistakenly broke down the door of the wrong apartment and pumped 24 bullets inside after a terrified tenant fired one shot at the officers because he thought he was being robbed. Ellis Elliott says he is also launching a multi-million lawsuit against the city.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Farmers Will Sue To Legalize Hemp Crops ('New York Times' Says A Group Of Farmers And Trade Organizations Plans To File A Lawsuit Against The Federal Government In Kentucky On Friday To Make Hemp A Lawful Crop Again - Plaintiffs Intend To Argue That The Illegal Status Of Hemp, As Defined By The Controlled Substances Act Of 1972, Violates A 1937 Determination By Congress That The Plant Poses None Of The Psychoactive Problems Supposedly Caused By Its Cousin, Marijuana) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 18:51:41 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Farmers Will Sue To Legalize Hemp Crops Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Michael Janofsky FARMERS WILL SUE TO LEGALIZE HEMP CROPS LEXINGTON, Ky. - More than 25 years after hemp was last grown in America legally, a group of farmers and trade organizations plans to sue the federal government on Friday to make hemp a lawful crop again. The plaintiffs intend to argue in U.S. District Court here that the illegal status of hemp, by definition of the Controlled Substances Act of 1972, violates a 1937 determination by Congress that the plant poses none of the psychoactive problems caused by its cousin, marijuana. The plaintiffs say in their lawsuit, the first of its kind, that Congress had stipulated hemp, which has many commercial uses, was different from marijuana and that hemp's prohibition by the Drug Enforcement Administration violates the constitutional doctrine of separation of powers of government. But the central thrust of the legal action is economics, with thousands of farmers throughout the South and Midwest looking at hemp as another crop to include in their annual rotations that now involve grains, vegetables and tobacco. For many of the farmers, particularly those here in eastern Kentucky who are almost wholly dependent on tobacco for their income, hemp would provide a viable hedge as a disease-resistant plant - especially when the future of tobacco in the country is so uncertain. As the region's most valuable crop, tobacco can generate as much as $5,000 an acre in gross sales. Most food crops, like corn, soybeans and wheat, don't have anywhere near that kind of return. But farmers like Jim Barton, whose family raised hemp in Lexington when it was last legal - during a "Hemp for Victory" drive in World War II - predicted that an acre of hemp could gross as much as $1,200. "Hemp is no more controversial today than tobacco is," said Andrew R. Graves, a plaintiff in the suit as president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Council, a group of 60 would-be hemp farmers, including Barton. "You go into any store and you can buy hemp products. But he and I as farmers" -- he pointed to Barton - "get no portion of that money. That makes no sense to me." Terry Parham, a spokesman for the drug administration, said the agency had not seen the lawsuit and, as a result, would have no comment. Imported hemp products, now manufactured in more than two dozen countries, including Canada, have been abundant in the United States for years. They include animal feed, shoes, clothes, paper products and bedding for horses. The frustration of would-be hemp farmers and marketers in the United States -- and the basis of the lawsuit - centers on the long-standing policy of the Department of Justice and the DEA to make no distinction between hemp and marijuana because they contain the same psychoactive chemical -- delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. Government officials fear that hemp would provide camouflage for growing marijuana. But the lawsuit argues that Congress in 1937 recognized the differences when it passed the Marijuana Tax Act and excluded hemp from any prohibition. And scientists have determined that THC constitutes less than 1 percent of hemp's weight, not enough to cause any psychoactive effects, compared with 4 percent to 7 percent for marijuana. For many years, hemp played a large role in American farming. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson grew it, and many towns were named after it, like Hempstead, New York. In the early decades of the country, it was especially useful in making sails and paper products. Despite the 1937 law that made a distinction between hemp and marijuana, hemp farming virtually died out over the three decades that followed, except for the wartime program. By then, rayon, nylon and other fabrics had captured its market. The law was repealed when the 1972 act was passed, dooming hemp for good as a domestically grown crop. The farmers' lawsuit asks that the court rule that it was illegal for the executive branch of government to ban hemp, that chemical distinctions between marijuana and hemp should be recognized and that states should have the right to regulate hemp production. As a result, Graves said, a new market would emerge for farmers at a time when many of them are struggling to stay in business. "If nobody considers the plight of the farmers, then we're in a heck of a fix," he said. "Everybody wants you to get rid of tobacco, but nobody wants to talk about what you do to replace it." Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kentucky Farmers Filing Suit In Attempt To Legalize Hemp (Lexington 'Herald-Leader' Version) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 02:53:41 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Ky. Farmers Filing Suit In Attempt To Legalize Hemp Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Joe Hickey Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Section: Front Page Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Author: John Cheves, Staff Writer KY. FARMERS FILING SUIT IN ATTEMPT TO LEGALIZE HEMP Several Kentucky farmers and agricultural organizations are filing a federal lawsuit today to force the legalization of industrial hemp as a crop in the United States. One of the plaintiffs, Fayette County tobacco farmer Andrew Graves, said the time is right for a challenge to anti-hemp policies. "Hemp is no more controversial today than tobacco is," said Graves, 40, president of the 100-member Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, which also is a plaintiff in the suit. "You can go into any grocery store or co-op today and find all sorts of hemp products," he said. "But as a farmer, I'm not allowed to participate in that part of the economy. I want a judge to explain that to me." Industrial hemp is one variety of the plant genus cannabis, as is marijuana. However, marijuana plants contain 10 percent to 20 percent of the hallucinogenic chemical tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Hemp typically contains less than 1 percent of THC. The tall, cane-like hemp was grown widely in the United States, and particularly in Kentucky, and its tough fibers used for products like rope, paper and clothing. But starting in 1937, the federal government - hoping to eliminate hemp's cousin plant, marijuana - began to pass laws restricting most types of cannabis growth and trade. Today, it's illegal to grow hemp in the United States. Hemp-related products sold in this country are made from fibers grown in other Western nations, such as Canada, which raises the ire of American farmers looking for new cash crops. In their lawsuit, to be filed in U.S. District Court in Lexington, the farmers contend Congress never meant to outlaw hemp as it cracked down on marijuana. The anti-hemp policies were the mistaken interpretation of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the U.S. Justice Department, they allege. The suit names those agencies and Attorney General Janet Reno as defendants. U.S. Attorney Joseph Famularo of Lexington, who likely will argue the federal government's case, did not return two telephone calls to his office yesterday. At the heart of the suit is the clear botanical difference between hemp and marijuana, said Lexington lawyer Burl McCoy, who helped prepare the arguments. Many pro-hemp advocates - including the plaintiffs in this case - oppose marijuana legalization, because marijuana, with its THC, can be used as a narcotic. "Our farmers aren't asking to legalize drugs," said Joseph W. Hickey, executive director of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association. "One farmer told me, 'Why would I want to grow a field full of marijuana?'" Hickey said. "'It would be like having 300,000 cases of beer sitting out there behind two little strands of barbed wire. There would be problems.'" Historically, Kentucky was a major producer of hemp, and the state's courts have been the focus of legal challenges to laws making it illegal to grow the plant. Last July, Lee Circuit Judge William Trude struck down part of a state law that viewed industrial hemp and marijuana in the same light. The defendant in that case, actor Woody Harrelson, challenged the law by planting four hemp seeds in Lee County. Trude's ruling is pending before the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In coming weeks, the University of Kentucky will release a study that shows how much hemp could boost Kentucky's economy, Hickey said yesterday. Aside from providing a crop as profitable as tobacco, hemp farms probably would lead to jobs-heavy processing plants throughout the state that could turn the plant's leaves and seeds into a variety of useful items, he said. "The hemp industry today is where the plastics industry was in the 1920s and '30s," Hickey said. "We could be on the ground floor of something big." All Contents (c) Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Farmers To Sue Government Over Hemp Production Source ('Associated Press' Version) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 03:23:18 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Farmers To Sue Government Over Hemp Production Source Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Ben Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: Associated Press FARMERS TO SUE GOVERNMENT OVER HEMP PRODUCTION SOURCE NEW YORK (AP) Saying it has none of the psychoactive properties of its cousin marijuana, farmers and trade organizations want the federal government to make hemp a lawful crop again, The New York Times reported today. Hemp growing was made illegal 25 years ago under the Controlled Substances Act of 1972. The farmers and trade groups contend in a lawsuit against the federal government that hemp's illegal status violates a 1937 determination by Congress that the plant doesn't share marijuana's psychoactive effects, the Times reported. The lawsuit was expected to be filed today in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Ky. Plaintiffs claim the hemp prohibition by the Drug Enforcement Administration violates the constitutional doctrine of separation of government powers, the Times said. Farmers have long complained that the government makes no distinction between marijuana and hemp, which has industrial uses from rope to paper to clothing. Farmers in the South and Midwest view disease-resistant hemp as a rotation crop among grains and vegetables, and in eastern Kentucky, provide a hedge against tobacco's uncertain future. Government officials fear that hemp farming would provide a camouflage for growing marijuana. Hemp and marijuana are both varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. But hemp typically contains less than 1 percent of the active ingredient, THC, that makes pot smokers high. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, the first of its kind, include The Kentucky Hemp Growers Council, a group of 60 would-be hemp farmers. Terry Parham, a spokesman for DEA, said the agency had not seen the lawsuit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kentucky Farmers Will Sue For Right To Grow Hemp (Louisville, Kentucky, 'Courier-Journal' Version) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 15:02:49 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Kentucky farmers will sue for right to grow hemp Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Joe Hickey
Source: Louisville Courier-Journal (KY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.courier-journal.com/ Pubdate: 15 May 1998 Author: Joe Ward, Staff Writer KENTUCKY FARMERS WILL SUE FOR RIGHT TO GROW HEMP Action will be filed today in Lexington to challenge 1937 law A group of Lexington-area farmers who have been battling for legalization of industrial hemp in Kentucky plans to go to federal court today in Lexington to sue for the right to grow the plant. Hemp, which was grown historically by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, was a staple crop through much of Kentucky's history, and a viable one as recently as World War II. But a law passed in the 1930s aimed at curbing the cultivation of marijuana, a biological sibling of hemp that contains a high concentration of the psychoactive ingredient THC, has been enlarged to ban hemp growth as well. Andy Graves, a Lexington Farmer and president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, said there are indications hemp crops could net Kentucky farmers $300 to $350 an acre - somewhat less than tobacco, but well ahead of corn and soybeans. Graves noted that tobacco is "becoming very controversial" and there are questions about how much longer it will remain the lucrative crop it is for many Kentucky farmers. "We don't think a hemp crop will rival net income from tobacco," said, "but with hay, cattle and other things it might help." Graves said Michael Kennedy, a New York attorney, will file a suit asking for a series of judgements declaring that the 1937 law was not intended to outlaw hemp, that the federal government has left regulation of hemp to the states by default, and that hemp and marijuana are legally distinct. Burl McCoy, a Lexington attorney working on the suit with Kennedy, said there is a Kentucky law against cultivation of hemp, but that hemp forces have challenged it, and have won an initial victory in a case involving actor Woody Harrelson. McCoy said the suit to be filed today will introduce testimony from the Congressional Record showing that sponsors of the 1937 law repeatedly assured a Kentucky Congressman that it was not intended to interfere with production of hemp as a crop in any way. Graves said hemp is a multi-purpose and versatile plant, with seed that can be converted into food, oil, animal feed and cosmetics, and fiber that can be used in cloth, rope, carpets, construction materials and paper. Because it can be grown much more quickly than trees and its production and processing don't involve the environmental concerns associated with paper from pulpwood, large paper companies have been scrutinizing hemp for some years. Graves said hemp can be grown without pesticides or herbicides, and can itself be used against the threat of cyst nematodes to soybeans. In tests in Canada where hemp has been grown in rotation with soybeans, he said, it has reduced the effects of nematodes by 80 per cent. Graves also is president of the Farm Bureau organization in Fayette County. He is joined as a plaintiff in the suit by his father, Jake Graves - a well-known Lexington banker - and other individual farmers, besides the association. He said Kennedy - whose high-visibility clients have included Ivana Trump -- got interested in the question through an association with Planet Hemp, a New York store that sells hemp products. Graves said Kennedy saw viability in a challenge of the DEA's position on marijuana, and chose Kentucky as a good place to test it. "People here are comfortable with hemp," Graves said. "The population knows the word. Their grandfathers grew it. It meant good money years ago, and it will in the future."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kentucky Historical Hemp Signs (Roadside Attraction At The Jessamine County Courthouse In Nicholasville, Kentucky) Return-Path: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Mon, 27 Apr 1998 17:15:01 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Melodi Cornett (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Kentucky jpgs Hello, The historical sign is in the front yard of the Jessamine County Court House, in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Nicholasville is about 10 minutes south of Lexington on U.S. Highway 27. The sign proclaims Jessamine County's, and Kentucky's role in hemp production both before and during WWII. The sign has been standing there probably since 1970 (I assume this because of the date at the bottom of the sign.) My wife and I took the pictures about 1 1/2 to 2 years ago. We have more of the sign that we haven't scanned yet. Hemp has played a major role in this Commonwealth, and I am constantly bewildered as to why we can't get it legalized again. Kevin and Melodi Cornett
------------------------------------------------------------------- Democrats Say Cigarette-Tax Bill Can Pass ('Associated Press' Article In 'Seattle Times' Says The US Senate Finance Committee Voted 10 To Nine Yesterday To Raise Cigarette Taxes By $1.50 A Pack Over Three Years - Clinton Vows To Sign It If It Meets 'Other Anti-Smoking Goals' - Proposal Will Be Offered As An Amendment To The Comprehensive Tobacco Legislation Sponsored By Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, Whose Bill Set For Debate Monday, Had Proposed Raising Cigarette Taxes $1.10 Over Three Years As A Way Of Reducing Teen Smoking, Though The Tobacco Industry Said That Would Actually Raise The Cost To $5 Per Pack) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 16:39:49 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Democrats Say Cigarette-Tax Bill Can Pass Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Source: Seattle-Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://seattletimes.com/ Author: Laurie Kellman, The Associated Press DEMOCRATS SAY CIGARETTE-TAX BILL CAN PASS WASHINGTON - President Clinton would sign a bill that raises cigarette taxes by $1.50 a pack over three years if it also met other anti-smoking goals, senior Senate Democrats say. "I think they will clearly accept $1.50 if we can get it done," Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said after a meeting yesterday with Erskine Bowles, the White House chief of staff. The warm reception infuriated tobacco-state Democrats, who said the increased tobacco tax, approved on a 10-9 vote yesterday by the Senate Finance Committee, would hurt farmers. The tax proposal will be offered on the Senate floor as an amendment to a comprehensive tobacco bill sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz. McCain's bill, set for debate Monday, had proposed raising cigarette taxes $1.10 over three years as a way of reducing teen smoking. Several Republicans opposed the increase because it would run counter to the GOP's lower-taxes-smaller-government campaign message. Making matters worse, these Republicans said, was the panel's 12-7 rejection of a $65 billion tax cut for self-employed workers. "I want to kill this bill," said Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, a panel member. The debate on the McCain bill promised to be fierce. Opponents were expected to try to block it, but Daschle said he had the 60 votes required to stop a filibuster. McCain's bill would charge tobacco companies at least $516 billion over 25 years, raise the price of cigarettes by $1.10 a pack over five years and approve vast powers for the Food and Drug Administration. Rather than grant the industry immunity from most lawsuits, as companies have demanded, the bill would cap legal damages paid by the industry at $6.5 billion annually. For his part, McCain said last night that he was negotiating with the White House to toughen parts of the bill, including raising the liability cap to $8 billion a year. Government analysts have said the bill would cost the tobacco industry as much as $840 billion. Wall Street analysts, the industry and some senators have warned that raising cigarette prices by $1.10 would spawn a black market that would drive the industry out of business. The $1.50 tax would achieve the 60 percent reduction in youth smoking targeted by the McCain bill, said the measure's sponsor, Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D. It was unclear whether the change in price would significantly alter the industry's ultimate price tag. Opponents said the increase would be paid overwhelmingly by working-class Americans who smoke. Republicans have cited studies showing that 3 percent of all cigarettes sold are sold to children.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Violence By Mentally Ill Tied To Substance Abuse ('New York Times' Says A Report Published Thursday In 'The Archives Of General Psychiatry,' A Publication Of The American Medical Association, Found That Mental Patients Discharged From A Hospital Were No More Violent Than Other Members Of Their Community, Unless They Had Been Abusing Alcohol Or Other 'Drugs' - But No Mention Is Made Of Those Labeled 'Drug Abusers' Who Successfully Use Medical Marijuana To Ameliorate Psychoses) [Found on Usenet] From the AP Wire/NYTimes, May 15, 1998 Violence by Mentally Ill Tied to Substance Abuse By FOX BUTTERFIELD BOSTON - After a generation of believing that the mentally ill are no more violent than other people, psychiatrists and advocates for the emotionally disturbed are wrestling with studies that show that the mentally ill may indeed be more violent in some circumstances. Their difficulty was underscored Thursday in a report of the latest of these studies in The Archives of General Psychiatry, a publication of the American Medical Association. The studies found that mental patients discharged from a hospital stay are no more violent than other members of their community, unless they have been abusing alcohol or drugs. Substance abuse increased the rates of violence by mental patients by up to five times, the study concluded, while it tripled the rate of violence by other people. The finding about substance abuse is particularly important because the mentally ill are almost twice as likely as other people to be alcoholics or on drugs, the report said. The study, paid for by the MacArthur Foundation, is part of a broad effort by researchers to find out why recent reports have found higher levels of violence among the mentally ill than in the general population, contradicting previous research dating from the 1950s and 1960s. The relationship between mental illness and violence is an extremely sensitive subject because the public has long believed that the emotionally disturbed are more dangerous, despite the experts' views, and this popular perception has helped stigmatize the mentally ill. To complicate the situation, with the closure of most state hospitals in recent years an increasing number of the mentally ill have been sent to jail or prison, where they receive little treatment, then are released only to be arrested again. "We wanted to find some factors that distinguished which patients were at higher risk of violence, and substance abuse turned out to be a key distinction," said John Monahan, an author of the report who is a psychologist and a law professor at the University of Virginia. "We hope this will lead people not to tar everybody who is discharged from the hospital with the same brush." The study also found that the types of violence committed by the mentally ill were largely the same that other people committed and that more than 85 percent of the violence committed by the mentally ill was directed at family members or friends, with only 14 percent of the attacks involved strangers. "These findings clearly indicate that public fears of violence on the street by discharged patients who are strangers to them are misdirected," Monahan said. The study was conducted on 1,000 patients discharged from hospitals in Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Mo., and Worcester, Mass. Another recent study, by Bruce Link, a professor at the Columbia University School of Public Health, found that the mentally ill are more violent if they are suffering from paranoia or from certain delusions and hallucinations. Still another new study, by Jeffrey Swanson, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center, showed an increased risk of violence for mentally ill patients who are substance abusers and who stop taking their antipsychotic drugs, a frequent problem. As an indication of how sensitive the issue of mental illness and violence is, the authors of the MacArthur Foundation study conducted focus groups before writing their report. "Language is important, and we wanted to cast things in the least inflammatory way," Monahan said. As a further indication of this sensitivity, the report immediately produced different reactions from the two major advocacy groups. Mike Faenza, president of the National Mental Health Association, the nation's oldest and largest mental health organization, said: "This study's findings counter the fictional and highly stigmatizing images propagated by Hollywood movie studios and New York ad men. It is time we kill our cultural fantasy of deranged psychotic killers on the loose. The public's fear is out of line with reality." Faenza said the report also underscored the need to "bring mental health and substance abuse treatment services together." He maintained that because of the ingrained habits of mental health professionals and the way government money is allocated, people now tend to be treated for either mental illness or for substance abuse but not jointly for both. This practice, he said, lets many patients fall through the cracks. But Dr. E. Fuller Torrey, a psychiatrist affiliated with the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, an advocacy group made up of family members of the emotionally disturbed, said the authors of the report had failed to draw the most important conclusion from their own data. These were data showing that mentally ill people who underwent hospitalization had a 50 percent reduction rate in violent acts in the year after their release, and people who were both mentally ill and abused drugs or alcohol had a 54 percent reduction rate in violent behavior. "This is the first time that anyone has shown what we have long suspected, that if you treat mental illness you can reduce the violence," said Torrey, who is executive director of the Stanley Foundation research programs in Washington. Torrey's point was echoed in an editorial in The Archives of General Psychiatry by Link of Columbia, who said that the most important finding in the MacArthur study is that the mentally ill tend to be violent when they are "symptomatic" in the period before hospitalization, and that after treatment, when their symptoms wane, "the risk for violence declines to the point where it is no different from the base level in the community." Torrey is an outspoken critic of the restrictive laws against involuntarily hospitalization of the mentally ill, believing that many disturbed people do not understand their disease and therefore resist attempts to treat them. This can sometimes result in untreated mentally ill people harming themselves or others. Laurie Flynn, executive director of the National Alliance, said, "This violence is preventable." But she added that the lack of access to treatment "is a direct contributor to the criminalization problem," the growing number of mentally ill people who are sent to jail or prison rather than a clinic or hospital. The situation is especially hard on family members who care for the mentally ill, Ms. Flynn said, since, as the new study found, it is relatives and friends who are most likely to be the victims of violence. "People end up telling us it is easier to get your relative arrested than to get them treatment," she said. "It is a kind of family secret." Torrey said he believes the amount of violence by the mentally ill has been increasing because of the closing of state hospitals and with financial pressures resulting in shorter stays for those patients who are hospitalized. Torrey estimates that the mentally ill are responsible for about 1,000 homicides a year in the United States. But Swanson said that in an earlier study he conducted in five cities, he found that the mentally ill were responsible for only about 4 percent of overall violence. Mental illness, he found, is a much smaller risk factor for violence than is being young, male, poor or addicted to alcohol or drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wesley Pomeroy, 78, Security Chief At Woodstock (Obituary In 'New York Times' For A Peace-Loving Peace Officer And Longtime Supporter Of Marijuana Law Reform Who Worked In A Variety Of Jobs Ranging From Chief Of Police In Berkeley, California, To Board Member Of The National Organization For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws, To Assistant Director Of The Drug Enforcement Administration) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US FL: Wesley Pomeroy, 78, Security Chief At Woodstock, dies Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 17:31:18 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Pubdate: May 15, 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: Robert McG. Thomas, Jr. WESLEY POMEROY, 78, SECURITY CHIEF AT WOODSTOCK Wesley A. Pomeroy, a peace-loving peace officer who maintained order with friendly persuasion at the 1964 Republican National Convention in San Francisco and who later became a counterculture hero as the benign and highly effective security chief at the 1969 Woodstock music festival, died May 4. Pomeroy, 78, died at a hospital near his home in Hollywood, Fla. He had retired in 1995 as head of the Dade County police review board. His family said the cause was heart failure. If Pomeroy had had his way, the revolutionaries of the 1960s would not have had much to rebel against. That was because Pomeroy, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union and an advocate of the decriminalization of marijuana, was a law enforcement officer who viewed protesters as citizens, not criminals, and whose approach to crowd control was to coddle, even if it meant sharing police communications systems with a rally's organizers and teaching angry counter-protesters how to set up picket lines. Pomeroy's theories first came to national attention in 1964 when, as undersheriff of suburban San Mateo County, he was put in charge of security for the Republican Convention at the San Francisco Cow Palace. With the party deeply split over a number of hot-button issues, there were fears that the convention, which eventually nominated Barry Goldwater for president, would disintegrate into factional clashes. But with Pomeroy in charge of a security force drawn from 18 police departments, the convention was close to a model of decorum. And when a group of teen-age girls did invade the hall, and went limp, Pomeroy had them carried out on stretchers, not dragged off. A native of Burbank, Calif., who attended Pacific Union College, Pomeroy, who later received a law degree from the San Francisco Law School, became a law enforcement officer largely on a whim. When he placed first on a civil service test he joined the California Highway Patrol. After serving with the Marines in the Pacific in World War II, he resumed his career and later joined the San Mateo County Sheriff's Department. His work at the 1964 convention was so impressive that in 1968 Attorney General Ramsey Clark made him a special assistant to coordinate federal anticrime efforts, including security at the national political conventions. As he had four years earlier, Pomeroy helped make the 1968 Republican Convention a peaceful success, but when he tried to arrange cooperation between the Chicago police and various protest groups for the Democratic Convention, his efforts were rebuffed by Mayor Richard J. Daley, making the resulting notorious clashes all but inevitable. By the end of 1968 he had been named the Republican member of the three-member board formed to run the new Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, but soon after President Richard Nixon took office in 1969, he was replaced. As a private consultant, Pomeroy, who later became a Democrat, was hired as security chief of the Woodstock festival in Bethel, N.Y., where his compassionate handling of hundreds of thousands of music lovers was credited with helping to make the festival the peaceful love-in it became known as. The work led to assignments as security chief at a Led Zeppelin rock tour and other large events, but in 1974 Pomeroy returned to traditional law enforcement as chief of police in Berkeley, Calif. He returned to Washington in 1977, holding a series of posts in the Carter administration, including assistant director of the Drug Enforcement administration, something of an anomaly for a man who had been a board member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML, and who continued to call for decriminalization, joining the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana as recently as last year. Before being named director of the Metropolitan Dade County Independent Revi ew Panel in 1983, he served four years as Deputy Director of the Michigan Department of Mental Health; it was his long-held belief that the most efficient way to fight crime was to deal with poverty, mental illness and its other underlying causes. It was a reflection of his effectiveness as head of the the Dade County police review board that the mandatory retirement age for government officials was repeatedly waived so he could remain in the job until illness forced him to step down four years ago. Pomeroy, whose first marriage ended in divorce, is survived by his wife, Lonna Caroll of Hollywood, Fla.; three daughters from his first marriage, Nancy Bucher of Palm Springs, Fla., Virginia Pomeroy of Germantown, Wis., and Victoria Pomeroy of Germantown, Tenn., and 11 grandchildren.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Valuable Program (Letter To The Editor Of 'The San Jose Mercury News' From The Church Of Scientology Notes The Church Is A Big Supporter Of The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 19:15:14 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: LTE: A Valuable Program Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 A VALUABLE PROGRAM In order to create the controversy necessary to make her story on the Church of Scientology's youth anti-drug program qualify as news (``Program has surprising link,'' Page 5B, May 7), your reporter forgot the most important thing: the children of this area who are the Drug-Free Marshals. Your reporter had to go three states away to find someone who would make contemptuous comments about the program. Such is his bigotry that he would tell these children to their face that what they are doing is no good. What has he done to help keep school children off of drugs? The story creates an incorrect impression by failing to present full facts. One such fact is that the church was granted full religious charitable status in 1993 after the most thorough investigation of any non-profit organization. The suggestion in your article that the church's sponsorship of the Drug-Free Marshals program is not at once apparent is erroneous. The Church of Scientology has been actively and loudly combating drug abuse for five decades. The Drug-Free Marshals program has been ongoing here since its inception in 1993. The Drug-Free Marshals is one of the most innovative, effective and needed drug education programs in the United States. The program deputizes school-age children as ``Drug-Free Marshals'' who pledge to keep themselves, their friends and their family drug-free. It has won numerous plaudits. -- Darlene Bright Director of Public Affairs, Church of Scientology, San Jose
------------------------------------------------------------------- McCaffrey - Videotape Of Peru Visit Doctored (According To 'The Orange County Register,' The US Drug Czar Says Vladimiro Montesinos, A Fellow Drug Warrior Working For Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, Edited A Videotape Of The General's Visit To Peru Last Month In A Bid To Improve Montesinos' Shadowy Public Image) Date: Sat, 16 May 1998 19:14:40 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: McCaffrey: Videotape Of Peru Visit Doctored Sender: email@example.com Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 McCAFFERY: VIDEOTAPE OF PERU VISIT DOCTORED White House drug policy chief Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Thursday accused a top Peruvian security official of doctoring a videotape of his visit to Peru last month in a bid to improve his shadowy public image. McCaffrey said Vladimiro Montesinos, a controversial security adviser to President Alberto Fujimori, had tried to rehabilitate himself in the eyes of Peruvians by being seen talking to the White House official. McCaffrey said a doctored videotape combined images from different meetings in Lima to give the impression that Montesinos had been chairing the proceedings. "I was offended by what I saw as an exploitation of my visit by this official," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pray For Peace Foundation News, May 1998 (Articles Include - Woody Harrelson And Todd McCormick Tonight On 'Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher'; This Year's Insensitivity Award Goes To Dick Gephart; New Book - 'Drug Crazy'; Activists Wanted; Internet-Telephone Campaign Successful; Plus An Excellent And Informative Editorial, 'Ganja In The Hindu Religion' By Nori Muster) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 16:39:41 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Todd McCormick (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [Fwd: May Newsletter] Dear Friends, Thought I would pass along the newsletter. Tonight's show was a lot of fun to tape and should be just as fun to watch. Last Monday Dr Drew invited me onto his radio show "Love line", I thought he was going to take a stance against medical mj. but instead he was anti-prohibition and very supportive for the two hours we were on the air. "Love line" is syndicated nationally, and was a great fun as well as very educational for the listeners. Peace, TM *** Return-Path: (PFPFNews@aol.com) From: PFPF News (PFPFNews@aol.com) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 14:41:37 EDT Subject: May Newsletter *** Pray For Peace Foundation News May 1998 *** TUNE IN - TURN ON - DROP OUT According to ABC, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Woody Harrelson and Todd McCormick will air tonight, Friday May 15 at midnight. (The web site http://www.abc.com/pi/ lists different guests, but the office said the web site is "incorrect.") On May 14, CNN Headline News carried the story of U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordering the closure of six buyers clubs, and Lynn Vaughn interviewed Dennis Peron on the air by telephone. Peron said that the clubs plan to defy the judge's order and thereby gain the right to a jury trial. CNN will be following the story. *** THIS YEAR'S INSENSITIVITY AWARD GOES TO DICK GEPHART "It's time to remember who the enemy is in our war on drugs. The enemy is not the other political party. And it's not our next door neighbor or our neighbors to the south." --Dick Gephart (D-MO) *** New Book: "DRUG CRAZY" A new book about the history of American drug policy (Random House, 1998), explains that rather than a planned assault, the drug war happened almost by accident, like a trunk tumbling downstairs, kicked along by political opportunists. Please call your local bookstore and ask if they carry Drug Crazy, by Mike Gray. *** ACTIVISTS WANTED Cheryl Miller, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, traveled from her home in New Jersey to Washington, D.C., with her husband Jim to protest House Resolution 372 (anti-medical marijuana legislation). Jim fed marijuana to Cheryl in her representative's office, in front of twenty TV cameras and a dozen reporters. Police arrested Cheryl and Jim but their case was dismissed. Cheryl encourages others who feel strongly about the issue to contact MPP and volunteer for civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. *** INTERNET-TELEPHONE CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL The House of Representatives postponed the vote on anti-pot legislation, House Resolution 372, perhaps thanks to our telephone campaign. There is another bill pending that would lower marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II. A Marijuana Policy Project spokesman commented: >H.R. 1782 has ten co-sponsors and will probably not make it out of >committee during this session, but it is still important for people to >ask their representatives to co-sponsor it and their senators to >introduce companion legislation in the U.S. Senate. Therefore, please call or write your Representative and Senators about HR 1782. Congress: The Honorable _________ House of Representatives Washington, DC 20515 Congressional Switchboard (202) 225-3121 Senate: The Honorable __________ United States Senate Washington, DC 20510 Senate Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 A brief respectful letter is the best way to influence your legislators! FULL TEXT OF HR 1782 is posted at the PFPF web site: http://www.steamboats.com/pfpf/hr1782.html *** Editorial: GANJA IN THE HINDU RELIGION by Nori Muster, ed. As a follower of the Hindu religion, I was curious to learn where other Hindu sects stand on the marijuana issue. Therefore, I've been asking priests, sadhus and gurus to comment. Generally, Shiva devotees practice (or tolerate) ganja meditation. I asked a disciple in the Shavite lineage of Ramana Maharshi to describe his experiences using hashish with a sadhu in India, and this was his reply: "Most people do not realize that in the ancient Hindu texts, such as the Ramayana, the God Shiva was often depicted as a god in bliss, smoking ganja in beautiful nature settings, such as the in the Himalayas or by the holy river Ganga. "The person conducting the ceremony was simply a wandering Shavite sadhu, with his begging bowl and Shiva trident. The smoking of the sacred substance was done in the context of a ceremony of praising Shiva. There was a special shrine room, which in the middle was a Shiva lingum [a stone deity of Shiva]. Offerings of milk, coconut water, and water from the Ganga (we were in Varanasi, India, considered to be a Shavite city) were first made to the lingum (to Shiva). "A chillum [pipe] with the snake of Shiva and an OM sign on it was filled with hashish, and before each puff, the chant 'Om Shiva!' was declared out loud. We then sat in silent meditation in front of the lingum. "It seemed that the hashish helped to create the space for the meditation. It seems it has been a tradition of the Shavites, reportedly back to the time of Shiva, to include that as part of the meditation, although it seemed to be a tradition of the Shavite sadhus, and not the India and Nepalese people who did worship to Shiva." There are disagreements between the various Hindu sects, especially between followers of Shiva and followers of Vishnu. For one thing, although Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are a divine trinity, there is an ancient argument over which god is supreme. Strict Vaishnavas tend to look down on Shiva worshipers, in some cases. I asked a Vaishnava brahmin priest of the Kothanda Ramar temple in Ramesvaram, South India, how he felt about ganja. He said: "No god will accept the ganja smoking, which is absolutely injurious to health. Then how Lord Shiva only can accept this foolish activities? I cannot admit this opinion that, Shiva devotees can smoke the ganja, to sharp their mind towards their god." Of the Vaishnava sects, only a few practice ganja worship. For example, Lord Balarama (Krishna's brother, an avatar of Vishnu) accepts offerings of spirits (wine) or ganja (hemp flowers). Last November the New American Church Association (NACA), PFPF's sister organization, applied for nonprofit 501(c)3 organizational status. NACA is still awaiting the federal government's decision, but the State of California turned down the application saying that the sacrament is illegal. Guy Mount of NACA is preparing a letter to California requesting reconsideration. For one thing, Guy points out that NACA does not intend to provide marijuana. He said, "Certainly other organizations have worked to change public policy, so I think we have the same right to organize and seek donations, as long as we are not doing anything illegal." The government has shown prejudice toward other sacred natural medicines, as well. Consider the case of peyote, a sacrament for followers of the Native American Church. PFPF and NACA support interfaith dialogue and ask Christian officials to take our religious beliefs into consideration. American Hindus, Rastafarians, hippies, Dead Heads and Rainbow Family members share certain values in common, such as our respect for ganja and our legacy of persecution for using it. PFPF and the NACA advocate and seek to establish a religious exemption for using marijuana, regardless of ethnic heritage, religious affiliation or medical condition. As adult citizens of a free country, we want the right to practice our faith without government persecution. *** Blessings of the Mother Karunamayi Bhagavati Vijayeswari Devi has resumed her U.S. tour after being called back to India. She will visit California next month. For her new schedule, visit http://www.Globeworks.com/karunamayi *** PRAY FOR PEACE FOUNDATION est. 1995 http://www.steamboats.com/pfpf Pray For Peace Foundation was founded to spread awareness, education and devotion to the Great and Holy Mystery that is God. We accept all paths as true; all religions are but branches of the same tree. We promote interfaith dialogue and exchange programs to develop tolerance between religions. Pray For Peace Foundation is dedicated to nonviolence (vegetarian diet) and daily meditation. Pray For Peace members are committed to the legalization of sacred natural medicines for spiritual healing, for all people. -30-
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Canada Changes Its Name To Cannabis Culture Magazine (News Release From The Home Office In Vancouver, British Columbia, Says The Change Becomes Effective With The July/August Issue) From: email@example.com (Cannabis Canada) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: Cannabis Canada changes its name Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 19:51:54 -0700 Lines: 35 Sender: email@example.com Cannabis Canada Changes Its Name To Cannabis Culture Magazine Continual police harassment has had at least one good effect on Cannabis Canada magazine. It has stimulated us to continually re-evaluate our role in the world-wide cannabis community. In our 3 long years of publication, we have seen our readership grow from about 6,000 to an astounding 120,000 readers across North America and around the world. Hundreds of thousands more enjoy our magazine on-line at http://www.cannabisculture.com/ And we keep growing! We have had great success within Canada and are now poised to conquer the international market. Part of the reason for changing our name to Cannabis Culture is because we want to appeal to a wider international audience. The change in our name is effective immediately with issue 13, July/August 1998. Our most recent addition has been a marijuana music section. In future issues, we will be expanding our consideration of all things hemp with a hemp fashion section. While we will continue to inspect the politics of marijuana prohibition, our future direction will include a greater exploration of human interest stories. We will also continue to offer the best grow advice from the cutting edge of cultivation technology. Cannabis Canada developed a reputation as a high-quality magazine with interesting articles and a snazzy layout. As Cannabis Culture, we will continue with interesting articles and a snazzy layout. As Cannabis Culture, we will continue to adhere to that high standard, and we will continue to grow and improve our magazine in every way possible. Without the support of our advertisers we could not continue to exist as a magazine. When you spend money with us you are putting your funds back into the cannabis community, and you are contributing to ending marijuana prohibition in Canada and around the world. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA, "Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp" *** Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info. Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1 Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Canada's New Online Cannabis Event Listings (Have Your Event Publicized For Free) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Canada) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: Cannabis Event Database Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 19:59:58 -0700 Lines: 20 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Cannabis Canada's New Online Cannabis Event Listings For all those people who are organizing events, protests and gatherings for the Cannabis Community, Cannabis Canada is now providing free space to spread the word on our well-travelled website. Anyone planning an event should send a brief description of the event, the date, the location, a contact name and number and any other pertinent info to mailto:email@example.com or contact us at (604) 669-9069 in Vancouver, Canada. Anyone looking for cannabis events to attend should take a look at our website, where we will soon be posting the info. See our website at http://www.cannabisculture.com/ *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA, "Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp" *** Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info. Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1 Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amsterdam Cafe Raided (Bulletin From 'Cannabis Canada' Says Police Confiscated Pipes, Bongs And Seeds From The Store In Vancouver, British Columbia - Raid Thought To Be Prompted By American Television Coverage) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Canada) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: Amsterdam Cafe Raided Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 19:54:23 -0700 Lines: 34 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Amsterdam Cafe Raided At just after 12:00 today, Friday, May 15, the Amsterdam Cafe was raided by police. Police seized pipes, bongs and seeds from the cafe. But they left books, magazines and hemp clothes. The store was occupied for about two and a half hours, after authorities took the names of some employees and patrons. Police were a lot better mannered than usual. Books, magazines and hemp clothes are often illegally seized by police during raids of hemp stores. At the request of Karen Watson, store owner, the police gently removed merchandise. "They were very well behaved," said Watson, "The police didn't want to be here. One guy said he used to smoke pot and that he was only doing his job." The raid on the Amsterdam follows a pattern evidenced at Hemp BC and the Cannabis Café. Just like raids on the two latter stores, the raid on the Amsterdam occurred after major media coverage by American television. The Amsterdam had just recently been featured on Hardcopy and King 5. It seems likely that pressure from American authorities precipitates a fair deal of police action against hemp stores in Canada. "I'm not mad at the police. They're just doing their job. I'm mad at the people who tell the police what to do," Watson said. The search warrant cited 462.2 of the criminal code, which makes it illegal to promote or sell items for "illicit drug use." Although police did not lay charges at the time of the raid, they promised to return to do so at a later time. Karen Watson can be reached for offers of moral or monetary support at (604) 683-7200, in Vancouver, BC. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of CANNABIS CANADA, "Canada's National Magazine of Marijuana & Hemp" *** Subscribe to Cannabis Canada! Call 1-800-330-HEMP for info. Write to: Suite 504, 21 Water St., Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6B 1A1 Visit Cannabis Canada online at http://www.cannabiscanada.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Son Of Justice Has Drug Case Moved To British Columbia ('Halifax Daily News' Says The 27-Year-Old Son Of Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Gordon Tidman, Who Was Busted With 5.5 Kilograms Of Cannabis When He Came To Nova Scotia To Get Married, Is A Resident Of British Columbia, Where He Works At A Snowboard Factory) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Son of justice has drug case moved to B.C Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 07:14:12 -0700 Lines: 55 Source: Halifax Daily News Contact: email@example.com [Portland NORML notes - While Webster's says a 'bluenose' as someone who seeks to impose their moral views on others, the word also explicitly refers to anyone from Nova Scotia, like "webfooters" are from Oregon.] Friday, May 15, 1998 Son of justice has drug case moved to B.C By Brendan Elliott - The Daily News A 27-year-old son of Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Gordon Tidman will plead guilty to trafficking marijuana later this year in Abbotsford, B.C. James Tidman was scheduled to appear in Dartmouth provincial court yesterday for a trial on allegedly being in possession of 5.5 kilograms of the drug for the purpose of selling it. But being a Vancouver resident, the snowboard-company employee decided to conclude the case in British Columbia. When a jurisdiction move such as that takes place - known as a waiver file - the accused has to plead guilty to the charge, said a clerk in the Vancouver Crown attorney's office. The young man's West Coast lawyer, John Conroy, appeared in Vancouver provincial court on Tidman's behalf yesterday, and asked for the file to be transferred yet again, this time to Abbotsford. A guilty plea will not be entered until he appears in the bedroom community's court house. While Conroy was unavailable for comment yesterday, his secretary, who would only identify herself as Danielle, told The Daily News the move to Abbotsford was requested because Conroy practises in that city, an hour out of Vancouver. "(James) wasn't able to attend court (yesterday), so it just made sense to move it to Abbotsford," she said. The Vancouver judge did set June 3 as a return date for Tidman, just to ensure the file and everything pertaining to it, makes it to Abbotsford. Conroy's assistant said an Abbotsford court date hasn't yet been set, but added it would likely be after the June 3 Vancouver appearance. Tidman was arrested by Halifax regional police Oct. 16, the day he arrived in town from B.C. for his wedding to a Bluenoser he'd been dating for a few years. At the time of the arrest, Justice Tidman said the family, in town for the nuptials, was shocked by the revelation. "It's not something that you expect or that you appreciate; but these things happen," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Substance Abuse Problem Grows In The Military ('Vancouver Sun' Account Makes It Clear The Big Problem In Canada Is With Alcohol) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Substance abuse problem grows in the military Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 07:15:30 -0700 Lines: 142 Source: Vancouver Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fri 15 May 1998 News A1 / Front Substance abuse problem grows in the military By: Stewart Bell ESQUIMALT - The bearded sea captain, a long-service medal pinned to his navy dress uniform, stood with his arms at his sides as the court martial began. ``How do you plead?'' asked the military judge. ``Guilty,'' the captain replied. The career of Commander Robert E. Bush wasn't supposed to come to this. The Vancouver-born sailor had 22 years of service, held key posts, including a stint at NATO, and was liked by his crew. But like too many in Canada's military, he also had a drinking problem -- and paid the price, losing command of his ship. This week, he was sentenced to a severe reprimand and a $1,000 fine. It's been five years since the alcohol-induced mess created by Canadian troops in Somalia, but Bush's court martial shows that substance abuse problems continue to haunt the Canadian Armed Forces. The number of armed forces members disciplined for substance abuse has remained fairly stable in the last five years, but at the same time the number of men and women in the military has dropped by about 10,000. Since 1993, more than 600 members of the army, navy and air force have been investigated for alcohol and drug offences. More than 100 have been discharged for misuse of alcohol. Another 100 were discharged for drugs. And, as Bush's case suggests, the problems are not limited to the lower ranks of non-commissioned officers. Among those reviewed by defence headquarters for career discipline in recent years were senior officers, including a major, a lieutenant colonel and a lieutenant commander. Twelve junior officers were also subject to career reviews. Alcohol abuse has been a matter of concern in the military for the past few years following a series of embarrassing scandals, prompting some politicians and high-ranking officers to call for a ban on drinking in the field. Alcohol was a factor in the March 1993 death of 16-year-old Shidane Arone, who was tortured and killed by members of the Canadian Airborne regiment during the U.S.-led aid mission to Somalia. Last year, a military investigation found that Canadian peacekeepers at the Bakovici mental hospital in Bosnia were drunk on duty, beat a patient, shaved the genital area of a 17-year-old female patient and had consensual sex with nurses. Bush's actions were not nearly so grave. He was drinking about three hours before he took HMCS Calgary to sea from Campbell River last July, in violation of military rules that prohibit drinking within six hours of duty. At the time, the Calgary was escorting Lieutenant Governor Garde Gardom on a tour of the B.C. coast. After he was stripped of his command in October, Bush was diagnosed as alcohol-dependent and checked into a civilian treatment centre in Nanaimo. His recovery is going well, mostly due to his commitment to fight the problem. A military survey in 1994 found almost 25 per cent of men in Canada's armed forces get drunk every three weeks. Fifteen military deaths a year are linked to alcohol, the study found. That may sound high, but it's not that far off the rate of drunkenness in the general population, says Dr. Eric Single, director of the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse. ``I think it is a little bit worse in the military, because they are more socially-isolated and probably the culture of the military still represents a certain problem.'' But unlike the public, armed forces members are supposed to refrain from drunkenness. They have access to weapons, fly warplanes, command heavily armed ships and must be ready at any time to respond to emergencies both in Canada and abroad. ``The Navy cannot afford, and indeed the public cannot afford, any degree of impairment on behalf of those who operate warships,'' military prosecutor Commander Jim Price told Bush's court martial this week. Major Louis St. Laurent, the armed forces' drug and alcohol program coordinator in Ottawa, said one factor that may contribute to military drinking is stress. ``Since the incidents in Bosnia, the military have been under a lot of stress,'' he said. ``The cuts that we've been going through since 1995 are stressful for everybody. There's a lot of work to be done in certain times, and sometimes there's not enough people to do it all.'' But St. Laurent said he believes the armed forces is winning the fight against alcohol. ``Right now I feel very comfortable in that we're doing a whole lot,'' he said. ``Sometimes I feel that I don't know that we'll ever get to the end -- I don't know if that's a fair objective - but I do feel satisfied that compared to other industries or companies and organizations, at least we have [programs to deal with alcohol abuse]. ``Personally, I would hate to see that the cuts will be so severe with the [Canadian Forces] that we'll have to cut into those type of programs.'' For his part, Bush said he is satisfied with the amount of help available for armed forces members with alcohol problems. He called the military program ``as good as it gets.'' Military documents show some members of the armed forces have long records of alcohol problems. Several have three or four convictions for impaired driving. A corporal whose case was sent to Ottawa last June 11 had already been deemed a ``treatment failure'' following his admission to a recovery program in 1989. He also had a drinking and driving conviction in March 1991 and was sent to jail for 30 days following a subsequent conviction in October 1991. Defence officials decided last March 4 not to take career action against a corporal who had four impaired driving convictions. Problems with other drugs generally involved marijuana and cocaine, but also ecstacy, halothane gas, morphine, Ritalin, magic mushrooms, LSD, valium and steroids. Some soldiers were caught for possession while others were accused of trafficking. ``Like the rest of society we still have problems of substance abuse,'' said Captain John Morgan, who looks after matters of career discipline at defence headquarters in Ottawa. ``But from my desk I have not seen what I would say are any surges.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Silenced On Drug Policies, Says Police Chief (According To 'The Sydney Morning Herald,' Australian Police Commissioner Ryan Disclosed Figures Yesterday Which Suggest Heroin Use Is Increasing, But He Said He Would No Longer Discuss Alternative Harm Reduction Policies After Being Warned To Stay Silent By State Politicians) Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 17:45:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Silenced on Drug Policies, Says Police Chief Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: Kate McClymont and Bernard Lagan SILENCED ON DRUG POLICIES, SAYS POLICE CHIEF The Police Commissioner, Mr Ryan, disclosed figures yesterday which suggest that heroin use is increasing, but said he would no longer involve himself in alternative drug policies after being warned to stay silent by State politicians In a wide-ranging interview on the first anniversary of the report of the Wood Royal Commission into police corruption, Mr Ryan said that in one town with a population of about 30,000, a needle exchange had recorded 3,000 needles handed in over four weeks. "It does give an indication of a trend, and the trend has obviously been growing," he said. Mr Ryan said heroin abuse in particular was the major underlying cause of most crime involving property. But how society tackled drug abuse "has got to be a political decision". "I am charged with the enforcement side and I've already been told to mind my own business when it comes to anything else so that I will do and just continue with the enforcement side." Mr Ryan said that it was essential that better border controls be developed to help control the amount of narcotics pouring into Australia through containers, people arriving by aircraft, and ships anchoring kilometres offshore. He said that while many positive improvements had happened in the past year, "it's a five-year process of change, in some cases a generation. I cannot fix it in 12 months". The involvement of his Deputy Commissioner, Mr Jeff Jarratt, in a Police Integrity Commission (PIC) inquiry had "deflected" from other police issues. Mr Ryan admitted that he was being overwhelmed by the number of official bodies - including the PIC, ICAC and the Ombudsman - watching the force. While he understood that it was too soon after the royal commission to remove some of the watchdogs, "I think we have to be given more trust". At the same time, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Nick Cowdery, QC, criticised the Carr Government for what he said was its failure to provide funds to deal with the vast amount of work arising from both the royal commission and the PIC. Mr Ryan also said that he now regretted his outburst at the Nagano Winter Olympics when he attacked unnamed senior colleagues for "white-anting" him.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Hooks Children Of New Russian Rich (Britain's 'Guardian' Plays Up The Extent Of Heroin Use In The Former Soviet Union While Noting Russia Has Some Of The Harshest Drug Laws In The World - Recently They Were Tightened Still Further To Criminalise Not Only Dealing And Possession But Also Use, Making It Possible To Imprison Anyone Who Tests Positive For Drugs, Or Admits To Having Used Drugs) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 15:53:38 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Russia: Heroin Hooks Children of New Russian Rich Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998 Author: James Meek in Moscow HEROIN HOOKS CHILDREN OF NEW RUSSIAN RICH 'There are still 2 million junkies but at least heroin is not fashionable any more' The wealthy young patients at the Kundola medical centre, in thick woods a few miles outside the Russian capital, live according to a strict regime. Their comfortable suites in the clean, bright clinic in a heavily-guarded compound have the air of a gilded cage. The 24-hour security cordon and camera-monitored perimeter fence exist not to stop them running away nor to protect them from attack, but to defend them against the temptation that brought them here: heroin, which dealers and friends of the addicts have been known to smuggle in or throw over the fence. The Kundola centre, where a three-week course of treatment costs at least £2,500 - more than an average Russian earns in a year - is a symptom of the drugs craze blighting the children of Russia's richest families. Yakov Marshak, a senior doctor at the clinic, said the youngest patient they had treated was 12. "She didn't want to be cured. While she was here she dreamed about drugs, drugs were the best thing in the world. She was very hostile," he said. "Surprisingly, we managed to get her off drugs for several months." The fashion for hard drugs among the hedonistic offspring of the rich hit the headlines earlier this week when Liza Berezovskaya, daughter of billionaire politician Boris Berezovsky, was arrested by police in St Petersburg for possession of cocaine. Miss Berezovskaya, aged 27, a Cambridge graduate, artist and buyer of British art, is a member of the tusovshchiki - the "shuffled ones". This is the name given to young people who frequent nightclubs in Moscow and St Petersburg, switching venues and drugs as fashions change. Russian newspapers reported that Miss Berezovskaya was held overnight and released on bail after voluntarily surrendering 0.85 grammes of cocaine. Her boyfriend, Ilya Voznesensky, a model and great-grandson of Joseph Stalin, was also detained after police confronted them at a nightclub. Russia has some of the harshest drugs laws in the world. Recently they were tightened still further to criminalise not only dealing and possession but also use, making it possible to imprison anyone who tests positive for drugs, or admits to having used drugs. But few believe the tough stance will get more people off drugs. Statistics are unreliable, but it is believed that heroin users number millions and, with needle-sharing rampant, the HIV virus is spreading rapidly. Drugs appear to have tightened their grip on the bored, Western-educated children of the elite. Ben Aris, a contributor to a new Time Out guide to the Russian capital, wrote in the English-language daily Moscow Times: "Moscow met heroin again around 1996. Within six months a big chunk of clubland was hooked, but by mid-1997 heroin usage was petering out. There are still about 2 million junkies in Russia, but at least heroin is not fashionable any more. Coke is fashionable." Fashionable or not, nine out of 10 patients at the Kundola centre are heroin addicts. Dr Marshak cures them by diet, the anti-opiate drug naltrexon, the 12-step programme followed by Alcoholics Anonymous and yoga exercises. Dr Marshak also counsels distraught parents who find it difficult to believe that their children are spending their new wealth on drugs. "I would never have dreamed there were such wealthy people," Dr Marshak said. "One father tried flying his daughter around the world, moving her every three days to cure her. But every time he brought her to a country where she didn't speak the language and didn't know anyone, by evening she would find out where the drugs were."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 42 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original News Summary For Activists, Including An Article On Multiple Sclerosis Patient Craig Helm, Convicted In Hillsboro, Oregon, Despite The Help Of The NORML Medical Marijuana Defense Fund, Which Paid The Air Fare For Virginia Neurologist Dr. Denis J. Petro To Fly To Portland To Present Expert Testimony) Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 19:22:26 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #42 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE #42 - MAY 15, 1998 -- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html.) NEWSFLASH: Woody Harrelson and Todd McCormick on Politically Incorrect TONIGHT (5/15) GO CRAZY FOR DRUG CRAZY: Keep the calls flowing in to the bookstores for Mike Gray's DRUG CRAZY (see our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/4-29.html). Your phone calls to bookstores in your area - whether big chains or local independent stores - will make the booksellers look twice at Drug Crazy and help propel it to the bestseller list. Just call up, ask them if they have Drug Crazy, from Random House, and say thank you. (You don't even have to order a copy, though you may as well, because it's well worth the price.) Many of you have done this already, and we think it's having an effect. DRCNet is lauded and prominently featured in the book's appendix, together with an Internet directory of drug policy reform and informational resources, so building up Drug Cray will build DRCNet and the movement too! Some book chains that may be in your area: Crown, Barnes & Noble, B. Dalton, Border's, Doubleday, Brentano's, Scribner's, Waldenbooks, Pyramid -- let us know if we've missed any, so we can add them to the next alert. Call, call, call! Nearly 300 DRCNet members have taken advantage of our offer for free copies of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts. We are planning to continue this offer until the end of May, and then move on. If you want your copy, make sure to send in $30 or more for membership by the end of the month. DRCNet e-mail subscribership has reached approximately 5,300, and our paying membership is approaching 900 - thank you for your support! Our mid-year membership goal is 1,300, which is a major challenge for us. Fulfilling this ambitious goal will give our funders confidence in our ability to make it in the big leagues, bringing in the money to go from 5,000 to 50,000 and from 50,000 to 100,000, turning us into a major political force with which to be reckoned. If you haven't yet voted with your checkbook and signed up, or if you have, but want to renew your support, we hope you'll take a minute to do so, by visiting http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on our web site, wire in your credit card donation through the secure version, or print it out and send in with your check or money order -- or just send your check to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Preliminary Injunction Granted Against 6 California Buyers' Clubs... Medical Marijuana to Get its Day in Court http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#dayincourt 2. Kentucky Farmers Seek Federal Court Ruling on Hemp http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#kentucky 3. Santa Clara County Buyers' Club Closes After Police Seize Assets http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#santaclara 4. Portland MS Patient Found Guilty of Marijuana Possession, Manufacturing http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#craighelm 5. Another Botched Raid in New York, Another Innocent Family Terrorized in the Name of "Our Children" http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#badraid 6. San Mateo County Votes to Study Medicinal Marijuana, Says Research Will Provide Access for Patients http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#sanmateo 7. Record Two Million Private Conversations Monitored by Government in 1997 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#wiretaps 8. Forfeiture Victims Need Help http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#hansons 9. Medical Journal Reports AIDS Patient's Persistent Hiccups Relieved by Marijuana http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#hiccups 10. EDITORIAL: McLies http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#editorial *** 1. PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION GRANTED AGAINST 6 CALIFORNIA BUYERS' CLUBS... MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO GET ITS DAY IN COURT On May 14, US District Court Judge Charles Breyer granted the Federal Government's request for a preliminary injunction barring the distribution of marijuana by six Northern California medical marijuana providers. That injunction will go into effect sometime next week. Breyer refused, however, to grant the government's requests for summary judgment and permanent injunction, paving the way for a federal jury trial in which the defendant providers will be able to test the government's interpretation of "caregiver" under Proposition 215, which would not include the clubs, against a defense of medical necessity. The ruling is expected to result in contempt proceedings against the clubs and their operators, who have vowed to continue their operations despite the injunction. "We will do everything in our power to stay open," said Jeff Jones, director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, which serves some 1,300 seriously ill members. "The alternative that the government is giving them is the street. That's not adequate. We have a moral imperative to keep our facility open." Defense attorney William Panzer was happy with the effect of the ruling. "We will have our day in court" he said, indicating that the federal government's continued bad faith in dealing with patients, clubs and local governments would be put on trial. (A couple of important books on medical marijuana: * Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, by Dr. Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar, Harvard University Medical School, a comprehensive discussion of a wide range of conditions for which marijuana has some medical value, including individual testimonials and a review of the scientific evidence. * Marijuana Medical Handbook: A Guide to Therapeutic Use, by noted authorities Ed Rosenthal, Tod Mikuriya and Dale Gieringer. Go to http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#medmjbooks on our web site, follow the amazon.com links, and DRCNet will earn 15 percent from your purchases!) *** 2. KENTUCKY FARMERS SEEK FEDERAL COURT RULING ON HEMP On Friday (5/15), a group of Kentucky family farmers will seek a declaratory judgment in Federal Court on the issue of whether the production of industrial hemp is in violation of federal law. The farmers, represented by attorney Michael Kennedy, base their suit, and their contention that the cultivation of hemp is beyond the scope of federal concerns, on three principal grounds: * Congress never intended to prohibit the legitimate production of industrial hemp, and therefore that the defendants' interpretation and enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to prohibit industrial hemp violates the separation of powers; * Congress has never preempted the regulation of industrial hemp and therefore its production should be left to the individual states and citizens, and states may enact legislation regarding the production of industrial hemp without violating federal law; and * Hemp and marijuana are botanically and legally distinct products of the cannabis plant and should therefore be treated differently. The farmers, who are principally tobacco growers facing difficult economic times, would like to have the opportunity to explore industrial hemp as an alternative crop. Joining the suit is the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association and the Hemp Company of America, which can guarantee a market for the crop. The farmers say that the only thing preventing them from growing hemp is the fear that the federal government will step in and seize their farms. Farmers in Canada were recently given permission to plant hemp by the government there. Hemp production is now legal in every Western democracy outside of the US. Last month, in an appearance in Kentucky, at the University of Louisville, Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey ridiculed the notion of hemp as a viable crop, or even as a real issue. He called the argument that hemp could be an alternative to tobacco "silly," insisted that economic viability would depend upon paying laborers "very low wages" and, as to hemp cloth, the retired general stated that "it doesn't even hold a crease." "The bottom line is..." said McCaffrey, "...a thinly disguised attempt... to legalize the production of pot." Finally, in a derisive reference to one of hemp's most public and outspoken proponents, McCaffrey said that he comes to his conclusions about hemp's viability despite the wisdom of "noted agronomists like (actor) Woody Harrelson." But McCaffrey's views on agriculture are at odds with other agronomists as well. Jeffrey Gain, former chief of the national Corn Growers' Association, recently told the Lexington Herald-Leader, "it's an incredible opportunity. There is too much emphasis on too few crops." And Andy Graves, President of the Fayette County Farm Bureau, is also a hemp supporter. "We want to force the DEA to come to grips with the fact that hemp is not marijuana." Michael Kennedy, attorney for the plaintiffs, spoke with The Week Online: "We shouldn't be surprised that the Drug Czar comes up with these inane arguments that he can't justify either legally or factually. He is simply attempting to cover up fundamental issues. The DEA has never had the authority, under any doctrine or law, to regulate or prohibit the production of industrial hemp. This is one of the bases of our case." Kennedy continued, "The farmers represented here are primarily small family farms whose ability to rely on tobacco has been greatly diminished. They need an alternative crop to rotate with their corn or soybeans or whatever else they're scratching out a living growing. Hemp is, without question, the best and most environmentally benign crop around. "As to the marketability of the crop, joined in this lawsuit is the Hemp Corporation of America. They have joined because they have assured the farmers that they will buy all the hemp that they can produce. Hemp Corporation is completely committed to marketing their hemp-based products through a variety of outlets. We have never, in America, relied upon narcotics agents to determine our markets. The problem is, at this point, that the DEA is desperate to continue to justify the incredible mounts of taxpayer money that they are spending, under the guise of drug control, to pull up ditch-weed. Their budgets are dependent upon these absurd programs, and unfortunately, the American farmer is being hurt by this bureaucratic power grab." (Last week we reported that a Vermont state auditor's report had found that more than 99% of "marijuana" eradicated with federal eradication funds was non-psychoactive, wild hemp rather than cultivated marijuana. See http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-8.html#ditchweed.) (Drug Czar McCaffrey, a retired four-star general, would do well to review his military history. During World War II, the federal government encouraged farmers to grow hemp, which was seen as important to the war effort. If your browser has video capability, you can see "Hemp for Victory", a USDA film created to convince farmers to grow hemp again, after the government had wiped the industry out a few years before. Check it out on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act's web site at http://www.crrh.org/hemp4victory.html.) (The University of Kentucky Press reprinted "A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky" last year, a scholarly history by James F. Hopkins, originally published in 1951. You can buy it from amazon.com by following our link from http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#hempbook -- DRCNet will earn 15 percent of your purchase!) *** 3. SANTA CLARA COUNTY BUYERS' CLUB CLOSES AFTER POLICE SEIZE ASSETS The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center closed down on Friday after San Jose police searched their medical records and seized a $29,000 bank account. Authorities have charged the center's director, Peter Baez, with six felony counts for allegedly selling marijuana without a valid doctor's recommendation in nearly seventy cases. Peter Baez's cousin, folk singer Joan Baez, and several patients, held a press conference to mourn the loss of the club. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the famous folk singer claimed that the demise of the club could be attributed to an attempt by local law enforcement to "impress a certain narrow segment of society." Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney, Denise Raabe told the San Francisco Chronicle that Baez's prosecution "isn't some governmental crackdown. Peter Baez didn't follow the rules. He violated the law." Mike Alcalay, Medical Director for the Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Club, reviewed all the suspected cases and told The Week Online that they fall within state law. The law states that patients must have a written or oral recommendation. According to Alcalay, in many of the cases the authorities are singling out, there were written recommendations. In the remaining cases an oral recommendation is verifiable through phone records. "They are basing these charges on phone calls where the police intimidated and harassed doctors over the phone causing many to fear prosecution and therefore deny that they recommended marijuana." Legally, the center may remain open, but with its bank account seized, the operators will be unable to pay growers or rent. Baez will appear for a preliminary hearing on the charges on June 16. The center serves 270 clients who will no longer have a safe and easily accessible way to obtain their medicine. Some patients said they will travel to San Francisco to get their medicine legally, but for others like cancer patient Ramon Mayo that is not feasible. "I guess I have to become a criminal and get from the best place I can - the nearest dealer," said Mayo to the San Jose Mercury News. *** 4. PORTLAND MS PATIENT FOUND GUILTY OF MARIJUANA POSSESSION, MANUFACTURING In Portland, Oregon last week, multiple sclerosis patient Craig Helm was sentenced to two years probation and two $100 fines after a jury found him guilty of marijuana manufacture and possession. He was arrested at his home in Hillsboro, Oregon in 1996, after a police raid that netted eight marijuana plants. Mr. Helm, 48, is a former truck driver whose MS has confined him to a wheelchair in recent years. He began using marijuana, he says, when his prescription for the painkiller Baclofen failed to calm the wrenching muscle spasms in his legs, and his doctors told him they wanted to surgically implant a pump that would feed the drug directly into his spinal canal. Helm's attorney, Leland Berger, told The Week Online that Helm had rejected a pre-trial offer of bench probation in part because he hoped that the case might be dismissed on the basis of a "choice of evils" medical necessity (between marijuana and the surgically-implanted pump) defense. To that end, and with the help of the Medical Marijuana Defense Fund, Berger was able to fly Virginia neurologist Dr. Denis J. Petro to Portland to provide expert testimony on the efficacy of marijuana in the treatment of Helm's symptoms. Deputy District Attorney Greg Olson called the studies Dr. Petro cited "junk science" and sought to have his testimony stricken from court records, but Circuit Judge Gregory Milnes decided to allow it. Also encouraging was the testimony of Helm's own neurologist, Dr. Michelle Mass. "She told the court that she would have prescribed Marinol for Craig had he asked for it in the past, and that she would do so in the future," Berger said. "She also said that she would prescribe marijuana if it were legal." Though the defense tactic was ultimately unsuccessful in Helm's case, Berger said the trial elicited strong local support for the medical rights issue. "The very experience of having twelve people (the jury) sit there watching Craig and listening to testimony over three days will have positive ripple effects throughout the community," he said. (To read more about Craig Helm's case, including Leland Berger's posted updates and the response he received from a jury member after the trial, visit the Portland NORML web site at http://www.pdxnorml.org/news98_index_0430.html.) *** 5. ANOTHER BOTCHED RAID IN NEW YORK, ANOTHER INNOCENT FAMILY TERRORIZED IN THE NAME OF "OUR CHILDREN" Last week, for the fourth time in three months, police in New York City broke down the wrong door. The New York Times last week reported that on the morning of May 1, police acting on a confidential tip burst through the door of the Shorter family in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and tossed a stun grenade into the front hall. At home were Mr. Basil Shorter, a retired baker, his wife Cecilia, and their two teenage daughters Isis, 14, and Phebi, 18. "I thought America was invaded, that some force, a foreign force, came to kill us," Mr. Shorter said at a press conference last week. "My family was helpless. I was helpless." Mrs. Shorter told the Times that she was terrified the police would shoot Phebi, who is mentally retarded and was bathing when the raid began. Police pulled Phebi from the shower and handcuffed her. She was given a robe to cover herself with, but Mrs. Shorter said that police ignored her warning that her daughter was menstruating, and gave her a sanitary pad only after she was obviously bleeding. Meanwhile, the entire family was herded into the hallway as neighbors passed by. "I was so embarrassed," Mr. Shorter recalled tearfully. No drugs were found in the apartment, though investigators told the Times that drug dealers sometimes operate out of other people's homes "without their knowledge." Organized Crime Control Bureau Chief Martin O'Boyle said he believes the information the police had on the Shorter's apartment was good. A raid of another apartment in the building named by the confidential informant, according to police, turned up a gun and "a small amount of drugs." The Shorters have hired an attorney, Harvey Weitz, who will pursue a $200 million dollar case against the city. The Week Online asked Mr. Weitz for his comment on the Shorter case and others like it. "It's appalling what we in this country have come to condone in the name of law and order," he said. "No-knock warrants allow the police to break into an innocent family's home, like the Shorters', at any hour of the day or night, on nothing more than the word of an informant, and essentially set a bomb off in the living room, and round everyone up." Mr. Weitz's firm has taken on the Shorter's case in the hopes of bringing public attention to the dramatic curtailment of civil rights in recent years. "People have to recognize that these raids are the equivalent of the excesses of fascist countries, being played out in America every day. It's time to say, 'let's take a moment to reexamine where we're going.'" *** 6. SAN MATEO COUNTY VOTES TO STUDY MEDICINAL MARIJUANA, SAYS RESEARCH WILL PROVIDE ACCESS FOR PATIENTS As municipalities all over California struggle to find appropriate ways to implement proposition 215, officials in San Mateo County, which includes part of San Francisco, think they might have found a way to bypass the legal complications of the buyer's clubs and provide marijuana directly to those who need it most. Last week, county supervisors voted three to one to develop a research study into the medicinal uses of marijuana. If it goes forward, the project would run for three years and include as many as 2,000 patients who suffer from a variety of ailments thought to benefit from marijuana. And if it is successful, county supervisors hope the results could lend support to 215 and even lead to a change in federal laws. The biggest hurdle facing the proposed study now is approval from the FDA, DEA and other regulatory agencies, who control access to the US' only legal source of marijuana. For the past twenty years, the government has approved access only for those clinical studies which seek to show the harmful effects of marijuana. Researchers who want to study the potential benefits of the drug have been rejected outright or stalled in red tape for years. Nevertheless, proponents of the San Mateo project hope their chances will be improved by the conclusions of an expert panel convened by the National Institutes of Health last February, which acknowledged the need for further clinical research on medical marijuana. *** 7. RECORD TWO MILLION PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS MONITORED BY GOVERNMENT IN 1997 A recently released government report indicates that a record number of wiretaps (1,186) were approved by state and federal judges in 1997. The average number of conversations intercepted by each tap was 2,081, meaning that over two million separate conversations were surreptitiously overheard. 73 percent of the taps were approved as part of narcotics-related investigations. These figures represent only those cases where neither of the parties to a conversation was aware or approved of the tap. New York topped the list of states in which wiretaps had been approved with 304. New Jersey was second with 102. "The Clinton Administration's law enforcement bureaucracy has sought wiretap authorizations at historically unprecedented levels," Eric Sterling, President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation tells The Week Online. "Some of this is the product of the unprecedented growth of federal law enforcement in recent years. One rationale for such growth is wiretapping itself, as it is a very labor- intensive practice. But like nearly every law enforcement tool that has been extended in scope and utility over the past twenty years, there hasn't been a very significant positive payoff." *** 8. FORFEITURE VICTIMS NEED HELP David Hanson was arrested May 9, 1993 for a first-time, low- level marijuana offense for which he spent 17 months in federal prison. Additionally, the state of Minnesota seized $40,000 from the bank account belonging to him and his wife, Rose, and the federal government seized their home. Rose and David Hanson are the Minnesota coordinators for the organization Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR). They have been fighting to keep their house, but their appeals were denied by the 8th Circuit Court. The government has agreed to accept $30,000 from the Hansons as a settlement. The Hansons are retirees living on social security, so to pay the $30,000, they applied for a reverse mortgage, under which the lender will pay the government, in exchange for ownership of the home, and the Hansons will be able to live there for the rest of their lives. The Hanson's reverse mortgage was approved, but in the meantime, interest rates increased by 1.1 percent, causing a $2,200 shortfall in the proceeds. The government attorney has adamantly refused to settle for less than $30,000. The Hansons have not asked for help, but fellow anti- forfeiture activists have issued an appeal for funds to help them make up the shortfall and keep their home. If interest rates drop again and the funds are not needed, they have promised to return all checks uncashed. We at DRCNet know the Hansons and feel confident that the appeal is legitimate. To help the Hansons, please mail checks to: David and Rose Hanson 6040 Wentworth Avenue S. Minneapolis, MN 55419 We have just posted the first document in our asset forfeiture Topics in Depth section - An Epidemic of Abuses of Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture Laws, by Rachel King, the new crime lobbyist at the ACLU's DC National Office. Check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/forfeiture/epidemic.html. A few important, relevant books are listed at the end of the article - follow the links to buy them from amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn a percentage of your purchase! Also, please visit FEAR's current legislative alert at http://www.fear.org/980417a.html and take action! *** 9. Medical Journal The Lancet Reports Persistent Hiccups in AIDS Patient Relieved by Marijuana The British medical journal The Lancet reports (VOL. 351; No. 9098; Pg. 267) that an AIDS patient with a persistent case of hiccups gained relief by smoking marijuana. At least five different medically-indicated remedies were administered over the 10 day episode, with none offering more than very brief relief. Smoked marijuana reportedly ended the hiccups immediately. Persistent hiccups are a rare but documented symptom in patients with AIDS. The Lancet's report concludes: "Because intractable hiccups is an uncommon condition, it is unlikely that the use of marijuana will ever be tested in a controlled clinical trial, and blinding would be difficult. Despite federal policy which forbids the use of marijuana therapeutically, this report should be considered for hiccups refractory to other measures." *** 10. EDITORIAL: McLies This week, a group of more than 100 Kentucky farmers filed suit in Federal Court seeking the right to grow industrial hemp without having the federal government swoop in and seize their property. Also this week, in California, the San Mateo Health Department voted to present a proposal for medical marijuana research which would simultaneously make them the legitimate supplier for 2,000 patients, thus obviating much of the need for the embattled buyers' club. These two groups, farmers on the one hand and a county health department on the other, would seem about as upstanding and mainstream as anyone who has run up against the excesses of the federal drug war. But be that as it may, a look at recent history informs us that it would be foolish to expect the government, and more specifically Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, to be supportive of either of these common-sense efforts. Industrial hemp was a staple crop in Kentucky until early this century when federal agencies decided - without legal basis, it is being argued - to forbid its cultivation. Recently, around the globe, hemp has been re-introduced as a cash crop. Farmers in Canada, for instance, just won approval to plant the stuff, which, in addition to being widely useful, requires neither harmful pesticides nor much in the way of fertilizer to prosper. A burgeoning American hemp products industry, until now forced to rely upon costly imported materials, eagerly awaits a domestic crop. "Nonsense," says the Drug Czar. The movement to legalize industrial hemp is nothing but a "smokescreen" for the legalization of marijuana. McCaffrey likes to use words like "nonsense," as they fit in well with his preferred style of argument... dismissing his adversaries as know- nothing and their positions as too absurd to merit serious consideration. On at least two occasions, McCaffrey has publicly ridiculed the assertions of one hemp advocate and actor as the opinions of "noted agronomists such as Woody Harrelson." But the truth is that the legalization of industrial hemp cultivation is supported by respected bodies across North America - including the government of Canada, which legalized it earlier this year - as well as by the farmers themselves. But McCaffrey's derisive dismissal of those with whom he disagrees is not an isolated incident, it has surfaced before, and in each case McCaffrey has used the tactic to cover for the fact that he was either woefully misinformed, or else simply lying. In the aftermath of the passage of Proposition 215 in California for instance, McCaffrey told the San Francisco Chronicle on August 16, 1996, "There is not a shred of scientific evidence that shows that smoked marijuana is useful or needed. This is not science. This is not medicine. This is a cruel hoax." Then, on December 30 1996, McCaffrey was asked by CNN's Carl Rochelle, "is there any evidence... that marijuana is useful in a medical situation?" McCaffrey's response: "No, none at all. There are hundreds of studies that indicate that it isn't." The reaction of reformers and researchers to this misstatement of fact was so swift and convincing that on January 2, ONDCP's Chief Counsel Pat Seitz, appearing on the CNN show "Burden of Proof," tried to retract the Drug Czar's mistaken statements, insisting, "He has not said there is no research. He has not said there is no research." Further, McCaffrey has ridiculed the entire idea of medicinal marijuana, calling it "Cheech and Chong medicine," as well as saying "it's preposterous to think that any qualified doctor would tell a patient to inhale the fumes from burning leaves." This despite supportive positions for medical marijuana research and/or access by such organizations as the American Public Health Association, the California Medical Association and the British Medical Association, as well as editorials in favor of medical marijuana access by the editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Lancet Medical Journal and the New England Journal of Medicine. As a former four star general, perhaps McCaffrey is not used to having his positions questioned. And as an ardent drug warrior, perhaps he has been told that the only real opposition to the prosecution of the drug war comes from the radical fringe. This would account for both his willingness to speak disingenuously on the issues and his mocking tone when addressing or referring to his ideological opposition. But McCaffrey is no longer a general, he is a highly placed official in a democratically elected administration. And as such, his positions are, and should be, open to legitimate and vigorous examination and criticism. And the drug war, as public policy, is no longer above reproach. It is, in fact, being called into question by an ever-expanding number of mainstream Americans. On both counts, the Drug Czar seems woefully out of touch with reality. And if he doesn't come around soon, his tactics of derision and obfuscation are going to cost him what little credibility he has left. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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