------------------------------------------------------------------- Summit's Agenda Is Medical Marijuana ('Oakland Tribune' Says California Senator John Vasconcellos And Other Leaders From Around The State Seeking A Way To Uphold Proposition 215 Announced Monday They Will Hold A 'Medical Marijuana Distribution Summit' Next Week) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 11:44:19 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Gerald Sutliff
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: A new beginning for 215? Dear Talkers, Hopeful signs but one wonders whether the state attorney general's office will participate. This meeting is a lose-lose situation for Dangerous Dan Lungren. vty, jerry sutliff *** Subject: Summit's agenda is medical marijuana Source: Oakland Tribune, Page 2, 5-19-98 Contact: email@example.com Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff By Monica Gyulai Staff Writer A week from today, politicians, doctors and law enforcement agents will meet in Sacramento to discuss whether cities should distribute marijuana to seriously ill Californians. The "Medical Marijuana Distribution Summit" was announced Monday by state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, and other leaders from around the state seeking a way to uphold Proposition 215. "We need a distribution system that's responsible, trustworthy and safe," Vasconcellos said during a morning phone press conference. "We need to find a lawful way to implement the will of the people," said George Kennedy, Santa Clara County's district attorney. Since voters in 1996 passed the measure that legalized marijuana for seriously ill people, the state Attorney General's office and the U.S. Department of Justice have cracked down on cannabis clubs, the only institutions openly distributing the drug on a widespread basis. "It's basically been chaos for the last 18 months," said Scott Imler, director of the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyers' Club. Last Thursday, a U.S. judge said he plans to order the closure of six Northern California clubs because they violate federal drug laws. But U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer did not rule on whether Prop. 215 is constitutional or whether a seriously ill person can possess marijuana. Medical marijuana supporters are considering alternative methods of distribution, including city-backed approaches. "Breyer almost threw a challenge to us to assure that this become a health model," said San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan. Notably, no one will attend the summit from the offices of U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi, who is leading the federal fight to keep marijuana distribution and cultivation illegal. His office declined an invitation, Vasconcellos said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials To Offer Plan For State-Sponsored Medical Pot Program ('Sacramento Bee' Version) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 13:10:27 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Officials to Offer Plan for State-Sponsored Medical Pot Program Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: John Lyons - Bee Correspondent OFFICIALS TO OFFER PLAN FOR STATE-SPONSORED MEDICAL POT PROGRAM SAN FRANCISCO -- With California's network of medical marijuana clubs on the verge of total collapse, a coalition of elected officials wants the state to take over distribution of the plant. The coalition, led by state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, will try to hammer out a concrete proposal for a state-sponsored medical marijuana distribution program during a May 26 summit at the state Capitol, Vasconcellos said Monday. The proposal would be added to a medical marijuana bill currently under consideration at the state level, a Vasconcellos aide said. "The hope is to forge an agreement on the best possible situation, to get something on the table," Vasconcellos said during a conference call with reporters and coalition members. The planned summit, to be held as a regular hearing of the State Committee on Public Safety, will include testimony from the San Francisco and Santa Clara district attorneys, several city health officers and medical marijuana advocates. A representative of state Attorney General Dan Lungren, the most vocal critic of medical marijuana, will also speak at the hearing, organizers said. Representatives of the federal government, which is seeking to shut down six Northern California marijuana clubs, declined to take part, a Vasconcellos aide said. San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan said he will meet Monday with San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown to discuss a plan to give that city's health department authority to distribute marijuana to qualified patients. "I very much resent the attorney general and the federal government sticking their nose in local business," Hallinan said during the conference call. "The people in our county clearly support access to medical marijuana." A federal judge issued an injunction May 14 closing six Northern California marijuana outlets as part of a civil suit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. The club owners have vowed to stay open, hoping their defiance will force a jury trial on the legality of the clubs. In November 1996, Californians passed Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana possession for the seriously ill and their caregivers. The law urged government officials to propose a workable distribution system for the plant, which is still illegal to buy and sell. In the absence of a state-sponsored distribution system, a network of at least 20 marijuana clubs sprang up to provide medical marijuana. But since the law passed, most of the clubs have been driven out of business or are facing serious civil and criminal charges. "Without standards, we are going to see the same kind of chaos we've seen for the last 18 months," said Scott Imler, founder of a marijuana club in West Hollywood. "Some of the prosecutions have been legitimate; others have been attacks on 215." Last week, a jury in Orange County convicted the co-founder of a club there. On Friday, the Drug Enforcement Administration raided a farm rented by the San Francisco club now called the Cannabis Healing Center. That club is also a co-defendant in the federal case, and faces criminal and civil charges brought by Lungren.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Club Backers Seek Alternatives ('Los Angeles Times' Version) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 13:01:20 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Cannabis Club Backers Seek Alternatives Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writer CANNABIS CLUB BACKERS SEEK ALTERNATIVES SAN FRANCISCO--Spurred by a federal court ruling ordering six Northern California cannabis clubs to close, medical marijuana advocates joined state and local officials Monday in calling for a search for alternative ways to get pot to sick people. State Sen. John Vasconcellos announced that he will sponsor a May 26 summit in Sacramento to study other ways to distribute the drug. The Santa Clara Democrat was joined Monday by police, prosecutors and public health officials who say they want to make the medical marijuana law approved by California work. "It is very clear to me that, under Proposition 215, the majority of the people here in California want to have seriously ill people have access to medical marijuana," said Santa Clara County Dist. Atty. George Kennedy, who is president of the California District Attorneys Assn. "The best way to work it out is for law enforcement to work with public health and other officials to try and implement the will of the people." The 1996 state initiative said AIDS patients and others can use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. State and federal prosecutors, however, have launched a legal war against clubs selling the drug, saying that the law did not legalize the clubs or any other kind of distribution. Vasconcellos said that the law "has been under siege" and that state officials must show voters that "we heard their voice and hope to uphold the law they passed." "We want to find a way that provides safe access that doesn't allow for diversion to nonmedicinal purposes," he said Monday. In San Francisco, Dist. Atty. Terence Hallinan is trying to devise a way for the city to distribute marijuana to patients that will not provoke either the U.S. Justice Department or state Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren. Hallinan said he was encouraged that U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer, in his ruling last week ordering the six Northern California clubs to close, left the door open for the city to fashion its own distribution plan. Hallinan said he resents that state and federal authorities are "sticking their noses into San Francisco, trying to make it as difficult as possible to fulfill Proposition 215," in a city where 80% of voters approved the initiative. But "between Lungren and the federal government, it looks like it is going to be very difficult for a club, as such, to operate," he said. The prosecutor said Judge Breyer noted in his ruling that the federal government has not filed suit against San Francisco for allowing the distribution of clean hypodermic needles to addicts, although that distribution violates federal law. Hallinan said the judge was hinting that the same might hold true if San Francisco were to find a more low-profile way to distribute marijuana. "It was almost a challenge, and I intend to follow up on it," Hallinan said. He said he has met with Mayor Willie Brown and with health department officials to discuss ways that the city and county of San Francisco could distribute marijuana through its health department. "My feeling is that if it is done properly, by a health department, and supervised and run as Breyer says--tightly--the federal government will pass on it, as they do with the needle exchange," Hallinan said. "What they are really after is to close down these centers." In Los Angeles, Jonathan Fielding, the county director of public health, said he is watching San Francisco's efforts and will attend the Sacramento summit. "We are certainly anxious in this county to avoid some of the issues and problems that have occurred in Northern California," Fielding said. Los Angeles County's only medical marijuana club--the Los Angeles Cannabis Club--is not named in Breyer's ruling, which takes effect this week. Breyer said the clubs must close because their sales of marijuana violate federal drug laws. His ruling means that federal drug enforcement officials can raid the clubs at any time. Although the judge mentioned only the Northern California clubs, the U.S. Justice Department has notified federal prosecutors statewide that the six other clubs operating across the state should close voluntarily, in light of the order. Operators of cannabis clubs in Berkeley and San Francisco have said they will remain open and risk being held in contempt of court. U.S.Justice Department officials declined to participate in next week's summit before the state Senate Committee on Public Safety, which Vasconcellos heads. John Gordnier, the state deputy attorney attorney, will represent Lungren but only to repeat the attorney general's interpretation of the law--that it does not legalize any form of distribution. Dennis Peron, a candidate for the Republican nomination for governor,was not invited. Peron founded San Francisco's Cannabis Club, which remains the largest in the state. It has also been the club most hotly pursued by state and federal law enforcement officials. With about 9,000 clients, the club operates as a giant marijuana production and sales center, and some medical marijuana advocates view it as a liability to the movement. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Summit Aims To Rescue Pot's Legal Status ('San Jose Mercury News' Version) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 13:18:49 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Summit Aims to Rescue Pot's Legal Status 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: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer SUMMIT AIMS TO RESCUE POT'S LEGAL STATUS Prop. 215: A coalition seeks to clarify and bolster the 1996 measure. With Proposition 215 wilting from repeated legal assaults, an unlikely coalition led by state Sen. John Vasconcellos of San Jose has scheduled a long-awaited ``summit'' next Tuesday to consider ways to rescue California's medicinal marijuana initiative. In a conference call with the media on Monday, Vasconcellos and an array of public officials and Proposition 215 backers revealed they will hold a four-hour ``Medical Marijuana Distribution Summit'' in Sacramento in an attempt to sort through the chaos surrounding the voter-approved legislation. Vasconcellos, the Democratic chairman of the state Senate Committee on Public Safety, has been pushing for such an event since last year. He was joined Monday by a number of law enforcement officials, including Santa Clara County District Attorney George Kennedy and San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan. California voters in November 1996 approved Proposition 215, which permits the distribution of marijuana to seriously ill patients suffering from diseases such as AIDS and cancer. But since the measure went into effect it has been the target of legal challenges from state Attorney General Dan Lungren as well as the Clinton administration, which argues the ballot measure conflicts with federal drug laws. On Thursday a San Francisco federal judge nudged the state's pot clubs closer to extinction by siding with the U.S. Justice Department in its lawsuit seeking to close six Northern California operations. Also, many owners of clubs established to distribute marijuana to patients have wound up in other types of legal trouble. Among others, Peter Baez, co-founder of Santa Clara County's only pot dispensary, had to close his operation after being arrested for illegally distributing marijuana. On Monday, Baez surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department after a grand jury last week indicted him on seven felonies, including two new counts of grand theft and maintaining a drug house. The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center had operated under regulations approved by Kennedy's office, the San Jose Police Department and the San Jose city attorney. Kennedy, president of the California District Attorneys Association, said Monday the summit is needed to address the many problems confronting Proposition 215, which he noted has the support of ``many people in California.'' According to organizers of the summit, Lungren, who has gone to court to close the San Francisco marijuana club owned by Proposition 215 co-author Dennis Peron, will send representatives to testify at the meeting. However, the federal government will be conspicuously absent; Justice Department officials declined to take part in the summit. Vasconcellos described their refusal to participate as ``pretty lame.'' But Kennedy said the summit could help bridge the gap between state and local efforts to implement the law and the federal government's objections to it. Peron, meanwhile, said he was not invited to join the summit. ``I guess I'm the bad boy,'' said Peron, whose rural Northern California farm last week was raided by federal agents, with 250 marijuana plants seized. ``I don't want to go where I'm not invited. I'm not crashing this party.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Medical Marijuana Summit's Hidden Agenda (Letter To Activists From Steve Kubby, A Cancer Survivor And Libertarian Candidate For California Governor, Charges That Senator Vasconcellos And Others Sponsoring Next Week's Medical Marijuana Summit Want To Create A 'Law Enforcement Model' Of Proposition 215 To Appease Attorney General Dan Lungren And Others Who Are Already In Violation Of The California Compassionate Use Act) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 07:56:47 -0700 From: Steve Kubby (email@example.com) To: "Recipient.List.Suppressed" Subject: The Medical MJ Summit's Hidden Agenda Tuesday, May 19, 1998 Dear Activists, When Dan Lungren led the fight against Prop. 215, he repeatedly warned voters that "Prop 215 will legalize marijuana!" Voters heard Lungren's warnings and soundly rejected his message. Over 5.3 million voters passed Prop. 215 and sent a clear message--it's time for law enforcement to BACK OFF of marijuana enforcement. Instead of upholding the new law, Lungren immediately issued an 11 point summary to all law enforcement agencies that Prop. 215 does NOT make marijuana legal for patients--unless they can prove they conform to Lungren's illegal 11 point summary. Read Prop. 215 and you'll see that it says that patients and caregivers are EXEMPT from state marijuana laws. Prop. 215 also says the government should start taking steps to make medical marijuana easily available to patients. It does NOT say that patients must carry documents or photo IDs or answer to law enforcement. Senator Vasconcellos and his group want to change that. They want to create a "law enforcement model" of Prop. 215 to appease Lungren and others who are already in violation of Prop. 215. To that end, they are holding a "Medical Marijuana Summit" and they are refusing to include me because I led the successful fight to oppose a previous Vasconcellos bill which would have gutted Prop. 215. By not inviting me, someone who has been a key player in this issue and a national advocate for medical rights, Vasconcellos and his group have shown that this is not really an attempt to build consensus, but rather a crude attempt to drum up support for his already failed bill. If Senator Vasconcellos really wants to implement Prop. 215, I suggest he hold hearings to investigate the illegal actions of Dan Lungren and state law enforcement agencies in opposing the will of the voters. In the meantime, I will actively oppose this fraudulent attempt to appease law enforcement at the cost of endangering sick people. Let freedom ring, Steve Kubby PS For details about what our campaign team and volunteers will be doing to oppose the Medical Marijuana Summit, please catch my radio interviews today, Tuesday, May 19th: + 1-3 pm KFRE 940 am, Ken Kay Show, Fresno + 9-10 pm, The Lynn Harper Show, KOGO 600 am, San Diego to Santa Barbara *** K U B B Y F O R G O V E R N O R 1998 CALIFORNIA 2002 http://www.kubby.com STATEWIDE CAMPAIGN OFFICE Voice: (714) 537-9200 Fax: (714) 537-9203 Toll Free: (877) GO-KUBBY
------------------------------------------------------------------- Baez Facing New Charges ('San Jose Mercury News' Says Peter Baez, Director Of The Defunct Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, Has Been Indicted By A Secret Grand Jury For Stealing Funds From The Club He Co-Founded) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 13:16:50 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Baez Facing New Charges Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: Sandra Gonzales - Mercury News Staff Writer BAEZ FACING NEW THEFT CHARGES Indictment: He is accused of stealing funds from the marijuana club he co-founded. In another legal salvo against the co-founder of the now-defunct Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, a grand jury has indicted Peter Baez on seven felonies including two new counts of grand theft and maintaining a drug house. Prosecutors contend that further investigation of their case against Baez revealed that the 36-year-old medicinal marijuana activist not only sold pot without a doctor's approval, but illegally supported himself with center funds while also receiving about $14,000 in federal subsidized housing aid to which he was not entitled. In addition, authorities say that $73,454 taken in by the center could not be traced to any legal drug sales. Baez, who suffers from colon cancer, surrendered at the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department Monday on the new indictment, handed up by a grand jury Thursday. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court on Wednesday. If convicted of these new counts, he could face nine years and four months in prison. These new counts are ``ridiculous'' according to Baez's defense attorney Ricardo Ippolito. ``They're barking up the wrong tree,'' Ippolito said. ``Here's a guy who, at huge risk, is trying to help the community, and this is what happens?'' Baez declined to comment on the new indictment, his lawyer said. By presenting its case to a grand jury, the district attorney's office not only avoided the more time-consuming process of holding a preliminary hearing but also protected the identity of individual buyers -- one of the primary reasons prosecutors say they chose this route. Grand jury hearings are closed. Baez had been charged with six counts of illegally selling marijuana, but those charges are superseded by the new indictment. He was first arrested on March 23, at which time copies of center patient records were seized and $29,000 in center assets were frozen. Now Baez faces a total of five felony counts of illegally selling marijuana and one felony count each of grand theft and maintaining a drug house. ``We're trying to show that there's a large discrepancy in the amount of money that went through the cannabis center that cannot be directly attributed to client sales,'' Deputy District Attorney Denise Raabe said, adding that the majority of the sales Baez made were illegal. Of the center's 265 clients, 180 had no apparent recommendation from a doctor -- half of those clients indicated only that their doctors were aware of their marijuana use, Raabe added. She said it turned out that about only 70 clients actually had valid recommendations required under Proposition 215, the 1996 voter-approved measure that legalized use of the drug for medical reasons. Baez, prosecutors allege, also used the center's funds to pay for most, if not all, of his living expenses including his rent, cable television, satellite TV system, alarm system, entertainment, cigarettes, beer and food. In addition to $51,000 in checks written to Baez for cash and a $1,000 year-end bonus paid to himself before he left on a cruise, Baez also bought a brand new Toyota RAV4 last year, prosecutors say. ``They weren't quite as non-profit as they said they were,'' said Assistant District Attorney Karyn Sinunu. According to prosecutors, Baez also had been receiving assistance from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development since 1995, and that as recently as January had reported his only income was $766 a month in disability and that he did not have a checking or savings accounts. Raabe said he was ineligible for assistance because the living expense by the center was unreported income. But Ippolito disputed prosecutors' characterization of the case. He said that the Toyota was bought with Baez's own personal funds and with money his father loaned him. Ippolito also said that many of those expenses were business related, and that Baez would pay the suppliers with cash because many did not want to be paid with a check. ``Every single penny can be explained if we go over it with them,'' said Ippolito, who criticized the prosecution for taking the case to a grand jury because of its secret proceedings. Baez closed the center earlier this month because he and the center's co-founder, Jesse Garcia, said they could not continue operating, but prosecutors maintain that their intention was never to have the center close. ``Our purpose from the beginning has been to regulate the practices of Peter Baez . . . not to close down the cannabis center,'' Raabe said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Election Guide (California NORML Summarizes Important State Races, The Positions Of The Candidates And Who Deserves Support From Reformers) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 22:27:02 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Cal Election Guide Reply-To: email@example.com Drug Policy Forum of California Primary Election Candidate Guide Following is a list of candidates who have expressed support for drug reform to the Drug Policy Forum of California. For purposes of the June primary, this summary focuses on races where there exists a contest among candidates from the same party. It therefore excludes a number of worthy candidates running in uncontested races, including candidates from sympathetic minor parties such as the Greens, Libertarians, and Peace and Freedom. Except where otherwise noted, candidates listed in CAPITALS below have expressed strong support for drug reform on the following key issues: (1) opposition to tougher penalties (2) support for decriminalization of non-violent offenders (including home marijuana growers) (3) needle exchange and (4) medical marijuana. Key Local Races: Congress: 3rd C.D. (Davis-Yuba City-Red Bluff) HOWARD BEEMAN, an environmentalist Democrat running for the seat vacated by Rep. Vic Fazio, calls the drug war a "$17-billion boondoggle." firstname.lastname@example.org; 530-792-1312. 24th C.D .(Thousand Oaks) Libertarian Republican WILLIAM WESTMILLER, an avowed pot smoker, strongly supports legalization while opposing government spending on needle exchange: www.westmiller.com; 805-373-0596. 44th C.D .(Palm Springs) ANNA NEVENICH, a progressive Democrat running for the seat held by Rep. Mary Bono, says she is "100% in agreement" on drug reform and volunteered for the industrial hemp initiative three years ago: 760-776-7074. 46th C.D. (Santa Ana) Judge JAMES GRAY, a conservative Republican, has been a courageous spokesman for drug reform, having been one of the original sponsors of the so-called "Hoover Resolution." His opponents include ex-Congressman Bob Dornan, a notorious drug warrior: email@example.com; 714-835-3005. State Senate: : 2nd SD (North Coast) Mendocino County Supervisor JOHN PINCHES, a libertarian Republican, has been a leading opponent of the CAMP anti-marijuana helicopter program and is calling for an end to the war on pot: 707-984-8098, http://www.jpinches.com. State Assembly: 6th AD (Marin-Sonoma) On the Republican side, Peter Romanowsky says he is sympathetic to drug reform: firstname.lastname@example.org; (415) 289-9540. 14th AD (Berkeley) Incumbent DION ARONER, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, is solid on drug reform issues, but is seeking to leave the Assembly for the State Senate via a special election this September. Hemp-friendly Green candidate HANK CHAPOT is seeking write-in votes so he can appear on the November ballot in case Aroner leaves the seat (write "14th AD - Hank Chapot" on the ballot). 15th AD (Walnut Creek) Democrat CHARLES BRYDON strongly supports harm reduction, needle exchange, and decriminalization of marijuana: email@example.com (510) 837-1339. 33rd AD (San Luis Obispo) Republican Rick Bravo, M.D., has come out strongly against medical marijuana. Democratic nurse Betty Sanders, running unopposed, has expressed compassion. DENNIS PERON for Governor, Prop. 215 leader Dennis Peron stands alone as the only major-party candidate for Governor campaigning to end the drug war and legalize marijuana. He is running as a Republican against Attorney General Dan Lungren, an avowed drug warrior and opponent of Prop. 215, There is little to choose from among the three Democratic candidates for Governor. All support needle exchange but are cautious on medical marijuana, saying they would like to see more research before making it more available. None have breathed a word about the soaring number of drug prisoner or the excesses of "3 Strikes." BILL LOCKYER for Attorney General In the race for Attorney General, former State Senate Democratic leader Bill Lockyer stands above the crowd for saying that he would de-emphasize narcotics enforcement in favor of consumer protection and civil rights if elected. Sen. Lockyer also fully backs Prop. 215 and is the only major party candidate to declare that he voted for it in 1996. Lockyer criticizes Lungren for being overly zealous in his prosecution of pot clubs and advocates legislation clarifying 215 so as to better define who is a caregiver and to assure distribution to patients who really need it, with safeguards to prevent wider abuse. The other leading Democratic contenders, State Senator Charles Calderon and ex-Rep. Lynn Schenck, say they support the will of the voters insofar as Prop. 215 was intended to help the seriously ill, but agree that the state court of appeals was right to disallow distribution through clubs, and that the best solution would be to put marijuana in the hands of regulated medical health care givers. Sen. Lockyer deserves strong support for having consistently voted right on drug reform issues and having used his power as State Senate President to block punitive anti-drug legislation. U.S. Senate: Dark Horse Better than Major Candidates Republican candidate Darrell Issa has gone out of his way to take the offensive in the war on drugs, lambasting Democratic incumbent Barbara Boxer for voting against a measure to apply the death penalty to drug smugglers and for advocating shifting drug-war money from interdiction to prevention programs. Unfortunately, the fact is that Senator Boxer has been a voracious drug war hawk, voting six times to impose the death penalty on drug kingpins, "repeatedly and consistently" voting for budget increases for the Coast Guard, Drug Enforcement Administration and Border Patrol, and supporting obnoxious user penalties such as "smoke a joint, lose your license" and Sen. Phil Gramm's amendment to deny welfare benefits to misdemeanor pot offenders. The only major party candidate opposed to the drug war is Boxer's dark-horse Democratic opponent JOHN PINKERTON of Pinon Hills, who is running on an anti-government-spending platform. Pinkerton says he is opposed to drug use, but supports decriminalization of drugs, since "what people do in their own houses is their own business." Being opposed to government spending, he also opposes public funding of needle exchange and drug treatment. (Pinkerton campaign: (760) 868-1745; firstname.lastname@example.org). The other leading candidate in the race, Republican Matt Fong, has been silent on drug issues. Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jury Trial Begins June 1, 1998 (Kansas Hemp Activist Debby Moore Seeks Your Support As She Takes On The Forces Of Darkness, Facing 40 Years For .091 Grams Of Cannabis) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 00:26:33 -0500 From: Debby Moore
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Kansas Environmentalist for Commerce in Hemp DBA Hemp Industries of Kansas To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Jury Trial Begins June 1, 1998 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Friends and allies in the movement to repeal present bad Cannabis Laws in the US. The long anticipated battle for my freedom has been set for jury trial on June 1, 1998. Many of you I have had the privilege of meeting personally since I publicly stepped forward to fight the legislature and educate the masses in 1990. A more loyal order of patriots dedicated to preservation of the constitution I doubt exists. I respect and admire each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters. Others only know me by reputation. I am not going to waste bandwidth patting myself on the back. I will only share with those who do not know me, that I have written thousands of letters, articles, made hundreds of speeches to my local, state, and federal government, in schools, to farming organizations, and the media. I, like so many others have traveled around the nation sharing the benefits of Cannabis Sativa. I have been fortunate enough to visit countries and see for myself where regulated Cannabis Laws work. I ran for public office and served my community through that position by participating on several boards through the four year term. I ran for re-election, and won a second four year term by more votes than any one else, only to have my city government decide I could not serve. (Hemp World Summer 1997.) With consistency, I have applied for Federal Licensing to cultivate hemp in the state of Kansas every year since 1992 to 1998. I also annually requested the City Manager's Office in the city of Wichita to provide me a license to distribute marijuana. I honestly never expected them to issue me a license, but I did want them to keep me at the top of the list in case the laws ever changed. In 1997 Kansas legislature presented SCR 1605 providing hemp cultivation in this state. July 1997, the IRS approved my Employers Identification Number for "Hemp Industries of Kansas". I am the person responsible for exposing the subject of state marijuana tax stamps. I have personally purchased and offered for resale over $30,000 worth of Kansas Marijuana Tax Stamps between 1992 & 1996. (High Times August 1994, High Times March 1996.) Since 1992, I have been arrested four times. I have lived in seclusion of friends for the past two years because I am so "hot" - everyone is afraid to be around me. I have been to court, in the process of prosecution, and in hearings perhaps three hundred times since 1992. There is no doubt in my mind, the government would like me to shut up. I would like to point out that I have not personally consumed Cannabis since June of 1996. Even though I must obtain written permission from a judge to leave the country where I reside, I have not once neglected my personal commitment to step forward and verbally continue this battle against the War on Drugs. Which includes lobbying my government annually in our state capital. On June 1, 1998, I am to begin a jury trial which involves the FBI, the CIA, the Wichita Police Department, and the seizure of my computer. This trial will cover communication between myself and the White House, the ONDCP, the Department of Defense, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, and involves personal communication with perhaps 75% of the elected officials local, state and federal across the nation since 1990. RE: Invasions of State Political Action Headquarters & Hemp Store on March 20, 1996, & April 2, 1996. (In 1995 and 1996, I was publishing hemp data daily in ten page increments to about 10,000 newspaper & magazine editors, television and radio broadcasters. I had been doing this about a year.) The computer incident was the first to follow the initiative set forth by Dr. Eric Voth of Kansas, an advisor to the ONDCP, and the 1996 House Judiciary Subcommittee hearings on the adequacy of present marijuana laws. To silence us was the goal and the main purposes of these hearings. Mandatory sentencing in the state of Kansas is the hard 40 (40 years) for third time convicted felons of drug charges. Quantity does not matter. Anything after the first charge is always a felony. My first marijuana conviction was a misdemeanor charge while attending college in 1972. I am very frightened for myself. My courage and belief in the freedom of speech in the US has turned to fear of my government. I have had to abandon my loving children to protect them from being drawn in by the government to these proceedings. Imagine telling your children not to come home for Mother's Day. My last conviction resulting from an auto stop in October of 1995 of .091 of a gram of marijuana ash, scrapped from a closed ash tray began as police officers discussed having the hemplady pulled over. I had 5 ten dollar Kansas Marijuana Tax Stamps in my purse, and was charged with a felony. I have been waiting for two years for the appellate court to render a ruling on this case. Yes, there is another tax stamp trial in my future. The state of Kansas knows they sold me all these tax stamps through the mail in return envelopes they provided to me for my convenience. PLEASE RESPOND SO I WILL KNOW I DO NOT STAND ALONE. I have never had large sums of money to pay for attorney fees. With the continuos seizure of my funds, and the restrictions I have been surviving under, I find it very difficult to manage on a hourly income, much less have moneys for my attorney fees. I am blessed with one of the best attorney's in the nation. Charles A. O'Hara, Attorney at Law: 1502 N. Broadway, Wichita, Kansas, 67214 (316) 263-5601 I am asking that anyone who might have funds to help me please do so. I understand many do not. If this is your position then would you PLEASE SEND A CARD OR NOTE TO MY ATTORNEY telling him how much you appreciate his personal endeavors toward protecting my rights and the rights of fellow Americans. PLEASE TELL CHARLIE I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON FIGHTING THIS BATTLE. Presented by: Debby Moore, Founder Kansas Environmentalists for Commerce in Hemp dba Hemp Industries of Kansas Kansas State Lobbyists for Cannabis Law Reform High Times Freedom Fighter August 1994 National Registry of Who's Who of America 2742 E. 2nd Wichita, KS, 67214 (316) 681-1743 email@example.com Research Data Base on Industrial & Medical Cannabis at: http://www.feist.com/~hemplady
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Aid '98! Memorial Day Weekend, 1998 May 22 Through May 25 (List Subscriber Posts URL With Details About Michigan Festival This Weekend Featuring Music, Speakers, More) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 22:36:49 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Richard Lake
Subject: Hemp Aid '98! Memorial Day Weekend, 1998 May 22 thru May 25 This weekend a gathering will be held in Michigan with a great line up of music, speakers, and other activities. Details on Hemp Aid '98! Memorial Day Weekend, 1998 May 22 thru May 25 are at: http://www.pfpd.com/rainbowfarms/events.html Some good friends and I will be there, so if you will be also, please say HI. By special arrangement for those who can not make it we will be having (if everything works out) a live MAP CHAT directly from the event on Saturday evening, starting at 9:00 p.m. Eastern or 6:00 p.m. Pacific. Just point your browser to http://www.mapinc.org/chat/ And join the discussion. With a little luck, we hope to have Nora Callahan (The November Coalition & High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month): http://www.november.org Elvy Musikka (medical marijuana recipient and activist with whom I worked on the first Journey for Justice - Ohio - exactly a year ago) And others stop in and say a few words about the happening during the chat. Richard Lake http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.MAPinc.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Focus Alert Number 62 - Write A Letter, Help Change The World (DrugSense Asks You To Respond To Yesterday's 'Washington Post' Interview With Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 09:15:00 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #62 Attack on McCaffrey FOCUS Alert #62 WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD The article below was in yesterdays Washington Post. McCaffrey is finally coming under attack and it is a great opportunity to voice our opposition to the egregious actions and comments made by the general lately. IDEAS (see quotes below): Some possible topics include Lying on needle exchange Lying on medical marijuana Lying on hemp Promising treatment but not funding it Military killing first US citizen at home in drug war under the generals watch Ezequiel Hernandez) DIRECT QUOTES From the DrugSense News Archive at: HTTP://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/ *** Source: Reader's Digest "High on a Lie" Author: Daniel Levine Pubdate: April, 1998 Says Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey ( Ret.), director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, "Medical marijuana is a stalking-horse for legalization. This is not about compassion. This is about legalizing dangerous drugs." *** Pubdate: Sunday, 10 May 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, President Clinton's drug czar, opposes federal funds for exchanges: "Effective drug treatment offers the better long-term policy for both drug control and AIDS prevention." *** Source: Orange County Register ( CA) Pubdate: Sat, 16 May 1998 Author: Mark R.Chellgren - The Associated Press "Hemp and marijuana are the same plant: The seedlings are the same and in many instances the mature plants look the same," McCaffrey said. *** You could also take the tack that our generals have lied to us before (Vietnam) and McCaffery is now doing the same on the domestic front in the drug war. It's not what others do. It's what YOU do! *** CONTACT INFO The Washington Post is a little different on how it accepts Email LTEs. Please write your letter in your email reader as you normally would then go on-line and point your web browser at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Then cut and paste your letter into the window provided. Don't forget to fill in your contact info below the window. *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, Phone, fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or E-mailing to MGreer@mapinc.org *** ORIGINAL ARTICLE Washington Post Monday Drug Policy Chief Is Facing Some New Foes McCaffrey's 'Tactics' on Needle Exchange Program Prompt Anger Among Advocates By Terry M. Neal Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, May 18, 1998; Page A15 National drug policy chief Barry R. McCaffrey staked out his position on needle exchange programs, made his point to President Clinton and won his battle last month. But the retired general may have made new enemies. While Clinton did endorse needle exchanges as a means of curbing the spread of AIDS, supporters were dismayed that he took McCaffrey's advice to leave in place a ban on federal funds to finance the programs. Health and Human Services Secretary Donna E. Shalala, who announced the president's decision, and others had argued that the programs can slow the spread of disease without increasing drug abuse. Some in the administration were outraged when they learned McCaffrey had enlisted Republicans in his effort. Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus called for his resignation. On a recent afternoon, McCaffrey, who believes that needle exchange programs send the wrong message to children and encourage drug abuse, was not ready to give an inch. "I feel very comfortable with Secretary Shalala's decision, because I think it took the culture war out of the issue," he said, playing down his own influence over Clinton's decision as well as Shalala's difference of opinion. "And by the way, money was never at the heart of the debate." When asked why needle exchange supporters were angry if funding was not an issue, McCaffrey persisted: "It wasn't. What was really the debate was whether the government gave legitimacy to this approach." It was a curious answer that reflected what some detractors say is his worst personality trait: unwillingness to acknowledge differences of opinion. In calling on McCaffrey to resign, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) used battlefield terminology to accuse McCaffrey of using "brutal tactics within the administration to subvert a decision to fund needle exchange programs that he must have learned in wars with real enemies. We put him on notice that he has now made a new enemy. He started a new war with us, and we intend to fight back." Countered McCaffrey: "Drug policy is more than a function of the narrowest possible analytical view of an event. That drug policy has ramifications that are not only tactical but operational and strategic." That was McCaffrey's way of explaining that it is his job to fight illegal drug activity and his duty to weigh the implications of all policy decisions related to drugs. McCaffrey's words and actions during his two-year tenure as drug policy chief have proved him to be one of the more enigmatic and unpredictable members of the Clinton administration. His critics charge that he is often intractable and self-righteous. Yet many of them also say he has raised the profile of the position and brought credibility to the administration's anti-drug efforts. Two years ago, Clinton tapped him for the civilian job as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. A hero of the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm -- he was the most highly decorated and youngest four-star general, having been awarded three Purple Hearts for being wounded in action -- McCaffrey was an ideal choice for at least two reasons: "Because I was confirmable by the Senate and . . . I would take the job," he chuckled. McCaffrey said his decision to take the job was extremely difficult. "My wife and I both couldn't sleep for two weeks," he said. "Both of us are Army brats. I've been in uniform since I was 17." But he said he has adjusted well to civilian life. One of the most commonly told stories about McCaffrey is his 1969 wounding in Vietnam, where he commanded a rifle company. A heavy-caliber bullet shattered bone and left his right arm dangling by the flesh. Refusing to be evacuated, he insisted on fighting through the day until the next morning, when he finally passed out. McCaffrey also led the famed "left hook" operation that trapped the Iraqi army's Republican Guard in Operation Desert Storm. Further, he had bipartisan political experience, working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George Bush and Clinton. McCaffrey headed the U.S. Southern Command in Panama, which, among other things, led drug interdiction efforts in Latin America, when Clinton nominated him for the drug policy post. Few anticipated then that McCaffrey would be so politically canny and exhibit such an independent streak. McCaffrey began using his leverage even before he took the job, exacting a promise from Clinton to restore the office to its previous staff size of about 150. A victim of early 1990s budget cuts, the office was down to fewer than 40 employees under its previous director, Lee P. Brown. Then McCaffrey bucked the tough-guy military stereotype by declaring the term "war on drugs" a misnomer and vociferously promoting prevention and treatment programs as a crucial element of the nation's anti-drug effort. "Is there a general in charge? Will we achieve total victory? Who is the enemy? How will we focus violence and surprise in a lightning campaign? None of these aspects of the metaphor are useful to organized thinking on what is a very complex social, legal, international and health policy issue," McCaffrey, 55, said. A more useful metaphor, he said, is to compare the problem to cancer. Most people have "seen it in their families. Thank God, they haven't seen war." In the job, McCaffrey has successfully pushed for budget and staff increases, and championed tougher border control efforts. He led the push for congressional approval last year of $195 million for the first year of a five-year national anti-drug media campaign. "Without [McCaffrey], and without the bipartisan support of Congress, this wouldn't have happened," said Steve Dnistrian, senior vice president of the nonprofit Partnership for a Drug-Free America, which worked with McCaffrey on the media plan. Dnistrian admits there was skepticism about appointing a general as head of the drug policy office, but said, "We were so pleasantly surprised when we got to know the man, his experience and his intellect." But others remain angry about his efforts to block federal funding for needle exchange programs. "It's one thing to have a view on a policy decision and argue for it internally. It's quite another to go to the Hill and Republican members and get them to do something while it's still being discussed internally," said an HHS official who asked not to be identified. "That was not particularly loyal or useful." McCaffrey defended his actions: "Let me be absolutely blunt now. By law, I am a nonpolitical officer of government. And the president of the United States told me to work these issues with a bipartisan approach." His opposition to the funding also caused a rift with an important ally of his office, the Congressional Black Caucus. In one recent conversation, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said, McCaffrey repeatedly interjected comments about his membership in the NAACP as she explained the importance of needle exchange funding in urban black communities. A letter he wrote to Waters in March said that in previous conversations, she had "derided my membership in the NAACP" and "belittled my leadership experience in the Armed Forces." Officials in his office said last week that he is working to mend any rifts with the caucus. Some caucus members have praised McCaffrey while complaining that the Clinton White House has not given him the support he needs to do the job. "I'm not happy with the job the administration is doing. But I don't blame him for that," said Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.). Clinton senior adviser Rahm Emanuel said McCaffrey didn't do anything unusual in the needle exchange debate. "He made it clear that he would support whatever position the president made," Emanuel said. The needle exchange issue wasn't McCaffrey's first clash with administration officials. In November, McCaffrey challenged his former employer, the Pentagon, when he refused to certify its proposed fiscal 1999 budget. He sought $141 million more for fighting illegal drugs and drug abuse than the $809 million Defense Secretary William S. Cohen had proposed. McCaffrey enlisted key Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, who called Cohen's budget "inadequate." Eventually, the two sides compromised, with the Pentagon adding about $73 million. McCaffrey has been criticized and praised for efforts to build coalitions with South and Central American governments. In one case, McCaffrey was host to Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, then director of Mexico's anti-drug effort, at the White House; soon after, the Mexican government acknowledged that Gutierrez Rebollo had ties to Mexico's premier drug cartel. "These are the people who are out there," a Pentagon official said in his defense. "You can't embrace them, but on the other hand you can't shun them. That's just how the world works." Gen. Colin L. Powell, who promoted McCaffrey to be his top assistant when Powell was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called him "one of the smartest officers I've known" and said he wasn't surprised that McCaffrey has emerged as a forceful personality in his current job. Said Powell: "He will do what he thinks is right and take the consequences for it." PLAYERS Barry R. McCaffrey Title: Director, Office of National Drug Control Policy. Age: 55 Education: Bachelor's degree in engineering, U.S. Military Academy; master's in civil engineering, American University. Family: Married, with three grown children. Previous jobs: General, Army; commander-in-chief of U.S. Army Southern Command; director of long-range planning, Joint Chiefs of Staff; commanding officer, 24th Infantry Division. Hobbies: Running, reading. On the fight against drug abuse: "That metaphor, 'War on Drugs,' I thought was unhelpful to conceptually organizing an effort on the drug issue. I tell people, I know all about war. I've been studying it or involved in it since I was 17. ... The last thing it is is a war. "All metaphors break down under intensive analysis. But a more useful one is looking at cancer." (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug War's Labor Battle (Legi-Slate News Service Says A Bill In The US House Of Representatives Targeting People In The Illegal Drug Industry Is Facing Opposition Over Provisions That Would Suspend The US Customs Service's Union Agreements) Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 21:11:03 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Drug War's Labor Battle Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin b. zeese) Source: LEGI-SLATE News Service Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: Molly Peterson, LEGI-SLATE News Service DRUG WAR'S LABOR BATTLE House Bill's Provisions to Help Chase Traffickers Stumble Over Suspension of Customs Service's Union Agreements The war on drugs is producing a labor battle on Capitol Hill, where Republicans and Democrats are locked in combat over some federal workers' union contracts and charges that the Clinton administration is bowing to union pressure at the expense of drug interdiction efforts. At issue is a provision in a far-reaching drug enforcement bill, scheduled for a House vote today, that would, in some cases, allow the commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service to override collective bargaining agreements if he believes they are detracting from the agency's ability to put its officers on the front lines of the drug war. "Instead of drug interdiction, suddenly you're getting into a squabble over labor relations," Rep. John David Hayworth (R-Ariz.) told Customs officials during a House Ways and Means Committee meeting last week. Republicans also accused the agency of flip-flopping on the legislation, indicating support early in the week but backpedaling into a "neutral" position two days later -- most likely, they complained, as a result of organized labor's influence on the White House. But Democrats alleged that Republicans were engaging in a "disgraceful" attempt to manipulate the drug war for their own political gain, while pushing forward with controversial legislation that could set bad precedents for the government's dealings with its employees. The legislation is part of a high-profile GOP plan that aims to rid the United States of illegal drugs by 2002. The "Drug Free Borders Act," which the Ways and Means Committee approved Thursday, would allocate 31 percent more funds to the Customs Service's drug interdiction programs than President Clinton requested in his fiscal 1999 budget. It also would authorize the agency to hire more than 1,700 new officers over two years to curb drug smuggling at Florida and Gulf Coast seaports, and the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada. Those portions of the legislation have broad support but the collective bargaining provisions infuriate House Democrats. Under current law, Customs must abide by a collective bargaining agreement with the National Treasury Employees Union, which prohibits the rotation of officers' assignments without their consent. But the bill would earmark $25 million a year to allow the secretary of the Treasury to rotate some customs officers for permanent or temporary duty -- whether those officers agree to the transfers or not -- in order to better meet the agency's drug interdiction needs. Customs comes under the Treasury Department. Republicans argued that effective drug interdiction requires flexibility within the Customs Service, because drug smugglers constantly change their strategies. "Drug smugglers don't work 9 to 5, and our nation's front line of defense in the war on drugs can't work 9 to 5 either," said committee Chairman Bill Archer (R-Texas.) The federal employees union says its members "believe strongly in the drug interdiction mission" of Customs and supports much of the legislation, but would oppose the bill unless it is changed. Besides the sections regarding the transferring of employees, the union also criticized the legislation for cutting the night premium pay available to Customs employees working odd shifts. Democrats protested that giving the agency the power to override union-negotiated contracts would send a demoralizing message to Customs officers and all federal workers. "What we're doing is delegating to the Customs department the power to abrogate contracts, without any criteria," said Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-Mich.). Republicans said they were acting in response to requests from the Customs Service itself, but a protracted exchange between lawmakers and Customs Service officials indicated that the agency's position on the legislation was ambiguous. "It's very clear to me . . . that the White House and Treasury heard from the labor unions," Archer said. Democrats maintained the bill would trample on the rights of Customs employees who place their lives on the line to protect the nation from drugs. "We have an obligation on anti-drug programs to work together, not to jockey for political advantage," Levin said. He explained that he would vote for the bill, despite his vehement objections to the collective bargaining provisions, so as to deny Republicans the political glee of maneuvering Democrats into a "no" vote on a drug bill in an election year. Eight Democrats voted for the bill and one, Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), voted "present." (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teen's Death Illustrates The Danger Of Border Militarization ('Daily Arizona Star' Commemorates The One-Year Anniversary Of The Death Of Esequiel Hernandez, A High School Senior And Goatherder In The Border Town Of Redford, Texas, Who Was Stalked, Shot And Left To Bleed To Death By A Four-Member Marine Unit In Camouflage, Becoming The First US Citizen Killed By US Troops On US Soil Since Kent State) Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 21:32:04 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Teen's Death Illustrates the Danger of Border Militarization Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Alan Randell Source: Daily Arizona Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Authors: Isabel Garcia and Demetria Martinez TEEN'S DEATH ILLUSTRATES THE DANGER OF BORDER MILITARIZATION This month, families across the country will gather to celebrate their children's graduations. But one family, instead of marking a son's high school achievements, will observe the one-year anniversary of his death. On May 20, 1997, Esequiel Hernandez of the border town of Redford, Texas, became the first U.S. citizen killed by U.S. troops on U.S. soil since Kent State. The high school senior was stalked, shot and left to bleed to death by a four-member Marine unit in camouflage. He had been tending his goats as he did each day after school, carrying his grandfather's antique .22 to protect the animals from dog attacks. The Marines' faces were blackened and their bodies were covered with burlap and material from bushes. Ironically, a Marine recruiting poster hung in the boy's room. Hernandez was known for his steller performance in school, his respect for authority and for his deep religious faith. The troops were part of the elite drug-fighting unit, Joint Task Force Six (JTF6), established under the Bush administration as part of a program called Operation Alliance. JTF6 provides all manner of support for the U.S. Border Patrol, allegedly for drug-interdiction efforts in the border region and beyond. Support includes electronic intelligence, raid planning and weapons and interrogation techniques. Much of what these operations involve are known only to high Pentagon officials, as JTF6 has no external reporting requirement. Timothy Dunn, in his book ``The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1978-1992: Low Intensity Conflict Doctrine Comes Home,'' documents the way the Border Patrol has adopted military rhetoric, strategy and technology as part of an overall low-intensity warfare framework. He estimates that at any given time there are 200 to 300 troops, and on occasion up to 900 troops, deployed to the border. This does not include National Guard troops. Hernandez's death so galvanized human rights groups across the country that the Pentagon was forced temporarily to withdraw armed troops. The Redford Citizens Committee for Justice went to Washington D.C. where they met with high-level officials such as Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner and Assistant Secretary of Defense H. Allen Holmes. They also met with the Hispanic Caucus and Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, who advocates the deployment of 10,000 troops to the border (at a cost of $650 million a year, according to the Defense Department's estimate). For years civil and human rights organizations have been documenting the mounting law enforcement abuses along the border that have victimized both U.S. citizens, legal residents and undocumented persons alike. Countless reports have been issued by the American Friends Service Committee, Americas Watch and the Advisory Committees of Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. These groups fear that Hernandez's death is just the beginning of a new wave of violence in the border regions as the line between military and civilian law enforcmenet continues to blur. For more than 100 years, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 protected U.S. citizens from having their own military used against them. This statute has been changed by three administrations from 1981 to the present time, weakening the letter and the spirit of an act so fundamental to the liberties we enjoy and that so much of the world envies. On the one-year anniversary of Hernandez's death, human rights and religious groups across the country will pray for Ezequiel's family and call upon the U.S. government to permanently end all military operations in the border region. We must seek true solutions to the problems that plague our communities. We must redirect precious resources toward the health and well-being, not the destruction, of our young people. Attorney Isabel Garcia and novelist Demetria Martinez are members of Derechos Humanos Coalition of Arizona, a human and civil rights monitoring and educational project in Southern Arizona. The anniversary of Hernandez's death will be observed with an interfaith service tomorrow at 7 p.m. at El Tiradito, next to El Minuto Restaurant.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Banks, Bankers Charged With Laundering Drug Profits ('New York Times' Says A Federal Grand Jury In Los Angeles On Monday Charged Three Mexican Banks And 26 Mexican Bankers With Laundering Millions Of Dollars In Drug Profits, Culminating A Three-Year Undercover Sting Operation Described As The Largest Drug Money Laundering Case In American History) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 20:46:43 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Mexican Banks, Bankers Charged With Laundering Drug Profits Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: May 19, 1998 Author: Don Van Natta MEXICAN BANKS, BANKERS CHARGED WITH LAUNDERING DRUG PROFITS WASHINGTON -- Culminating a three-year undercover sting operation described as the largest drug money-laundering case in American history, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles on Monday charged three Mexican banks and 26 Mexican bankers with laundering millions of dollars in drug profits. The indictments were announced here by Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Attorney General Janet Reno, who said that the charges marked the first time Mexican banks and bank officials were directly linked to laundering U.S. drug proceeds for the Cali cartel of Colombia and the Juarez cartel of Mexico. The three Mexican banks that were charged are Bancomer and Banca Serfin, Mexico's second and third-largest banks, respectively, as well as Banca Confia, a smaller institution which was recently purchased by Citibank. Both Bancomer and Banca Serfin have branches in New York and Los Angeles and could face sanctions by regulators here. In connection with Monday's indictments, the Federal Reserve Board also announced on Monday that it was filing civil actions against five banks with branches in the United States. Besides Bancomer and Serfin, temporary cease and desist orders were issued against Banco Nacional de Mexico, Banco Internacional, and Banco Santander of Spain. It was unclear how an American prosecution against these Mexican financial institutions would proceed. When pressed at the news conference on Monday, U.S. officials said that the banks could face civil penalties by banking regulators. Dubbed "Operation Casablanca," the investigation, led by the U.S. Customs Service, resulted in the arrests of 22 bankers from 12 of Mexico's 19 largest banking institutions after they traveled to the United States last weekend. Arrest warrants for others were issued on Monday. In addition, the authorities said that over the three-year investigation that they had seized $35 million in illegal proceeds from drug money, two tons of cocaine, and four tons of marijuana. The Mexican bankers who were arrested on Saturday had planned on a much more celebratory weekend. Undercover agents had used several ruses to lure them to this country. Some had arrived in San Diego, where they had thought that they would be attending a banking conference on money laundering. Others, with whom undercover agents had participated in money laundering activity, were told to come to a purported casino opening in Mesquite, Nev., where, they were told, their drug cash would be welcomed. "By infiltrating the highest levels of the international drug trafficking financial infrastructure, Customs was able to crack the elaborate financial schemes the drug traffickers developed to launder the tremendous volumes of cash acquired as proceeds from their deadly trade," Rubin said on Monday. Although law enforcement officials stressed that Monday's action failed to cripple the drug cartels, Reno said that the arrests and seizures disrupted a major money laundering operation that had served as an engine of the international drug trafficking trade. Since its beginning in November 1995, the undercover inquiry was kept secret from the Mexican government. The first Mexican officials learned of the investigation was from Reno on Monday when she notified her counterpart by phone, Mexican attorney general Jorge Madrazo Cuellar. Rubin also alerted his counterpart, Jose Angel Gurria Trevino, the secretary of finance and public credit in Mexico. Both pledged to cooperate with the inquiry, Reno said. Mexican officials were largely taken by surprise by the indictments and were scrambling to prepare comments late on Monday. Carlos Gomez y Gomez, the president of the Mexican Bankers Association, said that the banks would cooperate with U.S. authorities. He said that the bankers do not expect to see their operations closed in the United States. He said that the alleged crimes were committed by "individuals. This is not a systemic practice of Mexican banks." The authorities said that they found that nearly 100 bank accounts in the United States had been used by drug traffickers to deposit laundered funds. On Monday, investigators seized those accounts which, they estimated, held approximately $122 million. However, the authorities said that they had not found any evidence that officials from American banks had been aware of the source of the money that was transferred from Mexican banks. The inquiry began after the Customs Office in Los Angeles discovered that drug cartel members had laundered proceeds from American drug sales in branches of Mexican banks near the border. The investigation expanded to include the financial infrastructure of the Cuidad Juarez cartel. On Monday, warrants were issued for the arrest of the cartel's money manager, Victor Alcala Navarro, and one of its leaders, Jose Alvarez Tostado, the authorities said. The investigation used Customs Service undercover agents who posed as middlemen between the cartel financial directors and the Mexican bankers, mostly mid-level executives, who agreed, for a fee of 4 or 5 percent, to launder the funds. The bankers had established phony accounts and used bank drafts to dodge money laundering regulations, the authorities said. Raymond Kelly, the Treasury Department's undersecretary for enforcement, who is awaiting confirmation as head of the Customs Service, described the case as "extremely significant" because of the amount of money involved and because it involved "a systematic scheme to launder money via a large number of Mexican financial institutions." A spokesman for Citibank Mexico said that the institution would make no comment because officials only learned about the indictments on Monday. Citibank closed the deal to purchase Banca Confia, a mid-sized retail banking group, on May 11 after months of negotiations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Banks Indicted In Drug Money Probe ('Los Angeles Times' Version) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 13:22:51 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Mexican Banks Indicted In Drug Money Probe Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: 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: Tue, 19 May 1998 Author: David Rosnzweig, Mary Beth Sheridan - Times Staff Writers MEXICAN BANKS INDICTED IN DRUG MONEY PROBE Operating out of a storefront in a gritty neighborhood of Santa Fe Springs, undercover agents from the U.S. Customs Service carried out a three-year sting that ended Monday with the indictment of three Mexican banks and 107 people on charges of laundering millions of dollars for Latin American drug-smuggling cartels. The indictments returned by a Los Angeles federal grand jury represent "the culmination of the largest, most comprehensive drug money laundering case in U.S. law enforcement history," said Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin. "Today," he added, "we have hurt the drug cartels where it hurts most--in their pocketbooks." The announcement was a bombshell in Mexico, which has been buffeted in recent years by charges that drug traffickers have spread their influence into the top levels of government and business. The news sent Mexican stock and bond markets lower and forced radio and television broadcasters to cut into regular programming. Banking stocks plunged as much as 8.5% on the Mexican stock exchange after the announcement, which came as the country's banking sector is just beginning to recover from a virtual collapse after the country's devastating 1995 recession. In lightning raids that began over the weekend, federal and local law enforcement agents across the United States arrested 35 suspects, including 15 Mexican bank officials who were lured to meetings in Las Vegas and San Diego, and 16 members of the drug cartels of Cali, Colombia, and Juarez, Mexico. Authorities also seized $35 million from the American assets of the Mexican banks named in the indictments: Bancomer S.A., Banca Serfin S.A. and Confia S.A.--among the largest and most prestigious banks in Mexico. Forfeiture actions have been taken to seize an additional $81 million believed to be stashed in other U.S. accounts. In addition to the three banks charged, the indictments named managers at 12 of Mexico's 19 largest banking institutions as participants in the money laundering scheme. The Treasury Department said the case represents the first time Mexican banks and bank officials have been directly linked to laundering profits for the cartels. Stunned by the sweeping indictment, Mexican bankers vigorously denied that their companies were engaged in money laundering and pledged full cooperation with the probe. Carlos Gomez y Gomez, head of the Mexican Bankers Assn., told a news conference: "We consider that these operations were carried out by workers and employees acting individually and don't represent an institutional practice of Mexican banks. The banking system of our country has 140,000 employees, of whom 26 have been named as [being] involved in the practice of money laundering." Despite his assurances, the announcement was at the very least a severe embarrassment to Mexico's largest and most prestigious banks. Three of them were indicted directly; nine others were named because their employees were accused of laundering money for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. Even Gomez y Gomez's own institution, Santander, was named. But he said the seizure of $35 million in allegedly dirty money in the U.S. operation would not affect the solvency or operations of Mexican banks. "The Mexican Bankers Assn. supports unconditionally all the measures taken to punish the guilty. We presidents and directors [of banks] share the concern to improve the controls in Mexican banks against money laundering," Gomez y Gomez told reporters. But Rogelio Ramirez de la O, a prominent economic consultant based in Mexico City, said, "I think [Treasury Secretary] Robert Rubin was one of the last persons to [realize] the Mexican banks were involved in laundering. This has been very much a suspicion in Mexico since 1995." U.S. authorities said the Mexican bankers were implicated in meetings with the undercover agents. Dubbed "Operation Casablanca," the investigation was launched in November 1995, when Customs Service investigators learned that drug cartel members were laundering proceeds from U.S. drug sales through branches of Mexican banks along the border. Passing themselves off as money launderers, the undercover agents established a front company in Santa Fe Springs and managed to get themselves hired as middlemen for the principal money brokers employed by the drug cartels of Cali, Colombia, and Juarez, Mexico. Through coded messages faxed by the money brokers from Colombia and Mexico, the undercover agents were instructed where to go to pick up drug proceeds and how to move the money out of the United States. Money was picked up in places as far away as Chicago, Miami and Milan, Italy, and then dispatched to the drug cartels through wire transfers or through surreptitious shipments of currency. To complete the laundering process, much of the drug money was then sent back to the United States with the help of the Mexican bankers who arranged for the issuance of untraceable bank drafts, according to prosecutors. The undercover agents were introduced to some of those bankers by Victor Manuel Alcala-Navarro, an alleged underling to a Juarez cartel money broker in Chicago. One meeting led to another and soon, prosecutors said, the agents had a long list of Mexican bankers eager to help them launder the money although the agents made it clear that the funds came from drug sales. In return for their assistance, the bankers were given a 1% commission. A federal prosecutor in Los Angeles said most of the bankers were not surprised when made aware of the source of the money and told the agents that laundering drug money was a common practice in Mexican banking. The investigation found that nearly 100 U.S. bank accounts were used by the drug traffickers, but authorities said they found no evidence that American banks were aware of the money laundering. If convicted, the defendants face penalties ranging up to life in prison. Michael McDonald, a former top IRS money laundering investigator, said Mexico had been a money laundering haven with few controls in past years. However, he said, the Mexican government--working closely with U.S. authorities--had implemented some of the toughest money laundering controls in the world, covering securities deals as well as banking transactions of more than $10,000. All banks have been issued manuals explaining how to spot suspicious transactions. An FBI-trained unit with 30 full-time members was created in January to investigate money laundering. Ramirez de la O, a prominent Mexican economic analyst, cautioned that however comprehensive the new money laundering regulations may be, "the Mexican bankers have demonstrated time and again that they find all these ways to go around the law." He also noted that there had long been a cozy relationship between the authorities and bankers, who "enjoy an unknown degree of protection from some government officials." McDonald, who now consults from Miami on money laundering issues, said: "This is going to materially disrupt the money laundering cycle of the Colombian and Mexican cartels, at least temporarily." He added, however, that "money laundering is like a water balloon. You step on one side, and it pops up on another." The Mexican attorney general's office and Finance Ministry joined the Bankers' Assn. in pledging full cooperation with the U.S. investigation. All of them appeared surprised by the announcement. In a separate development Monday, the Federal Reserve said it had issued "cease and desist" orders against five foreign banks, including two of those under indictment, for failing to address serious deficiencies in their anti-money laundering programs. Those banks are Banca Serfin, Bancomer, Banamex and Bital of Mexico and Banco Santander of Spain. Each operates offices in the United States. The order requires the banks to implement new anti-money laundering procedures. Rosenzweig reported from Los Angeles, Sheridan from Mexico City. Times staff writer Jim Smith in Mexico City contributed to this story. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana - The Real Dope ('Sydney Morning Herald' Provides A Forum For Australian Prohibitionists To Arouse People's Fears With Bad Science And Worse Assumptions) Date: Mon, 18 May 1998 19:51:10 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Marijuana: The Real Dope Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au Author: Richard Guillatt MARIJUANA: THE REAL DOPE Even as marijuana use among teenagers rises again and pressure for decriminalisation continues, fears are growing among parents that the dope smoked today is considerably more powerful than they were used to. Richard Guilliatt reports: John Anderson is up at the podium of the Eastern Sydney Rugby Union Club, scaring the pants off a crowd of parents who sit hunched forward on their chairs, brows knotted. He has already told them how marijuana has 50-60 times more carcinogens in it than tobacco, how it has been linked with asthma, angina, lowered testosterone levels, lowered IQ, irregular menstrual cycles and genetic damage. Now he is peering over his spectacles, giving them his penetrating psychologists's stare and putting a mocking tone into his voice. "This is a soft drug ... a recreational drug," he says before a slide of a human brain flashes up on a screen behind him. Then Anderson is off again, talking about the depersonalisation, amotivational syndrome and increased depression of pot smokers, about the links between marijuana and schizophrenia, and the fact that a third of the young patients he is treating for attention deficit disorder (ADD) are smoking 15-20 cones a day. For good measure, he throws in a suggestion that marijuana has probably contributed to the 30per cent youth unemployment rate. "Is it worth it?" he asks, with a closing flourish. "That's for you to decide. Thank you." And then he's off, vacating the stage to make way for a local drug education worker who warns that the "marijuana epidemic" is creating a population of adolescent semi-zombies with irreversible brain damage. This is just another night in the anti-marijuana crusade that John Anderson started five years ago when he was working as a psycho-physiologist at Westmead Hospital and began noticing how many kids with ADD and schizophrenia had sizable marijuana habits. Now in private practice in Sydney's western suburbs, Anderson goes out night after night - sometimes three times a week - to deliver this same speech, in which all the scariest research on pot smoking is packaged into one 60-minute blitzkrieg of bad vibes. "I don't give a brass razoo whether people smoke pot or not," Anderson insists. "I'm not some sort of wowser." Notwithstanding that, he argues that marijuana may one day be shown to be more dangerous than speed, heroin, alcohol and tobacco because of its unique chemical properties. Anderson is far from alone in this alarmist view because - as even the doziest dopehead must have noticed by now - marijuana has been suffering awfully bad publicity lately. Earlier this year, Allen and Unwin published The Great Brain Robbery by an Australian drug counsellor, Trevor Grice, a mass-market book aimed at parents which argues that pot is a hard drug. Several prominent psychiatrists, including Professor Graham Burrows, chairman of the Mental Health Foundation of Australia, have been pushing much the same argument in the media, and two studies published in Science last year suggested that marijuana is a "gateway" drug that could lead to heroin and cocaine abuse. Meanwhile, the Clinton Administration has been pursuing a strenuous anti-pot campaign, even threatening sanctions against doctors who prescribe it for pain relief. What's going on here? Is this just a return of the Reefer Madness scare tactics of the 1950s, when movies depicted teenagers turning into drooling psychopaths after just one puff of the evil weed? Or is recent research indicating that marijuana is really not the benign substance all those High Times editorials told us about? The answer to that question might be: a bit of both. Professor Wayne Hall, executive director of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), notes that marijuana research tends to come in "feast or famine" waves, depending on how popular the drug is and how hotly people are debating decriminalisation. Current events seem to support his thesis: marijuana use among teenagers is rising for the first time since the early 1980s, just as evidence of the drug's harmful effects has become more solid. The result is deep parental anxiety at a time when, paradoxically, government leaders such as Bob Carr and Jeff Kennett are pushing for less punitive marijuana laws. "A lot of adults of my generation who went to university in the 1970s had a fair amount of exposure to marijuana and it would have been fairly benign, fairly low-potency stuff," Professor Hall says. "The contrast between that experience and what we were told about the perils of dope-smoking made people very sceptical." That scepticism may have cre ated an unrealistically benign view of pot, Hall says: today many parents see a glaring contradiction between the problems their teenage children are experiencing and the reassuring platitudes of some drug-law reformers. Pot's resurgent popularity among teenagers is certainly evident in pop culture, from the fashion for hemp clothing to the woozy, slowed-down beats of trip-hop and other electronic music. Superficially, one might have expected baby-boomer parents to be fairly sanguine about this - after all, their generation championed dope as a safer drug than alcohol or tobacco. But it appears that many boomers have changed their views on pot now that they have kids of their own, a phenomenon best exemplified by US President Bill Clinton, the world's most famous non-inhaler. Baby boomers may also be losing their tolerance for pot in another way. Colleen Murphy, a Melbourne psychologist who runs a self-help program for people trying to stop smoking pot, says most of her clients came of age in the 1960s counterculture but found that marijuana became a problem in middle-age - they were worried about its health effects but found they had developed a strong psychological dependence on the drug. "They're surprised that they are having problems," Murphy says, "and it focuses their attention on the youth who are the major users of marijuana." NDARC noticed a similar phenomenon two years ago when it advertised a program to help marijuana-dependent adults kick their habit - there were more than 700 applications for only 240 places. Dr Vaughan Rees, a psychologist on the NDARC team, says: "It's not such a surprise to see these people, but neverthless it is remarkable that there's such a large group out there who have a problem with marijuana and are attempting to seek help. "There's been a perception among the public and some reseachers that marijuana is not a drug of dependence but the evidence has been increasing over the past few years that it is." Fuelling this parental reappraisal of marijuana are growing concerns about the habits of 1990s teenagers, who are smoking much stronger pot and smoking it earlier than their parents did. Jem Masters, a clinical nurse at Sydney Children's Hospital who has 12 years' experience in adolescent counselling, says he is seeing an increasing number of teenagers who have been smoking dope since the age of eight or nine. But what concerns him even more is the growing number of short-term users who have become psychotic after smoking high-potency "hydroponic" pot, which can be five times stronger than the home-grown their parents may have smoked in the '60s. "This is the thing that's quite scary for mental health professionals - people with a one-off use presenting with hallucinations, paranoia and delusions," Masters says. "These kids are very, very scared because they have lost touch with reality - I'm talking days and sometimes weeks of this condition continuing." Masters' concerns are shared by many people who work in adolescent psychiatry, who say pot-related psychosis has increased markedly over the past five to eight years. One mental health professional - who campaigned for pot decriminalisation as a student in the 1960s - said he had completely changed his attitude after seeing the number of teenagers entering his hospital with psychotic episodes after smoking the drug. The research into links between marijuana and psychosis - like most of the scientific evidence about marijuana - is somewhat confusing. Studies indicate that cannabis users are twice as likely to experience psychotic symptoms as non-users, but Wayne Hall points out that it is still relatively rare for marijuana to trigger psychosis. "In terms of capacity to produce psychotic symptoms, alcohol is far more noxious," he says. Similarly, Hall finds it impossible to say whether smoking actually causes schizophrenia, which often follows a psycotic episode. In a 23,000-word review of the literature on this subject, he concluded that pot is likely to precipitate schizophrenia and worsen its symptoms, but he also pointed out that reported cases of schizophrenia in the young declined in the 1970s, a period when marijuana consumption was rising. What about last year's widely publicised studies which purportedly indicated that marijuna was a "gateway" drug whose addictive qualities were similar to those of heroin and cocaine? Those findings were based on experiments which showed that rats had the same brain responses to marijuana as they did to heroin and cocaine. But Dr Iain McGregor, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Sydney, points out that rats (unlike humans) dislike marijuana intensely. Any comparison between the two species is therefore fraught with problems. "One of these studies showed that dopamine levels in rats' brains increased after they were given marijuana," McGregor says. "But to the best of my knowledge, all that an increase in dopamine shows is that something important has happened to the animal which makes it pay attention to its immediate environment. It's quite erroneous to use that chemical change to find that cannabis is a dangerous drug in the same way that heroin is. But on the basis of that dubious finding you got this huge fanfare and accompanying comment." McGregor points out that one of the studies was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in the United States, an organisation that steadfastly pursues the US Government's opposition to decriminalising marijuana. According to the February 21 issue of New Scientist, NIDA successfully lobbied the World Health Organisation last year not to release a report which showed that marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco in most respects. NIDA argued that the report would "play into the hands" of groups lobbying for decriminilisation. In an accompanying nine-page report, New Scientist debunked many of the claims circulated by NIDA about the dangers of marijuana. It pointed out, for instance, that a 25-year study of heavy cannabis users in Costa Rica had failed to show any significant memory or learning impairment among them, even though some had been smoking up to 10 joints a day for 30 years. And in the Netherlands, where marijuana has been sold legally in cafes for more than 20 years, the number of hard drug addicts has remained stable and there is no evidence of significant effects on the mental health of the country's young. Some of the anti-marijuana campaigning in Australia also has a political flavour. When John Anderson lectured in Rose Bay, for instance, he was accompanied by two Liberal Party politicians and by Angela Wood, mother of Anna Wood, the NSW teenager who died after ingesting ecstacy two years ago. Angela Wood is pursuing a crusade to have drug education in NSW schools - which is based on the philosophy of "harm minimisation" - replaced with "zero tolerance" teaching. The two politicians obligingly gave speeches promising just such a policy should they be elected. "I don't have any problem with saying that heavy use of marijuana among teenagers is a bad thing," Wayne Hall says. "But I think the concern has got to be realistic. "It can be counter-productive to make exaggerated statements that are contrary to the experience of a lot of adolescents. I think the mistake the Woods and other people make is in saying that these are risks that everybody who takes the drug runs." John Anderson insists he doesn't have a political axe to grind and leaves others to talk about policies and government. It's not too surprising, though, to hear that he is vehemently opposed to the present drug-education programs in schools and thinks the calls for decriminalisation are nuts. "We know tobacco is dangerous to kids, we know alcohol is dangerous to kids," he says. "Trying to mount an argument that says, "OK, we might as well legalise because it's no more dangerous than the other' is like saying, "Well, you might as well kill yourself by throwing yourself under a truck as throwing yourself off a building'. "I reckon in 50 years' time we'll look back and say "How on earth did we think about legalising it?'"
------------------------------------------------------------------- International Olympic Committee To Add Marijuana To List Of Banned Substances (Houston Chronicle News Service Says The IOC, Meeting In Sydney, Australia, Is Closing The 'Loophole' That Allowed Ross Rebagliati To Keep His Gold Medal) Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 16:22:24 -0700 (PDT) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: IOC to add marijuana to list of banned substances Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com IOC moves to place marijuana on ban list Houston Chronicle News Service SYDNEY, Australia - Call it the Ross Rebagliati rule. Embarrassed by the fiasco over the Canadian snowboarder who tested positive for marijuana in Nagano, Japan, Olympic officials are closing the loophole that allowed Rebagliati to keep his gold medal. The International Olympic Committee executive board said Monday marijuana and other "social drugs" would be added to its list of banned substances, even though they are not considered performance enhancers. "The IOC has decided in the case of social drugs we should take a stand, and Olympic athletes should be put to a somewhat higher standard than society in general," said IOC vice president Dick Pound of Canada. The move came in response to Rebagliati, who was stripped of his gold medal in the men's giant slalom at the Nagano Games after traces of marijuana turned up in his urine sample. The IOC's decision was later overturned and the medal reinstated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which ruled there was no clear provision for marijuana testing at the Games. "This was a clear lesson," IOC director general Francois Carrard said. "We had regulations that were not clear enough. We had to draw a lesson from Nagano. The IOC wants to take a stand against a social drug." The IOC will draft new provisions in the Olympic Charter and Medical Code to spell out its policy against recreational drugs. The details and language must still be worked out, Carrard said. "Marijuana will be banned, that's for sure," he said. "There is absolutely no doubt that marijuana is included there." The provisions are expected to be in place for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, when any athlete testing positive for marijuana would be kicked out of the Games. "Marijuana is sufficiently serious that we will be recommending disqualification," Pound said. Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the IOC medical commission, said he would recommend that, outside Olympic competition, international federations should apply a maximum three-month suspension for marijuana use. De Merode said marijuana should be banned even though it does not act as a performance enhancer like steroids. "But marijuana can destroy the performance," he said. "It can be dangerous. It can give you the impression that you are indestructible." De Merode said heroin and cocaine are already on the banned list, while drugs such as Ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms could be added. In another development, Pound cited CBS' programming and presentation as reasons for the disappointing U.S. TV ratings for the Nagano Games. Pound attributed the worst U.S. ratings for a Winter Games in 30 years to "the time difference, the programming decisions, the presentation of the program by CBS and possibly the results of the American team." CBS had no comment on Pound's remarks. The network got a 16.3 rating, 42 percent below the 27.8 rating achieved four years earlier in Lillehammer. Pound said CBS failed to make up for the weather delays and postponements in alpine skiing, the feature of its prime time telecasts. Former East German swimmers speak out - Two former leading East German swimmers, Jane Lang and Kerstin Olm, told how they were doped without their knowledge and developed deep voices after being pumped full of male hormones. "At the age of 14, my voice suddenly went deep," said Olm, 35, during testimony in Berlin. She explained she first thought excess pool humidity was the reason for the change before remembering an injection she had been given before the competition. And she now believes the jab must have been responsible. Her voice has since returned to a rather more feminine pitch. Lang alleges she received pills from two coaches as well as injections from the team doctor. A total of 19 swimmers are expected to testify in the case. Along with former Olympic bronze medalist Christine Knacke-Sommer, both Lang and Olm have agreed to undergo medical tests to determine the long-term consequences of doping. Copyright notice: All materials in this archive are copyrighted by Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspapers Partnership, L.P., or its news and feature syndicates and wire services.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Methadone Has Given Me New Life And Hope (Letter To The Editor Of The Aberdeen, Scotland 'Evening Express' Responds To A Claim In The Newspaper That The Opiate Substitute Turns Heroin Addicts Into 'Zombies') Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 21:28:58 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK Scotland: LTE: Methadone Has Given Me New Life And Hope Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: J M Petrie
Source: Evening Express (Aberdeen, Scotland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday, May 19 1998 METHADONE HAS GIVEN ME NEW LIFE AND HOPE It was with a combination of both amusement and fear that I read the comments of Ms Janice Jess -- 'Heroin addicts being turned into zombies' (Evening Express, May 16). Amusement because this woman is so very wrong. Fear because someone, somewhere may read her ludicrous diatribe and believe it. Methadone is the most prominent treatment for opiate addiction because it is the most effective. I have been on methadone for some time now and the benefits are fantastic. I have a good job, I wear nice, clean clothes and ride an expensive motorcycle. No one would know that I am on methadone save that I tell them. People like Ms. Jess would argue that I am still not opiate free. I have tried, and failed that more times than I can remember. So which is more important, an impossible "cleanliness" or a productive, positive life? The answer is obvious. Anonymous -------------------------------------------------------------------
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