Portland NORML News - Tuesday, May 19, 1998

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: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.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

vty, jerry sutliff


Subject: Summit's agenda is medical marijuana
Source: Oakland Tribune, Page 2, 5-19-98
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Officials to Offer Plan for State-Sponsored Medical Pot Program
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: John Lyons - Bee Correspondent


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Cannabis Club Backers Seek Alternatives
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: Mary Curtius, Times Staff Writer


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

"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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Summit Aims to Rescue Pot's Legal Status
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: Howard Mintz - Mercury News Staff Writer


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

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

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 (skubby@powernet.net)
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


1998 CALIFORNIA 2002

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Baez Facing New Charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: Sandra Gonzales - Mercury News Staff Writer


Indictment: He is accused of stealing funds from the marijuana club he

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

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

``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: dpfca@drugsense.org, friends@freecannabis.org, natlnorml@aol.com,
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: Cal Election Guide
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org

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

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:


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."
beeman@save-america.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;

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:
gray4cng@ix.netcom.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: rom_67@hotmail.com; (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:
brydon@aol.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;

The other leading candidate in the race, Republican Matt Fong, has
been silent on drug issues.

Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
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: hemplady@feist.com
Organization: Kansas Environmentalist for Commerce in Hemp
DBA Hemp Industries of Kansas
To: famm@famm.org
Subject: HT: Jury Trial Begins June 1, 1998
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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

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

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.


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.


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
Research Data Base on Industrial & Medical Cannabis at:

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: rlake@mapinc.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:


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


And join the discussion. With a little luck, we hope to have Nora Callahan
(The November Coalition & High Times Freedom Fighter of the Month):


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

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: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer 
Subject: DrugSense FOCUS Alert #62 Attack on McCaffrey

FOCUS Alert #62


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:


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!



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


Then cut and paste your letter into the window provided.

Don't forget to fill in your contact info below the window.


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



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."


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Drug War's Labor Battle
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: kevzeese@laser.net (kevin b. zeese)
Source: LEGI-SLATE News Service
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: Molly Peterson, LEGI-SLATE News Service


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

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

"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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Teen's Death Illustrates the Danger of Border Militarization
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Source: Daily Arizona Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Authors: Isabel Garcia and Demetria Martinez


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Mexican Banks, Bankers Charged
With Laundering Drug Profits
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: May 19, 1998
Author: Don Van Natta


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexican Banks Indicted In Drug Money Probe
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Author: David Rosnzweig, Mary Beth Sheridan - Times Staff Writers


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Australia: Marijuana: The Real Dope
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Tue, 19 May 1998
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Contact: letters@smh.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.smh.com.au
Author: Richard Guillatt


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

"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: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: IOC to add marijuana to list of banned substances
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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

"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

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

De Merode said heroin and cocaine are already on the banned list,
while drugs such as Ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms could be

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK Scotland: LTE: Methadone Has Given Me New Life And Hope
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: J M Petrie 
Source: Evening Express (Aberdeen, Scotland)
Contact: editor@ee.ajl.co.uk
Pubdate: Tuesday, May 19 1998


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

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.




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