Portland NORML News - Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Doctors Prescribed Marijuana Until Government Clamped Down
(Physician's Letter To The Editor Of 'The Oregonian' Rebuts Earlier Letter
Making False Statements About Medical Marijuana,
Written By Sandra And Dr. William Bennett, The Notorious Portland Zealots
Who Dedicated Themselves To Promoting Pot Prohibition In Response To
The Cocaine-Related Death Of Their Son At A Eugene Fraternity)

From: "sburbank" (sburbank@orednet.org)
Subject: l-t-e
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 07:09:24 -0700

To all,

Dr. William Bennett and his wife, Sandra, are some of the most outspoken
people among Oregon's prohibitionists. Dr. Bennett had a letter published in
The Oregonian on May 8th. The Oregonian, a very right-wing Republican
newspaper, printed this letter from Dr. Russo yesterday. This was
published Wednesday, May 20, 1998, as the lead letter in the Letters to the
Editor section, (Metro Section, Page C9).



Doctors prescribed marijuana until government clamped down

Treating Migraines: As a clinical neurologist who is attempting to pursue
research into the use of cannabis to treat migraine headaches, I would like
to respond to Dr. William Bennett's letter of May 8.

Dr. Bennett claims that cannabis has not been proved "safe and effective".
[But] there has never been a recorded case of human death attributable to
toxic effects of cannabis. Hard-core addiction, chromosome damage,
amotivational syndrome and so on are all marijuana myths that have been
disproved by scientific inquiry.

Cannabis was a pre-eminent mainstream pharmaceutical for headache for 80
years in this country, recommended by the greatest physicians of the age,
until it was rendered illegal under false pretenses by the federal
government in 1937, over the vociferous objections of the American Medical
Association. Old and folk uses of cannabis such as these are labeled
"anecdotal" by critics, despite the fact that modern scientific
experimentation has proved the analgesic (pain-killing) and other benefits
of the herb.

Dr. Bennett asks whether we believe that the government is conspiring to
prevent research. I do. To date, only one current study of medical utility
of cannabis has been approved, for treatment of AIDS wasting. I am the only
other researcher who has subjected himself to the Byzantine and demeaning
process of attempting to obtain approval for such research. In so doing, I
was accused by the National Institutes of Health reviewers of inexperience,
failing to include elements in the study that it, in fact, already
contained, and so on. Every study submitted to the Neurological Diseases
and Stroke Division of the National Institutes of Health in the June 1997
cycle was rejected.

Ethan Russo, MD
Missoula, Mont.

Medical Mishmash (A Well-Informed Staff Editorial
In 'The Orange County Register' Points Out That Judge William R. Froeberg,
Who Prevented David Herrick, A Retired San Bernardino County
Sheriff's Deputy, From Invoking Proposition 215 As A Defense,
Allowing Him To Be Convicted Of Marijuana Felonies In Orange County
Superior Court At Santa Ana, California, Ignored Two Other Legal Decisions
That Contradicted The Judge's Opinion)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US: CA Editorial: Medical Mishmash
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 18:50:36 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Pubdate: 5-20-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/


A Santa Ana man, David Lee Herrick, was convicted of felony marijuana sales
last week even though he distributed it to people who had recommendations
from doctors and believed he was providing the marijuana pursuant to Prop.
215, passed by the voters in 1996.

The jury asked the judge, William R. Froeberg, about how Prop. 215 should
apply, but Judge Froeberg ruled that Mr. Herrick's attorney couldn't use the
initiative as a defense. The judge's argument is that while the initiative,
now Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5, provides a defense against
possession and cultivation charges, it does not offer a defense against the
charge of selling marijuana, which is still illegal under federal law but
seems to be open to question under state law.

Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust says the verdict in Orange County
Superior Court in Santa Ana sends a simple message: it is illegal to
exchange marijuana for money in California, whether the person receiving the
marijuana has a prescription or not.

That sounds like an attractive argument for those law enforcement officials
and others who still want to believe that the medical marijuana initiative
was a big mistake that can't work in practice. Fortunately for sufferers who
seek the drug and for other supporters, the legal situation in California is
not quite that cut-and-dried. In fact, there is recent legal precedent that,
if used by the judge in the Herrick case, could well have led him to a
different opinion and, for Mr. Herrick, a retired San Bernardino County
sheriff's deputy, a different outcome.

There have been two cases decided by California appeals courts since Section
11362.5 was enacted that may have bearing. In People v. Trippett (September
1997), the Court of Appeal for the First District ruled that Prop. 215 could
be used as part of the defense in an appeal of a person convicted of
marijuana possession (the defendant had two pounds in her car) before the
initiative passed in November 1996 and the case should be remanded for a new

The issue was Section 11360, still in effect, which makes it a felony to
sell, transport or import marijuana. The court ruled that "as a general
matter, Prop. 215 does not exempt the transportation of marijuana allegedly
used or to be used for medical purposes under section 11360. However, and as
even the attorney general concedes, practical realities dictate that there
be some leeway in applying section 11360 in cases where a Prop. 215 defense
is asserted to companion charges. The results might otherwise be absurd."

While transportation was not central to the Herrick case, this ruling
demonstrates the leeway with which the initiative is being interpreted.

The other case, which bears more directly, is People v. Peron, in which the
Court of Appeal, First District, ruled in December that the Cannabis Buyers
Club in San Francisco did not qualify as a "primary caregiver" and would
have to cease the kind of operations in which it was engaged. In making the
ruling, however, the court noted there were difficult questions involved and
tried to clarify some of them.

"Although the sale and distribution of marijuana remain as criminal offenses
under section 11360, bona fide primary caregivers for section 11362.5
patients should not be precluded from receiving bona fide reimbursement for
their actual expense of cultivating and furnishing marijuana for the
patient's approved medical treatment." A few paragraphs later, the court
says: "Assuming responsibility for housing, health or safety does not
preclude the caregiver from charging the patient for those services. A
primary caregiver who consistently grows and supplies physician-approved or
prescribed medicinal marijuana for a Section 11362.5 patient is serving a
health need of the patient, and may seek reimbursement for such services."

In a concurring opinion, Justice Kline notes: "The 'right to obtain'
marijuana is, of course, meaningless if it cannot legally be satisfied. The
majority does not say qualified users may not obtain marijuana but it does
say no one has the right to sell or furnish it to them, which is the
functional equivalent. Obtaining marijuana from another may, however, be the
only practical way to secure it for many seriously ill Californians who have
a right to obtain and use the substance, because they and their primary
caregivers may as a practical matter be unable to cultivate the plant or
await harvest."

Justice kline refrained from issuing hard-and fast guidelines because "local
governments in California are now exploring ways in which to responsibly
implement the new law" and the courts should let them.

What California needs, in short, is local officials, prosecutors and judges
with a desire to implement the will of the people in a responsible and sober
fashion, rather than a desire to thwart the will of the people or to prove
that the will of the people was foolish.

Mr. Herrick's attorney, Sharon Petrosino, plans to appeal immediately after
sentencing, set for June 26.

Response To Federal Judge's Ruling (Press Release From Dennis Peron
Says The San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center Has Adopted New Procedures
In Response To US District Court Judge Breyer's Opinion And Court Order
Issued Today)

From: Rgbakan (Rgbakan@aol.com)
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 14:21:41 EDT
To: cheechwz@mindspring.com, cjhawk@owt.com, nora@november.org,
november-l@november.org, hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Fwd: Fwd: Response to Federal Judge's Ruling (Dennis Peron)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
From: "Terry Kennedy" (terry_kennedy@hotmail.com)
Subject: Fwd: Responce to Federal Judge's Ruling (Dennis Peron)
Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 10:12:07 PDT

Subject: Response to Federal Judge's Ruling (Dennis Peron)
Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 18:39:53 -0700
From: BRET (Bret1@ix.netcom.com)
CC: "FilmMakerZ@aol.com Mira" (FilmMakerZ@aol.com)

Response to Federal Judge's Ruling by Dennis Peron.

Californians for Compassionate Use
1444 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 621-3986 Fax (415) 621-0604
email: cbc@marijuana.org FPPC ID: 960825

For Immediate Release: May 20, 1998

Patients Rely On Medical Necessity Defense

Upon careful reading of U.S. District Court Judge Breyer's opinion and
court order issued today, the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center (SFCHC)
has adopted new procedures for membership qualification. To become a member
of the SFCHC a patient must qualify under the Medical Necessity Defense
Doctrine of Common Law.

Collectively the members of the SFCHC claim that enforcement of any
injunction against their center would infringe upon the fundamental right
of member-patients to:

* A medical necessity defense - the fundamental right to take action to save
a life. [See United States v. Aguilar, 883 F.2d 662, 693 (9th cir. 1989)].

* A natural law defense - the fundamental right to be free from unnecessary
pain, to receive palliative treatment for a painful medical condition, to
care for oneself, and to preserve one's own life.

* Be "Joint Purchasers and Users" - the right of members to simply share
their medicine jointly, without any attempt to distribute outside of their
collective as a legal protection. [See United States v. Swiderski, 548 F.2d
445 (2d Cir. 1977)].

"We hope that our changes will satisfy the court and allow us to continue
to serve our patients legally," stated SFCHC Director, Hazel Rodgers. "If
they do hold us in contempt of court for any reason, we have a guarantee of
a 12-person jury trial that must reach a unanimous decision to convict us.
No such jury will ever convict us."

"A judge cannot order the end of the AIDS epidemic and a judge cannot order
a patient to stop using the one medicine that is saving his or her life."

- Dennis Peron, Author of Proposition 215

Support SB 535 - Medical Marijuana Research Bill (California NORML
Asks California Constituents To Lobby Four Key Assembly Members
Who Did Not Support SB. 535 Last Year - Howard Wayne Of San Diego,
Joe Baca Of Rialto, Sally Havice Of Cerritos And Dennis Cardoza
Of Merced - Sample Letter Included)

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 22:18:01 -0800
To: dpfca@drugsense.org, drcnet@drcnet.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: Support SB 535
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org


This June, the California legislature will be voting on
Sen. John Vasconcellos' medical marijuana research bill, S.B. 535.
Despite support from Attorney General Lungren, S.B. 535 fell just a few
votes short of passage in last year's Assembly.

Following is a list of key assembly members who did NOT
support S.B. 535 last year. Residents of their districts should ask
them to reconsider.

Howard Wayne (D-San Diego)
Joe Baca (D-Rialto)
Sally Havice (D-Cerritos)
Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced)

Hon. ____
State Assembly
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear ____:

We urge you to vote for SB 535 to establish a medical marijuana
research program. SB 535 is co-sponsored by Sen. Vasconcellos and
Attorney General Lungren, and represents a bi-partisan consensus about the
steps that must be taken to resolve the controversies surrounding Prop. 215.

SB 535 would lay the groundwork for FDA approval of marijuana,
thereby ending the conflict between federal law and Prop. 215. It is now a
year and a half since voters passed Prop. 215, calling on the state and
federal governments to establish a program for "safe and affordable"
distribution of medical marijuana. Unfortunately, nothing has been done to
fulfill this mandate.

Please help end this impasse and support SB 535.


Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114

Medical Marijuana Summit - An Alternative Proposal
(American Medical Marijuana Organization Publicizes An Open Letter
From Colorado Citizens For Compassionate Cannabis
To California Senator John Vasconcellos Calling For The Appointment
Of An Independent Commission To Implement The Compassionate Use Act)

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 15:05:55 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: AMMO 
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: MMJ Summit: An Alternative Proposal

For more information and background, see:


Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466

May 20, 1998

Senator John Vasconcellos
100 Paseo de San Antonio - Suite 209
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 286-8318
Fax: (408) 286-2338

Dear Senator Vasconcellos,

We read that you would be participating in a Medical Marijuana Summit to
help in the implementation of the Compassionate Use Act. As you know,
California will be the model upon which medicinal cannabis reforms
nationwide will be based. The Compassionate Use Act was well-intentioned,
but was short on requirements for implementation and enforcement.

Attached is a proposal for an amendment to the Compassionate Use Act, which
is modeled after legislation being considered in Colorado. The proposal
includes the creation of an independent commission to license therapeutic
marijuana dispensaries. The proposal also includes language that better
defines the duties and responsibilities of the governor, attorney general,
state legislature, law enforcement, and other government agencies in
relation to the Compassionate Use Act.

The independent commission would be composed of seven members, appointed by
the governor, to aid in the implementation of the Compassionate Use Act.
(Alternatively, the members could be elected by popular vote.) The members
would include representatives of the health community, law enforcement, and
other experienced professionals. The primary duty of the commission would
be to enact licensing requirements for therapeutic marijuana dispensaries
to ensure a safe supply of medicine to patients who cannot cultivate their
own. The commission would also make recommendations to the governor and
state legislature necessary to implement and enforce the Compassionate Use

There are many benefits to using an independent commission to implement the
Compassionate Use Act. First and foremost, the commission would be
independent of existing state government agencies, thus avoiding the
political pressures within and between these agencies. An independent
commission, composed of both community members and state government
representatives, would ensure that the citizens of California have a voice
in medical marijuana policy-making. The commission would also avoid the
appearance of impropriety that might arise if any single state agency
appeared to have too much control over the regulation of therapeutic
marijuana or if citizens felt shut out of policy decisions.

An independent commission will allow uniform statewide standards to
regulate therapeutic marijuana dispensaries, relieving the burden from
local law enforcement and government agencies. In addition, empowering the
commission to promulgate rules will lessen the burden on state legislators
and reduce the political infighting associated with implementing any law. A
commission could intervene between the legislature and the people, making
regulations when possible and proposing statutory changes when necessary.

The commission model allows both citizens and state government to determine
medical marijuana policy, and allows those decisions to be implemented
quickly and efficiently. We believe it is the best model to implement and
enforce any complex law, while still factoring in the concerns of citizens
about those laws.

We hope you will seriously consider this proposal. Please feel free to
pass this on to others who might be interested in this issue or call if you
have any questions. Thank you for your time.


Laura Kriho
Joe Vigorito
Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis

For text of the proposal, see:


Our proposal for California Therapeutic Marijuana Commission was sent to
the following people on May 20, 1998. If you feel the proposal for an
independent commission is a good idea, feel free to contact these people
and express your support.

Senator John Vasconcellos
100 Paseo de San Antonio - Suite 209
San Jose, CA 95113
Phone: (408) 286-8318
Fax: (408) 286-2338

Mayor Willie L. Brown, Jr.
401 Van Ness Avenue, 3rd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: (415) 554-6141
Fax: (415) 554-6160
Email: DaMayor@ci.sf.ca.us

District Attorney Terence Hallinan
880 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 553-1752
Fax: (415) 553-9054

George Kennedy, District Attorney
Santa Clara County
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110
Telephone: (408) 299-7500
Fax: (408) 286-5437

Mayor Celia Scott
809 Center Street, Room 10
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Phone: (408) 429-3550
Email: citycncl@ci.santa-cruz.ca.us

Mayor Elihu Harris
No. 1 City Hall Plaza
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: (510) 238-3141
Fax: (510) 238-2223

Mayor Steve Martin
8300 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Phone: (213) 848-6400
Fax: (213) 848-6575
Deputy to the Mayor: rryan@ci.west-hollywood.ca.us

Governor Pete Wilson
State Capitol, 1st Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 445-4633
Email: petewilson@ca.gov

Lieutenant Governor Gray Davis
State Capitol, Room 1114
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-8994
Fax: (916) 323-4998
Email: gray.davis@ltg.ca.gov

Attorney General Daniel E. Lungren
1300 I Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-9555
Fax: (916) 324-5205

Notorious Pair Fail To Avert Drug Trial ('Sacramento Bee' Says Federal Judge
Lawrence K. Karlton Has Decided Not To Dismiss Charges
Against Two Methamphetamine Manufacturers, Even Though
The California 'Narcotics' Agents Who Entrapped The Brothers Broke The Law)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 14:06:00 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Notorious Pair Fail to Avert Drug Trial Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Joel W. Johnson (jwjohnson@mapinc.org) Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: opinion@sacbee.com Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998 Author: Cynthia Hubert Bee Staff Writer NOTORIOUS PAIR FAIL TO AVERT DRUG TRIAL Judge rips agents, but won't dismiss charges A federal judge in Sacramento declined Tuesday to dismiss charges against two notorious drug dealers, even though he concluded that state agents engaged in "outrageous" conduct in an effort to target the men. U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton said he was tempted to let the dealers go free in an effort to deter "further governmental illegal conduct," but decided it would be unwise to "reward" the defendants because the Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agents broke the law. Under the circumstances, Karlton said, "a dismissal makes no sense." "It appears to this court to be inappropriate to reward criminal co-conspirators with a dismissal in order to deter the law enforcement co-conspirators," he said. "Society was the victim of this conspiracy, and dismissal would simply inflict further injury on society." Defense lawyers said they would appeal Karlton's decision. "If the ruling had come down in our favor, law enforcement agents across the country would think twice" before putting large amounts of the key ingredient to make methamphetamine on the streets, said Robert Wilson, who represents one of the defendants. "This decision tells them it's OK to pollute the public, if the end justifies the means." But prosecutor Nancy Simpson said the agents followed internal regulations and performed the "reverse sting" operation with "a lot of consideration and thought" about the public's welfare. "There are a limited number of ways in which you, as a narcotics agent, can effectively investigate these types of cases," she emphasized. The case centers on the conduct of officers in a sting operation targeting Michael and Erwin Spruth, described as two of the most prolific methamphetamine manufacturers in Northern California. Each had two previous convictions for drug manufacturing. Defense lawyers argued during a hearing on the matter last month that the agents put the men back in business after they got out of prison in 1995 by supplying them with more than 100 pounds of ephedrine, the key ingredient used to manufacture methamphetamine. The agents failed to track diligently the chemicals, which ultimately were used to make "crank" that was sold on the streets, according to the lawyers. Agents said they did everything possible to track the chemicals while homing in on a lab site operated by the Spruths. Simpson, the agents' lawyer, argued that they followed the bureau's regulations, which allow "precursors" such as ephedrine to be furnished to criminal suspects during clandestine laboratory investigations. Agents involved in the case received commendations for their handling of the matter. But Karlton said the agents showed disdain for their own rules, which were designed to protect the public, because they were "bedazzled by the goal of arresting these particular wrongdoers." At a minimum, he said, they "aided and abetted" the making and selling of methamphetamine. "Given the fact that the agents received money rather than drugs," he said, they could "be viewed as having conspired to manufacture and distribute methamphetamine, both crimes." But the defendants, he said, "were simply not victims." "It follows that they do not enjoy standing to assert the government's outrageous conduct as a defense," he concluded. "The bottom line in this proceeding is that the irresponsible behavior of these officers will have no consequences," the judge lamented. "It is the height of naivete to believe that the court's expression of concern will affect their conduct in any way. Nonetheless, under the circumstances, the court sees no alternative." Copyright 1998 The Sacramento Bee

Lieutenant Governor Facing Ethics Hearing For Alleged Campaign Activity
('Associated Press' Says The Washington State Executive Ethics Board
Has Announced It Has 'Reasonable Cause' To Contend Brad Owen
Improperly Used His Office To Fight Last Year's Initiative 685,
The Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure)

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 20:56:50 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WA: Wire: Lt Gov facing ethics hearing
for alleged campaign activity
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998


OLYMPIA (AP) -- The state board that enforces ethics rules says it has
"reasonable cause" to contend Lt. Gov. Brad Owen improperly used his office
to fight a 1997 proposal to legalize medicinal uses of marijuana.

The Democrat, who for years has been an outspoken opponent of legalized
marijuana, on Tuesday strongly denied any wrongdoing.

"If you go by what the so-called Ethics Board interpreted, they have
stifled my ability to have an opinion and respond to public policy issues,"
said Owen, a former state senator from Shelton.

At Owen's request, the state Executive Ethics Board will hold a hearing
later this year to decide whether to confirm its findings, which it made in
February. The hearing is expected to be held this fall, said Meg Grimaldi,
an ethics board staffer.

The board contended Owen illegally distributed letters, press releases and
other documents against Initiative 685, and used public employees,
equipment and federal grant money to fight the measure.

State law allows public officials to respond to individual inquiries about
their stand on issues. Owen did so on the initiative.

"But then he sent his replies to all the legislators," Grimaldi said.

"We believe (the replies) may be beyond the normal and regular conduct of
his office," the board said in its finding.

Each of four alleged violations could result in a fine of between $500 and

Initiative 685 was defeated in November.

Bellevue attorney and I-685 backer Jeff Haley filed one of two complaints
against Owen. The other was filed by the board. When public officials use
their offices to wage campaigns, it puts their foes at a disadvantage,
Haley said.

Copyright 1997 Associated Press.

King County Arts Funding Loses To Criminals ('Seattle Times'
Notes The Seattle Symphony And Other Cultural Groups Lose Out
To The War On Some Drug Users As King County Officials
Dedicate All Available Funds To Maintaining Packed Jails)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: King County arts funding loses to criminals
Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 17:51:00 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Posted at 02:14 p.m. PDT; Wednesday, May 20, 1998
County arts funding loses to criminals
by Seattle Times staff

SEATTLE - Cultural groups have been vigorously lobbying King County
officials for millions of dollars to help pay for Seattle's new symphony
hall and a hands-on maritime museum going up on Seattle's waterfront.

But they're expected to be left off the annual mid-course correction in the
county's budget, which King County Executive Ron Sims will send to the
Metropolitan King County Council late next week.

Driven by tougher laws, the county's jails are filling up much faster than
anticipated. And running them is expected to cost the county about $2
million more than it budgeted.

Budget officials and council members say the county is unlikely to have
anything left over for the symphony and the museum, and both groups are
going to have to wait until next year's budget.

"Though we hold the arts community in high esteem, it's going to be real
hard to do this time around," said county Budget Director Pat Steel.

Unified Alcohol Policies For Campuses Statewide Under Discussion
('The Indianapolis Star' Says Bill DeLong, Director Of The National
Higher Education Center For Alcohol And Other Drug Prevention,
Told 30 College Officials From Across Indiana On Tuesday
That A Strict Unified Policy Is Necessary Because Students Currently
Won't 'Listen' To Warnings About Alcohol Abuse -
Colleges Are Like Brothels, Says DeLong)

Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 20:54:49 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IN: Unified alcohol policies for campuses
statewide under discussion
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Purplemoon 
Source: The Indianapolis Star
Contact: stareditor@starnews.com
Website: http://www.starnews.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
Author: Barb Albert, Indianapolis Star/News


INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 1998) -- Bill DeLong likens how colleges tackle
alcohol abuse on campus to "preaching chastity in a brothel."

Why should students listen, he asks, when they're bombarded with "happy
hour" promotions, bars sell to those under age 21, alumni get drunk on
campus and officials are afraid to suspend or expel students for violations?

"If we're going to change the behavior, we need to change the environment,"
he told 30 college officials from across the state on Tuesday.

They gathered in a first-ever joint meeting to discuss strategies for
addressing underage drinking and possibly developing unified alcohol
policies for campuses statewide.

DeLong is director of the national Higher Education Center for Alcohol and
Other Drug Prevention. Headquartered in Boston, it provides resources and
training to higher education officials.

The public and private college educators didn't come up with any magic
solutions or proposed statewide policies. But they agreed that working
together may prove more productive.

"In the past, we've all been working in our own little silos ," said

Butler University's Levester Johnson , vice president for student affairs.

But colleges have had limited results, so it's a good idea to share ideas
and resources and at least discuss whether a statewide policy would be
feasible, said Johnson.

Statewide policies are not common around the country. Last October, though,
the Board of Higher Education in Massachusetts voted to ban alcohol at all
29 public colleges in the state after a student died from alcohol poisoning.

No such deaths have occurred on Indiana campuses. However, there have been
numerous arrests at major campus events and suspensions of Greek
organizations over alcohol violations, despite stricter policies.

Nancy Maylath , director of health promotion programs at Purdue
University's student health center, said an increase in arrests at Purdue's
Grand Prix race this year was partly a response to a tougher policy
limiting alcohol and guests at Greek organization parties.

"It needs more time to work," she said.

What works at Purdue, however, may not be acceptable at another campus,
Maylath said. It's going to be very difficult to devise common policies
because of the wide range in current policies at public and private
colleges and differences in campus sizes and types, she added.

Still, Richard McKaig , Indiana University's dean of students, said the
group's meeting helped focus attention on ideas that are working for some

One such idea that is proving beneficial at IU, he said, is a
campus-community coalition dealing with alcohol problems. Among other
steps, the coalition has prompted neighborhood organizations to build
relationships with students through casual get-togethers.

Despite colleges' focus on alcohol abuse, McKaig said, "we're a long way
from any so-called solutions. We're a long way from sending any consistent
message to students."

The college officials will meet again in October. At that time, students,
professors and others will be invited, said Lisa Hutcheson , director of
the Indiana Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking.

The coalition of 50 business, higher education and health groups, formed in
1997, called Tuesday's meeting. The Indiana branch of another group, the
Network of Colleges and Universities Committed to the Elimination of Drug
and Alcohol Abuse, also sponsored the joint session.

Drug Deal 'Patsy' Gets 40-Year Term For Man's Death
('The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says The Walworth County, Wisconsin,
Man Who Killed A Marijuana Dealer For $350 Was Described
By His High School Guidance Counselor As 'Someone Who Could Be
Talked Into Anything By Anybody')

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 09:42:05 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: Drug Deal 'Patsy' Gets 40-year Term For Man's Death
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: David Doege of the Journal Sentinel staff


Walworth County man was talked into holdup scheme that led to

Before Corbit Rio got a 40-year sentence for murder Tuesday, even the
prosecutor couldn't help but call him a "patsy."

Picked by a streetwise drug dealer to rip off some suburban kids, Rio,
whose high school guidance counselor called him "someone who could be
talked into anything by anybody," so far is the only person to go to
prison for a holdup that netted $350 and killed a man who would have
turned 20 today.

Rio, an insecure, unemployed Walworth County resident who was arrested
twice for selling magazines door to door without a permit, wasn't
supposed to kill anybody in the marijuana deal/rip-off.

But the young man Rio held up didn't want to be robbed, so he wound up
dead, Rio wound up in prison and the guy who set it all up is still on
the outside. "I'm in here (jail) now so now I'm going to have to
change my hole life around one way or the other," Rio wrote in a
pre-sentence report including numerous spelling errors. "I rememble
when I was a kid and I would spende my summers wakeing up in the
morning around 7 and riding my bike to town, running around with my

"But I guess that's what life's all about, change."

Rio, 21, was sentenced by Circuit Judge Timothy Dugan on a charge of
felony murder. Rio, of Sharon, earlier pleaded guilty in the Nov. 28
slaying of Shaun J. Cobbledick of Saukville.

In the same way that the robbery wasn't Rio's idea, the would-be
marijuana deal that led to Cobbledick's death wasn't his idea.
According to a criminal complaint, Cobbledick came to Milwaukee with
some friends on behalf of his roommate.

The roommate, who had to go to work, gave Cobbledick $300 for 3 ounces
of marijuana and another friend gave Cobbledick $50 for a half-ounce
of the drug.

Unknown to Cobbledick and his friends, a woman who set up the drug
deal did so with a narcotics dealer who instead planned a rip-off.
Rio, who met the dealer through a Milwaukee man he got to know in the
Walworth County Jail, was broke when the dealer gave him a pistol and
talked him into ripping off the suburban kids.

Rio's previous convictions were for battery and theft, both

To complete the supposed transaction, Cobbledick drove off alone with
Rio, according to the complaint. Rio had Cobbledick drive to an alley
in the 1400 block of S. 10th St., where he robbed him at gunpoint.
Rio later told police that Cobbledick was shot during a subsequent
struggle for the pistol, according to the complaint. Rio left
Cobbledick slumped in his friend's car with a bullet hole in his head
and the engine running.

A pre-sentence report prepared by defense consultant Julie
Paasch-Anderson portrayed Rio as naive and unskilled. As a youngster,
he was clumsy, thought himself ugly and suffered from learning and
emotional difficulties that hurt his education, her report says.

"There were some concerns that he could accidentally hurt someone
because of his size," Paasch-Anderson wrote.

He regarded his high school graduation as the proudest moment of his
life because no one believed he could do it. Since then, he has worked
at gas stations, factories and restaurants, in addition to selling

"Corbit is chronologically and physically an adult," Paasch-Anderson
wrote. "But it's clear from school records, teachers and family
members that he lags far behind in social and emotional

Defense attorney Neil McGinn said Rio was impulsive, "acting without
thinking things through."

"A classic example," McGinn noted, occurred over the weekend when Rio
tried to apologize to Cobbledick's parents by calling them collect
several times from his County Jail pod. Naturally, they were repulsed
and shocked.

"It's outrageous, and it should not have happened," McGinn said. "He
realizes that now."

Word of Rio's proposed cooperation with authorities since his arrest
has gone out on the jail grapevine, McGinn said. Rio heard back over
the same grapevine.

"If he agrees to cooperate his (prison) time might be quite hard,"
McGinn said. "That's the word he got."

When asked whether others might be prosecuted for Cobbledick's murder,
Assistant District Attorney William J. Molitor said only, "It remains
under investigation."

"What an absolute waste," Molitor had said in court earlier. "Two
young men were brought together not fully realizing the danger of the
conduct they were engaged in.

"One loses his life and the other is going to prison, over nothing."

Marijuana Prohibition, Media Criticism, Copyrights And The Eighth And Ninth
Commandments (An Editorial By Richard Cowan, Former Director Of NORML,
In 'Marijuananews.com,' Explains How America's Biased Mass Media
Are The Primary Cause Of Continued Marijuana Prohibition -
And How The Internet Will Cause A Paradigm Shift)

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 13:41:26 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald 
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
cc: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: Great Media Criticism on WoD Coverage: Mj News Editorial

from: http://www.marijuananews.com
A Personal Newsletter on the Cannabis Controversies
Richard Cowan, Editor and Publisher

Marijuana Prohibition, Media Criticism, Copyrights and the 8th and 9th


By Richard Cowan
May 20, 1998

For many years, I have repeated that the best two-word explanation for
marijuana prohibition is simply "bad journalism." I will quickly add
"bad science," "bad medicine," and "bad law," etc. However, the fact
remains that the malpractice in all these other areas would have
long-since been exposed - if journalism really functioned as it
pretends to (as our watchdog) zealously seeking out the
truth. Instead, the media, mass and specialized, have become a part of
the problem, not a part of the solution. In fact, at this point the
media have three almost insurmountable problems.

The first is their complicity in the fraud. Newspapers are notorious
for burying their corrections deep in the inside pages, usually at the
bottom of the page, next to the fold. Even this is generally much
better than the electronic media. It is rather difficult to imagine a
headline or broadcast beginning with "How We've Lied to You All
These Years."

The second problem is simply one of scale. Reporters and editors like
to talk about the "Big Story," but a story can also be too big,
especially today in the age of "short-attention-span-theater." This
site is not only the evidence for what I am saying, its size is proof
of the magnitude of the problem. Size does count.

I remember standing on a street in Amsterdam being interviewed by
Morley Safer of Sixty Minutes. My part never ran, perhaps because I
told him that they couldn't do the real story in sixty minutes,
much less one of their little segments. (The fact that they wanted an
Amsterdam street scene even though I lived around the corner from
CBS's Washington studios, tells us something about
television's priorities.)

Finally, there is the absence of the vocabulary and context. From time
to time, I use the ponderous term the "prohibitionist paradigm" -
meaning simply the prohibitionist world-view that makes it impossible
for most people to see that prohibition is the problem, not the
solution. Can journalism execute a "paradigm shift?"

There are often very good stories that are critical of this or that
failure of prohibition. I call them pearls without a string. They can
never be "part of the mounting evidence that marijuana prohibition is
a failure, etc.," because that topic is just not on the public agenda.
In fact, it is a "non-topic" - just as there used to be
"non-persons" in the Soviet Union.

This eliminates the need for censorship. Say or write what you want,
because even if someone can hear you, they can't understand you.
And if they can understand you, the next day your words are gone to
the newspaper morgue, or the even more inaccessible files of the
broadcast media. Forgotten like a dream. Obviously, given the context
in which you are reading this, the Internet is now an exception to
this, sort of, almost. Indeed, that is the point of this essay.

The first thing that this site does, by its very existence, is to
create a context. The context is in the name, marijuana news. News
about marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp. The meaning of a story
can be changed just by being on this site. Consider three recent

[18] "Disputed Statistics Fuel Politics in Youth Smoking," Says N.Y.
Times; Could Phony Numbers Impact Other Policies?

[19] California Caretakers "Routinely Drug Foster Children;" Great
Journalism; We Are All Kept In A Chemical Straitjacket

[20] Adverse Pharmaceutical Reactions Major Cause of Death; Marijuana
Does Not Kill But Must Be Approved By FDA?

None of them even mention marijuana. The fact that they do not is very
revealing in itself, but each of them have a relevance to the
marijuana controversies, which either the authors never understood, or
their editors would not allow in print.

One of the strategic premises of maintaining marijuana prohibition is
what I call the "myth of consensus." This is the foundation of any
paradigm. "Everyone" sees it this way. "Everyone is against drugs" -
so don't even think about it. Indeed, it is not easy to do so.
There is almost no vocabulary left with which to think. In 1984 it was
explained that after the destruction of the meaning of words,
censorship would be unnecessary because thought would be impossible.

A part of the maintenance of this "myth of consensus" is that any
criticism of prohibition encourages children to abuse drugs. Former
Surgeon General Elders was blamed for the increase in teen drug use
after she suggested thinking about possibly considering ending

This and other anti-prohibitionist sites shatter the myth of
consensus, but they can only do so by reporting what is going on
- and perhaps even more important - reporting what is being
reported, and what is not being reported, and how the reporting is
done. The importance of this may be in just a few words or nuances
that are meaningless without context.

Sometimes, I will begin commenting by saying that "the story is the
story." It really is very important when The New York Times reports on
hemp, and how they do it is a key part of the story. This is why I use
red to highlight certain words. It may make it easier to scan the
story, but it also makes it harder to miss nuances, which may be even
more important if the reporter did not even realize what he was doing.

For example, when a reporter for the Washington Post writes that
marijuana is "ten times stronger than it was back in the ‘60s"
does he have to check to see if this is the party line? Does the Post
have anti-fact checkers?

Where I am going with all of this - as the title of piece indicates
- is to explain why I use so many copyrighted stories in their
entirety. There is simply no other way to present a complete picture
of what is going on, or more precisely, what is being done to us. Pete
Hamill has a new book called Journalism Is A Verb. Well, we are being

I could lift a sentence or two out of a story and say that the Post
lied to us again today, or that the AP actually reported the truth, as
the case may be. However, that really will not do the job.

Now let's get to the bottom line. My point is that the media
cannot be allowed to hide their massive malpractice behind the
copyright laws.

Every time they invade someone's privacy they tell us that the
"public has a right to know." Well, the public also has a right to
know what the media are doing to us. The media enjoy all manner of
special protections under the law, because they are supposed to inform
us about what is "really going on." This is truly the "life-blood" of
democracy. They are even called the Fifth Estate, an unofficial part
of our system. And they are.

To be very blunt about all this, marijuana prohibition, created and
maintained by the media, is a massive violation of the Ninth
Commandment: "Thou shall not give false witness against thy neighbor."

For most of this century the leading media outlets have given false
evidence to the people of the world about a plant. I know all too well
that this sounds absolutely crazy, and it is precisely because the
allegation seems so absurd that it requires such massive proof.

Only the Internet, with its endless capacity and hyperlinking
capability could possibly be adequate to demonstrate this point. This
site and others are doing just that.

But, as I am busy denouncing the hypocrisy of others, am I being a
hypocrite myself by stealing intellectual property? After all, the
Eighth Commandment is "Thou shall not steal." As it happens, copyright
laws have a "loophole" called "Fair Use," and the Eighth Commandment
is aimed a preventing loss.

One of the key requirements for a copyright infringement is that there
be a significant economic loss. Substantively and morally, no one is
suffering any loss by my reprinting articles here. What I do does not
"materially impair the marketability of the work which is copied."
(Harper and Row v. Nation Enterprises.)

If I post a good story and praise it, as I am happy to do, this
encourages readers to seek out the publication or writer. In order to
be fair in my criticism, I generally reproduce complete articles,
whenever practical, but I do not even begin to reproduce all of the
articles about marijuana from any source. I am not reproducing a
substantial portion of anyone's work.

There is one exception to what I said about no one suffering any loss
- the exception is the loss suffered by those being criticized.
But - for obvious reasons - one of the exceptions to copyrights
is provided for criticism, comment and news reporting. As I have said,
what is being criticized and reported here is not just a given
article, although there is certainly plenty of that.

What I am criticizing -and documenting - is not just certain lies,
but the abject failure of the media as a whole to report the truth.

When the Associated Press or Reuters carries a story, and it is not
reported in any major American paper - as was the case with the
WHO's suppression of a report saying that marijuana was less
dangerous than alcohol or tobacco - this omission is news. It would
also be meaningless without the content.

One of the saddest commentaries on the degraded state of journalism is
that a good story or factual and honest editorial is actually news. It
would also be unfair to print only the bad. If I did that, and omitted
the good, defenders of current journalism could rightly say that I was
doing what I accuse them of doing.

By the way, contrary to what many may think, "fair use" does not apply
only to non-profits. In Campbell v. Acuff-Rose, the Supreme Court even
quoted Dr. Samuel Johnson as saying "no man but a blockhead ever
wrote, except for money." Well, I have been a blockhead more than
once, but this site is a .com and is not intentionally non-profit.

Ironically, one of the key exceptions to copyrights, in addition to
those cited above, is that the use of the copyrighted material is such
a way that is "transformative" and changes the original meaning. Yes,
I add links, highlights and often comments, which could not be done
without reproducing the article, but its very presence in this context
often changes or even reverses its meaning entirely.

Readers of this site, especially students, tell me that they had never
realized the extent of the deceit until they see it laid out in front
of them. I sometimes compare marijuana prohibition to the Grand
Canyon. A picture just does not do it justice. Even when you have been
there several times, it is still incomprehensible in its size.

I believe in intellectual property rights, and I would not deprive
anyone of the value of their work, but I also believe in freedom.
Millions of Americans and other people around the world have had their
dignity and freedom and even their health and lives stolen, because
the media have failed their obligations.

Through the Internet we can construct a new way of communicating
amongst ourselves, but the lies being told to us and about us cannot
be shielded by laws that were meant to serve us. We must watch the

Disputed Statistics Fuel Politics In Youth Smoking ('New York Times'
Notes That, As Usual, Drug Policy Being Forged In Washington, DC,
Is Based On Bad Statistics And Worse Assumptions)

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 21:26:40 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Disputed Statistics Fuel Politics in Youth Smoking
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
Author: Barry Meier

It is the mantra of the nation's opponents of smoking: that sweeping changes
in the way cigarettes are marketed and sold over the next decade will stop
thousands of teen-agers each day from starting the habit and spare a million
youngsters from untimely deaths.

President Clinton recently warned, for example, that one million people
would die prematurely if Congress did not pass tobacco legislation this
year. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and the author of a $516 billion tobacco
bill, has urged lawmakers to stop "3,000 kids a day from starting this
life-threatening addiction."

But with the Senate beginning debate on Monday on tobacco legislation, many
experts warn that such predictions are little more than wild estimates that
are raising what may be unreasonable expectations for change in youth
smoking rates.

The assertion that one million lives would be saved, for example, comes from
a statement by the American Cancer Society last year that a 60 percent
decrease in youth smoking in coming years could reduce early deaths from
diseases like lung cancer by a million. But critics say the 60 percent
figure was merely a target of anti-smoking advocates, with no analysis to
back it up.

Social issues often spark unfounded claims cloaked in the reason of science.
But the debate over smoking, politically packaged around the emotional
subject of the health of children, is charged with hyperbole, some experts
say. Politicians and policy makers have tossed out dozens of estimates about
the impact of various strategies on youth smoking rates, figures that turn
out to be based on projections rather than fact.

"I think this whole business of trying to prevent kids from smoking being
the impetus behind legislation is great politics," said Richard Kluger, the
author of "Ashes to Ashes" (Knopf, 1996), a history of America's battle over
smoking and health. "But it is nonsense in terms of anything that you can
put numbers next to."

Everyone in the tobacco debate agrees that reducing youth smoking would have
major benefits because nearly all long-term smokers start as teen-agers. But
only a few studies have tried to analyze how steps like price increases and
bans on advertising affect youth smoking. And those have often produced
contradictory results.

Consider the issue of cigarette pricing. In recent congressional testimony,
Lawrence Summers, the deputy Treasury secretary, cited studies saying that
every 10 percent increase in the price of a pack of cigarettes would produce
up to a 7 percent reduction in the number of children who smoke. Those
studies argue that such a drop would occur because children are far more
sensitive to price increases than adults.

"The best way to combat youth smoking is to raise the price," Summers said.

But a recent study by researchers at Cornell University came to a far
different conclusion, including a finding that the types of studies cited by
Summers may be based on a faulty assumption.

Donald Kenkel, an associate professor of policy analysis and management at
Cornell, said that earlier studies tried to draw national patterns by
correlating youth smoking rates and cigarette prices in various states at a
given time.

But in the Cornell study, which looked at youth smoking rates and cigarette
prices over a period of years, researchers found that price had little
effect. For example, the study found that states that increased tobacco
taxes did not have significantly fewer children who started smoking compared
with states that raised taxes at a slower rate or not at all.

Kenkel added that he had no idea how the price increase being considered by
Congress -- $1.10 per pack or more-would affect youth smoking rates because
the price of cigarettes, now an average of $2 a pack, has never jumped so
much in the United States. And he added that there were so few studies on
youth smoking rates and price that any estimate was a guess.

"It is very difficult to do good policy analysis when the research basis is
as thin and variable as this," Kenkel said.

Jonathan Gruber, a Treasury Department official, said that the Cornell study
had its own methodological flaws and that the earlier findings about prices
supported the department's position. He also pointed out that Canada doubled
cigarette prices from 1981 to 1991 and saw youth smoking rates fall by half.

Under the tobacco legislation being considered in the United States,
cigarette prices would increase by about 50 percent. And while advocates of
the legislation say that the increase would reduce youth smoking by 30
percent over the next decade, they say that an additional 30 percent
reduction would come through companion measures like advertising
restrictions and increased penalties for store owners who sold cigarettes to
underage smokers and for youngsters who bought them.

The claim that comprehensive tobacco legislation would reduce youth smoking
by 60 percent over the next decade is perhaps the most frequently cited
number by advocates of such bills. But that figure first emerged last year
in a different context and quickly came under attack.

The American Cancer Society, soon after the settlement plan was reached in
June between the tobacco industry and 40 state attorneys general, said that
one goal of that agreement-a 60 percent decline in youth smoking rates over
the next decade-would spare one million children from early deaths from
smoking-related diseases. The plan, which recently collapsed, would have
raised cigarette prices by about 62 cents over a decade and banned certain
types of tobacco advertising and promotional campaigns.

But some tobacco opponents soon found fault with the cancer society's
estimates. For one, those critics pointed out that the 60 percent figure
represented only a target, and that penalties would be imposed on tobacco
companies if it were not reached. And the cancer society, they added, had
not performed any analysis of the June deal to determine whether it could
produce a 60 percent decline in youth smoking.

"They basically made up the number and I think it was totally irresponsible
of them," said Dr. Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at the University
of California at San Francisco. "It is like assuming that by snapping our
fingers we could make breast cancer go away."

In a letter to Dr. Glantz, Dr. Michael Thun, the cancer society's vice
president for epidemiology and surveillance research, acknowledged that the
group's statement was based on an "if-then" projection, rather than an
analysis of whether the proposal's programs would accomplish that goal.

"The way the number was derived has nothing to do with what will effectively
get us there," Dr. Thun said in a recent interview.

The new 60 percent estimate is based on a different formulation. But it,
like the cancer society statistic, also coincides with a target for reducing
youth smoking that would result in industry penalties if not reached. And
along with questioning the impact of price on reaching such a goal, experts
are at odds over whether advertising bans and sales restrictions would
produce the projected 30 percent drop in youth smoking.

In California, for example, youth smoking began to decline in the early
1990's, soon after the state began one of the most aggressive anti-smoking
campaigns in the country. But it has begun to rise again in recent years.

Dr. John Pierce, a professor of cancer prevention at the University of
California at San Diego, said he thought that reversal might reflect the
ability of cigarette makers to alter their promotional strategies to keep
tobacco attractive to teen-agers even as regulators try to block them.

For their part, cigarette makers, whose internal documents suggest a
significant impact on youth smoking from price increases, appear happy to
play both sides of the statistical fence.

Last year, they estimated that the price increase in the June plan would
cause sales to drop by nearly 43 percent among all smokers over a decade.
But now that Congress is considering raising prices by twice that much,
producers have turned around and said that higher prices would undermine,
rather than help, efforts to reduce youth smoking.

Steven Duchesne, an industry spokesman, said tobacco companies thought that
high cigarette prices would encourage those in the black market to target

"Smugglers would sell cigarettes out of the back of trucks without checking
ID's," Mr. Duchesne said.

Experts agree that unless significant changes are made in areas like price
and advertising, youth smoking rates will not decline. But unlike
politicians, many of them are unwilling to make predictions. Instead, they
say that the passage of tobacco legislation would guarantee only one thing:
the start of a vast social experiment whose outcome is by no means clear.

Trying To Think About Drugs ('San Francisco Chronicle' Columnist Jon Carroll
Says The War On Some Drug Users Is The Moral Equivalent Of Terrorism
Against The Constitution - And Promises To Share Some Ideas
About New Approaches In His Column Tomorrow)

Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 09:58:49 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Trying to Think About Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/


LET US SAY only what we know. The citizens of the United States are
still troubled by a knot of problems usually collected under the
rubric ``drugs.'' Citizens are frustrated by the lack of progress in
solving the problem of ``drugs,'' and therefore by the nature of the
solutions themselves.

Those who care about traditional values are concerned that the use of
illegal drugs continues largely unabated. Seventeen years after the
Reagan Revolution changed much of America's perception of itself,
citizens are still just saying yes to drugs. Amber waves of marijuana
continue to carpet the fruited plains; tons of cocaine move across our
borders daily despite billions spent on interdiction.

Those concerned with personal freedoms point to escalating assaults on
privacy, due process and private property created by laws passed to
support the war on drugs. The property of people still innocent in the
eyes of the law has been seized, their homes have been invaded, their
personal behavior, no matter how nonviolent or socially harmless, has
resulted in serious prison time.

People who see public issues in terms of the inequities of class and
race note that the war on drugs has somehow turned into yet another
aspect of the war against the poor. More prisons are being built at
the expense of other social programs, and these prisons are being
filled with the usual suspects - poor whites, Latinos, African Americans.

Even worse: All of these trends are happening in an atmosphere of
misplaced piety and rampant hypocrisy. The usual counterbalances to
abusive government power -- the press, the polemicists, the opposition
parties -- have been largely silent on these issues.

No one wants to be seen as pro-drug. There are too many other worthy
causes. Think of the children.

On the other hand: Think of the children of the people in jail.

THE HYPOCRISY STARTS in the very definitions of the crime. The most
dangerous recreational drug in America is alcohol, and yet it is legal
-- indeed, it is hardly regulated. There are more warning labels on
diet soft drinks than on bourbon.

Rich people can get doctors to write them prescriptions for the
narcotics they want. Poor people have to buy their drugs on the
street. Getting the money to buy the drugs often involves criminal
behavior, of which the easiest and least violent is selling the drugs.
Selling drugs is a felony. Selling drugs means hard time.

Hollywood has long taken up the cause of unpopular men. Loathsome
murderers (``Dead Man Walking'') turn into Sean Penn; IRA terrorists
(``The Devil's Own'') turn into Brad Pitt. But where are the gentle
dealers of marijuana, the morally conflicted crack addicts? These
people exist in real life, but Hollywood won't touch people who touch
drugs, probably because too many people in Hollywood have touched too
many drugs.

There are more people in prison all the time, and those incremental
humans often don't belong there. If you have 2 million people in
prison, and the next year you have 3 million, where has the extra
million come from? Not from hard-core murderers and sociopaths --
they're already inside. They're easy to catch.

It's the fringe players, addicts, rebels, nutballs, vets who never
made it home and kids who never made it at all -- the people who, in a
less obsessed society, are taken care of in discreet, private and
inexpensive ways.

Meanwhile, because of the distortion of justice promoted by the war on
drugs, villains walk free. A man who beats a woman is sent to a
diversion program; a man who sells pot to that same woman is sent to

Because we have zero tolerance. And tiny brains.

I THINK AMERICA is a swell idea for a country, and I think the war on
drugs is the moral equivalent of terrorism against the

I think we start afresh. We've been looking the other way too long. I
have some ideas. 
  • Tomorrow. Runnin' around, robbing banks all whacked out. It's the elephant in the living room, and someone should mention it.
  • -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Three Mexican Banks Snared In US Drug-Money Sting ('Washington Post'
    Article In 'International Herald Tribune' Notes The United States
    Used 'About 200 Undercover US Customs Agents' To Produce Indictments
    Charging Three Of Mexico's Largest Banks And Officials From 12
    Of The Country's 19 Largest Banks Of Knowingly Aiding People
    In The Illegal Drug Industry Launder Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars)
    Date: Fri, 22 May 1998 20:31:06 -0800
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: IHT: 3 Mexican Banks Snared In US Drug-money Sting
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: Peter Webster
    Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
    Source: International Herald Tribune
    Contact: iht@iht.com
    Website: http://www.iht.com/
    Author: Douglas Farah Washington Post Service
    WASHINGTON---The United States has accused three of Mexico's largest banks
    of knowingly aiding drug traffickers in laundering hundreds of millions of
    dollars in illicit proceeds from the United States and painted a grim
    picture of the Mexican financial sector's complicity in the drug trade.
    In an indictment, the government said the banks were charged after a
    three-year sting operation in which about 200 undercover U.S. Customs
    agents helped Mexican bankers launder millions of dollars through an
    elaborate scheme of shuffling the money between U.S. and Mexican bank
    In addition to charging three banks with knowingly aiding drug traffickers,
    the indictment alleges that officials from 12 of Mexico's 19 largest
    banking institutions were involved in money-laundering activities.
    Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Attorney General Janet Reno said that
    the indictment, which was unsealed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles,
    was the culmination of "the largest, most comprehensive drug money
    laundering case in the history of U.S. law enforcement."
    The investigation, they said, directly linked Mexican banks and bank
    officials for the first time to laundering U.S. drug profits.
    The operation netted only a small fraction of the $40 billion to $60
    billion in illicit drug proceeds reaped from U.S. sales each year, much of
    which finds its way to traffickers:in Mexico and Colombia. But senior law
    enforcement officials said the case provided the best view U.S. officials
    have yet had into the increasingly sophisticated world of drug-related
    money laundering.
    The MeXican bankers allegedly worked on behalf of the Juarez cartel in
    Mexico and the Cali cocaine and heroin syndicate in Colombia, officials
    U.S. authorities arrested 70 people over the weekend, including 14 Mexican
    banking of ficials. About $35 million was seized and an additional $122
    million is expected to be recovered from more than 100 bank accounts frozen
    in the United States and Europe, of ficials said.
    Most of those arrested were lured to either Las Vegas or Los Angeles by
    undercover agents who offered to show them new ways to launder money
    through casinos and promised them dinner and a big party, senior law
    enforcement officials said.
    No U.S. banks or citizens were indicted, apd U.S. of ficials said that
    Mexican officials had not been informed of the operation. Ms. Reno said
    that she and other senior U.S. of ficials had contacted their Mexican
    counterparts Monday to tell them of the operation and that the Mexican
    government had promised its "full cooperation."
    Money laundering is the process whereby criminals take their illegal
    proceeds and put them into the financial sector in different ways so the
    money appears to have a legitimate origin. For their services, law
    enforcement officials said, the banks received a cut of 4 percent to 5
    percent of the money deposited.
    In this case, officials said, drug traffickers would collect the drug money
    off the streets in the United States, and undercover agents would then
    deposit the money into accounts in Los Angeles. The money was then
    transferred by wire and accumulated in Mexican bank accounts, where bankers
    allegedly were aware that the money had come from drug trafficking.
    Mexican bankers then issued bank drafts under fictitious names and mailed
    or hand-delivered the drafts to undercover agents in Los Angeles, who
    redeposited the money into the accounts. Because the money appeared as
    "clean" deposits from Mexico, it could be wire-transferred or
    hand-delivered to drug traffickers in Mexico.
    Mr. Rubin said that the banks indicted were Bancomer, Mexico's
    secondlargest bank- Banca Serfin, the country's third-largest bank; and
    Confia, which is arnong the top 20 banks.
    Carlos Gomez, president of the Mexican Bankers Association, said, "These
    are operations from some employees and of ficials acting in an individual
    way, and it doesn't represent any systematic operations of the banks
    In addition to the indictments, the Federal Reserve announced it had issued
    temporary "cease and desist" orders suspending the U.S. operations of the
    three banks that were indicted, as well as those of Banco Nacional de
    Mexico, or Banamex, Mexico's largest bank; Bital, the country's
    fourth-largest bank, and Banco Santander the fifth-largest Mexican bank.
    The banks have "serious deficiencies in their anti-money laundering
    programs," according to a statement by the Federeal Reserve.
    Mexicans Stunned By US Drug Arrests (Britain's 'Guardian'
    Suggests The Mexican Government Is Shocked, Shocked
    That 'Operation Casablanca' Discovered Improprieties -
    See The Next Article To Find Out What Usual Suspects
    Got Rounded Up)
    Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 00:57:08 -0400
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexicans Stunned By Us Drug Arrests
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
    Source: Guardian, The (UK)
    Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
    Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
    Pubdate: 20 May 1998
    Author: Phil Gunson in Mexico City
    The Mexican government, stunned by revelations that the country's biggest
    banks are involved in laundering drug money, yesterday promised "full
    co-operation" with Operation Casablanca, the United States' massive
    anti-drugs sweep which has netted more than 130 suspects so far. More
    arrests are said to be imminent.
    Jose Angel Gurria, the finance minister, said: "The Mexican authorities
    will do everything to punish those guilty of committing crimes in Mexican
    territory, as well as to continue the fight against this part of the
    drug-trafficking chain."
    The statement came a day after the US charged staff from some of Mexico's
    biggest banks with involvement in laundering US drug profits reaped by
    Colombian and Mexican drug lords.
    Twenty-two middle-ranking Mexican bankers were held at the weekend after a
    three-year operation, about which the Mexican authorities were never informed.
    According to the US attorney-general, Janet Reno, and the treasury
    secretary, Robert Rubin, another 112 people had been arrested and $35
    million (£24 million) seized, along with two tonnes of cocaine and four
    tonnes of marijuana.
    It was not only the most extensive operation mounted against the
    money-launderers but the first in which Mexican bankers had been shown to
    be "directly linked to laundering the Cali and Juarez cartels' drug
    profits", the US said.
    At least another 40 arrests are anticipated, along with the seizure of
    another $110 million in US accounts held by Mexican banks.
    Among the banks whose employees are involved are Bancomer, Serfin and
    Confia, all of whose US operations are now under official supervision.
    Confia has just been bought by Citibank, itself the subject of a separate
    money-laundering inquiry.
    Despite the much-vaunted co-operation between US and Mexican authorities in
    combating the cartels, the Mexican government - as well as the banks
    concerned - were kept in the dark, in what amounts to a resounding vote of
    No mention was made of Operation Casablanca at any of the meetings of the
    "high-level contact group" set up over two years ago to co-ordinate
    anti-drugs operations between the two countries.
    The Mexican attorney-general's office, the leading anti-drugs agency here,
    was reduced to repeating the information made public in Washington and
    expressing its supposed "satisfaction" at the news.
    The bomb dropped just as the Mexican congress was beginning to react to the
    $63 billion cost of rescuing the recently privatised banks from
    irresponsible lending policies and fraudulent operations.
    The bankers themselves, whose public image is not much better than that of
    the drug traffickers, responded to the news from Washington by minimising
    its significance and promising to co-operate.
    "We have unanimously decided to co-operate with the US authorities in
    following up this investigation, in co-ordination with the Mexican
    authorities," the chairman of the bankers' association, Carlos Gomez y
    Gomez, said.
    Philip Willan in Rome adds: Five people were arrested in the Italian end of
    Operation Casablanca after Carabinieri in the northern city of Bergamo
    posed as financiers willing to participate in money-laundering operations
    on behalf of the Colombian drug cartels, said Pierluigi Dell'Osso, a
    prosecutor at the National Anti-Mafia Prosecutor's Office in Rome who
    helped to co-ordinate the inquiry.
    Three major Italian banks and three Milanese goldsmiths are under
    investigation in connection with the alleged money-laundering.
    Mexican Officials Belittle Drug-Money Sting ('Orange County Register'
    Notes The Mexican Finance Minister And The President
    Of The National Banking Commission On Tuesday Made Light Of
    A Huge US Undercover Operation That Exposed The Laundering
    Of Drug Money In 12 Mexican Banks, Noting That None Of The Mexican Bank
    Employees Arrested Were Top-Level Executives, And The Amounts Of Money
    Involved Were Not Large Enough To Pose A Risk To The Banking System
    As A Whole)
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    To: "MN" 
    Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexican Officials Belittle Drug-Money Sting
    Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 18:53:37 -0500
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: John W.Black
    Pubdate: 5-20-98
    Source: Orange County Register (CA)
    Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
    Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
    Author:Julie Preston
    * Police: The banking commission president says the U.S. is taking the
    laundering bust 'out of context.'
    MEXICO CITY - Mexican officials sought Tuesday to belittle the results of a
    huge U.S. undercover operation that exposed the laundering of drug money
    in 12 Mexican banks.
    On Monday a federal grand jury in Los Angeles unsealed three indictments
    against Mexican bankers and their clients in drug organizations based in
    Cali, Colombia, and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. More than $72 million in drug
    proceeds was seized during the three-year undercover operation, which spread
    across six countries and involved about 200 agents from the U.S. Customs
    Service and other agencies.
    Three Mexican banks - Bancomer, Banca Serfin and Banca Confia - were
    indicted as institutions. U.S. Justice Department officials said they felt
    that the pattern of money-laundering through these banks was so systemic
    that it would not be enough to indict individual employees.
    The indictments dealt a shock to Mexico, revealing a much easier and more
    pervasive movement of narcotics proceeds through the financial system than
    Mexican officials have been willing to acknowledge.
    The investigation revealed gaping loopholes in U.S. and Mexican laws that
    allowed traffickers to move their proceeds relatively easily.
    Yet Eduardo Fernandez Garcia, the president of the National Banking
    Commission, Mexico's bank regulatory agency, dismissed the indictments as
    "I didn't like the way the United States authorities announced this,"
    Fernandez said in a television interview Tuesday. "They made it seem as
    though they were announcing something terribly important. But I think this
    has been taken out of context. It seems much more important than it really
    Fernandez noted that none of the Mexican bank employees arrested were
    top-level executives. Most of the 14 bankers arrested since May 16 were
    local managers and executives who worked in Tujuana and Gaudalajara.
    Finance Minister Jose Angel Gurria Trevino said that although millions of
    dollars passed through the money-laundering scheme, the amounts were not
    large enough to pose any risk to the banking system as a whole.
    The huge undercover operation exposed connections between several of
    Mexico's most important banks and the top financial operator for the Juarez
    organization, Jose Alvarez. Alvarez set up a network of willing bankers and
    stockbrokers across Mexico and eventually introduced them to undercover
    customs agents who were posing as brokers for Colombian drug barons, customs
    officials said. Alvarez is still at large.
    The operation started in 1995, when customs agents in Colombia were
    approached by members of the Cali cartel looking for ways to bring home the
    profits from cocaine and marijuana sales in the United States, customs
    officials said.
    The Colombians introduced the undercover agents to Victor Alcala, Alvarez's
    top deputy. As American agents gained the confidence of the Juarez
    traffickers, they were contracted to broker millions of dollars in drug
    proceeds from sales in Chicago, Miami, Houston, New York and Los Angeles.
    "We did not approach any bankers," a customs official said. "They all came
    to us." He said the Mexican bankers were all told the money came from drug
    In the United States, operatives for the Colombian and Mexican drug
    organizations collected cash profits from street sales. Undercover agents
    then turned the money over to American banks that were cooperating with the
    sting, among them Bank of America in Los Angeles.
    The U.S. banks then sent the funds by internal wire transfers to fictitious
    corporate accounts at banks in Mexico, where bankers converted the funds
    into cashier's checks made out to fictitious individuals.
    These checks were sent on to Cali drug operatives in Colombia, or stashed
    away in secret customs accounts. American officials acknowledged that o
    avoid suspicion they completed laundering transactions worth million of
    dollars for Mexican and Colombian dealers.
    Subpoena Planned In Border Shooting (According To The Austin, Texas,
    'American-Statesman' US Representative Lamar Smith, A Republican
    From San Antonio, Is Frustrated With The Answers He Has Received So Far
    About The Killing Of Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., 18, One Year Ago Today
    By US Marines Patrolling The Border With Mexico, And Said Tuesday
    He Will Seek To Subpoena The Justice Department For More Information)
    Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 23:03:18 -0500
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: US: Subpoena Planned In Border Shooting
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
    Source: Austin American-Statesman
    Pubdate: 20 May 1998
    Contact: letters@statesman.com
    Website: http://www.Austin360.com/
    Author: Christi Harlan American-Statesman Washington Staff
    Congressman vows legal action to get Justice Department files on death
    of Esequiel Hernandez
    WASHINGTON -- Frustrated with the answers he has received so far, Rep.
    Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said Tuesday that he will seek to subpoena
    the Justice Department for more information about the shooting death
    last year of a Texas teen-ager by U.S. Marines patrolling the border
    with Mexico.
    Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, was shot to death a year ago today while
    he was tending his family's goats near the border town of Redford,
    about 200 miles southeast of El Paso. The Marines have said Cpl.
    Clemente Banuelos shot Hernandez after Hernandez fired his .22-caliber
    rifle in their direction while they were working with the Border
    Patrol during routine anti-smuggling operations.
    Smith, chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, has been
    waiting for almost a year to convene a hearing on the shooting to
    examine the Border Patrol's oversight of the Marines. Smith delayed
    the hearings at the request of Attorney General Janet Reno while
    criminal investigations were under way. Those investigations ended
    more than three months ago without any charges, and Smith said he is
    now entitled to answers.
    "The Border Patrol was supposed to brief the Marines, supervise them
    and respond to emergencies," Smith said. "But that didn't help
    Esequiel Hernandez."
    The Marines "didn't yell either a greeting or a warning" after they
    encountered Hernandez, Smith said Tuesday. "Instead, one of the
    Marines radioed their command center and said they were "taking him'
    if he raised his gun again. The response was, "Roger. Fire back.' "
    Smith said he obtained the information from radio logs provided by the
    Marines, but he wants more from the Justice Department, which is the
    parent agency of the Border Patrol.
    "The Justice Department refuses to provide basic documents like the
    written statements made by the Marines and Border Patrol agents
    involved in the killing and even refuses to allow those agents to be
    interviewed," Smith said. "Unless the requested documents and
    explanations are immediately forthcoming, Thursday morning I will seek
    subpoenas to force the Justice Department to disclose those facts to
    Congress and the American people."
    Justice Department spokesman Myron Marlin said he couldn't comment on
    whether the Justice Department would deliver more information in time
    to head off Smith's plans to seek subpoenas.
    "We produced some documents back in August for the congressman, but we
    were engaged in an ongoing criminal investigation at that time,"
    Marlin said. "We're at this point reviewing a significant number of
    documents to be sure that we don't release any grand jury-protected
    Marlin said that cooperation with Smith's inquiry was delayed by two
    separate grand jury investigations of the shooting. A Presidio County
    grand jury found no grounds for criminal charges against Banuelos in
    August. A federal grand jury convened in December to consider possible
    criminal violations of Hernandez's civil rights but ended its work in
    January without returning charges.
    Smith needs a majority vote of the 12-member immigration subcommittee
    for authority to issue subpoenas. He leads a majority of seven
    Republicans on the committee but said he hopes for a bipartisan vote
    if the subpoenas must be issued.
    "I have had two briefings and have written the Justice Department five
    letters asking for information, but I am still waiting for more
    answers," Smith said. "Apparently, we can no longer rely on the
    good-faith cooperation of the Justice Department."
    From San Diego To Brownsville - Human Rights Violations
    On The USA-Mexico Border (News Release From Amnesty International
    Describes The Organization's New Report, Which Says The United States
    Is Violating International Treaties In Its Enforcement Of Immigration Laws,
    Aggravating The Turbulence And Friction That Have Characterized The Region
    Throughout This Century)
    Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 07:08:02 EDT
    Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
    Reply-To: vignes@monaco.mc
    Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
    Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
    Precedence: first-class
    From: Peter Webster (vignes@monaco.mc)
    To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
    Subject: Amnesty Intl report on US-Mexico border
    News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International
    AI INDEX: AMR 51/33/98
    20 MAY 1998
    From San Diego to Brownsville: Human rights violations on the USA-Mexico
    SAN DIEGO -- Populations either side of the California to Texas line have
    much in common -- including family ties -- but the manner in which the
    United States is enforcing immigration laws is aggravating the turbulence
    and friction that have characterized the region throughout this century,
    says a new Amnesty International report.
    The report -- which focuses on incidents of ill-treatment and
    brutality by officers of the US Immigration and Naturalization Service
    (INS) -- examines the recent history of the US-Mexico border region, the
    INS' human rights record during the 1990's, and some of the steps it has
    taken to acknowledge the seriousness of the problems.
    The INS has had a long and troubled history in the US-Mexico border
    region, with many allegations of officer misconduct including unlawful
    lethal shootings, physical assaults and ill-treatment of detainees in
    custody. Amnesty International's report indicates that steps taken in
    recent years to seal the border, coupled with the US army's role in
    assisting the INS in the so-called "War on Drugs", have increased the
    chances of human rights violations against people suspected of being
    illegal immigrants.
    Allegations highlighted in the report include people being struck with
    batons, fists and feet -- often as a punishment for attempting to run away
    from Border Patrol agents -- denial of food, water, blankets and medical
    attention for long hours, sexual abuse, and abusive or racist conduct
    sometimes resulting in the wrongful deportation of US citizens to Mexico.
    Those reporting ill-treatment include men, women and children, almost
    exclusively of Latin American descent. They also include citizens and
    legal permanent residents of the USA and members of four Native American
    nations whose tribal lands span the US-Mexico border.
    People of Latin American descent have been ill-treated, detained,
    interrogated, searched and harassed because of their ethnic origin.
    Unaccompanied juveniles in INS detention often find it difficult to obtain
    adequate legal advice and representation, despite being recognized
    internationally as an especially vulnerable group, and detained children
    have no right to a lawyer.
    Pressed by economic and social problems, many thousands of Mexicans in
    particular, but also people from other Latin American countries, go in
    search of better livelihood north of the border every year. While Amnesty
    International does not take issue with the right of the United States to
    police its international borders, the organization insists this should be
    done in compliance with the country's international human rights
    Cases in which such obligations have been violated span the spectrum
    of circumstances in which the Border Patrol and INS officers have come into
    contact with the public:
    Jorge Soriano Bautista: chased by a Border Patrol vehicle which
    allegedly hit him in the back resulting in his arm being broken. Despite
    his broken arm, the agents pushed him back under the fence into Mexico.
    "...medical care and treatment shall be provided whenever necessary."
    Principle 24, UN Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons
    under Any Form of Detention
    David, a juvenile from El Salvador: arrested in New Mexico and -- in
    violation of INS policy, US law and international standards -- handed over
    to the Mexican authorities, who held him for three days, allegedly without
    food and water, and hit him.
    "Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to
    prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance...."
    Article 37(d) UN Convention on the Rights of the child.
    Daniel Rodriguez Biurquiz: apprehended by the Border Patrol
    which, when he tried to run away, beat him with their batons. He was
    deported immediately, allegedly without being processed, photographed or
    fingerprinted, and he believes this was done because of his highly visible
    broken nose, and heavy bruising to his face, body and legs.
    "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
    degrading treatment or punishment." Article 7, International Covenant on
    Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)
    Luz Lopez and Norma Contreras, both aged 23, from Guatemala: a
    Border Patrol agent handcuffed and detained them in his vehicle. He
    allegedly sexually assaulted both women for several hours -- on one
    occasion in full view of a second agent -- and afterwards gave the women
    one dollar each and released them into the USA. Article 7, ICCPR.
    The Border Patrol has been a powerful presence in the border region
    for generations. It is a place where some parents of Latin American
    origin, fearing an accidental deportation do not let their children leave
    home in the morning without their birth certificates.
    Amnesty International stresses that the steady growth of the Border
    Patrol -- numbering more than 6,300 agents in 1997 and aiming to increase
    its staff by 1,000 officers per year until 2,001 -- should be accompanied
    by instruction on international human rights standards if further human
    rights violations are to be avoided.
    You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main
    text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting
    Amnesty International and this footer remain intact. Only the
    list subscription message may be removed.
    To subscribe to amnesty-L, send a message to majordomo@oil.ca with
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    body. If you have problem signing off, contact owner-amnesty-L@oil.ca
    Group Urges More Monitoring Of Border Abuses ('Los Angeles Times'
    Article About Amnesty International's Human Rights Report)
    Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 16:49:30 -0400
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: US CA: Group Urges More Monitoring Of Border Abuses
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
    Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
    Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
    Contact: letters@latimes.com
    Website: http://www.latimes.com/
    Author: Ken Ellingwood, Times Staff
    Immigration: Amnesty International says it found 'credible evidence' of
    mistreatment of migrants by the Border Patrol and other U.S. agencies.
    SAN DIEGO--In its first broad look at human rights along the U.S.-Mexico
    border, Amnesty International is urging the U.S. government to create
    civilian watchdog committees to monitor complaints about alleged abuses by
    Border Patrol agents and other immigration officers.
    The rights group said in a 56-page report made public Tuesday that it found
    "credible evidence" of a wide range of mistreatment by U.S. agents, from
    beatings and sexual abuse of suspected undocumented immigrants to
    withholding food, water and medical care during extended periods. Migrants
    seeking to report mistreatment face a confusing complaint process and some
    Border Patrol stations do not stock complaint forms in Spanish, the group said.
    "The allegations of ill-treatment Amnesty International collected include
    people being struck with batons, fists and feet, often as punishment for
    attempting to run away from Border Patrol agents," said the report, based on
    a three-week tour along the border from California to Texas last fall.
    The organization said a crackdown on illegal immigration and drug smuggling
    into the United States in recent years, sending hundreds of new Border
    Patrol agents and U.S. military units along sections of the 2,000-mile
    border, had increased chances for detainees' rights to be violated.
    But a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service said rights
    violations are "not common." Spokeswoman Virginia Kice said the report
    ignored some steps that the agency has taken in terms of training and
    internal policing to prevent them.
    "Any instance of abuse is one too many and will not be tolerated," Kice said.
    Kice said a number of informal community boards have sprouted along the
    border, providing the INS with local input on potential problems though not
    overseeing how complaints are handled. "We have made a concerted and sincere
    effort to address some of the concerns raised in the Amnesty International
    report," Kice said.
    The study's release was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the fatal
    shooting last May 20 of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old goatherd, by
    a member of a Marine surveillance team looking for drug smugglers on the
    border southeast of El Paso. A federal grand jury later declined to indict
    Cpl. Clemente Banuelos after concluding that he thought that he was
    protecting a fellow serviceman when he shot Hernandez.
    The Amnesty study was sprinkled with anecdotes of alleged abuses culled
    largely from news stories, reports by other groups and charges raised
    previously by immigrant-rights advocates. The group said it hoped to apply
    international human-rights standards to border enforcement and prod the
    Immigration and Naturalization Service to improve training and procedures
    for detention and complaints.
    "Nice-sounding noises in Washington don't always translate into reforms in
    the field," said Nicholas Rizza, the group's national refugee coordinator in
    San Francisco.
    Among the recommendations was the proposed creation of citizen panels,
    similar to local police commissions, to monitor the handling of complaints
    before the INS and Justice Department--and even launch their own
    investigations, if necessary. That suggestion was part of a package of
    recommendations made last year by a separate citizens panel set up by the
    INS in 1994 to examine its practices.
    Copyright Los Angeles Times
    Reefer Madness ('Calgary Sun' Recounts A Day In Court
    During Alberta's First Marijuana-Rights Trial, A Constitutional Challenge
    To Canada's Prohibition On Medical Marijuana
    By Multiple Sclerosis Patient Grant Krieger)
    Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 01:06:49 -0400
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: Canada: Reefer Madness
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: cozmi@shaw.wave.ca
    Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
    Source: Calgary Sun (Canada)
    Contact: callet@sunpub.com
    Website: http://www.canoe.ca/CalgarySun/
    Author: Michael Platt
    A double-standard on marijuana means it's all right for Olympic athletes to
    test positive for the drug but illegal for people to use it for medicinal
    purposes, a Calgary court heard yesterday.
    "When Ross (Rebagliati) won the gold medal in Japan, all of our Canadian
    officials said it's only a little bit of pot so give him his medal," said
    Grant Krieger 43, who admitted smoking a joint before court.
    He's charged with possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking and
    possession. "How come I've got charges against me if it's only a little bit
    of pot?" Snowboarder Rebagliati tested positive for traces of marijuana and
    was temporarily stripped of his medal at the Winter Olympics. He got it back
    after an appeal.
    In Alberta's first ever marijuana-rights trial, Krieger is fighting to have
    laws against medicinal pot use declared unconstitutional.
    "I will take this all the way to the Supreme Court if I have to," said
    Krieger outside court. "I'm willing to go to jail if that's what it takes."
    Krieger was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1978. He was arrested last
    June after he openly tried to hand an ounce of marijuana to a Calgary man
    who was on trial for cultivating a narcotic.
    Outside court, several sign-waving marijuana activists demonstrated in
    support of Krieger.
    "It's a matter of people not getting access to the medicine they need --
    it's your body, it should be your choice," said activist Amanda Stewart.
    Proponents say marijuana alleviates a wide range of medical problems,
    including nausea from chemotherapy and pressure on the eyes from glaucoma.
    Krieger said he gave up prescription drugs for marijuana and pulled himself
    back from the brink of suicide. He told court he tried to kill himself in
    1994 after becoming bed-ridden due to MS.
    Krieger said he smokes an ounce of marijuana a week, at a cost of $300. His
    lawyer, Adriano Iovinelli, said he would argue under the Charter of Rights
    and Freedoms the law interferes with his client's quality of life.
    "He's willing to be the martyr for the cause, to give it for medicinal
    purposes," said Iovinelli.
    The judge will rule June 16.
    In 1996, Krieger was arrested in Amsterdam for trying to transport a
    kilogram of marijuana back to Canada. He has yet to stand trial on charges
    related to that incident.
    Medical Use Of Pot Urged ('Calgary Herald' Version)
    Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 20:23:11 -0700
    Subject: Medical use of pot urged
    From: "Deb Harper" 
    To: mattalk 
    CC: MAP 
    SOURCE: Calgary Herald
    PUBDATE: Wed. May 20/98
    CONTACT: letters@theherald.southam.ca
    Author: Daryl Slade
    Medical use of pot urged
    Canadians should be able to use and distribute marijuana to others for
    medical purposes, says a Saskatchewan man on trial in Calgary.
    "Iıll go to the Supreme Court and Iım willing to go to jail if I have to,"
    Grant Krieger, 43 said outside provincial court. Krieger has multiple
    sclerosis and says smoking pot has saved his life.
    "A statement has to be made. There are a lot of sick people out there and
    all they want to do is die. This could help them have a better quality of
    life like it has for me, but a doctor is unable to prescribe it," he said.
    Krieger said there also needs to be a distribution system in Canada for the
    drug for medical purposes.
    He has pleaded not quality to a criminal charge of possession for the
    purpose of trafficking for attempting to give some of the illegal drug to a
    bedridden Calgary man on trial at Court of Queenıs Bench last June 26.
    He deliberately smoked a joint in from of police to bring attention to the
    issue, he testified.
    Lawyer Adriano Iovinelli told Judge Robert Davie that the federal law
    prohibiting use and distribution of marijuana for medical reasons was
    against his clientıs charter rights.
    "Heıs willing to give it out to someone else who needs it for medical
    reasons only," said Iovinelli. "So itıs not just his rights weıre arguing
    But Crown prosecutor Stephanie Torske said making an exemption for one
    person to distribute marijuana to others opens the floodgates for others to
    traffic in the drug.
    "Weıre not challenging his right to have it for his own use," said Torske.
    "Itsıs him giving it to others whom he feels, in his opinion only, that they
    should have it for medical use."
    Davie will give his decision on the charter argument on June 16.
    Lindsay Krieger, 19, said the drug has made a world of difference for her
    father, who failed in an attempt to commit suicide in December 1994.
    "Before he started taking marijuana, he was sick all the time, he couldnıt
    walk, he stayed in bed and he was miserable," she said. "Now, heıs better,
    he gained control of his life. He wants to live."
    Grant Krieger, of Preeceville, 270 kilometres east of Saskatoon, said the
    government is being hypocritical in its law preventing use of marijuana.
    It rallied to help snowboarder Ross Rebagliati, who tested positive for
    marijuana, get his Olympic gold medal back, he said. Then it denies sick
    people like himself from getting pain relief."
    "It takes stress off your life," Grant Krieger said. "When Ross won the gold
    medal in Japan, all our Canadian officials said it was only a little bit of
    pot, give him back his medal.
    "How come Iıve got a charge against me and it was only a little bit of pot?
    If you have something in your body that allows your muscles to relax and
    regenerate faster, is that not an enhancer? Thatıs what it does for me."
    Re - War On Drugs Disastrous Failure (Letter To The Editor
    Of 'The Calgary Sun' Says Columnist Bill Kaufmann
    Has Done His Homework)
    Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 00:50:37 -0400
    To: mapnews@mapinc.org
    From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
    Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Calgary Sun
    Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
    Newshawk: cozmi@shaw.wave.ca
    Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
    Source: Calgary Sun (Canada)
    Contact: callet@sunpub.com
    Website: http://www.canoe.ca/CalgarySun/
    Note: Parenthetical remarks are the Sun editor's
    YOU HAVE previously referred to Bill Kaufmann in your parenthetical
    comments as an idealist, but "War on drugs disastrous failure" (May 11)
    proves he is a realist who's done his homework.
    Your capitulation on this issue is a clear message the Sun is not willing to
    sacrifice the truth to maintain the slowly eroding status quo of
    prohibition. Supporting a repeal of these insidious laws reveals
    intelligence and pragmatism. Or is it just plain, old, common sense to
    abandon a sinking ship?
    Link to response
    D.L. Harper (We haven't surrendered to anyone.)
    Drug Epidemic On Way - Book ('The Evening Post' In Wellington, New Zealand,
    Publicizes A Sensational New Australian Book, 'Drug Precipice,'
    Full Of Classic Prohibitionist Biases - Plus A Draft Of A Letter To The Editor
    In Response By A New Zealand Physician Who Says Instead Of Continuing
    With Prohibition, Society Should Try To Make Cannabis Boring -
    'Fueling The Fires Of Teenage Curiosity With Claims That The Sky Is Falling . . .
    Only Makes Teenagers Want To Rush Outside And Look Up')
    Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 16:43:25 +1200 (NZST)
    To: drugtalk@adca.org.au, maptalk@mapinc.org, mattalk@islandnet.com
    From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
    Subject: Article on Australian prohibitionist book
    The nutters are coming out all over the place in Australia, and their debris
    is washing up across the Tasman. A few letters to the Post's prohibitionist
    editor, Suzanne Carty, would be appreciated. My own effort is appended
    following the article, FYI. Any comments on this letter, which I won't send
    out 'til tomorrow, would be appreciated.
    Pubdate: Wed, 20 May 1998
    Source: Evening Post (Wellington, NZ)
    Contact: editor@evpost.co.nz
    Drug epidemic on way - book
    SYDNEY - Australia is one of the worst nations in the world for cannabis
    abuse and is on the brink of a drug-use epidemic, a new book warns.
    Drug Precipice, by former organised crime royal commissioner Athol Moffit,
    QC, pharmacist John Malouf and New South Wales magistrate John Thompson,
    argues that law enforcement alone is not enough to solve the nation's
    illegal drug problem.
    But legalising drugs was not the answer either. The focus should be on
    reducing demand, they say.
    "Every one of the proposals to repeal or lighten the severity of drug
    legislation would make things worse overall," the book says.
    "Well-organised publicity and some debate by the anti-prohibition movements
    [seek] to dismantle prohibition gradually - starting with the
    decriminalisation of the use of marijuana."
    "However, the publicity is mostly confined to appalling generalities
    designed to change public opinion . . . many arguments are selective and not
    backed by a close scrutiny of the critical context or ultimate consequences."
    The book paints a graphic picture of the health risks, particularly of
    cannabis abuse: from mental illness to memory loss, sexual dysfunction and
    motivational problems.
    Despite this, the rate of cannabis use - particularly among young people -
    is soaring, Mr Thompson says.
    "There is an appalling ignorance about drugs and what they can do to people
    and their lives, an ignorance shared by users and non-users alike," he says.
    "People are unaware that most new users are children who are experimenting
    with a drug supplied by another child . . . after that no one can foretell
    who will end up an addict."
    The authors cite a United Nations report last year which found the
    prevalence of cannabis use in Australia was among the highest in the world.
    - AAP
    My letter:
    To the editor:
    By choosing to advertise (in the guise of a news story) the latest scarily
    sensational anti-drugs book ("Drug epidemic on way - book"; 20.5.98), the
    Evening Post has once again ill-served our young people. As all drug
    educators know - and as I have personally informed the editor in response to
    the Post's recurrent anti-cannabis features - the kind of rhetorical
    excesses and exaggerated anti-drug messages contained in this book (and in
    others before it) inevitably *increase* drug use by young people.
    Instead of fueling the fires of teenage curiosity with claims that the sky
    is falling (which only makes teenagers want to rush outside and look up),
    society should try to make cannabis boring - something used by (some)
    parents and other "old people". This is what has happened in The
    Netherlands, where 22 years of normalised cannabis sales to adults has
    reduced cannabis use by teenagers to amongst the lowest levels in the
    developed world.
    The authors of Drug Precipice wish us to believe that any method of drug
    control other than strict prohibition would "make things worse overall".
    Like anti-drugs campaigners everywhere, these authors ignore the mountain of
    scholarly evidence showing that prohibition is in fact the source - directly
    or indirectly - of most of the harms produced by illicit drug use. This is
    especially true of cannabis.
    Perhaps the Post was correct in thinking that publication of Drug Precipice
    was newsworthy. But the true significance of the story is that the kind of
    scare tactic anti-drug messages known to increase drug use by children
    continue to be tolerated - even rewarded financially - by modern societies.
    David Hadorn
    [contact details]
    DrugSense Weekly, Number 47 (Summary Of Drug Policy News For Activists,
    From DrugSense)
    Date: Wed, 20 May 1998 09:18:46 -0700
    From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
    Subject: DrugSense Weekly May 20, 1998 #047
    DrugSense Weekly
    May 20, 1998 #047
    A DrugSense publication
    Feature Article
    Drug War News Not Fit To Print
    by Michael Levine
    Weekly News In Review
    Drug War Policy-
    Drug Abuse Costs US $246 Billion A Year, Study Says
    Scientists See New Link To Cocaine Addiction
    Farmers Will Sue to Legalize Hemp Crops
    Law Enforcement-
    Battle Rages Over New Prisons
    Another Day, Another Atrocity
    Wiretap Requests Hit Record
    At Michigan State, a Protest Escalates Into a Night of Fires, Tear
    Gas, and Arrests.
    At Connecticut's Party Weekend, Days of Music Replaced by Nights of
    Some Experts Say Colleges Share the Responsibility for the Recent Riots
    Medical Marijuana-
    Pot Clubs Vow To Defy Judge's Order
    US Agents Raid Peron's Pot Farm
    Man Who Sold Pot To The Sick Convicted
    Tobacco Settlement Fund Battle
    International News-
    FBI To Join Latin America In Fighting Crime
    'Global Drug Trafficking Exploding'
    Heroin Hooks Children of New Russian Rich
    Hot Off The 'Net
    Oregon MMJ Act posted
    DrugSense Tip Of The Week
    Quote of the Week
    by Michael Levine
    Host: of THE EXPERT WITNESS radio show WBAI, 99.5 FM, Tuesdays, 7-8pm New
    York City
    Author: of Deep Cover, the Big White Lie and Triangle of Death
    I have always marveled at how we spent almost $1 trillion, taxpayer dollars
    since President Nixon declared war on drugs in 1972, and tolerate having
    absolutely nothing to show for that money. Worse yet: a recent poll indicates
    that 66 percent of us want to spend more money to fight drugs.
    How can that possibly be?
    Answer: Mainstream media sells us a war on drugs that they need a lot more
    than we do. Before you dismiss what I've just said, check my facts.
    A glaring example of that sell appeared on the front page of last Sunday's
    New York Times (5/10/98) a headline article entitled "Dominicans Allow
    Drugs Easy Sailing."
    Apparently the Times has rediscovered for twentieth time in fifteen years
    that the Dominican Republic is an "important" part of the route cocaine
    follows to the U.S..
    As a test that this "news" article is really a revenue inspired con job,
    review about five years of New York Times drug war articles and compare them
    to this one and the game becomes apparent.
    Note that virtually every country in the world is mentioned as a drug-
    trafficking "problem," (some in multiple articles); likewise, every criminal
    cartel known to man; likewise, every international criminal ever "leaked" by
    a federal bureaucracy - yet the "news" story is basically exactly the same fill-
    in-the-blanks duplicate to the Sunday Times article, including a space for
    maps with arrows and diagrams to illustrate drug routes.
    And it is not just the Times. This pro forma drug story is reprinted weekly
    by all the other mainstream magazines and newspapers and retold ad nauseam by
    every mainstream media broadcasting company. All deliver virtually the same
    message that the Times piece ended with: "...It's going to be a catastrophe."
    Now let's examine some major news stories from the past:
    News Service on February 20, 1931.
    REVEALS," also from Universal News Service, picked up by many US newspapers,
    I defy anyone to find a difference between these 64+ year old stories other
    than locations, names and quantities and the Sunday Times headline story. And
    these are only two of tens of thousands published during the past 75 years.
    During my long career I was always struck by the startling difference between
    the reality of the so-called war on drugs, and the way it is presented to the
    world through easily manipulated media coverage. What I came to realize was
    that both the taxpayer funded bureaucracies and the mainstream media vendors
    of drug war "news" have a common customer, or as we say on the street,
    "mark" the American taxpayer.
    This explains why in 1965, the federal and state combined drug war budgets
    were less than $10 million, and the current one is in excess of $50
    billion, with absolutely nothing to show for it.
    And this at a time that deserving children cannot afford a college education,
    the social security system is in danger of collapsing, hard working Americans
    cannot get health insurance, millions are without homes and adequate food,
    the national debt will impoverish future generations and our nation's public
    education systems have fallen behind most of the other industrialized
    I just can't wait to see the next thrilling drug war story.
    Domestic News- The Drug War
    Three articles illustrate the surreal quality of our
    drug war as policy: the first is an attempt to justify
    its cost by estimating what the drugs cost society, while
    neglecting to note that it's the illegal markets created
    by the policy which leads to crime; directly through violent
    competition, and indirectly through high drug prices.
    The second is a report on mouse research which suggests
    a genetic basis for drug dependency. Isn't it gratifying
    to learn that we may have been criminalizing a
    genetically mediated behavioral tendency all these years?
    True to form, Leshner is still trumpeting that drug
    addiction is a "disease" but ignoring the logical
    implications his own statement.
    As the Kentucky lawsuit unfolds, the public will learn
    how the DEA has lobbied shamelessly against hemp for
    years. Will it be surprise them to learn that the
    Agency's professional expertise isn't limited to law
    enforcement and medicine, but also includes economics
    and agriculture? Will they care?
    Abuse of Alcohol and other drugs costs the United States more than
    $246 billion a year, a government study published Wednesday found.
    That worked out to $965 for every man, woman and child in the
    country, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National
    Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said.
    Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
    Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
    Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
    Pubdate: Thu, 14 May 1998
    LOS ANGELES -- A chemical messenger called serotonin is turning out
    to be a bigger player in cocaine addiction than previously thought,
    according to two studies that could help researchers find new
    approaches to treating and preventing drug abuse.
    The studies released Wednesday looked at the roles of dopamine and
    serotonin in laboratory mice that pressed levers to get doses of
    Researchers long have held that increases in the brain of dopamine
    - a chemical associated with movement, thought, motivation and
    pleasure - produce some of the euphoria and addictive effects of
    Serotonin - involved in emotions, mood, and probably sleep and
    aggression - was thought to play some role in achieving a high. But
    the new studies show it provides an important component to how
    vulnerable an animal - or human may be.
    Source: Oakland Tribune
    Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
    Author: Associated Press
    LEXINGTON, Ky. -- More than 25 years after hemp was last grown in
    America legally, a group of farmers and trade organizations plans
    to sue the federal government on Friday to make hemp a lawful crop
    again. The plaintiffs intend to argue in U.S. District Court here
    that the illegal status of hemp, by definition of the Controlled
    Substances Act of 1972, violates a 1937 determination by Congress
    that the plant poses none of the psychoactive problems caused by
    its cousin, marijuana.
    Source: New York Times
    Contact: letters@nytimes.com
    Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
    Pubdate: May 15, 1998
    Author: Michael Janofsky
    Law Enforcement
    Speaking of surreal, it's long been known in California that
    the three-strikes law was ultimately unaffordable without either
    further drastic cuts in education (already suffering), or
    increased taxes; nevertheless, the denial goes on. It's
    become so blatant that private prison companies are building new
    facilities on spec, without a contract, knowing that, without
    amnesty, the business will be there.
    On the right coast, Bob Herbert seems to be waging a one-man
    crusade against police drug raids in NYC and the NYPD is
    obliging by continuing to batter down the doors of innocent
    According to the GOP, Clinton's Justice Department is "soft on
    drugs," yet it's setting all sorts of police-state records,
    first for marijuana arrests, now for wire-taps.
    CALIFORNIA voters have demanded - by passing the three strikes and
    you're out measure, that more felons be locked up for longer terms.
    But when it comes to building the prisons to house those felons,
    voters have been much less enthusiastic. They rejected the last
    state prison bond issue in 1990. Since then, new jails have been
    constructed through a convoluted leasing arrangement in which a
    state agency issues "revenue bonds" to build prisons, then rents
    them to the Department of Corrections.
    But even that approach has run out of money, and as inmates
    continue to pour into the prison system -- there are about 150,000
    now it's reaching the limits of physical capacity.
    State prison officials estimate dial by 2000, the system will hit
    200 percent of design capacity with every non-maximum security cell
    housing two inmates and every gymnasium and other space filled with
    Source: Oakland Tribune
    Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
    Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998
    This time the gun-waving storm troopers from the Police Department
    smashed in the door and invaded the apartment of a quiet and
    law-abiding family in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. The
    cops, in riot-type gear, set off a stun grenade, which gives the
    impression that the apartment is being bombed, and then handcuffed
    everybody, including a petrified mentally retarded teen-aged girl
    who was pulled naked from a bathtub. As the family members trembled
    and wept, the cops began their search, rummaging arrogantly through
    the most personal of items.
    Pubdate: Sun, 10 May 1998
    Source: New York Times ( NY)
    Contact: letters@nytimes.com
    Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
    Author: Bob Herbert
    Two million private conversations were monitored in '97, a
    government report shows.
    Washington- Law enforcement agents sought a record number of court
    orders last year to allow them to listen in secretly on more than 2
    million private conversations, a government wiretap report shows.
    The 1,186 wiretap requests approved by federal and state judges in
    1997 marked a 3 percent increase over 1996 and surpassed the 1,154
    logged in 1994. The total is believed to be the highest since
    Congress in 1968 started requiring the Administrative Office of the
    U.S. Courts to compile such records.
    As in past years, the bulk of the wiretap requests - 73 percent -
    were spurred by narcotics investigations.
    Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
    Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
    Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
    Pubdate: Sat, 9 May 1998
    Author: Richard Carelli - The Associated Press
    Since the legal age is 21, most college undergraduates
    aren't old enough to drink legally, despite the fact
    that 80% of them do so regularly. This creates problems
    for university officials and campus police, especially
    this year when heightened awareness of underage smoking and
    drug use plus two alcohol-overdose deaths of undergraduates
    stepped up pressure to "crack down" on underage drinking.
    When school officials tried to do so, they were often
    confronted with rowdy behavior and demonstrations as
    reported in the May 15 Journal of Higher Education.
    It's a complex issue, beset by the same problems plaguing
    all juvenile prohibitions. (The best overview is in the
    UCONN article ).
    EAST LANSING, MICH. - Many people at Michigan State University
    expected something big to happen at Munn Field on the night of
    May1. They just didn't know what.
    E-mail messages had been flying all week, urging people to gather
    at Munn to protest the administration's recent decision to ban
    alcohol there during football season. The open, grassy field is a
    popular spot for students and some alumni to gather for tailgate
    parties on game days.
    Many students wanted to demand a greater voice in such decisions.
    Others were just curious and wanted to watch from a safe distance.
    But many planned to come packing beer, ready to let loose after the
    last day of classes before exams.
    STORRS, CONN.- The 80 police officers did not move last month as
    bottles, cans, and rocks were lobbed at them by a crowd of students
    and their friends partying in a dirt parking lot that adjoins the
    University of Connecticut campus.
    When some in the crowd of 2,000 people overturned a black Honda
    Accord, the police, from university, local, and state forces, stood
    their ground. Even when some men set a couch on fire, the police
    remained on the edge of the lot.
    Only when the students put the burning couch on the Honda --
    raising the possibility that its gas tank would explode -- did the
    police move in, using pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
    The torching of the Honda on Saturday, April 25, marked the climax
    of a riotous weekend here.
    Although many people are quick to chastise the students involved in
    recent riots in several states, colleges share some of the blame,
    according to administrators and alcohol experts.
    For many years, college officials looked the other way when
    underage students drank. But a string of high-profile,
    alcohol-related deaths in recent years -- including one last fall
    at Louisiana State University, and another at Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology -- has prompted colleges to crack down on
    minors who drink. Alcohol arrests on college campuses jumped by 10
    per cent in 1996, the latest year for which data are available,
    according to a recent survey by The Chronicle (May 8).
    Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education
    Pubdate: 15 May 1998
    Contact: editor@chronicle.com
    Website: http://chronicle.com/
    Authors: Kit Lively (Mich State), Ben Gose (UCONN), Editors.
    Medical Marijuana
    In California, law enforcement continued its brutal
    treatment of Prop 215, last week with help from the
    federal Bench. The fate of the San Francisco Buyers'
    Club will be decided by a complex algorithm which depends on
    further judicial ruling and a possible jury trial.
    The goal of California law enforcement seems to be to
    deny patients any recourse except the criminal market
    and risk of arrest. The legislature and judiciary have
    aided and abetted the narcs and sheriffs.
    Citing federal laws, court is demanding they stop giving out
    medical marijuana
    Another crushing blow for proponents of medical marijuana, another
    defiant pledge to keep going.
    But keeping the doors open to four pot clubs across Northern
    California isn't going to be so easy in the wake of the strongest
    legal setback yet delivered by a federal judge.
    On Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer sided with
    the federal government's argument that the Cannabis Healing Center
    and three other clubs in Northern California are violating federal
    drug laws and he ordered the clubs shut down.
    Pubdate: Fri, 15 May 1998
    Source: San Francisco Examiner ( CA)
    Contact: letters@examiner.com
    Website: http://www.examiner.com/
    Author: Ray Delgado, Examiner Staff
    250 Plants Seized On Eve Of Replanting Ceremony
    Federal drug agents seized 250 marijuana plants yesterday morning
    from a rural Lake County ``resort'' run by gubernatorial candidate
    Dennis Peron.
    Pubdate: Sat, 16 May 1998
    Source: San Francisco Chronicle ( CA)
    Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
    Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
    Author: Torri Minton, Chronicle Staff Writer
    The judge rules that Prop. 215 allows only the use, not the sale of
    marijuana for medical purposes.
    A Santa Ana man was convicted Wednesday of felony marijuana sales
    for distributing the drug to sick people who had obtained doctors'
    prescriptions after the 1996 approval of California's
    medical-marijuana law.
    Source: Orange County Register ( CA)
    Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
    Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
    Pubdate: Thu, 14 May 1998
    Author: Stuart Pfeifer
    Both parties sense that the tobacco industry is
    badly wounded. The GOP is trying to keep it alive,
    while the Dems just want to make political hay. It's
    hard to know if either side really believes the industry
    can reduce teen cigarette use. Since no one has ever
    demonstrated success in that arena, it's unlikely that
    the industry selling them to kids will be the first to
    do so. What nonsense.
    Congressional grab for money imperils opportunity for legislative
    WASHINGTON - Efforts in Congress to curb teen smoking are being
    endangered by a fight over how the government should spend the
    billions of dollars that any new federal tobacco law would exact
    from the cigarette companies.
    Some lawmakers want the money to pay for tax cuts, boost the
    Medicare system or pay down the national debt. President Clinton
    wants to spend it for child care tax credits, more teachers and
    school construction.
    Pubdate: Mon, 11 May 1998
    Source: San Francisco Examiner ( CA)
    Contact: letters@examiner.com
    Website: http://www.examiner.com/
    Author: Judy Holland
    International News
    Remember the Cold War, when the FBI was ordered to stay
    at home and leave the overseas stuff to the CIA? The drug
    war has the FBI involved in South America! The Interpol
    report should (but won't) serve as a reality check for
    ONDCP which is busy claiming success in the drug war.
    Finally, it's taken a while, but the Russians are starting
    to enjoy the benefits of capitalism. One no longer needs
    party membership to acquire drugs- money is all that's
    BUENOS AIRES - Concerned that Argentina's border with Paraguay and
    Brazil has become a haven for terrorists and mobsters, the FBI will
    join authorities in those nations in a crackdown intended as a
    model for regional cooperation in Latin America, FBI Director Louis
    Freeh said yesterday.
    The lawless border region exemplifies the dangers of globalized
    crime and the need for a coordinated response in the hemisphere,
    Freeh said in an interview during a five-day trip through South
    America, the first by an FBI director.
    Source: Seattle Times ( WA)
    Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
    Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
    Pubdate: Wed, 13 May 1998
    Author: Sebastian Rotella
    Crack Down On Money-Laundering: Interpol
    International dealing in illegal drugs is exploding as drugs become
    cheaper, purer and deadlier, a police conference in Toronto was
    told yesterday.
    Interpol drug consultant Ramachandra Sunda said heroin is
    considered a serious problem in 150 of the 177 member nations of
    the international police service.
    Source: Seattle Times ( WA)
    Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
    Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
    Pubdate: Wed, 13 May 1998
    Author: Sebastian Rotella
    'There are still 2 million junkies but at least heroin is not
    fashionable any more'
    The wealthy young patients at the Kundola medical centre, in thick
    woods a few miles outside the Russian capital, live according to a
    strict regime. Their comfortable suites in the clean, bright clinic
    in a heavily-guarded compound have the air of a gilded cage.
    The 24-hour security cordon and camera-monitored perimeter fence
    exist not to stop them running away nor to protect them from
    attack, but to defend them against the temptation that brought them
    here: heroin, which dealers and friends of the addicts have been
    known to smuggle in or throw over the fence.
    The Kundola centre, where a three-week course of treatment costs at
    least #2,500 - more than an average Russian earns in a year - is a
    symptom of the drugs craze blighting the children of Russia's
    richest families.
    Source: Seattle Times ( WA)
    Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
    Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
    Pubdate: Wed, 13 May 1998
    Author: Sebastian Rotella
    Oregon MMJ Act posted
    Oregonians for Medical Rights website has just been put up. It includes the
    complete copy of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act., etc. Please pass along
    URL www.teleport.com/~omr
    Any comments, corrections, etc. are welcome.
    As far as we know, this is the first complete listing on the web of two
    important medical articles on the value of inhaled marijuana and THC in the
    papers by Vinciguerra, et al. and Chang et al. respectively. Look under the
    medical journal articles in the bibliography.
    Please forward this website URL to anyone interested in patient advocacy and
    medical marijuana. Thanks.
    Web Master:
    Rick Bayer, MD
    6800 SW Canyon Drive
    Portland, OR 97225
    503-292-1035 (voice)
    503-297-0754 (fax)
    We have installed a new link at:
    It is a collection of articles on DrugSense and MAP. The idea is to archive
    positive press coverage, accolades, and acknowledgements relevant to what
    DrugSense members are accomplishing. If you come across any such coverage
    or have any archived please forward it directly to the DrugSense Web Master
    Matt Elrod at Creator@islandnet.com
    "No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road - turn back."
    - Turkish Proverb
    DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our
    members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for
    News and COMMENTS Editor: Tom O'Connell (tjeffoc@drugsense.org)
    Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (mgreer@drugsense.org)
    We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks.
    In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
    distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
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    Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug
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