Portland NORML News - Saturday, May 23, 1998

How Paid Petitioning Works (Bruce House Of The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
Explains It Works When Lots Of People Such As Yourself
Provide Seemingly Small Donations - Here's Instructions)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 07:47:21 -0700
From: wbruceh@ix.netcom.com ()
Subject: How Paid Petitioning works.
To: octa99@crrh.org

How does it work?

A lot of times, we'll receive donations in the mail that equal the
amount of money we spent that day for signatures.

The balance stays the same, and all those (seemingly) little checks

So, we have a $2,500 cushion - or do we?

I've been told we are about to get flooded with paid signatures.

Will we receive a flood of (seemingly) little checks?

Tie a "little check" round the Old "Hemp for Victory Tree"

If you want Hemp Victory, of course.
(if you don't do nothing)


We need your help to put this important issue on the ballot in
Oregon! November 3, 1998 ballot question on the Oregon Cannabis Tax
Act, certified by the Oregon Supreme Court:

" 'Yes' vote permits state-licensed cultivation, sale of marijuana for
medical purposes and to adults."

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp
P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/


Credit Card Donation Site available at web-page.

Over 50 Streaming Video's of Hemp Related News Events.

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp!

Medford/Corvallis - Help The OCTA Phone Tree (The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
Initiative Campaign Needs Your Help - No Need To Go Offline)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 05:30:28 -0700
From: wbruceh@ix.netcom.com ()
Subject: Medford/Corvallis - Help the OCTA Phone Tree
To: octa99@crrh.org

If there is anyone in Medford or Corvallis that would like to help us
call people we've already mailed volunteer petitions to who are on the
Anti-Prohibition League/OCTA data-base, please e-mail me or Paul
Stanford (stanford@crrh.org) and we'll get you some HOT phone numbers!

Paul Stanford and Rodger Dodger have been kicking butt on the phone

I have to be doing some other jobs myself, printing, fixing the donated



Lilly Doing Spin Control After News Oregon Shooter Took Prozac
('Indianapolis Star' Account About The Antidepressant
Used By A 15-Year-Old In Springfield, Oregon, Who Killed Four People
And Wounded Dozens Of Others Thursday Fails To Explain Why Eli Lilly
Doesn't Have Much To Worry About From The FDA)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 10:57:19 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Lilly Doing Spin Control
After News Oregon Shooter Took Prozac
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Uncle Hempy unclehempy@hotmail.com
Source: The Indianapolis Star
Contact: stareditor@starnews.com
Website: http://www.starnews.com
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Courtenay Edelhart, staff writer


Prozac maker Eli Lilly and Co. reiterated its stance that the
antidepressant does not increase violent tendencies, following a
Springfield, Ore., shooting involving a 15-year-old boy who reportedly had
been taking the drug.

Lilly insisted there was no connection between the boy's reputed use of
Prozac and his deadly rampage at Thurston High School Thursday morning.

Kipland Kinkel allegedly opened fire on a crowded cafeteria, killing two
classmates and critically wounding others before a fellow student tackled
him. Later, the bodies of Kinkel's parents were found at his home.

"There is abundant evidence about Prozac showing no link to any sort of
violent behavior," Lilly spokesman Jeff Newton said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded as much in a 1991 report on
antidepressants, suicide and violence, Newton said. "In fact, recent
studies have shown Prozac actually decreases violent thoughts," he said.

Prozac has been hailed as a wonder drug in the fight against depression,
but critics say it provokes violence in some patients. In scores of court
cases raising that issue, Lilly has successfully argued that when violence
occures, it is a symptom of the illness rather than the medication
prescribed to treat it.

This is the second round of unwanted publicity for Prozac in less than a
year. Lilly also found itself doing damage control after reports surfaced
that traces of Prozac were found in the body of the driver of the crash
that killed Princess Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed.

Lilly also had been hurt by negative publicity related to the 1989 shooting
rampage in Louisville, Ky., by Joseph Wesbecker, who had used Prozac.
Wesbecker injured 12 people and killed nine others, including himself. The
victims' families sued Lilly, and a jury found Prozac wasn't responsible.

Later, the judge claimed the parties had reached a secret settlement.

Another judge who had inherited the case closed it early this year, saying
there were no more issues to resolve.

Sheriff Planning To Close Down San Francisco Pot Club By Tuesday Night
('San Francisco Examiner' Says San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey
Is Putting Together A Plan To Forcibly Close The Cannabis Healing Center
Sometime Before Tuesday Afternoon, Taking Everything That Isn't Nailed Down)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 17:16:28 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Sheriff Planning to Close Down S.F. Pot Club by Tuesday Night
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Ray Delgado of the Examiner Staff


Says he has to follow judge's order

He won't say when, but Sheriff Michael Hennessey is putting together a plan
to forcibly close and lock the Cannabis Healing Center sometime before
Tuesday afternoon, taking everything that isn't nailed down with him.

Hennessey said he has no choice but to obey a ruling by San Francisco
Superior Court Judge William Cahill, issued Thursday, that ordered the club
shut down within five days.

"We will hire a locksmith, we will enter the premises, we will make sure
all the individuals are removed and we will close it down," said Hennessey,
a supporter of Proposition 215, the California ballot measure that
legalized the use of medical marijuana for people with AIDS, cancer and
other diseases.

Cahill's ruling said the club is a public nuisance, not a primary caregiver
authorized to provide marijuana to sick patients.

The ruling came three days after a U.S. District Court judge ordered six
Bay Area cannabis clubs to close, saying federal drug laws supersede Prop.

Defiant club patrons and operators vowed to fight on despite the rulings
while attorneys for the San Francisco club filed a motion to delay the
closure until a hearing Tuesday morning.

"It's going to be a big medical catastrophe if we're shut down quickly,"
said Lynne Barnes, a registered nurse volunteer at the center. "Through our
lawyer, we're trying to slow down the process. We feel that it would be
somewhat unreasonable for (Hennessey) to close it down before the order

When that closure would occur is still a little hazy.

Hennessey said the order specifically directs him to close down the club
before 5 p.m. Tuesday, which he plans to do. He wouldn't say, however,
whether it would be shut down over the holiday weekend or sometime Tuesday.

Whenever it occurs, he said, the department will be prepared to deal with
protesters and building inhabitants who resist the closure. He doesn't
expect to have to arrest anyone, however.

Hennessey would not say whether he disagreed with the ruling but he made
clear he was a supporter of the club.

"I thought they were trying to do their best to carry out the will of the
voters," Hennessey said. "They were trying their best to follow the law but
the courts interpret the law differently."

1998 San Francisco Examiner

Medical Marijuana Distribution Summit (San Francisco Bay Area Activist
Says California State Senator John Vasconcellos Will Speak With
Medical Marijuana Reformers After The Legislative Summit In Sacramento
1 PM Tuesday, May 26)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: MMJ Distribution Summit
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 02:43:13 PDT

Hey ya'll,

The Summit is at 1 pm 5-26-98 at the State Capitol Room 112
10th & N Street Sacramento.

Senator John Vasconcellos will hang around to talk to us after the
summit is over.

For more Info call Ryan Landers 916-448-6442 (he lives 2 blocks away)


Study Of How Pot Affects AIDS Patients ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Says The First Federally Funded Study Of The Effects Of Marijuana
On AIDS Patients Has Begun In San Francisco With 63 Patients Participating
In The Two-Year, $1 Million Research Project
Sponsored By The National Institutes Of Health -
Plus Commentary From Richard Cowan Of 'Marijuananews.com')

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 13:00:47 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Study Of How Pot Affects AIDS Patients
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998


$1 million 2-year trial being conducted in S.F.

David Perlman
Chronicle Science Editor
Saturday, May 23, 1998
San Francisco Chronicle

The first federally funded effort to study the effects of marijuana on AIDS
patients has begun in San Francisco with a two-year $1 million grant from
the National Institutes of Health.

Physicians at San Francisco General Hospital are recruiting 63 patients for
the clinical trial examining how marijuana smoking may influence the immune
system and the levels of AIDS virus in the body. They will also seek to
learn whether marijuana cigarettes are safe for AIDS patients who are being
treated with the new protease inhibitor drugs.

One group of the volunteer patients will be smoking three rolled marijuana
cigarettes a day for 25 days; a second group will receive an oral tablet
containing Marinol, a drug made of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active
ingredient in marijuana, and the third group will receive a placebo.

The patients will live for the 25 days in specially ventilated rooms at the
hospital, and will be paid $1,000 for participating.

Both THC and the protease inhibitor drugs are broken down in the liver, so
to be eligible the volunteers must be under treatment with either indinavir
or nelfinavir, the two protease inhibitors commonly prescribed to combat
HIV, the AIDS virus.

``We know many AIDS patients use marijuana to relieve nausea and loss of
appetite brought on by the disease and its treatments,'' said Dr. Donald I.
Abrams, professor of medicine at the University of California at San
Francisco, and director of the study. ``But we don't know how THC interacts
with HIV drug therapies. We want to see if THC alters the metabolism of
protease inhibitors and therefore changes the concentration of the drug in
the blood, either creating a level that is too high, producing toxicity, or
is too low and renders the drugs ineffective.''

The study is a combined project of UCSF and the Community Consortium, a
group of 200 physicians and other health workers who care for AIDS patients
in the Bay Area.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A2


from http://www.marijuananews.com/
A Personal Newsletter on the Cannabis Controversies / Date: 05/23/98
[1] Richard Cowan, Editor and Publisher

Freedom has nothing to fear from the truth.

Two Year Million Dollar Study Of How Marijuana Affects AIDS Patients
Finally Begun After Five Year Delay
From the San Francisco Chronicle

[17] chronletters@sfgate.com

[18] http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/

May 23, 1998


(Ed. note: First, let me make very clear that I have the highest
regard for Dr. Abrams. Second, when he first proposed this study
- over five years ago - it may have made some sense. Third,
who can be against research?

That said, this is really a crock!

Marinol , synthetic THC, is already approved for use by people with
AIDS. There are even FDA approved ads for it in magazines aimed at
AIDS patients. Now they are going to spend two years and a million
dollars testing Marinol and a placebo, plus medical marijuana smoked
in specially ventilated hospital rooms, to see if THC interferes with
the liver's processing of pharmaceuticals? This is only
marginally relevant to the medical marijuana controversy.

In short, after stalling him for five years, the NIDA narks have
side-tracked Abrams and will just use him to claim that they are
"researching" medical marijuana. No wonder the head of NIDA said that
he "loved" this research.

See [19] The Scientist Magazine Does A Reverent Interview with the Head of

Moreover, as described here, this study will also preclude one of the
major advantages of smoked marijuana over Marinol, the ability of the
patient to control dosage. Marinol, being a pill, is all or nothing --
after about an hour's delay, whereas a joint can be used as
needed for immediate relief. I know people who have used medical
marijuana for the intense nausea of chemotherapy who have only needed
a few puffs. On the other hand, people with the chronic nausea
associated with AIDS and/or its medications may require larger and/or
more frequent doses.

Keeping people hospitalized during the use of medical marijuana and
setting a daily dose of three joints is not only uninformative of real
world patient needs, it may even be counterproductive. Unless someone
has a compelling need to be in the hospital they should not be. A
major part of any recovery is psychological and this is especially
true of AIDS. In the meantime, will anyone be doing a study to see how
people with AIDS are affected by marijuana prohibition? Will anyone be
doing a follow-up on homeless AIDS patients thrown out of the San
Francisco club and onto the streets? Will anyone be studying their
nausea and despair when they run out of marijuana and waste away? In
the context of medical research, a million dollars is nothing, but two
years is literally a lifetime.) [end of editor's note]

Also see [20] Letter From David Herrick; In Jail 1 Year; Another Reason Why
Something Has To Be Done To Implement Prop 215

Smoke Pot In Jail? Sheriff To Decide ('Orange County Register'
Notes Medical Marijuana Patient Marvin Chavez Wants To Avail Himself
Of Proposition 215 While Waiting In Jail For His Trial To Begin
Over His Work With The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op - Superior Court Judge
Cecil Hicks Refuses To Uphold Law, Defers Decision To Sheriff Brad Gates,
A Staunch Opponent Of The California Compassionate Use Act Of 1996)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 10:47:01 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Smoke Pot In Jail? Sheriff To Decide
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: John McDonald


A medical marijuana advocate says Prop.215 entitles him to smoke marijuana
for his back ailment.

A judge ordered medical marijuana advocate Marvin Chavez held for
prosecution on pot-sales charges Friday but declined to rule on a request
that the defendant be allowed to follow a doctor's advice and smoke
marijuana while he awaits trial in the Orange County Jail.

Defense lawyer Robert Kennedy argued that Chavez has a serious back ailment
and under Proposition 215 is entitled to have the county provide him with
marijuana to relieve his pain.

"I'm not unsympathetic to a person with back problems." said Superior Court
Judge Cecil Hicks in referring the request to Sheriff Brad Gates. The
judge's own back ailment and medication contributed to his declaring a
mistrial recently in a murder case.

Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust said he took no position on the
request in court because he doubts Gates, a staunch opponent of Prop. 215,
will grant the request. "I don't think that prisoners in any jail or prison
should be allowed to smoke marijuana and I don't think our sheriff is going
to allow it."

Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Hector Rivera said no similar request has ever been

San Francisco County Sheriff Michael Hennessey has said inmates with a
valid medical prescription may smoke marijuana in his jail, said
Hennessey's chief of staff, Eileen Hirst. "That hasn't happened yet," she

Matt Ross, a spokesman for Attorney General Dan Lungren, said numerous
problems could be anticipated if inmates are allowed to smoke marijuana.
"How are you going to be able to keep them from passing it to other inmates
who aren't entitled to it?"

Kennedy said if Gates turns down the request, he will renew it with the court.

Green Candidate - Power To The People
('San Luis Obispo County Telegram Tribune' Covers The Campaign
Of California Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Hamburg,
Whose Platform Includes Ending The War On Some Drug Users)

Subject: DPFCA: Hamburg Backs 215
Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 11:12:42 +0100
From: Ellen Komp (ekomp@slonet.org)
Source: San Luis Obispo County Telegram Tribune
Date: May 23, 1998
Author: Matt Lazier

Green candidate: Power to the people

Calling for a change from Democrat and Republican candidates
that all look too similar, Green Party gubernatorial candidate Dan
Hamburg spoke at the Veterans Memorial Building Friday.

Stressing a campaign platform that includes living wages and
universal health care for all Californians, an end to the war on drugs,
and stronger bilingual education, Hamburg addressed a crowd of about 50
people Friday.

"This campaign is about power to the folks," Hamburg said.
"Let's get things back in perspective. One thing we hope to do is be
more outspoken and aggressive. I'm a laid-back, Northern California type
of guy, but I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Hamburg called the Green Party ideals, and his campaign, the
current incarnation of the fight for democracy in the United States.

"There seems to be some confusion about who is in charge," he
said. "Is it the politicians who are tied to the corporate monsters, or
is it the people?"

Hamburg pointed to recent state initiatives, such as the medical
marijuana legalization, and chided legislators for blocking them after
they are passed. "You may or may not like medical marijuana," Hamburg
said. "But, the people have spoken. When people pass initiatives and the
politicians sue to block them or the attorney general refuses to enforce
them, the democracy is not working."

Clad in a button-down shirt, jeans and boots, the atypical political
candidate spoke for nearly an hour, then took questions from the
gathering, most, but not all, of whom were Green Party supporters.

Hamburg addressed a variety of topics, from the environment to
a need for greater social and economic justice, but he said the most
important purpose of his campaign is to show voters there is a choice
besides Democrat and Republican.

Snitches (San Francisco Bay Area Medical Marijuana Activist
Gives The Low-Down On DEA Agents Trying To Break The Law
At Local Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
By Forging Doctors' Recommendations)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: Snitches
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 02:20:38 PDT

>From: Lynn Waltz (gndrebel@pacbell.net)
>Reply-To: gndrebel@pacbell.net
>To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
>Subject: Snitches
>Yo Ralph,

>Here are the names and addresses of the DEA agents that tried to
>infiltrate Oakland. As I told you earlier, their drivers licenses have
>no middle name on them. Please notify other clubs to check their patient
>records for more of these fake licenses. Odds are this bunch and other
>agents have infiltrated the other clubs too. I have seen DEA agents
>Billy Cruise and Nadia Romanov at the SF club earlier this year.


>Billy Cruise, white male, 6-02, 190, hair and eyes brown, DOB 1/30/63
>#C4148820 1550 Bay St. SF CA 94123

>Danielle Renssaeler, white female, 5-07, 145 lb. blonde, green eyes,
>DOB 1/4/63 #N9007201, 3323 Coyote Circle San Jose CA 95121

>Nadia Romanov, white female, 5-03, 129 lb. brown hair, green eyes, DOB
>11/13/59 #N5634758, 3906 Hollyhock Way, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

>Marisol Rodriquez, Hispanic female, 5-00, 105 lb. black hair, brown
>eyes, DOB 10/26/62, #B7611325, 3711 19th Ave San Francisco, CA 94132

>These scumbags should be posted on a "Page of Shame" website in where
>we would publish photos and other details about them.

>It's no skin off my back if by disseminating this info causes harm to
>one of those weasels. After all this is war and in my opinion we need to
>do anything to fight the enemy. That includes doing the same underhanded
>tactics of the enemy.

>In today's Examiner, Dennis said he is braced for anything including
>another Waco. There is talk about patients barricading and handcuffing
>themselves in the building when the gestapo comes to evict them next
>week. Anything to make the DEA look like assholes is going to help us,
>especially if there are martyrs.

>I'll call you if I hear anything more. Please do the same if you hear
>anything, especially if there is a DEA action occurring against the
>clubs. It doesn't matter if it's late, I leave the phone on. This is war!
>Live Free or Die
>Lynn Waltz

Drug Trafficker Gets Seven Years, Loses Home ('Sacramento Bee'
Says Robert Bruce Asquini, A Grass Valley Carpenter Who Has Had Custody
Of His 18-Year-Old Daughter Since She Was 5, Allowed His Residence To Be Used
For What He Thought Would Be The Short-Term Storage Of Several Pounds
Of Marijuana - It Turned Out To Be As Much As Five Tons
Of Vacuum-Packed Thai Stick, Which He Was Paid $45,000 To Secure
Between The Fall Of 1995 And The Spring Of 1996)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 11:05:55 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Drug Trafficker Gets 7 Years, Loses Home
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: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Denny Walsh - Bee Staff Writer


A Grass Valley carpenter went for the so-called "easy" money in narcotics
trafficking and earned himself seven years in prison and the loss of his

Robert Bruce Asquini was portrayed by his lawyer as an otherwise
responsible, law-abiding citizen who impulsively, albeit foolishly, allowed
his residence to be used for what he thought would be the short-term
storage of several pounds of marijuana.

It turned out to be 41/2 to 5 tons of vacuum-packed Thai stick with a
wholesale value of $27 million, some or all of which was stored in
Asquini's house between the fall of 1995 and the spring of 1996. Asquini
was paid $45,000 of the $75,000 he was promised by the leader of a drug
distribution ring.

San Francisco attorney Richard Mazer urged 30 months of custody for
Asquini, much of it in a halfway house or home detention. Mazer also asked
that his client be allowed to pay the government $12,500 in lieu of
forfeiting the house.

But Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Twiss argued persuasively at a Friday
hearing that significant parts of Mazer's sentencing memorandum "were
simply bald-face lies," and U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.
imposed the punishment sought by Twiss.

At the close of the hearing, Burrell told Mazer and Asquini that the
"credibility problems" created by the defense's memorandum was a factor in
his decision to go to the 87 months at the top of the range prescribed by
sentencing guidelines.

The judge ordered Asquini, 44, to surrender on July 13, which will allow
him to be at his daughter's July 5 wedding. Asquini is divorced and has had
custody of his daughter, now 18, since she was 5.

He pleaded guilty in April 1997 to possessing for distribution the 11/2
tons of marijuana that he still had when he was arrested April 13, 1996.
Twiss said Friday it is believed to be the largest seizure of Thai stick in
the history of the 34-county federal judicial district based in Sacramento.

The defense memorandum describes Asquini as "astonished when a (16-foot)
U-Haul truck appeared at his house. The storage, however, had become a
fait accompli. He was not involved in any way with the scope of the
marijuana scheme that came to his doorstep."

However, Twiss pointed out that, by Asquini's own account to federal
authorities, the 3,000 pounds of marijuana covered by his plea bargain was
part of a second load delivered to his house. The first ton-and-a-half load
already had been picked up by the distributors.

"How could he not understand the scope of the operation at the time of the
second delivery?" Burrell demanded.

Mazer replied that the reference in the memorandum was to the first
delivery, but the document didn't say that.

"He was essentially a 'go-fer,' one who acted at the direction of others
and who, in comparison, profited little in the scheme," Mazer wrote in a
second sentencing memorandum.

Twiss countered that, while the marijuana was stored at Asquini's the
distributors repackaged and resealed some of the bags broken in transit and
Asquini assisted by traveling to Sacramento to pick up a sealing machine
and bottled nitrogen gas.

"Given the nature and duration of (Asquini's) criminal conduct, I do not
see his behavior as aberrant," Burrell declared.

Forfeiture of the home was not warranted, Mazer argued, because only two
rooms were used in the narcotics operation.

Twiss fired back that, taking into account telephone calls and face-to-face
conversations among co-conspirators, along with the kingpin's stay of
several days at the residence, "this entire property was involved in drug

Burrell further found that storing the marijuana "put the whole community
at risk of violence, which we all know often accompanies drug trafficking."

Copyright 1998 The Sacramento Bee

Trooper Faces Drug Charges ('Dallas Morning News' Says Federal Prosecutors
Announced A Texas Department Of Public Safety Trooper
And Two Mexican Brothers Related To The Head Of A Border-Based
Cocaine-Smuggling Organization Were Indicted Friday In Austin
On Multiple 'Drug' And Money-Laundering Charges)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 09:27:11 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: ART: Trooper faces drug charges

Note that this dude was busted waaaay back in February.
News sho' do travel slow in these parts.


Dallas Morning News

Trooper faces drug charges
2 Mexican brothers also accused in cocaine, money-laundering case


By David Mclemore / The Dallas Morning News

SAN ANTONIO - Federal prosecutors announced an indictment Friday
accusing a Texas state trooper of corruption in a drug-trafficking and
money-laundering operation.

Warren Bolden, 32, a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper since
1994, and two Mexican brothers related to the head of a border-based
cocaine-smuggling organization were charged in federal court in Austin
with multiple drug and money-laundering charges.

Trooper Bolden is the first DPS officer accused of drug charges in four

He was charged with conspiring to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine,
cocaine possession, money laundering, illegally exporting currency and
possession of anabolic steroids. He was released Friday on a $50,000

Charged with the state trooper were brothers Federico Partida-Ramos, 35,
and Tomas Partida-Ramos, 45, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. They were also
charged with drug conspiracy, possession and money laundering.

The elder Mr. Partida-Ramos was also charged with illegal re-entry after
deportation. The brothers were being held without bail in the Travis
County Jail.

"This caps a two-year investigation into the Pablo Partida organization,
which operates out of Nuevo Laredo and is responsible for distributing
significant quantities of cocaine and crack cocaine in the Austin area,"
said Assistant U.S. Attorney John Murphy, the No. 2 prosecutor for the
San Antonio-based U.S. Western District of Texas.

The charges against the trooper, who was suspended with pay after his
arrest Feb. 8, is a "rare but sad event," DPS spokeswoman Sherry Green

"We have about 3,000 commissioned law enforcement officers working at
DPS," Ms. Green said. "When you get that many people, somebody is going
to make a mistake."

Ms. Green said that though specific numbers aren't available, the
instances of DPS officers charged with state or federal crimes are few.

The last DPS officer arrested on federal charges was Sgt. Robert
Nesteroff, a veteran state narcotics officer. He was charged, along with
U.S. Customs Special Agent Richard Cardwell, by a prosecutor in South
Florida with helping a Florida cocaine trafficker avoid prosecution.

Both men were acquitted by a Houston jury in 1995. Top DPS officials
said at the time that the trial supported their contention that Sgt.
Nesteroff was a scapegoat for federal authorities in Florida because of
a 1988 undercover drug operation that turned sour.

The current case underscores how deeply drugs and drug money have
infiltrated all levels of society, said Dr. Tony Zavaletta, dean of
liberal arts at the University of Texas at Brownsville.

"Drug money is very corrosive, not only by its illegality but by its
sheer volume," Dr. Zavaletta said. "It corrupts, and it corrupts
completely. Policemen, because they walk between two worlds of the
criminal and law-abiding society, have no more immunity than anyone

Trooper Bolden, a native of Killeen, worked for the state adult
probation office in Austin after his graduation from the University of
Texas in 1989.

He graduated from the DPS academy in 1994 and was stationed as a state
trooper out of the DPS' Austin office since July 1995.

There were no complaints or disciplinary actions in his record, DPS
officials said.

According to the indictment, Trooper Bolden allegedly conspired with the
Partida-Ramos brothers from Aug. 1, 1996, to Jan. 9, 1998, to carry
proceeds of cocaine and crack sales totaling $210,000 to Pablo Partida
in Nuevo Laredo. He is also charged with selling firearms and ammunition
to Federico Partida-Ramos.

"We charge in the indictment that Bolden intentionally failed to file
currency documents when he transported drug proceeds from Austin to
Nuevo Laredo on two occasions in late 1997 and early 1998," Mr. Murphy
said. "He did so in his personal automobile. There is no indication he
committed any acts while in uniform or while on duty."

The indictment also alleges that Trooper Bolden conspired with Tomas
Partida-Ramos from December 1997 to Jan. 9 to carry cocaine and crack
cocaine from Nuevo Laredo to Austin.

At the time of Trooper Bolden's arrest, Drug Enforcement Administration
agents found 15 vials of anabolic steroids in his Austin apartment,
which authorities said he apparently used as part of a body-building

The End Of 'Pacman's' Dirty Game ('Chicago Tribune'
Says The Chicago Policeman Convicted Thursday Of Ripping Off Drug Dealers
In Suburban Austin, Illinois, Was 'Notorious' For His Behavior
And Neighborhood Residents' Complaints Eventually Led
To A Federal Investigation)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 10:55:40 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IL: The End of 'Pacman's' Dirty Game Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: tribletter@aol.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998 THE END OF 'PACMAN'S' DIRTY GAME Thank goodness "Pacman" will never again wear a police badge. Thank goodness "Silky" was there when he did. Pacman, the nickname of Chicago Police Officer Edward Lee Jackson Jr., was notorious in the Austin neighborhood for ripping off drug dealers for money and cocaine and cavorting with gang leaders. Residents' complaints against him eventually led to a federal investigation. It culminated Thursday with the convictions of Jackson and three other Austin District officers. Silky was less well-known. The fake name was used by Police Sgt. Eugene Shepherd, who risked his life to pose undercover as a cocaine dealer in order to bring the corrupt cops to justice. His testimony proved critical at the trial. Of the two street names, it is Pacman's that will burn in the memories of Austin residents who were put at risk by his breach of public trust. That is cause for alarm. Honorable cops like Shep-herd, a 27-year veteran, are out there, to be sure. But the shameful acts of Jackson and others like him distort the police district's accomplishments and threaten the very stability of the force. In all, seven Austin District officers were brought down by the investigation known as Operation Broken Star-. Like Jackson, Officers M.L. Moore and Alex Ramos were convicted Thursday on nine counts involving the use of their service revolvers to shake down drug dealers. Their minimum sentences will range from 53 years for Ramos to 126 years for Jack-son. Officer James P. Young was convicted on two counts and will serve at least 11 years in prison. Three other officers - Lennon Shields, Gregory Crittleton and Cornelius Trip - pleaded guilty prior to the trial. The convictions come five months after three Gresham District officers were found guilty of similar charges. The most disturbing part of all this is the improba-bility that all the city's crooked cops have now been put away. Tribune reporter Matt O'Connor cited law enforcement sources who say the probe of the Austin District is continuing, although U.S. Atty. Scott Lassar has stated that Operation Broken Star has ended. The great hope is that more officers like Shepherd will step forth to expose the bad apples and that the consistent service of trustworthy cops will restore an expectation of honor and service within the ranks of Chicago's police force. In the meantime, Pacman is gone. And there is a sigh of relief in Austin.

TV Review - Studio 54's Lavish Life, Dishy Death ('Boston Globe' Preview
Notes That Tomorrow Night, Two Cable Channels
Will Simultaneously Tell The Story Of Studio 54 And Its Founders,
VH1's 'Behind The Music' Series Launches Its Second Season With 'Studio 54'
And 'The E! Hollywood True Story' Premieres Its 'Studio 54 -
Sex, Drugs & Disco')

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 10:43:19 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: TV Review: Studio 54's Lavish Life, Dishy Death
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: emr@javanet.com (Dick Evans)
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Matthew Gilbert


In media portrayals of the 1960s, partyers in that turbulent decade
justified their good times with a dose of politics.

Each toke was like a small token of peace, each snort a little protest
against the Vietnam War, each acid trip a strike for freedom, for
imagination, for the individual. The music had a social agenda, as it
subverted familiar song structures and openly preached about peace and
equality, and sex was more than sex - it was free love. But by the late
1970s, nobody bothered casting idealism over the dancing and drug-taking
and bed-hopping, content to simply lose themselves in the pure,
unadulterated hedonism of the moment.

Cocaine was the stimulant of choice, disco was the repetitive beat that
moved you, and sex was fast, frequent, and anonymous.

Just as Woodstock became the quintessential event of the 1960s and the
culmination of America's youth movement, the reign of New York's Studio 54
has become known as the defining phenomenon of the 1970s. Shortly after it
opened on April 26, 1977, Studio 54 was the place to be and be seen by the
nation, an orgy of pleasure, glamour, and fabulousness - all before AIDS
hit, of course, and before the saving grace of 12-step-program high

Tomorrow night, two cable channels simultaneously tell the story of Studio
54 and its founders, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager. The VH1 ''Behind the
Music'' series launches its second season with ''Studio 54,'' at 9 p.m.,
and ''The E! Hollywood True Story'' premieres its ''Studio 54: Sex, Drugs &
Disco'' at 8 p.m. Both of these documentary series are generally thorough,
entertaining looks at culture and celebrities, with VH1 leaning toward pop
fanaticism and E! taking the lower, juicier, more ''Hard Copy''-esque
route. And both of tomorrow night's episodes are worthwhile and insightful
and colorful, each with its own particular strengths.

The VH1 effort is notable for its barrage of clips from the Studio 54
heyday, before Rubell and Schrager were busted by the IRS and thrown into
jail. They're all there in dazzling costume under the mirror ball - Liza
Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Bianca and Mick Jagger, Grace Jones, Truman Capote,
even Michael Jackson, before he revised his visage.

In sometimes ragged footage, we see them entering the nightclub, clowning
around with Rubell, who was famously social, and dancing frenetically
beside the more ordinary but no less beautiful masses.

One of the hallmarks of Studio 54 was its velvet rope, behind which
hundreds of wannabes waited, hoping to gain entry to the club. Among its
many interviewees, VH1 wryly includes a trio of guys who never actually
made it in, but remained fixated on the exclusivity. It wasn't that the
doormen, or Rubell himself, wanted only the rich and the famous to be
included; it was that they wanted a joyously mixed-up crowd, one that was
not too gay, or too black, or too white, or too young, or too old, or too
famous, or too drag-queeny. A couple of doormen, particularly Al Corley and
Marc Benecke, talk at length about the door policy, which once even left
Cher out in the cold. Mostly, of course, the famous were ushered in
quickly, and sometimes they hid out in Rubell's rooms below the dance
floor, where they could get wasted without worrying about paparazzi.

Both the VH1 and the E! shows get first-hand accounts of Studio 54 from
countless bartenders, doormen, and busboys, along with some of the more
notable Studio visitors and media observers.

But since E! came up with fewer clips and more time, it wins in the
interview department, tracking down even the architect who designed the
club for Rubell and Schrager and sharing some of the history of the
building on West 54th Street. And E! pays more attention than VH1 to the
details of the illegalities that led up to the IRS raid and the dishy death
of Studio 54, which lasted into the mid-1980s under
different ownership.

E! offers two hours of talking heads, illustrated with stills, that offer
passionate description and history; VH1 goes for a more visceral and
concise portrayal.

Both are fascinating in themselves, but also serve as primers for ''54,''
the feature film on the disco that opens in August.

Prison Guard Is Charged With Selling Crack Cocaine
(Unsourced Wire Story Says The Guard
At The Foothills Correctional Institution In Morganton,
North Carolina, Sold The Cocaine To Undercover Prohibition Agents)

Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 21:08:56 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NC: Wire: Prison guard is charged with selling crack cocaine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Walter Latham
Source: Wire
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998


A prison guard who works at the Foothills Correctional Institution in
Morganton has been charged with selling crack cocaine to undercover officers.

Charles Shannon Johnson, 25, of Valdese was arrested Wednesday and charged
with three counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver crack
cocaine. Johnson was also charged two weeks ago with assault. Burke County
sheriff's detectives said there was no evidence that Johnson ever sold
cocaine to prisoners.

During a routine search at the prison three weeks ago using drug dogs, no
drugs were found.

Big Tobacco Strikes Back, And Legislators Back Off ('New York Times'
Article In 'The International Herald Tribune' Says The Tobacco Lobby
Has Pulled Off A Surprising Public Relations Coup And Won A Round
On Capitol Hill This Week, Delaying A Senate Vote On The Tax-Increase Bill,
Originally Scheduled For Thursday, With A Major Ad Campaign,
Including The Purchase Of Television Time In At Least 50 Major Media Markets)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 14:42:34 +0000
To: press@drugtext.nl, editor@mapinc.org
From: Peter Webster 
Subject: IHT: Big Tobacco Strikes Back, And Legislators Back Off
Newshawk: Peter Webster
Source: International Herald Tribune
Contact: iht@iht.com
Website: http://www.iht.com/
Pubdate: May 23, 1998
Author: Melinda Henneberger - New York Times Service


Ads Credited With Delaying Senate Vote on Bill

WASHINGTON --- The tobacco lobby has pulled off a surprising public
relations coup and won a round on Capitol Hill this week, thanks in part to
the televised image of a harried, sweaty waitress with earrings the size of
onion rings who leans into the camera and sighs: "I'm no millionaire. I
work hard. Why single me out?"

That commercial, sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is part of a
major advertising and lobbying campaign that has been remarkably successful
in turning what tobacco opponents view as a bill that would discourage
teenage smoking into a tax issue and an assault on working stiffs who
cannot afford to pay more for cigarettes.

The campaign, by the tobacco industry and its allies, includes the
purchase of television time in at least 50 major media markets, and
lobbyists on both sides say it was a big factor in the decision to postpone
a Senate vote on the bill, originally scheduled for Thursday.

Both sides described the delay. which will last until after Congress
returns next month from recess, as at least a short-term gain for the tobacco

Scott Williams, a spokesman for the industry. called the postponement a
victory for reality.'

Linda Crawford of the American Cancer Society said: "We've got a stalled
bill. If they had really wanted to protect kids and not the tobacco
industry, we'd have had a vote today. Their ads have been effective."

TV ads sponsored by the tobacco companies use "man on the street"
interviews---of one sentence or less--- with real working people who oppose
the bill. One features an exploding cuckoo clock that says, "Washington has
gone cuckoo again. Washington wants to raise the price of cigarettes so
high there'll be a black market in cigarettes with an unregulated access to
kids." The industry's print ads say: "Big taxes, big government. There they
go again."

One thing the ads do not even try to do is buff up the industry's image.
"You don't have to like the tobacco industry to have real concerns about
where Washington is headed," a print ad says.

The American Cancer Society is running a relatively modest
counter-campaign, with a TV ad featuring Dr. C. Everett Koop, the former
surgeon-general, saying: "When you see the advertising from the tobacco
industry, consider the source. These people are experts at manipulation,
and have been lying to the American people for decades."

The Senate bill would, among other things, raise the price of cigarettes
by $1.10 a pack over the next five years and require companies to pay
penalties if youth smoking did not decline.

Deaths Of Six Viagra Users Studied ('Washington Post' Article
In 'Dallas Morning News' Says The Food And Drug Administration And Pfizer
Said Yesterday That Six Men Have Died After Using The New Remedy
Since The Popular Impotence Drug Hit The Market -
More Than 900,000 Prescriptions Have Been Filled Since April)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 09:27:19 EDT Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: adbryan@onramp.net To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org) Subject: ART: Viagra 6, Marijuana 0 OK, so I changed the headline. I liked mine better. ;) To the best of my knowledge, marijuana - taken in combination with other drugs - has not contributed to a single death. *** 5-23-98 Dallas Morning News (and other papers) http://www.dallasnews.com letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com Deaths of 6 Viagra Users Studied Washington Post Six men have died after using Viagra since the popular impotence drug hit the market, federal regulators and the drug's manufacturer said yesterday. The causes of the deaths are still under investigation, and the drug's maker, Pfizer Inc., declined to elaborate. While the deaths could prove to be unrelated to the drug, the new reports raised concerns that Viagra could be interacting with other medications, or is allowing men with heart conditions to overexert themselves through sexual activity and bring on heart attacks. Since the Food and Drug Administration approved Viagra in April, more than 900,000 users have gotten prescriptions, according to market research firm IMS America Ltd. -- making Viagra the biggest new drug launch in recent years. Pfizer this week sent a letter to doctors reiterating some of the health warnings that it had published at the time of the drug's approval. Since "sexual activity generally involves an increase in cardiac work and myocardial oxygen demand," the company stated, physicians should evaluate the heart health of patients before prescribing the drug. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of impotence and could create health complications for users. Pfizer also warned emergency room doctors to ask heart patients if they are taking Viagra before administering drugs that might cause a drop in blood pressure, such as the heart medicine nitroglycerin. Since Viagra also can depress blood pressure, the combination can cause dangerously low levels. The company also advised doctors to look out for complications arising from the use of Viagra with such recreational drugs as amyl nitrate, which also lowers blood pressure. "Overall, the experience to date is consistent with everything we know about Viagra," said Pfizer spokesman Andy McCormick -- "that is, it's safe and effective medication." Joseph Feczko, Pfizer's top drug safety official, said the complications reported so far are "lower than we'd expect, based on the number of prescriptions," and said that the figures thus far "give us a reassuring feeling." FDA spokeswoman Lorrie McHugh said that the agency is investigating the deaths, but officials "continue to believe that the drug is safe and effective for its indications and the intended patient population." Doctors, however, have been prescribing Viagra for users who do not fall within that ideal patient population -- that is, men with impotence problems who have been screened for cardiovascular disease, or who are taking nitrates. Once a drug is approved for one use, doctors are allowed to prescribe it freely. The risk of heart attack from having sex is generally low -- only about about 20 cases per million, just 2 1/2 times greater than the baseline level of risk in daily life, said James E. Muller, a director of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. But if a patient's impotence is caused by undiagnosed heart disease and he does not normally exercise, and if the newly regained sexual ability leads him to exert himself strenuously, Muller said, the risk could become significant. "My guess is they'll have a one in a thousand risk of heart attack," Muller said. Heart attack is "a predictable result" of using Viagra for that class of men, said James Barada, of the Center for Male Sexual Health in Albany, N.Y. Other doctors have told him about prescribing the drug over the phone, Barada said. "I do not give Viagra unless they see me face to face" so that he can discuss the underlying disease issues, he said. Ron Simon, a Washington attorney who publishes a newsletter dealing with pharmaceutical lawsuits, said "it's almost certain that there'll be litigation about it," but added that "the company is doing a good job putting [the information] out -- you've got to give them credit for that." The drug, also known as sidenafil citrate, enhances the body's natural system for creating erections, allowing the smooth muscles in the penis to relax and in turn allowing the organ to fill with blood. It has been found effective for 70 percent of men in clinical trials -- somewhat less effective than systems requiring hypodermic injection or insertion in the urethra, but more palatable to many men. At the time of the drug's release, side effects were generally termed minimal. However, eight men who took the drug during clinical trials died, all from cardiovascular trouble. Only one person who was taking a fake pill as part of the trial died, a suicide. In the report accompanying the drug's approval, the FDA stated that, of the deaths on Viagra, "most occurred in a setting of risk factors and medical history making the observed events plausibly not related to the study drug." Sidney M. Wolfe, executive director of the Public Citizen Health Research Group, a consumer group, said that the history of heart troubles in many of the cases should have been interpreted as a risk for the drug instead of being used as an excuse to say the drug was "plausibly not related" to the deaths. Doctors don't prescribe in a vacuum, and patients have been clamoring for the drug -- even when it might not be in their best interests. In online discussions of impotence, one patient who said he was taking nitrates said that he might simply stop taking his heart medication so that he could get erections again; another wrote that "I was willing to have a heart attack as long as I had an erection." Such sentiments don't surprise Ira Sharlip, a urologist with Pan-Pacific Urology in San Francisco and a member of the impotence guidelines committee of the American Urological Association. "I know a whole lot of men who would say, 'If I go out in the saddle, that's all right with me, but I want to be riding.' " (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Viagra Linked To Six Deaths (Version In The Kitchener-Waterloo,
Ontario 'Record')

From: "Starr" (seedling@golden.net)
To: "maptalk" (maptalk@mapinc.org), "mattalk" (mattalk@islandnet.com)
Subject: Viagra Linked to Six Deaths
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 12:49:22 -0400
Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
Date: May 23, 1998


NEW YORK -- An investigation has been launched into the deaths of six men
taking the impotence pill Viagra, which has become America's best-selling
drug since going on sale six weeks ago.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer
are trying to determine if the deaths are linked to the drug, which boosts
sexual performance.

"We continue to believe that it is safe and effective," a spokesman for the
New York- based firm said.

However, news of the deaths came only 24 hours after Pfizer had issued
warning that the scramble for the drug -- already taken by more men-- may be
causing them to overlook the risks of taking it in conjunction with heart

--Daily Telegraph

'The Drug Hang Up' Online - Recommended Reading
(The Drug Reform Coordination Network, Sponsors Of
The World's Largest Online Library Of Drug Policy Information,
Has Posted Rufus King's Excellent History Of How Harry Anslinger
Pushed Pot Prohibition At Home And Internationally
Through The Single Convention Treaty)

From: "Clifford A. Schaffer" (schaffer@smartlink.net)
To: (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com)
Subject: Drug Hang Up Online -- Recommended Reading
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 00:43:18 -0700

Please distribute freely everywhere.

Rufus King's excellent history of the drug war "The Drug Hang Up" is now
online at http://druglibrary.org/special/king/dhu/dhumenu.htm

If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend it. It gives a lot of
good information about the tactics of Harry Anslinger in pushing his agenda,
both at home in the US, and internationally. It is absolutely chilling
reading. A "must read" for anyone interested in the drug war.

Cliff Schaffer

Re - 'The Drug Hang Up' Now Online (List Subscriber Notes
He Also Recently Posted To The Same Library 'The Marijuana Smokers,'
By Erich Goode)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 12:54:54 +0000
To: press@drugtext.nl
From: Peter Webster 
Subject: Re: Drug Hang Up Now Online -- Recommended Reading

At 03:45 23/05/98 EDT, Clifford A. Schaffer wrote:
>Rufus King's excellent history of the drug war "The Drug Hang Up" is now
>online at http://druglibrary.org/special/king/dhu/dhumenu.htm

Great going Cliff! Also to be noted is a recent addition to the library I
have just finished, Erich Goode's *The Marijuana Smokers*, a chapter was
posted to the DRC list a couple of weeks ago. More required reading for
anyone pretending the least knowledge about marijuana and its Prohibition.
The URLs are



Peter Webster
International Journal of Drug Policy
DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy
The Psychedelic Library


The drugtext press list.
News on substance use related issues, drugs and drug policy

Halting Drug Traffic (Letter To The Editor Of 'The Dallas Morning News'
From A Mexican Diplomat In Washington, DC, Says Don't Blame The Failure
Of Drug Interdiction On NAFTA - The Estimated 330 Tons Of Cocaine
Consumed By Americans Every Year Could Fit In Fewer Than 10 Semi-Trailers -
The US Customs Service Inspected More Than 900,000 Trucks In 1997
And Found 'Drugs' In Only 47 Of Them)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 08:40:53 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: adbryan@onramp.net
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: LTE: Halting drug traffic

Dallas Morning News

Halting drug traffic

On May 11, The Dallas Morning News published a story quoting a
confidential report of the U.S. Customs Service that allegedly indicated
the success of NAFTA was a contributing factor to drug trafficking
between Mexico and the United States of America ("U.S. task force says
smugglers exploit rising cross-border trade").

Would halting all legal trade between the three NAFTA partners eliminate
drug trafficking? Clearly not. The problem is too broad and complex for
simplistic solutions and fingerpointing.

But we have our work cut out for us. According to your article, an
estimated 330 tons of cocaine are smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico
annually. All that cocaine could be transported at the same time in less
than 10 semi-trailers. It is regarding the magnitude of the trade flows
between our countries, not in NAFTA, where the challenge lies to our
common efforts against the scourge of drugs. Before NAFTA, about 7,000
trailers crossed the border. Today, that traffic has almost doubled.
Most people will agree that it is as difficult to detect a volume of
drugs that can fit in 10 semi-trailers among 7,000 as it is out of
14,000 trucks. In addition, the sophisticated, multi-national drug
criminal organizations have billions of dollars and every kind of
technology to conduct their illegal operations. Moreover, the U.S.
Customs Service inspected more than 900,000 trucks in 1997. It found
drugs in only 47 of them.

The answer to curbing the flow of drugs between our nations is
cooperation and intense efforts to cut production, dismantle trafficking
organizations and curb demand. For instance, money-laundering
investigations need to continue, intelligence sharing on traffickers
must be advanced, and Mexican and U.S. customs officials need better and
more effective equipment to search for drugs. The good news is that we
are working to resolve the issues together.

Minister for Information and Public Affairs
Embassy of Mexico
Washington, D.C.

Prohibition Works (Letter To The Editor Of The Toronto 'Globe And Mail'
By A Professional 'Alcohol And Drug' Treatment Prohibitionist
Disagrees With A Staff Editorial Saying Prohibition Hasn't Worked)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 11:07:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: PUB LTE: Prohibition Works
Source: The Globe and Mail
Pubdate: 23 May 1998
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca

Re What G8 leaders Smoking? (editorial May 18 1998):

What are your editorial writers smoking? I have been on the board of
directors of an alcohol and drug treatment centre in Vancouver for 6
years, which has given me more than a passing knowledge of addicts and
addictions. the conclusions drawn by your writers could not have been more

They say that prohibition does not work, yet they cite with approval a
recent Canadian university study that the total cost of illicit drugs to
the Canadian economy is a small fraction of the cost of alcohol and
tobacco use. To me, this proves that prohibition does work. The use of
tobacco and alcohol is so much a part of society that it is impossible to
prohibit it; but to legalize, and thereby sanction, the use of other
addictive mood-altering substances is sheer folly.

The $17.1 billion dollar economic cost of alcohol and tobacco use claimed
in that study presumably does not include the social and human cost of
blighted lives and devastated families. Legalizing drugs will surely
increase the incidence of use, as we have seen with Vancouver's needle
exchange program.

How your writers can maintain that the costs of prohibition are higher
than those of a policy of properly supervised and regulated access to
drugs is beyond me. I think I can safely say that if the government should
be so short sighted as to follow your recommendations we will soon see
economic and social costs that will put present alcohol and drug costs in
the shade.

Bob Scott, North Vancouver.

Re - Prohibition Works (Letter Sent To The Editor Of The Toronto
'Globe And Mail' Rebuts Today's Published Letter, Noting Prohibition
Can Hardly Be Said To Be Working In Vancouver, Where The Government
Has Already Said It Won't Prosecute Simple Possession Of Any Illegal Drug)

Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 11:46:15 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Prohibiton Works (fwd)
Date: Sat, 23 May 1998 11:45:25 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA)
To: globe and mail (letters@GlobeAndMail.ca)
Subject: Re: Prohibition Works

To the editors,

Re "Prohibition Works" (letter, May 23):

On April 18th, 1996, Dayle Mosely of the Downtown/Eastside Residents
Association (DERA) of Vancouver made the following comments before the
Senate Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs regarding
the new Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Bill C-8):

"Let me tell you about the irony of this situation. DERA opened up a
neighbourhood safety office where we are working on all kinds of programs
to increase the safety levels in our community. The Vancouver Police
Department constable who is assigned to work with us full time has told me
that he was informed by Crown counsel last week, as was the entire
department, that they would no longer accept charges for simple possession
of any drug in the city of Vancouver."

I take this to mean that there are very large numbers of drug users in
Vancouver, and that the resources to deal with all them through the
criminal justice system are either inadequate or misdirected. Such is the
state of success of our current approach to illicit drugs. Is this the
policy Bob Scott is defending?

Obviously, Mr. Scott missed the point of your editorial ("What Are G8
Leaders Smoking?", May 18), and chose instead to highlight his
credentials, rather than educate your readers.

Kelly T. Conlon

Ecstasy No Big Health Threat, Say Judges
(According To 'The South China Morning Post' In Hong Kong,
Court Of Appeal Judges, During A Landmark Hearing
That Will Set Sentencing Guidelines For Ecstasy Offences,
Said Yesterday That The Rave Drug Should Never Have Been Put
In The Same Class As Heroin)

Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 22:30:57 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Hong Kong: Ecstasy No Big Health Threat, Say Judges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Derek Williams (derek@paston.co.uk)
Source: South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Contact: jfenby@scmp.com
Website: http://www.scmp.com/
Pubdate: 23 May 1998
Author: Charlotte Parsons


The rave drug Ecstasy is not particularly unhealthy and should never have
been put in the same class as heroin, Court of Appeal judges said yesterday.

"Generally speaking, it is not causing an acute health problem," Mr Justice
Noel Power said.

"It's becoming a fashionable drug for young people to take. It is not a
lethal substance."

His comments came at a landmark hearing that will set sentencing guidelines
for Ecstasy offences.

Defence barrister Wong Po-wing is asking the Court of Appeal to put Ecstasy
on a par with opium - just above cannabis. His client, Lee Tak-kwan, was
sentenced to 12 years in prison last March when Mr Justice Michael
Stuart-Moore concluded the drug should be treated the same way as heroin.

But the Court of Appeal has disagreed with him.

"We don't think Ecstasy can be equated with heroin," Mr Justice Power said.

Lee, 38, who had pleaded guilty to trafficking in 12,110 Ecstasy tablets
with a street value of $3.6 million, is appealing against his sentence.

Professor Julian Critchley, Dean of Clinical Pharmacology for the Chinese
University of Hong Kong at Prince of Wales Hospital, took the stand.

He described the rare cases of instant death as an "idiosyncratic reaction"
that could occur with any drug, illegal or otherwise.

"If you gave everyone in this court penicillin, someone could die. Every
drug is potentially dangerous," the professor said.

Emergency room doctors in Britain, where Ecstasy was most popular, reported
it was "very, very uncommon for an Ecstasy user to cross their threshold",
he said.

"You just don't see Ecstasy as a clinical poisoning problem as you do
heroin," he told the court.

Nor was the drug to blame for a slow deterioration in general health, the
professor testified.

Reported cases of liver damage had all been associated with the rave scene,
whose adherents stayed up all night dancing energetically.

"The drug is not insidious," Professor Critchley said. "What is insidious
is the rave culture and you can't dissociate the two."

But he said that by far the most important point in Ecstasy's favour was
the fact that it was totally non-addictive.

"I'm not saying Ecstasy is a good thing," he said. "It's a drug of abuse.
But if you're going to scale it against heroin, heroin makes a nonsense of

Mr Justice Power, Mr Justice Simon Mayo and Mr Justice Barry Mortimer
reserved their judgment.

Tobacco Company Set Up Network Of Sympathetic Scientists
('The British Medical Journal' Says The US Tobacco Giant Philip Morris
Set Up A Network Of Scientists Throughout Europe Who Were Paid To Cast Doubt
On The Risks Of Passive Smoking And Highlight Other Possible Causes
Of Respiratory Problems, According To Confidential Documents
From The Company's Law Firm Released On The Internet - URLs Included)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 11:05:55 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK BMJ: Tobacco Company Set Up Network of Sympathetic Scientists
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: British Medical Journal (UK)
Contact: bmj@bmj.com
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Clare Dyer, legal correspondent, BMJ


The US tobacco giant Philip Morris set up a network of scientists
throughout Europe who were paid to cast doubt on the risks of passive
smoking and highlight other possible causes of respiratory problems,
according to confidential documents from the company's law firm released on
the internet.

The company's consultants included "an editor" of the Lancet, an adviser to
a Commons select committee, and members of working groups of the
International Agency for Research in Cancer, claims a memo from the US
lawyers Covington and Burling.

Clues in the documents point to the Lancet contact as the late Petr
Skrabanek, who was not an editor but a regular contributor who wrote
editorials among other articles. Robin Fox, the Lancet's editor from 1990
to 1995, said it was "very likely" that Dr Skrabanek, who was an associate
professor of community health at Trinity College, Dublin, was the scientist
referred to in the memo.

Under the heading "Lancet" the memo says: "One of our consultants is an
editor of this very influential British medical journal, and is continuing
to publish numerous reviews, editorials, and comments on environmental
tobacco smoke and other issues." Dr Fox said Dr Skrabanek did not write
editorials on smoking.

The select committee adviser is believed to be the late Professor Roger
Perry, an environmental scientist from Imperial College, London, and an
expert on traffic pollution, who advised the environment committee.

Clive Bates, director of the antismoking pressure group ASH (Action on
Smoking and Health), said: "Philip Morris's attempt to infiltrate science
is a scandal. The documents clearly show the industry inventing and
orchestrating controversies by buying up scientists and creating
influential outlets for tainted science."

He said ASH sympathised with difficulties faced by institutions and
journals like the Lancet. "No matter how strict you are about conflicts of
interest, there is not much you can do if scientists conceal who they are
paid by."

The memo from the London office of the US law firm Covington and Burling
claims that Philip Morris consultants set up a learned society, Indoor Air
International--complete with scientific journal.

The document is one of 39 000 which the industry was forced to disclose in
a lawsuit brought by the state of Minnesota and two healthcare companies
which was recently settled. The fact that the project was coordinated by
lawyers meant the company could claim legal privilege for any documentation
and prevent disclosure in later litigation. But the Minnesota court held
that there was prima facie evidence of fraud, which overrides the

The documents reveal a global campaign to influence opinion on passive
smoking in the US, Europe, Australia, the Far East, and central and South
America through the secret recruitment of scientists. Covington and Burling
set up its London law office in 1988 to coordinate the European arm, code
named "Project Whitecoat."

The project strategy was outlined to British tobacco companies at a meeting
in London in February 1988, attended by representatives of BAT, Imperial,
and Gallaher. A report on the meeting written by a BAT representative
includes a list of 18 scientists, most at British universities, who were
suggested as possible consultants. A year later the learned society Indoor
Air International (now the International Society of the Built Environment)
was set up.

Five of the seven founders were on the list, and others on the list were on
the editorial board of the journal. Dr John Hoskins, current editor of the
society's journal, Indoor and Built Environment, said: "I understand the
tobacco industry did not put any money into the society nor into the
journal. They may well have bought some free lunches. Three of the people
who set it up are dead. Nowadays we publish anything from the medical to
the purely engineering and anything about tobacco has to go through extra

Scientists were "not paid unless and until they actually perform work,"
according to the Covington and Burling memo. They were "asked to cover all
substantial scientific conferences where they can usefully influence
scientific and public opinion."

Text of Philip Morris memo can be found at

The tobacco documents can be found at http://www.ash.org.uk

Links To Tobacco Industry Influences Review Conclusions
('The British Medical Journal' Says A Review Of The Scientific Literature
Found That Articles Written By Authors Affiliated With The Tobacco Industry
Were 88 Times More Likely To Conclude That Passive Smoking Is Not Harmful
Than Articles Written By Those Scientists With No Connection
To The Tobacco Industry - No Word On When A Similar Study Will Be Carried Out
On Marijuana Research Funded By The US Government)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 11:02:11 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK BMJ: Links to Tobacco Industry Influences Review Conclusions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: British Medical Journal (UK)
Contact: bmj@bmj.com
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Jacqui Wise, BMJ


A review article written by authors with affiliations to the tobacco
industry is 88 times more likely to conclude that passive smoking is not
harmful than if the review article was written by authors with no
connection to the tobacco industry.

Deborah Barnes and Lisa Bero from the University of California searched
Medline and Embase and a database of symposium proceedings on passive
smoking and identified 106 reviews of the health effects of passive smoking
published from 1980 to 1995 (JAMA 1998; 279:1566-70). They found that very
few reviews had been conducted systematically. Three quarters of the
articles failed to disclose the sources of funding for the research.

Overall 39 of the reviews concluded that passive smoking is not harmful to
health--and 31 of these were written by authors who had affiliations with
the tobacco industry. There was a strong relation between the conclusion of
a review and the affiliation of its authors--29 (94%) of the reviews by
authors with links to the tobacco industry concluded that passive smoking
is not harmful, compared with 10 (13%) of the 75 reviews by authors without
such affiliations.

The authors wrote: "No matter how we analysed the data, tobacco industry
affiliation was the only factor associated with concluding that passive
smoking is not harmful to health in the multivariate analyses."

Ms Barnes and Dr Bero wrote: "These findings suggest that the tobacco
industry may be attempting to influence scientific opinion by flooding the
scientific literature with large numbers of review articles supporting its
position that passive smoking is not harmful to health".

120M Drugs Haul Seized Off Coast In Last Five Years (Ireland's 'Examiner'
Says The Customs National Drugs Team Believes It Is Interdicting As Much As
35 Percent Of All Drugs Passing Through To Europe From North Africa
And South America, A Figure Provided By The United Nations -
But An Irish Prohibition Agent Thinks The Situation Is Worsening)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 11:00:07 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Ireland: 120M Drugs Haul Seized Off Coast in Last Five Years
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Pubdate: Sat, 23 May 1998
Author: Brian Carroll - Security Correspondent


ALMOST 120m worth of cannabis and cocaine has been seized off the coast in
the past five years by the Customs National Drugs Team, but more than half
of the drugs passing through our waters to Europe still go undetected.

Members of the Customs National Drugs Team have warned that the level of
trafficking through Irish waters is set to double over the next 20 years,
as international dealers in cocaine and ecstasy continue to exploit our
coastal waters as a gateway to Europe.

Since 1993, customs officers have seized over 6,900 kilos of cannabis off
the coast, and 630 kilos of cocaine. In today's street prices, the cannabis
seizures would be worth over 69m, with the cocaine hauls valued at over
50m. But the 120m worth of drugs seized in Irish waters since 1993 still
only represents an estimated 35% of all the drugs passing through to Europe
from North Africa and South America.

"We have become much more sophisticated over the last ten years. It is fair
to say that ten years ago there was a certain amount of naiveti, but even
now with all the international co-operation that's in place, we are not
getting anything near all the drugs coming through. The United Nations
estimates that 35% of all drugs produced are seized, and it's fair to say
that that applies to Ireland, as well," a customs officer said. The
officer, who cannot be named for security reasons, estimates that the
problem will increase: "The trend in terms of seizures is increasing, but
that doesn't mean we are getting any more of the drugs because the
production is also increasing, as is consumption."

The international drugs trade is estimated to have an annual worth of 175
billion in sterling, second only to the arms industry as the biggest global
business in the world. Customs surveyor Brendan Mulcahy told delegates at
an international conference of shipmasters in Cork, yesterday, that drug
trafficking was on the increase. "It is now a worldwide problem, and the
rate of production of cocaine is on the increase. There are now 170
different recipes for ecstasy on the Internet, if you are interested. In my
view, the situation is worsening. If you look at the progress drug dealers
have made in the past 20 years, I think the problem in the next 20 years is
going to at least double," Mr Mulcahy said. Ireland is particularly
susceptible to drug trafficking because of its key position along the
cocaine route from South America to Europe, and on the cannabis route from
North Africa and the Caribbean to Europe.

The conference also heard there was a growing trade in illegal consignments
of tobacco and alcohol into Ireland, with stolen computer components moving
out of Ireland to other markets.



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