Portland NORML News - Monday, May 25, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Coalition Declares 'Global Days Against The Drug War' (Press Release
About Events At Westlake Park In Seattle On June 8, Planned In Conjunction
With International Protests In 40 Cities Worldwide)

COALITION DECLARES 'GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR'

Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:31:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Tim Crowley (turmoil@seattlemusicweb.com)
X-Sender: turmoil@blueberry.hemp.net
Reply-To: Tim Crowley (turmoil@seattlemusicweb.com)
To: march@hemp.net, hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Press Release - GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Tim Crowley
801 Pine St. #2G
Seattle, WA 98101
206/389-6520
http://seattlemusicweb.com/protest/
music@hemp.net

PRESS RELEASE 25/5/98

COALITION DECLARES 'GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR'

90 reform organizations unite - events in 40 cities worldwide, June 5-10
Local Action June 8th 6P at Westlake Park

SEATTLE (May 25) - Drug policy reform groups in cities around the world
will declare the 'Global Days against the Drug War', to be held Friday
June 5th through Wednesday June 10th. Events to promote alternative drug
policies will take place in 40 cities, at the occasion of the United
Nations Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs, UNGASS, which
starts Monday June 8th.

June 8th at 6PM there will be a Global Days Against the Drug War rally and
march in Seattle. Protesters will meet at 6PM at Westlake Park for a rally
at the park and a march to The Washington State Convention Center. The
Seattle march is the first in a series of monthly educational protests
asking for an end to the war on drugs. The other Marches are at these
times and places.

More than 90 organizations have recently united to form the 'Global
Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War'. These organizations insist
that it is of great importance that proposals for drug policy reform are
heard during the coming UN session. The coalition is issuing a declaration
that will be presented in New York at the Non-Governmental Organizations
conference that is part of UNGASS, and that will be published widely in
the coming weeks.

UNGASS was originally conceived as a critical examination of worldwide
anti-drug policy. Under the guidance of repressive forces inside the UN,
the focus of the session has been narrowed, however. According to the new
guidelines, only the expansion of existing policies will be open for
discussion.

"In terms of crime, economic and financial damage, and social and personal
harm, drug prohibition is turning into a worldwide crisis. Now the United
Nations aims to escalate drug repression tactics in a misguided quest
towards a drug free society", according to Olivier Dupuis, a European MP
and Secretary of the Transnational Radical Party, a coalition member
organization. Dupuis adds: "A commitment of U.N. member states to escalate
the drug war will constitute a sort of solemn war declaration at the
climax of a global defeat".

The Global Days against the Drug War will feature discussion forums,
demonstrations, seminars, press conferences, street parties, publications,
concerts, a congress, and other types of events. A congress will be held
in Paris, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th, with a demonstration at the Paris
UN delegation on Sunday 7th. An event featuring well-known speakers will
take place in San Francisco on the 6th. A street party in Amsterdam on
June 6th is expected to attract thousands to state their desire for an end
to the drug war in a joyful way, a large demonstration is planned to take
place in New York on Monday 8th, and in Seattle there will be an
educational march and rally on June 8th. This will start at Westlake Park
at 6PM.

The 'Global Coalition' is planning a forum to be held inside the UN on
Tuesday June 9th, in cooperation with the European Council on Drugs and
Development, an organization that has established a coalition of 50
organizations working in the field of north-south relations. Other
organizations in places around the world are planning their own version of
the Global Days against the Drug War.

"To anyone who is aware of the damage, physical and emotional, inflicted
by drug prohibition, it is obvious that what is needed is not an escalated
drug war, but reform policies aimed at reducing the damage currently
done", states Arno Adelaars, one of the speakers at a forum in Amsterdam
on Sunday June 7th, and a member of the Amsterdam-based Recreational Drugs
Committee. "It is heartening to see how many individuals and organizations
are ready to stand up and express themselves; many concerned people have
taken this chance to make an unequivocal statement that enough harm has
been done, that it is time to stop and think again".

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War currently consists
of more than 90 organizations. Among them are the Drug Reform Coordination
Network, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws,
Coordinamento Radicale Antiprohibizionista, the November Coalition,
Washington Hemp Education Network, the Campaign for Equity-Restorative
Justice, the Transnational Radical Party, Common Sense for Drug Policy,
the Legalize! Initiative, the Media Awareness Project, the American
Society for Action on Pain, Compassionate Care Alliance, the Campaign for
the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp, FORUM DROGHE, the National
Alliance of Methadone Advocates, Mothers against Misuse and Abuse, and
many other organizations.

The Global Days against the Drug War take place in Amsterdam, Berlin,
Bonn, Dallas, Hamburg, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne,
New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Stockholm,
Tallinn, Tel Aviv, Washington, Wellington. The declaration of the Global
Coalition against the Drug War, information about the coalition member
organizations, about the events taking place, about the UN panel, and
contact information for the local events, is available at:

http://seattlemusicweb.com/protest/
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

For further information please contact:
Tim Crowley, Seattle, WA, USA 206/389-6520
Kevin Zeese, Falls Church, VA, USA, +1-703-354-5694, kevzeese@laser.net
Adam Smith, Washington DC, USA, +1-202-293-8340, ajsmith@intr.net
Harry Bego, Utrecht, the Netherlands, +31-30-2316118, hbego@knoware.nl
or write to: music@hemp.net

***

[For more about demonstrations in other cities, see below. - ed.]
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sheriff Shuts Down San Francisco Cannabis Center ('San Francisco Examiner'
Notes Sheriff Michael Hennessey Said He Had No Choice But To Obey
A Ruling By San Francisco Superior Court Judge William Cahill
Against The Cannabis Healing Center, Formerly Dennis Peron's
San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club)

Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 00:12:29 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Sheriff Shuts Down SF Cannabis Center
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com

SHERIFF SHUTS DOWN S.F. CANNABIS CENTER

Deputies Lock It Up, Seize Office Contents Despite Protesters

San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey moved on the Cannabis Healing
Center early Monday morning, shutting the club and taking everything that
wasn't nailed down.

Confronted by protesters, sheriff's deputies locked the club, which was
ordered shut by court order.

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

Hennessey is 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.
215.

The club had closed as the Cannabis Buyers Club and its leader Dennis Peron
stepped down recently. After closing, the club was renamed and reopened 24
hours laters as the Cannabis Healing Center.

Hennessey had remained mum on when his department would carry out the
order, saying only that it directed him to close down the club before 5
p.m. Tuesday.

1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 4
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sheriff Evicts San Francisco's Cannabis Healing Center, Changes Locks
('Associated Press' Version)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 16:00:31 -0400
To: rlake@mapinc.org
From: Richard Lake 
Subject: Sheriff Evicts San Francisco's Cannabis Healing Center,
Changes Locks
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 1998
Author: Karyn Hunt, Associated Press Writer
Editors note: There is a Real Audio Report on the CHC closure at this site
now: http://www.sfgate.com/

SHERIFF EVICTS SAN FRANCISCO'S CANNABIS HEALING CENTER, CHANGES LOCKS

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- More than two-dozen sheriff's deputies swooped down
on San Francisco's largest medical marijuana club in a pre-dawn raid Monday
to shut it down in keeping with a local judge's order.

Four days after San Francisco Superior Court Judge William Cahill declared
the club a public nuisance, a locksmith let a busload of deputies in
through a back door of the Cannabis Healing Center at 6 a.m. They evicted
seven people staying there, changed the locks and spent most of the day
taking an inventory of the building's contents.

Only a small amount of the drug -- about three handfuls of dried marijuana
and three dozen 4-inch plants were found, Sheriff Mike Hennessey said.
Nobody was arrested.

The raid was the latest skirmish over Proposition 215, the voter-approved
measure legalizing marijuana for medical use in the state of California.
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer last week banned distribution of
the drug, saying the initiative cannot override a federal ban.

In doing so, Breyer rejected arguments that the clubs should be entitled to
furnish the drug because customers find it hard to survive without
marijuana to ease the pain and side effects of cancer and AIDS therapy.

Several other medical marijuana clubs have refused to abide by his order.
Clubs in Oakland, Ukiah and the Marin County town of Fairfax continued to
operate.

Saturday's raid was the second time San Francisco's club, the largest in
the state with 9,000 members, has been shut down. This time, deputies will
remain on premises to ensure that it does not reopen, Hennessey said.

The enforcement action came the day before the court-imposed deadline to
shut it down and two days after the club ceased operations voluntarily,
cofounder Dennis Peron said. He said that as of Saturday, it had stopped
distributing marijuana and was operating strictly as the headquarters for
his gubernatorial campaign.

``We could fight, but it seems like everything is against us,'' he said
outside the building on Saturday, where he was surrounded by about 50
patients and supporters chanting, waving signs, smoking pot, playing guitar
and singing.

Among the protesters was Robert Brust, Jr., who smokes marijuana to ease
the chronic pain he has suffered since being thrown out a third-story
window in 1989 by burglars invading his apartment in Los Angeles. He
refuses to take any man-made medicines to ease the discomfort, not even
aspirin, he said.

``It's a sad day,'' Brust said. ``This is a mistake. These people will have
to go legally out in public to get their marijuana now. That'll cause a lot
of problems for police, more than they thought they had here.''

Hennessey, who has publicly supported Proposition 215, said he had mixed
emotions about shutting the club down.

``You have to be flexible and follow the law,'' he said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Shut Down San Francisco Pot Club ('Reuters' Version)

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 02:41:43 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Police Shut Down San Francisco Pot Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz
Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 1998
Source: Reuters

POLICE SHUT DOWN SAN FRANCISCO POT CLUB

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Police shut down San Francisco's embattled main
medical marijuana club Monday, enforcing a court order to close the
operation for violating state drug laws.

Dozens of people evicted from the downtown club chanted pro-marijuana
slogans as sheriff's deputies went through the building cataloging its
contents before locking it shut.

Sheriff Mike Hennessey said the court-ordered closure, which followed
agonized wrangling over California's 1996 state law that legalized medical
marijuana, probably spelled the end for the trailblazing San Francisco club.

``As far as we're concerned, it's shut down for good,'' Hennessey told KCBS
radio after the raid.

``The federal government is involved in this site, the state government is
involved in this site. It's a pretty hot location at this point.''

Superior Court Judge William Cahill last week ordered the club closed,
saying the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center did not fit provisions in
the 1996 state law which specified that only patients and ``primary
caregivers'' could legally possess marijuana for medical use.

Cahill's order ended a legal drive by state Attorney General Dan Lungren to
close the San Francisco club, which he charged with being a ``drug house''
that freely sold marijuana to the public at large.

Federal officials, meanwhile, have separately obtained preliminary
injunctions against six northern California medical marijuana clubs, saying
they violate federal anti-drug laws.

Three of the clubs, including the one in San Francisco, had vowed to stay
open in defiance of the injunction, seeking a court trial to put the issue
before a jury.

Local California officials, many of whom support the medical marijuana clubs
as a relatively safe way to dispense the drug, are due to hold a summit with
police officials and others in Sacramento Tuesday to discuss possible
alternate ways to distribute marijuana to sick people.

California's 1996 state law legalized the use of marijuana, under a doctor's
advice, for treatment of symptoms of illnesses ranging from AIDS and cancer
to glaucoma and nausea.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Making A Mess Of Medicinal Marijuana ('San Jose Mercury News'
Columnist Joanne Jacobs Analyzes The Problems Caused
By Proposition 215's Failure To Address The Supply Question)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 13:54:17 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Column: Making A Mess Of Medicinal Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 1998
Columnist: Joanne Jacobs
Note: Joanne Jacobs is a member of the Mercury News editorial board. Her
column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. You may reach her at 750 Ridder
Park Dr., San Jose, CA 95190, by fax at 408-271-3792, or e-mail to
JJacobs@sjmercury.com

MAKING A MESS OF MEDICINAL MARIJUANA

UNDER Proposition 215, Californians can use marijuana to restore an
appetite lost to AIDS, to control the nausea of chemotherapy, to relieve
the muscle spasms of multiple sclerosis, to ease the symptoms of glaucoma.

If they can get it. Which they can't, unless they're healthy enough to
start a garden or desperate enough to buy it on the street.

In November, 1996, California voters made it legal to use marijuana on a
doctor's recommendation. But Proposition 215 didn't set up a system to get
medicinal marijuana lawfully to people who need it.

The medical benefits of marijuana are clear, says Karen Sinunu, assistant
district attorney in Santa Clara County. What's not clear is how to ensure
that cannabis dispensers keep track of patients, physicians, caregivers,
drug inventory and money. ``It's almost unworkable.''

Tomorrow, state Sen. John Vasconcellos' Public Safety Committee will hold a
Medicinal Marijuana Distribution Summit in Sacramento. District attorneys,
police chiefs, health officials and cannabis club operators will talk about
how to deal with ``the lag between law and reality,'' as San Mateo County
Supervisor Michael Nevin puts it.

The goal is to find a workable state distribution model, says Rand Martin,
Vasconcellos' aide.

San Jose's cannabis club shut down recently when its co-founder was
arrested for selling marijuana without a physician's recommendation, and
other charges.

Then U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer ordered the closure of medicinal
marijuana clubs in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Oakland, Marin County and
Ukiah. ``A state law which purports to legalize the distribution of
marijuana for any purpose . . . even a laudable one . . . directly
conflicts with federal law,'' Breyer wrote last week.

Attorney General Dan Lungren is sending someone to testify at Vasconcellos'
summit. But the U.S. Justice Department isn't interested. ``It's Chinese
water torture with the federal government to get them to acknowledge the
will of the voters,'' Martin says.

The state's 30 medicinal marijuana clubs have operated in a gray area,
usually tolerated or supported by local authorities, often harassed by
state and federal agents.

Federal undercover agents come in with identification, a doctor's
recommendation verifiable by phone and a valid medical license number, says
Jeff Jones, director of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. He'd be
happy to let the county health department screen patients who seek
marijuana, relieving clubs of the burden of deciding who's legit.

Sinunu agrees. ``We need the health department to do the physician
verification.''

It would be simple if doctors could write a prescription to be filled at a
pharmacy. But the federal government has put more restrictions on marijuana
than on morphine or cocaine. Marijuana is classified as a dangerous drug
with no medical use.

This is nonsense, and the government knows it. In 1988, after two years of
hearings, the Drug Enforcement Administration's chief administrative law
judge, Frank Young, recommended reclassifying marijuana, so it could be
prescribed. ``It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the
DEA to continue to stand between these sufferers and the benefit of this
substance,'' Young wrote. Nothing happened.

When Proposition 215 passed, the federal drug czar threatened physicians
with the loss of their right to prescribe drugs if they told patients that
marijuana might help their symptoms. A court ruling put the kibosh on that
tactic.

But Lungren won a ruling in state court saying that cannabis dispensaries
don't qualify as ``primary caregivers,'' and therefore can't supply
patients, even with valid physicians' recommendations.

Then came the federal court order. Cannabis clubs are defying Breyer's
order, openly supplying their patients. But how long can that last before
operators are arrested?

Forcing marijuana distribution underground is dangerous, argues Supervisor
Nevin, a former police inspector. When a cannabis center was proposed for a
low-income neighborhood in San Mateo County, the supervisors said: There's
got to be a better way. ``We have public clinics and pharmacies where we
distribute other drugs,'' says Nevin. ``Why would I give that
responsibility to a cannabis club?''

If the public health department dispenses marijuana, it will be easy to
control quality, verify patients' need and remove the profit motive, he
argues. ``We're taking the underground out of it.''

But the county needs a federal OK.

San Mateo supervisors voted 3-1 to approve $50,000 in initial funding for a
three-year, $500,000 study of the effectiveness of marijuana to treat
nausea triggered by chemotherapy and AIDS-related weight loss. County
officials are going to Washington next month to seek authorization for
clinical trials.

But the DEA has blocked studies that could give physicians information
they'd need to write prescriptions: how much marijuana is useful for which
conditions in what circumstances. It's a long shot.

There's a reason that health and law enforcement officials are trying hard
to make Proposition 215 work, despite the challenges. In San Mateo County,
the reason is deputy health director Joni Commons, who died in January
after a long battle with breast cancer. She told colleagues that marijuana
was the only drug that relieved the nausea of chemotherapy. She got it from
her children.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Marijuana Festival Ends Quietly With Few Arrests (Minneapolis, Minnesota
'Star-Tribune' Says About 1,300 People Attended The Annual Four-Day
Weedstock Festival In Fairfield, Outside Of Baraboo, Held In A Different Town
Each May)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 22:49:53 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: Marijuana Festival Ends Quietly With Few Arrests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Contact: opinion@startribune.com
Webform: http://www.startribune.com/stonline/html/userguide/letform.html
Website: http://www.startribune.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 25 May 1998

MARIJUANA FESTIVAL ENDS QUIETLY WITH FEW ARRESTS

Statewire

TOWN OF FAIRFIELD, Wis. -- The annual Weedstock festival that ended Monday
was quieter than usual, law enforcement agents said.

The event, held in a different town each May, led to the arrests of 27
people for marijuana possession and 43 others for minor traffic violations.
Five others were arrested for outstanding warrants.

Last year, there were 42 drug arrests, 18 other criminal arrests and 76
traffic citations.

The festival is held each year to promote the legalization of marijuana.

"What was going on mostly was people were arrested for small amounts of
marijuana," Sauk County Sheriff' s Department dispatcher Paul Negast said.
"We haven' t had any calls or complaints from the area."

"It' s probably a bit more reserved" this year, added Lt. Rich Sereg.

The four-day event, which carried a $35 admission fee, was held in
Fairfield outside of Baraboo. The festival attracted about 1,300 people
and vendors, as well as a heavy police presence outside the private
festival grounds.

Last year' s muddy and wet Weedstock in Ferryville drew about 2, 500.

Authorities said last weekend' s rainy weather probably prevented more
people from attending.

Copyright 1998 Associated Press.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Activist Battling AIDS Becomes Rallying Point - Friends, Foes Offer Prayer,
Encouragement ('Washington Post' Portrays Washington, DC,
Medical Marijuana Activist Stephen Michael, Dying Of AIDS)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:17:10 EDT Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org From: AMMO To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Activist Battling AIDS Becomes Rallying Point Activist Battling AIDS Becomes Rallying Point Friends, Foes Offer Prayer, Encouragement By Julie Makinen Bowles Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, May 25, 1998; Page D03 In a city of buttoned-down lobbyists and big-money campaigns, Steve Michael has waged his political wars with an $800 truck and a seedy one-room storefront that doubles as an apartment. His style has been pickets and petitions, not power lunches. Loud, indignant, even offensive, he has routinely refused to follow Washington's rules of decorous negotiation. Still, in the last five years, he has won begrudging respect for his passionate advocacy on issues including AIDS funding, health care, the medical use of marijuana and the return of power to elected D.C. officials. "He's the quintessential activist," said D.C. Council member Carol Schwartz (R-At Large). "He always goes where he sees problems, and he follows through on them." For the last four weeks, though, Michael has been not the rallier but the rallying point, as he battles severe complications from AIDS at Washington Hospital Center. Politicians and community leaders from across Washington and even from the White House have been saying prayers and sending words of encouragement, hoping he can beat back the disease and resume his work as a full-time thorn in their sides. "He can be a real pain," said Donna Brazile, press secretary for Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.). "He's a tenacious fighter. I know, because I've been on opposite sides from him at times, and I've been on the same side with him. Of course, I'd much rather have him with me than against me." Michael, 42, and his partner, Wayne Turner, 33, moved to Washington from Seattle in 1993 after following President Clinton on the '92 campaign circuit and heckling him persistently over his record on funding for AIDS programs. As members of the militant group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), they came to the capital to keep pressuring the president to commit more federal resources to fighting the disease. But once here, they found themselves incensed by the problems in local government. Michael started turning up at D.C. Council hearings, testifying on health care issues and troubles with the city bureaucracy. He and Turner staged sit-ins at financial control board meetings, calling it the "out-of-control board." When members of Congress began stripping power from locally elected officials, the two men stormed their offices in protest and got arrested on numerous occasions. Michael's confrontational tactics at times have irritated and angered more established activist groups, who say his renegade, moralizing style can hurt more than it helps. D.C. Council member Sharon Ambrose (D), one of Michael's competitors in last year's Ward 6 council race, said he was "extraordinarily unpleasant in an extremely ad hominem way." But others say the city needs more people like him. Anise Jenkins, who has lived in Washington more than 40 years, said Michael inspired her to become active in the community. In August, she heard on the radio that a North Carolina senator wanted to take away most of Mayor Marion Barry's powers. The announcer said some residents were planning a demonstration at the White House. "I went down there, and I saw three men standing on the fence. One was Steve Michael," Jenkins said. "I was just compelled. So I got up on the fence. He was just such a vibrant, physical force. Fearless." She ended up going to jail -- "first time in my life that I've done anything like that" -- and has since become active in the Stand Up for Democracy movement, which is fighting for the restoration of home rule. She also has joined the battle against plans to put the city's new convention center in her Shaw neighborhood. Jim Graham, executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the city's largest provider of AIDS-related services, said Michael is one of those "vanguard people" whose methods can be distasteful but who effectively "clear the land, pointing out problems and bringing drama to bear. That, in turn, makes it easier for others who come in their wake." In the last nine months, Michael has been working to put a measure on the D.C. ballot that would legalize the possession, use, cultivation and distribution of marijuana by people suffering from illnesses such as cancer, AIDS and glaucoma. When the first petition drive fell short of the more than 17,000 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot, Michael started yet another drive. Work on the marijuana measure -- known as Initiative 59 -- continued from Michael's hospital bedside until he was put on a respirator. Turner has officially taken over the drive and has vowed to continue should Michael not pull through. "We've spent our whole lives together trying to get people to do something about AIDS, battling greed, fighting for democracy," Turner said. "The work will go on, even if we lose this warrior. Steve wouldn't have it any other way." (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company Washington Post 1150 15th St., NW Washington, DC 20071 Phone: 202-334-6000 Fax: 202-334-5451 Letters to the Editor can be submitted from the WP web page: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis For Migraine Treatment - The Once And Future Prescription?
An Historical And Scientific Review (A Research Report On Medical Marijuana
By Montana Neurologist Ethan Russo, MD, Originally Posted
To The Maps-forum@maps.org E-Mail List)
Link to more information
From: theHEMPEROR@webtv.net (JR Irvin) To: NTList@fornits.com Subject: [ntlist] Cannabis for Migraine Treatment: The Once and Future http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443 "The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedom" Justice William O. Douglas Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 13:39:38 -0700 To: "Chuck's List" (cpconrad@twow.com) From: "Charles P. Conrad" (cpconrad@twow.com) From: maps-forum@maps.org Cannabis for Migraine Treatment: The Once and Future Prescription?: An Historical and Scientific Review Abstract: Cannabis, or marijuana, has been used for centuries for both symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine. It was highly esteemed as a headache remedy by the most prominent physicians of the age between 1874 and 1942, remaining part of the Western pharmacopoeia for this indication even into the mid-twentieth century. Current ethnobotanical and anecdotal references continue to refer to its efficacy for this malady, while biochemical studies of THC and anandamide have provided a scientific basis for such treatment. The author believes that controlled clinical trials of Cannabis in acute migraine treatment are warranted. Keywords: migraine, headache, Cannabis, marijuana, dronabinol, ethnobotany Ethan Russo, M.D. (ptm5739@montana.com) Clinical Child and Adult Neurologist Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Washington Adjunct Associate Professor of Pharmacy, University of Montana Address: Department of Neurology Western Montana Clinic 515 West Front Street Missoula, MT 58907-7609 U.S.A. Phone: (406) 329-7238 FAX: (406) 329-7453 E-Mail: ptm5739@montana.com Introduction: One of the basic tenets of medical history is that remedies fall in and out of favor. Once supplanted, most pharmaceuticals fail to re-attain a position of prominence. Very few are popular for many decades. Not many physicians today are aware of the prominence that Cannabis drugs once held in medical practice. Problems with quality control and an association with perceived dangerous effects sounded the death knell for Cannabis as a recognized Western therapy. Other medicines that are far more potentially damaging than Cannabis remain in our pharmocopeias because of recognized medical indications: opiates for pain control, amphetamines for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, etc. Thalidomide, which was banned due to its role in birth defects, may be effecting a therapeutic revival. Even the lowly leech is once again the object of serious medical investigation. This study will examine the history of Cannabis use for one indication, that of headache treatment, its scientific rationale, and possible future as an alternative therapeutic agent. Historical and Ethnobotanical Usage of Cannabis in Migraine Treatment: Headaches have likely afflicted man throughout history. Archeological records substantiate an ancient association between man and the plant genus Cannabis, plant family, Cannabaceae. Its botanical origin has been debated to be as far east as China, but most experts suspect it to be in Central Asia, possibly in the Pamir Plains (Camp, 1936). Some botanists have maintained Cannabis as monotypic genus, while others (Schultes et al., 1974) have provided convincing documentation of three Cannabis species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis. All contain the psychoactive chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in varying degree. Use of Cannabis fibers to make hemp has been documented as early as 4000 BC by Carbon-14 dating (Li, 1974), and that use has been maintained continuously up to the present day. Its seed grain was an ancient human foodstuff, which may have lead to an early recognition of its medicinal use. The first records of the latter seem to be in the Pn-tsao Ching, a traditional herbal written down in the first two centuries AD, but said to be based on the oral traditions passed down from the Emperor Shn-nung in the third millenium BC. The text noted that the plant fruits "if taken in excess will produce hallucinations (literally "seeing devils")(Li, 1974). The Zend-Avesta, the holy book of Zoroastrianism, which survives only in fragments, dating from around 600 BC in Persia, alludes to the use of Banga in a medical context, and it is identified as hemp by the translator (Darmesteter, 1895). The classical Greek literature also documents knowledge of the inebriating actions of Cannabis. Herodotus, circa 450 BC, described how the Scythians set up tents, heated stones and threw Cannabis seeds or flowering tops upon them to create a vapor, and "the Scythians, delighted, shout for joy." The Greek physicians Dioscorides and Galen expounded on medical indications, mainly gastrointestinal (Brunner, 1977). The Atharva Veda of India, dated to between 1400 and 2000 BC referred to a sacred grass, bhang, and medicinal references to Cannabis were cited by Susrata in the sixth to seventh centuries AD (Chopra and Chopra, 1957) and included indication for its use for headache (Dwarakanath, 1965). O'Shaughnessy introduced the medical use of Cannabis indica, or "Indian hemp," to the West in 1839 (Walton, 1938; Mikuriya, 1969). His treatise on the subject supported the utility of an extract in patients suffering from rabies, cholera, tetanus, and infantile convulsions. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth century, many prominent physicians in Europe and North America advocated the use of extracts of Cannabis indica for the symptomatic and preventive treatment of headache. Proponents included Weir Mitchell in 1874, E.J. Waring in 1874, Hobart Hare in 1887, Sir William Gowers in 1888, J.R. Reynolds in 1890, J.B. Mattison in 1891, et al., (Walton, 1938; Mikuriya, 1969). Cannabis was included in the mainstream pharmacopeias in Britain and America for this indication. As late as 1915, Sir William Osler, the acknowledged father of modern medicine, stated of migraine treatment (Osler, 1915), "Cannabis indica is probably the most satisfactory remedy. Seguin recommends a prolonged course." This statement supports its use for both acute and prophylactic treatment of migraine. In 1916, in a quotation attributed to Dr. Dixon, Professor of Pharmacology, Kings' College, and the University of Cambridge (Ratnam, 1916), reference is specifically made to the therapeutic effects of smoked Cannabis for headache treatment. He stated, "In cases where immediate effect is desired, the drug should be smoked, the fumes being drawn through water. In fits of depression, mental fatigue, nervous headache, feelings of fatigue disappear and the subject is able to continue his work refreshed and soothed." In the years that followed, Cannabis came to be perceived as a drug of abuse, smoked by certain classes of people as "marijuana" or "marihuana." Nevertheless, it retained adherents for a variety of medical indications, throughout the early decades of the twentieth century. In 1938 Robert Walton published a comprehensive review of Cannabis, with botanical, historical, chemical and political discussions (Walton, 1938). After discussing the abuse issue, he stated his belief that the political action that had rendered marijuana illegal in the U.S.A. in 1937 (and which the American Medical Association vigorously opposed), should not serve to prohibit further medical use and scientific investigation of Cannabis' possible applications. Walton referred to twelve major authorities on its efficacy for migraine, and only one detractor. In 1941, Cannabis preparations were dropped from the United States Pharmacopeia (U.S.P.), but the following year, the editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association still advocated oral preparations of Cannabis in treatment of menstrual (catamenial) migraine (Fishbein, 1942). This practitioner seemed to prefer Cannabis to ergotamine tartrate, which remains in the migraine armamentarium, some fifty-five years later. Thus, Cannabis was touted in eight consecutive decades in the mainstream Western medical literature as a, or the, primary treatment for migraine. As late as 1957, despite governmental controls in that country, Cannabis drugs retained a role in the indigenous medicine of India (Chopra and Chopra, 1957), and other countries. In the 1960's marijuana moved to center stage of Western consciousness, and attained a degree of notoriety sufficient to render medical usage inconceivable to most. Medical research has resumed only recently, spurred on by anecdotal reports of patients who serendipitously discovered its benefits on their maladies. Modern Research Developments on Cannabis: In 1974, the first of several studies appeared examining issues of pain relief with Cannabis (Noyes and Baram, 1974). This article examined five case studies of patients who volitionally experimented with the substance to treat painful conditions. Three had chronic headaches, and found relief by smoking Cannabis that was comparable, or superior to ergotamine tartrate and aspirin. One subsequent study of Cannabis pertained to pain tolerance in an experimental protocol (Milstein et al., 1975). A statistically significant increase in pain threshold was observed after smoking Cannabis in both nave (8% increase) and experienced subjects (16% increase). Another trial involved oral THC in cancer patients (Noyes et al., 1975a). They observed a trend toward pain relief with escalating doses significant to the P<0.001 level. The peak effect occurred at three hours with doses of 10 and 15 mg., but not until five hours after ingestion of 20 mg. Subsequently, the analgesic effect of THC was compared to codeine (Noyes et al., 1975b). In essence, 10 mg. of oral THC vs. 60 mg. of codeine, and 20 mg. of THC vs. 120 mg. of codeine relieved the subjective pain burden of patients by similar decrements. The effects of 10 mg. of THC were well tolerated, but at 20 mg., sedation, and psychic disturbances bothered many of the elderly Cannabis-nave subjects. In the 1980's more comprehensive data on pharmacological effects of Cannabis and its derivative, THC became available. In 1983, research with varying potencies of smoked Cannabis demonstrated some correlation between serum THC levels and subjective "high" (Chiang and Barnett, 1983). Additionally, experimental subjects were able to distinguish the potency of the various samples with accuracy. In a forensic review (Mason et al., 1985), the issue of marijuana's effect on driving was addressed, and it was indicated that isolated reports of adverse outcomes secondary to impairment by Cannabis as a sole inebriant were rare. The authors concluded that there was no suitable correlation between plasma or blood levels of THC and the degree of apparent impairment a human might exhibit. In 1986 the journal Pharmacological Reviews devoted an entire issue to Cannabis and cannabinoids. In "Cellular Effects of Cannabinoids" (Martin, 1986), the author noted their analgesic properties, but reported that the mode of action was not blocked by naloxone, and seemed to work independently of opioid mechanisms. Another article examined pharmacokinetics (Agurell et al., 1986). Many facets were presented, including their findings that smoking a standard marijuana cigarette destroyed 30% of available THC. The final article of the issue was entitled "Health Aspects of Cannabis" (Hollister, 1986). Pertinent points made included dose delivery efficiency of THC by inhalation of 10% in marijuana-nave vs. 23% in experience smokers. Oral bioavailability for THC was only about 6%, and onset of effects was not seen for 30-120 minutes. Smoking of massive Cannabis doses daily for a prolonged period produced lower intraocular pressure, serum testosterone levels, and airway narrowing, but no chromosomal aberrations, or impairment of immune responses were noted (Cohen, 1976). Other "marijuana myths" were unsupported by careful review of the literature. While aggravation of pre-existing psychotic conditions by marijuana use was documented, no cause and effect relationship was noted. Similarly, chronic use studies in Jamaica (Comitas et al., 1976), revealed no deficits in worker motivation or production. Two studies of brain computerized tomography (CT scan) refuted prior claims of heavy use producing cerebral atrophy (Co et al, 1977; Kuehnle et al., 1977). With respect to behavior, Hollister refuted the tenet that depicted Cannabis as a contributor to violent and aggressive behavior. Concerning addiction, he noted minimal withdrawal symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and tremors in some experimental subjects after very heavy chronic usage. Such effects were brief and self-limited. The next year, an article entitled "Marijuana and Migraine" (El-Mallakh, 1987), presented three cases in which abrupt cessation of frequent, prolonged, daily marijuana smoking were followed by migraine attacks. One patient noted subsequent remission of headaches with episodic marijuana use, while conventional drugs successfully treated the others. The author hypothesized that THC's peripheral vasoconstrictive actions in rats, or its action to minimize serotonin release from the platelets of human migraineurs (Volfe et al., 1985), might explain its actions. In 1988 action was initiated through the DEA to reclassify marijuana to Schedule 2, potentially making it available for prescription to patients. The DEA administrative law judge, Francis Young, reviewed a tremendous amount of testimony from patients, scientists, and politicians in rendering his ruling. Although a medical indication of marijuana for migraine was not considered, its use was approved as an anti-emetic, an anti-spasticity drug in multiple sclerosis and paraplegia, while its utilization in glaucoma was considered reasonable. He stated, "By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care." In 1992, a study examined subjective preferences of experimental subjects smoking Cannabis, or ingesting oral THC (Chait and Zacny, 1992). Ten subjects in two trials preferred smoking active Cannabis over placebo, while ten of eleven preferred oral THC to placebo. These results call into serious question the plausibility of true blinding with placebo preparations in prospective therapeutic drug studies of marijuana, especially when smoked. A more profound understanding of Cannabis, THC, and their actions in the brain has occurred with the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid in the human brain, arachidonylethanolamide, named anandamide, from the Sanskrit word ananda, or "bliss" (Devane et al., 1992). This ligand inhibits cyclic AMP in its target cells, which are widespread throughout the brain, but demonstrate a predilection for areas involved with nociception (Herkenham, 1993). The exact physiological role of anandamide is unclear, but preliminary tests of its behavioral effects reveal actions similar to those of THC (Fride and Mechoulam, 1993). Additional research sheds light on possible mechanisms of therapeutic action of the cannabinoids on migraine. An inhibitory effect of anandamide and other cannabinoid agonists on rat serotonin type 3 (5-HT3) receptors was demonstrated (Fan, 1995). This receptor has been implicated as a mediator of emetic and pain responses. In 1996, a study in rats demonstrated antinociceptive effects of delta-9-THC and other cannabinoids in the periaqueductal gray matter (Lichtman et al., 1996). The PAG has been frequently cited as a likely anatomic area for migraine generation (Goadsby and Gundlach, 1991). The understanding that Cannabis and THC effect their actions through natural cerebral biochemical processes has intensified the public debate on medical benefits of marijuana. In 1993, a book entitled Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine (Grinspoon and Bakalar, 1993) examined a variety of claims for ailments treated by marijuana, and included an entire section on migraine. One clinical vignette discussed at length the medical odyssey of a migraineur through failures with standard pharmaceuticals, and ultimate preference for small doses of smoked marijuana for symptom control. The editor of the British Medical Journal (Smith, 1995) recently wrote an editorial espousing moderation in the drug war. The Journal of the American Medical Association published a supportive commentary in 1995 (Grinspoon, 1995). The author rated the respiratory risks potent medical marijuana as low, and pointed out the contradiction of the Schedule 2 status of synthetic THC, dronabinol, while its natural source, marijuana remained a Schedule 1 product, and thus unavailable for legal use to patients who might prefer its easier dose titration. Grinspoon raised as a theoretical possibility the synergistic effects of the whole plant and its components as compared to pure THC. The American Journal of Public Health issued its plea (AJPH, 1996), to allow access to medical marijuana as an Investigational New Drug (IND). The Australian government (Hall et al., 1995) recently compiled a recent exhaustive review of sequelae of Cannabis use. In the summary, it states: Acute Effects > anxiety, dysphoria, panic and paranoia, especially in nave users; > cognitive impairment, especially of attention and memory, for the duration of intoxication; > psychomotor impairment, and probably an increased risk of accident if an intoxicated person attempts to drive a motor vehicle, or operate machinery; > an increased risk of experiencing psychotic symptoms among those who are vulnerable because of personal or family history of psychosis; > an increased risk of low birth weight babies if cannabis is used during pregnancy. In a current review of over 65,000 patient records in an HMO (Sidney et al., 1997), little effect of smoked Cannabis was seen on morbidity and mortality of non-AIDS patients. Surely, not all in the medical establishment are convinced of the relative safety or benefit of Cannabis for medical usage. In a recent review (Voth and Schwartz, 1997) the authors concluded, "The evidence does not support the reclassification of crude marijuana as a prescribable medicine." However, their study was far from comprehensive, confining itself to the clinical issues of nausea, appetite stimulation, glaucoma, and spasticity. Methodologically, it was flawed in that only the medical literature from 1975-1996 was screened, an era during which it was quite difficult to initiate research seeking to support medical indications for Cannabis. These authors did not examine migraine as an indication for Cannabis usage, nor did they review the extensive literature of the past. The debate on the subject of "medical marijuana" has extended to the World Wide Web, and includes myriad postings with anecdotal attestations of efficacy for a variety of indications. Various investigators have examined the roles of different smoke delivery systems (Gieringer, 1996). From these studies, it is clear that vaporization of marijuana makes it possible to deliver even high doses of THC to the lungs of a prospective patient far below the flash point of the Cannabis leaf, eliminating a fair amount of smoke, containing tar and other possible carcinogens. However, the marijuana joint was about as effective as any examined smoking device, including waterpipes, in providing a favorable ratio of THC to tar and other by-products of smoking. A standardized smoking procedure for use of Cannabis in medical research has been developed (Foltin et al., 1988). Suppository preparations of Cannabis have been used to advantage in the past, and may be an acceptable form of administration for the migraineur, although dose titration would be less available. Discussion: Despite the development of serotonin 1D-agonist medications, migraine remains a serious public health issue. An estimated 23 million Americans suffer severe migraine. Of these, 25% have four or more episodes per month, and 35% have one to three severe headaches each month (Stewart et al., 1992). In economic terms, the impact of migraine is enormous: an estimated 14% of females, and 8% of males missed a portion of, or an entire day of work or school in one month (Linet et al., 1989). Migraine has been estimated to account for an economic impact of $1.2 to $17.2 billion annually in the U.S.A. in terms of lost productivity (Lipton et al., 1993). In 1990 studies were published outlining the biochemical basis of migraine treatment in serotonin receptor pharmacology (Peroutka, 1990). It was this research that led to the development of the first drugs active on serotonin receptor subtypes, sumatriptan, and ondansetron. However, despite the justifiable success of sumatriptan in treating acute migraine, problems remain. Although rapidly active subcutaneously, its oral absorption is relatively slow, and often unreliable in the migraineur. Sumatriptan and its analogues are ineffective when administered in the "aura phase" of classic migraine (Ferrari and Saxena, 1995). Additionally, headache recurrence after "triptan" 5-HT1D agonist agents is a not infrequent occurrence. Unfortunately, repetitive dosing, and development of agents with longer half-lives does not seem to avert the issue (Ferrari and Saxena, 1995). Another curiosity in the development of sumatriptan is its relative inability to pass the blood-brain barrier. Once more, the development of newer agents with improved central nervous system penetration has not necessarily improved efficacy, but does increase the likelihood of side effects, such as chest and throat tightness, numbness, tingling, anxiety, etc. (Ferrari and Saxena, 1995; Mathew, 1997). Ultimately disappointing, none of the triptan drugs seems to exert any benefit on the frequency of migraine incidence, unlike dihydroergotamine, which has degree of prophylactic benefit. Thus, it is the author's contention that this group of agents, though impressive, may represent somewhat of a "therapeutic dead end." Especially considering the large percentages of migraineurs who either fail to respond to the triptans, or can not tolerate them, there seems to be definite need for alternative treatment agents. The author believes that the issue of medical marijuana, and its possible role in migraine treatment deserves proper scientific examination, both biochemically and clinically. Results of controlled clinical trials may be valuable for migraineurs and professionals who treat them because there is a strong need for additional medications that will effectively this condition in its acute state. At this time, the best available medication, injected sumatriptan (Imitrex) has been ineffective in up to 30% of patients, or has produced undesirable side effects for up to 66% when administered subcutaneously (Mathew, 1997). The available evidence seems to suggest that smoked Cannabis would be a far safer alternative than butorphanol nasal spray (Stadol-NS), which, heretofore, has been an unscheduled drug approved in the U.S.A. for migraine treatment despite its addictive potential and unfavorable side effect profile (Fisher and Glass, 1997). Conclusions: 1) Cannabis, whether ingested, or smoked, has a long history of reportedly safe and effective use in the treatment and prophylaxis of migraine. 2) Cannabis has a mild but definite analgesic effect in its own right. 3) Cannabis seems to affect nociceptive processes in the brain, and may interact with serotonergic and other pathways implicated in migraine. 4) Cannabis is reportedly an effective anti-emetic, a useful property in migraine treatment. 5) Cannabis, even when abused, has mild addiction potential, and seems to be safe in moderate doses, particularly under the supervision of a physician. 6) Cannabis' primary problem as a medicine lies in its possible pulmonary effects, which seem to be minimal in occasional, intermittent use. 7) Cannabis when inhaled, is rapidly active, obviates the need for gastrointestinal absorption (impaired markedly in migraine), and may be titrated to the medical requirement of the patient for symptomatic relief. 8) Cannabis delivered by pyrolysis in the form a marijuana cigarette, or "joint," presents the hypothetical potential for quick, effective parenteral treatment of acute migraine. In closing, a quotation seems pertinent (Schultes, 1973): There can be no doubt that a plant that has been in partnership with man since the beginnings of agricultural efforts, that has served man in so many ways, and that, under the searchlight of modern chemical study, has yielded many new and interesting compounds will continue to be a part of man's economy. It would be a luxury that we could ill afford if we allowed prejudices, resulting from the abuse of Cannabis, to deter scientists from learning as much as possible about this ancient and mysterious plant. Acknowledgements: The author would like to thank the following individuals: Rick Doblin and Sylvia Thiessen of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), for financial support, and continued advice and suggestions. Paulette Cote of Western Montana Clinic Library, and the Inter-Library Loan Department at the Mansfield Library of the University of Montana for wonderful service in locating obscure references. Drs. Tod Mikuriya and Lester Grinspoon for provision of books, suggestions and encouragement. Drs. Keith Parker and Vernon Grund of the Department of Pharmacy, University of Montana for their guidance and good sense. Drs. Varro Tyler and Dennis McKenna for their inspiration and the confidence they engendered. Dr. Donald Abrams for his continuing efforts in pursuit of medical indications for Cannabis. The Herbal Research Foundation and NAPRALERT for assistance on ethnobotanical information. Dr. Samir Ross for his initial guidance on my inquiries about experimental research on Cannabis. Marie-Jose Thibault, Deborah Somerville, and Penny King for their faithfulness and "morale support." Ultimately, to Dr. Mark Russo, for reasons he alone will understand. References: Agurell, S., Halldin, M., Lindgren, J-E, Ohlsson, A., Widman, M., Gillespie, H. and Hollister, L., Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism of Delta-1-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Other Cannabinoids with Emphasis on Man, Pharmacol. Rev., 38 (1986) 21-43. AJPH, Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis, Amer. J. Pub. Health, 86 (1996) 441-442. Brunner, T.F., Marijuana in Ancient Greece and Rome?: the Literary Evidence, J. Psychedel. Drugs, 9 (1977) 221-225. Camp, W.H., The Antiquity of Hemp as an Economic Plant, J. N.Y, Bot. Gard., 37 (1936) 110-114. Chait, L.D., and Zacny, J.P., Reinforcing and Subjective Effects of oral Delta-9-THC and Smoked Marijuana in Humans, Psychopharmacol., 107 (1992) 255-262. Chiang, C.N. and Barnett, G., Marijuana Effect and Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol Plasma Level, Clin. Pharm. Therap., 36 (1984) 234-238. Chopra, I.C. and Chopra, R.W., The Use of Cannabis Drugs in India, Bull. on Narcotics, 9 (1957) 4-29. Co, B.T., Goodwin, D.W., Gado, M., Mikhael, M. and Hill, S.Y., Absence of Cerebral Atrophy in Chronic Cannabis Users by Computerized Transaxial Tomography, JAMA, 237 (1977) 1229-1230. Cohen, S., The 94-Day Cannabis Study, Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 282 (1976) 211-220. Comitas, L., Cannabis and Work in Jamaica: A Refutation of the Amotivational Syndrome, Ann. NY Acad. Sci., 282 (1976) 211-220. Darmsteter, J. (trans.), The Zend-Avesta, Part I, The Venddd, Oxford, London, 1895, 389 pp. Devane, W.A., Hanus, L., Breuer, A., Pertwee, R.G., Stevenson, L.A., Griffin, G., Gibson, D., Mandelbaum, A., Etinger, A. and Mechoulam, R., Isolation and Structure of a Brain Constituent That Binds to the Cannabinoid Receptor, Science, 258 (1992) 1946-1949. El-Mallakh, R.F., Marijuana and Migraine, Headache, 27 (1987) 442-443. Fan, P., Cannabinoid Agonists Inhibit the Activation of 5-HT3 Receptors in Rat Nodose Ganglion Neurons, J. Neurophys., 73 (1995) 907-910. Ferrari, M.D., and Saxena, P.R., 5-HT1 Receptors in Migraine Pathophysiology and Treatment, Europ. J. Neurol., 2 (1995) 5-21. Fishbein, M., Migraine Associated with Menstruation, JAMA, 237 (1942) 326. Fisher, M.A., and Glass, S., Butorphanol (Stadol): A Study in Problems of Current Drug Information and Control, Neurol., 48 (1997) 1156-1160. Foltin, R.W., Fischman, M.W. and Byrne, M.F., Effects of Smoked Marijuana on Food Intake and Body Weight of Humans Living in a Residential Laboratory, Appetite, 11 (1988) 1-14. Fride, E. and Mechoulam, R., Pharmacological Activity of the Cannabinoid Receptor Agonist, Anandamide, a Brain Constituent, Europ. J. Pharmacol., 231 (1993) 313-314. Gieringer, D., Waterpipe Study, Bull. of Multidisc. Assoc. For Psychedel. Stud., 6 (1996) 59-63. Goadsby, P.J. and Gundlach, A. L., Localization of [3H]-Dihydroergotamine Binding Sites in the Cat Central Nervous System: Relevance to Migraine, Ann. Neurol., 29 (1991) 91-94. Grinspoon, L. and Bakalar, J.B., Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine, Yale Univ., New Haven, 1993, 184 pp. Grinspoon, L. and Bakalar, J.B., Marihuana as Medicine: A Plea for Reconsideration, JAMA, 273 (1995) 1875. Hall, W., Solowij, N. and Lemon, J., The Health and Psychological Consequences of Cannabis Use, National Drug Strategy Monograph Series No. 25, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Australia, 1995. Herkenham, M.A., Localization of Cannabinoid Receptors in Brain: Relationship to Motor and Reward Systems. In: Biological Basis of Substance Abuse, Oxford Univ. Press, New York and London, 1993, pp. 187-200. Hollister, L.E., Health Aspects of Cannabis, Pharmacol. Rev., 38 (1986) 1-20. Kuehnle, J., Mendelson, J.H., Davis, K.R. and New, P.F.J., Computed Tomographic Examination of Heavy Marihuana Smokers, JAMA, 237 (1977) 1231-1232. Li, Hui-Lin, An Archaeological and Historical Account of Cannabis in China, Econ. Bot., 28 (1974) 437-448. Lichtman, A.H., Cook, S.A., and Martin, B.R., Investigation of Brain Sites Mediating Cannabinoid-Induced Antinociception in Rats: Evidence Supporting Periaqueductal Gray Involvement, J. Pharmacol. Exper. Therap., 276 (1996) 585-593. Linet, M.S., Stewart, W.F., Celentano, D.D., An Epidemiological Study of Headache Among Adolescents and Young Adults, JAMA, 261 (1989) 2211-2216. Lipton, R.B., Stewart, W.F., Migraine in the United States: Epidemiology and Health Care Use, Neurol., 43(suppl.) (1993) 6-10. Martin, B.R., Cellular Effects of Cannabinoids, Pharmacol. Rev., 38 (1986) 45-74. Mason, A.P. et al., Cannabis: Pharmacology and Interpretation of Effects, J. Forens. Sci., 30 (1985) 615-631. Mathew, N.T., Serotonin 1D (5-HT 1D) Agonists and Other Agents in Acute Migraine, Neurol. Clinics, 15 (1997) 61-83. Mikuriya, T.H. (ed.), Marijuana: Medical Papers 1839-1972, Medi-Comp Press, Oakland, CA, 1973, 465 pp. Milstein, S.L., MacCannell, K., Karr, G. and Clark, S., Marijuana-Produced Changes in Pain Tolerance: Experienced and Non-Experienced Subjects, Int. Neuropsychiatr., 10 (1975) 177-182. Noyes, R. and Baram, D.A., Cannabis Analgesia, Compr. Psychiatr. 15 (1974) 531-535. Noyes, R., Brunk, F., Baram, D.A. and Canter, A., Analgesic Effect of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, J. Clin. Pharmacol., 15 (1975) 134-143. Noyes, R., Brunk, F., Avery, D.H. and Canter, A., The Analgesic Properties of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Codeine, Clin. Pharmacol. Ther., 18 (1975) 84-89. Osler, W. and McCrae, T., The Principles and Practice of Medicine, Appleton and Co., New York and London, 1915, 1225 pp. Peroutka, S.J., Developments in 5-Hydroxytryptamine Receptor Pharmacology in Migraine, Neurol. Clinics 8 (1990) 829-839. Russo, E.B., Medora, R., Parker, K. and Thompson, C., Schedule 1 Research Protocol: An Investigation of Psychedelic Plants and Compounds for Activity in Serotonin Receptor Assays for Headache Treatment and Prophylaxis, Bull. Multidisc. Assoc. Psychedel. Stud. 7 (1997) 4-8. Schultes, R.E., Man and Marijuana, Nat. Hist. 82 (1973) 59-63, 80, 82. Schultes, R.E., Klein, W.M., Plowman, T. and Lockwood, T.E., Cannabis: An Example of Taxonomic Neglect, Bot. Mus. Leafl. Harv. Univ., 23 (1974) 337-367. Sidney, S., Beck, J.E., Tekawa, I.S., Quesenberry, C.P., and Friedman, G.D., Marijuana Use and Mortalilty, Am. J. Publ. Health, 87 (1997) 585-590. Smith, R., Editorial: The War on Drugs, Brit. Med. J., 311 (1995) 23-30. Stewart, W.F., Lipton, R.B., Celantano, D.D., Prevalence of Migraine Headache in the United States, JAMA, 267 (1992) 64-69. Volfe, Z., Dvilansky, A., and Nathan, I., Cannabinoids Block Release of Serotonin from Platelets by Plasma from Migraine Patients, Int. J. Clin. Pharm. Res., 4 (1985) 243-246. Voth, E.A., and Schwartz, R.H., Medical Applications of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol and Marijuana, Ann. Int. Med., 126 (1997) 791-798. Walton, R.P., Marihuana: Americas's New Drug Problem: A Sociologic Question with its Basic Explanation Dependent on Biologic and Medical Principles, J.B. Lippincott, Philadelphia, 1938, 223 pp. Weber, J.T., O'Connor, M-F, Hayakataka, K., Colson, N., Medora, R., Russo, E.B., and Parker, K.K., Activity of Parthenolide at 5HT2A Receptors, J. Natl. Prod., 60 (1997) in press. Young, F.L., In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition, Dept. of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. Docket 86-22. Washington, D.C.: Drug Enforcement Administration, September 6, 1988. Forwarded by: Arthur Livermore alive@pacifier.com 503-436-1882 Forwarded by Chuck Conrad (310) 542-6013 cpconrad@twow.com chuck@freecannabis.org http://www.freecannabis.org http://www.hempmuseum.org/ http://www.druglibrary.org "The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." -- Camus *** Non-Testers List (NTList) news list. A consumer guide to anti-drug testing companies. http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443/ntl.html To Join or Leave NTList send "join ntlist" or "leave ntlist" in the TEXT area to: ntlist-request@fornits.com Don't forget "ntlist" in your command. For Help, just send "help". List owner: thehemperor@webtv.net (JR Irvin)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Online Drug Policy Poll ('North Shore News' In Vancouver,
British Columbia Wants To Know What Direction You Think
Canadian Drug Policy Should Take)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Online drug policy poll!
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 10:49:31 -0700
Lines: 20
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: North Shore News (Vancouver)
Contact: editor@nsnews.com
Pubdate: Week of May 25, 1998

http://www.nsnews.com/cgi-bin/vcenter.cgi?action=results&topic=052498a

How would you revamp the drug laws in this country?

How would you revamp the drug laws in this country? [11 votes total]

Legalize all drugs 5 (45%)

Legalize only "soft drugs" like marijuana 0 (0%)

Legalize only for medical purposes 2 (18%)

Leave as is 1 (9%)

Make drug laws tougher 3 (37%)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Coalition Declares 'Global Days Against The Drug War' June 5-10
(Press Release About The Worldwide Effort By More Than 90 Organisations
Who Have United To Form The 'Global Coalition For Alternatives
To The Drug War' - Events In 40 Cities Worldwide Coincide
With The United Nations Special Session Of The General Assembly
On Drugs, Or UNGASS)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 07:04:07 EDT
Reply-To: hbego@knoware.nl
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Harry Bego (hbego@knoware.nl)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: P R E S S R E L E A S E

P R E S S R E L E A S E

COALITION DECLARES 'GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR', JUNE 5-10
90 reform organisations unite - events in 40 cities worldwide

NEW YORK (May 25) - Drug policy reform groups all over the world will
declare the 'Global Days against the Drug War', to be held Friday June 5th
through Wednesday 10th. Events to promote alternative drug policies will
take place in more than 40 cities, at the occasion of the United Nations
Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs, UNGASS, which starts
Monday June 8th.

More than 90 organisations have recently united to form the 'Global
Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War'. These organisations insist that
it is of great importance that proposals for drug policy reform are heard
during the coming UN session. The coalition is issuing a declaration that
will be presented in New York at the Non-Governmental Organisations
conference that is part of UNGASS, and that will be published widely in the
coming weeks.

UNGASS was originally conceived as a critical examination of worldwide
anti-drug policy. Under the guidance of repressive forces inside the UN, the
focus of the session has been narrowed, however. According to the new
guidelines, only the expansion of existing policies will be open for discussion.

"In terms of crime, economic and financial damage, and social and personal
harm, drug prohibition is turning into a worldwide crisis. Now the United
Nations aims to escalate drug repression tactics in a misguided quest
towards a drug free society", according to Olivier Dupuis, a European MP and
Secretary of the Transnational Radical Party, a coalition member
organisation. Dupuis adds: "A commitment of U.N. member states to escalate
the drug war will constitute a sort of solemn war declaration at the climax
of a global defeat".

The Global Days against the Drug War will feature discussion forums,
demonstrations, seminars, press conferences, street parties, publications,
concerts, a congress, and other types of events. A congress will be held in
Paris, Friday 5th and Saturday 6th, with a demonstration at the Paris UN
delegation on Sunday 7th. An event featuring well-known speakers will take
place in San Francisco on the 6th. A street party in Amsterdam on June 6th
is expected to attract thousands to state their desire for an end to the
drug war in a joyful way, and a demonstration is planned to take place in
New York on Monday 8th.
The 'Global Coalition' is planning a forum to be held inside the UN on
Tuesday June 9th, in cooperation with the European Council on Drugs and
Development, an organisation that has established a coalition of 50
organisations working in the field of north-south relations. Other
organisations around the world are planning their own version of the Global
Days against the Drug War.

"To anyone who is aware of the damage, physical and emotional, inflicted by
drug prohibition, it is obvious that what is needed is not an escalated drug
war, but reform policies aimed at reducing the damage currently done",
states Arno Adelaars, one of the speakers at a forum in Amsterdam on Sunday
June 7th, and a member of the Amsterdam-based Recreational Drugs Committee.
"It is heartening to see how many individuals and organisations are ready to
stand up and express themselves; many concerned people have taken this
chance to make an unequivocal statement that enough harm has been done, that
it is time to stop and think again".
He adds, "An impressive number of reform organisations exists. If UNGASS
will have one positive effect, it will be that the drug policy reform
movement is going to stand united and become stronger because of it. More
and more people are convinced that drug prohibition has been a tragic
mistake. Politicians should finally find the courage to admit that as well."

The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War currently consists of
more than 90 organisations. Among them are the Drug Reform Coordination
Network, the National Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws,
Coordinamento Radicale Antiprohibizionista, the November Coalition, the
Campaign for Equity-Restorative Justice, the Transnational Radical Party,
Common Sense for Drug Policy, the Legalize! Initiative, the Media Awareness
Project, the American Society for Action on Pain, Compassionate Care
Alliance, the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp, FORUM
DROGHE, the National Alliance of Methadone Advocates, Mothers against Misuse
and Abuse, and many other organisations.

The Global Days against the Drug War take place in a.o. Amsterdam, Berlin,
Bonn, Dallas, Hamburg, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, New
York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Seattle, Sydney, Stockholm, Tallinn,
Tel Aviv, Washington, Wellington. The declaration of the Global Coalition
against the Drug War, information about the coalition member organisations,
about the events taking place, about the UN panel, and contact information
for the local events, is available at:
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

For further information please contact:

Kevin Zeese, Falls Church, VA, USA, +1-703-354-5694, kevzeese@laser.net
Adam Smith, Washington DC, USA, +1-202-293-8340, ajsmith@intr.net
Harry Bego, Utrecht, the Netherlands, +31-30-2316118, hbego@knoware.nl

or write to: coalition@stopthedrugwar.org

P R E S S R E L E A S E
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Tonner's 'Truth' A Sore Point (A Letter Sent To The Editor
Of 'The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Suggests
Its Police Columnist And Apologist For The Drug War, Mark Tonner,
Is Too Sensitive To Criticism, Considering His Attack On Fellow Constable
And Drug Policy Reform Advocate Gil Puder)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 11:41:57 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: Re: Tonner's 'truth' a sore point (fwd)
To: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
Cc: marcuspt@direct.ca

To the editors,

Pity poor Mark Tonner. After writing a poisonous, snide and utterly
vacuous column directed at fellow officer Gil Puder for having the
audacity to question the wisdom of our current approach to the drug
problem, some of your readers have apparently taken him to task.
Apparently he has a sore spot for incivility.

I confess that I've looked long and hard at Constable Tonner's articles
for some semblance of the "truth" he claims to possess. Frankly, I can't
find it. He claims to have compassion for drug users (who doesn't?), yet
his chief line of work (apart from scribbling) puts him in the position of
locking people into cages. In light of the shocking spread of AIDS, Hepatitis
C and tuberculosis amongst the incarcerated in Canada, one could hardly
cast our current policy as "compassionate". And I am still waiting for one
of our politicians to explain to me how we expect to stop drugs flowing
into the country when we can't keep them out of our prisons. Would
Canstable Tonner care to take a shot at it?

This has been pointed out to Constable Tonner before. I'm quite sure that
he's taken the time to read Vince Cain's report, and he claims to be
"listening". Yet, we get more of the same failed policies. One can
only point out the obvious to people in power before the tone of the
debate sours. No one is so blind as those who refuse to see.

Constable Tonner, I have a modest suggestion; If you can't stand the heat,
maybe you should consider removing your e-mail address from circulation.
Perhaps the absence of dissenting voices in your mailbox would give you
the satisfaction of believing that a consensus exists in the public.

Kelly T. Conlon
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Tonner's 'Truth' A Sore Point For Some Readers (Another Letter
Sent To The Editor Of 'The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia,
Responds To Misrepresentations Of Her Earlier Letter
By The Newspaper's Cop Columnist, Mark Tonner)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 22:59:14 -0700
Subject: Sent: LTE - Re: Tonner's 'truth' a sore point for some readers
From: "Deb Harper" (cozmi@shaw.wave.ca)
To: mattalk (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com)

To the Editor:

Mark Tonner asks if it is mean-spirited or offensive to hope that the
truth will be back in style. In Marks's case, he exemplifies that truth is
in the mind of the beholder. His editorial implies that any seething passion
to discover it in this lifetime is simmering away somewhere in the distant
recesses of his mind.

I am wondering why he chose to insinuate my letter was insulting when it
could have equally been presented as encouraging. He could have quoted me as
saying, "Mark must remember that illegal drug users do not view the police
as their friends but I do applaud his efforts to reach out."

He chose to quote me as insisting soul-searching should be left to
psychiatrists, support groups and friends to get to the roots of our
problems. What I wrote was, "Psychologists, support groups, friends and a
little soul searching is how we address the root of the problems." Someone
experienced in soul-searching would notice the difference.

I also mentioned if he is serious about wanting to help these kids he will
either have to match the integrity of Gil Puder or hang up the uniform that
embodies symbolism that these kids are uncomfortable with.

I stand by my words (unless future columns indicate a genuine search for
truth). Does he?

Debra Harper
-------------------------------------------------------------------

10 Point Plan By ADLRF (List Subscriber Posts A Harm Reduction Agenda
From The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation)

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 17:03:28 EDT
Reply-To: petrew@pcug.org.au
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
Precedence: first-class
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Ten Point plan by ADLRF

-- The following is the original message --

Date: Mon, 25 May 1998 10:46:12 +1100
Subject: re: 10 point plan for drug law reform from Australia
From: "Alex" (awodak@stvincents.COM.AU)
To: petrew@pcug.org.au

Dear Friends,

I would be grateful if you could distribute this widely through the
information superhighway. I am not up to that sort of thing myself
unfortunately. This plan was drawn up during a weekend meeting of the
Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation by a large group which included
families and friends of drug users, drug users, politicians (serving and
retired), community workers, a former policeman and a clinician. Grateful
thanks to all who contributed.

Best wishes,
Alex Wodak,
President,
Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

THE AUSTRALIAN DRUG LAW REFORM FOUNDATION
A TEN POINT PLAN FOR EFFECTIVE DRUG LAWS

Prohibition has not worked. It causes increased corruption, crime, disease
and death. We aim to take the profit out of the illicit drug industry and
effectively confront Australia's illicit drug problem. Therefore we
advocate the following:

1 Treat drug use as a health and social issue, not a law enforcement
problem.

2 Maintain penalties for unauthorised, large scale (defined) cultivation,
production, transport, sale and possession of all drugs.

3 Fund equally law enforcement, education and treatment.

4 Provide well funded, research based, effective, drug education for the
community and schools to be developed by education and health
professionals.

5 Remove criminal sanctions for the personal use of illicit drugs.

6 Regulate and tax commercial production and sale of cannabis.

7 Expand drug treatment and needle exchange programs to meet demand and
establish safe injecting facilities.

8 Adopt non-custodial sentencing options such as drug treatment,
counselling or community service orders for those apprehended for minor
drug related offences.

9 Trial and rigorously evaluate a wide range of treatment options including
the medical prescription of heroin.

10 Expand Australia's successful harm reduction approach to drugs for the
benefit and well-being of all members of the community.

For further information call the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation:
International TN (612) 6205 0166
final draft: Monday, May 25, 1998

Dr Alex Wodak, Director
Alcohol & Drug Service, St. Vincent's Hospital, 366 Victoria Street,
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010, Australia
Tel: (612) 9361 2439, Fax: (612) 9361 2498
Email: awodak@stvincents.com.au
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Addicts At The Mercy Of Jail's 'Drug Supermarket' ('Irish Times'
Interviews A Heroin Addict Who's Spent Most Of His Injecting Years In Prison)

Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 21:36:14 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Addicts At The Mercy Of Jail's 'drug Supermarket'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: Irish Times
Author: Roddy O'Sullivan
Pubdate: 25 May 1998
Contact: The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

ADDICTS AT THE MERCY OF JAIL'S 'DRUG SUPERMARKET'

Dermot Fitzpatrick spent 18 years taking heroin and spent most of that time
in prison. He describes prison as being "like a drugs supermarket". "You
walk around for a while and you'll have four or five people asking you what
you're looking for. They're actually selling drugs.

"There are non-users sharing with addicts who are leaving syringes and
spikes all over the cells. People are going down to Portlaoise and Shelton
Abbey just to get away from it, and their families have major difficulty in
visiting them."

When Dermot served his first prison sentence at the end of the 1970s, he
told prison doctors he had a drug problem. They gave him a sleeping tablet.

"They weren't used to people coming in the way they come now. There were no
detox or maintenance programmes then. Over the years, the prison management
have set up some programmes, but I don't think enough is being done.

"People might get a two or three-week maintenance and detoxification crash
course in prison even if they've been on physeptone or heroin for years,
and that's it.

"The money that's going on prisons is being spent on security - more cages
or more barbed wire - and there's nothing geared towards programmes for
prisoners. "It costs a lot of money to look after these people medically
when they leave prison without having had any treatment. Combination
therapy for HIV costs between [pounds] 12,000 and [pounds] 16,000 a year.

"There's no counselling or no support for people getting out of prison
either. People with drug problems are sent out with a black bag full of
their possessions and they're lucky if they have [pounds] 5 in their prison
accounts for a taxi home."

Dermot knows from his own experience the ease with which exprisoners fall
back into the habit of "scoring" heroin and stealing to pay for it. "I was
getting out of prison and I wasn't doing anything about my addiction. I was
hanging around the same people. Within a couple of weeks, I was strung out
again and back involved in crime.

"I had to do something very drastic to get off drugs. The last time I got
out of prison, I blanked all my friends. I told them not to knock on my
door anymore and that I didn't want to go drinking with them because I
wanted to get away from the drugs scene. It was the hardest thing I ever
had to do.

"It's even harder in prison. As soon as you open your mouth, it's all over
prison, and then you've prisoners slagging you, you might get a beating.
Why aren't there progressive programmes set up that allow people to take
that step forward?"
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Report Shows Jail Tests Ineffective On Heroin Use ('Irish Times'
Says The Irish Penal Reform Trust Heard A Report This Weekend
From Mr Kimmett Edgar Of The Oxford University Centre
For Criminological Research, Who Studied Mandatory Drug Testing
In Five Prisons In England, And Concluded It Is Much More Effective
In Stopping Prisoners From Using Cannabis Than It Is
In Ending Their Heroin Habits)

Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 20:51:42 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Report Shows Jail Tests Ineffective On Heroin Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: Irish Times
Author: Roddy O'Sullivan
Pubdate: 25 May 1998
Contact: The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland
Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407

REPORT SHOWS JAIL TESTS INEFFECTIVE ON HEROIN USE

Mandatory drug testing in prison is much more effective in stopping
prisoners from using cannabis than it is in ending their heroin habit, a
conference on drugs in prison heard at the weekend.

The Irish Penal Reform Trust heard a report from Mr Kimmett Edgar, a
research officer at the Oxford University Centre for Criminological
Research who studied mandatory drug testing in five prisons in England.

Under the mandatory drug testing regime introduced in all penal
establishments in England and Wales by 1996, punishments for prisoners who
tested positive for drugs included added days in prison, loss of privileged
jobs, and being put on closed visits.

Mr Edgar's study involved 148 prisoners in five prisons in England and
Wales. Only 37 of the prisoners claimed they did not use drugs in prison.
The study reported that over half (52 per cent) of the remaining 111
prisoners said the increased risk of detection and sanctions as a result of
drug testing had "a substantial impact on their drug misuse".

Thirty (27 per cent) of the prisoners who said they had formerly taken
drugs in prison claimed to have stopped completely. Some 17 said they had
reduced their consumption.

However, the testing had widely varying effects on the consumption of
different drugs. While almost half (46 per cent) of those in the study who
used cannabis in prison but not heroin, said that the testing had
encouraged them to stop using cannabis, only 13 per cent of those who used
heroin in custody said it had stopped them from using the drug.

This may reflect the fact that heroin remains detectable in the body for a
shorter time than cannabis. Four prisoners said they had tried heroin for
the first time and cut down their cannabis use because of mandatory drug
testing, while 11 multi-drug users altered the balance of their drugtaking
in order to increase their chances of escaping detection.

While the punishment of more time in prison if tested positive was a factor
influencing some prisoners' behaviour, Mr Edgar's study found the prospect
of losing temporary release, good prison jobs and visiting privileges were
more important factors influencing prisoners' drug-taking.

Mr Edgar cautioned that testing led to increased tension between staff and
inmates and that the punishment of more time in prison adds to the prison
population. He also drew attention to the fact that a significantly lower
proportion of English and Welsh prisoners used heroin than was the case in
some Irish prisons.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

Top
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.

Comments, questions and suggestions. E-mail

Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/

Next day's news
Previous day's news

Back to 1998 Daily News index for May 21-27

Back to Portland NORML news archive directory

Back to 1998 Daily News index (long)

This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980525.html

Home