------------------------------------------------------------------- OCTA Needs Money (Paul Stanford, A Chief Petitioner For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, Says The Campaign Paid Almost $1,500 For Signatures Just Today - Make A Donation With Your Credit Card From The OCTA Web Site) Sender: email@example.com Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 20:03:13 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "D. Paul Stanford" (email@example.com) Subject: OCTA needs $ Dear octa99 subscriber: Just today we spent $1,459.40 just on paying petitioners for signatures. Yikes! Please donate. We have the organization running to gather more than enough signatures to put this on the ballot by the end of next month. We need more money NOW! We are also looking for loans, with interest and collateral, to finance the petition drive. If you can't afford to donate, please loan money. Please contact us for more details and please help. Also, every two signatures a person gathers as a volunteer saves us a dollar. Thanks! Yours truly, D. Paul Stanford 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, amended 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 CRRH PO Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone:(503) 235-4606 Fax:(503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- CMA Backs Rescheduling Of Marijuana At State Summit On Medical Marijuana Distribution (Press Release From California NORML Says The California Medical Association Announced A Major Policy Shift Today At The Medical Marijuana 'Summit' In Sacramento - The State Senate Appropriations Committee Also Approved Senator John Vasconcellos' SB 1887, Establishing A Task Force To Study How To Implement A Medical Marijuana Distribution System) Subject: DPFCA: CMA Endorses Medical MJ at Summit Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 23:27:08 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) CMA Backs Rescheduling of Marijuana at State Summit on Medical Marijuana Distribution SACRAMENTO, May 26, 1998: At a statewide summit on medical marijuana distribution sponsored by State Senate Public Safety Committee Chairman John Vasconcellos, the California Medical Association announced today that it supports rescheduling marijuana as a prescription drug. The announcement marked a major policy shift for the CMA, which had previously taken the position that more research was needed before making marijuana medically available. Other speakers at the summit represented a broad spectrum of viewpoints, ranging from law enforcement and public health officials to patient advocates and providers. Setting the keynote for the conference, Proposition 215 campaign director Bill Zimmerman of Americans for Medical Rights called for state legislation to tackle the medical marijuana distribution problem, saying that the problem was not going away. Attorneys Daniel Abrahamson and Gerald Uelmen challenged the notion that medical marijuana distribution is necessarily illegal under federal law, arguing that the Controlled Substances Act exempts state and local officials enforcing local ordinances, and that medical marijuana patients' cooperatives are not engaged in unlawful distribution, but in "joint possession." Assistant state attorney general John Gordnier argued that Proposition 215 did not authorize any sort of distribution system, and that the state should work within the framework of the federal drug approval system in constructing one. Other law enforcement representatives expressed discomfort with the present law and said they would prefer that marijuana were federally rescheduled. San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan called for legislation to let cities establish medical marijuana clinics, while San Mateo County Supervisor Mike Nevin announced that he was meeting with FDA officials to establish a $50,000 county-funded research program. Medical marijuana dispensary directors Jeff Jones of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club, Valerie Corral of the Women's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, and Scott Imler of the West Hollywood Cannabis Resource Center bore witness to the efficacy of patients' cooperatives in providing medical marijuana. Noting that federal approval of medical marijuana is likely to require several years, California NORML director Dale Gieringer argued that coops would continue to be the only reliable source of medicine for many patients. Though there was a general consensus on the need for further changes in law to provide legal access to medical marijuana, it remains unclear what specific legislative proposals, if any, may eventuate from the summit. In other developments, the State Senate Appropriations Committee approved Sen. Vasconcellos' bill SB 1887 to establish a task force to study how to implement a medical marijuana distribution system. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- California Lawmakers Ask Clinton Help In Marijuana Fight ('Reuters' Says A Group Of California State Legislators Held A Medical Marijuana 'Summit' Tuesday In Sacramento - Senator John Vasconcellos Released A Letter Signed By 24 Other Lawmakers Asking President Clinton To Help Resolve The Impasse Blocking The State From Implementing Its 1996 Law Permitting Medical Marijuana Use) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 11:20:25 -0400 From: Scott Dykstra
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - Huh Sender: email@example.com 09:36 PM ET 05/26/98 Calif. lawmakers ask Clinton help in marijuana fight By Suzanne Marmion SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - A group of California state legislators Tuesday asked President Clinton to help resolve the impasse blocking the state from implementing its 1996 law permitting medical marijuana use. At a ``summit'' to discuss the medical marijuana problem, state Sen. John Vasconcellos released a letter to Clinton signed by 24 other lawmakers which said California's clash with the Justice Department could be repeated around the country as other states consider legalizing medical use of the drug. ''Let's get together to collaboratively resolve these issues now, so efforts in other states can reflect a sound working model developed by all stakeholders, including the federal government,'' the letter said. The letter marked the latest plea to Clinton from local California officials, who have watched state and federal courts rule against the clubs which provide marijuana to sick people suffering from AIDS, cancer and other illnesses. While medical mhe state senate's Committee on Public Safety, Dr. Mitchell Katz from the San Francisco Health Department said he needs marijuana for patients suffering from AIDS. ``We want to be able to retain access to marijuana for our citizens,'' Katz said, ``And we're concerned with the recent rulings that the clubs that provide these services will have to close down, and that therefore residents will not have access to marijuana even when they have an appropriate recommendation from their physician.'' The ``buyer's clubs'' came above ground after voters passed California's Proposition 215 in 1996, a measure which approved the possession and use of marijuana by seriously ill patients under the direction of a doctor. But they have faced an uphill legal battle since. John Gordnier, of the California Department of Justice, said that the law has been impossible to implement. Justice Department officials declined to attend the summit, citing ongoing federal litigation against three northern California marijuana clubs. Many of those who did attend agreed that the clubs, some of which have developed a wild reputation, were not an ideal outlet for the drug. Several doctors said they would prefer to see marijuana dispensed under the control of regular pharmacies. Dr. Neil Flynn who cares for AIDS patients at the University of California Davis Medical Center, said it was frustrating to see marijuana outlawed while much more potent drugs are regularly used to treat patients. ``We can relieve... pain with morphine or morphine derivatives or narcotics, and yet we appear to be helpless in relieving the severe discomfort of nausea,'' Flynn said. Medical marijuana advocates say one of its main benefits is relieving the nausea caused by other drugs used to treat AIDS and cancer. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Patients Battle Pain At LA Cannabis Resource Center ('Los Angeles Times' Portrays Scott Imler And His Los Angeles Medical Marijuana Dispensary, Now In West Hollywood) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:26:36 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Patients Battle Pain At LA Cannabis Resource Center Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author:John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writer Note from Newshawk: Printed article includes nice photo of Scott Imler with herbs PATIENTS BATTLE PAIN AT LA CANNABIS RESOURCE CENTER Highs and Lows Drugs: Patients battle pain with marijuana at L.A. Cannabis Resource Center. But they fear it will be closed. Inside the cozy confines of her West Hollywood drug haven, the woman took a long luxurious toke from the self-rolled marijuana cigarette and held her breath for dear life. Almost immediately, the furrowed brow of the 38-year-old AIDS patient seemed to relax as she closed her eyes and sank back into the leather couch. Several times a day, she smokes marijuana to offset the painful side effects of 11 different medications she takes for her condition. "The pot makes the pain easier to bear," she said dreamily. "Mentally, it makes me feel like, 'OK, fine, I can handle anything.' " Here, in an airy room atop a Santa Monica Boulevard auto parts store, the woman purchases her marijuana, usually sitting right down on a couch to roll and smoke a joint. She's a member of the Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, the last-ditch supply line for 459 Southern Californians facing the pain and anxiety of a host of incurable diseases. But that drug supply--supposedly protected by Proposition 215, the 1996 state initiative that allows patients with certain serious illnesses to possess marijuana for medical use--is in jeopardy. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered six Northern California cannabis clubs to shut down for alleged illegal sales of the drug, siding with prosecutors who insisted that Proposition 215 did not legalize the clubs or any other kinds of distribution--merely the medical use of marijuana. In addition, the Justice Department wants the Cannabis Resource Center and five more still operating across the state to voluntarily close. Center President Scott Imler, 40, who smokes pot four times a day to counteract the pain from his epilepsy, says his staff of seven feels under siege. Including the recent closures, Imler said, the government has successfully shut down 23 of 29 medical marijuana clubs statewide since 1996, including ones in San Diego, Orange and Ventura counties. So far, Imler's club, which has earned a reputation among local civic and law enforcement officials as among the tightest-run ships in the legal marijuana supply business, has been a tougher nut to crack. Imler said some clubs deserved to be closed for failing to properly enforce guidelines set down in Proposition 215, whose language he co-wrote. Unlike his own center, others fail to make proper security checks on prospective members and sell to unqualified users. At the West Hollywood center, doctors' letters of diagnosis with authorization must be renewed and verified. No excuses. No exceptions. The licenses of participating physicians are checked and rechecked. In the last five years, a dozen members have been expelled for breaking club rules, including resale of the marijuana dispensed there. "I've seen some suppliers develop this 'pot-preneurial' spirit, where they think, 'Hey, we can make some money on this. We can make a career change,' " Imler said. "Some have relaxed the rules. And that has hurt everyone." Imler said he was never a big pot user until a 1983 skiing accident in which he cracked his head against a tree, resulting in seizures and migraines that didn't stop, even with barbiturates, until he started smoking marijuana. Now, a few tokes several times a day give him mental and physical peace, he said. The former special education teacher began working for medical marijuana laws and in 1992 moved from Santa Cruz to Santa Monica to push the cause and start a club. Eventually, his cannabis club was invited by West Hollywood officials to move to their city. Officials there continue to support Imler. * * * West Hollywood Mayor Steve Martin has a personal stake in the marijuana issue: He has seen how marijuana has eased the pain of friends dying of AIDS. "I have seen it make a huge difference in people's quality of life," he said. "For many people, this club is a godsend. It's got great community support, and there's a real commitment in West Hollywood to keep it open." This March, Martin wrote a letter to President Clinton asking for a moratorium on enforcement of federal drug laws that interfere with the daily operation of cannabis clubs like Imler's. "If the centers are shut down," Martin wrote, "many of these individuals will be compelled to search back alleys and street corners for their medicine. This will not only endanger their lives, but place an unnecessary burden on our police departments." In response to the federal court ruling that shut down half a dozen clubs, state Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), a supporter of medical marijuana, today will sponsor a summit to study other ways to distribute the drug legally. For the patients they supply, legitimate club operators such as Imler are true medical heroes, a last line of defense against a skeptical government that distrusts a drug that for everyone else in America is still illegal. Club statistics show that 70% of members have AIDS, 10% have various cancers and the rest have maladies ranging from multiple sclerosis to Lou Gehrig's disease. Last year, the club dispensed nearly 100 pounds of marijuana, grown either on the premises or under its supervision, providing a better-quality product than what is sold on the street. The government's reaction to their work, the cannabis clubs say, has been a modern day version of 1930s "Reefer Madness." In 1996, Imler was forced to temporarily move his shop to a West Hollywood church after a raid by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies--one prompted by a vindictive customer whom Imler said he turned away. And there continue to be security tests by unscrupulous users looking for an off-street drug supply line and by undercover agents seeking to infiltrate his club and eventually close it down. Last summer, Imler denied membership to a suspected federal undercover agent when his documents proved to be forged. More difficult are the times the club has been forced to turn away those with legitimate need but lacking authorization, such as the AIDS patient who was denied membership after his documents proved to be bogus. "Either he was too afraid to go to his doctor for permission or his doctor turned him down," Imler recalled. "I told him I was sympathetic but that we had our rules." Since its start, Imler's cannabis club has had no outdoor signage. There's no need for anyone to know where it is, other than local doctors and AIDS organizations--all of whom have the address, he says. To qualified members, the club dispenses marijuana with the cheerful precision of an iced mocha at Starbucks. Although the front doors are kept locked for security reasons, members choose from a daily menu that on one recent day included such blends as Orange Patty, McWeed No. 5 and Ethie's Delight, described as "a true delight. Dark Crystallized buds, lots of red hairs . . . a smooth smoke." Coming soon, the menu promised: Blends such as Super Haze. And Martha Jane. As well, there are marijuana-filled brownies, spice cakes, even Rice Krispies treats, for those bothered by smoke. The club's marijuana blends sell for $12 to $20 a gram, but Imler said that those in financial straits are merely asked to make a donation. Last year, he said, the club gave away nearly 20% of its yield, or 19 pounds of the drug. * * * No insurance companies will pay for the marijuana as part of medical coverage, Imler said. Even with annual limits per member, the club last year was only able to grow about 10% of the marijuana it needed, spending $375,000 to purchase from other covert growers. At the urging of West Hollywood officials, Imler said, the club is trying to meet demand for the current year by growing 250 plants in basement incubators that have the look and smell of their unsupervised cousins. "The mayor wasn't happy that we were spending so much money on the black market," Imler said. "I think he's right, we shouldn't be fueling such black market enterprises where we really have no control over where the profits eventually land." Buyers are allowed to smoke their joints in the nearby lounge, as long as they don't share their marijuana with anyone. On one wall hangs a sign encouraging such restraint: "Bogart That Joint," it reads, twisting a 1960s expression. Along with the fear of government crackdown, Imler says, comes the specter of the club's location being found out by the public. That concern turned to laughter recently when a billboard on top of the club's building was changed to an ad for new hair shampoo containing oil from hemp seed--also an ingredient in marijuana. The ad included a large picture of the telltale green hemp weed. "We were simply blown away by that ad," Imler said. "Two years of low-profile discretion, blown to smithereens in one afternoon." Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Deputies Shut Down City's Largest Marijuana Club (New 'Associated Press' Account In 'Orange County Register' Of Yesterday's News) Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 22:51:50 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: San Francisco Deputies Shut Down City's Largest Marijuana Club Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 26 May 1998 Author: Karyn Hunt, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO DEPUTIES SHUT DOWN CITY'S LARGEST MARIJUANA CLUB * Law Enforcement: Seven people are evicted and the locks are changed in the second raid of the 9,000-member medicinal club. SAN FRANCISCO - 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 judge's order. Four days after Superior Court Judge William Cahill declared the club a public nuisance, 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. The raid was the second time the 9,000-member club has been shut down. This time, deputies will remain around the clock to ensure that it does not reopen, Sheriff Mike Hennessey said. About three handfuls of dried marijuana and three dozen 4-inch plants were found, Hennessey said. Nobody was arrested. The raid was the latest skirmish over Proposition 215, the voter-approved measure legalizing marijuana for medical use in California. U.S. District 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. The court-imposed deadline to shut the club down was Wednesday. Co-founder Dennis Peron said the club had voluntarily shut down Saturday. It stopped distributing marijuana and was operating strictly as the headquarters for his gubernatorial campaign, Peron said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Sheriff Seals Doors Of Pot Club ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version) Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 22:54:07 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: S.F. Sheriff Seals Doors Of Pot Club Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Author: Tyra Lucile Mead, Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writers S.F. SHERIFF SEALS DOORS OF POT CLUB Fast reopening for Peron seems unlikely this time The doors to California's foremost center for medical marijuana were chained closed yesterday after San Francisco sheriff's deputies moved in and took over the club's five-story building on Market Street. A ``Closed'' sign was taped on the inside of the smoky glass doors at the building's entrance. Posted underneath it, on the outside, was a second sign: ``For Now.'' ``This is wrong and you know it's wrong and everyone knows it's wrong!'' hollered Dennis Peron, the club founder and gubernatorial candidate, to 250 club members who were milling around on the sidewalk outside the locked doors. ``We will appeal. We will reinvent ourselves. This is a temporary setback. We will come back like the phoenix.'' Club members, some in wheelchairs, held candles aloft and shouted support to Peron as he stood on a trash can to address them outside the building, on Market Street near Van Ness Avenue. If any were shocked when Peron coughed after taking a symbolic puff on a marijuana cigarette, they were too polite to say so. A Superior Court order last week gave the Sheriff's Department until today to shut down the Cannabis Healing Center -- a reincarnation of Peron's Cannabis Cultivators Club, which occupied the same site until a different court order forced it out of business last month. The ruling and yesterday's closure were victories for state Attorney General Dan Lungren and his office, which has been trying to shut down the San Francisco pot club since even before the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which made it legal with a doctor's recommendation to possess and cultivate marijuana for medical purposes. There are now more than 30 such clubs in the state. ``These folks tried their best to find a way that Proposition 215 could work, but the courts have ruled that Prop. 215 only allows an individual to grow marijuana and use it for himself or herself,'' said Sheriff Michael Hennessey, who led yesterday's early morning foray. ``Any distribution or sales is illegal. For that reason, they were closed down.'' PHILOSOPHICAL ACCEPTANCE In mid-April, Hennessey served Peron with papers ordering him to close the Cannabis Cultivators Club. But the next day, the marijuana emporium was up and running again with a new name, new director and modified rules. This time, Hennessey said, he has been ordered to keep the building secure until the landlord posts private security guards. ``I think this location is gone for good now,'' Hennessey said. ``When a group or someone such as Dennis Peron or Hazel Rodgers (the 79-year-old who officially ran the Healing Center) are trying to overcome the determined effort of the state attorney general and the federal government, you know who's going to lose.'' Earlier yesterday, about 30 or so of the club's members gathered on the sidewalk in front of building, sometimes speaking angrily but more often simply being sadly philosophical. ``They're playing political football. Lungren's running for governor,'' said Tom Flower, an Anglican priest who ministers to street people and runs the soup kitchen Loaves and Fishes. RESPECT ON BOTH SIDES Lynn Smith, one of seven club residents evicted from the premises by yesterday's action, was in the shower when the deputies arrived about 6:15 a.m. After they pounded on the door, she threw it open, thinking it was a fellow tenant. ``I got shampoo on my head and no clothes on. `You get some clothes on!' they said. I said, `When I finish my shower.' '' Once she dressed, Smith said, the deputies gave her time to tag her bicycle, which was in the basement. They also allowed her to take her ``medicine'' when she left, although they wouldn't let her take her pipe. Smith said she did not know where she would spend the night, and she worried about the computers left behind, their disks loaded with club members' medical information. But all in all, she said, the deputies were ``nice, given the circumstances.'' Hennessey, on the other side of the operation, returned the compliment: ``The people in the building were always, this time and last time, very cooperative and respectful of the job the Sheriff's Department had to do. I think that is an indication of their desire to enact the law, not to flaunt the law.'' MODEST AMOUNT OF MARIJUANA Eileen Hirst, Hennessey's chief of staff, said that once the building was vacated, deputies inventoried its contents, including desks, couches, pens and pencils, ``Peron for Governor'' buttons and signs, and several cases of ``Brownie Mary's Cookbook.'' ``There wasn't very much marijuana -- maybe two big handfuls,'' Hirst said. She said it took 30 to 35 people until noon to finish the inventory. Hirst also said a locksmith changed the locks on the building. Five deputies remained posted inside. The medical records of club members were not seized when the club was closed. Peron, wearing a lei of marijuana leaves around his neck last night, said the club knew in advance that the closure was coming and was storing the records elsewhere. With the center's closure, club members worried about where they would get marijuana. Another pot club in San Francisco remains open, and there are clubs in Oakland and Marin County as well -- but they are operating in defiance of a federal court order. ``Now I have to go up to Dolores Park and risk getting arrested (during a street buy) to get my medicine,'' said one member who did not give his name. In addition to the dope, however, the San Francisco club provided its 8,000 members with a camaraderie that cannot be easily replaced. While at least one member thought it was the accompanying social scene that riled Lungren, others seemed to feel that element was as healing as the marijuana. ``Most of the people I knew and used to socialize with are gone,'' said Bart Bartholomew, a member who also volunteered at the club. ``This was one place I could come and feel welcome.'' 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A1
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Diego Marijuana Trials - People V. McWilliams / Margraff (Attorney James Silva Describes The Cases Of Steven McWilliams And Dion Markgraff, Associated With A Defunct San Diego Medical Marijuana Cooperative - Proceedings Begin June 1) From: "JAMES SILVA" (email@example.com) To: Ralphkat@Hotmail.com Subject: San Diego Marijuana Trials - People v. McWilliams / Margraff Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 20:08:16 PDT Ralph, In January, Steven McWilliams was arrested while transporting twelve plants to a patient who suffers from spasticity related to quadriplegia. The arrest led to a raid of his residence and the destruction of plants which constituted the supply of medicine for several patients in the North County and San Diego area. Shortly thereafter, the San Diego Cooperative was forced to shut down. Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraff are being charged jointly with cultivation, conspiracy to distribute, and maintenance of a drughouse. Additionally, Steven McWilliams is being charged with one count of transportation. Dion is being charged with seven counts of sales allegedly related to undercover buys that were undertaken by investigators in August and October, 1997. At the arraignment in April, Dion Markgraff elected to represent himself and dismissed his public defender. On Monday, June 1, 1998, 8:15 a.m., in Department 19 (Room 2013) of the San Diego Municipal Court located at 200 West Braodway in Downtown San Diego, I am making a motion to sever Steven McWilliams's matter from Dion Markgraff's. There is a preliminary hearing set for June 2, 1998 in the same court. I have attached a press release to this e-mail. I would appreciate it if you could circulate this e-mail and the press release to everyone. We will be meeting at the courthouse at 7:30 a.m. to organize supporters who will be allowed to enter the courtroom. There will be a press conference after each hearing. For more information, I can be contacted at (310) 450-2690 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for all of your work. Sincerely, James M. Silva
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hold Officials Accountable (Staff Editorial In 'The Olympian' Applauds The Washington State Ethics Board For Finding 'Reasonable Cause' To Believe That Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen Violated State Laws By Using His Office To Fight Initiative 685, The Medical Marijuana Initiative)From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia"
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Lt. Gov a Crook! - 5/26/98 Olympian Editorial Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 19:14:10 -0700 Sender: email@example.com 5/26/98 Olympian Editorial Hold Officials Accountable The state Ethics Board has found "reasonable cause" to believe that Lt. Gov. Brad Owen violated state laws by using his office to fight a citizens initiative to legalize marijuana. Owen, unfortunately, is simply a product of his upbringing. Owen spent six years in the state House of Representatives and another 14 years in the state Senate during a time when there was repeated, widespread abuse of state campaign laws. State law strictly prohibits the use of state employees or public resources for political campaigns. But that law was flagrantly violated by people in both political parties during Owerf s legislative tenure. It's no surprise, then, that Owen sees nothing wrong in his actions as lieutenant governor. As an elected official, Owen says, he has a right and an obligation to speak out on issues he deems important. And for a man who has made a livelihood campaigning against drug and alcohol abuse by teenagers, the initiative to legalize marijuana was a natural target of his scorn. If Owen wanted to campaign against Initiative 685, he should have set up a private campaign office or launched an assault from his home. The state Executive Ethics Board has said clearly that using his public office is inappropriate. Certainly, the lieutenant governor can respond to individual inquiries, but when Owen sent his replies to every legislator he crossed over the line and went beyond the normal and regular conduct of his office, the ethics board said. The board concluded that there is good reason to believe that Owen illegally used public employees and public equipment to campaign against I-685. Board members allege four violations, each of which could -- but likely won't -- result in a fine of $5,000. Professing his innocence, Owen has asked for a hearing before the state Executive Ethics Board to challenge the findings against him. That session will likely be held later this fall. Perhaps Owen can't see the fine line between public service and private campaigning because he was blinded by the illegal activity surrounding him in the state Legislature. In 1992, the state Public Disclosure Commission found rampant abuse of state laws. Legislative staffers were acting as publicly paid campaign managers - drafting political advertisements, making fund-raising calls - during state work hours. The PDC leveled more than $400,000 in fines demonstrating how a few misdeeds had snowballed into an epidemic misuse of public tax dollars. The state Executive Ethics Board came into being as a result of those disclosures. The board's clear mandate is to keep elected officials and their staffs from sliding down the slippery slope of illegal campaigning once again. We applaud the board for its work. Board members must draw a firm line and hold people who step across that line accountable. Times have changed under the legislative dome. Owen and others must understand that certain things that were dismissed with a wink in the past, are not going to be overlooked anymore. That's as it should be!
------------------------------------------------------------------- In Jammed Jail, Many Don't Serve Full Terms - Overcrowding Common In Pierce Lockup, And Freeing Felons Sometimes Is Only Option (Tacoma, Washington, 'News Tribune' Notes That Pierce County Jail Personnel Are Trying To Comply With A Federal Court Settlement On Overcrowding They Signed In 1995 - The Newspaper Misses An Opportunity To Point Out You Can Only Lock Up So Many Illegal Drug Offenders) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia"
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: Pierce Co Jail Overcrowded - many don't serve terms Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 18:41:57 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org In jammed jail, many don't serve full terms Overcrowding common in Pierce lockup, and freeing felons sometimes is only option Lisa Kremer The News Tribune May 26, 1998 In the last four months, hundreds of convicts have been released early from the Pierce County Jail. On the most crowded days, felons were released when they still had more than a month left to serve. On one day last month ... A 40-year-old Tacoma man convicted of growing 118 marijuana plants in a Hilltop house got out of jail after serving five months of a nine-month sentence. A 33-year-old Puyallup man, convicted of stealing items from a house under construction on the East Side, was released after 78 days of a 180-day sentence. And a 29-year-old Tacoma man, convicted for having a baggie of cocaine in his car and then sent back to jail after failing drug court, was released after serving less than a third of a three-month sentence. Those three and two other felons were released April 20 even though they each had more than a month left on their sentences - even after discounting a third of their sentence for good behavior. Why? The 772-bed jail was crammed with 848 inmates, and "We didn't have any misdemeanors left (for possible early release)," said Jail Chief George Wigen. Each day that the jail is overcrowded, jail officers calculate good time, filter out the violent batterers and drunken drivers, and release misdemeanants first and hope for the best. Often, people convicted of misdemeanors with sentences of several months aren't in jail long enough to get coveralls. In March, 94 inmates were released early. Not including discounts for good behavior, their sentences were cut short a total of 2,410 days. In six overcrowded days in April, 71 inmates were released early. Their sentences were cut short a total of 1,436 days beyond the good-time discount. And already this month, 64 inmates have been released early, their sentences trimmed a total of 988 days besides the good behavior credit. "Five years ago when there was overcrowding, (releasing inmates early) was the worst thing that could happen to us. And now here it is," said Pierce County Prosecutor John Ladenburg. Judges, lawyers, cops and corrections officers say they're demoralized because their work to bring criminals to justice is stymied by an overcrowded jail. People who spend their lives making the criminal justice system work are rationalizing that a month more or less in jail might not make a difference to a career criminal. And everyone's top worry is: What if someone released early commits a serious crime when they're supposed to be in jail? "Some of these early releases are kind of scary," said Pierce County District Court Judge James Heller. Why release early? County officials are trying to comply with a settlement they signed in federal court in 1995. Inmates sued, alleging jail conditions were inhumane. County officials believed they couldn't win. As part of the settlement, the county promised to stop using the National Guard Armory for jail space - the cage-filled structure was nicknamed the "dog pound" - and cap the jail population at 772. After voters three times refused to raise property taxes for a new jail, they approved a 0.1-percentage point sales-tax increase in 1996. County Executive Doug Sutherland and the County Council used part of the money for a new 500-bed "temporary" jail in the County-City Building parking lot, and have plans to open a new jail in 2002. Sheriff's officials also expanded jail-alternative programs like home monitoring and offender work crews. But the inmate population has continued to soar. The jail was overcrowded two-thirds of the days in April and nine of the first 21 days in May. "The early release program still isn't getting the numbers down," said Fred Diamondstone, an attorney who represents the inmates. "They're still not in compliance with the population limits, notwithstanding their good efforts." Ladenburg noted it's a long time until a planned new jail opens, perhaps by 2002. "It will get worse," Ladenburg said. "We can't mislead anybody. It will get worse. ... The population of the county continues to boom at 25,000 a year. Some of those people are bad guys. "The people released (early) are going to get worse, not better." How it works Each day the jail is overcrowded, a correctional officer or a sergeant examines the information for each inmate - convictions, sentence, criminal history. They look for misdemeanants with fewer than five days left on their sentences. If there are any, they get to go home. Then the officer looks for nonviolent felons with fewer than three days left on their sentences. Then, misdemeanants with 10 or fewer days left on their sentences. Then nonviolent felons with less than six days left to serve. And so on. "You start to get to people where I think, as a society, we'd like to see them staying there," said Pierce County District Judge Judy Jasprica. Jail officials say they won't release anyone convicted of a class A felony, such as murder, rape or first-degree assault. They have released drunken drivers, but none since early March and say they won't release any more. Jailers also don't grant early releases to parole violators, or anyone convicted of domestic violence, a sex crime or any violent crime. Or at least, that's the plan. "I don't know how long that can last, if we're going to maintain the (772-inmate) cap," Wigen said. Already, there are variations on the plan. A 30-year-old Tacoma man was released March 6 after serving four months of a 10-month sentence for misdemeanor assault. A 36-year-old Tacoma man was released March 16 after less than a day in jail, even though he'd received a 30-day sentence for misdemeanor criminal assault. "There's assault and there's assault," Wigen said. Of one of the men, he said, "That was a minor assault, not a domestic violence assault." The other also was a "minor" assault, he said. "These are not easy decisions," Wigen said. "Who do we let out? Would we rather let out a misdemeanor assault, or an attempted murderer? "We're making some decisions we don't want to make. It's a terrible situation." Some quick returns In at least a couple of cases, inmates released early have re-offended, gone to court, and were back in jail again before their original sentence would have ended. A 38-year-old Tacoma woman convicted of owning drug paraphernalia was released March 6 after serving two days of her 29-day sentence. Twelve days later, she had already been arrested for being in a drug-trafficking area she was banned from, convicted, sentenced to 24 days in jail, and released after two days. On March 3, a 43-year-old Tacoma man was released from jail after serving one day of a 165-day sentence for being drunk while in control of a car. "Fifteen days later, he was picked up on a drinking-in-public charge, and I kind of go, 'What's he doing out?' " Jasprica said. "It could've been worse." That case upset Jasprica and other judges who wanted jailers to consider "physical control" a drunken-driving offense. Drunken drivers aren't supposed to be released early. Jailers have since changed the policy. Early releases hurt the effectiveness of the entire judicial system, Jasprica said. Inmates may learn the wrong lesson: that the system is weak because jail sentences aren't enforced. "We're trying to have an impact on the lives of these people," she said. "We're trying to make a difference. ... They know the jail's overcrowded and people aren't serving sentences. It does become frustrating." It hurts even alternative programs like work crews, she said. "We've always had the fallback position that if you fail on work crew, or you fail on home monitoring, you're going to go to jail," Jasprica said. "Now I don't know how much that threat holds." The word on the street Others, too, are worried that frequent offenders are learning that the system isn't as effective as it once was. "The word is getting out on the street," Heller said. Said Ladenburg: "The bad guys that are getting out early are getting the message that the system is too overloaded to do something about it." Wigen pointed out that many of the people in jail are habitual offenders, whose pattern may not be changed by spending a week more or less behind bars. "The reality of it is, people who are prone to commit criminal behavior fluctuate between felonies and misdemeanors" with differing sentences, he said. The stepmother of the 33-year-old Puyallup man released April 20 said she's well familiar with the early release system. "He's just one of those in-and-out guys," she said of her stepson. "Once you dig yourself in, it's hard to dig yourself out again." Alberta Canada, executive director of the Martin Luther King Housing Development Association, has opposed building more jails downtown in part because of their effect on the Hilltop community. But she said she's not worried about inmates released early causing harm in the neighborhood. "They're going to be out in 30-40 days anyway," she said. Canada believes the county - and the rest of the country - spends too much money incarcerating people. "This is my sole worry: that they not discharge people to make a point," Canada said. "I don't want the point being made that we need a bigger police budget, or a bigger corrections budget. I would hope that the system they use is as careful and as skillful as possible under the circumstances." Wigen said he's releasing inmates early because he has to, not because there's a choice. "I've been in corrections 29 years, and I've never been in the position to have to release people early in my life," Wigen said. "And I don't like it." *** Staff writer Lisa Kremer covers Pierce County. Reach her at 253-597-8658 or e-mail email@example.com (c) The News Tribune
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Dealing In Marion County Jails Under Investigation ('Indianapolis Star' Says Officials In Indianapolis Are Seeking The Source Of Cocaine In The Six-Month-Old Marion County Jail II, A Privately Run Facility, And The Marion County Lockup) Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 13:52:08 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IN: Drug dealing in Marion County jails under investigation Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Newshawk: Purplemoon (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Indianapolis Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.starnews.com/ Pubdate: 26 May 1998 Author: George McLaren, Indianapolis Star/News DRUG DEALING IN MARION COUNTY JAILS UNDER INVESTIGATION INDIANAPOLIS -- Investigators are seeking the source of illegal drugs in two Marion County jail facilities. The wife of one inmate under investigation testified she received money orders at home from strangers. Another inmate tested positive for cocaine after a three-day stay behind bars. The apparently unrelated incidents involve the six-month-old Marion County Jail II, a privately run facility, and the Marion County Lockup. Billy Romeril, warden of the new jail, said his investigators have been looking at the actions of former inmate Timothy M. Lawson, 37, and his wife. Lawson, a three-time convicted burglar and jail kitchen worker, was transferred to the Department of Correction last week after pleading guilty to a business break-in and receiving a 10-year sentence. Romeril said Lawson had been under investigation since January when allegations of drug trafficking surfaced. He said four or five people on the outside were dealing drugs with Lawson. Lawson has denied the allegations. Romeril said investigators believe Lawson's wife was "acting as a mule and doing all the drug transactions on the outside." Lawson appeared in Marion Superior Court for sentencing on May 15 and his wife, Michelle, was there to testify on his behalf. But prosecutors were waiting with questions about several money orders, uncovered by jail investigators, which were made out to her for amounts ranging from $25 to $100. "She said she just didn't know where they came from. They arrived (in the mail) and looked good to her," said Deputy Prosecutor Barbara Trathen. "She said she just had no clue why." Trathen said the money orders were from other women - girlfriends or wives of jail inmates -- unknown to Michelle Lawson and which arrived unsolicited at her home address. Romeril said the Lawson case is the first drug investigation at the new jail facility, which houses Marion County inmates as well as DOC and other prisoners. Investigators are still working on the case and no charges have been filed yet. DOC officials were alerted to Lawson's alleged involvement in trafficking, Trathen added. The other investigation involved a temporary inmate at the county lockup who tested negative for drugs the day she was put behind bars -- and positive for cocaine the day she was released. Officials identified the inmate as Barbara A. Ramey, 39, who pleaded guilty to prescription offenses last week and was given a suspended sentence and a year of probation. Ramey had tested positive for cocaine at least four times while out of jail awaiting trial in her case. She was ordered into court on April 28 but denied she had been using drugs, court officials said. Ramey was given a drug test and placed in the lockup for three days while officials awaited the results, officials said. After that test came back negative, she was released May 1 and reported to the pre-trial release office, where she was given another test -- which came back positive for cocaine. "Certainly when she'd been released on that day, the only logical conclusion you could draw was the source of the drugs was where she was living, which was the jail," said Superior Court Judge David Dreyer. But Ramey denied in court that she had used cocaine while in custody, court officials said. And Deputy Chief Russ Tuttle of the sheriff's department said it was unclear where she got drugs since she had been out of jail for about an hour before being tested. But Tuttle said investigators were looking into the matter and drug-sniffing dogs were taken through the lockup on Friday to check for drugs. Ramey has since been released after pleading guilty with the condition that she undergo random urinalysis and any positive drug tests would result in another 10-day jail stay.
------------------------------------------------------------------- As Number Of Police Raids Increase, So Do Questions ('New York Times' Columnist Michael Cooper Discusses Another Fruitless Stun Grenade Attack And No-Knock Raid By New York City Police In The Bronix, Emphasizing The Role Of Paid Police Informants - A Terrified Couple In Their 60s Is Suing The City) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: NY: As Number Of Police Raids Increase, So Do Questions Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 07:41:46 -0500 Reply-To: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: May 26, 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: Michael Cooper AS NUMBER OF POLICE RAIDS INCREASE, SO DO QUESTIONS NEW YORK -- Mary and Cornelius Jefferson were turning in for the night last June 24 when they heard the deafening boom of a battering ram tearing the front door of their Bronx apartment from its hinges. "They kept on banging until the whole door had splintered," said Mrs. Jefferson, 63. "I thought they were coming to rob us, coming to kill us." When the door gave way, it was not robbers but police officers who burst in, armed with pistols and a search warrant. The warrant -- based on the word of a paid confidential informer with a criminal record -- told of a young Hispanic man who was selling cocaine from the apartment. Instead the police found a terrified couple in their 60s, living in a meticulous apartment where plastic slipcovers protect the sofas and diplomas and awards line the walls. As Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration has stepped up its anti-drug initiatives, forcing many low-level dealers off the sidewalks and into apartments, the Police Department has doubled the number of narcotics search warrants it executes each year, to 2,977 last year from 1,447 in 1994. Most of these are no-knock warrants, which authorize the police to break down doors without warning. The police say that a vast majority of raids yield drugs. But in a number of recent cases, the police have broken down doors and searched homes only to find terrified, confused families. In at least a half-dozen cases in the last year alone, people who say that the police wrongly raided their homes have filed or announced plans to file multimillion-dollar lawsuits against the city. In each case, the search warrants were based largely, if not solely, on the word of confidential informers, who are criminals seeking to trade what they know for reduced charges, shorter sentences or cash. Confidential informers -- called snitches and rats by the narcotics officers who depend on them -- are a central, if little-discussed, weapon in the war on drugs. Since the apartments many drug dealers now use are difficult and dangerous for undercover officers to infiltrate, investigators have come to rely more and more on their underworld contacts. Interviews with police officials, prosecutors, judges and lawyers paint a picture of a system in which police officers feel pressured to conduct more raids, tips from confidential informers are increasingly difficult to verify and judges spend less time examining the increasing number of applications for search warrants before signing them. Police officials defend the system, saying their aggressive assault against drugs is one reason for New York City's historic drop in crime. While the Police Department would not release specific figures, Commissioner Howard Safir has said repeatedly that a vast majority of search warrants yield contraband and that the Police Department does as much as other police forces -- if not more -- to winnow out bad tips. He said that when a drug search comes up empty, it often means that the dealers have simply moved on. In the Jeffersons' case, a police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the police still believe that they raided the right apartment off the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, a few blocks from Yankee Stadium, and assumed that the Hispanic man selling drugs had simply moved on. The Jeffersons, who are black, said no Hispanic men have keys to their apartment, and are suing the city. Civil libertarians say it may be time to rethink a policy in which the word of a single criminal, who is often paid for his information, can be enough to send armed police officers to break down doors and invade the homes of innocent people. They note that the questionable raids have all been in the homes of black and Hispanic families. The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the use of confidential informers to obtain search warrants, and has held that "no-knock" warrants can be used in cases in which the officers' fear that announcing their presence could endanger their lives or give criminals time to destroy the evidence they are seeking. But critics argue that the practice violates the spirit if not the letter of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. "If the Fourth Amendment is about anything, it's about a distrust of this kind of police behavior," said Tracey Maclin, a law professor at Boston University who has written briefs for the Supreme Court on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union in several cases dealing with no-knock police raids. Judge Stephen Trott, who sits on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, and lectures widely on the use of informers, said they are inherently risky. "Confidential informants are like nuclear material, which, correctly used, can heal cancer but wrongly used can cause cancer," he said. "You need them to make cases, but by definition they are criminals, they are sociopaths, and they will lie about anything. That's why you have to have to corroborate what they say." There have been several cases across the country in which drug raids based on tips from confidential informers have gone awry, sometimes with tragic consequences. In Boston, a 75-year-old retired minister died of a heart attack in 1994 after the police raided his home and handcuffed him, working on a bad tip from an informer. Another bad tip led drug agents to raid a house in San Diego in 1992. Its owner, a businessman, thought he was being robbed and fired a shot at the raid team. They returned fire, seriously wounding him. He sued and won a $2.75 million settlement. A similar disaster was narrowly averted in the Bronx this February, when the police raided the home of Ellis Elliott based on what they later said was a miscommunication with an informer. Elliott, fearing robbers, fired a shot at the officers as they were battering down his door. They responded by firing 26 shots into the apartment, arresting him and, Elliott said, forcing him to wear his girlfriend's clothes while he was being held. No one was hurt. Elliott is suing the Police Department. Officials say that corroborating tips from confidential informers was often impossible because drug dealers have become more savvy and cautious. Investigators, they said, are being forced to choose between acting on a tip that might be bad or doing nothing at all. "In the old days, a lot of times you'd have an informant and the observation of cops of the trafficking," said a Manhattan prosecutor who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "It's very difficult now to do that, because of the increased security measures taken by the dealers." It was the word of a confidential informer who spoke of drugs and guns that led a team of police officers to break down the door of an apartment in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, on May 1. Chief Martin O'Boyle, commander of the Organized Crime Control Bureau, said the police followed up on the tip by checking utility bills to see who lived in the apartment, running background checks to see if anyone there had a criminal record (none did), and having the informer accompany the police to verify the correct door. When the police broke down the door and tossed in a stun grenade to disorient the armed guards they expected, they found only a retired baker, a home health attendant and their two daughters, one an 18-year-old who is retarded and was in the shower. The retarded girl was given a bathrobe and handcuffed along with the others; the family said the police refused to give her a sanitary pad until she was visibly bleeding. O'Boyle said that none of the pre-raid reconnaissance indicated that a young retarded woman lived in the apartment. A search warrant carried out last June 5 in the East New York section of Brooklyn directed police officers to raid "a grey metal door clearly marked with the letter and number '2M'." There was no such door at the address, so the officers followed the directions on the warrant and raided a red door marked 2L. The warrant was based on the word of a confidential informer who said that a man named Lucky was selling heroin and guns inside the apartment. In the application for the search warrant, a police officer wrote that the informer had been in the apartment and "has been a user of heroin for eight years and, therefore, can recognize heroin by its appearance and packaging." The officers found a woman and two young children, but no drugs. The woman, Sandra Soto, who has no criminal record, said that she knows no one called Lucky. She is suing. Except in the case of Ellis Elliott, police officials have denied wrongdoing, saying that the raids were done by the book with warrants that conformed to legal standards. "Drug dealers move from location to location," Safir said. "Just because we don't find drugs does not mean we hit the wrong door." Safir noted that all the warrants were signed by judges. Judge John Walsh, who supervises arraignments in Manhattan Criminal Court and often handles search warrant applications, said there is a two-pronged test for a warrant to raid an apartment based on an informer's tip. The application must tell why an informer is considered reliable -- he has been used with good results in the past, for example -- and it must show the basis of the informer's knowledge, usually a statement that the informer has been inside the apartment in question. First-time informers are brought to court and can be questioned under oath by judges. But Walsh said the increasing number of warrants had forced many judges to spend less time examining applications. "If you are getting one every two weeks, you can put a little more time into it," he said. "When it's one a day, you have to move a bit faster" -- about 5 to 10 minutes per application, he said. The Police Department refuses to disclose how many confidential informers it uses or how much it pays them for tips. Marilyn Mode, the deputy commissioner for public information, said disclosing such information would put informers in danger. Asked how, she said only, "Because it would." Narcotics investigators describe a shadowy symbiosis between officers and informers, a relationship based on mutual distrust and exploitation. One narcotics supervisor who spoke on the condition of anonymity said some informers will give up rival drug dealers to wipe out the competition. "Our thinking is, well, that's one less drug group out there," he said. He described a sliding scale of payoffs. As a rule of thumb, the supervisor said, the police will not let an informer off with no jail time unless his tip brings in other criminals who would get five times as much jail time. Payments range from $20 for introducing undercover officers to dealers, to $50 for buying drugs to help the police build a case, to $500 for each kilogram of cocaine or heroin confiscated, he said. In recent years, he said, the Police Department has vastly increased its roster of confidential informers. He credits a new policy that has the police debrief every person they arrest. One of the first questions they ask is: "Do you know anything about any other crimes?" Those who indicate a willingness to deal are checked out and registered with the Police Department's Intelligence Division. First-time informers are tightly controlled. Some are practically deputized by narcotics investigators, who give them marked money and send them into buildings to buy drugs. The informers are frisked before they go in, to make sure they have no drugs, and frisked again when they leave, to make sure they have spent the money. This is called a "controlled buy." But once an informer has proven reliable, there are less stringent controls. The narcotics supervisor said that because the police have been under pressure to conduct more drug raids, he worries that young officers may be too trusting of informers. "There's pressure to get the numbers up," he said. An officer who worked on the raid of the Jeffersons' home gave a deposition in which he said that the confidential informer had been reliable 44 percent of the time. "This is supposed to be reliable?" the Jeffersons' lawyer, Joel Berger, asked in an interview. A police official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that the police officer might not have been familiar with the informer's track record. The official said that the police still believe the warrant was valid. Jefferson, who retired last month after spending 25 years as a maintenance man in a co-op on Manhattan's Upper East Side, said that he thinks the officers knew from the start that they had hit the wrong apartment. "They did not handcuff us," he noted, "and they stayed until they cleaned up most of the mess."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Steve Michael (List Subscriber Notes The Washington, DC, Medical Marijuana, Needle Exchange And ACT UP! Activist Featured Yesterday In A 'Washington Post' Article Has Died)Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 20:37:12 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: GDaurer
To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Forward: Steve Michael This just appeared on the needle exchange list: *** It is with great sadness that I relay the news of Steve Michael's passing. Steve was instrumental in resurrecting the Washington DC exchange, and assisting in its running. Because of the tireless efforts of Steve and other AIDS and needle exchange activists in DC there is now a funded exchange program. Steve was often criticized for his abrasive style, but he got things accomplished. His ability to gain access to the media in DC around AIDS issues will be greatly missed, as will he. Among the issues that Steve worked on where putting pressure on Clinton's parade of useless AIDS czars, condemnation of the exclusion of small AIDS organizations at Clinton's AIDS coffee, the AIDS Cure Act, Ryan White etc. He was also central to ACTUP/NYs zap on Clinton on needle exchange at The Human Rights Campaign fundraiser. Steve is survived by his lover Wayne Turner. A political funeral is being planned for the middle of next week. ACTUP/NY will have transportation available for anyone wishing to participate. Please contact me at (718) 832-1209. ACTUP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! ACTUP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! ACTUP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! Tim Santamour
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Refuses To Hear Case Of Pregnant Women Prosecuted For Using Coke ('Associated Press' Says The US Supreme Court Will Let South Carolina Continue Prosecuting And Incarcerating Women Who Use Illegal Drugs While Pregnant, Endorsing The Principle That Fetuses Are Fully Entitled Citizens - The Highest Courts In Florida, Kentucky, Nevada And Ohio Previously And Explicitly Have Disallowed The Same Principle)Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 21:59:36 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Court refuses to hear case of pregnant women prosecuted for using coke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (kevin b. zeese) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 COURT REFUSES TO HEAR CASE OF PREGNANT WOMEN PROSECUTED FOR USING COKE Pregnant Women Can Be Prosecuted WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court today let South Carolina continue prosecuting women who use crack cocaine or other illegal drugs while pregnant. The justices, without comment, turned away arguments by two imprisoned women that the state should not be allowed to use its child-endangerment law to punish pregnant women for conduct that could affect their fetuses. The controversy focuses in large part on the same thorny question present in the divisive national debate over abortion: Is a fetus a person? The South Carolina law makes it a crime to ``refuse or neglect to provide the proper care and attention'' so that a child ``is endangered or is likely to be endangered.'' The state's Supreme Court has ruled that a viable fetus -- one able to live outside the uterus -- is a child under the law, and has upheld its use against pregnant women. But so far, no other state's top court has allowed such prosecutions. The highest courts in Florida, Kentucky, Nevada and Ohio explicitly have disallowed them. Under a line of abortion decisions dating back to the landmark Roe vs. Wade ruling in 1973, the Supreme Court has never recognized a fetus as a person entitled to any constitutional protection. The nation's courts, however, routinely treat the ``unborn viable child'' as a person when someone else has killed or injured a woman's fetus. The South Carolina court called it ``absurd to recognize the viable fetus as a person for purposes of homicide laws and wrongful-death statutes but not for purposes of statutes proscribing child abuse.'' Cornelia Whitner and Malissa Ann Crawley, two women prosecuted under the challenged South Carolina law, contend the South Carolina court's interpretation of the child-endangerment law violated their due-process rights. Lawyers for the liberal Center for Constitutional Rights and American Civil Liberties Union, representing the two women, argued that the state court's interpretation of the law has two major flaws making it unconstitutional. First, the appeal said, pregnant women cannot know with certainty when fetal viability has occurred. Second, the law fails to tell women just what conduct is prohibited. ``By retroactively applying a new, judicially created crime of fetal abuse, the court below walked down a path that the law, public policy, reason and common sense forbid it to tread,'' the appeal said. A coalition of health care providers and social services workers supported the appeal in a friend-of-the-court brief. The coalition included the National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, American Nurses Association and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The South Carolina law makes it a crime -- punishable by up to six months in prison -- for such professionals to fail to report a case of child endangerment by a pregnant woman. State prosecutors urged the court to reject the two women's appeal. They said both women were on notice, from previous state court rulings, that ``a viable fetus was protected by the unlawful-neglect statute.'' Since 1989, South Carolina prosecutors have invoked the state law against more than 40 women. Ms. Crawley was one of the first, and pleaded guilty after her son was born with cocaine in his blood in late 1991. Ms. Whitner was sentenced to eight years in prison for using crack cocaine while pregnant. She has served about two years of that sentence. The case is Whitner vs. South Carolina, 97-1562.
------------------------------------------------------------------- High Court Rejects Case On Abortion Clinic Law ('Reuters' Version) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 20:45:19 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: High Court Rejects Case On Abortion Clinic Law Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 26 May 1998 [See end of story] HIGH COURT REJECTS CASE ON ABORTION CLINIC LAW WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court Tuesday rejected a constitutional challenge to state and federal laws that make it a crime for protesters to block access to abortion clinics. The justices let stand a ruling by a U.S. appeals court that upheld the constitutionality of the federal law, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act, and a similar North Carolina law. The federal law, which was adopted by Congress and signed by President Clinton in 1994, makes it a crime to block access to clinics, damage their property or injure or intimidate abortion-seeking women or clinic staff. A number of anti-abortion protesters initially challenged North Carolina's clinic protection law. While the case was pending, the federal measure took effect, and the lawsuit was expanded to cover both laws. A federal judge in North Carolina in 1996 struck down both laws. The judge found the federal law to be unconstitutionally vague and over broad, in violation of the First Amendment, free speech rights of the protesters. The judge also said Congress lacked the authority under the Constitution's Commerce Clause to adopt the law because it regulates protest activity, which does not substantially affect interstate commerce. But the appeals court last year upheld the laws. It said the federal law was a valid exercise of congressional power, and that the law prohibits conduct involving force or threatened force, not constitutionally protected speech. Attorneys for the anti-abortion group, the American Center for Law and Justice, asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. They said the case involved "peaceful, law-abiding picketers and sidewalk counselors" who face continuing harassment from the police outside abortion clinics. But the Supreme Court rejected the appeal without any comment or dissent. The Justice Department, which defended the law, noted the high court has rejected six other similar challenges between 1995 and 1997. In another case, the court let stand an unprecedented ruling that upheld the convictions of two pregnant, drug-using women by redefining a state child-abuse law to include a viable fetus. The justices denied an appeal by the two women who were arrested, charged and sentenced under the law. The women said the South Carolina Supreme Court's ruling undermined fundamental constitutional rights and will have far-reaching implications. The controversy dated back to 1989, when South Carolina attorneys began applying the state's child endangerment law to pregnant women whose conduct posed a risk to fetal health. The appeal involved Cornelia Whitner, 34, who was indicted, pleaded guilty and then sentenced to eight years in prison for smoking crack cocaine while pregnant. Her baby was born with traces of cocaine in its system. Whitner served 19 months in prison, but was freed after a lower court judge ruled that the state's child abuse laws did not apply to a fetus. That decision was overturned by a sharply divided South Carolina Supreme Court, which declared that the child abuse and endangerment law does include viable fetuses. The ruling marked a radical departure from a series of decisions by state high courts, all of which have rejected efforts to prosecute pregnant women for alleged drug or alcohol use. The other case involved Malissa (eds: correct) Ann Crawley, 36, who was charged with child neglect because of her drug dependency during pregnancy. She pleaded guilty and was placed on five years of probation. Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union of South Carolina and the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights represented the two women in their Supreme Court appeal. Their basic legal argument was that the state court ruling violated the constitutional guarantee of due process notice and the constitutional prohibition against vague criminal laws. The lead attorney in the case, Lynn Paltrow, warned of the consequences of the South Carolina court ruling. "It will hurt those women who, because of fear of arrest, may not seek the prenatal care that could significantly improve maternal and fetal health, women whose medical decisions may now be construed as endangering fetal health," she said. Supporting the appeal were a number of medical, social services and substance abuse treatment organizations, which said the case should be heard to avert "widespread and serious harm to pregnant women." They said the ruling would endanger the lives of women and would discourage pregnant addicts from seeking medical help. But South Carolina Attorney General Charles Condon defended the law, which carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison, and urged the Supreme Court to reject the appeal. The high court sided with Condon, denying the appeal without any comment or dissent. The action by the justices does not create nationwide precedent. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sex, Drugs And Consenting Adults (Transcript Of John Stossel's ABC News Special About Consensual Crime In America) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 20:58:06 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Transcript: Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Source: ABC News Host: John Stossel Stossel@abc.com Website: http://www.abcnews.com/onair/specials/index.html Contact: http://www.abcnews.com/onair/specials/email.html Editors note: A DrugSense FOCUS Alert on this ABC News Special has been distributed and is posted on the Bulletin Board of MAP. On the web go to http://www.MAPinc.org and press the Bulletin Board button at the bottom of the page. It has over 100 email addresses of ABC affiliates nationwide. If you are not receiving our FOCUS Alerts, details are at: http://www.drugsense.org/alerts.htm Also, a Realvideo of this special will be available within a day or so at: http://www.legalize-usa.org/multi.htm SEX, DRUGS AND CONSENTING ADULTS with JOHN STOSSEL Should People Be Able to Do Whatever They Want? May 26, 1998 (This is an unedited, uncorrected transcript.) ANNOUNCER This is an ABC News Special. It's called "the land of the free." But are you ready for what that may mean? JOHN STOSSEL, ABC NEWS (on camera) People should be able to do whatever they want? NADINE STROSSEN, PRESIDENT, ACLU Consenting adults in private places, absolutely. ANNOUNCER That's not what's happening. 1ST POLICE OFFICER Get your hands up! ANNOUNCER Police are raiding, invading, arresting ... FORT WORTH POLICE OFFICER Head down. ANNOUNCER ... and jailing for crimes that don't hurt anyone else. (Sirens) WOMAN BEING ARRESTED Man, I'm not doing nothing wrong! ANNOUNCER This man got prison for selling pornography to adults. LYNN ALEXANDER They didn't stop adult entertainment, did they? ANNOUNCER And women, like this prostitute, are punished for selling themselves. HEATHER SMITH Hi, Sonny. SYDNEY BIDDLE BARROWS Who are we to criminalize their doing something that is OK with them? ANNOUNCER It's your Uncle Sam playing parent, telling you what's right and wrong. Is that what America really wants? PETER MCWILLIAMS, AUTHOR You're asking the government to control individual morality. This is a government that can't buy a toilet seat for under $600. ANNOUNCER This politician fought to keep gay sex a crime, while he was breaking sex laws himself. In Iran, you could be stoned for adultery. Getting stoned in America got this man 93 years in jail. WILL FOSTER, PRISONER You have the right to kill yourself with alcohol, but you can't smoke a joint. I mean, where is your freedom of choice? ANNOUNCER There's even a law about buying tickets. Stossel better not buy from this scalper. JOHN STOSSEL So, are you doing something bad? 1ST SCALPER No, I'm not. We're not out here robbing or stealing. ANNOUNCER A provocative hour meant to challenge the laws we live by. "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults." From the world's most famous symbol of freedom, the Statue of Liberty, here's John Stossel. JOHN STOSSEL, ABC NEWS Good evening. "Liberty." What does that word mean? This statue was built to commemorate America's independence and the freedoms that came with it-freedom to speak, to assemble, to worship. All the things you can do when your rulers leave you alone. But being free doesn't mean there are no rules. (Gunshots) MAN SHOUTING AT POLICE You're an (bleep). JOHN STOSSEL (VO) You can't live in peace if there's anarchy. (Gunshots) If other people are free to rob us, assault us. We need police to protect us from this. But for years, the police have also been going after people who didn't do anything to anyone else. 2ND POLICE OFFICER Get your hands up in the air! 3RD POLICE OFFICER Get down! 2ND POLICE OFFICER Get 'em up! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Often arresting them brutally. 4TH POLICE OFFICER Open it up. (Man gagging) 4TH POLICE OFFICER More! I said open it! (Man mumbling) JOHN STOSSEL (VO) They said this man took illegal drugs. No victim complained about what he did. Or about this man-he's accused of taking bets on basketball games. This woman was arrested because she offered sex for money. LAS VEGAS POLICE OFFICER All right. Step over here. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) This man for selling sexual videotapes. NEW YORK CITY POLICE OFFICER If I see you again, we're going to lock you up. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Outside a basketball game at Madison Square Garden, police threatened this man because they say he was trying to resell tickets. 2ND SCALPER If you find any tickets on me, lock me up. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) None of these people robbed anyone or forced anyone to do anything against their will. (Sirens) WOMAN BEING ARRESTED Man, I'm not doing nothing wrong! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Everyone who participated in these so-called "crimes" consented. Defenders of individual liberty say this should mean they have the right to do it. NADINE STROSSEN, PRESIDENT ACLU We, as free adults, have the right to imbibe, ingest, inhale or insert whatever we want to in our own bodies. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Nadine Strossen is president of the American Civil Liberties Union. (on camera) Drugs, gambling, prostitution-these are ugly things. These degrade society. By having laws preventing them, we make life better. NADINE STROSSEN That is no basis for making it a crime in this legal system. JOHN STOSSEL But you're wrecking your life, and you're often wrecking other people's lives. NADINE STROSSEN Who are the other people? What is the actual harm? The harm is that they don't like the fact that you are doing something of which they disapprove. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) But disapproval has been the basis for making things crimes since colonial days. LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN, LAW PROFESSOR, STANFORD UNIVERSITY There was very little distinction made between what we would call a sin and what we would call a crime. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Stanford University law professor Lawrence Friedman, author of "Crime and Punishment: An American History," says the Puritans would have silenced Nadine Strossen because they had laws against women voicing strong opinions. People were whipped for having sex outside marriage, or even for idleness. If you cursed, you might be put in the stocks. And, yes, there really was a scarlet letter. Adulterers were forced to wear this "A," usually for life. LAWRENCE FRIEDMAN It gave a very dramatic message to the community as a whole that this is bad behavior. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) And we still have all sorts of laws against what some people consider bad behavior. In many places, it's against the law to buy a bottle of liquor on Sunday. Try selling a vibrator in Atlanta, and government officials wearing masks may take your merchandise and arrest you. And if you go to a prostitute in St. Petersburg ... (Clip from TV announcement) UNIDENTIFIED MAN We'll have your picture right on television. ST. PETERSBURG POLICE OFFICER That's a guarantee. PETER MCWILLIAMS, AUTHOR Keep in mind that you're asking the government to control individual morality. This is a government that can't buy a toilet seat for under $600. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Peter McWilliams is the author of "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do." "Consent" is what's on his license plate. He considers himself a modern-day freedom fighter. He's a long-time marijuana smoker and says everyone should have the right to do this. PETER MCWILLIAMS There's a lot of stupid things that you can do with your life, and people do it all the time. But there's a difference between what wise people do and what the law should be. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) We need these laws to make people behave better, to make society civilized. PETER MCWILLIAMS No, civilized society is, "You do what you want. I do what I want. I will not harm you or your property. You don't harm me and my property." The government does not need to come in and tell us, "There, there, little children. We'll take care of you. Just do what we say." JOHN STOSSEL But the government does often tell us what to do. The government tells us we can't gamble, can't sell certain things, can't take certain medicines. It even tells us what we cannot do with other consenting adults in our own beds. We consider that when we return. (Commercial Break) ANNOUNCER "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues. Here again from the Statue of Liberty, John Stossel. JOHN STOSSEL When do you get to say to your government, "Leave me alone. It's none of your business"? Perhaps when you're doing something very private, like having sex? PRES BILL CLINTON I did not have sexual relations with that woman. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) I don't know what the truth is regarding the President and sex. If he lied, that's another matter. But as far as the sex, even though adultery's illegal here in Washington, DC, people seem to be saying that the sex is none of our business. No one's talking about calling the police. (Shouting) (VO) In Iran, they sometimes beat adulterers. Or they cover you with a sheet and bury you up to your waist in sand and then stone you to death. (on camera) Not in America, though most states here do have laws against adultery and fornication. You could say, "Well, if they don't enforce it, it's no big deal." (VO) But, in fact, rarely enforced laws are a big threat to freedom, because you never know when you might be in trouble. Under selective enforcement, the powerful are safe, but less popular people have a lot to worry about. In Atlanta, a prosecutor decided to enforce a law against self-pleasuring devices. You know, vibrators? ATLANTA REPORTER Atlanta police raided this shop, carted off boxes full of sex toys. SEAN "TIP" GAGNE, STORE MANAGER Fifteen to 20 men in black ski masks entered this store, arrested my whole staff. That's taxpayers' money hard at work. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The customers say they don't need protection. "CHRISTIE," CUSTOMER If you come in, you're obviously consenting to it. If I wanted to buy a vibrator, I should be able to buy a vibrator. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Not legally. Not here. Because you might be stimulating the wrong thing. In Minneapolis, you can't buy one from Ferris Alexander either. Alexander was unpopular with some people here because he ran adult movie theaters and sold sex magazines and videotapes. He was popular with more people because, for 30 years, his stores were very successful. But then a prosecutor deemed some of his tapes obscene. Authorities locked up his businesses and put him in jail for five years. LYNN ALEXANDER This process began when he was 72. He's now 80. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Lynn Alexander is Ferris' daughter. LYNN ALEXANDER It destroyed him. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) He deserves it. Your father's a polluter. LYNN ALEXANDER He didn't create behavior. He was simply selling a product that was in demand. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The illegal tapes and magazines were sold only to adults. They contain no child pornography, but there is lots of sex and nudity. LYNN ALEXANDER Show frontal nudity, and-shock, horror, despair, the end of rational thought! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Citing racketeering statutes, authorities took more than $9 million worth of her father's property. MINNEAPOLIS REPORTER The bookstores and theaters are now property of the government. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) What was inside, they destroyed. ANTHONY DESTEFANIS Not only did they throw books and magazines and tapes, they threw in VHS machines into the city's incinerator and blew the incinerator out. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Anthony DeStefanis is Lynn's husband. LYNN ALEXANDER But who were they protecting? What did they accomplish? JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) They got your father put in jail. LYNN ALEXANDER They didn't stop adult entertainment, did they? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) They sure didn't. All around Minneapolis today, video stores sell the exact same tapes that got Alexander in trouble. And business is good. That's what usually happens when vice squads crack down. The vice doesn't go away. (Siren) But if you're unlucky enough to be caught in the sting, watch out. 5TH POLICE OFFICER You get arrested for this again, no more citations. You go right to jail. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) In Georgia, there are laws against sodomy. That's oral or anal sex. They're usually only enforced against some homosexuals. Chris Christiansen was arrested for proposing sex to another man. CHRIS CHRISTIANSEN It's the last people they have that they can pick on. MICHAEL BOWERS They can have sex. They just can't have sex with another boy. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Attorney General Mike Bowers argued the state's position against homosexual sex all the way to the Supreme Court. PETER JENNINGS, ABC NEWS The Supreme Court has handed down a decision today which could affect the sexual habits of millions of Americans. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The court sided with Bowers. TV REPORTER States may make it a crime punishable by prison even when committed in the privacy of one's own bedroom. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Bowers says morality was upheld. He then cited the sodomy law when he took back a job offer from Robin Shahar. ROBIN SHAHAR How could I have been fired for this? I mean ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Robin's a lesbian, married in a religious ceremony to Fran Shahar. ROBIN SHAHAR People should be free to choose who they want to love. You can't-you don't have control over who you fall in love with. MICHAEL BOWERS But that doesn't mean they can do whatever they want to, no more than I can. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) But Bowers, who's now running for governor, did just what he wanted to do for 10 years. That means he's a criminal, too. Because Georgia also has a law against adultery. GEORGIA TV REPORTER Mike Bowers, married for 34 years and the father of three grown children, carried on a love affair with a woman who worked for him in the state law office. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Bowers admits to the affair but would not talk to us about the hypocrisy. ROBIN SHAHAR Mr Bowers penalized me for being honest while he rewarded himself for lying. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) All this has led some Georgia legislators to try to change the law. STEVE LANGFORD, GEORGIA STATE SENATOR If you want to have a trampoline in your bedroom and do flips and-nude or whatever it is, as long as you're not bothering anyone else, why should someone care? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Because it's against God, say many legislators. Legalizing sex between people like the Shahars would be immoral. MITCHELL KAYE, GEORGIA STATE REPRESENTATIVE Through some of these acts, you can't propagate the species. They're not morally correct. They say you can't legislate morality, but that's what we do as a legislature every single day-setting curfews for our children, requiring people to wear seat belts, speeding laws, other laws. We are legislating morality. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Of course, laws about children and speeding are different. Children are not consenting adults, and speeders often hurt other people. But the Shahars are consenting adults in the privacy of their own home. FRAN SHAHAR, ROBIN SHAHAR'S PARTNER If you don't like it, don't do it. But don't tell me not to do it. PETER MCWILLIAMS The problem comes when people come in and say, "God doesn't want you to do that, and besides that, I think it's a bad idea, and it makes me uncomfortable. So we're going to put you in jail for your own protection." JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Which is what we do with prostitutes. Vice squads arrest a tiny percentage of the lawbreakers, put them in jail and then usually release them the next day. 6TH POLICE OFFICER Now, I arrested you last night. I'm giving you a citation tonight. Hopefully, I won't see you tomorrow. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Sometimes, the madams get longer sentences. Hollywood's Heidi Fleiss went to jail for a year and a half. Sylvia Landry in Louisiana got six years. She then hanged herself in her cell. It didn't stop anything. Prostitutes are as easy to find as ever. SYDNEY BIDDLE BARROWS People who are going to do it are going to do it whether it's legal or not. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Sydney Biddle Barrows, the so-called "Mayflower madam," because she's a descendant of the Pilgrims, admitted to running a big New York City call girl operation. Barrows got off with a $5,000 fine. SYDNEY BIDDLE BARROWS There are a lot of women out there who simply do not feel that it is immoral to sleep with a man for money. And who are we to criminalize their doing something that is OK with them? JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) But isn't it better if it is illegal? Aren't we better off protecting ourselves from what you did? SYDNEY BIDDLE BARROWS What are we really protecting people against? We're protecting women from making a living, and we're protecting men from spending their money as they please. I don't think that anyone needs to be protected from that. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Prostitute Heather Smith feels so strongly about that, she let our camera follow her as she called on this customer. HEATHER SMITH Hi, Sonny. How are you? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Her customer agreed to be on camera. HEATHER SMITH Oh, you look so good. It's legal for two men to go into a boxing ring and beat each other bloody for money, but it's not legal for me to go in and give someone sexual pleasure for money. What kind of sense does that make? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) No sense, says this group of San Francisco sex workers. (on camera) This is degrading for women. No woman would choose this. 1ST WOMAN IN SAN FRANCISCO A lot of women choose this. NORMA JEAN ALMODOVAR I don't think a lot of women would choose to scrub toilets for a living. Nevertheless, because a lot of people might think that's degrading, we don't put them in jail. (Car horn honking) JOHN STOSSEL (VO) When we make crimes out of acts between consenting adults, an added threat to freedom is that police have to entice people into committing the crimes. 1ST PROSTITUTE What's up? UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER How's it going? 1ST PROSTITUTE Fine. Want a date? UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER Yeah. 1ST PROSTITUTE You a cop? UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER No. 1ST PROSTITUTE Yes, you are. (Laughing) UNDERCOVER POLICE OFFICER No, I'm not. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Yes, he is. And this policewoman also lies to catch a customer. UNDERCOVER POLICEWOMAN Hi. MAN Hi. UNDERCOVER POLICEWOMAN I hear you are looking for a date? MAN Yeah. UNDERCOVER POLICEWOMAN How much you want to spend? PETER MCWILLIAMS The police, who should be out there catching the real criminals-the murders and the rapists and the robbers-they're out there pretending to be prostitutes, trying to catch people who just happen to be sexually turned on. 7TH POLICE OFFICER You're under arrest right now for soliciting for prostitution, OK? PETER MCWILLIAMS It's shameful what we're doing in the name of morality. So, you have to ask yourself not, "Is prostitution a good idea?" You have to ask yourself, "Is prostitution worth putting people in prison for?" JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Since prison hasn't stopped the business, politicians keep raising the ante. NARRATOR (WAYNE COUNTY, MI TV AD) If you're dumb enough to solicit a prostitute in Wayne County, don't be surprised if you lose your car. The program has netted over 400 cars a month. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Do we have to arrest people and take their cars to have a civilized society? Wayne County, Michigan, is right across the river from Windsor, Canada. Here, escort services, that's what they call them, are legal. CHANTAL GAGNON, EXECUTIVE SERVICES ESCORTS Ariel, she's 5'6". She has blonde hair, green eyes. She's a 36DD. Are you in for a treat! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) There are more than a dozen police-registered escort services in Windsor alone. Chantal runs this one. (Telephone rings) CHANTAL GAGNON The only difference between an escort seeing a gentleman and a gentleman seeing a girl that he picked up in a bar is that we're getting paid for it. So they're saying that it would be OK to give it for free, but you can't get paid for it. Hmm, I'm not understanding that. You know what I mean? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The escort services advertise in the yellow pages and on the Internet. What do the Canadian police think about this? STAFF SGT DAVE ROSSELL, WINDSOR, ONTARIO POLICE You're not going to stop it. So what do you do now? You work with it the best you can to make it the best it can be. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Not in America. Here, it's one more messy, criminal enterprise, because of the laws. (on camera) If the majority of people want these laws, aren't we a healthier society prohibiting these things? NADINE STROSSEN "Why not let the majority decide" sounds like a totalitarian credo, because we believe in individual liberty. JOHN STOSSEL People should be able to do whatever they want? NADINE STROSSEN Consenting adults in private places, absolutely. JOHN STOSSEL Still, aren't some things just too dangerous to allow, even for consenting adults? When we return, a look at the government's biggest and most expensive effort to control what you do. (Commercial Break) ANNOUNCER Later in the program-gambling. Everybody's doing it, even the government. So why is it against the law? But next, try to tell this man it's a free country. What he did in his own home got him 93 years in jail. And look what America's neighbors are doing. When it comes to free choice, maybe the grass is greener on their side of the border. "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues after this from our ABC stations. (Station Break) ANNOUNCER "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues. Here again from the Statue of Liberty, John Stossel. JOHN STOSSEL We talk about the past 20 years as a time of peace in America. But, in fact, we're at war. This war has been hugely destructive and has lasted longer than the war in Vietnam. (VO) We spend almost $100 million a day fighting this war. The military does much of the work in other countries. (Explosions) GROUP OF POLICE OFFICERS Get down! On the ground! Now! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) But most of the battles are fought here at home. 8TH POLICE OFFICER Search warrant! Search warrant! 9TH POLICE OFFICER Police officers! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) After all, this is a war against our own people. 1ST MAN ON GROUND What are you talking about? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) I'm talking, of course, about the war on drugs. This is a war worth fighting, isn't it? We have to protect all the innocent people who live in fear because their streets are so unsafe. WOMAN ON STREET CORNER Oh, God, we ask you for the Holy Spirit. PRIEST Some people selling drugs were shot to death right on this corner, and our cross is a sign of the suffering that drugs cause. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) In this part of the Bronx, New York, they hold these anti-drug vigils every month. Jesuit priest Joseph Kane has his ministry here. FATHER JOSEPH KANE, JESUIT PRIEST Brothers and sisters, may the grace and peace of our loving God ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) For 25 years, Father Kane's lived in this neighborhood amidst drug violence. But now he believes the laws against drugs do more harm than the drugs themselves. JOSEPH KANE Peace be with you. Thank you. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) First of all, they barely make a dent in the drug trade. JOSEPH KANE I think what we have to realize is that interdiction is just about impossible. UNDERCOVER DRUG AGENT He's going to sell to this big truck. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The drug war doesn't stop the flow of drugs, because making drugs illegal makes smuggling more profitable. A hundred dollars worth of Peruvian cocaine's worth $2,000 on these streets. That keeps sellers selling. JOSEPH KANE The corner up above it is heroin. The corner above that would be cocaine, and then down our block is smoke, you know, so ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The worst effect of the drug war, he says, is the crime. Kane says if drugs were legal, there'd be less violence here. (on camera) You've got enough chaos in this neighborhood now. If it were legal, you don't think you'd have more? JOSEPH KANE No. John, I hate to interrupt you. I think the violence in this neighborhood is caused by it being illegal. JOHN STOSSEL What, the violence isn't caused by the drug? JOSEPH KANE It's caused by the cost of the drug. In a sense, when you make that drug illegal, you have raised the price to such an extent that I'm willing to kill you to get your street corner. See, I cannot deal with you legally, so how can I take over this very lucrative market that you have? The only way I can get you is with violence. JOHN STOSSEL Now, that's an odd idea-that it's the drug war that causes the crime. But think about it. Drug users rarely commit crimes just because they're high on their drug. But outlawing the drug causes crime two ways. First, it puts the drug trade in the hands of outlaws. And second, by making the drug scarce, it raises the price, and that makes drug users more likely to steal. (VO) Nicotine is said to be almost as addictive as cocaine. Yet no one's knocking over 7-Elevens to get Marlboros. JOSEPH KANE Would there be less violence with the repeal of our laws? There would be. TOM CONSTANTINE, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION People try to say it's the law that causes the problem. It's the drug and the drug usage that causes the problem. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Tom Constantine heads the DEA, America's Drug Enforcement Administration. He says we must fight the drug culture. TOM CONSTANTINE I think we have a responsibility as a Democratic society to protect ourselves from those types of detrimental situations. NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER Bootlegging was ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Of course, when we tried to protect ourselves from the alcohol culture, it was a disaster. NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER For 13 years, the idiocy continued despite ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Prohibition gave rise to criminals like Al Capone. NEWSREEL ANNOUNCER Gangsterism was a natural sequel, and battles for exclusive territories erupted with a violence unparalleled in the history of law enforcement. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) It's what happens when you outlaw something that lots of people want. Today's gangs created by drug prohibition make Al Capone look small. TOM CONSTANTINE Their wealth for criminals and organized criminals exceeds anything that we've ever seen, even when the Mafia was dominant in the United States. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) But even if the law makes some criminals rich, he says, we must fight the war to send a message to the children. Yet kids aren't getting the message. TOM CONSTANTINE Our teenage population, we are finding that kids have lost the message that drugs are bad for them. They don't see us disapproving strongly enough of drugs. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) So what's the purpose of the war? You've got this huge war. You're locking up more and more people, and the kids still don't get it? TOM CONSTANTINE The purpose of the war is to save those kids. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) It's not clear that kids are being saved. I'm sure the law deters some from trying drugs, but some teenagers are attracted to what's forbidden. And in poor neighborhoods, what may be the most perverse effect of the law is teaching kids that real work-entry-level jobs-are for suckers. Why work at McDonald's when the coolest guys in the neighborhood, the ones with the best clothes and the best cars, are the dealers? (on camera) They got the most money? 1ST BOY The most money, the most power. 2ND BOY They have the loot. The cheese. JOHN STOSSEL "The cheese?" 2ND BOY That's what they call it. 3RD BOY They don't buy cheap stuff like us. They buy expensive. 4TH BOY They got the money, power and respect. JOHN STOSSEL So doesn't it make you want to grow up to be a dealer? ALL No, no, no. That's bad money. JOHN STOSSEL That's bad money. (VO) Heroically, most of the kids will resist the temptation. But that's a lot to ask of a kid. TOM CONSTANTINE That's why society has to arrest and prosecute those individuals that commit those crimes as a signal to all the rest of the people that we care about the issue. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) So who's the enemy in this war? TOM CONSTANTINE The individuals who are selling drugs at great profit involved in these monumental criminal enterprises. Certainly not those poor people who become addicted to drugs. I don't think they should be anybody's enemy. In fact, they should be somebody we look at with some compassion. JOHN STOSSEL But we are locking them up. TOM CONSTANTINE No, not really. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Then who's filling the jails? Drug laws are why America imprisons a higher percentage of its citizens than most other countries. PRISON GUARD Stand by the gate, right there. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Today, 400,000 Americans are in jail, not because they did something to someone, but because they were caught with forbidden chemicals. Here in Texas, Will Foster's in jail because he grew marijuana plants. He was convicted of intent to sell, and a jury sentenced him to 93 years. WILL FOSTER, PRISONER In America, to have committed a crime, there used to have to be a victim. I've never beat up anybody. I've never raped nobody. I haven't molested a child. I haven't killed anybody. I worked. I paid my taxes. I took care of my family. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Foster ran a computer business. WILL FOSTER I made in excess of $100,000 a year annual income. Now, my wife is struggling to make ends meet. And I've used all the money I had saved just to fight this. For a victimless, nonviolent crime. Never hurt nobody. PETER MCWILLIAMS Imagine what it's costing us to do this. Imagine the money. Imagine the agony of people whose lives are destroyed by a single arrest for something like marijuana. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Peter McWilliams smokes marijuana. He probably won't be jailed for this because he lives in California, where there's a medical exception to the drug law. McWilliams has AIDS and says marijuana relieves the nausea he gets from his medicine. But the medical exception isn't much protection. Recently, nine DEA agents ransacked his house looking for evidence of marijuana growing. PETER MCWILLIAMS They went through every paper in my house, and they just sort of left it all over the place here. And I don't know what they were looking for or what was going on. I assume that they were looking for great drug kingpin something-or-another. Isn't that what the DEA's all about, the major traffickers? DEA AGENTS The police! Go, go, go! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Actually, legal rules have gradually been loosened, so narcotics squads can enter any drug suspect's house even in the middle of the night without knocking. Sometimes, it's not the right house. BOSTON TV REPORTER A Boston police SWAT team raided the wrong apartment looking for drugs. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) After this raid, this minister died of a heart attack. 10TH POLICE OFFICER Police, open the door! 11TH POLICE OFFICER Open the door! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) And drug police now have the power to take your property and, unless you know the legal tricks, sell it at an auction like this. Even if you haven't been found guilty. AUCTIONEER $95. WILL FOSTER If you rape somebody, they don't come in, they don't seize your house. They don't seize your bank account. They don't seize your cars. They don't seize everything you own. In a drug offense, they do that first thing. FORT WORTH POLICE OFFICER Police, down! Police, down! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Still, many in government want tougher laws. REP NEWT GINGRICH, (R) GEORGIA We ought to say flatly, "You import a commercial quantity of drugs in the United States for the purpose of destroying our children, we will kill you." JOHN STOSSEL (VO) They do that in Saudi Arabia. Here, drug dealers are beheaded in the town square. Would this solve our problem? (Church bells ring) Some countries say the answer is more tolerance. In Italy, Spain and Holland, use of small amounts of drugs is generally ignored. In Vancouver, Canada, we stopped by the Cannabis Cafe. MARK EMORY (PH), CANNABIS CAFE The Cannabis Cafe here has cannabis in all the food, hemp oil and hemp seeds. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) People smoke marijuana in the restaurant, started by Mark Emory. MARK EMORY Where'd you get this pipe? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) His mother and daughter tried out different pipes as a gift for her 16th birthday. What do the police think about this? SGT RUSS GRABB, ROYAL CANADIAN MOUNTED POLICE All things being equal, marijuana is really not a big deal. It's essentially viewed as a victimless crime. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) America was once more tolerant of intoxicants, too. At the turn of the century, Bayer aspirin had heroin in it. Some wine had coca leaves. And nicotine's always been legal. WILL FOSTER In America, you can have the right to kill yourself with cigarettes, have the right to kill yourself with alcohol. But you can't medicate yourself, or you can't smoke a joint. You know, I mean, where is your freedom of choice? TOM CONSTANTINE There's a difference between alcohol and cocaine. There's a difference between alcohol and marijuana. Everybody who tries that substance-marijuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, hashish-does it for one single purpose. They do it for the purpose of becoming high. I think that's wrong, and I think it's dangerous. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) I hate to say this to the head of the DEA, but when I have a glass of gin or vodka, I'm doing it to get a little buzz on. That buzz is bad, should be illegal? TOM CONSTANTINE Well, I think if you drink for that purpose, that's not too smart. I can't tell what you to do with your own life. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) We do want him to tell airline pilots and bus drivers they can't get high on the job. That's hardly victimless. But shouldn't people be allowed to harm themselves if that's what they want to do? (on camera) Should we outlaw smoking? TOM CONSTANTINE When we look down the road, I would say 10, 15, 20 years from now, in a gradual fashion, smoking will probably be outlawed in the United States. DREW CAREY Oh, my God. Send me to jail. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Better enjoy it while you can. NADINE STROSSEN Everything can be abused. And if we're going to say that any freedom or any choice that can be abused should therefore be eliminated, then I think we're all going to have to live in a police state. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Large numbers of police recently appeared on Father Kane's block. They say they're fighting drugs 24 hours a day. JOSEPH KANE I think our country wants to make war. And we're making war against people who we really don't care that much about to begin with. And that's why I am personally against it. We have taken people that I think are precious and we've destroyed them. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) When we return, we look at what many people consider the most basic freedom. ANNOUNCER Stossel and Stossel, father and son making decisions about the end of life. JOHN STOSSEL Would you ever want to die? ANNOUNCER The way we live, the way we die. Should the government have the final say? "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues after this. (Commercial Break) ANNOUNCER "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues. Here again, John Stossel. JOHN STOSSEL Who owns your body? You or the state? I'd like to think that once I'm an adult, my body belongs to me. So I'm allowed to eat as much as I want to, dye my hair red, get a nose ring, whatever. It's my body, isn't it? Well, actually, no. 12TH POLICE OFFICER Give me your hands! (Shouting) Give me your hands! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) As we've seen, you're not free to put any intoxicant you want into your body. 13TH POLICE OFFICER Head down! 2ND MAN ON GROUND I don't have anything! JOHN STOSSEL Or sell your body. 2ND PROSTITUTE So what's going on, honey? Can you try to help a girl out? JOHN STOSSEL (VO) You can't bulk up using steroids. Some places, you're not allowed to get a tattoo. The purpose of these bans is to protect us, but it's not clear that forbidding things always does that. JANET'S MOTHER One, two, three ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Consider Janet Cheadle. While she looks healthy, Janet has a form of cancer that's likely to kill her before she becomes an adult. Her parents want to take her to this Texas clinic, run by Dr Stanislaw Burzynski. He has a treatment that might help her. It's now being studied by the Food and Drug Administration. But only the FDA gets to decide who can be treated, and the agency turned Janet down. They say it's not safe if people pursue medical treatments the government hasn't sanctioned. JANET CHEADLE, CANCER PATIENT Whee! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Janet's father's angry about that. LYLE CHEADLE My daughter has a terrible disease called neuroblastoma cancer. I know what the survival rates are, which is essentially zero, and I'm trying to do something that may save my daughter's life. We have absolutely nothing to lose and everything to gain. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) But they won't let you? LYLE CHEADLE They won't let me. JOHN STOSSEL Janet, do you know what your father's talking about? Can you follow this? And your father wants to take you to this new doctor. You want to go? JANET CHEADLE Yeah. PROTESTERS FDA go away! Let us live another day! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) When the government moved to put Burzynski in jail and shut his clinic down two years ago, desperate patients and their families went to Congress to protest. MARIANNE KUNARI (PH) My son's last hope for life ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Marianne Kunari pleaded for her son, Dustin. MARIANNE KUNARI Without this treatment, my son will die. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) After this testimony, her son was allowed to continue his treatment. He's now doing well. DOCTOR Looks good. JANET CHEADLE Barney. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) That's what Lyle Cheadle hopes for Janet-if the FDA would just let go. (on camera) "We're the government. We're here, we're just protecting you." LYLE CHEADLE I'm going to tell you, I don't need your protection, and you need to get out of my face. They're not protecting my daughter. What they're doing is tantamount to murder. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) After this interview, the FDA said Janet will be allowed the treatment. But why did her parents have to beg? Why should thousands of others have to leave the country to try to save their lives? Which brings us to the biggest issue. If it's my body, do I have the right to end my life? Can I ask a doctor to help? Here in Olympia, Washington, Dale Gilsdorf is dying. He has lung and brain cancer. DALE GILSFORD, CANCER PATIENT Oh, this is our ski trip. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Divorced, he spends lots of time with his two daughters, Renee and Nicole. He's had a good life. He worked as a psychotherapist and climbed mountains. Now his wish is to die with dignity, at a time he chooses, with his daughters at his bedside. DALE GILSFORD I don't want my children to see me as this skeleton who vomits, doesn't know his full name, doesn't know them. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) Your mother died that way? DALE GILSFORD My mother died that way. That's a very undignified way to live your last years. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Dale would like a doctor to help him control the manner of his death. But here, and in most states, that's illegal. DALE GILSFORD In this most important part of my life, which is my death, I'm alone. I don't even have trained people to help me. That's not right. POLLSTER We're calling with Oregon's ballot measure 16 campaign. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) If Dale lived in Oregon, however, he'd have another choice. PETER JENNINGS Voters in that state passed a controversial ballot initiative this week that allows doctors to help terminally ill patients who want to commit suicide. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Family physician Dr Peter Goodwin helped draft the Oregon law. DR PETER GOODWIN Only in Oregon have we publicly acknowledged what people around this country believe, and that is that aiding dying is appropriate for some few terminally ill patients who want this, want it desperately. "DEATH WITH DIGNITY" ADVOCATE State voters, we need your signature ... JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Often, it's older people who feel most strongly about having control at the end of their lives. (on camera) How old are you now? (VO) My father's 92. (on camera) What if you got cancer or some disease, and you were in pain? OTTO STOSSEL Yes. JOHN STOSSEL Would you want a doctor-would you ever want to die? OTTO STOSSEL I think I should have the privilege to demand it of my doctor to do something of the sort. JOHN STOSSEL You should have the right to demand that he kill you? OTTO STOSSEL That's right. I should have the right to demand it. JOHN STOSSEL The law says no. The law says the doctor may not. OTTO STOSSEL I think it still should be my decision what I want to do with my life-not anybody else's, even if it's you. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) I can't argue with that. But the law says no, and should say no, says lawyer Wesley Smith, a leader in the anti-euthanasia movement. (on camera) Isn't it my choice? It's my life. WESLEY J. SMITH, ATTORNEY The law is not about "I, I, me, me." When we make public policy, it is about "us, us, we, we." There are certain individual conducts that we have a right to stop, and I think having doctors help kill people is one of those. JOHN STOSSEL I'm scared about the end of my life. What if I'm in terrible pain? I want to be able to end that pain. WESLEY J. SMITH We're all scared about the end of our lives, and what we need to have is to be ensured that our pain can be ended. But killing isn't ending pain. Killing is killing. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Smith worries that doctors or patients' families might want to kill off dying or elderly people just to cut medical costs, or that people might feel they have a duty to die to relieve the burden on their family. WESLEY J. SMITH If we're going to be a loving and compassionate society, I think if we just say, "Oh, well, it's your body. If you want to die, go ahead," you're abandoning people. DR PETER GOODWIN Absolutely untrue. What we're doing is staying with the patients' perception, listening to the patient, and then acceding to a desperate plea from a dying patient at the very end of life. It's not abandonment. It's compassionate care. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Dale Gilsdorf approached several doctors about getting that care, but they said no. DALE GILSDORF And they just shut the conversation off. I couldn't even talk about it because they're frightened. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) So you've had to trick doctors into giving you the pills. DALE GILSDORF Exactly. Exactly. You're hiding from your physician. You're being dishonest with your physician. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Dale lied to his doctors, told them he couldn't sleep, and they prescribed sleeping pills. But fearing that that wouldn't be enough drugs, Dale then found an illegal dealer in barbiturates. He drove to this nearby town where he secretly bought these pills. DALE GILSDORF I'm not a person that does things that are illegal, and I'm being forced to do that because the law will not allow me to get legal medications. That's a terrible thing. (Dog barks) JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Dale feels fortunate that at least now he has his pills and his daughters' support. (on camera) And how do you envision your death? DALE GILSDORF I hope that I will know when and be able to call my family together and say, "This is it. Prepare whatever rituals you want to. I don't particularly have any." DALE'S DAUGHTER I envision holding his hand. DALE GILSDORF And I'll probably take the sedatives and just go to sleep. JOHN STOSSEL We'll be back in a moment. (Commercial Break) ANNOUNCER "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults" continues. Here again from the Statue of Liberty, John Stossel. JOHN STOSSEL This statue was paid for by something that could be a crime if you did it-gambling. The French got some of the money they needed to build her from the proceeds of a lottery. (VO) Gambling is the biggest consensual crime. This is legal gambling, but illegal gambling's huge. The NCAA says about $100 billion is illegally spent just on sports betting every year. (Cheering) Occasionally, vice squads arrest some of the bookies. Police say one operates out of this house in this quiet Miami suburb. Worried that the people in the house will resist, police put on their bulletproof vests and attack en masse. MIAMI POLICE OFFICER Police! Police! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Inside, they handcuff the suspect and spend hours ransacking the house-searching clothes, the bed, everything, before they haul him off to jail. Will this make America safer? Will it make any difference? Even the police wonder. SGT PETE ANDREU, MIAMI DADE POLICE People are going to gamble. You shut one down, and it's going to-there's going to open up another one, you know, and it's going to-it's a perpetual problem. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) But if gambling's a problem, why is government such an eager bookie, spending tax money on ads to lure more of us in? LOTTERY SPOKESWOMAN (TV COMMERCIAL) The New York lotto jackpot is now $15 million. Cool. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The law is so inconsistent. Consider ticket scalping. (on camera) How much? 3RD SCALPER $75 each. JOHN STOSSEL $75 each. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) These guys were offering to sell me tickets to a basketball game at Madison Square Garden. Now, we all know that ticket scalping is evil and illegal. But why? (on camera) Are you a scalper? 1ST SCALPER I'm a scalper, yeah. JOHN STOSSEL So are you doing something bad? 1ST SCALPER No, I'm not. They should make it legal, because we're not doing anything wrong. WOMAN AT EVENT Where are you getting these tickets? Are you buying them? 1ST SCALPER Ma'am, I buy them. WOMAN AT EVENT From? 1ST SCALPER Nice women and gentlemen ... WOMAN AT EVENT ... that are neatly dressed like me. 1ST SCALPER Right. MAN ON MEGAPHONE These people are leeches. They will take your money and go. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Madison Square Garden wants the scalpers arrested. ROBERT RUSSO, GENERAL MANAGER, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN Why should some parasite be allowed to do that on the street? JOHN STOSSEL What if my family gets sick, and we can't go to the game? I can't come here and resell my tickets? ROBERT RUSSO We really don't want that going on around our business. It's unseemly. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Because it's unseemly, it's illegal? Yes, it should be illegal, says this man. (on camera) It's wrong to sell things for more? MAN AT EVENT That's right. Right. JOHN STOSSEL What if I offer to buy your bracelet here for more than you paid for it? That should be illegal, too? MAN AT EVENT No, then I'm making a profit. (Laughter) JOHN STOSSEL (VO) As with gambling, drug laws, sex laws, there's lots of hypocrisy here. (on camera) I thought making a profit's OK? MAN AT EVENT For me, it is. Not for them. (Laughter) JOHN STOSSEL (VO) That about sums it up. But if we're adults, why can't we make decisions about what we buy and sell, about how we use our bodies, by ourselves? NADINE STROSSEN We certainly don't want government to be big daddy or big mommy. You, as a mature adult, have the right to make decisions about your own life, even if other people might think that they're stupid decisions. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) Of course, people who don't like your decision have every right to complain about your behavior. ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY PROTESTERS No porn! No porn! JOHN STOSSEL (VO) To boycott, to picket, to embarrass you. And God bless the critics. MALE DEMONSTRATOR It sets a bad example. It sets a bad trend. JOHN STOSSEL (VO) The critics make America a better place by standing up for virtue, making us think about what's good and evil. Shaming us into being better people. But shaming is one thing, using the force of law another. 14TH POLICE OFFICER Keep your head down. You listen to me. PETER MCWILLIAMS The law is a very powerful thing. The law means that you send people out with guns to get people when they don't follow it. It's a very, very serious matter. JOHN STOSSEL (on camera) But people are weak. Having laws helps people be moral. PETER MCWILLIAMS Moral is based on free choice. You have a series of choices, and you make the right choice. Any 5-year-old can understand this. Don't mess with their stuff, they won't mess with your stuff. Really? Yes. What's the catch? The catch is, you have to tolerate what they're doing over there with their toys, and they get to tolerate what you're doing over here with your toys. So with our tolerance, we buy our freedom. JOHN STOSSEL Freedom is what America's supposed to be about. Maybe we should rethink the rules. Why not just allow consenting adults to do anything that's peaceful? That's our program for tonight. Please stay tuned for Nightline after your local news. I'm John Stossel. Good night, and thanks for watching our program, which was really about liberty. Copyright 1998 ABC News
------------------------------------------------------------------- Stossel Is Irritatingly Convincing (A Preview Of Tonight's ABC Television Special, John Stossel's 'Sex, Drugs And Consenting Adults,' About Consensual Crime In America, From 'The San Francisco Chronicle') Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 22:44:29 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: TV Review: Stossel Is Irritatingly Convincing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Author: John Carman STOSSEL IS IRRITATINGLY CONVINCING ABC News scold John Stossel annoys me even when I agree with him, which is the case with his latest prime-time special, ``Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults'' (10 tonight on Channel 7). Stossel has a narcissistic knack for calling attention to himself while he makes someone else look stupid and tells you what you ought to think. Here, he's in a lather over victimless crimes, or at least crimes that seem victimless -- prostitution, gambling, drugs, doctor- assisted suicide, even ticket scalping. I happen to think, with Stossel, that there are better uses for police, courts and jails. But if this special had lasted 10 more minutes I'd have probably changed my mind. Especially if it was 10 more minutes of Stossel hectoring us from the base of the Statue of Liberty. Subtle, John, real subtle. Stossel's own victims tonight include Tom Constantine, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Constantine, who apparently isn't easily given to humor, tells Stossel that society has a right to protect itself from harmful influences. Cut, right then and there, to stock footage of feds smashing booze casks during Prohibition, which Stossel reminds us was a disaster. You can also hear the old voice-over from the newsreel footage, with the announcer saying that ``for 13 years, the idiocy continued.'' Again, I agree with the argument. But the methods of Stossel and his crew, headed by senior producer Martin Phillips, are heavy-handed and unfair to Constantine. Why not simply have a cartoon arrow, with the word ``moron,'' jabbing at Constantine's head? I do, however, like author Peter McWilliams (``Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do'') taking a jab at our Uncle Sam. ``Keep in mind that you're asking the government to control individual morality,'' McWilliams says. ``This is the government that can't buy a toilet seat for under $600.'' *** Last month, PBS' ``Frontline'' did a better job than Stossel on the nation's drug laws. But ``Frontline'' stumbles tonight with ``The World's Most Wanted Man'' (9 p.m., Channel 9). The fugitive in question is Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb commander who laid siege to Sarajevo and is allegedly responsible for concentration camps, mass killings and rapes. Karadzic, a former poet and psychiatrist, would be a welcome defendant at the United Nations' War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague. But he's on the lam, and U.N. troops aren't going out of their way to catch him. The disappointing ``Frontline'' program, done in association with Britain's Channel 4 Television, amounts to a sloppy, skimpy and often confusing profile of Karadzic. Beware if you watch; the program contains some bloody footage from the Sarajevo siege. *** ``Miss India Georgia'' (10:30 tonight on Channel 9) is a one-hour documentary that's just what it sounds like -- a glimpse inside an East Indian beauty pageant in Atlanta. The filmmakers would probably say it's about the delicate balance between assimilation and the preservation of ethnic identity. To see it, though, is to watch an altogether minor film about four seemingly normal young American women. You do get to hear ``Don't Cry for Me, Argentina'' sung badly, though. The documentary is part of ``Asian Pacific American Heritage Month'' on KQED. - 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page C1
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Sex, Drugs And Consenting Adults' - A Grab Bag Of 'Victimless Crimes' ('New York Times' Version - Plus Commentary From List Subscribers) Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 16:03:30 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NYT: 'Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults': A Grab Bag of 'Victimless Crimes' Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Author: Walter Goodman 'SEX, DRUGS AND CONSENTING ADULTS': A GRAB BAG OF 'VICTIMLESS CRIMES' John Stossel, libertarians' gift to television, takes up the cause Tuesday night on ABC at 10 p.m., of people who are being punished for "victimless crimes." They include pornographers, drug users and sellers, gamblers, ticket scalpers, prostitutes, homosexuals, and sufferers in search of help in committing suicide. It's a brisk tour that in pursuit of the theme of liberty conflates different sorts of legal and ethical issues. What the examples of lawbreakers being arrested for consensual activities have in common, Stossel argues, is society's habit of imposing certain moral views on those who don't share them. Moreover, he discerns hypocrisy and inconsistency in a state's efforts to suppress gambling while promoting its own lottery and to ban marijuana while permitting the use of alcohol and tobacco. As for the famous war on drugs, which has filled the nation's prisons to little avail, Stossel observes concisely, "It's what happens when you attempt to outlaw something that lots of people want." An advocate of euthanasia advances the proposition that assisting people into death is "not abandonment, it's compassionate care." Stossel sums up with the rule that consenting adults ought to be allowed to do anything they want to as long as it's peaceful. That may not be the last word on such an array of disputed matters, but it might serve as a sound first word. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company *** Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 08:28:17 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: R Givens (email@example.com) Subject: "Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults" John Stossel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org John Stossel has given the narcs their due. Stossel let Tom Constantine and the narcomaniacs make an asses of themselves by exposing their delirious DEA logic with devastating effect (ain't journalism great when they do it right!). I especially loved the flashback to alcohol prohibition right after Constantine made a nitwit remark about drug control ("thirteen years of idiocy" visual: beer barrels being smashed). Whoever edited this material has being reading my mind and stealing my thoughts and I say good for them. Portraying a moron as a moron is deadly. Just let the jackass bray and then expose their maniac logic for the world to see by revealing the exact consequences of their dim-witted policy. I especially liked Stossel's snide way of questioning both sides. The Socratic method can be devastating when the right questions are asked. Stossel got right at the foundations of drug prohibition and found a moral vacuum at the center. It was lovely. Stossel showed that a good journalist can torpedo any narc without breaking a sweat. That's how braindead and defenseless drug prohibition really is. Anytime you see a narc looking good on TV, you know that the producers are LETTING them get away with their fraud. Four or five of the right questions put any narc in the country down for the count. Especially if you have footage contradicting their dissembling and propaganda. Drug war nutcakes have been getting a free ride for decades, but it won't take too many confrontations with the contradictions and consequences of their lunacy to sink them for good. (Stossel's show converted several hundred thousand people to the REPEAL ranks. Can anyone figure a way to activate them?) To my knowledge ABC is the first major network to air such a lethal attack on drug prohibition. Every other show allowed the narcs some wiggle room and didn't nail their feet to the floor when they lied. Stossel was throwing fastballs, sliders and curves that the narcs aren't capable of dealing with after the powder puff treatment they usually get. Little things like the facts and results completely derail their inane posturing. If you want more of these narc-killing shows write John Stossel and ABC to congratulate them on this excellent expose of drug war lies, dissembling and propaganda. Let Stossel & company know how much you appreciate an honest accounting of narcomania and encourage him to do it again. Letting them know that a lot of people are fed up with Reefer Madness prohibitions will embolden the networks to make more attacks on the intellectual and moral bankruptcy known as "the war on drugs." R Givens John Stossel Contact: email@example.com *** Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:29:41 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: R Givens (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: MAP: ABC/Will Foster John Stossel outdid himself on his special. It's about time we saw some REAL journalism. Constantine was priceless. Does he think that most people drink for the taste? If so, why aren't alcohol free beer and wines among the best sellers? After watching the Will Foster segment on ABC, I have an idea for a little change in strategy. If ABC made mention that Will was charged and convicted in Oklahoma, I didn't hear it. They DID say that he was in jail in Mansfield, Texas, which implies that he was convicted in Texas. With that in mind, perhaps, we should flood Gov. George Bush's office with phone calls, letters or faxes demanding an explanation of why Will is imprisoned for life. The governor's office will be clueless for the first few calls, but they'll soon catch on. Governor George Bush P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 512-463-2198 (Policy Office) 512-463-1762 (Executive Office) 512-463-2000 (General number) 512-463-1849 (fax) Alan B. *** Writing Texas governor Bush is a good idea, but don't forget to hit the usual targets in Okieland. Governor Keating should get a copy of everything you send to Bush with appropriate corrections. A fax-phone blitz forced Gov. Keating to release Jimmy Montgomery, another medical marijuana prisoner, a couple of years back. Things got so hot at the Governor's office that they disconnected their fax and began referring people to some prosecutor they were scapegoating for their monstrous error. Before long Montgomery was a free man again. Below you'll find the Operation Oklahoma Bcc list. It includes almost every media outlet in the state. Write a couple of letters letting these cretins know your feelings about 93 year sentences for victimless "crimes." Oklahoma is the center of Reefer Madness in this country, so don't waste time with subtlety, they won't get it. Tell them you saw how ugly they are on "Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults," so they know this is a full scale blizzard of rejection. R Givens See Oklahoma Bcc list below. *** Dear Talkers: The following could provide some good points when emailing the Gov. of Oklahoma about Will Foster - like suggesting they let people like Mr. Foster out so that the truly violent criminals could be kept in. It is from the governor's "Speaking Frankly" essays which are available at the OK website at: http://www.state.ok.us/osfdocs/sf-97.html. There may be others there that could provide other ideas. The Price Of Foolishness On February 19 in Tampa, Florida, police found a bloody Lawrence Singleton standing over the body of a young woman he had apparently murdered in his living room. Tragically, such crimes do occur. But this one was different. It was the direct result of utter foolishness in California some years ago. Singleton had been arrested and convicted for a similar crime in California. He raped his victim and then hacked off her arms with an axe.Somehow the young woman survived this horrible ordeal, and Singleton was sentenced to 14 years in prison. California law at the time was a lot like Oklahoma's laws are today. Singleton got time off for "good behavior" -- as if the prison behavior of a brutal, sadistic predator could make up for his crime. Then, California released Lawrence Singleton under their version of an early release program designed to alleviate prison overcrowding. [To make room for drug offenders!] He had served less than eight and a half years of his sentence. Singleton moved to Florida. Then came the events of February 19. California has since changed its sentencing and parole laws, partly in revulsion over Singleton's release. But Oklahoma continues to follow a foolish path in the way we handle dangerous criminals. Convicts currently serve less than one-fourth of their sentences, and until I halted implementation of early release programs last summer, many were freed even earlier to relieve prison crowding. The Legislature is considering three measures I have proposed to stop the Lawrence Singletons of this world. I have asked them to repeal the early release law, enact truth-in-sentencing to require criminals to serve at least 85 percent of their terms and increase funding for prisons, using new growth revenue. Help me convince them to act NOW. Alan Mason *** http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willfoster.htm Please send new Oklahoma e-mail addresses to add to the list. Addresses for legislators etc would be helpful. add new info here For those with Eudora: Doing Bcc lists is a good way to get your message out to dozens of addresses without them seeing the other addressees. It will greatly improve the chances of getting your letter printed, if they do not know it has mass distribution. Since they aren't paying for this writing they have no right to demand exclusives. By doing a "Blind copy to (Bcc)" the receiver ONLY sees YOUR address and their own address on the e-mail. Here's how it works. First, copy and paste the e-mail list below to the Bcc entry. Next address the To: entry --- to YOURSELF. Do this AFTER putting the list in the Bcc entry. When the addressee gets the e-mail ONLY your address and their's will appear. Also, it's a good idea to include your own address in the Bcc entry to make sure the posting works the way you want it to. If you add addresses, put a comma and a space between the entries. *** need valid address for Sulphur Times If you have additional Oklahoma contacts or corrections for bouncers, please send them for inclusion in a revised list. *** Oklahoma Media list: copy and paste to Bcc entry [firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, McLoud_News@okpress.tfnet.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org] If any of these addresses bounce let me know *** ABC E-Mail HQ email@example.com *** ABC Bcc list: [firstname.lastname@example.org, PTLIVE@ccabc.com, NTLINE@ccabc.com, TPOINT@ccabc.com, GMAAOLM@ccabc.com, SPORTSA@ccabc.com, RADIOAB@ccabc.com, DAYTIME@ccabc.com, email@example.com] Cut and paste letters to Governor Frank Keating of Oaklahoma's Home Page: http://www.state.ok.us/osfdocs/govhp.html Mrs Keating's e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org More Oklahoma data: *** On November 16, 1907, the Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory joined, and Oklahoma became the 46th state. If Will Foster were able to serve his entire 93 year sentence this would be a longer time than Oklahoma has been a state! (1907 to 1997 = 90 years) Another Will is revered as Oklahoma's first citizen: 'Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don't they pass a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything? If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.' - Will Rogers http://www.vermontel.com/~bkgb Will Rogers a famous vaudeville entertainer and public commentator came from Oklahoma. Rogers's motto: "I never met a man I didn't like." Rogers had extreme derision for alcohol prohibition and often commented on the insanity of the Volstead Act. If anybody can dig up some of Rogers's comments, they would be useful additions in our letters. Rogers wrote a book about the lunacy of alcohol prohibition, but it has been lost or stolen from my local library. AUTHOR: Rogers, Will, 1879-1935. TITLE: The Cowboy Philosopher on Prohibition PUBLISHER: Oklahoma State University Press, 1975. SUBJECTS: Prohibition--Anecdotes, facetiae, satire, etc. *** Oklahoma's incarceration rate is 46% above national average, 552 per 100,000 population. Oklahoma is 3rd in US incarceration rate. No. 1 Texas 653/100,000 No. 2 Louisiana 568/100,000 No. 3 Oklahoma 552/100,000 [these stats are old the new numbers are all higher] Oklahoma City No. 157th safest city in US. Tulsa not listed in the top 192. Governor Frank Keating's wife had a hysterectomy. Keating folded when the Montgomery case got too hot to handle! *** Since I don't have access to Oklahoma papers, I don't know whether we're being published or not. If somebody in Oklahoma sees a letter opposing Will Foster's sentence, please post it to the group. Rest assured that these letters DO have an effect. In their hearts, many people in Oklahoma KNOW that such things are immoral, unjust and contrary to God's will. Once we arouse their conscience things will change. All it takes are a few stabs to wake them up. Even those with hearts too cold for a human sentiment can be forced to follow a reasonable path by public humiliation. *** Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:40:16 EDT Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Maximillien Baudelaire (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Sex, Drugs & Consenting Adults feedback Courtesy of the Media Awareness Project: E-mail addresses for ABC for feedback in re: Stossel's "Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults". ABC E-Mail HQ email@example.com *** ABC Bcc list: [firstname.lastname@example.org, PTLIVE@ccabc.com, NTLINE@ccabc.com, TPOINT@ccabc.com, GMAAOLM@ccabc.com, SPORTSA@ccabc.com, RADIOAB@ccabc.com, DAYTIME@ccabc.com, email@example.com] *** Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 12:43:55 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) by way of Maximillien Baudelaire (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: MAP: ABC email addresses, censorship, and Stossel Below are the email addresses for about ABC 100 affiliates nationwide should you wish to send Email re the Stossel piece. A more formal Focus Alert will go out by Thursday. This is the Syracuse station that delayed transmission into the wee hours of the morning citing "questionable content" as the reason. firstname.lastname@example.org WIXT-TV PO Box 699 E Syracuse NY 13214 315-446-4780 Fax 315-446-9283 [ABCAUDR@ccabc.com (ABC TV HQ) email@example.com (KGTV, ABC, San Diego) firstname.lastname@example.org (WFAA-TV, ABC/CNN, Dallas/Ft. Worth) email@example.com (WVII-TV, ABC, Bangor, Me) firstname.lastname@example.org (WXYZ-TV, ABC, Detroit) email@example.com (WFAA TV ABC) firstname.lastname@example.org (General Audience Questions) (WCFT 33/40, Birmingham AL,) email@example.com (WDHN , Dothan AL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WAAY 31, Huntsville AL,) email@example.com (WHOA 32, Montgomery AL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KHBS 40, Fort Smith AR,) email@example.com (KHOG 29, Fayetteville AR,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KATV 07, Little Rock AR,) email@example.com (KNXV 15, Phoenix AZ,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KGUN , Tuscon AZ,) email@example.com (KFSN , Fresno CA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KABC 07, Los Angeles CA,) email@example.com (KNTV 11, Monterey/San Jose CA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KESQ , Palm Springs CA,) email@example.com (KXTV 10, Sacramento CA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KGTV 10, San Diego CA,) email@example.com (KGO 07, San Francisco CA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KMGH 07, Denver CO,) email@example.com (KJCT 08, Grand Junction CO,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WTNH 08, New Haven CT,) email@example.com (WCJB 20, Gainesville FL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WZVN 07, Naples/Ft. Meyers FL,) email@example.com (WMBB 13, Panama City FL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WEAR , Pensacola/Mobile FL,) email@example.com (WWSB , Sarasota FL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WPBF 25, West Palm Beach FL,) email@example.com (WSB-TV 02, Atlanta GA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WJBF , Augusta GA,) email@example.com (WJCL 22, Savannah GA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KITV 04, Honolulu HI,) email@example.com (KIFI 08, Idaho Falls/Pocatello ID,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WQAD , Moline IL,) email@example.com (WHOI , Peoria IL,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WPTA 21, Ft. Wayne IN,) email@example.com (WRTV 06, Indianapolis IN,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KTKA 49, Topeka KS,) email@example.com (KAKE 10, Wichita KS,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WTVQ , Lexington KY,) email@example.com (WKBO 13, Bowling green KY,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KTBS 03, Shreveport LA,) email@example.com (WBRZ 02, Baton Rouge LA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WCBV 05, Boston MA,) email@example.com (WMDT , Salisbury MD,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WVII , Bangor ME,) email@example.com (WOTV , Battle Creek MI,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WZZM , Grand Rapids MI,) email@example.com (WDIO , Duluth MN, ) firstname.lastname@example.org (KAAL 06, Rochester/ Mason City MN,) email@example.com (KQTV , St. Joseph MO,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KMIZ , Columbia MO,) email@example.com (KODE 12, Joplin MO,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KMBC 09, Kansas City MO,) email@example.com (KSPR 33, Springfield MO, ) firstname.lastname@example.org (WTOK , Meridian MS,) email@example.com (WAPT , Jackson MS,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WABG 06, Greenwood MS,) email@example.com (WLOX 13, Biloxi MS ,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WTVD 11, Durham/Raleigh NC,) email@example.com (WMUR 09, Manchester NH,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KOAT 07, Albuquerque NM,) email@example.com (KOLO 08, Reno NV,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WOKR 13, Rochester NY,) email@example.com (WIXT 09, Syracuse NY,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WKBW 07, Buffalo NY,) email@example.com (WUTR 20, Utica NY,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WWTI 50, Watertown NY,) email@example.com (WSYX , Columbus OH,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KOCO 05, Oklahoma City OK,) email@example.com (KEZI , Eugene OR,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WJET 24, Erie PA,) email@example.com (WHTM , Harrisburg PA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WTAE 04, Pittsburgh PA,) email@example.com (WLNE 06, Province RI,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KSFY , Sioux Falls SD ,) email@example.com (WKRN 02, Nashville TN,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WATE 06, Knoxville TN,) email@example.com (WTVC 09, Chattanooga TN,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WBBJ 07, Jackson TN,) email@example.com (WKPT , Kingsport TN,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KTXS , Abilene TX,) email@example.com (KXXV , Waco TX,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KVII 07, Amarillo TX,) email@example.com (WFAA 08, Dallas TX,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KVIA 07, El Paso TX,) email@example.com (KAMC 28, Lubbock TX,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KTVX 04, Salt Lake City UT,) email@example.com (WSET 13, Lynchburg VA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WVEC 13, Norfolk VA,) email@example.com (KOMO 04, Seattle WA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KXLY 04, Spokane WA,) email@example.com (KAPP 35, Yakima WA,) firstname.lastname@example.org (KVEW 42, Kennewick WA,) email@example.com (WQOW , La Cross WI,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WBAY 02, Green Bay WI,) email@example.com (WISN 12, Milwaukee WI,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WAOW 09, Wausau WI,) email@example.com (WCHS 08, Charleston WV ,) firstname.lastname@example.org (WOAY 04, Oak Hill WV,) email@example.com] *** Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Higher Taxes Spur Black Markets (An Op-Ed In 'The Oakland Tribune' By A Tobacco Company Executive Says Making Cigarettes Vastly More Expensive And Trying To Regulate Tobacco Out Of Existence Will Not Achieve What Supporters Of The McCain Bill Desire - The Ostensible $1.10 Per Pack Increase Will Push The Price Of Cigarettes To More Than $5.00 Per Pack, And The Experience In Canada, Britain And Several High-Tax States Shows That Creating A Massive Black Market Will Make It Easier For Children To Purchase Cigarettes, Not More Difficult) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:39:55 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Higher Taxes Spur Black Markets Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: email@example.com Author: Nick Brookes, chairman and chief executive officer of Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. HIGHER TAXES SPUR BLACK MARKETS Despite the good intentions many people in Washington, making cigarettes vastly more expensive and trying to regulate tobacco out of existence will not achieve the goals that supporters of the McCain bill desire, In fact, it will make the situation worse. For starters, the Clinton administration and Sen. John MeCain speak of a $1.10 increase in cigarette taxes as a means to reduce underage smoking. This is disingenuous. What is not said is that this tax increase, combined with the other punitive provisions of the McCain hill, other tax increases already legislated and the impact on margins and volumes, would push the price of cigarettes to more than $5.00 per pack. This will create a massive black market, one in which children will find it easier, not more difficult, to purchase cigarettes. In the late 1980s, the Canadian government adopted a policy of escalating cigarette taxes to discourage youth smoking. By 1994. the price of a carton of cigarettes had reached $46. Also by then, more than one--third of the entire Canadian market was contraband-smuggled cigarettes, unregulated and untaxed. Government studies revealed that few in Canada had quit smoking because of the high cost. Faced with an unofficial tax revolt and growing lawlessness, the Canadian government made massive tax cuts on cigarettes in February 1994. In England today, the government is losing about 81 billion a year in taxes to cigarette smuggling. A rash of street crime and violence associated with smuggling is making some parts of England so unsafe residents are not venturing out or their homes after dark. In Sweden, the government has had to slash tobacco taxes by 27 percent to combat smuggling. Unfortunately, the United States is not immune to this sort of thing. According to an October 1996 study by the independent Washington-based Tax Foundation, "cross-border shopping for cigarettes (to avoid high taxes) increased an astounding 454 percent between 1980 and 1994, while cigarette smuggling increased 295 percent during the same period." Last month Washington state, which has one of the highest cigarette tax rates in the country, reported that 27 percent of its cigarette market was contraband. With the state losing more than $110 million a year in taxes, the legislature shifted power to enforce the tobacco tax from the revenue department to the Liquor Control Board, "whose agents carry guns and have police powers," according to an Associated Press report. Michigan's cigarette smuggling rate is estimated to be between 20 percent and 30 percent of the market. The state increased taxes by 200 percent in 1994. Other cur-rent hot spots for smuggling cigarettes in the United States include California and Texas -- both with long borders with Mexico, which offers premium cigarettes for less than $1 a pack -- Florida, which is suffering a huge "gray market" for cigarettes that is fast becoming an illegal market. and New York. Simple math shows why smuggling is so lucrative to organized crime. A large truck can hold 700,000 packs of cigarettes. If cigarettes are brought into the United States from abroad and avoid customs officials -- as is happening in a number of major ports -- evading the 24-cents-per-pack federal tax and, say, the license-a-pack tax in Michigan, the tax avoidance is almost 8700.000 per truckload. Imagine the lure to organized crime should the government push the price per pack to $5. The tax evasion would be almost 81.3 million, with total market value of $3.5 million per truck. There might be some value in this approach if raiing cigarette prices actually reduced youth smoking. But it doesn't. After Canada's experiment with high taxes failed, Health Minister Diane Marleau said that the government's decision to cut taxes would actually reduce consumption among youngsters, because it "will end the smuggling trade and force children to rely on regular stores for cigarettes, where they are forbidden to buy them until they turn 19." Illinois, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Nebraska have all raised cigarette taxes in recent years - and seen youth smoking increase. Just last December, members of Congress and the White House were warned by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and other law-enforcement groups that they should avoid raising cigarette prices so much that a black market springs up. Raising tobacco prices won't work, but it will create an illegal and unregulated underground market, making cigarette smoking more, not less, alluring to rebellious teenagers, punishing the 98 percent of smokers who are adults and placing in jeopardy the 2 million Americans whose jobs are tied to tobacco.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Expresses Regret Over Mexico Drug Sting ('Associated Press' Says President Clinton Called President Ernesto Zedillo And Admitted The United States Should Have Informed Mexican Authorities About 'Operation Casablanca,' An Undercover US Money-Laundering Sting In That Country) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 21:18:38 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Clinton Expresses Regret Over Mexico Drug Sting Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Associated Press Pubdate: 26 May 1998 Author: Laura Myers, Associated Press CLINTON EXPRESSES REGRET OVER MEXICO DRUG STING WASHINGTON -- President Clinton, responding to a complaint by Mexico, told President Ernesto Zedillo the United States should have informed Mexican authorities about an undercover U.S. money-laundering sting in that country, the White House said Tuesday. ``President Clinton expressed regret that better prior consultation had not been possible in this case,'' spokesman Mike McCurry said, confirming Clinton called Zedillo after the Mexican leader condemned the secret use of American undercover agents inside his country. Clinton made the call on Friday, after Mexico lodged a formal complaint with the U.S. government over how the three-year investigation was run. Operation Casablanca culminated last week in 160 indictments, including of at least two dozen Mexican bankers, many of whom were lured to the United States, where they were arrested. McCurry said the two presidents agreed ``the U.S.-Mexico counterdrug partnership is vital to success'' of efforts to fight drug trafficking, which results in profits that criminals try to legitimize by illegally ``laundering'' the money through cooperating banks. Before he talked to Clinton, Zedillo had complained that no cause ``can justify the violation of our sovereignty nor of our laws.'' U.S. law enforcement officials said they did not notify Mexico of the operation because they feared endangering undercover agents. Mexico's anti-drug operations often are infiltrated by drug gangs. Mexico's Foreign Secretary Rosario Green said Monday that she may try to extradite and prosecute U.S. undercover agents who may have violated Mexican law while taking part in the sting operation. Green said that with revelations that this wasn't just an undercover operation on U.S. territory, ``it stopped being an issue of money laundering and became an issue of violating national sovereignty.'' In a meeting with Mexican senators Tuesday, Mexican Deputy Attorney General Eduardo Ibarrola said that Casablanca case files reviewed by Mexican officials in Washington indicate ``probable cause'' exists to file a complaint, the government news agency Notimex reported. Myron Marlin, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said the agency had not been notified of any legal action Mexico may take. He refused to comment on allegations agents violated any laws. In Los Angeles, more than a dozen suspects arrested in the case pleaded innocent Tuesday to the money-laundering charges. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talked to Green by telephone on Friday to say the United States should have notified Mexican officials, State Department spokesman James Rubin said. ``Secretary Albright did express her regret in general terms about the level of consultations and the manner of announcement of the investigation,'' Rubin told reporters. Asked if the ill feelings could hurt U.S.-Mexican relations, Rubin said, ``We value our cooperation with the Mexican government in the fight against drug traffickers, and we certainly hope they put their need to fight drug trafficking over any of their concerns about consultations.'' Mexican officials had initially welcomed the indictments after they were announced May 18 in Washington. But in recent days, Mexico's leaders claimed the United States violated international agreements and Mexican laws by failing to inform them of the investigation and by having U.S. agents operate on their soil without permission.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Murder And Marijuana In Mexico (According To 'The New York Times,' The Government In Oaxaca Is Saying Parish Priest Mauro Ortiz Carreno Was Killed For Usury - Everyone Else Says He Was Killed By A Gang That The Government Is Covering Up For Which Allegedly Controls The Drug Industry In Oaxaca's Sierra Madre Del Sur, And Which Set Mountain Woodlands On Fire This Spring To Clear New Marijuana Plantations, Devastating Virgin Forests) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 21:36:46 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Mexico: Murder And Marijuana In Mexico Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com (kevin b. zeese) Source: New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Author: Sam Dillon MURDER AND MARIJUANA IN MEXICO In the Hills, Marijuana Fields and a Priest's Murder SAN JUAN OZOLOLTEPEC, Mexico -- When the lone telephone in this mountain hamlet rang recently, it was the archbishop of Oaxaca calling with bitter news: San Juan's parish priest, the Rev. Mauro Ortiz Carreno, was dead. The details of Ortiz's death were almost as wrenching as his loss itself to the black-shawled women and sandal-wearing farmers who live here. The 42-year-old priest was seized on May 6 in Oaxaca's state capital and killed, mob style, with one shot to the head. The police found his body in the trunk of a car. No one has been charged in the case. In interviews, Ortiz's parishioners as well as church leaders familiar with his ministry blamed a gang that they say controls the drug industry in Oaxaca's Sierra Madre del Sur. When traffickers set mountain woodlands on fire this spring to clear new marijuana plantations, devastating virgin forests, Ortiz spoke out to denounce the drug culture and the torching of rich timberland, they said. The priest's slaying came as vast tracts of timber and grasslands were in flames. Corn farmers use fire to raze fields before planting, the authorities said, but traffickers have also been igniting forests to expand marijuana and opium poppy plots. This year, Mexico's drifting smoke cloud was intense enough to provoke health warnings across the southern United States. The official version of Ortiz's killing contrasts starkly with the view held by those who knew him. In an interview, Oaxaca's attorney general, Roberto Martinez Ortiz, said the main suspect was a man to whose former wife Ortiz lent $1,250 last year. The priest had been pressing the woman to pay interest, Martinez said, and the authorities hypothesize that Ortiz was killed to cancel the debt. Statements by Archbishop Hector Gonzalez Martinez appeared to accept the government account. But other church authorities scoffed. "Father Mauro was no usurer," Auxiliary Bishop Miguel Angel Alba said in an interview. "This is a self-serving version invented by the government, so that no one will think drug mafias are operating in Oaxaca. We suspect that authorities ordered this murder." San Juan sits in a remote valley, shaded by stands of towering pine and spruce, five hours' drive south of the state capital, also called Oaxaca. Whether baptizing parishioners in the village's 17th-century chapel or instructing catechists in his cement-floored office, Ortiz was the center of San Juan's spiritual and intellectual life. As with most rural priests, his ministry involved travel to surrounding villages. He drove a Ford pickup, often wearing a jaunty straw hat. He was so beloved that Tereso Hernandez, San Juan's Mayor, said he feared a lynching if parishioners identified the killer. "People are crazed with sorrow," he said. Guadalupe Aragon, a village council member, challenged the state government's portrayal of Ortiz as a greedy moneylender. Sometimes the priest responded to parishioners' pleas by lending a few pesos here and there, Aragon said, but he never sought to profit from the loans. So what could have provoked the killing? Ortiz aroused the anger of powerful people before, the village leaders recalled, for instance in 1992, when he denounced the embezzlement of timber-cutting fees by local officials of a previous administration, drawing death threats. But Gabriel Silva, San Juan's treasurer, drew nods when he voiced a stronger suspicion. Residents in San Francisco Ozololtepec, a bordering hamlet also in the priest's jurisdiction, Silva said, cultivate marijuana and patrol their plantations wielding rifles. In March, fires set by the traffickers to clear new plots spread into San Juan's forests, he said. The devastation angered the priest, and during a visit to San Francisco he urged parishioners there to replace their Mayor, Estanislao Ga-llardo Roque, with someone who would crack down on the drug culture, Silva said. Weeks later, back in San Juan, Ortiz denounced the drug culture and the burning of forests in a sermon, Silva said. Church officials in the state capital outlined events leading to the priest's murder in similar terms. "His preachings confronted the narcotics traffickers," said a report on the murder issued by the Rev. Wilfrido Mayren Pelaez, a priest who knew Ortiz. "He denounced the burning of forests to plant marijuana and the enrichment of some people by poisoning others." Gallardo, San Francisco's mayor, denied in a phone interview that marijuana was grown in his village, although he acknowledged that he spent a month in jail in 1980 on what he described as trumped-up marijuana charges. "I have no idea how or why this priest was killed," he said. "I hope they arrest the person who did it." Town officials in San Juan and the church authorities in the state capital said that the traffickers in the Sierra Madre were protected by a network that appeared to include state government officials. "I don't know anything about any mafia," said Israel Jarquin Magno, the state government delegate with jurisdiction over San Juan and San Francisco. In a phone interview, Jarquin said he had no information about drug cultivation in the Oaxaca mountains. Enforcing narcotics laws is a federal responsibility, he said. "Don't ask me about that," he added. Ortiz was buried in the village near the state capital where he was born. But following a tradition, his parishioners gathered on May 17, nine days after his burial, for an all-night memorial session to say the rosary. In San Juan's plaza at midnight, smoke from smoldering forests mingled with incense wafting from the chapel, where 200 peasants knelt before a bank of glowing candles, many weeping. At dawn, musicians sounded an Indian dirge as villagers trudged up a trail to a mountaintop cemetery, bearing a wooden cross honoring the slain pastor. One woman in the procession, Severina Heredia, described the impact of the priest's death. "Our world has turned black," she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Planting Begins In Chatham-Kent ('The Record' In Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Says Planting Of The First Legal Crop Of Hemp In Canada In More Than Six Decades Will Jump Into High Gear This Week, According To Officials Of Pain Court-Area Based Kenex Ltd.) From: "Starr" (email@example.com) To: "mattalk" (firstname.lastname@example.org), "maptalk" (email@example.com) Subject: HEMP PLANTING BEGINS IN CHATHAM-KENT Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 09:29:00 -0400 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) firstname.lastname@example.org Date: May 26, 1998 HEMP PLANTING BEGINS IN CHATHAM-KENT PAIN COURT, Ont. --- Planting of the first legal crop of hemp in more than six decades in Canada will jump into high gear this week in Chatham-Kent, according to officials of Pain Court-area based Kenex Ltd. Approximately 50 Chatam-Kent farmers have been given federal government permits through Kenex Ltd., a new local company established to oversee the local production of the crop, to actually plant hemp in 1998. The 50 growers signed up by Kenex Ltd. will produce approximately 400 hectares (2,000 acres) of hemp this year for the company. In continuous cultivation for thousands of years in parts of Europe and Asia, hemp was outlawed in North America during the 1930s -- 1938 in Canada -- because of its association with its "reefer madness" cousin, marijuana. But regulations were put in place in March by Haelth Canada for hemp's commercial cultivation after Ottawa passed the new Contolled Substance and Abuse Act in 1996, OK'ing the plant's production. Bob Lecuyer, general manager of Kenex Ltd., said the first federal permits for growers in Chatam-Kent were received by Kenex last week. Farmers can only grow the crop with special permits issued by Ottawa and distributed by Kenex Ltd. The 50 Chatham-Kent farmers growing hemp this spring are doing so under contract with Kenex Ltd., which is also highly licensed and regulated by Ottawa. At the same time, Lecuyer said more than $2 million worth of specially-designed processing equiptment from Europe is being installed in a new processing centre on the Winter Line in the former Dover Township. lecuyer said it's likely acreage grown in Chatham-Kent will more than double to the 4,000-plus mark in 1999. "There is a great demand for hemp products from the automobile industry," he said. "If the market takes off like we think it will, hemp production will boom in the coming years." Users are derived from the plant's sturdy fibres and nutritious seeds which can be used in a wide variety of fashion and industrial fabrics, paper, salad oils, medicines, cosmetics and even beer brewing. -Canadian Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teens Busted For Drug Trafficking ('Canadian Press' Says 14 Teenagers Were Charged Tuesday After An Undercover Police Investigation At A High School In Oakville, Ontario) Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 21:07:35 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Wire: Teens Busted For Drug Trafficking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Aron Kay Source: Canadian Press Pubdate: 26 May 1998 TEENS BUSTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING OAKVILLE, Ont. (CP) -- Fourteen teenagers were charged Tuesday with drug trafficking following a police investigation at a local high school. Sgt. Frank Phillips of Halton Regional police said an undercover officer portrayed himself as a student at General Wolfe High School in early April. He was able to purchase marijuana, hashish and magic mushrooms. Police said in a release the school was selected because it draws a population from all over the city. Christopher Hagglund, James Hachey and Krzyszlof Kondratiuk, all 18 years old, will appear in an Oakville court July 7. Eleven young offenders, whose identity is protected by law, will appear in Oakville Youth Court the following day.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Czar Says Traffic Moving West ('Associated Press' Says General Barry McCaffrey Visited The US Commonwealth Of Puerto Rico And Said Drug Traffic There Has Decreased, Partly Because Smugglers Are Shifting Routes To Poorer Nations Just West, Particularly Haiti And The Dominican Republic On Hispaniola) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 20:48:27 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Drug Czar Says Traffic Moving West Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin b. zeese) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Author: Chris Hawley, Associated Press Writer Drug Czar Says Traffic Moving West SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Drug traffic through Puerto Rico has decreased, partly because smugglers are shifting routes to the poorer nations just west, U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey said Tuesday. ``It's like squeezing a balloon,'' McCaffrey said during a visit to the Caribbean island, which is a U.S. commonwealth. ``You put pressure on one area and it pops up in another.'' That new area, he said, is the island of Hispaniola, only 100 miles away, where the impoverished governments of the Dominican Republic and Haiti have proven unable to stem near-nightly attempts by smugglers to land speedboats carrying cocaine. McCaffrey, who directs the Office of National Drug Control Policy, estimated about 7 tons of cocaine still flow into Puerto Rico monthly, most en route to the United States. He said that's down from as much as 14 tons two years ago. ``But this is not the time to be declaring victory,'' McCaffrey said. ``The drug-smuggling effort in Haiti and the Dominican Republic is now enormous and is still attempting to get through Puerto Rico and into the United States.'' The shipments move directly to Florida, Texas and other southeastern states, he said. Drug agents are relying on new and costly hardware to combat the traffic. Puerto Rican police are buying a $16 million X-ray system for shipping containers and the U.S. Navy will install a controversial radar system =97 opposed by Puerto Rican environmentalists =97 capable of tracking airplanes as they leave South American rain forests. The Coast guard also wants to add more patrol boats at a cost of over $30 million. Puerto Rico is a key shipping point for smugglers because flights and ships to the mainland United States do not have to pass through U.S. Customs, and there are hundreds of direct flights to U.S. cities every week. Since many smugglers are paid in cocaine that they can resell, the trade has also created a massive drug addiction problem in Puerto Rico. McCaffrey said some estimates put the number of drug users at 65,000, or one in 58 residents. On Tuesday, McCaffrey met with Gov. Pedro Rossello and the Alliance for a Drug-Free Puerto Rico, a coalition of advertising companies that create public-service announcements for Puerto Rican television. He urged a greater focus on children between the ages of 9 and 19, saying they must be discouraged from experimenting with ``gateway drugs'' like marijuana and alcohol. McCaffrey was to visit the Dominican Republic on Wednesday. He said he wanted to ``see in which areas we might be able to help.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Elite US Troops Help Train Colombians ('Washington Post' Article In 'The International Herald Tribune' Says Hundreds Of US Special Forces Have Conducted Extensive Training Exercises With Colombian Soldiers Fighting Drug Traffickers And Guerrillas Under A Program That Circumvents A State Department Policy Restricting Military Aid To Colombian Units That Have Been Cleared Of Involvement In Human Rights Abuses) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 18:15:30 +0000 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster (email@example.com) Subject: IHT: Elite U.S. Troops Help Train Colombians Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Pubdate: May 26, 1998 Author: By Dana Priest and Douglas Farah Washington Post Service ELITE U.S. TROOPS HELP TRAIN COLOMBIANS TO FIGHT THE DRUG TRAFFICKERS Washington Post Service WASHINGTON --- U.S. Special Forces troops have been conducting extensive training exercises with Colombian soldiers fighting drug traffickers and guerrillas under a program that avoids restrictions imposed on military aid by the Clinton administration. The restrictions were imposed in response to Colombia's abysmal human rights record and drug-related corruption. The training, involving hundreds of American troops each year, has allowed the U.S. military to play a much more direct and autonomous role in Colombia than of ficials have acknowledged. Small teams of elite American troops have instructed Colombians in light infantry tactics and intelligence gathering for anti-drug operations, and have conducted eight-week counterterrorism courses, usually in remote jungle bases where guerrillas and drug traffickers are most active. The program is authorized under a 1991 law that permits U.S. Special Forces, America's premier irregular fighters, to train on foreign soil if the training is designed primarily to benefit the U.S. troops. While not secret, the training is sensitive enough that few in Congress are aware of it. The exercises have been suspended this month as Colombia holds presidential elections. The law authorizing the special forces exercises does not require U.S. troops to abide by a State Department policy in which military aid is restricted to Colombian units that have been cleared of any involvement in human rights abuses. Colombian troops trained by the special forces are not similarly vetted. It was under the same program, known as the Joint Combined Exchange Training, that American troops conducted 41 training exercises with Indonesia in the past seven years even though many members of Congress believed they had curtailed military ties with that country because of human rights abuses. Defense Secretary William Cohen suspended the Indonesia program two weeks ago because of turmoil in the country. The Pentagon spokesman, Kenneth Bacon, said the United States considered the joint training important because "it allows us to train in different areas of the world and to learn how other militaries operate." "We did this under the terms of the law," he said. "It was totally legal and reported to Congress." The training program has quietly proceeded in Colombia as a civil war there has intensified and as Washington debates how to oppose. drug trafficking from the world's top cocaine producer where all centers of power---the military, the government and the guerrillas ---have been tainted by the drug trade. While the United States is reluctant to get involved in counterinsurgency operations, the line between the narcotics traffickers and the guerrill,as has blurred. Senior administration officials said that an across-the-board assessment of Colombian policy was under way, involving the State Department, Defense Department and intelligence agencies, because of a consensus that Colombia the hemisphere's second-oldest democracy, is facing an escalating threat to its stability. In recent months, the two Marxist guerrilla movements have inflicted heavy losses on government troops and now control about 50 percent of the country. A recent Defense Intelligence Agency report estimated that the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has 15,000 troops and the National Liberation Army has 5,000 troops, a substantial increase from a year earlier. U.S. Special Forces officers involved in the training program in Colombia say it plays an essential role in maintaining good relations with a long-standing U.S. ally. They also say that U.S. troops learn to operate in jungle and mountain terrain not found in the United States and train for emergency evacuations of U.S. personnel and for fighting terrorism. But the uneasy, broader U.S. relationship with Colombian authorities was highlighted this month when the United States revoked the visa of General Ivan Ramirez, inspector-general of the armed forces, over his alleged ties to several army massacres of civilians. Two years ago the United States barred contacts with General Hernando Camilo Zuniga, then commander of the armed forces, because of suspected ties to drug traffickers. Under heavy U.S. pressure, President Ernesto Samper on Tuesday disbanded the 20th Intelligence Brigade because of evidence that the unft was responsible for a series of murders of civilian politicians and human rights activists.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Who Rape, Sell Drugs And Steal (According To 'The Sydney Morning Herald,' Those Are The Sorts Of Officers Australian Police Commissioner Peter Ryan Now Has Power To Sack Quickly - Ryan Admits For The First Time The Extent Of Corruption On The Force) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 00:22:19 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Police Who Rape, Sell Drugs And Steal Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Nick Papadopoulos POLICE WHO RAPE, SELL DRUGS AND STEAL: RYAN The Police Commissioner, Mr Peter Ryan, has revealed for the first time the extent of corruption in the force, admitting that some of his officers had been charged with raping women in police cells. Other officers had been sacked, or were on their way out, for other "major crimes" including indecently assaulting minors, selling drugs and burglaries, he said. "When people come on a document in front of me charged with indecent assault on young children, raping women in police cells, crashing police cars and running away, stealing ... and dealing in drugs, burglary and crime, you don't want them in your police force and I don't want them in mine." Mr Ryan made the remarks while addressing the Police Association of NSW biennial conference in Wollongong. So far, 108 officers have faced the "commissioner's confidence" provision of the Police Service Act. The provision, section 181D, allows Mr Ryan to remove an officer he no longer has confidence in, as part of his clean-up following the damning revelations of the Police Royal Commission. By March 30, half of the 108 had been dealt with. Three were removed, 14 resigned, four were medically discharged, one was dismissed under another provision, 15 were warned and 17 taken out of the 181D category. Decisions on the remainder have yet to be made. A spokesman for Mr Ryan said last night that the commissioner had "rattled off" a series of "worst-case scenarios" in his speech to scotch rumours that minor incidents, such as turning up late for work, could see officers sacked. The spokesman would not be drawn on whether any charges had been laid, saying it was policy not to discuss cases involving the commissioner's confidence provision. Mr Ryan said of the legislation in his speech: "It is designed only to weed out those who are corrupt, absolutely inept, or simply don't want to work, and to deal with [them] as quickly as possible. "It is designed to bring to an end the days when people were left wondering for months and even years about their future." He stressed that honest officers had nothing to fear. "I am tired of seeing draconian action taken against those who have just made a simple mistake. Let people come clean and we can deal with it openly." Mr Ryan said that one of the big problems of the "old" Police Service had been that little tolerance was shown to officers who made honest mistakes. This resulted in knee-jerk reactions and often led to cover-ups.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moore Faces PM's Ire Over 'Mean-Minded' Attack ('The Canberra Times' Says Australian Prime Minister John Howard Has Rejected Outright ACT Health Minister Michael Moore's Demand To Remove The Salvation Army's Brian Watters From His Job As Chairman Of The National Council On Drugs Due To Watters' Narrow, Prohibitionist Attitude)Date: Tue, 26 May 1998 15:57:08 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Moore Faces PM's Ire Over 'Mean-Minded' Attack Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 1998 MOORE FACES PM'S IRE OVER 'MEAN-MINDED' ATTACK Prime Minister John Howard has described as 'mean-minded and insubstantial' ACT Health Minister Michael Moore's weekend attack on the head of a senior advisory group on drugs. Mr Moore's attack had been 'born of prejudice', Mr Howard said. Mr Moore had called on Mr Howard to remove Brian Watters from his job as chairman of the National Council on Drugs, saying Mr Watters had a narrow, prohibitionist attitude to drugs. Independent Paul Osborne joined the fray yesterday, saying Mr Moore had gone 'completely over the top' in his criticism of Mr Watters. Mr Moore should 'think long and hard about the responsibilities of his new role and consider for a moment that ACT Health is not his personal toy', Mr Osborne said. 'Michael Moore is Health Minister for the people of the ACT, not for the Michael Moore career advancement society. He should . . . not use his position to strut his personal agenda on a national stage.' Mr Howard appeared not to know that Mr Moore had joined the Carnell Government, in his comments at Question Time yesterday in the federal Parliament. He said he had been 'disappointed' to read of the attack from 'an Independent' Member of the Assembly. When Canberra MP Bob McMullan interjected that Mr Moore was a member of the Liberal Government, Mr Howard said, 'I see. That disappoints me even further.' He said he had 'deliberately hand-picked' Mr Watters to chair the council. 'It is no secret that Major Watters adopts the view, as do many others, including myself, that the policy of zero-tolerance of drug taking in this country is a wholly credible policy and a policy that ought to be pursued more vigorously.' Chief Minister Kate Carnell supported Mr Moore yesterday, saying she had expressed similar concerns about Mr Watters' appointment. Mr Moore also won support from the president of the Australian Foundation for Drug Law Reform, Alex Wodak, who said many people were concerned about Mr Watters' appointment because of the 'deeply disturbing things' he had said about drugs. '[His] chairmanship has disturbed a lot of people because he continues to make very partisan and very ill-informed comments,' Dr Wodak, of Sydney, said. Mr Watters' attack on the methadone program raised the 'real question about whether he is, and ever was, a suitable candidate' for the chairmanship of the council. In a Sydney radio interview, Mr Watters said although he wanted to 'encourage Australia to become a society that doesn't tolerate or even give in to this drug scourge', Mr Moore wanted to see a softening of laws. 'In fact, you know, he would be very pleased to see various drugs available, almost on demand.' Mr Moore said he was 'just sorry that the Prime Minister's approach was not based on reasonable evidence'. 'That's part of the tragedy. The other part is that because of their approach there will be an increase in the spread of disease and more people dying.'
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smokers In Front Line Of A New World War (Britain's 'Independent' Says Governments From Singapore To California Are Cracking Down On Tobacco Consumers - But British Aren't Likely To Follow Any Time Soon) Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 22:25:43 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Smokers in front line of a new world war Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: 26 May 1998 SMOKERS IN FRONT LINE OF A NEW WORLD WAR Britain may be unwilling to legislate but other countries have not been so reticent. Linus Gregoriadis reports A SHIFT in the tide of opinion against tobacco has led to strict anti-smoking laws across the world. Fears about the dangers of cigarettes, ignited by the World Health Organisation and other groups with events such as this week's World No-Tobacco Day, have led to many governments introducing tough legislation. In the United States, where smokers have long been treated as social outcasts, many states have laws which ban smoking in banks, shops and other public buildings. In California, a hard-line smoking ban on virtually all public places was extended from the beginning of this year to include bars and the bar areas of restaurants. Singapore has led the way among Asian nations with its anti-smoking laws. Shopping malls, pedestrian underpasses and various outdoor public places were recently added to a long list of areas where the habit is strictly forbidden. But though the authorities in Singapore and California justify their draconian stance by pointing to reduced levels of smoking, many people believe that similar laws would not work in Britain. Amanda Sandford, of the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), said yesterday: "It wouldn't be appropriate to go along Californian lines in this country because there would be an outcry and people would ignore it. You have to win people over by a gradual approach. "The attitude in this country has changed. People are more prepared to say 'yes I do mind if you smoke'. It is only really in leisure places like pubs and clubs where smokers don't feel that they have to ask to light up." In France, smoking is forbidden in all public areas, but this has proved difficult to enforce, especially in bars and restaurants where the 1992 law is often disregarded. Ms Sandford said: "France is a good example of where they made the mistake of introducing a law before they had public support behind them. Having said that, people there do seem to accept the laws more now, and even though there has been resistance in bars and restaurants the law is successfully enforced on places like the Metro in Paris." No country has a bigger smoking problem than China, where it has been estimated that two-thirds of adult males are smokers. Ms Sandford said: "Millions of people smoke there and the numbers are rising. The government there is beginning to realise that they will have to control it." In Italy, smoking is banned in most public places including hospitals, schools libraries, museums, concert halls, cinemas and theatres. In Sweden, smoking is banned, or restricted to certain areas, in shops, banks, schools and restaurants. The World Health Organisation expressed disappointment yesterday at the British government's decision. Barbara Zolty, of the World Health Organisation, said: "We strongly support measures to control smoking in public places. There are many reasons for this. Passive smoking has been shown to be harmful to people's health. In addition, it sets an example to young people by showing that governments are taking the problem seriously."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Bud In This Beer Is A Bit Of Marijuana ('The Wall Street Journal' Notes A German Brewer Who Has Been Adding Flowering Tops From Hemp - Legal Since 1996 - To His Successful Product, Called 'Turn,' Is Being Sued By Other German Brewers For Violating One Of The First Consumer Protection Measures In History, The Reinheitsgebot Law, Enacted In 1516, Which Requires That Beer Be Made From Malt, Hops, Yeast And Water - And Nothing Else) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 09:56:52 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Nancy Bernhardt (email@example.com) Subject: Re: mattalk-d Digest V98 No. 290 Newshawk: Nancy Bernhardt (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Wall Street Journal Pubdate: May 26th/98 Author: Greg Steinmetz The Bud In This Beer Is A Bit Of Marijuana Asbjoern Gerlach brews his beer with water, malted barley, yeast, hops -- and marijuana. In Germany, that last ingredient raises eyebrows, but not for the reason you might think. Since 1996, low-tetrahydrocannabinol hemp has been legal here and is now one of the country's fastest-growing cash crops. Mr. Gerlach, a 30-year-old brewer in Berlin's rough-and-tumble Kreuzberg neighborhood, adds low-THC Cannabis sativa, the flowering buds of the hemp plant, as a flavoring in his brew. He has been doing it on a small scale ever since hemp was legalized and now sells his beer to pubs as far away as London. The police don't care; the hemp in his beer is very low in the active ingredient people smoke marijuana for. But Germany's image-conscious big brewers last month threatened to sue him. If Mr. Gerlach should lose in court, he could be fined $6,000 a bottle for violating the country's strict beer-purity law. The Reinheitsgebot law, enacted in 1516, is one of the first consumer-protection measures in history. It requires that beer be made from malt, hops, yeast and water -- and nothing else. If you want to call it beer, you can't use flavorings. No chocolate, no cinnamon, no tequila and certainly no marijuana. The law was relaxed in 1993 so foreign brewers such as Anheuser-Busch Cos. and Miller Brewing Co. can sell their "beer" in Germany, additives and all. But the old rules still apply to domestic brewers like young Mr. Gerlach, who looks like a snowboarder in his ragged sweater and baseball cap. "They are so proud of their stupid law," he complains. Hemp in beer goes way back. In the Middle Ages, before Germany passed the beer-purity law, brewers commonly used it, among various other herbs. They liked the aromatic weed because it gave beer a fruity taste and acted as a preservative. People who drank it "liked the feeling," Mr. Gerlach says. Mr. Gerlach revived the tradition several years ago while earning his brewing degree at Berlin's Technical University. Hemp was illegal. Breaking the law made his home brew even more popular at student parties. "We kept it kind of secret," he says. He apprenticed at some big brewers, but when he graduated and couldn't find a job, he opened a shop for hobby brewers that sold craft beers, beermaking supplies and beer he brewed himself. He had to keep it quiet until 1996 when Germany legalized hemp production following intense lobbying from what one government official called "hippies." Hemp advocates argued that German agriculture could benefit from a revival of the plant, which is easy to grow and which can be used to make all sorts of things, from rope to paper to clothing. Such products are now sold all over the country, in "hemp stores" and otherwise. In 1997, the second year for legal hemp in Germany, 7,163 acres were under cultivation. The German government agreed to legalization after imposing some tough conditions. Germany allows only nonhallucinogenic varieties to be grown. To keep farmers honest, it requires them to register with agriculture officials and submit to surprise testing of THC levels in their hemp. Mr. Gerlach figured even legal hemp would add character to beer -- and be a good sales gimmick. Immediately after the law passed, he brewed a batch for a hemp trade fair here. A few months later, with volunteer help from marketing students at the University of Potsdam, he began commercial production under the name Turn. The beer is sold in 80 pubs in Berlin and distributed in Leipzig, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. Some bottles are exported to Britain, Denmark and Spain. The only high anybody gets from drinking Turn comes from alcohol. "You have to drink 3,000 liters to feel the hemp, but by then you are dead from the alcohol," Mr. Gerlach says. But the beer's label, a blue marijuana leaf, is suggestive, as is Mr. Gerlach's slogan, "Turn your mind." Mr. Gerlach insists he isn't trying to fool anyone. The hemp leaf is what it is, he says. As for the slogan, "It's our way of saying turn your mind to the hemp plant for industrial uses." Compared to Lowenbrau, Becks and countless other big German beers, Turn is nothing. Mr. Gerlach produces just 26,400 gallons a year, enough to produce only 140,800 bottles. But the German Beer Association, the industry's trade group, is determined to shut him down. Peter Stille, the group's executive director, says a connection between beer and drug abuse could damage Germany's reputation for quality beer. To put a stop to Turn, the trade group invoked the beer-purity law. But Mr. Gerlach thought he had that covered. Nowhere on the label is Turn called beer. Rather, it is an "alcoholic drink with hemp buds." But the brewing association points out that the label says the product is "brewed like a traditional beer." Also, Mr. Gerlach's enterprise is called The Beer Company. As chemical analysis would show, Mr. Stille says, "It's beer. But it's forbidden beer." If the trade group failed to crack down on Turn, he says, it would have to make exceptions for other brews with unusual ingredients. "One bad apple can spoil the whole basket. We don't allow exceptions," he says. Other brewers have had problems with the beer law. Rudolf Wahl, 59, has been brewing for 36 years. Two years ago, he came out with a hemp beer called Cannabia and, like Mr. Gerlach, innocently believed that he would not run afoul of the law as long as he called it a "hemp drink." But authorities cracked down. Mr. Wahl still makes Cannabia, but, taking advantage of a loophole in the beer law, he now mixes it with lemonade. He has had no legal trouble since then because, all agree, beer mixed with another drink is no longer beer. "I'm in favor of the law," Mr. Wahl says. "But in this case it's schizophrenic." Peter Fritsch's headaches arise from the fact that he adds sugar to sweeten his beer, Neuzelle Klosterbrau. The recipe, he says, comes from monks who for centuries had been brewing in the town of Neuzelle, near the Polish border. When the brewery association came down on him, he fought back and hired experts to analyze his drink and declare it a beer. He is dumbfounded by the trade group's objections. "It's like saying that coffee becomes something else after you add sugar," he says. He is still in court. Mr. Gerlach is confident that Turn will survive. He has hired a lawyer and has had help from Berlin's environmentalist Green Party, which won him some time by arguing that he is creating jobs. Mr. Gerlach only has four employees at his Kreuzberg location, but every job counts in a neighborhood with a 30% unemployment rate. Mr. Gerlach also has a fallback plan. He has been scouting out locations in Poland and the Czech Republic with the intention of shipping his beer back to Germany as an import exempt from the purity law. In the meantime, he has enough beer to survive a few more months of legal wrangling. "We have 50,000 bottles in storage," he says. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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.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
to 1998 Daily News index for May 21-27
to Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980526.html