Portland NORML News - Thursday, May 28, 1998

NORML Weekly News (California Medical Association Backs Removal
Of Marijuana From Schedule I Prohibitive Status; NORML, Others Testify
Against DEA Marijuana Eradication Program At Washington, DC Hearing;
San Francisco Officials Explore Distributing Medical Marijuana
In Wake Of Cannabis Healing Center's Closure;
International Drug Reform Coalition Declares
'Global Days Against The Drug War')

Thu, 28 May 1998 16:41:54 -0400 (EDT)
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 16:41:54 EDT
Subject: NORML WPR 5-28-98 II
The NORML Foundation News Release
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Suite 710
Washington, D.C. 20036
P (202) 483-5500
F (202) 483-0057
E-mail: normlfndtn@aol.com
URL: www.norml.org

May 27, 1998


CMA Backs Removal Of Marijuana From Schedule I Prohibitive Status

May 27, 1998, Sacramento, CA: One of the country's largest state
medical associations supports rescheduling marijuana so that researchers
may better study the drug's therapeutic value.

"Due to the lack of scientific justification for Schedule I
classification of marijuana and the consequent virtual standstill in
research on its medical benefits, ... we support efforts to reschedule
marijuana," the California Medical Association's Board of Trustee's
announced last week. "In addition, the Board support[s] efforts to
obtain federal approval for a safe, reliable source of marijuana in
California for research."

The Board also voted to back "federal control over [the] distribution
[of marijuana] for medical use in California through closely regulated

The CMA joins the American Public Health Association, the Florida
Medical Association, the California Nurses Association, the AIDS Action
Council, and over 20 other prominent medical groups that presently
support rescheduling marijuana.

The announcement marked a major policy shift for the CMA, which had
previously taken the position that more research was needed before making
marijuana legally available.

California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer praised the CMA's decision.
"The CMA has now come to the realization that the federal law is
bankrupt," he said. "It is apparent that the CMA is concerned about the
conflict between federal and state law and the lawless manner in which
marijuana is distributed now."

Gieringer also said that the CMA's position may undermine the passage of
federal House Resolution 372, a "sense of the House Resolution" stating
that "marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug [that] should not be
legalized for medical use." The House will likely debate the issue

"I don't know how any California Congressman could support the measure
in light of this evidence," Gieringer speculated.

For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano of The NORML
Foundation at (202) 483-8751 or Alice Mead at the California Medical
Association at (415) 541-0900.


NORML, Others Testify Against DEA Marijuana Eradication Program At
Washington, D.C. Hearing

May 28, 1998, Washington, D.C.: NORML joined other concerned groups and
citizens to testify against the aerial application of herbicides in
DEA-sponsored marijuana eradication efforts, at a public hearing
yesterday. The meeting, organized by the Department of Justice, was part
of an ongoing review of the "environmental impact" posed by the DEA's use
of herbicides, particularly glyphosate, to eliminate wild growing
marijuana. The agency has not conducted such a review since May 1986.

"The NORML Foundation strongly opposes the aerial directed spraying of
herbicides from low flying aircraft for the purpose of eliminating wild
growing marijuana plots," Publications Director Paul Armentano told DEA
officials. "After evaluating the DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication
Suppression Program, we find it misguided, excessively burdensome on
taxpayers, counterproductive, and potentially harmful to the health and
safety of residents and the environment."

Armentano cited evidence that the multi-million dollar a year program
targets almost entirely nonpsychoactive hemp, and that the aerial use of
glyphosate in marijuana eradication efforts is ineffective and
environmentally hazardous.

"This program almost exclusively eradicates ditchweed which presents no
threat to public safety," he said. "In addition, the aerial application
of herbicides to eliminate ditchweed poses a demonstrated threat to the
general public and wildlife through contamination of ground water,
surface water, air and soil, and the elimination of many animals'
habitat. Only in America do federal law enforcement continue to place
public safety at risk and our tax dollars to waste eliminating this
proven worldwide cash crop."

Previous forums held in Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, and Atlanta also drew
testimony and criticism from drug reform activists and environmentalists.
The DEA will review the testimony and include it in the final supplement
to the Environmental Impact Statement.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano of The NORML
Foundation at (202) 483-8751. Copies of NORML's testimony are available
upon request.


S.F. Officials Explore Distributing Medical Marijuana In Wake Of Cannabis
Healing Center's Closure

May 27, 1998, San Francisco, CA: City officials seeking alternatives to
the state's privately-run medical marijuana dispensaries are promoting
plans to distribute the drug through the Department of Public Health.

"The will is there to put this [issue] in Public Health's court,"
Supervisor Tom Ammiano said shortly after local law enforcement officials
complied with a court order to shut down the city's 9,000 member Cannabis
Healing Center. "We have to make this happen as soon as possible."

Ammiano said the Board of Supervisors may soon draft legislation to
allow the health department to distribute marijuana to city residents who
use the drug under their doctor's supervision. The proposal shares the
support of District Attorney Terence Hallinan, who compares the idea to
the city's policy of distributing clean hypodermic needles to addicts.
While the latter program violates federal law, Department of Justice
officials have not challenged the issue.

Mitchell Katz, director of the Public Health Department, said his agency
is examining the distribution issue. "We believe that medical marijuana
eases suffering and that providing it is a compassionate service," he

City officials will meet today with Mayor Willie Brown's office to
debate the issue, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer of California NORML
at (415) 563-5858.


International Drug Reform Coalition Declares "Global Days Against The
Drug War"

May 28, 1998, New York, NY: More than 90 drug policy reform groups
worldwide will participate in the upcoming "Global Days Against the Drug
War," a five day series of events beginning on June 5 to be held in
response to the United Nations Special Session on Narcotics. Several
groups -- including NORML, the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet),
Common Sense for Drug Policy, and others -- will host events in over 40
cities to promote alternative drug policies.

Participating cities include Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Auckland, New
Zealand; Dallas, Texas; London, England; Los Angeles, California; Madrid,
Spain; Munich, Germany; New Orleans, Louisiana; Paris, France; Rome,
Italy; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; Seattle,
Washington; Sidney, Australia; Tuscon, Arizona; Washington, D.C., and
Winnipeg, Canada.

For more information on scheduled events, please contact Adam Smith of
DRCNet at (202) 293-8340 or Kevin Zeese of Common Sense for Drug Policy at
(703) 354-5694. Additional information is available on-line at:

				- END -

Judge Approves Medical Marijuana Use ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Says Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Catherine Gallagher
Ruled Yesterday That Peter Baez, Co-Founder Of The Now-Defunct
Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center, Doesn't Have To Worry
About Failing Urine Tests While Awaiting Trial)

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 13:06:03 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: ltneidow@voyager.net (Lee T. Neidow)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Judge Approves med-mj use

The San Francisco Chronicle:

Pot Crusader Can Smoke Pending Trial

Thursday, May 28, 1998

SAN JOSE -- The former operator of San Jose's only
medical marijuana dispensary will be allowed to
smoke pot while awaiting trial on drug sales and
fraud charges, a Santa Clara County Superior
Court judge ruled yesterday. Peter Baez,
co-founder of the now-defunct Santa Clara County
Medical Cannabis Center, is facing seven felony
counts stemming from his yearlong directorship of
the center. Baez is free on his own recognizance
while awaiting trial, but he had faced a return to jail
if he tested positive for drugs. Baez, who suffers
from cancer, uses marijuana with the approval of
his physician. Judge Catherine Gallagher agreed
yesterday to waive testing for marijuana use while
on supervised release, which defense attorney Ingo
Brauer says might be a first. ``I don't believe it has
ever happened before,'' Brauer said. ``But then,
Proposition 215 (which legalized medical marijuana
use in California) is only two years old.'' County
prosecutors have charged Baez with five counts of
illegal drug sales, one count of running a drug house
and of fraudulently taking money from the center.

The Fall Of St. Peter - Why Public Officials Abandoned
Medical Marijuana Advocate Peter Baez.('The Metro,'
A San Jose, California Weekly, Recounts The Case Of Peter Baez
And The Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center
And Finds Police Acted In Bad Faith)

The Metro
San Jose, California
May 28-June 3, 1998

The Fall of St. Peter

Why public officials abandoned medical marijuana
advocate Peter Baez.

Crucifying St. Peter
Peter Baez
While spouting rhetoric supporting the Compassionate
Use Act, local officials launch an attack against
the man they once called a hero

Story by Eric Johnson
Photos by Christopher Gardner

'LUCY VALENZUELA" does not want to reveal her real
name because she is afraid of being seen as a
criminal. To control her almost constant pain, the
56-year-old San Jose woman, whose hands are
disfigured from diabetic nerve damage and who walks
with crutches, likes to smoke a bit of marijuana.

"The pills my doctor gives me make me confused, like
I'm stumbling around," she says. "The marijuana just
relieved my spasms. I could feel OK. It also took
some of the stress off my life, of having to live this

Until recently, Valenzuela believed the government -
via the will of the people - had agreed to allow her
to do this in peace. Now she's not so sure.

Until last month, Valenzuela was a client of the
Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center. When San
Jose police arrested founder Peter Baez in March and
seized its records, they decided that Valenzuela was
not a legitimate patient. Now she is known in court
documents as Buyer Number 5.

Valenzuela did not know that she was named in Baez's case until I
interviewed her last Friday. She cried when she found out--but she was more
angry than sad. "I feel like something was taken away from me," she said,
choking back tears. "Not just my medicine but my rights. This was something
very private to me."

She said she couldn't understand why Baez and his partner, Jesse Garcia, are
being targeted.

"I don't know why the government would want to attack them," she said. "They
came into this with good clean hearts. They put their necks on the line to
help people. They don't know it, but I pray for them every day. I pray to
God and the Virgin Mary. I have my santitos."

To become a santito, a person has to perform a miracle. It isn't enough to
be a good person or to follow some kind of calling--sainthood requires the
accomplishment of an impossible task, like making a desert rock spout water
or curing a sick person. On Friday, May 8, when the doors of the Santa Clara
County Medical Cannabis Center closed for good, it became clear that Peter
Baez cannot do the impossible.

Baez did, however, attempt a miracle. He tried to implement the
Compassionate Use Act, the law allowing the use of marijuana as medicine.
And as medical-marijuana clubs throughout the state have discovered, that
can't be done.

At least three agencies of the federal government are working to subvert the
law, which was passed when Californians voted for Proposition 215. Dan
Lungren's gubernatorial ambitions have set him on a crusade to thwart it.
And local officials--because of political pressure and sheer cowardice--are
now geared up to send the man who ran the only medi-pot dispensary in San
Jose to prison. If convicted, Baez, who suffers from colon cancer, could be
sentenced to nine years in prison.

The legal case charges that most of the patients at the SCCMCC did not have
written doctors' notes recommending marijuana. All of them--including the
five whom the DA has selected for prosecution--have documented ailments. The
legal question focuses narrowly on whether their doctors officially gave
them the green light to use marijuana.

Police and prosecutors also have launched a media campaign to depict Baez as
a liar and a thief. They condemn him for betraying their trust and have
charged that he ripped off his ailing clients--comparing his activities at
the center to "street-level drug dealing."

The evidence which was presented to the grand jury to procure an indictment,
however, suggests that while he may have violated the letter of an
imprecisely written law, Baez was trying to support the spirit of its
passage, to help dying and suffering people lead better lives. And he
received very little help from the public servants and elected officials
whose job, by voter mandate, was to make Prop. 215 work.

Two Faces of Government

THE COMPASSIONATE USE Act mandates that governments themselves "implement a
plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all
patients in medical need." Since Prop. 215 passed, local law enforcement and
elected officials have made assurances to the 66 percent of the citizenry
who supported the bill that they would see that it was carried out.

Some, like assistant district attorney Karin Sinunu and former police chief
Lou Cobarruviaz, stated their full support for the measure. Others were more
reluctant, making it clear that while they did not believe in marijuana as
medicine, they were willing to bow to the will of the people.

Lawmakers and police did, however, promise to keep a very close eye on how
the law was implemented. Unlike those in other California cities--including
San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Cruz, which developed a more or less
relaxed attitude about enforcement--San Jose and Santa Clara County
officials decided to closely monitor the way medical marijuana was dispensed.

They were pleased when Peter Baez approached them with his idea to form an
unofficial partnership with the city to carry out the Compassionate Use Act.
Baez, himself a cancer patient, had a reputation as a clean-cut do-gooder.
He had been commended in 1993 by Mayor Susan Hammer for his volunteer work
on AIDS, and he was a member of Gilroy's anti-graffiti task force.

Baez had spent years championing medical marijuana after developing a close
relationship with Jesse Garcia, a Gilroy man suffering from AIDS. Following
the passage of 215, Baez and Garcia had launched a guerrilla medi-pot
dispensary, which they operated out of a car in the parking lot of Valley
Medical Center.

After months of clandestine distribution, Baez and Garcia decided to open a
legitimate dispensary. They had a feeling the best way to do that was to
work closely with local law enforcement.

When the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center opened its doors just
over a year ago, local officials pledged to work with Baez. His subsequent
efforts to get marijuana to sick people--and to do it by the book--won him
much praise. At times, it did seem as though he were being canonized.

Karin Sinunu called him "the Eagle Scout of the medical marijuana movement."
National media flocked to San Jose to profile Baez, lauding the local center
as a statewide model. But, as it turns out, the official line of support for
Baez did not run very deep.

Now, as pressure from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and federal
prosecutors heats to a fever, six California mayors are petitioning the feds
to back off. Mayor Susan Hammer, a longtime friend of Baez's, declines to
comment on the subject and refers all questions to the police. And the SJPD,
through department spokesman John Carrillo, is hardly enthusiastic about
abiding by the Compassionate Use Act.

"I don't know how long 215 is going to be valid," Carrillo said. "It is not
legal under federal statute, and that takes precedence over California law.

"Currently, 215 was voted into effect. It is now currently law, and we must
follow the law, so it will be allowed. But what I can tell you as the
department spokesman is that the fate of 215 is in the courts."

Baez and Garcia both feel that they have been betrayed. They also think it
is more than coincidence that acting chief Walt Atkins took over the reins
of the department the very day of the SCCMCC raid.

"We had a great relationship with Chief Cobarruviaz," Garcia says of San
Jose's recently retired chief. "Suddenly, Atkins comes in, and boom. What
are we supposed to think?"

Atkins did not reply to requests for an interview for this article. But City
Attorney Joan Gallo says that "there has been no philosophical change
whatsoever" since Atkins took over. She points to the fact that this week,
she presented an ordinance to the City Council which would make it easier
for a cannabis center to operate.

However, she says pressure from the Clinton administration is making it
almost impossible for the city.

"With the federal government taking the unreasonable position that it is
taking, it is going to be very difficult for anybody to operate a legal
marijuana dispensary," Gallo says.

Peter Baez, Joan Baez & Jesse Garcia

Give Pete a Chance: Joan Baez was on hand to support her cousin Peter Baez
(left) and friend Jesse Garcia (right) during the official closing of the
Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Club early this month.

With Friends Like These ...

IN THE YEAR that the San Jose medi-pot center operated, the city offered
Baez and Garcia little in the way of support for their pioneering operation,
and then blamed Baez when the city decided that the experiment had failed.

The club's founders say that they had a one-way relationship with public
officials. "We felt like we were putting ourselves and our patients at risk
[by providing documentation and communication], and nobody would communicate
with us," Garcia says.

In Baez's apartment in Gilroy, the two have a file folder full of letters
requesting meetings with various officials, most of which never occurred. On
June 23, 1997, for instance, they asked Mayor Hammer to consider adopting a
resolution similar to one in Oakland that protects medi-pot dispensaries. On
Sept. 5, they wrote to assistant city attorney Carl Mitchell regarding
patients' concerns about the confidentiality of their medical records. On
Feb. 2 of this year they asked Hammer, Cobarruviaz and others to help them
contract with a local grower, so they could solve the thorny problem of
transporting the pot, another issue not resolved in the wording of the law.
They received no responses.

Instead, the city pushed the responsibility for dealing with the club on
Sgt. Scott Savage of the SJPD narcotics division.

When I interviewed Baez and Garcia for another article last May, they both
spoke highly of Savage. This unlikely trio--a narcotics officer and two
medi-pot activists--were at the time working together to set up an indoor
growing operation at the center's Meridian Avenue site (a plan that fell
through because the center's landlord feared he'd lose his property under
federal forfeiture law). In the months that followed, Baez even called
Savage to turn in five people who had come to him with forged doctors' notes.

Baez's motives in playing it straight with Savage were not altogether
saintly or even Boy Scoutish: He saw it as a matter of survival. The DEA was
sending undercover narcs into every pot club in California and filing
charges up and down the state. The SCCMCC was about the only club which
could not be stung--a fact Baez credits to his strict patient-intake procedures.

But according to police and prosecutors, Baez wasn't nearly careful enough.

In October of last year SJPD officers picked up a man named Enrique Robles,
a client of the SCCMCC, on a charge of possession. In his defense, Robles
said that as a member of the center, the pot he was carrying was legal.

Sgt. Scott Savage called Baez to confirm that Robles was a client and asked
Baez to give him the name of Robles' doctor. According to Savage's report,
Baez hemmed and hawed a bit and then named two local physicians. Savage
called both, and they denied having recommended pot for Robles.

The following Monday, March 24, Savage showed up at the SCCMCC's Meridian
Street office with a half-dozen undercover officers. Savage went inside and
asked Baez to turn over all of the center's files. Baez refused on the
grounds of patient confidentiality, claiming that the center's clients who
were dying of AIDS and cancer had a right to expect privacy. Savage produced
a search warrant and placed Baez under arrest.

According to court records, Savage seized all of the center's patient files,
a checkbook and check register, daily sales logs and the center's computer,
as well as some marijuana and cash as evidence. Police left some marijuana
at the premises, although the amount they left is in dispute.

After poring over the 270 patient files, Savage concluded that 25 percent of
the center's clients "appear to not comply with the Compassionate Use Act."
He then obtained a warrant to seize the center's bank account in Gilroy,
which contained almost $30,000.


Lighten Up: Clients at the Santa Clara County Medical Cannabis Center held a
wake last month on the day the center closed.

Dealing the Dirt

AS A RESULT of this raid, Baez now faces seven federal charges: five for
allegedly selling pot to five people who did not qualify under 215, one for
allegedly operating a "drug house" and one for allegedly committing grand
theft by accepting $705 per month in federal disability housing assistance.

Police and prosecutors also believe Baez stole money from the SCCMCC
checking account. The press release that went out last Monday following a
grand jury indictment says that "there is a large discrepancy, approximately
$73,454, between documented sales to SCCMCC clients and the amount of money
received by SCCMCC." It also says "there are $51,000 in checks written to
Peter Baez for cash," and that "Peter Baez purchased a brand-new Toyota RAV 4."

The press release doesn't mention that all of this information was
discovered because Baez--who was a banker for 10 years--accounted for every
nickel that came in the door. Nor does it mention that every nickel of the
alleged discrepancy was found in the center's bank account. Of course, it
stands to reason that these details were left out, because the press release
was circulated by Baez's prosecutors.

Baez still believes that if law enforcement officials had talked to him, if
they had asked him to walk them through his books, they would have reached a
different conclusion.

In fact, the center's books (copies of which were obtained by Metro) suggest
that Baez used the $51,000 to purchase the center's marijuana--which had to
be paid for in cash. A meticulous detail freak, Baez points to highlighted
dated entries, each of which is cross-referenced to a purchase of pounds of
"Yoli," "Boli" or "Mexican"--names of different grades of pot. He then
produces another document that shows when and how each pound was distributed
to patients.

He says he understands how Savage might have concluded there was a
discrepancy between patient files and daily tallies. The daily tally sheets,
he says, contain slash-marks for every eighth-ounce sold, regardless of the
price the center charged. If a client bought an ounce and received a
quantity discount, Baez made eight slash marks. Instead of paying eight
times $60, or $480, however, the patient might have paid $300, and that is
the amount recorded in the patient files, which were kept in dollars.

"Maybe that was a sloppy way of doing it," Baez now concedes, "but it isn't
criminal-sloppy. It's just busy-sloppy.

"More than 90 percent of our sales were cash," Baez adds. "If I had wanted
to steal that money, why would I keep records of it at all? Why would I put
it into a bank account where I know it could be found?"

He answers every charge in similarly exhaustive detail. When asked about the
RAV4 which the DA says he bought with stolen money, he produces another
file-folder containing a bank statement from South Valley Bank in Gilroy. It
shows a $8,000 wire transfer on July 21, 1997, from Samuel Baez, his
father--a retired U.S. Navy chaplain. Three days later, the register shows a
check written to Gilroy Toyota. The difference between the $8,000 and the
price of the RAV4 was made up by trading in his 1995 Pontiac Sunfire
convertible, he says, reaching for more paperwork to prove it.

Garcia, however, points out that even if he and Baez had chosen to take
money from the center, in the form of salaries, that would have been legal.
He says the pair was only using about $300 to $400 per month to cover
work-related expenses.

"We were volunteers," he says, "but there is nothing in 215 that says a
person has to be a volunteer to operate a center. It's one thing that we're
being asked to account for allegedly illegal activities. It doesn't seem
appropriate that we're also being asked to account for legal activities."

The legal issue is not so much that Baez stole money--although the DA
insists that he did. It's that he sold pot to people who didn't qualify
under the law.

All of the talk about Baez's alleged misuse of SCCMCC's funds is a
smokescreen, he believes, designed to turn public opinion against him and
against the medical-marijuana movement in general.

The Letter of the Law

AT THE HEART of the actual criminal case lies a real contradiction stemming
from the fact that Prop. 215 puts the state of California's laws at odds
with the laws of the U.S. government. Proposition 215 states that patients
must have a doctor's recommendation, but prescribing marijuana puts doctors
in violation of a federal law.

A document released by the California Medical Association in January invokes
the law and tells physicians in the state to steer clear of prescribing pot.
Issuing such a recommendation could make them ineligible to participate in
the Medicare and Medi-Cal programs, costing them serious money, and could
also result in their losing their licenses to write prescriptions for pain
medication, according to the CMA.

The memo reminded doctors that "the federal government, after the passage of
Proposition 215, indicated that it would seek sanctions against physicians
who recommended marijuana to their patients." It then described one of a
half-dozen lawsuits orbiting around 215, which culminated in a court ruling
that doctors may only recommend marijuana to a very narrow set of patients,
including those suffering from AIDS and cancer.

However, the most frightening section of the letter, to many physicians,
warns them against issuing any written recommendations. In a
needle-threading paragraph, the CMA clearly tries to find a way for doctors
to provide their patients the letter which the law says they need, but
points out that "a strong argument can be made that such a letter ...
constitutes aiding and abetting--a violation of federal law.

"It should be noted that the court did state that a physician can be subject
to punishment for aiding and abetting the cultivation or possession of
marijuana," the paragraph concludes.

Finally, the CMA document tells doctors to "avoid communicating with a
marijuana distributor, such as a buyers club, to confirm a recommendation
made to a patient in an office dialogue."

Obviously, this creates an impossible situation. Dr. Martin Fenstersheib,
public health officer with the county health department, tried to intervene.

A couple of weeks after the CMA issued its letter, Fenstersheib sent out a
memo detailing guidelines for recommending medical marijuana, as well as
forms for doctors, patients and dispensaries like SCCMCC. The county's
guidelines and forms stopped short of a full-blown recommendation. Instead,
they called on doctors to state only that they "discussed the medical
benefits of marijuana" and that they would "continue to monitor" the patient.

Baez and his attorneys insist that all of the center's patient files meet
these two criteria: a physician's knowledge of the patient's marijuana use
and willingness to continue to see the patient.

But the DA maintains that only 70 of the center's 240 patients were legit.

In a court affidavit, Savage reported that many of the center's files
"contain no written medical recommendations, although some have notations of
oral recommendation." In a subsequent report, Savage writes that he called
many of the doctors from whom the center claims to have received oral
recommendations, and that those doctors deny ever having heard from the center.

Dr. Tod Mikuriya, former director of marijuana research at the National
Institute of Mental Health, has reviewed all five of the patient files
associated with the charges against Baez. Mikuriya provided Baez's attorneys
with a report of his analysis of each patient's file.

He writes that the file of Rick Robles, whose arrest led to the police raid
on SCCMCC, shows that he had a broken back, and that his doctor "was aware
of use" of marijuana. It also shows that the doctor was contacted by phone
to confirm that Robles was a patient.

Savage reports that the doctor denies ever receiving a call. SCCMCC's phone
records, however, document a call to Robles' doctor's number on Oct. 22, 1997.

Buyer Number 2's physician, according to Mikuriya, "appears to have accepted
[the patient's] use of cannabis and tried to avoid putting himself at risk
by prescribing Marinol [a THC pill]." A third doctor noted that his patient
"requests that I consider providing a prescription for marijuana." These
files, according to Baez and his lawyers, prove that the SCCMCC was abiding
by 215's requirements.

The case of Buyer Number 5 ("Lucy Valenzuela") appears from Mikuriya's notes
to be borderline. While her file contained a diagnosis of a condition
protected by 215, there does not appear to be any doctor contact. However,
Mikuriya notes that Valenzuela "expressed concerns that MD may not sign
because of fear of reprisal."

In each case, the center clearly was forced to exercise discretion. In each
case, Mikuriya concludes, the two standards set up by Fenstersheib had been

"Each and every individual appears to suffer serious chronic illness that
qualifies for protection by Health and Safety Code 11362.5 [the
Compassionate Use Act]," Mikuriya writes.

"The apparent denials encountered by police investigators from treating
physicians are clearly responses to appropriate fear and concern for the
medical licenses based upon information provided them by the general media
and by the California Medical Association."

Jesse Garcia and client

Hugs Not Drugs: Jesse Garcia, co-founder of San Jose's cannabis club, says
the saddest part of the club's closure is that ailing clients who depended
on the club will have nowhere to turn.

Ending the War on Drugs

BEYOND THE bureaucratic Catch-22s of the Compassionate Use Act is a simple
fact: For the past 30 years, the government has considered marijuana to be
unmitigated evil. So have many law enforcement officers, elected officials
and doctors. Claiming marijuana as a miracle cure is pure heresy.

Jeremy Griffey believes marijuana saved his life. A 44-year-old AIDS
patient, Griffey credits the banned herb with miraculous curative
abilities--only some of which have been verified through research.

As many AIDS sufferers do, he speaks matter-of-factly about the details of
his ailments. Smoking marijuana, he says, controls his nausea and restores
his appetite so he can keep food down and take his medications. Eating pot
muffins, he says, stops his diarrhea. Laughing, he almost guiltily admits
that it also elevates his mood. Without it, he says, he often became depressed.

Griffey says he began using pot medicinally while caring for his partner of
21 years, who died of AIDS-related illnesses in 1992. He believes marijuana
kept his partner alive for a year and made the last year of his life bearable.

George Hanamoto, another medical-marijuana user, also believes the stuff
works like magic. The 57-year-old Morgan Hill TV repairman is afflicted with
glaucoma, arthritis and low-back pain. He says he started smoking marijuana
for his glaucoma but found that it also cured his pain.

"It happened like that," he says, snapping his fingers. "The very first
time. Couldn't feel the pain at all. It was just gone." As a bonus, he says,
his doctor took him off physically addictive eyedrops after he'd been
smoking pot for a few weeks.

A veteran nurse at a local hospital, who asked to remain anonymous, credits
the survival of her own mother and sister, both of whom have cancer, to
marijuana. She says she became a believer when she saw it work for her
brother, who died of cancer last year.

These stories, which are ubiquitous among users of medical marijuana, drive
Drug War hawks batty. Assistant district attorney Karin Sinunu, who alone
among local officials makes it clear that she does not consider Baez "a
common criminal," says the charges against him are not an attack on the
concept of medical marijuana. "I wholeheartedly support the spirit of 215,"
she says. Nevertheless, her office presses forward with its case.

Talking to Denise Rabbe, one of Sinunu's deputy DAs, it is clear that two
worlds are clashing in San Jose. The deputy assistant DA seems fixated on
the details that, she believes, show Baez broke the law--but how else could
she possibly see the case? The Compassionate Use Act may be a crack in the
ideology which holds that marijuana is the Devil Weed, but law enforcement
officials are a long way from loosening up loopholes so that it can be

Peter Baez may have committed sins against the state. Perhaps he was
overzealous in making marijuana available to people who he believed
desperately needed it. Maybe he failed to follow the letter of the law, as
interpreted by the DA's office, and even declared some expenses that don't
match its definition of "business-related." But if there is betrayal
involved in this case, it more likely came at the hands of officials who set
Baez up to fail and then crucified him when he did.

From the May 28-June 3, 1998 issue of Metro.

Copyright (c) Metro Publishing Inc. Maintained by Boulevards New Media.

I Think You Guys Took It In The Shorts (San Francisco Bay Area Activist
Forwards A Message From Peter Baez Saying The District Attorney
Tried To Get 'The Metro' To Spike Today's 'St. Peter' Article)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: Re: I think you guys took it in the shorts
Content-Type: text/plain
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 11:46:40 PDT

>Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 11:34:13 +0000
>From: "Baez,Peter" (sccmcc@garlic.com)
>To: ralph sherrow (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
>Subject: Re: I think you guys took it in the shorts
>Pleas ask all on your email list to get the current free copy of the
>Metro paper at coffee houses, theaters, etc. I am on the cover and they
>did a 3 week investigation into me and my accusations, guess what, I
>come out clean, and the d.a. even called the paper the day before it was
>to print to scare them saying, "you'll embarrass your credibility if you
>run the Baez story", They said go f yourselves!
>Peter Baez

Spotlight Shifts To Small Pot Clubs ('San Francisco Examiner'
Publicizes Three Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Left In San Francisco
After The Shutdown This Week Of The Cannabis Healing Center,
The State's Biggest And Oldest Cannabis Buyers' Club)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 10:09:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Spotlight Shifts to Small Pot Clubs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Author: Marianne Costantinou of the Examiner Staff


It looks like a college dorm, circa 1968. Mismatched couches and lounge
chairs. Bad art on the walls. Purple painted bookcases and funky rugs. ...
A bong on the coffee table. A joint in the ashtray. The sweet smell of pot
in the air.

The talk in the room is of peace and love and changing the world. But it is
also of pain and loneliness and the fear of dying.

This is a pot club, 1998. With the shutdown this week of the Cannabis
Healing Center, the state's biggest and oldest pot club, only three pot
clubs now remain in San Francisco.

Unlike the megaclub founded by gubernatorial candidate Dennis Peron, the
existing clubs are small and discreet, ever mindful of looming federal and
state court battles that are challenging their legality despite Proposition
215, which state voters passed to approve medicinal marijuana.

"Discretion is the better part of valor," said Ken Hayes Jr., head of
C.H.A.M.P., an acronym for Cannabis Helping Alleviate Medical Problems, at
194 Church St. off Market.

"We try to keep a low profile. ... One of the reasons we're still open, I
believe, is that we haven't been in your face, smoking in front of the TV

Now, with Peron's place at 1444 Market padlocked by deputy sheriffs, the
remaining clubs are braced for a stampede of clients they feel ill-equipped
to handle, what with their cozy rooms and small staffs.

Until now, the other clubs have let Peron, with his 9,000 members, grab the
headlines and take the political heat. They were content to quietly serve
their clientele of just a few hundred each.

But with word spreading of their existence, two of the three -- C.H.A.M.P
and ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power -- have extended their
hours to handle the constant stream of patients who have been arriving this
week at their unmarked doors.

At the 500-member C.H.A.M.P., open since December 1996, many newcomers have
been turned away, Hayes said. Fear of a bust triggered by the infiltration
by undercover drug agents -- one of Peron's downfalls -- forces the staff
at C.H.A.M.P. to be suspicious of any applicant, even those in wheelchairs.

C.H.A.M.P. not only insists on a doctor's note recommending the use of
marijuana for the patient's medical condition, but the club wants the note
to be dated within 30 days. Staff members then call the doctor to verify
the note, Hayes said.

Once approved, the applicant is issued a photo ID card. With the whole
process taking an hour or two, the handful of staff members can handle only
five or six applications a day, Hayes said.

Over at ACT UP, at 3991 17th St., off Market in the Castro, membership has
gone up at least 33 percent this week, up from 300. The club opened about
three months ago, around the time another place, Flower Therapy, was
pressured by authorities to close its doors.

ACT UP doesn't ask for a doctor's note. It demands only that prospective
clients sign a notarized declaration under penalty of perjury that a doctor
has recommended pot for their medical condition.

"We're not doctors here or judges," said Michael Bellefountaine, 32. "If
you make a promise that you are sick and you need pot, I give you pot."

Unlike C.H.A.M.P. and Peron's old club, which were set up as hangouts for
clients to smoke their pot and socialize, ACT UP bans any smoking inside
its tiny converted apartment. Clients come in, show their ID, check out the
pot for sale, pay for it, and leave.

"It's like going to a butcher shop," Bellefountaine said. " "What do you
have today in lamb chops?' "

At C.H.A.M.P. and ACT UP, the top price for an eighth of an ounce bag of
pot grown in California is $55, but prices can go as low as $15 for Mexican

Prices go as high as $70 across the street from ACT UP, at the Market
Street Club, a one-man operation with 150 members run by AIDS patient James
Green, 36.

Green opened his business in December 1997, just as the federal and state
campaign against pot clubs really heated up. Ever since, Green has been
watching the door of his second-floor, black-paneled office, fearful of a

Green also bans smoking at his club and doesn't even have any chairs.
Clients fill out the paperwork at a counter and must be able to submit a
doctor's recommendation.

Keeping a straight-laced business image is key to survival, Green said. He
even sells other items, from body lotion and vitamins to hand-carved Indian
kachina dolls, to give the appearance of a legitimate shop to the casual

"When people see a party atmosphere, they get the wrong impression," said
Green, explaining his nonsmoking rule.

Although he considers selling pot a business, Green said he was barely
paying for his supplies and the rent. ACT UP, which takes in about $25,000
a month, is also just a grand or two ahead. C.H.A.M.P. has monthly revenue
of about $35,000, Hayes said.

To them, the purpose of selling pot is not making money, but helping those
in need. Most of their clients have AIDS, but they also have patients with
cancer, glaucoma, epilepsy and arthritis.

"I don't relish the idea of being raided and being busted," Green said. "I
think I'm doing the right thing, even though it might turn out to be
unfortunate for me."

To people who need the marijuana to ease pain and stimulate their
appetites, the pot clubs make their lives possible.

Sandi Patrick, 49, a paraplegic suffering from arthritis, traveled miles in
her motorized wheelchair to get to the ACT UP club Wednesday afternoon. She
had been a volunteer at Peron's club, located just around the corner from
her house.

For 13 years, she took morphine and methadone for her condition, and barely
had enough energy to get out of bed. She's been smoking pot for two years.
"Before, there wasn't much quality to my life," she said. "I feel now I can
live again."

1998 San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco May Use Health Department In Pot Wars - Supervisor
Says Cities Can Dispense Medical Marijuana ('San Francisco Chronicle'
Says City Officials Are Scheduled To Meet This Afternoon
In Mayor Willie Brown's Office To Work Out A Policy On How To Get Marijuana
To People Who Need It - The City's Department Of Public Health
Is Considered The Most Likely New Distributor)

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 12:59:17 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: ltneidow@voyager.net (Lee T. Neidow)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: S. F. med-mj distribution

The San Francisco Chronicle:

S.F. May Use Health Dept. In Pot Wars - Supervisor says cities can dispense
medical marijuana

Glen Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer

Thursday, May 28, 1998

In the aftermath of the closure of San Francisco's
biggest medical marijuana club, local officials are
promoting the city's Department of Public Health as
the most likely new distributor for medicinal pot.

``The will is there to put this in Public Health's
court,'' Supervisor Tom Ammiano said yesterday.
``We have to make it happen as soon as possible.''

District Attorney Terence Hallinan has endorsed
the idea, which would make San Francisco the first
city in the state to distribute pot and could put it on
a legal collision course with the federal government.

City officials are scheduled to meet this afternoon in
Mayor Willie Brown's office to work out a policy
on how to get marijuana to people who need it for
medicinal reasons.

Ammiano said the Board of Supervisors may be
able to draft legislation in a few days that would
enable the health department to distribute marijuana
to residents of the city who can produce referrals
from doctors.

Ammiano said city governments are authorized to
distribute medicinal marijuana under Proposition
215, the 1996 state initiative that legalized medical
pot. But he acknowledged that the law is
ambiguous about ways city officials could legally
obtain the weed.

``It could be difficult to procure, but the (medical
marijuana) clubs haven't had that problem,''
Ammiano said. ``Since Proposition 215 allows
medical marijuana to be distributed, it implies that
there has to be a means of legally obtaining it.''

Although medical marijuana is legal in the state, it is
still against federal law to possess, use or distribute

That fact has been brought home to the state's
medical cannabis clubs in recent weeks as federal
prosecutors have filed suits to close them down.

On Monday, San Francisco sheriff's deputies
padlocked the San Francisco Cannabis Healing
Center after rulings by judges in U.S. Court of
Appeals and San Francisco Superior Court. With
more than 5,000 members, the center was the
biggest medical marijuana outlet in the country.

At a medical marijuana distribution ``summit''
Tuesday at the state Capitol, Hallinan said the city
should undertake the cultivation and distribution of
medical marijuana.

State Senator Quentin Kopp, independent-San
Francisco, said he is not convinced that cities can
legally oversee medical marijuana programs.
Nonetheless, the idea has developed momentum in
San Francisco.

John Shanley, spokesman for the district attorney's
office, said Hallinan acknowledges that ``a conflict
exists between state and federal law here.''

But Shanley compared medical marijuana to
hypodermic needle exchange programs. ``Needle
exchange programs operated in this city even
though certain officials insisted they were illegal,''
Shanley said. ``There was a legitimate need for
them, and there's a legitimate need for medical

Mitchell Katz, director of the Public Health
Department, said his agency is studying medical
marijuana options in concert with other city

``We believe that medical marijuana eases suffering
and that providing it is a compassionate service,'' he

Ammiano said he believes Brown is behind the
idea. But the mayor, whose endorsement is an
absolute prerequisite for a city- sponsored
marijuana distribution program, seemed somewhat
coy about the issue.

Brown said that he supports the efforts of the
state's pot club owners but that he is limited in his
ability to help them negotiate their legal difficulties.
He said that city employees risk arrest and
incarceration if they violate the law in their attempts
to distribute medical marijuana.

``I'm too small a guy to spend any time in jail,'' he
said, laughing. ``They can see me any way they
wish. I am not going to jail for anyone.''

Thurston's Crowded Jail Copes With Illnesses, Too - Corrections Officers
Deal With More Visits To Clinic (The Tacoma, Washington 'News Tribune'
Notes Thurston County's War On Some Drug Users Is Largely A War
On Sick People - Between 1994 And 1997, The Number Of Inmates
Treated Annually At The Jail's Part-Time Medical Clinic Rose
From 1,300 To 2,541, While The Daily Inmate Population Rose
From 284 To 391)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: Thurston's crowded jail copes with illnesses, too
Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 21:27:11 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Doesn't mention drugs, but Thurston Co. is overcrowded from drug prisoners.


Thurston's crowded jail copes with illnesses, too
Corrections officers deal with more visits to clinic

Karen Hucks
The News Tribune

When Kenneth Henson took a job as a correctional officer at the Thurston
County jail a year ago, he had no idea he would be playing nurse and social
worker, too.

But these days, Henson says, he has to help sick inmates on and off the
toilet, clean up AIDS-tainted blood after fights, give inmates their
medicine and watch them grow weaker with terminal illnesses.

Not only is the population at Thurston County Correctional Facility in
Olympia growing, but it is getting sicker, jail officials say.

Between 1994 and 1997, the number of inmates treated annually at the jail's
part-time medical clinic rose from 1,300 to 2,541, while the daily inmate
population rose from 284 to 391, nurse Marla Fredericks said.

On an average day this year, the doctors and nurses treat 25 inmates,
compared with 12 four years ago, she said.

It puts a strain on everyone. Henson cringes as he remembers one terminally
ill inmate last year. The man's ankles swelled, his belly bloated and he
couldn't control his bowels.

"I kind of wanted to avoid him," Henson said.

Part of the increase in medical visits is caused by the sheer volume of
inmates. The jail, and an annex that opened last year to relieve
overcrowding, have 358 bunks - and they are bursting at the seams.

The average daily population under the jail's control in 1998 is 455
inmates, including people in alternative programs that allow them to sleep
elsewhere. Inside the jail this week, 54 inmates were sleeping on the
floor, said Karen Daniels, chief of corrections for Thurston County.

But the number of sick inmates is growing even faster than the population.

"We're seeing everything from people being diagnosed with cancer to people
with other terminal conditions," said Fredericks, whose position is funded
for 30 hours a week. "A lot of them come in from long periods of using
illegal substances and have been ignoring symptoms."

When they get into jail and no longer can take drugs to mask their
symptoms, they want their health issues tended to immediately.

Last week, medical officials diagnosed one inmate with a brain aneurysm and
another who may have ovarian cancer, Fredericks said.

The most typical problems are AIDS, hepatitis C and heart disease,
Fredericks said. About 15 percent of the problems the medical clinic treats
are dental, such as abscesses caused by untreated tooth rot.

There also are many more inmates with mental illnesses. The jail has a
psychiatrist four to six hours each week.

Thurston County is not alone in its battle against illnesses in jail.

"From a basic correctional philosophy, this is happening across the
nation," said Julie Lord, Pierce County jail health services manager.

"The population is getting older, and with that you're dealing with elderly
illnesses, and there is an increase in AIDS - and we're seeing it like
everyone else is."

Poor medical care was a major part of a 1995 class-action lawsuit filed by
inmates in Pierce County Jail who alleged inhumane conditions. The county
reached a settlement with the inmates that, among other things, gave
inmates better access to health care.

In cities up and down the Interstate 5 corridor, medical conditions have
played a role in inmate lawsuits, corrections chief Daniels said. The
possibility of a lawsuit is worrying Thurston County officials now, too.

The American Civil Liberties Union is investigating dozens of complaints
from Thurston County inmates about alleged inhumane conditions at the jail.

The county will open a 300-inmate regional jail near Tumwater within two
years, and a population management committee is investigating solutions to
the jail's crowding problems, including early release.

But there doesn't seem to be any easy solution, and Mark Bolton, associate
jail administrator, said he only expects it to get worse.

Thurston County's clinic is open nine hours a day on weekdays. At other
times, a nurse is on call and correctional officers like Henson handle
crises and make minor medical decisions, which Daniels said they are not
trained to do.

Inmate Larry Neal, 56, said sicknesses cause stress for and between
inmates. Other inmates started shying away from him when he got some sores
on his face.

"You don't know who has AIDS and who doesn't, so when they see open sores,
they have a tendency to get very uptight," said Neal, who said he doesn't
have the disease.

Inmate Tim Matson, 31, said his medical problems - he has hepatitis C and
kidney stones - make him more temperamental. He said that last year he
urinated blood for more than a week before he got an appointment at the

"Me, I'm not the smallest guy in this place," said Matson, who's 5 feet 11
inches tall and weighs 253 pounds. "My temper becomes pretty frazzled, and
somebody with a bad attitude can set me off."

Correctional officer John Zimmaro said it's not just the sick inmates who
get stressed out about illness in the jail. The problems carry over to
healthy inmates who can't get attention they need for administrative
matters because officers are so busy devoting time to sick people.

"It's constant where you've got to ignore the other 60 percent of the
inmates because you're tied up dealing with (sick) people," Zimmaro said.

"If they're not getting answers to their legitimate questions, then stress
is building up on them."


Staff writer Karen Hucks covers Thurston County. Reach her at
1-800-388-8742, Ext. 8660, or by e-mail at kxh@p.tribnet.com
(c) The News Tribune
May 28, 1998

Four Downtown Petitioners Join In Police Complaint (Las Vegas
'Review-Journal' Says Five People Collecting Signatures For A Nevada
Medical Marijuana Initiative Have Filed Complaints With The Las Vegas
Metropolitan Police Department's Internal Affairs Bureau
After They Were Thrown Off Fremont Street On Friday,
Detained And Threatened With Arrest If They Ever Returned,
By Cops Who Refused To Give Their Badge Numbers Or Names)

Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 23:52:11 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NV: Four Downtown Petitioners Join In Police Complaint
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Contact: letters@lvrj.com
Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/
Author: Joe Schoenmann, Review-Journal


Four more people filed complaints with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Department's Internal Affairs Bureau after they and another person were
thrown off Fremont Street on Friday, detained and threatened with arrest if
they ever returned.

The four -- Tim Bear, Lawrence Thompson, Ben Pederman and Laura Shook --
joined Amy Donaldson, who filed a complaint Tuesday.

The "Fremont Five" contend that they were unlawfully detained for an hour by
police, that the officers behaved belligerently, that the officers refused
to give their badge numbers and names, and that the officers "trespassed"
them by telling them they could never return to Fremont Street under threat
of arrest.

The four were on Fremont Street on Friday afternoon trying to gather
signatures in support of legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana. A
similar measure passed recently in California. They had collected about a
dozen signatures, their spokeswoman said, and were leaving the street
because so few of the people they approached were Nevada residents. But
then, Fremont Street security guards confronted them and called the Police
Department, contending that the group was soliciting.

A Fremont Street spokesman said Tuesday he believed the petitioners were
violating an ordinance that bans interfering with pedestrians by accosting
or soliciting them.

Gary Peck, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of
Nevada, said Wednesday that instead of trying to find fault, police and
Fremont Street managers should be "praising this kind of responsible
citizenship." "And Metro police need to figure out that they do not work for
Fremont Street," Peck added. "They work for the public."

The officers justified their detaining of the petitioners by citing a U.S.
Supreme Court ruling that is known as the Terry Doctrine. That ruling allows
police to search for weapons if they suspect criminal activity. But Peck
said the police went beyond their bounds and were simply being "bullies."

City's Marijuana Law Under Fire ('The Ann Arbor News' In Michigan
Says Mike Rogers, A Former FBI Agent And Republican State Senator
From Livingston County, Wants The City Of Ann Arbor To Go Back To
Criminalizing Marijuana Possession Or Lose About $1.3 Million
In Revenue Sharing Money From The Upcoming State Budget -
Rogers Says The City's Once-Infamous $5 Marijuana Ticket Law,
Ratcheted Up To $50 In 1974 By City Voters,
Sends The Wrong Message To Children)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 01:19:44 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US MI: City's Marijuana Law Under Fire
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: The Ann Arbor News (MI)
Contact: http://aa.mlive.com/about/toeditor.html
Website: http://aa.mlive.com/
Author: Susan L. Oppat, with Marianne Rzepka contributing


A state senator from Livingston County wants the City of Ann Arbor to go
back to criminalizing marijuana possession or face the loss of about $1.3
million of revenue sharing money from the upcoming state budget.

Sen. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, says the city's once-infamous $5 marijuana
ticket law - ratcheted up to $50 since voters amended the city charter in
1974 - sends the wrong message to children by making possession of an
illegal drug a civil infraction.

But a City Council member called the Senate-passed state budget amendment
that Rogers sponsored "blackmail." Several state lawmakers from Washtenaw
County say the amendment, which still must make it through the House, is

Rogers, a former FBI agent, in his amendment called for a 10 percent
reduction in state revenue sharing funding to Ann Arbor every year until the
city complies with state marijuana possession penalties. He had attempted to
push through a 20 percent reduction.

Sen. Alma Wheeler Smith, D-Salem Township, spoke against the amendment this
week and was one of a handful of senators who voted against it.

Smith took that stand, she says, not because she supports low penalties for
possession of marijuana, but because the state cannot legally withhold
funding to force a local government to give up its right to its own laws.

Rogers' amendment does not specifically name Ann Arbor, but no other
municipality has marijuana possession penalties lower than the state
standard. Under state law, marijuana possession is a crime, and can be a
misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount and any previous offenses.

Since the unamended state budget would send $12.9 million to Ann Arbor in
1998-99, Rogers's amendment would cut $1.29 million to Ann Arbor in the
first year. The city's has an $80 million general fund budget for 1998-99.

State law calls for a maximum of one year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines
for a first marijuana possession violation. Ann Arbor city charter limits
civil infraction tickets for any marijuana possession to $25 in fines and
another $25 in costs.

With 353 possession tickets issued in 1997, including 31 at the Hash Bash,
and 44 tickets issued at the Hash Bash this year, that comes to $17,650 in
1997, and $2,200 at this year's Hash Bash.

Wheeler said Wednesday she will take the amendment to the conference
committee, where it can still be eliminated from the budget.

Rogers said he wrote the amendment after he spoke to a government class at a
Livingston County high school. Students there told him marijuana can't be
bad because they use it at the Hash Bash on the University of Michigan
campus every year. And, they told him, the only penalty is a ticket.

"I about fell out of my chair," Rogers said. "I thought, what a horrible
message we're sending to our kids. Nowhere else in the state do you do that.

"We need to ... make sure we're protecting families and children all around
the state, ... by having tough regulations and consistent standards."

The first-term senator conceded the City Council cannot repeal the charter
amendment approved by voters, but said the loss of state funding might
"encourage" city voters to reconsider.

"At the University of Michigan alone, the Department of Public Safety spends
$20,000 just on policing the Hash Bash," Rogers said.

"Those are tax dollars. Those are education dollars that could go to
scholarships, extra classrooms, computers, anything other than supporting an
event the majority of Michigan citizens don't support."

State Rep. Liz Brater, D-Ann Arbor, and Ann Arbor Council Member Christopher
Kolb, D-4th Ward, both described Rogers' amendment as unconstitutional
because it's a clear attempt to grab power illegally from local government
and redirect it to the state.

Brater also said state law requires revenue sharing to be based on
population, and that it cannot be reduced for any other reason.

Kolb described the amendment simply as "blackmail."

Mayor Ingrid Sheldon said Rogers' actions are confusing.

"Does he want to penalize Ann Arbor for something that was a vote of the
people?" she asked.

"If he has serious concerns about young people smoking marijuana - as I have
- then he should spend money to fight that."

State Rep. Mary Schroer, D-Scio Township, was incredulous Wednesday when she
learned the amendment passed in the Senate.

"He obviously doesn't understand the workings of local government," Schroer
said, because council cannot change the charter. "Perhaps he should run for
local government, if that's what he wants to do."

But, she said, the bill "isn't going any place. It has to go through the
House, but our Republicans tend to be a little more reasonable.

"It's not something we do with our budgets," Schroer said. "We don't have
the big arm of government being tied into revenue sharing.

"I don't think the state Senate has any business dictating to local
governments what they can do, especially by withholding revenue sharing. He
doesn't even live there," she complained.

Smith described Rogers' action as another salvo in a war between Ann Arbor
and Livingston County residents.

Smith said Wednesday that she attempted to draft legislation to tack onto
the budget bill that would demand that any county that is home to the
imperial wizard for the Ku Klux Klan pay any other local government that
incurs costs or is damaged during a KKK rally. Livingston County was once
home to a KKK imperial wizard.

Ann Arbor spent about $137,000 to handle a Klan rally in front of the Larcom
Municipal Building on May 9.

Smith said she later dropped the effort to amend the budget bill.

1.5 Tons Of Cocaine Seized ('Chicago Sun-Times' Says The DEA In Chicago
Has Busted Five People, And Expects To Bust More, After Wiretaps Led Agents
To $5 Million In Cash And Cocaine Valued At $31 Million To $155 Million -
The Largest Chicago Cocaine Seizure In More Than A Decade
And Perhaps The Largest Combined Seizure Of Drugs And Money
In Chicago History)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 17:10:46 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: 1.5 Tons of Cocaine Seized
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Steve Young
Source: Chicago Sun-Times (IL)
Contact: letters@suntimes.com
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Author: Cam Simpson
Section: sec. 1, page 8


DEA drug, cash sting may be city's biggest

A yearlong investigation hit pay dirt this week when a wiretap led agents
into an unexpected 24 hours of activity, ultimately netting one of the
largest drug and cash seizures in Chicago history, authorities said

Drug Enforcement Administration agents seized about 1.5 tons of cocaine,
the majority of which was found Wednesday morning in a shipment of carrots
delivered to a South Side produce company.

Also seized was an estimated $5 million in cash - mostly small bills
wrapped with rubber bands and piled inside the Southwest Side home of a
chief suspect, said Joseph A. Vanacora, special agent in charge of the Drug
Enforcement Administration in Chicago.

"It's a big hit for any [drug] trafficking organization," Vanacora said of
the busts, which happened Tuesday and Wednesday.

Officials claimed a wholesale value for the cocaine of $31 million and a
potential street value of up to $155 million. Authorities said it was the
largest Chicago cocaine seizure in more than a decade and perhaps the
largest combined seizure of drugs and money in Chicago history.

Five people have been arrested so far, but authorities said they expect
more arrests.

An affidavit filed in the case paints a series of events and suspects that
eventually connected neatly. "It was like a jigsaw puzzle, and all of the
pieces fell into place at one time," Vanacora said.

The first one fell Monday, DEA Special Agent Charles Baumgartner said in
the affidavit. A wiretap on the cellular phone of a suspect detailed a
Tuesday delivery of 100 kilograms, or about 220 pounds, of cocaine, he
said. That led DEA agents Tuesday afternoon to a 100-kilogram stash inside
the garage of a Cicero home, records show. Surveillance and the suspects
also led to a nearby storage locker, where the agents found about 463
pounds of cocaine.

A car that had stopped at the storage center also got stopped by police in
Bedford Park. One of the occupants, Steve Webber, 29, admitted he was
working with a cousin who ran a cocaine operation out of his home in the
6100 block of South Kilpatrick, the affidavit says. Webber also lived

Around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, DEA agents watching the home saw Webber's cousin,
Jesse Quintanilla, 29, exit with a duffle bag. Quintanilla admitted he had
about $5 million inside his home, Baumgartner said in his affidavit.

He also told authorities he was to pick up a huge shipment of cocaine at
Ortiz Produce Co., 2021 West 18th. On Wednesday morning, DEA agents found
1,265 kilograms of cocaine there inside a shipment of carrots Vanacora

Arrested with Webber and Quintanilla wereDesi Cano, 46, of Wood Dale; Jorge
O'Conner, 31, of the 4600 block of West Altgeld; and Juan Manuel Perez, 39,
of Cicero.

Raiders Net Millions, Ton Of Cocaine ('Chicago Tribune' Version)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 02:14:46 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: Raiders Net Millions, Ton Of Cocaine
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Author: Matt O'Connor


Authorities said Wednesday they have seized more than 1 1/2 tons of cocaine
and several million dollars in cash by cracking a drug ring that shipped
narcotics to Chicago in 18-wheelers and used a West Side produce company as
a drop-off point.

One suspect was caught red-handed carrying a large duffel bag filled with
cash outside his Southwest Side home, officials said. Inside the residence,
Drug Enforcement Administration agents said they discovered some $5 million
in mostly small bills.

Officials said the agents also found almost 2,800 pounds of cocaine packaged
in fruit and vegetable crates at Ortiz Produce Co., 2021 W. 18th St.,
another 462 pounds of cocaine in a Chicago storage facility and about 200
pounds of the drug in a Cicero garage.

Authorities displayed the cache of drugs at a news conference where they
announced the arrests of five men in the yearlong investigation. The
cocaine, wrapped in 5-kilogram packages, was piled 6 feet high in a corner
while the cash filled a long table and tub.

U.S. Atty. Scott Lassar and Joseph A. Vanacora, special agent in charge of
the DEA in Chicago, put the wholesale value of the seized cocaine at $31

"It's a significant seizure," Vanacora said. "The seizure of money hurts
them more than the seizure of cocaine."

The investigation was led by the DEA and included investigators from the
Internal Revenue Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Chicago
Police Department and several suburban police departments.

According to a criminal complaint, three of the defendants--Desi Cano, 46,
of Wood Dale; Jorge O'Conner, 31, of Chicago; and Juan Manuel Perez, 39, of
Cicero--were arrested Tuesday at the Cicero garage.

About 1 1/2 hours later, authorities pulled over a car that had been under
surveillance. Authorities said its occupant, defendant Steven Webber, 29,
admitted to them that his cousin ran a drug organization and kept large
amounts of cash at their Southwest Side home.

DEA agents later arrested the cousin, Jesse Quintanilla, 29, as he left his
home at 6142 S. Kilpatrick Ave. with a duffel bag of cash, according to the

The agents also found about $5 million in cash inside the house and a drug
ledger in Quintanilla's car indicating he had received almost a ton of
cocaine during a five-day period earlier this month, according to the complaint.

Wednesday morning, authorities recovered about 1,265 kilograms of cocaine at
Ortiz Produce amid a shipment of carrots, authorities said. The business
appears to be "a dropoff point for large shipments of cocaine coming up from
Mexico," Vanacora said

A NORML Essay Contest ('The Mountain Eagle' In New York
Says The Schoharie County Chapter Of The National Organization
For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws Will Award A $500 Prize
To The High School Senior In New York's Capitol Region Who Writes
The Winning Essay On The Theme, 'How Does The War On Marijuana
Threaten America's Constitutional Democracy?')

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 09:22:25 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NY: A NORML Essay Contest
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk
Pubdate: Thursday, 28 May 1998
Source: The Mountain Eagle
Section: Education Section
Contact: FAX: (607) 652-5253


Walter F. Wouk, president of the Schoharie County Chapter of NORML (the
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), announced today
that the organization will award a $500.00 prize to the high school senior
who writes the winning essay on the theme "How does the war on marijuana
threaten America's constitutional democracy?"

Wouk is concerned by the growing disregard for the U.S. Constitution in our
schools. He said, "the sight of police officers, with drug sniffing dogs,
roaming the halls of local schools does little to instill the spirit of
liberty in our children." According to Wouk, "the government's misguided
war on marijuana is responsible for an epidemic of fascist-like hysteria
that is poisoning the minds of our children."

According to Wouk, there's a growing trend among school officials to sic
drug-sniffing dogs on students. Recently, the Galway Central School Board
asked the Saratoga County Sheriff's Department to bring police dogs trained
to sniff out drugs onto school grounds to conduct the searches. There was
no specific incident that brought on the policy , school officials said
they were merely responding to a request from a student group.

Wouk said, "the goal of this essay contest is to make young people aware of
the growing threat to the freedom that they take for granted. Guilty until
proven innocent is not an American value," he said.

The contest is open to residents of New York's Capitol Region who are
graduating high school seniors or students entering their senior year of
high school in 1998. Contest guidelines are available on NORML in
Schoharie's web site at: http://www.midtel.net/~reply2

Farmer - Hemp Makes Animals Healthy ('New York Times'
Interviews Donnie Colter Of Kentucky, Who Has Been Testing Hemp Meal
As A Feed Supplement On His 1,000-Acre Farm Near Willisburg
With The Help Of The Kentucky Industrial Hemp Association)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 00:24:17 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US KY: Farmer: Hemp Makes Animals Healthy
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/


WILLISBURG, Ky. (AP) -- One Washington County farmer is convinced his feed
makes happier, shinier animals. He says his horses and cattle have more
energy and seem less stressed.

His secret is hemp meal.

Donnie Colter has been testing hemp meal as a feed supplement on his
1,000-acre farm near Willisburg with the help of Kentucky Industrial Hemp

``We've fed it to everything from guppies on up. I've never fed it to
nothing that won't eat it,'' Colter said.

His wife, Cheryl, uses the hemp as well to make breakfast muffins.

``Even folks that eat my wife's muffins -- they'll just stand right over the
box,'' Colter said.

Colter's farm grew hemp in the 1940s, but today it's illegal to grow the
product in the United States because it is closely related to marijuana. He
says he'd like to grow certified seed for the world market.

Colter uses hemp meal from seed grown in China. The seeds are imported by an
Ohio company, which crushes them to extract the oil. Colter buys what is
left and grinds it into meal for mixing into animal feed.

Colter markets the feed supplement -- either as meal or lumps -- under the
name Nutrahemp from Circle C Farm Enterprises. He has customers in Alabama,
Florida, Tennessee and Indiana.

The business started as an experiment. Colter bought a shipment at bargain
prices and fed it to 22 of his calves. He sold the heifers last week and
received $13 more for each one that had been fed the hemp mix.

Next month, University of Kentucky researchers plan to study results of
Colter's feed trial to determine whether the hemp made any difference.

``I'm amazed that there's a supply of the stuff,'' said Scott Smith,
chairman of the university's agronomy department. ``People will feed cattle
almost anything, and they'll eat it. I don't know if there's enough of the
stuff out there to use as a supplement.''

There is a growing movement to persuade the federal government to allow
cultivation of hemp, including a federal lawsuit filed in Kentucky and
petitions seeking to overturn a Drug Enforcement Administration ban on the crop.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

Ex-Drug Czar, Marijuana Allies Clash Over Pot's Medical Use
('Orlando Sentinel' Notes William Bennett Spoke Wednesday In Orlando
At The Marijuana Education Summit, A Seminar For 400 Police,
School And Youth Officials, Aimed At Fighting The Legalization Of Pot
For Medical Purposes, Sponsored By The Florida Department Of Law Enforcement,
The Drug Free America Foundation, And Save Our Society From Drugs)
Link to follow up
Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 00:33:45 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US FL: Ex-Drug Czar, Marijuana Allies Clash Over Pot's Medical Use Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998 Source: Orlando Sentinel Contact: osoinsight@aol.com Website: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/ Author: Jim Leusner, Sentinel staff EX-DRUG CZAR, MARIJUANA ALLIES CLASH OVER POT'S MEDICAL USE Former U.S. drug czar William Bennett found himself challenged Wednesday in Orlando on why he and others oppose legalizing marijuana for medical treatment. ``It has been used as medicine for 5,000 years,'' Al Krulick said. ``Why do you and your colleagues ignore published studies on the effects of marijuana?'' Bennett countered that the studies were flawed. ``Cutting people's feet off, and using hot coals, has been used as medicine,'' Bennett said. ``That doesn't mean it's medicine.'' So went the first day of the Marijuana Education Summit, a seminar for 400 police, school and youth officials in Orlando. The two-day event, sponsored by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Drug Free America Foundation and Save Our Society from Drugs, is aimed at fighting the legalization of pot for medical purposes. Moments after the exchange between Krulick and Bennett, HIV patient Greg Scott told Bennett that marijuana had helped him keep his health. ``Should we put patients like myself in jail for smoking marijuana?'' asked Scott, 36, of Fort Lauderdale. Bennett said he doubted there was reputable research showing that pot saved his life. ``I would just tell the gentleman who spoke that he has a lousy doctor,'' responded Dr. Gary Cohan, a Los Angeles internist who treats AIDS patients. With battle lines clearly drawn, law enforcement officials painted the pro-pot movement as a prelude to legalizing all drugs. They contend pot is a stepping stone to the use of other drugs. Marijuana advocates say legalization would be a compassionate move to improve the quality of life for cancer and AIDS patients, many of whose bodies and appetites waste away in the face of chemotherapy and other treatments. U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Orlando, joined Orlando Mayor Glenda Hood, Florida Secretary of State Sandra Mortham, FDLE Commissioner Tim Moore and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Tom Constantine in a high-powered kickoff to fight a proposed marijuana initiative in Florida. Also appearing were Arizona and California law enforcement officials, who say they lost statewide referendums to well-financed, pro-marijuana forces. Bennett said he is working with Congress to cut federal aid to states that pass such initiatives. Meanwhile, a handful of opponents from the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana held a parking-lot news conference to counter what they described as law enforcement ``hysteria.'' ``The difference between us and the people inside is that we have a devastating disorder,'' Irvin Rosenfeld said while smoking a thick marijuana joint. The Boca Raton stockbroker, 45, is one of eight people nationwide who receives legally prescribed marijuana from the government as treatment for his bone tumors. Cohan, an assistant medical professor at UCLA and whose medical firm includes the largest HIV and AIDS practice in the nation, said there is no need to ever smoke marijuana as medicine. It has four times the tar of tobacco and has assorted carcinogens and contaminants, including fungal spores, he said. Better drugs can control nausea, appetite loss, pain or depression -- including a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in pot, Cohan said. ``People are looking at marijuana as a way of possibly taking control themselves,'' he said. ``The notion that there's one cure-all, smokable substance is absurd.''

Mexico Says Arrests Son Of Alleged Cartel Hitman (According To 'Reuters,'
The Man Arrested On Charges Of Drug Distribution Is The Son
Of Alleged Hitman Ismael Higuera, Alias 'El Mayel,'
Suspected In The 1993 Murder Of Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Posadas Ocampo
And An Attack On Crusading Anti-Drugs Magazine Editor Jesus Blancornelas)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 01:02:24 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Mexico Says Arrests Son Of Alleged Cartel Hitman
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: Reuters


TIJUANA, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexican federal police arrested the son of an
alleged hitman for the Tijuana drug cartel on charges of drug distribution,
the Attorney General's Office (PGR) said late Wednesday.

Ismael Higuera Avila, son of alleged assassin Ismael Higuera, alias ``El
Mayel'', was arrested with three other suspected members of the cartel in a
secret joint operation with the army in the city of Ensenada on Tuesday, the
PGR said.

The elder Higuera has been one of the most wanted members of the violent
Tijuana drug cartel, operated by the Arellano Felix brothers. The alleged
hitman is suspected in the 1993 murder of Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan
Posadas Ocampo and an attack on crusading anti-drugs magazine editor Jesus

The PGR said it seized unspecified amounts of heroin and marijuana in the
arrests. In addition to Higuera Avila, the PGR said it captured Carlos
Gonzalez, a Baja California state police officer suspected of aiding the cartel.

U.S. and Mexican officials have said the Arellano Felix organization is the
top target of anti-drug efforts. Brothers Ramon, Benjamin and Javier
Arellano Felix have million-dollar rewards on their heads in Mexico and
Ramon has been on the U.S. FBI's 10 most wanted list.

Cultivating Compassion - Local Club Provides Weed For Those In Need
('The Ottawa Xpress' Says A Group Called Compassionate Use
Of Medicinal Marijuana Has Been Operating In Ottawa Since January)

Date: Wed, 3 Jun 1998 21:47:59 -0400 (EDT)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Michael Foster (crosstown@igs.net)
Subject: Cultivating Compassion

The following article appeared in the May 28, 1998 issue of 'Ottawa Xpress'.
They neglected to post it on their website so I have copied it out manually.
Please forgive any typos as I am a lousy typist. Mr. Whalen is a former
helper at 'Crosstown Traffic' who has gone on to do better things. He
currently has no e-mail address but messages sent to (crosstown@igs.net)
will be forwarded to him. He met the Mayor of Ottawa at a community event
last weekend. The Mayor shook his hand.

CULTIVATING COMPASSION - Local club provides weed for those in need

by Alia Heward

Quality not quantity.

Marijuana has improved the quality of Ron Whelan's life and he's
trying to do the same for others. Through Whalen's club, Compassionate Use
of Medicinal Marijuana (CUMM), members can have a shoulder to lean on, learn
meditation and, if need be, obtain cannabis brownies.

The compassion club has been officially running since late January and
the number of members ebbs and flows. There are roughly 25 to 30 members at
any given time. This club operates on a donation basis - no money exchanges
hands. Donations run the gamut from cannabis and baking ingredients to
music, literature and even some old Far Side calendars for some cheer.
Whalen, a former hairdresser, also does haircuts, teaches meditation, gives
counselling and massage, and most of all, lends a sympathetic ear and a
solid shoulder to lean on.

Diagnosed officially with fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain
syndrome two years ago, Whalen is no stranger to pain and depression. He
suffers from "flare ups" of severe pain and loss of mobility. When the
symptoms first appeared, he was told 'it was all in his head.'

A recreational pot smoker for a number of years, he discovered that
cannabis helped him to manage the chronic pain caused by his disability. "I
would look up and see two hours had passed by and I'd managed to get through
the pain without whining and wincing." Whalen recollects. "Marijuana's
non-toxic behaviour and spiritual qualities have brought it into
consideration and use with more and more people", he observes. When someone
has been diagnosed with disability or disease, they can be full of tension
and anxiety, Whalen sympathizes. "Cannabis takes the edge off."

Many of the people coming to Whalen are living with AIDS, cancer and

When an individual comes to whalen, he does an interview with them, to
determine what medications they are taking and where they are, physically
and psychologically. Only then will he assess their needs. If necessary,
Whalen will also refer them to certain social programs. A former volunteer,
he is aware of the existing services available to people living with an
illness or disability.

Drugs used to treat the symptoms of AIDS and chemotherapy regimens
often cause severe nausea and loss of appetite. Whalen has seen members with
AIDS, who haven't eaten in days, consume a cannabis brownie and then rush
home because they have "the munchies". As a result, they end up raiding the
fridge and cupboards.

But as they say after a stuntman does a death-defying trick on
television: "Don't try this one at home, kids!" Whalen stresses that
marijuana has to be introduced properly-"Like all medicine, it takes time to
get the dosage right. There has to be an experimental stage," he cautions.

Whalen also encourages members to tell their medical professionals that
they are coming to see him. The doctor can keep an eye on the patient's
weight and progress. Some doctors consider this complimentary therapy, not
alternative therapy, says Whalen.

One member has gained 40 pounds since February and says that he
wouldn't be here if it weren't for Whalen and the club. "I am doing well and
I'm much happier," he says with a big smile. He says his doctor is "quite
pleased" with the results.

Again, Whalen emphasizes the need to introduce cannabis properly. "My
concern is it's being introduced improperly to people. I'm working to change
that." Some people may have smoked or ingested it before, others never. Each
dose needs to be metered and regulated according to each individual's needs
and experiences. Whalen acts as a guide and helps the individual deal with
each sensation as it comes.

And what of the paranoia often associated with pot? "It's not the dope
that makes you paranoid, it's how you're feeling at the time. It just
heightens those feelings," he responds.

What goes in the brownies? The recipe remains for the most part under
wraps - to avoid mishaps. All the ingredients are natural and nutritious,
the main one being "shake" - cannabis leaves ground down to a fine powder to
ensure even distribution throughout the brownie. Shake, while not as potent
as the buds, still contains THC. In the meantime, baked goods are on the
menu until more suitable cannabis is donated. Shake is smokable, but better
suited to baking.

Whalen stands firm in his beliefs, even at the risk of imprisonment or
having everything taken away. "People are losing their land, houses and
everything, just because of a plant that grows outside," he says with
disbelief. "I'm tired of hiding."

He says he is curious about how the issue of medicinal marijuana will
be handled by the Canadian government in the near future.

Beliefs aside, Whalen says that the club's philosophy is a simple one.
"It's all about helping other human beings. It's about caring and compassion."

Democratic Governments Under US Pressure To Step Up Anti-Drug Efforts
(InterPress Third World News Agency Says A Book To Be Released Soon
In Montevideo, 'Democracies Under Fire - Drugs And Power In Latin America,'
Charges That Anti-Drug Policies Promoted By The United States
In South America Are Generating Serious Internal Conflicts There
As Washington Insists That The Military Take The Lead
In Anti-Narcotics Enforcement)

Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 00:58:13 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Latin America: Wire: Democratic Governments Under U.S.
Pressure to Step Up Anti-Drug Efforts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Jelsma
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: InterPress Third World News Agency (IPS)
Contact: online@ips.org
Author: Daniel Gatti


Montevideo, May (IPS Special) The anti-drug policy promoted by the United
States in Latin America is generating serious internal conflicts in Latin
American countries, and Washington's insistence that the military take on
the role of an anti-narcotics police has lead to a disquieting repositioning
of military institutions in the region.

These are the arguments advance by a book soon to be released in Montevideo,
which brings together works of U.S. and Latin American specialists on the
subject. The book is entitled "Democracies Under Fire: Drugs and Power in
Latin America."

The volume argues that democratic systems in the region "are between two
fires - the drug trade and the war on drugs."

The book brings together the research and analysis of a team of
professionals and journalists from nine Latin American countries and the
United States. The authors explore the risks faced by democratic regimes in
the region in relation to drug traffic.

These risks included the "narcotization" of the economy produced by the
immense profits generated by illegal drug trafficking, the accompanying
corruption and impunity, and the remilitarization of countries promoted by
the United States in the context of the 'war on drugs.'

Argentine Adriana Rossi, a Doctor of Philosophy and specialized researcher
on issues related to drug trafficking, stated that in her country there is a
"dark tryst" which intertwines the interests of power and illegal activities.

"If two decades ago the destruction of democracies in Latin America was
carried out through violent de facto regimes, it appears that today it is
being accomplished by the emptying out of democratic institutions" that has
taken place as a result of the emergence of illegal economic interests
within spheres of power, Rossi maintained.

"The criminal networks which facilitate illicit activities within the police
forces and military institutions, a complacent judicial system that
accommodates to those in power, and a Congress dominated by government
supporters all point towards the existence of a parallel state with its own
laws and modes of operation" which is replacing the state itself, she
pointed out.

Carlos Fazio, a Uruguayan journalist nationalized in Mexico, asks himself if
Mexico is not in fact a 'narcodemocracy,' and states that 'Salinismo'
(referring to the government of former President Carlos Salinas, who ruled
from 1988 to 1994) "was a cornucopia for narcos, bureaucrats and businessmen
who took the country as their booty."

Relying on the hypothesis of Mexican sociologist Luis Astorga, Fazio
concludes that "there is a structural interdependence between particular
institutions, social actors and traffickers, yet it is the latter which
appear as the primary culprits."

After analyzing the allegedly "bilateral agenda" between the United States
and Bolivia, Theo Roncken, member of the Bolivia Center for Documentation
and Information, concludes that it is in fact completely unilateral.

According to Roncken, Washington has imposed on Bolivia not only a
repressive anti-narcotics policy, but also the legal framework for the
administration of justice in relation to the drug trade in that country.

This influence "intensifies the criminalization of broad sectors of the
population. International demands have pushed the Bolivian state towards an
increasingly authoritarian model," he concludes.

Colombian sociologist Ricardo Vargas Meza, for his part, states that in his
country, the involvement of the military in the war on drugs has acquired a
political character, because "it has set as its targets those region with a
strong guerrilla presence."

Moreover, he argues that the paramilitary forces(which have massacred
hundreds of peasants(emerged from the multi-million dollar land investments
made by drug barons in southern Amazonia, and that their actions are
tolerated by the government because they are considered part of the
counterinsurgency effort.

"As a matter of fact, these interests are helping to polarize the conflict,
justifying their actions by claiming to be neutralizing the social base of
the guerrilla. Yet it is coca growing peasants who are hardest hit by
paramilitary violence," affirms Vargas Meza.

"In Colombia, Washington lights one candle for God and another one for the
Devil," because while the U.S. denounces human rights violations, it
increases military aid, accepting the fact that their weapons are not only
used against the drug barons, but also against the guerrilla," he writes.

"This in fact favors a dirty war in the coca and poppy growing regions of
the country," states Vargas Meza.

While some of Latin American's armed forces have accepted U.S. demands to
become an anti-narcotics force, other have resisted this role in an attempt
to defend their sovereignty. This is the case in the four Mercosur
countries(Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

According to Uruguayan journalist and writer Samuel Blixen, "the elaboration
of regional security objectives as opposed to ones informed by a continental
perspective is complementary to the logic which opposes regional economic
integration to continental integration," in the context of the U.S. proposal
for a Free Trade Agreement of the Americas.

Blixen looks at the conclusions of the 10th Symposium of Strategic Studies
of State Defense in Mercosur, held last June, in which the military
institutions of the four Mercosur countries and Chile, which is also
associated with the bloc, participated.

He points out that the hypothesis on conflict advanced by the military
institutions of those countries point to "the armies of other regional
trading blocs (like the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Andean
Community) as well as other those of other areas of the world (like the
European Union and Japan)," as a result of "conflicting economic interests."

For the 'military Mercosur,' he adds, other possible conflicts "are with the
United States and with the countries that support its initiatives in the
context of a military offensive against the drug trade, where borders and
sovereignties could be transgressed."

"Democracies Under Fire" will be released in Washington D.C. by the
Washington Office on Latin America, the Transnational Institute and Andean
Action, in events that will coincide with the Extraordinary Assembly of the
United Nations on drugs, which will take place on June 9.

Stone Pledges To Hound Out Hoons ('The Australian' Says Chief Minister
Shane Stone, A Fan Of Zero Tolerance Policing Programs In New York
And Los Angeles, Has Pledged That Hardline Measures Will Be In Place
In The Northern Territory By The End Of The Year - Stone Will Consider
Hounding 'Drug Users' And Itinerants Away To Other States A Success,
But If A US-Style Crackdown On Minor Offences Means Expanding Jails,
Then 'So Be It')

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 00:07:02 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Australia: Stone Pledges To Hound Out Hoons
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: The Australian
Contact: ausletr@matp.newsltd.com.au
Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/
Author: Maria Ceresa


CHIEF Minister Shane Stone pledged yesterday to rid the Northern Territory
of its public disorder problem even if it meant hounding itinerants "down
the track" into other States.

Speaking after examining Zero Tolerance Policing programs in New York and
Los Angeles, Mr Stone promised that hardline measures would be in place by
the end of the year.

"If it means driving these people out of the Territory, I consider that a
success in the same way we have done to drug users.

"We will be using those strategies all the way down the track. We are one
police jurisdiction. People may say all you are doing is hounding people
out of the Territory. If that is what it takes, that's what will be done."

But the president of the Northern Territory Criminal Lawyers Association,
Jon Tippett, accused the Government of targeting Aborigines with a failed
policy, while US critics claim the scheme just moves the problem to
neighbouring regions.

Mr Tippett branded Zero Tolerance Northern Territory-style a "mindless
policy" likely to disadvantage Aboriginal people further.

"We have seen in the Northern Territory such policing has brought local
communities into confrontation with the police and is likely to do so
again," he said. "It is a mindless policy of enforcement."

But Mr Stone said if a US-style crackdown on minor offences meant expanding
jails then "so be it".

Northern Territory police commissioner Brian Bates, who accompanied Mr
Stone to New York, said fear of crime among Territorians was out of
proportion with actuality but the community was demanding their streets be
free of itinerants and public disorder.

"The community in the Northern Territory is not happy with public disorder
and we ought to be doing even more," he said.

Medical Science - Halting The Irreversible (Britain's 'Financial Times'
Gives An Update On Israeli Neurologists Using Cannabinoids
To Halt Or Reverse Severe Brain Damage After Traumatic Injuries)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 22:41:27 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Medical Science: Halting The Irreversible Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: rlake@mapinc.org Source: The Financial Times Contact: letters.editor@FT.com Website: http://www.ft.com/ Pubdate: Thursday, 28 May 1998 MEDICAL SCIENCE: HALTING THE IRREVERSIBLE Judy Dempsey on the marijuana-derived drugs countering the effect of head injury. Israeli neurologists need go no further than their own country to recognise the need for a drug to prevent the contamination of healthy brain cells caused by serious head injuries. Some 528 people in Israel were killed in road accidents last year and about 3,430 were seriously injured. Most deaths and injuries were caused by damage to the head. Now, using substances derived from marijuana, scientists may have found a solution. When the brain is injured, trauma, strokes or even death do not occur immediately. Brain cell molecules, tightly under control in a normally functioning brain, start reacting wildly. Over a period of a few hours, they rush from the damaged cells through narrow channels to other cells, causing confusion and excitement. This process, known as neuronal cell death, causes severe brain trauma. There is also the danger of swelling. Under normal circumstances, water is tightly controlled in the brain, operating like small blood vessels. But following an injury, water enters the brain from outside. The cells cannot cope; swelling occurs, often leading to strokes or death. Finding a way to contain damaged cells - which would limit brain injury by preventing neuronal cell death - is one project being undertaken by Pharmos, a small biotechnology company based at the Kiryat Weizmann scientific park close to Tel Aviv. Haim Aviv, chairman of Pharmos as well as the Israel National Committee for Biotechnology, says the company is developing a chemical compound, Dexanabinol, which can protect healthy brain cells by blocking glutamate, the neurotransmitter. Head trauma and strokes cause the release of excessive glutamate, often resulting in irreversible damage to brain cells. Pharmos has separated from marijuana properties for medical use that do not induce psychotropic side affects associated with the drug. "With Dexanabinol, we want to plug the receptor which sits at the entrance to the channel of the cells," says Anat Biegon, a physiologist and vice-president of research and development at Pharmos. By blocking the channel, Dexanabinol, which has potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflamatory properties, inhibits calcium influx in the primary neural cells. This means it interferes with, or blocks, the cascade of biochemical processes unleashed through an injury on the brain. Pharmos started phase II trials for Dexanabinol in October 1996, involving 67 patients in six of Israel's neurotrauma centres. About 1,000 patients will be involved in phase III, at a cost of $15m (8.9m). According to Sturza, the US medical investment analysts, Dexanabinol showed no serious side effects when administered to healthy volunteers in a phase I trial. The drug is administered through injection. The market for such a drug is large, according to Jesup Lamont Securities, US analysts. An estimated 500,000 strokes occur in the US each year while worldwide more than 5m people suffer each year from stroke, head trauma or other conditions associated with neuronal cell death. Pharmos says it should soon be in a position when phase II trials are complete to assess the level of neurological recovery. Copyright the Financial Times Limited, 1998.

Video-Link Aid In Drug Fight (Britain's 'Daily Telegraph'
Says European Community Justice Ministers Will Discuss Today
Plans To Allow Foreign Witnesses To Give Evidence In British Trials)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: UK: Video-Link Aid In Drug Fight
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 1998 11:08:52 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Pubdate: Thu, 28 May 1998
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Contact: dtletters@telegraph.co.uk
Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/


FOREIGN witnesses could give evidence in British trials by video link under
plans to be discussed by European justice ministers today.

International video links are expected to become more common in the fight to
break up drug gangs that operate across Europe.

An operation targeting one gang can often make arrests in several countries
and international video links are seen as a solution to the potential
problems. Criminals held abroad could give evidence by video link to help to
convict associates arrested here, and inmates of British jails could easily
testify in foreign courts.

At present, agreements to set up video links between countries have to be
negotiated for each case but ministers including Jack Straw, the Home
Secretary, meeting in Brussels for a Justice and Home Affairs Council will
try to set up an EU-wide agreement.

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 44 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's Original News Summary For Activists)


Have you received your copy of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts? If we
received your contribution before April 28, you should have gotten your copy
by now -- let us know if you haven't, and we'll get it out right away. If we
received your donation after that date, the book should be going in the mail
this week. Please accept our apologies for the delay. THIS OFFER IS FINALLY

Table of Contents

1.Drug Crazy Hits the Stores!
2.Final Week for Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts Offer!
3.Colombian Soldiers Being Trained By US Special Forces
4.Helicopter Manufacturers Battle Over Which Will Arm Colombians
5.Washington: Conference on Latin American and the Drug War
6.Medical Marijuana Summit in California
7.California Medical Association Calls for Rescheduling of Marijuana
8.Speaking at Medical Marijuana Conference Lands Patient in Jail
9.Geriatric Prison Approved for Construction in Oklahoma
10.Romania's Secret Service Implicated in Cigarette Smuggling
11.Web Site News
12.Quote and Link of the Week
13.Editorial: Medicinal Marijuana, Summits and Balloons

(visit last week's Week Online)

1. Drug Crazy Hits The Stores!

- David Borden, Executive Director

Two evenings ago, I got a call from the local bookstore in my neighborhood,
letting me know that a copy of the book I had inquired about -- DRUG CRAZY:
How We Got INTO THIS MESS & How We Can GET OUT -- had arrived. I picked it
up yesterday morning -- my personal copy -- and returned yesterday evening
to recommend the book and ask whether they had more copies in stock. I was
told that two more were on order, perhaps because a copy had been purchased.

It was early in DRCNet's history, 1994, when author Mike Gray found us on
the Usenet talk groups, signed up, and told me about a book he was working
on that would lay out the enormous damage being wrought by the prohibition
laws, in a way, he hoped, that would speak to the all-powerful Middle
America. I was excited to hear about the project, particularly because of
Mike's illustrious career -- his credits include the hit movie "The China
Syndrome" -- I figured that this guy was good, and if anyone could pull it
off, it would be him. Mike later joined our advisory board, at my invitation.

Drug Crazy took until now to complete because of the meticulous research
that went into it -- practically every page required its own research
project, taking Mike from Chicago, to Liverpool, to who knows where -- and
because Mike continued to write about the history as it unfolded, all the
way through last year. There are portions of the book that made me stop and
think, "wait a minute, that's not history yet!" Like drug czar McCaffrey's
foolish praise of his Mexican counterpart Jesus Guttierez Rebollo, who was
arrested weeks later for being on the drug lords' payroll -- or the state of
Virginia's ill-advised targeting of pain doctor William Hurwitz, with tragic
consequences for his patients -- or the passage of California's Prop. 215.
After all these years, I am looking at an actual copy of the book, no less

A chapter that is sure to rivet you to your seat is chapter one, "A Tale of
Two Cities -- Chicago: 1995/1925", contrasting a narrative of a fast-paced
drug raid/shooting spree from our time, with the story of Alcohol
Prohibition, 70 years in the past.

My favorite passage from the book is from chapter six, "The River of Money,"
where Mike takes readers to the Peruvian jungle to witness the futility of
the "Andean Initiative" for themselves: "Three thousand miles to the south,
where the headwaters of the Amazon spring from the Andean cordillera, an
aging Vietnam-era Huey was choppering through the jungle haze, and in the
doorway, like a haunting snapshot of another era, a DEA agent in green
fatigues cradled an AR-15 automatic as he scanned the undulating landscape."

I am sharing these personal recollections, in the hope that you will get
inspired, and will call or visit your local Border's, or Barnes & Noble,
other chains or independent bookstores, ask if they have a copy of DRUG
CRAZY from Random House, and maybe pick one up, so the stores will order two
more, or five, or ten, or even create a display. So that more thinking
citizens will receive this vital information, feel some of the horror and
the anger that led me and many of you to get involved, and stand with us to
demand change.

And when some of them do decide to take a stand, they will be able to find
us on the Internet, using the comprehensive index of reform groups and
resources provided in Appendix B. The introduction to the appendix is a
brief history of how DRCNet got started and what it has become. So your
support for DRUG CRAZY will not only educate the public, but will build
DRCNet and the movement as a whole. Call today!

(Take a look at the book cover in last week's WOL archive, at
http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-22.html#drugcrazy. You can order the book
there through amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn a 15% commission off of your
purchase -- though we urge you to go the bookstore route instead to help the
book go big. If, as in chapter six, you do go the amazon route, make sure to
buy directly through our link -- otherwise, we'll only earn 5%, or possibly

2. Final Week for Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts Offer!

After several months and over 300 copies, we are winding up our offer of
free copies of the Morgan/Zimmer book on May 31! Your contribution of $30 or
more must be postmarked, or submitted via our online registration form, by
the last day of this month, to qualify. (Okay, if you don't happen to read
this until after that date, or if you need to wait a little longer for your
next paycheck, we'll let you slide -- honor system! Write us a note to let
us know.)

DRCNet needs your help! Thanks to the generosity of our major donors and of
many of our members last quarter --beyond our expectations -- DRCNet is
almost in the black. We need your continued support to finally get there and
stay there. Just as important as the money is increasing our number of
paying members. Your contribution represents a vote for DRCNet and reform.
So if you have never joined DRCNet before, your donation, no matter how
small, is worth even more. The more of our current 5,500 subscribers
actually join and contribute, the more confident our major donors will be in
our ability to make it in the big leagues, and the more support they will
provide, to help us go from 5,500 to 55,000, and from 55,000 to 100,000.
Currently, about 900 of you have sent in membership dues and joined. Help us
break 1,000 by June 1! Please use our secure online registration form at
http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html, or send your check or money order to:
DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036.

Please note that contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. If you are
considering making a substantial gift, but need a tax deduction, please call
us at (202) 293-8340 or e-mail drcnet@drcnet.org and we will explain an
arrangement we have for that purpose.

3. Colombian Soldiers Being Trained By US Special Forces

The Washington Post reports this week (5/25) that US Special Forces units
are currently training members of the Colombian military under a program
which sidesteps requirements that US military aid go only to units which
have not been implicated in human rights abuses. The Post indicates that the
program, which involves "hundreds" of US troops, represents a deeper and
more hands-on involvement of US forces in Colombia's internal conflict. The
program, "Joint Combined Exchange Training" (JCET) is the same one under
which Indonesian troops have been trained for the past seven years, even
though many members of Congress were under the impression that all military
ties with the Suharto regime had been severed.

4. Helicopter Manufacturers Battle Over Which Will Arm Colombians

Helicopter News reported last week (5/22) that Sikorsky, makers of the UH-60
Black Hawk helicopter, and Bell Helicopter Textron, makers of the UH-1 Huey,
are jockeying for position to determine who will get to fulfill the $36
million commitment Congress has made for the Colombian National Police (CNP).

The Hueys, of which the CNP currently has 40 -- although few are operational
and most are in need of parts -- are Vietnam-era helicopters which have been
upgraded by the manufacturer in recent years. The Black Hawks are, according
to their manufacturer, more "suviveable" in crashes and are able to
withstand ground fire more easily; they are also more expensive. Bell, for
its part, claims that the same $36 million which could purchase three Black
Hawks would afford the purchase of 21 Huey helicopters.

Joseph Miranda, former instructor at the American School for Special
Warfare, told The Week Online, "It's no secret that the Drug War has
replaced the Cold War as America's number one excuse for military
expenditures and the sale of military hardware. But unlike the Cold War,
during which the demand was for ultra high-tech, very expensive hardware,
the Drug War has allowed for the sale of light arms, medium-tech equipment
like night vision goggles, and helicopters.

"The defense industry doesn't care whether or not the war itself is a good
idea, that's not their job. In fact, it's an enormous advantage, from their
standpoint, that there are no real measurable or achievable objectives.
There's no end-game, and so their interest lies in keeping the war going for
as long as possible, because as long as the policy lasts, there will be a
never-ending market for their products."

(Check out Joe Miranda's analysis of the military and the drug war at

5. Washington: Conference on Latin America and the Drug War

The War on Drugs: Addicted to Failure -- a conference presented by Accion
Andina, George Washington University, the Institute for Policy Studies, the
Transnational Institute and the Washington Office on Latin America.
Thursday, June 11, 1998, 1:00-5:00pm, GWU, Funger Hall Room 103, 2201 G
Street, NW, Washington, DC. Open to the public, free of charge. For
additional information please contact Laurie Freeman at WOLA, (202) 544-8045.

6. Medical Marijuana Summit in California

On Wednesday, May 26, two dozen Democratic members of the California State
Senate met with police officers, state officials and medical marijuana
advocates in an attempt to hammer out a workable distribution plan in the
wake of the federal government's continued hard line against the
implementation of Proposition 215. Unfortunately for the attendees, the
federal government, which has maintained its attack upon California's
medical marijuana law on a variety of fronts, refused to participate in the

State Senator John Vasconcellos (Santa Clara) who called for the meeting,
along with Senate president Pro Tem John Burton and 21 other senators and
assembly members, sent a strongly-worded letter to the President, which
said, in part, "Mr. President, we can't ignore this issue. It won't go away,
so long as human beings believe they have the right to attend to their own
illness, as their doctor recommends, rather than as government dictates."
The letter also noted that "It's ironic you question our people's judgment
about proposition 215 while not questioning the wisdom of our returning you
to office." Proposition 215 received 56% of the popular vote; Clinton's
total in California was 52%.

Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, told The Week
Online, "One interesting idea which came out of the meeting was the use of a
loophole in federal law which allows state or local officials to handle
otherwise illegal substances in conjunction with the enforcement of a state
or local ordinance. This was written to allow the police and others to
handle drugs for sting operations, but it's written very broadly. There was
some agreement that this provision might well cover local health officials
who were handing out marijuana."

Todd McCormick, a long-term cancer patient and medical marijuana user who is
awaiting trial on charges of growing marijuana, also attended the summit.
McCormick told The Week Online, "I know that right now the federal
government is trying to make it impossible for people to have access, but
some of the plans which have been tossed around don't sound a whole lot
better. I'm very concerned about the whole idea of ID cards for medical
marijuana users. To single people out, to say 'hey, you're a marijuana
user,' sounds a little like making people wear a pink triangle or a yellow
star. I don't want to give up my privacy to the state because they don't
like the way I choose to treat my pain."

After much discussion, most agreed that the central obstacle to any plan was
the federal government. Vasconcellos, addressing the attendees, called the
feds' refusal to attend the summit "disappointing, shameful and arrogant."

7. California Medical Association Calls for Rescheduling of Marijuana

Citing "the lack of scientific justification for Schedule I classification
of marijuana," the California Medical Association voted this week (5/26) to
call for a rescheduling of marijuana to Schedule II. Schedule I is the
classification for substances which have no medical utility and a high
probability of abuse. Substances so classified are illegal under all
circumstances (other than highly limited federal licensing systems,
primarily for drug abuse research). Schedule II is reserved for substances
of medical utility which have a high probability of abuse. These are
generally tightly controlled, with triplicate prescription forms and
specific record-keeping procedures.

8. Speaking at Medical Marijuana Conference Lands Patient in Jail

- Marc Brandl for DRCNet

On Wednesday afternoon (5/27), Greg Scott, who uses medical marijuana to
treat symptoms of AIDS, was arrested for reportedly shouting and
interrupting an anti-medical marijuana conference. Details were sketchy as
of press time, but supporters of Scott, who was a registered participant of
the conference, were told by police officers he would be booked and have to
post bail.

The conference taking place in Orlando, Florida this week, entitled
"Marijuana Education Summit: Training the Trainer" is featuring such
speakers as former drug czar William Bennett, Rep. Bill McCullum, DEA Chief
Adminstrator Thomas Constantine, former NIDA director and highly paid drug
testing consultant Dr. Robert DuPont, and others. Sponsored by a myriad of
top anti-drug and law enforcement groups such as the Drug Free America
Foundation and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the summit's focus
is medical marijuana and state initiatives. A brochure claims, "participants
will receive current and comprehensive information about how these
initiatives will impact health care, crime in our communities, the work
place and our children". Topics include: "History of the 'medical' marijuana
movement", "Teens, children and the mixed message of 'medical marijuana'
and, "The hidden agenda behind 'medical' marijuana messages".

Medical marijuana advocates have serious doubts about the openness of the
summit to ideas other than prohibition. In a press release by the Florida
group Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana (CAMM), Irvin Rosenfeld, one of
the eight patients who receives medical marijuana from the government
states, "Although the brochure claims they will present 'comprehensive
information' on medical marijuana, there's no one talking about the benefits
of medical marijuana. I offered to debate any one of the top guns they've
brought from Washington, but they refuse." The group planned to hold a press
conference on Wednesday as well as pass out copies of Marijuana Myths,
Marijuana Facts to all of the 200 participants attending.

The summit is taking place in Florida where a major effort has recently
begun to collect signatures for a medical marijuana initiative in '99.

For more information on Florida's medical marijuana initiative and related
news, visit the Coalition Advocating Medical Marijuana home page at
http://www.medicalrights.org or call (954) 763-1799.

9. Geriatric Prison Approved for Construction in Oklahoma

- Marc Brandl for DRCNet

The ever growing private and state-run prison industry has found a new way
to make sure its expansion continues. Proof of this will soon be found in
Lexington, Oklahoma, where a geriatric unit, attached to the Joseph Harp
Correctional Center, has just been approved for construction by the state
Corrections Board in a unanimous vote.

The new prison for the elderly is a first for the state, and when completed
will have 250 cells, a 50 bed infirmary with an additional 80 beds for
transient housing of sick inmates who need routine medical attention.
Construction costs are estimated at $18.7 million with annual operating
costs of around $5.8 million. 138 new employees are thought to be needed to
staff the new facility.

Currently, of Oklahoma's 14,700 inmates housed in state-run prisons, only
about 150 inmates now qualify for the new prison. But according to
Corrections board Chairman Michael Roark, in a statement to The Oklahoman,
"that [geriatric] population will be growing."

With a steady stream of stories in the media about dangerous conditions in
America's prisons, from gang violence to rape, this new facility may well be
welcomed by many of those 150 aging prisoners who qualify for a cell, but
many questions remain unanswered. How much of a criminal threat are
prisoners who need a geriatric facility, especially non-violent offenders?
How much more money will it cost taxpayers to house and feed these prisoners
who'll inevitably need more health care than younger prisoners? In
Oklahoma's regular state-run prisons, the cost is $43 dollars per prisoner
per day, or about $16,000 per year. And what percentage of our current
prison population is going to need such facilities in the future?

For a more in-depth look at the aging of the prison population keep tuned to
the following issues of the Week Online.

10. Romania's Secret Service Implicated in Cigarette Smuggling

Romania's infamous Special Security Services will be cut by 24% in the wake
of allegations of large-scale cigarette smuggling involving officers at the
highest levels of the agency. 369 people will be fired in the initial phase
of the downsizing. The scandal came to light last month when a top officer
was arrested for his role in a shipment of 30 million smuggled cigarettes to
Bucharest Airport.

11. Web Site News

One of the movers and shakers profiled in DRUG CRAZY is Rufus King, a
Washington attorney who brought together the Ford-funded Drug Abuse Council
and who locked horns with the nation's infamous first drug czar, Harry
Anslinger. King's recollections of Anslinger's tactics and the sordid story
of how drug prohibition started in America are fascinating bits of history
that need to be remembered.

King is the author of "The Drug Hang-Up: America's Fifty Year Folly",
published in 1972, now re-released by DRCNet at
http://www.druglibrary.org/special/king/dhu/dhumenu.htm on our "drug
library" web site, created and maintained by DRCNet board member Clifford
Schaffer. As King points out, the Drug War didn't start with Richard Nixon.
Check out this important history that is now more available than ever before.

12. Quote and Link of the Week

On Tuesday, May 26, ABC Television aired a remarkable and important hour of
programming, John Stossel's "Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults." Featured,
among others on the show were Peter McWilliams, author of "Ain't Nobody's
Business if You Do" and Will Foster, imprisoned for 93 years for cultivation
of medicinal marijuana.

But the show's highlight, or low-light, was DEA Chief Thomas Constantine,
who unwittingly demonstrated the hypocrisy of the Drug War, and who, when
asked about cigarettes, stated his belief that the war will engulf far
larger numbers of Americans in the future when he said:

"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."

The transcript of "Sex, Drugs and Consenting Adults" can be viewed at
526_trans.html. To send your congratulations to John Stossel and ABC, e-mail

13. EDITORIAL: Medicinal Marijuana, Summits and Balloons

In California this week, a summit was convened by State Senator John
Vasconcellos in an attempt to figure out a way to implement Proposition 215,
the 1996 medical marijuana initiative which passed with 56% of the popular
vote. Prop 215 gave Californians in medical need and their appointed
caretakers the option of growing and possessing marijuana for medicinal use.
But for all of the doomsday prognostications by opponents, and for all of
the cheering of advocates upon its passage, there were two things that Prop
215 didn't do. First, the initiative (now the law) did not provide for a
method of distribution to those who could not feasibly grow their own pot.
This was due to an oversight in the construction of the language. Second,
the initiative did not anticipate the cruel and hyperbolic response of the
federal government to its passage. This was due to an underestimation of
just how important the "fail at any cost" drug war is to the Washington
elite, and to what lengths they will go to beat back any measure which will
take the power to prosecute it out of their hands.

Since the emergence of 215 late in the campaign season of 1996, the federal
government has used taxpayers' money to campaign against it, convened three
former presidents to warn of its dire implications for the future of the
nation, held senate hearings to belittle the voters who passed it,
threatened the careers, and implicitly the freedom of doctors who so much as
discussed the use of marijuana with their patients, raided medical marijuana
dispensaries over the objections of local communities, sued in federal court
in an effort to close down still more dispensaries, ignored repeated
communications from local officials pleading for cooperation, or at least a
ceasing of aggressions in its implementation, and spent more taxpayer money
on literature and public forums designed to outline the threat -- and call
for the defeat of -- "the forces of legalization."

All of this because AIDS, cancer and glaucoma patients, as well as others
who daily face the horrors of chronic or terminal illness, have found that
there is a plant which, when smoked, eaten or made into a tea eases their
suffering, enhances their appetite, clears their vision or calms their
spasms. This is a plant, mind you, which has been used medicinally for five
thousand years, one which has never killed a single human being through its
physiological effects, which has virtually no negative interactivity with
other, more dangerous but legal drugs, and to which almost no one is
seriously allergic.

Not surprisingly, the federal government was just about the only significant
party that refused to participate in the California summit. If they had,
however, they would have seen for themselves that neither their steadfast
opposition to allowing patients to choose their own medicines, nor their
heavy-handed tactics in imposing their will are much appreciated by either
the people of California or their elected officials. Terence Hallinan, the
District Attorney for San Francisco -- a city where AIDS has taken a
tremendous toll and the home of 215 sponsor and former cannabis cultivators'
club impresario Denis Peron -- suggested that local governments pass laws
allowing their health departments to cultivate and distribute marijuana to
those in medical need. San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano, among others,

But the feds didn't need to show up to hear what many in the California
state government felt about their intrusion into local health issues. To
make sure that the administration in Washington was aware of their
discontent, a letter was sent to President Clinton, signed by approximately
two dozen members of the state assembly and senate, including Vasconcellos
and Senate president Pro Tem John Burton, which said in part: "Mr.
President, we can't ignore this issue. It won't go away, so long as human
beings believe they have the right to attend to their own illness, as their
doctor recommends, rather than as government dictates." The letter also took
a shot at the popular approval of 215 in a state which was important to the
president's election. "It's ironic you question our people's judgment about
proposition 215 while not questioning the wisdom of our returning you to

But proponents of medical marijuana have, to a large degree, misunderstood
the forces they are fighting. They believe, and rightly so, that they are
trying to allow suffering people to choose their own treatment regimen. The
government, however, sees the issue far differently. To them, this is not
about people with AIDS, or glaucoma, or cancer, this is about their Drug
War, that cash cow which continuously accrues more power, both domestically
and internationally, to Washington DC. It is about protecting a morally and
intellectually indefensible policy against the slightest reform. Reform, you
see, can only lead to further examination, and to more reform, until the
raging torrent of money and power which flows from this war is reduced to a
trickle. And the feds admit as much, albeit in a misleading and disingenuous
way, when they say, over and over again, 'medical marijuana is not about the
sick and dying, it is about legalization of drugs.' And to them, at least,
it is.

To Senator Vasconcellos, however, along with the millions of other
Californians disgusted by the federal government's sledgehammer approach,
Prop. 215 always was about sick people. But now, in the face of that federal
approach, it is becoming an issue of local versus federal control, and
freedom, and the basic human right to tend to ones own body as one sees fit.
And, even more ominously for the feds, it is making an issue of the drug war
itself. For just as proponents of syringe exchange, and of Latin American
sovereignty and rights, and of access to pain medication, and of asset
forfeiture reform, and of sentencing reform, and of police practice reform,
and of racial justice, and of smaller government, and of violence reduction,
and of civil liberties are discovering, it is impossible to advocate for
rational changes in one part of Prohibition without feeling the full weight
of an opposition dedicated to the maintenance of the illusion that it can
work. Because when as great a structure as the Drug War machine has been
constructed on a foundation of thin air, akin to an overfilled balloon, it
is the unassuming man with the pin in his hand who must be silenced and

So the feds are right. Medical marijuana is not about the sick and the
dying. It is about Lockheed Martin and the defense industry. It is about the
private prison industry, and the companies who build them, and the unions of
the men and women who staff them. It is about textile and petrochemical
companies. It is about an excuse to deploy our military forces in Latin
America. It is about the seizing and conversion of assets into the
treasuries of governments. It is about the perpetuity of bureaucratic
careers and bureaucratic agencies. It is about the stick which is used in
controlling poor and minority communities. And it is about federal power
over the lives of every single American in every state of the union. It is
not about the sick. Or the dying. Or the children. Or even marijuana. It is
about the Drug War itself.

So the time is upon us. The time for all of those advocates of all of those
rational reforms to arrive together at the inescapable conclusion that the
feds, in their own deceitful way, have been right all along. To paraphrase
President Clinton's own campaign theme, "It's the Drug War, stupid." And it
is time, through the prism of caring for the sick, or allowing syringes to
the addicted, or justice to the oppressed, that all of the advocates of all
of the various sub-issues begin to examine, very critically and very
publicly, what the war has wrought. For we are fighting a common enemy in
the drug war establishment. And in defending their indefensible system, the
thing they want most to avoid is the coalescing of the resistance. Their
structure, the enormous and imposing Drug War machine, sits upon a
foundation which, like an overfilled balloon, is full of nothing but air.
What we need to understand, as the drug warriors obviously do, is that we,
as reformers, are in possession of the pins.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

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Weekly Action Report On Drug Policies, Year 4, Number 13
(Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy News,
From CORA In Italy)

Date: Fri, 29 May 1998 12:28:13 EDT
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
Precedence: first-class
From: cora.belgique@agora.stm.it
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: CORAFax 13 (EN)

Year 4 #13, May 28 1998


Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies
Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination,
federated to
- TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I)
- The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War


director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved




Guendalina Desario, phone 0032-2-2482827
Ottavio Marzocchi, phone 0032-2-2842258





The "Lista Pannella" says that on the drug question Europe finds
itself in the same situation that twenty years ago Italy was facing
on the abortion question. Prohibitionists are against a law that would
better society . They instead try to impose or support laws that
condemn society to a sure disaster. During CORA's Congress the Lista
Pannella will make an appeal to all democratic and liberal forces in
Europe, proposing that they join an effective fight against
organized crime through legalization of drugs.



Because France - says CORA's secretary Eric Picard - is a country that
tries to impose its repressive strategies on other EU countries, and
because of this it represents, together with Sweden, the real bulwark
of prohibitionism.



The third hearing of Club Pannella leaders involved in the free
distribution of hashish of August 1995 has been postponed.



CORA has deposited over 50 denounces to Public Prosecutors against the
Public Services for Drug Addicts (SERTs). These structures do disobey
the law by not guaranteeing a full time service.



The Public Freedom and Internal Affairs Commission has approved the
Hedy 'Ancona (Dutch socialist) report to the UN Assembly on Drugs on
EU cooperation. "The target is a society free of drugs"... in which
consumers should be "treated and reeducated" ...for a "life without
drugs". Socialists and moderate forces voted against radicals, greens,
communists. Eurodeputee Olivier Dupuis, secretary of the Transnational
Radical Party, says: Our antiprohibitionist ideas do not allow us to
go along with this. We will present new amendments, as a condition for
our support.



000044 27/05/98

A hospital is testing a medicine for disintoxicating from heroin
called Orlaam. The product prevents abstinence crises and does not
have the usual narcotic effects of Methadone. Also, its use would not
induce drug-addicts to go searching on the black market, as they now
do for Methadone.


000045 26/05/98

In Meclenbourg percentages of automobile drivers who mix alcohol with
other drugs have almost doubled in 1997. The 'mix' has been found
especially among young people and those who have caused serious car


000042 27/05/98

The Supreme Court has confirmed a series of sentences that had
previously condemned drug-addicted pregnant women to jail for
'violence on the foetus'.


000038 24/05/98

Twenty-thousand people have participated in a demonstration against
legalization of drugs organized by a number of therapeutic centres.
Also center- right party leaders, who have menaced to use
obstructionism in Parliament on this theme, participated in the event.


000039 22/05/98

The Minister of Justice's reform of the law on drugs forsees
non-punishability for personal use of marijuana. Working for social
utility and prohibition to frequent discotheques is instead planned
for those who make use of ecstasy and alcohol, while free distribution
of drugs still remains a crime.


000043 22/05/98

Drug addiction is a phenomenon present also in the army. To contrast
it the Armed Forces and the Foundation for Help against Drug-Addiction
(FAD) have created a prevention plan which foresees also courses to
prepare specialized personnel.


000040 27/05/98

'Drugwipe' is a device that allows to detect even the smallest trace
of any kind of drug. German Police and custom officials have ordered
90.000 of these machines. The French are still testing its


000041 24/05/98

After the police forces throughout the world have declared that the
Narcos are augmenting drug traffic activities in sight of the next
World Soccer Championship in France and preparing to export many tons
of cocaine, Columbian authorities have intensified controls in the
whole country.


000046 21/05/98
MISCELLANEOUS 21/05 - 01/06

Public protest against interference on the part of the USA. Twenty-two
Mexican bankers have been arrested, within the 'Casablanca' anti-drug
operation, for recycling of drug money. The whole plan was carried out
without informing Mexican authorities.



VATICAN CITY - Cardinal Camillo Ruini has confirmed the Church's
objection to proposed legalization of drugs except for strictly
therapeutic reasons.

FRANCE - The fortnightly magazine "Valeurs actuelles" of the 15th of
May publishes an article called "Free selling of cannabis?". The CORA
is described as a "very active lobby within the European Parliament".

MEXICO - In the Capitol of Oxaca a priest was killed for having
denounced the Narcos. Nobody has been found guilty of this crime.

SPAIN - 80% of people in Spain think that Methadone therapy is an
effective one.




Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO
with category I consultative status at the UN






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