Portland NORML News - Saturday, May 30, 1998

County Treasurer Accused Of Choking Girlfriend ('Associated Press'
Says Bob Dantini, Treasurer Of Snohomish County, Washington,
Is Accused Of Choking The Woman And Threatening To Kill Her
After She Allegedly Hid His Cocaine)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: Sno-Co Treasurer's on/off girlfriend makes coke charge
Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 11:11:30 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

County treasurer accused of choking girlfriend
The Associated Press
05/30/98 11:38 AM Eastern

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) -- Snohomish County Treasurer Bob Dantini has been
accused of choking his girlfriend and threatening to kill her after she
allegedly hid his cocaine.

Through his lawyer, Dantini has pleaded innocent to a fourth-degree assault
charge and denied any involvement with illegal drugs.

The dispute stems from a pair of calls to emergency dispatchers early
Thursday by a 27-year-old Lynnwood woman with whom Dantini, 47, has had an
off-and-on relationship for several years.

Responding to the call from Dantini's house, deputies arrested him, booked
him into jail and confiscated a "small brown vial" of cocaine the woman
told them she took from Dantini's pants pocket and hid in her car.

An affidavit filed Friday in Snohomish County Superior Court said the vial
was found inside a shoe in the car, where she told deputies she put it.

Dantini, released on his own recognizance Thursday, "adamantly denies he
was in possession of or has used any controlled substances," said James
Trujillo, his lawyer.

Trujillo also said Dantini was acting in self-defense after the woman got
"extremely upset" over a relationship he had while the couple was separated
for three months recently.

Monthly Monday March To End Prohibition (List Subscriber
Posts Update On Seattle Demonstrations - The Next One, June 8
In Westlake Park, Is Part Of The International 'Global Days
Against The Drug War' Rally)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 18:33:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: turmoil (turmoil@hemp.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (november-l@november.org), hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: Monthly Monday Marches -
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Just a reminder of the following actions in Seattle:
We could still use speakers for any of these events. If you are interested
in speaking please email march@hemp.net -

Monthly Monday March To End Prohibition!

Prohibition has failed. It is time for a new approach. Join us for a
series of educational protests aimed at hastening an end to prohibition.

June 8th 6PM- Global Days against Drug War
Meet at Westlake Park for March to Convention Center

July 6th 6PM - INDEPENDENCE from prohibition
Meet at Hammering Man - March down Harbor Steps

August 3rd - Family's March to End Prohibition
Meet at Alki Statue of Liberty - march along Alki

Sept 7th - Prison Labor Days
March around Denny Park - Ring the park with signs

Oct 5th - Marijuana IS Medicine
Meet at Harborview Hospital for march to Swedish

Nov 2nd November march to end Prohibition
Meet at King County Court House march to Pioneer Square

For more info contact:

June 8th is the First in a series of Monday Marches to End Prohibition
that will be held in Seattle Washington. Our March in Seattle will
coincide with 100's of actions all over the world.
The 1998 Global Days against the Drug War

Seattle Music Web

City Of San Francisco May Get Into Medical Pot Business (Cable News Network
Notes City Officials Are Looking For Loopholes In State And Federal Laws
That Would Allow The City To Distribute Marijuana, Possibly Through
The Health Department - Officials Believe Their Long Experience With AIDS
Gives Them The Right To Send A Message To The Federal Government
About Marijuana Laws)

Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 00:09:04 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: City of San Francisco May Get Into Medical Pot Business
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Patrick Henry
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: CNN
Contact: cnn.feedback@cnn.com
Website: http://www.cnn.com/
Author: Susan Reed and AP


SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- With the federal government cracking down on medical
marijuana clubs, San Francisco is looking at entering the marijuana
distribution business.

"With 75 to 80 percent of the people in San Francisco saying it should be
available for medicinal purposes and with the district attorney having the
same attitude, the Board of Supervisors with the same attitude, I have the
same attitude, the Department of Health having the same attitude, there
ought to be some way this can be achieved," said San Francisco Mayor Willie

California voters legalized the medical use of marijuana by approving
Proposition 215 in 1996. Users need a prescription from a doctor to treat
symptoms of AIDS, cancer and other serious diseases.

California Legalization Not Legal To U.S.

The clubs that sprang up after the law was approved have faced challenges in
state and federal courts. A federal judge shut down six northern California
medical marijuana clubs earlier this month.

The California law does not override the federal ban on marijuana, U.S.
District Judge Charles Breyer said.

However, San Francisco District Attorney Terrence Hallinan generally was
satisfied with the operation of the city's marijuana club. He said the
operation was more loosely managed than he would have liked, but it
cooperated with his office and the city's health department.

But with the federal government crackdown, city officials are looking for
loopholes in state and federal laws that would allow the city to distribute
marijuana, possibly through the health department.

But where would the city get the marijuana?

City Considering Producing, Distributing Pot

"Somewhere down the road, I think, the city is either going to have to
produce that crop or contract with somebody who will do it under proper and
secure circumstances," Hallinan said.

The federal judge's ruling is under appeal, so U.S. Attorney Michael
Yamaguchi declined to comment. Before the trial, however, he cast doubt on
any possibility of the city distributing pot.

"It has been suggested that local government might step in and distribute
marijuana if the clubs close down. Without prior approval from both the Food
and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration, such
distribution is illegal," Yamaguchi said.

But San Francisco officials believe their long experience with AIDS gives
them the right to send a message to the federal government about marijuana laws.

Pot Club's Peron - Such A Dope ('San Francisco Chronicle' Columnist
Ken Garcia Blames The Victim In A Rather One-Sided Diatribe
Against Dennis Peron, Co-Author Of Proposition 215 And Former Proprietor
Of The San Francisco Cannabis Buyers' Club, Shut Down Without A Jury Trial
In A City Where The Board Of Supervisors And 80 Percent Of The People
Voted For Proposition P)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 12:02:05 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Pot Club's Peron -- Such a Dope
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Author: Ken Garcia


His Fantasy Was To Ride His Cause To Governorship

So Dennis Peron no longer gets to play ringmaster in his smoke-filled
circus tent. At least now he'll be able to concentrate on his next job --
after he wins the Republican nomination for governor Tuesday. You've got to
give Peron credit. Most people might back down when the president, the
Justice Department, the state attorney general and almost every cop and
court within 500 miles starts telling you to pack your baggies. But Peron
just puffed and he puffed until the whole house blew down. The end came
quietly this week, as sheriff's deputies conducted a holiday morning raid
at Peron's aromatic headquarters on Market Street. Well, relatively
quietly, anyway. Peron was running around screaming about the injustice of
it all. He promised to reinvent the club. He said it would ascend like a
phoenix, appropriately enough, out of the ashtray.

Don't bet on it. Peron deserves credit for raising the public consciousness
about the need for medicinal marijuana, and for being a relentless advocate
for decriminalization of a personal vice. But along the way he fell in love
with the spotlight and has burned almost every bridge he's crossed, making
it tougher for every other legitimate pot club to carry on its business.

Peron had to work hard at it, because he had the backing of his own city's
district attorney, the sheriff and a number of other elected officials.

But his refusal to clean up his act after repeated run-ins with the law
leaves him today as just another run-of-the-mill pot-smoking GOP candidate
-- and approximately 9,000 people with medical problems in San Francisco
looking for a place to score.

He flaunted his own club's borderline legality, refusing to file for a
business license or to pay taxes, suggesting that his operation was based
on a doctrine of civil disobedience. And he paid little heed to the claims
that people without medical prescriptions were lining up outside his shop
to get their hands on some Maui Wowie or Humboldt Green -- emerging ever

In this case, it's appropriate to ask what he was smoking.

Because anybody who ever went by his club could have told you that young
skateboarders and the city's frenetic gutter punks did not exactly meet the
description laid out under the law of people with dire medical conditions.
``There were drug deals on the streets, kids crowding the sidewalk,
congregations of homeless people. . . . It was a zoo,'' said one nearby
business owner. ``After we began complaining, they'd clean it up for a day
and then it would revert to business as usual.

We all support the premise of the club, but it was never run properly -- or
legally.'' That never seemed to matter much to Peron -- at least until the
state and federal authorities began closing in. But it certainly mattered
to other pot clubs around the Bay Area that began feeling the heat because
Peron saw himself as a martyr unaffected by the law. When a judge ordered
the San Francisco Cannabis Cultivators Club shut down, he said fine, we'll
just give it another name. When he became the target of most of the court
orders, he said no problem, I'll just pick a 79-year-old pot-smoker as the
new director.

And when police and judicial authorities began scrutinizing other pot club
operations because of his legal problems, he played the part of defenseless

Peron's GOP gubernatorial rival, Attorney General Dan Lungren, certainly
deserves his share of the blame. Lungren blithely ignored the will of the
voters by cracking down on pot clubs -- singling out Peron -- and then
preened before the assembled media.

And one can only hope the Justice Department has more important matters to
tangle with than trying to exert its heavy-handed will on issues best left
to state and local authorities. But Peron's bullheadedness did not serve
him well at a time he should have been trying to fulfill his self-sworn
duty to make marijuana available to thousands of people with HIV, glaucoma
and other serious medical problems.

And why would anyone lock horns with the state and federal judiciary?

This falls under the category: Why do you think they call it dope? So now
the city is faced with coming up with a way to distribute pot to those
people -- a scary thought in itself.

District Attorney Terence Hallinan said it might be possible for the city
to begin growing its own pot, which would no doubt give national newspapers
like the Wall Street Journal another reason to brush up their annual ``only
in Sin City'' stories.

Peron clearly did the right thing for a majority of Californians who
support the cultivation and distribution of medicinal marijuana.

He just took the wrong path along the way. Maybe he'll get back on track in

Copyright 1998 San Francisco Chronicle

Ex-DEA Agent Convicted Of Stealing $178,000
('San Francisco Chronicle' Version Of Yesterday's News
About San Francisco DEA Agent Clifford Shibata)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 11:15:18 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Ex-DEA Agent Convicted Of Stealing $178,000
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Page: A16
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer


A former official of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San
Francisco was convicted this week of stealing $178,000 from a drug-buying
fund the agency used in its undercover investigations.

Clifford Shibata, a veteran DEA agent and supervisor who has worked for 25
years at the federal narcotics agency, is scheduled to appear in court for
sentencing September 4.

Shibata was indicted by a federal grand jury last year on charges of mail
fraud, theft from the government and making false statements.

According to investigators, while working as a DEA group supervisor in San
Francisco from 1994 to 1996, Shibata made 137 cash withdrawals from an
agency fund used to pay for undercover drug purchases and informants.

Although many of the withdrawals were for amounts of only a few hundred
dollars, some involved several thousand dollars.

Shibata forged the signatures of other DEA personnel and police officers on
forms he used to withdraw the money, and apparently returned some of the
cash to the agency with an anonymous letter that was intended to cast
suspicion on a co-worker.

During Shibata's three-week trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco,
prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Department's Profession Integrity Section
in Washington, D.C., introduced scores of documents related to the
transactions and put on numerous witnesses who testified that they did not
sign the documents Shibata used to obtain the money.

Neither Shibata nor his attorney, Stuart Hanlon, could be reached for
comment yesterday.

Candidates Make A Late Pitch For The Undecideds ('San Francisco Examiner'
Notes California Gubernatorial Candidate Jane Harman Would Support Efforts
By City Officials To Provide Marijuana To Sick People,
Though She's 'Not Sure' It's The Right Answer For Sick People
In The Rest Of The State - The Leader In The Polls, Gray Davis,
Who Opposed Proposition 215, Said He Supports Legislation By State Senator
John Vasconcellos Urging A Three-Year Study Of The Effects Of Marijuana
On Particular Ailments)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 23:09:36 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Candidates Make A Late Pitch
For The Undecideds
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Authors: By Zachary Coile and Gregory Lewis of The Examiner Staff
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998


Rep. Jane Harman said she would support efforts by city officials to
provide marijuana to sick people in San Francisco, even if she's not sure
it's the right answer for the rest of the state.

In a campaign visit with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has endorsed her,
Harman said she backed "city officials taking whatever steps they think
they need to take" to assure access to the drug for the truly ill.

Lt. Gov. Gray Davis, who leads Harman and financier Al Checchi in the
polls, was also in The City, touting his endorsements by San Francisco

An Examiner poll released Friday showed Davis with a double-digit lead over
his Democratic rivals Harman and businessman Al Checchi.

As the campaign for the primary election wound down to its last couple of
days, Davis and Harman campaigned in The City, while Checchi delivered his
education platform to schools in San Diego and El Centro, Imperial County.
Attorney General Dan Lungren, the expected GOP nominee, campaigned in Los
Angeles and called for eliminating the state's vehicle license fee over the
next five years.

Davis, who opposed the voter-approved medicinal marijuana Proposition 215,
said he supported legislation by state Sen. John Vasconcellos that urges a
three-year study of the effects of marijuana on particular ailments.

"I'm not in favor of legalizing marijuana," Davis said. "On the other hand,
I don't believe politicians should interfere with medical judgments."

The Democratic front-runner, who began the campaign lagging third in the
polls, appeared confident at pep rally-style press conference with a
rainbow coalition of elected officials -- including Mayor Brown and Oakland
Mayor Elihu Harris -- and labor leaders.

"I believe voters all along were looking for someone with my profile,"
Davis said in an interview, "but couldn't find me until I could get on
television (with campaign ads)."

"I believed that once my message got out, the voters would support me," he

Asked what he planned to do in the final days of the campaign to hold his
lead, Davis replied: "Just get up every morning, fight for every vote and
share my vision with people in the state."

Davis' message is three-pronged: As governor, he will preside over the
booming state economy in a logical manner, fix schools and bring the people
of the state together.

"As governor, I will end the politics of division," Davis vowed from a
podium set up outside the War Memorial Building. "The era of wedge-issue
politics is over. ... The long nightmare of Pete Wilson is passing on to
wherever he's going -- San Diego, New Hampshire."

Harman was in The City for a series of events, including a news conference
on gun violence and an evening rally with gay and lesbian activists
headlined by Democratic Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

Appearing on the Ronn Owens show at KGO-radio Friday morning, she was asked
by a caller about her stand on medical marijuana. She said she had opposed
Prop. 215, the initiative passed by voters that legalized medical
marijuana, because she thought it was too broad.

She said she favored more research into medical marijuana, and wanted to
fine-tune Prop. 215 to end the current stalemate between pot clubs and law
enforcement officials.

"I support efforts to limit distribution so we are not promoting drug use,
but so that we are helping heal people who are suffering," Harman said. "If
that's our principle, if cities have the best tools to implement it, cities
should do it, but otherwise the state should supervise it."

After the event, she said the idea of allowing city officials to provide
pot to patients, suggested by San Francisco District Attorney Terence
Hallinan, should be considered.

"I feel it should be looked at," Harman said. "But I don't know whether
that makes good sense for every city. We have to consider whether the
states or the cities should be the primary vehicle for refining the
intention of 215."

However, Harman added, "I support city officials' taking whatever steps
they think they need to take to do what they need to do."

Feinstein, in her first public appearance with Harman since endorsing her
last week, praised the third-term congresswoman for her experience and her
ability to work with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle. She
also challenged the notion that Harman was out of the race because of polls
showing she was tied with Checchi well behind Davis.

"There's a big undecided (vote)," Feinstein said. "If the undecideds move
her way, she could win."

Feinstein also took a swing at Checchi, saying his bottoming out in the
polls reflected the negative approach of his TV ads.

"I just hope this shows you can't trash somebody to pump yourself up,"
Feinstein. "I hope it sounds the death knell for this kind of political
advertising in the state." Examiner news services contributed to this report.

1998 San Francisco Examiner

Repeal Exemptions Of Tobacco, Alcohol (A Pharmacist's Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Boulder Daily Camera' In Colorado Says It's Absurd
To Debase The Constitution With The Idea That The Deadliest Of All Drugs,
Tobacco - The Drug That Kills More People Than All Other Drugs Combined,
Including Alcohol - Should Specifically Be Exempt From The Drug Laws,
While Users Of Less Deadly Drugs Are Subject To Prison, While Pretending
That We Have Equal Protection Under The Law)

Date: Tue, 02 Jun 1998 21:27:31 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CO: PUB LTE: Repeal Exemptions Of Tobacco, Alcohol
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Tom.Barrus@Cahners.com
Pubdate: Sun, 31 May 1998
Source: Boulder Daily Camera (CO)
Section: Open Forum
Contact: marshallj@boulderpublishing.com
Website: http://www.bouldernews.com
Author: Tom W. Barrus, R.Ph., MBA



Your editorial, "Kicking the habit" (April 30) pointed out: "The tobacco
companies have argued that Congress never gave the FDA explicit authority
to regulate cigarettes ..."

Just another lie from the tobacco drug lords. Even the political definition
of drugs in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that drugs are:
"... (C) articles (other than food) intended to affect the structure or any
function of the body of man or other animals; ..."

Since the drug lords intend that tobacco affect the taste of man, it is a
drug. Tobacco is the only drug that could actually be classified as a
schedule I controlled substance since it: 1. has no medical use, 2. is
subject to abuse and 3. cannot be used safely under medical supervision
(400,000-plus deaths per year active; 50,000-plus deaths per year passive).

Yet, in spite of a so-called "War on drugs" (which is really "An insane war
on some drug users") and lots of pious rhetoric, especially from
Republicans, tobacco is still a legal product, only because it is
specifically exempt from the drug laws by name.

To debase the Constitution with the idea that the deadliest of all drugs,
tobacco - the drug that kills more people than all other drugs, including
alcohol, combined - should specifically be exempt from the drug laws, while
less deadly drugs are subject to these same drug laws, and pretend that we
have the equal protection of the laws is absurd. It has been said that
Congress cannot legislate morality. While true, it is also true that
Congress can legislate immorality.

Why should tobacco (and alcohol) be exempt from our drug laws? As a
pharmacist, I can attest that tobacco, a poisonous insecticide, has no
legitimate medical purpose. Still, is there any reason why an adult citizen
cannot engage in commerce, buy his poisonous tobacco, and poison himself,
just as long as he does not poison anyone else?

Let's demand that the General Assembly of Colorado repeal C.R.S. 25-5-402
(4)(a) and (4)(d), and make tobacco and alcohol subject to the Colorado
Food and Drug Act just like Tylenol and aspirin. Let's be honest and
restore the rule of law to our state and nation, instead of the rule of
money! Call your legislator today to demand that the exemptions of tobacco
and alcohol from the drug laws be repealed now!

'Cocaine Mom' Undergoes Sterilization ('Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Article About A Woman In Waukesha, Wisconsin,
Detained By An Unconstitutional Secret Court During Two Pregnancies,
Now Known Statewide As The 'Cocaine Mom')

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 17:11:06 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: 'Cocaine Mom' Undergoes Sterilization
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: Lisa Sink of the Journal Sentinel staff


She Says She Hasn't Used Drugs Since April 1, Has Regained Custody Of Baby

Waukesha -- After being detained by officials during two pregnancies, the
Waukesha woman known statewide as the "cocaine mom" said Friday that she
has undergone sterilization to avoid having more children.

The woman, who was in court Friday to announce she was ready to resolve a
drug paraphernalia case, said in an interview outside the courtroom that
she was concentrating on her 6-week-old son and her drug treatment and no
longer wanted more children.

"I got my tubes tied," the 26-year-old woman said. "This is my last one,"
she added as she gestured to her infant, wrapped in a blue and white
checked blanket.

That the woman had custody of the baby was news itself. A judge has closed
court hearings on the county's move to provide protective services for the
infant. As she cradled her baby, she said: "They aren't going to get him.
I'm going to show Waukesha that I can do it without them."

The woman's case made national headlines in 1995 when a judge ordered her
detained under child protection laws to protect her fetus from her cocaine
abuse. She lost her parental rights to that son, now 2 1/2.

The woman, who is being identified by the Journal Sentinel only as Angela
to protect her children's identity, is living with her youngest son in a
drug abuse treatment facility.

She voluntarily entered the facility in April just days before a judge
ordered her there for violating her probation on a drug paraphernalia case.
She violated the conditions of her bail on the possession of crack-cocaine
pipes case by testing positive for drugs, which came during the eighth
month of her latest pregnancy.

Assistant County Corporation Counsel William Domina said in an interview
Friday that he could not discuss Angela's medical history.

He said that while the county never advocates sterilization, even in its
worst child neglect or abuse cases, the procedure in some cases can end "a
continuation of children who will end up in foster care."

"Sterilization is not the object of the county in any termination of
parental rights or CHIPS (Child in Need of Protective Services) case,"
Domina said.

"Our goal is to work with families and not to have families perpetuate poor
environments for children," he said.

Last spring when the state Supreme Court ruled in Angela's case that state
law did not allow the detention of pregnant, drug-abusing women to protect
their fetuses, there were some who advocated for the woman's sterilization.

Angela said Friday that she decided on her own to undergo tubal ligation,
in part because her last pregnancy was "too painful."

"I thought I would die," she said.

She insisted once again that she would regain custody of her 2 1/2-year-old
son, who was the subject of the illegal 1995 detention. That boy remains in
foster care while she appeals. The foster parents want to adopt him.

"I will get him back," said Angela, who appeared healthy and rested and
wore a long green dress she said the treatment center had given her.

Ordered by a judge to stay at the facility around the clock and to leave
the grounds only with her counselor, Angela has not walked away from
treatment and has actively participated in group and individual sessions,
officials said.

She is tested weekly for drugs, and all tests have been clean, according to
Wisconsin Correctional Service, a private agency monitoring her as a
condition of her bail.

"She's making great progress," said Craig Mastantuono, the assistant state
public defender representing her on the paraphernalia charge.

"If your paper continues to refer to her as the 'cocaine mom,' that would
be unfair and off-base, because that's just not the current situation," he

The woman told a reporter that the last time she used drugs was April 1 --
17 days before she delivered her son. "I had some withdrawals," she said.
"I got so depressed. But I did my steps . . . They're helping me. And I
have parenting classes."

She said she "loved" living at the facility, the identity of which was
ordered to remain confidential under court seal.

In court Friday, Mastantuono told Circuit Judge Lee S. Dreyfus Jr. that the
woman would not be going to trial next week as scheduled to contest her
drug paraphernalia charge.

Mastantuono said that at a June 18 hearing she would plead guilty or no
contest and be recommended for probation. Prosecutors will not seek any
jail time or a fine, he said.

The woman likely will remain at the treatment center for six months to as
long as a year, he said.

In ruling on Angela's 1995 detention, the state Supreme Court said that a
fetus was not a child entitled to protections under the non-criminal CHIPS

Shortly after that legal victory, the woman, still using drugs by her own
admission, became pregnant again. Months later, she was arrested and
charged with possession of crack-cocaine pipes.

She was released on a $250 signature bond with conditions that she remain
drug-free. However, in March authorities said she tested positive for
cocaine twice. The tests were ordered as part of an unrelated Juvenile
Court case involving one of her older sons, who live with their grandmother.

Cops Mistake Remains For Drug ('Associated Press' Article
In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says Michael Anthony Horne
Sued The City Of San Antonio, Texas, On Thursday,
After Spending A Month In Jail And Losing His Job, His Pickup,
His Apartment And His Military Reserve Status When Police
Refused To Believe His Grandmother's Ashes Weren't Methamphetamine -
In A Case Reminiscent Of 'Curse Of The Cocaine Mummies,'
The Remains Tested Positive)

Date: Mon, 01 Jun 1998 00:18:04 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Cops Mistake Remains For Drug
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/


San Antonio, Texas (AP) - Honest, officer -- it's my grandmother.

Michael Anthony Horne insisted the powdery substance police found in a
plastic bag in his pickup was the ashes of his cremated grandmother. But
when police tested the contents, it tested positive for methamphetamine.

Horne was hauled away to jail for a month. Unable to make bail, he lost his
job, his pickup, his apartment and his military reserve status.

Subsequent test confirmed that the substance was indeed human remains,
something Horne had insisted since his arrest in July.

"It's in the police report that he told them that," said his attorney, Luis

Thursday, Horne sued the city for unspecified damages.

Unfortunately, repeated testing has destroyed most of the evidence.

"The sad thing is, most of his grandmother's remains are gone now," Vera
said. "He can't get that back."

In Texas, It Was Ashes To Ashes, This Is A Bust ('Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 00:45:19 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: In Texas, It Was Ashes To Ashes,
This Is A Bust
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/


SAN ANTONIO--Michael Anthony Horne has sued San Antonio for unspecified
damages after police jailed him on charges of possession of methamphetamine.
What he actually possessed was the ashes of his cremated grandmother.
After police said a field test showed the presence of the drug, Horne was
hauled away to jail for a month. Unable to make bail, he lost his job, his
pickup, his apartment and his military reserve status, he said. Subsequent
tests confirmed that the substance was indeed human remains, something Horne
had insisted since his arrest in July.

"It's in the police report that he told them that," said his attorney, Luis
Vera, after the suit was filed Thursday.

Horne, who had recently gotten out of the Army, was given the ashes by his
grandfather so he would always remember his late, cremated grandmother, and
had not yet taken them from his truck, Vera said. He said it was hard to
believe the police mistook the ashes for drugs because speed "looks like
baby powder," while the ashes were various shades of gray, white and black.

Vera said it also was important to lay to rest any doubts about Horne's

"Grandma wasn't a doper," he said.

Was Bag Granny's Remains Or Dope? ('Orange County Register' Version
Quotes Horne's Lawyer Saying He Wanted To Know More About The Field Test,
Because Either 'Someone's Lying Or I Have Got A Case
Against The Manufacturer Of The Test, Too')

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 21:47:28 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Was Bag Granny's Remains Or Dope
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk:John W.Black
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author:Jacque Crouse-San Antonio Express-News


Courts: Man sues authorities who initially mistook woman's cremated ashes
for an illegal substance.

SAN ANTONIO - It's a federal court lawsuit, but it could be the lyrics of a
sad country Western song.

Too sleepy to drive, Michael Anthony Horne pulled off a San Antonio roadway
on July 30, 1997, for a nap.

A suspicious San Antonio patrolman stopped and searched the vehicle and
Horne, who was arrested for possession of a powdery substance.

Horne was jailed. He lost his job, his pickup, his apartment, his military
reserve status.

And some of his grandmother's cremated remains.

Despite Horn's protests that authorities were making a terrible mistake,
the plastic bag that contained his grandmother's ashes was field tested for

Grandma passed, but Horne was sent to jail.

Horne, of San Antonio, on Thursday filed a federal court lawsuit seeking
unspecified damages.

Unable to make bail, Horne was jailed for about a month before the case was
dismissed because the contents of the bag proved to be his grandmother's
remains and not illicit drugs, according to his lawyer, Luis Vera.

Assistant City Attorney Amy Eubanks said the city handles arrests and is
not responsible for decisions to prosecute or when someone is released from

The field test for methamphetmine, sought by the arresting officer Michael
Katsfey, was positive, Eubanks added.

Vera said the search was illegal and Horne told the officers the bag
contained the ashes of his grandmother. Horne, who had recently gotten out
of the Army, was given the ashes by his grandfather so he would always
remember his late, cremated grandmother, and had not yet taken them from
his truck, Vera said.

"It's in the police report that he told them that," Vera said.

The lawyer said he wanted to know more about the field test, because either
"someone's lying or I have got a case against the manufacturer of the test,

Vera said the ashes were tested twice after the field test. Both tests were

"After the second test, they finally dismissed the case and let him go,"
Vera said.

"The sad thing is, most of his grandmother's remains are gone now (because
of the testing)," Vera said. "He can't get that back."

The lawsuit alleges that police violated Horne's constitutional rights and
denied him due process of the law.

Vera said it was also important to lay to rests any doubts about Horne's
grandmother. "Grandma wasn't a doper," he said.

Latest Campus Unrest Fired By Alcohol, Not Social Activism
('Associated Press' Has The Nerve To Suggest That American College Students
Fighting Repressive Prohibitionists For Their Right To Party
Aren't Social Activists)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 23:17:11 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Latest Campus Unrest Fired By Alcohol, Not Social Activism Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998 LATEST CAMPUS UNREST FIRED BY ALCOHOL, NOT SOCIAL ACTIVISM (AP) -- Bonfires in the streets. Bottles whizzing through the air at police. Chants and tear gas and television footage of students being led away in handcuffs. The images may have harkened back to the 1960s, but it wasn't war or segregation that inspired scores of college students to take to the streets this year. It was the right to party. Students from at least 10 schools rallied and rioted, saying new restrictions on how they drink and carouse were the latest evidence that their freedom is at stake. Bans on porch furniture, limits on how many people can share a house, tickets for riding a bicycle on the wrong side of the street -- rule upon rule made without student input, they say. "It's been one thing after another. Each one was not enough to set off a protest, but we were getting sick of it," said Adam Herringa, 22, who graduated this spring from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. An e-mail summons answered by 3,000 Through e-mail, Herringa summoned 3,000 fellow students into the streets May 1 after the school banned drinking at a popular spot where students party before and after football games. Police fired tear gas as students lit bonfires and threw rocks and bottles at officers. But faculty, police and some students say something less meaningful is at work. "What I saw seemed to have no rhyme or reason, no ideological passion, just rebelliousness without a cause," said Richard Little, a spokesman for Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Oxford police clashed with about 200 students on the nights of May 9-10 when they tried to break up parties near campus after months of tension over drinking. Forty-five people were arrested. "Some people theorize that there's always going to be that rebelliousness for people of this age, yet with no war, no civil rights struggle, nothing to latch on to -- that cork's going to pop," Little said. Not much to do in peacetime? "If there's peace, there isn't much to do -- or it appears there isn't," said Wallace Reese of the Greater Lansing Area Peace Education Center, which works on mediating disputes such as the one there between students and police. Some student activists are disgusted by the gatherings, the largest at some schools since the Vietnam War. There are still traditional social issues to work on, like racism, education equity and labor conditions, they said. "People riot after a football game, but what's the point? Yet when we want to have a nonviolent sit-in, not even a third of those people show up," said Michael Norman, 21, a public relations and political science student at Ohio State. Norman was among a few dozen students who occupied an administrative building for a week this month to protest a reorganization of the school's minority affairs office. The sit-in ended when the school agreed to hold off until fall. Aldo Valmon, 31, a psychology student, has rallied for lower tuition and more minority professors at New York's Brooklyn College. "To pick alcohol, drugs as a thing to mark your career in college, to say `I fought for the right to drink,' I find it weak," he said. Restrictions on parties, alcohol stir clashes About 175 people were cited this spring in clashes involving partying students and police at Miami, Ohio State University, Ohio University and the University of Akron. Some students said they were frustrated by police harshness on partying students. Other recent clashes include one on May 3 at Washington State University in Pullman, where 23 police officers were injured during a riot by 2,000 students. Some students said they were angered by a year-old ban on alcohol at fraternity parties and restrictions on off-campus parties. And police in Plymouth, New Hampshire, were pelted with bottles and rocks when they tried to disperse more than 500 partying students in early May. Students were angered by recent restrictions on large gatherings and underage drinking. "If they were after something that was more humanity-centered than taking away the right to drink, perhaps I would be sympathetic to them," said Henry Dittum, who retired this month after 33 years as an English professor at Plymouth State College.

Anti-Drug Cooperation In Jeopardy, Mexico Tells US ('Los Angeles Times'
Says Operation Casablanca, The Biggest Money-Laundering Investigation
In US History, Has So Incensed Mexican Officials That They Are Now Warning
It Will Damage 'Vital' Anti-Drug Cooperation With The American Government)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 20:52:19 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Anti-Drug Cooperation in Jeopardy, Mexico Tells U.S.
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: May 30, 1998
Author: Mary Beth Sheridan, Times Staff Writer
Note: Times staff writer Robert L. Jackson of The Times' Washington Bureau
contributed to this report.


Diplomacy: Money-laundering sting by Americans angers officials. Probe has
damaged nation's trust, they say.

MEXICO CITY--Operation Casablanca, the biggest money-laundering
investigation in U.S. history, has so incensed Mexican officials that they
are now warning it will damage vital anti-drug cooperation with the
American government.

The diplomatic row has cast a pall over an operation that the Clinton
administration hailed as a success earlier this month.

The investigation, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Santa Fe Springs, has
led to more than 150 arrests and the indictment of three Mexican and four
Venezuelan banks accused of laundering drug money.

But Mexican officials have been infuriated by the discovery that U.S.
Customs operatives apparently carried out part of the sting investigation
here without their knowledge. The Mexicans are so upset that some officials
have even threatened to formally charge the American operatives and seek
their extradition.

"Our mutual confidence has been damaged. Our cooperation has been damaged,"
Foreign Minister Rosario Green told reporters Thursday. "Therefore we must
now sit down to talk and reestablish the terms of our cooperation."

Green said Mexico will demand that the U.S. government sign a "code of
conduct" that would prohibit any more such covert cross-border operations.

Mexico's cooperation in the anti-drug fight is considered vital because the
country is not only an important source of other drugs but also the biggest
conduit for cocaine entering the United States.

After Mexico filed a protest with the U.S. government last week, President
Clinton expressed regret that Mexican officials were not informed in
advance about Operation Casablanca. But his apology was clearly not enough
to put the matter to rest.

The Mexican irritation stems from two factors. The most serious is that
U.S. Customs agents or informants were apparently secretly working in
Mexico as part of their sting operation, which led to the indictment of 26
Mexican bankers.

Such an operation not only could violate Mexican laws but also touches
deep-seated fears in a country that lost half its territory to the U.S. in
the last century and remains wary of its powerful neighbor.

One senior Mexican official offered this argument to substantiate their
anger: What would American officials do if they discovered Mexican police
in Los Angeles carrying a shipment of cocaine to use in a Mexican sting
operation there?

"The Americans would say: 'Wait a minute, who authorized this operation in
the U.S.? You are committing a crime,' " said the official, speaking on
condition of anonymity.

Sting operations are legal in Mexico only if authorized by the attorney

Mexican officials are also angry that they were left in the dark about the
U.S. investigation until it was announced in Washington.

Authorities here have come under fierce attack from opposition party
members who claim that officials meekly allowed a violation of Mexican

In Washington, Justice Department officials said privately that the
operation had to be secret to protect the lives of U.S. agents.

Asked about Green's remarks on cooperation, U.S. Atty. Gen. Janet Reno said
the two governments have worked well together.

"I think we must all do everything that we can to focus on drug trafficking
and the damage it is doing to both nations and to take the appropriate
steps, based on our laws, that will bring these people to justice," she said.

An official at the Treasury Department, which oversees Customs, responding
to claims that agents may have violated Mexican laws, said: "We understand
their concerns, and we're looking at the situation."

Copyright Los Angeles Times

Mexico's Most Violent Drug Kingpins Go Underground As Feds Turn Up Heat
('Associated Press' Says The Gangland-Style Shootouts That Plagued Tijuana
Have Abruptly Stopped As The Arellano Felix Brothers Replaced Violence
With A Quieter, More Businesslike Style)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 18:37:36 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Mexico's most violent drug kingpins
go underground as Feds turn up heat
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Author: Anita Snow, Associated Press Writer


TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) -- The gangland-style shootouts that plagued this
drug-infested border city abruptly stopped. Local elections and land
disputes replaced reports about the Arellano Felix drug gang on the nightly

Apparently taking a cue from Colombian drug lords, the Arellano Felix
brothers are replacing their attention-getting violence with a quieter,
more businesslike style.

``They aren't seen in the discos and restaurants anymore,'' said newspaper
publisher Jesus Blancornelas, who was almost killed six months ago by
gunmen believed to work for the gang. ``Things are a lot more peaceful here
now. It's almost like a normal city.''

Experts believe that after the gang's top enforcer, Ramon Arellano Felix,
was placed on the FBI's Most Wanted List and indicted on U.S. federal drug
charges last fall, members of Mexico's fastest-growing narcotics
organization went underground for survival.

``They have definitely taken on a much lower profile,'' said Errol Chavez
of the Drug Enforcement Administration in San Diego. ``But there is no sign
that their business is slowing down.''

A similar shift occurred several years ago in Colombia, where the violent
Pablo Escobar headed the Medellin cartel.

With his bombings of shopping malls, political assassinations -- even the
downing of a jetliner -- Escobar sought to intimidate the government so it
would leave him alone.

But his extreme violence made him a prime target of Colombian law
enforcement. He was killed by authorities in December 1993.

With Escobar's demise, the rival Cali cartel grew in importance under the
guidance of businessmen who preferred bribes over bullets.

The man once described as Mexico's No. 1 drug lord, Amado Carrillo Fuentes,
learned from Cali mentors to keep phone conversations secure from snooping
drug agents and to develop new ways of smuggling. He died last year after
plastic surgery.

The Arellano Felix brothers lived very publicly before Ramon was placed on
the FBI list and a reward of $2 million was offered for information leading
to his arrest.

The brothers were often seen at Tijuana's upscale nightclubs and even
appeared on the society pages.

But their fast and violent lifestyle became a liability, particularly after
befriending the sons of some of Tijuana's wealthiest families. Dubbed
``narco-juniors,'' those rich young men proved to be even more violent and
foolhardy than the brothers themselves.

Pumped up on the cocaine they often helped haul across the border, the
juniors killed prosecutors and rivals with machine guns in broad daylight,
inviting more attention than the gang needed.

In one especially brutal killing, Baja California state prosecutor Hodin
Armando Gutierrez Rico was shot more than 100 times outside his Tijuana
home in 1996. The killers drove their van over his body dozens of times.

About two years ago, law enforcers on both sides of the border launched an
offensive against the juniors. Most are dead or behind bars.

In February, U.S. federal authorities indicted 10 members of the gang on a
variety of charges, including drug trafficking and murder.

With Ramon and other leading members of his security force targeted for
arrest, the Arellano Felix gang had no option other than to change its
operating methods, Blancornelas said.

``They really got out of control with all the violence,'' said the editor
and publisher of the feisty weekly Zeta. ``The juniors especially caused
them a lot of problems. They would have become a much more powerful
organization if not for the juniors.''

Operation Weedeater - Two Convicted In Huge Drug Case
('Calgary Herald' Notes Charges Were Dismissed
Against 14 Marijuana Cultivators After A June 1995 Raid Of 55 Residences
Because Police Used Illegal Means More Often Than Not)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 12:01:18 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: AIDS Coalition of Nova Scotia (rtipacns@auracom.com)
cc: Michael Harris (mharris@istar.ca)
Subject: 14 Mj growers freed: Police used illegal means more often than not


The enforcement of drug prohibition is often found to cause huge
problems with civil rights because of illegal police tactics. Here's more
evidence that enforcing drug laws often forces police to violate the
Charter Rights of Canadians with illegal wiretaps and illegal search
warrants. Note that a vast, two year, six or even seven figure
(tax-dollars!) police sweep of growers in Calgary resulted in five people
getting mostly minor convictions, and 14 people having charges against
them dropped, because of illegal police procedures and weak cases being
prosecuted to justify that vast expense of the investigation:


Source: Calgary Herald
Pub Date: May 30,1998
Author: Daryl Slade

Operation Weedeater - Two convicted in huge drug case

A mammoth drug case that began nearly two years ago with 21 people charged
ended Friday with the conviction of two people on eight criminal charges.

Linda Hews was found guilty by provincial court Judge Sandra Hamilton of
five counts, and Timothy Downey was convicted of three counts stemming from
a citywide police bust of marijuana-growing operations.

The case, dubbed Operation Weedeater by police, began with a June 1995 raid
of 55 residences.

In the end, only five people were convicted. Three other people pleaded
guilty to charges and were sentenced earlier this year.

A total of 14 others were freed at various points in the trial after
Hamilton ruled that search warrants and telephone wiretaps were improperly

Some of Hamiltonıs rulings that the evidence was inadmissible are now under
appeal by the Crown.

Hews was convicted of two counts of conspiracy to commit an offense, two
counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking and one count of
trafficking in a narcotic.

Downey was found guilty of one count each of conspiracy, cultivating and
possession for trafficking.

Bradley Anhorn and Charlene Lund were acquitted of three charges each after
Hamilton found there was insufficient evidence against either of them.

Anhornıs lawyer, Pat Horner, said the acquittal following a trial that began
in September 1996 was a tremendous relief to his client.

"There was no direct evidence against the two (acquitted) and the Crown came
to realize there was no case against some individuals," Horner said.

Linda Rae Larson, alleged to be the key person in the operation, was
sentenced in February to 2 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to

Her boyfriend, Wendall Wade Shakotko, admitted to cultivating a narcotic and
was sentenced last month to 22 months in jail.

One other minor player, Gerald Ray, pleaded guilty before trial and received

Hamilton will hear sentencing arguments on June 17.

Rock Denies Cover-Up On Milk-Boosting Drug ('The Toronto Star'
Says Canadian Health Minister Alan Rock's Office Issued A Statement
Yesterday Denying The Newspaper's Allegation That Health Canada
Suppressed A Study Of A Veterinary Drug Designed To Increase
Milk Production In Cows)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 09:47:46 -0400
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca)
Subject: TorStar: Rock denies cover-up on milk-boosting drug
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: The Toronto Star
Pubdate: Saturday, May 30, 1998
Page: A15
URL: http://www.thestar.ca
Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.com
Author: Laura Eggertson

Rock denies cover-up on milk-boosting drug

Document is still in draft stage, minster argues

By Laura Eggertson, Ottawa Bureau

OTTAWA -- Health Canada has denied that officials are attempting to
suppress parts of an internal report criticizing the department's study of
a controversial veterinary drug.

"There has been no pressure from 'top federal health officials' to cover up
any aspect of the (report)," said a statement issued from Health Minister
Alan Rock's office yesterday.

Health Canada insisted the report is merely a draft and that the authors
still have work to do.

The report concerns Health Canada's study of a veterinary drug designed to
increase milk production in cows.

As The Star reported yesterday, three senior officials wrote memos
directing the scientists who wrote the report to delete sections critical
of the department.

The drug, recombinant bovine somatotropin, or rBST, is not yet approved in
Canada. It's a growth hormone that is among the world's first
genetically-engineered products.

Health Canada commissioned the report to see if there is any gap in the
information Monsanto Inc. gave the government when the Missouri-based
company asked it to approve the drug.

The report concludes that Health Canada officials did not subject the drug
to thorough long-term tests for human safety.

It names those officials the authors consider responsible for failing to
question Monsanto about its data.

Pressure to change the report began shortly after the scientists filed it
April 21.

"All allegations of a scientific and personal nature should be removed from
the report," says a May 13 memo from Donald Landry, chief of the
pharmaceutical assessment division of the Bureau of Veterinary Drugs.

A May 11 memo from André Lachance, the director of the bureau, tells the
scientists their conclusions are "coloured by the many allegations which
permeate the report and its appendices."

He directed them to remove "all material" labelled as confidential from the

Lachance warned the authors that by naming names they could be opening
themselves to legal action. His memo also suggests the scientists may be
harming their careers unless they make the changes he is demanding.

Drugs In Our Schools (Alarmist Staff Editorial In 'The Hamilton Spectator'
In Ontario About The Halton Police Carrying Out A Drug Sting
At An Oakville High School That Resulted In 14 Drug Trafficking Charges
Against Students)
Link to response
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 00:06:43 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Editorial: Drugs In Our Schools Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998 Source: Hamilton Spectator (Canada) Contact: letters@spectator.southam.ca Website: http://www.southam.com/hamiltonspectator/ DRUGS IN OUR SCHOOLS Alarm bells should be ringing in Halton households over the drug sting at an Oakville high school that has resulted in 14 drug trafficking charges against students. If Halton parents' eyes aren't open to the possibility their teenaged son or daughter may be using drugs then they should be. The fact of the matter is drug enforcement in Halton high schools has been so lax the kids have been smoking marijuana on school property. That's what an undercover Halton police officer witnessed at General Wolfe High School in a two month undercover operation. During that time the officer purchased marijuana, hashish and magic mushrooms. This incident comes on the heels of a report of 16 students at a Burlington high school who came down with a mysterious rash from smoking contaminated hash. And only a few months ago several Milton high school students tried to buy heroin just off the school premises. The most telling comment from all of this comes from Acting Detective Sergeant Carey Smith. "Drugs in the schools is a problem. It's not a problem for that particular school anymore than any other school." The fact is local high school students are buying and selling drugs at their schools. A study by the Hamilton-Wentworth public health department released this year revealed more Hamilton high school students were using marijuana than those across the province. POTENTIAL TO DO SERIOUS HARM The survey of 1,810 students found 38 per cent had tried marijuana compared to 33 per cent of high school students in Ontario. In 1996 a local high school's unscientific survey suggested 93 per cent of parents didn't believe students used cannabis. That compares to only 67 per cent of students who believed there peers weren't using the drug. What makes high school drug use such a concern? As we have seen with the contaminated hash, this stuff, unlike alcohol, comes with no labels and has the potential to do serious harm. Secondly, it raises the questions of where the students are finding the money to support their drug use. Is it such a stretch to believe petty theft may be the source of the drug buys? We commend the staff at General Wolfe for working with police to help solve the drug problem at that school. The reality is these kids involved in this drug use could be your kids. The onus is on all of us to try and open the lines of communication with our teens about these issues. Silence won't solve anything. Finally, we would hope these latest drug busts serve as a wake up call to Halton District School Board trustees as well. There are obviously much more serious issues happening in our schools than whether our students should be dressed in uniforms for the next semester. Let's start addressing them.

War? What War? Colombians Don't Want To Know ('Toronto Star'
Says Peace Seems Just An Afterthought As A Blood-Soaked Country
Gets Ready To Vote)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 13:47:39 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Columbia: War? What war? Colombians don't want to know
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/
Pubdate: 30 May 1998
Author: Linda Diebel


Peace seems just an afterthought as a blood-soaked country gets ready to vote

Toronto Star Latin America Bureau

SAN JOSE, Colombia

THE WOMAN is belligerent. She is feeding her own children, as well as
refugee kids, and has no time for questions from a Canadian reporter.

``What good does it do to tell the world about the killings in Colombia?''
asks Dora Maria, a respected teacher in this jungle village in Antioquia

``Canadians already know what's happening here,'' says the middle-aged
woman. ``The whole world knows. Nobody does anything. Nobody cares.''

She gives only her first name. Others speak about her dedication to her
elementary students and explain why she is so angry.

Her town, about a four-hour drive north through the mountains from Medellin
in northwestern Colombia, suffers first-hand from this country's dirty war.

More than 800 refugees, driven off their land two weeks ago by death
squads, are staying in this village of a few thousand.

They are being fed by the International Red Cross and local Catholic church
and they are sleeping at Dora Maria's school.

They brought their fear with them. It's another sick victory for the death
squads that control vast regions of northern Colombia through terror.

What is interesting about Dora Maria's attitude is that her rage isn't
directed against these paramilitary killers, or even the government of
President Ernesto Samper.

He will be replaced in presidential elections that begin with a first round
tomorrow. But he leaves an indisputably weak legacy.

During his four years, guerrilla violence has increased, narco-traffickers
have intensified their grip and death-squad activity has surged, heaping
atrocity on atrocity.

Limits of human endurance are strained. Children are shot and left to die
in a town square in Meta province, a butcher hangs from his own meat hook
in Rio Sucio and paramilitary soldiers play soccer with human heads near
the Gulf of Uraba in Antioquia.

``The country is in the throes of an all-out war trapped between barbarity
and the empty rhetoric of an autistic political class,'' historian Arturo
Alape wrote recently.

Colombians refer to their country as ``the Black Hole'' or call it ``the
Bosnia of South America.''

``We are in a situation of national chaos,'' says Father Ernesto Gomez in
San Jose. He is trying to hold his parish together despite death squads
moving in from the north, the guerrillas holding firm to the east and south
and the army seemingly powerless.

Yet Dora Maria, like many other Colombians, plays a vague blame game,
directing her great and understandable anger at some unknown culprit far away.

When she is asked to sit down and consider what it is she expects the world
- in this case, Canadians - to do, she throws up her hands.

``God only knows,'' she says. ``God only knows how we can end this

That is the paradox of Colombia on the eve of tomorrow's elections.

Everybody talks about how bad things are.

But evidence suggests the national will to stop the killings - or, perhaps
more accurately, a belief they can be stopped - doesn't exist in Colombia.

Not yet, anyway.

In recent years, heavily armed guerrilla groups have taken control of 40
per cent of the country from a poorly led military and there is little
indication new leadership has emerged to halt the nation's deterioration.

Also, right-wing death squads are locked in a dirty war against leftists
and suspected rebel sympathizers. Human rights groups claim the squads have
the tacit support of the army.

So, tomorrow, when Colombians go to the polls, they'll be looking for a new
president to provide some relief.

Polls show the two front-runners to be Andres Pastrana, 43, a conservative
former Bogota mayor, and Horacio Serpa, a 55-year-old former interior
minister under Samper who is backed by the powerful Liberal party that has
ruled Colombia for much of this century.

Noemi Sanin, 48, a former foreign minister running as an independent, is
surging in third place, opinion polls show, while retired army Gen. Harold
Bedoya, 59, campaigning on a law-and-order platform, lags well behind.

No candidate is likely to win a majority of votes tomorrow, forcing the two
top contenders to face a runoff June 21.

``Things are very complicated. But maybe until things get much more
complicated, nothing is going to get better in Colombia,'' says Maria
Teresa Ronderos, political commentator and editor of the magazine La Nota

``We are in a situation where the guerrillas and paramilitaries have become
huge powers in Colombia. And, yet, I honestly don't believe the political
and economic establishment is truly aware of that fact.''

It is a stunning statement.

How can people not be aware?

The country has been at war for 40 years. The fighting has worsened during
Samper's years in office, under a president distracted by charges he
accepted $8.5 million from the Cali drug cartel to win office.

Bloodshed is widespread. In 1996, amid the tens of thousands of murders,
officials say 1,420 people died in 288 massacres - many of the killings by
rightist militias.

Human rights agencies describe Colombia as the bloodiest country on Earth.

There are more than a million refugees from war - mostly displaced by the
death squads - in a population of only 38 million.

There are more than 20,000 rebels, the biggest group being the
Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and an estimated 8,000
death-squad members, mostly belonging to private armies contracted by big
landowners and calling themselves Headcutters, Scorpions, the Black Hand or
the Cobras.

``All of this is true,'' Ronderos says in an interview. ``But this reality
has not sunk in. We are no longer in control of our country after four
years with Samper. But the established orders do not yet realize that war
is worse than anything else. As unbelievable as it may be, they don't get

Ronderos adds: ``The danger is that the state is leaving the paramilitaries
to fight their war. The paramilitaries are much more interested in fighting
rebels than the army. Down the road, the question will be: Who will control
the paramilitaries?

``Up until now, everybody is benefiting from the war. That's why we keep
having war. Everybody is winning in the short run. Everybody will lose in
the long run.''

Ronderos is referring to landowners who use private paramilitary armies to
throw peasants off their land under the guise of fighting guerrillas,
rebels who finance their fight by taxing the cocaine trade and politicians
who use the war in their campaign strategies.

Sociologist Ricardo Vargas, from the Bogota-based human rights group CINEP,
argues that the state has privatized the war against the rebels by
delegating to paramilitary groups.

``This (war) has proven quite profitable to the new class of
narco-landowners,'' he wrote in the Latin American review, NACLA Report On
The Americas.

According to Vargas, the landowners have accumulated more than 3 million
hectares ``using newly created private armies to `cleanse' the countryside.''

``War is the Number 1 employer in the country,'' says a human rights leader
in Medellin who has to remain anonymous. He has received death threats and
many of his colleagues have recently gone into exile.

``The guerrillas can pay wages of $400 a month, so can the paramilitaries.
The army pays a little less,'' he says. ``In Colombia, our business is war.''

The failure of Colombia's politicians to come to grips with the tragedy is
evident in the election campaign.

One would think that, with reports of FARC rebels breaking out 346
prisoners from a Bogota jail, a retired general gunned down, three more
human rights leaders assassinated and bombings at all political
headquarters, there would be only one campaign issue: Peace.

But that doesn't appear to be the case.

On Thursday, for example, the biggest story in the media here was the
decision by health officials to allow the sale of the potency drug Viagra.
Other articles explored its effect on the female orgasm.

In the campaigns, peace almost seems to be an afterthought. In television
appearances, candidates offer views on possible peace talks after long
dissertations about unemployment, international investment, Colombia's role
in the global community and the country's World Cup soccer team. Of the top
four candidates, only liberal Serpa's slogan - ``The Road to Peace'' -
addresses the country's major issue.

The others campaign under different slogans:

* ``Change is Now'' from front-runner Pastrana.

* ``Real Change'' from Sanin.

* ``Law and Order'' from Bedoya.

It is almost an invisible election. In the countryside, one might see a few
posters, nothing more. In the capital, it is a low-key event.

The campaign almost seems part of the unreality described by analyst
Ronderos for what is going on in Colombia today.

FARC guerrillas, who have grown from a small group of only 18 fighting
units to having troops in half the municipalities in the country, still
don't seem to be taken seriously as a fighting force by the government.

In an interview, for example, Bedoya, who retired from the army last year,
describes his frustrations with his failure to keep his army equipped.

In March, 82 soldiers from an elite Colombian squad were killed in the
southern jungles of Caqueta, ambushed by FARC rebels. It was the same trick
the rebels used last year to capture more than 100 soldiers in two separate
incidents. Five rebels are decoys, then the trap closes in a pincer
movement. It works, say military experts, because the army doesn't believe
it is fighting a strong and dangerous equal.

There is a sense of unreality, too, about the massacres.

A journalist friend describes having covered the killing of 21 people in
Meta, then telling friends what had happened at a Saturday night party in
Bogota. They were middle- and upper-class Colombians in their 30s and 40s.
``Nobody wanted to listen,'' he says. ``They don't care. For them, it's
still something happening very far away. The war doesn't concern them. Not

War is immediate, though, for poor Colombians in the provinces.

``People talk about peace. The candidates say they have the answer, but
it's just words. They won't do anything, either,'' says Fabian Cortes, 45,
a refugee from the death squads. He is living in squalid settlement in El
Pinal, a mountain slum above Medellin.

``We have no faith. We have no jobs. We have no food. It's hard to think of
anything when your stomach is empty,'' says the banana worker, who fled
with his wife and two children after seeing his co-workers killed in the
Rio Sucio massacre 18 months ago.

The death squad - the Iguanas - decapitated 16 so-called rebel
collaborators and threw their bodies in the Rio Sucio. Then, they crucified
18 more, most of them youths, leaving their bodies on makeshift crosses.

``The vote on Sunday means nothing to us. Politicians don't care about poor
campesinos,'' says Cortes. ``The killing will continue.''

Refugees in San Jose describe how the death squads killed seven banana and
coffee workers on May 11.

``Then, they told us, `Get out in 15 days or we will come back and kill you
all,' '' says Maria Duque, 63. Her son, John Fabio, 22, was killed.

``My son was a very good boy. He always looked after his mother. I ask God
to forgive those who killed him, and I beg God not to let them kill anybody

``It is not God who is doing the killing,'' says Father Gomez. ``It is the
evil of man. They have no respect for human life. It is horrible what they
are doing. We are seeking any help we can get for our poor country.''

A few weeks ago, he went to say Mass in nearby El Aro. Death squads had
killed six people, including a storekeeper who was said to have done
business with rebels. Before he died, they pulled out his fingernails and
cut out his tongue and genitals.

Two final scenes from the election campaign offer a brighter view, an
antidote to the pervasive feeling of hopelessness. Both took place
Thursday. Both show the quirky optimism of the human spirit:

* On a rainy Bogota morning, analyst Ronderos describes over breakfast all
the reasons one should despair for the future of Colombia. Things will get
worse, she asserts.

``And yet,'' says Ronderos, a short, dark woman in her late 30s, ``I do
feel optimistic. ``The government is the same. The politicians are the
same. But we are seeing now - for the very first time - a mobilization of
the people.''

She describes the emergence of a dozen movements for peace, including the
National Conciliation Commission, letter-writing campaigns, recent marches
through the streets of the major cities, even the newly formed Soccer for
Peace movement that has ordinary people playing the national sport for a
different reason.

``Really, we have not seen such a thing before. This is really new,'' she
says. ``We are, slowly, waking up - even if it is going to take a long,
long time. I deeply believe we will have a better future. Eventually.''

* Later that gloomy day, Antonio Jose Fuentes, president of the left-wing
Patriotic Union, gives an interview in the party's run-down Bogota offices.
Since its formation in 1986, 3,500 party members, including a presidential
candidate, two senators and two party presidents, have been assassinated.

Fuentes, 58, has strikes against him. He is a senator and party president.

``Sure, the odds aren't good that I will survive,'' he says. ``I am afraid.
You'd have to be crazy not to be.

``But I will keep fighting. I would rather risk death than do nothing to
work for a better Colombia,'' he says.

His children, civil engineering student Antonio, 28, and artist Tania, 26,
agree with their father.

They, too, they say, will find a way to work for peace in Colombia, no
matter what the cost.

Elections And Mayhem In Colombia (11th-Hour Colombian Election Summary
In 'The Chicago Tribune')

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 18:30:01 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Columbia: Editorial: Elections And Mayhem In Colombia
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Steve Young
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: 30 May 1998


As Colombia's Sunday presidential election drew near, bookies in Bogota
could have taken bets not only on which candidate would win but also on
which would survive the campaign. In its May 11 edition, the Colombian
newsweekly Semana reported there had been 18 documented death threats
against Horacio Serpa, candidate of the ruling Liberal Party, and 25
against the main opposition candidate, Andres Pastrana of the Conservative

That, in brief, is the good news-bad news report from Colombia: An
electoral system that seems to be functioning, but amid a hurricane of
political violence and street crime that has claimed at least 31,000 lives
during the past year alone.

None of the four presidential candidates is likely to win the required 50
percent of the vote in the first round, so a runoff, most likely between
Serpa and Pastrana, is expected for June 21.

After a winner emerges, whenever that turns out to be, the United States
ought to broaden its Colombia policy from one almost exclusively focused on
drug interdiction to one that presses the country's warring factions toward
a negotiated peace settlement.

Colombia's civil war has been raging for nearly 35 years and has been
aggravated immeasurably by the country's multibillion-dollar narcotics
industry. The two guerrilla fronts, which had formerly espoused Marxist
agendas, have all but abandoned most ideological pretenses and now live on
ransoms and protection money from drug lords. The army supposedly leads the
fight against the guerrillas but in fact has delegated part of its
anti-insurgency mission to paramilitary units that operate with murderous
abandon and have turned large chunks of the countryside into human-rights

Those who despair of breaking this cycle of violence should remember the
recent history of neighboring Guatemala--or El Salvador or Nicaragua, for
that matter--where peace agreements were brokered even after decades of
fighting and hundreds of thousands of casualties.

The U.S., in fact, already has taken some initial steps. On May 20--and
bowing mostly to U.S. pressure--Colombia disbanded the army's notorious
20th Brigade, an intelligence unit accused of atrocities.

Additional pressure by Washington--Colombia's chief source of military
aid--should be applied to force the 146,000-man army to disassociate itself
from the paramilitary units and to investigate alleged atrocities. The
Leahy amendment, approved by Congress last year, stipulates that the U.S.
must cut off aid to any military unit of the Colombian government whenever
there's credible suspicion that it has been involved in human-rights
abuses. That's one more instance of foreign policymaking by Congress--an
unwise general principle--but it must be enforced.

America's preoccupation with narcotrafficking, however justified it may be,
has led in too many instances to a whatever-it-takes attitude toward the
Colombian military. That's myopic: Human-rights violations, whether
committed or merely condoned by the Colombian army, can only prolong the
country's nightmare and compound the difficulty of fighting narcotraffickers.

Except for retired Gen. Harold Bedoya, who is trailing badly in the polls,
all presidential candidates profess to favor a negotiated settlement of the
civil war. Independent candidate Noemi Sanin has offered to give the
guerrillas parliamentary representation, a popular stance that has left
some voters marveling that she seems to have more cojones than her male
rivals. One guerrilla front began negotiations in Madrid a few months ago,
and the other, larger one has offered to negotiate after the elections.

A final, negotiated settlement will be an onerous task, particularly if the
winning candidate doesn't get a resounding mandate. But a negotiated end to
the war is the only course that holds any promise for the long-suffering
people of Colombia, the only country in Latin America still at war with

Colombian Voters Hope To Clear Slate (Pre-Election Synopsis
In 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Says That No Matter Who Wins,
The Voters Will Cast Out A Disgraced And Despised Government,
The Samper Administration, Whose Four-Year Term Has Been Dogged
By Charges That He Won The 1994 Election With The Help Of $6.1 Million
From The Cali Drug Cartel)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 00:03:46 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Columbia: Colombian Voters Hope to Clear Slate
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: John Otis, Chronicle Foreign Service Bogota


For disillusioned Colombians, tomorrow's presidential election is more a
purge of the past than a vote for the future.

No matter who wins, the voters will cast out a disgraced and despised

Like the 1976 U.S. election after Watergate, analysts call Colombia's
electoral process a catharsis - the first tentative step toward ending a
"national nightmare."

President Ernesto Samper, barred by the constitution from seeking a second
term, has been dogged for four years by charges that he won the 1994
election with the help of $6.1 million from the Cali drug cartel. Colombia
has been racked ever since by corruption probes, drug trafficking, economic
decay and a spreading civil war, while Samper has fought to ensure his own

"The main importance (of the election) is that the country will finally get
rid of Samper and stop this collective disaster," said Alejandro Reyes, a
political science professor at the National University in Bogota.

Even so, a leading candidate, former interior minister Horacio Serpa of the
ruling Liberal Party, was intimately involved in Samper's 1994 campaign and
remains one of his staunchest defenders.

Serpa trails former Bogota mayor and Conservative Party candidate Andres
Pastrana, whom Samper narrowly defeated in 1994 by about 6 points in the
polls. Independent Noemi Sanin is in third place while retired military
chief General Harold Bedoya, a hard-line rightist, is running fourth.

If no one receives more 50 percent of the ballots, a run between the top two
vote-getters be held June 21.

The victor will face a daunting economic, political and moral up job.

The campaign-finance scandal tainted nearly every aspect Samper's

Fiscal restraint was one first casualties. Samper funneled millions of
dollars in state funds to the districts of key legislators who later cleared
him of wrongdoing in the campaign. He also caved in to union demands for
wage increases, in part to secure the backing of organized labor.

'To absolve Samper, (congressmen) pressured him to send money to their
regions," said Maria Angelica Arbelaez, an economist with Fedesarrollo, a
Bogota research center. "Samper was so close to falling that he needed any
support he could get. It's all reflected in public spending."

Colombia also was blacklisted by Washington for two consecutive years as an
unreliable partner in the war on drugs and hit with economic sanctions that
scared away foreign investment.

After four years of expansion in the early 1990s, the economy has
languished. The federal deficit has jumped to 3 percent of gross domestic
product, inflation is running at 20 percent annually and unemployment has
jumped to nearly 15 percent.

The Samper government "talked about creating 1.5 million Jobs and we have
inherited 1.5 million jobless. They said they were going to be the most
honest government, and they ended up being the most corrupt in the history
of Colombia," Pastrana said.

Pastrana, 43, is the son of former President Misael Pastrana. He worked as a
television journalist until 1988, when he was elected mayor of Bogota, the

During the 1994 race, he received tape recordings that linked the Samper
campaign to the Cali cartel. But many observers questioned the authenticity
of the tapes and attacked Pastrana for going public with them.

Instead of leading the opposition against Samper, a devastated Pastrana
moved to Miami. Alluding to his absence, Serpa said: "I have always been
here. I have never run from debates or from the circumstances of the nation."

But when Pastrana began his second presidential bid earlier this year, he
worked hard to dispel his image as a blue-blooded lightweight and moved to
the top of the polls by painting Serpa as the candidate of a failed government.

Pastrana has pledged to lower taxes and maintain fiscal discipline but also
plans to build schools, create 200,000 jobs and construct subways in Bogota and

Cali. His supporters range from conservative business tycoons to leftists
like Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Serpa, 55, grew up in a lowerclass family in the violence plagued northern
oil boomtown of Barrancabermeja. A Liberal Party stalwart, he has served in
public jobs ranging from judge to mayor, from senator to minister.

An engaging populist with a quick wit, Serpa has criticized the United
States for meddling in Colombian affairs and once called a U.S. Ambassador
"an ugly gringo." He has promised to carry out many of the social welfare
plans, such as expanded health care and subsidies for peasant farmers, that
were derailed under the scandal plagued Samper administration.

He says he will be able to carry out his agenda because "I'm not going to
have this political crisis. I won't have to confront a situation so
complicated, so complex."

He has wide support among Colombia's poor, who make up 53 percent of the

"I'm with Serpa," said Lisbeth Bonilla, as she stood in the rain with her
three children at a Serpa campaign rally last week in downtown Bogota. "He's
the candidate of the people. Andres (Pastrana) has always represented the rich."

But critics contend that a Serpa administration would mean four more years
of tension with the United States, future drug "decertifications" and the
possibility that he would protect Samper in investigations into the 1994

Sanin, 48, a former ambassador and foreign minister, was considered a dark
horse mostly notable for the fact that she is a woman. However, by
criticizing what she calls the corrupt Liberal and Conservative party
"machinery," Sanin has surged in recent weeks and now appears to have a
chance at reaching the second round. She trails Serpa by only 3 points in
the polls.

Aside from restoring legitimacy to government, peace is the top issue in the
election. Leftist guerrillas, who number about 15,000, are present in half
of Colombia's 1,071 municipalities and have dealt the army a series of
humiliating defeats in recent months.

At the same time, paramilitary squads have slaughtered thousands of innocent
peasants while hunting down the rebels. Massacres have become so routine
that they sometimes get short shrift in Colombian newspapers.

In a surprising move, Manuel Marulanda, commander of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces of Colombia said last week that the guerrillas are willing to talk
peace with the next president if the army withdraws from five souther
municipalities. However, the rebels are growing in number, territorial
control and wealth and may have little to gain from negotiations.

Analysts also question whether the next government will be able to make much
of a difference when it comes to other seeming intractable issues like drug
trafficking, rampant kidnappings and an increasingly lawless atmosphere in
the countryside.

Last year, Colombia report 31,000 killings, roughly the same number as in
the United States which has seven times the population. According to a
government report, 99.5 percent of the crimes are never prosecuted.

"Things are getting worse said a Canadian diplomat. "A new president may
give the people some oxygen. New faces will least make them feel that there
chance to do something. But most of the problems are running along on their
own dynamic."

Accounting Firm In Colombia Bought Laundered Money ('Associated Press'
Says A US Government Affidavit Filed In US District Court
Alleges Price Waterhouse Executives In Colombia Knowingly Bought
More Than Half A Million Dollars In Laundered Drug Money
On The Currency Black Market)

Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 23:21:30 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Accounting Firm in Colombia Bought Laundered Money
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Sat, 30 May 1998


LOS ANGELES (AP) Price Waterhouse executives in Colombia knowingly bought
more than half a million dollars in laundered drug money on a currency
black market, according to a government affidavit filed in U.S. District

Investigators seized $156,607 of the money from a bank account in New York,
where the funds were wired by undercover officers posing as money
launderers for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels.

"In electing for an exchange of Colombian pesos for U.S. dollars on the
black market, the officials at Price Waterhouse S.A. knew they were
breaking Colombian law and had reason to believe the U.S. dollars they
received were likely proceeds from drug sales in the United States," the
seizure affidavit said.

Officials in the U.S. Attorney's Office refused to comment. The director of
Price Waterhouse's Bogota office, chief partner Hugo Ospina, was out of
town Friday and the only person authorized to comment, his secretary said.

Price Waterhouse, one of the nation's Big 6 accounting firms, said in a
statement from New York that it did not believe the Colombian firm
laundered any money or broke any U.S. laws.

"Discussions are currently under way with the U.S. Attorney's Office and
the U.S. Customs Service, and we are confident that the matter will be
resolved fully," the statement said.

Law enforcement sources speaking on condition of anonymity said the United
States was not contemplating criminal charges against Price Waterhouse
S.A., the Colombian entity. Civil action could be pursued if the company
contests the seizure of the money, sources said.

Customs Service agents began investigating the Price Waterhouse office in
Bogota as part of Operation Casablanca, a wide-ranging attack on money
laundering that has resulted in the arrest of 160 people, including Mexican
and Venezuelan bankers. Authorities also seized $87 million, two tons of
cocaine and four tons of marijuana.

Price Waterhouse has 56,000 employees in 119 countries and reported $6.5
billion revenue last year. The Colombia office has 19 partners, 350
employees and had revenues of $25 million last year, a company spokesman

Dutch Medical Marijuana Update (Dutch List Subscriber
Says Raw Cannabis Capsules Are Undergoing Product Comparison Tests
With Marinol)

Date: Sat, 30 May 1998 12:35:06 +0200
To: ukcia-l@sorted.org, ukcia-l@sorted.org
From: mario lap (mario@lap.nl)
Subject: medical marijuana
Cc: press@drugtext.nl


wela, a dutch producer of medicines on an antroposophical basis..., has
just started producing medical marijuana capsules. The medicine is made
from legal marijuana, from the United States of America.

it is produced for tests of this product compared with marinol etc. A
research of the findings is done by prof Gorter


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