Portland NORML News - Friday, June 5, 1998
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Rose Festival Parade, Saturday Market Booth, And OCTA Meeting
(Paul Stanford Of The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative Campaign
Seeks Signature Gatherers This Weekend - Final Meeting This Wednesday,
June 10)

Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 21:18:50 -0700
To: octa99@crrh.org
From: "D. Paul Stanford" (stanford@crrh.org)
Subject: Rose Festival Parade, Saturday Market Booth, & OCTA meeting

Volunteers are needed for this Saturday at Portland's Saturday Market and
Rose Festival Parade. The parade will put several hundred thousand people
in the street, just waiting for the parade to begin. This is the event with
the most Oregonians on the street at one place at one time than any other
event each year. Please come help us qualify the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
initiative. The most productive petition time is before the parade starts
Saturday morning. Some people are already camping out curbside now, just
waiting for the parade in 38 hours. By Saturday morning it will be packed.
The early bird gets the most signatures. Let me know if you can come help!

If you want to come help at the Saturday Market booth, this is the best
weekend of the year to do it. Let me know when you are available to help at
the booth as soon as possible. We need people now! One thousand Oregonians
could put this on the ballot in one day this weekend. Please help. Get some
friends to help. Now is the time!

Finally, our last monthly general meeting prior to the end of the petition
drive is next Wednesday, June 10th at 7 p.m. at "The Rage" at 333 S.W. Park
Avenue in downtown Portland. Please come and help.

Please help us rev up our paid petition drive too by going to our web site
and making a secure credit card donation right now. You can surf to
http://www.crrh.org/credit_cards.html and use a Visa or Mastercard. Or
please send a check for CRRH to the address below right away. We especially
need money now, with the big push and the Rose Festival Parade. Please help.

If you can help in any way, now is the time. We have four weeks to get over
the top. We are within reach of making the ballot with OCTA. Please help
now! Thank you.

Yours truly,
D. Paul Stanford

We need your help to put this important issue on the ballot in Oregon:
November 3, 1998 ballot question on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, amended by
the Oregon Supreme Court: "Yes" vote permits state-licensed cultivation,
sale of marijuana for medical purposes and to adults."
*Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp*
CRRH ; P.O. Box 86741 ; Portland, OR 97286
Phone:(503) 235-4606 Fax:(503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/
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Pot Grower Receives 10 Years ('The Register-Guard' In Eugene, Oregon,
Says Kenneth Midkiff's Partner, Gary Ross Williams,
Also Received A 10-Year Sentence In Federal Court
For Participating In The Largest Indoor Marijuana Grow Operation
Ever Encountered By Police In Oregon - More Indictments Are Expected
As The Cheshire Men Pledge Cooperation To Avoid Life Sentences)

Register-Guard
Eugene, Oregon
http://www.registerguard.com/
letters to editor:
http://www.registerguard.com/standingdocs/feedback.html

June 5, 1998

Pot grower receives 10 years

By BILL BISHOP
The Register-Guard

Admitting that he ignored the potential damage his business did to society
and individuals, Kenneth Midkiff apologized in federal court Thursday before
he received 10 years in prison for masterminding the largest indoor
marijuana farm ever encountered by police in Oregon.

Midkiff, 43, pleaded guilty in January to money laundering and conspiracy to
manufacture between 1,000 and 3,000 kilograms of marijuana. He also
forfeited more than $1 million he had deposited in a Swiss bank.

"I freely admit my guilt," he said. "I'm very sorry for the pain and damage
I've inflicted on the community and society. I'm probably most distressed by
the damage I've inflicted on my family."

Midkiff told U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan that his family has suffered
emotional and financial loss, and now will suffer his absence. Midkiff
pledged to be "a positive influence" when he returns to the community.

Gary Ross Williams, 47, Midkiff's partner in the operation, also was
sentenced Thursday to 10 years. He earlier pleaded guilty to the same
charges and forfeited $773,000 in assets gained from the operation.

Hogan ruled that Williams played a major role in the criminal conspiracy and
deserved the same sentence as Midkiff, even though Williams tried to
downplay his role.

"I was never in a supervisory role," he told the judge. "I was placed in a
lead position. People looked to me for guidance. I never asked to be in that
role. I'm sorry I was ever involved in it."

A third defendant, Rocky Lee Reno, 45, was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in
prison after Hogan ruled he was merely an employee at the growing operation.
Reno probably will be accepted into an intensive federal boot camp in
California, where he may be released after six months if he completes the
program.

None of the three men had a prior criminal record.

More indictments are expected as the investigation continues, said Assistant
U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall. Court records indicate Midkiff and Williams
could have received life in prison, but got less time for cooperating with
the investigation.

Court records detailing their cooperation are sealed by court order and have
not been disclosed.

Engdall said Midkiff and Williams may get a sentence reduction if they are
asked to cooperate further and if they provide "substantial assistance." He
said most of the marijuana grown in the conspiracy, which began at least six
years ago, was distributed along the West Coast.

The investigation began last March 5 when police - acting on a tip from a
neighbor who saw tons of potting soil disposed of in a trench - raided
Midkiff's 165-acre property near Cheshire.

Inside a decades-old 300-by-80-foot Quonset hut, they found a growing
operation larger than a football field with hundreds of 1,000-watt grow
lights that moved on overhead tracks.

An overhead watering system nurtured an estimated 7,000 marijuana plants
that drug agents described as "small plants with a lot of buds." The entire
operation was powered by a huge diesel generator installed in a specially
constructed room that deadened its noise.

About 300 pounds of processed marijuana was found stored in the hut and in a
barn on the property.

One more defendant, Curtis Vance Gray, 50, remains to be sentenced in the
case. He is scheduled to appear in federal court Tuesday.

Copyright (c) 1998 The Register-Guard
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mastermind Of Oregon's Biggest Indoor Pot Growing Operation Gets 10 Years
('Associated Press' Version Notes One More Participant
Has Yet To Be Sentenced)

Associated Press
found at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/
feedback (letters to the editor):
feedback@thewire.ap.org

Mastermind of Oregon's biggest indoor pot growing operation gets 10 years

The Associated Press
6/5/98 5:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- The mastermind of the biggest indoor marijuana-growing
operation ever uncovered in Oregon has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

"I freely admit my guilt," Kenneth Midkiff, 43, said Thursday in U.S.
District Court. "I'm very sorry for the pain and damage I've inflicted on
the community and society. I'm probably most distressed by the damage I've
inflicted on my family."

Midkiff pleaded guilty in January to money laundering and conspiracy to
manufacture between 1,000 and 3,000 kilograms of marijuana. He also
forfeited more than $1 million he had deposited in a Swiss bank.

Midkiff told U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan that his family has suffered
emotional and financial loss, and now will suffer his absence.

Gary Ross Williams, 47, Midkiff's partner, was also sentenced to 10 years.
He had pleaded guilty to the same charges and forfeited $773,000 earned from
the operation.

Hogan ruled that Williams played a major role in the criminal conspiracy and
deserved the same sentence as Midkiff, even though Williams tried to
downplay his role.

A third defendant, Rocky Lee Reno, 45, was sentenced to 2{ years in prison
after Hogan found he was merely an employee. Reno probably will be accepted
into an intensive federal boot camp in California, where he may be released
after six months if he completes the program.

More indictments are expected as the investigation continues, said Assistant
U.S. Attorney Kirk Engdall.

Court records indicate Midkiff and Williams could have received life in
prison, but got less time for cooperating with the investigation. None of
the three men had a prior criminal record.

Engdall said the operation had been growing marijuana for at least six years
and distributing it along the West Coast.

Acting on a tip from a neighbor who saw tons of potting soil disposed of in
a trench, police raided Midkiff's 165-acre property near Cheshire last year.

Inside an old Quonset hut, they found a growing operation larger than a
football field with hundreds of 1,000-watt grow lights that moved on
overhead tracks. An overhead watering system nurtured an estimated 7,000
marijuana plants. The entire operation was powered by a huge diesel
generator housed in a muffled room.

About 300 pounds of processed marijuana was found in the building and a barn
on the property.

One more defendant, Curtis Vance Gray, 50, remains to be sentenced.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

End Marijuana Prohibition (Letter To The Editor Of The Eugene, Oregon,
'Register-Guard')

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 01:03:11 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: End Marijuana Prohibition
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar 
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Source: Register-Guard, The (Oregon)
Contact: tbaker@guardnet.com
Website: http://www.registerguard.com/

END MARIJUANA PROHIBITION

Lying to our children is dangerous; subverting our Constitution is very
dangerous. I am sure that Sally Smith (letters, May 27) has her fears about
marijuana, but those are not a valid reason for the continued illegal
application of the unconstitutional prohibition laws. If Smith truly cares
about our youth, then I would suggest an honest health and educational
approach without the transparent fallacies of our current unconstitutional
war on drugs.

As long as marijuana is "illegal" it will not be regulated; it will have illegal
mystique, and it will co-exist with other "illegal" substances. The scarcity
and cost of marijuana lead to experimentation with other drugs, especially
since lies are told to children about marijuana. It puts into question all
information that child has been given, thus further alienating youth.

Mankind has survived for thousands of years with marijuana personally
available. Only within the last 70 years has prohibition been applied,
contrary to our Constitution, and the results are the mess we have today.

Factual information is readily available, information that shows that
there was a concerted conspiracy by various papermaking, chemical,
financial and other interests in making marijuana overtaxed and then
illegal. There is much evidence that many of these same interests can be
shown to be involved in the mass importation of "illegal," highly
profitable and addictive hard narcotics.

Stand up for your Constitution, for liberty and freedom. It will do our
kids much better than de facto fascism.

KRIS MILLEGAN

Noti
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Corklacorsalld1 ('Associated Press' Regional News Roundup
With Garbled Headline In The Eugene, Oregon, 'Register-Guard'
Says The Death Of A Corvallis, Oregon, Man Who Was Helping To Lead
Efforts To Overturn The Ban On Smoking In Corvallis Bars Has Died,
Complicating Efforts To Get A Repeal Measure On Ballots This Fall)

[Portland NORML notes: One might have thought California was the only place to
ban smoking in bars. But what may be most surprising about this story is the
fact that Corvallis, Oregon, was able to create its own drug law. About a
year ago Portland NORML paid at least one lawyer for a legal
opinion to the effect that such local lawpassing violated Oregon's
constitution. As a result, Portland NORML dropped a campaign for a local
medical mj measure.]

Register-Guard
Eugene, Oregon
http://www.registerguard.com/
letters to editor:
http://www.registerguard.com/standingdocs/feedback.html

http://www.registerguard.com/news/Wire/N0441ORNewsBriefs.html

19980605

corklacorsalld1

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - A man who helped lead efforts to overturn the ban on
smoking in Corvallis bars has died, and his death may complicate efforts to
get a measure on ballots this fall.

Fred A. Anderson of Corvallis died Tuesday at home. He was 59.

Anderson joined Mike Kelley as a chief backer of the petition to eliminate
the ban on smoking soon after the City Council approved the ban in August 1997.

On each petition form, Anderson's name appeared beside Kelley's as
organizers of the petition effort.

After Thursday - the day the city learned of Anderson's death - signatures
gathered on petitions with Anderson's name on them will not be valid.
Signatures on petitions with Anderson's name on them that were collected
before Thursday will count.

Kelley said he's busy trying to round up the invalid petitions still
circulating. Meanwhile, he's worked with the city to make the proper changes
to the new petitions. The new petitions are being sent out now, Kelley said.
They'll include only Kelley's name.

``It's just unfortunate that Fred won't be here to see it happen,'' he said.

A non-smoker, Anderson joined the fight to protect what he believed to be
the rights of others.

``He saw it as a basic erosion of business owners' rights,'' Kelley said.

Corvallis is the first city in Oregon to ban smoking in bars. The tobacco
ordinance also prohibits smoking in all enclosed public places and places of
employment. It requires retailers to obtain a license to sell tobacco and
allows the city to revoke the licenses of retailers who sell tobacco to minors.

[other roundup stories deleted]

Copyright (c) 1998 The Register-Guard
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Reno Decides Not To Challenge Oregon's Assisted-Suicide Law
(According To 'The Associated Press,' Unnamed US Justice Department Officials
Said Today That Attorney General Janet Reno Has Overridden A Recommendation
From The Drug Enforcement Administration And Decided That The DEA
Will Not Have Authority Under The Federal Controlled Substances Act
To Take Action Against Oregon Doctors Who Provide Lethal Doses Of Medicine
For Terminally Ill Patients In Accordance With Oregon's Unique
Assisted-Suicide Law)

Associated Press
found at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/
feedback (letters to the editor):
feedback@thewire.ap.org

6-5-98

Reno decides not to challenge Oregon's assisted-suicide law

By Michael J. Sniffen
of The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Attorney General Janet Reno has decided that federal drug
agents will not pursue doctors who are complying with Oregon's landmark
physician-assisted suicide law, Justice Department officials said today.
That cleared the way for assisted suicide in the state.

Reno and President Clinton still oppose physician-assisted suicide, these
officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

But Reno decided that the Drug Enforcement Administration does not have
authority under the federal Controlled Substances Act to take action against
Oregon doctors who provide lethal doses of medicine for terminally ill
patients in ways that conform to the Oregon state law, these officials said.
Her decision was contrary to a DEA recommendation.

A spokeswoman for the assisted-suicide movement praised Reno's action while
a leader of the opposition called it unconscionable.

The Justice Department planned to release later today a letter to Sen. Ron
Wyden, D-Ore., and other Oregon lawmakers confirming her decision.

Reno's decision was limited to the provisions of the Oregon law and was not
meant as a signal that she or Clinton were dropping their longstanding
opposition to physician-assisted suicide, the Justice officials said.

Nevertheless, Reno's ruling would clear the way for doctor-assisted suicide
in Oregon, where voters twice have approved a law allowing physicians to
prescribe lethal doses of drugs for patients with less than six months to
live. It is the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide law.

Lori Houghens of the National Right To Life Committee in Washington called
Reno's decision tragic and horrible.

"We think for this government, for this Justice Department to pull the
safety net out from under the most vulnerable people in our society, people
who are terminally ill, people with severe disabilities, we think it's
unconscionable, and right now we call on Congress to act promptly to prevent
any more tragic deaths in Oregon," Ms. Houghens said.

It was the second rebuff for opponents of the law, who in October 1997
failed to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their challenge. The high court
allowed the Oregon law to go into effect.

Advocates of the Oregon statute hailed Reno's decision as a sound legal
judgment. "This ruling from Janet Reno clearly supports our society's belief
that decisions about health care should be made based on local community
standards and enforced by local authorities, not the DEA or the federal
government," said Barbara Coombs Lee of Compassion in Dying in Portland.

Legal challenges and the reluctance of the Justice Department to issue an
opinion about the Oregon law had made doctors and hospitals wary.

At a November meeting of the Oregon Medical Association's governing body,
doctors said they were concerned about implied threats from Congress and DEA
to restrict prescriptions for controlled substances.

Although the Justice Department began reviewing its jurisdiction over
assisted suicide in November 1997, the Oregon law attracted widespread
attention in Washington after the first reports of an assisted suicide
surfaced last March.

The news sent a shock wave through Congress, prompting dozens of members to
write to Reno. Most urged her to accept an interpretation of the Controlled
Substances Act that would disqualify assisted suicide as a "legitimate
medical purpose" of drugs.

The long wait for the Justice Department opinion has not stopped the
assisted-suicide law from being used. At least three terminally ill
Oregonians -- including a cancer-stricken grandmother in her 80s -- have
killed themselves with lethal prescriptions since November.

Wyden said that while he voted against the assisted-suicide measure, the
decision by Reno is "a victory for democracy."

"Oregon now faces a challenge to redouble our efforts to make certain that
Oregonians have better options for health care at the end of their lives,"
he said in a statement.

He said that is the best way to make sure assisted suicide remains a rarity
in Oregon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Reno Allows State Suicide Law To Proceed ('Reuters' Version)

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 02:40:04 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
Precedence: first-class
From: RandallBart 
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: Reno allows state suicide law to proceed (Reuters)

It's curious that Reno thinks it's okay for a Dr to give you drugs to kill you,
but not marijuana to keep you alive.

***

12:33 PM ET 06/05/98

Reno allows state suicide law to proceed

By James Vicini

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Janet Reno gave a
major boost to the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide law
by deciding Friday that physicians may provide lethal doses of
medicine to terminally ill patients without losing their
licenses to write prescriptions.

Reno overturned the position taken by the head of one of her
own agencies, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which
had said that doctors who prescribe drugs under Oregon's
assisted-suicide law could face severe sanctions.

Sen. Ron Wyden said Reno told him of her decision Friday
morning that the Justice Department will not interfere with
Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law, the first of its kind
in the United States.

``Today's decision sends an important signal that the
federal government has no business substituting its judgment for
that of Oregon voters,'' said Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who
has denounced the DEA's position even though he opposes assisted
suicide.

Acting at the request of two Republican members of Congress,
the DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine in November said any
physicians who wrote a prescription for suicide would be
violating the federal Controlled Substances law and would risk
losing their licenses to prescribe drugs.

After nearly seven months of review, Reno decided
Constantine was wrong, a Justice Department official said.

While physicians are licensed by the states to practice
medicine, the DEA registers doctors to prescribe drugs and the
agency is responsible for enforcing that federal law.

The Oregon law was first adopted in 1994, but was put on
hold because of legal challenges. It went into effect in
November last year after an initiative to repeal the law had
been rejected by 60 percent of the state's voters.

The law specifies that physicians may use medications, but
not lethal injections, to help a terminally ill patient commit
suicide. Two doctors must agree that the patient has no more
than six months to live and is mentally competent.

So far, at least three known cases of physician-assisted
suicide have occurred in Oregon. Reno's decision removes
concerns that led one leading medical group in the state to urge
doctors to wait until she made up her mind.

The U.S. Supreme Court a year ago upheld state laws that
banned doctor-assisted suicide, but left open the question of
whether states may adopt laws that allow the practice.

Supporters of doctor-assisted suicide hailed Reno's
decision.

``This ruling clearly supports our society's belief that
decisions about health care should be made based on local
community standards and enforced by local authorities, not the
DEA or the federal government,'' said Barbara Coombs Lee of the
group Compassion in Dying.

REUTERS
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Suicide Law Passes US Review (Version In 'The Oregonian')

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
letters@news.oregonian.com
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

6-5-98

Suicide law passes U.S. review

* The federal Controlled Substances Act doesn't bar the lethal prescriptions
that Oregon permits, the Justice Department concludes

By Jim Barnett
and Dave Hogan
of The Oregonian staff

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno will announce as early as
today that federal law does not prohibit physician-assisted suicide in
Oregon -- ending seven months of legal limbo for terminally ill patients and
their doctors.

Reno will unveil the essence of a U.S. Justice Department opinion stating
that the federal Controlled Substances Act does not forbid doctors from
prescribing lethal doses of medicine, sources in Washington, D.C., told The
Oregonian.

The long wait for the Justice Department opinion has not stopped the
assisted-suicide law from being used. At least three terminally ill
Oregonians have died with legally prescribed lethal medication since the law
was reaffirmed in November.

But the announcement will remove a legal cloud that has deterred some
doctors and health care organizations in Oregon from allowing patients to
end their lives if they are expected to live less than six months. At a
November meeting of the Oregon Medical Association's governing body,
physicians expressed concern about the implied threat that if they
participated in an assisted suicide, they could lose their ability to
prescribe controlled substances.

Lack of clarity from the Justice Department also spread a chill over some
policy-makers. A joint state fine-tuning the law, postponed taking its next
steps until it heard Reno's opinion.

The Justice Department announcement is likely to touch off a heated debate
on Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are expected to introduce
legislation. The Oregon law is a prime target of religious and right-to-life
groups that think it is immoral for doctors to help patients end their lives.

Although the U.S. Justice Department began reviewing its jurisdiction in
November 1997, the Oregon law attracted widespread attention in Washington,
D.C., after the first reports of an assisted suicide surfaced in March.

The news sent a shock wave through Congress, prompting dozens of members to
write to Reno. Most urged her to accept an interpretation of the Controlled
Substances Act that would disqualify assisted suicide as a "legitimate
medical purpose" of drugs.

That interpretation was first advanced by Thomas Constantine, a Reno deputy
who heads the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in a written reply to
Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Constantine sent his letter on Nov. 5, 1997, without consulting Reno. Reno
has not publicly chided Constantine, a career law enforcement officer, but
responded by calling for an internal review of his opinion.

In January, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., confirmed that the review team, headed
by counselor Jonathan D. Schwartz,found that the Controlled Substances Act
could not be interpreted to prevent doctors' participation in patients'
suicides.

Reno's announcement is expected to focus on the narrow legal question at
hand. Sources said it is possible but unclear whether the Clinton
administration will address the issue further.

The issue of assisted suicide has been brought to the attention of numerous
White House advisers. Those advisers would support Reno's position but could
offer other initiatives.

If the administration does not act, Congress seems eager to take up the
issue in its next session, if not in the few remaining workdays before fall
elections.

Opponents of assisted suicide include key Republicans such as House Speaker
Newt Gingrich of Georgia and Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate
Judiciary Committee, as well as Hyde.

Northwest Republicans who have signed letters to Reno include Rep. Bob Smith
of Oregon and Reps. Jennifer Dunn, George Nethercutt and Linda Smith of
Washington.

Oregon Democrats, including Wyden, have urged Reno to steer clear of the
assisted-suicide law. A number of national surveys show broad public support
for a terminally ill patient's right to choose assisted suicide, and Oregon
voted twice in favor of the law.

But congressional opposition to assisted suicide spans the political
spectrum. Among more than 190 members who have written to Reno are 36
Democrats, including Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware and Rep. James L.
Oberstar of Minnesota.

One Republican aide said recently that making the practice illegal would be
as simple as passing a one-page bill specifying that it is not a legitimate
medical use. President Clinton has said he opposes assisted suicide.

Already, interest groups are gearing up for a fight.

On May 4, the Bass and Howes Inc. lobbying firm registered in Washington,
D.C., to represent the Oregon Death With Dignity Legal Defense & Education
Center. And in its 1997 lobby report, the National Right to Life Committee
noted that it had begun contacting members.

"Encouraged legislators to contact the Justice Department and Food and Drug
Administration in order to make the use of drugs for assisted suicide
illegal and outside the practice of medicine," the report said.

Other groups also have asked Congress to oppose assisted suicide, including
the National Council of Catholic Bishops.

Perhaps anticipating a renewed wave of interest in the issue, Reno declined
to say Thursday when she would announce results of the legal review. She
said only that she hoped to announce her decision this month.

Erin Hoover of The Oregonian staff contributed to this report.

Jim Barnett and Dave Hogan are members of the Washington, D.C., bureau of
The Oregonian, 1101 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20036.
Barnett also may be reached at 202-383-7819 and Hogan at 202-383-7814.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Terminally Ill Say Decision Puts Suicide Plans Back On Track
('Associated Press' Follows Up News Of The Clinton Administration's Decision
Not To Challenge Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law With Reactions From Patients,
Doctors And Others)

Associated Press
found at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/
feedback (letters to the editor):
feedback@thewire.ap.org

6/5/98 7:45 PM

By BRAD CAIN

Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- For months, Penny Schlueter has lived with the pain
of ovarian cancer but was reluctant to use Oregon's landmark
assisted-suicide law for fear her doctor would be prosecuted.

With Friday's federal decision to back off doctors who prescribe lethal
drugs, Schlueter said she will now start making plans to end her life
without worrying about destroying her doctor's career.

"That would be a terrible price to pay for helping a patient," the
56-year-old retired economics teacher said from her home in Springfield.

The long wait for the Justice Department opinion hasn't stopped the law from
being used, if only sparingly. Only three terminally ill Oregonians --
including a cancer-stricken grandmother in her 80s -- are known to have
killed themselves with lethal prescriptions since the law was affirmed by
voters last November.

There will no doubt be more cases now that the last threat of federal
sanctions has lifted, said a Salem cancer doctor who recently helped a
terminally ill patient commit suicide.

"I know that many doctors have been hesitant to participate because they
were worried about losing their license," said Dr. Peter Rasmussen. "So I
wouldn't be surprised if there's more interest expressed by patients and
physicians."

Doctors' reports are confidential under the assisted-suicide law, and the
state Health Division has said it does not plan to divulge any information
until it has received reports of at least 10 assisted deaths.

A spokesman for the state's largest organization of doctors, the Oregon
Medical Association, also predicted Friday that the number of such suicides
is likely to rise.

"It's logical to conclude that there are more physicians in the state today
who now will be willing to consider participating in assisted suicides," OMA
spokesman Jim Kronenberg said.

Not all terminally ill patients see that as a welcome development.

Janice Elsner, who suffers from rapidly progressing muscular dystrophy, said
Oregon is "promoting death" with assisted suicide and sending a dangerous
message to young people in this era of school shootings.

"How can we say that anybody with a white coat on can kill anybody they want
to, but we expect kids to abstain from violence?" the Portland woman said.

The leader of Western Oregon's 283,000 Roman Catholics called Reno's
decision a sad day for Oregon.

"In my judgment, the Justice Department is abdicating its responsibility to
protect vulnerable people from deadly harm," said Archbishop John Vlazny,
who has called assisted suicide an immoral law that targets the disabled and
people with clinical depression.

But a West Linn woman who suffers from an inoperable brain tumor said
Friday's announcement by Reno provides great comfort to many terminally ill
people around Oregon.

Barbara Oskamp, 66, an outspoken supporter of assisted suicide, said she 's
not sure if she will ever avail herself to the law.

"I have no way of knowing what my last days will be like," Oskamp said. "But
just having the choice brings me a lot of relief."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Patient Wins Suit In Drugs-For-Food Scheme ('The Oregonian'
Says A Multnomah County Jury Awarded $900,000 To A Portland Man
Whose Doctor Kept Him Addicted To Narcotics To Maintain A Free Supply
Of Food And Car Repairs)

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
letters@news.oregonian.com
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

6-5-98

Patient wins suit in drugs-for-food scheme

* A jury awards $900,000 to Larry Benson, who claimed Dr. David Rosencrantz
led him to become addicted to narcotics to keep free food and cars coming

By Erin Hoover
of The Oregonian staff

A prominent Portland urologist must pay a former patient $900,000 for
harming him with pain-killing narcotics in exchange for free food and auto
services, a Multnomah County Circuit Court jury decided Thursday.

Dr. David R. Rosencrantz,once a physician for the late Gov. Tom McCall,
treated Larry D. Bensonfor 19 years, ending in 1995. Benson credits
Rosencrantz for saving his life from testicular cancer. But he says the
doctor went on to destroy him when he agreed to treat Benson's crippling
migraine headaches, beginning in 1979. By 1987, Benson was addicted to
narcotics.

Benson, 42, who twice left the courtroom sobbing during closing arguments
Wednesday, was elated Thursday by the jury's decision. "It shows that the
truth came out," he said.

Benson's migraine headaches have ended, he said; he is working in a car
dealership again and no longer uses narcotics. At the prompting of his
attorney, Greg Kafoury, Benson acknowledged he will seek treatment for
ongoing psychological issues related to years of addiction.

Benson's suit says Rosencrantz prescribed narcotics even when he knew they
had become a cause of the headaches. Benson's suit claims Rosencrantz
intentionally caused Benson to become addicted so he could continue to
demand goods and services for little or no cost.

The jury awarded Benson $600,000 in noneconomic damages for malpractice
since May 1992 and punitive damages of $300,000 for intentional infliction
of emotional distress since May 1995.

In the world of medical malpractice, Benson's award is considerable.
"There's just a handful of lawyers who have gotten those kinds of awards,"
said Linda Love, president of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

Benson's suit had asked for $6 million. Kafoury thinks Benson should have
been able to recover punitive damages to 1979.

Rosencrantz, 57, was not present for the verdict. His attorney, Mark H.
Wagner, declined to comment.

Benson's and Rosencrantz's drugs-for-goods scheme, detailed through
testimony and attorneys' statements during the seven-day trial, continued
throughout the 1980s.

Although Benson had health insurance, Rosencrantz did not keep records of
most of the narcotics he gave Benson. As compensation, Benson initially
provided cases of Pepsi and other groceries from his job as a food store
manager. Later, he gave Rosencrantz free gasoline, auto maintenance and the
use of cars for himself and his family.

Rosencrantz often delivered the drugs in wrapped packages, sometimes handing
them to Benson's employees, who served as gofers.

Benson said he was terrified of Rosencrantz's alleged threats that if Benson
left Rosencrantz, no one else would give him drugs, primarily the opiate
Vicodinand shots of liquid Demerol.

Benson's case first played out before the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners
in 1996. In July of that year, the board suspended Rosencrantz's medical
practice for nine months for inappropriate prescribing and unprofessional
conduct.

The board placed Rosencrantz on probation, fined him $5,000, and demanded
that he stop keeping samples of controlled substances in his office and that
he see a psychiatrist. On his own, Rosencrantz sought education to avoid
repeating his mistakes.

At the time, Benson said the medical board's decision was "more than fair. I
mean, I didn't want to devastate the guy for life."

Benson, embroiled in divorce proceedings with his then-wife, Anne P. Benson,
dropped his civil suit against Rosencrantz. Portland trial lawyer Greg
Kafoury revived the case when another attorney suggested he take it.

"It's one of the greatest cases I've ever seen," Kafoury said.

In closing arguments during which he evoked the name of John F. Kennedy,
Kafoury portrayed his client's vulnerability and the doctor's prominence and
position of trust. "What he feared most -- depression, loss of control over
his own life -- that was the fate that became him and it came from where he
least expected it. . . . It came wrapped in salvation," Kafoury told the
jury of seven women and five men.

Kafoury reviewed the testimony of other doctors who treated Benson, realized
his addiction and tried repeatedly to get him off the narcotics, only to be
thwarted by more Vicodin from Rosencrantz.

Kafoury reminded the jury of the 167 times Benson went to the emergency room
during a 14-month period between 1993 and 1995, sick from his addiction.
Benson sometimes lay on the floor of the emergency room in his own vomit,
listening to the hospital staff talk about him, Kafoury said.

Wagner, attorney for Rosencrantz, acknowledged to the jurors that changing
their perspective on his client would be "the toughest job I'll have in
Portland." But he reminded the jury of the limits on Benson's claims. And he
urged the jury to put aside the emotional drama of Kafoury's presentation.

Wagner said his client had been punished sufficiently by the Board of
Medical Examiners. He said that the one witness the jury never heard from
was "the real Larry Benson." He said Benson persuaded Rosencrantz to give
him a $20,000 loan in 1995 and Benson gave conflicting answers about when he
paid Rosencrantz back.

Wagner referred to several tape recordings that Benson made without
Rosencrantz's knowledge. On the tapes, Rosencrantz coaches Benson on how to
lie to insurers about where he got the narcotics and cautioned Benson to
keep their relationship quiet. But Wagner pointed out that Benson's tone on
the tape was not that of a man broken by addiction, struggling to flee a bad
doctor.

"The Larry Benson you heard on that tape was cool, calm and calculating,"
said Wagner, who repeated testimony that Benson spoke jubilantly to others
about the covert tape recordings.

Benson said the jury's award was validating. "Nobody ever believed the story
because it was just too incredible," he said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Physician Turns 'Dealer' ('Associated Press' Version)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 00:11:47 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: ltneidow@voyager.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
Precedence: first-class
From: ltneidow@voyager.net (Lee T. Neidow)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Physician Turns "Dealer"

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A jury returned a $900,000 malpractice
verdict Thursday against a urologist accused of keeping a car
salesman addicted to painkillers to get free tune-ups, tires and
gasoline.

Larry Benson said his 15 years of virtual servitude began when he
was a grocery store manager and the doctor used the drugs as bait to
get free pizzas, cans of soda and slabs of cheese.

``I feel vindicated,'' Benson said after the verdict in Multnomah
County Circuit Court. ``Nobody ever believed the story at first. It
was so incredible. Everybody thought I was nuts.''

The verdict against Dr. David R. Rosencrantz came nearly two years
after the state Board of Medical Examiners suspended his license for
nine months and fined him $5,000 for prescribing drugs
inappropriately to Benson.

Neither Rosencrantz nor his attorney returned telephone calls
Thursday.

Rosencrantz first treated Benson for testicular cancer in 1979. He
gave Benson samples of painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet to
relieve persistent migraine headaches.

Benson claimed that for the next 15 years, the doctor demanded free
goods and services in exchange for the drugs, supplying the pills in
envelopes or tissue paper.

It escalated from his supermarket days, Benson said, when the
doctor would make special requests for free food.

``He loved the Kraft cheese,'' Benson said.

When Benson moved to the car business, the requests from
Rosencrantz kept coming.

``I would call him at 10 o'clock at night and be in tears my head hurt
so bad,'' Benson said. ``At 6 the next morning he would call and say,
`My salesman just gave me some more pills, but I need new tires for
my Jeep, or I need a tune-up.' I worked on his cars, his mother's car,
his kids' cars.''

Benson feared nobody would believe his claims about Rosencrantz,
so he tape-recorded their telephone conversations. Meanwhile,
Benson's headaches were getting worse, even though he was taking
10 to 12 pills a day.

``The doctor sabotaged efforts to break the addiction,'' said Benson's
lawyer, Gregory Kafoury. ``He turned my client into a junkie and a
slave. ... This is a case of unparalleled ugliness.''

The $900,000 verdict includes $600,000 in compensation and
$300,000 in punitive damages.

Benson, 42, who has undergone treatment for his addiction, said he
understands the case is hard to believe.

``It's hard to believe anybody, especially a doctor, would try to
destroy somebody's life for free goods.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pot No Excuse For Stuttering ('Reuters' Doesn't Say Whether A Man
In Auburn, California, Convicted By A Placer County Jury
Of Marijuana Possession Despite Proposition 215
Actually Had A Physician's Recommendation For Tourette's Syndrome)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 09:36:56 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Pot No Excuse For Stuttering
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

POT NO EXCUSE FOR STUTTERING

(AUBURN, CA) -- A Placer County jury didn't accept a man's excuse that he
smoked marijuana to relieve a stuttering problem. David Black of Dutch Flat
was found guilty of possession of more than one-ounce of marijuana. Deputy
District Attorney David Tellman says ``I don't think that stuttering is one
of the illnesses that voters contemplated when they voted in favor of
Proposition 215.'
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Can We Trust Lungren To Implement Law? (Letter To The Editor
Of 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Urges Voters To Vote
Against California Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Dan Lungren
For Opposing Proposition 215 As Attorney General)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:43:59 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Can We Trust Lungren To Implement Law?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/

Letters to the Editor

CAN WE TRUST LUNGREN TO IMPLEMENT LAW?

Editor -- To the great people of the state of California, is Dan Lungren
really the person you would like to have as governor, a person who as
attorney general will not honor laws that we as voters passed back in
November '96? How can we trust him to honor laws that are passed in other
elections that we as a whole vote on?

This is all about Prop. 215, the measure that gave the sick relief from
their sickness, a way of maybe adding some to their life, while letting
others lead a more active life. Put yourself in the shoes of others first
before you cast your vote for Lungren in November. Remember that if you or
someone that you know and love come down with a illness that cannot be
cured and the only way that you or someone that you love can get any relief
is from marijuana, you have just become a criminal and a nuisance to Dan
Lungren by his own words to the press back in May.

Is this a person that we as a whole would like to have as our governor, a
man that will tell you what you can do with your own life, even if it means
that you may die without access to the only thing that seems to help
relieve the symptoms brought on from AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C?

So in November, please think and do some soul-searching to see if this is
really the man we want to have making these types of decisions for us, I
know that I don't. Let the politician that we elect to office know that we
would like the laws we all voted on to be upheld and implemented into our
society.

STEVE D. SALLAGOITY

Citrus Heights
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Armed Robbers Who Targeted Drug Dealers Arrested ('The Associated Press'
Says Police Have Arrested Five People In Chula Vista, California, Who Dressed
Like Federal Agents In Order To Carry Out Home Invasions On 'Drug Dealers'
And Rip Them Off - But A Lawyer For One Of The Defendants Says The People
Who Planned The Operations Have Not Been Caught)

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 09:33:04 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Armed Robbers Who Targeted Drug Dealers Arrested
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: resist_tyranny@hotmail.com (Patrick Henry)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998

ARMED ROBBERS WHO TARGETED DRUG DEALERS ARRESTED

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (AP) -- The targets were drug dealers, the
perpetrators armed robbers.

Men dressed like federal agents with gold badges on their chests went to
the homes of drug dealers and confiscated contraband and money.

``Given the fact that the victims are reluctant to report it, it's a
perfect crime,'' said deputy district attorney Damon Mosler.

But this week, one man was sentenced for his involvement with the ``Strike
Team'' -- what the robbers called themselves.

Shawn Quigley received an eight-year sentence for robbery in a deal he cut
with prosecutors for information that eventually led to four others.

Mosler thinks there may be many more people involved and believes the
ringleaders have not been caught.

``This individual was a cog in the wheel,'' Quigley's attorney, Raymond
Wood, said. ``They were foot soldiers. They are not the ones who are
planning these operations.''

Quigley's arrest followed a home invasion in March in Chula Vista, which is
located between San Diego and the U.S.-Mexico Border. Quigley and another
man held two women, a man and a girl at gunpoint.

One of the women managed to call 911, and after sheriff's deputies showed
up, the robbers bolted.

But in a rental car in the driveway, deputies found Quigley's daytime
planner and his father's phone number.

Quigley, 26, was arrested a week later after deputies got a tip from his wife.

As for the victims, they said they didn't know the robbers. They also said
they didn't know where 24 pounds of marijuana found inside the house came
from. Since then, one of the residents, Alfonso Ayala, 21, has been charged
with felony possession of marijuana for sale.

As for the ``Strike Team,'' police have arrested four others.

Jason Stuertz pleaded guilty to being an accessory but later asked to
withdraw it. Stuertz may be sentenced to prison next week if the judge
denies his request.

Eugene Williams pleaded guilty to robbery and is set to be sentenced June 15.

Jesus Perez pleaded guilty to armed robbery. His wife, Claudia Ortega,
pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana for sale. Both are awaiting
sentencing.

So far, officials have tied the team to three other home invasion robberies
in the past eight months in Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Palm City.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Settlement Of Up To $2.1 Million For 'Political' Questions In Job Application
('The Associated Press' Says A Class Action Lawsuit Filed In 1994
By The ACLU Against Burns International Security Services
For Asking Job Applicants Their Political Views On Issues
Such As Legalizing Marijuana Was Settled Thursday)

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 09:30:41 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Settlement of up to $21 Million
for `Political' Questions in Job Application
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newhawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998

SETTLEMENT OF UP TO $21 MILLION FOR 'POLITICAL' QUESTIONS IN JOB APPLICATION

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A security guard firm that asked job applicants
politically loaded questions, such as their views on legalizing marijuana
and proper corporate profit levels, settled a class action lawsuit for up
to $2.1 million.

The suit, settled Thursday, was filed in 1994 by a rejected applicant
represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and claimed the screening
test by Burns International Security Services violated a California law
that bans job discrimination based on political views.

The company denied violating the law and admitted no wrongdoing in the
settlement. But Brad Seligman, a lawyer for the job applicants, said
rulings by U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel that allowed the suit to
proceed should discourage similar tests by other California employers. The
settlement is subject to Patel's approval.

Patel ``made it abundantly clear that this test was at great risk of being
found illegal,'' Seligman said. ``We hope we've put an end to it''
statewide.

He said Burns discontinued the test after the suit was filed.

Burns' parent company, Chicago-based Borg-Warner Protective Services Corp.,
said in a statement, ``We denied all liability ... and our decision to
settle was based on business and economic reasons.'' Borg-Warner, which
includes the Burns, Wells Fargo and Globe security companies, has 70,000
employees in North America.

The settlement will total at least $1.6 million, which the company has
already paid, Seligman said. It includes $1 million for damages to all
applicants who took the test, with a maximum of $1,250 for rejected
applicants and a maximum of $500 for those who were hired. Seligman said
about 8,000 people took the test but the whereabouts of many of them are
unknown.

The remaining $600,000 will go for lawyers' fees and the costs of the suit
and the settlement process. If Burns meets certain profitability standards
or merges with another company within three years, it will pay up to
$500,000 more, to be divided between attorneys' fees and funding for
workers'-rights clinics at law schools, Seligman said.

The original plaintiff, Mel Thompson of Corte Madera, had worked as a
security guard for other companies before applying to Burns in August 1993.
He said his interviewer seemed impressed with his qualifications before
giving him a written test called PASS III.

The test consisted of 100 statements with which applicants were asked to
agree or disagree. One statement said most companies make too much profit.
Another said most employers try to underpay their employees. There were
also some drug-related questions, including statements that marijuana
should be legalized and the drinking age should be lowered.

Thompson's lawyers said they obtained documents showing that answers were
graded on an ``alienation index'' and a scale of ``drug attitudes.''

Thompson said he was rejected after he marked the ``don't know'' box for
each question to which he objected. Seligman said Thompson, who now works
as a security guard for another firm and also writes poetry, will receive
$30,000 in the settlement.

The company contended the test measured attitudes, not politics.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drugs And The UN (Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register'
Invites Orange County Residents To The Local 'Global Days
Against The Drug War' Teach-In June 6 At The Orange County Federal Building
In Santa Ana, Protesting The United Nations' Drug War Summit June 8-10
In New York)

Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 18:37:07 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: GE: Drugs And The UN
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (Ca)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 5 June 1998

DRUGS AND THE UN

The United Nations begins a special session on drug policy June 8.
The original plan was to take a fresh look at drug policy with a
variety of viewpoints represented, but the session is now operating
under guidelines permitting only viewpoints in favor of prohibitionist
policies.

A broad-based coalition of political and community groups will be
protesting this narrowness and the threat to national sovereignty
posed by U.N. proposals at rallies and conferences all over the
world-Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Auckland, Dallas, Houston, Madrid, New
York, Tel Aviv-between June 5 and June 10.

In Orange County, a coalition of groups will protest tomorrow, June
6, at noon at the Orange County Federal Building in Santa Ana.

The local manifestation of the Global Days Against the Drug War will
feature exhibits, booths, speakers from the Green and Libertarian
parties, Prop.215 patients an a focus on the family members of victims
of the drug war. For more information, you can call (714)301-9798
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Judicial Panel Censures Former Lakewood Judge In Beer Case
('The Associated Press' Says The Washington State Commission
On Judicial Conduct Censured Ralph H. Baldwin Friday For Violating
The Ethics Code By Damaging The Integrity Of The Judiciary -
Speaking From The Bench During A Drunken Driving Case, He Invited
The Jurors And Court Officials To Have A Few Cold Ones With Him)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 19:10:34 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: Wire: Judicial Panel Censures Former Lakewood Judge in Beer Case Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 Author: Hunter T. George - The Associated Press JUDICIAL PANEL CENSURES FORMER LAKEWOOD JUDGE IN BEER CASE OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- In hindsight, former Lakewood Municipal Court Judge Ralph H. Baldwin says what he did was really dumb. It was nearly 8 p.m. on a Friday evening in February, and a jury deliberating in a drunken driving case wanted to keep working in hopes of finishing its work before the weekend. So Baldwin bought a 12-pack of Miller Genuine Draft, took the beer back to the courthouse -- in violation of state law -- and offered it to the court clerk, the defense lawyer and an assistant city prosecutor, all of whom he considered friends. The lawyers accepted his offer and the clerk declined, prompting him to call her a "wimp." He later said he was joking. The jury returned minutes later with a verdict. After court was adjourned, two jurors took Baldwin up on an offer to relax in the jury room and discuss the case over a beer. He made the offer from the bench while still in his judicial robes, and in the presence of the defendant. On Friday, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct censured Baldwin for violating the ethics code by damaging the integrity of the judiciary. Baldwin resigned in April, a day after the commission announced administrative charges against him. The panel of judges, attorneys and lay people pursued the case anyway to ensure he cannot seek a judicial office in the future without first receiving the panel's permission. "It was dumb. To me, it's important that people understand I didn't do this to be a bad guy, a bad lawyer or a bad judge," Baldwin said in a telephone interview after the commission's decision was announced. "I'm a big boy. If I do something awful, I'll take my knocks on the chin." He jokes now about the nationwide media attention he has received -- he even made the National Law Journal's list of top 10 stupid judge tricks -- but he turns serious when he ponders the effect on his family and the commission's treatment of him, even after he left the bench. "I offered to resign right from the get-go. I was simply disappointed that the commission found it necessary to continue to propel this thing to greater heights," he said. Baldwin, 54, had served just three months in the $65,000-a-year job in Lakewood, south of Tacoma. He apologized for his actions in a resignation letter to the Lakewood City Council. Meanwhile, the Washington State Bar Association, citing confidentiality rules, won't confirm or deny if either lawyer who drank beer with the judge is under investigation. But neither has been disciplined so far, the association said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sulphur Councilwoman Resigns ('The Associated Press' Says 54-Year-Old
Vicki Graham, A Member Of The City Council In Sulphur, Oklahoma,
Was Charged With Marijuana Possession After Being Taken Into Custody
During A Recent Large-Scale Drug Bust That Also Led To Her Husband
Being Charged With Drug Trafficking And Distribution Of Methamphetamines
And Marijuana)

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 09:25:13 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OK: Wire: Sulphur Councilwoman Resigns
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

SULPHUR COUNCILWOMAN RESIGNS

(SULPHUR, Oklahoma) -- Sulphur councilwoman Vicki Graham has resigned. The
54 year-old Graham turned herself in to authorities a week ago on charges
of possession of marijuana. Graham's husband, Roger, was arrested on
charges of drug trafficking and distribution of methamphetamines and
marijuana. Both were taken into custody in connection with a recent
large-scale drug bust... which also nabbed Texas third grade teacher Norman
Trice. Officials recovered 14 grams of methamphetamines and 29 grams of
marijuana.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Don't Forget Deadly Tobacco (Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Responds To The Newspaper's
Sensational Article About Illegal Cocaine Killing 34 People In Milwaukee
Last Year By Noting That 5,500 People Were Killed In Wisconsin
During The Same Period By Legal Tobacco)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 18:54:12 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: PUB LTE: Don't Forget Deadly Tobacco
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

DON'T FORGET DEADLY TOBACCO

While the 34 deaths from cocaine in Milwaukee in 1997 are certainly tragic,
let us not forget the approximately 5,500 deaths in Wisconsin last year
caused by tobacco.

Kate Templeton, Madison
-------------------------------------------------------------------

ACLU Files Suit Against Maryland ('The Washington Post'
Notes The American Civil Liberties Union's Five-Year Campaign
Against The Maryland State Police Has Led To A New Class-Action Lawsuit
Claiming That African American Motorists Still Are Being Targeted
For Drug Searches On Interstate 95)

Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 12:39:22 -0400
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US MD: Wire: ACLU Files Suit Against Md.
To: DrugSense News Service 
Organization: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Richard Lake
Source: Washington Post
Pubdate: Friday, 5 June 1998
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/

ACLU FILES SUIT AGAINST MD

Police Group Says Blacks Targeted Along I-95

By Paul W. Valentine Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, June 5, 1998; Page
B01

The American Civil Liberties Union yesterday escalated its five-year-long
offensive against the Maryland State Police, announcing a broad new
class-action lawsuit claiming that African American motorists still are
being targeted for drug searches on Interstate 95.

State police immediately counterattacked with a news conference of their
own, denying that there is either a policy or practice of race-based drug
"profiling." They also offered statistics showing that, of the millions of
motorists on I-95, only a minuscule number -- black or white -- are stopped
and searched.

At the news conference, Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. threw
his support behind the troopers, as did all four state police employee
organizations, including the Coalition of Black Maryland State Troopers.

The ACLU class-action suit, filed in federal court in Baltimore on behalf of
all black drivers who have undergone state police searches in which nothing
was found, includes claims by 11 black drivers. Five of those drivers told
reporters at the news conference held by the ACLU that they were subjected
to a range of humiliating and verbally abusive treatment during roadside
searches by troopers and drug-sniffing dogs.

"I continue to feel the effects" of a January 1996 search, said Gary D.
Rodwell, 42, head of a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia. He said
troopers stopped him for speeding and told him that he "looked like a drug
dealer. . . . It's a pretty frightening feeling, particularly after the sun
goes down."

Even on the way to yesterday's news conference, "I was on paranoid lookout,"
said James E. Alston, 38, of Burtonsville, a military claims clerk at Fort
Myer.

ACLU attorneys said the Maryland searches are part of a larger national
pattern of singling out African Americans, a phenomenon they called "DWB,"
or "driving while black." Numerous legal actions have been filed against
other law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Florida and
Indiana.

The Maryland class-action suit follows ACLU complaints against state police
by two black families that have won settlements since 1993.

In one case, U.S. District Judge Catherine B. Blake ordered state police in
1995 to start tabulating a racial breakdown of traffic stops and searches by
troopers patrolling a 45-mile stretch of I-95 from suburban Baltimore to the
Delaware line -- a roadway police say is a major drug pipeline on the East
Coast.

Based on the tabulations, Blake ruled in 1997 that troopers on I-95 were
still engaging in a "pattern and practice" of racial discrimination.

Quarter-by-quarter figures show an uneven but gradual decline during the
last three years in the proportion of motorists subjected to searches who
were black, falling from 80 percent to 45 percent.

Police officials noted that the total number of searches also has declined
during the period -- a factor state police Superintendent David B. Mitchell
attributed to lower trooper morale in the face of "constantly being called
racist" and to drug dealers avoiding the Maryland I-95 corridor because of
national publicity generated by ACLU litigation.

There is an additional reason, said Lt. Keven L. Gray, commander of the
troopers patrolling I-95: Many are newly assigned and "less experienced at
spotting possible [drug] couriers." He said many of the older troopers,
weary of the accusations of racism, transferred to other assignments. He
said that 33 percent of the 47 troopers assigned to the interstate are
black, including himself.

Many troopers privately acknowledge that a disproportionately large
percentage of searches involve black motorists but attribute that to the
fact that I-95 is used for ferrying drugs between cities with large minority
populations, such as Washington and Baltimore and other cities up and down
the Eastern Seaboard, and the couriers are drawn from the communities they
serve.

At the police news conference, Mitchell cited statistics that fewer than 1
percent of all motorists stopped for traffic violations are searched or
arrested. And despite a somewhat higher proportion of blacks being stopped,
he said, if blacks were truly being targeted, "I'd be having lawsuits filed
ad nauseam at me. . . . If we're the 'good ol' boys,' some people make us
out to be . . . they should look at the overall statistics."

Road Searches and Race

The ACLU has filed a federal class-action lawsuit in Baltimore alleging
discrimination against African American drivers along Interstate 95 who have
been stopped for drug searches by Maryland State Police.

Traffic Stops and Searches by Maryland State Police*

Whites Blacks

Traffic stops 32,727 14,048

Stops that resulted in searches 156 187

Searches that resulted in arrests 58 83

*On a 45-mile stretch on Interstate 95 between Baltimore County and the
Delaware line

SOURCE: Maryland State Police

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
-------------------------------------------------------------------

For Steve Michael, One Final Act Of Protest ('The Washington Post'
Version Of The Protest Funeral In Washington, DC, For Medical Marijuana
And AIDS Activist Steve Michael)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 01:06:20 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US DC: For Steve Michael, One Final Act Of Protest Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: cohip@levellers.org Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Patrice Gaines, Washington Post Staff Writer FOR STEVE MICHAEL, ONE FINAL ACT OF PROTEST Activist's Funeral Makes A Stop at the White House To the steady, rat-a-tat-tat of a drum, the funeral procession bearing the walnut-colored casket to the White House lumbered down E Street, stopping traffic; past the Willard Hotel, where a doorman put his hat over his heart; past a park where baffled tourists stared and some took pictures; past the chauffeurs standing outside their polished limos. "Tell me," whispered one chauffeur. "Is there a real body in there" Inside the casket was the body of Steve Michael, founder of ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power), eulogized yesterday as "a soldier in the struggle for civil rights" and as "a champion of justice." Michael, 42, died May 25 of AIDS-related pneumonia. ACT UP is known for its confrontational tactics and noisy protests, but for this one occasion participants were asked to be "disciplined and silent." "I want to emphasize we have lost a voice, a very important voice," said activist Wayne Turner, 33, Michael's longtime partner. Michael earned respect from political insiders and grass-roots outsiders for his frank style and commitment in his efforts to increase funding for AIDS programs, restore home rule to the District and legalize marijuana for medical use. Turner said Michael had requested, "If I die, take my body to the White House. Show the world that Bill Clinton has lied to and betrayed people with AIDS." Michael and Turner followed President Clinton on the 1992 campaign and heckled him persistently over his record on funding for AIDS programs. They came to the capital several years ago to continue pressuring Clinton. Yesterday afternoon, Michael's mother made her first trip to Washington from Los Angeles. A tearful Barbara Michael, 66, watched pallbearers pull her son's casket from a van and place it on Freedom Plaza. A black flag with the pink triangle that has become a symbol of gay pride was placed over the casket. On top of this, Barbara Michael laid a single red rose and a picture of her son at age 2. Later, White House press secretary Michael McCurry defended the administration's record, saying it has devoted considerable resources to preventing the spread of the disease, finding a vaccine and providing health care for those afflicted. "It clearly was a dramatic action," McCurry said of the funeral, "but the president takes very seriously the fight against AIDS. . . . I think the record shows that he has done more than any of his predecessors." At Freedom Plaza, Timothy Cooper, a founder of the Stand Up for Democracy Coalition, called Michael "not an easy man to know but an easy man to love =2E . . a good and gentle man with a ferocious heart." Then the procession of about 100, including people who had come from New York, Philadelphia and New Hampshire, walked to the White House. The police, who had so often arrested Michael during his life, stopped traffic as he was carried by. In front of the White House, the casket was opened to reveal the activist dressed in an "ACT UP" T-shirt. His mother cried. For a few seconds, she and Turner stroked Michael's face. Participant Anise Jenkins spoke of how Michael transformed her into an activist. "You didn't follow him, he insisted you walk by his side," she said. "He took a person like me and . . . showed me that I was powerful."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Fired Kentucky Hemp Teacher Sues School District
(According To 'The Lexington Herald-Leader,' Donna Cockrel Of Frankfort,
In Shelby County, Says She Was Dismissed Because She Shared Information
About Industrial Hemp With Her Fifth-Grade Students, And Filed A Lawsuit
Yesterday In Federal Court Charging A Violation
Of Her First Amendment Rights)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:41:54 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Fired KY Hemp Teacher Sues School District Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: hledit@lex.infi.net Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Author: Chad Carlton Central Kentucky Bureau FIRED KY HEMP TEACHER SUES SCHOOL DISTRICT Teacher Who Promoted Hemp Sues District That Fired Her A fired Shelby County teacher who promoted legalizing industrial hemp to her fifth-grade students filed a federal lawsuit yesterday against the school system and her former bosses. The lawsuit filed by Donna Cockrel of Frankfort claims she was fired for teaching and talking about hemp, a violation of her First Amendment rights of free speech. "I was there to educate kids and yet my rights were (revoked) from me by them, leading to my firing," Cockrel said during a news conference outside the federal courthouse in Lexington. Cockrel was dubbed the "first lady of hemp" by actor and pro-hemp activist Woody Harrelson, who twice visited her classroom at Simpsonville Elementary School. Harrelson's visits, in May 1996 and January 1997, and Cockrel's teachings sparked criticism from parents and others. Hemp, which is illegal in Kentucky, is related to marijuana. However, hemp has only a tiny amount of THC, the chemical that causes a high when marijuana is smoked. School officials deny that Cockrel's pro-hemp teachings were the reason she was fired last July. "She's using the hemp issue as a smoke screen to hide the true facts of the matter," said Shelby County Superintendent Leon Mooneyhan, who is named as a defendant in the suit. Cockrel was fired on charges of insubordination, conduct unbecoming a teacher, inefficiency, incompetency and neglect of duty. The 17 charges against her included allegations that she called her supervisor racially derogatory and profane names, encouraged students to cheat and failed to prepare lesson plans. Cockrel denies the charges, saying yesterday they were "conjured up" by administrators and teachers. The state Education Professional Standards Board is investigating the charges to determine whether Cockrel's teaching certificate should be revoked. Cockrel said she has been unemployed since the firing. She ran for state Senate last month, but was handily defeated. In her lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Cockrel isn't seeking reinstatement as a teacher in Shelby County, but she wants her disciplinary record cleared. She also asks for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the school system, Mooneyhan and former Simpsonville Elementary Principal Bruce Slate. "As that commercial says, 'Pay the lady,'" Cockrel said. All Contents Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader. All Rights Reserved
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Raid The Wrong Home (The Raleigh, North Carolina, 'News And Observer'
Says Raleigh Prohibition Agents From The Appropriately Named
Selective Enforcement Unit Broke Down The Door Of A 66-Year-Old
Innocent Man - They Then Walked Around The House To The Right Address,
Knocked On The Door, And Arrested The Target Of Their Warrant,
Without Resistance)

Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 08:21:50 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NC: Police Raid The Wrong Home
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Walter Latham 
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Source: Raleigh News & Observer (NC)
Contact: http://www.news-observer.com/feedback/
Website: http://www.news-observer.com/
Author: Anne Saker, Staff Writer

POLICE RAID THE WRONG HOME

Neighbor Of Real Target Says Officers Burst In Without Warning

RALEIGH -- Earl Richardson's Monday night was coming to a quiet close. He
sat on his plaid couch, lit a cigar and watched the 10 o'clock news.
Suddenly, he heard a crash at his front door. A second later, he faced a
man in black pointing a rifle at him.

"Get on the floor! Get on the floor!" yelled the man, a member of the
Raleigh Police Department's Selective Enforcement Unit.

Richardson, 66, said he obeyed, lying on the floor while police opened
cabinets and went through rooms in his Beverly Drive house as they searched
for guns and drugs.

After 30 minutes, Richardson said, one police officer told the others, "We
got the wrong house."

Police acknowledged Thursday they mistakenly entered Richardson's house in
Southeast Raleigh's Worthdale neighborhood. But they said they aren't to
blame.

They did not know that 1424 Beverly Drive, for which they had a search
warrant, actually is two dwellings with separate entrances. Richardson
rents the house. The real target of the raid, Christopher McKay, rents an
apartment at the rear of the house. Richardson's door bears a street
number. McKay's door has no marking.

"You see it on TV, but you never think it's going to happen to you,"
Richardson said. He said he thought five officers participated in the raid,
during which they punched a hole through his front door and tore off the
interior frame.

After police realized their mistake, they went around back to McKay's
apartment, knocked on the door and arrested him without resistance on three
felony drug charges. Police said that they seized a Rossi 38-caliber
revolver and 16 rounds of ammunition. Also found in the search, police
said, were hand scales, a pager, plastic bags, a gym bag, $510, "assorted
paraphernalia" and about a gram of marijuana -- the weight of a paper clip.

Richardson said they brought a handcuffed McKay to his house and sat McKay
in a kitchen chair to question him for about an hour. Everyone left around
midnight, Richardson said.

"They never said directly to me that they had the wrong house. Neither did
they apologize," said Richardson, a retired mechanic with the New York City
Transit Authority. "I hate to play the race card, but I find it hard to
believe that this would happen in some other neighborhoods in Raleigh."

Police Chief Mitch Brown was not available for comment Thursday, but Capt.
Michael Longmire, head of the investigative division, said the department
began an internal review of the raid Tuesday morning.

"Hopefully, we'll learn something from this," Longmire said.

The raid was one of hundreds the special unit carries out every year and
one of many launched purely on the word of an informant.

Documents accompanying the search warrant say that within the past two
weeks, an informant told Detective R.A. McLeod that McKay was selling
marijuana from 1424 Beverly Drive. The informant said he had been in
McKay's residence and had seen the drugs. Longmire said the informant did
not point out to police which door led to McKay's apartment.

McKay's driver's license and his entry in the telephone directory have him
living at 1424 Beverly Drive. But property records list a 1424 and a 1424
1/2. There are two CP&L accounts for that address. Four of McKay's nine
traffic infractions put him at 1424B Beverly Drive.

On Monday, hours before the raid, Detective McLeod said he picked up trash
at 1424 Beverly Drive and found marijuana seeds, plastic sandwich bags
containing "marijuana residue" and pieces of paper bearing McKay's name.

Longmire said that the detective reported seeing McKay enter and leave
Richardson's house in the days before the raid.

"That is not true," Richardson said. "I'm home most of the time. [McKay]
has no key to my house. We no more than speak to each other. I wouldn't
hang with a 26-year-old kid."

Longmire also said that before the officers entered Richardson's house,
they knocked at his door and said, "Police, search warrant."

"That's an outright lie," Richardson said. "I would have heard them. The
window of the room I was in is right next to the front door. The only thing
I heard was the crash."

The distinction is important because "no-knock" raids are unconstitutional
unless the police can show that announcing themselves before entering would
endanger someone. In April 1997, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled that
just because a defendant might get rid of evidence does not allow the
police to conduct a no-knock raid.

In obtaining a search warrant from a magistrate or judge, police do not
need to explain how the search warrant will be executed.

Richardson grew up in Raleigh, spent nearly 40 years working for the New
York City Transit Authority and retired to Raleigh in 1991. He moved into
his portion of 1424 Beverly Drive three years ago.

Richardson, who says he suffers from high blood pressure, said that the
stress of his brush with the law left him with a headache Tuesday. He went
to a Kaiser Permanente clinic where his blood pressure was "190 over
something; it was high," he said.

The owners of the house, Alex and Antonia Sanders of New York City, could
not be reached for comment. Albert Perry of Raleigh, who manages the
Beverly Drive property, said Thursday that replacing the door, its locks
and its frame -- all destroyed in the raid -- will cost about $500.

Longmire said the landlords can make a claim with the city's insurance
department.

Richardson said Thursday he is considering a lawsuit.

Anne Saker can be reached at 829-8955 or asaker@nando.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Crusading Journalists Defeat Corrupt Sheriff ('New York Times' Article
In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says The Family-Owned 'Democrat Reporter'
In Tiny Linden, Alabama, With A Circulation Of 6,000, Finally Saw The Sheriff
And Two Top Deputies In Marengo County Sent To Prison Last Year
For A Variety Of Crimes Ranging From Extortion To Petty Theft
To Drug Peddling That The Newspaper Chronicled Over The Years)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 18:49:03 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US AL: Crusading Journalists Defeat Corrupt Sheriff
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Author: Rick Bragg - New York Times

CRUSADING JOURNALISTS DEFEAT CORRUPT SHERIFF

Editor and wife risk much in small town

LINDEN, Ala. -- In a tiny Alabama town where people like to recall the
legacies of long-dead hunting dogs, and where the courthouse janitor has to
stop twice in a crosswalk to say hello to people who call him by name, a
weekly newspaper editor and his ace reporter, his wife, picked a fight with
a corrupt county sheriff's department.

The editor, Goodloe Sutton, and his wife, Jean, knew all along it would
cost them as they uncovered everything from extortion to petty thefts to
drug peddling, because telling the truth in a town of 2,500 can be harder
than in a big city.

Advertisers who were political allies of Sheriff Roger Davis of Marengo
County stopped their advertisements. Readers, who stood by the powerful,
popular sheriff even as proof of corruption spread across the front page,
canceled subscriptions. Threats came with the mail.

``You are brave people, with pens in your pocket, but I wonder how brave
you will be when someone catches you in a place where there are no
witnesses,'' wrote an anonymous supporter of the sheriff's department.
``Remember, your day will come.''

Media darlings

The Suttons and their newspaper, the Democrat Reporter, with a circulation
down to 6,000, finally won. The sheriff and two top deputies went to prison
last year for a variety of crimes that the newspaper had chronicled over
the last several years. Since then, reporters from around the United States
have traveled to this hamlet in southwestern Alabama to ask the Suttons if
they had ever feared for their lives.

Sitting in the offices of the newspaper his father bought in 1917, Sutton
said he probably should have feared for the safety of his wife and two
sons. But he had a feeling that everything would be fine, he said, a sense
of confidence that he never fully understood until the day last December
when the sheriff went to prison on extortion and bribery charges, the day
he knew the ordeal was finally over.

``I was at home, and I'd just sat down with a crossword puzzle and a drink
when the phone rang,'' Sutton said. ``It was an elderly man, and he told me
that he knew me and my family were in danger. `But every night,' he told
me, `I'd get down on my knees and pray for you and your family, for your
safety.' ''

``I think my own prayers kind of just ricocheted off the ceiling,'' Sutton
said, smiling. ``But all the years I had felt there was a shield around us,
protecting us.''

That caller ``was the epitome of the people who stood behind us all those
years,'' he said. ``I'd stand in the middle of the railroad track and fight
a freight train for those people.''

The answer might not make sense to anyone but Goodloe Sutton, a man in his
late 40s who is harangued by friends and enemies alike when he strolls in
his black penny loafers through the center of town. But that is his story,
and he is sticking to it.

``Some people will hate me till I die, and some of them will mellow out in
time,'' Sutton said. ``But it really doesn't matter. I couldn't just sit
back and let it happen.''

Davis was elected sheriff in 1991. He was a retired Alabama state trooper
with connections in the Marengo County courthouse and in the state
Legislature, along with friends and relatives in businesses in Linden, the
county seat, and nearby Demopolis, the county's largest town, with 7,500
people.

Even now, as he and two of his deputies, about a quarter of his staff, sit
in prison, many people in Linden who support the Suttons will not do so
publicly, out of fear of reprisals from friends and relatives of the former
officials.

Friendships put at risk

Family and friendships, Jean Sutton said, are often stronger than the truth
in a small town.

``But we put people in the newspaper when they do something `unusual,' ''
she said. (Her husband says she did the real work in the long
investigations that changed the face of law enforcement in Marengo County.)
``Friends, everybody.''

There was a lot of unusual activity in the Marengo County Sheriff's Department.

At first, it seemed no more ominous than shady manipulation of county money
and a pilfered pickup truck. In the early 1990s the Suttons, who had
attended the University of Southern Mississippi together, gathering
information from friends and contacts in the courthouse and community,
wrote that the sheriff had used department money to buy a truck for his
daughter. Sutton ran the article on the front page.

The sheriff said it was a bunch of lies, but he repaid the money.

Later, the Democrat Reporter discovered that the sheriff had been cashing
checks that had been intended for the county's mental-health center. Davis
could not deny it, because Sutton published copies of the checks on the
front page.

The newspaper also ran a copy of the department's ledger on its front page,
exposing irregularities that forced the sheriff to repay $5,000.

Sheriff retaliates

There were whispers that corruption in the department went deeper still,
that two deputies were protecting drug dealers. The Suttons ultimately
wrote of that, too.

The sheriff responded, Sutton said, by spreading rumors that the editor was
a drunkard, that his wife was having affairs and that one of his sons was
taking drugs. They were all routinely pulled over by deputies, who once
threatened to plant drugs in their house if they did not stop printing
articles about the department, Sutton said.

Meanwhile, Sutton wrote letters to the state ethics commission and to law
enforcement officials, hoping for results. For years, nothing happened.

But his newspaper's articles had drawn attention, in the simplest of ways.
E.T. Rolison, an assistant U.S. attorney in Mobile, learned of them from
his mother.

``My mother and father still live in Choctaw County,'' which borders
Marengo, Rolison said. ``I was up there years ago, and my mother said:
`Have you read the Democrat Reporter? Goodloe Sutton's making a case
against the sheriff in Marengo County.' ''

The articles, with the evidence right there on the front page, were more
than enough to begin an undercover investigation, Rolison said. But as
investigators built their case, they could not tell the Suttons.

``He was butting his head against the wall, thinking that nothing was going
on with it,'' Rolison said of Sutton. ``He was taking all this heat, and
really had no one to turn to.''

Finally, in May 1997, investigators had enough information to make arrests.
Deputies Wilmer ``Sonny'' Breckenridge, the county's chief drug-enforcement
officer, and Robert Pickens were arrested with 68 other people in a drug
raid in neighboring Perry County.

Prison terms

Pickens pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against Breckenridge in
exchange for a lighter sentence. Breckenridge was sentenced to life in
federal prison after a trial.

Davis, who was arrested later, pleaded guilty late last year to extortion
and was sentenced to 27 years. In December, he got an additional 27-month
sentence when he pleaded guilty to soliciting a bribe and failing to pay
state income taxes.

``Never get in an argument with a man who buys his ink by the barrel,''
Rolison said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

FDA Proposes New Rules Making 'Off-Label' Drug Use Easier
(According To Cable News Network, The US Food And Drug Administration
Said Friday It Wants To Make It Easier For Pharmaceutical Companies
To Tell Doctors And Insurers About Unapproved Uses Of Their Products,
Something They Are Currently Prohibited From Doing 'Officially')

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 09:29:22 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: FDA Proposes New Rules Making
'Off-Label' Drug Use Easier
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: CNN
Contact: cnn.feedback@cnn.com
Website: http://www.cnn.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

FDA PROPOSES NEW RULES MAKING 'OFF-LABEL' DRUG USE EASIER

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday it is
proposing new rules that would make it easier for drug companies to tell
doctors and insurers about "off-label," or unapproved, uses of their
products.

Under the current system, once a drug or device is approved by the FDA for
any use, physicians can prescribe or use them for other ailments or
procedures in what is called "off-label" use.

Drugs approved to treat one form of cancer, for instance, are often used
for other types of cancer, and a cancer drug known as hydroxyurea is
sometimes used to treat sickle-cell anemia and HIV infection.

However, until now, the companies could not officially inform physicians,
pharmacists or insurers of the other potential uses. The new rules would
allow the companies to do so.

Also under the proposal, the companies would not have to wait for FDA
approval of the additional uses before giving out information.

The information, however, must meet certain criteria. It must:

- Concern a drug or device that already has been approved by the FDA for at
least one use.

- Be peer-reviewed scientifically or published in a medical journal.

- Not pose a risk to public health.

- Not be false or misleading.

- Enclose information saying the use is not approved by the FDA.

The proposed rules will allow companies to tell doctors, pharmacy benefits
managers, health insurance companies, group health plans and government
agencies about off-label uses of their products.

FDA must have 60 days notice

"This information can only be disseminated for 'off-label' uses which have
been, or will be, studied and submitted for FDA approval," it said in a
statement. "It must also be reliable and balanced."

The companies also must alert the FDA 60 days before they begin sending out
the information.

William Schultz, the FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, said that in the
past the agency worried that letting a company talk about off-label uses
would reduce any incentives to test its products carefully for those uses.

The FDA now requires companies to prove a proposed new drug or device is
safe and actually works for the specific disease or condition for which it
is being licensed.

Reuters contributed to this report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

House Panel Approves Bill Extending Reach Of US Authorities
('The Associated Press' Notes The Subcommittee Approved New Legislation
Friday Targeting Money Launderers - Another Proposed Bill
Would Create A Mandatory Minimum 10-Year-Term In Prison
For Anyone Making, Trafficking In Or Importing 50 Grams Or More
Of Methamphetamine, And A Five-Year Mandatory Minimum For Five Grams)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 09:45:04 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: House Panel Approves Bill Extending Reach of US Authorities
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

HOUSE PANEL APPROVES BILL EXTENDING REACH OF U.S. AUTHORITIES

WASHINGTON (AP) Seeking to stem the global growth of money laundering, a
House panel approved legislation Friday that would extend the reach of U.S.
law enforcement authorities fighting drug traffickers.

The bill whisked through the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime by voice
vote, sending it to the full Judiciary panel.

The move came about a week after U.S. authorities carried out a major
money-laundering sting. They arrested 160 people, including about two dozen
Mexican bankers, and seized $87 million, two tons of cocaine and four tons
of marijuana.

The sting, dubbed "Operation Casablanca," was the largest drug
money-laundering case in U.S. history. It exposed alleged links between
some of Mexico's largest banks and the Cali drug cartel of Colombia and the
Juarez cartel in Mexico.

"Every day, throughout the United States and around the world, (drug)
traffickers and organized-crime syndicates engage in thousands of financial
transactions so as to conceal their ill-gotten gain," Rep. Bill McCollum,
R-Fla., the subcommittee's chairman, said before the vote. "The methods
used by drug organizations to launder their money have grown increasingly
complex and exotic."

People committing crimes abroad are using the United States and its
financial institutions as havens for laundered money, while criminals
operating in this country are using foreign banks and bank secrecy laws to
hide their illegal gains, McCollum said.

Authorities estimate as much as $500 billion is laundered worldwide every year.

The legislation would revise existing laws to allow U.S. authorities to
confiscate the proceeds of crimes committed abroad and to have access to
records located in foreign countries.

It also would add operating an illegal money-transmitting business to the
offenses subject to civil forfeiture. Under current law, it is a federal
offense to operate a money-transmitting business without a state license.

In a related development Friday, Rep. Jim Leach, R-Iowa, chairman of the
House Banking Committee, proposed a separate money-laundering bill that
would transfer from the U.S. tax code to the Bank Secrecy Act the
requirement for car dealers and other merchants to report cash transactions
over $10,000.

The change would give all federal law enforcement authorities, as well as
tax agents, access to the information, Leach said.

The Judiciary subcommittee also approved, by voice vote, a bill that would
increase the penalties for manufacturing, trafficking in or importing
methamphetamine, the fastest-growing drug problem in much of the Far West
and Southwest. The drug, known by the nicknames meth, crank and speed, has
a potent effect on the central nervous system and often creates delusions,
paranoia and aggressive behavior.

Under the legislation, making, trafficking in or importing 50 grams or more
would trigger a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence, and five grams
would bring a five-year minimum sentence.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Two Books Critique US Legal System ('Baltimore Sun' Review
In 'The Oakland Tribune' Praises 'Getting Away With Murder -
How Politics Is Destroying The Criminal Justice System,' By Susan Estrich,
The 1988 Campaign Manager For Michael Dukakis, And 'Jurismania -
The Madness Of American Law,' By Colorado Law Professor
Paul F. Campos - They Share Common, Sometimes Startling, Insights)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:34:41 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Review: Two Books Critique U.S. Legal System
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Source: Oakland Tribune
Contact: triblet@angnewspapers.com
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Author: David W. Marston - Baltimore Sun

TWO BOOKS CRITIQUE U.S. LEGAL SYSTEM

"In our history, racism has clearly made it too easy to convict people. But
it can also make it too hard. The man who raped me when I was 21 deserved
to be punished without regard to race or racism. Whatever happened to him
in his life, he was still responsible for what he did to me."

At once coolly analytical and emotionally supercharged, it is an
extraordinary statement, especially because of who said it: Susan Estrich.
In 1988, she was the national manager of the Michael Dukakis presidential
campaign, doomed by the candidate's soft-on-crime shrug after a black
murderer named Willie Horton, enjoying a weekend pass from a Massachusetts
prison, violently raped a Maryland woman.

Now a law professor at the University of Southern California, Estrich
serves up more surprises in her new book, "Getting Away With Murder: How
Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" Harvard University
Press, 161 pages, $19.95). Surveying the post-O.J. Simpson legal landscape
with acuity, she covers much of the same territory as Colorado law
professor Paul F. Campos in his new book, "Jurismania: The Madness of
American Law" (Oxford University Press, 198 pages, $23). While Estrich Is
not as cheerfully iconoclastic as Campos - legal academics, he says,
inhabit "an irony-free zone" - they share common, sometimes startling,
insights.

For example, Estrich, long a liberal's liberal, admits that a central
objection to the death penalty (disparate racial impact) "doesn't even
persuade me anymore," and reflects the currently fashionable "abuse
excuses" claimed by battered wives and children. Campos, coming from
everywhere on the political spectrum, contends that law professors of a
certain age suffer from a collective case of arrested emotional
development" in their continuing worship of the Warren Court.

American jurisprudence, these books suggest, has become so dysfunctional
that the old liberal-conservative labels have lost their meaning. It's not
yet clear where the new lines will be drawn. But when the stones crashing
through the windows of legal academia are being tossed not by the
lawyer-hating public, but rather by two respected members of the
priesthood, the legal elites inside and everywhere should not only take
cover, but take note.

Picking through the vast tangled web of American jurisprudence, both
authors conclude that the law that seems to be working best is the law of
unintended consequences. In a chapter titled "The Long Shadow of Willie
Horton," Estrich argues that mandatory sentences have Americans spending
"more and more money locking up less and less violent people." Moreover,
some of the most violent criminals are actually freed by mandatory
sentencing laws, when courts or legislatures move to reduce the prison
overcrowding they cause.

The mania to regulate all human interaction, driven by legal theories
Campos calls "a form of mental illness," has led to the absurdity that the
same act may be at once protected and prohibited. For example, a T-shlrt
with a sexist slogan worn by an employee is protected under the First
Amendment, and also actionable for creating a hostile environment.

On some issues, these books almost echo each other. For example, Estrich on
the politics of crime: Today, Democrats outdo themselves to prove that they
are just as tough as Republicans. Everyone has learned the lesson of Willie
Horton. No one tells the truth, and the political dishonesty is distorting
and destroying the system."

Campos on Clinton "cracking down" on drugs already illegal under previous
laws: "It would in truth make more sense for the President to announce he
has undertaken to perform a ritualistic dance, designed to drive away the
evil drug spirits. After all, It is just conceivable, empirically speaking,
that the Evil Drug Spirit Dance might work. We know the legislation isn't
going to work."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medicinal Marijuana Users To Testify To United Nations - 'We Should Not
Be Arrested!' (Media Advisory From The Marijuana Policy Project
Says The United Nations Non-Government Organization Committee On Narcotics
And Substance Abuse Has Invited The Marijuana Policy Project
To Conduct A Medical Marijuana Panel During The UN Special Session
On The World Drug Problem Tuesday, June 9, In New York City)

Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 07:21:23 -0400
To: DPFT-L@TAMU.EDU, medmj@drcnet.org, drctalk@drcnet.org,
mattalk@islandnet.com, maptalk@mapinc.org, hemp-talk@hemp.net,
drugtalk@adca.org.au, britain@legalize.org, drugtalk@legalize.org,
global@legalize.org, mape@legalize.org, usa@legalize.org,
drugtalk@adca.org.au, events@legalize.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: HT: Medicinal Marijuana Users to Testify to United Nations (FWD)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

MEDIA ADVISORY JUNE 5, 1998

Medicinal Marijuana Users to Testify to United Nations:

"We Should Not Be Arrested!"

The United Nations Non-Government Organization (NGO) Committee on
Narcotics and Substance Abuse invited the Marijuana Policy Project to
conduct a medicinal marijuana panel during the UN Special Session on the
World Drug Problem next week.

CAMERA CREWS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS, PLEASE ARRIVE BY 1:15 P.M.

CONFIRMED PARTICIPANTS INCLUDE:

* Irvin Rosenfeld -- one of only eight patients in the United States
who is legally allowed to use medicinal marijuana, through a federal
program currently closed to all new applicants. Rosenfeld, who has a
rare bone disorder, will display his legal, government-supplied
marijuana.

* Cheryl Miller -- a multiple sclerosis patient recently arrested for
eating marijuana in U.S. Rep. Jim Rogan's (R-CA) office to protest
the federal laws prohibiting her medicine. Miller cannot move her
arms or legs without marijuana.

* Greg Scott -- an AIDS patient who uses marijuana illegally to treat
nausea and severe weight loss. Scott was recently arrested in Florida
for speaking out during a government-funded anti-medicinal marijuana
conference which barred patient participation.

* Mike Krawitz -- a veteran who uses marijuana to treat pain,
spasticity, and nausea caused by injuries while serving in the
U.S. Army. Krawitz obtained a marijuana prescription from a doctor
in the Netherlands, but he lives in fear of being arrested and
imprisoned for using his medicine in his home country.

* Kildare Clarke, M.D., who has treated patients who need to use
medicinal marijuana.

* Chuck Thomas -- director of communications for the Marijuana Policy
Project, a harm-reduction advocacy organization in Washington, D.C.,
which works primarily to remove criminal penalties for seriously ill
patients who use medicinal marijuana.


WHEN: Tuesday, June 9, 1998, 1:30 p.m. until 3:15 p.m.

WHERE: 777 UN Plaza, Church Center Building, 44th Street and 1st Avenue,
12th Floor, New York City

"If the UN wants to fight a world drug war, we need to remove the
sick and wounded from the battlefield," said Chuck Thomas, director
of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy
Project. "Patients should not be arrested for using medicinal marijuana."

MPP also invited U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, Drug Enforcement
Administration head Thomas Constantine, and U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum
(R-FL) to participate on the panel to defend the federal laws that
criminalize medicinal marijuana-using patients. Confirmation is pending.

- END -

***

HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT:

To support the MPP's work and receive the quarterly
"Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual
membership dues to:

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
P.O. Box 77492
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20013

http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html
202-232-0442 FAX

***

Forwarded by:
Richard Lake
Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest
email: rlake@MAPinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
For subscription information see:
http://www.MAPinc.org/lists/
Quick sign up for DrugNews-Digest, Focus Alerts or Newsletter:
http://www.DrugSense.org/hurry.htm

***

Check out the FACTS at:
http://www.drugsense.org/factbook.htm

***

Check out our Drug War Clock
http://www.drugsense.org/wodclock/

***

The Media Awareness Project is proud to participate in the Global Coalition
for Alternatives to the Drug War. The 1998 Global Days against the Drug
War! - June 6, 7, 8 -
Join the Coalition! Events in over 50 cities!
http://www.drugsense.org/ungass.htm
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Leaders Ask UN For New Drug Policy ('The Associated Press'
Says More Than 500 Prominent People, Including Former Secretary Of State
George Shultz, Former Secretary-General Javier Perez De Cuellar,
Former Greek President George Papandreou, Former President Oscar Arias
Of Costa Rica And Former German Justice Minister Sabine
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger Have Signed A Letter To UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan Being Circulated By Ethan Nadelmann At The Lindesmith Center)

Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 09:38:31 -0400
To: DPFT-L@TAMU.EDU, drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com,
hemp-talk@hemp.net, november-l@november.org, drugtalk@adca.org.au,
britain@legalize.org, drugtalk@legalize.org, global@legalize.org,
mape@legalize.org, usa@legalize.org, drugtalk@adca.org.au
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: UN GE: Wire: LEADERS ASK UN FOR NEW DRUG POLICY
Newshawk: ED Denson (edenson@asis.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998

LEADERS ASK UN FOR NEW DRUG POLICY

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Saying the drug war has caused more harm than drug
abuse itself, prominent world figures are calling for ``a truly open
dialogue'' to shift drug control policies from punishment to public health
issues.

The call is being made in a letter to Secretary-General Kofi Annan from the
Lindesmith Center, a private institute which conducts drug research, in
advance of the U.N. General Assembly special session on drugs, which opens
Monday.

Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the center, said the letter has been
signed by more than 500 prominent people, including former Secretary of
State George Shultz, former Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar,
former Greek President George Papandreou, former President Oscar Arias of
Costa Rica and former German Justice Minister Sabine
Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

``We believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than
drug abuse itself,'' the letter said. ``Human rights are violated,
environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inudated with hundreds of
thousands of drug violators.''

The letter said scarce resources are being diverted ``on ever more
expensive interdiction efforts'' while ``realistic proposals to reduce
drug-related crime, disease and death'' are abandoned ``in favor of
rhetorical proposals to create drug-free societies.''

It appealed to Annan ``to initiate a truly open and honest dialogue
regarding the future of global drug policies -- one in which fear,
prejudice and punitive prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public
health and human rights.''

Nadelmann said the U.N. conference should consider the global drug policy
as a public heath issue, using the resources of U.N. agencies such as the
World Health Organization to devise policies to replace those based on
``interdiction and criminalization.''

Representatives of about 150 countries, including 35 heads of state and
government, are to attend the three-day conference. President Clinton will
deliver the opening address Monday.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's Islamic Taliban on Friday condemned a U.N.
invitation to followers of ousted President Burhanuddin Rabbani to attend
the drug conference.

The Taliban army drove Rabbani from the capital Kabul in 1996 and now
controls about 85 percent of the country. Rabbani's northern-based alliance
controls about 15 percent of the territory and has been battling the Taliban.

However, Afghanistan's U.N. seat remains in the hands of the previous
government pending a final decision.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Protest To UN Claims War On Drugs Worse Than Abuse
(Version In Britain's 'Guardian')

Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 09:49:13 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service 
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UN GE: Protest to UN claims war on drugs worse than abuse
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: The Guardian (UK)
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998

PROTEST TO UN CLAIMS WAR ON DRUGS WORSE THAN ABUSE

Letter Says Billions Of Pounds Spent On Halting Drug Trade Is Wasted

Judges, senior clerics, former drugs squad officers and politicians have
signed a letter to the head of the United Nations claiming that the "war"
on drugs is more harmful than drug abuse itself.

The letter coincides with the opening of the UN general assembly special
session on drugs, which starts in New York next week. The letter to the UN
secretary general, Kofi Annan, which will be sent today, suggests that the
billions of pounds being spent on halting the international drug trade is
being wasted.

Among the thousands of international signatories are the former Prime
Minister of the Netherlands, Andreas Van Agt, the former presidents of
Bolivia and Colombia, Lidya Gueiler Tejada and Belasario Betancourt,
writers Ariel Dorfman and Dario Fo, philosopher Ivan Illich and academics
and scientists. In the United States, three federal judges, a number of
mayors and the President of Stanford University have signed.

The British signatories include Judge Anthony Tibber, Colin Blakemore,
President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Edward
Ellison, former head of Scotland Yard's drug squad, the Bishop of Monmouth,
Ian Sparks, chief executive of the Children's society, and MPs Paul Flynn,
Austin Mitchell and Brian Iddon.

The signing of what will be the largest-ever international call for a
reappraisal of drugs policies has been co-ordinated by the Lindesmith
Centre, a project of the Open Society Institute sponsored by financier
George Soros.

"We believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug
abuse itself," says the letter. "Every decade the UN adopts new
international conventions, focused largely on criminalisation and
punishment... UN agencies estimate the annual revenue generated by the
illegal drug industry at $400 billion or the equivalent of roughly 8 per
cent of total international trade. This industry has empowered organised
criminals, corrupted governments at all levels, eroded internal security,
stimulated violence and distorted both economic markets and moral values."

Judge Tibber said yesterday he was "hopeful but not optimistic" that there
would be an open debate on drug policy. "But this government seems to have
completely closed minds on the subject and just do what the Americans tell
them to do." It had been clear for years that the "war on drugs" was lost.

Mr Ellison said that he had reached his conclusion on drugs law in the
1970s when his work as a detective sergeant had mainly involved cannabis.
He had waited until retiring to air his views.

Mr Ellison said that a number of senior officers had considered expressing
views in favour of decriminalisation but had been discouraged from doing so
because of their constitutional position. "I think that's right. I
certainly wouldn't want to live in a country where the police tell the
government what to do, but now that I am retired I can say freely what I
think."

Many former colleagues were anxious for a more logical open discusssion of
the issue and that there was greater opposition within the service to the
idea of legalising prostitution than there was to the decriminalisation of
drugs. He said for such a strategy to work it would have to be introduced
gradually and at least on a European-wide basis. It would also include the
same safeguards as alcohol in terms of sale to minors and driving
restrictions.

The letter concludes by calling for Mr Annan to initiate a "truly open and
honest dialogue . . . one in which fear, prejudice and punitive
prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public health and human
rights."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mexicans Indignant Over Drug Sting ('Associated Press' Article
In 'The International Herald-Tribune' Says Mexican Officials
Have Now Admitted They Were Informed In Advance
About 'Operation Casablanca,' But Insist They Did Not Give Approval)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 19:14:13 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexicans Indignant Over Drug Sting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Peter Webster
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Contact: iht@iht.com
Website: http://www.iht.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Author: Associated Press

MEXICANS INDIGNANT OVER DRUG STING

MEXICO CITY---After a week of complaining that U.S. officials carried out
a major money-laundering sting without notifying Mexico, officials here
admitted that they had been informed---but insisted they had not approved.

The admission issued late Wednesday by the attorney general's office came
amid mounting official indignation in Mexico over "Operation Casablanca,"
including threats to prosecute U.S. agents involved in the case.

U.S. authorities arrested 160 people ---including about two dozen Mexican
bankers---and seized $87 million, 2 tons of cocaine and 4 tons of marijuana
in the operation.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mexico Says US Advised On Sting, But Consent Never Given
(Different 'Associated Press' Version)

Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 09:35:18 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Wire: Mexico Says U.S. Advised on Sting,
But Consent Never Given
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Author: Ken Guggenheim - Associated Press

MEXICO SAYS U.S. ADVISED ON STING, BUT CONSENT NEVER GIVEN

MEXICO CITY -- Mexican officials have admitted they had some advance
knowledge of a major U.S. money-laundering sting that has inflamed
relations between the two countries, but say they never approved it.

The acknowledgment late Wednesday was a reversal of Mexican complaints in
the past two weeks that U.S. officials carried out the investigation
without notifying Mexico. But the admission did little to ease Mexico's
criticism over the handling of the case.

The investigation, ``Operation Casablanca,'' led to the arrests last month
of 42 people -- including about two dozen Mexican bankers. Some of the
undercover operations were apparently carried out in Mexico, Mexican
officials said.

On Wednesday, Mexico said that U.S. Customs Service officials had discussed
the investigation with a Mexican deputy attorney general two years ago. But
U.S. officials did not request assistance or reveal the case involved a
sting operation -- illegal under Mexican laws.

In a statement, the Mexican attorney general's office said the meeting ``in
no way can be considered an authorization or a validation for undercover
informants or witnesses in the service of the U.S. government ... to carry
out actions on national territory.''

Mexican officials have filed a protest and officials say they will seek the
extradition of U.S. agents who broke their laws. Charges could include
inciting the commission of a crime, facilitating money-laundering
operations and usurping Mexican powers.

Attorney General Janet Reno said at a news conference Thursday in
Washington that talk of extraditing U.S. agents to Mexico is premature.

``I'm sure that the Mexican government does not assume guilt until it has
thoroughly investigated a matter,'' Reno said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mexico Knew About US Money-Laundering Sting
(Another Slightly Different 'Associated Press' Version
In 'The Orange County Register')

Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 18:25:19 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexico Knew About US Money-Laundering Sting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (Ca)
Pubdate: 5 June 1998
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: Ken Geggenheim-The Associated Press

MEXICO KNEW ABOUT US MONEY-LAUNDERING STING

Mexico City-Mexican officials say they had some advance knowledge of a
major U.S. money-laundering investigation that has inflamed relations
between the two countries,but they never approved it.

The acknowledgment late Wednesday that U.S. Customs Service officials
had discussed the investigation with a Mexican deputy attorney general
two years ago did little to ease Mexican criticism over U.S. handling
of the case.

For two weeks, Mexican officials have accused the United States of
violating its sovereignty in the "Operation Casablanca" investigation,
which last month led to the arrests of 160 people - including about
two dozen Mexican bankers.

They said the United States failed to inform it about the
investigation, even though undercover operations were apparently
carried out in Mexico. The Mexican government has filed a protest and
officials say they will seek the extradition of U.S. agents who broke
their laws.

In a statement, the Mexican Attorney General's Office acknowledged
that U.S. Customs officials met with then-Deputy Attorney General
Rafael Eatrada Samano in January 1996 and that the Americans did not
request Mexican help in the investigation.

The meeting "in no way can be considered an authorization or a
validation for undercover informants or witnesses in the service of
the U.S. government ... to carry out actions on national territory,"
it said.

In a radio interview, then-attorney General Antonio Lozano Garcia said
Customs officials did not reveal the magnitude of the investigation or
provide details.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police Corruption Charges Ring Alarm Bell (With One Officer
Facing Corruption Charges, 'The Vancouver Sun' Reviews The Problems
Besetting Vancouver, British Columbia's Elite Coordinated Law Enforcement
Unit, Or CLEU, Whose Mission Is To Fight Organized Criminal Groups)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 18:52:52 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: Police Corruption Charges Ring Alarm Bell
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 5 Jun 1998
Author: Rick Ouston and Lindsay Kines

POLICE CORRUPTION CHARGES RING ALARM BELL

The allegations of corruption that rocked B.C.'s Coordinated Law
Enforcement Unit this week were described publicly by police officials as
``serious'' and ``disturbing.''

But privately, a number of officers said the bombshell may be a ``blessing
in disguise'' for police in B.C.

``This will be the alarm bell that will have government take a hard look at
how it deals with organized crime,'' one senior officer said.

The officers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said governments and
senior police managers need to reexamine their commitment to fighting
organized crime and take a hard look at how CLEU operates.

The officers, who were contacted independently, told The Vancouver Sun the
absence of high-profile arrests or convictions of organized crime figures
is all the proof anyone needs that B.C. is losing the war against organized
crime.

``This is supposed to be the province's premier organized crime-fighting
agency,'' one officer said. ``It isn't producing results. It isn't putting
guys in jail.''

The Hells Angels, in particular, have been able to exploit the absence of
major arrests for public relations benefit.

Last fall, Vancouver Hells Angel Rick Ciarniello, the club's designated
spokesman, pointed out that none of the more than 90 club members in B.C.
was in prison.

Ironically, one of CLEU's bright spots had been its Asian organized crime
unit, which officers say has been doing good work.

Then, this week, a special constable assigned to the unit was arrested and
charged with leaking confidential police information to organized crime
figures. The officer, Chiu Ping Philip Tsang, had been assigned to the unit
for five years, and senior managers are now reviewing the investigations in
which he was involved.

``CLEU needs a re-think,'' one officer said.

A former RCMP staff sergeant who quit the force earlier this year said
Thursday the agency has not kept track with the realities of modern,
multi-million-dollar crime.

Formed in 1974, CLEU combined the best and brightest of RCMP and municipal
forces at a time when an informant could be paid $10,000 to leak
information that could cripple an organized drug-smuggling ring, said
Gordon Board, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP who now works in security at
the B.C. Lotteries Commission.

``Now they say they want a million dollars, that they have to hide for the
rest of their lives -- although they might be short-lived -- and it takes a
million dollars to do it,'' Board said.

It already takes $11 million a year to operate CLEU. Chris Beresford, a
spokesman for the attorney-general's ministry, said 175 police officers and
provincial employees work for the unit in Vancouver and on Vancouver
Island.

CLEU also has a warehouse full of surveillance equipment, but Board said it
would cost millions more to target modern, sophisticated criminals.

``The governments have to realize that if we're going to have this huge
pool of trained investigators, maybe they're going to have to support them
with a huge amount of money to make it work,'' he said. ``We can't catch a
million-dollar crook on a five-dollar budget. It just doesn't happen. If
you want to attack a huge group of people, which might take years to do,
you're going to have to spend a huge amount of time and money and stay with
that file.''

Board was one of the officers with the RCMP Proceeds of Crime Section who
worked on Operation Eye-Spy, a three-year sting operation that involved
undercover police operating the Pacific Rim Currency Exchange in downtown
Vancouver to nab drug dealers laundering money. More than 40 people were
convicted or pleaded guilty in that admittedly expensive operation.

But he recalls times when the agency had 100 officers but perhaps only 20
cars, meaning ``the guys are going to be sitting with their feet on their
desk. I think things have not materialized because of a lack of budget.''

Attorney-General Ujjal Dosanjh told The Vancouver Sun he is already
considering proposals from several police agencies to improve the way the
province battles organized crime. He has been holding discussions with
Washington state officials about cross-border problems, has taken the issue
of organized crime to heart, and hinted Thursday that more money will
likely be thrown at the problem.

``We are still considering those proposals, we are reviewing them, and we
will be making a decision at some point in the next couple of weeks,'' he
said. ``All I can say is that there was a proposal made to the ministry of
the attorney-general for some funding with respect to enhancing our work
and strengthening this organized crime area.''

But it's not just money woes that plague CLEU.

A provincial commission into policing headed by Supreme Court Justice Wally
Oppal concluded that staffing of the agency ``has not always been given a
high priority'' by police forces. While his research showed that
``occasionally some of the best detectives in the province have been
assigned to CLEU . . . it was readily acknowledged that there have been
times when CLEU was used by both the RCMP and Vancouver police as a
repository for police officers who were nearing the end of their careers,
or who had lost the incentive to excel, or who were difficult to handle.''

That was in 1994. CLEU has repeatedly refused to discuss its operations
with the news media, and no one would comment on the record about whether
that problem has been rectified.

Simon Fraser University criminology professor Rob Gordon said the
complaints about CLEU point to the need for a regional police force to
replace the current system of separate municipal and RCMP jurisdictions.

``It's a huge metropolitan area that should be policed by a single
organization in order to avoid wasteful overlaps and personality conflicts
between people,'' he said.

But it would be up to regional politicians to agree on a regional force,
and Gordon said local politicians are more interested in retaining the
sense of local identity that a local police force reinforces than in
improving the actual calibre of policing. And most senior police managers
are loath to amalgamate, he said, ``because their jobs would go out the
window.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Interesting Statistics (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Calgary Sun'
Documents A Previous Letter Writer's Assertion That Drug Warriors
Are Child Killers)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 09:28:01 -0400
From: Carey Ker (carey.ker@utoronto.ca)
Subject: Canada: PUB -- LTE: Calgary Sun editors
beginning to see the light!
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Delivery-Receipt-To: Carey Ker (carey.ker@utoronto.ca)
Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca
Source: Calgary Sun
Contact: callet@sunpub.com
Pubdate: June 5, 1998

Comment: Parenthetical remarks by the Sun editor: headline
by hawk

I have to agree with the sentiments expressed by Mark Greer
in his May 31 letter "Drug warriors are child killers," as
the statistics about youth drug use back up his position,
overstated as it was. In 1995, while hard drug use by
teenagers and young adults in North America, Britain and
Australia was shown to be on a long-term upward trend, a
Dutch government survey found hard drug use (cocaine and
heroin) by 18 to 25 year olds had decreased by 85% in the
Netherlands (CEDRO). A Dutch government spokesperson
credited the elimination of the cannabis black market, which
in our country also supplies teens with hard drugs. With
this in mind, I say to the editors of your paper: "Give us a
break" from your dogmatic and prohibitionist editorial
comments. A comparison of young people in Canada and the
Netherlands in terms of hard drug and marijuana use (a black
market in every school) makes your editorial
stand almost comical, if it wasn't supporting a status quo
that appears to be killing our young people by the dozen
(See Vancouver coroner's reports).

Chris Donald

(Interesting stats.)

***

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 12:34:49 -0300 (ADT)
Sender: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: Matt Elrod (Creator@IslandNet.com)
cc: mattalk@IslandNet.com
Subject: Re: Canada: PUB -- LTE: Calgary Sun editors
beginning to see the light!

All,

did they ever butcher my letter! Still, I sent it big to influence
them to publish shorter letters of the same stripe, and as usual I am
surprised that it was published at all. Note to Pat, it IS a surprise when
they take the time to edit a 600 word letter down to size for publication,
especially when they disagree with you, so aiming under 300-350 words is a
good idea, unless you are writing only to influence the editor towards
publishing more of other mattalkers efforts.

Notice that they snipped out the current teen mj use rates stats
from the Canadian, Brit and Dutch studies. We REALLY should try to get
those stats to those editors in cited form now that an excuse, my letter,
has been published. If someone could find that article - I believe
published in the Independent on Sunday in January - and the Addiction
Research Foundation study of Canadian Grade 8 and 10 students, we can bury
these bastards. They wouldn't take it from me off the top of my head, but
they are now primed for a cited letter on the subject IMHO.

Here is what I sent pasted in above what they published, for
those who want a good example of HOW editors edit, and what info (the
stats that make them look REALLY stupid) they didn't want to publish
without a better cite. It is actually a good edit, though the convenient
absence of the current teen mj use rates does stand out:

-- Forwarded message --
Date: Sun, 31 May 1998 14:43:22 -0300 (ADT)
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: callet@sunpub.com
Subject: re: Letter: Drug warriors are child killers

To the editor,

I'm afraid I have to agree with the sentiments expressed by Mark
Greer in his May 31 letter "Drug Warriors are child killers," as the
statistics about youth drug use in recent years clearly back up his
position, as overstated as it was.

Your usual support of prohibition in your editorial aside does
not take into account the statistics from Britain, the US, Canada, the
Netherlands, and Australia:

In 1995, while hard drug use by teenagers and young adults in
North American, Britain, and Australia was shown to be on a long-term
upward trend, a Dutch government survey found that hard drug use (cocaine
and heroin) by 18-25 year olds had DECREASED by a stunning 85 PER CENT in
the Netherlands over the previous decade (CEDRO). A Dutch Government
spokesperson was quoted in the International Herald Tribune at the time,
and he gave the credit to the elimination of the cannabis black market that
in our country also supplies teens with hard drugs.

[HERE'S WHAT WAS CUT BY THE SUN:]

Furthermore, studies done last year in the Netherlands and Britain
found that among 15 year olds, marijuana use in the previous month
occurred at a rate of 25 per cent in prohibitionist Britain, and at only
15 PER CENT in the Netherlands (CEDRO). In North America, rates are
measured by school year, but apparently Canadian grade 8 students (13-14
year olds) use at a higher rate than their older Dutch peers (18 per
cent), while our grade ten students (15-16 year olds) use at almost TWICE
the rate (28 per cent) of their Dutch peers, according to stats collected
last year by the Addiction Research Foundation.

With this in mind, I say to the editors of your paper "Give us a
break" from your dogmatic and prohibitionist editorial comments. A
comparison of the young people in Canada and the Netherlands in terms of
hard drug use (and thus over-doses and HIV infection) and marijuana use (a
black market in every Canadian school) makes your editorial stand almost
comical, if it wasn't supporting a status quo that appears to be killing
our young people by the dozens or hundreds every year (see Vancouver
Coroner's Reports for the last decade).

Chris Donald
via the internet

(snip)

The following is not a bad edit, but they don't want to publish those
current mj use stats, so I say let's get those cites and HAMMER em:

On Fri, 5 Jun 1998, Carey Ker wrote:

> Contact: callet@sunpub.com
> Pubdate: June 5, 1998
> Comment: Parenthetical remarks by the Sun editor : headline
> by hawk
>
> I have to agree with the sentiments expressed by Mark Greer
> in his May 31 letter "Drug warriors are child killers," as
-------------------------------------------------------------------

UN Chance To Reform Cannabis Laws (Op-Ed In The Dunedin, New Zealand,
'Otago Daily-Times' By The Director Of The New Zealand Drug Policy Forum
Trust Says New Zealand Should Provide Leadership In Ending The War
On Cannabis Next Week In New York, When The United Nations General Assembly
Convenes A Special Session On Drugs)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 13:43:58 +1200 (NZST)
To: drctalk@drcnet.org, mattalk@islandnet.com
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: NZ: GE: UN chance to reform cannabis laws
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Source: Otago Daily-Times (Dunedin, NZ)
Pubdate: June 5, 1998
Contact: odt.editor@alliedpress.co.nz
Author: David Hadorn

Note: This same editorial is set to appear in the NZ Herald (Auckland) and
Evening Post (Wellington) on June 8. These three newspapers published
editorials critical of the Drug Policy Forum's recent final report.

UN chance to reform cannabis laws

[Ed's preamble: Dr David Hadorn, director of the Drug Policy Forum Trust,
headquartered in Wellington, believes an opportunity for New Zealand to
promote rational cannabis policies will occur in the United Nations next
week. In this article he explains why. His essay is also a response to our
most recent editorial on the subject (ODT 4.4.98) against the trust's
recommendations.]

Two months have passed since the Drug Policy Forum Trust, a group of
physicians and other professionals, recommended that cannabis be accepted as
part of contemporary New Zealand culture and treated like tobacco and
alcohol, through a system of regulation and taxation. Adopting this
approach to cannabis control would:

 dismantle the lucrative cannabis black market;
 improve the effectiveness of drug education and treatment programmes;
 save a tremendous amount of money.

The response to our report has been generally positive - many New
Zealanders, it seems, are ready for a change. Others have raised
objections, of which the following are the most common:

 Cannabis is harmful, so it should remain illegal (to protect the children).
 We already have enough trouble with alcohol and tobacco; we do not need a
third (legal) drug.
 Removing criminal penalties from cannabis would cause an increase in
drug-related problems.

None of these arguments is supported by available evidence.

Yes, cannabis can be harmful, especially to troubled teenagers, whose
compulsive over-use of cannabis can cause a variety of problems, but making
criminals of these kids does nothing to help the situation, and indeed makes
matters worse. It is worth reinforcing this point. We do not deny that
cannabis causes harm, but dozens of scientific studies have shown that
prohibition policies magnify the harms of cannabis. What we are saying,
then, is "here's how to minimise the harm". When prohibition advocates
reply, "but cannabis is harmful", they simply are not listening.

Regarding the "two drugs are quite enough" argument -- isn't it obvious that
we already have all three drugs? Cannabis is ubiquitous and indeed has long
been an established part of New Zealand society. The question at issue is:
does it make sense to treat two of these drugs as legal and one as illegal?
The answer, we believe, is "no".

Finally, the claim that a regulated cannabis market would increase
drug-related problems, such as addiction or harmful public health impacts,
is completely unsupported by overseas experience. Wherever cannabis laws
have been liberalised, as in The Netherlands and several states in Australia
and the US, neither drug use nor drug-related harms have increased. In The
Netherlands, for example, the rate of both cannabis and hard drug use by
teenagers is among the lowest in Europe - and much lower than in the
prohibitionist United States.

Unfortunately, those who make claims such as these are very seldom (if ever)
required to support those claims with actual evidence. Were they required
to do so, for example, by news reporters, the lack of a solid scientific
foundation for cannabis prohibition would become readily apparent.

Cannabis production [sic: should be prohibition] is an even more serious
problem when viewed from a global perspective. Entire governments in Latin
America and elsewhere have been subverted and corrupted by the hundreds of
billions of dollars pumped into the international criminal underground by
the war on drugs, most of which is focused on cannabis. Meanwhile, drugs of
all kinds are cheaper and more available than ever.

Leadership on international drug policy is badly needed. Given its
reputation for pragmatism and its tradition of serving as a social
laboratory, New Zealand could potentially provide such leadership. A rare
and important opportunity to move in this direction will occur next week in
New York, when the United Nations General Assembly convenes a special
session on drugs. Although the UN organisers are attempting to restrict the
focus of this session to "how to fight the drug war more effectively," a
strong groundswell is building to expand the discussion to include potential
alternative approaches to drug policy.

New Zealand might be part of this vital rearguard action. Our delegate to
the UN special session is Tuariki John Delamere, Associate Minister of
Health and Minister of Customs. Mr Delamere has in the past spoken out in
favour of cannabis law reform. If he is able to speak his conscience in New
York, New Zealand might very well put a cat among the pigeons.

Concurrent with the UN special session, dozens of major public events will
be held around the world to marshal support for more compassionate and
effective drug control policies. In New Zealand, such events will be held
in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin. By attending these
events, the people of New Zealand can "send a message" to the our
politicians and to the international community. As such, these events are
analogous to the anti-nuclear, anti-Vietnam War, and anti-apartheid protests
held in years gone by.

New Zealand society is almost certainly matured to the point that we are
quite capable of managing a regulated cannabis market. Moreover, by leading
both by example and exhortation we can help the world find its way out of
the blind alley of cannabis prohibition.

The upcoming UN special session and surrounding activities will bear close
watching.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Cannabis Crop Aids Jobless Maoris (According To Britain's 'Daily Telegraph,'
A Report In New Zealand By Auckland University's Geography Department
Says Cannabis Is The Largest Cash Crop And A Valuable Source Of Income
For Unemployed Maoris In The Province Of Northland - The Report Estimated
The Street Value Of Cannabis Seized In The Province Each Year
At Up To $700 Million NZ, One Quarter Of The Region's Gross Domestic Product)

Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 00:54:25 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: NEW ZEALAND: Cannabis Crop Aids Jobless Maoris
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk
Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Author: Paul Chapman in Wellington

CANNABIS CROP AIDS JOBLESS MAORIS

CANNABIS is the largest cash crop and a valuable income source for
unemployed Maoris in an area of New Zealand, according to a recent
study.

The report, by Auckland University's geography department, estimated
that the street value of cannabis seized in the province of Northland
each year by police was up to NZ$700 million (240 million Pounds
Sterling) - one quarter of the region's gross domestic product.

The report said: "If you apply the rather optimistic assumption that
the police manage to recover half of the annual crop, then clearly the
industry is worth a great deal of money, probably more than the
region's dairy industry."

Cannabis, although illegal, is widely grown in secret plantations
throughout the North Island. Northland, the long finger of land
north-west of Auckland, with its dense bush cover and almost
subtropical climate, makes an ideal nurturing ground for the crop.

Unemployment among Maoris, who make up a high proportion of the
region's population, is above 50 per cent in some areas and cannabis
cultivation and consumption are popular pastimes.

The study found that cannabis helps to sustain the regional economy
and said: "There is considerable leakage of the economic benefits to
other places, particularly Auckland."

Several major cannabis growers learned their skills on horticultural
courses sponsored by the government, the study said. One grower told a
newspaper he had learned so much on the course he now grew "the best
dope in Northland."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Group Calls Off Wreath Plan ('The Evening News' In Norwich, England,
Says The Campaign To Legalise Cannabis International Association Called Off
Its Wreath-Laying At Norwich's War Memorial In The Face Of Mounting Pressure
From Veterans)

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: GE: ART: DRUG GROUP CALLS OFF WREATH PLAN. June 5 1998
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 17:25:17 +0100
Source : Evening News, Norwich, UK
Pub Date : 5 June 1998
ART: GE: Drug group calls off wreath plan
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Web site : http://www.ecn.co.uk/
Comment : The full story is at
http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/pr_june1.html

DRUG GROUP CALLS OFF WREATH PLAN.

PRO-CANNABIS campaigners today cancelled their wreath-laying at Norwich's
war memorial in the face of mounting pressure from war veterans.
They had hoped to lay a wreath at noon today to highlight the fight against
heir perceived persecution of drug-users.

But the proposed ceremony, on the eve of the veteran's own poppy-laying
ceremony to mark the 54th anniversary of D-Day, angered former soldiers and
their families who branded it a publicity stunt in poor taste.

Now, instead of laying a wreath, the members of the Campaign to Legalise
Canabis International Association simply gathered at the memorial to hold a
minute's silence to mark the event.

Campaign Chairman Jack Girling said: "We have no wish to cause offence to
the very people among those we intended to honour - the veterans themselves."

"Consequently the CLCIA is withdrawing the plans to lay the wreaths.
Instead those present at the memorial will be asked to co-operate with one
minute's silence in memory of all those who have suffered in all wars.

"We offer our sincere apologies to any veterans who were upset by our plan,
but we make no apology whatsoever to the hypocrites who run the country
while living lives of luxury at our expense, while locking away
cannabis-users while drinking cocktails of alcohol."

Jack Woods, 74, of the Norwich and District Normandy Veterans' Association
,said: "They are doing the right thing. The war memorial is a memorial to
the dead and not to those people who decide to smoke cannabis."

"It is also a potent symbol, not just to my generation but to generations
after, and should not be exploited for publicity purposes.

"We are pleased they have chosen to cancel the wreath-laying." He said.

City council spokeswoman Nikki Rotsos said: "We are very pleased they have
decided to change their minds.

"Obviously they have realised it would have been inappropriate and we are
glad they have had the good sense to cancel the ceremony," she said.

***

PRESS RELEASE : JUNE 1 1998: Global Drug Days
http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/pr_june1.html

"Senseless Prohibition" : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/sensless.html

Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA)
54C Peacock Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1TB, England.
Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html
CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia.html
e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780
"The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law."

***

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

Good Move (Staff Editorial In The Norwich, England, 'Evening News'
Says The Cause Of Reform Will Benefit Far More From Rational Argument
Than From 'Stunts Which Offend And Hurt')

To: ukcia-l@mimir.com
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: GE: ART: Good Move. June 5 1998
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 17:25:06 +0100
Source : Evening News, Norwich, UK
Pub Date : 5 June 1998
ART: Editorial Opinion
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Web site : http://www.ecn.co.uk/
Comment : The full story is at
http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/pr_june1.html

Editorial Opinion: Good Move

Campaigners to legalise cannabis made the right decision to call off their
wrath laying gesture at the war memorial today.

Their cause will benefit far more from rational argument than from stunts
which offend and hurt.

***

PRESS RELEASE : JUNE 1 1998: Global Drug Days
http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/pr_june1.html

"Senseless Prohibition" : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/sensless.html

Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA)
54C Peacock Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1TB, England.
Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html
CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia.html
e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780
"The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law."

***

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

Report From Norwich Wreath-Laying In Support Of Global Drugs Days
(The Campaign To Legalise Cannabis International Association Gives Its Side
Of The Controversy Over Its Plans For A Drug-War Protest At The Norwich,
England, Memorial To World War II Veterans)

To: coalition@stopthedrugwar.org, events@legalize.org
From: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Subject: Report from Norwich wreath-laying in support of Global Drugs Days
Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 15:29:49 +0100

GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR
Norwich, UK June 5 1998

The Campaign to Legalise Cannabis and our wreath-laying plans : Report

A SUCCESS!

On June 1st the CLCIA issued a general press release in support of the
Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drugs War which consists of over
100 organisations around the world. Events are planned by various
organisations between June 5 and 10th.

The first event organised by CLCIA was to be the laying of wreaths at the
local War Memorial, in memory of all those who fought and dies in wars
against tyranny and repression, and in sympathy with the victims of the
prolonged war on drugs.

On Thursday June 4, the story received FRONT PAGE news coverage in the local
paper, the Evening News, along with a negative editorial comment. The
article follows:

***

WAR VETS IN WREATH ROW

Norwich's memorial to its war dead is to be used tomorrow by
pro-cannabis campaigners to highlight their fight against the
"persecution of drug users".

Jack Girling, chairman of the Campaign to Legalise cannabis
International Association, will place a hand made wreath of hazel and
willow on the memorial near city hall tomorrow at noon.

But war veterans today branded the plans, scheduled for the eve of their
own poppy laying ceremony to mark the 54th anniversary of D day, in "bad
taste".

Jack Woods, 74, secretary of the Norwich and district Normandy veterans
association, said "The business of drugs has got nothing to do with what
happened during the war, I don't see the link"

"They think if they do this it will create a bit of a stir and help
their cause, I think its in bad taste and I imagine the other war
veterans language may be a bit stronger"

Mr Girling, chairman of the CLCIA said the ceremony is "in memory of
those who fought against tyranny and repression and in sympathy with
those victims of the prolonged war on drugs"

"We want to see an end to the persecution of drug users and to bring an
end to drug laws" said the 54 year old, of Peacock Road.

"Personal choice is the issue at question and its not just cannabis but
ecstasy and opiates as well. We would look to see cannabis legalised as
the first step."

But Norwich City Council spokeswoman Nikki Rotsos said: "The council
think this is very inappropriate, it's a war memorial and this is not
what it is meant to commemorate."

"We would ask them to think carefully before they do this"

The Norwich based group, which has 532 members, has joined more than 100
organisations to form the global coalition for alternatives to the drug
war.

Similar events are being held in cities across the world.

***

Source: Evening News, Norwich UK
Editorial Comment: FORGET SUCH A FOOLISH TRIBUTE
Pub date: 4th June 1998
Contact: E-mail EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
fax (+)44 (0)1603 219060

Editorial Comment:

FORGET SUCH A FOOLISH TRIBUTE

Campaigners who want cannabis legalised are fully entitled to fight
their cause.

We don't agree with them but our columns are regularly used to express
their views and to give balanced opinions on the issue.

But their decision to lay a wreath at the city war memorial in tribute
to victims of the drug war is simply offensive; a crass way to pursue a
legitimate campaign.

Its timing, on the eve of D-day, is unnecessarily provocative - an abuse
of the freedom which millions died defending in two world wars.

Yes, it will attract publicity but we believe it harms rather than helps
the credibility of the campaign.

We are not demanding the wreath laying is banned, we just hope the
campaigners have the sense and decency to call it off themselves.

***

You may like to write in response to these articles.

After reading the articles prominent members of the CLCIA discussed what to
do in response. We felt that we had attracted maybe publicity already and
had made some important points, but we felt that no good would really come
of alienating the War Veterans whom we had intended to honour. We felt that
we would gain more favorable publicity if we did as the Evening News
suggested, and stopped the ceremony.

A press release was issued late on 4 June. There was no time to stop people
attending and we had no desire to. We decided that we would, instead, hold
a one minute silence at the memorial and hoped to stand side by side with
any Veterans who turned up.

Friday June 5th 1998

I arrived at the War Memorial in Norwich at about 8 minutes to noon; the
ceremony was planned for noon.

When I arrived I saw a group of about 4 Veterans arguing loudly with a group
of about 8 activists. Another 3 or 4 activists and some members of the
public were standing nearby.

I immediately recognised that no progress was being made and that the
discussion was leading to insult. I stepped in and said loudly that this is
a blazing row in front of the War memorial and that I felt we all agreed it
was not the right thing to be happening. Everybody agreed and calmed down
slightly.

Then I spoke to the Veterans and campaigners alike, explaining that we had
called off the wreath-laying because we did not to offend the very people we
honored. I handed a written apology to the Veterans.

This is what it said:
"INTERNATIONAL COALITION DECLARES JUNE 5-10
"GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR"
MORE THAN 90 ORGANISATIONS IN 40 CITIES WORLDWIDE UNITE FOR DRUG LAW REFORM

The Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA) and
other campaigners had planned to hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the site
of the War Memorial in Norwich, at noon on Friday June 5.

This was in conjunction with events in over 50 cities around the world
planned by the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drugs War, which
consists of over 100 organisations.

The events are to highlight the failure of the War on Drugs which has become
little more than a war on users.

By the laying of wreaths, members of the CLCIA wished to express their
gratitude to those who fought and gave their lives in the wars against
tyranny and repression, to honour those still amongst us, and to protest the
suffering of the VICTIMS of the present prolonged war on drugs.

However, the Evening News, Norwich, on June 4th, published a front page
article and editorial opinion claiming that to lay wreaths would be "simply
offensive, a crass way to pursue a legitimate campaign."

Jack Woods, secretary of a local Veteran's association, was quoted "I think
it's in bad taste", and "I don't see the link".

We are not in agreement with the paper or Mr Woods. Our motives for
planning the ceremony have been misunderstood.

The War on Drugs is in fact a war on people. It is perpetuated by the very
same hypocritical and tyrannical principles which were fought against in the
Second World War. The Nazi's and the Fascists persecuted anyone who did not
conform, including - Jews, Negro's, Gypsies, mentally and physically
disadvantaged, and also drug users.

Whoever you are, to have your front door kicked in, to be searched, arrested
and punished, to be branded as criminal and have ones assets confiscated, to
be banned from certain occupations, for an action labelled by the State as a
'crime per se', yet have no victims, is a terrifying and unjustifiable
experience.

The War on Drugs has many victims. In some countries people are executed,
whilst elsewhere others rot in prison. The huge public expense of fighting
this war, which has produced so many unpleasant consequences and is seen as
totally ineffective, cannot be justified. The result of enforcement is an
infringement upon Human and Civil rights or privacy and to choose lifestyle.
There is no difference between the tyranny which the brave soldiers fought
against and the tyranny still used against drug users.

Although the Global Coalition consists of member organisation with variety
of approached and opinions, the main concern of the CLCIA is to stop the
senseless prohibition of a remarkably safe and beneficial plant, cannabis.
We wish to force the Government to acknowledge that prohibition is unjustified.

However, when all is said, we have no wish to cause offence to the very
people among those we intended to honour - the Veterans themselves.

Consequently, the Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association
are withdrawing our plans to lay the wreaths. Instead, those present at the
memorial will be asked to cooperate in one's minutes silence in memory of
all who have suffered in all wars.

We offer our sincere apologies to any Veterans who were upset by the Evening
News article and our plans, but we make no apology whatsoever to the
hypocrites who run the country whilst living in lives of luxury at our expense.

Jack Girling

(Chairman)

For more information telephone +44 (0)1603 625780"

That was also the basis for the press release of June 4.

That immediately improved the spirits of most of the Veterans although the
lady present remained upset.

I then said that obviously they had misinterpreted our intentions which were
to honour those who had fought for the sort of freedom which was being taken
away from drug-users, that we see it as a tyrannical war on people, and that
is obviously how Blair, Straw, and Clinton se it because they call it the
War on Drugs, themselves.

So I said we would not be laying a wreath but we would hold a ONE MINUTE
SILENCE in respect, and hoped to stand side by side with the Veterans. The
man said that we could of course do that but 'we' would not stand with 'you'.

At that moment the clock struck twelve and we all stood together with bowed
heads for one minute or so.

Afterwards I had a prolonged discussion with the Veterans saying that we
should be side by side fighting to stop the harm caused by some drugs and by
prohibition.

I explained that prohibition meant profit for pushers, high prices for users
and high crime to pay for it. I told them that 500 worth of illegal but
addictive drugs could be provided by chemists for 1, and that legalisation
would immediately destroy the basis of many huge criminal organisations. I
explained that more and more money is out into a senseless war yet more and
more take drugs and at a younger and younger age. The policy of prohibition
has failed.

Then I told them that we were here today primarily about freedom of choice
and about cannabis. That I had scientific and indisputable evidence that
cannabis is not only safer than all medications but also than most
vegetables, but that the Government refused to listen. I explained that in
any case cannabis is not banned because it is dangerous, because so many die
of tobacco, alcohol, prescribed drugs, and nobody has ever died from cannabis.

Then I told them the truth about the many uses of cannabis. I told them how
we could grow enough cannabis locally to produce all the fuel we need for
our cars, our homes, our factories and even our planes. I said "But the
petrol companies wouldn't like that would they?" They laughed and agreed!

I though I was getting through so I continued to talk on the same lines
about pills, paper, cotton etc.

The reaction made the whole day worthwhile. They agreed that something was
terribly wrong. They said that they were not in favour of punishing cannabis
users, but what about those who go onto hard drugs.

I explained that the cause of that was again the prohibition because many
substances were available from the same illegal suppliers, in some cases at
least, and a minority of cannabis users could easily be persuaded to try
another drug. After all the same people who are telling us that heroin is
bad tell us hat cannabis is EVIL! So who would believe them after finding
the truth about cannabis themselves.

I explained how addicts or even experimenters could be allowed to buy their
drugs cheap from chemists, with the personal details recorded as with
poisons, so that crime would be reduced as problems recognised.

I know that it is a very small victory, but the three Veterans there agreed
with me at the end. They shook my hand several times. It really made the
effort worthwhile for me, as I have no desire to upset these people however
misguided they may be.

It could have ended up in a brawl, just as the press would have loved. But
it ended up with us a lot closer than before. We agreed not to hold a
ceremony at the Memorial, and they said they have no objection to us
holding a similar ceremony elsewhere or protesting in other ways. I hope
they remember the talk as much as I do, and I hope they tell others as I am
doing.

This is the letter of apology I am sending to the War veterans Association.
If there is more in the press I will post it.

Mr Jack Woods
Secretary,
Norwich and District Normandy Veterans Association 5 June 1998-06-05

Dear Mr Woods,

Please accept the enclosed apology from the members of the CLCIA, of any
offence which our wreath-laying planned at the War Memorial, may have caused.

We can assure you that no offence was intended and that we hold the deeds
of the Veterans and their fallen comrades in the highest regard.

Our intention was to show that there is still a repressive war going on
today - the war on drugs users. Even Tony Blair, Jack Straw and President
Clinton call their efforts at stopping drugs use the 'War on Drugs'. They
have officially and publicly declared this War.

To us we feel that the fear felt by the victims of the Nazi's and Fascists,
if not always the eventual consequences, is the same sort of fear felt by
the Jewish people and others, including drug-addicts, during World War Two.
People have their doors kicked in by 'authorised' officers, their homes and
persons searched, their finances examined, are taken before courts and
fined, imprisoned or have their assets confiscated. They are banned from
certain jobs and from certain countries. In some parts of the world they
are executed, in the USA a man is doing 93 years in jail for growing a few
cannabis plants to relieve his pain. Certainly millions of people who are
punished although their so-called crime have no actual victims, feel
themselves to be victims of a tyrannical law. The very Articles of the
United Nations Charter of Human Rights, which was so welcome after the brave
fight of our soldiers against tyranny, are being contravened - our rights to
privacy, health, and the right to choose our own lifestyles.

In the case of cannabis it is even worse. I have evidence which I am
willing to present to anyone, that cannabis is a safe, benign and beneficial
plant. The politicians will not listen. The press will not print it. Yet
it is accepted by scientists as fact. When you ask yourself why the
Government has not listened, and delve a little deeper, you will clearly see
that the motive is money. The cannabis plant, the same hemp plant which
produced much of the clothing, rope, sails, charts and oils used in the
Second World War, has so many uses that its re-introduction to society
without restriction, could seriously decrease the profits of the industrial
polluters who are controlling our lives with synthetic alternatives. These
include petrol, diesel, nuclear fuel, cotton pills, wood pulp, plastics,
pesticides, tobacco and alcohol. Henry Ford built his first Model T car
from cannabis to run on cannabis fuel. Of course these big companies do not
want us to 'grow our own' fuel, medicine and substance of relaxation. This
sort of information is not allowed to get out.

Cannabis is not illegal because it is dangerous. Alcohol and tobacco are
far more dangerous, and so is aspirin. Over 150,000 dies in the UK each
year from tobacco, 45000 + from alcohol directly and many more in road
accidents etc. Nobody has EVER died of cannabis. Ask the police who they
would rather deal with, a crowd of cannabis smokers, a crowd of young people
on 'E', a crowd of heroin addicts or a crowd of drinkers. The law does not
make sense, there is obviously more to it.

You and your members may or may not agree with our call to legalise
cannabis, but in reality every war for freedom ever fought was ultimately
about the freedom to choose, to get accurate information, to privacy and to
health. That must surely be why you fought and is certainly why we honour
you.

After reading your comments in the Evening News (which is after all simply
out to sell), we decided that we would not lay the wreath because we did not
want to cause you offence. But we hope that you understand our feelings
too; after all our fathers fought too. We should be standing side by side
fighting against repression and also against drugs! We do not want to see
drug-abuse encouraged - whether alcohol, tobacco, heroin of 'E'. But we see
that this War on Drugs is being lost - the Government is up against Mafia,
Cartels and a network of small dealers many of whom themselves are addicts.
Legalisation with strictly controlled but cheap supply, would take the
profits away from the crooks and allow us to deal with the problem
realistically in a way with helps not punishes.

I hope you will spread this apology amongst your members. With respect

CLCIA

***

regards
Alun

***

PRESS RELEASE : JUNE ! 1998: Global Drug Days
http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/pr_june1.html

"Senseless Prohibition" : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/sensless.html

Campaign to Legalise Cannabis International Association (CLCIA)
54C Peacock Street, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 1TB, England.
Campaigners' Guide : http://www.paston.co.uk/users/webbooks/index.html
CLCIA : http://www.foobar.co.uk/users/ukcia/groups/clcia.html
e-mail : webbooks@paston.co.uk Tel : +44 (0)1603 625780
"The use of cannabis ought to be a matter of choice, not of law."

***

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

More Than Half Of Youths Try Drugs Before 17 ('The Examiner' In Ireland
Says A Survey By The Magazine 'In Dublin' Involving More Than 100 People
Between The Ages Of 18 And 30 In The Capital Found That More Than Half
Had Experimented With Illegal Drugs Before They Were 17,
And All But One Had Tried Drugs At Some Time In Their Lives)

Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 18:42:04 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Ireland: More Than Half of Youths Try Drugs Before 17
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Author: Vivion Kilfeather

MORE THAN HALF OF YOUTHS TRY DRUGS BEFORE 17

MORE than half the population experimented with illegal drugs before they
were 17, according to a survey.

And all but one of those questioned in the survey carried out by In Dublin
magazine had tried out drugs at some time in their lives.

The greatest number, 35%, experienced drugs in a friend's house; 10% in a
pub and 10% in a club; 15% at a party and 15% outdoors and 5% at home.

A friend was the first person to introduce the respondents to their first
recreational drug, while 77% of those surveyed said drugs did not affect
their day-to-day life, while 23% felt they did. Carried out by In Dublin
magazine and involving more than 100 people between the age of 18 and 30
years in the capital, one of the respondents said the most bizarre
experience was watching Coronation Street while on illegal drugs with
his/her parents in the same room.

About three-quarters of those who responded claimed they received their
first introduction to drugs from a friend, and 76% of those surveyed said
their first experience of drugs did not lead them on to other drugs,
although this did not prevent exactly half of them claiming that so-called
soft drugs, such as marijuana and cigarettes, were a gateway to hard drugs
like heroin and cocaine.

As for the current Independent-led campaign sweeping Britain to
decriminalise the so-called soft drug marijuana, the survey suggests that a
similar campaign here would get short-shrift, with 70% of those surveyed
saying that illegal drugs should not be decriminalised.

It would appear, says In Dublin, that the use of recreational drugs,
including alcohol and cigarettes, is very much a casual lifestyle choice.

A quarter of those surveyed use recreational drugs two to three times per
week. The vast majority claimed that ecstasy, alcohol and cigarettes in
that order were the most dangerous drugs they had ever taken. This was
reflected in the answers to the questions relating to the most frightening
experience while on drugs =97 heart palpitations and the sensation of
impending death dominated. One girl said she was arrested while under the
influence of ecstasy.

The survey showed respondents were remarkably tolerant of the most
addictive drug - cigarettes - with 86% against a total ban on the
grounds that people should be allowed kill themselves if they wanted to.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dealer's Life 'Under Threat Over Jail Drugs Cash'
(According To 'The Irish Independent,' A Man Arrested For 300
Of Cannabis Resin Says His Life Has Been Threatened By A Top
Dublin Criminal Gang To Whom He Owes Money For Heroin
He Received While In Custody In Mountjoy Jail)

Date: Fri, 05 Jun 1998 00:47:31 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: IRELAND: Dealer's Life 'Under Threat Over Jail Drugs Cash'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Source: Irish Independent
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Contact: independent.letters@independent.ie
Website: http://www.independent.ie/
Author: Eugene Hogan

DEALER'S LIFE 'UNDER THREAT OVER JAIL DRUGS CASH'

An Athlone drug dealer has claimed his life is under threat from a top
Dublin criminal gang to whom he owes money for heroin he received
while in custody in Mountjoy jail.

Jimmy Greene (22) has been held in 23-hour lock-up in the prison
because of the threats since being brought into custody last month
following his arrest for possession of cannabis resin with a street
value of 300.

Greene, who says he is no longer on hard drugs, purchased the heroin
from the Dublin gang while serving a previous sentence in Mountjoy but
failed to pay them.

Yesterday, after telling Athlone district court the original sum he
owed the gang was a ``considerable amount'' but a larger figure has
now been put on the debt because he failed to pay, Judge Jim
O'Sullivan sentenced him to six months imprisonment on two counts of
possessing cannabis in Athlone and one in Ballinasloe.

He got the benefit of the Probation Act for failing to turn up at a
court while on bail. Another charge of possessing controlled drugs was
dismissed on the ground he had a prescription for the tablets.

Greene is also due to come before the Circuit Court in July for
possessing heroin with intent to supply.

Det Garda Willie Beirne said Greene who has an address at St Anne's
Terrace, Athlone has a bad criminal record. He got involved in the
Athlone drug scene and ``users know he is the man to get stuff from''.

Defence solicitor Hugh Campbell pointed out there was no evidence
before the court his client is a supplier.

Defendant told the court that while in custody he received heroin from
a Dublin criminal gang. He could not get the money and that was when
his life came under threat.

Judge O'Sullivan said he had never imprisoned anyone for possession
only but in this instance the opinion of gardai was defendant is
involved in dealing.

Recognisances of 500 in Greene's own surety, one independent surety
of 10,000 or cash bail of 3,000, to be approved by the court, were fixed
in the event of an appeal.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Marijuana Substitute Combats Nerve Gas (Scripps-Howard News Service
Says US Military Experiments Have Shown The Best Available Protection
Against Nerve Gas Attack Comes From Dexanabinol,
An Israeli-Made Synthetic Equivalent Of Marijuana)

Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 23:14:50 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: ISRAEL WIRE: Marijuana Substitute Combats Nerve Gas
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Wire - Scripps Howard News Service
Pubdate: Fri, 05 Jun 1998
Author: Julian Borger, The Scripps Howard News Service

MARIJUANA SUBSTITUTE COMBATS NERVE GAS

JERUSALEM -- The best available protection against nerve gas attack
comes from an Israeli-made synthetic equivalent of marijuana, U.S.
military experiments have shown.

In U.S. Army tests, rats injected with Dexanabinol, a chemical
substitute for hashish, were more than 70 percent less likely to
suffer epileptic seizures or brain damage after exposure to sarin and
other nerve gases, according to results published in the Israeli press
Thursday.

The drug was developed by an Israeli pharmaceutical firm, Pharmos, to
treat head injuries and strokes, but now it looks likely to become
part of the standard chemical warfare kit carried by NATO troops after
the results of the tests were announced at a conference in Maryland
last month.

Dr. Anat Biagon, deputy director-general for research at Pharmos, told
the newspaper Ha'aretz: ``Dexanabinol can be used as part of the
standard treatment in an attack using nerve gas, along with atropin.
The drug can diminish nerve damage of the kind we witnessed in Gulf
War syndrome.''

It is thought to interact with neural receptors in the brain in the
same way as marijuana, and thereby block the damaging effects of nerve
agents.

The U.S. tests suggest it's effective as an antidote and as a
preventative measure. So far, tests have only been carried out on
rodents, but experiments on humans are expected to be the next stage.

Until then, no one can be sure whether Dexanabinol has the same
mellowing side-effects as organic marijuana.

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Week Online With DRCNet, Number 45
(The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original News Summary
For Activists, Including - DEA Holds Hearing On Use Of Herbicide
In Eradication; California Global Days; California Primaries Report;
Hemp Update; And An Editorial, Making The World Safe For War)

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 14:01:25 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: manager@drcnet.org
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 45

THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 45 -- JUNE 5, 1998

-- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE --

(To sign off this list, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or

mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)
(This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html.)

GLOBAL DAYS AGAINST THE DRUG WAR -- JUNE 6-10, 1998
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

We are getting ready to send out all copies of Marijuana
Myths Marijuana, Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts ordered
after April 28, as well as any that were reported since last
week's bulletin as never sent or lost in the mail. If you
ordered before April 28, but haven't received your copy (and
didn't write to us last week to let us know you haven't
received, please send us a note right now at

mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org and we will make sure it goes out
today or next week. Please accept our apologies for the
delay; we are looking forward to getting you your copy of
Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts!

Mike Gray's DRUG CRAZY is finally in the stores -- read last
week's alert -- http://www.drcnet.org/wol/44.html#drugcrazy
-- and take action to help bring this important book to
national prominence.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. DEA Holds Hearing on Use of Herbicide in Eradication
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#herbicides

2. "Big Six" Accounting Firm Bought Laundered Currency at
Discount, US Government Says
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#bigsix

3. Man Whose Grandmother's Ashes Were Mistaken for
Methamphetamine Suing for Wrongful Imprisonment
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#wrongful

4. Proposed "Multinational Anti-Narcotics Base" in Panama
Now Uncertain
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#panama

5. US to Build Anti-Drug Military Training Center in Peru
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#peru

6. Medical Necessity Defense Allowed in McWilliams Case
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#mcwilliams

7. California Global Days
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#globaldays

8. California Primaries Report
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#primaries

9. Hemp Update
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#hempupdate

10. Nominations Being Accepted for DPF Awards
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#dpfawards

11. EDITORIAL: The UN, Making the World Safe for War
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/45.html#editorial

***

1. DEA Holds Hearing on Use of Herbicide in Eradication
- Marc Brandl for DRCNet

In the late seventies and early eighties, contaminated
marijuana brought one word to mind: Paraquat. Now, under a
DEA plan which is already causing controversy, new
herbicides under such names as triclopyr, or glyphosate may
soon become synonymous with poisoned marijuana.

Last Wednesday (5/27) the DEA held public hearings in
Washington, DC on the possible environmental dangers posed
by using a herbicide called triclopyr in a program called
the "DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication Suppression

Program" or DCE/SP. The use of a new chemical in "aerial
directed spraying" in the U.S. has raised the attention of
environmentalists, industrial hemp advocates, and marijuana
law reformers. Testifying before the DEA board, which also
included EPA officials, NORML Director of Publications Paul
Armentano, citing a Vermont State Auditors report said,
"over 99% of the 422,716,526 total marijuana plants
eliminated (in the DCE/SP program) nationwide by the agency
in 1996 were 'ditchweed', non-psychoactive hemp." Most of
the ditchweed eradicated by the program is thought to be the
leftovers of hemp plants grown for military supplies in
World War II.

Another concern of people testifying at the hearing was
possible public health effects. The long term effects of
smoking Triclopyr-laced marijuana have not been studied.
"Poisoning marijuana users is an abominable drug war tactic"
stated Marijuana Policy Project Director of Communication
Chuck Thomas, "But it is not surprising, considering that
the national health care policy for medical marijuana users
is to arrest them."

Currently only three chemicals have been approved for
marijuana eradication efforts: glyphosate, 2,4-D, and
paraquat. Of those, only glyphosate (aka Round Up) has been
used in "aerial directed spraying", in Hawaii, and has been
approved for use in Oklahoma later this year. But even a
commercially available herbicide like glyphosate has caused
problems when used for eradication purposes in other
countries. In written testimony submitted to the board,
Armentano cites a February '93 issue of Global Pesticide
Campaigner which stated, "International health workers in
Guatemala report acute poisonings in peasants living in
areas near eradication spraying, while farmers in these
zones have sustained serious damage to their crops".

Whether more hearings will be held or if the DEA plans to
move ahead with aerial spraying in other states remains to
be seen. But the issue of aerial spraying of herbicides and
its implicit dangers is unlikely to go away. The US
government is also considering using a controversial new
herbicide called Tebuthiuron in its efforts to eliminate
marijuana, coca, and poppy plants in troubled Columbia. The
editorial board of the Waco Tribune-Herald has already come
out against its use, making references to Agent Orange and
quoting the spokesperson for the maker of Tebuthiuron, Dow
Chemicals, saying, "It is our desire that this product not
be used for illicit crop eradication".

***

2. "Big Six" Accounting Firm Bought Laundered Currency at
Discount, US Government Says

According to a government affidavit filed in US District
Court, executives with the Colombian office of Price
Waterhouse, a prestigious US-based accounting firm,
knowingly bought more than half a million dollars in
discounted currency on the Colombian black market. That
market exists as a mechanism of exchange for the billions of
dollars in drug profits, primarily in US currency, illegally
smuggled back into the country by traffickers and their
agents. Reports indicate that US currency can be bought in

Colombia at as much as a seventeen per cent discount to
normal exchange rates. (See our Special Report on Colombia
at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/3-27.html#colombia.)

Investigators seized over $150,000 from the firm, but the AP
reports that anonymous law enforcement sources told them
that no criminal charges are being contemplated.

***

3. Man Whose Grandmother's Ashes Were Mistaken for
Methamphetamine Suing for Wrongful Imprisonment
- Stacy Dimakakos for DRCNet

On May 28, Michael Anthony Horne filed suit for false
imprisonment against the city of San Antonio, Texas. Horne,
who could not raise bail money, sat in jail for over a month
after San Antonio Police mistook the earthly remains of his
deceased grandmother for methamphetamine. While
incarcerated, Horne lost his job, his apartment, and his
military reserve status.

In July of last year, Horne pulled over to the side of a San
Antonio road to take a nap. Officer Michael Katsfey saw
Horne asleep in his vehicle and took that as probable cause
to conduct what Assistant City Attorney Amy Embanks called a
"justified search" of the vehicle. Officer Katsfey arrested
Horne upon finding a small bag filled with a grayish powdery
substance, despite Horne's pleas that the bag contained only
his grandmother's ashes. According to San Antonio police,
an initial test of the substance came back positive for
methamphetamine.

Horne spent the next month in jail waiting for the results
of a second test, which, in fact confirmed Horne's original
statements as to the bag's contents.

Assistant City Attorney Embanks told The Week Online that
although the initial test was taken nearly a year ago, it is
still "too early in the investigation to know why the first
test was so inaccurate." She also said that Horne's month
in jail was simply the result of the city "trying to
exercise federal law" and that "conducting a second test
takes up to 2-3 weeks."

***

4. Proposed "Multinational Anti-Narcotics Base" in Panama
Now Uncertain

In an apparent bow to pressure from Panamanians over his
previous acquiescence to the United States' desire to open a
"multinational" anti-narcotics base on their soil, President
Ernesto Perez Balladares has apparently re-thought his
position. The Associated Press reports (5/31) that in a
speech to students on May 28, he said that such a base would
indeed amount to a continued U.S. military presence in
Panama, despite his previous insistence that it would not.

The two nations had reached an apparent agreement on the
base, which would begin operations out of Howard Air Force
Base in 1999, immediately after US troops are scheduled to
leave the canal zone, and Panama, under a 1977 agreement to
end the US' nearly ninety-year military presence in that
country.

Coletta Youngers, senior researcher at the Washington Office
on Latin America, told The Week Online, "It would appear as
if internal Panamanian politics are driving this issue.
There will be a referendum on the ballot in August to
determine whether President Perez Balladares will be

allowed, under their constitution, to run for another term.
The deal on the base was supposed to be done by the end of
May so that it could appear on that same ballot. But with
the dissent that's surfaced over that issue, it seems that
there is trepidation as to the impact that it might have on
the presidential question."

***

5. US to Build Anti-Drug Military Training Center in Peru

According to CNN (5/29), the United States is in the process
of building a military training center in northwestern Peru
to be used to train Peruvian police and marine infantry
troops to combat drug trafficking on the Amazon waterway.

The center is being built under a 1996 agreement between the
two countries, under which the US will provide $60 million
dollars plus military instructors.

***

6. Medical Necessity Defense Allowed in McWilliams Case

Last November, the NORML Foundation reported that a Michigan
judge had disallowed use of the medical necessity defense
for author and medical marijuana patient Peter McWilliams
(http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/11-7-1.html#mcwilliams).

Earlier this week, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kym
Worthy ruled that McWilliams, a patient for both AIDS and
cancer, may indeed use the medical necessity defense in his
marijuana possession trial. Judge Worthy ruled that, under
current Michigan law, it would be "not just improper but
immoral" to deny McWilliams the ability to present to a jury
the fact that he uses marijuana to help treat his life-
threatening medical condition. McWilliams was arrested for
possession of seven "marijuana cigarettes" at Detroit Metro
Airport on December 12, 1996.

McWilliams was recently featured on the ABC News John
Stossel special, Sex, Drugs, and Consenting Adults
(http://www.drcnet.org/wol/44.html#quote). McWilliams best-
selling book, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, is online
in full text at http://www.consenting.org.

For ongoing info on the McWilliams case and other medical
marijuana news, visit http://www.marijuanamagazine.com.

***

7. California Global Days
- Barrington Daltrey for DRCNet

The Global Days Against the Drug War are being taken
seriously in California. This weekend, Saturday, June 6,
rallies will be held in a number of communities, including
Santa Ana (the heart of conservative Orange County) and in
San Francisco.

Both will be held at 12:00 noon. The Santa Ana rally will
be held at the Orange County Federal Building at the
intersections of Santa Ana Boulevard and Flower Street. The
San Francisco rally is scheduled for the Civic Center Plaza
at the corner of Polk and Grove.

The San Francisco rally is being organized by the Global
Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War, and speakers are
scheduled from 1:00pm through 4:30pm, along with exhibits
and activities. Among the anticipated speakers are state
senator John Vasconcellos, who was instrumental in
organizing the recent medical marijuana summit, Dennis
Peron, former director of the S.F. Cannabis Buyer's Club,
and Terrence Hallinan, San Francisco District Attorney.

Specifics of this and other events around the world can be
found at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition.

Participants at the Orange County event include Families to
Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS). FACTS will have a
table and will be contributing stories and pictures to the
proposed "Wall of Shame" exhibit. The June 2nd primary
elections were encouraging to those in Orange County
concerned about three strikes, as the more aggressive "three
strikes" proponent and candidate for Orange County district
attorney (Wallace Wade) was defeated by the candidate with
the more moderate approach (Tony Rackauckas).

***

8. California Primaries Report
- Dale Geiringer, California NORML

Although drug reform candidates failed to score dramatic
upsets in the California primary, the results of major races
were encouraging.

ON THE PLUS SIDE:

* In perhaps the most important victory for drug
reformers, former Senate President Bill Lockyer, an avowed
supporter of Prop. 215, won the Democratic nomination for
Attorney General. Lockyer is expected to run a strong and
well-funded race against Republican nominee Dave Stirling, a
Lungren protege.

* Prop. 215 arch-enemy Dan Lungren ran weakly in winning
the Republican nomination, collecting just 34% of the
popular vote despite a lack of serious opposition. He was
outpolled by Democrat nominee Gray Davis (35%), who has
emerged as the favorite.

* Right-wing Republican Darrell Issa, the only major
candidate to actively campaign for tougher anti-drug
measures, lost his bid for the nomination for US Senate with
20% of the vote; Republican winner Matt Fong got 22%, while
incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer scored 44%.

ON THE MINUS SIDE:

* Dennis Peron collected 1% of the vote for Governor in his
symbolic race against Republican nominee Dan Lungren.
Peron, who was endorsed by the Bay Area Reporter and Bay
Times, ran behind Green candidate Dan Hamburg and ahead of
Libertarian Steve Kubby, two other drug peaceniks.

* Conservative drug reform advocate Judge Jim Gray
collected 11% of the vote in the 46th Congressional
District, coming in 3rd for the Republican nomination behind
Lisa Hughes (14%) and ex-Rep. Bob Dornan (26%). Dornan will
face incumbent Democrat Loretta Sanchez (45%) in the fall.

* Republican John Pinches of Mendocino County, an
outspoken advocate of marijuana legalization, ran a strong
race for State Senate despite a self-imposed cap on campaign
donations, collecting 21% of the vote against 28% for
Republican winner John Jordan and 31% for Democrat Wes
Chesbro.

***

9. Hemp Update
- Kris Lotlikar for DRCNet

For the first time in 60 years, Canadian farmers are
planting legal hemp in Chatham-Kent. Kenex Ltd. is a new
company established to regulate the crop's production, and
has issued federal permits to about 50 local farmers. Over
2000 acres of hemp will be grown for Kenex Ltd. in 1998.
The Controlled Substance and Abuse Act of 1996 has opened up
Canada for commercial cultivation of hemp.


Bob Lecuyer, general manager of Kenex Ltd., told The Record,
"There is a great demand for hemp products from the
automobile industry. If the market takes off like we think
it will, hemp production will boom in the coming years."

Hemp is being used as feed for blue catfish at the Univ. of
Kentucky. Carl Webster and Laura Tiu have been giving about
150 catfish hemp meal along with vitamins, minerals and oil
and fatty acids, the bare minimums needed to survive.

"They seem to like it. I think they're on par with normal
growth for blue catfish. If you can feed them something
straight like this, you've got a pretty good ingredient,"
Webster told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

With hemp production still illegal in the United States,
using hemp meal will not be cost effective. Soy meal makes
up about 60 percent of the fish food market and costs $170 a
ton. Being imported from China, hemp meal costs several
times more, roughly $1,200 a ton.

"We could get rid of two-thirds of the cost simply by
growing it in Kentucky," said Don Wirtshafter, owner of the
Ohio Hempery, to the Herald-Leader. Wirthshafter is now
contracting to buy seeds from the new Canadian farmers.

In Willisburg, Kentucky, Donnie Colter says that feeding his
animals hemp meal gives them more energy and shinier coats.
Recently he sold some of his heifers and received $13 morfor
the calves who had been fed the hemp mix. At the University
of Kentucky, researchers are planning to study what
difference, if any, the hemp meal made. Colter originally
grew hemp on his farm in the 1940's, before it became
illegal.

Colter commented to New York Times reporters, "We've fed it
to everything from guppies on up. I've never fed it to
nothing that won't eat it." In Colter's home state of
Kentucky, a federal lawsuit is pending seeking to overturn
the DEA ban on the crop (see

http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-15.html#kentucky).

***

10. Nominations Being Accepted for DPF Awards

The Drug Policy Foundation is now accepting nominations for
their drug policy achievement awards. No awards will be
presented this year. They will be presented May 15, 1999.
Those who would like to make a nomination can send a letter
which includes the name and (if appropriate) affiliation of
the individual nominated along with a short description of
why you wish to nominate the individual to: Drug Policy
Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite B-500,
Washington, DC 20008.

The categories are:

Richard J. Dennis Drugpeace Award for Outstanding
Achievement in the Field of Drug Policy Reform

Edward M. Brecher Award for Achievement in the
Field of Journalism

Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the
Field of Law

Alfred R. Lindesmith Award for Achievement in the
Field of Scholarship

Robert Randall Award for Achievement in the
Field of Citizen Action

H.B. Spear Award for Achievement in the Field of
Control and Enforcement

Norman E. Zinberg Award for Achievement in the
Field of Medicine and Treatment

***

11. EDITORIAL: The UN, Making the World Safe for War

This week in New York, representatives of 130 nations --
along with 30 heads of state -- will come together at the
United Nations to discuss the Drug War. It would be
reasonable to expect that a gathering of this magnitude,
after more than 80 years of steadily worsening war without
any sign that victory is or ever will be at hand, would be
one of negotiation and reconciliation, of rethinking old
strategies and reexamining outdated ideas. It would be
reasonable to expect that this esteemed group would be
coming together to hold discussions about peace and how best
to achieve it. It would be reasonable. But it would be
wrong. Because when the representatives of the people of
the world come together in New York this week to discuss the
War, the only topic on their agenda will be escalation.

The first ever United Nations General Assembly Special
Session on Narcotics was originally proposed nearly three
years ago by Mexico, one of the nations most adversely
affected by the Drug War and by the black market that it has
created. The purpose that the Mexicans had in mind was a
critical examination of the effectiveness and impact of the
war. But such reflection is not in the interests of those
who are committed to its prosecution -- particularly the
United States. In fact, in the planning stage leading up to
the Special Session, it was determined that the ONLY items
on the agenda will be discussion about how the powers that
be plan to move ahead with the war and how to entice greater
international cooperation in that effort. Even the request
by several UN-affiliated NGO's to hold a short seminar in a
side room detailing alternatives to the war has been denied.

It should come as no surprise that dissent, in any form, has
been eliminated from the program. Because in their hearts,
the drug warriors know that their war, and the Prohibition
it claims to enforce, cannot stand up to even the slightest
scrutiny. And so, inside the UN at least, they will have
none of it.

But out in the real world, where the freedom of speech and
the vigorous examination of the status quo is a natural
right of human beings, dissent will ring out from every
corner of the globe. From Amsterdam to Talinn, from Moscow
to San Francisco, there will be demonstrations and vigils
and forums and marches in protest of the atrocity that the
gathering in New York is designed to further. And although
these events will be attended not by heads of state but by
the citizens of states, it is these gatherings which will
ultimately prove to have held the greater power. Because
the message they bring is that of truth, and justice, and
peace. And because they are willing and able to test their
beliefs and their evidence against any defense of the
current system. And because they are willing and able to
hold their truth up to scrutiny under the harsh disinfectant
of sunlight.

This week the representatives of 130 nations, along with
thirty heads of state will come together in the name of the
Drug War. Their plan is not to end the war but to silence
its critics in the fervent hope that they can continue to
fight in perpetuity. But the world is growing tired of
their war. And even as they meet amidst their manufactured
silence to plan their next campaign, out in the streets, in
cities across the globe, good people who have had enough
will be making themselves heard.

***

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