------------------------------------------------------------------- Washington Democrats Endorse Medical Marijuana Initiative (List Subscriber Says Washington State Democrats Approved A Resolution To Support Initiative 692, The Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure, At Their 1998 Convention Today In Yakima) Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 22:26:21 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Lunday (email@example.com) Reply-To: Robert Lunday (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Washington Democrats Endorse Medical Marijuana Initiative Sender: email@example.com Washington Democrats Endorse Medical Marijuana Initiative June 6, 1998 Yakima, WA - At the 1998 Washington State Democratic Convention held today in Yakima, Democrats approved a resolution to support Initiative 692, the Washington State Medical Marijuana Initiative. Over 650 delegates from around the state, gathered to vote on issues central to the Democratic Platform. Included were resolutions to support I-692 and to refocus our drug war efforts on prevention and treatment. The two resolutions passed as follows: "We support the narrowly focused Medical Marijuana Initiative, which would allow physicians to authorize, and qualified patients to use, marijuana medicinally for well-established medical conditions." "We support redefining the war on drugs to include emphasis on prevention and treatment to demonstrate the importance of reducing demand rather than simply focusing all resources on supply." While party leadership remained silent on the issue, it was clear the delegates at the convention supporter a patient's right to use medical marijuana. Justice Sanders, the dissenting voice in the Ralph Seeley medical marijuana case, made an appearance in his race to defend his Supreme Court seat. He was met with resounding applause, when he proclaimed that Ralph Seeley and others like Ralph should have the right to use medical marijuana. While party support was broad, the initiative resolution can be credited to the hard work of the Washington Hemp Education Network. WHEN Medical Coordinator, David Edwards M.D. placed a call to action in early April on firstname.lastname@example.org, Hemp.Net's Washington Hemp activist e-mail list. Since that time, WHEN activists have coordinated their efforts, gaining support for the proposal at precinct and district levels, culminating in it's successful passage at the State Convention. Washington Hemp Education Network members who were delegates to the Convention included Dr. David Edwards, Bob Owen, Eve Lentz, Tim Crowley, Magic Black-Ferguson, and Robert Lunday. Activist and Repulican defector Ben Livingston also attended in support of the initiative. For an update on Initiative 692, see Tim Killian's article in the June issue of Hemp Activist Times, available now online at http://www.hemp.net/hat. For more information on WHEN, see http://www.olywa.net/when *** Robert Lunday --- Hemp.Net SysOp/Founder email@example.com ---- http://www.hemp.net phone:206.781.8307 ---- fax:206.784.8983 The Washington Hemp Information Site
------------------------------------------------------------------- Demo Convention (A Physician And Activist Gives A First-Hand Account Of The Washington State Democratic Convention In Yakima) From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 02:13:08 EDT To: firstname.lastname@example.org, RKillian@aol.com, email@example.com Subject: HT: Demo Convention Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Just got back from Wash. State Democratic Convention in Yakima. Drove up with Bob Owen and my frau on Fri in time to attend a workshop on party platform . Then in the evening attended a reception for Sen Patty Murray at which we were represented by 5 of the 7 board members of WHEN who all happened to be elected delegates to the Convention! ( Magic Ferguson, Bob Owen , Robert Lunday, Eve Lentz, & y'r 'umble S'v'nt). Also present were Ben livingstone and Turmoil of the Net, and Rachel Kurtz who also works on the Brian Baird campaign (if I left anyone out please clock in). Good opportunity to rub elbows with prominent Party figures. Today we had a table at the convention to display our literature and gather sigs on I-692 ( I have sigs from around 80 delegates - 2/3 gathered by me and 1/3 by the folks who manned the table - and i believe others got even more sigs throughout the day). This is quite a contrast with the 1996 State Convention where I was the only elected delegate and collectd 50 sigs, and delegates would make a wide circle around me to avoid having to confront the issue. Furthermore, in contrast to no resolutions in '96, today the Washington State Democrats approved Resolutions for the 1998 Campaign which include: 1) "We support redefining the war on Drugs to include emphasis on prevention and treatment to demonstrate the importance of reducing demand rather than simply focusing all resources on supply"; 2) "We support the narrowly focused Medical Marijuana Initiative, which would allow physicians to authorize, and qualified patients to use, marijuana medicinally for well-established medical conditions". Wowee!!! The Party Platform itself included a plank: "We support public funding of effective and successful substance- abuse programs as an alternative to prosecution". All in all, a very satisfying outcome, especially since neither of the resolutions above were challenged (although we were ready and waiting to defend them if the occasion had arisen). Nice to see that we could work within the system in a very presentable fashion without any question of representing some lunatic fringe. I would encourage more activists &/or sympathizers to get involved in the process and join us in working from within the system. David L. Edwards, M.D. (aka- mjdocdle)
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Won't Challenge Assisted Suicide ('The Herald' In Everett, Washington, Notes Yesterday's News That The DEA Won't Be Allowed To Block Oregon's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: WA: U.S. Won't Challenge Assisted Suicide Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 21:14:40 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Saturday 06 June 1998 Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ U.S. WON'T CHALLENGE ASSISTED SUICIDE No punishment for Oregon doctors WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jane Reno decided Friday that the Justice department will not use federal drug-control laws to punish physicians who help their dying patients commit suicide under a fledgling Oregon law. The decision means that Oregon doctors no longer risk having the government revoke their entire ability to write prescriptions if they prescribe lethal doses to terminally ill people under the state's assisted-suicide law, the only one of its kind in the nation. Reno's action effectively over-rules the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which had concluded last year that Oregon physicians who helped their patients die were flouting the nations' Controlled Substances Act. Since the state's law took effect last October, only three patients are known to have died with their doctors' help, and some advoctes on both sides of the issue have suggested the specter of punishment by the DEA was dampening doctors' willingness to cooperate. With that threat now removed, the true demand for assisted-suicide may become evident for the first time. The Justice decision is the latest twist in the gnarled public debate about a subject fraught with legal, moral, religious and political controversy. The movement to legalize assisted suicide in Oregon has endured two voter referendums, most recently last November, and two Supreme Court decisions on the matter. The question of invoking federal drug-control laws illustrates how intricate the politics of assisted suicide have become. The DEA explored the issue at the behest of Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., the chairman of the Senate and House judiciary committees who usually favor a limited role for the federal government. For her part, Reno determined that Oregon doctors could not be penalized under the drug laws, even though President Clinton has been long opposed to assisted-suicide. Friday, members of Congress indicated that the issue would persist. Hyde and Sen Majority Whip Don Nickels, R-Okla., said they would work to change federal laws so that Oregon doctors could be penalized. Last November, the day after Oregon's most recent assisted suicide referendum, DEA Administrator Thomas A. Constantine said he had concluded that helping patients die conflicted with a part of the controlled-substances law that requires doctors to prescribe drugs only for "legitimate medical practices." Reno said Friday that U.S. drug laws were not intended to replace an individual state's own decision as to how to define such legitimate practices. Richard Doerflinger, Associate director for policy development for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops' Pro-Life Activities, said her decision was an "enormous contradiction," with the Clinton aministration's recent move to use the same drug laws to block the legalized use of marijuana for medical purposes in California. "My fear is this ruling will have the effect of encouraging many more doctors to assist suicides in Oregon," Dooerflinger said. But Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who personally opposes assisted suicide, nevertheless praised Reno's decision. "It's a victory for democracy," he said. "It's not right to let the DEA disenfranchise the people of Oregon." But given the prospect of a new fight in Congress, Wyden said, "This isn't end of the debate."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reno - DEA Can't Act On Suicide Law (A New 'Associated Press' Account Of Yesterday's News About Oregon's Assisted-Suicide Law) Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 22:46:08 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OR: Reno: DEA Can't Act On Suicide Law Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Michael J. Sniffen-The Associated Press RENO: DEA CAN'T ACT ON SUICIDE LAW Oregon doctors' drug licenses won't be pulled if they follow the rules, she says. Legislators aim to overrule her. WASHINGTON - Attorney General Janet Reno ruled Friday that federal drug agents cannot move against doctors who help terminally ill patients die under Oregon's landmark death-with-dignity law. Within hours, a bill to overrule her was introduced in Congress. Already rebuffed by the Supreme Court, opponents of physician-assisted suicide said they would turn to legislation. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde, R-Ill., joined by Rep. James L. Oberstar, D-Minn., sponsored the first bill to explicitly ban drugs for assisted suicide. Advocates of Oregon's law, the first of its kind in the nation, hailed Reno's ruling as clearing the way for political debate in the 50 states on the morality and ethics of the issue. But few predicted an immediate surge in doctor-aided deaths. Although Oregon's law took effect in October, only three terminally ill Oregonians - including a cancer-stricken grandmother in her 80s - have killed themselves with lethal prescriptions. And Reno warned that doctors in states with no assisted-suicide law or even those in Oregon who ignore the law's safeguards could face federal penalties. President Clinton signed a law last year barring federal assistance for the practice. The Oregon law requires two doctors to agree that the patient has less than six months to live, is competent and has made a voluntary decision. Two other witnesses must agree that the request is voluntary. Last November, without consulting the Justice Department, one of Reno's subordinates, Drug Enforcement Administration chief Thomas Constantine, told Congress his agents could use the federal Controlled Substances Act to arrest doctors who participated or revoke their DEA drug licenses. But Reno concluded that he law was designed to curb drug trafficking and abuse of stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens. "There is no evidence the Congress, in the Controlled Substances Act, intended to assign DEA the novel role of resolving (what the Supreme Court last year called) the 'earnest and profound debate about the morality, legality and practicality of physician-assisted suicide,'" Reno wrote Hyde.
------------------------------------------------------------------- PS To Heroin Missive - NA Gets It Right ('San Francisco Examiner' Columnist Cintra Wilson Revisits Her May 15 Piece About An Unapologetic Heroin User - She Agrees Narcotics Anonymous Has Done 'Worlds Of Good' For Many Addicts, But Emphasizes The Uniqueness Of The Man Who Renounced Abstinence From Heroin After Eight Years With NA) Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 19:11:43 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Column: P.S. To Heroin Missive: N.A. Gets It Right Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 P.S. TO HEROIN MISSIVE: N.A. GETS IT RIGHT CINTRA WILSON DEAREST Fed-Up-With-the Topic Readers : I know I swore not to talk about heroin anymore, but this is essentially the first staunchly anti-heroin letter I've gotten since the whole chat began, and I thought it important to show this side of the issue as well - you may skip it and return to the flock next week if this timely discussion bores you. This letter comes in response to the one by Carl L. of a few weeks ago, who wrote a very long and interesting letter about his choosing heroin over abstinence, after long periods of both: Dearest Cintra, It is very, very sad to read this letter published in your column from a person who gave up! I have 15 years' recovery time through Narcotics Anonymous. I am not bragging. No one said life was fair or easy or free from loneliness, boredom, hard times or fear. When a drug addict, any drug addict, cleans up, (s)he has a slim chance of success. You have to really want it. Heroin addiction is not glamorous, fun, chic or the answer. So many people in San Francisco are terminally unique; the big problem is that users can and do die from it. I know for a fact. Coming from the punk scene in the late 1970s, I knew a lot of strung-out junkies and sporadic users. My good friend, Will Shatter, whom some of you may remember, OD'd. I knew others who died that way. One girl I knew ended up in a barrel dumped in Golden Gate Park. However, there is hope. I never thought I'd make it, but I did. Sure, life can be a drag at times, and no one says you won't be lonely or sexually frustrated. Life is just life, good or bad. One thing I can tell you is it's a hell of a lot better without a slow death from drugs. Last, I'd like to say to you, Cintra, that I've read your column weekly, and until now I've felt you've been fairly responsible, but printing (Carl L.'s) letter is a bad decision. Any person who is struggling with drugs might take that load of crap as an excuse to get loaded. His "30 seconds" is actually 30 seconds to hell! - F. Jay Plath Oakland Dearest "F." Thank you for illustrating your large leaps in raised consciousness - N.A. has done worlds of good for plenty of people that I am friends with, and seems to be the only secure system of prying addicts away from drugs that provides them with what they really need - a new community of people who, like them, are having white-knuckled sufferings from the sheer force of will it requires for them to stay away from drugs. Carl L. had a lot to offer as far as insights on the conventional Reefer Madness-type extremity of propagandized attitudes applied to smack and its regular users, and provided us with an inside glimpse of someone who prefers a carefully sustained dope habit to the straight-and-narrow, but I also don't think he painted an irresistible picture of a way of life that many people would readily pounce on. Carl spent most of his letter explaining that he really enjoyed the agony and trouble that was invariably the flip side of opiate ecstasy. Most recovering addicts I've met don't want that kind of whiplash psychodrama anymore and are trying instead to "study peace." I hope Carl's thoughtful and honest letter will not provoke any dope fiends clamoring to remain sober into barbing up a bag, but truthfully, didn't Carl just express ideas they've all entertained themselves, anyway? Nobody ever triumphed over anything by shutting ears to the basic, unsettling realities. Druggies will never truly win their battles with narcotics if they decide to simply polarize the whole topic and decide that All Drugs Are Satan. As I said in previous columns, that's exactly the kind of insultingly limited, knee-jerk, Nancy Reagan, Pollyanna Fundamentalist soap-box ignorance that is responsible for half of the drug problems today. Too many young people who begin experimenting with drugs are amazed by the pervasive lies surrounding the whole drug culture. These revelations can generally be summed up into: "Wait a minute - I just did a bunch of drugs, and I had a great time, I'm not dead, I'm not addicted, and my life isn't totally ruined! Most of the information we get about drugs must be tainted." This can be powerfully misleading - young drug experimenters who decide that everything they have ever heard about drugs must be disinformation spun around conservative societal requirements often have to find out for themselves exactly how dangerous and life-strangling narcotics abuse can be. There needs to be real information, real education, and tons more study on this subject in order to make any kind of dent in the "epidemic." Drugs are such a ridiculous tangle of taboo at this point that there seems to be a political agenda to every opinion. The subject needs a big injection of truth. Crawl out of your unlit hole and write to : CINTRA WILSON FEELS YOUR PAIN etc. firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Decades Of Freedom End For Fugitive LSD Maker ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says Nicholas Sand, 57, Who Allegedly Fled The United States In The 1970s To Avoid A Long Federal Sentence, Pleaded Not Guilty Yesterday At His Arraignment On Federal Flight Charges In San Francisco) Date: Sun, 07 Jun 1998 21:48:30 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: 2 Decades Of Freedom End For Fugitive LSD Maker Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) PubDate: 6 June 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer 2 DECADES OF FREEDOM END FOR FUGITIVE LSD MAKER An LSD manufacturer who fled the United States in the 1970s to avoid a long federal sentence was arraigned on federal flight charges in San Francisco yesterday. Nicholas Sand, 57, pleaded not guilty yesterday to fleeing the country in 1974 to avoid serving a 15-year prison sentence for manufacturing LSD and laundering profits from sales of the potent hallucinogen. He is being held without bail and will appear in court June 16 to face U.S. District Judge Sam Conte, the jurist who originally gave him his long prison sentence. An associate of LSD pioneer Tim Leary and fellow LSD guru Stanley Owsley, Sand was one of the leaders of the psychedelic drug movement in the early 1970s. Sand headed an international acid distribution network and produced huge quantities of the drug at labs in California, Colorado, Missouri and Belgium. Much of the drug was marketed through an organization known as the Brotherhood of Eternal Love. Sand was released on bail while his case was appealed after his conviction in 1974. When the appeal failed, he went underground, then left the country. For more than two decades, authorities could find no trace of him. Then in 1996, Canadian investigators raided a mammoth drug lab near Vancouver and discovered enough LSD to make 45 million doses.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fugitive To Face LSD Charges ('San Francisco Examiner' Version) Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 19:34:56 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Fugitive to Face LSD Charges Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 Author: Eric Brazil of the Examiner Staff FUGITIVE TO FACE LSD CHARGES Back in S.F. after 23 years on the run When Nicholas Sand last stood before U.S. District Judge Samuel Conti, the judge roasted him for having "contributed to the degradation of mankind" and sentenced him to 15 years in prison. That was on March 8, 1974. Two years later, when he lost his appeal of a conviction for manufacturing LSD, Sand jumped bail in San Francisco and vanished. This week, Sand was returned to San Francisco, and he and Judge Conti are about to meet again. For 23 years, he remained at large, shuttling between Canada and Mexico and continuing to manufacturer the pure acid that turned on a generation and made the Bay Area psychedelia central. But in September 1996, Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Sand in his LSD laboratory in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlan. What they found flabbergasted the mounties. It was, they said -- and Interpol and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agreed -- the largest designer drug lab in the world. In addition to $500,000 in cash and gold bullion, and a cache of firearms, the mounties found LSD, DMT, Ecstasy and Nexus with a street value of $6.5 million. There was enough LSD, said RCMP Staff Sgt. Kenneth Ross, to make 45 million doses. The lab "was literally better than the Health Canada lab," Ross told The Examiner. "Our lab tested it (LSD) out at 106 percent purity." Sand, he said "is an icon in the world of illicit drugs." The $800,000 lab and warehouse -- also Sand's residence -- had been under surveillance for several months. The mounties moved in when they suspected that Sand planned to leave the country. It took investigators nearly two months to identify Sand, because he had false identification and refused to discuss his background. In February, Sand, 58, pleaded guilty to trafficking in LSD and was sentenced to nine years in prison. He was then sent back to San Francisco for the resolution of his case here. Sand was arraigned Friday before U.S. Magistrate Elizabeth Laporte. His case -- now complicated by a bail-jumping indictment -- was re-assigned to Judge Conti, who is regarded as one of the toughest sentencers on the federal bench. Sand's attorney, Patrick Hallinan, said he was going to take a hard look at the initial conviction in an attempt to win some leniency for his client. "Some of the facts raise very, very serious issues that go to the heart of the justice system," he said. Sand, a New York native who was living in Santa Rosa when he was indicted in 1973 for manufacturing LSD and evading income tax, was a disciple of Augustus Owsley Stanley III, the so-called King of LSD, the prosecution charged. While Stanley, the man who made LSD available to the masses, became internationally famous, it was the low-profile Sand who actually manufactured most of the product when the Bay Area drug culture flourished in the 1960s and 1970s, according to law enforcement officials. Sand's first brush with the law was a 1967 arrest in Colorado for illegal possession of LSD and failure to register as a drug manufacturer. When police stopped him in Dinosaur National Monument for a traffic violation, they found the truck he was driving equipped with a mobile LSD lab and $40,000 worth of the hallucinogenic drug aboard. In 1990, Canadian police arrested Sand for operating a lab in British Columbia. However, using one of the numerous false IDs he kept handy, he escaped before police could determine his true identity and his status as a fugitive. The San Francisco indictment that led to Sand's 1974 trial and sentencing accused him of being part of a far-flung conspiracy that had labs in Belgium, Mexico and Honduras, as well as the Bay Area. Its distribution network included Hells Angels and the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a drug cult founded by the late LSD guru Timothy Leary, according to the prosecution. Enough LSD was found by investigators at a lab Sand operated in the Sonoma County town of Windsor to supply 1.5 million doses. One of the principal witnesses against Sand and two co-defendants was William Mellon Hitchcock, an heir to the U.S. Steel fortune, who testified under immunity and acknowledged that he had bankrolled the operation. The jury deliberated four days before convicting Sand. Hallinan said that Sand's 15-year sentence on the LSD charge was "very severe," given the nature of the crime. He could receive another five years if he pleads guilty to or is convicted of jumping bail. Authorities in Canada have decided to let Sand's Canadian sentence run concurrently with whatever sentence he gets from Conti, Hallinan said. Sand will appear in Conti's court at 10 a.m. June 16. The Vancouver Sun and Province contributed to this report. 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Tobacco Bill Yanked In All Directions ('Reuters“ Says Prohibitionists Who Want An Even Tougher Crackdown On Cigarette Makers Have Won Two Of Five Votes The US Senate Has Held Regarding The McCain Bill, But The Only Thing Certain After Two Weeks Is That The Senate Is Stuck And A Lot Of People Are Mad At Each Other) Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 09:35:37 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Senate Tobacco Bill Yanked in all Directions Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newhawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Reuters Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 Author: Joanne Kenen SENATE TOBACCO BILL YANKED IN ALL DIRECTIONS WASHINGTON, June 6 (Reuters) - The Senate tobacco bill has been pulled to the left, yanked to the right, and dragged into parliamentary quicksand. After two weeks of meandering but acrimonious debate, the only thing certain is that the Senate is stuck and a lot of people are mad at each other. The Senate has spent days arguing about Arizona Republican John McCain's legislation but has cast only five votes -- two of which handed key victories to public health advocates wanting an even tougher crackdown on cigarette makers. Conservative foes have also piled on amendments. Most of them have not been decided, but some that are likely to pass would take money McCain had intended for anti-smoking programmes and medical research and instead spend it on such conservative priorities as tax cuts and the war on drugs. ``It's death by amputation,'' said Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle of South Dakota. McCain, who is generally conservative but finds himself isolated from the right-wing of his party on tobacco, is trying to hold together a coalition of moderates, liberals and a smattering of conservatives who share his views on tobacco. Many public health lobbyists who closely track the bill believe that despite all the machinations, McCain can rally enough votes to pass the bill -- if he gets the chance. The paradox he faces is that even with broad support, he may not be able to rally enough backing to overcome monumental procedural hurdles that will determine whether the Senate ever does vote on the overall bill. In the meantime the Senate is truly stuck. Unless a series of bipartisan agreements are struck quickly, it cannot move ahead on the bill unless 60 out of 100 senators vote for a ``cloture petition'' to cut off debate. And because of an unusual tactic used at the very start, it cannot just drop the bill either and go onto other business without broad agreement. As of now, no one is agreeing on anything. Twice Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, a Mississippi Republican, and Daschle had unusually vitriolic and accusatory exchanges on the Senate floor. Each accused the other of acting in bad faith. ``This further sours the well,'' Lott said to Daschle after he set in motion the attempt to cut off debate that will lead to a vote next Tuesday. Democrats acknowledge they will probably lose that vote, but will keep filing cloture petition after cloture petition hoping to eventually woo more support. McCain, who says the cloture votes are premature, has been pleading with everyone to calm down. ``Harsh rhetoric and parliamentary manoeuvres intended to polarise the Senate along partisan lines will result in only one thing -- the demise of comprehensive tobacco legislation,'' he said. Republicans said Democrats have been stalling and running for cover ever since Texas Republican Phil Gramm flummoxed them with his proposal to devote a third or more of the tobacco funds to reducing the ``marriage penalty.'' The notion of eliminating that tax code quirk that makes some married couples pay more than they would if they were single is a tempting idea to politicians in an election year. Democrats ``didn't have anything to respond with,'' said David Hoppe, a top aide to Lott. ``They'd prefer to scream at us for not voting while they've been the ones who refuse to vote,'' fearing that many in their own ranks would join Gramm. The Democrats have put forth a smaller, rival tax plan but have not agreed with Lott on how and when to vote on it. There are several scenarios for getting the Senate unstuck. Solving a bitter feud over aid to tobacco farmers, or a bipartisan deal on an anti-drug component could get things moving again. Even Democrats who dislike the changes promoted by the conservatives are so eager for a bill that they will accept almost anything to get it through the Senate, and then try to reshape it in subsequent negotiations, called a conference, with the White House and the House. If the House never acts on tobacco, the Senate bill is moot anyway. ``Have no illusions -- this bill will be written in conference,'' said Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy. ``The president will either get a responsible bill, or veto it because of these (tax-cutting) measures.'' The McCain bill is the most ambitious anti-smoking measure ever considered by Congress. It would raise cigarette prices by $1.10 a pack, strengthen Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco and nicotine, and subject cigarettes to new health, marketing, advertising and labeling regulations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton To Attend Special UN Drug Session ('Reuters' Says President Clinton Will Be The First Speaker Among More Than 30 World Leaders Who Will Gather Monday At The Three-Day United Nations General Assembly Special Session On Expanding The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 19:25:42 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US GE: Wire: Clinton to attend special U.N. Drug Session Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Reuters Author: Anthony Goodman Pubdate: Saturday June 6, 1998 CLINTON TO ATTEND SPECIAL U.N. DRUG SESSION UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - With 190 million people using drugs worldwide, more than 30 world leaders will gather for a special U.N. session starting Monday on combating the global narcotics scourge at both the supply and demand sides. President Clinton is the first speaker at the three-day General Assembly session, which will meet literally morning, noon and night to accommodate over 150 participants. Other speakers on Monday alone will include presidents, prime ministers or other Cabinet members from France, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Peru and Chile and dozens of other countries. The outcome will be an ambitious political declaration aimed at reducing drug supply and demand substantially by the year 2008. The declaration will commit governments to establish new or enhanced demand-reduction programs by the year 2003 and to "achieve significant and measurable results" by 2008. A declaration on the guiding principles of drug demand reduction is intended to help governments in setting up effective prevention, treatment and rehabilitation programs and calls for adequate resources to be devoted to them. It says demand reduction programs should cover all areas of prevention, "from discouraging initial use to reducing the negative health and social consequences of drug abuse." "Drugs are tearing apart our societies, spawning crime, spreading diseases such as AIDS, and killing our youth and our future," says Secretary-General Kofi Annan. "No country is immune. And alone, no country can hope to stem the drug trade within its borders. The globalization of the drug trade requires an international response." The United Nations estimates the number of drug users worldwide now at 190 million. The session marks the 10th anniversary of a landmark treaty in the fight against drugs, the 1988 U.N. Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. With so many leaders drawn to U.N. headquarters, they are also bound to discuss, at least privately, a host of recently spawned crises, such as the fighting in Serbia's province of Kosovo that threatens to ignite a new Balkan war, the nuclear tests carried out recently by India and Pakistan and a full-blown conflict between Ethiopia and Eritrea. The special session itself will focus on six key areas: - demand reduction, aimed at cutting the number of drug users. The United Nations estimates that heroin, which it calls the most serious drug of abuse, is used by eight million people; cocaine by some 13 million; and marijuana or cannabis, the most widely used drug, by about 140 million. - the elimination of illicit crops such as the opium poppy, the coca bush and the marijuana plant, and the introduction of alternative development programs, backed up by stronger law enforcement. Afghanistan and Myanmar together account for about 90 percent of the world's opium poppy, while Bolivia, Colombia and Peru account for most of the coca crop; - money laundering, bank secrecy and offshore havens, all used to camouflage huge sums of money derived from drug trafficking. The United Nations estimates the illegal drug trade generates retail sales of some $400 billion a year, or nearly double the revenue of the global pharmaceutical industry; - amphetamine-type stimulants, including synthetic drugs like speed and ecstasy, that are becoming increasingly popular and are used by an estimated 30 million people, or more than use cocaine and heroin combined; - judicial cooperation, to ensure that drug traffickers cannot take advantage of increasingly open borders and markets; - precursor chemicals, or the illicit diversion of chemicals used to manufacture drugs. All U.N. drug control activities are coordinated by the Vienna-based U.N. International Drug Control Program (UNDCP), headed by Pino Arlacchi, an Italian former parliamentarian who made a name battling the Mafia and organized crime. In a counterpoint to the Assembly session, a number of private organizations are taking the opportunity to argue that conventional "wars on drugs," especially as waged in the United States, can never succeed and that the objective should be to reduce harm rather than fill jails. These organizations say syringe exchange programs -- swapping sterile needles for dirty ones, as is done in some European countries and in many U.S. states and cities -- can save thousands of lives by preventing the spread of AIDS and hepatitis. Such groups also favor making methadone or other synthetic opiates available to reduce the use of illicit heroin and avert the associated evils of crime and disease. Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Focus Alert Number 65 - Pro-Reform Judge Needs Support (DrugSense Asks You To Write A Quick Letter In Support Of Denver Jurist John Kane Jr., Featured In Yesterday's 'Rocky Mountain News') Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 11:13:34 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: FOCUS Alert No. 65 Pro Reform Judge needs support FOCUS Alert No. 65 Pro Reform Judge needs support Judge John Kane Jr., a senior trial judge in Denver CO has taken a valiant pro reform stand and needs our help and support. Please write a brief letter to the Rocky Mountain News in support of Judge Cane, The newspaper for covering this important topic, and/or Karen Abbott - Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD It's NOT what others do. It's what YOU do. *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, Phone, fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or E-mailing to MGreer@mapinc.org *** CONTACT INFO Send your letter to: Rocky Mountain News firstname.lastname@example.org "EXTRA CREDIT" Send a letter to the Denver Post email@example.com (they did not run an article on judge Kane that we know of) *** ORIGINAL ARTICLE US CO: Judge Urges Truce in War on Drugs Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org ( Colo. Hemp Init. Project) Source: Rocky Mountain News ( CO) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.denver-rmn.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 4 Jun 1998 Author: Karen Abbott - Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer JUDGE URGES TRUCE IN WAR ON DRUGS Giving drugs to users would unclog courts and eliminate illegal market for substances A Denver federal judge wants the government to give free drugs to drug abusers and stop prosecuting them as criminals. John Kane Jr., a senior trial judge, believes the drug war already is lost. He advocates treating drug abuse as a public health problem instead. Kane, who has been making the argument in articles and speeches for about six months, said he doesn't advocate making all drugs legal for anybody who wants them. "Prosecution and severe criminal penalties should still be maintained for the illegal manufacture, distribution for sale and illegal importing of drugs," Kane said. "But I think that the use of drugs should not be treated by the criminal law," he said. "Either through public health clinics or through physicians and pharmacists, drugs ought to be provided to anybody, under medical supervision -- and at no cost, if necessary." The purpose isn't to encourage people to use drugs, but to eliminate the illegal market for them, he said, comparing the "war on drugs" to Prohibition's failure to end alcoholism. Kane said courts are drowning in criminal drug cases while other crimes go unprosecuted and civil disputes wait for trial time. Rep. Joel Hefley, R-Colo., who is seeking re-election to Congress in November, called Kane's idea a bad one. "I think that sends a real signal to society, and to young people, that this is really OK because, after all, the government is doing it," Hefley said. "Even with legalized liquor, we still have bootleggers and we still have alcoholism," he said. "And I'm not sure, from a social standpoint, that it would reduce those who abuse drugs." Andrew Hudson, spokesman for Denver Mayor Wellington Webb, said the mayor disagrees with Kane's view. Kane said other federal judges across the country -- most notably, a senior federal trial judge in Manhattan, Robert Sweet -- are saying publicly that the war on drugs has failed. The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, headed by Barry McCaffrey, known as the nation's "drug czar," has heard that message before and is vehemently opposed. "Drugs are a real danger, even in small amounts," spokesman Brian Morton said. He said drug abuse nationwide has dropped about 50 percent in the past 15 years, largely because "drugs are against the law, and police uphold the law, and the societal disapproval that comes from that." "To say this is a 'war' that has failed doesn't serve the public, doesn't do any service to the good people out there working in treatment centers, the law enforcement community and the citizens and parents and teachers and ministers who are trying to stop this scourge on America's cities," Morton said. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., seeking re-election to Congress in November, delivered a carefully worded statement on Kane's views through spokesman Jamin Spitzer: "A proposal such as this is unlikely to be considered by a Congress that recently voted against funding needle exchange." But DeGette's statement didn't disclose her own views. "Right," Spitzer said. Needle exchange programs seek to control some drug-related health problems by giving illegal users a sort of amnesty to turn in used needles for new ones, reducing the spread of disease. In April, Kane made a speech to Colorado's municipal judges at their annual convention about what he sees as the drug war's failure. "I think some of them were stunned," Kane said. "And some of them said, "Well, you know, maybe we agree -- but what is a judge doing talking about controversial issues?"' Kane said he cleared his plan to be outspoken on his views with Stephanie Seymour of Tulsa, Okla., the chief judge of the federal 10th Circuit, and with a federal judiciary committee on judges' ethics. "Not only is it all right, but I have an affirmative duty to speak out on critical legal issues," he said. On the bench, Kane does not handle drug cases or any other criminal cases - -- an option for senior federal trial judges, who choose the cases they take. *** Sample Letter (SENT) Judge John Kane a first class hero Dear Editor: I am mightily impressed with the courage demonstrated by both Judge Kane and the Rocky Mountain News in covering the controversial topic of reforming our failed drug laws (Judge Urges Truce In War On Drugs RMN 6/4) For far too long this country has hidden it's head in the sand while pretending that our drug laws are "protecting our children." In fact our drug laws are addicting our children, destroying our criminal justice system, and making criminals rich. I wonder what our schools could have done with the $17 billion the fed wasted on the war on drugs this year? This questions becomes even more pertinent when we realize that this huge some of money has accomplished absolutely nothing positive whatever in reducing drug use. Thank you for the excellent story and coverage and please stay on top of this important subject until other leaders begin to implement some reason and logic as Judge Kane obviously has. Mark Greer (contact info and phone) *** Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Undercover Anti-Drug Operation Strains US Ties With Mexico ('The New York Times' Says The International Uproar Over The 'Operation Casablanca' Money-Laundering Sting Took A New Turn Friday With The Publication In Mexico City Of A May 26 Letter From US Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott To Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, Which Has Infuriated Mexican Officials) Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 20:50:08 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Mexico: NYT: Undercover Anti-Drug Operation Strains U.S. Ties With Mexico Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (kevin b. zeese) Source: New York Times (NY) Author: Julia Preston Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 UNDERCOVER ANTI-DRUG OPERATION STRAINS U.S. TIES WITH MEXICO MEXICO CITY -- A flap over an undercover money-laundering operation by American customs agents has escalated into a full-scale diplomatic altercation that has strained the close ties between the United States and Mexico. The feud took a new turn Friday with the publication here of a letter from Sen. Trent Lott, the Senate majority leader, to President Ernesto Zedillo. In the May 26 letter the senator expressed his "deep disappointment" over recent comments by Zedillo that the operation violated Mexican law and sovereignty as well as several bilateral cooperation agreements. Lott said he was "astonished" by Zedillo's criticisms, which he said added to a string of "broken promises" by Mexico in the fight against international narcotics trafficking. Top Mexican officials were infuriated by the letter. Jesus Reyes Heroles, Mexico's ambassador in Washington, blasted back on May 29 with a five-page response defending Mexico's anti-drug record and renewing the attack on the undercover operation, which was code-named Casablanca. That letter was also released Friday. Tensions between the two countries flared last February after Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, a top-ranking army officer who was in charge of Mexico's anti-drug program, was arrested on charges that he collaborated with the most powerful drug trafficker. Americans officials were appalled to discover that drug organizations had infiltrated Mexican justice at such high levels. A stormy debate in Washington forced the Clinton administration to postpone its annual assessment of Mexico's narcotics enforcement progress. In this case, however, Mexico is driving the dispute. The last time Mexico objected this bitterly to an American action was in 1990, when American agents seized a Mexican medical doctor in Mexico and took him to the United States to stand trial in the killing of an American anti-drug agent. The doctor, Humberto Alvarez Machain, was later freed by an American court. More than 100 people, including some 30 Mexican and Venezuelan bankers, and three large Mexican banks have been charged with laundering more than $110 million in narcotics proceeds as a result of the three-year undercover operation by the U.S. Customs Service. U.S. officials called it the most successful operation of its type ever undertaken by American law enforcement. But Mexican officials were embarrassed by the operation, which seems to have exposed much more extensive money-laundering through Mexican banks than they had acknowledged. It also deepened popular suspicion in Mexico about the financial system at a time when Zedillo is trying to push major banking reforms through a skeptical Congress. American officials did not inform Mexico about the operation while it was under way in order, they said, to protect undercover agents and secret informants. The agents had a number of meetings with suspects in Mexico and, through a front company based in Los Angeles, relayed orders to Mexican bankers from Colombian drug lords. In a speech in May, Zedillo called the operation "inadmissible because it tramples on our laws." Mexico has said that it will demand the extradition for trial here of American customs agents who held meetings in Mexico as part of the operation. Lott wrote: "Mr. President, this is not 'inadmissible' or a 'violation' of your sovereignty. It is a decisive action against ruthless criminals." Ambassador Reyes Heroles called Operation Casablanca "an act of a criminal nature similar to the crimes it was supposed to uncover." Last week President Clinton called Zedillo to explain why American law enforcement decided to leave Mexican authorities in the dark. But Mexican officials have dismissed the American statements as inadequate. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trafficker Faces Deportation ('The Ottawa Sun' Notes Canadian Immigration Officials And Politicians Are Trying To Figure Out How To Circumvent A Ruling By The Supreme Court Of Canada That A Sri Lankan Convicted For Drug Trafficking And Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison Should Not Automatically Be Denied The Chance To Seek Asylum As A Refugee) Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 19:29:22 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Trafficker Faces Deportation Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/OttawaSun/ Pubdate: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 Author: Anne Dawson -- Parliamentary Bureau TRAFFICKER FACES DEPORTATION Immigration Minister Lucienne Robillard is considering declaring a Sri Lankan convicted of drug trafficking a danger to the public, meaning he could be deported. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled Veluppillai Pushpanathan should not be automatically denied the chance to make a refugee claim solely because he was convicted for drug trafficking and sentenced to eight years in prison. "We also have other tools in the legislation to prevent an individual to go to the refugee board. I am thinking about the certificate for danger of the public," Robillard told the Commons yesterday. The court ruled Pushpanathan should be granted a hearing before the Immigration and Refugee Board because of his claim that he would be tortured and persecuted if sent back to Sri Lanka. But Robillard said that there are ways to get around the court ruling and even if Pushpanathan got his IRB hearing, that doesn't mean he'd necessarily get refugee status. She said she was surprised by the judgement and needs time to analyze it before making a final decision. If the government moves to declare an individual a danger to the public, the individual still has the right to challenge it before the courts. But if that person loses, he'll be deported. Reform MP John Reynolds was outraged by the court ruling, calling it "bizarre and socially repugnant." He said a convicted drug dealer should have absolutely no rights in Canada and should be automatically deported. "He should go back where he came from," said Reynolds. "I have no concern what they're going to do with him back in his homeland whatsoever and I don't think most Canadians do."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Huge Pot Bust ('The Calgary Sun' Says A Six-Month Undercover Investigation In Calgary Has Netted 14 Arrests And Cannabis Police Valued At More Than $680,000) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Huge pot bust Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 15:29:03 -0700 Lines: 20 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Calgary Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: June 6, 1998 HUGE POT BUST CREDIT: By PETER SMITH -- Calgary Sun Cops have busted a major marijuana-growing ring, hitting 10 homes, arresting 14 people and seizing pot worth more than $680,000. For six months, undercover officers amassed intelligence on the ring before hitting the suspect houses Wednesday, said Staff Sgt. Mike Cullen of the drug unit. "It was a pretty large operation," he said. Six homes in northeast Calgary and four in the southeast were raided by police.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woman Gave Crack To Tot ('The Toronto Sun' Says A Toronto Woman Was Found Guilty Yesterday, Apparently By A Judge, Of Criminal Negligence And Administering A Noxious Substance, Although She Was Acquitted Of Similar Charges For Giving Her 4-Year-Old Boy Ritalin)From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Woman gave crack to tot Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 15:41:09 -0700 Lines: 56 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: June 6, 1998 Author: GRETCHEN DRUMMIE -- Toronto Sun WOMAN GAVE CRACK TO TOT A Toronto woman was found guilty yesterday of giving a four-year-old boy crack cocaine, but acquitted of criminal charges for feeding him Ritalin without a prescription. "In giving cocaine to (the boy) she was criminally negligent," Justice John Hamilton said. "She endangered his life. I find she must have administered the drug to him ... he was certainly not out on the street (buying it)." Joyce Hayman, 30, was found guilty of criminal negligence and administering a noxious substance. She was acquitted of similar charges for giving the boy the prescription drug Ritalin. Hamilton will sentence her on July 22. A request to revoke her bail until sentencing was rejected. Hayman bolted from the courthouse, shielding her face with a coat. During her trial the admitted cocaine addict fidgeted, rocked, checked her makeup and chewed bubble gum in the prisoner's dock. Hamilton found Hayman gave the developmentally delayed child Ritalin to try to control his hyper and violent behavior, getting the pills from a friend because she couldn't get a doctor to prescribe them. She testified she felt they helped the tot. Hayman, who learned of the drug from TV, knew there were side effects but didn't know what they were. In May 1996 Hayman told a doctor at the Hospital for Sick Children about the Ritalin and was then given a prescription for it at a much lower dose. "I find the accused never attempted to hide the fact she was giving Ritalin," said Hamilton, adding she was trying to help the boy and there was no evidence of bodily harm. Hamilton said it wasn't until that visit to the doctor that Hayman was told she was giving a "dangerous dosage." He said there's no evidence that the doses of Ritalin she gave the boy from then on were greater than prescribed by the doctor. Tests, however, found "enormously high" levels of cocaine in the child, which Hayman suggested came from "the air." Hamilton ruled out second-hand smoke, saying the drug had been ingested and the "only logical conclusion" is Hayward gave it to him. Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mr George Soros - Letter Urges UN To Reconsider Drug War ('The Irish Times' Notes The Lindesmith Center In New York Has Orchestrated A Petition Calling For An End To The War On Some Drug Users, To Be Turned Over To Secretary-General Kofi Annan At The United Nations' New York Drug War Conference, Signed By Thousands Of International Figures, Including The Former UN Secretary-General, Mr Javier Perez De Cuellar) Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 11:56:48 -0400 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Ireland GE: Mr George Soros: Letter urges UN to Reconsider Drug War Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake email@example.com Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Author: Joe Humphreys Pubdate: Saturday, 6 June 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 Website: http://www.irish-times.com/ MR GEORGE SOROS: SPONSOR OF OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE LETTER URGES UN TO RECONSIDER DRUG WAR The global war on drugs "is causing more harm than drug abuse itself", the UN Secretary-General has been warned by international judges, senior politicians and other dignitaries. In a letter being delivered today to Mr Kofi Annan, on the eve of the opening of a UN General Assembly session on drugs, the group calls for an end to anti-drugs policies which have cost billions of pounds but achieved little. "Persisting in our current policies will only result in more drugs abuse, more empowerment of drug markets and criminals, and more disease and suffering," the letter reads. Among the thousands of international signatories are the former UN secretary-general, Mr Javier Perez de Cuellar; the former prime minister of the Netherlands, Mr Andreas Van Agt; the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Mrs Emma Bonino; the former presidents of Bolivia and Colombia; writers Ariel Dorfman and Dario Fo; and philosopher Ivan Illich. The Irish signatories include Prof Ivana Bacik, criminal law professor at Trinity College Dublin; Mr Tim Murphy, law lecturer at UCC; legalise cannabis campaigner Mr Olaf Paul Tyransen; and journalist Mr Vincent Browne. The signing of what will be the largest 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 the international financier, Mr George Soros. The letter says the UN has a legitimate and important role to play in combating the harms associated with drugs, "but only if it is willing to ask and address tough questions about the success or failure of its efforts". It asks bluntly what drug war policies have achieved to date. "Every decade the United Nations adopts new international conventions, focused largely on criminalisation and punishment, that restrict the ability of individual nations to devise effective solutions to local drug problems. Every year governments enact more punitive and costly drug control measures. Every day politicians endorse harsher new drug war strategies. "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. These are the consequences not of drug use per se, but of decades of failed and futile drug war policies." It says that in many parts of the world "drug war policies impede public health efforts to stem the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases. Human rights are violated, environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inundated with hundreds of thousands of drug-law violators. "Scarce resources better expended on health, education and economic development are squandered on ever more expensive interdiction efforts. Realistic proposals to reduce drug-related crime, disease and death are abandoned in favour of rhetorical proposals to create drug-free societies". In a separate statement, the Lindesmith Centre compared favourably the Dutch approach to drugs to the US's repressive policies. It said fewer people smoked marijuana or used heroin in the Netherlands despite spending less on drug enforcement. The centre, established in 1994, has called for a move towards harm-reduction policies like syringe exchanges, although it has stopped short of urging the decriminalisation of drugs. The letter concludes by calling on 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". (c) Copyright: The Irish Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Leaders Ask UN For New Drug Policy ('San Francisco Chronicle' Version) Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 12:11:03 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA GE: Leaders Ask UN For New Drug Policy Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 Page: A13 Note: Our newshawk writes: 'The Chron omitted that last three paras of of the 6/05 AP wire story." Our newshawk writes the news comments for our weekly newsletter, which can be seen by a link from http://www.drugsense.org/ 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Leaders Attack UN War On Drugs ('The Ottawa Citizen' Version) Date: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 19:00:53 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: GE: Leaders Attack UN War On Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Pubdate: Saturday 6 June 1998 Author: Jeremy Mercer, The Ottawa Citizen LEADERS ATTACK UN WAR ON DRUGS Host Of Dignitaries Hope To Nip Campaign In Bud Days before the United Nations is to announce its most ambitious anti-drug program ever, hundreds of world leaders, including 80 Canadians, have signed a ground-breaking petition asking the UN to support the liberalization of drug laws instead. The petition, a rough draft of which has been obtained by the Citizen, will be presented to the UN General Assembly when it convenes Monday for what are expected to be hard-nosed discussions on how to crack down on trade in illegal drugs. The goal of the conference is to come up with a plan that will eliminate the world's production of heroin, cocaine and marijuana within the next 10 years by paying farmers who grow the drugs to switch to legal crops. Those who will be speaking at the drug conference include U.S. President Bill Clinton. The conference is expected to recommend spending an additional $3 billion to $4 billion to fight drugs. But the signatories of the petition question the value of such initiatives. "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself," says a letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan included in the petition. "In many parts of the world, drug war politics impede public health efforts to stem the spread of HIV, hepatitis and other infectious diseases. "Human rights are violated, environmental assaults perpetrated and prisons inundated with hundreds of thousands of drug law violators. Scarce resources better expended on health, education and economic development are squandered on ever more expensive interdiction efforts." The petition includes the signatures of such dignitaries as former UN secretary general Javier Perez de Cuellar; former U.S. secretary of state George Shultz; former U.S. surgeon general Jocelyn Elders; and Edward Ellison, former head of the Scotland Yard Drug Squad. Among the prominent Canadians to sign the petition are Senator Sharon Carstairs, NDP Leader Alexa McDonough, former Ottawa mayor Marion Dewar, lawyers Clayton Ruby and Edward Greenspan, noted urban-planning author Jane Jacobs, and a dozen members of Parliament. The most prominent names on the petition will be featured in a two-page advertisement in Monday's New York Times. The goal of the petition is to promote other ways of dealing with the drug problems than resorting to the expensive and overcrowded criminal justice system. The protest is the result of work by the Lindesmith Center, a New York-based think-tank, and drug-policy reform groups from more than 20 countries. "What we are trying to do is influence the UN and its member countries to move away from these outrageous drug policies that serve only to congest the court system and fuel the violence associated with the illegal drug trade," said Eugene Oscapella, a spokesman for the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, which helped organize the petition. The petition's backers will also hold a series of conferences to help promote alternative methods of dealing with drug problems. The list of people who signed the petition includes several Nobel Peace Prize winners, high-ranking politicians and judges from dozens of countries, and members of the academic community. It also includes such notable business people as Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, and George Soros, the billionaire investment king. The petition is just the latest volley in what has become an increasingly spectacular debate on whether drugs should be decriminalized. Proponents of decriminalization point to the excessive costs of policing and punishing drug offenders, and the crime cartels that thrive on the prohibited drug trade. Opponents of drug decriminalization argue that easier access to drugs would lead to greater rates of addiction and to the erosion of society's morals. The group's petition concludes: "Mr. Secretary General, we appeal to you to initiate a truly open and honest dialogue regarding the failure of global drug control policies -- one in which fear, prejudice and punitive prohibitions yield to common sense, science, public health and human rights." Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen *** Non-Testers List (NTList) news list. A consumer guide to anti-drug testing companies. http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6443/ntl.html To Join or Leave NTList send "join ntlist" or "leave ntlist" in the TEXT area to: email@example.com Don't forget "ntlist" in your command. For Help, just send "help". List owner: firstname.lastname@example.org (JR Irvin)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jury Clears Man Over 'Medicinal' Cannabis (Britain's 'Times' Says A Man Who Broke His Back After Falling 60 Feet From A Bridge And Who Admitted Smoking Cannabis To Relieve Chronic Back Pain Has Been Cleared Of Any Drug Offence By A Jury After Defending Himself At Manchester Crown Court) Date: Sat, 6 Jun 1998 05:56:26 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: ART: UK: Jury clears man over 'medicinal' cannabis Date: Saturday, June 6 1998 Source: The Times (UK) Contact: email@example.com Saturday, June 6 1998 Jury clears man over 'medicinal' cannabis (Acquittal of father who used drug to alleviate back pain may hasten legalisation, WRITES RUSSELL JENKINS) A MAN who admitted smoking cannabis to relieve chronic back pain has been cleared by a jury at Manchester Crown Court of any drug offence. The jury acquitted Colin Davies, 30, a former joiner, from Brinnington, Manchester, after he told them that he smoked four home-grown joints a day instead of taking legally prescribed painkillers. Mr Davies, who has two children and who defended himself, began cultivating cannabis plants in his flat after breaking his back when he fell 60 feet from a bridge near his home in Stockport four years ago. He survived after lengthy treatment in hospital but now walks with a limp and is in constant pain. He said the various treatments prescribed by doctors prompted spasms and sickness and he had turned to the drug in desperation. Police arrested him last November, seizing 18 cannabis plants hidden behind a partition in his bedroom, but a jury took only 40 minutes to find him not guilty of cultivating cannabis under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. Mr Davies said outside court that he intended to carry on smoking cannabis. "I felt fantastic that the jury had listened to me. It was a just verdict," he said. "It is a mistake when even the BMA [British Medical Association] has said the police and courts should think before prosecuting people for using cannabis on medical grounds." Matthew Atha, principal consultant of the Independent Drugs Monitoring Unit and one of three medical experts called upon by Mr Davies to provide evidence, said the verdict would bring closer the day when cannabis use for medical purposes is legalised. He said: "The priority is to make sure those with legitimate medical reasons are not turned into criminals. A not guilty verdict means the jury thinks the law is an ass and they are more sensitive to the needs of people who need to use cannabis for medical reasons than the Government." Mr Davies's solicitor, James Riley, described the case as ground-breaking. "It will heap further pressure on the Government to follow recommendations from the BMA to allow the prescription of cannabis to aid the treatment of chronic pain," he said. At the start of the one-day hearing Ian Metcalfe, for the prosecution, said Mr Davies knew what he was doing was illegal and told the jury: "You have taken an oath to give a true verdict according to the law. That is all the Crown asks. You have a duty to return a guilty verdict." However, Mr Davies said that large intakes of prescribed paracetamol and codeine provoked spasms that left him hospitalised. He had read about cannabis as a pain reliever and decided to buy some from a street dealer. He said he did not like doing this so he decided to try growing his own plants at home, purely for his own use for the purposes of pain relief. "I chose something else out of desperation," Mr Davies said. "I am offering a defence of necessity. What choice did I have? The only choice from doctors is more pain killers." Brian Todd, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon, confirmed in a statement that Mr Davies suffered multiple spinal injuries and rib fractures, spending two months in hospital. Allan Gilman, his family doctor, said in a statement that he had seen Mr Davies move into spasm because of the pain on several occasions. He remained in extreme difficulty and had been referred to a pain clinic, he said. Mr Atha, who has been invited to give evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee inquiry into cannabis use, told the jury that a BMA report published last November had called for the rescheduling of cannabis to allow for the drug to be made available for chronic pain relief. After the verdict Mr Davies asked whether the confiscated cannabis plants could be returned. Judge Barry Woodward told him that he should look to his solicitor for advice. "If you cultivate cannabis again and come before the courts, another jury may return a different verdict," the judge said. Cultivation of cannabis attracts a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment, but Home Office guidelines suggest a fine of up to £5,000 for those who grow small quantities for personal use. A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said: "We prosecute the law as it is, not as it may be in the future."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jury Clears Man Who Used Cannabis As Pain Killer (Version In Britain's 'Guardian') Date: Sun, 07 Jun 1998 01:25:22 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Jury Clears Man Who Used Cannabis As Pain Killer Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Source: The Guardian, UK Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Author: David Ward JURY CLEARS MAN WHO USED CANNABIS AS PAIN KILLER Verdict 'brings closer' legalisation of drug for medical purposes By David Ward A man who smoked four cannabis joints a day to relieve pain caused by a broken back vowed yesterday to continue rolling them after a jury cleared him of drugs charges brought following a police raid on his home. "I will carry on smoking cannabis," said Colin Davies, of Stockport, Greater Manchester. "It helps the terrible pain I get from my injuries. I feel vindicated that the jury has listened to me." The eight women and four men at Manchester Crown Court took just 40 minutes to clear Mr Davies of cultivating cannabis contrary to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. After the verdict Mr Davies provoked giggles when he asked for his 18 cannabis plants back. The verdict comes just two months after a jury in Warrington, Cheshire, cleared on three out of four drugs charges a man who supplied his wife with home-grown cannabis to ease her acute pain from multiple sclerosis. It will be a further boost for those campaigning for the decriminalisation of cannabis, including the thousands who marched through central London in March. Mr Davies, a former joiner who suffered severe injuries when he fell 60ft from a bridge in 1994, denounced the prosecution as a waste of money. "The only victim out of all this is me," he said. "I could not believe it when the police broke down my door. I was being arrested for something that was for my own medical benefit. Where am I on the scale of criminality?" The court heard that police, acting on a tip-off, had found the cannabis plants behind a partition in the bedroom of Mr Davies's flat. Mr Davies, who represented himself, said paracetamol and codeine prescribed by doctors prompted spasms and sickness spells, and he then had to seek hospital treatment. "I read about cannabis as a relief from pain and I actually went out and bought some off the streets," he said. "I did not like having to do that so I decided to have a go at growing some for my own use on my own property. "I did it behind my own front door, there was no interference with anyone else. I now find myself here and I feel terrible. I chose something else out of desperation. I'm offering a defence of necessity. The only choice from doctors is more pain killers." Ian Metcalfe, prosecuting, told the jury there was little dispute about the facts. "Mr Davies knew it was illegal and said the cannabis was for pain relief. But as the law stands today that does not provide the defence or justification to start growing a crop," he said. He told the jury: "You have taken an oath to give a true verdict according to the law. That is what the Crown asks. You have a duty to return a guilty verdict." During the trial, Mr Davies called as witnesses his own GP, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and Matthew Atha, principal consultant of the Independent Drugs Monitoring Unit. "This verdict will bring closer the day when cannabis use for medical purposes is legalised," said Mr Atha after the trial. "The priority is to make sure those with legitimate medical reasons are not turned into criminals. "A not guilty verdict means the jury thinks the law is an ass and they are more sensitive to the needs of people who need to use cannabis for medical reasons than the Government." Last November, the British Medical Association published a report on the medical uses of cannabis which called for more research. "We have to recognise that there are many thousands of people who are resorting to the use of cannabis illegally because they have not been able to find conventional relief for their symptoms," a spokeswoman said yesterday.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Paul Vallely's Britain - A City Fighting For Its Reputation (Op-Ed In Britain's 'Independent' Gives An Interesting Portrait Of Manchester, Where Officials Are Worried About Allegations That Violent Crime Has Increased 50 Per Cent In The Last Year, Which Could Put A Damper On The Commonwealth Games In 2002 - Statisticians Changed The Way They Calculated The Figures To Include Minor Assaults, Previously Omitted, And The Police Issued A Statement Insisting That If You Took Out The Minor Incidents Of 'Pushing And Slapping,' The Real Increase Was Less Than 2 Per Cent.- Heroin-Related 'Acquisitive Crimes' Such As Shoplifting, Burglary, Car Thefts And Gun Offences Are All Down - Today's Problems Are Different, Attributable To Prohibition And Centred Around The Dance And Rave Clubs - Most Casual Violence On The Streets Is Fuelled Not By 'Drugs' But By Alcohol) Date: Sun, 07 Jun 1998 01:16:08 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: OPED: Paul Vallely's Britain - A City Fighting For Its Reputation Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Independent, The (UK) Pubdate: Sat, 06 Jun 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ PAUL VALLELY'S BRITAIN - A CITY FIGHTING FOR ITS REPUTATION Manchester: The city hosts the Commonwealth Games in 2002, but remains notorious for its levels of violent crime, with gangster families terrorising retailers and night clubs "BASTARD," screamed the man from the pavement, looking directly at me. "Bastard, bastard!" His face was puce with anger and his lips were flecked with spittle. "Bastard, bastard, bastard!" I was not sure what I was supposed to have done. I was sitting at a table at a pavement cafe in St Peter's Square having a coffee - and reading in the Manchester Evening News that crimes of violence in the city had risen by 50 per cent over the past year. I decided to ignore him, and turned my eyes studiously to the paper. My assailant lurched across the road to the Cenotaph and started hurling bedraggled poppy wreaths into the air before taking his inexplicable anger elsewhere. "Don't take it personally," smiled the stranger at the next table. The trouble is that we do take it personally. Or as Alan Haughton put it, with an epigrammatic flourish: "We live in a world of anecdotes." Mr Haughton is the manager of Lifeline, a drugs agency in the city, which works in the dance and rave clubs that are said to be the focuses of the city's violence. A leaked letter from the leader of the city council to the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police recently accused the force of failing to combat the "rampant lawlessness" of the protection rackets and the drug dealing in the city's clubland. Is it that bad? Anecdotes are not much help here. When I asked Ben, a clubber in his late twenties who reckons he has been out on more than 1,000 occasions in the past decade, he replied: "Not at all. I've only seen one incident in that time." Yet when I asked Anna, a 19-year-old student, she responded: "Every time we go into the city we get involved in some kind of violence" - and told tales of bottles raining through windows, of dance-floor punch-ups, of broken noses, and even of a "friend of a cousin's friend" who, while dancing, had been stabbed with a syringe labelled "Welcome to the HIV club". If the last tale sounds like an urban myth it still tells us something. The thing about a myth is that it may be based on truth, or it may not be, but it becomes more potent than reality and therefore a new reality in itself. The fear of violence is what worries the council leader, Richard Leese, who can clearly spot a threat to investment a mile off. Manchester is to host the Commonwealth Games in 2002. "The city has already begun to attract extra investment," he said amid the Victoriana of his oak-panelled Town Hall office, "and that that will step up significantly after the 1998 games. All this 'Britain's most violent city' stuff doesn't exactly help, even if the truth is that you have less chance of being attacked than being hit by a car." The new crime statistics were released for the meeting of the local police authority yesterday. Mr Leese had been on to the Chief Constable ahead of the meeting for an explanation. "He told me that they had changed the way they calculated the figures to include minor assaults, which previously had been omitted." Did that entirely account for the increase? "He said he can't answer that question. So I don't know - and it appears that nobody knows - whether violent crime in Manchester is going up." Later, the police issued a statement insisting that if you took out the minor incidents of "pushing and slapping" the real increase was not 50 per cent but less than 2 per cent. But if the Evening News insisted that such explanations "will not wash", there can be no doubting that beneath the mythology there lies the conflation of three separate phenomena: hard drugs, so-called leisure drugs and alcohol. Hard drugs were at the centre of the city's gun wars in the early 1990s. Heroin and crack dealing are concentrated not in the city centre but in the notorious inner-city suburbs such as Moss Side. In recent years there has been relative calm in these areas, which is to say that only the occasional shooting is reported. Lower unemployment and the wider availability on prescription of methadone, which makes the addicts dozy, are said to be the cause. This is reflected in yesterday's statistics. Smackheads tend to involve themselves in what the police call "acquisitive crimes" - shoplifting, burglary and car theft - which, along with guns offences, are all down. Today's problems are different. They are centred around the dance and rave clubs, where local crime families, who five years ago were involved in armed robberies, have moved into ecstasy supplying. The kids who take the drug may claim it fills them with universal love, but the same cannot be said for the individuals who supply it. Club owners in the city have felt powerless, since these gangsters often control the bouncers through payment or intimidation. "Dealers can make £312,000 per club per night," one club owner told me. "Doormen can share more than £33,000 a night as their cut." Anyone who objects is beaten or shot. The gangsters do not even have to produce their guns. A word is enough to secure access and free food and drinks. It is the spill-over of this culture into the mainstream that has worried the city authorities. Gangsters tried the same tactics at a five-star city-centre hotel recently. Newly opened restaurants that refused to pay protection have been trashed. One major eating chain recently cancelled its opening. Ram-raids on designer fashion shops in the past six months seemed aimed more at intimidation than theft. "We've had discussions with the managers at Armani and the others and they are adamant that they are not paying protection," Richard Leese said. Still, he is relieved that the first phase of the city centre's closed circuit TV system - which was delayed by the IRA bomb there two years ago - is to open in August. Moreover, although the local police say little, it is evident that they have changed their approach in the weeks since Mr Leese wrote his stinging letter. They have begun to make their presence felt with "disruptive policing". They have begun towing away cars parked illegally outside a bar frequented by gangsters. Officers in body armour have made appearances in clubs, backed up by armed response units outside. Five-hour rolling roadblocks every weekend for the past five weeks have produced exemplary arrests for drugs and firearms offences. Now, clubs are being encouraged to use out-of-town security firms from as far afield as Birmingham, so that doormen are not vulnerable to the threat "we know where you live". But there is a third problem. Most casual violence on the streets is fuelled not by drugs but by alcohol. In the past year the city has been shocked by what locals call the Good Samaritan murders, five separate cases in which those who tried to break up fights were killed. No one is sure of the correct response. The authorities hope that the general police clampdown will have its effect. Mr Leese looks uneasy when asked whether the local liberalisation of the licensing laws might partly be responsible. "No, more liberal laws have generally eased the problem. You don't get the 2am closing time tension." Others, such as Alan Haughton, are more pragmatic. Lifeline is about to produce a set of "What to do if ." leaflets. If what? "If you see someone collapsed in the street, if you see a guy beating up his girlfriend, if you encounter violence in the taxi queue or kebab shop." What does it tell us about society if self-defence is the only response, I asked. "We can't look at this as anthropologists," Mr Haughton replied. "We have to live here and ask 'What works?'" So, I was about to riposte, we turn away our eyes. And then I remembered that that was exactly what I had done with the man in St Peter's Square. Suddenly it seemed as good an answer as any. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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