------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Senate Okays Massive Anti-Drug Package In Tobacco Bill; New Hampshire Judge Dismisses Farmers Request To Grow Hemp; Washington State Democrats Back Medical Marijuana Initiative) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 19:08:21 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 6/11/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org June 11, 1998 *** Senate Okays Massive Anti-Drug Package In Tobacco Bill June 11, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The Senate narrowly approved an amendment to the tobacco-control bill on Tuesday that seeks to spend $16 billion targeting and enhancing penalties against marijuana users. Amendment 2451, spearheaded by Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-Ga.), funds state efforts to "establish state registration programs" for convicted marijuana sellers, drug test teenage driver's license applicants, drug test junior high and high school students, allow law enforcement to check motorists for the presence of marijuana metabolites, and encourage small businesses to adopt drug-free workplace programs. The measure also amends the Higher Education Act of 1965 by prohibiting anyone convicted of a felony drug offense from receiving any student loan, grant, or work assistance. "These Republican-backed anti-drug measures treat otherwise law abiding marijuana smokers as if they were enemies of the state," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. "Tens of thousands of hard-working, productive citizens -- including many of the best and brightest college students -- would be unfairly penalized by these draconian proposals." Stroup called the provision to register convicted marijuana sellers especially disturbing. The amendment states that anyone "who is convicted of a criminal offense involving drug trafficking [must] register a current address with a designated state law enforcement agency for up to ten years following" the date of conviction or release from prison. The provision further says that the information collected under the registration program "may be disclosed for any purpose permitted under the laws of the state." Presently, several states have enacted similar registration laws for those individuals found guilty of committing sex offenses against children. Attorney Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation, said that many of the drug testing initiatives proposed by the amendment appear unworkable and may be unconstitutional. "Implementing federal legislation to give law enforcement the authority to screen for drug metabolites will violate privacy and search protections," she said. "Blood tests are excessively invasive; urine tests do not indicate impairment and cannot be collected consistent with constitutional standards for traffic stop searches. We can restrict people from driving while impaired without violating the Constitutional as this amendment proposes." The proposal mandates law enforcement to suspend the license of any driver who tests positive for drug metabolites. Marijuana metabolites may be present in urine for periods of 30 to 40 days after last use of the drug. Kangas also questioned the fairness of federally-encouraged suspicionless drug testing in schools and the workplace. Presently, the Supreme Court maintains that drug testing by the state without individualized suspicion is legal only if there exists "special needs, beyond the normal need for law enforcement." The provision denying federal student loan assistance to convicted marijuana felons is similar to a House amendment approved earlier this year. NORML National Campus Coordinator Aaron Wilson said that both pieces of legislation unfairly punish marijuana users. "It is outrageous that Congress would pass this law denying financial aid to students for non-violent drug offenses, while a felony conviction for a serious violent crime brings no such penalty," he said. "What kind of message is Congress sending?" Senators voted 52-46 for the anti-drug amendment, with all but two Republicans supporting it and all Democrats opposed. The tobacco measure still needs approval from the Senate and the House. "Attaching this amendment to the tobacco-control bill is nothing more than a sneak attack by Republicans to escalate the war on marijuana smokers," Stroup said. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** New Hampshire Judge Dismisses Farmers Request To Grow Hemp June 11, 1998, Hopkington, NH: A New Hampshire federal magistrate dismissed a suit today brought by parties seeking to enjoin Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials from prosecuting farmers who cultivate hemp. New Hampshire state Rep. Derek Owen and the New Hampshire Hemp Council of Keene filed suit in U.S. District Court on April 30 asking the court to bar the agency from using federal anti-marijuana laws to prohibit hemp cultivation. Owen, who co-sponsored unsuccessful legislation this spring to "permit the development of an industrial hemp industry in New Hampshire," sought the order so he could plant hemp on his farm this year. The federal judge ruled that the court lacked "subject matter jurisdiction" to hear the case because state law also forbids the cultivation of hemp. Plaintiff's attorney, Gordon Blakeney of Concord, said he will file an immediate objection to the ruling. Plaintiffs argued that marijuana and hemp are two botanically different strains of the species Cannabis sativa, and that the federal law is ambiguous because it refers to a classification of plants "commonly understood to include more than one distinct variety." Plaintiffs further contended that Congress intended only to criminalize the psychoactive variety of Cannabis sativa and not the non-psychoactive strain. Blakeney also said that no criminal intent exists in legitimate hemp cultivation. A similar federal suit filed by a coalition of Kentucky farmers against the DEA and the Department of Justice remains pending. For more information, please contact either Attorney Gordon Blakeney @ (603) 225-2310 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Washington State Democrats Back Medical Marijuana Initiative June 11, 1998, Yakima, WA: Democrats approved a resolution supporting passage of the Washington State Medical Marijuana Initiative (I-692) at last week's State Democratic Convention. State Sen. Jeanne Kohl (D-Seattle) called the party support "wonderful." Kohl, along with Sen. Pat Thibadeau (D-Seattle), sponsored legislation this spring to exempt "seriously ill patients ... from liability and criminal prosecution for limited, personal possession and use of marijuana." The legislation died in committee when Republican Sen. Alex Deccio (R-Yakima), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Longterm Care, refused to call the issue for a vote. Initiative 692 is based upon the Kohl/Thibadeau bill. The initiative mandates that "patients with terminal or debilitating illnesses who, in the judgment of their physicians would benefit from the medical use of marijuana, shall not be found guilty of a crime under state law for their possession and limited use of marijuana." The proposal would also exempt "primary caregivers" who assist patients with their medical marijuana treatment from state criminal prosecution. The Seattle-Post Intelligencer previously endorsed the measure last month. Proponents of I-692 must gather approximately 182,000 signatures by July 2 to place the measure on the November ballot. For more information, please contact Dr. Rob Killian of Washington Citizens for Medical Rights @ (206) 781-7716 or Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon Court Of Appeals (A List Subscriber Posts An Excerpt From Yesterday's Decision In State V. Powelson Saying Police Broke The Law Using Coercion During A 'Knock And Talk' Bust Of A Cannabis Cultivator) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 19:18:47 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - Oregon Court of Appeals - 6/10/98 (fwd) Sender: email@example.com Hey hey, some good news for a change... :) Floyd. --- Forwarded message --- Oregon Court News 6/11/98 Willamette Law Online - Willamette University College of Law *** On June 10, 1998, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued the decisions summarized below. *** [snip] *** State v. Powelson, (CA A93866) Believing that defendant was growing marijuana in his home but choosing not to obtain a warrant, police instead conducted a "knock and talk." Defendant admitted police into his home. Police told defendant that if he did not consent to search, they would obtain a warrant but he would either be taken to a holding cell or an officer would watch him while they obtained the warrant. This action was a seizure of defendant, and the unlawful police conduct had an effect on defendant's state of mind affecting his consent. The trial court did not err in holding that defendant's consent was not voluntary and in suppressing the evidence.
------------------------------------------------------------------- WHEE Update (Steve Hagar Of 'High Times' Magazine Gives An Update On The Magazine's Second Annual Celebration Of Cannabis Culture Near Eugene, Oregon, In Mid-July) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 01:45:29 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - MESSAGE FROM STEVE HAGER! Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org HELLO ALL WHO WANT AN ACTIVIST BOOTH! PERHAPS YOU ALL WHO WANT A BOOTH CAN DECIDE HOW MANY AND WHAT YOU WANT TO DO TO VOLUNTEER. ANY IDEAS ON STEVE'S LETTER HERE ARE WELCOMED. I AM A BIT CONFUSED AS TO HOW TO PUT THIS TOGETHER. I SUPPOSE THAT'S HOW THESE THINGS GO :-) SO LET ME KNOW! PAUL Subject: forty two days to 420 at whee2! Date: Thu, 11 Jun 98 18:02:39 -0400 From: Steven Hager (email@example.com) "Serenity in the heart of choas" motto, Mission Control TO ALL CREW CHIEFS: Don't call me on the phone, just email. Completing the crew schedule is top priority. Need to know what day people arrive and what jobs they do. If you're a crew chief, email me a list of who's on your crew and when they arrive and depart. Mission Control arrives on site on Friday, July 10th. Bulk of crew arrives on Monday, July 13th. We need Scott's big blow-up tent and every other canopy and tarp we can hustle. If anyone has any big tents or tarps they can bring, let us know. We'll have to construct some nice facades for the Front Gate, Info Booth, Healing Center, HIGH TIMES booth and Doggie Village. We need to install the Observation Deck behind the stage. After that's done, painting and sign construction should begin. We want to cherry the site out with some really colorful graphics. We're bringing a great artist to run the painting crew. He did the poster art that's on the flyer. He's going to need helpers. I would like to construct a large white bird with a phoenix head similar to the big birds Peter Schumann uses in the Bread & Puppet Theater. They have huge wings made of white fabric that are supported by runners dressed in white. Although I can get this made in New York, if someone in Oregon knows a good puppet or stage designer, please let me know ASAP. Has everyone received flyers? Request them from Liz Lapof at HIGH TIMES. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please help distribute flyers. Yes, we need an estimate on a crew kitchen. We're exploring options and need to know if anyone knows a good chef who cooks for vegans as well as meat eaters. We like to recruit sisters to balance the vibe, dudes we have plenty. WHEE! has three stages: 1) set-up, tune-up, shake-down, 2) run the movie, 3) tear down, clean up, restore. Now, I know how good all of you are with management details. We need to construct an operations manual that explains what each crew does, who the crew chiefs are, and how anyone can pitch in and do anybody else's job (providing they have been given that authority by Mission Control). Everyone on the crew must read this manual before starting work. All crew chiefs should prepare a list of how many people working in their crew, when they will arrive, and what they will be doing each day they are on site. If you are a crew chief with no crew, you need to tell us how many people you need, and on what days. Scott and Doulan should provide radios to their own crews. Mission Control must have a couple of these. In order to make the scene more manageable, we'd like to keep the crew sizes down to the bare essentials. We're anticipating a very peaceful audience and want to focus security on making sure people visit the box office on their way into the show. Mission Control supervises all operations. Mission Control includes Steve Hager, Mike Esterson, Anthony Countey, Zen 108 and all Crew Chiefs, aka The Temple Dragon Crew. Run by consensus, Mission Control can't be opened unless all the keys are in all the cylinders. MISSION CONTROL DAILY SCHEDULE 8 AM breakfast 8 PM After dinner council hanta yo! Steve Hager
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bail Reinstated For Cancer Patient In Marijuana Case ('Los Angeles Times' Version Of Yesterday's News About Todd McCormick) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 04:09:32 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Bail Reinstated for Cancer Patient in Marijuana Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: David Rosenzweig, Times Staff Writer BAIL REINSTATED FOR CANCER PATIENT IN MARIJUANA CASE Actor Woody Harrelson will not have to forfeit the $500,000 bond he posted for a cancer patient facing criminal charges for growing more than 4,000 marijuana plants. Nor will Todd McCormick, the 27-year-old defendant, be sent back to jail while he awaits trial in Los Angeles federal court. A bail revocation hearing for McCormick came to an unexpected end Wednesday after federal prosecutors and defense lawyers hammered out a settlement. Under terms of the stipulation, which was approved by U.S Magistrate James McMahon, McCormick renewed his promise not to use marijuana and any hempseed derivatives, but he can use Marinol, a legal drug containing a synthetic form of marijuana. McCormick, who has a rare form of bone cancer, says he needs to use marijuana to relieve pain. Harrelson posted bail for McCormick after drug agents raided the Bel-Air mansion where he grew the plants under artificial light. As a condition of the bond, McCormick promised to refrain from using marijuana and submit to regular substance-abuse tests. When a series of tests produced positive results earlier this year, the government moved to revoke his bail. McCormick insisted that he hadn't taken marijuana and suggested that the positive readings stemmed from his use of Marinol, which was prescribed by a physician, or from his use of hempseed oil, which he said he was taking as a nutritional supplement. Wednesday's turnabout apparently came after the judge and prosecutors were presented with evidence from a Mississippi-based laboratory that it could detect the difference between marijuana and Marinol. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alcoholism `Cure' Ends In One Death ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says Four Members Of A Los Angeles Storefront 'Alcohol And Drug' Recovery Group Were Being Held Wednesday On Charges That They Killed A 32-Year-Old Man By Tying Him Up And Force-Feeding Him Alcohol In A Misguided Attempt At Aversion Therapy) Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 01:13:54 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Alcoholism `Cure' Ends In One Death Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ ALCOHOLISM `CURE' ENDS IN ONE DEATH LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Enrique Bravo lost his battle with alcohol. And prosecutors contend it was the cure that killed him. Four members of a storefront alcohol and drug recovery group were being held Wednesday on charges that they killed the 32-year-old man by tying him up and force-feeding him alcohol May 25 in a misguided aversion therapy. The Los Angeles County coroner's office has not determined the cause of death, but it was being investigated as a homicide, coroner's spokesman Scott Carrier said. District attorney spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said she could not confirm details of the allegations on Wednesday. However, Deputy District Attorney Craig Renetzky, quoted in the Los Angeles Times, alleged that Bravo was fed ``nothing but alcohol'' and was kept restrained in a room with another man, who survived the treatment. ``The idea was that the guy would later hate alcohol so much he wouldn't drink anymore,'' Renetzky said. ``But the guy died.'' Bravo, of Little Rock, was pronounced dead at Grupo Liberacion y Fortaleza on Lankershim Boulevard in the Sun Valley area of the San Fernando Valley. The four defendants were workers or volunteers, and some had been through the same program, the prosecutor said. Alberto Saguache, 38; Armando Nestor Sakaqil, 29; Dante Rosillo Barrera, 32 and Jose Robert Rodriguez, 45, pleaded not guilty on June 2 to one count each of involuntary manslaughter and two counts each of false imprisonment. They remained jailed in lieu of $50,000 each pending a preliminary hearing today, Gibbons said. Those familiar with alcohol-treatment programs said the treatment allegedly given Bravo was neither common nor accepted. ``This is obviously some kind of bizarre notion of how you help people get clean and sober,'' said Bill Gallegos, chairman of the Los Angeles County Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Policy Coalition, a coalition of 50 organizations involved in drug- and alcohol-abuse prevention. Effectively dealing with alcoholism requires programs to deal with psychological, emotional and even genetic roots of the problem and requires patients to ``commit their lives to a day-by-day process of staying clean,'' Gallegos said. Bravo may have been one of those who turned to an unlicensed and unsupervised program because of a widespread shortage of treatment facilities, Gallegos said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fund cuts for DARE are sought - Program fails to stem drug abuse - Driscoll (The Houston Chronicle says Houston City Councilman Ray Driscoll called Wednesday for a 50 percent cut in funding for the Houston Police Department's DARE program, characterizing the popular nationwide effort as good public relations for police but ineffective in combating drug use among youth. Houston's DARE program costs $3.7 million a year for 63 officers to teach about 27,000 fifth-graders and 24,000 seventh-graders. Driscoll said the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program had been taught by police "in Houston for 12 years. Drug use among youth continues to rise. Something is wrong." Mayor Lee Brown, the former White House drug czar who began the DARE program when he was police chief, predicted the city council would spare the program.) Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 22:00:15 -0800 From: Jim Rosenfield (email@example.com) Subject: Fund cuts for DARE are sought / Program fails to stemdrug abuse - Driscoll Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Houston Chronicle, 06/11/98 Fund cuts for DARE are sought / Program fails to stemdrug abuse - Driscoll By MATT SCHWARTZ Staff City Councilman Ray Driscoll called for a 50 percent cut in funding to the Houston Police DARE program Wednesday, calling the popular nationwide effort good public relations for police but ineffective in combating drug use among youth. "We're spending a lot of money on PR (public relations) and T-shirts, pencils and signs, but we're not getting any results," said Driscoll, who has criticized the program in the past. "We've had it in Houston for 12 years. Drug use among youth continues to rise. Something is wrong." He issued his call to chop city funding to Drug Abuse Resistance Education in the form of an amendment to Mayor Lee Brown's proposed fiscal 1999 budget. The amendment will be considered by City Council in two weeks. Driscoll said there have been numerous studies in recent years in which researchers reported that DARE had little or no effect on substance abuse by teens. "I have been to DARE graduations," Driscoll said. "I have spoken to high school kids about the DARE program and very few of them can tell me what it was. They say something like, `I remember that. I went through that.' What did you learn? They say, `Drugs are bad.' I don't think you have to go through a DARE program to learn that." Driscoll said that he would offer a substitute amendment next week that the 50 percent funding cut should go to existing anti-drug programs with a successful track record. Councilwoman Martha Wong agreed with Driscoll. "I think there are some programs that are more successful than DARE," she said. Afterward, Brown, who began the DARE program in Houston when he was police chief, predicted council would spare the program the budget knife. "Anyone who has visited a DARE graduation will know that it makes a difference," the mayor said. "Anyone who has talked with a child who has been through the DARE program, knows that it makes a difference." Houston Police Chief C.O. Bradford said about 27,000 fifth-graders and 24,000 seventh-graders participate in local DARE programs. Asked what effect cutting the DARE funding by half would have, Bradford said, "I think we would have to reduce the number of students by half. We would have to decide which of the schools would not have the opportunity to experience the DARE program." HPD's DARE program costs $3.7 million a year to operate, $3.3 million of which is salaries and benefits for the 63 officers who work with the program, Bradford said. He questioned what people are looking for when they say DARE does not work. He likened it to driver education classes. "It's not so they won't have an accident, it's to better prepare them when they hit the road," Bradford said. "That's what DARE does." The University of Houston is studying the local DARE program and the results of the study are expected this summer. Bradford said that if the study indicates the program needs modifying, he would support that.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A NORML Contest Gets A Treatment ('The Mountain Eagle' In New York Says Rick Brightman, General Manager Of The Company That Owns 'My Shopper,' Refused To Accept An Advertisement From The Schoharie County Chapter Of NORML Announcing A High School Essay Contest On The Theme, 'How Does The War On Marijuana Threaten America's Constitutional Democracy?') Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 19:46:06 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: A NORML Contest Gets A Treatment Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk Pubdate: Thursday, June 11 1998 Source: The Mountain Eagle Contact: FAX (607)652-5253 A NORML CONTEST GETS A TREATMENT When Walter F. Wouk, president of the Schoharie County Chapter of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), began submitting ads to local newspapers and shopper's guides announcing a high school essay contest on the theme, "How does the war on marijuana threaten America's constitutional democracy?" his intent was to call attention to the U.S. Constitution. Wouk said, "I was stunned when the ad was rejected by the My Shopper." According to Wouk, Rick Brightman, general manager of the Norwich and Sidney Pennysaver Corporation, My Shopper's parent company, refused to accept the ad and told Wouk "to refrain from submitting ads for NORML to any of our publications, as we cannot accept them." In a letter dated June 2, 1998, Brightman told Wouk that "You are, at the core of the matter, advocating the legalization of a currently illegal drug, and in this case promoting the concept among teenagers." Wouk is concerned by the growing disregard for the U.S. Constitution in our schools. He said, "The sight of police officers, with drug sniffing dogs, roaming the halls of local schools does little to instill the spirit of liberty in our children." According to Wouk, "the goal of this essay contest is to make young people aware of the growing threat to the freedom that they take for granted," he said. Wouk acknowledged that Brightman has a legal right to reject NORML ads, but questions his selective values. Wouk said, "he has no problem accepting ads from organizations that promote alcohol use." Wouk pointed out that alcohol is an illegal drug for teenagers and it's also their drug of choice. "Brightman's goal is to suppress information that deals with the marijuana issue in a truthful manner," said Wouk
------------------------------------------------------------------- Free Heroin A Fix For Drug Problems? ('Baltimore Sun' Columnist Michael Olesker Interviews A Junkie About Yesterday's News That A Heroin Maintenance Program May Be Launched In Baltimore, And, Surveying The Damage Wreaked On The City By The War On Some Drug Users, Concludes Nobody Knows Whether Heroin Maintenance Will Work, But Everybody Knows 30 Years Of The War On Some Drug Users Has Failed Beyond Redemption) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 21:00:40 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US MD: Column: Free Heroin A Fix For Drug Problems? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Baltimore Sun (MD) Columnist: Michael Olesker Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 410-332-6977 Website: http://www.sunspot.net/ FREE HEROIN A FIX FOR DRUG PROBLEMS? In yesterday's early-morning drizzle, he was standing on Park Heights Avenue, near the abandoned wreck of the old Avalon movie theater that once inexplicably showed off a "Mayor Schmoke Makes Us Proud" poster and more recently (and still inexplicably) showed a "Rehrmann for Governor" poster, and he was faced with the day's usual business: Finding a little heroin to put into any convenient vein in the abused wreck of his body. "Free?" he said. "That's what they're talking about," he was told. The morning newspaper, in a front-page story headlined "Test of `heroin maintenance' may be launched in Baltimore," described the possibility of a controlled study here in which heroin would be distributed to hard-core addicts, in an effort to reduce crime and AIDS and other narcotics fallout. "Free?" he asked again. He had to think about this for a minute. He wore a blue jogging suit acquired during a recent shoplifting jaunt a few blocks from here. The suit hung loosely from his bony frame. Ducking out of the morning's scattery raindrops now, he stepped around clumps of trash on the sidewalk and stood beneath the Avalon's battered marquee. Once, this theater rang with the laughter of children whose parents had no concerns about leaving them unattended for an entire afternoon. Later, it became a radio station whose music captured the glad rhythms of its time. For about three decades, though -- roughly the time of America's failed 30-year war on drugs -- the building's been abandoned and allowed to rot, and has become one of the symbols of decay along lower Park Heights Avenue, which some police call the city's grubbiest narcotics thoroughfare. Such is the result of decades of American politicians striking noble poses as grand protectors of the people, and then turning the whole business over to the cops, who are so overmatched in sheer numbers that neighborhoods have fallen, and are populated by those who wander its streets in search of a fix, who break into houses, who knock over old ladies for their purses and have fueled the abandonment of cities such as Baltimore. "Well, I ain't saying," the guy in the jogging suit says now. He means, about the heroin distribution plan. All efforts involving institutional effort are to be pondered: Is this some kind of setup? Will there be registration forms, unwanted tails by the cops, strange substances more insidious than heroin secretly slipped into injections? He knows the thinking behind the plan, because everyone does: All other efforts have failed. This guy's been doing heroin for nearly a decade. He runs a jumble of figures through the air -- the cost of a shot, the amount of money needed to be swiped or the amount of goods needed to be stolen and the number of hits he needs a day. All of it equals a city ravaged by thousands of desperate people, and scores of places like lower Park Heights Avenue and the old Avalon theater. Remember the Avalon and the city's last campaign for mayor? When Kurt L. Schmoke's campaign workers put his infamous "Makes Us Proud" poster across the marquee, it provoked hoots of bitter invective. Proud? Of this dump? Of a place allowed to deteriorate while City Hall looked the other way? Then, as if no lessons had been learned, Eileen M. Rehrmann's campaign workers put up her poster on the same marquee a few weeks ago. This time, there were such outcries the poster was taken down. But the hoots took on a new angle this time: If she could trumpet her campaign on such a dump, she was just one more isolated suburban lady cut off from the city's realities. So now there's a new plan for what may be the city's harshest reality, narcotics: Fight it by yielding a little. Offer heroin to those addicts who have refused, or failed, at traditional drug treatment. "It's not going out on the streets and handing out heroin," Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Peter L. Beilenson told The Sun's Scott Shane. "It would be carefully controlled by health care providers under a research protocol." Beilenson, by the way, was one of scores of health officials, politicians and educators who sent a letter last week to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan declaring, "The global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself," noting that annual revenue generated by illegal drugs is now about $400 billion, or "the equivalent of roughly eight percent of total international trade. "This industry," the letter said, "has empowered organized 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." On Park Heights Avenue, nobody has to explain this to the guy in the jogging suit, nor to those living in the neighborhood who see the junkies on street corners, who worry over vulnerable old ladies with their purses, who watch the endless exodus to suburbia, and who see the old Avalon theater as the symbol of a community whose bones have been picked over. Is this new plan the answer? Not even the street junkies know, and they're at the heart of it. But everybody knows, 30 years of so-called wars on drugs have failed beyond redemption.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Attitudes Affect Who Uses Marijuana, Survey Finds ('Dallas Morning News' Account Of A New Survey From University Of Michigan Perpetuating The Myth That High Rates Of Fear, Ignorance And Intolerance Among Teens Correlate With Low Rates Of Marijuana Use)Date: Sat, 13 Jun 1998 01:13:52 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Attitudes Affect Who Uses Marijuana, Survey Finds Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joey4rigs@aol.com Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Author: Maggie Fox, Health And Science Correspondent ATTITUDES AFFECT WHO USES MARIJUANA, SURVEY FINDS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attitudes toward drug use strongly affect whether teen-agers use marijuana, researchers said Tuesday. Marijuana use among high school students soared in the 1970s, fell in the 1980s and is creeping back up again in the 1990s. Jerald Bachman and colleagues at the University of Michigan say attitudes are the reason. ``The overwhelming factor was the student's attitude, whether they thought it was dangerous,'' Bachman, a social psychologist, said in a telephone interview. Bachman's team looked at written surveys of more than 140,000 high school students, done from 1976 through 1996. The students were asked whether they used marijuana and what their attitudes toward the drug were, among other things. Students who were religious, who made good grades, who did not skip school and who did not go out much at night were much less likely to use marijuana. This held true in the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. But there were big variations in overall marijuana use over time. ``For example, a 12th grader in 1978 was fully three times as likely to be a current marijuana user (defined as any use in the past 30 days) as a 12th grader in 1992,'' the researchers wrote in a report in the American Journal of Public Health. ''Why did its popularity fluctuate so much?'' ``Attitudes about specific drugs -- disapproval of use and perceptions of risk or harmfulness -- are among the most important determinants of actual use,'' the researchers wrote. Teen-agers in the 1980s were much more likely to say they disapproved of marijuana use, or to know about the dangers of marijuana, than teen-agers in the 1970s, Bachman said. Bachman said he believed the surveys accurately reflected whether the teen-agers were actually taking drugs. Past analysis showed the respondents were answering truthfully, and were not just giving answers they thought interviewers wanted to read. Bachman, who has studied drug use by teen-agers for 30 years, said education campaigns did work. He said schools, politicians and the media had hit hard on drugs in the 1980s, but talked about them less now. ``They have become complacent, yes,'' he said. High-profile deaths of young athletes who took cocaine in the 1980s helped scare teen-agers off that drug, he said. And in the early 1980s teen-agers could see fellow students who were ''burned out'' by marijuana use. He also said the attitude toward the individual drug was important. Cocaine use and marijuana use did not parallel one another -- indicating that it was knowledge of the drug itself, and not overall attitudes about drugs in general, that was important.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fruit Flies Open New Understanding About Effects Of Alcohol ('The Associated Press' Describes Genetic Research By A Team Led By Dr. Ulrike Heberlein Of The Gallo Center At The University Of California At San Francisco, Published In Thursday's Issue Of The Journal 'Cell,' Giving The First Clear Evidence Of A Link Between A Substance Called Cyclic AMP And A Subject's Reaction To Alcohol) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 01:29:12 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Fruit Flies Open New Understanding About Effects Of Alcohol Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Associated Press Author: Daniel Q. Haney, AP Medical Editor FRUIT FLIES OPEN NEW UNDERSTANDING ABOUT EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL BOSTON (AP) -- Drunken flies that carry a genetic mutation named ``cheapdate'' are helping scientists unravel one of life's mysteries: why some people can hold their liquor better than others. The research found that fruit flies -- and perhaps people, too -- are especially apt to get inebriated if they naturally produce low levels of a chemical called cyclic AMP. These are, of course, just flies, but scientists have long known that the basic processes of life in such simple creatures often turn out to be virtually identical to the ones involved in more complicated animals, like people. Indeed, given too much alcohol, speck-size fruit flies act remarkably like humans on a bender. They become hyperactive and uncoordinated, buzzing about erratically. After a few minutes, they fall into a dazed stupor and then pass out. A team led by Dr. Ulrike Heberlein of the Gallo Center (named for the California wine family) at the University of California at San Francisco created thousands of fruit flies with genes randomly knocked out. One of the flies, it turned out, couldn't hold its alcohol. They dubbed its genetic flaw ``cheapdate.'' The researchers put flies inside a 4-foot glass dome -- called an inebriometer -- and pumped in alcohol vapor. The dome is crisscrossed with mesh landings. Ordinarily, the flies like to stay near the top. But as they got drunk, they fell from level to level. Ordinary fruit flies take 20 minutes to hit bottom. But the cheapdate mutants tumbled down in 15 minutes. Further research found that the easy drunks were missing a gene called ``amnesiac,'' so-called because its deletion causes bugs to have very poor memories. Flies missing this gene are believed to have lower than usual production of cyclic AMP, a chemical messenger known to be involved in many critical processes, including memory and responses to some hormones. The study, published in Thursday's issue of the journal Cell, is the first clear evidence in a living creature of a link between cyclic AMP and reaction to alcohol. The scientists blocked other steps in the production of this chemical and found these, too, made the flies more prone to drunkenness. ``If you're a fly and your cyclic AMP levels are low, then you are sensitive to alcohol,'' Heberlein said. ``In people, it's been studied, but it's not so clear.'' In a laboratory dish, alcohol stimulates human cells to make more cyclic AMP. However, long-term exposure has the opposite effect, making cells gradually produce less of the chemical. No one knows for sure if the same thing happens inside the body. However, the fruit fly experiment suggests it does, said Dr. Hugo J. Bellen of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. People who can hold their liquor, especially at a young age, are more likely to become alcoholics than are those who get drunk easily. This tendency is inherited. Bellen said the accumulating evidence raises the possibility that individual variations in production of cyclic AMP might contribute to the way people handle alcohol. For instance, those whose normal production is low might get a big boost of cyclic AMP when they drink, while those with naturally high production get less of a kick. However, these high producers could over time be more susceptible to alcoholism, because chronic exposure to the higher levels of booze they can tolerate suppresses their cyclic AMP production. So they drink to bring their cyclic AMP back up to normal. Certainly, the body's response to alcohol is more complex than this, and the theory is still speculative. But Bellen said the fruit fly study ``opens the door to understanding the chronic response to and need for a drug, in this case alcohol.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nations Agree To Cooperate In War On Drugs ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Summarizes The Just-Ended United Nations General Assembly Special Session On Expanding The Global Drug War By Noting That, In Fact, No Such Cooperation Was Actually Pledged Because The Delegates, From About 150 Countries, Were Divided About How To Wage The Drug War) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:06:23 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: Nations Agree To Cooperate in 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 (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 NATIONS AGREE TO COOPERATE IN WAR ON DRUGS But U.N. delegates divided on best tactics United Nations World leaders wrapped up a three-day U-N. drug summit yesterday by expressing broad agreement that combatting the drug trade requires a coordinated global campaign. But the delegates, from about 150 countries, were divided about how to wage the drug War. The 'summit concluded with the endorsement of a plan for governments to work together to curb trafficking, reduce demand, improve judicial cooperation, combat money-laundering and reduce the illegal cultivation of narcotic crops by 2008. However, the U.N. General Assembly special session on drugs underscored broad differeuces bctween drug producing countries of Latin America and Asia and themajor consumers - including the United States -on how best to direct limited resources in the fight. Speakers from Colombia, Burma Mexico and other producing nations applauded U.N. proposals to reduce illicit cultivation by providing farmers in developing nations with financial incentives to stop growing opium poppies, coca and cannabis. Several developed countries,including Germany, Japan and Australia, endorsed those plans. But few promised substantial, new funds to pay for them, although Canada's solicitor general, Andy Scott, said his government Would consider additional payments. U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey, speaking to reporters Monday, avoided committing the United States to support of the U.N. crop substitution program, saying the global drug war required MONre than "just funding for alternativ economic development. tt During his speech Monday, president Clinton announced a $2 billion, five year anti-drug media campaign targeted at young people. Sandro Tucci, a U.N. spokesman, said the conference had succeeded in convincing governments that reducing demand in rich countries was a priority. But some private drug research organizations expressed disappointment that more was not said about ways to treat and rehabilitate addicts. "Like the drug war itself, the U.N. drug summit was a failure" said Dr. Ethan Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center. "Rather than producing the intended unity, the drug summit exposed deep divisions ... between drug war zealots who advocate spending on a failed policy and the reformers who want new approaches.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Definitive Statement On Dutch Demand Reduction (A List Subscriber Posts The Statement Made By The Dutch Minister At The United Nations' Drug War Summit - Drug Users Should Not Be Criminalized For Habits But Should Be Provided With The Help They Need) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 10:15:54 -0400 (EDT) From: "Kelly T. Conlon" (conlonkt@mcmail.CIS.McMaster.CA) To: email@example.com Subject: A definitive statement on Dutch demand reduction The Dutch should be rightly proud for having the courage to make this statement at the General Session. http://www.undcp.org/undcp/gass/ga9421.html HANS VAN MIERLO, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands: The Netherlands' policy on demand reduction has shown positive results. It focuses on protection of health and social well-being, and on reducing the risks associated with drug abuse. In that context, the Netherlands' experience shows that drug users should not be criminalized for habits but should be provided with the help they need. This policy keeps users from going underground, which helps identify user groups and habits, and enables development of effective targeted policy measures. Bringing drug use into the open also removes its glamour. Young people in the Netherlands now consider heroin to be for losers. Finally, a high standard of treatment, care and risk reduction measures has lowered morbidity and mortality among drug users and has reduced the spread of infectious diseases. No country's system can be imposed on another as the only right and proper one. Achieving a drug-free world remains an open question. Control of drugs and drug-related problems seems an attainable goal, but even that objective takes all the resources that can be brought to bear, both political and financial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs War Just 'An Exercise In Futility' (An Account In Britain's 'Guardian' About The United Nations Special Session On Drugs Focuses On The Speech Given Outside The General Assembly By Omayra Morales, A Member Of The Andean Council Of Coca Leaf Producers - Four Years Ago, She Said, The Columbian Government Vowed To End Coca Cultivation Within Two Years - Coca Was Then Being Grown On 100,000 Acres - Today's Figure Is 250,000 Acres) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 16:46:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: Drugs War Just 'An Exercise In Futility' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Author: Mark Tran in New York DRUGS WAR JUST 'AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY' One of the stranger moments in yesterday's United Nations drug summit came as it ended with the adoption of an ambitious plan to slash the supply and demand. "Fraternal greetings from all growers of coca poppy and marijuana in Columbia," declared Omayra Morales, a member of the Andean council of coca leaf producers, outside the general assembly, while inside presidents, prime ministers and other dignitaries spoke of the need for urgent action. Mrs Morales portrayed the war against drugs as an exercise in futility. Four years ago, she said, the Columbian government said it would end coca cultivation within two years. Coca was then being grown on 100,000 acres. Today's figure was 250,000 acres. Fumigation of coca fields, Mrs Morales said, had only forced growers deeper into the Amazon region. "There have been many protests and demonstrations," she said. "In response, there has been a military offensive against the leaders of the protests." She added: "Fumigation with herbicides is a violation of the norms that say we can protect the environment." Mrs Morales provided a human reminder that the war against drugs is not going well. Since 1961, UN drug control strategies have put eradication of illegal opium centre stage. Yet according to the Lindesmith Centre, an institution backed by the financier George Soros, opium production is rising sharply. Coca cultivation has doubled since 1985, according to UN figures, and drug prices are falling. Critics of the UN approach warn that eradication efforts will lead to greater deforestation without reducing supply. Coletta Youngers of the Washington Office on Latin America said the United States was "addicted to failed policies". [The?] Non-governmental organisation says the increasing use of the military against drugs will undermine democratic rule in Latin America and lead to human rights abuses. Some UN officials yesterday criticised efforts to stamp out drug supply. "Such policies have had no effect on supply, and crop substitution does not work without the development of markets and infrastructure like transportation," said one. A European diplomat was more scathing: "What a farce. I've never heard such platitudes." But others pointed to the value of discussing other key issues such as money laundering. Although the summit ended with the adoption of an ambitious plan to cut supply and demand,it remains to be seen whether countries will come up with the hard cash to fund the proposal. It was advanced by Pino Arlacchi, former Mafia fighter and head of the UN International Drug Control Programme, who puts the cost of the plan at between UKP2.5 billion and UKP3 billion during the next 10 years. That is well above current funding levels; his programme received UKP100 million in 1998-99. The proposal calls for tighter international controls on chemicals that go into making the finished product, and better tracking of money laundering. He also wants to offer farmers alternative development schemes so they can substitute other crops such as rice and coffee, for drug plants. President Bill Clinton, who said people must "wage this fight around the world and around the kitchen table", did not put any more money on the table for the programme. General Barry McCaffrey, the US drug tsar, was lukewarm about the Arlacchi plan, saying it was too soon to talk about money. Washington will almost certainly refuse to give money to at least two opium-growing countries, Burma and Afghanistan, because of their repressive regimes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Drug War - A War On Poor, Lower Classes (Alexander Cockburn's Column In 'The Los Angeles Times,' Written On The Occasion Of The UN Special Session To Expand The Global War On Some Drug Users, Gives A Brief But Devastating History - According To HR Haldeman's Diary, Nixon Emphasized That 'You Have To Face The Fact The Whole Problem Is Really The Blacks - The Key Is To Devise A System That Recognizes This While Not Appearing To') From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: CA OPED: The Drug War: A War On Poor, Lower Classes Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 07:00:54 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (kevin b. zeese) Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Alexander Cockburn THE DRUG WAR: A WAR ON POOR, LOWER CLASSES Historically, the drug wars have been a pretext for social and political repression. "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." This was the banner on a double-page ad in the New York Times on Monday, timed to coincide with the big United Nations' special session in New York on drugs. Hundreds of prominent people from around the world signed on to the view that the drug war has been a disaster and "the time has come for a truly open and honest dialogue about future global drug control policies." The statements to which the signatories put their names are mostly unimpeachable common sense: "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." All true, and every phrase repeated, proved and doubly proved year after year. So why does the drug war grind on, decade after decade, immune to reason, often grotesque in its hypocrisy? How can one listen without laughing to the solemn posturing of the U.S. government about the recent sting on Mexican banks for their washing of drug money, without a word about corresponding drug-money laundering by U.S. banks? The answer is plain enough, particularly if one takes a look at the history of drug wars over the past 150 years. These drug wars are either enterprises that expand the drug trade or pretexts for social and political repression. In either case, the aim of halting the production, shipment and consumption of drugs is not on the agenda. In the mid-19th century, the British fought two drug wars to force the Chinese to accept imports of opium from India. Nearly a century and a half later, as it contemplated intervention against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, the Carter administration initiated the spending of covert billions on what was, if we view it realistically, another drug war, as one of President Carter's own advisors predicted. As he later recalled, David Musto, a White House member of the president's Council on Drug Abuse, told his boss that "we were going into Afghanistan to support the opium growers in their rebellion against the Soviets." As covert U.S. military aid soared, so did Afghan opium production, tripling between 1979 and 1982. By 1982, in U.N. and Drug Enforcement Administration figures, the Afghan heroin producers--romanticized by U.S. politicians and press as "freedom fighters"--had captured 60% of the heroin market in Western Europe and the U.S. They had of course the all-important asset of being anti-communist. All the millions sent by the U.S. to Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico, allegedly to battle drug lords, have never made a dent in the drug trade. But they have helped Latin American armies and police crush peasant insurgencies and murder labor organizers. Domestically, the "drug war" has always been a pretext for social control, going back to the racist application of drug laws against Chinese laborers in the recession of the 1870s when these workers were viewed as competition for the dwindling number of jobs available. The main users, middle-class white men and women taking opium in liquid form as "tonics," weren't harassed. But the Chinese Exclusion Act allowed Chinese opium addicts to be arrested and deported. In the 1930s, the racist head of the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Harry Anslinger, was renaming hemp as "marijuana" to associate it with Mexican laborers and claiming that marijuana could "arouse in blacks and Hispanics a state of menacing fury or homicidal attack." As he was so often, President Nixon was helpfully explicit in his private remarks. H.R. Haldeman recorded in his diary a briefing by the president in 1969, prior to launching of the war on drugs: "Nixon emphasized that you have to face the fact the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." So what was "the system" duly devised? The 1986 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, with its 29 new minimum mandatory sentences, and the 100-to-1 sentencing ratio between possession of crack and powder cocaine, became a system for locking up a disproportionate number of black people. So to call for a "truly open and honest dialogue" about drug policy, as all those distinguished signatories in the advertisement requested, is about as realistic as asking the U.S. government to nationalize the oil industry. Essentially, the drug war is a war on the poor and the dangerous classes, here and elsewhere. How many governments are going to give up on that? Alexander Cockburn Is Coauthor With Jeffrey St. Clair of "Whiteout: the Cia, Drugs and the Press," to Be Published Next Month by Verso Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Expanding The Losing War On Drugs (An Op-Ed In 'The Chicago Tribune' By Syndicated Columnist Steve Chapman About This Week's United Nations Special Session On Drugs Notes The American Drug War Has Been A Failure, But That Doesn't Stop The US Government From Pressing Other Countries To Adopt Its Methods) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 09:29:49 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: OPED: Expanding The Losing War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1, page 23 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: Steve Chapman EXPANDING THE LOSING WAR ON DRUGS The theme of this week's United Nations special session on drugs was simple: "A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It." President Clinton enthusiastically echoed that goal in his Monday address to the meeting. Clearly, government leaders are not about to let their grandiose plans be inhibited by petty concerns like cost, practicality or personal liberty. Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of the effort to force people to do what their rulers have decreed is good for them. The American drug war has been a failure, but that doesn't stop the U.S. government from pressing other countries to adopt its methods. Clinton called for greater cooperation among law enforcement agencies, expanded programs to eradicate fields of marijuana, coca and opium abroad, additional money for anti-drug propaganda and, of course, more arrests. "With determined and relentless effort, we can turn this evil tide," he insisted. Don't bet on it. Despite huge increases in spending on both law enforcement and prevention, drug use in the United States has been rising in recent years, particularly among the teenagers and young adults who have been bombarded since birth with the message that drugs are a demonic force. Foreign governments, at our urging, are burning more drug crops, but the amount grown still overwhelmingly exceeds the amount destroyed. Every time soldiers descend on one area, production merely shifts to a different part of the country--or a different country entirely. If U.S. military and law enforcement agencies had slowed the flow of drugs into this country, the shortage would push up prices on the street--but prices have declined. Meanwhile, non-violent offenders are being incarcerated on a vast scale. More than half a million people are arrested annually for merely possessing marijuana, a drug far safer than many legal ones. The number of drug offenders behind bars has skyrocketed by 700 percent since 1980. The zealotry of the "zero tolerance" approach allows no compromise with rationality. The Department of Health and Human Services has long refused to acknowledge the scientific evidence that allowing addicts access to clean hypodermic syringes can slow the spread of the AIDS virus--and when it finally admitted the truth this year, it nonetheless refused to spend a nickel of federal AIDS prevention funds on this proven strategy. Marijuana has been shown to have a variety of legitimate medical uses, but the Clinton administration has done its best to prevent California and Arizona from allowing the therapeutic use of pot. If the punitive approach were the answer, we would no longer have a problem. But the punitive approach, to a large extent, is the problem. Most of the crime associated with the trade stems not from the physiological effects of drugs but from the laws against them. This illegality keeps prices artificially inflated, forces addicts to turn to crime to pay for their habits and assures the advancement of hard-core criminals willing to employ violence as a business strategy. We saw the same problems during Prohibition--and we solved them by accepting that we would never achieve an alcohol-free society. As a direct result of the repeal of the Volstead Act, crime plunged, and it stayed down for decades. But so intense is the paranoia about drugs that the option of tolerance is treated as unthinkable. Why is that? We assume that only the threat of severe punishment can deter people from mass addiction. But forbidden fruit can be alluring simply because it is forbidden. Alcohol consumption actually rose during Prohibition. In recent years, the drugs that have declined in popularity are the ones that are legal--alcohol and tobacco. Thanks to a growing awareness of the hazards of drinking and smoking, Americans have become more cautious and responsible in their conduct. In the Netherlands, where marijuana can be legally sold and consumed, teenagers are less likely to use pot than adolescents here. If marijuana were treated the same way here, the likely result would not be more drug use but a shift in use from cigarettes and booze to cannabis--a net plus for public health. But the drug warriors refuse to consider any moderation of their policy. Like the generals and politicians who got us into Vietnam, they pretend that if we just redouble our efforts, we can achieve whatever we want. So Americans should expect to be at this task indefinitely, looking in vain for that light at the end of the tunnel.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Failed 'Drug War' (Two Letters To The Editor Of 'The International Herald-Tribune' Oppose The United Nations' Expansion Of US Prohibition Policies) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:08:08 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: PUB LTE's: Failed 'Drug War' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.iht.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 FAILED 'DRUG WAR' [Regarding "Big Names Sign Letter Criticizing War on Drugs" (June 10)]: The "war on drugs' makes Prohibition look like a roaring success. It has made the United States into the world's highest per capita jailer of its own people. And while drug warriors express concern for children, an unregulated black market in drugs does nothing to protect young people --- drug dealers are unlikely to ask for identification, as merchants of legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco are required to do. Billions of dollars have been wasted on this drug war that could have gone to fund programs to help people with the disease of addiction. I do not want my children to-grow up in a police state created in the name of a drugfree world. It is time for the United States, as well as the international community, to rethink its drug policies. TIMOTHY J. MEEHAN. Toronto. *** Drug prohibition has clearly failed. We must instead legalize and control the distribution of drugs. (This suggestion will not please those who profit from the present system.) Crime levels would fall. More money would be available for education. Pressure. on police, courts and prisons would drop. The dosage and quality of drugs could be controlled. And drug-taking would be deglamorized. ALUN BUFFRY. Norfolk, England.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The War On Drugs - Vietnam All Over Again (Text Of An Advertisement For The Book 'Drug Crazy,' By Mike Gray, Printed In Today's 'New York Times') Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 01:00:59 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Richard Lake
Subject: US GE: NYT AD: The War on Drugs: Vietnam All Over Again Newshawk: http://www.drugsense.org/csdp/ Source: The New York Times Section: National Page Pubdate: THURSDAY, 11 June 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Editor's Note: The 1/4th page ad, below, provides an opportunity for action. Please call every book store in your phone book and ask if they have DRUG CRAZY in stock. Tell them you saw a large ad for it in the NYT today. If they say 'no' tell them that you are trying to find several copies for friends, but that you will call around to see if anyone else has it in stock before considering a special order. This takes only a little time, and may encourage stores to stock and display it. This is what I plan to do. A review of DRUG CRAZY is online at: http://www.drugsense.org/crazy.htm THE WAR ON DRUGS: VIETNAM ALL OVER AGAIN A President and his general locked in a failed policy, unwilling to admit the war cannot be won. Lives lost. Billions wasted. Sound familiar? As General Barry McCaffrey, the drug czar, calls for more troops and more weapons, the dispatches from the front tell us we're still losing the war in spite of the body count. If people aren't in the streets yet, they may be after they read "Drug Crazy" In 1978, Mike Gray wrote "The China Syndrome," the movie that blew the lid off the nuclear power industry. Now, "Drug Crazy" is about to do the same thing to the war on drugs. [PHOTO OF BOOK] "Anyone who thinks the war on drugs is succeeding should read this book." Milton Friedman "Gray brings a filmic sense of drama and action to a gritty, scorching look at the failure of America's war on drugs." Publishers Weekly "It shifts the burden of proof from the critics of existing policy to its defenders. No mean feat!" Elliott Richardson "This is a book that every American should read and take seriously." George McGovern Paid for by Common Sense for Drug Policy, Kevin Zeese, President. Visit www.drugsense.org Common Sense for Drug Policy, 3619 Tallwood Terrace, Falls Church, Va 22041
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'The New York Times' Now Opposes The War On Drugs - And You? An Open Letter To My Media Brethren From An Old Media Whore, Peter McWilliams (The Best-Selling Author Responds To The Recent About-Face By One Of The Nation's Most Influential Newspapers, Noting Its Staff Editorial Tuesday Reverses An Unwritten Policy He Suggests Was Implemented In October 1990, When Many In The Media Gathered In Restin, Virginia) From: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 09:14:10 +0100 The New York Times Now Opposes the War on Drugs. And You? An Open Letter to My Media Brethren from an Old Media Whore, Peter McWilliams In a dramatic editorial epiphany, the New York Times on June 9, 1998, published its new view that the War on Drugs has failed. Couched in criticism of the United Nation's new 10-year-plan aimed at "a drug-free world," the editorial neatly dismantles the 84-year-old United States drug policy as well. After all, the new UN drug policy is merely US drug policy sent to Berlitz. When the Times observes that the "militarized war on drugs...has torn apart societies and built up some of the world's most repressive armies," we need look no further than any American inner city. The War on Drugs has become a war waged by the American government against American minorities, the disenfranchised, and the sick. Ask any inner-city African American: "Which do you fear more, drugs or the police?" Ask any AIDS patient, "Which is more harmful, medical marijuana or the laws against it?" The Times wrote that the "claims" made by those who follow the US/UN policy, "get in the way of effective programs to reduce drug use" and said a law-enforcement approach to drug use and addiction was "misdirected," "failed," "designed primarily to recycle unrealistic pledges and celebrate dubious programs," and is "unrealistic and harmful." The one nod the Times makes to the current drug policy was a paragraph, one sentence long, that began in patriotic Drug War media pabulum, but ends with a fact that can no longer be denied by rational human beings. "While there is a place for crop substitution, law enforcement, interdiction and other programs to cut drug supply, these steps rarely deliver promised results." The War on Drugs can never be won. Nobel Laureate in economics Milton Freidman applied the immutable rule of the free marketplace, "Where there is a demand, there will be a supply," to the drug marketplace and determined a "drug-free America" was not only an impossibility, but our attempts to implement the impossible was "destroying our freedoms in the process." Even if you think that drugs are the worst plague upon humanity since income tax, if you spend even an hour researching, you'll find that drug prohibition is much, much worse. In October 1990, many in the media gathered in Restin, Virginia, to decide what to do about the War on Drugs. The cocaine epidemic was at its seeming worst, and the white middle class saw addiction to an illegal drug firsthand for the first time. (The epidemic had, in fact, already peaked and was rapidly declining as more and more people learned, "This stuff ain't good for me" and stopped.) The media, in a frenzy and charmed by William Bennett, decided to treat the War on Drugs as though it were a real war fought against a foreign power. Drug War propaganda was published, unchecked, as gospel truth; Iran/Contra was swept under the rug; the drug warriors were treated as heroes; the entrepreneurs who supplied the undeniable demand were demonized as "drug dealers;" addicts were portrayed as spineless, immoral, criminals instead of human beings with horrible illnesses in need of medical treatment; and drug users were not adults making adult choices, but traitors who were aiding and abetting the enemy. Isn't it time all this ended? Shouldn't the media return to objective reporting in the War on Drugs? Bill Moyers, who served as Lyndon Johnson's press secretary during the Vietnam buildup, looked deeply into the War on Drugs and declared it, "another Vietnam." Walter Cronkite, one of the first major broadcasters to come out against the War in Vietnam, has come out against the War on Drugs--well ahead of his media brethren, again. After all, right-thinking, patriotic, good-hearted American media covered Vietnam for almost a decade as a "good" war. That same media, seeing Vietnam was not a good war after all, had the courage to then say, "In the light of new evidence, here's what we think now." Today, very few people, including the heroes who fought in that war, will say Vietnam accomplished more good than harm for the United States. One exception, interestingly, is Barry McCaffrey, who still believes Vietnam was one hell of a good war. The War on Drugs is not a good war. The bold Times editorial seems to lay down a challenge to the media: "We've dared to tell you what we think. What do you think?" What is your current, state-of-the-art, scientifically up-to-date view of the War on Drugs? You owe it to your readers, and your country, to take a fresh, hard look at that question, and then answer it honestly. Thank you. Peter McWilliams Writer and publisher Prelude Press 8159 Santa Monica Boulevard Los Angeles, California 90046 email@example.com www.mcwilliams.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Focus Alert No. 67 - 'Wall Street Journal' (DrugSense Asks You To Write A Letter To The Newspaper In Opposition To Its '500 Drug Geniuses' Editorial And Ask It To Cut Its Intellectual Losses) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 12:13:11 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - URGENT! FOCUS Alert No. 67 Wall Street Journal Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org FOCUS Alert No. 67 Wall Street Journal CALL TO ARMS! THIS NONSENSE MUST STOP! The Wall Street Journal has long distinguished itself as short sighted, myopic and completely devoid of logic and reason on the topic of drug policy. The paper seems to have the same blind spot to the incredible damage that's been done by the "War on Drugs" as do our political leaders. Below is an example of their latest diatribe in which they attack the 500 really high profile signers of the letter to the United Nations that ran in a 2 page ad in the NY Times recently. The temerity of this paper to question such an august group is mind boggling. WE NEED BIG NUMBERS ON THIS ONE - WE'RE TRYING TO MOVE MOUNTAINS! PLEASE SEND SOMETHING - EVEN A ONE LINER IF NOTHING ELSE. WRITE A LETTER - HELP CHANGE THE WORLD Just DO It! *** 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 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Please send your letter to _both_ addresses to insure the most impact and the best chance of publication. Wall Street Journal 200 Liberty Street New York, NY 10281-0001 212-416-2500 212-416-3299 (Verified fax number) "EXTRA CREDIT" FAX Your letter, a 500+/- word Op-Ed, or a second statement expressing your concern to WSJ attitudes to 212-416-3299 (Verified fax number) *** ORIGINAL ARTICLE Newshawk: The Media Awareness Project of DrugSense Pubdate: Wednesday, 10 June 1998 Source: The Wall Street Journal Section: Lead Editorial Contact: email@example.com Website: ht://www.wsj.com/ 500 DRUG GENIUSES With 500 of the world's prominent people serving as foot soldiers, there's now a war on against the war on drugs. As the U.N. General Assembly opened a special anti-drugs session this week, an international group of eminences urged the world to cede victory to the drugs' allure and concentrate its money and attention on making the addicts more comfortable. "The global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself," said a letter appearing Monday in newspapers and bearing the signatures of 500 people rounded up by an outfit bankrolled by financier George Soros, the man who underwrote the successful California effort to legalize "medical marijuana." "Punitive prohibitions" should be dropped in favor of approaches based on "common sense, public health and human rights." The letter is mostly the sort of high-minded pabulum needed to attract such famous names as former U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar or former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz. The word "legalize" never appears. Nor do the words cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methamphetamine or designer drugs. For the "We Believe" signers, it's all just "drugs." We hope all these sophisticated folks won't feel their judgment is being too terribly offended if we say quite bluntly: They have just been enlisted in Mr. Soros's legalization crusade. It's a remarkable collection: former White House general counsel Lloyd Cutler, Milton Friedman, Willie Brown, Richard Burt, Bob Strauss, Joycelyn Elders, Ahmet Ertegun, Harvey Cox, Charles Murray, Bishop Paul Moore Jr., former FDA Commissioner and Stanford President Donald Kennedy, Ruth Messinger, Walter Cronkite, anti-biowarfare crusader Matthew Meselson of Harvard, Gunter Grass, Ivan Illich, Jesus Silva Herzog of Mexico. They're all listed at www.lindesmith.org/news/un.html. We have a few favorites. Anita Roddick, the founder of the Body Shop, who's famous for worrying about testing cosmetic chemicals on animals. And--this takes the cake--Naderite Sidney Wolfe, who's dedicated his life to allegations that various prescription drugs are "unsafe." No doubt Dr. Wolfe would advocate package inserts listing such side-effects as crack babies and headlong dives out windows. The notion that drug use is both a human right and an unstoppable urge is at root an immoral one, with its suggestion that some human lives are not worth saving from the scourge of addiction. Fortunately, this defeatist attitude is still in the minority. The mainstream view remains the one articulated by French President Jacques Chirac as the U.N. session opened: "The great crusade against drugs will not end until we have done [away] with this cancer eating at our societies." Critics of this approach include a diverse crew of leftists and self-described realists and libertarian economists who believe in backward-sloping demand curves. It occurs to us to suggest that the future of the debate would profit if all of these people stated publicly whether they themselves use any of these drugs recreationally. They argue that years of effort have done little or nothing to stem the flow and consumption of narcotics. Some add that de-criminalizing drug use is the best way to bring down drug lords and to eradicate the pernicious political and social effects of their illegal activities. All seem to believe that drug use and abuse are part of the human condition, and that governments should concentrate on making addicts less of a threat to themselves and their societies by providing safer access to drugs and the adult addicts' attendant diaper-changing services, which they call "public health." It still strikes us as a hard sell to families who've bankrupted themselves trying to bring a son or daughter out of heroin hell. Or parents battling to make sure their children aren't among those down at the local high school or middle school using marijuana. Pedophilia and child prostitution may also be part of the human condition, but you don't hear anyone arguing that they should be legalized or at least made safe and sanitary. None of this can obscure the fact that the current war on drug trafficking--and the political corruption, economic distortion, crime, AIDS and other social ills that flow from it--is not going well. This week's session at the United Nations, however, at least begins to point in the right direction. The proposals we are hearing are for a more cross-border approach to a cross-border problem. Up to now most countries have focused their efforts internally, with a more global approach mostly breeding recriminations. This time the heads of state are on the right track, and perhaps something useful will slowly come from this session. If the war on drugs isn't working, the answer is not to abandon the fight. We suspect that unlike the 500 famous authors of this week's petition, ordinary people have much less tolerance for the drug culture or its denizens. *** Sample Letters (SENT 6/11) Below are two sample letters. Both were sent to the WSJ today. *** 500 DRUG GENIUSES vs ONE BLIND NEWSPAPER Dear Editor: The Wall Street Journal has long distinguished itself as short sighted, myopic and completely devoid of logic and reason on the topic of drug policy. You have outdone yourself in "500 DRUG GENIUSES" (WSJ 6/10). Given your otherwise generally sound editorial opinions and occasional brilliance, I find this both unfortunate and confusing. It is mind boggling that you have the unmitigated gall to dismiss the opinions of 500 acknowledged leaders like Walter Cronkite, George Schultz, and former UN General Secretary Javier Perez de Cuellar. How can any rational thinker analyze our drug policy and fail to conclude that it is a monumental failure? We have more people in prison than any industrialized nation. We've spent hundreds of billions of dollars on the drug war. Weve destroyed families and lives and undermined Constitutional freedoms. We've made inner city children, that should have been young business men, into drug dealers. And what do we have to show for all this effort? Any child or adult with a few dollars in his pocket can buy any illicit drug in existence anywhere in the country. If you don't believe it, ask your kids. The fact that the supposed beacon of free enterprise and conservative thinking cannot see the lunacy, hypocrisy, and inconsistency inherent in our nations second failed experiment at prohibition is a mystery I cannot fathom. Mark Greer A TRUE Conservative (contact info and phone) *** June 11, 1998 Editors, The Wall Street Journal: Shame on you, editors of the Wall Street Journal. Your editorial entitled "500 DRUG GENIUSES" (June 10, 1998) was a mean-spirited attack on well respected individuals who did nothing more than ask the defenders of the status quo to justify their decades of drug war failure. Isn't this type of cordial dissent the very bedrock of our democracy? In stark contrast, your sensationalized accounts of 'crack babies and headlong dives out windows' was a cheap ploy to elicit support for a policy that has a worse success rate than the welfare state. Sincerely, Paul Lewin Common Sense for Drug Policy *** Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Opiates For The Masses (Letter Sent To The Editor Of 'The Wall Street Journal' By A Psychiatrist Who Specializes In Addiction Treatment Rebuts A Letter Opposing Heroin Maintenance By Prohibitionist Dr. Sally Satel) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 00:28:36 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: SENT: Re: Opiate for the Masses - wsj, 68 oped (FWD) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ *** Psychiatrist Sally Satel is a more eloquent spin doctor than the best of the Washington lobbyists. In her op-ed piece, "Opiate for the Masses" (WSJ, 6/8), she calls a drug harm-reduction policy "pernicious" and the choices it presents society as specious. Glossing over the documented failure of our current drug policies, she states "since harm reduction makes no demands on addicts, it consigns them to their addiction, aiming only to allow them to destroy themselves in relative safety - and at taxpayer expense." She then cites a recent Swiss study of heroin maintenance to buttress her political views. The demands on heroin addicts are their cravings for heroin - that is why they are addicts. Providing a safe and reliable source of heroin to those addicted to this drug frees them from their cravings so they have a chance to use their brains to get a better life. They don't have to worry about their next fix, who to hustle, what to steal, getting busted, or whether the 'heroin' real or rat poison. Data from both the Swiss experiment and from the Widnes Clinic in Liverpool, England show that if you supply addicts with heroin in a context of basic human dignity and allow access to public health services, about 5% per year will experience spontaneous remission and start to have productive lives - a 50% success rate over ten years - and that is without any formal substance abuse treatment. This is far different from Dr. Satel=B9s view of only allowing them to destroy themselves. Dr. Satel documents that the Swiss heroin maintenance study markedly decreased illicit drug use, homelessness, infectious disease and criminal behavior and increased productive employment and health. Yet she dismisses these results with ignorance, stating "it's hard to know what they mean" and implying the study wasn't scientific. She doesn't acknowledge that research on a severely addicted population is difficult at best or that the research supporting the use of the expensive, prescribed medications so highly touted by psychiatry is based on minuscule populations, far less than the 1146 hard-core heroin addicts in the Swiss study. Her final assault on heroin maintenance is that it is done at taxpayer expense. Ignoring the fact that addicts will pay for their drug, she fails to acknowledge that the Swiss government, always concerned about economic efficiency, assessed the overall cost of heroin maintenance for addicts and calculated they saved money with this approach. She also fails to acknowledge that when this controversial program was presented to the Swiss electorate in a referendum, 71% approved it as their national policy. Then, after perniciously labeling proponents of harm reduction as advocating drug abuse as a human right, Dr. Satel attains the heights of speciousness by offering no solutions of her own. Our current War on Drugs pushes addicts into prison or shooting galleries, the former frightfully expensive for our society, the latter a reservoir of deadly illness for our public health. Obviously lacking in compassion or effectiveness, it is Dr. Satel and her politics that consign both addicts and our society to a needlessly destructive hell. Gene Tinelli, M.D., Ph.D. Addiction Psychiatrist Department of Psychiatry Health Science Center State University of New York Syracuse, NY 13210
------------------------------------------------------------------- Delamere Denounces Drug Hypocrisy ('The Dominion' In Wellington, New Zealand, Covers The Speech Presented By New Zealand Customs Minister And Associate Health Minister Tuariki Delamere At The United Nations Special Session On Expanding The Global Drug War - 'If We Are Going To Stand A Chance In Convincing Our Young People About The Risk Of Drug Use We Need To Address The Hypocrisy That Young People See When Adults, Including Politicians, Occasionally Openly And Legally Abuse Alcohol And Then Turn Around And Condemn Youth For Using Marijuana') Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 09:48:46 +1200 (NZST) To: email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: NZ: Delamere denounces drug hypocrisy This story is based on a press release, made available yesterday, concerning Delamere's prepared remarks. Does anyone have access to a transcript of his actual speech? *** Source: The Dominion (Wellington, NZ) Pubdate: June 11, 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Delamere denounces drug hypocrisy It was hypocritical for adults, including politicians, to abuse alcohol but condemn young people for using marijuana, Customs Minister Tuariki Delamere told the United Nations today. Mr Delamere, who is also Associate Health Minister, was in New York speaking at a United Nations General Assembly special session on drug problems. "If we are going to stand a chance in convincing our young people about the risk of drug use we need to address the hypocrisy that young people see when adults, including politicians, occasionally openly and legally abuse alcohol and then turn around and condemn youth for using marijuana," Mr Delamere said. Mr Delamere's son, Jean-Paul, has been convicted on cannabis charges and Mr Delamere has admitted using the drug when he was young. Providing honest information was one of the keys to reducing drug-related harm, particularly for young people who might experiment because of stories that played down the risks or glamorised drugs, Mr Delamere said. There was a need to better communicate to young people the dangers of using any type of drug, including alcohol and cigarettes. The number of people on methadone treatment had increased considerably during the past three years, Mr Delamere said. Many had reduced both their drug use and criminal activity and had improved their health and stabilised their lives Introducing needle exchange 10 years ago had helped prevent the spread of HIV virus and New Zealand's infection rate of less than 1 percent was among the lowest in the world. Mr Delamere said much more had to be done to help Maoris, who were disproportionately represented in drug statistics. It was heartening to hear people at the Healing Our Spirits conference in New Zealand this year saying it was time for Maoris to take responsibility for drug-use prevention among their own people.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico Protests Handling Of Money-Laundering Sting By US Agents ('New York Times' Update On The Diplomatic Uproar Over 'Operation Casablanca') Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:13:34 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: NYT: Mexico Protests Handling of Money-Laundering Sting by U.S. Agents Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Author: Tim Golden MEXICO PROTESTS HANDLING OF MONEY-LAUNDERING STING BY U.S. AGENTS On a Saturday night in May, some accused Mexican drug traffickers and their banker friends strolled out of a casino in Mesquite, Nev., piled into limousines, and set off for what was to be a wild night of women at a desert brothel called "The Chicken Ranch." When they were quickly arrested in an elaborately choreographed sting that reached from San Diego to Aruba, it concluded one of the most ambitious undercover campaigns that U.S. law-enforcement agents have ever waged against Latin American drug cartels. Less than a month later, however, the three-year investigation appears likely to make history less for the 167 arrests and the scope of the drug-money laundering system that it smashed than for the extraordinary diplomatic uproar it has inspired. According to senior officials from both countries, the battle has brought to a head what has been a lengthy, bitter and behind-the-scenes struggle over how U.S. law-enforcement agents will be allowed to work in Mexico. Nearly five years after Mexico and the United States forged a partnership under the North American Free Trade Agreement, the furor has underscored both the resilience of Mexico's nationalist sensitivities on law-enforcement matters and the U.S. government's stubborn mistrust of Mexico's criminal-justice apparatus. "There are a lot of things that we have not accepted and that we are not going to accept," said Mexican Foreign Minister Rosario Green. "We Mexicans are very jealous of our national sovereignty." Angered at what they view as the trampling of criminal laws and diplomatic rule by undercover agents working in Mexico, Mexican officials say they may prosecute the Americans for enticing the jailed bankers to commit crimes. U.S. officials say Mexico has also proposed that law-enforcement cooperation between the two countries could be suspended if such operations take place again without their consent. So frustrated have Clinton administration officials grown during more than a year of secret negotiations over what protection will be accorded U.S. law-enforcement agents assigned to Mexico that Attorney General Janet Reno recently told Ms. Green that the United States may pull most of its drug-enforcement agents out of the country. Already, the Americans have abandoned hopes of gaining formal authorization for the agents to carry guns, as they have done informally for years. Instead, the United States is pushing for broader diplomatic immunity, something Mexican officials have steadfastly opposed. U.S. officials describe the possibility of a mass withdrawal of drug agents as remote, given the likelihood that Mexico would only allow them to return under more restrictive terms. But they also acknowledge that the Drug Enforcement Administration has already pulled back two teams of agents who recently came under threat from drug traffickers in the two main cocaine-transit cities along the border, Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. When the arrests were announced in May, with the indictment of officials from 12 Mexican banks unsealed in Los Angeles, Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Reno hailed the the action as "the largest, most comprehensive drug-money laundering case in the history of U.S. law-enforcement." According to interviews with almost two dozen U.S. and Mexican officials, the case began after Customs Service agents in Los Angeles noticed a new currency in the shadowy financial world through which Latin America's biggest drug organizations move and hide their money. Big Mexican bank drafts, drawn on the dollar accounts that Mexico's newly privatized banks keep in the United States, were becoming instruments of choice. By 1994, Customs agents determined that drug profits in the United States were being wired through U.S. banks or shipped in bulk back to Mexico, where Mexican bankers, charging a one or two percent commission, would issue drafts in dollars. An Old Operation Helps Trace New Drafts In a stroke, the dealers and the bankers created a highly-liquid currency that was hard to trace. Drug traffickers could choose between cashing the drafts, redepositing them or swapping them for, say, Colombian pesos with a legitimate businessmen who might then use the dollars to buy goods in the United States. Customs agents began to infiltrate the system by using undetected pieces of a successful operation they had set up against Colombian drug dealers years earlier -- a phony business near Los Angeles, old drug connections and experienced covert operatives. The basic idea, one agents said, was to "play it again." Recalling Ingrid Bergman's famous line from the 1942 film, they named the operation "Casablanca." At the heart of the scheme, agents said, was an extraordinary "cooperating informant," a man whom the drug traffickers and their bankers know as an urbane, enterprising Colombian money launderer named "Javier Ramirez." Working with an undercover team of Customs agents and police detectives, Ramirez, a protected federal witness whose identity remains secret, entertained traffickers at the warehouse offices of the front company outside Los Angeles; flew them to Las Vegas on a private jet; even visited them in Mexico. The inquiry concentrated initially on money launderers associated with Colombia's Cali cartel. But the agents' focus shifted in November of 1995, when they were dispatched by Cali operatives to a routine money pick up outside of Chicago. Barely six weeks later, two senior agents were dispatched to Mexico City to meet with Mexican officials. In the face of sharp criticism from opposition politicians who are now weighing a huge bailout of the troubled banking system, Mexican officials have acknowledged only one meeting -- one at which the Customs agents briefed a former deputy attorney general who is a member of the political opposition. In fact, U.S. officials said the agents laid out most of what they knew to the former deputy attorney general, Rafael Estrada Samano, and asked for his help. They said they then gave a separate , less detailed presentation to a deputy minister of finance, Ismael Gomez Gordillo. Americans Are Called Vague About Needs "We asked him to conduct a joint investigation with us," said one official with direct knowledge of the meeting with Estrada. "That would have included them covering meetings with the traffickers, conducting surveillance. Estrada said he had to check with his boss and would get back to us. But they just wouldn't respond to us. And after a couple of months, we gave up." In an interview Tuesday, Mexican Attorney General Jorge Madrazo said he believed the Americans had been vague about both the investigation and their needs. He acknowledged that Gomez Gordillo also met with the agents, but said they had asked him only for information on some Mexican bank accounts, which he provided. While U.S. officials have defended the secrecy of the operation as necessary to protect the lives of undercover agents, it has gone largely unnoticed that senior Mexican law-enforcement officials knew for more than two years that Customs agents were investigating money laundering by Mexican banks, and that the operation was apparently never jeopardized as a consequence. But from the Mexico City briefings, Customs officials grew suspicious about the lack of response they got. "It was obvious that something was screwed up, whether it was corruption or something else," one law-enforcement official said. "And that did factor into our decision not to go back to them later on." "The Doctor," who agents identified as Victor Manuel Alcala Navarro, introduced Javier Ramirez and his purported launderers to an ever-widening group of Mexican bankers. But he also introduced the agents to his boss, a man they identified as Jose Alvarez Tostado and came to believe was the principal money launderer for the Juarez cartel. In little more than a year, the agents managed to launder more than $62 million in drug profits funneled from sales in the United States and Canada. But they might have done far more. At one Illinois safehouse of the gang, they found a ledger documenting the collection of $200 million by part of the organization over a period of about 18 months. "We were so conservative about what we did and how much we moved that we were constantly in danger of losing our credibility with the bankers," said one Customs official. The bankers, he said, far from being enticed to break laws, were uniformly introduced to the agents by drug traffickers. "We could have done not millions of dollars, but hundreds of millions." Fears in Washington and Reactions Overseas But senior Mexican investigators who have pursued the Juarez gang sharply criticized the U.S. operation. "The Customs guys didn't even get the name of their main target right," one Mexican officials said dismissively. "It's Juan Jose Castellanos Alvarez-Tostado. And he's not such a big deal." The Mexicans noted that they have worked closely with agents from both the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, dealt with a much wider part of the same drug organization, and could easily have helped Customs agents had they been asked. The agents, however, received clear instructions from above. In briefings last November and December for Reno, Rubin and a few of their subordinates, officials said there was considerable discussion of possible "collateral effects" once the investigation went public: diplomatic troubles; an impact on the Mexican financial markets; even the possibility that the weak Mexican banking industry, could have trouble getting interbank loans. But several officials said it was Rubin -- whose Treasury Department has often been depicted by other officials in Washington as skeptical about Mexican corruption and skittish about tough U.S. measures to fight it -- who insisted that the operation proceedin secret. Those left out, they said, included not only the Mexican government but senior officials at the White House, the State Department and even the Treasury itself. While senior Mexican officials initially praised the operation after its disclosure, they said they did so after being told that none of the undercover work was done on Mexican soil. When they read the indictments and saw that wasn't so they were incensed. "It is very clear that there is an ignorance of Mexican law on the part of the United States," said Madrazo, the attorney general, "or if not the United States, at least among the agents who participated in this." Officials Wonder What to Do With Data U.S. officials acknowledged that the repercussions are more than a matter of diplomacy. Hopes of wrangling a form of diplomatic protection for U.S. agents in Mexico, "administrative and technical immunity," have been discarded. Thoughts of following up the investigation are fading. Although Customs officials have the name of a Mexican army general and the rough identities of federal police agents who were said by one of the suspects to have laundered illicit profits, the U.S. agents are debating whether even to pass them on. A handful of the suspects who couldn't be lured to the United States have been arrested in Mexico. But the one whom U.S. officials believe knew the most, an investment banker named Enrique Mendez Urena who was said to have worked for the trafficker Carrillo Fuentes, did not fare well. After Mendez's name and Mexico City address were sent to Mexican officials, he was arrested in Puerto Vallarta, and then suddenly died of massive head injuries. The state police, who apparently arrested him, said he was acting strangely and hurt himself in jail. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Red Tape Smothering Hemp Crop (The Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Says The Canadian Government's Pledge To Allow Farmers To Grow Industrial Hemp This Summer Is Being Stymied By Ottawa's Concern About Imagined Abuses - New Regulations Require Each Farmer To Be Checked For A Criminal Record, For Example, And Each Application Also Requires Global Positioning Co-ordinates Of The Acreage To Be Planted So That Surveillance Satellites Can Keep An Eye On It) Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 11:32:49 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Red Tape Smothering Hemp Crop Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Colo. Hemp Init. Project) Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/ Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Author: Wallace Immen RED TAPE SMOTHERING HEMP CROP Health Canada's "bureaucratic constipation" turns farmers' hopes into pipe dreams. When people talk about hemp, they sound euphoric, even if the distant relative of marijuana can't make anyone high. "This is unbelievable. The response has been absolutely amazing." Says Les Patterson of Vancouver's Bowen Island Brewing, describing the company's new ale brewed with hemp rather than hops. Ruth Shamai says: "Hemp makes beautiful fabric: strong like linen and it drapes like cotton and it resists ultraviolet rays." Her Toronto company, The Natural Order, wants to make cosmetics and fabric from Canadian hemp. Ontario car-parts maker Kenex Ltd. is so impressed bu hemp's ability to replace plastic that it wants to buy tonnes of Canadian hemp to make into panels for the auto companies. Farmers planting the first commercial hemp crop since the 1930's have a ready market for as much as they can grow. The trouble is that, more than a month into the growing season, the seeds are still not in the ground because of red tape in Ottawa. Health Canada started taking applications in March, but is only now mail9ing out growing permits to farmers across the country. "I think there is pressure on the government from the United States" where hemp growing is not legal, aid Brian Taylor, mayor of Grand Forks, B.C. Mr. Taylor, a leader in the campaign to legalize hemp growing, says it remains controversial because industrial hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant. U.S. drug officials have resisted hemp legalization because they are worried that people might try to smoke it. But the buzz-producing ingredient, tetrahydrocannabiol, has been bred out of industrial hemp. Mr. Taylor said. The plants contain less than 0.3 per cent THC, compared with 10 per cent or more in marijuana. "You could say I'm a little frustrated," said farmer Kevin Miles, who hopes to soon get the seeds to plant 300 acres in hemp. "I should have had the seeds in long ago. The earlier you get it in, the bigger the tonnage per acre." Mr. Miles, 35, who represents the third generation to work his family farm at tWaterford, near Brantford in Southern Ontario, said he wants to diversify his crop of sweet corn and pumpkins. But it hasn't been easy. Ottawa's concern about the possible abuses of hemp growing led to requirements that each farmer be checked for a criminal record. The application also requires global positioning co-ordinates of the acreage to be planted so that surveillance satellites can keep an eye on it. Samples of the crop will also have to be analyzed in a laboratory to make sure it doesn't have too much THC. "I don't disagree with getting a licence, but it is an extremely onerous business," said The Natural Order's Ms. Shamai, who last year had a licence to grow an experimental hemp crop on an Ontario farm. She said phone calls to the government's Hemp Project offices in Ottawa go unanswered. Callers are directed to an Internet site that is packed with regulations and numerous complicated forms that must be submitted to get a growing permit. "Farmers here have been frightened off." Mr. Taylor said. "We expected mass planting in British Columbia, but it hasn't happened." He attributed that to "bureaucratic constipation in Ottawa. I've been fighting it for years." Mr. Taylor became enthusiastic about the commercial advantages of hemp while he was a leader of an earlier campaign to legalize marijuana. He said officials can easily tell the difference between hemp and marijuana growing in the field. "Until we deal with the paranoia that hangs around marijuana, we're not going to get into a major industry." Mr. Taylor added. He expects that the public will become desensitized to the drug issue once a successful crop is harvested this year. Mr. Miles said he has contracts to sell his hemp crop at $275 a tonne, which is about the same price as soybeans and much higher than the pumpkins he had in the field last year. But rather than harvesting four tonnes an acre, he says he will be lucky to get three an acre if he gets the seeds in now.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Dreams Up In Smoke For Farmers ('Ottawa Citizen' Version) Date: Sun, 14 Jun 1998 23:47:30 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: CANADA: Hemp Dreams Up In Smoke For Farmers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Colo. Hemp Init. Project) Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Pubdate: 11 Jun 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/ Author: Dawn Walton of The Ottawa Citizen National - Ottawa Citizen Online HEMP DREAMS UP IN SMOKE FOR FARMERS Would-be growers leave fields bare as federal government fails to grant licences in time for planting Industrial hemp may be touted as the new billion dollar crop, but for hundreds of farmers across the country, trying to cash in on Canada's first foray into the commercial hemp industry has been a monumental headache. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of farmers haven't received their hemp-growing licences from the federal government even though planting season has already ended in western Canada and seeding in the eastern provinces could only continue through this weekend at the latest. The delay means the true value of what could be a Cinderella crop won't be known until the end of the 1999 growing season. "The viability for profitability is going down day by day," said Douglas Brown, of West Hemp Enterprises Inc., a Vancouver-based firm which has been set up to help farmers in the West get licences and obtain hemp seeds. Although banned since 1938 because of its dubious relative named marijuana, industrial hemp regulations were specifically put in place by Health Canada in March so farmers could legally plant the crop this year. Hemp contains only trace amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the substance that is found in higher quantities in marijuana and produces a high when ingested. Industrial hemp can be used in everything from car parts to textiles to food additives to pharmaceutical substitutes. The crop is so versatile that the United States imports $100 million U.S. worth of the product every year. Still hemp has been saddled with the drug culture image and cultivating it commercially is being rigorously regulated by the drug surveillance unit of Health Canada's therapeutic products program. "If they meet all the requirements, the licences are issued," explained Jean Peart, manager of the unit's hemp program. "If they don't meet the requirements, we get back to them to tell them what their deficiencies are and sometimes this takes four or five times. Then if they qualify, they get a licence." Ms. Peart could neither estimate how many licences have been granted nor how many applications have been made to get involved in all facets of the fledgling industry. Those figures will be released at the end of this month. Among other requirements, would-be growers need to submit to a criminal check and provide Health Canada with the global positioning coordinates marking the perimetre of their hemp fields. Seed distributors and processors also have to meet similar stringent test including studying Canada's seed acts. "There are some (growers) who are quite frustrated," said David Sippell, managing director of Canterra Seeds Ltd. in Winnipeg, which is the largest hemp seed distributor in western Canada. Canterra has sold hemp seeds to about 125 farmers across the four western provinces who will harvest an estimated 5,000 hectares of hemp for fibre and grain this year. Of all the growers who originally expressed interested in the crop, Mr. Sippell figures about 25 per cent still have not obtained licences. "There are some who just gave up. Who just simply said 'What is going on?' and just said 'I'm not going to play with this anymore' because they thought they had completed the information. Then they were asked for more information and then asked again for more information and then asked a third time for more during a busy time of year when people are planting. They just say, 'Thanks very much, but no thanks.' So they just gave up. And there are many others who on June 1 simply said, well, 'Planting is over. If I plant my crop now it's too late. It's going to be frosted out in the fall.' So they simply gave up because of their licence not being granted in time." Harold Moore, a 71-year-old semi-retired farmer from Peace River, Alta. who has a degree in agriculture, is one of the growers who gave up. He applied for a research licence last November to plant a mere fraction of a hectare of hemp at his 1,200 hectare farm located about 400 kilometres northwest of Edmonton. He wanted to determine if hemp planted in his region would produce seeds considering the extremely short growing season. "I also wanted to see what kind of yields we've got in our particular climate and soil to see if it's going to be a paying proposition before we bought machinery," Mr. Moore said. He filed the paperwork, obtained letters of reference from scientists supporting his project and supplied Health Canada with the global positioning requirements for his tiny plot of land. Mr. Moore said he exchanged several faxes with Health Canada including one that asked for police checks of his references, but when the May 15 deadline for planting in his region passed, he quit. "I could see and I was told by other people that did obtain a research permit, that it was delay, linger and wait and keep asking questions that were trivial and unnecessary," he said. "I could see no matter how many faxes I sent back, they could find some other excuse for some dog gone thing that was wrong in." Similarly, Joe and Dolores Sabourin of Scout Lake, Sask. gave up on their plan to plant about 50 hectares of the crop on their 3,755-hectare farm once their May 31 seeding deadline came and went. They spent three years researching the crop, hoping it could be a lucrative addition to their already diversified farm located about 150 kilometres south of Moose Jaw. "It's been just more delay and more delay. How long does it take to recognize we're just ordinary folks wanting to grow a crop so we can pay our debts?" Mrs. Sabourin asked. Mrs. Sabourin said some farmers don't have the luxury of time while Health Canada works the kinks out of the system. "For the guy losing his farm this year, there isn't a next year is how we look at it. People here are living that close to the edge," she said. She thinks hemp should be regulated just like other crops -- by the federal and provincial agriculture departments. A collection of farmers have recently formed the Canadian Hemp Growers Association which will lobby the federal government to take hemp out of Health Canada's hands. Despite criticisms, a number of farmers have planted seeds and will be harvesting hemp grain and fibre this fall. Seed distributor and hemp processing firm Kenex Ltd., which is located in Pain Court, Ont. near London, has contracted with about 50 farmers located across Canada who have already planted about 400 hectares of hemp. "It's been a very difficult season in setting up the new procedures. We have gotten through it fortunately," said general manager Bob L'Ecuyer. Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen
------------------------------------------------------------------- Official - Flourishing, Potent Pot Turn Canada Into A Drug-Exporter ('The Associated Press' Notes Canadian Solicitor-General Andrew Scott Told Wednesday's Final Gathering Of The UN General Assembly Special Session On Drugs That Canada Has Become An Exporter Of Cannabis, Though He Apparently Failed To Give Credit To Prohibition's Role In Bringing That About) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 00:45:26 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: Wire: Official: Flourishing, Potent Pot Turn Canada Into A Drug-Exporter Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Author: Robert H. Reid, Associated Press Writer OFFICIAL: FLOURISHING, POTENT POT TURN CANADA INTO A DRUG-EXPORTER UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Flourishing marijuana crops have turned Canada into an illicit-drug exporter, according to a Canadian official. Canada has become a major producer of cannabis, ``especially indoors,'' Solicitor-General Andrew Scott said during Wednesday's final gathering of the U.N. General Assembly special session on drugs. ``Indeed, we have become an exporting country,'' Scott said. ``Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Canada, followed by cocaine and heroin with moderate use of synthetic drugs.'' U.S. and Canadian officials believe marijuana harvesting now ranks as British Columbia's most lucrative agricultural product, with illegal revenues estimated at anywhere from $400 million to more than $3 billion a year. In the past year, the U.S. Customs Service has nearly doubled its enforcement effort along the northern border -- especially focusing on Washington state -- because of a surge of high-quality marijuana smuggled in from British Columbia. U.S. officials said the Canadian product is so potent that it can sell for as much as $6,000 a pound in parts of California -- 10 times the typical price for marijuana from Mexico. As a result of the crackdown in the West, U.S. officials say Canadian growers are stepping up operations in Ontario to exploit markets in New York, Michigan and New England.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lack Of UN Resolution Gives Refugee Status To Drug Pushers (Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Editorial By Prohibitionist Jeffrey Simpson Notes The United Nations Special Session On Expanding The War On Some Drugs Wasn't Even Able To Pass A Resolution Saying Trafficking In Illegal Drugs Is 'Contrary To The Purposes And Principles Of The United Nations,' Upholding The Decision Last Week By Canada's Supreme Court To Allow Refugee Status To A Convicted Sri Lankan) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 11:29:34 -0400 From: Carey Ker
Subject: Canada GE: OPED -- Lack of UN resolution gives refugee status to drug pushers To: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Globe and Mail Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Thursday, June 11, 1998 Author: Jeffrey Simpson Lack of UN resolution gives refugee status to drug pushers Thursday, June 11, 1998 By Jeffrey Simpson OTTAWA OTTAWA -- AT last month's Group of Eight summit in Birmingham, the leaders spent a lot of time worrying about international crime, including the drug trade. Their communique read, in part, that "there must be no safe havens either for criminals or for their money." British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "The drug trade . . . generates crime, ruins lives, poisons economies and undermines law and order around the world." Canada's own Jean Chrétien added that "international crime and drugs are becoming a problem of a big international dimension." This week, the United Nations is the venue for a major conference on drug trafficking. That conference will build on dozens of UN resolutions condemning drug trafficking as threatening to, among other things, health, political and economic structures, development, political stability, national security, democratic institutions. As recently as 1992, the General Assembly voted to "reiterate its condemnation of the crime of drug trafficking in all its forms." The international organization, amid all this condemnation, has never passed a specific resolution, however, stating that drug trafficking is "contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." Any reasonable person might think such a resolution unnecessary, given the dozens of others deploring trafficking, but the lack of such a resolution helped persuade Canada's Supreme Court by a 4-2 majority to allow a drug trafficker to claim refugee status. The court's decision, a technicality that squeezed through a loophole, overturned decisions of (a) the Immigration Department, (b) the convention refugee determination division of the Immigration and Refugee Board, (c) the Federal Court's trial division, and (d) the Federal Court of Appeal. The facts are these. Veluppillai Pushpanathan left Sri Lanka in 1983, arrived in Canada in 1985 and claimed refugee status. Two years later, without his claim being adjudicated, Mr. Pushpanathan was granted permanent-resident status under what was called in bureaucratspeak, "an administrative program." In plain English, he received an amnesty brought about by a huge backlog of refugee claims. That backlog, in turn, arose in part from the chaos created by a 1985 Supreme Court ruling known as the Singh decision, which overturned the refugee-determination system of the day. Eight months after receiving his permanent status, Mr. Pushpanathan was arrested and pleaded guilty to heroin trafficking. He and his fellow crooks possessed heroin with a street value of $10-million. He received an eight-year sentence, but under Canada's generous parole laws he was freed in less than four years and promptly claimed refugee status in order to remain in Canada. Government agencies and lower courts repeatedly turned him down over six years. But not the Supreme Court. The court majority acknowledged that drug trafficking constituted a problem, but insisted that "there is no indication in international law that drug trafficking on any scale is to be considered contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." Refugee determination is a human-rights matter; drug trafficking, while serious, is not. So ruled the court in arguing that drug trafficking in Canada was not sufficient grounds to deport someone because his actions were contrary to the "purposes and principles of the United Nations." Mr. Pushpanathan might yet be deported if he can be found a threat to Canadian society, but his drug trafficking should not negate his claim to human-rights protection as a refugee. This judgment, of course, will be watched (and laughed at by crooks) around the world. Never before, apparently, has a court so restrictively interpreted what constitutes the "purposes and principles of the United Nations." Just because the UN hasn't specifically passed a resolution including drug trafficking as against the "purposes and principles of the United Nations," Mr. Pushpanathan can stay, at least for now. Canada's chronic difficulties in deporting anyone may mean he'll be in this country forever. If Mr. Pushpanathan had committed a drug-trafficking offence outside Canada, he would not be allowed in. Happily for Mr. Pushpanathan, he committed his crime in Canada and applied for refugee status. By using all the available appeals, and by finding supporters on the Supreme Court who don't think drug trafficking contravenes the "purposes and principles of the United Nations," Mr. Pushpanathan is still here, still appealing and probably still smiling.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Downer Pledges $15M Drug Fight ('The Sydney Morning Herald' Says Australia's Foreign Minister Told The United Nations Drug Summit That Australia Had Allocated $15 Million For Drug-Control Programs In The Asia-Pacific Region) Date: Wed, 10 Jun 1998 19:32:45 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UN GE: Downer Pledges $15M Drug Fight Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Thursday, 11 June 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ U.N. SUMMIT: DOWNER PLEDGES $15M DRUG FIGHT Describing the international drug problem as "one of the major non-military threats to regional and international security", the Foreign Minister, Mr Downer, announced here that Australia had allocated $15 million for drug-control programs in the Asia-Pacific region. Addressing the United Nations drug summit, Mr Downer said the Australian initiative aimed "to enhance the security of our borders and our streets by concentrating on supply and health treatment in our own region". Mr Downer said $5.7 million would be allocated over four years to develop an Asia-Pacific regional law enforcement program, while an additional $6.1million would be used to extend Australia's law enforcement liaison network. $1 million would go to a Sydney-based group fighting money-laundering in the Asia-Pacific, and another $1 million would fund eradication of drug crops in South-East Asia and the development of alternative crops. Mr Downer also announced increased funding for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, and for the treatment and education of people infected with it and for health projects targeting high-risk groups such as intravenous drug-users. He said the initiatives were in international accord with the "Tough On Drugs" program announced last November by the Prime Minister, Mr Howard. "The production, trafficking and consumption of illicit drugs not only ruins lives and livelihoods, it ruins security," Mr Downer said. However, the summit has drawn wide criticism, with The New York Times calling it well-intentioned but misdirected. "The leaders are mostly extolling failed strategies to combat the problem," the paper said. "Studies show treatment programs are far more cost-effective than efforts overseas. But it is politically safer to advocate fighting drugs abroad than treating addicts at home."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Potential Health System Cost Savings From Medical Marijuana (A New Zealand Physician And List Subscriber Notes The New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust Is Embarking On An Analysis Of The Potential Cost Savings To The New Zealand Health Care System If Medicinal Cannabis Were Legal And Used To The Fullest Extent Appropriate) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 16:58:45 +1200 (NZST) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: Potential health system cost savings from mmj The New Zealand Drug Policy Forum Trust is embarking on an analysis of the potential cost savings to the NZ health care system if medicinal cannabis were legal and used to the fullest extent appropriate, given usual cost-effectiveness considerations. We are looking for data concerning the extent to which cannabis might be able to substitute for currently used pharmaceutical preparations for each of the indications for which cannabis is generally considered safe and effective (at least by people who know what they're talking about). I take these to be: · nausea and vomiting, especially produced by chemotherapy · muscle spasms, especially associated with major neurological diseases · epilepsy · glaucoma · migraine headache · anorexia, especially but not limited to that produced by AIDS and cancer · certain psychological or mental-heath related conditions, including (some cases of) depression, anxiety, and stress-related conditions. Obviously not all patients with the above conditions will benefit from cannabis. Indeed, that's the question: what proportion of patients will? Ideally we would like to find analyses that have concluded: X percent of patients who take Y drug for Z indication could get equivalent relief from cannabis, properly administered etc. I doubt this has been done, however. Probably the closest we will come is reviewing and summarizing the results from studies in these settings. Has anyone already derived summary estimates of effectiveness rates based on these studies? Published studies aren't the last word, however, and we are also looking for testimony from people with substantial experience in this area - not individual patient testimony, mind you - but practitioners (of whatever sort) who have had an opportunity to see cannabis succeed and fail over time in a substantial series of patients. Anybody like that out there? This should be interesting. Thanks David
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Farm Has Been Established ('The Associated Press' Says GW Pharmaceuticals Announced Today It Has Established Britain's First Government-Sanctioned Cannabis Farm To Grow Marijuana For Medical Research Purposes) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 00:52:45 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Wire: Cannabis Farm Has Been Established Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Fratello Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Associated Press CANNABIS FARM HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED LONDON (AP) -- Britain's first government-sanctioned cannabis farm has been established to grow marijuana for medical research purposes, the company running it said today. A high-perimeter fence surrounds the $6.5 million greenhouse complex run by GW Pharmaceuticals, the first British research company to be granted government licenses for the cultivation, storage and distribution of cannabis for medical research. Details of the facility's location and the security measures protecting it are being kept secret to guard against theft, the company said. Initially, the complex will develop extracts of cannabis plants grown under controlled conditions for investigation into whether the drug can be used to safely treat a range of illnesses and, other than smoke it, how patients can use the drug. "There is a considerable body of evidence to suggest that cannabis may have a number of medicinal uses, but there have been very few systematic research programs or controlled clinical trials," said Dr. Geoffrey Guy, founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, which was set up specially to conduct government-sanctioned cannabis research. "Our aim will be to establish the medical facts." The U.S. government announced last year that it is to spend up to $1 million gathering scientific evidence on the effectiveness of cannabis as a medical treatment. California and Arizona voters have approved initiatives allowing medical uses for marijuana. Some research has suggested that the drug is useful in relieving internal eye pressure in glaucoma; for controlling nausea in cancer patients on chemotherapy; and for combating wasting, a severe weight loss associated with AIDS and the HIV virus.
------------------------------------------------------------------- UK Sanctions Cannabis-Growing Farm For Research ('Reuters' Version) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 00:26:47 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Wire: UK Sanctions Cannabis-Growing Farm For Research Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GDaurer@aol.com Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Source: Reuters UK SANCTIONS CANNABIS-GROWING FARM FOR RESEARCH LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - Britain's first government-backed cannabis farm was granted a licence on Thursday to research and develop the drug as a medicine. ``Our aim is to establish the medical facts,'' said Dr Geoffrey Guy, founder of GW Pharmaceuticals, which is to grow the drug in a giant greenhouse at a secret site. He said in a statement that there was much evidence to suggest that cannabis may have medicinal uses. It could help to relieve pain in multiple sclerosis sufferers, act as an appetite stimulant for AIDS patients with wasting disease, prevent nausea in cancer chemotherapy and help treat the eye disease glaucoma. The plan is to isolate its active ingredients and test them for pain relief. Guy expects to be able to market a drug within five years. This follows similar research being pursued in the United States, where the government announced last year that it is to spend $1 million on scientific probes into the efficacy of cannabis as a medical treatment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Synod Puts Drugs On Church Agenda (Britain's 'Guardian' Says That, For The First Time In The 27-Year History Of The General Synod Of The Church Of England, Drug Policy Will Be On The Agenda At Next Month's Meeting, Including The Decriminalisation Of Cannabis) Date: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 23:21:01 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Synod puts drugs on church agenda Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (CLCIA) Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jun 1998 Author: Clare Garner SYNOD PUTS DRUGS ON CHURCH AGENDA FOR THE first time in the General Synod's 27-year history, drugs are on the agenda. Next month members of the Church of England are to debate drugs policy, including the decriminalisation of cannabis and the prescription of heroin. The Rev Kenneth Leech, a community theologian at St Botolph's, Aldgate, who has worked in the drugs field for the past 35 years and who is in favour of the decriminalisation of cannabis, has written a background report for the Synod debate. In his paper, entitled: Drugs and the Church, he criticises the Government's "failure to see how drugs policy has itself helped to produce the present appalling situation." Of the Government's White Paper: Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain, published in April, Mr Leech writes: "The most positive aspect of the document is the recognition that treatment costs less, and works better, than prohibition. However, the long-term policy implications of this recognition need to be taken more seriously than any government has so far done." Apart from an information pack produced by the Board for Social Responsibility in 1986, the last publication on drugs from an official Church of England source was a booklet, also by Mr Leech, entitled: The Drug Subculture: a Christian Analysis. His previous booklet was published in 1969 and warned of the dangers of abandoning the prescription of heroin. Mr Leech was asked by the Church's Board for Social Responsibility to write a report for July's General Synod in York on account of his broad experience of the drug scene. He founded the Soho Drugs Group in 1967, was a founder member of the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence and has written extensively on the subject. In his latest report Mr Leech goes on to urge churches to fill the spiritual vacuum in young people which is presently being filled by drugs. "The association between drugs and spirituality still seems almost indecent to many people, yet the evidence that this so is considerable," he writes. "We need to recognise that many young people have, after taking psychedelic drugs, moved beyond reliance on the drug-induced experience. They have made what Allan Y Cohen once termed the 'journey beyond trips', and this quest has been going on now for over 30 years. It is evident in many of the 'new spiritual movements'. "It is widely recognised both inside and outside the Church that there is a profound spiritual emptiness at the heart of our society and a quest for a richer 'inner life'," he said, adding that "drugs are closely related to this emptiness and this quest. The role of priests and pastors, as well as Christians, in helping this quest along, is very important." Yesterday he said: "The search for something beyond the humdrum of everyday life is being satisfied by drugs in a way that religion used to. Quite often the Church just offers another version of the humdrum."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Minister Says 40 Percent Of World's Drugs Seized In Turkey ('Reuters' Says Turkish Interior Minister Murat Basesgioglu, Speaking In Istanbul, Also Said Turkey Seized 60 Percent Of All Drugs Interdicted In Europe - And Notes The UN Special Session On Expanding The Global Drug War 'Revealed Broad Differences' Between Drug Producing And Consuming Nations) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 21:42:51 -0700 (PDT) From: turmoil
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: Minister Says 40% of World's Drugs Seized in Turkey (fwd) Sender: email@example.com 06:28 a.m. Jun 11, 1998 Eastern ISTANBUL, June 11 (Reuters) - Turkish Interior Minister Murat Basesgioglu said 60 percent of all drugs seized in Europe and 40 percent of the world's total drug haul is intercepted in Turkey, Anatolian news agency reported on Thursday. The agency said Basesgioglu gave the figures while talking to journalists at a special U.N. General Assembly summit in New York on combating the drug trade. He did not give information on the exact amount of drugs seized in Turkey. Turkish police say they seized 4.4 tonnes of drugs in 1996 and 2.5 tonnes during 1997. Turkey is a gateway on the so-called Balkan Route for drug suppliers pushing heroin into Europe from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. Ankara is under pressure from west European countries to show it is successfully fighting the trade. More than 150 nations at the U.N. conference have promised to curb heroin and cocaine production worldwide within 10 years, reduce the demand for drugs, cooperate on trafficking and money-laundering and rehabilitate addicts. But the marathon speeches throughout the three-day event that ended late on Wednesday revealed broad differences among wealthy and poor nations, the major drug producing and consuming nations and approaches to punishment and prevention.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report On Drug Policies, Year 4, Number 15 (Summary For Activists Of International Drug Policy News, From CORA In Italy) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments: Authenticated sender is (email@example.com) To: "CORAFax -EN-" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 18:30:23 +0000 Subject: CORAFax 15 (EN) Sender: email@example.com ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 4 No. 15, June 11 1998 *** Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** director:Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org *** NEWS FROM THE CORA *** Th. CONGRESS OF THE CORA / ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES / MOTION Thierry Meyssan, Secretary; Marco Cappato, Treasurer; Jean-Francois Hory And Pol Boel, Presidents. Nicola Giovannini, Michel Hancisse, Eric Picard, Giulio Manfredi, Ottavio Mazzocchi, Roberto Spagnoli and Gerard Jubert, political direction. MOTION APPROVED BY UNANIMOUS VOTE The 9th congress of the CORA, held in Paris on days 5, 6 and 7 of June 1998, having heard the reports of the Secretary and of the Treasurer: - establishes that the antiprohibitionist cause needs to stand on an organized political structure whose priority is to reform policies and laws on drugs on a national and international level, and whose aim is to reestablish legality to fight the crime against humanity represented by prohibitionist political strategies; - asks that the Transnational Radical Party assume a greater and more urgent responsibility in the antiprohibitionist cause, certain that this battle could only be strengthened by being linked to the vaster battle against that bureaucratic control of society and institutions which is rapidly taking foot as a system of government and power on an international level; - in case the request above meets the Transnational Radical Party's consensus, the CORA will decide to hold a special congress on the occasion of the of the Radical Party's next congress, committing its political leaders to create the right conditions for a merging of the CORA in a refounded Radical Party. This merging will have to be ratified by the special congress; - The CORA commits itself to pursue the programmatic ends that have been indicated in the Secretary's report. *** RUSSIA / APPEAL TO THE DUMA N. Gerasimenko and V. Davidenko, respectively President and Vice-President of the Health Commission of the Russian Duma , and the deputeee Askerhanov have presented an appeal to their Duma colleagues for a modification of the prohibitionist law on drugs approved the 10th of last December. TRP / U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON DRUGS A note of the Transnational Radical Party released on the 8th of June says that "the political strategies of the Unite Nations are expression of a totalitarian and ideologically motivated bureaucracy. They can be overcome only by the force of legality and human rights, through legalization of all drugs". U.N. CONFERENCE ON DRUGS / INTERVENTION OF THE TRP Marco Cappato, representing the Transnational radical Party, said: "All international conventions for fighting drugs have failed. Pino Arlacchi's plan is a terrible mistake". *** NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** 000067 06/06/98 E.U. / SPAIN / MADRID DRUG ADDICT LA STAMPA Distribution of methadone in parish churches: this is the shocking idea of an Anti-drug Agency in a Madrid District. *** 000074 10/06/98 E.U. / FRANCE DRUG ADDICT / GHB / ALARM L'EVENEMENT DU JEUDI GHB has reached also France. The substance, known as 'liquid Ecstasy' is a cheap substitute for heroin. It originated as a pharmacological product. *** 000068 06/06/98 E.U. / GERMANY DRUG ADDICT / TYPE / SITUATION SUEDDEUTSCHE Z. Heavy drug addicts are between 250.000 and 300.000; pharmacological product addicts are 1.400.000; alcoholics in need of care are 2.500.000; tobacco addicts are 6 millon out of 17 million smokers. *** 000072 10/06/98 EUROPE / RUSSIA DRUG MAFIA LIBERATION A Russian specialist says that unified customs between Russia and other ISC countries could become a 'drug unification' easing the work of drug traffickers. *** 000063 03/06/98 SOUTH AMERICA DRUG MAFIA / HERION / EXPORT EL PAIS In virtue of their alliance with the Colombians, Mexican drug cartels have gone from being petty drug dealers to being producers of ultra refined heroin, surpassing thus the Asiatic mafia for control of the drug market in the USA. *** 000066 06/06/98 E.U. / GB HEALTH / CANNABIS FINANCIAL TIMES A study by the State Department on health care says that use of cannabis is justified in therapies against AIDS and some forms of cancer. *** 000058 03/06/98 E.U. / GB INFORMATION THE TIMES Anti- drug information will be introduced in English school programs, in agreement with the Home Office Advisers. *** 000059 07/06/98 E.U. / GB INITIATIVE THE TIMES Alan Duncan, spokesman for the Tory party, is going to publish a book in favour of legalization of drugs. Immediate criticism on the part of William Hague, head of the party. *** 000071 08/06/98 E.U. / FRANCE / PARIS INITIATIVE / ANTIPROHIBITION / DEMONSTRATION LE FIGARO / LIBERATION 08/06 / LE MONDE 09/06 'Prohibitionism is a crime': at the closing of the congress of the CORA activists of various organizations have marched in the streets of Paris against article L 630 of the public health code on drugs. *** 000060 06/06/98 WORLD INITIATIVE / APPEAL CORRIERE DELLA SERA 06/06 / HERALD TRIBUNE 10/06 Drugs: Punishment is not an answer. This is the content of an appeal to the U.N. against hyper-prohibitionism signed by over 400 prominent personalities from all over the world. Among these: Emma Bonino, George Soros, Daniel Cohn Bendit and George Shultz. *** 000061 07/06/98 E.U. / FRANCE LAWS / DEPENALIZATION / HOSTILITY LE MONDE President Jaques Chirac has criticized Holland because its laws on drugs ore 'completely different' from those of other E.U. partner countries. *** 000062 04/06/98 OCEANIA / NEW ZEALAND / AUCKLAND MARKET / CANNABIS THE TIMES University studies show that all the cannabis sequesterded in one year by police forces is less than half of what is actually grown, but is nonetheless still worth 700 million NZD. *** 000064 12/06/98 E.U. / GB ORGANIZATION THE ECONOMIST While on one hand the Government encourages night life in London, it is trying on the other to find ways to fight 'rave parties' and 'acid houses', preferred meeting places for Ecstasy consumers. *** 000073 10/06/98 E.U. / ITALY / MILANO ORGANIZATION / HEROIN LA STAMPA / CORRIERE DELLA SERA A traffic that exchanged drugs for weapons directed to Kossovo has been stopped. The drugs were also used to finance foreign politicians and Islamic terrorists. *** 000065 03/06/98 E.U. / SPAIN PREVENTION / CAMPAIGN / TELEVISION EL PAIS The Secretary of State for the Home Department and directors of Telemadrid, Canal 9 and Sogecable have signed an agreement for the creation of an anti-drug campaign. The main objective of this campaign is to prevent drug consumption and to produce television programs about the activities of the Plan Nacional sobre Drogas. *** 000069 04/06/98 AMERICA / USA WAR ON DRUGS CORRIERE DELLA SERA 4-7/6 / IL GIORNALE 4/6 / LA REPUBBLICA 7/6 The USA are against funding the new U.N. plan against drug traffic. Nonetheless, Pino Arlacchi replies 'The USA are with me in the fight against drugs' and says that the news published on the Washington Post is nonsense. *** 000070 05/06/98 AMERICA / MEXICO WAR ON DRUGS HERALD TRIBUNE / FRANKFURTER Operation Casablanca, carried out by the USA, has brought to the arrest of 20 bankers. Mexican authorities approve the outcome but not the method because they weren't informed about the plan. *** 000075 10/06/98 WORLD WAR ON DRUGS MISCELLANEOUS FROM 5/6 TO 10/6 The United Nations conference on drugs has opened in New York. The project by Pino Arlacchi, director of the UNDCP, of substituting drug cultivation with alternative types of cultivation in Asia and South America has been put under the exam of 150 countries. The plan has found heavy criticism on the part of the American Government and press. *** 000076 08/06/98 AMERICA / COLUMBIA WAR ON DRUGS / COCA LE FIGARO Colombian police forces have been conducting for the past four years a war against drug traffic. Nonetheless Columbia remains the first producer in the world of coca leafs. *** CLIPPINGS *** ITALY- The region of Tuscany is putting forth an agricultural plan to spread cultivation alternatives to those of the coca leaf in South America. Colombian peasants will follow a special course held in the Tuscan countryside. ( editor's note: Arlacchi clones are sprawling ...) WORLD - The Global Days Against the Drug War have had success: over 100 organizations from 55 cities around the world have already organized an initial international coordination. *** CORA -COORDINATION RADICALE ANTIPROHIBITIONNISTE -ANTIPROHIBITIONIST RADICAL COORDINATION -COORDINAMENTO RADICALE ANTIPROIBIZIONISTA Federated with the Transnational Radical Party NGO with category I consultative status at the UN Emailto:email@example.com http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet Emailto:firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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