------------------------------------------------------------------- Signature Count (Paul Loney, An Attorney And Chief Petitioner For The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative Petition, Says The Campaign Has Officially Collected 51,078 Signatures Of The 73,261 Needed By July) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 09:51:31 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Belmont Law Center) Subject: Signature count As of 19 June 1998, we have 51,078 signatures counted and stored. Many Thanks and Praises. Paul L
------------------------------------------------------------------- Former Probation Officer Admits Urine Switch, Accepting Gifts ('The Minneapolis Star-Tribune' Says Linda Whitehead, Who Resigned In March After An 18-Year Career As A Federal Probation Officer, Admitted In Court Thursday That She Switched Urine For A Client's Drug Tests In Exchange For Clothes The Client Shoplifted) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 10:38:39 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US MN: Former Probation Officer Admits Urine Switch, Accepting Gifts Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Author: Margaret Zack / Star Tribune FORMER PROBATION OFFICER ADMITS URINE SWITCH, ACCEPTING GIFTS A former federal probation officer admitted in court Thursday that she switched urine for a client's drug tests in exchange for clothes the client shoplifted. Linda Whitehead, who resigned in March after an 18-year career, pleaded guilty to mail fraud in federal court in Minneapolis. The government said she falsely certified that the urine was Karen Pluff's and had the samples mailed for testing. That allowed Pluff to smoke marijuana after she got out of prison on a federal drug conspiracy conviction. On one or two occasions, court documents said, Whitehead smoked marijuana with Pluff during official probation visits. During her plea, Whitehead didn't say whose urine was substituted, why she did it or whether she or Pluff had come up with the idea. Whitehead, 46, had supervised Pluff since March 1993. Their scheme went on for almost three years, officials said, but the charge was based on a Jan. 26 mailing. No details were revealed about the clothing or other stolen items Pluff gave Whitehead in return, and officials wouldn't say where the goods had been taken from. The "gratuities" were worth more than $2,000 but less than $3,000, said Miles Ehrlich of the U.S. Justice Department, who prosecuted the case. Phillip Resnick, Whitehead's attorney, put the value at less than $2,000. The figure is important because sentencing guidelines call for four to 10 months in prison for the larger amount and zero to six months for the smaller amount. After accepting Whitehead's guilty plea, U.S. District Judge John Tunheim called it a "most unfortunate matter." "It was out of character for her," said Resnick, hinting that mitigating circumstances would be revealed at her sentencing, which hasn't been scheduled. "She was a loyal, good government employee." Because she worked in the Minnesota office, the federal probation office in Nebraska will prepare the standard background report on her that the judge will use in determining her sentence. Meanwhile, Whitehead has agreed to cooperate with federal authorities, testify at any probation revocation hearings and provide any documents or tangible items relating to the investigation. No one involved in the case would say whether Pluff has been or will be charged, but Resnick said the scheme came to light when Pluff got arrested. It would be a violation of Pluff's probation to use drugs and not submit to the urine tests. -- Staff writer Greg Gordon contributed to this report. Copyright 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- West Bend Man Appealing Marijuana Conviction ('The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says Roger W. Hubbard, Convicted Of Possessing Three Pounds Of Marijuana, Is Seeking To Have The Conviction And Four-Year Sentence Overturned On The Basis Of Incompetent Legal Representation - Hubbard's Wife, Vicci, Their Daughter, Jacqueline, And The Man She Has Since Married, Anthony Galindo, Also Received Long But Unspecified Prison Terms) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: WI: West Bend Man Appealing Marijuana Conviction Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:32:18 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Author: Amy Rabideau WEST BEND MAN APPEALING MARIJUANA CONVICTION West Bend -- A man convicted of possession of 3 pounds of marijuana is seeking to have that conviction overturned. Roger W. Hubbard, 39, of West Bend, was sentenced earlier this year to four years in prison. Because the marijuana was found in the family's home near a school, he must serve a minimum of three years. A hearing on his request was held Thursday before Washington County Circuit Judge Richard Becker. His new attorney, Waring R. Fincke, alleges that Hubbard's first attorney, Daryl Laatsch, did not provide adequate representation in the case. Fincke said that Laatsch failed to recognize a clear "knock and announce" violation when a search warrant was executed by the Sheriff's Department last year. "And on that basis, I have alleged his ineffectiveness," Fincke said, referring to Laatsch. "Mr. Laatsch did not file a pretrial motion to suppress the evidence seized from the defendant's residence," Fincke wrote in his brief to the court. "Had the motion been brought . . . there would have been no admissible evidence upon which to base his plea or conviction." Holly Murphy, an assistant district attorney, disputed Finke's allegations regarding the search warrant procedure. "I'm not sure . . . those issues make it a case-killer, as Mr. Fincke would have you believe," Murphy said. Laatsch could not be reached for comment Thursday evening. The 3 pounds of marijuana found at the Hubbard residence was one of the largest seizures in Washington County last year. On the wholesale market it was worth about $3,300, and as much as $9,600 in street sales, officials said earlier. Other family members also were sentenced as a result of the investigation: Hubbard's wife, Vicci; their daughter, Jacqueline; and the man she has since married, Anthony Galindo. Fincke also sought to have Roger Hubbard, who received the most severe sentence of the four defendants, released during the appeal process. Becker denied that request. A hearing on the merits of the motion to overturn the conviction is now set for July 10. Bail will be reconsidered only after hearing any evidence in the case, Becker said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Narcotics Seizures Show Federal Help Is Overdue (A Staff Editorial In 'The Dallas Morning News' Says The Recent Interception Of Several Large Shipments Of Heroin And Cocaine At Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Show The Federal Government Should Designate Dallas And Northern Texas As A High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 00:58:11 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Narcotics Seizures Show Federal Help Is Overdue Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Author: Rena Pederson - Editorial Page Editor Drug smuggling NARCOTICS SEIZURES SHOW FEDERAL HELP IS OVERDUE Of the various and sundry items that could conceivably make a nylon coat warmer, heroin must surely rank as the most unique. But that is exactly what a Drug Enforcement Administration task force at D/FW International Airport found sewn into the lining of nine coats Sunday - Colombian white heroin. Weighing more than 17 pounds, the seizure made a hot day in June even hotter: The case turned out to be the largest heroin bust at D/FW ever. Along with two other major drug seizures involving heroin and cocaine at the airport this month alone, the incidents prove that the worst fears of law enforcement officials have come to pass: North Texas has become a major drug trafficking region. "We're in a real crisis," says Paul Coggins, the U.S. attorney for the northern district of Texas. Now if only the federal government will recognize the fact that Dallas is in danger of becoming another Miami. Unfortunately, there continues to be an inexplicable delay in designating Dallas as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Such a move may sound merely cosmetic, but it could, in fact, result in additional funding for drug-related investigations. Congressman Sam Johnson and Congressman Pete Sessions are working to introduce an amendment that would allocate $5 million for Dallas' HIDTA designation. Mr. Coggins estimates that only 10 percent of the drugs smuggled into the country are interdicted. But that hardly means drug traffickers are not taking a hit, and that they would not be hurt much more if the seizures increased. Even though the nearly $12 million worth of heroin seized Sunday was expensive enough, it could have been worth up to $40 million after dilution for street sale. As more and more young people in North Texas suburbs like Plano continue to succumb to heroin, a HIDTA designation could significantly enhance local drug-fighting capacity. While drug demand can create drug supply, it's equally true that drug supply, through effective marketing and enticement, can create drug demand. Against that backdrop, it's up to Congress and the Office of National Drug Control Policy to make North Texas' HIDTA designation a much higher priority.
------------------------------------------------------------------- An Indefensible Lack Of Defense ('St. Petersburg Times' Columnist Robert Blumner In 'The Oakland Tribune' Explains Why Justice In America Has Become A Farce, As Many States Rob Their Public Defender Systems Blind In Order To Build More Prisons And Other Armaments For The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 16:34:42 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Gerald Sutliff (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: RE: Public Defenders Dear Talkers, We just had a brief string on public defenders. The following column (Oakland Tribune (CA), 6-19-98 will add perspective to the subject: (vty, Jerry Sutliff) An indefensible lack of defense WE as a nation may pretend that poor people accused of a crime have access to a lawyer who will help them, but the realty is more like what exists in Pittsburgh. Attorneys at the Allegheny County, Pa., public defender's office are so overworked they are unable to provide even a semblance of adequate representation for their clients. Public defenders who handle parole and probation hearings for the office have been assigned about 3,000 hearings a year, roughly 60 per week. Those lawyers who represented people being committed to mental hospitals were assigned about 4,500 hearings a year, or about 90 per week. And attorneys representing juvenile criminal defendants were handling nearly 700 cases per year, a caseload are than three times higher than that recommended by the American Bar Association. But the cold numbers don't the whole story. Almost by definition, when justice isn't served, injustices happen. Because of the low staffing in Allegheny, defendants routinely have gone to trial without haven spoken to their lawyer for more than a few minutes. A 15-year-old girl. a first offender, was arrested for fighting, was convicted because the public defender's office didn't have the time or money to subpoena six eyewitnesses who could not leave school to attend the trial without a court order. She spoke to her public defender for only a few minutes before trial. David Holmes, who was charged with a DUI offense, was unable to appear at an April 1996 hearing because of an injury. The public defender's office assured him it would ask for a delay. When Holmes heard nothing from the office, he repeatedly tried to find out when his new hearing date was scheduled. The public defender's office responded that the court had not yet set a date. In July, Holmes was arrested for failing to appear at the April hearing. The public defender had never gotten a postponement and didn't have the time to inform his client. A young man arrested on a first offense spent 15 months in jail without seeing his lawyer. His public defender unilaterally waived his right to a speedy trial. Then, at trial, the charges were all dismissed. Following a suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, a settlement was reached last month that requires the county to nearly double the attorney staff and triple the support staff over the next four years. Yet the severity of the understaffing in Pittsburgh's public defender's office is not unique. Similar class-action lawsuits are pending in Connecticut and Georgia. Many more states also have allowed their public defender system to degrade to the point that legal representation is more farce than fact. How did we get to this point? A variety of factors contributed to the decline. No one likes to fund an adversary, so It's not surprising that public de-fenders' offices naturally tend to be poor in relation to the prosecutor's office. Couple that with the antipathy the general public feels about criminal defense lawyers, and it becomes politically easy to starve public defender offices. The average expenditure for each case of indigent defense was $223. In 1986, the last year for which national numbers are available. This decade, deep cuts came out of public defender budgets. At the same time, tougher laws, longer pen-alties and more prison capacity caused criminal defendants to flood the system. Public defenders just couldn't keep up. The result was what happened in central Florida, where, because of inadequate funding for appellate public defenders, prisoners have frequently finished their sentence before their appeals were heard. Death row inmates are often skimped on the most. Alabama pays court-appointed lawyers representing indigent death row Inmates $20 per hour for all out-of-court work, a figure that hasn't been raised since 1981. In addition, Alabama caps attorney compensation at $1,000, or 50 hours for out-of-court work. Yet experts estimate that the minimum number of hours needed to prepare a capital case for trial is 500 hours. A petition is now before the Florida Supreme Court on behalf of two of the three offices that handle appeals for death row inmates. The filing claims the state is not providing enough resources so that the attorneys can do a minimally ac-ceptable job on capital cases. "What the Legislature has in mind is the illusion of a lawyer," said Steve Hanlon, lead attorney in the case, "which is a very dangerous thing for a client." Our right to counsel at government expense is what gives each of us a fighting chance if we are ever wrongly prosecuted by the state. Society is no safer when innocent people are convicted due to poor lawyering. Beware, anyone short of re-sources could be the next victim of this system. Robet Blumner is a columnist and editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times. *** Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 00:02:54 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: pllilly (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: RE: Public Defenders >Following a suit by the American Civil Liberties Union, a settlement was >reached last month that requires the county to nearly double the attorney >staff and triple the support staff over the next four years. This may partially ameliorate the *results* of the problem, but it won't fix the problem, since it doesn't address the problem. The problem isn't the overworked nature of public defenders; the problem is the sky-high *need* for them in the first place. The only real solution is to reduce--drastically--the number of arrests, and eliminate the many unfair advantages currently enjoyed by the prosecution. I know that's easy to say and hard to do, but that's the way it really is. --Patrick
------------------------------------------------------------------- How To Apply For A Federal License For Cannabis And Other Controlled Substances (John Birrenbach Reposts His 'Best Of High Times' Article About Loopholes In The Controlled Substances Act, How To Exploit Them, And Why People Should Try To Do So) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 20:19:05 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: John Birrenbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: OPEN and Comment please Forgive a newbee to the list if this has already been discussed here or you have seen it elsewhere: A concept to ponder. In the early nineties I looked at the Controlled Substances Act and came across a section of the act that I think has been overlooked. I prepared a report on how to legally grow hemp if you would like a copy send me a message and I would be happy to email it to you. I also wrote an article which outlined the process for an article which was published in the best of High Times No. 10. The section (21 USC 822 and 823, and 21 CFR 1301) deals with the licensing of persons (organization, or companies etc..) who would like to possess, import, export, distribute, research, and manufacture (etc..) controlled substances. I pondered as I read the sections of law (21 CFR 1301) and wondered why would you put in place a procedure to license the legal possession etc.. of substances which, according to the DEA, have "no medical value and a high potential for abuse." ? I can offer no reasonable reason why there is such a procedure other than to allow persons to use these substances, so long as their use is "controlled". Upon further pondering I came to the conclusion that there were no laws in the United States that, in the strictest sense of the word, "prohibits" the use of any of these substances, merely the possession of the substances. I pondered further and came to the conclusion that we have a process that allows a person (etc.. ) to possess (etc..) substances on the controlled substances tables, and, there is no prohibition on the consumption of these substances. I wondered, are there any persons (etc..) who are able to legally possess (etc..) marijuana in the United States. I found, through the Freedom of Information Act, that there are indeed on an annual basis some 6-800 persons (etc..) who are given these licenses. The vast majority of them are government agencies, but there are a number of permits held in the private sector. The legal marijuana patients all have licenses under the Act. Eventually the light shown through and I came to the following conclusions: First all persons arrested for violations of the CSA are arrested because they do not have a license to conduct that activity. This is similar to a Doctor practicing Medicine without a License or someone driving a car without a license. Second I figured that if we are able to force the agency in charge of these permits to issue them according to their procedures we had legalization and regulation all ready in place. This I figured was a great benefit that we didn't need any new laws or to overturn any existing laws, just use what is in place. So.... Basically, I have come to the conclusion that the controlled substances act is a set of regulations that if used could "Control" the substances. Here is how. Under the Act you must keep you substance secure from diversion to someone who doesn't have a license. This could be as simple as a locked dresser drawer to a bank vault. Under the Act you must keep track of your purchases, and disbursements along with the License Number of the person who received some of the substance from you. You do not have to keep track of your personal consumption. Under the Act the agency in charge is allowed to do backround checks to see if it is likely that you are going to divert your substance to a non-license holder. These all seemed to me to be reasonable requirements and similar to those I myself would want to see in place should "illegal drugs" be "legalized". Now I realize that the agency we are dealing with is the DEA and that they are not likely to roll over without a fight but, if we were to get a bunch of people to file for these permits we could be a couple of benefits. No. 1. Support from members of congress. Members of congress love to come to the aid of citizens who are having problems with a government agency. This brings political pressure on the agency. No. 2 Support from the courts. When it is revealed to the courts that the DEA does in fact issue these permits to some and not to others they are likely to decide against the DEA and force them to issue permits to the general pubic as the act intends. No. 3 Support from the Media. The Media is likely to enjoy this article for it's obvious appeal. No. 4 DEA continues to go after those without licenses, and issue permits to those who request them. In general I see no downside other than the hassel of having to deal with the DEA. SO, I have spent the last 5 years trying to get this subject out into the open and debated in the community and eventually tried. Most have simply dismissed my assumptions as a "Nahh It can't be so simple", inspite of which the Kentucky Task Force noted it (the license requirement) in its "reasons" why hemp was not feasable. Any debate on the issue? Anyone who wants to try? Thanks john birrenbach formerly of the institute for hemp PS: The following, which I have condensed from the report I wrote in the early 90's, I have been posting to the Usenet newsgroups in the last couple of days. *** CANNABIS IS LEGAL IF YOU HAVE A LICENSE What do the Federally Legal Medical Marijuana patients, the Smithsonian, and the University of Mississippi have in common? ANSWER: They all have a license to possess cannabis from the DEA and their state agencies. WOULD YOU pay $500 a year to Possess Cannabis Legally? Would you pay $250? Would you pay $100? How about $50 to possess or $1,000 to grow? WOULD YOU agree to not give or sell your cannabis to someone who is not registered? WOULD YOU agree to keep track of your purchases and sales or gifts of cannabis? If you answer YES, to these then read on. If you answered NO, then you are TARGET in the WOD. If we can get a few people to do what is outlined below we will legalize Marijuana and end the WAR ON DRUGS. *** HOW TO APPLY FOR A FEDERAL LICENSE FOR CANNABIS & OTHER CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES *** These are the basic Steps you need to take so that you can obtain a license to possess, distribute, import, export or grow Marijuana. Under current federal law it is not illegal to consume controlled substances like marijuana, it is however illegal to possess these substances without a license from the DEA. People all over the US are arrested and charged with possession, import, export, distribution etc.., without a permit. So how does a person obtain a permit to Possess, Distribute, Import, Manufacture, or Export Marijuana? First is to obtain a Controlled Substances permit application, DEA form No. 225. These forms can be obtained from your local DEA office, the Diversion Control Officer will have them, or from the DEA in Washington DC. Once you have received your application complete it in its entirety. There will be several boxes that indicate what sort of activity you wish to participate in. It should be noted that for purposes of simple possession your permit is considered a researcher. Should you desire to do any other activity you are also considered to be allowed to possess as well as the activity for which you are applying. So that a person who imports or exports is also licensed to possess as well. When you have completed you application return it to the address indicated on the form along with your payment. Be sure to include on your payment a note that indicates your payment is for a permit application to "whatever you checked in the box." With your application enclose a letter that explains that you are new to the DEA permit process and to please have a Diversion Control officer contact you as soon as possible and include a phone number where you can be reached during the day. It must be understood that the DEA is concerned with Diversion Control. That is, they do not want the substance that you are applying to possess to get into the hands of someone who is not likewise registered with them. In order to do this you will be required to show that you have adequate security for your substance. This could be as simple as a floor or wall safe to as complex as a bank vault, it is entirely dependent on the substance, and the activity. For simple possession it is likely that a floor safe would be sufficient as that is what is required of the Legal Marijuana Patients. For growers, rooms that are deadboltable should be sufficient as it is more than is required of some of the researchers at a couple of Universities or the Botanical Gardens that have Cannabis growing on exhibits. For Importers, Exporters, and Distributors, a warehouse with a controlled area fenced off with alarms would be sufficient as it is with other controlled drug distributors. The DEA will also be concerned that you not distribute or allow to possess, from your supply, anyone who is not likewise licensed with the DEA. In order to comply with this requirement you must simply maintain a log book. Into it you will log your purchase entries and if you are a distributor sales entries and the DEA registration number of the purchaser. It must be understood that the DEA is likely to visit and examine the premises where the activity is to be conducted. They will do this for the purpose of examining if you have in place the proper security to prevent diversion and proper accounting means to account for your substance. It is my suggestion that before you purchase anything in the way of security or log books you first let DEA examine what you already have in place. The purpose of this is two fold. First, and least likely, is that they may think the dresser drawer is sufficient for your possession permit and all the locks you have in your house are ample enough to prevent diversion. Second is that you need to force DEA to tell you what they want in the way of security and logs etc.. Why? so that you can comply of course. After the initial investigation by the diversion control officer he will probably send you a letter that explains that you need such and such in order to be in-complaince. Follow the instructions to the letter. If he gives you some sort of vague "inadequate security" write him back and ask him to give you a detailed list of what is lacking in the way of security. Once you get your response comply to the letter. Once you have completed the requirements that the Officer requests ask them to come back for a reinspection. If you are in complete compliance at this point they are forced to send your application up the chain to Washington for approval. It is however more likely that he will "discover" something he missed last time and give you more things to do to come into compliance. If it seems to be reasonable request and a simple thing to fix do it and ask for another inspection. If however you think he is just adding hoops to jump through then it is time you contact your congressman and your lawyer. Explain in a letter to your congressional reps that you are attempting to get a permit under the controlled substances act and are having problems with the DEA. Explain that you have tried to comply and they continually are giving you more things to comply with. Be sure to include copies of all letters to and from the DEA regarding your application. It is also likely that you will need the service of an attorney. The attorney should be ready to file a case on your behalf in Federal Court demanding that the DEA comply with its own regulations under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC 822 and 823, and 21 CFR 1301. If you have any questions about what I purpose I suggest you get copies of these sections of law. They are available at most libraries, and via the WWW. Read them, read them again, read them a third and fourth time. They are very lengthy and difficult to understand, but if you read it enough you begin to understand there is a process to obtain a permit for your substance of choice. In order to understand how this works you need to understand the laws and treaties to which we must abide. First in all of the UN Treaties on Narcotics they all say that these substances are to be Controlled, no where does it say that they are to be Prohibited. Second the US Controlled Substances Act is as the name implies a means to Control these substances, in no place does it say these substances are prohibited. How do you control these substances? With regulations that require those involved with these substances obtain a registration and record their activity. This is exactly what the controlled substances act does. It puts in place a registration, and permit process so that the United States can Control these substances and who has access. Who is likely to be legitimately denied a permit under this process? Children without parental permission, People with histories of mental illness, people with a history of felonies. If enough people applied for these permits we would have legalization. Once you have your ok from the DEA you will need to obtain a license from the agency in your state who licenses pharmacies. The agency is extremely likely to issue your permit once the DEA has issued its ok, if they fail to do so you sue them in court and force them to do so also. Finally, under the Freedom of Information Act, it has been revealed that between 600-800 people, companies, and or organizations have permits to possess, distribute, import, export, and grow Marijuana in the United States in any Given Year. The fact is the DEA does issue these permits, albeit in limited numbers at the present time. WE NEED TO CHANGE THIS. We need to have millions of these permits issued annually. *** Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:16:56 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Charles P. Conrad" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: John Birrenbach (firstname.lastname@example.org) I don't like to add my support to hare-brained schemes, so it is in all seriousness that I am forwarding this. Other than Elvy et al, I can't imagine who the other 6-800 people/organizations are who hold these permits because officers of the law don't need them. I wish John had given the fee amounts and whether he has attempted this. >Forgive a newbee to the list if this has already been discussed here or you >have seen it elsewhere: *** Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:41:17 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: John Birrenbach To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Permits >I don't like to add my support to hare-brained schemes, so it is in all >seriousness that I am forwarding this. Other than Elvy et al, I can't >imagine who the other 6-800 people/organizations are who hold these permits >because officers of the law don't need them. Most on the list surprisingly are Police agencies, military institutions. There is also a couple of researchers who are growing (or were the last I checked) a number of hospitals and universities, a few dog training schools, and a few I could never figure out. I sent out letters to a bunch and never got much of a response from the permit holders. Some denied that they had such a thing. >I wish John had given the fee amounts and whether he has attempted this. I have not attempted it but John Stahl in California has and last I heard the local office had approved him and I think he was trying to get the state permit. Last I checked the fees ran from $25-1,000 researcher was the cheapest and manufacturer the most expensive. I would like to keep this debate in the public so please respond to the list. I think if we hash this around we may find the flaws in my idea that I suspect are there. Thanks john birrenbach *** Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 01:02:47 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: John Birrenbach (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Permits, sorry for wasting bandwidth Please excuse me for wasting internet bandwidth with an issue that appears to have been settled, on a federal level anyway. Despite what appears to be a deviation from the Single Convention Treaty the US DEA is issuing permits/licenses to new applicants provided they can come into compliance. As evident by my discovery Saturday that, on a federal level, John Stahl, Church of the Living Tree, has been approved by the DEA to cultivate cannabis. The only hitch is that apparently he has yet to find the right state agency to apply to. So, again sorry for wasting your bandwidth, please resume your normal activities. thanks john birrenbach PS: If you want to see it for yourself go to http://www.tree.org/ and click the LATEST NEWS link about a page down you will find a short blip that reads: The Permit to Cultivate Fiber Hemp for the Paper Mill: Our permit process has been going on for over five years now, and, while the DEA has said we are in full compliance with all federal regulations (and that we were the first and only ones to do so), they could not give us a permit since there was no provision for cultivating hemp in the State of California. Recent events in California have altered this picture, however. Since it is now the will of the people of the State of California that patients who use marijuana for medical use should no longer be prosecuted as criminals, and since laws in the United States must have the consent of the governed, federal laws proscribing all use of marijuana have no legal authority in the State of California, at least insofar as they interfere with the rights guaranteed directly by the people in Proposition 215. In any case, we expect no opposition to our suggestion that we allow medical marijuana patients to cultivate cannabis within our federally approved enclosure as long as they leave us their stalks for our paper mill, since there must be some legal way to comply with the terms of Proposition 215, and our proposal would provide a more closely regulated cultivation than any other proposed solution. Click the Cultivate Fiber Hemp link and you find the following: At the direction of the DEA, we obtained a safe for storing viable seed. We installed an eight foot high chain link fence around our site, complete with eighteen inches of barbed wire angled our at 45 degrees. We installed a locked gate. We installed floodlights, alarms, and a telephone connection to emergency services. Finally, we fixed up a little cabin for the use of a 24 hour guard. You don't want to hear about all the run-arounds with Research Protocols and site inspections. Suffice it to say that at long last, the DEA was satisfied of our compliance with all of their regulations, and that we were the first an only ones to do so, and so now we "only" await the cooperation of the State of California to be able to receive our permit at long last.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Message From Ty Matthews (A List Subscriber Forwards A Note From A Man Sentenced To A Year And A Day In Prison For Running A Toll-Free Phone Number Where Patients Could Call And Get Information On The Availability Of Legal Swiss Cannabis) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 15:57:05 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (eduard apperson) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Fwd: This is Ty Matthews, who was arrested for having an 800 number where patients could call and get information on the availability of legal Swiss cannabis. He has fought them all along without the benefit of lawyers, and been doing a great job. Looking Forward, Kay Lee P.O. Box 1322 Buda, TX 78610 512-295-8113 *** Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 09:37:57 -0700 From: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: HELLO FROM BUDA Hello, Kay, Lee: The trial ended in the judge's chambers when he denied me a medical or a religious use defense. I agreed to a reading of the record in exchange for the dismissal of the charges against Jamie. By a reading of the record I preserved all my issues for appeal. Of course the judge found me guilty, and I was sentenced to a year and a day. I remain free without bail or bond as long as I pursue appeal. I just finished the first appeal brief last night (52 pages) I feel good about it. In my federal law suit, the judge allowed me to amend the complaint. I did so beautify I must say. I named in another 26 defendants, cops, jail staff, etc. I am going after them for conspiring against my freedom of speech, for raiding my house for publishing the information packet. They just got served the other day, now they have to go out and hire attorneys. It should be lotsa fun. If you know of anybody needing help suing the government send them my way. I won't believe the class action is filed until after its done, to many postponements, but please keep me informed. Ty
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pain Patients Protest At Capitol, Blast DEA And Medical Boards (An Account Of The Anti-DEA Demonstration June 13 In Washington, DC - Dr. William Hurwitz's License Restored) From: "ralph sherrow" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: compilation 22 Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 18:14:08 PDT FROM THE INFORMATION CENTER IN HAYWARD RALPH SHERROW 510-733-5414 10am to 10pm email email@example.com DEDICATED TO DISSEMINATING INFORMATION ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical Boards On Saturday, June 13, an afternoon that began in searing heat but ended in a drenching thundershower, patients and physicians gathered at the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to protest the undertreatment of chronic pain, the maltreatment of chronic pain patients and the persecution of doctors who prescribe narcotics for pain as needed. Signs and t-shirts read "stop pain now" and "get the DEA out of my doctor's office". Awards were presented to several physicians who have courageously stood up for the rights of patients. One piece of good news that was reported was that the DEA, after two long years, has finally restored Dr. William Hurwitz's license to prescribe narcotics see http://www.drcnet.org/guide10-96/pain.html The Virginia Board of Medicine restored his state licenses several months ago, and in a dramatic about face, praised his method of pain treatment and encouraged him to continue. Ralph
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Quick Solutions To Drug Abuse (A 'Washington Post' Op-Ed Reprinted In 'The San Jose Mercury News,' By David F. Musto, A Professor Of Child Psychiatry At Yale School Of Medicine, Praises The Clinton Administration's Recent Proposal For A 10-Year 'Drug' Strategy And Pans Speaker Of The House Newt Gingrich's Rejection Of The Strategy As Too Drawn Out And Defeatist) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 14:46:38 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: No Quick Solutions To Drug Abuse Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: David F. Musto NO QUICK SOLUTIONS TO DRUG ABUSE AFTER three decades of studying the history of drugs and drug policy in the United States, I was impressed by the Clinton administration's recent proposal for a 10-year drug strategy. Here, at last, comes recognition of the need for a steady and consistent policy over an appropriate span of time. A common fault in drug policy has been anticipating or promising dramatic results within an unrealistically brief period. When the speaker of the House rejected the strategy's goal as too drawn out and defeatist, I wondered whether our drug policy could ever escape the insistent, immediate demands of our political life. Newt Gingrich feels that a 10-year strategy indicates pessimism and perhaps lassitude in dealing with the drug problem. The Civil War, he says, ``took just four years to save the Union and abolish slavery.'' A look at our first drug epidemic, which peaked between 1900 and World War I, reminds us that the duration of a wave of drug abuse has been roughly a half-century even in the face of severe penalties and popular condemnation. To approach the drug problem as if it were the gasoline shortage of the 1970s is to misunderstand the nature of the problem. Reducing drug use requires fundamental changes in the attitudes of millions of Americans, and that shift in attitude is more gradual than we would wish. When Mr. Gingrich praises the decline in drug use among young people from 1979 to 1992, he is talking about a decline that was just 1 or 2 percent a year. Declines in drug use are gradual, at least when compared with the heated promises we have heard for three decades about a quick elimination of the problem. Thus a 10-year strategy is reasonable. An approach that transcends more than two presidential terms even carries a hope that the issue can be lifted out of partisan conflict. Demanding quick solutions to the drug problem inevitably leads to frustration because the decline rate is never as steep as promised. This may lead to more severe penalties, the scapegoating of minorities and, finally, discouragement. Can we say anything positive about the congressional statement contained in the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act that the United States should be drug-free by 1995? Such misperceptions of our experience with drugs create a sense of failure, even though drug use generally has declined since 1980. Repeated, hyped, short-term drug campaigns to end drug abuse are reminiscent of cocaine use: Every time the same dose is taken the impact lessens, the temptation to increase the dose escalates and, finally, you have burnout. Gingrich's claim for the Civil War suggests he was not wearing his historian's cap when he spoke. The Civil War marked the culmination of many decades of an abolitionist campaign that gradually changed Americans' attitude toward slavery. Altering perceptions is at the heart of such principled efforts, and it cannot be done quickly. This is the historical perspective we must bring to the campaign against drug abuse, not simplistic references to short wars that supposedly ended prolonged and embedded social evils. David F. Musto is a professor of child psychiatry and the history of medicine at Yale School of Medicine. He wrote this for the Washington Post.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smokers More Likely To Develop Dementia, Study Says ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says A Study Published In Today's 'Lancet' By Researchers At Erasmus University In The Netherlands Suggests Smokers Are Twice As Likely As Lifetime Non-Smokers To Develop Alzheimer's Disease And Other Forms Of Dementia) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: UK: Smokers More Likely To Develop Dementia, Study Says Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:47:40 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ SMOKERS MORE LIKELY TO DEVELOP DEMENTIA, STUDY SAYS Research: Largest project of its kind shows `powerful' link to tobacco. LONDON (AP) -- Smokers are twice as likely as lifetime non-smokers to develop Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, a study published today suggests. Results of other studies differ on whether smoking increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's or somehow protects against it, but scientists say the latest study by researchers at Erasmus University in the Netherlands is important because it is the largest to investigate the link -- and the first major project to have evaluated people before they developed brain disease. Dr. Anthony Mann, an old-age psychiatrist and professor of epidemiology at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, called the findings ``powerful.'' ``They are the first to do a prospective study, and it's the largest to show a positive link,'' said Mann, who wasn't involved in the research. ``It's the best we've had.'' The study in Britain's Lancet medical journal followed 6,870 men and women ages 55 and older living in a suburb of Rotterdam. It found that smokers were 2.2 times as likely to develop dementia of any kind and had a risk for Alzheimer's disease that was 2.3 times as high as those who had never smoked cigarettes. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, estimated to afflict nearly 18 million people worldwide, or 3 percent of people over the age of 60, according to the non-profit Alzheimer's Disease International. Unlike previous studies, none of the people in the Rotterdam study had dementia when first examined. They were asked about their smoking habits and divided into smokers, former smokers and those who had never smoked. Two years later, 146 study participants had developed dementia and 105 of those had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Within a random sample of the whole group, the researchers also examined the effect of smoking on people who carried a gene believed to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. They found that despite the overall finding that smoking doubled the risk of developing the degenerative disease, smokers who carried the gene actually were no more likely to develop Alzheimer's than non-smokers. But smokers who did not carry the gene were found to be four times as likely to develop the disease as non-smokers, the study said. Scientists are unsure exactly how smoking might contribute to Alzheimer's. Still, Mann said, ``It takes forward that things that put you at risk for vascular disease put you at risk for dementia in general.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Law Is Clear - If You Know The Risks, Too Bad ('Boston Globe' Columnist Jeff Jacoby Notes Six Jurors In Jacksonville, Florida, Awarded The Family Of A Dead Smoker Nearly $1 Million Last Week, The Third Successful Lawsuit Against Tobacco Companies Among More Than A Thousand Attempts, And One Which Flatly Contradicts The Essence Of Tort Law) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: CA OPED: Law Is Clear: If You Know The Risks, Too Bad Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 01:03:08 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: Jeff Jacoby LAW IS CLEAR: IF YOU KNOW THE RISKS, TOO BAD Stripped to its basics, this was Roland Maddox's legal claim against Brown & Williamson, the manufacturer of Lucky Strikes: I liked to smoke, I enjoyed cigarettes, I knew they were bad for me, I refused to quit, I laughed off the health risks, I got cancer. What an outrage! The tobacco industry ought to pay me $100 million. Since 1954, more than 1,000 lawsuits proceeding on roughly that theory have been brought against cigarette makers. For only the third time last week, a jury bought it. Six jurors in Jacksonville, Fla., awarded the Maddox family $500,000 in compensatory damages for Roland's cancer (he died last year). They awarded another $450,000 in punitive damanges to teach Brown & Williamson a lesson. It wasn't $100 million, but it was nearly a cool million. ``I don't think (the tobacco companies) will have a leg to stand on much longer,'' one juror told reporters. ``We feel tobacco products . . . are dangerous.'' Of the two previous cases in which a jury returned a verdict against a cigarette maker, one was later overturned and the second is on appeal now. Brown & Williamson's lawyer says this verdict, too, will be appealed. Three verdicts in 10 years don't add up to a trend. But they do suggest that some judges and juries will ignore settled law in order to strike out at Big Bad Tobacco. That should alarm all of us, smokers and non-smokers alike. The reason the tobacco companies prevailed in so many lawsuits over the years is that the law was crystal clear: One who voluntarily assumes a risk has no legal claim if harm occurs. This assumption-of-risk doctrine is tort law at its most basic; law students learn it in their first semester. The 1965 ``Restatement of Torts,'' the definitive reference work on the subject, puts it this way: ``If the user or consumer . . . is aware of the danger, and nevertheless proceeds unreasonably to make use of the product and is injured by it, he is barred from recovery.'' Warnings have appeared on cigarette packs since 1966, and the danger of smoking was common knowledge long before that. Gallup polls in the 1950s found that the public, by majorities of 90 percent or so, had heard that cigarettes could cause cancer. Maddox himself referred to his cigarettes as ``coffin nails'' and ``cancer sticks.'' Plaintiffs suing tobacco companies have variously accused them of marketing a defective product, of conspiring to cover up tobacco's hazards, or of failing to warn consumers that nicotine is addictive. Whatever the charge, the claims are fatuous. The smokers knew their habit was bad for them; now they want someone else to pay for their bad judgment. The law is clear that such suits have no merit. Nevertheless, smokers have kept bringing them, and lawyers have kept urging juries to disregard the law. Sooner or later, a jury was bound to do it. But disregarding the law is dangerous. Much more dangerous than smoking. Cigarettes threaten only those who use them. Tear up the legal rules that codify ethics and common sense, and we are all at risk. It is easy to pervert tort law in order to take a poke at Big Tobacco. It will prove less easy to get the law back, unperverted, when a more sympathetic defendant needs protection. Law and good sense were corrupted in a second courtroom last week. A Boston judge ruled that tenants living above a busy bar can refuse to pay rent if they object to the smell of cigarette smoke from below. In an opinion that thrilled no-smoking activists, Judge George Daher ruled, ``The tenants' right to quiet enjoyment was interfered with because of the second-hand smoke that was emanating from the nightclub.'' Rubbish. Those who don't want to experience the smells and sounds of a bar shouldn't rent an apartment above one. The law does not permit tenants to stiff their landlords on the rent -- in this case, $1,450 a month -- just because they can sniff tobacco smoke. No judge would award free rent to tenants who complained that they were kept awake by the sound of beer steins clinking late at night. Or by the odor of liquor wafting up from downstairs. But cast yourself as an unwilling victim of -- hiss! -- tobacco, and basic landlord-tenant law goes out the window. Now, a lawyer at the Tobacco Control Resource Center exults, anti-smoking lawyers have the precedent they need to open a new line of attack. Law that can be shredded for a ``good'' cause is no law at all. Due process either protects all -- even the unpopular -- or it protects none. In a much-quoted scene in Richard Bolt's ``A Man for All Seasons,'' William Roper urges that the law be set aside so that Thomas Cromwell can be defeated. No, replies Thomas More, the law must not be tampered with -- not even to defeat the Devil. Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law! More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil? Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that! More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you -- where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? ... D'you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake. Jeff Jacoby is a Boston Globe columnist.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Bill Dies, But Issue Thrives ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says That, After The Demise Of The McCain Bill On Wednesday, Tobacco Began Its New Life As A Campaign Issue On Thursday, With Both Democrats And Republicans Trying To Exploit The Bill's Failure) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 02:39:20 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Bill Dies, But Issue Thrives Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: Raja Mishra And Robert A. Rankin Mercury News Washington Bureau TOBACCO BILL DIES, BUT ISSUE THRIVES WASHINGTON -- Tobacco began its new life as a campaign issue Thursday, with both parties trying to exploit Wednesday's demise of tobacco legislation for their own advantage. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., who led the procedural maneuvering that killed the tobacco bill, consulted with the White House and Democratic leaders to see if a more modest attempt to fight youth smoking could be salvaged. Lott and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., said they were contemplating a narrower bill that would focus on punishing retailers who sell to children and also would step up drug enforcement. The defeated tobacco bill would have raised the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.10 and would have tightly regulated them, from how they are made to how they are sold. The reason Republicans killed the bill, said Lott, was that it overreached. ``Now, if the president is serious about doing something about teenage smoking, and hopefully drug abuse, we can do that. We can do that next week. We could probably do it this afternoon,'' said Lott. President Clinton was cautiously receptive. ``If that's a good-faith effort they're willing to make, that's certainly one option that I would consider,'' Clinton said. But the differences on approach between parties are vast. The tobacco bill's core was the $1.10 price increase, which public-health experts said would deter children from smoking. Clinton has said having at least that much of an increase was mandatory for any bill he would sign. How voters view tobacco is one of the wild cards that have made the tobacco debate so tumultuous. Polls show the public thinks tobacco is a pressing public-health problem but generally does not hold politicians responsible for failing to devise solutions. Clinton hopes to change that, and promised to raise the issue publicly throughout the summer. Republicans who voted to kill the bill ``may believe that the $40 million in advertising by the tobacco companies changed public opinion irrevocably and permanently and therefore it's safe to walk away from the biggest public-health obligation that this country has today,'' he said. ``I don't believe that.'' The tobacco industry's heavy advertising campaign is said to have given Republicans cover to kill the bill. The industry is ready to spend more, hinted Scott Williams, a tobacco official. ``Clearly we will not allow critics to misinform people about the issues,'' he said. But Democrats were already testing potential campaign mottoes for this fall, when a third of the Senate and all of the House are up for re-election. The death of the tobacco bill and the GOP blocking of campaign-finance reform, said Democratic House Leader Richard Gephardt of Missouri, showed ``the synergy going on between Republican legislators and moneyed interests.'' Sen. Wendell Ford, D-Ky., concluded after a meeting with Lott and Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., the minority leader, that ``there's some Republicans that are very concerned about their vote yesterday. And there's headlines in a good many newspapers around the country, from Los Angeles east, that Republicans killed the bill. So they're looking for some way to get out of it.'' The tobacco bill would have raised at least $516 billion for the government over 25 years. Clinton had planned to use about $150 billion of it for his child care initiatives and to hire more teachers. Its demise robs him of his three top domestic priorities, all dealing with children: child health, education and cutting youth smoking. But the tobacco bill's end won't change the government's actual spending plans much, because neither the House's nor the Senate's pending budget plans accepted Clinton's proposals.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Foes See Future In Court ('The San Francisco Examiner' Interviews Several Bay Area Tobacco Prohibitionists Who Say They Are Pleased The McCain Bill Died, Since It Was Loaded With Counterproductive Amendments And They Believe They Will Reach Their Goal Of Bankrupting The Tobacco Industry More Quickly By Filing Lawsuit After Lawsuit In Local And State Courts) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 02:39:22 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Tobacco Foes See Future In Court Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Keay Davidson, Examiner Staff TOBACCO FOES SEE FUTURE IN COURT Bay activists angry, but also relieved, at smoking bill's loss Bay Area anti-smoking activists reacted with a mixture of rage and relief to the death of the congressional tobacco bill. The nation is better off without the bill, because Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's congressional henchmen thoroughly sabotaged it, adding amendments than would have weakened the war on cigarettes, many activists say. Hence, many prefer to sidestep Washington and return to their older strategy: to slowly attack the tobacco industry by repeatedly suing it in local and state courthouses from coast to coast. "I don't see this (legislative defeat) as the end of the world because the fact is, we're now back to where we were - litigation on a state-by-state basis, which I actually think is a better way to do it," said the Bay Area's best-known cigarette-hater, Dr. Stanton Glantz, a UC-San Francisco professor of medicine. "The real (anti-smoking) progress has always been made at the local and state level." On Wednesday, the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate dumped the bill, intended to discourage teenagers from smoking. Sixty votes were needed to overcome procedural hurdles, but the bill's supporters garnered only 57. Ironically, the bill's chief sponsor was a Republican, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. Asked to comment on the view that court fights are preferable to passage of the Republican bill, San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne said, "I cannot disagree with it." As written, the Republican bill "would have wiped out all local government lawsuits against the tobacco companies." "And that is most unfair, given the fact that our (local) lawsuits were filed before 30 of the state attorneys general's lawsuits were filed," Renne said. Bill loaded with provisions As written, the McCain bill worried Walt Bilofsky, co-chair of the Smoke-Free Marin Coalition, based in Novato. It was a decent bill, until it was sabotaged with the provision for a $500-an-hour limit on fees for attorneys in future lawsuits, Bilofsky says. "The only way the tobacco industry is going to get out of the business of killing people is if they have to pay the price in dollars. The only institution in our system of government that is likely to (make them) do that is the courts," Bilofsky said. "Any bill that impedes what the courts have been doing in the last couple of years, and are doing right now, is a bad bill." Still, some activists hope to resurrect the bill in a more acceptable form. "If I could have gotten the McCain bill as it was last week without many additions, I could have accepted it," Glantz said. At that time, "the bill had emerged as a reasonably good piece of legislation from a public health point of view, and it would have passed if Lott had allowed it to pass." "Hypocrite of the year' Glantz said that Republicans "started screwing with it," adding provisions that would have weakened the anti-smoking cause - for example, limiting to $500 an hour the fees of lawyers who file future anti-tobacco suits. A $4,000 cap would have been set on the fees of lawyers whose suits are already in court. "Lott deserves the "Hypocrite of the Year' award," Glantz exclaimed. "He said, "We can't pass this bill - it's a Christmas tree!' Well, he's the guy who hung all the ornaments on it!" Julia Carol, co-director of Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights in Berkeley, said Lott "is lower than pond scum." Alluding to Lott's recent public statements on gays, she said: "Maybe instead of bashing gays, he should start bashing tobacco companies - they deserve it." Despite media talk about the bill's death, Carol added, "I don't believe it's over yet. I think the vote shows how much tobacco industry campaigns can buy, but I don't think it's over yet. . . . It could come back to life, you just never know." Republicans charged that the bill would have constituted a tax increase by boosting the price of a pack of cigarettes by $1.10. "Dangerous to go to Washington' "The Republicans delivered for the cigarette companies," Glantz charged. "I started out saying it was stupid to waste your time to go to Washington. And in fact, it's dangerous to go to Washington because the tobacco interests are so powerful there." Dr. Neil Benowitz, a nicotine researcher at San Francisco General Hospital, acknowledged that as "more and more irrelevant (provisions) got tacked on to the bill, the focus on really getting people to stop smoking was getting lost." Still, Benowitz would have welcomed passage of the bill's provision increasing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's ability to regulate tobacco. The bill's defeat sends the wrong signal to foreign countries considering tobacco controls, Benowitz said: "They were all looking to the U.S. to see what's going to happen." Anti-smoking activists should pressure their congressional representatives to revive an acceptable bill, one that enhances the FDA's muscle in regulating the tobacco industry, said emeritus Professor Dorothy Rice of UC-San Francisco. They "have got to keep this issue really on the forefront," said Rice, an expert on the impact of smoking on health costs. "It's terribly important to keep it alive so it doesn't die completely." 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- GOP Will Float New Tobacco Bill (The 'Standard-Times' In Massachusetts Notes One Day After The McCain Tobacco Bill Died In The US Senate, Newt Gingrich Said House Republicans Would Soon Unveil A Separate Bill - The White House And Its Allies In Congress Dismissed The Effort In Advance) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:19:09 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: GOP Will Float New Tobacco Bill Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: David Espo, Associated Press writer GOP WILL FLOAT NEW TOBACCO BILL WASHINGTON -- One day after tobacco legislation died in the Senate, Speaker Newt Gingrich said House Republicans will soon unveil a separate bill to curtail teen smoking and predicted that President Clinton "is going to sign it." The White House and its allies in Congress dismissed the effort in advance. "He's going to bring up a fig-leaf bill. Maybe a better word would be a tobacco-leaf bill," retorted Rep. Dick Gephardt, one of many Democrats who spent the day depicting Republicans as eager to do the bidding of Big Tobacco. Whatever the outcome -- and the eventual impact on teen smoking -- the two sides maneuvered for political leverage on the issue a few months before the mid-term elections. Pollsters have told Republicans they are viewed by the public as too closely allied with the tobacco industry but don't need to pass a broad bill like the Senate measure to remedy the damage. They fare just as well, in this view, by passing a smaller bill. For their part, Democrats are eager to establish a link between Republicans and tobacco manufacturers. "We now have (the) GOP a full-fledged subsidiary of RJR. And for $50 million, it was a good buy," said Democratic Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., who joined Gephardt at a midmorning news conference. The $50 million was a reference to an advertising campaign that the industry mounted to scuttle the Senate bill. Gingrich responded in biting terms a few hours later. "I think it's a little disgusting, frankly, to see the gleeful politics of Daschle and Gephardt, as though children's lives didn't matter, as though addiction didn't matter. "I would hope that they not be drawn into letting children become addicts because they'd rather have the issue this fall." On the Senate floor, Daschle tried, but failed in an attempt to resurrect the bill that was sent to its death on Wednesday. He vowed to try again "piece by piece and drip by drip." The measure that died in the Senate would have raised the price of cigarettes by $1.10 a pack, and raised an estimated $561 billion or more over 25 years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Republicans Predict Slimmer Tobacco Bill Will Pass ('Associated Press' Version In 'The Seattle Times') Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:23:51 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Republicans Predict Slimmer Tobacco Bill Will Pass Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: Laurie Kellman, The Associated Press REPUBLICANS PREDICT SLIMMER TOBACCO BILL WILL PASS WASHINGTON - A day after tobacco legislation died in the Senate, Republican leaders predicted that they would pass a smaller measure to curb teen smoking and drug use this election year and that President Clinton would sign it. "What I want is a result that is fair, that will deal with the problem, that will restrict, limit and fight teenage smoking and, in fact, discourage smoking as a whole," Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., told reporters yesterday. "That's all." Democrats said the GOP's tobacco policy would be a token, "a fig-leaf bill" targeted at protecting the interests of tobacco-industry campaign contributors, not children. "This will be revisited," said the bill's Democratic floor manager, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. To that end, Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota twice yesterday tried to revive Sen. John McCain's tobacco bill by offering it as amendments to unrelated measures being debated on the Senate floor. The first amendment failed, 54-44, while the second is likely to be voted on next week. Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., said he believes that Congress will pass a tobacco bill before the session ends but that the legislation will work within the budget. The Republican whip said there is support among his party members for a measure that would curb both tobacco and drug use among teenagers. House GOP leaders yesterday privately discussed a plan to impose limits on the placement of vending machines to make it harder for teenagers to buy cigarettes. Also under review was a plan to offer financial incentives to states that take steps on their own to crack down on youth smoking - and additional incentives to states that impose limits on attorney fees in industry lawsuits. In the House, officials said Republicans were discussing an approach that would pay for an ad campaign discouraging teen smoking and give the FDA authority over the manufacture of cigarettes, but not necessarily over nicotine. They also were seeking to impose restrictions on advertising to minors. Republicans said they had come to no decision on how to finance the ad campaign envisioned. One suggestion, to reduce or eliminate the tax break that tobacco companies receive for advertising, was ruled out, several sources said. The emerging House bill was not expected to seek higher cigarette prices - a centerpiece of the Senate bill and a key demand of public-health groups that advocated its passage. It also wouldn't offer the legal-liability protection the industry has demanded or expected to touch directly on three dozen pending state lawsuits. Those terms contrasted sharply with Congress' first tobacco bill, which was killed Wednesday by procedural votes in the Senate. Modeled on the $368 billion settlement reached a year ago between states and the tobacco industry, McCain's bill would have charged tobacco companies at least $516 billion over 25 years, in part by raising cigarette prices $1.10 a pack. It also would have severely curbed the industry's ability to advertise - a term experts believe would not survive court challenge without the tobacco industry's cooperation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smoke Gets In Their Ayes (Staff Editorial In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says The US Senate Might Have Been Able To Pass The McCain Tobacco Bill If It Hadn't Focused On The $516 Billion The Bill Was Supposed To Raise From Cigarette Smokers While Decimating Their Numbers) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:27:19 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Smoke Gets in Their Ayes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 SMOKE GETS IN THEIR AYES THE Senate just couldn't handle the tobacco issue. If senators just could have focused on the original goals of Sen. John McCain's tobacco bill -- curbing teen smoking, regulating nicotine as a drug, ending the flood of costly lawsuits and penalizing the tobacco industry for years of deadly lies -- they might have been able to pass it. Instead, they focused on the money, the $516 billion the bill was expected to cost the tobacco industry over 25 years. The Democrats, following President Clinton's lead, couldn't resist the urge to start spending that money on social programs. The Republicans couldn't resist the urge to give it away as a tax cut. The bickering over money played right into the hands of the tobacco companies, which spent $40 million on ads to convince the American people that the Senate had abandoned the original debate on smoking and health, which it had. After the death of the bill due to procedural causes, Republicans and Democrats in the House and the Senate were vowing on Thursday to resurrect the bill in some form. But it is unlikely that any substantive tobacco legislation will come out of Congress this year. And while that is disappointing, it is not the worst that could have happened. We have said from the beginning that a bad tobacco bill would be worse than no tobacco bill at all, and this one, in its final form, was bad indeed. It would have penalized tobacco companies billions of dollars a year and forced on them potentially unconstitutional restrictions on advertising without offering them in return any protection from future liability suits. While we don't object to making the industry pay for its sins, we believe that some limit on liability for past acts is justified. The bill also threw in some extraneous provisions we didn't like, such as a ban on the use of federal money for needle exchanges. Fortunately, the defeat of the McCain bill does not mean the tobacco companies are off the hook. The battle simply moves back to the courts and to state and local governments, where the anti-tobacco forces have been making steady progress. A year ago, the tobacco companies agreed to a $368 billion settlement with state attorneys general over the cost of treating sick smokers. The McCain bill was supposed to ratify that agreement. But without congressional approval, the industry is forced to settle with each state, and the climate in the courts grows less hospitable to tobacco all the time. Where once the industry was able to rebuff every claim against it, in the past year it has agreed to pay out billions. Already the companies have agreed to pay $36 billion to settle four state lawsuits. Several others, including California's, are scheduled to go to trial in the next few months. In addition, thanks to the disclosure of secret industry documents, juries are now awarding damages to smokers who claim they were addicted to tobacco by unscrupulous industry practices. There are nearly 1,000 individual and class-action suits pending, including a major suit brought by Blue Cross and Blue Shield. As for government regulation of nicotine, that, too, will be decided by the courts. The federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether the Food and Drug Administration has the power to regulate the nicotine in tobacco or even ban it. Meanwhile, the court of public opinion continues to chip away at the privileges of smokers. City councils and state legislatures across the country are passing ever tougher restrictions on public smoking and on the sale of tobacco products to minors. This week, the cigarette companies are celebrating the defeat of the McCain bill. Let them savor their victory, because there are major defeats ahead.
------------------------------------------------------------------- News Analysis - Tobacco Bill's Future Depends On Voter Interest ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Quotes An Anonymous GOP Senate Aide On The Death Of The McCain Tobacco Bill - 'The Sense Now Is A General Shrug - People Never Understood It Or Believed In It Much To Begin With - Most Members Are Not Worried') Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 10:38:39 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: News Analysis: Tobacco Bill's Future Depends On Voter Interest Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau NEWS ANALYSIS: TOBACCO BILL'S FUTURE DEPENDS ON VOTER INTEREST Lawmakers Consider Possible Effect On November Elections The Senate may have killed its big tobacco bill, but whether the measure still might rise from the proverbial ashes is anyone's guess. Washington's day-after obituaries opened with scathing sound bites from Democrats and promises to pummel Republicans on tobacco in November. ``It became entirely clear that in this merger era that we're in, (tobacco company) RJR merged with the GOP,'' said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle. Daschle promised nonstop parliamentary warfare to revive a bill before November. ``Piece by piece, drip by drip, we're going to make this happen,'' he said. ``We're going to force action on this legislation over and over again. But Republicans are betting that while tobacco has replaced Monica Lewinsky as the hottest Beltway topic this summer, it's no burning issue in the hinterlands. By the time November rolls around, they calculate, voters will have forgotten the big tobacco bill, which even legislators didn't fully understand. ``The sense now is a general shrug,'' said a top Senate GOP aide. ``People never understood it or believed in it much to begin with. Most members are not worried.'' Conservative pollster Kellyanne Fitzpatrick said it was an easy call for the GOP, whose mantra is tax cuts. ``If you have an R after your name and a Cong. in front of your name, this one was not even close,'' she said. ``The greater risk for Republicans than being tarred as being in the pockets of the tobacco industry was going on record voting in favor of taxes.'' Still -- just in case -- backdoor negotiations are continuing to see if any kind of legislation might be revived. House Speaker Newt Gingrich suggested a much scaled-back version yesterday, but he offered few details. Senator Dianne Feinstein, D- Calif., is teaming with Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to fashion a new bill that would keep the key regulatory and tax penalties intended to discourage smoking, but without the extra baggage from both parties that ultimately brought down the original bill sponsored by John McCain, R-Ariz. Said Feinstein: ``As the McCain bill got bigger and bigger, went from the $516 billion to the $800 billion figure and they added the marriage penalty (tax cut) and the drug program and the voucher program, what happened is that the money left for public health went way down to a fraction. . . . That is not a good bill.'' Republicans would like to immunize themselves from the tobacco issue by passing a narrow bill to encourage education and other efforts to reduce teenage smoking. The House leadership's version would contain no tax increase. Without revenue, such a bill would allow Republicans to say they are doing something to cut teen smoking but avoid the charge that they are raising taxes and expanding government with the big new federal programs. But Democrats and anti-smoking lobbyists are dead-set against that approach. White House spokesman Mike McCurry said yesterday that ``there is no such thing as a slimmed-down bill that protects kids from smoking. . . . A fundamental premise of the way in which you curb youth smoking is to raise the price per pack of cigarettes.'' Linda Crawford, a top lobbyist for the American Cancer Society, said all parties from public health groups to the tobacco companies (which at first sought legislation as a way to limit their potentially staggering legal liability) are ``going to take a step back'' to see what might be rescued. But Crawford said any bill ``can't be `tobacco-light'; it can't be just something to get them through, saying they've done something for kids. It has to be comprehensive and effective.'' The tobacco legislation has taken so many surprising turns -- dead one day and alive the next -- and has developed so many shifting political crosscurrents that even seasoned lobbyists won't hazard a guess as to what will happen next. Conservative publisher Bill Kristol said Republicans will probably go home for the July 4 recess to see how voters react. If there's a big yawn, as Kristol suspects, nothing more will happen. ``But it's possible it will turn out there really is grassroots interest in this bill,'' Kristol said, ``in which case Republicans will come back here and revive it.'' Anti-tax lobbyist Grover Norquist insists Republicans just saved themselves. ``No Republican ever lost an election by voting against a tax increase in the history of the world,'' Norquist said. ``There is only one thing voters will not forgive a conservative party for, and that's raising taxes.'' But Democrats clearly smell an issue. Tobacco companies are now the Great Satan of American society, polls show. And while polls consistently show that most people hold smokers, not tobacco companies, responsible for their smoking, sentiments reverse when it comes to teenagers. ``If I were a Republican, I would be very nervous about being identified with the tobacco companies,'' said a leading Democratic strategist. Come November, he said, ``it won't be about all this nuanced reasoning over the nature of the bill and taxes and where the money would go, but rather, `Are you pro-tobacco or are you against tobacco?' And on that one the Democrats win.'' Republicans counter that while nearly everyone thinks teens shouldn't smoke, smoking is not a top parental concern. ``If you ask the question, `Do you support legislation to help curb teen smoking,' of course you're going to get upwards of 80 percent saying yes,'' said Fitzpatrick. ``But that's like the questions, `Do you support protecting the environment or improving education or even cutting taxes?' You get 80 percent saying yes, and I often wonder, who is the other 20 percent?'' Yet when asked what teens do that most concerns them, Fitzpatrick's polls show 39 percent say drugs; 17 percent say gangs, crime and random violence; 9 percent say reckless driving and another 9 percent alcohol; 7 percent say sex; and 2 percent answer smoking. Nonetheless, public fallout from the Senate defeat of the tobacco bill remains unclear, and no one knows where the issue is headed. ``It's very hard to tell at this stage,'' Feinstein said. WHAT'S NEXT With the tobacco deal dead, the next big battles will come in the courts, beginning with the nation's first class-action lawsuit brought by smokers, which goes to trial in Florida on July 6. The next trial of a state's lawsuit seeking to recover costs of treating smoking-related illnesses is Washington's, set for mid-September. Other states with trial dates set for suits against the tobacco industry are Arizona, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. Trial dates have not been set for pending suits by California, Iowa, Michigan and Utah. About 800 lawsuits of all kinds are pending against tobacco companies, although legal experts believe many will disappear or fail because they were filed simply to be in a position to cash in on a potential congressional settlement. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A3
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco's Roadblock (Staff Editorial In 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Claims Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Handed Democrats A Powerful Election-Year Issue In Killing The McCain Tobacco Bill, Suggesting Lott Relied On An Unidentified Poll Showing That Snuffing Out The Bill Would Not Have As Dire A Political Result As Democrats Hoped) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:15:21 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Tobacco's Roadblock. . . Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 TOBACCO'S ROADBLOCK . . . TOBACCO companies won another one, but a short-term victory for the deep-pocketed industry and Senate Republicans could well come back to haunt them. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott handed Democrats a powerful election-year issue by leading the charge that resulted in killing legislation to curb teen smoking. Lott apparently relied on a poll showing that snuffing out the bill by Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., would not have as dire a political result as Democrats hoped. We'll see. According to numerous surveys, most Americans are fed up with the lies, advertising tactics and seeming willingness to do anything to sustain profitability of cigarette makers, even when it means luring teenagers to a habit that claims 420,000 lives a year. It will be easy for the public to connect the $40 million tobacco industry advertising blitz against McCain's bill with the vote by Senate Republicans -- and two tobacco-area Democrats -- to effectively kill the bill. And it will not help those senators that tobacco company officials wasted no time after the vote bragging that their Washington clout was alive and well. Political shenanigans like Lott's refusal to bring the measure up for a vote on its merits on the Senate floor and instead kill it through procedural methods also could hurt Republicans. Americans already turned off by political business-as-usual will not appreciate another attempt at trickery. Adding to the potential political risk to Republicans is the transparency of Lott's arguments against the bill. He said it had become a big government tax and spend measure with its abundance of amendments. He neglected to mention that he pushed for many of those amendments. The tobacco industry is not going to get off lightly either. The country is a different place for tobacco interests from a couple of years ago, when a group of bold state attorneys general (not including California's Dan Lungren) took on the industry. Lungren did not join the lawsuit until it was on the brink of settlement. In the year since the original settlement, the industry was ordered to pay punitive damages. The public became acquainted with -- and juries are being shown -- long-hidden tobacco company documents showing that young people were specific targets of tobacco advertisers and that cigarette manufacturers manipulated nicotine levels to hook smokers. The once-invincible tobacco industry also has agreed to pay $36 billion to settle four Medicaid suits. McCain's bill had flaws, but they could have been repaired in a House-Senate conference committee. Lott and company ensured that no such opportunity will occur. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A22
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kaiser Won't Cover Cost of Viagra ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says Kaiser Permanente, The United States' Largest Health Maintenance Organization, Will Announce Today It Will No Longer Cover Patients' Use Of Viagra, Claiming The Impotency Pill Costs Too Much Money - In Addition, The New National Policy Will Apply To Other Treatments For Erectile Dysfunction, Including Suppositories And Pills Not Yet On The Market) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:13:59 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Kaiser Won't Cover Cost of Viagra Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Staff Writer KAISER WON'T COVER COST OF VIAGRA It cites huge price tag -- over $100 million a year After anguishing for weeks over how to cope with Viagra mania, Kaiser Permanente, the nation's biggest HMO, will announce plans today to exclude coverage of the popular blue pill for male impotence. In addition, the HMO's new national policy will apply to other prescription treatments for erectile dysfunction, including suppositories and pills not yet on the market. The decision was reached after an unprecedented national policy review that had a team of physicians, ethicists and pharmacists delving into such issues as the medical necessity for erections and the dangers of recreational use of pills like Viagra. A stunning 2 million prescriptions have been written for Pfizer Inc.'s Viagra since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in April -- making Viagra the most successful new pharmaceutical on record. It's become a staple of late-night talk-show banter, so easy to purchase that one can order it over the Internet. But it's expensive -- selling wholesale for $7 a pill, retail for about $9 or $10. In the last analysis, though, economic factors, as opposed to medical issues, decided the question for Kaiser. Even if users were limited to 10 pills a month, the HMO estimated that the cost would exceed $100 million a year. By comparison, Kaiser dispensed only $59 million worth of anti-virals last year, a category that includes all the protease inhibitors and other expensive drugs used to fight AIDS. ``We could, of course, build the cost of Viagra into everyone's premium, but is that the right thing to do?'' said Dr. Francis Crosson, executive director of the Permanente Federation, Kaiser's national physician organization. Kaiser's decision overrules some regional decisionmakers who had hoped the HMO would provide at least limited coverage to help certain patients. Several other HMOs have adopted rules limiting Viagra coverage to six pills or so each month. About half of state-run Medicaid programs provide Viagra benefits. Standard Medicare coverage doesn't include any self-administered drugs, although some HMO plans have been extending Viagra benefits that generally match what's being offered through commercial plans. Viagra is the only FDA-approved pill affected by the new Kaiser policy. But at least two other potential impotence treatments, considered to be a year or two away from the FDA-approval stage, also will be excluded, along with the so-called Muse suppository, Kaiser officials said. SUPPLEMENTAL PLAN NEEDED The policy will take full effect when standard HMO contracts come up for renewal, generally the first of the year. Employers and other health-plan purchasers would have to buy an optional supplemental benefit plan if they want Kaiser to provide the coverage anyway. Kaiser doctors may continue to write prescriptions for Viagra, and the drug will be available in the HMO's pharmacies. But the standard $5 co-payment will not cover the cost. In Northern California, where Kaiser provides HMO coverage to roughly 2.7 million people, or 1 of every 3 insured residents, Viagra has never made its way onto the list of reimbursed medications. Summing up the impact of the new policy, a spokeswoman said, ``Viagra wasn't covered yesterday, and it won't be covered tomorrow.'' Pfizer, not surprisingly, was looking for a different answer than what Kaiser came up with. ``Obviously, we're disappointed,'' said spokeswoman Mariann Caprino. ``This is a serious medical condition we're talking about here.'' She said excluding Viagra is inconsistent with policies that pay for such things as seasonal allergy medications that also improve quality of life, even if they don't treat life-threatening conditions. Patients and advocates specializing in erectile dysfunction roundly condemned Kaiser's decision, calling it a misguided slap against those who want erection problems treated as a disease rather than a joke. ``Viagra has been terrific for me,'' said Santa Rosa writer Eugene Shapiro, 63, who is co-writing a book about the erection pill with a urologist. Shapiro said taking the pill helped him regain not only full sexual function but also helped him fight bouts of depression. Tom Bruckman, executive director of the American Foundation for Urologic Disease in Baltimore, Md., said he was ``shocked.'' ``If there has been any experimental or recreational use of this drug, it's been limited and will not be ongoing,'' he said. ``Viagra is a serious drug for a serious medical condition.'' `STRANGE INCONSISTENCY' Betsy Imholz, senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco, noted that Kaiser will pay for office treatments and surgery for erection problems. The policy banning payments for the drug ``seems to me a strange inconsistency,'' she said. ``I understand the impetus is cost-cutting, but they're going to still pay for very invasive and costly procedures, and not cover a safer and less costly medication.'' But some top medical experts took Kaiser's side, maintaining that all HMO members should not have to bear the cost of the sexual activities of a few men. ``In today's world of limited resources, you have to draw the line somewhere,'' said Dr. Arnold Relman, a former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A1
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Don Juan' Author Castaneda Has Died ('Los Angeles Times' Obituary In 'The Seattle Times' For Carlos Castaneda, 72, Of Westwood, California, Who Wrote 10 Books Chronicling His Drug-Induced Mental Adventures With A Yaqui Indian Shaman Named Don Juan) Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:21:57 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: 'Don Juan' Author Castaneda Has Died Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: J.R. Moehringer, Los Angeles Times 'DON JUAN' AUTHOR CASTANEDA HAS DIED LOS ANGELES - Carlos Castaneda, the self-proclaimed "sorcerer" and best-selling author, apparently died two months ago in the same way he lived: quietly, secretly, mysteriously. His tales of drug-induced mental adventures with a Yaqui Indian shaman named Don Juan once fascinated the world. And though his 10 books continue to sell in 17 languages, he died without public notice on April 27 at his home in Westwood. The cause was liver cancer; he was believed to have been 72. As befitting his mystical image, he seemingly vanished into thin air. "He didn't like attention," said lawyer Deborah Drooz, a friend of Castaneda's and the executor of his estate. "He always made sure people did not take his picture or record his voice. He didn't like the spotlight. Knowing that, I didn't take it upon myself to issue a press release." No funeral was held; no public service of any kind took place. The author was cremated at once and his ashes were spirited away to Mexico, according to the Culver City mortuary that handled his remains. He left behind a will, to be probated in Los Angeles next month, and a death certificate fraught with dubious information. The few people who may benefit from his rich copyrights were told of the death, Drooz said, but none chose to alert the media. Even those who counted Castaneda a good friend were unaware of his death and wouldn't comment when told, choosing to honor his disdain for publicity, no matter what realm of reality he now inhabits. Details of birth in dispute Carlos Cesar Arana Castaneda immigrated to the United States in 1951. He was born Christmas Day 1925 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, or Cajamarca, Peru, depending on which version of his autobiographical accounts can be believed. He was an inveterate and unrepentant liar about the statistical details of his life, from his birthplace to his birth date, and even his given name is in some doubt. "Much of the Castaneda mystique is based on the fact that even his closest friends aren't sure who he is," wrote his ex-wife, Margaret Runyan Castaneda, in a 1997 memoir that Castaneda tried to suppress. Whoever he was, whatever his background, Castaneda galvanized the world 30 years ago. As an anthropology graduate student at UCLA, he wrote his master's thesis about a remarkable journey he made to the Arizona-Mexico desert. Hoping to study the effects of certain medicinal plants, Castaneda said he stopped in an Arizona border town and there, in a Greyhound bus depot, met an old Yaqui Indian from Sonora, Mexico, named Juan Matus, a "brujo" - a sorcerer or shaman - who used powerful hallucinogens to initiate the student into an world with origins dating back more than 2,000 years. Under Don Juan's strenuous tutelage, which lasted several years, Castaneda experimented with peyote, jimson weed and dried mushrooms, undergoing moments of supreme ecstasy and stark panic, all in an effort to achieve varying "states of nonordinary reality." Wandering through the desert, with Don Juan as his psychological and pharmacological guide, Castaneda said he saw giant insects, learned to fly, grew a beak, became a crow and ultimately reached a plateau of higher consciousness, a hard-won wisdom that made him a "man of knowledge" like Don Juan. The thesis, published in 1968 by the University of California Press, became an international bestseller, striking just the right note at the peak of the psychedelic 1960s. A strange alchemy of anthropology, allegory, parapsychology, ethnography, Buddhism and perhaps fiction, "The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge" made Don Juan a household name. After his stunning debut, Castaneda followed with a string of best sellers, including "A Separate Reality" and "Journey to Ixtlan." Soon, readers were flocking to Mexico, hoping to become apprentices at Don Juan's feet. Was there a Don Juan? The old Indian could not be found, which set off widespread speculation that Castaneda was the author of an elaborate, if ingenious, hoax. Such concerns have all but discredited Castaneda in academia. "At the moment, (his books) have no presence in anthropology," said Clifford Geertz, an influential anthropologist. But Castaneda's penchant for lying and the disputed existence of Don Juan never dampened the enthusiasm of his admirers. "It isn't necessary to believe to get swept up in Castaneda's otherworldly narrative," wrote Joshua Gilder in the Saturday Review. "Like myth, it works a strange and beautiful magic beyond the realm of belief. . . . Sometimes, admittedly, one gets the impression of a con artist simply glorifying in the game. Even so, it is a con touched by genius." To the end, Castaneda stubbornly insisted that the events he described in his books were not only real but meticulously documented. Even his death certificate is not free of misinformation. His occupation is listed as teacher, his employer the Beverly Hills School District. But school district records don't show Castaneda teaching there. Also, although he was said to have no family, the death certificate lists a niece, Talia Bey, who is president of Cleargreen, a company that organizes Castaneda seminars on "Tensegrity," a modern version of ancient shaman practices, part yoga, part ergonomic exercises. Bey was unavailable for comment. Further, the death certificate lists Castaneda as "Nev. Married," though he was married from 1960 to 1973 to Margaret Runyan Castaneda, of Charleston, W.Va., who said Castaneda once lied in court, swearing he was the father of her infant son by another man, then helped her raise the boy. The son, now 36 and living in suburban Atlanta, also claims to have a birth certificate listing Castaneda as his father. "I haven't been notified" of Castaneda's death, said Margaret Runyan Castaneda, 76. "I had no idea." When he wasn't writing about how to better experience this life, Castaneda was preoccupied by death. In 1995, he told a seminar: "We are all going to face infinity, whether we like it or not. Why do we do it when we are weakest, when we are broken, at the moment of dying? Why not when we are strong? Why not now?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Carlos Castaneda, Champion Of New Age, Drug-Induced Mysticism, Dies ('Associated Press' Version) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 02:39:09 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Carlos Castaneda, Champion Of New Age, Drug-Induced Mysticism, Dies Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: Associated Press CARLOS CASTANEDA, CHAMPION OF NEW AGE, DRUG-INDUCED MYSTICISM, DIES LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Best-selling author Carlos Castaneda, whose books about a sorcerer and drug-induced mysticism attracted millions of New Age followers, has died of liver cancer. He was believed to be at least 66. Castaneda died April 27 at his Westwood home, attorney Deborah Drooz said today. No funeral was held and his cremated remains were taken to Mexico. For more than three decades, Castaneda claimed to have been the apprentice of a Yaqui Indian sorcerer named Don Juan Matus. His first book, ``The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge,'' described peyote-fueled journeys with the sorcerer who could bend time and space. Castaneda argued that reality is a shared way of looking at the universe that can be transcended through discipline, ritual and concentration. The sorcerer, he said, can see and use the energy that comprises everything -- but the path to that knowledge is hard and dangerous. While his 10 books sold millions of copies worldwide -- and continue to sell in 17 languages -- critics doubted that Don Juan existed. Castaneda always maintained that his experiences were real. ``This is not a work of fiction,'' Castaneda said in the prologue to his 1981 book, ``The Eagle's Gift.'' ``What I am describing is alien to us; therefore, it seems unreal.'' Castaneda was obscure on such matters as his birth. Immigration records indicated he was born Dec. 25, 1925 in Cajamarca, Peru, while various resource books place his birth exactly six years later, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. ``He didn't like attention,'' Drooz told the Los Angeles Times. ``He always made sure people did not take his picture or record his voice. He didn't like the spotlight.'' Castaneda, who held a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles, said he met Don Juan in Arizona in the early 1960s while researching medicinal plants. He followed when the shaman moved to Sonora, Mexico. His first book was a best seller when it appeared in 1968, as were several sequels that purported to track Castaneda's 12-year apprenticeship. The books were critically praised -- author Joyce Carol Oates called them ``remarkable works of art'' -- and even debunkers liked his heady visions of mysticism. ``It is a con touched by genius,'' one critic wrote in the Saturday Review. In recent years, Castaneda's disciples offered seminars and books on ``Tensegrity,'' a discipline composed of martial arts-like movements that Castaneda once said allowed ancient Mexican shamans to ``perform indescribable feats of perception.'' He claimed that Don Juan recommended it as a way for him to lose weight. ``The movements force the awareness of man to focus on the idea that we are spheres of luminosity, a conglomerate of energy fields held together by a special glue,'' he told the Times in a 1995 interview. Castaneda himself rarely made appearances and never allowed himself to be photographed or tape-recorded. ``A recording is a way of fixing you in time,'' he once said. ``The only thing a sorcerer will not do is be stagnant.'' While Castaneda contended that Don Juan did not die but rather ``burned from within,'' he had no doubt about his own mortality. ``Since I'm a moron, I'm sure I'll die,'' he told the Times. ``I wish I would have the integrity to leave the way he did, but there is no assurance.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drug Indictment Of Pair In Mexican Jail ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says Two Mexican Brothers, Jesus Amezcua Contreras And Luis Amezcua Contreras, Were Indicted Thursday And, If Mexico Extradites Them, Will Face US Federal Charges Of Running A Methamphetamine Trafficking Ring That Stretched From India To Germany To California)Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 23:18:39 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: U.S. Drug Indictment Of Pair In Mexican Jail Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 U.S. DRUG INDICTMENT OF PAIR IN MEXICAN JAIL SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Two Mexican brothers were indicted Thursday on charges of running a methamphetamine trafficking ring that stretched from India to Germany to California. Jesus Amezcua Contreras, 32, and Luis Amezcua Contreras, 34, are charged with manufacturing and distributing methamphetamine, conspiracy to possess ephedrine, which is a component of the drug, and continuing a criminal enterprise. They could face life terms if extradited and convicted. They were arrested June 1 in Mexico, where a judge cleared them of two of three charges there. They remain in custody in Mexico on money laundering charges. The United States wants them extradited. Announcing the brothers' arrest, Mexican authorities said they had broken up the country's largest methamphetamine and amphetamine cartel, which could be the largest in the world. The brothers had suppliers in India, Germany, China and elsewhere to collect ingredients for use in labs in the United States and Mexico, authorities said. The two already had drug charges pending in the United States. Agents rounded up more than 80 gang members in December and raided three labs, including two in the Los Angeles area.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amsterdam Cafe Raided Again (A Bulletin From 'Cannabis Culture' Magazine Says Police Roughnecks Returned Yesterday To The Restaurant In Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia - 'They Definitely Came For The Seeds,' Said Sita Windheim, One Of The Owners)From: email@example.com (Cannabis Culture) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CC: Amsterdam Cafe Raided Again Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 19:54:50 -0700 Lines: 36 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) AMSTERDAM CAFE RAIDED AGAIN By Dan Loehndorf Yesterday, June 18, the Amsterdam Cafe was raided again. The Amsterdam is a restaurant in downtown Vancouver, BC that offers a pleasant cannabis smoking environment, bongs and pipes for sale, and various hempen goods. The police came into the cafe at about 1:30 in the afternoon. "This time they weren't gentle," says Sita Windheim, one of the owners. She is referring to the last raid when police carefully boxed up merchandise. This time police haphazardly threw bongs and pipes into containers. "They definitely came for the seeds," said Sita. And Police thoroughly searched the premises for the tiny grains of potential high life. "I feel that we're being harassed. I think we're easy targets because we are so open and up front about what we do," says Sita. With this latest raid, police in Vancouver have become little better than backalley muggers with badges. During their search, Karen Watson, another owner, found police emptying her purse of cash. They also took money that was kept in the back of the store. Sita speculates that the raids may also have something to do with their landlord. "He circulated a petition among our neighbours and his other tenants against us. Apparently the landlord has a friend in the police department." Police raids like the one on The Amsterdam damage the lives of families. "I'm a single mother and I've got two kids at home," says Sita, "and I'm working harder than I ever have and the police come in and destroy it all in five minutes." The Amsterdam can be reached for offers of support at (604) 683-7200 *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to email@example.com containing the command "unsubscribe cclist". *** Subscribe to Cannabis Culture Magazine! Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B Visit Cannabis Culture online at http://www.cannabisculture.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sister Icee Charged With Three Counts Of 462.2 ('Cannabis Culture' Magazine Says The Woman Who Bought Hemp BC In Vancouver, British Columbia, From Marc Emery, Was Served With Three Charges Today Arising From The April 30 Raid Police Originally Said Was Intended To Gather 'More' Evidence Against Emery)From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Culture) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: Sister Icee Charged with 3 Counts of 462.2 Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 19:55:28 -0700 Lines: 59 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) SISTER ICEE OF HEMP BC CHARGED WITH 3 COUNTS OF 462.2 By Dan Loehndorf Today, June 19, Sister Icee of Hemp BC was served with 3 charges of violating 462.2. But the actual raid on her hemp store occurred months ago, on April 30. Why the two month delay between the raid and the charges? The answer has more to do with politics and incompetence than law enforcement. The April 30 raid was conducted under an invalid warrant, which listed Marc Emery as the owner. The pretence for the raid was to "collect more evidence" against Emery for selling pipes and bongs under 462.2, even though the police already had ample evidence. The "collect more evidence" excuse was but a pretence to seize more stock in an attempt to prevent Emery from having the monetary resources for an adequate defence against his earlier charges. Mr Emery sold the store to Sister Icee on March 8, after the city denied him a business license because he had a criminal record. The police claimed that they had received false information about who owned the store from City Hall. Somehow, the city's records were incorrect despite the fact that Emery's lawyers had notified them, in writing, of the change of ownership. They were incorrect despite the fact that City Hall had Sister Icee come down and sign papers promising not to put bongs or vapourizers in the windows, so that she could receive her business license. Because of the incorrect information that City Hall supposedly provided the police, Sister Icee has launched a lawsuit against the city. "We're suing them for defamation and damages. The police came in with the assumption that Marc Emery was doing criminal business. But they had no reason to suspect me of criminal activity, they did a police check on me." But the City's lawyers are already trying to manipulate the system to their own advantage. "They want us to do a 'Show Cause' before we do a 'Discovery'," revealed Icee. Which means that Hemp BC will have to prove cause to proceed with their suit against the city before they are allowed to gather evidence by questioning the city. Sister Icee knows why the police have laid charges against her two months after an invalid raid. "They're only doing this so they can deny me my business license," she says, "I didn't have a record before, and they're going to make sure I have one, so they can say 'no'". So far Sister Icee has characterized her ownership of Hemp BC with a vivacious, fighting attitude. In addition to her law suit against the city, she is also challenging 462.2, which she notes is being used for the harassment and suppression of hemp stores across Canada. "I totally feel like we're going all the way with it," says Icee, "I think we're winning. I think they're grasping at straws. I also think it's a ridiculous waste of our resources and tax dollar and court time." Sister Icee can be reached for donations or comment at (604) 681-4620, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org containing the command "unsubscribe cclist". *** Subscribe to Cannabis Culture Magazine! Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B Visit Cannabis Culture online at http://www.cannabisculture.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nanny-State Mentality (Two Letters To The Editor Of 'The Calgary Sun' Disagree With Yesterday's Editorial Emphasizing That Medical Marijuana, If Approved, Should Be Distributed With Strict Controls) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 10:38:39 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Nanny-State Mentality Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Source: Calgary Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/CalgarySun/ Comment: Parenthetical remarks by the Sun editor: headline by hawk I guess it would be too much to expect you to make a point without resorting to specious remarks and overbearing moralizing. ("Reefer sadness," June 18) There is research that clearly refutes your glib generalizations to justify the maintenance of this state-supported program against users of cannabis (I encourage you to read Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts) Since you seem to appeal to the nanny-state mentality and the law-and-order hoi-polloi, I expect your paper will champion the judge's ruling with the utmost urgency. When, then, can we expect your publication to initiate a campaign to lobby the appropriate authorities to ensure the two most lethal drugs, alcohol and nicotine, are distributed under only the auspices of a physician or pharmacist? Carey Ker (Never.) *** I WAS saddened to hear that Grant Krieger was found guilty. ("Up in smoke -- pot plea ignored," June 17) How can society and the lawmakers decide what is good for us? Many have come forward to say marijuana helps. Medical patients who use this herb are not criminals. Why are we made to go out and get our medicine from a criminal who is able to provide it for us? If we go to someone like Krieger for help, he is charged with trafficking, while the ones who are profiting are getting away with it because they have the funds and experience to do so. Our government has the power to help, but refuses to do so. We are second-class citizens. We do not have the right to live a quality life because our medicine is being forced away from us. We must choose to live in pain and continue to suffer or to live as a criminal. I ask what would you choose? Lynn Harichy (Good question.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Do You Know Everything You Think You Know About Puffing Pot? ('The West Kootenay Weekender' In Canada's 'Nelson Daily News' Is So Scientifically Illiterate That It Thinks 'The Studies On Marijuana Seem To Be As Clouded As The Smoke Exhaled From A Token Joint,' But Otherwise Gets A Good Interview From Paul Defilice, Co-Owner Of The Holy Smoke Culture Shop In Nelson) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 20:19:16 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: SMOKE AND MIRRORS - Do you know everything you think you know about puffing pot? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Source: West Kootenay Weekender (Nelson Daily News) (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sterlingnews.com/nelson Pubdate: 19 Jun 1998 Author: Karl Hardt SMOKE AND MIRRORS - DO YOU KNOW EVERYTHING YOU THINK YOU KNOW ABOUT PUFFING POT? Marijuana: A harmless gateway to mind-opening experiences and relaxation, or the first step into a criminal world of psychosis and darker drugs? According to countless studies, marijuana is... Actually, the studies on marijuana seem to be as clouded as the smoke exhaled from a token joint. Proponents and opponents of the drug both have studies to rely on, and both sides claim their studies are sound, refuting information provided by the other's. Paul Defilice, co-owner of the Holy Smoke Culture Shop in Nelson says Cannabis, the plant from which marijuana comes is relatively harmless when used responsibly. While he concedes there are people addicted to marijuana, Defilice said some people are also addicted to other pastimes which are beneficial in moderation, but harmful when done excessively. "Basically any pleasurable behavior has the potential to be addictive," said Defilice, using a runner who jogs 50 miles a day as an example. Although jogging has numerous health benefits. Defilice said a runner who overdoes it may do his muscles and joints more harm than good. When used conservatively Defilice said marijuana has various benefits and few harmful side affects. "I look at it more spiritually than anything else. It's important for self-knowledge and creativity. It releases the tedium of monotonous work and increases enjoyment of music, art and conversation," Defilice said. "It also clears my sinuses," he added with a chuckle. An RCMP fact sheet published in the Nelson Daily News states a marijuana cigarette's tar content is 50 to 100 per cent greater than one filled with tobacco, and its smoke is typically inhaled 33 per cent deeper and held four times as long. The sheet says, because marijuana contains two powerful carcinogens, smoking three to five joints a week is the same as consuming 16 cigarettes a day. Defilice, however, said the two habits are actually opposite in effect. "It's not a real comparison to compare cigarette smoke to cannabis smoke because one is harmful and the other is healing." Cannabis is a vasodilator, said Defilice, meaning it expands blood vessels, rather than vasoconstrictor like cigarette smoke which constricts vessels and that when cannabis is smoked through water pipes, bongs or hookahs, most harmful gassess and 90 per cent of tar are filtered out. Defilice said longterm use by residents in Puerto Rico and India actually show a decrease in incidents of emphysema and lung disease. He also said recent events which received wide-stream media coverage such as Canadian Olympic snowboarder Ross Rebagliatti's gold medal, legalization of industrial hemp, and recent court victories providing for use of cannabis in certain medical situations brought cannabis into the open like never before. "We're riding the crest of a cannabis wave. Public awareness is at an all-time high. We've found from these events that the public does have an acceptance. Defilice claims that cannabis opens up the mind, unlike other drugs, which he says rob users of their self-control. "It's definitely a barrier-dissolving experience, but not an inhibition-dissolving experience," he said. In many cases, said Defilice, marijuana oppontent theories don't have anything to back them up, and that all the reports he has seen do not lend credence to the negative studies, and in some cases show the opposite. The police fact sheet also said that, of teens who use pot before they are 18, 43 percent also experiment with cocaine, as opposed to less than one per cent of non-smokers. Defilice said he hasn't personally seen marijuana lead to harder drug abuse, but said if it does happen, it's because cannabis is only sold behind closed doors. "That same dealer is going to have cocaine or heroin or harder drugs." In fact, Defilice said that from his experience, people addicted to heavier drugs can actually use cannabis to beat their addictions. "Ive seen it used as a gateway away from harder drugs. It either creates a consciousness or substitutes for other drugs." He said erroneous information about cannabis can be damaging becauses when people see it isn't as bad as it's portrayed, they may not believe true caveats about more dangerous drugs. "It's these kinds of lies that totally undermine drug education by causing children to question the tuth about all drugs. "When asked about studies which say marijuana can have long-lasting effects after smoked. Defilice said that while trace metabolites which don't effect a person stay in his or her system for weeks or months because they are fat soluble, the effects of cannabis actually disappear within six hours - more quickly than alcohol. Castlegar RCMP Cst. Don Woodhouse said his detachment doesn't distribute a marijuana fact sheet that he is aware of, and marijuana is not a huge problem in this city. "We probably have a higher cocaine problem here than we do with marijuana,"said Woodhouse. In 1997, Castlegar RCMP laid 60 charges for marijuana possession and 10 for trafficking. All the charges varied in scope from miniscule amounts to a top bust last fall of a plot containing at least 400 plants valued at about $1,500 each or some $600,000 in total. "There's a lot of pot grown around here. I don't think that's a big secret to too many people," said Woodhouse. As law enforcers, Woodhous said Castlegar RCMP have a duty to follow the laws set in the books by the government. He said the biggest concern for this detachment is individuals pushing illegal drugs on younger teens and children, because kids might not have the ability to make the right decisions or be aware of the repercussions. He said adults know the risks when they do something illegal, while children might not. "You take your chances, (but) the decision should be made as an adult not a kid. I think it's a matter of education, then choices," said Woodhouse. Woodhouse frowns on the term "war against drugs" because it promotes an attitude or confrontation not cooperation. "I don't believe in us against them. We're all part of the same community and we need to work together. A continual combative attitude is not a healthy thing in any community. If we had proper communication then maybe something would get solved." Jim Gouk, West Kootenay-Okanagan Reform MP, said he never smoked marijuana, has no desire to smoke it and does not advocate smoking it. However Gouk said he realizes there are lots of people in the Kootenays who are using it and that current laws aren't working. "If you create a law that nobody's going to obey...then you've got to re-examine that law. We're trying to enforce an unenforceable law," he said. The system we've got now isn't working well. We should be taking a hard look at it." Gouk said ramming changes down the public's throat is the wrong way to improve the situation. He wants to put some genuine facts to the public and hold forums so the public can ask questions, get answers, and provide their input. "First you've got to allow people input. We can't make the decision for people. People should be able to make the decision for themselves, but the decision should be based on information and facts, not rumors, rhetoric and fear." Gouk said meangful dialogue may help eliminate overreaction from groups for and against marijuana use and legalization - groups which tend to be polar opposites when it comes to the issue. While he isn't sure legalization is the right path to follow, Gouk said legalizing marijuana and taxing it could help boost the education and health systems, or provide funds for drug counselling and education. "If we can't stop it maybe we should be getting some money from it." Legalizing it would also allow for greater control of how cannabis is produced and sold. Gouk said many of the harmful effects of marijuana might come from chemicals used in growing it or from lacing it with substances which enhance the drug's effects for those who use it. Gouk said a possible first step could be decriminalization, which would keep marijuana illegal, but would remove the criminal aspect of it. If decriminalized, punishment for simple possession could range from a fine to community work service. The "offender" would serve no jail time, nor would he or she retain a criminal record for simple possession. Gouk said decriminalization would greatly decrease the overwhelming economic and social costs associated with prosecuting such cases. Several years ago, said Gouk, a crown prosecutor told him a simple charge of possession can cost the system $10,000 - #30,000 and quite often only results in a minor fine or slap on the wrist of the accused. Decriminalization would also remove the criminal stigma associated with a drug conviction. As well, those convicted are often of simple marijuana possession are often denied entry to the U.S. and disqualified from applying for or obtaining many jobs. That could change with decriminalization. "It would remove some of the stigma of a criminal record for taking a puff from one joint," he said. Before any changes are made, however, Gouk said the public has to have its say. "We have to look at something that most people can buy into before we make any changes." While the number of people who smoke marijuana in Castlegar might be high, the number addicted to it or at least seeking help for addiction is small. Jan Rebus, Castlegar and District Community Services Centre alcohol and drug counselor helped three people last year who said they were addicted to marijuana. That's half the number Rebus counselled for cocaine in the same time frame. Rebus said the difference between people addicted to marijuana as opposed to alcohol comes from how she deals with the situation and not the way addiction affects individuals. "There's lots of different reasons people use. When someone comes for counselling they're experiencing problems." Because it's illegal, Rebus can't recommend people simply cut back on their marijuana use. "You can't counsel someone to use an illegal drug responsibly," she said. Like Defilice and Gouk, Rebus said the public needs clear, factual information about marijuana. "I think a lot of the information out there is outdated. I think factual information is really helpful," she said. As far as legalizing marijuana goes, Rebus said it wouldn't change her job. Alcohol is legal, and Rebus treated 37 people for alcohol abuses in the last 12 months. "I don't think legalizing it (marijuana) would make more problems or less problems." Defilice said he definitely thinks marihuana should be legalized with minimal controls, including being taxed similar to alcohol, no advertising, allowance for home growers like that for home wine and beer brewers, and restrictions on use by minors. "It's less harmful and addictive than coffee, and we should treat it that way."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Ending 26-Year Career ('The London Free Press' In Ontario Recaps The Career Of Justice John McCart, Whose Most Recent Noteworthy Case Was The Constitutional Challenge To Canada's Marijuana Laws By Chris Clay) Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 10:14:26 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Judge Ending 26-Year Career Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Clay (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: London Free Press (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 Author: Don Murray, Free Press Court Reporter JUDGE ENDING 26-YEAR CAREER One thing Justice John McCart didn't do is ease quietly into retirement. In his final year as a justice of the Ontario Court, general division, in London, the spry Sarnia native held the reins of one of the most closely watched and talked-about trials in the country. McCart, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 on Monday, was the man on the spot as he heard the case of Christopher Clay, a hemp store owner challenging the drug laws in the hope of decriminalizing marijuana. After a lengthy, heavily publicized trial, McCart delivered a 27-page decision ruling that the laws did not violate constitutional protections and convicted Clay of various charges, including trafficking. MARIJUANA CASE However, the debate rolled along over other findings by McCart, such as that marijuana is relatively harmless, isn't addictive, doesn't lead to harder drugs or cause criminal behavior or violence. He found that pot may cause schizophrenia and more study is needed. "I spent all of last summer writing that judgment," McCart said in an interview during a farewell reception Wednesday packed with friends, lawyers and court workers, several of whom came back from retirement. "I only got to play golf three time," he added with a grin, aware that he will be forever linked to that judgment, now under appeal. The well-liked McCart was a Sarnia lawyer when he was appointed to the bench in 1972. Ten years ago at age 65, he stepped down from full-time status to become a supernumerary judge. A man with a sense of humor, McCart and his wife of 44 years Janet laughed when senior regional Justice Doug McDermid noted that the retiree is "vertically challenged." He may be short that way, said McDermid, "but not in stature as a judge and as a man."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Student Smokers Face Suspension ('The Toronto Star' Says Students In Ontario Could Be Suspended And Forced To Go To Addiction Counselling If They're Caught With An Unlit Cigarette Under A Bill That Has Been Approved In Principle, Sponsored By Conservative Backbencher Terence Young) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 09:14:47 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Subject: TorStar: Student smokers face suspension Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star Pubdate: Friday, June 19, 1998 Page: A9 Website: http://www.thestar.ca Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.ca Author: Theresa Boyle Student smokers face suspension Proposed legislation would make it illegal to carry a cigarette By Theresa Boyle Toronto Star Queen's Park Bureau Ontario students could be suspended and sent for addiction counselling if they're caught with an unlit cigarette under a bill that has been approved in principle. Opposition MPPs yesterday denounced the proposed legislation as draconian, likening it to ``grabbing a shovel to swat a fly.'' ``Excuse me? An addiction program for someone who's carrying a pack of cigarettes I think is a bit beyond the bounds,'' New Democrat Gilles Bisson (Cochrane South) said. Bisson said the proposed legislation would turn principals into police by giving them the authority to conduct searches for cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. But Conservative backbencher Terence Young (Halton Centre) defended his private member's bill, arguing it addresses the increasing problem of addiction among young people. ``We have a very serious problem on our hands and it's time that we face the fact that our drug culture is an entrenched part of our youth culture,'' he said. ``Drug and alcohol use among youth is at its highest level since 1980,'' Young said, citing statistics from the Addiction Research Foundation. Last year, almost 32 per cent of Grade 7 and more than 80 per cent of Grade 11 students consumed alcohol; 42 per cent of Grade 11 students smoked marijuana; and 13 per cent of Grade 11 students tried LSD. ``It is easier to nip substance abuse in the bud than it is to deal with it once it has become an addiction,'' Young said. ``While the popularity of drugs and alcohol are growing, so are the societal costs, including academic failure and family breakdown,'' he added. Young's bill, which has now passed second reading, would require a principal to exclude pupils from classes and activities if they are found with alcohol, drugs or tobacco, whether lighted or not. The pupil could also be suspended. Students would then be required to attend an addiction counselling program before they are allowed to return to classes. A spokesperson for Education Minister Dave Johnson told The Star's Daniel Girard that the government is a long way from endorsing the bill. ``It's a serious issue that would require consideration and discussion and debate before he (Johnson) could presume to have an opinion on it,'' said Rita Smith.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 46 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original News Summary For Activists, Including - McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement 'A Devious Fraud,' Senator Biden Proposes Hearings; District Of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up; And An Excellent Editorial, A Marker On The Path To Sanity, By Adam J. Smith) Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 17:12:48 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 46 THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 46 -- JUNE 19, 1998 -- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html.) (Please accept our apology if this bulletin gets to you twice. We sent it originally at 2:45 EST, and it hasn't come back yet two hours later. We haven't been able to determine whether it is still on the way, or if it didn't make it all, so we are resending it to make sure it goes out.) NOTES TO OUR READERS: Due to the UN activities, as well as other business that the DRCNet staff attended to in New York, we regret that we were unable to publish The Week Online last week. But we're back this week with issue #46. Thanks to everyone who participated in the many events held across the globe who helped to raise awareness of the growing opposition to the Drug War. To everyone who collected email addresses for DRCNet, please send them in (we'll pick up the postage costs) so that we can get those new subscribers onto the network. Rather than provide a piecemeal account of the various events, we will endeavor, in the coming weeks, to post accounts of each event on the Global Days web page at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/. If you attended (or helped organize) an event and you would like to share your experience with others, please email us with your observations. This has been an important two weeks for reformers, and we at DRCNet are proud to be working with all of you in our efforts to bring this war, and its attendant human misery, to a speedy end. Please also note that our local Internet service provider lost about a week's worth of e-mail sent to the DRCNet list manager account, firstname.lastname@example.org. (This is the account to which your mail would go if you replied directly to one of our bulletins.) If you wrote to that address with an address change or removal, or because your copy of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts hadn't shown up, or for any other reason, please write us again at mailto:email@example.com and we will process your request this week. Speaking of Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts, we've mailed out all but the last five copies ordered (we're waiting for the copies to show up here). If you think you have a copy coming to you, but haven't received it yet, please let us know, and we will check the database and resend it if necessary. We are please to announce that Mike Gray's book, "Drug Crazy", has been officially released, and we have seen them prominently displayed on many bookstore shelves in the area. We urge you to go to your nearby store and purchase or order, or at least inquire about, this exciting new chapter in the anti-prohibition effort. (And when you do, check out page 203!) If you're not going to go the bookstore route, but might consider ordering it online, visit our site at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-22.html#drugcrazy and follow the link to amazon.com, and DRCNet will earn 15 percent from your purchase. Dave and Adam *** TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement "a devious fraud" -- Senator Biden Proposes Hearings http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#reaction 2. Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes Senate, but Legislation Will Likely Fizzle http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#fizzle 3. Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical Boards http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#painmarch 4. Report on the Heroin Maintenance Conference in New York http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#heroinconf 5. Money Laundering Sting Sparks International Incident http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#incident 6. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Aided in Money Laundering http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#mounties 7. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Recommends Decriminalization http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#ccsa 8. French Government Report: Marijuana Poses Less Danger Than Alcohol http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#frenchreport 9. District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#dc59 10. EDITORIAL: A Marker on the Path to Sanity http://www.drcnet.org/wol/46.html#editorial *** 1. McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement "a devious fraud" -- Senator Biden Proposes Hearings On Wednesday, 6/17, Drug Czar and retired general Barry McCaffrey, in written testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations' Committee, warned that "There is a carefully camouflaged, exorbitantly funded, well-heeled elitist group whose ultimate goal is to legalize drug use in the United States." McCaffrey didn't name names, but in the wake of an open letter to United Nations' Secretary General Koffi Annan, published in a two-page ad in the New York Times last week and signed by over 500 prominent individuals worldwide, he didn't really have to. Signatories to the letter included Ronald Reagan's former secretary of State George Schultz, former UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, former US Senators Alan Cranston and Claiborne Pell, Journalist Walter Cronkite, Nobel-winning economist Milton Friedman and Baltimore's mayor Kurt Schmoke. Earlier in the week, in response to the UN letter, McCaffrey scoffed that the reform movement was "the mouse that roared". Also during the UN summit, a 30-second ad on CNN, paid for by Common Sense for Drug Policy, ran repeatedly in several major cities for the duration. The ad featured footage of President Clinton speaking at the UN, with an actor impersonating his voice, proclaiming the war on drugs a failure. The ad explained that Clinton wasn't really saying this, but that he should. (View the ad or read the text online at http://www.drugsense.org/unad.htm.) McCaffrey also echoed a recurring theme of drug warriors in their assessment of the growing movement as somehow capable of misleading even the most astute of their supporters. "Through a slick misinformation campaign, these individuals perpetuate a fraud on the American people, a fraud so devious that even some of the nation's most respected newspapers and sophisticated media are capable of echoing their falsehoods." Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, responded to the controversy surrounding the United Nations' Special Session by calling for hearings on legalization. "I believe that drug legalization would be a disaster," he said. "But today, many powerful voices in our society are supporting a variety of legalization policies. They say, 'Let's save money and trouble and just legalize drugs.' So I am suggesting that we on the Senate Judiciary Committee take a hard, unblinking look at drug legalization. I think it unfortunate that we must, but I believe it necessary." Mark Rooney, a spokesman for Senator Biden, told The Week Online, "I'm not sure, at this moment what the senator's strategy on this will be, whether he'll push forward with it or not. Obviously, the chairman, Senator Hatch of Utah, will ultimately determine the committee's agenda. I do know that there's a lot already planned for the committee and so scheduling will have an impact as well." Ethan Nadelmann, Director of The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank which coordinated the open letter and placed it in the Times, told The Week Online, "When people look back at the UN Session on Narcotics of 1998, if they look back at all, it won't be for the platitudes uttered by president Clinton and the other heads of state, or because the new UN Drug Control chief issued an absurd plan to eradicate opium and coca from the face of the earth in the next ten years. It will be because it marked the moment at which a truly international movement for the reform of drug policy began, and the point at which serious, substantive criticism of the failures of drug prohibition became both credible and legitimate." Meanwhile, on Wednesday (6/17), the Judiciary Committee held hearings on Teens and Drugs. Speakers included Barry McCaffrey, a teen who recently completed drug rehab, and an undercover narcotics officer who has posed as a high school student at two different schools and whose work led to numerous arrests in both cases. Among the insights that the officer provided to the committee was his assessment that drugs are "rampant" even in middle class and upper middle class high schools. In comparing undercover work at a school with undercover operations in the workplace, he made the point that while it might take 8 months to a year to net a dozen busts among workers, it takes just weeks to find large numbers of kids who are using and dealing drugs. He characterized drugs as far more prevalent in schools. No one on the committee asked whether Prohibition, and the black market which it creates, might have anything to do with such access. (Senator Biden is featured in the Schaffer Library's "Chicken Page", for those who make noise but don't really want to come out and debate the issue, online at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/debate/chicken.htm.) *** 2. Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes Senate, But Legislation Will Likely Fizzle Two weeks ago it was learned that a large chunk of the Republican-led "World War II-style" Drug War legislative package would be introduced as an amendment to the rapidly expanding tobacco bill in the senate. (See our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/6-4.html. Last week (6/9) that amendment passed along party lines (52-46). According to Trent Lott (R-MS), the amendment was essential to the tobacco bill's prospects in the senate. While news reports this week seem to indicate that the on-again off- again tobacco bill was finally dead, drug policy advocates see the passage of the amendment as an important indicator. Alexander Robinson, director of legislative affairs for the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington DC, told The Week Online, "I think that whether or not the tobacco bill makes it out of the senate, the amendment is significant in that it is the first time that the republican proposal was voted on by either house. Its passage is a further indication that the hard-line Republican plan, as draconian as it is, will not go away. We can be sure that we will see this legislative package rear its head again in the near future." *** 3. Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical Boards On Saturday, June 13, an afternoon that began in searing heat but ended in a drenching thundershower, patients and physicians gathered at the steps of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC to protest the undertreatment of chronic pain, the maltreatment of chronic pain patients and the persecution of doctors who prescribe narcotics for pain as needed. Signs and t-shirts read "stop pain now" and "get the DEA out of my doctor's office". Awards were presented to several physicians who have courageously stood up for the rights of patients. One piece of good news that was reported was that the DEA, after two long years, has finally restored Dr. William Hurwitz's license to prescribe narcotics (see http://www.drcnet.org/guide10-96/pain.html). The Virginia Board of Medicine restored his state licenses several months ago, and in a dramatic about face, praised his method of pain treatment and encouraged him to continue. Photos from the March Against Pain are online at http://www.widomaker.com/~skipb/Wash.html. Visit the American Society for Action on Pain (ASAP) at http://www.actiononpain.org for ongoing information on the subject. *** 4. Report on the Heroin Maintenance Conference in New York - Alex Morgan On Saturday, June 8, the New York Academy of Medicine hosted the First International Conference on Heroin Maintenance, sponsored by Beth Israel Medical Center, Columbia University School of Public Health, The Lindesmith Center of the Open Society Institute, Montefiore Medical Center, the New York Academy of Medicine and the Yale Center for Inter- Disciplinary Research on Aids. The conference was the first major presentation in the United States of the results the Swiss research project that has maintained over 1000 addicts on heroin. In the introduction to the research summary, Ethan Nadelmann, Director of The Lindesmith Center, said, "Oral Methadone works best for hundreds of thousands of heroin addicts but some fare better with other opiate substitutes. In England, doctors prescribe injectable methadone for about 10 percent of recovering patients who may like the modest "rush" upon injection or the ritual of injecting." In various countries oral morphine, codeine and buprenorphine have also been used as maintenance drugs. Nadelmann noted that, "The Swiss study has undermined several myths about heroin and its habitual users...given relatively unlimited availability, heroin users will voluntarily stabilize or reduce their dosage and some will even choose abstinence; that long addicted users can lead relatively normal, stable lives if provided legal access to their drug of choice..." Dr. Ambros Uchtenhagen, Principal Investigator of the Swiss National Project on the Medically Controlled Prescription of Narcotics, discussed the results of the three year study, which was conducted at seventeen out patient clinics and one penal institution. The project tracked 1,146 patients from January '94 to December '96, in order to study the effects of prescribed heroin on the health, social integration, and dependent behavior of the research participants. The Swiss targeted the study at addicts who were doing poorly on methadone maintenance, continuing to use illicit drugs such as heroin, cocaine and benzo-diazepams as well as alcohol. To participate in the study, the addicts had to be at least twenty years old with two years of addiction and a history of failure at other treatment modalities. No take home heroin was provided and the patients had to come to the clinic to inject under supervision two or three times a day. They were also given counseling and appropriate social services, as needed. The results were remarkable: --a 60% decrease in criminal offenses --notable improvements in physical health --a marked decrease in the use of other illegal drugs --low levels of HIV and hepatitis infections --rise in employment from 14% to 32% Also at the conference were researchers from the Netherlands, where a heroin maintenance study will begin next month, and Australia, where a study was set to begin a few months ago until the federal government withdrew its consent three weeks before the start date. One of the main developments of the conference was a meeting held the next day at the Lindesmith Center, where researchers discussed the possibility of a North American heroin maintenance trial with cities in the US and Canada participating. The Baltimore Sun has run several recent stories about the possibility of such a program being set up at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. We will be posting a more detailed report on the conference over the coming weeks. Much more information on drug maintenance can found on the Lindesmith Center web site, http://www.lindesmith.org. *** 5. Money Laundering Sting Sparks International Incident Last month DRCNet reported that some experts believe the significance of the Mexican money laundering banking sting, Operation Casablanca, in which 150 people were arrested and $50 million was seized, was overblown and that it was not likely to have a significant impact on the illegal trade (http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/5-22.html#chumpchange). The operation has, however, touched off an international incident. A June 7 Reuters story reported that Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo was planning to blast the United States for violating Mexico's sovereignty, during the UN Global Drug Summit at which he was to speak. In subsequent statements, the Mexican government has accused US agents of violating Mexican law, and has threatened to request their extradition to Mexico for trial. *** 6. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Aided in Money Laundering - Kris Lotlikar Montreal International Currency Center Inc., an undercover RCMP operation, inadvertently helped change over $120 million Canadian dollars in known or suspected drug money. The operation was put into place in 1990 to catch money- launderers looking to exchange Canadian for US currency and bank drafts. The operation investigated members of only two of the 25 suspected criminal organizations using the exchange. On August 30, 1994, the sting ended, and police seized $16.5 million in cash and property from suspects, making 57 arrests. The RCMP claimed it had broken one of the biggest money-laundering rings in Canada. Due to inadequate funds and manpower, the police were not able to follow up on a majority of the transactions. Constable Mike Cowley, a RCMP investigator, was very frustrated with the lack of resources. He wrote a letter to his superior on Oct. 16, 1992, stating, "Without the necessary resources, it seems like our undercover officers are simply offering a money-laundering service for the drug traffickers." Cowley also asked to be reassigned out of the operation. The mob may have even known about the operation because a corrupt RCMP squad boss in Montreal. Inspector Claude Savoie took $200,000 in bribes in exchange for leaking sensitive information. Savio committed suicide in 1993 to avoid police questioning. The RCMP estimates that the money that moved through the undercover exchange was enough to buy almost 5,000 kilograms of cocaine from Colombian drug cartels. Once shipped back into Canada that could yield an estimated street value of $2 billion. Many questions arise about this operation. Was the operation legal? If so much money is getting past an exchange run by police, how much is getting past other exchanges? How did the RCMP superior endorse this plan without needed funds? Supreme Court Justice Mary Humphries is trying to get answers for some of these questions. At the time of the so-called "reverse sting operation", it was illegal for anyone to possess proceeds from criminal activities, including officers conducting an investigation. Undercover RCMP agents never made customers fill-out the proper forms and show identification required for exchanges for over $10,000 dollars. On Sept. 24, 1992, one man exchanged $959,720 in Canadian cash without being identified. In a case against a man accused of laundering money, the government denied a Supreme Court Justice order to open files on the operation. Deputy RCMP Commissioner Terry Ryan and Jocelyne Bourgon each filed sworn affidavits stating that the documents about the police-run currency exchange are confidential. The Ottawa Citizen reports that in January 1998, Madam Justice Humphries handed down a ruling that officers knowingly possessed proceeds of crime and failed to get suspects to properly report large currency transactions as required by law. The operation made over $2 million in profits over the four years it was in existence. *** 7. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Recommends Decriminalization - Kris Lotlikar The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse issued a report recommending decriminalizing marijuana possession to a civil violation. "The current law prohibiting cannabis possession and trafficking appears to have had a very limited deterrent effect, yet it entails high social costs and diverts limited police resources from other pressing needs," says the study. Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in the US is not surprised by the findings. He told The Week Online, "Canada seems to be leading the way in opening up debate on the issue." "Occasional use often occurs with relatively little or no subjective negative effects for the user," the study found. "The available evidence indicates that removal of jail as a sentencing option would lead to considerable cost savings without leading to increases in rates of cannabis use." A civil violation approach would entail a fine and no criminal record for the offender. Debate started after the decision to temporarily take away Canadian snowboarder Ross Rebagliati's Olympic gold medal for having trace amounts of marijuana in his system. "It's about time," Eugene Oscapella, director of the Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy, told The Week Online. Mr. Oscapella felt that this report was past due and that certain forces in the CCSA were trying not to raise debate about current legislation. The study points out that decriminalizing marijuana would be within the boundaries of Canada's international treaty obligations to prohibit marijuana. The current penalty for possession of a small amount of marijuana is up to six months in jail and/or a $1000 fine. The Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy can be found online at http://fox.nstn.ca/~eoscapel/cfdp/cfdp.html. The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse has a web site at http://www.ccsa.ca. *** 8. French Government Report Says Marijuana Poses Less Dangers Than Alcohol - Reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org June 18, 1998, Paris, France: Smoking marijuana poses less of a threat to public health than the regular consumption of alcohol, determined a French government commissioned report Tuesday. "The report again shows that the basis [for policies prohibiting marijuana] is totally wrong," spokesman for the Greens party announced in a prepared statement. The party is calling for a federal review of the nation's drug policies. Marijuana has low toxicity, little addictive power, and poses only a minor threat to social behavior, researchers at the French medical institute INSERM concluded. The report identified alcohol, heroin, and cocaine as the drugs most dangerous to health. Tobacco, psychotropic drugs, tranquilizers, and hallucinogens were placed in a second, less harmful group. Marijuana was classified in a third category of substances defined as posing relatively little danger. "This federally commissioned report concludes, just as the World Health Organization did earlier this year, that marijuana smoking does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes," said Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation. Junior Health Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the report's findings would not encourage the federal government to consider decriminalizing the simple possession of marijuana. He called the report "toxicologically correct but politically wrong." Kouchner's office paid for the INSERM study. *** 9. District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up Initiative 59, a medical marijuana campaign organized by the District of Columbia chapter of ACT UP, is seeking volunteers to gather signatures to help get the measure on the ballot. The deadline for securing the needed 17,000 valid signatures for the November ballot is July 6th. For more information, visit http://www.actupdc.org or call ACT UP at (202) 547-9404. *** 10. EDITORIAL: A Marker on the Path to Sanity Sometime in the not-too-distant future, when the Drug War is over and America's long, failed experiment with Prohibition is but a distant, unpleasant memory, historians of the era will likely look back upon the month of June, 1998, as something of a turning point. In every battle, and especially in those fought by a principled few against a seemingly omnipotent but ultimately doomed regime, there are such turning points, often unrecognized at the time, which mark basic changes in the terms of engagement and signal a step forward in the progression toward victory. Gandhi, who knew a bit about noble struggle against overwhelming odds, put it this way: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they crack you down, and then you win." Over the past two weeks, several things have transpired which signal just such a step forward for the drug policy reform movement. First, on June 8th, the opening day of the United Nations' Special Session on Narcotics, a two-page ad was placed in the New York Times. The ad contained an open letter to UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, signed by over 500 prominent individuals, stating that the drug war is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself, and calling on the Secretary to lead a discussion of alternative solutions. The response to the ad was global and immediate. From pained mutterings at the UN Session itself to editorial comment in many of the world's most widely-read newspapers. In response to that outcry came a second significant event, Barry McCaffrey, the US Drug Czar, addressed the issue of the reform movement itself. First, in response to reporters' questions, he denigrated the "small group of intellectuals" as "the mouse that roared." But just days later, in written testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, McCaffrey warned, "There is a carefully camouflaged, exorbitantly funded, well-heeled elitist group whose ultimate goal is to legalize drug use in the United States." McCaffrey went on to say, "Through a slick misinformation campaign, these individuals perpetuate a fraud on the American people, a fraud so devious that even some of the nation's most respected newspapers and sophisticated media are capable of echoing their falsehoods." Then, as the story grew, Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), an inveterate drug warrior who has been known to publicly extol the virtues of "our first drug czar," the propagandist Harry Anslinger, suggested to the press that the time had come for the Judiciary Committee, of which he is a member, to hold hearings on "legalization." Noting that "today, many powerful voices in our society are supporting a variety of legalization policies" Biden called for the committee to take a "hard, unblinking look" at the issue. Now, it is indeed flattering that Barry McCaffrey believes that the reform movement is so intelligent and "carefully camouflaged" that it can "mislead" even the nation's most professional and well-informed editors and media elite. And it is certainly amusing that he ascribes to the modest and still nascent movement the properties of an "exorbitantly well-funded" operation. But what is truly significant in McCaffrey's comments is that despite the fact that the movement, which is in reality a collection of very different groups with very different politics and visions of reform, is neither brilliantly deceptive nor extravagantly funded, it has reached the point, finally, where it can no longer be safely ignored. As to Senator Biden, there can be no doubt that the hearings he has in mind will be orchestrated for the purpose of prohibitionist propaganda. In fact, the only reason why such a "look" at the issue of drug policy reform by Senator Biden's Committee will be "unblinking" is that it is likely that its members will keep their eyes tightly shut to any and all evidence of the inherent flaws in the prohibitionist model. But here again, in raising the level of the prohibitionist response to the growing movement to such heights, there is an implicit acknowledgment that prohibitionists can no longer pretend that the debate does not exist at all. A man who walks the streets in daylight, confident of his surroundings and sure of himself, will barely notice the footsteps approaching from behind. It is only the nervous, the timid, the one with something to fear, scurrying through the shadows in an attempt to conceal his mission who turns around to check his back. Let the record show that it was in June, 1998 that the prohibitionists, in the wake of an international gathering which was supposed to trumpet the solidarity of the entire world in service to their war machine, felt the need to look behind and take fearful note of the relatively tiny but steadily growing movement for reform striding purposefully toward them. And let there be no mistake that for reformers, engaged against a global war machine with nothing save truth and justice in their arsenal, that act, the simple but telling look over the shoulder, stands as the unmistakable marker of a new phase in the struggle. A road sign of hope on the path toward the defeat of a once seemingly invincible foe. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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