Portland NORML News - Friday, June 19, 1998

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: octa99@crrh.org
From: blc@hevanet.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US MN: Former Probation Officer
Admits Urine Switch, Accepting Gifts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN)
Contact: opinion@startribune.com
Website: http://www.startribune.com/
Author: Margaret Zack / Star Tribune


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US: WI: West Bend Man Appealing Marijuana Conviction
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 00:32:18 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: Amy Rabideau


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Narcotics Seizures
Show Federal Help Is Overdue
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Author: Rena Pederson - Editorial Page Editor

Drug smuggling


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

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: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: gsutliff@dnai.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Gerald Sutliff (gsutliff@dnai.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

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


Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 00:02:54 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: pllilly@rmi.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: pllilly (pllilly@rmi.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
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.


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: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: coffee@visi.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: John Birrenbach (coffee@visi.com)
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

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

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

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

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

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?

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.



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

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.




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

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

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

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

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: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: cpconrad@twow.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: "Charles P. Conrad" (cpconrad@twow.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: John Birrenbach (coffee@visi.com)

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: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: coffee@visi.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.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.

john birrenbach


Date: Sun, 21 Jun 1998 01:02:47 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: coffee@visi.com
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: John Birrenbach (coffee@visi.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.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

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: n9710499@cc.wwu.edu
Reply-To: rxganja@webtv.net
Originator: november-l@november.org
Sender: november-l@november.org
From: rxganja@webtv.net (eduard apperson)
To: Multiple recipients of list (november-l@november.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


Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 09:37:57 -0700
From: ty420mon@techline.com
To: rxganja@webtv.net

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

I won't believe the class action is filed until after its done, to many
postponements, but please keep me informed.


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" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: compilation 22
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 18:14:08 PDT


510-733-5414 10am to 10pm
email ralphkat@hotmail.com


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.


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: No Quick Solutions To Drug Abuse
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Author: David F. Musto


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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/


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

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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Jeff Jacoby


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

``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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Bill Dies, But Issue Thrives
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Raja Mishra And Robert A. Rankin Mercury News Washington Bureau


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Tobacco Foes See Future In Court
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Author: Keay Davidson, Examiner Staff


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: GOP Will Float New Tobacco Bill
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Republicans Predict Slimmer Tobacco Bill Will Pass
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Author: Laurie Kellman, The Associated Press


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

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Smoke Gets in Their Ayes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family 
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: News Analysis: Tobacco Bill's
Future Depends On Voter Interest
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau


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

``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

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

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

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

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.


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Tobacco's Roadblock. . .
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Kaiser Won't Cover Cost of Viagra
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Author: Carl T. Hall, Chronicle Staff Writer


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

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

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.


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.''


Betsy Imholz, senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco, noted
that Kaiser will pay for office treatments and surgery for erection

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

``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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: 'Don Juan' Author Castaneda Has Died
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Author: J.R. Moehringer, Los Angeles Times


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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Carlos Castaneda, Champion Of New Age,
Drug-Induced Mysticism, Dies
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: Associated Press


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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 23:18:39 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: U.S. Drug Indictment Of Pair In Mexican Jail Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: letters@sjmercury.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 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)
Link to earlier story
From: creator@drugsense.org (Cannabis Culture) To: cclist@drugsense.org Subject: CC: Amsterdam Cafe Raided Again Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 19:54:50 -0700 Lines: 36 Sender: creator@drugsense.org Reply-To: creator@drugsense.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 majordomo@drugsense.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/

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)
Link to earlier story
From: creator@drugsense.org (Cannabis Culture) To: cclist@drugsense.org Subject: CC: Sister Icee Charged with 3 Counts of 462.2 Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 19:55:28 -0700 Lines: 59 Sender: creator@drugsense.org Reply-To: creator@drugsense.org 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 sisterc@hempbc.com and sfrances@wave.home.com. *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to majordomo@drugsense.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Nanny-State Mentality
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Source: Calgary Sun (Canada)
Contact: callet@sunpub.com
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



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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: SMOKE AND MIRRORS -
Do you know everything you think
you know about puffing pot?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Herb
Source: West Kootenay Weekender (Nelson Daily News) (Canada)
Contact: ndnews@netidea.com
Website: http://www.sterlingnews.com/nelson
Pubdate: 19 Jun 1998
Author: Karl Hardt


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

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

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

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

"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

"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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: Judge Ending 26-Year Career
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Chris Clay (sn1956@sunshine.net)
Source: London Free Press (Canada)
Contact: letters@lfpress.com
Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html
Pubdate: Fri, 19 Jun 1998
Author: Don Murray, Free Press Court Reporter


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.


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: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca)
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

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: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: manager@drcnet.org
Originator: drc-natl@drcnet.org
Sender: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (manager@drcnet.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (drc-natl@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 46



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

mailto:drcnet@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

(This issue can be also be read on our web site at

(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.)


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

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, manager@drcnet.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:drcnet@drcnet.org
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

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



1. McCaffrey Calls Legalization Movement "a devious fraud"
-- Senator Biden Proposes Hearings


2. Republican Drug War Amendment to Tobacco Bill Passes
Senate, but Legislation Will Likely Fizzle

3. Pain Patients Protest at Capitol, Blast DEA and Medical

4. Report on the Heroin Maintenance Conference in New York

5. Money Laundering Sting Sparks International Incident

6. Royal Canadian Mounted Police Aided in Money Laundering

7. Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse Recommends

8. French Government Report: Marijuana Poses Less Danger
Than Alcohol

9. District of Columbia Medical Marijuana Initiative
Seeking Volunteers, Petition Deadline Coming Up

10. EDITORIAL: A Marker on the Path to Sanity


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

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


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

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


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,


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

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

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
- 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


8. French Government Report Says Marijuana Poses Less
Dangers Than Alcohol
- Reprinted from the NORML Weekly News,

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

"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

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

"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

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


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