------------------------------------------------------------------- Senator Vasconcellos Modifies SB 1887 To Authorize Medical Marijuana Distribution By Local Communities (Bulletin From California NORML Says The Amended Bill Will Be Heard By The California Assembly Health Committee On June 30) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 16:01:26 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Cal. Med MJ Distribution Bill Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Sen. Vasconcellos Modifies SB 1887 to Authorize Medical Marijuana Distribution by Local Communities SACRAMENTO: Drawing on testimony from the recent statewide summit on medical marijuana, Sen. John Vasconcellos is amending his medical marijuana bill, S.B. 1887, to authorize cities and counties to establish medical marijuana distribution programs by local ordinance. The amended bill would allow cities and counties to contract out to non-profit corporations to provide medical marijuana, subject to the oversight of local health departments and law enforcement. It also establishes guidelines for verification of patients, the optional provision of patient identification cards, and inspection by police. The bill makes use of an untested provision in the federal Controlled Substances Act that apparently immunizes local officials from federal drug laws. Supporters expect this provision to be tested in federal court. "If we are fortunate enough to see this bill enacted, I expect it'll be just the beginning," notes Sen. Vasconcellos' chief of staff, Rand Martin. Sen. Vasconcellos' legislation corresponds closely to the approach proposed by California NORML in testimony to the State Senate Public Safety Committee. "Sen. Vasconcellos is to be congratulated for offering a comprehensive, realistic solution to the short-term medical marijuana distribution problem," says California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. In the longer term, Martin notes, the "true consensus of the summit was that marijuana should be rescheduled." Sen. Vasconcellos' proposed distribution legislation would expire six months after rescheduling. The newly amended version of S.B. 1887 will be heard by the Assembly Health Committee on Tuesday, June 30th. Should it pass the Assembly, it will have to be re-approved by the State Senate. ACTIVIST ALERT: CRITICAL COMMITTEE VOTES Constituent letters would be helpful to capture the following swing votes on the Health Committee. Cruz Bustamente (D-Fresno): Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Gov, should be receptive to letters from throughout the state. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacto): Sympathetic, but running in a conservative state senate district; Scott Wildman (D-Burbank/Glendale): Represents a swing district, needs to hear from constituents. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- At Lungren's Convenience (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Pans The Republican Candidate For California Governor, Noting His Words Contradict His Actions As Attorney General Promoting Noncompliance With Proposition 215) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 14:09:01 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: At Lungren's Convenience Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ AT LUNGREN'S CONVENIENCE Editor -- This letter is in response to Arlene N. Heath's letter to the editor about Dan Lungren in The Chronicle on June 15. She says, and I quote, ``. . . I fully support Lungren for governor. His commitment to follow the law, even where it conflicts with his personal views, is only one more reason to support his candidacy.'' Arlene must have been in another country while Dan Lungren ignored the will of the people on the medical marijuana initiative, based on his personal views. It seems to me that Dan Lungren follows his personal views, rather than the law, when convenient for him. Which is only one more reason not to support his candidacy. JIM BLACK-DOWNES San Francisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Ballot Initiative Verification To Begin Today ('The Las Vegas Review-Journal' Says The Clerks Of 13 Nevada Counties Will Begin The Signature Verification Process Today For The Ballot Measure Sponsored By Americans For Medical Rights) Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 23:19:07 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NV: Marijuana Ballot Initiative Verification To Begin Today Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal Contact: email@example.com Fax: 702-383-4676 Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/ Author: Sean Whaley Donrey, Capital Bureau MARIJUANA BALLOT INITIATIVE VERIFICATION TO BEGIN TODAY CARSON CITY -- The clerks of 13 Nevada counties will be told today to begin the signature verification process for a ballot initiative that would legalize the medical use of marijuana if approved by voters. The secretary of state's office confirmed Monday that signature gatherers for Americans for Medical Rights have met the first test to get the constitutional amendment on the November ballot. At least 46,764 signatures of registered voters are required. The total must be obtained with signatures representing 10 percent of those who voted in the last general election in each of the 13 counties. A total of 74,439 signatures were turned in to the clerks of 13 counties on June 16. The minimum signature requirement needed in each of the 13 counties also was met, based on a count of the raw numbers. County clerks now will sample the signatures to ensure they are from registered voters in the county in which the petition was signed. The sampling process requires a review of either 5 percent of the total number of signatures or 500, whichever number is greater. That means in Clark County, where 45,955 signatures were turned in, nearly 2,300 signatures will have to be checked. A total of 26,509 valid signatures are required in Clark County. In Esmeralda County, where 78 signatures were submitted, each one will have to be checked. Esmeralda requires 55 of those be valid to meet the 10 percent requirement. The random sampling of signatures must be completed within nine working days. If the sampling shows that the number of valid signatures is less than 90 percent, the petition fails. If 100 percent, it automatically qualifies. If the number of signatures is between 90 percent and 100 percent, the clerk of each county must verify each signature. If the initiative makes it onto the ballot and is approved by Nevada voters this fall and again in 2000, the marijuana proposal would amend the constitution to let doctors prescribe marijuana to people who suffer from cancer, glaucoma and other medical problems.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Accuses 33 Of Running Latin King Reign Of Terror ('The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Says Alleged Members Of The Latin Kings Gang Were Charged Monday With Federal Racketeering, Drug Conspiracy, And Weapons Charges In An Indictment Accusing Them Of Orchestrating An 11-Year Reign Of Terror In The Inner South Side Of Milwaukee, Wisconsin) Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 22:53:13 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WI: U.S. Accuses 33 Of Running Latin King Reign Of Terror Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Author: Jessica McBride of the Journal Sentinel staff U.S. ACCUSES 33 OF RUNNING LATIN KING REIGN OF TERROR Charges In Gang Case Include 9 Murders Thirty-three alleged members of the Latin Kings gang, accused of orchestrating an 11-year reign of terror on the near south side, were indicted Monday on federal racketeering, drug conspiracy and arms charges. In a 73-page indictment, federal authorities said the 33 defendants were responsible for nine murders, 21 attempted murders, nine robberies, three arsons and an attempted arson, five kidnappings and an ongoing drug trafficking conspiracy. The Milwaukee chapter of the Almighty Latin King Nation -- its official name -- was sophisticated enough, authorities allege, to provide safe houses for firearms, require dues from members, punish disobedient members through beating or death, have a written manifesto, receive training on destroying evidence, murder law-enforcement informers, and be ruled by a "crown council" of top leaders. The murders attributed to the Latin Kings include those of a 19-year-old man gunned down as he sat in a barber's chair getting a haircut, a 15-year-old Oak Creek girl beaten and dumped in a river, a 19-year-old woman shot six times as she sat in a car, and two double murders. Authorities allege that the gang was a criminal enterprise and that its primary source of income was "drug dealing, robbery and gun sales." They said the gang used the proceeds from drug trafficking and robberies to boost legitimate businesses under gang control, obtain firearms and support incarcerated gang members and their families. The indictment says the Latin Kings have murdered and attempted to murder members of rival gangs, including the 2-1s, the Imperial Gangsters, La Familia, the Maniac Latin Disciples and the Spanish Cobras. The Kings have also allegedly murdered individuals believed to have provided information to authorities. Most recently, the gang was said to be involved in a back-and-forth series of payback murders during an escalating rivalry with local Mexican Posse gang members. Nearly all of the defendants face a maximum term of life in prison without parole if convicted. U.S. Attorney Thomas Schneider announced in a Monday afternoon press conference that 26 defendants were charged with racketeering, 26 with conspiracy to sell drugs from 1987 to the present, 11 with specific drug-dealing violations, and four with firearms violations. Some of the defendants face multiple charges. The racketeering charges are being made under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, known as RICO. It was last used by federal authorities in Milwaukee in 1997, when 17 members of the Outlaws motorcycle gang were indicted. The indictments announced Monday seek $10 million in proceeds from what prosecutors called the illegal profits of the criminal enterprise. "These arrests are part of the continuing effort to disrupt and dismantle organized gang activity in this community," said Debra Pierce, acting special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation office in Milwaukee. The FBI was one of numerous agencies -- from Milwaukee police to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration -- to play a role in the effort, dubbed Operation Checkmate. "This investigation demonstrates the commitment of the Milwaukee Police Department to rooting out gang violence in order to make our neighborhoods safe," Police Chief Arthur Jones said. "Law enforcement agencies are working together and will continue to proactively target violent gangs." Authorities would not reveal what tactics they used to crack the gang's hierarchy and what specific evidence they had compiled. They said details would be revealed in court. However, they acknowledged that during the course of the lengthy investigation, 39 other alleged Latin Kings members have been charged with various offenses in state and federal court, including two additional murders. Monday's press conference came just hours after a task force of 200 federal and local law enforcement officers swept through the city's south side, rounding up alleged gang members without incident. Nearly two dozen of the accused appeared in federal court Monday afternoon, led into the courtroom in handcuffs by U.S. marshals and other officers under tight security. Most were dressed in T-shirts and jeans, looking like they were straight out of high school. Some coming into court had their hair cropped short and sported gang tattoos on their arms, looking sullen and slumping in their chairs as federal prosecutors read off a string of charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Larsen requested that all the defendants be temporarily detained until a bond hearing can be held Thursday. The government will seek detention until trial of most of those charged in Monday's indictments. U.S. Magistrate Judge Aaron Goodstein ordered 20 defendants held in jail until Thursday's bond hearings. Just a handful of the 33 people named in the indictments were still at large late Monday. The national organization of the Latin Kings is known to have chapters in several states, including Illinois, Connecticut, Florida and New York. The Milwaukee branch was established in the mid-1970s and quickly grew to dominate the south side. It defined its territory as a swath of the city from S. 15th to S. 1st streets between W. National and W. Cleveland avenues. Over the years, the gang split into subchapters. Schneider said the gang truly controls no territory. He and other law enforcement officials said Monday's action should demoralize and weaken the gang. And they repeatedly said they wanted to send out a warning to other street gangs that they also might be targets under federal racketeering laws. Neighborhoods, they said, belong to law-abiding citizens, not gangs. "These charges are not just a message to the Latin Kings," Schneider said. "It is also a message to the Cobras, Mexican Posse, Maniac Latin Disciples, Black Gangster Disciples, Vice Lords and all of the other gangs out there. The message to gangs is you will be targeted and you will be prosecuted. The violence must stop." Schneider stressed that those who lost their lives to the gang should not be forgotten amid the attention paid to Monday's sweep. Eleven murders were alleged to have been committed by Latin Kings gang members during the 11-year period covered by the investigation -- the nine mentioned in Monday's indictment and two others that authorities said were part of the investigation. Several already have resulted in charges or convictions of gang members in Circuit Court. The federal charges announced Monday name other people as planning some of those slayings. The 11 victims were: m Jenna Gonzales, 15, was found beaten to death on May 16, 1993, along the 5600 block of S. Root River Parkway in Greendale. The indictment Monday named Antonio "S.P.A." Mendez in connection with the murder. Mendez was acquitted of homicide by a Circuit Court jury in 1993; this time, he was accused of conspiracy under racketeering laws. m Angelique Morales, 19, was shot six times as she sat in a parked car Jan. 23, 1994, in the 1600 block of W. Forest Home Ave. The indictment accuses Pedro "Pistol Pete" Martinez and another man of conspiring to murder her; the second man was not named Monday because he remained at large. m Juan C. Pantojas, 22, was found Nov. 5, 1995, in an alley in the 1100 block of S. 23rd St. near his car, which still had its headlights on. He was shot in the head, back, neck and right leg. The indictment accuses three defendants of conspiring to murder Pantojas. Two were not named because they remained at large Monday; the third was identified as Alejandro "Wicked" Vallejo. m Jose Antonio Andino, 25, and Luis A. Enriquez, 33, were found shot to death in the 1900 block of S. 5th Place early on Nov. 27, 1995. The indictment accuses Vallejo of the murders. m Michael Steven Tepley, 15, was found dead in the kitchen of his family's home in the 700 block of W. Maple St. on July 13, 1996. No indictments on Monday related to this case; prosecutors, however, said it was part of the investigation. m Francisco Correa, 20, and George Staninzewski, 17, were ambushed while sitting in a car early July 16, 1996, in front of a home in the 2300 block of S. 15th Place. A third man was wounded in the attack. The indictment accuses Wilfredo "Pito" Vasquez in the murders. m Daryl Davis, 21, was shot in the head and chest in the 2400 block of S. 6th St. on Sept. 2, 1996. Vasquez is accused of the murder. m Frank Garza, 19, was slain while getting a haircut at Jose Ortiz' barbershop at 831 W. National Ave., on Feb. 19, 1997. A man strolled into the shop, shot Garza in the head with a pistol, then calmly walked outside. The indictment accuses Jorge "Junior" or "J-Bone" Espada of the murder, and Raymond Rivera of conspiracy in the murder. m Donald Eldridge, 23, was shot Oct. 8, 1997, after he bought a half-pound bag of marijuana. No indictments on Monday related to the case; authorities said it was part of the investigation. Dave Daley of the Journal Sentinel staff contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Florida Court Reverses 1996 Tobacco Verdict ('The Standard-Times' In New Bedford, Massachusetts, Says The First District Court Of Appeal Yesterday Nullified A $750,000 Verdict Against Brown And Williamson Tobacco Corporation, Ruling The Lawsuit Was Filed Too Late - It Was The Biggest Liability Verdict Ever Against The Industry, The Third Time A Jury Had Awarded Damages In A Smoking Liability Case, And The First Time A Jury Ordered Punitive Damages Because Cigarettes Are Inherently Dangerous) Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 12:12:55 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US FL: Florida Court Reverses 1996 Tobacco Verdict Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tuesday 23 June 1998 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ FLORIDA COURT REVERSES 1996 TOBACCO VERDICT TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An appeals court yesterday threw out a $750,000 verdict won by a smoker two years ago, ruling the lawsuit was filed too late. The 1996 verdict was only the second time in 40 years of anti-smoking litigation that a tobacco company was ordered to pay damages. Grady Carter, 66, sued Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., blaming it for the lung cancer he developed after smoking for 44 years. But the 1st District Court of Appeal ruled 3-0 that the lawsuit "was filed more than four years after Grady Carter knew or should have known ... that he had a smoking-related disease." B&W had no immediate comment. On June 10, a jury in Jacksonville ordered B&W to pay nearly $1 million to the family of a man who died after smoking Lucky Strikes for almost 50 years. It was the biggest liability verdict ever against the industry, and the third time a jury had awarded damages in a smoking liability case. It was also the first time a jury ordered punitive damages because cigarettes are inherently dangerous.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Approves Anti-Drug Measure ('The Associated Press' Says The US House Tuesday Voted 402 To 9 To Provide Small Businesses With Financial Incentives And Technical Aid To Adopt 'Drug-Free Workplace' Programs) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 14:23:07 -0700 (PDT) From: turmoil (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: House Approves Anti-Drug Measure (fwd) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org WASHINGTON (AP) -- Small businesses would get financial incentives and technical aid to adopt drug-free workplace programs under legislation approved by the House Tuesday. The measure, approved 402-9, is part of a package of anti-drug bills the Republican leadership has made a top priority over the past month. Sponsored by Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, the bill encourages states to provide financial benefits to small businesses that meet minimum standards for drug-free workplaces. Portman helped develop a program in his home state that reduces workers' compensation insurance premiums by up to 20 percent for companies participating in drug-free programs. The bill also provides an average $12 million over five years for demonstration grants that would encourage small businesses to join community-based anti-drug coalitions and offer technical assistance through existing Small Business Development Centers. Portman cited figures showing that substance abusers file five times as many workers' compensation claims as nonabusers and have three to four times the number of workplace accidents. Small businesses realize the costs of drug abuse, he said, but need help in implementing anti-drug programs. ``Just as we provide technical assistance in developing business plans, identifying loans and other important small business services, we need to provide assistance with drug-free workplace programs.'' The bill, H.R. 3853, still needs Senate consideration. AP NEWS The Associated Press News Service Copyright 1998 by The Associated Press All Rights Reserved The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton OKs Survey Of Teen Smokers' Brand Preferences (A 'Dallas Morning News' Article In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Released A Statement In Response Suggesting The Survey Would Serve No Purpose, Noting The US Centers For Disease Control And Prevention Provided Such Information In Surveys In 1989 And 1993, And Said Most Studies Conclude That The Primary Factors In Youth Smoking Are Peer Pressure, Family Influence And Access) Date: Wed, 24 Jun 1998 12:13:29 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Clinton OKs Survey of Teen Smokers' Brand Preferences Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Author: Kathy Lewis - Dallas Morning News CLINTON OKS SURVEY OF TEEN SMOKERS' BRAND PREFERENCES WASHINGTON -- President Clinton, his efforts to get comprehensive anti-smoking legislation stymied, Monday ordered an annual survey of teenagers to find out what brands of cigarettes they smoke. ``Parents, quite simply, have a right to know,'' said Clinton. He said the federal survey not only would reveal which brands teenagers buy, but also which companies are most responsible for the teen smoking problem. Clinton said public health officials would use the information to try to reduce teen smoking. The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. released a statement suggesting the survey would serve no purpose. Company officials said the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had provided such information in surveys in 1989 and 1993, and said most studies conclude that the primary factors in youth smoking are peer pressure, family influence and access. ``R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. does not want youth to smoke, period. Having taxpayers fund additional studies on which brands youth smoke perpetuates the `blame game' and focuses on the wrong issue,'' said John Singleton, director of corporate communication. Clinton countered that the tobacco officials' ``automatic and angry dismissal'' of the survey showed their ``continued disregard for their children's health and parents' concern.'' Once survey information is available, Clinton said neither companies nor Congress could avoid accountability. He said an annual survey that showed a substantial difference in brand preference clearly would demonstrate that ``there is something in the nature of the advertising that'' generates the popularity. ``If advertising can be isolated and we can see that in brand preference, I think it will help us quite a lot to forge some good policies,'' he said. Under an executive order issued by Clinton, the Department of Health and Human Services will expand its National Household Survey on Drug Abuse to include tobacco use by youth and brand preference. The current survey, started in the early 1970s, covers illicit drug, alcohol and tobacco use among the general population. White House officials said the executive order is but one of several announcements Clinton will make in coming weeks on the issue. Last week, Senate Republicans blocked an anti-smoking bill that would have raised cigarette prices, placed major new restrictions on advertising and marketing, and levied penalties on cigarette companies if targeted reductions in teen smoking were not met. The bill, which stalled after failing to win the necessary 60 votes to end debate, would have called for research into the youth smoking market. Clinton said he would continue pushing for passage. On Capitol Hill, Republicans continued work Monday on a much smaller, more narrowly focused bill aimed at reducing teen smoking and drug use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Justices Strike Down Forfeiture As Excessive ('The Washington Post' Version Of Yesterday's News About The US Supreme Court's Decision In United States V. Bajakajian) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 21:43:15 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: WP: Justices Strike Down Forfeiture as Excessive Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Author: Joan Biskupic, Washington Post Staff Writer JUSTICES STRIKE DOWN FORFEITURE AS EXCESSIVE Case Involved Gas Station Owner Taking Large Amount of Undeclared Cash to Syria A sharply divided Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the federal government cannot seize and keep the money of a person trying to carry funds out of the country simply because the person failed to fill out the proper Customs Service forms. The decision marked the first time the court had struck down a government fine as unconstitutionally excessive, and dissenting justices said the reasoning may jeopardize a vast range of financial penalties the government imposes. The case produced an unorthodox 5-to-4 voting alliance and a majority opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas that said a punitive forfeiture is forbidden if it is "grossly disproportional to the gravity" of the offense. The case was originally brought by Hosep Bajakajian, a Syrian immigrant who tried to take $357,000 out of the country without having declared it on a form required of anyone who moves more than $10,000 into or out of the United States. He also lied about the amount of money he had with him when questioned by a customs inspector. In a day of varied court business as the justices finish the last days of the term, they also ruled 5 to 4 that illegally seized evidence can be used against defendants in parole hearings in ways that it cannot be used against them in trials. Dissenting justices in Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole v. Scott said the ruling undercut the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Forfeiture laws, largely used in the government's war on drug traffickers, have become a controversial tactic as critics complain the government is wielding its power without safeguards and seiz ing money and property from people whose conduct does not always warrant drastic action. The Eighth Amendment says "excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." But the high court had never made clear when a fine is excessive and lower courts have been divided. Some believed they should consider the amount of money seized in relation to the crime, while others thought it enough to determine that the money was used in the crime and, thus, was tainted by the wrongdoing. Bajakajian, a Hollywood gas station owner, was arrested in 1994 at the Los Angeles airport for not disclosing that he was carrying $357,000 in cash as he headed to Syria to pay a business debt. His lawyer attributed his violation to "cultural differences," saying Bajakajian was afraid of government and its procedures. Bajakajian was fined $5,000, subjected to three years' probation, and the federal government additionally sought to keep all the money he had concealed in his luggage. A trial judge rejected the government's attempt to keep the $357,000, saying the money "wasn't drug money, wasn't gambling money, wasn't stolen money; this wasn't money that was being laundered for any reason." The court said only $15,000 of the total should be forfeited because anything larger would be an unconstitutionally excessive punishment on Bajakajian. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit also declined to allow the government the larger amount but said that money that is legally possessed, as in this case, could never be forfeited because it cannot be considered the "instrumentality" of a crime. Yesterday the Supreme Court affirmed that decision, finding the forfeiture provision unconstitutional. In his opinion for the majority, Thomas said the Eighth Amendment requires that a forfeiture be proportional to the gravity of the offense. He rejected the Justice Department's argument that courts should look primarily at whether the property was significantly invo lved in the offense. Thomas said the law was designed for money launderers, drug traffickers and tax evaders -- a class Bajakajian doesn't fit. Thomas added that the harm Bajakajian caused was minimal. "Failure to report his currency affected only one party, the government, and in a relatively minor way," Thomas wrote. "There was no fraud on the United States, and [Bajakajian] caused no loss" to the U.S. Treasury. Thomas's opinion in United States v. Bajakajian was joined by the more liberal justices: John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Grandma's Addiction (Scripps Howard News Service Syndicated Columnist Bonnie Erbe In 'The Oakland Tribune' Comments On The CASA Report Released This Month Suggesting That Almost Two Million Women Above The Age Of 59 Are Addicted To Alcohol And Almost Three Million Abuse Or Are Addicted To Prescription Drugs) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 20:22:19 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Grandma's addiction Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Author: Bonnie Erbe GRANDMA'S ADDICTION IT seems kids in America aren't the only ones with drug and substance abuse problems. Grandma - long teased for hiding a whiskey flask under her rocking chair may be covering up a substance abuse problem of her own. "Kids and drugs" is a topic that's glamorized and sensationalized by the media. Yet Grandma's substance abuse problem is not seen as being pretty, glamorous, dangerous or in any other way attractive, in fact, it's a problem we as a society seem content to ignore or shove out of view. The latest data on this subject come to us from Columbia University's National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse. A CASA report released this month shows that almost 2 million women above the age of 59 are addicted to alcohol and almost 3 million abuse or are addicted to prescription drugs. Worse yet, when physicians are presented with older female patients who display classic symptoms of prescription drug or alcohol abuse, fewer than 1 percent of them properly diagnose the condition. Instead, they misdiagnose the symptoms -- depression and prescribe even more drugs as the "cure." When older drug-addicted women are fortunate enough to find doctors who properly diagnose their conditions and refer them to substance abuse counseling or treatment centers, one-fifth of those surveyed by CASA say their health insurers refused to cover the cost of treatment. As one who has often thought that our "war on drugs" is an overblown, politicized effort that can never succeed at much except garnering publicity for vote-hungiy politicians and spending money that might more productively go for education and jobs, I am doubly dismayed by the information in the CASA report. Clearly, a cocaine habit is a serious problem that must be dealt with. But equally so is an addiction to martinis or tranquilizers. And because the former tends to manifest itself in young people and the latter in older women, we pay endless attention to the kids and little if any to Grandma. It's time to turn that around, as well as our attitudes toward what constitutes drug abuse and who is most vulnerable to it. The CASA survey reveals that the average woman over 59 is taking a combination of five drugs. Doctors need to stop thinking of older women as pill boxes and start looking at them as valuable human beings. A good place to start is in medical school. Doctors surveyed by CASA reported they spent one day or less being trained to understand, diagnose and treat substance abuse. Medical schools need to make this a routine component of any young physician's training. Insurance companies need to change their exiguous attitude toward drug rehabilitation programs and recognize the financial and emotional benefits of treatment CASA's report shows without doubt that treatment programs are a whole lot cheaper than the alternative. It costs an average of $1,800 to put an older woman through a substance abuse rehabilitation program. It costs almost $16,000 to treat her in a hospital when she overdoses or comes close to death. Finally, we all need to express to the grandmas and older women in our lives bow much they matter to us. They are not just there to comfort us when we are in need or to remember our birthdays. They're to be respected for their love and wisdom and valued for their wealth of experience. They're to be made to feel precious and important, not old and used up. If we can just make them recognize their own self-worth, perhaps the need to resort to drugs and alcohol to kill the pain of older age won't be quite so pressing as it seems to be now. Bonnie Erbe, host of the PBS program "To the Contrary," writes for Scripps Howard News Service. Her E-mail address is 102404.3317@CompuServe.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmates In Rehab Get No Promises From Province ('The Toronto Star' Says The Ontario Government Wants To Pull Out Of An Agreement With The Federal Government To Jointly Fund And Operate The Northern Treatment Centre For Prisoners) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 10:46:25 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: TorStar: Inmates in rehab get no promises from province Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star Pubdate: Tuesday, June 23, 1998 Website: http://www.thestar.ca Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.ca Author: Tracey Tyler Inmates in rehab get no promises from province Government officials cancel meeting on treatment centre By Tracey Tyler Toronto Star Staff Reporter The Ontario government can't promise federal offenders will receive help in the province's ``superjails'' if a Sault Ste. Marie treatment centre closes. A meeting between federal and provincial officials to discuss the future of the Northern Treatment Centre was cancelled unexpectedly yesterday, leaving many questions unanswered. The 96-bed centre is funded jointly by Ottawa and Queen's Park and up to half the patients have been federal offenders. An operating agreement calls for financial penalties to be imposed on any party terminating the operating agreement with less than two years notice. Federal Solicitor-General Andy Scott has indicated Ontario wants to sever the agreement and says he expects it to pay, but so far the provincial government doesn't know how much it might cost to break the deal. ``We haven't yet got to that stage,'' Ross Virgo, a spokesperson for the provincial corrections and solicitor-general's ministry, said yesterday. Virgo said the question of whether the province will establish a new treatment facility elsewhere in conjunction with the federal government is still up in the air. ``That's not at all clear,'' he said. The Northern Treatment Centre may lose its treatment function and be converted into another use, possibly a city jail, as part of the province's restructuring of its correctional system. Virgo says treatment for offenders with anger, drug and sex abuse problems will still be offered - in fact expanded - through facilities to be set up in new superjails in Milton, Penetanguishene and Lindsay. The Sault centre, however, has received high praise for its ability to offer inmates intensive treatment in a setting removed from what's seen as the destructive environment of a conventional jail. All federal penitentiaries in Ontario offer treatment programs and will continue to do so, a spokesperson for Scott said yesterday. However, most are in the nature of therapy sessions that offenders attend during the day, returning to their cells at night.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Dabblers, But Hardly Hooked (A 'Sydney Morning Herald' Article About 'Patterns Of Drug Use In Australia, 1985-1995,' Released Last Week By The Federal Health Department, Notes Families And Friends For Drug Law Reform Put Out A Statement Saying The Report Was Irresponsible Because It Was Based On An Unreliably Small Sample) Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 00:48:07 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: DRUG DABBLERS, BUT HARDLY HOOKED Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 Author: David Dale DRUG DABBLERS, BUT HARDLY HOOKED THE WAY WE ARE There's a strong link between being a smoker and being divorced, but it's not clear which is cause and which is effect. The typical marijuana smoker is a university graduate who is currently unemployed, but it's not clear whether unemployment gives him the motive or just the time. And most people who have tried heroin say they use the drug once a year or less. These are some of the mysteries raised in a report called Patterns of Drug Use in Australia, 1985-1995, which was released last week by the Federal Health Department. The investigators - Toni Makkai, of the Institute of Criminology in Canberra, and Ian McAllister, of the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU - drew on data from five surveys taken between 1985 and 1995, with a total sample size of 15,000. The smoker. A woman is most likely to smoke if she is single, aged 20 to 29, and in a manual occupation. A man is most likely to smoke if he has a trade qualification but is unemployed, was born in Australia, and has been divorced. Divorced people are twice as likely to smoke as married people. The typical smoker consumes 17 a day (compared with 18 in 1985). There seems to be a big decline in smoking among teenagers - in 1985, 64 per cent of 14- and 15-year-olds said they had tried cigarettes, compared with 36 per cent in 1995. The authors suggest this may result from restrictions on shops selling small packets and on tobacco sponsorship of sport, which "may have reduced the visibility and attractiveness of smoking to young people". The drinker. Six per cent of men and 4 per cent of women are classified as "harmful drinkers" (five or more drinks every day). The typical harmful drinker is likely to be aged 40 to 59, with limited educational qualifications, unemployed, Australian-born, and never married. The pothead. About a third of Australians of all ages, and half of those aged 14 to 29, say they have tried marijuana at some time in their lives. About a third of those who use marijuana do so at least once a week. The most likely marijuana user is an unemployed male with tertiary qualifications, in his 20s, born in Australia, New Zealand or Britain. The junkie. Nearly 2 per cent of Australians of all ages, and nearly 4 per cent of people aged 14 to 29 say they have tried heroin at some time. The person most likely to have tried heroin is a male in his 20s, Australian born, with tertiary or trade qualifications but unemployed. The authors comment: "The popular image of heroin is of a heavily addictive drug which forces regular use on those who succumb to its effects. The survey evidence portrays a different picture ... those who use (or used) heroin frequently - once a week or more - is just under one in 10 of all users. By far the largest group of users - 86 per cent - are those who said that they used the drug less than once a year. While heroin is undoubtedly addictive for a small group of users, the survey evidence suggests that there is a much larger proportion of recreational users in the general population." This comment has generated an angry reaction from a lobby group called Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform. It put out a statement saying the report was irresponsible because it was based on an unreliably small sample. The group's president, Brian McConnell, said: "The evidence is everywhere that the problem of heroin and other hard drugs is increasing." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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