------------------------------------------------------------------- Rethink The War On Drugs (Letter To The Editor Of The Bend, Oregon, 'Bulletin,' Praises Last Sunday's Op-Ed) Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 10:11:34 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: Rethink the War on Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (email@example.com) Source: Bulletin, The (OR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 RETHINK THE WAR ON DRUGS I'm writing to thank you for publishing the op-ed piece by Tonie Nathan, " It's time to rethink the war on drugs" ( June 28th ). It's a great commentary. Also, I'm hoping that one of these days similar thoughts will be expressed in your lead editorial. Remember the slogan of the 1990s is " Just say know." Gerald Sutliff Emeryville, Calif.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doonesbury (Garry Trudeau's Syndicated Cartoon, The Sixth In A Series About Medical Marijuana)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Was Prison Probe A Whitewash? ('The San Francisco Examiner' Suggests California Governor Pete Wilson And Attorney General Dan Lungren, Arch Enemies Of Medical Marijuana, Improperly Stymied An Investigation Into Murders And Other Crimes By Guards At Corcoran State Prison) Date: Sun, 05 Jul 1998 17:24:59 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service
From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Was Prison Probe A Whitewash? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: 4 July 1998 Authors: Mark Arax And Mark Gladstone, Los Angeles Times WAS PRISON PROBE A WHITEWASH? CORCORAN, Kings County - For seven years, California turned a blind eye to the deadliest prison in America, where 50 inmates were wounded or shot dead by guards. Gov. Wilson and the man who wants to succeed him, Attorney General Dan Lungren, finally examined Corcoran State Prison last year. The result was a whitewash - a pair of investigations that never probed a single fatal or serious shooting, the Los Angeles Times has found. The Wilson administration blocked efforts to investigate brutality by officers and mismanagement by top officials in the Department of Corrections, according to investigators assigned to a special corrections team. The agents said the powerful prison guard union, which has contributed nearly $1 million to Wilson and Lungren since 1990, was allowed to stymie almost every attempt to question key officers about a broad range of alleged crimes at Corcoran. "The union and the governor's office ran the investigation," said Jim Connor, the corrections agent who supervised the team. "We would try to question a witness, and the union was there blocking us. The (union) even told us how many interviews we could do, and our bosses in Sacramento backed them. This was no independent inquiry. It was just a sham." Top state officials deny any coverup, although aides to Wilson and Lungren concede that their administrations didn't do nearly enough to watch over the nation's most violent prison. The union president declined to talk. In the middle of California's cotton fields, this prison is where 43 inmates were wounded and seven were killed by officers firing assault rifles from 1988 to 1995. While local and state watchdogs looked the other way, rival gang members were pitted against each other and watched over by guards - then shot if they didn't stop fighting. But the governor's point man on the 1997 probe ordered corrections investigators to steer clear of the shootings and the policies sent down from Sacramento that led to the violence, according to agents. Investigators were told they could not compel key officers to talk about their knowledge of any brutality or coverups, including firsthand accounts that problem inmates purposely were locked into a cell and subjected to repeated rapes by an inmate enforcer nicknamed the "Booty Bandit." The attorney general investigated only one case of alleged brutality and possible coverup by a union official. Lungren's top investigator then took a higher-paying job with the Corrections Department, the agency he was assigned to investigate. Wilson declined requests for an interview, but his top aides said they were surprised to hear that agents were hamstrung in their attempts to investigate the prison. "Was there a whitewash or coverup from the governor's office? No, absolutely not," said Sean Walsh, Wilson's press secretary. "Was there a whitewash or coverup from the Department of Corrections? =8A This is the first we've heard of a conspiracy or attempt to cover up." Whitewash denied Lungren said any insinuation of a whitewash was "a bunch of crap." When asked why his office had delved into just a single case, he cited an FBI probe into civil rights abuses at Corcoran that has been going on since 1994. "We weren't going to duplicate or interfere with what the feds were engaged in," Lungren said. "It's a matter of not screwing up another investigation." But federal authorities say their probe was focused on one shooting death and that there was a broad range of alleged misconduct at Corcoran, enough to keep both state agents and the FBI busy. The Times has obtained 10,000 pages of internal corrections reports and has interviewed dozens of guards, investigators and others whose accounts provide new and disturbing details of Corcoran's violent breakdown and coverups. The investigation shows a pattern of neglect at every level. From the day Corcoran opened in 1988, the escalating violence failed to set off any alarms. Toothless probes And when the Corrections Department and attorney general finally did step in - seven years after the first death - their probes were either so restricted or toothless that it became virtually impossible to ferret out wrongdoing. "I've been an investigator for 10 years, and no one has ever told me before that I couldn't talk to certain important people and couldn't pursue certain key leads," said Ben Eason, another supervisor on the corrections team. The twin state probes ended last year without criminal charges being filed against a single officer. Considerable energy was spent trying to dig up dirt on whistle-blowers, the officers who had reported brutality to the FBI, according to interviews and the internal reports. In the end, state officials found only isolated incidents of staff misconduct at Corcoran, even though a federal grand jury in February charged eight officers with setting up fights for "amusement and blood sport." Unusual step Federal prosecutors have taken the unusual step of accusing corrections officials and union representatives of trying to thwart the FBI and cover up wrongdoing. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association contends it is ridiculous to believe that officers at Corcoran engaged in a pattern of abuse that was covered up with union help. Union President Don Novey did not respond to requests for interviews over a two-month period. Several inmates sued the state in 1992 for staging scores of fights involving the same rival boxers. In each case, the Corrections Department was defended by the civil arm of Lungren's office. Attorney General Lungren said it wasn't until 1996 that a pattern of inmate lawsuits raised serious questions about Corcoran among his top staff. "Sacramento knew the level of violence," said Steve Rigg, a former lieutenant who also cooperated with the FBI. "We assumed that they would read the numbers and say something is terribly wrong here and take appropriate corrective action. Instead, we continued to bait inmates into fights and then shoot them for throwing punches." In fall 1996, after stories in the Los Angeles Times and then CBS's "60 Minutes," Wilson's staff met with then-corrections Director James Gomez and devised a plan. Corcoran would be the focus of a pair of investigations by the Corrections Department and the attorney general. Boring deep By this time, two FBI agents had spent two years boring deep inside Corcoran. The focus of the federal grand jury was the 1994 shooting death of inmate Preston Tate, a 25-year-old gang member from Los Angeles killed by a guard during a fistfight. State officials said it was out of deference to the federal probe that they hadn't investigated Corcoran two years sooner. Investigator Eason said he put aside his doubts and took the job out of respect for Brian Parry, a longtime corrections investigator who would direct the team from Sacramento. Parry had chosen Jim Connor, a corrections investigator from Southern California, to oversee day-to-day movements. But team members said it was clear that neither Parry nor Connor was in charge. The man directing the probe was Del Pierce, a former head of the Department of Motor Vehicles and a trusted Wilson troubleshooter. "We couldn't go here, and we couldn't go there," said Connor, who supervised the team. "We couldn't touch the shootings. We couldn't follow the leads. If a lead took you to the ivory castle - someone high up in corrections - that lead was turned off by Pierce." Pierce confirmed that he focused the probe on the newspaper allegations, but said he never told investigators they couldn't pursue wrongdoing by top brass. But Connor and other investigators were troubled by the presence of Deputy Director of Corrections Eddie Myers, who had made his feelings clear about violence at Corcoran and the FBI probe, according to a deposition by former warden George Smith. He told Security Housing Unit staff members in a 1994 meeting that he backed them fully and didn't believe the allegations. Guards' union role The investigators said they knew the role the guards' union had played in clamping down on past inquiries at Corcoran. They had watched the union under president Novey ride the prison construction wave, growing from a kind of social club into one of the more powerful forces in the state, with a rank-and-file 27,000 strong. The governor's top aides said the union never came to them to influence the investigation. The corrections team trudged on, uncovering over the next four months evidence to support allegations of beatings, torture, missing reports and coverups by top Corcoran brass, according to interviews and reports detailing their work. And yet none of these cases resulted in criminal prosecution. There was one area, however, where the state team clearly had a green light: digging up dirt on officers working with the FBI. The team generated more than 1,000 pages of information regarding whistle-blowers. After spending more than $500,000 and employing 15 agents to canvass the state, corrections officials ended up investigating and disciplining only one officer involved in a shooting: Richard Caruso, who was docked 90 days pay for firing wood blocks at an inmate in 1993, a shooting that resulted in no injuries.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Rules Out Promises Of Leniency (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Orange County Register' Says The 10th US Circuit Court Of Appeals In Denver Ruled 3-0 Wednesday That It Is Illegal For The Government To Promise Leniency To Witnesses In Exchange For Testimony - 'This Is A Bombshell,' Said Denver Defence Attorney Larry Pozner - 'This Is How The Government Is Operating, And We Have Said For 40 Years, If You Say To Somebody In Criminal Trouble, I'll Give You A Free Pass, Or I'll Let You Go If You Tell Me The Story I Want To Hear, They'll Tell You Whatever They Need To Say To Get Out Of Trouble') Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 15:30:22 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CO: Court Rules Out Promises Of Leniency Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: The Associated Press COURT RULES OUT PROMISES OF LENIENCY Law enforcement: The appellate judges say prosecutor's offers of reduced sentences are a violation of federal law. DENVER - In a decision that could hamstring prosecutors, a federal appeals court ruled that it is illegal for the government to promise leniency to witnesses in exchange for testimony. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 3-0 ruling Wednesday that the practice amounts to buying testimony. The court said its decision will not "drastically alter" the government's practices, but lawyers disagreed. "This is a bombshell," said Denver defence attorney Larry Pozner."This hits the government right where they live. This is how the government is operating, and we have said for 40 years, if you say to somebody in criminal trouble, 'I'll give you a free pass, or I'll let you go if you tell me the story I want to hear,' they'll tell you whatever they need to say to get out of trouble." Mike Norten,former U.S. attorney in Denver, said that if the decision stands, it will have "a tremendously negative impact on the government's ability to investigate and prosecute crimes by groups-conspiracy, drug trafficking, money laundering, securities fraud and health-care fraud." Norton said prosecutors offer immunity or plea bargains to lower-level participants in exchange for testimony against their superiors. Circuit Judge Paul J.Kelly Jr. said such deals violate federal law. "The government may still make deals with accomplices for their assistance other than testimony, and it may still put accomplices on the stand; it simply may not attach any promise, offer or gift to their testimony," the court said. The law states that anyone who directly or indirectly "gives, offers or promises anything of value to any person for or because of testimony...shall be fined... or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both," Kelly said. "One of the very oldest principles of our legal heritage is that the king is subject to the law. King John was taught this principle at Runnymede in A.D.1215, when his barons forced him to submit to Magna Carta, the great charter that imposed limits on the exercise of sovereign power." The ruling came in the case of a Wichita, Kan., woman who was accused of being part of a cocaine trafficking ring. The woman's conviction was based in large part on the testimony of another person involved in the conspiracy, Napoleon Douglas. The appeals court said Douglas was promised leniency in exchange for his cooperation and testimony. Leniency is something of value, wrote the court, and therefore illegal as part of a deal for testimony. The government did not specifically tell Douglas that it would seek a reduced sentence for him, but promised it wouldn't prosecute him for other offenses and would tell both the sentencing judge and his parole board about his cooperation, the court said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Promises Of Leniency For Testimony Ruled Illegal ('Seattle Times' Version Leaves In One More Paragraph) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 15:43:30 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Promises Of Leniency For Testimony Ruled Illegal Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sat, 04 July 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Note: A shorter version (article cut after 12th paragraph) in the Standard-Times (MA). Title: APPEALS COURT RULES OUT PROMISES OF LENIENCY. Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: The Associated Press Note: A shorter version (all references to McVeigh were excised) in The Herald (WA). Title: COURT RULES AGAINST LENIENCY. PROMISES OF LENIENCY FOR TESTIMONY RULED ILLEGAL DENVER - A federal appeals court has ruled it is illegal for the government to promise leniency to witnesses in exchange for testimony, a decision that could hamstring prosecutors and help Timothy McVeigh in his appeal. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 3-0 ruling Wednesday that the practice amounts to buying testimony. "This is a bombshell," said Denver attorney Larry Pozner. "This hits the government right where they live. This is how the government is operating, and we have said for 40 years, if you say to somebody in criminal trouble, `I'll give you a free pass, or I'll let you go if you tell me the story I want to hear,' they'll tell you whatever they need to say to get out of trouble." The decision could have implications for McVeigh's appeal because the government's star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, Michael Fortier, testified against McVeigh after cutting a deal with prosecutors. "Somewhere tonight there is indigestion in the Department of Justice," said Stephen Jones, McVeigh's former attorney. Two of the judges who made the ruling, Paul Kelly Jr. and David Ebel, are assigned to McVeigh's case. A decision on McVeigh's appeal is expected this summer. He is awaiting execution for the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people. Mike Norton, a former U.S. attorney in Denver, said that if the appellate court's decision stands, it will have "a tremendously negative impact on the government's ability to investigate and prosecute crimes by groups - conspiracy, drug trafficking, money laundering, securities fraud and health-care fraud." Norton said prosecutors routinely work their way up the chain of command in a criminal organization, offering immunity or plea bargains to lower-level participants in exchange for testimony against their superiors. Kelly said such deals violate federal law. "The government may still make deals with accomplices for their assistance other than testimony, and it may still put accomplices on the stand. It simply may not attach any promise, offer or gift to their testimony," the court said. The law states that anyone who directly or indirectly "gives, offers or promises anything of value to any person for or because of testimony . . . shall be fined . . . or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both," Kelly said. The ruling came in the case of a Wichita, Kan., woman who allegedly was part of a cocaine-trafficking ring. The woman's conviction was based in large part on the testimony of another person involved in the conspiracy, Napoleon Douglas. The Appeals Court said Douglas was promised leniency in exchange for his cooperation and testimony. Leniency is something of value, wrote the court, and therefore illegal as part of a deal for testimony. The government did not specifically tell Douglas that it would seek a reduced sentence for him, but it promised not to prosecute him for other offenses and said it would tell both the sentencing judge and his parole board about his cooperation. "The obvious purpose of the government's promised actions was to reduce his jail time, and it is difficult to imagine anything more valuable than personal physical freedom," Kelly said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Bars Leniency Pledge to Witnesses ('Washington Post' Version, Yet More Complete) Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 13:16:09 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: Gettman_J@mediasoft.net Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: AP: Court Bars Leniency Pledge to Witnesses Court Bars Leniency Pledge to Witnesses Attorneys Say Denver Ruling Will Hamstring Prosecutors, Help Defense Associated Press Saturday, July 4, 1998 The Washington Post, Page A02 DENVER, July 3-A federal appeals court has ruled that it is illegal for the government to promise leniency to witnesses in exchange for testimony. The decision could hamstring prosecutors and help Timothy J. McVeigh in his appeal. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a 3 to 0 ruling Wednesday that the practice amounts to buying testimony. The court said its decision will not "drastically alter" the government's practices, but prosecutors and defense lawyers disagreed. "This is a bombshell," Denver defense attorney Larry Pozner told the Denver Post. "This hits the government right where they live. This is how the government is operating, and we have said for 40 years, if you say to somebody in criminal trouble, 'I'll give you a free pass, or I'll let you go if you tell me the story I want to hear,' they'll tell you whatever they need to say to get out of trouble." The decision could have implications for McVeigh's appeal, since the government's star witness in the Oklahoma City bombing case, Michael Fortier, testified against McVeigh after cutting a deal with prosecutors. "Somewhere tonight there is indigestion in the Department of Justice," said Stephen Jones, McVeigh's former attorney. Two of the judges who made the ruling -- Circuit Judges Paul J. Kelly Jr. and David M. Ebel -- are assigned to McVeigh's case. A decision on McVeigh's appeal is expected this summer. He is awaiting execution for the April 19, 1995, bombing that killed 168 people. Mike Norton, former U.S. attorney in Denver, said that if the appeals court's decision stands, it will have "a tremendously negative impact on the government's ability to investigate and prosecute crimes by groups -- conspiracy, drug trafficking, money laundering, securities fraud and health care fraud." Norton said prosecutors routinely work their way up the chain of command in a criminal organization, offering immunity or plea bargains to lower-level participants in exchange for testimony against their superiors. In the ruling, Kelly said such deals violate federal law. "The government may still make deals with accomplices for their assistance other than testimony, and it may still put accomplices on the stand; it simply may not attach any promise, offer or gift to their testimony," the court said. The law states that anyone who directly or indirectly "gives, offers or promises anything of value to any person for or because of testimony . . . shall be fined . . . or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both," Kelly said. "One of the very oldest principles of our legal heritage is that the king is subject to the law. King John was taught this principle at Runnymede in A.D. 1215, when his barons forced him to submit to Magna Carta, the great charter that imposed limits on the exercise of sovereign power." The ruling applies only to federal cases in the 10th Circuit, which includes Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. In Washington, Justice Department spokesman Bert Brandenburg said the decision is "under review." Other department officials predicted that it would almost certainly be appealed. If the department appeals to the Supreme Court and does not prevail, however, the decision could affect federal cases nationwide. The decision came in the case of a Wichita woman who allegedly was part of a cocaine trafficking ring. The woman's conviction was based in large part on the testimony of another person involved in the conspiracy, Napoleon Douglas. The appeals court said Douglas was promised leniency in exchange for his cooperation and testimony. Leniency is something of value, wrote the court, and therefore illegal as part of a deal for testimony. The government did not specifically tell Douglas that it would seek a reduced sentence for him but promised it would not prosecute him for other offenses and would tell both the sentencing judge and his parole board about his cooperation, the court said. "The obvious purpose of the government's promised actions was to reduce his jail time, and it is difficult to imagine anything more valuable than personal physical freedom," Kelly said. (c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Camping Out For The Right To Assemble ('The Los Angeles Times' Covers The Annual Gathering Of The Rainbow Family At Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Near Carnero Lake, Arizona) Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 21:22:57 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: Camping Out For The Right To Assemble Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Julie Cart, Times Staff Writer CAMPING OUT FOR THE RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE Culture: 20,000 Rainbow Family Members Celebrate Freedom In National Forest. Government Calls Fest Illegal. CARNERO LAKE, Ariz.--Don't be misled by the dope smoking, the incessant drumming, the incense haze and the twirling dancers. This is nothing less than a Constitutional Convention, a referendum on the right to assemble. To many, the 27th Gathering of the Tribes for World Peace and Healing is a freaky, funky, smelly assemblage of anarchists, Druids, tree-worshiping Pagans and latter-day hippies. They call it Weirdstock. To the 20,000 members of the Rainbow Family camped here in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, this annual Fourth of July weekend event is about the right to live without interference on what is, after all, public land. The U.S. Forest Service, along with other law enforcement entities, does not see it that way. They see a significant environmental impact over 1,100 acres, a high incidence of unlawfulness and an illegal use of national land. As they have every summer for more than a quarter century, the Rainbow Family is facing off against an assortment of armed officers, defending themselves only with smiles, offers of herbal tea and dogma heavily reminiscent of the founding fathers' cry for personal freedom. Allen Firesong, who has been coming to gatherings for 20 years, said the event is about a sense of community. "It's the energy of the people," he said. "It's the same whether it's 300 or 30,000. We just take care of each other. . . . You have to experience it to know what it's all about. It's an experiment in living peacefully together. To have everybody fed, everybody happy, treat everyone's feelings so that they are valuable and important." A Weeks-Long Rock Concert Aside from its political statement, the gathering looks pretty much like a weeks-long rock concert. Once the site was selected, members began to arrive as early as mid-June. They scouted the forest, located at an elevation of 9,000 feet on the Arizona-New Mexico border, just west of Springerville. The Forest Service was here then too. Its national incident team was organized a year ago to handle the Rainbows, who represent the largest single recreational users of federal forests. Local towns are affected by the gathering; the assembly is now the largest city, by far, in Apache County. The presence of so many people without a permit is being challenged in U.S. District Court. The Rainbows respond that they have a right to peaceable assembly, and find it especially relevant to do so on the Fourth of July. The gathering, said a 21-year-old from Arkansas named Never, is about being an American: "Ya know, when I was at home for the Fourth, we never talked about what the holiday was about. Here, we are celebrating what it is to live here [in America] . . . our freedoms." Still, they have been engaged in a running battle with authorities for decades. Among the concerns: * Traffic from more than 4,000 vehicles making their way to the remote site. Already scores of citations have been issued. Rainbows say they are being harassed by local police, who pull over vehicles for minor violations and use the stop as a pretext to search for drugs. * Garbage from the gathering is expected to reach more than 25 tons, which the family will collect and dispose of. There are recycling bins around the site, all trash is bagged and even the Forest Service admits the group has an exemplary record for leaving sites clean. * Water, or lack of it, is a problem. Family members are trucking in water daily and "borrowing" from a local spring. The shortage has meant that water must be used sparingly for cooking, cleaning of utensils and washing hands. Only. Officials say local businesses have removed the handles from their outdoor taps to prevent Rainbows from stealing water. Family members say locals have helped by donating water. * Dogs. There is an estimated one dog per three people. After last year's gathering in Oregon, more than 100 dogs were left behind. * Fires. There is an open fire ban in effect. Intermittent storms have not lessened the fire danger. In fact, forest officials fear lightning-caused blazes. As in most regards, the Family prefers to police itself. Rainbow fire wardens prowl the site in search of open fires. * Environment. There are no bathrooms for the 20,000 Rainbows, who have dug slit latrines. This has caused concern about ground water contamination. In addition, rangers say the ground is severely compacted by foot traffic and will require about a year to recover. Rainbows say they minimize impact on the trails and re-seed meadows. Within the various camps, signs are posted regarding respect for the streams, forest and grasslands. Interestingly, these messages are invariably affixed by nails hammered into trees. Operating by Consensus Through it all, the Rainbow philosophy of "whatever" prevails. The vast, leaderless collective operates on a consensus system, and is adamant that it has no hierarchy. There are Rainbows all over the world, and the whereabouts of the national gathering is made known by word of mouth and the Internet. Their anarchist's bent notwithstanding, the gatherings are highly organized. Rainbows are not so counterculture that they don't provide a media tent, a sophisticated system of radio checkpoints and a highly vigilant group watching the "front and back doors." Drake, who was among the first family members to set up camp, said: "It's amazing to be one of the first people to go into the area and look around and say, 'This is a good place for my family.' " The various camps spill across vast meadows, stands of pine and aspen trees and over stream beds. Trails lead from camp to camp, such as Teepee Camp, Barbarian Camp for teenagers, Kiddie Camp for children with swings and puppet shows and the ever-present A Camp, for those who care to drink. According to Rainbow Rap 151--from the set of guidelines for the gathering--"It is the tradition in our family to discourage alcohol use at the gathering. The gathering is a prayer and peace sanctuary, not a tailgate party." But being an inclusive group, the family allows A Camp, which by mutual agreement is located on the edge of the gathering--because family members strive to keep alcohol at a distance from the main camp and, as one A Camper noted: "We want to be a reasonable keg-hauling distance from the road." The site is fully self-contained. There are about a dozen kitchens, as well as a highly efficient bakery that uses mud ovens. There is a medical tent, a lost and found, outgoing mail and message center. Although Rainbows are commonly perceived as aging hippies, in practice the gathering is intergenerational. The most common fashion look is long dreadlocked hair, strings of beads and a flowing dress or skirt. The women are even more elaborately clothed. There are few rules. Clothing is optional, sex is free, no weapons are allowed, the use of hard drugs is discouraged, but marijuana--green energy--is everywhere. The atmosphere is redolent with the dense, sweet smell of marijuana, mingled with incense, dust, and, overwhelmingly, body odor. Some family members have been here for two weeks, and the combination of high temperatures and precious little water have made this gathering a highly fragrant one. With more than 70 arrests in the last week, the Rainbows also are often portrayed as scofflaws. In fact, trouble attributed to the gathering is often caused by others. Last week, three Phoenix men not affiliated with the group were arrested for assaulting an officer, and on weapons and drugs charges. The manager of the Safeway in Springerville said he's had no trouble from Rainbows. Watching his store bulge with family members buying every organic product he offered, the manager--who asked not to be identified--said his grungy customers are some of the nicest people he'd met. He did have to hire a security guard--the locals have been shoplifting, he said. Other merchants have padlocked dumpsters to keep family members from diving for spoiled food. Rainbow elder Garrick, with his cell phone and edgy New York attitude, believes authorities have misinformed the public about family behavior. "For a 20,000-person event, over a holiday weekend, we have a surprisingly small incidence of violence," he said. Tim, who makes a living selling tie-dyed clothing, said the younger Rainbows must be taught the spiritual and philosophical underpinnings of the event. "It's misconstrued as a party by some of the younger people," he said as he passed a group of scantily clad dancers. No Agreement on Point of Gathering The problem is that no one agrees about the nature of Rainbow philosophy and the point of the gathering. Today will be the highlight: Silence from sunrise to midday and a mass prayer/chant for peace as the throng is seated in a circle. "You can feel a sense of God, you can feel the power," Tim said of the chant. "There have been a lot of positive changes brought by people who come to places like this and were able to get out of their personal situations long enough to take a look at the bigger picture." Holly is an elder Rainbow, with her graying hair matted into spikes. The family, she said, is all about constitutional rights. Just like the first Americans. "I used to wear the business suit, I went to college, I lived that life," she said while tie-dying striped officials' shirts for a family football game. "I want the world to know that we're all not all funky, tripping, punks." Outside her tent, the rain had finally stopped and a half-rainbow arced across the newly blue sky. Cosmic. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Freedom Is More Than A Free-For-All (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Centre Daily Times' Says Pot Protestor And Retired Penn State Professor Julian Heicklen's Belief That People Have The Freedom To Uninhibited Pleasure Is Un-American - 'Freedom Is About Collective, Informed Decision-Making, And Not About Individual Personal Pleasure')Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 18:39:48 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US PA: LTE: Freedom Is More Than A Free-For-All Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Centre Daily Times (PA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Website: http://www.centredaily.com/ FREEDOM IS MORE THAN A FREE-FOR-ALL I am writing to express my opposition to the actions of retired Professor Julian Heicklen. His resounding belief that people have the "freedom" to uninhibited pleasure is both disturbing and un-American. The Constitution was not written on the basis of freedom for all people solely on an individual level. It was written so that America could make its laws and decisions collectively. When these laws pass, such as the laws against marijuana, then these laws become the American standard. This philosophy is based on such simple ideals as democracy, majority, respect and common courtesy. I feel that by throwing tantrums in court and in downtown State College, Heicklen is only making himself look immature, uncoordinated and addicted to pleasing himself, whether it be by smoking a joint or getting high on the attention his behavior brings. There is no such thing as an uninhibited personal freedom, as Heicklen and his party would like to have you believe. In reality, there are certain laws, restrictions and rules that a society needs to conform to in order to remain stable and secure. I feel that Heicklen would have a much better approach if he respectfully dissented. His personal aversion to any law does not give him or anyone else the authority to mock or break that law. Imagine what our society would be like if everyone followed Heicklen's example. Heicklen has sacrificed his reputation to bring about his "right" to smoke marijuana without consequences. Everyone who cares about freedom should stand in opposition of him, because freedom is about collective, informed decision-making, and not about individual personal pleasure. Steve Markle State College
------------------------------------------------------------------- Replace Drug War With Health Policy (A Second Letter To The Editor Of 'The Centre Daily Times' In Pennsylvania Regarding The Bust Of Retired Professor Julian Heicklen For Protesting Marijuana Prohibition Says 'His Cause Is Liberty') Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 10:00:05 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US PA: PUB LTE: Replace Drug War With Health Policy Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Centre Daily Times (PA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Author: Gene Tinelli Department of psychiatry State University of New York REPLACE DRUG WAR WITH HEALTH POLICY As an addiction psychiatrist, I am appalled at the way retired Professor Julian Heicklen is being treated. His cause is liberty and is using the hemp plant as a torch to illuminate the utter futility of our drug war. For this he is arrested? If anyone in Pennsylvania still believes the drug war is working, he need only look to Lancaster County where two Amish men were charged with distributing crack cocaine to fellow Amish. When we delude ourselves that only poor people of color are involved, we continue the war. But how can we continue the war when Pennsylvanians such as retired emeritus professors and Amish are involved? It's not working! End the insane drug war now and replace it with a sane and compassionate public health policy. Gene Tinelli Department of psychiatry State University of New York
------------------------------------------------------------------- Profits Waiting If Hemp Legalized, UK Study Says (According To 'The Lexington Herald-Leader,' A New 18-Month University Of Kentucky Study Released Yesterday, 'Economic Impact Of Industrial Hemp In Kentucky,' Says Hemp Might Be The Best Thing For Farmers Since Tobacco - John Gilderbloom, A University Of Louisville Economics Professor Who Wrote A Foreword Endorsing The Study, Said 'This Is The Premier Study Done On The Impact Of Hemp') Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 09:50:04 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Profits Waiting If Hemp Legalized, Uk Study Says Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Author: Janet Patton, Herald-Leader Business Writer PROFITS WAITING IF HEMP LEGALIZED, UK STUDY SAYS Not only is industrial hemp a good idea for Kentucky, hemp might be the best thing for the state to grow since tobacco, according to a University of Kentucky study of the potential for profit from a crop that farmers in the state have sued for the right to grow. "We believe the UK study is a landmark, watershed event," said John Gilderbloom, a University of Louisville economics professor who wrote a foreword endorsing the study, Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky. "This is the premier study done on the impact of hemp." The 18-month study released yesterday concludes that the present market for hemp grain and straw in various industries could support the cultivation of 82,000 acres of industrial hemp in the United States, and if Kentucky acts fast, a lot of that could be grown right here. "This crop is like a Rip Van Winkle, coming back to wake," said Jake Graves, president of the Kentucky Hemp Museum and Library, which sponsored the $23,000 study. Graves and other hemp advocates have been fighting for almost five years to farm a crop that hasn't been grown legally in the state since World War II. "The returns from hemp fall somewhere between tobacco and other crops that are already grown in Kentucky," said Mark Berger, director of UK's Center for Business and Economic Research. Berger is co-author of the study with economists Eric Thompson and Steven Allen. Their study sees a profit of between $220 and $605 an acre in today's market. "The potential depends in large part on how many processing facilities locate in the state," Berger said. There are no facilities that can process raw hemp straw in the United States. These findings differ from a 1997 UK College of Agriculture study that did not see much of a market for Kentucky hemp. "Worldwide, the hemp market continues to shrink year after year after year," said agricultural economist Valerie Vantreese, author of the '97 study. "The European Union heavily subsidizes the hemp market, but it still remains very, very small," Vantreese said. "Last year, the total trade of hemp fiber and seed was only about $12 million." Berger agrees that in developing countries such as China, one of the world's largest hemp producers, the market for hemp is shrinking. "But in higher-income, more-developed, more environmentally friendly countries, it's growing," Berger said. Vantreese also said that a significant increase in production =96 Kentucky joining the world market, for instance -- would depress prices. The new study stresses that the effect as assessed is only at today's prices, which would probably fall with competition and rise with greater demand for hemp products. Allen said the market probably will increase for products people might be willing to pay a little more for -- things like tree-free paper and environmentally friendly cloth. "It has wonderful qualities, but it's not cost-competitive," Vantreese said. "I firmly believe that we can import from China or the European Union just as cheaply, if not more cheaply, than what we can produce it for here." But home-grown hemp might have an advantage with lower transportation costs, Allen said. "A lot of the demand for the products is from Europe and North America." And Berger doesn't think competition from Europe and China would stop Kentucky farmers from trying. "If it were legalized tomorrow, I think you'd see Kentucky getting into hemp in a moderate way," Berger said. "The economic returns are there for people to take a stab at it, especially as we're looking for alternatives to tobacco." Joe Hickey, executive director of the hemp co-op, said the study lays the groundwork for research to begin. "Whoever has the industry that can use hemp as a feed stock will attract the first growers," Hickey said. "Then farmers will ... get into value-added production." Gilderbloom said the environmental advantages of hemp, coupled with the economic benefits predicted in the study, give hemp the edge over other possible alternatives to tobacco. "It's the knockout punch for opponents to hemp, including the nation's drug czar," Gilderbloom said, calling director of national drug policy Barry McCaffrey "the foremost opponent now of hemp." Gilderbloom said he hopes the study will be the spark for lawmakers to re-examine the crop, and serve as the basis for new hearings both in the state and in Congress. "We hope it sparks controversy, because out of controversy comes fact," said Andy Graves, president of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative. He is also a plaintiff in a lawsuit that farmers who want to grow hemp filed in U.S. District Court in Ashland in May against the DEA and the Justice Department. Andy Graves said copies of the study have been sent to national newspapers and prominent lawmakers, including Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss. "These are the people who might be in a position to convince ... McCaffrey to find a diplomatic way to change his position." As for how much support hemp has in Kentucky's General Assembly, "my guess is none at this point," said Andy Graves, who farms tobacco in Central Kentucky. But, he said, it's important for lawmakers to realize that tobacco probably has a limited lifespan. "Something else needs to happen," he said. "We're not and never have asked anyone to change drug law. This is not a drug crop." Tommye Chaney of Ewing agrees. Her grandfather grew hemp on his Fleming County farm during World War II and now she imports hemp from China to spin into cloth to sell. She said the only people who don't understand that are politicians and law enforcement officials. Chaney was one of about 35 people who came to Ashland, Henry Clay's estate in Lexington, for the study's release. "I talk to people in Renfro Valley," Chaney said, "People down there are hungry for something to grow." Jean Laprise, director of Kenex Ltd. in Ontario, said he sympathizes with the problems U.S. farmers are having getting government permission to grow hemp. Canadian farmers are growing 4,500 acres of hemp this year, including Laprise's 2,000 acres. Kenex, the largest Canadian importer of seed, has about 50 farmers under contract, and Laprise said he hopes to double that acreage next year, if the market permits. He will harvest his first commercial crop in August, when his $4 million processing plant in Chatham will begin turning 5,000 tons of hemp into meal, oil, fiber and hurds for animal bedding and matting for the automotive industry. "Even though it's legal in Canada, it's still not that easy," It's stringently regulated." Laprise said that 10 days ago, Health Canada, the equivalent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, audited his site, checking everything from security to inventory control. "Regulatory officials understand the situation," Laprise said. "We have an industrial crop growing that's no different from growing tomatoes or brussels sprouts." Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hurds Could Be Kentucky Product ('The Lexington Herald-Leader' Says A Report On The Economic Impact Of Industrial Hemp In Kentucky, Released Yesterday, Points To Central Kentucky's Proximity To The Thoroughbred Horse Industry To Suggest Kentucky Farmers Would Have A Logistic Advantage In Marketing Hemp Hurds For Horse Bedding, Currently One Of The Major Uses For Hurds In Europe) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 09:56:06 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US KY: Hurds Could Be Kentucky Product Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.kentuckyconnect.com/heraldleader/ Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Author: Janet Patton, Herald-Leader Business Writer HURDS COULD BE KENTUCKY PRODUCT Animal bedding is an example of a market for a hemp product that Kentucky might have a unique advantage in, according to the Economic Impact of Industrial Hemp in Kentucky, which was released yesterday. Hemp hurds, from the woody, pulpy middle of the stalk, are often just a byproduct of processing the plant. When the hemp fibers are removed from the plant, 68 percent of the plant -- the hurd -- is left. In England and France, which together grow more than 35,000 acres of hemp, hurds are primarily used for animal bedding. Because of Central Kentucky's proximity to the thoroughbred horse industry, hemp grown and processed here would have a ready-made market, the study suggests. "In talking with people in England who've done this for two to three years, this is a premium product, one that's going to be used on more high-value horses," said Steven Allen, co-author of the University of Kentucky study with Mark Berger and Eric Thompson. "And that's what we have here," added Berger. Based on Jockey Club figures, Allen, Berger and Thompson estimate there are 77,000 thoroughbreds in Kentucky in any given year; 117,000 thoroughbreds in Kentucky and surrounding states; and 640,000 thoroughbreds in the United States. If 10 percent of these horses switched to the hemp bedding, with each animal using 180 pounds a week, then each year there would be a yearly market for 36,000 tons in Kentucky, 55,000 tons in Kentucky and adjoining states, and 300,000 tons in the U.S. It would take 12,000 acres of hemp just to satisfy the estimated demand for the hurd in Kentucky, and 7,000 more acres for the adjoining states. Because the bedding is bulky, shipping for long distances might erode the price advantage. Using American Horse Council figures, the authors estimate there are 4.4 million other registered horses in the United States. It would take an additional 71,000 acres to make enough bedding if only 1 percent of the horse owners switched to the hemp hurd bedding. Wood chips and fine wheat straw, the main types of bedding now used, retail for $180 to $240 a ton; hemp hurds could be processed for sale at very competitive $30 a ton wholesale. Hemp hurds are also more biodegradable than would chips or straw. "It's much more absorbent, they say, and produces a better animal bedding," Allen said. Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis 'Is Stroke Hope' (Britain's 'Guardian' Says A Team Of Researchers At The US National Institute For Mental Health, In Maryland, Has Discovered Two Active Components Of Marijuana, THC And Cannabidiol, They Think Could One Day Be Used Routinely To Prevent Brain Damage After Strokes) Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 10:21:39 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Cannabis 'is Stroke Hope' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: BulldogUSA@aol.com Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Author: Tim Radford, Science Editor CANNABIS 'IS STROKE HOPE' Extracts of the marijuana plant could one day be routinely used to prevent brain damage after stroke, according to United States government scientists. A team led by the British-born biologist Aidan Hampson, at the US National Institute for Mental Health, in Maryland, has discovered that two active components of cannabis - compounds called THC and cannabidiol - will each act to prevent damage to brain tissue placed in laboratory dishes. The experiments, to be reported next week in the proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reveal an unexpected potential use for a drug known for centuries to have valuable medical properties. The discovery is likely to increase pressure to make marijuana and its derivatives more widely available for use on prescription. Already, a House of Lords committee is considering the issue, the British Medical Association has reported on the drug's virtues and the Royal Pharmacological Society is looking into the matter. Cannabis was widely used centuries ago. There is archaeological evidence from the Stone Age of cannabis being used to ease birth pains. It is known to suppress nausea for patients on cancer chemotherapy, relieve pain and muscle spasm for multiple sclerosis sufferers, and reduce pressure in the eye for people with glaucoma. Dr Hampson's study has focused on cannabidiol, rather than the psychoactive chemical THC, because this substance has no side-effects. He stumbled on the finding while trying to find out why the human brain had so many "receptors" for cannabis compounds and what the receptor system was designed to do. "There are almost as many cannabinoid receptors as there are of any major neurotransmitter, so while no one knows what it does, it seems to be pretty important." Stroke victims suffer a blood clot which starves brain cells of glucose and oxygen, and sets off a cascade of chemical reactions which destroys cells. He found that both cannabis compounds seemed to block the destructive process. Some drugs work well in test tubes, but ail in living creatures because they do not reach the target. Cannabis compounds go straight to the brain. The results suggest that cannabidiol could also become a treatment for other neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Dr Hampson said: "We have something that passes the brain barrier easily, has low toxicity, and appears to be working in the animal trials. So I think we have a good chance."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dope Hope For Stroke Victims (The BBC Version Quotes Dr Aidan Hampson Of The National Institute Of Mental Health Saying, 'We Have Found That Cannaboids Are Very Powerful Anti-Oxidants - In Fact They Appear To Be More Powerful Than Vitamin C Or Vitamin E') Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 19:39:21 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: BBC: Dope Hope For Stroke Victims Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Saturday, July 4, 1998 Source: BBC News Contacts: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/ DOPE HOPE FOR STROKE VICTIMS Extracts from cannabis could help reduce brain damage in stroke victims, according to new research. American scientists say they have found that several of the chemicals in cannabis or marijuana help to prevent damage to brain tissue. But the scientists at the US National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Maryland, are not recommending smoking dope after a stroke. The report is likely to lead to increased pressure to make marijuana and its derivatives more widely available for use on prescription. Preventing Cell Damage A stroke happens when a blood clot blocks one of the branches of the artery supplying the brain with blood and oxygen. If brain cells are deprived of oxygen for more than a few minutes they die. But recent research has shown that most of the damage to the brain after a stroke is caused not directly by lack of oxygen but by the release of destructive oxidising agents which break down cells as if they were being burnt. The Maryland team have shown that this type of damage can be largely prevented by chemicals known as cannabinoids which are found in marijuana. Dr Aidan Hampson of the NIMH said: "We have found that cannaboids are very powerful anti-oxidants. In fact they appear to be more powerful than vitamin C or vitamin E." What is not clear is whether smoking marijuana will release enough of the cannaboids to do any good. Instead scientists hope to use synthetic cannabinoids to reduce brain damage after strokes, and possibly to slow up the progress of Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease as well. It is likely that patients would take the drug using an inhaler of the type used by asthma sufferers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- £56,000 Crop Of Cannabis In Flat (Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' Says Former Army Officer David Brown Was Sentenced To Seven Years In Jail Yesterday For Growing 758 Cannabis Plants Found At A Flat He Owned In Glasgow) Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 09:53:53 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: UKP56,000 Crop of Cannabis in Flat Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Author: Richard Savill UKP56,000 CROP OF CANNABIS IN FLAT A FORMER Army officer was jailed for seven years yesterday after 758 cannabis plants were found growing in tropical conditions in a flat he owned. Police estimated that David Brown, 32, who was trained at Sandhurst, could have earned as much as UKP56,000 from the plants. A previous crop had been harvested. Brown was convicted of producing cannabis at the flat in Langside Avenue, Glasgow, on Jan 6 this year, and being concerned in the supply of the drug. The Crown intends to seize assets of UKP46,500. Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, Judge Robin McEwan QC said Brown had conducted "a well-planned and clever" operation that must have required a significant capital investment. The court was told that the cannabis was discovered when neighbours saw smoke coming from the flat and called the fire brigade. Firemen found that an electrical junction box in one of the rooms had overloaded because so many appliances were in use. The jury saw a video showing plants growing under a battery of lighting and heating equipment. The flat was littered with bags of fertiliser, canisters of gas and garden equipment. Brown said he rented two rooms of the flat and was rarely there, except to collect rent from a tenant. He did not know what was in the rooms because the locks had been changed and claimed that the tenant disappeared after the fire.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Randomised Trial Of Heroin Maintenance Programme For Addicts Who Fail In Conventional Drug Treatments ('The British Medical Journal' Reports A Subgroup Of Severely Addicted People Who Failed Repeatedly In Conventional Drug Treatments Fared Better Than Patients In Conventional Drug Treatments When They Participated In A Heroin Maintenance Programme In Geneva, Switzerland - Improvements Included Reduced Use Of Street Drugs, Better Mental Health, Social Functioning, And Reduced Illegal Activities) Date: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 16:01:43 -0400 To: DrugSense News Service (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: BMJ: Randomised Trial Of Heroin Maintenance Programme For Addicts Who Fail In Conventional Drug Treatments Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Source: British Medical Journal (UK) BMJ 1998;317:13-18 ( 4 July ) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.bmj.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 04 Jul 1998 Webform: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/eletter-submit/317/7150/13 Note: Only the table introductions are provided below as the tables would not reproduce well as email. They are on-line (as of today, which is why we do not link to articles normally - they may not be good links in a year or two) at: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/317/7150/13 Papers RANDOMISED TRIAL OF HEROIN MAINTENANCE PROGRAMME FOR ADDICTS WHO FAIL IN CONVENTIONAL DRUG TREATMENTS Thomas V Perneger, medical epidemiologist, a Francisco Giner, resident, b Miguel del Rio, fellow, b Annie Mino, head of division. b a Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Geneva Medical School, CH-1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland, b Division of Substance Abuse, Department of Psychiatry, University Hospitals of Geneva, CH-1211 Geneva 14 Correspondence to: Dr Perneger email@example.com KEY MESSAGES A heroin maintenance programme may be a useful treatment option for patients who do not succeed in conventional drug treatment programmes Patients randomly allocated to the Geneva heroin maintenance programme fared better that patients in conventional drug treatments in terms of street drug use, mental health, social functioning, and illegal activities Results of the trial apply only to a subgroup of severely addicted people who failed repeatedly in conventional drug treatments This evaluation does not distinguish between the effects of heroin itself and the effects of other medical and psychosocial services that were provided as part of the programme There was less demand for the heroin maintenance programme than anticipated and most control subjects declined entry into the programme at the end of the study *** ABSTRACT Objective: To evaluate an experimental heroin maintenance programme. Design: Randomised trial. Setting: Outpatient clinic in Geneva, Switzerland. Subjects: Heroin addicts recruited from the community who were socially marginalised and in poor health and had failed in at least two previous drug treatments. Intervention: Patients in the experimental programme (n=27) received intravenous heroin and other health and psychosocial services. Control patients (n=24) received any other conventional drug treatment (usually methadone maintenance). Main outcome measures: Self reported drug use, health status (SF-36), and social functioning. Results: 25 experimental patients completed 6 months in the programme, receiving a median of 480 mg of heroin daily. One experimental subject and 10 control subjects still used street heroin daily at follow up (difference 44%; 95% confidence interval 16% to 71%). Health status scores that improved significantly more in experimental subjects were mental health (0.58 SD; 0.07 to 1.10), role limitations due to emotional problems (0.95 SD; 0.11 to 1.79), and social functioning (0.65 SD; 0.03 to 1.26). Experimental subjects also significantly reduced their illegal income and drug expenses and committed fewer drug and property related offences. There were no benefits in terms of work, housing situation, somatic health status, and use of other drugs. Unexpectedly, only nine (38%) control subjects entered the heroin maintenance programme at follow up. Conclusions: A heroin maintenance programme is a feasible and clinically effective treatment for heroin users who fail in conventional drug treatment programmes. Even in this population, however, another attempt at methadone maintenance may be successful and help the patient to stop using injectable opioids. *** INTRODUCTION Many harmful consequences of heroin use stem from the illegal status of street drugs.1-3 Drug substitution programmes may alleviate these consequences,4 but not all addicts benefit: many continue using street drugs, others drop out, others never enrol. Addicts may fail in oral substitution programmes because they need the "high" caused by heroin injection or the ritual of preparing and injecting the drug. Programmes which provide intravenous heroin may reach such addicts.5-12 In Switzerland several programmes involving provision of intravenous opiates were started in 1992-5. 13 14 Most were evaluated in a before and after design. Only the Geneva heroin maintenance programme was conceived as a randomised trial: eligible addicts were randomised either to immediate admission or to a 6 month waiting list during which time they could receive any other available drug treatment. The research question was whether the experimental programme would improve participants' illegal drug use, health, and social functioning. METHODS Study design and sample This randomised trial compared outcomes at 6 months in patients allocated to immediate versus delayed admission to the heroin maintenance programme. The planned sample size was two groups of 40 patients. Programme and study procedures were approved by ethics committees in Geneva and Berne. Eligibility criteria were residence in the canton of Geneva since June 1994, age 20 years, addiction to intravenous heroin for 2 years, daily consumption of opiates, social distress or poor health or both, due to drug use, two or more previous unsuccessful attempts at drug treatment, participation in evaluation, and giving up driving on starting heroin maintenance. Information about the programme was disseminated through drug abuse treatment centres. Interested people were screened on the telephone by a psychiatrist (FG), and those who seemed eligible were invited to an initial visit. During this visit the psychiatrist confirmed the patient's eligibility, explained programme procedures, obtained informed consent, performed the baseline assessment, and allocated the patient to either immediate or delayed admission by using computer generated random numbers placed in sealed envelopes. Experimental Programme The programme clinic was established in September 1995 by the division of substance abuse, Geneva University Hospitals, in central Geneva. Staff included a psychiatrist, an internist, a social worker, five nurses, and a secretary. Patients attended usually three times daily. The dose of heroin was established by the psychiatrist on the basis of patients' needs. Patients were instructed in safe intravenous injection practices and could inject the drug themselves. After the injection patients were observed for about 30 minutes. If a patient was intoxicated on arrival the usual dose was halved. Oral opiates (methadone or morphine sulphate) were introduced whenever patients wanted only one or two injections a day or if they had to travel. Patients addicted to benzodiazepines received clorazepate substitution treatment; all patients received psychological counselling, HIV prevention counselling, social and legal support services, and somatic primary care. Control Treatment Subjects in the control group were encouraged to select any drug treatment programme available in Geneva, were enrolled immediately whenever possible, and were given priority for admission to heroin maintenance after 6 months. Outcome Variables Outcome variables were consumption of street heroin and other drugs, frequency of overdoses, risk behaviours for HIV infection, numbers of days ill in past month, use of health services, health status, work status, living arrangements, quality of social relationships, monthly living and drug related expenditures, sources of income, and criminal behaviour. The questionnaire (unpublished, based on addiction severity index) was developed by the federal evaluation team, to which we added items to explore specifically the past 6 months, including risk behaviours for HIV infection, and the SF-36 health survey.15 ANALYSIS The trial was analysed on an intention to treat basis. For continuous outcome variables we assessed changes over time by the Wilcoxon matched pairs test and differences between groups in change scores by the Mann-Whitney U test.16 For dichotomous variables we used the McNemar's test for before and after comparisons16 and tested the homogeneity of McNemar's odds ratio to compare groups.17 When all changes were in the same direction we compared proportions of individual subjects who changed status. Only exact tests and confidence intervals were used. RESULTS Enrolment And Follow Up Only 73 heroin users (52 men and 21 women, mean age 32 years) applied between September 1995 and March 1996, and 57 were eligible. Among those who were not eligible, 12 did not inject heroin regularly, three were not Geneva residents, three refused to comply with evaluation, and one refused to give up driving. Six eligible people delayed their decision and never provided informed consent. Of 51 patients who agreed to participate, 27 were randomised to immediate and 24 to delayed admission. All experimental group patients and 22 in the control group were reassessed 196 days on average after enrolment (range 168-248); one person from the control group filled only the SF-36 questionnaire. The two remaining patients in the control group were alive at follow up but refused to cooperate. Baseline Description Participants (table 1) were typically young men who had been injecting heroin for an average of 12 years, had attempted eight drug treatments (range 2 to 21), and had experienced four drug overdoses (range 0 to 30). They had a high prevalence of mental disorders and health status scores 1-2 SD below population norms.15 Table 1. Baseline characteristics of patients randomly enrolled into heroin maintenance programme or assigned to 6 month waiting list, Geneva, 1995-6. Values are means (SD) unless stated otherwise Treatments Received One patient allocated to the experimental group never showed up, and another requested transfer to methadone maintenance after one day on heroin. The 25 others received intravenous heroin on average on 168 out of the first 183 days (oral opiates only were given on the remaining days); 20 patients received heroin on more than 80% of treatment days. There were no medical problems with drug injections. The mean daily dose of intravenous heroin was 509 mg (quartiles: 400, 480, 630 mg/day) in one to three injections. Median dose remained stable during the trial (month 1 to 6: 460, 500, 470, 490, 500, and 480 mg/day). Several patients said that they experienced symptoms of craving before injections but did not mind as they knew that the next dose of heroin would be delivered on time. In addition to heroin, all patients occasionally received oral opiates, on 78 days (43%) of 183 (range 8 to 150) days. Furthermore, 16 (59%) subjects received clorazepate substitution therapy (median dose 60 mg/day). During the 6 month follow up 19 of 21 people in the control group entered a methadone maintenance programme, six a detoxification programme, and one a residential programme. Duration of stay in each programme was not assessed. Use Of Non-Prescribed Drugs At follow up only one (4%) subject in the experimental groupthe person who was never treated but still completed the follow up questionnairebut 10 (48%) in the control group still used street heroin daily (difference 44%; exact 95% confidence interval 16% to 71%; table 2). All experimental patients stopped daily use of street bezodiazepines, and their frequency of overdoses decreased significantly. Table 2. Impact of heroin maintenance programme on drug use, Geneva, 1995-6.Values are numbers (percentages) of subjects unless stated otherwise Health Status No changes were seen for physical problems or admission to hospital in both groups (table 3). Among patients in the experimental group treatments for mental problems increased and days with mental health problems decreased. Self reported severe depression declined in both groups, but severe anxiety decreased only in the experimental group. Changes in difficulty in controlling violent behaviour and in the number of suicide attempts favoured the experimental group. Table 3. Impact of heroin prescription programme on health problems, use of services, and HIV related behaviours, Geneva, 1995-6. Values are numbers (percentages) of subjects unless stated otherwise Use of condoms remained stable in both groups. Patients in the experimental group no longer shared injection materials (only the non-attender (above) continued this practice) and improved disinfection practices. Health status scores improved more among experimental patients than among controls (table 4). Differences between groups in before and after changes, in SD units, were 0.54 (95% confidence interval 0.15 to 1.23) for physical functioning, 0.45 (0.40 to 1.29) for role-physical, 0.18 (0.63 to 0.98) for bodily pain, 0.14 (0.08 to 0.37) for general health, 0.22 (0.17 to 0.62) for vitality, 0.65 (0.03 to 1.26) for social functioning, 0.95 (0.11 to 1.79) for role-emotional, and 0.58 (0.07 to 1.10) for mental health. Social Functioning Housing situation improved in both groups (table 5). Both groups remained stable in their marital situation and occupational status and both developed more social ties outside the drug scene. Both reported slightly better relationships with their family and social circle (not shown). Table 4. Impact of a heroin maintenance programme on heath related quality of life, measured by means of the SF-36 health survey, Geneva, 1995-6 Table 5. Impact of heroin maintenance programme on social integration and illegal activities, Geneva, 1995-6. Values are numbers (percentages) unless stated otherwise Dependency on "street life" decreased sharply in the experimental group, less so in the control group. Charges for offences related to drug and property decreased in experimental patients and increased in the control group. Legal income (work, loans, social benefits) remained stable in both groups (table 6). Income from illegal activities (dealing drugs, commercial sex, theft) decreased significantly in experimental patients. In particular, monthly income from dealing drugs went from £1163 to none in the experimental group and from £1143 to £1774 among controls (P=0.03 for difference between groups). Living expenses changed little in either group, but patients in the experimental group reduced their drug expenses about 10-fold whereas those in the control group continued spending similar amounts. Table 6. Impact of heroin maintenance programme on participants' financial situation in previous month, Geneva, 1995-6. Values are mean (SD) Swiss francs (1 Swiss franc=£0.45) Enrolment Of Controls At Follow Up Unexpectedly, only nine (38%) of 24 controls enrolled in the heroin maintenance programme at follow up. Of those who declined, most were successfully treated in methadone maintenance programmes. Main reasons for not wanting to start heroin maintenance were a satisfactory personal situation and the desire to stop injecting drugs. DISCUSSION This study suggests that a heroin maintenance programme may be a feasible and effective treatment option for severely addicted opiate users. Acceptability was good, as 25 of 27 patients completed 6 months in the programme on stable doses of intravenous heroin. The existence of the programme in an urban neighbourhood caused no disturbance. Thus concerns about feasibility18 need not hamper further evaluation of heroin maintenance programmes. The experimental programme was better than other available treatments in several respects. Patients on heroin maintenance no longer used street heroin or street benzodiazepines daily, their mental health and social functioning improved, and they committed fewer suicide attempts, derived less income from illegal activities (particularly from dealing drugs), spent less money on drugs, and committed fewer offences, particularly drug and property related offences. These results are not only significant but also important for the participants' health and social functioning. Our results are more favourable than those of the only previous trial of heroin maintenance.7 The two studies, however, differ considerably. Hartnoll's patients were less severely addicted, received fewer supportive services, could take heroin home, and received only 60 mg of heroin daily. Evaluation methods also differed: the British researchers relied on participant observation while we used quantitative tools. In other outcomes, experimental patients improved over time, but the difference with patients in the control group was not significant. Examples include fewer drug overdoses, better housing, better overall health status, less severe anxiety, and better precautions against HIV. A larger trial might determine whether heroin maintenance is superior to conventional treatments in these respects. Improvements experienced by controls suggest that even addicts who failed repeatedly in the past may benefit from another trial of conventional drug treatment. Finally, the experimental programme conferred no advantage in terms of work, legal income, commercial sex, and use of street drugs other than heroin and benzodiazepines. LIMITATIONS OF STUDY Our study has several limitations. Firstly, this was a small trial, similar to initial evaluations of methadone maintenance,19-21 which threatens the reliability of our findings. Secondly, all outcome measures were self reported, which raises the issue of information bias. Thirdly, because this study assessed global programme effects it cannot differentiate between specific effects of heroin administration and those of other medical and social services, such as mental health care and benzodiazepine substitution. Our results do not support distribution of heroin without such services and certainly not legalisation of heroin.3 We cannot exclude that the benefits of our heroin maintenance programme were entirely attributable to these additional services. Testing the specific contribution of heroin injections would require a trial in which all services but the prescribed opiate would be identical. Nevertheless, psychosocial services alone would probably achieve little as such programmes do not retain patients in treatment.22 We imposed no specified drug treatment to subjects in the control group because only patients who failed repeatedly in conventional treatments were eligible. We expected that needs and preferences would vary and wanted to allow several different treatment attempts. This choice was consistent with our research question (can heroin maintenance improve on existing treatments?), but it restricts the generalisability of our results as "existing treatments" differ by location. Subjects who had never undergone treatment were excluded from Swiss heroin trials to avoid enrolling patients who could benefit from conventional treatments. Restriction of eligibility to addicts who had a tendency to fail in conventional treatments, however, may bias against the control group. Thus our results do not support heroin maintenance as a first line treatment of heroin addiction. Eligibility criteria also prevented us from assessing whether a heroin maintenance programme would attract addicts who had not considered drug treatment previously. Finally, interest in the heroin maintenance programme and enrolment in the trial were less than anticipated. Whether this was due to insufficient publicity, constraints imposed by the randomised evaluation, or lack of need requires clarification. Furthermore, only nine of 24 in the control group, all of whom had requested heroin maintenance at baseline, enrolled into the programme after 6 months. Thus self perceived need for heroin maintenance may change over time, particularly when conventional drug treatment programmes are available. Our study did not answer all relevant questions about heroin maintenance. Further research should aim to replicate our findings in larger samples and in other populations, include outcome variables that are not self reported, explore the specific contribution of medical and psychosocial services to overall programme benefits, assess the value of alternative routes of heroin administration, and examine possible interactions between baseline characteristics of patients and relative benefit of heroin treatment. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Contributors: TVP (coguarantor) had ultimate responsibility for the evaluation of the programme; he proposed and finalised the evaluation design, assisted with data collection procedures and data quality control, analysed the data, and wrote the paper. FG managed the experimental programme; he assisted with study design, conducted or supervised data collection, checked quality of data, discussed implications of results, and revised the paper. MdR wrote the detailed study protocol, negotiated acceptability of randomised study with authorities, discussed implications of results, and revised the paper. AM (coguarantor) had ultimate responsibility for the experimental programme; she helped with and approved the study protocol, negotiated acceptability of randomised study with authorities, discussed implications of results, and contributed to the paper. Funding: Federal Office of Public Health (Berne, Switzerland), Swiss National Science Foundation (Berne, Switzerland, career development grant 3233-32609.91 to TVP). Conflict of interest: None. REFERENCES 1.Stimson GV, Oppenheimer E. Heroin addiction. Treatment and control in Britain. London: Tavistock Publications , 1982. 2.Ostini R, Bammer G, Dance PR, Goodin RE. The ethics of experimental heroin maintenance. J Med Ethics 1993; 19: 175-182. 3.Nadelmann EA. Drug prohibition in the United States: costs, consequences, and alternatives. Science 1989; 245: 939-947. 4.Farrell M, Ward J, Mattick R, Hall W, Stimson GV, des Jarlais D, et al. Methadone maintenance treatment in opiate dependence: a review. BMJ 1994; 309: 997-1001. 5.Koran LM. Heroin maintenance for heroin addicts: issues and evidence. N Engl J Med 1973; 288: 654-660. 6.Mino A. Scientific analysis of the literature on the controlled provision of heroin or morphine [in French]. Berne: Federal Office of Public Health , 1990. 7.Hartnoll RL, Mitcheson MC, Battersby A, Brown G, Ellis M, Fleming P, et al. Evaluation of heroin maintenance in controlled trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry 1980; 37: 877-884. 8.Ghodse AH. Treatment of drug addiction in London. Lancet 1983; i: 636-639. 9.Strang J, Gossop M. Heroin addiction and drug policy: the British system. New York: Oxford University Press , 1994. 10.Lewis E. A heroin maintenance programme in the United States? JAMA 1973; 223: 539-546. 11.Bammer G, Douglas RM. The ACT heroin trial proposal: an overview. Med J Austr 1996; 164: 690-692. 12.Sheldon T. Dutch report advises prescribing heroin for misusers. BMJ 1995; 310: 1625. 13.In: Rihs-Middel M, ed. Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. The medical prescription of narcotics. Scientific foundations and practical experiences. , Bern: Hogrefe and Huber Publishers, 1996. 14.Uchtenhagen A. Diversified prescription of narcotics to heroin addicts: background, design, research plan [in German]. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax 1994; 83: 931-936. 15.Jenkinson C, Coulter A, Wright L. Short form 36 (SF-36) health survey questionnaire: normative data for adults of working age. BMJ 1993; 306: 1437-1440. 16.Armitage P, Berry G. Statistical methods in medical research. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications , 1987. 17.Breslow NE, Day NE. Statistical methods in cancer research. Vol 1. The analysis of case-control studies. Lyons: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 1980. 18.Dole VP. Comments on "heroin maintenance". JAMA 1972; 220: 1493. 19.Dole VP, Nyswander M. A medical treatment for diacetylmorphine (heroin) addiction. JAMA 1965; 193: 80-84. 20.Dole VP, Robinson JW, Orraca J, Towns E, Searcy P, Caine E. Methadone treatment of randomly selected heroin addicts. N Engl J Med 1969; 280: 1372-1375. 21.Gunne LM, Grönbladh L. The Swedish methadone maintenance programme: a controlled study. Drug Alcohol Depend 1981; 7: 249-256. 22.Newman RG, Whitehill WB. Double-blind comparison of methadone and placebo maintenance treatments of narcotic addicts in Hong Kong. Lancet 1979; ii: 485-488. Copyright (c) 1998 by the British Medical Journal. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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