------------------------------------------------------------------- State Prison Back On Track A Year After Abuse Scandal ('The Oregonian' Suggests The Drug Smugglers And Other 'Animals' Who Populate The Intensive Management Unit At The Oregon State Penitentiary Are The Worst Of The Worst, But The Bad Apples Who Used To Abuse Them Are Gone After A 1997 Investigation Triggered Five Grand Jury Indictments Leading To The Dismissal Of Five Officers, Two Security Staff, And The Resignation Of Five More Officers, Including The Whistleblower Whose Complaint Sparked The Investigation) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ July. 7, 1998 State prison back on track a year after abuse scandal * But officers still keep the upper hand over the inmates in the Intensive Management Unit Sunday, July 5 1998 By J. Todd Foster of The Oregonian staff SALEM -- It's 10:30 on a recent Tuesday morning as Oregon State Penitentiary officers queue up to deliver lukewarm Reuben sandwiches to the state's 130 worst inmates. "Time to feed the animals," a corrections officer says, unlocking a section of Alpha Unit in the prison's Intensive Management Unit. Oregon's only maximum-security prison is a walled city of 2,100 criminals with caste systems and preferred neighborhoods not unlike those on the outside. General population provides the most freedoms and privileges; the special management unit is the equivalent of a mental hospital; disciplinary segregation is the jail. The Intensive Management Unit, the IMU, is the prison within a prison -- a two-story, rectangular fortress opened in 1991 to house Oregon's most disruptive, assaultive and, in some cases, mentally disturbed inmates. Alpha Unit is where the worst of those live. It's also where the careers of a dozen correctional officers ended and four others were marred. Eleven months ago, five IMU officers were indicted for physically abusing inmates, including throwing punches and using pepper spray and stun guns, or for lying to cover it up. Three pleaded guilty, and one was convicted at trial; the fifth is awaiting trial. Eventually, 11 others resigned or were fired or disciplined because of the scandal. In the year since then, prison officials have made sweeping changes, including bringing in nearly 50 new security staff members and telling them upfront they can only stay in the unit two years, then they'll be rotated out and replaced by mentally fresh troops. The new crew doesn't want to be tainted by the sins of the past. But just as they spend their days watching inmates, they, too, know they're being watched by outsiders. IMU from the inside On this day, the IMU is calm by its standards. There's the usual inmate singsong of grievances and trash talk emanating from spartan cells and bouncing off cream-colored walls. Confinement there is a last resort for the hardest of hard cases. To get there, inmates have to repeatedly flout big rules, such as smuggling drugs or assaulting staff or one another. The only new admission this day is Horace Denson, a 38-year-old Multnomah County man who was written up eight times for misbehaving in downtown Portland's Justice Center jail. Three of those writeups were for assaulting corrections deputies. Once in IMU, the average stay is six months -- a penance completely devoid of natural light or fresh air. Inmates spend about 231/2 hours a day in their 6-by-91/2-foot cells. The few minutes they're allowed out is only on a tether that resembles a dog leash with handcuffs dangling from one end. IMU inmates can be so dangerous that even taking them out of their cells for something as simple as a haircut can be harrowing. So an officer cuffs the inmate from behind and wraps the other end of the tether around his wrist to gain tight control. A second officer shadows the inmate from the other side. Inmates are allowed to attend therapy sessions, see visitors, shower and exercise in an enclosed concrete room. They get three meals a day, prepared by inmate chefs and served in plastic food trays with disposable utensils. If inmates throw their food, their next meal is Nutra-loaf, a block of blended and baked food that resembles day-old meatloaf. The environment for corrections officers also is bleak. They spend their entire shifts inside one of four units. Each unit has 49 cells arranged along three, double-tiered wings facing a darkened command center under the watch of a lone officer who controls every electronic door. With their badges and black jumpsuits the focus of every inmate's contempt, a few officers have been known to crack under the pressure of constant verbal abuse and occasional assaults. The investigation one year ago ripped apart a unit that must be close-knit out of necessity: Officers not only have to watch one another's backs but are part of an inner circle that is out of the emotional and physical reach of other prison officers. "The biggest thing is the mental stress," says Capt. D. Heppner , who has run the IMU since November 1996. "You don't realize it at the time, but dealing with high-maintenance inmates day in and day out gets to you. These guys are constantly driving on you." Cloud of misconduct In February 1997, corrections officer Christine Cilley reported to a superior her fears that an inmate had been abused. Then she dropped a bombshell: Cilley reported that in spring 1996 she saw Sgt. Thomas Robbins and corrections officer Richard Robinson punching a mentally ill inmate, Steven Willits, in the face. Two months later, Cilley laid out her allegations in a written complaint, adding another inmate she suspected was abused and also accusing Robbins of sexually harassing her. Cilley claimed she sat on the allegations for almost a year because she feared retaliation from co-workers and a job reassignment. In mid-April 1997, the Oregon Department of Corrections' internal affairs division and the Oregon State Police launched an investigation that four months later triggered five grand injury indictments. Robbins, Robinson and the three other indicted officers were fired, as were two other security staff accused of following an unwritten "code of silence." In the final months of 1997, Cilley and four other officers resigned, and four were disciplined, according to their union, the Association of Oregon Corrections Employees. Cilley quit after first being told she would be fired and later that she would be demoted for failing to immediately report her allegations. She has filed a discrimination complaint against the corrections department with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is awaiting its ruling. Cilley refused to comment, citing her attorney's advice. Union president Gary Harkins says the IMU investigation resulted in "uneven, excessive discipline" and new, ill-advised policies that force officers to report even unfounded rumors. "Management had to do something," says Harkins, an officer who works elsewhere in the prison. "Innocent people got caught up in the sweep." Mitch Morrow, acting superintendent of Oregon State Penitentiary, says as painful as it was, the investigation was necessary to root out a threat to a vital prison mission: to treat inmates with dignity and respect. "I don't think the intensity of the investigation was inappropriate," he says. Volatility and unpredictability Many of IMU's inmates don't engender respect. One man claims to have been in the IMU 100 years. Another screams out, "I'm your worst nightmare." A convicted murderer usually is respectful to staff, as long as they call him by his true name -- "Satan." L.C. Oddie Jr., 26, a convicted robber and burglar, has been in the IMU nearly four years. Unlike some of the other inmates, Oddie doesn't strengthen his 6-foot-2, 230-pound frame by using his bunk to perform step aerobics or by rolling up all his possessions in a mattress and using it as a curling bar. He doesn't have to. Oddie is the only IMU inmate to ever use his bare hands to open the electronically controlled door to his cell. Even after improvements to the locking mechanism, Oddie can still jiggle the door hard enough to set off the warning light in Alpha Unit's control center. "You never know when he's going to snap," Officer L. Coolbaugh says. "He's full of rage." Oddie responds best to female officers, who have their own set of obstacles to overcome in the IMU. Aside from the usual catcalls, there are menacing love letters from inmates. On this day, an inmate is written up for telling a woman officer that he wanted to have sex with her. "You try not to take it personal," Officer M. Laker says. She joined the unit six months ago. Staff members say some inmates spend practically every waking moment devising ways to manipulate or torment officers. One favorite inmate stunt is spreading butter on the floor just inside their cell doors so officers slip and fall when they enter. The worst indignity is getting hit by human waste. Corrections officer C. Story once was bombed by four consecutive inmates while walking a tier. "My wife knows I've had a bad day when I get home wearing a different uniform than the one I left in," Story says. Officers are trained not to react. The procedure is to keep quiet, exit the tier calmly, shower and change uniforms. If hit in the face, hepatitis blood screens are required at the local hospital. Then officers must hurry back to the unit to send a message to the inmates. "If you can't immediately walk back on that tier, you never will," Story says. "If the inmates think they've buffaloed you, they'll abuse you and treat you no better than the child molesters in here." Fingerpointing and whispering Three weeks after the IMU investigation began, inmate Willits died in his single cell inside Alpha Unit. Unbeknownst to staff, he had been stockpiling a psychiatric medication and used it to overdose, a toxicology report showed later. He was the fourth IMU inmate in five years to kill himself. Right after Willits' death and before the cause was known, Story says other prison officers ostracized him and his IMU colleagues. Story, who took stress leave, says he made three trips to the state police's Salem headquarters to be interviewed in connection with the alleged abuse in IMU. Corrections investigators questioned him three or four more times. Nearly nine months later, he learned that he had been exonerated early on. He's angry that he was not told at the time. "I was left dangling for 81/2 months," the 38-year-old officer says. "My own colleagues called me a murderer. A staff member said, 'You had to kill one to cover it up, huh?'" he says. "We were the pariahs of the whole institution." Across IMU, morale among the 57 security staff plummeted. Consultants were brought in from the National Institute of Corrections in Washington, D.C., to audit the IMU. Among their recommendations: screen officers for assignment to the unit and rotate them out after two years to reduce stress and burnout. The corrections department agreed. Only eight of the unit's current roster were assigned to the IMU when the abuses occurred two springs ago, and they are being rotated out. The consultants also recommended increasing the visibility of managers on the inmate tiers. Sgt. R. Hetlage was promoted to lieutenant and transferred from another prison to run the IMU's swing shift and boost morale. Hetlage is a 52-year-old former competitive power lifter who spent a year as pro wrestler Hulk Hogan's bodyguard. Hetlage uses a keen sense of humor to manage his officers and earthy fairness to manage the inmates. Hetlage's favorite shtick for colleagues is to jam a push pin or staple into his forehead to illustrate the hardness of his skull. When it comes to inmates, Hetlage's philosophy is mutual respect. His bedside manners are atypical. Each shift, Hetlage walks by every IMU cell to field grievances from 34 murderers and an assortment of child molesters, drug dealers and rapists. Many of the IMU's inmates are members of white supremacist, Latino and African American street gangs. Yet Hetlage prides himself on calling them "sir" and saying "please" and "thank you." "It takes a special breed of staff to work here," he says. "When you encounter this amount of disrespect and verbal abuse, you have to have a different level of thinking. You don't personalize. "We're not just security staff but counselors. When I come to work, I'm coming to the inmates' house, but they must understand I'm their landlord and that we have renter guidelines. I like to keep them on equal footing as long as they treat me with respect." Stable and recovering The Washington, D.C., prison consultants who audited the IMU last year came back this spring to follow up. They found that the corrections department has "clearly reinforced" its zero-tolerance policy for inmate abuse and staff misconduct. The auditors concluded that the IMU operations are now "stable and well into recovery." Morrow, the prison's acting superintendent, says the auditors confirmed what prison administrators always believed: The misconduct occurred among a small circle of officers, and the vast majority of IMU staff members are "dedicated professionals." "We've extracted the cancer and are moving toward healing," he says. J. Todd Foster covers crime issues for The Oregonian's Crime, Justice and Public Safety Team. He can be reached by phone at 221-8070, by mail at 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. 97201, or by e-mail at email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Viagra For Oregon Poor ('The Associated Press' Notes Changes Proposed By The Oregon Health Services Commission To The Oregon Health Plan, The State's Health Insurance Program For 340,000 Poor People, Would Eliminate Payments For Pfizer's New Impotence Drug) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org July. 7, 1998 No Viagra for Oregon poor Tuesday, July 7 1998 >From the Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Health Plan would cover hernia surgery, breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, and mental health care for children with severe conduct disorders under changes proposed by the state Health Services Commission. The bad news? Bye-bye Viagra. For the 340,000 people covered by the state's health insurance program for the poor, medical care is determined by list that prioritizes 743 illnesses and disorders, along with their treatments. But only the first 574 are paid for. Under state law, the commission must review the list every two years, examining new treatment for possible inclusion and taking the pulse of society on health care issues. Dr. Alan Bates of Central Point, chairman of the commission, said changes in the list are driven not only by technology, but also by social pressure. "Social input on breast reconstruction was really impressive," Bates said. He said only 15 percent of women who undergo mastectomies opt for reconstructive surgery, but those who want surgery want it badly. Another change would allow payment for "uncomplicated" hernias -- those that do not cause an obstruction -- for adults. The current list covers only severe hernias that threaten to become gangrenous and hernias in children. Bates said the change will allow people with minor hernias to have surgery before their condition becomes severe. A third change would provide mental health treatment to children with severe conduct disorder. Bates said earlier studies questioned the effectiveness, but experts now believe treatment can be effective. Those three changes would take effect in October 1999, but the plan will stop paying for Viagra, the popular new anti-impotence drug, on Oct. 1. In May, officials said Viagra would be covered by the plan because treatment for impotence caused by organic disorders falls on line 544 of the list -- above the cutoff point. But the commission decided treatment with Viagra should be combined on line 578 with sexual dysfunction of psychological origin. Dr. Kathleen Weaver, medical director for the Office of Oregon Health Plan Policy and Research, said the kind of impotence that can be treated with Viagra had been erroneously grouped with birth defects and other physical conditions that can contribute to impotence. Weaver said the Legislature could reinstate Viagra by moving the cutoff line from 574, where it is now, to 578. The prioritized list, along with the changes, will be examined by actuaries who will calculate the cost of benefits on the list. Then the whole plan will be submitted to the Legislature as part of the state's budget for the 1999-2001 biennium. Legislators then will decide how many of the items on the list they will fund.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds File Motion To Close Cannabis Clubs Immediately - Oakland Adopts Liberal Medical Marijuana Guidelines (A Press Release From California NORML Notes Two Important Developments Regarding Proposition 215) Date: Wed, 8 Jul 1998 00:35:10 -0800 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Feds Attack, Oakland Defends Med MJ Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ (1) Feds File Motion to Close Cannabis Clubs Immediately (2) Oakland Adopts Liberal Med MJ Guidelines (1) Feds File for Immediate Closure of Cannabis Clubs Additional Hearings Scheduled August 14th, 10 a.m. SAN FRANCISCO, July 7, 1998: The federal government filed an ex parte motion with U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer asking that the U.S. Marshal be authorized immediately to close down medical cannabis clubs in Oakland, Marin, and Mendocino County. If granted, the motion would mean immediate forcible closure of the clubs, which currently serve over 2,000 Bay Area medical marijuana patients. The government also filed motions ordering the clubs to show cause why they should not be held in contempt of a preliminary injunction ordering them to cease operations, and asking the judge to grant a summary judgment holding them in contempt. Hearings on the contempt motions will be held on August 14th at 10 a.m. Attorneys for the defendants are hopeful that the hearings will lead to a jury trial of the defendants, who enjoy strong support in their local communities. In the meantime, medical marijuana advocates are praying that Breyer will not let federal authorities close the clubs. An earlier government motion to let marshals close the clubs was rejected by Judge Breyer last May. This time, the government is arguing that the clubs have continued operations in violation of the court's injunction, which forbids distribution of marijuana in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act. As evidence, the government has submitted testimony from DEA agents that the clubs are still open to patients. However, agents conspicuously failed in an effort to buy marijuana at the Oakland club in an episode videotaped by news media on May 21. Defense attorneys contend that the clubs' distribution of medical marijuana to patients is not illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, and that they are therefore not in violation of the federal injunction. California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer denounced the federal motions as a "cruel and immoral assault on patients' rights and a gross usurpation of powers rightly reserved for the states and local communities." *** Oakland City Council Adopts Liberal Medical Marijuana Guidelines Oakland, July 7, 1998: The Oakland City Council without dissent approved what are thought to be the nation's strongest and most liberal police guidelines to protect medical marijuana patients from arrest. The guidelines, based on the federal government's own dosage allotments to the eight medical marijuana patients it supplies, allow patients to possess up to 1.5 pounds of marijuana (a three-month's supply) or up to 6 pounds (a one year's supply) if grown in their own gardens. Patients may grow up to 48 flowering plants indoors, or up to 96 total (allowing for unflowering males); or 30 flowering plants outdoors up to 60 total outdoors. "Oakland is to be congratulated for leading the way out of reefer madness and towards a truly enlightened policy on marijuana," commented California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, an Oaklander. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland Permits 144 Plants And Six Pounds Per Patient (Oakland Attorney Robert Raich Says The Oakland City Council Today Enacted A Policy Permitting Medical Marijuana Patients Protected By The California Compassionate Use Act To Possess Realistic Quantities Of Processed Cannabis And Cannabis Plants, Based On The Amounts Provided To Eight Patients By The US Government's Investigative New Drug Program) Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 20:57:05 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (robert raich) Subject: DPFCA: Oakland Permits 144 Plants and 6 Pounds per Patient Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ OAKLAND PERMITS MEDICAL CANNABIS POSSESSION OF 144 PLANTS AND SIX POUNDS PER PATIENT The City of Oakland has once again distinguished itself as being the leader at the forefront of the movement for a more rational drug policy in the United States. Most recently, Oakland enacted a policy permitting patients to possess realistic quantities of processed cannabis and cannabis plants for use as medicine. Specifically, on July 7, 1998, the Oakland City Council unanimously approved a policy statement allowing patients to possess up to 144 cannabis plants and up to six pounds of cannabis in particle form. For a primary caregiver, those numbers are multiplied by the number of patients for whom he or she has caregiver status. The details: A patient (or a primary caregiver, for each patient) may grow up to 48 flowering plants and 96 non-flowering plants in an indoor garden, for a total of 144 plants. In an outdoor garden, those numbers are 30 flowering plants and 60 non-flowering plants. In addition, a patient (or a primary caregiver, for each patient) may possess up to one and one-half pounds of cannabis in particle form, but that amount increases to six pounds if he/she grew it him/herself. According to the policy, law enforcement personnel will not cite, arrest, or seize the medicine of, a person who possesses cannabis within the above limits if that person satisfactorily establishes patient or caregiver status at the time of the intital contact. Significantly, even if a patient (or caregiver) claims that processed cannabis is for medical use, but cannot immediately establish patient or caregiver status, any cannabis seized will be separately stored at the police station, and will not be turned over to the district attorney for possible criminal prosecution, if the person can produce satisfactory evidence of patient or caregiver status within two business days. If the person produces such evidence, the police will return the medicine to its owner. Similarly, if a patient (or caregiver) claims that cannabis plants are for medical use, but cannot immediately establish patient or caregiver status, the police will not immediately seize the plants. Instead, the police will only take photographs and clippings from the lower leaves of the plants if the owner produces satisfactory evidence of patient or caregiver status within two business days. This policy was developed during months of negotiations in the Oakland Medical Marijuana Working Group, a committee consisting of patients, doctors, attorneys, medical cannabis providers, and representatives from the Police Department, the City Attorney, and the City Manager. The weight limits allowed under the policy are based upon the amount of medical cannabis provided to eight patients by the U.S. government through the federal Investigative New Drug program. --Robert Raich
------------------------------------------------------------------- Boardwatch (An Excerpt From The City Hall Roundup In 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Notes The San Francisco City/County Board Of Supervisors Yesterday Approved A Resolution Sponsored By Supervisors Mark Leno And Sue Bierman Urging The Legislature And Governor Pete Wilson To Approve A Bill Allowing Cities And Counties To Distribute Medical Marijuana) Subj: US CA: SF Boardwatch From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 01:03:37 -0700 Size: 22 lines 574 bytes File: v98.n543.a02 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n543.a02.html Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 Author: Jason B. Johnson BOARDWATCH At its weekly meeting yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors: APPROVED: - A resolution urging the Legislature and Governor Pete Wilson to approve a bill allowing cities and counties to distribute medical marijuana. The measure was sponsored by Supervisors Mark Leno and Sue Bierman. [snip]
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Drug Agent Held; Suspected In Cocaine Case ('The Los Angeles Times' Says Richard Wayne Parker, A California Bureau Of Narcotics Enforcement Officer Who Worked At The Agency's Riverside Office When 415 Kilos Of Cocaine Vanished, Has Been Charged With Trafficking After Four Other Suspects Snitched On Him) Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 17:45:35 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: State Drug Agent Held; Suspected in Cocaine Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: David Rosenzweig STATE DRUG AGENT HELD; SUSPECTED IN COCAINE CASE Court: Official worked in Riverside office where 415 kilos of the drug vanished. He is charged with possession and conspiracy to distribute. What began as a routine drug bust by the FBI last week has led to the arrest of a veteran agent of the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, himself accused of cocaine trafficking. The agent, Richard Wayne Parker, 43, was assigned to the bureau's Riverside office, the same office from which 415 kilos of cocaine mysteriously disappeared a year ago. That case has never been solved. Parker, who has worked for the state narcotics agency for the past eight years, was arraigned Monday in Los Angeles Federal Court on charges of cocaine possession and conspiracy to distribute the drug. The FBI said he is suspected of having sold drugs since 1991. After his arrest Thursday, FBI agents searched Parker's pickup truck and reported finding about $100,000 in cash, transaction receipts for large amounts of money and a business card for a bank in the Cayman Islands. A drug-sniffing dog also picked up the scent of narcotics in the truck. The Bureau of Narcotics is an arm of the state attorney general's office. Authorities there declined to comment. Also arrested on charges of drug possession and conspiracy were four persons through whom Parker allegedly peddled cocaine. They were identified as Monica Lillian Pitto, 39, of Manhattan Beach, his onetime girlfriend; Christine Whitney, 26, of Manhattan Beach; Pamela Susan Gray, 43, of Hermosa Beach, and Gerhard Ewald Hensel, about 40, of Redondo Beach. Pitto and Hensel are cooperating with authorities, according to an FBI affidavit. The case began with a tip from the FBI's Detroit bureau that Hensel was selling cocaine to a dealer in that city. FBI agents here set up a "buy" and arrested Hensel allegedly in the act of selling several kilos of cocaine at a garage in Lomita on June 30. During his interrogation afterward, the affidavit said, Hensel agreed to cooperate, telling the FBI agents that he bought his cocaine from Pitto and a woman known as Chrissy who, in turn, received their supplies from an unidentified "DEA agent." That was the first indication of possible official corruption. Fitted with a hidden recording device and given $38,000 in cash by the FBI, Hensel arranged a meeting with Pitto to purchase another supply of cocaine on July 2 in Manhattan Beach, the affidavit said. After the exchange, the agents tracked Pitto to Pasadena, where she rendezvoused on the roof of a parking garage with a man who turned out to be Parker. Both were arrested a short time later. Pitto told the agents that she used to date Parker, the affidavit said, and that in 1991 he asked her if she could sell a kilogram of cocaine, offering to split the proceeds. Hensel was her first customer, according to the affidavit, and over the next seven years she sold increasing quantities to him, all obtained from Parker. She estimated receiving 140 kilos of cocaine from the state narcotics agent. She also told investigators that she sold cocaine to and bought cocaine from Whitney. Whitney was arrested Friday after she stopped at Gray's house to pick up a gym bag allegedly containing about a kilo of cocaine. The FBI declined comment Monday on whether any of the drugs allegedly distributed by Parker might have come from the Bureau of Narcotics office in Riverside. Employees returning to work there after the Fourth of July holiday a year ago were shocked to discover that 415 kilograms of cocaine had been taken from the evidence locker. At the time, state officials said they were investigating the "horrifying possibility" that the theft was an inside job. The office, located in a business park northwest of downtown Riverside, had several layers of security, including locks, alarms and codes required to gain access. Since the theft, security at the Riverside office has been upgraded.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Say Agent Was Part Of Plot ('Orange County Register' Version) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: CA: Police Say Agent Was Part Of Plot Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 19:14:16 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 7-7-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author:Mai Tran and Tony Saavedra POLICE SAY AGENT WAS PART OF PLOT Law Enforcement: Police say the state narcotics agent from San Jaun Capistrano was part of a plot to distribute cocaine. A state narcotics officer from San Jaun Capistrano was charged Monday in an alleged plot to distribute cocaine after an undercover sting operation netted 26 pounds of cocaine and $285,000, officials said. Richard W. Parker, 43, a Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement agent, was arrested after meeting with a woman on the roof of a Pasadena parking garage, allegedly to collect $47,000 for cocaine buys over the past few weeks. Police searched Parker's truck and seized about $100,000, numerous firearms, money orders and credit card receipts of "large" transactions, and a business card for a bank in the Cayman Islands, an FBI affidavit states. After his arrest on Thursday, Parker denied any knowledge of drugs and told police he met the woman as "a favor for a friend," according to the affidavit. At the time of his arrest, Parker was employed at the same Riverside facility where 900 pounds of cocaine evidence in criminal cases was reported stolen on July 4, 1997, said Mike Van Winkle, Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement spokesman. The Riverside Police Department has been investigating the missing drugs for a year. It was not immediately known if Parker worked there at the same time the drugs disappeared or if any of the drugs he allegedly supplied were confiscated from busts, officials said. Also arrested in the alleged conspiracy were Gerhard Ewald Hensel of Redondo Beach; Monica Lillian Pitto, 39, of Manhattan Beach; Pamela Susan Gray, 43, of Hermosa Beach; and Christine Whitney, 26, of Manhattan Beach. Parker and the others were booked into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. The FBI affidavit states that Parker had been supplying cocaine to Pitto since 1991. Investigators said she told them that she obtained about 140 kilograms of cocaine from Parker within the past seven years and sold them to Hensel. She and Parker allegedly split the profits.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Law Enforcement - Sting Operation Set Up In A Garage Effects State Officer's Capture (Sidebar In 'The Orange County Register' Provides More Details About The Bust Of The California Narcotics Officer Charged With Selling Cocaine He Stole From A Riverside Evidence Room) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: US: CA: Law Enforcement: Sting Operation Set Up In A Garage Effects State Officer's Capture. Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 18:09:01 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk:John W.Black Pubdate:7-7-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author:Mai Tran Law Enforcement:Sting Operation Set Up In A Garage Effects State Officer's Capture. The sting that led to the arrest of Richard W.Parker,an agent with the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement who lives in San Jaun Capistrano,allegedly began with a tip from a source in Detroit. The source told police of purchasing up to 5 kilograms of cocaine from another man, Gerhard Ewald Hensel of Redondo Beach, at least twice a year for the past six years. The source, who has a criminal record, is cooperating with authorities in hopes of receiving leniency in a drug case. An FBI affidavit describes the alleged conspiracy this way: On June 30, the FBI source was wired to meet Hensel at a garage in Lomita to "buy" 6 kilograms of cocaine in an undercover surveillance operation. Hensel was arrested after the source signaled that he was shown the drug. Two brick-like packages were found in plain view and five more bags were hidden in ceiling lights, according to the FBI. Hensel allegedly told investigators that Monica Lilliam Pitto, 39, of Manhattan Beach and her friend Christine Whitney, 26, of Manhattan Beach supplied the drugs. He said both women had told him that a "DEA agent" had provided them the drugs. Hensel, still working with officials, made a monitored call to Pitto, offering to pay her $38,000 for the drugs he "sold" to the FBI source and to buy 2 more kilograms of cocaine. She allegedly said she would work on getting the drugs for him, and also told him he could get them from Whitney. On July 2, FBI agents gave Hensel $38,000 to pay Pitto in Manhattan Beach. About 11 a.m. on that day, Pitto went to a parking structure in Pasadena where an FBI air unit allegedly observed her parking on the roof and walking toward the elevators. At about 12:20 p.m., a dark green truck FBI officers say was driven by Parker pulled up near the elevators. Officers say they watched as Parker and Pitto met near his truck. Pitto handed Parker an item. He opened what appeared to be a tool box drive away, they said. Pitto left on foot and was arrested shortly after. Surveillance units followed Parker as he left the parking structure and arrested him a short distance away. A narcotics-sniffing dig alerted authorities to several spots in Parker's car, an FBI agent said in the affidavit, including an envelope in the trunk holding about $50,000.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Unwinnable War (A Staff Editorial In 'The Orange County Register' Says The Case Of Richard W. Parker, The California Bureau Of Narcotic Enforcement Officer Busted In Pasadena For Cocaine Trafficking, Demonstrates The Need To Look At Alternatives To The Costly War On Some Drug Users) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 10:16:07 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Unwinnable War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 THE UNWINNABLE WAR It's tragic when an officer sworn to uphold the law turns to breaking it. That might have happened in the case of Richard W. Parker, an agent of the state Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement. He allegedly tried to distribute 26 pounds of cocaine worth $285,000. The San Juan Capistrano resident was arrested in Pasadena as he collected $47,000 of what was believed to be a payment. Another $100,000 was found in his vehicle. It must be emphasized that Mr. Parker is innocent until proven guilty. As the Register Reported, "After his arrest on Thursday, Parker denied any knowledge of drugs... ." Also, most police officers are not involved in such illegal activities. But incidents such as this one raise a broader issue: the need to look at alternatives to the costly "war" on drugs. Because what is essentially a medical problem - abuse of drugs - has been treated as a criminal problem, the "war" on drugs has caused collateral damage throughout American society. One example is the occasional corruption of police officers at all levels of government. "Of course it's a small number officers involved," Joseph McNamara told us; he's a former chief of police in San Jose and now is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he's writing a book on police and drug corruption. "But the sheer amount of money indicates there will always be some cops who can't turn down the temptation. It's more money than they'll ever accumulate working 30 years for their pension. The profit markup can be 17,000 percent." The problem is a political one, he said. "The politicians have declared this war. The cops have been pushed into a war they can't win. What happens to some officers is they see that it's hopeless, so they rationalize their own behavior, saying, 'Why should "the enemy" get to keep all the money?'" Another problem, Chief McNamara said, is the waste of public resources. "Because of the drug hysteria, for most police agencies in the United States it's their No. 1 priority. Money that could protect women and children from violence went to arrest more than 640,000 marijuana smokers last year." He estimates that for law enforcement at the federal, state and local levels the cost of the "war" is approximately $40 billion a year. Another fallout from the "war" on drugs is more widespread than the corruption of some officers. "Once you're in the mentality that it's a holy war, then you'll get wholesale violations of rights," he said. "It has corrupted the police ranks not only in the case you're talking about, but it affects the oath police take to protect constitutional rights. The drug laws are basically unenforceable because they involve voluntary transactions. So police get involved in using informants and conducting searches that aren't justified. The war mentality creates this sense of crisis, because there are no halfway measures in a war. You have to win. But you can't win this war." Chief McNamara favors declaring victory in the "war" on drugs and shifting the money from enforcing unenforceable drug laws to the medical treatment of drug users. That's a sensible prescription for restoring a sense of balance to law enforcement in America and an essential step toward reducing the temptation to corruption.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Restaurant Owner Sues Drug Task Force Over 1996 Raid ('The Associated Press' Says The Owner Of The Top Hat Restaurant And Lounge In Pasco, Washington, Has Sued The Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force And Others, Claiming They Violated Customers' Civil Rights And Tried To Force His Business To Close Because It Operates In The Vicinity Where Drug Usage And Prostitution Have Occurred) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-Hemp Talk" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: HT: SPOKANE Restaurant owner sues drug task force Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 19:37:03 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Restaurant owner sues drug task force over 1996 raid The Associated Press 07/07/98 3:06 PM Eastern SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- The owner of a Pasco restaurant and bar has sued the Tri-City Metro Drug Task Force and others, claiming they violated customers' civil rights and tried to force his business to close. In the lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court here, owner Dave Williams claimed the task force targeted the Top Hat Restaurant and Lounge in February 1996 because it operates "in the vicinity" where drug usage and prostitution have occurred. Joining Williams as plaintiffs are bartender Michelle Bower of Pasco and customer William Garrett of Spokane. The lawsuit alleged Bower was handcuffed, though she was not the employee police were looking for, while Garrett was harassed and not allowed to leave when he wanted. Three customers were arrested during the Feb. 9, 1996, raid for allegedly selling drugs inside the restaurant. Top Hat bartender Bonnie Robles was arrested soon after and later convicted of selling cocaine. The outcome of the charges against the three customers was not clear. Williams' lawyer, Matt Sanger of Spokane, said authorities did not have a good reason for the raid. "We have an isolated incident of one bartender. If that bartender was selling drugs, she should have been arrested and charged," Sanger said. "There's no reason to bring in a police dog, to bring in the (Immigration and Naturalization Service) -- especially when they knew prior to the raid that the bartender was not even working. Why did they handcuff (a different bartender)? Why did they hold everybody for an hour?" Pasco Police Chief Denis Austin, who is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, said the allegations were ludicrous. "I haven't seen the specific points (Williams) is trying to make, but I feel confident the officers were simply trying to do their job," Austin said. He said police handcuffed Bower because they thought she might be Robles. The lawsuit does not say how much money is sought. But Sanger said Williams is seeking about $450,000 for lost business since the raid. Sanger did not say how much the other plaintiffs were seeking.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 85,000 Signatures In Colorado (Dave Fratello Of Americans For Medical Rights Says The Medical Marijuana Initiative Campaign Sponsored By AMR's Colorado Organization Turned In 30,000 More Signatures Today Than The 55,000 Valid Signatures Required) Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 20:39:49 GMT From: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: 85,000 sigs in Colorado Good news from Denver! This afternoon Coloradans for Medical Rights turned in nearly 85,000 signatures on the Colorado medical marijuana initiative. A total of 55,000 valid signatures were required... Congrats to all who have worked on this! -- dave fratello
------------------------------------------------------------------- Subway Advertisement For Needle-Exchange Program Provokes Debate ('The New York Times' Says Positive Health Project, An HIV-Prevention And Needle-Exchange Center On Manhattan's West Side, Will Sponsor 1,140 Advertisements To Appear In Subway Cars Through This Month To Publicize Needle-Exchange Services In The City) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 01:03:53 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NYT: Subway Advertisement for Needle-Exchange Program Provokes Debate Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Kendra E. Wright) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 Author: Christopher S. Wren SUBWAY ADVERTISEMENT FOR NEEDLE-EXCHANGE PROGRAM PROVOKES DEBATE NEW YORK -- The elegant hands, not quite touching, are recognizable to any art lover familiar with Michelangelo's fresco adorning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which shows God reaching forth to infuse Adam with life. But in a new subway advertisement, the divine hand extends five hypodermic syringes for injecting heroin or cocaine. Through this month, 1,140 of the advertisements will appear in New York City's subway cars to promote needle-exchange services available in the city. The advertisement includes a telephone number, (800) 361-9477, for drug users to learn where to swap their used needles for new ones and be tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. "Sharing needles is the number one cause of HIV in New York City," the ad says. "If you shoot drugs -- please do not share needles." The advertisement's sponsor, Positive Health Project, an HIV-prevention and needle-exchange center on Manhattan's West Side, said the ad campaign was the first on public transit in the nation to promote needle-exchange programs as an effective way to curb the spread of AIDS. It's a message that has already drawn objections. "It's not even a disguised attempt to legalize drugs," Dr. James L. Curtis, director of psychiatry at Harlem Hospital Center and a critic of needle exchanges, said of the advertisement. "It's a frank and forthright attempt to bless the concept." Jason Farrell, the executive director of Positive Health Project, said education on needle exchanges was necessary in light of statistics showing that New York City has an estimated 250,000 intravenous drug users, as many as half of whom have contracted HIV by injecting drugs with tainted needles or having sex with others who do. This exceeds the national average cited by Dr. David Satcher, the surgeon general, who attributed 40 percent of new AIDS infections in the country to contaminated needles. "It's time," Farrell said, "that the general public understands that the needle-exchange programs are the most effective public health initiatives in the city today in preventing infectious diseases." Up to 5,000 new HIV infections are diagnosed in New York City every year, he said, and three-fourths of injecting drug users do not take advantage of needle-exchange programs. Farrell said the advertisement was chosen by a "focus group" of drug users who were asked which of two posters was more likely to entice them into a needle-exchange program. The New York City Transit Authority is charging nearly $14,000, its minimum rate for nonprofit groups, to carry the advertisements in about 20 percent of its subway cars for a month, Farrell said. The money was provided primarily by the Drug Policy Foundation, an advocacy group for more liberal drug policies that is itself partly financed by George Soros, the philanthropist. Last year, he donated $1 million for needle exchanges. Needle exchange continues to be a contentious issue. In April, President Clinton refused to provide federal money for needle exchanges, despite a finding by Secretary for Health and Human Services Donna Shalala that they reduced the incidence of HIV without increasing drug use. Needle exchanges have existed in New York City since 1992, when the state waived the law prohibiting possession of syringes without a prescription. New York state helps subsidize nine programs operating in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn. "We need to find ways of expanding and supporting syringe-exchange programs much more than we have," said Denise Paone, research director of the Chemical Dependency Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center, and a supporter of the new advertisements. Taking the opposite view was Dr. Mitchell Rosenthal, the president of Phoenix House, a substance-abuse treatment and prevention network based in New York. Last month, Phoenix House ran subway advertisements carrying the message: "Don't throw your life away. Thousands of people like you have recovered from substance abuse." It gave a phone number, (800) HELP-111, for addicts to find treatment programs. Rosenthal said of the new needle-exchange advertisements: "We are offering health, fulfillment and freedom from drugs. They're pushing the continuation of addiction and despair." Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- On The Ballot In DC (A List Subscriber Says A Last Minute Push Delivered The Signatures Needed To Qualify Medical Marijuana Initiative 59 For The Ballot In Washington, DC)From: Rgbakan@aol.com Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 08:20:04 EDT To: email@example.com Subject: HT: On the ballot in DC Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Several communications confirm that a last minute push delivered the signatures needed to qualify for the ballot in DC as well. Official press stuff is coming. In DC the effort ended up activist/grass roots. Polling there shows victory to almost be a certainty..... Although as we all know a smart opponent and some money can fuck the polling. This is getting exciting. We are at the center of epic change. Nice feeling isn't it. VICTORY, I can smell it...ah, the sweet scent. George
------------------------------------------------------------------- Some Of The Chemicals In Marijuana May Protect The Brain (Brief Item In 'The Orange County Register' Notes Research By The National Institute Of Mental Health Reported In 'The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences')From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: CA: Some Of The Chemicals In Marijuana May Protect The Brain Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 19:10:40 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 7-7-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ SOME OF THE CHEMICALS IN MARIJUANA MAY PROTECT THE BRAIN FROM THE DAMAGE CAUSED BY INJURIES AND STROKE,RESEARCHERS REPORTED MONDAY. The chemicals, known as cannabinoids, work independently of marijuana's better-known effects, which include a dreamy state, distortion of the senses and a euphoric feeling known as a "high," Aidan Hampson and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health found. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hampton's team said cannabinoids could block the effects of other chemicals that kill cells when oxygen is cut off-which is what happens a stroke caused by blood clot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana 'Protects Brain' ('The Irish Independent' Version Of Recent Research By The National Institute Of Mental Health Incorrectly Describes NIMH As British Rather Than American) Date: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 23:37:18 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Marijuana 'Protects Brain' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Irish Independent Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.ie/ Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 MARIJUANA 'PROTECTS BRAIN' SOME of the chemicals in marijuana may protect the brain from the damage caused by injuries and stroke, researchers reported yesterday. The chemicals, known as cannabinoids, work independently of marijuana's better-known effects, which include a dreamy state, distortion of the senses and a euphoric feeling. Researchers at Britain's National Institute of Mental Health say cannabinoids could block the effects of other chemicals that kill cells when oxygen is cut off, which is what happens in a stroke caused by a blood clot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Protects Brain Cells During Strokes - Scientists (Version In Ireland's 'Examiner') Subj: US: Marijuana Protects Brain Cells During Strokes: Scientists From: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 01:03:45 -0700 Size: 51 lines 2100 bytes File: v98.n543.a04 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n543.a04.html Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998 MARIJUANA PROTECTS BRAIN CELLS DURING STROKES: SCIENTISTS US scientists have begun testing rats with a chemical from marijuana that they say appears to protect brain cells during a stroke. It's far too early to tell if the chemical, cannabidiol, will help people, and it's unlikely that anyone could get a protective dose by smoking marijuana, said the scientists. But they called the research very promising, particularly because cannabidiol is not psychoactive - it doesn't cause the "high", or mild euphoric effects that people get from smoking marijuana. "This is a better candidate" against stroke than other marijuana chemicals, said Aiden Hampson of the National Institute of Mental Health. His study, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that in a test tube, cannabidiol proved to be a potent antioxidant that protected animal brain cells exposed to the toxic neurochemical that is produced during a stroke. Scientists are studying marijuana and its various chemicals to see if they have medicinal uses. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, already has been studied for various illnesses, including strokes. An oral drug, Marinol, that contains THC is sold to fight cancer-related nausea and AIDS-related wasting. Until now, cannabidiol had been considered an inactive ingredient, Hampson said. It was studied as a possible drug for Huntington's disease a decade ago but the tests failed to work. However, scientists who gave high doses to people at that time uncovered no serious side effects, he said. And in Hampson's laboratory studies, he discovered cannabidiol has no effect on the brain receptors responsible for marijuana's psychological effects - meaning scientists could investigate high doses without worrying about drugging-up patients. Hampson now is giving intravenous cannabidiol to rats and said he has promising but preliminary results.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Native Americans Lead Ethnic Groups In Drug Abuse Cases, Study Shows ('Reuters' Says The First-Ever Breakdown Of 'Drug And Alcohol Use' By Specific Ethnic Groups In The United States, Carried Out By The Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, Shows Overall, 11.9 Percent Of All Americans Over The Age Of 12 Abused 'Drugs Or Alcohol' In 1991 Through 1993, But 19.8 Percent Of American Indians - Overall, 30 Percent Smoke Tobacco - 'Regardless Of Racial/Ethnic Subgroups, Relatively High Prevalences Of Illicit Drug Use Are Found In Individuals Who Live In The West, Reside In Metropolitan Areas With Populations Greater Than One Million, Lack Health Insurance Coverage, Are Unemployed, Or Have Nine To 11 Years Of Schooling') Date: Wed, 08 Jul 1998 16:40:44 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Native Americans Lead Ethnic Groups In Drug Abuse Cases, Study Shows 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, 07 Jul 1998 Source: Reuters Website: http://www.nandotimes.com NATIVE AMERICANS LEAD ETHNIC GROUPS IN DRUG ABUSE CASES, STUDY SHOWS Copyright 1998 Nando.net Copyright 1998 Reuters News Service WASHINGTON - Native Americans have the highest rate of drug abuse of any ethnic group in the United States, the government reported on Tuesday. The first-ever breakdown of drug and alcohol use by specific ethnic group has uncovered some interesting findings, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) said. It found that overall, 11.9 percent of all Americans over the age of 12 abused drugs or alcohol in 1991 through 1993. Native Americans were much more likely than average to abuse drugs or alcohol or to smoke cigarettes, with 19.8 percent of those surveyed saying they had done so in the past year. Puerto Ricans reported a 13.3 percent prevalence and African-Americans 13.1 percent. Asian-Pacific islanders had a low rate of abuse at 6.5 percent, as did Caribbean-Americans at 7.6 percent and Cuban-Americans at 8.2 percent. A specific breakdown of groups, based on national surveys done in 1991, 1992 and 1993, showed that groups like "Hispanics" could not be lumped together. "The seven Hispanic-American subgroups vary significantly in their prevalences of substance use, alcohol dependence and the need for illicit drug abuse treatment," SAMHSA said in a statement. "Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans exhibit higher prevalences of illicit drug use (including marijuana, cocaine and other illicit drugs), heavy alcohol use, alcohol dependence and the need for illicit drug abuse treatment," it added. "Caribbean-Americans, Central Americans and Cuban-Americans, however, have lower prevalences." But ethnic group did not necessarily predict who would abuse drugs, the agency said. "Regardless of racial/ethnic subgroups, relatively high prevalences of illicit drug use are found in individuals who live in the West, reside in metropolitan areas with populations greater than one million, lack health insurance coverage, are unemployed, or have nine to 11 years of schooling," it said. Native Americans had the highest overall reported use of illicit drugs, and also of marijuana, need for drug abuse treatment and cigarette smoking. Overall, 30 percent of Americans smoke, the study found. Among Native Americans that number jumps to 52.7 percent, while 32.7 percent of Puerto Ricans, 31.5 percent of Caucasians, 31.3 percent of South Americans and 29.9 percent of black Americans smoke.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Corruption Clouds Anti-Drug Efforts (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Los Angeles Times' Says Corruption Of Local Officials Throughout The Caribbean Has Been One The Chief Obstacles Facing The Clinton Administration In Its Efforts To Counter The Growing Problem Of Illegal Drug Trafficking) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 01:04:04 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Corruption Clouds Anti-Drug Efforts Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 Author: George Gedda, Associated Press Writer CORRUPTION CLOUDS ANTI-DRUG EFFORTS WASHINGTON--A U.S. drug enforcement official recalls the despair he felt not long ago when he walked into a meeting with counternarcotics officials from a Caribbean country and found two of them sporting top-of-the-line Rolex watches. To the U.S. official, the Rolexes meant these agents were on the take from the very people they were supposed to be pursuing. Corruption of local officials has been one the chief obstacles the Clinton administration has faced in its efforts to counter the growing problem of drug trafficking in the Caribbean. An estimated 30 percent to 40 percent of U.S.-bound narcotics that originates in South America traverses the Caribbean. With their numerous unpoliced islets, it's hard to imagine a more opportune conduit for drug smuggling than the Caribbean islands, many of which are too small and resource-poor to fend off multibillion-dollar cocaine cartels. Some of these criminal enterprises can use the islands' array of financial institutions to disguise their proceeds. U.S. officials are worried that Panama, located just north of Colombia, will become a prime transit point for cocaine traffickers once, as expected, Panama-based U.S.-antidrug flights are grounded when the Panama Canal reverts to local control at the end of 1999. Some Caribbean officials contend that ungenerous U.S. economic policies toward the region make it ripe for illicit activities to flourish. Because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, Mexico has easier access to U.S. markets than Caribbean countries do, and as a result, thousands of jobs have migrated to Mexico from Jamaica and other countries. U.S. actions in the World Trade Organization also mean vulnerable eastern Caribbean banana growing countries will lose their preferential access to European markets. Jamaican Ambassador Richard Bernal believes narcotrafficers could actually seize control of an entire island in the area, citing the 1979 takeover of Grenada by 40 determined leftists. U.S. officials say narcotraffickers need only take control of an island's infrastructure to meet their needs, not the whole island. But these officials believe recent advances in U.S.-Caribbean cooperation on the counternarcotics front offer cause for optimism. The centerpiece of the U.S. strategy are maritime drug interdiction agreements that the State Department has negotiated with 19 Caribbean countries and dependent territories The agreements provide the authority for U.S. vessels to engage in patrols, boardings, searches, seizures and arrests in foreign waters. Hot pursuit of suspect vessels and aircraft also is authorized. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said last April after meeting with 15 Caribbean foreign ministers that cooperation also is being sought to curb money laundering. "Our goal is to construct a web of legal arrangements and law enforcement actions that will discourage international criminals from acting, and leaving no place to hide if they do," she said. In all, U.S. officials believe they intercepted about one-third of the estimated 430 tons of cocaine shipped from South America to the United States last year. Some Caribbean countries were reluctant to enter into the maritime agreements, seeing them as an erosion of their sovereignty. But U.S. officials say these concerns seem to diminish if the United States is perceived as playing fair, is willing to offer reciprocity and provides genuine assistance. The foreign minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Ramesh Maraj, said the alternative to the agreement with the United States was to let drug barons take over his country's sovereignty. But a number of Caribbean countries found the U.S. approach heavy-handed, said Gillian Gunn Clissold of Georgetown University. She noted that the Caribbean countries would have preferred to negotiate the maritime agreements on a regionwide basis but bowed to U.S. insistence on a bilateral approach. This made it easier for the powerful U.S. to dictate terms to individual small states. Clissold said these agreements were presented to the Caribbean nations on a take-it-or-leave basis. "No effort was made to tailor each agreement to the specific concerns of each state," she said. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACLU Action Update (The American Civil Liberties Union Asks You To Send A Free Fax From Its Web Site Opposing HR 3717, A Bill Which Would Ban Any Federal Funding Of Needle Exchange Programs) Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 18:26:52 -0700 (PDT) From: turmoil (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: ACLU Action Update 07-07-98 Needle Exchange, Amendment Update (fwd) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 17:37:49 -0400 (EDT) From: ACLU Action Owner (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: ACLU Action Update 07-07-98 - Needle Exchange, Amendment Update *** 07-07-98 ACLU Action Update *** TO: Action Network FR: Penny Crawley, Cyber Organizer (Pcrawley@aclu.org) DT: July 7, 1998 1. Needle Exchange Ban 2. Constitutional Amendments Update 1. The Senate is expected to soon take up HR 3717, a bill which would ban any federal funding of needle exchange programs. A floor vote on the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Gerald Solomon (R-NY), may occur later this week. This bill puts politics ahead of public health. It ignores the findings of at least seven federally funded studies that determined that needle exchange programs can help stop the spread of the HIV/AIDS virus WITHOUT promoting drug use. Existing programs, such as one in Connecticut, have had unqualified success is decreasing the rate of needle sharing among drug users. ACTION NEEDED: Urge your U.S. Senators to oppose the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs by sending a FREE FAX from the ACLU web site. http://www.aclu.org/congress/congress.html 2. The Senate Judiciary Committee rounded out its attack on the Constitution by approving the so-called victims' rights amendment today by a vote of 10-6. Senator Thompson of Tennessee was the only Republican who voted against the measure, while Democratic Senators Feinstein of California and Torricelli of New Jersey voted in favor of this wrong answer to victims rights. Senators Specter (R-PA) and Biden (D-DE) did not vote. And although the committee has already approved the flag desecration amendment, it has scheduled YET ANOTHER hearing on the measure for Wednesday, July 8. ACTION NEEDED: If you have not done so already, urge your U.S. Senators to keep the Bill of Rights intact by sending two FREE FAXES from the ACLU website. If you have already sent your letters, please share this alert with other cyber activists and encourage them to send their faxes today. The letter opposing the victims' rights amendment is located at: http://www.aclu.org/action/victim.html The letter opposing the flag amendment is located at: http://www.aclu.org/action/flag.html Many, many thanks to the activists who have already sent faxes on these critical issues! *** ONLINE RESOURCES FROM THE ACLU NATIONAL OFFICE *** ACLU Freedom Network Web Page: http://www.aclu.org. Constitution Hall on America Online (keyword ACLU) *** ACLU Action Update ACLU National Washington Office 122 Maryland Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 To subscribe to the ACLU Action List, send a message to email@example.com with "subscribe action" in the body of the message. To end your subscription, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "unsubscribe action" in the body of the message. For general information about the ACLU, write to email@example.com *** For the latest info on how to take action for civil liberties, sign up for the ACLU's Action E-mail Network at http://www.aclu.org/action/mailist.html *** Phil Gutis Director of Legislative Communications ACLU DC 122 Maryland Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 Are you a card-carrying member of the ACLU? Join us on the ACLU's Freedom Network at http://www.aclu.org!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Soaring Drug Use Changes Attitudes ('The Age' In Australia Says Police Superintendent Neil Comrie's Force Is Backing Yesterday's Announcement By The Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, That First Offenders With Small Amounts Of Cannabis Will Not Face Charges In Victoria - The Force Is Also Backing A New Pilot Program In Melbourne's Northern Suburbs That Will Result In People Caught With Harder Drugs, Such As Heroin, Receiving A Caution) Date: Fri, 10 Jul 1998 01:04:19 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Soaring Drug Use Changes Attitudes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Age, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Pubdate: Tue 7 July, 1998 SOARING DRUG USE CHANGES ATTITUDES Back in 1989, Superintendent Neil Comrie described Victoria as the amphetamine capital of Australia after a phone-in on drugs reported 1386 alleged offences. If only Victoria's next chief commissioner of police knew then what was to come. Mr Comrie made the claim on the basis that there had been just two arrests for trafficking of amphetamines and less than 40 for possession or use of the drug. Most of the offences phoned-in related to marijuana. But in intervening years, Victoria has experienced an explosion of drug use with one of the most addictive drugs, heroin, widely available on Melbourne's streets. Like most of the police who have witnessed the escalation of drug use and its dramatic effect on families and the crime rate, Mr Comrie has changed his thinking about how best to deal with it. In an interview with The Age earlier this year, Mr Comrie said that during two decades working as a police officer he had been locked into a hardline approach to drug users. But he admitted the approach had not worked and ``I have in recent years changed my mind quite considerably'' with the force throwing its resources behind catching illicit drug importers, manufacturers and distributors rather than users. Mr Comrie's force is backing yesterday's announcement by the Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, that first offenders with small amounts of cannabis will not face charges in Victoria. The force is also backing a new pilot program in Melbourne's northern suburbs that will result in people caught with harder drugs, such as heroin, receiving a caution. Few Victorians have not suffered directly from the drug epidemic, which the Victoria Police blames for 70 per cent of all crime in Victoria and for costing Australia $1.6 billion a year. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of the heroin outbreak gripping the state is the extreme youth of its victims, who are sometimes as young as 11. Despite the enormity of the problem, drug-law reform has been slow coming to Victoria. In June 1996 the Kennett Government rejected a proposal by Professor David Penington, head of the Premier's Drug Advisory Council, for decriminalisation of minor cannabis use. Following a long inquiry, the proposal was contained in a report, which argued strongly that the move would eliminate the waste of police and court resources and help reach young people at risk of harm from using more serious drugs such as heroin. Two years later the Government has signalled it is willing to trial Professor Penington's approach for first-offence heroin users not to be taken to court but instead receive an official warning and counselling. Possession of illicit drugs will remain a criminal offence with the introduction last year of harsher penalties for drug traffickers and manufacturers. Back in 1996 Professor Penington gave a blunt assessment. ``Deaths from drug overdose in Victoria have risen during the past three years to the point that they are approaching in number deaths due to road accidents,'' he said. ``Most are heroin related. There is compelling evidence that young people are being recruited in increasing numbers into the criminal world of illicit drugs. This is particularly true of heroin, the production of which is increasing internationally with falling prices ...'' Profesor Penington warned the law could not reduce the demand, which had been tried and had failed. ``Reducing demand must come from more effective education,'' he said. ``It must also come from treatment and rehabilitation programs for drug users rather than sending people to prison. There they are exposed, over a protracted period, to the culture of crime among fellow prisoners. This is likely to confirm them in a career of crime rather than to encourage a fresh start in life with rejection of the drug culture.'' -------------------------------------------------------------------
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