Portland NORML News - Tuesday, July 7, 1998

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:
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

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

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:
feedback (letters to the editor):

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: dpfca@drugsense.org, aro@drugsense.org, works@igc.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: Feds Attack, Oakland Defends Med MJ
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.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

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


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 // canorml@igc.apc.org
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: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: raich@jps.net (robert raich)
Subject: DPFCA: Oakland Permits 144 Plants and 6 Pounds per Patient
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/


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

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: compassion23@geocities.com (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: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998
Author: Jason B. Johnson


At its weekly meeting yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors:


- 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.


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: State Drug Agent Held; Suspected in Cocaine Case
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@hotmail.com)
Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Author: David Rosenzweig


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

Pitto and Hensel are cooperating with authorities, according to an FBI

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Pubdate: 7-7-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author:Mai Tran and Tony Saavedra


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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author:Mai Tran

Law Enforcement:Sting Operation Set Up In A Garage Effects State Officer's

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

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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Unwinnable War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998


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" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: SPOKANE Restaurant owner sues drug task force
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 19:37:03 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

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

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 (amr@lainet.com)
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Subway Advertisement
for Needle-Exchange Program Provokes Debate
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: kewright@erols.com (Kendra E. Wright)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998
Author: Christopher S. Wren


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)
Link to earlier story
From: Rgbakan@aol.com Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 08:20:04 EDT To: hemp-talk@hemp.net Subject: HT: On the ballot in DC Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net 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')
Link to earlier story
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 7-7-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: letters@link.freedom.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Marijuana 'Protects Brain'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: Irish Independent
Contact: independent.letters@independent.ie
Website: http://www.independent.ie/
Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998


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

Marijuana Protects Brain Cells During Strokes - Scientists
(Version In Ireland's 'Examiner')

Subj: US: Marijuana Protects Brain Cells During Strokes: Scientists
From: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
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: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998


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

Until now, cannabidiol had been considered an inactive ingredient, Hampson

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Native Americans Lead
Ethnic Groups In Drug Abuse Cases, Study Shows
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Tue, 07 Jul 1998
Source: Reuters
Website: http://www.nandotimes.com


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Corruption Clouds Anti-Drug Efforts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Tue, 7 Jul 1998
Author: George Gedda, Associated Press Writer


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

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 (turmoil@hemp.net)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: ACLU Action Update 07-07-98
Needle Exchange, Amendment Update (fwd)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 17:37:49 -0400 (EDT)
From: ACLU Action Owner (owner-aclu-action@aclu.org)
To: action@aclu.org
Subject: ACLU Action Update 07-07-98 - Needle
Exchange, Amendment Update


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.


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.


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.


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:


The letter opposing the flag amendment is located at:


Many, many thanks to the activists who have already sent faxes on these
critical issues!




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 majordomo@aclu.org
with "subscribe action" in the body of the message. To end your subscription,
send a message to majordomo@aclu.org with "unsubscribe action" in the body
of the message.

For general information about the ACLU, write to info@aclu.org


For the latest info on how to take action for civil liberties,
sign up for the ACLU's Action E-mail Network at


Phil Gutis
Director of Legislative Communications
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Australia: Soaring Drug Use Changes Attitudes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Source: Age, The (Australia)
Contact: letters@theage.fairfax.com.au
Website: http://www.theage.com.au/
Pubdate: Tue 7 July, 1998


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

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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