Portland NORML News - Sunday, July 12, 1998

Heroin's Grasp On Portland ('The Oregonian' Portrays The Two Young Addicts
Who Hung Themselves Recently From The Downtown Portland Steel Bridge,
Providing The Usual Sensational Misinformation With The Help Of State Medical
Examiner Larry Lewman, Who Said, 'Heroin Is The Fatal Drug Of Choice
In Portland And Throughout Oregon - It Is Responsible For More Oregon Deaths
Than Any Other Drug,' Without Noting That 100 Times As Many Oregonians Die
From Tobacco Or Alcohol Drugs Of Choice, Or Prescription Drugs, While Nobody
Dies From Heroin Overdoses In Clinical Maintenance Programs In Switzerland
Or England)

Heroin's grasp on Portland

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

Heroin's grasp on Portland

* The double suicide of a couple who hanged themselves from the Steel Bridge
is a glimpse of a dire problem

Sunday, July 12 1998

By Michelle Roberts
of The Oregonian staff

Hanging themselves from Portland's Steel Bridge during rush-hour traffic was
not the way Michael Douglas and Mora McGowan first thought they would end
their heroin addictions.

Shortly before the July 1 double suicide, McGowan, 25, tried to cut her
wrists. And Douglas, her 29-year-old fiance, made plans to swap his last
possession of any value -- a bicycle -- for enough heroin to overdose.
Link to 'The Heroin Overdose Mystery and Other Hazards Of Addiction'
(picture caption: Friends of the young couple who
committed suicide nearly two weeks ago leave
handwritten messages along the Steel Bridge
railing as a memorial.)

But when those plans failed, and the desperate
couple hanged themselves from the Steel Bridge
in full view of downtown commuters, the message
to all of Portland was clear: Look at us.

It appears that the double suicide wasn't so much to
make a public spectacle as to force Portland to look
at the rampant problem of heroin and its destructive

In a 13-page journal found on his body, Douglas described the couple's
downward spiral since he and McGowan became addicted to heroin. The powerful
pull of the drug was almost a demonic possession. The cravings for more were
overwhelming; thoughts of rehabilitation and help were shoved aside.

As much as the public suicide horrified people, it didn't surprise those who
have used heroin or who havetried to help drag people from its grasp.

"Because heroin is so expensive compared to other drugs, heroin addicts tend
to use up everybody and everything in their lives very quickly -- money,
jobs, family, friends, possessions, everything," said Donna Mulcare , a
volunteer coordinator for the Oregon Partnership's drug hot line.

Heroin is the fatal drug of choice in Portland and throughout Oregon. It is
responsible for more Oregon deaths than any other drug, said Dr. Larry
Lewman, state medical examiner.

For the past six years, heroin deaths have been occurring at a record pace,
pushing the state's overall drug-related deaths to new heights.

In 1997, there were 221 drug-related deaths in Oregon. Of those, 161, or 73
percent, involved heroin. In Multnomah County last year, 97 of 121
drug-related deaths, or 80 percent, involved heroin. Drug-related suicides
are included in those numbers.

The medical examiner's office could rule the McGowan and Douglas suicides as
heroin-related once toxicology results are completed.

In the 1980s, after Mexican black-tar heroin was introduced to the Portland
area, the drug claimed fewer than one victim a week. But in recent years,
the toll has increased steadily; heroin deaths last year reached about three
a week.

So far this year, the phenomenon has leveled off with 59 deaths involving
heroin. But authorities are quick to say that use of the drug, especially in
Portland, isn't waning at all.

In a recent study by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Oregon
ranked behind only Manhattan with 39 percent of people arrested testing
positive for heroin and related opiates.

A Justice Department study released by the White House on Saturday showed 40
percent of people arrested testing positive for opiates, a particular
problem among young women. Use of cocaine and methamphetamines also was up.

None of that surprises Richard L. Harris, executive director of Central City
Concern, which oversees the Hooper Center for Alcohol and Drug Intervention,
the largest inpatient detoxification clinic in Portland.

"I would be confident in saying Portland probably has the highest per-capita
number of heroin addicts than any other major city," he said.

"It's everywhere"

On West Burnside Street between the bridge and the North Park Blocks,
dealers dole out tar heroin to people who defy categories.

They're all here. The derelicts. The leathered. The punked-out
skateboarders. The pierced and tattooed crowd. High school preps. Graying
hippies. Stressed-out college students and strung-out housewives. Corporate
types who pull up in luxury sedans.

Portland narcotics officers and health professionals see them all. When it
comes to heroin, there is no one type of user.

"Working class, middle class. Welders, truck drivers, musicians;
unfortunately even a pilot," said Dr. Marshall Bedder, medical director of
Advanced Pain Management Group, which conducts a six-hour detox program for
heroin addicts. "CEOs, graduate students, wives of working people and kids
who are supported by their parents. That's the bulk of what we're seeing."

The range of users even surprises the addicts.

"I've seen people I never would have dreamed would be down on Burnside,"
said a 22-year-old heroin addict who is going through detox at the Hooper
Center, which allows interviews of patients on the condition their names are
not used. "I've seen rich, upper-class kids dressed in GQ, copping a fix
alongside the bums."

Chasing shadows

For police, trying to disrupt the supply of heroin in Portland is like
chasing shadows. Whenever police target Burnside Street, heroin activity
turns up elsewhere.

"Burnside used to be thick with dealers," said Eric Schober, a narcotics
officer. "Now we're seeing a rise in the Hawthorne District.

"It's like pushing on a balloon. You push one end, and the air pops up at
the other end."

For those who can afford some anonymity, dealers pass out their pager
numbers so addicts can reach them 24 hours a day.

"It's not like it was in the 1970s, when Skidmore (Street) was the place to
go buy heroin," Schober said. "Now it's everywhere."

Addiction counselors fear more people are using heroin because the price has
dropped, partly because so much is available and because dealers are pushing
it so hard.

Heroin dealers have even staked out detox centers to keep customers from
going clean, police and counselors say.

"Drug dealers will hang out outside of methadone clinics, approaching people
when they get out of treatment," Schober said.

At Hooper, on the southeast corner of Northeast Couch Street and Martin
Luther King Jr. Boulevard, a heroin dealer once got himself admitted to
treatment so he could persuade a woman to leave the clinic and start using

"It's crazy," said Mary Meyer, an admit clerk at Hooper. "We have to be so

Also, the growing popularity of snorting and smoking heroin, rather than
shooting up, has lured younger users.

In Portland, tar heroin sells for about $120 a gram, Schober said. Most
addicts cannot afford the larger dose, so they buy a quarter of a gram for
between $40 and $55.

Suicide plan foiled

It was to have been a private affair. But the original suicide plans of Mora
Kathleen McGowan and Michael Shannon Douglas were foiled.

McGowan cut her wrists, but her mother rushed her to a hospital. Douglas
tried to come up with enough money for an overdose, but he couldn't.

Earlier that week, they'd been asked to leave the McCormick Pier apartment
of a friend. Facing homelessness and having exhausted their financial
resources, their bodies and their will, the couple -- still craving heroin
-- saw what they thought was their only solution.

They saw the Steel Bridge -- and perhaps a chance to make a statement in a
city known for its thriving heroin culture.

Douglas recorded the last few weeks of the couple's lives in his journal,
scrawled in an oversized artist sketchpad amid tattoo-style drawings.

"He wrote about how the world was a terrible place and that he couldn't live
in it unless he was high," said Sgt. Kent Perry, a Portland police dtective.
"He was distraught about his addiction and didn't see any way out of it."

The drug had become such an obsession that the couple pawned everything they
owned of any value to feed their habit, Douglas wrote in his journal.

Police found the journal in a book bag Douglas had slung across his chest
when he jumped off the bridge. The couple, called soul mates by those who
knew them, hanged themselves with separate nooses tied together.

"I think I've decided on an old-fashioned public hanging. . . . Thirteen
loops in a hangman's noose," Douglas wrote in his last journal entry. "The
Steel Bridge shall be my gallows. . . . Mora and I go together on the Steel

A collector of vintage clothing, McGowan was the youngest in a family of
three girls. Her friends and co-workers describe her as a friendly but shy
beauty who carried herself like a model and experimented with her hair and

Treatment failed

Those who knew McGowan well said they became aware of her addiction last
fall. By that time, they suspected the problem had ruled her life for some
time. She tried treatment at least once but failed.

Less than a year ago, McGowan was an assistant manager for a downtown salon
and beauty supply store. She was never late in paying her $410 rent for a
small studio in the Belmont Court Apartments.

But in August, shortly before McGowan moved out, "we started having trouble
getting the rent," said Lucy Johnson, the apartment manager.

Ruby Patterson, McGowan's former manager at the salon, said: "I was so
shocked to hear about Mora. She was a hard worker. She was fair and honest.
She was genuine, and she was a good sales girl."

Douglas, who moved in with McGowan after they met through friends, worked as
a landscaper and tattoo artist. They became engaged 11/2 years ago.

Douglas grew up an only child in Salem and was a regular at Zero Gravity, a
skateboard shop, said Angela Thompson, who married Douglas secretly when
they were teen-agers.

The couple lived for three months with Thompson's parents until Douglas
left, but they didn't divorce until 1993, when she tracked him down in
Portland through a classified advertisement.

"I feel so bad for his mom and dad," Thompson said. "They loved him so much
and tried so hard. There was a good side to him, but drugs were always
involved in his life."

Both McGowan's and Douglas' parents declined to discuss their children's
suicides. Separate memorial services have been held. In McGowan's obituary,
her mother listed the cause of her death as "suicide due to heroin addiction."

The first mention of suicide appeared in Douglas' journal in the last few
days of June, police said.

"He wrote that his last resource was a $160 mountain bike," said Detective
Sgt. Derrick Anderson, who read the journal. "That was his last resource to
exchange for enough drugs to go commit suicide on his own. But that didn't
work out for some reason.

"He wrote about being very tired. If you've got to come up with $200 every
day, and you have nothing left, that's a lot of work. That's a treadmill."

"People are in crisis"

Mulcare talks to dozens of heroin addicts a week while answering the Oregon
Partnership's hot line.

"Without the drug, you're going to be in extreme physical and emotional
pain," she said. "You can't walk. Your gut is cramping. And if you're like
most young people, you have no resources, and you can't get publicly funded
treatment any sooner than six to eight weeks."

Ten of the 17 people admitted to the Hooper Center on a recent morning were
addicted to heroin. For every one treatment slot in Portland, 10 heroin
addicts are turned away, Harris said.

It is a gut-wrenching experience for Hooper intake clerks, who want to help
everyone who comes through the doors.

On Thursday morning, three heroin addicts drove three hours from Seattle to
get into the Hooper Center's program, which uses acupuncture to ease
withdrawal symptoms.

They were turned away, as was a young woman, black circles beneath her eyes.
Tears rolled down her flushed cheeks as she stormed out of the center lobby.

"People are in crisis," Harris said. "We know when we send them out of here
,we're sending them back out on the streets to use. But we only have so many

Sometimes addicts start lining up at 3 a.m. for a spot at the center, which
opens at 7:30 a.m., admit clerk Meyer said. But Harris said decisions are
based on physical need.

Another Hooper admit clerk, Faye Moore, tossed and turned in her bed at home
when she heard the news of McGowan's and Douglas' suicide. Earlier that
morning, she had turned away a couple seeking treatment.

"I felt sick to my stomach until I got into work and looked on the computer
to see it wasn't them," she said. "Then I thought, 'Well, that other couple
is still out there.' "

Each year, Harris said,the Hooper Center treats 3,000 heroin addicts, and
another 7,000 are enrolled in methadone and other detox programs in the state.

Even the redemption of detox isn't enough to help some addicts.

"You know that for two weeks you're going to be the sickest you've ever been
in your life, and you're going to want to die," Mulcare said. "Some people
wrongly think suicide is the answer."

Thoughts of suicide familiar

The 22-year-old addict said he checked himself into Hooper two days after he
heard about the Steel Bridge suicide.

It is his fifth time through the program. His parents still think he's clean
from his fourth attempt at sobriety several months ago.

"Every junkie I've known has thought about suicide," he said. "I just
thought, another one taking the easy way out."

The man said he moved to Portland a few years ago to make a clean start.

But Portland "was more saturated with heroin than any other city I've lived
in," he said. When he got off the bus at a downtown station, his demon was
staring him straight in the face.

"As soon as I hit Burnside, people were like, 'What do you need?' " he said.
"I was in Portland five minutes before I used."

When he's not in detox, the once-aspiring musician said, his entire life
revolves around heroin, a morning-to-night chase for the drug.

He often will choose buying drugs over renting a cheap hotel room. He steals
candy bars to stave off hunger, or, he said, "I'll go through garbage cans."

He doesn't know what the future holds.

"I wish I could say this is the last time, but I don't know what is going to
happen," he said. "I just keep asking myself, why did I do this to my life?"

It's the same question people are asking about McGowan and Douglas. Friends
and strangers have painted and scratched messages of compassion and
confusion in the railing of the Steel Bridge where the couple jumped.

One message, written in yellow nail polish, reads, "I love you both!


Assisted-Suicide Law Faces New Challenges In Court, Congress
('The Oregonian' Says National Right To Life Lawyers On Monday
Will Again Try To Persuade A Federal Judge In Eugene To Block
Oregon's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law, And On Tuesday
A Congressional Subcommittee Will Begin Hearings On A Bill
That Would Nullify The Law By Threatening Doctors' Credentials)

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

Assisted-suicide law faces new challenges in court, Congress

* Opponents again will try to persuade a judge and a subcommittee to block
the Oregon statute

Sunday, July 12 1998

By Erin Hoover Barnett
and Ashbel S. Green
of The Oregonian staff

Opponents of physician-assisted suicide will take their case to court and to
Congress this week.

On Monday, National Right to Life lawyers will renew their efforts to
persuade a federal judge in Eugene to block the Oregon law, which allows
terminally ill adults to obtain lethal doses of pills.

The following day, a congressional subcommittee will begin hearings on a
bill that would hit the law from a different angle -- in effect, putting a
doctor's livelihood at stake for assisting in a suicide.

Neither the court nor Congress is expected to immediately alter the law's
status. U.S. District Judge Michael R. Hogan is not expected to make a
ruling Monday, and Tuesday's congressional hearing is just the first step in
what probably will be a protracted debate.

But opponents and supporters of assisted suicide will watch for clues about
how strategies for stopping the Oregon law might fare. And the dual hearings
will showcase ongoing efforts by opponents, primarily the National Right to
Life, the U.S. Catholic Conference and a largely Republican group of lawmakers.

"There is a series of legal strategies, and the opponents will continue to
have something in their back pocket," said Valerie Vollmar, a professor at
Willamette University College of Law. "At this point, they show no signs
whatsoever of slowing down or stopping."

Approved by voters in 1994 and reaffirmed in 1997, Oregon's Death With
Dignity Act has been in effect for less than nine months because of court
challenges. At least four terminally ill people have used it to end their
lives since a court injunction against the law was lifted Oct. 27, 1997.

Vollmar, who has tracked the assisted-suicide issue closely, says opponents
have developed a pattern of rolling out new strategies to stop the bill each
time a previous one failed.

"You have to admire their organization and their bag of ideas they have
waiting in the wings. They certainly are doing battle," said Vollmar, who
said she supports Oregon's law but speaks on the topic as a neutral observer.

Groundwork for the congressional battle against assisted suicide was laid in
June 1997 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there is no constitutional
right to assisted suicide and that the issue is up to each state to decide.

Soon after the court's ruling, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops
contacted Rep. Henry J. Hyde, R-Ill., to discuss whether assisted suicide
might violate federal drug laws.

Hyde and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, raised the issue with the Drug
Enforcement Administration.

In November, the day after Oregonians defeated an attempt to repeal the
assisted-suicide law, DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine sent a letter to
Hatch and Hyde. Constantine wrote that he thought Oregon's law violated
federal drug laws and that his agency could yank doctors' federal
drug-prescribing privileges for giving terminally ill patients drugs to
assist in suicides.

Last month, U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno overruled Constantine, deciding
the DEA lacks the authority to sanction doctors acting under Oregon's law.

The day of Reno's announcement, Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee, introduced a bill that would amend federal drug laws to broaden
the authority of the attorney general and hence the DEA.

The Lethal Drug Abuse and Prevention Act of 1998 would set up a medical
review board to deny, suspend or revoke a doctor's federal drug-prescribing
privileges if the doctor prescribed or intended to prescribe drugs to assist
in a suicide or euthanasia. The attorney general would name medical
regulatory and pain relief experts to the board.

Most physicians could not practice without their federal privileges, which
enable them to prescribe powerful painkillers and sedatives used to treat
everything from post-surgical pain to anxiety.

Tuesday's first hearing on the bill will be before the House Judiciary
Committee's subcommittee on the Constitution.

Although the bill seemed to have broad initial support, the American Medical
Association and the National Hospice Organization since have come out
against it. Both groups oppose assisted suicide, but they fear that Hyde's
bill would discourage the aggressive use of drugs to control pain, anxiety
and other symptoms suffered by dying patients.

Assisted-suicide supporters welcome these powerful groups as rare allies.
Eli Stutsman, attorney for Oregon Right to Die, said opposition to the bill
from the AMA helps establish its poor design. He said the bill's supporters
are attacking assisted suicide indirectly through federal drug laws to avoid
being blatant about their true intentions.

"It's a naked attempt to interfere with what one state has done after a very
extended process of debate," Stutsman said.

But Dr. Gregory Hamilton, who will testify before the subcommittee as
president of an anti-assisted-suicide group, Physicians for Compassionate
Care, said Congress will hear plenty of support for the bill.

Assisted suicide "is not just a parochial issue for Oregon," he said. "It's
a major way of viewing humanity that is inconsistent with the principles of
our Constitution."

Vollmar thinks the opposition from organized medicine, however, could doom
the legislation.

"If it was just Oregon people, maybe they would ignore us. But it's a lot
harder to go against the AMA," she said.

Meanwhile, assisted-suicide opponents will be in Eugene on Monday to ask
Hogan to reinstate a lawsuit arguing that the Death With Dignity Act is

Hogan blocked the Oregon law after voters approved it in 1994. He later
declared it unconstitutional on the grounds that it did not have adequate

But in 1997, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Hogan, saying
the plaintiff did not have standing to sue because the law did not injure her.

Janice Elsner, who has muscular dystrophy, had argued that she might use the
law in a state of depression, even though she was morally opposed to
assisted suicide. But the 9th Circuit said her argument was hypothetical. In
order to have standing to sue in federal court, plaintiffs must prove that
the laws they seek to overturn actually injure them.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal. In October, the 9th
Circuit dismissed the suit, and the law was put into effect.

Elsner's attorneys asked Hogan for another chance. They said that because
the Death With Dignity Act allowed only the terminally ill to kill
themselves, it stigmatized them as having lives less worth living than
everyone else.

Assisted-suicide supporters say that it's too late to raise a new argument
for standing and that, in any case, the "stigmatic injury" argument does not
overcome the 9th Circuit's objections to the suit.

Because of a series of delays, Hogan has yet to decide whether he will allow
Elsner's attorneys to reinstate the case. He's also considering motions to
add a terminally ill plaintiff, Troy Thompson, who has Lou Gehrig's disease,
to the suit and certify it as a class action.

Although Hogan could issue another injunction, blocking the law, Monday's
hearing is expected to consist only of oral arguments on the procedural
motions before the court. None of the attorneys involved in the case expects
Hogan to rule on those preliminary matters from the bench.

"Most commonly, judges take things under advisement and then issue their
opinion later," said Richard Coleson, one of Elsner's attorneys, who is
affiliated with the National Right to Life Committee.

But Thompson, who is immobilized by his disease and communicates using his
eyes, and his wife, Marilyn Thompson, are hoping for the best. The couple
sent an e-mail to friends and supporters asking them to pray for Hogan's
wisdom and for the Thompson family. Marilyn Thompson said she expects
perhaps a dozen supporters to come to the hearing in Hogan's court.

"I hope he's got enough information that he can make a decision in our
favor," Marilyn Thompson said.

Oakland May Reconsider Medical Marijuana Resolution (A Bay Area Reformer
Says Lame Duck Oakland Mayor Elihu Harria On July 21 Will Have The Oakland
City Council Reconsider Its New Policy Permitting Medical Marijuana Patients
To Possess Realistic Quantities Of Cannabis, Based On The Amounts Provided
To Eight Patients By The US Government's Investigative New Drug Program)

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 21:25:17 -0700
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com) by way of
canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer))
Subject: DPFCA: Oakland May Reconsider Med MJ Resln
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Last Wed., Oakland Mayor Elihu Harria went on a big drug bust of
80 to 101 suspects that the police department had been making buys from.
The mayor was asked by the press what he thought about the city council
passing the 1 1/2 pound possession for MMJ patients. He was surprised to
hear, from the press, that that was what he had signed. He just didn't
know, so he got concerned & has asked the council to reconsider their
ruling or vote. The hearing for this is set for July 21 1998, that's
tuesday at 7pm in the council chambers on the third floor of the city
hall. He may be talked into going along with the council before the
hearing, but at this time it is on the calendar.

As always we need as many supporters as possible. See you there. Ralph

Singleton Motions (An Op-Ed In 'The San Francisco Examiner'
By Debra J. Saunders Takes Issue With The Recent Ruling
By A US Court Of Appeals Panel In Denver That It Is Illegal
For The Government To Promise Leniency To Witnesses
In Exchange For Testimony)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 01:55:14 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Singleton Motions Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: letters@examiner.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 Author: Debra J. Saunders SINGLETON MOTIONS WHENEVER a panel of judges cites the Magna Carta, it won't be long before you pinch yourself and ask who died and made these folks king. Witness the recent out-of-the-blue decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver. The judges decided that it is illegal for federal prosecutors to offer immunity in exchange for testimony; then likened their ruling to the lesson King John was taught at Runnymede in 1215. The court could stand a Runnymede. The ruling departs from earlier decisions, and outlaws a long-time practice essential to enabling small fish to finger insulated crime bosses. The decision is now law in New Mexico; Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Already the Rocky Mountain News has reported that federal prosecutors in Denver have moved to throw out criminal charges against three accused armed bank robbers because their case relied on two witnesses with leniency deals. The attorney who won the ruling believes it could help the appeals of convicted Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. The ruling also could chill all pending federal prosecutions and immunity deals - including a deal for Monica Lewinsky. If other courts adopt this stand, thugs will rejoice. Mass murderer Charlie Hanson was convicted after Linda Kasabian testified against him under grant of immunity. Wichita, attorney John Val Wachtel, who won the decision on behalf of client Sonya Singleton, expects lawyers across the country to start filing what are now called "Singleton motions." Singleton was 24, black and pregnant, when a jury convicted her on one count of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and seven courts of money laundering and sentenced her to 46 months behind bars. She had been living with drug dealer - who cut a deal with prosecutors and never served time. She was convicted - based on the testimony of another deal-cutter also higher in the drug chain, also freed from prosecution. She got a raw deal. "When the government wraps the American flag around a sinner newly come to Jesus, juries believe them, because that witness is cloaked with the power and majesty of the United States and my client, a poor little black girl, is nobody," Wachtel said. I empathize. But this ruling hits immunity abuses and forthright deals with the same club. The cure is worse than the disease. And the ruling was dishonest. As they argued that immunity was tantamount to bribery, the judges also claimed that their ruling will not outlaw all immunity deals. Jack King, spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, summed up: "Prosecutors can still try and flip witnesses, but they can't promise them anything." That's a joke. First, the decision steps on defendants' rights against self-incrimination, which may not please defense attorneys who try to help clients win immunity. Then later, the judges concocted a scenario under which immunity might be legal - which violates their own logic, that an immunity offer is inherently corrupting. Former federal prosecutor Victoria Toensing reacted to the ruling: "I probably couldn't have done any of my cases. Unless you have an undercover agent, you couldn't do any cases against higher ups. Bully for the court. It made it harder for the feds to prosecute small-time Singletons, and nearly impossible to go after sickos and crime bosses. All rise. You can read Debra J. Saunders online at sfgate.com.

Can Anybody Tell Us What Victory Means In This Longest War?
('Denver Post' Columnist Ed Quillen Insightfully Weighs The Government's
'New Propaganda Barrage' And Wonders What Would Have To Happen
To End This War And Begin The Demobilization And Consequent Return To
A Limited Civilian Government, Rather Than The Big And Intrusive
Urine-Sampling One That Operates Now)

Newshawk: Sledhead
Source: Denver Post ( CO)
Contact: letters@denverpost.com
Website: http://www.denverpost.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 12 July 1998
Author: Ed Quillen


July 12 - One should be suspicious, I suppose, whenever there is
agreement between Newton Leroy Gingrich, Republican speaker of the
House of Representatives, and William Jefferson Clinton, Democratic
president of the United States of America.

They joined for a trip to Atlanta last week to announce yet another
phase of the War on Drugs, this time a propaganda campaign.

Meanwhile, various military campaigns are in full operation,
including chemical warfare - herbicide bombs for farms in South America
- and more traditional means, such as the deployment of infantry along
the southern border to kill sheep herders.

The new propaganda barrage will involve hard-hitting paid
advertisements, aimed at discouraging drug use among youth, and will
cost millions, perhaps billions.

Now I'm not going to be the one to question the efficacy of
advertising, since I sell the stuff in one of my enterprises and
certainly benefit from it in other pursuits.

But when it comes to drug usage, advertising, along with the media
in general, presents a mixed message.

On one hand, teenagers and the rest of us see myriad messages
telling us to take drugs to feel better: Tylenol for that headache,
Advil for that sore back, Prozac for that frazzled feeling, Viagra for
those male occasions when the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

On the other, there will be the latest propaganda campaign from the
Drug Czar, telling us that it's not right to take something to feel

How to tell the proper from improper substances? Kids are supposed
to trust the government to know the difference, I guess - and if they
believe everything the government tells them, then our public schools
are every bit as bad as the critics say.

But for the sake of argument, let us suppose that this propaganda
barrage succeeds and that we have a "Drug-Free America'' where cannabis,
crank, coca compounds, poppy extracts and the like are totally

What would happen then? Would all the government make-work programs
be terminated? Would the snoops, spies and thugs have to find honest
work? Would prisons close for lack of business? Would the Bill of
Rights mean something again?

Or would the warriors merely turn their attention to new
substances, now socially acceptable, like caffeine and theobromine (a
chemical found in chocolate that may be psychoactive)?

If this sounds unlikely, consider that many currently controlled
substances were once staples of legitimate commerce: The Founding
Fathers grew hemp; heroin was developed and marketed by the same Bayer
company that produced aspirin; cocaine was sold over the counter at
dispensaries operated by mining companies in Colorado a century ago;
amphetamines were dispensed by our own military to keep soldiers

We citizens who get requisitioned to support this War on Drugs
ought to ask "What constitutes victory?'' before even more billions are

In other words, what would have to happen to end this war and begin
the demobilization and consequent return to a limited civilian
government, rather than the big and intrusive urine-sampling one that
operates now?

Or is the definition of "victory'' purposely so vague that the Drug
Warriors, after defeating some substances, would be able to turn their
guns toward others, thereby ensuring that they have a permanent slot at
the public trough?

For some reason, I feel confident that these questions will not be
answered by the latest propaganda campaign.

But our political process may be starting to address these and
related issues.

Jack Woehr of Golden, a correspondent who has expressed seditious
sentiments much like mine, tried running for office two years ago and
wrote that the state Democratic Party didn't want anything to do with
him on account of his failure to express the politically correct
enthusiasm for the War on Drugs.

But this year, he reported, he easily gained the Democratic
nomination for state Representative from District 62, which stretches
from Golden west across the Great Divide.

He suspects that the party leadership has concluded that it is
difficult to support policies that lead to an 18 percent increase in
prison spending and only 3 percent more for education, and so he was
finally welcomed to the fold.

Jack also mentioned that his campaign may be watched closely by
every candidate in Colorado to see whether it's safe to quit lying to
voters about the wonders of the War on Drugs.

But truth in a campaign is a tough road, especially when master
politicians like Clinton and Gingrich can tap the public treasury to
promulgate more deception.

Ed Quillen of Salida (cozine@chaffee.net) is a former newspaper
editor whose column appears Tuesdays and Sundays. His book, "Deep in
the Heart of the Rockies,'' is a collection of past Post columns.


13 Initiatives Aim For Arkansas Ballot, But Only Two Connect
('The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette' Notes A Marijuana Law Reform
Initiative Campaign Failed To Gather Enough Signatures To Get
On The November 1998 Ballot)

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 15:36:12 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US AR: 13 Initiatives Aim
For Arkansas Ballot, But Only 2 Connect
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sunday, July 12, 1998
Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Contact: [Noted "Arkansas Residents Only"]
email: voices@ardemgaz.com
Website: http://www.ardemgaz.com/


Groceries and used vehicles will continue to be subject to sales taxes, the
prohibition against marijuana and hemp will stay in place, and the dogs and
ponies still will be the only legal wagering in Arkansas.

Those were among the situations in the state that some citizens wanted to
reverse through the ballot initiative process. But they weren't able to
raise enough signatures to be eligible for the November election.

Failure of the proposal to remove state and local sales taxes on groceries
means Arkansas taxpayers can expect an already-enacted $173 million income
tax cut to take effect over the next two years.

The attorney general's office had certified the ballot titles for 13
proposed constitutional amendments or initiated acts. Supporters then had
to gather signatures of registered Arkansas voters: 71,955 for
constitutional amendments, 57,564 for initiated acts.

Only two of the 13 made the July 3 deadline. One is a proposed amendment to
abolish ad valorem taxes on real and personal property and replace the lost
revenue, estimated to be about $895 million, with a 1.375-cent addition to
the state sales tax, which would raise about $600 million. Cities and
counties would be allowed to raise their sales taxes by an extra one-half
cent. Amendment proponents gathered more than 98,000 signatures. The
secretary of state's office is checking the signatures to ensure they are

If there are not enough valid signatures, the sponsors get 30 days to
collect more signatures. The other proposal that cleared the deadline was a
proposed initiated act that would allow the state Public Service Commission
to lower the rates long-distance telephone companies pay to local telephone
companies for the use of the local networks.

Those rates were frozen for three years under Act 77 of 1997. Bill Vickery,
spokesman for a coalition led by AT&T, said his group gathered 61,745
signatures in about 30 days. The act's ballot title was certified May 29,
and the signature drive began in early June.

Probably the biggest surprise no-show to the secretary of state's office
was the initiated act petition drive, sponsored by a group called the
Arkansas Citizens' Alliance, to remove state and local sales taxes from
grocery purchases.

Polls in early 1997 showed that as many as 82 percent of Arkansans
supported removing the sales tax on groceries. The Arkansas Citizens
Alliance even got the endorsement and pledges of assistance from the
American Association of Retired Persons in Arkansas. But alliance leader
David Couch of Little Rock, a lawyer, said his group only collected between
30,000 and 35,000 signatures, far short of the total necessary to get the
act on the ballot.

"My guess is we were relying real heavily on the local AARP chapter," he
said. "We didn't get the response we wanted from the AARP." The advocacy
group for the elderly boasts of about 360,000 members in Arkansas. Chip
Hillman, the AARP's state legislative committee chairman, said his group
simply did what Couch asked it to do.

"The last I heard," which Hillman said was in early June, "everything was
going slow but moving." The alliance had begun their effort with a
constitutional amendment, but later decided on an initiated act, partly
because an act needed fewer signatures and partly because supporters
believed that an initiated act would receive less scrutiny from the state
Supreme Court than an amendment.

Couch also blamed Arkansas Municipal League Director Don Zimmerman for his
group's failure. "Don Zimmerman went to every city and told the old people
that removing the sales tax on food would mean cities would close senior
centers, close parks and that there would be less police," Couch said. "He
scared them."

Zimmerman said he didn't realize he was the cause for the alliance's
failure to gather enough signatures, "but if I did, I'm proud of it." "I
think that's giving me more credit than I deserve," he said. The Municipal
League is opposed to removing the sales tax from groceries because this
would deprive cities of a significant source of revenue. Zimmerman said he
didn't organize meetings where he could campaign against the petition
drive. "I went to wherever I was invited," he said. Couch and his group
believe that it's immoral to tax people's bread and butter.

Zimmerman said it's not immoral when one looks at how the money is spent to
provide local government services, such as police and fire protection.
Another part of his group's problem, Couch said, was that his group's
effort was all volunteer, since the alliance had no money to pay
canvassers. But sales-tax payers' loss will be income-tax payers' gain.

The Legislature in 1997 enacted income tax cuts and other tax reductions
expected to save taxpayers $90.6 million in 1999 and $83.1 million in 2000.
The Legislature, fearing that voters could approve the alliance's
initiative and thus set off a state revenue crisis, made their tax
rollbacks contingent upon keeping the sales tax on groceries in place.
Couch said Arkansans can expect to see his group's petitions back on the
street in 2000 should the Legislature not repeal those sales taxes when it
meets in 1999. "If the General Assembly doesn't do it this time, we'll do
it again, and we'll be better organized and we won't have a 'poison pill'
to worry about," he said.

All three gubernatorial candidates favor steps to remove the sales tax from
groceries, perhaps by phasing out the levy. Another petition that wasn't
delivered to the state Capitol failed not because of lack of support, but
because its backers hitched their horse to another wagon. Little Rock
resident Nora Harris' group, Empower Arkansans, had a proposed amendment to
abolish property taxes and replace the revenue with an additional 2.5 cents
sales tax.

But her group melded its efforts in May with those of Fort Smith lawyer
Oscar Stilley, who was leading the aforementioned property tax measure.
Stilley was behind nearly half of the 13 ballot initiatives certified by
the attorney general's office.

But he acknowledged that a lack of resources forced him to concentrate
solely on the property tax amendment. Other amendments Stilley had
certified were: An amendment to freeze county property tax appraisals at
their 1993 level, unless otherwise changed by popular vote.

It also would have required popular votes on any local tax increase. An
amendment requiring voter approval of new taxes or tax increases. Stilley
said that issue will become law if the voters approve his property tax

An amendment allowing parents to choose what public schools their children
attend and allowing state-financed vouchers to help parents pay for private
or parochial schools.

An amendment abolishing sales taxes on used goods and abolishing the income
tax. An amendment prohibiting the judiciary from disqualifying citizen
initiatives for any reason other than the failure to collect the required
number of valid signatures.

Stilley said that if the Supreme Court does with his property tax amendment
what it has done with other proposed constitutional amendments in past
elections, 2000 may be the year to get that proposal through. Stilley
complained that the court, by its actions, has shown a hostility toward the
citizen initiative process. "When you throw off nearly everything that was
on the ballot, what do you call it?" he said, referring to 1994 when five
of six proposed amendments were disqualified because of faulty ballot

"It is corrupt and wrong to throw these things off. They know they can't
win in a fair fight." As for the future of his other proposals, Stilley
said, "We'll just have to wait and see how the powers that be respond to
our [property tax] initiative."

Another proposal that may come back is the proposed amendment to allow for
casinos, a lottery and charitable bingo in Arkansas. The Fix Arkansas Now
committee tried but failed to gather enough signatures to put another
gambling proposal before the voters.

No one was available at the committee's offices in Little Rock to comment
last week, but former Arkansas State Police Col. Tommy Goodwin, president
of the Arkansas Casino Corp., told The Associated Press that his group's
idea of establishing casinos owned by an Arkansas company and by Arkansas
stockholders would be back.

"I don't think we can blame anybody but ourselves for it," he said. "We
just didn't get the signatures." While the casino proponents pledge another
try, Bobby Gwatney of Conway said he didn't know if he would make another
go at his proposal to remove the sales tax from the sale of used cars.
Gwatney's no-budget effort only netted nearly 1,800 signatures.

Another element that hampered his effort was the unusually hot weather this
year, Gwatney said. "We didn't contemplate 90- and 100-degree temperatures
in April and May," he said. "That was too hard on the old people
[collecting signatures]."

An amendment to end the state's prohibitions against marijuana and hemp
also fell woefully short of the necessary signatures to get before the
voters. Fayetteville lawyer Larry Froelich said that people were too afraid
of being labeled a "druggie" or afraid of run-ins with police to publicly
circulate the petitions.

He said people weren't afraid to sign, though. Froelich said there are
about 250,000 regular marijuana smokers in Arkansas, using the federal Drug
Enforcement Administration's estimates.

He said the purpose of his effort was to allow the state to regulate and
tax the drug as alcohol is now. He said another damper to his effort,
besides the lack of a budget, was people's inability to differentiate
between marijuana and hemp, which does not contain the psychoactive
chemical, Froelich said.

He said hemp, because of its high-strength fibers, have a number of
commercial uses, such as rope and fabric. "This isn't an ordinary kind of
amendment," he said. "You make yourself a target."

This article was published on Sunday, July 12, 1998

Penn State Students Riot, Battle Cops As Bars Close (Cable News Network
Says About 1,500 Were Involved In The Disturbance - State College Police Chief
Tom King Said, 'Without Alcohol, This Situation Would Never Have Occurred,'
But Then, As Supreme Court Justice Brandeis Once Said, 'Crime Is Contagious
. . . . If The Government Becomes A Lawbreaker, It Breeds Contempt
For The Law')

Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:30:13 EDT
Errors-To: manager@drcnet.org
Reply-To: baudmax@li.net
Originator: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: baudmax@li.net
To: Multiple recipients of list (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Penn State students riot, battle cops as bars close
Link to earlier story
From CNN Online: http://cnn.com/US/9807/12/riots/ Penn State students riot, battle cops as bars close July 12, 1998 Web posted at: 9:31 p.m. EDT (0131 GMT) STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Rowdy crowds near Penn State University set fires, damaged street signs, vandalized cars and smashed three storefront windows in the early hours of Sunday. Fourteen police officers were injured in the 2 1/2 hour riot. Twenty people were arrested, and the damage was estimated at $50,000. Police say the unrest began early Sunday morning when large crowds gathered on the balconies of several apartment buildings and someone lobbed a garbage can onto the street below. About 1,500 people were involved. "This is another example of the problem associated with alcohol abuse," State College Police Chief Tom King said after order was restored. "Without alcohol, this situation would never have occurred.". Rioters finally dispersed about 4 a.m., after state police and several area police and fire companies joined local and university officers in crowd control efforts. The Associated Press contributed to this report. *** "That's alls I can stand, I can't stands no more!" - Popeye the Sailor Libertarian Party of New York NY Libertarians for a Drug War Ceasefire - NOW! http://welcome.to/freedom

More Than 1,000 People Riot At Penn State
(The Knight Ridder Newspapers Version)

Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 13:24:09 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US PA: WIRE: More Than 1,000 People Riot At Penn State
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: Knight Ridder Newspapers
Pubdate: 12 Jul 1998


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- More than 1,000 young people lit fires, toppled
street lights, wrecked motor vehicles and injured 16 police officers early
Sunday morning in the worst rioting ever in the borough.

At least 20 people were arrested in the Beaver Avenue riot, which police
said was fueled by alcohol. Local police had to wait 2 1/2 hours for
reinforcements from state police from other counties to arrive before they
charged in riot gear to break up the melee.

``In my 15 years on the force, this was the scariest moment in my life,''
said State College Police Lt. Thomas Hart.

The downtown rampage was far uglier than in previous episodes involving
victory celebrations over Penn State football games, police said. They
described it as the worst rioting ever in the borough's history, and said
that they were pelted with rocks, bottles, bricks, light fixtures, lamp
posts and tree limbs.

At its height Sunday, an estimated 1,500 people -- possibly more -- were
involved, with fires lit, 33 street lights torn down and street signs
destroyed, three storefront windows smashed and motor vehicles damaged, all
in the Beaver Avenue and Locust Lane area, according to State College police.

The riot occurred as tens of thousands of people converged on State College
this weekend for the 1998 Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts.
Saturday is typically the busiest day for the five-day festival, which
combines an art sidewalk sale with music and other performances. It
typically attracts thousands of Penn State students and recent graduates
for a summer reunion.

Police and eyewitnesses offered differing accounts on what apparently
started the riot about 1:30 a.m. -- when bars let out -- and what
transpired during the next few hours.

According to police, the riot began when they noticed a crowd of about 150
forming on the 300 block of East Beaver Avenue at Locust Lane, where there
are high-rise apartments with balconies. Someone threw a trash can onto the
street, and the crowd continued to grow and set fires and cause other
damage, police said.

Some eyewitnesses, however, said the problems began when police confiscated
a small plastic ``party ball'' used to hold beer from two men who were
kicking it around. The two men got the party ball back, which excited
nearby revelers. The riot grew out of that incident as the crowds grew
around the revelers.

Eyewitnesses also reported seeing public nudity and urination during the
incident. One eyewitness said one man in his 20s, with dark, slicked back
hair and wearing a white tank top, urged people to participate, shouting
``People, join in! There are no repercussions!''

Eyewitnesses also said police initially were near the crowd of rowdies,
then moved away, forming a line around the immediate area. About 4 a.m.,
police charged in, they said, firing tear gas, striking some of the crowd
with their billy clubs and using pepper spray. Firefighters also used hoses
to spray people on nearby balconies to get them inside, they said -- but
police said firefighters targeted fires, not people. The crowd quickly
dispersed after police moved in, they said.

People smashed the storefront of Castle Software and Computer Systems and
may have taken computer equipment. Police did not have any reports on what,
if anything, was stolen.

``I left the store at about 3 a.m. because it looked like the police had
everything under control,'' said Todd Taylor, technician at Castle
Software. ``When I came back in the morning the door was mangled and the
window was smashed.''

Preliminary damage estimate as of early Sunday was $50,000, police said. At
least vehicles sustained about $5,000 damage each.

``This is another example of the problem associated with alcohol abuse,''
State College Police Chief Tom King said in a prepared statement. ``Without
alcohol, this situation would never have occurred.''

As of Sunday, no alcohol-related charges were filed against any of the
people arrested in the riot. Police said they did not give any blood
alcohol tests.

Streets re-opened as of 8 a.m., and the last day of the arts festival
proceeded as planned. It did not appear that the rioting affected the
sidewalk sale area of the arts festival.

Of the 20 people arrested, 11 were Penn State students, State College
police said. More arrests are expected. Penn State President Graham Spanier
heard about the commotion as it was in progress. He went into the heart of
the riots to observe the situation.

``I heard they were throwing things out of the windows and certain students
were involved,'' Spanier said. ``I arrived at about 2:30 a.m. and thought
perhaps I could be of some help. I tried to assist the borough and the

Penn State police said they were holding more than 20 people in custody for
processing around 6:30 a.m. They were brought to the police station in the
Eisenhower Parking Deck and kept on a Centre Area Transportation Authority
bus. Some had been in custody about three hours already.

The rioting started along Beaver Avenue in an area nicknamed ``Beaver
Canyon'' and ``Beaver Alley'' because of the high-rise apartments that rise
on either side of the street, according to initial reports.

Rioters tore down street lights and used the heavy metal poles to smash
storefront windows and vehicle windshields.

``They were throwing kegs out of the windows,'' said Rebecca Seweryn, a
Penn State senior. ``They were throwing furniture off of the balconies and
into the fire.''

Tom Harmon, director of Penn State police services, said he did not know
what the rioters might be charged with, but said that State College police
were consulting with Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

``The crowd was predominately young adults, but there are so many visitors
in town it's not accurate to say they were all (Penn State) students,''
Harmon said.

``This is probably the disorder with the most property damage of any
incident I can remember in my 25 years at Penn State,'' Harmon said. ``It
was very ugly in terms of the crowd's behavior toward police. The officers
early on, when we were just lined up across the road and before we moved on
the crowd, took a lot of flying objects.''

Of the police injuries, a state police lieutenant was seriously cut, and
one Ferguson Township officer was hurt, Harmon said. One Penn State officer
was getting his wrist X-rayed.

``I have not heard that any rioters were seriously injured,'' he said. Some
of the rioters were sprayed with pepper spray, he said.

About 120 local and state police in riot gear swarmed to the scene. State
police from as far away as Bedford and Lewistown were called in. Besides
State College and Penn State police departments, police came from
Bellefonte, Ferguson Township, Patton Township and Spring Township police
departments. Alpha Fire Company, Alpha Community Ambulance, Allegheny Power
and Centre Area Transportation Authority also helped, State College police

Penn State police had 16 officers on the scene. They also covered State
College police's routine calls during the riot.

The scene quieted down after 5 a.m. By 6 a.m., the only cars on Beaver
Avenue belonged to police. State police wearing helmets walked the streets.
Cars and pedestrians were blocked off from the Beaver Canyon area.

A few bystanders hovered on the corners beyond the barricades, but
otherwise, the streets were empty.

People in handcuffs were being led quietly onto a CATA bus from the Penn
State police station in the Eisenhower Parking Deck.

King said in a news conference he will ask Spanier to take academic action
against Penn State students involved in the rioting. Spanier said while it
is not routine to take such action against students for criminal activity
outside of the academic arena, he is not ruling it out.

``Generally, criminal activities are handled separately from academic
sanctions,'' said Spanier. ``We do not pose academic sanctions if the
problem is not academically related, but we have a Judicial Affairs Office
and they will review these cases.

Shop Owner Puts Drug Dealers On Hold ('The Roanoke Times'
Doesn't Mention The Inconvenience To Everyone Else Now That Dipen Shah,
The Owner Of Sparky's Food Store In Old Southwest Roanoke, Virginia,
Has Agreed To Have Two Pay Phones Removed At The Request Of Police)

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 12:14:30 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US VA: Shop Owner Puts Drug Dealers On Hold
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Michael (Miguet@NOVEMBER.ORG)
Source: Roanoke Times (VA)
Contact: karent@roanoke.com
Website: http://www.roanoke.com/roatimes/index.html
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul, 1998


Pay phones removed at Old Southwest store
Shop owner puts drug dealers on hold

Dealers use the phones to take calls from customers and to call colleagues
who deliver the crack cocaine for the buyers.

Drug dealers and their customers were forced to take their curbside
business elsewhere recently when an Old Southwest Roanoke store owner,
neighbors, police and the phone company banded together to remove pay
telephones from a busy intersection.

Dipen Shah, 29, owner of Sparky's Food Store at Elm Avenue and Fifth
Street, agreed to have the two pay phones removed last month at the request
of police and some nearby residents, and Bell Atlantic agreed to charge
Shah a lower-than-normal penalty for early withdrawal from a three-year
contract to keep the phones in place.

Shah, who also forfeits the $200 monthly income he received from the
phones, said it was a smart long-term business decision.

"If that's what the police and [nearby residents] wanted, then I want to be
a good neighbor," he said.

Drug dealers' use of pay phones is a nationwide problem in many urban and
some suburban areas, Bell Atlantic spokesman Jim Smith said.

Some crack cocaine dealers use the phones to take calls from customers and
call colleagues who wait nearby to deliver a small amount of crack just
before the customer drives up. That way, the dealers avoid being caught by
police with a large amount of their product.

If pay phones are blocked from receiving calls, the dealers still may use
them for outgoing calls while receiving calls from their colleagues over
cellular phones.

The two pay phones were at Elm and Fifth for several years before Shah
bought the convenience store in January 1997. Shah, who emigrated from
India 10 years ago and now owns three Sparky's and leases two more in the
Roanoke area, said the phones were profitable but a nuisance.

Shady characters often used them and loitered around the store, which was
bad for the family atmosphere he said he tries to foster.

"When the phones were there, they had a reason to hang around," he said.
"Now they don't. I told police if that would solve the problem, I'd do it."

After several months of negotiations, Bell Atlantic lowered its penalty for
letting him out of the contract from $1,000 to $200, Shah said.

Although the phones could have been moved inside the store or placed just
outside the front doors, Shah said he did not want to take the chance that
his customers would be exposed to "loud arguments and cursing."

"You know, the men curse at their girlfriends and argue with their friends
on the phones," he said.

Removing pay phones from public places requires a consideration of
community needs, Smith said. While getting rid of the phones hurts drug
dealers, it also may hurt nearby residents who cannot afford phones in
their homes, he said.

"We always sit down with police and civic leagues and examine how we can
balance the interests of police and the community and the people who need
to use phones for legitimate reasons," Smith said.

Smith called Shah a "socially responsible" store owner for sacrificing
profits to help his neighborhood.

Some Old Southwest residents were pleased when the phones were removed.

"The neighborhood is proud of him," said Joel Richert, a member of the Old
Southwest Inc. civic league. "Even though it cuts his income, he's done the
right thing."

Other residents were displeased.

"A lot of people around here don't have the money to have a phone in their
house, so they used those phones every day," Peggy Duncan said. "Now they
have to walk" a block in either direction to other pay phones along Fifth
Street. "We need more phones, not less."

Roanoke Police Sgt. Rick Arrington said the pay phones at Sparky's were a
drug dealer's ideal "remote office": They were at a busy intersection with
good lighting and a parking lot with easy access.

Arrington said drug dealers' use of pay phones is not a widespread problem
in Roanoke, but that there are a few trouble spots. Police increase patrols
and undercover operations at those sites but cannot monitor them
constantly, he said. Some store owners cooperate by removing the phones,
but others do not because of the steady income the phones provide, he said.

John D.

Millions More For Drug War ('The Sacramento Bee' Says President Clinton
Announced $32 Million In Federal Grants Saturday To Expand Drug Courts
From 270 To 400 And Curb Methamphetamine Use)

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 17:28:30 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Millions More For Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Source: Sacramento Bee
Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Author: David Westphal and Michael Doyle Bee Washington Bureau

MILLIONS MORE FOR DRUG WAR: Clinton Wants Expansion Of Special Court System

WASHINGTON -- President Clinton, urging Americans not to become complacent
over dramatic declines in drug use over the last decade, continued to build
his anti-drug message Saturday, announcing $32 million in federal grants to
expand drug courts and curb a disturbing uptick in methamphetamine use.

Clinton cited new federal statistics showing that, while more than half of
the people charged with crimes are found to have drugs in their system at
the time of arrest, the trend continues to be downward, especially for
crack cocaine.

"Today there are 50 percent fewer Americans using drugs than just 15 years
ago," Clinton said in his weekly radio address. But he added, "There is no
greater threat to our families and communities than the abuse of illegal

The new study by the Justice Department showed that, after two years of
decline, methamphetamine is again showing up in greater numbers among those
arrested in Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Portland, Ore., San Diego and San Jose.

In San Diego, methamphetamine has become the dominant drug associated with
the crime culture; about 40 percent of those arrested were found to have
used methamphetamine, or crank. By comparison, in Washington, D.C., the
rate was only 1 percent.

In addition, there are indications that methamphetamine is moving into
rural areas and eastward into such cities as St. Louis, Chicago and
Atlanta. But so far, said Attorney General Janet Reno, "methamphetamine is
not becoming the crack cocaine of the 1990s."

Clinton offered $5 million in federal assistance to six cities with
documented methamphetamine problems -- Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake
City, Oklahoma City, Dallas and Little Rock.

Further, he announced $27 million to expand the number of local drug courts
around the country, from 270 to 400.

The federal grants include several targeting the San Joaquin Valley, which
law enforcement officials have long considered a stronghold of
methamphetamine production. Kings County and Merced County will each
receive about $30,000 to plan drug courts, while Tulare County will receive
$327,000 to plan and implement a drug court.

The California emphasis is no coincidence. The Valley's rural hideaways
have become an increasingly popular location for a drug that is relatively
cheap, powerfully addictive, and controlled in California by Mexican
organized crime gangs.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies in 1995 arrested 1,117 people on
methamphetamine-related charges, nearly three times as many as those
arrested for cocaine, heroin and marijuana combined. And in the northern
San Joaquin Valley, by one study's accounting, the number of meth-related
hospital admissions rose 502 percent between 1984 and 1993.

While still in their infancy in this country, drug courts are rapidly
expanding, from just 12 in 1994 to a projected 1,000 by the turn of the

In a drug court, addicts who plead guilty to non-violent crimes enter drug
treatment and testing programs rather than prison. Early analysis suggests
only 4 percent of those completing treatment have been arrested again -- a
much lower rate than is common for ex-inmates.

Jeremy Travis, director of the National Institute of Justice, called the
drug courts "one of the very important, very significant, very effective
innovations" that have come about since the early 1990s.

Last year, Fresno County received a $335,000 federal grant to expand its
existing drug court. Sacramento County, too, began a drug court with an
18-month federal grant provided several years ago. Once the initial federal
grant ran out last year, however, the county had to scramble to find other

Clinton's new announcements completed a weeklong anti-drug blitz that
included the unveiling of a $195 million media campaign designed to flood
the airwaves with public-service warnings about drug use.

Experts say the new marketing effort is needed because, while overall drug
use is down 50 percent and more since the mid-1980s, it remains steady
among the very young -- the next generation of drug users.

"We find kids starting at 13 with a marijuana that's two to 20 times
stronger than their parents used," says James Burke, chairman of
Partnership for Drug Free America. "And we haven't reached those kids."

The new report by the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program (ADAM) shows
generally favorable trends on cocaine.

"We're seeing younger people who are now coming of the age where they might
engage in risky behaviors ... who are using at much lower rates than their
slightly older brothers," said Travis. "The younger brother looks at what's
happening to his older brother, who is now either in jail or a crackhead,
... and says, 'I don't want that to be me.' "

At the same time, the 1997 study reports that heroin use has been
increasing among young people arrested in New Orleans, Philadelphia and St.

The study was based on drug and arrest records in 23 major U.S. cities.
Twelve new cities are being added to the database this year, including
Sacramento, Minneapolis, Anchorage and Seattle.

Copyright 1998 The Sacramento Bee

Clinton Releases Grants For Local Drug Fighting ('The Associated Press'
Version In The Massachusetts 'Standard-Times')

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 12:19:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Clinton Releases Grants
For Local Drug Fighting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Author: Sandra Sobieraj, Associated Press Writer


WASHINGTON -- Tests of criminal defendants in 23 major cities showed
yesterday the nation's drug problem is regional and generational, as the
use of "speed" rebounds in the West and Southwest and cocaine loses its
appeal among young troublemakers. In light of the findings, President
Clinton released $32 million to help local officials tailor anti-drug

The grants announced in Clinton's weekly radio address followed a
nationwide $1 billion government anti-drug ad campaign launched Thursday.
Clinton also pushed yesterday for Congress to provide an additional $85
million to expand mandatory drug testing and treatment programs for
probationers, prisoners and parolees.

Of the federal money released yesterday, $27 million will be used to create
special drug courts in 150 jurisdictions. More than 270 drug courts already
exist around the country, combining supervision with sanctions, testing and
drug treatment to coerce nonviolent criminals to come clean.

"To stop the revolving door of crime and narcotics, we must make offenders
stop abusing drugs," Clinton said. He noted that in some cities, drug-court
participants have recidivism -- or repeat offender -- rates as low as 4

An additional $5 million in federal money was released to six cities with
documented problems of methamphetamine abuse. Phoenix, Salt Lake City,
Oklahoma City, Dallas, Minneapolis and Little Rock, Ark., are getting
grants to tailor enforcement and prevention efforts to the peculiarities of
methamphetamine use.

"There is no single national drug problem. We have lots of very different
local drug problems," said Jeremy Travis, director of the National
Institute of Justice, research arm of the Justice Department.

The grants came as the institute's Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program,
or ADAM, showed a rebound in methamphetamine -- or "speed" -- use in
Western and Southwestern cities. Where use among arrested people fell in
these cities between 1994 and 1996, 1997 testing for the
aggression-inducing stimulant put its use back close to 40 percent of
adults arrested in San Diego; 18 percent in San Jose, Calif.; 16 percent in
Phoenix and Portland, Ore.; and 10 percent in Omaha, Neb.

By contrast, crack cocaine use continued to wane in Manhattan, with 21
percent of arrestees testing positive last year compared to 77 percent in

The ADAM survey also found cocaine is not as popular with young defendants
as it used to be. In Detroit and Washington, just 5 percent of those aged
15-20 tested positive for cocaine use, compared with almost 50 percent of
those 36 and over. In the late 1980s cocaine use among those arrested for
crimes reached 80 percent and higher.

"The younger brother looks at what's happening to his older brother, who is
now either in jail or a crackhead ... and says, 'I don't want that to be
me,"' Travis said.

Marijuana use appeared to be leveling off among male criminals. Fifteen of
the 23 survey sites reported drops in marijuana use by the younger group,
including substantial drops of between 5 and 9 percentage points in
Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Omaha, Phoenix and Washington. Some
cities reported slight increases in pot smoking by arrested women.

Heroin is finding a younger client base in New Orleans, Philadelphia and
St. Louis, the only three sites where heroin abuse was more likely among
the 15-20 age group than the older one.

"These findings reinforce the need to be able to monitor the drug use
problems at the local level, to provide policy makers with specific
guidance about how their programs and interventions are succeeding," said
Dr. Jack Riley, the ADAM program's director.

The program exists in 35 cities -- 23 that reported in 1997 and 12 new ones
-- and is due to expand by 2000 to 75 or 80, including every U.S. city with
populations greater than 200,000. In 1997, ADAM collected data, through
drug tests and interviews, from almost 32,000 men and women booked on
suspicion of crimes.

Meth Use On Rise In West As Cocaine Rates Fall
('The Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 12:19:20 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Meth Use on Rise
in West as Cocaine Rates Fall
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: gguardia@mindspring.com
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Comment: by Edwin Chen, Times Staff Writer


Health: As President Clinton releases funds to fight war on drugs, Justice
Department report concedes no single strategy can work. Problems vary
greatly by region and age.

WASHINGTON--The use of methamphetamines is rising dramatically in the
Western United States, the Justice Department reported Saturday in an
extensive new study that also shows America's crack cocaine epidemic
appears to have peaked.

In response to the report, President Clinton, in what amounts to a new
phase in the ongoing war on drugs, released $32 million in federal grants
Saturday to help local officials devise strategies tailored for their

"To stop the revolving door of crime and narcotics, we must make offenders
stop abusing drugs," Clinton said in his weekly radio address from the Oval

The new funds address the drug report's most sobering conclusion: that no
single national strategy will work because the drugs of choice vary
tremendously by region and age--with older users preferring cocaine and
younger ones favoring marijuana.

"There is no single national drug problem," said Jeremy Travis, director of
the National Institute of Justice, the Justice Department's research
division. "We have lots of different local drug problems."

In the West, and particularly in San Diego, the report found that the use
of methamphetamines continues to retain "a very solid hold," with nearly
40% of adults arrested in California's second-largest city testing positive.

Methamphetamine use soared in the early 1990s, with rates among adults who
were arrested reaching as high as 44% in San Diego, 25% in Phoenix and 20%
in San Jose, the study said. By the mid-1990s, however, methamphetamine use
fell significantly, with San Diego's rate dropping to 30%, Phoenix to 12%
and San Jose to 15%. Law enforcement officials attributed the drop to
crackdowns that focused largely on supply rather than demand.

But use of methamphetamines, which also go by the street names speed,
crystal meth and ice, began climbing again, and the new study's urinalysis
data indicated that such drug use "has returned close to" the record levels
of the early 1990s.

The first of a planned annual "Report on Adult and Juvenile Arrestees" was
based on urinalysis testing and interviews of more than 30,000 men, women,
boys and girls arrested last year in 23 metropolitan areas.

The report comes at a time of increasing focus on the drug war as
politicians jockey for partisan advantage before the November elections.

On Thursday, House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) joined Clinton in Atlanta
to announce an unprecedented $2-billion nationwide media campaign to
discourage children from using drugs.

The study reinforced the "strong nexus" between crime and drug use, with
50% to 75% of arrested people testing positive for drugs.

The decline of cocaine use was especially striking because many cities in
the Northeast and the West had reached epidemic levels in the late 1980s,
with 80% or more of those arrested believed to have been users.

But in Los Angeles, for example, 37% of men and 48% of women who were
arrested last year tested positive for cocaine.

The study further found that cocaine use nationally was "two to 10 times"
more likely among males 36 or older than males ages 15 to 20, a trend that
could bring lower crime rates because "older cocaine users are aging out or
dying out . . . ," said Jack Riley, director of the institute's Arrestee
Drug Abuse Monitoring Program.

In Detroit and Washington, only 5% of the younger age group used cocaine,
while nearly 50% of the older group tested positive.

Researchers call this discrepancy "the big brother syndrome," in which
younger children shun a drug after seeing its devastating effects on older

A similar generational difference, although to a lesser degree, also was
found for opiates, including heroin, with older suspects "several times
more likely" than younger ones to test positive, the report said.

But the reverse seems to apply to marijuana, which was disproportionately
concentrated among youths, the study found. In Los Angeles, juveniles had a
9% higher marijuana use rate than older suspects; in San Diego it was 5%.

Methamphetamine use prompted special concern among officials.

Noting that San Diego has been "extraordinarily hard hit," Riley said at a
White House briefing that methamphetamine now surpasses cocaine and
marijuana use among people arrested in the border city.

Other Western cities with high methamphetamine use among arrestees are San
Jose (18%), Phoenix (16%) and Omaha (10%). By comparison, usage in Los
Angeles was 8.9% for men and 4.7% for women.

The study also found that methamphetamine use is spreading to rural

"It's easy to manufacture," Travis explained, adding that there is "good
law enforcement evidence that much of the production of methamphetamine is
connected to activities south of the border . . ."

Three California cities were among the 23 metropolitan areas included in
the study: Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose. The institute plans to add
other cities, including Sacramento and Las Vegas, for future study.

Of the new funding released by Clinton, $27 million will go to more than
150 jurisdictions, including Los Angeles and Orange counties, to create
"drug courts," which combine supervision with drug treatment and monitoring
as an alternative to incarceration.

The president released an additional $5 million to six cities also hard hit
by methamphetamine use: Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.; Minneapolis; Oklahoma
City; Phoenix; and Salt Lake City. Clinton also made a special plea to the
GOP-controlled Congress to fund his request for $85 million for various
testing and treatment initiatives.

On Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) went on the attack
against Clinton and congressional Democrats.

With the GOP facing accusations of harboring a "do-little" agenda this
year, Lott tried to turn the tables, accusing Clinton of being a
"bystander" while chastising Democrats for "crying crocodile tears about a
do-nothing Congress" when in fact, Lott said, they are obstructing progress
on a range of issues.

"If you keep a sharp eye on the legislative action--or inaction--behind the
headlines, you'll be able to figure out who's trying to score one for the
American people and who's just trying to run out the clock," Lott said in
the weekly GOP response to Clinton's radio address.

Drug, Alcohol Abuse Cost US Billions (A Bloomberg News Service Article
In The New Bedford, Massachusetts 'Standard-Times' Recycles A Two-Month Old
Press Release From NIDA, The National Institute On Drug Abuse, But Omits
The Interesting Facts And Actually Misrepresents Several Others, Including
The Original Press Release's Assertion That Lost Productivity Accounted For
Only 14.5 Percent Of The Estimated Cost Of 'Drugs')

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 14:31:09 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Drug, alcohol abuse cost U.S. billions
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Pubdate: Sunday, 12 July, 1998
Author: Kristin Jensen, Bloomberg News Service


WASHINGTON -- Drug and alcohol abuse cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of
dollars a year because of lost productivity, health care and other
problems, according to a government study.

The National Institutes of Health said the cost totaled $246 billion in
1992, the most recent year with enough data for a study, and its
researchers projected the cost at $276 billion in 1995.

The 1992 study took into account everything from lost productivity to
drug-related crimes. Researchers found that the costs of alcohol and drug
abuse problems averaged about $965 a year for each person in the U.S.

"This study indicates that emergence of health problems from the cocaine
and HIV epidemics during this period substantially increased drug-related
costs to society," said Alan Leshner, director of the National Institute on
Drug Abuse. "The rising costs from these and other drug-related public
health issues warrant a strong, consistent and continuous investment in
research on prevention and treatment."

Most of the costs -- about two-thirds -- were related to lost productivity,
defined as illness or premature death. Another 13 percent of the total
costs were related to health-care spending, 9 percent to property damage
such as from car crashes and just under 9 percent to costs of substance
abuse-related crimes, the NIH said.

The researchers projected the 1995 losses of $276 billion based on
inflation and other factors.

To date, there are few available treatments for alcohol and drug abuse. A
notable exception is Madison, New Jersey-based American Home Products
Corp.'s Antabuse, which makes alcohol unpleasant to patients taking the drug.

ImmuLogic, based in Waltham, is among the companies developing new
treatments for drug abuse. In December, the company said it won approval to
test its cocaine addiction treatment in humans.

Sidestepping Sanctions - US Military Trains Foreign Troops (A Lengthy Expose
In 'The Washington Post' Shows How The US Military Has Been Circumventing
Congressional Restrictions On Military Aid To Countries With Documented Human
Rights Abuses By Training Special Forces And Counter-Narcotics Teams
In Foreign Countries)

Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 09:58:02 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Sidestepping Sanctions:
U.S. Military Trains Foreign Troops
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Paul Lewin
Source: Washington Post
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Author: Dana Priest
Note: This is the first of a three part series by the Washington Post
explaining how the US military has been circumventing Congressional
restrictions on military aid by training special forces teams in foreign
countries. Part two of this series focuses on military aid to Latin America
for counter-narcotics purposes, even when countries like Colombia are
decertified and have documented human rights violations.


1991 Law Waives Many Restrictions

On the day before Pakistan exploded five underground nuclear bombs in May,
while President Clinton was urgently warning leaders in Islamabad that an
atomic test would bring worldwide isolation, the U.S. military was quietly
pursuing its own agenda just outside the Pakistani capital.

At the Army general command at Rawalpindi, officers from both countries
finished plans to bring together 60 American and 200 Pakistani special
operations forces for small unit exercises outside Peshawar near
Afghanistan and for scuba attacks on mock targets in Mangla Lake, on the
edge of the contested mountain region of Kashmir.

"Inspired Venture," as the exercise is called, is still scheduled for
August, despite U.S. sanctions imposed in retaliation for the nuclear
blasts. Since 1993, similar ventures between the U.S. and Pakistani
militaries have also sidestepped earlier sanctions by Washington designed
to punish the country for its nuclear program.

The Pakistani case is not unique. Under a 1991 law exempting them from many
congressional and White House restrictions, American special operations
forces have established military ties in at least 110 countries,
unencumbered by public debate, effective civilian oversight or the
consistent involvement of the country's top foreign affairs officials.

The law, Section 2011 of Title 10 of the U.S. code, allows the military to
send special operations forces on overseas exercises on the condition that
the primary purpose is to train U.S. soldiers. Some exercises comply
unambiguously with the letter of the law. But a review of scores of
missions found that many more have been used routinely for broader aims,
including helping foreign armies fight drug traffickers, teaching
counterinsurgency techniques in countries concerned about domestic
stability and sharing U.S. military expertise in exchange for access to top
foreign officials.

As such missions have multiplied since the end of the Cold War, special
operations forces, including Army Green Berets, Navy SEALS and Air Force
special operations airmen, have become a leading force in exerting U.S.
influence abroad. Without firing a shot in anger, they are revising the
rules of U.S. engagement with scores of foreign countries.

In the process, military officials questioned about the exercises said,
they are becoming familiar with nations where they might one day return to
evacuate U.S. citizens -- as they have done recently in Liberia, Sierra
Leone and Albania -- deliver humanitarian supplies or fight a war. The
officials said U.S. forces also pass on their values of respect for human
rights, civilian leadership and the need for a nation's military to
maintain a professional, apolitical role in society.

Above all, the officials described the exercises, known as Joint Combined
Exchange Training, or JCETs, as an indispensable part of the key post-Cold
War mission of engaging militaries abroad.

"I'd rather talk to people than hit them with sanctions. [Special
operations forces] are the greatest asset we have. They are a force
multiplier and a diplomacy multiplier," said H. Allen Holmes, Assistant
Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict.

To determine the scope and content of the JCET missions worldwide, The
Washington Post pieced together information based on interviews and reports
from the Defense Department, the special operations staffs and units at the
United States' five regional warfighting commands, as well as several of
the Army and Navy units involved in creating the exercises and training
foreign troops from Cambodia to Kazakhstan.

Interviews with dozens of U.S. officers and troops around the world
revealed widely inconsistent interpretations of the purpose and even the
definition of JCETs. According to military officers involved in the program
and Defense Department documents, effective civilian oversight and
coordination with the State Department or National Security Council is
minimal to nonexistent, a view disputed by Holmes. And, although U.S.
ambassadors in countries where they take place are responsible for
approving and supervising JCETs, officers and troops said that in many
countries the U.S. military group at the embassy or the regional commander
in chief, known as the CINC, dominate the process, deciding where to go
and, more importantly, what kind of training to conduct.

As a result, JCETs often appear to bring America's premier soldiers into
conflict with aims of American diplomacy enunciated in Washington.

For example:

The Clinton administration has enforced a near-total ban on the supply and
sale of U.S. military equipment and training for the Colombian military
because of its deep involvement in drug-related corruption and its record
of killing politicians, human rights activists and civilians living in
areas controlled by guerrilla groups. The restrictions have permitted
limited training in specific areas controlled by drug traffickers, but
require that Colombian units first be evaluated for human rights
performance before receiving U.S. assistance.

However, U.S. special operations forces, unbeknownst to many in Congress
who fought for the original restrictions, are legally free of these
restraints and have trained hundreds of Colombian troops in "shoot and
maneuver" techniques, counterterrorism and intelligence gathering. The
special forces training proceeded even in 1996 and 1997, when Clinton
"decertified" Colombia for military assistance because of its failure to
cooperate with U.S. anti-narcotics policy.

In on-the-record interviews, several officers with longtime experience in
Colombia said the human rights records of the Colombian units trained by
special forces in these exercises are not evaluated because it would
interfere with the unit's ability to work together. Asked about the
training, Defense officials initially said -- correctly -that they are not
legally required to vet the units. In subsequent interviews, however, they
said such vetting does take place.

In Indonesia, special operations forces have conducted 41 training
exercises since 1991, despite a congressional ban on training Indonesia's
officers in the United States and a checkered human rights record. Most of
the exercises involved Indonesia's elite Kopassus troops, whom U.S.
officials have accused of involvement in kidnappings and torture of
anti-government activists.

U.S. officers involved in the training maintained in recent interviews that
they were prohibited from teaching Indonesians lethal tactics. In fact, no
such restrictions exist. According to interviews and documents, lethal
tactics are a regular part of the exercises, which have included
instruction in sniper techniques, close-quarters combat, demolition, mortar
attacks and air and sea assaults.

The State Department's annual human rights report this year said the
military in Papua New Guinea had "committed extrajudicial killings, were
responsible for disappearances, abused prisoners and detainees, and
employed harsh enforcement measures again civilians," much of it related to
suppression of a 10-year-old insurgency that has cost 20,000 lives. A
separate State Department report to Congress said that to encourage reform
of the country's armed forces, officers would receive U.S.-based training
"with an emphasis on human rights, civilian control of the military, and
military justice."

The report did not mention that once or twice a year, in an exercise dubbed
"Balance Passion," U.S. special operations forces provide instruction to
local troops in demolition, patrolling and communications as well as in
internal defense tactics and field medicine. In return, according to U.S.
officials, American troops have learned about the country's culture and
landscape and the tactics of the Papua New Guinea armed forces.

In Turkey, repression against Kurdish villagers has raised opposition in
Congress and the State Department to the sale of attack helicopters to the
military. In 1996, the State Department documented the use of U.S.-supplied
equipment to kill and force the evacuation of civilians in disputed areas
of southeastern Turkey, where a conflict with Kurdish Workers Party
guerrillas has claimed 22,000 lives.

However, the U.S. European Command's special operations branch last year
conducted its first training exercise with the Turkish Mountain Commandos,
a unit whose chief function is to fight Kurdish guerrillas. The purpose of
the exercises, according to a U.S. after-action report, was "to ascertain
the future training needs of the Turks and to establish the groundwork" for
future bilateral exercises with the unit. The document advised American
participants in future such missions to "be prepared to get no [tactical]
training value from the exercise."

In 1993, the U.S. ambassador to Equatorial Guinea was expelled after
criticizing the government for human rights abuses. This spring, Amnesty
International issued an urgent appeal against torture and illegal
detentions of dozens of ethnic Bubi by the military forces. In April,
Timothy F. Geithner, an assistant Treasury Department secretary, told
Congress that the tiny African country was one of only five nations where
Washington would oppose lending by the International Monetary Fund because
of its gross human rights violations.

But the 3rd Special Forces Group based at Fort Bragg, N.C., continues to
train scores of local troops in Equatorial Guinea in light infantry skills,
including operations planning, small unit tactics, land navigation,
reconnaissance and medicine. Although such exercises are supposed to be
coordinated through the U.S. Embassy, the embassy in Equatorial Guinea has
been closed for budgetary reasons since 1995.

In Suriname, king-making former military leader Desi Bouterse is wanted on
an international warrant for drug trafficking and money laundering. The
chief of military police, Col. Etienne Boerenveen, served five years in a
Miami jail for drug running. In the words of Jack A. Blum, the former chief
investigator for the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on narcotics,
the South American country has become "a criminal enterprise."

Nevertheless, a team from the 7th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg has
conducted light infantry training and noncommissioned officer leadership
classes with dozens of members of Suriname's armed forces as recently as
March. Army Special Forces troops first described the deployments as a
one-time "security survey" for embassy personnel.

In an interview, Holmes insisted that these missions, like all those
authorized by Section 2011, were principally meant to train U.S. troops.
Asked whether he believed all deployments fit the letter of the law, he
said, "Absolutely, 100 percent. . . . Every single deployment is for the
purpose, first and foremost . . . to train special operations forces."

Despite its policy implications, the JCET program has drawn little
discernible attention from senior foreign policy officials in Washington.
White House national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, whose
National Security Council coordinates diplomatic and military policy for
the president, said in an interview that he was not familiar with the
program's details and asked for time to study the question. Later, an aide
said Berger would not answer questions about the program and referred
inquiries to Defense Secretary William S. Cohen.

Cohen, a former U.S. senator whose keen interest in special operations
dates back two decades, signs deployment orders for most JCETs. However, he
declined requests for an interview repeated over several weeks. Instead, he
issued a one-paragraph statement through his staff.

"JCETs are the backbone of training for Special Operations Forces,
preparing them to operate throughout the world," Cohen's statement said.
"In those areas where our forces conduct JCETs, they encourage democratic
values and regional stability. In the future, we can expect our forces to
confront threats posed by an increasingly diverse set of actors, placing a
premium on the skills our forces developed in JCETs."

Critics challenge whether the Pentagon is monitoring the program closely
enough to reach that conclusion.

"Due to feckless leadership in the civilian oversight office, we don't have
a handle on how the CINCs spend that [JCET] money," said Timothy Connolly,
a former special operations officer who was the principal deputy in the
Pentagon office supervising special operations from 1993 to 1996, when he
was fired after an unrelated policy dispute. "We have no idea what their
objectives are, what the units involved are. . . . The definition of [the]
training is extremely elastic depending upon the wishes of the

Quiet Professionals

The JCET program was born at the end of the Cold War, when the United
States suddenly had the opportunity to open new military relationships with
dozens of former Soviet-or non-aligned countries. At the same time, the
central perceived military threat to U.S. security shifted away from a
Soviet-U.S. confrontation to instability and regional ethnic and religious

For military leaders, special operations forces seemed ideal for these new
missions. Heralded as "the point of the spear" in unconventional
warfighting since World War II and throughout the Cold War, special
operations forces, often in partnership with the CIA, had led covert
operations against communist-backed insurgencies in Vietnam, Laos, Latin
America and Africa. During the civil war in El Salvador, advisers from Army
Special Forces played a key role in helping the government beat back a
leftist guerrilla movement.

Special operations forces are designed to operate in small groups for long
periods behind enemy lines, or to live and work amid a foreign population
-- as they are doing today in Bosnia. They pride themselves as "the quiet
professionals." Rigorous training, proficiency in foreign languages and
political acumen give them a self-sufficiency and versatility in countries
where a larger U.S. presence might create controversy both locally and in
the United States.

In 1987, the military inaugurated an independent command to consolidate
special operations forces -- Army Green Berets, Rangers and the covert
Delta Force; Navy SEALS, Special Boat Units and the covert Team 6; and Air
Force special operations and internal defense squadrons. The move was
sponsored by then-senator Cohen (R-Maine) and his colleague on the Senate
Armed Services Committee, Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), who felt these elite warriors
had been neglected.

Just as a civilian secretary is appointed to supervise the Army and the
other service branches, the assistant secretary of defense for Special
Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict (SOLIC) is responsible for overseeing
the Tampa-based U.S. Special Operations Command. Devising rules for the new
command, Pentagon lawyers determined that "it was unclear" whether the
command was authorized to spend money to send its troops on overseas
training missions, as the individual regional commanders and the Army and
Navy had done for years.

Their solution was Section 2011, an amendment of Title 10 of the U.S. code,
which lays out the guidelines for decision-making, money-spending and troop
deployment for the military. The amendment gave commanders of special
operations forces the authority to deploy and pay for training of U.S. and
foreign troops if "the primary purpose of the training . . . shall be to
train the special operations forces of the combatant command."

The law also allows the commander to finance part of the foreign country's
participation in the training by buying food, fuel and ammunition during
the exercise. But the overall budget for JCETs remains minuscule by
Pentagon standards -- $15.2 million for fiscal 1997 -- in part because it
excludes transportation, usually the single largest expense.

Section 2011 created a critical loophole. In most cases, the House and
Senate foreign affairs committees preside over how the government spends
money overseas, including foreign aid, arms sales, the deployment of
"mobile training teams" and the training of foreign military officers in
the United States. The committees, which monitor the overall conduct of
U.S. foreign policy in addition to appropriating the money and authorizing
its expenditure, are the sources of restrictions on U.S. aid to many
countries -- restrictions that ban U.S. military cooperation or impose
economic sanctions in response to human rights abuses, support for
terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

However, to preserve the autonomy of special operations forces, Section
2011 comes under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate defense
committees, where the same restrictions do not apply and expenditures are
authorized through different channels, and where members are traditionally
more sympathetic to Pentagon programs. As a result, regional military
commanders and U.S. ambassadors enjoy wide independence in directing
special forces training missions, including in countries otherwise
subjected to restrictions.

"It was groundbreaking," said James A. Locher III, who helped craft the
legislation as a Senate staff member and later headed the SOLIC office in
the Bush administration. "It has permitted us to go to a lot of different
places, to improve our relationships with a lot of different countries. . .
We had foreseen that special operations forces were going to become
increasingly important because of their skills and the types of threats we
would face, that they would be the forces of choice by the CINCs and

The law has helped fuel a bonanza for special operations forces. Not only
have they escaped the military downsizing of the 1990s, they now have a
larger force -- 47,000 people -- than at any time in their history. Their
diverse skills and flexibility have made them a model for other troops
dispatched around the globe during a decade dominated by nontraditional
missions involving peacekeeping, drug interdiction and humanitarian crises,
from Bosnia to Haiti to Somalia.

The increasing importance of special operations forces in the field has
coincided with the decline in civilian foreign aid and U.S. diplomatic
presence in some regions and the military's withdrawal from many permanent
overseas bases. Increasingly, American soldiers have taken on jobs that
once belonged almost exclusively to civilian diplomats, spreading U.S.
influence, discreetly forging new alliances and cultivating contacts among
foreign leaders.

"Our CINCs are being told they have to shape the environment and we're well
suited for that," said Brig. Gen. John Scales, until this summer deputy
commander of the U.S. Army's Special Forces Command.

JCETs still provide a way to train U.S. troops. For example, the 1st
Special Forces Group based in Okinawa, Japan, accommodates Japanese
political sensitivities by practicing parachuting in Thailand. Reluctance
by U.S. cities to allow training in urban warfare tactics has led to JCETs
in Singapore, Lithuania and India. Since the art of jungle tracking has
been all but lost among U.S. forces, they now train in Malaysia or the
upper jungles of Irian Jaya in Indonesia. When the Air Force's 352nd
Special Operations Group, based in England, has needed to practice flying
low and without lights at night, they have gone to mountainous Morocco.

But most of the training exercises made possible by Section 2011 appear to
have more ambitious goals, with implications across a broad range of U.S.
foreign policy.

In once communist or Soviet-aligned countries such as Kazakhstan,
Madagascar, Mongolia, Russia and Uzbekistan, JCETs have been used as
ice-breaking "first dates" with former adversaries. Plans are in the works
for the first such exercises involving U.S. and Chinese troops next year.

In the Persian Gulf, when the Pentagon wanted to beef up ground troops
without attracting attention during the confrontation with Iraq earlier
this year, it nearly doubled the number of special operations forces
participating in "Iris Gold," a nearly continuous JCET in Kuwait. The 234
U.S. troops then became part of the planned operation against Iraq.

In Laos, Cambodia, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Chad -- where the
United States was perceived as either a hostile or aloof power during the
Cold War -- special operations forces have given courses on the relatively
neutral subject of removing land mines. Because the troops are forbidden by
law from actually removing mines, they may be less helpful to the host
countries than civilian technicians. But the exercises are valued as a foot
in the door for more traditional military alliances with countries still
skittish about U.S. ties, according to U.S. officials.

"There is definitely a political card played with these JCETs," said Wayne
A. Downing, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command from 1993 to 1996.
"They are a direct instrument of U.S. foreign policy. They may be the most
direct and most involved, tangible, physical part of U.S. foreign policy in
certain countries."

Staving Off Instability

In October 1997, in a housing project under construction by the Lippo Group
conglomerate about 18 miles outside Jakarta, 12 U.S. Army Special Forces
troops diagramed a straightforward mission: Find the enemy somewhere in a
warren of plywood rooms, blow a hole in the wall and kill or capture as
many as possible while trying not to shoot each other.

The participants in the staged drama were 60 troops from Indonesia's
special forces unit, Kopassus, and the Jakarta area military command, Kodam
Jaya. Using the U.S. Army's "laser tag" equipment and, for atmospherics, a
couple of Puma and Super Puma helicopters, American commanders were
teaching the Indonesians how to plan and conduct close-quarters combat and
other of the finer points of urban warfare.

"We just show them how we do it and they adopted what they want," said a
U.S. defense analyst in Indonesia who has taken part in many bilateral
exercises. The analyst, who was interviewed in the presence of the U.S.
Embassy's public affairs officer but asked not to be named, said that only
with some exercises could he make the case that training U.S. troops was
the main goal.

No type of JCET training is in greater demand around the world today than
instruction in "foreign internal defense," a concept refined in successive
battles against communism that has survived the end of the superpower
struggle. It remains "our bread and butter," said Maj. Thaddeus McWhorter
of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command.

The internal defense training also illustrates perhaps more clearly than
any other type how JCETs can be used in the service of other agendas,
including domestic concerns in the countries where the training occurs.

Instruction in "fid" has contributed to some of the most celebrated
episodes in the history of the special forces, including a 1967 mission to
Bolivia to train and equip a new Bolivian Ranger Battalion. Several days
after that exercise ended, the Bolivian unit, with the help of the CIA,
captured and executed the Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara,
"putting an end to the insurgency and completing a classic example of a
foreign internal defense mission," according to a U.S. special operations

Today, in countries including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Fiji, Madagascar,
Malaysia, Singapore, Honduras, Panama and Argentina, where armed domestic
opposition is negligible or nonexistent, U.S. forces are teaching armies
how to track down opponents, surprise them in helicopter attacks, kill them
with more proficiency or, in some cases, how to lead house-to-house raids
in "close quarters combat" designed for cities.

Instead of communism, the enemy described in current exercises is often
internal unrest that could threaten a government. "We are setting the
conditions for stability by insuring security," said a high-ranking officer
at the U.S. Pacific Command. "The threat of instability, that is the major

The purpose of exercises focusing on "fid" -- far from the training of U.S.
troops mandated by Section 2011 -- is "to organize, train, advise, and
assist" a foreign military so that it can "free and protect its society
from subversion, lawlessness, and insurgency," according to Field Manual
31-20, "Doctrine for Special Forces Operations," issued in April 1990 and
still in use.

Promoting stability has sometimes placed U.S. troops in the midst of
internal disputes. In May 1997, the 3rd Special Forces Group was in Sierra
Leone teaching light infantry skills to 300 troops of the president's honor
and security guard when other officers carried out a coup. Members of the
3rd Group, who ended up helping evacuate U.S. Embassy workers, said
recently that none of the soldiers they were training was involved in the
coup. But Johnny Paul Koromah, the brother of the commander of the camp
where they were staying, was its instigator and took power as a result.

In Sri Lanka, U.S. military training is described in a fiscal 1999 report
to Congress by the State Department as an effort to "train key military
leaders in human rights principles and procedures." In fact, in "fid"
exercises the Green Berets and SEALS have trained the Sri Lankan army in
long-range patrolling, tactical reconnaissance, rapid reaction air and sea
attacks and maritime operations that are aimed at depriving Tamil rebels of
easy access to supply bases in Tamil Nadu across the Palk Strait in India,
according to Defense documents and interviews. At least 500 Sri Lankan and
115 U.S. troops were involved in the 1996 and 1997 exercises. More have
taken place this year.

While traditionally "fid" training "implies an active insurgency," in the
words of a senior Army Special Forces officer, this is not always the case
on the ground. In September 1996, 106 U.S. troops went to Panama on a
foreign internal defense exercise that included maritime operations, light
infantry training and live fire exercises. Months before, 84 U.S. special
operations forces trained 97 Ecuadorans in riverine operations, aerial
supply, close air support and airborne operations described as a "FID" in
defense documents.

In the case of Indonesia, where, according to intelligence officials, no
external military threat exists and where the internal insurgency amounts
to several hundred poorly armed guerrillas, the Indonesian military viewed
as "subversive" the many students, church people and political activists
opposed to the 31-year military rule of President Suharto, who stepped down
in May.

U.S. military personnel in Indonesia insisted they do not teach Indonesians
how to suppress domestic opponents. But the kind of training exercises they
undertake focuses on mock internal enemies, and some Indonesian officers,
asked about what they are learning from the Americans, hold this view.

Five months after last year's urban warfare exercises near Jakarta, U.S.
special operations forces went to Serang, on the northwest part of the
island of Java, with another Kopassus unit, where they helped set off
claymore mines and grenades and taught troops how to rappel from
helicopters and conduct quick extractions. At Chamara, on the Javanese
coast, they organized a mock sea-launched assault on a communications
center. U.S. troops were instructed in tracking and countertracking tactics
by Indonesians who specialize in jungle warfare.

U.S. military officials said the exercises are an important part of an
American effort to rebuild a strong regional presence diminished after the
U.S. closed its bases in the Philippines in 1992. They also described them
as a chance to plant U.S. military traditions in the most powerful
institution in the world's fifth most populous country.

The training "exposes Indonesian officers to the American system," said
Salim Said, an Indonesian political scientist. "It wouldn't suddenly change
this country, but it will help expose them to a democratic system.
Democracy is a culture."

In interviews, Indonesians emphasized the practical application and status
connected to the exercises -- several officers with the closest American
ties are at the top of the institution.

"Our real opponent is the internal riot," said a three-star Indonesian
general interviewed in Jakarta this spring as the student-led riots were in
full bloom. The United States "teaches us how to stop civilian

Rights by Example

When the Indonesian program came to light amid civil unrest that led to
Suharto's downfall, members of Congress summoned administration officials
for closed-door briefings to explain the origins and purpose of the
training, and the reasons they had not been informed.

Cohen postponed a planned Indonesian exercise but did not cancel the
program. He pledged to improve reports to Congress about the missions and
to have SOLIC approve all training on a quarterly basis.

Holmes, who as the head of SOLIC has responsibility for all special
operations missions, described the quarterly reviews, which have not yet
begun, as "not an approval process," but "a final check." This is being
done, he said, because "we're good listeners" and Congress has asked for
increased oversight, not because he or the Defense Department believes
there is a problem with the program.

Holmes said he is satisfied that the U.S. ambassadors and the regional
commanders in chief are properly coordinating the exercises with U.S.
foreign policy goals in mind. Putting himself, the National Security
Council or senior State Department officials into the mix "isn't necessary
because we have confidence in the judgment and management of the program."

But although responsibility for the program falls to the CINCs, they often
do not even share a common definition of the term JCET, making accounting
haphazard at best.

In the case of Colombia, for example, the U.S. Southern Command responded
to an initial Washington Post inquiry by saying there were no JCETs in the
country last year. Later, the command said that 29 exercises involving 319
U.S. troops had actually taken place. Nevertheless, the Defense
Department's official report to Congress for 1997 lists just three JCETs in
Colombia involving 143 American troops.

When pressed to justify deployments that appeared to hold little direct
benefit for U.S. troops, officials advance a variety of explanations. In
some cases they maintain that by training foreign troops, U.S. forces were
learning how to train foreign troops, one of their main official missions.

That explanation, they said, includes missions such as in El Salvador,
where the 7th Special Forces Group provided near-continuous basic training
to Salvadoran Army recruits in areas of the country previously in guerrilla
hands. The training was scaled back recently after U.S. officials
eventually concluded that it was too time-consuming and brought little
benefit to U.S. troops.

Officials point out that special operations forces also collect valuable
information on everything from topography to the backgrounds of foreign
leaders during exercises. They learn about a country's edible and poisonous
plants, insects and animals, about water currents and prevailing winds,
about what twigs in a forest crack under a human footfall. They improve
their language skills and knowledge of foreign cultures, and can evaluate
the readiness of foreign troops, special operations officials say.

U.S. troops return from trips with "stacks of maps, stacks of photos," said
one Pentagon official. Reports describe landing sites and other information
that could be used in an evacuation of U.S. personnel or in humanitarian
relief operations.

However, clearly detailed accounts of the missions are not shared with
Congress, the public or senior foreign policymakers. Although the Pentagon
files annual reports to lawmakers about JCETs, Defense Department officials
acknowledged that the reports, which were declassified for the first time
this year, are vague and difficult to decipher. In March, before the
Indonesia controversy, Pentagon officials requested that Congress repeal
the reporting requirement, calling it "unduly burdensome."

The resistance to greater oversight has extended to the handling of human
rights issues.

At the request of Congress and the civilian Pentagon leadership, many
training exercises include some instruction on the treatment of prisoners
of war and noncombatants and on U.S. and international standards of human
rights. However, military officials argue that evaluating units for human
rights violators -- as is required under other programs -- would be
counterproductive, and perhaps endanger the missions.

"Because we're dealing with [individual military] units and you can't tell
the host nation who they can have in those units," said a senior SOLIC
official who asked not to be named. In some countries, even mentioning
human rights sometimes "puts the program at risk."

In practical terms, said Brig. Gen. John Scales of the U.S. Army Special
Forces Command, "You can't go in there and give them training on human
rights; it's by your example" that they learn.

For the past two months, Defense officials have insisted that JCETs will
not be affected by restrictions imposed on all other defense programs by a
new law, sponsored by Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), prohibiting U.S. aid
to any unit of a foreign security force that has been implicated in gross
human rights violations.

But that view may soon be changing.

In response to questions raised by The Washington Post, State Department
spokesman Jamie Rubin said Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright intends
to require U.S. ambassadors to use their authority over the scheduling of
U.S. military activities to ensure that foreign troops with whom the U.S.
military plans to train are vetted for human rights abuses.

"As a general rule," Rubin said in an interview yesterday, "we believe that
programs in which American military forces engage with units of other
military governments serve an important purpose" as part of U.S. engagement
strategy around the world.

"What we need to do is make sure . . . they are not assisting units that
are gross violators of human rights," Rubin said. "Secretary Albright is
determined to do all we can at the embassy level to make sure" that such
assistance does not take place.

It remains unclear how these efforts to increase civilian oversight would
work or whether the Pentagon will accept them. But in response to initial
proposals that Holmes, the Pentagon civilian who oversees special
operations, have greater input into the process, former special operations
commander Downing said they would hobble the program.

"That really scares me," he said. "That means the bureaucrats will get back
in and do their thing. The people who should have control are the people
who actually do things."

Researcher Robert Thomasson and The Washington Post's News Research Center
staff contributed to this report.

Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

New US Envoy To Mexico Says Drugs A Shared Problem ('Reuters'
Notes Career Diplomat Jeffrey Davidow Told The English-Language
'Mexico City News' In An Interview Published Sunday That 'Both Countries
Have Got To Assume Responsibility' For The War On Some United States
Drug Users And 'Both Countries Have Got To Cooperate With Each Other
And . . . Confront The Problem At All Levels')
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 01:46:44 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US/Mexico: WIRE: New U.S. envoy to Mexico says drugs a shared problem Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 12 Jul 1998 NEW U.S. ENVOY TO MEXICO SAYS DRUGS A SHARED PROBLEM MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Mexico and the United States must accept the billion-dollar flow of drugs across the border is a bilateral problem and cannot be blamed on just one country or another, the new U.S. ambassador to Mexico said. Career diplomat Jeffrey Davidow, whose appointment was approved in June, told the English-language Mexico City News in an interview published Sunday relations were ``multifaceted'' but that trade, immigration and drugs would top his agenda. ``I think Mexico is perceived as being extraordinarily important to the United States,'' said Davidow, who is expected to take up his job later this month after political squabbling in Washington had left the post vacant for a year. On drugs, Davidow said: ``What is important is that we see drugs as a shared problem. I think to a degree this is happening.'' ``Both countries have got to assume responsibility. Both countries have got to cooperate with each other and with other countries, and confront the problem at all levels.'' Davidow, a former ambassador to Venezuela who speaks Spanish fluently and is currently assistant secretary of state for Inter-American affairs, admitted U.S. officials made mistakes in a recent probe against money-laundering by Mexican banks. Operation Casablanca, a three-year sting that implicated officials at a dozen Mexican banks for laundering money for cocaine cartels, provoked fury among Mexican legislators and charges Washington had infringed Mexican sovereignty. ``We have said, and I've said personally, that I think Casablanca was useful in that it caught crooks,'' Davidow said. ''Yet, at the same time, I think mistakes were made. I believe there could have been better coordination between the government of the United States, the government of Mexico.'' The U.S. diplomat said another area to focus on was making the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) ``work'' and that he would pay a lot of attention to Mexican concerns over immigration. He also stressed the importance of looking after American citizens and their problems in Mexico. Included in that were concerns about surging crime in Mexico, which Davidow described as a major problem. ``There are no easy answers, but it does seem to me that improving the efficiency of police forces, improving the efficiency of judicial systems so that when criminals are detained they are quickly judged, prosecuted and sentenced (would bring results),'' he said. On the issue of the 4-1/2 year conflict with Zapatista Indian rebels in the troubled state of Chiapas, the new U.S. envoy said Washington did not pressure Mexico. ``We believe that the problem in Chiapas is one that has to be resolved through peaceful means. We believe that the government of Mexico is making a serious effort to find a peaceful resolution,'' he said. As well as being the United States' second largest trading partner after Canada, Mexico is also considered a key diplomatic post because it is on the front lines of the U.S. fight against illegal drugs and immigration. Drug experts say around 70 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States passes through Mexico.

Cannabis Campaign - Chemicals Help Brain Damage After A Stroke
(Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Continues Its Weekly Push
For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws With A Recap Of Last Week's News
About Researchers At The US National Institute For Mental Health
Discovering Two Components In Marijuana They Think Could Be Used
To Prevent Brain Damage After Strokes)

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 11:43:32 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: OPED: Cannabis Campaign -
Chemicals Help Brain Damage After A Stroke
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)
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square
Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL
Editors note: The IoS Cannabis Campaign has web pages at
Author: Vanessa Thorpe


Scientists at the United States National Institute of Mental Health
released research results last week which show that taking cannabis could
protect the brain from the damage inflicted by a stroke.

The chemicals examined, known as cannabinoids, are believed to work
independently of the more widely advertised euphoric effects of the
cannabis plant.

After experimenting in the laboratory on the brains of foetal rats, Aiden
Hampson and his colleagues at the Washington-based federal institute found
that some of the cannabinoids acted as a useful block to other more
dangerous chemicals in the brain.

These toxic neurochemicals are the ones which systematically kill cells if
the oxygen supply is cut off, as, for example, the result of a blood clot
leading to a stroke.

Brain cells which are starved of oxygen release large amounts of glutamate,
a neurotransmitter or message-carrying chemical. This overstimulates nerve
cells and quickly kills them.

It has already been medically established for some time that other
chemicals in the group known as antioxidants can also counter this damaging
activity in the brain, but Hampson's team is now suspecting that
cannabinoids might prove just as, or even more, effective.

The two cannabinoids which were tested on the brains of rats were
cannabidiol and THC, the active ingredient in the drug that causes its
psychoactive effects.

It was the former, cannabidiol, which gave the scientists most cause for
hope. Unlike THC, it does not cause a "high" in the patient. "This is a
better candidate," said Mr Hampson, who suggests that, in the test tube at
least, the substance seemed to be both potent and protective.

The federal scientists' research was published in Tuesday's edition of the
journal Proceedings Of The National Academy of Sciences, and the article
made it clear that it is still too early to tell to what extent cannabidiol
will be able to help humans.

The scientists involved were also unable to confirm the idea that simply
taking the drug recreationally would afford some kind of protection against
brain damage in the event of a stroke.

Meanwhile, less authoritative research in the States is beginning to
indicate that some of the properties of cannabis might be used to help
people withdraw from addictions to cocaine and heroin. Veteran American
pro-cannabis campaigner Dana Beal is calling for more research to clarify
the positive uses of cannabis.

"This is further proof that the government has been consistently wrong to
connect cannabis use with those of harder drugs. Its effects are entirely
different and it may actually be possible to use it as part of a recovery
from addiction," he told the Independent on Sunday.

Straw's Children Make Him Desert Island Dope (Britain's 'Sunday Times'
Says The 17-Year-Old Son Of British Home Secretary And Zealous Prohibitionist
Jack Straw, Who Was Busted In December For Selling Cannabis, Picked The Song
'I've Got A Skinful Of Dope' For His Dad' s Appearance On The Radio Program
'Desert Island Discs')
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 14:38:38 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Straw's Children Make Him Desert Island Dope 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: Sunday Times (UK) Contact: editor@sunday-times.co.uk Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 Author: Nicholas Rufford, Home Affairs Editor STRAW'S CHILDREN MAKE HIM DESERT ISLAND DOPE NEVER trust your children's taste in music. Or so Jack Straw, the home secretary, has found to his cost. The choice by William and Charlotte, his two teenagers, of History by the Verve for his appearance on Desert Island Discs includes the chorus: "I've got a skinful of dope." The irony is unlikely to be lost on listeners to Radio 4: William, 17, was caught supplying cannabis in a south London pub before Christmas. The song is one of eight choices by Straw to accompany a stroll down memory lane, which includes a description of his childhood in a one-parent family on an Essex council estate and his divorce and loss of a child. Others songs include Get Off My Cloud by the Rolling Stones, Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Handel's Messiah. Pressed about William's brush with the law by Sue Lawley, the Desert Island Discs presenter, Straw agreed that his son was "set up" but admitted: "That doesn't excuse what he did, which was both wrong and also foolish. "It was an awful thing to happen. He shouldn't have done it. It was wrong. I talked to him and said, 'Look William, there is only one thing to do in this situation. You and I have to go to the police station and you have got to say what happened and I'm sorry, old son, you've got to take it on the chin.' " An embarrassed Home Office spin doctor admitted yesterday that Straw had not grasped the meaning of the lyrics in the Verve's 1995 hit: "It was chosen for him. He did not vet every line." The words will come as no surprise to fans of the Verve. Narcotics are a consistent theme of the group's songs; one of their other big hits is The Drugs Don't Work. The issue of cannabis and Straw's family is a banana skin that keeps getting under his feet. Ed Straw, Jack's brother, has talked openly about his own "hippie" phase, when he enjoyed smoking - and inhaling - cannabis. Straw has had to state repeatedly that despite being a radical leftwinger at university and one-time president of the National Union of Students, he has never puffed a joint. In fact, Straw probably has little to worry about. Opinion polls showed his public approval rating went up after the publicity over his son. Most people thought a home secretary should be able to draw on first-hand experience when formulating policies on youth, justice and drugs. Straw has also equalled the reputation of his predecessor, Michael Howard, for being tough on crime. In the Radio 4 interview he reveals that he has made three citizens' arrests. "The first time it was a burglar in Blackburn and I heard him breaking out of the Nalgo club. I went out hoping he'd gone the other way, but in fact I collided with him. He tore off up the street and I tore off after him. Then he stopped in a street appropriately called Nab Lane, so I grabbed him." Straw blames his sometimes lacklustre Commons performance on a combination of tinnitus and deafness in one ear. Wags will point out that his condition may also explain why he is oblivious to song lyrics. Copyright 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd.

Why A Library Trip Can Really Alter The Mind ('Scotland On Sunday'
Columnist Graham Ogilvy, Who Apparently Has Never Been Inside One Himself,
Says Scientists Think Fungus Growing On Old Books Could Get You High,
The Operative Word Being 'Could')

Date: Sun, 12 Jul 1998 15:23:53 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Column: Why A Library Trip Can Really Alter The Mind
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 12 Jul 1998
Source: Scotland on Sunday
Contact: Letters_sos@scotsman.com
Column: Graham Ogilvy's Diary


It brings a whole new meaning to a trip to the library. Scientists think
fungus growing on old books could get you high.

Experts on the various fungi which feed on the pages and covers of books
are increasingly convinced that spending enough time around ancient tomes
and decaying manuscripts in dank archives can cause hallucinations.

Archivists and book conservators know the airborne spores of many moulds
can trigger allergic reactions and respiratory problems, particularly among
asthma sufferers. Other fungi produce mycotoxins, poisons which can
severely damage the brain, bone marrow, liver and kidneys.

But the possibility has now been raised that some classes of fungal spore
contain other pharmacological properties such as the ability, in some
cases, to cause hallucinations. Leading mycologist Professor Roger Hay has
suggested that it is the fungi on books - not their contents - which have
truly mind-altering qualities.

"It is not inconceivable that intoxication might follow inhalation of spore
from suitable mould fungi in libraries. The source of inspiration for many
great literary figures may have been nothing more than a quick sniff of the
bouquet of mouldy books," he said.

While no scientific studies have been done to indicate how many spores
someone would have to inhale to seriously affect their behaviour, US
specialists have estimated that it would take a fairly concentrated
exposure over a considerable period of time.

Bob Child, head of conservation at the National Museum of Wales, said that
while he had not heard of any cases of hallucinating readers, he welcomed
the news. "This really introduces a completely new dimension to our
conservation practice and it may even encourage more people to become paper
conservators so that they can become whazzed."

Child said the possibility of turning on, tuning in and dropping out at
work is just the latest in a series of occupational hazards for librarians
and museum staff. "Just recently, a number of museums closed down their
herbaria [dried flower collections] because they found that the amount of
mercury in them was astronomical. Up until 30 years ago it was common
practice to spray the displays with mercury to protect them against mould.
Similarly, stuffed animals were treated with arsenic, cyanide and DDT to
safeguard them against insects and pests.

Opinion is still divided on whether the promise of an expanded
consciousness can lure teenagers back into public libraries. "I'm not sure
whether this means that they'll be rushing to the rare books section but
I'm all for it," laughs Child. "They could come for a vivid educational
experience: read the words and see the lights."



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