------------------------------------------------------------------- Five Measures Make Ballot ('Reuters' Notes The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Will Be On The November 1998 Ballot, In Addition To The Vote On Recriminalization)Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 11:59:01 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OR: WIRE: Five Measures Make Ballot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Reuters Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 FIVE MEASURES MAKE BALLOT (SALEM, OR) -- Oregon voters will decide two marijuana-related ballot measures with very different approaches to use of the drug. One measure to allow medical use of marijuana to ease nausea and increase patients' appetites has qualified with enough signatures to get onto the November ballot. At odds with it is a measure referred by state lawmakers to make possessing small amounts of marijuana a crime again. Others ballot measures would allow adults who were adopted to see their birth certificates, prevent unions from spending money from payroll-deductions on political activities, and allow vote by mail in all elections. Officials are still counting signatures for a half-dozen other measures.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mother Blows Whistle On Wild Mazatlan Trip ('The Oregonian' Says A Eugene, Oregon Mother Who Was Perfectly Happy To Have Her 18-Year-Old Daughter Celebrate Her Graduation From High School By Joining Other Revelers On A 'Booze Cruise' To Mexico, Where She Could Drink Alcohol Legally, Is Raising A Ruckus With The FAA Over The Way Flight Personnel Promoted A Wet T-Shirt Contest - Illustrating How The Justice System Works In Oregon, The Woman Told The Tour Company, 'You Messed With The Wrong Mom - I Personally Know My Congressman And I Personally Know My US Senator, And You Guys Are Toast') The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Mother blows whistle on wild Mazatlan trip * Vicki Walker of Eugene prompts an investigation after she hears stories such as that of a wet T-shirt contest on the graduation celebration flight Monday, July 13 1998 By Peter Farrell of The Oregonian staff If everybody in the cockpit was judging students in a wet T-shirt contest, who was flying the plane carrying Vicki Walker's daughter and 149 other Northwest high school graduates to Mazatlan, Mexico? And if, as the company wrote to its travelers, too much alcohol increases the danger of injury or death, why did the "booze cruise" tour, as officials dubbed it, include the threat that any of the teen-agers who didn't have a drink in each hand would have tequila sprayed down their throats? Walker of Eugene has a lot of questions about a chartered flight that left Portland on June 11 with recent high school graduates, most of them from Eugene or Springfield. Since Walker went to work, everyone from the Federal Aviation Administration to TV's "Inside Edition" is on the case. Cerkvenik-Anderson Travel Inc., a Phoenix company, arranged the "Grad Blowout '98" trip to the Mexican seaside resort under the name Student Tours. Cerkvenik-Anderson Travel representatives were not available for comment Sunday night. Emilio Dirube, chairman and president of Falcon Air, which operates most charter flights for the travel company, refused to comment. "I've interviewed almost 40 students and parents, and they are all telling the same story," said Walker, a court reporter who had some of the students sign affidavits to assist the FAA investigation. The trip is the second Oregon high school graduation celebration to raise questions in recent weeks. International Student Tours of Seattle took students from Grant High School in Portland and 211 other Northwest high schools to Mazatlan. Participants later talked about unchaperoned overindulging. In Eugene, Walker said witnesses agreed that a wet T-shirt contest near the end of the flight was announced on the intercom. A flight attendant urged the young women to take part, saying, "We're not going to land this plane until you girls get wet." The winner was promised $50. "Nobody was going to do it," she said. But the flight attendant kept cajoling the girls to get wet. "Then the boys started throwing out names, and they would just pull them up. "One girl was in the cockpit for about five minutes by herself with the doors shut. Only two of the girls seemed like willing participants. The other three were just sort of pulled up out of their seats. And there was a lot of peer pressure involved." Walker said the young women were called to the cockpit for judging. "The girls were instructed to come back into the cockpit and dance and wiggle and twirl for the pilot so the pilot and crew can judge them," she said. "You think they're flying the airplane? No, they're watching these girls." At another point, the male flight attendants shone flashlights on their crotches and made jokes, she said. Walker said students on her daughter's flight came from North Eugene, South Eugene, Churchill, Willamette, Sheldon, Springfield, North Medford, Bend and Kalama, Wash., high schools. Such tours typically involve a charter airline, a land packager, a travel service and perhaps others. Students who sell other students on the trips can travel free. Schools generally are not involved in the trips; some even recommend against them. Sara Walker, a Sheldon graduate, told her mother about the flight to Mexico in a phone call from Mazatlan. She did not want to return home on the same plane until her mother had verified with the FAA that it had been recently inspected. Walker met the plane June 18 at Portland International Airport with handouts for the vacationers, telling them to give the material to their parents and to call her with any complaints. "I told the company, 'You messed with the wrong mom. I personally know my congressman and I personally know my U.S. senator, and you guys are toast.' " It was not an empty threat -- she said both U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden and U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio called the FAA to make sure her complaints were heard. The FAA assigned two investigators to the case. Possible flight-crew violations, according to FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen, include giving passengers access to the cockpit during flight, encouraging dangerous passenger behavior and permitting smoking during the flight. The investigators asked Walker to gather as much evidence as she could. They probably did not expect she would haul out her court reporting equipment and take statements to become notarized affidavits, but she did. She talked students out of incriminating photos they had taken. And she found that an 18-year-old graduate of another high school had made a videotape that showed, among other things, the girls going into the cockpit. Once word of the wild ride to Mexico got out, the video became a hot item. Brandon Beemer of Willamette High School ended up with representatives of "Inside Edition," "Hard Copy" and "Extra" in his living room, watching the tape of his vacation and bidding on it. Beemer told the The Register-Guard of Eugene that "Inside Edition" paid $10,000 for the tape. The television show would not confirm the amount, the newspaper said in an article about the trip Sunday. When Walker learned another student had sold snapshots to "Extra" for $1,500, she felt obliged to return pictures a third student had given to her for evidence. "I told her it was against my better judgment, but maybe she could sell them. She did. She got $1,000." She said those pictures showed a male flight attendant doing a striptease parody, pulling up his shirt. Walker said while some of the end-of-school travelers will make money on the story, her daughter won't. "She got nothing out of it except a bad vacation and a lot of harassment." Air safety issues are at the top of Walker's list, but she has other complaints about Sara's $876 one-week trip to Mazatlan. Her daughter paid an added $160 for a bracelet, sold after the travelers left home, that supposedly allowed free entry to various nightspots, unlimited drinks and 14 free meals. Cerkvenik-Anderson Travel has told parents who have complained about other trips that it does not advertise that the trips are chaperoned, only that staff members are available if needed. The Register-Guard reported that in 1989, an 18-year-old Arizona student died during a Student Tours trip to Mazatlan, tumbling off the balcony of his fifth-floor hotel room after a night of drinking. The same year, another 18-year-old on a Student Tours trip to Mexico died after falling off a train, the Guard said. No uptight parent, Walker said she knew the drinking age in Mexico is 18, and she expected her daughter to be going to nightspots as part of her vacation. "But she expected to have a vacation, too. You know, parasailing and the beach." Vicki Walker said she saw such activities in the videotape the company uses to promote the trip. But she found out the company uses two videotapes. The second one is for students only and shows much more of the drinking and sexual activity, she said. Walker said she is furious at the company. "Parents were promised it would be supervised and safe, and it was far from that," she said of the trip. "Some kids still feel that they had fun, and this will ruin it for everybody in the future," Walker said. "But some of them, even if they thought it was fun at the time, now agree that it was dangerous to do some of those things." The Associated Press and Steve Suo and Gail Hulden of The Oregonian staff contributed to this story.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Serious Probes Needed ('Sacramento Bee' Columnist Dan Walters Says Allegations In 'The Los Angeles Times' On Sunday That Governor Pete Wilson, Attorney General Dan Lungren And The California Department Of Justice Had Stymied, Perhaps Whitewashed An Investigation Into Abuses Of Inmates By Guards Have Generated Plans For Investigations By The State Senate's Two Committees That Deal With Prisons - Plus A List Subscriber's Commentary By On The Power Of California's Prison-Guard Union) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 18:08:40 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Gerald Sutliff (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Prisons and upcoming CA elections Sacramento Bee and Oakland Tribune (7-13-98) Serious probes needed by Dan Walters of Sacramento Bee CALIFORNIA legislators are supposed to be enjoying a month-long summer vacation recess in July, but the state budget stalemate is keeping them in Sacramento. Lawmakers are pretending to work, but they're really waiting for Gov. Pete Wilson and legislative leaders to make a deal on the budget. As long as they're in session anyway, legislators should be doing something constructive. And serious and honest inquiries into two looming political scandals would be worthwhile work. One involves the California Department of Corrections and the state attorney general's office, both under Republican control. and the other is in the state Department of Education under Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin, a Democrat in an officially non-partisan office. For months, there have been revelations in newspaper articles about shameful conduct by guards, and perhaps their supervisors, inside Corcoran State Prison. The capper appeared in the Los Angeles Times Sunday, allegations that Gov. Pete Wilson's office and the state Department of Justice had stymied, perhaps whitewashed, an investigation into abuses of inmates by guards. State prison investigators, the Times said, complain that the politically powerful California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the prison guards union, quashed the investigation, using its influence with the governor's office. The allegations not only threaten to sully Wilson's governorship, but affect state Attorney General Dan Lungren, the Republican candidate to succeed him. Both Wilson and Lungren have flatly denied that any whitewash or cover-up occurred. The Times articles have generated plans for investigations by the state Senate's two committees that deal with prisons, one headed by Sen. Ruben Ayala, D-Chino, the other by Sen. Richard Polanco, D-Los Angeles. Legislative leaders should intercede with a more carefully drawn investigation Into these very serious allegations of political interference. What's needed is a bipartisan, two-house committee composed of senior legislators with reputations for fairness and integrity. Ayala -who will be leaving the Legislature this year because of term limits - fits that description. Polanco does not. Polanco is a slashing partisan who clearly sees the Times allegations as an opportunity to bash Wilson and Lungren. He is the Legislature's leading proponent of putting inmates into private prisons being built by private corporations, and the prison guards union is the chief impediment to those plans. Ironically, Polanco himself could be drawn into the other investigation that the Legislature should be conducting, this one into allegations of political interference in the transfer of federal funds into English and citizenship classes conducted by immigrant rights organizations in Southern California. The federal government is gathering data about the transfer of money, which was approved by Department of Education officials even though their own investigators thought the actions might be illegal. Newly released documents allege that Latino legislators - including Polanco - pressured the department to release the funds to the organizations. ONE of the groups was Hermandad Mexicana Nacional, from which the department is now demanding the return of millions of dollars. Polanco has denied any undue political infinence on his part. It's another situation with political overtones, because Eastin is running for re-election this year. Thus, it needs an even-handed, but thorough, legislative examination. If the Democrats who control the Legislature sanction an election-year assault on Wilson and Lungren over the Corcoran prison investigation but ignore the equally important Department of Education case, their partisan agenda will be evident. Dan Walters is a columnist for the Sacramento Bee. His E-mail address is dwalters@sac-bee. corn. *** [The ensuing commentary originally preceded the column above. The editor could find no article from 'The Los Angeles Times' for Sunday, July 5 or 12, dealing with California state prison guard abuses. Apparently Walters is referring to an article that ran Monday, July 6. - ed] Dear Talkers, This item --at the end of this overly long soliloquy-- was published in the Sacramento Bee, the Oakland Tribune and no doubt other CA newspapers (Also I posted it to DrugNewsDigest.) The California Correctional Peace Officers Association represents the "interest group" that is probably California's "most invested" in keeping the War on Drugs going full steam ahead. It is technically a union like organization but behaves more like a lobbying organization. It is Pete Wilson's greatest single source for past campaign funds. Its spokes-persons has testified against 215 and other legislative efforts to ease up on the drug war. Its single minded effort in Pete Wilson's behalf has paid off handsomely. A couple of years back during a tight budget year the correctional officers were the only state employees who received substantial raises. Not only that, Pete Wilson bragged about giving them a raise. Correctly they have the highest starting pay of all the California Peace officers organizations. This most powerful of California organizations doesn't's want private prisons here but what they want even less is for the number of prisoners to stop growing, level off or worse, drop off. At the same time coming down the track are needs of thousands and thousands of new grammar and high school students who need decent educations. Politically their interests are represented by the education establishments (who also represent their own interests as well). This year the electoral battle for the California State House, the State Senate and the Assembly will be over whether California becomes a even bigger prison farm or a place committed to educational excellence. At present the GOP are on the side of the prisons and lawnorder while the Demos are supporting education interests. The outcome here will have huge national consequences that have to do with the electoral college and implications for 2001 and, even more so in 2005. IMHO California will be the vortex of election power workings during the next four months. (Unless the prison spending and building issues come the forebrain of the voters, the drug war will not be at issue.) All the above is a primer for to following:
------------------------------------------------------------------- DARE Not Only Show (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Shills For Anti-Drug Money For The Milwaukee Children's Theater Company, Which Has Been 'Delivering The Anti-Drug Message' In All The Elementary Schools In Milwaukee For The Last 10 Years) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:52:38 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WI: LTE: DARE Not Only Show Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: July 13, 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ DARE NOT ONLY SHOW As you pointed out in your editorial of June 25, the DARE program may have less effect than desired. Parents and schools rightly deserve positive results. DARE is not, of course, the only show in town. Milwaukee Children's Theater Company, a non-profit company of professionally trained, adult actors, has been creatively and effectively delivering the anti-drug message in all 111 elementary schools of the Milwaukee Public Schools system and private schools for the last 10 years. The preceding 12 years were spent cultivating children in the theater arts. Executive Director Debrah Bathurst has led the company all this time with focus and commitment. The schools have repeatedly called her and her troupe back. Mr. Demeany, the notorious vaudevillian drug dealer, is a character the children instantly and wholeheartedly mistrust. Teachers and parents have seen the drug awareness and caution build in their youngsters. MCTC's veteran performances have proved that kids can be reached with costumes rather than uniforms, and a low public profile. R. Gray Mitchem Milwaukee
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Men Arrested In Alleged Drug Deal Involving Iverson's Mercedes ('The Associated Press' Says The Men Were Arrested Friday With Cocaine And Marijuana In Norfolk, Virginia, After Using The Car Of Philadelphia 76ers Star Allen Iverson, Which Police Plan To Forfeit) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:59:08 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US VA: WIRE: Two Men Arrested In Alleged Drug Deal Involving Iverson's Mercedes Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 TWO MEN ARRESTED IN ALLEGED DRUG DEAL INVOLVING IVERSON'S MERCEDES NORFOLK, Va. (AP) Two men traveling away from an alleged drug deal were arrested last Friday in Philadelphia 76ers star Allen Iverson's car, police said Monday. Iverson was not present and has not been charged, but had given the two men permission to use the new Mercedes Benz sedan, Norfolk police spokesman Larry Hill said. Andre Steele, 27, and Michael Powell, 29, were arrested after police received complaints about drug dealing. Powell was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, a felony. Steele was charged with possession of marijuana. Under Virginia law, cars used in drug activity may be confiscated permanently. Hill said police have filed papers to take possession of the car. Iverson was not immediately available for comment Monday. Dave Coskey, a spokesman for the 76ers, said he could not comment on matters involving players because of the ongoing NBA lockout. The relationship between Iverson and Steele and Powell was not clear. Hill said residents called police and reported seeing the Mercedes pull alongside a BMW and drugs being dealt. "Immediately following the transaction, the investigators stopped both vehicles and it was determined that in Iverson's vehicle there was some crack cocaine which belonged to Michael Powell," Hill said. The man in the BMW, Nathaniel Motely, 29, was charged with possession of marijuana and carrying a concealed weapon, both misdemeanors. It was not clear whether he knows Iverson. Powell was released on $5,000 bond. Steele and Motely were released on their own recognizance. The incident is the most recent of several scrapes Iverson and his acquaintances have had with the law: On Aug. 3, 1997, Iverson was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding near Richmond. The trooper smelled marijuana, searched the car and found a .45-caliber pistol on the floorboard. Iverson pleaded no contest to the gun charge, and a marijuana possession charge was dropped. He was sentenced to probation. The NBA suspended Iverson for one game as a result. In May, 1997, Iverson testified in Hampton Circuit Court on behalf a man he calls "dad." The man, three-time felon Michael Andre Freeman, was convicted of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. In August, 1993, Iverson was convicted on three counts of maiming by mob for his role in a Hampton bowling alley brawl. He was sentenced to five years in prison. Then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder granted him clemency in December, 1993.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug War Shifting Once More (A 'Los Angeles Times' Article In 'The San Jose Mercury News' About The Justice Department's Report Saturday Alleging An Increase In The Use Of Methamphetamine And President Clinton's Release Of $32 Million In Federal Grants To Expand The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:26:15 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Drug War Shifting Once More Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: L.A. Times DRUG WAR SHIFTING ONCE MORE WASHINGTON -- The use of methamphetamine 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 what amounts to a new phase in the ongoing war on drugs, President Clinton released $32 million in federal grants Saturday to help local officials devise strategies tailored for their communities. ``To stop the revolving door of crime and narcotics, we must make offenders stop abusing drugs,'' Clinton said in his weekly radio address. The new funds address the drug report's most sobering conclusion: that no single national strategy will work because drugs of choice vary greatly by region and age, with older users preferring cocaine and younger ones favoring marijuana. Methamphetamine use soared in the early 1990s, with rates among adults who were arrested reaching as high as 44 percent in San Diego, 25 percent in Phoenix and 20 percent in San Jose, the study said. By the mid-1990s, however, methamphetamine use fell significantly, with San Diego's rate dropping to 30 percent, Phoenix's to 12 percent and San Jose's to 15 percent. Law enforcement officials attributed the drop to crackdowns focusing largely on supply, rather than demand. But methamphetamine use began climbing again, and the new study's urinalysis data indicates that such drug use ``has returned close to'' the record levels of the early 1990s. The decline is striking because many cities had reached epidemic levels in the late 1980s, with 80 percent or more of those arrested believed to have been users. The study further found that cocaine use nationally was two to 10 times as likely among males 36 or older as among males between the ages of 15 and 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Maker Runs Anti-Anti-Smoking Ads (A 'Baltimore Sun' Article In 'The Seattle Times' Notes The RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company Has Launched New Advertisements For Their Much-Vilified Cigarettes, Challenging Anti-Smoking Activists As Killjoys And Prudes Who Deserve Defiance And Ridicule, And Complicating The Job Of Public-Health Officials Who, It Might Be Said, Brought It On Themselves) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 16:32:12 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Maker Runs Anti-Anti-Smoking Ads Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Source: Seattle-Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://seattletimes.com/ Author: Scott Shane, The Baltimore Sun TOBACCO MAKER RUNS ANTI-ANTI-SMOKING ADS Go ahead, light up a cigarette. Why? Because a bunch of just-say-no health cops as old as your parents don't want you to! In a notable shift of marketing strategy, the No. 2 U.S. tobacco company has launched new advertisements for their much-vilified cigarettes that challenge anti-smoking activists as killjoys and prudes who deserve defiance and ridicule. The new approach to selling cigarettes could complicate the task of public-health officials in trying to persuade young people not to smoke. The latest ads seek to enhance smoking's image as a forbidden fruit, and could make heavy-handed anti-smoking propaganda rebound to the tobacco industry's advantage, some public-health experts say. A new advertising campaign for Camel and a successful, year-old campaign for Winston - both brands of No. 2 manufacturer R.J. Reynolds Tobacco - have taken the gloves off in attacking what the ads suggest are puritanical, prohibitionist attitudes of tobacco foes. The new Camel advertisements feature mock warnings headlined "Viewer Discretion Advised," which appear along with the legally required health warning. "At least you can still smoke in your own car," declares one billboard for Winston's so-called "No Bull" campaign. "Judge me all you want, just keep the verdict to yourself," says another. A colorful, three-page Camel ad introduced in national magazines last month shows a shotgun-wielding farmer chasing from his house a young man whom he clearly has just caught in bed with his beautiful daughter. The shapely, blond daughter, draped in a bedsheet, is smoking a cigarette; her attitude is titillatingly described as: "Satisfied smoking." The furious farmer, a comic figure in his floppy-eared hat, might be interpreted as standing for the anti-smoking forces. "That's me," Robert Kline, director of the Tobacco Control Legal Clinic at the Northeastern University School of Law, says ruefully. "They're poking fun, which is an effective advertising technique." Public-health advocates seem particularly disturbed by Camel's pseudo-warnings, which not only echo the health warning but resemble the ratings that rank movies and television shows as inappropriate for children. "Implicitly, this mocks the campaign to keep children from smoking," Dr. John Slade, a veteran anti-tobacco activist at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center in New Jersey, says of Camel's campaign. "The industry is, in effect, toying with us." Not so, says Fran Creighton, Reynolds' marketing vice president for Camel. "We would never make fun of the cigarette health warning," she says. "This is maybe more about the PC (politically correct) world we live in. The world has an authoritarian view on everything." "It's a lot easier to sell rebellion than to sell nonrebellion," says Bill Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "They'll always score with something that has fatalism, edge, gallows humor." Reynolds' anti-anti-smoking slogans follow a change of strategy last year by top tobacco executives, who for the first time publicly acknowledged that smoking causes deadly illness. While previously industry spokesmen would admit only a "statistical association" between smoking and disease, Leary said, "It's been known for decades that smoking cigarettes is dangerous." The shift of stance liberates marketers, who now can use the danger of smoking in their pitches. One new Winston ad associates cigarettes with fried food, another target of health advocates. Reynolds spokesmen, wary of the accusations of targeting children that dogged the company for years, use the phrase "adult smoker" in almost every sentence. They point out that the new Camel ads have run in such magazines as Vanity Fair, GQ, Esquire and Car & Driver, by no means children's publications. The edgiest of the Winston ads have run in alternative weeklies, whose readers are youthful but mostly over 18.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Firms Aim For Pact With States (A 'Financial Times' Story In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says Word Emerged Last Week Of Secret Negotiations Between Cigarette Makers And State Attorneys-General That Could End All Present And Future Anti-Tobacco Lawsuits By States In Return For Payments By The Tobacco Industry Of Between $180 Billion And $200 Billion Over The Next 25 Years) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:29:46 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Tobacco Firms Aim For Pact With States Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: RICHARD TOMKINS Financial Times TOBACCO FIRMS AIM FOR PACT WITH STATES Accord Would End All Pending And New Suits WASHINGTON -- It's Plan B for the tobacco industry -- and this time there's a chance it may work. Last week word emerged of secret negotiations between cigarette makers and state attorneys-general to strike a deal. They are reportedly after a settlement that could end all present and future anti-tobacco lawsuits by states in return for payments by the tobacco industry of between $180 billion and $200 billion in the next 25 years. Already, the industry has settled lawsuits with four states for sums totaling $36 billion over the next 25 years. Under the secret talks now under way, cigarette prices -- which now average $2.05 a pack -- would be forced up by about 35 cents a pack. Though the tobacco industry would accept certain marketing and advertising restrictions, they would be much less onerous than the ones the anti-smoking lobby wants. Last month, the tobacco industry's first attempt at a settlement collapsed after Congress eliminated the legal immunities the tobacco industry had wanted and proposed toughening industry payments to $516 billion over 25 years, with much larger penalties if smoking among young people was not reduced by targeted amounts and dates. Plan B, on the other hand, would not require Congress' approval; it would be a private settlement between the cigarette makers and the states. ``The beauty of it is that it doesn't require a single vote,'' says Gary Black, a tobacco analyst. The new proposal is a slimmed-down version of the settlement first negotiated between the tobacco industry and the states last year, under which the tobacco industry would have paid $368.5 billion over 25 years and accepted tough restrictions on advertising and marketing. That settlement would have required the industry to meet targeted reductions in youth smoking, with extra financial penalties if the targets were missed. And tobacco companies agreed to accept regulation by the Food and Drug Administration. Cigarette makers sought the settlement because it would have disposed of all the lawsuits brought by states seeking compensation for the cost of treating smoking-related diseases. It also would have settled existing class-action lawsuits on behalf of whole classes of smokers and given immunity from future class-action lawsuits. The new settlement would settle only the state lawsuits, theoretically leaving cigarette makers exposed to the risk of ruinous class-action lawsuits. Those talks may come to nothing: Discussions apparently broke down Wednesday over money. And it is still possible that Congress, angry at being bypassed, might attempt to revive plans for federal legislation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Brains On Drugs (An Excellent Staff Editorial In 'The Seattle Times' Pans The Clinton Administration's $1 Billion Pro-Drug-War Advertising Campaign, Noting The Partnership For A Drug-Free America, Which Already Drums Up $840,000 A Day, Or $307 Million A Year In Free Advertising, Is Doubtless Thrilled To Have A Client With A Bottomless Bank Account) Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 00:12:48 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: Editorial: Brains On Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 BRAINS ON DRUGS THE advertising industry's newest clients are American taxpayers, who may be forced to pay $1 billion over the next five years for a federal anti-drug ad campaign with dubious effectiveness. President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich want to expand this year's $200 million anti-drug media campaign into a five-year, $1 billion taxpayer-financed extravaganza. If Congress approves it, the campaign will be the federal government's most ambitious media blitz in history. Never mind that the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a pro bono coalition of ad agencies and media companies, has been doing just fine without taxpayers. The Partnership drums up $840,000 a day, or $307 million a year, in free media air time or space - nearly as much as Coca-Cola spends. The industry doubtless is thrilled to have a client with a bottomless bank account for prime-time ads. Never mind that studies have shown the impact of anti-drug messages on teenagers to be inconclusive at best, and negative at worst. Numerous psychological studies have suggested that at-risk youth - often thrill-seekers with authority issues - think more favorably of drugs when they hear official anti-drug messages. Indeed, the nation's most heavily financed drug education program for children, called DARE, is under fire for having no impact on drug use, and possibly increasing marijuana use. Law-enforcement agencies have been begging local, state and federal governments to better finance after-school programs, which are successful in keeping kids out of trouble. Congress should support prevention and reject Clinton and Gingrich's proposal - an unsubstantive and shameless use of the media.
------------------------------------------------------------------- MAP Focus Alert No. 71 - PDFA Ad Campaign (The Media Awareness Project Asks You To Write A Quick Letter On Behalf Of Drug Policy Reform, Protesting The US Government's New $2 Billion Advertising Campaign Based On Unproven And Possibly Counterproductive Assumptions, Benefiting The Partnership For A Drug Free America) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 17:55:27 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: FOCUS Alert No. 71 PDFA ad campaign FOCUS Alert #71 Partnership for a Drug Free America/ONDCP Ad campaign As you are likely aware, the Partnership for a Drug Free America (PDFA) and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and most of Washington including Clinton and Gingrich have teemed up to waste $200 million of your tax dollars this year and $2 billion over the next 5 years on a monstrous ad campaign aimed at reducing teen drug use. Many people feel that this is at the very least unproven and ill advised and is destined to become the latest failure of these organizations which may be the ultimate examples of failure in the nations history. In this Focus Alert we ask you to take the initiative to write to your local papers and express your views about this rehash and escalation of a policy and campaign that has already been tried and failed. In order to find an email address for your local paper(s) please visit our "Media E-mail finder" at http://www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm Here we have archived the vast majority of Email addresses for all papers that offer them. Alternately or additionally please respond to the USA Today piece below. WRITE A LETTER TODAY- LIVE IN A FREER WORLD TOMORROW Just DO it! *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, Phone, fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or E-mailing to MGreer@mapinc.org *** CONTACT INFO USA TODAY 1000 Wilson Blvd Arlington VA 22209-3901 ph 703-276-3400 FAX 703-558-3901 Source: USA Today ( US) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Author: Associated Press Or See: http://www.mapinc.org/resource/email.htm to find the email address of your local paper(s) *** ORIGINAL ARTICLE US: White House Unveils Anti-Drug Ad Blitz Newshawk: Paul Lewin Pubdate: Fri, 11 Jul 1998 Source: USA Today ( US) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nfront.htm Author: Associated Press WHITE HOUSE UNVEILS ANTI-DRUG AD BLITZ ATLANTA - Remember that old fried egg ad with its warning, "This is your brain on drugs"? It's going big time this year, with the federal government spending $195 million - rivaling the advertising campaigns of American Express, Nike or Sprint - to plaster the airwaves with anti-drug messages. The ad campaign, a five-year project being given a bipartisan send-off Thursday in Atlanta by President Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich, could turn into a $1 billion government investment in stopping teen drug use. "This is an effort to talk to a generation that started to get the wrong message, "said retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who heads Clinton's drug control policy office. In a 1997 national survey, half of high school seniors and nearly one-third of eighth-graders reported using illegal drugs at least once. Thursday's unveiling promised a brief cease-fire in the sharp election-year squabbling between Clinton and Republican leaders on everything from drugs to foreign policy. Gingrich, R-Ga., who rearranged his schedule to be at the president's side on his own Atlanta turf, said congressional Republicans were committed to funding the campaign for its full five-year run. "It's important first of all to send a signal to young people that whether you're a Republican or a Democrat, you're committed to getting across the message that drugs are dangerous. This is a national message, not a political message," the speaker said in an interview Wednesday. "The level of support among Republicans in the Congress is strong and growing. ... We want to break the back of the drug culture over the next five years," he said. Politics would be on only a temporary hold. From Thursday's ceremonies in the Georgia World Congress Center, Gingrich was headed to a Republican fund-raiser in New York, Clinton to Democratic events in Atlanta and Miami that would raise $1.3 million for the effort to oust the GOP from control of Congress. The president also was stopping in Daytona Beach, Fla., to meet with those who have been fighting the state's raging wildfires. Beginning Thursday in 75 major newspapers and on the four major TV networks tonight, parents and a target youth audience between the ages of 9 and 18 will be bombarded by provocative anti-drug ads produced gratis by some of Madison Avenue's premiere ad agencies. The goal is to hit the average family least four times a week either through TV, radio, newspapers, billboards or the Internet. One of the spots is a spin-off of the fried egg ad popularized during the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's 11-year campaign, with its Reagan-era slogan "Just Say No." The updated version, meant to dramatize the effects of heroin use, shows a Winona Ryder look-alike bust up an egg and her whole kitchen with a frying pan. That ad already has been running in 12 test cities where it generated a 300% increase in calls to a national clearinghouse of information on drug use, McCaffrey said. The nationwide government campaign is the 15th-largest single-brand ad project, larger than the media buys of American Express, Nike and Sprint, said Steve Dnistrian, senior vice president of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. McCaffrey's Office of National Drug Control Policy will spend at least $150million of the appropriation solely on air time. Advertising Age figures for 1997 show that for single-brand ads, Sprint spent$149 million for air time, American Express financial services $136 million, and Nike $118 million. Chevrolet was No. 1 with a $321 million campaign. But federal funding will be vulnerable to Capitol Hill's annual appropriations process, which is why all sides strived to keep Thursday's unveiling bipartisan. A one-year campaign is worthless, Dnistrian said. "Coke and Pepsi don't run an ad campaign for a year and then walk away. To maintain market share you have to be out there constantly reminding them." The Lindesmith Center, a research project of philanthropist George Soros, who supports free clean needles for intravenous drug users and legalized marijuana for medical use, issued a statement saying the money would be better spent on after-school programs and drug treatment. For more than a decade, Dnistrian's PDFA has rounded up help from the advertising industry and media outlets - who pitched in as much as $3 billion in free air time - to put out anti-drug ads primarily aimed at young people. But since 1991, with the explosion of new competition that cable channels brought, prime time has been squeezed by network promotions, consigning public service announcements to the wee hours even as drug use by teens skyrocketed. As part of the new ad initiative, the government will ask media outlets to match the taxpayers' investment dollar for dollar. And McCaffrey hoped the campaign would live well beyond five years to keep up with successive crops of young people. "We'll always have to start over with a new generation of eighth-graders," he said. "Some people like to call this a war on drugs. ... It's a war on ignorance." By The Associated Press *** Sample Letter (SENT 7/13 to USA Today and the Porterville Recorder) Dear Editor: Drug Czar McCaffrey and the Partnership for a Drug Free America are at it again. In their latest multi-billion dollar boondoggle they intend to inundate the country with TV ads which will show housewives breaking up the kitchen and smashing eggs with a frying pan. I suppose this is the same frying pan once held fried eggs that our kids were told their brains would turn into if they used drugs. It is amazing to think that people who are in favor of sensible reform of our drug laws were referred to by McCaffrey recently as "a kind of a fringe group" . This ad campaign seems as weird and far out as any sixties long hair to me. While most drug policy reformers are all for effective efforts to reduce teen drug use, few believe that another ad campaign rife with inaccuracies, half truths and outright fabrications will have even a minimal impact on teen drug use. I fervently hope those American citizens who haven't already realized that the drug war is responsible for monumental waste and increased teen drug use will wise up after this latest failed and expensive effort has run its course. I also hope that our young people can avoid the real danger of busting a gut in uncontrolled fits of laughter while watching these ridiculous ads. They will also be laughing at an adult population that thinks we can convince them of the dangers of uncontrolled drug use by smashing dishes. Mark Greer Executive Director DrugSense WRITE AWAY! *** Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- EZ-Bake Oven (A Hilariously Pointed Staff Editorial In 'Suck.Com' About The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Testifying Before A Senate Committee Last Month 'Without Benefit Of A Pair Of Steel Balls To Roll In His Hand,' That There Is A Carefully-Camouflaged, Exorbitantly-Funded, Well-Heeled, Elitist Group Whose Ultimate Goal Is To Legalize Drug Use In The United States) Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 16:00:03 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Ez-Bake Oven Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: MMcNamara@bridge.com (McNamara, Mark P.) Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Source: Suck Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.suck.com/ Author: Ambrose Beers (email@example.com) Editor's Note: Suck is a satirical website with the slogan "A Fish, a Barrel, and a Smoking Gun". It's updated daily. EZ-BAKE OVEN Barry McCaffrey, an old Cold Warrior, has gone on to a new battlefield. And he's getting colder. Speaking before a Senate committee last month without benefit of a pair of steel balls to roll in his hand, the retired Army general said one of those out-there things that would get most of us taken in for observation. Shortly after discussing the threat caused to America's youth by the movie Half-Baked (a wonderful detail that doesn't seem to have made it into any of the news accounts of McCaffrey's testimony), the Clinton administration's so-called drug czar got down to fighting the real enemy. See how many errors in reasoning you can spot: "There is an carefully-camouflaged, exorbitantly-funded, well-heeled, elitist group whose ultimate goal is to legalize drug use in the United States. However, because the impacts of legalization - heroin being sold at the corner store to children with false identifications, the driver of an eighteen-wheeler high on methamphetamines traveling alongside the family minivan, skyrocketing numbers of addicts draining society of its productivity - are so horrifying to the average American, the legalizers are compelled to conceal their real objectives behind various subterfuges. (Currently, 87 percent of Americans reject legalization on its face.) Through a slick misinformation propaganda campaign these individuals perpetuate a fraud on the American people -- a fraud so devious that evensome of the nation's mostrespected newspapers and sophisticated media are capable of echoing their falsehoods." Pretty goddamned entertaining, huh? We like to picture him clenching his jaw and making a squinty-eye at the panel while he speaks, maybe with a stub of slobbery cigar between his teeth. "We got dopers in our wire, gentlemen!" McCaffrey was coy, but The New York Times filled in the blanks the next day. "While McCaffrey named no names," wrote Times reporter Christopher Wren, "he was clearly referring to a coalition of advocacy groups little-known to the public that argues the global war on drugs has cost society more than drug abuse itself. Some of those advocates attracted attention last week with an open letter to the UN secretary-general as the General Assembly opened a three-day special session on drugs." This would be the cabal of secret legalizers. There's no reference to "legalization" in their letter, but remember that they're a sneaky sack of bastards. And just who are they? Well, George Schultz signed the letter. You may remember George from the notoriously subversive, pro-drug Reagan administration, for which he served as secretary of state. Then there were Alan Cranston and Claiborne Pell, former colleagues of the very senators McCaffrey was addressing. George Soros, who is rich and gives money to influence political discussion, like Richard Mellon Scaife, is scary and bad. And so is Javier Perez de Cuellar, a former secretary-general of the United Nations and a known foreigner. Plus 495 others. In fact, the suggestion floated by Schultz and company is simply that the longstanding hit-with-stick throw-in-cage approach to drug use isn't working, while the consequences of both US drug use and the effort to suppress it are making life in other countries - Colombia, to name one example among many - kind of unpleasant. They go on to wonder if, without making drugs legal, it might be possible to simply moderate the law-and-order approach. Alternatives go by the names "medicalization" - long favored by lunatic outsiders like Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke - and harm reduction. (Different advocates define the term medicalization differently. To some, it means offering a limited menu of drugs - marijuana, really - for the treatment of pain and chemotherapy-induced nausea, with a doctor's prescription. To others - Schmoke among them - it means viewing addiction as a treatable illness, rather than as a crime, within limits.) And, yes, quite a few groups involved in that coalition favor the legalization of marijuana. Horror of horrors. It leads straight to children buying heroin at the corner store. Whatever. McCaffrey needn't worry, since there's precisely no danger at all that the dope-loving anarchists are going to be heard over all the screaming. The current US government budget allocates more money than ever to federal anti-drug efforts. If the Clinton administration's plan to hire 1,000 new border-patrol agents - plus 100 new DEA agents, which should fix this drug thing PDQ - seemed like a bit much. Note that some of the people in a position to do something about it thought it wasn't enough. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who has called for the death penalty for people repeatedly caught smuggling drugs over the border, called the US$17 billion Clinton-McCaffrey anti-drug plan, "a hodgepodge of half-steps and half-truths." Which is half a truth too much for the ol' Newtster. So, why bother to squawk like a squashed rooster over some letter that offers precisely no threat at all? Well, because you're the nation's leading anti-drug official, and it's hard to make sense when you've been assigned the task of selling a dubious product. The tendency is to overstate things in fairly predictable ways. Like the announcement of a plan "that will subject all suspicious cargo and vehicles to non-intrusive inspections" in an effort to make the US-Mexico border "open to trade, but impermeable to drugs." You try to say any of this with a straight face. If you can pull it off, there may be a job in law enforcement with your name on it. One nicely entertaining example of the profound silliness that arises out of trying to fight an obviously unwinnable war as though it meant something is the press release sent out back in November by McCaffrey's agency, the White House Office of Drug Control Policy: "A new study released by Barry R. McCaffrey, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, found that in 1995, Americans spent $57.3 billion on illegal drugs." The release went on to quote McCaffrey as pointing out that $57.3 billion could have paid for such I-love-mommy-and-America niceties as "22 billion gallons of milk to feed undernourished infants ... or a year's worth of child care for 14 million kids." Children born to drug addicts unquestionably suffer horrifying deprivation, but to toss that monthly $20 marijuana purchase (yes, we do know your personal habits - we're Suck) into the starving baby bin is a bit of a stretch, huh? But it gets better. Inspired to act by the barrage of bullshit, we called the Macebearer office and got a copy of the complete 109-page report described in the press release. And, yes, we did have to ask several times. The Associated Press story on the report played it straight, but we were wondering how on earth a government agency could possibly know how much money its constituents spend breaking the law. The answer is: They can't. Page 5: "First, the secretive nature of drug-crop production and manufacturing prevents accurate assessments of drug production. Second, with some exceptions, drug dealers and their customers transact business away from public view. Finally, drug users often misrepresent their drug use when interviewed. Thus estimates of retail expenditures must be based on incomplete, inaccurate, and often inconsistent data, as well as assumptions that occasionally lack strong justification." No kidding, no kidding, no kidding, and no kidding. But it's good to hear it straight from the mouth of the milk-'n'-babies source. Especially since the press release didn't make any mention of all those maybes. Similarly amusing language appears throughout the report, by the way. On page 31, an estimate of cocaine shipped into the United States puts that figure at "372 to 458 metric tons" in 1994 and "421 to 513 metric tons" the following year. This much - plus or minus a hundred metric tons. Close enough for government work, guys. And plenty good enough for the war on drugs, where sober thinking pretty clearly misses the point.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Chemicals Might Inhibit Breast Tumors, Stroke Damage ('The Dallas Morning News' Notes That, In Addition To Research By US Scientists Showing Two Cannabinoids That Reduce Brain Damage Caused By Strokes - Already Reported Widely In Most Places Except The US Media - A Second Article In 'The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences' Says Researchers From The National Institute For The Chemistry Of Biological Systems In Naples, Italy, Found That A Third Cannabinoid Called Anandamide Can Inhibit The Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells By Interfering With Their DNA Production Cycle) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 09:07:45 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: ART: Pot chemicals might inhibit breast tumors, stroke damage Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org/13/98 Pot chemicals might inhibit breast tumors, stroke damage There may be a silver lining to a cloud of marijuana smoke. While most medical researchers don't condone recreational marijuana use, marijuana derivatives may prevent brain cell damage in strokes and slow the growth of breast tumors. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health, led by A.J. Hampson, found that cannabidiol, one of a class of marijuana constituents called cannabinoids, is a powerful antioxidant. When tested on rat neurons in a lab dish (no smoking was involved), the substance prevented the death of brain cells during conditions simulating a stroke. A stroke unleashes a torrent of glutamate, a chemical messenger in the brain, which leads to the formation of toxic oxidizing molecules. Other antioxidants, such as vitamins A and E, already are known to block the damaging effects of excess glutamate, but the researchers found that cannabidiol was even more effective. Another cannabinoid, commonly known as THC, proved to be an equally effective antioxidant and neuron protector. However, the researchers said, THC's euphoric side effects would not allow doctors to administer it in high doses. The study was reported last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In a separate study in the same journal, researchers - led by Luciano De Petrocellis of the National Institute for the Chemistry of Biological Systems in Naples, Italy - found that a third cannabinoid called anandamide can inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells by interfering with their DNA production cycle. Non-mammary tumor cells were not affected by anandamide. - Sara Robinson
------------------------------------------------------------------- 1998 NORML Conference In Washington, DC (An Announcement From The National Organization For The Reform Of Marijuana Laws About An Open Conference For All Reformers November 12-14 - A Long List Of Scheduled Speakers Includes Cannabis Researcher Dr. Leo Hollister Of Stanford University, Richard Brookheiser Of The Conservative 'National Review,' Ramsey Clark, Former US Attorney General, And Gonzo Journalist Hunter S. Thompson) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 12:46:53 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: RKSTROUP@aol.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: (RKSTROUP@aol.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Announcement: 1998 NORML Conference in Washington, DC 1998 NORML Conference "Marijuana: Here For Good" November 12-14, 1998 Washington, D.C. The 1998 NORML conference will focus on all aspects of marijuana policy - medical use, recreational use, and industrial hemp. We will examine current policies, review the latest research, hear from some victims, analyze the results of several state reform initiatives on the ballot this fall, and discuss strategies for moving reform efforts forward. You'll have the chance to meet reform leaders from across the country and network with colleagues who share your opposition to marijuana prohibition. It's time to put to rest the myth that marijuana smoking is a fringe or deviant activity. In reality, marijuana smoking is extremely common, and marijuana is the recreational drug of choice for millions of hard-working, middle class Americans. Join us in Washington, DC, and help us build a mainstream political constituency that our elected officials can no longer ignore. Let's send a strong message that it is time to stop arresting marijuana smokers, and to grant amnesty to those thousands of nonviolent marijuana offenders who are currently in prison. See you in Washington, DC! November 12-14, 1998 For more information, a complete conference brochure is on the NORML web site (www.norml.org) or contact NORML at (202) 483-5500 or e-mail email@example.com. SPEAKERS (Partial List) David Boaz Executive Vice President, Cato Institute Richard Brookheiser Senior Editor, National Review Ramsey Clark, Esq. Former U.S. Attorney General Chris Conrad Author and hemp activist Ann Druyan Secretary, Federation of American Scientists Barbara Ehrenreich Author and Journalist Paul Flynn Member of the British Parliament Meg Foster Wife of imprisoned medical user, Will Foster Ira Glasser Executive Director, ACLU Gerald Goldstein, Esq. Chair, NORML Legal Committee Lester Grinspoon, M.D. Harvard Medical School Jack Herer Author and hemp activist Leo Hollister, M.D. Prof. Emeritus, Stanford University Sher Horosko Drug Policy Foundation Michael Kennedy, Esq. High Times and Hemp Times Louis Lasagna, M.D. Tufts University Ethan Nadelmann The Lindesmith Center John P. Morgan, M.D. CUNY Medical School Todd McCormick Medical marijuana defendant Irv Rosenfeld Legal marijuana user Keith Stroup, Esq. Executive Director, NORML Allen St. Pierre Executive Director, NORML Foundation Kevin Zeese, Esq. Common Sense for Drug Policy Lynn Zimmer, Ph.D. Queens College Bill Zimmerman Americans for Medical Rights SPECIAL GUEST Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Author & Gonzo Journalist SESSIONS Thursday - Saturday at 9:00 AM From Tomatoes to Taxes: The Many Varieties of Legalization Taking A More Aggressive Political Posture: The British Model Industrial Hemp: Is This A Separate Political Issue and Will It Impact Smokers? The War On Marijuana Smokers & The Constitution Marijuana and Kids: How Big A Problem Is It, and How To Deal With It Politically Marijuana Smoking and Its Impact on Health Medical Users Tell Their Own Stories Medical Use of Marijuana: A Review of the Science Moving Reform Forward In Today's Political Climate Political Organizing At The State and Local Level The Uses of Demonization Where Do We Go From Here? An Analysis of Various State Initiatives and Referenda Why Rescheduling Marijuana Will Never Work: Outright Legalization Is Needed Campus Organizing Reefer Music: A Review of Some Classical Marijuana Blues and Jazz Music and Lore Opening Reception sponsored by High Times Magazine Hotel Accommodations The Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel 999 9th Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 http://www.renaissancehotels.com The Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel is conveniently located on the corner of 9th Street and New York Avenue, 2 blocks from a Metro subway stop and 10 minutes from National Airport. The hotel has 800 guest rooms, several restaurants, and a fully equipped health club and fitness center. Reservations 1-800-228-9290 (To receive special conference rates, reservations must be made by October 16, 1998. Please indicate you are with the NORML Conference.) Room rates for the NORML conference: $125 per night, single or double Club Tower rooms are $145 single, $155 double Internet rooms are $162 single, $182 double REGISTRATION Registration fees: $135 per person Special rate for undergraduate students: $85 The registration fee includes the seminar and seminar materials, continental breakfasts and refreshment breaks, the opening reception on Thursday, and box luncheon on Saturday. The seminar fee does not include travel or accommodations. To register, print registration form from web site or call NORML to receive a brochure in the mail. Then complete and mail the registration form with payment to: NORML 1001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 710 Washington, DC 20036 Or fax it to: (202) 483-0057. On-line registration via NORML's secure server will be available soon. If you have questions, contact NORML by phone at (202) 483-5500 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Exhibitors are invited to contact NORML for details.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Steve Chapman Now Back Online (A List Subscriber Notes The Return To The World Wide Web Of A Site Dedicated To The History Of The Controlled Drugs And Substances Act From A Pharmacological Viewpoint - Follow The URL For The Chemical Structure Of Each Scheduled Drug And Much More) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 12:06:16 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Steve Chapman now back online... Reply-To: email@example.com Hi, all. Steve Chapman is an author who has written a self-published book on the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act which looks at the history of the act from a pharmacological viewpoint. He had, at one time a web page that listed all the drugs in the CDSA schedule, and their chemical structures. It was (as I called it), a fantastic research tool that went well beyond a simple listing of the drugs on the schedule and peered into the chemical relationships of drugs placed in the schedule. Well, he emailed and told me that he has a new web page. It is at: http://webhome.idirect.com/~schapman/ Here's the first page from that URL. I hope it might come in handy. Cheers, Dave. ----start---- The Controlled Drugs and Substance Act The Controlled Drugs and Substances Act replaces the Narcotic Control Act and those parts of the Food and Drugs Act that deal with controlled and restricted drugs. This site lists the schedules of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act and the chemical structure of each scheduled drug. The information may be viewed in two ways: A side-by-side listing of the Schedules and the corresponding structures. This view fetches only a subset of the structural diagrams at a time. A complete display of all the scheduled drugs and their structures. This view includes over 300 structural diagrams. This site is new and rather crudely designed at the moment. I have devoted most of my energy to ensuring that the text and structures of the Act are complete and correct. However, it is inevitable that some inaccuracies will exist. I apologize for any errors or omissions. I encourage you to report any mistakes you detect or suspect, as well as any suggestions for improving this site. Steve Chapman Last updated: July 6, 1998 *** Dave Haans Graduate Student, University of Toronto WWW: http://www.chass.utoronto.ca:8080/~haans/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Czar Bashes Dutch Policy On Eve Of Visit ('Reuters' Chronicles The Weird Saga Of The Lying White House Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Whose Recent Statements On CNN Have Already Prompted A Protest From The Dutch Ambassador - Plus Commentary From List Subscribers) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 20:47:41 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: McCaffrey proud of Dutch lies, adds more Well, well well -- it turns out McCaffrey *wants* to fight about the Netherlands... Diplomatic protest? He's proud of it -- his staff handed out copies of the complaint letter from the Dutch ambassador at a press conference in Stockholm (described below). Then he compares *crime* stats between the countries, not drug numbers. Noting some higher Dutch rates, he says, "That's drugs." No need for further explanation... (Nor any note about some important demographic differences, like the percentage of urban/rural populations between the countries. That'd be too fair.) Then McCaffrey takes swipes at the Swiss before visiting Zurich later in his trip. The Swiss have a high addiction rate, he notes, suggesting it's the fault of the policy -- not the reason for trying something new to stem the damage. This is going to be some friendly trip... dave fratello *** MN: Wire: Drug Czar Bashes Dutch Policy on Eve of Visit Reuters, Monday, 13 Jul 1998 U.S. DRUG CZAR BASHES DUTCH POLICY ON EVE OF VISIT Author: Abigail Schmelz STOCKHOLM, July 13 (Reuters) - A top U.S. policy official attacked tolerant Dutch drugs laws on Monday, blaming them for much higher rates of murder and other crime than in the United States. ``The murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States. The per capita crime rates are much higher than the United States,'' General Barry McCaffrey, the White House drugs policy chief, told a press briefing in Stockholm. McCaffrey said the United States had 8.22 murders per 100,000 people in 1995 compared to 17.58 in The Netherlands. Overall per capita crime rates in the United States totalled 5,278 per 100,000 compared to 7,928 in the Netherlands, he said. ``The overall crime rate in Holland is probably 40 percent higher than the United States. That's drugs,'' McCaffrey said. McCaffrey was in Sweden as part of a seven-country European tour which will include the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. While Dutch crime rates were on the rise, those in the United States were falling, he said. He said U.S. drug-related murders were down by one-third and crime rates had fallen sharply because of a reduction in drug abuse rates, especially of cocaine and stimulants. McCaffrey said the Swiss addiction rate was much higher than that of the United States or anywhere else in Europe. ``Why is it they're happy about what they're doing? I'll go and try to listen to why they think they should go this route and what evidence they have that it's working.'' He praised Sweden's policy, where no differentiation is made between softer drugs, such as marijuana, and cocaine and heroin. Similarly, the French government last month rejected mounting calls to decriminalise soft drugs following an official report which concluded drinking was far more of a health hazard than smoking cannabis. ``We've found we have a lot in common,'' Swedish Health and Social Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom told Reuters. ``We have a brave goal -- a goal of a drug-free society. We're eager to see arguments towards drug legalisation stopped within the European Union,'' she said after meeting McCaffrey. In Sweden, where the government keeps a tight rein on alcohol and sales are only allowed through a state-run monopoly, both possesion and use of drugs are illegal. Alcohol is heavily taxed and blamed for many of the country's social ills. The Netherlands, a front runner in drugs tolerance, recently started giving free heroin to hard-core addicts through a health ministry project in a pilot programme. Dutch officials said its programme differed from a similar one in Switzerland to give heroin to addicts because the Dutch scheme involved people under medical supervision. McCaffrey said Amsterdam was probably Europe's chief drug market and was now exporting synthetic drugs such as Ecstasy to Britain and the United States. The government of the Netherlands has already rebuked McCaffrey for comments on a U.S. television show where he called Dutch policy a ``disaster.'' It said this was unhelpful and called into question the source of the facts and figures he was quoting. ``I must say that I find the timing of your remarks, six days before your planned visit to the Netherlands with a view to gaining first-hand knowledge about Dutch drugs policy and its results, rather astonishing,'' Joris Vos, Dutch ambassador to the United States, said in a letter to McCaffrey. U.S. officials made a copy of the letter available to reporters. *** Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 22:00:05 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Joe Wein (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: RE: McCaffrey proud of Dutch lies, adds more Dave Fratello[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote: >Well, well well -- it turns out McCaffrey _wants_ to fight about the >Netherlands... Hi Dave, this is great! Nothing is going to do more damage to the international drug war than the US going ballistic. Directly and publicly attacking the Dutch is only going to draw attention to their superior record in many areas, such as their much lower drug related death rate or the fact that the Netherlands are rated the most competitive economy in Europe (No. 4 internationally). Instead of taking on private individuals McCaffrey is picking a fight with an enemy as resourceful as another national government. Wonderful! It is Sweden and not the Netherlands which increasingly looks out of line amongst European countries. Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and some states in Germany have been quietly scaling down the WoD, for example by decriminalising smale scale possession of cannabis. Even the Swedish alcohol policy mentioned in the article is under fire in Brussels and its state monopoly for sales is being legally challenged. While French president Chirac is sympathetic towards the Swedish narco-nazis, things have started to look rather different in France after the right wing parties lost their majority in parliament. The upcoming federal election in Germany is likely to end in defeat of Kohl's coalition parties, with a strong possibility of a new coalition involving the pro-legalisation Green Party. According to the local grapevine, even the German conservative coalition is considering copying the Swiss heroin trial if it were to survive the election. I have forwarded a copy of your e-mail to a friend of mine at the Dutch embassy in Tokyo... Best regards Joe Wein *** Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 23:16:16 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Gerald Sutliff (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: McCaffrey proud of Dutch lies, adds more At 10:00 PM 7/13/98 EDT, Joe Wein wrote: >Dave Fratello[SMTP:email@example.com] wrote: >Well, well well -- it turns out McCaffrey *wants* to fight about the >Netherlands... This is great! Nothing is going to do more damage to the international drug war than the US going ballistic. Directly and publicly attacking the Dutch is only going to draw attention to their superior record in many areas, such as their much lower drug related death rate or the fact that the Netherlands are rated the most competitive economy in Europe (#4 internationally). Instead of taking on private individuals McCaffrey is picking a fight with an enemy as resourceful as another national government. Wonderful! McC's remark had nothing to do about "international relations" and every-thing to do with the domestic WoD. Before we know it America's drug use will be blamed on those "foreign devils." vty, jerry sutliff *** Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 07:12:25 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Joe Wein (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: RE: McCaffrey proud of Dutch lies, adds more >McCaffrey said the United States had 8.22 murders per 100,000 people in >1995 compared to 17.58 in The Netherlands. Overall per capita crime rates >in the United States totaled 5,278 per 100,000 compared to 7,928 in the >Netherlands, he said. Let's take the murder rates, the only ones for which I could quickly find non-US figures: Murder rate (per 100,000 people, 1991 figures): United States 8.40 Canada 5.45 Denmark 5.17 Germany 4.20 Norway 1.99 United Kingdom 1.97 Sweden 1.73 Japan 1.20 Finland 0.70 Unfortunately, no Dutch figures. But one would assume the figures would be somewhere around either the UK, German or Swedish ones. Interestingly, General McCuster's figures per 100,000 Dutch are almost the same as for 1,000,000 Britons. Does that make you suspicious? What I figures did find were more specific, for a population group that includes age groups with some of the highest percentages of drug users: Murder rate for males age 15-24 (per 100,000 people, 1991 figures): United States 24.4 Canada 2.6 Sweden 2.3 Norway 2.3 Finland 2.3 Denmark 2.2 United Kingdom 2.0 Netherlands 1.2 Germany 0.9 Japan 0.5 In this section of the population the US murder rate is an astounding 20 times higher than in the Netherlands. Now, General McCuster wouldn't have compared murders per 100,000 Americans vs. murders per 1,000,000 Dutch, would he? We'll soon find out! In the meantime I've contacted the Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek in the Netherlands. Let's see what they say. For the record, the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport reckons that no more than 10-20% of crime in the Netherlands is "drug related", which includes all hard drug dealing that is still illegal under the country's Opium act, plus drug violations involving tourists and smugglers from other countries. Best regards Joe Wein
------------------------------------------------------------------- McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts ('The Associated Press' Says The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Arrived In Stockholm Monday And Praised Sweden's Repressive Drug Policies, And That They Make Far More Sense Than Liberalized Policies Such As Those In The Netherlands - Plus Commentary From List Subscribers)Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 08:49:04 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: GDaurer@aol.com Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: (GDaurer@aol.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts July 13, 1998 McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey on Monday praised Sweden's drug policies, saying they make far more sense than liberalized policies such as those in the Netherlands. McCaffrey, who's beginning a European fact-finding tour, sparked Dutch ire last week by saying the country's policy of letting its citizens use marijuana and other soft drugs for therapeutic and recreational purposes was ``an unmitigated disaster.'' The trip comes as the U.S. government launches a $1 billion, five-year ad campaign aimed at steering young people away from trying drugs. ``We are sure that the most important inoculation for a society is to convince your own young people to reject the abuse of drugs ... that includes alcohol and cigarettes. And I think Sweden by the evidence that's available has done a better job at that than almost any society in Europe and certainly better than the United States,'' McCaffrey told a news conference. Sweden, which discourages alcohol and tobacco use through high taxes, and which keeps a tight watch on other drug use, has created a ``national consensus'' against drugs, he said. Statistics compiled from various sources by McCaffrey's Office of National Drug Control Policy show that about 3 percent of Swedish teen-agers report having used cannabis, compared with 9.1 percent in the United States and 30.2 percent in the Netherlands. McCaffrey, however, cautioned countries with low drug-use rates that they may come under increasing pressure as U.S. drug use declines and sellers look for new markets. ``The United States is probably in the end phases of an epidemic; it's possible that Europe is in the beginning phases of an epidemic,'' he said. Despite his criticism of Dutch drug policy, McCaffrey will travel this week to the Netherlands ``to learn from them and listen to their own viewpoint. The Netherlands ``does have a drug abuse problem in general that is enormous and growing, not getting better ... Their prison population has doubled, their murder rate is much higher than it used to be,'' he said. *** Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 20:52:59 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: "Charles P. Conrad" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts I find it really hard to believe only 9.1% have tried cannabis. *** Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:42:35 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Joe Wein (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: RE: McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts Charles P. Conrad[SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org] wrote: >On 14 Jul 98, at 8:49, GDaurer@aol.com wrote: > > I find it really hard to believe only 9.1% have tried cannabis. Hi Charles, according to the "Monitoring the Future" Study by NIDA, in 1996 the following percentages of various grades in the US had ever tried cannabis: 8th gradeers: 23.1% 10th graders: 39.8% 12th graders: 44.9% see http://www.nida.nih.gov/NIDACapsules/NCMTF91-95.html The Swedish figure is questionable too. In a strongly prohibitionist country it would not always be wise to admit to using drugs, even in a supposedly anonymous questionnaire. This figure is almost certainly due to underreporting. Still, it would be worth checking out if it is considered "official". According to an article by John Yates (http://www.drugtext.nl/articles/sweden3.html ), the Swedish National Health Institute estimates that "20% of Swedish young people in the major cities use drugs, mostly cannabis." A study group from the Netherlands that visited Sweden in 1996 to take a look at the Swedish approach was surprised when told that abuse of paint thinner was very common in Sweden, since it was virtually unknown in the Netherlands (that very interesting report used to be online on Mario Lap's website but I don't have the current URL). Sweden makes no distinction between cannabis and heroin. According to the party line, cannabis frequently leads to schizophrenia or suicide. The tough line on cannabis ensures that many kids will seek thrills on other, more harmful but more readily available substances, such as solvents or amphetamines, which are very common in Sweden. Indeed, because of high alcohol prices in Sweden and ready supplies of illegal hard drugs (mostly from the Baltics), amphetamines are said to be cheaper than booze in Sweden. Best regards Joe Wein *** Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 11:50:42 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Peter Webster (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: McCaffrey Lauds Sweden Drug Efforts A recent book about Swedish drug policy and its effects, published by CEDRO in Amsterdam is reviewed in the next issue of International Journal of Drug Policy, readers may find some interesting facts: Anatomy of a Fiasco The Swedish Drug Control System : An in-depth review and analysis Tim Boekhout van Solinge, copyright 1997 ISBN 90 5330 211 5 Uitgeverij Jan Mets, CEDRO - Centre for Drug Research, University of Amsterdam This book may be ordered at the World Wide Web site of CEDRO at http://www.frw.uva.nl/cedro/order/18.html a review by Peter Webster "There is probably one thing, and one thing only, on which the leaders of all modern states agree; on which Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Mohammedans, and atheists agree; on which Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Communists, Liberals, and Conservatives agree; on which medical and scientific authorities throughout the world agree; and on which the views, as expressed through opinion polls and voting records, of the large majority of individuals in all civilized countries agree. That thing is the "scientific fact" that certain substances which people like to ingest or inject are "dangerous" both to those who use them and to others; and that the use of such substances constitutes "drug abuse" or "drug addiction"- a disease whose control and eradication are the duty of the combined forces of the medical profession and the state." - Thomas Szasz, Ceremonial Chemistry Since Dr. Szasz composed those lines more than two decades ago, the occasional analyst of human folly has speculated how such unprecedented agreement might exist in our modern world, for it is a plain fact of life that such pandemic universality of opinion is not only exceedingly rare, but must indicate far more than mere consensus: Such a phenomenon exposes the very seam of civilization, it presents an opportunity for inspecting intimate aspects of the collective psychology of a people, the underlying and well-hidden cultural paradigms both constructive and destructive which give society its form and direction. Modern societies have shown very little agreement on anything whatever, even when the evidence has been overwhelming, so the existence of a near universal certainty should not only arouse profound suspicions, but provide observers with the most powerful of analytical tools. But among the authors and theory-makers who have tried, none, in my opinion, has completely succeeded in explaining why it is, on this one very emotional and often hysterically-expressed issue, there is such general agreement. The inquiring and open mind, which on the subject of substance prohibition is evidently a rare species, has either fallen short of its potential, or simply been drowned out by the din of drug warrior propaganda heard in media of a diversity ranging from the National Enquirer and Reader's Digest to the most prestigious of scientific journals. Szasz himself came closest perhaps, with his parallels and comparisons to the ancient rite of scapegoating, or the medieval Inquisition; certainly few have dared write such an uncompromising condemnation of substance prohibition as he. With precision and wit, the first section of his book Ceremonial Chemistry: The ritual persecution of drugs, addicts and pushers, illustrates our vain repetition of the ancient rite of the pharmakos, the scapegoat, in ancient Greece originally a ceremony of human sacrifice whose aim was the ritual purification and protection of society from plagues, famines, devils and perils of every description. But the Greeks recognized the rite for what it was, a ceremony. Today, shows Dr. Szasz, we are dead serious. As with the understanding of crowd madnesses and ritual persecutions of old, a satisfactory and general theory of our great modern Prohibitionist folly will probably have to await not only the final demise of the madness, but an intervening period of normalization and healing recuperation lasting perhaps several generations. From the perspective of the distant future, historians may well conclude that the centuries-long phenomenon of Substance Prohibition, attempted for everything from tea and tobacco to toads and tipple, reached its dizzying peak in the late 20th Century as a climactic exaggeration ad absurdum of a long-enduring collective delusion and paranoia. But even if we could, by virtue of a time machine, read such a theory today, the continued existence of the crowd madness in our midst would certainly preclude any general recognition or acceptance of its validity. Thus, although there now exist a few obscure essays which may someday be seen as harbingers of that still-distant revelation, they will probably have minimal influence on the immediate course of events and we can today do little more than study local details of the Prohibitionist phenomenon and force society to look at the ugly and counterproductive results of its obsession in the ongoing attempt at curing the malady by stages. There seems absolutely no possibility that a great and general truth about Prohibition, no matter how brilliantly expressed, could today awaken Western Civilization from its present nightmare. But in the meanwhile, to assist the growing number of individuals who can see the inevitable if distant dawn of a new rationality, a wealth of excellent literature exists and continues to grow at a gratifying pace. Such literature deals with the "local details" of the Prohibitionist phenomenon in ways which both illustrate its illogic and destructiveness to society, and suggests practical if only provisional tactics and strategy for limiting the ravages of Prohibition and tackling the difficult task of awakening the general public to its complicity and participation in a crowd madness of major proportions. An interesting possibility for practical action in stemming drug prohibition madness is suggested by the volume under review here, and in general by the excellent work and publications of the Centre for Drug Research in Amsterdam (CEDRO). That possibility is a differential analysis of Prohibition as it now exists in various nations and cultures with the aim of magnifying for examination the absurdities and purported benefits that result from the diverse policies and national viewpoints concerning "illicit substances." By observing and describing the specific and particularly the most irrational aspects of policy in each nation-state, making cross-comparisons of policies and results with other countries, and extrapolating these tendencies to their logical, often horrible conclusions, we may play off one particular set of absurdities against another. In this way, individual nations may be forced to re-examine their popular if counterproductive policies in ways which merely local politics and sociological analysis would ignore. For instance, we may attempt to show how the arrest and incarceration rate in the U.S., which thanks to the Drug War has attained levels beyond the wildest dreams of apartheid fanatics or former Russian secret police, will be a natural if eventual outcome of Substance Prohibition in any nation following the U.S. lead in the War on Drugs. Such heroic attempts to imprison a large segment of a citizenry, when approached in slow stages as has been done in the U.S., can evidently enjoy widespread support, yet if it were today suggested in Britain or France that such incarceration rates and prison-building be undertaken forthwith as a drug-war measure, many diverse groups and most policy-makers as well would certainly resist such folly. One is reminded of the result of slowly heating a frog in a pot of water: frog's legs sans resistance. Tossing the same frog directly into hot water ineluctably mobilizes his objections. In The Swedish Drug Control System, we are treated to a panorama of Prohibition in Sweden, a detailed survey which provides precisely the material needed for the differential analysis technique: The drugs (remarkably, the most abused drug in Sweden is amphetamine), the cultural antecedents and economic and social conditions in 20th Century Sweden, the important role of the welfare state in the evolution of drug policy and the balance between repression and treatment; we meet the Prohibitionist demagogues such as Nils Bejerot (a good buddy of that drug pseudoscientist of repute, Gabriel Nahas), examine the propaganda and the history of drug scapegoating since the more liberal 1960s and 70s, meet the press, the popular organizations and politicians, and view the uneasy interaction of Sweden with other European nations in the ongoing European Union. There are facts and figures, tables of data and critical analysis of same, and for the most part well-thought-out conclusions concerning Swedish drug policy and its grave faults and limitations. Especially interesting to see is an accurate analysis of the famous Legal Prescription Experiment of 1965-1967 which has been constantly denounced as a miserable failure, hence the repressive Narcotics Drugs Act of 1968 and the still current insistence in Sweden that legal prescribing of drugs simply can't work. The book shows how flimsy was the evidence, how badly performed the "experiment," and why such non-information and unsupported conclusions as the experiment provided are nevertheless clung to like a raft in a flood. The book begins, in part, with a discussion of several puzzling questions about public opinion and drug policy in Sweden and Holland. Tim Boekhout van Solinge expresses what must seem a curious paradox: in both Holland and Sweden there exists a wide consensus that the country's drug policies are a great success, yet the two approaches are as radically opposed as any in the West today. Holland takes, of course, the most liberal and permissive of approaches to drugs and drug use, while Sweden's policies are in some respects even more Draconian than those in the United States. But "both think they are on the right track and they see themselves as being 'ahead' of the other countries; and it is only a matter of time before the other countries will adopt their policy." One would think that such a conflict indicates either that one country is "right," the other completely "deluded," or rather that even within the narrow confines of modern Europe, cultures are so radically different that completely antagonistic policies may successfully apply. Given my speculations above, a rather different conclusion ensues. The Swedish Drug Control System shows us the highly monolithic nature of policy and public opinion in Sweden, but by contrast, in Holland we find plenty of would-be-Calvinists and staunch Neo-Prohibitionists, and even many sincere if misinformed citizens clamoring to reverse the liberal approach now favored by a not overwhelming but significant majority. While it may be said that in Holland the practical and favorable results of its liberal approach are able to maintain majority support, the pluralistic nature of opinion in Holland would further indicate that a healthy situation exists which tends to favor the "survival of the fittest" policies and public perceptions. In Sweden, if we are to believe the portrait painted by Mr. Boekhout van Solinge, evolution has taken a dead-end street towards a uniformity of opinion that indicates something more like a collective pathology than a healthy marketplace for ideas. And whereas the monolithic imperative of belief in Sweden may look at Holland and conclude that the lack of universal agreement on the "evils of drugs" indicates that the Dutch policy is faulty and a mere patchwork of ad hoc measures that must soon come adrift, the speculations here about pandemic agreement indicate, on the contrary, that it is Sweden which is in the grip of a national crowd madness. Mr. Boekhout van Solinge informs us that the Netherlands and Sweden have decided to work together in the field of drug policy in the attempt to understand the apparent paradox of their radically opposed approaches to drug control. Indeed, the study summarized in The Swedish Drug Control System was financed by the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, and enjoyed the cooperation of the Swedish National Institute of Public Health, and we are told that each ministry is quite convinced that such a study must find in favor of the local system. Although this collaboration might seem encouraging news, the overview of the Swedish situation would indicate that in lieu of some nearly miraculous change of course, the present study will be merely the first step of a very long and difficult journey, and might well estrange Sweden, even be seen as an insult, before it assists some relaxation of the current repressive attitude. And despite its honesty, the accusation will of course arise that the present study must certainly be biased on the grounds of its authorship: No doubt there will be many in Sweden who will, in spite of the support of their ministry, denounce the book and its conclusions, continuing to insist that the grail of the "drug-free society" is just around the corner, thanks to the increasingly forceful repression characteristic of Swedish drug policy. But facts speak loudly enough without having to manufacture propaganda from them, and I believe that observers independent of both Sweden and Holland will agree that this book is very strong on facts indeed. The independent observer will find it hard to imagine how a Swedish study along the same lines could continue to support Swedish policy after having examined with similar dispassionate objectivity the Dutch drug situation. In the United States, for example, the Dutch achievement is constantly and blatantly lied about in the media, and even in speeches to Congress, as the drug war machine can only continue to exist by virtue of ignoring the facts and substituting mendacious propaganda for honest reporting and careful reasoning: in this manner is the U.S. War on Drugs protected from the scrutiny which would blow it out of the water. Whether an honest self-appraisal will appear in the course of continued study by the Swedish National Institute of Public Health, or is even possible in the current climate of opinion, is an important question. In any case, it will be interesting to see how Sweden reacts to such an exposť as found in The Swedish Drug Control System, for logic would insist that the reaction be far more of capitulation than rebuttal. The book itself shows, however, the near-impossibility of this. As in many Prohibitionist countries today, it is nearly impossible for a government minister, or even university professor or research scientist, to publicly express the least doubt about drug policy without suffering greatly for it. Mr. Boekhout van Solinge reports the results of his interviews with public figures and politicians as indicating that many of them know far more about the failure of Swedish policy than they can admit in public, but that it will be a long time before any such knowledge will guide policy change or public opinion. In the immediate future, then, this book should prove far more effective in providing the European Union as a whole with a portrait of the Swedish fiasco (and the European Parliament has already been making some significant anti-Prohibitionist noises), for it is plain that normalization in Sweden might well be painfully slow. As I have suggested, differential comparison of societies is a potent technique, thus this book, and the entire series of studies from CEDRO are of great value in providing Euro-politicians and think-tanks with meticulously researched views and data comparing countries in a way that should hasten an approach toward more liberal, more practical, more effective and rational drug policy. Nations in the grip of crowd madness will probably have to be cajoled and teased away from their obsession by a collectivity of more healthy views wielded by agencies of an international character and makeup. I would comment on just one further important observation made in this book concerning the way in which Drug Prohibition is used as a means for solidifying perceived "Swedishness" and protecting it from Euro-Permissiveness and other purportedly harmful influences coming from south of the border. History is replete with tales of one scapegoat after the next, and also of legends of once-great nations succumbing to fatal bouts of overweening regionalism and xenophobia. America, great "melting-pot" that it is reputed to be, suffers internally from such insanity, whereas smaller, more socially uniform nations see the threat coming from afar. But the underlying collective psychology is the same, and probably is (to use that imaginative term of Weston LaBarre) an archosis, a seemingly ineradicable instinct still dwelling in the collective psyche of humankind as a vestigial holdover from our simian ancestors and the ways in which they needed to protect their social cohesiveness. But recent genetic research indicates that humankind is far more homogeneous than previously suspected, (whites are genetically closer to blacks than are apparently identical families of chimpanzees from different African regions), and in a world as necessarily interconnected as our own any hint of racism, and even ignorant or excessive nationalism, must surely be labeled pathological on scientific grounds alone. In the realization that we will all have to swim or sink together, nations, especially small ones, should be inquiring today how they might enrich their own culture by exposure to other cultures, not closing ranks with the conviction they are mortally or even morally threatened by heathen doctrines. The human race has sufficiently flagellated itself with such nonsense. There is much else in this remarkable book which deserves mention and discussion. (It's main fault is merely one of frequent but minor errors of English grammar and usage which derives, no doubt, from an inadequate going-over by someone more fluent in English than in Dutch.) I should perhaps say that the author is far more cautious and measured in overt condemnation of Prohibition than I, but that the facts presented in the book speak loudly enough. As one who is more familiar with the situation in America than in most other countries I was again and again surprised by the examples which show that the Swedish situation is, in many respects, a similar fiasco to that in the U.S. Political groups are locked into an escalating vortex of drug warriorism which must certainly end very badly indeed. Once the black hole of drug warriorism and pubic opinion supporting it gets past a certain point of no return, the madness seems irreversible. Interestingly, we learn also that alcohol prohibition was very nearly voted in during the 1920s in Sweden, so the parallels between the present drug policies in the two countries have instructive precedent. Hopefully, further extensive study will be done of this Swedish situation, not only for the necessary task of repealing Drug Prohibition in Europe and eventually world-wide, but as a case study in how a society and nation can become entrapped in such collective hysteria, as a case study of the kind of collective psychological phenomenon which has so often led countries, and the entire world, down roads that might better have been avoided altogether.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Marijuana Is A Menace (A Letter Sent To The Editor Of 'The Vancouver Sun' Says Prohibitionists Remind Him Of Nazis In Seeking To Promote A 'Drug-Free Canada' By Demonizing Drugs, And, By Extension, Drug Addicts) Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 21:21:50 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Pat Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: LTE Re: Marijuana is a menace NEWSHAWK: Gil Puder PUBDATE: Saturday, 11 July 1998 Source: Vancouver Sun ( Canada) Contact: email@example.com Authors: Chuck Doucette, Mary-Stewart Moore, Roy Morton To the Editor I had not read more than a couple of lines of your report (Marijuana is a menace, July 11) before I realized with dismay that the authors were typical drug warriors. While serving in post-war Germany as a member of the 'denazification' process, I learned that the Nazi party was largely made up of ordinary citizens, most of them ostensibly good Christians, and caring husbands and parents. They and today's drug warriors have one thing in common: a God given dedication to the task of eradicating evil. So when, under the cloak of professional responsibility, Messrs Moore, Morton and Doucette seek to promote a 'drug-free Canada' by first 'demonizing' drugs, (and, by extension, drug addicts,) I am no longer terribly surprised. As Dr. Thomas Szasz of the Dept. of Psychology at Syracuse University commented, the drug warrior's victory is never in question because "Since he wages war on evil, his very effort is synonymous with success." Consider, however, what life-long drug researcher and University of Texas Professor, Dr. Andrew Weil had to say in his book "Chocolate to Morphine": "Any drug can be used successfully, no matter how bad its reputation, and any drug can be abused, no matter how accepted it is. There are no good or bad drugs; there are only good and bad relationships with drugs." It would be so nice to hear honest dialogue from doctors and policemen rather than rhetoric. Honesty and respect for truth is always such a great message to send to our young folk. (253 words) Pat Dolan Vancouver BC
------------------------------------------------------------------- Epidemic Of Heroin Sweeps Britain (Britain's 'Independent' Notes A Major Home Office Study Involving A Survey Of 200 Police And Drug Action Teams In England And Wales Last Year Has Discovered Prohibition Doesn't Work - Heroin Is Cheaper Than Ever And Users' Average Age Has Dropped From 17-25 To 14-25 - Not Satisfied, The Government Is Planning To Target Other Young People With An Advertising Campaign) Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 23:32:55 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Epidemic Of Heroin Sweeps Britain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Independent, The (UK) Pubdate: Monday, 13 July 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent EPIDEMIC OF HEROIN SWEEPS BRITAIN A NEW heroin epidemic is sweeping into many of Britain's towns and cities as dealers target increasingly young teenagers for their trade, a major Home Office study has discovered. Record numbers of dealers are selling heroin in low cost UKP10 packages in regions that had previously escaped the worst ravages of the drug. The disturbing findings of the report, which will be published in the next few weeks, have prompted the Government to plan a major anti- heroin campaign aimed at young users. The study, details of which have been obtained by The Independent, has identified "footprint" towns and cities where there are new heroin "outbreaks" and where use among young people is reaching epidemic levels. Other findings in the report New Heroin Outbreaks Amongst Young People in England and Wales include: Dealers are marketing heroin or "brown" aggressively by offering cut price drugs and affordable UKP10 deals. Some is being given away free to encourage a habit. The core group are 15 to 20- year-olds who are typically from poor, broken families with education problems. Many young people are unaware of the dangers of heroin and start off smoking it in the belief that they will not become hooked. A far wider range of people are taking the drug, including school pupils and people living on outlying housing estates. Keith Hellawell, the UK Drugs Co-Ordinator, known as the country's drug Tsar, told The Independent: "The report is saying that the problem is greater than we imagined. "It confirms that heroin is becoming the drug of first choice for young people." He added: "We have a very good chance of nipping any epidemic in the bud and controlling it." "A growing number of users are not from disadvantaged backgrounds and is moving into hitherto stable areas," he said. Researchers carried out a survey of 200 police and drug action teams in England and Wales last year. They identified a new pattern for the distribution and use of heroin. The users' average age has dropped from 17-25 to 14-25. There are reports of a significant number of 14 to 16- year old-heroin users, but the average aged is about 18. In Bristol, for example, there are an estimated 1,500 people aged under 19 taking heroin. Many of the younger generation who missed the last epidemic in the 1980s are now unaware of the side effects of heroin and believe other substances, such as ecstasy, are more addictive. They also believe smoking is a "healthier" option than injecting. Bradford, Hull and Bristol were identified as "heroin footprint" cities where the drug had previously only been available in very small amounts but was now awash with the substance. There have also been reports of heroin in Barnsley, south Leeds and Dewsbury in West Yorkshire. Agencies in the South East, Sussex, Surrey and Wales, have also reported significant problems. Heroin is believed to be far more widespread than the 1980's epidemic which was focused on inner city estates in large metropolitan cities. The traditional "smack" cities such as Liverpool, London, Manchester, and Glasgow still have a big heroin problem but the drug scene has remained stable. The report also identifies a gap in the policing of cross police force borders which is allowing dealers to distribute their goods nationally. Among the measures being considered by the Home Office are greater funding for treatment centres and an advertising and education campaign aimed at schools, teenagers and people in their early 20s. The report's author, Professor Howard Parker, of Manchester University, one of the country's leading drug experts, said: "I'm concerned about the spread of heroin into the youth population and regard the report as a significant contribution to trying to map this problem. "But I cannot discuss the details until the report has been published." There are around 40,000 known heroin addicts in Britain but experts suspect the total could be five times higher. In April Customs officers announced that they recovered 1.7 tons of heroin last year with a street value of more than UKP145m. That was an increase of 135 per cent on 1996. About 80 per cent of the heroin seized is sent from Turkey. It is produced in Afghanistan and Pakistan and is then trafficked through the Balkans from where it goes onwards to key markets in western Europe. 'Pushers offer it free' The story of Timmy's young life reads like a tragic novel. He is 19 years old and in two years has slipped from a fun-loving teenager, who occasionally smoked cannabis, to a heroin addict who funds his habit by selling his body for sex. He hates his condition and is trying to break out of the downward cycle with a detoxification programme in Bristol. He fidgets constantly and his eyes are glazed as he tells his story. At the age of 17 his cousin, a year older, offered him a smoke of heroin. "I was sick at first, but the buzz was nice. He told me if I tried it again I wouldn't feel so sick. The more I took the more I wanted." For the first year he smoked the heroin by "chasing it" - burning it on a piece of silver foil - but found he needed more and more to get the same buzz. He switched to injecting when he discovered a tiny amount fired directly into his blood stream had a much more powerful effect. But the dose gradually rose, until he was injecting a gram a day and spending about UKP300 a week. To pay for his addiction he went shoplifting, but could not earn enough money so turned to prostitution. "I work on the streets at the moment and in the pubs," he said with self-loathing. "All my mates do heroin. There's even a group of kids at school, aged from about 14 to 16, who are smoking it. Everyone I know moves from smoking it to injecting it. "In Bristol you get pushers looking to get people onto heroin - they just go up to kids and offer them it for UKP10 or a free trial. They know once they're hooked they'll be back for more. "My brother is a year older and has never touched heroin, just a bit of weed [cannabis]. I look at him and he has got a job and qualifications, he's got a flat, a misses and a babby . That could have been me, I could have had all that." 'It's everywhere now' Sophie has been taking heroin for 17 years. She used to inject it but her veins became so broken she turned to smoking. Since she started on heroin the price has dropped from about UKP100 a gram to about UKP45 in Bristol where she lives. To pay for her regular fixes she would go on shop-lifting sprees, which could net her more than a thousand pounds a week. The stolen goods were sold to "punters" who pay one-third of the face value. "Heroin is always just a phone call away. I used to have to travel around the country looking for it, but it's everywhere now, I just call a dealer and he will drop it off in about 15 minutes," she said. Sophie, 38, says the dealers sometimes give it to users to sell on their behalf, often in UKP10 "wraps", but they can be as little as UKP5 for about one-third of a gram. "Because people are frightened of getting hepatitis or Aids, a lot of them are smoking it now," she explained. They smoke it in pipes, on foil, and very occasionally mixed with tobacco and cannabis. One of her four children became addicted to heroin at the age of 17 but managed to kick the after three years. Sophie has finally managed to quit heroin and has been clean for 10 months, but has discovered she has contracted chronic hepatitis C from injecting. 'Kids aren't afraid' Tom, now 26, remembers the heroin epidemic of the Eighties. "It used to be very hush-hush. No one would mention it and it was often hard to get hold of. The difference is that the kids these days are not frightened of it. Really young kids - 13- and 14-year-olds are taking it. "Some of the young people have jobs - I know people who work as court clerks who are taking heroin - others just go out nicking. It's so easy to get hold of, there's a door-to-door service available at the end of a phone." Five months ago, Tom switched from heroin to the chemical substitute, methadone, in an attempt to wean himself off the drug. The three drug users, whose names have been changed, are being helped by the Bristol Drugs Project.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Strathclyde Drug Squad 'Disbanded' After Inquiry ('The Scotsman' Says A Drugs Squad Detective Has Been Suspended For Drug Possession And The Rest Of The Team Is Reported To Have Been Disbanded After An Internal Investigation Was Triggered By An Officer Who Tried To Save Himself The Price Of A First Class Stamp)Date: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 10:08:16 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Scotland: Strathclyde Drug Squad 'Disbanded' After Inquiry Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: JOHN McCANN STRATHCLYDE DRUG SQUAD 'DISBANDED' AFTER INQUIRY Officer Suspended Amid Allegations Of Drug Possession And Gross Misconduct A DRUGS squad detective has been suspended and the rest of the team is reported to have been disbanded after an internal investigation was triggered by an officer who tried to save himself the price of a first class stamp. Strathclyde police refused yesterday to confirm or deny reports that other officers in the squad have been returned to uniform duties after allegations of drug possession and gross misconduct by officers. Evidence has emerged that at least one officer may have used his desk to store drugs taken from dealers. The allegations prompted a call yesterday for an external investigation of the force. The internal investigation began when postal workers spotted a forged 26 pence stamp on a business envelope and reported it to police, who discovered a tax return sent by a detective from the crime action team in Glasgow. Officers mounted a covert surveillance operation and uncovered counterfeit stamps and quantities of Class A drugs, including heroin, which were allegedly found hidden in desks. At least one officer may face criminal charges after a report is sent to the procurator-fiscal in Glasgow. Yesterday police refused to confirm or deny the allegations. But a police source told the Sunday Mail: "More than 20 officers, including two detective constables, have been put back in uniform and sent out on the beat. The entire crime action team has been closed down as a result of what was found during the course of the investigation." The action is the latest in a series of humiliations for Strathclyde's drugs squad, whose officers were already under investigation by the procurator-fiscal over perjury allegations. In January, seven officers, including three inspectors, were suspended after a judge said that they lied to conceal violence against a convicted drugs offender in Glasgow. Lord Marnoch awarded Gerald Rae, 39, of Cartside Street, Glasgow, UKP 33,000 when he sued Strathclyde police over claims that officers assaulted him and planted drugs during a raid at his home in 1990. In March of this year, Peter Cross, 62, a former member of a children's panel, told The Scotsman that he believed officers removed drugs from a bag he saw thrown from a flat during a 1990 raid on a convicted dealer, William Dennison. At Mr Rae's trial, his defence claimed that drugs squad officers then planted the same drugs at his client's home. A third man, also charged with possessing drugs after a 1990 raid by many of the same officers, was cleared in 1991 when his eight-year-old daughter said she saw the drugs being planted by officers. John Paul Muir was cleared in 1991 after Natalie, then aged eight, said that an officer removed something from a bag and put it under floorboards. At the time of this trial, Detective Inspector John Pollock, who led several raids in 1990, was transferred to uniform duties without explanation. The Crown Office later refused to open an inquiry into officers' behaviour. Roseanna Cunningham, Scottish National Party spokeswoman on home affairs, called yesterday for an external investigation of the force, Scotland's biggest. She said: "This brings up the whole issue of who polices the police. There is a danger that in a force the size of Strathclyde there are little petty kingdoms formed which are immune to scrutiny." Ms Cunningham said she would have expected the allegations to be investigated outwith the force. David McLetchie, a lawyer and a senior Tory spokesman, said that offending officers should be rooted out to safeguard the force's reputation and to restore public confidence. The office of Henry McLeish, the Scottish home affairs minister, refused to comment on the allegations, describing them as an operational matter for Strathclyde police. The news overshadowed an announcement that the force, under the auspices of the Spotlight anti-crime initiative, arrested 35 people for drugs offences during a weapons crack down on Friday night. It is believed that a Spotlight team is being formed to replace the squad but it will not be operational until September. Strathclyde police confirmed that an officer had been suspended after an investigation into alleged theft.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Everybody Wants Viagra (Four Letters To The Editor Of 'The European' About Pfizer's New Drug For Impotence) Date: Tue, 14 Jul 1998 00:10:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Europe: LTE's: Everybody Wants Viagra Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: European, The Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-european.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 13 Jul 1998 EVERYBODY WANTS VIAGRA There have been reports that the demand for Viagra, Pfizer's anti-impotence drug, could cost the British National Health Service UKP1 billion ($1.6bn) a year when it is licensed for prescription in the autumn - the cost of the drug being higher than the prescription charges. One in ten of the adult male population is said to experience impotence and the remaining 90 per cent will want to boost their sexual prowess. This will present the medical profession with an appalling dilemma. We now hear that this anti-impotence drug increases blood flow in women and can heighten their sexual excitement. If Viagra will be available on prescription only for men, a huge black market for the drug is likely to develop. Andrew Kelly Brussels, Belgium ------ *** Viagra has created the greatest demand ever for a new drug in America. Launched in April, it was an instant hit. Within 14 days doctors were writing more than 110,000 prescriptions a week. Last month two million prescriptions were written in the US alone and Pfizer's shares soared from $45 to $115. Viagra tablets cost $12 each. The effect soon wears off, so demand can only be guessed at. If just two million men decide to use Viagra twice a week, then US demand alone would be around 200 million tablets a year, with a market value of up to $2bn. But should we be promoting a drug that will be so widely abused by the healthy? Clem Thompson Labrede, France ------ *** As of 8 June 1998 the US Food and Drug Administration's centre for drug evaluation and research had received 16 unduplicated reports for Viagra in which there was a fatal outcome, ie, 16 reported deaths of men who had taken Viagra in the previous 24 hours. Of these cases, the medical history of five of the men is unknown. Of the other 11, all had a history of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure or were insulin-dependent diabetics. The men's ages ranged from 48 to 80. Dr AD Rubin New York, NY, USA ------ *** We red-blooded males will all be a bit limp after the excitement of the World Cup. Everyone will be down and a bit flat. It has been a draining experience and we need a boost. Water companies should think about adding Viagra to our drinking supplies. Peter Fitzsimmons Amsterdam, the Netherlands -------------------------------------------------------------------
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