------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Weekly News (Drug Czar Distorts Facts To Malign Dutch Drug Policies; Oregon Voters Will Decide On Legalizing Medical Marijuana This Fall; Australian State Decriminalizes The Possession Of Marijuana; Nevada Medical Marijuana Proponents To Challenge Signature Count) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 18:24:11 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 7/16/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org July 16, 1998 *** Drug Czar Distorts Facts To Malign Dutch Drug Policies July 16, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Statistics flaunted by Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey regarding alleged Dutch homicide and marijuana usage rates are purposely misleading and inaccurate, NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre charged today. "It is unacceptable for a high ranking U.S. official to stoop to using such tactics to malign the Netherlands' drug policies," St. Pierre said. Earlier this week, McCaffrey claimed that the Dutch murder rate is more than twice that of America's. He further purported that three times as many Dutch youth admit trying marijuana than do their U.S. counterparts. McCaffrey said that liberal drug policies were to blame for the higher Dutch figures. In fact, however, both Dutch homicide rates and prevalence of youth marijuana use are far lower than those in America. "There is a very disturbing trend of blatant misinformation coming from Barry McCraffrey, which seems to indicate that he is woefully uninformed about key parts of the very policy he is paid to represent and enforce," said David Borden of the Drug Reform Coordination Network, an Interet-based information center on drug policy. Official data from the Dutch government's Central Planning Bureau put the country's murder rate for 1996 at 1.8 per 100,000 people. That figure is 440 percent lower than the current U.S. murder rate of 8.2 per 100,000. McCaffrey falsely claimed that the Dutch murder rate was 17.58 per 100,000. McCaffrey also alleged that Dutch youth experiment with marijuana in greater numbers than U.S teens. However, 1996 data recorded by the University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future project determined that 45 percent of America's high school seniors admit they have tried marijuana. By comparison, research compiled by the National Institute of Health and Addiction in the Netherlands found that less than 21 percent of Dutch adolescents have experimented with the drug. McCaffrey falsely stated that only 9.1 percent of American teens had ever tried marijuana. "The Dutch overwhelmingly approve of their current marijuana policies," St. Pierre remarked. "Those policies seek to normalize rather than dramatize marijuana use, and separate marijuana users from the hard drug market. If McCaffrey believes that America's marijuana policy of arresting and jailing more than 12 million users since 1965 is more effective than the Netherlands', then he should find no need to distort the facts and lie to the American people." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. David Borden of DRCNet may be reached @ (202) 293-8340. *** Oregon Voters Will Decide On Legalizing Medical Marijuana This Fall July 16, 1998, Portland, OR: Oregonians will decide this fall whether to legalize the medical use of marijuana under a physician's supervision. State election officials announced Friday that petitioners Oregonians for Medical Rights qualified their medical-use proposal for the November ballot. "The federal government's failure to act on the medical marijuana issue leaves proponents no choice but to bring this question straight to the voters," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup said. The Oregon initiative seeks to allow patients suffering from a "debilitating medical condition" and holding a state-issued identification card to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana. Registered patients would also be able to cultivate marijuana for medical use. Cultivation limits allow patients to grow no more than three mature plants at any one time. The initiative also permits non-registered patients to raise the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they face state criminal marijuana charges. "This is a tightly worded initiative designed to benefit seriously ill patients using marijuana under a doctor's supervision," Stroup said. Oregonians will also vote this year on whether to accept or reject the Legislature's decision to recriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for recreational use. Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in 1973. Last year, the Legislature decided to increase the penalty for simple marijuana possession from a noncriminal "violation" to a class C misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Petitioners Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement collected sufficient signatures to freeze the new law and refer the measure to this year's November ballot. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Geoff Sugerman of Oregonians for Medical Rights @ (503) 873-7927. Citizens for Responsible Law Enforcement may be reached @ (503) 239-0575. *** Australian State Decriminalizes The Possession Of Marijuana July 16, 1998, Victoria, Australia: Victoria's Chief of Police announced that first time marijuana users will no longer face criminal charges for possessing less than 50 grams of the drug. Victoria is the fourth Australian state to enact marijuana decriminalization in recent years. Police Commissioner Neil Comrie said the new policy will take effect on September 1, 1998. A six month trial of the liberal policy in the Broadmeadows district of Victoria had been successful, Comrie said. "Victoria's new marijuana policy is similar to the laws of ten U.S. states where marijuana users face a civil 'violation' rather than criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of the drug," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup said. "It is encouraging to see other regions around the globe adopt these reforms." Under the new system, individuals will receive a warning for possessing marijuana. Individuals may receive no more than two cautions, must have no prior criminal convictions for drug offenses, and agree to being cautioned. Other Australian states that rely on the caution system are South Australia, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), and the Northern Territory. This May, the Drug and Alcohol Council of South Australia concluded a two year national study finding that the decriminalization of marijuana does not lead to increased use. Comrie said that Victoria will also begin a pilot program for warning users of other illicit drugs, including heroin. The trial program for hard drug offenders will have stricter conditions, he added. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Nevada Medical Marijuana Proponents To Challenge Signature Count July 16, 1998, Carson City, NV: A signature drive to place a medical marijuana initiative on this year's state ballot fell short by a total of 43 signatures in two counties, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Tuesday. Dan Hart, spokesman for Nevadans for Medical Rights, said that his group will appeal to the Secretary of State to review the results. The group remains "confident" that the required signatures will be restored in the necessary counties. Petitions to qualify for the ballot fell seven signatures short in Lyon county and 36 short in Nye County, the paper reported. The group was successful in eleven other counties, turning in more than 74,000 signatures overall. Petitioners seek to amend the state Constitution to allow patients to use marijuana upon the advice of their physician. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights @ (310) 394-2952. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Public Suicide Awakens Portland To Its Heroin Problem ('The Associated Press' Account Of How Heroin Addicts 29-Year-Old Michael Douglas And 25-Year-Old Mora McGowan Came To Hang Themselves From The Steel Bridge In Downtown Portland) Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 12:10:53 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OR: WIRE: Public suicide awakens Portland to its heroin problem Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 PUBLIC SUICIDE AWAKENS PORTLAND TO ITS HEROIN PROBLEM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- As afternoon traffic rumbled by, a young couple in grunge clothes and combat boots climbed over the rail of the downtown Steel Bridge, slipped twin nooses from a single rope around their necks and jumped to their deaths. For nearly an hour, the bodies dangled side by side about 50 feet above the Willamette River. Cars slowed. A crowd gathered on the banks. Workers in office buildings rushed toward the windows. Amtrak passengers were warned to close their curtains as their train drew near the lower level of the bridge, where the bodies hung at eye level until police could remove them. The couple, 29-year-old Michael Douglas and his 25-year-old fiancee, Mora McGowan, were heroin addicts whose habit left them broke, tormented and hopeless. ``I think I've decided on an old-fashioned public hanging,'' Douglas wrote in a 13-page journal found in the book bag slung over his shoulder. ``The Steel Bridge shall be my gallows. ... Mora and I go together on the Steel Bridge.'' The very public suicide July 1 shocked this city, at least for a moment, into the realization that many of the young people who live on the streets here are addicts and there is little help available for them. ``A lot of us really took this to heart,'' said Donna Mulcare, a volunteer at the Oregon Partnership's drug and alcohol HelpLine. ``This issue hits many more people than you realize -- chances are you know somebody or work with somebody or passed someone on the street who is addicted.'' Heroin is responsible for more deaths in Oregon than any other drug, according to Dr. Larry Lewman, state medical examiner. In 1997, there were 221 drug-related deaths in Oregon; of those, 161 involved heroin. In a study released this month by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, nearly 14 percent of the men arrested in Portland and 27 percent of the women tested positive for heroin or related opiates. The rate among the Portland women was the highest of all 23 major U.S. cities studied. Just over 1 million people live in the Portland metropolitan area. Oregon has the nation's 10th-highest suicide rate, at 17 suicides per 100,000 population. Douglas had once worked as a tattoo artist and landscaper, McGowan as an assistant manager for a downtown beauty salon. They got engaged and moved in together a year and a half ago, and had been responsible about paying their rent until last August. Those who knew Douglas said drugs were always a part of his life. When he and McGowan began using heroin, they started pawning everything they owned of any value to feed their habit. They were eventually kicked out of the friend's apartment where they had been staying and put out on the streets. At least once, McGowan tried treatment but failed. In despair, she tried suicide by cutting her wrists, but her mother rushed her to a hospital. Douglas tried to come up with the money to buy enough heroin for an overdose, but he couldn't. Police Sgt. Kent Perry said Douglas wrote in his journal about the grind of having to raise $200 every day to pay for his fix and how he considered other ways of ending his life, including shooting himself or lying down on the train tracks. ``It was a waste of life,'' said Isaac Frankel, an analyst at Northwest Natural Gas who saw the twin suicide from his office building. ``I thought it was just a prank, until police came.'' Every weekday morning, on the scrubby fringe of Portland's downtown, where black tar heroin sells for about $50 per quarter gram, at least 20 people line up for a chance at the few daily slots in the Hooper Center for Alcohol and Drug Intervention, the city's biggest detoxification clinic. ``There are far fewer treatment resources than are needed -- probably for every 10 addicts that have wanted treatment, only one is admitted,'' said Richard Harris, executive director of Central City Concern, which oversees the clinic. Some of those who waited in line said news of the double suicide spread quickly on the streets, but any effect it may have had was overshadowed by their own daily struggles with heroin. ``It seemed like people should have taken it harder,'' said a slender 22-year-old heroin addict who asked to be identified only as Margaret. ``When you are a junkie, your options are limited. You just have to keep doing what you are doing.'' For three years now, Margaret has been scrounging for the $50 a day she needs to stay high, selling everything she owns, even her body. She and more than 10 others were turned away at the treatment center. ``Once you start, it's one of the hardest things to get off of,'' she said. ``If I don't quit, I'll end up dead.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hatch Questions Suicide Law ('The Oregonian' Says Conservative Republian Utah Senator Orrin Hatch Quized US Attorney General Janet Reno Wednesday During Her Appearance Before The Senate Judiciary Committee About The Justice Department's Determination On June 5 That Federal Law Does Not Authorize The DEA To Sanction Oregon Doctors For Assisting In A Suicide Under The State's Law) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Hatch questions suicide law Thursday, July 16 1998 By Erin Hoover Barnett of The Oregonian staff Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, took the opportunity Wednesday to make sure U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno hasn't changed her mind about the Drug Enforcement Administration's role regarding physician-assisted suicide. During Reno's appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hatch quizzed her publicly about the Justice Department's determination on June 5 that federal law does not authorize the DEA to sanction Oregon doctors for assisting in a suicide under the state's law. Hatch, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said federal law prohibits controlled substances from being used to endanger public health and safety and must be used for legitimate medical purposes. "Obviously, at least to me, using drugs to kill poses a greater risk to public health safety than using them to addict," Hatch said. "Now, I want to ask how you can justify your conclusion?" Reno responded: "I want to make it clear that our conclusion is limited to the particular circumstances in Oregon, in which the state has reached a considered judgment that physician-assisted suicide should be authorized under narrow conditions and in compliance with certain detailed procedures. "Adverse action may well be warranted in other circumstances -- for example, where a physician assists in a suicide in a state that has not authorized the practice under any conditions, or the physician fails to comply with the state's procedures in doing so." Hatch's question came the day after a House subcommittee hearing on legislation that would yank doctors' drug-prescribing privileges for giving medications for assisted suicide or euthanasia. A similar bill has been introduced in the Senate, but no hearings have been scheduled.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Siblings Still In Custody After Parents' Pot Arrest ('The Fresno Bee' Says A 9-Year-Old Boy Who Tipped Deputies To His Parents' Suspected Marijuana Crop Remained In The Custody Of Fresno County's Child Protective Services Wednesday, Along With His 10-Year-Old Sister) Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 21:53:57 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Siblings Still In Custody After Parents' Pot Arrest Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Fresno Bee, The Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/ Fax: (209) 441-6499 Author: #10572 SIBLINGS STILL IN CUSTODY AFTER PARENTS' POT ARREST The 9-year-old boy who tipped deputies to his parents' suspected marijuana crop remained in the custody of Fresno County's Child Protective Services Wednesday, along with his 10-year-old sister. The boy initially called 911 early Tuesday to report that his mother was being beaten by his father. When sheriff's deputies arrived, the boy led them to the back yard of their Britton Avenue home south of Fresno and showed them two marijuana plants, authorities said Wednesday. "My mom crushes the leaves, puts them in the microwave, and my parents smoke it in pipes," the boy told a deputy, according to a sheriff's report. Sheriff's spokesman Dan Cervantes said the boy also told deputies that his father had grabbed his wife around the neck and butted her against a wall. "She got loose and he slapped her in the face, and then the boy called 911," Cervantes said. The father, 40, was arrested on charges of misdemeanor spousal abuse and marijuana cultivation. His wife also was arrested on a marijuana-cultivation count. The couple were jailed briefly before being released on their own recognizance. The boy and his sister, who slept through the arrests, remained in county custody, however. A man at their home said Wednesday that he didn't want to talk about the incident. "Why don't they just leave us alone?" said the man, who refused to give his name. "We're just hard-working Americans."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Stumble Upon Marijuana Stack (An Unsourced Wire Story Notes Three Suspects Were Arrested Thursday In Linwood, California, For Allegedly Shooting And Trying To Steal A Half-Ton Of Marijuana From A Man Who Faces Charges Himself, Once He's Out Of The Hospital - Guess Who Will Get Out Of Prison First) Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 18:59:19 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Police Stumble Upon Marijuana Stack Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Wire Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 POLICE STUMBLE UPON MARIJUANA STACK LINWOOD, July 16 Three suspects were arrested Thursday for allegedly shooting a man and trying to steal a half-ton of marijuana from him, sheriff's officials reported. The unidentified man, who was listed in good condition, will be booked for possession of marijuana to sell when he is ready to be released from the hospital, said Deputy Joan Raber. Deputies went to 3266 Burton Ave. in Lynwood about 10 a.m. in response to a 'shots fired' call, Raber said. A helicopter crew that arrived earlier spotted three men running from the house, she said. When deputies got to the residence, they found the man with a single gunshot wound to his arm. The three suspects were later detained, along with their handguns, Raber said. Deputies found marijuana throughout the house and in a truck in the driveway, she said. Another suspect apparently got away, she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- $30 Million Awarded For Drug Error ('The Los Angeles Times' Says A Jury In Santa Ana, California, Made The Judgment Against Thrifty Payless, Which Admitted Dispensing An Overdose Of Phenobarbital To A 10-Year-Old Girl Who Suffered Brain Damage) Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:03:47 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: $30 Million Awarded for Drug Error Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 Author: Thao Hua, Times Staff Writer $30 MILLION AWARDED FOR DRUG ERROR Thrifty Payless admits dispensing an overdose of phenobarbital. Girl, 10, suffered brain damage. SANTA ANA--Thrifty Payless Inc. was ordered Wednesday to pay $30.6 million for the care of a 10-year-old Costa Mesa girl who was left with brain damage after being given a medication nearly seven times more powerful than prescribed. The drugstore chain admitted during the trial in Orange County Superior Court that it had erroneously filled Bryn Cabanillas' prescription for anti-seizure medication by giving her the improper dosage. The jury awarded $5.3 million for past damages and $25.3 million to cover the child's medical costs, estimated at about $150,000 a year, and other living expenses during her projected 50-year life span, attorneys said. The jury also found that the pharmaceutical error cost the girl 20 years of her life. The verdict "will ensure that she'll get the best of care," said the child's father, Naldo Cabanillas. "I expect her to walk and talk one day. I'm an optimist." At a news conference in Santa Ana after the verdict was announced, Bryn's father led the child by both hands. She walked with a slump and could barely stand alone. Her father held Bryn in his lap as they sat at a conference table, flanked by the child's sister, Carrie, and her mother. Bryn seemed oblivious to the media event, reaching for the microphones as if they were toys. "I just think of today and tomorrow," said her father, a self-employed architectural designer. "I cannot go back to the way things were. I lost my daughter." Attorneys called the verdict the largest prescription malpractice award in Orange County history. Bryn has cerebral palsy, which was diagnosed shortly after she was adopted from Peru at birth. In 1994, she suffered a respiratory infection that caused a seizure, leading doctors to prescribe phenobarbital to prevent further attacks, said Jay Cordell Horton, her attorney. But after taking the medicine, Bryn became lethargic. Her speech was slurred and her balance was off, said her mother, Jill Cabanillas. She and her husband checked the prescribed pills, which appeared a little larger than Bryn's usual medicine. They took the child to a hospital, but doctors could find nothing wrong and sent her home. Two days later, according to court testimony, the couple could not wake their daughter. They took her to the hospital, this time bringing the prescription drug with them. At Children's Hospital of Orange County, a physician discovered that the medicine was actually a 100-milligram dosage of phenobarbital, rather than the 15-milligram dosage that had been prescribed and was indicated on the pharmacy container. "We were very upset," said Jill Cabanillas, 49. "But even then, we could never have dreamed it would lead to something so horrible." Their daughter, who before the incident had been scheduled to join regular school classes, can no longer speak, get out of bed, pick out her clothes or brush her teeth. The settlement, Horton said, will allow her parents "to explore every avenue to try to rehabilitate her." Attorneys for Thrifty Payless could not be reached for comment Wednesday. During the trial, they brought in medical experts to testify that the negligence did not cause injury to Bryn. Bryn's attorneys, however, called eight medical experts to rebut those assertions and present detailed evidence that showed a connection down to "the microscopic neuron level," Horton said. Attorneys said Bryn's parents had tried to get the drug chain to help them with medical bills and other costs for three years before filing the lawsuit in June 1997. "I hope that because of this lawsuit, Payless and other drugstores will reevaluate their procedure . . . to ensure that no other child will be injured by prescription mistakes," Jill Cabanillas said. Copyright Los Angeles Times
------------------------------------------------------------------- Accused Agent Had Affair, Wife Is Told ('The Orange County Register' Says A Federal Judge Denied Bail Wednesday For California Bureau Of Narcotics Enforcement Agent Richard Wayne Parker Of San Juan Capistrano, Charged With Distributing Cocaine - So Far, Authorities Have Found About $680,000 In Cash, And Parker's Wife Was Prepared To Post Bail At The Hearing Until The Prosecutor Told Her Her Husband Had Been Having An Affair For The Past Year And Paying For The Other Woman's $1,000-A-Month Newport Beach Apartment - 'I Need A Drink,' She Said)From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US: CA: Accused agent Had Affair, Wife Is Told Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 02:25:07 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate:7-16-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ COURTS:THE WIFE IS ON HAND TO OFFER TO POST BAIL IN THE DRUG CASE, THEN SAYS SHE'LL HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT. Los Angeles - A federal judge denied bail Wednesday for a state drug agent from San Juan Capistrano jailed for allegedly distributing cocaine, and at the hearing the agent's wife discovered that her husband had been having an extramarital affair for the past year. Diane Parker, the wife of Richard Wayne Parker, said she planned to offer up her home, retirement plans and mother's Connecticut condominium as bail collateral. "He's going to be under house arrest. My house arrest," Diane Parker told U.S. Magistrate Judge Rosalyn Chapman. Diane Parker, a former Orange County sheriff's deputy, added that her husband was "constantly" a good husband and father to their two young children. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Lonergan then asked Diane Parker whether she know her husband had been having an affair for the past year and paying for the other woman's $1,000-a-month Newport Beach apartment. Diane Parker stared across the courtroom at her husband, who looked down at a table. Finally, she said she was unaware of the affair but knew the other woman was "friends" with her husband. So far, authorities have found about $680,000 in cash in cars and homes that Richard Parker owns, as well as assault weapons and a business card for an offshore bank, Lonergan said. Diane Parker stared at her husband again, slipped off her wedding ring and tucked it into her pocket. "Are you still willing to support your husband?" Deputy Federal Public Defender Pedro Castillo asked. "I need a drink and a couple of hours to think about that, quite honestly," Diane Parker answered. The judge denied Parker's bail, saying he had been "living a lie to his family." As federal marshals led Parker away, his wife called out, "I'll take care of your children for you." Parker, 43 a nine-year veteran of the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and four others are charged with supplying cocaine for distribution, authorities said last week. They were arrested after a search of several homes turned up about 26 pounds of cocaine and about $285,000. Drug-sniffing dogs also indicated there were traces of cocaine in Parker's truck, the FBI said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Disastrous Consequences In Drug War (Two Letters To The Editor Of 'The San Francisco Chronicle') Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 21:48:58 +0000 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTEs: Disastrous Consequences In Drug War 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: San Francisco Chronicle Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 Section: Letters to the Editor Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ DISASTROUS CONSEQUENCES IN DRUG WAR LETTER #1 Editor -- Kudos to Thomas O'Connell for his excellent letter in the July 9 Chronicle attacking the ``War on Drugs.'' Is there any other more pressing political issue in this country? Why is this subject so conspicuously absent from media scrutiny? While we get so caught up in relatively trivial sex scandals, this ``war'' is continuing unabated with disastrous consequences all around. Most drug arrests are of nonviolent users who are too often given stiff prison sentences. This corrupting process keeps the police from fighting real crime, the courts from trying dangerous criminals and the jails from keeping the real thugs off our streets. And it doesn't deter illegal drug use anyway! When will we come to our senses? Even the medical use of marijuana, overwhelmingly approved by California voters, is still illegal. Why? I'm afraid that our only recourse is a risky one: to elect to public office only those with enough courage and principle to do the right thing. Who? A good man like Dennis Peron, ignored when not ridiculed by the media, lost big in the Republican primary for governor. Thanks for trying, Dennis. STANLEY F. KERN Daly City *** LETTER #2 ZERO-TOLERANCE Editor -- No to litter, no to trash. No to women getting any cash. No to smoking, no to toking. No money to mothers who are coking. No to snooze in the dugout or on the diamond? How big the noose, how much bigger the hoosegows? How long before no to chewing gum on the streets? How long will the law's arm reach? An expensive way to preach. Isn't it better to simply teach? MARGO St. JAMES San Francisco 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A22
------------------------------------------------------------------- Consolidated Growers Processors, Inc. Acquires Zollig (PRNewswire Says CGPR, The First Multi-National Industrial Hemp Company, Has Acquired 100 Percent Interest In Werner Zollig AG., Glulam Lumber Mfg. Corp., A Swiss Manufacturer Of Laminated Beams For Construction) Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 10:04:02 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Consolidated Growers Processors, Inc. Acquires Zollig 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: PRNewswire Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 CONSOLIDATED GROWERS PROCESSORS, INC. ACQUIRES ZOLLIG MONTEREY, Ca., - Consolidated Growers & Processors, Incorporated (OTC BULLETIN BOARD: CGPR) has acquired 100% interest in Werner Zollig AG., Glulam Lumber Mfg. Corp. (ZOLLIG), a Swiss manufacturer of laminated beams for construction, via stock options and cash. Zollig manufactures high-end beams for industrial and residential construction. CGPR, the first multi-national industrial hemp company, will implement the use of hemp fiber into glulam beam production allowing greater strength and flexibility of the product. Zollig also manufactures fine furniture that will be treated with hemp fiber for reinforcement. Zollig is a 100 year old Swiss company with revenues of approximately $10 million per annum. /CONTACT: Martin Moravcik of CGP, 888-333-8247, or fax, 888-999-8247/ (CGPR) CO: Consolidated Growers & Processors, Incorporated; Werner Zollig AG, Glulam Lumber Mfg. Corp. ST: California; Switzerland IN: CST SU: TNM
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drug Czar Visits Amsterdam (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Los Angeles Times' Says General Barry McCaffrey Flew Into The Eye Of A Self-Made Storm Thursday As He Arrived To Study The Permissive Dutch Cannabis Policy He Has Already Branded An 'Unmitigated Disaster') Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 12:17:01 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Netherlands: U.S. Drug Czar Visits Amsterdam Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: 16 Jul 1998 Author: Jennifer Chao, Associated Press Writer U.S. DRUG CZAR VISITS AMSTERDAM AMSTERDAM, Netherlands--U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey flew into the eye of a self-made storm today as he arrived to study the permissive Dutch narcotics policy he has already branded an "unmitigated disaster." His harsh criticism of the Dutch policy prompted officials here to question the value of his mission, which in effect pits America's zero-tolerance approach to drugs with the laissez-faire Dutch policy. From the corridors of Dutch government buildings where retaliatory statements were issued, to funky coffee shops where hashish and marijuana are sold over the counter, the retired four-star general has generated a buzz. "It's easy to point the finger at others when you have a problem at home," said Anouke Scholten at Amsterdam's Coffeeshop 36, referring to U.S. officials' long-fought battle against narcotics. "He (McCaffrey) has to come to our coffee shop and look around. The atmosphere is good and there is no violence," added Scholten. But there's no chance of that happening. After arriving in Amsterdam, McCaffrey was hurled into a day packed with activities. The plans ranged from presentations on the Netherlands' latest state-funded heroin handout experiment to techniques used by customs authorities in the world's largest port, Rotterdam, to intercept international drug shipments. McCaffrey was to see just about every aspect of the Dutch policy at work, except a coffee shop -the officially tolerated cafes that sell hashish and marijuana. Although technically illegal, small amounts of soft drugs like hashish and marijuana are ubiquitous in cafes. Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin also are cheap and easily available. Law enforcement agencies claim it is better to spend money trying to battle international drug smuggling than trying to break up the street-level trade. The U.S. drug czar's visit comes as two Dutch marines involved in drug-interdiction in the Caribbean have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle almost 800 pounds of cocaine to the Netherlands. A third marine was questioned but released. Seven civilians and four military personnel from the Netherlands Antilles also have been detained in the case. Some of the drugs were found aboard a Dutch navy plane that patrols the Caribbean for drug trafficking as part of the Netherlands Antilles coast guard. As well as the "unmitigated disaster" comment, McCaffrey this week claimed that the Dutch murder rate is twice as high as that in the United States because of the tolerant Dutch drug policy. The Dutch angrily publicized statistics refuting McCaffrey's claims and stood by their often-criticized policy. "We have our own policy and we think it works," said Health Ministry spokesman Benno Bruggink. "We don't tell people that it is the one and only solution."
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drugs Adviser Soothes Row Over Dutch Policy (The 'Reuters' Version Rebuts General Barry McCaffrey's Earlier Assertion That 'Drugs' Caused A Higher Murder Rate In The Netherlands Compared To The United States, Noting The Murder Rate In Holland Stood At 1.8 Per 100,000 Inhabitants In 1996, Far Below The US Rate Of 8.22 Per 100,000 - McCaffrey Refused To Admit His Mistake And Claimed His Figures Came From Interpol - 'I Shouldn't Comment On Interpol Data - I Learned In College - Don't Argue About Facts,' He Said) From: GDaurer@aol.com Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 20:19:52 EDT To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: U.S. drugs adviser soothes row over Dutch policy Sender: email@example.com U.S. drugs adviser soothes row over Dutch policy By Christine Lucassen THE HAGUE, July 16 (Reuters) - The United States' top drugs adviser on Thursday steered clear of a diplomatic row over Dutch drug policy, insisting instead he had gleaned valuable insight by visiting treatment centres for Dutch drug addicts. ``We do have significant differences (of opinion). But I characterize the visit as a very useful opportunity for me to hear what the Dutch are doing and to learn,'' General Barry McCaffrey told a news conference at the end of a one-day visit. McCaffrey, on a European fact-finding mission, locked horns with Dutch authorities earlier this week when he called Dutch drugs policy a ``disaster'' and said the murder rate in the Netherlands outstripped that in the U.S. His figures, the Dutch pointed out, were based on incorrect data. According to the government's Central Planning Bureau, the murder rate in the Netherlands stood at 1.8 per 100,000 inhabitants in 1996, far below the U.S.'s 8.22 per 100,000. Speaking to Dutch reporters, McCaffrey did not apologize for the error. His figures, he said, came from Interpol. ``I shouldn't comment on Interpol data... I learned in college: don't argue about facts,'' he said. At the height of the row, the Dutch ambassador to the United States wrote a letter of protest to the White House, and Foreign Affairs Minister Hans van Mierlo summoned the U.S. ambassador in The Hague, Terry Dornbush, to express his displeasure. Insisting his visit to the Netherlands had been useful, McCaffrey agreed the Dutch and the U.S. views often differed. ``I came with a bias that Dutch police were good.... I cautioned my Dutch partners that police of this high calibre can allow policy to work adequately even when it may not be good policy,'' the drugs tsar said. He criticized a Dutch Health Ministry pilot programme under which a small group of hardcore heroin addicts is administered free heroin in an effort to reduce drugs related crime. ``It is our own view that this does not constitute drug treatment but instead ends up in essence leaving and marginalising an element of the population,'' McCaffrey said. McCaffrey, who stayed clear of coffee shops selling marijuana during his visit, insisted there was an inherent danger in tolerating the use of soft drugs. ``When I'm asked what the most dangerous drug in America is, my response is: It's a 12-year-old regularly using marijuana,'' he said. The Netherlands, often considered a front-runner in the area of drugs tolerance, argues there should be a strict separation between hard and soft drugs policy. It tolerates the small-scale production and sale of soft drugs but actively discourages the abuse of hard drugs. Addiction to hard drugs like heroin is less common in the Netherlands than in other countries, according to the Dutch. McCaffrey reiterated his concern that the Netherlands was a booming exporter of drugs to the United States and the rest of Europe. He said there was reason to believe the Netherlands produced half of Europe's amphetamines and much of its Ecstasy. Fighting drug abuse could not be done if each country applied its own policy, he said. ``No one nation can attempt to solve the drug problem on their own, that's our view point. You would have to do it by cooperating with your partners.'' McCaffrey added the gap between the Dutch and North American views on how to fight drugs abuse was likely to diminish. ``Reasonable people working (with the) evidence and facing the same problem probably will have convergence of views over time and I'll leave that open to a dialogue among equals.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- McCaffrey Interviewed On Dutch Television (A Dutch Correspondent Posts A Transcript Of The US Drug Czar's Comments On '2 Vandaag,' And Says Other Mass Media In The Netherlands Are Unanimously Critical Of Him) Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 17:32:12 +0200 (CEST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Harry Bego (email@example.com) Subject: Transcript: McCaffrey interviewed on Dutch TV Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Dutch media are really jumping on McCaffrey. There are critical articles in all papers, all news programs on radio and tv follow the visit closely; there's a critical editorial comment even in the right-wing 'Telegraaf'. Yesterday July 15th 6.15 pm on TV2, the news show 2 Vandaag ('2 Today') summarised reactions in the Netherlands to McCaffrey's statements so far. At the end, there was an interview with McCaffrey. It was by telephone, recorded just before 6 pm, it looked slightly edited; McC. was still in Switzerland; the interviewer was on screen, against a background of images from McC's European trip, people smoking joints, etc. Here's a transcript; apparently Dutch feelings are, unfortunately, 'bruised' in the context of an internal US debate; he seems to imply we shouldn't worry about that too much. Since he all but admits it, now we can be sure: the misinformation distributed about us is also to be seen in that US-internal context ... *** 2 VANDAAG: Hello mr. McCaffrey, welcome in our program. Your comments on Dutch drugs policy were greeted here with indignation and condemnation. Are you still looking forward to come to the Netherlands? McCAFFREY: Of course. I have enormous interest and respect in the viewpoints of the Dutch policy makers. I think there's a very important responsiblity to carry on a dialog across the Atlantic. 2 VANDAAG: But what is your reaction to that storm of indignation? McCAFFREY: Well, I've seen no storm, so I have no reaction, I think I have great confidence that there's something to be learned from not only reading about the Dutch experience but also listening to anectodal insight on what their exeriences have been. I think friends should candidly discuss their viewpoints and how that can come (?) learning. 2 VANDAAG: Well, talking about candidly, you have called Dutch drug policy an unmitigated disaster. Is that still your opinion? McCAFFREY: Well I think that there is an enormous amount of press attention, perhaps others, to what has been a very stiff internal debate in the United States, driven on one side by those of us in both public and private life who have constructed this bold and aggressive ten year drug prevention and treatement strategy, and on the other side of the issue are many who we believe are promoting the legalization of drugs, and what ... Unfortunately, the Netherlands is frequently used as an icon, by one side of the argument. So in the process of putting that into better context it is possible to bruise Dutch feelings, which is unfortunate. 2 VANDAAG: But is it, yes or no, an unmitigated disaster? McCAFFREY: My own viewpoint has been that our decision should be based on objective criteria, and not on ideology or culture or politics. 2 VANDAAG: But the Dutch government says you've got your statistics wrong. McCAFFREY: The data that many people are now looking at is Interpol data, but that should be a discussion between Dutch authorities and the Interpol data, with me not acting as an intervening variable. 2 VANDAAG: Ok sir, thank you very much for your comments. *** Reformers over here have been busy writing articles and giving interviews; I had almost half a page yesterday in the 'Volkskrant' (2nd largest paper after the Telegraaf) titled 'General McCaffrey has already lost his war'; illustrated by a depressing picture of a chain gang in an Alabama prison; gist: US drug policy is the real disaster. Today McC. isn't giving interviews during the day, but there will be a press conference tonight; I have sent out a press statement containing the NYT citation of his allegations about a 'slick misinformation campaign', pointing to his own obvious efforts now to mislead the US audience. Will keep you posted. Harry Bego
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Smoking Cleric Seeks Tory Leadership ('The Vancouver Sun' Says The Reverend Michael Baldasaro, A 49-Year-Old Bearded Hippie Clad In Sandals Who Lives In A Trailer Without Electricity, On Thursday Announced His Intention To Seek The Leadership Of Canada's Progressive Conservative Party) Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:26:34 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Smoking Cleric Seeks Tory Leadership Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 POT SMOKING CLERIC SEEKS TORY LEADERSHIP OTTAWA (CP) - A pot-smoking cleric who lives in a trailer without electricity says he puffed a joint Thursday shortly before he declared his intention to seek the leadership of the federal Progressive Conservatives. Rev. Michael Baldasaro, a 49-year-old bearded hippie clad in sandals, shorts, a hat and a tank top, said on Parliament Hill that the focus of his campaign would be to legalize marijuana. A tax on marijuana could be used to pare down the national debt, he said At a news conference that resembled a scene from a Cheech and Chong movie, Baldasaro and his campaign manager, the equally attired Reverend Brother Walter Tucker, took turns championing what they call the tree of life. They also deflected charges they were making a mockery of the Tory leadership selection process that culminates in a vote by all card-carrying Tories on Oct. 24. "It's not harmful to the health, its a medicine," said Baldasaro, who lives off a disability pension after he injured his head in an industrial accident. Baldasaro is the 15th person to announce they want to lead the Tories. Former strategist Hugh Segal is the only candidate who has paid the $30,000 required to be officially in the race to succeed Jean Charest. Baldasaro called the fee unconstitutional and undemocratic and has filed a complaint with the party asking that it be waved because he can't afford it. Party officials have said they have no plans to change the rules. Those seeking the leadership must pay up by July 31. Baldasaro and Tucker live on the grounds of an abandoned steel mill in Cambridge, Ont. The mill is owned by John Long, a businessman who became the first declared Tory leadership candidate in May.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Toronto Transit Commission Rejects Drug Testing Its Drivers ('The Toronto Star' Says The Commission Voted 4-2 Yesterday To Reject Testing Of New Applicants, For Several Reasons) Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Page: C5 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Paul Moloney, Toronto Star City Hall Bureau Note: The TTC is the Toronto Transit Commission, Toronto's public transportation organization. TTC REJECTS DRUG TESTING ITS DRIVERS TTC commissioners have said no to mandatory drug testing of applicants for bus driver and other safety sensitive jobs. ``I don't know what they were smoking when they made that decision,'' said Councillor Rob Davis, a commissioner who had argued that public safety demanded testing. ``What percentage of the population wouldn't want the person driving their subway or streetcar to have been tested for drugs prior to getting the job?'' he told reporters after the 4-2 vote yesterday. ``There's going to be a percentage of our applicants who are going to be drug users and they will not be subject to any drug screening,'' said Davis (York-Eglinton). BIGGER ISSUE TTC management, which fills about 600 jobs a year, 70 per cent of them safety sensitive, had proposed sending urine samples to an outside laboratory for $75 tests for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and amphetamines. The program wouldn't include alcohol testing, but staff told commissioners it's easier to detect drinking on the job than drug use. ``What's prompted it is that it's become a bigger issue in society in general,'' said TTC human resources manager Lori Findleton. ``We feel we have a requirement to provide a safe environment.'' Drug testing is carried out at major U.S. transit systems, but in Canada the TTC is aware of just one program, at Windsor Transit. The need for a program was questioned by Councillor David Miller (High Park), who noted there have been only 19 instances of on-the-job impairment in the past two years, out of nearly 10,000 employees. LEGAL MINEFIELD Management wasn't proposing to test current employees - arguing that internal controls are working and that younger job applicants are more likely to be drug users. But Miller said a program, even one restricted to job applicants, is a legal minefield. ``If you don't have reasonable grounds, you don't have the right to interfere in people's private lives. I think that's an important principle the TTC has to uphold.'' Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski (High Park) had a different approach: ``I don't believe in all this concern about democratic rights and everything else.'' But Councillors Howard Moscoe, the TTC chair, and Blake Kinahan (Lakeshore-Queensway) said the staff had failed to make a good case that drug testing is needed. ``For God's sake, let's drop the whole thing and let's get on with the business of running a transit system,'' said Moscoe (North York Spadina). TTC chief general manager David Gunn, who was subject to drug testing when he ran New York's transit system, said he doesn't find it overly intrusive. ``It just seems to me it's prudent to do, because it's very difficult to pick up drug abuse unless something happens. The way you tend to detect that is you have an accident.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shaken By Rebel Gains, Colombia Turns More To The US ('The Chicago Tribune' Portrays The Increasing Cooperation Between The US And Colombian Governments And Military Forces, Authorized By The US Congress In The Name Of The War On Some Drug Users) Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 01:03:04 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Columbia: Shaken By Rebel Gains, Colombia Turns More To The U.S. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: 16 July 1998 Author: Paul de la Garza Section: sec. 1, page 9 SHAKEN BY REBEL GAINS, COLOMBIA TURNS MORE TO THE U.S. TRES ESQUINAS MILITARY BASE, Colombia -- The scene is straight out of Hollywood. A ruggedly handsome, tough-talking general in military fatigues points to maps of coca fields, cocaine labs and guerrilla strongholds in this jungle outpost in southwestern Colombia. The maps are marked "secret" in red marker. As a torrential rain batters the camouflaged tent that houses the general, other members of the nation's military high command and three visiting U.S. Army officers, soldiers along the nearby Orteguaza River stand guard against an enemy they cannot see. After his briefing, Gen. Rafael Hernandez Lopez, 55, leads his guests and his charges on river patrol, and as the military gunboats race along, slapping against the muddy waters of the Orteguaza, the soldiers open fire on the jungle with machine guns mounted on board. The ear-piercing clatter shatters the hot and soggy afternoon along Colombia's most dangerous stretch of territory, about 350 miles southwest of Bogota. Although this exercise is merely for show, the reality is that Colombia is at war, and, according to American intelligence, the enemy is gaining. It was here three months ago, in the region of Caqueta, that the military suffered its worst defeat at the hands of Marxist rebels since the guerrillas took up arms in the mid-1960s. Sixty-seven soldiers were killed. Military analysts worry that because of the burgeoning strength of the rebels, Latin America's oldest democracy could collapse without outside help. "It's a conscript army, badly trained, not particularly well-led," a diplomat said. "Somebody needs to help them." Enter the Clinton administration. Three years ago, the White House began to increase military aid to Colombia. Published reports indicated Washington was reacting to guerrilla advances against the Colombian military. It is of particular concern to the Clinton administration that the ongoing conflict could disrupt oil operations in neighboring Venezuela, America's biggest foreign oil supplier, as well as threaten the nearby Panama Canal. U.S. officials insist that aid was increased to Colombia's military because of the larger role it began to play in the war on drugs. The national police force is responsible for counternarcotics operations in Colombia, but the military often provides protection. So sensitive is the subject that the commander of Colombia's armed forces, Gen. Manuel Jose Bonett, denied the military was getting any help from the U.S., even to help fight the drug war. "We have always fought without the help of the United States," he said. "We are fighting on our own, and I think we will continue that way." According to an American military official who has sat in on briefings in Colombia, the nation's military high command paints a different picture of the war. "We're hearing they need help," he said. "It's a serious problem." Even Bonett admits to having a "direct line" to Miami-based U.S. Gen. Charles Wilhelm, commander of American military forces in Latin America and the Caribbean. He said he talks to Wilhelm almost daily "about things military men talk about." U.S. officials say that funds the military is getting are to be used exclusively to fight the drug war, but they acknowledge that distinguishing between narcotraffickers and leftist guerrillas gets "murky" because of the role the rebels play in the drug trade. "We are not fighting a guerrilla war," a U.S. State Department official said. But "the line does get blurred in the field." Indeed, Gen. Hernandez characterized the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by its initials in Spanish as FARC, as "the largest drug cartel in Latin America." U.S. and Colombian officials said the rebels "rent out" their services to drug barons to protect coca and poppy fields and the labs used to process the plants. Critics in Washington, concerned that the U.S. is becoming entangled in another Latin American war, argue that aid proponents have blown the role of the guerrillas in the drug trade out of proportion to justify the shift in U.S. policy. President-elect Andres Pastrana, who takes office Aug. 7, says his top priority is making peace with the rebels. Pastrana met with representatives of the FARC last week at a secret jungle location. Colombia's military is getting about $100 million a year in U.S. aid, an increase of $75 million from three years ago, according to the State Department. Because of the military's history of human rights violations and its close relationship with right-wing death squads, U.S. aid is contingent on the military's human rights performance. A Defense Department document prepared in May outlined some aid to the Colombian military. "The majority of this assistance," it says, "is non-lethal and consists of helicopter spare parts, field and communications gear." The Defense Department says that under a program known as Joint Combined Exchange Training, the U.S. military "has both trained with and has provided military training to the Colombian armed forces, most of it focused on stemming the influence of organized drug trafficking." "We are not providing counterinsurgency training to the Colombian military," the document says. "Nor do we have military advisers in the field." However, the Defense Department document makes the following point: "The skills for counterdrug and counterinsurgency operations sometimes overlap. For example, both include light infantry tactics and weapons training, patrolling, radio communication, and intelligence collection." On average, the number of U.S. military personnel in Colombia totals 193. "Virtually all are providing counternarcotics assistance," the Defense Department says, "although some deployments have taken place to provide counterterrorism training and perform security surveys with regard to the safety of U.S. personnel." According to the Pentagon, Colombia's insurgents, which total about 20,000, probably are the world's best-equipped, best-financed "terrorist force." The rebels rake in an estimated $600 million a year through narcotrafficking, extortion, robbery and kidnapping and control half of Colombian territory. It is estimated that the Colombian drug cartels supply about 80 percent of the cocaine in the U.S. Although Colombia's military outnumbers the guerrillas 6-1, 55,000 of the nation's 125,000 soldiers are committed to protecting Colombian oil fields and other key installations. "We need help . . ." Gen. Hernandez said. "We don't have the support. How can you navigate without a boat? How can you fly without a plane? You saw," he said, referring to an earlier talk with his men, "the soldiers are asking for uniforms." The soldiers also are asking for help. "I want Colombia to know that they have a military, that we want to go forward, that we want to protect democracy," said Sgt. German Morales, 28. "We want support. We are compatriots."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Armed Hold-Ups Explode As Heroin Takes Its Toll (According To 'The Sydney Morning Herald,' Crime Figures Released By The Australian Bureau Of Statistics Yesterday Suggest An Increase In Heroin Use Among The Poor And Young Is Driving A Huge 44 Per Cent Increase In Armed Hold-Ups - The Increase Was Even More Stark In New South Wales, Where Hold-Ups Jumped By 67 Per Cent) Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 14:51:05 +0000 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: AUSTRALIA: Armed Hold-Ups Explode As Heroin Takes Its Toll Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Thursday, 16, July 1998 Author: Greg Bearup ARMED HOLD-UPS EXPLODE AS HEROIN TAKES ITS TOLL An increase in heroin use among the poor and the young is driving a huge 44 per cent increase in armed hold-ups, which saw more than 9,000 people bailed up by gun, knife or syringe across the country last year. The increase was even more stark in NSW, where hold-ups jumped by 67 per cent, or nearly 2,000. The head of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics, Dr Don Weatherburn, said the nation-wide increase was the biggest "this decade, if not ever". He indicated that heroin was taking a hold on groups such as the poor, the unemployed and Aborigines and that a national approach was needed to address the problem. "There are certain groups at risk that have a toe in the water with regards to crime and when heroin, coke or amphetamines are introduced they are straight in at the deep end." The recorded crime statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday compared police data from all States and found that NSW fared badly in most areas. There were substantial increases in most categories, with assaults up by 8.6 per cent (17 per cent in NSW), house burglary by 4.8 (9.7) and car theft by 6.1 (12). But the most disturbing increase was in armed robbery, which saw an increase from 6,256 in 1996 to 9,015 last year. While the statistics found no heroin epidemic, they did reveal that its use had increased among groups more likely to commit armed robberies and break and enters, which provide quick cash. A 1996 study by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Council found there had been a huge increase in heroin use by inner-city Aborigines and that prison authorities had reported an increase in the number of Aborigines entering jail who were dependent on the drug. A spokesman for the council said yesterday that a recent study had also found that many more young people were using heroin and that the average age at first use had dropped from 20 to 16. "Heroin may now be the first illicit drug that many young people try," he said. In recent years there has been a flood of heroin into Australia from South-East Asia and the cost has more than halved while the quality has increased. The Police Minister, Mr Whelan, is overseas but his office said the NSW increases could be attributed to the Federal Government's cutting back on border controls through reduced funding for the Australian Federal Police and Customs. A spokeswoman said the recently introduced tough knife and street safety laws were aimed directly at armed hold-ups. A spokesman for the State Opposition Leader, Mr Collins, said the statistics made "a mockery of Mr Carr's pre-election promise to be tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Body's Pain Relief Mimics Cannabis (Britain's 'Independent' Says Research Published In Today's Issue Of The Science Journal 'Nature' Shows Scientists Have Discovered That Anandamide, A Cannabis-Like Substances That The Human Body Produces Naturally, Is Essential To The Control Of Pain Experienced Beyond The Central Nervous System - Working Together With Another Cannabinoid Called PEA That The Body Makes, They Reduced Pain 100-Fold) Date: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 10:17:22 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Body's Pain Relief Mimics Cannabis Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 16 Jul 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Charles Arthur, Technology Editor Science Journal Reports That Cannabinoid Receptors Located Outside The Brain And Spine Are Affected When The Skin Or Flesh Is Cut Or Hurt BODY'S PAIN RELIEF MIMICS CANNABIS The ability of cannabis to control the pain of people suffering from illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and arthritis may arise because the body makes similar chemicals to control pain signals. Scientists have discovered that cannabis-like substances that the body produces are key in the control of pain experienced beyond the central nervous system. That would tally with the preference of a growing number of people who are smoking cannabis to control symptoms from various illnesses. In California, a recent by-law allowed people to grow cannabis for medicinal purposes. According to work published today in the science journal Nature, "cannabinoid receptors" located outside the brain and spine are affected when the skin or flesh is cut or hurt. A cannabis-like chemical produced by the body, called anandamide, is released when cells are damaged and helps to ease the pain sensation. Working together with another cannabinoid called PEA that the body makes, they reduced pain 100-fold, scientists found. Antonio Calignano, at the University of Naples in Italy, found that rats which were treated with a chemical that blocked the action of anandamide showed longer and greater reaction to pain. The findings could be important for research now underway in Britain, where the Home Office last month issued the first-ever licence to grow cannabis for investigation into the development of medicines. Dr Geoffrey Guy, who is running the tests, aims to extract active chemicals from the plants and check their effectiveness as painkillers. "I'm interested in producing something helpful to certain people, such as multiple sclerosis sufferers, people with painful spinal injuries and pain from nerve diseases," he said last month. The Italian researchers also noted that their findings could lead to new anaesthetics which will exploit the ability of anandamide and similar cannabinoids generated by the body to "reduce pain without ... side effects and perceived abuse potential" of cannabis or opiates such as heroin. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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