Portland NORML News - Friday, July 17, 1998

Loss Of Measure 40 Could Reduce Time For 200 Inmates ('The Oregonian'
Notes The Oregon Supreme Court's Nullification Of Ballot Measure 40,
Advertised As A Victim's Right Bill During The 1996 Election Campaign,
Is Likely To Benefit A Lot Of People Imprisoned For Victimless Crimes,
Including Marijuana Offenders)

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

Loss of Measure 40 could reduce time for 200 inmates

* Corrections officials begin releasing convicts in accordance with the
Supreme Court ruling that the measure was unconstitutional

Friday, July 17 1998

By J. Todd Foster
of The Oregonian staff

The Oregon Supreme Court's recent torpedoing of Measure 40, a sweeping
anti-crime initiative, might shorten the prison sentences of as many as 200
state inmates, corrections officials said Thursday.

The state Department of Corrections on Monday released five inmates whose
good behavior and participation in rehabilitation programs entitled them to
20 percent reductions, called "good time," in their sentences.

A sixth inmate will be released today and a seventh on July 28, said Larry
Daniels, manager of the agency's Offender Information and Sentence
Computation Unit.

Daniels said staff soon will begin calculating which of an estimated 200
additional inmates are eligible for reduced sentences in the coming months.

Corrections officials refused to release the names of affected inmates,
citing an exemption in the state public records law to protect their privacy.

"The attention could interfere with their release program and
rehabilitation," Daniels said.

He said the offenders are not highly dangerous -- prisoners sentenced under
the get-tough Ballot Measure 11 are not affected -- and range from a burglar
to former convicts in possession of a weapon. Their sentences ranged from 10
to 18 months.

Measure 40 granted at least 14 rights to crime victims, including 11-1 jury
votes on murder convictions and more favorable evidence rules. It was
enacted Dec. 5, 1996, after 59-percent voter approval.

The corrections department, based on legal advice from the state Department
of Justice, interpreted the law as denying good-time credits unless
sentencing judges approved it in writing.

Supreme Court justices tossed out Measure 40 on June 25, saying it violated
the state constitution by being so sweeping that it contained several
different amendments.

The 200 inmates who might deserve reduced sentences committed their crimes
during the six-month window between Measure 40's passage and enactment of
Senate Bill 936, which enacted the Measure 40 provisions as a state statute,
including the good-time portion.

Inmates whose crimes were committed after SB 936 was enacted June 12, 1997,
are not affected by the high court's decision.

"If proponents of Ballot Measure 40 hadn't been so greedy in what they
wanted and had focused clearly on their highest priorities, then they could
have accomplished more of what they wanted," said Dave Fidanque of the
Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Norm Frink, a top Multnomah County prosecutor, said the reduced prison
sentences are "one more reason" why the Legislature should meet in special
session to reshape Measure 40's provisions into different laws that comply
with the constitution.

J. Todd Foster covers crime issues for The Oregonian's Crime, Justice and
Public Safety Team. He can be reached by phone at 221-8070, by mail at 1320
S.W. Broadway, Portland, Ore. 97201, or by e-mail at

Dave Herrick Sentenced To Four Years In Prison (A List Subscriber
Forwards A Letter From A Southern California Correspondent Who Provides
More Details About The David Herrick Case And Official Noncompliance
With Proposition 215 And Judicial Bias In San Bernardino County)
Link to earlier story
To: NTList@fornits.com X-Loop: ntlist-Request@Fornits.com From: ntlist Subject: [ntlist] Fwd: Dave Herrick sentenced to 4 years in Prison From: WBritt420@aol.com She Who Remembers remembers@webtv.net www.remembers.com Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 17:00:42 EDT Subject: Dave Herrick sentenced to 4 years in Prison Date:7/17/98 After hearing testimony from a terminal cancer patient (who died before he could testify before the jury) on how Dave Herrick helped him acquire the Cannabis that helped relieve the symptoms chemotherapy, and denying a medical necessity defense because its benefits to dying patients was "purely speculation" sentenced Herrick to 4 years in prison. Ignoring the probation department's recommendation to release Herrick with "time served or 3 years probation, Judge William Froeberg, a former prosecutor stated that Herrick was "just a drug dealer on the street" even though each member subpoenaed had a doctors letter of recommendation and testified that they received their cannabis for a donation when they could afford it, and for free when they could not. Herrick has spent over a year in jail and has 650 days served/work/good time. He will do about 18 months more on these charges and has filed for an appeal which will take about 2 years. He now goes to San Bernardino to face probation violation charges. Normally after spending 6 months in jail a judge will dismiss with time served, but the S.B. judge ordered a no-release bond ensuring that he could not be bailed out. The S.B. county sheriff has stated that "we do not recognize HS code #11362.5 in San Bernardino". Its possible, like O.C., S.B. wants to make an example for anyone else who wishes to try to help sick and dying people by providing low-to-no-cost cannabis. Herrick was a S.B. sheriff for over 12 years and was run over while on duty and suffers from herneated discs in his back. He had seen the benefits of cannabis first hand and wanted to help others relieve their suffering and was assisting Marvin Chavez, founder of the O.C. Patient/Doctor/Nurse Support Group as a volunteer. While in jail Herrick has been denied any medication aside form 4 regular tyenol a week. NO COMPASSION IN O.C. While some counties in California are allowing Cannabis Care Centers to operate and some are forcing theirs to close, in Orange County they are arresting and prosecuting the individuals who dare to provide cannabis to those in need. Shortly after prop. 215 the Compassionate use act was passed, a close friend told me he had terminal cancer and was given 6 months to live. He soon began painful chemotherapy treatments and was sitting at home getting thinner and thinner. After hearing about the Orange County Patient/Doctor/Nurse Support Group and Cannabis Co-op, I brought him to the regular weekly meetings. After he received his letter of recommendation from his doctor at Harbor UCLA he became a member and besides receiving the low-cost cannabis that helped relieve the symptoms of chemo (instead of sitting at home waiting to die) he got out of his room, while he could and met and talked with other patients and activists. He was proud that he was part of a movement to end ignorance and help people who are suffering needlessly. Instead being sent to prison, Dave Herrick should be commended for putting his freedom at risk because he felt he must do something to help these people when nobody else would (especially state and local governments.). William Britt - Patient Advocate (562) 709-8620

Take This Plant And Shove It (A Sympathetic Article
In 'The Orange County Weekly' About Medical Marijuana Defendant
Marvin Chavez)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:49:21 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Take This Plant And Shove It
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Mira Ingram
Pubdate: Fri, 17 July 1998
Source: OC Weekly (CA)
Contact: webmaster@ocweekly.com
Fax: 714-708-8410
Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/
Author: Nick Schou


OC continues war on legal pot

Martyrs don't come much more sympathetic -- or willing to suffer -- than
Marvin Chavez, founder of the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support
Group. He's already been busted twice this year for putting marijuana into
the hands of seriously ill people -- including cancer and AIDS patients --
whose doctors prescribed the drug as medicine. According to a majority of
California voters (who passed Proposition 215 in November 1996), that should
be legal.

But in Orange County, it's still illegal. And even though prosecutors
understand that Chavez isn't your run-of-the-mill street dealer, they're
determined to treat him just as harshly. Three weeks ago, pretrial
arguments started in Chavez's upcoming criminal trial at the Orange County
Superior Court on 10 felony counts of marijuana distribution. If convicted,
Chavez, who claims he was entrapped by undercover police with phony pot
prescriptions, will face several years in state prison.

Chavez was first arrested in January on seven counts of felony marijuana
distribution, all of them carried out through his Santa Ana-based
organization. He pleaded no contest and was released on his own
recognizance with a warning from the judge to avoid further marijuana

But Chavez, who smokes marijuana to treat a degenerative spinal condition,
ignored the warning, citing humanitarian reasons. One of his members, he
pointed out, had just died from cancer, and others -- like AIDS patient Ron
Hobson, who was profiled in the Weekly in February -- depend on the drug to
keep up their appetite and weight.

So, just weeks after Chavez's release, two undercover agents posing as a
sick Californian and his caregiver set up Chavez with a phony doctor's note.
Once Chavez filled the bogus prescription by providing the detectives with
two bags of weed, they busted him. Prosecutors have also charged Chavez
with mailing a bag of marijuana to a member in Chico.

Because of his previous drug charges, the three new charges carry
enhancements that guarantee stiffer sentencing should Chavez be convicted.

Interviewed after his pretrial hearing on Friday, Chavez seemed remarkably
upbeat. "My strength is still there, and I'm confident that I will win," he
told the Weekly. "But it's a shame we have to go through all this just to
protect our freedom and our rights."

Chavez seemed more worried about how to survive the financial toll his trial
has already brought. "We're $9,000 or $10,000 in the hole for legal costs
right now," he explained.

Kennedy also told the Weekly that he plans to call California Attorney
General Dan Lungren, Orange County DA Mike Capizzi, and DA prosecutor Carl
Armbrust as defense witnesses in the upcoming trial. "The Compassionate Use
Act of 1996 [made law by Prop. 215] states that federal and state
governments are encouraged to implement a plan for the safe and affordable
distribution of medical marijuana," Kennedy explained. "That's been the law
since 1996. I want to know what Lungren, Capizzi and Armbrust have done to
comply with that law."

"Neither the federal nor the state government is complying with that,"
responded Armbrust. "The law says we are encouraged to comply, but it
doesn't say we have to."

Armbrust said that, in his opinion, "safe and affordable" distribution of
medical marijuana is already provided for by the section of the
Compassionate Use Act that allows patients or caregivers to grow their own
marijuana plants. "We're not prosecuting anyone for growing their own plants
or for possession if they have doctors' notes," explained Armbrust.

To prove his point, Armbrust cited Chavez's arrest at his Garden Grove home
three months ago. While making the bust, Garden Grove police discovered
several marijuana plants growing in the back yard. Police telephoned
Armbrust to ask for guidance, and, Armbrust said, he told the cops "not to
remove those plants. So they left them there."

"We don't go after anybody unless they are selling marijuana, transporting
it, or possessing large quantities with the intent to sell," Armbrust said.
"But that doesn't mean that Marvin Chavez can hide behind this law."

Yet on June 27, only days after Chavez was released from jail, a Lake Forest
member of Chavez's organization made a late-night 911 call to police when a
houseguest refused to leave and attacked him. Ed Kamfield told the Weekly
that police officers arrived at his home, but instead of arresting the
assailant, they discovered about 20 marijuana plants and called for backup.
Kamfield, who has donated marijuana plants to Chavez in the past, assured
the Weekly that he is a sick Californian covered by Prop. 215. Kamfield
said police confiscated his doctor's notes and cited him for possession of
the pot plants. As police handcuffed him, Kamfield protested, insisting
that his homegrown-marijuana supply was legal under Prop. 215.

"Not according to [Orange County's Sheriff] Brad Gates, it isn't," the cops
allegedly answered before promptly hauling the bruised and bloody Kamfield
to jail.

To help Chavez pay off his $100,000 bail, send donations to the Orange
County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group, P.O. Box 6826, Santa Ana, CA
92706. Checks should be made out to "OCPDNSG."

Busey Repents For Drug-Riddled Past ('The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune'
Says Gary Busey Of Pasadena, California, The Oscar-Nominated Star
Of 'The Buddy Holly Story,' Quit Using Drugs, Become A Christian,
And Is Seeking A Comeback After Overdosing On Steroids, Cocaine And Tequila
In 1995)

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 15:06:45 +0000
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US:CA: Busey Repents For Drug-riddled Past
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA)
Pubdate: Friday, 17, July 1998
Contact: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com
Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/
Author: Ron Miller - Knight Ridder Newspapers


Pasadena - Gary Busey, the hell-raising, motorcycle-crashing,
coke-snorting actor who has spent most of his 54 years burning
bridges, is finally dead and buried - or so he says.

"That's where I was before - in the dark," says Busey. "I'm in a new
place now."

The Oscar-nominated star of "The Buddy Holly Story" and acclaimed
villain of "Under Siege" and "Lethal Weapon" nearly died in a 1988
motorcycle accident and again in 1995, when he overdosed on steroids,
cocaine and tequila. Last year sinus cancer had Busey swearing he had
seen the Grim Reaper.

"I was pretty ruthless, belligerent, nasty and evasive," he admitted
to TV critics here. "I would walk through my grandmother's blood to
get a postage stamp. I'm a full-blooded Christian now. It's important
to say, 'I'm sorry I did that,' just for your own good."

E! Entertainment, the cable network, has a two-hour special on his
life scheduled for Aug. 2. In it, not only does Busey 'fess up, but so
old pals such as Willie Nelson and Cheech Marin, whom he encouraged to
tell the truth about him on film.

Busey remembers the time he snorted spilled cocaine off the dog's
coat. If he didn't have the money to buy more drugs, his pals would
keep him supplied. In the meantime, he says, "I wrote a lot of hot

Busey swears he didn't get into drugs until he became a star acting
and singing in "The Buddy Holly Story" in 1978. He says pushers came
out of the shadows. He says he doesn't blame anyone but himself for
letting it turn him into a cokehead.

Once a lanky, blond drummer with the Leon Russell and Willie Nelson
backup bands, he began to make a name for himself in movies after his
debut in "Angels Hard As They Come," a 1971 biker flick. He
specialized in bikers, surfers ("Big Wednesday"), outlaws
("Barbarossa") and all-around tough guys. Now and then, he'd get a
saner role, such as coach "Bear" Bryant in "The Bear" (1984) or a
DiMaggio-style ballplayer in "Insignificance" (1985).

But after he started taking drugs and putting on weight - he hit 245
pounds at one point - he was mostly cast as bad guys.

All the while, says Busey, it was "the darkness talking to you - an
evil influence, saying, 'Let's do this!'" Now he visits juvenile halls
and youth groups, telling the kids that cocaine may make you feel like
a genius for 20 minutes, but it leads you to hell.

Busey remembers taking off all his clothes and looking at his
jiggling, flabby body. "I was kind of a gray, pasty color," he says.
Still, he says, "I have the constitution of a government mule," and
today, after three drug-free years, he's thinner and has a light in
his eyes that gives a new look of hope to his wasted features.

"I've done the steps" - 12-step programs like Alcoholic Anonymous -
"and done the duty," he says, "I'm walking the walk."

Busey just finished an independent film based on Mordecai Richler's
"Jacob Two Meets the Hooded Fang," which he describes as an
inspirational tale. He's looking for a project in which to co-star
with his son Jake Busey. He doesn't rule out playing slimy characters
again, but hopes he can play roles with some kind of spiritual value.

Coming back won't be easy, he admits: "I have a reputation
bigger than the state of Texas that precedes me." Still,
he believes Hollywood is a forgiving town, and he hopes the
E! special will renew interest in him.

Pegasus' 'Reefer Madness' Has A New Subplot ('The Dallas Morning News'
Previews An Original Comic Adaptation By Playwright Sean Abley Of The 1930s
Anti-Pot Movie, On Stage At The Pegasus Theatre In Dallas, Texas)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:38:42 +0000
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Pegasus' 'Reefer Madness' Has A New Subplot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Dallas Morning News
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Author: Lawson Taitte


Shh! Don't tell Nancy Reagan, but Pegasus Theatre is doing a play that
makes fun of anti-drug campaigns. Playwright Sean Abley has adapted to
the stage Reefer Madness, the 1930s movie advertising the dangers of
marijuana, later a hippie favorite for its inadvertent laughs.

Although the spotlight on the War on Drugs may have dimmed a bit since
Mrs. Reagan left the White House, there's still the possibility that
some people may find the show offensive.

"Is it a risky show?" asks Pegasus artistic director Kurt Kleinmann.
"Someone once told me that every show we do is risky. Since we do
comedy, people might not notice, but there's almost always something
going on in the way of a message."

Mr. Kleinmann says that to him Reefer Madness is not so much pro-drugs
as anti-extremist. It portrays young people going forever astray
because of one puff on a marijuana cigarette.

"Sometimes things aren't quite as evil as they are made out to be -
marijuana has medicinal uses, for instance. Sometimes, when people go
to extremes, the truth gets buried," he says.

Mr. Abley hasn't simply lifted his dialogue from the film. He's added
a new subplot to keep those who know the movie entertained.

Mr. Kleinmann says he's not worried about the possibility of Pegasus
getting labeled the head shop of Dallas theaters.

'We've been labeled other things," he says. "As long as people come
see it, we're here next month to present something else."

Asset Forfeiture - Guidelines For Seizing Property Need To Be Tightened
(A Staff Editorial In 'The Dallas Morning News' Notes Illinois Senator
Henry Hyde's Proposed Bill To Reform Forfeiture Laws Is Opposed By
The Republican Leadership, Which Backs Stronger Asset Forfeiture
Provisions In A Money Laundering Bill Sponsored By Florida Representative
Bill McCollum - But The Newspaper Says The Burden Of Proof
Belongs On The Government)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 22:37:39 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Asset Forfeiture -
Guidelines for Seizing Property Need to Be Tightened
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998


Guidelines for seizing property need to be tightened

The presumption of innocence is a treasured cornerstone of the American
justice system.

A notable and troubling exception to that has been the nation's civil asset
forfeiture laws, a sweeping crime-fighting tool that sometimes oversteps
constitutionally protected civil liberties.

The current statute gives law enforcement agencies the right to seize
property if police suspect it was used in the commission of a crime even if
the owner is not involved in a criminal activity. No arrest or charge is
needed to trigger the law. And to get the property back, the owner must
prove he had no knowledge it was being used for illegal activities.

In a free society, such latitude is troubling. Its crime-fighting intent is
noble and needed, but its sweeping potential for abuse needs to be checked.

Unfortunately, reform is bogged down in Washington turf battles, shifting
coalitions and divisions over the burden of proof.

U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, D-Illinois, had proposed legislation that would
require the government to prove a tougher standard before seizing property.
But to quell Justice Department concerns that the law would handcuff
police, the House Judiciary Committee lowered the burden of proof to a less
rigid standard and expanded the scope of the forfeiture law.

Rep. Hyde has amended the compromise bill to restore his original wording
and recapture support from various civil liberty and conservative groups.
But the Republican leadership backs stronger asset forfeiture provisions in
a money laundering bill sponsored by Florida Rep. Bill McCollum.

The government's ability to seize property is an effective weapon against
drug dealers, terrorists and white-collar criminals. The government should
have the legal authority to strip criminals of ill-gotten profits within
the confines of due process.

Yet the law, which is used less today than in the past, remains overly
broad even though a series of court rulings have chipped away at its wide

Civil asset forfeiture should be made fair. The burden of proof belongs on
the government. The government should be liable for damages to wrongly
seized property, and should pay interest or damages if found to have acted
improperly. There must be safeguards to prevent innocent Americans from
being swept up in the process.

Cops May Have Had Right To Shoot ('The Houston Chronicle'
Says Six Members Of The Houston Gang Task Force Who Broke Into
An Innocent Man's Apartment And Killed Him Sunday Night May Face
No More Than Temporary Suspension With Pay 'Because The Law
Does Not Allow Anyone To Resist An Arrest, Even An Illegal One')

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: TX: Cops May Have Had Right To Shoot
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 02:44:18 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Tammera Halphen (webdcyner@sprynet.com)
Pubdate: Fri. July 17, 1998
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Author: Rad Sallee and Jo Ann Zuniga


DA speaks about deadly home raid

Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. said Thursday that the
six Houston police officers involved in a Sunday raid in which a man was
killed could have been within their rights to shoot him -- even if they had
no right to be in his home.

"I don't know of any authority at this point that gave them the right to be
in that residence," Holmes said. "But that doesn't make the shooting a

The six suspended officers, assigned to the gang task force at the Southwest
patrol division, reportedly fired about 30 shots after breaking into Pedro
Oregon Navarro's apartment at 6711 Atwell at 1:30 a.m. Sunday in southwest

Relatives of Oregon, 23, who died from multiple bullet wounds, have retained
attorney Paul Nugent to investigate his death.

Nugent said family members told him that even after Oregon was shot, the
officers tried to bully them into saying he had been dealing drugs. He said
they had denied it.

Police acknowledged that no drugs were found in the apartment.

"Pedro was a father, soccer player and landscape worker," Nugent said. "What
we have here is a good kid from a good family."

Holmes said that because the law does not allow anyone to resist an arrest,
even an illegal one, officers had a right to use deadly force against Oregon
if he threatened them. A pistol was found at the scene, but police have not
yet said if it had been fired.

"They do not have to sit still for a citizen pointing a firearm at them,
even if they entered unlawfully," Holmes said.

"They were -- every one of them -- in uniform," he said. "There should not
be any reasonable idea in your mind that you are being the victim of a kick

Investigators removed pieces of carpet to be tested to determine whether
bullets had struck the floor where Oregon's body lay.

"If they continued to fire when there was no need, it would be murder,"
Holmes said.

Holmes said Texas law at one time had recognized a person's right to resist
an unlawful arrest. But since the mid-1970s, the law had required that
everyone submit to arrest, even in their homes.

The only exception, Holmes said, is the right to defend yourself against
unreasonable force, such as being beaten.

Holmes said his investigation is continuing, along with those of the Police
Department's homicide and internal affairs divisions.

Holmes said the pistol had been traced to its initial purchaser, whom he
would not identify, except to say it was not Oregon.

"Further investigation has to be done," Holmes said. He said there is no
reason to think it was placed at the scene by police to justify the

While the incident is being investigated, six of the nine officers present
at the incident have been suspended with pay: Lamont E. Tillery, 30, David
R. Barrera, 28, Pete A. Herrada, 28, David Perkins, 30, James R. Willis, 28,
and Sgt. Darrell H. Strouse, 34.

A bullet fired by another officer hit Tillery in the shoulder, but his
safety vest prevented serious injury.

The officers, who had no search or arrest warrant, have told investigators
they raided the place after a confidential informant told them he had
witnessed a drug transaction there.

A source told the Chronicle that the tipster was not registered with HPD, as
is required of all police informants. Holmes said the tipster had just been
arrested and was trying to "make a deal" with officers.

Holmes said that violates the policy of his office, and any such deal would
not be honored by prosecutors and would not stand up in court.

Even if a reliable informant had seen drugs sold in the house, Holmes said,
officers would have to get a warrant from a judge before breaking in.

Although there are some circumstances that justify warrantless entry -- hot
pursuit, for instance -- Holmes said he knows of none that applies in this

"There are damn few exceptions to searching someone's private residence," he

"If the informant got in and was wired (with a recording device) and the
officers heard someone say `I'm gonna blow you away,' then they could go
in," Holmes said.

Oregon's mother, Claudia Navarro, and his sister, Susana, identified his
body Thursday at the Harris County Medical Examiner's office. It will be on
view at Claire Brothers Funeral Home and buried after a Sunday service at
St. Matthews Episcopal Church.

"It's been a disaster," Claudia Navarro said at the southwest apartment
where the raid took place. Oregon's blood stained the gray blanket in his

Nugent, sweeping his hand across the small living room, said, "Does this
look like the apartment of a drug dealer?"

Nugent said the family contacted his firm -- Foreman, DeGeurin, Gerger &
Nugent -- "because they were being besieged by police."

He added, "They thought they were being treated unfairly and were being
bullied," he said.

He conceded that Oregon may have had the weapon, for self-protection.

"But there is nothing wrong in having a gun in your home. There is a legal
process in America even for police officers. You don't just barge in and
start shooting people," Nugent said.

Six bullet holes are readily visible in Oregon's bedroom wall. The bullets
apparently entered the next-door apartment's bedroom, which happened to be

"He had been working all week in Austin on a landscaping job and had just
come in on Friday. He was planning to attend a soccer game on Sunday,"
Nugent said after speaking to Oregon's co-workers at Ryan Landscaping.

Also in the apartment at the time of the raid, were Oregon's brother,
Rogelio, and a brother-in-law, Nugent said.

Mexican Consul General Manuel Perez Cardenas said he has discussed the
shooting with Police Chief C.O. Bradford because the family is from Mexico.
Perez said he is satisfied that the investigation will be thorough.

Perez said his government probably will send a "diplomatic note" to U.S.
officials in Washington, D.C., noting the Mexican government's interest in
the case.

"In this type of incident, there are two sides," Cardenas said: "The human,
or family, side, and the legal -- not political -- legal, side."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerald Doyle, a prosecutor in the Civil Rights
section, said the Department of Justice is not investigating the matter.

"Our normal practice is to monitor the state investigation civil rights, if
the state is proceeding -- and they are," said Doyle. "Based upon the
results of their investigation we will either proceed on our own, or rely on
what the state does."

Chronicle reporter S.K. Bardwell contributed to this story.

Study Links Pot To Cancer, Mutations (The Bay Area 'San Mateo Times'
Notes The US Government Is Still Funding Propaganda As Science -
A New Study By The National Institute On Drug Abuse Carried Out
At The University Of Texas Medical Branch At Galveston Ignores 5,000 Years
Of Epidemiological Evidence And An Overwhelming Body
Of More Objective Research - No Word On How Many Other Drugs,
Including Tobacco, The 17 Subjects Used)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 22:24:15 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Study Links Pot To Cancer, Mutations Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: San Mateo Times Section: page 1 Contact: feedback@smctimes.com Website: http://www.smctimes.com/ Author: Vince Beiser, Staff Writer Note from Newshawk: This is an amazing job of reportage. I don't think I've ever seen two reform opinions solicited and featured so prominently before... STUDY LINKS POT TO CANCER, MUTATIONS Marijuana smoke may damage human DNA, the genetic material that controls cell functions, boosting the risk of cancer and birth defects, according to a study to be released today. The study, by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, compared the white blood cells of 17 young women who smoked two to three marijuana cigarettes per day, and the cells of five of their babies, with those of an equal number of nonsmoking women and their babies. The marijuana smokers' cells had almost triple the amount of mutated or damaged DNA as those of the nonsmokers. Such damage can interfere with cell growth and division and increase the chances of cancer developing. "It appears to be the chemicals in the smoke that cause the problem, not the cannabinoids," which produce the users' "high," said Dr. Marinel Amenheuser, the study's author.
Link to earlier story
Funding was provided by the federal government's National Institute on Drug Abuse. Other researchers and medical marijuana advocates, however, said the study's findings don't amount to much. "This is nothing new," said Dale Gieringer, California coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "Of course, marijuana smoke, like cigarette smoke, has burning compounds and there's reason to believe they are carcinogenic. That's why we think marijuana inhalers should be developed." Dr. John Morgan, a professor of pharmacology at the City University of New York Medical School, said that other research has failed to find any conclusive link between marijuana use and cancer. A study of almost 65,000 Kaiser Permanente members in San Francisco and Oakland, for example, found virtually no higher incidence of cancer among pot smokers.
Link to earlier story
The study's co-author, Dr. Stephen Sidney, cautioned, however, that cancer tends to be more prevalent among older people and since widespread marijuana use is a relatively recent phenomenon. cancer rates among the drug's aficionados may rise with time.
Link to earlier story
No other research has found evidence of risks to marijuana smokers' children, said Morgan, adding that the new study indicates only the potential for such problems. "There's nothing certain about it," acknowledged Ammenheuser. "This study just shows the possibility of increased risk."

Three Chicago Police Officers Charged In Robbery ('The Associated Press'
Says John Labiak, Rodney Carriger And Ernest Hutchinson Were Each Charged
With One Count Of Armed Robbery, Home Invasion And Official Misconduct
For Extorting Thousands Of Dollars From Three People In Exchange For
Not Charging Them With Marijuana And Weapons Offenses)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:03:53 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: WIRE: Three Chicago Police
Officers Charged In Robbery
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998


CHICAGO (AP) -- Three Chicago police officers have been arrested on charges
of extorting thousands of dollars from three people in exchange for not
charging them with drug and weapons offenses.

John Labiak, Rodney Carriger and Ernest Hutchinson were each charged with
one count of armed robbery, home invasion and official misconduct, said Bob
Benjamin, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office.

According to an attorney representing the victims, the officers barged into
an apartment June 23 and uncovered two handguns and a small amount of
marijuana. They demanded $8,000 to $10,000 to not press charges, lawyer
Mitchell Kreiter said Thursday.

One of the victims was sent out to get the money and returned with $8,000,
which the officers took, Kreiter said.

The alleged payoff was witnessed by two off-duty Chicago police officers
who reported it to their superiors, police said.

The officers were reassigned to desk duty while the department's internal
affairs division investigated.

63-Year-Old's Lawsuit Links Viagra With Heart Attack (An 'Associated Press'
Article In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says A New York Man
Who Had A Heart Attack After Using Pfizer's New Drug For Impotence
Filed The First Viagra Liability Lawsuit Thursday, Seeking $85 Million)

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 22:15:37 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NY: 63-Year-Old's Lawsuit Links Viagra With Heart Attack
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Associated Press


NEW YORK (AP) -- A 63-year-old man who had a heart attack after using Viagra
for four days sued Pfizer Inc. for $85 million Thursday in the first lawsuit
against the pharmaceutical company over the impotence pill.

``No one needs to improve their sex life to the point where they might
die,'' said Diego Padro, a retiree who has diabetes.

Padro was stricken May 26, a day and a half after taking the last of four
pills, and was hospitalized for eight days.

``The warning about Viagra to the medical profession is inadequate,'' said
Ronald Benjamin, an attorney for Padro and his wife.

Pfizer said it had not seen the lawsuit and had no comment on the case.

However, the company said Viagra is ``a safe and effective medicine for
erectile dysfunction when used as recommended in the approved package insert.''

``There is a degree of cardiac risk associated with sexual activity,''
Mariann Caprino of Pfizer said.

Padro, who formerly ran a photo lab, said he had recently passed both a
cardiogram and a treadmill stress test. He said his doctor gave him Viagra.
Many men with diabetes experience impotence.

Court Says Informant's Tip Didn't Justify Police Search ('The Bergen Record'
Says The New Jersey Supreme Court Thursday Gave A Victory To A Man
Arrested For Marijuana Possession, Ruling That Police Lacked Sufficient Cause
To Pull Him Over And Search His Car On The Basis Of A General Tip
From An Informant - Police Must Have Detailed, Specific Information
From A Tipster Who Can Be Shown To Be Reliable Before Searching A Suspect)

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 17:38:25 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NJ: Court Says Informant's Tip Didn't Justify Police Search
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ghamal de la Guardia (gguardia@mindspring.com)
Source: Bergen Record, The (NJ)
Pubdate: 17, July 1998
Contact: http://www.bergen.com/cgi-bin/feedback
Website: http://www.bergen.com/index.html


The state's highest court Thursday handed a victory to a man arrested
for marijuana possession five years ago, ruling that Wayne police
lacked sufficient cause to pull him over and search his car on the
basis of a general tip from an informant.

Rather, the Supreme Court ruled, police must first have detailed,
specific information from a tipster who can be shown to be reliable
before searching a suspect.

Court papers say that on July 26, 1993, Wayne police arrested Joseph
Zutic of Kinnelon after a tip from a what they termed a "reliable
informant," who described Zutic's car and license plate. The person
said Zutic had bought drugs in New York City and would be coming back
up Route 23.

An officer set up surveillance and eventually arrested Zutic and
charged him with several drug offenses after 15 grams of marijuana
were found stuffed in Zutic's pants. Zutic was convicted in Municipal
Court and was fined $1,000 and had his license suspended for a year.

But defense attorney Matthew Priore argued successfully before the
state Supreme Court in January that the police needed more detailed
information to search Zutic and seize the drugs.

The court said the police need to offer more proof that the informant
is reliable and also that the informant needs to give more detailed
information about the target's alleged illegal activity. Because the
court ruled that police didn't have probable cause to search the
vehicle, they cannot use the drugs -- the only evidence -- in a trial
against Zutic.

Zutic could not be reached for comment. His sentence had been stayed
pending the appeal.

"This case is about what kind of tip the police need to stop and
search a vehicle," said Priore. "A police officer can't rely on an
non-specific tip. They have to have hard, intimate, hard-to-know
details about the criminal act . . . before they can stop and search

Priore said the court's ruling may help another of his clients -- a
Bergen County man who was arrested with crack cocaine and marijuana
after his disgruntled girlfriend tipped off police.

"This is important because without it, you could basically just call
in someone's name, give a general description, and the police can stop
and search them," he said. "This requires much more specific
information. It requires the police to do police investigations
instead of just relying on the tip."

Gary Schlyen, the Passaic County chief assistant prosecutor who argued
the case, said he doesn't believe the court's ruling makes new law --
just applies current law to the facts of the Zutic case.

"We felt that the information the police officer had was sufficient,"
he said.

Schlyen said the ruling would only affect police work by compelling
officers to cull more information from their sources before setting up

"They'll start asking more questions," he said. "If a call comes in to
headquarters, they'll make sure to get as much information as they
can, more specifics."

The state Attorney General's Office also presented arguments on the
Zutic case. Anne Paskow, the assistant attorney general and chief of
the appellate bureau, said she believes the police had enough detail
from the informant for probable cause to search the car.

"This doesn't even mean that there wasn't enough detailed information
available, just that the police didn't ask for it," Paskow said. "It
doesn't mean that the informant wasn't reliable, just that they didn't
explain how the person was reliable."

Defendant Vanishes In Miami Lawyers' Drug Trial ('Reuters'
Says Former US Prosecutor William Moran, On Hearing That Jurors
In His Retrial Had Reached A Partial Verdict On Charges That He Was Involved
In The Colombian Illegal Drug Trade, Walked Out Of The Federal Court House
Friday And Did Not Return)

Date: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 10:54:05 -0400
From: Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net)
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: rumba2@earthlink.net
Subject: CanPat - Wonder How Many More are Involved Daily?
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

05:51 PM ET 07/17/98

Defendant vanishes in Miami lawyers' drug trial

(Defendant disappears; partial verdict.)

By Patricia Zengerle

MIAMI (Reuters) - A former U.S. prosecutor facing charges he
was involved in the Colombian drug trade vanished on Friday from
the federal court house where a jury has been deliberating in
his re-trial.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office said William
Moran, a defense attorney and former federal prosecutor, learned
that the jury had reached a partial verdict in the case, walked
into an elevator, left the building and did not return.

U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler issued a warrant for
Moran's arrest, and sent federal marshals to look for him.

Hoeveler also ordered the partial verdict against Moran and
Michael Abbell, former director of the U.S. Justice Department's
Office of International Affairs, be sealed.

He told the jury to continue deliberating on the remaining

No information was released about the partial verdict, which
came a day after Hoeveler excused one juror from the 12-member
panel because the juror refused to deliberate. Federal law
allows 11 jurors to decide a case.

In the case, prosecutors charge that Moran and Abbell
crossed the line from defending Colombian drug clients to
participating in the narcotics trade.

The two men are charged with racketeering conspiracy,
money-laundering conspiracy, drug trafficking conspiracy and
obstruction of justice in connection with their work for cartel
kingpins Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela and his brother Gilberto
Rodriguez Orejuela.

Abbell and Moran acknowledge having provided legal services
to the brothers but deny they broke the law.

Their first trial ended in October 1997 after five months
when the jury failed to reach verdicts on most of the charges.

The jury in the retrial began deliberating July 6.

The case is the first time the U.S. government has charged
American lawyers who represented South American drug clients
with trafficking and conspiracy counts normally reserved for
those more directly involved in the cocaine trade.


CIA Worked With Suspected Drug Traffickers, Report Admits
('The New York Times' Says A New 'Classified' Study By The Central
Intelligence Agency's Inspector General Shows The Agency Continued To Work
With About Two Dozen Nicaraguan Rebels And Their Supporters During The 1980s,
Despite Allegations They Were Trafficking In Illegal Drugs)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:20:05 +0000
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: C.I.A. Worked With Suspected
Drug Traffickers, Report Admits
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Author: James Risen


WASHINGTON -- The Central Intelligence Agency continued to work with
about two dozen Nicaraguan rebels and their supporters during the
1980s despite allegations that they were trafficking in drugs,
according to a classified study by the CIA.

The new study has found that the CIA's decision to keep these paid
agents, or to continue dealing with them in some less-formal
relationship, was made by top officials at the agency's headquarters
in Langley, Va., in the midst of the war waged by the CIA-backed
Contras against Nicaragua's leftist Sandinista government.

The new report by the CIA's inspector general criticizes agency
officials' actions at the time for the inconsistent and sometimes
sloppy manner in which they investigated -- or chose not to
investigate -- the allegations, which were never substantiated by the

The inspector general's report, which has not yet been publicly
released, also concludes that there is no evidence that any CIA
officials were involved in drug trafficking with Contra figures.

"The fundamental finding of the report is that there is no information
that the CIA or CIA employees ever conspired with any Contra
organizations or individuals involved with the Contras for purposes of drug
trafficking," one U.S. intelligence official said.

The new report is the long-delayed second volume of the CIA's internal
investigation into possible connections between the Contras and Central
American drug traffickers. The investigation was originally prompted by a
controversial 1996 series in The San Jose Mercury-News, which asserted that
a "dark alliance" among the CIA, the Contras and drug traffickers had
helped finance the Contra war with millions of dollars in profits from drug

The second volume of the report dismisses those specific charges, as
did the first volume.

The Mercury-News series alleged that this alliance created a drug
trafficking network that was the first to introduce crack cocaine into
South Central Los Angeles. The series prompted an enormous outcry,
especially among blacks, many of whom said they saw it as confirmation of a
government-backed conspiracy to keep blacks dependent and impoverished.

The Mercury-News subsequently admitted that the series was flawed and
reassigned the reporter.

In the declassified version of the CIA's first volume, the agency said the
Mercury-News charges were baseless and mentioned drug dealers who had
nothing to do with the CIA.

But John Deutch, the director of central intelligence at the time, had also
asked the inspector general to conduct a broader inquiry to
answer unresolved questions about the Contra program and drug
trafficking that had not been raised in the Mercury-News series.
Frederick Hitz, then the CIA's inspector general, decided to issue a
second, much larger report to deal with those broader issues.

Many of the allegations in the second volume parallel charges that
first surfaced in a 1987 Senate investigation. The CIA is much more
reluctant to publicly release the complete text of the approximately
500-page second volume than it was of the first, because it deals
directly with Contras the CIA did work with.

According to the report, CIA officials involved in the Contra program
were so focused on the fight against the leftist Sandinista regime
that they gave relatively low priority to collecting information about the
possible drug involvement of individuals in the Contra army. The report
concluded that CIA officers did report on drug trafficking by the Contras,
but that there were no clear guidelines given to CIA officers in the field
about how intensively they should investigate or act upon the allegations.

In all, the CIA received allegations of drug involvement against about 50
figures in the Contra movement over the course of the war against the
Sandinistas, according to the report. Those allegations were leveled
against members of the Contra army as well as its air

transport and support networks. Some of the allegations may have been
specious, the result of Sandinista propaganda, while other charges may have
been more substantive, U.S. intelligence officials said.

It could not be determined from the CIA's records how many of those 50
cases were fully investigated by the agency. But of those, the CIA
continued to work with about two dozen figures alleged to be involved
in the drug trade, according to U.S. intelligence officials familiar
with the report. They said the report found that the agency was unable to
either prove or disprove the charges, or did not conduct adequate
investigations into the allegations.

U.S. intelligence officials, who provided information about the
report, declined to identify the individual Contras who were the
targets of the drug allegations. But they did say that while most of
the charges were leveled against individuals, the report found that
drug allegations had been made against one Contra organization, a
group known as 15th of September. That group was formed in 1980 and
was disbanded in January 1982, in the early stages of the Contra war.

The CIA's decision to classify this second volume has already been met with
criticism on Capitol Hill. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who led a 1987
congressional inquiry into allegations of Contra drug
connections, wrote a letter Thursday to CIA Director George Tenet
asking that the report be immediately declassified.

Kerry, who has reviewed the second volume of the inspector general's
report, added that he believes CIA officials involved in the Contra
program did not make a serious effort to fully investigate the
allegations of drug involvement by the Contras.

"Some of us in Congress at the time, in 1985, 1986, were calling for a
serious investigation of the charges, and CIA officials did not join in
that effort," Kerry said. "There was a significant amount of
stonewalling. I'm afraid that what I read in the report documents the
degree to which there was a lack of interest in making sure the laws
were being upheld."

CIA officials notified Congress at the time of most of the
"significant" cases in which the agency decided to continue doing
business with those Contras accused of dealing in drugs, the report
states, but it does not detail the exact nature of the Congressional

One former CIA official familiar with the Contra program disputed the
notion that agency officials did not take the drug charges seriously
at the time.

"You investigate all of them, and when they were credible, and when we
could substantiate them, we would certainly take action," the former
official said. "But wild or unproven allegations would not by
themselves be enough to displace someone from the organization.
Otherwise, we would have had no discipline or morale in these

Allegations of drug involvement on the part of the Contras was hardly
the only time that a group connected to the CIA has been accused of
dealing in narcotics. The agency's local allies in Southeast Asia
during the Vietnam War, and in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion
of 1979, also were accused of drug trafficking.

Notorious Thalidomide OK'd For Use By Lepers ('The San Francisco Chronicle'
Says The Drug Whose Name Became Synonymous With Birth Defects Three Decades
Ago Won Approval Yesterday From The Food And Drug Administration
As A Treatment For Hansen's Disease)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 22:36:32 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Notorious Thalidomide Ok'd for Use by Lepers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer


Drug has caused severe birth defects

Thalidomide, a drug whose very name became synonymous with birth defects
three decades ago, won approval yesterday from the Food and Drug
Administration as a treatment for leprosy.

New Jersey-based Celgene Corp. will market the drug under the trade name
Thalomid to treat serious and disfiguring skin sores suffered by some
people with leprosy, now called Hansen's Disease.

Widely prescribed in Europe in the 1950s and early 1960s, thalidomide
turned out to cause flipper-like arms and legs in children whose mothers
took the drug in early pregnancy to combat morning sickness.

The FDA is ordering extreme precautions to assure that the use of Thalomid
is restricted to patients who need it. The move is a careful attempt to
balance the competing interests of patients who can benefit from
thalidomide and society's desire to prevent birth defects.

``Thalidomide will be among the most tightly restricted drugs ever to be
marketed in the United States,'' said FDA spokeswoman Ivy Kupec.

The drug may be prescribed only by doctors registered with the drug
company, and patients who take it must comply with mandatory birth control.

Female patients must take a test to show that they are not pregnant before
receiving the drug, and they must use two ``reliable forms of contraception
simultaneously'' while taking Thalomid. In addition, they must take weekly
pregnancy tests during the first month of use and biweekly or monthly tests
thereafter, depending on the regularity of their menstrual cycle.

Male patients also will be warned that it is unknown whether the dangerous
effects of the drug can be passed through semen, and they will be advised
to use condoms when having sex with any woman of childbearing age.

About 10 percent of leprosy patients develop painful skin nodules, a
condition called erythema nodosum leprosum. The anti-inflammatory quality
of thalidomide relieves symptoms in 8 out of 10 such patients.

``It's an excellent drug for people with Hansen's Disease,'' said Dr. Sonia
Sutherland, who treats nearly 500 Bay Area patients at a federally funded
clinic at Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez.

Sutherland said her clinic will re-evaluate its own restrictions on
thalidomide use. Currently, only women who have reached menopause or have
had a tubal ligation can be prescribed the drug.

Because thalidomide has been available to her patients on an experimental
basis for several years, Sutherland said the real significance of the
approval is that thalidomide now will be more available to patients with
other conditions that might respond to it.


Clinical trials are under way using thalidomide to treat AIDS patients with
painful mouth ulcers, and it is also being studied as a treatment for brain
tumors and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.

``The real risk is that doctors may prescribe it for less serious
conditions once the drug becomes available,'' said Dr. Bernard Lo, an
ethicist at the University of California at San Francisco. ``You've got to
be extremely careful who you give this drug to.''

While the drug is extremely dangerous for pregnant women, Lo said, it is
also an extremely effective drug for the patients who need it. ``They would
be grievously harmed by not having access to it,'' he said.

The fear is that wider availability of thalidomide will inevitably lead to
someone taking it during early pregnancy -- the time most likely for the
drug to deform a developing fetus.

Critics point to Brazil, where the drug has been widely available while
most of the world has banned it. In poor neighborhoods, they note,
Brazilian children are born with the same flippered limbs that
characterized ``thalidomide babies'' 35 years ago.

It was only through the efforts of an alert FDA scientist in 1960 that
thalidomide sales were blocked in the United States. Dr. Frances Kelsey's
detection of possible toxicity in the drug, while studying a request for
marketing approval, is legendary in FDA annals.

It spared countless American children the fate of 12,000 European
thalidomide babies.


Critics of the FDA contend that the legacy of thalidomide was to make the
regulatory agency overly cautious, unwilling to give timely approval to
beneficial drugs out of fear that they would be the first to make the
mistake the FDA avoided in the '60s.

The FDA is so concerned about misuse of thalidomide that it has warned
Celgene that any ``statements or implications'' that the drug may be useful
to treat other diseases ``may be a violation of the promotional
provisions'' of the Food and Drug Act.

The mechanism by which thalidomide works is not yet fully understood.
However, it is believed that the birth defects it causes in developing
fetuses are the result of the drug's ability to prevent blood vessels from

Ironically, this quality of anti- angiogenesis is now being feverishly
studied as a strategy to battle cancerous tumors. Many cancers secrete
chemical signals that promote blood vessel growth, providing a source of
nourishment to keep a tumor expanding. So-called anti-angiogenesis drugs
block the growth of blood vessels, in theory starving the tumor.

Ronald Ruggiero, a UCSF-Stanford Health Care pharmacist, noted that this
new class of cancer drugs may produce the same horrendous side effects as

Ruggiero nonetheless believes that the restrictions placed on thalidomide
prescriptions should protect the public health while making the drug
available to those who can benefit from it. ``There's been enough press
about this drug that people are not going to let it out of their hands,''
he said.


The government set unprecedented safety restrictions on thalidomide:

-- Pregnant Women -- Women are warned not to become pregnant while taking
thalidomide or within a month after quitting the drug. Just one pill can
cause horrific birth defects.

-- Pregnancy Test -- Women can receive thalidomide only after a negative
pregnancy test. For the first month of thalidomide therapy, women must
undergo repeat pregnancy tests every week. Thereafter, women are tested
monthly before every refill, or every two weeks if they have irregular
menstrual cycles.

-- Special Training -- Only doctors and pharmacists trained in
thalidomide's dangers by manufacturer Celgene will be allowed to prescribe
or dispense it.

-- Written Warning -- Before prescribing, doctors must reveal thalidomide's
dangers and instruct patients to use effective birth control. Men are told
to use condoms because thalidomide might be carried in semen. Women are
told to use two forms of birth control, a hormonal method like the pill
plus a barrier method such as condoms, and are to be prescribed
contraception as necessary.

-- Video Warning -- Patients must view a video with warnings from a
thalidomide victim and are given brochures that show pictures of
thalidomide-deformed babies.

-- Release Form -- Patients must sign a form stating that they understand
the risks and agree to use contraception.

-- Computer Registry -- Pharmacies must enroll every patient in a national
computer registry of thalidomide users, run by Boston University and
monitored by the Food and Drug Administration, before filling the

-- Limited Prescription -- Patients receive only a 28-day thalidomide
supply, with no automatic refills. Each package contains a letter from the
Thalidomide Victims Association reminding users about birth defects.

-- Long-Term Effect -- Patients also must be warned that long-term
thalidomide use may cause an additional, albeit rare, side effect: nerve
damage in the hands and feet called peripheral neuropathy. Patients should
immediately report symptoms, including numbness and tingling, to a doctor.
The only treatment is to stop the drug.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A1

Thalidomide Aproval Alarms Victim ('The Toronto Star' Version)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 20:02:16 +0000
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: CANADA: Thalidomide Aproval Alarms Victim
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/
Pubdate: Friday, 17, July 1998
Note: In the print version, the headline/leadin read: "Thalidomide approved
for use in U.S." and "Infamous drug treatment for leprosy victims"


Notorious drug on sale in U.S. for leprosy treatment

WASHINGTON (CP-AP) - Thalidomide, the notorious drug that caused
horrific birth defects around the world decades ago, won approval
yesterday in the United States as a treatment for leprosy.

And although access to the drug will be severely restricted, the
decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration frightens some
Canadians who are all too familiar with the effects of the drug.

``I am afraid. I can't stress that enough,'' said Randolph Warren,
co-founder of the Thalidomide Victims Association of Canada from his
home in London, Ont.

``I knew this decision was coming so I am a little shocked at how
frightened I am.''

Thalidomide, most commonly prescribed as an anti-nausea drug for
pregnant women, was banned in the 1960s after 12,000 babies worldwide
- including about 100 in Canada - were born with no limbs or
flipper-like arms and legs, and facial deformities.

But Warren said smuggled thalidomide is being sold underground by
desperate patients excited by early signs that it also could treat
such illnesses as AIDS-related wasting and some cancers.

His concern is that Canadians will be able to hop across the border
and get the drug.

``There will be no control over the use of this drug. If they want it,
Canadians will get the drug,'' he said. ``Just look at Viagra.''

Warren, who refers to himself as a ``thalidomider,'' testified at the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration hearings into thalidomide use in the U.S.

``I feel like we pulled the fire alarm but no one left the building,''
he said.

However, in the end, Warren's association decided FDA-regulated
thalidomide was preferable to no regulation or monitoring, and helped
design the safety rules.

The FDA's approval comes with unprecedented restrictions aimed at
avoiding a repeat of the tragedy of the 1960s. They include mandatory
pregnancy testing for women, and contraceptive use by men and women on
the drug.

``We await the birth of more thalidomide babies'' said Warren, 37, who
was born with shortened legs, inverted fingers or ``flipper'' hands,
some fingers missing and hearing problems. ``Is the world ready for
more thalidomide babies? They weren't ready for us.''

Thalidomide effectively treats a small number of leprosy patients who
suffer an agonizing inflammation.

Warren's association wants Canada to follow the U.S. lead and approve
thalidomide, arguing that having the drug out in the open would make
it easier to monitor.

``Thalidomide was never banned, like we all thought,'' he said. ``It
was just put into doctors' and scientists' secret closets.''

In Ottawa, Lynn LeSage of Health Canada said thalidomide is an
unapproved drug in this country.

``However, it is available through the special access program'' which
allows Canadian doctors to prescribe it to certain patients, she said.

In the U.S., the sale of thalidomide will be severely restricted.
Every user, male or female, will be required to enroll in a registry.
And its maker, New Jersey-based Celgene Corp. - which will market the
drug under the brand name Thalomid - will allow prescriptions to be
dispensed only by pre-certified doctors and pharmacists.

US Drug Chief Sees How Dutch Manage Liberal Drug Program
('The New York Times' Says The Outspoken General Barry McCaffrey
Was Expected To Arrive In The Netherlands Thursday After Mistakenly Claiming
That The Dutch Murder Rate Far Outstripped That In The United States -
Government Officials Expressed Their Annoyance Publicly
And The Foreign Minister Called In The American Ambassador)

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:06:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYT: U.S. Drug Chief Sees How
Dutch Manage Liberal Drug Program
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Author: Marlise Simons


THE HAGUE, Netherlands - The Netherlands had its jaw tightly set Thursday
for the arrival of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the outspoken commander of the
American war on drugs. Several days ago the general prepared for his visit
by dealing a few public punches against the Dutch and their tolerance for

McCaffrey is on an eight-day tour of European cities, looking at how
Europeans fight and cope with drugs. That includes the Netherlands, which
more than any other country has painstakingly developed a division between
"soft" and "hard" drugs. It is where over the counter one can buy small
bags of "space cake," "northern light" or "zeropolm," all forms of
marijuana, and not go to jail.

The Dutch policy to disconnect cannabis from the criminal underground of
so-called hard drugs by allowing small quantities of marijuana to be sold
in cafes has earned it the envy of some countries and the derision of
others. McCaffrey has made it clear that he belongs to the critics.

In recent days he has called the permissive Dutch policy "an unmitigated
disaster." He further said, mistakenly, that the Dutch murder rate far
outstripped that of the United States, and his office issued a statement
that all but scolded the Dutch government.

Government officials expressed their annoyance publicly. The foreign
minister called in the American ambassador.

The fracas has made the general the talk of the nation, not just in
government offices, but also in the "soft drug" bars. One newspaper
headline returned the criticism, saying it was the general who was "an
unmitigated disaster" for drug policy.

Thursday, he returned to more conventional diplomacy by praising his hosts
and saying that he had gained valuable insights from meetings with the
police, doctors, social workers and policy makers in several cities. He
said he had appreciated the chance to learn of experiments in treating
heroin and cocaine addicts.

"I came here to listen and see what I can borrow," the general said. "Most
important for me is to discover how to use methadone as a tool to deal with
heroin addiction. The Dutch have 20 years of experience doing that, and we
want to watch that carefully."

Programs to treat addicts are more thorough in the Netherlands than in the
United States, McCaffrey said. And Dutch treatment projects "also have a
much higher rate of contact with addicts than we have," he added.

McCaffrey visited a pilot project in Rotterdam where heroin addicts in a
supervised center receive free heroin in an effort to reduce drug-related
crimes and reduce their exposure to HIV. But the general clearly
disapproved of such projects, which are also under way in other European
countries, including Switzerland and Germany.

Supplying heroin may reduce crimes and AIDS rates, he said, but the users
remain addicts, marginalized from society and, perhaps, discouraged from
joining methadone programs.

The general did not visit any of the 800 or so cafes that the country
licenses to sell marijuana and hashish in small quantities for private use.
An aide said he was convinced that they were dangerous for young people,
because they made drug use seem normal. Besides, the aide said, the general
would not want to glamorize such places.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company

US Drug Adviser Mutes Harsh Criticism Of Netherlands
('The Boston Globe' Version)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 12:29:52 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Netherlands: US Drug Adviser
Mutes Harsh Criticism Of Netherlands
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Boston Globe (MA)
Contact: letters@globe.com
Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998


Mccaffrey Praises Treatment Centers

THE HAGUE - General Barry McCaffrey, the White House adviser on drug
policy, yesterday steered clear of a diplomatic row over Dutch drug policy,
avoiding a repetition of his earlier harsh criticism.

McCaffrey said he had gleaned valuable insight by visiting treatment
centers for Dutch drug addicts.

''We do have significant differences,'' he said. ''But I characterize the
visit as a very useful opportunity for me to hear what the Dutch are doing
and to learn.''

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, mistakenly, that the murder rate in the Netherlands
outstripped that in the United States.

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
United States' 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 US 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 US 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,'' McCaffrey said.

He criticized a pilot program of the Dutch Health Ministry to issue free
heroin to hard-core addicts in an effort to reduce drug-related crime.

''It is our own view that this does not constitute drug treatment but
instead ends up in essence leaving and marginalizing 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

''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 use of soft drugs but actively discourages the
use of hard drugs.

Drug Chief Unconvinced By Dutch Policy ('The San Francisco Chronicle'

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: Netherlands: Drug Chief Unconvinced By Dutch Policy
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 03:17:14 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/


Associated Press The Hague

Just days after dubbing the tax Dutch drug policy an "unmitigated disaster,"
U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey took a closer look yesterday. He came away
not convinced, but more diplomatic.

McCaffrey said he felt "a strong feeling of partnership" with his hosts,
Still, he said he frowns on the laissez-faire Dutch attitude toward hashish
and marijuana sales and a government program that distributes free heroin to

McCaffrey's harsh criticism was made ahead of his one-day visit and prompted
Dutch officials to question the value of his mission.

McCaffrey also claimed earlier this week that the Dutch murder rate is twice
as high as that of the United States due to the tolerant Dutch drug laws.
The Dutch publicized statistics disputing his claims. Official data put the
Dutch murder rate at 1.8 per 100,000 people in 1996. The U.S. murder rate in
1996 was 7.4 per 100,000 people.

>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, McCaffrey has generated a buzz.

"He has to come to our coffee shop and look around. The atmosphere is good
and there is no violence," said Anouke Scholten, who works at Amsterdam's
Coffeeshop 36. Not a chance. McCaffrey described the shops as "an impairment
of the drug prevention message."

McCaffrey plunged into a packed day of meetings with officials, with
presentations ranging from the country's heroin handout experiment to
techniques used by customs authorities in the world's largest port,
Rotterdam, to prevent drug trafficking.

McCaffrey criticized experiments that dole out free heroin to addicts who
have failed at other treatments. "This does not constitute drug treatment,"
he said.

Drug Czar Gets Lesson On Dutch 'Disaster' ('The Associated Press' Version
In The Rockford, Illinois, 'Register Star')

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 22:59:36 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Netherlands: Drug czar gets lesson on Dutch 'disaster'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: msimon@tefbbs.com by way of Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Source: Rockford Register Star (IL)
Website: http://www.rrstar.com/
Phone: +1-800-383-7827
Pubdate: 17 Jul 1998
Author: Jenifer Chao, The Associated Press


Policy differences

The U.S. official visits the Netherlands days after his harsh public

THE HAGUE, Netherlands -- Just days after dubbing the lax Dutch drug policy
an "unmitigateted disaster," U.S.drug czar Barry McCaffrey took a closer
look Thursday. He came away unconvinced, but more diplomatic.

McCaffrey said he experienced "a strong feeling of partnership" with his
hosts. Still the retired four-star general said he frowned on the
laissez-faire Dutch attitude toward hashish and marijuana sales and a
government program that distributes free heroin to addicts.

After arriving Thursday, McCaffrey plunged into a packed day of meetings
with officials representing every facet of the Dutch drug policy.

Presentationsranged from the country's heroin handout experiment to
techniques used by customs authorities in the world's largest port,
Rotterdam, to prevent drug trafficking.

Describing his visit as "intensive and useful," McCaffrey said he respects
those involved in the fight against drugs.

"I walk away from this visit with some things that I think will assist us
in developing a more sensible American drug policy," McCaffrey said.

But he also expressed some concerns, warning of a production surge in the
Netherlands of amphetemines, the synthetic hallucinogen Ecstacy and
Nederwiet, a potent Dutch-grown marijuana.

He also disagreed with the Dutch's views on cannabis, saying he and other
U.S. officials are "adamantly opposed to the use of marijuana by our society."

Although still illegal, the sale and consumption of small amounts of soft
drugs like hashish and marijuana are tolerated by Dutch authorities. Hard
drugs like cocaine and heroin cannot be sold in coffee shops, but are also
cheap and easily available.

The Dutch publicized statistics disputing McCaffrey's claims and stood by
their often-criticized policy.

Dutch Officials Say US Drug Tsar Visit Useful (The 'Reuters' Version
Says Els Borst, Health Minister In The Outgoing Dutch Administration,
Had Dinner With General McCaffrey Thursday Evening, And Said
The US Drugs Tsar Had Been More Amenable To Open Discussion
Than She Had Expected, But McCaffrey Refused To Accept Some Of The Facts
On The Results Of Dutch Drugs Policy)

Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Reuters
Pubdate: 17 Jul 1998


AMSTERDAM, July 17 (Reuters)- The exchange of ideas on policy with the
United States' top drugs adviser was useful, despite a diplomatic row in the
runup to General Barry McCaffrey's visit, Dutch officials said on Friday.

But they said Dutch and U.S. views on drugs remained far apart.

``There's been a huge profit-- we have been able to hold an open dialogue...
but convincing each other would be one bridge too far,'' a health care official
said after McCaffrey visited a pilot project in Rotterdam where hardcore
drug users are administered free heroin.

Els Borst, health minister in the outgoing government, had dinner with
McCaffrey on Thursday evening. She said the drugs tsar had been more
amenable to open discussion than she had expected.

But McCaffrey refused to accept some of facts on the results of Dutch drugs
policy, she said.

Borst added McCaffrey was certainly aware that the U.S. policy of harsh
repression of all kinds of drug abuse did not keep young people from

``When I say we (the Dutch authorities) prefer they only experiment with
cannabis, he just falls silent and gazes ahead,'' Borst told Dutch radio.

The Netherlands, 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, who said visiting coffee shops selling marijuana during his visit
seemed useless, argued the toleration of soft drugs was dangerous.

``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 told reporters on

McCaffrey clashed with Dutch authorities earlier this week, calling Dutch
drugs policy a ``disaster'' and saying the murder rate in the Netherlands
outstripped that in the United States.

Although, according to the Dutch, his figures were based on incorrect data,
McCaffrey has not apologized for the error, arguing the figures came from

US Drugs Czar At Odds With Dutch (The BBC Version)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:10:39 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Netherlands: US Drugs Czar At Odds With Dutch
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: BBC
Contact: newsonline@bbc.co.uk
Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998


Many foreigners, Americans included, enjoy Amsterdam's liberal drug culture

US drugs czar Barry McCaffrey has clashed with his Dutch hosts after
criticising Holland's liberal narcotics policy. Mr McCaffrey, in the
Netherlands on a fact-finding mission, criticised the high level of
amphetamine and ecstasy production, much of which goes to the United States
and Britain.

Holland's health minister, Els Borst, in turn said he refused to accept
facts on the results of Dutch drugs policy.

She said the US's oppressive policy on drugs did not stop young people from

Ms Borst, who had dinner with Mr McCaffrey on Thursday night, said: "When I
say we prefer they only experiment with cannabis, he just falls silent and
gazes ahead."

Mr McCaffrey, a former US Army General and Vietnam veteran, tried to play
down his differences with the Dutch authorities, saying he was satisfied
with his "very intensive and useful visit."

He said he had an "open and courteous exchange of views" with his hosts.

His views were made clear at a press conference when he pointed out that
the Netherlands produces half of Europe's amphetamines and much of its MDMA

Earlier he visited a methadone treatment project in Amsterdam.

Washington and The Hague do not see eye-to-eye on the latter's
controversial new heroin maintenance programme, which provides registered
addicts with good quality heroin.

The idea is to hit the pushers in the pocket and reduce the health risks
from impurities.

Mr McCaffrey said: "It is our own view that this does not constitute good
treatment, but instead ends up in essence leaving and marginalising an
element of the population."

He also criticised Holland's coffee shop culture, whereby cannabis and
marijuana are freely on sale in major cities such as Amsterdam.

Dutch law permits possession of up to five grams (0.175oz) of soft drugs
for personal consumption.

The US Government view cannabis as a "significant threat to drug dependency
particularly among young people."

Mr McCaffrey admitted: "We do not have a common agreement on drug policy."

But he added: "It is not my purpose to persuade the Dutch authorities."

On Tuesday, even before he arrived, there was a row when US officials said
Mr McCaffrey would warn Dutch authorities they were "putting American
children at risk" with their relaxed laws on marijuana.

The Dutch health ministry reacted angrily and doubted whether his visit
would "have any purpose".

A spokesman said he should "get his ideas more in tune with reality".

Mr McCaffrey's office later retracted the comments but many felt the damage
was done.

Quote From General McCaffrey (A List Subscriber Posts And Translates
An Excerpt From An Article In The Dutch Newspaper, 'De Volkskrant,'
Showing The US Drug Czar's 'Fact-Finding' Tour Has Turned Into
A Facade Of Denial)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:10:14 -0400
From: Carey Ker (carey.ker@utoronto.ca)
Subject: Netherlands: Quote from General McC.
To: mattalk@islandnet.com

Hi all,

I scooped this little quote from today's on-line edition of
de Volkskrant (URL: http://www.volkskrant.nl/). This is a
Dutch newspaper. I've translated and paraphrased it to the
best of my abilities (without a Dutch-English dictionary).
The quote illustrates (to me) that McC. really isn't
interested in what the Dutch are doing (drug-wise). He
probably could've saved a whole lot of money and been more
considerate of other peoples' time if he'd just stayed home
and read his Sgt. Rock comics and played with his G.I.
Joe's. Please feel free to correct my Dutch (if you see any
obvious errors). Here's the original text (and the
translation follows):

Op de vraag waarom het aantal hasjrokers in het gedogende
Nederland veel lager is dan in de VS - terwijl in Amerika
een verbod geldt - antwoordde McCaffrey: 'Ik weet niet zeker
of het in Nederland lager is. Ik weet ook niet of ik dat wil

When asked why the number of hash-smokers in the Netherlands
is much lower than in the U.S. -- even though it is
forbidden in America -- McCaffrey replied "I'm not sure if
it's lower in the Netherlands. I also don't know if I want
to know that."

McCaffrey And The Dutch - Final Act (A List Subscriber Collects
Several Telling Quotes From The US Drug Czar Regarding 'Facts')

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 20:31:35 GMT
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Subject: McCaffrey/Dutch - final act

McCaffrey's giving up on the Dutch/facts controversy, as indicated by
Thursday's blame-Interpol, but dodge-the-question response. The relevant

(EXCERPT: Reuters; Thurs July 16; dateline Amsterdam)

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.


McCaffrey could have apologized; it would have been the gracious thing to
do. His name is still on the guns-ablazin' quotes about the Dutch
"disaster" and twice-as-high-murder-rate-that-wasn't...

Just so we all remember, here's how McCaffrey treated "facts" during this
past week --


"We ought to agree to disagree on the facts." (CNN, July 9)

"I probably would again dispute you on the facts." (CNN, July 9)

"The murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States. The per
capita crime rates are much higher than the United States.... The overall
crime rate in Holland is probably 40 percent higher than the United States.
That's drugs.'' (Reuters, dateline Stockholm, July 13)

(controversy, errors pointed out, McCaffrey blames Interpol)

"I learned in college: don't argue about facts." (Reuters, dateline
Amsterdam, July 16)


So, the only time he thinks it's worth talking about specific facts is when
he's the one promoting them (and the conclusions he draws from them) AND
he's got "plausible deniability" about the sources he's using. Achem...

As you track McCaffrey in the future, watch for one of his other favorite
ways to introduce and discuss facts. It's sort of a verbal tic he resorts
to in discussions and debates (it's littered throughout the CNN transcript,
for instance). He'll introduce a fact by saying, "we say," as in the

"Most of us don't use drugs. Fourteen million Americans do and they're causing
16,000 dead a year, and what we say is $110 billion in damages...." (CNN,
July 9)

This "we say" is a red flag that the figure about to come is probably
suspect, perhaps inflated, but nonetheless the kind of number he wants to
use to make his point. It's got the hallmarks of a reflexive honesty, in
that he does telegraph which numbers are a little soft.

Of course, that would water down arguments like the Dutch murder rates.

"The murder rate in Holland is, we say, double that in the United States.
The per capita crime rates, we say, are much higher than the United
States.... The overall crime rate in Holland is, we say, probably 40
percent higher than the United States. We say, that's drugs."

We'd still want to dispute/debate/disagree on the facts, I'd say...

-- dave fratello

Swiss Say Mexico Leader's Brother Took Drug Money
(According To 'The Orange County Register,' Valentin Roschacher,
The Swiss Anti-Narcotics Chief, Said Thursday That Swiss Investigators
Had Evidence That The Brother Of Former Mexican President
Carlos Salinas De Gortari Accepted Bribes From Illegal Drug Merchants,
But Hadn't Decided Whether It Was Sufficient To Prosecute Him)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 09:59:22 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Swiss Say Mexico Leader's Brother Took Drug Money Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: letters@link.freedom.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 SWISS SAY MEXICO LEADER'S BROTHER TOOK DRUG MONEY Investigators have obtained evidence that the brother of former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari accepted bribes from drug traffickers, the Swiss anti-narcotics police chief said Thursday. Valentin Roschacher said the next step is for Swiss officials to decide whether the evidence collected over 2 1/2 years is sufficient to prosecute. Meanwhile, authorities in Mexico seek to arrest a key aide to Carlos Salinas on corruption charges. A warrant was issued for Justo Ceja, Salinas' private secretary, who went into hiding after the former leader's term ended in 1994.

Benefits Found In Marijuana (A Brief Item In 'The Toronto Star'
About Research By The US National Institute Of Mental Health
Confirming Cannabinoids Work As Antioxidants To Protect Brain Cells)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: Canada: Benefits Found In Marijuana
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 03:09:43 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Pubdate: Friday, July 17, 1998
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/


Chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, may protect the brain from
damage caused by injuries and stroke, according to the U.S. National
Institute of Mental Health. In a study using rats, researchers found that
cannabinoids could block the effects of other chemicals that kill cells when
oxygen is cut off, which is what happens in a stroke caused by a blood clot.
There is also evidence cannabinoids protect nerve cells against damage.
They work independently of marijuana's better-known effects, which include
the euphoric feeling known as a "high".

Drug Turf Up For Bids - Gangs Might Move In Following Mafia Arrests
(According To Law Enforcement Officials Interviewed By
'The Montreal Gazette,' Members Of The Country's Biggest Mafia Family
Are Now In Custody And The Race Is On For Control Of A Major Chunk
Of Canada's Market For Illegal Drugs)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Drug turf up for bids
Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:08:25 -0700
Lines: 160
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Montreal Gazette Online
Contact: letters@thegazette.southam.ca
Pubdate: Fri 17 Jul 1998
Section: News A1 / FRONT

Drug turf up for bids

Gangs might move in following Mafia arrests

With members of the country's biggest Mafia family now in custody, the
race is on for control of a major chunk of Canada's market for illegal

RCMP Sgt. Guy Quintal said yesterday there are a number of gangs that
might try to fill the void, including Asian gangs and biker gangs like
the Hell's Angels that already import and deal in drugs.

There is also the question of how much territory the Cuntrera-Caruana
family, some of whose key members were arrested Wednesday, will

``Some families are able to run the operation from prison,'' said Ron
Gentle, an Ontario Provincial Police detective and a member of
Criminal Intelligence Service Canada, which monitors specific types of
crime. ``But for the most part, they lose their status and reputation
as people who do business without attracting too much attention.

``Once the people who dealt with them learn that the authorities have
been on to them, they look somewhere else. Continuing to deal with
them becomes too much of a risk.''

Among those arrested Wednesday, in the culmination of a two-year
police investigation called Operation Omerta, the term for the Mafia
code of silence, were the Caruana brothers - Gerlando, 54, Alfonso,
52, and Pasquale, 50.

With Alfonso at the top, the brothers are believed to have controlled
a major portion of the cocaine and heroin imported into Canada since
the late 1970s.

The investigation came to light in May, when police in Houston seized
200 kilos of cocaine bound for Canada.

Ten of the people arrested in Wednesday's raids and charged with
intent to import and traffic in a controlled substance are expected to
appear in court in Toronto Tuesday. Four of them were arrested in
Montreal, four in the Toronto area and two were picked up by
immigration officials in Mexico and flown to Toronto yesterday.

A fifth person arrested in Montreal during the operation, Micheline
Robichaud, 40, was charged with intent to traffic. She is to be tried
in Quebec.

Two men arrested in Houston when the cocaine was seized - Richard
Court, 31, of St. Laurent, and John Curtis Hill, 29, of Sault Ste.
Marie - are to be tried in the United States.

Two suspects at large, believed to be in Italy, are Anthony Larosa,
22, of Montreal and Ignazio Genua, 30, of Toronto. Anthony Larosa is
the son of Nunzio Larosa, 50, who was one of the five arrested in
Montreal and was reported to be the weak link that allowed police to
crack the case.

Alfonso Caruana, who made a brief court appearance in Toronto
yesterday, has hired defence lawyer John Rosen, who defended convicted
sex-killer Paul Bernardo.

Rosen wouldn't discuss his approach.

``I really can't say too much about the case except that it's gone
over to July 21 so that several of the accused can get counsel, and
after that, within about a week, there'll be a bail hearing,'' he

While law-enforcement officials say it is impossible to nail down a
percentage of how much the crime family controls, the Federal Bureau
of Investigation once estimated that in 1982 alone, the
Cuntrera-Caruana alliance organized deliveries totaling more than 3
tons - roughly 50 per cent of the heroin smuggled into the U.S.

But Quintal said the arrests will hardly stop the flow of drugs into
the country. He said the street price of cocaine probably won't even
go up.

``I compare it to the sale of cars. If a big car dealer stopped
selling cars, people would simply find another place to buy them.

``But we did put a dent in their operations.''

Gentle agreed that trafficking will go on. ``Their customers will have
to find another source,'' he said.

So who is set to fill the void?

The consensus among law-enforcement experts interviewed yesterday is
that there is a wide range of organized-crime families or gangs that
will go after the Cuntrera-Caruana customers.

Criminologists have said that in Montreal's turf war over the
illicit-drug market, Mafia families appear to be on the Rock Machine's
side, because the Hell's Angels control most aspects of their own drug

Law-enforcement experts also say the Cuntrera-Caruana family empire
won't necessarily disintegrate.

Quintal said the investigation indicated there are a number of younger
Caruanas potentially being groomed to take control. Gerlando Caruana's
son Giuseppe, 28, was arrested in Toronto along with his uncles
Alfonso and Pasquale.

``We noticed that Gerlando trusted Giuseppe with a lot of important
things,'' Quintal said.

The RCMP officer also said he doesn't expect young members of the
Cuntrera-Caruana clan to fight for top family positions.

``Internally, it has always been a peaceful family,'' he said. ``I
don't think we'll see the violence there was when people were looking
to be the replacement of Vincenzo Cotroni (the reputed Montreal crime
boss who died in 1984).''

Alfonso Caruana is believed to have complete control of operations in
Canada, while Gerlando is suspected of controlling drug shipments. But
even if they are placed behind bars for a long time, their presence
will be felt.

``The Cuntrera-Caruana family has major control over the distribution
of drugs in Canada and also has influence over many of the other
families involved, including Colombians and South Americans,'' said
Det.-Sgt. Pietro Poletti, an ex-member of the Montreal Urban Community
police organized-crime unit who recently joined the Canadian Security
Intelligence Service in Ottawa.

He, like other police officers who have taken part in joint
police-force operations, said the Omerta operation ushers in a new era
in law enforcement. ``This is probably the most important bust in 10
years,'' he said.

The most significant arrest to police investigators was that of
Alfonso, who so far has been able to avoid incarceration.

Gerlando did time from 1985 to 1993 after being caught with 37
kilograms of heroin in 1985, and Pasquale was recently released from
prison in Italy. Alfonso, however, avoided serving time despite a
recent conviction in Italy, in absentia, for drug trafficking. Years
ago, Alfonso was seen driving a pickup truck with a load of small
bills to the front door of a bank in Dorval to make a deposit.

The OPP's Gentle, who participated in joint force operations for 12
years, said international co-operative efforts like Operation Omerta
are the only way for authorities to get to the heads of crime families

``No one police force or country could have done this operation alone,
and it was the ability of the police forces to work together that made
it work,'' Gentle said. ``In the past, the biggest ally of organized
crime was the inability of police forces to work together.''

Hemp Beer Hits Britain - But You Won't Get Stoned (Britain's 'Independent'
Says A German Company Has Teamed Up With An English Importer To Introduce
Hempseed-Flavoured 'Turn' Beer To Britain - Asbjorn Gerlach
Of The Berlin-Based Bier Company, said 'Using Hemp As A Flavouring Agent
In Beer Is A Very Old Idea And Was Popular In The Middle Ages')
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 01:31:10 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Hemp Beer Hits Britain - But You Won't Get Stoned Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: letters@independent.co.uk Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ HEMP BEER HITS BRITAIN - BUT YOU WON'T GET STONED THE country's first hemp beer is being consumed in London's bars and clubs. But anti-drugs campaigners need not worry - you would need to drink 3,000 bottles to get stoned. A German company has teamed up with an English importer to bring the grass-flavoured drink to Britain. Asbjorn Gerlach, one of the founders of the Berlin-based Bier Company, said: "Hops and hemp are very closely related. In 1996, when growing hemp became legal, we decided to try making beer. "Using hemp as a flavouring agent in beer is a very old idea and was popular in the Middle Ages. The drink has a slightly fruity, grassy flavour but tastes very similar to lager." The strain of hemp used for beer-making is a sister plant of cannabis and contains only minute amounts of the drug. Mr Gerlach said: "You would have to drink so many bottles that it would kill you before you got stoned. We are not promoting cannabis - we are promoting hemp. "We have called the beer Turn because we want people to turn their minds to the idea of using hemp. It is good for the environment. To make paper it takes 12 hectares of rainforest but only one hectare of hemp." Brian Haddow, an Englishman living near Munich, was already exporting chocolate from Germany to Britain when he came across the new 4.9 per cent brew and instantly had the idea of introducing it to the rest of Europe. Mr Haddow and his nephew Paul set up in business and have so far exported Turn to England and Denmark. It is also bound for France, Italy, Spain and Poland. Paul Haddow said: "Brian is a real fan of German beers and hemp beer tastes very similar. "We are targeting the 18- to 32-year-olds in trendy London bars and clubs. After that we want to take it to the rest of the country.

Cannabis Seized On Navy Destroyer (Britain's 'Times' Says Two Kilograms
Of Cannabis Was Discovered On HMS Newcastle After It Returned
From A Mission To Combat Drug Smuggling In The West Indies)

Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 09:53:06 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Cannabis Seized on Navy Destroyer
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: Times, The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998


TWO kilograms of cannabis has been discovered on a Royal Navy destroyer
returning from a mission to combat drug-running in the West Indies.

The haul, worth UKP4,000 was found by a nightwatchman. Yesterday police
boarded HMS Newcastle, which was returning from a six-month tour of duty.
No one has been arrested.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman confirmed last night that an investigation
was under way and that any serviceman caught with drugs faced dismissal.

It is believed that the Royal Navy police on board have taken fingerprints
from all 253 crewmen, including the captain. HMS Newcastle was back in
Portsmouth last night.

Bombardier Kevin Jones and James Bull, a former gunner, have been found
guilty of conspiracy to import drugs with a street value estimated at about
UKP1.5 million. Jones, a soldier with the 39th Regiment of the Royal
Artillery based in Abermarle, outside Newcastle upon Tyne, and Bull, once
attached to the same regiment, were convicted unanimously by a jury at
Liverpool Crown Court. Lance Bombardier Jason Foster, 25, of Wigan, was
cleared of conspiracy to import Class A and Class B drugs. Six other men
have already pleaded guilty to their roles in the smuggling ring.

Jones and Bull are to be sentenced on Thursday.

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 50 (The Drug Reform
Coordination Network's Original News Summary For Activists, Including New
Details About General Barry McCaffrey's Innocence Abroad And Those Inflated
Interpol Statistics He Cited But Never Apologized For)

Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 15:37:36 -0400
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 50
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org



(To sign off this list, mailto: listproc@drcnet.org with the
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mailto:lists@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

(This issue can be also be read on our web site at


1. Week Online Hits 50th Issue, DRCNet on the Move

2. Drug Crazy Update

3. Drug Czar Gets Facts Wrong Again... Infuriates Dutch on
Eve of Visit

4. Wire Report of the Week

5. Prohibition Poll on Time Online

6. Taliban Ban Television

7. Legislative Update

8. EDITORIAL: The General Invades (and Insults and
Infuriates) The Netherlands


1. Week Online Hits 50th Issue, DRCNet on the Move

This week marks the fiftieth issue of The Week Online. It
has been an interesting and exciting first year, learning as
we've gone along even as the drug policy reform movement has
grown significantly. The publication itself has certainly
grown up during the past year and we are determined to
continue on that course, bringing you original news, special
features, and hard-hitting editorials from a reform
perspective. We are also planning to offer more and varied
options to those of you who would like to participate more
actively; stay tuned for forthcoming announcements.

Two weeks ago, we announced that thanks to generous reader
participation in our last membership appeal, we were
approaching the 1,000 paying member mark, just as we had
passed the 6,000 e-mail subscriber mark. Thanks to those of
you who responded, DRCNet paying membership is now in the
four digits!

This issue of The Week Online details how over the last
several days, our drug czar, retired General Barry
McCaffrey, and his public relations staff, have shown little
shame in their willingness to dramatically misrepresent the
drug policy record in The Netherlands and to hurl uncalled-
for invective at drug policy reform advocates in the United
States. Moreover, this issue shows how the press is
developing a healthy skepticism and is no longer letting the
General's misinformation go unchallenged.

It also shows, however, that even when backed into a corner,
the drug war powers that be do not intend to make a graceful
exit. They will fight tooth and nail to preserve a destruc-
tive policy based on ignorance. And they will fight even on
the cruelest fronts, blocking compassionate access of
medical marijuana to patients and criminalizing the life-
savers who provide sterile syringes to addicts to reduce the
spread of epidemic diseases. They will fight poorly, as in
the past week, or they will fight skillfully; and they will
use our tax dollars to demonize this reform movement every
step of the way.

Yet in the end, enough Americans care about truth and reason
to hear us out. And in an open debate, we emerge over time
as the victors, because facts, morality and reason are on
our side. The last six weeks have seen an enormous opening
of that debate, after several hundred individuals of
unimpeachable credentials and reputation joined to condemn
the global drug war as "causing more harm than drug abuse
itself" (http://www.lindesmith.org/news/background.html).
General McCaffrey tried to label these leading lights a
"fringe group," but he failed to convince.

For victory to be achieved in the war over the war on drugs,
however, large networks of participating, contributing
citizens must be built. Grassroots political organization
as well as potent public education campaigns are needed to
shift the levers of public policy in our direction. You, as
part of DRCNet, are present at a unique juncture in history,
where the power of the information superhighway allows
movements to organize more rapidly than ever before.

The DRCNet 6,000 needs to turn into tens of thousands and
then into hundreds of thousands. Will you walk with us on
these first early steps toward a better world? Please
pledge your support to DRCNet today, by using our
encryption-secured member registration form at
http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. If you are already a
supporting member, please consider renewing your support to
help us take the effort to a higher level.


Thanks to the support and efforts of two of our members, we
now have stopthedrugwar.org bumper stickers! View one at
http://www.drcnet.org/bumpersticker.gif. We will
automatically send one or more bumper stickers free of
charge to all new or renewing members. Let us know if you
need more than one; please only ask for more if you will
really be displaying all of them. If you are nervous about
placing a controversial sticker from this emotional topic on
your vehicle, there are plenty of other places to put them -
- a notebook, a dorm-room door, a bulletin board, you name
it. Again, use our encryption-secured online registration
form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to join and get
your sticker! We will also send stickers to anyone who is
already a paying member, if you contact us and request one.
And if you are financially unable to join, but would like to
display a stopthedrugwar.org sticker to help us recruit new
members, send us a note and let us know where you plan to
place your sticker. Please address all bumper sticker-
related correspondence to bumpersticker@drcnet.org), and be
sure to include your full name and current mailing address.


Since our appeal a few weeks ago, participation in the
eyegive fundraiser has increased dramatically, from 193 to
277 participants, and DRCNet earnings have risen
accordingly. As mentioned before, we received the first
checks from eyegive, last month, totaling more than $775,
and the next ones promise to be much bigger than that. If
you haven't signed up yet, you can automatically select
DRCNet as your recipient non-profit by visiting

Even here at DRCNet HQ, we know how hard it can be to
remember day after day to visit the eyegive page and point
and click to raise money. The easiest way to keep up is to
set the eyegive home page, http://www.eyegive.com, as the
default start-up page in your web browser -- use edit-
preferences in Netscape or view-Internet options in Internet

For those of you who didn't read the bulletin, here is a
brief recap: Eyegive is a web site through which people can
earn money for their favorite non-profit organization, just
by clicking on a page of ads that appears when you visit the
site. Clicking up to five times per day earns DRCNet
valuable funds, if you have selected us as your recipient

Your wrist and finger clicks can add up to earn DRCNet
thousands of dollars -- money that can pay for part-time
help, advertise for new members, any number of things.
Please check it out, and those of you who have taken part
already, keep up the good work!


We'd like to take a moment to publicly thank Nick Merrill
and the Manhattan-based Calyx Internet Access Corporation
for services they've provided us for more than three years,
much of the time for free, and at all times motivated by
their desire to help the cause. Calyx's help came at an
important time, and was invaluable in bringing the online
reform effort up to a new level. Calyx still hosts web
sites and mailing lists for a number of drug policy reform
groups, as well as DRCNet's own drug library search engine.

Some of the services that Calyx provides include: Dedicated
Lines, Web Site Hosting, Server Colocation, Internet/
Intranet, LAN/WAN Consulting, Security Consulting &
Firewalls, Web Design, Special Hosting Rates for 501(c) Non-
Profits, and Secure Shell Accounts.

You can find Calyx online at http://www.calyx.net, or
reach Nick Merrill at nick@calyx.net.


2. Drug Crazy Update

There are a litany of reasons to support drug policy reform
-- prohibition has devastating consequences in several areas
-- crime & violence, spread of infectious diseases,
political destabilization in source countries, police
corruption, undertreatment of pain, overdoses and
poisonings, popularization of dangerous forms of drugs,
ready access of drugs to kids. Mike Gray's book Drug Crazy,
published by Random House just a month ago, makes clear to
the reader that not only is prohibition a bad idea, but the
issue is not a close call in any sense of the word. The war
on drugs is profoundly untenable, and Gray, a member of
DRCNet's advisory board, has demonstrated that using all his
dramatic skill -- Gray authored the script for the hit
movie, The China Syndrome, and worked on Star Trek: The Next
Generation, among many other credits.

For the past couple of months, we have asked our readers to
call or visit their local bookstores and ask about Drug
Crazy. We have since heard reports of stores ordering more

copies and displaying them more prominently. We have also
heard reports of stores not reordering copies quickly enough
to meet the possible demand. Please take a few minutes to
call or visit your local bookstores and ask if they have a
copies of Drug Crazy. If they offer to order it for you,
tell them you would prefer to buy the book from a store that
has the book in stock.

Your efforts will continue to pay off in bringing this
important book to the public's attention. It will also help
DRCNet, as we are prominently featured on pages 203-204,
introducing an appendix of Internet drug policy resources.
We have already had some sign-ups from people who heard
about us from the book. Visit http://www.drugcrazy.com to
read the first chapter, and learn all about it!


3. Drug Czar Gets Facts Wrong Again... Infuriates Dutch on
Eve of Visit

U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey was supposed to be going to
Europe this week to observe the ways in which other
countries are dealing with their drug problems, but
statements leading up to and during the first leg of his
trip revealed that the retired General left with pre-
determined conclusions and ignorance of some basic, non-
expert level facts.

McCaffrey's misstatements, and the conclusions he drew from
them, elicited sharp and angry responses from the Dutch just
days before McCaffrey was scheduled to arrive in The
Netherlands. The strange and very un-diplomatic string of
incidents cast our nation's top drug warrior as well as his
Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in a less-
than-favorable light. This was compounded by several odd
statements made by ONDCP spokespersons, at least one of
which was later retracted, in an apparent attempt to cover
the ex-general's flank. As you read the following
chronology, ask yourselves, if you were leading the fight to
preserve prohibition, is this what you would do?

JULY 9: On CNN's "Talkback Live," McCaffrey engages in a
brief debate over the Dutch policy with "Drug Crazy" author
Mike Gray. McCaffrey says, ominously, it turns out, "We
ought to agree to disagree on the facts." Shortly
afterward, he calls the Dutch experience "an unmitigated
disaster." Gray warns that a diplomatic protest could come
from the Dutch embassy, which has been alerted that
McCaffrey and his office are misrepresenting the facts about
Dutch policy and results. McCaffrey changes the subject,
saying the Dutch have received protests from the French and
Germans over the results of their drug policy. Gray
counters that the French have a higher addiction rate than
the Dutch, and that the U.S. has a higher addiction rate
than the Dutch. Here, again, McCaffrey says: "I probably
would again dispute you on the facts."

JULY 10: McCaffrey tells the Associated Press he's not
interested in visiting Dutch "coffeeshops," the hallmark of
the nation's tolerant policy toward marijuana and hashish.
"Coffeeshops would be a bad photo op," he explains. And,
"I'm not sure there's much to be learned by watching someone
smoking pot."

JULY 11: From Washington, the Dutch ambassador to the U.S.,
Joris M. Vos, writes to McCaffrey, that he is "confounded
and dismayed" by the czar's depiction of the Dutch policy.
"I must say that I find the timing of your remarks, just six
days before your planned visit to the Netherlands with a
view to gaining firsthand knowledge about Dutch drug policy
and its results, rather astonishing." A McCaffrey deputy
spokesman, Rob Housman, tells the AP in Washington he hopes
the incident will not affect McCaffrey's European trip.

JULY 13: In Stockholm, where he is beginning his European
trip, McCaffrey comes out swinging. He says, "The murder
rate in Holland is double that in the United States. The
per capita crime rates are much higher than the United
States." He provides statistics to the media. In 1995,
McCaffrey says, the U.S. had 8.22 murders per 100,000
people, while the Netherlands had 17.58 per 100,000 (2.13
times the U.S. rate). Also, at the Stockholm press
conference, McCaffrey's staff hands out copies of the
complaint letter to McCaffrey from ambassador Joris Vos. It
will later turn out that the Dutch Embassy in Washington is
none too pleased with McCaffrey's release of the letter
saying that the communique was meant to be "private and

JULY 14: A Dutch agency, the Central Bureau of Statistics,
publishes crime data contradicting McCaffrey's claims. The
1995 murder rate, rather than being double that of the U.S.,
is instead 1.8 per 100,000 in the Netherlands, making the
U.S. rate 4.6 times higher than in The Netherlands. There
were 273 murders total in 1995, fewer than most U.S. cities.
However, for the year 1995, the Dutch ATTEMPTED HOMICIDE
rate was 17.6 -- likely the number McCaffrey had cited. (We
initially thought McCaffrey had simply misplaced a decimal
point. Note that while most Americans could not tell you
the homicide rate here or anywhere else, most readers of
newspapers, not just drug and crime policy experts, are well
aware that the rate is much higher here than anywhere in
western Europe.)

DRCNet, after researching the Dutch homicide rate, contacted
the Dutch Embassy to confirm the statistics and to get their
reaction to McCaffrey's claims. The embassy confirms the
rate of 1.8 per 100,000 and expresses its concern over what
is now becoming an international incident.

DRCNet then contacts ONDCP seeking either a retraction or
reiteration of McCaffrey's claim. Spokesperson David
DuRoche tells The Week Online that while he hasn't spoken to
McCaffrey on the matter, "The general stands by what he

DRCNet issues the following press release to over 100 media

CONTACT: David Borden or Adam J. Smith, (202) 293-8340

American Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, on the
first leg of his 8-day fact-finding mission
to Europe, has once again proven that he
knows not of what he speaks. But this time,
McCaffrey's blatantly erroneous statement
of "fact" might well touch off an inter-
national furor.

Speaking to the press in Stockholm, Sweden,
McCaffrey trashed Dutch drug policy, saying,
"The murder rate in Holland is double that
in the United States." McCaffrey cited the
statistics as 8.22 per 100,000 in the U.S.
and 17.58 per 100,000 in The Netherlands.
"That's drugs," he concluded, adding that
he was anxious to visit The Netherlands to
find out "Why is it that they're happy about
what they're doing?"

Unfortunately, the General had his zeroes
misplaced. The Dutch murder rate is
actually 1.758 per 100,000, less than one
fourth that of the U.S. Astonishingly,
this morning, David DeRoche, a spokesman for
McCaffrey, told the Drug Reform Coordination
Network, an Internet-based information
center of the drug policy reform movement,
that "The General stands by what he said."

David Borden, DRCNet's Executive Director,
said, "There is a very disturbing trend of
blatant misinformation coming from Barry
McCaffrey, which seems to indicate that he
is woefully uninformed about key parts of
the very policy he is paid to represent and
enforce. It is astonishing that McCaffrey
is so ignorant of global drug policy that
he would parrot such a wildly erroneous
statistic. Anyone who knows anything at all
about global drug policy and its impact
would have spotted in an instant that this
was blatantly untrue."

In August and again in December, 1996,
McCaffrey was quoted in the media claiming
there is 'not one shred of evidence' that
marijuana has medicinal value, when in fact
there are literally dozens showing that it
does -- ONDCP's chief counsel, Pat Seitz,
later claimed on CNN that he had never made
such comments. In April, McCaffrey made
numerous statements claiming that studies of
Canadian syringe exchanges refuted the value
of syringe exchange, only to be rebuffed by
Dr. Julie Bruneau and Dr. Martin T.
Schechter, the authors of the studies them-
selves, who, in an op-ed in the New York
Times, (4/9/98) stated that McCaffrey had
"misinterpreted" their findings, which
called for more, not less needle exchange.
Further, on several occasions this spring,
including once during a speech at the
University of Louisville, McCaffrey has ridi-
culed "noted agronomists such as Woody
Harrelson" who advocate for the legalization
of industrial hemp, despite the fact that
over 100 Kentucky farmers are currently
suing the federal government for the right
to do so. "It is silly" he said of the
issue, calling it a "thinly disguised attempt
... to legalize pot." But earlier this
month, a University of Kentucky study indi-
cated that if hemp were legalized for indus-
trial use, it would immediately become the
second most valuable legal crop in the state,
behind only tobacco. In an interview with
NBC Dateline, aired Feb 21, 1997, McCaffrey
put forward an Illinois study he claimed sup-
ported the D.A.R.E. program, only to later
dismiss the very same study as "twaddle" when
confronted with its actual findings -- that
D.A.R.E. doesn't work for most children and
may be counterproductive.

DRCNet Associate Director Adam J. Smith said,
"This latest misstatement concerning the
Dutch murder rate, in which McCaffrey was off
by a factor of ten, is especially troubling in
view of the fact that he obviously feels well-
versed enough on the Dutch situation to
publicly ridicule their brave pragmatism in
the face of global Prohibitionist pressures.
These types of misstatements show clearly that
the government's blind embrace of a failed
Prohibitionist Drug War is ideologically, and
not factually driven. The U.S. murder rate is
more than four times that of The Netherlands.
That's Prohibition."

- END -

Later, Dutch officials tell the Reuters news agency, "The
figure (McCaffrey is using) is not right. He is adding in
attempted murders." Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman
Birgitta Tazelaar adds, "(McCaffrey's) statements show...
that he is not coming totally unbiased. We hope he is
coming here to learn from the Dutch drug policy, and one can
only learn if open-minded... We hope his opinions will...
come more into line with the facts."

JULY 15: In a Washington Times story, McCaffrey spokesman
James McDonough, responding to a Dutch official who pointed
out that the drug czar had used the wrong number, attempted
homicide instead of homicide, when comparing crime stats
between the U.S. and Netherlands, says, "Let's say she's
right. What you are left with is that they are a much more
violent society and more inept [at murder], and that's not
much to brag about."

DRCNet searches for U.S. statistics on "attempted homicide."
Apparently, this is not a category that is kept by the FBI
or any other federal agency. What is kept by the FBI is
"aggravated assault". The FBI definition for this offense
reads as follows: "Aggravated assault is an unlawful attack
by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting
severe or aggravated bodily injury. This type of assault is
usually accompanied by the use of a weapon or by means
likely to produce death or great bodily harm."

The two definitions are not absolutely identical, but in
practice cover basically the same set of offenses. Hence we
compare them here. In 1995, the rate of "attempted murder"
in The Netherlands was 17.58 per 100,000 while for the same
year, according to the FBI, the U.S. rate for "aggravated
assault" was 418.3 per 100,000, more than 20 times higher
than in The Netherlands.

DRCNet again contacts ONDCP, whereupon Mr. DuRoche tells The
Week Online that "those figures for the Dutch murder rate
come directly from Interpol. I cannot speculate on why the
Dutch Government would report one set of numbers to Interpol
and another to their public." Pressed as to whether it
would not have been proper, given the Dutch government's
vehement protest over the veracity of the numbers, to check
into the matter further, especially since McCaffrey publicly
proclaimed that Dutch drug policy was responsible for this
shocking rate of homicide, DuRoche said that the matter was
between Interpol and the Dutch. Asked whether, if it turned
out that the number was erroneous, and it was shown that the
U.S. murder rate was in fact 4.6 times higher than that in
The Netherlands, his office would retract their contention
that Dutch society was "much more violent" than the U.S.,
DuRoche told The week Online, "well, it's really not
relevant to compare the two societies. The Dutch have
universal health care, near 100% literacy, an homogeneous
population and effective gun control." Told that it was
McCaffrey, and not the reform movement that had made the
comparison, DuRoche responded, "Isn't Mike Gray on your
advisory board? This was all in response to Mike Gray's
comments on CNN. We didn't bring this up."

But regardless of whether or not McCaffrey spread false
information about Dutch drug policy of his own volition or
in response to a statement (made days earlier) by an
American on CNN, it is not the first time that U.S.
officials had so blatantly misstated facts about The
Netherlands that the Dutch were moved to respond
diplomatically. In 1995, a booklet on "legalization" put
out by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) merited the
following official response, translated by Mario Lap of the
International Foundation for Human Rights:

Monday 9 Jan 1995, The Hague

Her Majesty's Minister of Foreign Affairs of
The Netherlands drs. Hans van Mierlo has
officially announced the following answer in
writing to parliamentary questions by the MP
Thom De Graaf of the (his own) liberal party.

The Minister will point out to the American
Authorities that Dutch Drug policy is falsely
represented in a manual of the American Drug
Battle Agency, DEA.

The manual mentions that the police in The
Netherlands is instructed not to take action
against street trade in what ever kind of
drugs. That is not true.

In many municipalities in The Netherlands
the policing and prosecution of street
traders of drugs has a high priority and
special cell space is reserved for that

Furthermore, according to the DEA a research
of the entire Rotterdam population of fifteen
years and older shows that 3.3 % of this
population uses cocaine.

In the research referred to by the DEA, 3.3%
of the Rotterdam population from fifteen to
nineteen years of age mentioned that they had
used cocaine (lifetime prevalence).

It is totally irresponsible to state that all
of these people are cocaine users and

ridiculous to relate the figures to the total
Rotterdam population.

Further data in the manual are not all wrong
but stripped of their context and therefore
easily misinterpreted.

The mistakes made will be discussed with the
American Authorities by The Minister of
Foreign Affairs.

- END -

DRCNet contacted the Dutch Embassy, at which time Mr. Morris
indicated that, according to several Dutch newspapers,
published nearly ten hours earlier, Interpol had
acknowledged that they had used the wrong figures in the
category of homicide, and that the numbers were therefore
"misleading". Interpol has reportedly stated that that the
error would be corrected in its next publication.

Morris further stated that "We really don't want to poison
the waters any further on the eve of Mr. McCaffrey's arrival
in The Netherlands. Obviously there is a difference of
opinion over drug policy, and over the success of the Dutch
system. The Dutch government is justifiably proud of the
progress we have made under our system, and, while we
certainly don't put ourselves in the position of advising
other nations what to do domestically, we are comfortable
that the strategies that we have adopted, evolving as they
are, are in the best interests of Dutch society."

Later the same day (7/15) the Associated Press ran a story
on the brewing controversy in which Robert Housman, a
McCaffrey spokesperson was quoted, saying that the Dutch
government was being "pulled into an internal political
debate" in the United States by those who support
decriminalizing drugs. "These legalizers put American
children at risk," the statement said. "The Dutch
government should be renouncing them, not siding with
them... Every nation is free to set their own policies
domestically. However, other nations must respect the
sovereignty of others and be keenly aware of the impacts of
their policies on the global community."

Three hours later, according to the Associated Press, ONDCP
called the news services to retract the statement, saying
that the statement "no longer stands" because it didn't
reflect McCaffrey's views. No further information was

Later in the day, McCaffrey traveled to Switzerland, where a
successful three-year pilot program in opiate maintenance
has just been completed amidst glowing reports of its
success, and much discussion of its emulation across Europe
and even in Canada. Leading up to the meetings, McCaffrey
had made statements which indicated his opposition to such
programs, including his belief that maintenance is "like
giving alcohol to the alcoholic" and "our own worry would be
that in the longer term it will contribute to an inexorable
growth in the rate of heroin use and become a dysfunctional
aspect of drug prevention in society at large." When the
two sides emerged from their meetings, a Dutch reporter
asked McCaffrey about the ongoing controversy. McCaffrey
responded that "It's probably less helpful to continue a
debate through the press over the nature of Dutch drug

policy than to have a face to face, open evaluation of it."

A wire report from that press conference said that "[A]
Swiss health official said... McCaffrey had backed down from
some of his comments about addiction in Switzerland after
his meetings. Thomas Zeltner, head of the Swiss federal
health bureau, said he told McCaffrey that the maintenance
program was limited to below 10 percent of all chronic
heroin users and that Swiss officials had produced data to
show that the U.S. adviser's conclusions about Swiss
addiction rates were wrong."

McCaffrey arrived in The Netherlands early in the morning
(7/16) US eastern time. The following is a report from
Harry Bego in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Director of
Legalize! (http://www.legalize.org) and a co-coordinator of
the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War:

7/15, The Netherlands: 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, 6:15pm, on TV2, the
news show 2 Vandaag ('2 Today') summarized
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 6:00pm, it looked slightly
edited; McCaffrey was still in Switzerland.
The interviewer was on screen, against a
background of images from McCaffrey'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.

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 responsibility 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
anecdotal insight on what their experien-
ces 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

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 construc-
ted this bold and aggressive ten year drug
prevention and treatment 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 autho-
rities 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: U.S. drug policy is
the real disaster.

Today McCaffrey isn't giving interviews
during the day, but there will be a press
conference tonight. I have sent out a
press statement containing the New York
Times citation of his allegations about a
'slick misinformation campaign', pointing
to his own obvious efforts now to mislead
the U.S. audience.

Harry Bego

- END -

Finally, in a statement that could potentially draw umbrage
from U.S. police, McCaffrey told Reuters in The Netherlands:
"I came with a bias that Dutch police were good... I
cautioned my Dutch partners that police of this high caliber
can allow policy to work adequately even when it may not be
good policy." (Editor's Note: This can mean either that
American prohibition is working 'adequately' or that our
police are simply too 'low caliber' to make work a clearly
superior policy. Which one is it?)


4. Wire Report of the Week

A Reuters article this week reported that "the Virginia
Crime Commission has set up a federal and state task force
to look into the possible link between drug trafficking and
organized crime." (Possible link? Do they really need a
task force to answer such a question?)


5. Prohibition Poll on Time Online

Time Magazine has been conducting an online poll on
prohibition since July 9, and it is still linked in and
accepting votes. Last we checked, 59.16% of respondents had
voted for legalization of all "recreational" drugs for
adults, another 29.95% had voted for legalization of
marijuana, and only 10.87% had voted to maintain prohibition
of all currently illicit drugs. These online polls aren't
scientific, of course -- they draw those people who are most
motivated for them -- but the same is true of elections.
Visit http://cgi.pathfinder.com/time/daily/poll/drug.html to
cast your vote, check the latest tally, and read related


6. Taliban Ban Television

Last December we reported that the head of the United
Nations Drug Control Program, Pino Arlacchi, a former
prosecutor, proposed providing major funding for opium
eradication to the Taliban, a brutal, extremist group that
controls of much of Afghanistan. The proposal has drawn
widespread criticism from human rights groups, who see it as
helping to establish the Taliban's control of the country
once and for all. Among the Taliban's policies are a ban on
education and health care for women. Women who don't cover
their bodies from head to toe are often dragged into the
street and beaten. Arlacchi's proposal has received the
support of the Clinton administration.

Coverage of the controversy is not likely to make it into
Afghanistan itself, however, at least not foreign coverage.
Time reported on July 9 that the Taliban have now outlawed
possession of television sets. Good allies in the drug war!


7. Legislative Update

The following articles are reprinted from the Drug Policy
Foundation's Network News, a monthly publication for DPF's
advocacy network. To sign up to receive Network News,
contact DPF at (202) 537-5005 e-mail dpf@dpf.org or visit
DPF's web site at http://www.dpf.org.


H.R. 3745, the "Money Laundering Act of 1998," was unveiled
by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) as one of the bills to expand
the war on drugs; its main focus is broadening the
government's forfeiture powers. H.R. 3745 raises
constitutional concerns including possible Fourth Amendment,
due process and privacy rights violations. Additionally,
H.R. 3745 intrudes on the role of the federal courts by
significantly changing the rules of evidence and civil
procedure, and conflicts with current efforts to curb U.S.
Treasury and Justice Department forfeiture excesses. Some
of the most troubling aspects of H.R. 3745 are the civil
(non-criminal) asset forfeiture provisions. H.R. 3745

* allow the federal government to go on "fishing
expeditions" by subpoenaing bank records before filing a
complaint or starting a forfeiture procedure;

* make it nearly impossible for a person to assert an
"innocent owner" defense;

* expand wiretapping authority for suspected violations of
IRS form-filing requirements;

* unduly expand the number of new acts that can be
predicates for triggering the money laundering statute,

allowing federal agencies to seize entire businesses and
bank account for any and all manner of alleged regulatory
and state law violations; and

* expand the Department of Justice mandate by making DOJ
into a de-facto world police force -- enforcing alleged
violations of foreign nations' laws, even when foreign
governments don't want to prosecute.

DPF supports meaningful asset forfeiture reform that
uniformly limits the scope of the government's forfeiture
powers by eliminating some of the most egregious civil
forfeiture practices. DPF supports Rep. Henry Hyde's (R-IL)
Manager's Amendment to H.R. 1965, the Civil Asset Forfeiture
Reform Act, and has written Rep. Hyde urging him to oppose
H.R. 3745 and to move H.R. 1965 to a vote during this
sessions of Congress.


The criminal justice approach to dealing with the problems
presented by drug use has created unacceptable social and
legal side effects. Due to discriminatory enforcement
practices and unjust mandatory minimum sentencing laws, a
disproportionate number of young African-Americans are in
prison for low-level drug offenses. While it only take five
grams of crack cocaine to trigger a five-year mandatory
minimum, it takes 500 grams of powder cocaine to receive the
same sentence.

Rep. Charles Ranger (D-NY) has introduced H.R. 2031, the
"Crack-Cocaine Equitable Sentencing Act of 1997," to
eliminate the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and
powder cocaine offenses. One of DPF's short-term priorities
is to raise public awareness of the injustices of mandatory
sentencing and its failure to have an impact on crime.
DPF's first priority in this area is the elimination of the
disparity in sentencing between crack cocaine and powder

Rep. Rangel has requested that supporters of this
legislation write to their members of Congress to express
their support and request that their representative become a
co-sponsor of this bill.

(You can call your Representative (or find out who your rep
is) via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224- 3121.
You can write to your rep at: U.S. House of Representatives,
Washington, DC 20515. Further information on asset
forfeiture is available from Forfeiture Endangers American
Rights, http://www.fear.org. Further information on
mandatory minimums is available from Families Against
Mandatory Minimums, http://www.famm.org.)


8. EDITORIAL: The General Invades (and Insults and
Infuriates) The Netherlands

On January 11, Barry McCaffrey, retired four-star general
and current director of the Office of National Drug Control
Policy (the Drug Czar), embarked on a scheduled eight-day
visit to Europe to see how drug policy was being handled
back on the Continent. The tour included scheduled stops in
"zero-tolerance" Sweden, harm-reductionist Switzerland, and
the pragmatic Netherlands. In the midst of an invigorated
domestic debate over the Drug War in the U.S., pulling such
a trip off smoothly was certainly going to be tricky. But
while diplomacy was clearly called for, McCaffrey, the old
soldier, had his guns blazing even before he boarded the
plane. Predictably, he shot himself in both feet.

The fiasco started days before his departure, when McCaffrey
told a CNN audience that Dutch drug policy is "an
unmitigated disaster." Needless to say, this did not go
over too well with his soon-to-be hosts in The Netherlands.
In response, the Dutch Embassy in Washington sent McCaffrey
a private letter calling his remarks, and their timing,
"curious" and "astonishing". McCaffrey's statement made one
thing clear, however: he was not going to Europe to learn
anything. Instead, it was obvious that he felt he already
knew all that he needed to know about drug policy, and about
the Dutch experience. Over the next several days he
proceeded to show everyone, except perhaps himself, how
wrong he was.

On the first day of his trip, during his stop in Sweden to
praise their policies (which include police pulling kids out
of nightspots on mere suspicion and forcibly drug-testing
them), McCaffrey handed reporters a "fact booklet."
Contained in that booklet, and reiterated by the man
himself, was the claim that the "Dutch murder rate is double
that of the U.S." In defense of the since-beleaguered Czar,
the numbers themselves (17.58 homicides per 100,000 Dutch
citizens, and 8.22 per 100,000 U.S. citizens) came from the
international agency Interpol. But even casual observers of
drug and crime policies knew immediately that something was
way, way off. "That's drugs" McCaffrey crowed triumphantly,
and questioned "why in the world they (the Dutch) think this
is a success."

In fact, Interpol did have its numbers wrong. As they
admitted later, they had included attempted murder with
murder. The real murder rate in the Netherlands is 1.8 per
hundred thousand, less than one-fourth the U.S. rate and
among the lowest in the European Union. The Dutch
government quickly challenged the claim, and McCaffrey and
his office were called upon to retract the statement. But,
warriors to the core, ONDCP would concede nothing. "Let's
say (that's) right," retorted an ONDCP spokesperson when
confronted with the numerical mix-up. "What you are left
with is that they are a much more violent society and more
inept [at murder], and that's not much to brag about." As
curious as that statement is on its face, it is even more
erroneous. According to the FBI, the corresponding U.S.
rate (for aggravated assault -- the U.S. doesn't keep a
statistic for attempted murder) is over 20 times higher than
in The Netherlands, at over 400 per hundred thousand.

Still later, another ONDCP spokesperson released a statement
chiding The Netherlands for being pulled into a domestic
policy argument in the U.S. The statement said that The
Netherlands should "repudiate" the U.S. "legalizers" and
further warned that nations ought to be aware of the impact
of their policies and actions on the global community. That
statement was retracted just hours later. One can only
assume that even McCaffrey and the drug warriors could not
attempt to pawn off such hypocrisy with a straight face.

America, after all, exports its drug policy by twisting arms
to insure that other nations, particularly source and trans-
shipment countries, surrender enormous amounts of their own
sovereignty in service to the U.S. war.

But if there is a level of self-awareness among the drug
war's leadership, it is minimal at best. And the events of
this past week illustrate well the crux of the problem.

Barry McCaffrey has spent his entire career as an officer in
the United States Army. During the latter part of that
career he was among the highest-ranking individuals in the
armed forces. He is not used to being questioned, much less
being called upon to admit he was wrong. And so, on one
issue after another, be it the state of medical research on
medical marijuana, the efficacy of needle exchange, the
economic viability of industrial hemp, or the murder rate in
The Netherlands, Barry McCaffrey, even when proven wrong
publicly and emphatically, simply cannot admit defeat.

And this is the problem with our entire drug policy, really.
Prohibition, for eighty years ineffectual and counter-
productive, does not, cannot work. But no one, not the ex-
general, not the bureaucrats whose careers depend upon it,
not our representatives who play to the fears of the
electorate and not our President who famously didn't inhale,
no one will admit that the emperor has no clothes.

It is disturbing, to say the least, that a public servant
such as McCaffrey, the man we are paying to lead us out of
the morass of youth drug abuse and drug-related violence, is
so consistently and spectacularly wrong on the facts. Even
more disturbing is that he is so self-certain that he feels
comfortable making determinations before he has even seen
the evidence. But most disturbing of all perhaps, is that
he refuses to admit error in the face of insurmountable
evidence. Because that indicates that he will never learn.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director


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