------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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)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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Take This Plant And Shove It Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mira Ingram Pubdate: Fri, 17 July 1998 Source: OC Weekly (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 714-708-8410 Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/ Author: Nick Schou TAKE THIS PLANT AND SHOVE IT 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 transactions. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US:CA: Busey Repents For Drug-riddled Past Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/ Author: Ron Miller - Knight Ridder Newspapers BUSEY REPENTS FOR DRUG-RIDDLED PAST 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 checks." 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Pegasus' 'Reefer Madness' Has A New Subplot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Dallas Morning News Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Author: Lawson Taitte PEGASUS' 'REEFER MADNESS' HAS A NEW SUBPLOT 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Editorial: Asset Forfeiture - Guidelines for Seizing Property Need to Be Tightened Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 ASSET FORFEITURE 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 reach. 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: TX: Cops May Have Had Right To Shoot Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 02:44:18 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Tammera Halphen (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri. July 17, 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Author: Rad Sallee and Jo Ann Zuniga COPS MAY HAVE HAD RIGHT TO SHOOT 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 crime." 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 Houston. 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 burglary." 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 shooting. 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 case. "There are damn few exceptions to searching someone's private residence," he said. "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 bedroom. 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 vacant. "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)Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 22:24:15 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Study Links Pot To Cancer, Mutations Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: San Mateo Times Section: page 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.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.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.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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IL: WIRE: Three Chicago Police Officers Charged In Robbery Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 THREE CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS CHARGED IN ROBBERY 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: 63-Year-Old's Lawsuit Links Viagra With Heart Attack Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: Associated Press 63-YEAR-OLD'S LAWSUIT LINKS VIAGRA WITH HEART ATTACK 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NJ: Court Says Informant's Tip Didn't Justify Police Search Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ghamal de la Guardia (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Bergen Record, The (NJ) Pubdate: 17, July 1998 Contact: http://www.bergen.com/cgi-bin/feedback Website: http://www.bergen.com/index.html Author: JENNIFER VAN DOREN COURT SAYS INFORMANT'S TIP DIDN'T JUSTIFY POLICE SEARCH 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 someone." 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 surveillance. "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 (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: CanPat - Wonder How Many More are Involved Daily? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 charges. 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. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: C.I.A. Worked With Suspected Drug Traffickers, Report Admits Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: James Risen C.I.A. WORKED WITH SUSPECTED DRUG TRAFFICKERS, REPORT ADMITS 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 CIA. 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 smuggling. 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 notification. 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 organizations." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Notorious Thalidomide Ok'd for Use by Lepers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Author: Sabin Russell, Chronicle Staff Writer NOTORIOUS THALIDOMIDE OKD FOR USE BY LEPERS 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. PAINFUL MOUTH ULCERS 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. OVERLY CAUTIOUS FDA? 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 proliferating. 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 thalidomide. 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. EXTREME PRECAUTIONS 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 prescription. -- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: CANADA: Thalidomide Aproval Alarms Victim Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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" THALIDOMIDE APPROVAL ALARMS VICTIM 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NYT: U.S. Drug Chief Sees How Dutch Manage Liberal Drug Program Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus-Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Author: Marlise Simons U.S. DRUG CHIEF SEES HOW DUTCH MANAGE LIBERAL DRUG PROGRAM 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 narcotics. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Netherlands: US Drug Adviser Mutes Harsh Criticism Of Netherlands Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 US DRUG ADVISER MUTES HARSH CRITICISM OF NETHERLANDS 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 drugs. ''When I'm asked what the most dangerous drug in America is, my response is: It's a 12-year-old regularly using marijuana,'' he said. The Netherlands, often considered a front-runner in the area of drugs tolerance, argues there should be a strict separation between hard and soft drugs policy. It tolerates the small-scale use of soft drugs but actively discourages the use of hard drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Chief Unconvinced By Dutch Policy ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Version) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN"
Subject: MN: Netherlands: Drug Chief Unconvinced By Dutch Policy Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 03:17:14 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ DRUG CHIEF UNCONVINCED BY DUTCH POLICY 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 addicts. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Netherlands: Drug czar gets lesson on Dutch 'disaster' Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 DRUG CZAR GETS LESSON ON DUTCH 'DISASTER' Policy differences The U.S. official visits the Netherlands days after his harsh public assessment. 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 (email@example.com) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 17 Jul 1998 DUTCH OFFICIALS SAY U.S. DRUG TSAR VISIT USEFUL 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 experimenting. ``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 Thursday. 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 Interpol.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drugs Czar At Odds With Dutch (The BBC Version) Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 19:10:39 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Netherlands: US Drugs Czar At Odds With Dutch Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: BBC Contact: email@example.com Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 US DRUGS CZAR AT ODDS WITH DUTCH 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 experimenting. 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 (ecstasy). 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Netherlands: Quote from General McC. To: email@example.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 weten.' 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Fratello (email@example.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: (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 following: "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. Imagine: "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)Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 09:59:22 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Swiss Say Mexico Leader's Brother Took Drug Money Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: Canada: Benefits Found In Marijuana Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 03:09:43 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Friday, July 17, 1998 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ BENEFITS FOUND IN MARIJUANA 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Drug turf up for bids Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 10:08:25 -0700 Lines: 160 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Montreal Gazette Online Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri 17 Jul 1998 Section: News A1 / FRONT Author: PAUL CHERRY 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 narcotics. 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 retain. ``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 said. 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 dealing. 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 today. ``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')Date: Sat, 18 Jul 1998 01:31:10 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Hemp Beer Hits Britain - But You Won't Get Stoned Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Cannabis Seized on Navy Destroyer Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 CANNABIS SEIZED ON NAVY DESTROYER 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 50 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 50 -- JULY 17, 1998 -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto: email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.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 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html.) TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Week Online Hits 50th Issue, DRCNet on the Move http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#our50th 2. Drug Crazy Update http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#drugcrazy 3. Drug Czar Gets Facts Wrong Again... Infuriates Dutch on Eve of Visit http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#footinmouth 4. Wire Report of the Week http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#wire 5. Prohibition Poll on Time Online http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#poll 6. Taliban Ban Television http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#taliban 7. Legislative Update http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#legislation 8. EDITORIAL: The General Invades (and Insults and Infuriates) The Netherlands http://www.drcnet.org/wol/50.html#editorial *** 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. BUMPER STICKERS AVAILABLE 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 email@example.com), and be sure to include your full name and current mailing address. EYEGIVE UPDATE 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 http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060. 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 Explorer. 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 non-profit. 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! A NOTE OF THANKS 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. *** 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 confidential." 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 said." DRCNet issues the following press release to over 100 media outlets: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JULY 14, 1998 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 purpose. 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 given. 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 opinion? MCCAFFREY: Well I think that there is an enormous amount of press attention, perhaps others, to what has been a very stiff internal debate in the United States, driven on one side by those of us in both public and private life who have 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 commentary. *** 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 email@example.com or visit DPF's web site at http://www.dpf.org. MONEY LAUNDERING BILL EXPANDS CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE 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 would: * 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. REP.RANGEL SEEKS ELIMINATION OF SENTENCING DISPARITY 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 cocaine. 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 *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ STOP THE DRUG WAR SITE http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to 1998 Daily News index for July 16-22
to Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980717.html