------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Pot Politically Hot (Eugene, Oregon 'Register-Guard' Columnist Don Bishoff Suggests He's Shocked, Shocked That A Lot Of People At The WHEE2! Hemp Festival Near Eugene Consider Medical Marijuana Reform To Be The First Step Toward Broader Reform Of Marijuana Laws, Even Though Polls Show The Public At Large Supports One And Not The Other) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 18:03:41 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore (email@example.com) Subject: DPFOR: The Register-Guard: Don Bishoff: Medical pot politically hot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ July 20, 1998 Don Bishoff: Medical pot politically hot By DON BISHOFF Columnist, The Register-Guard, Eugene, Oregon HERE'S A REVELATION, man: Some people pushing the medical marijuana initiative really do want it to be the pot camel's nose under the Establishment tent. Several told me that Sunday, as I strolled the grounds of Whee2!, the world hemp expo, around Bill Conde's lumber yard at the Harrisburg exit on I-5: They want outright legalization to follow medical legalization. "I have here an initiative petition to allow adults to manufacture, possess and consume cannabis," said Claude Tower of November Coalition. "It'll be on the ballot in 2000." The coalition is one of many groups pushing - this year - Ballot Measure 67, the medical pot initiative, and against Measure 57, the recriminalization of pot possession. Conde, who's been a sort of pied piper of pot for years, said: "If I had my way, you know, it would have been legalized a long time ago." He was rolling his own cigarette as we talked - and swore that it contained only Bugler tobacco. I sniffed it, and it didn't smell like pot - not that I would know. But what Tower, Conde and the others freely admitted sort of supports the claims of anti-drug people from federal anti-drug czar Barry McCaffrey on down: Legalize medical marijuana today and, next thing you know, anything goes. So is the revelation politically dumb, just honesty, or a reverse tactic? Hard to say, man. "The truth is, there is a whole movement that wants to legalize marijuana, and they obviously support medical marijuana because it's a step in the right direction," said John Sajo of Douglas County. He's director of Voter Power, another political action committee. Sajo held up a box full of filled-out voter registration forms: "What you find at an event like this is a lot of young people who have been completely apolitical. I would say 99 percent of them wouldn't have voted if they hadn't been here. These are marijuana voters." May not be the kind of get-out-the-vote effort Secretary of State Phil Keisling has in mind. Oregon is among a half-dozen states and the District of Columbia that will vote in November on legalizing medicinal pot. Oregon's measure, unlike those passed in California and Arizona, would legalize patient pot possession, with a doctor's OK, but not distribution by others. "If we do allow medical patients to possess and use marijuana, it starts to remove the stigmas," Sajo said. "We're not voting on (full) legalization this year. I think when most people go to the polls, they're going to vote on whether a sick or dying person should be thrown in jail." Allow for campaign-style hyperbole there. THERE'S NO evidence that people now illegally smoking pot for medical reasons - to relieve glaucoma, chemotherapy-caused nausea, multiple sclerosis muscle spasms, or epileptic seizures - have collectively spent a lot of time in jail. Fear of legal problems, however, keeps them uneasy, and others from even trying it to relieve illness. If they are allowed to possess it, would that lead to wider distribution among others? Stephen Gaskin, white-bearded 71-year-old founder of The Farm, a big 1970s hippie commune in Tennessee, laughed. "Were you here last night?" he asked. "Ken Kesey led this song-chant, with thousands of people here, which was: 'I swear I'll never smoke anybody's medical marijuana.' He had the whole crowd chanting that." Gaskin said The Farm hopes to do for pot what it did for tofu: Make it mainstream. "We're all a bunch of hippies and we know first-hand that the real trip about marijuana is that it ain't even that big a deal. ... Drug companies are rushing to try to find things that do some of the things marijuana does. "I think it works better than Viagra." John English of Eugene disagreed with everybody else I talked to. He was standing by the road leading to the expo grounds, holding signs that said: "Criminals one and all," and "Ask the DA to confiscate Conde's land." English is with a Eugene-based group, FOCC (For Our Children's Children), opposed to legalization of any illegal drug. Motioning to a couple of tie-dyed young people hitch-hiking across the road, he said he was there for them: "I lived that lifestyle for 14 years. I care about not only children who see these people using dope, but I care about these people." English dismissed pot's claimed medical properties and said that marijuana smoke contains more carcinogens and tar than tobacco smoke, with the same resulting death possibilities. Conde said earlier: "There's been not one reported death in a 12,000-year history of smoking pot" - which seems a bit sweeping. Me, I'm still convinced that medical pot use is worth trying, for humanitarian reasons. Full legalization is a separate issue, to be voted on separately - and later. Even if medical pot is a nose under the tent, it doesn't mean that voters will necessarily let the rest of the cannabis camel in. To contact Don Bishoff, call GuardLine, 485-2000 and enter category 3828. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- They Huff And Puff In California Fight Over Medical Marijuana ('The Boston Globe' Notes The Oakland City Council's Recent Vote In Support Of Patients And Interviews A Variety Of Players, Including Jeff Jones At The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative, Scott Imler At The Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center, And Matt Ross Of Attorney General Dan Lungren's Office) Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 18:46:23 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: They Huff And Puff In California Fight Over Medical Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mike Gogulski (email@example.com) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Pubdate: 2O Jul 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Author: Lynda Gorov, Globe Staff OAKLAND, Calif. THEY HUFF AND PUFF IN CALIF. FIGHT OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA In the back room of an otherwise bland downtown building here, a dozen or so men and women lined up the other day to buy baked goods laced with marijuana. The selection included ''Rice Crispy treats'' and chocolate chip cookies. The sweets came in peanut butter flavor, too. For those who prefer to smoke their supply, an even wider assortment was available in plastic bags with labels like ''Indoor Special'' and ''Fruit Loops.'' Cannabis in pill form was also on sale. The transactions were perfectly legal, according to the people who run the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and the people with cancer, AIDS, and chronic pain who shop there. They say Californians gave them that right in November 1996 when they voted to become the only state in the nation to allow medical patients to use marijuana with a doctor's approval. But both buyers and sellers are edgy these days, worried that the federal or state government will keep patients from the one drug that they say prevents muscle spasms, eases their agony, and helps them keep down food - and does so without negative side effects. In test cases that are being monitored by marijuana advocates from Maine to Alaska, the Oakland cooperative and a handful of others are operating in violation of a federal court injunction. Their defiance can be detected in the air: Although smoking is forbidden in the back room known as the Bud Bar, the sticky-sweet smell of marijuana was so strong it clung to clothing and hair. ''It is my medicine and it allowed me to kick every other pharmaceutical unless I'm in serious, serious pain,'' said Ken Estes, 40, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident 22 years ago. He now grows marijuana for the Oakland cooperative and teaches customers how to cultivate it in their closets. ''I've sat in my wheelchair behind bars because of it. Well, they can put me in jail again. I'm not going to quit.'' The outcome of the California drug war could set a precedent, and advocates fear a decision against them would discourage other states from pursuing similar policies. The issue is on Oregon's November ballot, and is likely to be voted on in Colorado and Washington state. Signature drives in Maine, Alaska, and Nevada have yet to succeed, but the effort to legalize medical marijuana there continues. ''Government opposition to medical marijuana, especially at the federal level, is voracious,'' said Dave Fratello, a spokesman for the Santa Monica-based Americans for Medical Rights, which pushed the voter referendum formally known as Proposition 215. The federal government says the sale or distribution of marijuana is illegal under any circumstance. The Justice Department wants US District Judge Charles Breyer to allow US marshals to padlock six northern California clubs, which were caught selling marijuana to patients without the requisite doctor's approval, and hold them in contempt. The state also opposes the clubs, which serve thousands of people, saying that Proposition 215 permits only patients or their primary caregivers to possess or cultivate marijuana. So far, state Attorney General Dan Lungren has succeeded in putting the largest club - the Cannabis Healing Center in San Francisco, with about 8,000 members - out of business, at least temporarily. Police in other cities have closed clubs too, after accusing them of selling marijuana to nonpatients. ''It's not something we're against,'' said John Carrillo, an officer with the San Jose Police Department, which shuttered a club and arrested its operator. ''We're just making sure everyone is in compliance with the law.'' Just the fear of arrest, however, is forcing clubs underground as in the days before Proposition 215, making an accurate count of their number difficult. Advocates estimate, however, that the number of larger cannabis clubs has plummeted in the past year, from a peak of 28 to fewer than a dozen. Stephen Shefler, a first assistant US attorney in San Francisco, said his agency is considering what action, if any, to take against the clubs not named in the federal lawsuit. ''Originally we opposed Prop. 215; now we're calling for a rational approach,'' said Matt Ross, Lungren's spokesman. ''A doctor can recommend it, a patient can use and grow it based on that recommendation, and should the patient not be able to do so, a primary caregiver can provide it - the key word being primary caregiver.'' The clubs counter that, by being part of cooperatives, members are pooling resources to acquire marijuana as inexpensively and efficiently as possible. Jeff W. Jones, the Oakland cooperative's executive director, said a quarter-ounce of marijuana can cost patients $40 to $110, depending on quality. That cost includes just enough to cover the cooperative's overhead and the cost of the plants. That's slightly below street value for 10 joints. ''Public opinion is way ahead of the politicians,'' Jones said. ''It started as a movement with the people and now it's accepted by some local governments. The next step is the state and then we'll get the feds.'' In the meantime, club operators say they want their day in court. Saying that voters already approved medical marijuana once, they believe a jury is certain to see the need for their distribution networks. But the federal case will be heard only by Breyer, who has indicated in previous rulings that he is likely to side with the government. At the state level, Senator John Vasconcellos, whose May summit on medical marijuana brought together advocates and opponents, is pushing a bill that would authorize local governments to create their own medical marijuana distribution systems. That bill recently failed in committee but may come up again. Lungren and other elected officials have endorsed a project at the University of California to research the efficacy of medical marijuana, whose palliative effects are promoted by many patients and doctors. Even the federal government supplies marijuana to some patients under the so-called Compassionate Investigative New Drug program. But the Bush administration closed that program to newcomers in 1992 - advocates say it was because too many AIDS patients were applying - and today it serves only eight people, most of whom have glaucoma. ''People with AIDS and cancer need it now; we can't wait until the research is concluded to fix this awful distribution system that has grown up on an ad hoc basis,'' said Rand Martin, Vasconcellos' chief of staff. ''The irony is that while President Clinton and his people are pushing to close our clubs down, the movement is spreading nationally. People want this.'' Yet even some cannabis club operators say that their operations are no panacea. They want medical marijuana to be reclassified as a prescription drug that can be grown legally and sold in pharmacies. As Scott Imler, who heads the as yet untargeted Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center in West Hollywood, put it: ''The minute the clubs aren't necessary anymore, I'll be the first one to close. Who needs this stress?... I worry every day that we'll be shut down.'' The same threat hangs over the Oakland cooperative, open since July 1996 and serving 1,350 patients, ages 18 to 85. Now a guard checks membership cards, and doctors' recommendations must be updated yearly. To be extra cautious, the club will not provide referrals to doctors known to support marijuana use; members must find their own physicians. The precautions, Jones says, helped the club spot an undercover officer who was attempting to buy drugs - an unmasking captured on videotape. The Bud Bar where marijuana is stored and cuttings are sold is off-limits to minors and monitored by another guard. On a recent day, in the course of an hour a dozen or more patients came and went, many shockingly thin, none giddy from a drug high. Marijuana, they said, offers relief rather than euphoria. ''My legs used to jump all over the place,'' said Yvonne Westbrook, 45, who has multiple sclerosis. ''The doctor prescribed valium, but I couldn't function. With a few puffs of marijuana, I'm just fine. My doctor understands this.'' The city council in Oakland, where Jerry Brown is the mayor-elect, has indicated it understands, too. Recently it voted to allow patients to store 1.5 pounds of marijuana - a three-month supply far larger than the state allows. The new policy also instructs Oakland officers to treat medical-marijuana growers as a low priority for enforcement and gives individuals two days to provide proof that their marijuana is for medical use. ''We want to conserve cop time and, at the same time, we don't want to harass cancer and AIDS patients,'' said Mike Nisperos, public safety liaison for the Oakland city manager. ''If this makes you stop retching, if it makes you feel less sick, we're saying go ahead. You're not hurting anybody.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitt Buzzed About Pot Project ('Reuters' Says A Story In 'Variety' Claims Actor Brad Pitt Is Showing More Than Token Interest In A New Line Studios Project, 'Smuggler's Moon,' The Life Story Of Marijuana Smugglers Kris And Bill Shaffer) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:21:21 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Pitt Buzzed About Pot Project Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Source: Reuters Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 PITT BUZZED ABOUT POT PROJECT NEW YORK (Variety)- Brad Pitt is showing more than token interest in a film project about marijuana smuggling brothers. New Line on Friday snapped up the rights to ``Smuggler's Moon,'' the life story of Kris and Bill Shaffer, in a seven-figure deal. Pitt is intrigued with the story, but will wait to see a script before he decides whether to star as one of the brothers. What New Line bought is a modern day ``Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'' story about the Shaffers, two brothers who spent 20 years operating a documentary film company specializing in diving for deep sea treasures. But unlike the majority of documentarians who make no money, these guys were wealthy beyond imagination. That's because the company was a front for the tons of marijuana they smuggled into the United States. Eventually, they were caught and served six years in Lompoc Federal Penitentiary. Paroled last December, the brothers, are now part of the legitimate movie business with this deal. The deal marks the continuing efforts of New Line to get back in business with Pitt, the actor who with Morgan Freeman turned the gritty David Fincher-directed ``Seven'' into one of the studio's top grossing films. Pitt has a preexisting attachment to one New Line project, the screen adaptation to the General Custer book ``Marching to Valhalla'' by ``Dances With Wolves'' screenwriter Michael Blake. It's unclear whether Pitt will actually star in that film. Despite recent box office misfires in ``Seven Years in Tibet'' and ``The Devil's Own,'' Pitt's stock is as high as ever because of advance word on his upcoming ``Meet Joe Black,'' directed by Martin Brest. Pitt is currently starring with Edward Norton in the Fincher-directed ``The Fight Club.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scoring Against Drugs (A Traditionally Simplistic 'Dallas Morning News' Article About Ex-Football Star Isiah Robertson's Rehab Program For 'Young Addicts' In Mabank, Texas) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 02:29:02 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Scoring Against Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Author: Elena Vasquez, The Dallas Morning News SCORING AGAINST DRUGS Ex-football star Isiah Robertson uses faith, discipline to help young addicts in his rehab program MABANK, Texas - Everett is looking for a second chance. He broke curfew and may be kicked out of the drug rehab program that he enrolled in seeking help for his four-year cocaine addiction. Five friends and fellow residents (like Everett, identified in this story by first name only) gather to determine his fate with the director of the program. Should he get heavy chores or expulsion from the program, where he was sent in lieu of going through the justice system. "He's got a good heart," says Stormy, 20, of Canton. "I'd let him stay." "Definitely woodpile," says Reuben, 20, of Plano. "He should be put on a short leash and grill his butt." The 6-foot-5, 275-pound arbiter is Isiah Robertson, the ex-linebacker for the then-Los Angeles Rams and director of the House of Isaiah. As Mr. Robertson listens to the arguments, his thick black eyebrows rise. His tapping feet peek out the front of the desk. "Any more suggestions? No?" he asks. Mr. Robertson, pen almost disappearing in his hand, hunches over a notepad to write the final terms of Everett's punishment. He then buzzes the intercom and bellows for his assistant to send the man into his office. Everett comes in to receive his ultimatum. Mr. Robertson peers over his bifocals and encourages Everett to stick to the conditions of his punishment and continue with the program. "You're going to do what it takes and God will help you," Mr. Robertson says. The ex-football star who was knocked down by a drug addiction in the mid-'80s knows what it's like to be on the other end of recovery. And Everett knows it. "If I left, you'd call the law on me?" he asks Mr. Robertson. "Yes, I've got two of Dallas County's finest who went to bat for you," Mr. Robertson says. The 18-year-old from Garland looks around the room, grins and asks: "How about that woodpile?" Christian doctrine and a strong work ethic - these are the paths outlined in Mr. Robertson's recovery program, the tools toward rebuilding futures that have been put on hold due to drug and alcohol addiction. Many of his residents are from Plano, home of a heroin epidemic that has claimed at least a dozen lives since 1996. "Plano has awakened to this tragedy," says Phil Mercer, senior pastor of the First United Methodist Church in Plano. A parishioner of Mr. Mercer's had heard good things about Mr. Robertson's program and taken his son there for treatment. "I think Isiah Robertson is a unique person himself, and has a unique capacity to blend authority with Christian love," says Mr. Mercer, who saw Mr. Robertson and a few of the residents speak at a Rotary Club meeting in Plano recently. "He's a disciplinarian," Mr. Mercer says. "The young men know that he's serious. I sensed that he has gone through the valley." For nearly 10 years, the House of Isaiah in Mabank, 55 miles east of Dallas, has been helping recovering drug users and alcoholics beat their addictions. Mr. Robertson offers free treatment to those who can't afford it and accepts payment on a sliding scale from those who can. Of the 30 residents at the facility, 10 are from Plano and 15 are from elsewhere in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. In all, Mr. Robertson says he has treated nearly 1,250 young men from the area. Some have come from as far away as Rio Grande City and from other states as well, including Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Jersey. Once residents make the pledge to take part in the six-month recovery program, they are to attend daily Bible and recovery classes, as well as nightly Alcoholics Anonymous classes. The residents are also expected to attend church revivals off grounds and must keep up their weekly chores. The House of Isaiah began in 1989 as a trailer on 50 acres with some livestock. Now the facility consists of a house on a 120-acre lot with a kitchen, recreation room, classroom and administrative offices. Most of Mr. Robertson's residents are referred to him by judges, police, probation officers, insurance companies, mental health facilities and churches. Mr. Robertson, 49, based the name of the house on a passage from the Book of Isaiah, 61:1, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me to release the prisoners and to set the captives free." His mission - to teach and save - was honed on the playing fields by a lifetime of coaching and mentoring young men. "The whole key to the recovery is bonding with these young men and developing a relationship so they can trust you," Mr. Robertson says. Mr. Robertson builds relationships with the House of Isaiah residents in a number of ways, at home and on the road. On a recent afternoon, he accompanied Terry on a visit with his probation officer. He used the hourlong drive to listen to tapes of Fort Worth preacher Dale Jentry extolling the virtues of clean living. Mr. Robertson considers him one of his "spiritual gurus," and wanted to share his enthusiasm. He turned the volume up. No one spoke the whole ride. Terry, 21, of Greenville, sat in the back seat, quiet yet pensive, using a rest stop to smoke a cigarette. His sunglasses hid his blue eyes. At one point, he lifted his shirt to show the thick scar that runs from the middle of his chest to his belly button. "I put a gun to my chest and pulled the trigger. My mother found me," says Terry. "I used heroin to come down from the cocaine. I was tired of shooting dope, tired of being alive. Heroin has a way of bringing down your self-esteem and emotions." Terry had been to two other rehabilitation centers before coming to the House of Isaiah. "He's a great guy," Terry says of Mr. Robertson. "He's got a big heart. He's positive inside. No matter how mad you are going into his office, you always come out laughing, even if you're in trouble. "At other treatment centers, there's so many in the chain of command. One person tells you one thing. Someone else tells you another. He's the boss. He's been there." Mr. Robertson has many admirers who know him as a tough man with a soft heart. "When you played against him, he tried to take your head off," says former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. "I played against him all the time. If you played against him you said, 'This guy's a real jerk,' then when you meet him you realize that was him being an entertainer on the field. He was a good character who, off the field, was the kind of guy who was a lot of fun." Mr. Staubach paraphrases a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. to describe his friend and former nemesis: "You need to be aggressive like a serpent, tender like a dove, you need a tough mind and a soft heart." "Isiah, for all his toughness, has a real strong heart. He really cares," says Mr. Staubach, chairman and CEO of the Staubach Co. headquartered in Dallas. "I think Isiah has always had this internal caring about him. Even through the tough times. That's important. Some people never give back, when things are going bad [instead] we're pointing fingers." Mr. Robertson remembers the lure of drugs 13 years ago. After retiring from a successful 12-year linebacking career in the NFL, Mr. Robertson went into the cell phone business and became successful. He owned 14 homes and five Mercedes. "I didn't want to get involved in drugs," Mr. Robertson says. "I just happened to get involved with successful people" who were involved with drugs. After being introduced to crack cocaine, Mr. Robertson says, he spent $20,000 on a 31-day binge. He entered rehabilitation programs but relapsed to a $2,500-a-day habit. He sold his cars and homes to pay for his drug habit and keep his business. Once the money ran out, he cut lawns and worked at a car dealership to make a living. One evening in 1986, two men drove a car through his L.A. home and beat him severely. He says he would have been shot if the gun hadn't jammed. While running away, Mr. Robertson was arrested by police and accused of possessing cocaine. He wasn't charged, but spent a night in jail before he was released. That's when he says he decided to come to terms with his addiction. "My life was based on what people wanted me to be," Mr. Robertson says. "As an athlete you're supposed to knock people's heads off on Sundays. Being a linebacker off the field, you have to have a certain image, a certain charisma. You become invincible and you develop these theories and values that you can't get hurt." He says that he liked "fast cars and pretty women." He said he got off track with the things that were important to him, "like family, integrity." Mr. Robertson has been married twice. He has one daughter from the first marriage and three children by his second wife, Peggy. Mr. Robertson was in rehab for three years, "two playing around . . . and one in recovery." He decided to move to Dallas after attending the Church on the Rock Bible College in Rockwall. He says he dedicated his life to helping young men who have made the same mistakes. One of those young men is Joshua, a 23-year-old Carrollton man with purple track marks scarring both arms. "He's not like a father to me, but he is like a father to a lot of these people," Joshua says. "When you start thinking stupid and straying off, you go back into his office and he kicks your butt back in line and you start thinking straight for another week until you start thinking stupid again." Thinking straight is a big part of recovery, Mr. Robertson says. During daily, Christian-based Bible and rehabilitation classes, Mr. Robertson delivers the word of God to the residents, often to a chorus of cheers and amens. Sometimes he takes his cues from his favorite preacher, Mr. Jentry, and tells them that life is like a race and you have to run not only to win but run with a purpose. "You've got to protect your future," Mr. Robertson bellows. "You've got to protect your potential. You've got to protect the gift that God has given every one of you. Don't be afraid." But Mr. Robertson knows he can't protect everyone. His charges often falter. One of his former residents, Roy, 24, recently returned to the House of Isaiah seeking refuge. He has fallen back into drugs and violated probation. A warrant is out for his arrest; police could come at any time. "You left here early and told me, 'Isiah, I am ready man. I know I can make it. I mean God has spoke to me.' " He asks Roy to step up to the pulpit. "So what is going through your mind now, Roy? What is going through your mind now knowing that [any day now], every computer in the state of Texas is going to have you in their system as a felon," Mr. Robertson barks. "Roy is looking at 10 years. Just take 10 years and throw them in the garbage can." Roy is silent. He asks to be excused and quietly leaves.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Smoking Vaccine Developed (Scripps Howard News Service Says Immulogic Of Waltham, Massachusetts, Plans To Test A Vaccine Soon On Human Volunteers That Blocks Nicotine From Reaching Receptors In The Body - The Company Has Already Begun Testing A Cocaine Vaccine On Volunteers, And Claims The Same Technique Would Work For Marijuana Consumers, If Not Alcoholics) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:23:52 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: New Smoking Vaccine Developed 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: Scripps Howard News Service Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Author: John Illman NEW SMOKING VACCINE DEVELOPED Smokers who have tried every way of quitting and still can't kick the habit could find the answer in a revolutionary anti-smoking vaccine. The vaccine has been developed by ImmuLogic of Waltham, Mass., which plans to test it shortly on human volunteers. The company has already begun testing a cocaine vaccine on volunteers. This is the first anti-smoking treatment which has attempted to neutralize the addictive effects of nicotine. The vaccine works by provoking an immune response with antibodies which bind to and neutralize the nicotine, preventing it from reaching the body's nicotine receptors and reinforcing the craving which hooks smokers. In other words, you could smoke if you wanted to, but since there would be no ``nicotine hit'' there would be little point in persisting. The new vaccines could be the forerunners of a new generation of treatments which would transform the way we deal with drug abuse -- from marijuana to nicotine. The key to the new vaccines lies in their distinctive chemical molecules which are easily identified in the brain by antibodies. Researchers had hoped to develop an alcohol vaccine, but Barbara Fox of ImmuLogic said: ``The alcohol molecule is too simple. For a vaccine to work, you need the antibodies to be specific for that drug, and to be easily identified. The cocaine molecule is very distinctive.'' The vaccine's development has been welcomed by one of Britain's leading addiction specialists as ``a major advance which could save as many lives as the early vaccines against infectious scourges like smallpox.'' Dr. Colin Brewer, director of the Stapleford Center, a British clinic which treats patients with drug addictions, said: ``Smoking is just like an infectious disease. It spreads from person to person. Nicotine is nearly always the first drug people use, the first drug they get addicted to, and the most addictive of all drugs.'' Brewer said there could be an ethical outcry if governments sought to immunize children against tobacco since vaccines can have adverse effects.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Win For Due Process (A Staff Editorial In 'The Bergen Record' Praises The New Jersey Supreme Court's Ruling Last Week That People Have A Right To Take Forfeiture Cases To A Jury - In Their Decision, The Justices Referred To Colonial Days When Ships Off New Jersey's Coast Could Not Be Seized Without A Jury Trial - 'Automobile Owners Are Entitled To The Same Protection Today,' Justice Stewart Pollock Wrote) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:50:18 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NJ: Editorial: A Win For Due Process Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: MCCLOSL@towers.com Source: Bergen Record Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 A WIN FOR DUE PROCESS THERE'S something unfair when the state confiscates a person's property without a trial. In big cases involving money laundering or organized crime, the tactic may be justified on grounds that the money or property will disappear if authorities don't seize it. Nevertheless, the common police tactic contradicts at least the spirit of due process and presumption of innocence. Even more questionable was New Jersey's practice of barring property owners from appealing such seizures to juries. The state Supreme Court's decision that people can take these cases to a jury is an important victory for individual rights. Prior to last week's ruling, people could appeal property seizures in civil court -- but only to a judge. The case was brought by Lois McDermott, a 65-year-old widow whose son was using her car three years ago when he was charged with selling heroin to a Monmouth County police officer. Ms. McDermott says her son, who pleaded guilty, used the car without permission. In their decision, the justices referred to colonial days when ships off New Jersey's coast could not be seized without a jury trial. "Automobile owners are entitled to the same protection today," Justice Stewart Pollock wrote. "The forfeiture of automobiles today, like that of sailing ships in earlier times, should be subject to the general rule requiring trial by jury." State Attorney General Peter Verniero says the state Supreme Court's ruling will logjam courts, divert law enforcement officials from investigations, and hamper the war against drugs by removing the threat of swift forfeiture. That may be true. But convenience and efficient law enforcement cannot be the driving factors in law. If they were, people merely suspected of crimes could be sentenced without trials. Justice Pollock summed it up best when writing: "Mere inconvenience cannot justify the denial of a constitutional right." Copyright 1998 Bergen Record Corp.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Frederick Brewing Second Quarter Revenue Rose 82 Percent (A 'Reuters' Financial Report On The Maryland Producer Of Hempen Ale) Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 11:46:04 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US MD: Wire: Frederick Brewing Q2 Revs Rose 82 Percent 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: Reuters Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 FREDERICK BREWING Q2 REVS ROSE 82 PERCENT FREDERICK, Md., July 20 (Reuters) - Frederick Brewing Co., one of the United States' first producers of beer made from hemp, said Monday its second quarter gross revenues increased 82 percent to about $1.6 million from $875,000 during the same period last year. The brewer plans to release its full second quarter earnings results on Aug. 4, the company said in a statement. The company said its gross revenues from the first six months of 1998 jumped 129 percent to $2.6 million from $1.14 million last year. A company spokesman attributed the increase to the brewer's intensified marketing efforts, the growth in distribution of its so-called Hempen brands and sales of the newly acquired Wild Goose and Brimstone brands. Hemp is a cousin of the marijuana plant, but the federal government requires that hemp seeds used to make beer must be free of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the narcotic agent found in marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawyers Found Guilty Of Helping Cocaine Cartel ('Reuters' Says A Jury In Miami On Monday Convicted Two US Lawyers, William Moran And Michael Abbell - The Latter A Former Senior Government Justice Official - Of Conspiring With Colombian Drug Barons, Relaying Death Threats And Making Payments Of Hush Money)Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:27:46 -0400 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: CanPat - Guilty Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 07:59 PM ET 07/20/98 Lawyers found guilty of helping cocaine cartel MIAMI (Reuters) - Two U.S. lawyers, one of them a former senior government justice official, were convicted on Monday of conspiring with Colombian drug barons, relaying death threats and making payments of hush money. A jury found Michael Abbell and William Moran guilty of racketeering and money laundering conspiracy. District Judge William Hoovelar declared a mistrial on two counts of drug-trafficking conspiracy after the jury failed to reach a verdict. No date was set for sentencing. Prosecutors charged that Moran and Abbell crossed the line from defending Colombian drug clients to participating in the narcotics trade in league with the Cali cartel. They were accused of making payments to silence informers, delivering threats and preparing false affidavits for cartel kingpins Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela and his brother Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela. Abbell, of Bethesda, Maryland, is a former director of the Justice Department's Office of International Affairs. Moran, 59, of Miami, is a criminal defense attorney and former U.S. prosecutor. A warrant was out for Moran's arrest after he vanished Friday from the federal court house when it was learned that the jury had reached a partial verdict. The two men acknowledge having provided legal services to the Cali cartel but denied they broke the law. The cartel was preeminent in the cocaine smuggling boom of the 1980s, shipping millions of dollars worth of drugs from Colombia into the United States. The Harvard-trained Abbell, 57, served in the Justice Department for 17 years, rising to head its office of international affairs in the Carter administration before leaving to start a private practice in 1984. As a recognized expert in extradition, he was retained by the Rodriguez brothers to keep them out of U.S. jails. They are now serving time in a Colombian prison. The two defendants' first trial ended in October 1997 after five months when the jury failed to reach verdicts on most of the charges. 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.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Union Head - NBA Players Would Bend, But Not Too Far, On Marijuana (A CBS 'Sportsline' Update On The Campaign By National Basketball Association Club Owners To Test Players For Cannabis Metabolites) Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 12:55:55 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Union Head: NBA Players Would Bend, But Not Too Far, On Marijuana 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: CBS Sportsline Contact: http://www.sportsline.com/u/feedback/feedback.htm Website: http://www.sportsline.com Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Author: Mike Kahn UNION HEAD: NBA PLAYERS WOULD BEND, BUT NOT TOO FAR, ON MARIJUANA Not that he would ever be compared to Richard Nixon, but National Basketball Players Association executive director Billy Hunter wanted to make his perspective on adding marijuana to the NBA's drug policy perfectly clear: "This will not," Hunter emphasized, "prevent us from reaching a compromise on a new collective bargaining agreement. But I will not agree to sanctions that are stronger than those put upon the general public, either. "We are not of the impression marijuana is a problem with the players. Remember, the players association took the lead, with the NBA, to outlaw drugs in 1983. It just hasn't been looked at in 15 years." WHEN THE DRUG POLICY WAS FIRST implemented, the NBA's problem substances were different than today's -- cocaine, crack, heroin, amphetamines and downers were far more prevalent. Since then, usage of that group has slipped dramatically in the NBA, as it has in the general public, and marijuana has been referred to as the "drug of choice" of the league's players. One report quoted sources as saying as many as 70 percent use marijuana. Hunter says there are lots of wild numbers out there but won't deny concern -- especially with the report of Atlanta Hawks free agent Greg "Cadillac" Anderson admitting to his involvement in a "cocaine distribution ring." "Let me just say the players association is against drug use and involvement," Hunter said. "I was provided with reports from this year by the NBA about 21 individuals who got into trouble, and it was reported more than once. Only six or seven of those were accused of using marijuana. We have 411 active members, so I don't call that a problem. "What bothers me is I've been quoted of having demanded, if the drug policy is modified, economic concessions. That isn't true. It was all out of context in our overall negotiations. We are adamantly against the use of drugs. What happened was I refused to negotiate in the abstract. I knew the collective bargaining agreement would be terminated and I wouldn't agree to a global settlement on the subject. Rest assured, if we settle on the other (economic) issues, the drug policy modification won't hold up the deal. It will get done." In one breath, Hunter says the players are adamantly against drug usage. In the other, he says there isn't a problem. Keep in mind, the negotiations between the NBA and the players association have grown increasingly acrimonious over the past month -- particularly with the lockout imposed by the owners on July 1. Still, Hunter insists this is an entirely separate issue that just happens to be coming to light at this time. THE OTHER COINCIDENCE IS marijuana usage might be at an all-time high in the NBA. The 70 percent figure might or might not be exaggerated, but to talk about only six or seven players being involved with marijuana is far more ridiculous. Philadelphia's Allen Iverson has been dangling on the edge of drug controversy, involving marijuana possession by friends, for two years now. Former Washington Wizards star Chris Webber was arrested for a traffic violation and accused of having a joint in the ashtray when he was pulled over. And there have been more than a few players convicted of massive possession in recent years. Then again, there is a huge difference between having a problem with marijuana as a way of life as opposed to occasional recreational usage -- even if it is illegal. "When they attempted to negotiate that in globally around the agreement, we agreed to go back later and revisit the modification to include marijuana," Hunter said. "We're just now getting around to it. But I think the sanctions were oppressive -- from 10 games as a first offense and on from there. I won't agree to something like that. I will agree to a compromise." As for alcohol, Hunter said that has not been brought into the discussion, but he wouldn't be surprised if it was not. As with every other sport, alcohol is the most abused drug. "They will probably raise that," Hunter conceded. "But that hasn't been included yet."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Blowing Smoke - Marijuana Use NBA's Biggest Drug Concern These Days (Another Piece On The Same Topic By The Same CBS 'Sportsline' Announcer) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:58:07 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Blowing Smoke: Marijuana Use NBA's Biggest Drug Concern These Days 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: CBS SportsLine Contact: http://www.sportsline.com/u/feedback/feedback.htm Website: http://www.sportsline.com Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Author: Mike Kahn, CBS SportsLine Executive Editor BLOWING SMOKE: MARIJUANA USE NBA'S BIGGEST DRUG CONCERN THESE DAYS The stock line with regard to marijuana use in the NBA for years went something like this if commissioner David Stern walked in on a team at halftime and they were getting high, he would have no other recourse than to smile and just say no if a player asked him if he had a light. Evidently, players rarely say no these days amid reports that as many as 70 percent smoke pot at least on a recreational basis. Because it's not included with cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and opium in the league's current drug policy. With the existing agreement with the union being scrapped in the current lockout by owners, the marijuana issue is one of the elements being carved into the negotiations over a new deal. "In 1983 (when the first drug policy was implemented), 70 percent of the NBA players used cocaine, and marijuana wasn't on the radar screen," Stern said. "Marijuana is something society has struggled with and, in some jurisdictions, decriminalized. For us, there was the more important issue of the epidemic of crack and cocaine sweeping the country. If, in fact, marijuana is a problem in society, sports has the opportunity to lead rather than to hide." BACK IN THOSE DAYS, AND EVEN more so a decade earlier, cocaine and crack led the way in the NBA. Teams couldn't wait to play the Warriors in the Bay Area; Oakland was known as "Cokeland," and the unsavory characters who hung with the players around the airport hotels were alarming even for the worldly NBA types. Guys such as John Lucas, Orlando Woolridge and John Drew came out of college highly regarded and ended up just, well, high. They fell into the trap of alcohol and cocaine, among other drugs. They played to get high instead of playing to win, according to Lucas, who now is in charge of the NBA after-care program. Woolridge continues to tell stories of what was and what he wishes had never been. "The troubles athletes go through are for a lot of reasons," said Woolridge, now an assistant coach with the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks. "There's so much money and time and pressure and people coming at you all the time from different directions, you have to really be together to keep your head on straight. How many people in the early-to-mid 20s are ready to handle all of that? There's no way to develop your potential if drugs are in the way." The problems of cocaine nearly killed the entire Phoenix Suns franchise in the mid-1980s when almost half the team was indicted after a Maricopa County investigation. Ultimately, one of the original members of the organization, team president Jerry Colangelo, brought together a consortium to buy the Suns and tear them apart from top to bottom. Colangelo still feels it was a witch hunt, but nonetheless, something was clearly wrong. Out of that trouble, Colangelo managed to create one of the great professional franchises, leading to him landing major-league baseball for Phoenix. It also earned him the reputation as one of the brightest visionaries in sports. "It was a horrible situation, and I cared too much about the Phoenix Suns to just let it fall apart," Colangelo said at the time. "There were a lot of people who made mistakes, and with the investigation as high profile as it was, they were going to nail as many big names as they could. We were lucky it wasn't worse." THE COCAINE PROBLEM FOR THE NBA had reached a zenith in the 1986 draft, preceding the Suns nightmare. The lottery was filled with nasal problems. The second pick overall, Len Bias, died in the wee hours after the draft from a cocaine overdose. The Suns suffered with William Bedford's coke problems. Roy Tarpley's immense talent in Dallas was snowed under by cocaine and alcohol abuse. Chris Washburn was the third pick overall by Golden State and was a washout, recently reported as living on the streets of Atlanta, then Dallas. That's four of the top seven picks going down the tubes fast. They've been out of sight and mind for years now. "Even in the middle of all that, we were blinded to how bad it was," Lucas said. "It was just like the game -- fast and filling you full of ego. What happened to Lenny Bias could have happened to a lot of guys. We were all lucky it wasn't worse." They fed off each other, blowing their way to the next city. So when Stern became commissioner and they put together the drug policy for the collective bargaining agreement in 1983, marijuana just wasn't perceived as a problem. They were adamant about exorcising cocaine. That wasn't accomplished for years, until less-harmful marijuana became the drug of choice. "When we drafted Washburn, we looked right past his problems," said George Karl, then the Warriors coach and fired by the Seattle SuperSonics last month. "He had so much talent, we didn't see the other side. A 6-11 player with power, floor skills and touch is all we saw. But once we got him, we knew something was wrong. Wash had all those talents and that size and couldn't play. Cocaine was ruining him. If you think a particular player is smoking marijuana, he probably is. But it's not as obvious as cocaine because there aren't the mood swings. I had a rookie who got on the elevator with me and just reeked of marijuana. I said to him, 'Rook, if you're going to get high before a game, the least you can do is change your clothes or take a shower or something before you walk out of your room.' "He showed more quickness running out of that elevator back to his room than he ever showed on the basketball court." NOW THE SITUATION HAS COME TO A HEAD, so to speak. You look around the league at teen-agers coming in and making millions of dollars and realize there's little that can be done without regular testing. Once again, Allen Iverson, the Philadelphia guard with superstar talent but horrible influences around him, is in the middle of something he shouldn't be near. A couple of his good buddies took his new car and were arrested after they completed a deal for cocaine and marijuana, according to police, last week in Norfolk, Va. This is the third year in a row Iverson's friends have drawn him into the media with drug-related problems. He was a passenger in his own car last fall when a marijuana cigarette and a gun were found under his seat. The year before, one of the two friends from this year's incident, Michael Powell, was involved with Iverson's car, a shooting and drugs. The sad part is, people around Iverson enough find him likable and congenial. He has just exhibited bad taste in friends, and it's going to get him into the same trouble he found when he was jailed during high school. The same goes for many other NBA players in danger of being dragged down by the clinging fingers of the less-fortunate friends they had while growing up. But the NBA can obviously do little more than keep the unpalatable people out of the locker rooms. Now it's just a matter of including marijuana, and probably excessive alcohol, on the table of these negotiations. Despite consistent denials from executive director Billy Hunter, Stern claims the only way those two elements get on the bargaining table to stay is with some return on it for the players. "But it's not as easy as it sounds," Stern said. "Our stance has been, 'Let's discuss it,' and thus far, the players have said, 'a) we won't discuss it, and b) if we do, you've got to pay us for it,' and that's a fact." For now, they're all paying for it. There is a lockout. There is a problem with attitudes and extracurricular activities, and it has affected the game itself as the aging megastars are on the verge of leaving. "I don't have a problem with testing," San Antonio star David Robinson said. "The only problem is the guys who take offense to getting tested because they're in denial over what they're doing. This is a pivotal time in the NBA. We can't let things get away from us, and the last thing we should do is let drugs play a role."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Clean Up The DEA (A Staff Editorial In 'The Seattle Times' Responds To Recent News The Drug Enforcement Administration Is Being Robbed Blinder By Its Own Agents, And Can't Even Balance Its Books) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:59:39 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Clean Up the DEA Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 CLEAN UP THE DEA FEDERAL drug agents are diverting money from the nation's war on drugs to pay for personal high-priced toys - and who knows what else. According to an outside audit, bookkeepers at the Drug Enforcement Agency can't track the whereabouts of millions of stolen funds, seized drugs, or sting money. Peat Marwick, a top private accounting firm, examined the agency's 1997 books and concluded that the office: had no system for keeping track of property and equipment; could not document more than $5 million in purchases, and had no reliable records for its inventory of seized drugs. Two criminal cases brought separately against DEA workers show how this lack of record-keeping encourages a culture of abuse. The first case involved a recently retired budget analyst indicted on 74 counts and charged with stealing $6 million over seven years. The employee is accused of spending drug-war funds to purchase and remodel several homes, subsidize family vacations in Europe, and buy jewelry, collector's coins, art and luxury cars. A second case involved a telecommunications specialist for the DEA who pleaded guilty to submitting purchase orders for stereos, computers, VCRs and a 50-inch television set. The Justice Department has pledged to fix the DEA's "antiquated financial system." But this isn't a complicated software problem or math puzzle. Endowed with a politically protected mission to wage the drug war at all costs, the DEA has flouted the public trust. If the Clinton administration fails to rein in this corrupted fiefdom, Congress should step in. The agency was created to fight crime, not breed it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Treat The Pain (A Staff Editorial In 'The Wall Street Journal' Says That, In A Day When Viagra Is Flying Off The Shelves, The Unwillingness To Put Serious Muscle Into Treating Pain Is A Puzzle, Noting 40 Percent Of Cancer Patients In Nursing Homes May Receive Inadequate Medical Attention And Report Daily Pain, And A Recent Report In 'The Journal Of The American Medical Association' Suggests 90 Percent Of Those Suffering Severe Pain From Cancer Or Other Diseases Could Be Helped) Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 10:25:54 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Treat The Pain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ NewsHawk: Mark Greer Source: Wall Street Journal Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ Pubdate: 20, July 1998 TREAT THE PAIN The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reported that 90% of those suffering severe pain from cancer or other diseases could be helped with drugs that have been available for at least a quarter of a century. This brings up a sore subject for the medical profession, because, as researchers found, doctors are not on top of pain. A study of almost 14,000 elderly cancer patients in nursing homes found that as many as 40% received inadequate medical attention and reported daily pain. In a day when Viagra is flying off the shelves, the unwillingness to put serious muscle into treating pain is a puzzle. The JAMA editors call the problem a "first-line indicator of poor quality of medical care." There is no magic bullet for this one, but state laws are part of the problem. Many states impose restrictions on the amount of painkillers a doctor can prescribe to a single patient. New York, Texas and others require physicians to file elaborate forms with state agencies, making it time-consuming and professionally risky to prescribe large quantities of certain drugs. The motive, of course, is to prevent doctors' offices from becoming a channel for the illegal marketing of drugs, but given the volumes that come over the border or are manufactured in homemade laboratories, physicians are hardly the problem. The Supreme Court, in 1919, essentially criminalized doctors who prescribe opiates to addicts, and ever since the professional ethos has been to bend over backward not to look like pushers serving up fixes to dependent, zombie-like patients. This imagery remains fastened on the minds of many patients as well as doctors, but when administered properly, painkillers can actually make patients more alert. They rest easier at night and function better during the day. Says Dr. Charles Cleeland of the Anderson Cancer Center, author of the JAMA editorial, "People think it is highly risky to give an elderly patient opiates when it really is the opposite. Elderly patients can tolerate and need the medicine." Dr. Cleeland points to a 1992 study of 550 patients on morphine, which found that "addiction was negligible, with only one observed case." The word is starting to get around. At some medical schools the message now is, "If you can't treat the disease, you treat the pain," says Dr. Nirmala Shevde, a practitioner at the Hemotology/Oncology Association of Long Island. We hope the change of heart will speed up research into cheaper, more effective pain treatments. Currently a nurse must administer intravenous doses of most heavy-duty pain killers. Innovations like a new delivery system for inhalable morphine would reduce costs and allow more patients to be treated at home. But it would also help if patients started speaking up. According to Dr. Cleeland, "Doctors continue to have a poor sense of how many patients have pain." It can't hurt to let them know how you feel. When the subject starts seeping into the medical journals, it's just possible they may listen. Copyright 1998 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Drug Chief Tries To Downplay Criticism Of Dutch System ('The Associated Press' Ignorantly Claims The Netherlands Has A 'Laissez-Faire' Drug Policy And Glosses Over General McCaffrey's Embarrassing Lies And Rudeness) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 12:27:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Wire: U.S. Drug Chief Tries To Downplay Criticism of Dutch System 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: (AP) Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Author: Janelle Carter U.S. DRUG CHIEF TRIES TO DOWNPLAY CRITICISM OF DUTCH SYSTEM WASHINGTON (AP) -- Drug policy chief Barry McCaffrey, returning from an eight-day European tour where the Dutch criticized him for his condemnation of their policies, sought to temper the outcry Monday. ``Friends are allowed to disagree,'' he said. McCaffrey's visit to Sweden, Portugal, Austria, Switzerland, England and the Netherlands was intended to provide a close view of their treatment and prevention programs and overall drug-fighting programs. But his declaration during a TV interview before the trip that Dutch policy was an ``unmitigated disaster'' overshadowed the visit. The Dutch have a laissez-faire drug policy. Marijuana and hashish are technically illegal, but the sale and consumption of small amounts of these drugs is ``coffee shops'' are tolerated by Dutch authorities. Hard drugs like cocaine and heroin cannot be sold that way, but are also cheap and easily available. After days of harsh criticism from Dutch officials and legalization supporters, McCaffrey downplayed the incident Monday. ``There are areas of agreement between the Netherlands and the United States,'' McCaffrey told reporters back on his home turf. ``I listened very carefully to their ideas,'' he said, but he believes U.S. treatment policy should be based ``not on ideology but on science.'' He said he was most impressed by the availability of methadone treatments for heroin addicts and said he wants to increase this country's capability to offer them. But he warned that they must be monitored closely to prevent diversion into the mainstream population. ``It can kill you deader than a doornail if you take the normal dosage rate for a heroin addict,'' he said. The United States has an estimated 455,000 heroin addicts, with about 115,000 in methadone treatment at 800 clinics.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Defending The Netherlands' Drug-Control Policy (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Washington Times' By Dutch Ambassador Joris Vos Rebuts False Information From The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey) Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 03:02:05 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Defending The Netherlands' Drug-Control Policy Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Allison Bigelow (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Source: Washington Times Contact: email@example.com Postal: 3600 New York Ave. NE Washington, D.C. 20002 Website: http://www.washtimes.com/ Note: We welcome your opinions on any topic. Letters should be signed originals. Every letter will be considered for publication, but we prefer those of fewer than 250 words, typed double spaced. All letters may be edited for clarity and length. Please include your name, address and daytime telephone number. DEFENDING THE NETHERLANDS' DRUG-CONTROL POLICY In a July 15 article, "McCaffrey takes his charge to officials in Netherlands," you repeat statements and information about the Netherlands' drug policy made by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. I am disturbed that you made no attempt to verify this material after being confronted with concrete information to the contrary. When your reporter called this embassy to investigate the story, he was given detailed information countering the charges about Dutch drug policy. He was told clearly and plainly that the homicide rate in the Netherlands was 1.8 per 100,000 (273 homicides in 1996), which is one-fifth that of the U.S. rate of 8.22 per 100,000. He also was told that the incidence of cannabis use in the Netherlands was 4.6 percent of the total population vs. 6 percent in the United States and that the incidence of youth drug use in the Netherlands was almost 50 percent less than in the United States in recent years. In fact, U.S. government data show that in 1995, almost 50 percent of high school seniors had tried an illegal substance, which is much higher than the 30.2 percent attributed to the Netherlands. We also explained our strong belief that most of the other claims made by Gen. McCaffrey's office regarding Dutch drug policy were based on an incorrect reading of the data, or simply incorrect data, and our belief that a responsible examination of the facts would put this odd, puzzling controversy to rest. The Netherlands and the United States have, in some respects, different approaches to domestic drug control policy. However, our goals in reducing the harmful costs to society of illegal drug use are the same, and our two countries have a close, constructive, cooperative relationship in this field. Joris Vos Ambassador Royal Netherlands Embassy Washington
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Judge Says EPA Overstated Cancer Link To Secondhand Smoke ('The Wall Street Journal' Says A Federal Judge In North Carolina Has Ruled That A 1993 Environmental Protection Agency Study Overstated The Proven Link Between Secondhand Smoke And Cancer - The 92-Page Decision 'Destroys The Basis For Those Agencies And State And Local Governments That Have Banned Or Restricted Smoking Because Of The EPA's Classification,' Said Charles A. Blixt, General Counsel For RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 23:10:54 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: EPA Overstated Cancer Link To Secondhand Smoke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ NewsHawk: Mark Greer Source: Wall Street Journal Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ Pubdate: 20, July 1998 Author: JACOB M. SCHLESINGER Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL FEDERAL JUDGE SAYS EPA OVERSTATED CANCER LINK TO SECONDHAND SMOKE WASHINGTON -- The tobacco industry won a victory in its battle against public-smoking prohibitions as a federal judge in North Carolina declared that a 1993 Environmental Protection Agency study overstated the proven link between secondhand smoke and cancer. The EPA findings have been a major factor spurring regulations and ordinances enacted around the country curbing smoking in public buildings, workplaces and restaurants. Though U.S. District Judge William L. Osteen's decision apparently would have no direct legal impact on those rules, tobacco executives made clear they would use the opinion to lobby against new restrictions and ease existing ones. The 92-page decision "destroys the basis for those agencies and state and local governments that have banned or restricted smoking because of the EPA's classification," Charles A. Blixt, general counsel for RJR Nabisco Holdings Corp.'s R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., said in a statement. "The court's ruling supports Reynolds Tobacco's long held belief that the science does not justify public-smoking bans." The ruling came in a case filed by the tobacco industry seeking to overturn the study, and was issued late Friday in Greensboro, N.C. Effect on Damage Suits Industry lawyers also portrayed Judge Osteen's decision as a major setback for nonsmokers seeking to win damages from cigarette makers. The EPA's finding that "environmentally transmitted smoke" ranks among the deadliest carcinogens has been invoked as crucial supporting evidence in those cases. "This is going to have potentially profound implications on litigation," said Michael York, a Washington attorney for Philip Morris Cos. "This should erect a huge barrier to those who would bring secondhand smoke cases." EPA Administrator Carol Browner said that the agency was sticking by its conclusions, and agency officials said an appeal was likely. Ms. Browner said Judge Osteen's decision was "disturbing because it is widely accepted that secondhand smoke poses very real health threats to children and adults." EPA spokeswoman Loretta Ucelli said the agency's attorneys were optimistic about winning an appeal, though she added that a final decision hadn't been made about taking the case to a higher court. Cigarette Makers' Recent Victories Judge Osteen's decision, first reported in Sunday's Washington Post, is the latest in a series of courtroom and political victories for cigarette makers in recent weeks. Last month, a Florida appeals court threw out a two-year-old landmark verdict against B.A.T Industries PLC's Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., in which a jury had awarded $750,000 to an air-traffic controller with lung cancer. That came shortly after the U.S. Senate quashed legislation that would have increased cigarette prices and expanded regulatory oversight of the industry. The tobacco industry has won a number of other lower-profile court cases over the past few months. In its 1993 study, the EPA rated secondhand smoke a "Class A carcinogen," the most definitive link that the regulator can make between a chemical and cancer. While tobacco companies didn't deny the possibility of dangers from secondhand smoke, they argued that the government overstated the connections demonstrated in its own studies. Judge Osteen agreed. He declared that the EPA's finding was based on insufficiently rigorous statistical tests and was therefore invalid. The agency, he wrote, "disregarded information and made findings based on selective information ...; deviated from its risk assessment guidelines; failed to disclose important [opposing] findings and reasoning; and left significant questions without answers." Industry's Mixed Record So far, the tobacco industry has had a mixed record in secondhand-smoke court cases. Last year, the nation's four biggest cigarette makers reached a $349 million settlement in a secondhand smoke suit filed by a group of flight attendants. The companies didn't pay the individuals any damages but agreed to set up a research foundation to further study the matter. Earlier this year, a Muncie, Ind., jury ruled that tobacco companies weren't responsible for a nonsmoking nurse's death from cancer. Two major secondhand-smoke cases are moving toward trial in Mississippi and in New Hampshire, lawyers familiar with the issue said. Plaintiffs' lawyers played down the legal impact of Judge Osteen's decision, noting that other non-EPA studies have reached similar conclusions about the dangers of secondhand smoke. "You can quibble with the methodology, but in scientific and medical communities, there's a consensus that the basic EPA conclusions are valid," said Stanley M. Rosenblatt, the attorney for the flight attendants. Mr. Rosenblatt asserted that, because the ruling hadn't been tested in an appeals court, the North Carolina ruling would have little national impact. But he acknowledged that "this case is helpful to the tobacco industry."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials Say They'll Fight To Save Bans On Smoking (A 'Washington Post' Article In 'The Seattle Times' Notes Politicians In Washington, DC, Will Respond With Typical Denial To A Judge's Ruling That The Science Doesn't Support Public Policy, This Time With Regard To Second-Hand Tobacco Smoke) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 03:09:48 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: Officials Say They'll Fight To Save Bans On Smoking Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Joan Biskupic, The Washington Post OFFICIALS SAY THEY'LL FIGHT TO SAVE BANS ON SMOKING WASHINGTON - Government officials say there is no turning back from today's widespread bans on smoking at work, in restaurants and on airplanes, despite a federal judge's decision that a government report declaring secondhand smoke causes cancer was seriously flawed. Ruling in a lawsuit brought by cigarette makers, U.S. District Judge William Osteen Sr. of North Carolina said the influential 1993 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report stemmed from faulty methods and failed to demonstrate the link between secondhand smoke and lung cancer. The scathingly worded opinion issued Friday accused the agency of committing to an anti-tobacco conclusion before the research began and ignoring evidence that contradicted its premise. While the EPA was not the first agency to target environmental smoke, its 1993 finding that smoke was as dangerous as radon or benzene quickly made it a catalyst for tougher smoking prohibitions. Many state and local governments, as well as private building owners, instituted bans on smoking inside offices, stadiums and restaurants. "No one wants to go back to smoking on airplanes, to smoking in restaurants. No one wants to go back to pollution indoors," Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala said yesterday on "Fox News Sunday." She and other officials said they would review the judge's ruling. "Anyone who's had a cold that's been in a room with a smoker, from a common-sense point of view, knows that anything that pollutes the air makes their breathing ability worse. So there is science there. What the relationship is between that and the EPA rules, we'll have to look at carefully," she said. "This country has fundamentally become a nation of . . . people who believe it is inappropriate to have to be in a place where they have to breathe tobacco smoke," Matthew Myers, executive vice president and general counsel of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said yesterday. A lawyer for cigarette maker Philip Morris said the ruling could become an obstacle to people who try to sue tobacco companies for lung cancer, heart disease or other ailments that they claim were caused by secondhand smoke. "They have to prove that their injuries were in fact caused by secondhand smoke," said attorney Michael York, "and the EPA study has been a cornerstone of lawsuits." While private studies had found secondhand smoke to increase the risk of cancer, the EPA's designation of environmental tobacco smoke as a carcinogen immediately increased political pressure for localities and states to act against secondhand smoke. The EPA estimated "passive smoking" was responsible for about 3,000 lung cancer deaths a year. State governments also were spurred by a 1994 Occupational Safety and Health Administration proposal that smoking be banned in every workplace, as well as states' own studies and those by nongovernmental groups such as the World Health Organization that found secondhand smoke a serious danger. About 63 percent of the more than 100 studies of the health consequences of passive smoking found it harmful, although not all found that it led to cancer, according to a review of the studies two months ago in the Journal of the American Medical Association. In the lawsuit brought in 1994, cigarette makers claimed the EPA action had prompted numerous government and private efforts to restrict indoor smoking in a way that financially harmed the industry. Filed by Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds and groups representing growers, distributors and marketers, the lawsuit claimed the EPA manipulated scientific studies and ignored accepted scientific and statistical practices. In his ruling, Osteen agreed, saying the EPA failed to follow standard scientific methods and procedures. He also said, "there is evidence in the record supporting the accusation that EPA `cherry picked' its data" to reach the desired conclusion. EPA officials said yesterday they are likely to appeal. They earlier had argued the judge lacked authority to review the agency's rule-making process and that the procedures used in the study were valid. "The decision is disturbing," EPA Administrator Carol Browner said yesterday. "We believe the health threats to children and adults from breathing secondhand smoke are very real." Robert Kline, director of the Tobacco Control Legal Clinic at Northeastern University law school, contended the ruling would not affect the ongoing tobacco wars because other studies have confirmed the EPA findings. "Enough people recognize that secondhand smoke is dangerous," he said. "It's going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canal Talks With US Falter ('The Chicago Tribune' Quotes A Political Analyst In Panama City Who Says The United States And Panama Will Probably Abandon Plans For An International Anti-Drug Center In The Canal Zone, Ending More Than 90 Years Of A US Military Presence When The US Returns The Canal In 1999) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:14:22 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Panama: Canal Talks With U.S. Falter Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 20 July 1998 CANAL ZONE TALKS WITH U.S. FALTER PANAMA CITY, PANAMA -- The U.S. and Panama probably will abandon plans for an international anti-drug center in the Panama Canal Zone, ending more than 90 years of a U.S. military presence here, political analysts said Sunday. Their observations came a day after U.S. and Panamanian officials said they stalemated on the deal, which would extend a role for U.S. troops beyond Dec. 31, 1999, when Panama assumes full control of the waterway. "I believe they are just letting it down softly, trying to not make a major issue of it," analyst Roberto Eisenmann said. "I believe it is finished because . . . the MCC (Multilateral Counter-narcotics Center) can easily be established in Florida or Georgia and be as effective as it would be in another country," Eisenmann said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Brisk Trade Exposes Peru Anti-Drug Model (An Unsourced Wire Story Says Peru's Globally Acclaimed 'Revolution' Against Drugs Ain't What It's Cracked Up To Be) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:47:44 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Peru: Wire: Brisk Trade Exposes Peru Anti-Drug Model Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David) Source: Wire Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 BRISK TRADE EXPOSES PERU ANTI-DRUG MODEL Sitting in his bare office near the remote Colombian border, narcotics agent Maj. Renato Solis is in the front line of Peru's globally acclaimed "revolution" against drugs - and clueless about what to do. A frustrated Solis is outnumbered by drug traffickers, Colombian paramilitaries and suspicious villagers. His efforts to patrol this no-man's land in the Amazon expose the fragility of Peru's image as the world's model drug-fighting nation. Solis, with two dozen poorly paid officers, one radio and a boat, polices 310 miles of Putumayo River. Experts say the region is a main route for hundreds of tons of semi-processed coca leaves.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Melbourne Is Not New York (A Staff Editorial In 'The Age' Says That With Just 1.4 Murders A Year For Every 100,000 People, Victoria Remains The Safest State In Australia, But With Armed Robbery Having Increased More Than 40 Percent In The Last Year, Primarily Due To Heroin Addicts, The Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, Deserves Credit For Recognizing That The Prohibitionist Approach Has Not Worked, And That There Needs To Be A Shift From Treating It As Criminal Problem To Treating It As A Health Issue, And Adhering To His Policy Of Allowing Police To Caution Rather Than Arrest People Possessing Heroin And Other Illegal Drugs) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 01:08:50 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Editorial: Melbourne is Not New York Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Age, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 MELBOURNE IS NOT NEW YORK And a zero-tolerance approach to crime prevention is not the answer. VICTORIA remains the safest state in Australia, with just 1.4 murders a year for every 100,000 people. Australia-wide, there are 1.7 homicides per 100,000, which is about the same rate as a century ago. Moreover, by far the most common place for murder or violent assault to occur is in the home. Our streets, on international comparisons, are safe. Even so, the latest national crime statistics do show a disturbing increase in property crimes accompanied by violence. Across Australia, armed robberies increased 44 per cent in a year. In New South Wales, they increased by a particularly disturbing 65 per cent. In law-abiding Victoria (with an overall crime rate about 20 per cent below the national average), armed hold-ups rose 40 per cent. There is one main reason for the dramatic increase in violent robberies: drugs. The Victorian police chief commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, estimates that between 40 and 70 per cent of crime is drug-related, that is, committed either by people who are under the influence of drugs or by people desperate to get money to buy drugs. This has important implications for law-and-order policy, and we applaud the fact that Victoria is taking a national lead in responding to these demands. Recently, after the success of a pilot program in which first-time cannabis users were cautioned rather than charged, it was announced that Broadmeadows police would also begin a trial of the scheme for other illicit drugs, including heroin. This is not an approval of drug-taking, but a recognition that the prohibitionist approach to the growing problem of drug dependency has not worked, and that there needs to be a shift from treating it as criminal problem to treating it as a health issue. The Premier, Mr Jeff Kennett, has been in New York talking to senior police about that city's ``zero-tolerance'' approach to crime prevention. However, he has said he is more interested in the New York Police Department's management systems than its emphasis on prosecuting people for minor offences. Mr Kennett deserves credit for adhering - against the wishes of some in his party - to his policy of allowing greater police discretion in minor drug cases. The increases in armed robberies are serious, but Melbourne remains a safe and secure place to live, and it is more important to try to remove the cause of the problem than to rely on zero-tolerance measures. As Mr Comrie says, there are no quick fixes to addressing crime. And what is appropriate for New York may not be appropriate for Melbourne.
------------------------------------------------------------------- $90 Million In Drugs Hidden In Ovens ('The Sydney Morning Herald' Says Federal Prohibition Agents Arrested One British National Friday And Made The Second-Largest Seizure Of Heroin In Australia's History Near South Wentworthville - 'Enough Smack To Satisfy Every Junkie In Sydney For A Couple Of Months') Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 09:36:54 -0500 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: AUSTRALIA: $90m Drugs Hidden In Ovens Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Pubdate: Mon 20 July, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Greg Bearup $90M DRUGS HIDDEN IN OVENS Just after midday last Friday afternoon, outside a town house in South Wentworthville, a container truck stopped. It was packed with commercial kitchen equipment: devon slicers, sugar cane pressers, bone saws, ovens, mincers and meat slicers. It could have been the makings of the most valuable deli that Sydney had ever seen but Federal police and customs officers got to the ovens first, and removed, according to police sources, "enough smack to satisfy every junkie in Sydney for a couple of months". In what was the second largest heroin seizure in Australia's history, 146 700-gram and 350-gram blocks of high-grade heroin were found hidden in the three commercial ovens - enough heroin to break down into 3 million caps, police said. They put a street value of $90 million on the haul. Drug investigations co-ordinator Mr Steve Emes said the container had come from the south-eastern Chinese city of Xiamen and arrived at Port Botany on July 7. "Through intelligence we had received and information that the Australian Customs had gleaned independently we knew that there were some drugs on the container." The container was searched by customs officers and Federal police and a painstaking exercise was mounted to remove the 146 packages from the oven lining and replace them with a "substituted material". The container sat on the wharf at Botany until customs clearance and on Friday a container truck left the port at 10.50am. When it arrived at Wentworthville at 12.15 that afternoon a forklift was waiting to take the equipment into the town house garage. A 33-year-old Lidcombe man, the holder of a British passport issued in Hong Kong, was later arrested and charged with knowingly being concerned with the importation of heroin. He was remanded in custody on Saturday and will reappear in Central Local Court this morning.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Massive Rise In Cigarette Smuggling ('Scotland On Sunday' Notes, Thanks To High Taxes Designed To Introduce Prohibition By Other Means, Customs Officers Estimate That Two Thirds Of All Tobacco Now Sold In Britain Is Contraband) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:46:18 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Massive Rise in Cigarette Smuggling Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Scotland On Sunday Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 MASSIVE RISE IN CIGARETTE SMUGGLING * Customs officers estimate that two thirds of all tobacco now sold in Britain is contraband By Mike Merritt Every second packet of cigarettes and two thirds of all tobacco sold in the UK has been smuggled into the country to avoid duty. Customs and Excise has revealed that proportion of illicit stocks of cigarettes and hand-rolled tobacco has risen by 20% over the last two years, an explosion fuelled in part by rising taxes. One of the main gateways for smuggled consignments is Glasgow airport, which is being used increasingly by organised crime gangs from the north-east of England. Once the tobacco is in to the country the smugglers use a network of unscrupulous traders to sell the tobacco on to the public. Now the government is planning a crackdown on the trade, with details to he announced in the next fortnight. It is concerned that the wave of smuggled tobacco is not only robbing the Treasury of hundreds of millions of pounds of income every year but also undermining efforts to reduce smoking among teenagers. Customs investigators believe under-age smokers are one of the main targets of the smugglers because illicit supplies are both affordable and readily available. Adult smokers are also being tempted, however. A recent survey by the pollsters NOP found that one in every five smokers had bought cheap under-the-counter cigarettes. Small tobacconists and corner shops attracted by huge profit margins, along with street markets, are the main source of supplies. The current price of a packet of 20 cigarettes is around £3.42 of which up to 80% is tax. Two years ago under half of the tobacco sold in the country was smuggled in, but the proportion has now soared to 67%. The dramatic rise coincides with tax increases amounting to 4lp a packet in the last two budgets. But it also comes at a time when organised criminals are switching away from drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy and into tobacco. Not only can the trade be more profitable, but the penalties, if the criminals are caught, are much less severe than for drug smuggling. "We now believe that two-thirds of tobacco sold in the UK has been smuggled into avoid duty - and that is 20% more than two years ago," said a Customs and Excise spokesman. Evidence of the increase in smuggling has emerged at Glasgow airport where seizures doubled in the year ending last March. Customs officers admit however; that the 2.3 million illegal cigarettes they found on passengers at the airport - up from 1.2 million the year before -was only a fraction of what they believe was smuggled through in suitcases. The amount dwarfs the 600,000 cigarettes that were confiscated at other Scottish airports. There are fears that crime syndicates from the north-east of England using Glasgow as a route to smuggle duty-free cigarettes from the Canary Islands - one of the main centres for the trade. The gangs are concentrating on regional airports because of the high number of charter flights that use them. Couriers from the crime gangs fly out of airports such as Newcastle and return through Glasgow to try and avoid detection. The rise in illicit cigarettes mirrors the increase in supplies of bootleg alcohol reaching Britain after the relaxation of EU rules governing trade. At the moment, passengers coming from EU countries, where some duty has been paid on tobacco, are allowed 800 cigarettes. Passengers carrying higher quantities have to prove they are for personal use. Customs men believe Scotland is also being targeted because it has a higher number of smokers than England. "In effect it is a ready and willing market," said the spokesman.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cash Boost To Keep Addicts Out Of Prison ('The Scotsman' Says Henry McLeish, The Scottish Home Affairs Minister, Will Announce Today An £8 Million Cash Injection For Alternative Sentencing Programs Intended To Reduce The Growing Number Of Suicides In Scottish Jails - The Biggest Boost In A Generation, A 25 Per Cent Increase) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:44:53 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Cash Boost to Keep Addicts Out of Prison Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 CASH BOOST TO KEEP ADDICTS OUT OF PRISON McLeish announces £8m for alternatives to custody Jenny Booth Home Affairs Correspondent Efforts to cut crime and reduce the growing number of suicides in Scottish jails will receive an £8 million cash injection today when the Government announces the "biggest boost in a generation" for alternatives to prison custody Henry Mcleish, the Scottish home affairs minister, will announce that an extra 25 per cent will be added to the £34 million spent this year on probation, community service and supervised attendance orders. Most of the new money, which has become available under the comprehensive spending review, will be devoted to cutting crime related to drugs. Much of the increase is expected to go to the proposed drug treatment and testing orders and to electronic tagging, both aimed at rehabilitating and stabilising repeat offender addicts who have chaotic lifestyles and commit multiple crimes to feed their habit These crimes could he cut if drug addiction levels were reduced. It is also hoped that, by treating drug addicts instead of jailing them, Scotland's unacceptably high level of prison suicides - more than double the level of England and Wales, and mainly among heroin addicts in the west of Scotland - will fall. Prison reform campaigners warned that the money, while welcome, should be carefully targeted. The Scottish National Patty said that, over three years and taking inflation into account, the rise was not as significant as it seemed. Last night, Mr Mcleish said. "The focus is on providing the widest number of alternatives to custody with an emphasis on tackling drugs. We want to really set in motion more effective strategies in tackling the causes of crime." The Scottish Office has chosen to make today's announcement at a bail hostel in Edinburgh, because part of the money will go towards providing more bail beds for prisoners on remand. Three weeks ago, Scotland suffered its worst spate of prison suicides, as four men and one woman hanged themselves while in jail awaiting trial. Mr Mcleish said that the crackdown on drugs would he two-pronged; trying to divert addicts from prison to wean them off their habit, and clamping down on drags inside prison through mandatory drug testing, rehabilitation and drug-free areas. "People in prison should receive the highest and most intensive form of rehabilitation. But before they get to prison we should try to treat them in the community," he said. "All this feeds into the agenda of reducing deaths in prison. An the different areas of the criminal justice system need to be working coherently in order to be more effective." Roseanna Cunningham, the justice spokeswoman for the SNP said that Mr McLeish was right to target money on options to custody but, spread over three years and after inflation, the sum was not as generous as it sounded. "I would be concerned to know where this money has been found from, in case depriving one area of cash cancels out the good that's being done elsewhere," Ms Cunningham said. She said that the cut in funding to the Crown Office - of 4.4 per cent in real terms over the next three years, on its =A349 million budget - would have a seriously damaging effect on the efficiency of justice. Tracey Thomson, the wife of a fifth man who attempted suicide in prison, David Thomson, said: "The deaths are all down to drugs. that's the main point. "David is very bad with withdrawal from methadone [a GP- prescribed heroin replacement] at the moment and he's getting worse instead of better. It is a disgrace that Greenock prison doesn't prescribe methadone, unlike Edinburgh and Cornton Vale. "All they're giving him for the symptoms is two yellow Valium, which is not very much when you have been on 75ml of methadone a day." Mr Thomson was found hanging by staff in Greenock prison after he was traumatised by the deaths of his friends and fellow addicts, Gavin Hester 28, in Greenock prison, and Mary Cowan, 27, in Cornton Vale women's prison, the previous week. Mrs Thomson was barred from visiting her husband yesterday on allegations that she was smuggling drugs to him. She vigorously denies the accusation and says that without her regular visits he may try to kill himself again. A Scottish Prison Service spokeswoman said that officers had the right to exclude people suspected of smuggling drugs and that Mrs Thomson should raise the issue formally with the governor today. Susan Matheson, the chief executive of the prison reform charity SACRO, urged the Scottish Office to target the money carefully. She said. "It would really make a difference if a proportion of the £8 million could be dedicated to ball supervision projects across Scotland similar to the project we are running in Edinburgh and Midlothian, which is estimated to have saved the taxpayer £3,400 per case."
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Big Exhale In Amsterdam (MSNBC Presents A First-Person Travel Piece On How To Enjoy The Netherlands As A Tourist) Date: Tue, 21 Jul 1998 12:21:26 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Netherlands: Wire: The Big Exhale in Amsterdam 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: MSNBC Website: http://www.msnbc.com Pubdate: Mon, 20 Jul 1998 THE BIG EXHALE IN AMSTERDAM Netherlands capital proves a great place to decompress July 20 - Marian Rivman begins her three-month, round-the-world voyage with a stop in Amsterdam, where the commuters use bicycles, marijuana is legal, and its easy to make friends with heavily pierced teen-agers. SCUBA DIVERS KNOW that when they've overextended the time they can safely stay at any given depth, they must decompress before they can surface. Decompressing -"gassing off"- releases gases that have accumulated in the bloodstream that could be dangerous on the surface. So its been in my life. After Ive been submerged in the details and stress of both my personal and professional responsibilities and commitments for an extended period of time, I need to decompress - to gas off - to exhale. Scuba divers hang on to a bar that's attached to their boat for their decompression stop. I hang out in Amsterdam. 12-YEAR TRADITION Amsterdam became my decompression stop in 1986. A good friend, Lianne Sorkin Fisher, and I had our first contract with the United Nations. We were consultants for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), which is based in Nairobi. We made four trips to Africa that year. Each time we went, we stopped in Amsterdam on our way to and from Nairobi. I thought of it as my "decompression stop" because I always arrived breathless having spent the days before my departure from New York in a frenzy of activity and Id return to Amsterdam from Nairobi reeling from sensory and information overload. My limited time in Amsterdam always mellowed me out - it was like one massive exhale. Amsterdam is the place where my dream of being an international consultant was born and came true. Every time Lianne and I were in Amsterdam, we stayed at the Pulitzer Hotel - and I stayed in the exact same room. "My room" was a garret bedroom with a sitting area that had doors that opened onto the roof. I daydreamed the big dreams in that room. I pondered my life much the way I plan to do on this trip. I relished the time in Amsterdam and refused to fly to Nairobi via any other route. Amsterdam is the place where my dream of being an international consultant was born and came true. Marian Rivman enjoys the view from the Pulitzer Hotel, Amsterdam, in this 1986 photo. The city and the hotel continue to be an important rest stop for the weary. I'm in Amsterdam now - at the Pulitzer Hotel - at a make-shift desk in the sitting area of my room. I cant believe its been only 48 hours since I arrived. Amsterdam and the Pulitzer have worked their magic again. I was so tense by the time I had left New York, I felt like I didnt have the strength, stamina or desire to travel eight hours, let alone 80 days. Im now in a completely different frame of mind. Ive had a terrific two days. The cost of parking is so prohibitive that people leave their cars at home. Amsterdam is a mellow city. No major traffic jams or the clamor of honking horns - the cost of parking is so prohibitive that people leave their cars at home. Instead they speed (and I do mean speed) around on bikes or use the first-rate public transportation or walk. I chose the latter. I love to walk. Ive spent endless hours the last two days cruising the streets of Amsterdam. When I finally got tired, I took a canal ride. Amsterdam hosts a lot of tourists from everywhere. The place is packed, hotels are fully booked and the museums all have queues. In the area around the Dam and Central Railroad Station, it seems like everyone on the street is reading a map for directions. One of the things I like best about traveling and particularly traveling alone, is that it gives you license to talk to strangers something I rarely ever do when Im in New York. I practiced exercising that license here in Amsterdam; not all that much of a challenge since the atmosphere here makes both natives and tourists open and friendly. Yesterday, I decided I would plunge into the "talk to strangers" phenomenon. My first encounter was definitely off the deep end. I overheard an exchange in what was obviously American English between a young, heavily pierced, backpacking couple who had just been asking directions to the Heineken Brewery. I went up to them and asked where they were from. Sacramento, Calif. We were headed in the same direction and started walking and talking together. In Amsterdam, it's easy to make friends with travelers of all ages, including Chad Conners, 19. I invited my newfound companions, Chad Conner and Jessica Maldonado, for a cup of coffee. We shared our stories. Chad is 19, Jessica 18. They are on their first trip through Europe and plan to travel for six weeks. They both had worked and saved their money so they could make this trip. Theyll camp out and travel around on a Eurail Pass. They were both smart, enthusiastic and earnest. I gave them tips on how to stretch their money and offered them the use of my shower if they decided to stay in Amsterdam for the night. Chad, Jessica and I hugged goodbye on the street after having walked through the red light district. Chad, Jessica and I hugged goodbye on the street after having walked through the red light district (we all said it made us feel a little creepy), stopped by a coffee house where we could have had legal marijuana in addition to our cappuccinos and snapped photos of each other. They went on to the Heineken Brewery and the promise of free beer; I went on a canal ride. On the tour boat I sat next to Lina Kits, a large, imposing Dutch woman from the most northern region of the Netherlands who was in Amsterdam for the weekend to shop and visit with friends. Lina visits Amsterdam about 10 times a year and always takes one of the canal rides. Her running commentary was far more interesting than the canned presentation of the tour company. By the time the boat docked, I was so relaxed I felt like I had been on a three-day cruise. Lina and I bid each other farewell and I was back on the streets. CONVERSATION AT THE BAR Over a club soda at the Pulitzer Bar last evening, I met Doug McDermet, 26, and Maureen McDermet, 27, from Montpelier, Vt. Like Chad and Jessica, this was also their first trip to Europe. Doug is a speech therapist; Maureen teaches sixth grade. Theyll be traveling for a month. Each has a backpack and a Eurailpass and Id venture to guess, a whole lot more money than Chad and Jessica. Ive spent the morning holed up in my room (for those who want to follow in the wake of my rumpled sheets - its Room 375) at the Pulitzer. Its rainy and windy and Im perfectly content to read travel books and write e-mails (oh, the miracle of modern communications). Im a mellower Marian than the one who arrived 48 hours ago, thanks to Amsterdam and the Pulitzer Hotel. Ive had my decompression stop. Im ready to surface. I leave this evening for Istanbul and the start of my adventure. THE LOGISTICS The Hotel Pulitzer has 24 renovated canal houses dating back to the 17th century. Its conveniently located within walking distance of most major attractions. Hotel Pulitzer Prinsengracht 315-331 1016 GZ Amsterdam The Netherlands Telephone: +31 (0) 20-523 523 5 Fax: +31 (0) 20-627 675 3 Amsterdam Tourist Office Postbus 3901 1001 AS Amsterdam The Netherlands Telephone: 020 - 5 512512 Fax: 020-6 252 869 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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