Portland NORML News - Thursday, July 23, 1998

Hemp Racing Team's Finish In Portland (A Portland Correspondent
Recounts Sunday's Appearance At Portland International Raceway
Of The Motorcycle Racing Team Dedicated To Promoting Industrial Hemp)
Link to earlier story
Sender: stanford@crrh.org Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 18:04:31 -0700 To: pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org From: "D. Paul Stanford" (stanford@crrh.org) Subject: HRT's Finish in Portland Hemp Racing Team (HRT) debuted their 1998 team with an 11th place finished in the 600cc Formula USA 103 horsepower Pro Tech class at Portland International Raceway, Sunday July 19th. Riding the 2 week old Kawasaki ZX-6R, HRTıs rider Marcello del Giudice enjoyed the challenge of dealing with Kawasakiıs stock suspension. He quickly ran out of adjustment to deal with PIRıs ultra fast turn 6. With help from Circuit One Suspension specialists, they managed to tame a high speed wobble with a softer spring. Circuit One installed the spring just in time for Sundays mornings only warm up session.. The softer spring did help with the wobble, and Marcello managed eleventh despite a bad start that had him twentieth on the first lap. ³We are delighted with our 11th place finish, which reflects the incredible abilities of our team,² stated HRTıs owner, Yvonne Ramage. ³Marcello shined this weekend with professionalism and years of racing experience, as he was chasing suspension problems. He had not been on a track in 10 months and had not been on a 600cc motorcycle in 8 years. With these things behind him, his racing was impressive. HRT is fortunate to have Marcello as our rider.² Ed Saukkooja, board member of the Hemp Industry Association (HIA), appeared Sunday with his Hemp Express boxvan/billboard. The large Hemp Express van helped lure spectators into the HRTıs pit filled with displays about industrial hemp and products made from the hemp fiber. Many of the racing spectators were interested in our program, asking questions and taking literature. MEDIA EVENTS: This event was a televised event and will show on SpeedVision (dates and times TBA). Marcello sang the national anthem to begin the races. SPONSORS: P-Pro Racing, Bridgestone, EBC, Micron, Circuit One, RPM, Night Wing We are working to regulate and tax adult marijuana sales, allow doctors to prescribe cannabis and allow the unregulated production of industrial hemp! Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp CRRH P.O. Box 86741 Portland, OR 97286 Phone:(503) 235-4606 Fax:(503) 235-0120 Web: http://www.crrh.org/

Cops Lost In Smoke And Mirrors ('Oregonian' Columnist Steve Duin
Helps Manufacture Consensus On Drug Policy By Discussing Why There's Never
A Police Officer Around In Portland When You Need One - Without Mentioning
The Possibility That It's Because They're Off Chasing Pot Smokers,
Pot Growers, Or Perpetrators Of Other Consensual Crimes)

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

Cops lost in smoke and mirrors

Thursday, July 23 1998

By Steve Duin
The Oregonian

There aren't enough Portland cops to keep traffic units on the streets in
the dark hours when the town drunks head home.

When your old GTO or new Mercedes is prowled, there are only enough cops to
mail you the insurance form.

And from June 1997 through March 1998 -- the glory days of high school
fugitive Tom Curtis -- there weren't enough cops to fully staff the robbery

Do we see a pattern here?

There aren't enough cops -- at least, not enough on the streets where you live.

"The citizens are being deceived about what we're able to do for them," said
Tom Mack, secretary-treasurer of the Portland Police Association. "Our job
is to provide the citizens of Portland with emergency coverage. If we're not
doing that, we are failing you miserably."

And -- as Mack argued in a July column in the union's Rap Sheet -- the
bureau can't do that because so many officers have been pulled off the
street for community-policing adventures and what he called
headline-grabbing "press missions."

"How can we continue with promotions, speciality units and the mayor's
special projects," Mack wrote, "when we cannot meet our basic responsibility
to the citizens and to officers to provide quick, adequate and safe
responses to emergency calls?"

Mack makes his case with some stunning numbers. According to figures Mack
said were supplied by the chief's office, the bureau's five precincts are
operating at less than 72 percent of authorized strength.

Southeast Precinct, for example, should have 121 officers; it's hamstrung
with 81. Northeast needs 118 officers to get the job done; it's scraping by
with 77.

Specialty squads such as the auto-theft task force and the gang unit,
however, are filled to the gills. Mack said he was told by Assistant Chief
Dave Butzer the specialty units are staffed at 100 percent. (The chief's
office now disputes this.)

That explains, I guess, why officers have been yanked off the street to type
newsletters for the Neighborhood Response Teams.

No wonder Chief Charles Moose is promising a 14 percent reduction in
reported crime.

"If I keep my strength on the street low, I'll get an automatic reduction in
crime," Mack said. "If I keep you so busy you don't have time to make
arrests, there will be a lot less reported crime."

You might think the chief's office would applaud Mack's call for a larger
presence on the streets.

Think again. "Tom is giving you the worst-case scenario," said Bruce Prunk,
assistant chief of operations. "It's really simple if you're sitting in the
union office. Tom puts the spin on it that makes the poor street officer
seem overworked."

Mack spent 16 years on the street, most of them in Old Town, before moving
into that union office. It's true the bureau has been stymied by a hiring
chill, hefty retirements and intense competition for the best officer

But what complicates staffing decisions, more often than not, are the smoke
and mirrors of politics, not the flesh and blood of crime stats.

Behind closed doors, I'm told, the precinct captains have argued for
disbanding the gang unit. Moose, who still remembers life as a street cop,
has advocated sacrificing the auto-theft task force.

But this is Mayor Vera Katz's police force and the mayor's ballgame. The
mayor is "trying to strike a balance between specialty units and
nonspecialty units," said Sam Adams, her chief of staff.

At the moment, someone should tell Katz her nonspecialty units -- the street
cops -- are feeling overworked, outmanned and all too aware they're not
there when you need one.

You can reach Steve Duin by phone at 221-8597, by fax at 294-5159, by e-mail
at Steveduin@aol.com, or by mail at 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland 97201.

McWilliams In Jail (List Subscribers Spread The Word
That California Medical Marijuana Activist And Patient Peter McWilliams,
A Best-Selling Author, Was Taken Away At Dawn By Federal Agents -
Todd McCormick And Others Also Face New Charges)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 21:23:01 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: Cletus Nelson (teevee@earthlink.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: Re; McWilliams in jail


I just got word from an airtight source that McWilliams was busted by
the feds this morning at 6am on charges of manufacturing, conspiracy
etc. Anyone heard anything about this?



Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:16:10 -0400
From: Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net)
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: CanPat - [Fwd: Fwd: Re; McWilliams in jail]
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

From: annmaria@webtv.net (ann mccormick)
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:02:43 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Fwd: Re; McWilliams in jail

Sorry about all the scrolling, I just confirmed the attached message
through Jack's office.


Peter McWilliams was arrested today, additional charges have been added
to Todd and they are indicting 'several others'. That's all I know.


compassionate care alliance
po-box 3141
Darlington, RI 02861


Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:59:53 -0600 (MDT)
From: ammo (ammo@levellers.org)
To: drctalk (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Peter McWilliams Busted?
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

July 23, 1998

I received this email from Ann McCormick, Todd's mother. This is all
the info. I have. For background on the trials of Peter McWilliams and
Todd McCormick, see:


Laura Kriho
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project

>Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:02:43 -0400 (EDT)
>From: ann mccormick (annmaria@webtv.net)
>Subject: Fwd: Re; McWilliams in jail
>Sorry about all the scrolling, I just confirmed the attached message
>through Jack's office.
>Peter McWilliams was arrested today, additional charges have been added
>to Todd and they are indicting 'several others'. That's all I know.
>compassionate care alliance
>po-box 3141
>Darlington, RI 02861

Marijuana Advocate Is Indicted On Conspiracy Charge ('The Los Angeles Times'
Says A Federal Grand Jury In Los Angeles Has Indicted Medical Marijuana
Patient/Activists Todd McCormick, Peter McWilliams, And Seven Others -
The Cultivation- And Trafficking-Related Charges Include An Alleged Attempt
To Sell Cannabis To The Los Angeles Cannabis Buyer's Club, Which Scott Imler
Says Has Never Purchased Marijuana From Outside Sources)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 01:06:32 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Marijuana Advocate
is Indicted on Conspiracy Charge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Wire
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: David Rosenzweig (c) 1998, Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES -- Todd McCormick, the medical marijuana advocate who says he
was growing pot at a mansion to help relieve chronic cancer pain, was
actually part of a conspiracy to cultivate large amounts of marijuana for
commercial sale, according to a federal grand jury indictment unsealed

The nine-count indictment charges McCormick and eight others with
conspiracy and possession of marijuana for sale. Several defendants,
including McCormick, had been indicted previously.

The new indictment says that more than 6,000 marijuana plants were
cultivated for illegal sale using elaborate equipment at four homes,
including the mansion in the Bel-Air area of Los Angeles.

At the center of the scheme, according to the indictment, was Peter
McWilliams, 48, owner of Prelude Press, a West Hollywood publishing house,
who allegedly advanced more than $100,000 to rent the properties and
purchase indoor lights, pots, soil, fans and seeds used to grow the plants.

Some of the marijuana was raised at McWilliams' home, the indictment charged.

The group allegedly tried to negotiate a deal to sell their crops to the
Los Angeles Cannabis Buyer's Club, which has been dispensing marijuana
since Californians voted to legalize the drug for medical usage in 1996.

Scott Imler, executive director of the Buyer's Club, said Thursday that his
organization has never purchased marijuana from outside sources. ``We grow
everything here,'' he added.

Two Arrested For Alleged Pot Powerhouse ('The Associated Press' Version)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 10:42:45 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: annmaria@webtv.net (ann mccormick)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: Re: (Fwd) crossing the line

In 1968 the Federal government tried to scare the peace movement into
silence by using federal conspiracy laws to create the Chicago 8.

In 1998 the same 'good ol boy' gang has used the same laws to create the

This issue has grown to be about so much more than marijuana. We are
receiving a graphic picture of how those who are currently in control of
this once and future (?) great country, truly feel about democracy, the
United States Constitution and about the citizens they are supposed to

At this point - I need to take several deep breaths and a long, solitary
walk. I will have much more to say... later.

Date: Fri, Jul 24, 1998, 7:22am (EDT+4)
To: annmaria@webtv.net (ann mccormick)
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Subject: crossing the line

Todd McCormack & Peter McWilliams busted by the feds! This is a major
attack on med mj by the feds. This is going to be a big story, I think.





LOS ANGELES, July 23 - Two men were arrested Thursday on charges of
engaging in a conspiracy to grow more than 6,000 marijuana plants and to
distribute the drug throughout Southern California.

Five other defendants previously arrested, and two people who are
fugitives, were also named in a superseding indictment returned by a
federal grand jury in Los Angeles.

The nine-count indictment alleges that marijuana was grown at four
locations in Los Angeles County in an operation that received funds
through a publishing company run by one of the defendants.

On one of the four sites, 4,116 marijuana plants were being grown,
according to federal prosecutors.

Those arrested Thursday were Peter McWilliams, 48, of Los Angeles, who
owns Prelude Press, and David Richards, 25, of Lancaster.

Also indicted, but previously arrested, were: - Todd McCormick, 27, of
Bel-Air; - Kirill Dyjine, also known as Hermes Zygott, 33, of Hollywood;
- Andrew Scott Hass, 34, of Malibu and Bellingham, Wa.; - Christopher
Carrington, 32, of Manhattan Beach; - and Gregg Collier, 25, of Van Nuys
and Bellingham.

The two fugitives were identified as Aleksandra Evanguelidi, 24, and
Renee Boje, 28, both of Los Angeles.

The indictment charges all nine defendants in a conspiracy to grow
marijuana, with possessing the drug with the intent to distribute it,
and with distributing marijuana.

McWilliams allegedly financed the growing operation, which was located
at his Laurel Canyon home and at other residential properties that had
been leased, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Aenlle-Rocha.

He is also charged with attempting to negotiate contracts to sell
harvested marijuana grown by McCormick and Hass, who allegedly planned
and created sophisticated indoor and outdoor growing centers.

McWilliams' Century City-based attorney, Harland Braun, said his client
is one of the most prominent advocates for the medicinal use of
marijuana in the country and is not a criminal.

"The government is trying to make medicinal use of marijuana a criminal
conspiracy," he said. "You might not like what he's doing, but he's
doing what he believes is right."

Braun said his client would use a federal trial to "educate the public."

He was released on $250,000 bail and is due back in court for
arraignment on Monday.

McWilliams, a self-publisher whose books include "How to Survive the
Loss of a Love" and "How to Heal Depression," describes himself as an
AIDS and cancer patient and "outspoken advocate" of medical marijuana
use and Proposition 215.

He contends he uses marijuana to ease the nausea caused by the
"cocktail" of drugs he takes to sustain his life.

The indictment alleges that McWilliams and McCormick - who was arrested
last July 29 for growing more than 4,000 marijuana plants at his rented
Bel-Air mansion had an agreement regarding the cultivation of the drug.

The indictment further alleges that:

- McWilliams provided McCormick and other defendants with more than
$100,000 during 1997;

- McCormick used a Prelude Press credit card to purchase materials used
to cultivate and process marijuana;

- McCormick cultivated and distributed marijuana at his $6,000-a-month
rented home in Bel-Air;

- the defendants attempted to sell marijuana to the Los Angeles Cannibis
Buyer's Club;

- and that McWilliams stated that he wanted to become the "Bill Gates of
medical marijuana."

McCormick and Dyjine were previously indicted on charges of
manufacturing marijuana, and that indictment was superseded by the
nine-count complaint unsealed Thursday.

City Widens Marijuana Limit For Medicinal Use ('The Chicago Tribune'
Notes Tuesday's Night's Vote By The Oakland City Council To Re-Affirm
Its Ordinance Allowing Medical Marijuana Patients Protected
By Proposition 215 To Possess Up To One And A Half Pounds Of Cannabis)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 14:36:23 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: City Widens Marijuana Limit For Medicinal Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Section: Sec. 1, p. 5
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: 23 July 1998
Author: Dina Rabadi


LOS ANGELES -- Chronic pain and muscle spasms make Irma Carter's weekly
expedition to buy medicine an ordeal. Her medicine of choice is marijuana.

But a new municipal policy, the first of its kind in the nation, promises to
ease the Oakland resident's ordeal--and to inflame a simmering controversy
over the parameters of marijuana use in California.

After a lengthy debate that spilled over into the wee hours of Wednesday,
the Oakland City Council voted to allow its residents to possess 1 1/2
pounds of marijuana for medicinal use. The amount is based on estimates of
what a patient would use in three months, according to Food and Drug
Administration medical research.

The unprecedented action places Oakland squarely in the eye of a political
storm that began after the November 1996 passage of Proposition 215, a
statewide ballot initiative that legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes.

The Compassionate Use Act was approved by 56 percent of California's voters
despite opposition from key state and federal drug officials.

In the wake of the measure's passage, the interpretation of what is legal
marijuana use remains as controversial as the debate over marijuana's
medicinal effectiveness.

California's law is in direct conflict with federal drug laws, which make it
a felony to grow marijuana. In retaliation, the federal government has
threatened to punish physicians who recommend marijuana for their patients.

Doctors could face criminal prosecution, the loss of their licenses to
prescribe drugs and exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Last spring, a federal judge ordered six cannabis clubs in Northern
California to shut down for illegally selling the drug.

California law enforcement officials have not looked kindly upon the law
either. It is opposed by Dan Lungren, California's attorney general and the
Republican nominee for governor, who was lampooned by the comic strip
"Doonesbury" over the subject during the 1996 campaign when he ordered a
raid on a San Francisco emporium that sold marijuana to people who claimed
to be sick.

After Proposition 215's victory, Lungren proposed allowing patients to
possess one ounce of marijuana or two plants. But a committee investigating
the issue for the Oakland City Council concluded that the 1 1/2-pound limit
was reasonable.

Oakland City Councilman Nate Miley, who heads the public safety committee
that initiated the new policy, said Lungren's office had told him the policy
would face a legal challenge, a statement denied by a Lungren spokesman.

Matt Ross, a spokesman for the attorney general, said Lungren opposed the
Oakland policy. "Law enforcement will do the right thing when they stop
someone with 1 1/2 pounds of marijuana," Ross said.

Elihu Harris, who is the city's mayor until Edmund "Jerry" Brown Jr. takes
office in January, opposed the measure, though he said he doesn't oppose
medical marijuana use. The mayor expressed concern that allowing patients to
have such a large amount, more than they might legitimately need, would
enable them to use it for illegal purposes, such as selling it.

Ken Estes, a paraplegic who has used marijuana for 20 years since a
motorcycle accident at age 18, said police have harassed and arrested him
because of his marijuana use.

"Local government is beginning to address this issue so that people who use
medical marijuana can quit being treated as criminals," Estes said.

As a result of the new policy, Oakland police won't arrest anyone with up to
1 1/2 pounds of marijuana.

They won't confiscate the drug so as long as patients can verify their
status as "qualified patients" within two days, and so long as the quality
of the cannabis in their possession meets the city's standards.

Carter, the pain patient, said the new policy will allow her to stop feeling
like a criminal. "It means so much to me and to people like me to not be
afraid anymore," she said.

Oakland Designates Pot Club ('The San Francisco Chronicle ' Version
Notes The City Council Also Sought To Protect The Oakland Cannabis
Buyers' Cooperative From Federal Legal Challenges By Designating It
An Agent Of The City In Accordance With The Controlled Substances Act)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:26:01 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Oakland Designates Pot Club
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: Thaai Walker, Chronicle Staff Writer


City Council OKs group to distribute medical marijuana

Refusing to back down in the heated battle over medical marijuana, Oakland
is pushing ahead with new policies supporting use and distribution of the
drug -- and one member of the City Council is going so far as to advocate
that the city itself take over the job of dispensing cannabis to patients.

Late Tuesday night, the council authorized the Oakland Cannabis Buyers'
Cooperative to distribute medical marijuana.

By an 8-to-1 vote, council members passed an ordinance that gives the city
authority to designate associations that can distribute pot for medical

Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente cast the negative vote, saying that he
could not support it in ``good conscience.''

``I feel strongly that it's not the right thing to do,'' De La Fuente said.
``There's no control of the caregivers, no real certification, no way to
track them, no way to (know) if this is a loophole that will allow people
to abuse the program.''

The ordinance opens the city to liability if an association it certifies to
distribute marijuana is sued for any reason -- either by federal officials
or individual patients, a city attorney said.

Assistant City Attorney Barbara Parker added that the city might also be
subject to criminal prosecution, although she said that would be unlikely.

Councilman Nate Miley said he wants the city to look into whether its legal
risks would be decreased by becoming a primary caregiver and setting up its
own dispensary program, rather than relying on a private club to do the

Some San Francisco officials have suggested a similar strategy.

Theoretically, the Oakland ordinance affects any association that is
designated as a medical cannabis provider by the city. But the Oakland
Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative is now the only designated group. Situated in
downtown Oakland, the cooperative distributes marijuana to about 1,700
patients, according to its executive director Jeff Jones.

By throwing the city's weight behind the cooperative, city officials hope
to derail federal attempts to shut the club down. A federal judge is
reviewing such a petition next month.

A spokesman from the U.S. attorney's office could not be reached for comment.

Council members also say the ordinance helps carry out the will of those
who voted for state Proposition 215, which legalized medical pot.

However, federal law, which supersedes state law, says marijuana used for
any purpose is illegal.

Also Tuesday night, the council again approved a policy that allows medical
marijuana users to store 1 1/2 pounds of the drug at home -- an amount 24
times higher than that allowed under guidelines set by Attorney General Dan

Although the council unanimously passed the 1 1/2-pound policy two weeks
ago, Mayor Elihu Harris and De La Fuente demanded that the issue be brought
back because they did not realize they were voting in favor of it.

The misunderstanding occurred because the pot policy had been folded into a
general report that came before the council about a June Public Safety
Committee meeting.

``It was buried in the (committee) report, and we just accepted the
report,'' Harris said. ``Nobody pulled (the pot policy) for discussion.''
After a lengthy debate Tuesday night, the policy was approved by the
council again -- but Harris and De La Fuente cast ``no'' votes, saying they
were uncomfortable with the 1 1/2-pound standard because they felt it could
lead to abuse of the drug.

In other matters Tuesday night, the council placed Mayor-elect Jerry
Brown's strong-mayor initiative on the November ballot.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A16

San Francisco Bay News Briefs ('The Sacramento Bee' Version)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 10:42:22 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: San Francisco Bay News Briefs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: opinion@sacbee.com
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998


OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- In a move designed to fend off federal officials, a
new ordinance makes workers at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative
city agents.

The federal government will try to shut down the club at a hearing on August 14.

The council passed the ordinance 8-1 on Wednesday, two weeks after
approving a policy that allows medical marijuana users to have 1.5 pounds
of cannabis.

The Oakland guidelines view the amount as enough for a three-month supply
of about 10 cigarettes a day. In contrast, state guidelines figure 1 ounce
equals a 30-day supply.

"We are blazing the trail here,"' councilmember Nate Miley said after
Wednesday's vote.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 gives immunity from federal and
criminal liability to agents approved by the city, according to Robert
Raich, an attorney for the club.

However, Oakland police doubt that claim.

"To my knowledge, they don't have any type of protection from federal
action," said Rich Hart, commander of the narcotics squad.

Re - Resisting The Law (A Local Correspondent Says Dave Herrick,
The Medical Marijuana Defendant Just Sentenced To Four Years
By An Orange County, California Judge, Has Written A Letter
Expressing His Fear Of Being Sent To State Prison, Where He Sent
More Than A Few Inmates Himself While He Was A San Bernardino
Sheriff's Deputy)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:55:34 +0100
To: friends@freecannabis.org, dpfca@drugsense.org
From: Ellen Komp (ekomp@slonet.org)
Subject: DPFCA: Re: DND: US CA: Editorial: Resisting The Law
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

I just got a letter from Dave Herrick. He's very worried about being
transferred to state prison, where he will get no protection against fellow
inmates, now that it is know he is a former sheriff's deputy. Does anyone
know any action that can be taken to ensure his safety? His attorney has
been very unhelpful, basically told me to call the ACLU if I have

Meanwhile, here is the OC Register's reply.


>Newshawk: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
>Pubdate: Tue, 21 Jul 1998
>Source: Orange County Register (CA)
>Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
>Website: http://www.ocregister.com/

DrugSense Focus Alert Number 73 - US Customs (DrugSense Asks You
To Write A Letter Protesting An Obnoxious And Rude Letter
From US Border Inspector Mark Johnson To California Physician
Tod H. Mikuriya, MD, Taunting Him About Border Agents' Refusal
To Recognize Or Comply With Proposition 215)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 19:29:15 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: DPFCA: US Customs Into the lions den
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

FOCUS Alert No. 73 US Customs

This may be more an exercise in futility than an effective FOCUS but an
occasional saunter into the lions den might do some good.

Thanks to Dale Gieringer (CA NORML) for the headsup.

Following is an extremely obnoxious letter received by Dr. Tod Mikuriya (MD
CA) from a US Customs official who recently busted an unknown patient at the
border. It deserves a response from us.


Just DO it!


Phone, fax etc.)

Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you
are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting
REPLY to this FOCUS Alert or E-mailing to MGreer@mapinc.org



This is one of those sites that you have to actually visit to express your
views so please write and proof your letter off line then go fill in your
email address and cut and paste your text into the message window. I posted
my letter in the "What needs Improvement" window.



Write a hard copy letter to the obnoxious Mark Johnson
Mark A Johnson
Senior Inspector, U.S. Customs
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 457-4311

Johnson's boss
Special Agent-In-Charge
WA 98104
Email NONE
Phone Number 206-553-7531
Fax Number 206-553-0826

Call and lodge a complaint toll free

Send a complaint to your Congressman or Senator.



Mr. Mikuriya,

As a reminder you may want to tell your "patients" that although they may
have received a "prescription" for marijuana from your office it will hold
no weight so far as federal or state laws are concerned.

Such was the case a few days ago when we confiscated less than a gram of
marijuana from one of the people who had put their confidence in you.

As a result of what we in Customs call a "zero tolerance" seizure, the
vehicle in which the marijuana is transported (be it a seed or a tenth of a
gram) may be subject to seizure, remitted to the violator only after a fine
of $5000 is paid. This fine may be mitigated to a lower level, as was the
case this week, but it doesn't always have to work this way.

The person from whom we seized both marijuana and vehicle was under the
assumption that your signature was license to transport and use this
narcotic freely. This was a stiff $500 lesson for someone who probably
couldn't afford it, but erroneously placed their trust in you.

You may want to clarify the risks for your "patients" in the future.

Mark A Johnson
Senior Inspector, U.S. Customs
Port Angeles, WA 98362
(360) 457-4311



Dear U.S. Customs

I wish to file a formal complaint against Mark A. Johnson Senior
Inspector, U.S. Customs Port Angeles, WA 98362 (360) 457-4311. In his
obnoxious letter to Dr. Todd Mikuriya dated 7/19/98 he not only thumbed his
nose at California law in direct violation of the tenth amendment to the
Constitution but he failed to acknowledge the good intentions of Dr.
Mikuriya in attempting to find a way to insulate a sick person from a
disgusting federal law.

Asset Forfeiture in and of itself is despicable but when an officer in my
employ uses a perversion of the law like zero tolerance to torture a
citizen that had done what is possible to stay within the law then I will
do what I can to relieve him of his duties.

I will be truly amazed if this complaint doesn't fall on deaf ears as most
in Washington have long since abandoned logic, decency, and reason under
the auspices of following the "law."

I can only assume that you have sworn to uphold the Constitution. Johnson
and others including his superiors in the Customs Service who continue to
fail to do so disappoint me greatly.

Mark Greer

Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc.
d/b/a DrugSense

California Decriminalizes Caesar Salad And Libertarian Party Cheers 'Victory'
(A Humorous News Release From The Libertarian Party Headquarters
In Washington, DC, Equates A Pure-Food-And-Drug Law
With Drug-Prohibition Laws)

Subj: Release: Legalizing Caesar Salad (fwd)
From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:21:32 -0700

- -------- Forwarded message --------
From: announce@lp.org by way of
jwjohnson@netmagic.net (Joel W. Johnson))

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037

For release: July 23, 1998

For additional information:
George Getz, Press Secretary
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676@Compuserve.com

California decriminalizes Caesar salad
and Libertarian Party cheers "victory"

WASHINGTON, DC -- California decriminalized the sale of Caesar
salad this week -- and it's not a moment too soon, the Libertarian
Party said today.

"When you outlaw Caesar salad, only outlaws will eat Caesar
salad," noted the party's Director of Communications, Bill Winter.
"That's why, on the issue of Caesar salad, we Libertarians have always
been pro-legalization."

Selling Caesar salad became a crime last year when California
legislators passed a new health law banning the sale of food that used
raw eggs as an ingredient. Unexpectedly, the law included Caesar salad,
which uses uncooked eggs in its unique dressing.

Restaurant owners and fans of the popular salad were outraged.
The outcry convinced state legislators to file a new bill to cancel the
criminal status of Caesar salad -- and, presumably, end what might have
become a flourishing black market in contraband romaine lettuce, raw
eggs, and Parmesan cheese.

The bill, signed into law by Governor Pete Wilson on Monday,
has Libertarians cheering -- but a little surprised.

"We have to compliment California legislators for their rare
display of good sense," acknowledged Winter. "Although we're a bit
surprised that they were courageous enough to toss the Caesar salad law

Libertarians had expected politicians to take a more timid,
gradual approach, said Winter, perhaps...

* Implementing a five-day waiting period for Caesar salad, so
the government could do a medical background check for raw-egg

* Legalizing only "medical Caesar salad" -- whereby people with
a vitamin deficiency could get a doctor's permission to buy a small
amount of Caesar salad for their own personal use.

* Launching an anti-Caesar salad TV advertising blitz, perhaps
with a commercial showing a frying pan, and then showing a frying pan
with a raw egg in it. The voice-over could be: "This is your brain.
This is your brain on Caesar salad."

* Allowing only adults, 21 and over, the right to buy Caesar
salad, on the grounds that it may be an adolescent's gateway-salad to
stronger stuff, like macaroni salad or three-bean salad.

But Libertarians say they are delighted with the bold,
unexpected victory over the "Just Say No to Caesar Salad" lobby -- and
argue that it's a win for libertarianism and the American way of life.

"We support the Constitutional right of every American to keep
and bear a Caesar salad -- or, rather, to eat and buy a Caesar salad,"
said Winter. "All joking aside, it's a setback for those political
eggheads who think they have the right to micromanage every aspect of
our lives -- down to the type of salad we buy in a restaurant.
Hopefully, politicians will learn to just lettuce alone."

The Libertarian Party
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
voice: 202-333-0008
fax: 202-333-0072

$6 Million Sought In Deputy's Killing (The Tacoma, Washington, 'News Tribune'
Says The Ex-Wife Of Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy John Bananola
Has Filed Claims Against Pierce County, Saying He Died In A Poorly Planned,
Unsafe And Dangerous Raid On The Home Of Convicted Marijuana Seller
Brian Eggleston In 1995)
Link to earlier story
From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net) To: "-Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net) Subject: HT: $6 million sought in deputy's drug raid killing Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 18:49:54 -0700 Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net $6 million sought in deputy's killing Bananola's ex-wife files claims against county, alleging Eggleston raid poorly planned, unsafe Lisa Kremer; The News Tribune The ex-wife of Pierce County sheriff's deputy John Bananola have filed two $3 million claims against Pierce County, saying he died in a poorly planned, unsafe and dangerous raid on a drug dealer's home in 1995. The claims were filed by Bananola's ex-wife, Glori Manning. One is on behalf of her 17-year-old daughter, Brooke Bananola; the other is on behalf of John Bananola's estate. "It appears that it was a poorly planned and poorly executed raid, that people in the sheriff's office, at least the officers who instigated it, planned it and conducted it, didn't do a good job in their intelligence," said Manning's attorney, John Messina. "They were looking for someone who wasn't there." Messina said Manning and Brooke Bananola didn't want to speak to reporters Wednesday. He said the claims reflect Brooke's suffering from Bananola's death and Bananola's own suffering, medical and funeral expenses, and lost earnings. County officials said they haven't analyzed the claim yet but don't intend to pay the $6 million. "I'm sure if they're insistent on pursuing it, it'll end up in court," said Executive Doug Sutherland. People with complaints against the county must file a claim before they can file a lawsuit. If the county doesn't act on Manning's two claims within 60 days, Manning can file a wrongful-death suit against the county. Bananola died on Oct. 16, 1995, during an early-morning raid on the East Side home of Brian Eggleston. In two trials, Eggleston claimed he shot Bananola because he didn't recognize him as an officer and was defending his home from intruders. At the end of the second trial, Eggleston was convicted of second-degree murder, drug and assault charges and sentenced to 49 years in prison. The department planned the raid on Eggleston's home to find out if his brother, a deputy, was involved in Eggleston's suspected drug dealing. But after the raid, officers learned deputy Brent Eggleston had moved out of the house months before. The two claims against the county allege that the raid was "unsafe and dangerous" and that the sheriff's department didn't give Bananola adequate safety gear. Bananola wore a lightweight ballistic vest in the raid. Since then, department policy has changed, specifying that deputies in raids wear heavier, more protective vests. The sheriff's department has changed other raid policies since Bananola's death, including ones that specify using bulletproof shields and entering homes slowly so residents have a few moments to realize the raiders are deputies. The state Department of Labor and Industries investigated the Eggleston raid and found it was properly planned and deputies were properly equipped. But the investigation did show deputies didn't have a floor plan of Eggleston's home - something required by sheriff's department policy. The county's risk manager, Mike Panagiotu, said Bananola's death isn't the county's fault. "A jury has convicted Mr. Eggleston of murder," Panagiotu said. "There's the guy that caused the problem." He said the trial could be a long and costly one, with expert witnesses on both sides. "Can you have a murderer responsible for a death and still have negligence by the employer? I don't know the answer to that. We'll find out." Sheriff Mark French has asked a team of law enforcement experts to analyze the raid. Their report should be complete in late August, he said. Of the claims, he said: "I think it's another unfortunate chapter in a very tragic story." Staff writer Lisa Kremer covers Pierce County. Reach her at 253-597-8658 or e-mail lak@p.tribnet.com

Don't Look For Parole In Texas ('Fort Worth Star-Telegram' Columnist
Molly Ivins In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Says Thanks To Texas's
Prison-Building Boom, The Political Appointees Who Make Up
The Texas Parole Board Have Almost Shut Down The Parole System
While The Governor Seeks Re-Election)

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 01:22:41 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: OPED: Don't Look For Parole In Texas
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Molly Ivins, columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Note: This item came from SJMN online edition


AUSTIN, TEXAS -- Some short Stories About Texas Today:

Twenty years ago, a 27-year-old man named Robert Hudspeth committed murder
in the course of a burglary in Austin. He came from a good family, had
attended St. Ed's and UT-Austin and worked as a car salesman, but he just
went progressively more off the track. He drew life on a capital murder charge.

Hudspeth was sent away and did his 20. He was a trustee at the Wynne Unit
for nine years and did maintenance work at a state airplane hangar. Every
morning at 5 a.m., he walked to work, and every afternoon at 2:30 p.m., they
came to pick him up again.

He had one bad mark on his record: A few years ago, he found a half-empty
whiskey bottle in a state plane and tried to smuggle it back into Wynne for
his friends. They caught him, and he lost trustee status for 15 months. He
got it back and stayed clean.

Last year, Hudspeth got himself certified as a Texas commercial driver so
he'd have a way to make a living when he got out. The address on the license
was ``Wynne Unit.'' He was a guy whom people liked, and they helped him plan
for his release. He came up for parole hearing two months ago and went
before two commissioners. The warden thought he'd get it; everybody thought
he'd get it.

``I don't know why they pay those people,'' Hudspeth later told David
Tinsley, who has the hangar next to the state one; ``they didn't ask me any
questions or talk to me at all. They just stamped it 'DENIED.'''

Asked if he knew why, Hudspeth said: ``Yeah, it's a Willie Horton thing. The
governor is running for re-election, so no one is getting out. They're
afraid of making him look bad.''

Lawyers who handle parole cases confirm Hudspeth's judgment: The parole
system has been pretty much shut down. After the manic building spree of a
few years ago, the state finally has enough beds, so they can afford to keep
everyone in. Although ``murderer'' is a scary concept to the public,
criminal justice experts say guys like Hudspeth are classic low-risk
releases -- they almost never come back.

Hudspeth was depressed after he was denied parole with no explanation. A few
weeks later, he stole a Suburban from Tinsley's hangar and drove to Austin,
and then on July 2 he drove to Llano. He ate a peanut-butter sandwich and
some instant rice with ketchup. He wrote a note that said, ``I don't want to
die in prison.'' And then he hanged himself.

End of story.

The overall parole approval rate, according to the latest figures from the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, is 22 percent for both violent and
nonviolent offenders, which means it's actually much lower for violent
offenders. This is the lowest approval rate in state history. Before 1992,
the approval rate was about 60 to 70 percent and was simply a way of
managing the prison population.

The decline is both because of the state prison building spree and because
of the hideous results of the erroneous release of Kenneth McDuff. There are
18 members of the parole board, each paid $75,000.

Gary Cohen, an Austin lawyer who specializes in parole hearings and
reocations, said: ``It's a complicated question, but yes, I do think
politics drives parole. The board members are political appointees, and it's
clear politics drives that. Victor Rodriguez has been a wonderful chairman
-- he's very progressive. He's pushing (the Texas Department of Corrections)
to get more programs so parole can be hinged to completing programs, so
there's a push there in terms of making the system fairer. But I do not
think they ever intend to get back to the 40 to 50 percent range, which many
experts consider reasonable.''

Parole board members are responsible for voting on parole releases, parole
revocations and amending conditions of supervision. They process almost
100,000 files a year. Divide that by 18, and see what you get.

Lawyers who work in this area believe that most board members do care and
are conscientious but are just overwhelmed. There are seven board offices
around the state. Each one receives between 6,000 and 7,000 files a week,
and they have to be cleared by the end of the week to make room for another

The results are stories like this:

Charles Marshall, early 30s, is convicted of statutory rape for having sex
with a 16-year-old girl. She did not want to press charges, but her parents
did. Marshall drew 10 years.

After a few months in prison, he was found to have inoperable cancer. A
lawyer applies for an emergency medical furlough or special-needs parole.
Marshall had a malignant melanoma, one of the most virulent forms of cancer,
that metastasized into his spine, neck, jaw, stomach and intestine. He had
to use a wheelchair and could not even get up to go to the bathroom. He was
utterly helpless.

Parole denied. He died in the prison hospice unit on March 2, 1997.

Another case of parole revocation: A guy goes to prison in the late '80s on
a theft case -- no drug, alcohol, assault or weapons of any kind on his
record. He gets out, spends six years on parole and gets hooked up with a
con man -- they're going to buy some buildings from an old campus in Waco
and fix them up. Investors are talked into putting up the money, then the
partner absconds with the funds.

The case is at the Waco district attorney's office for a year with no
charges filed against the original perp, who proceeds to make full
restitution to the investors in the neighborhood of $30,000. The guy, 38,
has a heart attack -- he comes from a family with a history of males dying
young of heart attacks. He also has custody of children from a previous

A triple bypass fails -- more surgery. Dr. Michael DeBakey does an
experimental laser procedure on him. He's put on a waiting list for a heart
transplant. His cardiologist comes to the revocation hearing and says he's a
dead man if he goes back in. DeBakey writes a letter for him.

He's clearly not a danger to society. He can't work. He can't drive. They
voted to revoke him.

State Rep. Jim McReynolds of Lufkin intervenes. One consideration: The guy
has private-paid health insurance that has already put $200,000 into his
medical bills. If they put him back in stir, the state has to eat the bills.
The parole board votes to reconsider.

However, just remember: It took the combined efforts of lawyer, doctors and
state rep.

29 Are Charged In North Texas Drug Overdoses (An 'Associated Press' Article
In 'The Houston Chronicle' Says Federal Authorities In Plano, Texas,
Filed The Charges Wednesday, Taking The Unusual Step Of Targeting The People
Who Sold Heroin Associated With Four Deaths - No Mention Of The Penalties
Facing The Accused)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:03:56 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: 29 Are Charged in North Texas Drug Overdoses
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
Website: http://www.chron.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: C. Bryson Hull - AP


PLANO -- Federal authorities on Wednesday charged 29 people who they say
helped deliver or sell the drugs that led to five overdoses, four of them
fatal, in this well-to-do Dallas suburb.

A spate of heroin overdoses in the city of 188,000 spurred federal and
local authorities to take the unusual step of targeting the people who sold
the killer drugs, said U.S. Attorney Mike Bradford of the Eastern District
of Texas.

"Despite their knowledge that young people were dying, the indictment
alleges that these people continued to sell their drugs," Bradford said at
a press conference announcing the indictments.

Taking its name from the street slang for a type of heroin, the 15-month
multi-agency investigation dubbed "Operation Chiva" aimed to stiffen the
penalties against those suspected of the sale.

Authorities arrested 12 suspects Wednesday. Fifteen were already jailed on
other charges. One suspect is still at large and another will be arrested
upon his release from a rehabilitation facility, police said.

The indictment, released Wednesday, alleges that drug traffickers smuggled
black tar heroin and cocaine from Mexico -- often hidden in secret
compartments in their shoes -- and sought to sell the drugs specifically in

The city has drawn national attention in the wake of 17 fatal and three
near-fatal overdoses over the past four years.

Julio Mercado, special agent-in-charge of the Dallas office of the Drug
Enforcement Administration, said that dangerously high levels of heroin
purity in Plano contributed to the overdoses and convinced officials to
start the investigation.

Heroin levels on the street normally have a purity level of up to 7
percent, whereas the heroin found in Plano ranged from 37 percent to 70
percent pure, Mercado said.

Operating out of a residence known as the "Blue House," the dealers sold
the drugs to young adults and juveniles, the indictment alleges. In a
five-month span starting on June 8, 1997, four of those sales were lethal.

In that span, 19-year-olds Rob Hill and Wesley Scott, 16-year-old Erin
Baker and 20-year-old Milan Melina died from heroin overdoses.

Most of the suspects are men, ranging in age from 18 to 38. Most are in
their early 20s and 17 of them have attended Plano schools in the past four
years, Bradford said.

Plano became a haven for heroin pushers because the main players saw an
untapped market and sought to exploit it, authorities said.

"They're looking for new locations to push their product all the time,"
Mercado said.

Because of a special sentencing enhancement, prosecutors can push for
sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison for 24 suspects. Until
the new charges were announced, none of them faced more than 20 years in
prison, Bradford said.

Authorities said their approach to this drug investigation differed from
others. Whereas overdose victims often are regarded as victims of their own
decisions, Operation Chiva sought to punish the dealers who contributed to
the deaths.

"This is definitely a new twist from dealing with an overdose death as `too
bad, so sad, you shouldn't have been doing drugs' to treating it as almost
a homicide and running a full-blown homicide investigation," DEA spokesman
Paul Villaescusa said.

Bradford echoed the sentiment, sounding almost like a lawyer at a murder trial.

"We're hopeful that this investigation will bring some justice to the
families," he said.

The mother of one victim said it will, when the people who sold her son the
drugs that killed him are sentenced.

"We're just in the beginning steps," said Andrea Hill, the mother of Rob
Hill. "We'll be happiest when there are convictions."

Her husband, Lowell, said the investigation was a mark of progress in the
city's very public fight against drugs.

"It's been 11 months since my son died," Lowell Hill said, holding back
tears. "What they've accomplished in those 11 months, they've come a long

29 Indicted In Plano Heroin Ring (The Fort Worth, Texas,
'Star-Telegram' Version)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:09:23 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: 29 Indicted in Plano Heroin Ring
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX)
Contact: letters@star-telegram.com
Website: http://www.star-telegram.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: Susan Gill Vardon and Marisa Taylor Star-Telegram Staff Writers


PLANO -- U.S. prosecutors yesterday announced a precedent-setting
indictment against 29 people, charging them in a "calculated and
cold-blooded" conspiracy that supplied the heroin that killed four
Plano-area young people.

The indicted range from major distributors from Mexico, to Plano area young
people accused of being the final link in supplying the fatal doses. The
36-count indictment and authorities spell out a deadly chain, from victim
to supplier:

Milan Malina, 20, died of pneumonia and inhaling his own vomit. According
to the federal indictment, the heroin that killed him on June 8, 1997, came
from Christopher Erik Cooper, who got it from John Raymond Hancock.

Wesley Scott, 19, died at a party after inhaling his own vomit. The
indictment states that the heroin that killed him on July 23, 1997, came
from John Hughes Woodward, who got it from John Aaron Pruett. Rob Hill, 19,
was found dead in his own vomit by his parents after a party at Stanley
Edward Belch's residence. According to the indictment, the
heroin that killed him on Aug. 19 came from Belch and from Lloyd Steven
Tilghman, who got it from Arturo Meza, Alfonzo Meza and Jose Alberto Meza.

Erin Baker, 16, went to a party and was likely dead by the time friends
took her to a hospital. According to the indictment, the heroin that killed
her on Nov. 8 came from Steven Craig Kapp, who got it from Santiago Mejia
and Pruett.

The indictment should send a message, said Andrea Hill, the mother of Rob
Hill. "Maybe now the young people won't be so eager to be drug runners,"
she said. "I've been waiting to get this message out. More people are
listening now that their baby might end up in jail."

All 29 defendants will be tried together. If they are convicted,
prosecutors plan to use federal law to lengthen the sentences of those
connected with the deaths to up to life in prison, said U.S. Attorney Mike
Bradford of the Eastern District of Texas.

The punishment enhancements have never been used in a drug case for a group
of defendants, officials said. The intent is to stun heroin traffickers and
users by holding them responsible for deaths.

"While we realize there is nothing we as law enforcement can do to restore
the loss, we must do everything in our power to prevent the destruction of
other young lives by similar means," Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock
said yesterday.

Five of those indicted are Mexican nationals arrested in November in
McKinney. Investigators said they are considered to be among the ring's
major suppliers of deadly black tar heroin, known by the street name chiva.
The five are from Guerrero, Mexico, which is known as a key production site
for black tar heroin coming into the United States. They and 13 others
indicted yesterday were already in custody. Plano police rounded up nine
others yesterday. Another is in a Los Angeles rehabilitation program and
one was being sought in the Plano area, officials said.

Eight defendants pleaded not guilty yesterday in U.S. District Court.
Defense attorneys tried to paint their clients as troubled youths who pose
no real danger to the community, and asked that they be released on bail.
U.S. Magistrate Robert Faulkner is not expected to rule on the requests
before tomorrow.

Sharon Belch, the mother of 20- year-old Plano East High School graduate
Stanley Belch, testified that her son is on probation for driving while
intoxicated but is not violent.

"Stan's never been in a fight in his life," Belch said as she wiped tears
from her eyes.

Cornelius Kapp, the father of 20- year-old Steven Kapp, told the judge that
his son is on probation for organized criminal behavior in connection with
breaking into cars. But Kapp said he had not known that his son had
problems with drugs.

"He's been a model child," Cornelius Kapp said.

Michael Samonek, a Dallas attorney representing 19-year-old Christopher
Cooper, said he believes that police were overzealous and were under
pressure to make arrests.

"These young people are facing life in prison," Samonek said. "That's
chilling. Most of these kids are frightened to death, as they should be."

Drug users are responsible for their actions, the attorney contended.
"Where's the common sense? Are these kids taking the syringe and injecting
people? That's ludicrous," Samonek said.

Julio Mercado, special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration's Dallas Field Division, had a ready answer for critics. "I
would say, `How would you feel if it was your son that just got killed?' "
he said. "It's a tragedy that all these kids got out and did this. They
became distributors. It became a way of life. They were out there pushing
and trying to get customers."

Trial is set for Sept. 21 before U.S. District Judge Paul Brown. The
indictment is the first in a long-term investigation of drug deaths in the
Plano area, authorities predicted. The investigative task force includes
police in Plano, McKinney and Allen, the Texas Department of Public Safety
Narcotics Division, the FBI and the DEA.

The investigation started in July 1997 when Plano narcotics detectives
identified a heroin distribution ring. The investigation expanded in
September with the formation of the task force, Glasscock said.

The aggressive prosecution effort, dubbed Operation Chiva, is being used
because heroin traffickers from Guerrero targeted Plano as a new and
lucrative market for their "deadly poison," Bradford said.

"Despite their knowledge that the young people were dying from the use of
this drug, the indictment ... alleges that the defendants intentionally and
in a very calculated and cold-blooded way distributed that heroin with the
knowledge that it was killing people," he said. The defendants cannot be
charged with manslaughter or murder in connection with the deaths,
authorities said.

"There are no laws on the books that can charge a person for manslaughter
for one person giving another person drugs, unless the person actually
forced it on the person," Mercado said.

Plano, an affluent city of 188,000 residents, has been in the maelstrom of
media attention after at least 17 heroin-related deaths of young people.
Yesterday, the news conference announcing the indictment was televised live
on CNN, and participants were interviewed on CNN's TalkBack Live and ABC's

Larry and Donna Scott, the parents of overdose victim Wesley Scott, were
circumspect about yesterday's indictment, calling it "bittersweet."

"With the street-level kids, we really have not wanted to push the
prosecution deal," Larry Scott said. "If that's where the chips fall, so be
it. But we have not been active.

"We have not been looking for a pound of flesh," he said. "If it could be
from someone, it should be from the top."

George Malina, the father of overdose victim Milan Malina, has said he is
troubled by the prospect of more arrests.

"It's no less than a public crucifixion of these people, and I don't think
that is what should be going on," Malina said. "The majority of the people
I see them grabbing are poor Mexicans coming over and seeing their way out
of poverty by selling this stuff. That won't change. They will get others
to take their place."

But Mercado said the Plano indictment will send a message to the drug community.

"I think this is a beginning," he said. "I think if other parts of the
country see what we've done and take the same steps, people will say, `I
don't want to touch it.' This is an education for the United States.

"This is also the first time a community has actually got behind the
police, the federal government, the school system, the churches," Mercado
added. "Everybody has gotten together and formed a nucleus to prevent this
from taking place again."

Susan Gill Vardon, (817) 685-3805 Send your comments to

Marisa Taylor, (817) 685-3819 Send your comments to

29 Suspected Drug Dealers Indicted - Plano Targeted As Market For Heroin
('The Dallas Morning News' Version)

From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 07:43:46 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: ART: 29 suspected drug dealers indicted
To: dpft-l@tamu.edu, drctalk@drcnet.org, maptalk@MAPINC.ORG
Cc: editor@MAPINC.ORG
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Dallas Morning News


29 suspected drug dealers indicted
Plano targeted as market for heroin


By Linda Stewart Ball / The Dallas Morning News

PLANO - More than two dozen suspected drug dealers have been indicted
under a special federal conspiracy law in connection with the
heroin-related deaths of four teenagers with ties to Plano, officials
announced Wednesday.

A federal grand jury in Sherman issued the 36-count indictment. It
alleges that the 29 targeted Plano as a new market for heroin. The
defendants knew that the drug was killing young people but continued
selling it to them, the indictment charges.

"The defendants intentionally, in a very calculated and coldblooded way,
distributed" heroin and cocaine, said U.S. Attorney Mike Bradford of the
Eastern District of Texas in announcing the indictments Wednesday.

"We will be seeking the maximum punishment under federal law," he said.

Although some of the defendants have been named in previous indictments
on charges of heroin delivery on a single occasion, the latest
indictment charges all 29 as a group in activities that include
everything from smuggling black tar heroin into the United States to
selling it on the streets of Plano.

Because they were charged as a group, the suspected dealers can be
prosecuted together, and the punishments possible are much more severe,
given the resulting deaths, Mr. Bradford said.

All but five of the 29 could face a maximum term of life in prison
because of a rarely used sentencing-enhancement provision under federal
law that was not available at the state level.

"This is the first time we've used this provision of the law in the
Eastern District to specifically link drug dealing to drug-overdose
deaths," Mr. Bradford said.

The Eastern District includes 43 counties across Texas but excludes
Dallas County.

"To date, throughout the U.S., something to this degree has never been
attempted," said Paul Villaescusa, a special agent with the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration in Dallas. "Efforts similar to this one have
been tried before on a much smaller scale" in two other states.

The indictment was the result of a yearlong investigation begun by the
Plano Police Department and expanded to include a task force of federal,
state and local law enforcement agencies.

Officials from several of those agencies on Wednesday praised the Plano
community and Plano police for an innovative approach to tackling the
heroin problem.

At least 18 youths with Plano ties have died heroin-related deaths since
September 1994, authorities said.

Police traditionally categorize drug-related deaths as accidental, due
to overdose, and consider the case closed, Mr. Villaescusa said. But
Plano went beyond that, he said.

In June 1997, Plano Police Chief Bruce Glasscock assigned a homicide
detective to investigate the deaths along with the narcotics unit.

Although the chief said he wanted to pursue murder charges against the
drug dealers, he was thwarted by state laws. Unless a drug dealer
actually injects or otherwise administers the fatal dose, he or she
can't be charged with homicide, under state laws, the chief said.

But the federal sentencing enhancement may be a way around that
roadblock, authorities said.

"It's the next best thing," Chief Glasscock said. "These indictments and
arrests send a clear message to those individuals who would import and
traffic in illegal narcotics. Their actions will not be tolerated, and
we will continue to use every means at our disposal to identify those
suppliers and take appropriate steps necessary to prosecute them."

"I think the federal prosecution in this type of situation is really the
way to go," said Collin County District Attorney Tom O'Connell, noting
that most of the defendants would face a maximum of 20 years in prison
at the state level.

Mr. Bradford declined to reveal the evidence that directly links the
indicted individuals to the deaths of four Plano teens. The indictment
alleges that the dealers used various methods to import the heroin and
cocaine from Mexico, including hiding it in shoes with false
compartments. They distributed large quantities to individuals and
through a house known as the Blue House in east Plano, authorities say.

All but two of those indicted are in custody. One is in a rehabilitation
center and will be transferred to jail; another remains at large.

Named in the criminal indictment on a variety of charges related to the
possession and distribution of cocaine or heroin are: Ecliserio Martinez
Garcia, 38; Aurelio Mendez, 36; Salvador "Chino" Pineda Contreras, 26;
Jose Antonio Pineda, 22; and Irma Lopez Vega, 24, all of McKinney;

Hilario "Cocho" Merlan Solis, 30; Jose Cleotilde Solis, 24; Marcruz
Baldonvines Pineda, 26; Arturo "Junior" Meza, 22; Jose "Beefy" Alberto
Meza, 20; and Francisco "Dreamer" Favela, 20; Edward Martinez, 32;
Santiago Mejia, 18; John Aaron Pruett, 19; John Raymond Hancock, 29;
Brian Eric Swann, 23; Christopher Erik Cooper, 19; James Lee Wigginton,
21; Lloyd Steven Tilghman, 20; Stanley Edward Belch, 20; and John Huges
Woodward, 20, all of Plano;

Justin Michael Miller, 21, of Allen and Steven Craig Kapp, 20, of

The following four were indicted on a lesser charge of using a telephone
with the intent to distribute heroin and could face a maximum of four
years in prison and a $250,000 fine: Thomas Anthony Fedele, 20, and
Brian Kirpal Hutson, 21, both of Plano, and Benjamin Collins, 21 and
Cruz Ramirez, 19, both of Dallas.

Jason Ryan Deshong, 21, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1
million fine on a charge of possessing heroin and cocaine with the
intent to distribute.

"For us, this doesn't end it," Chief Glasscock said.

Lowell Hill, whose 19-year-old son, Rob, died of a heroin overdose on
Aug. 20, 1997, said he was pleased with officials' quick action.

"We just don't want other people to die," he said, stressing that he and
his wife were in favor of drug testing for children as early as the
fourth grade.

Donna Scott, whose son, Wes, 19, died from heroin on July 24, 1997, said
she was not seeking justice.

"But I did breathe a deep sigh of relief," she said, knowing that
authorities "didn't just get the kids who were partying."

"I'm glad there's something they can use to shut down the operations. I
feel very bad for the victims who are caught in the spider web" of drug
abuse," Ms. Scott said.

Jean Aguanno, whose son, Jay, 19, died of a heroin overdose on July 7
after having been sober for eight months, said that she was in favor of
strong prosecution but that it came too late for her family.

"I kind of wish all this had happened a year ago so whoever was able to
supply Jay that night was already in jail," she said.

Fatal Overdose In Texas Town Result In 29 Indictments
('The Orange County Register' Version)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:17:12 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Fatal Overdose In Texas Town Result In 29 Indictments
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998


Twenty-nine suspected drug dealers have been indicted under a special
federal conspiracy law in connection with the herion-related deaths of four
teenagers with ties to Plano, Texas, officials announced Wednesday.

The federal indictment released Wednesday accuses the defendants of
conspiring to distribute black-tar herion and cocaine from Mexico to young
adults and juveniles in Plano,a city of 188,000.

Plano has seen 20 overdoses-17 of them deadly-since September 1994. The
deaths prompted the formation of a task force to investigate.

Debby Moore Sentenced (The Kansas Activist Writes That Her Able Lawyer
Helped Her Avoid A 40-Year Mandatory Minimum For .091 Gram Of Marijuana,
But She Now Faces Two Years Of Probation And Drug-Testing)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 01:35:02 -0500
From: Debby Moore (hemplady@feist.com)
Reply-To: hemplady@feist.com
Organization: Hemp Industries of Kansas
To: fire@erowid.com
Subject: HT: Sentenced June 22, 1998
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

June 23, 1998

Dear Friends and fellow "LEGALIZERS"!

I would like to share with you an update of my long enduring court

Regarding the October 1995 traffic stop because police officers knew I
was the 'hemplady' when they pulled me over, which resulted in my being
detained by law enforcement for 54 minutes before given three traffic
citations, 1 ticket for no seat belt (automobile had no seat belt), 1
ticket for a faulty tail light (which I plugged into socket after
signing ticket thus fixing tail light), 1 ticket for presentation of
insurance card that was not current date (semi-annual date was three
days prior-insurance had been effective on same policy for twelve
years). For those interested, the tickets were never submitted to the
traffic division - after the goal, (to arrest me,) the tickets were

Officer had told me I was free to go after I signed the tickets. But
when I fixed the tail light, and asked him to sign off on the ticket, he
put me under arrest, reached into my coat pocket, took my automobile
keys, continued to search the car, and scrapped .091 of a gram of ash
which resulted in my being charged with a felony and a $15,000 bond,
because I had five current Kansas Marijuana Tax Stamps in my possession.

This case has been assigned to a summary judgment, although a specific
date has yet to be set. Expect the date and decision within the next
ninety days.


Recent conviction of June 5, 1998 over March 20, 1996, & April 2, 1996
bust and arrests. Had I been convicted of the charges as presented by
the District Attorneys office I would have received mandatory sentencing
of 40 years in prison because of Kansas Hard 40 sentencing guideline.

I would like to say thank you to one and all who sent letters and
donations to help cover my attorney fees. I had many offers of support
from activists, scholars, doctors, and practicing attorneys. Thank you
all. I love you!

I also want to let you all be assured that:

Charles A. O'Hara is without a doubt one of the BEST attorneys in this
nation. You would have had to be in the court room to watch his
defense, and view the evidence against me to believe without a doubt how
outstanding his skills truly are. (Charles A. O'Hara, Attorney at Law,
1502 N. Broadway, Wichita, KS, 67214, (316) 263-5601.) This man
deserves all the gratitude I can give. I am so very lucky he believes
in my patriotism.

Before the judge pronounced my sentence, he acknowledged how
knowledgeable I was regarding Cannabis, and stated that I knew far more
than any one else in the state of Kansas about Marijuana. He stated
that when he sentenced me two years ago, that he did not believe after
using Marijuana for thirty years I would have been able to quit. He
stated that he was not sure whether I had found a way to beat the test,
and warned me if I thought I had, eventually I would be caught. As many
of you know, I am searched and tested early in the mornings, awaken in
the middle of night, been forced to wear a patch for more than three
weeks which collected my sweat and body oils. Never have I given them a
positive UA. The truth is they give me far more credit than I deserve.
I don't know how to beat UA's, I quit using. I did not want to go to
jail for free speech. I am to valuable as an activists.

having presented sufficient evidence to cause one to conclude this is a
political war against my political activities prompted the judge to be
sure to include in his sentence that I was not restricted from
continuing to use my energies to change Marijuana Laws. This is very
good since I have been asked several times to sign papers stating that I
would not wear hemp, be involved in industrial hemp, make speeches about
legalizing hemp, ect. I just tell these people that I can not sign
these papers that the judge has ruled I do not have to. Then I ask for
a copy for my attorney.

This case is also being appealed, which will become a land mark case in
that I willfully purchased Kansas marijuana tax stamps from the state of
Kansas, because I was doing my best to be a law abiding citizen. The
state of Kansas encouraged me to purchase these marijuana tax stamps by
providing me with self addressed envelopes so I could conduct business
through the mail. For over four years I followed their instructions,
doing my best to comply with the law, which totaled almost $30,000. of
Marijuana Tax Stamp Purchases.


Lastly, I have developed some very serious medical problems. I
personally believe it is because I have been denied the privilege of
consuming the cannabis seeds which I have eaten regularly for over
thirty years. My body needs these essential nutrients.

These medical problems are very serious. Please remember to think of me
when you think positive thoughts.

I pledge as long as there is breath in my body, I will continue to fight
these unfair laws.

Your Friend Debby

Presented by: Debby Moore, Founder
Kansas Environmentalists for Commerce in Hemp
dba Hemp Industries of Kansas
Kansas State Lobbyists for Cannabis Law Reform
Freedom Fighter August 1994
National Registry of Who's Who of America
2742 E. 2nd
Wichita, KS, 67214
(316) 681-1743
Research Data Base on Industrial & Medical Cannabis at:

Nixon Ad Accuses Bond Of Once Supporting Decriminializing Marijuana
('The St. Louis Post-Dispatch' Says Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon,
A Democrat, Is Accusing Senator Christopher 'Kit' Bond, A Republican
He Is Seeking To Defeat In November, Of Telling St. Louis
High School Students 22 Years Ago That He Supported Marijuana-Law Reform)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:41:04 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US MO: Nixon Ad Accuses Bond
Of Once Supporting Decriminializing Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Contact: letters@pd.stlnet.com
Website: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/home.nsf/front/current
Author: Jo Mannies Of the Post-Dispatch
Newshawk's Note: No, not that Nixon


Prompted by Sen. Christopher ``Kit'' Bond's new anti-drug ad, Missouri
Attorney General Jay Nixon is accusing Bond of telling St. Louis high school
students 22 years ago that he supported decriminalizing marijuana.

Bond, R-Mo., denies ever making such a statement or advocating such a
policy. ``This is another example of Jay Nixon putting out false
information,'' said Bond campaign manager David Israelite. ``He's reckless.''

Nixon, a Democrat seeking to defeat Bond in November, based his accusation
on a United Press International account of a three-hour visit by then-Gov.
Bond to several St. Louis schools on March 4, 1976.

The UPI story, carried by the Springfield (Mo.) News Leader, quotes Bond as
telling a Southwest High School student ``We have legislation here in the
state of Missouri which would take marijuana out of the criminal category. I
think that is a step in the right direction.''

The Nixon campaign cites the article as evidence that Bond once held a
softer view on drug use than he now has.

The Post-Dispatch and the Globe-Democrat also covered Bond's 1976 visit, but
made no mention of any such remarks. No story reflecting views by Bond in
favor of decriminalizing marijuana could be found in the Post-Dispatch's
archives. ``I think if he'd said something like that, it would have been big
news,'' Israelite said.

Nixon campaign manager Hatfield said the campaign sticks by the UPI story.
``I think it's significant that he denies saying it. This shows the length
Bond will go to to make up a record on crime,'' Hatfield said.

The Nixon campaign also cites a 1974 Jefferson City newspaper editorial
blasting Bond for failing to block a festival at the state fair grounds in
Sedalia where attendees were alleged to have used drugs unhampered by
arrest. Israelite said Bond has no knowledge of any such incidents, and as
governor never ordered police to ignore drug use on state property.

Copyright (c) 1998, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Prisoners In Protest Draw Stiff Penalties ('The Wisconsin State Journal'
Says About 150 Prisoners Who Engaged In A Nonviolent Sit-Down Strike
At A Fox Lake Prison Yard To Protest Wisconsin's Policy Of Shipping Inmates
Out Of State Are Being Punished With Four Months To A Year Of Solitary
Confinement And Other Restrictions, And Their Time In Segregation
Will Not Count As Time Served Toward Their Sentences)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:26:22 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: Prisoners In Protest Draw Stiff Penalties
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Contact 1: wsjopine@statejournal.madison.com
Contact 2: Editor, Wisconsin State Journal, POB 8058, Madison, WI 53708
Website: http://www.madison.com/
Author: Scott Milfred Wisconsin State Journal


Peaceful criticism met with solitary confinement

About 150 prisoners who sat down in a Fox Lake prison yard to protest the
state's policy of shipping inmates out of state are being punished with four
months to a year of solitary confinement and other restrictions. Those who
demonstrated June 28 at Fox Lake Correctional Institution will get fewer
visits and phone calls, less recreation and be allowed fewer possessions in
their cells. Their time segregated from the general prison population also
will not count as time served toward their sentences, said Bill Clausius,
spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.

''It's appropriate discipline for this kind of bad behavior,'' Clausius said
Wednesday, adding that those being punished can reduce time in solitary
confinement by not causing further problems.

Clausius acknowledged that the three-hour demonstration was peaceful.

''That's how it ended because of the excellent work of the correctional
staff,'' Clausius said. ''But it could have incited something worse. We take
this type of thing very seriously.''

Family members of at least one of the protesters, however, say the
punishment is too severe, and the out-of-state policy is flawed.

''They weren't violent at all,'' said Janet O'Kane of Madison, whose son,
Jody O'Kane, participated in the sit-down. ''It was a peaceful sit-down just
like in the '60s. Their whole point was to be heard, and so far they haven't
been heard at all.''

About 1,600 Wisconsin inmates are being held at prisons and jails in Texas,
Tennessee, Oklahoma and Minnesota to ease crowding here. The DOC expects to
send another 1,100 to Tennessee between now and September and may ask for
more transfers early next year.

The state's prison system is about 4,000 inmates above its rated capacity.
The net prison population in Wisconsin increases by about 200 inmates every
month, Clausius said.

Many prisoners and their families have spoken against out-of-state
transfers, saying the distance cuts vital family ties that help rehabilitate

''Jody has done nothing but try to help himself,'' said Jason O'Kane, Jody's
brother. ''Now they're trying to take all that away.''

Reports differ on how many prisoners participated in the protest at Fox
Lake. The DOC initially reported that about 155 demonstrated. Two prisoners
who were there say several hundred began the protest, though some left the
field before it ended.

More than 150 prisoners who protested were moved to four other state prisons
in Oshkosh, Portage and Waupun. The protesters have been segregated from the
general prison population, and at least a dozen were sent to Oklahoma as
originally planned.

''Misbehavior does not automatically disqualify them from moving out of
state, for a common sense reason,'' Clausius said. ''If inmates decided that
was the way to not go out of state, all of them would be misbehaving.''

Many of the protesters were not scheduled to be moved out of state but could
eventually have to go.

O'Kane, who is serving time for a string of sex assaults in the mid-'80s,
was told he'd be sent to Tennessee, his family said.

The DOC would not let O'Kane be interviewed this week. He states in letters
to his family that he deserves to be in prison. But he'd gladly serve extra
time in Wisconsin prisons to avoid being sent out of state.

Like many of those being transferred more than 1,000 miles away, O'Kane has
largely behaved during his more than 10 years in prison. He has earned a
high school diploma and credits toward a college degree.

O'Kane's mother has health problems that limit how far she can travel. The
family had been making weekly visits to Fox Lake, but now those visits are
limited and could be cut off completely if he is transferred to Tennessee as

''I spent 13 years being good, trying to do the right thing in prison, and
now all of a sudden, as a reward for that, they want to send me to Tennessee
somewhere,'' Jody O'Kane wrote in a recent letter to his family. ''So what
if I have to spend 20 years in prison. At least I can spend it in Wisconsin
where I can see you and spend as much time with you on visits as I can. It
is much better than going down there.''

Rudy - Methadone Docs Hooked On Cash ('The New York Post'
Says New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Stepped Up His Campaign
To End Methadone Treatment For Heroin Addicts Yesterday,
Claiming Clinic Operators Who Oppose Him Are Just Guarding
Their $44-Million-A-Year Turf)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:44:45 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYPost: Rudy:
Methadone Docs Hooked on Cash
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: nama@interport.net (Joycelyn Woods)
Source: New York Post
Contact: letters@nypost.com
Website: http://nypostonline.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: Susan Rubinowitz and Douglas Monetero


Mayor Giuliani stepped up his campaign to end methadone treatment for
heroin addicts yesterday - claiming clinic operators who oppose him are
just guarding their $44-million-a-year turf.

"New York has one-third of the methadone-maintenance slots in the entire
United States of America, and this is a $44 million business, rising to
over $50 million," Giuliani said.

"The people describing me as crazy are the people who run that business

There's a whole cottage industry, the methadone industry, and I'm really
amused by their response to it."

On Monday, some drug-addiction experts slammed Giuliani for saying the city
should end methadone-treatment programs for about 37,000 ex-junkies who
take the drug daily.

Despite the rhetoric, the mayor doesn't have the power to ax the federally
and state-funded programs.

But instead of backing off, the mayor claimed the attacks on him were
motivated by greed.

"I wonder about a doctor running a methadone-maintenance program who, when
a mayor raises the idea that we should end methadone - which is a way of
keeping people independent - describes my idea as crazy.

"Wouldn't you want your child, whom you cared about and loved, in a program
in which they were dealing with the deeper problems that are causing their
addiction the way Daytop (Village), Phoenix House and a number of the
intense and much more difficult programs are?"

Those programs require participants to quit all drug use.

Experts reached yesterday said Giuliani didn't understand the problem.

"It is true that of the people who utilized heroin who go on methadone, 90
percent will never give it up," said Dr. Ronald Dougherty, who heads the
New York State Medical Society's Committee on Drug Abuse.

"But I've had doctors on methadone. I had an airline pilot on methadone,"
said Dougherty, who runs the Tullyhill Treatment Program near Syracuse.

"I believe in therapeutic communities, but there's no way they could take
care of the 250,000 heroin addicts in New York City.

"If you took everybody off methadone, there'd be 250,000 addicts in the
five boroughs who are going to be getting money for methadone any way they

Other experts noted that programs like Daytop and Phoenix House also have
high failure rates.

Daytop officials did not return a call.

Phoenix House spokesman Chris Policano said the failure rate is high among
people who quit the program early on, but "75 percent of those who remain
more than a year stay drug-free, employed and out of trouble."

He also said Phoenix House believes many methods, including methadone, are
needed to treat drug addicts.

"Methadone maintenance offers a valid approach for many heroin addicts," he

Dr. Edwin Salsitz, director of the methadone program at Beth Israel Medical
Center, said Giuliani doesn't have all the facts.

"He probably has one (a methadone user) in his own administration, but they
will never admit it, because they'll probably lose their jobs," Salsitz

A city firefighter, a lawyer and successful business people are among the
participants in Beth Israel's methadone program, he said.

You Simply Can't Replace One Addiction With Another
(Puritanical 'New York Post' Columnist Steve Dunleavy
Applauds Mayor Giuliani's Campaign To Close
Methadone Maintenance Programs)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:39:06 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYPost: OPED: You Simply
Can't Replace One Addiction With Another
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: nama@interport.net (Joycelyn Woods)
Source: New York Post
Contact: letters@nypost.com
Website: http://nypostonline.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: Steve Dunleavy


I KNOW a guy who wants to get off vodka because if he falls down, he cracks
his melon and dies.

So he drinks beer - gets fat and has a heart attack and dies.

Same guy wants to give up cigarettes so he smokes cigars - never inhales -
doesn't die of lung cancer, just lip cancer.

While I might use hyperbole to make my point, I am a little bit ticked at
all the geniuses who took a swipe at Mayor Giuliani.

And they took this swipe because the mayor dared to say he wants to get rid
of methadone clinics for heroin abusers.

The bureaucrats went bonkers, but the mayor's point was as clear a child's
pinkie - you don't beat an addiction by replacing it with another

That is why if you want to give up vodka, don't drink - don't even eat rum cake.

If you want to give up cigarettes, cigars are just no good. Don't smoke.

When Giuliani suggested that methadone was going to be eighty-sixed, Don
Des Jarlais was quoted as going ballistic.

"He said what?" said the don. "From a public health stand point, that has
to be one of the more ridiculous things for any public official to say in
the past 30 years."

Don Des Jarlais is the director of the Chemical Dependency Institute of
Beth Israel Medical Center, and apparently like Giuliani and like me, is
not a medical doctor.

So what in good God's name does he really know about methadone?

"Methadone is purely and simply a drug," Dr. Joseph English of St.
Vincent's Hospital was saying. "It's a drug."

But Giuliani would come in for more blasts: "It's medical malpractice,"
said Dr. Edwin Salsitz. It so happens, Dr. Salsitz is the director of
methadone medical maintenance at guess where? Beth Israel.

Now both Des Jarlais and Salsitz have exquisite backgrounds, but for
Giuliani to take away methadone from their empire is a little like telling
the head of welfare that welfare is over. Ouch, that hurts.

I spoke to an old friend who is a spokesman for Phoenix House, which takes
heroin addiction very seriously.

They seem to have a winning record.

"Methadone is not in our program," he said. "Our goal is to get people off
period. We don't use drugs to get people off drugs."

Daytop Village, another heavy hitter in the war against the needle, doesn't
use methadone. Does coming down hurt? Oh, yeah.

Thank you and good night.

You see the carefully labored attack on Giuliani wasn't so much as if he
said: "Lock the bastards up and let them die in cold turkey."

No, it was much worse than that. He actually suggested that recovering
addicts go to work. Perish the thought.

And the liberals cringed. The liberals who have never seen anyone die can't
imagine doing anything naughty to people who are naughty.


I have held people in my arms in Hong Kong while heroin made them throw up
forever over my starched shirt.

They were not ghetto kids, they were accountants and too many of them were
fellow journalists.

We all stray and asking forgiveness is not enough. We have to show we are sorry.

And being a smack-hack is not going to be cured by replacing one addiction
with another.

Unless, of course, all these heavy-hitting experts and liberals want a
methadone clinic next to their kids' kindergarten.

Rudy Giuliani is no day at the beach. He is a gorgeous target for these
wisenheimers who talk as long as they have letters after their name.

Once again, he is damn straight on. He is the Prince of the City.

Reno Allows Release Of CIA Cocaine Report ('Reuters' Says That,
After A Seven-Month Delay, US Attorney General Janet Reno
Gave The Go-Ahead For Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich
To Make Public His 407-Page Report On His 15-Month Investigation
Into Alleged CIA Involvement In Cocaine Dealing By Individuals
Tied To Nicaraguan Rebels In The 1980s)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:44:37 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Reno Allows
Release Of CIA Cocaine Report
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ghamal de la Guardia (gguardia@mindspring.com)
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: Reuters
Contact: editor.reuters@reuters.com


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General Janet Reno finally allowed the
release Thursday of a Justice Department report into alleged CIA involvement
in crack cocaine dealings by individuals tied to Nicaraguan rebels in the 1980s.

The report, the basic conclusion of which was known months ago, found no
evidence to support the allegations.

After a seven-month delay, Reno gave the go-ahead for Justice Department
Inspector General Michael Bromwich to make public his 407-page report
outlining the findings of his 15-month investigation.

Bromwich said Reno's decision to delay release of the report had given rise
to "groundless speculation" that she was trying to suppress findings that
may have been damaging to the Justice Department and supported the original

At issue was a 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News alleging that
individuals tied to the Contra rebels were primarily responsible for
flooding Los Angeles with crack cocaine in the 1980s, starting the U.S.
crack epidemic.

Bromwich and a separate investigation by the CIA inspector general found no
evidence to substantiate the allegations. Bromwich examined the Justice
Department's investigations and prosecutions of the various drug cases.

"While some drug traffickers supplying cocaine to Los Angeles drug dealers
were Contra supporters, they were investigated and pursued by the Department
of Justice," he said.

"These investigations were not always successful, but we did not find that
they were obstructed because of claims that these individuals were connected
to Contras or the CIA," he said.

"And we did not conclude, as suggested by the articles, that Ricky Ross, a
Los Angeles-based drug dealer, or his suppliers were the cause of the crack
explosion in Los Angeles or in the United States as a whole," he concluded.

Reno said in a statement that she delayed the report "to protect the
integrity of an ongoing law enforcement operation." She said that
investigation recently ended.

"By delaying the report's release, federal law enforcement officials were
able to protect the integrity of a very important - though unrelated --
investigation as well as the safety of an undercover agent, a confidential
informant and members of the informant's family," Reno said.

FDA Confirms 39 Viagra Deaths, Says Drug Safe ('The Dallas Morning News'
Doesn't Say Why The US Food And Drug Administration Considers Marijuana,
Which Never Killed Anyone, Dangerous)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:01:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: FDA Confirms 39 Viagra Deaths, Says Drug Safe
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998


WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration has confirmed 39 deaths among
American men using the popular impotence pill Viagra but says it remains
convinced the drug is safe when used by the proper patients.

In an update on its Internet site, the FDA revealed that it also has
received an additional 38 reports of possible deaths among Viagra users,
but it has not been able to verify those reports' accuracy. Twenty-four
were hearsay or media reports, eight failed to show whether the men
actually took Viagra, and six involved foreign patients, the FDA said.

Even the 39 verified reports, however, don't prove the drug was to blame,
the FDA cautioned.

Viagra carries safety warnings. Doctors must not prescribe it to men who
take nitroglycerin or other nitrate-containing drugs because the mix can

The FDA also warns that the sudden exertion involved in resuming sexual
activity may be too risky for men with heart conditions; the agency urges
doctors to assess heart health before prescribing.

The FDA's death reports show that six Viagra users who died also took
nitroglycerin or other nitrates.

At least 24 deaths were deemed heart-related. Eighty-five percent involved
men who had at least one risk factor for heart disease. Fourteen deaths are
known to have occurred within two hours of sexual activity.

Viagra has been prescribed some 2.7 million times since hitting the market
in April.

Let's Treat Drug Abuse As The Illness It Is (An Op-Ed
From 'The Washington Post' In 'The International Herald-Tribune'
By Drs. David C. Lewis And June E. Osborn Of Physician Leadership
On National Drug Policy)

Newshawk: Peter Webster
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Contact: iht@iht.com
Website: http://www.iht.com/
Source: Washington Post
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Authors: Drs. David C. Lewis and June E. Osborn

Note: Dr. David C. Lewis is project director and Dr. Osborn is
chair of Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy. They contributed
this comment to The Washington Post.

Newshawk's Note: in the IHT this article was accompanied by a
Danziger (LATimes) cartoon that is priceless: Newt and Waffle are seen
chucking fad wads of banknotes into the breeze from a big wheelbarrow
labeled, "$1 Billion -- Your Tax Dollars at Work". The caption: "Look!
Look! We're fighting DRUGS!". Danziger's cartoons are normally
available online at http://www.danzigercartoons.com/ but this one doesnt
seem to be there yet.]



WASHINGTON---The war on drugs is costly, politically divisive and,
after three decades, seen by many as a failure. Congress struggles for
solutions amid steaming rhetoric. On the front line are frustrated
physicians and police searching for new answers.

A U.S.-wide survey of police chiefs by the Police Foundation found
that 85 percent want major changes in drug policy. Sixty percent said
law enforcement has not reduced the problem. Because of mandatory
sentencing laws, drug offenders represent more than 60 percent of
federal prisoners. Police see firsthand that nonviolent drug users and
addicts, who are the victirns of drug dealers, are the most negatively
affected by "warehousing" in prison.

Historically, drug policy originated from elected of ficials and
police, driven by sensational news stories of drug lords and predatory
dealers. But beyond the headhnes is the core problem of millions of
ordinary people with no connection to the crime world who are caught up
in abuse and addiction. As police know, if this medical problem can be
reduced, the drug dealers at the top will be strangled by a shrinking

While serious and violent offenders must be dealt with by the law,
most substance abusers and addicts threaten only themselves. Recovery
can come if effective treatment is available. Still, 75 percent of
federal and state funds for drug abuse go to law enforcement.
Physicians, like many police of ficials, believe that this 3-to-1 ratio
should be shifted to significantly increase treatment.

For many years before World War II, doctors were prosecuted and
jailed in the United States for treanng what the newspapers then called
"dope fiends." American medicine was elbowed out of drug treatment.
This exclusion crippled drug policy because the huge medical component
was almost ignored.

Now a group of 37 nationally known doctors, Physician Leadership on
National Drug Policy is taking an unprecedented step. The group says
that "the current emphasis---on use of the criminal justice system and
interdiction to reduce illegal drug use and the harmful effects of
illegal drugs---is not adequate to address these problems."

Members of Physician Leadership include Louis Sullivan, former
secretary of Health and Human Services; David Kessler, former
commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration; Lonnie Bristow, past
president of the American Medical Association, and Antonia Novello,
former U.S. surgeon-general. Others include the editors of preeminent
medical journals.

Recently the group sponsored a major study comparing the efficacy
of drug-addiction treatment to the treatment of other chronic disorders.
This study of more than 600 peer-reviewed research articles showed that
treatment of drug addiction is as effective, and sometimes more
effective, than treatment for hypertension, asthma and diabetes.

Furthermore, the study showed that treatment was less costly than
incarceration and that it lowered crime rates significantly.

The annual regular cost of out-patient treatment for a drug addict
is $1,800, intensive outpatient treatment is $2,500, methadone
maintenance for heroin addiction is $3,900 and residential treatment is
$6,800. A year in prison for a drug addict averages $25 ,900, triple
the cost of the most expensive therapeutic option. Compounding the
problem is the fact that prisons rarely provide treatment for drug

Substance abuse must have treatment parity (insurance coverage and
accessibility) with other chronic, relapsing illnesses such as
hypertension and diabetes. The societal stigma surrounding drug
problems must be reduced so those needing care will seek it, those
providing care will be encouraged to do so and health care programs will
reimburse the costs willingly.

The huge burden of laws and regulations on drug treatment must be
reduced so physicians can treat abuse and addiction as aggressively as
they now treat other chronic illnesses.

In The Drug War, Fantasy Beats Facts ('Chicago Tribune' Columnist
Steve Chapman Critiques The Willful Ingorance Of The US Drug Czar,
General Barry McCaffrey, As Revealed In His Recent Trip To Europe,
Billed As A 'Fact-Finding Tour,' Which In Practice Seems To Have Been
A Fact-Dodging Tour)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:13:38 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: In The Drug War, Fantasy Beats Facts
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Pubdate: 23 July 1998
Section: Sec. 1, p. 23
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Author: Steve Chapman (schapman@tribune.com)


It's been said that any prosecutor can convict a guilty defendant--it
takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent one. But any
responsible prosecutor confronted with convincing evidence that he
indicted the wrong person would immediately move to dismiss the case.

Drug czar Barry McCaffrey doesn't follow the same practice. He issued
an indictment the other day and, after learning the charges were
false, insisted that the suspect was guilty nonetheless. Nothing is
going to get in the way of the drug war, least of all mere truth.

McCaffrey was about to take a trip to Europe that was billed as a
"fact-finding tour" but in practice seems to have been a fact-dodging
tour. Among the destinations on his itinerary was the Netherlands,
where the sale and possession of marijuana and hashish are permitted
and police rarely make arrests for possession of hard drugs. Shortly
before traveling to the Netherlands, he said Dutch drug policy was an
"unmitigated disaster," claiming it has turned the country into a pit
of violence and depravity.

"The murder rate in Holland is double that in the United States," he
said. "The overall crime rate in Holland is probably 40 percent higher
than in the United States. That's drugs."

This news came as a shock to the peaceable citizens of the
Netherlands, who do not live in the same constant fear of crime as
residents of, say, Washington, D.C. And their surprise was justified.
It turns out the drug czar's claims were wildly inaccurate. Instead of
being double the U.S. rate, the Dutch homicide rate is about one-fifth
as high. With 16 million people, the entire country has fewer murders
each year than Houston.

Crime is not unknown there, but it mostly involves theft and other
property crimes, as in Britain. Violent offenses, however, are
exceedingly scarce by American standards.

"When it comes to life-threatening robberies, we're talking about a
difference of 15 to 1 between the United States and the Netherlands,"
says Franklin Zimring, a law professor at the University of California
at Berkeley. "You're just as likely to lose your bicycle in Amsterdam
as in Chicago, but you're much less likely to lose your life."

Crime is not the only comparative success story in the Netherlands.
Despite its laissez-faire approach to cannabis--or perhaps because of
it-- marijuana use is lower in the Netherlands than in the United
States among both adults and adolescents.

McCaffrey, however, saw no need to make amends for his error. He
attributed his murder statistics to the international police agency
Interpol and said that if the Dutch have a gripe, they should take it
there. After he visited the Netherlands, the czar softened his
comments only slightly, praising the government for some of its
actions. Asked if he still thought the Dutch approach to drugs was an
"unmitigated disaster," McCaffrey replied, "You can say it's a
mitigated disaster."

The problem here is not that the nation's leading official in the war
on drugs provided grossly inaccurate information about an important
issue, though that is bad enough. The problem is that the U.S.
government is making policy based on terrible misinformation and that
our top drug official shows no capacity to learn from his mistakes.

When he thought the Dutch murder rate was higher than the American
rate, McCaffrey had no doubt that Dutch drug policy was the reason.
But now that he knows the Dutch rate is far lower, he cannot even
consider the possibility that the Netherlands' permissive drug policy
is not so harmful after all. He's like a guy who jumps off a building
in the belief he can defy gravity and then, when he hits the ground,
insists that gravity had nothing to do with it.

McCaffrey's devotion to ignorance was on display even after this
embarrassment. Before visiting the Netherlands, where pot may be sold
and consumed openly in small "coffee shops," the drug czar spurned
suggestions that he take a look at this experiment with his own two
eyes. "I'm not sure there's much to be learned by watching somebody
smoking pot," he said. Trouble is, he shows no sign of being able to
learn in other ways, either.

McCaffrey can depict the Netherlands as a disaster, but he might as well
depict the Zuider Zee as part of the Alps: Anyone who cares to look can see
it's not so. The Dutch are trying something different on drugs, and the
results are not an endorsement of the U.S. drug war. Apparently, that is of
no interest to Barry McCaffrey, who doesn't realize that wisdom is what you
acquire after you know it all.

General McCaffrey On NPR Radio's 'Diane Reim' Show (NORML In Washington, DC,
Invites You To Call The US Drug Czar After 9 AM Tomorrow, Friday)

From: NATLNORML@aol.com
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 19:47:04 EDT
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Subject: Gen. McCaffrey on NPR radio's "Diane Reim" show
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Drug Reform Activists:

Drug Czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey will appear live on "The Diane Reim
Show". He will be interviewed by drug war apologist/newspaper columnist
Steve Roberts. Gen. McCaffrey will appear from 11 am - noon (eastern).
The last half-hour of the show is for listeners' calls. The show is
simulcast to numerous NPR stations nationwide.

For the phone number to reach the general during the show call
WAMU-FM, Wash, DC, 202-885-1200 (after 9 am on Friday)

Have at the 'good' General. Ask him how he liked his trip to Europe
last week....


McCaffrey's Retraction (A List Subscriber Says The Dutch Newspaper,
'De Volkskrant,' Wrote On July 16 That The Dutch Secretary Of State
Had Threatened To Refuse Admittance To The US Drug Czar,
General Barry McCaffrey - Which May Have Led To The Mysterious Retraction
Of A Particularly Inane Statement)

From: GDaurer@aol.com
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:28:14 EDT
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Subject: McC's retraction
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Well, this might solve the puzzle as to why McC's people withdrew their harsh
written press release critical of the Netherlands, just before McCaffrey
visited. From a friend's letter:

"De Volkskrant", a major Amsterdam newspaper reported on its first page,
Thursday, July 16th: "Van Mierlo [Dutch secretary of state] threatened to
refuse admittance to US drugs expert." It explains this action was considered
after McCaffrey had accused, in a note, that the Netherlands were meddling in
US interior politics. McCaffrey's spokesman was told by your State Department
to call the press agencies involved and tell them the piece had been retracted
by his boss.

It looks like the Dutch weren't going to let his lying ass into the

Indpendent corrobaration would be appreciated.

Gregory Daurer
Denver, CO

Media Alert - Overdoses And Prosecutions In Plano, Texas (The Drug Reform
Coordination Network Asks You To Take A Few Minutes To Write
To Your Local Media To Counteract Harmful Sensationalism
And Knee-Jerk Ignorance - Plus URLs To Information Explaining The Error
In The Ways Of ABC's 'Nightline' And Others)

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 03:30:40 -0400
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org


(To sign off this list, mailto: listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or

mailto:lists@drcnet.org for assistance. To subscribe to
this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.)

Yesterday, a local tragedy from the small town of Plano,
Texas, a suburb of Dallas, became national news. Several
young teenagers have died from heroin overdoses during
recent months, and prosecutors are seeking federal mandatory
minimum sentences, up to 20 years without parole, against
not only the true heroin dealers, but the young friends of
the deceased, who helped them obtain heroin.

Only a few weeks ago, ABC Nightline aired an outstanding
report on the recent Open Letter to U.N. Secretary General
Kofi Annan, in which hundreds of prominent individuals
worldwide proclaimed that "the global war on drugs is now
causing more harm than drug abuse itself"

But last night's Nightline, along with other media reports
on the Plano tragedies, gave an almost completely uncritical
presentation of the issue. The only counterweight to the
police, prosecutors, and understandably angry parents, was a
single, brief, reasoned comment from a recovered addict who
is training as a drug counselor. No voices were heard
speaking on the futility of the enforcement approach or the
harm that it can cause.

We conclude that while the media has begun to figure out
that there is another side in the drug debate, that it is
made of credible individuals who believe the war on drugs is
causing great harm, they do not yet fully understand the
nature of that harm. In particular, the media does not yet
understand that the deaths in Plano, and the thousands more
every year across the nation, are themselves among the harms
caused by prohibition and the war on drugs, and that those
young people might well be alive today if heroin were
available through some legal means. Most of the overdoses
are caused by the lack of quality control in the black
market, a market run by criminal organizations that are not
subject to either government regulation or popular opinion.
It is understandable that the grieving residents of this
small town might not have reasoned all of this out. But it
is the responsibility of the media, particularly the
national media, to discuss the issue at a more sophisticated

Please help enlighten the media by contacting the outlets
listed below. It is especially important for you to
respond, if you or someone you know has had a personal
experience with drug addiction or overdose.

Nightline: Read an intro to the Plano report online at

http://www.abcnews.com/dispatches/bureaus/heroin980722/ and
follow the "send mail" link to give feedback.

CNN Talkback Live: Read the transcript of the segment at

http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/9807/22/tl.00.html and use

http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/TalkBack/ or

http://www.cnn.com/feedback/ to participate in the
discussion, or mailto:talkback@cnn.com to send in your
comments. Be sure to vote in the online poll.

WFAA: A major TV station in Texas -- read about the segment
at http://www.wfaa.com/news/9807/22/heroin_bust.shtml and

mailto:news8@wfaa.com to send in your comments.

Send your own comments on the coverage of the Plano
incidents, and also point them to these edifying resources
on the web:

Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs
Part I - The Opiates: Heroin, Morphine, Opium, and Methadone

Drug Maintenance Programs: methadone maintenance, heroin
maintenance, morphine maintenance, including the Swiss
government's report on its trial heroin maintenance program.

A view from the front lines of the drug war: A former judge
and front-line drug warrior discusses his experiences that
illustrate the utter futility of drug enforcement, no matter
how skillfully executed.

60 Minutes report on the Liverpool heroin maintenance
clinic, demonstrating how legal heroin could have saved the
lives of these kids.

Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform -- Australian
organization of people who have lost loved ones to drug
abuse, mainly heroin, who blame Prohibition for their

National Alliance of Methadone Advocates

Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Subscribe to DRCNet's weekly news bulletins and action

Also urge them to read Mike Gray's new book, Drug Crazy,
from Random House, http://www.drugcrazy.com.

Here on DRCNet's rapid-response list, DRC-NATL, we are
careful to limit the number of our posts -- a typical week
will only include The Week Online with DRCNet online
newsletter, and occasional action alerts such as this one,
on an as needed basis. But some of our members would like
to do more. Hence, we are now offering a new mailing list,
DRC-EXTRA, through which we will offer additional action
alerts or breaking news, on an ad-hoc basis. DRC-EXTRA is a
one-way mailing list like DRC-NATL, not a discussion group,
so while you will receive more messages in a typical week
than come from DRC-NATL, your mailbox won't get flooded by
ongoing discussions among a group of subscribers. To
subscribe to DRC-EXTRA, mailto:listproc@drcnet.org with the
line subscribe drc-extra your name in the body of the
message (not the subject). (Don't use the brackets, and if
you don't want to share your real name, at least make
something up, or the list processor won't accept your

Also note that starting tomorrow (Thursday), the magazine
Intellectual Capital (http://www.intellectualcapital.com)
will present statements for and against drug legalization,
from Nadine Strossen, president of the American Civil
Liberties Union, and a representative of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy (McCaffrey's office), with an
online discussion forum on the subject running for seven
days. Intellectual Capital is a very high powered online
publication, with a range of impressive individuals on its
editorial board. Let's make a strong showing for drug
policy reform in this forum!

DRCNet needs your support to continue to offer these
bulletins. Please join the more than 1,000 visionaries who
have cast their vote and sent in their membership dues.
Make a credit card donation through our secure registration
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Drug Policy Foundation Action Alert - Oppose New Mandatory Minimums
(The New York-Based Reform Group Asks You To Urge Your Congressional
Representatives To Vote Against HR 3898, 'The Speed Trafficking
Life In Prison Act Of 1998')

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 13:56:26 EDT
Errors-To: dpf-mod@dpf.org
Reply-To: dpnews@dpf.org
Originator: dpnews@dpf.org
Sender: dpnews@dpf.org
From: "Drug Policy News Service" (dpf-mod@dpf.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (dpnews@dpf.org)
Subject: ACTION ALERT: Oppose New Mandatory Minimums (7/23/98)


Released July 23, 1998
Please Redistribute

Oppose Harsh New Mandatory Minimums
Urge Congress to Vote Against H.R. 3898, the "Speed Trafficking Life in
Prison Act of 1998"

The House Judiciary Committee approved H.R. 3898, the "Speed Trafficking
Life in Prison Act of 1998," on July 21 by a vote of 21-6. The vote was
largely along party lines, with Republicans arguing for stiffer penalties
and Democrats warning that the bill would "result in clogged courts and more
prison overcrowding for relatively minor offenses," according to
Congressional Quarterly.

In a press release following the vote, DPF's Public Policy Director, H.
Alexander Robinson, objected to the "race-based rationale" for the bill, as
evidenced by a June 9 memorandum distributed by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.).
The memo states, in part, "Over the last eight years, Mexican drug
organizations have replaced motorcycle gangs as the major methamphetamine
producers ... and have saturated the western U.S. markets." Rep. Sheila
Jackson-Lee (D-Tex.) was concerned by this reasoning, saying: "I do not want
to be part of a bill that specifically targets a minority group."

H.R. 3898 would cut in half the amount of methamphetamine required to
receive a five- or 10-year mandatory minimum, making federal sentences for
crack cocaine and methamphetamine equivalent. The bill would institute the
following new sentences:

* a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for possessing or trafficking in 50
grams of methamphetamine (formerly 100 grams);

* a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for possessing or trafficking five
grams of methamphetamine (formerly 10 grams);

Thanks to an amendment by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the bill would also
require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to analyze the impact of the
increased penalties and present the results to Congress within one year.

Call or Write Your Representative -- The Drug Policy Foundation urges you to
contact your representative and ask him/her to vote 'NO' on H.R. 3898, the
"Speed Trafficking Life in Prison Act of 1998." Feel free to use the
following in your correspondence:

As your constituent I urge you to oppose H.R. 3898, the "Speed
Trafficking Life in Prison Act of 1998." This legislation promises to be
costly to taxpayers, removes necessary discretion from federal judges, and
will result in more low-level offenders clogging the courts and
unnecessarily filling our prisons. This bill promotes the failed policy of
mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses, which is not cost-effective
according to the Rand Corporation. Its study, Mandatory Minimum Drug
Sentences: Throwing Away the Key or the Taxpayers' Money, concluded: "in all
cases, conventional enforcement is more cost-effective than mandatory
minimums, and treatment is more than twice as cost-effective as mandatory
minimums." (p. xxii)

Also, Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) is scapegoating Mexicans in his
promotional material for the bill, and I am concerned passage of this bill
will have a disproportionate effect on Mexican-American communities.

Please support the wise use of taxpayers' money and justice for all
Americans by voting against H.R. 3898. I look forward to receiving your
response on this most important legislation.

Call Your Representative -- Calling your representative is the most
effective way to make your views known to them. You should:

* Find out who your representative is by calling the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Have your zip code ready to give the

* Speak with the legislative assistant who is working on drug policy or
criminal justice issues.

* Keep the message simple. Urge your representative to oppose H.R. 3898 for
the reasons outlined above. Ask for a return letter explaining your
representative's position on the legislation and mandatory minimum
sentencing for drug offenses.

Fax, Write a Letter, or Email Your Representative -- Call the Capitol
Switchboard then call your representative's office to get the fax number.
You can also go to the ACLU's website
 for all contact information.
Letters can be sent to: The Honorable (name of your representative), U.S.
House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515. Finally, please don't use
email unless you have already called or faxed.

Please send a copy of your letter and response to: H. Alexander Robinson,
Public Policy Director, Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave. NW,
Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008-2328 fax: (202) 537-3007; email:


To support the Drug Policy Foundation's efforts to reform the nation's civil
asset forfeiture laws and create rational and compassionate drug policies,
please send $35+ to the address below for membership. Benefits include the
quarterly magazine, The Drug Policy Letter, Action Alerts, drug policy
updates, and discounts on books and videos. You can also join the Foundation
through our website at: http://www.dpf.org.

To join DPF's Drug Policy News Service, please send email to:
listproc@dpf.org with the following message in the body of the email:
subscribe dpnews Firstname Lastname.


The Drug Policy Foundation
"Creating Reasoned and Compassionate Drug Policies"

4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B-500
Washington, DC 20008-2328
ph: (202) 537-5005 * fax: (202) 537-3007 * email: dpf@dpf.org
web: www.dpf.org * www.drugpolicy.org

Drug Crazy - Stoning The Drug War (A Review In 'New York Magazine'
Of Mike Gray's Important New Book About The History Of The War
On Some Drug Users)

Date: Wed, 22 Jul 1998 13:12:00 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Review: Drug Crazy - Stoning the Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kewright@erols.com (Kendra E. Wright)
Source: New York Magazine
Website: http://www.newyorkmag.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 23 Jul 1998
Author: Walter Kirn


The drug war, Mike Gray argues in `Drug Crazy,' makes governments and
law-enforcement people feel good, but it's the most dangerous of

Having raged on for more than 80 years now, and with no end in sight, the
federal government's war on drugs has suffered failures and achieved
successes. First, the failures. Prisons the size of international
airports, though far more crowded and markedly less secure. Organized
rub-outs, open-air gunplay, and innocent-bystander-maiming crossfire that
makes Capone's Prohibition-era Chicago seem like Knott=92s Berry Farm.
Street gangs whose monthly net exceeds Netscape's, equipped with
communication networks, command structures, and high-tech weaponry that
could take Iraq. Lawmen licensed to seize, without due process, for their
own institutional enrichment, your house, your car, your watch, and the
crumpled twenty in your back pocket. A legal system racially rent asunder.
Banks turned into Laundromats for dirty currency. Precinct houses that
keep alive the spirit of the old Times Square, and tens of millions of
American citizens whose own blood and urine, extracted under duress, can
stand up in court, the Fifth Amendment be damned, and send their own host
organisms straight to jail.

Now for the successes. For anyone of virtually any age who wishes to
obtain them, heroin, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and LSD, in ever
more potent and appealing forms, remain abundantly available.

So much for a balanced weighing of an issue that no longer warrants such a
courtesy. According to "Drug Crazy," Mike Gray's compelling rant
against the ruinous, big-budget witch hunt that has unleashed more evils
than it's unearthed and devastated vaster legions of sinners than Jehovah
at his grumpiest, the drug war can end in one of only two ways: a
strongman-on strongman national Ultimate Fighting match lamely refereed by
dirty officials (the 'Blade Runner' scenario) or an orderly conditional
surrender to imperfect human nature (the Benjamin Spock Memorial Peace
Plan). Gray doesn't hide his preference for the second course, and the
evidence he piles up for his case, historical, scientific, and anecdotal,
fills only 200 pages yet still comes off as overkill. Gray knows he's
right from sentence one, and by sentence 100 the thoughtful reader does,
too, which makes for a book that's less an argument than a muted rant. Its
veneer of reason barely hides Gray's apoplexy, and that's 'Drug Crazy's'
strength. The time for fighting stupidity with intelligence (seldom an
effective strategy anyway) is over. Now it's time to pour on the contempt.

'Drug Crazy' begins with a competent reconstruction of the drug war's
turn-of-the-century early stirrings, which Gray writes began 'as a
collision of social reform and religious fundamentalism.' Originally a
stepchild to the temperance movement, the move against opium -- a common
ingredient in over-the-counter cough elixirs, its chronic abusers mostly
white and female -- was part of a domestic anti-Chinese racism and part of
a subtle diplomatic power play aimed at curbing British influence in Asia.
The push against cocaine was more direct: Get those 'drug-crazed niggers.'

With a genius for engineering a quagmire exceeding even LBJ's and
McNamara's, the crusade's boobish point man, one Dr. Hamilton Wright (later
exposed as a heavy-duty boozer), drew up a battle plan that targeted
doctors first. Framed as a tax act, the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act
terrorized thousands of physicians who prescribed drugs to soothe addicted
patients. In the meantime, a quackish cure-all for addiction based on a
TNT- strength laxative absolved the crusaders of guilt for damning
thousands of newly minted =93drug fiends=94 to an anguished, cold-turkey
withdrawal. Just flush out their guts and send them on their way.

The next tall white hat top ride into Drug City was no a doofus do-gooder
but an inflamed fanatic. Described by Gray with unstinting derision as
"a law and order evangelist," Harry Anslinger headed the Treasury
Department's Federal Bureau of Narcotics, but his actual power base was in
the private sector. Crowned a sort of one-man FDA, Anslinger could approve
or veto at will pharmaceutical companies' applications to market
narcotic-based painkillers. The King of Codeine, the Marquis of Morphine,
he was perhaps the grandest example to date of the drug war's metaphysical
ambivalence, its spiritual two-facedness. Whether it's Oliver North
allegedly importing loads of coke in the name of Nicaraguan anti-communism,
the CIA wading hip-deep into the opium trade in the Vietnam-era golden
Triangle, President Bush deforesting Bolivia while posing for handshake
P.R. shots with Noriega, or the local undercover cop cruising with the top
down on his freshly seized Ferrari, the enterprise seems to breed an evil
more rarefied than payoff-style corruption. The good guys create the
scarcity that guarantees the bad guys' profits, the bad guys fan the
instability that secures the good guys' jobs, and all too often both sides
find common cause protecting their synergistic racket from socialist
agitators, zealous legalizers, internal-affairs units, and other
interlopers. They're mutually nourishing parasites, and their hearts may
someday beat as one.

The fiery doomsdays that Gray sees coming if things don't cool off soon (a
war between the producing nations and those that consume their products,
which seems to me far-fetched, or the subversion of U.S. civil society,
which strikes me as already having begun) seem appealingly cathartic
compared with the slow-roast status quo of racist law enforcement,
diminished privacy, and the class of new untouchables who fail to score
A-pluses on their urine tests. Gray's point -- and though he's not the
first to make it, he has honed and hardened it enough to pierce the
thickest skulls -- is that the drug war isn't now and likely never was, an
authentic conflict between enemies but a hysterical splitting of the whole,
dividing blacks from whites, suburbanites from city dwellers, and, most
cruelly and injuriously, doctors from the patients. If 10-year-olds can
take Ritalin, an amphetamine, without dismembering their soccer coaches,
and California cancer patients can smoke dope without raping their nurses,
who put the `fiend' in =91drug fiend' in the first place? The chemicals or
the cops? Grays=92 book, justifiably bitter and sarcastic as well as lucid
and informative, tells the drug-war story straight and true.
Criminalization is what makes criminals, not hemp leaves, and demonization
is what makes demons, not processed poppy juice. Drug addiction is hell
for many addicts, and war is hell, too, according to the old saying. What
ever convinced us that two hells make a heaven?

Walter Kirn's 1997-98 reviews are available at newyorkmag.com.

High And Mighty - The Lies Of The Anti-Drug Propaganda Machine
(The Online Magazine, 'Slate,' Critiques The US Government's New $1 Billion
Pro-Drug-War Advertising Campaign - To Succeed, A Propaganda Campaign
Need Not Convince Its Audience, It Need Merely Suck The Oxygen
Out Of The Lungs Of Its Foes)

Date: Tue, 28 Jul 1998 14:24:46 -0500
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: cheechwz@MINDSPRING.COM (A H Clements)
Subject: High and Mighty: The lies of the anti-drug propaganda machine.
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Hey hey talkers,

This is from the SLATE website at


There are a lot of links on the page but you will need to subscribe to
"SLATE" to use them. I am posting the article for those hesitent to give
out their email address.

take care --- peace --- ashley in atlanta


High and Mighty The lies of the anti-drug propaganda machine.

By Seth Stevenson (posted Thursday, July 23, 1998)

There's a new It Girl on television these days--a pale, sexy,
raccoon-eyed waif who looks like an advertisement for shooting heroin. The
twist: The commercial is an ad for not shooting heroin. The waif smashes
china and plumbing fixtures in the commercial, screaming angrily about how
heroin will ruin your life.

The waif spot is one of a series of new anti-drug commercials that the
government will pay $1 billion to air over the next five years. The ads are
produced by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America - the best funded and
best connected propaganda machine in America today. It's backed by the
president, the speaker of the House, both parties in Congress, the biggest
of big corporations and foundations, the advertising industry, and the
major media. The slickness and pervasiveness of the campaign conceals
one flaw: The message--that all drug use leads to disaster--is a baldfaced

Founded in 1986 by a group of advertising execs, the PDFA's stated goal
is to produce and place ads that persuade kids not to try drugs, to
"denormalize" adult drug use, and to make drug use "less acceptable." Its
latest TV ads--created pro bono by leading ad agencies--will saturate prime
time this year thanks to a budget in excess of what Nike or Sprint spent on
TV advertising in 1997. (The PDFA once relied on donated airtime, but in
these flush days network time is at a premium, hence the requisition of
taxpayers' funds.) The budget dwarfs even the public service ad campaign
run during World War II in support of the war effort. The ads focus
solely on kids. In addition to the waif ad is one that depicts a little
girl answering questions. Lesson: Her mother has told her not to talk to
strangers but hasn't told her drugs are bad. In another ad, a father and
son sit at the breakfast table in silence. Lesson: This time could have
been spent talking about how drugs are bad. Some have attacked the
efficacy of these ads.

Indeed, no study conclusively demonstrates a link between them and
reduced drug use. Few have slammed the hypocrisy of the politicians and the
ad agency staffers behind this campaign, who can't all be drug virgins. But
the greater scandal is the free pass that reporters, most of whom have
imbibed, have granted the PDFA's propaganda blitz. (The lone exception is
the New York Times' Frank Rich.)

Let's be clear: Drugs can be awful. They can destroy lives. But for every
person who has died or ended up in a gutter, millions have dabbled in drugs
and still led productive, sane, successful lives. This is indisputable. In
fact, some long-term drug use can be harmless--and, yes, even kind of fun.
But the PDFA model offers only the salvation of abstinence or the perdition
of addiction. The PDFA's Web site suggests you tell your kids marijuana is
"a bad drug that can hurt your body." While it's true that marijuana
smoke (like tobacco smoke) contains carcinogens and the medical data
suggest it compromises the immune system and can also lead to short-term
memory loss, honesty demands that the silent dad in the PDFA ad admit to
his son that he smoked a good deal of pot when he was young, still
occasionally lights up at parties, and has turned out just fine.

Instead, the PDFA insists on using your tax dollars to lie to your kids.
Should teens hate and fear a friendly, well-adjusted, responsible classmate
who occasionally rolls a spliff? Should the culture denormalize someone who
does good work in a steady job, hurts no one, and once in a blue moon
sniffs some blow at a club? Are you on a hell-bound train if you take
mushrooms? Is all drug use drug abuse? The PDFA tells your kids "yes" when
the correct answer is "no." Perhaps the most shameful thing about the
PDFA propaganda campaign is that its leaders know better, having used drugs
themselves. Bill "Didn't Inhale" Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and Al Gore have
all admitted to having tried drugs in their early days. How can they tell
kids pot is an evil gateway drug when they're stellar proof that it isn't?

To succeed, a propaganda campaign need not convince its audience; it need
merely suck the oxygen out of the lungs of its foes. Prior to its alliance
with the government, the PDFA merely hogged the drug debate. Now it stands
to monopolize it, thanks to its ad dollars and its friends in the media.
July 9, PBS's The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer ran, without comment, all the
PDFA's new ads. (The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, responsible for 50
percent of the PDFA's funding, also donated over $500,000 to PBS last

Media luminaries from ABC News anchor Peter Jennings to Washington Post
Co. mogul Katharine Graham have supported the PDFA since its inception. The
editorial side of Graham's Post has only compliments for the PDFA, while
the advertising side has donated ad space to it. (The paternalism of the
PDFA's campaign has sunk in at major newsrooms. Click here to find out

We don't trust Madison Avenue to tell us the truth about fabric
softener, so why are we letting it brainwash our children about drugs?
Indeed, if the PDFA had a shred of integrity, its ads would be battling
alcohol and tobacco, America's two most injurious drugs and the two most
popular among teens. (The PDFA no longer takes money from Philip Morris,
RJR Reynolds, and Anheuser-Busch or other booze and smokes companies, but
even so, the alcohol connection remains: Margeotes/Fertitta and Partners,
which created the waif spot, also designs Stolichnaya vodka ads.)

In a rational world, the Republicans who decry the anti-tobacco
campaign as another appendage of the nanny state would see through the PDFA
campaign and reiterate their belief that Americans can be trusted to make
informed choices. For instance, contrary to what the raccoon-eyed waif
suggests, many heroin users are able to use their drugs and conduct
functional lives. What makes heroin users' life so crazy is that their
dependence on an illegal drug forces them to enter a criminal underworld.
The PDFA ignores these subtleties. Likewise with cocaine: Most of the 22
million Americans who've tried it have had no trouble walking away from it.
And pot? No one has ever overdosed.

By confusing propaganda with education, the PDFA stands to reap the
whirlwind. We don't lie to kids about alcohol. Everyone knows from an early
age what it can do--and that most people can handle liquor, but some people
can't. Eventually kids see through the drug hysteria, usually by the time
they turn 12 or 13 and start observing drug users for themselves. When they
discover they've been lied to, they stop trusting the liar--their parents
or teachers or TV commercials--and start trusting their peers. Whatever
real opportunity we have to reach them vanishes. Simply letting kids know
what the real risks are, without hyperbole, should be enough. Madison
Avenue propaganda is counterproductive.

From Placebo To Panacea - Putting Psychiatric Drugs To The Test (A Review
In 'The New England Journal Of Medicine' Of The New Book
By Two Academic Psychologists Which Says Psychoactive Drugs
Are No More Effective Than Placebos)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 02:16:29 -0400 To: mattalk@islandnet.com From: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca) Subject: NEJM Book Review: From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test The New England Journal of Medicine -- July 23, 1998 -- Volume 339, Number 4 Book Review From Placebo to Panacea: Putting Psychiatric Drugs to the Test Edited by Seymour Fisher and Roger P. Greenberg. 404 pp. New York, John Wiley, 1997. $49.95. ISBN 0-471-14848-2 This book, written entirely by academic psychologists, is a dose of strong medicine. A critical review of the psychoactive-drug literature, it asserts essentially that there is inadequate scientific information to conclude that psychoactive drugs are substantially more effective than placebos. The editors remind us that the interpretation of any research data is likely to reflect the researcher's bias: in this case, a bias toward biologic treatment, the pharmaceutical industry's financial motives, or both. They say, "We feel it is important to balance this bias by adopting a counterattitude based on a determined skepticism." Their intellectual, scholarly review is difficult to dismiss; yet the reader may feel their conclusions are immoderate. Part 1 deals with such conceptual issues as the interpretive problems posed by placebo effects and the need for placebo controls. The authors of this section point out that patients' ratings of improvement are often considerably lower than those of the treating therapist. The abrupt cessation of treatment with the drug and the substitution of a placebo are strongly criticized for increasing the likelihood of a relapse and thus strengthening evidence in favor of the drug. The problem of frequent coexisting illness makes it difficult to evaluate the specificity of a drug used for a given diagnostic entity or syndrome. Robert C. Carson presents a devastating criticism of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), which he describes as representing a "prescientific stage of development with respect to an attempt to bring taxonomic order to aberrant behavioral phenomena." He further states that "research advance in the field is seriously hampered by its [the DSM-IV's] pervasive influence." Carson decries the emphasis of the DSM-IV on reliability and its failure to deal with the question of its validity or its explanatory and predictive power. Part 2 deals with the efficacy of psychoactive drugs for adults and part 3 with the efficacy of drugs for children. Part 4 presents an overview and conclusions. In their discussion of adult depression, Seymour Fisher and Roger P. Greenberg note that short-term, "validated" psychotherapy programs are more likely than antidepressant medication to produce behavioral change that could have protective long-term effects; these programs also avoid the all-too-prevalent side effects of drug treatments. They state that drug-treatment studies have found that the effect of the specific treatment setting and its overall clinical management interact with the efficacy of the drug itself. With regard to lithium for the treatment of bipolar disorder, they conclude: "The history of the research relating to lithium follows a familiar pattern. Once again, there is a cycle of exaggerated initial results (fostered by enthusiasm and rents in the double-blind design); then, increasingly more conservative reports... ; growing disappointment among clinicians... ; and heightened efforts to find alternative treatments." David Cohen concludes that a large percentage of schizophrenic patients do not respond well to neuroleptic drugs; that social functioning is not improved by these drugs; and that many patients experience such severe side effects that treatment must be discontinued. William G. Danton and David O. Antonuccio underscore the drawbacks of anxiolytic drugs, including sedation, the return of symptoms after cessation of treatment, and the lack of long-term efficacy. They state that behavioral therapies, such as exposure to situations that generate anxiety, produce better and longer-lasting effects, because patients are helped to develop strategies for dealing with their anxieties and are therefore less vulnerable to future problems. With regard to drugs used to treat children, Rhonda L. Fisher and Seymour Fisher conclude, "It is not an exaggeration to assert that, by and large, the psychopharmacotherapy of the youth segment of the population is scientifically unjustified." Physicians who prescribe "psychotropic drugs for depressive and anxiety symptomatology are doing so without rational support." Their views are somewhat more favorable regarding the amount and quality of research confirming the efficacy of stimulants in treating attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder in children, the relative immediacy of response to treatment, and the relatively low cost. The book's greatest strengths are its scholarly citation and discussion of a wide body of relevant literature and its willingness not to pull punches. The book's message is shocking and nihilistic regarding drug therapies, but if it makes us reflect on our practices, the authors will have made an important contribution. Ruth G. Matarazzo, Ph.D. Oregon Health Sciences University Portland, OR 97201

Court Date Set For Appeal (Randy Caine Says His Appeal
Before The British Columbian Supreme Court Of An Adverse Ruling
In His Constitutional Challenge To Canadian Cannabis Prohibition
Will Take Place September 29-30)
Link to earlier story
From: "Randy Caine" (vcaine@uniserve.com) To: "Mattalk" (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com) Subject: Court date set for appeal Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 14:01:48 -0700 We return to court on Sept. 29 & 30. The appeal will take place at the Supreme Court of BC in Vancouver. Also....I've recently opened an office in Abbotsford for the Canadian Action Coalition (CAC). It is in the same building as my (our) lawyer, John Conroy. The role of the CAC will be as a community service organization. Over the next several months we will begin evaluating and assessing the existing drug policies and programs in the Abbotsford area. This examination will be set against the intended goals of these programs and policies. Upon completion we will then set about informing the community and the neccessary agencies regarding the successes, failures and shortcomings of those policies and programs. For those interested the address of the CAC: Canadian Action Coalition 2461 Pauline Street Abbotsford, BC V2S 3S1 Tel: (604) 870-8877 In Unity, Randy Caine vcaine@uniserve.com -------------------------------------------------------------------


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