Portland NORML News - Friday, July 24, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

NORML Weekly News (Body's Natural Pain Controlling Agents Mimic Marijuana,
'Nature' Magazine Reports; Oakland City Council Moves To Support
Local Medical Marijuana Dispensary; California Senator Attacks Advertising
By 'Head Shops' On The Net; Medical Marijuana Petitioners Confident Recount
Will Place Initiative On Nevada Ballot; Best Selling Author Indicted
On Marijuana Conspiracy Charge)

From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 19:36:26 EDT
Subject: NORML WPR 7/24/98 (II)

The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release

1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Ste. 710
Washington, DC 20036
202-483-8751 (p)
202-483-0057 (f)
www.norml.org
normlfndtn@aol.com

July 24, 1998

***

Body's Natural Pain Controlling Agents Mimic Marijuana, Nature Magazine
Reports

July 24, 1998, Naples, Italy: Marijuana like compounds produced
naturally by the body appear to help humans control pain, new research
published in the July 16 issue of Nature Magazine suggests.

NORML board member Dr. John Morgan of the City University of New York
called the study "dramatic," and said that the research held significant
implications for the use of marijuana as a medicine. "This research
nails down the fact that marijuana is an analgesic." We now know that
the human system reduces pain through the same chemical mechanism that is
used by compounds found in the plant, he said.

Researchers at the University of Naples in Italy demonstrated that
anandamide, an endogenous marijuana like chemical, is released by the
body when cells are damaged. The chemical produces effects in the
pain-processing areas of the brain and spinal cord that appear to ease
the sensation of pain. Researchers found that rats treated with a
synthetic agent that blocked the action of anandamide demonstrated a
longer and greater reaction to pain.

Scientists also determined that the release of anandamide in
conjunction with the endogenous compound PEA reduces pain 100-fold.

Morgan suggested that this research could be readily replicated in
human trials by administering similar blocking agents. Presently, a
French pharmaceutical company is awaiting approval to conduct such
research, he said.

Earlier research on anandamide, which was first identified in 1992,
indicated that the chemical appeared to inhibit inflammation and extreme
sensitivity to pain without carrying the risks associated with the use of
opiates, such as addiction and tolerance.

"These findings indicate that the administration of marijuana
compounds and endogenous marijuana like agents to the site of injury may
greatly reduce pain without incurring side effects," said Paul Armentano,
Director of Publications for The NORML Foundation.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said that this new
research directly challenges the government's position that marijuana is
without medical value. "To continue to deny medical marijuana to
seriously ill patients in light of this growing body of medical evidence
supporting the plant's therapeutic value is unjustified and inhumane," he
said.

For more information, please contact either Dr. John Morgan @ (212)
650-8255 or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.

***

Oakland City Council Moves To Support Local Medical Marijuana Dispensary

July 24, 1998, Oakland, CA: The Oakland City Council approved the
first reading of a medical marijuana ordinance designed to protect the
Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative from federal prosecution.

The ordinance would allow the city to officially designate the Oakland
club to enforce the state's medical marijuana law, California NORML
Coordinator Dale Gieringer said. Supporters argue that the ordinance
will protect the club from an injunction aimed at closing the dispensary
because federal law immunizes local officials who comply with local drug
laws from federal sanctions.

The proposal models itself after a statewide measure introduced by
Sen. John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara) that sought to authorize local
governments to establish medical marijuana distribution programs. That
measure fell two votes shy of passage in the Assembly Health Committee
earlier this month.

Ordinance sponsor, attorney Robert Raich, applauded the council's
action. "This proves again that good medical cannabis policy is good
public policy," he said. "The council has acted to protect patients as
well as the public health and safety of all Oaklanders."

For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of
California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or attorney Robert Raich @ (510)
338-0700.

***

California Senator Attacks Advertising By "Head Shops" On The Net

July 24, 1998, Washington, D.C.: California Senator Diane Feinstein
(D) recently asked the Justice Department to take action against
so-called "head shops" who advertise smoking accessories on the web.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. criticized Feinstein's
efforts. "One would hope that Senator Feinstein has something better to
do with her time than this," he said.

Speaking recently before Congress, Feinstein said: "A search of the
web reveals 15 websites which sell drug paraphernalia over the Internet."
She later asked Attorney General Janet Reno if her office was "aware of
this practice, and has the Justice Department initiated any prosecutions?"

Reno responded that her office would investigate the matter.

Federal law forbids the selling of marijuana smoking accessories such
as water pipes. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the
Constitutionality of the ban in a 1994 decision.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML
Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.

***

Medical Marijuana Petitioners Confident Recount Will Place Initiative On
Nevada Ballot

July 24, 1998, Carson City, NV: Petitioners pushing to change
Nevada's state constitution to allow patients to use marijuana legally
are confident that a review by the state elections committee will
validate enough signatures to place the measure on this fall's ballot.
Representatives of Progressive Campaigns Inc., which gathered the
signatures, said that many of the disqualified signatures should be
counted. In addition, they said that the county clerk miscounted the
number of valid signatures in one county.

Nevadans for Medical Rights, who are sponsoring the measure, were
initially informed that their effort fell short by a total of 43
signatures in two counties. Petitioners turned in more than a total of
74,000 signatures.

Petitioners can appeal to the courts if the elections committee fails
to validate the necessary number of signatures.

State initiative guidelines require the proposal to win voter approval
this November and again in November 2000 before it can become law.

For more information, please contact either R. Keith Stroup of NORML @
(202) 483-5500 or Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights @ (310)
394-2952.

***

Best Selling Author Indicted On Marijuana Conspiracy Charge

July 24, 1998, Los Angeles, CA: A federal grand jury charged author
Peter McWilliams and eight others yesterday with conspiracy to cultivate
marijuana for commercial sale. McWilliams, who uses marijuana
medicinally to alleviate the side effects of the AIDS wasting syndrome
and cancer, rented housing to activist Todd McCormick. Federal law
enforcement agents arrested McCormick in 1997 after finding thousands of
marijuana plants growing on the premises.

The new indictment alleges McWilliams played a role in the grow
operation.

The Los Angeles Times reported that McCormick and others intended to
distribute the marijuana to California Buyers' Clubs for medical
purposes. McWilliams, who is the best selling author of numerous books
including "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" and "How to Heal
Depression," has been an outspoken advocate for medical marijuana reform
in recent years. He also maintains a website online at:
marijuanamagazine.com.

For more information, please contact Peter McWilliams at:
peter@mcwilliams.com.
	
				- END -
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Industrial Hemp, Pot's Straight Cousin, Creeps Into Mainstream
(An 'Associated Press' Account Of The Struggle In The United States
To Re-Introduce Industrial Hemp Opens With An Interview With Wolf Creek,
Oregon, Hemp-Fabric Artisan Kevyn Woven)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:35:41 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OR: Wire: Industrial Hemp,
Pot's Straight Cousin, Creeps Into Mainstream
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Associated Press
Author: Jeff Barnard

INDUSTRIAL HEMP, POT'S STRAIGHT COUSIN, CREEPS INTO MAINSTREAM

WOLF CREEK, Ore. (AP) - In the Oregon woods, where camouflaged deputies beat
the brush each fall for hidden marijuana farms, Kevyn Woven strings his loom
with the straight cousin of the pot plant: industrial hemp.

Using hemp fiber and yarn imported from Poland, Romania, and China, where
the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp is legal, Woven creates rich,
nubby fabrics that wind up as chic boutique clothing and upholstery on
custom-made furniture.

"It is my passion,'' Woven says.

Once sold primarily at hippie fairs and through ads in magazines with an
environmental bent, goods made from industrial hemp are moving into the
mainstream. Adidas used it in a shoe, the Body Shop features a line of hemp
products and European car makers use it in interiors. There's even a beer
made with it.

"I feel the industrial hemp crop could very easily be the soybean crop of
the new millennium,'' said Jeffrey Gain, a former farm lobbyist who now is
chairman of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Alternative Agricultural
Research and Commercialization Corp.

Like soybeans, hemp produces an oil from its seeds that can be turned into
cooking oil, cosmetics and plastics. Hemp fiber can be used to make paper,
cloth and even structural panels stronger than plywood. The seed can be
ground for flour and livestock feed.

Industrial hemp is the same species as marijuana, but it is a different
variety which only contains a very small amount of tetrahydrocannabinol, or
THC, the stuff that makes pot smokers high.

Even that small amount, less than 1 percent, is enough to make it an outlaw
in the eyes of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. drug czar who heads the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

"A serious law enforcement concern is that a potential byproduct of
legalizing hemp production would be de facto legalization of marijuana
cultivation,'' McCaffrey's office said in a statement. "The seedlings are
the same and in many instances the mature plants look the same.''

Hogwash, say hemp advocates, pointing to the 29 countries that allow farmers
to grow hemp, including Canada, France, Germany and England.

Indeed, hemp was significant part of American agriculture until a few
decades ago. "Old Ironsides,'' the USS Constitution, went into battle with
sails, rigging and caulking made from it. Founding fathers George Washington
and Thomas Jefferson grew it. The Declaration of Independence was drafted on
paper made from it. Farmers could pay their taxes with it.

But cotton soon emerged as the world's dominant fiber. Hemp suffered another
setback with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which prevented farmers from
shipping hemp to processing plants because a few leaves that might contain
THC were left on the stalks, said John Roulac, author of Hemp Horizons and
founder of HEMPTECH, a hemp information network.

By the end of 1938, every hemp factory in the Midwest was shut down, except
one with a contract to supply rope to the Navy.

While the Drug Enforcement Agency argues that hemp is much more expensive
than other fibers, hemp advocates point out that difference would drop
immediately if hemp didn't have to be imported. Canada decided to let
farmers begin planting 5,000 acres this year.

"As long as McCaffrey is there it's probably not going to happen,'' in the
United States, said Gain, who is also on the board of the North American
Industrial Hemp Association.

The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative, the Hemp Company of America and six
would-be hemp farmers sued the DEA and the Justice Department last May. They
contend Congress never intended to make industrial hemp illegal when it
outlawed marijuana.

Faced with growing uncertainty for the future of tobacco farmers because of
federal efforts to wipe out smoking, the University of Kentucky's Center for
Business and Economic Research looked into the prospects of growing hemp,
once one of the state's biggest crops.

The study found that hemp could earn farmers between $220 and $600 an acre.
That would make it the second most profitable cash crop in the state after
tobacco, which brings in $1,000 to $1,500 per acre.

Med Byrd, director of applied research at North Carolina State University,
thinks hemp could shed its reputation as a "boutique'' product.

"If enough fringe people buy those products, and enough people work on
processes to get the price down and enough farmers are allowed to grow it,
all that can change,'' she said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pot Advocate, Author, Others Indicted (The United Press International Version
Of Yesterday's News About The Federal Indictment And Re-Arrests
Of California Medical Marijuana Patient/Activists Todd McCormick,
Peter McWilliams And Nine Others On Cultivation, Conspiracy
And Trafficking Charges)

From: "Todd McCormick" (todd@a-vision.com)
Subject: Pot advocate, author, others indicted
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 13:43:08 -0700

Yahoo! News
Human Interest Headlines

Friday July 24 1:48 PM EDT

Pot advocate, author, others indicted

LOS ANGELES, July 24 (UPI) - A federal indictment unsealed in Los Angeles
accuses a leading medical marijuana advocate and several associates of
conspiring to cultivate large amounts of marijuana for commercial sale.

Todd McCormick had earlier claimed that he was growing pot at a rented
Bel-Air mansion to help relieve chronic cancer pain.

The nine-count indictment unsealed Thursday names McCormick and eight
others. Several defendants, including McCormick, had been previously
indicted.

The indictment says best-selling self-help author Peter McWilliams was at
the center of the scheme. The owner of West Hollywood-based Prelude Press
allegedly provided more than $100,000 to rent the properties and buy
equipment used in raising the plants.

McWillams, author of ``Life 101'' and ``Nobody's Business if you Do,'' was
arrested Thursday and held on $250,000 bail. His lawyer, Harland Braun,
claims the indictment is part of a government effort to discredit advocates
of medical marijuana.

The alleged conspirators are accused of trying to sell some marijuana to a
group which distributes pot to people who suffer from AIDS or other serious
diseases. Such groups are legal under a measure approved by California
voters in 1996.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Cannabis Buyer's Club said his group has
never purchaced marijuana from outside sources.

In addition to McWilliams and McCormick, those named in the superseding
indictment include David Williams of Lancaster, Kirill Dyjine of Hollywood,
Andrew Scott Hass of Malibu, Christopher Carrington of Manhattan Beach, Greg
Collier of Van Nuys and Aleksandra Evanguelidi and Renee Boje of Los
Angeles.

Copyright 1998 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Marijuana Activist, Others Indicted (An 'Associated Press'
Version In 'The Contra Costa Times')

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:12:00 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Medical Marijuana Activist, Others Indicted
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: cohip@levellers.org (Colo. Hemp Init. Project)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Contra Costa Times (CA)
Contact: cctletrs@netcom.com
Author: Associated Press

MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVIST, OTHERS INDICTED

LOS ANGELES -- A self-help publisher who wanted to become the "Bill Gates of
medical marijuana" allegedly financed an operation that grew more than 6,000
of the illegal plants, according to a federal indictment.

Peter McWilliams, 48, of Los Angeles paid for his marijuana operation with
funds from his publishing company, Prelude Press, federal prosecutors said.

Also named in the indictment was Todd McCormick, the 27-year-old who was
arrested last year after authorities found more than 4,000 marijuana plants
growing in his rented Bel-Air mansion. The latest indictment supersedes the
previous charge of conspiracy to manufacturer marijuana. McCormick remains
free on bail.

McWilliams was arrested Thursday along with another man. Five defendants,
including McCormick, were arrested previously, and two others remain at
large, authorities said.

All are charged with conspiracy to grow marijuana, possessing the drug with
the intent to distribute, and distributing it.

McWilliams was being held on $250,000 bail after his arrest Thursday. His
attorney, Harland Braun, said the government issued the indictment as part
of a campaign to discredit medical marijuana advocates.

The group allegedly grew marijuana at four leased locations in Los Angeles
County, distributed it and tried to sell to the Los Angeles Cannibis Buyer's
Club, which has dispensed the drug since Californians voted in 1996 to
legalize it for medical use.

The indictment said McWilliams provided McCormick and others with more than
$100,000 last year. McCormick used a Prelude Press credit card to buy
growing materials, and McWilliams said he wanted to become the "Bill Gates
of medical marijuana," according to the indictment.

McCormick has maintained he has done nothing illegal under Proposition 215,
which legalized the cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for
medicinal purposes on a doctor's recommendation. Federal courts have not
recognized the state law.

Messages left at McCormick's home Thursday night were not returned.

McWilliams also is to stand trial for allegedly possessing drugs in Detroit,
where a judge has ruled that he can claim that marijuana helps keep him alive.

McWilliams was arrested in December 1996 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport as
he was about to fly home to Los Angeles. He said marijuana eases his nausea
during chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins' lymphoma and helps him tolerate AIDS
drugs.

Michigan does not have a law permitting medicinal marijuana use.

The other people named in the indictment who were previously arrested, in
addition to McCormick: Kirill Dyjine, also known as Hermes Zygott, 33, of
Hollywood; Andrew Scott Hass, 34, of Malibu and Bellingham, Wash.;
Christopher Carrington, 32, of Manhattan Beach; and Gregg Collier, 25, of
Van Nuys and Bellingham, Wash.

Arrested with McWilliams on Thursday was David Richards, 25, of Lancaster.

Authorities said Aleksandra Evanguelidi, 24, and Renee Boje, 28, both of Los
Angeles, remained fugitives, authorities said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Marijuana Advocates Accused Of Cultivation For Sale
('The Los Angeles Times' Version, Updated Somewhat From Yesterday)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:03:35 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Medical Marijuana
Advocates Accused Of Cultivation For Sale
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Author: David Rosenzweig

MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATES ACCUSED OF CULTIVATION FOR SALE

Todd McCormick, the medical marijuana advocate who says he was growing pot
at a Bel-Air 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 Thursday.

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

At the center of the scheme, according to the new 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 equipment to grow the plants.

McWilliams was arrested Thursday and held on $250,000 bail. His lawyer,
Harland Braun, said the indictment was part of a government campaign to
discredit medical marijuana advocates.

They allegedly tried to sell some pot 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.

In addition to McWilliams and McCormick, 27, those named in Thursday's
superseding indictment included David Williams, 25, of Lancaster; Kirill
Dyjine, 33, of Hollywood; Andrew Scott Hass, 34, of Malibu and Bellingham,
Wash.; Christopher Carrington, 22, of Manhattan Beach; Greg Collier, 25, of
Van Nuys and Bellingham, Wash., and Aleksandra Evanguelidi, 24, and Renee
Boje, 28, both of Los Angeles.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Action Alert - Peter McWilliams/Todd McCormick (A Bulletin
From The Colorado Hemp Initiative Project Asks You To Take A Few Minutes
And Write A Letter To California Media About The Federal Prosecution
Of The Two Medical Marijuana Defendants)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 14:56:36 -0600 (MDT)
From: ammo (ammo@LEVELLERS.ORG)
To: "DRCTalk Reformer's Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Action Alert: Peter McWilliams/Todd McCormick (7/24/98)
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Please re-distribute this announcement.

ACTION ALERT:
July 24, 1998

From the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project (cohip@levellers.org)

Peter McWilliams Arrested and Charged with Conspiracy
Todd McCormick Charged With Distribution

Feds Escalate War against Medical Marijuana Patients

As you may remember, Peter McWilliams' house was raided on December 17,
1997 by federal agents. The DEA seized his computer and an entire
book-in-progress about medical marijuana, "A Question of Compassion - An
AIDS Cancer Patient Explores Medical Marijuana."
(See: "The DEA Wishes Me a Nice Day"
http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/052298-7.htm)

This was shortly after McWilliams took out a two-full-page ad in Variety
Magazine directed at the entertainment industry that was very critical of
the DEA's war on medical marijuana patients.
(See "Would You fight A Hollywood Blacklist If There Were One Today?"
http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/openlet.htm)

McWilliams was never charged with any crime following the December raid,
until the indictments described below were issued yesterday.

Todd McCormick was previously indicted by a federal grand jury on charges
of manufacturing (cultivating) marijuana. That previous grand jury
found no evidence that Todd had been cultivating marijuana for
distribution.

But if at first the feds don't get the indictment they want, they can try,
try again.

This escalation of the federal goverment's war against patients must be
countered by strong public protest. Your letters of outrage can be
sent to the California media, using the list below to cut and paste into
the Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc:) field of your email program.

More targets for your outrage can be found at:
http://www.levellers.org/toddact.htm

For background on the trials of Peter McWilliams and Todd McCormick, see:
http://www.marijuanamagazine.com/toc/toc.htm
http://www.freecannabis.org
http://www.levellers.org/toddtoc.htm

Send copies of your letters to:
Peter McWilliams (peter@mcwilliams.com)
Todd McCormick (todd@a-vision.com)
COHIP (cohip@levellers.org)

***

Write LETTERS TO THE EDITOR of these California newspapers. Express
outrage at the persecution patients in California. Tell them to STOP THE
WAR ON SICK PEOPLE!! For help on letter-writing, see the Media Awareness
Project at http://www.mapinc.org.

California Newspapers (compiled by Jim Rosenfield: jnr@insightweb.com)
cctletrs@netcom.com(Contra Costa County Times Calif.)
chronletters@sfgate.com(San Francisco Chronicle)
feedback@smctimes.com(San Mateo Times)
letters@blk.com(BLK, LTE's)
letters@examiner.com(San Francisco Examiner)
letters@latimes.com(Los Angeles Times)
letters@link.freedom.com(The Orange County Register)
letters@modbee.com(Modesto Bee)
letters@news.latimes.com
letters@sfbayguardian.com(San Francisco Bay Guardian)
letters@sjmercury.com(San Jose Mercury News)
letters@TheReporter.com(Vacaville Reporter)
letters@uniontrib.com(San Diego Union Tribune)
mail@newtimes-slo.com
opinion@bakersfield.com
opinion@sacbee.com
pdletters@aol.com(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)
triblet@angnewspapers.com
tribletter@aol.com
viewpoint@asucla.ucla.edu(Daily Bruin UCLA Viewpoint)
voice@villagevoice.com
------------------------------------------------------------------

TWO ARRESTED FOR ALLEGED POT POWERHOUSE
MSNBC
http://www.msnbc.com/local/KNBC/117050.asp

***

Distributed as a public service by the:
Colorado Hemp Initiative Project
P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466
Vmail: (303) 448-5640
Email: (cohip@levellers.org)
Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html
http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html
"Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information
with 10,000 years of history and fact."
ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE???

***

To be added to or removed from our mailing list,
send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Save Peter McWilliams (A Message Forwarded From Los Angeles Area Attorney
James Silva Has More Details About The Medical Marijuana Defendant's
Conditions Of Bail)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: Fwd: Save Peter McWilliams
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 15:21:07 PDT

>From: "JAMES SILVA" (wscbc@hotmail.com)
>To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
>Subject: Save Peter McWilliams
>Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 00:13:31 PDT
>
>Dear Ralph,
>
>I am informed by an unconfirmed source that Peter McWilliams has been
>arrested and is being held on a $250,000 bond. Please post this
>message in an effort to help Peter.
>
>ACME Bail Bonds, through their relationship with my law offices has
>expressed their interest in supporting the patients and activists that
>continue to be subjected to prosecution dispite the passage of
>Proposition 215. To that end, ACME has agreed to write bonds at a
>reduced premium under certain circumstances.
>
>At my request, ACME has already provided a $35,000 without a premium
>bond for Steve McWilliams from the San Diego Cannabis Buyer's
>Co-operative. ACME has also provided a bond for Marvin Chavez from the
>Orange County Medical Cannabis Co-operative at a reduced premium.
>
>Please inform the community that I would be willing to enlist the
>resources of ACME Bail Bonds once again for the purposes of assisting
>Peter McWilliams. I can be contacted by e-mail at wscbc@hotmail.com, by
>telephone at (310) 450-2690 or by mail at:
>
>The Law Offices of James M. Silva
>33 Clubhouse Avenue, No. 14
>Venice, California 90291
>
>Regards,
>
>James
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Reaction Mixed To Yamaguchi Quitting ('The San Francisco Examiner'
Notes The Resignation Of Northern California Federal Prosecutor
Michael Yamaguchi, The US Government's Point Man In Its War
Against California Medical Marijuana Patients)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:09:46 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Reaction Mixed To Yamaguchi Quitting
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: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Author: Tyche Hendricks Of The Examiner Staff

REACTION MIXED TO YAMAGUCHI QUITTING

News that coastal Northern California's top federal prosecutor is stepping
down was greeted with mixed emotions in The City's legal circles.

U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi announced Thursday that he was resigning,
effective Aug. 24. The news elicited regret from some San Francisco
attorneys and relief from others.

His five-year tenure as U.S. attorney for the northern district of
California has been troubled by complaints over his laid-back style of
management and questions of misconduct by the office and its clients, which
include customs and drug enforcement agents.

Last year he withdrew his name from consideration for a federal judgeship,
after comments he made to the press led to a mistrial in a major cocaine
conspiracy case.

But Yamaguchi, 48, said Thursday he is proud of his accomplishments and
unperturbed by the criticism he has endured.

"This is a very demanding, consuming job and it takes a toll, but it's a
rewarding job," he said. "I feel I've achieved everything I wanted to, and
it's time now to move on."

He declined to elaborate on the reasons for his departure.

Attorney General Janet Reno has appointed Robert Mueller interim U.S.
attorney in Yamaguchi's place.

Among his proudest achievements, Yamaguchi listed his office's involvement
with the Unabomber investigation and the successful prosecutions of Chinese
alien smugglers and several high-tech computer chip robbers.

He also cited his close relationship with state and local law enforcement
and an increase in women and minorities on the office's legal staff.

Yamaguchi joined the federal prosecutor's office in 1980 and was named U.S.
attorney by President Clinton in 1993, becoming the first Asian American
U.S. attorney in the continental United States.

Defense attorney John Runfola, who estimated half his cases are federal,
said he was shocked to learn Yamaguchi was leaving the job, but wished him well.

"Michael has tremendous personal integrity," he said. "He stood by his
ideals. When you see that in this business, it really stands out."

He said criticism of Yamaguchi, particularly in legal affairs newspapers,
was unjustified.

"In the past couple years he took some shots in the press," he said.
"Because he's not a self-promoter, I don't think he really responded to
them, and that has led to some unfair criticism."

Patrick Hallinan, another defense attorney, said he was sorry to see
Yamaguchi go, but suggested he wasn't tough enough for the job.

"It's a damn shame," he said. "He's a wonderfully sweet, decent guy who
probably should have never been a U.S. attorney. He wasn't mean enough."

But attorney Maureen Kallins said Yamaguchi's lack of leadership led to
serious problems in the federal prosecutor's office.

"He wasn't at the helm," she said. "Someone in that position needs to be
really forthright and forceful or sinister forces can take over."

The office, she said, ended up being run by federal customs and drug
enforcement agents represented by the U.S. attorney.

"Those are not the people we want wielding the power," Kallins said.

She noted several cases in which prosecutors overlooked misconduct by some
of those agents. In one case against a former member of Thailand's
parliament accused of running a marijuana smuggling ring, a federal judge
criticized Yamaguchi's office for sitting on information that a customs
agent took kickbacks from a paid government informant.

"How could someone run an office and allow that to happen?" Kallins asked.

Last year, after the first phase of a trial of an alleged crack ring in
Oakland, Yamaguchi commented to a reporter that the convictions had reduced
violent crime there. Reasoning that the jury in the trial had been tainted
by the published remark, the judge dismissed the more serious charges which
hadn't yet been heard.

Yamaguchi's remarks ultimately led to the earlier convictions being thrown
out, after it was learned that the jurors had been discussing news reports
of the case.

The controversy was the primary factor in Yamaguchi's decision to withdraw
his name last year from consideration for the federal bench, despite a
recommendation from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Yamaguchi said Thursday he had been loath to undergo a potentially grueling
confirmation process as a Clinton nominee facing a Republican Senate.

Defense attorney Hallinan said he was sorry Yamaguchi didn't make it onto
the bench.

"He would have made a terrific judge. He would have listened to everybody,"
Hallinan said. "What went wrong is, he was dog paddling in a sea of sharks."

In spite of his critics, Yamaguchi stood by his record and his staff.

"When you take this type of job, you have to deal with both the positive and
the negative," he said. "It's foolish to think any government office is
going to escape criticism."

About the future, he said only that he had some other opportunities and
wanted to take time off to consider them.

Mueller, Yamaguchi's interim replacement, currently heads the homicide
division of the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia and
previously served as assistant attorney general in the criminal division.
San Francisco attorney John Keker, who declined to comment on Yamaguchi's
tenure, said he thought highly of Mueller, who was a fellow student at
Princeton University. "He has a long and distinguished career as a
prosecutor," Keker said. "He's a well-respected, first-class guy. The U.S.
attorney's office here is lucky to get him."

1998 San Francisco Examiner
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Yamaguchi Quitting As US Attorney August 24 ('The Associated Press' Version)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: Top western Fed prosecutor quitting
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 06:42:40 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Yamaguchi quitting as U.S. attorney Aug. 24

The Associated Press
07/24/98 6:01 AM Eastern

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The top federal prosecutor for coastal Northern
California is stepping down after five years on the job.

U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi announced his resignation Thursday, saying
he was considering several future opportunities. Yamaguchi, whose departure
takes effect Aug. 24, did not disclose his plans.

He called his time in office "rewarding and productive."

After 13 years in the federal prosecutor's office, Yamaguchi was named U.S.
attorney by President Clinton in 1993. He was the first Asian-American U.S.
attorney in the continental United States.

His office has suffered from a turnover of prosecutors and a steady decline
in charges filed, which Yamaguchi has attributed to a staff shortage.

Yamaguchi was recommended to Clinton for the federal bench in San Jose in
December 1996 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-San Francisco. But Yamaguchi
withdrew his name five months later after being rebuked by a federal judge
in a major drug case.

The judge declared a mistrial on charges against a reputed gang leader
because jurors had learned of comments that Yamaguchi made to a newspaper
reporter, linking a drop in Oakland crimes to the arrests of the defendant
and his associates.

Some other prominent prosecutions have also encountered problems, including
a pending case against a former member of Thailand's parliament, accused of
running a marijuana smuggling ring. A federal judge has criticized
Yamaguchi's office for sitting on information that a Customs agent in the
case took kickbacks from an informant, and has raised the possibility that
the charges will be dismissed.

In his resignation announcement, Yamaguchi noted the successful prosecutions
of Chinese alien smugglers, an offshore sports gambling ring, loan fraud
cases and the recent securities fraud case of Cal Micro Corp. executives.
His office also took part in the prosecution of Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski

He said he had increased representation of women, to 37 percent, and
minorities, to 16 percent, among the office's professional staff.

Yamaguchi graduated from UCLA in 1972 and worked for three years as an
accountant before attending the University of San Francisco law school,
where he graduated in 1978. He obtained a master of law degree from New York
University in 1979 and joined the U.S. attorney's office in 1980.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

A Clockwork Orange - Gone To Pot ('OC Weekly'
Notes The Four-Year Prison Sentence Bestowed Last Week
On David Lee Herrick, The Former San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputy
Convicted In May Of Selling Weed Through The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op)

Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 02:22:42 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Column: Gone To Pot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Pubdate: Fri, 24 July 1998
Source: OC Weekly (CA)
Section: A Clockwork Orange
Contact: speakout@ptconnect.infi.net.
Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/
Author: Matt Coker

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE: GONE TO POT

David Lee Herrick, who tried unsuccessfully to become the first in Orange
County to base a defense against drug charges on California's
medical-marijuana initiative, was sentenced on July 17 to four years in
state prison.

The 48-year-old former San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy was convicted
in May of selling weed through the Orange County Cannabis Co-op to people
who had obtained doctors' permission to smoke dope under Proposition 215.
But the judge refused to let the jury consider the new law, ruling that it
only allows for marijuana's use, not its sale.

Co-op founder Marvin Chavez, who's facing his own pot-sales charges, called
the sentence "wrong," noting his nonprofit operation simply gets grass to
sick people because government agencies have failed to do so.

But Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust compared Herrick to "a street
dealer," and Judge William R. Froeberg called him "nothing more than a
marijuana salesman."

It will be interesting to see if Herrick, who began toking to deal with a
back injury he suffered in the line of duty, will fight to get his pot
prescription filled behind bars.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medicinal Marijuana User Faces Drug Charges ('The Press-Telegram'
Previews Today's Court Appearance By Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Founder
Marvin Chavez, Noting Prosecutors Want To Prevent Him From Invoking
Proposition 215, Even Though He Was Arrested In April By An Undercover
Officer Posing As A Caregiver For A Terminally Ill Uncle)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 03:10:47 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Medicinal Marijuana User Faces Drug Charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Pubdate: Fri, 24 July 1998
Source: Press-Telegram (CA)
Contact: speakout@ptconnect.infi.net.
Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/
Author: Joe Segura, Staff Writer

MEDICINAL MARIJUANA USER FACES DRUG CHARGES

Controversy: Can Prop. 215 serve as defense for sales?

GARDEN GROVE - Marvin Chavez inhales deeply on a freshly rolled joint and
follows that with a few small puffs.

The 43-year-old Garden Grove man, who suffers from a genetic spinal
condition, says the marijuana brings relief that modern medicine fails to
provide. It halts the nausea created by pharmaceuticals he takes.

It's a drug his doctor has recommended. It's also a drug that California
voters approved for medicinal purposes under the provisions of Prop. 215,
known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996.

Chavez - an avid advocate of medicinal marijuana -- is facing eight felony
counts of marijuana sales and conspiracy to sell because prosecutors say he
has no legal standing under Prop. 215 to provide the drugs to others.

His trial begins Aug. 3, but his attorneys will be in court today fighting
an effort by the Orange County District Attorney's office to ban any
reference to Prop. 215 as a part of his defense. His lawyers also will be
opposing the prosecutor's effort to open up the medical records of the 200
members of the cannabis club.

Chavez's legal headache stems, in part, from the impasse between the Clinton
Administration and state lawmakers over the use of medicinal marijuana.

The Clinton Administration has firmly opposed its use for the seriously ill
-- those with cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, chronic pain and migraines.

Those differences between federal and state laws have created a void in any
kind of cannabis delivery system, administration critics contend.

Public health officials in Los Angeles and Orange counties said they're not
budging on setting up a medicinal marijuana distribution system until the
impasse is resolved.

"We will be extremely cautious in taking any step," said Ron LaPorte, Orange
County's deputy director of public health.

Added Dr. Donald Thomas, Los Angeles County director of clinical and medical
affairs: "The county is not going to get in the middle of that argument. We
get a lot of federal and state funds."

Chavez worked for the passage of Prop. 215 in Orange County. After its
passage, he co-founded the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group,
designed to be a clearing house for the seriously ill. The organization has
about 200 members -- people who have presented a doctor's recommendation for
marijuana use, he says.

Chavez was arrested in April after allegedly selling marijuana to an
undercover officer posing as a care-giver for a terminally ill uncle.

Prosecutors - as they did successfully in a prior case -- are pushing to ban
any reference to Prop. 215 as a defense.

In that case, the trial of cannabis club volunteer David Herrick, jurors
were kept in the dark about his medical condition. The judge ruled that
Prop. 215 didn't apply to sales of cannabis and that a cannabis club cannot
take on the care-giver status, which allows a person to obtain the marijuana
for sick patients.

Herrick was convicted on two of four counts of sale charges. And he was
sentenced last week to four years in prison, but Orange County Deputy Public
Defender Sharon Petrosino said she plans to file an appeal.

Attorneys Robert Kennedy of Long Beach and Jon Alexander of Orange County,
who are representing Chavez on a pro bono basis, emphasized that Prop. 215
is the central issue of the case.

They said a ban on Prop. 215 will deny Chavez his due process right to a
fair trial -- cutting off, among other things, his ability to assert a
defense of entrapment.

Kennedy said the undercover officers showed Chavez a doctor's recommendation
before Chavez provided them with the medicinal marijuana. That action, he
added, should make Prop. 215 key to the defense.

"Why did they need a prescription if (Prop. 215) is irrelevant?" he states
in a motion opposing the district attorney's effort to ban Prop. 215 from
the case.

Deputy District Attorney Carl Armburst, head of the Narcotics Enforcement
Team, said he also is seeking to open the medical records to the cannabis
club because he has serious doubts that a physician is involved in the
organization's operations.

Armburst said that the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 allows patients and
care-givers to grow their own marijuana plants, adding he's never prosecuted
a case against anyone for growing their own medicinal plants.

But Chavez and his attorneys note that many members of the Patient-Doctor-
Nurse Support Group are unable to grow their own -- adding that the system
can be somewhat complicated, if not impossible, for the neophyte.

Armburst doesn't buy that and he dismisses Chavez as a "street peddler."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Update - Marvin Chavez (A Local Correspondent Says The Former Director
Of The Defunct Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Was In Court Again Today,
Enduring Abuse And Improper Conduct From Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald
And District Attorney Carl Armbrust - Please Show Up To Protest In Front Of
The Courthouse Before The August 3 Hearing)

From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 21:52:59 EDT
Subject: Update: Marvin Chavez

Marvin Chavez, Director of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op, was in court
Friday, July 24, for his last preliminary hearing before his trial begins for
giving away medicinal marijuana to patients. Chavez is a medical marijuana
patient who suffers from Ankylosing Spondylitis, a form of degenerative spinal
arthritis. Chavez was recently released on bail after fundraising efforts by
Co-op members.

Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald had two-thirds of the courtroom seats sealed off,
leaving only about 15 seats open for supporters and people involved with the
26 other cases he was hearing that day. Another row of seats was opened after
people jammed the aisle and doorway trying to get in.

After reducing the crime of a man who dragged another man on the hood of his
car until he fell off at a freeway onramp with broken bones and a cracked head
to a misdemeanor, and giving him just sixty days in jail and three years
probation, he heard Marvin Chavez's case. Chavez is facing twelve years in
jail.

Fitzgerald made a barrage of insulting comments aimed at Chavez and disabled
supporters observing the case throughout the morning. Looking at the
observers, he stated, "I got some Thai sticks in the back if anybody wants
them." After no one responded, he said, "No one has a sense of humor in
here." When he called up Chavez's case, Fitzgerald said, "OK. Let's bring up
the dope case." A few minutes later, he stated, "I have some green leafy
material." When inquiring as to which defendant named Chavez this case was
for, he snidely remarked, "I almost sent you to prison for life, Mr. Chavez."

DA Carl Armbrust argued against allowing a Proposition 215 defense, saying
that because members made donations to the Co-op, the marijuana that Chavez
gave away was "sales." Fitzgerald granted Armbrust's motion, blatantly
ignoring that Judge Bryer in People v. Peron in San Francisco said, "Although
the sale and distribution of marijuana remain as criminal offenses under
section 11360, bona fide primary caregivers for section 11362.5 patients
should not be precluded from receiving bona fide reimbursement for their
actual expenses ..."

Armbrust made the outrageously inflated assertion that the struggling Co-op
was taking in $2,000 -- $10,000 a week. Fitzgerald, in another assault on
suffering patients, said, "It looks like we're in the wrong business, Mr.
Armbrust ... The only thing that keeps me from thinking that is people like
you and me."

Armbrust also argued to allow the patients' medical records, which are
currently sealed in the custody of the court, to be used as evidence.
Fitzgerald gave Chavez's attorneys, Robert Kennedy and Jon Alexander, 72 hours
to present papers opposing this before he makes his final decision on
releasing the records.

Fitzgerald voiced his bias against medical marijuana and Marvin Chavez
throughout the hearing. After Fitzgerald ruled in favor of Armbrust's
requests, he said, "Do we want to talk settlement or do we want to send Mr.
Chavez off to prison?"

Attorneys Kennedy and Alexander plan to file an appeal with the Fourth Circuit
Court of Appeals next week.

Chavez's trial and jury selection are set to begin on August 3 at the Orange
County Central Courthouse, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Division 39, 10th
floor, 8:30 am, in Santa Ana.

Please show up to protest in front of the courthouse before the August 3
hearing.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Ex-Pleasanton Cop Sues City, Police To Get Job Back
('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says Jeffery Anadon, A Longtime Police Officer
In Pleasanton, California, Has Filed Suit Against The City
And Its Police Department To Reverse His Demotion From Lieutenant
To Patrol Officer Because He Twice Had Affairs With A Former Drug Snitch
Against His Chief's Emphatic Orders)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:53:50 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Ex-Pleasanton Cop
Sues City, Police To Get Job Back
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: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Patricia Jacobus, Chronicle Staff Writer

EX-PLEASANTON COP SUES CITY, POLICE TO GET JOB BACK

He had affairs with police informant

Jeffery Anadon, a longtime Pleasanton police officer and decorated Vietnam
veteran, admits he twice had affairs with a former drug snitch against the
chief's emphatic orders.

But he does not believe he should have been demoted from lieutenant to
patrol officer for his actions.

``He's an outstanding officer who has had a really hard time,'' his
attorney, Carlos Alcala, said yesterday on the first day of Anadon's civil
trial against Pleasanton and its police department.

Anadon, 49, of Lathrop, is seeking reinstatement and an undisclosed amount
of money for emotional suffering he says he endured after the demotion.

He also claims he was discriminated against and subjected to racial slurs
while working at the Pleasanton Police Department. Anadon is Mexican and
Filipino.

``He wants justice,'' Alcala said of his client, who in the mid-1980s was
also accused of molesting the informant's daughter but later acquitted.

During opening statements yesterday in Alameda County Superior Court in
Hayward, the city's attorney, Paul Coble, told the jury Anadon was the
``master of his own fate.''

``He used profoundly poor judgment,'' Coble said. He said Anadon was passed
over for promotions not because of his race, but because he is not a good
role model for other officers. ``He's not someone they should pattern
themselves after.''

Anadon served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War as a Green Beret and
earned three Bronze Star medals.

He joined the Pleasanton Police Department in 1971 and was promoted to
sergeant seven years later. In 1989, he was a lieutenant, supervising
narcotics and vice detectives. His job evaluations reflected the work of a
dedicated officer.

But things turned sour for him shortly after his last promotion.

Anadon, who is married, had a six-month affair with a woman he once arrested
for possessing drugs. The woman became a snitch for the department and
earned $1,500 for two months of work, court records show.

Chief Bill Eastman learned of the affair through an anonymous caller.

Eastman confronted Anadon, who promised to cut ties with the woman. As
punishment, he relinquished one week of vacation but was not demoted.

Then, in 1990, the pair again started a relationship lasting for two years,
Anadon testified yesterday. In 1994, Eastman learned of the affair when
Anadon told him the former snitch accused him of child molestation.

A jury acquitted Anadon in 1995, but by then he had been demoted to officer.
His salary dropped from $6,000 a month to $4,700.

``He was not demoted because he had an extramarital affair,'' Coble said
outside the courtroom. ``He was demoted because he disobeyed the chief's
orders. His conduct was unbecoming.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Charges Dropped Against Alleged Meth Makers
('The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune' Says Charges Have Been Dismissed
Against Howard Leasure Of San Luis Obispo, California,
Because The 10 Pounds Of Methamphetamine Police Discovered In A Raid
On His Property Turned Out To Be Caustic Soda - Leasure Believes The Raid
Was A 'Small Town Politics' Ploy Designed To Enhance The Political Career
Of Police Chief Jim Gardiner)

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 00:51:34 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Charges Dropped Against Alleged Meth Makers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA)
Contact: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com
Section: front page
Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/
Author: Danna Dykstra Telegram-Tribune

CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST ALLEGED METH MAKERS

SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The District Attorney's Office has dropped all charges
against two men connected to a well-publicized case initially said to
involve a major methamphetamine-making operation.

The dismissal this week comes four months after authorities learned the 10
pounds of powder they seized from a rural San Luis Obispo property wasn't
meth at all but caustic soda. After making that discovery in March, the
District Attorney's Office dismissed charges that would have added prison
time for convictions of drug manufacturing against Howard Leasure, 42, and
Nickolaus Kopp, 62. On Monday Deputy District Attorney Ron Abrams asked to
have the remaining drug charges dropped after a judge refused to grant him a
continuance. Abrams had asked for more time on behalf of the county
Narcotics Task Force, which is reportedly pursuing a broader investigation.

"NTF informed me they cannot go forward with this case, because to do so
would jeopardize a continuing investigation that involves several
jurisdictions," Abrams said. "We have the right to refile the charges."

San Luis Obispo Police Sgt. Jim English, an NTF spokesman, declined to
comment on Abrams' statements. English said he anticipates charges against
both Kopp and Leasure will be refiled.

Leasure said this week he's no drug dealer and thought NTF agents would
eventually come to realize that and leave him alone.

"They kept calling me 'The King of Denial,' " Leasure said. "I wasn't
denying anything. I didn't know anything."

For months NTF agents secretly watched the O'Connor Way property where
Leasure and his wife lived in a rented mobile home. The agents made their
move in mid-March.

A press conference was called the next day to announce the arrests of both
Leasure and Kopp and the seizure of what appeared to be 10 pounds of meth.
The story led the evening news.

Kopp posted $40,000 bail within days of his arrest. Leasure spent 16 days
behind bars. All the while, he said he wondered when drug agents would come
to their senses.

"When they raided the property and tried to say I made 50 pounds and
$200,000 a week for a year, I told them: 'I wish,' " said Leasure. "If I was
doing that, I probably wouldn't have been there when they came to raid --
I'd probably have been in Tahiti."

The attorney representing Leasure's co-defendant said "clearly a mistake was
made."

"Sometimes the excitement of the moment can overtake the objectivity;
sometimes emotions and pride overtake a detached investigation," said Ilan
Funke-Bilu.

"It's too bad they didn't think of continuing this broadened investigation
prior to arresting my client. It's too bad he had to be arrested, had to
hire an attorney, had to go through court, only to find out his case was
dismissed for a broader investigation."

Funke-Bilu said he doesn't believe the case was filed in bad faith. "It's
just unfortunate my client had to go through emotional and financial trauma
while the government decides to proceed with this quote 'broadened' unquote
investigation. It doesn't smell right."

Task Force agents initially reported seizing a significant amount of meth at
1020 O'Connor Way, along with chemicals used to make the drug and waste
materials indicating that up to 150 pounds of meth had allegedly been
manufactured on the property.

Search warrants were served at both the O'Connor Way site and Kopp's Main
Street property in Cambria. During the search on O'Connor Way, agents said
they seized equipment and chemicals used to make meth. The haul included
more than 70 freon cans, a gas cylinder, red phosphorous, a hydraulic meth
press, filters with residue consistent with the manufacturing of meth and
300 pounds of sodium hydroxide. Sodium hydroxide is found in many drain
cleaners and is also known as caustic soda or lye.

The 10 pounds of suspected meth was later determined to also be sodium
hydroxide.

Leasure said he and his wife Sally had rented the mobile home on the
O'Connor Way property about 11 months prior to the March 19 raid. He said he
knew all along he was under surveillance for suspected drug manufacturing.
He said a friend who knew about the investigation told him.

Leasure said he once confronted two agents he spotted watching him from the
hills above his mobile home.

"I snuck up on them one night and asked them if they were having fun
watching me. I scared the pants off them."

Leasure said he wasn't manufacturing meth. He said the chemical containers
weren't his, but the 10 pounds of sodium hydroxide was.

"I got it from a lab to use to separate any bad stuff from the drinking
water, because I thought the water from the storage tank might be
contaminated," Leasure said. "You should have seen those guys running around
when they found that salt. Their adrenalin was flowing, and I just sat there
calm as can be thinking: 'Boy, are you guys a bunch of buffoons. Just wait
until you find out it's not what you think it is.' "

Leasure also said he rarely saw Kopp, a sculptor from Cambria. According to
the property owner, Kopp and Leasure co-leased a shop just up the hill from
Leasure's mobile home.

Property owner Alex Ramey said he suspects meth was made on the property at
some point. Ramey recently filed a complaint with the Sheriff's Office,
alleging Leasure owes him back rent and ran up credit cards and utility
bills that were taken out in Ramey's name.

Leasure declined to say where he lives because of his legal troubles with
his ex-landlord, although he denies he stole from him. He also said he's
against drug use and wouldn't manufacture a toxic product that damages the
environment.

According to court records, neither Kopp nor Leasure have previous drug
histories in San Luis Obispo County.

"I'm a Native American -- we do not destroy our earth," said Leasure. "I'm a
priest. I built a sweat lodge on the property where we held religious
ceremonies, and NTF destroyed it. They desecrated a church -- and for what?"

Leasure said he believes this was a case of "small town politics" designed
to enhance the political career of San Luis Obispo Police Chief Jim
Gardiner, something Sgt. English vehemently denied.

"They did the raid right after the police chief announced he was running for
sheriff, and he's the one who's at this big press conference," said Leasure.
"All the TV stations kept showing this footage and blasted our names out
there. It looked good for NTF, that's how they get their money. Only
problem: None of it was true."

Even landlord Ramey is upset with the police.

Ramey said he was told about the investigation six months before the arrest
and was told to steer clear of his tenants.

After months passed without word from drug agents he had talked to, Ramey
figured the investigation was over.

Ramey said he was out of town when the raid went down, and no one from any
of the participating agencies called him. When the raid hit the news and
Ramey learned the media had been invited out to his property -- along with a
man delivering pizzas to agents -- he wasn't thrilled.

"I called (an NTF agent) and said: 'You told me you wouldn't let the place
get trashed.' And he told me I had a big cleanup to do."

Ramey said he spent weeks worrying whether he'd be billed for the hefty cost
to clean up any environmental contaminants in the wake of the suspected drug
manufacturing. He said he was later told tests were inconclusive, meaning
not enough of the chemicals were found to deem the property unsafe.

"Here I cooperated with them; I lost a lot of sleep thinking I'd get stuck
with a $100,000 cleanup bill. I lost back rent, and here they'd turned this
thing into a dog-and-pony show to make somebody look good," said Ramey. "You
ever felt so disgusted and defenseless about something that's so out of your
control you don't know what to do? That's how it's been for me."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

LULAC's Leader Asks Feds To Probe Shooting ('The Houston Chronicle'
Says Rick Dovalina, National President Of The League Of United Latin American
Citizens, Met On Wednesday With The Acting US Assistant Attorney General
In Charge Of Civil Rights And Was Assured The FBI Would Investigate
The Death Of Pedro Oregon Navarro, An Innocent Young Man Shot
In The Back Nine Times After An Illegal Entry By Houston Prohibition Agents)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 06:39:20 -0700
From: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org (Maptalk-Digest)
To: maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 No. 294
Reply-To: maptalk@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/
Subj: ART: LULAC's leader asks feds to probe shooting
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:38:52 -0500 (CDT)

7-24-98
Houston Chronicle
http://www.chron.com
viewpoints@chron.com

LULAC's leader asks feds to probe shooting

Justice Department monitoring police case
By STEFANIE ASIN
Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle

The national president of LULAC has urged Justice Department officials
to investigate the fatal shooting of a young Hispanic man by Houston
police officers.

Though the Justice Department is not investigating the shooting of Pedro
Oregon Navarro, 22, it is monitoring the case while local authorities
gather evidence, said department spokeswoman Karen Guerriero. She said
the department will communicate with Houston police as the case
progresses.

On Wednesday, Rick Dovalina, national president of the League of United
Latin American Citizens, met with the acting assistant attorney general
in charge of civil rights. He said he was assured the FBI would
investigate.

"I didn't want this to fall through the cracks," said Dovalina, who
lives in Houston. "The bottom line is they shot an innocent young man in
the back after an illegal entry."

On July 12, officers raided Oregon's apartment in the 6700 block of
Atwell after an informant told them drugs were being sold there. They
had no search warrant.

Once inside the apartment, the police kicked down his bedroom door and
gunfire began. Oregon was shot 12 times, nine times in the back.

Sources have told the Chronicle that the gunfire began when an officer
shouted that Oregon had a gun. One officer was shot by another officer.

Tests showed that Oregon's gun was never fired.

Dovalina told reporters Thursday that the case is of national
significance to Hispanics.

"It's a Hispanic in a poor neighborhood so there's an assumption drugs
are involved. These assumptions concern us," Dovalina said. "Would this
have happened in Tanglewood? I doubt it."

Tanglewood is a predominantly white upper-middle-class neighborhood.

Dovalina said that when he met with Justice officials in Washington,
D.C., he gave them a copy of the autopsy report and newspaper clippings.

The local office of LULAC also plans to put pressure on local and
national investigators. LULAC wants them to know that someone is
watching.

"There were Hispanics before who were who were afraid of police. This
won't help matters," said Johnny Mata, president of the local LULAC
organization.

HPD spokesman Robert Hurst said: "The Houston Police Department is
continuing its investigation into the Oregon case in cooperation with
the Harris County District Attorney's Office. We welcome the FBI's
monitoring of the investigation and we will be responsive to any
requests which the bureau may have."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Dallas Lawyer Found Guilty Of Tampering In Irvin Trial
('The Dallas Morning News' A Dallas County Jury Found Thomas B. Arnold
Guilty Thursday Of Coercing Amber Gatcomb, 23, To Evade A State Subpoena
In The 1996 Cocaine Possession Trial Of Dallas Cowboys Star Michael Irvin)

Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 09:59:53 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Dallas Lawyer Found Guilty of Tampering in Irvin Trial
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Author: Michael Saul / The Dallas Morning News

DALLAS LAWYER FOUND GUILTY OF TAMPERING IN IRVIN TRIAL

Attorneys plan to appeal verdict he coerced witness

A Dallas lawyer charged with coercing a former topless dancer to avoid
testifying in Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin's 1996 drug trial was
convicted Thursday of felony witness tampering.

A Dallas County jury found Thomas B. Arnold, 48, guilty of coercing Amber
Gatcomb, 23, to evade a state subpoena in the player's cocaine possession
trial. A punishment hearing is scheduled before state District Judge Gerry
Meier on Aug. 4.

Mr. Arnold declined to comment as he left the courtroom, but his attorneys
said they were shocked by the jurors' decision. He plans to appeal the
verdict, his attorneys said.

"The evidence is insufficient. There was no proof that a crime was
committed. There is no evidence that he aided her to elude a legal
process," said Lawrence B. Mitchell, one of Mr. Arnold's attorneys.

Assistant District Attorney Clark Birdsall, the lead prosecutor, said he
believes the jury reached the right decision. He declined to comment
further.

Based on the law at the time that the offense was committed, Mr. Arnold
will automatically receive probation, the attorneys said. Judge Meier,
however, can send him to jail for up to 180 days as a condition of the
probation and fine him up to $10,000, Mr. Birdsall said.

Richard J. Corbitt, Mr. Arnold's other attorney, said he is hopeful that
Judge Meier will not incarcerate his client as part of the probation terms.
It would be unjust to send Mr. Arnold to jail, Mr. Corbitt said, because
the primary players in the Irvin drug case each
received probation.

"The real players in this entire scenario, none of them, none of them, I
repeat, got any jail time," Mr. Corbitt said.

In July 1996, Mr. Irvin pleaded no contest to felony cocaine possession in
exchange for four years' probation.

The jurors in Mr. Arnold's case deliberated about 7 1/2 hours over two days
before reaching their verdict. Judge Meier, who left for vacation before
the jurors finished deliberating, sequestered the panel at a hotel
Wednesday night.

"We reached it [the verdict] after a lot of deliberation. It was very
difficult, and we think it was the right decision," said Malley Gaulding,
the presiding juror.

Ms. Gaulding declined to elaborate on what the jurors discussed. She also
would not say whether she believed Mr. Arnold deserved to be punished with
a jail sentence.

Mr. Arnold has no prior felony convictions. However, next week, a Dallas
County grand jury is scheduled to consider whether to indict him on a
charge of misappropriating funds. The third-degree felony, formally titled
misapplication of fiduciary property, carries a maximum prison sentence of
10 years and a $10,000 fine.

According to court records, in July 1995, Mr. Arnold settled a case on
behalf of a client in the amount of $250,000. Mr. Arnold refused to pay the
client about $90,000, the records show. Mr. Corbitt said Thursday that his
client also denies any wrongdoing in that matter.

During his trial this week, prosecutors portrayed Mr. Arnold as a hot-shot,
rich attorney who likes to surround himself with high-profile people. The
state's key witness, Ms. Gatcomb, said Mr. Arnold spent considerable time
at topless clubs and had a serious cocaine problem during the period she
knew him.

Ms. Gatcomb testified that Mr. Arnold persuaded her to flee the Dallas area
when it became apparent that Dallas County prosecutors were interested in
her testimony in the Irvin trial. Ms. Gatcomb, who began working for Mr.
Arnold's law firm in May 1996, testified that Mr. Irvin introduced her to
cocaine and financed her addiction.

She said Mr. Arnold told her that she had to leave Dallas because her
testimony would expose their relationship, hurt his law firm and
potentially jeopardize his marriage. Ms. Gatcomb told the jury that she and
Mr. Arnold did not have a sexual relationship but that he wanted one.

Mr. Arnold also told Ms. Gatcomb that Mr. Irvin might try to kill her and
make it seem like a crazed Cowboys fan committed the crime, she testified.
He also threatened to discontinue financial support if she didn't flee, she
said.

Mr. Arnold gave Ms. Gatcomb four blank checks, she said, for her to use on
her trip. Mr. Corbitt said that's untrue.

"Who in the world would believe that the checks were actually given to her
if they were not made out to her and if she didn't have any of her
handwriting on them," Mr. Corbitt said Thursday.

Ms. Gatcomb testified that Mr. Arnold personally handed her the checks and
that a friend of hers filled them out to shield her name from the paper
trail.

Mr. Corbitt said his client probably will lose his law license as a result
of the conviction.

"The ramifications of all this is just really, really, really bad," he said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Little-Used Law Invoked In Plano Heroin Deaths - If Convicted,
29 Could Receive Life Sentences ('The Dallas Morning News'
Says Federal Cops Believe They Can Connect The Deliveries
Of The Drug To Specific Heroin-Related Deaths In Plano, Texas)

From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:39:07 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: ART: Little-used law invoked in Plano heroin deaths
To: dpft-l@tamu.edu, drctalk@drcnet.org, maptalk@mapinc.org
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

I wonder if Soros would be interested in designating the
DFW area as a high-intensity drug propoganda area?

Even one of the proponents in this story says this type
of prosecution won't slow down heroin.

***

7-24-98
Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

Little-used law invoked in Plano heroin deaths
If convicted, 29 could receive life sentences

07/24/98

By Jayne Noble Suhler and Linda Stewart Ball / The Dallas Morning News

When more than two dozen suspected drug dealers were indicted in
connection with heroin-related deaths in the Plano area, federal
officials invoked a rarely used but powerful federal law that allows
them to seek tougher sentencing.

They did so through a carefully constructed web that included a tight
network of informants, a lot of legwork and cooperation from the
community.

"We could connect the deliveries of the drug to the deaths, and also we
believe we can establish and show that the sellers had knowledge that
the drugs they were selling were killing people," said U.S. Attorney
Mike Bradford. "It's unusual to have this large number of deaths and
overdoses attributed to one organization in a community. That's what
made us think of looking at this statute and pursuing it this way."

A federal grand jury in Sherman issued a 36-count indictment that
alleges that 29 suspected drug traffickers targeted Plano as a new
market for heroin. The indictment, announced Wednesday, charges that the
29 intentionally sold four teenagers the drug that led to their deaths.
The four teens, who had lived in Plano or attended Plano schools, were
Erin Baker, 16; Wesley Scott, 19; Rob Hill; 18, and Milan Molina, 20.

The federal statute allows authorities to seek stiffer penalties than
state statutes allow. The 29 were charged under a federal conspiracy law
that allows a sentence of 20 years to life in prison.

Twenty-five of the 29 defendants were arraigned Thursday before U.S.
Magistrate Judge Robert Faulkner in Sherman. The remaining four are
scheduled for Monday.

A Sept. 21 trial has been set in U.S. District Judge Paul Brown's court.

Law enforcement officials and legal experts say the law is rarely used
because successful prosecution is so difficult.

"We've never utilized that charge here," said Thom Mrozek, spokesman for
the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles. "These are upper-echelon drug
dealers, and to link them up with a particular user down the road, I'm
sure you can imagine, is pretty difficult."

Still, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Texas, which
includes Plano, say they're confident that they have the facts to back
up their case.

In Washington, White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey said he had not
closely followed the Plano drug case.

"But as a general statement, I'm proud of what they've done," he said.
"That community said, 'We will view as part of an organized crime
attempt - which involves killing our children - the process of selling
drugs.' "

Linda Eads, a Southern Methodist University law professor who lives in
Plano, said she'd like to see the federal provision used in other
communities where drugs are pervasive. Plano, she said, has been very
vocal and persistent in its effort to wipe out heroin.

"There was such an outpouring of disgust that they wanted to do
something dramatic," she said.

The law was used last fall in Virginia when federal indictments were
returned against 14 people in connection with three heroin overdoses in
the Roanoke area. Some have pleaded guilty.

The Roanoke area "is relatively small, and the heroin community is very
tight," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Don Wolthuis, who is prosecuting
the cases.

There have been more than drug-related 20 deaths in the area in the last
several years, and "we were lucky to be able to trace three of them back
to a conspiracy," Mr. Wolthuis said.

Similar cases have been tried in Florida, California and elsewhere, but
there is little case law, law enforcement officials said. Part of the
trouble is finding a direct link from selling drugs to the resulting
deaths.

Prosecutors may be able to make a case that the heroin being sold is so
pure that any seller would know that it was lethal.

Community support is crucial any time officials try to bring down a ring
of criminals, said Paul Villaescusa, a special agent with the U.S. Drug
Enforcement Administration in Dallas.

"Law enforcement can only do so much in combating this problem," he
said. "The true solution lies in an entire community coming together . .
. schools, clergy, the business community, families."

Mr. Villaescusa said that though Plano "has taken a black eye" from the
media over its heroin deaths, thousands have attended anti-drug rallies.

Ms. Eads said mass arrests won't prevent kids from using heroin.

"The sad thing to me ... is it's not going to solve the problem."

Staff writer David LaGesse in Washington, D.C., contributed to this
report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Charges - Indictments Deliver Hardball Warning (A Staff Editorial
In 'The Dallas Morning News' Makes It Clear The Newspaper Is Opposed
To Heroin, But Fails To Address The Question Of How Many Drug Offenders
The Newspaper Thinks Should Be Locked Up In Order To Take Care Of
The Problem)

From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:39:02 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: EDITORIAL: Indictments deliver hardball warning
To: dpft-l@tamu.edu, maptalk@mapinc.org, drctalk@drcnet.org
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

The only thing I will agree with the DMN on is that the kids
did know what they were doing. They were selling heroin to
support their habits.

***

7-24-98
Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

Drug charges
Indictments deliver hardball warning

07/24/98

Drug dealing in North Texas just moved to the next rung on the criminal
ladder. Those who sell heroin and other deadly drugs, fully knowing what
they can do to people who use them, are going to face tougher
consequences.

That is the warning pushers have been given by the latest indictments in
the continuing probe of heroin-related deaths in the Plano area.

The 29 people indicted Wednesday are accused of participating in a
"calculated and coldblooded" conspiracy that led to the deaths of four
Plano area young people who overdosed on heroin.

Federal prosecutors maintain the dealers must share in the
responsibility for the teenagers' deaths because they continued to sell
drugs after a number of young people using heroin had died.

The criminal accusations name drug trafficking for what it is: Drug
dealers are death merchants. And in the case of the heroin-related
deaths in Plano, simple charges of dealing drugs would not have
addressed the whole, tragic story.

Plano has been ravaged by a group of drug traffickers who federal
authorities say targeted the affluent community as a prospective heroin
market. At least 18 young people with Plano ties have died in the last
three years from heroin overdoses.

Prosecutors may have made their task of getting convictions more
difficult by applying the federal conspiracy law to these drug cases.
But their decision is clearly in line with what the public and law
officers want in this war on drugs.

The suspected dealers can be tried together and can face maximum
penalties of life in prison if they are convicted. That should help send
a signal that North Texas won't allow this area to become an easy market
for drug traffickers.

The Plano community has come together since the first shocking reports
of teenagers dying from drug overdoses. Residents have packed meeting
halls, wanting to find out what they can do to keep sons, daughters and
friends off drugs.

Plano has paid a terrible price for not fully comprehending the
destructive force of drugs. Now it is time for the suppliers to pay a
price for the damage they have coldbloodedly wreaked on this community.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

School Drug Tests Possible In Dallas (According To 'The Dallas Morning News,'
A Dallas School Official Said Thursday That Dallas Schools Would Institute
A Drug Testing Program As Early As Next Year - The Program Is 'Voluntary'
In That Students' Parents' Would Volunteer Them For The Program)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:42:00 -0700
From: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org (Maptalk-Digest)
To: maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 No. 295
Reply-To: maptalk@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/
Subj: ART: School drug tests possible in Dallas
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:39:13 -0500 (CDT)

Should I buy stock in drug testing companies or those companies
that sell products designed to beat drug tests?

Since they will be using hair samples in Allen, does that mean
we'll have a bunch of bald-headed kids in school next session?

***

7-24-98
Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

School drug tests possible in Dallas
Plan differs from Allen in sharing results from voluntary screenings

07/24/98

By Rick Klein / The Dallas Morning News

Dallas schools may have a voluntary drug-testing program similar to the
one announced for the Allen schools in place as early as next year, a
Dallas school official said Thursday.

But the Dallas program may differ from Allen's program in one crucial
detail: The school, not just the parents, would have access to test
results, said Rosemarie Allen, Dallas schools associate superintendent
for student services.

"Ethically, you've got to make sure you do something with the
information," Dr. Allen said, adding that drug-test results would be
used to refer parents of drug-using students to treatment centers.

Dallas school officials have been considering a drug-testing program for
the last several months, Dr. Allen said. She said she hopes to go to the
Dallas school board with a proposal by the beginning of the spring
semester. If approved, the program could be implemented in the 1999-2000
school year, she said.

Starting this year, Allen schools will randomly test students whose
parents request it. It's the first district in the Dallas-Fort Worth
area in which only the parents will receive the results of the tests.

Representatives for the Plano, Richardson and Arlington school districts
said they are not planning to institute drug-testing programs but will
watch Allen's program closely.

"We will be keeping a close eye to see how it works," said Nancy Long,
communications director for Plano schools. The city has been the focus
of nationwide media attention because it has had 18 heroin-related
deaths since September 1994.

Critics cite privacy concerns in their opposition to drug testing.

Diana Philip, regional director of the American Civil Liberties Union,
said she saw no problem with the Allen district's plan but said that
giving districts access to test results crosses the line of
acceptability.

"It's perfectly fine for the schools to be a conduit for referrals to
treatment centers," Ms. Philip said, "but the school has no right to
interfere in something like this. They don't need to know what the
results of a test are.

"In the Allen policy, the parents still have the right to parent their
child."

White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey in Washington said officials and
parents should approach drug-testing programs with caution, but his
concerns were more geared toward effectiveness than privacy issues.

"The primary element of drug prevention among young people is a
consistent no-use policy by the family, the school and the church - and
then active engagement with youth," he said.

The Allen district, under a policy approved by the school board this
week, will test only those middle- and high-school students whose
parents request it. Those students will have hair samples taken by the
school nurse at a cost to parents of $45 per test, which will be
administered once a semester.

Allen officials say the tests will give students an excuse to avoid
peer-pressured drug use and give parents a chance to seek help for their
children before tragedy strikes.

But Allen's policy, unlike the Dallas proposal and most of the
approximately 40 school districts nationwide that already have
drug-testing programs, will not give the school district access to test
results.

Dr. Allen said Dallas also would test only children whose parents
request it. She said the district is seeking corporate and foundation
sponsorships to make testing available to all families, including those
who can't afford it.

"Our families can't all pay for it," Dr. Allen said. "Parents want to
know [if their kids are using drugs], and in many cases parents need to
know."

Two Dallas trustees contacted Thursday said they would support the
Dallas district staff's proposal, but they had some reservations about
the district's access to test results.

"As a parent, I would sign the [consent] form," said trustee Roxan
Staff. But "getting information to parents should be the first goal. I
think it would be much more difficult to get parents to cooperate if
they know the school's getting the information."

Trustee Ron Price said it is important for school officials to have
access to the information. But such information must be available only
to a select few people, such as principals and counselors.

"If you mail results to parents, they may never get to the parents'
hands," Mr. Price said. "If the school district has the information,
they can assist the parents in helping the child."

Dr. Allen said drug-test results will not be used to discipline students
and would help school officials make sure youths with drug problems get
the help they need.

Mr. McCaffrey said the most successful drug-test efforts are those
initiated by the participants themselves, such as a football team that
decides to subject itself to scrutiny.

They also can be helpful in monitoring a repeat drug abuser as part of a
recovery program, he said. But it's less useful to spring a drug test on
a student who, for example, comes under suspicion for a change in
conduct.

"If you think that's a tool for his problem, you've missed the point,"
Mr. McCaffrey said.

Staff writer David LaGesse in Washington contributed to this report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Anti-Drug Programs Must Be Effective (Another Staff Editorial
In 'The Dallas Morning News' Notes The US Education Department's
Recent Announcement That It Won't Fund School Programs That Aren't Effective
In Reducing Drug Use, Including DARE)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 06:39:20 -0700
From: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org (Maptalk-Digest)
To: maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 No. 294
Reply-To: maptalk@mapinc.org
Sender: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/
Subj: EDITORIAL: Programs [anti-drug] must be effective
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:38:57 -0500 (CDT)

7-24-98
Dallas Morning News
http://www.dallasnews.com
letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com

Programs must be effective

Federal officials have fired their second salvo in the battle to
convince young people to stay away from drugs.

Earlier this month, President Clinton unveiled a $2 billion program that
will deliver tough anti-drug messages in ads on prime time television,
radio and in the newspapers.

The U.S. Education Department followed up this week with an announcement
it won't fund school programs that aren't effective in reducing drug use
among students.

The decision has shaken up a number of veteran drug-fighting efforts,
including Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a program widely used in
Texas.

But there is no reason for the federal government to keep pouring
hundreds of millions of dollars into projects without clear evidence
they are making a difference in the drug war.

The Dallas school district, which also receives federal support for its
programs, continues to seek more effective ways to deliver its anti-drug
message to students.

The Law Enforcement Teaching Students program tracks the D.A.R.E.
strategy of using police as instructors. But it incorporates skills
training with the more traditional information about the dangers of
drugs.

The public schools in Dallas also focus on self-esteem programs for
young people and Drug-Free Youth in Texas, a project that lets students
help each other stay away from drug usage.

If all else fails, the Dallas school district started a teaching program
specifically for teenagers who have had problems with drugs so they
won't drop out.

The Dallas schools' anti-drug effort is not being held up as a model for
other school systems. But it points out the complexities involved in
delivering the right drug message to young people today.

With the rash of teen heroin overdoses in Plano during the past couple
of years, the days of simply being able to "just say no" to drugs are
long gone.

The public should be encouraged by the announcement from the Education
Department. Those programs capable of rising to this latest challenge
will survive. Those that cannot won't stay around.

That is as it should be in a battle where saving young people's lives is
the only important measure.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

High Court Rules Nighttime Drug Search Broke Law ('The Associated Press'
Says The Nebraska Supreme Court On Friday Overturned The Conviction
Of A Blair Man, Patrick Fitch, Sentenced To Two And A Half To Five Years
In Prison For Possession Of Marijuana With Intent To Deliver, Because Police
Searched His Garbage At Night And Later Served A Search Warrant
At His House At Night)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:33:55 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NE: Wire: High Court Rules
Nighttime Drug Search Broke Law
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: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Associated Press
Author: Kevin O'Hanlon Associated Press Writer

HIGH COURT RULES NIGHTTIME DRUG SEARCH BROKE LAW

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday overturned the
drug conviction of a Blair man who said police broke the law by searching
his garbage and later serving a search warrant at his house at night.

Patrick Fitch, 32, was sentenced to two and one-half to five years in prison
for possession of drugs with the intent to deliver after Blair police raided
his home the night of April 19, 1996.

In an unanimous ruling, the Supreme Court agreed with Fitch that police
should have served the search warrant during the day unless officers showed
some compelling reason why a nighttime search was necessary.

``The privacy of citizens in their homes, secure from unreasonable nighttime
intrusions is a right of vast importance,'' Judge John Gerrard wrote. ``The
affidavit contained no facts that would support an inference that contraband
was being disposed of or hidden in such a manner that nighttime service was
required.''

In the affidavit requesting the search warrant, investigator Darwin Shaw
said he searched the garbage outside of Fitch's home four times between
March 21 and April 4, 1996. Shaw said he found marijuana seeds and stems,
plastic bags like those used to package drugs and a list of names and dollar
amounts.

He also said he often saw people who had been arrested on drug charges
visiting Fitch's house.

The search turned up marijuana, cash, a scale and other items.

During questioning at the police station, Fitch told officers, ``Well, it
looks like you got me good'' and gave an incriminating written statement.

In his appeal, Fitch also argued that violated his right of privacy by
searching his garbage. The Supreme Court declined to address that issue
because the illegal nighttime search was reason enough to overturn the
conviction.

The court also said that Fitch's statement to police was ``the fruit of the
poisonous tree'' and should not have been used at his trial.

Mark Raffety, the assistant attorney general who handled the case for the
state, did not return a call seeking comment.

Fitch's lawyer, Adam Sipple of Omaha, praised the decision.

``It's critical that those given the power to enforce the law are required
to act within its limitations,'' he said. ``We are fortunate to have a
Supreme Court that recognizes their duty to enforce the constitution and
thereby protect all citizens from this type of police intrusion.''

Sipple said he felt just as strongly about the search of Fitch's garbage,
even though it was not addressed in the opinion.

``If I walked out and saw a police officer going through my garbage, I'd be
pretty upset,'' he said. ``Some courts have held that that is an invasion of
privacy because of the personal nature of things that we dispose of in our
garbage -- mail, correspondence, items of personal hygiene -- that tell
about what we do in our homes.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US Asks Hemp Suit Be Dismissed ('The Lexington Herald-Leader'
Suggests The US Department Of Justice Has Done As Expected
In Asking A US District Court Judge In Ashland, Kentucky, To Throw Out
A Lawsuit Filed By The 100-Member Kentucky Hemp Growers
Cooperative Association And Other Plaintiffs Who Want To Grow
Industrial Hemp - No Timetable Has Been Set For A Ruling)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:06:26 -0500 From: davewest (davewest@pressenter.com) Reply-To: davewest@pressenter.com To: mattalk (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com) Subject: U.S. asks hemp suit be dismissed THE LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER Lexington, Kentucky July 24, 1998 U.S. asks hemp suit be dismissed By Louise Taylor Business Writer The U.S. Department of Justice is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by several Kentucky farmers who want to legally grow industrial hemp. In a filing received by the farmers' alliance yesterday, the government says the case should be dismissed. Two of the Attorney General's arguments: * The would-be growers cannot claim to have suffered because they never have been allowed to grow hemp and have not had to change the way they do business because of the crop's outlaw status. * Even if federal law allowed hemp cultivation, Kentucky law prohibits it, so a federal ruling on the matter wouldn't help the farmers. The 100-member Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association and other plaintiffs expected such a response from the government, said their lawyer, Burl McCoy of Lexington. The lack of surprise, however, didn't make a bitter pill sweeter for Andy Graves, the president of the hemp association who currently farms 1,500 acres of tobacco, corn and other crops in Fayette and nearby counties. "The truth is, this is their way of avoiding the issues," Graves said. "These guys don't want to know the truth and for them to make an argument that hemp is bad, hemp is wrong, and hemp is marijuana would be to admit that 27 other countries we recognize are wrong to allow it. "They don't want to argue the case because there is no rational argument to put up. "I don't like it. It offends me that my own government is acting like this." The lawsuit, filed in May, was designed to force the government's hand and make it acknowledge the botanical difference between fibrous hemp and marijuana. The plants are different varieties of cannabis, but marijuana has a far higher concentration of the hallucinogen tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Many farmers in the United States are pushing to legalize hemp, which elsewhere has become a profitable crop that is versatile enough to use for everything from cattle feed to trendy designer clothing. No timetable has been set for a ruling on the government's request to throw out the farmers' suit, which is filed in U.S. District Court in Ashland. McCoy said that the farmers are caught in a Catch-22 because the feds won't budge on legalizing hemp. "If we get a good ruling from the federal government, we have a real shot at making it legal in Kentucky, where the legislature says, 'We can't act because it is illegal under federal law.'" McCoy said that the government's stubbornness simply reflects its profound "lack of understanding about the plight of farmers in this country and the need to keep small farms alive." "If you lose that, you've lost a lot," McCoy said, "This whole country was created by people who were involved in agriculture -- and grew hemp." All Contents (c) Copyright 1998 Lexington Herald-Leader. All Rights Reserved
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Bush - Deny Drug Users Scholarships ('The Miami Herald' Notes Republican
Florida Gubernatorial Candidate Jeb Bush, Who Admits Smoking Marijuana
When He Was 17, Is Appealing To Drug-War Hawks In His Campaign
Against Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay, The Democratic Candidate
Who Has Never Used An Illegal Drug)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:06:19 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US FL: Bush: Deny Drug Users Scholarships
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ginger Warbis (WebMistress@Fornits.com)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Contact: heralded@aol.com
Website: http://www.herald.com/
Author: Mark Silva Capital Bureau Chief

BUSH: DENY DRUG USERS SCHOLARSHIPS

MacKay campaign calls that `very harsh treatment'

TALLAHASSEE -- Promising an assault on illegal drugs, Republican Jeb Bush
proposes tougher policing and prosecution, better detection and treatment of
drug abuse and denial of scholarships for teenagers who use drugs.

``We're not going to reinvent the wheel, but we're going to do something
revolutionary,'' Bush pledged Thursday, unveiling a wide-ranging, 19-page
plan in his campaign for governor to wage a war on drugs -- and win it.
``We're going to stop at nothing less than total victory.''

Bush's game plan, with an estimated cost of nearly $40 million its fourth
year, comes at a time when overall crime is in decline, but concern about
teenage crime and drugs -- especially highly addictive substances, such as
heroin -- is growing. It also poses new points of contention for Bush and
Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay, the Democratic candidate for governor, criticizing
such tactics as assignment of a state drug czar and denial of scholarships.

``This is a problem of such importance that it is going to be on the
governor's and lieutenant governor's desks. . . . That is where it stops,''
Robin Rorapaugh, MacKay's campaign manager, said Thursday. ``The drug
problem of Florida is not one that Buddy wants to pitch to someone else.''

MacKay applauds much of what Bush proposes, Rorapaugh says, because much of
it -- from drug interdiction at Florida's ports to drug treatment in prisons
-- already is under way. The problem, she says, is that a Republican-run
Legislature has inadequately funded program after program.

However, in the state budget that Gov. Lawton Chiles and MacKay proposed to
lawmakers this year, the problem of illegal drugs was virtually unmentioned.
The administration did seek more money for juvenile justice, and a massive
campaign against underage smoking -- which Bush supports and says he wants
to improve -- but made no concerted pitch against illicit drug abuse.

Acute shortages of cash hamper some of the state's drug-fighting efforts.
Florida's prisons say 22.6 percent of the convicts who entered last year
came with drug-related convictions -- 13.3 percent for sale, purchase or
manufacture, 6 percent for possession, 3.3 percent for trafficking.

But there is room for only about 3,000 inmates a year in the most effective,
six-month-long drug treatment programs. Bush proposes adding 1,250 inmates a
year, at a cost of $2 million a year, until the full need is met.

All told, Bush says, it will cost $11.6 million next year to cover what he
wants, and $37.5 million by the 2002-03 budget year.

For high schoolers and college students convicted of drug offenses, Bush
proposes cutting off financial aid -- suspending or revoking the ``Bright
Future'' scholarships Florida offers high-scoring students.

``There has to be a recognition that being a good citizen means remaining
drug free,'' said Bush, 45, who acknowledges trying marijuana when he was
17. ``It was a stupid thing to do, and it was wrong.''

MacKay views withholding of scholarships as ``very harsh treatment,''
Rorapaugh said. ``Drug use, for children, is a problem, but taking away
their tools for education and becoming better citizens does not solve it.''
She said MacKay, 65, ``has never experimented with illegal drugs, never.''

Copyright 1998 The Miami Herald
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Teen Smokes Sting Shames Congress ('The Toronto Star'
Says The American Lung Associated Sent Two 15-Year-Olds
To Buy Cigarettes At Nine Food Stores In Washington, DC,
Successfully At Five - No Word On Why Nobody Has Busted
The Little Lawbreakers Or The Adults Who Contributed
To Their Delinquency)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 08:00:02 -0400
To: mattalk@islandnet.com
From: Dave Haans (haans@chass.utoronto.ca)
Subject: TorStar: Teen smokes sting shames Congress
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: The Toronto Star
Pubdate: Friday, July 24, 1998
Website: http://www.thestar.ca
Contact: LetterToEd@thestar.ca

Teen smokes sting shames Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) - After months of federal efforts to curb teen smoking,
lawmakers found themselves red-faced yesterday over a report about a pair
of 15-year-olds who easily purchased cigarettes at snack bars throughout
the U.S. Capitol building.

In an undercover operation conducted by the American Lung Association, the
two teens attempted to buy cigarettes at nine food stores in the Capitol.
Clerks at five of the shops made no effort to stop them, according to a
report released by the group.

"Congress doesn't need to look beyond its own backyard to see the extent of
the teen smoking problem," said John Garrison, the lung association's
managing director. "If these laws are being ignored in Congress, is it any
wonder that youth smoking is on the rise throughout the United States?"

The chairman of the House of Representatives oversighit committee, which
oversees administrative matters, said he has ordered an investigation into
the report.

But Representative Bill Thomas, a California Republican, also expressed
concern he wasn't able to get a copy of the report until after its results
were published yesterday in the congressional newspaper.

The cigarettes should never have been sold to the teens, said Thomas'
spokesperson Jason Poblete.

"It's illegal, first and foremost. It was wrong and it should not have
happened. But the fact this information was being withheld from us shows
they are just playing politics."

Paul Billings, a lung association spokesperson, said the organization
released a draft of the report because of its deadlines. A formal report
was given to lawmakers as socn as it was available a day later.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Fighting Drugs (Gingrich And Clinton Throw Money At The Problem
In A Syndicated Cartoon By Danziger Of The Los Angeles Times Syndicate)



-------------------------------------------------------------------

Shades Of 'Reefer Madness' (An Op-Ed In 'The Christian Science Monitor'
By A Washington State Drug-Prevention Speaker Suggests The US Government's
New $2 Billion Advertising Campaign For The War On Some Drug Users
Is Demeaning To The Intelligence Of Teens, Who Want Information On Which
To Base Decisions, Not For The Decisions To Be Made For Them)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 19:07:39 +1200 (NZST)
To: drctalk@drcnet.org, drugtalk@adca.org.au, mattalk@islandnet.com
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Shades of Reefer Madness

I thought this was worth cross-posting from Mapnews to show that even
"drug-free"-style prohibitionists recognize that the PDFA-style media blitz
is ridiculous and doomed to fail. Maybe this augurs well for a one-year
rather than five-year campaign. With luck, maybe some accountability
pigeons will even come home to roost for those who wasted U.S. taxpayers in
such an idiotic (and Quixotic) misadventure.

Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Christian Science Monitor
Contact: oped@csps.com
Website: http://www.csmonitor.com/
Author: Jill L. Ferguson

SHADES OF REEFER MADNESS

Recently President Clinton announced the earmarking of millions of dollars
for a drug prevention advertising blitz. The first television spot by the
Partnership for a Drug-Free America featured a young woman smashing an egg
with a frying pan and then beating the kitchen to smithereens, all the
while stating that heroin affects your body the same way.

I shook my head in dismay trying to decide how reasonably intelligent
adults could have made an ad so ridiculous and demeaning to our teens', or
for that matter anyone's, intelligence.

But it was the adolescent audience that was the target of those ads. The
No. 1 rule in advertising is to get people's attention, but what ever
happened to giving viewers useful, factual information, instead of just
hype?

Teens around the Seattle area who were shown the ad responded with an "Oh,
no, not the egg again." And rolled their eyes, remembering the old ad
campaign "This is your brain. This is your brain on drugs" featuring a
fried egg. My feelings exactly. Have we taken steps forward in drug
education only to be dragged back a decade to the era of Nancy Reagan's
"Just Say No" campaign?

Antidrug advertising or telling people to say "no" will not keep children
of any age or adults from doing drugs. What we need is to treat people with
dignity and respect, allowing them to use their God-given intelligence to
make decisions on their own. Even if we disagree with the decisions they
make.

For the last few years I have been involved in drug prevention work. I have
traveled the State of Washington and surrounding areas and spent time with
thousands of students, talking with them, playing games, and just basically
hanging out.

I have learned that teens, like adults, respond best when presented with
the facts. Teenagers can smell a lie - or scare tactics - from at least
three miles away. But they do have questions about drugs and life and need
honest answers.

My teaching partner from the Drug Enforcement Administration and I
unabashedly provide those answers. We let people know that one can die from
first-time heroin, crack, or cocaine use, but first time marijuana use will
not kill a person in and of itself, unless he walks into traffic under its
influence and gets run over by a semi truck or falls off the roof of a
building. We discuss the long- and short-term effects of drugs, alcohol,
and tobacco and show real-life pictures of friends who have destroyed their
lives or served jail time for drug-trafficking.

We also teach teens what they would lose for the rest of their lives if
they are convicted of felony drug possession. In many states they would
never be permitted to vote, hold a public office or government position, or
start a career in which a state license is required, as in such professions
as law, medicine, teaching, hairdressing, or dentistry.

We have found that scare tactics do not work in promoting any message.
Antidrug advertisers should know by now that simulating a car crash or an
overdose, or showing a person destroying things on television have little
long-term effect on people's decisions. In fact, most of the comments from
teens to these tactics are "Oh, cool" or "Gross!" And then life goes on as
before. Except with a few more novelty T-shirts being sold. (Remember the
one that said "This is your brain, this is your brain on drugs, this is
your brain with bacon, eggs, and toast"?) To keep teens from doing and
becoming addicted to drugs, parents and other role models first of all need
to be drug-free themselves. I know saying this sounds inane, but I have met
plenty of kids who say their parents use. And being in the the grip of a
drug addiction themselves, those parents all agree that they want something
better for their children. They want them to remain drug-free. Positive
adult role models need to be involved in the adolescents' lives. The adults
need to be living proof that one can be cool and not do drugs, nor get
drunk. The role models also need to be able to provide answers to somewhat
difficult questions, or at least to know where to look for the answers
about drugs. As a society we are not going to raise generations of
drug-free kids by telling them what to say and what to do. And even though
we would hope one day to be a part of a drug-abuse-free and crime-free
society, those goals remain distant ideals.

We, as adults, need to be the educators and the support for our teens. And
we need to be realistic: All the dollars in the federal budget, hordes of
anti-drug advertising, and smashing skillets will not change people's lives
or views.

Jill L. Ferguson is a drug-prevention/motivational speaker based in Seattle.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Mercury News' Series Is Hit Again ('The San Francisco Chronicle,'
Which Wouldn't Have The Guts Or Brains To Print A Series Like 'Dark Alliance'
In A Million Years, Taunts Its San Jose Competition In Noting
Yesterday's News That US Attorney General Reno Has Released
The Justice Department Report Exonerating Itself And The CIA
In The Selling Cocaine In California To Raise Funds For Contras In Nicaragua)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 23:52:09 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Mercury News Series Is Hit Again
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: Fri 24 July, 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Section: Page A2
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau

MERCURY NEWS SERIES IS HIT AGAIN

Justice Dept. dismisses CIA tie to crack cocaine

A long-delayed Justice Department report released yesterday found no
substantiation for a newspaper's allegations that the CIA protected
Nicaraguan rebels who brought crack cocaine into South Central Los Angeles
in the early 1980s.

The sensational charges, made in an August 1996 San Jose Mercury News series
called ``Dark Alliance,'' were later retracted by the newspaper.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Bromwich, whose office acts as
a watchdog over the department's internal operations, said investigators
reviewed more than 40,000 pages of documents and interviewed 200 people over
15 months.

``In short, our review did not substantiate the main allegations stated and
implied in the Mercury News articles,'' Bromwich wrote.

A San Jose Mercury News spokeswoman said that Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos
``would prefer to report the news instead of being part of it, and so he
declines comment.''

REPORTER RESIGNED

The author of the series, reporter Gary Webb, resigned from the Mercury News
in December.

The series alleged that two Nicaraguans with ties to the Contras, a rebel
group that was trying to overthrow Nicaragua's leftist regime, sold cocaine
in South Central Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Profits from these sales
were funnelled back to the Contras, according to the report, which strongly
implied that CIA officials knew of the operation.

The series provoked a national uproar and gave rise to fears among African
Americans that elements of the government were deliberately sabotaging their
communities by creating a crack epidemic.

Bromwich said that while ``some drug traffickers supplying cocaine to Los
Angeles drug dealers were Contra supporters, they were investigated and
pursued by the Department of Justice.''

These investigations ``were not always successful,'' Bromwich found, but
they were not obstructed because of any connections to the Contras or the
CIA. Nor did the report conclude that the drug dealing in question ``was the
cause of the crack explosion in Los Angeles or across the United States, as
the articles implied.''

The inspector general's report follows several previous investigations by
government agencies and Congress as well as major news organizations, none
of which could confirm the main substance of the Mercury News' allegations.

Representative Maxine Waters, whose district includes South Central Los
Angeles, said she will continue her effort to get the CIA to declassify its
own inspector general's report on the allegations.

SEARCH FOR THE TRUTH

``It doesn't end,'' said Waters, noting that the Justice Department report
acknowledges there were connections between the Contras and drug
traffickers. ``We will continue to try and get to the truth.''

Bromwich said the investigation did uncover several ``problems and
ambiguities.''

One of these involved Julio Zavala, a Nicaraguan drug trafficker allegedly
tied to the Contras. Zavala was arrested in a case involving drug smuggling
from a Colombian vessel in San Francisco Bay. About $36,000 was seized from
Zavala's residence but was later returned to him.

The Justice Department report found that a memo from a CIA attorney
suggested that depositions involved in the Zavala case ``could cause damage
to the CIA's image and program in Central America.''

The report found that the CIA ``did in fact intervene in the Zavala case and
may have played a role in having a sum of money returned to him.''

But while such findings ``are troubling,'' Bromwich said, ``they are a far
cry from the type of broad manipulation and corruption of the federal
criminal justice system suggested by the original allegations'' in the
Mercury News.

1998 San Francisco Chronicle
-------------------------------------------------------------------

No Evidence US Protected Cocaine Dealers ('The San Jose Mercury News'
Version)

Date: Wed, 29 Jul 1998 01:31:35 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Report: No Evidence U.S. Protected Cocaine Dealers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family 
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Author: Mercury News Staff and Wire Reports

REPORT: NO EVIDENCE U.S. PROTECTED COCAINE DEALERS

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department's internal watchdog said Thursday that
he found no evidence that U.S. government officials protected a California
drug-trafficking ring whose members contributed money to the Nicaraguan
rebels known as Contras during the 1980s.

Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich, reporting on a 15-month
investigation, said he concluded that the drug dealers had contributed money
to the rebels, but the amounts were ``relatively insignificant,'' and there
was no evidence that Contra leaders or the CIA knew about them.

Bromwich's investigation, and its 407-page report, were produced in response
to charges made by the Mercury News in 1996. The newspaper claimed that a
San Francisco-based drug-trafficking ring introduced crack cocaine to Los
Angeles, sent millions of dollars to the CIA-backed Contras, helped spark a
crack epidemic in American inner cities and operated under the protection of
U.S. government officials.

``After interviewing more than 200 people and reviewing more than 40,000
pages of documents, we did not substantiate the main allegations suggested
by the San Jose Mercury News articles,'' Bromwich said.

The report concluded that the explosion in crack cocaine in Los Angeles and
across the United States ``was not the result of any single source or seller.''

It said much of the apparent evidence in the San Jose Mercury News articles
appeared to have been distorted or exaggerated.

``Nobody can say who started'' the crack epidemic, Bromwich told the Mercury
News on Thursday.

Regarding allegations of CIA links to the drug ring's key leaders, Oscar
Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, or others in their organization, the
investigation found no evidence Blandon had any CIA links, said Bromwich.
Although a member of his organization bragged at various times about having
CIA links, there was no evidence he actually had any agency connections. He
ultimately admitted that, Bromwich said.

As to allegations of improper influence by the CIA or others in the
prosecution of Blandon, Meneses or Ricky Ross, a Los Angeles crack dealer,
``we found we could understand why cases succeeded or failed by looking at
the internal investigations, and prosecutions'' Bromwich said. ``We found
nothing untoward or sinister about the way the investigations or the
prosecutions were handled. They struck us as being handled in professional
way.''

Blandon and Meneses avoided prosecution partly because of a breakdown in
communication and coordination between the FBI and Drug Enforcement Agency,
Bromwich said.

The report quoted one of the drug dealers as estimating their total
contributions to the Contras at about $49,000, and several of the dealers'
associates provided even smaller estimates.

``Contra leaders have denied -- and there is no evidence to contradict the
denials -- that they solicited drug funds or knew that drug money was coming
into the Contra movement,'' the report said.

``The implication that the drug trafficking . . . was connected to the CIA
was also not supported by the facts,'' it said.

Mercury News Staff Writer Pete Carey contributed to this report.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Justice Rebuts CIA-Crack Articles ('The Washington Post' Version
In 'The Seattle Times')

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 22:58:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Justice Rebuts CIA-Crack Articles
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Friday, 24 July, 1998
Source: Seattle-Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: Michael Grunwald, The Washington Post

JUSTICE REBUTS CIA-CRACK ARTICLES

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department's internal watchdog yesterday offered
another major rebuttal to a newspaper's allegations of Central Intelligence
Agency complicity in the crack-cocaine epidemic, releasing a long-delayed
report rejecting the most serious allegations of government misconduct.

In August 1996, the San Jose Mercury News reported that the CIA and federal
law-enforcement officials had protected major Bay Area drug traffickers
with ties to Nicaraguan contras. After a 15-month investigation that
interviewed 200 witnesses and reviewed 40,000 pages of documents, Inspector
General Michael Bromwich concluded that the Justice Department made a
legitimate effort to investigate and prosecute the traffickers.

"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.

The original allegations sparked outrage in many inner-city neighborhoods,
but subsequent investigations by The Washington Post, the New York Times
and the Los Angeles Times were unable to substantiate them, and San Jose
Mercury News editors later said the articles were not up to their usual
standards.

The author of the series, Gary Webb, is no longer at the paper, but
recently published a book restating his allegations: "Dark Alliance: The
CIA, The Contras, and the Crack Cocaine Explosion."

The Justice report disagreed with Webb's implication that Los Angeles-based
drug dealer Ricky Ross and his Nicaraguan suppliers, Oscar Danilo Blandon
and Norwin Meneses, were the cause of the crack-cocaine explosion in
south-central Los Angeles. He concluded that although Blandon was a major
supplier and Ross a major distributor, the crack epidemic was not the
result of any single source. He also found no evidence that any of those
suspects was connected to the CIA.

However, Bromwich did find a few faults with the Justice Department's
investigations. For example, the report concluded that Blandon was
improperly granted permanent resident status so he could work undercover
for the Drug Enforcement Administration after his release from prison in
1994. As a convicted felon, Blandon should have been deemed ineligible for
a green card. Bromwich concluded that this rule-bending had nothing to do
with any connection to the CIA.

The report also found that the CIA interceded in a separate matter
involving the seizure of $36,000 in drug proceeds from Nicaraguan
trafficker Julio Zavala in San Francisco during the early 1980s. In that
case, the report says, the CIA urged federal prosecutors not to take the
depositions of two contra officials because it feared that allegations of
ties between drug money and the contras would compromise CIA activities in
Nicaragua.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., who wrote an introduction to Webb's new book,
criticized the report as farfetched yesterday. She noted that at one point,
the FBI had a warrant out for the arrest of Meneses while the DEA was
trying to use him as an informant, yet the report ascribed the problem to
poor communication. Waters called that hard to believe.

An earlier internal investigation by the CIA, which was not publicly
released, also concluded that there was no evidence of links between the
agency and drug dealers named in the newspaper series.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Justice Finds No CIA Link To Nicaraguan Cocaine Trade ('The Miami Herald'
Version)

Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 10:44:49 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Justice Finds No CIA Link to Nicaraguan Cocaine Trade
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ginger Warbis (WebMistress@Fornits.com)
Source: Miami Herald (FL)
Contact: heralded@aol.com
Website: http://www.herald.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998

JUSTICE FINDS NO CIA LINK TO NICARAGUAN COCAINE TRADE

WASHINGTON -- The Justice Department's internal watchdog said Thursday that
he found no evidence that U.S. government officials protected a California
drug-trafficking ring whose members contributed money to Nicaragua's contra
rebels during the 1980s.

The report found no evidence to support allegations that CIA employees or
agents colluded with contra allies to finance their guerrilla operations by
bringing crack cocaine into the United States.

A 1996 series of articles in the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News, had
claimed a California drug ring funneled profits to the contras for most of
a decade. The series traced the drugs to traffickers who were also leaders
of a CIA-run guerrilla army in Nicaragua during the 1980s.

``After interviewing more than 200 people and reviewing more than 40,000
pages of documents, we did not substantiate the main allegations suggested
by the San Jose Mercury News articles,'' Michael Bromwich, the Justice
Department inspector general, said in a statement.

A CIA inspector general report reached the same conclusion in January.

``While some drug traffickers supplying cocaine to Los Angeles drug dealers
were contra supporters, they were investigated and pursued by the
Department of Justice,'' Bromwich 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.''

The newspaper series generated widespread anger toward the CIA among black
Americans, as well as federal investigations into whether the CIA took part
in or countenanced the selling of crack to raise money for the Contras.

The newspaper reported that two Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers, Oscar
Danilo Blandon and Norwin Meneses, were civilian leaders of an
anti-Communist commando group formed and run by the CIA during the 1980s.
The articles traced the explosion of crack cocaine abuse in the United
States to a dealer named Ricky Donnell Ross and said he was supplied
through Blandon and Meneses.

The series also questioned the treatment of the three men by the FBI and by
federal drug, immigration and prosecutors' offices that are all part of the
Justice Department.

Bromwich's 15-month investigation turned up no evidence that the three men
got special treatment because of their alleged associations with the CIA or
the contras, nor that any Justice Department investigations were hampered
or waved off.

The newspaper's executive editor, Jerry Ceppos, acknowledged in a letter to
readers last year that the series had shortcomings.

The Bromwich report was ready in December, but Attorney General Janet Reno
ordered it held back, citing ``law enforcement concerns.''

Bromwich explained Thursday that Blandon, a one-time informant for the Drug
Enforcement Administration, renewed his cooperation with the agency last
September. The DEA and federal prosecutors in Washington and California
objected to releasing the report while Blandon remained an active
informant, and Reno agreed, Bromwich said.

``By delaying the report's release, federal law enforcement officials were
able to protect the integrity of a very important, though unrelated,
investigation,'' Reno said in a statement accompanying the report.

But Bromwich criticized how the matter was handled, saying the delay gave
rise to unnecessary speculation that the Justice Department was hiding
something.

Both Bromwich and Reno said the Thursday's report is unchanged from its
original version.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Intellectual Capital' Debate (A List Subscriber Says Eric Voth,
Charles Blanchard And Other Prohibitionists From The White House
Office Of National Drug Control Policy And Elsewhere Have Turned Up
At An Ongoing Online Debate At The Magazine's Web Site)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 17:52:57 -0400
To: "DRCTalk Reformer's Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: David Borden (borden@drcnet.org)
Subject: Intellectual Capital debate
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Just in case any of you haven't heard, I thought I'd let you know that the
debate at http://www.intellectualcapital.com is pretty good. There are
people from ONDCP itself, as well as Eric Voth and others who have not
identified themselves. Our side is winning, as usual. There are written
statements from Charles Blanchard, ONDCP, and Nadine Strossen, president of
the ACLU, with debate pages at the end of each of the two articles.
There's also a poll.

- Dave
-------------------------------------------------------------------

McCaffrey's Retraction, Part Two (A List Subscriber Follows Up
On His Post Yesterday With More Details From The Dutch Newspaper,
'De Volkskrant,' Which Wrote That The Dutch Secretary Of State Threatened
July 14 To Refuse Admittance To The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey)

From: GDaurer@aol.com
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 09:56:25 EDT
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Subject: McC's Retraction Part 2
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

My friend provided further translation of the Dutch newspaper article I
mentioned in my last post.

***

On Tuesday [the 14th of July] after talks with Van Mierlo about the drugs
quarrel, the American ambassador Dornbush had just left the ministry of
foreign affairs, when word was received that McCaffrey had intensified his
attack on Dutch policy. Van Mierlo called Dornbush immediatly. McCaffrey had,
according to Van Mierlo, crossed a limit with his reproach that "The Hague
[the seat of Dutch government] violated the sovereignty of the US by
supporting Americans pleading for the legalization of drugs."

Dornbush, for whom this affair was already a big weight on his shoulders, was
being told by Van Mierlo that the statement by McCaffrey had to be retracted
[in Dutch we say 'to be wiped off the table']. If this didn't happen, the
drugs expert would not be welcome in The Netherlands.

The ambassador transmitted the Dutch demand to the State Department. There the
conclusion was drawn immediately that the quarrel was not worth putting the
relations between The Netherlands and the US in danger. Here upon the
spokesperson for McCaffrey was told to inform the international press agencies
that the statement by McCaffrey had been retracted. The drugs expert himself
had to tone down and show respect for the Dutch 'friends' - which he did.

The spokesman for the State Department, James Rubin, then said in his daily
press conference that the US gives a lot of value to the cooperation with the
Netherlands in the struggle against drugs in Europe, the Caribean area and
Latin America. Rubin admitted that the two countries have a differance of
opinion on their mutual drugs policies, but"'we don't want to create the
impression that we meddle in the internal politics of The Netherlands." With
this the diplomatic quarrel was laid to rest.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

America's Drug Warrior (The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey,
Lies His Way Through Europe, Embarrassing Himself And The United States,
And A Staff Editorial In 'The San Diego Union Tribune' Praises Him For It
And Dishes Out More Misinformation)

Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 16:49:43 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: America's Drug Warrior
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk:John Harper
Source: San Diego Union Tribune (CA)
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Contact: letters@uniontrib.com
Website: http://www.uniontrib.com/

MCCAFFREY COMMITS TRUTH DURING EUROPEAN TOUR

Barry McCaffrey is a stand-up guy. If there were any doubts that the
Clinton administration's drug czar was anything but, he dispelled them
during his recent eight-day visit to Europe.

The highlight of McCaffrey's trip was a stop in the Netherlands, where
the retired army general got to judge for himself the merits of that
nation's liberal drug policies.

McCaffrey was unimpressed. He pronounced the Dutch government's heroin
distribution program an "unmitigated disaster," not the least, he
added, because the program consigns "part of the population to
suffering endlessly from heroin."

The drug czar also made known his dim view of Dutch coffeehouses,
which sell marijuana and hashish to anyone over 18, even though they
technically are not allowed to do so under Dutch law. "It is a legal
hypocrisy that bothers many," McCaffrey understated.

The Dutch government took umbrage with McCaffrey's frank criticisms.
The Dutch Foreign Ministry called in the U.S. ambassador in protest.
And the Dutch Ministry of Health questioned why McCaffrey had set foot
on Dutch soil in the first place.

But McCaffrey was guilty only of committing truth. The Dutch
government's laissez-faire drug policies are, indeed, a disaster. This
is borne out by the across-the-board increases in crime and
drug-related deaths in the Netherlands since 1978.

The frightening thing of it is that, in recent years, a startling
number of prominent Americans -- from former Surgeon General Jocelyn
Elders to U.S. Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner to billionaire
George Soros -- have publicly expressed the view that the United
States should emulate the Netherlands by legalizing drug use.

This kind of thinking -- whatever the motivation -- may have
contributed to the rise in drug use in this country, particularly
among younger Americans. Indeed, marijuana use among teen-agers has
increased more than 100 percent. Teen-age use of cocaine, heroin and
LSD is up 150 percent.

Liberalizing America's drug policies, a la the Netherlands, would only
make these disquieting statistics worse. And it is hard to see how
having more junkies in this country amounts to good public policy, no
matter what Elders, Posner, Soros and other advocates of drug
legalization suggest.

The best approach, the approach that happens to be favored by Gen.
McCaffrey, is three-pronged: Maintain law enforcement's zero tolerance
of illegal drug use, not the least to deter casual use. Coordinate
with foreign governments to fight drug trafficking. Expand prevention
programs to discourage nonusers from becoming users and expand drug
treatment programs to help addicts beat their deadly habit.

Ultimately, victory or defeat in the war on drugs will depend in part
on leadership at the top. And, unfortunately, leadership has been
sorely lacking in most of the men who have occupied the position of
drug czar. But Gen. McCaffrey is different. He has proven his
willingness to speak the truth, no matter the political fall-out.
That's the mark of a real leader.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Drug Led To Market Showdown ('The Ottawa Sun' Says It Has Learned
The Shooting Of Two People In The Byward Market Last April
Was A Violent Powerplay To Corner Lowertown's Lucrative Crack Trade -
But Neglects To Mention That Therefore The Shooting Was Attributable
To Prohibition)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Drug Led To Market Showdown
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:03:47 -0700
Lines: 55
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Ottawa Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: July 24, 1998

DRUGS LED TO MARKET SHOWDOWN

CRACK CASH DREW SHOOTER

CREDIT: By BRAD HUNTER -- Ottawa Sun

The shooting of two people in the Byward Market last April was a
violent powerplay to corner Lowertown's lucrative crack trade, the Sun
has learned.

The female victim took a bullet in the chest while the male was shot
in the arm. Neither wound was life-threatening.

Wayne "Half Pint" Reynolds, 26, was charged with two counts of
attempted murder after police made a dramatic early morning arrest in
Hull Wednesday.

Reynolds had been sought by police since a shooting on Clarence St.
April 8 when a 22-year-old woman and her male companion, 20, were cut
down by what investigators believe was a handgun.

The Sun source revealed the shooting, which was considered drug
related almost from the beginning, involved the local crack cocaine
business.

Hull police and the RCMP Tactical Unit helped regional police take
down the 5-foot-5, 150 lb. Reynolds, who surrendered without incident
at his girlfriend's home.

Reynolds had also been wanted on an Immigration warrant. He had been
deported to his native Jamaica in 1994 and again in 1996, but after
each expulsion he managed to sneak back into the country.

The suspect's 26-year-old girlfriend was also arrested and charged
with obstructing police and being an accessory after the fact by
aiding and abetting Reynolds avoid arrest.

A police source said Tammy-Lynn Branker is a well-known Market
prostitute.

Brothers Michael and Patrick Christie, are also wanted for
questioning. Michael, 37, and Patrick, 29, have been ordered deported
to their native Jamaica and are wanted on Immigration warrants.

Regional police Det. Dale Hayes said RCMP did an "awesome job" in
executing the Canada-wide warrant.

Reynolds and Branker have been remanded in custody and will appear
for a bail hearing this morning. His child, who was at the house
during the raid, is staying with relatives.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Crackhead Killed My Son - Dad ('The Toronto Sun' Says The Father
Of A Teen Stabbed To Death On A Deserted Toronto Street Says His Son
Was Ordered Executed By Crack Cocaine Pals Who Feared He Would Snitch
On Them To Police)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Crackhead killed my son: Dad
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:32:20 -0700
Lines: 57
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Sun
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: Friday, July 24, 1998

Crackhead killed my son: Dad

By IAN ROBERTSON, TORONTO SUN

A teen stabbed to death on a deserted Toronto street was ordered
executed by crack cocaine pals who feared he would snitch on them to
police, his father told The Toronto Sun yesterday.

Shaun Kadir Jameel Baksh told his street crowd he was going to college
and turn his life around, "and they are the ones who are responsible
for his death," Kadir Baksh said.

"The killer is a crackhead who may have been given just a joint to ...
kill my son," said Baksh, a CHIN radio commentator and criminal
lawyer, whose clients included Adrian Kinkead, convicted in 1997 of a
TTC ticket seller's murder.

Toronto Police said the victim had a criminal record and hung around
with a rough crowd, but details were not revealed. Baksh's eldest son
"was not a hard-core criminal," police said.

"His problem was being with the wrong type of people and that led him
to lose his perspective. He followed friends who had a different
agenda," including crack cocaine.

"All that he got, he shared," his dad said. But Shaun "was making
plans for a new life," hoping for a technical career after going to
Centennial College.

The teen, who street people said they knew as Chris, "was going away
and knew too much," his father said.

"There are people in the Crescent Town area who know who the killer
was, but they won't tell the police. They are talking of looking after
it themselves ... street justice."

Baksh also believes "the killers were at the wake" at his estranged
wife Olive's home, where their son Shaun, his girlfriend Janet Singh,
21, and their daughter, Aneesa, 21/2, lived.

Homicide Det. Gary Giroux said posters are being circulated in the
Main St.-Danforth Ave. area "where the killer lives."

Baksh's funeral is set for 9:45 a.m. today at the McDougall and Brown
Funeral Home, 2900 Kingston Rd., east of St. Clair Ave.E.

Police said Baksh's killer may be named Mark or Jay, is white,
bow-legged, 28 to 31 years old, 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, with short
brown hair and possibly a thin moustache.

Anyone with information can call homicide at 808-7400 or Crime
Stoppers at 222-TIPS.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr Coca Takes On US In Drugs War (Britain's 'Independent'
Portrays Evo Morales, Leader Of Peru's Main Coca Growers' Unions
And A Member Of Parliament)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 26 Jul 1998 17:29:55 -0500 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Bolivia: Mr Coca Takes On US In Drugs War Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie) Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: letters@independent.co.uk Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 Author: Phil Davison in La Paz MR COCA TAKES ON US IN DRUGS WAR They call him Mr Coca in Bolivia, and they're not talking about soft drinks. He wears blue jeans and sandals, trained as a baker, blows a trumpet in a native Indian band, chews coca leaf to relax and plays amateur football in a number 10 shirt because he admires a certain Maradona from neighbouring Argentina.
Link to earlier story
Evo Morales, 38, also grows coca leaf, the basis for cocaine, on his farm. Like most Bolivian cocaleros, he insists it is strictly for domestic use - chewing or brewing as medicinal tea. It helps that he is a member of Bolivia's parliament, with the accompanying immunity from prosecution that brings, but Mr Morales had been growing coca for years before he was swept into Congress by coca-growing supporters last year behind the campaign slogan: "Viva Coca!" American diplomats, who still have a tendency to act as though they run this - and other - Latin American countries, privately call Mr Morales an outlaw, even "the Devil Himself," accusing him of defending drug-traffickers. Cocaine is ruining American youth, goes their argument. Cocaine comes from coca leaf. A quarter of the world's coca leaf is grown by Bolivian farmers. Mr Morales is their leader. So Mr Morales is an evil man. "Al contrario," Mr. Morales responded last week. "It's US-inspired neo-liberal economic policies - putting farmers out of work - that make the traditional production of coca leaf vital to their survival. They have no choice." Because of this tradition, coca fields in parts of Colombia, notably the Yunkas area east of La Paz, are legal, theoretically for domestic consumption to chew or brew. The bigger fields in the Chapare region, around the city of Cochabamba, where Mr Morales was elected, have been declared illegal and are earmarked for eradication. "Banzer (the former dictator Hugo Banzer elected president last year) has pledged to eradicate illegal coca growing by the year 2002. If he does so, he wins. If the cocaleros are still growing their crop, I'll have been proven right." The chances are he will be. Under Mr Banzer's "Dignity Plan" to eradicate illegal coca leaf and halt the growing processing of refined cocaine in Bolivia, more than 4,000 hectares of coca leaf fields have been burnt down or chemically-destroyed so far this year. But experts say farmers have been using the $2,500 per hectare they receive from the government to invest in new, secret fields elsewhere, instead of planting substitute crops, such as bananas or pineapples. The US blames Mr Morales, as leader of the main coca growers' unions, for a series of clashes in the Chapare region earlier this year in which a dozen people, including farmers and policemen, were killed. They cite the Congressman's well-known slogan: "Long live Coca, death to the gringos" as a provocation, urging people to attack Bolivia's anti-narcotics police and US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. As a result of the clashes, and the cocaleros' power, Bolivian policemen increasingly refuse to serve in the Chapare, known as "la zona roja" (the red zone, not necessarily for its politics but for its violence). "Banzer is using the Chapare to distract attention from the country's real problems, like poverty, hunger, lack of jobs or education," Mr Morales said. Like many Bolivians, Mr Morales, who is an Aymara Indian, points out that Aymara and other Indians, including the Incas, have been growing coca leaf in the foothills of the Andes for thousands of years. They use it for medicinal purposes, notably to cope with altitude, and see it also as a key part of their culture. Backing Mr Morales' stance, a Dutch human rights group has nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize. The big problem with Mr Morales's argument is that the issue is no longer one simply of the cultivation of coca leaf. During the cocaine boom of the Eighties, Bolivia was essentially a coca leaf grower. The leaf was shipped north to be converted to paste, and then into cocaine, at laboratories run by the Medellin or Cali cartels in Colombia. Now, moving into the gap created by the decline of the Colombian cartels, Bolivians themselves are turning the leaf into cocaine in makeshift laboratories. As a result, cocaine is not only readily available, but dirt cheap and extremely pure in the capital, La Paz, and in other Bolivian cities. Bolivian parents are worried. Many young people smoke cigarettes laced with coca paste. "Man, the coke here is so pure, pure crystals," Carlos M, a 21-year-old native of Cochabamba, told me in Mongos' Rock Bottom Cafe in the capital. "It's like, at least 90 per cent pure, man, and it's cheaper than beer, you know?" He said he could get a gramme for four dollars (about 2.50).
-------------------------------------------------------------------

200 'Corrupt' Police Face Charges (Britain's 'Independent' Says A 180-Member
Investigation Team Constituting The Biggest Corruption Inquiry In British
Policing For A Quarter Of A Century, Set Up By Sir Paul Condon, London's
Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Has Uncovered 'Criminality Of The Highest
Level' By Up To 200 Officers)

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 22:58:40 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: 200 'Corrupt' Police Face Charges
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Mail: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, England
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Ian Burrell, Home Affairs Correspondent

200 'CORRUPT' POLICE FACE CHARGES

Up to 200 Metropolitan police officers could be implicated in the biggest
corruption inquiry in British policing for a quarter of a century.

A 180-strong investigation team set up by Sir Paul Condon, the Metropolitan
police Commissioner, has uncovered "criminality of the highest level" by
some of Scotland Yard's most prized detectives.

Senior Metropolitan police sources said that serving detective chief
inspectors and retired superintendents would be among those charged with
offences carrying sentences of up to 15 years. Corrupt officers have made
hundreds of thousands of pounds from organising major drug deals and armed
robberies. They are also implicated in contract killings.

Already 34 officers have been suspended, and large numbers of arrests are
expected later this summer.

The corrupt officers are believed to have been responsible for dozens of
wrongful convictions, and the investigation team and government lawyers are
trawling through their career histories looking for miscarriages of justice.

The investigation, which is growing by the day, is the biggest corruption
inquiry in British policing history.

A senior Scotland Yard source said: "We have been shocked by the level and
seriousness of the criminality and by the arrogance of the officers who
thought they could get away with it."

Of those officers confronted with allegations of corruption, three in ten
have so far agreed to co-operate with the inquiry and amnesties are being
offered to some of the minor offenders who agree to give evidence against
other officers.

Several of those giving evidence have had to be moved to safe houses and
one investigating officer has been taken off the inquiry after intimidation.

The corrupt officers have also gone to great lengths to cover their tracks
by living in modest homes and investing their illegal earnings in offshore
accounts. The detectives worked in some of the most elite units in the
police service, including the Flying Squad, the South-East Regional Crime
Squad, and the new National Crime Squad.

A Yard source said: "For 95 per cent of their time they were some of our
best detectives but in the other 5 per cent they became organised
criminals."

Networks of serving and retired police officers and villains have been
uncovered.

On Wednesday, as part of the corruption inquiry, a detective from the
National Crime Squad was arrested and charged with stealing cash from a
London police station, together with a detective sergeant from the Flying
Squad unit at Rigg Approach, north-east London. Hebecame the 15th serving
or former member of the Rigg Approach unit to be suspended as part of the
investigation.

In January, raids were carried out on the homes of 19 members of the unit.

Last week a 41-year-old detective constable, formerly with the South-East
Regional Crime Squad which targets major drug dealers, was charged with
plotting to supply cannabis and stealing 800 in public funds.

Scotland Yard chiefs have been so horrified by their findings that they
have been liaising with forces in other metropolitan areas where it is
believed similar levels of corruption may exist. South Yorkshire police has
suspended 11 officers and two members of its civilian staff in an
investigation into allegations of irregularities in the administration of
the Firearms Surrender and Compensation Scheme.

Details of the corruption scandal come as the force is bracing itself for
the findings of the public inquiry into the death of the black teenager
Stephen Lawrence.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Soldiers Jailed Over Drugs Plot (Britain's Independent'
Says Five Former Members Of The 39th Regiment Of The Royal Artillery
Were Given Sentences Of Up To 17 Years Yesterday In Liverpool
For Plotting To Smuggle Drugs Worth Millions Of Pounds Into Britain
From The Continent)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 22:58:40 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Soldiers Jailed Over Drugs Plot Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie) Pubdate: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: letters@independent.co.uk Mail: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL England Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ SOLDIERS JAILED OVER DRUGS PLOT MEMBERS OF a gang, including five serving soldiers, which plotted to smuggle drugs worth millions of pounds into Britain from the Continent, were jailed for a total of 120 years yesterday. Liverpool Crown Court heard that the case was the first to reach the courts where members of the armed services had been involved in the organised importation of drugs. David Turner QC for the prosecution, said: "For a number of years soldiers of a distinguished regiment, the 39th Regiment of the Royal Artillery, abused their position as British servicemen and brought dishonour on their regiment." Gunners Paul Bromiley, 30, of Preston, and Peter Jackson, 29, of Manchester, were each jailed for 17 years as was former Merchant Navy cook Peter O'Toole, 26, of Liverpool. Gunner Dale Mills, 26, of Northampton, received 16 years, as did bombardier Kevin Jones, 31, of Hazelrigg, near Newcastle. Former gunner James Bull, 29, of Inskip, Lancashire, was given 13 years; former bombardier Paul Wright, 29, of Liverpool, 10 years; gunner Billy Stott, 20, from Oldham, nine years and Darren Williams, 27, a civilian, from Ellesmere Port, Wirral, five years.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 51 (The Drug Reform
Coordination Network's Original News Summary For Activists, Including -
Marijuana Reform Party Organizes In New York State; Strip Searches
At O'Hare Get US Senator's Attention; An Interview With Dr. Robert Newman
On Methadone Maintenance, And The Self-Inflicted Wounds Of The Methadone
Establishment; And An Editorial By Adam J. Smith, 'Prohibition, Punishment
And Plano, Texas')

Date: Fri, 24 Jul 1998 11:14:42 -0400
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 51
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 51 -- JULY 24, 1998

-------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE --------

(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.)

(This issue can be also be read on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html.)

NEWSFLASH: Drug Czar McCaffrey on Diane Rehm Show (NPR)
Friday, 11:00am-12:00noon, second half of show for calls --
(800) 433-8850 -- use our report on McCaffrey's trip to
Europe -- http://www.drcnet.org/wol/050.html#footinmouth --
to prep * * * Online legalization debate at

http://www.intellectualcapital.com -- ONDCP reps and other
noted drug warriors in attendance! * * * Recent alert
posted at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/7-23.html --
respond if you haven't already, and please send copies to
drcnet@drcnet.org.

MAJOR REDESIGN OF DRCNET WEB SITE: More compact, user-
friendly, up-to-date design -- and it looks pretty good
too -- by webmaster Karynn Fish, with help from Kris
Lotlikar and Nissim Chudnoff. Check it out at
http://www.drcnet.org and send any suggestions or comments
to webmaster@drcnet.org. And stay tuned for even more
coming out soon!

DRCNet needs your support! Join the more than a thousand
dues-paying members and cast your vote for reform today!
Use our secure form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to
make a pledge or a credit card donation. You can also help
us through the eyegive online fundraising program -- visit

http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 to
automatically select DRCNet as your recipient non-profit, or
check out the eyegive home page for more information.
BUMPER STICKERS ARE SENT TO ALL NEW MEMBERS! Check it out
at http://www.drcnet.org/bumpersticker.gif. Help us by
recruiting more e-mail subscribers too -- over 6,000 now,
help us reach 7,000! (But please get their permission
first, before signing them up.) Please note that donations
to DRCNet are not tax-deductible.

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

1. New York Mayor Giuliani Threatens to End Methadone
Maintenance
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#giuliani

2. Marijuana Reform Party Organizes in New York State
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#mrp

3. Orange County Medical Marijuana Distributor
Sentenced to Four Years in Prison
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#herrick

4. Oakland City Council Votes Again To Support Medical
Cannabis
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#oakland

5. Oppose Harsh New Mandatory Minimums -- Urge
Congress to Vote Against H.R. 3898 -- an action
alert from the Drug Policy Foundation
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#dpfalert

6. Strip Searches at O'Hare Get U.S. Senator's
Attention
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#ohare

7. Quote of the Week: Milton Friedman on Drugs
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#friedman

8. Drug War Briefs
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#briefs

9. An Interview with Dr. Robert Newman -- On methadone
maintenance, and the self-inflicted wounds of the
methadone establishment
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#newman

10. Editorial: Prohibition, Punishment and Plano, Texas
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/051.html#editorial

***

1. New York Mayor Giuliani Threatens to End Methadone
Maintenance

In a surprise addition to a speech on welfare this week
(7/20) New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani announced a
plan to "phase out and do away with methadone
maintenance programs in the City of New York" over the
next 2-4 years. There are currently around 35,000
people in New York City who are on methadone
maintenance.

"Methadone is a terrible, terrible perversion of drug
treatment because it leaves a person dependent," said
Giuliani. But many others, including medical
professionals, and even the Office of National Drug
Control Policy, strongly disagree.

Joycelyn Woods, president of the National Association
of Methadone Advocates, told The Week Online "Studies
show that people who are administratively discharged
from methadone programs (forced off due to pre-
determined time limits) have a relapse rate of almost
90%. It is not like the people in these programs
haven't tried other forms of treatment. Methadone is
usually the last resort after numerous attempts. These
people have years of failed treatment behind them. For
them, methadone is the only thing that works."

Woods continued, "Of all of the issues involved in
addiction and drug policy, methadone is one of the few
with broad consensus. Even the Drug Czar's office is
actively calling for increased access. By making
methadone unavailable in New York, you're essentially
telling tens of thousands of people that we would
rather spend our time and money chasing you down and
putting you in jail than allow you this medicine which
is helping you to stabilize your life. You have to be
an idiot to say what the Mayor said yesterday. He
obviously has no idea what he's talking about."

And Woods was not alone in her criticism. "He said
what?" said Dr. Don Des Jarlais, director of research
for the Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel
Medical Center when questioned about Giuliani's
statements by The New York Times. "From a public
health standpoint, that has to be one of the more
ridiculous things for any public official to have said
over the past 30 years."

On Tuesday, Dr. Des Jarlais told The Week Online, "If
these programs were cut off, you are probably looking
at an 80% rate of relapse into heroin addiction. Of
the population in methadone treatment, it's likely that
40% are HIV positive and at least 90% are positive for
Hepatitis C. So sending them back out on the street
would be a public health nightmare. The good news is
that there is strong support for methadone maintenance,
even among Republicans. And earlier this year, a
National Institutes of Health consensus conference
strongly recommended methadone, even high-dose
methadone as a treatment for heroin addiction. When
the science is that definitive, it is difficult for
politics to overrule."

Des Jarlais noted that the Mayor of New York lacked the
legal authority to shut down most of the programs,
which are financed primarily with state and federal
dollars. "It's clear that the mayor spoke mainly out
of ignorance. When all of this gets hashed out, and
the facts and the science are publicly discussed, I
think that his error will become clear. Even to him."

(See our interview with Dr. Robert Newman, one of the
leading authorities on methadone maintenance, item 9,
below. Dr. Newman offers a contrasting analysis of the
Mayor's comments and the overall situation regarding
methadone maintenance.)

***

2. Marijuana Reform Party Organizes in New York State

A coalition of activists from across New York State is
moving to form a "Marijuana Reform Party" in this fall's
elections. They are supporting a slate of five candidates
for statewide office in order to achieve official ballot-
line status in the state, taking their inspiration from the
Grassroots Party of Minnesota, which made a similar effort
in 1994.

"We are confident that we can get the 50,000 votes we need
to get the ballot line, that's only 1% of the total vote,"
Thomas Leighton, the MRP candidate for Governor told The
Week Online. Our biggest challenge is gathering the 15,000
signatures we need to get on the ballot to begin with. We
only have a few more weeks, and need everyone who can in New
York who supports this issue to join our petitioning drive."

New York state has a long history of smaller independent
political parties playing important roles in "fusion"
election campaigns. Organizers believe that with a ballot
line of its own, the MRP will be able to gets its agenda
into the political discourse, influence close elections,
have more of a voice in the state legislature, and bring the
marijuana issue further into the mainstream.

"Leighton for Governor" Campaign Manager Aaron Wilson told
the Week Online, "There are all sorts of opportunities this
approach could create. For example, there are many elected
judgeships in the state that go uncontested each election.
We could run candidates for local D.A. and Sheriff's
offices, just to force a debate on the prohibition issue.
The coin of the realm in New York is votes, and with even a
small number of votes we will be able to get heard and
effect changes in the laws."

The MRP campaign is being supported by a range of drug
reformers in all parts of New York, including members of
ReconsiDer, New York CAN (Rob Robinson, one of NY-CAN's
activists is a candidate), college marijuana activists out
of school for the summer, and the Rochester Cannabis
Coalition. For more information or to contact the MRP, you
can visit their web site at www.MarijuanaReform.org.

Candidates and parties in other parts of the country are
taking on the drug issue as well. In Orlando, Florida,
Democratic Congressional candidate Al Krulick
(http://www.vote-al.org) is challenging incumbent Bill
McCollum, the sponsor of H.R. 372, the "sense of the house"
resolution against medical marijuana; Krulick's key campaign
plank is ending the war on drugs. Nationally, the
Libertarian Party (http://www.lp.org) is fielding many
candidates who are actively opposed to drug prohibition.

***

3. Orange County Medical Marijuana Distributor Sentenced to
Four Years in Prison

David Lee Herrick, a former sheriff's deputy in San
Bernardino County, California, and co-director of the
Orange County Cannabis Co-op, was sentenced last week
(7/17) to four years in prison for distributing medical
marijuana. Herrick, 48, began using marijuana for a
back injury that he suffered on-duty as a deputy
sheriff. He was convicted in May for distribution. At
the trial, jurors were not allowed to consider
Proposition 215, as Orange County Superior Court Judge
William Froeberg ruled that the medical marijuana law
does not apply to cannabis clubs.

***

4. Oakland City Council Votes Again To Support Medical
Cannabis

(Reprinted with permission, from California NORML)

OAKLAND, CA July 21, 1998. The Oakland City Council
approved the first reading of a medical marijuana
ordinance designed to protect the Oakland Cannabis
Buyers Cooperative from federal prosecution, and
reaffirmed its support for the city's policy guidelines
allowing patients to grow up to 6 pounds per year of
marijuana.

The Oakland ordinance, proposed by Oakland CBC attorney
Robert Raich, would allow the city to officially
designate the Oakland club to enforce the state's
medical marijuana law. Supporters argue that the
ordinance will protect the club from a federal
injunction aimed at closing the club, on the grounds
that the federal controlled substances act exempts duly
designated city officers.

In other action, the city council voted to re-approve
the city's recently adopted medical marijuana policy
guidelines allowing certified patients to possess up to
one and a half pounds or grow up to six pounds of
medical marijuana per year. Mayor Elihu Harris and
councilman Ignacio de la Fuente had moved to reconsider
the policy, arguing that the proposed limits were too
high and would invite abuse.

Medical marijuana patient George McMahon, one of seven
patients who legally receive marijuana through a
special FDA program, testified that the Oakland
guidelines were consistent with the federal
government's own approved dosage guidelines, displaying
a one-half pound tin of government-supplied marijuana,
which he said contained his own supply for one month.

(Mayor Harris made it clear that he saw advantages in
legalization, but expressed concern that the proposed
guidelines were appropriate only for the most seriously
ill patients, recalling a bill he had once sponsored in
the legislature to decriminalize cultivation of three
marijuana plants.)

Councilmembers Nate Miley and John Russo defended the
guidelines as a reasonable attempt to protect the most
seriously ill medical marijuana patients from
unwarranted police harassment, saying it would not
interfere with legitimate marijuana enforcement
activities.

Medical marijuana advocates applauded the council's
action. "This proves again that good medical cannabis
policy is good public policy," said Robert Raich. "The
city council has acted to protect patients as well as
the public health and safety of all Oaklanders."

(To reach California NORML, contact Dale Gieringer at
(415) 563-5858, canorml@igc.apc.org,
http://www.norml.org/canorml.)

***

5. Action Alert from the Drug Policy Foundation:
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-
FL).

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-TX) 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); and

* 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-CA),
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.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

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-FL) 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."

HOW TO 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 operator.

* 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 E-mail 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 web site,
http://www.aclu.org/action/concong.html 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.

(You can find the Drug Policy Foundation and subscribe
to their alerts via the web at http://www.dpf.org.)

***

6. Strip Searches at O'Hare Get U.S. Senators'
Attention - Kris Lotlikar

U.S Senators Dick Durbin and Carol Moseley-Braun are
calling for the General Accounting Office to broaden
its investigation of drug search procedures at the
nation's busiest airport. The two Senators released
figures stating that of the 104 strip searches
conducted in 1997 at O'Hare international airport, 77
of those involved female suspects. "Our country should
be conducting a war on drugs, not a war on women,"
Senator Moseley-Braun told Reuters. Senator Durbin
also commented, "These searches are far more successful
at stripping women of their dignity than stripping our
nation of its drug supply." The Treasury Department,
which has oversight authority over the Customs Service,
is conducting its own internal investigation and stated
that they would also support the GAO investigation.

The figures released also suggested a trend of racial
discrimination in the strip searches. The data shows
that almost twice as many black women were searched as
white women. O'Hare airport officials deny the claims,
stating they do not "target" a certain group of people.
"It's never based solely on race, ethnic origin or
gender," stated Cherise Miles, spokeswoman for Customs
in Chicago to the Illinois Daily Herald. "It could be
nervous behavior, it could be the way a person is
dressed. It could be where they're coming from." Ed

Fox, a Chicago attorney, has filed a lawsuit
representing 18 black women subjected to searches in
which illegal substances were not found. "I'm pretty
confident many more black women were strip searched
than what they're admitting to," he stated to the
Herald. "They are clearly targeting black women for
strip searches without reasonable suspicion. It's
purely for harassment."

Effectiveness of the searches is also being questioned.
Only 27 of the 104 strip searches turned up drugs.
Drugs were found on 25% of the white women searched and
only on 17% of the black women. Senator Dick Durbin
commented, "It's very difficult to justify what they
are doing based on their results." William Spain,
spokesperson for the ACLU of Illinois, sees hope in the
Senators' concern. He told The Week Online, "For far
too long most of our lawmakers have only aided and
abetted the worst excesses of America's unwinnable War
on Drugs. It is encouraging that a few of them of
finally waking up to the fact that so many innocent
citizens are routinely stripped of their liberty and
dignity as a result of destructive drug policies."

***

7. Drug War in Brief

- In Bogota, Columbia a U.S. helicopter crashed,
killing seven police officers. This was the third
fatal crash involving U.S owned helicopters in less
than a month. The UH-1H helicopter was part of a
sortie of "Hueys" donated by the U.S, to aid the war on
drugs in South America. Wreckage was found on Sunday
in Urada province, a banana growing region which has
long been a battleground for leftist rebels and the
state.

- 12 officers in Mazomanie, Wisconsin spent Sunday
destroying wild growing hemp from all over Dane County.
The task force, which was made up of members of the
Dane County Narcotics and Gang Task Force, worked most
of the day collecting, cutting and burning the crop.
"Most of the marijuana is left over from hemp farming
during the two World Wars," Sheriff Sgt. Mark Twombly
told an AP reporter. Industrial hemp contains THC in
amounts far too small to produce intoxication.

- In England this week, a night watchman discovered two
thousands grams of marijuana on a Royal Navy destroyer.
Ironically the HMS Newcastle was returning from a six-
month tour of duty combating drug-running in the West
Indies. After the whole crew was fingerprinted, two
men were caught and found guilty of conspiracy to
import drugs. Six other men have also plead guilty for
their role in the smuggling ring.

***

8. Quote of the Week

In a letter to the Wall Street Journal (6/24), Nobel
Prize winning economist Milton Friedman, an
octogenarian responding to the Journal's anti-
legalization editorial suggesting that he and other
"libertarian economists" divulge whether or not they
had ever used drugs:

"I have not done so during the past 85-plus years. But
I make no guarantees for the future."

***

9. Interview with Dr. Robert Newman

Dr. Robert Newman, President of Continuum Health
Partners, a healthcare system that includes Beth Israel
Medical Center, where methadone maintenance began over
30 years ago and which still operates the largest
program in the world, had a slightly different take on
the mayor's statements than that provided in our lead
article above. Dr. Newman spoke with The Week Online:

WOL: Dr. Newman, you've obviously heard Mayor
Giuliani's statements regarding methadone maintenance,
and his desire to see these programs eliminated. What
are your thoughts?

Dr. Newman: Let me first say that my anger over this
issue is not directed in the least at Mayor Giuliani,
but rather at the methadone establishment. And when I
say establishment, I don't mean the experts like Dr.
Des Jarlais here at Beth Israel, or patients' advocates
like Jocelyn Woods at NAMA. I mean the majority of
providers, who have a total monopoly over distribution
and whose desires to maintain that monopoly drive their
actions. Nor do I include all providers in my
criticism. My own hospital, after all, Beth Israel
Medical Center, is the single-largest provider of
methadone in New York, and perhaps in the country, with
over 8,000 patients.

The attitude of the majority of those who represent the
establishment as it relates to methadone treatment is
my way or the highway. They have fought tooth and nail
to encourage and maintain every government regulation
that is now in place that constrains the distribution
of methadone. Their way has given us the current
situation in which seven out of eight heroin addicts
have absolutely no access to this treatment, and under
which only government-approved "comprehensive programs"
can exist.

Why are they upset by Giuliani's statements? It is not
unreasonable and doesn't take too much cynicism to
believe that at least part of the answer relates to the
desire to protect their turf. They have been so
thoroughly invested in maintaining control over the
treatment of the 15% of heroin addicts who have access
to their programs that they have been willing to write
off the other 85%. Since they never looked for or even
permitted serious discussion of ways to try to reach
the 85% that can't be accommodated in their programs, I
think they have little credibility when they profess
such concern over the 15% that have been lucky enough
to get admitted.

Now why is it that of all medical treatments, of all
long-term drug regimens, methadone is the only one that
is totally under the control of government-approved and
largely publicly funded, bureaucratically-managed
programs? Why on earth can't someone who has been on
the program for years, who is gainfully employed and
raising a family, who is otherwise drug-free, get
methadone from his or her doctor? Why do such people -
- and there are many, many people who are living
normal, productive lives with the help of methadone --
why must they be required to show up at a clinic daily,
or at least several times a week? Why are they
required to continue with often-unnecessary counseling
in order to stay in the program? For that matter, why
can't any patient receive methadone from the physician
of his or her choice?

There has been a concerted effort to keep community-
based practitioners out of the prescribing of the
medication. It's also true that providers' budgets
depend upon the comprehensiveness of all these
services, and the requirements that these services be
provided to and accepted by every single patient. It
has nothing to do with the needs or wishes of the
patient, and these requirements have become the primary
obstacle for people who would otherwise, by all
measures and appearances, be living very ordinary, very
healthy lives. I know some lip service has been given
to "pilot studies" to allow a tiny handful of patients,
always under the watchful eye and the control of the
programs, to get methadone from generalist physicians.
But the numbers that could be accommodated are
meaningless!

WOL: So, when Mayor Giuliani says, for instance, that
there is no reason why people in these programs
shouldn't be required to work, just like other welfare
recipients, you would agree with that?

Dr. Newman: Absolutely. Without getting into any sort
of discussion of welfare policy itself, which is an
issue in which I am certainly not holding myself out as
an authority, I believe that people in methadone
treatment should be treated the same way as everyone
else. Besides, it is a little-known fact that fully
half of the people who are on methadone maintenance are
employed, and thus never even enter the welfare debate
at all!

As I alluded to, a big part of what makes it difficult
for methadone patients to work is the absurd
requirements, the hoops they are made to jump through.
In a lot of places in the country, where there are
clinics at all, they are spread so far and wide that
people end up spending half a day, every day, just
traveling back and forth. Now, this speaks, I would
argue, to the remarkable level of commitment that these
people have to avoiding relapse, to insuring that they
are not going to feel compelled to go to the street for
relief. So we end up with many, many people, traveling
great distances to clinics which often are open for
only a short time every day, just so someone can hand
them a cup of medicine. We need to open up the system
so that people can live more normal lives, much as they
would if they were on any other long-term medication
regimen.

WOL: So there's nothing inherent in methadone
treatment which would compromise someone's ability to
lead a normal life?

Dr. Newman: Absolutely not! There are patients who
are earning six-figure salaries, people who have been
on methadone for years and who function normally and
productively in every way.

The question is, do they need to be required to undergo
continuous counseling? Do they need to be watched by a
paid counselor to ensure that they are taking their
medication? Of course not. What they need is freedom
from absurd restrictions put into place by one
bureaucracy, government, at the behest of another
bureaucracy, the methadone establishment. But the
methadone bureaucracy, in that wonderful self-serving
tradition of all bureaucracies, considers these people
too sick to function without the constant help of the
people whose livelihoods depend upon the system. Is
that to say that many people who are in methadone
treatment don't benefit from counseling? Of course
not. But these determinations are not being made based
upon patients' individual needs. Again, only a
monopoly could sustain a system like this.

In addition, and I think this is the problem rather
than the views attributed to the Mayor, we have a
situation where many of the providers themselves behave
as if they don't believe in or understand the
treatment. Three-quarters of the programs in existence
knowingly keep patients on sub-optimal dosages of
methadone. Now, if I, as a doctor, were to
systematically prescribe a sub-optimal dosage of any
other medication, I'd lose my business and probably my
license to practice. But in the monopoly that controls
methadone distribution, no one is at risk of losing
their business, at least until a politician focuses on
the expenditure and questions its justification.

Further, more than half of the clinics in operation
push patients toward total detox, many after only six
months. And if you ask them is there any evidence, is
there a single scientific study, which shows that
pushing people off of this medication will be
successful? Do we have any indication that the
majority will not relapse into heroin? That they will
not go to the street and buy whatever they can get
their hands on to relieve their suffering? That they
will not be right back where they started, along with
the increased risk of AIDS and other diseases? And
they'll say, no. But we simply don't believe in
allowing people to stay in for more than six months.
And they can do this, they can randomly endanger and
destroy people, because they have absolute power.
They're the only game in town, and they know it.

WOL: But if the providers are dependent upon their
patients, why would they be so eager to push people out
of the programs?

Dr. Newman: Oh, the slots don't go empty. Each clinic
is allowed to treat only a specified number of
patients, and there are so few slots for so many
addicts that there's always a waiting list. There's no
necessity to do it right, to operate in the best
interest of the patients, to care what patients think.
There's zero "power" for consumers in this field of
medicine, because the demand is so much greater than
the availability. Again, I stress that this
orientation is not universal, and I pride myself on the
compassion, common sense and caring that is reflected
in the staff of Beth Israel.

So here comes Mayor Giuliani, or some other politician,
and sees methadone not as just another medication like,
say, insulin, but as a very big line-item in a budget
that goes to a big bureaucracy, and he questions it.

There's nothing whatsoever surprising or inappropriate
about that! And he looks at the people who have been
in these programs for years and what he sees is a group
of people who are still required by regulations and by
the views of the clinicians to receive intensive
counseling, who are still required to be urine-tested
(in many programs, under direct supervision of the
staff -- they are not even trusted to pee into a bottle
without someone "monitoring" them!).

There can be only one conclusion: our government
regulators and -- most significantly -- the treatment
providers believe they are no better off, no more
trustworthy, no less "junkies" than when they started
the program. Seeing that, why shouldn't the mayor
conclude that there is no progress being made? Why
should we expect the mayor to challenge the medical
judgment of the experts, the folks who provide
methadone treatment? I sure haven't heard many of my
colleagues say, "Let's demand the government stop
requiring us to impose counseling on patients who no
longer need or want it; let's demand an end to this
wasteful and demeaning requirement that patients pee in
a bottle so they can prove to us that they are not
using drugs."

WOL: But the mayor has couched this in terms of a
moral rather than a budget issue. In fact, as you
know, the vast majority of funding for methadone in New
York City comes from the state and federal governments.

Dr. Newman: But the city is spending at least some of
the money here, and so it does come up as a budget
item. In addition, given the strong negativism towards
methadone even (perhaps especially!) among those who
prescribe it, it's no surprise that public sentiment
also is against it -- so criticizing this treatment is
politically attractive. The point is that if there
were no programs, if methadone was treated more like
other medications that doctors can prescribe to people
who will benefit, the politicians wouldn't even waste
time on it.

As radical as it sounds to the methadone establishment,
I strongly maintain that doctors are quite capable of
responsibly treating patients -- even those with the
disease of addiction. Certainly, this has been the
experience overseas, where many countries have
thousands of former heroin addicts receiving methadone
from general practitioners.

WOL: Barry McCaffrey, the U.S. Drug Czar, recently
came back from visiting with his counterparts in Europe
and said unequivocally that we need to expand methadone
maintenance in this country, but he added the caveat
that it should be tightly controlled. His concern, and
it's one that is shared by a great many people
apparently, is that methadone not be diverted to the
black market. Aren't you concerned that easing
restrictions on methadone would lead to an
increase in street sales?

Dr. Newman: Actually, the logic there is completely
backwards. A long time ago in this country we had a
huge and deadly black market in penicillin. There was
an enormous illicit demand from people who couldn't get
it through legitimate channels because of inadequate
supply. The street market for methadone is an exact
analogy, and reflects the fact that people who need it
can't get it legitimately. Heroin is vastly easier and
more convenient to get!

Why are people buying black market methadone? Because
they're trying not to do heroin. If anyone who needed
it were able to get it from a licensed physician, and
not just those who were lucky enough to have their name
come up on the waiting list, we'd most likely see an
end to the street trafficking, just as penicillin's
black market came to a total halt as soon as supplies
were sufficient to meet the clinical demand.

Imagine the black market in Viagra if it were
accessible only to 15% of those who might want and need
it -- and those 15% had to jump through hoops to get it
from "comprehensive impotence programs"? And talk
about NIMBY, and the fears that the "Viagrans" would
mug us and rape our mothers and grandmothers! Wow!

WOL: The mayor, in his comments as well as in the days
immediately after, made a point of mentioning a couple
of abstinence-based drug treatment programs by name,
programs like Phoenix House and Day-top Village, saying
that abstinence-based treatment is inherently superior
to methadone, and that this is what we should be aiming
at. Being that these programs don't offer methadone,
is it possible that there is another economic dynamic
at work here?

Dr. Newman: (Laughs.) Well, certainly that's
possible. And if methadone were to be eliminated as a
treatment option it would very likely mean more
patients, and more income for those programs. But I'm
not going to speculate as to their influence on the
mayor, or their motivation. And for sure I would never
denigrate any other treatment approach that offers help
and hope to those in need, especially in as notoriously
difficult and deadly a problem as addiction.

The fact is, however, that methadone maintenance has
been found throughout the world to be the single most
effective treatment for heroin addiction known to
science. And that's not just me talking. It has broad
backing in the medical community. Furthermore, even if
one believed a different treatment approach is "better"
-- whatever that means -- there is no way whatsoever
that the tens of thousands of methadone patients in New
York City could be accommodated in any alternative
treatment setting; they'd all go back to shooting dope,
stealing, killing themselves, getting and spreading
AIDS, etc. That's not speculation or bragging or
anything else but simple reality.

I certainly value a substance-free recovery, but I see
that as no better and no worse than recovery
accomplished with the assistance of a dose of
medication each day. If it were your son, would you
care in the least? Boy, I sure wouldn't! My only
prayer would be that he survive, and get out from the
clutches of heroin dependence and all the horrors that
that entails, including the ever-present threat of
death. Heroin is tough to kick under any conditions.

With methadone, people are able to resume their normal
lives, outside of the restrictions placed on them which
I've mentioned, and be productive and healthy. If that
doesn't constitute success in medical as well as social
terms for the individual and the community, than I
don't know what does. If you are a diabetic, you are
pretty much destined to need insulin for the rest of
your life. If you go off of it, you're going to have
problems, plain and simple. And yet, insulin is
rightly understood to be a very successful treatment.
The same is true of the wonderful support that AA
offers to alcoholics, support that ideally (according
to AA advocates) continues life-long.

WOL: But can you truly equate heroin addiction with
diabetes? People only become heroin addicts after
first making a choice to try heroin.

Dr. Newman: Granted, in most cases there is a
behavioral aspect to becoming a heroin addict, but at
the same time there is growing evidence that some
people have a genetic predisposition to such
addictions, so there's also an uncontrollable risk
factor that is at play. And regardless, there are
innumerable diseases and conditions that have
behavioral components. Do we in the medical community
turn away heart attack victims who are obese through
overeating? Or cancer victims who smoked? We can
certainly disapprove of those behaviors, but we don't
punish people in an advanced society by withholding
effective treatment for illnesses they brought on
themselves.

WOL: Is that, to some degree what the methadone
establishment is doing?

Dr. Newman: To the extent that providers treat their
patients in ways that would be unacceptable in dealing
with other types of patients, yes. But again we are
back to the problems inherent in a monopoly over a
life-and-death medication.

In New York City, it's estimated that there are over a
quarter of a million people who are addicted to heroin.
But there are only about 35,000 methadone slots. Now,
because the establishment has fought tooth and nail to
make sure that doctors cannot prescribe this
medication, to make damn sure that they were the only
providers -- and the government is certainly not going
to increase funding for drug addicts by a factor of
seven or eight -- over 85% of the addicted are shut out
and will be shut out to their dying day! It amounts to
saying, "We are not going to allow you to get methadone
except through us -- and if you die, you die!" I
respect pride in one's own therapeutic efforts, but
this kind of attitude is arrogant. I'ts immoral. It's
sick.

WOL: That's a pretty stinging indictment, especially
coming from a major provider.

Dr. Newman: You're not the first one to tell me that.
And I'd like to make clear yet again, because it bears
repeating and emphasizing, that not every provider is
high-handed and self-serving. I know the staff of Beth
Israel best, of course, but the same is true of lots of
other programs, I'm sure, and that is the commitment to
do as good a job as possible, given the restrictions.
And I'm not saying that some programs, for some
patients, are not superior to the prospect of having a
doctor prescribe methadone.

Certainly there is an element of control that would be
given up. But I also oversee one of the finest centers
for the treatment of breast cancer in the world, and
yet I would never say you have to come to Beth Israel
or one of its partner institutions, and if you can't
you should go untreated rather than be allowed to get
care in a less "comprehensive" center of excellence.
That would make the best the enemy of the good. That's
what we're doing by insisting on exclusive reliance on
programs to prescribe methadone. It's arrogant. It's
costing lives. And it results in politicians looking
at the treatment as it's been mandated and questioning
whether it's justified and should be continued.

(See our methadone topics section at

http://www.drcnet.org/methadone/ for more commentary by
Dr. Newman. Also, visit the National Alliance of
Methadone Advocates at http://www.methadone.org.)

***

10. Editorial: Prohibition, Punishment and Plano, Texas

This week in Plano, Texas, 29 indictments were handed
down in connection with a heroin distribution "ring"
said to be responsible for the deaths of at least
seventeen mostly young, mostly affluent members of the
community over the past four years. Among those
indicted were at least fourteen Plano residents, all
under 23 years old, who were themselves users and part
of the extended circle of acquaintances of those who
died. If convicted, each of these young people faces
at least twenty years behind bars.

Reaction in the community, at least as reported in the
media, is mixed. Many people have taken the hard-line
attitude that such punishment will "send a message" to
Plano's young people that the community disapproves of
such behavior, even if their only connection to drug
dealing involved "scoring" a hit or two for a friend
and fellow-user, or, just as likely, scoring regularly
for fellow-users as a way to finance their own habits.

Others seem shocked that these kids face life-
destroying sentences as punishment for, essentially,
their own addictions. On ABC TV's 'Nightline,' the
question was asked, almost incredulously, whether
incarceration was a sensible solution for kids who, but
for the grace of God, could just as easily have wound
up as one of the seventeen dead "victims."

Busting addicts who re-sell small amounts of their drug
of choice to pay for their own addictions, and thus
staving off painful withdrawal, is nothing new. What
is unusual here is that the young people involved are
not underprivileged and black but well-to-do and white.

The drug war, it seems, besides disproportionately
impacting minority communities, also serves to
highlight the racism pervasive in our society. An
eighteen year-old African American who is addicted and
sells drugs is a criminal, a pariah and a menace. But
when that 18 year-old is white and middle-class, he is
a kid with a problem. And suddenly, the thought of
making him pay for his addiction by putting him in a
cage until he is a hardened and embittered middle-aged
man does not seem to make much sense.

But regardless of the ethnicity of those involved, the
Drug War, working as designed, punishes even those who
most of all simply need help. There is very little in
the way of filtering mechanisms built into mandatory
minimum sentences that would separate out the big-time
criminal from the desperate addict. And while it is
argued that weight requirements, the parts of the law
which say that you will get x-number of years for
possessing or selling x-number of grams, are meant to
serve this purpose, that is really not the case.

Because over the past few years of drug war hysteria,
the reach of conspiracy laws have expanded to the point
that now, almost anyone who is even tangentially
involved in anything that looks like a "system" of
distribution can and will be held responsible for
enormous amounts of drugs, real or imagined, no matter
what their actual role in the crime. Even if, as
appears to be the case with some of the defendants in
Texas, they were simply scoring for friends in an
effort to finance their own pathetic addictions.

In response to DRCNet's media alert about this story
this week, I received a call from a British activist, a
woman who has spent the past eleven years advocating
for the rights and the health of people living with
AIDS and people living with heroin addiction in
England. She wanted an answer to the following
question: "Why is it," she asked, "that people in the
States are so irrational, to the point of insanity it
seems, when it comes to drug addicts? I've been told
that it springs from some religious fundamentalism
peculiar to America, but as a religious person myself,
I rather doubt that Jesus would've sought to punish the
most vulnerable among us. What would ever make people
think that locking people up for their whole lives to
punish them for their addiction is either moral or
pragmatic?"

She had me. And although I have never believed as some
do that fundamentalism is at the root of our punitive
drug war, it is clear that the United States treats its
addicts with a harshness and a self-righteousness
unequaled in other Western democracies. It is also
true that there is an element of religious
fundamentalism in the U.S. which is largely absent in
those nations.

In considering these facts, and in looking for the
connection between them, it occurs to me that while
fundamentalism is not the cause of our national
obsession with punishing drug users, and in fact such
treatment seems quite irreligious, it is likely that to
some extent at least, the two spring from the same
place. That is, some people flock to religion, just as
others become willing to abusively punish, in response
to a world which seems to be spinning out of control.
It is a reaching for certainty... for moral authority.
And it is borne of frustration and a seeming inability
to make sense out of chaos.

But while religion, and the fervor that it can incite,
has been used by some over the course of history as a
weapon against the non-believing, religion is, in its
essence, a beautiful and empowering institution. The
drug war, on the other hand, and the senseless rush to
destroy those who are in reality the weakest among us,
operates in a blind-spot. It is a dragon chasing its
own tail inasmuch as it expends most of its energies
attempting to stamp out that which it has itself
created.

In Plano, seventeen kids are dead primarily because
they had no idea of the purity level of any particular
batch of heroin. They did not, could not under a
system in which labels and information are an
impossibility, have any idea of the dosage they were
using, or whether this bag was more or less pure than
the bag they bought the last time. It is also very
likely that few of the kids who were taking heroin in
Plano had any idea what to do for a friend in case of
an accidental overdose, and it is a near-certainty that
they had never heard of and had no access to Narcan, a
drug which arrests overdose nearly instantly. And,
judging by the response of law enforcement this week,
it is easy to imagine that at least some of the
seventeen might have been saved if their compatriots
were not afraid to go to authorities for help the
moment they realized that something was terribly,
terribly wrong.

The fact that they were addicted would have been bad
enough, and the profit margins insured by prohibition
undoubtedly led to the "marketing" of the drug on the
streets and in the schools of their community. But
there was absolutely no reason for seventeen kids to
die. So while it is perhaps debatable as to whether,
or to what degree the Drug War encouraged their
addiction, there can be no doubt that our drug policy
has insured that they did not live long enough to
recover from it.

So now, in the prosperous town of Plano, Texas,
seventeen kids are dead of overdose in four years, and
fourteen more are facing the destruction of their
futures by incarceration. And listening in the media
to the police and the DEA and even to many of the
residents of that town, they would've gladly indicted a
hundred more if they could've made cases against them.
This is our response. It is a response borne of fear
and of anger and of a sense that the world is somehow
spinning out of control. But it lacks insight, and
compassion, and reason. And it hasn't worked in a
thousand other towns. And it won't work once again.

Before hanging up, the activist who called from London
had this plea for me, and for the organization for
which I work: "Help the addicts themselves to organize
and to be heard. They understand, and they can make
others understand, that they are not monsters but are
vulnerable people, many of whom have known nothing but
pain for the entirety of their lives. Help them to
convince people that with a little help, addicted
persons are capable of helping themselves. I think
that their vulnerability can be very powerful in
helping them to communicate this. And I think that
this will change people's attitudes and reduce their
level of fear and hatred. Because, even after all that
I've seen, I truly believe that people, at their core,
are primarily good."

And I hung up. But I doubted, somehow, that this
hopeful philosophy was anywhere to be found in the
message that the Drug War sent to the surviving kids of
Plano, Texas.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

***

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