Portland NORML News - Friday, July 31, 1998

Oregon Marijuana Ballot Measure Learns From The California Experience
('The Associated Press' Suggests The Proposed Oregon Medical Marijuana Act,
Which Would Benefit About 500 People, Is Superior To The California
Compassionate Use Act Of 1996, Approved By 56 Percent Of Voters,
Because The OMMA Would Arbitrarily Limit Physicians From Recommending
Cannabis For Many Life-Threatening Illnesses, Would Arbitrarily Limit
The Amount Of Medicine A Patient Could Possess Or Grow, And Would Require
Patients To Register With The State, Like Jews In Nazi Germany)

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 19:23:19 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OR: Oregon Marijuana Ballot
Measure Learns From The California Experience
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Wire, The Associated Press
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Author: AMALIE YOUNG The Associated Press


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The spasms in her back and legs begin at night.
Half asleep, her twisting, jerking limbs rock her awake. There is
little Jeanelle Bluhm can do -- legally -- to relax the grip of
multiple sclerosis.

So every night, Bluhm draws her curtains, props herself up in a chair
and fires up a pipeful of the only thing that gives her relief -- marijuana.

"I don't care what has been proven," she said. "I only know what works
for me."

Bluhm, a 46-year-old former nurse who gets around her house in a
motorized scooter, helped gather signatures for a ballot initiative
that would legalize marijuana in Oregon for medical uses.

Opponents say illnesses will only become a ruse to allow the
widespread smoking of pot. They point to California's two-year medical
marijuana experience, where cannabis buyers clubs have sprouted up and
local ordinances allow patients under marijuana therapy to keep up to
1 1/2 pounds of pot.

But backers say they have learned their lessons from California, and
have drawn Oregon's measure to tightly control the amounts of
prescribed pot and ensure that it only goes to those who truly need

"It's absurd that doctors can't prescribe this centuries-old
medication when they can legally prescribe morphine or cocaine," said
Rick Bayer, a Portland physician and chief petitioner who worked to
qualify the initiative for the November ballot.

Under Oregon's proposal, marijuana would only be allowed to treat a
limited number of illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS
and glaucoma.

A letter of permission from a doctor would allow a patient to get an
identification card issued by the state Health Division. With the
card, a patient would have the right to carry up to an ounce of
marijuana and grow as many as three marijuana plants to maturity.

If the initiative is passed, Bayer estimates that about 500 people
would apply for an ID card in the first year.

A group called Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs is putting up a
fight, arguing that the state is not equipped to deal with the
bureaucracy the law would create.

"It will make the policing of these marijuana laws extremely
difficult," said the head of the group, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan
Noelle. He warns voters to be wary of any initiative that is part of a
national effort by "people who have spent a lot of money trying to
legalize marijuana."

The measure is unusual in that it is being financed from entirely
outside the state. It is sponsored by the California-based Americans
for Medical Rights, which has the backing of billionaire
philanthropist George Soros of New York, insurance mogul Peter Lewis
of Cleveland, and John Sperling, founder and president of the
University of Phoenix.

The three men worked to persuade Californians to approve marijuana for
medical purposes two years ago. Arizona voters also approved a similar
measure in 1996, but it was blocked by the state's

Oregon, Alaska, Colorado and Washington state are all considering
medical marijuana laws this year.

Dave Fratello, spokesman for Americans for Medical Rights, said
California's measure was written "more as a statement of principle
than a law," that included nothing about how marijuana would be
supplied. "We decided to write the laws more carefully in Oregon."

For Bluhm, who smokes marijuana twice a day -- once in the morning and
once at night -- the law would allow her to grow her own weed and give
her the peace of mind that it is pure and safe.

"The most frustrating thing I have had to deal with is the
bureaucracy," Bluhm said. "Why can't they be a little easier on the

Craig Helm, who also suffers from multiple sclerosis, was convicted of
two counts of felony possession and manufacture of marijuana in May,
after police raided his home and found eight marijuana plants.

Marijuana, he said, is the best way to calm the violent and painful
muscle spasms in his legs.

"I can't take another pill to make it stop -- that's when I smoke
marijuana," Helm said from his wheelchair.

Helm is on probation, but although he is under minimal supervision, he
still smokes marijuana.

"There are so many serious things going on," he said. "Are cops proud
of busting people like me?"

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Marijuana Measure Foes Say State Costs Understated ('The Associated Press'
Notes Backers Of A Ballot Measure That Would Nullify The Oregon Legislature's
Bill To Recriminalize Marijuana Are Trying To Correct The Lawmakers'
Underestimate Of What The Bill Would Cost Taxpayers, Scheduled To Appear
In The State Voters' Pamphlet)
Link to 'Savings In California Marijuana Law Enforcement Costs Attributable to the Moscone Act of 1976'
From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net) To: "-News" (when@hemp.net) Subject: OR Marijuana measure foes says state costs understated Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:51:02 -0700 Sender: owner-when@hemp.net Marijuana measure foes say state costs understated By CHARLES E. BEGGS The Associated Press 07/31/98 6:20 AM Eastern SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Foes of a ballot measure that would restore criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana claim the state's estimates of cost effects are too low. They argue there likely will be more courtroom time used up in small possession cases by such things as evidence challenges and that even revenue from fines will be lower than projections because of a quirk in the law. Oregon broke new criminal ground in 1973 when it became the first state to eliminate criminal penalties for possessing less than 1 ounce of the drug. The 1997 Legislature passed the measure to reinstate criminal sanctions, but opponents mounted a petition campaign and referred the measure to the ballot. That means it doesn't take effect until the voters decide. The cost impact discussions Thursday were before a panel of officials appointed by Secretary of State Phil Keisling. The panel holds hearings to financial estimates made by state agencies. The estimates can be revised until next week. Estimates of financial effects on all statewide measures on the ballot are included in the Voters' Pamphlet that will be published by the state for the Nov. 3 general election. State agencies including the state police and the court system estimate the measure would cost the government $585,000 a year. In addition, counties estimate an additional $229,000 in costs of jail space for sentenced offenders. Because the offense now is a civil violation, there are no jail sanctions, just fines. The measure make possessing less than 1 ounce a misdemeanor carrying up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. State Rep. Floyd Prozanski, a prosecutor who opposed the bill as passed by the Legislature, said if voters approve it the minimum fine would drop for cases in which prosecutors chose to handle them as violations. The minimum fine now for possession now is $500. But Prozanski said that was not kept in the ballot measure, so the new minimum under the new law would fall to $250. Authorities estimate about 40 percent of all small possession cases would be prosecuted as violations even under the new law. "For every case that goes through the system as a violation, there will be at least a 50 percent reduction in fine revenue," Prozanski said. Amy Klare of the committee opposing the ballot measure said the state has "grossly understated" costs of providing indigent defense to people charged with the new crimes. She said the jail expense estimate assumes a one-day jail stays for cases prosecuted as misdemeanors but that sentences could be longer in rural counties with more jail space available.

Democratic Party Of Oregon Opposes Recrim, Takes No Position
On Medical Marijuana (A Portland List Subscriber Relays Information
From A Press Release About The DPO State Central Committee Meeting
This Weekend In Tillamook - Measure 57, Recriminalizing Possession
Of Less Than An Ounce Of Marijuana, Has 'Nothing To Do
With The Real Problems Of Crime In Our State')

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 23:32:55 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp@efn.org
From: "D. Paul Stanford" (stanford@crrh.org)
To: restore@crrh.org
Cc: maptalk@mapinc.org, drctalk@drcnet.org, hemp@efn.org
Subject: Dem. Party of OR: Endorses stopping recrim, no position med mj

The Democratic Party of Oegon has made its endorsements for Oregon ballot
measures this November 3rd. The following is excerpted from the DPO release
this morning by Oregon state chair, Marc Abrams (marc6138@worldnet.att.net):

"The State Central Committee of the Democratic Party met in Tillamook this
weekend.... our SCC members worked hard to study the measures on the
ballot. Here are the recommendations of the Democratic Party of Oregon for
the November referenda and intiatives:

"Measure 57 -- Recriminalization of Marijuana. Vote "no." This measure does
nothing to deal with the real problems of crime in our state, and deals with
an activity that is already sanctioned under the law."

"Measure 67 -- Medical Marijuana. No position."


Yours truly,
D. Paul Stanford


We are working to regulate and tax adult marijuana sales, allow doctors to
prescribe cannabis and allow the unregulated production of industrial hemp!

Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp

P.O. Box 86741
Portland, OR 97286
Phone: (503) 235-4606
Fax:(503) 235-0120
Web: http://www.crrh.org/

Joe Camel Turns Up In Portland Nightclubs ('The Oregonian' Is Shocked,
Shocked To Learn That Some Portland Nightclubs Are Accepting Advertising
Money From Tobacco Companies - Just As The Newspaper Itself Did For About
A Hundred Years, Until Recently - But Fails To See Any Double Standard
In Its Own Endorsement Of Similar Events And Promotions
For Alcohol Manufacturers)

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

Joe Camel turns up in Portland nightclubs

* R.J. Reynolds and other cigarette companies are promoting smoking in a
number of local nightspots

Friday, July 31 1998

By Crystal Carreon of The Oregonian staff

Cigarette smoke thickens the night air as a young crowd spills onto the
sidewalk outside Fellini, a bar in Northwest Portland. Next door, the
Satyricon nightclub regulars wait for the heavy-rock band Morbid Angel to play.

Ingrid Ohlson, who books bands at Satyricon, waves her Camel cigarette like
a wand. "We try to appeal to everyone," she said -- 20 and 30-years olds,
"yuppies who come here after work to people covered in tattoos like me --
everyone is here."

Tobacco companies are here, too. Although cigarette smoke in bars and clubs
is nothing new, what's new for cities such as Portland are contracts between
tobacco companies and clubs for brand-name sponsorship. Forced into a corner
by advertising restrictions and accusations of targeting underage youths,
the tobacco industry appears to have found a creative way to appeal to a
slightly older crowd.

Fellini and Satyricon are "Camel clubs" -- among about 1,000 such nightspots
across the nation to sell and promote Camel cigarettes exclusively to their

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., maker of Camel, was the first to use this
marketing strategy. Beginning in 1994, R.J. Reynolds signed contracts with
popular nightspots in Dallas, Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles.

Now the network has expanded to include smaller cities such as Portland.
Philip Morris Inc. has joined the trend with sponsored music events at its
"Marlboro bars," places such as the Caribou Bar & Grill on West Burnside,
East Bank Saloon and Restaurant in Southeast Portland and Space Room, also
in Southeast Portland.

At Fellini, the Camel logo appears on everything from ashtrays, napkins and
coasters to glasses and posters. By contract, the cigarettes sold on site
are Camels, sometimes offered free by tobacco company representatives, often
hired from the club scene.

"Once in awhile, we'll have an event and (the tobacco company) will do
anything. They will make T-shirts, they'll call around for sponsors, they'll
design and pay for our ads -- whatever we need. They will help us throw a
party," Ohlson said. "We would not have been as successful without their help."

George Touhouliotis , who owns both Fellini and Satyricon, signed the Camel
contract last year.

Touhouliotis said he recognizes the dangers of cigarette smoke. He quit
smoking 15 years ago out of concern for his health. But he also recognizes
that corporate dollars can help small, locally owned establishments.

"It's not like I sold my soul to the cigarette companies," he said. "It's

At least five other Portland-area clubs and bars have signed contracts with
R.J. Reynolds, including the Gypsy Supper Club and Lounge in Northwest
Portland, La Luna in Southeast Portland and E.J.'s in Northeast Portland.

From trendy downtown nightspots to alternative clubs, tobacco companies are

"We want to be in an environment where we are able to interact with adults.
We have a presence in age-restricted (over 21) venues, and we hope to
reinforce brand loyalty or convert adult smokers to our brand," said Carole
Crosslin , spokeswoman for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in North Carolina. She
declined to say how much money the tobacco company spends to promote its
product in bars and clubs.

Although Camel clubs sell R.J. Reynolds cigarettes exclusively, people who
frequent these places are free to choose what to smoke, if they want to
smoke at all.

However, sometimes R.J. Reynolds representatives give away packs of
cigarettes or encourage smokers to swap their current brand for a pack of
Camels at shows sponsored by the tobacco company, Crosslin said.

Prizes awarded

Philip Morris has a policy against offering free cigarettes at its sponsored
events but sometimes awards sweepstakes prizes, such as vacations at a
"Marlboro ranch" in Montana or Arizona, as part of its promotions.

Scott Ballo worries about this new tobacco trend.

"(Tobacco companies) have the best market researchers. Their advertising
campaigns are sleek, sexy and cool. It's smart advertising for something
that's not only dumb, but deadly," he said. Ballo is an account manager at
Pac/West Communications, a public relations firm hired by the Oregon Health
Division to help develop a $2 million campaign to warn about the dangers of
tobacco use.

Ballo said tobacco companies are using a form of "social marketing" to hook
the people who frequent night spots. By placing brand cigarettes in places
where people go for fun, smoking becomes associated with having a good time.

"It may look glamorous now, but the consequences are severe," he said.

In Oregon, 27.4 percent of the adult population smokes cigarettes regularly,
according to a 1996 Oregon Health Division survey. And Oregon taxpayers pay
at least $116 million annually in smoking-related illnesses, loss of
productivity and other tobacco-related health costs. Both firsthand and
secondhand smoke exact a health toll, Ballo said.

About 80 percent of smokers start in high school and develop brand-name
preferences before the age of 18, according to the national Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention. About 98 percent of smokers begin the habit
before the age of 25, so the young-adult population remains attractive to
the tobacco industry.

"When it comes to smoking, I believe in everybody's right to go and kill
themselves as soon as possible," said Jason Angelfell, a Fellini regular who
plays in a band. Angelfell opposes any form of corporate sponsorship. He
said tobacco company dollars are killing the authenticity of alternative

Others disagree.

"I don't think these ads and contracts make too much of a difference," said
Nick Mondrut, a customer at Gypsy. "Everybody who comes here smokes anyway,
and they smoke what they want to smoke."

But he acknowledged the marketing could be influential. "If you see Camel
everywhere, it could be subliminal. It could sway your opinion about the

Still, smoking is a matter of choice, Satyricon's Ohlson said.

"I'd say that 99 percent of people who smoke cigarettes have smoked before
Camel took over the bar scene," she said. "We all know it's bad for us. It
really is our choice. It doesn't start with Camel and it doesn't end with

Medicinal Pot Measure Makes November Ballot (An 'Associated Press' Story
In 'The Seattle Times' Notes Initiative 692, Sponsored By Washington Citizens
For Medical Rights, Has Been Certified For The November Ballot)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: WA Medicinal pot measure makes November ballot
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:48:21 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company

Posted at 04:13 a.m. PDT; Friday, July 31, 1998

Medicinal pot measure makes November ballot

by The Associated Press

OLYMPIA - As expected, an initiative to legalize medicinal use of marijuana
was certified yesterday for the November general-election ballot.

Initiative 692 would allow people who are dying or suffering from
debilitating illness to grow and smoke marijuana if it is prescribed by a
doctor. The initiative, the only one this year to rely on paid signature
gatherers, is the last of four to qualify for the ballot.

The initiative, certified by Secretary of State Ralph Munro as having the
required 179,248 of registered voters, will ask: "Shall medicinal use of
marijuana for certain terminal or debilitating conditions be permitted, and
physicians authorized to advise patients about medical use of marijuana?"

The initiative was pushed by Dr. Rob Killian of Tacoma after last year's
defeat of Initiative 685, a far broader drug-legalization measure that was
soundly rejected at the polls.

Also facing voters Nov. 3 will be Initiative 694, outlawing certain surgical
abortion procedures that foes call "partial birth" abortions; Initiative
688, which would raise the state minimum wage to $6.50 by 2000; and
Initiative 200, to abolish affirmative-action programs in state and local

--Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company

Marijuana Initiative On Fall Ballot ('The Olympian' Version)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-Hemp Talk" (hemp-talk@hemp.net)
Subject: HT: Marijuana initiative on fall ballot
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:42:36 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Marijuana initiative on fall ballot

ELECTION: The initiative is more narrowly worded than last year's failed

7/31/98 By Peter Eichstaedt The Olympian
OLYMPIAN - An initiative to allow the medical use of marijuana was certified
for the Nov. 3 ballot Wednesday, making it the fifth statewide policy issue
voters will decide this fall.

Secretary of State Ralph Munro said supporters provided 198,378 valid
signatures - 19,130 more than needed.

"I'm very pleased," said Rob Killian, a Tacoma physician who has spearheaded
the drive to approve Initiative 692.
Killian said he's optimistic about voter approval because the initiative is
more narrowly worded than last year's proposal.
Something that has not changed, however, is opposition from Lt. Gov. Brad
Owen, an active and vocal opponent to last year's more broadly worded

Owen, who faces an October hearing on alleged ethics violations stemming
from use of his office to fight the initiative last year, said Wednesday he
will fight again.

"It's a dangerous approach to drug authorization," Owen said. "I will
continue to speak out and try to point out to people what the.movement is
all about and where the money comes from."

According to reports filed this month with the Public Disclosure Commission,
supporters of the initiative have received $379,912 and have spent $236,685,
leaving them with $143,227 in cash.

Virtually all of the money has come from three out-ofstate millionaires,
including international financier George Soros of New York, Cleveland
insurance executive Peter Lewis and Phoenix businessman John Sperling.

No organized opposition has formed.

Killian disputed Owen's assessment.

Killian said the initiative lists the diseases for which marijuana may be
used as a treatment and prohibits the use of it while driving or in any
public place or school grounds.

Peter Eichstaedt is The Olympian's political editor. He be reached at

Washington To Vote On Medicinal Marijuana ('The Orange County Register'

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: WA: Washington
To Vote On Medicinal Marijuana
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:09:43 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Pubdate: 7-31-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/


An initiative to legalize medicinal use of marijuana was certified Thursday
for the state of Washington's November general election ballot.

Initiative 692 would allow people who are dying or suffering from
debilitating illness to grow and smoke marijuana if it is prescribed by a

In 1996,voters in California and Arizona approved ballot issues legalizing
marijuana for medical use, but Arizona's lawmakers blocked it. The federal
government considers medical marijuana illegal and has prosecuted its use in

Marijuana Use For Medicine On Washington State Ballot
(The 'Reuters' Version In 'The Los Angeles Times')

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:50:10 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WA: Marijuana Use For
Medicine on Washington State Ballot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Author: Tom Banse, Reuters


OLYMPIA, Wash.--A citizens initiative to legalize the use of marijuana for
medicinal purposes will appear on the statewide ballot in November,
Washington state officials say.

State election officials said they had certified 198,378 signatures as
valid, about 19,000 more than the required number needed to place the
proposal before the voters Washington joins Oregon and Alaska as the three
states that will put the question of medicinal marijuana use before the
public as a ballot initiative this fall.

Similar proposals are pending in Colorado and Nevada. Voters in California
and Arizona have approved measures in recent years to legalize medicinal
use of marijuana, but legal challenges and other controversies in both
states have prevented full implementation.

"I'm looking forward to a good campaign," said Washington state initiative
sponsor Dr. Robert Killian. "There'll be a lot more media attention
probably nationally because of this. And I'm ready for it."

The Washington state proposition permits patients suffering from terminal
or debilitating illnesses -- such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, or AIDS --
to get a doctor's authorization to smoke marijuana.

Patients would have to come up with the drug on their own after receiving
authorization. Killian said most patients would probably grow the plant

Non-medical use of marijuana would still be prohibited.

The medical marijuana legalization campaign in the Pacific Northwest has
been bankrolled almost entirely by three multimillionaires. New York
financier George Soros, Progressive Insurance CEO Peter Lewis of Cleveland,
and Phoenix businessman John Sperling each donated $125,000 to the
Washington state ballot campaign and gave smaller amounts to the Oregon

Last November, Washington state voters soundly rejected a broader drug
reform initiative bankrolled by the same three men and run by Killian. That
effort sought to ease jail sentences for low-level drug crimes and legalize
medical use of a broad range of prohibited drugs, including heroin.

Killian predicted better chances for passage this year now that the ballot
measure has been narrowed to the concept he claimed has the widest popular
support: allowing people suffering from intractable pain to use marijuana.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.

Jailed AIDS And Cancer Patient Peter McWilliams Scheduled For Hearing
To Reduce Bail Friday, July 31 (Fellow Medical Marijuana Defendant
Todd McCormick Says The Los Angeles Author Will Be Submitting A Motion
To Lower His Bail From A Quarter Of A Million Dollars To $50,000)

From: "Todd McCormick" (todd@A-VISION.COM)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: McWilliams Scheduled For
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 03:04:53 -0700
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org


Jailed AIDS & Cancer Patient Peter McWilliams Scheduled For
Hearing To Reduce Bail At 11:00 AM Friday, July 31, 1998.

JULY 30, 1998 / LOS ANGELES, CA: Los Angeles author, AIDS and Cancer patient
Peter McWilliams who was arrested on July 23, 1998 at 6:00 A.M. Pacific
Time when Federal Agents stormed his Laurel Canyon home will be submitting a
Motion before the Court to lower bail from $250,000 to $50,000.

McWilliams, 48, is an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana and
Proposition 215 who suffers from AIDS and Cancer who uses medical marijuana
to ease the nausea caused by the "cocktail" of drugs he must take to sustain
his life.

"It was months ago that he voluntarily offered to turn himself in to federal
authorities at any time for questioning!??" said a member of McWilliams'
staff. "There was no need to storm his house--let alone at 6:00 AM--handcuff
him, expose him to infection, leave him without his medication for 5 days,
and then set his bail for $250,000... He has AIDS, must take his medication
6-times-a-day, and is weak from the disease. How can this man possibly be
perceived as a risk?!!"

When McWilliams was first arrested, Pre-Trial Services recommended bail be
set for $50,000. It was only at the request of the Prosecutors that
McWilliams bail be raised to $250,000. "His health is our biggest concern"
said McWilliams' attorney, Bruce Margolin.

Bail Hearing Scheduled For:

Friday, July 31, 1998 At 11:00 AM
The Federal Court Building
255 E. Temple Street, Courtroom O

McWilliams is the author and publisher of more than 35 books which have sold
more than ten million copies. His books have appeared five times on the New
York Times best-seller list, and in June, celebrated 30 years as a self-
publisher. His books include How to Survive the Loss of a Love, How to Heal
Depression, Hypericum & Depression, and Ain't Nobody's Business If You
Do-The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Country (a book openly
critical of the drug war). These books can be read on-line at

Contact Numbers:

 Bruce Margolin (Attorney) 310-652-0991
 Todd McCorrmick 213-650-4906
 Ed Haisha 213-650-9571 x125

"One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."

Peter McWilliams - Issues And Update (A California Physician
Discusses The Medical Situation Facing The Incarcerated Medical
Marijuana Defendant And The Doctor's Attempt To Go Through
The Federal Gulag To Learn More)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 12:13:57 -0700 (PDT)
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: "Tom O'Connell" (tjeffoc@sirius.com)
Subject: DPFCA: Peter McWilliams: issues & update
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Peter McWilliams, well known author, who addressed the Libertarian
Convention on July 4th, publicly announced the following in that speech:

In 1996. he was diagnosed as having AIDS complicated by non-Hodgkin
lymphoma. For the past 28 months, he has been on a complex treatment
regimen of protease inhibitors, oral agents which are difficult to take
because of the nausea they produce. Use of smoked marijuana has controlled
his nausea, his protease inhibitor therapy has kept the AIDS from
progressing and left him feeling well. McWilliams credits mj with saving
his life, a not uncommon belief in patients it has helped.

As reported in the LAT on July 24th, McWilliams was arrested and held in
federal custody. The charge is conspiracy to grow large amounts of
marijuana for sale. His bail was set at $250,000.

McWilliams has been held in the Metropolitan Detention Center, ( Prisoner #
13835-112, P.O. Box 1500, Los Angeles, CA 90053, Tel. (213) 485-0439). A
communication from him dated the 28th and posted on this list the same day
alleged that he had not been allowed to continue his medications in
custody. Conversation with Todd McCormick (out from the same Center on
bail) confirms that, but Todd, whose access is limited, said he understood
that Peter was allowed to resume his medicine on Monday. He wasn't sure if
all the medicines had been resumed in their previous dosage.

I discussed this with an infectious disease specialist; current thinking on
the management of patients who have exhibited a good response to protease
inhibitors is that scrupulous observation of schedule and dosage is
critical. Cessation of all agents for no compelling medical reason, (such
as emergency surgery which could interrupt the ability to take oral
medications), while undesirable, is probably without risk if it's only for
a week or two. What would be risky is sporadic or irregular resumption, or
starting back on fewer agents. In any event, prevention of McWilliams from
continuing protease inhibitors while in custody is a step beyond preventing
his use of marijuana; above all it's a medical decision because it
needlessly puts him at risk. (I'm not aware of what specific international
conventions this practice violates, but there must be some; for example,
the Nurenberg Convention forbids any use of prisoners for research on the
theory that "informed consent" is impossible while incarcerated).

I set out to speak with the physician on scene at the MDC; his name (I
learned eventually) is Dr. Sinavsky; he refused to speak with me on the
grounds that he didn't know who I was- he referred me to the lawyer who
turned out to be on vacation. I finally reached an assistant warden (Linda
Thomas) who eventually returned my call and refused to disclose any
substantive information, claiming that any answers to my questions would
have to come from McWilliams' lawyer. I have since relayed all of this to
the LA Times and the SF Chronicle & hope they will investigate. Anyone
reading this who is as disturbed as I am is urged to make whatever use of
this information the see fit.

In the meantime, as this is typed, a bail reduction hearing is taking
place; it could result in McWilliams' speedy release, partially solving his
immediate medical problem. Even so, it won't solve the problem posed by a
punitive and brutal government insisting that arbitrary inhumane treatment
of alleged "drug criminals" is justified by their own best interests.

This strategy of incarcerating true medical mj users like McCormick and
McWilliams, then insisting they undergo urine testing as a condition of
bail is diabolical. It places the government is a position to physically
punish advocacy and also allows them to anticipate the findings of the IOM
study they have commissioned advise on this issue, a "study" McCzar refers
to when he falsely promises to "let science decide" if marijuana could
possibly be medicinal.

Tom O'Connell, MD

Federal Prosecutor Lies To Judge About AIDS Patient Peter McWilliams'
In-Prison Medical Treatment . . . Judge Denies Motion To Reduce Bail
(Today's Second News Release From Todd McCormick, McWilliams' Co-Defendant)

From: "Todd McCormick" (todd@a-vision.com)
To: "Multiple recipients of list" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: 7-31-98 Release
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:22:56 -0700


Federal Prosecutor Lies To Judge About AIDS Patient Peter McWilliams'
In-Prison Medical Treatment... Judge Denies Motion To Reduce Bail.

JULY 31, 1998 / LOS ANGELES, CA: At an emergency hearing to determine if
AIDS-cancer patient Peter McWilliams should be immediately released from
federal custody on medical marijuana charges, federal prosecutor Fernando
Aenlle-Rocha told the judge, "Mr. McWilliams has received his full
complement of AIDS medications since July 24, 1998, his second day in

In fact, as the prescription bottle supplied by the federal government's
in-prison pharmacy clearly reveals, McWilliams was not given the 3rd drug in
the 3-drug combination AIDS therapy until July 26, 1998.

"Prosecutor Fernando Aenlle-Rocha looked the judge right in the eye and in
somber, precise, governmental tones lied to the judge," said McWilliams
after the hearing. "That the government failed to provide me with AIDS
medications for 4 days is appalling. That the government would lie about
that fact in order to keep me in custody is reprehensible."

The judge believed prosecutor Fernando Aenlle-Rocha over McWilliams and
remanded McWilliams back into federal custody. The earliest McWilliams
could possibly be released is Monday, August 3, 1998. Prosecutor Fernando
Aenlle-Rocha also misrepresented the prescription medication Trazadone, a
major antidepressant, as merely "a sleeping pill," therefore not important
to McWilliams' AIDS treatment.

"People with AIDS walk a tight rope over the abyss of depression," said
McWilliams. "Prosecutor Fernando Aenlle-Rocha is obviously too young to
have experienced life-threatening illness first-hand. Either that, or
someone slipped his compassion a sleeping pill."

McWilliams had praise and gratitude for the Los Angeles Chapter of the ACLU
rising in his defense. "Now that reason has failed, I hope that the ACLU
will move ahead on the legal front as soon as possible," said McWilliams.
"The shoddy medical treatment in federal lock-up is nothing short of the
murder by bureaucracy."

Although McWilliams now has his AIDS medications, he has not been given an
effective anti-nausea medication, so keeping the life-saving drugs down is
difficult. McWilliams has also not been given his antidepressants at the
prescribed dosages since his incarceration, a situation that continues to
this day.

Contact Numbers:

 Bruce Margolin (Attorney).....310-652-0991
 Todd McCorrmick...............213-650-4906
 Prelude Press Publicity.......213-650-9571 x125

"One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." - MLK

A Clockwork Orange - Here We Go Again (An 'Orange County Weekly' Update
On The Kafkaesque Local Prosecution Of Medical Marijuana Patient
Marvin Chavez, Founder Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op)

Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 02:18:51 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: A Clockwork Orange: Here We Go Again
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, 31 Jul 1998
Source: OC Weekly (CA)
Contact: speakout@ptconnect.infi.net.
Website: http://www.ocweekly.com/
Author: Matt Coker


A judge ruled on July 24 that Orange County Cannabis Co-op founder Marvin
Chavez cannot use the state's medical-marijuana initiative as a defense in
his upcoming trial for allegedly selling pot. OC Superior Court Judge Robert
Fitzgerald also granted Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust's request
that the defense be forced to prove that people who obtained weed from
Chavez were ill. (Note to Fitzgerald: If Chavez can't use the Proposition
215 defense, what's the point?) The co-op founder contends he gave grass to
patients who then made voluntary donations to his operation. Prosecutors
allege he was simply selling dope. Chavez's attorney vows to appeal the
judge's rulings. David Lee Herrick, a co-op volunteer and former sheriff's
deputy who also tried unsuccessfully to base his defense against
pot-peddling charges on the medicinal-marijuana law, was sentenced on July
17 to four years in state prison. Armbrust also prosecuted that case.

Millionaires Push Drug Legalization ('Arizona Republic' Columnist
David Leibowitz Rants Against The Financial Backers Of Proposition 300,
Pretending Two-Thirds Of Arizona Voters Who Supported Proposition 200
Were Duped)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 11:31:57 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US AZ: OPED: Millionaires Push Drug Legalization
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org
Source: Arizona Republic (AZ)
Contact: http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/letter.shtml
Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Author: David Leibowitz


The stoned voices screaming didn't bother me. Nor did the screeds laced
with curses. What bothered me were the sharp ones, 50 or so readers who
still missed Wednesday's point.

That column concerned Proposition 300, a ballot proposal funded by a few
drug-friendly millionaires. The dopers have sold this and related
propositions by claiming they want "medicalized" marijuana, prescriptions
for glaucoma sufferers and the seriously ill.

My opposition totals three words. That's a lie.

Proposition 300 is a Trojan horse -- a "no" vote would "medicalize" not
only pot, but 116 Schedule I drugs, including many familiar names the
millionaires have sued to keep off Arizona's ballot:

Heroin. LSD. Ecstasy. Mescaline. Peyote. Plus derivatives of PCP and meth.

Those drugs have gnawed at America's heart for decades. Those drugs the
millionaires want us to embrace, or at least accept. They talk about "harm
reduction" or "normalization" -- euphemisms for what they want but won't say.


Marijuana, yes I can't find words to tell you how wrong they are. I tried
Wednesday, and though 100-some readers understood, what lingers is the
smart ones who didn't.

Their counterarguments were three. "You're a damn barbarian" was most
popular. The gist: How dare I suggest denying marijuana to the deathly ill
or anyone in deep pain.

"My brother was born with a (genetic) problem in which smoking pot has
helped him control his pain for many years, and I can assure you he is not
a doper," wrote one e-mailer. "I think you should find out the whole
picture before you start criticizing people who may use it for real medical

Listen carefully -- I agree. I'd never deprive a seriously ill person of a
joint if that joint could end his pain. That's why I think Arizona needs a
"medical marijuana" proposal on the ballot.

Too bad we have a "116 Schedule I drug" proposal instead.

An honest proposition would be easy to craft: Marijuana prescriptions, and
only marijuana prescriptions, for the seriously ill, once the Food and Drug
Administration OKs pot's effectiveness.

That version would obey federal law and not depend on anecdotes and junk
science. Such a proposition grows more practical by the day: Doctors in San
Francisco are conducting the first-ever government-sanctioned study of
marijuana therapy.

Getting a fix The millionaires have another agenda. One laced with heroin
and LSD.

Those drugs came up often, in sentences like the following, penned by
e-mailer "WSheik."

"Next, find me a doctor who will prescribe heroin, LSD or cocaine to his
patients? I think doctors might know better than to give a drug addict a fix."

You think wrong. In June, the health commissioner of Baltimore, Dr. Peter
Beilenson, proposed America's first "heroin maintenance" program -- free
fixes for his city's addicts. Support for the same idea in multiple cities
was all the rage at New York's Lindesmith Center, a drug think tank
bankrolled by "philanthropist" George Soros.

Don't recognize that name? Well, you've already met 400,000 of his dollars
in ads for Arizona's first drug-friendly initiative, Proposition 200 in 1996.

Incestuous, as ever. And suspicious.

But not as suspicious as the respondents who demanded: "How can you support
the failed war on drugs?"

Answer: I don't.

Some elements work, like drug courts, intense education and treatment
programs. Others I find unconscionable, such as mandatory minimum sentences.

And such as lying to people.

That, sadly, seems to be the strategy of the millionaires and their

If you want prescribed marijuana, ask for it, and it alone. If you want
legalization, say so. But don't hide behind the sick or behind piles of cash.

In short, don't play the voters of Arizona for dopes.

David Leibowitz can be reached at 444-8515 or at david.leibowitz@pni.com
via e-mail. Catch his commentary at 4:35 p.m. Monday and Wednesday on
Channel 12 (KPNX)

State Takes Baby (Yahoo States News Service Says Oklahoma
Has Taken Custody Of A Newborn Because The Baby And Its Mother
Tested Positive For Marijuana)

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:59:39 +1200 (NZST)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: More barbarism in Oklahoma
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Yahoo! States News Service July 31, 1998

State Takes Baby - (OKLAHOMA CITY) -- The state has taken custody of a
newborn baby after traces of marijuana were found in her and her mother. The
woman has admitted to police that she smoked marijuana during the first
seven months of her pregnancy, and says she may have had marijuana in her
system from inhaling her boyfriend's secondhand smoke. Police say the
19-year-old woman gave birth Sunday at University Hospital. The baby was
taken into custody the next day.

Marijuana Is Found In Mother, Newborn ('The Tulsa World' Version)

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:40:31 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US OK: Marijuana is Found in Mother, Newborn
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Tulsa World (OK)
Contact: tulsaworld@mail.webtek.com
Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998


OKLAHOMA CITY -- The state has taken custody of a newborn girl after traces
of marijuana were detected in the mother and the baby.

The woman, whose name was not released, told police she smoked marijuana
during the first seven months of her pregnancy. She said she may have had
marijuana in her system from inhaling her boyfriend's second-hand smoke.

A police report showed the 19-year-old woman gave birth Sunday at
University Hospital and the baby was taken into custody the next day.

The woman was tested for illegal drugs. The hospital conducts drug tests on
all women younger than 20, women who have had no prenatal care, women who
have a history of drug abuse and prison inmates.

Kids And The Politics Of The Drug War (An Op-Ed
In 'The Austin American-Statesman' By Kendra E. Wright,
The Director Of Family Watch, Who Critiques The US Government's
New $1 Billion Drug War Advertising Campaign From The Perspective
That The War On Some Drug Users Has Failed)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 12:50:00 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Kids and the Politics of the Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Kevin Zeese
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Source: Austin American-Statesman
Contact: letters@statesman.com
Website: http://www.Austin360.com/
Author: Kendra E. Wright
Note: Kendra E. Wright is the Director of Family Watch, a network of
individuals and groups concerned about the impact of drug abuse and drug
control policies on families, women and children, based in Washington, D.C.


This month House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton unveiled a
five-year, $1 billion advertising campaign to combat adolescent drug use.
Between cartoons, America's kids will be bombarded with federally-sponsored
anti-drug commercials. But while Republicans and Democrats pat each other
on the back for "knocking America upside the head" on the dangers of drug
use, both parties are guilty of grandstanding on the teen drug problem
without contributing substantially to the solution.

As a stepmother of two boys, I am extremely concerned about teen drug use.
Over the past six years, drug use among the nation's youth has continued to
climb - despite zealous investment and commitment to the War on Drugs. We
currently spend $17 billion annually on the drug war, yet half of America's
youth report using an illegal drug before graduating from high school. For
the past decade, government surveys have shown that at least 82 percent of
high school seniors found marijuana "fairly easy" or "very easy" to obtain.

The President and his Drug Czar would have us believe we are fighting the
War on Drugs to protect America's youth. However, no solid research exists
to demonstrate that multi-million dollar anti-drug campaigns like the one
launched last week change adolescent behavior. And, if they do, it's not
clear that the change is always for the better.

Since viewing the ads, my 14-year-old and 10-year-old have learned it is
possible to get high from everyday household products. How many other
children who would never have considered such products as intoxicants now
have the notion planted in their heads? This is not the type of education I
want for my children.

Research has shown that when it comes to anti-drug messages, scare tactics
do not work on kids. D.A.R.E., or Drug Abuse Resistance Education, the
nation's most widely implemented youth anti-drug program, is a prime

Study after study has concluded that D.A.R.E. fails to prevent youth drug
use. Even more disturbing, recent research indicates that the $650
million-a-year program, which uses uniformed police officers to promulgate
often exaggerated and misleading claims, may actually be harming kids by
creating distrust among teenagers and ostracizing children most in need of

While D.A.R.E. does not reduce adolescent drug use, it does expand law
enforcement budgets. Some police officials repay the funding with photo-ops
during election season. Politicians get a two-for-one deal with our tax
dollars: campaign photos with children as well as with police officers.
What we do not get is a drug policy that protects our children.

Politicians today are more interested in using children as props than in
examining the reality of how their policies impact young people. Research
shows the most effective way to prevent youth substance abuse is through
alternative activity programs which keep kids engaged after school.
Unfortunately, our leaders still see political profit in shouting "Drug
War" surrounded by children and police. When adolescent drug use goes up
again next year, they can just shout it louder. They've been doing it for

As voters, we must not reward politicians who feed their political careers
in the name of the Drug War. We must demand that our political leaders
start addressing drug issues seriously. The first step is to recognize the
Drug War is not working. The second step is to examine the complex social
and health issues that contribute to our current drug problem and to
develop programs and solutions that respond appropriately. In the meantime,
let's have a moratorium on using children as political props while we
develop a drug policy which truly protects our youngest citizens.

No Drugs Or Alcohol Found In Man Slain By Officers (A 'Houston Chronicle'
Update In The Case Of Pedro Oregon Navarro, An Innocent Man Shot 12 Times -
Nine Times In The Back - By Houston Prohibition Agents Who Burst
Into His Apartment Without A Warrant)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:39:16 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: No Drugs or Alcohol Found in Man Slain by Officers Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: viewpoints@chron.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 Author: Stefanie Asin NO DRUGS OR ALCOHOL FOUND IN MAN SLAIN BY OFFICERS Lawyer says family offended at dealer suggestion A suspected drug dealer shot and killed by Houston police had no drugs or alcohol in his system at the time, toxicology reports said Thursday. Pedro Navarro Oregon, 22, a landscaper, was shot 12 times by officers who burst into his apartment without a warrant July 12. The officers said another suspect had told them he had purchased drugs in Oregon's apartment. Attorney Paul Nugent, representing Oregon's family, noted that no drugs were found in his apartment and the toxicology reports. "The family was very offended when Pedro was labeled a drug dealer," he said. >From the beginning, Nugent said, officers characterized Oregon as a narcotics supplier. Although Nugent acknowledged that a negative toxicology test doesn't prove someone isn't a drug dealer, he said the report proves something about Oregon's character. Oregon was the father of two children. The toxicology report was negative for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamine, metamphetamine, opiate and phencyclidine, a hallucinogen. Five officers have been relieved of duty with pay while the investigation continues. Sources have said the officers' mistaken belief that Oregon had shot one of them prompted their firing more than 30 shots at him. Oregon was shot nine times in the back. The officers said Oregon pointed a gun at them. However, his gun was never fired. The case will be presented to a grand jury in August.

Corn Cover - Too-Tall Marijuana Plants Bring Call To The Sheriff
(A Cautionary Tale In The Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 'Journal Sentinel'
Says The Clark County Sheriff's Department Had Little Trouble
Finding 35 Tall Pot Plants After An Informant Told Them She Suspected
Someone She Knew Was Growing Marijuana)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 00:07:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: Corn Cover: Too-Tall
Marijuana Plants Bring Call To The Sheriff
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: July 31, 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: Paul Knoff Special to the Journal Sentinel


Neillsville -- "If you build it, he will come."

But if you grow it too tall, police may find it.

That's a lesson learned by a 38-year-old Clark County man who authorities
say tried to turn his neighbor's cornfield into his own personal field of
dreams by planting about 35 marijuana plants between the rows of corn. But
because this has been a pretty good growing season in central Wisconsin,
the marijuana plants grew to between 8 and 10 feet -- much higher than the
corn that surrounded them.

And when an anonymous tipster called the Sheriff's Department to tell them
that she suspected the man was growing marijuana, detectives had little
trouble finding the huge pot plants.

Dennis Kopinski, of Humbird, was charged Tuesday with manufacturing
marijuana. Kopinski, already on probation after a drug conviction, faces up
to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine if convicted.

Kopinski, who remained in the Clark County Jail Thursday, is scheduled to
appear in court Aug. 12.

Female Inmates To Be Sent Out Of State ('The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel'
Says Wisconsin Soon And For The First Time Will Send 120 Female Inmates
To A Prison Out Of State, In Virginia, To Ease Severe Crowding,
Under A Contract Approved Thursday By A Legislative Committee
That Will Cost $58.30 Per Inmate Per Day)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 02:08:25 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US WI: Female Inmates To Be Sent Out Of State
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, 31 Jul 1998
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI)
Contact: jsedit@onwis.com
Fax: (414) 224-8280
Website: http://www.jsonline.com/
Author: Richard P. Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff


Panel allows move of 120 women to West Virginia prison to ease crowding

Madison -- In as little as two weeks, Wisconsin for the first time will send
female inmates to a prison out of state to ease severe crowding, under a
contract approved Thursday by a key legislative committee.

On a 12-3 vote, the Joint Finance Committee gave the state Department of
Corrections authority to send 120 women to a federal minimum-security prison
in Alderson, W.Va., about 65 miles southeast of Charleston.

The contract with the federal Bureau of Prisons will cost the state $58.30
per inmate per day, or about $2.5 million a year. The state will transport
the prisoners to the federal prison camp as early as Aug. 14.

Until now, Wisconsin has shipped only male convicts out of state to ease
prison crowding.

After the vote, Kristine Krenke, warden at Wisconsin's only medium- and
maximum-security prison for women in Taycheedah, said the agency had no

"We have really exhausted all options to try to keep people in Wisconsin,"
Krenke said. With no single cells available, she said common areas of the
prison were being used to house prisoners.

The Taycheedah prison near Fond du Lac has an operating capacity of about
430, yet held 683 inmates Thursday, Krenke said. Other Wisconsin facilities
for female inmates also are crowded beyond capacity, she said.

"It's a real unfortunate reality," Krenke said of the unprecedented move to
transfer female inmates out of state.

However, having visited the West Virginia prison, Krenke described it as an
excellent facility offering treatment and educational programs, and she said
that as many 40 Taycheedah inmates had expressed an interest in transfers.

In selecting inmates for transfers, Krenke said women who have children and
want to remain in Wisconsin would receive no special consideration. "That
was not one of the considerations in reviewing either men or women for
out-of-state transfers," she said.

Krenke said inmates would be sent to Alderson if they meet the camp's
guidelines for placement at the minimum-security prison, and if their
sentence is long enough to justify the expense of sending them to West Virginia.

In an attempt to provide some relief at Taycheedah, the state built a
150-bed barracks at a cost of $1.1 million. But Krenke said another barracks
at Taycheedah was not the answer.

"You're not only talking beds," Krenke said. Besides bunks, a prison should
offer inmates programs aimed at rehabilitation, she said. "Because Wisconsin
definitely does not see itself as a state that warehouses people," she said.

Rep. Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee), Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee) and Rep.
Barbara Linton (D-Highbridge) voted against the out-of-state transfer of
female prisoners.

Coggs said he objected to the transfer even though his position probably was
politically unpopular.

"Obviously, prisoners don't vote, and often times the poor families that
they come from don't vote," Coggs said.

But Coggs said he felt compelled to object, primarily for two reasons.

Coggs, who was one of the state lawmakers to tour Texas jails last summer,
said he found out that Wisconsin convicts in that state come under so-called
Texas rules.

"Texas rules often times treated model prisoners from Wisconsin with less
regard than the most heinous murderers and rapists in the state of
Wisconsin," he said.

Coggs said the vast majority of Wisconsin's inmates come from Milwaukee, and
many would return to Milwaukee after serving their time. He said he was
concerned about their attitude upon returning home and whether they would
commit new crimes.

"The vast majority of these prisoners, whether male or female, will be
coming back to my community," he said. "They're not going to be going to
Brookfield, Whitefish Bay or River Hills."

Wisconsin's inmate population now totals 16,429, yet the state prison system
has an operating capacity for 12,628 inmates, including cells the state is
renting elsewhere.

While female prisoners amount to less than 6% of the inmate population, the
number of women imprisoned in Wisconsin has been growing at a faster rate
than the male inmate population.

Since January 1996, the female inmate population has increased from 508 to
952, or 87%, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

During the same period, the male inmate population increased from 10,777 to
15,477, or 44%.

O'Hare Cargo Gets Custom Search Job ('The Chicago Tribune'
Describes The US Customs Service's Elaborate Search For Contraband
In Every One Of The 37 Passenger Planes And 11 Cargo Planes Landing At O'Hare
International Airport Over 24 Hours That Ended At Midnight Thursday,
Which Apparently Turned Up Nothing)

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 01:28:44 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: O'Hare Cargo Gets Custom Search Job
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Section: Metro DuPage, p. 1
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Author: Rogers Worthington


The task is gargantuan: Check for contraband in the cargo of 37 passenger
planes and 11 cargo planes landing at O'Hare International Airport over 24
hours that ended at midnight Thursday.

"You're talking about looking for the needle in the haystack. . . . It's a
tough job," says Larry Shirk, acting port director for the U.S. Customs
Service at O'Hare, as he watches a hydraulic lift lower another huge pallet
of boxes and crates from the yawning cargo bay of a Boeing 747 just in from
Hong Kong.

Chicago's O'Hare is one of the largest in-bound customs ports in the nation,
with 6,552 international flights a month and 1 million pounds of cargo a
day. In addition to drugs, agents are looking for undeclared U.S. cash;
banned plant and animal life; and counterfeit products, such as knock-off
Gucci goods and bogus Beanie Babies.

There's no way Customs agents can look at it all. On an average day, they
rely on analyses of brokers' shipping documents; anomalies, such as goods
shipped from a country in which they are not made; and other suspect signs,
such as huge quantities of personal effects shipped air express.

But this was not an average day. The intense search is part of the Customs
Service's 6-month Brass Ring Initiative, aimed at interdicting narcotics but
is the first time in the operation that Customs has tried to check every
foreign flight that arrives in a 24-hour period.

Shirk is joined by Michael Johnson, who supervises the service's contraband
enforcement team at O'Hare, and Jeff Gabel, the supervising canine officer
for the service in Chicago.

Gabel has been at this task since midnight Wednesday. He and Johnson are
coordinating 78 officers and 19 canine teams, 14 of which are from local law
enforcement agencies in the south suburbs, Indiana, and Cook and DuPage

Even with this much help, the task is a daunting one. Skilled smugglers, the
three agents know, are not stupid.

To give them the upper hand in this cat-and-mouse game, the agents have at
their disposal an array of sophisticated equipment.

A van full of hyper-hardened tools, such as air chisels, can cut a steel
cargo container--or an airplane--in half in minutes. Electronic measuring
tapes and high-tech devices similar to a stud sensor can detect a false wall
or floor. A $193,000 X-ray van with a conveyer belt shows the contents of
boxes and luggage in detail.

And then there is the ion scanner, on loan from the 126th Wing of the
Illinois Air National Guard. It resembles and works like a hand-held vacuum,
sucking up minute traces of narcotics--or explosives--from luggage or
packages. Its filter is then fed into a computer, which provides a readout
of the substance's properties.

For the suburban law teams, the 24-hour blitz is a chance to try out their
drug-sniffing dogs in a different milieu. Falco, a German shepherd with the
DuPage County sheriff's office, and Manto, a shepherd with the Hammond,
Ind., police, precariously make their way across the floor of the 747's
cargo hold, which has a thousand nooks and crannies.

Smugglers have not secreted any drugs here. So to keep the dogs on their
paws, they are allowed to discover planted packages of hashish. As a reward,
they get to play with a favorite toy.

Later, in a warehouse where cargo from the 747 has been hauled, the dogs are
turned loose on a crate of personal effects in which agents found a bathroom
deodorizer and perfumed candles. Drug smugglers often include such items, as
well as coffee, cayenne pepper and curry, to bolix a dog's sense of smell.

The agents won't say whether the 24-hour search Thursday turned up any drugs
or other contraband, not wanting to tip off anyone to whom the goods are
being shipped.

Shirk figures that even if nothing is found after an exhaustive search, it
says something for the deterrent effect of the more routine efforts.

"If you've done a good exam and find nothing, that's a valid statistic right
there," he said.

A Detective Is Allowed To Resign ('The New York Times'
Says New York City Detective John K. Wrynn Quit After Fending Off
Police Investigators And Federal Prosecutors For More Than Five Years,
Rather Than Face A Departmental Trial On Charges That He Leaked
Top-Secret Information About Undercover Detectives And Confidential Informers
To Organized Crime Associates In The Bronx)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Cop To Resign after snitching narco stings
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:50:07 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

The New York Times
July 31, 1998

A Detective Is Allowed To Resign


After fending off police investigators and Federal prosecutors for more than
five years, Detective John K. Wrynn has resigned rather than face a
departmental trial on charges that he leaked top-secret information about
undercover detectives and confidential informers to organized crime
associates in the Bronx, police officials said on Thursday.

The move effectively ends a corruption case that came to symbolize the way
Police Department politics and family connections can shield officers'
misconduct, even when it endangers other officers.

It will also deflect scrutiny from Detective Wrynn's father, James Wrynn, a
former inspector in the Internal Affairs Bureau whom other officers have
accused of undermining the investigation into his son's case.

Detective Wrynn, 35, was named by at least four members of the Bonanno and
Lucchese crime families as the man who tipped them off about narcotics
investigations in Harlem and the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx during the
early 1990's, according to conversations taped by a police undercover agent.

In a 1997 memo, the United States Attorney's office told police officials
that it had evidence Detective Wrynn had compromised two narcotics
investigations and revealed the identity of an informer who later died under
mysterious circumstances.

But attempts to build a criminal case against him were short-circuited by
the Internal Affairs Bureau, said investigators who spoke on the condition
of anonymity. And Inspector Wrynn, who was once caught looking through his
son's Internal Affairs case file, records show, was transferred but never
disciplined, and remains on the job.

Although Detective Wrynn will not receive a pension, his resignation was
accepted with the approval of Police Commissioner Howard Safir -- the
department's equivalent of an honorable discharge, and a courtesy that
angered many investigators.

Deputy Inspector Michael Collins, a police spokesman, said, "The department
thought this was an expeditious but just manner of removing a member of the
service without the time and expense of a trial."

Youngsters Playing Drug Deal Get Busted By Police ('The Associated Press'
Says Broward County Sheriff's Lieutenant James Chinn 'Rounded Up'
A Dozen Youngsters In Pompano Beach, Florida, Who Were Playing Drug Dealer,
Selling Slivers Of Plastic 'Crack' For 20 Tree Leaves - The Kids, Ranging In Age
From 4 To 11 Years Old, Also Knew How To Flee When Police Rolled By)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 11:46:47 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US FL: WIRE: Youngsters Playing
Drug Deal Get Busted By Police
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: (AP)
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998


POMPANO BEACH - Youngsters playing drug dealer in the driveway of a boarded
up crackhouse - selling slivers of plastic "crack" for 20 tree leaves -
also knew how to flee when police rolled by.

The dozen children, ranging in age from 4 to 11 years old, were rounded up
and lectured Wednesday by Broward County sheriff's Lt. James Chinn.

"You expect these little guys to be playing police or firemen but not dope
dealer," Chinn told The Miami Herald. "This hit me right in the face and
ruined my day. This is what they see every day."

The children built a plywood clubhouse in an unincorporated Broward County
neighborhood north of Pompano Beach for their game. Police and county
officials have boarded up two real houses in the neighborhood because of
drug sales, and deputies raided a third home last month, according to
sheriff's records.

The pretend dealers charged 20 tree leaves for a small piece of white
plastic resembling a sliver of crack, in a plastic baggie. A larger piece
cost 50 tree leaves. And a bag of pine tree leaves resembling marijuana
went for five leaves.

"We play tag and dope dealer all the time," said a 7-year-old boy later.
The boy said he collects empty baggies on the streets with friends after
drug users discard them.

Canada And The US - A World Apart On Hemp (An Article
In 'The Carbohydrate Economy,' A Publication Of The Institute
For Local Self-Reliance, About Why Farmers Get To Grow Industrial Hemp
In Canada But Not The United States Notes The Health Officials Calling
The Shots In Canada Don't Have A Vested Interest In Prohibition,
As Does The DEA In The United States)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 04:03:10 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Canada And The U.S.: A World Apart On Hemp
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Joe Hickey (agfuture@kih.net)
Pubdate: Volume No. 1, Issue No. 3, Summer 1998
Source: The Carbohydrate Economy, A publication of the institute for Local
Contact: (David Morris)dmorris@ilsr.org
Author: David Morris
Note: David Morris is vice-president of the Institute for Local
Self-Reliance His columns regularly appear in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.


Changing the Rules

In May of this year, a few miles north of Buffalo, New York, 50 Canadian
farmers began planting 2,000 acres of industrial hemp, the first commercial
hemp crop in that country in 60 years. South of the border that same month,
the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) held hearings on its proposal
to spray the countryside with lethal chemicals to eradicate any hemp plants
growing wild in this country.

Two countries, two radically different attitudes toward the world's most
interesting and controversial crop. Why such a difference? Maybe because
Canada's hemp policy is overseen by Health Canada, an agency with no vested
interest in keeping hemp illegal. In the U.S. hemp falls under the
jurisdiction of the DEA, which receives over $16 billion to fight drugs and
finds it in its self-interest to demonize hemp, a cousin of marijuana.
Indeed, the DEA receives a reported $500 million a year simply to wipe out
wild hemp plants. In the U.S. the policy toward cannabis is rigid and
absolute. In Canada the government's approach has been much more flexible
and sophisticated.

For decades both Health Canada and the DEA have had the authority to issue
permits for the growing of hemp for research purposes. But while the DEA has
made it impossible for farmers to receive such permits, in 1994 Health
Canada's Bureau of Dangerous Drugs granted to mechanical engineer Geof Kime
and his business partner, tobacco farmer and retired teacher Joe Strobel,
the first federal license to grow industrial hemp. Kime and Strobel raised
ten acres near Tillsonburg, Ontario.

The small plot immediately gained widespread public attention. To respond to
the sudden public interest, Canada's ministry of agriculture issued a
remarkable four-page bulletin on hemp, to this day perhaps the single most
concise agronomic overview of hemp. (Gordon Reichert, "Hemp (Cannabis
sativa)," Bi Weekly Bulletin, 7:23.)

In 1995 the Canadian government issued permits for more than l00 acres of
test plot in five provinces. These plots allowed local police authorities to
become comfortable with hemp and gave farmers the opportunity to test hemp
in different soils and climates zones. They also generated sufficient
material for industries to conduct substantial product testing.

In 1996, based on the information gathered, Canada's Parliament modified the
Controlled Substance and Abuse Act to allow for the commercial planting of
hemp. In 1997, when it appeared that Health Canada was not moving fast
enough to issue regulations for a 1998 planting, the parliament made clear
its disapproval.

To find out how to handle the crop, researchers visited some of the more
than two dozen countries that have gone through the hemp learning curve. In
early 1998, Health Canada called together representatives from effected
agencies and parties. These included the Ministry of Agriculture, the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Revenue Canada (Customs), Provincial and
federal police organizations, farmers, scientists and business persons.
After two and a half days the 70 participants had hammered out regulations
that allowed Canadian farmers and entrepreneurs to begin developing a
domestic hemp industry while taking into account law enforcement officials'
concerns about marijuana cultivation.

Health Canada's regulations are more onerous than the hemp industry would
like, and the permitting process this first year has been so slow that many
farmers were unable to plant any hemp at all. Nevertheless, all parties
expect the process to be streamlined in future years.

U.S. officials could learn from Canada's experience. Under the final
regulations, approved in late March, industrial hemp is defined as a
cannabis plant whose leaves and flowering heads don not contain more than
0.3 percent THC (the psychoactive component). To prevent higher levels of
THC, importers and exporters of hemp seed must be licensed. Shipments of
live seeds must be accompanied by foreign certification and from countries
that do not allow plants containing more than 0.3 percent THC. Health Canada
will publish a list of approved countries.

Only approved varieties of industrial hemp seeds (as specified in Health
Canada's List of Approved Cultivars) may be planted. However, Canada
officials understand that breeders need a wide selection of germ plasm to
develop breeds optimal for Canadian growing conditions. Thus plant breeders
will not be restricted to approved cultivars.

Products derived from seed, such as oil and seed cake, must contain no more
than 10 milligrams of THC per gram, a figure considerably below the 50 mg/g
level set by the Swiss Academy of Science.

To obtain a license of importing, production or sale of industrial hemp,
applicants must provide information from a Canadian police force listing any
arrests or convictions with respect to drugs over the previous ten years.

The Canadian process for legalizing industrial hemp has been cautious but
not paranoid, incremental but not glacial. It allowed time for farmers, law
enforcement officials, industry and government agencies to become familiar
with the plant and it properties without getting bogged down in red tape.
South of the border, the process is stalled - perhaps even stumbling
backwards - as long as the federal government lets drug agencies make
agricultural policy.

For more information contact Jean Peart, Manager, Hemp Project, Bureau of
Drug Surveillance, Therapeutic Products Directorate, Address Locator 4103A,
122 Bank Street, 3rd Floor, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 1B6 (613-654-6524)

NOTE: After a most intensive examination, Canada concluded that although
hemp and marijuana are both members of the cannabis family, they are
distinct types. One can get you high. One cannot. The agronomic and
biochemical differences are well-described by Dr. David West, who received
his doctorate in plant breeding from the University of Minnesota, in his
recent report, Hemp and Marijuana: Myths and Realities (available on the web
at www.naihc.org).

DEA Official Becomes Rich At The Expense Of Agency ('The Wall Street Journal'
Describes How David Bowman Of The Drug Enforcement Administration
Ripped Off The US Government For More Than $6 Million)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:30:17 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WSJ: DEA Official Becomes Rich At the Expense of Agency Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mark Greer Source: Wall Street Journal Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com Website: http://www.wsj.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 Author: Phil Kuntz - Staff Reporter DEA OFFICIAL BECOMES RICH AT THE EXPENSE OF AGENCY ARLINGTON, Va. -- David Bowman's cubicle, usually a bureaucrat's ideal of meticulous order, was a shambles. His desk had been rifled, his computer was gone. This much, though, was left undisturbed on the cubicle wall: the seal of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the agency he had served for 21 years. "What's going on?" a slack-jawed Mr. Bowman asked. "I can't tell you anything, David," replied James Duke, his boss at the DEA's budget office. "Go home, and we'll talk about it tomorrow." Later, the eldest of Mr. Bowman's four grown kids, Donna Dunn, arrived home to find her usually ebullient father mumbling to himself: "You just follow orders. You follow orders." Her brother, David Bowman Jr., summed things up: "Life as we know it is over." Indeed. The Bowmans had lived luxuriously for years, thanks to the father's mysterious side business, Bowman Enterprises Inc. The company grossed $1 million a year on average. But investigators have concluded that the money was illegally siphoned to a bogus company from DEA headquarters here, in hundreds of checks averaging just under $9,000 each. In all, the government says in an indictment, Mr. Bowman stole more than $6 million between 1990 and 1996. And for years, nobody noticed. Not the DEA clerks who kept cutting checks for an unknown company based on incomplete documentation and vague cloak-and-dagger assurances. Not the Justice Department's credit union, where Mr. Bowman sometimes socked away $5,000 or $10,000 a month on an $87,100 salary. Not his boss, who couldn't understand Mr. Bowman's secretive ways. And certainly not the government officials who gave him and his colleagues an award for cutting costs. Nor did anybody outside DEA inform authorities that one of its midlevel bureaucrats was rolling in dough. Not his retinue of $12-an-hour personal assistants who deposited the Treasury checks in the bank but never saw any business conducted. Not the merchants who sold his family $300,000 worth of jewelry and $124,000 worth of poster-shop artwork. Nor was there a word of warning from his wife and children. They spent huge amounts on home purchases and renovations, overseas honeymoons, new cars -- even Rolex watches costing up to $18,000. American Express bills regularly exceeded $20,000 a month. "I never thought to say, 'Dad, how come you make so much money?' It's not something you ask your father," says Ms. Dunn. Rumblings About the CIA Mr. Bowman's undoing was a matter of happenstance -- an audit by an inquisitive newcomer, checking to make sure the government was paying vendors on time. The March 1997 office raid marked the unraveling of a simple scheme allegedly perpetrated against one of the world's most elite police agencies by a man so severely disabled from muscular dystrophy that he can't eat, use the bathroom or breathe without assistance. Mr. Bowman denies wrongdoing and claims that a now-deceased former CIA official authorized his actions. His family says he is innocent and is desperate to keep him out of prison. Nevertheless, many of the facts in this case are corroborated by records at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., and interviews with law-enforcement officials, the Bowman family, friends and associates. Mr. Bowman is scheduled to go on trial in September on multiple charges. But however his criminal case is resolved, investigators estimate they will recover, at best, 20% of the DEA's money. His health is fading fast, and forfeiture laws favor innocent beneficiaries, such as, by their account, his relatives. "If he drops dead, we may get nothing," says a Justice Department official. Investigators wonder if that was the plan all along. A Devastating Disease Mr. Bowman's disease was diagnosed in his childhood, and he tells people, "I was supposed to be dead before I graduated high school." He was in a wheelchair by age 30. Yet, even on borrowed time and bum limbs, he sought to live life to the fullest. He lettered in high school by managing track and cross-country teams. He was good at target-shooting and handy at sewing Boy Scout patches. He acquired a taste for good wine. As his legs and arms weakened, his wife and children dressed him, bathed him and helped him on the toilet. "There was no embarrassment," says Ms. Dunn. "He was not a naked man; he was just in his birthday suit and needed to have a bath." By the late 1980s, his health had deteriorated severely. He was permanently hooked to a machine that pumps air through a tracheotomy incision. Bosses encouraged him to retire, but Mr. Bowman refused. "Work gave him purpose," says Ms. Dunn. The DEA hired her to be his aide and nurse at the office (and later gave her another job), but Mr. Bowman felt he was being pressured to quit. So he became more tight-lipped about how he did his job, thinking that would make it harder to fire him. Transferred from a supervisory position to a budget job with no one reporting directly to him, he took on some new duties and ended up in control of an account used to reimburse the State Department for supporting DEA posts overseas. Around the same time, Mr. Bowman's own expenses jumped. The Bowmans upgraded to a $421,000 home in 1988 and later spent $100,000 improving it, partly to accommodate his disability. As he became more ill, the stress wore particularly hard on his wife, Pearl Bowman, who hurt her back moving him and seemed weary of caring for him. "She still loves him," says daughter Jennifer Bowman, but "Mom has been less of a wife and more of a nurse or caretaker for so long that I think the whole wife aspect is gone." 'A Sweetheart Deal' In 1990, Mr. Bowman began what he would later tell people was a sideline as a DEA contractor. A former personal assistant, Ramon Robertson, recalls Mr. Bowman's saying that the agency had given him "a sweetheart deal" because he was too disabled to be a DEA agent. He told his wife, "We'll never have to worry about money again." He filed incorporation papers in Virginia for Bowman Enterprises, saying the company would be involved in debt collection, academic services, landscaping, real estate and debentures. On DEA forms requesting permission to moonlight, he also mentioned snow-plowing. Mrs. Bowman was named assistant chairman, his daughter Alison president, and the three other children vice presidents. All of them now say they knew little about the company, and they state in court filings that they believed it was legitimate. Bowman Enterprises certainly had trappings of legitimacy. It had an insurance plan. Calendars, calculators, pens and a brother-in-law's racing car were festooned with its name. Mr. Bowman even paid taxes on company profits. Mrs. Bowman tells people she repeatedly asked her husband to explain the business, but he refused. She says she asked him if he was doing anything illegal and he said no. Mrs. Bowman's lawyer said in court that she figured, "'Oh great, we're doing well,' and didn't investigate any further." Mr. Bowman told friends that he provided money for covert operations overseas and even helped free hostages. He spoke mysteriously of bosses who wanted things done but didn't want to know details. Harvey Volzer, Mr. Bowman's lawyer, filed a sealed document in court claiming CIA authorization for his actions, people familiar with it say. Mr. Bowman's purported contact was a longtime friend who worked in the CIA's personnel office until 1993 and died in 1996. DEA officials say Mr. Bowman had nothing to do with covert operations. On Nov. 15, 1990, an application form was filed at the Rosslyn, Va., post office to open a box in the name of the "Finance Liaison Group." It was signed "CEO David S. Bowman." Eight days later, he opened a bank account titled "Finance Liaison Group-Bowman Enterprises" and asked for checks bearing only the latter part of the name. On Dec. 7, 1990, the DEA started sending checks to the postal box. Mr. Bowman's assistants -- some DEA-employed, some from Bowman Enterprises -- deposited the checks. Aides found this curious, but they trusted Mr. Bowman. "I put him on a pedestal," says Mr. Robertson, now a policeman. "It was ludicrous the way he spent money, but I was never suspicious." Another former assistant, Bradley Kennerly, felt sure that DEA employees couldn't also be DEA contractors. But "I figured I'm being paid to perform services, not to ask questions," he recalls. No Red Flags The DEA acknowledges that Mr. Bowman's handling of its funds violated the agency's own safeguards. Ordinarily, such disbursements require the involvement of multiple officials. But in Mr. Bowman's case, he alone decided how much money the account needed, verified services rendered and authorized payments. On Mr. Bowman's watch, the agency's State Department reimbursement account grew 66% to $10 million in six years. During the same time, Mr. Bowman was sending more and more of those DEA funds to his company -- up to $1.9 million in 1996. Investigators say Mr. Bowman would file a standard agency form requesting that the Finance Liaison Group be paid for undefined "support services" provided to particular DEA posts around the globe. The vouchers often lacked signatures, authorization codes or other backup -- but no one questioned him closely. When he was pressed, court records say, he suggested to an accounting supervisor "that the payments were for CIA-related services." Nor did the payments raise a red flag when the DEA reconciled the books each quarter. DEA officials now speculate that Mr. Bowman's disability may have shielded him from closer scrutiny. While on the job, he was viewed by colleagues with a mixture of pity and admiration. Though he sometimes came off as furtive about his DEA role, he also was seen as competent and well-liked, bringing doughnuts on Fridays and fruitcakes at Christmas. He often sported a pin he was given for working on a task force that won an award from Vice President Gore's reinventing government initiative. (His panel had developed cost-effective ways of paying for those "support services.") He also was the "go-to guy" for overseas agents needing guidance through the bureaucracy back at headquarters, says a former colleague. "How could you not trust a guy like that?" says Mr. Duke, his supervisor. "To my eternal shame, I didn't look deeper into this clown when I got there because I knew he was weird -- but not dishonest." (Mr. Duke's bosses didn't want him to discuss specifics.) Spending Sprees As the money poured in, the Bowmans' lifestyle was transformed. Raised in rural poverty, Mrs. Bowman led the way. She bought an $8,000 Rolex for her 50th birthday in 1991 and quit her Pentagon secretarial job in early 1992. She became the best customer at Shaw's Jewelers at the local mall, salespeople say. Her diamond ankle bracelet cost $11,000, tanzanite pendant and earrings twice that. She stocked up on gifts for friends and relatives. "I'll take all of them," she once said, eyeing 50 bracelets on sale. Mrs. Bowman paid for cosmetic surgery for herself, two daughters and a sister. Victoria's Secret charges topped $500 a visit. She spent nearly $140,000 on gold pieces, proof sets and commemorative coins. She acquired so many limited-edition prints and animation cels that she displayed them on rotation at the house. Mr. Bowman also indulged. At Shaw's, he spied a pendant, considered the $500 price tag on the chain and decided to buy it. But he had seen only the chain's price; the pendant cost nearly $18,000. No matter; Mr. Bowman pulled out his credit card. He also became more security-conscious. He bought a state-of-the-art home-security system and had utility wires buried, lest bad guys sever them. The house has an elaborate multi-line phone-and-intercom system connecting almost every room -- bathrooms, attic and garage included. Mr. Bowman was generous to relatives and friends. He also donated countless hours of his bookkeeping time to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the local Boy Scouts and the Westover Baptist Church. But "if he stole money, he didn't give it to the church," says former pastor Chester Smith. As for all of that newfound wealth, Mr. Smith says, "My wife and I used to discuss that frequently: How in the world did the Bowmans have that much money?" Bowman Enterprises employed his children's friends as personal assistants to care for him. The company paid his children, too, when they took care of him. He sometimes chastised them for not putting in for every minute on the ledger by the front door. The parents were strict, insisting on respect, manners and honesty. But the children got practically whatever they wanted. "We were spoiled, but we weren't spoiled brats," says Ms. Dunn. "We earned what we got. We put up with a lot. We cared for Dad so much, and Dad thought the only way he could pay us back was to provide for us." "I was brought up dealing with things that a normal child doesn't have to deal with," says Jennifer Bowman. "When I was 10 years old, I was at home taking care of a 46-year-old 'trach' patient. I never said, 'I'll take care of you if you'll buy me a car.' As a reward for doing such a good job, you get things." The children say they got new cars routinely, as did spouses. Over the years, David Jr. received three Mustangs, an Explorer and two motorcycles. He customized one Mustang with racing parts for $12,000 and with a 20-speaker, stereo-TV-video system for $6,000. Everybody got cellular phones, beepers and generous use of credit cards. Alison and Robert Waters racked up $36,000 in charges in the summer of 1996, when they married and then honeymooned in Britain. College tuition was covered, too. Mr. Bowman kept the children near his Arlington home by providing them around $375,000 for down payments, mortgage bills and other housing expenses. Christmas was especially festive. Aides once procured 250 fruitcakes and a car load of honey-baked hams for gifts. They spent thousands on White House Christmas ornaments, and rented a cherry picker to hang lights on their house. A New Auditor Arrives The end began shortly before Christmas 1996. A new DEA auditor, Diane Webster, walked into Mr. Bowman's office with a sheaf of payment requests. She was doing an audit under a law that requires vendors to be paid quickly, and she happened to pick some of the Finance Liaison Group documents. "Mr. Bowman, I need to talk to you about these. There's nothing on here. Do you have any backup?" she asked. He replied: "It's a very sensitive issue; I'll have to get back to you." Then, according to a witness to the conversation, he tried to play down the matter by noting she had only a handful of vouchers. "There's 60 more on my desk," Ms. Webster replied. Mr. Duke demanded substantiation, so Mr. Bowman told his family to help reconstruct some missing files. They began faxing vaguely worded letters to DEA offices around the globe asking for verification of services rendered. According to court files, Mr. Bowman also tricked a State Department official into signing a fabricated authorization form, telling him it was a duplicate he needed for his files. Finally, Mr. Bowman wrote his boss a memo: "I trust that this information will alleviate your concern." It didn't. Mr. Duke couldn't find anybody who knew of the Finance Liaison Group. Then DEA Inspector Harry Spence found a copy of the application for the postal box. Agents raided Mr. Bowman's office that weekend. The family reacted quickly. Mrs. Bowman stored jewelry and coins at her sister's home, family members say. Mr. Bowman said "everything would be taken. If anything is yours, you might want to take it," recalls Jennifer Bowman. David Jr. says his father told him it would be "a good idea" to empty bank accounts. Evidence disappeared, including a "Finance Liaison Group -- For Deposit Only" stamp. David Jr.'s wife, Kim, says Alison told her to throw it away; Alison says she doesn't recall what she told Kim. Mr. Bowman retired from the DEA. The good life over, relatives bought groceries until his $3,000-a-month retirement kicked in. Ms. Dunn pawned her Rolex. The other children got jobs. One night, "all four of us got together with Dad," Jennifer Bowman recalls. "We said, "We love you regardless, [but] we want you to tell the truth." But he's afraid if he told all, that we'd be assassinated. He won't let us take the bird out of the house because if somebody tries to put gas in the house, the bird would die first." Seizing the Assets Prosecutors sought to temporarily seize the family's major assets -- a move that U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema allowed after finding "a substantial probability" of Mr. Bowman's guilt. Three homes went on the market; two have sold. Proceeds went to an escrow account. Another judge later allowed the family to use some of the money to pay debts. That angered the Justice Department and the DEA. "It is unfair for the government to be again paying the Bowmans' bills," government attorney James Pavlock argued in court. On March 10, a year after the raid on his office, Mr. Bowman was indicted on 74 counts of money laundering, mail fraud and theft. The government also has filed forfeiture claims for up to $2.3 million in cash and property. No one else was charged, and the indictment doesn't accuse Mr. Bowman of conspiring with anyone else. DEA Administrator Thomas Constantine blamed his agency for the mess: "Had many of the managers and personnel responsible for processing or supervising Bowman's accounts exercised proper care and adherence to protocols, Bowman's scheme would not have been successful." The DEA is weighing whether to discipline numerous employees. Ms. Dunn, along with Mr. Bowman's last DEA aide, nephew Scott Blizzard, were suspended last September, with pay. Prosecutors wanted to plea bargain with Mr. Bowman so he would forfeit assets without a fight. But the negotiations went nowhere when DEA's Mr. Constantine demanded significant prison time as part of any deal. Mr. Bowman's lawyer is seeking to have his client declared unfit for trial, now set for Sept. 14. Mr. Bowman was hospitalized on Tuesday. When at home, he spends his days in the family room, tethered to a ventilator, bloated and overweight. He gets one drug for pain, another for depression. He's usually asleep or groggy. His speech is labored but coherent. A casket that he commissioned -- made by his best friend from specially selected Wyoming pine -- sits in the living room. Niece Jennifer Blizzard likes to plop down on his bed and toss grapes into his mouth, as she did at his 58th birthday party recently. Later, Mrs. Bowman disconnected the breathing device, and nephew Scott manually pumped air into his lungs while Alison cleaned his tracheotomy. Mrs. Bowman tested his blood-sugar level with a finger prick and declared him fit for a bit of wine. Someone brought out a straw and a "Bowman Enterprises" wine glass. Some of Mr. Bowman's family and friends are sure he is an innocent dupe being prosecuted to cover up who-knows-what. As for David Jr., he refuses to believe his father is guilty, but he also doesn't buy the cloak-and-dagger stuff. "I'm not sure what's right," he says. "If he did this, then everything I grew up with was a lie. He helped me memorize the Boy Scout oath."

'Harm Reduction' Strategy Won't Work ('The Bulletin' In Bend, Oregon,
Prints The Boilerplate Op-Ed By The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey)
Link to response
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 23:48:31 -0700 From: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org (Maptalk-Digest) To: maptalk-digest@mapinc.org Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 #308 Reply-To: maptalk@mapinc.org Sender: owner-maptalk-digest@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Subj: Harm reduction strategy won't work From: cwagoner@bendnet.com Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 23:58:42 -0700 (PDT) Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (cwagoner@bendnet.com) Pubdate: 7-31-98 Source: The Bulletin (bulletin@bendbulletin.com) Page: A-6 "HARM REDUCTION" STRATEGY WON"T WORK By Barry R. McCaffrey The so called harm-reduction approach to drugs confuses people with terminology. All drug policies claim to reduce harm. No resonable person advocates a posistion consciously designed to be harmful. The real question is which policies actually decrease harm and increase good. The approach advocated by people who say they favor harm reduction would in fact harm Americans. The theory behind what they call harm reduction is that illegal drugs cannot be controlled by law enforcement, education and other methods; therefore, proponents say, harm should be reduced by needle exchange, decriminalization of drugs, heroin maintenance and other measures. But the real intent of many harm-reduction advocates is the legalization of drugs, which would be a mistake. Lest anyone question whether harm reductionist favor drug legalization, let me quote some articles written by supporters of this position. Ethan Nadelman, director of the Lindesmith Center, a Manhattan based drug research institute, wrote in American Heritage ( March 1993 ): " Should we legalize drugs? History answer 'yes'." In issues in Science and Technology ( June 1990 ) , Nadelman aligns his own opinion with history's supposed verdict: " Personally, when talking about legalization, I mean three things: The first is to make drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin legal." With regards to lables, Nadelman wrote: " I much prefer the term ' decriminalization ' or ' normanalization '." People who advocate legalization can call themselves anything they like, but deceptive terms should not obscure a position so that it can be debated coherently. Changing the name of a plan doesn't constitute a new solution or alter the nature of the proplem. The plain fact is that drug abuse wrecks lives. It is criminal that more money is spent on illegal drugs than on art or higher education, that crack babies are born addicted and in pain and that thousands of adolescents lose ther health and future to drugs, Addictive drugs were criminalized because they are harmful; they are not harmful because they were criminalized. The more a product is available and legitimized, the greater will be its use. If drugs were legalized in the United States, the cost to the individual and society would grow astronomically. In the Netherlands when coffee shops started selling marijuana in small quanties, use of this drug doubled between 1984 and 1992. A 1992 study by Robert MacCoun and Peter Rueter from the Univerisity of Maryland notes that the percentage of Dutch 18-year-olds who tried pot rose from 15 percent to 34 percent from 1984 to 1992, a time when the numbers weren't climbing in other European nations. By contrast, in 1992 teen-age use of marijuana in the United States was estimated at 10.6 percent. Many advocates of harm reduction consider drug use part of the human condition that will always be with us. While we agree that murder, pedophilia and child prostitution can never be eliminated entirely, no one is arguing that we legalize these activities. Some measures proposed by activists, like herion maintenance, veer toward the absurd. The Lindesmith Center convened a meeting in June to discuss a multicity herion maintenance study, and a test program for heroin maintenance may be launched in Baltimore. Arnold Trebach argues for heroin maintenance in his book " Legalize It? Debating American Drug Policy " : " Under the legalization plan I propose here, addicts...would be able to purchase the heroin and needles they need at reasonable prices from a nonmedical drugstore." Why would anyone chose to maintain addicts on heroin as opposed to oral methadone, which eliminates the injection route associated with HIV and other diseases? Research from the National Institute for Drug Abuse shows that untreated addicts die at a rate seven to eight times higher than similar patients in methadone-based programs. Dr Arvin Goldstien, in his book " Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy," explains that when individuals switch from herion to methadone, general health improves and abnormalities of body systems ( such as hormones ) normalize. Unlike heroin maintenance, methadone maintenance has no adverse effects on cognitive or psycomotor function, performance of skilled tasks or memory, he said. This research indicates that the choice of heroin maintenance over methadone maintenance doesn't even meet the criteria of harm reduction that advocates claim to apply. Treatment must differ significantly from the disease it seeks to cure. Otherwise, the solution resembles the ciricular reasoning spoofed in Saint-Exupery's " The Little Prince " by the character who drinks because he has a terrible problem, namely, that he is a drunk. Just as alcoholism, heroin is no cure for heroin addiction. As a society, we are successfully addressing drug use and its consequences. In the past twenty years, drug use in the United States decreased by half and casual cocaine use by 70 percent. Drug-related murders and spending on drugs decreased by more than thirty percent as the illeagal drug market shrunk. Still, we are faced with the many challenges, including educating a new generation of children who may have little experience with the negative consequences of drug abuse, increasing access to treatment for 4 million addicted Americans and breaking the cycle of drugs and crime that has caused a massive increase in the number of people incarcerated. We need prevention programs, treatment and alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders. Drug legalzation is not a viable policy alternative because excusing harmful practices only encourages them. At best, harm reduction is a halfway measure, a halfhearted approach that would accept defeat. Increasing help is better than decreasing harm. The " 1998 National Drug Control Strategy "- a publication of the Office of National Drug Control Policy that presents a balanced mix of prevention, treatment, stiff law enforcement, interdiction and international cooperation- is a blueprint for reducing drug abuse and its consequences by half over the coming decade. With science as our guide and grass-roots organizationa at the forefront, we will succeed in controlling this problem. Pretending that harmful activity will be reduced if we condone it under the law is foolhardy and irresponsible.

A 'War' On Drugs, But Only A Murmur On Booze ('The San Francisco Examiner'
Notes After Football Star Don Rogers And College Basketball Sensation
Len Bias Died Within A Week Of Each Other From Cocaine Overdoses In 1986,
Congress Drastically Increased Penalties For Crack Cocaine And Other Drugs,
But In The Wake Of Seven Publicized College Binge-Drinking Deaths Last Year,
The Demogogues Were Silent - Here's Some Interesting Statistics About Alcohol
And Kids That Illustrate The Commonly Held Double Standards About Alcohol
And 'Drugs')

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:32:18 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: A "War" On Drugs, But Only A Murmur On Booze
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, 31 Jul 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Page: A 23
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com
Author: Hilary Abramson
Note: Examiner contributor Hilary Abramson, a San Francisco journalist,
writes for publications of the Marin Institute for the Prevention of
Alcohol and Other Drug Problems.


AFTER football star Don Rogers and college basketball sensation Len
Bias died within a week of each other a decade ago from cocaine
overdoses, the president of the United States declared "war" on
illegal drugs.

Then Congress OK'd an unprecedented taxpayer-funded social marketing
advertising campaign to discourage minors from using pot, smack, crack
and other illegal drugs through a $1 billion, five-year media blitz
commanded by a retired general, drug czar Barry McCaffrey.

In contrast, in the wake of seven publicized college binge-drinking
deaths last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala
didn't declare war on booze. Instead, she asked the governing board of
college athletics to adopt voluntary restrictions on college alcohol

To public health advocates, it's just politics as usual.

Alcohol industry political action committees have already given
members of Congress $1 million in the past (off-election) year. It is
hardly a surprise that alcohol will receive mere public service
announcement status in the illegal drug media campaign, although
alcohol is more dangerous and costly to society than illegal drugs:

* Every day, on average, 11,318 American young people (12 to 20 years
of age) try alcohol for the first time, 6,488 try marijuana for the
first time, 2,786 try cocaine for the first time and 386 try heroin
for the first time.

* Alcohol is a factor in three leading causes of death for 15 to 24
year olds. Two to three times as many teenagers and young adults die
in alcohol-related traffic crashes as do from illegal drugs.

* While 2 percent of high school students used heroin last year, 31
percent of 12th graders admitted to having been intoxicated one or
more times in the month before the annual University of Michigan
"Monitoring the Future" study. Binge drinking (consuming five or more
drinks in a row) was reported by 31.3 percent of high school seniors,
25.1 percent of 10th graders, and 14.5 percent of eighth graders.

* Illegal drugs kill about 14,000 people a year at an annual cost to
taxpayers of about $70 billion. Three-quarters of the expense is
related to crime and law enforcement; one-quarter is

Alcohol kills about 100,000 people annually at a cost to taxpayers of
about $99 billion a year. Eighty percent of this cost is
health-related. Nearly 2,000 Americans were killed by teenage drunken
drivers last year.

The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is the advertising agency
group that originally took Big Tobacco and Big Booze money and failed
to produce one ad to discourage children from smoking or drinking. It
is McCaffrey's partner in producing free ads scheduled for prime-time

Campaign architects contend they have negotiated with stations to
broadcast public service announcements against underage drinking. But
bets are off on how many will appear in prime time with the showbiz
production quality of the illegal drug ads.

If Congress had to fund this experiment, it should have centered on
kids' first drug of choice - alcohol - and been based in research.

Demonizing the illegal drugs and glamorizing the legal drug is wasting
taxpayer money. What good do a few public service announcements do
when shown against a backdrop of beer ads celebrating the wonders of

In one year, the beer industry spends three times more on TV
advertising than McCaffrey has to spend on all media. Social marketing
can work, but research shows that a media campaign should tie in with
community-based activities. This one doesn't (and the federal
government has cut its support of local prevention work).

At the core of the drug-war campaign are parents talking to kids about
drugs. That may feel good, but research doesn't support it as a
successful prevention strategy.

Last January, McCaffrey kicked off the test phase of the campaign in
Denver by saying, "The most dangerous person in the United States is a
12-year-old smoking marijuana."

It hardly helps to learn from a recent Adweek interview that he is
basing this taxpayer gamble on his "gut feeling" that advertising
works - because it worked for the Army.

Efforts To Stem Drugs Are A Bust (A Staff Editorial
In 'The Surrey/North Delta Leader' Calls For Reform In British Columbia,
Elaborating On Vancouver Police Chief Bruce Chambers' Statement This Week
That 'We Cannot Pretend To Be Winning Anymore - We're Not Even Having
Decent Skirmishes')

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 17:34:45 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: Efforts To Stem Drugs Are A Bust
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Randy Caine
Pubdate: Fri, 31 July 1998
Source: Surrey/North Delta Leader
Contact: newsroom@surreyleader.com


The War On Drugs Is Lost.

Finally, law enforcement officers are admitting what medical professionals,
social workers and much of the public has known for years.

This week, Vancouver Police Chief Bruce Chambers gave the media this
remarkable quote: "We cannot pretend to be winning anymore - we're not even
having decent skirmishes."

BC spends close to $80 million a year in drug enforcement. It is money
flushed into the same gutter in which drug addicts wallow.

Compared to the value of the provincial drug trade, which is larger than
some small countries' entire economy, the annual investment in related
enforcement is probably worth less than a day or two of drug trading in BC.
While marijuana - the province's leading cash crop - is exported out by the
tonne, heroin and cocaine is imported in, in some cases pound for pound.
The Port of Vancouver is North America's leading entry point of heroin.
Despite improved technology and increasingly sophisticated interdiction
methods, drug enforcement efforts are hopelessly overwhelmed by sheer
volume, literally measured by tonnage.

The so-called deterrance of criminal penalties - even the stiffest of
prison terms - are clearly ineffective upon those in the drug trade. The
lure of mind-boggling profits is simply too strong, the chances of being
caught too slight.

It's a matter of basic economics. Supply is meeting market demand. The
demand is massive and insatiable

The impact on the rest of society is mammoth.

Police estimate 80 per cent of residential and commercial break-ins, thefts
and robberies are committed by drug addicts or drug abusers financing their
grossly expensive habits.

The material costs in terms of stolen property replacement, damage repair,
hefty insurance premiums and law enforcement response runs in the hundreds
of millions of dollars. The tremendous emotional and personal cost paid by
the victims of these crimes is unmeasurable.

And we haven't yet touched on related health care costs, which have been
estimated at $100 million annually, just for the treatment of addicts.
Provincial health officer Dr. John Millar estimates there are 15,000 drug
addicts in BC. This year, the Vancouver region is headed for a record
number of drug-related fatalities - about 400.

Usually, each one of those deaths require responses by police, ambulance
crews and occasionally hospital emergency room attention.

And then there's the monster cost of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, largely fueled
by the sharing of dirty needles by injection drug abusers.

As politically distasteful as it may be, it's time to decriminalize some
drugs such as marijuana, and instead, invest the resources and money wasted
in enforcement efforts into education and rehabilitation. Combined with
enhanced heroin treatment programs and other expanded services for drug
addicts, this approach has potential to turn the tide.

Let's face it, under traditional anti-drug strategies, we're drowning in dope.

St. Kitts Drug Boss Threatens To Kill Americans
(According To Cable News Network, The US State Department
Said Thursday That Charles Miller, Who Is Wanted In Florida
For Cocaine Smuggling, Has Threatened To Murder At Random
American Veterinary Students On The Caribbean Island
If The US Government Attempts To Extradite Him)

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:43:03 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Wire: St. Kitts Drug Boss Threatens to Kill Americans
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Mike Gogulski (syadasti@cat.net)
Source: CNN Interactive
Contact: cnn.feedback@cnn.com
Website: http://cnn.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A suspected narcotics trafficker has threatened to
"murder at random" American veterinary students on the island of St. Kitts
if the U.S. government attempts to extradite him, the State Department said

Following up on a warning issued by the State Department, U.S. officials
were to meet again on Friday with Americans on the Caribbean nation, which
comprises the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The threats by 37-year-old Charles Miller, wanted in Florida for cocaine
smuggling, prompted an implicit warning that American authorities are
prepared to go after the man if he harms U.S. citizens.

"Anyone who is considering carrying out such threats should bear in mind
the U.S. government's determination to bring to justice anyone who commits
acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens anywhere in the world," State
Department spokesman James Rubin said Thursday.

Miller is described in published reports as a millionaire who drives a
bulletproof BMW. For years he has eluded authorities on St. Kitts, an
island in the eastern Caribbean not far from the U.S. Virgin Islands.

No evacuation order

There are hundreds of Americans on St. Kitts, including about 250 American
students and 50 U.S. faculty at Ross Veterinary University.

U.S. consular and security officials met with students and other members of
the American community Wednesday. Another meeting is planned for Friday.

Contingency plans have been made to get Americans off the island on the
five or six daily commercial flights, Rubin said, adding that charter
flights might also be used.

The State Department has not yet advised U.S. citizens to leave St. Kitts,
Rubin said, but it is "alerting them to the danger so they are aware of
what the problems are, what the risks are and what the specific information
we have is."

'Credible threat'

Miller has "made a threat that, if he is extradited, he will kill
Americans," Rubin said. "And based on our experience and knowledge of this
individual, we believe the threat is sufficiently specific and credible to
justify alerting the American citizens on the island."

Colombian traffickers have been making increased use of Caribbean islands
as transit points for U.S.-bound cocaine. U.S. officials say corruption is
a problem on many islands, St. Kitts included.

A recent article in Newsweek magazine said Miller openly helped finance the
campaign of St. Kitts Prime Minister Denzil Douglas three years ago.
Douglas denies having any links to Miller.

Rubin said U.S. officials have Douglas' commitment to do everything
possible to protect American citizens.

"We urged St. Kitts security forces to increase their readiness and to be
on alert, and have asked the government to bring in Caribbean regional
police from nearby islands," he said.

Another Grenada?

Fifteen years ago, the Reagan administration was worried about the fate of
American medical students in Grenada after a hard-line Marxist regime
assumed power there. President Reagan sent 20,000 U.S. troops to the island
and deposed the government.

No American students were harmed.

A U.S. official acknowledged there are some parallels between Grenada and
St. Kitts but said a major difference is that, unlike Grenada, the United
States is able to work with the St. Kitts government.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Alleged Drug Lord Threatens Americans ('The Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 17:02:28 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US/St. Kitts: Alleged Drug Lord Threatens Americans
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: 31 Jul 1998
Author: NORMAN KEMPSTER, Times Staff Writer


Crime: Washington warns that henchmen of Caribbean narcotics figure may
begin random killings if he is extradited to U.S.

WASHINGTON--A former U.S. government informant who dropped out of the
federal witness protection program and allegedly became a Caribbean drug
lord has threatened to order the random slayings of Americans on the tiny
island of St. Kitts if Washington succeeds in an effort to extradite him,
the Clinton administration said Thursday.

"We consider the threat to be real, and we want to let the American
citizens there know what the dangers are," State Department spokesman James
P. Rubin said. He said the department learned that the fugitive threatened
to have Americans studying at Ross Veterinary University in St. Kitts killed.

Rubin said the threat was made by Charles "Little Nut" Miller, a St. Kitts
businessman who has been indicted in south Florida on drug-trafficking
charges. U.S. prosecutors, who used Miller as a star witness in an
unrelated drug case, have been trying to extradite him from St. Kitts since

Rubin did not disclose how officials learned of the threat. Sources in the
Caribbean said the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration alerted Washington
to the threat.

Federal court records in Florida show that the St. Kitts native is a former
political enforcer in Jamaica who--as a witness for the prosecution--helped
the U.S. Justice Department send two Miami gang members to prison for life.
As a federally protected witness, he changed his name from Cecil Connor to
Charles Miller.

Now, the administration alleges that Miller, behind the facade of a
soft-drink and chicken business, has turned the nation of St. Kitts and
Nevis into a major transshipment point for South American cocaine bound for
the U.S. Washington has been trying for two years to bring him to the U.S.
for trial.

Rubin said State Department security personnel have visited the Ross
Veterinary University campus to warn students and faculty members of
Miller's threat. He said there are about 250 American students and 50
American faculty members at the university.

According to Rubin, Miller said the slayings, presumably to be carried out
by his henchmen, would begin only if he was extradited. But Rubin said the
administration decided to issue the warning now, even though he
acknowledged that "extradition is not imminent."

Rubin said the U.S. government is unable to provide personal security to
students, faculty and other Americans on the island. But he said the
administration determined that the threat is credible enough to require
warning the Americans.

Although Miller, 37, has admitted a variety of crimes both in court
testimony and in recent interviews, he has denied shipping drugs to the
United States. In an extradition hearing in August 1996, Miller's lawyers
argued that the United States was a bully that considered its laws to be
more important than the statutes of St. Kitts and Nevis. A St. Kitts
magistrate ruled against extradition; the decision now is on appeal.

In St. Kitts, Miller has also been cleared of charges of drug dealing,
jury-tampering and 1994 charges of killing the son of a former deputy prime

In 1989, Connor, as Miller was then known, admitted in court that he worked
for what he called "the underworld section" of Jamaica's Labor Party.
Later, he said, he came to the United States, becoming a member of a
Jamaican drug gang.

Times staff writer Mark Fineman in Miami contributed to this story.

Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

Alleged Drug Chieftan Threatens To Kill Americans ('The Associated Press'
Version In The New Bedford, Massachusetts, 'Standard-Times')

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 01:35:33 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: U.S.-St. Kitts: Alleged Drug Chieftan
Threatens To Kill Americans
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Fri, 31 Jul 1998
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Author: George Gedda, Associated Press writer


WASHINGTON -- A St. Kitts drug trafficker known as "Little Nut" is
threatening to randomly kill American veterinary students there if the
United States succeeds in extraditing him for trial, the State Department
said yesterday.

The threats by 37-year-old Charles Miller, wanted in Florida for cocaine
smuggling, prompted an implicit warning that American authorities are
prepared to go after the man if he harms U.S. citizens.

"Anyone who is considering carrying out such threats should bear in mind the
U.S. government's determination to bring to justice anyone who commits acts
of terrorism against U.S. citizens anywhere in the world," said State
Department spokesman James P. Rubin.

Miller, described in published reports as a millionaire who drives a
bulletproof BMW, has eluded St. Kitts authorities for years.

There are about 250 American students and 50 U.S. faculty at Ross Veterinary
University on the island in the eastern Caribbean, not far from the U.S.
Virgin Islands. U.S. consular and security officials met with students and
other members of the American community Wednesday. Another meeting is
planned for today.

Miller has "made a threat that, if he is extradited, he will kill
Americans," Rubin said. "And based on our experience and knowledge of this
individual, we believe the threat is sufficiently specific and credible to
justify alerting the American citizens on the island."

Colombian traffickers have been making increased use of Caribbean islands as
transit points for U.S.-bound cocaine. U.S. officials say corruption is a
problem on many islands, St. Kitts included.

A recent article in Newsweek magazine said Miller openly helped finance the
campaign of St. Kitts Prime Minister Denzil Douglas three years ago. Douglas
denies having any links to Miller.

Rubin said U.S. officials have Douglas's commitment to do all possible to
protect American citizens.

Drug Dealer Threatens Americans ('The Miami Herald' Version)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Drug dealer threatens Americans
Date: Fri, 31 Jul 1998 20:46:11 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net
Published Friday, July 31, 1998, in the Miami Herald
Drug dealer threatens Americans
St. Kitts criminal resists extradition
Herald Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- A drug trafficker has threatened to randomly kill U.S.
veterinary students in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts if he is
apprehended for extradition to the United States, the State Department said

Charles "Little Nut" Miller, an admitted cocaine trafficker who took part in
the 1984 murder of five people in a Miami crack house, warned that students
at Ross Veterinary University would be at risk if his extradition advances,
State Department spokesman James Rubin said.

"We consider the information credible and take the threat very seriously,"
Rubin said. "It has been communicated to the university, the faculty and the
students, so that they may take those precautions they deem appropriate."

U.S. officials have also urged Americans traveling to St. Kitts to take
precautions along with the 250 Ross students and 50 faculty members.

Miller describes himself as a legitimate businessman, but U.S. officials say
he is actually Cecil Connor, a Jamaican-born armed robber, who broke out of
prison in Jamaica and fled to the United States. He took up with a group of
cocaine traffickers known as the Shower Posse -- so named for the spray of
bullets it used against victims.

Arrested in 1985, he won himself a coveted slot in the U.S. federal witness
protection program when he offered to testify against other Posse members.
He resurfaced in St. Kitts in 1991 with his new name and became one of three
traffickers sought by the United States for extradition in 1996.

Miller enjoys apparent impunity on an island in the center of a growing
transshipment route for as much as 40 percent of the drugs entering the
United States, law enforcement officials say. A decision on his extradition
is not imminent, but a judge last week ordered a review of a previous ruling
that found Miller could not be extradited.

U.S. officials said Miller is unpredictable. "It's hard to tag anybody as
psychotic without being a psychiatrist," one senior U.S. diplomat said. "But
his behavior is bizarre."

Even with the warning, the diplomat said it will be difficult to protect the
American students, because they live off-campus all over the island. U.S.
officials are consulting with St. Kitts authorities.

One Death A Week In Police Custody (Britain's 'Independent'
Says A New Report From The Home Office Shows 47 Per Cent Of The Deaths
Of Black People In Custody Occurred When A Police Officer Was Present,
While Only Seven Per Cent Of Deaths Of White Detainees Were Linked
To Police Actions - 34 Per Cent Of Deaths Were A Result Of Deliberate
Self Harm, 29 Per Cent Were Due To The Detainee's Previous Medical Condition,
'Drug' Abuse Was A Factor In Nine Per Cent Of Deaths, Alcohol In 19 Per Cent,
And Police Actions Were A Factor In Six Per Cent Of Cases)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: UK: One Death A Week In Police Custody
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 20:44:25 -0500
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, 31 Jul 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Ian Burrell


People are dying in police custody at the rate of more than one a week, the
Home Office revealed yesterday. It confirmed that 380 people had died after
being arrested by the police in the space of six years.

Among the alarming findings in the government research was the fact that 47
per cent of the deaths of black people in custody occurred when a police
officer was present. Only seven per cent of deaths of white detainees were
linked to police actions.

The report, released by Home Office minister Alun Michael, found that people
in Metropolitan Police custody were seven times more likely to die than
those arrested by other forces in England and Wales.

Its release coincided with a decision by the Appeal Court yesterday not to
hold a new inquest into the death of Wayne Douglas, which sparked race riots
in Brixton, London, in 1995.

Lord Woolf, Master of the Rolls, said he believed the verdict of accidental
death would remain the same. The Douglas family said it had been "denied

The Home Office report comes five years after the death of Joy Gardner, who
died after being bound and gagged with 13ft of sticking tape, by police
officers who were attempting to deport her as an illegal immigrant.

Yesterday, as Mrs Gardner's mother handed in a submission to the inquiry
into the death of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, it emerged that orange
paint had been daubed over the memorial headstone at her grave in Enfield,
north London.

The Gardner and Douglas cases were among 277 deaths in custody between
January 1990 and December 1996 studied for the Home Office report, called
Deaths in Police Custody: Learning the Lessons.

It found that 34 per cent of deaths were as a result of "deliberate self
harm" and 29 per cent were due to the detainee's previous medical condition.
Drug abuse was a factor in nine per cent of deaths and alcohol in 19 per
cent. Police actions were a factor in six per cent of cases.

Of those who died, 92 per cent were men, 87 per cent were white and 72 per
cent were unemployed. Three-quarters were aged between 20 and 49 and four
out of five lived in the police force area where they died.

The study uncovered a number of ethnically-related differences in the
deaths. Of the black people who died in custody, 71 per cent had been
restrained on arrest compared to 26 per cent of the whites who died.

The black people who died were more likely to have been recorded as being
violent and were more likely to have taken drugs, according to the reports
compiled by police investigating officers.

Mr Michael said: "I hope the study will help inform the debate and
re-inforce the message that officers should exercise care when restraining
someone who acts violently, or who they suspect might have taken drugs,
whatever their ethnicity."

The study called for officers to be given improved medical training after
finding that on numerous occasions serious head injuries were interpreted as

Some of those who died were found to have illegal drugs or medication in
their possession, having not been properly searched.

Closed circuit television is of only limited value in tackling the problem,
and 23 deaths occurred despite the presence of cameras in the cells.

The researchers also called on forces to consider setting up detoxification
centres, which can put drunken detainees under low level medical
supervision. Only a handful of such centres exist in Britain.

Tour De France Field Takes Yet Another Hit (An 'Associated Press' Article
In 'The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune' Says The International Bicycle Race
Continued Thursday Amid The Bucolic Surroundings Of Switzerland
After Two More Teams Withdrew To Protest Police Behavior - Investigators
For The First Time Prevented A Cyclist From Competing After Finding
Unspecified 'Drugs' In His Possession)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: Switzerland: Tour De France Field Takes Yet Another Hit
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:09:46 -0500
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: Friday, July 31, 1998
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA)
Contact: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com


NEUCHATEL, Switzerland (AP) - After one of the most turbulent days in its
history, the Tour de France lost two more teams Thursday in its growing drug

Amid the bucolic surroundings of Switzerland, the athletes couldn't escape
the news that the teams withdrew to protest police behavior. Also,
investigators for the first time prevented a cyclist from competing after
finding drugs in his possession.

When the 18th stage was over, Tom Steels of Belgium had won, but the overall
standings remained the same. Italy's Marco Pantani retained the yellow
jersey, Bobby Julich of the United States was second, and last year's
winner, Jan Ullrich of Germany, was third.

Before Thursday's start, there was uncertainty as to whether the race would
go on. Many riders, angered at the growing investigation, had threatened to
pull out entirely. But in the end, 103 of them left the French Alpine town
of Aix-les-Bains for a 135 1/2-mile ride through stunning countryside to

Shortly before midnight Wednesday, police in Chambery, France, near
Aix-les-Bains, detained rider Rodolfo Massi of the Casino team. They found
banned drugs in his room, said prosecutors in Lille, where the probe is

They also found drugs in a truck belonging to the Spanish ONCE team - one of
five that had dropped out of the race in protest, the prosecutors said. Its
doctor, Nicolas Terrados, was detained.

And after a night in detention, Marc Madiot, director of the French team
Francaise des Jeux, was released.

Earlier, two Spanish teams, Kelme and Vitalcio, angrily quit the field,
joining the other three Spanish teams, who quit Wednesday. A sixth team,
Festina, was thrown out on July 17 after police found materials in a team
masseur's car - sparking the current scandal.

Of the 21 teams that started this year's Tour, only 15 remain.

The remaining riders were trying to put the scandal behind them, and think
ahead to Sunday's finale on the Champs-Elysees.

"I'm just trying to get to Paris in one piece," Frankie Andreu of the U.S.
Postal Service team said, "It's been hard mentally."

Wednesday's 17th stage was one of the most chaotic in the Tour's history.

After stopping twice, the pack coasted slowly to the finsih line, and the
stage results were canceled. Riders threatened to give up entirely, but by
Thursday, they seemed to realize the enormity of stopping the race in
protest for the first time since its debut in 1903.

"We were all afraid to give up after 20 days of racing," said Marco Pantani,
the overall race leader. "I've made sacrafices to get the yellow jersey."

Fans lining the route through eastern France made their sentiments clear.

"Free Festina!" one banner said.

Once the race crossed into Switzerland, with its pristine lakes, mountains,
chalets and kids ringing cowbells, the banners were just as blunt. "It's
hypocrisy!" one said.

Swiss organizing official Jean Cavadini promised the riders a peaceful,
raid-free night in Neuchatel. But he added: "I fear the celebration has been
spoiled, ever since the first week."

Swiss fans, though, were determined not to let that happen. Jeannette
Etamba, 28, brought her 4-month-old son to drink in the scene at the finish

"Doping is deceitful, but the scandal hasn't destroyed the atmosphere for
us," she said minutes before the exhausted riders crossed the finish line.
"We're going to cheer the riders."

In the race, Steels edged Erik Zabel of Germany in a sprint finish for his
thrid stage victory of the Tour. Stuart O'Grady of Australia was third.

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 52 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's Original News Summary For Activists)

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1.NJ NEP Workers' Conviction Upheld in Appeals Court
2.Oakland City Council Votes To Shield Local Cannabis Dispensary From
Federal Prosecution Controversy Over Searches
3.D.O.J. Asks for Dismissal of Hemp Suit
4.Feds Indict Peter McWilliams, Todd McCormick and Others, Alleging Vast
Conspiracy To Supply Medical Marijuana
5.Peaceful Prison Protest Earns Solitary Confinement
6.Action Request: The Tax Stamp Controversy
7.New Zealand Health Ministry: Pot Poses No Serious Risk
9.Link of the Week
10.A Campaign for Substance Awareness
11.Debating Points
12.Office of National Drug Control Policy Hard at Work
13.EDITORIAL: The Pompano Beach Twelve

(visit last week's Week Online)

or check out The Week Online archives

1. NJ NEP Workers' Conviction Upheld in Appeals Court

Taylor West

In a state with one of the highest rates of injection- related HIV
transmission in the country, needle exchange operators Diana McCague and
Thomas Scozzare were rebuffed on an appeal of their conviction for
furnishing hypodermic syringes. By a vote of 3-0, the New Jersey Superior
Court upheld the August 1997 decision of the New Brunswick Municipal Court
that found McCague and Scozzare guilty of violating New Jersey Statute
2C:36-6, which forbids the possession, sale, or distribution of needles.

The Appellate Division of the Superior Court was rigid in its rejection of
the pair's arguments. In the official court opinion, it refused to
acknowledge the possible public health benefits of the needle exchange run
by the Chai Project, a non-profit corporation founded by McCague and
dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV in the intravenous drug-using
population. John Mackin, Community Liaison for the Project, said that the
organization was "incredibly disappointed and infuriated" by the court's
decision. "Not only are they taking away the livelihood of Ms. McCague and
Mr. Scozzare," he stated, "but there was no recognition that what those two
did was for the public good. We're out here trying to save lives, and they
wouldn't even consider that."

McCague and Scozzare's troubles with the court began 2 1/2 years ago
(http://drcnet.org/rapid/1996/3-19-2.html), when an undercover officer from
the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office visited a needle exchange operated
by the Chai Project. McCague and Scozzare were manning the exchange site --
a van parked on a New Brunswick street -- at the time of the undercover
officer's visit. When the two obliged the man's request for a "kit", an
investigator from the New Brunswick Police Department arrested them and
confiscated the syringes in the van.

Following their trial and conviction the next year, McCague and Scozzare
took their case to the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court
with five basic arguments for overturning the verdict. The two claimed that
1) there is no harm or criminal intent in operating a bona fide needle
exchange; 2) the doctrine of medical necessity, which exempts ordinarily
illegal behavior if that behavior prevents an imminent medical danger,
exonerates them from culpability; 3) the prohibition of needle exchange
violates the exchange participants' fundamental right to life; 4)
contradictory messages from the New Brunswick police regarding tolerance of
the exchange interfered with due process (Police Chief Michael Beltranena
was informed of the project in 1994 and made supportive comments about it
that were published in a local newspaper); and 5) the de minimis statute,
which protects citizens from absurd or trivial enforcement of the law, is
applicable and should have prevented the case from going to trial originally.

Judge Donald G. Collester, Jr., delivered the opinion of the appellate
court, handed down on July 23, specifically addressing each of the five
arguments. Because the law forbidding needle distribution contains no
language stating that the violation must include criminal intent, the court
opinion claimed that a defense based on the absence of criminal intent was
not valid. Judge Collester quoted a 1957 court opinion which stated,
"When... one deliberately and intentionally does an act in violation of a
positive law... he cannot be excused on the basis that his animating desire
was essentially praiseworthy."

The court opinion also claimed that the argument of medical necessity was
untenable. He stated that, because the specific purpose of New Jersey's
needle legislation is to forbid the distribution of syringes for drug use, a
needle exchange program is a pure law violation rather than something
protected by the medical necessity clause. He also denied that the situation
was one that would be covered by the medical necessity clause at all.
"Defendants in this case," the opinion read, "were not confronted with a
clear and imminent danger to themselves or others."

The court refuted the claim that denying clean needles violated a
constitutional right to life by saying that such a right "does not encompass
the use of prohibited substances at a reduced health risk." Following Police
Chief Beltranena's testimony that his supportive comments had represented
only his personal opinion and not that of his department, the court
disregarded the complaint about due process. "Whatever [Chief Beltranena's]
prior statements," stated the opinion, "... defendants were not immune to
enforcement of the law."

The Appellate Court also sided with the original trial decision regarding
the de minimis statute. Judge Collester quoted an opinion written on a
similar case which stated, "There is nothing absurd about the application of
N.J.S.A. 2C:36-6 to these defendants. Neither can their conduct be deemed

The opinion closed with a statement ominous for those hoping to find a
loophole for needle exchange in New Jersey's strict anti-paraphernalia laws.
"[T]he zero tolerance for the distribution of drugs and drug paraphernalia
established by the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act," it read, "leaves no room
for the creation of exceptions by judicial decree. Any change... is solely
for legislative consideration." Given Governor Christine Todd Whitman's
steadfast and vehement opposition to any mention of needle exchange,
legislative change is not an easy assignment.

Currently, Diana McCague and Thomas Scozzare face the sentence imposed upon
them by the municipal court: $705 each in fees and court costs, and the
suspension of each person's driver's license for six months. Meanwhile, the
futures of the Chai Project and of drug-related AIDS in New Jersey remain in

2. Oakland City Council Votes To Shield Local Cannabis Dispensary From
Federal Prosecution

(Reprinted from the NORML Foundation, 7/30/98)

The Oakland (California) City Council unanimously passed an ordinance
Wednesday designed to protect the city's local medical marijuana dispensary
from federal criminal and civil liability.

The ordinance allows city officials to "designate" the Oakland Cannabis
Buyers' Cooperative to distribute medical marijuana to seriously ill
patients. The legislation attempts to provide immunity to the Cooperative
against a federal lawsuit aimed at closing the dispensary. Supporters of the
ordinance believe that Section 885(d) of the Controlled Substances Act
immunizes local officials who enforce local drug laws from federal sanctions.

"Because the ordinance relies on provisions of federal law, it may be
replicated in cities throughout the country, not just in California or other
states that may pass laws similar to Proposition 215," said attorney Robert
Raich, who drafted the measure.

Oakland is the first city to apply the Controlled Substances Act in this
manner, Raich said.

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

(Visit NORML at http://www.norml.org, or California NORML at
http://www.norml.org/canorml/. Dale Gieringer can also be reached at

3. Controversy Over Searches

Kris Lotlikar

The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled on July 24 that nighttime searches could
only be conducted following compelling reasoning as to why the search could
not be conducted during the day. Patrick Fitch, age 32, had his 2 1/2 to 5
year sentence, for possession of drugs with the intent to deliver, thrown
out of court because of an illegitimate nighttime search. In a unanimous
decision, the court found that the affidavit requesting the search warrant
gave no rationale for conducting a nighttime search. "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."

Six officers and one police dog showed up to Fitch's home, with a search
warrant, on April 19 at 10:00 pm. The only one in the house at the time was
Patrick Fitch's 61 year old mother. The police had no reason to believe that
the accused was present at the residence at all, according to his lawyer,
Adam Sipple. Another point of contention that was not addressed by the
courts, because the case had already been thrown out, were Investigator
Darwin Shaw's searches of the garbage outside of Fitch's home. Evidence
found in the four searches of the garbage was used to obtain the warrant.
Sipple told The Week Online, "We are pleased with the outcome, it recognizes
the critical fact that those given the power to enforce the law are also
required to act within its limitations."

The Oregon Supreme Court overturned a previous Oregon Court of Appeals
decision that the use of drug dogs to find drugs required a warrant. The
Supreme Court unanimously decided that a dog sniffing for drugs does not
infringe on a citizens right to privacy. The Supreme Court stated, "The use
of a dog to sniff property in this manner is not a search for constitutional
purposes." The pertaining case involved Desmond Smith's storage locker,
which was indicated by a police dog for containing marijuana in 1993. The
police decided to search the storage locker after an informant claimed that
Smith stored harvested marijuana there. In this case the police were "using
a dog to detect the presence of a particular odor caused by the presence of
odor molecules in the air outside a clearly defined, private space," stated
an opinion by Justice Michael Gillette.

The New Jersey State Supreme Court ruled that police would need more than an
informant tip to pull over and search a persons car. Five years ago, Joseph
Zutic was arrested for possession of 13 grams of marijuana while returning
from New York City to his home in New Jersey. The police had set up
surveillance and pulled Zutic over after a "reliable informant" tipped them
off to the fact that there would be marijuana in his car. The ruling stated
that officers of the law would need more detailed information if they plan
to legally conduct such searches. The Justices ruled that the marijuana
found in his car could not be used as evidence. Matthew Priore explained the
significance of this ruling to the Bergen Record, saying, "This is important
because without it, you could basically just call in someone's name, give a
general description, and the police can stop and search them. This requires
much more specific information. It requires the police to do police
investigations instead of just relying on the tip."

4. D.O.J. Asks for Dismissal of Hemp Suit

Kris Lotlikar

Last May, several Kentucky farmers banded together and filed suit against
the United States government in an attempt to make industrial hemp a legal
crop to grow in Kentucky. The U.S Department of Justice has asked for this
suit to be thrown out of court in an effort to block the farmers progress.
The Attorney General argues that even if federal law allowed the farming of
hemp, state laws would still prohibit the growing of the plant. The Justice
Department also stated that the growers cannot claim to have suffered from
this law because those farmer were never allowed to grow hemp and were
therefore not forced to change the way they do business.

The Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association lawyer, Burl McCoy, told
The Week Online that he is not at all surprised at the Justice Department
taking this sort of action. McCoy, who is a former U.S assistant attorney
and a former Major in the U.S Reserves, told The Week Online, "They have us
in sort of a catch-22." Both the state and federal governments resort to the
same excuse, stating that even if growing hemp were legalized under their
respective jurisdiction, it would still be illegal under the others.
Association president Andy Graves told the Lexington Herald- Leader, "The
truth is, this is their way of avoiding the issues. 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."

Many of the farmers in Kentucky, which is still largely a farming state, are
trying to prepare for the future by embracing this new crop. McCoy stated to
The Week Online, "Kentucky is still a grain state. However you may feel
about tobacco, which is the largest cash crop in Kentucky, its demand is
diminishing. Small farms are going to need a crop to fall back on in the
future." Graves summed up his frustration in a comment to the Herald-Leader,
"I don't like it. It offends me that my own government is acting like this."

For more information, check out the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Assoc.
at http://www.hempgrowers.com, and our own pieces at
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/048.html#ky-hemp and

5. Feds Indict Peter McWilliams, Todd McCormick and Others, Alleging Vast
Conspiracy To Supply Medical Marijuana

(By Dick Cowan, reprinted from http://www.marijuananews.com)

July 27, 1998, Los Angeles, CA: Writer-Publisher Peter McWilliams is being
denied his AIDS medication while in Federal custody. McWilliams was arrested
at his home at 6:00am, on July 23, by seven DEA agents for federal medical
marijuana violations. McWilliams has not been given his AIDS medication
since he was arrested.

"At the Bail Hearing, the Prosecutor, Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, assured the
judge I would receive my AIDS medication," said McWilliams on Sunday still
in Federal Custody. "I have not."

McWilliams was diagnosed with AIDS and Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a result of
the AIDS, in March, 1996. He has been taking the combination therapy of two
anti-viral and one Protease Inhibitor since that time. Medical experts warn
that noncompliance with the six-times-a-day treatment could lead to fatal
mutations of the AIDS virus not treatable by the medicine. McWilliams will
be arraigned on nine federal counts, all involving medical marijuana, on
Monday, July 27th at 8:30am before Judge George King.

"Of the three vital components of the combination therapy, I have never been
given one of them," said McWilliams in a phone interview from the Federal
Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles. "My doctor and every medical
report I have read repeatedly stresses the importance of not missing so much
as a single dose. I have taken my AIDS medication faithfully for 2 and 1/2
years. Now, there is a four day gap in that life-saving treatment."

McWilliams has been a vocal advocate of medical marijuana, an outspoken
critic of the federal policies jailing sick people for treating their
illnesses, especially since the passage of California's Proposition 215 in 1996.

"The Federal Government has arrested me to silence me," said McWilliams.

"But must it attempt to murder me as well?"

McWilliams has appeared on CNN, ABC News, TIME, CBS Radio Network, MSNBC,
and dozens of other media advocating medical marijuana. He is the publisher
of The Medical Marijuana Magazine online at http://www.marijuanamagazine.com.

McWilliams intends to detail his lack of promised medical treatment to Judge
King at his Monday arraignment.

[Last-minute update: a judge has temporarily denied a request for reduced
bail and house arrest for McWilliams, but has expressed concern about the
denial of medication and will hopefully be issuing an order with regard to
that. A legal defense fund has been established on McWilliam's behalf. We
don't yet have the details, but you can get them by calling Lisa Sutherland
at (310) 587-1469. Or get the information by subscribing to the DRC- EXTRA
list for more frequent bulletins -- send e-mail to listproc@drcnet.org with
the line "subscribe drc-extra your name". (Substitute your actual name or
pseudonym where it says "your name".)]

6. Peaceful Prison Protest Earns Solitary Confinement

Kris Lotlikar

At least 150 prisoners formed a sit down protest at the Fox Lake
Correctional Institution because of a department policy of moving inmates
out of state. Bill Clausius, spokesman for the state Department of
Corrections, admitted that the three-hour long sit-down was peaceful. In
reaction to the demonstration, the prisoners who participated are being
penalized with four months to a year of solitary confinement. Also, many of
the protesters will get fewer visits and phone calls, less recreation time
and allowed fewer possessions in their cells. There are varying reports on
the number of inmates that took part in the sit down. DOC reports that there
were 155 participants, but two prisoners who were present say there were
several hundred.

Many of the protesters were moved to four other state prisons and more than
a dozen were moved out of state even after the demonstration. More than
1,500 Wisconsin inmates are being held in Texas, Tennessee, Minnesota and
Oklahoma because of prison overcrowding. This practice has limited family
interaction through visits, which some consider cruel and unusual
punishment. Jody O'Kane, who took part in the event, wrote a letter to his
family, excerpts of which appeared in the Wisconsin State Journal. "I spent
13 years being good, trying to do the right thing in prison, and now all of
a sudden, as a reward for that, they want to send me to Tennessee somewhere.
So what if I have to spend 20 years in prison. At least I can spend it in
Wisconsin where I can see you and spend as much time with you on visits as I
can. It is much better than going down there." Janet O'Kane, Jody's mother,
whose ability o travel is limited by health problems, told the Journal about
the protest. "They weren't violent at all. It was a peaceful sit-down just
like in the 60's. Their whole point was to be heard, and so far they haven't
been heard at all."

7. Action Request: The Tax Stamp Controversy

Kris Lotlikar

On June 6, 1994, the United States Supreme Court ruled that a state could
not both prosecute a person for illegal sale/possession of a drug and also
collect taxes on that drug. Peter Wilson felt this ruling would legitimize
the sale of cannabis in Arizona if he paid the tax beforehand. He bought a
$5,000 Arizona Cannabis and Controlled Substances Dealers License and
pre-paid adhesive tax stamps. In 1995 Wilson was arrested for possession of
marijuana. Justice of the Peace John Barclay failed to find probable cause
that a crime had been committed, noting, "it would appear that... the
legislature intended that it would be possible to legally possess marijuana
(under title 42)." In 1996, when Proposition 200 was passed, allowing
doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, Wilson was quoted on the front page
of the Arizona Republic as willing to supply the marijuana needed by medical
marijuana patients. After this event, Peter Wilson was again arrested for
marijuana-related charges. In this trial, he was not allowed to tell jurors
about his license or about the previous verdict by Justice Barclay; nor he
was allowed to use religious arguments to prove innocence. He was found
guilty by the jury on seven of the eight charges and faces jail time. On
August 4, 1998, a judge will be sentencing Peter Wilson. Please write to the
judge and ask that Peter Wilson be given no more than probation, and
remember to be polite:

Judge David Cole
East Court Building, 5th Floor
201 W. Jefferson
Phoenix, AZ 85003

8. New Zealand Health Ministry: Pot Poses No Serious Risk

In a statement submitted to Parliament this Thursday, the New Zealand
Ministry of Health told a select committee inquiry into the mental health
effects of marijuana that, "Overall, the current public health risks of
cannabis use are small to moderate in size, and are less than the public
health risk of tobacco or alcohol use." While it noted that large amounts of
marijuana caused acute temporary impairment to thinking, and that some forms
of mental illness, such as schizophrenia, could be exacerbated by marijuana
use, the statement also said that research shows that even long-term, heavy
use of marijuana does not cause great damage to cognition, but that the vast
majority of marijuana users in New Zealand use the drug only occasionally.

The Ministry's statement largely squares with the conclusions of more than a
dozen blue-ribbon reports commissioned by several governments over the past
one hundred years, including the Commission of the Australian Government in
1977, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse convened by U.S.
President Richard Nixon in 1972, and the Report by the Dutch Government in 1995.

In an interview in the New Zealand Dominion, New Zealand Drug Policy Forum
Trust director and DRCNet advisory board member Dr. David Hadorn said that
the criminalization of marijuana causes more harm to the mental health of
New Zealanders than the drug itself. "Creating a climate of criminality
around cannabis use," he said, "insures that the relatively few people who
develop problems are less likely to seek help. This sets off a spiral of
alienation, marginalisation and anti-social behaviour, which too often can
culminate in criminality, mental illness and violence."

(A number of the reports cited have been re-published in DRCNet's Online
Drug Policy Library; the are listed at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/,
Major Studies link.

9. Newsbriefs

Medical marijuana initiatives are heading to the ballot this November in
several states, including Alaska, Oregon, and Washington State. Notices on
initiatives in Colorado, Nevada and Washington, DC are pending. An
initiative in Maine is expected to be on the ballot in Nov. 1999.
Petitioning is currently underway for a medical marijuana initiative in
Florida (see http://www.medicalrights.org).

Jeb Bush, the Republican candidate for governor of Florida, has drawn up a
19-page plan to escalate the War on Drugs. Part of Bush's plan is to deny
scholarships to people who use drugs. "We're not going to reinvent the
wheel, but we're going to do something revolutionary," Bush pledged to the
Miami Herald. "There has to be a recognition that being a good citizen means
remaining drug free," commented Bush, who confesses that he tried marijuana
when he was 17. Lt. Governor Buddy MacKay criticized the withholding of
scholarships as "very harsh treatment," according to MacKay spokesperson
Robin Rorapaugh, who added that "Drug use, for children, is a problem, but
taking away their tools for education and becoming better citizens does not
solve it," and that MacKay "has never experimented with illegal drugs."

Dallas, Texas schools are looking into voluntary drug testing for students.
The drug test would be conducted only after parents request it. In the
Dallas system, the school and the parents will receive copies of the results
of the tests. Trustee Ron Price told the Dallas Morning News, "If you mail
results to parents, they may never get to the parents' hands. If the school
district has the information, they can assist the parents in helping the child."

Drug-related crime is on the rise in Russia. Russia has experienced a 25%
rise during the 1st half of 1998, compared to the same time last year. About
66,000 drug-related crimes were committed between January and June. The
number of drug related HIV cases is also going up. More than two million
people in Russia use drugs, a figure Prosecutor General Yuri Skuratov
expects to double by the year 2000.

Two U.S pilots died in a plane crash while helping with Columbia's drug crop
eradication efforts. The plane went down on Monday about 175 miles southwest
of the capital, Bogota. The U.S pilots were part of a program to train
Colombian pilots to fumigate drug crops. *

In Arizona today, sponsors of Proposition 300, an initiative seeking to
restore the state's medical marijuana law, are going to court to force the
state Legislative Council to remove references to the medicalization of
"heroin, LSD, and PCP" from its official description of the initiative,
which is set to be published next week. Passage of Prop 300 would overturn
HB 2518, a bill passed by state lawmakers in 1997 which gutted Proposition
200, the medical marijuana initiative that had passed by a 64-36% margin in
a 1996 referendum. Prop 300's sponsors, who call themselves "The People Have
Spoken," argue that the official description of Prop 200, which sought to
legalize the medical use of marijuana and other Schedule One substances,
made no such explicit references to hard drugs. Prop 300 lobbyist Jack
LaSota told the Arizona Daily Star that the Legislative Council, like
opponents of Prop. 200 in 1996, wants to emphasize heroin, LSD, and PCP
because of all Schedule One substances they are the "those few most likely
to inflame the senses of some voters." State legislators insist they are
only trying to insure that voters understand that marijuana is not the only
substance whose legality would be affected by Prop 300.

A group of young children in Pompano Beach, Florida were apprehended
Wednesday by police after they were caught playing "dope dealer," trading
leaves for baggies of plastic "crack" and pseudo-marijuana. The children,
who live in a neighborhood where real drug sales are common, ranged in age
from 4 to 11. They received a lecture from the county sheriff's lieutenant,
who later told the Miami Herald that the incident had ruined his day. "This
is what they see every day," he said.

165 medical marijuana patients have joined forces with the Hirsch and Caplan
Public Interest Law firm in Philadelphia to launch a class-action lawsuit to
force the government's hand on medical marijuana. Attorney Lawrence Elliot
Hirsch claims that his case will show that the federal government's ban on
marijuana in 1937 violates the constitutional rights of patients.

An alleged drug dealer on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts has vowed to
randomly kill US citizens on the island if the extradition proceedings
against him are successful. 37 year-old Charles Miller, known as "Little
Nut," is wanted in Florida on charges of cocaine trafficking, and is reputed
to have financed the election of the current Prime Minister there. More than
250 American citizens attend a veterinary college located on the island.

10. Link of the Week

Last Sunday's episode of the comic strip Doonesbury dealt with the issue of
under-treatment of chronic pain from the drug war, and announced to the baby
boomer generation what they have in store in old age if the drug war
continues in its current form. You can read it on the Sacramento Bee web
site at http://www.sacbee.com/smile/comix/ -- follow the Doonesbury link,
select July 26 and click.

11. A Campaign for Substance Awareness

An organization in New York State, the Orange County Citizens for Substance
Awareness (OCCSA), has gone on a crusade seeking disclosure of honest
information on the serious health-related risks of various drugs. The
group's call is prompted by a study which reveals that 575 people in Orange
County die annually from drugs and that almost all such deaths are caused by
tobacco and alcohol.

"If our goal is to protect public health, we need the disclosure of accurate
information about the documented risks associated with all dangerous
substances. Hundreds of people are dying each year in this county due to
drug use, but the public is not being made aware of the risks associated
with the use of common-accepted drugs," said Michael H. Sussman, an attorney
and spokesperson for the group.

An OCCSA survey in early 1995 revealed that most Orange County residents
believed, mistakenly, that the bulk of drug-related deaths stemmed from
abuse of illegal drugs, when in fact, fewer than 1% of drug-related deaths
were related to the illegal drugs. According to federal date, there were 578
drug-related deaths in 1992, 455 tobacco- related, 120 alcohol-related, two
related to cocaine, one related to opiates, and none from marijuana.

In 1994, OCCSA mounted a public education campaign featuring a billboard in
Chester, NY, listing these numbers. Recently, however, according to OCCSA,
the billboard owner took the OCCSA advertisement down, without explanation
and in violation of the rental contract.

For further information, contact Michael H. Sussman at (914) 294-3991. Take
a look at OCCSA's billboard at http://www.drcnet.org/images/occsa.jpg.

12. Debating Points

The OCCSA billboard illustrates how badly skewed current policies toward
substances are, in light of the actual harm caused by the different
substances. The legal drugs alcohol and tobacco have an enormously greater
medical impact on society than all of the illegal drugs combined, and
alcohol plays the principal role in substance-related violence and other
criminal activity.

A common response made to this point by prohibitionists (and other
unconvinced citizens) is to call that a reason to keep the illegal drugs
illegal -- do we want to have such huge problems with those drugs too, as we
have with the legal drugs? While this argument doesn't answer to the
disparate resources applied in, say, drug education vs. tobacco and alcohol
education, it does evoke the fear of a "nation of addicts" that stands in
the way of drug policy reform.

There are at two fundamental flaws to their argument. First, they are
comparing certain drugs that are legal, with _other_ drugs that are illegal.
Different drugs have different effects, different use patterns, different
sociological associations and different interactions with policies. One
needs to look at legal alcohol vs. prohibited alcohol, for example, or legal
opiates before 1914 vs. a war on heroin today, or Dutch marijuana
coffeeshops vs. marijuana arrests every 49 seconds in the U.S., to make a
valid comparison. Not that the analysis stops there -- one needs to also
look at differences between times, countries, cultures, circumstances, etc.
But at least we then have the beginning of a reasonable comparison.

Secondly, the argument entirely omits the fact that drugs, both legal and
illegal, do not exist in isolation from one another. Alcohol use patterns
are not independent from marijuana use patterns are not independent from use
of other drugs. For example, increasing marijuana use may be associated with
decreasing use of alcohol, or vice-versa. While it is conceivable that
experimentation with or even longer-term usage of the currently illegal
substances could increase following legalization, it is not at all clear
that overall intoxication from all substances combined would increase --
especially given the fact that the illegal drugs currently are widely
available despite prohibition, and can be purchased by high school and
junior high school students at school, from other students.

The argument that use of and harm from the currently illegal drugs would
skyrocket to the level of use and harm of the currently legal drugs, implies
that legality is the defining factor determining their level of use -- that
is, all legal drugs are going to be used at approximately the same rate or
order of magnitude. But the same type of reasoning should then imply that
all illegal drugs would be used at the same level as well.

We know, however, that different illegal drugs are not all used at the same
rate. Marijuana is enormously more popular than heroin, cocaine, LSD and
methamphetamine combined. It's not that marijuana is legal where the other
drugs aren't, and it's not that the marijuana laws go unenforced. (Remember,
one arrest every 49 seconds.) Fewer people use heroin or cocaine, because
heroin and cocaine are scary and are widely understood to be dangerous.
There's simply no basis for the belief that scary drugs like heroin or
cocaine, at least in their current, highly intense forms, would ever be as
widely used even as marijuana, let alone alcohol.

13. Office of National Drug Control Policy Hard at Work

Those of you who missed the legalization debate last week at Intellectual
Capital, can access the archive at
http://www.intellectualcapital.com/issues/98/0723/.) There are discussion
forums following both Charles Blanchard's and Nadine Strossen's articles, as
well as following the online poll. The debate was especially rousing, thanks
to the participation of Blanchard, ONDCP's chief counsel, and ONDCP staffer
Rob Housman.

Two weeks ago, DRCNet summarized ONDCP chief Barry McCaffrey's visit to
Europe in which he made a spectacle of himself by promulgating extreme,
verifiably false data about the Netherlands in the international media. Most
notably, McCaffrey claimed, during a speech in Sweden, that the homicide
rate in the Netherlands is double the homicide rate in the United States. It
turned out that McCaffrey's number was off by a factor of ten, and that the
homicide rate in the U.S. is 4 1/2 times that of the Dutch. (See

The performance of ONDCP staff on intellectualcapital.com was little better.
For example, Rob Housman wrote on page 3_c that "... if you look at 1992,
U.S. youth drug use is way below Dutch (10.6 versus 30.2 percent
prevalence). So where are your facts?"

A week earlier, a DRCNet representative attended Barry McCaffrey's press
conference at the National Press Club and picked up one of ONDCP's press
packets, which included several colored charts. One of the charts explains
the origins of Housman's numbers: the U.S. numbers are for ages 12-17 while
the Dutch numbers are for ages 16-19. It is obvious that 16-19 year olds,
half of whom are legal adults (at least by U.S. standards), are going to use
marijuana more frequently than 12-17 year olds, half of whom are under 15.
In no way is this a valid comparison between the two countries. (We've
scanned the ONDCP graph and have posted it online at

Housman also wrote, "how do you know about Netherlands use? They have not
released full youth drug use stats since 1992 -- wonder why? So how can you
compare?" We're not sure what he means by "full stats", but there certainly
are adequate statistics available for as recently as 1997, with which to
make a legitimate comparison. For example, a publication of the Netherlands
Institute of Health and Addiction reports that past-month and lifetime
prevalence of marijuana use among Dutch 12-18 year olds are 11 and 21
percent respectively. The corresponding U.S. rates, from the University of
Michigan Monitoring the Future Study, are 18 and 38 percent -- the opposite
of what Housman and ONDCP claimed on the net and to the media. (Much more
such data is available from the Common Sense for Drug Policy "Drug War
Factbook", at http://www.drugsense.org/factbook.htm.)

When the defenders of current drug policies have to constantly resort to the
most misleading tactics to make their case, what does this suggest about the

(Note: staff of the ONDCP are known to be monitoring this list as well as
DRCNet's discussion lists. We invite them to submit a response to this
piece, but forewarn that we are likely to print a response to their response.)

14. EDITORIAL: The Pompano Beach Twelve

In Pompano Beach, Florida this week, a dozen kids ranging in age from four
to eleven were brought to the attention of local law enforcement for playing
a pretend game that they call "dope dealer." The game, it seems, is simple,
with youngsters trading leaves, which represent money, for plastic baggies
containing pretend "drugs." "We play dope dealer all the time," a seven
year-old later said, "And tag."

Even the worst excesses of the drug war are justified, again and again, as
vital, lest we "send the wrong message to our children." Perversely,
however, the drug war and the black market that it creates not only puts the
drugs and the drug trade within easy reach of our kids, but also creates a
culture of prohibition that inundates their lives.

For the twelve kids from Pompano Beach, the drug trade is no abstraction.
Two homes on their block stand boarded as ex- crack houses. One can be sure
that a large number of the older teens in their neighborhood, and certainly
those who drive nice cars and wear expensive jewelry--in other words, the
obvious role models--are involved to one degree or another in "the business."

And the culture of prohibition does not stop at the outer edges of
crack-infested neighborhoods. For it is from these communities, poor urban
as well as suburban areas, that America's youth culture originates. Rap
music that reinforces the "Us vs. Them" nature of relations with the police,
the baggy pants and homemade tattoos apropos of prison life, and the
cultivated fear that passes for respect on the streets have all found their
way into the youth mainstream. The fact is that the music, clothes and
language of America's youth all have their origins in the ghetto -- just ask
any marketing executive for Nike or Sony Records -- and the experiences of
the kids from those communities are dominated by prohibition and its
attendant economies.

Children, all children, internalize what they see around them. This might
come as a surprise to politicians who think that kids take their cues from
whether or not the President inhaled or how many mandatory minimum
sentencing bills are passed, but it's true. Prohibition creates markets,
which create entrepreneurs, who accumulate wealth, and they do so in open
defiance of both the laws of the land and those whom we pay to enforce them.
And despite the best intentions of those who want nothing more than to save
the children by making prohibition work, the kids, large numbers of them
anyway, will always be more heavily influenced by the actions and lifestyles
of their direct elders--their siblings and cousins and neighbors -- than
they will be by the admonitions of well-meaning adults.

Today, in Pompano Beach, Florida, and doubtless in communities across the
nation, kids between the ages of four and eleven are playing "dope dealer."
They are, as kids will do, absorbing the culture that they are exposed to.
They are, it is safe to assume, not unlike their grandparents or
great-grandparents, who probably played at being Al Capone or one of the
other Prohibition-era gangsters. What is surprising is that we as a society
insist upon fueling this destructive culture in the face of overwhelming
evidence that prohibition is doomed to fail.

Our leaders tell us over and over again that they are sending a message to
our children, and they are right. But the message is one of lawlessness and
conflict and the normalization of violence. It is a message that is
reinforced every time that we reaffirm our commitment to prosecuting a
failed drug war. It is the message of the culture of prohibition, and it has
come through loud and clear. Just ask the Pompano Beach twelve.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

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