Portland NORML News - Saturday, August 1, 1998

Senators Debate Bill To Bar Use Of Drugs To Aid Suicide
('The Associated Press' Describes The Ongoing Efforts In Congress
To Nullify Oregon's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Senators debate bill to bar use of drugs to aid suicide
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:15:42 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Senators debate bill to bar use of drugs to aid suicide

By Cassandra Burrell, Associated Press, 08/01/98 01:02

WASHINGTON (AP) - Legislation that would bar doctors from using federally
regulated drugs to help patients commit suicide would make doctors reluctant
to prescribe adequate amounts of painkillers to people who need them,
opponents say.

Doctors would be afraid of arousing the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration's suspicions, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told the Senate
Judiciary Committee on Friday.

``This bill would tie the hands of doctors who treat those in severe pain
and the terminally ill in their final months,'' Wyden said. ``When patients,
particularly those with terminal illnesses, are suffering from extreme pain,
doctors often prescribe high doses of medication for them, even if the
patient has no intention to end his life, because the medications are the
only way to provide comfort.''

Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., introduced the bill in response to a
voter-approved Oregon law allowing doctors to prescribe drugs to help
terminally ill patients commit suicide. During Friday's public hearing,
Nickles, the Senate majority whip, argued that the Oregon law conflicts with
federal law and puts the DEA in an impossible position.

``If federal drug agents are forced to allow Oregon doctors to use these
drugs for assisted suicide, it puts in place two opposing standards
regarding federally controlled substances: one for Oregon, stating assisted
suicide is a 'legitimate medical purpose,' and a second standard for the
rest of the country, stating assisted suicide is 'not a legitimate medical
purpose,''' Nickles said.

Nickles' bill could negate the Oregon law by prohibiting doctors from
prescribing ``controlled substances'' - dangerous narcotics and barbiturates
regulated by the federal government - for the purpose of assisting suicide.

Doctors who violate the law could lose their license to prescribe such

But opponents of Nickles' bill asked the committee to reject it. Wyden also
argued that the bill would deprive Oregon voters of their right to set
policy in their own state.

``Does this Congress meeting here in Washington, D.C., believe it is better
equipped than the citizens of my state to make moral decisions about
acceptable medical practice in Oregon?'' he asked.

The bill's supporters say they find physician-assisted suicide repugnant,
and want to make sure the federal government does nothing to support or
encourage it. Last year, the Senate voted 99-0 to bar the use of federal
funds to assist in suicide or euthanasia. The House agreed on a 398-16 vote,
and President Clinton signed the bill into law.

``To me, physician-assisted suicide is morally and ethically reprehensible,
an abhorrent practice which our society can ill-afford to see as a viable
alternative to compassionate care and treatment,'' said Judiciary Committee
Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Nickles' bill would apply only to powerful drugs, such as morphine or
codeine, which are considered so dangerous they are regulated by the federal
government to discourage abuse. About 75,000 of the nation's medical
practitioners have DEA registrations allowing them to prescribe these drugs
for legitimate medical purposes.

Attorney General Janet Reno ruled in June that the federal Controlled
Substances Act did not override Oregon law, and federal drug agents would
not enforce the law to keep Oregon doctors from acting under the state law.

Senator Hatch Seeks Help In Blocking Suicide Law ('The Oregonian' Version)

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

Sen. Hatch seeks help in blocking suicide law

* Federal officials oppose a bill that prohibits doctors from prescribing
certain drugs, but the senator wants them to offer an alternative

Saturday, August 1 1998

By Dave Hogan
of The Oregonian staff

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, coaxed and prodded the Clinton
administration Friday to work with Congress in trying to block Oregon's
physician-assisted suicide law.

The administration, weighing in for the first time on the fate of Oregon's
law, has decided to oppose anti-assisted suicide legislation now in
Congress. Its testimony Friday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which
Hatch leads, puts a significant barrier in the path of Hatch and his allies.

Hatch emphasized the common ground between President Clinton and many
members of Congress in opposing assisted suicide. He chastised the
administration for criticizing current legislation while not offering its
own solution.

"I don't just want analysis," Hatch told Justice Department officials
representing the administration. "I want help."

The bill before Hatch's committee, introduced by Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla.,
would forbid doctors from prescribing federally controlled drugs to help
terminally ill patients end their lives. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., introduced
a similar bill in the House.

Despite Hatch's persistence in seeking cooperation, he appeared to make
little progress. By the end of the 21/2-hour hearing, he had received only
vague assurances that administration officials would work with him to
determine the federal government's appropriate role in responding to the
unique Oregon law.

The hearing illustrated how far apart Congress and the Clinton
administration are in the assisted-suicide debate.

While both the House and Senate have pushed to enact anti-assisted suicide
legislation this year, the administration has said little since Attorney
General Janet Reno ruled in June that federal officials cannot discipline
doctors who prescribe lethal drugs under Oregon's Death With Dignity Act.

Still, Nickles, the Senate's assistant majority leader, testified Friday
that he intends to press aggressively to make sure such legislation becomes
law this year.

Friday's hearing was the Senate's first on the bill, which Nickles
introduced soon after the Reno decision.

As with an earlier House subcommittee hearing, several witnesses testified
that they oppose the bill because they think it would scare doctors away
from prescribing the high doses of pain medication that dying patients often
require. They explained that doctors fear the doses might unintentionally
cause a patient's death, leading to scrutiny by the Drug Enforcement

But, Nickles responded, "We don't want to do that in any shape or form."

A Michigan physician, Dr. Walter H. Hunter, agreed that the concerns were
unfounded. He said he supports the legislation.

"Nothing in this bill will change what I do daily in my work as a hospice
physician," said Hunter, South Oakland County medical director for Hospice
of Michigan.

DEA Administrator Thomas A. Constantine reiterated his opinion, written in
letters to Hatch and Hyde in November, that the Controlled Substances Act
authorizes the DEA to sanction doctors for dispensing drugs to assist in

Since Reno overruled him by saying that federal law does not override the
Oregon law, "DEA respects and has abided by the attorney general's
determination," Constantine testified. The DEA is a branch of Reno's Justice

The Justice Department sent a letter to Hatch on Thursday detailing its
opposition to the Nickles bill, including concerns that the legislation
would divert the DEA's attention and resources from its core mission of
preventing the abuse, diversion and trafficking of drugs.

The letter also said that having the DEA decide if a doctor used medication
to assist in a suicide "is far afield from the DEA's role as envisaged by
Congress and as carried by the agency."

Joseph N. Onek, a Justice Department official, mentioned several of the
Justice Department concerns while testifying Friday.

Onek said physician-assisted suicide is an issue of such magnitude that it
should be decided either by legislative bodies or a vote of the people.

He said the Justice Department sees significant differences between Oregon's
assisted-suicide law and a medical marijuana law passed by California voters.

Congress has specifically addressed the marijuana issue, making the drug a
Schedule 1 controlled substance, meaning it has no legitimate medical use,
he said.

"When Congress speaks, when the national legislature speaks, in those strong
terms, that is binding on the states," Onek said. "And that is why, as you
know, we have disapproved and fought in every possible legal way the
California effort to legalize marijuana for medical purposes."

But, as to the drugs used in assisted suicide, "Congress has not spoken and
said that those drugs can't be used for any purpose, including assisted
suicide, and that is the difference," Onek said.

But Hatch said authority over doctors prescribing drugs for assisted suicide
seemed well within the DEA's mission.

"We're talking about using otherwise legal drugs to kill people, to take
their lives," Hatch said. "I can't imagine a more important area for the DEA
to have an interest in."

After the hearing, Hatch said he remains optimistic that Congress will be
able to enact anti-assisted suicide legislation before it adjourns in October.

The House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that it will meet Tuesday to
consider whether to forward assisted-suicide legislation to a vote by the
full House. The hearing was postponed this week.

Judge Says Jailed Medical Marijuana Advocate Must Receive Medication
('The Fresno Bee' Notes Medical Marijuana Defendant Peter McWilliams
Vomited Repeatedly In Court Friday, But Fails To Even Mention
That The Prosecutor Lied To The Judge, Only That McWilliams
'Complained He Wasn't Regularly Receiving His Required Medication,'
As If He Couldn't Prove It And It Didn't Endanger His Life)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: CA: Judge Says Jailed Medical
Marijuana Advocate Must Receive Medication
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 19:59:56 -0500
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: Sat, 01 Aug 1998
Source: Fresno Bee, The
Contact: letters@fresnobee.com
Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/


LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Friday that a medical marijuana
advocate jailed on drug charges must have access to medications to treat his
AIDS and cancer.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich said he will ensure Peter McWilliams
receives the appropriate medicine, but the judge also turned down a request
to lower his $250,000 bail.

McWilliams, a self-help publisher who allegedly financed an operation that
grew more than 6,000 marijuana plants, had complained he wasn't regularly
receiving his required medication. He also said he suffered from cuts on his
hands and feet that could expose him to infections.

McWilliams vomited repeatedly in court Friday, prompting guards to keep a
trash can nearby.

McWilliams pleaded innocent Monday to conspiracy to grow marijuana,
possessing the drug with the intent to distribute, and distributing it. He
was arrested with another man July 23 under a federal indictment that
alleged he and others grew thousands of marijuana plants.

Another medical marijuana advocate, Todd McCormick, was arrested in the same
case along with four others. McCormick was arrested last year after
authorities found more than 4,000 marijuana plants at a rented Bel-Air
mansion. He remains free on bail.

The men claimed they grew the marijuana to supply clubs who sell the drug to
help ease the pain of people suffering chronic or terminal illnesses.

The medical marijuana advocates have maintained they did nothing illegal
under Proposition 215, the state initiative that legalized the cultivation,
use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes on a doctor's

Federal courts have not recognized the state law.

Taqueria Owner Arrested In Big Cocaine Bust ('The San Francisco Chronicle'
Notes Two Men From Daly City, Just South Of San Francisco, Each Face
34 Years In Federal Prison And Up To $6.25 Million In Fines)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: CA: Taqueria Owner Arrested in Big Cocaine Bust
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:15:35 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Bill Wallace


Federal narcotics agents have arrested two men as alleged members of a major
cocaine trafficking ring that reportedly operated out of a taco shop in Daly

The alleged drug dealers are Jose Coronado, the operator of Taqueria La
Reyna in a strip mail on San Diego Avenue, and Jose Luis Sanchez, one of the
cooks at the. taco shop.

A criminal complaint filed against the two men Thursday said Coronado
boasted of having a large-scale source of the drug in Los Angeles and
offered to sell an undercover agent from the U.S. Drug Enforcement
Administration.as much as 10 kilograms of cocaine per transaction.

The complaint said that Coronado was using the taco shop as a front for his
cocaine dealing activities and that inside the restaurant bathroom he would
measure the drug into plastic bags for sale,

Federal narcotics agents learned of the operation from an informant who had
worked with them on several previous cases. An affidavit by DEA Special
Agent Michael Estrada said the informant had made contact with Coronado
earlier this summer. The informant observed that Coronado had approximately
$90,000 in cash in his taco store, plus a large quantity of gold jewelry.

The agents sent the informant back to the taqueria with marked money to
purchase samples of cocaine from Coronado and Sanchez.

After several small purchases had taken place, undercover DEA agents
arranged a couple of larger drug buys, the affidavit said.

If convicted of the charges, the two men could be sentenced to as long as 34
years in federal prison and fined up to $6.25 million.

Drug Legalization (Three Letters To The Editor Of 'The Los Angeles Times'
Rip A Recent Op-Ed By The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 00:20:13 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTEs: Drug Legalization
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/


I found drug czar Barry McCaffrey's diatribe against drug legalization
encouraging (Commentary, July 27), mostly because the existence of a
high-profile response like this means that the important issue of drug
legalization in the U.S. is at last gaining some long-overdue credibility.
The fact is that people use drugs. Millions of Americans are hooked on
tobacco products and millions more are addicted to alcohol; these two
extremely dangerous legal drugs kill over half a million Americans each
year. Even so, no sane person advocates putting smokers and drinkers in
prison for life as a way of "helping" them, yet this is exactly the
approach recommended for other, much less harmful drugs, which we presently
term "illegal."

San Diego


McCaffrey's commentary is illogical and misses the main point.
Drug-related crime (i.e., robbery, murder, etc.) still accounts for
two-thirds--by the government's own estimates--of crime against persons.

I have chosen not to join the minority who have put themselves in harm's
way by doing drugs, but I cannot choose not to be a victim of a crime
perpetrated by someone looking for easy money to feed a drug addiction.

This is the harm driven by the government's draconian measures.

Our freedoms are also being compromised by "stiff law enforcement."

McCaffrey's traditional approach is demonstrably a failure.

We need to try something that "reduces harm" for the vast majority not
involved in the world of drugs, but who are victimized by it daily
through no fault of their own.



In a time when respect for the law, especially as it concerns our drug
laws, is in short supply in many quarters, our lawmakers must make a
greater effort to bring our set of laws in line with reasonable public
sentiment, and they must try to make our criminal codes internally

McCaffrey writes, "Addictive drugs were criminalized because they are
harmful." Is that really all there is to it? The children we are all so
concerned about do not buy this kind of line. Many have seen friends die or
be injured as a result of alcohol abuse; many more have lost loved ones to
diseases that can be traced back to long-time cigarette use. Far fewer know
of death or illness that has come as a result of marijuana use.

McCaffrey focuses on heroin use in most of his piece, but the most pressing
drug legalization issue has to do with marijuana.

It is much more widely used, and is felt by a great number of people in
this country to be relatively harmless.

As long as McCaffrey continues to call for the continued prosecution of
marijuana offenses, but says nothing about criminalizing alcohol and
cigarettes, I hope that he can offer the public some explanation as to the
logic he is operating by.

ERIC H. GAMONAL Woodland Hills

Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

Drug Mergers Blocked ('The San Francisco Examiner' Says A Merger
That Would Have Consolidated The United States' Top Four Drug Wholesalers
Into Two Companies Has Been Blocked By A Federal Judge - According To
The Federal Trade Commission, The Two Surviving Companies Would Have
Controlled More Than 80 Percent Of The Drug Wholesale Market Nationwide
And Almost 100 Percent In Some Regions)

Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 11:04:42 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Drug Mergers Blocked
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Aug. 1, 1998


McKesson among four major firms

A proposed merger involving San Francisco-based McKesson Corp. that would
have consolidated the nation's top four drug wholesalers into two companies
has been blocked by a federal judge.

U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin said Friday the merger of McKesson, the
biggest U.S. drug wholesaler, with the fourth largest AmeriSource Health
Corp., as well as Cardinal Health Inc.'s purchase of Bergen Brunswig Corp.,
was likely to reduce competition in the U.S. pharmaceutical distribution

According to the Federal Trade Commission, the two surviving companies
would have controlled more than 80 percent of the drug wholesale market
nationwide and almost 100 percent in some regions.

In a joint statement, the companies said a McKesson-AmeriSource appeal was
"highly unlikely."

"We are surprised and disappointed with the court's ruling," said the
company's chief executive, Mark Pulido, in the statement. McKesson declined
to elaborate beyond the release.

Cardinal and Bergen Brunswig, the No. 2 and No. 3 U.S. drug wholesalers
respectively, had not yet decided on their next move immediately following
the announcement. Debra Hadley, a spokeswoman for Dublin, Ohio-based
Cardinal, said that company would make its decision within a few days.
Attorneys for the companies previously said in court that a decision siding
with the FTC would force them to scrap the acquisitions.

Despite McKesson's disappointment, analysts who follow the company did not
think the decision would have a long-term negative impact on the

Donald Spindel of A.G. Edwards & Sons in St. Louis called the decision a
mild setback for McKesson. "McKesson has a lot of things going for it right
now," he said. "Even without the acquisition, the company should be able to
achieve its growth objectives."

Kenneth Salmon of Milwaukee-based Cleary, Gull, Reiland & McDevit Inc. said
he did not think the mergers would have led to consumer price increases
because the companies could control costs through economies of scale.
"Frankly, they don't need price increases to grow these companies rapidly,"
he said.

Salmon agreed that the merger was not crucial, especially for McKesson.
"They have an awful lot of momentum in the business right now," he said.
"The merger would have been nice - icing on the cake."

The court's decision surprised many observers, for Sporkin's comments at
the end of the seven-week trial last week had suggested sympathy with the
four companies. His opinion, however, sided with the FTC on most of the key
issues in the case.

The companies "simply have been unable to overcome the FTC's charge that
going from four to two national firms would reduce the competitive balance
beyond that which is legally permissible," Sporkin wrote in a 73-page
opinion released just a week after closing arguments concluded.

Sporkin announced the news after the market closed Friday. Shares of the
four companies were mixed. Valley Forge, Pa.-based AmeriSource rose $1.81
to close at $76.13 a share. Orange-based Bergen fell $1 to $53. McKesson
fell $2.94 to $80.63, and Cardinal dropped $1.59 to $96.06.

The FTC had charged in a lawsuit filed in March that the two acquisitions
would mean higher prices and reduced service for hospitals, pharmacies and
other drug purchasers. The government antitrust agency asked Sporkin to
issue a preliminary injunction blocking the combinations.

1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 1

Judge Blocks Two Drug Company Mergers ('The Associated Press' Version)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Judge blocks two drug company mergers
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:14:34 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Judge blocks two drug company mergers

Associated Press, 08/01/98 01:05

WASHINGTON (AP) - Two proposed mergers involving the nation's four largest
drug-distribution companies are on hold, and could be abandoned, because of
a temporary federal injunction.

The action Friday by U.S. District Judge Stanley Sporkin may scuttle a
proposed $1.75 billion merger of the biggest drug company, McKesson Corp. of
San Francisco, with the fourth-biggest, AmeriSource Health Corp. of Malvern,

It also delays, at the least, a proposed $2.6 billion merger of No. 2
company Cardinal Health of Dublin, Ohio, with No. 3 Bergen Brunswig Corp. of
Orange, Calif.

``It is highly unlikely we will pursue (the merger),'' said Meg Grady, a
spokeswoman for AmeriSource. ``We feel we have a great future as a
stand-alone company.''

McKesson officials did not return a telephone message left Friday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Cardinal and Bergen Brunswig released joint statements saying
they were reviewing their options.

The injunction was sought by the Federal Trade Commission, which argued the
mergers violate antitrust laws by reducing competition in the drug wholesale

The FTC said if the mergers were allowed to proceed, the two new companies
would end up with 80 percent of the $80 billion drug industry and could
drive up prices 1 percent, or $800 million.

Sporkin ruled that the FTC made a ``sufficient showing'' it probably would
win the case on the merits, should it seek a permanent injunction.

The FTC now has 20 days in which to seek to ban permanently the mergers.

``Competition in the market for drug wholesaling is protected as a result of
this decision,'' said Richard Parker, deputy director of the FTC's
competition bureau.

Cardinal's chairman and chief executive officer, Robert D. Walter, said:
``We are extremely disappointed with this decision, since we continue to
believe strongly that this transaction would be highly beneficial for our

``We strongly regret the court's decision to support the FTC's request for
an injunction,'' said Donald R. Roden, president and chief executive officer
of Bergen Brunswig. ``This has already been a long and arduous process which
we have pursued because we believe so strongly in the pro-competitive nature
of our merger.''

Lawmakers Rejected, Head For High Court (A Blatantly Biased
'Arizona Daily Star' Article Notes Antidemocratic Arizona Officials
Who Are Publishing The State's Election Pamphlet Will Appeal"
To The Arizona Supreme Court A Ruling Friday By Maricopa County
Superior Court Judge Joseph Howe That The Official Description
Of Proposition 300 Appears To Be An 'Advocacy Document' Because
It Singles Out The Names Of Drugs Most Associated With Serious Abuse)

Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 10:48:14 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US AZ: Lawmakers Rejected, Head for High Court
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: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998
Author: Mike McCloy The Arizona Republic


State lawmakers were headed for the Supreme Court on Friday after a judge
tossed out their official analysis of a Nov. 3 referendum to legalize drugs
in Arizona.

State law requires the explanation in a publicity pamphlet to be printed
Tuesday by the Secretary of State's Office.

The description drafted by the Legislative Council says marijuana, heroin,
LSD and the hallucinogen PCP could be prescribed as medicine unless
Proposition 300 is approved.

The referendum by the Legislature guts a medical-marijuana initiative
approved by the voters in 1996.

The group called The People Have Spoken, which supports medical marijuana
and opposes the referendum, sued over the mention of the other street

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Howe ruled Friday that the
official description appears to be an "advocacy document" because it lists
the names of drugs associated with serious abuse.

Either include the names of all 116 Schedule 1 drugs involved in the
referendum or drop the official description, Howe ordered.

"It's beyond outrageous," House Speaker Jeff Groscost, R-Mesa, said as he
requested review by the Supreme Court on Monday.

"We need to get this before a panel that has a clue."

Texas-Based Border Czar Is Proposed ('The Dallas Morning News'
Says The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Is Proposing
A Southwest Border Czar, A New Presidential Appointee
Who Would Be Based In El Paso And Coordinate Federal Agencies
Trying To Interdict The Flow Of Illegal Drugs And Immigrants
Crossing The Border From Mexico)

Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 00:24:39 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: Texas-Based Border Czar Is Proposed
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/
Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998
Author: David LaGesse / The Dallas Morning News


Plan Targets Illegal Drugs, Undocumented Immigrants

WASHINGTON - Drug czar Barry McCaffrey is proposing a new coordinator for
federal units trying to stem the flow of illegal drugs and undocumented
immigrants crossing the border from Mexico.

Essentially a Southwest border czar, the new presidential appointee would
be based in El Paso and consolidate some smaller agencies already there.

The proposal would vastly expand previous efforts to improve coordination
between the Customs Service, the Border Patrol and other federal police

"The American people deserve a more coherent, better-orchestrated effort on
the Southwest border," he said in an interview. "We need a border
coordinator in El Paso."

Mr. McCaffrey said the concept is key to bringing control to the border
with Mexico, where illicit trafficking has been a growing problem.

Beginning this month, Mr. McCaffrey will campaign to enlist support from
other agencies and border-state leaders. He will make his case in a speech
planned for San Diego next week and during a Texas visit later this month.

Mr. McCaffrey said he hopes Mr. Clinton will approve a plan this fall and
send it to Congress next year.

Mr. McCaffrey acknowledged he'll have to overcome skepticism from agents
and supervisors who fear a loss of autonomy.

"The new guy should not be in command of all federal agencies, but should
coordinate how their policies and budget work together," said Mr.
McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Critics have said problems are legion among the myriad of enforcement
agencies that operate along the border. Earlier, less-ambitious proposals
to improve coordination have surfaced, but cooperation largely depends on
informal teamwork.

Congress and the administration increasingly target the Southwest border,
which analysts say is the route for most of the cocaine smuggled into the
United States and about half of its undocumented workers.

"There's a tremendous amount of frustration in Congress about the impact of
drug trafficking on America's communities," said Rep. Sylvestre Reyes, D-El
Paso. "Politically, the time is right for an idea like this."

The rise in trafficking already forces them to work together more, border
agents say.

"I've met with my counterparts more often the past eight months than I did
in all of several years before," said David Higgerson, customs port
director in Pharr.

"If we don't work together, we figure somebody's going to make us one
agency," he said.

Aides to Mr. McCaffrey said he doesn't want to merge the larger enforcement
agencies. But somebody must at least be in charge at the ports of entry -
the staffed highway and bridge crossings - where agents from four or more
federal agencies are working, said Mr. McCaffrey.

"There must be a federal coordinator at each port of entry," he said. "You
can't have 300 or 400 people working seven days a week, 24 hours a day . .
unless somebody's in charge."

He wants customs to take charge of the ports of entry and the Immigration
and Naturalization Service supervising the vast border between the ports.

But his office has developed few details. Aides say talks among agency
heads will develop a proposal for President Clinton.

Like his proposed border czar, Mr. McCaffrey carries no direct authority
over the budgets of agencies involved in the drug fight. But he has
persuaded the Pentagon to change its spending plans, and he recently
criticized Treasury officials for not warning Mexico of a money-laundering
investigation there.

He also shepherded a $2 billion, five-year anti-drug media campaign through
the administration and Congress.

Republicans have remained critical of the administration's counter-drug
efforts, saying Mr. McCaffrey's agency and others have failed to stem
America's drug use.

More limited efforts in the past included a border supervisor appointed by
Attorney General Janet Reno in San Diego, who focused on problems at the
border there.

No senior official has tried to tackle the entire border and all federal
agencies, Mr. Reyes said. "The problem has been that nobody of McCaffrey's
stature has been committed to this idea."

Mr. McCaffrey recently predicted the federal government could largely close
the Southwest border to drug traffickers in five years.

Aides say he developed the idea of a border coordinator over the past two
years as Congress and the administration poured resources into the region.

The added resources can't work without better coordination and
intelligence, Mr. McCaffrey said.

The new border coordinator could take control of the counter-drug,
interagency El Paso Intelligence Center as well as Joint Task Force 6,
which coordinates the military's anti-trafficking missions.

Aides to Mr. McCaffrey said they hope a new border coordinator also could
improve legal crossings at the border. Truck drivers and other frequent
crossers often complain of poor coordination among the many inspection

Government auditors also have criticized agencies for not cooperating
better at the border. Customs and immigration offices, for example, have
duplicated administrative overhead, sometimes sabotaged each others'
inspections and slowed traffic by not coordinating their staffing,
according to studies by the General Accounting Office, the auditing arm of

FBI Arrests 44 Cleveland Cops ('The Associated Press' Says 44 Cleveland-Area
Police Officers, Sheriff's Deputies And Prison Guards Face Up To 10 Years Each
On Charges Of Conspiracy To Distribute Cocaine Because They Accepted
Up To $3,700 From An Undercover FBI Agent For Protection While He Supposedly
Bought And Sold Drugs - One East Cleveland Officer Was Late To A Deal
In The Sting Operation Because He Was Giving An Anti-Drug Presentation)

Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 23:48:43 -0400
From: Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net)
Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: CanPat - (no subject)
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

FBI Arrests 44 Cleveland Cops

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The dealer promised up to $3,700 for protection while he
bought and sold drugs, an offer the FBI says 44 police officers, sheriff's
deputies and prison guards gladly accepted.

The dealer, it turned out, was an undercover FBI agent making bogus sales.
In a huge bust Wednesday, authorities arrested the officers and charged them
all with conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years to life in prison.

``Today has been a very difficult day in law enforcement,'' said Van Harp,
the agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. The probe ``really turned
back on law enforcement itself.''

Those arrested include police from Cleveland, East Cleveland, Cleveland
Heights and Brooklyn, plus one deputy, 24 corrections officers and a former
corrections officer from Cuyahoga County.

Each took part in at least one of 16 staged deals between November 1996 and
this month, the FBI said. An East Cleveland officer was late to one deal
because he was giving an anti-drug presentation.

The arrests are the latest in a string of police corruption cases across the
country, from Washington, New Orleans and Philadelphia to Indianapolis and
Chicago. Allegations against officers in the past two years include murder,
extortion, assault, framing suspects and attempted robbery.

In Cleveland, Mayor Michael White said he has suspended the city officers
without pay.

``We're talking about a police division in the city of Cleveland with over
1,800 people,'' he said. ``Yes, it is frustrating and disappointing. But it
in no way reflects on the entire division of men and women who serve all of
us on a daily basis.''

Eight other people were arrested on conspiracy to distribute cocaine.

The sting grew out of an organized crime investigation that began in 1995,
Harp said. Fifteen people have been arrested and charged with actually
distributing the drugs and with other counts.

The FBI said it began to put together the conspiracy case against the
officers in October 1996 when an undercover agent met Michael Joye, a
Cuyahoga County corrections officer who was fired a few months later.

According to an FBI affidavit, Joye sold cocaine to an undercover agent and
offered protection. The affidavit quotes Joye extensively, sometimes boasting
about the people he recruited.

``We're the toughest gang on the street. That's how we look at it,'' the
affidavit quotes Joye as saying.

FBI Director Louis Freeh said the arrests erode public confidence in the

Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Researchers Test Drug That May Ease Alcoholic Cravings
('The Associated Press' Says The Food And Drug Administration
Is Conducting A Study Of Acamprosate In Boston And 20 Other Cities
In The United States - If Approved, It Would Be The Third Drug
Used Specifically In The Treatment Of Alcoholism, Along With Antabuse
And Naltrexone, Which Can Cause Seizures And Liver Damage, Respectively)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Researchers test drug that may ease alcoholic cravings
Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:17:41 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Researchers testing drug that may ease alcoholic cravings

Associated Press, 08/01/98 19:00

BOSTON (AP) - A new drug researchers hope will help ease the cravings that
alcoholics experience, is being tested in Boston and several other cities in
the United States.

In European tests of more than 3,300 alcoholics, those who used acamprosate
had a relapse rate significantly lower than those who took a placebo,
according to the Boston Herald.

The European studies indicated the drug's effect lasted a year or longer,
and the only known side-effect was a mild, brief case of diarrhea, the
Herald reported.

``It's not a miracle cure but it's a very exciting new medication that we
have had some very terrific results with,'' said Dr. Domenic Cirualo,
chairman and professor of Boston University's psychiatry department, which
is running the local test in conjunction with the Boston Veterans

``Some people report dramatic changes in the way they look at alcohol and
the desire to drink.''

But critics say the drug acts as a mere substitute for alcohol - another
drug - and does not get to the root of alcoholism and dependency.

``It scares the hell out of me,'' said James Sweeney, director of the Gavin
House, a residential treatment center for alcoholics in South Boston. ``I'd
just hate to see someone put an alcoholic's hope for survival on any kind of

The study of acamprosate is being conducted under the Food and Drug
Administration. More than 600 alcohol-dependent people in 21 sites around
the country are part of the trial.

If approved, it would be the third drug used specifically in the treatment
of alcoholism.

Antabuse is the most widely used drug to combat alcoholism. It creates an
aversion to drinking by inducing severe nausea and vomiting when alcohol is
consumed. One of the side effects includes the possibility of a reaction
resembling coronary arrest.

Another drug, naltrexone, blocks the brain's naturally occurring opiates
called endorphins from entering the body's blood system, preventing people
from getting a ``buzz'' from alcohol. A possible side effect of the drug
includes liver damage.

``The big mystery in addiction is what causes people in the absence of the
drug to return to the use of that drug after they have stopped, even though
they know it's harmful,'' said Dr. David Lewis, overseeing the test at Brown
University in Providence, R.I.

Results of the acamprosate tests are expected by mid-1999. It could be on
the market by 2000.

The medication is used in conjunction with 12-step programs such as
Alcoholics Anonymous.

Prescribing The Forbidden Medicine - A Doctor Challenges The Feds
(An Account In The August Issue Of 'Playboy' Magazine By Dr. Lester Grinspoon
Of Harvard Medical School About His Own Son's Use Of Cannabis
While Undergoing Chemotherapy)

Date: Sat, 25 Jul 1998 11:21:06 -0700 (PDT)
From: bc616@scn.org (Darral Good)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
a doctor challenges the feds.
Reply-To: bc616@scn.org
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net
Database: Gen'l Ref Ctr Gold
Subject: Marijuana; Periodicals
Library: Seattle Public Library
Source: Playboy, August 1998 v45 n8 p41(1).

Title: PRESCRIBING THE FORBIDDEN MEDICINE a doctor challenges the feds.
Author: Lester Grinspoon, MD

Abstract: A physician and author of 'Marihuana Revisited' saw his son, who
was taking chemotherapy, benefit greatly from marijuana before treatment
sessions. The drug remains illegal for political, rather than medical, reasons.

Subjects: Marijuana - Therapeutic use Pharmaceutical policy - Political aspects

Electronic Collection: A20940604 RN: A20940604

Full Text COPYRIGHT 1998 Playboy Enterprises Inc.

In my book Marihuana Reconsidered I recounted the history of medical
cannabis. But it was not until 1972, a year after the hook's publication,
that what had been an issue of public policy became a personal one. Early
that spring I fell into conversation at a dinner party with Dr. Emil Frei,
who had recently arrived from Texas to serve as head of cancer research at
Boston's Children's Hospital. Dr. Frei told me about an 18-year-old Houston
man who had become increasingly reluctant to undergo chemotherapy for his
leukemia because the nausea and vomiting were unbearable. His doctors and
family were having trouble persuading him to take the drug he needed to
survive. One day the patient's attitude changed, and he no longer feared
chemotherapy. It turned out he was preventing nausea by taking a few puffs
of marijuana 20 minutes before each session. On the way home my wife, Betsy,
suggested something that had occurred to both of us: Marijuana might be what
our son Danny needed.

Danny was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in July 1967, when he
was ten. For the first few years he willingly accepted his treatment at
Children's Hospital and even the occasional need for hospitalization. In
1971 he started taking the first of the chemotherapy drugs that cause severe
nausea and vomiting. In his case the standard treatments were ineffective.
He started to vomit shortly after his chemotherapy sessions and continued
retching for as long as eight hours. He would vomit in the car as we drove
home and then lie in bed with his face over a bucket on the floor. Still, I
dismissed the idea of using marijuana to ease his discomfort. It was against
the law and might embarrass the hospital staff that had been so devoted to
Danny's care. At that point, I had been exposed to the medical benefits of
marijuana only through text and testimony. Had I known how dramatically it
would affect my son I would never have objected.

The next chemotherapy session was two weeks after the conversation at the
dinner party. When I arrived at the hospital, Betsy and Danny were already
there, and I shall never forget my surprise. They were relaxed instead of
anxious, and they seemed almost to be playing a joke on me. On their way to
the clinic they had stopped near Wellesley High School and spoken with one
of Danny's friends. After recovering from his shock at their request, the
friend ran off and reappeared a few minutes later with a small amount of
marijuana. Danny and Betsy smoked it in the hospital parking lot before
entering the clinic. I was relieved and then delighted as I observed how
comfortable Danny was. He didn't protest as he was given the treatment, and
he felt no nausea afterward. On the way hack we stopped to buy him a
submarine sandwich.

The next day I called Dr. Jaffe, the physician in charge of Danny's care, to
explain what had happened. I said that although I didn't want to embarrass
him or his staff, we had witnessed the effect of the drug and could not
stand in the way of further marijuana use. Dr. Jaffe suggested Danny smoke
in his presence in the treatment room, next time. Again Danny became
completely relaxed and again he asked for a submarine sandwich afterward.
During the remaining year of his life he used marijuana before each
treatment, and I cannot overstate how much it his dying and gave comfort to
the whole family. As Danny put it, "Pot turns bad things into good."
Sometimes I wondered whether he ever asked himself why his father, an
authority on medicinal marijuana, had not suggested this possibility earlier.

How did marijuana become the forbidden medicine? In the 19th century,
physicians knew more about marijuana than contemporary doctors do. Between
1840 and 1900, medical journals published more than 100 papers on
therapeutic use of Indian hemp. It was recommended as an appetite stimulant,
muscle relaxant, analgesic sedative and anticonvulsant, and as a treatment
for opium addiction and migraines. As it was chiefly administered orally in
an alcohol solution, the potencey varied and the response was often
unreliable. Shortly after the turn of the century, synthetic alternatives
became available for insomnia and moderate pain. In the U.S., what remained
of marijuana's legitimate medical use was effectively eliminated by the
Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 which was ostensibly designed to prevent
nonmedical use. The law made cannabis so difficult to obtain that it was
removed from standard pharmaceutical references. In 1970, as I was
completing Marihuana Reconsidered, a new federal law classified marijuana as
a Schedule I drug. which means the government believes it has a high
potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use and is unsafe even under
medical supervision.

That didn't stop sick people from experimenting. Letters about marijuana's
medical uses began to appear in PLAYBOY and other publications in the early
Seventies. People who had learned that marijuana could relieve asthma,
nausea, muscle spasms and pain shared their knowledge. Thirty-five states
passed legislation that would have permitted the medical use of cannabis but
for the federal law. The most effective spur to the movement came from the
AIDS epidemic. People with AIDS learned that the drug could restore their
appetites and prevent what is known as the AIDS wasting syndrome.

In 1972 the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws entered a
petition to move marijuana out of Schedule I so that it could become a
prescription drug. It wasn't until 1986 that the Drug Enforcement
Administration agreed to the public hearings required by law. After two
years of testimony, the DEA's administrative law judge, Francis L. Young,
declared that marijuana fulfilled the requirement for transfer to Schedule
II. He described it as "one of the safest therapeutically active substances
known to man." His decision was overruled by the DEA.

The Schedule I classification persists - politically entrenched but
medically absurd, legally questionable and morally wrong. After Danny's
death, I began to think about how many other people like him might enjoy
similar physical and emotional relief from marijuana. Maybe this medicine
had advantages over conventional drugs in more than one way. In the years
since, I have been able to pursue this question.

One patient, whom I will call John, was a 65-year-old retired college
professor from New York City. He said he had been depressed for 20 years and
had been in psychotherapy all that time. He had been treated with
electroconvulsive therapy and given prescriptions for one antidepressant
drug after another, always without success. John consulted me because of my
writings on marijuana. He had been hospitalized several times, and on one of
those occasions a marijuana cigarette given to him by a fellow patient
produced "the first authentic depression-free moment of my life." But
marijuana was difficult to obtain, and he was worried about going to jail. I
recommended and his doctor prescribed Marinol (a synthetic version of
delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active substance in cannabis).
Marinol has been available in oral form for limited purposes as a Schedule
II drug since 1985. Although patients and physicians agree it is generally
less effective, with more uncomfortable side effects, than smoked marijuana,
it is the only legal alternative. It works fairly well for some patients -
including, fortunately, John. He is still taking Marinol, and his depression
has not recurred.

From this and other experiences in the past 30 years, I have become
convinced that marijuana is a strikingly versatile medicine for treating
nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy, weight-loss syndrome of
AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, muscle spasms, chronic pain, depression and other
mood disorders.

Marijuana is also remarkably safe, with fewer serious side effects than most
prescription medicines. Since it has little effect on the physiological
functions needed to sustain life, there have been no cases of death or
serious injury from an overdose. If you know anything about medicines, you
will know how extraordinary that is. A recent study estimated that adverse
reactions to prescription drugs kill more than 100,000 patients a year.

Some people find cannabis useful for relieving the pains of osteoarthritis.
The standard treatments are aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory
drugs, which cause more than 7600 deaths and 70,000 hospitalizations each
year from gastrointestinal complications (mainly stomach bleeding). Another
standard treatment is acetaminophen, which is one of the most common causes
of terminal kidney failure. If some people with arthritis find marijuana to
be as effective as these drugs, they should be allowed to use it.

A familiar objection to marijuana as medicine is that the evidence is
anecdotal - that supporters count apparent successes and ignore failures. It
is true that no efficacy studies have been done, chiefly because legal,
bureaucratic and financial obstacles have been put in the way of such
testing. Yet so much research has been done on marijuana in unsuccessful
efforts to demonstrate its health hazards and addictive potential that we
know more about it than we do about most prescription drugs.

Besides, anecdotal evidence is the source of much of our knowledge of drugs.
Controlled experiments were not needed to recognize the therapeutic
potential of barbiturates, aspirin, insulin, penicillin or lithium.
Anecdotal evidence would be a serious problem only if cannabis were a
dangerous drug. Even if just a few patients can get relief from cannabis, it
should be made available. The risks are so small. For example, many people
with multiple sclerosis find cannabis reduces muscle spasms and pain. The
standard treatments include baclofen, dantrolene and high doses of diazepam
- all potentially dangerous or addictive drugs. If cannabis were not
prohibited, it would cost less than most conventional medications. The price
would be $20 to $30 an ounce, or about 30 cents per cigarette. One cigarette
usually relieves the nausea and vomiting produced by chemotherapy. A
standard dose of ondansetron (Zofran), the best legally available treatment,
costs the patient $30 to $40.

The many thousands of Americans who use marijuana as a medicine are,
legally, criminals. Sick people have to weigh the benefits against the risks
of financial ruin, loss of a career or forfeiture of an automobile or home.
A few have been given absurdly long prison sentences.

One case I am familiar with involves Harvey Ginsburg, a professor of
psychology at Southwest Texas State University. He suffers from glaucoma,
and since 1986 had been taking marijuana to treat the illness. He also has
taken prescription medicines, which his ophthalmologist says are
insufficient to prevent progression of the disease. After he began using
marijuana, his eyesight stopped deteriorating and his intraocular pressure
improved. On June 24, 1994 he and his wife, Diana, were arrested for felony
possession - six plants (weighing two ounces each) and eight ounces of
marijuana brownies. An acquaintance of his son, responding to a flier that
offered "a profitable, exciting, guilt-free way to earn money," had placed a
call to police for a $1000 reward.

While Ginsburg prepared to present a defense of medical necessity, a lien
was filed against his property and his assets were frozen to enforce payment
of the Texas Controlled Substances tax. In July 1995 the district attorney
decided to dismiss all charges for the sake of judicial expedience. A week
later the local police chief wrote an angry letter to the town newspaper
expressing his displeasure. The head of the narcotics division then
contacted the superintendent of the school system where Diana worked as a
special-education counselor. The superintendent threatened to fire her and
have her teaching license revoked on the grounds that she had violated the
district's zero-tolerance policy by living with an accused marijuana user.
Eventually Diana decided to resign, though she later received a settlement.

Another case I have learned of involves Russ Hokanson, a 54-year-old
paraplegic who lives on a farm in New Hampshire. He has been using cannabis
as an analgesic for 30 years, because he found that marijuana relieved his
chronic pain, stimulated his appetite and reduced depression and anxiety. He
found it even helped him restore bladder control and achieve a normal
erection. He decided to start growing his own medicine. As a result, he was
arrested and the state of New Hampshire attempted to seize his house and land.

Pharmaceutical companies will not pursue the research needed to test
marijuana's therapeutic potential because they cannot patent an ancient
plant medicine. The federal government, the other major source of funding
for medical research, also has blocked the way. In 1994 an investigator at
the University of California at San Francisco sought approval for a
privately funded study comparing smoked marijuana with oral synthetic THC in
the treatment of AIDS wasting syndrome. Although this project was approved
by the FDA and several institutional review boards and advisory committees,
the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Administration
prevented the investigator from receiving the marijuana he needed. Maybe the
passage of the California initiative legalizing medicinal marijuana will
persuade federal authorities to relent. The Institute of Medicine, a branch
of the National Academy of Sciences, is now conducting a review of
marijuana's medical uses. But a research program designed to study clinical
applications of this drug will take years, and other ways must be found in
the meantime to accommodate the needs of a rapidly increasing number of

When medical use of marijuana in the U.S. was effectively outlawed in 1937,
the American Medical Association, to its credit, opposed the ban. Since
then, physicians have been both victims and agents in the spread of
misinformation. Ignorance, lack of interest and government obfuscation
continue to limit our chances to recognize marijuana's medical potential.

In 1990, only 43 percent of those who responded to an American Society of
Clinical Oncology survey said that available legal antiemetic drugs
(including oral synthetic THC) provided adequate relief for all or most of
their cancer patients. Forty-four percent had recommended the use of
marijuana to at least one patient, and half would legal. On average, they
considered smoked marijuana more effective than oral synthetic THC and about
as safe.

When doctors confront the needs of their patients, they recognize the
foolishness of these laws. But most, so far, are either afraid to do more or
unable to provide further help because they know too little. To prescribe a
medicine responsibly, a physician must balance risks and benefits. In most
cases a doctor relies on the knowledge that the FDA has already analyzed a
drug. A physician who recommends marijuana does not have that assurance.

I'm confident, because I know the balance of risk and benefit is powerfully
weighted by marijuana's time-tested safety. If I didn't recommend it when it
is clearly in a patient's best interests, I would be compromising my
physician's oath. After 30 years of study, I know more about this substance
- and about what is best for my patients - than any government official or
public relations person for the Partnership for a Drug-Free America does.

I will continue to recommend marijuana when it appears to be the most
effective and least toxic choice. But under the present laws, neither I nor
my patients will be able to avoid anxiety. I could lose my license to
practice medicine and my patients could be arrested and have their property
confiscated. This makes me uncomfortable - but not nearly so uncomfortable
as I feel when I consider that if I avoid recommending marijuana, I may
repeat the mistake I made by not encouraging my son to use it earlier in the
course of his illness.

Nintendo Neurology ('Scientific American' Says Paul M. Grasby
And His Colleagues At Hammersmith Hospital In London Have Found
That Video Games Are Like Amphetamines In That Both Are Associated With
A Surge Of Dopamine Secretion)

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 1998 11:36:02 -0700
To: drctalk@drcnet.org
From: Arthur Livermore (alive@pacifier.com)
Subject: Video games are like amphetamines
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org
Source: Scientific American
Pubdate: August 1998 page 22
Title: Nintendo Neurology

Video games play with your brain. Paul M. Grasby and his colleagues at
Hammersmith Hospital in London gave a drug called raclopride, which binds
to recepters for the neurotransmitter dopamine, to eight male volunteers.
The drug was tagged with low-level radiation. Next, they monitored brain
activity using positron emission tomography (PET) as the subjects played
video games or stared at blank screens. During the games, raclopride
binding decreased in the striatum, indicating a surge of dopamine secretion
there. Moreover, the increase in dopamine was as large as that seen when
subjects are injected with amphetamines or the stimulant Ritalin.

A Duty To Censor - UN Officials Want To Crack Down On Drug War Protesters
(The August-September Issue Of 'Reason' Magazine Gives Some Much-Needed
Coverage To Proposals For Criminalizing Opposition To The War On Drugs,
Made By The United Nation's Anti-Drug Apparatus, Including The Drug Control
Program, The Commission On Narcotic Drugs, And The International Narcotics
Control Board, Or INCB, Which Wants To Wipe The World Free Of Dissent
As Well As Drugs)

Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 07:35:33 -0400
To: DrugSense News Service (mapnews@mapinc.org)
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Un: A Duty To Censor: U.n. Officials Want To Crack Down On
Drug War Protesters
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/

Newshawk: A Friend
Pubdate: August-September, 1998
Source: Reason Magazine
Contact: EdReason@aol.com
Page: 54
Author: Phillip O. Coffin
Note: Phillip O. Coffin (pcoffin@sorosny.org) is a research associate at
the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank in New York.


In a TV ad that aired worldwide in May, a cleaning woman walks down the
hall of the United Nations headquarters in New York. As she approaches the
globe in the front of the General Assembly's meeting room, the narrator
talks about the organization's 20th Special Session: "On June the 8th,
leaders from 185 countries will gather in this room for three days to talk
about drugs."

The cleaning woman, beginning with her rag on Thailand, spritzes the globe
and "wipes it free of drugs." Her rag becomes a squadron of helicopters
spraying fields with herbicide. We see images of high-tech radar equipment,
drug-sniffing dogs, and flaming drug laboratories, offset by two classroom
shots representing anti-drug education. The narrator concludes: "Three
days...this room...and a world of good. A drug-free world...we can do it."

The U.N.'s anti-drug apparatus - which includes the Drug Control Program,
the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, and the International Narcotics Control
Board (INCB) - seeks to wipe the world free of dissent as well as drugs.
The INCB's 1997 report calls for criminalizing opposition to the war on
drugs. The nations of the world have not followed through on that
recommendation yet, but the spirit behind it has helped prevent a genuine
international debate about drug policy.

Based on the 1988 U.N. Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs
and Psychotropic Substances, the INCB claims that all nations are obliged
to enact laws that prohibit inciting or inducing people "by any means" to
"use narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances illicitly." According to the
INCB's report, offenders include anyone who "shows illicit use in a
favourable light" or who advocates "a change in the drug law."

The report criticizes "reputable medical journals" for "favouring the
'medical' use of cannabis," since "such information... tends to generate an
overall climate of acceptance that is favourable to" illegal drug use. It
also attacks the marketing of nonpsychoactive hemp products, such as
clothing and foodstuffs, for "contributing to the overall promotion of
illicit drugs."

The INCB even suggests that political campaigns based on calls for drug
policy reform may be prohibited under international treaties: "Election
campaigns have been conducted with candidates standing for parliament on a
drug legalization platform. Some of the candidates for the European
Parliament stood on such a platform and were successful. Thus, they were
able to use their access and influence to win others over to their cause.
Some campaigns, such as the successful campaigns for the 'medical' use of
cannabis in Arizona and California in the United States of America, have
sought to change the law....

"The Board notes with regret that despite the fact that...Governments of
States that are parties to the 1988 Convention are required to make the
incitement or inducement to take drugs a criminal offence, either this has
not been done or the law has not been enforced. Prominent people have
issued some very public calls to take drugs and have not been prosecuted."

The new director of the U.N. Drug Control Program, Pino Arlacchi, has
followed up on the 1997 report by attacking European Commissioner for
Humanitarian Affairs Emma Bonino, an advocate of drug policy reform. In a
March letter to Jacques Santer, president of the European Commission,
Arlacchi questioned Bonino's status: "I wish to raise the critical issue of
the compatibility of Ms. Bonino's behaviour with the role and functions of
a top official of the European Commission," he wrote. "Her main objective
seems to be to ridicule the efforts undertaken" by the Drug Control
Program. In response, Santer wrote to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan,
arguing that it is perfectly appropriate for a European commissioner to
consider "fundamental questions about the principles, objectives and
modalities of the war on drugs."

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, noted that the Drug
Control Program's position on dissenters has sweeping implications. "Many
people...do not share the views about drugs reflected in the U.N. drug
conventions and the antinarcotics efforts of many member states," he said
in an April letter to the members of the INCB. "Would the [INCB] have
member states criminalize advocacy of medical marijuana or of the
decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana? Would it
have states impose criminal sanctions on people who write books about the
sacred truths they have allegedly received from ingesting hallucinogens?
Does it really support carting musicians off to jail if their songs are
deemed to glamorize drugs?" For anyone who values freedom of expression,
the INCB's blithe advocacy of worldwide censorship is pretty scary.

But a more immediate threat is the suppression of politically incorrect
views within the U.N. itself. The World Health Organization removed a
section from a recent report on marijuana concluding that the drug's
hazards pale beside those of tobacco and alcohol. WHO said the section was
dropped because "the reliability and public health significance of such
comparisons are doubtful." The lead researcher, Robin Room of Canada's
Addiction Research Foundation, disagreed. "In my view," he wrote in The
(Toronto) Globe and Mail, "enough is known for such comparisons to be
useful." The real concern seemed to be the potential reaction from U.N.
drug control officials. One source familiar with the controversy says the
view at the Drug Control Program is that "anyone who wants to make
comparisons [between marijuana and licit drugs] is a legalizer."

Another case of WHO censorship involved research on coca. In 1994, after
two years of research in 19 countries, a group of well-respected
investigators concluded that coca leaf chewing is not addictive. They also
found that most cocaine users consume very little of the drug and
experience few serious problems. The results were summarized in a March
1995 press release. In May 1995, according to official WHO records, the
organization's U.S. representative, Neil Boyer, "took the view that the
study on cocaine...indicates that [WHO's] programme on substance abuse was
headed in the wrong direction" and that "if WHO activities relating to
drugs failed to reinforce proven drug control approaches, funds for the
relevant programmes should be curtailed." The full results of the study
were never released.

The response to that project was reminiscent of an incident that occurred
nearly half a century ago. In 1950, when he found out that the Navy was
investigating the use of coca to prevent muscular fatigue, Harry Anslinger,
director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, wrote to the principal
researcher. "The fact that a domestic scientific project was in progress in
the United States, involving the study of the effect of chewing of coca
leaves on fatigue, would have a most unfortunate effect on our efforts to
achieve international agreement on limitation of production of the leaves,"
Anslinger said in a letter uncovered by historian Paul Gootenberg. "I
therefore must strongly urge that that part of the project involving the
use of coca leaves be abandoned." It was.

U.S. officials continue to lead the international fight against deviation
from the official line on drugs. According to staff members at the U.N.
Drug Control Program, the INCB's U.S. representative, Herbert Okun, has
played a vital role in developing the U.N.'s censorship standards. That
role is not surprising, given the attitude of U.S. drug warriors toward
American dissenters.

In December 1996, a month after California and Arizona voters legalized the
medical use of marijuana, Attorney General Janet Reno, drug czar Barry
McCaffrey, and Drug Enforcement Administration Director Thomas Constantine
announced that the federal government would punish any doctor who
recommended marijuana to a patient. A group of California physicians
challenged the policy as a violation of the First Amendment, and they won a
temporary injunction from a federal judge. A year later, when television
character Murphy Brown smoked marijuana to relieve the nausea brought on by
cancer chemotherapy, Constantine promised to investigate "if any laws were

By trying to silence skeptical voices, drug warriors further weaken their
authority and credibility. Perhaps sensing that such an approach is
counterproductive, the conservative Finnish delegation to the Commission on
Narcotic Drugs rejected the conclusions of the INCB's 1997 report. "Finland
represents a very restrictive drug policy line," it said. "We consider,
however, that it would be unfair to label all those who are of a different
opinion as being in favour of drugs. If we feel that we are the losers in
the debate with the free press, it is best to check our own arguments."

COPYRIGHT 1998 Reason Foundation

Morality Has No Place In Solving Health Epidemic (A Staff Editorial
In The Victoria 'Times-Colonist' About Heroin Use In British Columbia
Suggests That As Long As We Let 'Morality' Color Our Decision-Making
On Drug Use, We Will Spend Far More Than We Have To Fighting A Battle
In Which Victory Is Impossible - In The Meantime, Hundreds More Will Die
And Hundreds More Will Contract Lifelong Diseases, Including Many
Who Have Never Used Intravenous Drugs)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 15:40:45 -0700 (PDT)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
From: arandell@islandnet.com (Alan Randell)
Subject: Morality has no place in solving health epidemic
Newshawk: Alan Randell
Pubdate: August 1, 1998
Source: Times-Colonist (Victoria, BC, Canada)
Contact: jknox@victoriatimescolonist.com

Our view

Morality has no place in solving health epidemic

Our hard line against drugs is costing us $500 million a year

There's nothing quite like a morality issue to freeze us in our
tracks. And so it is that incredibly costly, dangerous health problem
elicits barely a whimper from either the government or the public,
because to speak of it is to question our drug laws and decades of
social conditioning.

Overdose from intravenous drugs is the leading killer of all people
ages 30 to 49 in BC. Any other death threat of that magnitude would
have prompted a flurry of research grants, educational programs and
government action a long time ago. Instead, most of us dismiss the
dead as "junkies" who knew the risks they were taking.

Caring about fellow humans is an individual choice, but there are
some compelling economic and public health arguments that ought to
have us worrying a little more about intravenous drug abusers.

We spend about $6,400 on each of BC's 15,000 IV drug addicts every
year just to arrest them, convict them, and look after them when
they're sick. Add in the indirect cost of criminal activity, as much
as $67 million in welfare, the cost of treating HIV/AIDS -, hepatitis
B and C spread through IV drug use, and the total may be as high as
$500 million a year, says deputy health officer Dr. Shaun Peck.

"We have to accept that this is a health problem. It's neither a
lifestyle choice nor a moral lapse," Peck said Friday.

Peck and his boss, Dr. John Millar say co-ordination, prevention and
an attitudinal shift are essential to stanch the flood of spending
and misery. They're alarmed at the potential for the spread of
disease into the rest of the population because HIV, hepatitis and
tuberculosis jump easily between the street world and the 9-to-5s.

While Peck doesn't want to "get distracted from the problem" too much
with the question of legal access to drugs such as heroin, that
debate is most certainly long overdue. Our drug laws were presumably
conceived to prevent harm, but they're actually causing harm and
costing a bundle in the process.

Of the $96 million in direct costs from IV drug use, 82 per cent goes
toward law enforcement. The logic of spending large sums to pursue
people with addictions and then mop up after them when they commit
crimes to support their habit is questionable, particularly when our
arbitrary delineation of drugs into "good" and "bad" is so baffling.

Alcohol and anything that requires a prescription is "good," even
though direct societal costs for alcohol use - an estimated $2
billion to $5 billion a year in B.C. - far surpasses that of any IV
drug, and prescription drugs kill more people in North America than
all street drugs combined. But heroin is so "bad" that we created a
whole other drug, methadone, so we wouldn't have to face the prospect
of maintaining recovering addicts on small doses of heroin.

Heroin and cocaine are terrible drugs. They alter brain chemistry to
create addiction, wreak havoc on the immune systems, and can quickly
destroy a person's life. But controlling and minimizing their use is
a different strategy then just declaring them illegal and letting the
courts and the hospitals deal with the fallout.

As long as we let morality color our decision-making on drug use, we
will spend far more than we have to fighting a battle in which
victory is impossible. In the meantime, hundreds more will die and
hundreds more will contract lifelong diseases, including many who
have never used intravenous drugs.

Marijuana Worth Millions Grows Wild ('The Ottawa Citizen' Says Yesterday,
For The Fifth Year In A Row, Surete Du Quebec Officers Chopped Down
A Wild Field Of 2,025 Marijuana Plants Near Papineauville - Somebody Planted
About 200 High-Quality Plants In 1992, Which Police Killed, But Seeds
From Each Year's Crop Keep Sprouting And Increasing The Size Of The Stand
Despite Annual Eradication Efforts By Police)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Marijuana worth millions grows wild
Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 07:59:38 -0700
Lines: 64
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Ottawa Citizen
Contact: letters@thecitizen.southam.ca
Pubdate: Saturday 1 August 1998
Author: Jake Rupert, The Ottawa Citizen

Marijuana worth millions grows wild

Police can't beat weed as one farmer's field grows $4-million worth

It's the multi-million-dollar marijuana field that won't die.

Yesterday, for the fifth year in a row, Surete du Quebec officers
chopped down a wild field of marijuana growing at an undisclosed
location on private land near Papineauville.

In the spring of 1992, unbeknownst to the farmer who owns the
property, somebody planted about 200 high-quality plants in the
fertile soil, with plans of harvesting the drug in the fall and
selling it.

But before the culprit or culprits could reap what they had sown,
police raided the plot. While they were pulling out the plants, seeds
fell to the ground, and the next year, when police went to check the
field after the farmer called, they found the plants thriving.

This has happened every year since and, each year, the field gets
bigger. Earlier this week, an officer found 2,025 healthy,
high-quality, two-metre plants growing in the field. Police say if the
plants were harvested, and the drug sold on the street, the marijuana
would fetch between $3 million and $4 million.

"We never found who the original suspect was," says Const. Gilles
Couture, a police spokesman. "But he left behind a big problem for

Marijuana usually needs the help of humans to grow to such heights and
quality, but the soil in the area contains just the right nutrients.
And with this year's warm weather, the marijuana was growing as well
as hydroponically-raised plants.

When police arrived at the field, the plants were weighted down with
buds ripe for picking.

Several officers pulled the plants -- roots and all -- out of the
field, and they are now on their way to an undisclosed site to be

The police have asked Quebec's Environment Ministry to figure out how
to stop the field from growing, once and for all.

"We need something that will kill it," Const. Couture says.

The field outside of Papineauville isn't the only wild marijuana
problem in the province. This week, police had to put on their
overalls and chop down a larger field outside of St-Jerome, north of
Montreal, and a smaller one north of Quebec City.

Both of those fields are also the result of raided commercial
operations gone to seed. "We have our hands full with commercial
plantations," Const. Couture says. "Hopefully, we won't be doing this
again next year."

Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen

Colombia On The Brink (Britain's 'Economist' Says The Challenges
Facing Colombian President-Elect Andres Pastrana, Due To Take Office
August 7, Include Not Just A 30-Year Civil War But A Sluggish Economy,
A Treasury Deficit, Chaotic Public Life, Corruption, And 'Drugs' As Menacing
As Ever - Yet The Financial Magazine Believes, Mostly Because Of The Change
In Administration, Colombia Has Better Prospects Today Than In Years -
If Its Elite, Its Plain People, Its Rebels And Its New President
Have The Courage To Grab Them)

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 16:32:41 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Colombia on the Brink
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Economist, The
Contact: letters@economist.com
Website: http://www.economist.com/
Pubdate: August 1998


BOGOTA--A new president; big guerrilla attacks, yet fresh hopes of peace;
an economy to be revitalised; a new politics to be born; renewed links with
the United States; new tactics in an old drug war: Colombia faces momentous

IF YOU want to talk peace, the best start is a bit of successful war: that
is the hopeful explanation of the guerrilla attacks that this week engulfed
Colombian army and police posts and oil installations, leaving 150-200 of
the security forces dead and many in rebel hands. President-elect Andres
Pastrana, due to take office on August 7th, flew home on August 3rd from a
fence-rebuilding visit to Washington into a crisis. And security is not his
only challenge: the economy is sluggish, the treasury in deficit, public
life chaotic, corruption and drugs as menacing as ever. Yet Colombia today
has better chances than for years -- if its elite, its plain people, its
rebels and its new president have the courage to grab them.

The road to peace?

The main reason is the change of presidency, and -- above all -- the hope
of an end to 34 years of guerrilla war that it has brought. On June 21st Mr
Pastrana, a Conservative but backed by a 'grand alliance for change', ended
12 years of Liberal rule, defeating Horacio Serpa, a former interior
minister of the outgoing, much-disputed, President Ernesto Samper in a
second-round vote. The turn-out, nearly 60%, was high by Colombian
standards, and the demand for far-reaching change manifest.

Mr Samper had tried more than once to get peace moving; indeed this
February his negotiators won a talks-about-talks deal with the ELN -- Army
of National Liberation -- the smaller of the two main left-wing guerrilla
groups. But his political weakness killed his hopes; the deal, like other
attempts, came apart, because the guerrillas were not really ready to talk
with him.

Mr Pastrana was different. Within days of his victory, he flew to the
jungle to meet the leader of the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of
Colombia, the larger group. Separately, a new National Peace Council,
unofficial but officially blessed, had arranged to meet the ELN in
mid-July, in Germany. "Civil society" would be there, said the council,
and it was: bishops and top businessmen, trade-unionists, farmers, even the
chief prosecutor and a leading judge.

Both guerrilla groups agreed to humanise their war; and on conditions --
notably, from the FARC, demilitarisation of a chunk of central Colombia --
to talk peace once Mr Pastrana was in office. Then, on July 27th, came a
real surprise: a deal with the AUC (United Self-Defence Units of Colombia)
the paramilitary groups, fierce and increasingly aggressive enemies of the
guerrillas, and eager to be recognised like them as a political force.

Do they all mean it? No, says the army. The ELN had barely signed up before
last week it attacked a northern town, blowing up civic buildings. Then
came this week's attacks, the worst in decades. As were government losses:
at least 20 men killed near Uribe, 150km (93 miles) south of Bogota, at
least 40 when an anti-drugs base at Miraflores, in the guerrilla-ridden
south-east, was over-run, with 150 more wounded or captured. Longer-term,
the army fears 'demilitarisation' just means time and space for the
guerrillas to consolidate their grip (no disaster, in fact: the area is big
but its people and non-coca resources few).

Yet, though the ELN is plainly split between hard men and less hard, the
best bet is that war is now a preparation for diplomacy. Even the AUC,
butchers as they are -- they massacred 35 civilians as alleged guerrilla
supporters in one raid on the oil town of Barrancabermeja in May -- are not
only that. Most Colombians are desperate for peace; but the guerrillas and
their rivals are also under pressure, and know they now risk all-out war
with each other.

The road to peace will be bloody; and nasty, even for civilians, even if
the guerrillas keep their promises. The ELN love to kidnap for ransom, and
it is no game: as the cattle farmers' organisation laments, over 250 of its
members have been seized this year and 18 ended up dead. Yet civil
society's negotiators, in effect, accepted that the ELN can go on, sparing
only old people, children and pregnant women, and that only if it can find
other sources of cash. Likewise it, or the AUC, can attack not military
targets identified as such, but anyone not visibly civilian;
Barrancabermejans now wear white ribbons. Pierre Gassman, local head of the
international Red Cross, thinks far too much was conceded. "Scandalous,"
says Alfredo Rangel, a realistic former security adviser to Mr Samper.

Details of the hoped-for talks are still uncertain. Soon, all agree, but
how? The ELN wants a "national convention", the FARC direct negotiations
with the government. Neither so far accepts any role for the AUC. The best
guess is an initial series -- maybe a shambles -- of separate tables,
somehow to be drawn into one at the end.

What end -- if any? These will not be the traditional diplomatic
negotiations, "condemned to success." Both FARC and ELN are well to the
left, the ELN more intellectually so, therefore less pragmatic, with an
especial dislike of the United States, multinational companies and, above
all, oil ones. Many of the guerrillas' generalities sound acceptable to
anyone. Not so the details.

The ELN, for instance, wants all natural resources nationalised. Existing
oil contracts? Revise them. Their basic principle now is: the-usually
foreign-company pays all exploration costs; the oil, if any, to go 20% to
the state, 40% to its oil company, Ecopetrol, 40% to the foreigners. Fair
enough? Not for the ELN. Oil prices? 'Sovereign management', in world
markets. Foreign investment? Yes, if it brings technology - and is linked
to Colombian priorities, economic and social. Foreign debt? Renegotiate it,
say ELN and FARC alike.

Fine, if Colombia lived in a world of its own. Even there other demands
would jar. The ELN wants "a new army, based on the insurgent forces"; guess
the generals' reply. Both groups are keen on land reform: take land --
confiscate it, says the ELN -- from drug dealers, landlords and big
estates, and give it to the landless. Turn poor people without land into
poor people with it, snort the cattlemen. Yet they share the aim of better
rural credit, roads, markets and prices, just as Mr Pastrana promises wide
land reform. Somewhere in all this a deal may be possible. Or it may not.

Drugs, violence and corruption

The guerrilla-cum-paramilitary war, and the hundreds of thousands of
displaced persons it has generated, is by far the biggest challenge to Mr
Pastrana. But, even were the United States not obsessed with it, he cannot
ignore the war on drugs, and the crime and corruption they lead to.

The two wars are distinct. The guerrillas mostly do not grow or trade
drugs. But they protect those who do, at a price. Growers (say the police)
pay $100 per hectare of coca, laboratories $100 per kilo of cocaine,
traffickers=C6 airstrips $18,000 per take-off. The Americans try to insist
that their military aid be used solely against drugs. The armed forces just
as eagerly diffuse the concept of 'the narco-guerrillas'. It is half-true.

The two wars share another root: a tradition of violence unique even in
Latin America. The 150-year rivalry of their two big parties has led
Colombians repeatedly to civil war. Today, 30,000 or so are murdered each
year. Cali in 1997 recorded 90 murders per 100,000 people, Bogota 49,
outrunning even Caracas's 48, Rio de Janeiro's 34, Mexico city's 12 (and
Chicago's 30). Some minor cities do far worse. Another figure shows why:
nationwide, police seize 500 knives and guns a week.

What is unique to the drug trade is the scale of money involved, and the
resultant corruption. The smashing of the Medellin and Cali mobs in 1993
and 1995 badly hit those cities' building industries. Prosecutors have
investigated thousands of cheques from the Cali men or their front
companies that have gone to public figures of all sorts, down to football
referees=F9and last week revealed that they had 37,000 more cheques, for
some $500m, still to go.

The war on drugs is led by Jose Serrano, an impressively forceful police
general. He has plenty to record: the big gangs dismantled, 50-70 tonnes of
cocaine or cocaine base seized each year, as much of marijuana, and
hundreds of tonnes of coca leaf and of chemicals used in processing; huge
and increasing air-spraying, in the past, some 40,000 hectares of coca and
(some) poppy a year, but 50,000 already in 1998. His force uses ten
aircraft, 50 or so helicopters, and spends $100m a year, plus $50m in
American aid. It eagerly expects bigger and more of both. This year alone
it has seized 35 aircraft, 180 vehicles, 300 boats, and (before this week's
guerrilla attacks) had ten men killed and five kidnapped.

Yet what is the result? Small gangs of traffickers have replaced large
ones. Colombia grew little coca 25 years ago; today 100,000 cocaleros
cultivate 80,000 hectares, mainly in the warm south-east, plus 6,500 of
poppies in the hills. Airforce-protected spraying, where it is done, mainly
Guaviare and Caqueta (Putumayo is remote and the FARC may have
ground-to-air missiles there), cuts output by 20%, says the general;
without it, far more would be grown. Yet spraying also breeds discontent:
in 1996 in Caqueta almost a peasant revolt. Mr Pastrana this week told Mr
Clinton's men there must be a better way: alternative crops and ways to
market them, new jobs outside farming. Maybe. But huge efforts this way in
Bolivia are yet to prove it. No surprise: as even a supporter of the war
admits, "you can carry $2,000 of coca leaf on your back, or of cocaine in
your pocket."

Can the war be won? Should it be fought at all? "You start a war to win
it," says General Serrano, "and, by 2010, we shall." He is thinking of
cocaine supplanted by American-made synthetics, and surely, though he is
not crude enough to say it, of hard-hit Colombian cocaine gangs supplanted
by others=F9eg, already, Mexican ones. Twelve years is still a long time to
face the costs of an essentially American war. Yet few Colombians dare
think of stopping; and, alone, they would be mad to try.

The economy, short-term and long

On top of its special woes, Colombia faces several more ordinary ones all
at once: = Slow growth: the latest official estimate for 1998 is 3.3%, and
others think less. - Big-city unemployment that has doubled since 1994 to
15.8%, and overall, nationwide, figures would be still worse. - A rising
central-government deficit. In a budget equivalent to about 33% of
Colombia's $100 billion-odd GDP, a 5% of GDP deficit is a low estimate for
1998. Military costs do not help, and no one expects an early "peace
dividend" to slim their budgeted 1999 level of 4.2% of GDP. - A shaky
currency, not aided by a likely current-account deficit of 7.5% of GDP. -
Inflation around 18%; lower than usual; but that makes the built-in
allowances for the past all the more painful. - The natural result: high
interest rates imposed by the independent central bank. A good business
borrower can pay 40%, a home-buyer 45%. Little wonder housing is in the
doldrums and some big builders (big employers, that is) on or near the

Inevitably, the new finance minister, Juan Camilo Restrepo, plans to clamp
down soon and hard. He aims to slim the total public-sector deficit to 2%
of GDP by next year; less savage than it sounds, since this overall deficit
is usually less than central government's, but it still means cuts of 2%.
There will be pain all round; public servants' pay is to rise only 14% in

Business is ready; indeed eager, if fiscal rigour means lower interest
rates. And it accepts the need for structural change. Colombia has lively
entrepreneurs and good managers, hampered by bureaucracy and corruption.
The body meant to run vocational training, laments the spokesman of small
business, "has had five directors and nine sub-directors in five years. Let
us do the job." The savings rate is low, investment in new equipment
startlingly low.

Privatisation has been slow, partly because there was not much to
privatise. Insecurity and, till recently, lack of American official backing
have deterred outsiders. Even so, among the big groups that supply 60% of
industrial output, a third of that comes from multinationals. But much more
foreign capital could well be used.

So there is plenty to be done. The trouble is that the now
maybe-peaceloving guerrillas want more jobs and social spending, less
privatisation, less opening to market forces and world trade, and, at least
in oil, less foreign capital. Nor are they alone in disliking the apertura,
the free-marketry pioneered by President Cesar Gaviria in the early 1990s.
Can all this be squared?

Mr Pastrana is a free-market man. Yet Colombia, maybe because it was never
as statist as many Latin American countries, has not taken as keenly as
others to apertura. Even now, the treasury relies remarkably on customs
duties, and protection is still a natural instinct: within days last month
measures were announced against imports of chemical fibres, and promised
against dried milk.

Yet two-thirds of what the guerrillas want, says the industrialists'
federation, are changes needed anyway: less corruption, more industrial and
agricultural policy - not state control but collaboration with business -
and much besides. Only one-tenth is old-world Marxism. Even in oil, says
one cynic, "let the unions and the left run policy for a year, and they'll
learn they couldn't do it, nor the state afford it."

Toward a new politics

The big doubt is not the desire for change, but the political system=C6s
ability to change itself and deliver it. Mr Pastrana is no wonder-boy of
the new politics: he ran for the presidency, losing narrowly to Mr Samper,
as a straight Conservative, in 1994. But his allegations that the victor
had been aided by drug money earned him public abuse and two painful years
of exile, and, on his return, his second attempt started as his own; only
later did his party join in.

His alliance for change really is that. He won the support of Alfonso
Valdivieso, the former chief prosecutor, Colombia's Mr Clean, an ex-Liberal
who once had justifiably high hopes of the presidency for himself. Other
Liberals who had turned against Mr Samper came aboard; notably Ingrid
Betancourt, barely known before, but triumphant in the Senate elections in
March and now one of two women who have a made a sensation in Colombian

The other is Noemi Sanin, a former Liberal (and foreign minister) who
launched her own candidacy as a "clean it up" independent and took a
startling 27% of the first-round vote. She was heavily backed by the huge
Bavaria (ex Santo Domingo) conglomerate; and, say her critics, Bavaria's
real aim was to sabotage Mr Pastrana. True or false, the charge is barely
relevant: Ms Sanin's voters were voting against the old two-party duopoly -
against the Liberals, certainly, but arguably the Conservatives too - and
for change. In the second round, Ms Sanin did not openly back Mr Pastrana,
but most of those close to her did; and her voters did the same.

Mr Pastrana now, says one left-winger, has no choice but to go for change:
against corruption and the old party 'clientelism', for real justice, clean
administration, civil control of the armed forces. The words could (some
do) come from Ms Sanin, even if she fears Mr Pastrana may not grab his
opportunity. He is an "image" she says, though "at least he has scruples
and ministers without criminal records."

And her own role, for she still has wide public trust? Well, she plans a
new 'movement' (not least, so that members of both parties can join it),
and claims it will be influential when mayors and governors are elected
during the next two years. Money? There is state cash for parties (guess
why), but in proportion to their membership of Congress, where Ms Sanin has
none. Note her cheery claim, delivered with just a hint of tongue in cheek,
that in 2002 she will be president, but do not rush to accept it.

Some would not even hobble that far. Ms Betancourt and her like want
constitutional changes to re-invigorate the parties, not least to give them
discipline rather than the individual sinecure-cum-pork with which members
till now (and brilliantly by Mr Serpa, in his ministerial days) were
brought into line. This and other change, how? Via an early referendum, she
says, to which Mr Pastrana has agreed. But would the guerrillas? They want
a brand-new constitutional assembly (ugh, say members of the present
Congress) and a megaphone voice in it for, well, guess who.

Meanwhile, in the real world - for so it still is - of congressional
politics, Mr Pastrana now has a majority: the March elections left Liberals
in 60% of the seats, but some have defected to his alliance, others are
ready to collaborate. Mr Serpa is being spat at for claiming his right to
'patriotic opposition', and is having to fight to control even the loyal
faction of his party. But do not write off this astute and skilfully
populist politician. Nor his party.

Nor yet think, though they like to, that the terms of peace can be simply
dictated by the guerrillas. True, there is a huge desire for peace, which
they can always threaten to frustrate. But, for all their claims, they do
not speak for civil society, only for part of it; whatever his history, his
faults - or virtues - Andres Pastrana speaks for far more.

School Students Strip-Searched In Drug Raid
('The Australian Associated Press' Says Nothing Was Found
When Eight Manjimup Senior High Students Ages 14-16
Were Strip-Searched And Their West Australian School Searched
By Sniffer Dogs During Police Raids To Find Marijuana)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 07:00:10 +1000 (EST)
From: duffy@mail.enternet.com.au (Andrew Duffy)
Subject: Australia: School Students Strip-Searched In Drug Raid
To: pot-news@va.com.au
Reply-To: pot-news@va.com.au
Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Source: Australian Associated Press
Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998
Author: Kylie Walker


EIGHT school students were strip-searched and a regional West Australian
school searched by sniffer dogs during police raids to find marijuana.

No drugs were found on the eight teenagers who were forced to undress
during the raid at a Manjimup home in the state's south-west.

Police with sniffer dogs carried out the search on Thursday after receiving
a tip-off that Manjimup Senior High School students were smoking cannabis
before and after school, spokesman Sergeant Jerry Caruana said.

When they searched the home before school, police found four girls and four
boys aged 14 to 16.

"All students found on the premises were strip searched in accordance with
police guidelines and under the empowerment and authority of the search
warrant," Sgt Caruana said.

"Students were then removed from the house and a police sniffer dog was
taken through the premises."

Sgt Caruana said nothing was found on any of the teenagers, but the
16-year-old boy whose home was searched was likely to be charged over a
quantity of cannabis and smoking implements discovered hidden on the property.

Later in the morning, Manjimup Senior High principal Pat Young gave police
permission to use the sniffer dog to search the school for drugs.

"A smoking implement was found hidden outside on the school grounds," Sgt
Caruana said.

A 15-year-old boy would be charged over the implement, he said.

Angry parents contacted Perth radio stations yesterday to complain about
the strip searches, but neither local police nor Mrs Young received any

"I'm not naive enough to say there are no drugs at all in this school, but
I think the whole exercise was vindicated by the fact that they found
none," Mrs Young told AAP.

"It may have upset some people who felt it was inappropriate, but we are
happy to be part of a pro-active anti-drugs campaign."

Earlier this month, police discovered drugs and weapons on children as
young as 10 when they searched three Fremantle schools.

Eleven students aged 10 to 15 were discovered carrying marijuana, smoking
implements or weapons.


HEMP SA inc - Help End Marijuana Prohibition South Australia
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Mayors Prescribe New Tactics In Drugs Battle ('The Courier Mail'
Says The Capital City Lord Mayors Conference In Brisbane, Australia Yesterday
Backed The View That Current Methods Used To Combat Drug Abuse
And Associated Crime Had Not Worked, And Unanimously Supported Heroin
Maintenance Trials As It Resolved To Move Towards Radical Change
In The Handling Of Australia's Drugs Crisis)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 07:00:09 +1000 (EST)
From: duffy@mail.enternet.com.au (Andrew Duffy)
Subject: Australia: Mayors Prescribe New Tactics In Drugs Battle
To: pot-news@va.com.au
Reply-To: pot-news@va.com.au
Errors-To: pot-news@va.com.au
Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Saturday, August 1, 1998
Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Contact: cmleted@ozemail.com.au


THE Capital City Lord Mayors Conference yesterday unanimously supported
heroin trials as it resolved to move towards radical change in the handling
of the drugs crisis.

The Brisbane conference backed the view that current methods used to combat
drug abuse and associated crime had not worked.

This was evidenced by the growing number of users, deaths from overdosing
and petty crime.

Some lord mayors said they had already started negotiations with their
state governments to implement the recommendations.

Among the suggestions were lessening the punishment for possession of
marijuana for personal use to a police warning, and allowing medically
controlled and supervised "injecting facilities" to eliminate addicts
turning to crime to fund their habits.

The facilities also would reduce the incidence of drug overdoses, which now
killed as many people in Australia as traffic accidents, the lord mayors

Brisbane Lord Mayor Jim Soorley said drug addiction had become a capital
city problem with most drug abuse and associated crime occurring there.

He said more and more money was having to be spent on law and order issues,
such as the installation of closed-circuit security television in the Queen
Street Mall. But increased security was not the answer - cause and demand
had to be attacked.

Adelaide's Lord Mayor, Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, said it made economic sense to
rehabilitate drug addicts rather than jail them.

"It is a $2 billion industry in Australia. For a drug addict to feed their
habit costs $40,000 to $50,000 which can only be done through crime and
prostitution. To jail them costs $43,000 and to rehabilitate them costs

Drugs expert and former professor of medicine and vice-chancellor of the
University of Melbourne, Professor David Penington, said marijuana was now
Queensland's largest cash crop.

Professor Penington said drug dealers commonly sold both marijuana and heroin.

Allowing users to grow plants at home for their own use eliminated their
having to enter a criminal environment to buy the drug and significantly
reduced the likelihood of the person being pushed into trying harder drugs.

Other recommendations of the conference included a new approach to drug
education programmes building on the success of a Victorian model,
expanding treatment and rehabilitation facilities and exploring the success
of European drug trials which independent assessors found had achieved
significant inroads into the drugs problem.

Accused Tells Of Killing Drug Dealer ('The Courier Mail' In Australia
Says A Video-Taped Police Interview Played In Southport Magistrates Court
Yesterday Showed An Emotional Andrew Ian Jeffries Describing How He Killed
Invalid Pensioner George Green In February While Buying A $25 Bag
Of Marijuana)

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:45:07 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Australia: Accused Tells of Killing Drug Dealer
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Source: Courier Mail (Australia)
Contact: cmleted@ozemail.com.au
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998


A GOLD Coast bottle shop attendant confessed to police in gruesome detail
how he savagely bashed a drug dealer to death with his fists, a court was
told yesterday.

He claimed he had become enraged after the man had taunted him over losing
his job.

In a video-taped police record of interview played in Southport Magistrates
Court yesterday, an emotional Andrew Ian Jeffries, 23, described how he
killed invalid pensioner George Green, 34, on February 15 this year.

A friend found Mr Green with a fractured skull and broken collarbone in the
bathtub of his Currumbin unit.

During the 100-minute interview, Jeffries said he went to Green's unit to
buy a $25 bag of marijuana but a violent argument started between the two
when Green accused him of being a thief.

"He brought it up that he heard I had been sacked from the Tugun Tavern ...
for stealing," Jeffries said.

"He was just being a smart arse ... but I just went crazy and started
hitting him."

Jeffries said he had punched Green in the head many times and then started
to kick him in the head when he collapsed unconscious on the floor.

He said he then dragged Green's bloodied body to the bathroom and put it in
the bathtub, after filling it with water.

"I wasn't sure if he was dead. I went down on my knees and punched him.
Then ... he looked dead, so I dragged him to the bathtub," Jeffries said.

When asked by investigating officer Det-Sgt Paddy Feneley why he had not
called an ambulance, Jeffries said he was a coward and afraid of being
charged with murder.

"I stepped back and realised what I had done. I didn't mean to do it. I'm
very sorry," Jeffries said.

Det-Sgt Feneley told the court that after Jeffries had dumped Green's body
in the bath and attempted to clean up the blood around the house, he had
stolen Green's video recorder and four expensive fishing reels.

The stolen video recorder, which Jeffries pawned, led police to him,
Det-Sgt Feneley said.

He said Jeffries had initially told police his girlfriend had given him the
video recorder as a present but then admitted stealing it from Green's

The victim's brother Paul Green said George Green had dealt marijuana in
the area for 10 years and became depressed after losing his job four years
ago because of a back complaint.

He said his brother had become very security conscious and kept two
baseball bats and knives in the house.

"There was a touch of paranoia about him. If it wasn't someone he knew at
the door, he would grab a baseball bat," he said.

Dr Charles Naylor, who performed the post-mortem on Green, said he had
alcohol, morphine, methadone, codeine, cannabis and an anti-depressant in
his body. Magistrate Laurie Mellors committed Jeffries, who did not enter a
plea, to the Supreme Court criminal sittings in Brisbane starting on
October 19.

Possible Cannabis Research In Britain (A 'British Medical Journal' Account
Of Progress In Parliament Toward Setting Up Clinical Trials Notes If And When
The Benefits Of A Cannabis Based Medicine Are Scientifically Proved
And A Marketing Authorisation Issued By The Medicines Control Agency,
The Home Office Said That It Would Be Willing To Come Forward
With A Change In The Law To Allow The Prescribing Of Such A Medicine)

Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 12:16:21 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Possible Cannabis Research in Britain
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Peter Webster (vignes@monaco.mc)
Source: British Medical Journal (UK)
Contact: bmj@bmj.com
Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998
Issue: BMJ 1998;317:302 (1 Aug 1998)


News extra: Some encouragement given for research into cannabis (John
Warden, parliamentary correspondent, BMJ)

The Home Office indicated last week that it is willing to set up "workshop
talks" to discuss licensing procedures for research into the medical use of
cannabis, and the Medical Research Council said that it would consider
special treatment for clinical trials. The offers were made when both
bodies gave evidence to the House of Lords subcommittee that is inquiring
into possible changes in the law relating to cannabis and its derivatives
for medical and recreational purposes. Home Office officials said that they
are making arrangements with the Department of Health and the Medicines
Control Agency (MCA) for a conference to discuss aspects of research
licensing with representatives of the research community. The aim would be
to highlight some of the complex issues involved such as the supply of
standardised cannabis and the adoption of sound methodologies. If and when
the benefits of a cannabis based medicine had been scientifically proved
and a marketing authorisation issued by the MCA, the Home Office said that
it would be willing to come forward with a change in the law to allow the
prescribing of such a medicine. Professor George Radda, the chief executive
of the MRC, told the committee that the council did not get many valid
applications for research into the therapeutic use of cannabis, although it
would be prepared to give them special consideration. It was looking into
the possibility of carrying out some preliminary trials at Exeter
university. In addition, the committee set up by the Royal Pharmaceutical
Society under Sir William Asscher (2 May, p 1335) had agreed to focus on
the reduction of pain and spasticity as the end point of possible clinical
trials and committee members were debating which products to investigate.
They were in process of discussing good protocols. In a written submission,
the MRC said that in the absence of data, the scientific evidence in favour
of permitting the medical use of cannabis or cannabinoids must be
considered slight at the moment. Lord Walton of Detchant observed that the
subcommittee had not had any convincing evidence that cannabis had any
effect on the course of a disease.

BMJ 1998 316: 1333. [Full text]:

Research into the clinical use of cannabinoids is to be put on to a new
basis in Britain with the formation of a committee of experts who will draw
up guidelines for good practice.

The working party on the therapeutic uses of cannabinoids is being set up
by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and will be headed by
Sir William Asscher, a former chairman of the government Committee on
Safety of Medicines. The aim is that the guidelines will encourage the Home
Office to approve research licences which are currently being delayed.

The development was reported by BMA witnesses to a House of Lords
subcommittee inquiring into the use of cannabis and its derivatives for
medical and recreational purposes and into whether any relaxation of the
law is appropriate. Last year the BMA report Therapeutic Uses of Cannabis
concluded that cannabis is unsuitable for medicinal use but that
cannabinoid derivatives should be considered. Dr Vivienne Nathanson, head
of the BMA's professional resources and research group, and Professor
Heather Ashton, consultant writer for the BMA report, gave evidence to the
Lords subcommittee last week. They reported a meeting last month with the
chief medical officer at the Department of Health to discuss further action
in moving forward clinical trials of cannabinoids. It was agreed that a new
independent body to conduct such trials was required.

Dr Nathanson welcomed the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's working party as a
means of producing better research and development of cannabinoids so that
the least possible delay occurs before clinical trials are started. Concern
had been expressed, she said, over Home Office delays in issuing research
licences, with about 14 applications pending.

The new research protocols might help the Home Office to compare licence
applications with a set of guidelines and decide which should be licensed.
In a written submission, the BMA said that individual cannabinoids have a
therapeutic potential in several medical conditions in which present drugs
are not fully adequate.

The long term effects have not been studied, but present evidence indicates
that cannabinoids are remarkably safe. The accumulation of scientific
evidence has been hampered by regulations restricting the use of
cannabinoids to one clinical indication--as antiemetics in chemotherapy for
cancer. The BMA wants a high priority given to carefully controlled trials
of cannabinoids in patients with chronic spastic disorders that have not
responded to other drugs.

In the meantime there was a case for the extension of the indications for
nabilone and [delta]-9-tetrahydrocannabinol for use in chronic spastic
disorders unresponsive to standard drugs.

Drug Pedalling Hurts The Tour ('The Toronto Star' Thinks The Prestige
Of The Tour De France Has Been Harmed By Allegations Of Athletic Doping)

Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 13:34:38 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: France: Drug Pedalling Hurts the Tour
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Haans
Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com
Website: http://www.thestar.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
Author: Ian Austen


Scandal sends French cycle classic into a spin

Canadian cycling great Steve Bauer knew something was up when he suddenly
found himself unable to keep up with some of his European competitors.

Riders with previously mediocre careers suddenly became contenders,
competing with flair and elan in some of the world's greatest feats of
cycling endurance, including the global classic, the Tour de France.

When asked by reporters what brought about the transformation they would
cite special ``preparation'' or a weight training program developed by
their physician.

It wasn't long, however, before even the most naive knew exactly what
``preparation'' meant.

Bauer, a now-retired former Tour de France leader, said the effects of such
preparations were noticeable.

``In the early '90s I started having problems keeping up,'' he recalled in
an interview this week. ``That was partly problems with my personal
health,'' he conceded, ``but there were also advances in technology going

As this year's Tour de France staggers to a close in Paris tomorrow, it
will have the smallest number of finishers in 15 years.

The problem now - as it was in Bauer's time - is the shocking use of
performance-enhancing drugs, a scandal that has brought the French down
from their World Cup high of earlier this month.

Five of 21 teams have abandoned the 1998 Tour, and one leg saw just 102
competitors gather at the start line - down by nearly half from the 189 who
began the race in Dublin two weeks ago.

The spectre of drug use - and the accompanying strip searches, midnight
hotel raids and all-night interrogations as police try to get a handle on
it - has devastated both the race and France itself.

The race has been overshadowed by images of riders and team directors being
driven away in unmarked police cars and days of demonstrations by the
cyclists still competing.

Cycling's most important event, the Tour de France has become, as a
headline in the Paris newspaper Liberation put it, ``The Big Flat.''

For a sport that depends heavily on advertising sponsorships fixing that
puncture will be vital.

Tackling the issue of performance-enhancing drugs is at the top of the
fix-it list.

One of the biggest advances - the red-cell booster erythropoietin, or EPO -
has pushed no-names into the front ranks of cycling's elite.

The morality of cheating aside, the biggest problem with EPO is that it can

Blood with too many red cells can thicken into a syrup that's too much for
the heart to pump, especially during sleep, or create fatal clots.

Between 1987 and 1990, 18 racing cyclists in Holland and Belgium died from
unexplained heart failure. The assumption - then strongly rejected by the
International Cycling Union (UCI) - was that they had used EPO without a
doctor's supervision.

The ever-widening investigation into abuses of a whole new category of
performance-enhancing drugs by cyclists was a scandal waiting to happen.

At the heart of the investigation are drugs, including EPO, that come from
the cutting edge of biotechnology.

They are also, as the current crisis at the Tour suggests, an irresistible
temptation for cheaters - producing significant performance gains with no
danger of being caught by the current testing system.

Swiss star Alex Zuelle started the Tour as a leading contender but wound up
in a jail cell in northern France. After confessing to EPO abuse, Zuelle
apologized but pointed out that everyone in the cycling world knew what has
been going on for more than a decade.

``I had two possibilities: I could also go along with this or I could quit
and go back to being a house painter,'' Zuelle told a Swiss newspaper this

While the current controversy centres on riders and team directors, its
aftermath will focus attention on both the UCI and the International
Olympic Committee, the two organizations ultimately responsible for
controlling doping.

Some critics blame the epidemic on bureaucratic inertia, a willingness to
turn a blind eye to avoid unpleasantness and legal fears. They say these
factors have combined to prevent the introduction of tests for catching the
use of modern biotechnology as an illicit performance enhancer.

Dr. Guy Brisson, a scientist who recently retired from the Montreal
anti-doping lab affiliated with l'University de Quebec, helped developed a
test for EPO over two years ago but was unable to convince the IOC and UCI
to adopt it.

The reason, he charges, is that both organizations have a conflict of interest.

``Everybody knew what was going on for years,'' Brisson, an
endocrinologist, said from his home in Trois Rivires. ``But the arguments
they were against the test made it clear they didn't really want to catch
athletes. It's always going to be the same if your responsibility is to
both promote a sport and be a watchdog.''

EPO arrived on the cycling scene in the latter part of the 1980s when the
sport was revolutionizing its training.

Until then, training programs were usually developed by retired riders who
suggested doing more or less what had worked for them during their careers.

But Italian star Francesco Moser showed the way to the future when he
worked with Italian sports medicine specialists to apply formal science to
his training.

It worked for Moser, who wound up his career by breaking the distance
record for one hour's riding - one of cycling's most difficult feats.

Many top-ranked riders began hiring their own personal physicians and
worked with them to develop training plans. Big-budget teams brought
scientists and physicians to serve everyone.

Those training plans included many valid practices. But gradually and very
quietly, many of the same programs also came to include new
biotechnological products such as EPO.

First developed to treat anemia, EPO is a cloned version of the hormone
that turns on red blood cell production in the bone marrow.

More red cells mean more oxygen in the blood. The effect is exactly like
fanning the flames of a camp fire. One disputed study estimates a
performance improvement of 10 per cent through EPO use - an enormous boost
for elite level athletes.

Drug abuse is not a problem confined to cycling.

``In any professional sport, not just cycling, there are guys who are going
to cheat. That's human nature,'' said Gord Fraser, another Canadian cyclist
who rode in the Tour last year and is now based in the United States.

Unlike other sports, however, a shattering crisis in the Tour forced
cycling to adopt widespread dope testing three decades ago.

Then, it was a highly publicized death that prompted action.

During the 1967 Tour, Britain's Tommy Simpson, a former world champion,
collapsed and died on a hot afternoon while climbing a difficult mountain.
The subsequent autopsy revealed amphetamines in his system. Testing,
despite massive opposition from riders, began the following season.

The trouble is that when it comes to EPO and other genetic creations, the
current testing system is largely worthless. EPO isn't passed through
urine, the current sampling medium. And even if it were, as a cloned
natural hormone it wouldn't be picked up by traditional dope tests which
look for synthetic substances.

Even worse, to be effective, EPO must be injected long before races and
gone from the body before dope testing time. As an interim measure, the UCI
began measuring randomly selected riders' blood cell counts before races.
Those with a count of more than 50 per cent are sent packing as a health
and safety measure.

However, the whole point of EPO use is to obtain an ideal level of about 48
to 49 per cent. Brisson and others believe that many riders caught with the
current screening are simply dehydrated, not EPO users.

Brisson's test attempted to get around the current system's problems by
looking for a lingering secondary effect of EPO use that can be tracked
with blood samples and antibody testing - a standard procedure in

The scientific journal Nature reviewed and published the test which was
also developed by a l'University de Quebec blood specialist Raynald Gareau.

Then the frustration began.

At several meetings, officials from the UCI and IOC expressed their fear
that the test's indirectness made it vulnerable to legal challenge by
millionaire athletes. ``It was too easy for them to say that because then
nobody is accused of using EPO,'' Brisson said.

Eventually Brisson gave up. ``Throughout that world you see all kinds of
conflicts. I'm glad to be on the outside now because you get contaminated
by these people. And there are so many things to do outside doping.''

The question now is whether the current crisis will force cycling's
establishment to take real action.

Brisson, for one, doesn't think that's possible without the creation of a
well-funded, fully independent organization to run dope testing programs.

Bauer agrees.

``It comes down to the fact that sport governing bodies have left products
like this on the loose for too long.''

For former ski star Jean-Claude Killy, president of the Society du Tour de
France, and the race's director general, Jean-Marie Leblanc, the current
public relations nightmare may have significant business consequences.

Sixty-five per cent of the Tour's $65 million budget comes from sponsors.
Coca-Cola, for example, pays large sums to have its name plastered over
every conceivable surface at the finish line while Nike buys the right to
adorn the race leader's yellow jersey with its swoosh.

Similarly, all of the teams in the race exist only because companies are
willing to pay to use riders' as rolling billboards.

So far no sponsor has publicly abandoned the sport. But the crisis will
undoubtedly make negotiations for next year difficult and may spell the end
of some teams.

Despite all the challenges that lie ahead, no one's predicting the Tour's end.

``Obviously this has damaged the Tour,'' said Fraser.

``But the Tour's bigger than that. It will recover, just like Canada did
after Ben Johnson. But hopefully when it goes on, it will be a little

Tour Cyclist And Team Doctor Charged (An 'Agence France-Presse' Article
In 'The International Herald-Tribune' Says A Tour De France Cyclist
And The Doctor For A Team Of Cyclists Were Charged In A French Court Friday
Night Under The 1989 Drug Act - The Dutch Government Said It Was Setting Up
An Inquiry Into The French Authorities' Handling Of The Drugs Scandal,
And Juan Antonio Samaranch, President Of The International Olympic Committee,
Said That He Was Calling A Crisis Meeting Of The IOC Executive Board
To Discuss The Use Of Drugs In Sport)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: France: Tour Cyclist And Team Doctor Charged
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:12:45 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Peter Webster
Pubdate: Aug 1, 1998
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Contact: iht@iht.com
Website: http://www.iht.com/
Author: Agence France-Presse


LILLE, France - Rodolfo Massi, a Tour de France cyclist with the Casino
tearn, and Nicolas Terrados, the doctor for the ONCE team, were charged in
court Friday night following a hearing before Judge Patrick Keil, who is
heading one of the Tour drugs inquiries.

Both men were detained by French police Wednesday night. They have been
charged under the 1989 drug act. Massi, a member of the Casino team, was the
leader in the King of the Mountains category at the time of his arrest. He
faces additional charges of importing, distributing and transferring
"poisonous substances."

Both men were freed after the Friday hearing.

In The Hague, the Dutch government said Friday that it was setting up an
inquiry into the French authorities' handling of the drugs scandal in the

The Dutch sports minister, Erica Terpstra, who has made public her support
for the TVM team, which left the race Friday, said she wanted to determine
whether the French legal authorities had acted fully within their powers.

IOC Calls Drug Meeting

Juan Antonio Samaranch, president of the International Olympic Committee,
said Friday that he was calling a crisis meeting of the IOC executive board
to discuss the use of drugs in sport, Reuters reported from London.

The announcement of the meeting Aug. 20 in Lausanne comes less than a week
after Samaranch provoked surprise in sports circles when he told the Spanish
newspaper El Mundo that he favored an overhaul of doping controls, with
athletes being allowed to use performance-enhancing drugs as long as the
drugs were not harrnful.

The second part of shot putter Randy Barnes' drug test was positive, the
governing body of world track and field said Friday, the Associated Press
reported. This sample from Barnes's out-of-competition test April, 1
confirmed the use of a banned nutritional supplement, they said.

Barnes, the world-record holder and Olympic champion, must now appeal to
U.S. track authorities to avoid a lifetime suspension.

Olympics Chiefs Call For Drugs Summit After Tour Scandals ('The Scotsman'
Says The International Olympics Committee President, Ivan Antonio Samaranch,
Prompted By The Tour De France Drug Scandals, Has Convened The Meeting
On August 20 With A Single Item On The Agenda - The Fight Against Doping
In Sport)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: UK: Olympics Chiefs Call For Drugs Summit After Tour Scandals
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:19:38 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com/


THE International Olympic Committee has called a special executive committee
meeting to discuss how to deal with illegal drugs in sport.

Prompted by the Tour de France drug scandals, the IOC president, Ivan
Antonio Samaranch, has convened the meeting on 20 August with a single item
on the agenda - the fight against doping in sport.

The IOC executive committee will also discuss the organisation of an
international conference against drugs in sport in Lausanne in January 1999.

The IOC initiatives come amid the widespread doping scandal that has
overshadowed the Tour de France, with numerous teams and riders under
investigation for use of banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Mr Samaranch caused an uproar when he was quoted in a Spanish newspaper last
Sunday as saying the IOC's list of banned drugs should be drastically cut
and suggesting only substances which pose a health risk should be

He has reassured sports administrators that IOC policy has not changed and
that all performance-enhancing drugs should be banned.

A sixth TVM team rider, Jeroen Blijlevens, pulled out of the Tour de France
during yesterday's stage. The team's director, Guido Van Calster, issued a
statement on behalf of the riders saying the TVM team had been exhausted by
the events of recent weeks and were 'not mentally or physically capable of
finishing the tour".

Only 14 of the 21 teams that started the blighted tour remained, leaving
only 87 riders - less than half the original field - at the start of the

The Festina team were ejected after the performance-enhancing drug EPO was
found in a car driven by the team's physiotherapist. Several members of the
Festina team subsequently admitted to using illegal drugs and six other
teams have withdrawn as tbe drama of the investigation into drug use has

Drugs (A Frenchman's Letter To The Editor Of 'The Scotsman'
Expresses Astonishment That The President Of The International Olympics
Committee, Antonio Samaranch, Wants To Maintain Sanctions Only On Those
Athletes Who Use 'Performance-Enhancing Drugs That May Cause Permanent Harm
To The Athlete,' While Earlier This Year He Successfuly Campaigned
To Have Cannabis Added To The List Of Prohibited Drugs)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Drugs
Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:17:41 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com/
Author: Gerard Mulholland


The astonishing advocacy of performance-enhancing drugs in sport by Juan
Antonio Samaranch the president of the International Olympics Committee,
highlights his successful campaign earlier this year to have cannabis added
to the list of drugs prohitited for Olympic athletes. He now excepts only
those "performance-enhancing drugs that may cause permanent harm to the
athlete". As cannabis is neither performance-enhancing nor harmful to the
user, just what exactly was the relevance of that ban?


McLeish Delivers His Crackdown On Criminals ('The Scotsman'
Notes The Crime And Disorder Act Became Law Yesterday In Scotland,
Inspired In Part By The War On Some Drugs )

Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 12:11:16 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: McLeish delivers his crackdown on criminals
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Source: Scotsman (UK)
Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com
Website: http://www.scotsman.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent


Minister says Crime and Disorder Act will help to keep ordinary people safe

THE Scottish Office's flagship policies on drugs, sex offenders, racism and
bad neighbours passed into law yesterday as the Crime and Disorder Act
received Royal Assent.

The Scottish Office home affairs minister, Henry McLeish, said the act
would help to keep ordinary people safe, with such measures as anti-social
behaviour orders which can be imposed against nuisance neighbours, stronger
powers of eviction, and the new law against racial harassment.

Campaigners against child abuse, racism and bad neighbours gave a warm
welcome to the new measures.

But drug treatment and testing orders immediately ran into controversy, as
David Macauley, the campaign director of Scotland Against Drugs (SAD),
warned they would flop unless drugs rehabilitation projects became more

"I applaud and support drug treatment and testing orders, which are long
overdue, but - and it is a big but - rehabilitation projects have to be
properly and professionally managed in order to be successful," said Mr

"If they are run by social work departments, or in the ethos of social work
departments, they may not be as successful as if they were run in a
professional manner [by drugs counsellors]."

A spokesman for the Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF), the umbrella body for
rehabilitation projects, accused Mr Macauley of undermining public
confidence in the new measure.

"Mr Macauley's words are sadly largely irrelevant and show just how out of
touch the SAD campaign has become," said Graeme McArthur, the regional
manager of SDF.

"Positive steps to try truly to address society's drugs problems, such as
this from Mr McLeish, are to be welcomed and should be supported.

"The vast majority of the drugs field will support and work positively with
government to make this initiative work, and others designed to reduce
drug-related offending. Drug treatment orders are by no means a soft option
and should not be portrayed as such."

Mr McLeish said yesterday: "We came to office on a promise to create
communities that are safe, where respect and adherence to the law are
natural and not in any way the exception to the rule.

"We identified specific areas of concern to Scots - real issues affecting
real people in towns and cities throughout the country. This package forms
a key part of the delivery of this promise.

"The Scottish elements of the act will require strong partnership between
central and local government, police and other parts of the criminal
justice system. I am confident that, by working together, we will deliver
on a safer Scotland for law-abiding citizens."

Under the drug treatment and testing orders, sheriffs will be able to
sentence offenders who steal to feed a drugs habit to a programme of drug
treatment, with mandatory testing, instead of sending them to prison.

Justice campaigners hope that keeping drug addicts out of jail may help to
reduce the toll of suicides among both men and women behind bars.

Other sections of the act include a new crime of racially aggravated
harassment, and instructions to the Scottish courts that any racist element
should be treated as an aggravating factor in other offences.

Chris Myant, a spokesman for the Scottish Commission for Racial Equality,
said it was delighted with the change to the law, for which it had been
campaigning for over a decade.

"We have been finding that the Scottish police are a bit behind other
forces in the UK in terms of keeping statistics on racial harassment and
violence, but they are getting up to speed now," he said.

"There are about 15 serious assaults against people because of their race
in Scotland each year, and we will be working with the police to follow
these through and find out what happens afterwards."

The Sex Offender Orders will enable the police to apply to a sheriff for an
order to ban a convicted paedophile seen as a serious threat to children,
from hanging around places where local youngsters gather. The order will
also oblige paedophiles to register with the police, and report when they
move house.

Pauline Thomson, secretary of Scottish People Against Child Abuse, said:
"These orders will act as a deterrent, although the question remains
whether the police will implement them.

"People will feel more comfortable if they know the police have this power,
and that is definitely a step in the right direction."

In addition, courts will have the power to sentence sex offenders to be
supervised in the community for up to ten years after they leave jail, and
violent offenders for up to five years.

Councils have been given powers to evict tenants who are committing crimes
or anti-social behaviour, another method which is aimed at clamping down on
drugs and drug dealing.



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