------------------------------------------------------------------- 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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Senators debate bill to bar use of drugs to aid suicide Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:15:42 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 drugs. 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: email@example.com 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 Administration. 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 suicide. 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 Department. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US: CA: Judge Says Jailed Medical Marijuana Advocate Must Receive Medication Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 19:59:56 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 Source: Fresno Bee, The Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/ JUDGE SAYS JAILED MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE MUST RECEIVE MEDICATION 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 recommendation. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US: CA: Taqueria Owner Arrested in Big Cocaine Bust Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:15:35 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Bill Wallace TAQUERIA OWNER ARRESTED IN BIG COCAINE BUST 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 City. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTEs: Drug Legalization Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (213) 237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ DRUG LEGALIZATION 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." MATTHEW CLARK 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. JAMES V. HALLORAN III Redondo Beach *** 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 consistent. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Drug Mergers Blocked Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Aug. 1, 1998 DRUG MERGERS BLOCKED 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 industry. 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 wholesaler. 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" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Judge blocks two drug company mergers Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:14:34 -0700 Sender: email@example.com 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, Pa. 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 business. 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 customers.'' ``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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: Lawmakers Rejected, Head for High Court Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Arizona Daily Star Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 Author: Mike McCloy The Arizona Republic LAWMAKERS REJECTED, HEAD FOR HIGH COURT 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 drugs. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: Texas-Based Border Czar Is Proposed Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David) Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998 Author: David LaGesse / The Dallas Morning News TEXAS-BASED BORDER CZAR IS PROPOSED 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 forces. "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 agencies. 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 Congress.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Subject: CanPat - (no subject) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 police. 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" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Researchers test drug that may ease alcoholic cravings Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 20:17:41 -0700 Sender: email@example.com 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 Administration. ``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 medication.'' 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Darral Good) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Re: PRESCRIBING THE FORBIDDEN MEDICINE a doctor challenges the feds. Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 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 patients. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore (email@example.com) Subject: Video games are like amphetamines Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Un: A Duty To Censor: U.n. Officials Want To Crack Down On Drug War Protesters Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.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 (email@example.com) is a research associate at the Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank in New York. A DUTY TO CENSOR: U.N. OFFICIALS WANT TO CRACK DOWN ON DRUG WAR PROTESTERS 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 broken." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Marijuana worth millions grows wild Date: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 07:59:38 -0700 Lines: 64 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Citizen Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 us." 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 burned. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Colombia on the Brink Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Economist, The Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.economist.com/ Pubdate: August 1998 COLOMBIA ON THE BRINK 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 change 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 rocks. 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 1999. 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 politics. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Duffy) Subject: Australia: School Students Strip-Searched In Drug Raid To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Australian Associated Press Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998 Author: Kylie Walker SCHOOL STUDENTS STRIP-SEARCHED IN DRUG RAID 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 complaints. "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 PO Box 1019 Kent Town, 5071, S.A., AUSTRALIA mailto:hempSA@va.com.au Internet: http://www.hemp.on.net.au Check out our on-line HEMP news service:- pot-news! Go to: http://www.va.com.au/services/hosting.html to subscribe and unsubscribe to potnews via a simple web interface. Alternatively mailto:email@example.com with subject "subscribe" or subject "digest".
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrew Duffy) Subject: Australia: Mayors Prescribe New Tactics In Drugs Battle To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Errors-To: email@example.com Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Saturday, August 1, 1998 Source: Courier Mail (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org MAYORS PRESCRIBE NEW TACTICS IN DRUGS BATTLE 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 said. 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 $3500." 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Australia: Accused Tells of Killing Drug Dealer Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Courier Mail (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 ACCUSED TELLS OF KILLING DRUG DEALER 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 unit. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Possible Cannabis Research in Britain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: British Medical Journal (UK) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 1 Aug 1998 Issue: BMJ 1998;317:302 (1 Aug 1998) POSSIBLE CANNABIS RESEARCH IN BRITAIN 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: France: Drug Pedalling Hurts the Tour Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 Author: Ian Austen DRUG PEDALLING HURTS THE TOUR 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 on.'' 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 kill. 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 week. 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 hospitals. 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 cleaner.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: France: Tour Cyclist And Team Doctor Charged Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:12:45 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: Aug 1, 1998 Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.iht.com/ Author: Agence France-Presse TOUR CYCLIST AND TEAM DOCTOR CHARGED 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 Tour. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: UK: Olympics Chiefs Call For Drugs Summit After Tour Scandals Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:19:38 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ OLYMPICS CHIEFS CALL FOR DRUGS SUMMIT AFTER TOUR SCANDALS 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 prohibited, 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 stage. 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 continued.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Drugs Date: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 18:17:41 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Gerard Mulholland DRUGS 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? GERARD MULHOLLAND CHEVILLY-LARUE, FRANCE
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: McLeish delivers his crackdown on criminals Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 1 Aug 1998 Author: Jenny Booth, Home Affairs Correspondent MCLEISH DELIVERS HIS CRACKDOWN ON CRIMINALS 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 "professional". "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 Macauley. "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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