Portland NORML News - Monday, August 3, 1998

Action Alert Number Two - Pain Management, Doctor/Patient Relationship
And States' Rights Under Attack (The Drug Policy Foundation In New York
Asks You To Write To Your Congressional Representatives And Ask Them
To Oppose HR 4006, The Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act Of 1998
Intended To Nullify Oregon's Unique Assisted-Suicide Law)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 18:48:11 EDT
Errors-To: dpf-mod@dpf.org
Reply-To: dpnews@dpf.org
Originator: dpnews@dpf.org
Sender: dpnews@dpf.org
From: "Drug Policy News Service" (dpf-mod@dpf.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (dpnews@dpf.org)
Subject: ACTION ALERT No. 2 -- Pain Management, Doctor/Patient
Relationship and States' Rights Under Attack


Released August 3, 1998
Please Redistribute

House Judiciary Committee to Mark Up H.R. 4006, the "Lethal Drug Abuse
Prevention Act of 1998" - Legislation Will Further Erode Doctor/Patient
Relationship and States' Rights

We have just confirmed that the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to
mark up H.R. 4006, the "Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1998" on
Tuesday, August 3 and possibly on Wednesday, August 4. The bill would
require the Drug Enforcement Administration to revoke a doctor's
prescription license if he/she distributes a controlled substance for the
purpose of assisted suicide, as is now legal in Oregon. We sent out an
Action Alert last Thursday regarding this bill (see below), which would
likely impede effective pain management and further erode the sanctity of
the doctor/patient relationship and states' rights. It is especially
important that you respond to this bill if your representative is on the
House Judiciary Committee. Members of the House Judiciary Committee include:

Republicans (21)

Henry J. Hyde, Ill. - chairman
F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wis.
Bill McCollum, Fla.
George W. Gekas, Pa.
Howard Coble, N.C.
Lamar Smith, Texas
Elton Gallegly, Calif.
Charles T. Canady, Fla.
Bob Inglis, S.C.
Robert W. Goodlatte, Va.
Steve Buyer, Ind.
Ed Bryant, Tenn.
Steve Chabot, Ohio
Bob Barr, Ga.
Bill Jenkins, Tenn.
Asa Hutchinson, Ark.
Ed Pease, Ind.
Christopher B. Cannon, Utah
James E. Rogan, Calif.
Lindsey Graham, S.C.
Mary Bono, Calif.


Democrats (15)

John Conyers Jr., Mich. - ranking member
Barney Frank, Mass.
Charles E. Schumer, N.Y.
Howard L. Berman, Calif.
Rick Boucher, Va.
Jerrold Nadler, N.Y.
Robert C. Scott, Va.
Melvin Watt, N.C.
Zoe Lofgren, Calif.
Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas
Maxine Waters, Calif.
Martin T. Meehan, Mass.
Bill Delahunt, Mass.
Robert Wexler, Fla.
Steven R. Rothman, N.J.

If you don't know who your representative is, you can find out by calling
the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Have your zip code ready to
give the operator.

You should:

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

* Keep the message simple. Urge your representative to oppose H.R. 4006 for
the reasons outlined below. Ask for a return letter explaining your
representative's position on the legislation, doctor/patient privacy rights,
and a state's right to create its own drug policies.

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

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

Following is an edited version of the Action Alert we sent out on Thursday,
July 30. It was sent to us by Kendra Wright of Common Sense for Drug Policy




The American Medical Association and the American Geriatrics Society are
seeking assistance to stop legislation which will have a disastrous
effect on pain management.

HR 4006 introduced by Congressman Hyde (R-IL) and S. 2151 introduced by
Senator Nickles (R-OK), seek to prevent assisted suicide by authorizing
the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to revoke or suspend the federal
prescription license of a physician who "intentionally dispensed or
distributed a controlled substance with a purpose of causing or
assisting in causing" suicide. The legislation would also create a
Medical Review Board on Pain Relief to allow physicians accused of
violating the law to demonstrate that their prescribing patterns were to
relieve pain.

Once again, the Drug War is hindering the patient-doctor relationship.

Whether or not you support physician-assisted suicide this is bad
legislation because:

* it will have an adverse effect on pain management and result in more
Americans suffering needlessly.

* unrelieved pain is already a widespread problem as illustrated by a
number of studies (the SUPPORT study showed 50% of patients experience
moderate to severe pain at least half the time in their last days of

* A 1997 Institute of Medicine study found "drug-prescribing laws,
regulations, and interpretations by state medical boards frustrate and
intimidate physicians" and result in pain that is inadequately treated.

* many doctors are already reluctant to prescribe adequate pain relief
due to possible violations of existing pain-prescription laws. This
proposed legislation, which would have the DEA investigating allegations
of wrongdoing and determining "intent," would greatly exacerbate the

* contrary to its intent, the bill may prompt an increased demand for
assisted suicide from patients whose pain is intolerable.

If you don't want to see your family and loved ones suffer needlessly,
take a moment to voice your objection to this bill!

For a list of Senate Judiciary Committee members with contact


For a list of House Judiciary Committee members with contact



To read a Washington Post news article on this legislation which cites
polling data which found "seventy-two percent [of Americans] oppose
federal legislation that would prohibit physicians from prescribing
doses of medications...that terminally ill patients could request to end
their lives," access:



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

To sign off this list, mailto: listproc@dpf.org with the line "signoff
dpnews" in the body of the message.


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

4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B-500
Washington, DC 20008-2328
ph: (202) 537-5005 * fax: (202) 537-3007

It Is The Love Of Freedom, Not The Hatred Of Tyranny . . .
(A Jailhouse Letter From Peter McWilliams, The Best-Selling Author
And Los Angeles AIDS And Cancer Patient Being Held For A Quarter Million
Dollars Bail On Federal Marijuana Conspiracy Charges, In Spite Of
Proposition 215)

From: "Todd McCormick" (todd@a-vision.com)
To: "Multiple recipients of list" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: It is the love of freedom, not the hatred of tyranny...
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 16:07:18 -0700

August 3rd, 1998

It was 30 years ago today, just two days short of my 19th birthday, that my
father called his drinking buddy, a policeman, to come over and scare me
into never smoking marijuana again.

My poor father. He was only doing what he thought was best for his son, as
he was taught by the country his risked his life to protect.

The cop, of course, didn't just scare me, but arrested me. It's the only
thing cops know how to do right.

It cut a gash through my family that never healed and almost certainly
hastened my father's decent into alcoholism that led to his death not four
years later.

Today, I write this in federal custody. My crime? Marijuana, again. My
government is trying to scare me into doing what it thinks best to treat my
AIDS no matter I and my doctor may think about it.

Last night I had a dream more vivid than life. My father came out of his
bedroom, hands raised, as though to attack me. I was startled for only a
moment. Then I saw my father behind my fear.

I hugged him, embraced him, stroked his hair, told him I loved him, told him
everything was all right.

His threatening facade melted in my arms. Beneath was a trembling old man,
very much in need of his son's love.

And so it is with my country, my country 'tis of me, and I my country's son.

It is the love of freedom, not the hatred of tyranny, that will turn this
warring parent into an adored embrace.

Peter McWilliams
August 3, 1998

McCormick Stands On Proposition 215, Claims Innocence (MSNBC
Says Cancer Patient Todd McCormick, One Of Eight Co-Defendants
With Peter McWilliams, Pleaded Not Guilty Today To Federal Marijuana Charges)

Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 13:16:52 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Mccormick Stands On Prop 215, Claims Innocence
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: KNBC - MSNBC affiliate in Los Angeles
Contact: msnbc@tvsknbc.nbc.com
Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KNBC/default.asp
Pubdate: August 3, 1998


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 - A man arrested last year in a rented Bel-Air mansion
packed with marijuana plants pleaded innocent Monday to federal allegations
that he and others plotted to grow massive amounts of pot to sell to
cannabis clubs.

Todd McCormick claims Proposition 215 gives him the right to grow marijuana
to treat his chronic pain brought on by several bouts of cancer and other

He denies he intended to sell narcotics to Cannabis Buyer's Clubs.
California voters approved the measure in November 1996, which legalized
the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Andrew Scott Hass of Malibu also pleaded innocent Monday to narcotics
conspiracy charges.

Two others indicted July 23 along with McCormick and Hass pleaded innocent
last week. Two more are expected to enter pleas next Monday.

A seventh defendant, Kirill Dyjine, failed to show up in court Monday morning.

The government already is petitioning to have Dyjine's bail revoked,
claiming he continued to grow pot after he and McCormick were arrested last

A magistrate issued a bench warrant for his arrest, but held it until next
week because Dyjine's attorneys said he may have been unaware of the court
date. An Aug. 24 status conference is set in the case.

Jury Selection Coming Up In Medicinal Marijuana Trial (The Long Beach,
California 'Press-Telegram' Says Jury Selection Could Begin Today
In The Case Of Marvin Chavez, Co-Founder Of The Orange County
Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group - Defense Attorney Robert Kennedy
Said Time, Money And Resources Were Too Limited To Appeal
Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald's Ruling That Chavez Could Not Cite
The California Compassionate Use Act In His Defense)

Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 23:49:37 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Jury Selection Coming Up In Medicinal Marijuana Trial
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Pubdate: Mon, 3 August 1998
Source: Press-Telegram (CA)
Contact: speakout@ptconnect.infi.net
Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/
Author: Joe Segura, Staff Writer


Prop. 215: Defense barred from citing '96 voter initiative

Jury selection could begin today in Santa Ana in the case of Garden Grove
resident Marvin Chavez, who's been charged on eight felony counts of drug sales.

Chavez is the co-founder of the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support
Group that he says is designed to be a clearinghouse for the seriously ill
who use marijuana medicinally. The organization -- established after the
passage of Prop. 215 legalized medicinal use of marijuana in the state --
has about 200 members, people who have presented a doctor's recommendation
for marijuana use, he says.

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

It's not clear exactly when the trial process begins, since a court calendar
needs to be cleared for the case before the jury selection can begin.

Although still on standby, Chavez and his attorneys -- Robert Kennedy of
Long Beach and Jon Alexander of Orange County, both working pro bono -- are
expecting a conviction.

That's because an appeal was not filed last week, as originally planned, to
seek to overturn Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald's ruling banning
the use of Prop. 215 -- known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 -- from
being used as a defense.

Kennedy said time, money and resources were too limited to file an appeal
and argue that Prop. 215 is central to the defense.

Not being able to cite Prop. 215 will hamper the defense, said Kennedy and

"We'll be limping into the court room on one leg," Kennedy added.

If Chavez is convicted, Kennedy said and appeal would be filed.

Both attorneys are strongly committed to the Chavez cause.

A dying Kennedy family member benefited from the medicinal marijuana
provided by the Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group, and Alexander said his
father, who died of cancer, would have greatly benefited from the drug.

The pro bono work is putting a strain on their resources, they noted. But
they quickly add that the issues are important.

"This is the type of case that I went to law school for," said Alexander.

Marvin Chavez Update (A Local Correspondent Says Jury Selection
Was Postponed Until Tomorrow In The Trial Of The Medical Marijuana Patient
And Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Founder)

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 09:28:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: "JR Irvin" (the_hemperor@hotmail.com)
To: ntlist@Fornits.com
From: ntlist@Fornits.com
Subject: [ntlist] Marvin Chavez update

Date: 8/3/98
From William J. Britt

Jury selection was postponed 1 day because defense atty. Kennedy was
ordered by another judge to appear regardless of any other cases he had

Also the prosecution had not notified the defense as to which of the 200
patients records they were going to submit for evidence before the trial

Judge Fitzgerald made a suprise anouncement that he was going on
vacation next Monday. The trial is expected to last 3 to 5 days with no
trial on Friday. Defense atty. Alexander said he expects them to switch
to another court tomorrow (8-4-98) and begin jurry selection.

California Attorney General's Race (A List Subscriber
Notes Former State Senate Democratic Leader Bill Lockyer
Would Be Far Preferable To Other Candidates Because He Says
He Would De-Emphasize 'Narcotics' Enforcement
And Is The Strongest Supporter Of Proposition 215)

From: GDaurer@AOL.COM
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 18:28:42 EDT
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: CA Attorney General's race
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

Don't live in California, but I thought I'd pass along the info below from
NORML CA's election report regarding Bill Lockyer for Attorney General. Seems
like even if Lungren wins, Prop 215 still stands a good chance of continuing
unabated if someone like Lockyer gets in. (Unless the legislature gets in the

How's your Attorney General's race shaping up?

Gregory Daurer
Denver, CO


BILL LOCKYER for Attorney General

In the race for Attorney General, former State Senate Democratic
leader Bill Lockyer stands above the crowd for saying that he would
de-emphasize narcotics enforcement in favor of consumer protection and
civil rights if elected.

Sen. Lockyer also fully backs Prop. 215 and is the only major
party candidate to declare that he voted for it in 1996. Lockyer criticizes
Lungren for being overly zealous in his prosecution of pot clubs and
advocates legislation clarifying 215 so as to better define who is a
caregiver and to assure distribution to patients who really need it, with
safeguards to prevent wider abuse.

The other leading Democratic contenders, State Senator Charles
Calderon and ex-Rep. Lynn Schenck, say they support the will of the voters
insofar as Prop. 215 was intended to help the seriously ill, but agree
that the state court of appeals was right to disallow distribution through
clubs, and that the best solution would be to put marijuana in the hands
ofregulated medical health care givers.

Sen. Lockyer deserves strong support for having consistently voted
right on drug reform issues and having used his power as State Senate
President to block punitive anti-drug legislation.

Allow Medical Marijuana (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The San Jose Mercury News' By Joseph S. Farina,
Libertarian Candidate for California Attorney General,
Also Expresses Strong Support For Proposition 215)

Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 10:21:54 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Allow Medical Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
Contact: letters@sjmercury.com
Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998


AS the Libertarian Party candidate for attorney general, I am disgusted to
read that the federal government, with the apparent cooperation of the
state of California and Attorney General Dan Lungren, continues to bully
and threaten medical marijuana patients, such as Todd McCormick in Los
Angeles, who are legally permitted by California law to cultivate and use
marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Although a clear majority of voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996, the
federal government continues to ignore the will of the California people by
these continuing prosecutions. How many deaths will it take before the
federal and state governments stop interfering with the ability of
critically ill patients to use and cultivate medical marijuana?

-- Joseph S. Farina Libertarian Candidate for Attorney General Sacramento

Medical Marijuana To Appear On Nevada Ballot ('The Associated Press'
Says Nevada's Secretary Of State On Monday Qualified A Medical Marijuana
Proposal For The November Ballot After His Office Found A Mathematical Error
By Nye County In Counting Names, And Improper Rejection Of Some Signatures
There And In Lyon County)

Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 00:07:21 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NV: WIRE: Medical Marijuana
To Appear On Nevada Ballot
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Dave Fratello (104730.1000@compuserve.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998


CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Nevada's secretary of state on Monday qualified a
medical marijuana proposal -- seemingly up in smoke for the lack of just 43
signatures -- for the November ballot. Secretary of State Dean Heller said
his office found a mathematical error by Nye County in counting names, and
improper rejection of some signatures there and in Lyon County.

When the signatures were added back in, Heller said the proposal had enough
signatures in the rural counties, rather than falling seven voters shy in
Lyon County and 36 names short in Nye County. Advocates submitted 74,466
signatures on their petition, seemingly far above the minimum requirement
of 46,764. But Nevada law requires the total to include 10 percent of the
registered voters in 13 of Nevada's 17 counties. Signatures were gathered
only in 13 counties, leaving no room for error. Supporters appealed
Heller's earlier rejection.

The initiative -- which would need voter approval again in 2000 -- would
let adults, on the advice of physicians, use marijuana for curing or
relieving pain in a number of illnesses such as cancer and AIDS. Washington
state will hold a similar ballot issue this year on whether to legalize
marijuana for medical use. In 1996, voters in California and Arizona
approved such initiatives, but Arizona's lawmakers blocked it.

Nevada Initiative Qualifies! (Dave Fratello Of Americans For Medical Rights
Breaks The News That AMR's Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Be On
The November Ballot)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 21:11:50 GMT
From: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Subject: Nevada init. qualifies!



Secretary of State Dean Heller has just contacted the sponsors of the
Nevada medical marijuana initiative to notify them that the bill WILL
APPEAR on the November '98 ballot.

Heller had to overturn two counties' final determinations of the
initiative's signature totals in order to certify the Nevadans for Medical
Rights petition.

Last month, the state ruled officially that the initiative had NOT
qualified because of tiny shortages in the counties of Lyon and Nye.
Progressive Campaigns, which ran the signature drive, sent representatives
to both counties' offices to examine the work done by county clerks. PCI
found more than enough signatures that had been classified as invalid which
were, in fact, those of registered voters. PCI logged those signatures, and
Nevadans for Medical Rights submitted the information in a formal appeal to
the state.

The detailed results of the state's work on our appeal will be formally
announced later this afternoon. But the bottom line is: we're on.

Nevada's initiative is a brief constitutional amendment, which must appear
on both the November 1998 and November 2000 ballots and receive majority
votes each time to be placed on the books.

-- dave fratello

Ex-Prison Psychologist Gets Probation On Drug Count ('The Deseret News'
In Utah Says Roger Thomas Pray, An 18-Year Department Of Corrections
Employee, Was Given Probation For A Pill Bottle Containing Five Marijuana
Cigarettes That Police Found When He Was Arrested June 13 While Engaged
In A $20 Sex Act With A Male Prostitute On A Seldom-Used Dirt Road)

Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 00:25:54 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US UT: Ex-Prison Psychologist
Gets Probation On Drug Count
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Patrick Henry (resist_tyranny@mapinc.org)
Source: Deseret News (UT)
Contact: letters@desnews.com
Website: http://www.desnews.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 98


A former prison psychologist was given probation after pleading guilty to a
misdemeanor drug charge.

Roger Thomas Pray, 52, pleaded guilty to illegal possession or use of a
controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor, during a 3rd District Court
hearing last month.

Judge Anthony B. Quinn sentenced Pray the same day to a 45-day jail term.
However, Quinn suspended the sentence in lieu of 12 months of probation and
a $300 fine.

Pray, an 18-year Department of Corrections employee, was arrested June 13
by West Valley police after his vehicle was spotted parked along a
seldom-used dirt road. Officer Joseph McCuen caught Pray and another man in
a sex act.

The officer also found a pill bottle containing five marijuana cigarettes
just outside the vehicle. According to a police report, Pray admitted the
drugs were his, that he had met the man downtown and that they had later
had sex.

The man told the officer that Pray had offered him $20 for a sex act. Pray
was also charged with patronizing a prostitute, a class B misdemeanor, but
prosecutors dropped the charge as part of a plea bargain. During the early
1980s, Pray ran the prison's sex offender program at the Bonneville
Community Corrections Center in Salt Lake City. Later, he was a therapist
for sex offenders at the Utah State Prison. For the past two years, he had
worked in the diagnostic unit. He resigned from the Department of
Corrections after being charged.

MAP Focus Alert Number 76 - Drug Czar Distorts The Facts In Los Angeles
And Houston (The Media Awareness Project Asks You To Write A Quick Letter
Responding To General Barry McCaffrey's Latest Boilerplate Op-Ed
In 'The Houston Chronicle,' And Last Week's Version
In 'The Los Angeles Times')

Date: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 09:29:25 -0700
To: mgreer@mapinc.org
From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org)
Subject: FOCUS ALERT No. 76 McZar distorts facts in LA and Houston

FOCUS Alert No. 76 - McCaffrey distorts facts in LA and Houston papers!

McZar McCaffrey is on the attack again. Reform has made huge strides
recently and the only reply left for the fed is propaganda, inaccuracy and
fabrication. In the piece below Ethan Nadelmann is attacked with weak and
circular arguments. Please try your hand at picking one distortion and
countering it in a letter to the editor that can be sent to 2 major papers.
Keep those cards and letters coming folks. We're making a big difference.


A note from Al Robison of DPF Texas:

It will be extremely important, I think, for each and every one of
us in the Houston-Galveston-Beaumont area to send at least something, even
if you don't have time to compose a great masterpiece. We have a bunch of
new supporters among the Rotarians and Mike Richards' listening audience
that we didn't have before, and I hope at least some of them will want to
sound off about this crappy article, but those of us who have been in the
movement longer need to lay a bedrock of support for them. So please try to
get something written today, and preferably get it to the post office
tonight so that it'll get sent early tomorrow morning.

Those of you who heard Mike Gray on the Mike Richards program will
remember that Richards' people tried hard to get someone from McCaffrey's
office (or anyone from anywhere who was in favor of continuing the drug war)
to come on the program with Mike Gray either in person or by telephone to
defend U.S. drug policy, and they couldn't get a single taker. I guess all
the people in McCaffrey's office were too busy writing this article to be
able to defend their policy in the presence of someone who would know what a
piece of crap it is.

It's a wonderful opportunity to let the Houston Chronicle know that
their readers include a lot of people like us who feel the way we do about
the war on drugs.

Thanks again for whatever help you can give us on this.

Cheers / Al

You CAN make a big difference


It's not what others do it's what YOU do


Phone, fax etc.)

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



Email your Letter to the Editor to:


NOTE: Send separate emails. BCC LTEs rarely get published

P.O. Box 4260
Houston, TX 77210

Los Angeles Times
Times Mirror Square
Los Angeles
CA 90053


For out-of-towners willing to send a letter by FAX
The fax number is
Houston Chronicle
Fax 713 220-3575



NOTE: The article is slightly changed in the LA Times version see
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: 27 Jul 1998
Legalization of drugs wrong, regardless of how it is done



THE so-called harm-reduction approach to drugs confuses people with
terminology. All drug policies claim to reduce harm. No reasonable person
advocates a position consciously designed to be harmful. The real question
is which policies actually decrease harm and increase good. The approach
advocated by people who say they favor harm reduction would in fact harm

The theory behind what they call harm reduction is that illegal drugs cannot
be controlled by law enforcement, education and other methods; therefore,
proponents say, harm should be reduced by needle exchange, decriminalization
of drugs, heroin maintenance and other measures. But the real intent of many
harm-reduction advocates is the legalization of drugs, which would be a

Lest anyone question whether harm reductionists favor drug legalization, let
me quote some articles written by supporters of this position. Ethan
Nadelmann, director of the Lindesmith Center, a Manhattan-based drug
research institute, wrote in American Heritage (March 1993): "Should we
legalize drugs? History answers `yes.' " In Issues in Science and Technology
(June 1990), Nadelmann aligns his own opinion with history's supposed
verdict: "Personally, when I talk about legalization, I mean three things:
The first is to make drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and heroin legal."
With regard to labels, Nadelmann wrote: "I much prefer the term
`decriminalization' or `normalization.' "

People who advocate legalization can call themselves anything they like, but
deceptive terms should not obscure a position so that it can't be debated
coherently. Changing the name of a plan doesn't constitute a new solution or
alter the nature of the problem.

The plain fact is that drug abuse wrecks lives. It is criminal that more
money is spent on illegal drugs than on art or higher education, that crack
babies are born addicted and in pain and that thousands of adolescents lose
their health and future to drugs.

Addictive drugs were criminalized because they are harmful; they are not
harmful because they were criminalized. The more a product is available and
legitimized, the greater will be its use.

If drugs were legalized in the United States, the cost to the individual and
society would grow astronomically. In the Netherlands, when coffee shops
started selling marijuana in small quantities, use of this drug doubled
between 1984 and 1992. A 1997 study by Robert MacCoun and Peter Reuter from
the University of Maryland notes that the percentage of Dutch 18-year-olds
who tried pot rose from 15 percent to 34 percent from 1984 to 1992, a time
when the numbers weren't climbing in other European nations. By contrast, in
1992 teen-age use of marijuana in the United States was estimated at 10.6

Many advocates of harm reduction consider drug use a part of the human
condition that will always be with us. While we agree that murder,
pedophilia and child prostitution can never be eliminated entirely, no one
is arguing that we legalize these activities.

Some measures, like heroin maintenance, proposed by activist harm
reductionists, veer toward the absurd. The Lindesmith Center convened a
meeting in June to discuss a multicity heroin maintenance study, and a test
program for heroin maintenance may be launched in Baltimore. Arnold Trebach
argues for heroin maintenance in his book Legalize It? Debating American
Drug Policy: "Under the legalization plan I propose here, addicts ... would
be able to purchase the heroin and needles they need at reasonable prices
from a nonmedical drugstore."

Why would anyone choose to maintain addicts on heroin as opposed to oral
methadone, which eliminates the injection route associated with HIV and
other diseases? Research from the National Institute for Drug Abuse shows
that untreated addicts die at a rate seven to eight times higher than
similar patients in methadone-based treatment programs.

Dr. Avram Goldstein, in his book Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy,
explains that when individuals switch from heroin to methadone, general
health improves and abnormalities of body systems (such as the hormones)
normalize. Unlike heroin maintenance, methadone maintenance has no adverse
effects on cognitive or psychomotor function, performance of skilled tasks
or memory, he said. This research indicates that the choice of heroin
maintenance over methadone maintenance doesn't even meet the criteria of
harm reduction that advocates claim to apply.

Treatment must differ significantly from the disease it seeks to cure.
Otherwise, the solution resembles the circular reasoning spoofed in Antoine
de Saint-Exupery's The Little Prince by the character who drinks because he
has a terrible problem, namely, that he is a drunk. Just as alcohol is no
help for alcoholism, heroin is no cure for heroin addiction.

As a society, we are successfully addressing drug use and its consequences.
In the past 20 years, drug use in the United States decreased by half and
casual cocaine use by 70 percent. Drug-related murders and spending on drugs
decreased by more than 30 percent as the illegal drug market shrank.
Still, we are faced with many challenges, including educating a new
generation of children who may have little experience with the negative
consequences of drug abuse, increasing access to treatment for 4 million
addicted Americans and breaking the cycle of drugs and crime that has caused
a massive increase in the number of people incarcerated. We need prevention
programs, treatment and alternatives to incarceration for nonviolent drug
offenders. Drug legalization is not a viable policy alternative because
excusing harmful practices only encourages them.

At best, harm reduction is a halfway measure, a halfhearted approach that
would accept defeat. Increasing help is better than decreasing harm. The
"1998 National Drug Control Strategy" -- a publication of the Office of
National Drug Control Policy that presents a balanced mix of prevention,
treatment, stiff law enforcement, interdiction and international
cooperation -- is a blueprint for reducing drug abuse and its consequences
by half over the coming decade. With science as our guide and grass-roots
organizations at the forefront, we will succeed in controlling this problem.

Pretending that harmful activity will be reduced if we condone it under the
law is foolhardy and irresponsible.

McCaffrey is director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.



Barry McCaffrey's circular arguments, that harm reduction won't
reduce harm and that people who favor legalization should not be trusted
because they favor legalization, seem to rely on the assumption that
people who want drugs legalized are somehow bad or immoral. A person is
not a criminal merely because he considers an alternative approach to a
problem that twenty years of the current approach have been unable to
solve. Is this the new McCarthyism? Are drug users to be the pariahs
of the new millenium? If so, who's next? Cigarette smokers? Beer
drinkers? Children are being suspended from school for Rolaids! What
has our beloved free country come to?

Gerald Hannafin
(contact info)





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

Maine - A Student, A Sailor, A Recent Emigree (Dave Fratello
Of Americans For Medical Rights Says AMR's Maine Medical Marijuana Initiative
Didn't Make The November 1998 Ballot Because The State Challenged
The Residency Of Three Signature Gatherers - But The Measure Only Needs 5,000
Signatures To Get On The 1999 Ballot Because The State's Initiative Rules
Allow 1998 Signatures To Be Used Again)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 20:06:23 GMT
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Dave Fratello (amr@lainet.com)
Subject: Maine: A student, a sailor, a recent emigree
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

The news from Maine last week was unfortunate, but what it really means is
that there will certainly be a vote there in Nov '99, a follow-up, and
perhaps an auspiciously timed one, to the Nov '98 votes. What makes that
easy is that Maine, unlike some states, permits the use of those valid
signatures turned in once for a future turn-in if the first one is found
insufficient, as was the case here. Bottom line: 46,000 valid signatures
can be applied against the required total of 51,000. A new signature drive
must collect just 5,000 new valid signatures.

For the record, 2 weeks of the sig drive happened during Maine's
devastating ice storms this past January. While half the state was without
electricity, the troops were in the streets gathering 5,000 per week. These
folks went way above and beyond, and it's awfully hard to criticize their
work now.

In the end, because individual towns do validation of signatures before the
state, we knew we had turned in just enough signatures to qualify -- 400
more than the 51,131 required. It was a slim margin, but enough.

Ultimately, 5,000 were disallowed -- not because Mainers for Medical Rights
(MMR) didn't know or follow the regulations, but because of a disagreement
about what constitutes "residency." The three circulators (out of 250)
whose signatures were disallowed were, respectively, a recently discharged
Navy airman who had lived in Maine for 3 years and had a child there, a
college student at the University of Maine, and a young woman who had moved
to Maine 3 months before the signature drive started. Despite *residing* in
Maine and being registered to vote, they were deemed unfit to carry
petitions. Two other individuals initially disqualified over "residency"
questions were later restored by the Secretary of State after MMR provided
more information about them.

Dave Fratello
Americans for Medical Rights


Associated Press, July 28, 1998


[snip - link added to avoid duplication - ed.]

Cops Not Always Clear On Right To Silence ('The Associated Press'
Describes How Police In New Hampshire Seem To Be Willfully Illiterate
And/Or Determined To Violate Suspects' Miranda Rights)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Cops not always clear on right to silence
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 12:59:30 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Police say invocations of right to silence not always clear
Associated Press, 08/03/98 02:32

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - When Judge Joseph Nadeau read transcripts of a police
interview with Gordon Perry, he saw a clear violation of his rights.

"The defendant clearly invoked his right to remain silent when he stated `I
don't want to talk. I don't want to rat anyone out,"' Nadeau wrote in a
decision last week that will keep everything Perry said at the police
station in Littleton out of his trial.

Nadeau, the chief judge of the state Superior Court, has ruled Perry's
constitutional rights were violated because officers kept asking questions
after he said he didn't want to talk.

Perry is charged with capital murder in the death of Epsom police officer
Jeremy Charron last summer. He was arrested the afternoon of the shooting
after a police chase and taken to the Littleton station for questioning.

While the judge did not see any reason to question Perry's statement, police
sometimes do not hear such statements as clearly, said Earl Sweeney,
director of the state Police Standards and Training Council.

"Did he say it with a period or a comma? What was his voice inflection? If
you take all those words together, he could have meant the real reason he
didn't want to talk was that he didn't want to rat anyone out, not that he
didn't want to talk," Sweeney said.

One police officer asked about the case said Perry could have been thinking
out loud. Several said they would have asked to make sure Perry was invoking
his Miranda rights.

"Because it's not a bright line, you'd have to inquire and find out if
they're invoking," Concord Lt. Paul Murphy said.

The officers who questioned Perry in Littleton said they kept questioning
him because they were not sure what he meant. But Nadeau wrote they
continued before getting an explanation because they were trying to get more

Court documents said state police Sgt. Rick Kelley answered Perry by saying,
"Good, you don't want to talk. This is your one chance. You know the cop is
dead? This is a capital murder. That means whoever pulled the trigger is
going to die."

Perry answered with several incriminating statements that were never
identified in public records. State police acknowledged Perry's invocation
and stopped questioning him a short time later.

According to state and federal law, subjects must be advised of their right
to silence and other rights guaranteed under the U.S. Supreme Court decision
known as "Miranda." Defendants can waive their right to silence at the
beginning of an interview and invoke it later, and police must stop
questioning them.

The state's Law Enforcement Manual says police must wait for a significant
amount of time to pass and get a waiver before asking more questions about a
crime after suspects invoke their rights.

But police said the rules are not as obvious in real life as they are on

"I don't think the rules are crystal clear," Concord Police Chief Bill
Halacy said. "And not every officer has a constitutional lawyer in his

Sweeney said, "Lawyers can deliberate. Officers have to act quickly."

But defense lawyers said the issue should be black-and-white.

"The problem is that if you want to torture the language, you can make the
clearest invocation ambiguous," lawyer Paul Twomey said.

Connecticut Couple Works To Change Nation's Drug Laws
(An 'Associated Press' Feature Article About Cliff Thornton, Whose Mother
Died From A So-Called Heroin Overdose While He Was In High School -
'For Years . . . I Wanted Drugs Wiped Off The Face Of The Earth,' He Says,
But Now The 53-Year-Old Retiree Spends Much Of His Time On A Crusade
To Legalize Drugs Such As Marijuana, Heroin And Cocaine)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: CN couple works to change nation's drug laws
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:00:09 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Windsor couple work to change nation's drug laws

By Strat Douthat, Associated Press, 08/03/98 01:29

WINDSOR, Conn. (AP) - Cliff Thornton was in high school when his mother died
from a heroin overdose.

"I was devastated and turned against all drugs for years," he recalled. "I
wanted drugs wiped off the face of the Earth."

Now, however, the 53-year-old retiree spends much of his time on a crusade
to legalize drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

He and his wife, Margaret, are part of a network of people who want to
change the drug laws. They contend that the nation's drug policy not only
doesn't work but has created a lucrative black market that is ravaging the
inner cities and has filled the prisons with people of color.

Thornton, who says he has smoked marijuana for years, thinks the drugs
should be legalized so they can be regulated and controlled more

"As things now stand, it's much easier to get illegal drugs than the legal
ones. Illegal drugs can be purchased on any street corner in our cities,
while you need a prescription to get legal drugs such as morphine and
Valium, which are hard to find on the street," Thornton told students in an
adult education health class at Southern Connecticut State University.

The Thorntons, who run a nonprofit organization called Efficacy out of their
Windsor home, spend much of their time speaking to college and community
groups. They also publish a newsletter that they circulate to about 1,000
people in New England.

The Thorntons say the government has spent billions on the "war on drugs"
when the money would be much better spent on education and treatment. The
drug black market is similar to Prohibition of the 1920s and '30s, they say.

"It's like they put down this bag of goodies right in the middle of our
poorest communities and dared everyone to touch it," said Thornton, who is
black and grew up in Hartford's inner city. "I've seen what the government's
drug policy has done to the black community."

The Thorntons advocate education, legalization and treatment. Properly
handled, they say, legalization would eliminate most of the black market,
which fostered the violent turf wars that hurt so many inner-city residents.

Ben Andrews, former state president of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, said most minority residents resist the
temptation of drugs. He said the group does not believe that drugs should be

Chief State's Attorney Jack Bailey also thinks legalization is a bad idea.

"The fact is, 97 percent of Americans obey the law," Bailey said. "Frankly,
I don't see why we should throw in the towel for a small minority."

He said the state in recent years has turned toward education and treatment,
not just putting offenders in prisons.

"We've created special drug courts where we try to get people help, rather
than simply lock them up," he said. "For a young, first offender, we'll
recommend treatment rather than prison. If a person wants help and is
willing to help himself, we'll provide the treatment."

The Thorntons founded Efficacy in 1994. They say it grew out of their public
affairs radio program on WWUH at the University of Hartford.

They have ties with reform groups such as the Lindesmith Center, a New
York-based research project of philanthropist George Soros, who supports
legalized marijuana for medical use.

The Lindesmith Center helped the Thorntons distribute copies of the book
"Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts" to Connecticut schools last fall, said
Director Ethan Nadelmann.

"Cliff Thornton is one of our most eloquent spokesmen," Nadelmann said.

Thornton said he would like to be seen as someone who advocates a
responsible policy.

"We do not say that a different approach would rid society of drug abuse and
addiction," Thornton said. "What we do say is that drugs are here to stay
and we have to learn to deal with them more effectively. ... Trying to stop
the use of drugs through force is wrong-minded and creates an atmosphere of
violence and intolerance."

Let's Just Say 'No' To Us Drug-War Justice (An Op-Ed
In 'The Christian Science Monitor' Describes The Injustice Inherent
In American Forfeiture Laws Inspired By The War On Some Drug Users,
Noting The US Justice Department Alone Collected Close To $2 Billion
Of Property Seized In Drug-Related Forfeitures Between 1993 And 1997 -
In Most Cases Without Anyone Being Charged With Anything)

Date: Thu, 6 Aug 1998 00:03:54 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Let's Just Say 'No' To Us Drug-War Justice
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David)
Source: Christian Sciense Monitor
Section: Opinion/Essays
Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998
Authors: Phil Harvey and Mike Tidwell
Note: Phil Harvey is president of DKT International, a non-profit
organization promoting reproductive health in developing countries and now
sponsoring a domestic civil liberties project. Mike Tidwell is author of
'In the Shadow of the White House: Drugs, Death and Redemption on the
Streets of the Nation's Capital' (Prima, 1992).


In the 18th century, the British government so routinely and wrongfully
confiscated property from American colonists that the Colonies overthrew
the crown and wrote their own constitution ensuring due process and
forbidding unjust seizures.

In the late 20th century, the United States government has returned to the
old and odious British ways: illegally seizing property under the guise of
fighting narcotics, and trampling due-process guarantees along the way.

Zealous efforts to collar drug users and dealers increasingly make a
mockery of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments of our Constitution. These
amendments, cornerstones of justice, protect against unreasonable searches
and seizures and ensure that no person will be deprived of life, liberty,
or property without due process of law.

Yet consider the case of Cheryl Sanders. In 1997, Louisiana state police
stopped her for speeding. Claiming to believe that she was a drug dealer,
officers hauled her off to jail and strip-searched her. No drugs were ever
found, however, and Ms. Sanders had no prior arrest record. Nonetheless,
the police seized her car "on suspicion." It took her seven months and
thousands of dollars to get her car back. She then had to sell the car to
pay her legal bills.

Her case, unfortunately, isn't exceptional. Since the early '80s,
law-enforcement bodies across the country have circumvented the Fourth and
Fifth Amendments in the name of drugs. The legal principle undergirding
this abuse is an obscure civil law doctrine derived from the superstitions
of medieval Europe that says a "thing" can commit a crime. The legal term
is an in rem proceeding - taking legal action against "the thing." And
American law-enforcement bodies at all levels now declare houses, boats,
cars, airplanes, even checking accounts, as moral agents capable of right
and wrong.

By connecting these objects to the drug trade - in ways questionable and
often wholly erroneous - enforcement agencies wind up blatantly stealing
property from entirely innocent Americans. The Justice Department alone
collected close to $2 billion of property seized in drug-related cases
between 1993 and 1997 largely through in rem proceedings. The tragedy of
these frequently improper seizures grows deeper each year and now
represents one of the greatest threats to American freedoms since the
witch-hunt days of Joseph McCarthy.

Paul and Ruth Derbacher, for example, had their Connecticut home seized and
sold after police found their grandson's drugs in the home. The Derbachers
had not even realized the drugs were there, but they were punished for the
crime. In West Haven, Conn., another home was seized when the owner's
brother, unknown to the owner, brought drugs onto the premises.

In each of these cases, the concept of the criminality of things - of a
car, a home - led to extraordinary police abuses.

Authorities trespass on and/or outright seize property irrespective of the
owners' knowledge of or control over the "suspected" presence of narcotics.
The owners of the property, in other words, are punished so harshly for the
acts of other parties that the level of pain and suffering rivals that of

Yet imprisonment can come only in criminal cases, where the Fourth and
Fifth Amendments would be much more strictly enforced under criminal law.
Today's asset forfeitures are typically obtained under civil proceedings,
which are accorded much wider latitude by the present Supreme Court.

Cleverly, by proceeding against a thing, not a person, the government can
escape through civil proceedings the hard-won provisions of the Bill of
Rights that were designed to prevent exactly the kind of confiscations and
invasions of privacy that result.

Without committing a crime, in other words, and without being indicted by a
grand jury or being tried by a jury of your peers, your government can take
your house, your car, and other property based on evidence - including
outright hearsay - that would never be admissible in a criminal court.

A few of our congressmen are trying to do something about this appalling
situation. Henry J. Hyde (R) of Illinois, and John Conyers Jr. (D) of
Michigan have been leading the charge to shift the burden of proof from the
property owner to the government in forfeiture cases. That is where the
burden belongs. They also want to raise the standard of proof required of
the government to seize property. These are urgently needed reforms, and
all Americans should support them.

Prison Population Tops 1.2 Million (A Dubious 'Associated Press' Article
In The New Bedford, Massachusetts 'Standard-Times' With The Foxes'
Latest Numbers On Henhouse Populations Quotes The US Justice Department
Saying Yesterday The Overall Increase In State And Federal Prisons
Was 5.2 Percent - But The Actual Figure Is 1.7 Million And The Total
Correctional Population, Including People On Probation, Parole, House Arrest,
Work Release And So Forth, Is Omitted - No Source Is Offered For A Claim
That Russia Incarcerates A Higher Percentage Of Its Citizens - Oregon, Amid
A $1 Billion Prison Building Binge, Supposedly Incarcerated Fewer People
In 1997 - Bureau Of Prisons Statistician Allen J. Beck, Co-Author
Of The Report, Says 'Contrary To Popular Belief, The Greatest Source
Of Growth In State Prisons Is In Violent Offenders Not Drug Violators,'
Ignoring The Subterfuge Of State Officials And Prosecutors Who Categorize
Some Drug Offenses As 'Violent' And Belying His Own Report Showing A Decrease
In Arrests For Murder, Rape, Robbery, Burglary, Larceny And Auto Theft,
While The Largest Increase In Arrests Was For 'Drug Abuse,' Up 28 Percent,
And Ignoring The Role Of Inaccurate Urine Tests In Putting Probationers
Back In Prison, Technically A Non-Drug Category)
Link to Bureau of Prisons and Justice Department
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 18:10:31 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: U.S. Prison Population Tops 1.2 Million Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press writer U.S. PRISON POPULATION TOPS 1.2 MILLION WASHINGTON -- The nation's adult prison population grew to more than 1.2 million in 1997, its slow but steady rise fueled by inmates serving longer terms for violent crimes while a constant stream of criminals entered prison doors, the Justice Department reported yesterday. The 5.2 percent growth to 1,244,554 federal and state prison inmates by year's end was slightly below the 7 percent annual average growth during the 1990s, the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics said. That was a net gain of 61,186 inmates during the year -- very close to the annual average of 63,900 since 1990, when prison inmates numbered only 774,000. And more than half a million other men and women were serving shorter sentences or awaiting trials in jails during 1997, the bureau said. If this growth continues, the combined prison and jail population will top 2 million by 2000, even though crime has been dropping since 1994, according to an estimate from The Sentencing Project, a private group that advocates alternatives to imprisonment. Already, the United States trails only Russia in the share of its citizens behind bars. The total U.S. incarceration rate of 645 people per 100,000 is six times to 10 times higher than most industrial nations, the project said. With stable admissions, "the prison population growth in the 1990s has been primarily driven by the increasing lengths of stay -- fewer inmates leaving," said bureau statistician Allen J. Beck, co-author of the report. "The increased time served, particularly for violent crimes, is a product of tougher parole boards and such measures as longer minimum sentences and truth-in-sentencing laws that require that more of each sentence be served behind bars," Beck said in an interview. Such laws have proliferated at the state and federal level during the 1990s. In 1985, the average inmate had served 20 months upon release, but by 1996 that figure had risen to 25 months, Beck said. The estimated time to be served by inmates now entering prison also is rising. "And contrary to popular belief, the greatest source of growth in state prisons is in violent offenders not drug violators," Beck said. Violent offenders in state prisons -- which together house 10 times as many prisoners as the federal system -- grew by 179,500, or 50 percent, between 1990 and 1996. A rise in revoked probation and parole has been a major factor in keeping admissions stable even though violent crime has declined during the 1990s, Beck said. By 1996, 30 percent of all prison entrants were put there for parole violations. Another BJS survey found that 20 percent of inmates whose parole or probation was revoked had not been charged with new crimes, Beck said, but rather had violated conditions of parole. Between 1990 and 1996, adult arrests for murder and rape were both down 19 percent, robbery arrests were down 17 percent, and burglary, larceny and auto theft arrests also dropped. But drug abuse arrests rose by 28 percent, and aggravated assault arrests were up 8 percent over the six years. In other findings, the bureau said: The number of female prisoners grew by 6.2 percent during 1997 to a year-end total of 79,624 in state and federal prisons. At year's end, state prisons held 1,131,581 inmates and federal prisons held 112,973. California with 157,547 inmates and Texas with 140,729 together accounted for more than a quarter of all state prison inmates. Among the states, Texas had the highest incarceration rate, 717 inmates per 100,000 residents, followed by Louisiana at 672 and Oklahoma at 617. The lowest incarceration rates were in North Dakota at 112 and Minnesota at 113. Hawaii reported the largest increase during 1997, 23 percent, followed by West Virginia at 15 percent and Alaska and Maine at 14 percent. Oregon, Montana, New Mexico and the District of Columbia reported decreases.

Prison Population Continues Increase To Over 1.2 Million
(A Different 'Associated Press' Account In 'The Orange County Register'
Confirms The Government Is Engaging In Orwellian Revisions -
While Admitting Incarceration Has Increased, New Bureau Of Justice Statistics
Don't Explain Why The Same Statistical Report Published Only Two Years Ago
Said The Prison Population Had Climbed To 1.6 Million Nationwide in 1995,
Out Of A Total Correctional Population Of 5.4 Million)

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:24:18 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Prison Population Continues Increase To Over 1.2 Million
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 3 Aug 1998
Author: Michael J.Sniffen-The Associated Press


Behind Bars the number of state and federal prisoners has gone up every
year this decade

1990: 773,919

1991: 825,559 (up 6.7 percent)

1992: 882,500( 6.9 percent)

1993: 970,444 (7.4 percent)

1994: 1,054,702 (8.7 percent)

1995: 1,125,874 (6.7 percent)

1996: 1,183,368 (5.1 percent)

1997: 1,244,554 (5.2 percent)

Source: Bureau of Justice statistics

Social issues: Longer incarcerations because of tougher parole boards and
inmates serving time for violent crimes are cited.

Washington - The nation's adult prison population grew to more than 1.2
million in 1997, its slow but steady rise fueled by inmates serving longer
terms for violent crimes while a constant stream of criminals entered
prison doors, the Justice Department reported Sunday.

The 5.2 percent growth, to 1,244,554 federal and state prison inmates by
year's end, was slightly below the 7 percent annual average growth during
the 1990s, the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics said. That was a
net gain of 61,186 inmates during the year - very close to the annual
average of 63,900 since 1990, when prison inmates numbered only 774,000.

And more than half a million other men and women were serving shorter
sentences or awaiting trials in jails during 1997, the bureau said.

If this growth continues, the combined prison and jail population will top
2 million by 2000, even though crime has been dropping since 1994,
according to an estimate from The Sentencing Projects, a private group that
advocates alternatives to imprisonment.

Already, the United States trails only Russia in the share of its citizens
behind bars. The total U.S. incarceration rate of 645 people per 100,000 is
six times to 10 times higher than most industrial nations, the project said.

With stable admissions, "the prison population growth in the 1990s has been
primarily driven by the increasing lengths of stay - fewer inmates
leaving," said bureau statistician Allen J. Beck, co-author of the report.

"The increased time served, particularly for violent crimes, is a product
of tougher parole boards and such measures as longer minimum sentences and
truth-in-sentencing laws that require that more of each sentence be served
behind bars," Beck said in an interview. Such laws have proliferated at the
state and federal level during the 1990s.

In 1985, the average inmate had served 20 months upon release, but by 1996
that figure had risen to 25 months, Beck said.

"And contrary to popular belief, the greatest source of growth in state
prisons is in violent offenders, not drug violators," Beck said.

Violent offenders is state prisons - which together house 10 times as many
prisoners as the federal system - grew by 179,500, or 50 percent, from 1990
to 1996.

A rise in revoked probation and parole has been a major factor in keeping
admissions stable even though violent crime has declined during the 1990s,
Beck said. By 1996, 30 pwecent of all prison entrants were put there for
parole violations. Another BJS survey found that 20 percent of inmates
whose parole or probation was revoked had not been charged with new crimes,
Beck said, but rather had violated conditions of parole.

California was first nationally in state prison inmates with 157,547 and
Texas second with 140,729.

Report - Experts Fear Widespread Fudging Of Crime Data
(According To 'The Associated Press,' Today's 'New York Times'
Says Accusations Of Falsified Crime Statistics Have Forced The Resignation
Or Demotion Of High-Ranking Commanders This Year In New York, Philadelphia,
Atlanta, And Boca Raton, Florida, And Law Enforcement Officials Worry
That Many Police Departments, Under Pressure To Lower Crime Rates,
May Be Fudging The Numbers)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" 
To: "-Hemp Talk" 
Subject: HT: Report: Experts fear widespread fudging of crime data
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 12:58:32 -0700
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Report: Experts fear widespread fudging of crime data

Associated Press, 08/03/98 09:28

NEW YORK (AP) - Law enforcement officials worry that many police
departments, under pressure to lower crime rates, may be fudging the
numbers, The New York Times reported today.

Accusations of falsified crime statistics have forced the resignation or
demotion of high-ranking commanders this year in New York, Philadelphia,
Atlanta and Boca Raton, Fla.

Pressure to show crime rates dropping "creates a new area for police
corruption and ethics," Gil Kerlikowske, Buffalo's former police
commissioner, told the Times.

Experts warned that the public should be somewhat skeptical of figures that
show dramatic drops in crime.

But they said book-cooking does not mean the recent sweeping, nationwide
drop in crime is an illusion. The FBI's statistical reports have been
bolstered by another measure of crime rates, the National Crime
Victimization Survey, a survey of 49,000 households.

Widespread underreporting and downgrading of crimes forced Philadelphia to
withdraw its 1996, 1997 and some 1998 crime numbers from the FBI's national

Philadelphia police Capt. Daniel Castro was removed from his command after
supervisors discovered he had downgraded many reported burglaries, robberies
and thefts to cases of missing property. He had falsely reported an 80
percent drop in crime in his district in one year.

Philadelphia Police Commissioner John Timoney said he was committed to
getting solid crime statistics.

"I can guarantee you my crime is going to be way up this year," he said.
"But I don't care. If we are going to get this right and reduce crime, we
have to start with accurate statistics."

Possible Manipulation Of Crime Data Worries Top Police ('The New York Times'
Says A Common Thread Running Through Many Of The Incidences Of Police
Officials Altering Crime Statistics Has Been That Police Commanders
Have Downgraded Felonies Like Aggravated Assault And Burglary,
Which Are Reported To The FBI, To Misdemeanors Like Vandalism -
Gil Kerlikowske, The Former Police Commissioner Of Buffalo, New York,
Says, 'There Is Too Little Focus On Lesser Crimes, Which Are Not Counted
By The FBI, Like Drug Sales')

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Possible Manipulation of Crime Data Worries Top Police
Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:01:43 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

August 3, 1998
New York Times
Possible Manipulation of Crime Data Worries Top Police

PHILADELPHIA -- Senior police officials around the nation are concerned that
the sharp drop in crime in recent years has produced new pressure on police
departments to show ever-decreasing crime statistics and might be behind
incidents in several cities in which commanders have manipulated crime data.

So far this year, there have been charges of falsely reporting crime
statistics here, in New York, Atlanta and Boca Raton, Fla., resulting in the
resignation or demotion of high-ranking police commanders.

In Boca Raton, for example, a police captain, with the knowledge of the
police chief, systematically downgraded property crimes like burglaries to
vandalism, trespassing or missing property, reducing the city's felony rate
by almost 11 percent in 1997.

Experts say they believe these incidents do not mean that the nationwide
drop in crime since 1992 is illusory. But they are beginning to question
whether politicians seeking office, the news media and the public should
attach so much importance to the annual, and sometimes monthly, release of
the latest crime figures.

In Philadelphia, the city has had to withdraw its crime figures from the
national system maintained by the FBI for 1996, 1997 and for at least the
first half of 1998 because of underreporting and downgrading serious crimes
into less serious incidents and sloppiness.

Because of Philadelphia's size -- it accounts for 2 percent of all slayings
in the United States -- the removal of its numbers could skew the crime rate
for the whole nation. But Harlan McEwan, a deputy assistant director of the
FBI, said he was confident the agency had statistical methods to adjust the
national rate even without Philadelphia's figures. The 1997 crime figures
will be published this fall.

The impact on Philadelphia will be more telling. "I can guarantee you my
crime is going to be way up this year," said John Timoney, who took over as
Philadelphia's police commissioner in March. "But I don't care. If we are
going to get this right and reduce crime, we have to start with accurate

Gil Kerlikowske, the former police commissioner of Buffalo, N.Y., said the
pressure on police departments to prove their performance through reduced
crime figures, with promotions and pay raises increasingly dependent on good
data, "creates a new area for police corruption and ethics," along with the
traditional problems of brutality and payoffs.

Kerlikowske suggested that there had been too much focus on the eight major
crimes counted by the bureau in its crime index: the violent crimes of
murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault along with the property crimes
of burglary, theft, stolen cars and arson.

"There is too little focus on lesser crimes, which are not counted by the
FBI," Kerlikowske said, "like drug sales, prostitution and graffiti, which
are more meaningful to the overall quality of life because there is so much
more of them."

A common thread running through many of the incidences of police officials
altering crime statistics has been that police commanders have downgraded
felonies like aggravated assault and burglary, which are reported to the
FBI, to misdemeanors like vandalism that are not reported to the bureau. As
less serious crimes, they do not show up on a city's crime reports published
by the FBI.

One of the first acts by Timoney, who was a career police officer in New
York, where he helped pioneer the city's highly regarded computerized crime
statistics system, was to set up a quality assurance division. It soon
discovered that serious crimes throughout Philadelphia were being
underreported by about 8 percent, he said in an interview. Much of this was
the result of "stupidity or carelessness and was not intentional," Timoney

But Timoney discovered earlier this month that the youngest district
commander in the city, Capt. Daniel Castro, who had an excellent reputation
for introducing community policing and aggressively eliminating drug dealers
from the streets of West Philadelphia, had greatly exaggerated his reports
of crime reduction.

Castro reported an 80 percent drop in serious crime in his district over the
past year. But a review found that Castro had downgraded many robberies,
burglaries and thefts to cases of "missing property." Castro was removed
from his command.

In New York, Kenneth Donohue, the head of the police department's
transportation bureau, was forced to resign earlier this year after Police
Commissioner Howard Safir said he had presided over an elaborate scheme to
reclassify incidents on the subway as street crimes. Safir said the
manipulation had gone on for years and had underestimated crime in the
subways by about 20 percent, but it had not affected New York City's overall
crime rate because the crimes had been shifted to to the streets and were
reported by the regular police precincts.

In the past, police officers here and in many other cities across the
country had not attached much importance to collecting crime statistics
beyond the need to report them to the FBI, Timoney said, and most commanders
were more interested in issues like narcotics, training or forestalling

This casual attitude toward statistics, Timoney said, also stemmed from a
"belief by the average police chief, in their heart of hearts, that they
couldn't do anything about crime because they couldn't affect the root
causes of crime." This was an idea that had been popularized by academic
criminologists in the 1970s and 1980s.

The success of New York in significantly reducing crime, along with similar
successes in cities from Boston to Houston, changed that old-fashioned
mindset, Timoney said. Statistics have now become as important a tool to the
police as good accounting is to corporate executives.

But the change to placing a premium on keeping accurate statistics in a big
police department is not easy. For years, Philadelphia police counted crimes
not when they occurred, but when officers logged them into their records,
sometimes months later, meaning that some crimes that took place in one year
were not reported to the FBI until the next year, throwing off the national
crime rate.

In Boca Raton, tips from low-level police officers led to an investigation
by the Palm Beach County state attorney's office last month that found that
Capt. Jim Duke had systematically downgraded felonies, mostly property
crimes, to misdemeanors "for the direct purpose of not having to report
these crimes" to the FBI. In 1997, Duke, who was later forced to resign,
downgraded 385 felonies, 11 percent of the city's total of 3,635 serious

In most of the cases, Duke personally reclassified the crimes by writing
supplemental reports claiming new information showed that they were not as
serious as originally recorded, according to the prosecutor's report. In one
instance, Duke downgraded a home burglary to vandalism, though it had
occurred while the residents slept at 1 a.m. and someone broke in through a
kitchen window and stole a purse.

In another incident originally labeled a burglary, a thief stole $5,000 in
jewelry and did more than $25,000 in damage, the prosecutor said, but Duke
also reclassified the case as vandalism.

The prosecutor's office found that the "prevailing philosophy" at the Boca
Raton Police Department regarding report classifications, from at least the
level of Duke down to the officer on the beat, was that the reports "should
be classified at the lowest level possible."

The city's police chief, Peter Petracco, initially denied knowing about the
changes, but was also forced to resign after it was discovered he had lied,
said the city manager, Donna Dreska.

Debra Shannon, a spokeswoman for the Boca Raton Police Department, said the
motives of the two in manipulating the crime report were still unknown. The
prosecutor's investigation said the two had no criminal intent. An internal
city police investigation is continuing.

In Atlanta, the City Council and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are
investigating accusations by a deputy police chief, Louis Arcangeli, that
two other deputy chiefs pressured detectives and officers to write off
unsolved crimes and misclassify violent crimes as nonviolent when preparing
the city's crime statistics for 1996, the year the Olympics took place
there. In a series of memorandums to Police Chief Beverly Harvard of
Atlanta, Arcangeli warned that the number of crimes reported as "unfounded,"
or without basis after an investigation, jumped 78 percent from 1995 to

Harvard demoted Arcangeli to captain after he wrote the memorandums, which
were leaked to journalists, though she has insisted his demotion had nothing
to do with the dispute.

Arcangeli's lawyer, Bill McKenney, said the Atlanta Police Department's
crime reporting procedure created ample room for the problem. Unless a crime
is serious, like murder or rape, McKenney said, detectives do not
investigate it in person but instead send postcards to the victims.

Most of the crimes in question involved the transient poor or homeless
people who did not return the postcards, McKenney said, so police reported
their claims were groundless.

Alfred Blumstein, a criminologist at Carnegie Mellon University, said one
reason to continue to have confidence in overall national crime figures
reported by police to the FBI is that the downward trend reported had been
mirrored by the country's other statistical program to measure crime, the
National Crime Victimization Survey. Begun in 1973 as a check on the FBI
data, it measures crimes by a survey of 49,000 households.

The danger of sloppy reporting by police, or outright fraud, is the reason
most criminologists focus on murders as the most accurate crime statistic,
Blumstein said. It is hard to hide bodies.

Nimbin General Practitioner Backs Medicinal Cannabis Survey (A Media Release
From The HEMP Embassy In Nimbin, Australia, Says Dr Harry Freeman,
Regional Director Of Psychiatric Services, Will Be Supporting
Dr David Helliwell, A Nimbin General Practitioner, In Launching
The Embassy's Medicinal Cannabis Survey 1 PM Saturday, August 8)

Date: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 07:56:55 +1000 (EST)
From: duffy@mail.enternet.com.au (Andrew Duffy)
Subject: Nimbin GP Backs Medicinal Cannabis Survey
To: pot-news@va.com.au
Reply-To: pot-news@va.com.au


Pot News - Hemp SA's On-line News Service


From: Graeme Dunstan (graeme@nrg.com.au)
To: drnimbin@om.com.au (drnimbin@om.com.au)
Date: Tuesday, 4 August 1998 3:02pm
Subject: The Medicinal Cannabis Survey Media

Media Release 3 August 1998

Nimbin GP Backs Medicinal Cannabis Survey

Dr David Helliwell, a Nimbin general practitioner of medicine, will launch
the HEMP Embassy's Medicinal Cannabis Survey:
1 pm Saturday 8 August 1998 at the HEMP Embassy Nimbin.

Dr Harry Freeman, regional director of Psychiatric Services, will be
supporting Dr Helliwell. All are welcome.

"The Medicinal Cannabis Survey is another care maximisation initiative of
the HEMP Embassy", said HEMP Embassy spokesperson, Michae l Balderstone.
"The Embassy gets daily enquiries from people wanting to know more about
medicinal cannabis for chronic pain and other ailments.

"What are we to do with these people?" he asked. "It is after all one of
the oldest and most used folk medicines known."

"The HEMP Embassy wants to be more caring," he said. "We will use the
survey to collate the information so that we can getter a better picture of
medicinal cannabis use. We intend for this information to help lead to
cannabis law reforms in the same way it did in California."

"We are also setting up, and inviting respondents to join a Medicinal
Cannabis Club which will work towards guaranteeing reasonably priced, good
quality, organically grown medicinal cannabis", he said.

"I am not aware of any other research on the needs of medicinal cannabis
users in Australia," said Dr Helliwell. "I congratulate Nimbin HEMP on
setting up this important and innovative survey."

"Nimbin HEMP is in an ideal position to gather accurate information on the
needs of medicinal cannabis users," he said. "Many users come to Nimbin
to purchase their supplies. They often come from conventional backgrounds
and are very concerned about the legal risk they take to procure it. "

Dr Helliwell made the following statement about medicinal cannabis.

"In my 16 years working in general practice in Nimbin, I have encountered
many patients who use cannabis for medicinal reasons. The most common
condition is for chronic pain syndromes particularly those associated with
fractures of the lower limbs, but also with the neck and back. Other
conditions include anxiety and depression although some patients with these
conditions experience an anxiety provoking effect.

There are patients who use cannabis to help combat AIDS related weight loss
and I have also seen patients who use cannabis for nausea associated with
all sorts of illnesses. Some patients have used cannabis for menstrual and
colicky pain.

Interestingly, medicinal cannabis users are not interested in 'getting out
of it' and use cannabis sparingly to allow them to get on with their day to
day living. This is especially true of patients who use cannabis for
chronic pain conditions.

At first I was under the impression that medicinal cannabis users were
using it to relax and so help relieve the symptoms they were experiencing.
I did not think that cannabis acted directly on their medical condition.

However, recent research has started to suggest that medicinal cannabis
users may, if fact, be benefiting from the direct action of different
cannabinoids on various neuro-transmitter systems in the human body.

We now know that various cannabinoids will potentiate the body's endorphin
(natural opiod) system and also act locally on a spinal level helping to
reduce pain and disrupt reflex muscle spasm. Certain cannabinoids have show
anti-convulsant properties while others have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Recent research suggests that cannabinoids may block pain at a skin
receptor level.

All this research is starting to explain why people use medicinal cannabis
and lends new weight to the arguments of those who wish to use cannabis
medicinally on prescription.

My main concern with the current situation is that total prohibition of
cannabis contributes significantly to the harm that users may experience.
The risk of prosecution by criminal justice system and the price of illicit
cannabis concerns me, as does the harm associated with smoking cannabis.
However these risks would diminish significantly if patients were able to
legally to obtain cannabis on prescription for medicinal purposes. Legal
access would allow the patient sufficient supply at a low enough price to
encourage safer modes of ingestion such as vaporisers or by eating cannabis
rather than smoking it."

The medicinal cannabis survey is available from the Nimbin HEMP Embassy,
Nimbin 2480, phone/fax 02 6689 1842 and may be down loaded from

Further Information: Michael Balderstone 02 6689 1123,Dr David Helliwell
02 6689 1410,HEMP Embassy 02 6689 1842


HEMP SA inc - Help End Marijuana Prohibition South Australia
PO Box 1019, Kent Town, 5071, S.A., AUSTRALIA
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:pot-news@va.com.au with subject "subscribe" or subject "digest".

Cannabis 'Uniquely Safe,' City Man Tells Jury In Drug Trial
('The Evening News' In Norwich, England, Says A Jobless Norwich Man
Who Told Jurors Cannabis Was Not A Drug And Should Be Legal
Was Convicted Of Two Offences Of Possessing It)

Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:40:01 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis "Uniquely Safe", City Man Tells Jury In Drug Trial
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998


A jobless city man who told jurors cannabis was not a drug and should be
legal was convicted of two offences of possessing it.

A Norwich Crown Court jury took less than 20 minutes to find Simon Beavis,
32, guilty on Friday.

Beavis raised an unusual defence for the jury to consider, according to Mr
Justice Blofield.

But the judge warned him: "if you come to court again, I don't see how a
court can avoid sending you to prison".

After the verdicts the court heard that in 1988 Beavis was fined for
possession of cannabis resin and in 1992 jailed for 6 years after being
convicted of conspiring to supply the drug.

During that trial, Beavis, of Lollards Road, was said to have been part of
a drugs ring importing cannabis from the continent. "It was clearly quite a
substantial operation" said prosecuter Richard Wood.

Mr Wood told the court that police found small amounts of cannabis resin
and herbal cannabis on Beavis at his home on February 6th.

When he was interviewed he said he knew it was cannabis and he enjoyed
smoking it.

Beavis did not go into the witness box but made a statement saying he was
challenging the law on cannabis possession.

Beavis claimed cannabis was not a drug but a non toxic substance which had
never killed anyone.

It was non addictive and "uniquely safe" with medical properties which
could save lives.

"Referring to cannabis as a drug is very misleading and untruthful" he
said. He was fined a total of 200 pounds and ordered to pay 200 pounds

Suicide Link To Alcohol By Boys (The Irish 'Examiner' Says A New Report
In 'The British Journal Of Psychiatry' Indicates Suicidal Boys Tend To Drink,
Or Use Cannabis, But Whether They Do So At Rates Greater Than The Rest
Of The Population Isn't Addressed, And The Long-Established Tendency
Of Depressives And People Suffering From Bipolar Disorder To Self-Medicate
Inappropriately With Alcohol, Or Appropriately With Cannabis, Is Not Discussed)

Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 13:19:26 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Ireland: Suicide Link to Alcohol by Boys
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: The Examiner (Ireland)
Contact: exam_letters@examiner.ie
Pubdate: Mon, 03 Aug 1998


SUICIDAL behaviour increases in adolescent boys as they become more
dependent on drink and drugs, researchers have found.
Link to earlier story
The main casual factor associated with threatened or attempted suicide was alcohol, but cannabis was also strongly linked. Dr Eric Fombonne, from the Institute of Psychiatry in London, analysed data on 6,091 boys and girls aged eight to 18 referred to psychiatric services between 1970 and 1990. Increased rates of suicidal behaviour in adolescent boys during the study period were linked to an increase in the rate of drug misuse. Male suicidal behaviour rose steadily from 8.8% in 1979-81 to 16% in 1988-90, almost matching an increase in substance abuse from 7.8% to 14%. Girls showed no increase in suicidal behaviour and no increase in drug abuse. Analysis of a random sample of 80 cases found that alcohol was the most frequently misused substance (74%), followed by cannabis (60%), solvents (39%), and amphetamines (28%). The findings were published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. A statement from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which produces the journal, said: ''The author concludes that suicidal male adolescents should be systematically screened for drug and alcohol misuse." It also urges that suicide prevention programmes should target specially youths who misuse drugs and alcohol.

Drugs And Sport - Time For A Rethink? ('New York Times' Columnist
Robert Lipsyte In 'The International Herald-Tribune' Comments
On The Tour De France Doping Scandal, Asking, 'If Drugs Like Prozac
And Viagra Can Be Taken Without Apology By Everyday People Who Want
To Enhance Their Performance In A Competitive World, Why Shouldn't Athletes,
Prized As Models Of Human Capacity, Be Allowed, Nay, Encouraged, To Try Out
Drugs For The Rest Of Us?')

Date: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 21:35:48 -0500
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NY: Drugs And Sport: Time For A Rethink?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Peter Webster
Source: International Herald-Tribune
Pubdate: 3, Aug 1998
Contact: iht@iht.com
Website: http://www.iht.com/
Author: Robert Lipsyte, New York Times Service


Athletes have always been contemptuous of sport's attempts to regulate
drug use, but they tended to keep their mouths shut. Most resented the
whip hand that testing gave management, but they were too afraid of
being caught, punished, embarrassed to speak up unless they were
squeaky clean, retired or busted.

Until last week, when bicycle racers briefly disrupted the Tour de
France as a protest against what they claimed was a witch-hunt,
athletes have never so publicly and boldly stood up to drug testing.

One reaction to the slowdown in the Alps was that the inmates were
taking over the asylum, another that the so called athletes' revolt had
begun again after 30 years of simmering. A day later, the race
continued, probably a tribute to favors and deals. But that little
mountain uprising may yet turn out to be a historical turn in the
road: Athletes are finally expressing justified disgust with a
capricious system that seems to be, in these days of what the
University of Texas Professor John Hoberman calls "the therapeutic
ideal," simply out of date.

If drugs like Prozac and Viagra can be taken without apology by
everyday people who want to enhance their performance in a competitive
world, why shouldn't athletes, prized as models of "human capacity,"
be allowed, nay, encouraged, to try out drugs for the rest of us?

Drug testing has not been fair - few rnarquee names have ever been
brought down - nor as effective a deterrent as both sides would have
fans believe. Athletes have gone along with the lie as long as it kept
reporters from snooping around their specimens. Also, athletes have
tended to stay ahead of the drug police.

As the rewards for victory have spiked, a growing network of
underground pharmacologists have concocted drugs too new to be
detected in addition to masking agents for the old drugs. This
competitive cat-and-mouse game, risky, expensive and hypocritical, has
allowed athletes to continue seeking the edge while management kept the
appearance of control.

That game began unraveling along with the Tour last Wednesday. When
the 140-rider pack found out the details of the police raids on teams'
hotels where they had forcibly-tested riders' urine, hair and blood
for drugs, cyclists slowed down, quit, tore off their numbers,
canceling the day's race.

By Thursday, with a half a dozen teams out of the competition, 101 of
the 198 riders who started on July 11 in Dublin were again rolling
toward Paris and $2.2 million in prizes. Apparently, the most
consistent performance-enhancing drug is still money.

Nevertheless, two interlocked issues, one about control and the other
about appropriate drug use, were once again out of the bottle.

Not since the 1960s, when Harry Edwards, Tommie Smith and John Carlos
used the Olympics as a platform against racism - Muhammad Ali used the
heavyweight championship as a pulpit, and Billie Jean King led tennis
players, eventually all players, out of the desert of sham amateurism,
have athletes rebelled so dramatically against management.

Current labor skirmishes, including the National Basketball
Association lockout, can also be seen in that context. The testing for
drugs, recreational or performance-enhancing (another distinction that
is blurring), has always been the most subtle and insidious way of
enforcing that control.

And just last Monday, two American Oympians, the sprinter Dennis
Mitchell and the shot-put champion Randy Barnes, were suspended for
possible doping offenses. Mitchell reportedly tested above the
acceptable levels of testosterone.

On Friday, Barnes's: B sample turned out positive, too, showing a
banned nutritional supplement, androstenedione, a naturally occurring
substance in the body that is available in health food stores.

The: most significant incident however, may have occurred four years ago
when the marathoner Alberto Salazar ended a long streak without a victory.

With the help of the antidepressant Prozac, which he was using legally as a
training aid, he won the 56-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

For the ever-provocative Hoberman, who wrote "Mortal Engines: The Science
of Performance and the Dehumanization of Sport" in 1992 Salazar's drug of
choice "forged a high-profile link between doping in sport and the wider
world of pharmacology that affects us all."

Hoberman expects that "pharmacological Calvinism" will be increasingly
harder to enforce in sports as drugs are "gentrified." In particular
he thinks that as more elderly men, and even women, use testosterone
to enhance their lives, it will become impossible to prohibit the drug
from enhancing sports performance.

The real issue for the future will be the legalization of drugs that
cross the artificial line between therapy and performance enhancement.
Hoberman's vision includes Olympians at the starting blocks 'their
drug company logos gleaming m the sun."



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