Portland NORML News - Friday, August 7, 1998

Marijuana Law Could Cost State More Than $1 Million ('The Associated Press'
Version Of Yesterday's News About The Official Estimate Of The Cost
Of Recriminalizing Marijuana In Oregon Having Doubled Since Last Year,
When The Legislature And Governor Approved The Bill Voters Will Decide
In November)

Associated Press
found at:
feedback (letters to the editor):

Marijuana law could cost state more than $1 million

The Associated Press
08/07/98 3:52 AM Eastern

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- A ballot measure that would restore criminal penalties
for possessing small amounts of marijuana could cost the state about $1.2
million a year, according to a new estimate.

The amount startled a chief supporter of Ballot Measure 57, which makes
possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor instead
of a simple violation.

"You've given me some information I didn't have previously," state Sen.
Eileen Qutub, R-Beaverton, said after hearing about the new fiscal impact
statement on the measure.

"But I do think it's worth it because it sends a message to young people
that (using pot) is not a good thing."

Opponents of the measure said the money would be better spent on prevention
and treatment programs.

State Rep. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said the new figure is higher because
state lawmakers didn't understand the implications.

"The Legislature, in their zest to look tough on crime, they lost the big
picture," Prozanski said.

The 1997 Legislature passed the measure to reinstate criminal sanctions, but
opponents mounted a petition campaign and referred the measure to the
state's voters in November. By law, the state must estimate how much any
given ballot measure will cost if approved.

Last month, the state calculated it would have to spend $586,000 per year
for increased law enforcement, court operations and court-appointed
attorneys to defend people arrested under the new law.

What came as a surprise Wednesday was a second estimate of a $638,000 annual
loss of state revenues because of a quirk in the way fines are levied for
marijuana possession.

Under current law, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is
considered a "violation," not a crime. The minimum fine is $500.

If Ballot Measure 57 passes, police and district attorneys will have the
choice of prosecuting the offense as a misdemeanor, which carries with it
the threat of jail time, or as a violation. If the case was prosecuted as a
violation under the new law, it would be subject to a maximum fine of $250.

Police and prosecutors testified at legislative hearings they expect 40
percent of cases under the proposed law to be handled as violations rather
than misdemeanors.

Prosecutors said they would go for the lesser sanction as a way to save on
court costs, he said, "but what they didn't realize is that, in doing so,
they're setting up a loss of 50 percent of the revenue" from fines.

"It's kind of a Catch-22," Prozanski said.

Rep. Lane Shetterly, R-Dallas, said it's up to the voters to decide whether
the state would get its money's worth.

"It's important to ask not only if voters want it (recriminalization), but
also if they're willing to pay for it," he said.

Marijuana Recrim, Measure 57 Update (A Press Release From The American
Antiprohibition League In Portland Notes Mass Media Have Been Silent
About The Democratic Party Of Oregon's Recent Decision To Oppose
The Measure To Recriminalize Possession Of Less Than An Ounce)

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 02:42:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (aal@inetarena.com)
To: AAL@inetarena.com
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com


"Drug Peace!"


Friday, August 7, 1998
For Immediate Release

Oregon Democrats get it right, sort of

Portland, Oregon -- Although apparently not newsworthy to the
Portland press or media, the Democrat's State Central Committee of
Oregon has officially come out AGAINST MEASURE 57, known as marijuana
"recrim" (sic). As you will recall, the Antiprohibition League along
with several other reform groups have been fighting this draconian step
backward since it was first introduced by now former Rep. John Minnis
in 1997 as HB 3643. The bill's only backers were the law enforcement
lobby, the Oregon State Police and the Oregon Association Chiefs of
Police. Minnis by the way, is a Portland police officer.

Hearings on the bill were a sham. Portland NORML hired a van and
took several sick and dying people to plead with the legislators to at
least add a "medical defense" for them. They were rudely cut off at
the podium or pushed into hallways and told to wait their turn, which
for at least one AIDS patient never came. Violations by the Oregon
Legislature of the Americans with Disabilities Act are still being
investigated by a local attorney.

Among reformers there's a sweet irony here in that the state's most
influential albeit spineless democrat, Gov. John Kitzhaber signed the
bill fully anticipating its implementation, "... I will direct the
Criminal Justice Commission to closely monitor how it [HB3643] is being
implemented...," Kitzhaber wrote in a July 3, 1997 press release.

But even before the ink was dry Oregon antiprohibition activists,
along with funding from a group of wealthy philanthropist, most notably
the well know billionaire George Soros, mounted a Referendum petition
and voter registration drive. On time, the activists submitted nearly
double the required number of signatures and stopped the new law from
going into effect. The guvs hypocrisy repaid and the law enforcement
lobby now put on the defensive. The voter registration drive is now
approaching 10,000 pro-pot voters.

As usual our joy is tempered. According to the official press
release the demos make the specious claim that the current situation is
acceptable. In a pig's eye, (perhaps). Even though possession of
under an ounce is decriminalized - an expensive fine but no criminal
record - it's time to mature the idea behind the 1973 decriminalization
of cannabis and create a regulated (and taxed) market for adults.
Regulation can effectively separate cannabis from all the other, far
more dangerous/addictive black-market drugs, like heroin for example.
It will also free up police and corrections resources which can be put
into more effective and honest prevention, education and treatment
programs. A harm reduction approach - also known as common sense.

Lawmakers Get Innovative Invitation To Tour Prisons ('The Associated Press'
Says The Same Oregon Legislators Who Have Gone On A Billion Dollar
Spending Spree For Prisons Are Reluctant To See What They've Wrought,
So The State Corrections Department Has Spent $1,741.35
Having Flashy Invitations Printed Up)

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 02:16:05 -0700 (PDT)
To: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: DPFOR: ART: Lawmakers get innovative invitation to tour prisons
Cc: dpfor@drugsense.org
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Associated Press
found at:
feedback (letters to the editor):

Lawmakers get innovative invitation to tour prisons

The Associated Press
08/07/98 3:53 AM Eastern

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- "Escape from the usual tour!" exhorts an envelope
adorned with a guard tower and a denim-clad prisoner shimmying down an
attached string.

Pull the string, and the envelope opens to reveal 10 tickets to tour Oregon
prisons, from the Willamette Valley to Ontario.

State corrections officials wanted their invitations to rise above the
customary junk mail received by legislators, candidates and editors.

By most accounts, they succeeded.

One Oregon legislator calls it the most innovative bureaucratic
correspondence he's seen in 17 years in politics.

Another decries it as an overpriced outrage.

Corrections officials hope the mailing will educate politicians and persuade
them to tour the prisons before the hectic legislative session begins.

Jim Lockwood, the Corrections Department's public affairs director, said he
hit on the idea last fall, a few months after renting a state motor pool van
nine times to take 70 lawmakers and their aides on prison tours at a time
when no one really had any time -- in the heat of the 1997 session.

Lockwood teamed with Perrin Damon, the agency's communications director, to
devise the mailings. They wanted to take a risk, to dispel stereotypes about
prisons through humor.

"We knew we were going out on a limb," Damon said. "Government does not have
to be boring."

State-employed graphic artists did the illustrations, and women prison
inmates assembled the packages. The 285 mailers cost about $5.41 each and 70
cents to mail, for a total of $1,741.35.

Rep. Peter Courtney, D-Salem, called it the most successful effort to
describe an agency's functions and facilities that he's ever seen.

It satisfies what he calls the "double-e" approach: education and entertainment.

"Snappy, innovative, colorful, entertaining, educational," he said. "I don't
think you can do it any better than they did. It's a winner, by gosh, it's a

The mailing caught the attention of Rep. Jo Ann Bowman, D-Portland, but she
wasn't impressed.

She called it a "glossy, overpriced publication" that played to every
stereotype imaginable.

"I don't need to be entertained by the Department of Corrections," she said.
"I was outraged. I was really offended. It was just a waste of money."

Corrections Director Dave Cook said legislators are inundated with
paperwork, and that will only worsen when the legislative session starts.

"Some people may see it as offensive," he said of the mailing. "They may not
like it, but they're not going to forget they got that invitation."

Questions? Comments? Suggestions? We welcome your feedback.

(c)1998 Oregon Live LLC

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

David Herrick (A List Subscriber Shares An Unrepentent Jailhouse Letter
From The Medical Marijuana Patient And Former San Bernardino County,
California Sheriff's Deputy Just Sentenced To Four Years In Prison
After Not Being Able To Invoke Proposition 215 In His Defense)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Subject: David Herrick
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 17:33:36 PDT

PubDate: August 7, 1998

Hi boys and girls, this is your old friend Ralphy with a story to tell
you so get comfortable & read on...

Letter received July 28, 1998 from David Herrick,

Dear Ralph, Thank you so very much for the issue "#10" that you sent to
me. As you probably know, I am awaiting my transfer to state prison. (I
should be going on or around August. 11th.)

I appreciate your sending me all this great info. I have been in the
dark other than one copy of the (215 Reporter) and a few newspaper
articles that I have been able to (snag).

Andre Nagy, Dana & Jason Taub, Ellen Komp, & Bill Britt have been
keeping me in touch with some of the activities within the (movement,)
but nothing as comprehensive as this. I hope you will be able to keep
me on your mailing list when I go to state prison, and I hope to be able
to reimburse you in some way as soon as I can get established. I would
like to correct a few things that were mentioned in the aricle about me
(#66) that should bring you up to par. First of all I spent 14 years 9
mos. as a deputy sheriiff in San Bernardino county, retireing in sept.
91 (medically) due to my back injury. (Rolled over by a car). My 1st
conviction was sales of 1/8th of an ounce (3.5 gms.)
To an undercover (special agent)(non-peace officer, snitch). Who
(worked) me for 6 mos. and claiming to have suffered from the same
situation as mine. The D.A. offered to reduce it from (sales) to poss.
for sale. Sales carries a 2yr-4yr-6yr. term in state prison. Poss. for
sale carries 16mos.-2yrs.-3yrs. I served 27 days in jail, performed 354
hours of community service, 6 weeks of (Drug School), paid $2,800.00 in
fines, plus $20.00 reg. and $20.00 per week at the (school) for $140.00
plus $20.00 for the two urine tests and 3 years of formal probation.

I spent 1 year on probation before I tested dirty for "THC", (had a
verble recommendation to use Cannabis but not a written recommendation.
Was violated and a "NO BAIL" "warrant issued for my arrest on March 27,
1997. I was in O.C. helping Marvin run the club and deliver.

I was arrested with 7 (seven) 1 quarter ounce baggie marked clearly "NOT
FOR SALE" and charged with poss. for sale, even though I showed the cop
my (written) doctor's recommendation, and advised him that I was a member
of the O.C. Cannabis Co-op, showed him my membership card, etc. etc.
That charge was dismissed by the Dep. D.A. Armbrust (after 6mos.) and he
refiled on H&S 11360-"sales" 4-counts. The jury found me guilty of two
counts and not guilty of two counts. even though none of the witnesses
could say for sure, positivly that I supplied them with their "medicine".
It makes no difference since I was denied both a "215 (H&S 11362.5) and
medical necessity" defense. It was only too obvious that I was made an
example of by just the judge's sentencing remarks. (Froeberg) "Mr.
Herrick is nothing more than a marijuana dealer" "as a former law
enforcement officer, Mr. Herrick should have known better." "Regardless
of the popularity of this issue, I would be remiss if I did not uphold
the oath that I swore to." etc. etc. Then gives me the 4 year sentence,
one year shy of the max. (2-3-5yrs. 8mos.)

I will serve a total of 13 mos. 15 days more before parole sometime in
mid sept. or oct. depending how soon I go from 1/3rd. time to half time:
(365 x 4 = 1460 minus 426 days actual 213 good and work time for a
total of 821 days left. Each day I remain in custody from my sentncing
date of July 17th 1998 is 1/3 time) until I get a prison job and 1/2
time so if all goes well, I figure 13 1/2 months before I get out. The
appeal will take 2 years min. unless we can apply the pressure discussed
in the article. I appreciate everything that is being done for me. As
you know, Mr. Reams (the teminally ill cancer patient passed away). I
don't believe that this asshole deputy D.A. brought this man all the way
from Bakersfield to Santa Ana, for a preliminary hearing back on
12-16-97, and he passed on before my trial which was May 10th thru 13th
of this year. Hooked to an oxygen tank and in a wheelchair gasping for
breath. Where were the press and T.V. cameras for that? Anyway, my 4
year stem for less than one ounce of marijuana. 3.5gms. in San
Bernardino, and 21gms. or 3/4 of an ounce in Santa Ana. For a total off
24.5gms.-4gms. shy of an ounce.

A complete travisty of justice if I ever saw one. I will never apologize
for helping Mr. Reams, ever. If his short time was more comfortable (and
his wife assures me it was) then so be it.

Again I thank you, and please don't forget me. Dave Herrick P.O.W.
1750882 and proud of it!

Marijuana is sane!!
(safe and naturally effective)
"Man made booze, God made grass."

Pretrial Hearing August 24 For Jack Shachter, Co-Director
Of The Orange County Cannabis Co-Op, Pretrial Hearing (An Orange County
Correspondent Notes Another Upcoming Court Battle And Another Defendant
Who May Be Denied A Proposition 215 Defense)

From: FilmMakerZ@AOL.COM
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 21:10:39 EDT
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

[snip - irrelevant stuff deleted - ed.]

The ACLU has backed down on helping out the patients here, so we are searching
for free legal services to help us in a possible class-action suit. Many of
us feel that our best strategy is to file a suit for violation of doctor-
patient confidentiality, and to keep information in the news. The judge and
prosecutor seem to have softened their stance when they saw copies of articles
members handed out at court and when they heard the ACLU was interested. If
anybody has other ideas, we'd love to hear them.

Another thing -- Jack Shachter, Co-Director of the Orange County Cannabis Co-
Op, was in court today in front of Judge Andrew P. Banks. His pretrial trial
is set for August 24, and his preliminary hearing is on September 18. His
Public Defender, Claudia Gaona, said she is unsure whether the judge will try
to deny him a 215 defense and is hoping Judge Fasel in Marvin Chavez's case
will reverse Judge Fitzgerald's decision and allow Marvin a 215 defense. Then
it will be more likely that Jack will be allowed a 215 defense, also.

For anyone in the area who could attend, Jack's hearing will be at 8:30 am at
the West Orange County Municipal Courthouse, 8141 - 13th St., Division 14, in


The Cannabis Connection - Medical Marijuana Movement Split
By Federal Charges ('LA Weekly' Describes The Federal Government's Attempt
To Silence Peter McWilliams, The Best-Selling Author And Medical Cannabis
Patient-Activist, Through Prosecution And Incarceration, Suggesting Scott Imler
Of The Los Angeles Cannabis Resource Center Became An Informant
Against McWilliams)

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 21:32:30 -0700 (PDT)
To: maptalk@mapinc.org, aro@drugsense.org, dpfca@drugsense.org
From: "Tom O'Connell" (tjeffoc@sirius.com)
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

The following LA Weekly article is now 5 days old. No other media sources
in LA are running with this story, or if they are, it's not reaching these
lists. Marvin Chavez has gotten a lot more notice than McWilliams.

When is our movement going to wake up to the fact that the feds in LA are
trying to martyr Peter McWilliams and by our passivity, we're letting them
do it?

Anyone who hasn't done so, please watch the video at
http://www.legalize-usa.org/video6.htm - then decide if this man is a
master drug trafficker who deserves to be placed at extreme medical risk by
his government for his nefarious activities.

What does it take to start picketing the MDC? Isn't there a gay activist
movement in Southern California? Isn't there a drug reform movement?

Tom O'Connell


The Cannabis Connection
Medical-marijuana movement split by federal charges


Marching for marijuana: Hemp California's advocates take to the street

Escalating its drive against California's medical-marijuana
movement, the Clinton administration last week
indicted nine Southern California residents on
charges of conspiracy to grow over 6,000 marijuana
plants at four separate sites, with intent to
distribute. The nine-count indictment arises from
an almost yearlong investigation by the Drug
Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Internal
Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division,
along with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department.

The government has painted Peter McWilliams, a
49-year-old author, publisher and AIDS sufferer who
is a leader in the medical-marijuana movement
statewide, as the kingpin of the conspiracy. The
indictment charges him with using his publishing
company, Prelude Press, to underwrite the
pot-growing operations. Since his arrest on July 23
at his Laurel Canyon home, McWilliams has been held
at the Metropolitan Detention Center in downtown
Los Angeles in lieu of $250,000 bail.

McWilliams issued a written statement denying the
government charges. "I have never sold a drug in my
life," McWilliams wrote. "I have never asked or
authorized anyone to sell a drug. I have never
profited from any drug deal, ever."

Also indicted with McWilliams was Todd McCormick,who attained a degree of
notoriety as the target of a July 1997 raid on Stone Canyon Road in Bel Air
by L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the DEA. A childhood cancer
survivor and medical-marijuana/hemp activist, McCormick was dubbed the "Pot
Prince of Bel Air" by the media and guested with his friend Woody Harrelson
on Politically Incorrect.

Other defendants include Andrew Scott Hass, 34; David Richards, 25;
Christopher Carrington, 32;Gregg Collier, 25; Aleksandra Evanguelidi, 24;
Renee Boje, 28; and Kirill Dyjine, a.k.a. Hermes Zygott, 33. Zygott was
nabbed in the Bel Air bustwith McCormick and is a well-known musician in
hemp-activist circles. These new indictments supersede previous charges.

Complicating the dope opera is a series of
references in the 43-page indictment to statements
by members of another faction in the
medical-marijuana movement, all associated with the
L.A. Cannabis Resource Center. In particular, Scott
Imler, director of the center and a co-author of
Proposition 215, the initiative that legalized the
medical use of marijuana in California, testified
before a grand jury about McWilliams.

Imler said in an interview that after McCormick's bust last summer he spoke
to McWilliams, who told him that he'd given the DEA all the checks he'd
written to Todd and "told them the truth." When the feds came knocking on
Imler's door, he says he likewise answered their questions truthfully, as he
did later when called in front of the federal grand jury. Imler and the
other L.A. cannabis-club employees were granted limited immunity, meaning
they could not plead the Fifth Amendment to avoid testifying.

From the outset of the medical-marijuana movement
in California, Imler has been critical of the
tactics of the more gonzo outlaws associated with
the McWilliams-McCormick camp; instead, he
advocates an aboveboard, by-the-book approach,
keeping strict limits on production and
distribution of the banned weed.

Imler and company are now being accused of
egregious snitchery through Internet postings,
media statements and intra-movement communiques.
Ralph O. Williams III, an attorney and friend of
McWilliams, sent out a written plea for bail money
for his friend and accused Imler of being "the
person who turned Peter in."

Imler, who has agreed to an open-door policy with
the West Hollywood Sheriff's Department and City
Council, has continually maintained that the only
road to legitimacy is to operate under the
principle of "transparency." He was critical of the
scale of McCormick's crop (4,116 plants, according
to the cop count), and has insisted on separating
the issue of medical use from legalization and

The federal indictments portray an elaborate
conspiracy to grow marijuana for profit, paid for
by checks and credit cards from McWilliams' Prelude
Press. According to the feds, there were four
separate locations where pot was grown: McCormick's
Stone Canyon residence, houses in Chino and Van
Nuys overseen by Scott Hass, and another house
owned by McWilliams in Laurel Canyon. Detailed
throughout is a laundry list of grow equipment that
reads like the classified section of High Times:
electrical outlets, subpanel boxes, conduits,
pumps, timers, sifters (used in the manufacture of
hashish), thousands of pots, soil, scales,
fertilizer, nutrients, chemicals, vermiculite,
ballasts, hoods, ladybugs, fans, rockwool, a
moisture meter, grow lights, light movers, light
rails, lamps, trays, clear-plastic sheeting, a
carbon-dioxide generator, atmospheric controllers
and more.

Most of the overt acts listed in the indictment
concern money transfers made directly to the
defendants for rent on the residences, alleged
meetings between defendants, and the seized product
and equipment. The five acts in which the L.A.
Cannabis Resource Center is cited quote club
employees who repeated McWilliams' alleged boasts.
He wanted to become the "Bill Gates of medical
marijuana" - McWilliams claims the Gates reference
was a joke made by his lawyer - and he intended "to
become the largest supplier of medical marijuana in
the country, distributing high-quality marijuana
clones through the mail, and he wanted to enter
into a grow contract with the club for the sale of
marijuana at $4,800 per pound." Other allegations
include transfer of marijuana, grow lights and
other equipment to the L.A. club, and a discussion
between defendant Hass and club employees about
hypothetically setting up a hydroponic growing

Hass is a former entertainment-industry stunt
coordinator who maintains that he sustained
numerous injuries in his line of work, making him,
like McWilliams and McCormick, a legitimate user of
medical marijuana. He says he was brought in to
Prelude Press by his friend McWilliams as a
business consultant to fix financial snafus, and
that much of the alleged dope-business moneys were
legitimate payments to him for relocation, salary,
etc. The only involvement in marijuana that he'll
admit to was that he was investigating methods of
cannabis delivery that were alternatives to

McCormick's explanation is the same as it's been
since the Stone Canyon Road bust: that he was
simultaneously growing for personal use and
researching the efficacy of different strains for
particular illnesses, and that he had hypothetical
plans to distribute cheap, medical-quality pot to
cannabis clubs.

Both Hass and McCormick say they barely knew each
other, thereby making moot the conspiracy charges.
But as Laurie Levenson, associate dean of Loyola
Law School, notes, "You do not need to know your
co-conspirators or to have met them. The fact that
you know there's a larger operation going on is
sufficient." Attempts to contact the other
defendants have been unsuccessful.

Peter McWilliams is the author of The Personal
Computer Book, a 1979 manual that heralded the
soon-to-be-ubiquitous home PC and dozens of other
popular tomes ranging in subject from self-help to
romantic poetry. The author launched Prelude Press
in the early '80s, obviating the need to hawk his
books to the majors and eliminating the financial

In 1996, McWilliams was diagnosed with AIDS as well
as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He says he hadn't smoked
marijuana for close to 20 years, but that he tried
the drug again and found that it alleviated the
nausea and other side effects from medications and
treatments. He became fascinated with the medicinal
properties of pot and briefly lent office space to
the Los Angeles cannabis club.

That same year, Californians passed Proposition
215, an event McWilliams saw as portentous.
McWilliams described his mindset at the time in an
interview last November: "You had [DEA honcho
Thomas] Constantine going in front of Congress
saying, 'Marijuana is legal in California!' All the
law-enforcement people . . . basically saying,
'We're throwing up our hands.' We interpreted this
as being 'It's now all legal.'"

McWilliams developed a plan for an advocacy and
research entity called the Medical Botanical
Foundation, which would promote alternative
medicines such as hypericum (St. Johnswort) and
marijuana. He called his friend William F. Buckley
Jr., who, despite his conservative credentials, is
an outspoken opponent of the drug war. Buckley
referred McWilliams to his friend Dick Cowan, a
former director of NORML who, like McWilliams, is a
gay, reefer-smoking, libertarian.

Cowan had become a pot-patriate in Amsterdam and
befriended hempster and avid, albeit amateur,
medical-marijuana researcher Todd McCormick.
McWilliams worked out a six-figure deal with
McCormick for a book; and early in '97, McCormick
set up shop in the house on Stone Canyon Road in
Bel Air.

While the legalities of McWilliams' schemes will
eventually be decided in a court of law, even those
who are less than worshipful are horrified by the
way he's been treated while in custody. For at
least four days he was denied his AIDS medications,
including protease inhibitors, which, according to
Ged Kenslea of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation,
could cause his virus to replicate into untreatable
mutations. McWilliams says he continues being
refused Marinol, a legal pill form of THC, which
enables him to hold down his other medications. He
also charges that his medicine is being irregularly

Taylor Flynn, staff attorney of the ACLU, has cited
the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Federal
Rehabilitation Act, the Civil Rights of
Institutionalized Persons Act, and the Eighth
Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits
cruel and unusual punishment, in McWilliams'
defense and has petitioned U.S. Attorney Nora
Manella to rectify this emergency immediately.

Questions or comments?
Email letters to the editor: letters@laweekly.com
Copyright (c) 1998, Los Angeles Weekly, Inc. All rights reserved.

California NORML Legislative Alert (A Bulletin Says That
With Senator Vasconcellos' SB 535 Coming To A Vote In The Assembly Shortly,
Creating A Medical Marijuana Research Program At The University
Of California, Now Is The Time To Contact Assembly Members)

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 12:33:28 -0800
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: Cal Med MJ Legislative ALERT!
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/


August 7, 1998


Senator Vasconcellos' bill SB 535 to create a state medical
marijuana research program at the Univ. of Cal. will be coming to a vote in
the Assembly shortly.

Remind them that this is a research bill which would help resolve all of
the difficulties and uncertainties surrounding Prop. 215. Remind them that
Prop. 215 called on the state government to establish a plan for
implementing Prop. 215. Remind them too that SB 535 is co-sponsored by
Attorney General Lungren, so it's not an anti-law-enforcement measure.

KEY DISTRICTS: The following legislators are swing votes:
Lynne Leach (R Walnut Creek) - 916-319-2015
Bill Leonard (R-Rancho Cucamonga) - 916-319-2063
Peter Frusetta (R-Hollister) - 916-319-2028
Sally Havice (D-Artesia) - 916-319-2056
Bob Margett (R-Arcadia) - 916-319-2059
Rod Pacheco (R-Riverside) --916-319-2064
Joe Baca (D-San Bernardinon) - 916-319 -2062
Brett Granlund (R-Yucaipa) - 916-319-2065


Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // canorml@igc.apc.org
2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114

Americans For Medical Rights' Medical Marijuana Initiative Falls Short
In Colorado (A News Release From Colorado Citizens For Compassionate
Cannabis Says The Colorado Secretary Of State Issued A Statement Thursday
Stating A Random Sample Of Five Percent Of The Signatures Turned In
By Coloradans For Medical Rights Indicated The AMR Affiliates' Campaign
Was About 6,000 Signatures Shy Of The Required 54,242)

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 20:29:16 -0600 (MDT)
From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (cohip@levellers.org)
To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (cohip@levellers.org)
Subject: AMR Colo. Init. Falls Short

CMR Medical Marijuana Initiative Falls Short in Colorado

On August 6, 1998, the Colorado Secretary of State issued a statement
to Coloradans for Medical Rights stating that CMR did not collect a
sufficient number of valid signatures for their medical marijuana
initiative to be placed on the November ballot. On July 7, CMR turned in
84,755 signatures on their medical marijuana initiative. The Secretary of
State takes a random sample of 5% of the signatures turned in and
validates them for accuracy. Based on this sample, the Secretary of State
estimated CMR had collected only 47,960 valid signatures, a little over
6000 signatures less than the required 54,242 signatures.

CMR cannot file additional signatures to "cure" the signature deficiency,
as the constitutional deadline for filing signatures has already passed.
CMR has 30 days to file a protest to the ruling.


To clarify our relationship, neither the Colorado Hemp Initiative Project
nor Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis has any involvement in
CMR's medical marijuana initiative.

While we support the legal regulation of cannabis for all its uses, we have
some serious concerns about CMR's proposed constitutional amendment.
Although the initiative may be well-intentioned, we believe it is poorly
written and may actually endanger patients rather than help them.
See http://www.levellers.org/lemodel.htm

Coloradans for Medical Rights was formed in 1997 as an affiliate to
Americans for Medical Rights. AMR is based in Santa Monica, California and
is funded by billionaire George Soros. AMR has proposed ballot
initiatives in four other states this year. AMR has failed to achieve
ballot status in Maine but was granted ballot status in Nevada and Oregon.
Their initiative in Alaska is currently being challenged in court.

AMR proposed an initiative in the District of Columbia in competition with
a medical marijuana initiative sponsored by ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to
Unleash Power) Although AMR spent an estimated $80,000 in DC to fight
against the AIDS activists, the activists were successful in preventing
AMR from disrupting their campaign and it appears probable that the ACT UP
sponsored Initiative 59 will be on the November ballot in DC. See:


For more information, contact:
Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis
P.O. Box 729
Nederland, CO 80466
Vmail: (303) 448-5640
Email: cohip@levellers.org
Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html

In Iowa, Some Prisoners Are Behind Barns ('The Chicago Tribune'
Says Some Iowans, Particularly Labor Unions, Believe The Use
Of Prisoner Labor Is Depressing Wages)

Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 00:07:42 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IA: In Iowa, Some Prisoners are Behind Bars
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998
Author: Larry Fruhling
Section: Sec. 1, p. 6


CLARION, Iowa -- Dripping sweat and dressed in a fluorescent orange
pullover, George Nelson, a prisoner doing time for theft, was not exactly
the kind of worker Wright County had in mind some 12 years ago when
officials provided $90,000 to help build a huge new egg factory.

The incentives were intended to provide jobs in a section of north-central
Iowa that had been battered by an agricultural depression that began in the
early 1980s.

But now Nelson and more than 40 other convicts from a state prison 60 miles
away are working at the egg factory. Most of them are paid $6 an hour, the
same as other employees. Virtually none of the money paid to the convicts
stays in Wright County, and county supervisors fear that low-paid prison
labor will depress wages throughout the county.

"As long as a company can get prison labor for $6, wages are going to
remain that way, and I think it's going to snowball to other jobs," said
Larry Olson, a member of the Wright County Board of Supervisors.

Olson said he and others in Wright County agree that prisoners should work
to pay part of their keep and make restitution to their victims. Iowa is
one of 38 states with "hard labor" laws for convicts.

The notion of making convicts work, however, became a lot less attractive
in Wright County this summer. When county supervisors learned of the plan
to employ state prisoners at the Boomsma egg-production factory southeast
of Clarion, they asked the Iowa Department of Corrections to reconsider.

The supervisors said they were worried about prisoners escaping and about
the economic effect of convict labor.

"The board believes that low unemployment in the area should lead to more
competitive wage scales," the supervisors said in a letter to the Iowa
Corrections Department. "Prisoners taking low-paying jobs rather than
allowing the market to adjust to competition is not a strong economic
development tool."

The protest notwithstanding, the first prisoners were bused 60 miles from
the state prison at Rockwell City and took their places on the Boomsma
egg-production line at the end of June.

Prison officials gave assurances that if any county resident wanted one of
the $6-an-hour jobs, he or she would have the right to replace an inmate.
The officials also promised not to let convict employment at the egg plant
exceed 100. The egg factory is one of four huge Boomsma plants in Wright
County; the plants have about 150 non-convict workers.

The idea of inmates working at private businesses is anathema to organized

"If prison labor is wrong in China, it's sure as hell wrong in Iowa," said
Mark Smith, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor. "Prisoners are being
used to hold down wages."

On a recent day, 22 prisoners wearing orange pullovers were working for
Boomsma in one of the four Wright County plants where more than 5 million
hens keep conveyor belts loaded with eggs destined for supermarkets and
fast-food restaurants. A similar number of prisoners work a separate
10-hour shift.

The prisoners pack eggs, pull dead hens from their cages, sweep, clean and
help with other maintenance chores. They receive the same pay as other
Boomsma employees, many of whom are immigrants from Mexico.

Ricardo Herrera, 32, who is about halfway through a 10-year prison term for
drunken driving and possession of marijuana, said he welcomed the chance to
work away from the Rockwell City prison and earn a little money.

After taxes, a charge for board and room at the prison and other
deductions, he earns about $1.20 an hour for himself--much better, he said,
than the $3.50 a day he was getting for working in the kitchen and mowing
grass at the prison.

In addition, Herrera said, holding a job in the egg plant probably will
help him when he is considered for parole. "It's going to show I'm somewhat
responsible and can keep a job," he said. "It gives us a chance to show
we're not a serious threat to society."

Iowa prison officials say that about 200 men and women in state prisons are
working for wages in private business.

The best jobs are held by about 20 inmates at the Mt. Pleasant prison who
work as welders for a company that makes industrial equipment.

In all cases, the officials say, private employers who hired inmates tried
to fill the jobs from the civilian workforce, a difficult task in a state
where unemployment is virtually non-existent. The officials say that
inmates are being paid the prevailing private-industry wage for similar

W.L. Kautzky, state prison director, said the department is merely
following through on a directive from the Iowa Legislature that inmates
work 40 hours a week. "It's the law in Iowa," he said.

Kautzky also said that if Iowa's economy were to falter, prison labor would
be withdrawn quickly from private employers: "If the economy goes south,
these jobs are history. We're transitional labor at best."

Roger Baysden, Kautzky's deputy, said that nationally about 2,600 state
prison inmates work for private employers. He said inmate employment helps
cover board and room, victim restitution and, in some cases, child support.

Inmates also pay taxes, and, Baysden said, private employment appears to be
a valuable step in helping convicts make the eventual transition to life on
the outside. "If we just keep doing what we've done in the past, all we're
going to do is build more prisons."

Baysden said employers like prison labor in part because the workers,
accompanied by guards, show up on time.

Julie Glessner, human resources director for Boomsma, said the company
tried to fill its labor needs first with county residents and then with
immigrant workers. In response to assertions that the company should simply
start paying higher wages, Glessner said, "If we did, we'd be out of

Besides, Glessner said, state labor officials came to Boomsma seeking jobs
for the prisoners, rather than the company soliciting the state for
workers. She also discounts the county supervisors' worries about security

The inmates working at the egg factory, she said, are low-risk inmates who
often are closing in on the end of their prison terms.

"They've got way too much to risk to run off," she said.

Waukegan High Eyes Random Drug Tests ('The Chicago Tribune'
Says The Waukegan School District 60 Board Of Education Is Considering
Trying To Implement A Policy That Would Force High School Students
To Submit To Random Drug Tests)

Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 00:08:00 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IL: Waukegan High Eyes Random Drug Tests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998
Author: Sheryl Kennedy
Section: Metro DuPage, p. 1


Waukegan High School students could be required to submit to random drug
tests under a proposal being investigated by Waukegan school officials
that, if adopted, would make the district one of the first in the nation to
impose such a blanket policy. Although other school districts have required
drug testing of some students such as those involved in athletics, few
schools have carried the policy as far as the one being reviewed by the
Waukegan School District 60 Board of Education.

The proposal was made by board member Patricia Foley. District attorneys
are expected to report to the board later this month on a proposal.

Foley has suggested that the district look into a policy that would allow
the testing of any student, with the intent of not only detecting illegal
drug use, but also helping assure that students required by a physician to
take medication, such as Ritalin, to control their behavior, are following
doctors' orders.

The Waukegan proposal, if enacted, could face stiff legal opposition.
Although the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the random drug testing of
students, the policies found legal were limited to a small portion of the
student body, such as those who participate in voluntary extracurricular

District 60 Supt. Robert Kurtz spoke with caution this week about the
proposal, referring to it as "an idea" and "a suggestion" and no reflection
on the current environment at the high school of more than 3,000 students.

"We have made no decision on this," Kurtz said. "The question was asked and
we thought it was worth looking into."

Other board members took a wait-and-see attitude toward the proposal, which
was offered near the end of a board meeting last week amid discussions of
bake sales and more routine subjects.

"I really haven't thought much about the issue since the meeting," said
board member Anita Hanna. "I don't know what will come of it. However,
everything involving our children is an important issue. But on this, I
will wait and see."

The idea is rooted in maintaining a safe atmosphere at Waukegan High
School, 2325 Brookside Ave., district officials said. A student suffering
from a psychological imbalance could be just as dangerous without
prescription drugs as another student could be after taking illegal drugs,
Foley said.

Another motivation behind an all-inclusive random drug testing policy is to
eliminate the double standard that subjects students engaged in athletics
and other extracurricular activities to drug testing, but leaves out other
students, Foley said.

The district of more than 13,000 students in kindergarten through 12th
grade currently has no drug testing policy.

Of major U.S. school systems, only the Miami-Dade Public Schools in Florida
have approved a random-testing policy for all students like the one under
consideration in Waukegan. That policy was revised earlier this year after
backlash from parents and a threat from the Florida office of the American
Civil Liberties Union forced the school board to give students the right to
refuse the random tests, ACLU officials said.

In Illinois, limited random drug testing is the practice in some school
districts. Zion-Benton High School in Zion and Homewood-Flossmoor High
School just south of Chicago are among those that randomly drug-test
athletes. Chicago Public Schools have no drug-testing policy in place.

"We pull names of athletes out of a hat about every two or three weeks,"
said David Thieman, Homewood-Flossmoor community relations coordinator, of
the policy that's been in existence for about a decade. "Our athletes know
to check the board for their ID numbers and report for testing.

"Random drug testing has been very well received around here because it
gives students an out when it comes to peer pressure," Thieman added. "We
have about 2,500 students, and about half of them are involved in
athletics. So for us it was a way to take a proactive stand."

Some Waukegan High School parents expressed reservations Thursday about the
plan, and questioned whether such testing would be truly random.

"From what I understand, the proposal will give the school board a little
too much power," said Bob Ross, parent of a junior at the school."The only
way I could really support this is if there were strict guidelines."

Ross' skepticism was echoed by another parent.

"If this is the case, I don't think a group should be excluded," said Peggy
Williams, also parent of a junior.

The ACLU also objected to the proposal, which may be considered later this
month, maintaining that while participating in extracurricular activities
is voluntary, attending school is not, and students shouldn't be subject to
additional invasions of personal privacy.

"I find this proposal to be a very disturbing civics lesson in that
students would be forced to `prove' they are innocent even without doing
anything wrong," said William Spain, a spokesman for the ACLU's Chicago
office. "This sounds to me like one more case of drug-war hysteria run

Drug testing also is unreliable, Spain said, noting that a positive test,
even if false, could become a part of a student's record. The result, like
grades and extracurricular activities, could then be passed along to third
parties like colleges and prospective employers, with damaging results for
the student.

Spain called using drug testing to keep track of students on medication
"horrifying" and added that he has never heard of any other school district
making a similar suggestion.

The board in Waukegan also directed school district attorneys to review
drug-testing policies in place in other districts to determine what works
and what, if any, legal precedent the district may set.

"If we do it, it must apply equally to all students," Kurtz said at last
week's board meeting.

Federal Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Use ('Philidelphia Gay News'
Interviews AIDS Activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya, The Plaintiff Named
In Kuromiya Vs. The United States Of America, The Class-Action Lawsuit
Filed By Attorney Lawrence Hirsch On Behalf Of 164 Patients
Throughout The Nation, Demanding An End To Medical Marijuana Prohibition)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:51:23 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Organization: BlueDot To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US PA: Federal Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Use Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dirtroad Source: Philidelphia Gay News Contact: letters@starbulletin.com Website: http://www.epgn.com/Default.htm Pubdate: 07 Aug 1998 Author: Timothy Cwiek PGN Contributing Writer FEDERAL LAWSUIT TARGETS MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE AIDS activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya believes so strongly that marijuana is helping to keep him alive, he has agreed to be the named plaintiff in a federal class-action lawsuit that seeks to end the federal ban on marijuana. The case is known as Kuromiya vs. the United States of America. In an interview last week, Kuromiya said he's prepared to go to the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that medicinal and therapeutic use of cannabis is permitted in America. "It's my constitutional right to use naturally growing medicine that will save my life," he said. "It's absurd to arrest people for taking their medicine. The federal ban [against cannabis] is stupid and unfair - and it needs to be overturned." Kuromiya, 55, has been diagnosed with AIDS since 1988, and said he smokes marijuana on a regular basis to deal with nausea, wasting syndrome and other problems. "I know that marijuana is a life-saving medicine for myself and many millions of others around the country," Kuromiya said. "Cannabis has been used therapeutically for over 5,000 years. It's been used all over the world, and it grows everywhere. Every cultures knows it has therapeutic value." Kuromiya is executive director of Critical Path AIDS Project, and a world-renowned AIDS-treatment expert and author. Kuromiya is among 164 co-plaintiffs named in the suit, who say that millions of Americans could benefit from using marijuana therapeutically, according to court documents. The co-plaintiffs contend that cannabis is helpful for a range of ailments, including arthritis, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis, migraine headaches, menstrual cramps, muscle spasticity, and gastro-intestinal disorders. Their attorney, Lawrence Hirsch, told PGN that marijuana should be supplied by the federal government for medicinal and therapeutic use. "You can get up to life imprisonment, without parole, for possession and distribution of cannabis," Hirsch said. "It's absurd. The government should be helping sick people, not making them paranoid about taking their medicine." U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno is named as the defendant in the case. Her attorney, Gail Levine, declined comment. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz. A hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 21 at the U.S. Courthouse, 601 Market St. Kuromiya said he helps many people access therapeutic cannabis through a buyers' club, known as Transcendental Medication. He said many local doctors refer clients to the club. He said Marinol, a pill form of cannabis, is not effective for himself, nor many other people with severe ailments. Dr. Mark Watkins, a local physician with a large PWA clientele, said he supports the therapeutic use of cannabis by PWAs, when needed. He supports the lawsuit, with qualifications. "I would support the suit, as long as there are regulations, so that cannabis is dispensed appropriately by a licensed professional," he said. Hirsch said it's wrong for the federal government to classify marijuana as a dangerous narcotic. "Cannabis is a wonderful herb that should be available to everyone who needs it," he said. "We have faith that the lawsuit will be successful, so that sick people will be helped." AIDS activists questioned about the lawsuit said they had mixed feelings. "I'd like to see marijuana legalized for medical use," said AIDS activist Michael Marlowe. "But I wouldn't want a doctor to prescribe it, unless all other options have been exhausted. It should be done as a last resort. And if the patient has an addictive personality, the doctor should use even more caution." Kuromiya said there is no evidence that cannabis is addictive. "It's not addictive and it's relatively harmless, as opposed to many substances that are perfectly legal, such as cigarettes and alcohol," he said. Kuromiya also said he would welcome more research on cannabis' efficacy with specific maladies, but he said the federal government has resisted such studies. 1998 Timothy Cwiek

Clinton Administration Still Thwarts Medicinal Marijuana Research
(A Bulletin From The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC,
Says A Full Year After A Group Of Experts At NIH, The National Institutes
Of Health, Recommended Policy Changes That Would Have Expedited
Medicinal Marijuana Research, The White House Is Still Stalling -
The MPP Asks You To Write A Couple Of Quick Letters To Protest)

Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 17:04:46 +0000
From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG)
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project
Sender: owner-mppupdates@igc.apc.org
Subject: Clinton Administration Still Thwarts Medicinal Marijuana Research
To: MPPupdates@igc.org


One Year After Release of NIH Report,
Clinton Administration Still Thwarts Medicinal Marijuana Research


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Clinton administration is still stalling a
full year after the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expert group
recommended policy changes that would have expedited medicinal
marijuana research, charged the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy
group based in Washington, D.C.

"The Clinton administration will be hard-pressed to oppose the
medicinal marijuana voter initiatives in six states this November,"
said Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy
Project. "When the drug czar and others say that there should first be
more research, the voters will say `sorry, you had your chance.'"

On August 8, 1997, the NIH Ad Hoc Group of Experts released a
report on its "Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana," which
was conducted on February 19 and 20, 1997. *The report urged the
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to make it easier for
researchers to obtain NIDA's supply of marijuana.*

NIDA has a monopoly on the legal supply of marijuana for research
in the United States. Before scientists can study marijuana's medical
benefits, they must ask NIDA for its marijuana. It is now one year
since the release of the NIH report, and *NIDA still has not changed
its unnecessarily restrictive policy.*

The policy created in 1995 by NIDA Director Alan Leshner requires
all researchers to apply for and receive a federal grant from NIH
before they can receive NIDA's marijuana -- even if they do not need
federal money. If NIH refuses to approve the study, then NIDA will not
provide the marijuana.

Pharmaceutical companies do not face this extra hurdle: When they
develop new synthetic drugs, they can begin their research as soon as
the FDA gives them permission to begin their studies. NIDA's unfair
double standard discourages scientists from trying to study medicinal
marijuana. Accordingly, one year ago the NIH Ad Hoc Group of Experts
recommended the following:

"Whether or not the NIH is the primary source of grant
support for a proposed bona fide clinical research
study, if that study meets U.S. regulatory standards
(U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocol
approval and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
controlled substances registration) the study should
receive marijuana and/or matching placebo supplied by
the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)."

"If a study does not require government funding, scientists
should not have to waste time applying for a grant, only to get
rejected because of a lack of funds," said MPP's Chuck Thomas.
"NIDA has effectively rejected the expert group's advice."

"Tens of thousands of seriously ill people nationwide are already
risking arrest and imprisonment by using marijuana for medicinal
purposes," said Thomas. "Because the FDA-approval route is being
blocked by NIDA, the Marijuana Policy Project is urging the American
people to pass state and local laws to remove criminal penalties for
patients who possess or grow their own medicinal marijuana."

On November 3, initiatives that would allow patients to legally
use medicinal marijuana will appear on the ballots in Alaska, Arizona,
Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

				- END -


For more information about NIDA's efforts to block research,
please see http://www.mpp.org/NIDAbro.html.



1. Please contact Dr. Leshner's office (phone 301-443-6480 or e-mail
aleshner@ngmsmtp.nida.nih.gov) and tell him that "NIDA should provide
marijuana to all FDA-approved studies, without requiring an NIH peer

2. Please send a letter-to-the-editor to your local newspaper(s)
similar to the following:

The Clinton administration is still stalling a full year after
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) expert group recommended
policy changes that would have expedited medicinal marijuana
research. It is vital that this research be allowed to proceed
unimpeded in order for marijuana to be approved by the FDA as
a prescription medicine as soon as possible:

* Tens of thousands of seriously ill people nationwide are
already using marijuana for medicinal purposes -- illegally.

* The federal penalties are up to one year in prison for
possession of one joint and up to five years in prison for
cultivation of one marijuana plant. There are no exceptions
for medicinal users.

* People with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis
who are currently benefiting from medicinal marijuana must
live in constant fear of being arrested and sent to prison.

On August 8, 1997, the NIH Ad Hoc Group of Experts released
a report on its "Workshop on the Medical Utility of Marijuana,"
which was conducted on February 19 and 20, 1997. The report
urged the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to make it
easier for researchers to obtain NIDA's supply of marijuana.

NIDA has a monopoly on the legal supply of marijuana for
research in the United States. Before scientists can study
marijuana's medical benefits, they must ask NIDA for its
marijuana. It is now one year since the release of the NIH
report, and NIDA still has not changed its unnecessarily
restrictive policy.

The Clinton administration will be hard-pressed to oppose
the medicinal marijuana voter initiatives in six states this
November. When the drug czar and others say that there
should first be more research, the voters will say "sorry,
you had your chance."

3. Please send a similar letter to your U.S. representative and
your two U.S. senators, asking them to tell President Clinton to require
NIDA to follow the NIH panel's recommendations and "provide marijuana to
all FDA-approved studies, without requiring an NIH peer review."

4. Finally, please send a brief, polite e-mail to President Clinton
(president@whitehouse.gov), asking him to require NIDA to follow the NIH
panel's recommendations and "provide marijuana to all FDA-approved
studies, without requiring an NIH peer review."



To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter,
"Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual
membership dues to:

Marijuana Policy Project (MPP)
P.O. Box 77492
Capitol Hill
Washington, D.C. 20013

202-232-0442 FAX

Genes May Influence Marijuana Use (A 'Reuters' Article From Fox News Online
Says A New Report On Twins In The August Issue Of 'The American Journal
Of Psychiatry' Found That 'Genetic Risk Factors Have A Moderate Impact
On The Probability Of Ever Using Cannabis And A Strong Impact
On The Liability To Heavy Use, Abuse, And, Probably, Dependence,'
According To The Researchers, Dr. Kenneth Kendler Of Virginia Commonwealth
University And Dr. Carol Prescott Of The Virginia Institute For Psychiatric
And Behavioral Genetics, Both Located In Richmond, Virginia,
Who Also Speculate 'That Genetic Factors Are Responsible For 60 Percent
To 80 Percent Of The Variance In Liability' Towards Marijuana Dependence -
Further Substantiating The Theory That Pot Prohibition Is Genocide)

Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 20:10:14 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Genes May Influence Marijuana Use
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Aug 1998
Source: Fox News Online
Contact: comments@foxnews.com
Author: Reuters


NEW YORK, - A study of female twins suggests that in women, genes may play a
role in heavy marijuana use.

"Genetic risk factors have a moderate impact on the probability of ever
using cannabis and a strong impact on the liability to heavy use, abuse,
and, probably, dependence,'' conclude researchers Dr. Kenneth Kendler of
Virginia Commonwealth University and Dr. Carol Prescott of the Virginia
Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, both located in Richmond,

Their study, published in the August issue of the American Journal of
Psychiatry, evaluated interviews conducted with over 1,900 female twins
(both identical and fraternal).

The authors report that nearly half of the women (47.9%) said they had used
marijuana at some point in their lives. About 7% reported going through a
period of either heavy use (more than 10 uses per month) or actual cannabis
abuse. The authors say 2.2% of the women reported being marijuana dependent.

A detailed comparison of cannabis use among twins revealed that nongenetic
factors like family environment do "play an important...role'' in the
likelihood that a woman would at least experiment with marijuana at some
point in her life, according to the investigators.

However, "given initiation (into marijuana use),'' they say ''the risk for
progression to heavy use, abuse and dependence appears to be largely
independent of the family environment and heavily determined by (genetics).
"In fact, the authors speculate "that genetic factors are responsible for
60% - 80% of the variance in liability'' towards marijuana dependence among

The behavior patterns of identical twins suggest that genetic makeup
increases the risk for marijuana use through a phenomenon the authors call
"genetic control of exposure to the environment.'' This theory holds that
individuals with certain genes are drawn to certain types of stimuli (such
as social gatherings) that might encourage drug use.

Genes might also influence the likelihood of marijuana use through their
ability to render 'pot' intoxication more or less pleasurable. Kendler and
Prescott say the genes of some users may simply encourage a greater 'high'
from cannabis use, raising the likelihood for continued use or abuse.

But the authors also caution that the number of cannabis abusing twins
included in their study was small, and that twin studies cannot match the
accuracy of laboratory studies. "We cannot rule out the possibility that our
results are influenced by hidden biases,'' they say.

SOURCE: American Journal of Psychiatry 1998;155:1016-1022.

1998, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved

Proposed Forum On Drug Rehabs That Abuse Juveniles (A Bulletin
About A Proposed New Usenet News Group, Alt.Drug-Rehab.Kids-Help-Kids,
For Health Professionals, Educators, Drug Policy Reformers,
And Former Clients Of The Now-Defunct Straight Inc. And Similar Programs
Characterized By A Lack Of Medical Expertise)

From: WESFAGER@aol.com
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 09:54:51 EDT
Subject: Proposed FORUM on drug rehabs that abuse juveniles

SUBJECT: Request for Show of Interest for an Internet Forum on Straight-like,
Abusive Juvenile Drug Rehab Programs

DISSEMINATION. Please disseminate to interested parties as freely as possible

BACKGROUND ON STRAIGHT, INC. Straight, Inc. was the biggest juvenile drug
rehabilitation program in America during the 1980s and early 1990s. Straight
used no medical doctors in its therapeutic approach to rehabilitation-rather
it relied on kids-helping-kids in marathon synanon-type screaming sessions
where kids yelled at one another 12 hours a day, 5 1/2 days a week. There were
numerous allegations of brainwashing, of making kids sit in their own urine
and feces, of beatings and broken bones, of sexual abuses, of food and sleep
deprivation, of forced sexual group discussions, of siblings visiting a
brother or sister only to be forced into Straight themselves. Many kids
attempted suicide at Straight, some killed themselves once they were released.
Perhaps as many as 30 - 40,000 kids were incarcerated at Straight. Program
revenues approached $100 million. George Bush made a TV commercial for
Straight and appointed Straight's co-founders to US ambassadorships. Nancy
Regan visited several Straight camps around the country. White House Drug
Czar and founding director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Dr. Robert
DuPont, was a paid Straight consultant, and almost all White House Drug Czars
in the 1980s were favorable to Straight. Today the Straight Foundation is
called the Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. DFAF strongly opposes the
medicalization of Schedule 1 drugs. There are several Straight-like programs
still in existence (though not necessarily abusive).

PURPOSE OF THIS MESSAGE. A proposal has been made to the USENET to establish
a discussion group to discuss issues dealing with Straight-like, synanon-
based, juvenile drug rehabilitation programs which allegedly brainwash youths,
abuse youths, or falsely imprison youths? A return message to me from as many
people as possible stating the desirability of such a forum is required in
order to justify to network administrators the need for such a forum..

JUSTIFICATION FOR SUCH A FORUM. Most people assume that Straight closed down
in 1993, but did it? In order for you to understand the need for such a
forum, I will brief you on the following topics:

1. Has Straight really closed?
2. Are any existing Straight-like programs still abusing children?
3. How is the Drug Free America Foundation (the new Straight) affecting
national drug policy today?

1. HAS STRAIGHT REALLY CLOSED? Since 1970 there have been, or continue to
exist, over 40 Straight-like treatment facilities (though not necessarily
abusive) in America and in Canada. You probably assumed that Straight just
sort of faded away in the early 1990s due to a plethora of civil suits and
state criminal investigations--but did it? Straight-Sarasota closed in 1983
amidst a state criminal investigation. Straight-Cincinnati closed in 1987 on
the opening day of court proceedings against it. Straights in Southern
California and Virginia Beach closed in 1990 amidst state investigations.
Straight-DC closed in 1991 on the eve of its requested court hearing
challenging a state decision not to renew its license. Straights in Boston
and Dallas closed in 1991 amidst state investigations, as did Straight-
Maryland in 1992. Straight Orlando had its license placed on a temporary
status in 1991 and closed in 1992 amidst state scrutiny. In April 1993
Straight finally closed its founding center in Saint Petersburg, Florida and
transferred its clients to Straight-Atlanta. The last Straight treatment
facility, at least under the name Straight, Straight-Atlanta, closed on July
1-2, 1993, but 11 days before it closed, on June 21, 1993, a woman named
Kathleen M. Cone incorporated a Straight-like program called Phoenix Institute
for Adolescents in Marietta, Georgia just 4 1/2 miles from Straight's facility
where it operates today. Kathleen Cone had been the registered agent for
Straight-Atlanta. Three days before that, on June 18, 1993, a Straight-like
program named Pathway Family Center was incorported only 15 miles from the old
Straight facility near Detroit. Helen Gowanny, an officer at Pathway, had
been the registered agent for Straight-Detroit! In 1992 Straight closed its
Orlando treatment facility, but on the very day it closed, Straight-Orlando's
director Michael Scaletta opened the Straight-like program SAFE (now known as
ACE) in the same facility where Straight had been. Former Straight officer
Dr. George Ross helped found Kids Helping Kids of Hebron, Ky in the early
1980s. Today it is known as Kids Helping Kids of Cincinnati and operates out
of the old Straight-Cincinnati facility in Milford, Ohio. At least 2 former
Straight workers have worked for this program. Another currently active
Straight-like program with tie-ins to George Ross is Growing Together in Lake
Worth, Florida. When former Straight national clinical director, Dr. V.
Miller Newton left Straight in the early 1980s, he set up his own Straight-
like chain based in New Jersey called KIDS. KIDS in Secaucus continues to
operate, but all its franchises closed under allegations of abusing children.
When KIDS Southern California franchise was closed by the state, Straight
moved into the facility. When the KIDS franchise in Salt Lake City closed in
1990, Life Line, currently active, opened in the same location. AARC,
currently operating in Calgary, Canada is a spin-off from Newton's KIDS
program. Second Chance which currently operates in Memphis Tennessee was
founded by Rev. Scotty Cassidy, who is believed to be another Straight alumni.
Straight, Inc. closed in 1993, but Straight Foundation, Inc. continued to
operate until December 5, 1995 when it changed its name to its current name
Drug Free America Foundation, Inc.


KIDS OF NORTH JERSEY. In 1990 Karen Norton was awarded $721,000 by a Florida
jury for being abused at Straight in the early 1980s. She testified that
Straight's national clinical director Rev. Dr. V. Miller Newton had thrown her
against a wall. One published account states that this same man grabbed a 15
year-old girl named Leah Bright by the hair, threw her to the floor and
sentenced her to no sleep for an extended period of time. Faced with these
accusations and others, Dr. Newton left Straight in the early 1980s to form
his own Straight-like program chain in Hackensack, NJ called KIDS of Bergen
County. By 1989 county prosecutors say they found incidences of black eyes,
strip searches, sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, denial of right to
leave when a client reaches the age of 18. Newton changed the programs name
to KIDS of North Jersey and moved to Secaucus in 1990 where he operates today.
In 1993 three KIDS counselors were convicted for beating a teenager in their
care. One of the convicted counselors, Michael O'Connor, said that beatings
were routine at KIDS. In January 1998 KIDS counselor Patricia Logan was
convicted (apparently of simple assault) for an assault against client Celena
Moore. Her case stemmed from one of many criminal complaints brought against
KIDS counselors in 1996. One 1996 assault charge was against a KIDS'
counselor who has already been convicted for the 1993 beating of another
client. Another 1996 charge was made by Marilyn Kearns (age 23) who claims
she was kidnaped and held against her will. Other criminal charges involving
KIDS filed in Secaucus in 1996 include Ethyl Moore against Erin Moss and Jenny
Logan (the sister of Patricia Logan who was convicted in January 1998). [
Jennifer Logan is listed as one of the defendants in Jennifer Woolston's civil
suit against KIDS of Salt Lake City in 1989.] Other 1996 charges include:
Andrea Jones against Erin Moss; Sharon Tyler against Miller Newton; and
Chrysis Johnson against Miller Newton. In 1996 two local TV stations
broadcast damaging exposés on KIDS. There is an outstanding civil case
against Newton and KIDS by Rebecca Ehrlich for causing psychological damage to
her daughter. In Sep 1996--KIDS agreed to pay $45,000 to the federal
government to settle charges of 254 fraudulent insurance claims. Psychiatrist
Raymond Edelman says KIDS used his rubber stamp after he left the program for
fraudulent claims. In 1989, apparently at the request of the New Jersey
Department of Health, Newark Administrative Judge Edith Klinger released a
damaging 53 page study of KIDS of Bergen County in which she stated, "Many of
the deficiencies . . . create hazards to health and safety." Yet in spite of
this report the Department of Health decided to grant KIDS its own special

GROWING TOGETHER, LAKE WORTH, FLORIDA. In 1990 Judge Michael Gersten said of
it, "Everything I see smacks of child abuse." In 1990 responding to
complaints state health officials demanded the removal of 11 clients, but
Growing Together won a court decision to deny the state agents the right to
interview clients in private. According to a state investigation, in early
1993 Growing Together client Travis Stone told his peer counselors that he
felt "depressed and overwhelmed" and would commit suicide if sent back to
jail. Six months later Mr. Stone committed suicide and the state
investigation concluded that he might be alive today if program officials had
acted upon Mr. Stone's feelings. A police report filed last year describes an
incident where two oldcomers held a boy down from behind while a third tried
to orally sodomize him. One boy masturbated in the newcomer's hair, the third
ejaculated on his back. Also last year a riot occurred at Growing Together
and police arrests were made.

SAFE, Orlando, Florida. Former Straight-Orlando director Michael Scaletta
formed SAFE in the same facility that Straight had used in 1992. One state
licensing investigation of SAFE found that there had been 29 reports of
restraints at SAFE in 1 month, but only 1 restraint in the last 3 months at
all other juvenile residential programs combined!

NATIONAL DRUG POLICY TODAY? Straight Foundation, Inc. changed its name in
1995 to the Drug free America Foundation, Inc. (DFAF). Its corporate
officers as of March 1998 are Mel Sembler, Walter Loebenberg, and Joseph
Garcia-all three former Straight officers--Mel Sembler being a Straight co-
founder. A recent DFAF flier states that the foundation was founded by Mel
Sembler and his wife Betty Sembler. The DFAF is against the legalization of
Schedule 1 drugs even for medical use. Betty Sembler who pawns herself off as
a drug prevention/education specialist also founded Save Our Society from
Drugs (SOS). SOS is also dedicated to preventing the medicalization of
Schedule 1 drugs. In January of this year Ms Sembler accompanied Florida's
governor Lawton Chiles to a cabinet meeting where she helped convince the
cabinet to disapprove a Florida citizen's iniative to medicalize drugs.

Naifeh and Smith's The Best Doctors in America (1994 and 1995) lists Dr.
Robert L. DuPont, Jr. and Dr. Mark Gold as among the best addiction treatment
specialists in the country. Dr. Robert L. DuPont was a key player for
Straight. While director for NIDA in the 1970s (and also the White House Drug
Czar) he managed a $1.8 million grant to The Seed--Straight's
predecessor--which was accused in a US Senate report of using methods likened
to communist brainwashing techniques. After leaving NIDA , Dr. DuPont
became a paid consultant for Straight-once boasting that he was the man who
suggested that Straight go national. Dr. DuPont represented Straight all
around the country in its many civil suits for abusing kids. Dr. DuPont was
quoted on CNN in 1997 as opposing the medicalization of marijuana.

Straight is a drug treatment facility that does not use medical doctors in its
therapeutic process. Dr. Mark Gold is a world renowned psychiatrist who does
use medical professionals in his treatment process. Before I tell you how Dr.
Mark Gold fits into the Straight scenario, let me give some background
information about him. In the 1980s Dr. Mark Gold, formerly research director
for Fair Oaks Hospital in Summit, New Jersey [a member of the giant hospital
chain NME (National Medical Enterprises, Inc.)] invented the 1-800-COCAINE
hot-line. If you called the toll-free number chances are you would be
referred to an NME hospital or one of its subsidiary PIA s (Psychiatric
Institutes of America) provided you had a good health insurance plan, or you
would be referred to the nearest public health facility if you did not. If
you called inside Florida you were probably transferred to a Florida hotline
managed by Dr. Gold's cousin Peter which, if you had insurance, referred you
to PIA's Fair Oaks Hospital in Delray Beach, Florida where the cocaine
treatment cure costed $22,000 for a 28 day stay! Cable TV's The Justice
Files did a segment on PIA in 1991 in which Robert Stuckey, an NME hospital
official, was quoted saying that if a person came into the hospital for
alcoholism and his insurance coverage for alcoholism was $10,000, but his
coverage for depression was $50,000, then his diagnosis would be changed and
he would be treated for depression. James Hutchison, a psychologist who used
to run the outpatient program at NME's Baywood Hospital in Texas said that
prizes like pizzas, theater and sports tickets were given to employees who
were responsible for the most admissions to the hospital. He claims that the
hospital's outreach program of sending guidance counselors, drug-abuse
counselors, and speakers to public schools were ploys to identify people who
might be admitted to care. It was the hot line's director Arnold Washton who
started the lie that crack cocaine is "instantly addictive" from an interview
he gave to Newsweek in the March 17, 1986 issue. Dr. Gold was a consultant to
Reagan's drug czar and to drug czar Bennett. DuPont's co-hort and former
Drug Czar Lee Dogoloff apparently joined Dr. Gold at Fair Oaks Hospital.
Former White House drug czars Dogoloff, DuPont and Bennett endorse the jacket
of Gold's book Good News About Drugs and Alcohol.

Dr. Mark Gold serves on the board of directors of Betty Sembler's (wife of
Straight co-founder Mel Sembler) Save Our Society From Drugs. I'll just add
that Bill Oliver, Straight's former national executive director, went on to
become director for parent training at PRIDE.

CONCLUSION. Clearly a forum is desirable so that health professionals,
educators, individuals desiring drug policy reform, and former Straight
clients and former clients from some Straight-like programs can be apprised of
new developments in Straight-like programs. And so that these former clients
can discuss their experiences and after-affects from being in a Straight-like
program. What I need from you is feed back to say that such a forum is
desirable, and whether you would frequent it from time-to-time. The proposed
USENET name is "alt.drug-rehab.kids-help-kids".

Please send replies to me:
Wesley Fager
Oakton Institute for Cultic Studies
email: wesfager@aol.com

Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures
(According To 'The Washington Post,' The District Of Columbia
Board Of Elections And Ethics Has Determined That Petitions
Gathered For A Local Medical Marijuana Initiative Do Not Include
Enough Verifiable Signatures Of Registered Voters)

Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 11:04:00 -0400
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net)
Subject: W.Post: Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

The Washington Post


Compiled from reports by staff writers Leef Smith, R.H. Melton, Maria Glod,
Karlyn Barker, Cheryl W. Thompson and Desson Howe and the Associated Press.
Friday, August 7, 1998; Page B03

Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures

Efforts to put a medical marijuana initiative before District voters appear
to have come up short.

The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has determined that petitions
gathered do not include enough verifiable signatures of registered voters.
Supporters collected more than 1,800 pages of signatures in support of the
measure. Those petitions contained more than 17,000 signatures of eligible
voters. Although that was more than required, the measure failed based on
statistical sampling because nearly 100 percent of the signatures sampled
would have had to be validated for the measure to make the ballot.
Organizers of the measure, known as Initiative 59, said they plan to
challenge the board's determination in court.

Cliff Schaffer, Federal Agency (The Webmaster For The World's Largest
Online Library, Featuring Every Major Study Of Drug Policy,
Shares A Hilarious Exchange Between Himself And A Representative
Of The US Drug Czar's Office)
Link to more info on Schaffer and his web site
From: "Cliff Schaffer" (schaffer@SMARTLINK.NET) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org) Subject: Cliff Schaffer, Federal Agency, Part 2 Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 14:41:09 -0700 I went to my mailbox today and found a five pound package of documents from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. A list of them is below. Included was the following letter from Francis X. Kinney, Deputy Assistant Director for Strategic Planning. (My response is listed below.) Dear Mr. Schaffer, Enclosed is a copy of the National Drug Control Strategy and other documents which you might consider adding to your online library. You should also consider linking the ONDCP web site to yours. I am confident that you, as a proponent of harm reduction, will agree that the Strategy appropriately focuses on preventing drug use by our vulnerable youth. I trust that you will also agree with the Strategy's endorsement of expansion of the nation's treatment infrastructure, to include methadone maintenance. Clear we don (sic - I am sure he meant "don't") have sufficient treatment capacity for the four million Americans addicted to illegal drugs. Finally, I would ask that you take the time to see the creative ways the Strategy makes the case for expansion of alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug-law offenders. I would be delighted to answer any questions you may have about the Federal Government's efforts to reduce illegal drug use and its consequences. Best Wishes, Francis X. Kinney Documents Included New York Times Article - Drug Czar Assails Mayor for Opposing Methadone NY Daily News Article = Methadone Users Rap Cold Turkey Plan Op-ed by McCaffrey - Legalization Would Be The Wrong Direction San Diego Union Tribune Article - McCaffrey Commits Truth Book - The National Drug Control Strategy, 1998 - A Ten Year Plan Book - The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign Memorandum -- Public appearances by ONDCP personnel for the remainder of 1998 Book - US/Mexico Bi-National Drug Threat Assessment, May, 1997 Book - Pulse Check - National Trends in Drug Abuse, Summer, 1998 Book - The National Drug Control Strategy, 1998 - Budget Summary *** Dear Mr. Kinney, Thank you for the books and articles you sent me. I will most certainly make an effort to get them into the online library as soon as my available time permits. If your agency has trouble getting good documentation on-line, perhaps you should suggest to the General that we establish a contractual arrangement to do so. I have always thought that the publication of comprehensive, credible research on the subject should really be the responsibility of our Drug Czar, and I have always been disappointed to find -- even in the current documents -- that there seems to be nothing in the plan for that purpose. I respectfully suggest that this may have something to do with ONDCP's current problems with credibility. I will certainly put in a link to the ONDCP web site and, in the near future, I will go you one better. It is my intention to put up a complete duplicate of the ONDCP web site in the Schaffer Library, complete with commentary and links to underlying research, just as I have already done for the benefit of the DEA. The ONDCP site is pretty small, by comparison, so it will make a nice subsection of the Schaffer library. Perhaps you will consider putting up a reciprocal link to my site, with the attached column from the St. Paul Pioneer-Press to explain why you are linking to a non-government site maintained by an individual. I was delighted to hear from someone with an interest in answering any questions I have. The biggest question is one that I have asked every Drug Czar we have had. Unfortunately, I have never gotten an answer. That is, if this drug policy was a good idea then, certainly, there would have been some significant governmental, medical, or other commission or study which would have said it was a good idea. I have collected scores of significant studies of drug policy from around the world, including the largest studies ever done by the governments of the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia. Unfortunately, none of them provides much support for current drug policy, and most are highly critical -- particularly in the area of marijuana policy. Can you name (and provide me with a copy of) any significant study of drug policy in the last 100 years which supports the current policy -- particularly with respect to marijuana? Bill Bennett couldn't name any. Bob Martinez couldn't name any. Lee Brown couldn't name any. General McCaffrey acts like he didn't hear the question. Perhaps you can help me. If you could name a list of them comparable to what I already have, that would be most helpful. Thanks again for your help. I look forward to your response. Clifford A. Schaffer Director, DRCNet Online Library of Drug Policy http://www.druglibrary.org P.O. Box 1430 Canyon Country, CA 91386-1430 (805) 251-4140 *** Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Section: Opinion, 7A Contact: nconner@pioneerpress.com (Reader Advocate Nancy Conner) Fax: 651-228-5564 Website: http://www.pioneerplanet.com Author: David Morris, Columnist Note: Morris, a local author, lecturer and consultant, can be reached at 1313 Fifth St. S.E., Suite 306, Minneapolis, Minn. 55414. U.S. SUPPRESSION OF DEBATE IS MONKEY ON NATION'S BACK [snip - link added to avoid duplication - ed.]

DEA Investigated, Insisted Embezzlers Be Prosecuted (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Seattle Times' From Thomas Constantine, The Chief Of The Drug
Enforcement Administration, Suggests Just Because An Employee Ripped Off
$6 Million Doesn't Mean The Agency Has A Problem)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: US: WA LTE: DEA Investigated,
Insisted Embezzlers Be Prosecuted (by DEA chief)
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:43:50 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Friday, 07 August, 1998
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/


DEA Investigated, Insisted Embezzlers Be Prosecuted

I would like to comment on your recent editorial, "Clean up the DEA," (July

For the record, it was hard-working, honest DEA (Drug Enforcement
Administration) employees who discovered the two criminal embezzlements
cited in your editorial. It was DEA, not auditors, who relentlessly pursued
the investigations, gathered the evidence and insisted that those
responsible for these reprehensible embezzlement schemes be prosecuted to
the fullest extent of the law.

We at DEA hold ourselves to the highest standards of public service. We will
not tolerate violations of the public trust and we do not tolerate illegal

Even before we discovered the thefts we recognized that there have been
shortcomings in our financial-management practices. That's precisely why we
asked KPMG Peat Marwick, a private accounting firm, to analyze our financial
systems and suggest improvements. We have already responded to the Peat
Marwick analysis in several fundamental ways.

We put new managers in charge of reforming financial operations and have
already implemented two major financial-systems reforms that should address
the questions raised in the audit.

I certainly agree with you that America's taxpayers deserve a better
financial-management system than the antiquated one that was used at DEA for
so many years and that's what they are getting.

One final point, I'd like to think that DEA's employees deserve a more
fairminded, evenhanded editorial than the one you wrote.

Thomas Constantine, Administrator, DEA, Department of Justice Washington,

Man With AIDS Doesn't Need Pot, Court Told (An Update In 'The Toronto Star'
On James Wakeford's Constitutional Challenge To The Canadian Government,
Demanding That Marijuana Be Supplied To Him Just Like Any Other Medicine,
Says A Government Lawyer Argued Thursday That Wakeford's Lawsuit Is Akin
To A Person In A Wheelchair Requiring The Government Of Canada
To Build A Ramp Every Time They Encounter A Building With A Barrier)
Link to earlier story
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org) Subject: MN: Canada: Man With Aids Doesn't Need Pot, Court Told Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:38:42 -0500 Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Friday, August 7, 1998 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: lettertoed@thestar.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Author: Wendy Darroch, Staff Reporter MAN WITH AIDS DOESN'T NEED POT, COURT TOLD Other legal drugs can ease pain, crown tells judge The Charter rights of an AIDS sufferer who wants to smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes are not being violated, a prosecutor said yesterday. There are other legal drugs that produce the same results as marijuana, but James Wakeford doesn't like them, Christopher Amerasinghe said. Wakeford, who developed full-blown AIDS in 1993, has applied for an exemption to the ban on marijuana because he says it is the only thing that eases the terrible nausea caused by the medicine he takes to control his illness. He says the illegal drug also stimulates his appetite. Wakeford had testified that far from controlling his chronic nausea, his one dose of a legal anti-nausea drug, Marinol, made it even worse for about seven hours. "He took one dose one day," Amerasinghe said of Wakeford's experience with Marinol, which contains synthetic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. Wakeford is arguing that the law violates his Charter rights to life, liberty and security, and also discriminates against him on the basis of his disability. Not only should he be allowed to smoke pot, he says, but the government should make sure there is a clean, safe supply of it for medicinal purposes. During the past few months, lawyers have gathered evidence and held about 10 days of hearings. Yesterday, they made their final arguments. Mr. Justice Harry Laforme of the Ontario Court, general division, reserved judgment, but said he'll try to hand down his decision "sooner rather than later." Wakeford's lawyer, Professor Alan Young, has argued that if the 53-year-old Wakeford does not have marijuana, his life is at risk because he can't keep medication or food down. Wakeford said he usually smokes two cigarettes each evening to ease his nausea and stimulate his appetite. His liberty is at risk because he has to purchase the drug illegally and could face imprisonment, Young said. For Canada to provide quality-controlled marijuana would be akin to a person in a wheelchair requiring the Government of Canada to build a ramp every time they encounter a building with a barrier, Amerasinghe argued. The law is applied to everyone, he said, so Wakeford's claim of discrimination is not true. Young said in his rebuttal yesterday that Amerasinghe was trivializing the issue. "The point is a dying man is seeking lawful authority to use the medicine of his choice."

Marijuana Laws No Discrimination, Prosecutor Says ('The Canadian Press'
Version In 'The Halifax Daily News')

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Marijuana laws no discrimination, prosecutor says
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 08:39:16 -0700
Lines: 48
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Halifax Daily News (Canada)
Contact: letterstoeditor@hfxnews.southam.ca
Pubdate: Friday, August 7, 1998

Marijuana laws no discrimination, prosecutor says

TORONTO (CP) - The laws banning marijuana don't violate the Charter
rights of a man who wants to smoke pot for medicinal purposes, the
Crown argued yesterday.

Lawyer Chris Amerasinghe says there are many legal medications Jim
Wakeford didn't try.

Wakeford, 53, was diagnosed with AIDS in 1993. He applied for an
exemption to the marijuana laws so he can use pot to ease nausea
caused by the disease and by the mixture of drugs he uses to control

He says the law violates his Charter rights to life, liberty and
security, and also discriminates against him on the basis of his
disability. Wakeford argues not only should he be allowed to smoke
marijuana, the government should make sure there is a clean, safe
supply of pot for medicinal purposes.

Over the last few months lawyers have gathered evidence and held about
10 days of hearings. Yesterday, they wrapped up two days of final

Amerasinghe said there are any number of anti-nausea drugs on the
market - including Marinol, which contains synthetic THC, the active
ingredient in marijuana - but Wakeford hasn't given any of them an
honest try.

"He took one dose one day," Amerasinghe said of Wakeford's experience
with Marinol.

Wakeford had testified that far from controlling his chronic nausea,
his one dose of Marinol made it even worse for about seven hours.

Amerasinghe also disagreed with Wakeford's argument that he's being
discriminated on the basis of disability.

"There is no group in Canada that's permitted to possess marijuana.
It's a blanket prohibition; it applies to everyone."

The judge has reserved his opinion in the case, but said he'll try to
hand down his decision "sooner rather than later."

Ruling Delayed On Use Of Pot As AIDS Relief ('The Toronto Sun' Version)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: Ruling delayed on use of pot as AIDs relief
Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 08:40:14 -0700
Lines: 29
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Toronto Sun (Canada)
Contact: editor@sunpub.com
Pubdate: Friday, August 7, 1998

Ruling delayed on use of pot as AIDs relief

A judge has reserved his decision on whether Toronto AIDS activist
James Wakeford should have the right to use marijuana for medicinal

Mr. Justice Harry LaForme promised yesterday his "written reasons"
would be delivered "sooner rather than later."

Wakeford, 53, had urged LaForme to order Ottawa to establish a program
to supply pure marijuana to AIDS patients.

Wakeford's lawyer, Alan Young argued that his client smoked marijuana
to combat "unbearable nausea" and weight and appetite loss caused by
the disease and anti-AIDS drugs.

Wakeford was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1989 and has had AIDS since

Government lawyer Chris Amerasinghe argued that he shouldn't receive
the same pot-for-medicine exemption that epileptic Terry Parker won
last year.

Police Delight Cannabis Lobby ('The Evening Post' In Wellington,
New Zealand, Notes A Variety Of Responses From All Sides To Assistant Police
Commissioner Ian Holyoake's Testimony On Wednesday Before A Parliamentary
Inquiry Into The Mental Health Effects Of Cannabis, Where He Said That Police
Were Open-Minded About Decriminalising It)

Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 19:32:11 +1200 (NZST)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: NZ: Police delight cannabis lobby
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org
Source: The Evening Post (Wellington)
Pubdate: August 7, 1998
Author: Megan Lane
Contact: editor@evpost.co.nz

Police delight cannabis lobby

Cannabis campaigners are delighted that police are keeping an open mind
about decriminalising cannabis.

Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Holyoake on Wednesday told a parliamentary
inquiry into the mental health effects of cannabis that police were
open-minded about decriminalising it.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Partly leader Michael Appleby said "Isn't it
wonderful?" and Drug Policy Forum Trust chairman David Hadorn welcomed the
police stance.

"But I hope they mean what they say because they are one of the main
obstacles to law reform," Dr Hadorn said.

Police also presented figures which showed one in seven homicides were
committed while the killer was stoned. But figures were not available for
murders committed under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.

But Dr Hadorn said cannabis had a calming effect on most users - "it is not
a violence producing drug". He said people over-using the drug should be
considered a health problem rather than a criminal problem.

Last week, the Ministry of Health told the committee that cannabis did not
pose a big health risk to users.

Tom Scott, author of anti-cannabis book The Great Brain Robbery, said
evidence showed the drug had a serious effect on adolescents.

However, he refused to enter the decriminalisation debate, saying education
was the only answer.

Both he and Mr Holyoake said traditional policing methods had not reduced
drug usage.

"The legal status of cannabis is irrelevant because the brain can't tell the
difference," Mr Scott said.

Police spent about $20 million a year on cannabis offences, out of the
police budget of $800 million.

Mr Appleby said decriminalising cannabis would free up police time and
resources for more serious offences.

"When you look at how many police we are losing, it [illegal cannabis] is a
waste. It's a waste of court time, it's a waste of police time, it's a
waste of prison time.

"And if you can't keep cannabis out of prisons with all the fences and dogs
and guards, how can you keep it out of a free society?"

Workplace Drug Testing (According To The Daily Bulletin From ADCA,
The Alcohol And Other Drugs Council Of Australia, 'The West Australian'
Has Published A Story About Perth-Based Occupational Safety Performance
Assessment Technology, The Australian Pioneer Of Computer-Based Impairment
Testing In The Workplace)

From: ADCA Library (library@adca.org.au)
To: "'update@adca.org.au'" (update@adca.org.au)
Subject: UPDATE - NEWS - Workplace drug testing
Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 12:08:16 +1000
Organization: ADCA
Sender: owner-update@wilma.netinfo.com.au
Reply-To: ADCA Library (library@adca.org.au)

WEST AUSTRALIAN 7 August 1998 p6

Perth-based Occupational Safety Performance Assessment Technology is the
Australian pioneer of computer based impairment testing in the workplace,
involving hand-eye coordination tests developed in the 1960s for astronauts
and US Air Force pilots. Unions find the system more user friendly as it
does not provide details of why someone has failed a test. Managers are
also happier because a wider range of debilitating factors are covered. A
drinker might pass a breathalyser test the following morning, but could
fail OSPAT if a hangover was severe. On the other hand, a worker who smoked
cannabis would probably fail a urine test three weeks later but would sail
through OSPAT. During the 15-second OSPAT test, workers try to keep a
randomly moving cursor in the centre of a circular target. A red warning
flags only if workers drastically under-achieve when compared with their
average performance from the previous 30 attempts. Trades and Labor Council
secretary Tony Cooke said it was cheaper for employers than drug testing
and also more effective because it tested impairment directly.


The Alcohol and other Drugs Council of Australia (ADCA) Daily News selects
one story only from the many that comprise the national news for posting to
this listserv. Copies of articles can be faxed or mailed on request and at
no cost. Requests can be made by phone 02 62811002, fax 02 6282 7364 or
email library@adca.org.au To subscribe to this listserv, send the message
"subscribe update" (without the inverted commas) in the text field to
majordomo@majordomo.netinfo.com.au with the subject field left empty.

Booze - Britain's Real Drug Crisis (An Op-Ed In Britain's 'Independent'
Notes Six Teenagers Have Died After Taking Ecstasy In The Past 10 Years
Compared To 55 Who Drank Too Much Alcohol, But You Could Never Tell
Which Was The Bigger Danger From Reading Newspapers)

Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 20:37:18 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Booze - Britain's Real Drug Crisis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke 
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Aug 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Mail: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, England
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Suzanne Moore


When a teenager dies after taking Ecstasy it's front page news. The
Government now warns us of a new heroin epidemic. But a far more deadly and
acceptable substance is freely available at a bar, restaurant or
supermarket near you.

I walked into the smoke-filled room and breathed a sigh of relief. It was
obvious that I could get what I was looking for. Scoring is never difficult
in places like this and it was obvious that I could not only get my drug of
choice, but I could get it in any combination I desired. The dealers were
polite enough, and even offered to bring it over to the table. I remembered
the first time I had indulged. It used to make me sick, but over the years
I had built up a tolerance. Anyway, this was a drug I could handle; it made
me feel better, more sociable; gave me a bit of a glow.

I don't have a habit. Of course not. What I do is entirely legal. My name
is Suzanne and I am not an alcoholic. I just like a drink now and again. A
lot of us do, and a lot of us are drinking far more than ever before. A lot
more of us are dying as a result of it, but you wouldn't know that from
reading the headlines of the last few days.

Illegal drugs are always far more newsworthy than legal ones and last week
has not been a good week for the parents of teenage children. I sat
watching the news with my teenage daughter while we were told that the
country is on the brink of a second heroin epidemic. Heroin, like any other
commodity with an image problem, has now been successfully rebranded. Freed
from its association with dirty, middle-aged junkies, it is now offered to
teenagers, even middle-class ones, in £5 wraps as a chill-out drug. The
Police Research Group said "The Nineties have been dominated by the
extensive use of drugs, like cannabis, amphetamines, and ecstasy,
particularly by youth populations".

The newsreader solemnly informed us of the signs of a teenage heroin user.
They become listless, unresponsive and glassy-eyed and spend a lot of time
in their rooms. "Are you a heroin addict?" I asked my daughter, because as
far as I can see these are merely the symptoms of adolescence. She made
that noise that teenagers make when they consider their parents to be an
utter embarrassment, and went up to her room.

By the middle of the week, however, the death of 18-year-old Julia Dawes
had reminded us that other drugs besides heroin kill our children. "Ecstasy
kills teenage fitness teacher" was the front-page headline of the Daily
Mail. Of course, this was a tragedy. The death of any 18-year-old is a
tragedy. But what I found also tragic was that we appear to have learnt
nothing, even though this particular drug has been widely used for the last
10 years. The way that this case was reported revealed the confusion and
hypocrisy that strangles at birth any sensible debate about drugs. Julia
Dawes should not have died. She was good-looking; her parents went to
church; she had everything going for her. She was not a member of the
under-class. She did not live on a sink estate. What is more, she was a
fitness instructor who cared about her body. How then did she come to take
this drug? Predictably, someone has to pay, and four people have been
arrested on charges of supplying her with it.

The reports reminded us too of another "innocent" Leah Betts. She shouldn't
have died either and her face became the face of a campaign to persuade
other youngsters not to take Ecstasy. Leah Betts became what the writer
Andrew O'Hagan called "the patron saint of ignorance". That may offend some
people, yet the campaign waged in her named has been, however you want to
measure it, a failure. It has not deterred people her age from taking
Ecstasy because in their experience you don't die and their experience is
that a hell of a lot of people take it every weekend and live to tell the
tale. If clubbers are using less Ecstasy than they were a few years ago, it
is not because they have been frightened off but because the quality of the
drug has deteriorated.

"We find it hard to believe that Julia would have been involved with drugs
in any way" said a friend of the family. We have been down this path before
and it leads only to dead ends. Richard Benson wrote in 1996 in The Face, a
magazine that does not find it hard to believe that nice girls like Leah
and Julia may use drugs "We walk now in a veiled landŠ.". The veil he was
referring to was the veil that exists between a world in which drugs are
common place, part of a youth culture and a world in which denies or
demonises their use. The death of Leah Betts proved how near and yet how
far these worlds are from one another. As Benson wrote "On the night she
took Ecstasy Š she was sitting in her Mums and Dad's living room having a
birthday party while they sat in the kitchen. When the veil was lifted, it
was found that the veiled and unveiled worlds were not merely close to one
another. They were the same". Six teenagers have died after taking ecstasy
in the past 10 years; 55 after drinking too much alcohol. But could you
tell which was the bigger danger, from reading newspapers? The world
regards them differently. The TV star Caroline Aherne admitted, after
leaving a private clinic, that she was an alcoholic. Her treatment cost her
UKP17,000, but she said it saved her life. Aherne's case was reported
sympathetically. We like Mrs Merton and know she has had a hard time
lately. Her "confession" meant that she joined the expanding cast list of
celebrity alcoholics. A few days earlier Kevin Kennedy, who plays Curly
Watts in Coronation Street, had held a press conference at which he
detailed his drink problem. He was promoted to face up to his addiction
after Kevin Lloyd, Tosh in The Bill, drank himself to death in May. Three
days before Lloyd died he had told a friend: "I can't stop drinking now. I
know it's killing me."

Many lesser known boozers drink themselves to death. They are the real
alcoholics anonymous. We don't know where they are. We only know that most
of them certainly cannot afford to spend time recovering in private
clinics. Our image of alcoholism is muddled to say the least, veering as it
does between the bruised and battered winos we see gathered on park
benches, and glamorous stars such as Liz Taylor and the model Paula
Hamilton who bravely battle in public to stay clean and sober.

Ordinary alcoholism and the misery it causes is not something we pay much
attention to. Perhaps it is too close to home. After all, alcohol is
everywhere, and within our everyday experience. This is not some weird
killer drug. It is our sanctified social lubricant. It is simply what we
do, and just because some poor sods do it too much, doesn't mean that the
rest of us shouldn't do it at all.

Politicians do not say much about alcohol. How can they? Huge amounts of
revenue are raised in form of tax on drink. Anyway, alcohol is central to
political culture. The bars of the House of Commons are full of those who,
like many of us, drink to relax, drink because there is nothing better to
do, drink in order to feel part of whatever it is that is going on. Edwina
Currie once told me that when she first entered the House she was surprised
to find that you spent most of the day not really drunk but not really
sober either. So she stopped drinking.

Yet the moral panic about drugs and the youth population, and the
Government's refusal to talk sensibly about drugs policy, mean that we are
not confronting what is really dangerous for our kids. Smoking, more than
any other drug, kills, but smoking does not cause antisocial behaviour.
Those who smoke know the risks they are taking. They are unlikely, because
of their nasty habit, to cause death and destruction to anyone other than
themselves. Drinking on the other hand, has massive repercussions for the
whole of society, as Dr Abraham of the Medical Council on Alcoholism has
said: "Alcohol diseases are hidden because alcohol is a legal drug. The
social consequences (ie actions) of tobacco are minimal. In alcohol they're
massive - crime, violence, accidents, divorce, family feuds."

Addiction to alcohol wreaks havoc. Drunk drivers kill people; drunks start
fights. The lagered-up lads of the market towns who start mini-riots every
Saturday night would be less inclined to do so without alcohol. Much
domestic violence and child abuse can be linked to the consumption of
alcohol. Families are torn apart by this drug. Many of those we see
sleeping in our streets have alcohol-related problems. All this happens far
away from the Betty Ford clinic and the psycho-babble of the reformed
celebrity drinker. It is horribly commonplace.

Deaths from alcohol-related diseases have increased by more than a third in
the last 10 years. Between 1984 and 1994 the number of deaths from
alcoholic liver disease doubled in those aged between 15 and 44. All trends
show that young people, especially young women, are drinking more and are
beginning to drink earlier. Last year the Health Authority published
figures that showed that three-quarters of all 11-year-olds had tried
alcohol. One survey found that some 12-year-olds were drinking as much as
15 whiskies in a session.

Perhaps because alcohol is everywhere and freely available as part of
mainstream culture, we would prefer to worry about other intoxicants that
we believe may harm our children. Yet even a cursory glance at the
statistics shows that we may be getting things out of proportion. Figures
vary, but it is estimated that over 5,000 deaths a year in England and
Wales are directly related to alcohol. Compare this with deaths from other
drugs. Although the figures are rising, in the whole of the United Kingdom
in 1995, the total deaths from heroin were 319. In the same year, the
number of deaths directly attributable to ecstasy were six. Even this week,
with the predictable scaremongering that followed Julia Dawes's death,
experts estimated that though 1.5 million young people are taking ecstasy
every week, the death toll this year is unlikely to be more than 20.

Statistics may be meaningless when faced with the loss of a vibrant child,
but nonetheless we cannot afford to become so mired in hypocrisy that we
exaggerate the risks of illegal drugs and gloss over the risks of legal
ones. We know from all the evidence that prohibition does not work. While
the Government pursues variants of the Just Say No campaign, drug agencies
have moved on to a Just Say Know approach, trying to give drug users
information about the substances they are taking. If we are going to drink,
then we need not only to inform ourselves of the risks, but also to be
clearer about the signs of addiction. We need to recognise when social
drinking spills over into something more problematic.

Those who drink know that alcohol can be immensely pleasurable - one of
life's joys. Those who take drugs know the same thing. Sometimes, though,
it gets ugly. Indeed, rave culture grew up partly as a reaction to the
aggression and out-of-control laddishness of drink culture. I find it
astonishing that the Government, headed by people in their early forties,
can continue to perpetuate the myth of two separate cultures even when
faced with the drug use of their own children. Those children may know that
the drugs their parents consume legally may be ultimately more
life-threatening and socially devastating than the illegal ones that they
prefer, but can we honestly say that the rest of us are as well informed?

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 53 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's Original News Summary)

Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 00:41:29 -0400
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 53
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org



Please accept our apologies if this is a duplicate post. We
tried to send this issue at 2:00 in the afternoon, Friday,
due to unresolved technical problems hasn't yet been
distributed as of 11 hours later. Hence we are trying again.
We believe we are closing in on the problem and will have it
solved shortly. Remember, you can always check our web site
for the latest issue, or send e-mail to wol@drcnet.org.

(To sign off this list, mailto: listproc@drcnet.org with the
line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or

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(This issue can be also be read on our web site at


* Those of you with java-enabled web browsers can check out
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http://www.drcnet.org -- just click on the scrolling text
links to select whichever article interests you.

* We have found a possible fix to the distribution problems
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this issue and see the results. Hopefully this issue will
reach you without delay; if not, we will continue to work on
the problem and find a workaround in the meantime.

* DRCNet isn't the only outfit to suffer occasional
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program, in which over 300 DRCNet members are participants,
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* Sorry, no editorial this week! But don't worry, the
editorial section will be back next week.



1. Marijuana Arrests Up For 6th Straight Year in California

2. Chavez Turns Down Plea Bargain

3. Arizona Supreme Court Judge Sides with Legislative
Council, Voting Pamphlet Will List "Heroin, LSD, and
Some Forms of PCP" in Prop. 300 Description

4. D.C. Appropriations Bill Would Ban Even Local Spending
on Needle Exchange

5. Misusing the Evidence

6. British Columbia Looks to Harm Reduction Strategy

7. National Party of Western Australia to Debate Heroin

8. Health of Afghani Women Deteriorating Under Taliban

9. Citizens Truth Commissions

10. Fall 1998 Soros Fellowships in Drug Policy Studies

11. Conferences Coming Up


1. Marijuana Arrests Up For 6th Straight Year in California

(press release from California NORML)

The number of marijuana arrests in California increased
again in 1997 despite the passage of Proposition 215,
according to newly released figures from the Bureau of
Criminal Statistics, The data show 57,667 marijuana arrests
in 1997, up from 56,956 in 1996, conclusively refuting
claims by Attorney General Lungren that Prop. 215 has
effectively legalized marijuana.

The new data come in the wake of a wave of arrests and
prosecutions of medical marijuana patients and providers
around the state in a crackdown by anti-215 D.A.'s led by
Attorney General Lungren.

* In Orange county, patient David Herrick was sentenced to
4 years in prison for supplying less than an ounce of
marijuana to patients of the Orange County Cannabis Co-Op.
Judge William Froeberg instructed the jury to ignore Prop.
215 and the medical benefits of marijuana. Herrick's
sentence will cost taxpayers $25,000 per year for less than
$100 of pot.

* In a related case, Orange County Cannabis Co-Op Director
Marvin Chavez, who suffers a degenerative spinal disease,
faces a possible 12-year sentence for distributing medical
marijuana. Judge Robert Fitzgerald has ruled that Chavez
can not claim protection under Prop.215 and has ordered the
club's patient records to be turned over to prosecutors.
Chavez's trial and jury selection are set to begin on August
3, 8:30am at the Orange County Central Courthouse, 700 Civic
Center Drive West, Division 39, 10th floor in Santa Ana.

* In San Diego, patient Steven McWilliams and Dion
Markgraaff are charged with growing pot for patients of a
now-defunct San Diego club.

* In San Jose, Santa Clara Medical Cannabis Center director
Peter Baez faces felony charges for distributing marijuana.
* In the US District Court in San Francisco, five medical
marijuana clubs have been charged with contempt of court for
violating a preliminary injunction by distributing medical
marijuana. Hearings before Judge Charles Breyer are
scheduled August 31, 1998, 2:30 pm at the San Francisco
Federal Building.

* In San Bernardino county, disabled patient Gene Weeks was
arrested for growing his own marijuana by sheriffs who told
him that Prop. 215 "doesn't apply" because of federal law.

* In Los Angeles, author/patient Peter McWilliams, patient
Todd McCormick, and seven others have been indicted on
federal charges of conspiring to manufacture medical
marijuana for patients in Southern California. Under
federal mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, the cost of
their imprisonment alone could exceed $1 million.

California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer argues that the
government has spent more money trying to persecute medical
marijuana patients than trying to implement Prop. 215. A
proposed bill by Sen. John Vasconcellos to let counties and
cities establish local medical marijuana distribution
programs has been stalled under opposition from Lungren and
Gov. Wilson.

"Attorney General Lungren's war on medical marijuana shows
he is more intent on creating crime than preventing it,"
argues Gieringer. "Not only has he ignored Prop. 215's
mandate to establish a plan for "safe and affordable"
distribution of medical marijuana, he is wasting taxpayers'
money persecuting those who do so."

Speaking in a gubernatorial debate last Friday, Lungren
called for more anti-drug enforcement. In fact, California
now has a record number of marijuana and other drug
prisoners, and marijuana arrests have been increasing for
six years in a row. Despite this, surveys show marijuana
use had increased under Lungren's tenure as attorney

The onslaught of arrests shows that California's war on
marijuana is bankrupt, says California NORML. This August
10th marks the 85th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in
California. Over this period, usage has increased from
near-zero to millions of adults. Over the same time, there
have been over 1,800,000 cannabis arrests, 1,000,000 of them
felonies. In 1975, the legislature partially decriminalized
marijuana, saving the state an estimated $100 million per
year in enforcement costs. Since then, however, arrests
have continued at half their preceding level.

California NORML proposes a three-step program to reduce the
costs of marijuana enforcement: (1) Implement a "safe and
affordable" distribution system for medical marijuana as
called for in Prop; 215; (2) Decriminalize personal use
cultivation of marijuana by adults to reduce dependency on
the illicit market, as in some Australian states; (3) Allow
cities and counties to establish regulated zones where
licensed cannabis clubs could provide cannabis to adults, as
in Amsterdam.

(Contact: Dale Gieringer, California NORML, (415) 563-5858,
canorml@igc.org, http://www.norml.org/canorml/.)


2. Chavez Turns Down Plea Bargain

Attendees at the trial of Marvin Chavez, cited above, have
reported that Chavez was offered a plea bargain in which he
would plead guilty to felony charges of distributing
marijuana, would receive probation instead of jail time,
would be allowed to grow his own personal medical marijuana
supply, but would not be allowed to run his Co-op to provide
marijuana for other patients. Chavez has reportedly turned
down the offer, saying he felt it wasn't right to plead
guilty to a law he didn't break. Judge Fitzgerald, taking
leave for vacation, has turned the case over to a different
judge, who has not yet made a decision on whether to allow a
Prop. 215 defense to be presented to a jury. Judge
Fitzgerald did not allow the Prop. 215 defense to be
presented, a ruling which an Orange County Register called
"illogical," noting that Fitzgerald did allow the
prosecution to seize and examine the Co-op's records to
determine whether there were any fake doctors notes in
violation of the conditions of Prop. 215. (Is Prop. 215
relevant for the prosecution but not for the defense?)
Further information on this case is available online at


3. Arizona Supreme Court Judge Sides with Legislative
Council, Voting Pamphlet Will List "Heroin, LSD, and
Some Forms of PCP" in Prop. 300 Description

Overturning a ruling by a Maricopa County Superior Court
judge last Friday, the Arizona state Supreme Court rejected
an attempt by opponents of Prop. 300 to keep "heroin, LSD,
and certain forms of PCP" out of the official description of
the referendum. "The People Have Spoken" sponsored Prop.
300 in the hopes that its defeat would restore the drug
medicalization referendum passed there in 1996 that had been
gutted by the state legislature in early '97. Hence, a "no"
vote on Prop. 300 is a vote to restore the drug
medicalization act passed by the voters in '96.

The Prop. 300 and final voting guide text are online at


4. D.C. Appropriations Bill Would Ban Even Local Spending on
Needle Exchange

The House of Representatives passed an amendment to the
District of Columbia Appropriations Bill that would ban the
Washington, D.C. local government from using any funds --
federal or even local -- for needle exchange. This and
other provisions were opposed by D.C. Delegate Eleanor
Holmes Norton, according to the Associated Press, who said
"The D.C. appropriations bill is not the place to take your
stand on social legislation. The D.C. appropriation is the
place to stand up for democracy." Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA)
also opposed the amendment, saying that it is unfair to
single out the District as the only place where local NEP
funding is banned, particularly given that AIDS is "the
greatest public health crisis that has ever faced this
city." The Clinton administration has also opposed the
provision, taking the position that needle exchange should
be a local decision.

The bill faces a possible presidential veto, because of
other provisions, and is moving to a conference committee to
reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions.
The conference committee is likely to be formed some time in
September. Please call your Senator and your two
Representatives, and ask them to ask members of the D.C.
Appropriations Conference Committee to support home rule by
opposing the anti-needle exchange amendments. You can reach
them via the Congressional Switchboard, (202) 224-3121.


5. Misusing the Evidence

An opponent of needle exchange, Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KS),
cited studies that purportedly show needle exchange to be
ineffective at reducing the spread of AIDS during the
Congressional debate yesterday, according to the Associated
Press. Tiahrt was probably referring to research in the
Canadian cities of Vancouver and Montreal, which found
rising rates of HIV among the injecting population. This
study has been used frequently by opponents of needle
exchange repeatedly in recent months, including drug czar
Barry McCaffrey, who repeated this claim on the Diane Rheim
show on National Public Radio two weeks ago.

The authors of this study, however, took to the pages of the
New York Times last April to say that needle exchange
opponents have "misinterpreted" their research, which in
reality found that the programs in those cities succeeded in
reaching the most at-risk populations, but weren't large
enough to provide enough syringes to enough users to stem
the growing problem of injection-related AIDS in places
where cocaine had become the drug of choice over heroin.
The average cocaine injectors requires many more syringes
each day than a heroin injector would require.

An article in last month's Journal of Acquired Immune
Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology provides some
quantitative understanding of the situation in Montreal. It
cites a 1995 study which estimated the number of injection
drug users to be 10,000 and that about 10.68 million
syringes would be needed annually to provide one-time
syringe use for all of them. The researchers also
calculated that approximately 338,000 syringes were
distributed in 1994, meeting only about 3.2 percent of the
estimated need. It was noted that the total number of
sterile syringes could have been higher, due to underground
distribution within the injection-using community and the
illegal drug trade. Still, the numbers are adequate to
illustrate that the problem in Montreal was not needle
exchange, but that there was not enough of it. Another
problem was that the program had a limit on the number of
syringes it would provide to any given client on any given


6. British Columbia Looks To Harm Reduction Strategy
- Kris Lotlikar

Public officials in the province of British Columbia are
taking a second look at their current drug policy. Rises in
drug use and crime in the province has convinced Vancouver
Police Chief Bruce Chambers and Chief Coroner Larry Campbell
to endorse alternatives to the War on Drugs.
"Ladies and gentlemen, what we are doing now no longer
works," Chambers said at a press conference last week.
"Filling prisons or hospital beds with substance abusers
does not make any public policy sense."

B.C spends near $80 million per year on drug enforcement,
but with the profits motive amazingly high and the threat of
being apprehended much lower it has been largely
ineffective. "It's time somebody steps forward and says the
war on drugs is lost," stated Campbell. "We cannot even
pretend to be winning the war."

The Provincial Medical Officer, Dr. John Millar, released a
report on HIV, hepatitis and drug use in B.C which got the
backing of both Chambers and Campbell. The plan calls for a
major expansion in the use of the heroin-substitute
methadone to treat addicts; help to be provided for child
car whose parents are victims of addiction; a super-
committee to co-ordinate a provincewide approach, and a
trial program of heroin maintenance.

The call for offering free legal heroin to addicts with
prescription has brought about a barrage of criticism.
Benedikt Fischer from the Center for Addiction and Mental
Health in Toronto says that much of the controversy is based
on misinformation. "This is an important step towards
effective addiction treatment," Fisher told The Week Online.
"Methadone should be the central tool in treatment of
opiates but alone it is not sufficient. We must expand the
continuum of chooses and option available in order to
accomplish prevention goals. He explains that this is not a
new idea at all in Canada. The respected Le Dain Commission
recommended heroin maintenance trials 25 years ago.

Over 200 residents of B.C have died from overdoses during
the first half of this year, which preludes a record 400
deaths by the end of 1998. "It is a signal of society that
we have to start doing things differently," coroner Campbell
reflects. He pointed that money invested in treatment now
will pay large dividends in health care savings. "We can
make money by helping these people get better."

Ujjal Dosanjh B.C attorney general expressed concern about
this initiative not being put forward by Ottawa. "It has to
be part of a national strategy, otherwise you will have
people traveling all over from Canada to Vancouver. That's
not desirable." Unlike in the United States, in Canada no
new law would be needed to start heroin maintenance trials.
Approval would only be needed from The Bureau of Dangerous
Drugs which would weigh the scientific and ethical evidence.

Mark Townson runs the Portland Hotel in East Vancouver. The
hotel provides housing for people who could not get housing
any other way, many of who are addicts. Those living there
have access to medical care, counseling and methadone. He
told The Week Online that the new program, "would save
people's lives, make people less miserable, and make the
streets safer." Mark has seen people are waking up to the
fact that the problems of addiction are medical not
criminal. "Five years ago we were a fringe group, now the
consciousness has shifted," he said. "These officials
coming around is long overdue."


7. National Party of Western Australia to Debate Heroin

The National Party of Western Australia is debating whether
to include heroin maintenance trials as part of its drug
policy platform, at the party's annual conference this
weekend, according to The Australian this week. Earlier
this year the party's State Council endorsed steps toward
the decriminalization of marijuana, calling for first and
second-time users to be issued infringement notices rather
than taken to court. Paul Clune, a party member and sponsor
of the resolution, said the heroin trial would be based on
the Swiss program, which has led to dramatic reductions in
drug-related crime.

Last year's National Party conference rejected a resolution
that supported the Australian Capital Territory heroin
trials, with opposition to the trials led by party leader
and Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan. Premier Richard Court is
opposing the trials, saying " "I am certainly very opposed to
pumping more heroin into the system," and is also opposed to
any liberalization of the marijuana laws.

Opposition Leader Geoff Gallop countered that "It is pretty
clear that the current system is not working and advice to
that effect is coming consistently from our police officers,
including the commissioner," he said.


8. Health of Afghani Women Deteriorating Under Taliban

A report released this week by Physicians by Human Rights
detailed a deterioration in the physical and mental health
of women under the Taliban regime. The Taliban are an
extremist group that has essentially banned health care for
women, as well as education. Among the restrictions placed
on Afghani women under the Taliban is that they may more go
out in public unless accompanied by a close male relative --
widows are out of luck, according to PHR. Another factor
contributing generally to diminished mental health is forced
attendance at public beheadings of convicts.

Pino Arlacci, head of the United National Drug Control
Program, wants to fund the Taliban to the tune of $25
million per year for 10 years, as part of an opium
eradication agreement; "wiping out the crop" was a central
theme at the UN drug summit this June. An article by Karynn
Fish, in the spring 1998 issue of the Drug Policy Letter,
discussed this issue; you can read it online at

We are investigating the status of the UNDCP's Taliban
plans, and hope to provide a recent update on them next
week. Physicians for Human Rights can be found online at

http://www.phrusa.org -- click on "what's new" for
information on the recent study.


9. Citizens Truth Commissions

The Institute for Policy Studies, a Washington, DC-
based progressive think tank, is sponsoring "Citizen
Truth Commissions on Drugs, Government Complicity and
Our Communities," a citizens' tribunal collecting
evidence in four areas: 1) How the drug industry
operates; 2) Government complicity in drug trafficking;
3) Social impact of drug trafficking; and 4) Social
impact of the US war on drugs. IPS is seeking
submissions of information throughout the rest of this
year, to be presented at a two-day event in January,
1999. For further information, contact Martha Honey or
Jim Schrider at the Institute for Policy Studies, 733
15th St. NW, Suite 1020, Washington, DC 20005, (202)
234-9382, fax: (202) 387-7915 e-mail to ipstcd@igc.org,
or visit http://www.ips-dc.org/drugs.htm on the web.


10. Fall 1998 Soros Fellowships in Drug Policy Studies

The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank that is a
project of the Open Society Institute, is inviting
applications for a limited number of fellowships to support
social science, humanities, and policy research on the
history and politics of drug prohibition as well as its
costs, consequences and alternatives.

Pre-doctoral fellowships provide $18,500 for one year;
applicants must be "advanced to candidacy" (i.e. working on
the dissertation). Post-doctoral fellowships provide
$32,000 to $42,000 for one year (depending on years post-
Ph.D.). Post-docs must have completed their Ph.D. (or
equivalent) within the past six years. All fellows are
eligible for up to $4,000 in research/travel expenses.
Selection is based on the applicant's achievements and
demonstrated interest in issues of drug policy studies, the
need for the proposed project, and the proposed project's
potential for success. Preference will be given to
meritorious proposals that are unlikely to be funded by
government agencies. Proposals from outside the United
States are welcome.

Applications files must be submitted by October 19, 1998.
For more information, contact Mireille Jacobson at (212)
548-0603, ext. 1469, e-mail mjacobson@sorosny.org, or visit

http://www.lindesmith.org/grants/fellow.html on the web.

(Note that this fellowship is distinct from the Soros Harm
Reduction Fellowship, which seeks to promote the development
of innovative health, criminal, and/or civil justice
programs that minimize the adverse effects of both drug use
and drug prohibition, and which is geared primarily to
recent graduates of professional schools -- e.g. nursing,
social work, medicine, law, etc. -- who wish to develop and
implement harm reduction studies and/or policies. For more
information on the Harm Reduction Fellowship, call (415)
554-1900 e-mail shrf@sorosny.org, or visit the above-listed
web page.)


11. Conferences Coming Up

Regulating Cannabis: Options for Control in the 21st
Century -- An International Symposium, London,
September 5, 1998, Regent's College. The Lindesmith
Center and Release, a British agency dedicated to
providing a range of services for meeting the health,
welfare and legal needs of drugs users and those who
live and work with them, invite individuals and
organizations with a policy or professional interest to
attend a symposium on options for the regulation and
decriminalization of cannabis (marijuana). This
symposium will bring together leading experts from
Europe, Australia and North America in the fields of
science, jurisprudence, sociology and government to
examine recent experiences and possible options for
regulating the world's most popular illicit drug, and
aims to shed light on optimal cannabis controls and
bring a new maturity and clarity to public debate.

Particular attention will be devoted to exploring
pragmatic opportunities for reform within the context
of prohibition and examining recent constitutional and
judicial developments in the regulation of cannabis.
For further information, contact Mireille Jacobson at
the Lindesmith Center, (212) 548-0603, x1469, e-mail
mjacobson@sorosny.org, or Vicki Charles at Release, at
(44/171) 729-5255, fax (44/171) 729-2599, or visit

on the web.

Expanded Pharmacotherapies for the Treatment of Opiate
Dependence, a conference presenting the latest
research, policies, and practices related to the use of
opiates and other drugs -- including codeine, morphine,
diacetylmorphine, buprenorphine, methadone, and
amphetamine -- for maintenance treatment of addiction.
Particular attention will be devoted to evidence and
experiences outside the United States. Presenters will
include leading international and American clinicians,
researchers, and health officials. Friday, September
25, 9-5, $50 (lunch included), $20 for students, at the
New York Academy of Medicine, 5th Ave. & 103rd Street,
New York. NY. Co-sponsored by Beth Israel Medical
Center, Columbia University School of Public Health,
The Lindesmith Center, Montefiore Medical Center, The
New York Academy of Medicine, and Yale University
Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. For
further information call (212) 822-7237, fax (212) 876-
4220, e-mail ralcantara@nyam.org, or visit

on the web.

The Second National Harm Reduction Conference,
sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition, will convene
in Cleveland, Ohio, from October 7-10. Registration is
$300, with a 15% discount for current members of HRC,
and certain For further information, call (212) 213-
6376, or visit http://www.harmreduction.org on the web.


Due to staff travel schedules and other obligations we
are not able to bring you an editorial this week. But
don't worry, the editorial will be back next week, so
stay tuned to DRCNet! We look forward to bringing you
more commentary on the war on drugs and its approaching
end. If you're hungry for an editorial, check out our
archives at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/archives.html and
browse any or all of the back issues.


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