------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: AAL@inetarena.com Subject: CanPat - MARIJUANA RECRIM, M57, UPDATE Sender: email@example.com The AMERICAN ANTIPROHIBITION LEAGUE "Drug Peace!" 3125 SE BELMONT STREET PORTLAND OREGON 97214 503-235-4524/fax:503-234-1330/Email:AAL@InetArena.com Friday, August 7, 1998 For Immediate Release MARIJUANA RECRIM 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFOR: ART: Lawmakers get innovative invitation to tour prisons Cc: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org 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 winner." 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" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org 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) "GOD GREW IT, I SMOKE IT, THAT SETTLES." "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" (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com [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 Westminster. Mira
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Tom O'Connell" (email@example.com) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com 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 BY MICHAEL SIMMONS 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 hemp. 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 operation. 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 smoking. 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 middleman. 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 disbursed. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Cal Med MJ Legislative ALERT! Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ CAL. NORML LEGISLATIVE ALERT August 7, 1998 Friends: 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. NOW IS THE TIME TO CONTACT THE ASSEMBLY IN SUPPORT OF SB 535. 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 // email@example.com 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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) 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: http://www.actupdc.org http://www.levellers.org/dcstat.htm For more information, contact: Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis P.O. Box 729 Nederland, CO 80466 Vmail: (303) 448-5640 Email: firstname.lastname@example.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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IA: In Iowa, Some Prisoners are Behind Bars Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 Author: Larry Fruhling Section: Sec. 1, p. 6 IN IOWA, SOME PRISONERS ARE BEHIND BARNS 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 labor. "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 work. 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 business." 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 problems. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IL: Waukegan High Eyes Random Drug Tests Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 Author: Sheryl Kennedy Section: Metro DuPage, p. 1 WAUKEGAN HIGH EYES RANDOM DRUG TESTS 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 activities. 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 amok." 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)Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:51:23 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Organization: BlueDot To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US PA: Federal Lawsuit Targets Medical Marijuana Use Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dirtroad Source: Philidelphia Gay News Contact: email@example.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 Reply-To: MPP@MPP.ORG Sender: firstname.lastname@example.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. *** HOW TO VOICE YOUR CONCERN: 1. Please contact Dr. Leshner's office (phone 301-443-6480 or e-mail email@example.com) and tell him that "NIDA should provide marijuana to all FDA-approved studies, without requiring an NIH peer review." 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), 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." *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: 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 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Genes May Influence Marijuana Use Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 Source: Fox News Online Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Reuters GENES MAY INFLUENCE MARIJUANA USE 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, Virginia. 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 women. 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. 2. ARE ANY EXISTING STRAIGHT-LIKE PROGRAMS STILL ABUSING CHILDREN? 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 license. 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! 3. HOW IS THE DRUG FREE AMERICA FOUNDATION (THE NEW STRAIGHT) AFFECTING 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: email@example.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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net) Subject: W.Post: Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Washington Post METRO IN BRIEF 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)From: "Cliff Schaffer" (schaffer@SMARTLINK.NET) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org (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: email@example.com (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: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Friday, 07 August, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ DRUG ENFORCEMENT DEA Investigated, Insisted Embezzlers Be Prosecuted I would like to comment on your recent editorial, "Clean up the DEA," (July 20.) 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 behavior. 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, D.C.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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)From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: Canada: Man With Aids Doesn't Need Pot, Court Told Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:38:42 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Pubdate: Friday, August 7, 1998 Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Marijuana laws no discrimination, prosecutor says Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 08:39:16 -0700 Lines: 48 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Halifax Daily News (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 it. 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 arguments. 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: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Ruling delayed on use of pot as AIDs relief Date: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 08:40:14 -0700 Lines: 29 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Friday, August 7, 1998 Author: SAM PAZZANO, TORONTO SUN 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 purposes. 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 1993. 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" (email@example.com) From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: NZ: Police delight cannabis lobby Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Source: The Evening Post (Wellington) Pubdate: August 7, 1998 Author: Megan Lane Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (email@example.com) To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" (email@example.com) Subject: UPDATE - NEWS - Workplace drug testing Date: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 12:08:16 +1000 Organization: ADCA Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: ADCA Library (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org To subscribe to this listserv, send the message "subscribe update" (without the inverted commas) in the text field to email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Booze - Britain's Real Drug Crisis Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Pubdate: Fri, 07 Aug 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, England Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Suzanne Moore BOOZE - BRITAIN'S REAL DRUG CRISIS 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 land.". 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 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: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 53 Sender: email@example.com THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 53 -- AUGUST 7, 1998 -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (To sign off this list, mailto: email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html.) MEMBER NOTES: * Those of you with java-enabled web browsers can check out the latest alerts and headlines on our home page at 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 of the last few weeks, but won't know for sure until we send 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 technical vicissitudes -- the eyegive online fundraising program, in which over 300 DRCNet members are participants, suffered a severe hardware crash, and are still figuring out how much data they can recover. About 17 DRCNet/eyegive participants apparently got dropped from the rolls, and may or may not have been restored. If you signed up for eyegive, but think you may have been dropped -- or if you weren't signed up, but think you might want to be -- visit http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 to enroll or to find out more. This is a great way to raise money for DRCNet without spending a penny of your own, just by taking a few seconds each day to point and click. Members have already earned DRCNet nearly $1,500 through eyegive, and more of you signing up could turn it into a very significant source of revenue for the organization and for drug policy reform activism. * DRCNet needs your support! Join the more than a thousand dues-paying members and cast your vote for reform today! Use our secure form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to make a pledge or a credit card donation. BUMPER STICKERS ARE SENT TO ALL NEW MEMBERS -- check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/bumpersticker.gif. Help us by recruiting more e-mail subscribers too -- nearly 6,400 now, help us reach 7,000! (But please get their permission first, before signing them up.) Please note that donations to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. You can make tax-deductible donations to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The DRCNet Foundation will gradually be taking over much of the educational work currently being carried out by the Drug Reform Coordination Network. Help us celebrate the inauguration of the DRCNet Foundation by making a tax- deductible contribution! Note that the Foundation is not yet set up for credit cards, only checks or money orders. Donations by check, tax-deductible to the DRCNet Foundation, or non-deductible to the Drug Reform Coordination Network (to support our lobbying work), may be mailed to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. * Sorry, no editorial this week! But don't worry, the editorial section will be back next week. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: 1. Marijuana Arrests Up For 6th Straight Year in California http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#california 2. Chavez Turns Down Plea Bargain http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#chavez 3. Arizona Supreme Court Judge Sides with Legislative Council, Voting Pamphlet Will List "Heroin, LSD, and Some Forms of PCP" in Prop. 300 Description http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#prop300 4. D.C. Appropriations Bill Would Ban Even Local Spending on Needle Exchange http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#dcapprop 5. Misusing the Evidence http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#misuse 6. British Columbia Looks to Harm Reduction Strategy http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#britishcolumbia 7. National Party of Western Australia to Debate Heroin Maintenance http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#nationalparty 8. Health of Afghani Women Deteriorating Under Taliban Regime http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#taliban 9. Citizens Truth Commissions http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#tcd 10. Fall 1998 Soros Fellowships in Drug Policy Studies http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#fellowships 11. Conferences Coming Up http://www.drcnet.org/wol/053.html#conferences *** 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 general. 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, email@example.com, 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 http://www.marijuananews.com. *** 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 http://www.sosaz.com/election/1998Info/PubPamphlet/prop300.html/. *** 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 occasion. *** 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 Maintenance 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 Regime 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 http://www.lindesmith.org/library/taliban.html. 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, 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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com, or Vicki Charles at Release, at (44/171) 729-5255, fax (44/171) 729-2599, or visit http://www.lindesmith.org/news/cannabis_conference.html 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://www.nyam.org/meded/announcements/treatment.html 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. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ ONLINE LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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