------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Takes It Easy On Pot Growers ('The Herald' In Everett, Washington, Says US District Court Judge Thomas Zilly Showed His Dislike Friday For Tactics Used By Prohibition Agents Last Year To Dismantle A Large Marijuana-Growing Ring When He Sentenced Gregory Haynes And James Denton Of Eastern Washington To 'Only' Six Years In Prison, And Said The Two Could Remain Free Pending Appeal - The Judge Was Disturbed That Dale Fairbanks, A Former Private Investigator, Was Paid $150,000 As An Informant Because Police Were Investigating Clients Of Mark Mestel, An Everett Defense Attorney For Whom Fairbanks Had Regularly Worked)Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 20:37:18 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: Judge Takes It Easy On Pot Growers Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sat, Aug 08 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: SCOTT NORTH Herald Writer JUDGE TAKES IT EASY ON POT GROWERS Government's Actions In Use Of Investigator For Attorney Required Leniency, Zilly Says SEATTLE -- A federal judge showed his dislike Friday for tactics investigators used last year to dismantle a large marijuana-growing ring and gave the group's leaders a break in their sentences.Gregory Haynes, 37, and James Denton, 56, both of Eastern Washington, earlier this year pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges in a case that involved hidden pot farms near Stanwood and Moses Lake. The pair had faced seven to 10 years in prison.But U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly said he found aspects of the government's investigation troubling, and sentenced them to six years behind bars. He also said Haynes and Denton could remain free, pending appeal. The case presented "some of the most difficult and unusual, and frankly, disturbing facts and circumstances" he'd ever seen, Zilly said. Federal prosecutors last summer charged Haynes, Denton and six others after law officers unearthed a large pot farm in five shipping containers buried beneath a Grant County alfalfa field. The investigation began in 1994, after a fire at another large pot farm the group operated near Stanwood. Attorneys for Haynes and Denton tried to have the charges thrown out, claiming a violation of the attorney-client relationship. The Snohomish Regional Narcotics Task Force and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were assisted in the investigation by Dale Fairbanks, a former private investigator based in Everett. Some of the investigation's targets had previously been represented by Mark Mestel, an Everett defense attorney for whom Fairbanks had regularly worked as an investigator. Zilly said he was troubled by Fairbanks' involvement, including the government's decision to pay him $150,000 for his work. The judge in February ruled the defendants couldn't claim attorney-client privilege, in part because they had conspired to have Mestel file fraudulent documents in an attempt to mislead the government about who bankrolled the Stanwood-area operation. At the time, Zilly also said the government legitimately investigated continuing criminal activity and took steps to make sure that Fairbanks' involvement did not violate the attorney-client relationship. But on Friday, he said Haynes and Denton deserved leniency in sentencing because of the government's actions. The tactic of using a defense investigator as a government informant was "highly unusual, and hopefully never to be seen again in this district, or elsewhere," Zilly said. "I think the judge based his ruling on the evidence he heard," Fairbanks said when told of Zilly's comments. Fairbanks in February testified tearfully that he decided to assist the government in its investigation after Haynes attempted to recruit him into criminal activity and used him as a conduit for sending Mestel small amounts of marijuana. Haynes also testified about the drug deliveries, but said Mestel didn't ask him to send the pot, and never acknowledged receiving any. Mestel testified that Haynes sent him marijuana, but added that he never kept the drug. Haynes' attorney, Allen Ressler of Seattle, told Zilly that drug detectives had been after Mestel, and that's why they recruited Fairbanks. "That appears to be an ongoing issue for them, because they contacted us in recent days" and offered leniency for Haynes if he'd testify against Mestel, Ressler told the judge. It will be at least a year before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on Haynes' and Denton's appeals, lawyers said. As part of their plea, the pair agreed to forfeit to the government their interest in more than $2 million worth of businesses and property they admitted purchasing with drug money.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Olympic Shot Putter Requests A Hearing By USA Track And Field ('The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune' Says 1996 Gold Medal Shot Putter Randy Barnes, Suspended For Two Years In 1991 By The International Amateur Athletic Federation For The Steroid Methyltestosterone, Has Been Suspended For A Second Time After Testing Positive For Androstenedione, And Filed An Appeal Friday In Indianapolis) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:23:27 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IN: Olympic Shot Putter Requests A Hearing By Usa Track And Field Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA) Section: Sports, page C-6 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/ OLYMPIC SHOT PUTTER REQUESTS A HEARING BY USA TRACK AND FIELD Barnes appeals his suspension INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Shot putter Randy Barnes, suspended for a second time after testing positive for a banned substance, filed an appeal Friday with USA Track and Field for a hearing. The 1996 Olympic gold medalist and world indoor and outdoor record-holder is trying to avoid a lifetime ban. Barnes was first suspended for two years in 1991 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation for the steroid methyltestosterone. He tested positive again April 1 in an out-of-competition test at Charleston, W.Va., for the nutritional substance androstenedione, which increases the body's ability to produce its own testosterone naturally. To escape a permanent ban, Barnes first must win a hearing before USATF's three-member Doping Hearing Board. "They won't talk to me about a hearing date until they select a panel, which will be at least a week," lawyer Bob Duplantis, who with his son Greg represents Barnes, said after filing the request for the hearing. If the doping board finds Barnes guilty, he would be suspended for life. If the panel decides he is not guilty, he would be free to compete again. Should the board vote against Barnes, he can go before USATF's Doping Appeals Board, a different three-member group. The appeals board cannot hear new evidence; it can only determine whether proper procedures were followed. If discrepancies are found, the appeals board can dismiss the case. It then returns to the IAAF, which can agree with the board or say Barnes is banned. If the IAAF bans Barnes, he can go to binding arbitration.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Changing The Drug Laws (A Staff Editorial In 'The New York Times' Says New York Governor George Pataki's Effort To Reform The Rockefeller Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Laws Is Admirable, But He Should Have The Courage To Confront The Drug Sentencing Problem On The Front Steps Of The State Capitol Rather Than Out The Back Door) Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 01:13:14 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Changing The Drug Laws Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ CHANGING THE DRUG LAWS Four years ago, in one of his first proposals as Governor, George Pataki announced that the time had come to revamp New York State's rigidly Draconian drug laws. Enacted in 1973 under Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, the laws mandated such penalties as 15 years to life for being caught with four ounces of cocaine. Designed to suppress the drug trade, these sentences rivaled those for murder and rape. But instead of wiping out the drug markets, the laws overloaded prisons and court dockets with addicts and low-level couriers. Thus, when a Republican Governor who portrayed himself as a crime-buster stepped up to this tough legal issue, the reformers saw him as their perfect advocate -- able to soften drug laws without being accused of weakness, "the Nixon-going-to-China syndrome," as one activist put it. As it turned out, however, Mr. Pataki could not persuade many of those in his own party to correct the mistakes of 25 years ago. So the Governor has been quietly working around the edges to soften the impact of the Rockefeller laws by pardoning individual prisoners and pushing for alternative forms of incarceration, including drug treatment. Doing the right thing quietly is better than not at all, of course, but it is time to deal openly with a sentencing mess that many judges and law enforcement officials have been protesting for years. John Dunne, a former Assistant Attorney General under President Bush and head of a bipartisan organization studying the state's drug laws, explained earlier this year how the Rockefeller laws have failed. They have "handcuffed our judges, filled our prisons to dangerously overcrowded conditions and denied sufficient drug treatment alternatives to nonviolent addicted offenders who need help," he argued in a report to the Legislature. Some prosecutors want to retain the current laws so that a sentence of 15 years to life can still hang automatically over the head of somebody caught selling two ounces of the hard stuff. These brutal sentences can be used to persuade people to testify against the bigger figures in this underworld business. But major dealers often use the most addicted or most ignorant clients as couriers. If they are arrested and do not know enough to implicate the bosses, they pay the full price. Thus the system tends to lean hardest on the little guy. Mr. Pataki's effort to right these wrongs is admirable, but he should have the courage to confront the drug sentencing problem on the front steps of the State Capitol rather than out the back door. Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Louisiana To Reassess Drug Screen For Welfare Recipients ('The Dallas Morning News' Says Louisiana Governor Mike Foster For Some Reason Thinks Written Drug Tests Aren't Turning Up Enough People He Can Kick Off The Roles, Even Though The First Week's Test Of 1,554 Welfare Clients Yielded 33 Poor Souls Who Were Referred To The Department Of Health And Hospitals For Urine Tests, And 26 People Out Of 989 Recipients The Second Week Who Were Referred For Urine Tests - Foster Was Also Expected To Issue An Executive Order Monday Requiring Urine Testing Of State Employees In The Executive Branch) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 15:00:33 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US LA: Louisiana To Reassess Drug Screen For Welfare Recipients Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Rolf Ernst (email@example.com) Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: 8 Aug 1998 LOUISIANA TO REASSESS DRUG SCREEN FOR WELFARE RECIPIENTS SURVEY ANSWERS MAY BE TOO EASY TO FAKE, GOVERNOR HAS SAID BATON ROUGE, La. - A new drug-screening test for welfare recipients, criticized by Gov. Mike Foster for turning up a low number of potential abusers, will get a second look by state social services officials. The test has been in place for a little over two weeks. Department of Social Services officials said it was implemented only after extensive discussions with state attorneys and after looking at what other states do. But social services officials said they will meet Monday to reassess the 20-question test, which is designed to ferret out potential users of illegal drugs. Mr. Foster said he does not like the questionnaire because many people may be able to fake their answers. The questionnaire asks welfare recipients such questions as: "Have you used drugs other than those required for medical reasons?" and "Have you abused prescription drugs?" The director of a local substance-abuse treatment center said a questionnaire will not help determine if someone is using drugs. "The best way is a urine test," said Lyman White of Drug & Alcohol Counseling Inc. in Baton Rouge, which provides drug-treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Mr. White said that the questions on the screening test are good and that he probably will add some to his own evaluation. But he said most drug addicts are manipulative and aren't looking for help. In the first week the questionnaire was used, 1,554 welfare clients were tested and 33 were referred to the Department of Health and Hospitals for urine tests. During the second week, 989 recipients were screened and 26 were referred for urine tests. "We're going to look at what has occurred to see if we need to tweak the system and make changes," said Vera Blakes, assistant secretary of the social services department's Office of Family Support. Mr. Foster said last week that he believes the number of abusers is higher than the 33 who were found the first week. In 1997, the Legislature required drug testing of welfare recipients, as well as elected officials, state employees who use heavy equipment or who work in security areas, and those who have contracts with the state. Counselors administer the questionnaire to welfare recipients and applicants. If they fail, or if counselors believe by observation that they have a drug problem, welfare clients are referred to the Department of Health and Hospitals for a more detailed drug profile and urine test. If they fail a urine test, they must enroll in a state-financed treatment program. Those who refuse or do not complete the program risk losing benefits. Any dependent child, however, will continue to receive benefits if the parent is cut off. About 48,000 households receive welfare in Louisiana, including 27,000 adults, according to social services. Department Secretary Madlyn Bagneris said welfare recipients who want to get off drugs and find work probably will answer the questions on the state test honestly in order to get help. She also said the 33 referrals from the first week were about the number the agency expected in the early stages of the program. Ms. Blakes said that the department cannot test welfare recipients without reasonable suspicion and that the questionnaire is one way to see if there might be a need for a urine test. But she acknowledged: "You can always put down a false answer. I've never known a system where a person couldn't lie their way through it." Ms. Blakes said more time is needed before the state can see whether the questionnaire is working. Meanwhile, Mr. Foster was expected to issue an executive order Monday requiring drug testing of state employees in the executive branch.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Local Correspondent Covers Proceedings Wednesday And Thursday In James Wakeford's Constitutional Challenge (More Details About The AIDS Patient's Lawsuit Demanding The Canadian Government Supply Him With Medical Marijuana, Just Like With Any Other Drug)Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 04:32:19 -0400 From: Neev (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Mattalk (email@example.com) Subject: Wakeford v. R. Aug 5-6/98 August 5-6 at Wakeford vs. R. Judge Hon H. Laforme. Native Canadian recently appointment to the bench. mid-40s maybe late 30s. (unconfirmed - he just finished a murder trial in Whitby, Ontario) the Plaintiff: 1) Mr. James A. Wakeford - 54 yo AIDS activist suing the federal gov't (health dep't) for the right to possess, obtain, cultivate, and have provided safe, clean, affordable medical cannabis. 2) Alan Young - Professor of Law - Osgoode Hall 3) Jordan Koleman - Civil lawyer 4) Bruce Ryder - Professor of Law (constitutional equality specialist) - York U 5) Paul Rudd - law student - York U the Respondant 1) Chris Amerasinghe QC - highly experienced crown attorney ('ringer') and lead for this case 2) Kevin Wilson - fondly remembered as the lead prosecutor in R. v. Clay, and R. v. Parker *editorial note- all males :( The trial started promptly at 10am. The judge seemed to puntcual - all 15 min or hour breaks were exactly 15 min or an hour long. The crown seemed calm and relatively motionless as early as 9:55, and only moved to make notes or whisper comments to each other. The Plaintiffs seemed a little more scattered buy excited about the day's potential. Prof Young took most of the morning discussing the deposions of the case. In order to speed the pace of the trial, all experts and witnesses were deposed during June and July, and various affidavits were obtained in person or on the phone (for places like California, BC, Massechusettes, etc). The bulk of the 'presentation' revolved around the depositions of Dr. Berger (St Mike's Head of Family Medicine) and Dr. Goodhew (leading HIV specialist and Mr. Wakeford's physician), Mr Jim Wakeford's and Dr. Kallant (former physician and current head of pharmacology - UofT and Canada's -and one of the world's 'expert' on cannabis esp. the WHO cannabis report cover-up . He was also the only crown witness). Prof Young reveiwed the depositions of these people (all of whom recommended cannabis for mr. wakeford - including Dr. Kallant!!) and pointing out specific quotes and tying them back to what little research there is on cannabis. The last third was regarding possible counter arguments the crown (respondants) would make, like he hadn't tried all avenues, or there are equally effective drugs as cannabis. One point Young made was there is a process (special access program) that allows for the release of illicit substances, except it requires a licensed manufacturer. Not in Ontario, or in Canada, or even the western world, is there a license manufacturer of medical grade cannabis. In countries like Holland there is a lax law (decriminalized de facto) but they are not licensed (the media (global) picked up on this particular point). His main arguments were 1) is it constitutionally proper to criminalize medicinal use and 2) if criminalization is constitutionally wrong, what a working remedy. ('a right without a remedy is not a right at all'). His process was 1) Mr. Wakeford has HIV 2)chemotherapy, as well the illness itself, leads to nausea and wasting 3) prescriptions cannot help without considerable side effects 4) science has little research as compared to other substances 5) what little research there is leads to a positive conclusion and use regarding cannabis, and little research indicates possible harm if abused. 6) the gov's has setup a system to obtain illicit substances for therapeutic use 7) the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) makes it impossible to access medical cannabis 8) (minor point) the CDSA allows for the Minister of Health to exempt anyone from criminal liablity. Prof Young used precedences from morgantaler (abortion rights), as well as one where a court ordered the federal government to pay for and translate all of Manitoba law into french; meaning they had to hire many translators, a temporary ministry of translations, and even had to report back to the judge for progress reports. After such a precedence, growing cannabis at the Experimental Farm, or from the RCMP vaults would administratively easy and possible and well within a courts influence to force the hand of government in such a manner. Judge Laforme often played 'devil's advocate' and asked intelligent well defined questions, given the complexity of the case. He seemed active and alert, used a highliter a lot, and seemed impressed with Jim's 25+ years of community work, including Exec. Dir of Casey House - an AIDS hospice for constant care of AIDS patients. He also showed concern over the fact that Jim almost died twice this year, once from liver failure brought on by toxic shock of his combination therapy. At about 11:30, Bruce Ryder began his summation of equal rights as defined by the constitution, specifically homosexual rights and disabled rights. He brought many complex issues in a clear concise manner. The judge asked for clarity on a minor, yet important, details and Mr. Ryder answered them flawlessly and brilliantly. The suprise was this case was the first time arguing a case in open court. He used to do only academic and scholar work. He was an excellent surprise. We adjourned for lunch until (exactly) 2:15, where prof Young finished his arguments and turned it over to the respondants. Before the crown finished their opening remarks, judge Laforme interrupted him for clarity and that he was not going to tolerate splitting hairs that distracted from the real issues. The crown went on to discuss how unrelated Young's precedences and points did not relate to this case, and because for minor reasons, Mr Wakeford is not the perfect test case, and does not qualify for the legal test of 'necessity' and therefore the constitutional exemption. Essentially, Young and Ryder painted a very obvious picture. The crown was trying to poke holes in their approach by using any means neseccary including some of these paraphrased statements: - it is not a substance that will ensure life or preserve/extend health (does not really need it) - all of Young's affidavits weren't cross-examined (duh!) - Since Wakeford is currently not on any AIDS prescription (see notes above re: almost dying) and hasn't been since May, cannabis is no longer needed and thus nukifies the suit. If he does go back to AIDS chemo therapy drugs, the possible choice of drugs cannot predicted until required, and then side effects cannot be predicted either. Besides, quoting from Wakeford's deposition "I'm eating like a pig, and I feel fine". The judge stopped him there and told him that 'fine' is a very relative term in the face of terminal illness, and the judge clarified that 'need' is defined in the context that it assists. - Blamed hospitalization on cannabis use (not enough research) - Wakeford is one of the few persons with AIDS who have a need for an anti-emetic - Dr Goodhew's has been with Wakeford since 92, (diagnosed HIV+ in 89) and notes regarding weight loss, nausea, and apetite did not appear until 96, meaning his case is not as important as wakeford claims it is. His notes were incomplete and should be declared invalid, and his deposition be dropped from the evidence. - Dr Berger, a more experienced physician presented conflicting facts to those of Goodhew's, and contributed to goodhew's lacking as a competent physician. - The crown brought up the plaintiff's constantly changing notion of "cannbis is the only....." to "cannabis is effective for....." The judge reminded him that this case is not only about effectiveness but about 'choice'. - The State has done nothing to stop him or endangered him during his transactions with the black market. At one point the judge asked the crown if he were to grant access to wakeford what problem would there be aside from the fact it is currently illegal. The crown rested on 1) the fact that while Zofran (anti-emetic) is prohibitively expensive ($20 per pill x4 per day = $2400 per month), does show potential far above research indicators of crude marijuana. 2) Mr. Wakeford didn't give marinol a decent try (tried it once, and "never again"). 3) he does not qualify as a person with violated rights.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Seize Pot Worth $270,000 ('The Kitchener-Waterloo Record' In Ontario Says Police Busted One Man For 385 Marijuana Plants In Various Stages Of Growth That They Valued At $270,000) From: "Starr" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "mattalk" (email@example.com) Subject: Police seize pot worth $270,000 Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 21:13:43 -0400 Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo) firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Aug.8, 1998 POLICE SEIZE POT WORTH $270,000 A crime stoppers tip led police to a large hydroponic marijuana growing operation in Kitchener this week. When they arrived at 1904 Bleams Rd. on Wednesday, drug officers found 385 marijuana plants in various stages of growth, worth an estimated $270,000, Staff Sgt. Kevin Chalk of Waterloo regional police said. The plants, ranging from five centimetres to more than a metre high, were found in two growing rooms. A third room was used for cloning young plants, Chalk said. Tim Young, 39, is charged with producing a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- So Legalise Them? (Britain's 'Economist' Interviews Outgoing Colombian President Ernesto Samper And Provides An Update On The Drug War And Colombia-US Relations) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 13:16:32 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Colombia: So Legalise Them? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul_Bischke@datacard.com (Paul Bischke) Source: Economist, The Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.economist.com/ Pubdate: 8 Aug 1998 Section: Page 32 SO LEGALISE THEM? No one country on its own can sensibly decriminalise illegal drugs. The world could collectively, but won't. Yet suppose it did: would Colombia be better off? Yes, says Ernesto Samper. It is a qualified yes. He points to the huge harm that drug money has done to Colombia. To would-be legalisers, that strengthens the case for change. Mr Samper balks, saying past evils on this scale cannot be just swept under the carpet. Even so, his is a striking admission from a man who spent much of his presidency at war with the drug mobs. That is not how his enemies see him. Barely was he elected in 1994 than rumours flew that his campaign chest had been fattened by the Cali drug mob. It had, he later admitted; the worse charge, which he denies, that well he knew it, was to dog all his four years. Yet fight the mobs he did, and hard. In 1995 police smashed the Cali mob, and lesser ones later. Over 200 tonnes of cocaine or cocaine base were seized in Mr Samper's four years. Growers were assailed: aerial spraying hit 1,500 square kilometers of coca and poppy (580 square miles -- not much by prairie standards, but Colombia is not Kansas). The direct credit may go to General Jose Serrano, at first heading the anti-drugs drive, and, since 1995, the national police. But it was Mr Samper who backed the general; he who in 1996 put through a law for the confiscation of mobsters' property -- nearly $2 billion of it, so far; and who last year arm-twisted Congress into reinventing extradition for them. Little thanks Mr Samper had from his main beneficiary. Because of his election cash, he faced tireless public sniping by the American ambassador, Myles Frechette. True, Mr Frechette refused American backing to a would-be coup; but he refused little else. The United States for two years "decertified" Colombia as an anti-drugs ally, and still denies Mr Samper a visa. By any norms, let alone those of diplomacy, this was a weird attempt to destabilise a foreign government. And it worked. But it also did not work, maintains a resentful Mr Samper: "This attitude of confrontation, the international "satanisation" of my government, and of the president personally, undoubtedly weakened us in the war on drugs." Things changed with the arrival of a very different ambassador. Yet was the trouble just due to Mr Frechette? Mr Samper is no admirer. But no, he says, Mr Frechette "was the ventriloquist's dummy of Robert Gelbard", the State Department's zealous anti-drugs chief. Both men have since gone on to higher things. Much has gone with them. Colombia this year got back its seal of virtue. And the United States at the Santiago pan-American summit in April all-but admitted that its certification system achieves little but resentment. It accepts too that drug-consuming countries must act to cut demand, just as others must act to cut supply. Yet two questions remains from this bizarre episode in Uncle Sam's complex relationship with his neighbours. For all the welcome it gave Mr Pastrana this week, does the United States really comprehend just how ugly the episode looked to Latin Americans? Second, will drugs still weigh so heavily in the relationship, even if the Americans' approach to them has altered? The respective answers are: probably no, and almost certainly yes. Mr Samper is not alone in believing that, in Latin America, "with the communists gone, the only enemy left was the drug-traffickers" -- Mr Clinton's version of Ronald Reagan's "evil empire." Mr Pastrana this week was being urged to display ever greater zeal in the drug war, not to look for pragmatic ways of ending it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Risks Of Cannabis Use (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Dominion' In Wellington, New Zealand, From Roger Sowry, The Country's Associate Minister Of Health, Insists The Government Will Maintain A Prohibitionist Stance Despite The Evidence Presented To Parliament By His Own Ministry) Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 09:04:57 +1200 (NZST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: NZ: PUB LTE: Risks of cannabis use Mr Sowry, in charge of the Gov't alcohol and drug portfolio, was sorely wounded when his own ministry debunked his oft-voiced claims regarding cannabis harm at a parliamentary select committee hearing last week. Apparently he felt compelled to make sure people realised that he -- and the government -- are steadfastly clinging to their clueless, narrow view on this issue, evidence to the contrary be damned. Note the absence of any appeals to evidence in this latest missile -- just more "I consider" and "wrong message" rhetoric, as usual. Thus does the empire strike back. Not to worry, though -- the Jedi will soon be returning, with the prohibitionist Death Star clearly in its sights. *** Source: The Dominion (Wellington) Pubdate: 8 August 1998 Contact: email@example.com Author: Roger Sowry, Associate Minister of Health Risks of cannabis use I write in response to your recent article headlined "Cannabis use not a serious risk to health says ministry" (July 30). I consider this headline to be misleading and I am concerned that it is sending the wrong message to people about the risks of cannabis use. Individuals who regularly use cannabis can, and do, suffer serious health and social problems. These can include cognitive impairment (impairment of memory, attention, and integration of information), increased risk of injury, and interference with interpersonal relationships. Chronic cannabis use can also lead to people alienating themselves from society, resulting in education, work and social opportunities being lost. On July 21, I released the Government's plan for action to combat drug abuse and reduce drug-related harm. The National Drug Policy outlines our determination to stop the growth of a hard drug market in New Zealand. It sends a clear message that we will not tolerate any form of drug-related harm. To understate the health effects of cannabis when comparing it to alcohol and tobacco plays into the hands of the people who would see us decriminalise cannabis as well, risking even greater health and social problems at both the population and individual levels. I consider the use of cannabis to be a serious problem in New Zealand and will fight any moves to understate or downplay the risks of cannabis use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alarm At 'Deadly' Heroin Sold In ACT ('The Canberra Times' Says Children As Young As 12 Were Among A Record 42 Heroin Overdose Victims Last Month In Canberra In The Australian Capital Territory - The ACT Justice And Community Safety Minister, Gary Humphries, Said The Community Was Suffering Because The Proposed ACT Heroin Trial Had Been Stopped Last Year By Prime Minister John Howard, Who Announced A Tougher Line On National Anti-Drugs Policing) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Published The Canberra Times 8-8-98 Date: Sat, 08 Aug 98 16:21:06 +1000 From: email@example.com (Peter Watney) Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Canberra Times Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Sat 8 Aug 1998 Section: News, Page 3 Journalist: Peter Clack Alarm at 'deadly' heroin sold in ACT By Peter Clack Children as young as 12 were among a record 42 heroin overdose victims in Canberra last month. Police and the ACT Ambulance Service have now issued a warning of heroin in unprecedented quantities, deadly purity and cheapness, flooding the market and leaving young people at risk. They said 10 users had died from drug overdoses last year, and eight the previous year. The 42 overdose victims in July compared to only eight for the same month last year. They said prohibition was not working and called for new government and welfare agency strategies to beat the worsening problem. ACT Justice and Community Safety Minister, Gary Humphries, said the community was now suffering because the proposed ACT heroin trial had been stopped last year. Prime Minister John Howard had called off the trial and and announced a tougher line on national anti-drugs policing. Mr Humphries said the trial could have offered some solutions, a register of drug users and options for them to get off drugs. "The problem is nearly impossible to resolve," Mr Humphries said. Other details released yesterday show a foil of heroin, giving two hits, can be bought for $30. A starter kit costs $10. Children are offered "smack packs" - a portion of heroin, syringe and starter kit for $5. Commander John Dau, head of the Australian Federal Police Regional Operations, warned of heroin with a fatal purity of 82-85 per cent. "What we are seeing is a disturbing trend where heroin is cheaper, purer and more readily available than ever before," Mr Dau said. He said the rise in the number of overdoses and deaths was unacceptable. "Without police intervention it would have been worse. This is an ongoing problem, prohibition by itself is not working." He said a more fully integrated approach was needed, but promised to continue to target distributors and importers. Superintendent Ross Findlay of the ambulance service said victims were often as young as 12. He told how paramedics treated the same person three times on the same night, and that heroin overdoses now accounted for 10 per cent of all ambulance calls. Deborah Felton, of the Drug Referral Information Centre, said there were 3391 code names registered for syringes from the needle exchange service. She said 56 per cent of them were aged under 25. Four years ago only 40 per cent were under 25. Ms Felton said many users were homeless and living in unsafe conditions. She said the rate of heroin use fluctuated in Canberra but "we are aware of quite a few overdoses". There was little improvement in the options for people who wanted to get off drugs. Heroin users were being told waiting times were up to seven weeks for methadone or two months for entry into the Karralika therapeutic comminity clinic. "There is always a waiting list," she said. "Many out there will be sad, lonely, homeless, wet and cold." The only "good news" was that the rate of increase in the number of people seeking needles had dropped from 32 per cent in in 1996-97 to 13 per cent in 1997-98. [A photograph of three well-dressed respectable citizens seated at a circular table in a lounge room and subtitled: Drug reform campaigners Rosemary Norman, left, and Brian and Marion McConnell, who want the laws in Australia changed before drug problems worsen] [Marion invited me over to be part of the photo, but I had other business at the time. Rosemary Norman is better looking than me] Drug law reform group says addicts find help harder to find "The situation is getting worse rather than better," said the father of a Canberra youth who died of a heroin overdose. It has been six years since the family of Brian and Marion McConnell lost their son, Cliff in tragic circumstances. Today they belong to the Family and Friends for Drug Law Reform, a group based in Canberra but with about 300 members from across Australia, which seeks new ways to deal with illicit drugs and dependent users. Mr McConnell said crime rates in Canberra were rising and there were more hold-ups and robberies. He said this reflected the difficulties drug users faced in getting accepted into detoxification and methadone programs. He said waiting times were six weeks or more in Sydney. "If someone wants to get off drugs they have to go cold turkey," he said. "I deplore the Prime Minister's decision where he vetoed the heroin trial without looking at the evidence." He said there were too few treatment programs available to meet the demand. Mr McConnell said the Australian Federal Police had stopped attending reports of heroin overdose victims as a result of the family's experience. Cliff had been taken to hospital and when he woke up police were there to interview him. He had left Canberra out of a feeling of shame. AFP Commander Dau said yesterday that anyone requiring urgent medical treatment for a drug overdose could contact the ACT Ambulance Service, without fear of police being informed, on triple 0. But innformation about those suspected of distributing illegal drugs could be given anonymously to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 - PETER CLACK
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tales Of Terror Emerge From Victims ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says A Full Decade After The Burmese Army Shot Thousands Of Protesters In Rangoon And Around The Country And Later Refused To Recognize A Landslide Election Victory By Pro-Democracy Leader Aung San Suu Kyi, The Regime's Reliance On Terror Shows No Signs Of A Letup - Increasingly, The Government's Concept Of 'Development' Means Grabbing Control Of The Lucrative Heroin Trade) Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 23:44:25 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Burma: Tales Of Terror Emerge From Victims Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Page: A 12 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Sandy Barron Chronicle Foreign Service TALES OF TERROR EMERGE FROM VICTIMS Rape, torture murder are its instruments Bangkok "The Burmese military ... know there's no way people will like them, so they rule by fear." - CHRISTOPHER BRUTON, Economic consultant in Bangkok As riot troops man strategic positions in tense Rangoon for today's 10th anniversary of the Burmese military's fierce suppression of a pro-democracy uprising, human rights groups say that the army is committing fresh atrocities at an alarming rate. Villagers in eastern Burmese states bordering Thailand are being killed, tortured and raped as the ruling military junta seeks to consolidate its control throughout the country, according to numerous eyewitness reports. A full decade after the army shot thousands of protesters in Rangoon and around the country and later refused to recognize a landslide election victory by pro democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the regime's reliance on terror shows no signs of a letup. Suu Kyi, the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize winner, is recovering from dehydration and fever after recently spending six days marooned in her car on a country road when the ruling State Peace and Development Council prevented her from visiting supporters. Appalling Cruelty A few hundred miles north of the capital in lush, jungled Shan and Kayah states, traumatized villagers are fleeing from the army to the Thai border bearing stories of appalling cruelty. They come from towns and villages as close as 20 miles from the Shan capital of Taunggi, which the government promotes as a tourist center, along with the nearby, picturesque Inle Lake. The Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF), a nongovernmental organization formed in the early '90s and based in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai, has issued a number of detailed reports documenting the atrocities and forced relocations. Witnesses recently gave these accounts to SHRF workers: 0 On June 27, soldiers from the Burmese army's Light Infantry Battalion 246 shot dead 13 villagers in Kaeng Tawn; seven children and two women were among the victims. 0 Twenty-six farmers were gunned down on June 2 near Murng-Kerng. In One refugee brought a photograph of Nang Zar Hawn, a 14 year-old girl who was allegedly raped, killed and burned by an army major near Lai-Kha. 0 Nang Nan, the wife of farmer Sai Phim, found her husband buried at the steps of their home near Kaeng Tun with his head above the ground, after being shot by troops. Pippa Curwen, & British researcher for the SHRF who has taken some of the refugees' testimony, said, "Yesterday I interviewed a 19-year-old man who had rope marks across his arms." Electric Shocks "He said he had been captured and tortured by troops; he was beaten, a green plastic sheet was tied around his head and water poured in so he couldn't breathe, and he was given electric shocks on his cheeks." Hundreds of extrajudicial killings, many of them preceded by torture, have been documented by the SHRF. The reports come on the heels of a warning in April by Amnesty~ International that hundreds of thousands of farming families&. from more than 1,400 villages in Shan state were in grave danger after being forced to relocate t( miserable camps without adequate( food or medicine. The dire conditions tions in the camps force people t( forage in the f orests or to try t( return to their abandoned villages where they are vulnerable to be ing shot on sight by soldiers. Escapees from the camps say that men, women and children alike are routinely forced to construct army buildings, build roads and carry supplies for soldiers. They add that diseases causing diarrhea are rife. "I decided that if I died, everything would be over and that would be better than going back to the camp, because life is very bad there," said Klaw Reh, 50, a Shan farmer who escaped and fled to Thailand with three children in April after his wife died in the Shadaw relocation camp. Lucrative Narcotics Trade The military's campaigns in Shan, Kayah and Karen states have increased in intensity since 1996. Burma experts say that the goal has been twofold: To undermine any lingering support for the region's depleted ethnic resistance groups and, from the Junta's perspective, to bring "peace and development" to the border areas. Increasingly, the regime's concept of "development" is being extended to grabbing control of the lucrative narcotics trade, analysts say. Burma is one of the world's largest suppliers of heroin. Large parts of resource-rich Shan state were outside Rangoon's reach before it cut a deal with top opium warlord Khun Sa in 1996. Khun Sa, whose extradition was fervently sought by the United States, reportedly agreed to disband his private army, give up the drug trade and submit to a form of house arrest. In turn, the junta guaranteed his safety and apparently allowed him to use his billions to pursue legitimate business opportunities - sometimes in Partnership with the regime. Christopher Bruton, chief of Dataconsult, a consulting company in Bangkok with extensive experience in Burma, said: "The Burmese economy is continuing to deteriorate, and the narcotics business is about all the government has left to get money, To control harvesting and processing of opium does require more continuous control in rural areas." Rape as a Tool of Terror The junta vehemently denies involvement in the drug trade. But farmers who fled to Thailand re. Port that troops around Ho Murng, Khun Sa's former stronghold, are )ordering villagers to grow opium. The refugees add that soldiers control factories that make "Ya Ma," a type of amphetamine that has flooded Thailand. One of the most disturbing of lie military's practices is the systematic use of rape as a tool of terror, the human rights groups say. In a March report issued by Earthrights International, an in ternational organization based in Thailand and Washington, D.C lawyer Betsy Apple wrote: "Women are raped in their villages and during flight. They are subjected to rape and other sexual abuse as they engage in forced labor ... for the Burmese army. They are coerced into marrying. soldiers and forced to provide sexual services under the cloak of so-called legitimate marriage." Fear of sexual attack as well torture or killing helps ensure the army's control of the civilian pop lation, the report adds. Earthrights suggests that the brutalized culture within th 400,000-strong army, where so ldiers, many of them conscripts, are often underage, underpaid, illiterate and ill-treated by superiors, helps create the conditions for widespread rape. The attacks are often of uncom monbarbarity. The Amnesty report on condi tions in Shan state documented a attack on Nang Ing, 30, from Lai ha township. She was trying to re turn to her village to fetch rice when soldiers raped her and the poured boiling water over he body. She died a few days later. Burned to Death Nang Mai from Kunting town ship was raped over a series of days in a deserted village, then "covered with wood and burned to death," according to testimony given to Amnesty. Villagers interviewed by the SHRF said that 9-year-old Pweh K Tall MU was raped by soldiers from Light Infantry Battalion 423 at Ku Baw Deh village in April. The ethnic groups believe that forced marriages and sexual liaisons are part of an attempt by the junta to "Burmanize" them. "We have seen documents circulated a few years ago indicating that soldiers would get extra money for marrying ethnic women," said Mon activist Kasaw Mon. Asked to speculate on what the military hoped to gain from such repression, consultant Bruton said: "Their reactions are not what you might expect. In some places, if you are unpopular, you try to get people to like you. "The Burmese military sees no point in that; they know there's no way people will like them, so they rule by fear. That's been the case for a very long time." For their part, military spokesmen routinely deny the atrocities and accuse ethnic groups of spreading disinformation. "There are no human rights abuses," Brigadier General Maung Mating, a top junta official, said earlier this year. The regime called Amnesty's April report "a fabrication."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Journal Backs Use Of Drugs In Sport (Britain's 'Telegraph' Says 'The Lancet' Has Joined Those Thinking The Unthinkable About Drug-Taking Among Athletes, Arguing That Sport Has Become So Artificial That It Is Hard To Distinguish Between Acceptable And Unacceptable Aids To Success) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MN" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: UK: Medical Journal Backs Use Of Drugs In Sport Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:52:28 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com MEDICAL JOURNAL BACKS USE OF DRUGS IN SPORT A medical journal has joined those thinking the unthinkable about drug-taking among athletes, arguing that sport has become so artificial that it is hard to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable aids to success. The Lancet says today that competitors are nowadays best described as highly-paid "professional entertainers" in an arena where "fair play is becoming an old-fashioned idea". Science, it says, already has a deep influence on the eating habits of competitors, with the line between drugs and nutritional supplements increasingly blurred. The journal states: "How can the dignity of athletes be preserved during testing? Why should an adult competitor not be allowed to make an informed choice about a substance provided it is legally acquired?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moscow Orders War On Drugs (Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' Says Mayor Yuri Luzhkov On Friday Ordered Police To Stamp Out The City's Drug Problem By Raiding Bars, Discos And Clubs Frequented By Young People - Spot Checks Will Be Made At Airports, Stations And Roads) Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 23:33:46 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Russia: Moscow Orders War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Author: Marcus Warren, Moscow MOSCOW ORDERS WAR ON DRUGS MOSCOW'S mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, yesterday ordered police to stamp out its drug problem by raiding bars, discos and clubs frequented by young people. Spot checks will be made at airports, stations and roads to help to stop hard drugs reaching the city. Drug-related crime rose 12 per cent in the first seven months of this year compared with 1997, Mr Luzhkov said. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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