Portland NORML News - Saturday, August 8, 1998

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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 20:37:18 -0800 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: Judge Takes It Easy On Pot Growers Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sat, Aug 08 1998 Source: The Herald, Everett (WA) Contact: letters@heraldnet.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.
Link to earlier story
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.
Link to earlier story
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US IN: Olympic Shot Putter Requests
A Hearing By Usa Track And Field
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: slott@slnt01.sanluisobispo.com
Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Changing The Drug Laws
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US LA: Louisiana To Reassess Drug Screen For Welfare Recipients
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Rolf Ernst (rolf_ernst@legalize-usa.org)
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: 8 Aug 1998



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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 04:32:19 -0400 From: Neev (neev@connection.com) Reply-To: neev@connection.com To: Mattalk (mattalk@listserv.islandnet.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" (seedling@golden.net)
To: "mattalk" (mattalk@islandnet.com)
Subject: Police seize pot worth $270,000
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 21:13:43 -0400
Source: The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo)
Date: Aug.8, 1998


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Colombia: So Legalise Them?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Paul_Bischke@datacard.com (Paul Bischke)
Source: Economist, The
Contact: letters@economist.com
Website: http://www.economist.com/
Pubdate: 8 Aug 1998
Section: Page 32


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

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: drctalk@drcnet.org, update@adca.org.au, mattalk@islandnet.com
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: editor@dominion.co.nz
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

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: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: Published The Canberra Times 8-8-98
Date: Sat, 08 Aug 98 16:21:06 +1000
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
Newshawk: petrew@pcug.org.au
Source: The Canberra Times
Contact: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au
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

"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

[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

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


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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Burma: Tales Of Terror Emerge From Victims
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Page: A 12
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Author: Sandy Barron Chronicle Foreign Service


Rape, torture murder are its instruments


"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

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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: UK: Medical Journal Backs Use Of Drugs In Sport
Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:52:28 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998
Source: Telegraph, The (UK)
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk


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

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Russia: Moscow Orders War On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998
Source: Daily Telegraph (UK)
Contact: et.letters@telegraph.co.uk
Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
Author: Marcus Warren, Moscow


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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