------------------------------------------------------------------- 85th Anniversary Of California Marijuana Prohibition (A News Release From California NORML Says California's Pioneering Law Against Indian Hemp Took Effect On August 10, 1913, A Generation Before The Federal Marihuana Tax Act Of 1937, Allegedly To Deal With An Influx Of 'Hindoo' Hemp Users - Millions Of Californians Are Expected To Celebrate In Customary Disobedience) Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 23:13:07 -0800 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: 85th Anniversary of Cal. MJ Prohibition Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Millions Celebrate in Disobedience as California Marks 85th Anniversary of Marijuana Prohibition; Law Dates to Epoch of Titanic, Prohibition San Francisco, Aug. 9, 1998: This week marks the 85th anniversary of California's first law against marijuana, an occasion which millions of Californians are expected to celebrate in customary disobedience. California's pioneering law against "Indian hemp" drugs took effect on August 10, 1913,* a generation before the first federal law, the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Ironically, "marijuana" was unheard of in California at the time. The law was passed as a preventative measure by the State Board of Pharmacy, allegedly to deal with an influx of "Hindoo" hemp users. Only after the law was passed did the first reports of "marihuana" use appear in the press , beginning in the Mexican community of Los Angeles around the start of alcohol Prohibition and spreading inexorably during the 1920s and 30s. Despite the enactment of progressively tougher penalties, it emerged as a widespread cultural phenomenon in the 1960s. Like alcohol prohibition, which dates from the same historical era, the legacy of California's marijuana law is one of evident failure. From 1913 to date, the number of Californians who have used marijuana has grown from a handful to over 10 million. During the same period, over 1,800,000 Californians have been arrested for marijuana offenses. Despite the recent passage of Prop. 215, re-legalizing medical use of marijuana, the cost of marijuana enforcement has been climbing. As of December 31, 1997, the Department of Corrections reported an all-time record of 1,905 marijuana offenders in the state prison system. Meanwhile, marijuana arrests have increased for six years in a row, reaching 57,667 in 1997, the highest level in over a decade. "California's marijuana law is bankrupt," argues California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, "California taxpayers would be $1 billion better off if the state legalized marijuana and taxed the users, rather than having them continue to pay for this crime-creating, prohibitionist policy." * The date of California's first marijuana law has previously been misstated as 1915. The 1913 law was recently re-discovered in research by California NORML . *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Will We Learn The Lessons Of Past Wars On Drugs? (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' Compares The Histories Of Alcohol And Cannabis Prohibitions) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:48:38 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Will We Learn The Lessons Of Past Wars On Drugs? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ READERS SAY: WILL WE LEARN THE LESSONS OF PAST WARS ON DRUGS? On Jan. 16, 1919, the United States prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of alcoholic beverages (except for medicinal purposes) with the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. It was spawned by temperance movement that began in the 1820s with religious revivalism. Prohibition led to gangsters, bootleggers and speakeasies." In 1932 the Democratic Party adopted a platform calling for repeal, it was finally achieved on Dec. 5, 1933. A few states continued prohibition, but by 1966 all had abandoned it. The international trade in marijuana was first placed under controls during the International Opium Convention of 1925. The Unite States passed federal restrictions on the plant in 1937. By the late 1960s most countries had enforced restrictions on traffic and use and had imposed severe penalties for illegal possession, sale or supply. Meanwhile, in 1969 the World Health organization reported that marijuana is not physically habit-forming. Marijuana has since proved to have medicinal benefits and is an excellent crop for manufacturing clothing, rope, paper, etc. It is used for religious meditation in India and Africa and is sold a coffeehouses in Amsterdam. Marijuana is less addictive, less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, and yet our government still treats its use as a major crime and is on a campaign to eradicate its use. This once was a costly campaign, but with the new drug "forfeiture" laws and expensive fines and penalties, it is becoming a lucrative government venture. Lionel De Leon-Garden Grove
------------------------------------------------------------------- Proposition 215 And The Law (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' Agrees With A Staff Editorial Saying Orange County Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust And The Orange County DA's Office Are Ruthlessly Punishing Medicinal Marijuana Patients Such As Marvin Chavez And Disregarding The Will Of The People Who Passed Proposition 215) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 01:05:04 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Proposition 215 And The Law Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ PROPOSITION 215 AND THE LAW Your editorial,"resisting the law"(July 21,1998), excellently points out how Orange County Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust and the Orange County DA's office are ruthlessly punishing medicinal marijuana patients and disregarding the will of the people of Orange County who passed proposition 215 with a 51 percent majority. If officials in Orange County would work to implement a plan for the safe an affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana, as Prop.215 directs, many sick and dying people would be able to live much healthier lives and not have to worry about dying behind bars. It would take business away from dishonest and dangerous dealers and put medicinal marijuana into a health-care setting, where it belongs. Dave Herrick and Marvin Chavez, both medical marijuana patients, are truly heroes who have risked their freedom to provide relief to sick and dying people in Orange County Mary Menos-Garded Grove
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Heroes Need Help (The Media Awareness Project Asks You To Write Some Letters On Behalf Of Orange County, California Defendants Marvin Chavez And David Herick) Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 13:36:33 -0700 (PDT) From: Tyree Callahan (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: FOCUS Alert No. 78 - Medical Marijuana Heroes NEED HELP! (fwd) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: FOCUS Alert #78 - Medical Marijuana Heroes NEED HELP! ***PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE*** FOCUS Alert #78 - Medical Marijuana Heroes, Patients, and activists receive despicable and unfair treatment by judicial system. Beyond reason an Orange county Superior Court Judge, Robert Fitzgerald, has disallowed a medical marijuana defense for Marvin Chavez and David Herick. Herick has been sentenced to 4 years in prison in a state where medical marijuana is LEGAL!! According to an on-line poll conducted by the Orange County Register 71% of voters participating in a poll called the sentence of David Herick (a volunteer) too harsh. More recently Chavez bravely, and at his own peril, refused to cop a plea bargain. These two are undeniably victims of a strong arm government and cooperative federal judge who refuses reason in order to bolster a failed drug policy. Please write a letter to and send it to ALL of the papers listed below. NOTE: This is a very big deal in Southern California. A search of the DrugNews archive at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ while searching on "Marvin Chavez" turned up no less than 17 articles in the last 30 days. Nearly every article opposes Judge Fitzgerald's ruling. If anyone has contact info for OC Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald (who disallowed a 215 defense for Chavez), Judge William R. Froeberg (who sentenced Herrick to four years in prison for helping sick people) or Prosecutor Carl Armbrust (who prosecuted Herrick) we will send a supplement to all recipients this FA so that these good "public servants" can enjoy the letters being written about them as well. You CAN make a big difference WRITE A LETTER TODAY It's not what others do it's what YOU do *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, Phone, fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert and pasting your letter in or by E-mailing a copy directly to MGreer@mapinc.org *** CONTACT INFO Los Angeles Times firstname.lastname@example.org Sacramento Bee email@example.com Orange County Weekly and Orange County Register firstname.lastname@example.org Press telegram email@example.com NOTE: Please _DO NOT BCC_ your letters. Send copies separately to each paper. This greatly improves your chances of publication. Papers have become wise to BCC methods and rarely print them. *** SEE RELATED ARTICLES AT http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n586.a12.html Sacramento Bee 18 Jul 1998 http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n633.a07.html Press Telegram Sat Fri, 24 July 1998 http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n660.a02.html Press-Telegram (CA) Sun, 2 Aug 1998 http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n631.a09.html Source: Orange County Register (CA) Thu, 30 Jul 1998 ORIGINAL ARTICLES US: CA: Chavez Offered Plea Bargain Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Pubdate: Wed, 5 August 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Lisa Richardson, Times Staff Writer CHAVEZ OFFERED PLEA BARGAIN [snip - link added to avoid duplication - ed.] *** US CA: Editorial: Praise And Pillory Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Pubdate: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 Source: Press-Telegram (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/ EDITORIAL: PRAISE AND PILLORY [snip - link added to avoid duplication - ed.] *** SAMPLE LETTER (Sent 8/7) It's time for the District Attorney and the courts of Orange County to begin respecting the fact Proposition 215 is now law in the State of California. Marvin Chavez is innocent of the trumped up charges the DA's office created. Now that the illegally obtained medical records of marijuana patients conclusively prove that Chavez operated within the law, this dizzy DA Carl Armbrust seeks to escape censure for his hysterical attacks on the sick and dying by demanding a guilty plea in exchange for zero jail time. This plea bargain offer reveals the utter hypocrisy of District Attorney Carl Armbrust and Judge Robert Fitzgerald in bringing this case to trial to begin with. Armburst began by laying charges calling for a 12 year prison term and now he offers zero jail time. Why? Because after examining the medical records the DA knows that he doesn't have a case. Instead of offering an apology and dismissing the charges, this cretin seeks to force a guilty plea anyway to protect his own miserable reputation. DA Armbrust should be fired for wasting Orange County funds on a "medical marijuana witch hunt" and Judge Fitzgerald should be removed from the bench for prejudice and incompetence. Redford Givens NOTE: ALWAYS INCLUDE YOUR NAME CITY AND STATE AND PHONE NUMBER IN THE COPY TO THE PAPER (your phone number will never be published but is required by most papers to verify authorship) WRITE AWAY! *** Mark Greer Media Awareness Project (MAP) inc. d/b/a DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org *** Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 12:24:57 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: *UPDATE* FOCUS ALERT #78 HEROES NEED HELP Med MJ Actists facing prison ***UPDATE*** Thanks to Mira FilmMakerZ@aol.com Below are some corrections and updates to Focus Alert #78 on Marvin Chavez and David Herrick. The original Focus Alert is posted below for reference. Please consider resending your letters to the correct address for the Orange County Weekly and to the OC edition of the LA Times as well as faxing a copy to the judges and prosecutors below if at all possible. ***EXTRA CREDIT*** Call the judges CONTACT UPDATE The Orange County Weekly's email is: email@example.com The Los Angeles Times has an Orange County edition which has carried most of their coverage on us. Their email is: firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately, none of the judges or prosecutor have email, but I have their addresses, phone, and fax numbers: OC Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald (who disallowed a 215 defense for Chavez) Courthouse, Department 39, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana 92701 Fax: (714)834-6171 Phone: (714)834-4683 Judge William R. Froeberg (who sentenced Herrick) Courthouse, Department 36, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana 92701 Fax: (714)834-6171 Phone: (714)834-3680 Prosecutor Carl Armbrust (who prosecuted Herrick) District Attorney Main Office, 700 Civic Center Drive West, Santa Ana 92701 Fax: (714) 834-4344 Phone: (714) 834-3600 *** Original Focus Alert: [snip - deleted to avoid duplication. - ed.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Guards Not Brought To Justice (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' Blames California Governor Pete Wilson And Attorney General Dan Lungren For Not Being 'Tough On Crime' In Prosecuting Guards At Corcoran Prison For Brutality Against Inmates) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: CA PUB LTE: Guards Not Brought To Justice Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 19:57:21 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate:8-9-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Author: Gilda Witt-Tustin Guards Not Brought To Justice Didn't we all grow up watching movies where cruel prison guards tortured and tormented defenseless prisoners? In all of them, we had the welcome relief of seeing the bad guys exposed in the end and punished for their misdeeds. And the prisoners, guilty or innocent, at least achieved humane treatment before the credits were shown. And we all felt better for seeing justice at long last achieved. Not so in real life, it is sad to say. Apparently Gov.Wilson and Attorney General Lungren have no interest in bringing to justice the guards who have perpetrated atrocities upon the unfortunate inmates at Corcoran State Prison. Apparently their mutual "tough on crime" stance includes carte blanche to prison guards to inflict whatever suffering on the inmates they so chose. Shame, shame on you, Mssrs. Lungren and Wilson. Do you court the "tough on Crime" votes so intently that you have lost sight of the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys? Gilda Witt-Tustin
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops (According To 'The New York Times,' The US Justice Department Says The Number Of Americans In Local Jails And In State And Federal Prisons Rose To 1,725,842 In 1997, Up 5.2 Percent, Suggesting That The Imprisonment Boom Has Developed A Built-In Growth Dynamic Independent Of The Crime Rate) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 12:49:21 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org August 9, 1998 Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops By FOX BUTTERFIELD * The nation's prison population grew by 5.2 percent in 1997, according to the Justice Department, even though crime has been declining for six straight years, suggesting that the imprisonment boom has developed a built-in growth dynamic independent of the crime rate, experts say. The New York Times In a new report, the Justice Department said the number of Americans in local jails and in state and federal prisons rose to 1,725,842 in 1997, up from 1.1 million in 1990. During that period, the incarceration rate in state and federal prisons rose to 445 per 100,000 Americans in 1997, up from 292 per 100,000 in 1990. As for why the number of prisoners continues to grow while crime drops, Pennsylvania Secretary of Corrections Martin Horn said: "You have to understand that as incarcerating more people has helped reduce crime, the number of people we sent to prison in previous years is tending to build up, creating a delayed effect. So you've built in this escalating growth." In the short term, Horn said, "most people who work in the prison business don't look for drops in crime to lead to drops in the prison population; the two lines are somewhat independent." But, he added: "If crime stayed down for the long term, then the incarceration rate might fall. But crime never does stay down for long." Among the specific reasons for the continued growth in the prison population, Horn and other experts said, are longer sentences, reduced use of parole, increased arrests of parole violators who are then sent back to prison, and improved efficiency by the police in solving crimes as there are fewer crimes to solve. The report, by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the department's statistical branch, found that violent offenses accounted for the largest source of growth among male prisoners in 1997, 52 percent of their total increase. But drug crimes constituted the biggest source of growth for female inmates, 45 percent of their total. Using new methods to analyze the race of state and federal prisoners, the report found that the incarceration rate for black men in 1996 was 3,096 per 100,000, eight times the rate for white men (370 per 100,000), and more than double the rate for Hispanic men (1,276 per 100,000). The figures provided one of the most powerful illustrations of racial disparity in the nation's prisons. At the end of 1996, the report also said, there were more black men in prison than whites, 526,200 to 510,900. The racial disparities were particularly striking among young men, the report found, with 8.3 percent of black men age 25 to 29 in prison in 1996, compared with 2.6 percent of Hispanic men in the same age group and 0.8 percent of white men of those ages. There are also sharp regional differences in incarceration rates, according to the report, with 7 of the 10 states with the highest rates being in the South, led by Texas with a rate of 717 prisoners per 100,000 and Louisiana with 672 per 100,000. The states with the lowest rates were North Dakota, 112 prisoners per 100,000; Minnesota, 113 per 100,000; Maine, 124 per 100,000, and Vermont, 140,000 per 100,000. Over all, the South had the highest incarceration rate, with 506 prisoners per 100,000, while the Northeast had the lowest rate, 317 per 100,000. The South has long had the highest crime rates of any region, but the report did not try to analyze whether the South's high incarceration rate was a result of its high crime rate or a matter of public policy favoring tough sentencing laws. Allen Beck, one of the authors of the report, said that to understand how the number of prisoners nationwide could continue to grow while crime fell, it was important to remember that "the sources of growth are independent, to a certain extent, of crime." Many states, for example, have adopted tougher sentencing laws, with mandatory minimum sentences, and this is helping increase the amount of time prisoners serve, which in turn increases the prison population. In addition, some states have abolished parole, and in many other states parole boards have much less discretion than they used to, Beck said, changes that also lengthen the amount of time prisoners serve. In 1990, decisions by parole boards accounted for 39.4 percent of all prisoners released, a sharp drop from 55 percent in 1980. Still another reason for the growth, while crime drops, is that an increasing number of prisoners are being incarcerated for parole violations, about 30 percent today compared with 15 percent in 1980, Beck said. That means that the larger the number of prisoners, the bigger the number of people who will someday be released, and then, either because of their own criminal propensities or their experience behind bars, will be likely to commit some new violation and be rearrested.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Law Enforcement - There Are Reasons To Mistrust Crime Statistics ('Orange County Register' Senior Editorial Writer Alan W.Bock Cites Some Good Reasons He Doesn't Put Much Faith In Crime Statistics Collected By The FBI And Other Law Enforcement Officials) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MAPNews-posts (E-mail)" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Law Enforcement: There Are Reasons To Mistrust Crime Statistics Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 00:24:20 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 Author: Alan W.Bock, Senior Editorial Writer LAW ENFORCEMENT: THERE ARE REASONS TO MISTRUST CRIME STATISTICS Politicians of both major parties point with pride to declining crime rates,as shown by official statistics,as evidence that their enlightened policies are working.There are reasons,however,to doubt that those statistics really reflect reality. By the time they are compiled, the statistics are older than is usually acknowledged. The data in California's 1997 crime report, for example, were compiled by local agencies and reported in 1995. Yet they are sometimes used to tout the wisdom of policies put in place after their compilation. Nobody forces police agencies to get their reports in to the state, so there is no consistency from year to year in the number of police agencies reporting. Criminologists believe an average of 30 percent of cities in California never report. In California never report. In California, Oakland hasn't reported for several years. Has there been no crime in Oakland? The upshot is that it is virtually impossible to compare crime statistics from year to year with any reliability. A fingerprint card is supposed to accompany felony arrest information sent to the state. When those fingerprint cards do not accompany the records, those crimes are not included in the report. Some criminologists estimate this variable to be as high as 40 percent to 60 percent of the records without fingerprint cards. The criteria for the seven serious crimes included in the national FBI report have changed over the years. Arson has been dropped and added again, the minimums for serious property crimes changed from $200 to $400. It makes it even more difficult to discern valid year-to-year trends. The FBI does not maintain a uniform, Uniform Crime Report is based on reports from state governments, most of which are at least 2 years old by the time the FBI gets them, and all of which have approximately as many anomalies as are found in the California reports. The crime reports do not take into account demographic factors like the number of males aged 18-25 (the most crimeprone sector)as a percentage of the general population. The California report uses sampling to create its estimates -analyzing 45 percent of reportable crimes in 1997, a larger amount than the previous year. Sampling can be sophisticated and might be necessary, but it reduces the reliability factor. According to an FBI Victimization Survey released in September 1997, based on door-to-door surveys in sampled neighborhoods, only three of 10 crimes are ever reported to the police. Perhaps most of those unreported crimes are considered too minor to report, but nobody really knows. Political pressure to show success at reducing crime may be leading to fudging. So far this year, as New York Times writer Fox Butterfield recently reported, there have been charges of falsely reporting crime statistics in New York, Atlanta and Boca Raton, Fla., resulting in the resignations of high-ranking police commanders. "In Boca Raton, for example," Butterfield wrote, "a police captain ... systematically downgraded property crimes like burglaries to vandalism, trespassing or missing property, reducing the city's felony rate by almost 11 percent." Philadelphia has withdrawn its crime figures for 1996, 1997 and the first half of 1998 because of sloppiness, downgrading and under-reporting. Most of the criminologists I talked to are aware of most of these shortcomings, but believe that murder is a fairly reliable indicator (since there is usually a body and the victim usually has relatives) and murder rates are down. So perhaps crime really is down. On the other hand, it is possible that since 40 percent to 60 percent of felony reports to the state do not include a fingerprint card, some of those felonies might be murders, so the murder rate might be somewhat higher than state reports suggest. And the fact the Oakland hasn't reported to the state in three years means at least some murders don't show up in the state reports. I would love to believe that serious crime is finally declining. For reasons I outlined a few weeks ago, I doubt if the Three Strikes law has had much of an impact on crime rates, but it is just possible that various factors - a reduction in the percentage of young males, the peaking of the crack cocaine epidemic, economic growth finally having an impact on the propensity to do crime rather than go to work - have led to a reduction in crime. But it is an illusion to place to much credence in the details of the official reports. They may be dead wrong.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Punishment, Wasteful TV Ads Don't Work, Treatment Does (An Op-Ed In 'The Denver Post' By Pat Owens, Executive Director Of Lighthouse, A Woman's Rehab Center In Denver, Criticizes The US Government's New $2 Billion Pro-Drug-War Advertising Campaign) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 12:18:33 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: OPED: Punishment, Wasteful TV Ads Don't Work, Treatment Does Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Sledhead Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.denverpost.com Pubdate: Sun, 9 August 1998 Author: Pat Owens PUNISHMENT, WASTEFUL TV ADS DON'T WORK, TREATMENT DOES While watching "World News Tonight'' recently, I learned that the federal government plans to spend $2 billion over the next five years on anti-drug commercials aimed primarily at teenagers. Don't they realize that the "at risk'' teen believes he or she is invincible, bullet-proof and believes "it won't happen to me''? Even if it does have some impact and a few realize they are in trouble or headed for trouble and want help, where are they going to go? With few exceptions, insurance companies are denying coverage for in-patient treatment unless, or until, the person is half dead. They will pay for out-patient treatment, which is insufficient and usually unsuccessful. So if you have a drug or alcohol problem and really want help, you'd better have a lot of money to pay for it. Of course, I have a personal interest in this matter. I am executive director of a small, nonprofit women's treatment and transitional living center in Denver. We do not seek or receive any state or federal funds. Our only sources of income are client fees, grant funds and donations. We have an 18-bed capacity and don't ask for money up front. We carry the client until she is employed and able to pay. This creates a great deal of financial stress for us. But if we were to start requiring payment in advance, we would defeat the purpose for which we started this program - i.e., medically indigent, chemically dependent women who want to quit using and change their lives. When I hear that billions of dollars are going to be essentially thrown down the drain, I become really irate. Here is our staff, working on a volunteer basis for the past five years to try to help these women get their lives back when our government is throwing money away. Aside from this waste, the judicial system seems more interested in punishing than helping. I currently have a 34-yearold woman who went through the Arapahoe House Community Intensive Treatment program for 14 days and then came directly into this program. She celebrated six months of continuous sobriety on July 21. She had a good job that she loved; her family problems were beginning to heal; her self-esteem was increasing daily; and she said, "finally my life is beginning to work.'' On July 22, someone offered her a ride home from work. Their license plates were expired, they were stopped and the police ran a check on everyone in the car. My client had a warrant she was unaware of, and they hauled her off to Denver City Jail. Apparently, the judge goes over the cases before night court and has the power to impose sentence without a hearing. She got 60 days in jail and never saw the judge. She never had a chance to explain what she has done to change what got her in trouble in the first place. She has been on medication for bi-polar disorder since she went into treatment and was doing so well. Now she is sitting in jail, without her medication, where drugs are more available than they are on the street. How much more counter-productive can the legal system get? When she gets out, her job will be gone, her family already believes she must have "done something'' to cause this, and her self-esteem will be back in the gutter. So we will get to start all over with her if she doesn't give up. This is the kind of stuff that makes good, caring people working in our field say, "What the hell am I doing this for?'' Pat Owens is executive director of Lighthouse, A Woman's Turning Point, in Denver.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Efforts Have Failed Miserably (A Similarly Devastating Op-Ed In 'The Denver Post' Opposing The Government's Drug War And $2 Billion Advertising Campaign, By Robert F. Hickey Of Innovative Strategies Inc., A National Behavioral Health Management Firm) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:00:15 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CO: OPED: Our Efforts Have Failed Miserably Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Sledhead Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.denverpost.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 9 August 1998 Author: Robert F. Hickey OUR EFFORTS HAVE FAILED MISERABLY Aug. 9 - We have spent almost $1 trillion since 1971 fighting the "war on drugs.'' We have killed innocent people, raided unsuspecting families, built dozens of prisons, confiscated billions of dollars of property, violated the constitution, sacrificed our civil liberties and, through it all, accepted the lies of those with a vested interest in perpetuating this nonsense. Now we are allowing our government to throw $1 billion more - plus $1 billion from the private sector - into the fray through a national advertising campaign to eliminate substance abuse. Consider what the "war on drugs'' already has achieved. We have about one prison guard per three prisoners versus one teacher per 30 students. We spend $4,000 a year to educate one student; $30,000 a year to house one inmate. As a direct consequence of the "war on drugs,'' one of nine school-age children has one or both parents in prison. One in three black men under age 25 is in prison or some form of supervised release. Our prisons hold more than 1.7 million human beings. Sixty-five percent of federal prisoners are there on nonviolent, drug-related convictions. Meanwhile, another 1.7 million Americans await treatment for some disorder related to substance abuse - but no money is being offered to help them. In "Scapegoat Generation: America's War on Adolescents,'' Mike Males writes: "It's time to recognize that drug use was going down when the drug war started, and it's gone up since. This is what's been tried for 10 years. It's politicians spending money for self-aggrandizement.'' And now comes the government's $2 billion ad campaign. For any dialogue to succeed with teenagers, it must be honest. That ingredient has been absent from all our efforts. Succeeding generations learn to discount our messages at an early age because we have been so disingenuous in our moral pronouncements about human behavior. We preach the absolutes, that all drug use leads to death, psychosis or jail. Clearly, jail is closest to being an absolute in the United States for drug abusers. Even those of us too young to have seen "Reefer Madness'' in the '30s have heard about the bizarre distortions on truth in that film. The latest $2 billion campaign is merely the new edition of "Reefer Madness.'' The one constant through such efforts since Prohibition has been the lack of truthfulness. The new ad campaign continues the attempt to make the exception the rule. All outcomes ascribed to substance abuse in these so-called public service announcements illustrate the most unlikely results. One ad shows a pretty young woman in a take-off of the old "This is your brain on drugs'' routine. In this rendition, she destroys a kitchen with a frying pan in a psychotic rampage supposedly brought on by drug use. Not a specific type of drug, mind you, just any drug. Likewise, DARE fails because children are impressionable and accept everything the officer tells them in fourth through sixth grades. When these children get to high school, 99.5 percent haven't witnessed any of the drastic outcomes threatened by the officers. Almost all of them will experiment with risky behaviors, and a minuscule percentage will become casualties of that experimentation. The outcomes described by the DARE officers are the exception. So students lack respect for law enforcement and distrust all prevention efforts. This new ad campaign fails to prepare young people for the consequences they can expect from their normal, adolescent, risk-taking behavior. In addition, the goals of the ad campaign are poorly defined. What are the anticipated outcomes? Does this effort provide any direction for people already caught up in destructive behavior? Just as politicians, law enforcement and hordes of prosecutors have spent $1 trillion under the guise of a war on drugs, the only segment of society gaining from this ad campaign are the television, radio and newspaper outlets and their agencies, to the tune of $625 million. The campaign is a veiled effort to promulgate a flawed political ideology, one that has mired us for decades in the same erroneous propaganda. And it may cause more harm than good. Said Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project, "There are real questions about whether this ad campaign is based on the best research and might not be counterproductive.'' In reality, our society always has had drug abusers. It always will. We would be much better off acknowledging that history and dealing with it in an effective manner. We glamorize drug use in all forms of media. Our tax dollars subsidize tobacco cultivation. Millions are spent annually to wine and dine our legislators to protect the liquor industry. Yet our political ideology discourages and, in many cases, bars harm-reduction efforts. If we are to abate substance abuse, efforts must be refocused in that direction. Consider the words of Lee N. Robins, Ph.D., professor of social science in psychiatry at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, as spoken at a meeting this summer of the American Society of Addiction Medicine: "Because substance abuse often remits in early adulthood - usually five years after it starts - a vital part of our job is harm reduction. We need to keep people as safe as possible - from jail, driving, overdoses, etc. We also need more information about the course of a disorder - e.g., which heavy users will continue to have problems. This is the most crucial area of study.'' An audience member said, "Science must replace ideology as the foundation for drug abuse addiction prevention, treatment and policy strategies.'' How could we better deal with substance abuse if we redirected that $1 billion? Could we reduce the student/teacher ratio in classrooms? How about more after-school activities? More remedial reading teachers? More school counselors? How about peer counseling panels? How about strategies that help youths understand the perils of the behavior with which they all will struggle? How about putting politics aside and young people and their families first? We have turned out on the streets hundreds of thousands of people with mental illnesses who cannot get treatment. With realistic budgets, our community mental health centers could play a significant role in ameliorating these problems. Columbia University research has documented that education and treatment are seven times more cost-effective than arrest and incarceration for substance abuse, yet we continue to spend more tax dollars on prisons than on treatment. We should promote educational efforts to inform substance abusers and users as to problems they are likely to encounter. We need community resource centers where people can turn when they're in trouble. Who would you call if your child became a casualty of experimentation? The police or a local public or mental health clinic? Do you want your child to receive help or contend with a conviction the rest of his or her life? Needle exchange programs have proven effective in reducing the spread of AIDS. And such efforts bring addicts to a resource where help is available when they choose to change their life direction. We have a network of care-givers in place. Instead of wasting money on propaganda, let us increase funds for those agencies. Let us promote needle exchange. Let us integrate all funding streams into a seamless system of treatment and prevention across our country. Let us take the billions we are wasting on propaganda, a judicial system exploding with otherwise unemployable lawyers, and a prison industry tripping over itself to expand and address the problems of drug abuse in a responsible and effective manner. This new campaign represents a classic example of the government throwing money at a problem for political gain. There is no rhyme or reason for this monumental and tragic waste of taxpayer dollars. Robert F. Hickey is president and CEO of Innovative Strategies Inc., a national behavioral health management firm. He resides in Edwards.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Anti-Drug Ads Reach Youngsters (An op-ed in 'The Denver Post' by Russ Ahrens, executive director of DARE Colorado Inc., says the group supports President Clinton's anti-drug advertising campaign. He also says the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program is effective, citing a 1995 Ohio State University study.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 08:56:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Organization: BlueDot To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CO: OPED: Anti-drug ads reach youngsters Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Sledhead Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.denverpost.com Pubdate: 9 Aug 1998 Author: Russ Ahrens executive director of DARE Colorado Inc. ANTI-DRUG ADS REACH YOUNGSTERS Aug. 9 - DARE Colorado, the charter organization of the DARE programs and DARE-related activities within Colorado, supports President Clinton's anti-drug advertising campaign. Our organization is about educating our youth to realize a better future, guiding them to achieve their greatest potential through assisting them to resist the devastating effects of drugs (and violence). Thus we are about supporting those advocacies aligned with our purpose, our mission. In every respect, it appears that the administration's anti-drug efforts are about educating our nation's youth to fear drugs, to understand that drug use is not healthy for the body, for the mind, for their best futures. While DARE educates youth in drug prevention through trained law enforcement officers in the classrooms across our state, our country's highest official has elected to educate our youth through a bold, innovative and relevant anti-drug marketing and advertising effort across our nation. Different venues. Different strategies. Similar goals and objectives. In common, both approaches are about what DARE stands for - Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Harshly stated, the enemy is drugs - the manufacturing, distribution, the use of any or all illicit and illegal substances that are mind-altering, health-punishing and, most likely, death-resulting. While it is proven that the DARE programs lower the risk of our youth to use drugs (one of numerous valid surveys is the Ohio State University Study, 1995), our organization is merely one of many societal entities essential in the battle to help save our youth from drug use. Others include parents, friends, institutions of faith, schools, local governments, even businesses, corporations and community organizations. They all need to rally together with a consistent and strong message of "drugs can kill,'' as so dramatically stated in the Clinton antidrug advertising campaign. As a retired advertising executive, I know a little about the powerful impact of a powerful message on the most powerful persuasive medium ever invented - television. It works! Look at Nike, McDonald's, Kmart. The bulk of their advertising dollars are spent on television. In today's society, our monitor-faced kids thrive on this entertainment medium, albeit not always for the best of reasons. Now if we could only convince the election-year politicians to swap their TV commercials for truly genuine educational opportunities - like creating programs that demonstrate to our youth how to lead better lives or, better yet, how parents can lovingly teach their kids about the "nowheresville'' of drugs. I applaud the masterminds of the antidrug advertising campaign for understanding that there is no guarantee that the targeted school-age viewers will be persuaded to resist the use of drugs. Our nation's freedom of choice philosophy is hard at work here. The DARE programs encourage positive habits, inviting the DARE kids to make "choices'' on how they wish to act out their lives. Similarly, the anti-drug advertising messages don't governmentally mandate choices or decisions. They eloquently paint a realistic picture of drug-use. Then it's the viewers option to be influenced. But the $2 billion to be invested in this advertising campaign (including $1 billion from the private sector) is larger than the media expenditures of American Express, Sprint or even Nike. The $1 billion that the government intends to spend on this five-year ad campaign is a mere 1.7 percent of the total U.S. expenditures on illicit drugs in 1995. These illegal drug expenditures have deprived our nation of a stronger workforce, a more harmonious family environment and, in essence, a healthier, more resilient and persevering citizenry. Closer to home, the national advertising effort received a positive response from Denver Police Officer Angela Romero, who said, "I'm in favor of any type of education that teaches our school children to make the right decisions about the harm that drugs can bring to their lives.'' Kathy Spenard, a teacher at Sherrelwood Elementary in Adams County, agreed. "The TV messages reach kids. They are graphic and poignant, planting seeds that the kids can refer back to in conversations with their friends, parents, grandparents and teachers about drug prevention.'' Earlier this year, the anti-drug ad campaign was introduced at Denver's Gove Middle School. The nation's drug czar, Barry McCaffrey, spoke to an auditorium full of school kids about the ravages of drug use while playing several of the campaign's television commercials. The reaction was genuine. The response was heartwarming. In addition, the on-stage participants included state and local politicians such as Gov. Roy Romer, Denver Manager of Safety Butch Montoya, District Attorney Bill Ritter, law enforcement officials including Denver Police Chief David Michaud, Denver Director of Corrections John Simonet, Douglas County Sheriff Steve Zotos, Adams County Sheriff Bill Shearer, as well as parents, educators, business leaders, even the Broncos' Billy Thompson. The message was loud and clear - we need to work together to be victorious in the war against drugs. Aside from community synergy, the message is also about choices. Turn the TV on or turn it off. Be intelligently informed by a newspaper article or turn the page. Choose to get involved in your children's lives early on or pay the consequences if you don't. In the end, DARE Colorado believes that community collaboration and choices are both personal and leadership opportunities that make a great deal of sense. They both underscore the strong beliefs about America's commitment to doing what is right. And if using the great American invention - the television - will amplify that which is right for our country's welfare - especially our youth - then we're all for it. And turn up the volume! Russ Ahrens is executive director of DARE Colorado Inc.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Drug-Users' Advocate (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Washington Post' From Rehab Counselor Stanton Peele Rebuts A Prohibitionist's Claim That 'Only Heavy Drug Dealers Go To Prison') Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:51:53 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: A Drug-Users' Advocate Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Stanton Peele A DRUG-USERS' ADVOCATE In the debate between Terry Hensley, executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation [Free for All, July 25], and David Lewis and June Osborn, who argued for replacing prison for drug users with treatment [op-ed, July 20], Mr. Hensley says that, for the most part, only heavy drug dealers go to prison. I work as a public defender in Morris County, an affluent suburb in New Jersey. All my clients are drug users. I leave messages for my clients at church drop-in centers because they don't have regular homes. As I negotiate their fates, the prosecutor screams at me: "Stanton, every one of your clients is, according to you, some kind of victim." I answer: "Why don't you get me some of the drug dealers with money? My clients are all people who are out there doing what they can -- prostituting themselves, carrying drugs -- simply to get a share to use." Maybe I'm missing something, but looking over the daily stream of drug offenders I encounter, I don't think any of them has seen the 5.5 pounds of heroin (not to mention 3.5 tons of marijuana and 180 pounds of cocaine) that, according to Mr. Hensley, the Justice Department says are the average charged amounts for those in federal prison. At the same time, Mr. Lewis and Ms. Osborn are wrong to fantasize that these street people are susceptible to ordinary treatment -- one's life has to be organized to benefit from a treatment opportunity. But taking up my time, as well as the prosecutor's and the court's, parading the same pathetic lot of people through the criminal system is something Kafka could not exaggerate. STANTON PEELE Morristown, N.J. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Please Read This Message From Lynn Harichy! (The Media Awareness Project Publicizes A Letter From Multiple Sclerosis Patient Lynn Harichy Of London, Ontario, Seeking $5,000 To Enable Her To Put On Her Constitutional Challenge To Canada's Prohibition On Medical Marijuana, Beginning September 1 - Plus Background Information On Her Case) Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 12:31:32 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Richard Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Please Read this message from Lynn Harichy! Please Read this message from Lynn Harichy! We have traveled so far, but yet have so far to still travel. Alone I would never have gotten as far as I have. Without your help and support, I would still be crawling somewhere around the beginning. With my trial creeping closer, and the finances still needed, I am facing the realization of whether to take the Crown's offer of having my case withdrawn or to try to forge ahead praying someone comes forward with financial support. I have till September 1st to come up with at least $5,000.00 or face the realization of defeat. However this will still leave me with the chore of raising another $5-$20 thousand for my case. We have the experts from around the world, however the affidavits are not enough for my case and unacceptable to the crown. Many thanks to those who have given donations for my trial, and to those who have given prayers. For the next month, I will be concentrating on funding for my trial and doing a lot of praying. For those who would like to help with the cost of my trial, Donations may be sent to : Professor Allan Young York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3 Together we can do this! Lynn Harichy *** The above is on the web at: http://www.worlddrive.com/~artemis/LCCC/apleaforhelp.html Check out the entire site at: http://www.worlddrive.com/~artemis/LCCC/ Lynn is among a small group of folks making a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the laws of Canada which are not allowing her to receive the medicine that her doctor recommends and finds to be working well for her MS. If you can help, please do! For the stories that have appeared in the Canadian press about Lynn, go to http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ and enter Harichy in the search tool. Note that it has three options in the drop down. By searching: 5 items can be found at the current news drop down 23 items can be found at the older 1998 news drop down 26 items can be found at the older 1987 news drop down and that is, at best, perhaps only half the stories published in Canada. Lynn has also been featured on a good number of national and local radio and TV shows. Lynn wrote a feature story for the DrugSense Weekly, October 29, 1997, #018, can be found at: http://www.drugsense.org/news.htm and is copied below: FEATURE ARTICLE Am I A Criminal? by Lynn Harichy On September 16th I went to the London, Ontario police station to be arrested. My medicine has become so important to my health and well being that I simply had to ask the court and government to give me the right to use it. The only way open to me was to be arrested for possession of my medicine, allowing me to challenge the existing law in court. Professor Alan Young of Osgoode Hall in Toronto is my lawyer. On October 14th I was remanded for trial. I should know soon when the trial will start, probably early next year. Last Tuesday I went to listen to a lecture on my medicine sponsored by the Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy, the Drug Policy Foundation Harm Reduction Network, the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic Ontario, and the International Harm Reduction Association. The lecture on medicinal marijuana was a great inspiration. After listening to the speakers, Diana Riley of Toronto, a girl from the buyers club in Calgary, Lynn Zimmer, and Dr. John Morgan, I realized not even the professionals fully understand the benefits of this herb for medical use. I know that this is a hard disease to understand but I also know that I need to be able to make a living and to do something with my life. I find that smoking marijuana along with taking Vitamin B12 shots bi-weekly and getting the proper exercise and rest allows me to lead a fairly normal life. It has taken me 18 years to get to this point. I can look at my self in the mirror now knowing that I am doing everything I can to be productive and to bring my situation to a point where I am satisfied to be alive. I am waiting for the cure, but waiting is not as bad now that I have effective medicines. I don't consider myself a criminal in any way and I don't care if anyone else thinks of me as a criminal. My concerns are more about me and my family. I want to be "normal." I have spent too many days laying in bed unable to get up. I can't waste my life away like this. I need to fight back. I can't stay home laying in bed wasting away from throwing up all the time. Coming up on one year of self medicating I have gone from 79-lbs to 95-lbs. This is a great accomplishment for me. Now my body is much more capable of handling any recurrence of illness. This summer I spent time running, walking, riding a bike, and just enjoying life, which until now was hard for me to do. I have not been able to do these things since I was 18. It may be easy for people to take these things for granted, but I cherish every ache and pain I get from this exertion. I wonder what will happen to me if the laws are not changed? Will I be forced to become the shadow of a person I am now? Will I be forced to dwindle away without being heard? Will I be forced to abandon the work I have done to bring my health back to "normal?" I honestly hope not, for I have come so far. It isn't up to people to understand why this helps. The point is it does! I am not hurting myself or my family. I am not hurting anyone. Actually, if you think about it, I am helping many people. I am trying to get off disability. I am trying to get back into the real world with all the stress and stigma attached. I guess if being productive, self dependent, self educated, and a good citizen is a crime, then maybe I am a criminal? Lynn Harichy, London, Ontario *** If you can help Lynn, Please, Just Do It! PLEASE REDISTRIBUTE FREELY!
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week In Parliament (A Transcript Of An Excerpt From Radio New Zealand On The Inquiry Underway By The New Zealand Partliament's Health Committee Into The Effects Of Cannabis Use On Mental Health - Rapidly Turning Into An Inquiry About Decriminalisation Of Cannabis) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 19:50:40 +1200 (NZST) To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Subject: UPDATE - NZ: Radio news report on select comm't hearing Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Thanks to Kevin O'Connell for transcribing this. The Week in Parliament Shane Cave, National Programme, Radio New Zealand Sunday, 9 August, 1998. 3 Broadcasts. (extract) The third inquiry underway is that of the Health Committee into the effects of cannabis use on mental health. The Inquiry is rapidly turning into an inquiry about decriminalisation of cannabis. The overwhelming consensus of the evidence presented to the Committee the previous week was that cannabis use does not cause mental illness. The Police at that meeting took a different line, and opposing criminalisation [sic], they linked its use with violent crime. But they were unable to present any evidence to prove that link. So the committee invited the two police officers back this week to present evidence linking cannabis use with violent crime. National's Katherine O'Regan asked Inspector Harry Quinn and Assistant Police Commissioner Ian Holyoake, if they could prove that cannabis use actually caused the crimes: "[pause] We don't know, (Well, I don't know), How can we tell?, (Yeah)... They might do the..." [murmer from Committee], "...If you took alcohol, they might do the same thing with alcohol." [murmer from Committee]: "...what actually causes it?" "...It would be...absolutely sir, if we took alcohol out of the equation, would the murders not have occured? We don't know." But the Committee was still frustrated at the conflict between the Police claims that cannabis use was dangerous, and unequovical evidence to the contrary from the Ministry of Health, Doctors from the Drug Policy Forum, the Health Funding Agency, and the World Health Organisation. Committee chair person Brian Neesan asked Mr Holyoake if the Police had any international research to back their claims: "eh, well I [sigh], we get international police publications that cite this dilemma that law enforcement agencies in other countries have, and the problem that police chiefs have in, you know, arguing this issue... I don't know if we collect them up in any place, but we could look at that and provide them to the Committee, I'd be also quite happy to provide the literature review that we have done." But he cautioned against legalising cannabis: "I'd like to restate again the Police position earlier outlined that we are opposed to the full liberali.., to the full legalisation of cannabis, We consider that this would convey a message to society that cannabis is a safe drug to use, when in our view this is not the case." Rick Williment, the central region coordinator of Alcohol and Drugs Services for the Health Funding Authority, told the committee that the most recent survey of cannabis use in New Zealand had found that 43% of adult New Zealand- ers had tried cannabis, but he rejected the idea that its use caused crime. He did however repeat the advice given by the Ministry of Health last week, that there was some evidence of subtle impairment of mental function from prolonged cannabis use. But, he said that this was only detectable under laboritory conditions. That investigation will continue. (9/8/98 transcribed by Kevin O'Connell) HEMP SA inc - Help End Marijuana Prohibition South Australia PO Box 1019, Kent Town, 5071, S.A., AUSTRALIA mailto:hempSA@va.com.au Internet: http://www.hemp.on.net.au Check out our on-line HEMP news service:- pot-news! Go to: http://www.va.com.au/services/hosting.html to subscribe and unsubscribe to potnews via a simple web interface. Alternatively mailto:email@example.com with subject "subscribe" or subject "digest".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Campaign - Users' Stories Help Medical Research (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Continues Its Weekly Advocacy Of Reform With An Article About Dr Geoffrey Guy, The Entrepreneur Licensed To Farm Cannabis For Medical Research, Who Says He Will Now Be Able To Make Use Of The Experience Of Patients Who Have Been Taking The Drug Illegally - Patients Who Find Their Symptoms Are Alleviated By Cannabis Will Not Be Liable For Prosecution As Long As They Contact Him Through Their Own Doctors - Dr Guy Believes The Opportunity To Investigate Anecdotal Evidence Is Invaluable) Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 17:49:16 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Users' Stories Help Medical Research 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) Source: Independent on Sunday Contact: Email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: Independent on Sunday, 1 Canada Square Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL England Editor's note: The IoS Cannabis Campaign has web pages at http://www.independent.co.uk/sindypot/index.htm Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Author: Vanessa Thorpe CANNABIS CAMPAIGN: USERS' STORIES HELP MEDICAL RESEARCH IN AN unprecedented arrangement with the Home Office, Dr Geoffrey Guy, the entrepreneur licensed to farm cannabis in Britain for medical research, will now be able to make use of the experience of patients who have been taking the drug illegally. The doctor has been advised that patients who find their symptoms are alleviated by cannabis will not be liable for prosecution as long as they contact him through their own doctors. His company, GW Pharmaceuticals, will then be able to use their evidence to direct its own research. "Over many years a whole wealth of research has been going on illegally in the homes of sufferers all over the country," said Dr Guy. "The difficulty has been finding a way of tapping this information for the use of the scientific community." The Home Office permission means that doctor/patient confidentiality will be maintained and people with illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, Aids or glaucoma will be able to communicate their knowledge of the therapeutic value of the drug without fear of prosecution. The agreement follows up the work of the newspaper Disability Now and the campaigning group Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics which last month joined together to help Dr Guy set up a register of sufferers who could take part in clinical trials. In this month's issue of Disability Now, published by the charity Scope, disabled readers are being encouraged to consider taking part in the Government-backed trials. The journal's support for Dr Guyfollows a reader survey last year in which nearly 98 per cent of respondents backed the legalisation of the drug and 67 per cent had taken cannabis for medicinal purposes. Dr Guy believes the opportunity to investigate anecdotal evidence is invaluable. "We now have a legal framework to make enquiries into patient groups," he said. Patients can contact Dr Guy through Disability Now at 6 Market Road, London N7 9PW. e-mail your comments to email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- England's Green Unpleasant Land ('The Observer' Notes England's Prohibition Of Cannabis And Heroin Has Led To An Increase In Rural Use Of Heroin) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:31:59 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: England's Green Unpleasant Land 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: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: The Observer, UK Contact: email@example.com Author: John Sweeney ENGLAND'S GREEN UNPLEASANT LAND Heroin is out of town. The age of the rural junkie is upon us, Sunlight filtered through the trees, playing light and shade games with the wooden tables in the country pub. The Hampshire fields were still lush from the July rain, making it a scene from an English Tourist Board poster. Enter the junkie. It was obvious that "Phil" was on "brown" - the Nineties buzz-word for heroin - from the moment he walked into the pub garden. The sheen, a light sweat on his face, the fazed eyes, pupils the size of Smarties - most tell-tale of all, his speech a zombie slur. Phil needs to smoke £100 worth of heroin a day to keep the nausea at bay. He deals to pay for his habit. He looked around the garden: "I know five users within a mile of this village." "Brown" has broken out of the inner cities and gone green. The age of the rural junkie is upon us. The failure to stop heroin entering the country was well evidenced last week. On Monday, the Home Office released a police research document speaking of an "epidemic" of heroin in small towns and the shire counties. On Thursday, Claire Campbell's life support machine was switched off. She lived in Haywards Heath, Sussex, the "bubbly, beautiful" daughter of a retired insurance executive. She was 21 and, unknown to her family, a heroin injector. Phil, the junkie-dealer, knows of two users in Hampshire who are 13 and 14. In Bristol there have been reports that 10-year-olds are involved. The vogue is to smoke a "bag" of brown. It comes in a small twist of plastic and costs as little as £10, though London dealers have been selling at £2 a bag. You cook the heroin by holding a lighter underneath some silver paper - Kit-Kat foil is popular - and run the molten drug in a "z" shape before snorting the fumes. It's hard to cut the drug if it's being bought to be smoked, though some dealers use a baby laxative called Manitol, unavailable in this country. Experienced users like Phil can tell if it's spiked: the edge of the bubble is transparent, not brown. It was the only time in our chat when he spoke with animation and authority. The first hit, they say, is "100 times better than sex". What they don't say is that heroin is corrosively addictive, that very soon more and more gives you less and less buzz, and that, sooner or later, you will end up injecting. A very well-off junkie with a good source of clean heroin - someone like former addict Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones - can live to a ripe old age, but the drug wrecks the lives of 99 per cent of people who get into it. The groin is a popular place to inject; the neck also. Doctors in the West Country have reported the case of a junkie injecting into the side of his eye. It was the last clean vein he had left. Three decades of draconian legislation banning the use and sale of heroin has not prevented its spread. You can now get it anywhere in Britain. It is hard to tell how many users there are out there but a good index is the presence of needle exchanges. The Isle of Wight is famously dull, protected by four miles of water from the wickednesses of the mainland. Last week morris dancers whacked their sticks and did the traditional rural thing. But a new rural tradition has developed on the island. According to a recent newsletter from the local Drug and Alcohol Action Team, there are 12 needle exchanges on the isand - two in Newport and Sandown, one in Cowes, Shanklin, Ventnor and Freshwater, and four in Ryde. As yachties yackered on the streets of Cowes, a pharmacist confirmed the town ran a needle exchange. Another pharmacist in Ryde said: "The age of the people using the exchange is coming down. A few years ago most of them would be in their late twenties or early thirties. Today we are seeing a lot in their early twenties." On the other side of the Solent things are far worse. According to Det Supt Nigel Midgley of Hampshire Police, 15,000 needles are changed a month in the Portsmouth conurbation. Some are used by amphetamine and steroid users, and heroin injectors are advised to use one needle for each hit. One can pare down the figure to, say, 5,000 needle-users - still hard evidence of a terrifying problem. Midgley says: "These days a lot of young people in regular work have been using heroin to come down off ecstasy. They have been high all weekend and take heroin to calm down so that they can get to work on Monday morning. With one user I know, the heroin worked to begin with. He had been taking so much ecstasy his speech was slurred. "He seemed to get better. Then he got hooked on heroin. He's lost his business and now he and his partner are utterly hooked. "His partner had a child recently. It was born a heroin addict and spent the first two months of its life in intensive care. Heroin is something you cannot control." Heroin is now cheaper than any other drug on the market. An ounce wholesales in London for £800 to £1,000. Currently the main suppliers are Turks, operating out of the Green Lanes area in north London, trading Afghan heroin which has come through the Balkans. At the Hampshire street - or farm gate - level, "brown" is sold in £10 bags, each of a twentieth of a gramme. A dealer can sell his ounce for £5,670, making a profit of £4,670. Nearly all dealers in the Solent area squander their profits on their own addictions, though one of the biggest does not. He lives on the Isle of Wight, mainly because of the low crime rate. That user-dealers need to sell to youngsters underneath them - creating more addicts - has caused some experts to question the Government's absolute prohibitionism. Some believe the solution is to return to what was called the "British system", whereby proven addicts can get heroin on prescription, so that they would neither deal nor steal. Last week the Government's "drugs czar", teetotaller Keith Hellawell, ruled out such a deal in an interview with The Observer. The Government churns out anti-heroin rhetoric but has failed to close down the dirty money tax havens in the Channel Islands and former British colonies which the drug barons use to hide their profits. Meanwhile, the gangsters prosper. Not long ago a Manchester syndicate expressed an interest in a caravan park on the Isle of Wight. Sell up, or we kill you, they told the owner. He went to the police, who warned off the syndicate. They didn't put that on the English Tourist Board posters, either.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Supremo Admits SAD Truth On Drugs ('Scotland On Sunday' Says David Macauley, Director Of Scotland Against Drugs, Admits There Is No Coherent Policy To Tackle An Alleged 'Epidemic' Of Deaths Related To Ecstasy And Heroin - 62 So Far This Year - Admits The Current Policy Has Failed, And Says A Total Review Of Government Pilicy Is Urgently Needed, But Then Calls For Beefing Up The Drug War And A Massive, Expensive Propaganda Campaign) Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 17:15:11 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK Scotland: Drugs Supremo Admits Sad Truth On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: Scotland On Sunday Contact: email@example.com Author: James Murray Home Affairs Editor DRUGS SUPREMO ADMITS SAD TRUTH ON DRUGS Muddled approach to epidemic means drastic rethink needed to save lives THE man charged with leading the country's battle against drugs has admitted there is no coherent policy to tackle the current epidemic of deaths. David Macauley, director of Scotland Against Drugs, says a total review of government pilicy is urgently needed to try and stem the appalling number of fatalities. And yesterday he was supported by SADs chairman Sir Tom Farmer who said the 1.5m extra pledged by the government to fight the drugs menace in Scotland was not enough. Speaking following the death last week of 18-year-old Julia Dawes after taking the rave drug ecstasy, Macauley said: "The current policy has failed and the sooner people realise this the better. There has to be a dramatic rethink because there is no coherency. I don't like having to say this but it is the stark truth." Macauley wants to see a drugs tsar appointed for Scotland to lead a fresh drive to cut the spiralling number of deaths. Former chief constable Keith Hellawell, the UK-wide drugs tsar appointed by Tony Blair, has only made a few fleeting trips to Scotland and is seen by many to be remote. Macauley also called on the country's eight police forces to get far tougher in dealing with the major dealers who are flooding Scotland with cheap heroin, ecstasy and other drugs. "The police should use maximum force to deal with the cancer that is eating away at the heart of society," he said. He would like to see more armed raids of hardened criminal enterprises to try and disrupt the supply. The death last week of Julia Dawes, a fitness instructor from a wealthy Perthshire background, brought the drugs epidemic sweeping Britain into sharp focus. She collapsed at home last Sunday after a night out at the Ice Factory Club in Perth where she took the tablets. Farmer's comments were made after Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar announced on Friday that an extra 1.5m would be made available over the next three years towards SAD's Challenge Fund which provides money for community-based anti-drugs projects. Farmer said the money was a fraction of the cash that was actually needed and called for more donations from the business community to fund a new campaign. He said he was "frustrated" by his organisation's inability to mount major campaigns. "We should be advertising a very stong antidrugs message," he said. "There should be posters up in the streets, schools and in the workplace. Raising awareness among everybody does have major impact. "The message should be... if you take drugs you can be damaged for life or killed. We have got to get that message through. There needs to be fresh impetus." Although the focus last week was on ecstasy, heroin related deaths in the Strathclyde region reached 62 so far this year, compared with 51 for the whole of last year. Heroin with purity levels of 70%, compared with 6% in the 1980s, is thought to be responsible. Yet although the number of fatalities appears to be increasing, the role of SAD, set up two years ago to provide a high-profile lead in the battle against drugs, has been downgraded. The finances to run powerful TV advertising campaigns has been stripped from SAD, which is now concentrating on education project in schools and raising money from business. Its neutered role following criticism that its Say No message was being ignored has left it largely impotent. SAD now only consists of five people, two of whom are paid by donations from companies. Another problem is the open and simmering dispute with another agency, the Scottish Drugs Forum, which has a 'harm reduction' information role, producing booklets on drugs. Macauley believes this strategy sends a mixed, confusing message to the pnblic. Put simply, it is that you cannot have a policy on the one hand which calls for harm reduction running alongside a campaign with a simple Just Say No to drugs message. Macauley argues: "The philosophy of minimising damage has failed. We have to have a drugs-free policy. Not maintenance on drugs, but being free of drugs." Macauley wants the television industry to stop portraying the so-called drug culture which gives an element of glamour and chic to a deadly and destructive way of life. He also wants to see a strategy that targets all sections of society. "Most adults in middle Scotland are in denial," he said. "The more affluent they are the stronger the denial seems to be." A SAD roadshow in Perth, the town where Dawes took the ecstasy, attracted just six people, whereas in less affluent towns hundreds of people turn up. The funeral of Julia Dawes will take place on Tuesday, preceded by a 'celebration' of her life. Police have charged four people with drugs offences but are still investigating the death and the drugs network in Perth. Yesterday the family who live in the hamlet of Redgorton, released more pictures of Julia's last days, including one with her father Alan, mother Jacqueline and her 16-year-old brother Jonathan. Educated at public schools, including Morrison's Academy, Julia had been awaiting the results of an HND exam in business studies. She worked as a fitness instructor at the family's gym in Perth and was about to spend three weeks at the Lucy Clayton finishing school in London. Yesterday senior police officers outlined their views that the Scottish Office should also strengthen its armoury in the drugs battle by setting up a centrally co-ordinated drugs squad. Sir Leslie Sharp, former chief constable of Strathclyde police, believes a Scottish Drugs Squad would provide a more effective, strategic response to the dealing problem. At present, each force has its own drugs squad. Although the Scottish Crime Squad has its own drugs team, but there is no central drug force. I believe that if you have one national police force for Scotland then you should have one drugs squad." he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Coherence On Drugs (A Staff Editorial In 'Scotland On Sunday' Says The Recent Ecstasy-Related Death Of An 18-Year-Old Girl Should Prompt A Review Of Scottish Drugs Policy, Noting The Organisation Which Is Supposed To Be In The Vanguard Of Drugs Policy, Scotland Against Drugs, Says One Thing While Others Involved In The Fight Against Drugs Preach A Different Message - The Secretary Of State's Announcement Friday That He Was To Spend An Extra £1.5 Million Over Three Years On SAD Is Simply Throwing Money At Schemes Lacking Public Support) Date: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 17:04:18 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK Scotland: Editorial: No Coherence On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998 Source: Scotland On Sunday Section: Opinion Contact: email@example.com NO COHERENCE ON DRUGS THE tragic death of another young girl from an ecstasy overdose last week brings into sharp focus, once more, the fact that Scotland has a drugs problem which is defying all attempts to defeat it. However, the death of 18-year-old Julia Dawes must surely prompt us to look yet again at what, precisely, we are doing to tackle this menace in our society. Today, the leaders of the organisation which is supposed to be in the vanguard of this operation - Scotland Against Drugs - complain that they are being frustrated by a lack of a coherent national policy on combating drug misuse and call for tougher police action against dealers and for the appointment of a drugs tsar operating exclusively in Scotland. While SAD and its 'Just Say No' approach are not without their critics, there should be little doubt that the words of David Macauley, its executive director, and Sir Tom Farmer, its chairman, deserve to spark a renewed national debate on drugs and the dangers they pose to our young people. There has been little serious and coordinated thinking on the issue since the then secretary of state, Michael Forsyth, launched SAD - amid a fanfare of publicity and goodwill - two years ago. The present situation is, to say the least, confused. SAD says one thing while others involved in the fight against drugs preach a different message. This is a hopeless situation and one which, by sending out conflicting messages, negates the whole idea of a national policy. On Friday, the Secretary of State announced that he was to spend an extra 1.5m over three years on community-based anti-drugs projects sponsored by SAD. It must be said that while this may well be a welcome addition, there is little point in simply throwing money at schemes if there is no overall, agreed national policy. It is time for the government to stop prevaricating; the arguments over drug strategy in Scotland have been simmering for too long now and a properly thought-out, coherent approach - where everyone in the country is pulling in the same direction - is long overdue. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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