Portland NORML News - Sunday, August 9, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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: aro@drugsense.org, dpfca@drugsense.org, works@igc.org
From: canorml@igc.apc.org (Dale Gieringer)
Subject: DPFCA: 85th Anniversary of Cal. MJ Prohibition
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.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 // canorml@igc.apc.org
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Will We Learn
The Lessons Of Past Wars On Drugs?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@link.freedom.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Proposition 215 And The Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: letters@link.freedom.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 (n9710499@cc.wwu.edu)
To: hemp-talk@hemp.net
Subject: HT: FOCUS Alert No. 78 - Medical Marijuana Heroes NEED HELP! (fwd)
Sender: owner-hemp-talk@hemp.net

Sender: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
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
letters@latimes.com

Sacramento Bee
sacbedit@netcom.com

Orange County Weekly
and
Orange County Register
letters@link.freedom.com

Press telegram
speakout@ptconnect.infi.net

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: letters@latimes.com
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: speakout@ptconnect.infi.net
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: mgreer@mapinc.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: webmaster@ocweekly.com

The Los Angeles Times has an Orange County edition which has carried most of
their coverage on us. Their email is: ocletters@latimes.com

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: CA PUB LTE: Guards Not Brought To Justice
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 19:57:21 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Pubdate:8-9-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.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" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Prison Population Growing Although Crime Rate Drops
Date: Sun, 9 Aug 1998 12:49:21 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MAPNews-posts (E-mail)" (mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Punishment, Wasteful
TV Ads Don't Work, Treatment Does
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Sledhead
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Contact: letters@denverpost.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CO: OPED: Our Efforts Have Failed Miserably
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Sledhead
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Contact: letters@denverpost.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Organization: BlueDot
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CO: OPED: Anti-drug ads reach youngsters
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Sledhead
Source: Denver Post (CO)
Contact: letters@denverpost.com
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: A Drug-Users' Advocate
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: rlake@mapinc.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.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: drctalk@drcnet.org, update@adca.org.au, mattalk@islandnet.com
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: UPDATE - NZ: Radio news report on select comm't hearing
Sender: owner-update@wilma.netinfo.com.au
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:pot-news@va.com.au 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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Campaign: Users' Stories Help Medical Research
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)
Source: Independent on Sunday
Contact: Email: cannabis@independent.co.uk
letters@independent.co.uk
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 cannabis@independent.co.uk
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK: England's Green Unpleasant Land
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: Sun, 09 Aug 1998
Source: The Observer, UK
Contact: editor@observer.co.uk
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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK Scotland: Drugs Supremo Admits Sad Truth On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998
Source: Scotland On Sunday
Contact: letters_sos@scotsman.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: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: UK Scotland: Editorial: No Coherence On Drugs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
Pubdate: Sun, 09 Aug 1998
Source: Scotland On Sunday
Section: Opinion
Contact: letters_sos@scotsman.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.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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