------------------------------------------------------------------- Pacific Party Candidate Criticizes Kitzhaber (The Oregonian says Blair Bobier, the founder of Oregon's Pacific Party, affiliated with the national Green Party, kicked off his campaign to be Oregon's next governor on Saturday by criticizing incumbent John Kitzhaber for signing a bill to recriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ August. 10, 1998 Pacific Party candidate criticizes Kitzhaber * Blair Bobier claims that the governor has not done enough to protect the environment Sunday, August 9 1998 By Jeff Mapes of The Oregonian staff Blair Bobier, the founder of Oregon's environmentalist Pacific Party, on Saturday kicked off his campaign for governor by charging that Gov. John Kitzhaber has acquiesced in the destruction of the state's streams and forests. Bobier, who became the fourth minor-party candidate to enter the race, also took the governor to task for signing a bill to recriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and for not seeking overhaul of a tax system he said is tilted in favor of large corporate interests. A 38-year-old lawyer and political activist, Bobier in 1991 founded the Pacific Party, which has qualified for the ballot in Oregon and is affiliated with the Green Party nationally. "At best Gov. Kitzhaber has stood by idly as this destruction has taken place," Bobier said at a Portland airport news conference before going up in a private plane to view clear-cuts and damaged streams. He called the governor's voluntary restoration plan for coho salmon inadequate and criticized Kitzhaber for not seeking a halt to logging in federal forests. Bobier also endorsed Ballot Measure 64, which would ban clear-cuts and the use of pesticides in Oregon forests. Although the Pacific Party so far has not had a big effect on Oregon politics, the Green Party has become a significant force in some states. In New Mexico, Green Party candidates have taken more than 10 percent of the vote in a recent gubernatorial election and two congressional races. In all three cases, Republican candidates won as Democrats blamed the Green Party for their defeats. Bobier said he wasn't concerned that a strong showing for his own candidacy could aid Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Sizemore -- who has criticized Kitzhaber for supporting too much environmental regulation. "The difference between Sizemore and Kitzhaber is just like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," he said. "It really doesn't make a lot of difference." Bobier, who lives in the small Coast range town of Summit, also said average Oregonians need to make changes in their lifestyles. He criticized the use of lawn chemicals, power mowers and leaf blowers. He also called for taxing activities based on the amount of pollution they generate, and he said the state should greatly increase its investments in mass transit and bicycle paths. He called for universal health coverage and for "long-term, meaningful jobs for everyone who wants to work." Bobier is a graduate of the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College and previously worked at the Department of Environmental Quality as a public defender and with the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund. The other minor-party candidates in the governor's race are Libertarian Richard Burke, Socialist Trey Smith and Roger Weidner of the Reform Party.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Congress Awash In Smoking And Boozing (The Oklahoma Observer prints a letter from Peter DeFazio, the U.S. representative from Oregon, to congressman Joe Barton of Texas, suggesting Barton should propose a bill to test lawmakers for alcohol instead of illegal drugs.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 10:46:37 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US D.C.: Congress Awash In Smoking & Boozing Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson Source: The Oklahoma Observer Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 8/10/98 Author: Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.) CONGRESS AWASH IN SMOKING & BOOZING From a letter sent by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.) to rep. Joe Barton (R., Tex.). Dear Joe: I read with interest your renewed push to subject Members of Congress and staff to random drug testing. As I understand your position, you believe that Congress should "provide an example" by subjecting its Members and staff to intrusive, mandatory drug tests (paid for with public dollars). I have noted that you do not aledge that any illegal drug use is ongoing. I further understand that you and four other Members regularly take tests for drugs that you do not consume. Perhaps a more productive and cost effective alternative is in order. I have observed personally the abuse of addictive substances on the floor of the House in violation of the House rules. I am referring to the frequent and obnoxious smoking of cigars and cigarettes. Imagine all those Members puffing away later this year as we consider the "tobacco settlement." This will certainly raise questions in the minds of the millions of Americans who view the proceedings on C-SPAN. Simple and inexpensive enforcement of the House rules could bring this practice to an abrupt halt. Also, Congress, especially in late-night sessions, sees the same occasional alcohol abuse that occurs in other workplaces across the country. If Congress were to effectively curtail this abuse, we would exceed the modest goal you have set with your purely suymbolic testing program. Our electronic voting machines could be equipped with Breathalyzers. Before casting a vote (say after 8:00 pm) each member would have to breathe into the machine. Any Member whose blood alcohol level exceeded .08 would be locked out. This would give Members a strong incentive to keep their legal drinking within the sobriety limits set by many states for driving. We could even adopt a motto: Zero Tolerance For VWI (Voting while Intoxicated). Members would be recorded as "incapable of voting," which should provide a strong bahavioral incentive for moderation of alcohol consumption and help restore public confidence in the voting behavior of the Congress. Sincerely, Peter DeFazio
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Charged With Aggravated Murder In Death Of Woman (The Associated Press says two Clatsop County, Oregon men are charged with aggravated murder in the stabbing and burning death of a 37-year-old woman, allegedly because she informed on Anthony Scott Garner and a couple of friends "to police for drugs," though what sort of "drugs" were involved isn't specified.)Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Two charged with aggravated murder in death of woman The Associated Press 8/10/98 6:35 PM ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) -- Two Clatsop County men are charged with aggravated murder in the stabbing and burning death of a 37-year-old woman who reportedly informed police of their drug activities, authorities said. Anthony Scott Garner, 38, and Leslie Roy Simpkins, 36, are held on two counts of aggravated murder each for the death of Dana Ann Bailey. Garner is also charged with first-degree arson and hindering prosecution for allegedly burning the boat he was living on early Sunday in an effort to conceal the killing at the Warrenton Boat Basin. Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis has not said whether he will seek a death penalty. Bailey's badly burned body was recovered Sunday morning from the charred 38-foot motor yacht "Foxy Lady" by Clatsop County Search and Rescue divers. Both men were arraigned Monday afternoon. A Warrenton bartender alerted police Saturday night, according to an affidavit. The bartender said Simpkins had walked into the bar, ordered a beer and told her his friend had just killed a woman aboard his boat. Simpkins was playing pool when police arrived. Simpkins told police that Garner had killed Bailey because she had informed on him and a couple of friends to police for drugs and she knew the identity of his drug connection, according to the affidavit filed by Warrenton Police Sgt. Bart Ellerbroek. "She has to go," Simpkins said Garner told him. Simpkins gave Ellerbroek his knife which he said was used to kill her. He told the officer he sat three feet away and watched as Garner stabbed Bailey. Garner wanted to dump her body in the Skipanon River but Simpkins said he advised him to wait until dark because there was too much traffic on the bridge right above the boat. Later, Simpkins said, he talked Garner into them leaving the boat to call friends for help. The men separated and Simpkins rode his bicycle to the bar. Garner refused to allow officers aboard the boat and threatened to blow it up, Ellerbroek wrote in the affidavit. Warrenton Police Chief John Greisen tried to talk Garner off the boat, shouting down to him from the bridge. Marquis also was at the scene. Officers spotted a fire on the boat, Marquis said. The boat burst into flames. Naked, Garner jumped onto the floating dock and then into the water. Ellerbroek and another Warrenton officer pulled him out of the water. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. *** Return-Path: (email@example.com) From: "Joshua Marquis" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: (email@example.com) Subject: Your web site Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 19:24:20 -0800 >Two Charged With Aggravated Murder In Death Of Woman >(The Associated Press says two Clatsop County, Oregon men >are charged with aggravated murder in the stabbing and burning death >of a 37-year-old woman, allegedly because she informed on >Anthony Scott Garner and a couple of friends "to police for drugs," >though what sort of "drugs" were involved isn't specified.) The drugs in question are cocaine. This is in the public record.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Questionable Proposition (A Fresno Bee update on Proposition 215 in California shares the perspectives of medical marijuana patients, but points the federal government in the direction of the CHAMPS dispensary in San Francisco.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: "MAPNews-posts (E-mail)" (email@example.com) Subject: MN: US CA: A questionable propositon Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 14:11:15 -0500 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Source: The Fresno Bee Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/ Pubdate: Tuesday, 10 Aug 1998 Author: Doug Hoagland A QUESTIONABLE PROPOSITION SAN FRANCISCO - John Lemos, a man of the Valley, has come to this city to buy marijuana. Marijuana he uses as medicine; marijuana he uses to get high - thanks to California voters and Proposition 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative of 1996. Every month, Lemos makes the journey from his home in Hanford to CHAMP, a club that sells pot. There are no such clubs in the Valley. CHAMP stands for Californians Helping Alleviate Medical Problems, and it sits at 194 Church St., which is rather fitting if you listen very long to the club's supporters. They don't say it outright, but their inference is clear: CHAMP's mission is heavenly. It's here on a July afternoon that Janna, a club employee with two nose rings and a ponytail of braids, checks Lemos' photo identification. Janna says she has no last name, and she does it with a nasally air of authority that suggests she would appreciate no more questions. She and Lemos stand at an open doorway, the club's security door propped open to welcome a fresh breeze and brilliant sunshine washing over San Francisco. Janna's job is to stop double dealing: People buying at CHAMP and then reselling on the street. She says she does it with prayer. "Really, a spiritual defense is our first line." You know she's not kidding. But none of Janna's resources - spiritual or otherwise - is needed with Lemos, a tall, angular man with bleached blond hair. Lemos is a legit customer. He has AIDS. He started using marijuana to ease severe nausea from chemotherapy. Now, he says, he takes 48 pills a day which kill his appetite. Without marijuana, he has no appetite, he says. Janna stands aside at the doorway and allows Lemos to climb a 19-step staircase to CHAMP's second-floor space above a bar called The Transfer. This is the Castro, San Francisco's pre-eminent gay neighborhood. The sidewalks are big-city crowded. A Boston Market is across the street; Blockbuster and Safeway are up the way. Lemos, 51, takes the steps easily. Pretty good for a man who expected to be dead by now. Six months. That's what the doctor gave him in 1989. "I've been really lucky - I guess," Lemos says, irony creeping into his flat voice, dark humor trailing right behind. Maybe his work prepared him for all of this. He worked as a mortician before they told him he was going to die. Resignation and fatigue have dulled a once exuberant personality. Yet Lemos still is friendly and easygoing. Amused, too, by the painting at the top of the CHAMP staircase. It's a loud, irreverent depiction of Elvis Presley in Mickey Mouse ears and a red royal robe. The King looks foolish, but what the hell. This is San Francisco. This trip up the stairs, Lemos smiles again at Elvis as he steps into the club to make his purchase. The retailing of marijuana is where the battle over Prop. 215 now rages. The initiative made it legal for Californians to grow and possess marijuana for medical purposes. The proposition's one catch: A doctor must recommend "that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief." But, says Evelyn James, spokeswoman for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in San Francisco, "There is nothing in the proposition that says sales are legal." And it's still against federal law to cultivate or distribute marijuana, says Stephen Shefler, chief assistant U.S. Attorney in San Francisco. So government lawyers are fighting the sales of marijuana at some clubs like CHAMP. "We are there to close them down because they are violating federal law," Shefler says. CHAMP is not one of the defendants in an ongoing federal lawsuit against six clubs, most in the Bay area. But the government likely will move to close CHAMP if it succeeds in court later this month against the other clubs, Shefler says. Ken Hayes, CHAMP's executive director, vows to take a stand if the government acts. But he also admits the club would have few options. Ah, democracy in action - California style. Prop. 215 lurches forward with all the grace of a staggering drunk with people like John Lemos trailing behind to get their marijuana. James at DEA says that trail is dangerous. She says little scientific research has been conducted on the medical benefits of marijuana, and the anecdotal evidence is suspect. "A lot of these people used marijuana before recreationally, and they expect it to work. So their expectation creates an effect regardless of what the chemicals cause," James says. Shades of the placebo effect. James also injects several C-words into the debate. Smoking marijuana is "inherently carcinogenic and contributes to the further compromise of delicate immune systems," she says, adding the DEA is not "anti-compassion." "Legitimate," government-approved medications exist to ease pain and nausea, James says. MEDICALLY SPEAKING John Lemos will confound some critics at this point. He says no healthy person should be smoking marijuana. "It uses up brain cells. But I'm at a point where it's a trade-off." Doctors can't agree whether Lemos' choice is a smart one. "There is no consensus," says Dr. Shaikah Matin, chief of pharmacy and theraputics at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fresno. Dr. Marshall Flam, a veteran Fresno oncologist, agrees with the DEA position: There are legal drugs to help with pain. But another Fresno doctor says it's not so simple. Dr. Manthani Reddy specializes in infectious disease. He treats 75 to 100 patients with HIV and AIDS. Reddy says a combination of new drugs, known as protease inhibitors, is keeping AIDS patients alive longer than before. Some patients are even returning to work. However, 20% have nausea or other side effects. They need something to help. Marijuana is most effective for some, Reddy says. He says it should be a treatment option despite a recent study that questions the benefit of smoking pot. Funny thing about all this: At first, Lemos didn't want to smoke marijuana. He considered it "a low-life drug," far beneath him, when his doctor in Monterey suggested it nine years ago. Lemos was living in Salinas at the time. Managing three funeral homes. Driving a Cadillac. Burying the dead was a good living. He had done drugs before. But not marijuana. And he wasn't about to deal on some street corner. He found some through acquaintances. At first, Lemos made marijuana tea. Terrible stuff, he says, laughing. He tells this part of his story in the Hanford home he shares with his male partner of 16 years. Lemos is gay. His partner has AIDS, too, but won't use marijuana. He doesn't like it, says Lemos. He settles back on a rattan couch in green jogging shorts and a gray T-shirt. A dry cough, a leftover of radiation treatment, interrupts the conversation at times. When Prop. 215 passed two years ago, Lemos went to a physician he sees in San Francisco and got a form letter. It says Lemos has AIDS. It also says: "Please extend to him/her all services to which they are entitled by virtue of this diagnosis." The letter clears Lemos with law enforcement, according to the California Attorney General's Office. He probably wouldn't be prosecuted for possession unless he was driving under the influence or had more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, which translates into about 60 cigarettes, says Attorney General's Office spokesman Matt Ross. Lemos keeps much less at home and is circumspect about where he lights up. Never around his daughters. (He was married and is now divorced.) Never around his five young grandsons. Not at someone else's house. When he chooses not to smoke marijuana, he takes Marinol pills. It's a prescription drug. Legal. A pure form of THC, the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. Lemos says Marinol relieves his nausea but works slower than marijuana. Marijuana vs. Marinol is a big debating point in life after Prop. 215. And here's something else to stir the pot, so to speak. In 1990, the Drug Enforcement Administration did a survey, and more than 1,000 oncologists responded, according to an August 1997 article in The New England Journal of Medicine. Of doctors who believed they could directly compare the two drugs, 44% said marijuana was more effective; 13% said Marinol was more effective. This might be important and relevant to a debate that will never end. But all the surveys and doctors and prestigious medical journals can't obscure a fact that Lemos considers when he visits the AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. "My daughters are going to bring me out here when I die," he says, basking in the solitude. He sits on a boulder in a dry creek bed. Redwood, pine and dogwood trees tower over him. He wants his girls to scatter some of his ashes in the grove. Sarah Ramos, 27 of Clovis, is Lemos' oldest daughter. She laughs about her father trying to keep his illegal pot a secret when she was younger. He'd pretend to be taking a shower. He'd stuff a rolled-up towel along the bottom crack of the bathroom door. Ramos could smell it anyway. Maggie Hill, 24 of Xenia, Ohio, is Lemos' other daughter. As a teen-ager, she once told her dad: "How can you tell me how to run my life? You're just a pothead." Hill, who used to live in Hanford, voted for Prop. 215. She says sick should be able to use marijuana if it makes them feel better. Statewide, 56% of people apparently agreed. And in the Valley? Majorities voted against the proposition. The no vote: 63% in Tulare County, 59% in Kings and Madera counties, 57% in Fresno County, 56% in Merced County and 52% in Mariposa County. A PEEK INSIDE CHAMP The club is cozy and bright. (Actually, "club" is not how Ken Hayes, executive director, wants CHAMP to be labeled. He calls it "a medicinal plant dispensary.") Whatever you call it, the place is welcoming. And intimate - no bigger than two good-sized living rooms. Two couches armed with plump pillows and several overstuffed chairs ring a pine coffee table. A CD of Motown hits plays in the background; the music slides easily between the conversations going around the coffee table, which is graced by a bouquet of blue, lace-capped hydrangeas. It's as if Martha Stewart has freshened up a '60s party scene. Sort of mellow yellow Martha. Function, not beauty, characterizes other items on the coffee table. There are rolling papers to make marijuana cigarettes and antiseptic pads for water pipes, also used in smoking marijuana. "That way they can wipe down the pipe if they want to share," says Hayes. "We're dealing with people who have compromised immune systems." Hayes says CHAMP has 600 "consumers," 80% of whom have AIDS. They become CHAMP members by producing a letter from a doctor outlining their medical condition. Hayes says his staff verifies the doctor's authenticity by checking state records on the Internet. Once that's done, customers can buy different grades of marijuana kept in quart-size Mason jars in a glass sales case. Quality varies and, with it, price. One-eighth ounce usually ranges from $10 to $55 and makes three to five cigarettes; a quarter ounce ranges from $18 to $105 and makes seven to 10 cigarettes, according to Hayes. The marijuana is sold under such jolly names as "Big and Hairy," "Flarfy Mean Purple" and "X-Mas in July." Hayes says he's trying to get away from the fun and games by devising new names. "Really, this is plant medicine," he says. Hence, purchases are limited and tracked by computerized records. Usually, customers can buy a quarter ounce per day. After buying, some people stay to smoke and chat. Listen in and you catch the nothingness that lubricates conversations anywhere. "You're looking good. Like you're feeling better." "Thanks." "I spent the weekend on the Russian River." "Very nice." But chat up someone as a reporter and things veer from a Seinfeld moment with the speed of a Kramer entry. The mood gets so serious. Dan Larsen, 35, leans forward on a wicker couch, his body language suggesting an old man with wisdom to impart. Marijuana is "medicine," and it's the only thing that calms his stomach and keeps down the other meds he takes for AIDS, he says. An eighth of an ounce lasts him about 10 days. Larsen rails against anyone who thinks Attorney General Dan Lungren, now running for governor, was justified in his successful battle to close San Francisco's best-known cannabis club in the spring. The club was run by Dennis Peron, who helped draft Prop. 215. (The case sprung from undercover tapes showing minors in possession of marijuana, toddlers in smoking rooms and marijuana from the club being sold by street dealers, according to the Attorney General's Office. Peron says he was "a soft touch" to many who came to his club. But he charges that Lungren targeted him to destroy the medical marijuana movement.) "Tell them to get a life," Larsen says of Lungren supporters. "They should learn more about this disease." He almost growls out the words, making it impossible not to note the leather dog collar around his neck. Larsen wears a yellow leather jacket, too, and walks with a cane. His hair is long. He has the melancholy look of the streets. Larsen lives in a general ward of a San Francisco hospital and comes to CHAMP daily for something to do. Hospital officials are OK with the arrangement, says Hayes, who summarizes Larsen's shrunken existence with a few, brutal sentences. "His lover broke up with him. He's wasting. He looks forward to coming here." It's so different for John Lemos. He still has money and mobility. A partner, too. And his family. But the specter of sickness is ever present. "As time goes on, it gets worse," he says. "In the last year, I've had more episodes." The worst was pancreatitis in the spring. Lemos says he smoked some marijuana to help his appetite, but it made the symptoms worse. "I don't know if it was just in my head, but it didn't work." Lemos dropped 30 pounds in the spring and even had the minister in to talk about funeral arrangements. He was determined to die at home. Recovery from the pancreatitis has been slow, and he still tires easily. "But all and all, I'm doing pretty well," Lemos says, "especially compared to a lot of other people." MAKING A VISIT Sometimes, Lemos will linger at the club. He says the staff can talk about pain control other "than being loaded all the time." He's gotten advice on meditation and soaking in hot tubs. Clearly, CHAMP wants to be seen as more than a place that sells marijuana. Two weeks ago, the club even dropped cannabis from its name. CHAMP had stood for Cannabis Helping Alleviate Medical Problems. Now the C stands for Californians. Hayes, a smooth-faced 30-year-old who easily slips into crusade mode, clearly knows a thing or two about marketing. But he insists his work is not about creating an image. His voice thick with emotion, Hayes says: "I'm in the business of providing aid to sick and dying people. Unfortunately there has been a lot of misportrayal, and I truly believe the media have had a role in that. I've had media people come in and say, 'Start smoking so we can take pictures.' " So, CHAMP now bars photographers from the club. All this, of course, is politics, which is the luxury of people who aren't sick. Aren't fatigued. Fatigue leaves you flat. Leaves you with the motions of whatever your life has become. For John Lemos on a brilliant July afternoon, that next motion is buying marijuana. He doesn't linger at CHAMP on this day. Can't, in fact. A lab technician's needle awaits him in another part of the city. Lemos, in stone-washed jeans and a blue, two-button shirt, tries to decide what to buy. He settles on an eighth of an ounce of high-grade marijuana nicknamed "I Dare Ya." Sean Renault, a club employee, weighs the purchase on a digital scale that's accurate to one-tenth of a gram. Lemos shows his photo ID membership card; Renault scans Lemos' face for a match and teases: "With those shades today I thought you were trying to trick me." Lemos, sporting a pair of Ray-Bans, laughs, too. Then he pays with three crisp 20s and gets $5, a yellow receipt and a plastic bag of marijuana in exchange. Turning to go, Lemos explains his San Francisco doctor wants him in for another blood test. Lemos has a liver problem caused by all the prescription drugs he takes to fight AIDS. He moves past the painting of Elvis with Mickey Mouse ears and quickly negotiates the 19 steps to the street. People on Church Street stroll past CHAMP. Cars speed by. A bus rumbles. Lemos melts into the crowd and is gone. But he'll be back, as long as this club stays open.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bestselling Author's Arrest a Wake-Up Call to Californians, Libertarian Party Says (A press release from the Libertarian Party of California on PRNewswire describes the federal indictment and incarceration of medical marijuana patient/activist Peter McWilliams.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:43:14 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Bestselling Author's Arrest A Wake-Up Call To Californians, Libertarian Party Says Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: PRNewswire BESTSELLING AUTHOR'S ARREST A WAKE-UP CALL TO CALIFORNIANS, LIBERTARIAN PARTY SAYS LOS ANGELES, Aug. 10 -- The arrest of bestselling author Peter McWilliams is another nail in the Constitution's coffin, the Libertarian Party of California charged today. "This is a wake-up call to all Californians: federal drug fanatics are violating your Constitutional rights -- yet again," declared Libertarian state chair Mark Hinkle. McWilliams, 48, was arrested in Los Angeles along with 8 others on July 23 and charged with conspiracy to sell marijuana plants. McWilliams has entered a formal plea of not guilty and is being held on $250,000 bail. If convicted, he faces a 10-year jail sentence. At issue is Proposition 215, the initiative that decriminalized the use of medical marijuana in California. Prop. 215 became state law in November 1996, approved by 56% of California voters. McWilliams, who was diagnosed with AIDS and non-Hodgkins lymphoma in March, 1996, uses marijuana to combat the nausea caused by his life-saving medical treatments. He is an outspoken advocate of medical marijuana. "The Constitution has gone up in smoke, thanks to the federal government," said Hinkle. "This is a real emergency. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are in critical condition." The Ninth and Tenth Amendments of the Bill of Rights reserve to the states and the people any powers not specifically granted to Congress by the Constitution. "Never mind that the War on Drugs is a complete failure. Never mind that the government has no business telling us what we can or cannot put into our bodies. The Constitution does not grant Congress the power to pass drug laws. Under the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, that power belongs to the states," explained Hinkle. That hasn't stopped federal drug warriors from interfering with the implementation of Prop. 215: -- At a December 30, 1996 press conference, the Clinton administration announced that doctors who prescribe or recommend marijuana may face criminal prosecution under federal law; -- On April 21, 1997, federal agents confiscated 331 marijuana plants and associated growing equipment in a raid on the Flower Therapy medical marijuana buyer's club in San Francisco; -- On March 4, 1998, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee approved a resolution stating that "marijuana is a dangerous and addictive drug and should not be legalized for medical use"; -- On May 14, 1998, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer complied with the federal government's request to shut down six California medical marijuana dispensaries. "The federal government has obstructed the implementation of Prop. 215 at every turn and Californians are outraged," said Hinkle. Can anything be done to stop the federal government from interfering with state law? "Yes -- the Attorney General of California can invoke the Ninth and Tenth Amendments and instruct California law enforcement to ignore all federal requests, resolutions, and orders when it comes to Prop. 215," noted Hinkle. "The Attorney General can and should stand up to the federal drug foot soldiers -- but I'm not holding my breath." In fact, California Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Lungren has publicly stated his opposition to Prop. 215. In a February speech, Lungren said, "I took a strong stand against Prop. 215," and went on to explain that "we are trying to implement the measure as narrowly as possible." Beyond the Constitutional violation, the federal intervention in medical marijuana has had a tragic consequence. "People are dying," said Hinkle. "Patients who depend on marijuana to ease their suffering are suffering. Whenever the federal government shuts down a medical marijuana buyer's club, they are contributing to the pain of very sick people." At a July 31 hearing in a Los Angeles federal court, McWilliams's attorneys accused the prison of withholding lifesaving medication from the author. "This gross abuse of federal power must stop," insisted Hinkle. "The Libertarian Party of California demands the California Attorney General to uphold his oath of office to defend the laws and citizens of California against all comers -- including the federal government. We demand Congress and the President recognize the supremacy of state law in this matter. We demand the immediate reopening of all medical marijuana buyer's clubs that have been shut down. And we demand full and complete amnesty for all medical marijuana prisoners -- including Peter McWilliams." McWilliams is a #1 bestselling author and Libertarian Party member whose books include "How to Survive the Loss of a Love," "The Personal Computer Book," and "Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do," a stinging criticism of victimless crimes. SOURCE Libertarian Party of California Web Site: http://www.ca.lp.org CONTACT: Juan Ros, Executive Director of Libertarian Party of California, 818-506-0200, Fax: 818-506-0212, or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ignoring Alcohol Toll (A letter to the editor of the San Francisco Examiner provides more evidence of the gaping double standards of Americans and their mass media when it comes to "drugs" and alcohol.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:26:17 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Ignoring Alcohol Toll Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Section: Letters To The Editor Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ IGNORING ALCOHOL TOLL Thank you for the column by Hilary Abramson, "A 'war' on drugs, but only a murmur on booze" (Opinion Page, July 31). You have pointed out perhaps the most troubling of all drug-related problems, that this one drug - alcohol - causes more deaths, injuries, violence and lost potential of our young people than all other drugs combined. All Americans, but especially parents, need to know and remember that alcohol is indeed a drug, its use can be dangerous and prevention of alcohol abuse must rank along side other drug-prevention efforts. That "The Partnership for a Drug-Free America" is the advertising agency group that originally took Big Tobacco and Big Booze money and failed to produce one ad to discourage children from smoking or drinking should be troubling to everyone. You rightly pointed out that 14,000 Americans will die from illegal drug use. However, this is but a 10-day total of the deaths due to tobacco addiction. Effective and enlightened national policies regarding alcohol, tobacco and other drug use will require much greater political courage than has been demonstrated in Washington thus far. Edward A. Pane President and CEO Serento Gardens: Alcoholism and Drug Services Hazleton, Pa. Regarding the Abramson column: Odds are that any given person won't have or cause a problem with alcohol, so why make policy on the assumption that he or she will? Here in San Francisco were I so inclined I could buy heroin or crack cocaine daily in my block in the Mission. But the San Francisco Police Department is ignoring that kind of drug trafficking and the violence associated with its illegality. The SFPD has just entered into a cycle of funding a year-long series of decoy sting operations at local alcohol outlets, intimidating proprietors, lest they lose their licenses, into demanding identification from all regardless of age and appearance. Why can the cops find resources to intimidate legitimate businesses while ignoring the more risky aspects of law enforcement like busting dealers who occupy residential neighborhoods to sell hard drugs? Combining the chemical effects of cocaine and heroin with the side-effects of prohibition make those drugs far more dangerous to users and those around them than alcohol. Marc Salomon San Francisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Wall Of Silence' Surrounded Prison Brutality (Scripps Howard News Service says California legislators in Sacramento have been told about guards at Corcoran Prison shooting inmates dead, arranging fights, instigating at least one rape, and staging a mass beating of blacks.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 17:24:19 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Organization: BlueDot To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: `Wall Of Silence' Surrounded Prison Brutality Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Scripps Howard News Service Contact: SHNS Editor email@example.com Website: http://www.shns.com/ Pubdate: 10 Aug 1998 `WALL OF SILENCE' SURROUNDED PRISON BRUTALITY LOS ANGELES -- A top-level inquiry in California into brutality, murder and corruption at a ``super-maximum'' security jail, has drawn attention to shocking conditions in a state not generally associated with an inhumane prison regime Stunned politicians in the state legislature in Sacramento have heard about guards at Corcoran Prison shooting prisoners dead, arranging fights between inmates, instigating at least one rape, and staging a mass beating of black prisoners. Both the governor, Republican Pete Wilson, and his attorney general, Dan Lungren, who hopes to succeed to the governorship in November's elections, have been accused of failing to investigate Corcoran properly because they received $826,000 in campaign contributions from the powerful guards' union. The prison is a ``super-maximum'' security institution 170 miles northwest of Los Angeles amid cotton fields in the central valley. It was opened in 1988 for 3,000 inmates, but now holds 5,030, including Robert Kennedy's assassin Sirhan Sirhan, and the cult leader in the 1969 Sharon Tate murders, Charles Manson. Between 1989 and 1995, Corcoran guards shot dead seven prisoners and wounded 43, making it America's deadliest prison. Some shootings, the inquiry has heard, were on ``gladiator'' days when fights between the jail's rival gang members were deliberately staged. Guards then ``justified'' the shootings as necessary to stop disturbances they had already begun. Investigations by the California Corrections Department and Lungren's office failed to bring any criminal charges at the prison after meeting a ``wall of silence'' erected by the guards. A former director of prisons testified that he agreed with the union in 1996 that if it dropped a lawsuit against the department, his investigators would not press questionings. Prosecutors in the county where the prison is situated also made an investigation and set up a grand jury hearing. They too were defeated by the guards' silence and no charges were brought. A former guard and gun expert, Steven Rigg, testified that he had analyzed every Corcoran shooting and concluded that none was justified. ``You cannot shoot the victim of a fist-fight and call it a ``good' shooting,'' he said. ``You cannot use a firearm to stop a stand-up fist-fight.'' He added that as a whistle-blower he had been subjected to death threats and intimidation from ex-colleagues, and his wife was still so frightened she sometimes slept on the bathroom floor. After being ignored by state officials, Rigg said he went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in April indicted eight Corcoran guards, and said there might be more. At the inquiry, three guards have already exercised their U.S. constitutional rights not to testify in the alleged rape case. Their refusal came after disclosure of a case in which a frail inmate weighing only 120 pounds, who had kicked a female guard, was placed in a cell with a notoriously violent prisoner weighing 230 poounds who was known as the ```Booty Bandit'' (slang for his reputation as a sodomite). He repeatedly raped his new cell mate and was rewarded with extra food and new tennis shoes. Between the late 1980s and 1990s he was accused of sexually assaulting 15 inmates, the inquiry heard, but never charged. The racist beating was perpetrated by a group of guards called the ``Sharks'' because of their unprovoked violent attacks. According to an eyewitness, off-duty guards were summoned from home to join a group waiting for a transfer of black prisoners to arrive. For 30 minutes they engaged in ``limbering up'' like a football team. When the bus arrived the black prisoners were forced to run a gauntlet of guards who struck them with batons and kicked them. State senator Adam Schiff, a Democrat and former criminal prosecutor, said of the investigation: ``We are hearing witnesses that a grand jury never heard. We're seeing evidence that wasn't brought to light. Some of these witnesses didn't volunteer the information because they were intimidated . . . But a good investigation not only uncovers witnesses who volunteer, but it digs to find witnesses who do not.''' More disclosures are likely in a prison system in California that has been plagued with troubles. Since 1984 the state has built 21 new prisons and they now number 33 and contain 158,000 inmates. Yet still they are crowded. Cells originally intended for one, now almost always are shared by two prisoners. California's other ``super max'' prison is Pelican Bay in the rainy northwest just below the Oregon border. This is constructed so that its 3,800 prisoners -- ``the worst of the worst'' as they are known -- cannot see anyone else. Their meals are automatically delivered to their cells in which they are locked up for 23 hours a day. Conditions were so harsh that a psychiatrist testified in a civil court case over the prison that it was driving some inmates insane. In 1991 a court monitor was appointed to run the prison, but eight inmates have died since February in rival gang fights.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three Strikes Stinks! (Orange County Weekly describes the campaign being waged by FACTS, Families to Amend California's Three Strikes, to overturn California's cruel but popular mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, which require a sentence of 25 years to life for a third felony.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 01:09:47 EDT Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Tim Perkins (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: O.C. Weekly, Cover Story O.C. Weekly Three Strikes Stinks! Death, taxes and the self-inflicted stupidity of Three Strikes By Steve Lowery On a recent Saturday morning, Huntington Beach Assemblyman Scott Baugh sat down with a handful of people, most of them from an Death, taxes and the organization called Families to Amend self-inflicted California's Three Strikes (FACTS). The fact stupidity of Three that he was there-he's a self-described Strikes conservative Republican-and that he had invited them to his office and greeted them at the door with a smile was a great victory for FACTS, which has been told its cause is not only lost but is also the political equivalent of a pox-infested blanket to politicians in an election year. Three Strikes was enormously popular when it was voted in as Proposition 184 in 1994. Politicians, with the dull roar of Willie Horton ringing in their ears, have refused to even meet with FACTS for fear of looking soft on crime. For Republican and Democratic officials alike, questioning anything about Three Strikes-its effectiveness, fairness or costs-is seen as political suicide. Just the opportunity to talk to Baugh about Senate Bill 2048-authored by John Vasconcellos (D-Santa Clara), the bill directs the state to study the effectiveness, fairness and costs of Three Strikes-was significant and validating but assumed to be symbolic. "I figured a few minutes [with Baugh] and a pat on the head," said Sue Reams, summing up the expectations of more than a few at the meeting. So it was with a mix of excitement and unease that they reacted to Baugh's wondering aloud if "it was too late to co-author the bill." He was smiling as he said it, and the people from FACTS were unsure if Baugh was serious. They told him the most they'd hoped for was that he would abstain from voting on the bill. "Oh, I think I can do better than that," he told them-still smiling-and made it clear that he would be voting with them. Many in the group were dumbfounded, wrestling with how to properly react when a wildest dream comes true. "Stunned," said Christy Johnson. "We've been beaten up so many times that I've tried not to expect anything anymore. But when we came out of there, I lost it; the tears just came. It was the best day I've had in some time." The fact that one Republican lawmaker decided to break ranks and vote with FACTS on a bill that they themselves acknowledge is weak and well below their ultimate aspirations may not seem like much. But the fact that it would move Johnson to tears-a woman who has persisted despite being yelled at, pushed, reviled and, she said, fired from one job because of her efforts-tells you a lot about FACTS: they have been forced to do what they can with not much for some time. The smallest victory is significant when you are left for dead, and what happened in Baugh's office would have seemed unfathomable to FACTS not just last year, but a few weeks ago. June 1998. The meeting begins on time, but the turnout is light. A few women and fewer men sit around folding tables. The mood is familiar with one another and with the stream that flows in from the Catholic Worker house in Santa Ana (no one so much as cranes a neck when a voice somewhere says someone is throwing bricks off the roof); so is the agenda: amending perhaps the state's most untouchable law this side of handicapped parking. This is why they've come here every Thursday for the past year. These are the regulars. Johnson, the career girl scout who says she married Dan Johnson moments after he'd been sentenced to 75 years to life for drug possession. Charlene Williams, who relates how her son Larry got 25 years to life for the $50 he spent on a stolen cellular phone. Hope Nimrod, who says son Max tried to get treatment for his drug problem but always found the waiting list too long or the price tag too high and is now doing 25 years to life for trying to buy $13 worth of narcotics from an undercover police officer. There are others here with stories of petty thieves and addicts, of husbands, sons and grandsons caught in the wide net of California's Three Strikes law. And there was a time when each one of them was new and did what the new people do. "The new ones scream," Johnson says. "You have no where else to go, so you come here and scream because you can't believe that this is actually happening in this country. You hear it all the time: 'How can this happen? THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!'" The new one tonight is Trudy, who speaks in a near-whisper and makes it clear she'll have to leave by 8 p.m. She doesn't like to drive at night. She's there because her grandson may be sentenced under Three Strikes, and she wants to get as much information as possible. She had heard about FACTS on TV and in the newspapers and figured they were making great strides. But from the moment the meeting starts, her face is in a virtual unchecked state of drop, of "This is it?" FACTS looked so much bigger in the newspaper. This is a few people sitting around a table talking about a bake sale. Going around the table, asking each person what they can make-put Williams down for three dozen chocolate-chip cookies-Trudy is incredulous: "I came here to talk about the law. I thought you were going to get it changed, and I wanted to know when that was going to happen." They try to explain to her that Three Strikes is not going to change any time soon. It's a popular law though, they believe, a misunderstood one. FACTS activists believe that the people who overwhelmingly voted Three Strikes into law with 72 percent of the vote would demand it changed if they were aware it wasn't just putting away violent criminals for life but, more often than not, imprisoning nonviolent offenders. Three Strikes, they believe, was voted in for serious criminals, for Richard Allen Davis, who murdered Polly Klaas, a man so enamored with misery he'd no doubt revel in triggering a law that puts the likes of Ronnie Villa of Anaheim-father of two, grandfather of four-in jail for 25 years to life for stealing five bottles of Head and Shoulders shampoo a dozen years after his last offense. "It's very depressing when these crimes are so piddly," Doreen McCarthy, Villa's public defender, reportedly said. "He's just an old junkie who unfortunately has some very old robberies. It broke my heart." They figured that when news of cases like Villa's reached people, news of the legislative analyst's office's report that said 75 percent of second strikers and 50 percent of third strikers were for nonviolent crimes, people would be moved. They thought that when Polly Klaas' father, Marc, came out against the law because he said it was applied too broadly and served no real deterrent that everything would change. "I tell people we have to find real solutions; I don't think we can solve the crime problem by just putting more people in prison for longer amounts of time any more than we can solve the AIDS problem by constructing more cemeteries," Klaas says. "These are back-end solutions; more efforts have to be put in to finding front-end solutions." But nothing happened. Studies came and went that called the California law "ineffective," and nothing happened. Statistics showed that while crime dropped in California over the past four years (it had, in fact, started dropping before Three Strikes), it fell as much or more in states that either didn't have a Three Strikes law or rarely used it, and nothing happened. News came that criminals were being released after serving just a fraction of their sentences to make room for the overcrowding Three Strikes caused; a 1996 report by the Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of criminal-justice and elected officials, estimated that to keep pace with the law, the state would need to build 15 new prisons at a price tag of $4.5 billion, and nothing happened. When FACTS helped get a bill amending the law onto the state Senate floor last year, it got walloped, 13-25. This year, they were instrumental in getting another bill to the Senate only to be told by insiders that the most they could hope for in an election year was a bill to commission a study of Three Strikes. It passed the Senate on partisan lines-Democrats voting for, Republicans against and is now in the Assembly, where it figures to come up for a vote in early August. That's nice, but already there are rumors that Governor Pete Wilson will veto the bill, and they almost certainly won't have the votes to override. That is where things stand on this Thursday, another Thursday. The Orange County chapter of FACTS-there are chapters in every major California city and region-has been effective at getting things done: collecting signatures; organizing letter-writing campaigns, demonstrations and vigils; getting on TV and the radio; and speaking in front of political conventions. The chapter has also proven valuable symbolically, says Geri Silva, chairwoman of FACTS in Los Angeles, "because of what Orange County represents in most people's minds." For all of that, Three Strikes still stands. Mike Reynolds, the Fresno photographer who authored Three Strikes, says that recent polling shows the law has more support today-79 percent-than it did four years ago. "The numbers speak for themselves and very loud," Reynolds says. "We found a method by which we can truly deter crime. For the first time, we can sort the wheat from the chaff between those who want to make an honest to goodness effort to rehabilitate themselves and those who aren't at all interested in that." If Reynolds' poll numbers are accurate, it can mean one of only two things: either the people at FACTS have not done a good enough job-or had enough time-to change people's minds, or people by and large really don't care. Criminals-any criminal in their eyes, no matter what the offense-don't deserve consideration. Either way, it means a lot of work for the people at FACTS, who've learned the value of pacing, a lifetime of Thursdays perhaps. They bide their time, building and baking. As 8 p.m. comes around, Trudy is gathering her things together as Dwight Smith of the Catholic Worker in Orange County, suggests a fund-raiser whereby a small file would be hidden in a slice of cake. Everybody laughs, except Trudy. Seeing this, Smith says, "Maybe we shouldn't be laughing about this." Barbara Brooks, another regular, a woman who moments before had said, "My son has value; my son is not a dog," is among the loudest to laugh. "Yes, we should, Dwight," she says. "Yes, we should." Three Strikes' straightforward approach, complete with catchy title, seemed to offer a no-nonsense wedge through all the plea bargaining and pandering that many people believe afflict the criminal-justice system. Commit three felonies and go to jail for 25 years to life. But while many people believed the felonies spoken of were for serious, usually violent crimes-or at least crimes with the threat of violence the fact is that Three Strikes encompasses more than 400 felonies, many of them of the drug-possession andpetty-theft variety. "Everywhere I speak, almost uniformly, people are astonished what people are being put away for," says Carl Holmes, an Orange County public defender and an outspoken critic of Three Strikes. "Almost unanimously, I find when talking to people, they thought the law would only affect violent criminals." Though more than 20 other states have Three Strikes laws of some type, only California's is so wide-ranging, so "irrational . . . crazy," says UC Irvine criminologist Gilbert Geis. The state of Washington had the first Three Strikes law, not California, but Washington's law dictates that all three strikes be for violent or serious felonies. According to the National Institute of Justice, by March 1996, there were only 53 inmates incarcerated under Washington's Three Strikes; there were 1,477 in California: 131 for petty theft, 63 for receiving stolen property, and 172 for drug possession. And though much of Three Strikes' appeal is derived from its apparent ability to circumvent the criminal-justice bureaucracy, the law actually allows for considerable discretion on the part of judges when sentencing and prosecutors when deciding who shall be tried under the law. However, it is discretion that many prosecutors and judges choose not to use for fear of political reprisals. Few things are scooped up so readily by political opponents as the appearance that a rival may be soft on crime. Ask Mike Dukakis. Or Anthony Rackauckas. In 1997, state officials reportedly investigated whether Assistant District Attorney Brent Romney had asked a secretary to spend county time locating the files of 13 Three Strikes cases handled by Rackauckas, a superior court judge. At the time, Romney was planning to run against Rackauckas for DA. Most observers believed Romney was attempting to make Rackaukas, who won the election in June, appear soft on crime. He wasn't the only one. After Rackauckas reduced the sentence of Ronald Lara of Anaheim, who was reportedly picked up for check forgery, from 25 years to life to a year in jail, Wallace Wade, Rackauckas' main rival in the election, said of the Lara case, "It sounds to me like it's appropriate discussion in an election." In such an atmosphere, it's effective to paint criminals with a broad, foreboding brush, creating an atmosphere Holmes calls "medieval. The public has been whipped up into such a frenzy by politicians that there is no distinction between serious and nonserious criminals. Politicians have found crime a ready vehicle, and the results are really very Draconian." The results, as the members of FACTS know, are that criminals of any ilk are seen less as people than monsters. Nearly everyone has a story of a friend who abandoned him or her once his or her son or husband was arrested. Johnson says she was fired from her job when Dan went in two years ago-her former boss called later and asked her to come back; she said no. "That was nice," she says-and had others abandon her. "There's a feeling that if you have someone in jail, you're entitled to be shunned," she says. "You're entitled to be treated like garbage." For FACTS to make any of its arguments-that Three Strikes costs too much money and is ineffective and immoral-it first must perform the Herculean task of making the general public, if not care about these criminals, then at least see them as human beings capable of rehabilitation as well as being loved. In their public appearances, it's important for FACTS members to exude normalness. It's not that difficult a task. Brooks is typical of the kind of person you meet when attending a FACTS meeting. Middle-aged, quiet and unassuming, she is by no means a political animal, though she describes herself as a "Christian conservative Republican." She's not the type who thinks criminals should get anything less than what is coming to them. She works at Fullerton Municipal Court, and she is the first to say her son deserves to do time for his crimes. But life in prison for evasion-a crime known as a wobbler, one that could be tried as a felony or misdemeanor-seems wrong to her. When Brooks attempted to get in touch with her state senator, Rob Hurtt, whom she voted for in 1996, she says her calls were never returned. "It didn't take me long to figure out that because my son was a criminal, I was somehow guilty, too, in people's eyes," she says. "I helped [Hurtt] get elected, and he can't take five minutes to talk to me about this law? They've treated me like I'm nothing, like my son is nothing. Well, he has value to his family and to God. His life is worthy to be salvaged." Another Thursday finds Johnson trying to track down Donald Dye. Someone told her the story of Dye, a Seal Beach police sergeant who became addicted to the prescription drug Vicodin in 1994 after he broke his ankle chasing a suspect. To get the drug, Dye began visiting residents of Leisure World under the guise of official business and stealing pills after asking to use the bathroom. "None of the victims wanted to prosecute him. None of them were in fear for their safety. This is just a horrible tragedy," Deputy District Attorney John Anderson, who, despite his sentiments, got Dye to plea bargain to two strikes, reportedly said. That means if Dye relapses or does something as seemingly minor as lift a pair of socks or a bottle of aspirin-each previously used as third strikes against convicts-he could find himself serving 25 years to life. Johnson asks if anyone knows where she can write to Dye so she can offer him encouragement and the help of FACTS. Johnson, who lives in Laguna Beach, is undoubtedly FACTS' most visible member. She has appeared on OCN with Three Strikes author Reynolds, and she has organized demonstrations that have landed on the local news. She has become adept at pointing out her girl-scout credentials, the fact that she was selling Princess House crystal when she met her husband. She never excuses his drug use-"It bothered me that he needed it," she says. "He wasn't a bad person; he was sick"-but she's quick to show her bulging photo album with pictures of her and Dan and their pet cat. There are photos of prison visits cropped into collages with hand-cut construction-paper backgrounds, something a young girl might do to remember her prom night. There are pictures of her wedding, which was performed moments after Dan's sentence was handed down. The judge who sentenced him offered to marry them, but Johnson opted for a justice of the peace because "it just didn't seem right the other way." There are two pages of the wedding, featuring a beaming Johnson with her new husband managing a sick grin, his wrists manacled to his ankles. Tall, with long brown hair streaked with gray that she many times sweeps over a shoulder, Johnson is equally adept at playing the task master, of doling out assignments and keeping meetings running businesslike. "Christy gets things done," says Silva. "She's very focused, very tough. The type of person who doesn't worry about if it's going to get done, only how it's going to get done." "I first saw her handing out fliers at the beach, and people were pushing her hand away, and she just never stopped," says Dale Schneider of Garden Grove, a FACTS regular. "That got me interested. Some people step up to leadership like they were meant for it." But Johnson is just as likely to break down when listening to FACTS colleague Reams tell her story of attempting to cure her son Shane of his drug addiction through "tough love." Reams encouraged-near insisted-that neighbors press charges against her son when he was stealing things from their garages to get money for drugs. He went to prison, where, Reams tells whoever will listen, "he learned more about drugs, gangs and crime than he knew before." What was worse was that when Shane was picked up on another drug charge, the previous residential robberies his mother had insisted her neighbors press wound up giving him three strikes. "Stories like that break your heart," Johnson says, tearing up again. The truth is that she and the rest of FACTS want people's hearts to break. They know that the key to humanizing prisoners and their plight could lie in the particulars of one case. They know all too well that one case created Three Strikes and another made it law. Written in 1992 by Reynolds, after his 18-year-old daughter Kimber Reynolds was shot and killed by convicted felon Joe Davis when she resisted his attempts to steal her purse, the bill was going nowhere in the summer of 1993. Reynolds decided to bypass Sacramento and use the initiative process, but by the end of September 1993, he had collected just20,000 signatures. On Oct. 1 of that year, Polly Klaas was abducted from her home by repeat offender Davis. She was later found murdered. The crime stunned and outraged the country. Reynolds visited Marc Klaas, and Klaas signed his name to Reynolds' Three Strikes petition. Within days, Reynolds had collected 50,000 signatures and the Three Strikes initiative became the fastest qualifying voter initiative in California history. Now, with considerable clout, Reynolds again approached the Legislature with a Three Strikes bill. It was easily passed, but fearful that the Legislature might someday amend the law, Reynolds went the initiative rout anyway, and in the fall of 1994, little more than a year after the murder of Polly Klaas, Three Strikes was passed by a nearly 3-to-1 margin. "This is a very popular law because it's the right law," Reynolds says. "The only way you can criticize the law is on a case-by-case basis." That's one of the few things that Reynolds and critics of the law would agree on. One of the main features of FACTS' Web site are 44 cases of men affected by Three Strikes for nonviolent offenses, men like William Anderson of Moreno Valley, who 27 years after being convicted of robbery, received his third strike for attempted forgery. And the Web site also tells the story of Robert Andri, who robbed two banks on the same day in 1961 when he was 19. He turned himself in, spent time in jail, and then, working sometimes as many three jobs, raised enough money to start his own business. Success followed, and he bought an oceanfront home in Laguna Beach. One day, with an intruder in his house, he called the police and took out the unloaded gun he kept. A few months after the incident, the police returned to his house, informing him he was not allowed to have a gun and arresting him. He was then sentenced under Three Strikes (though a probation officer recommended 25 years to life, the judge in the case gave Andri five years of probation). But, as of yet, none of those cases has captured the public's imagination the way Polly Klaas' murder did. Perhaps nothing can. Or perhaps it's that many believe, as Reynolds does, that "after two strikes, we know what a person is capable of. The men who put a .357 magnum to Kimber Reynolds' head would have been thought of as just purse snatchers if she hadn't resisted," Reynolds says. "Suddenly a purse snatcher is a murderer. It can happen that quick, and the public is tired of waiting around for these ticking time bombs to go off." Whatever the reasons, the repercussions of Polly Klaas' murder are still strong. Though many politicians have told them in private that they think Three Strikes is a bad law, their public attitude, before the cameras and when the roll is called, is another subject. Johnson remembers "picking my jaw off the floor" when she cornered one prominent Democratic legislator to ask why he had voted against FACTS' 1997 bill only to have him bite back: "I'll vote no again. It's political suicide for a Democrat to look soft on crime." Which is why many believe that FACTS' cause, for now, has little chance of success. Klaas believes that. He withdrew his support from Three Strikes soon after signing Reynolds' petition, but he found in campaigning against Prop. 184 a public that desperately wanted to sympathize with him but had no interest in listening to what he had to say. "They voted out of consideration for Polly because the Three Strikes people basically co-opted my daughter's name," he says. "It didn't matter what we said. They rolled over us like a freight train. I think Jesus Christ resurrected could have come out against it, and they would have labeled him a liberal heretic." Asked if he would lend his efforts to the current movement to amend the law, Klaas gives a firm no. "It was just too painful the first time," he says. "They're welcome to use my name, but I just couldn't do it again. The way things are, it'd be like I was arguing against my own daughter." Another Thursday-a nice one-FACTS decides to have its meeting outside. There is still a lot of disappointment that the group's town-hall meeting, which was held in May, didn't attract any press coverage. And there's concern that their upcoming event, a kind of combination progressive political rally, concert and carnival to be held in Midway City, will suffer a similar fate. Johnson is concerned about that, but she's just as concerned with finding someone to volunteer to dress up in the clown suit she has rented for the event. "You know, when we started out, it was a lot easier to get coverage," Johnson says. "We were like this weird little group. You know, we were cute. But as we've gotten more clout, more members, we're starting to scare people." That said, FACTS has not achieved its goal. "We've realized that to make a difference, we have to build a strong organization," Silva says. "I remember last year, when Christy and I thought getting 11,000 signatures was really going to make a difference. We've learned." After the meeting, people mill about talking and then congregate quickly around a faxed newspaper article from northern California. The article is about a Fresno City Council member and his bid for an Assembly seat. It cites the candidate's plea of no contest in 1986 to a misdemeanor charge of unlawful sex with a minor. It turns out that one of his biggest supporters is Reynolds, who, the article says, defends the councilman by surmising "the past is the past." Heads shake and tongues cluck; Brooks laughs, but she doesn't smile. Johnson doesn't bother with the article; she's the one it was originally faxed to with "THAT TWO-FACED PIECE OF SHIT!" scrawled at the top of the page. Instead, she allows herself to sit quietly in the dark. A reporter breaks the silence. "You know, the people I talk to say that this is a hopeless cause." She begins to cry. "This can't be hopeless; it just can't," she says. The reporter offers that he meant it was "hopeless in an election year." She collects herself, takes a drag on her cigarette. "Yeah, I know. But we just have to keep going. Every day. That's all we can do," she says. And then she asks the reporter if he might consider wearing the clown suit. Weeks later, Smith tells the group that a staffer for Baugh has requested a meeting with those in Baugh's 67th district who wrote him concerning Three Strikes. For the most part, those who wrote him did so at a letter-writing booth set up by FACTS at the Midway Cityevent. This comes a week after FACTS leaders met with Assembly members Jim Morrissey (R-Santa Ana) and Richard Ackerman (R-Fullerton), the same week The Orange County Register ran an editorial favorable to the FACTS cause under the headline "The Law Strikes Out." "We're not dead yet," Johnson says, ecstatic over the Baugh news. Of course, death isn't the issue; it's life. And exactly what Baugh might say, or whether he'll even be at the meeting, isn't exactly certain. Which doesn't seem to bother her at all. At the moment, she isn't concerned with details. What matters is the step and the symbol. Besides, there will be time for details next Thursday. Copyright 1998, Orange County Weekly, Inc. All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Time May Be Right For Private Prisons (According to the San Jose Mercury News, the California Department of Corrections incarcerates 158,000 inmates in three dozen prisons, and will need space for nearly 50,000 more prisoners by 2003. With an eye toward an obviously lucrative market, the Nashville-based Corrections Corporation of America is already constructing three prisons in California.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:22:44 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: Time may be right for private prisons Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Author: Howard Mintz, Mercury News Staff Writer TIME MAY BE RIGHT FOR PRIVATE PRISONS State's public prison system under scrutiny Bans on private prison stall FLORENCE, Ariz. -- Just as Highway 79 greets this prison town sweltering in the desert, the barbed wire and drab concrete walls of the Central Arizona Detention Center emerge from a seemingly endless stretch of cactus and rock. On the outside, the sprawling compound looks like any new prison, with one notable exception: There's a corporate insignia stamped on every flag, plaque and badge in sight. Here in the scorched wilderness, the Corrections Corporation of America is mixing profits and punishment -- a growing trend that's sweeping a nation wondering where to put all its inmates. For California, this emblem of the private prison industry is no mirage. In fact, the Arizona lockup may turn out to offer a glimpse into what the future holds for the state's already overburdened prison system. California, with 158,000 inmates in three dozen state prisons, will need space for nearly 50,000 more prisoners by 2003, according to the state Department of Corrections. ``There is a prison crisis in this state,'' said David Myers, a former Texas prison warden who heads the CCA's effort to expand into California from a small office suite in Sacramento. ``And California has been late coming to the private sector.'' Like it or not, private prisons may be on their way to California, which has not approved funding for new public prison construction in eight years. With an eye toward an obviously lucrative market, the CCA is already constructing three prisons in California. Two of them are expected to be used for federal inmates. But the other, now rising in the Mojave Desert, is a suitor for state corrections officials. Nashville-based CCA, founded in 1983 and the nation's largest private prison operator, is spending $94 million on that prison in California City, a town 68 miles southeast of Bakersfield, without any promises from the state. In what is clearly a ``build it and they will come'' strategy, the company is hoping its most ambitious prison project will turn out to be California's first private prison for state inmates. The company's gamble is being closely watched, from the powerful California prison guards' union, which is waging major resistance to the private prison industry, to town officials around the state eyeing private prisons as economic salvation. Timing stokes debate The timing of CCA's foray into California is stoking the debate. State corrections officials are already warning that failure to address the projected shortfall in prison space could lead to an even more overcrowded system and court orders to release inmates early. At the same time, some of the state's most notorious public prisons are under more scrutiny than ever, with Corcoran and Pelican Bay state prisons the subject of federal investigations into allegations of brutality and civil rights violations. To experts on crime and punishment, the question for California is whether private prisons are an alluring fix for the anticipated space crunch and problem-plagued state-run facilities or a bad trade-off that could lead to even worse problems. ``We think there are serious problems with privatization,'' said Dale Sechrest, a criminal justice professor at California State University-San Bernardino. ``The thing that is disturbing about it is that they will say they are doing a better job for less money when in fact they won't and they can't.'' Foes of private prisons say it's bad policy to abdicate responsibility for housing convicted criminals to the private sector, pointing to uprisings and mismanagement at private prisons across the country, especially among smaller operators. Recently, Louisiana officials wrested control of a privately run juvenile prison because of alleged abuses. Larger operations -- including CCA and its 77 facilities -- are not immune. There have been 13 inmate stabbings, including two deaths, at CCA's Youngstown, Ohio, prison. Six dangerous inmates escaped from its prized Florence prison in 1996. The U.S. Supreme Court in 1997 also stripped away efforts by the private prison industry to insulate itself against prisoner lawsuits, ruling that private prison guards can be sued for abuses. The ruling came in a case alleging inmate mistreatment at a private prison in Tennessee. Such problems have created unusual alliances against private prisons. The California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, often fierce opponents in prison lawsuits, agree that private prisons are not the answer to California's shortage of prison space. ``There is no question we are hearing more and more problems,'' said Jenni Gainsborough, a private prison expert with the ACLU's National Prison Project in Washington, D.C. ``I hope that will give (California) some legislative pause.'' Private prisons, which began to appear in the early and mid-1980s, have been a source of national debate for years. Both sides offer up a host of studies and statistics that provide a conflicting picture of whether private prisons really are cheaper. After public hearings last year, the Little Hoover Commission, a state watchdog panel, issued a report saying California needs to take a serious look at privatizing some of its prison system. But two years ago, the U.S. General Accounting Office issued a report questioning whether private prisons actually save money. Along with states from Florida to Arizona, the federal Bureau of Prisons has relied heavily on the industry. The federal government last year turned over operation of its Taft prison in a 10-year deal with Florida-based Wackenhut Corrections Corp., CCA's main competitor. The case for privatization Private prison operators say they are simply more cost-efficient than their public counterparts, able to handle the same task for less money. During a recent tour of CCA's two prisons in Arizona -- one in Florence, 53 miles southeast of Phoenix, and another largely devoted to federal immigration inmates in Eloy, about 56 miles northwest of Tucson -- wardens and other officials boasted of their ability to build a better prison. At Florence, which houses about 2,000 state and federal inmates from around the country, warden Michael Samberg points out the window to a $21 million expansion under way on the prison grounds. The company approved the expansion in March and it's expected to be done by January -- a turnaround Samberg, a former Virginia corrections official, said would take years in the public sector. ``Whatever I need, I get,'' he said. ``Do we pay attention to the stock? I do. My company takes good care of me, including stock options. But if I need to purchase a fence alarm, I'll purchase the best one. If I need a Cadillac, I buy a Cadillac. If I need a Chevy, I buy a Chevy.'' To the inmates filling prisons like Samberg's, many of whom have spent time in public lockups, the differences for the most part are subtle. Darren Taylor, an inmate shipped to Florence from Alaska's state system, was painting a mural on the wall of one of the prison corridors when asked about his time in a private operation. ``It's all doing time,'' Taylor told a reporter during a July visit. ``If you're doing time, it doesn't matter where it is.'' But attention to the bottom line is more noticeable in a private prison. As he explained his company's philosophies in a recent interview, Eloy warden John Gluch was handed the day's company stock price, a detail he admits wasn't part of his job when he ran various Texas prisons. The Florence facility demonstrates how a large operator like CCA can thrive. The prison contracts with several states to house prisoners, including a deal to handle more than 600 inmates from Alaska. As a result, the company is usually certain it will not build unneeded prisons -- the demand for prison space nationwide is insatiable. California would be the mother lode for the private sector. ``California takes them into the stratosphere,'' said Steve Martin, a Texas-based corrections expert. What remains unclear is whether the private prison industry can get a toehold in California given the political battle picking up steam in the Capitol. Legislators have lined up on both sides of the issue, with the guards' union at the forefront of the fight to keep out private prisons. Union officials insist that private prisons are not equipped to handle even medium security inmates. They say companies employ low-paid, poorly trained guards and care more about profits than public safety. The Department of Corrections has expressed reservations about contracting with private prisons, arguing more funding for public prisons is the better alternative. ``I don't think public safety should be contracted out to the lowest bidder,'' argued Jeff Thompson, chief lobbyist for the guards' association. ``This would be a cut-rate, quick and cheap way to hand off a problem. (The Legislature) ought to take a good look under the hood before they buy this car.'' CCA counters that the union is trying to protect its turf by attacking the private prison industry. CCA officials say with all the troubles surrounding Corcoran, mixing privately run prisons into California can only improve the system. Precedent has been set Despite the political opposition, there is precedent for the state to use private prison operators. The state already contracts with about a dozen minimum security private operators for inmates in pretrial services and halfway-house settings. But that is a far cry from filling a prison like the one going up in California City with serious felons sentenced to long prison terms. The California City prison, which is designed for 2,300 beds -- a modest-sized facility compared with the state's larger prisons -- is expected to be completed by the middle of next year. A new state-funded prison tends to cost more than $200 million and takes years to build -- a comparison backers of private prisons cite as reason to give the company a chance to prove itself. ``We're running out of space,'' said state Senate Majority Leader Richard Polanco, a Los Angeles Democrat who supports privatization. ``It's time for the private sector to be given an opportunity to become part of the mix. If we don't bring them on line, we'll see early releases (of inmates). Then it will be shame on those that were shortsighted.'' In such places as California City and Mendota, a Central Valley town known for its cantaloupes, the private prison industry can't arrive fast enough. Mendota city officials are waiting with open arms for the $60 million prison CCA is now constructing that's expected to be used for federal immigration inmates. ``At this point, the pluses outweigh the minuses,'' said Alan Bengyel, Mendota's city manager. ``I think cities like Mendota are just glad to have a stable business that is not affected by the weather conditions. We need prisons and they have to go somewhere.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- When Prisons Bulge, It's Good News (San Jose Mercury News columnist Joseph Spear rejoices in crowded prisons, thinking that's why crime rates are down.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 18:20:15 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: When prisons bulge, it's good news Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Author: Joseph Spear WHEN PRISONS BULGE, IT'S GOOD NEWS EVERY year, the Justice Department releases figures on the nation's prison population, and they invariably set off a gnashing of teeth by liberals about the injustice of it all. The latest report, made public on Aug. 2, showed that the prison population shot up another 5.2 percent in 1997, bringing the number of adults who reside in federal and state prisons to 1,244,554 -- 61,186 more than lived in these facilities in 1996. The average annual growth since 1990 -- when the population stood at 774,000 -- has been 7 percent. If this trend continues, the critics say, there will be 2 million people ringing in the millennium from behind prison walls. This is shameful, they say. In the whole world, the United States is second only to Russia in the percentage of its total population that lives behind bars. And what's more, they say, crime rates have been falling since 1992 -- homicides are down, rapes are down, auto theft is down, personal theft is down. So why, the critics wail, do prison populations continue to expand? Well, gee, one wonders. Could not one have something to do with the other? I know it is not hip to argue that fear of detention deters crime, but it does get crooks off the streets. I tend to rejoice when I see that prisons are bulging. It is evidence, I think, that government is finally performing one of its fundamental functions: protecting and safeguarding the population. The main reason for the growth in prison population, a Justice Department statistician told the Associated Press, is that inmates are serving longer terms. The trend is a product, the official said, ``of tougher parole boards and such measures as longer minimum sentences and truth-in-sentencing laws that require that more of each sentence be served behind bars.'' Even with these improvements, the figures fail to satisfy those of us who believe that sane people who do violence to others, particularly the innocent, should pay very painful prices. The average murderer is serving barely more than seven years before being set free, and violent offenders in general serve but 42 percent of their sentences. And Justice Department figures show that half of all paroled and pardoned prisoners commit new crimes within three years of their release. Lock 'em up, we say, and lose the key. Which brings me to one final gripe that we hard-liners are fond of voicing: Prisons are just too damn comfortable. Most of us would probably not go so far as to endorse the practices of the fabled sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., Joe Arpaio, who forces prisoners to live in tents, and wear pink underwear and black-and-white-striped uniforms. But we do believe that golf courses, cable television and catered prime rib dinners -- all of which can be found in some of the country clubs that hold American criminals -- are a bit much. Something in between would do nicely. For all his excesses, Sheriff Arpaio has the right idea. In his autobiography, ``America's Toughest Sheriff,'' he wrote: ``Inmates should never live better in jail than on the outside. It's that simple.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- CIA Intercession in San Francisco Recounted (The San Francisco Examiner suggests the Central Intelligence Agency's recent self-exoneration regarding its alleged assistance to Nicaraguan Contras via cocaine sales in California seems suspect in light of stories the newspaper printed in the 1980s.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 20:22:34 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: CIA-Cocaine Connection Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Friends: The following story from the SF Examiner provides more collaboration of the CIA-cocaine connection so much pooh-poohed in the mainstream media. Note that one of the villains in this piece is former N. Cal. US District Atty Joseph Russoniello, who went to such lengths to forfeit the property of Humboldt County marijuana growers, but turns out to have had a soft spot for CIA-sponsored cocaine dealers. - Dale Gieringer, CAL NORML *** San Francisco Monday Aug 10, 1998 CIA intercession in S.F. recounted By Seth Rosenfeld OF THE EXAMINER STAFF On a hot August day in 1984, a lawyer from CIA headquarters walked into the office of a federal prosecutor in San Francisco to ask for a favor. The CIA man was reluctant to give his name or his government affiliation, the assistant U.S. attorney recalled, and embarked on an "opaque conversation" about what he called an "uncomfortable situation": Drug agents had seized $36,020 from a defendant in the West Coast's biggest cocaine bust. The defendant claimed the cash was not drug profits but money belonging to U.S.-backed contra rebels fighting Nicaragua's Sandinista government. The defendant's lawyers were set to go to Costa Rica to question two contra leaders about the money. The CIA feared this might cause unwanted publicity and "potential . disaster" for the agency's contra operations, the laconic CIA lawyer, Lee Strickland, said in a subsequent cable. The Reagan administration's contra program already was under fire in Congress, which had threatened to cut CIA funding for it. "While the allegations might be entirely false, there are sufficient factual details which could cause certain damage to our image and program in Central America," Strickland's cable read. At the prosecutor's office in the Federal Building at 450 Golden Gate Ave., Strickland stressed that the agency would be "immensely grateful" if the money were returned to the drug dealer, eliminating any reason for the defense lawyer's potentially troublesome questions in Costa Rica. Although the U.S. attorney's office aggressively confiscates suspected drug funds, it decided within a week to return the money. "The United States attorney was most deferential to our interests," Strickland said in another cable. The CIA's discreet visit was described in a report last month from the Department of Justice's office of inspector general, which examined allegations that department officials protected drug dealers because of ties to the contras or pressure from the CIA. New light The 407-page report by Inspector General Michael R. Bromwich sheds new light on the controversial refund, saying it resulted partly from the CIA's "desire to protect the public image of the contras or the CIA" and thus raised a question of "propriety." The study confirms that the Justice Department and the CIA withheld information about the case from a late 1980s U.S. Senate inquiry, a former Senate investigator said. The CIA cables cited in the report also conflict with statements by then-U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, who has maintained that the money was returned solely to avoid a costly legal fight over it. The report affords a rare - if not entirely clear - view of secret CIA operations. And it poses a troubling question that may arise when intelligence agencies intercede in prosecutions: Are they protecting true national-security interests, or avoiding public accountability? Although a few significant California drug dealers appeared to provide modest sums to the contras, the report said, none got special treatment because of political activities. Allegations that their trafficking was linked to the CIA were "not supported by the facts," it said. And neither the CIA nor any other national security arm reached out to prosecutors on behalf of the dealers - except in the San Francisco case, an instance the study called troubling. Noting that the reason for the refund remains murky, the report expressed concern that the CIA "considered the potential press coverage of a contra-drug link to be sufficient reason to attempt to influence the decision to return the money." CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher declined to discuss the propriety of the agency's action. The CIA intervened not to help the defendant, she said, but because the CIA mistakenly believed one of the contra leaders to be questioned in Costa Rica had worked with the agency. 'Frogman case' The CIA stepped in after federal agents seized 430 pounds of cocaine as divers unloaded it from a Colombian freighter on Jan. 17, 1983, at Pier 96 in San Francisco, in what became known as the "Frogman case." Among some 50 people ultimately convicted was a Nicaraguan named Julio Zavala. When drug agents raided his South San Francisco home, they confiscated cocaine, two weapons and $36,020. Judd Iversen, Zavala's lawyer, filed a motion seeking court permission to take depositions in Costa Rica that, he said, would prove the money belonged to a contra group and that U.S. agents sanctioned, or were involved in, selling cocaine to fund the contras. The late U.S. District Judge Robert F. Peckham ruled there was no basis for allowing depositions about a CIA role in drug smuggling. But he said Iversen could depose two contra leaders in Costa Rica about the source of the money. But by Aug. 14, 1984, prosecutors had opted to return the money to Zavala and the depositions were canceled. The government never conceded it was contra money. And Zavala, an alleged leader of the drug ring, was convicted in 1985 on six felony charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison. A 1986 Examiner report on the refund sparked inquiries by Congress and the State Department. As noted in the inspector general's report, then-U.S. Attorney Russoniello sent a letter to The Examiner's editor expressing outrage at the suggestion that his office returned the money for political reasons or tried to cover up a link between contras and drug traffickers. Zavala was prosecuted fully, he said. The letter, which he distributed to the media and Congress, also said the refund "had nothing to do with any claim that the funds came from the contras or belonged to the contras. It had to do with the fact that it would have cost the taxpayers at least that much to fund the excursion to Costa Rica." But CIA cables and officials give a different account: In late July 1984, the CIA's Costa Rica station sent a cable to CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., reporting - in what the agency later called a case of mistaken identity - that one of the contra leaders to be deposed was a former CIA "asset," a person who had worked for the CIA. "Station is concerned that this kind of uncoordinated activity" - the depositions - "could have serious implications for anti-Sandinista activities in Costa Rica and elsewhere," the cable said. As a result, on Aug. 7, 1984, CIA lawyer Strickland visited the prosecutor on the case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Zanides, about the "uncomfortable situation," the report said. An Aug. 24, 1984, cable explained that the agency made this "discreet approach" to "ascertain details of the subject prosecution and to avoid inquiry into activities or other (CIA) interests." The cable said "it was agreed by all that any litigation concerning the currency seizure would be fruitless. In essence, the United States Attorney could never disprove the defendant's allegation that (this) was (CIA) money. Accordingly, at (the CIA's) request, the U.S. Attorney has agreed to return the money to Zavala." It added: "We can only guess as to what other testimony may have been forthcoming. . (the CIA) will continue to monitor the prosecution closely so that any further disclosures or allegations by defendant or his confidants can be deflected. . the United States Attorney was most deferential to our interests. " A CIA official - identified in the report only by the alias of Ms. Jones - told the inspector that the burning issue in the Frogman case was the potential claim that a CIA asset was diverting agency funds to the drug trade and the risk of bad publicity. The claim would be explosive, she said. "What would make better headlines?" When the inspector inquired if it was unusual for the CIA to ask prosecutors for a favor, Jones said all intelligence agencies routinely encounter problems in protecting their assets. She said her office - the CIA's policy coordination staff - focused on protecting CIA interests implicated in court cases, which involved contacting prosecutors. Assistant U.S. Attorney Zanides said he reported his contact with the CIA to Russoniello, who later ordered him to cancel the depositions because of their cost, the report said. Zanides said he wasn't concerned about refunding the money because it didn't jeopardize the prosecution, it said. The study concluded, "Zanides likely passed on this information, as it is unlikely that a line assistant would not notify his superiors of contact by an attorney from the CIA." The CIA also contacted two of Zanides' superiors, a CIA cable said, but both told the inspector they did not recall that. One of them added that the agency's approach at the very least would have been reported to Russoniello. But Russoniello told the inspector the CIA never contacted him, and that he knew nothing about it contacting anyone in his office, according to the report. He said he didn't recall the considerations behind the final decision to return the money, only that he decided it was not cost effective to go to Costa Rica, the report said. Russoniello told The Examiner, "I didn't know that they (the CIA) had an interest." Zanides declined to comment. Cables contradict Justice The CIA cables also conflict with the Justice Department's denial in the late 1980s that any intelligence agency had interceded in cases involving allegations of contras and drugs, said Jack Blum, who investigated the cases as special counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on terrorism, narcotics and international operations. Justice Department spokesman Will Mancino declined to comment on the earlier denials. The CIA withheld documents on the Frogman case from the subcommittee, a report by the CIA acknowledged in January. The agency's efforts to have the cash returned "did not appear to be intended to influence the outcome of Zavala's trial," that report said, but to protect its contra operations. The CIA cables, it added, exaggerated the agency's influence on the decision to refund the money. CIA spokeswoman Guilsher said the agency does not often intercede in criminal cases. Such cases may pit protection of national-security operations against prosecution of criminal suspects, said G. Robert Blakey, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and former chief counsel to the House Select Committee on Assassinations. In the Frogman case, Inspector General Bromwich concluded that drug dealer Zavala or his friends "fabricated the claim that the seized money belonged to the contras. to salvage some of his drug profits." But Bromwich called on the public, Congress and the CIA's inspector general to "assess the propriety of (the CIA's) intervening in this law-enforcement matter based, at least partly, on a desire to protect the public image of the Contras or the CIA." The inspector general's report was prompted by 1996 articles in the San Jose Mercury News suggesting that CIA complicity in contra drug trafficking largely was responsible for the crack cocaine epidemic. The report found the paper's main allegations were not substantiated. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona's Marijuana Tax (MSNBC affiliate KYMA says Arizona is still trying to collect about $38 million in marijuana taxes assessed against prisoners and others it turned into felons, even though the marijuana stamp tax law was repealed last year.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:33:07 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: Arizona's Marijuana Tax Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: MSNBC KYMA Yuma, AZ/El Centro, CA Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KYMA/16426.asp Author: KYMA Staff Note: Express your opinions about this on the KYMA Bulletin Board.[Link to http://www.msnbc.com/local/KYMA/6459.asp] ARIZONA'S MARIJUANA TAX Arizona has some 38-million dollars in unpaid taxes it's trying to collect. But the likelihood of getting most of that money appears dim. That's because it's owed by convicted felons who failed to pay Arizona's marijuana tax, which was repealed a year ago. The State Department of Revenue notes that many of those who owe are in prison and have no ability to pay. Yet, the tax folks have placed liens against 520 of those people. So, if they do have any assets, the state will go after them.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gestapo Tactics (A letter to the editor of the Oklahoman objects to the aerial surveillance that led to the arrests for marijuana cultivation of a school teacher and his wife.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 20:08:53 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US OK: PUB LTE: Gestapo Tactics Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: Oklahoman, The (OK) Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus Website: http://www.oklahoman.com/ GESTAPO TACTICS TO THE EDITOR: I'm no advocate of drug abuse, but "Luther Drug Bust Nets Teacher, Wife: (news story, July 30) shines the light on the virtual Gestapo tactics that law enforcement agencies have resorted to in their "war on drugs." A school teacher and his wife were arrested for cultivation of marijuana after aerial photos and observation showed plants in their backyard. I am appalled at the lengths this country will go to apprehend the "bad guy." Is there no privacy left? Dean Buchanan, Newcastle
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Will Need Private Prisons, Official Says (According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a Wisconsin Department of Corrections spokesman has said the state needs a private prison being built by Dominion Leasing of Edmond, Oklahoma, even as the department expands its own penitentiary system.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:19:08 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WI: State Will Need Private Prisons, Official Says Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: (414) 224-8280 Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ STATE WILL NEED PRIVATE PRISONS, OFFICIAL SAYS EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) -- The state needs a private prison under construction in northern Wisconsin even as it expands its own penitentiary system, a corrections spokesman says. "It just keeps increasing," Department of Corrections spokesman William Clausius said of the inmate population. "In terms of the need for beds, we would need to build a new prison every year just to keep up." In July, Dominion Leasing of Edmond, Okla., began building a prison at Stanley about 25 miles northeast of Eau Claire, intending to lease cell space to the state. Currently under state law, the Department of Corrections can do business with private prisons, but only in other states. However, Kevin Keane, Gov. Tommy Thompson's press secretary, has said the governor is open to alternatives for easing prison crowding. The state could use the Stanley prison even if Wisconsin accepts Thompson's proposal for a new 500-bed, $30 million prison, Clausius said. The department reports more than 14,000 inmates in a prison network with a rated capacity of 10,237. Additionally, the department has more than 1,800 inmates in rented space in jails in Texas, Minnesota, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Thompson asked the state Building Commission during a recent meeting at the state fairgrounds in West Allis for a report on the latest prison-construction proposal. "We're going to have to build another prison and we still have the bonding to do so," he said. Existing work includes building a "supermax" maximum-security prison at Boscobel in southwestern Wisconsin. A maximum- and medium-security project is planned at Redgranite in eastern Wisconsin. The Thompson administration has said it will wait for a lease offer from Dominion before making an official comment on the Stanley prison. Besides its 1,200-bed, $40 million medium-security prison at Stanley, Dominion had thoughts in March about a southern Wisconsin prison in Lafayette County, Sheriff Scott Pedley said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chicago A New Hub For Drugs (According to the Chicago Tribune, federal officials say Chicago and its suburbs recently have seen a dramatic increase in wholesale illegal drug operations in which cocaine and marijuana are brought there for transfer elsewhere. One reason for the increase, authorities say, is an illegal drugs network based in Ciudad Juarez, the sprawling Mexican city just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas. In response, Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to come to Chicago on Monday to announce the Chicago Narcotics Initiative.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:53:38 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US IL: Chicago A New Hub For Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1, p. 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: Douglas Holt CHICAGO A NEW HUB FOR DRUGS Ciudad Juarez, the sprawling Mexican city just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, is a town too poor to provide its 1.5 million residents with a sewage-treatment plant. But federal authorities consider the drug cartel based there one of the world's most powerful. Even after its leader, Amado Carrillo-Fuentes, died a year ago in a botched plastic-surgery operation, the Juarez ring has continued generating tens of millions of dollars in drug profits weekly, federal authorities say. The cartel delivers cocaine by the ton to cities such as Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. But a growing hub of the enterprise, recent federal investigations have shown, is Chicago. Juarez cartel drug cases now lead to Chicago more often than any U.S. city, including New York or Los Angeles, according to the U.S. attorney's office in El Paso. "I think `ubiquitous' is probably a good word to describe the Chicago connection," Assistant U.S. Atty. Sam Ponder said. Federal officials say Chicago and its suburbs recently have seen a dramatic increase in wholesale drug operations in which cocaine and marijuana are brought here and stored before being divided and shipped elsewhere. One reason for the increase, authorities say, is the Juarez connection. On Monday, Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to come to Chicago to announce a response. Gore and other federal officials plan to outline the Chicago Narcotics Initiative, which will try to disrupt major drug traffickers, money launderers and street gangs by drawing resources from the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office, according to a draft of the plan obtained by the Tribune. So far this year, Chicago-based DEA agents have seized more than three times as much cocaine and nearly 10 times as much marijuana as during all of last year. And local customs officials have confiscated $16.1 million in drug-related cash, more than twice last year's total. While seizures are an imperfect indicator of drug-related activity--they could reflect heightened law-enforcement efforts or just plain luck--authorities see the across-the-board increases as a sign more drugs and drug profits are flowing through Chicago. But political pressure also has helped prompt the new federal response. Earlier this year, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley complained federal authorities were doing too little to fight drugs locally. Soon afterward, the U.S. attorney's office reassembled a unit of prosecutors devoted to drug cases. Juarez became a major source of drugs to Chicago starting in the early 1990s, when Colombian drug traffickers began paying Mexican traffickers in cocaine rather than cash. The shift made Mexican traffickers powerful suppliers of cocaine in their own right. As a result, drug runners' command-and-control centers, such as those that have long existed in Miami and New York, began appearing in cities with stronger ties to Mexico--especially Chicago, federal officials said. "Over the last five years, a new center of gravity for drug trafficking in the United States is really Chicago," said Donald Ferrarone, former special agent in charge of the DEA's Houston office and one of the first law-enforcement officials to notice the Chicago-to-Juarez connection based on intelligence reports coming across his desk. Drug trafficking in Chicago has long been ruled by the Herrera crime family, with roots in Durango, Mexico. But "the Herreras had a very close relationship with Carrillo-Fuentes and still have it" with his successors running the Juarez cartel, said Peter Lupsha, a retired research scholar at the Latin American Institute at the University of New Mexico. Beyond family ties, Chicago offers drug traffickers the same infrastructure favored by legitimate businesses: a central location and a ready network of roads, rails and airports. As a result, it's no surprise that as Carrillo-Fuentes built his drug empire in the 1990s, Chicago became a prime place to warehouse drugs bound for elsewhere and a location to consolidate cash before shipping it back to Mexico, law-enforcement officials said. The Juarez connection is by no means the only route for Chicago-bound illegal drugs. Nigerian heroin rings have a significant Chicago presence. Some Colombians deal directly with Chicago-based distributors. And in May, DEA agents seized more than 1 1/2 tons of cocaine thought to have come from Reynosa, Mexico. That cocaine was concealed under carrots at a West Side produce company. But for years, investigators have seen solid hints of a burgeoning Juarez-to-Chicago drug pipeline. In 1995, Chicago police seized 1,615 pounds of cocaine wrapped in newspaper from Juarez. Last month, Chicago police confiscated 4,900 pounds of marijuana at a South Side warehouse from a semi-truck that rolled in from El Paso. And in 1997 in El Paso, Customs agents seized $5.6 million in small bills stuffed in a hidden compartment of a semi-truck trying to cross into Juarez. The truck came from Chicago. That cash seizure was hailed as the largest on the U.S.-Mexico border. But only a week earlier, two trucks from the same group got across and delivered $20 million in cash to the Juarez cartel, said Rene Shekmer, an assistant U.S. attorney in Michigan who was involved in the case. Perhaps the most significant sign of the Juarez connection to Chicago came in March, when a Cook County sheriff's police officer pulled over a Jeep Cherokee in southwest suburban Burbank. In what authorities described then as the work of an alert officer who took time to investigate an illegal lane change, the driver was found to be carrying $1.6 million in drug-related cash stuffed in two suitcases. But it was no accident that the local officer arrested Roberto Orozco-Fernandez, 36, who was living in a ordinary-looking house in Burbank, where investigators found $50,000 more. In March, federal authorities were tailing Orozco-Fernandez, who was thought to be a hit man and money launderer for the Juarez cartel. They had reason to think he was carrying a large amount of cash. But the chance to arrest him on drug conspiracy charges came as investigators were still gathering evidence for what would become the nation's largest money-laundering investigation ever, a globe-spanning sting dubbed Operation Casablanca. So they turned to local authorities for a little help. A Cook County sheriff's officer "pulled him over so it didn't tip off the whole major project," said a law-enforcement official familiar with the arrest. Such tactics are likely to continue, according to the Chicago Narcotics Initiative plan that Gore plans to help unveil Monday. "As occurred in March 1998, large seizures of drugs and money will be referred to local law enforcement in order to conceal ongoing federal undercover operations," according to a planning document outlining the initiative.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Fest Beginning To Mellow Out (The Recorder, in Amsterdam, New York, reviews the Woodrock '98 Hempfest, which took place Saturday at the Rockwood General Store in Ephratah. Walter Wouk of NORML, who works with the disabled, said he would conservatively estimate 50 percent of the people he takes care of use marijuana for medicinal purposes, and he finds the greatest support for reform comes from the over-60 crowd, many of whom tell him they find marijuana helps to relieve pain from a variety of conditions.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 20:14:35 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NY: Hemp Fest Beginning To Mellow Out Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Anonymous Pubdate: Mon, 10 August 1998 Source: The Recorder (Amsterdam, NY) Contact: FAX (518) 843-6580 Website: http://www.recordernews.com Author: Michael Fredette - Recorder News Staff HEMP FEST BEGINNING TO MELLOW OUT EPHRATAH - The Woodrock '98 Hempfest took place Saturday at the Rockwood General Store. Event organizers were hoping that New York state gubernatorial candidate Thomas K. Leighton would make an appearance, but due to his schedule he was unable to attend. Walter Wouk of NORML a group opposed to marijuana regulation, said Leighton was in Albany Wednesday and Thursday, and it would not have been possible for him to make the event. By early afternoon Saturday, fewer than 100 people had gathered on the grounds of the Rockwood General Store. Wouk said he thought more people would come to the event later in the afternoon. He estimated around 1,000 people would attend the event. Ina V. Stone Kurz, the organizer of the event, also said she thought there would be more people attending in the evening. She said she was happy with the way the event was turning out. A spokesman for the Fulton County Sheriff's Department said the event was giving the department no problems at all. Kurz said she was told the sheriff's department was not going to interfere. Kurz has a lawsuit pending against Fulton County officials regarding police interference at last years event. Wouk said the event is a consciousness raising effort to provide the correct facts to the public to alleviate the fears many associate with the consumption of marijuana. "We try to focus on getting the truth out," he said. Of all the groups of people he speaks to, he said, he finds the greatest support from the over-60 crowd. Many tell him they find marijuana helps to relieve pain from a variety of conditions. He said he works with the disabled. He would conservatively estimate 50 percent of the people he works with use marijuana for medicinal purposes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re: Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures (Paul Wolf, a Washington, D.C., activist, says Friday's story in the Washington Post erred in announcing the local medical marijuana initiative campaign won't make the November ballot due to a lack of signatures.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 08:09:38 -0400 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Paul Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: W.Post: Marijuana Petitions Lack Needed Signatures Cc: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics has determined that petitions >gathered do not include enough verifiable signatures of registered voters. >Supporters collected more than 1,800 pages of signatures in support of the >measure. Those petitions contained more than 17,000 signatures of eligible >voters. Although that was more than required, the measure failed based on >statistical sampling because nearly 100 percent of the signatures sampled >would have had to be validated for the measure to make the ballot. >Organizers of the measure, known as Initiative 59, said they plan to >challenge the board's determination in court. We've been waiting for this to play out before writing a press release. >From my memory of DC election law, the signatures need to pass a statistical sampling (it's either 90% or 95% of the signatures have to match, after all the other reasons the names may be disqualified, such as having a different address) but the sampling is not used to disqualify signatures. So, for example, if we had exactly as many as we needed, and 1% of the them didn't look right, then we would still pass the sampling and we would still have exactly enough. We turned in at least 32,000 signatures, and needed 17,000. We were careful to get the geographical distribution right. We verified the sigs ourselves, by obtaining a copy of the voter rolls from the city, and going through the sheets as they came in, checking off the names in a database form we wrote. Each checked name referenced a sheet and line number, so we could go back and appeal the sigs the Board didn't count. According to our validation, we had well over what we needed. I thought the board had questioned two of our gatherers, because they wrote different addresses than the board had for them, in one of those two cases, a petitioner was challenged because he hadn't written his apartment number as part of his address! Those two guys collected about 3,000 sigs each. Wayne has two lawyers appealing that, one of whom was previously the counsel to the DC Board of Elections. I believe they filed the appeal already. Disqualifying two people who have clearly been DC voters and residents for a long time for such a reason, which has no basis in any law, is a very weak attempt by someone to thwart our effort, and democracy too. The people of DC want to vote yes for medical marijuana. I am pretty sure the Washington Post story is in error. I don't think the reporter is clear on the election law. If the story is in error, we will ask our friend Julie Mackinen Bowles to correct the mistake. The problem is, Steve & Wayne were calling the Post constantly during the last campaign, and this time Wayne decided to keep things close to the chest. These Post reporters (I don't recognize any of their names) seem to have jumped to conclusions without a firsthand source. Never fear, we'll be on the Nov. 1998 ballot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Louisiana to Reassess Drug Screen for Welfare Recipients (The Associated Press recounts Saturday's news about Louisiana Governor Mike Foster for some reason thinking written drug tests aren't turning up enough people he can kick off the roles.) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: LA - reassess drug screen for welfare recipients Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 12:49:55 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Louisiana to reassess drug screen for welfare recipients Survey answers may be too easy to fake, governor has said 08/10/98 Associated Press BATON ROUGE, La. - A new drug-screening test for welfare recipients, criticized by Gov. Mike Foster for turning up a low number of potential abusers, will get a second look by state social services officials. The test has been in place for a little over two weeks. Department of Social Services officials said it was implemented only after extensive discussions with state attorneys and after looking at what other states do. But social services officials said they will meet Monday to reassess the 20-question test, which is designed to ferret out potential users of illegal drugs. Mr. Foster said he does not like the questionnaire because many people may be able to fake their answers. The questionnaire asks welfare recipients such questions as: "Have you used drugs other than those required for medical reasons?" and "Have you abused prescription drugs?" The director of a local substance-abuse treatment center said a questionnaire will not help determine if someone is using drugs. "The best way is a urine test," said Lyman White of Drug & Alcohol Counseling Inc. in Baton Rouge, which provides drug-treatment programs for adolescents and adults. Mr. White said that the questions on the screening test are good and that he probably will add some to his own evaluation. But he said most drug addicts are manipulative and aren't looking for help. In the first week the questionnaire was used, 1,554 welfare clients were tested and 33 were referred to the Department of Health and Hospitals for urine tests. During the second week, 989 recipients were screened and 26 were referred for urine tests. "We're going to look at what has occurred to see if we need to tweak the system and make changes," said Vera Blakes, assistant secretary of the social services department's Office of Family Support. Mr. Foster said last week that he believes the number of abusers is higher than the 33 who were found the first week. In 1997, the Legislature required drug testing of welfare recipients, as well as elected officials, state employees who use heavy equipment or who work in security areas, and those who have contracts with the state. Counselors administer the questionnaire to welfare recipients and applicants. If they fail, or if counselors believe by observation that they have a drug problem, welfare clients are referred to the Department of Health and Hospitals for a more detailed drug profile and urine test. If they fail a urine test, they must enroll in a state-financed treatment program. Those who refuse or do not complete the program risk losing benefits. Any dependent child, however, will continue to receive benefits if the parent is cut off. About 48,000 households receive welfare in Louisiana, including 27,000 adults, according to social services. Department Secretary Madlyn Bagneris said welfare recipients who want to get off drugs and find work probably will answer the questions on the state test honestly in order to get help. She also said the 33 referrals from the first week were about the number the agency expected in the early stages of the program. Ms. Blakes said that the department cannot test welfare recipients without reasonable suspicion and that the questionnaire is one way to see if there might be a need for a urine test. But she acknowledged: "You can always put down a false answer. I've never known a system where a person couldn't lie their way through it." Ms. Blakes said more time is needed before the state can see whether the questionnaire is working. Meanwhile, Mr. Foster was expected to issue an executive order Monday requiring drug testing of state employees in the executive branch.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Drug-War Speak' (A letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune praises columnist Stephen Chapman's criticism of General Barry McCaffrey for basing public policy on something besides the facts. He says McCaffrey's misinformation is not random, it is systematic. "Politeness aside, General McCaffrey is a liar.") US IL: PUB: 'Drug-War Speak' URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n670.a03.html Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Author: Paul M. Bischke, Co-director, Drug Policy Reform Group of Minnesota Section: Sec. 1, p. 12 `DRUG-WAR SPEAK' ST. PAUL -- Stephen Chapman rightly chastises Gen. Barry McCaffrey for formulating public policy on an unfactual basis ("In the drug war, fantasy beats facts," Commentary, July 23), but he withheld the most important punch. McCaffrey's misinformation is not random; it is systematic. Whether it's his disingenuous characterizations of needle exchange, medical marijuana or drug legalization, McCaffrey does not misspeak in ways that make America's current drug policy look bad, only in ways that justify it. Politeness aside, Gen. McCaffrey is a liar. Drug-war propaganda simplifies the complex relationship between drug, user and context of use. It depicts "drugs" mythically as autonomous evil agents that enslave and derange. This simplification encourages that all manner of demonic attributions be given to drugs. The "Reefer Madness" film enhanced the drug-scare myth in the '30s, as did the LSD-chromosome-damage brouhaha in the '60s and the crack-baby hysteria in the '80s and '90s. The "meth menace" is the latest scare campaign. As McCaffrey's statements show, "drug-war speak" has its own ground rules--no matter how false, misleading or inaccurate a statement may be, it's desirable if it supports the drug war. Falsity is readily forgiven and plausible exaggeration encouraged. These dynamics make it impossible for anti-drug officials to acknowledge phenomena like controlled drug use (which is the case for 85 percent of users), the medicinal value of marijuana, the constructiveness of needle exchange or the stubborn fact that Dutch policy yields better results than the U.S. drug war. Paul M. Bischke Co-director, Drug Policy Reform Group of Minnesota
------------------------------------------------------------------- U.S. Drug Czar Questions Colombia Rebels on Peace (Reuters says General Barry McCaffrey, speaking to news agencies on Saturday after attending the inauguration of Colombia's new president, Andres Pastrana, claimed FARC was a Marxist group that devoted two-thirds of its forces to guarding or transporting drugs or operating drugs laboratories. McCaffrey also alleged FARC had perhaps $1 billion in reserves, and made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from drug trafficking.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 10:47:36 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: MN: Wire: U.S. drug czar questions Colombia rebels on peace Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 10 Aug 1998 U.S. DRUG CZAR QUESTIONS COLOMBIA REBELS ON PEACE MIAMI (Reuters) - Colombia's Marxist rebels are criminal gangs making huge profits on the drug trade and recent attacks cast doubt on their commitment to peace talks with Colombia's new government, U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey said. A nationwide offensive by the rebels last week, in which scores of soldiers and police were killed, was a move ``in the direction of open warfare to push the apparatus of the state over'' and a slap in the face to new President Andres Pastrana, who was inaugurated Friday, he said. McCaffrey spoke to news agencies on Saturday after attending the inauguration in Bogota. Shortly after he was elected in a June presidential runoff election, Pastrana met with the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and agreed to launch talks within his first 90 days in office aimed at ending Colombia's 30-year-old civil conflict. The fighting has claimed 35,000 lives in the last decade. To pave the way way for those negotiations, Pastrana has promised to pull government troops out of a huge area about the size of Switzerland. Both the FARC and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN), Latin America's oldest and largest rebel forces, have said they will hold peace talks with Pastrana. But elements of both groups took part in the attacks last week, one of the biggest guerrilla offensives in many years, before silencing their guns on the day of the inauguration. The FARC said that the attacks were final protests against outgoing President Ernesto Samper, who it said left the country ''wallowing in crisis'' because of corruption and violence. It reiterated the rebels' desire to negotiate with his successor. McCaffrey said the FARC devoted two-thirds of its forces to guarding or transporting drugs and operating drugs laboratories, had perhaps $1 billion in reserves and made hundreds of millions of dollars a year from drug trafficking. ``They are after demilitarization, they are after a cessation of aerial eradication -- that's the only way to get at coca production and opium production -- and the FARC wants that stopped,'' he said. ``Of course the danger is all they are after is consolidation of their gains prior to the next phase of their movement ... If you look at their actions, particularly this offensive, it's almost as if their dominant focus is to maintain money-making criminal activity.'' The rebels deny involvement in the drug trade. Colombia is responsible for 80 percent of the world's cocaine supply and is a leading player in the heroin trade. While he did not see a peace dialogue as impossible, McCaffrey said, the offensive was ``a shock to all of us.'' The ELN, he said, was also heavily involved in drugs as well as kidnapping, extortion and efforts to ``shake down'' oil companies. ``Next year Colombia may be a net importer of oil, sitting on these giant new discoveries,'' McCaffrey said. ``But who will invest in Colombia when the central pipeline gets blown five or more times a month?'' McCaffrey said that once Pastrana has a strategy in place for dealing with the drug trade and the guerrillas, he hoped more U.S. aid to fight drug trafficking would be available than the $100 million given last year -- an amount that made Colombia the biggest single recipient of such U.S. aid. Asked what scope there was, given the strength of the rebels, for the United States to take military action against them, McCaffrey replied, ``None.'' He described the current U.S. military presence in Colombia as minimal. He said there was a ``modest presence'' of Air Force personnel at ground radar stations and the occasional training mission but military operations on the ground would be ''unsuccessful and inappropriate.'' ``If we are going to fight a war on drugs it will be around people's kitchen tables here in the United States,'' he said. McCaffrey bade farewell to ``a painful four years'' dealing with Samper, whose term was tainted by claims he bankrolled his election campaign with millions of dollars from the Cali drug gang. ``This genuinely is the opening of a new chapter,'' he said, adding that Pastrana's ``people appear to be honest, well-educated, patriotic''. But Colombia remained ``unfortunately, in the short run ... the principal drug threat to the United States.'' *** Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 23:26:21 -0400 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Paul Wolf (email@example.com) Subject: Excellent article on Colombia by founder of Z-magazine Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n667.a01.html/all "Some 4,300 Colombians are killed each year for political reasons out of a total annual death toll of 30,000. This carnage is in a country with a population of 33 million people. According to the Colombian Commission of Jurists only 2 percent of these political killings are drug related, while 28 percent of the deaths are at the hands of the guerrillas and 70 percent are caused by the paramilitary/military alliance."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico's Caribbean Hot Spot For Drugs Trade - Report (According to Reuters, the Mexican newspaper, Reforma, said Monday that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents are alarmed over their estimate that nearly a third of the illegal drugs en route to the United States from South America enter Mexico near the popular tourist resort of Cancun.) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 01:46:03 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Mexico: WIRE: Mexico's Caribbean Hot Spot For Drugs Trade - Report Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 10 Aug 1998 MEXICO'S CARIBBEAN HOT SPOT FOR DRUGS TRADE - REPORT MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Nearly a third of the illegal drugs that pass through the Caribbean from South America to the United States enter Mexico near the popular tourist resort of Cancun, a newspaper report said Monday. Reforma newspaper said U.S. anti-drug agents were alarmed at the growing importance of Mexico's eastern Yucatan peninsula, where Cancun is located, as a transit point for cocaine. It said that in the last month alone, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered 64 boats believed to have been ferrying narcotics from Colombia to the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, in the Yucatan. Of those boats, some 38 were registered to Mexicans, Reforma said, adding that Mexican authorities had no comment when showed the list of boats. The newspaper added that the vast majority of the ships -- some with capacity of 300 tons -- unload their cargo on high-speed boats that land in Cancun or very near the luxury resort. U.S. officials have said that because of a crackdown on trafficking through overland routes in northern Mexico, drug traffickers have started to rely more heavily on the Caribbean as a transit point for cocaine -- as they did in the early 1980s. But Reforma has said in recent articles that Cancun has become the 1990s equivalent of the role Miami played then as a key transit point for cocaine. An estimated two-thirds of the cocaine that ends up in the United States passes through Mexico at some point, officials in both countries say. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Allan Rock's Dubious Response (A staff editorial in the Sudbury Star says the Canadian health minister owes James Wakeford an apology and Canadians an explanation as to why he didn't inform the AIDS patient how he could properly apply to receive medical marijuana under existing federal rules.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 14:59:03 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: Editorial: Allan Rock's dubious response Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Sudbury Star (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://sudbury.siteseer.ca/index.htm Pubdate: Monday, August 10, 1998 ALLAN ROCK'S DUBIOUS RESPONSE Last week, an Ontario judge questioned why Health Minister Allan Rock, in a 1997 letter, not only refused a dying man medicinal access to marijuana, but also failed to tell the patient how he could properly apply for the drug under existing federal rules. Justice Harry LaForme of the Ontario Court's General Division is considering the case of Jim Wakeford, an AIDS patient who wants to smoke marijuana to cope with the nausea and physical wasting that accompany the disease. Wakeford wants the court to order the federal government to supply him with the drug. In 1997, Wakeford wrote to Rock asking the minister to allow him "compassionate access to marijuana." Rock replied that marijuana was not approved for medical use in Canada and suggested Wakeford try taking pills called Marinol, a legal substitute to cannabis that Wakeford had already tried but which only aggravated his illness. Rock made no mention of a special exemption for marijuana use under a section of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. LaForme suggested Rock may have ducked his responsibility by not informing the man how to get marijuana through proper bureaucratic channels, without breaking the law. Government lawyers arguing the case said the minister does not have to provide such information. As the minister of health, it would seem that Rock does have a basic responsibility to provide information necessary to enhance a person's health. After all, the exemption was put in place just for such an eventuality -- whether the government of the day agrees with the concept or not and regardless of the fact that marijuana is illegal. Had Rock made Wakeford aware of the exemption, the Toronto man could have made an application and had his case reviewed. Thus sparing a dying man the rigors of a court battle. Rock owes Wakeford an apology and Canadians an explanation. --
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Colombian Leader Facing Policy Conflict (The Los Angeles Times says Colombia's new President, Andres Pastrana, wants to achieve contradictory goals in improving relations with the United States while negotiating peace with nationalist guerrillas, whom the newspaper alleges are Marxists largely financed by cocaine and heroin production.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 10:16:16 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Colombia: New Colombian Leader Facing Policy Conflict Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Author: Juanita Darling, Times Staff Writer NEW COLOMBIAN LEADER FACING POLICY CONFLICT Latin America: Pastrana vows to seek better U.S. ties, but he also wants peace with rebels who depend on drug trade. BOGOTA, Colombia--U.S. officials have warmly welcomed new Colombian President Andres Pastrana as a replacement for the drug money-tainted administration of Ernesto Samper. Still, just days into his term, Pastrana appears to be facing a conflict between two of his major campaign promises: improving relations with the United States and negotiating peace with Marxist guerrillas largely financed by cocaine and heroin production. The first showdown may well be over the prickly issue of eradicating opium poppies, the source of heroin, and coca, the bushes used to produce cocaine. In meetings with the rebels before taking office, Pastrana said he would be willing to consider withdrawing government troops from areas of rebel influence--up to half the country. That would, in effect, end U.S.-backed programs that dust drug crops with herbicides. But hours before attending Pastrana's inauguration Friday, Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said: "Eradication is the central aspect of U.S. counter-drug thinking. We have to stop the production of opium; coca; methamphetamines in the United States [and] hydroponic marijuana in the United States. Drug production is clearly a central element to our strategy that can't be taken off the table." Colombian analysts skeptical of the new administration had foreseen the likelihood of a conflict even as Pastrana met with President Clinton a week ago. Roberto Posada, a columnist at the respected newspaper El Tiempo, said the presidential meeting was "an indication of a better formal relationship. It does not mean the U.S. is going to loosen up on its demands in relation to drugs." Ultimately, those are demands that Colombia cannot meet, he said, explaining, "It is impossible to get rid of the drug business while there is still a demand." McCaffrey expressed frustration with Colombia's lack of progress in stemming the flow of illegal drugs. "Last year, there was over $100 million in U.S. support for Colombia," he said. "It was the dominant [recipient] of U.S. counter-drug aid on the face of the Earth. And in the last two year years, we have watched Colombia become the No. 1 grower . . . of coca and . . . more than 60% of the heroin seizures last year in the United States were of Colombian heroin." Further, he said, drug production is closely linked to the rebels, who "tax" narco-crops grown in areas under their control. "It has given them such an enormous source of wealth that, arguably, their firepower, their pay scales, their intelligence service are more sophisticated than that of the forces that guard this democracy. And that's a problem." Peter Romero, assistant secretary of State for inter-American affairs, who was also in Colombia for the inauguration, acknowledged that military defeat of the rebels is not likely "at least for six or seven years." Nevertheless, last week's pre-inaugural guerrilla attacks--which devastated a major anti-narcotics base and left a death toll that continues to mount as wounded die and more bodies are found in the dense jungle--undercut U.S. enthusiasm for peace talks. "There's an emerging credibility gap that the guerrillas have," said Romero. "They are talking about peace . . . and then they go out and launch attacks throughout the whole country. Several hundred boys, essentially, are killed so that they can say they control certain parts of this country. It doesn't coincide with what they are saying publicly." That hard line contrasted sharply with the conciliatory comments toward the rebels made during the inaugural ceremony by Pastrana and Fabio Valencia Cossio, president of Colombia's Congress, several of whose members are currently in guerrilla hands. "The persistence of war in Colombia reflects in large part the inability of our political system to interpret the nation's wants and to bring about the changes that will open the doors to a new country," said Valencia Cossio. "Peace can be near." In a similar vein, Pastrana noted: "Historically, our nation has based its identity on a homogeneousness that excluded [many groups]. . . . Developments, particularly current ones, show us that those who are excluded tend to demand with great violence the recognition of their existence and their right to participate." Significantly, while McCaffrey's lapel bore a black ribbon of mourning for the police and soldiers killed in last week's rebel attacks, Pastrana and Valencia Cossio wore green ribbons--a symbol of support for peace. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Where Wordsworth Once Walked, the Drug Dealers and Pushers Now Stalk the Young (Britain's Independent alleges an increase in hard-drug addiction in the Lake District, evidenced in part by research published last week by the Home Office.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 18:55:44 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Where Wordsworth Once Walked, The Drug Dealers And Pushers Now Stalk The Young Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Derek@paston.co.uk Pubdate: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 Source: Independent (UK) Contact: Letters@independent.co.uk Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ WHERE WORDSWORTH ONCE WALKED, THE DRUG DEALERS AND PUSHERS NOW STALK THE YOUNG The Lake District is the last place you would associate with a drugs epidemic. But, according to local drug counsellors it is awash with cheap brown heroin. The figures are startling - 33 drugs-related deaths in the South Lakes area in the past three years, 500 addicts hooked on heroin and amphetamines. And that may only represent the tip of the iceberg. As drug action co-ordinator Sean McCollum, pointed out, these are only the people who have come forward: "There are many more out there who don't come to us." The figures give haunting reality to research published last week by the Home Office, and first revealed by The Independent last month, which showed that heroin use is spreading from the inner-cities into rural areas. Indeed drug experts believe it is no exaggeration to say that Britain is on the brink of second heroin epidemic aimed at a new and younger group of users including more middle-class teenagers. Cumbria is listed as one of the areas that has suffered a recent heroin outbreak. It is the kind of trend which will cause major concern in a rural area not experienced in dealing with such problems. Coroner Ian Smith, whose court covers the South Lakes area, expressed his concern. He said of the deaths: "Many of these are methadone and a few heroin. There has been a black market in methadone in the area. With the help of local doctors and chemists we have instigated a scheme where methadone is only supplied under very strict supervision." In a recent report, Mr Smith said that the numbers of recent drug deaths were up "threefold" on the figures for the early 1990s. Paul Crossley, of the Barrow-based, Furness Drug and Alcohol Concern, said: "Heroin is easily available in the South Lakes area. It is becoming the drug of first choice. We have had a dramatic increase in the numbers of drug users coming to see us, especially those who use heroin. It's not just Barrow but spreads right across the most remote areas." Furness Drug and Alcohol Concern says the number of contacts with people has increased from 49 in May to 56 in June to 75 last month. "About a third are people with heroin problems. The advantage of heroin to young people is its cheapness and hideability," Mr Crossley said. "We mirror the national problem but it is twice as bad, I would say, as in London. The North-west has just about the highest heroin rate of use in the country. We are not as bad at Liverpool but it is heading that way." There have even been suggestions that some of the heroin is being smuggled ashore on the isolated beaches on the coast between Barrow and the Scottish border. Other local sources say heroin use has not yet reached epidemic proportions in the area. The police are more cautious, although there were a series of drugs raids in the town last week. Superintendent Steve Murray, of Barrow Police, says that there is a growing heroin problem and the area reflects national trends. Chief Inspector Andy Bell, of Kendal Police, holds a similar view. Barrow police are also trying a new initiative referring those arrested for drug offences for immediate treatment. Normally, those arrested await social service reports before being offered treatment for drug problems. "We are trying to nip the problem in the bud," said a police spokeswoman.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Analysis: Drug Debate Must Look At All Issues (An op-ed in the Irish News Round-Up challenges the relatively strong support for prohibition in Ireland, countering the Irish mindset with the arguments favoring reform popularized by the Independent on Sunday, in London.) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 16:31:45 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Ireland: OPED: Analysis: Drug Debate Must Look at All Issues Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pat Dolan Source: Irish News Round-up Website: http://www.irlnet.com Pubdate: Mon, 10 August, 1998 Author: Michael Pierse ANALYSIS: DRUG DEBATE MUST LOOK AT ALL ISSUES For the last number of months the London-based Independent on Sunday newspaper has been running a high-profile campaign for the legalisation of cannabis. They have organised marches, a celebrity petition, public debates, medical viewpoints and investigated the "drug war" to back up their arguments. And what has been surprising is the lack of screaming opposition to their campaign. Here, even a mere broaching of the subject of cannabis legalisation often provokes a severe rebuttal from many anti-drugs activists in the Dublin area. "But that money goes to scumbags!...loyalists are profiteering from the sale of hash...where did ya get an idea like that from?", are amongst the comments that are often followed by a knee-jerk refusal to discuss the subject. But, interestingly, the Independent on Sunday uses these very reasons to argue in favour of legalisation. Think of the money any government could make from the legalisation of the drug, which according to many is less objectionable than alcohol, they argue. If, for example, the liability of seizures and the massive wages many dealers receive were eliminated from the hashish industry, and the government were to take control of production and sale, then would this not cut out the criminals who currently run the business and simultaneously create well needed revenue to fight the real scourge of heroin? Certainly, that is highly controversial but there is a need for debate on the subject. Gardai have used the excuse of cannabis seizures to cloud their utter incompetence with regard to the lucrative heroin trade. Massive hash seizures have been used by the force as a propaganda coup -- proving their success in the fight against drugs -- but is it a drug worth fighting against when it is heroin that is the deadly killer in our communities? There is also a class angle to this issue. The drugs crisis existed for a long time, but had been ignored as it had only affected working class areas. Then, with the arrival of ecstacy, a drug well used by the middle classes, it was suddenly a 'real' problem, and so it and hash received newfound attention. Primarily, the real problem has always been heroin. According to statistics, at least 15% of young people in Dublin's north inner city are addicted to heroin -- a statistic higher than that in the notorious Bronx in New York. Young people die regularly, often relatively unnoticed, from the abuse of the drug in the area, yet if one middle class child dies of ecstasy abuse it reaches the front page of daily newspapers, operating on a clearly elitist agenda. Such is their irreverence for human life in the lower scales of Dublin's well defined financial classes. Some might say that cannabis is a 'gateway' to further drug abuse. However, it has been argued that this is merely because the drug introduces young people to illegal abuse of substances. It engenders in them that sense of danger always associated with drug abuse and so the progression to other narcotics is no longer so disturbing. This explanation merely re-inforces the argument that cannabis should be legalised, thus eliminating the 'danger' element and making the use of the drug socially acceptable -- like alcohol. If we are to solve Ireland's ever growing drug abuse problem then creativity, imagination and open-mindedness will be required. For many young people the legalisation of cannabis would be a progression towards more effective and innovative anti-drugs initiatives, to others the very idea makes their blood boil. But one thing is certain, a thorough examination of the possibilities surrounding the issue would harm no one and as republicans it is our duty to be progressive and revolutionary in all of our thinking. Confronting accepted ideas with a new analysis can often be extremely beneficial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Iran to Set Up Special Camps to Detain Drug Traffickers (Agence France-Presse notes 60 percent of Iranian prisoners are drug offenders, and such crimes are on the rise amid a severe crackdown on "drug" use and trafficking.) Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 13:15:00 -0700 (PDT) From: turmoil (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Iran to set up special camps to detain drug traffickers (fwd) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org TEHRAN, Aug 10 (AFP) - Iran is to set up special camps to detain drug-related offenders, judiciary chief Ayatollah Mohammad Yazdi said Monday. Yazdi, quoted by newspapers, said that all drug-related offenders would be moved from prisons to the camps by the end of the Iranian year, March 20. According to official figures, 60 percent of 140,000 inmates in Iranian prisons are kept on drug-related charges. Despite a severe campaign to crackdown on drug use and trafficking, such crimes are on the rise in Iran, which is a transit country for narcotics shipped from Afghanistan to Europe and the Middle East. Officials put the number of drug addicts at around one million, but independent sources give much higher figures. Around 200 tonnes of various drugs were seized last year, but that's believed to be a fraction of the amount which eluded the authorities.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 59 (The weekly summary of drug policy news from DrugSense includes the final third of an original feature article by Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D., "The Drug Policy Problem.") Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 10:43:41 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, August 10,1998 No. 59 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY In 10 minutes a week you can stay aware and informed on drug policy developments worldwide. Consider investing another 10 minutes to write a letter to the editor using the email addresses provided in this publication. You CAN make a difference! *** DrugSense Weekly, August 10, 1998 No. 59 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org/ *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article THE DRUG *POLICY* PROBLEM (PART Three) Jeffrey A. Schaler, PhD * Weekly News In Review Drug War Policy- UK - OPED: Why Banning Drugs Makes the Problem Even Worse US - Editorial: Changing The Drug Laws House Drug Testing Plan Blocked Book Review: Bookshelf: Addicted to Abolition OPED - Let's Just Say 'No' To Us Drug-War Justice Incarceration- U.S. Prison Population Tops 1.2 Million Supermax Prisons Typify U.S. Attitudes On Crime In Iowa, Some Prisoners are Behind Barns Mayor - 'I'm Not Anti-Prison, I'm Not Anti-Growth' OPED - Drug Courts Medical Marijuana- Medical Marijuana To Appear On Nevada Ballot Ruling Delayed on Use of Pot as AIDS Relief Marijuana Helped to Save My Life, Prominent Harvard Scholar Says Editorial - Praise And Pillory Judge Says Jailed Medical Marijuana Advocate Must Receive Medication Sports & Drugs- UK - Medical Journal Backs Use Of Drugs In Sport International News- Russia - Moscow Orders War on Drugs Tracing Money, Swiss Outdo U.S. On Mexico Drug Corruption Case Australia - Alarm At 'Deadly' Heroin Sold In ACT UK - Heroin's New Image Hooks Teenagers Burma - Tales of Terror Emerge From Victims `Nothing Left' of Police Base in Colombia * Hot Off The 'Net McWilliams Speech Online DrugSense Material used by NCIA * DrugSense Tip Of The Week The Sentencing Project * Quote of the Week John Kenneth Galbraith * Fact of the Week California Incarceration rate *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** THE DRUG *POLICY* PROBLEM (Part Three) Jeffrey A. Schaler, PhD Editor's note: This is the third and final chapter in Dr. Schaler's excellent article. Parts One and Two can be read in issues No. 57 and No. 58 at: http://www.drugsense.org/nl/ We encourage submissions by other reform leaders on drug policy issues. Send your article to MGreer@mapinc.org PLAYERS IN THE DRUG POLICY GAME The principal contenders in the current U.S. debate represent three perspectives on drug policy in a free society: the prohibitionist or "drug warrior" perspective, the public health perspective, and the classical liberal or "libertarian" perspective. DRUG WARRIORS The "drug warrior" perspective is the foundation of our present drug control policies. The drug warrior values a paternalistic state, which plays the role of protective parent in relation to vulnerable citizen-children. His focus is on strict enforcement of prohibition and on the regulation of currently legal drugs (for example, prescription drugs). Many drug warriors also advocate the expansion of sanctions to include tobacco and alcohol. General Barry McCaffrey and William J. Bennett--current and past "drug czars" respectively, former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse Robert J. Dupont, and Congressman Charles B. Rangel are drug warriors sharing this point of view. They typically believe that drugs cause addiction and crime. In their view, public policies should aim to limit supply and punish users and dealers. Thus we have the "war on drugs." Illegal drugs such as heroin, cocaine, crack, LSD, "speed," and marijuana, and the people who profit by selling them, are the enemy. Here are some questions we need to ask in evaluating the "drug warrior" perspective: Do drugs cause crime and addiction? Does prohibition itself create lawlessness? Is it proper for government to regulate behavior if that behavior harms no one but the user? Do people have a right to own and use drugs as personal property? Is drug supply the best predictor of use? Are social, economic, and psychological problems related to drug use ignored and thereby perpetuated when policy focuses on eliminating supply and punishing drug users and dealers? Is the war on drugs a scapegoating device to distract citizens from other social problems which they may feel helpless to solve? Does prohibition serve the economic interests of prison builders, policy makers, and drug dealers? Can drugs ever be controlled? If drug prohibition can work outside a total police state, why is the drug trade flourishing in prisons, the most totalitarian institutions of our society? LEGALIZERS The public health perspective on drug policy is represented by people who advocate the legalization and medicalization of drug use. They regard addiction as a disease and criminal sanctions as inhumane and wasteful of tax money. Hence they advocate treatment rather than punishment for drug use. As Mayor Kurt Schmoke of Baltimore put it years ago, "The war on drugs should be led by the Surgeon General, not the Attorney General." Today the slogan of medicalization is "harm reduction." The advocates of medicalization, e.g. the Drug Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C. and The Lindesmith Center in New York, generally also support "medical marijuana" laws such as those passed recently in California and Arizona. Ironically, prohibitionists and legalizers both embrace the medical model of addiction: they believe that drug addiction exists, that it is a disease, and thus that it is "treatable" as a disease. In examining the public health perspective, we need to raise questions like the following: does medical treatment of addiction work? Can it ever work, or is it based on a logical mistake? Will medical control (e.g., through prescription drugs) create the same problems of lawlessness that are associated with prohibition? Does court-ordered and state-supported treatment violate the drug user's First Amendment rights? The late American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ellen M. Luff addressed that issue in an important case that received national attention in 1988 (Maryland v. Norfolk). Luff successfully argued that court-ordered attendance in Alcoholics Anonymous constitutes state entanglement with religion. Similar cases have emerged since then (e.g. Griffin v. Coughlin, 88 N.Y. 2d 674, New York Court of Appeals, decided 11 June 1996; Kerr v. Farrey, 95 F.3d 472, 7th Cir. 1996; Warner v. Orange County Dept. of Probation, No. 95-7055, 1997 WL 321553, 2nd Cir., 9 September 1996, amended 14 May 1997). Should public funds be spent on moral indoctrination in the name of public health? Again, should the government control behavior that harms no one but the individual involved? Calls for state-supported treatment are echoed by prohibitionists and legalizers alike. An important point here is that whether treatment for addiction is voluntary or involuntary, state involvement in any capacity--e.g. court-ordered attendance, state licensure of treatment facilities, or state subsidies for treatment programs-violates the invisible wall separating church and state. This is because all treatment for addiction is essentially a religious activity. The state has no business inside a person's head. LIBERTARIANS In the classical liberal, or libertarian, perspective (represented in somewhat different ways by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz and economist Milton Friedman), drug use is regarded not as a disease but as a behavior based on personal values. It is regarded as an ethical rather than a medical issue. Classical liberals cite the scientific evidence that drug use is a function more of mind set and environment than of chemistry or physiology. They challenge the notion of "loss of control" that is integral to the prohibitionist and public health perspectives, basing their claims on studies of drug users who controlled their habits when motivated to do so. They do not believe that drugs or addiction can cause crime. In their view drugs are property and as such are protected by the Constitution; drug users need not be treated as "barbarians at the gate" requiring exceptions to the constitutional rule of law. The classical liberals believe that a free-market approach to the trade of currently illegal drugs would reduce the crime and lawlessness associated with them under prohibition. Valuing liberty over health, they criticize medicalization as paternalistic and statist. In their view, informal social controls, either relational or self-imposed, are the appropriate focus of drug policy. In judging the classical liberal perspective, we need to ask questions like the following: If drug prohibition is repealed, will there be a substantial increase in drug use? If there is, will the problems associated with increased drug use pose a greater threat to freedom than drug prohibition has? Will an American free market in currently illegal drugs create international problems in trade with prohibitionist countries? WE NEED POLICY BASED IN FACT NOT FICTION We need new ways of thinking about addiction-- ways of thinking consistent with empirical findings on addiction and inconsistent with mainstream ideas about drugs and the policies based on them. There are no easy answers to the difficult questions I have posed here. However, they must be addressed in the academic and policy making arenas. Too often, professors are penalized for even asking those questions. It is important that we choose the right course in drug policy, based on fact, not fiction-and even more important that we once again be free to choose. FOOTNOTE (to title): 1. This article is excerpted from the introduction to Drugs: Should We Legalize, Decriminalize, or Deregulate?, an anthology edited by J.A. Schaler, published by Prometheus Books, Amherst, N.Y. (1998), part of their Contemporary Issues series. This excerpt is reprinted here by permission of the publisher, E-mail: PBooks6205@aol.com, phone orders (24 hours): Toll free (800) 421-0351 REFERENCE Schaler, J.A. (1997). The case against alcoholism as a disease. In W. Shelton & R.B. Edwards (Eds.) Values, ethics, and alcoholism, pp. 21-49, Greenwich, Ct.: JAI Press Inc. Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D., a psychologist, is an adjunct professor of justice, law, and society at American University's School of Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. He is currently at work on a similar book for Prometheus, co-edited with Magda E. Schaler, M.P.H., on smoking rights and federal regulation, to be released later this year and is writing a book for Open Court Publishers in Chicago entitled "Addiction Is A Choice," to be released in 1999. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://rdz.acor.org/szasz/schaler *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Domestic News- Policy *** COMMENT: A striking aspect of American drug policy is that no elected Representative in Congress will even question its validity. This outspoken criticism of prohibition by a Member of Parliament simply couldn't happen in the US. The dimensions of our political problem are made clear by the Times editorial: a popular, "tough on crime" governor who is enlightened on the issue of drug sentencing can't find legislative support to change drug laws that everyone agrees are unfair. On a lighter note, the buffoons in Congress waffled on drug testing; a good thing, if you ask me- I want any who still indulge to be able to toke up once in a while. The matching article about Waukegan High is pathetic; Jack Benny must be spinning in his grave. They say there's no such thing as bad publicity. If true, Satel's incredibly dishonest trashing of Mike Gray's book in the WSJ (where else?) probably helped far more than it hurt. *** WHY BANNING DRUGS MAKES THE PROBLEM EVEN WORSE Heroin use is soaring. Indeed, the Home Office in new research, predicts an epidemic among young people as the drug spreads from the inner cities to the comfy shires. Towns with serious hard-drugs problems are the target of a network of pushers who are rebranding heroin to make it more readily available and cheaper for children. [snip] Both Britain and America believe the solution lies in prohibition of drugs. Yet 30 years of prohibition has made the US the drug sink of the world. And Britain has the worst problems in Europe. [snip] Source: European, The Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-european.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 5 Aug 1998 Author: Paul Flynn, Labour MP for Newport West URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n659.a06.html *** CHANGING THE DRUG LAWS Four years ago, in one of his first proposals as Governor, George Pataki announced that the time had come to revamp New York State's rigidly Draconian drug laws. Enacted in 1973 under Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller, the laws mandated such penalties as 15 years to life for being caught with four ounces of cocaine. Designed to suppress the drug trade, these sentences rivaled those for murder and rape. But instead of wiping out the drug markets, the laws overloaded prisons and court dockets with addicts and low-level couriers. [snip] As it turned out, however, Mr. Pataki could not persuade many of those in his own party to correct the mistakes of 25 years ago. So the Governor has been quietly working around the edges to soften the impact of the Rockefeller laws by pardoning individual prisoners and pushing for alternative forms of incarceration, including drug treatment. Doing the right thing quietly is better than not at all, of course, but it is time to deal openly with a sentencing mess that many judges and law enforcement officials have been protesting for years. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n663.a08.html *** HOUSE DRUG TESTING PLAN BLOCKED WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican leaders have apparently quashed, at least for now, a plan by two Republican lawmakers to require drug testing of House members and their staffs. [snip] Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 20:34:32 -0400 Size: 34 lines 1233 bytes File: v98.n652.a13 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n652.a13.html *** WAUKEGAN HIGH EYES RANDOM DRUG TESTS Waukegan High School students could be required to submit to random drug tests under a proposal being investigated by Waukegan school officials that, if adopted, would make the district one of the first in the nation to impose such a blanket policy. Although other school districts have required drug testing of some students such as those involved in athletics, few schools have carried the policy as far as the one being reviewed by the Waukegan School District 60 Board of Education. [snip] Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 Author: Sheryl Kennedy Section: Metro DuPage, p. 1 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n664.a07.html *** BOOKSHELF: ADDICTED TO ABOLITION At the turn of the last century, unrestricted access to morphine, heroin and cocaine led to a great wave of addiction in the U.S. Witnessing this devastation of people's lives, the nation responded with anti drug laws. Somehow the simple lesson here-that drugs are dangerous-has been forgotten by many of our nation's elites. Mike Gray's "Drug Crazy" (Random House, 251 pages, $23.95) is the product of such selective memory. [snip] Source: Wall Street Journal Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.wsj.com/ Pubdate: 5 Aug 1998 Author: Sally Satel http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n651.a11.html *** LET'S JUST SAY 'NO' TO US DRUG-WAR JUSTICE In the 18th century, the British government so routinely and wrongfully confiscated property from American colonists that the Colonies overthrew the crown and wrote their own constitution ensuring due process and forbidding unjust seizures. In the late 20th century, the United States government has returned to the old and odious British ways: illegally seizing property under the guise of fighting narcotics, and trampling due-process guarantees along the way. [snip] Source: Christian Sciense Monitor Section: Opinion/Essays Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 Authors: Phil Harvey and Mike Tidwell Note; Phil Harvey is president of DKT International, a non-profit organization promoting reproductive health in developing countries and now sponsoring a domestic civil liberties project. Mike Tidwell is author of 'In the Shadow of the White House: Drugs, Death and Redemption on the Streets of the Nation's Capital' (Prima, 1992). URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n653.a07.html *** Incarceration *** COMMENT: The number of Americans under lock and key continues to rise, albeit at a somewhat slower rate; attitudes towards those in prison remains unselectively hostile, a mind-set encouraged by official rhetoric. There continues to be growing awareness however, that the need to pay for what amounts to a huge entitlement program may not sit too well with the public when the bill is presented. Private prisons and prison labor are among the ways of holding that bill to a minimum, but each has its downside. Finally, "drug courts" are another way to both cheaply extend the reach of Big Brother and also extort fees for allies in the drug treatment racket: it follows that the Dallas Morning News would endorse the idea, especially if funded by the court's own victims via "forfeiture." *** U.S. PRISON POPULATION TOPS 1.2 MILLION WASHINGTON - The nation's adult prison population grew to more than 1.2 million in 1997, its slow but steady rise fueled by inmates serving longer terms for violent crimes while a constant stream of criminals entered prison doors, the Justice Department reported yesterday. The 5.2 percent growth to 1,244,554 federal and state prison inmates by year's end was slightly below the 7 percent annual average growth during the 1990s, the department's Bureau of Justice Statistics said. That was a net gain of 61,186 inmates during the year - very close to the annual average of 63,900 since 1990, when prison inmates numbered only 774,000. [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 03 Aug 1998 Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Author: Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n646.a06.html *** `SUPERMAX' PRISONS TYPIFY U.S. ATTITUDES ON CRIME FLORENCE, Colorado - If, as some philosophers maintain, nothing tells more about a society than its treatment of prisoners, the proliferating super maximum security prisons speak eloquently of the fears and attitudes about crime in American. This minimum-contact, so-called ``supermax'' concept is epitomized in the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) in Florence. Inmates call it the Alcatraz of the Rockies. Advocates call it unfortunate but necessary, given an increasingly violent prison population. Critics call it a concept that didn't work in 19th-century America and is in danger of overuse now. [snip] Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 Author: Lisa Anderson, Chicago Tribune URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n648.a02.html *** IN IOWA, SOME PRISONERS ARE BEHIND BARNS CLARION, Iowa - Dripping sweat and dressed in a fluorescent orange pullover, George Nelson, a prisoner doing time for theft, was not exactly the kind of worker Wright County had in mind some 12 years ago when officials provided $90,000 to help build a huge new egg factory. [snip] The idea of inmates working at private businesses is anathema to organized labor. "If prison labor is wrong in China, it's sure as hell wrong in Iowa," said Mark Smith, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor. "Prisoners are being used to hold down wages." [snip] Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug 1998 Author: Larry Fruhling Section: Sec. 1, p. 6 *** MAYOR: "I'M NOT ANTI-PRISON, I'M NOT ANTI-GROWTH" CALIFORNIA CITY - Hot on the heels of intense scrutiny by residents about Mayor Larry Adams' letter to the Planning Commission last week came this disclaimer Tuesday night, "I'm not anti-prison, I'm not anti-growth." [snip] Tuesday's discussion brought out a few lone voices to speak against the city's efforts to bring at least one more prison here. Until now the overwhelming majority of residents, city officials and business owners have voiced nothing but anticipation for the economic development expected to follow prison construction. The city is already smacking its lips at the thought of new jobs, a resurrected real estate market, a supermarket, more retail stores, maybe even a fast-food place. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 Source: Bakersfield Californian Section: Local Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bakersfield.com Author: Debby Badillo Californian Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n667.a02.html *** DRUG COURTS The right way to address the continuing epidemic Dallas County officials of face a dilemma concerning the continued operation of to drug courts here. County commissioners agree that drug trafficking is reaching the crisis level. But they cannot all agree that funding two courts are strictly for drug-related trials is fair, when there are so many other major criminal cases are waiting to be heard. What's the solution? Use more of the drug dealer s 'own money to pay the cost of prosecuting the cases. District Attorney John Vance's office has said it is willing to commit cash from drug forfeitures to the budget for the two specialized Dallas County courts. That makes good sense. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News Section: Local Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n667.a02.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: After months in the background, the issue of medical marijuana is back on center stage. For one thing, there are new ballot initiatives in Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington State. In Canada, a court considering a medical marijuana prosecution heard compelling testimony from an impressive witness. Prosecution of two patient-activists in Southern California with all mention of 215 excluded by two blatantly biased judges underscores the relentless opposition of law enforcement to any relaxation of marijuana prohibition. On the federal side, the continued incarceration of AIDS patient Peter McWilliams in a setting where his medical regimen has been compromised, is fast approaching the dimensions of blatant human rights abuse. *** MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO APPEAR ON NEVADA BALLOT CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Nevada's secretary of state on Monday qualified a medical marijuana proposal - seemingly up in smoke for the lack of just 43 signatures - for the November ballot. [snip] Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n647.a04.html *** RULING DELAYED ON USE OF POT AS AIDS RELIEF A judge has reserved his decision on whether Toronto AIDS activist James Wakeford should have the right to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. [snip] Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug1998 Author: Sam Pezzano URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n664.a06.html *** MARIJUANA HELPED TO SAVE MY LIFE, PROMINENT HARVARD SCHOLAR SAYS Stephen Jay Gould tells Toronto court to allow medical use of drug [snip] Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/TorontoSun/ Pubdate: Fri, 7 Aug1998 Author: Sam Pezzano URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n664.a06.html *** EDITORIAL: PRAISE AND PILLORY Rx: Marijuana Judges have latitude to interpret the law, justifiably. But it is hard to fathom, much less justify, the recent decision by an Orange County Superior Court Judge, Robert Fitzgerald, that Marvin Chavez, who founded the Orange County Cannabis Co-Op, cannot use Proposition 215 as a defense in his trial on charges of selling marijuana. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 2 Aug 1998 Source: Press-Telegram (CA) Contact: email@example.com. Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n660.a02.html *** JUDGE SAYS JAILED MEDICAL MARIJUANA ADVOCATE MUST RECEIVE MEDICATION LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Friday that a medical marijuana advocate jailed on drug charges must have access to medications to treat his AIDS and cancer. U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Wistrich said he will ensure Peter McWilliams receives the appropriate medicine, but the judge also turned down a request to lower his $250,000 bail. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 01 Aug 1998 Source: Fresno Bee, The Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.fresnobee.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n642.a10.html *** Sports and Drugs *** COMMENT: There was a more considered response to the issue of "doping" of athletes from a prestigious medical source: The Lancet weighed in on the side of choice. MEDICAL JOURNAL BACKS USE OF DRUGS IN SPORT A medical journal has joined those thinking the unthinkable about drug-taking among athletes, arguing that sport has become so artificial that it is hard to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable aids to success. The Lancet says today that competitors are nowadays best described as highly-paid "professional entertainers" in an arena where "fair play is becoming an old-fashioned idea". Science, it says, already has a deep influence on the eating habits of competitors, with the line between drugs and nutritional supplements increasingly blurred. The journal states: "How can the dignity of athletes be preserved during testing? Why should an adult competitor not be allowed to make an informed choice about a substance provided it is legally acquired?" [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n661.a02.html *** International News *** COMMENT: By all accounts, the Russian underworld has thrived on the Western sponsored drug war. Not to be outdone, the government has now entered the game and will be competing for their share of revenue from the illegal drug market. A long NYT article reviews the Byzantine saga of high level Mexican corruption in detail, focusing on the seeming ineptitude (unwillingness) of American agencies in nailing down a case against the Salinas brothers. Heroin remains a major concern in the non-US English speaking world while, Burma, a major supplier of that heroin received unusual exposure in at least one American paper, there was even a bold mention of the involvement of the Burmese government in the heroin trade. Finally, a short excerpt describes the deteriorating situation in Colombia, Burma's Western Hemisphere counterpart. *** MOSCOW ORDERS WAR ON DRUGS MOSCOW'S mayor, Yuri Luzhkov, yesterday ordered police to stamp out its drug problem by raiding bars, discos and clubs frequented by young people. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Author: Marcus Warren, Moscow URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n662.a07.html *** TRACING MONEY, SWISS OUTDO U.S. ON MEXICO DRUG CORRUPTION CASE MEXICO CITY - When the young chief of Switzerland's drug police arrived here in late 1995 to inquire about $132 million found in Swiss bank accounts belonging to the influential elder brother of a former president, he knew enough about Mexico's political underworld to be wary of his official hosts. [snip] Yet while the Swiss are preparing to use that evidence in a civil court action to confiscate the fortune of Salinas, the elder brother of former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, a much larger and more experienced group of law enforcement officials in the United States has been unable to make a similar case of their own. [snip] Source: New York Times (NY) Pubdate: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: Tim Golden, New York Times URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n656.a02.html *** ALARM AT 'DEADLY' HEROIN SOLD IN ACT Children as young as 12 were among a record 42 heroin overdose victims in Canberra last month. Police and the ACT Ambulance Service have now issued a warning of heroin in unprecedented quantities, deadly purity and cheapness, flooding the market and leaving young people at risk. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Section: News, Page 3 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Peter Clack URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n664.a04.html *** HEROIN'S NEW IMAGE HOOKS TEENAGERS Battlefields on the front line DRUG-PUSHERS have changed the image of heroin so successfully that its use has reached epidemic proportions in many British towns and cities, a government report said yesterday. [snip] "The heroin outbreaks spreading across Britain are primarily a product of purposeful supplying and marketing. The precursor to all of this had been the strong, sustained availability of pure, inexpensive heroin, primarily from southwest Asia." [snip] Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 Author: Richard Ford URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n651.a10.html *** TALES OF TERROR EMERGE FROM VICTIMS Rape, torture murder are its instruments Bangkok As riot troops man strategic positions in tense Rangoon for today's 10th anniversary of the Burmese military's fierce suppression of a pro-democracy uprising, human rights groups say that the army is committing fresh atrocities at an alarming rate. [snip] Increasingly, the regime's concept of "development" is being extended to grabbing control of the lucrative narcotics trade, analysts say. Burma is one of the world's largest suppliers of heroin. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 08 Aug 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Page: A 12 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Sandy Barron Chronicle Foreign Service URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n662.a10.html *** 'NOTHING LEFT' OF POLICE BASE IN COLOMBIA BOGOTA, Colombia - The faint voice crackled over the two-way radio: ``The base has been destroyed. There is nothing left. The police have been taken away as hostages, and the soldiers, too.'' The voice of Luis Rodriguez, a resident of Miraflores, related a tale of catastrophe in a jungle village that hosts Colombia's largest police anti-narcotics base. [snip] Source: Miami Herald (FL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.herald.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 06 Aug 1998 Author: Tim Johnson - Herald Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n661.a07.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET Legalize-USA has done it again. Peter McWilliams outstanding speech from the Libertarian Party national convention is now on-line for all to hear. Anyone who reviews this speech will be struck by the injustice and incongruity represented by the fact that this brilliant patriot is currently incarcerated and being held on an outrageous $250,000 bail. He is not receiving proper medication for his AIDS and cancer, and is obviously being persecuted for his beliefs. McWilliams' speech to Libertarians: http://www.legalize-usa.org/video6.htm *** Thanks to Paul Lewin for this heads up. An impressive feather in the cap for all the hard working DrugSense volunteers and staff: Thanks to the excellent work of DrugSense/MAP and its army of volunteers, the prestigious National Center on Institutions and Alternatives is focusing its "Myth of Month" on the ONDCP's anti-drug media campaign. As a result the quality documentation made available through the DrugSense/MAP site, NCIA was able to forcefully call the anti-drug media campaign what it is: a myth. I hope you will let your supporters know about this site & their role in its creation. The exact link is: http://www.igc.org/ncia/mythc.html *** TIP OF THE WEEK The sentencing Project has a web site with a good deal of information and statistics that can help your letter writing, debates, and in providing factual information to others about incarceration rates and much more. Check out: http://www.sentencingproject.org/ and http://www.sentencingproject.org/pubs/tsppubs/prison~1.htm *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK `In all life one should comfort the afflicted, but verily, also, one should afflict the comfortable, and especially when they are comfortably, contentedly, even happily wrong' - John Kenneth Galbraith *** FACT OF THE WEEK California Incarceration Rates There are more prisoners in the state of California alone, than in any entire country in the world except Russia and China. Source: Currie, E. Crime and punishment in America. (1998). New York, NY: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, Inc. *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. News/COMMENTS-Editor - Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor - Mark Greer (email@example.com) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please Make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org/ http://www.drugsense.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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