------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana - War On Marijuana Has Gone On Too Long; Support Reforms (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Seattle Times') Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 11:57:56 -0400 To: MAP News (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WA: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Cc: MAP Stafftalk (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle-times (Wa) Contact: Opinion@Seatimes.com Website: Http://Seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Tuesday, 11 August, 1998 Author: John V. Lommel, Everett MEDICAL MARIJUANA War On Marijuana Has Gone On Too Long; Support Reforms Editor, The Times: As a concerned citizen, I worry about scarce city, state and federal resources being wasted on tracking down patients who use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Certainly, we should be more concerned about finding lost children, catching a rapist, providing for the homeless and maintaining our environment and infrastructure. The smoking of marijuana for successful treatment and relief of chemotherapy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, spasticity and hyperparathyroidism has been recognized and endorsed by the American Medical Association. The war on marijuana has gone on long enough and has cost us more than we can afford. Let's put a stop to government waste. Support marijuana-law reforms. John V. Lommel Everett
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Target Medical Pot (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Capital Times' In Wisconsin Says The Recent Indictment And Arrest In Los Angeles Of Medical Marijuana Patient-Activists Peter McWilliams, Todd McCormick And Others Is Nothing But A Cynical Attempt By Federal Officials To Silence Outspoken Defenders Of Medical Rights) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 20:00:59 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US WI: PUB LTE: Feds Target Medical Pot 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: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Source: The Capital Times (WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.madison.com/ FEDS TARGET MEDICAL POT The recent indictment and arrest in Los Angeles of medical marijuana patient-activists Peter McWilliams, Todd McCormick and others is nothing but a cynical attempt by federal officials to silence these outspoken defenders of medical rights. When California voters passed Prop 215, they indicated they wanted to see medicinal marijuana made available to those in need. Since then, U.S. and California officials have been working full-time to derail this initiative. Not only is the federal government trying to silence these defenders of liberty, but in the case of Peter McWilliams, they are apparently trying to murder him by denying him his AIDS medications. This is the same government that recently cleared itself of facilitating the importation of cocaine by the CIA and Contras in the 1980's, despite the fact there is overwhelming evidence of their involvement. This cruel and immoral war on medical marijuana patients must stop now. Gary Storck Madison
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lungren's Subversion (A Texan's Letter To The Editor Of 'The San Francisco Chronicle' Urges California Voters Not To Make Dan Lungren Governor, Since He Defied The Will Of The People As Attorney General In Thwarting Proposition 215) Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 00:23:06 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lungren's Subversion 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) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Tuesday, August 11, 1998 LUNGREN'S SUBVERSION Editor -- Though I am not a citizen of California, I am watching the gubernatorial race with some interest, and I wonder how anyone could possibly support Dan Lungren in light of his past behavior. When the voters of California decided, via Proposition 215, that medical marijuana is to be permitted, Mr. Lungren actively worked to subvert the will of the people through his connections with the federal government. I cannot believe that someone who openly flouts the will of the voters of California would be a good representative of their wishes in the governor's office. GREG GOLDMAKHER Dallas
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmates Say Deputies Beat Prisoner ('The Los Angeles Times,' Noting A Self-Contradictory Press Release Issued By The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Says Fellow Inmates Of A Prisoner Who Died After An Altercation With Sheriff's Deputies At The Twin Towers Correctional Facility Say He Was Beaten By Deputies August 1 As He Lay Face Down And Handcuffed - The Incident Began When Two Deputies, A Sergeant And A Jail Worker Tried To Place Danny Smith, Who Is Black, In A Cell With A Hispanic Prisoner, Ignoring A Standard Procedure By Which Inmates Generally Are Segregated Where Violence Often Erupts Along Racial Lines) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Inmates Say Deputies Beat Prisoner Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:49:55 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Tuesday, August 11, 1998 The Los Angeles Times Inmates Say Deputies Beat Prisoner * Jail: The 34-year-old man later died. Sheriff's Department says he started fight, but it is probing the incident. By ANNE-MARIE O'CONNOR Times Staff Writer Fellow inmates of a prisoner who died after an altercation with sheriff's deputies at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility say he was beaten by deputies as he lay face down and handcuffed. The prisoners' version, pieced together from nine interviews conducted at the jail and by phone, contradicts the account of the sheriff's news release, which said Danny Smith, 34, attacked deputies when they took off his handcuffs. According to the Sheriff's Department, Smith died after an ensuing struggle with the deputies. Prisoners said the Aug. 1 incident began when two deputies, a sergeant and a jail worker tried to place Smith, who is black, in a cell with a Latino prisoner--ignoring a standard procedure that inmates generally are segregated in a jail where violence often erupts along racial lines. When Smith resisted, inmates said, deputies pushed him to the floor, choking him with a flashlight and kneeing him in the back while they kicked and beat him. Smith yelled that he couldn't breathe, that he had a bad heart, and begged them not to kill him, inmates said. Only when Smith was motionless and authorities began efforts to revive him did deputies remove his handcuffs, inmates said. The account of the prisoners, many of them in jail for crimes such as narcotics possession, bank robbery and carjacking, casts further doubt on the circumstances of a death that is the subject of an investigation by the Sheriff's Department. Don Mauro, captain of the department's homicide division, said the results of the in-house probe will be referred to the district attorney's office for evaluation. He said the FBI and the Department of Justice probably will look into the incident as well, though federal representatives could not immediately confirm their involvement. "This matter continues to be under investigation," Mauro said. "Until then we will have no comment." A Sheriff's Department news release says Smith attacked a deputy after his escorts removed his handcuffs. As deputies attempted to subdue him, Smith collapsed and department members began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, it said. The press release then contradicts itself, saying first that Smith died in jail, and then that Smith died at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. The Los Angeles County coroner's office appears unlikely to shed light on the matter any time soon. The office conducted an autopsy on Smith last week, but its staff will not determine the cause of death or release any information until they assemble all the outstanding information, such as the police report on the incident and the results of toxicology tests, which could take six to eight weeks, spokesman Scott Carrier said. One nationally respected forensic pathologist called that time frame "ridiculous." "They just want to buy time," said forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht, the elected coroner of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania. "I can't think of toxicology tests that take six to eight weeks, unless it's some very esoteric toxins, and I can't image them dealing with a poisonous South African toad or a South American viper or spider." In a case like this, it would be appropriate to conduct tests to determine whether the inmate was on medication or drugs that could produce a state of hyper-excitability and cardiac arrhythmia, he said. Ninety percent of toxicology tests take two or three days, although a smaller number can take a week. "But not six to eight weeks," he said. "They've got a hot case. Everybody is just biding time." On Tuesday, sheriff's representatives are expected to discuss the incident with the county Board of Supervisors. They would like to have a private, closed-door executive session because they believe that the case will culminate in a wrongful death lawsuit, regardless of whether the Sheriff's Department is ultimately deemed responsible, department officials said. Sheriff's representatives said they could not release the names of the deputies who the prisoners said were involved in or present during the incident. The incident took place, inmates said, in a cellblock in which many of the prisoners are on medication for disorders ranging from epilepsy to mental health problems. James Woods, an inmate who says he was jailed for violating parole after a grand theft conviction, said the incident began when two deputies escorted Smith to a disciplinary cell with a county "turnkey." When they got to the door of the cell--which was occupied by a prisoner named Francisco Figueroa--Smith asked a deputy why they were placing him with a Latino. "As a result of all the racial conflict that has taken place among the blacks and Mexicans, and it being Danny Smith from Compton, he did not want to go into a cell with a Mexican," said another prisoner, Cordell Gaddy. It was then that a deputy kneed Smith in the back of his knees, throwing him off balance and slamming him onto the concrete floor, Woods said. Another deputy kicked him while a third officer held a flashlight under his throat, cutting off his wind, Woods said. "I heard the guy holler, 'Please don't kill me, I can't breathe,' " said Gaddy, a convicted bank robber who said he is awaiting trial on carjacking charges. "They were choking him out." A supervising officer looked concerned and tapped two of those involved on the back, but they ignored him, and he walked away, returning when Smith became still, according to the inmates. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Activist Appeals Charge Of Contempt While On A Jury ('The Washington Times' Notes Laura Kriho, The First Juror Convicted Of Contempt Of Court In Over 300 Years, Appeled Her Conviction To The Colorado Court Of Appeals Monday) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:48:15 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CO: Hemp Activist Appeals Charge Of Contempt While On A Jury 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: Tues, 11 Aug 1998 Source: Washington Times Contact 1: email@example.com Contact 2: 3600 New York Ave. NE Washington, D.C. 20002 Website: http://www.washtimes.com/ Author: Valerie Richardson The Washington Times HEMP ACTIVIST APPEALS CHARGE OF CONTEMPT WHILE ON A JURY DENVER - The first juror convicted of contempt of court in over 300 years took her case to the Colorado Court of Appeals yesterday in a campaign to win legitimacy for the jury-nullification movement. The three-judge panel heard arguments in the case of Laura Kriho, the hemp activist who was found guilty of criminal contempt in February 1997 after a judge ruled that she deliberately misled the court to gain a slot on the jury. The court could take several months to rule on the case, which has become a rallying point for supporters of jury nullification. They argue that jurors should be permitted to weigh the legitimacy of the law before deciding the guilt or innocence of the accused. "Jurors cannot be told what they must do in the deliberative process," said Mrs. Kriho's attorney, Paul Grant. "You can't have trial by jury where you throw out jurors who are independent thinkers." Mr. Grant called her conviction a "frightening occurrence" that could leave jurors vulnerable to prosecution for acting on their beliefs. In Mrs. Kriho's case, she was summoned for jury duty in May 1996 in the trial of a 19-year-old accused of methamphetamine possession. Mrs. Kriho, 34, was among the last jurors questioned, and prosecutors asked whether there was any reason she would be unable to render an impartial verdict. She brought up a legal dispute with her contractor, but failed to mention her work for the legalization of industrial hemp and an LSD arrest 12 years earlier. During deliberations, she argued in favor of jury nullification, saying the drug laws were unjust. Another juror sent a note to the judge, who declared a mistrial. Two months later, Mrs. Kriho was charged with perjury, obstruction of justice and contempt. Assistant Attorney General Roger Billotte said Mrs. Kriho had obstructed justice by refusing to elaborate on her background as a hemp activist, hoping to win a slot on the jury to push her political agenda. "It's very clear that she's not revealing her opinions, her attitudes, her very strong feelings on jury nullification and drug laws," Mr. Billotte said. Mr. Grant said the court should have questioned Mrs. Kriho in greater detail about her background instead of relying on her to decide what aspects were relevant. "Mrs. Kriho forthrightly volunteered some information not required by the court, which was her most recent experience with the court. No one asked her anything else," said Mr. Grant. "If the court wanted more information, the court had to ask for it specifically. " He said upholding her conviction could undermine the legal process by encouraging prosecutors to pick "rubber-stamp" juries guaranteed of delivering convictions. "What I disagree with is that we are requiring [courts] to remove all jurors who are suspicious of government power," said Mr. Grant. Colorado Solicitor General Richard Westfall dismissed Mrs. Kriho's case as a "rare situation" that would have no effect on jury selection. "This has only come up once in a very long time," he said. A fair and impartial jury is the cornerstone of the judicial system, he said. "If you have strong biases going into this process, you are not going to be fair and impartial," he said. Mrs. Kriho was fined $1,200, which she has paid with donations from friends and supporters in the jury-nullification movement. Experts believe the last time jurors were charged with a crime for failing to issue a guilty verdict was in 1670, when a jury was imprisoned and fined for refusing to convict William Penn of unlawful preaching. Her case already has had an impact on Colorado courts, according to her attorney. "I know what's happening in Colorado today: Jurors are being asked, 'Have you heard of jury nullification? Do you believe in jury nullification?'" Mr. Grant said. "That is totally improper, and that is where this case goes," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Appeals Court Hears Case Against Juror ('The Boulder Daily Camera' Version) Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:30:41 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CO: Appeals Court Hears Case Against Juror Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Colo. Hemp Init. Project) Source: Boulder Daily Camera (CO) Contact: email@example.com Fax: (303) 449-9358 Website: http://www.bouldernews.com Pubdate: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Author: Christopher Anderson (firstname.lastname@example.org) APPEALS COURT HEARS CASE AGAINST JUROR In a case that could set Colorado legal precedent, an attorney for a former Nederland resident argued before the Court of Appeals on Monday that his client's conviction for contempt of court was unjust. Laura Kriho, who served as a Gilpin County juror in a 1996 drug case, was convicted in 1997 of purposely withholding information during jury selection so she could get onto the jury and influence other jury members to prevent a guilty verdict against the defendant. Taking her case before the Court of Appeals on Monday, lawyers arguments centered on jury nullification, the power of jurors to vote their consciences instead of following the letter of the law. Kriho's attorney, Paul Grant, argued that his client was never specifically asked about her association with a hemp advocacy group that supported jury nullification and she was not obligated to divulge her political affiliations. Kriho also failed to divulge that she has a prior arrest for LSD. She said she had forgotten about it because it happened so long ago and because she was told by the courts that it would be removed from her record. The state's prosecutor said although Kriho was not specifically asked about being part of the hemp initiative, there was a clear tone in the questioning to divulge any biases that would cause an unfair and impartial verdict. Following the 40 minute hearing, Kriho said she fears if the court rules against her, it will make jurors fearful to find defendants not guilty. The court's decision is not expected to be rendered for months. In May 1996, Kriho was selected to serve as a jury member to hear a Gilpin County District Court case that included the charge of unlawful possession of the drug methamphetimine. During jury deliberations in that case, Kriho had obtained information from the Internet on what she believed to be the penalty for possession of methamphetimine and showed it to other jurors. The defense called a mistrial after another juror sent a note to Judge Kenneth E. Barnhill asking whether a juror, later identified as Kriho, could be disqualified for looking up the potential sentence. The note also said the juror was saying court is not the place to decide drug charges. District Court Judge Henry E. Neito found Kriho in contempt of court and sentenced her to pay a $1,200 fine in a plea bargain deal that kept her from serving 90 days in jail. The Court of Appeals did not hear oral arguments on the accusation that she looked up the methamphetamine sentencing, but instead they focused on the jury selection and the right to jury nullification. The court asked whether rape victims who became potential jurors would have to volunteer information about participation in any rape prevention groups. The state's prosecutor said they would, depending on whether there was any intent to prevent a fair verdict. The prosecutor also argued that jury nullification was a de facto result of jury deliberations, not a juror's right. Grant said jury nullification is a political philosophy cherished by early presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and that court's have no right to ask about political philosophies. He asked the court to rule that lawyers be prohibited from asking potential jurors whether they believe in jury nullification. "I do think I was a fair and impartial juror," Kriho said. "I still don't think I did anything wrong." *** Contributions to help Laura pay the costs of her appeals can be made to: Laura Kriho Legal Defense Fund P.O. Box 729 Nederland, CO 80466 Your support is very much appreciated.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Six Men, Nine Horses, Pot Seized Near Arivaca ('The Arizona Daily Star' Says US Border Patrol Agents Interdicted 1,215 Pounds Of Marijuana Monday, Bringing The Agency's Total Since The October 1 Start Of The Fiscal Year To More Than 172,600 Pounds, Well Above The Record 160,003 Pounds Taken Last Fiscal Year) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:45:01 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: 6 Men, 9 Horses, Pot Seized Near Arivaca 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: Tues, 11 Aug 1998 Source: Arizona Daily Star Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Ignacio Ibarra The Arizona Daily Star 6 MEN, 9 HORSES, POT SEIZED NEAR ARIVACA Six men were arrested and nine horses packing 1,215 pounds of marijuana were seized by U.S. Border Patrol agents near Arivaca yesterday. Rob Daniels, Border Patrol spokesman in Tucson, said the men were turned over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration along with 14 bundles of marijuana packed by the horses. He said he could not identify the men. The horses were taken to Nogales for evaluation and possible use by the Border Patrol. Daniels said the confiscated marijuana brings the amount seized by the agency since the Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year to more than 172,600 pounds. That is well above the record 160,003 pounds taken last fiscal year. In this case, agents working southeast of Arivaca just after midnight came across the trail of several horses headed north from the border, Daniels said. The agents, aided by a U.S. Customs Service airplane, worked into the early morning to locate the horses. At about 3:15, agents tracking the horses on foot came upon a group of men on horseback in a steep, rocky canyon. But Daniels said the men used the horses to escape. About four hours later, the agents came upon the group again. They arrested six men and seized the horses and drugs. Daniels said one of the men was armed with a Russian-made AK-47 assault rifle, which was also seized. He said using horses for smuggling drugs ``isn't as common as using human backpackers, but it happens, especially in that area, because of the rugged terrain. The area is steep and rocky, and makes for a tough tracking operation.'' Mexican horses are currently banned from import into the United States because cases of equine encephalitis have been reported in some southern states. Daniels said that in the past year the agency has seized about a dozen horses that have been put to use by the Border Patrol after they were determined to be healthy. Horse patrol units have been established at Nogales and Sonoita so far. He said that if all goes well, the horses seized yesterday will end up in Willcox, where the next horse patrol unit is planned. On Friday, an on-duty Border Patrol agent was injured in Nogales when her horse threw her after being spooked by lightning. The accident occurred on the city's west side in the canyons near Mariposa and Target Range Road.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US To Pay $1.9 Million To Family Of Teen Slain By Marine ('The Washington Post' Says The Family Of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, Who Was Killed While Herding Goats Near Redford, Texas, By Camouflaged Marines Carrying Out Civilian Prohibition Duties, Agreed To The Settlement With The Justice Department And The Navy) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: TX Wire: U.S. To Pay $1.9 Million To Family Of Teen Slain By Marine Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:07:15 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Pubdate: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Associated Press U.S. TO PAY $1.9 MILLION TO FAMILY OF TEEN SLAIN BY MARINE EL PASO, The federal government will pay $1.9 million to the family of a teenager who was killed by a Marine patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border, the family's attorney said today. The controversy over the May 27, 1997, shooting led to the suspension of military patrols along the Rio Grande. Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, was killed while herding goats near Redford, Tex., 200 miles southeast of El Paso, by Marines who said the youth fired on them. After a long battle over what happened, the Hernandez family has signed a settlement agreement with the Justice Department and the Navy, lawyer Bill Weinacht of Pecos said in a statement. No further details were available. Neither Weinacht nor members of the Hernandez family returned calls for comment. The settlement is "one more piece of evidence that there was total wrongdoing in this case by various arms of the government," said the Rev. Melvin LaFollette, a Redford activist. "Innocent parties don't pass out millions gratuitously." Justice Department spokeswoman Chris Watney declined to comment, citing federal privacy law. Military officials said Hernandez twice fired his .22-caliber rifle at members of a four-man Marine Corps patrol conducting anti-drug surveillance along the Rio Grande. They said the Marine team leader shot the teenager when he raised his gun a third time. Relatives said Hernandez would never knowingly have shot at anyone. They said he carried the rifle to protect his livestock from wild dogs and occasionally to shoot targets. The Marines were wearing camouflage. Federal and state grand juries refused to indict any of the Marines. Joint Task Force 6, an El Paso-based federal agency that coordinates anti-drug missions between the military and civilian authorities, concluded the Marines acted within mission guidelines. Copyright 1998 The Associated Press
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ocean County Officer Admits Using Methamphetamines, Resigns ('The Associated Press' Says No Sentencing Date Has Been Set For Police Patrolman James J. McMenamin Of Ship Bottom, New Jersey, Who Pleaded Guilty Monday To Being Under The Influence Of Methamphetamines) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen - Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: NJ cop admits methamphetamine use, resigns Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:45:07 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Ocean County officer admits using methamphetamines, resigns Associated Press, 08/11/98 12:48 STAFFORD TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP) - A police officer who was high on drugs in his home when he was supposed to be working pleaded to a drug charge and is quitting the force. Patrolman James J. McMenamin, 35, of Ship Bottom pleaded guilty Monday to being under the influence of methamphetamines. In doing so, he averted prosecution on other charges, township officials said. In addition, administrative charges against the five-year police veteran will be dropped as part of the plea agreement worked out with the Ocean County prosecutor. Last March, McMenamin failed to show up for one of his midnight shifts. Worried for his safety, officers called him at home and - unable to reach him - then searched for him there. They found him under the influence of drugs. The police department has a ``zero tolerance'' policy for employees, said Mayor Carl Block. No sentencing date was set by Municipal Judge Paul Carr. ``It is a personal tragedy for people who have become involved with drugs,'' Block said. ``They could become an endangerment to the public welfare.'' *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Time To Wave A White Flag In The Drug War (An Op-Ed In 'The Orange County Register' Says The Time Has Come To Call A Truce In The Ceaseless War On Drugs - Instead, It Seems The War Is Being Futilely Escalated) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:55:09 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Column: Time To Wave A White Flag In The Drug War Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Author: Steve Watanabe-Mr.Watanabe is a financial analyst who lives in Irvine. THE ORANGE GROVE: TIME TO WAVE A WHITE FLAG IN THE DRUG WAR For all the billions spent to curtail drug usage in this country, the results have been paltry and disastrous for our freedom. The time has come to call a truce in the ceaseless War on Drugs. Instead, it seems the war is being futilely escalated. Coincidentally, the Justice Department announced last week that the U.S. prison population has increased to an all-time hih of 1.25 million, one fourth of the inmates held on drug crimes. This report coincides with a column by U.S. drug czar Gen Barry McCaffrey in several newspapers last week critical of people who want to debate the alternative of legalizing some drugs. Let me first say that I do not advocate drug use. There is no question that drug abuse is a scourge on society. But, after 25 years, it is time to take a serious look at the strategy we have been using to combat this problem. When McCaffrey says it is criminal that more money is being spent on drugs and the drug war than on art or higher education he raises an interesting point. What results can the government show for the hundreds of billions of taxpayers' dollars spent? Each year the money has been wasted on the same failed approach of increasing interdiction efforts, law enforcement resources and prisons to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of our citizens, most of whom pose no danger to society. As is the case with other government programs, such as welfare and public education, when something doesn't work, the solution seems to be to just throw more money at the problem. Instead of perhaps spending the money on practical and humanitatian solutions, such as drug treatment, heroin maintenance and needle-exchange programs, McCaffrey proposes to spend more money on hiring more police and for more propaganda, deceptively implying that we have now gained the upper hand in this war. McCaffrey asserts that "addictive drugs were criminalized because they are harmful; they are not harmful because they were criminalized. The more a product is available and legitimized the greater will be its use." Apparently, he - and we - haven't learned any lessons from Prohibition as we continue to repeat our mistakes. Drug use and crime increased at the same time that anti-drug funding increased and drug laws were toughened. Evidence shows that making certain acts illegal leads to more harm to the community. Making a desired commodity illegal only serves to make that commodity scarce, drive up its price and make it more lucrative for criminals to get involved. Most important, though, the War on Drugs is robbing us of our freedom. People accused or even suspected of dealing drugs have had their civil rights violated. Assets have been seized and sold before a trial has even taken place. Many people argue that this is a small price to pay to protect our children and to send them the message that drugs are bad. But children are not listening to this anti-drug propaganda. Tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and other drugs were abused when Bill Clinton was smoking pot as a college student in the '60s and they are just as popular with teen-agers today. I am offended by McCaffrey's attack on harm-reduction advocates. When he equates legalizing drugs to legalizing murder, pedophilia and child prostitution, he misses the point. In a free society, the state should have no interest in the behavior of a person as long as he is not harming or infringing on the rights of another. In the case of murder, pedophilia and child prostitution, harm is most certainly being inflicted on another. To put it bluntly, unless someone's rights are being infringed on the government needs to butt out of people's private lives. It is now time to make a decision. If this is truly a "war," the only effective action the government can take at this point is to invoke the death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone caught selling or using drugs. This is the drug policy in some Third-World countries. Most Americans would not want to live in such a country. We shouldn't have an immediate knee-jerk reaction whenever we hear the word "legalization" or "decriminalization." Most Americans oppose legalization because they have been told by both the government and moralists for years that if drugs were legalized we would see a tremendous increase in drug addiction, thus leading to more crime, lost productivity and a huge financial drain on our economy. But there is no proof that this will happen. Like alcohol during post-Prohibition and marijuana in the Netherlands today, use of drugs may increase, but only in the short term. As with alcohol today, some people will abuse new decriminalized drugs, but rational people will realize that they cannot succeed in school, hold down a job or keep together relationships if they are constantly stoned. Responsible people will choose to limit their use or abstain totally. With legalization, consumers will be able to purchase their drugs in a controlled setting where safety won't be able to purchase their drugs in a controlled setting where safety won't be compromised. The government may place limited regulations on the market, as it currently does with medications and alcohol. Taxpayers will be saving billions of dollars a year that had previously been spent on prosecuting drug users. More and more people are beginning to wake up and see the futility of the current "war." What have 25 years of money and effort accomplished?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't Lock Up Mothers Who Use Drugs - US Report ('Reuters' Says A Study Commissioned By The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation And Carried Out By A Research Team Headed By Lawrence Nelson Of Santa Clara University In California Concluded That Efforts To Stop Women From Doing Things That May Harm Their Unborn Babies Have Been Racially Biased, Poorly Thought Out And Often In Direct Violation Of The US Constitution) Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 14:05:04 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (ann mccormick) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Prenatal-Substances-Use/Abuse 06:08 PM ET 08/11/98 Don't lock up mothers who use drugs - U.S. report By Maggie Fox, Health and Science Correspondent WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Drug use during pregnancy has become a serious problem in the United States, but jailing such women is no solution as it is unconstitutional and can be the worst solution for the baby, experts said Monday. ``No state should even consider a law criminalizing prenatal substance abuse as this is unconstitutional and unwise,´´ said Lawrence Nelson of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University in California, who headed a team which produced a report on the issue for a research charity. He and colleagues agreed that efforts to stop women from doing things that may harm their unborn babies have been racially biased, poorly thought out and often in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution. ``Any state intervention in the area of prenatal substance abuse must be scrutinized for racial prejudice and for fairness in excluding legal, but harmful, substances like alcohol and nicotine,´´ Nelson told a news conference. The researchers' study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. ``Substance abuse by pregnant women is a major national problem,´´ said Dr. H. Westley Clark, who heads substance abuse programs at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco. But he added that jailing the mothers or committing them to institutions to kick their habit would not necessarily solve the problem. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that a million children a year or more are exposed to alcohol or illegal drugs while in the womb. Mary Faith Marshall of the Medical University of South Carolina said that since 1985, ``more than 240 women in 35 states have been criminally prosecuted for using illegal drugs or alcohol during pregnancy. Between 70 percent and 80 percent of these women are minorities.´´ Nelson also said it would be a mistake to make health care professionals look out for women who might be abusing drugs. ''If seeing an obstetrician or a midwife for prenatal care directly leads to criminal sanctions, then pregnant women will be deterred from seeking such care,'' he said. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- To Make A Long Story Short . . . ('The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Briefly Summarizes Research Published In 'Nature' About The Discovery That Anandamide, A Natural Substance In The Body That Mimics Marijuana, Can Quench Pain When It Acts Outside The Brain, Suggesting A New Class Of Painkillers)Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:01:41 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: To Make A Long Story Short... Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Source: The Province (Vancouver, B.C.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/news-c.html Pubdate: 11 Aug 1998 Section: Page A19 TO MAKE A LONG STORY SHORT... Science & Technology A substance in the body that mimics marijuana can quench pain when it acts outside the brain, suggesting a new class of painkillers. Anandamide is produced in the body and pushes the same chemical buttons in the brain that marijuana does to produce its effects. A new study involving mice, outlined in the journal Nature, shows that anandamide and a chemical cousin called PEA can suppress pain by pushing chemical buttons in tissues outside the brain, too. - News Services
------------------------------------------------------------------- '66 Pot Bust Bars Reggae Star ('The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Says Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert And The Maytals Had To Cancel Performances In Vancouver And Edmonton, Alberta - Somehow They Went Instead To The United States, Whose Drug Laws Are Notoriously Tougher Than Canada's) From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: Canada: '66 Pot Bust Bars Reggae Star Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:05:07 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Pubdate: 11 Aug 1998 Source: The Province (Vancouver, B.C.) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/news-c.html Author: Jason Proctor - Staff Reporter '66 POT BUST BARS REGGAE STAR A lack of documentation and a love of ganja prevented reggae legend Frederick (Toots) Hibbert from taking to a Vancouver stage on the weekend. The 30-year veteran of the reggae scene was scheduled to play with his band, the Maytals, at Richards on Richards Sunday night. But plans changed when Canadian officials unearthed an ancient police record. "It's sad. We worked hard on promoting this," said Robert Foort, whose Pacific Concert Productions co-promoted the event. "It was looking like it was going to be a good show - but it was a no-show." Toots Hibbert was jailed in Jamaica for a year on charges of marijuana possession back in 1966. Pot is a central part of reggae life, and after his release from prison Hibbert released a song called "54-46 (That's My Number)" to commemorate his jail time. Since then, Hibbert has performed in Canada dozens of times. Foorst said it came as a surprise to Toots and his manager when he was denied a visa unless he could produce a letter from Jamaican police and bank statements. "There was just no time to do it," said Foort. Toots and the Maytals were also forced to cancel on the Edmonton Folk Festival as a result of the visa problems. Ironically, they went instead to the United States, whose drug laws are notoriously tougher than Canada's.
------------------------------------------------------------------- City Hall Threatens Hemp BC Landlord - Hearings On September 29-30 (A Bulletin From 'Cannabis Canada' Seeks Your Help Lobbying City Officials In Vancouver In Support Of The Famous Hemp Emporium) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Culture) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: City Hall threatens Hemp BC landlord Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:03:30 -0700 Lines: 93 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) City Hall threatens Hemp BC landlord Hearings on September 29, 30 By Dana Larsen Since repeated raids against Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe have met with public disapproval and have succeeded only in making the police look foolish, the city is trying new tactics in their war against the world-famous hemp store. So far, city officials have denied Hemp BC a business license, and lied to cops about who owned the store. Now they've begun threatening Hemp BC's landlord, demanding she evict her tenants or face criminal charges herself. This sort of intimidation is being used by sneaky authorities eager to get someone else to do their dirty work, as they are afraid to go to trial with senseless paraphernalia charges. In their letter to Hemp BC's landlord, city lawyers claimed that "a twelve year old girl was found in the building openly smoking marijuana." Although pot smoking is commonplace in and around Hemp BC, there is a strict over-18 policy in both the store and cafe. If police did observe an underaged toker, they didn't do anything at the time, and the letter to her landlord was the first mention that Sister Icee, owner of Hemp BC, had ever heard of this mythical pre-teen smoker. The letter also claimed that Sister Icee is facing "drug charges", when in fact she has no criminal record at all, and has only ever been charged with selling pipes and bongs, which are available at hundreds of other licensed businesses around Vancouver. Sister Icee has launched a $1,000,000 lawsuit against the city for such defamatory truth-twisting, especially in relation to their false accusations of an underage toker, and the most recent April 30 raid of her store. That raid came about because city officials misled police, and told them that Marc Emery was still the legal owner of Hemp BC, when they knew he had sold it to Sister Icee. Purposefully misleading police to further a vendetta aginst Hemp BC is a disgusting and immoral abuse of municipal power. City Council Hearing: September 29 & 30 The City has issued a summons against the landlord, Mrs Yue Qui Lin, demanding that she appear before City Council on September 29 and 30, to "solve neighbourhood problems caused by [your] tenants." Yet there are no neighbourhood complainants, and many local merchants and businesses have agreed to testify on Hemp BC's behalf. Hemp BC has actually helped the neighbourhood in many ways, bringing many shoppers and tourists into an otherwise depressed area. Hemp BC has donated thousands of dollars to local projects providing free food to local people, AIDS education and other community improvements, and even provided street garbage cans during Vancouver's garbage strike. Vancouver City Council has scheduled hearings for Hemp BC's business license application on September 29 and 30. If Hemp BC is going to survive there must be a very strong show of public support before and on these dates. We need everyone who reads this to take a moment to send a quick email to Mayor Philip Owen, and if you live in Vancouver we beg you to come to City Hall on September 29 and 30 to show your support for us. City Hall wants to shut us down, and they will succeed if you allow them to. We need your help Hemp BC and all other pot-friendly businesses in Vancouver need your help. The Mayor and Police Chief will continue beating up peaceful pot smokers and raiding Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe until they are forced out of business. Unless they are convinced that the public is strongly against their actions, they will never relent in their raids and harassment. Please call, write or email Mayor Phillip Owen, and let him know that Hemp BC and the Cannabis Cafe are valuable assets to the city. Help us explain to them that these businesses are supported both locally and internationally, and that they are a positive influence on the community. This will only take a few moments of your time, and is a simple but effective way to do something good for yourself, the world, and pot-people everywhere. Write or Call Mayor Phillip Owen: email: firstname.lastname@example.org Vancouver City Hall 453 West 12th Ave Vancouver, BC V5Y 1V4 tel: (604) 873-7621 fax: (604) 873-7685 *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to email@example.com containing the command "unsubscribe cclist". - Subscribe to Cannabis Culture Magazine! Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B 1A1 Call us at: (604) 669-9069, or fax (604) 669-9038. Visit Cannabis Culture online at http://www.cannabisculture.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Overdose Death Toll Spurs Canada To Consider Prescribing Heroin ('The Associated Press' Says Vancouver Authorities, Dismayed By A Horrific Toll From Heroin Related Deaths, Are Nudging Canada Steadily Closer To Breaking A North American Taboo By Supplying Heroin To Addicts) From: Holly Catania (HCatania@sorosny.org) To: TLC_ACTIVIST (TLCACT@sorosny.org) Subject: AP Story on Call For Canadian Heroin Trials Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 11:02:12 -0400 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Overdose death toll spurs Canada to consider prescribing heroin U.S. unlikely to try similar program August 11, 1998 Web posted at: 5:59 p.m. EDT (2159 GMT) VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- Dismayed by a horrific death toll from drug overdoses, Vancouver authorities are nudging Canada steadily closer to breaking a North American taboo by supplying heroin to addicts. So far this year, 224 people in British Columbia -- mostly from Vancouver's skid-row areas -- have died of overdoses, up 40 percent from last year. The deaths, blamed on an influx of cheaper and more potent heroin, prompted the provincial health officer, Dr. John Millar, to recommend last month that health workers provide heroin to certain addicts on a trial basis. The aim would be to reduce the risk of overdose and restore some stability to the addicts' lives by freeing them from the daily scavenging for money to buy their next fix. Such programs have been tried on a limited basis in Western Europe, but never in North America. Many experts believe heroin trials are unlikely to take place in the United States anytime soon because of firm opposition among many lawmakers, while Canadian officials and politicians are considered more receptive. Vancouver's chief coroner has endorsed the plan. Even the city police chief has expressed cautious interest because of the prospects of reducing addiction-related crime. The federal health agency, Health Canada, says it would be willing to authorize clinical trials in which doctors could prescribe heroin to addicts. Swiss experiment got mixed reviews On Tuesday, the lawmaker who represents Vancouver's worst skid-row neighborhood in Parliament introduced a motion urging the federal government to launch such trials immediately. "People are dying in the streets because we have failed to act," said Libby Davies. Her district includes the Downtown Eastside, a pocket of rundown rooming houses, pawn shops and bars a few blocks from Vancouver's posh cruise-ship pier. Rampant intravenous drug use has saddled the neighborhood with one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the developed world. The most ambitious experiment with prescribed heroin has been in Switzerland, where 1,146 addicts received thrice-daily injections in 1994-1996. The program's researchers said crimes committed by those addicts dropped sharply and many were able to find jobs and decent housing. But critics questioned the accuracy of the findings, while others say any plan condoning drug use sends a bad message to young people. In the United States, the Swiss program has received little serious consideration, according to Ethan Nadelmann, director of a New York-based drug policy think tank, the Lindesmith Institute. "There's been a de facto self-censoring of any discussion of this," he said. "There's a reluctance to keep people on drugs they might like." One of the few U.S. jurisdictions to openly contemplate Swiss-style heroin maintenance is Baltimore, but officials there say it could be two years before anything is in place even if federal approval is granted. Davies hopes Canada can act more swiftly and perhaps provide ammunition for Americans seeking to modify U.S. policy. Canada a better bet than U.S. for pilot program Dr. David Lewis, director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University, is one of the leading American experts in the field. He believes heroin prescription tests have a better chance of getting launched in Canada. "The ideological barriers to doing a pilot program are less in Canada ... it's a little less edgy in terms of the moral crusade aspect," he said. Among law enforcement officials, there are sharp divisions over heroin prescription programs. "It sends us down a path," said Inspector Richard Barszczewski, a drug specialist with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "Would we then be suggesting for the cocaine addicts we should give them cocaine? For alcoholics, should we give them alcohol?" But for Vancouver policeman Gil Pudar, heroin prescription makes sense in terms of crime-fighting and economics. He says 90 percent of property crime in his district is committed to support addictions. "The criminal justice system is the most expensive method of intervention," he said. "Why are we spending millions of dollars chasing our tail when all we're doing is making the problem worse?" Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Prohibition Disaster Must End (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Winnipeg Sun' Says Heroin Addicts Are Overdosing And Dying In Vancouver As Well As Winnipeg For The Same Reasons People Went Blind And Died Of Alcohol Poisoning In The 1920s) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 22:32:10 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Drug Prohibition Disaster Must End Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Buors (email@example.com) Source: The Winnipeg Sun Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 11 Aug 1998 Author: Chris Buors DRUG PROHIBITION DISASTER MUST END `The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced.' - Albert Einstein - If more people were to use MS Morgan's comparison of the lessons learned from alcohol prohibition to today's drug prohibition, the law would change in short order. Heroin addicts are overdosing and dying in Vancouver as well as Winnipeg for the same reasons people went blind and died of alcohol poisoning in the 20's. Prohibition caused people from all walks of life to disrespect the law and brew alcohol on their stove tops and mix gin in the bathtub, who knows what it was cut with to increase profits? Today who knows where heroin is refined and what it is cut with to increase profits? Results are the same in both cases, a drug supply of unknown quantity and unknown quality. The debate roared on for 50 years in the U.S. before alcohol was prohibited. Temperance supporters envisioned an alcohol free society. After 11 years it was discarded for the disaster history proves it to be. In Canada we are approaching 75 years of drug prohibition in the quest for a drug free society. History will record this experiment as the unmitigated disaster that it is. Chris Buors (204) 663-3485
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombian Army's Third In Command Allegedly Led Two Lives ('The Washington Post' Says Colombian General Ivan Ramirez Quintero, Who Served As A Paid CIA Informant While Maintaining Ties To Right-Wing Paramilitary Death Squads Financed By Illegal Drug Sellers, Is Expected To Be Forced Into Retirement Soon By Colombia's New President, Andres Pastrana, Who On Sunday Dismissed The Entire Military High Command) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 19:43:28 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Colombia: Colombian Army's Third In Command Allegedly Led Two Lives Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Pubdate: Tues, 11 Aug 1998 Source: Washington Post Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Douglas Farrah and Laura Brooks Note: Farah reported from Washington; Brooks from Bogota. COLOMBIAN ARMY'S THIRD IN COMMAND ALLEGEDLY LED TWO LIVES: General Reportedly Served as a Key CIA Informant While Maintaining Ties to Death Squads Financed by Drug Traffickers For years Colombian Gen. Ivan Ramirez Quintero was a key intelligence source for the United States. After training in Washington he was the first head of a military intelligence organization designed by U.S. experts to fight Marxist guerrillas and drug traffickers, and served as a liaison and paid informant for the Central Intelligence Agency, according to U.S. and Colombian intelligence sources. But during many of the years he was funneling information to the CIA, according to U.S. and Colombian intelligence officials, Ramirez, now the army's third in command, maintained close ties to right-wing paramilitary groups who finance much of their activities through drug trafficking. "We began to hear of Ramirez's ties to drug trafficking, paramilitary activities and human rights violations in the mid-1990s," said a knowledgeable U.S. official. "That was reported back to the appropriate consumers. The [CIA] severed contact with him because of that in 1995." In May the United States took the unusual step of revoking Ramirez's U.S. visa because of alleged "terrorist" activities. Ramirez, according to knowledgeable sources, is also under investigation by the Colombian prosecutor general's office for ties to paramilitary violence. In a move welcomed by U.S. officials, Colombian President Andres Pastrana on Sunday -- two days after taking office -- dismissed the entire military high command, in part because the military has suffered a string of humiliating defeats by Marxist guerrillas. Ramirez, while not in the high command, will be retired soon because of his strong ties to Colombia's outgoing military leadership and strong U.S. pressure, sources in Washington and Bogota said. A CIA spokesman declined to comment on the Ramirez case. Ramirez's story underscores the dilemma the United States faces in working with the Colombian military, which is under siege by well-funded and well-trained Marxist guerrillas. The guerrillas of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) now number about 20,000 and control almost half the national territory. The rapid expansion of the guerrillas in recent years is due in large part to growing profits from protecting and aiding drug traffickers who operate in areas they control. While many U.S. policymakers are anxious to step up aid to the military and say the line between the guerrillas and drug trafficking is blurred, there is little stomach in Washington for helping a military with an abysmal human rights record and whose senior leaders are suspected of ties to paramilitary groups and, at least indirectly, to drug trafficking. Underscoring the problem, the Colombian prosecutor general's office yesterday announced that Gen. Fernando Millan, commander of the 5th Brigade, is under investigation for recent collaboration with paramilitary forces in Santander, a province in central Colombia. The office also announced that Gen. Rito Alejo Del Rio is under preliminary investigation for suspected collaboration with such groups when he was commander of the 17th Brigade in the northwestern region of Uraba, where paramilitary forces in recent years have used selective killings to rid the area of suspected guerrilla sympathizers. When word leaked to the Colombian press in May that Ramirez's U.S. visa had been revoked, his response was angry and bitter. "All I have done for the 36 years of my career is fight terrorists," Ramirez, the army's inspector general, told a news conference on May 15. "So it is impossible that, at the end of my career, I am suddenly turned into the terrorist. It is not true. People know how I have acted, my actions have been clear and my conscience is clear." In numerous telephone calls to his office, reporters were told he would be unavailable to answer any further questions. Paramilitary groups, often operating under the protection of the military, were responsible for 70 percent of the political murders in Colombia in 1997, according to the State Department's annual human rights report. Intelligence sources in Colombia and the United States say paramilitary groups are now operating large cocaine laboratories in Casanare and Meta provinces in central Colombia. How to break the ties between the paramilitary groups and the military, which often supplies them weapons and protection, is a top priority for the United States in dealing with the Pastrana government. "We view the paramilitaries as a serious problem, they are a real factor," said one U.S. official. "Dealing with the military-paramilitary tie is where Pastrana will have to start. It is an aspect of the problem he can and must deal with, and we think he will." Ties between senior military officials and paramilitary groups, which control at least 15 percent of the national territory, date to the 1960s, when the military helped form the units to aid the army in combating the guerrillas. The groups were outlawed in the 1980s following a series of massacres and after they had become increasingly reliant on drug barons. "Far from being punished, the junior and mid-level officers who tolerated, planned, directed and even took part in paramilitary violence in Colombia in the 1980s have been promoted and rewarded and now occupy the highest positions in the Colombian military," said a 1997 Human Rights Watch/Americas report on paramilitary activities." Ramirez was one of those officers who rose through the ranks. Ramirez received intelligence training in Washington in 1983, according to his service record. From 1986 to 1988 he was commander of the 20th Brigade, an intelligence unit that was disbanded in May because of overwhelming evidence the group had carried out scores of assassinations and "disappearances" in the 1980s and 1990s. In 1991, seeking to beef up the Colombian military's capabilities, the United States sent an intelligence assessment team to help redesign the military's intelligence structure. The following year, when the military began implementing the U.S. recommendations, Ramirez was named the first commander of military intelligence. The appointment came at a key time, when drug baron Pablo Escobar had escaped from prison, and U.S. and Colombian police and military were making his recapture or elimination their highest priority. Because of his position, U.S. officials said, it was natural for the CIA to deal with Ramirez, despite strong intelligence linking him to death-squad activities. "It was known he was a bad guy, but who else were we going to deal with?" said a U.S. official with direct knowledge of Ramirez's case. According to U.S. and Colombian officials, Ramirez already had established a close relationship to Carlos Castano, leader of Colombia's largest paramilitary organization known as the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia. Castano has been identified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as "major" drug trafficker, and human rights organizations identify the group as one of the most violent in the nation. In 1992, Castano, with financing from the Cali cocaine cartel, Escobar's main business rival, attacked Escobar and his family's properties and passed on intelligence to the police and military. One of the main conduits to pass the information to the military, according to Colombian and U.S. sources, was Ramirez. Escobar was killed by police in December 1993. By 1994, U.S. and Colombian officials said, the CIA had cut back its dealings with Ramirez because of human rights concerns. In 1995, they said, the relationship ended. U.S. officials, including Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's anti-drug policy chief, in private meetings earlier this year warned the military high command that Ramirez and several other generals would have to be removed if American support for the military was to go forward. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bolivian Coca Growers March To Save Their Crop ('Reuters' Says The 300-Mile March To The Capital, La Paz, Organized By Evo Morales, Who Represents Chapare In Congress, Involves 500 Coca Farmers Protesting A Government Campaign To Eradicate Coca Crops, Promoted By The United States, Which Has Funded The Government's Disbursement Of $85 Million In Crop Substitution Funds Over The Last 10 Years - But The Money Will Dry Up By The End Of This Year) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 01:52:25 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Bolivia: WIRE: Bolivian Coca Growers March To Save Their Crop Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: isenberd@DynCorp.com (Isenberg, David) Source: Reuters Pubdate: 11 Aug 1998 BOLIVIAN COCA GROWERS MARCH TO SAVE THEIR CROP LA PAZ, Bolivia (Reuters) - About 500 Bolivian coca leaf growers marched toward the capital, La Paz under a grueling sun Tuesday to protest a government campaign to eradicate coca crops. Under U.S. pressure, the Bolivian government is targeting the coca leaf because it is the prime raw material to make cocaine. Poor farmers have few alternatives to make money, so the government is paying them as an incentive to stop growing coca. The official goal in 1998 is to eliminate some 17,300 acres with $17.5 million in paid compensation. The government has paid out $85 million over 10 years, but the money will dry up by the end of the year. Peasant farmers on a 300-mile march that began Monday are demanding a more comprehensive plan to provide economic alternatives. They also want an end to eradication efforts. Their lead banner calls their trek the ``March for Life, Sovereignty, Coca and Land.'' March organizer Evo Morales, who represents Chapare in the lower house of Congress, also called for a reduction of the military presence in the main eastern growing region, Chapare. In April, seven people died when coca leaf farmers and security forces clashed in Chapare. The Bolivian government hopes to wipe out 74,100 acres of coca in Chapare by 2002. Interior Minister Guido Nayar has accused the marchers of being funded by drug traffickers. But long before becoming part of a multibillion-dollar illegal drug industry, coca leaves were part of Bolivian culture, often chewed to stave off hunger or thirst and to give laborers energy. Coca leaf for traditional uses is still legal in limited growing areas. The United States bankrolled $47 million of Bolivia's anti-drug fight in 1997, but that figure was expected to fall in 1998. The march on La Paz is the third such protest by coca growers in the past four years. The previous two failed to produce an agreement with the government over coca farmers' rights to grow their crop. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Test Department (Britain's 'New Musical Express' Discusses The Interesting Ramifications Of Ecstasy Testing Kits Being Sold In The UK By The Green Party That Detect The Presence Of MDMA, MDA And MDEA In Ecstasy Tablats) Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:52:32 -0400 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: Drug Test Department Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Source: New Musical Express Contact 1: News Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Contact 2: via 'Angst' section of website- bulletin board Website: http://www.nme.com DRUG TEST DEPARTMENT Drug testing at Glastonbury? Sounds like an ideal job if not a little risky, eh? However, now the Green Party has introduced the Ecstasy Kit to Britain you needn't dabble with the unknown. Special report by Ralph Moore and Tommy Udo. Ecstasy Testing Kits (a chemical test to detect the presence of MDMA and its cousins MDA and MDEA in ecstasy tablats) are now being sold in the UK by the Green party. The kits consist of a chemical reagent that determines the presence of MDMA (Ecstasy) or amphetamine. In other words, if you buy an E the kit can tell you, to a certain extent, what it's likely to do to you. A good thing, you'd think? Not so, according to government- appointed drugs tsar Keith Halliwell and his media cronies. They would obviously prefer that you didn't take any E at all and will not broach any argument along the lines of, 'the kids are gonna take it anyway so at least it's a good idea that they might have some warning as to its effects'. In short, they want the kits banned. NME used the kits to test a variety of pills circulating around this year's Glastonbury Festival. Taking a scraping from a pill stamped with a Nike tick, the kit turned a pale yellow hue which indicated that no MDMA was present at all. The second - a 'Mitsubishi' - turned purple, a sign that MDMA was present. A second 'Nike' pill turned orangey-brown, suggesting that it was amphetamine-based. Two other unmarked plus also turned an orange-tinged colour. A test on a line of pure MDMA powder confirmed that the kit was working correctly: the powder congealed with the liquid and immediately turned a deep purple-black. Our tests proved, then, that four of the five pills teeted at Glastonbury were speed rather than MDMA-based. In Amsterdam a place known for is lenient policy towards drug use, kits have been widely available for sometime. With the growth of the rave scene, drug agencies such as the city's Safe House Project send workers to raves and parties in the city and set up tables testing pills sold as ecstasy, giving clubbers advice on what they contain and the risks involved. Green Party spokesman Shane Collins explained their policy: "We saw what was happening in Holland with the testing kits and thought it was a good idea to let people get information. Also, because in Holland people knew what they were buying, a lot of the really duff stuff started turning up here. The main thing we're trying to get across is that people can make informed choices. Information is power and we really want to empower people." Release, the UK-based drugs advisory and campaigning body set up in the late-60's to provide legal help to people arrested for possession as well as providing medical advice to users, has had a tent at Glastonbury since the festival's inception. Their spokesman Ciaran O'HYagan gave a cautious welcome to the E-testing kits. "I'd never been too sure about the whole E-testing argument but a recent survey into dance culture found that 77 per cent of people said they wanted pill-testing. Drug services up and down the country should be pushing for it. "People are taking drugs! So let's make sure they're taking the right drugs. That might sound a bit strange because people die from Ecstasy but the numbers of people who die from Ecstasy am very small - we've got to bear that in mind." At the moment Release can only carry out drug tests at illegal raves and parties because of the 1997 Public Entertainment Licenoes (Drug Misuse) Act, a Private Member's Bill introduced by then Tory MP Barry Legg. Put simply, any club where there is, in the view of the police. 'a drug problem' is liable to have its licence revoked immediately by the local authority. "I'm sure there are club owners who would like to have us in," said O'Hagan. "But at the moment it isn't possible." A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police confirmed that, while the testing kits were not illegal, anyone who tested a pill for a friend and gave it back to them would technically be supplying them with a Class A drug and could receive a jail sentence. Meanwhile, at this year's Glastonbury. Avon & Somerset police made their most concerted effort yet to wipe out drug use. They even had their own computer-aided kit on site in an attempt to turn nound prosecutions more quickly. By Friday evening of the festival they had arrested 60 people for possession, as opposed to 30 in the same time last year. Five weeks before the festival, the police made a sweep of known dealers in the area and arrested over 250 people, seizing drugs with a street value of over £1million. Inspector Keith Jones was dismissive of the high street kits, saying, "We'd obviously warn against taking drugs in the first place. There's no quality control in the production of drugs and to have a machine to test them is very hit-and-miss. I would urge people not to use testers. Drugs kill people." More recently, Keith Halliwell condemned the kits as a "money-making scheme" that will encourage drug use. However, backstage at Glastonbury, John Peel and Keith Alien were among those expressing support for the kits. "I'm a red wine man myself." Peel told 'NME'. "But people are going to take these things anyway and if this kit can tell them that what they're taking is not what they think they're taking it seems to me not unreasonable." Keith Allen added: "It's bad news for the dealers but it's good news for punters." "We accept that there's a danger with MDMA," says Shane Collins. "But how much of a danger is it compared to skiing or horse riding and do we really want this big brother nanny state or do we want to make people aware of the dangers and let them make up their own minds?" --- The Green Party Drugs Group can be contacted on 0181 678 9420
------------------------------------------------------------------- Therapy (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Scotsman' Notes The Scottish Government's Distribution Of Nicotine Patches To Poor People Is A Form Of The Dreaded Maintenance Therapy So Scorned By Anti-Drug Crusaders When They Denounce Heroin Maintenance Experiments) Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:49:15 -0700 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Therapy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 Therapy Government distribution of nicotine patches to poor people (your report, 8 August) to help them overcome their tobacco addiction is a form of the dreaded maintenance therapy so scorned by anti-drug crusaders when they denounce heroin maintenance experiments. What makes the same form of therapy prudent public health in one setting and "coddling" of addicts in another? Just thought I'd ask. Thomas J O'Connell San Mateo, California, USA -------------------------------------------------------------------
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