Portland NORML News - Wednesday, August 12, 1998

Dope With Dignity ('Willamette Week' Dismisses The Campaign
For The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act With An Article That Purports To Focus
On The Initiative's Chief Petitioner, Dr. Rick Bayer, But Gives More Space
To Opponents, Fails To Interview Any Patients Who Would Benefit,
And Contains So Much Editorializing and Bias And Makes So Many Factual Errors
That It's More Useful In Illustrating How Badly Journalism Is Practiced
In Oregon)

Willamette Week:
822 SW 10th Ave.
Portland, OR 97205
Tel. (503) 243-2122
Fax (503) 243-1115
Letters to the Editor:
Mark Zusman - mzusman@wweek.com
Web: http://www.wweek.com/
Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or
fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street
address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to
letters of 250 words or less.

Dope with dignity

A Portland internist is the unlikely leader of the effort to legalize
medical marijuana in Oregon. Richard Bayer says the feds should keep their
war on drugs out of the examining room.


American scientific research into medical marijuana is thwarted by a lack of
supply. The federal government controls the only legal source--at a farm in

Last March the Oregon Medical Association took an official position on
Measure 67 and after a heated debate voted to remain neutral.

Supporters say smoking marijuana is better than ingesting it because it has
an immediate effect and the dosage is more controllable.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychiatric Studies provides links to
the most current research on medical marijuana. http://www.maps.org/

Since 1979, several pot reform initiatives have circulated before Oregon
voters. Only one qualified. In 1986, voters overwhelmingly rejected a
measure that would have legalized marijuana for anyone over 18.

Measure 67 allows people under 18 to smoke medical marijuana with the
permission of a parent or guardian.

Seated at the conference table in his makeshift office on Northwest 23rd
Avenue, Dr. Richard Bayer flips through the medical file that holds his
notes. While doing so, he keeps his left leg elevated on a chair. He
apologizes for the casual pose, explaining it's the only way to control the
flow of blood through the damaged vein in his leg.

Bayer, 43, stops at a marked-up piece from The New England Journal of
Medicine. As he reads it, his voice tightens. It's an article about
physicians of courage, physicians who will defend "the rights of those at
death's door" over the "bureaucrats whose decisions are based more on
reflexive ideology and political correctness."

To Bayer, it's a mission statement.

To Oregonians, it is partly the reason they are going to be asked to join
California and legalize marijuana for medical purposes. Bayer is the chief
petitioner for Ballot Measure 67, one of five similar measures in Western
states that will be on ballots this November. As dedicated as Bayer is to
making an illegal drug available to the sick, however, he is hardly your
average hemp hustler. Bayer's crusade is markedly different.

Oregon has never seen a cannabis activist like Bayer. For more than 20
years, people with different agendas have tried to decriminalize marijuana
or make it legally available to the sick. Some are libertarians who argue
that the government has no business regulating personal drug choices. Others
emphasize economics and believe the war on drugs--particularly a drug as
inoffensive as pot--is a waste of resources. Others, who in a different era
would have been called hippies, see pot as a central part of their
lifestyles and treat it with an almost religious reverence.

One of the most tireless Oregonians active in legalization efforts is
Portlander and sometimes state representative candidate Paul Stanford, who
touts cannabis as a miracle crop that can be used for food, clothing, paper
and medicine.

Another activist is Phil Smith. For two years he operated a cannabis buyers
club in Portland, providing some 300 medical customers with pot while the
Multnomah County District Attorney looked the other way. His operation was
shut down and Smith was arrested for possession when a patient turned him in
to the police. Smith is currently reported to be under house arrest in San
Francisco, where he can get a legal supply of marijuana to treat the
symptoms of depression.

Outside Oregon, perhaps the most outspoken activist in the country is Dennis
Peron, of San Francisco, who was the chief petitioner on California's
Proposition 215, which last year legalized marijuana for medical purposes.
Peron, who has been dubbed the Peter Pan of Pot, has been openly defiant of
drug laws and has been arrested 15 times for possession of marijuana.

The differences between Bayer and these and other traditional pot activists
are dramatic. Bayer doesn't smoke pot--his drug of choice is Mountain Dew.
He knows little about the larger hemp culture he is now a part of, and he is
against the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.

What drives him to join the pot battle has little to do with marijuana. It
has more to do with his sense of a doctor's responsibility to advocate for
patients. "It's all about respecting patients and giving them autonomy over
their bodies," he says.

In 1996, he worked as the medical spokesman in the campaign to defeat Ballot
Measure 51, which would have overturned the Death with Dignity Act. That
same year, California passed Proposition 215, which decriminalizes
possession and cultivation of marijuana for medical purposes. Shortly
thereafter, Clinton's drug czar Barry McCaffrey threatened to take away the
licenses of California doctors who recommended marijuana to their patients.
That threat incensed Bayer, who now wryly credits McCaffrey for recruiting
him into working on the Oregon initiative. "The examination room is a
sanctuary...the war on drugs does not belong there," he says.

Until 1996, Bayer was an internist at a Lake Oswego clinic. His colleague
there, Dr. Dan Bouma, says Bayer had an intimate connection with his
patients. "He was the kind of doctor that patients love," Bauma says. He
specialized in critical care, spending as much time at the hospital as in
the clinic.

Bayer also had a reputation for being both a strong advocate for
patients--especially against insurance companies that would deny them
treatment--and one of the more academic physicians on the staff, spending
hours poring over the most recent medical research and studies. What little
human rights work he had time for was limited to a membership in Physicians
for Social Responsibility and giving occasional speeches on the dangers of
nuclear weapons.

But Bayer's professional and personal life changed suddenly in 1996, with
the return of a childhood medical condition.

When he was 16 years old, he developed a massive blood clot in his left leg,
probably as a result of influenza. The clot was removed, and other than
wearing a compression sock around his left ankle to help the blood flow back
up to his heart, he experienced no problems for nearly 20 years.

But over Memorial Day weekend two years ago, after being on call more than
two days, Bayer says he felt a familiar and intense pain. He removed the
compression sock and saw a pencil eraser-sized indentation below the bone on
the inside of his left ankle: an ulcer resulting from oxygen depletion. The
valves in the major vein in his leg had completely disintegrated, a
condition called venous insufficiency. Without constant circulation, the
skin would continue to ulcerate and die.

Gravity is the enemy, so Bayer has to keep his leg elevated above the hip.
He can stand only for a few moments without a compression sock--with it,
maybe 10 to 20 minutes. As the blood gathers at the ankle, the pain is
blinding. His ankle feels "like it's being filled with a giant bicycle
pump," he says. Treatments for the condition are experimental and risky.

The nature of Bayer's practice--spending hours on his feet at the
hospital--forced him to make a decision. "It was either my leg or my
practice," he says.

By the end of summer that year, he had retired, turning his patients over to
other physicians. He considered becoming a jazz musician, a childhood dream
of his. He plays the trumpet and idolizes Miles Davis, whom he describes as
someone who was "constantly exploring, changing and creating."

Not having enough musical talent, however, Bayer started working with
Physicians for Social Responsibility on a lead-screening program for
low-income kids in north Portland. He now serves on the program's board of

In August of 1996, Bayer read a statement from the Oregon Medical
Association in support of Measure 51, which would have repealed the
physician-assisted suicide law. Bayer says the research he read counters the
OMA's position; he found the majority of Oregon doctors support helping
their terminally ill patients with assisted dying. He joined the campaign
and became a voice for the medical community against the repeal, debating
opponents throughout the Willamette Valley and doing interviews with local
and national media.

One morning during the campaign, he was listening to KBOO and heard Sandee
Burbank, leader of Mothers Against Use and Abuse, talking about the effort
to pass a medical marijuana law in Oregon. His pique with McCaffrey combined
with his own experiences with chronically ill patients who had successfully
used marijuana led him to dash off a check to support the effort.

That winter, he attended a planning meeting for the marijuana initiative
with the drafters of the bill, among them state Rep. George Eighmey, who
that year had tried to get a similar bill through the Legislature. By that
time, Bayer says, he'd done extensive research on the issue and had met with
several patients who had used medical marijuana to treat a variety of
conditions. "They needed a doctor who is not afraid of being politically
active to tell the truth," he says. He agreed to sign on as chief
petitioner--along with a multiple sclerosis patient, Stormy Ray--and as
chief spokesman for the initiative.

While Bayer may be the most public doctor supporting medical marijuana, the
fact is that many doctors and nurses, especially those who work with AIDS
and cancer patients, agree with him.

Dr. Mary O'Hearn, an HIV specialist at OHSU, says marijuana usage is common
among her most advanced patients because getting the munchies helps fight
the wasting away associated with AIDS. While smoking marijuana is not good
for the respiratory system, O'Hearn, 40, says she will vote for Measure 67
and believes that most of the doctors her age will, too. "I don't know any
of my peers who wouldn't support this," she says.

Jo Whitlow, an oncology nurse at Legacy Health Systems, says she has seen
the value of marijuana in stemming the nausea that chemotherapy causes in
her patients. She will vote for Measure 67 if she is convinced that there
will be strict controls over supply. While she believes there are
medications that work better than marijuana, there are some patients for
whom it is the only solution.

There are other doctors who agree that pot should be made available to
patients but plan to vote against Measure 67. Dr. Charles Hoffman, a Baker
City internist and past president of the Oregon Medical Association, thinks
that patients should probably be given access to marijuana if they need it.
But, he says, only after the Federal Drug Administration has approved it.

Dr. Hoffman concedes that FDA approval for marijuana is far in the future,
and as a doctor, he takes some responsibility for that. "It's political.
People are afraid of the evil weed, reefer madness....Organized medicine has
to take some of the blame. We should have been pressing [for scientific
study] earlier." While the merits of medicinal marijuana have been recorded
at least anecdotally for, some say, thousands of years, it was only last
year that the American Medical Association came out with a statement urging
government study of marijuana.

Until the research is done, the AMA is against allowing patients to use
marijuana. Bayer says, "The AMA has a position I scientifically and
ethically disagree with." He is satisfied with the studies that have been
done on marijuana and believes that, for patients, the benefits outweigh
possible risks. His goal is for marijuana to be reclassified by the federal
government so that physicians can prescribe it. "All I want," he says, "is
for patients to have one more option."

It isn't science or compassion that is keeping the medicine from patients,
Bayer says. It's politics, fear, and ignorance. "Many people have been
taught there is no difference between drug use and abuse. Doctors know better."

By agreeing to be chief petitioner and spokesman of Oregon's initiative,
Bayer has signed on to a national campaign. Americans for Medical Rights,
based in Santa Monica, Calif., has funded signaturegathering drives in
Oregon and four other states--Washington, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada. Dave
Fratello, executive director of the group, which also coordinated
Proposition 215, says the group's goal is to eventually persuade the FDA to
reclassify the drug.

At this point, AMR has pledged to spend $2 million on the five-state effort,
but a spokeswoman says more money may be available if the states need it.
AMR is largely funded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros of New
York, insurance mogul Peter Lewis of Cleveland and John Sperling, founder
and president of the University of Phoenix.

Locally, the campaign is being run by the Sugarman Group, which ran the
Death with Dignity campaign in 1996. (The Sugarman Group is also heading the
opposition to Measure 57, which, if passed, would recriminalize possession
of less than one ounce of pot.)

Geoff Sugerman says he expects the campaign to cost anywhere from $250,000
to $500,000.

While it's still early in the campaign, the legislative committee of the
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, which represents more than 1,400 Oregon
churches, has endorsed the initiative, as has the ACLU and the Coalition of
Black Men.

Bayer's role in the campaign has been central. He has debated the measure on
talk radio, spent countless hours giving television and newspaper interviews
and asked for support from a variety of special-interest groups. He plans to
debate opponents of the measure this fall and says his experience in medical
school--being forced to argue the risks and benefits of treatments--makes
him particularly suited for that. So does his experience playing in a jazz
band. Debates, he says, are all about improvisation. "You pull on your
creativity in a debate," he says. "I never know what's going to happen."

He can be certain of one thing: Law enforcement is going to line up against him.

Opposition to Measure 67 is still forming. It is currently headed by
Multnomah County Sheriff, Dan Noelle. Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs has
so far signed up the Oregon Association of Police Chiefs and some anti-drug

Noelle argues that it doesn't matter how tightly the initiative is
written--it's still drug dealing. He is skeptical of the cover of
respectability being draped over the bill.

Noelle believes that the law is a way for drug reformers to manipulate the
public's compassion. "This is just a way to get a foot in the door to make
all drugs legal," he says. He says the belief that sick people are helped by
marijuana is a self-delusion. "If I'm a cancer patient and I convinced
myself a bourbon and a cigar made me feel better, it would."

Dr. Cornelia Taylor, a Salem internist who in September will be starting as
assistant vice president of medical affairs at Blue Cross/Blue Shield,
opposes Measure 67 and will be working on the campaign. She maintains that
there is no medical reason to use marijuana. She says THC, the active
ingredient in cannabis, is available in the pharmaceutical form Marinol
(though medical marijuana advocates say it is a poor substitute for the real
thing). "I think medical technology and pharmacology has advanced enough
that they can treat any of the conditions listed in this measure," Taylor
says. "In my opinion, this is an attempt to legalize marijuana in the name
of medicine and compassion, which is not truthful."

Noelle says Bayer is more of a dope dupe than a Dr. Welby. He points out
that no matter how deeply dedicated to helping patients Bayer may be, he's
still acting as the front man for a well-organized drug lobby. "People like
Dr. Bayer may be perfectly nice, but they are being used," he says.

Bayer says he is nobody's poster doctor. "I'm not being used by George Soros
any more than my patients use me to get better," he says.

We Do Things Different Here

Learning from the mistakes made with California's Prop. 215, Oregon's
medical-marijuana supporters have toughened up the rules.In 1996, California
voters passed Proposition 215, which decriminalized possession and
cultivation of marijuana for personal medical use. The same year, Arizona
passed a measure that would have allowed physicians to write prescriptions
for all illegal drugs, from pot to heroin. In Arizona, the law is tied up in
court. In California, chaos reigns.

Proposition 215 gave no clear provisions on how the cultivation or
distribution of medical marijuana would work. All the measure did was
decriminalize marijuana for people who had verbal approval from their doctors.

Demand for the marijuana was immediate. In California, there is an
underground tradition of cannabis clubs for patients who use marijuana for
medical purposes, and with the passage of 215, pot use and distribution
flourished openly. But without guidelines and limits, the clubs ranged from
being strictly clinical to resembling neighborhood party houses.

The most well-known was the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center, run by
marijuana and gay-rights activist Dennis Peron. The club claimed more than
8,000 members, many of whom came to the downtown San Francisco club to
openly smoke pot. While the City of San Francisco took a hands-off attitude
toward the club, Republican State Attorney General Dan Lungren shut it down
in March of 1997 after undercover agents were able to buy pot with forged
doctor's notes. Several other clubs around the state were similarly raided.

Some clubs are still operating. One of the most well-respected is the
Oakland Cannabis Cooperative, which forbids smoking inside the building and
requires written recommendations from licensed California physicians. The
nonprofit club stores marijuana for its members, who come in to buy baggies
of various brands of pot--from Bubbleberry to Hinukush--or snacks such as
brownies or Rice Krispies treats that are made with marijuana. The club also
provides starter plants and how-to classes for people who want to grow their

Earlier this year, Lungren filed an injunction against the Oakland Cannabis
Cooperative and five others for selling marijuana--still a federal crime.
This week, a judge will decide whether or not to shut them down.

Oregon's Measure 67 is a far more restrictive initiative than Proposition
215. It clearly states which conditions can be treated by pot: cancer, AIDS,
glaucoma, severe pain and seizures, among others.

With a doctor's permission, patients would register with the Oregon State
Health Division. After registering, a patient would have the legal right to
cultivate seven marijuana plants (three mature, four immature) and possess
up to an ounce of marijuana per mature plant. Patients could also carry up
to one ounce on their person and would not be detained by law enforcement if
they had a medical marijuana card.

If the patient is unable to cultivate his or her own supply, a "primary care
giver," who must also be registered with the state, can grow the plants.

The initiative upholds federal law by clearly stating that marijuana cannot
be sold, even between patients. Public smoking of marijuana would also be

The proposed law does leave at least one important matter to be worked out:
It's unclear how patients would get their initial supply.



[ed. note - Phil Smith denies ever running the cannabis buyers club
mentioned in the preceding article. Nor was he informed on by a club client -
Smith, as well as several other patients and growers, was informed on
by the people who ran the club - after it closed and a new one opened
that was run by other, more responsible people.]

Women To Be Sent To Men's Prison In Pendleton (An 'Associated Press' Article
About A Remote Prison In Eastern Oregon Notes The Department Of Corrections
Has Rented Out-Of-State Beds For Women Inmates For Two Years,
Where They Are Also Far Away From Families And Kids)

Associated Press
found at:
feedback (letters to the editor):

Women to be sent to men's prison in Pendleton

8/12/98 8:39 PM


Associated Press Writer

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Women and men inmates will be housed in the same
medium-security Oregon prison for the first time this fall because of
chronic crowding at the state women's prison, officials said Wednesday.

The state Corrections Department plans to send about 160 women prisoners to
the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in Pendleton, said Brian Bemus,
classification and transfer manager for the agency.

"They'd like to see something happen by the end of the year," he said.

Constructing a new women's prison is the department's top priority. But
delays in settling on a Wilsonville site for a 1,300-bed prison and inmate
center are prolonging problems with overcrowding at the Oregon Women's
Correctional Institution in Salem.

Bemus said the Pendleton institution was chosen for the women because it has
a large living unit that's able to operate separately from the rest of the
prison. It even has its own recreation yard.

The prison is a remodeled state mental hospital that currently houses 1,600
male inmates.

EOCI Superintendent Jean Hill said several female correctional officers are
on the prison staff, and the intent is to make sure there is a woman officer
available in the women's unit 24 hours a day.

The current women's prison, adjacent to the Oregon State Penitentiary in
Salem, is designed to hold sightly more than 100 inmates. Bemus said there
were 180 in the prison Wednesday, after 39 women recently were sent to
rental cell beds in New Mexico.

The state has rented out-of-state beds for women inmates for two years.

"Officials have been concerned with having them so far away from home, their
families and kids," Bemus said.

The coed living won't be the first for an Oregon prison, but the others are
minimum security arrangements.

There are 172 females at Columbia River Correctional Institution in
Portland, basically a work release center, and 12 women at the short-term
Shutter Creek boot camp facility at North Bend.

Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber tried but failed to win enough support from
the Republican-led Senate to call a special session this month to select the
site of a new women's prison.

In killing the session, Senate GOP leaders said they wanted more time to
conduct hearings on alternate locations for the prison around the state
before committing to one site.

(c)1998 Oregon Live LLC

Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not
be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

City Of Oakland Designates The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative Agents
Of The City (Text Of The Official Letter Signed By City Manager Robert C. Bobb,
Made Official By The Signature Of Jeff Jones Of The Oakland CBC)

From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com)
To: ralphkat@hotmail.com
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:38:17 PDT



Office of City Manager				(510) 238-3301
Robert C. Bobb					Fax (510) 238-2223
City Manager					TTY/TDD(510)238-3724

August 11, 1998

Mr. Jeff Jones
Executive Director
Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Cooperative
1755 Broadway, Suite 300
Oakland, Ca. 94612

Dear Mr. Jones:

Pusuant to Chapter 8.42 of the Oakland Municipal Code, the City hereby
designates the Oakland Cannabis Buyer's Club to administer the City's
Medical Cannabis Distribution Program. The designation is subject to the
cooperative's agreement to comply with the terms and conditions attached
hereto as Exhibit A which hereby are incorporated by reference in this
letter as if set forth in full herein.

The designation shall be effective upon the Oakland Cannabis Buyers'
Cooperative's acceptance and agreement to the terms and conditions in
Exhibit A. Please confirm the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative's
agreement to comply with the terms and conditions in Exhibit A by
signing below.

Very truly yours,

Robert C. Bobb
City Manager



Jeff Jones	Date: 8/12/98
Executive Director
Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative.

Customs - Four Arrested While Unloading Marijuana At La Jolla
('The Sacramento Bee' Says The Mexican Nationals Caught Wednesday
While Unloading 400 Pounds Of Marijuana From Two Boats At The Base
Of The La Jolla Cliffs, Just North Of San Diego, Face Up To 20 Years Each
In Prison)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MAPNews-posts (E-mail)" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US CA: Customs: Four Arrested
While Unloading Marijuana At La Jolla
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 00:56:29 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html;
Website: http://www.sacbee.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998


SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Four Mexican citizens were arrested Wednesday while
unloading 400 pounds of marijuana from two boats at the base of the La
Jolla cliffs, just north of San Diego, the U.S. Customs Service said.

Four more suspects were at-large, U.S. Customs spokesman Vincent Bond
said. Officials weren't sure if they escaped by land or water.

The names of the people arrested were not released. They were expected
to appear in federal court Thursday for arraignment on charges of
smuggling, possession of narcotics and conspiracy.

Each could face five to 20 years in prison if convicted.

The suspects were arrested around 5 a.m. while unloading the marijuana
-- worth an estimated $200,000 -- into an inflatable boat docked at
the base of the cliffs.

One of the suspects had attempted to swim away, but ran into trouble
because the area is rocky, Bond said. The man was rescued by Coast
Guard lifeguards, treated at a hospital for hypothermia and released
to authorities.

The bust followed two weeks of surveillance of the La Jolla and Bird
Rock beaches by the San Diego Marine Task Force. A bale of marijuana
weighing 30 pounds had been discovered along the rocky shoreline.

The task force is made up of officers from Customs, the Border Patrol,
the Coast Guard, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the San Diego
County district attorney's office and the Chula Vista and Coronado
police departments.

Incarceration Is Not Answer (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Times Press Recorder' In Arroyo Grande, California,
By A Prison Psychologist, Explains The Importance Of The Investigation
Now Under Way In The State Legislature Regarding Brutality By Guards
At Corcoran State Prison)

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 10:14:39 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Incarceration is Not Answer
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: Times Press Recorder
Contact: Letters to the Editor PO Box 460 Arroyo Grande, CA 93421
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Section: opinion, page 6B


To the Editor:

"The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its
prisons," Fyodor Dostoevsky.

As a prison psychologist, I cannot stress strongly enough how vital it is
that the general public understand the implications of the investigation
now under way in the state legislature regarding the Corcoran State Prison.

Most people who have read the recent coverage will likely dismiss it from
their thoughts very quickly, believing that it only involves the rights of
a few criminals, hardly a priority for most of us.

A few will even think the officers being investigated did a good thing by
killing and abusing inmates, probably saved the taxpayers some money, and
should be rewarded rather than punished.

The truth, however, is that brutality, whether between inmates or between
custody staff and inmates, is not limited to one or two correctional
facilities; it occurs with regularity throughout system and it affects us
in ways which we seldom consider.

I am aware of a number of cases of individuals who were raped in prison,
often at a young age, and subsequently committed rape-murders or other
vicious sexual offenses. Unfortunately most of us have bought into the
"lock 'em up and throw away the key" mentality without noticing that it not
only doesn't work, it's costing us a fortune and creating large numbers of
extremely dangerous individuals, most whom will eventually be released back
into society, with no skills, no hope, nothing to lose, and a lot of pent
up rage.

These people (mostly men) are not some nebulous "Them." They're "Us," our
husbands, brothers, uncles, sons and cousins, and in California, their
numbers are increasing at an ominous rage. If we continue to let fear,
ignorance and arrogance fuel our public policy; if we continue to single
out certain groups and scapegoat them; if we continue to let our elected
officials get away with offering us simple-minded solutions to complex
problems because we're just too busy or too numb to think for ourselves, we
may be quite literally signing our own death warrant.

I sincerely hope that this investigation will extend far beyond the alleged
events at Corcoran and that it will cause widespread re-evaluation of how
the people of California are dealing with the problems of drugs and crime.
Clearly incarceration alone is not the answer.

Jay Adams, Ph.D.
Paso Robles

Smoking Hot In Fullerton (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Orange County Register' Protests The Fullerton, California,
City Policy That Prohibits Employing Tobacco Consumers - Denying Jobs
To Over 20 Percent Of The Eligible Work Force, City Officials Have Abused
Their Positions By Promoting Their Personal Prejudices)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: CA: Smoking Hot In Fullerton
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:09:19 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Pubdate: 8-12-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: Jim Foreman


Like most of you, I am so busy with family and work that I just assume our
city government is looking out for us-until they do something stupid. then I
get angry!

Until recently, I had no idea that the Fullerton City Council had found a
way of denying jobs to over 20 percent of our eligible work force. Our city
officials have abused their positions by promoting their personal

The City Council has approved the following requirements for some of the
city's employees;

You must certify that you have not used tobacco for at least one year or the
city will not hire you. If you use tobacco of any kind on or off the job
after being hired they can fire you.

If I did not know better, I would think I was reading some archaic race laws
that existed prior to the civil rights movement.

Most of our forefathers came to America to be free from state-run
persecution. They came from all over the world with a common hope that they
would be treated equal and they would have the right to pursue happiness
each in their own way.

Protecting our rights should be the first thing the Fullerton City Council
does. Instead, members are manipulating our tax money to reward those who
share their personal prejudices.

Jim Foreman-Fullerton

Pot Advocate Gets Jail Term ('The Arizona Republic' Says Peter Wilson,
The Former Chairman Of AZ4NORML, The Arizona Chapter Of NORML,
Was Sentenced To Four Months In Jail Instead Of The 30 Days Recommended
By The Prosecutor - Plus Five Years' Probation)
Link to earlier story
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:11:13 -0400 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US AZ: Pot Advocate Gets Jail Term Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World) Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Contact: http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/letter.shtml Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/ Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 Author: Victoria Harker The Arizona Republic POT ADVOCATE GETS JAIL TERM Man cliams he did it for his kids A man who has fought for years to get marijuana legalized broke down and cried in court Tuesday before being sentenced to five years' probation for possessing and selling pot. "I did it for my kids, so they could grow up in a world without gangs and guns," a tearful Peter Wilson told Superior Court Judge Dave Cole. Wilson also said he needed to stay out of jail so he can support his two minor children and continue to make his house payments. The Sunnyslope man vowed to give up smoking pot and consuming "coffee and chocolate" on a daily basis if the judge showed mercy. Cole asked sternly if Wilson continued to smoke marijuana in violation of the conditions of his release while awaiting sentencing. "Yes," Wilson replied. That might be why Cole gave Wilson four months in jail instead of the 30 days recommended by Deputy County Attorney Teresa Sanders. But Wilson, former chairman of AZ4NORML, Arizonans for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, will be allowed to leave his jail cell to work, Cole ruled. If he violates the conditions of his probation and uses drugs, Cole said, he will have to serve an extra eight months in jail. Before being led from the courtroom in handcuffs, Wilson said his attorney will appeal the conviction. "I'm a little disappointed," he said of his sentence. "I felt my trial was completely unfair." Wilson, 40, was arrested in 1995, a day after The Arizona Republic published his letter to the editor in which he admitted to smoking marijuana almost daily for 25 years. The case sparked controversy because Wilson was licensed as a marijuana dealer under provisions of a 1983 state law, which was repealed in 1997. A justice of the peace dismissed charges against him based on the state licensing law. But a Superior Court judge overruled that ruling. Another judge, Superior Court Judge Alan Kamin, refused to let Wilson use the license as a defense in his trial, saying it was an issue of law, not fact. Kamin also threw out Wilson's arguments that he uses drugs for religious and medicinal purposes. During the trial, Wilson denied a charge that he used his son to sell the drugs, even though a magazine on cultivating cannabis was found in his son's bedroom. A jury found him guilty of nine counts including growing psychedelic mushrooms in his home. He was acquitted of the charge involving his son. During the hearing, prosecutor Sanders said she sympathized with Wilson's statements that he suffered a nervous breakdown after his arrest. But she admonished him for exposing his kids to his drug use. "It's really obvious that the defendant is really tormented," she said. "But he has put himself in this place. He has let his political quest ruin his life." Victoria Harker can be reached at 444-8058 or at victoria.harker@pni.com via e-mail.

Richard Bilby, Lauded As 'A Judge's Judge,' Dies At 67 (An Obituary
In 'The Arizona Daily Star' Says The Federal Jurist Was A Republican,
Yet He Suggested Lawmakers Legalize Marijuana On An Experimental Basis
Because Of The Failed Federal Drug War)

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:28:39 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US AZ: Richard Bilby, Lauded As `A Judge'S Judge,' Dies At 67
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Arizona Daily Star
Contact: letters@azstarnet.com
Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Author: Rhonda Bodfield and Hipolito R. Corella


Judge Richard Mansfield Bilby came from a well-heeled and conservative
pioneer Arizona family.

But for more than two decades on the federal bench, his casual demeanor and
free-flowing candor belied his pedigree.

Bilby died yesterday of a heart attack after collapsing in a posh, gated
Flagstaff community while walking his dog, Deana, a mutt.

He was 67.

``He was a man who cared a great deal for justice, not as a system so much
as a goal he thought could be attained,'' said Arizona Supreme Court
Justice Stanley Feldman. ``Here was somebody who came from a wealthier,
establishment upbringing and yet was always able to appreciate the problems
of those who were poor and afflicted with problems.''

Bilby was a man of ironies. He was traditional. But he also was known for
courtroom innovations, like taking jurors on field trips to key sites in a

He was a Republican, yet he suggested lawmakers legalize marijuana on an
experimental basis because of the failed federal drug war. He routinely
ruled against conservative measures such as abortion restrictions.

He handled controversial cases such as those of former savings and loan
magnate Charles H Keating Jr. and former Border Patrol agent Michael Elmer,
who was acquitted of killing an unarmed Mexican man.

But despite the national prestige, Bilby shunned the trappings of the post,
wearing street clothes instead of a robe.

His death came suddenly. Friends and family members say he was thriving,
healthy and happy after entering semiretirement two years ago and focusing
largely on civil cases. Just last week, he kept a full schedule in court
before going to his summer home in Flagstaff to spend five days with his
wife and two young grandsons.

The legal community mourned his loss.

``If there was such a thing as a judge's judge, it was Richard,'' said
Presiding Superior Court Judge Michael Brown.

Clague Van Slyke, a former partner of Bilby's, said the judge loved to tell
the story of his father, Ralph W. Bilby, riding his horse from the Safford
area to go to the University of Arizona School of Law.

Ralph Bilby was one of the first four graduates of the law school and the
first to pass the State Bar.

The judge's mother, Marguerite Mansfield Bilby, was a teacher.

Bilby, a native Tucsonan, graduated from Tucson High School and the UA.
After a stint in the Army, he earned a law degree from the University of
Michigan in 1959. The same year he joined his father's firm, later known as
Bilby, Thompson, Shoenhair and Warnock.

``He came from a very bright family, with intellectually principled
siblings and parents,'' said former U.S. Rep. Jim McNulty.

``A lot of people thought he would be as conservative as his father . . .
but the thought that he was going to be an automatic conservative was
quickly shattered after he was appointed to the bench. He showed total
independence in his judicial considerations.''

Feldman said Bilby taught him to look beyond outward appearances.

``He was a person who had grown up in an era with a great deal of
discrimination and at times outright bigotry, and grew up with a silver
spoon in his mouth. But he was one of the most unbiased people I've ever
met, and he hated closed minds,'' Feldman said.

Bilby backed up those principles in the late 1960s when he gave up his
membership at a local country club that then refused to allow Jewish members.

But Bilby felt the bite of more subtle discrimination once. A Democratic
Senate in 1976 refused to appoint him to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals because he served as chairman of the Pima County Republican party
from 1972 to 1974.

Nevertheless, three years later he was appointed to the U.S. District Court
bench by President Jimmy Carter on the recommendation of Democratic Sen.
Dennis DeConcini.

Bilby was lauded for his fairness by both defense attorneys and prosecutors.

``He was compassionate when necessary and harsh when appropriate,'' said
Michael Piccarreta, defense attorney for Elmer, the former Border Patrol
agent. ``He was a good, decent, fair judge.''

Attorney Richard Grand said he crammed for the bar exam with Bilby for 16
hours a day for nearly eight weeks. Despite that, he never received any
preferential treatment when he argued cases before Bilby, he said. ``Even
though we were friends, he managed to rule against me 90 percent of the
time,'' Grand said.

In fact, he said, Bilby once chastised him for taking his coat off in the
midst of a jury trial. ``He was very tradition-bound, and he ran his
courtroom with an iron fist,'' Grand said.

He didn't tolerate dawdling.

Last year, he got his fill of unclear testimony during a trial on the
state's ``partial-birth abortion'' ban, which he later declared

Fed up, he jumped down from the bench and told Assistant Attorney General
Tom McGovern to ``wait a second'' in his questioning. Bilby took pen in
hand, approached a large tablet and drew three birth canals, each with a
fetus in a different position, then questioned the physician witness about
the three pictures.

His candor could sting, but humor tempered it, said McGovern, a Republican
candidate for state attorney general. ``In that trial, he said my position
reminded him of the arguments that were used to burn people at the stake
centuries ago,'' he said.

Another tribute to his sense of humor is hanging on a wall in his office
lobby, framed. It's a letter he wrote to his court staff from Europe on
toilet paper, saying it was like sandpaper. The letter went on to laud
European beer.

Attorneys said Bilby, an avid golfer, would pull fighting lawyers into his
office and have them putt golf balls into a putting cup to relieve their
tension. Or he would play calming music to them after particularly testy

Bilby is credited with revolutionizing the way juries are treated in the
federal court system. Before anyone else was doing it, he let jurors ask
questions, take notes and discuss the case with one another. He distributed
note pages to jurors with witness pictures in the corners so they could
remember who said what more clearly.

``Judge Bilby was innovative. He did not wear a robe because he wanted to
seem more accessible to the jury,'' recalled Terry Chandler, assistant U.S.
attorney for the Tucson office.

Chandler said she used to tease Bilby by saying that when he interviewed
potential jurors, he was more like a talk show host, descending from the
bench with portable microphone in hand and quizzing jurors on their
favorite legal television shows.

``Some feel it is their calling to give back to society, and maybe it was
because he was born into a wealthier family that he felt that strong
calling,'' said Darla Acker, Bilby's judicial assistant of 30 years.

Acker said Bilby always talked to the janitors and reminded court security
guards to stay on their diets. He remained in touch with his law clerks
over the years, holding reunions to celebrate anniversaries.

``He was a take-charge kind of guy, very earthy, without pretense. He
thought the position commanded enough respect so he didn't need all the

Bilby took charge in his personal life too, organizing outings for his
friends about once a year. Marvin Cohen, his former partner, remembers
Bilby serving as trail boss on a five-day horseback ride into the
Superstition Mountains. Clad in cowboy boots and Western wear, he even shot
a rattlesnake in the path to protect his crew.

``He sort of epitomized all the wonderful old-fashioned great character
traits we all hope America stands for,'' Cohen said.

Elizabeth Bilby, his wife, said the judge had a strong guiding principle:
``He said being a judge was a job you take very seriously, but you never
take yourself too seriously.

``I still can't believe he's gone. When I think of him, I think of
patriotism, because he stood up for what he believed and he stood for
upholding the Constitution.''

In addition to his wife, Bilby is survived by his two daughters, Claire
Bilby of Long Beach, Calif., and Ellen Moore of Oak Park, Calif.; and two
grandsons, Joseph Moore and Andrew Moore.

The family suggests memorial donations to the Ralph W. Bilby endowed chair
at the University of Arizona Law School or to a charity of one's choice.

Arizona Daily Star reporter Tim Steller contributed to this story.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Philip's in the Hills
Episcopal Church, 4440 N. Campbell Ave. (at East River Road).

Court Ruling Forces Rethinking Of Testimony Deals ('The Associated Press'
Discusses The Recent Ruling By A Three-Judge Panel From The Denver-Based
10th US Circuit Court Of Appeals That Prosecutors Dangling A 'Get Out Of Jail
Early' Card Before Defendants In Order To Get Them To Testify Against Others
Is The Equivalent Of Offering Someone Cold Cash - And A Federal Bribery Law
Makes It A Crime For Anyone To Offer 'Anything Of Value'
In Return For Testimony)
Link to earlier story
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 12:26:58 -0700 To: mapnews@mapinc.org From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US: Wire: Court Ruling Forces Rethinking of Testimony Deals Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 COURT RULING FORCES RETHINKING OF TESTIMONY DEALS WASHINGTON (AP) -- For years, federal prosecutors used a simple strategy to crack criminal rings: Find the guy who will talk, offer a deal and get him to testify against the others. But now the practice, which some defense lawyers equate with bribery, is in limbo while a federal court decides whether such deals will remain legal. ``When prosecutors dangle a 'Get Out of Jail Early' card, it is the equivalent of handing someone cold cash,'' said Debra Soltis, a Washington defense lawyer who represents accused drug dealers and the like in federal court. ``I think it's just using common sense to say that it's a bribe and that it is outrageous.'' The initial ruling, issued by a three-judge panel from the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ``was a bucket of ice water for prosecutors,'' said John Shepard Wiley Jr., a University of California, Los Angeles law professor who routinely fashioned such bargains as a federal prosecutor in Los Angeles. The decision was written by two Republican appointees -- U.S. District Judges Paul J. Kelly Jr., appointed by President Bush, and David M. Ebel, appointed by President Reagan, and the chief judge of the 10th Circuit, Stephanie Seymour, appointed by Democrat Jimmy Carter. But soon after it was issued, the full appeals court decided to review the decision sometime this fall, meaning the panel's ruling is not yet in force. The Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling later this week. While many legal experts predict the panel's ruling will be reversed, the debate it provoked rages on. ``If it stands, and I can't believe that it will, the whole judicial system would come to a screeching halt,'' said one prosecutor who asked not to be identified. Prosecutors strike hundreds -- if not thousands -- of such deals every year. Typically, a bit player agrees to testify against his or her fellow criminals in return for lenient treatment in court. The three-judge panel's stern opinion took issue with both the moral and legal underpinning of plea deals, and essentially made criminals of the prosecutors who offer them. Broadly read, a federal bribery law makes it a crime for anyone to offer ``anything of value'' in return for testimony. Prosecutors say the law was not intended to cover them. The three judges cited the Bible and the Magna Carta to rebut prosecutors' arguments. ``One of the very oldest principles of our legal heritage is that the king is subject to the law,'' they wrote. The July 1 decision, if it had been allowed to take effect, would have been binding law in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming. For now, prosecutors are going forward as if the ruling did not exist, but defense lawyers in several states have cited it to argue that their clients were fingered illegally. ``If it's a federal crime to offer something for testimony in Colorado, then it's going to be a federal crime in Maryland or Virginia or California,'' said Larry Pozner, president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The lawyer for Timothy McVeigh, convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing, argued that the ruling could help his client win a new trial, since a friend testified against McVeigh in return for leniency. He made the argument as he sought a delay in the appeal of McVeigh's conviction; that delay request was rejected. The appeals court's decision concerned a case involving a drug ring operating between Kansas and California. One member of the ring agreed to testify in return for the promise he would not be prosecuted for some crimes and the hope a judge would look kindly on his cooperation when sentencing him. The three-judge panel's rationale, if adopted nationwide, could affect any eventual prosecution in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. President Clinton or others could argue the former White House intern got an illegal quid pro quo, since Ms. Lewinsky won immunity from prosecution for herself and her mother before she agreed to go before a grand jury.

Hemp Activist Appeals Charge Of Contempt While On A Jury
('The Washington Times' Describes Laura Kriho's Appearance Tuesday
Before The Colorado Court Of Appeals)

Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 15:21:00 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CO: Hemp Activist Appeals Charge Of Contempt While On A Jury
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Paul Wolf (paulwolf@icdc.com)
Source: Washington Times
Contact: letter@twtmail.com
Website: http://www.washtimes.com/
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Author: Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times


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

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

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.

US Agrees To Pay Family In Teen's Border Killing ('The Dallas Morning News'
Says The Federal Government Has Agreed To Pay More Than $1 Million
To Settle The Claims Of The Redford, Texas, Family Of 18-Year-Old
Esequiel Hernandez Jr., Who Was Killed Last Year By A Camouflaged US Marine
Who Was On A Patrol Enforcing Civilian Prohibition Laws)

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 15:08:01 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: U.S. Agrees To Pay Family In Teen's Border Killing
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Authors: David LaGesse and Nancy San Martin (DMN)



Federal officials agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle the claims
of a Redford, Texas, family whose son was killed last year by a U.S. Marine
on a counter-drug patrol, the family's attorney said Tuesday.

A second state grand jury, meanwhile, finished deliberations this week
without returning criminal indictments in the death, said Jack Zimmerman,
an attorney for the Marine.

It was the latest of several criminal inquiries that have resulted in no
charges against the Marine.

In the settlement announced Tuesday, the government admitted no wrongdoing
in the May 1997 death of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old high school
student shot while he herded his family's goats near the Mexican border.

"The government, like the family, was very interested in resolving this
matter," said Bill Weinacht, a Pecos attorney who represented the family.

Government officials settled the case under a law that allows the military
to resolve a claim without admitting liability, said Justice Department
spokeswoman Chris Watney. Pentagon officials declined to comment.

The incident occurred as four Marines were on patrol near Redford last May
at the request of the Border Patrol. Team leader Cpl. Clemente Banuelos
shot Mr. Hernandez after the teen fired at the camouflaged soldiers and was
preparing to shoot again, the Marines said.

The shooting galvanized opposition to the use of troops along the border,
and the Pentagon suspended its armed patrols. Several dozen soldiers at any
one time were helping the Border Patrol with surveillance missions in
remote areas.

Top Clinton administration officials have said they oppose returning armed
troops to the border. But the House has approved a measure that would allow
the administration to post up to 10,000 troops in support of counter-drug

Some residents said they hoped Mr. Hernandez's death would keep the
military off nearby ranches.

"Hopefully, very many people from very high places learned something from
this," said Enrique Madrid, longtime resident and member of the Redford
Citizens Committee for Justice.

A state grand jury last year declined to bring charges against Cpl.
Banuelos in the shooting, as did a federal civil rights inquiry. A recent
report by the Marines faulted aspects of the mission but cleared the patrol

A congressional panel headed by Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, continues
to investigate the shooting.

Mr. Zimmerman, the attorney for Cpl. Banuelos, said the government's
settlement did not amount to an admission of wrongdoing but was instead a
"humanitarian" payment.

In recent weeks, Presidio County prosecutors presented added evidence,
obtained by federal investigators in the civil rights inquiry, to a second
state grand jury, he said.

"The grand jurors again found Cpl. Banuelos' actions were justified," he said.

In settling the civil claim late last month, the government agreed to buy a
$1 million annuity that will pay the family an undisclosed sum annually for
at least 20 years, Mr. Weinacht said. The government also is making an
undisclosed payment to the family upfront.

He estimated the total payments, including those from the annuity over
time, at $1.9 million to the Hernandezes.

Mr. Weinacht said he wouldn't disclose further details, including the
government-approved fees that he will receive. Federal law limits attorney
fees to no more than 20 percent of a settlement, he said.

The family's civil claim against the Marines faced an uncertain fate if it
had gone to court, Mr. Weinacht said. Congress had crafted the law that
allowed troops at the border to discourage such lawsuits.

"There was no precedent for us to follow in this case," he said.

Some government critics said they wanted the case to go to trial to force a
public airing of the incident. The state grand jury heard testimony in
secret, as did a federal grand jury in the civil rights case.

"The family has gotten some money, but they haven't gotten justice in the
killing of their son," said the Rev. Melvin LaFollette, a retired Episcopal
priest who lives in Redford.

In their civil complaint, the Hernandez family charged that the Marines did
not act in self-defense as described by the four-man unit.

Cpl. Banuelos was in charge of the Marine unit while it was on a covert
mission to spot drug smugglers May 20. The Marines patrolled along the Rio
Grande near Redford, which is about 180 miles southeast of El Paso.

The family had said that Mr. Hernandez did not even know the Marines were
present and that he was shooting at coyotes.

Although the government refused to admit liability, some area residents
said they viewed the settlement as an admission of wrongdoing.

"The real feeling here was that they would be shrugged off . . . that
nobody was going to do anything [about Mr. Hernandez's death]," said Ted
Purcell, principal at Presidio High School, where Mr. Hernandez was a
sophomore at the time of his death.

"The settlement is an admission by the government that they made a mistake.
Now, we'll be able to go on with our lives."

While the settlement was not extraordinarily high for this kind of case,
the government is indeed acknowledging its wrongdoing, said Mario J.
Martinez, a longtime civil attorney in El Paso and former assistant U.S.

"Attorneys know good and well that the government is accepting
responsibility for the act of its soldier, even with a disclaimer in the
paperwork," Mr. Martinez said. "They're saving face."

US To Pay $1.9 Million In Slaying At Border
(The Scripps Howard News Service Version
In 'The Orange County Register')

Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Author: Carla Bass-Scripps Howard News Service


Social Issues: The military admits no fault in the shooting of an American
teen in Texas by a Marine last year.

The U.S. government has agreed to pay $1.9 million to the family of an
American teenager killed by a Marine along the Texas-Mexico border last year.

Bill Weinecht, attorney for the family of 18 year-old Esequiel Hernandez
Jr., announced the settlement with the Justice Department and the Navy on

The settlement is in the form of a $1 million annuity that,when paid out
over the course of several years, will total approximately $1.9 million,
Weinacht said.

Justice Department spokesman Chris Watney said the settlement did not
indicate an admission of fault on the part of the military.

Some community activists say otherwise.

"it's a very large sum for a government to pay that has nothing to hide,"
said the Rev. Melvin LaFollette of the Redford Citizens Committee for
Justice. "You settle out of court to prevent things from going to court and
getting into the public domain."

Also Tuesday, A Texas grand jury declined for a second time to indict the
Marine who fired the fatal shot.

Cpl. Clemente Banuelos was on a four man anti-drug patrol when he shot
Hernandez as the teen was herding goats May 20, 1997, near Redford, Texas.
Banuelos said he fired because Hernandez had shot twice with a rifle in the
direction of the camouflaged patrol and appeared to be preparing to shoot

Hernandez's family said the youth carried the rifle to protect the herd
from coyotes and was probably unaware of the Marines' presence.

Military patrols along the Rio Grande were suspended after the shooting.

Presidio County District Attorney Albert Valadez, who also sought an
indictment for murder from the state court last year, said he probably will
not try again to get an indictment against Banuelos.

"We have presented all the evidence we have at our disposal, "he said.
"Unless new and significant evidence comes up, I doubt we'll be presenting
it to another grand jury."

The Justice Department announced in February that Banuelos would not face
federal civil rights charges.

"We send our heartfelt condolences to the Hernandez family, "Marine
spokesman Lt. Col. Scott Cambell said. "This incident was investigated by
four different agencies. Though this was an extremely tragic incident,
their findings were that the shooting was not the result of a criminal

US To Pay $1.9 Million In Antidrug Patrol Shooting ('The Associated Press'
Version In 'The Los Angeles Times')

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:42:08 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: U.S. to Pay $1.9 Million in Antidrug Patrol Shooting
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Galasyn
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Author: Associated Press


Settlement: Deal ends suit over goatherd killed by Marine squad near the
Mexican border. The government admits no wrongdoing.

EL PASO--The government will pay $1.9 million to the family of a teenage
goatherd who was killed by a Marine patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border for
drug traffickers, a family lawyer said Tuesday.

The government admitted no wrongdoing in the May 20, 1997, death of
Esequiel Hernandez Jr., though the controversy led to the suspension of
military patrols along the border. The family's attorney, Bill Weinacht,
said the settlement signed by the Hernandezes on July 25 brings an end to
all legal action by the family.

The victim's brother, Margarito Hernandez, said the money doesn't ease the
loss. "It's pretty hard. Nothing is going to bring him back. But at least
it will help my parents. It will help them, financially, at least," he

Hernandez, 18, was killed in Redford, 200 miles southeast of El Paso, after
crossing paths with a four-man Marine patrol conducting antidrug
surveillance on the Rio Grande at the request of the Border Patrol.

Military officials said Hernandez, who was herding his goats, fired twice
at the Marines with his .22-caliber rifle and had raised the gun a third
time when the patrol leader shot him once with an M-16.

Hernandez's family and civil rights activists have long disputed the
military's account. Family members said the teen, who had no criminal
history, would never knowingly have shot at anyone. They said he carried
the rifle only to protect his livestock from wild dogs and occasionally to
shoot targets.

Investigators have consistently backed the military. Federal and state
grand juries declined to indict any of the Marines.

The Rev. Melvin LaFollette, a Redford activist, said the settlement is "one
more piece of evidence that there was total wrongdoing in this case by
various arms of the government." "Innocent parties don't pass out millions

A Justice Department spokeswoman, Chris Watney, would not comment because
of federal privacy law.

Springfield Needle Exchange Foes Move To Force November Referendum
('The Standard-Times' In New Bedford, Massachusetts, Says Opponents
Of Springfield's Recently Approved Needle Exchange Program Have Submitted
More Than 10,000 Signatures To Force A Vote On The Issue)

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 23:54:06 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US MA: Springfield Needle Exchange
Foes Move To Force November Referendum
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Source: Standard-Times (MA)
Contact: YourView@S-T.com
Website: http://www.s-t.com/
Pubdate: Wednesday, 12 August, 1998
Author: Associated Press


SPRINGFIELD -- Opponents of the city's recently approved needle exchange
program have submitted more than 10,000 signatures to force a November
referendum on the issue.

City councilors approved the program in a 5-4 vote last month after
rejecting it for the past two years. City health officials said it could
help prevent the spread of AIDS among drug addicts.

City Election Commission Chairman James Sullivan said the group needed
9,300 signatures to get the question on the ballot, and it will take his
workers most of the week to check the signatures.

Robert Powell, a spokesman for the citizens group, said feelings were
running so high that it had little difficulty collecting the signatures,
even though it had only had 20 days to meet Monday's filing deadline.

So far, programs to hand out clean syringes to drug users have been
established in Boston, Cambridge, Northampton and Provincetown. The state
provides about $200,000 for the programs.

Electric Kool-Aid Viagra ('New York Times' Columnist Frank Rich
Says A Drug Culture Is A Drug Culture Is A Drug Culture,
Whether The Illicitly Obtained Gateway High Of Choice Is Marijuana
Or Any Legal, Heavily Promoted Medicine That's Perceived
As Lifestyle Enhancing)

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 01:48:11 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Column: Electric Kool-Aid Viagra
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: emr@javanet.com
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: August 12, 1998
Author: Frank Rich


In my 1960's youth, America couldn't stop talking about -- or taking -- a
drug that promised sexual ecstasy and a sensory trip. If memory serves, it
was called marijuana and, though widely available, was illegal. Three
decades later, the new national drug of choice also promises sexual ecstasy
and, as a potential side effect, what the Food and Drug Administration
describes as mild temporary perceptual "changes in blue/ green colors." It
is called Viagra, and not only is it a legal prescription medication, but
anyone with a credit card can score some over the Internet without even
seeing or speaking to a doctor. I know because I did.

Viagra is the emblem of our fin-de-millennium drug culture. On the market
only since April, it has spawned a cottage industry in humor, not unlike
all the stoned comedy of the 60's, and is minting money for Pfizer, its
manufacturer. Pfizer "has refined the art of publicizing a 'blockbuster
drug' . . . not unlike the way Hollywood releases a summertime action
flick," writes the journalist Greg Critser in his Salon magazine report on
the sprawling Viagra industry. "It's kind of off the charts," said a Pfizer
spokeswoman last week, sounding very Hollywood as she talked about Viagra's

The same spokeswoman assured me that "we don't have a sense that there is
any kind of widespread abuse of this product." She also said that "You
can't go into a pharmacy and talk your way into a Viagra tablet without a
prescription." Nonetheless, it's not hard to find anecdotal evidence that
Viagra is being used, however improperly, as a recreational aphrodisiac by
both men without erectile dysfunction and by women (for whose use it has
not been cleared by the F.D.A.). An Internet site titled "How and Where to
Obtain Viagra" advises, "If you can't get it from your doctor, try your
local junior high school!! The girls in the junior high school near to
where I live have it and are selling it to each other."

If you go into the widely used Web search engine Infoseek -- in which
Disney owns a big stake -- and merely type in the word "Viagra," an ad
immediately starts flashing "Free Viagra" and leads to an on-line purveyor.
At another site promoting the Viagra-hyping book "The Virility Solution" by
Steven Lamm, an assistant professor at the New York University School of
Medicine, a link speeds you to a cyberstore called The Pill Box Pharmacy.
There you click agreement to a waiver of liability, fill out a simple
questionnaire any way you wish, pick your own dosage and -- party on!

Though Pill Box wouldn't fill my order when I clicked "no" to erectile
dysfunction, it did accept a deliberately vague boilerplate description of
some "problem." The pills soon arrived by UPS from San Antonio, Tex. I was
charged an additional $85 for a "consultation" with a doctor whose name I
learned only from the pill bottle. He not only didn't talk to me, but he
didn't consult with my primary-care physician to verify my purported
medical history or see if I was telling the truth when I said I was not
taking medications known to interact dangerously with Viagra.

I asked Michael Risher, of the Lindesmith Center, the drug-policy research
group, why our national drug warriors look the other way at such flagrant
Viagra madness while railing against, say, the medical use of marijuana. He
said that "perception" rules: Viagra, after all, has the fatherly
imprimatur of the irreproachable Bob Dole. (We all know which national
figure is the poster boy for marijuana.) Yet even as drug use among the
young is being fought by a Clinton-and-Gingrich-endorsed ad blitz costing
taxpayers nearly $1 billion, what kind of mixed messages are adults sending
kids? The same ad industry that is making the anti-drug spots speaks out of
the other side of its mouth by pushing grown-up-sanctioned drugs like
alcohol and nicotine, not to mention an exponentially increasing number of
prescription pharmaceuticals.

A drug culture is a drug culture is a drug culture, whether the illicitly
obtained gateway high of choice for a teen-ager is marijuana or any legal,
heavily promoted medicine that's perceived as life style enhancing, no
matter what its side effects or long-term consequences. Viagra brings
benefits to many legitimate patients, not to mention stand-up comics, but
who's the real butt of the jokes? Call it an acid flashback to the 60's,
but I'm taking my phone off the hook to avoid all the friends coming after
my stash.

Anti-Drug Campaign Does Not Address The Root Causes Of Teen-Age Abuse
(An op-ed in 'The Orange County Register' from a college sophomore
and former intern at the Cato Institute says the government's new $2 billion
advertising campaign for the war on some drugs won't stop any significant
number of children from using illegal drugs. The root of the problem is moral
and spiritual.)

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 20:43:58 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: Anti-Drug Campaign Does Not Address The Root Causes Of
Teen-Age Abuse
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 17:12:33 -0700
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 12 August 1998
Author: Ryan A.Sager (Mr Sager, a college sophomore, is a former intern at the
Cato Institute in Washington, D.C.)


On July 9, President Clinton launched the latest offensive in this country's
War on Drugs. Presenting a bipartisan front, the president stood alongside
Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich to unveil a new five-year, $2
billion anti-drug ad campaign. The campaign will focus primarily on
television advertising; it's intended to educate children about the dangers
of drugs and to discourage their use.

However, as you watch this ad campaign - which is larger than the current
ad campaigns for Sprint, American Express and Nike - you should ask
yourself one vital question: Will these advertisements stop any significant
number of children from using drugs? As a teen-ager and a sophomore in
college, I can tell you that the answer to that question is a resounding no.

The government has been trying to solve the drug problem for years abut has
had little to show for its efforts. Even at the height of the War on Drugs
in 1992, a full 22 percent of high school seniors reported having used
marijuana; nearly 10 percent had used hallucinogens; and cocaine use
(including "crack" cocaine) was in the double digits.

Now politicians desperate to be seen as "doing something" about the drug
problem have come up with the idea that if only we can saturate the
airwaves with enough anti-drug propaganda, we will finally start to see
teen drug use begin to fall.

However, I can tell you first-hand that such drug "education" initiatives
have become a joke among teen-agers. Everything from D.A.R.E. to drug
education classes to anti-drug advertisements is a target of ridicule for
youth who see those efforts as nothing more than heavy-handed admonitions
from hypocritical baby boomers.

Everyone I know has been through a drug education program of some sort and
has seen anti-drug advertising, yet I do not know a single person who has
stayed away from drugs because of those influences.

So, why are those programs so utterly incapable of producing results?
Because the cannot strike at the root of the problem, which is moral and
spiritual. Some teens turn to drugs out of boredom, some out of insecurity
- but most turn to drugs as an escape from lives that seem empty.

As Patrick Fagan, senior policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation and a
former family therapist and clinical psychologist, says, "Behind teen-age
drug use is the unhappy, empty heart that quite a few of our young
adolescents have. If they're not happy, and the empty heart needs filling,
they turn to other things."

Too often, those other things are drugs, since they give at least the
feeling of security and happiness while blocking reality. Teen-agers turn
to drugs because they have not been provided with the inner resources to
face life with confidence and hope. They have not been given a strong moral
or spiritual and afraid.

I myself have watched a close friend with a fairly normal life go through a
particularly hard semester in school and quickly turn to drugs after having
been relatively happy and straight. On the other hand, I'd have plenty of
excuses for turning to drugs, should I choose to make them. My parents are
divorced, and my 10-year-old brother Zachary died when I was 14. Still, I
have never found it necessary to use an illicit drug.

The difference between us is that I was lucky enough to have received a
strong spiritual upbringing from my mother. The knowledge that my life has
meaning, regardless of how the world may look at any given moment, has
given me the strength not to need drugs. Lack of such an understanding on
my friend's part, I believe, allowed her to make a wrong turn.

The problem of teen-age drug use in America is not a problem of education -
teen-agers know the risks. No amount of advertising is likely to stop a
young person inclined to do so from turning to drugs. The government has
already proven itself unable to make a difference. What can make a
difference is parenting.

Says Fagan, "If parents have not taught their children how to find
happiness ... then those children are at risk for mistaking pleasure and
excitement as a route to happiness."

Only if parents take the time to instill in their children moral values and
spiritual teachings will they realize the power within themselves to meet
all of life's challenges.

I am glad my mother did that, instead of counting on the government to do
her job.

Listening In ('The Village Voice' Describes ECHELON, The Wiretapping
And Eavesdropping Technology Spawned By The National Security Agency,
Or NSA, Also Used By The DEA And FBI For Surveillance Of Drug Dealers)

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 00:29:40 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US: Listening In
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Paul Wolf (paulwolf@icdc.com)
Source: Village Voice (New York)
Website: http://www.villagevoice.com/
Contact: voice@echonyc.com
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Author: Jason Vest

[Our Newshawk notes: This is related to the war on drugs because echelon is
the primary system used by the DEA & FBI for surveillance of drug dealers.]


The U.S.-led echelon spy network is eavesdropping on the whole world
Talk back! editor@villagevoice.com

Suppose, this past weekend, you sent an e-mail to a friend overseas.
There's a reasonable possibility your communication was intercepted by a
global surveillance system--especially if you happened to discuss last
week's bombings in East Africa. Or suppose you're stuck in traffic and in
your road rage you whip out a cell phone and angrily call your
congressman's office in Washington. There's a chance the government is
listening in on that conversation, too (but only for the purposes of
"training" new eavesdroppers).

Or suppose you're on a foreign trip--vacation, business, relief work--and
you send off a fax to some folks that Washington doesn't view too keenly.
Your message could be taken down and analyzed by the very same system.

That system is called ECHELON and it is controlled by the U.S. National
Security Agency (NSA). In America, it is the Intelligence Network That Dare
Not Be Acknowledged. Questions about it at Defense Department briefings are
deftly deflected. Requests for information about it under the Freedom of
Information Act linger in bureaucratic limbo. Researchers who mention
possible uses of it in the presence of intelligence officials are
castigated. Members of Congress--theoretically, the people's
representatives who provide oversight of the intelligence community--betray
no interest in helping anyone find out anything about it. Media outlets
(save the award-winning but low-circulation Covert Action Quarterly) ignore
it. In the official view of the U.S. Government, it doesn't exist.

But according to current and former intelligence officials, espionage
scholars, Australian and British investigative reporters, and a dogged New
Zealand researcher, it is all too real. Indeed, a soon-to-be finalized
European Parliament report on ECHELON has created quite a stir on the other
side of the Atlantic. The report's revelations are so serious that it
strongly recommends an intensive investigation of NSA operations.

The facts drawn out by these sources reveal ECHELON as a powerful
electronic net--a net that snags from the millions of phone, fax, and modem
signals traversing the globe at any moment selected communications of
interest to a five-nation intelligence alliance. Once intercepted (based on
the use of key words in exchanges), those communiques are sent in real
time to a central computer system run by the NSA; round-the-clock shifts of
American, British, Australian, Canadian, and New Zealand analysts pour over
them in search of . . . what?

Originally a Cold War tool aimed at the Soviets, ECHELON has been
redirected at civilian targets worldwide. In fact, as the European
Parliament report noted, political advocacy groups like Amnesty
International and Greenpeace were amongst ECHELON's targets. The system's
awesome potential (and potential for abuse) has spurred some traditional
watchdogs to delve deep in search of its secrets, and even prompted some of
its minders within the intelligence community to come forward. "In some
ways," says Reg Whittaker, a professor and intelligence scholar at Canada's
York University, "it's probably the most useful means of getting at the
Cold War intelligence-sharing relationship that still continues."

While the Central Intelligence Agency--responsible for covert operations
and human-gathered intelligence, or HUMINT--is the spy agency most people
think of, the NSA is, in many respects, the more powerful and important of
the U.S. intelligence organizations. Though its most egregious excesses of
20 years ago are believed to have been curbed, in addition to monitoring
all foreign communications, it still has the legal authority to intercept
any communication that begins or ends in the U.S., as well as use American
citizens' private communications as fodder for trainee spies. Charged with
the gathering of signals intelligence, or SIGINT--which encompasses all
electronic communications transmissions--the NSA is larger, better funded,
and infinitely more secretive than the CIA. Indeed, the key document that
articulates its international role has never seen the light of day.

That document, known as the UKUSA Agreement, forged an alliance in 1948
among five countries--the U.S., Britain, Australia, Canada, and New
Zealand--to geographically divvy up SIGINT-gathering responsibilities, with
the U.S. as director and main underwriter. Like the NSA--hardly known until
the Pike and Church congressional investigations of the '70s--the other
four countries' SIGINT agencies remain largely unknown and practically free
of public oversight. While other member nations conduct their own
operations, there has "never been any misunderstanding that we're NSA
subsidiaries," according to Mike Frost, an ex-officer in Canada's SIGINT
service, the Communications Security Establishment (CSE). Moreover, all the
signatory countries have NSA listening posts within their borders that
operate with little or no input from the local agency.

Like nature, however, journalism abhors a vacuum, and the dearth of easily
accessible data has inspired a cadre of researchers around the world to
monitor the SIGINT community as zealously as possible. It is not, says
David Banisar of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), an easy
task. Getting raw data is difficult enough. Figuring out what it means even
more so, he says, thanks in part to the otherwise conservative NSA's very
liberal use of code names--many of which regularly change--for everything
from devices to operations. One that appears to have remained constant,
however, is ECHELON.

In 1988, Margaret Newsham, a contract employee from Lockheed posted at
Menwith Hill, the NSA's enormous listening post in Yorkshire, England,
filed a whistleblower suit against Lockheed, charging the company with
waste and mismanagement (the case is currently being appealed after an
initial dismissal). At the same time, Newsham told Congressional
investigators that she had knowledge of illegal eavesdropping on American
citizens by NSA personnel. While a committee began investigating, it never
released a report. Nonetheless, British investigative reporter Duncan
Campbell managed to get hold of some of the committee's findings, including
a slew of Menwith Hill operations. Among them was a project described as
the latest installment of a system code named ECHELON that would enable the
five SIGINT agencies "to monitor and analyze civilian communications into
the 21st century."

To SIGINT watchers, the concept wasn't unfamiliar. In the early '80s, while
working on his celebrated study of the NSA, The Puzzle Palace, James
Bamford discovered that the agency was developing a system called PLATFORM,
which would integrate at least 52 separate SIGINT agency computer systems
into one central network run out of Fort Meade, Maryland. Then in 1991, an
anonymous British SIGINT officer told the TV media about an ongoing
operation that intercepted civilian telexes and ran them through computers
loaded with a program called "the Dictionary"--a description that jibed
with both Bamford and Campbell's gleanings.

In 1996, however, intelligence watchdogs and scholars got an avalanche of
answers about ECHELON, upon the publication of Secret Power: New Zealand's
Role in the International Spy Network,written by Nicky Hager. A New Zealand
activist turned investigative author, Hager spent 12 years digging into the
ties between his country's SIGINT agency, the Government Communications
Security Bureau (GCSB), and the NSA. Utilizing leaked material and scores
of interviews with GCSB officers, Hager not only presented a revealing look
at the previously unknown machinations of the GCSB (even New Zealand's
Prime Minister was kept in the dark about its full scope) but also produced
a highly detailed description of ECHELON.

According to Hager's information--which leading SIGINT scholar and National
Security Archive analyst Jeffrey Richelson calls "excellent"--ECHELON
functions as a real-time intercept and processing operation geared toward
civilian communications. Its first component targets international phone
company telecommunications satellites (or Intelsats) from a series of five
ground intercept stations located at Yakima, Washington; Sugar Grove, West
Virginia; Morwenstow in Cornwall, England; Waihopai, New Zealand; and
Geraldton, Australia.

The next component targets other civilian communications satellites, from a
similar array of bases, while the final group of facilities intercept
international communications as they're relayed from undersea cables to
microwave transmitters. According to Hager's sources, each country devises
categories of intercept interest. Then a list of key words or phrases
(anything from personal, business, and organization names to e-mail
addresses to phone and fax numbers) is devised for each category. The
categories and keywords are entered by each country into its "Dictionary"
computer, which, after recognizing keywords, intercepts full transmissions,
and sends them to the terminals of analysts in each of the UKUSA countries.

To the layperson, ECHELON may sound like something out of the X-Files. But
the National Security Archives's Richelson and others maintain that not
only is this not the stuff of science fiction, but is, in some respects,
old hat. More than 20 years ago, then CIA director William Colby
matter-of-factly told congressional investigators that the NSA monitored
every overseas call made from the United States. Two years ago, British
Telecom accidentally disclosed in a court case that it had provided the
Menwith Hill station with equipment potentially allowing it access to
hundreds of thousands of European calls a day. "Let me put it this way,"
says a former NSA officer. "Consider that anyone can type a keyword into a
Net search engine and get back tens of thousands of hits in a few seconds."
A pause. "Assume that people working on the outer edges have capabilities
far in excess of what you do."

Since earlier this year, ECHELON has caused something of a panic in Europe,
following the disclosure of an official European Parliament report entitled
"In Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control." While the report did
draw needed attention to ECHELON, it--and subsequent European press
coverage--says Richelson, "built ECHELON up into some super-elaborate
system that can listen in on everyone at any time, which goes beyond what
Nicky Hager wrote." Richelson, along with other SIGINT experts, emphasizes
that, despite ECHELON's apparent considerable capabilities, it isn't

EPIC's David Banisar points out that despite the high volume of
communications signals relayed by satellite and microwave, a great many
fiber-optic communications--both local and domestic long distance--can't be
intercepted without a direct wiretap. And, adds Canadian ex-spook Mike
Frost, there's a real problem sorting and reading all the data; while
ECHELON can potentially intercept millions of communications, there simply
aren't enough analysts to sort through everything. "Personally, I'm not
losing any sleep over this," says Richelson, "because most of the stuff
probably sits stored and unused at [NSA headquarters in] Fort Meade."

Richelson's position is echoed by some in the intelligence business ("Sure,
there's potential for abuse," says one insider, "but who would you rather
have this--us or Saddam Hussein?"). But others don't take such a benign
view. "ECHELON has a huge potential for violating privacy and for abuses of
democracy," says Hager. "Because it's so powerful and its operations are so
secret that there are no real constraints on agencies using it against any
target the government chooses. The excessive secrecy built up in the Cold
War removes any threat of accountability."

The only time the public gets anything resembling oversight, Hager
contends, is when intelligence officials have a crisis of conscience, as
several British spooks did in 1992. In a statement to the London Observer,
the spies said they felt they could "no longer remain silent regarding that
which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the
establishment we operate"--the establishment in question being the
Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Britain's version of the
NSA. The operatives said that an intercept system based on keyword
recognition (sound familiar?) was routinely targeting the communications of
Amnesty International and Christian Aid.

Adds Hager, "The use of intelligence services in these cases had nothing to
do with national security, but everything to do with keeping tabs on
critics. The British government frequently finds itself in political
conflict with Amnesty over countries it is supplying arms to or governments
with bad human rights records. ECHELON provides the government with a way
to gain advantage over Amnesty by eavesdropping on their operations."

Hager and others also argue that potential for abuse lies in the
hierarchical and reciprocal nature of the UKUSA alliance. According to data
gathered by congressional committees in the '70s, and accounts of former
SIGINT officers like Frost, UKUSA partners have, from time to time, used
each other to circumvent prohibitions on spying on their own citizens.
Frost, for example, directed Canadian eavesdropping operations against both
Americans and Britons--at the request of both countries' intelligence
services, to whom the surveillance data was subsequently passed.

And British Members of Parliament have raised concerns for years about the
lack of oversight at the NSA's Menwith Hill facility--a base on British
soil with access to British communications yet run by the NSA, which works
closely with the GCHQ. "Given that both the U.S. and Britain turn their
electronic spying systems against many other friendly and allied nations,"
says Hager, "the British would be naive not to assume it is happening to

David Banisar, the electronic privacy advocate, says that apparently just
asking about ECHELON, or mentioning anything like it, is considered
unreasonable. Since earlier this year, Banisar has been trying to get
information on ECHELON from the NSA under the Freedom of Information Act.
"They're not exactly forthcoming," he says, explaining that he only
recently got a response in which he was in effect told the European
Parliament report "didn't provide enough information" for the NSA to locate
the requested information. However, Wayne Madsen, co-author with Bamford of
the most recent edition of The Puzzle Palace, was more directly discouraged
from investigating ECHELON's possibly dubious applications, as the
following story makes clear.

On April 21, 1996, Chechnyen rebel leader Dzokhar Dudayev was killed when a
Russian fighter fired two missiles into his headquarters. At the time of
the attack, Dudayev had been talking on his cellular phone to Russian
officials in Moscow about possible peace negotiations. According to
electronics experts, getting a lock on Dudayev's cell phone signal would
not have been difficult, but as Martin Streetly, editor of Jane's Radar and
Electronic Warfare Systems, noted at the time, the Russian military was so
under-equipped and poorly maintained, it was doubtful a radar intercept
plane could have honed in on the signal without help.

Speaking at a conference on Information Warfare a month later, Madsen, one
of the world's leading SIGINT and computer security experts, explained that
it was both politically and technically possible that the NSA helped the
Russians kill Dudayev. Noting the West's interest in preserving the Yeltsin
presidency and in ensuring the safety of an oil consortium's pipeline
running through Chechnya, Madsen explained which NSA satellites could have
been used to intercept Dudayev's call and directionally locate its signal.

This wasn't exactly a stunning revelation: Not only had reports recently
been released in Australia and Switzerland about police tracking suspects
by their cell phone signatures, but Reuters and Agence France-Press had
written about the Dudayev scenario as technically plausible. Still, after
his talk, Madsen was approached by an Air Force officer assigned to the
NSA, who tore into him. "Don't you realize that we have people on the
ground over there?" Madsen recalled the officer seething. "You're talking
about things that could put them in harm's way." Asks Madsen, "If this was
how Dudayev died, do you think it's unreasonable the American people know
about the technical aspects behind this kind of diplomacy?"

Nicky Hager says that the New Zealand intelligence officers who talked to
him did so out of a growing disillusionment with the importance to New
Zealand of access to ECHELON information. In some cases, they said, they
had been so busy listening in on targets of interest to other countries,
they altogether missed opportunities to gather intelligence in New
Zealand's national interest. Ross Coulthart, an investigative reporter with
Australia's Nine Network, says intelligence sources of his have reported
similar feelings. "In the UKUSA intelligence community, there appear,
roughly, to be two camps: those who believe that it's best to fall in line
behind the U.S., because the U.S. has acted as protector and funder and
gives us resources and limited participation in a system we couldn't
support ourselves, and those who think the whole thing is somewhat
overrated and sometimes contrary to national interests."

In 1995, for example, Australian intelligence officials leaked a story to
the Australian Broadcasting Company that was, at first blush, damaging to
themselves: Australian intelligence had bugged the Chinese Embassy in
Canberra. However, the Australians had no access to the actual
transmissions; they had merely planted the bugs at the behest of the NSA,
which was getting the raw feed. "Given that both Australian and American
companies were bidding for Chinese wheat contracts at the time," says
Coulthart, "it didn't seem like Australia was getting anything out of this
arrangement, so they put the story out there."

Indeed, says York University's Whittaker, "there's a really important
degree of [economic] tension that wasn't there during the Cold War. On the
other hand, most of the threats perceived as common and
borderless--terrorism, nuclear proliferation, weapons of mass destruction,
and global crime--inspire more cooperation between the UKUSA partners."
Hager thinks such cooperation is certainly merited, but what ECHELON to
some extent reflects, he believes, is the continued erosion of civil
liberties and the notion of sovereignty in the name of security. "Some
people I interviewed told me repeatedly, 'It's a good thing for us to be
part of this strong alliance,' " he says. "What it amounts to, in the end,
is an argument for being a cog in a big intelligence machine."

Canada Considers Prescribing Heroin To Prevent Deaths
(An 'Associated Press' Story In 'The San Francisco Chronicle'
About Officials In Vancouver, British Columbia, Who Want To Institute
A Heroin Maintenance Program After A 40 Percent Increase
In Heroin-Related Deaths)

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 09:59:48 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada Considers Prescribing Heroin to Prevent Deaths
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Author: David Crary - Associated Press


Vancouver, British Columbia - Dismayed by a horrific death toll from drug
overdoses, Vancouver authorities have begun a campaign to break a North
American taboo against supplying heroin to addicts.

So far this year, 224 people in British Columbia - mostly from Vancouver's
skid row - have died of overdoses, up 40 percent from last year.

The deaths, blamed on an influx of cheaper, more potent heroin, prompted
provincial health officer John Millar to recommend that health workers
provide heroin to certain addicts on a trial basis.

The goal would be to reduce the risk of overdose and to free the addicts
from 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. Experts believe heroin trials are unlikely to take
place in the United States because of firm opposition among many lawmakers.
Canadian politicians are considered more receptive.

Vancouver's chief coroner has endorsed the plan. 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 is willing to authorize
clinical trials in which doctors would prescribe heroin to addicts.

Yesterday, the lawmaker in Parliament who represents Vancouver's worst
skid-row neighbor hood introduced a motion urging the federal government to
begin such trials immediately.

"People are dying in the streets because we have failed to act," said Libby

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 from 1994
to 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.

Among Canadian law enforcement officials, there are sharp divisions over
heroin prescription programs.

"Would we then be suggesting for the cocaine addicts we should give them
cocaine? For alcoholics, should we give them alcohol?" said Inspector
Richard Barszczewski, a drug specialist with the Royal Canadian Mounted

NDP MP Is Backing Free-Heroin Proposal ('The Province' In Vancouver,
British Columbia, Says New Democratic Party Member Of Parliament
Libby Davies, Sick Of Seeing Heroin Addicts Dying In The Streets
Of Her Vancouver East Constituency, Has Launched A Political Initiative
Calling For Free Heroin To Be Made Available To Addicts In Prescription
Drug Trials)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" 
Subject: MN: Canada: NDP MP Is Backing Free-Heroin Proposal
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:11:00 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Herb
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Source: The Province (Vancouver, B.C.)
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/news-c.html
Author: Beth Haysom - Staff Reporter


At the depths of his heroin addiction, Bud Osborn considered carrying a
hammer to hit vulnerable people from behind for their money.

"I was desperate and hopeless. If there had been free drugs available then I
would not have had to steal and go shoplifting and it might not have taken
20 years to break free of heroin," he said.

Yesterday the cleaned-up activist stood beside New Democratic Party MP Libby
Davies as she jumped head-first into the controversy over providing free
drugs to addicts.

Davies, sick of seeing heroin addicts dying in the streets of her Vancouver
East constituency, pulled no punches as she launched a political initiative
calling for free heroin to be made available to addicts in prescription drug

She urges federal support of a program by the Centre for Addiction and
Mental Health to set up the trials in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

"I know this is controversial but my constituents are dying and we have to
do something.

"Two hundred addicts have died already this year and many estimate that
another two hundred will perish before the year is over. This is
intolerable, we have to act now," said Davies.

This is not about the open-ended legalization of drugs, she emphasized. This
is a specific health intervention that can save lives; prevent the spread of
human-immunodeficiency-virus infections and reduce crime in the community.

She has been lobbying federal Health Minister Allan Rock and hopes that her
private member's motion will get across-the-board support when Parliament
resumes in the fall.

"These deaths are preventable. It's the responsibility of all levels of
government to deal with this crisis. We ignore it at our peril," said

Deputy provincial health officer Dr. Shaun Peck welcomed the idea of heroin
trials "on a carefully controlled and medically supervised basis."

It was one of the recommendations called for by the provincial health office
in its recent report on HIV, hepatitis and intravenous drug use, said Peck.

But the idea hit a brick wall at the provincial health ministry, where
spokesman Jeff Gaulin said that the ministry would not support free-heroin
trials as there was no clear evidence they work.

"We think the way to go is to pursue the methadone program, which is not yet
at full capacity," Gaulin said.

Mobile Needle Exchange ('The Express' In Nelson,
British Columbia, Publicizes The Launching Of A Mobile Service
Throughout The West Kootenay-Boundary On August 17
By The ANKORS Needle Exchange Program)

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 02:02:32 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: Mobile Needle Exchange
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Herb
Source: Express (Nelson, B.C., Canada)
Contact1: express@netidea.com
Contact2: 554 Ward Street, Nelson, B.C., Canada V1L 1S9
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Author: Murray Greig


NELSON - The ANKORS needle exchange program will launch a mobile service
throughout the West Kootenay-Boundary on Aug. 17.

The program already has two fixed sites, at the Access Alcohol and Drug
Service office in Nelson and Trail Community Counselling services. The
mobile service will initially be provided through regular stops along three
routes: 1) Balfour-Kaslo-Edgwood-Playmor; 2) Trail-Rossland-Rock
Creek-Castlegar; and 3) Trail-Salmo-Ymir-Nelson-Slocan Park, with service
to most of the smaller communities in between.

"With this, the exchange program becomes part of a comprehensive approach
to the prevention of HIV among people who inject drugs, and the community
as a whole," said ANKORS needle exchange coordinator Alexander Lich. The
new service emphasizes what Lich calls "harm reduction philosophy." "Harm
reduction can be defined as a set of strategies and tactics that encourage
people who inject drugs to reduce the harm done to themselves and their
communities by their behavior," he said. "By providing users the means with
which to become healthier, we recognize their desire to protect themselves,
their loved ones and their communities. By treating them with dignity and
respect, we are also seeking to build the self-esteem that may enable them
to eventually consider seeking recovery from their injection drug use."

The ANKORS needle exchange program initially provides a kit to people
making their first visit to an exchange site. The kit contains a small
number of syringes, bleach, water, alcohol wipes, condoms and safe sex

"One of the program goals is to collect as many used syringes as new ones
goven out, so the program will not increase the total number of discarded
syringes," said Lich. "Needle exhange programs save lives cost-effectively.
While a new needle costs about ten cents, the lifetime cost of treating a
person with AIDS starts at approximately $165,000."

For more information about specific locations and times for the mobile
service, call 505-5506. Out of town, call 1-800-421-2437.

Mobile Needle Exchange Hits West Kootenay Highways ('The Nelson Daily News'

Date: Fri, 14 Aug 1998 15:57:43 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Canada: Mobile Needle Exchange Hits West Kootenay Highways
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Herb
Source: Nelson Daily News (B.C.,Canada)
Contact: ndnews@netidea.com
Website: http://www.sterlingnews.com/Nelson/nelson.html
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Author: Lara Schroeder - Daily News Staff


A mobile needle exchange program for injection drug users is set to begin
operating in the West Kootenay on Monday. The program run by the West
Kootenay-Boundary AIDS Network, Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS), will
stop in small towns from Kaslo in the northeast to Rock Creek in the
southwest, dispensing clean needles to people who inject illicit drugs.

"There are people that use injection drugs all over the place. They're not
only in Vancouver," said Alexander Lich, the co-ordinator of the program.

There are already permanent needle exchange programs operating in Nelson
and Trail, and ANKORS hopes to set up other permanent sites in Castlegar
and Grand Forks. Meanwhile, the mobile exchange will serve drug users
across the region in what is commonly referred to as a "harm reduction
model" of injection drug use treatment.

"I guess the philosophy that ANKORS has is that you don't judge people,"
said Lich. "We try to help them reduce the harm they're doing not only to
themselves, but to the community at large."

Harm reduction means lessening the health and social hazards associated
with injection drug use, including crime and the spread of diseases such as
hepatitis C and AIDS. Injection drug use has recently been identified as
the primary means of transmission of AIDS, according to Lich. Users spread
diseases by sharing dirty needles.

In some European countries the concept of harm reduction includes
prescribing drugs to addicts and monitoring their use so that dealers don't
profit and users don't share needles and turn to crime to support their
habits. In Canada the harm reduction model generally consists of educating
users about the risks and providing clean syringes to them without fear of
arrest by police for their habits.

"Personally, I was against the harm reduction model when I first heard
about it a couple of years ago," Lich admitted. However, once he got past
his moral objection to drug use he changed his mind because he realized the
harm reduction model keeps people alive and healthy enough to give them a
chance to seek recovery from their addictions in the future.

"You can't get people to stop using drugs if they're dead," Lich stated baldly.

People who inject drugs can also pass diseases on to non-users through sex
or by not disposing their dirty needles properly, Lich pointed out. Needle
exchanges cut down on the number of dirty needles in a community by giving
drug users a place to leave their used needles, he stated.

"A used needle has value because you can bring it in and get a new one," he

The Kamloops rural needle exchange program established two years ago,
reported return rates of 110 to 115 percent in the first three months of
operation according to Lich.

As the West Kootenay program starts up an intial "needle exchange kit" will
be handed out. The kit will contain clean needles, a small bottle of
bleach for syringe disinfection, a small bottle of distilled water, alcohol
wipes, condoms and a "safer health" pamphlet.

Users will be able to exchange needles for clean ones during future visits,
although no one will be denied clean needles because they don't have dirty
ones to exchange, Lich said.

"By saying, 'No you can't have a needle,' we're defeating our purpose
aren't we?" he asked.

Lich believes injection drug users will dispose of their needles properly
if given the chance.

"The people that use injection drugs don't want to be responsible for
infecting somebody else, especially accidentally," he said.

Many people who inject drugs aren't the stereotypical junkies in the alleys
or "shooting galleries" of big cities, especially in rural areas where
they're trying to keep their habits secret because of the stigma, according
to Lich.

"Some of the information I have about Nelson is a large percentage of the
injection drug users are people that have jobs. Some are professionals,"
he said. "They seem like normal, everyday people, and of course they are
normal everyday people. They just happen to use drugs."

A "very very conservative" estimate puts the number of people who inject
drugs in the Nelson area at 2,000, Lich stated. He knows that at least
some of those people are infected with hepatitis C or AIDS.

Some of the people at risk use steroids and may not consider the danger
because they're injecting drugs in places like health centres in the
company of fitness-conscious people.

"Steroid users, they have to inject their drugs," Lich said. "They may
have a false sense of security, but you can't tell if someone's infected or
not until it's too late."

The most recent studies from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse show
that the availability of clean injection equipment slows the spread of AIDS
and other diseases, according to Lich.

"It's not an end all, cure all thing, it's just another tool that we have
to prevent infection," he said about his job. "Any kind of step to try to
curtail that spread of infection is a positive step."

Select Committee On Health (A New Zealand Correspondent
Describes Today's Parliamentary Hearing On Cannabis And Mental Health,
Featuring Representatives Of SF, The Schizophrenia Fellowship,
A Support And Advocacy Group For People With Schizophrenia
And Their Families, And The Senior Clinician For WADS,
The Wellington Alcohol And Drug Service)

Date: Wed, 12 Aug 1998 22:14:28 +1200 (NZST)
To: drctalk@drcnet.org, update@adca.org.au, mattalk@islandnet.com
From: David.Hadorn@vuw.ac.nz (David Hadorn)
Subject: NZ: Select committee on health, 12 August 1998

Dear Colleagues,

The NZ parliamentary health select committee held its third hearing on
cannabis and mental health today. Testifying were representatives of the
Schizophrenia Fellowship (SF), a support and advocacy group for people with
schizophrenia and their families, and the senior clinician and youth
counselor of the Wellington Alcohol and Drug Service (WADS).

The basic messages of the SF were (1) that cannabis use aggravated
schizophrenia and impeded recovery, often because people would stop taking
their prescribed medications and use cannabis instead, and (2) inadequate
attention and funding were directed toward people with dual diagnosis, i.e.,
psychiatric disorder (particular schizophrenia) and also suffering from
harmful alcohol (usually) or other drug use.

The WADS highlighted the increasing incidence of cannabis dependence among
the people referred to them, this having increased over the past couple of
years so as to constitute about 25 percent of total referrals. Figures
provided showed 120 referrals out of 518 (23 percent) from 1 June 1996 to 30
April 1997 and 133 referrals out of 682 (20 percent) from1 May 1997 to 30
April 1998 were deemed to be "clients with cannabis as main drug of abuse".
Senior clinician Geoffrey Robinson and youth counselot Shane Murdoch
repeatedly said that ten percent of cannabis users meet criteria of
dependence (although no evidence was presented to support this statistic),
which they said was about the same as alcohol over a lifetime.
Unfortunately, no reference was made to the differences in physiological and
sociological harmfulness associated with these respective dependencies.

Amazingly, committee members (MPs from all parties) were completely tuned in
to the issues raised (and the problems with) this testimony, and often
seemed to be educating the people giving testimony about the evidence. The
first question asked of the SF people after they finished reading their
testimony was from the chair (National party MP Brian Neeson, previously an
avowed prohibitionist but now clearly seeing the light). Mr Neeson asked if
the SF had done a review of the literature and if they were aware what the
"scientific evidence" said about the situation! Questions of this kind were
frequent and absolutely the rule: "couldn't cannabis use be an effect of the
problem, rather than the cause?", "wouldn't alcohol use be just as bad or
worse?", "doesn't prohibition make it more difficult for these people to get
help?", etc.

Mr Murdoch said two or three times that young people do not perceive
cannabis is harming them and that they prefer it to alcohol because unlike
alcohol cannabis does not cause people to vomit, pass out, get into fights,
and generally get into trouble. Cannabis had a calming influence, which
also accounted, the SF submission said, for why some people with
schizophrenia find cannabis helpful, even if only for a short term. The
theme of cannabis as having a calming, therapeutic, anti-violence effect was
repeated several times by both committee members and witnesses during the
proceedings, and now appears to be taken as an article of faith.

Committee members continually raised the issue of the effect of prohibition
on driving cannabis use underground, making it more difficult to have a
rational discussion about cannabis use, impeding health and education
efforts, etc. Those testifying largely agreed with these comments. Mr
Murdoch said several times that kids find cannabis much more easy to obtain
than alcohol, "because with cannabis you have open slather with no controls"
whereas with alcohol "you have shopkeepers who are careful about who they
sell to ". In response to a question about what policy would be best from a
mental health standpoint, Mr Murdoch said he believed cannabis should be
regulated like alcohol and the government should "tax the hell out of it".
This reference to cannabis regulation/taxation was gratifying (as were the
nods and 'mm-hms' of the committee members) because alcohol-style regulation
was the policy recommended by the Drug Policy Forum Trust in its final
report earlier this year.

At one point in response to a question Dr Robinson referred to the ubiquity
of cannabis use and said flatly "Prohibition has failed". Newly elected
National MP Shane Ardern immediately echoed this statement: "Prohibition has
failed", then for good measure added "Prohibition is a nonsense" (exact
quote). To my knowledge this is Mr Ardern's first public statement
regarding cannabis policy (he is a first time MP, narrowly elected in a
recent by-election in Taranaki). Another committee member, ACT party MP Ken
Shirley, is already on record as saying cannabis prohibition is a
"nonsense", although Mr Shirley did not actively enter into the legal debate

Another interesting moment occurred when Jill Pettis (Labour) asked the WADS
contingent whether they agreed that the reason "there is still still so much
misinformation about cannabis out there is that there are a number of people
making a very good living by scaring people about cannabis and demonising
it. I mean you have auditoriums filled with frightened parents and somebody
up there talking about left brain and right brain and drawing circles on the
whiteboard and the kids know it's not true because they puff a bit on
Saturday night and they don't go psychotic. Don't you think they say these
things because it's in their financial self-interest?" (This is from
memory, but pretty close.) This was a clear reference to Trevor Grice of
Life Education, whose school auditorium-based scaremongering of students and
parents about the evils of cannabis is legendary--and whose book (with
cartoonist Tom Scott) "The Great Brain Robbery" raised one-sided
anti-cannabis propaganda to new (post 1930's) heights. Ms Pettis'
surprisingly frank and pointed question brought a hearty laugh from the
committee members and the public and press galleries, in part out of
sympathy for Dr Robinson being put so firmly on the spot. He nicely dodged
the question, however, saying only that it was important to tell the truth
in drug education programmes, that we were now largely telling the truth
about alcohol and tobacco, but telling the truth about cannabis had lagged
far behind.

One final example of what was an absolutely amazing session. At one point
Dr Robinson spoke about the need for education on cannabis, which he said
should be directed at young people. He added, in jest, "it probably
wouldn't be much use for old people", at which point at least three
committee members simultaneously said, laughing, "It might do them some
good", "Could help their arthritis", and the like. This brought a good
laugh from all assembled.

To his immense credit, Chairman Neeson is allowing a wide-ranging discussion
into the legal situation regarding cannabis. He certainly shows no signs of
having been asked by senior National party officials to rein in his
investigation, which at this point looks likely to produce a report much at
odds with the prevailing government prohibitionist line.

The committee will be in Dunedin next week, then back to Wellington,
followed by trips to Auckland and Christchurch and then probably back to
Wellington. They plan to conclude hearings next month, with a report likely
to be tabled in Parliament late this year.

The select committee members appear to have seen the light on cannabis and
cannabis policy. These hearings continue to look like they could shape up
to be an important event in the winding down of the international war on
drugs. Stay tuned.


Support Grows For 'Injecting Clinic' Plans ('The Canberra Times'
Says A Proposal For Canberra To Become The First Place In Australia
To Build Safe Injecting Clinics For Addicted Heroin Users Has The Support
Of Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge And The Guarded Backing
Of The Australian Capital Territory Labor Party)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: Australia: Support Grows For 'Injecting Clinic' Plans
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 17:03:39 -0500
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Ken Russell
Pubdate: Wed, 12 Aug 1998
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Contact: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au
Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/
Author: Peter Clack


A proposal for Canberra to become the first place in Australia to build safe
injecting clinics for addicted heroin users has the support of federal
Health Minister Michael Wooldridge and the guarded backing of the ACT Labor

Late yesterday, Dr Wooldridge's office applauded the move as a credit to the
ACT, and one that could be a vital test case for other jurisdictions where
they were struggling with same high rates of drug overdoses and deaths.

Independent ACT MLA Dave Rugendyke, a former police officer, gave his
'guarded' support 'because I can see that prohibition is not working. We
have got to try new things.'

Earlier, Opposition Leader John Stanhope said he believed that the
prohibition approach to drugs had failed and that more needed to be done.

Mr Stanhope said that he supported the proposal in principle and he expected
the Labor Party to support it in the Legislative Assembly, provided it
overcame legal and community hurdles.

Although he was reluctant, past strategies had shown to be ineffective. He
had concerns about public liability and the process of guaranteeing a safe
injecting process.

Among them was the question of how medical and government employees would
treat someone with an illegal substance in their possession.

'The ACT Labor Party in the Assembly would not stand in the way of a legal
injecting clinic if all concerns could be overcome and it had broad
community support,' Mr Stanhope said. But he criticised six-week waiting
times for methadone treatment and said it was unacceptable for drug users
who sought help to be told to come back later.

A spokesman for Dr Wooldridge, however, said the Federal Government
encouraged new ways of treating health problems associated with drug-taking.
'We will watch with interest to see what lessons can be learned,' the
spokesman said.

'I don't think we have a major concern about it. But we have a major problem
in the community and should try a wide range of treatments.'

He said Australia was a leader in innovative ways of tackling health issues,
pointing to the national campaign over AIDS.

The Australian Federal Police and ACT Ambulance Service have told of 42 drug
overdoses in Canberra last month and 10 deaths in the previous 12 months.

Garden 'Weed' Not All It Seems ('The Evening News' In Norwich, England,
Recounts The Horticultural Education Of A Buxton Woman
Who Let A Foot-Tall Weed In Her Garden Grow Into A Seven-Foot Beauty
Before Learning It Was Cannabis - When Approached, Police Advised Her
Just To Throw It On The Compost Heap)

Date: Tue, 11 Aug 1998 17:26:24 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Organization: BlueDot
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Garden 'Weed' Not All It Seems.
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)
Contact: EveningNewsLetters@ecn.co.uk
Pubdate: 12 Aug 1998
Author: Andy Rivett-Carnac


A Buxton woman today warned other gardeners to be on the look-out after
she realised a seven-foot plant growing in her garden was cannabis.

Mary Dring had no idea what the mystery weed was when she first spotted
it a few months ago nestling in a flower bed in the back garden of her
Church Close home.

At the time it stood a paltry one foot tall but as summer bloomed her
unlikely garden guest grew into a strapping seven-footer.

Yet still she was none-the-wiser as to its true nature.

"At first I thought it was a lupin because the leaves were narrow, like
fingers, but as it grew I noticed the leaves were serrated," she said.

Mrs. Dring invited her keen gardener neighbours over to inspect the
mystery plant but no one could make a positive identification.

"It has become quite a talking point between us and the neighbours. We
suspected it could be a cannabis plant but weren't sure."

The penny finally dropped one evening last week while Mrs. Dring sat
watching a television programme which featured illegal crops of hemp.

"That's when I knew for certain - it was exactly the same as the ones on
the television. It's got little shoots coming out where the stems meet
and everything."

"If I've got one maybe other people have as well but, like me, they may
not know what it is."

Mrs. Dring approached the police about the plant and was advised to
throw it on the compost heap.

"I didn't want to be jumped on by the drug squad so I thought it best to
approach them first!"

"They didn't seem too concerned. They just told me to stick it on the
compost. So that's what I intend to do."

It remains a mystery as to how exactly the seven foot plant ended up in
the Buxton garden.

"There is also a cabbage growing nearby which we didn't plant. The only
explanation we can think of is a bird must have dropped a seed," said
Mrs. Dring.



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