Portland NORML News - Sunday, August 16, 1998

Lane County Fair (The Cannabis Liberation Society In Eugene, Oregon,
Is Seeking Volunteers To Hand Out Information Tuesday Through Sunday,
August 18-23)

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 22:59:14 -0700
Reply-To: dkoozer@pond.net
Sender: owner-hemp@efn.org
From: Dan Koozer (dkoozer@pond.net)
To: Multiple Recipients of List (cannabis-commonlaw-l@teleport.com),
Multiple Recipients of List (cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com)
Cc: wmconde@pond.net
Subject: Lane County Fair

We are looking for some help covering the Lane County Fair.

We are going to set up tables at the enterances/exits (there are four)
just as we did last year. We will be registering voters, gathering
signatures for the legalization petition and urging folks to vote No on
57 and yes on 67.

It was tough last year, however this year the weather won't be so hot.
We have enough equipment to cover this. We do need help however. We need
people to make phone calls, man the tables (pick a time that is
convenient and BE THERE) and donations (Food, drinks, $$, etc).

The Fair runs 11:00a-11:00p, Tues-Sun, 8/18-23/98. That's 60 hours.
There are four enterances. We need two people at each table. If I
figured right, that's 480 man(woman) hours!! As you can see, we need
help!! Now is the time to step forward. Contact your friends.

We will match people that aren't familiar with working the tables with
an experienced "tabler". I've found working the tables to be a rewarding



Dan Koozer, President
Cannabis Liberation Society
PO Box 10957
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Voice Mail & Event Line: (541) 744-5744

Why Must I Suffer At The Hands Of The Law? (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Orange County Register' From A 75-Year-Old, Terminally Ill
Cancer Patient In A Hospice Who Wants His Medical Marijuana)

Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 11:51:01 -0700
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Why Must I Suffer At The Hands Of The Law?
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk:John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 16 August 1998


I am a 75-year-old, terminally ill cancer patient on a hospice program at
Saddleback hospital. (By the way,these people at Saddleback should be
designated as national treasures.)

One of the best drugs with the fewest side-effects for cancer patients is
marijuana. Marijuana reduces the extreme nausea and retching that often
accompanies terminal cancer.

It also improves the lack of appetite. In short, it lets cancer patients
live longer and more comfortably.

Doctors, nurses, cancer patients and their families know this. Legislators
apparently do not.

Our legislators have made it illegal for doctors to prescribe this drug
although it has been consistently shown to be one of the best treatments

They are meddling in medical science to the detriment of my health and the
health and well being of millions of cancer patients.

When a member of your family is in the end stages of cancer, finding relief
and comfort for them goes beyond the capricious legal system.

Yet, it is infinitely sad that one's choice in this matter is to either
break the law or, for some of us, terminate our own life.

Doctors can prescribe heavy duty narcotics like morphine, codeine and the
like. For many of us, these drugs leave us comatose, unable to function.
Marijuana does not have this type of side-effect.

Legislators have to make the laws, but where cancer is concerned only those
legislators with cancer should be permitted to make those laws.

Tricky Questions On Medical Marijuana (Another Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Orange County Register' Wants To Know How The Local District Attorney
Would Deal With Certain Policy Questions Such As Patients' Privacy
And Property Rights)

Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 15:09:48 EDT
Errors-To: jnr@insightweb.com
Reply-To: friends@freecannabis.org
Originator: friends@freecannabis.org
Sender: friends@freecannabis.org
From: Tim Perkins (tperkins@pacbell.net)
To: Multiple recipients of list (friends@freecannabis.org)
Subject: [Fwd: Two great letters to editor in Register]
Organization: Cannabis Freedom Fund
Received: from FilmMakerZ@aol.com
Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 15:00:36 EDT
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com
Pubdate: 16 Aug 1998


The editorial "judicial illogic" raises some serious issues regarding
medical privacy, the prosecutor and the police [Opinion,July 30].

The prosecutor's office and most police departments do have a history of
civil-rights abuses using information obtained through a trial.

Do we have any guarantee that truly sick people using the Cannabis Co-Op
won't be subjected to harassment? Obviously not. If the prosecutor has his
man, what interest does their office have in knowing the name of the

There are other unanswered issues such as right to property. For example:
Say a person with a medical need and a note from his doctor is growing a
couple of marijuana plants in his back yard. His neighbor climbs the fence
and steals his marijuana. Is this man entitled to police protection of his
stolen property?

My suggestion for a peaceful implementation that is cost effective would be
for the county to set up a program through Social Services to distribute
medical marijuana.

The participants' medical notes can then be verified as bona fide. The
marijuana to supply the program can come from illegal marijuana seized by the
police departments.

This would supply the medical need without any of the abjections advanced by
the District Attorney's Office. The cost to program participants would be
only the cost of administration.

Will Carl Armbrust ever come to the table in good faith?

Gregory J. Barnett
Costa Mesa

Proposition 215 On Trial In The McWilliams Case (An Op-Ed
In 'The Orange County Register' By William F. Buckley Jr.
Recounts The Federal Case Against Peter McWilliams,
The Best-Selling Author And Medical Marijuana Patient-Activist)

From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: "MN" (mapnews@mapinc.org)
Subject: MN: US: CA: Opinion: Prop. 215 On Trial In The McWilliams Case
Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 16:59:26 -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: 8-16-98
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Author: William F.Buckley Jr

The general mess created by our drug laws has reached a tropical low in Los
Angeles, where the storm center gathers over the head of Peter McWilliams.
Here is the political background:

In November 1996, the California voters endorsed a plebiscite (Proposition
215) that authorizes the purchase of marijuana by any Californian with a
doctor's recommendation. Doctors are supposed to write out that prescription
only when cannabis provides unique relief. That law conflicted with federal
statutes that make the smoking of marijuana a crime at any time, including -
to observe the language - on your deathbed.

The question immediately arose: What do we do about these conflicting
jurisdictions? Everybody waited for everybody else to act. The most that
Attorney General Dan Lungren would do (he is running for governor) was
promise to observe the new law "minimally."

But of course the reciprocal gears of justice do not here interlock glibly.
The marijuana lobby in California is sincerely interested in making the weed
available to the sick, who are said to profit greatly from it. But the
marijuana lobby in California is also sincerely interested in anybody's
getting marijuana who wants marijuana, and the political story here took
flesh and blood in Peter McWilliams.

McWilliams is a middle-aged literary man-about-town. He has written 30 books
that range in concern from poetry to love to computers to moral anarchy. He
is a self described libertarian who believes that no law should be passed
that gets in the way of anybody doing anything he wants to do, provided it
doesn't hurt somebody else; and that such laws as are on the books that
conflict with libertarian doctrine should be treated only with just such as
much respect as is necessary to keep you out of jail.

On July 23, the feds concluded that McWilliams and partners were not
sufficiently complying with the law. McWilliams, who has always appreciated
the lighter side of life and thought, had lent money from his tiny
publishing firm to an entrepreneur who used it to nurture 4,000 marijuana
plants. Why? Well, if a doctor is entitled under the law to prescribe
marijuana, then he has to get it somewhere, does he not? Parthenogenesis
won't give you fresh supplies of marijuana, even in California.

So the feds announced themselves at 6 in the morning, with handcuffs, and
took away not only McWilliams but also his computer with all its records.
They demanded bail of $250,000. His lawyer pleaded against the draconian
extreme of the bail demanded. The defense was perfectly glad to give up
Peter's passport. Did anybody really think he would not show up at his

Pressures of another kind were inflicted. McWilliams has AIDS and also a
form of lymphoma. The treatment prescribed by his doctor is complex and
delicately balanced and is required six times every day. The failure of the
prison authorities to give him the doses as called for has resulted in
frequent nausea, no trivial complaint given that in that condition, those
who suffer from that combination of maladies McWilliams suffers from run the
risk of contracting a terminal case of tuberculosis.

The meltdown is therfore now scheduled. A few months from now, McWilliams
and his fellow defendants will insist that they were not guilty of any
criminal intent. No money changed hands. True, McWilliams did at one point
pass off the wisecrack that he wished to become the "Bill Gates of medical
marijuana." But you don't go to prison for making wild statements about a
fantasy life, any more than Bill Clinton goes to prison for making wild
statements about celibate behavior.

But in ruling on McWilliams vs. the United States, prosecutors are going to
have to face headlong the California argument. At one level, California will
argue the Ninth and 10th level, Amendments to the Constitution, which
prohibit federal activity in areas reserved to the states under the

That defense will be half-hearted, because the justice establishment in
California never liked Proposition 215, and don't like McWilliams, who is an
enthusiast for marijuana, which he proclaims (in publications protected by
the First Amendment) as suitable to give relief for most adult aches and

It will be a very interesting trial, and it is likely that many institutions
will weigh in with amici curiae pleading their own judgments of law,
conflicts, drugs and liberty. Meanwhile, one hopes that Peter McWilliams,
something if a bird of paradise, is left alone to take proper care of

Drug Dealer Benefited From Agencies' Strife ('The San Francisco Examiner'
Says Between 1963 And 1992, Norwin Meneses, A Former Bay Area Resident,
Allegedly Killed Two Men, Sold Stolen Cars, Traded Guns, Smuggled
'Massive' Quantities Of Cocaine And Boasted That He Had Ties To The CIA
And Was Supporting Contras Trying To Topple Nicaragua's
Sandinista Government - But The 407-Page US Department Of Justice
Inspector General Report Of July 1998, Prompted By The 1996 'Dark Alliance'
Series In 'The San Jose Mercury News' About The CIA-Contra-Cocaine Scandal,
Concluded Meneses Had No CIA Connection And Made Only Modest Contributions
To The Contras, And The Failure To Prosecute Him Was A Result
Not Of Federal Intervention On His Behalf But Of Long-Standing Problems
In Federal Anti-Drug Efforts)

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 21:24:19 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA/Nicaragua: Drug Dealer Benefited From Agencies' Strife
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: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998
Author: Seth Rosenfeld OF THE EXAMINER STAFF
Section: Page A1


DEA helped him while the FBI looked for him

While the FBI searched in vain for a shadowy Nicaraguan cocaine baron, the
DEA helped him get travel visas and paid him to be an informant, a U.S.
Department of Justice report says.

Miscommunication between federal agents - along with other missteps,
limited resources and alleged sexism against a female DEA agent -
contributed to the ruthless dope dealer's evasion of justice, said the
study by the department's inspector general.

Between 1963 and 1992, Norwin Meneses, a former Bay Area resident,
allegedly killed two men, sold stolen cars, traded guns, smuggled "massive"
quantities of cocaine and boasted that he had ties to the CIA and was
supporting contras trying to topple Nicaragua's Sandinista government.

But the report last month concluded Meneses had no CIA connection and made
only modest contributions to the contras. The failure to prosecute him was
a result not of federal intervention on his behalf but of long-standing
problems in federal anti-drug efforts.

"In short, the investigation of Meneses failed because of inadequate
resources devoted to this case and inadequate coordination between law
enforcement agencies, which are recurring law enforcement issues," the
study said.

The Meneses case also illustrates the risk inherent in prosecutors'
reliance on criminals who turn informant and may seek to manipulate the

"It's always been, and always will be, dangerous to work with informants,"
said Laurie Levenson, associate dean of Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
"They work the system."

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the study. Evelyn
James, a DEA spokeswoman in San Francisco, would not discuss Meneses but
said police agencies constantly sought to better coordinate drug cases.
Informants, she added, often try to "play both ends against the middle."

Life of intrigue

Meneses, now 55, dressed well, drove a Jaguar, owned a Mission District bar
and, in the late 1970s, lived in exclusive Hillsborough. His sweeping
criminal career and the government errors that let him continue it are
detailed in the 407-page inspector's report. Neither Meneses nor his
attorney could be located for comment.

He was born into a prominent Nicaraguan family close to the ruling Somosa
government. One of his brothers was Managua's police chief in the 1970s.

But even as a young man, Meneses caught the eye of U.S. police. In 1968,
Nicaraguan officials reported he was a suspect in the murder of a Managua
"money changer" and had fled to the Bay Area. He'd already been convicted
in San Francisco for shoplifting, misuse of slot machines and statutory rape.

In the mid-1970s, he was suspected of running a stolen car ring in
California, New York and Nicaragua. Several DEA offices also heard he was
wholesaling cocaine in New Orleans and the Bay Area, the report said.

San Francisco DEA agent Sandra Smith in 1981 opened the first of eight DEA
probes of the Meneses outfit. Some of his men were arrested, but Meneses
fled, and allegedly continued trafficking in the United States, Ecuador,
Costa Rica and Nicaragua, where he was a reputed "hit man," it said.

Smith believed a federal task force was needed to take on Meneses and
offered to run it, but her boss refused. The first female DEA agent in San
Francisco, Smith later told the inspector her proposal was rejected
"because of sexism and the low status of women in the DEA," said the
report. A DEA supervisor denied that was the reason.

Willing informants

In 1984, DEA agents arrested two of Meneses' aides, who agreed to inform on
him. One was his nephew, Jairo Meneses. The other was Renato Pena, a San
Francisco spokesman for the Nicaraguan Democratic Front (FDN), the main
contra group, who said he'd met Norwin Meneses at a contra meeting. But the
DEA closed its case against Meneses in June 1986 citing a lack of evidence,
the report said.

The next month, Jairo Meneses turned to the FBI in an effort to avoid
deportation. Norwin Meneses, he alleged, had "dealt directly with leaders
of the contras and the Sandinistas since the early 1980s in an effort to
promote his cocaine enterprise. Norwin lacks any political allegiance and
will deal with anyone who will provide cocaine at the lowest price," said a
U.S. attorney's memo quoted in the study.

Meneses also allegedly arranged the assassination of a Nicaraguan customs
official who discovered he was trading guns for drugs under the Somosa
regime, the memo said.

The FBI opened its own probe of Meneses and obtained a recording in which
he discussed money laundering and his work with the late Colombian cocaine
kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Unbeknownst to the FBI, Meneses in July 1986 walked into the DEA's Costa
Rica office, offering to inform on major drug dealers. He alleged they
included Sandinista officials, which would support the Reagan
administration's public claim that the leftist government dealt in drugs.
The DEA office began using him as a source and opened "Operation Perico"
(perico is Spanish for parrot) based on his information, the report said.
"The FBI and the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco were surprised to
learn about this use of Meneses," the report said. The lead San Francisco
FBI agent on the case "was also upset" that he couldn't interview Meneses,
it said.

The episode prompted an early 1987 agreement between the FBI, the DEA and
federal prosecutors, but it came to naught.

The Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in Los Angeles had decided
that - instead of targeting Meneses - it would use him to inform on a
fellow dealer. To accommodate the task force, the San Francisco U.S.
attorney's office agreed to delay seeking its own charges against Meneses,
if he'd plead guilty to them.

Outsmarting the feds

But Meneses apparently out-maneuvered his federal handlers. He refused to
return to Los Angeles that summer, declined to testify in court, talked
only to chosen DEA agents and demanded a promise he could live in the
United States, the report said.

The task force shut down in July 1987 with no prosecution, partly because
of Meneses' intransigence, it said.

Yet that month the wiley smuggler was formally elevated to confidential
informant for the DEA in Costa Rica. It got him one 45-day visa, then
another, to travel to Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco to meet with
drug dealers on the DEA's behalf, the report said.

Meneses' help lead to the arrest of several people and the seizure of some
cocaine. But one DEA agent later told inspectors he'd suspected that
"Meneses may have been trying to work a drug deal on his own," it said.

And after paying him $6,877, the Costa Rica DEA office deactivated him as
an informant in December 1989 because none of his cases "appears to have
any chance of fruition," said a DEA memo cited in the report.

The U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco, meanwhile, had reopened its
case on Meneses. Another informant had told the FBI that Meneses was a DEA
informant and had boasted of avoiding prosecution because he was a CIA
informant, the study said.

But the CIA told the FBI that "a search of CIA files and indices located no
information indicating that Meneses was ever employed by or was an
informant for the CIA," the report said.

The CIA "did not have any objections or problems with a prosecution of
Menses," it said, and neither did the San Francisco DEA office.

Indicted, but working

Based on the FBI investigation, Meneses was indicted in San Francisco in
February 1989 for cocaine trafficking.

However, the inspector's report noted, "Surprisingly ... even after the San
Francisco indictment and arrest warrant were issued, Meneses continued to
work as an informant for the DEA in Costa Rica and travel to the United
States on behalf of the DEA."

As the FBI hunted for Meneses, the DEA arranged his undercover trips to
California, Miami and U.S. embassies in Colombia and Mexico, it said.

His DEA control agent later said he was unaware of the warrant for
Meneses's arrest, the report said, and "the FBI was apparently unaware of
his activities on behalf of the DEA."

In early 1990, the DEA and the FBI were at odds on the case, while Meneses
was at large.

Still, the DEA's Costa Rica office briefly reactivated the indicted Meneses
as an informant that May. DEA records contain no sign that it first ensured
the required "thorough coordinat(ion) between the DEA and FBI," the
inspector's report said.

DEA confusion

In fact, the DEA seemed to be out of sync with itself. In September 1991,
its offices in Guatemala, Houston and Los Angeles launched investigations
of Meneses, the study said.

But that month Meneses himself contacted the DEA's Costa Rica office,
offering to be an informant once again. A DEA agent met with him several
times in Managua to discuss the offer.

A few weeks later, the Nicaraguan police arrested Meneses with 1,500 pounds
of cocaine, including some hidden in cars destined for the United States,
it said.

In August 1992, Meneses was sentenced to 25 years in a Nicaraguan prison.
When the inspector general interviewed him there last year, Meneses denied
ever selling drugs. He said he gave a small amount of his own money to the
contras, raised other funds for them and recruited members in California.
As the report noted, Meneses admitted in a 1986 Examiner article that he
had sold cocaine, but only "for about six months."

The story also reported that, according to former contras, Meneses helped
finance at least four Bay Area contra functions and sent a truck and video
gear to contras in Honduras. Meneses denied that and having met FDN head
Adolpho Calero. Calero told The Examiner he had met Meneses several times,
but denied knowing of his contra contributions or drug dealing.

In response to the article, the U.S. State Department said in August 1986
that some contras dealt in cocaine, but not members of the FDN.

However, the inspector concluded that Meneses was a large-scale drug
smuggler and a member of the San Francisco FDN chapter. It said he played a
"marginal" role in supporting the contras, giving them "relatively
insignificant" amounts of his drug profits.

FDN leader Calero told the inspector he had been to Meneses' home and knew
Meneses was wealthy, but had no idea he might be a criminal.

The study noted, though, that "Meneses' reputation had preceded him in the
small Nicaraguan exile community ... people who dealt with Meneses knew or
should have known that money coming from him was likely from an illicit

The inspector general's report was prompted by 1996 stories in the San Jose
Mercury News suggesting Meneses gave millions of dollars in drug profits to
the contras and was protected by the CIA or other national security
agencies. The study found these allegations unsubstantiated.

Instead, it said, Meneses evaded prosecution because federal agencies
failed to coordinate their cases against him and wavered on "whether
Meneses should be considered a target or an informant."

Meneses was released from prison in Nicaragua in November 1997.

The San Francisco indictment of him is pending.

1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 1

A Smuggler, The DEA And The FBI Source ('The San Francisco Examiner'
Provides A Chronological Outline Of The Career Of Contra-Cocaine Smuggler
Norwin Meneses, Excerpted From The US Department Of Justice's
Inspector General Report Of July 1998)

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 21:22:57 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US CA/Nicaragua: A Smuggler, The Dea And The Fbi Source
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: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998
Section: Page A 10

Inspector General Report, July 1998

The strange career of Norwin Meneses.

* 1963-1964: Meneses is convicted in San Francisco for shoplifting, misuse
of slot machines and statutory rape.

* 1976-1980: DEA hears that Meneses is smuggling cocaine from Nicaragua to
the United States.

* 1980-1985: San Francisco DEA office opens several probes of Meneses'
cocaine ring. Nine people are arrested, but Meneses flees to Costa Rica.

* JULY 1986: Meneses offers to cooperate with Costa Rica DEA against other
dealers, including Sandinista government officials.

* FALL 1986: San Francisco FBI office begins separate probe of Meneses, not
knowing he is a DEA source.

* FEBRUARY-JULY 1987: San Francisco FBI office agrees to delay indictment
of Meneses so Los Angeles drug task force can use him as an informant in a
separate case. But Meneses refuses to testify, and task force ends with no

* JULY 1987: Costa Rica DEA office formally makes Meneses an informant.

* FEBRUARY 1989: U.S. attorney and FBI in San Francisco obtain cocaine
indictment of Meneses, unaware he is a DEA informant.

* MAY-AUGUST 1989: Meneses travels to U.S. undercover for DEA, while FBI
tries to find and arrest him.

* DECEMBER 1989: Costa Rica DEA deactivates Meneses as informant because
none of his cases "appears to have any chance of fruition."

* SEPTEMBER 1991: While other DEA offices open new probes of Meneses, he
meets with Costa Rica DEA agent to discuss being informant again.

* NOVEMBER 1991: Nicaraguan police arrest Meneses in Managua with 1,500
pounds of cocaine, some of it packed in cars headed for the United States.

* AUGUST 1992: Nicaraguan court sentences Meneses to 25 years in prison,
but he is released in November 1997.

* AUGUST 1998: San Francisco charges against Meneses from 1989 are pending.

1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 10

Protesters Seek Jail Time For Officers Linked To Immigrant Killing
('The Houston Chronicle' Says A Small Group Of Demonstrators
Continued To Agitate Saturday In Houston For Prison Terms And Other Penalties
For The Officers Who Shot Pedro Oregon Navarro 12 Times, Nine Times
In The Back, After Breaking Into His Apartment Without A Warrant)

Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 09:57:19 -0500
Reply-To: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET
Sender: Drug Policy Forum of Texas (DPFT-L@TAMU.EDU)
From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET
Subject: ART: Protesters seek jail time for
officers linked to immigrant killing
Comments: To: dpft-l@tamu.edu
Comments: cc: editor@mapinc.org
Link to earlier story
Protesters seek jail time for officers linked to immigrant killing By CARLOS BYARS Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle Citing a lack of faith in the justice system, a small group of demonstrators Saturday continued to press their demands for prison terms and other penalties for the officers involved in the shooting of Pedro Oregon Navarro. Benito Juarez, organizer for the Houston Immigration and Refugee Coalition, one of several groups taking part, said the protesters are seeking justice for Oregon, his family and for other victims of similar actions by police. Oregon was shot 12 times, nine times in the back, on July 12 after a group of Houston police officers smashed into his apartment without a warrant. Police officials have admitted the officers were acting on an unfounded tip from an unregistered informant. But they also contend that Oregon was armed and pointed a gun at an officer, although they said the gun was never fired. One officer was wounded when he was shot by a fellow officer. The results of the official investigations into Oregon's shooting are expected to be presented to a Harris County grand jury this week. "We have been receiving calls about how police are harassing (other immigrants) for no purpose," Juarez said. He said the harassment includes police invading homes without a warrant. He said the coalition of groups wants to make sure that the grand jury investigation is fair and that justice is done. "We don't see any indication that this is happening," he said. The 20 people waving signs in the median of Beechnut, near the Houston Police Department's Southwest Command Center, attracted little attention Saturday morning. A couple of drivers honked and waved, apparently indicating support, and one officer stopped to get one of the fliers outlining the reason for the protest.

Officers Had No Warrant In Fatal Drug Raid (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Dallas Morning News' Compares The War On Some Drug Users
That Killed An Innocent Houston Man, Pedro Oregon Navarro,
With Something Out Of Nazi Germany, Noting 'None Of Us Are Safe Any More')

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 21:15:07 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: Officers Had No Warrant In Fatal Drug Raid
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Rolf Ernst (rolf_ernst@legalize_usa.org)
Source: Dallas Morning News
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998
Author: Rolf Ernst


I am appalled and shocked to hear which disregard for the law the Houston
police department has shown.

To hear the department chief's nonchalant attitude about what is
transpiring under his authority is troubling, to say the least.

I was born and raised in Germany and the events remind me of the stories
about the Third Reich my parents have told me. What we see here is brutal
murder of an innocent person, scared half to death by screaming intruders
invading his home in the middle of the night.

He sought refuge in another room and grabbed hold of a gun in self-defense
only to be slaughtered by police officers.

These officers made a mockery of justice by not obtaining a warrant in the
first place.

The most disconcerting issue about all of this is that it could happen to
any of us. Once we have come to accept that in the War on Drugs concessions
in respect to the bill of rights and the protection from search and seizure
without probable cause should and can be made, none of us are safe any
more. Once we decide that police may use all and any means to achieve their
often questionable goals we have turned this country where laws are not
worth the paper they are written on.

Coming from a place where this indeed could happen (namely in Nazi Germany)
my concerns have become very real.

Rolf Ernst

Society To Face Rising Cost Of Aging Prison Population - Experts Wonder
If Texas System Can Keep Up With A Trend Toward Longer-Term Sentencing
('The Dallas Morning News' Suggests The State With The Highest Rate
Of Incarceration In The World Has Its Own Day Of Reckoning Coming)

From: "Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Society to face rising cost of aging prison population
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 11:35:46 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Society to face rising cost of aging prison population
Experts wonder if Texas system can keep up with a trend toward longer-term


By Diane Jennings and Bruce Tomaso / The Dallas Morning News

At least once a day, the state sends a criminal to prison for life - slowly
building an inmate population unlike any Texas has ever had.

Only 11 of today's 143,000 state inmates have been behind bars for more than
30 years.

But the number of 30-year prisoners will burst into the thousands in years
to come under today's unprecedented "get-tough" sentencing patterns in

Under new laws intended to ensure that a life sentence really means most of
a criminal's life - at least 30 years - Texas juries are sending more than
400 new "lifers" off to prison each year.

At that rate, the state would need to build a typical 2,250-bed prison at a
cost of $60 million about every five years just to hold new long-term

Experts question whether Texas and other states following the long-term
sentencing trend can afford to keep thousands of inmates locked up for
decades for decades - and, if they do, what happens when the lifers are
released, as old men, to a world they scarcely recognize.

"This is the 500-pound gorilla of corrections policy," said Todd Clear, a
criminologist at Florida State University.

Only 10 years ago, a prisoner sentenced to "life" in Texas could be eligible
for parole in less than four years. New laws that took effect in 1995 set
minimums of either 30 or 40 years in prison for life sentences.

Under those laws, Texas judges and juries have sent about 1,400 "lifers" to
state prison in the last three years.

If the trend continues, by the time the first of today's new lifers becomes
eligible for parole, another 10,000 will have been sent away for at least 30

The build-up of long-term inmates "is unprecedented," said Timothy Flanagan,
former dean of criminal justice at Sam Houston State University.

But corrections officials have almost no experience in dealing with
long-term prisoners. The 11 Texas prisoners who have been locked up nonstop
for 30 years represent less than one one-hundredth of the state's prison

Texas is not alone in its zeal to send more criminals away for decades of
guaranteed time.

"Any number of states have enacted very long minimums before a violent
offender can be eligible for parole," said Donna Lyons, criminal justice
program director for the National Conference of State Legislatures. "Quite a
few have passed life-without-parole statutes."

The laws take many forms. Since 1993, for example, 24 states have enacted
"three-strikes-and-you're-out" laws, aimed at locking up repeat offenders
and throwing away the key.

Oklahoma passed a "truth-in-sentencing" statute last year requiring violent
offenders to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences - and nonviolent
offenders, 75 percent. Louisiana and Arkansas, among a dozen other states,
have passed similar laws.

But neither the lawmakers who enacted the get-tough laws nor the taxpayers
who will foot the bill have addressed the high price of maintaining
long-term sentencing, experts say.

"It is literally a free lunch for the politicians in office today" to pass
get-tough laws, Dr. Clear said. "Five out of six of them won't be in office
a decade from now."

One of the chief architects of Texas' tough sentencing laws, Rep. Allen
Place, D-Gatesville, said some loosening of the rules is inevitable.

"We bound future Legislatures and the state of Texas with a pretty heavy
debt with what we did," said Mr. Place, chairman of the House Criminal
Jurisprudence Committee.

"Eventually, a healthy percentage of your prison population is going to be
people who are there on very long sentences. They're going to include people
of Social Security-eligibility age. Many of them will be sick and expensive
to care for. Many of them will be arguably harmless.

"There's no question in my mind that at some point, the Legislature is going
to have to face this pressing problem. When we reach that point, in 2015 or
2020 or whenever, the Legislature would be wise to consider changing the

In the meantime, he credits stringent sentencing with helping to reduce
violent crime in Texas.

"The people who commit these offenses now know that if they're found guilty,
they're going to be locked up for a real long time," he said. "But there's
no doubt that success comes with a price."

Pocketbook issue

>From his corner office at Huntsville's Ellis prison unit, warden Bruce
Thaler has watched the punishment pendulum swing between lenient and harsh.
After 24 years in corrections, he doubts the trend toward massive long-term
incarceration will continue.

"We'll see the door on the parole board swing back open," he predicted.

"It's going to become an issue of just how hard it hits the taxpayers in the
hip pocket."

The cost of operating a typical 2,200-bed prison for 25 years is $825
million, estimates Dr. Flanagan, now vice president of academic affairs at
State University of New York-Brockport. That estimate is conservative, he
said, because it doesn't factor in higher geriatric health care.

The health-care cost for an inmate 55 or older is about three times that of
younger inmates, according to state figures.

Today about 1,900 Texas inmates are over 60. The 60-and-older wing of
Huntsville's Estelle prison offers a glimpse of the future: Canes and folded
walkers lean against walls. There's little noise - no shouting, no clanking
steel bars. Inmates move slowly, when they move.

A graying prison population offers at least one benefit: Old inmates are
easier to control.

"We had a ruckus in the day room last week," said Sgt. Tommy Davis,
geriatric-unit supervisor. "Two of them started to get into it. Fortunately,
they had to sit down and catch their wind."

Growing ranks of long-term prisoners pose one other major cost: increased
security. For many young lifers, there is little incentive to behave in
light of decades of guaranteed time. Maximum security for violent prisoners
costs about a third more than the average daily cost of $38.64 for housing a
prisoner in general population.

Holding the line

Not everyone wilts at tomorrow's cost of housing today's criminals.

Dianne Clements, president of Justice for All, a victims' advocacy group,
said spending millions to house violent offenders for 30 or 40 years is
money well spent.

"These laws are protecting the people," she said. "It costs us much more, in
dollars and in human suffering, to have them out on the streets."

But criminologists say that most prisoners become less violent with age, so
imposing decades of incarceration reflects more of a desire to punish than
to protect.

"Retribution costs money," Dr. Flanagan said.

Some critics question the practicality of retribution.

"From a cost-effective point of view, every time we spend $20,000 a year to
keep a a 50-year-old locked up, that's $20,000 we're not spending on a 14-
or 15-year-old who may be the next kid who starts shooting in a schoolyard,"
said Marc Mauer, assistant director of the Sentencing Project, an
organization that studies criminal-justice policy.

"I would much rather be dealing with those kids who are having trouble in
school that may lead to some real violence in the short run, than lock up an
old guy until he's too sick to be a threat to anybody."

Future generations may be unwilling to pay bills for aging prisoners
sentenced by their parents, said Tom Krampitz, executive director of the
Texas District and County Attorneys Association and a supporter of tough

Would jurors guarantee three decades of prison time to a criminal if they
understood the cost? Mr. Krampitz wondered.

"Maybe what we ought to do is ask them if, knowing that life sentence is
going to cost you $100 a year out of your pocket, are you still willing to
do it?" he said.

Taxpayers may ask that question as corrections gobbles a growing piece of
the public pie. The cost of operating Texas prisons has doubled in the last
five years, along with the prison population.

The public's willingness to expand the prison system has convinced State
District Judge Larry Gist of Beaumont that today's tough sentencing laws
will remain on the books.

Judge Gist, chairman of a judicial council that advises state lawmakers,
said his instincts tell him that prison costs will be less of an issue if
long sentences help keep crime down. But he acknowledges that studies show
little correlation between high incarceration rates and low crime rates.

"The incarceration rate has increased every year since 1973," Dr. Clear
said, but crime has not always dropped. "It is not a clear cause and
effect - if you lock up more people you get less crime."

Uncertain prospects

If today's sentencing laws do remain on the books, chances are good that
many of these lifers eventually will return to the outside world.

What will they be like?

"My best prediction," said Dr. Flanagan, one of the few criminologists to
study long-term incarceration, "is there are going to be thousands of people
coming out having served long periods of time who are not equipped by
experience, education, training to cope with the world in which they're
going to be released.

"We will simply move them from one public welfare system - the prison
system - to another."

Long-term inmates become conditioned to being told what to do and when to do
it, Dr. Flanagan said. Most of their prison jobs are menial, such as
shelling pecans or sweeping floors. Most prison education or rehabilitation
programs are geared toward short-term inmates.

"A person that comes through the gate facing 30 years, we're really
bewildered about how do we fashion an existence that we can call
meaningful," Dr. Flanagan said.

The biggest hurdle for long-term inmates leaving the system is a lack of
support outside, experts say.

"Their families are not going to wait for them," Dr. Flanagan said.

Daily life is daunting for ex-cons, who often are woefully out of touch with
the outside world. When long-term inmates are released, prison officials
often have to call the local sheriff to remove them from the front gate,
said Larry Fitzgerald, a prison spokesman.

"We can't drive 'em off," he said. "They're terrified."

Former inmate Bobby Jones (not his real name) is 45, but after 17 years in
prison, he approaches the free world with the hesitancy of an old man.
Digital gasoline pumps puzzle him. His old neighborhood has deteriorated. He
finds traffic terrifying.

And some habits that served him well behind bars hinder him now.

After years of "talking low" in crowded prisons, he is often hard to hear in
conversation, for example.

"I swallow my words," he said.

The tattoos he applied to fit into the prison community brand him outside.

"If I take my shirt off," he said, "you know I'm an ex-con."

On the other hand, "I wouldn't be where I am today with my education if I
hadn't gone to prison," he said.

Mr. Jones earned a high school diploma and took 20 hours of junior college
electronics courses in prison. Since his release several months ago, he has
worked as a general maintenance man.

Still, he doesn't endorse Texas' harsh sentencing. Some people need to be
locked up forever, he said - but not thousands.

If an inmate is going to change, he'll do it in 10 years, Mr. Jones said,
and then he ought to be able to earn parole and live "a normal life."

After 30 years, "when they come out, they're either going to be worse," he
said, "or they'll be wasted space."

Carol Vance, chairman of the programs committee of the state board of
Criminal Justice, disagrees. He thinks long-term inmates will "come out
better than when they went in."

The state is beginning to address the issue with better pre-release
programs, he said. In addition, inmates are older and probably less violent
upon release, he said. Many also will be better educated and have picked up
"habits and customs and learning to be responsible for your actions."

But he added that the taxpayers demanding lengthy sentences today must be
willing to help inmates fit back into society once they have done their

"The community and the churches are really going to have to get involved in
this whole process," Mr. Vance warned, "or it won't work.

Mayor Steps Up His Criticism Of Methadone Programs ('The New York Times'
Says The Day After New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani Announced Plans
To Take 2,000 Heroin Addicts Off Methadone, He Stepped Up His Attack
On Such Treatment Programs, Accusing Them Of Enslaving Former Drug Users
Instead Of Pushing Them Toward Abstinence)

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 21:37:16 -0400
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: US NYT: Mayor Steps Up His Criticism of Methadone Programs
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Holly Catania (HCatania@sorosny.org)
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: 16 Aug 1998


NEW YORK -- One day after detailing his plan to wean 2,000 heroin addicts
off methadone at city hospitals, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani stepped up his
attack on methadone treatment programs Saturday, accusing them of enslaving
former drug users instead of pushing them toward abstinence.

Giuliani sharply criticized drug treatment experts -- like scientists at
the National Institutes of Health; Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the White House
drug policy chief; and state officials -- who say decades of research show
that methadone offers the best hope for the vast majority of recovering
heroin addicts.

Giuliani disputed their views Saturday, saying methadone maintenance
programs simply substitute one dependency for another, leaving thousands of
addicts tethered indefinitely to the synthetic drug widely prescribed to
blunt the craving for heroin.

And the mayor seemed to relish the opportunity to steer the city off the
traditional course and to portray himself as an innovative thinker who
cares more about the poor than the drug treatment specialists he assailed
Saturday as a "politically correct crowd."

"The critics and the advocates are just going to have to deal with the fact
that we have a different view on methadone than they do," Giuliani said. "I
think methadone is an enslaver. It's a chemical that's used to enslave people.

"If it's necessary for transition, then of course it should be used for
transition," he said. "If you're going to keep somebody permanently
enslaved to methadone for the rest of their lives, then I have real
questions about your common sense."

Under his new plan, which will begin in about 60 days, all addicts enrolled
in five city hospitals will be weaned from methadone within several months,
instead of taking it indefinitely as they do now. City officials said most
addicts would need only about three months to make the transition to
abstinence, although each patient would be evaluated individually.

But state officials, drug treatment specialists and even some providers who
run methadone-to-abstinence programs continued to raise concerns about the
mayor's plan, saying it goes too far by completely eliminating methadone
maintenance, which is desperately needed by thousands of addicts.

"I'm alarmed that the city is taking this approach," said Ray Diaz, a
senior vice president at Samaritan Village, a drug treatment program that
offers a methadone-to-abstinence program for 58 heroin addicts.

"This model doesn't work for everyone," Diaz said. "We need a number of
different treatment models at city hospitals. Methadone maintenance
programs are vital."

State officials and drug rehabilitation specialists emphasized that they
were not dismissing the value of methadone-to-abstinence programs. Of the
36,000 treatment slots for heroin addicts in New York City's public and
private clinics, about 1,000 are already devoted toward abstinence.

And Eileen Pencer, who runs such a methadone-to-abstinence residential
program for 90 addicts at the Lower East Side Service Center, said she
thought more heroin addicts would embrace the approach if additional beds
were available.

But Dr. Mary Jeanne Kreek, who heads the Laboratory of Biology of Addictive
Diseases at Rockefeller University in Manhattan, said drug research showed
that such methadone-to-abstinence programs can help only about 20 percent
of all heroin addicts.

"These programs have served an important role for a very limited number of
people," said Dr. Kreek, who has studied drug addiction for 30 years.
"Unfortunately, most of those people, between 70 and 90 percent, relapse to
illicit opiate use in one year."

Giuliani acknowledged Saturday that the new approach might not work for
everyone. But he said it was important to expand the availability of
methadone-to-abstinence programs so that addicts could choose for themselves.

Currently, he said, federal and state officials mistakenly spend most of
their dollars on methadone maintenance, making it difficult for drug users
to try anything else.

"Let's try it," Giuliani said of the new approach. "It is better to try to
have abstinence work for increasing numbers of people than having the
situation that these doctors have brought about. And the editorial board of
The (New York) Times I would include in the group that doesn't seem to
really understand what this is all about.

"The goal of our society should be self-reliant people -- not normalizing
dependency," he said. "What's happened is, the treatment of choice now
among all of these doctors is methadone -- 35,000 people in that kind of
treatment; only 15,000 people in other kinds of treatment."

As word of the mayor's plan trickled into the city's methadone clinics,
recovering addicts reacted with fear and approval. Steve, a 32-year-old
addict, who refused to give his last name, said, "People are in shock.

"You're going to be physically putting people into a position where they're
going to be sick, hurting, going on the street without methadone looking
for heroin," he said.

But another heroin addict, who declined to be identified, said he supported
the expansion of methadone-to-abstinence programs.

"If you are determined to clean up your life and not abuse drugs anymore,
it would be good for you," he said.

Copyright 1998 The New York Times

Webber Fined For Marijuana ('The Associated Press' Says Chris Webber,
The Sacramento Kings Basketball Player, Was Fined $500 For Carrying Marijuana
In His Luggage While Passing Through The Airport In San Juan, Puerto Rico)

From: "Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Sports guy (Webber) fined for marijuana
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 11:36:22 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Webber fined for marijuana


Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Chris Webber encountered more problems with the law
when he was fined $500 for carrying marijuana in his luggage while passing
through San Juan's airport.

Customs officials said the Sacramento Kings forward was briefly detained
Friday night. He then continued traveling from the Dominican Republic to
Barbados on a trip sponsored by the sporting goods company Fila.

Webber is to play in a fund-raiser game Monday in Barbados. However, an
official with the Barbados Amateur Basketball Association said Webber had
not arrived by Saturday morning.

Webber, who had 11 grams of marijuana in his luggage, was traveling with
Jerry Stackhouse of the Detroit Pistons and other athletes. Stackhouse
arrived in Barbados on Friday night but could not be reached for comment.

The customs department said that because of the small amount of marijuana
involved Webber was not cited for smuggling and would not be prosecuted for

A customs dog on a routine inspection in the transit lounge at Luis Munoz
Marin International Airport sniffed a carry-on bag that was tagged with
Stackhouse's name, customs said. Stackhouse denied the bag was his, and
Webber admitted it belonged to him.

This is the latest in a series of legal problems for Webber, who was traded
in May from the Washington Wizards to Sacramento. The trade was prompted in
part by his off-court turmoil.

Webber is awaiting trial for a January arrest that stemmed from a traffic
stop on his way to practice with the Wizards in Maryland. He faces charges
of marijuana possession, second-degree assault and resisting arrest.

Not A Smoke Screen (A Staff Editorial In 'The Louisville Courier-Journal'
In Kentucky Agrees With Woody Harrelson - 'It's Silly To Let Farmers
And The Environment And The Economy Lose Out Because Of Paranoia
About Drugs,' Adding That What Kentucky Needs Isn't More Celebrity Gawking,
But Folks Brave Enough To Stand Up And Make The Case For Hemp)

From: BulldogUSA@aol.com
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 01:13:37 EDT
To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Subject: DPFCA: Fwd: KY Hemp: Brave Leaders Needed
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:17:35 -0400
From: Joe Hickey (agfuture@kih.net)
Subject: KY Hemp: Brave Leaders Needed

Louisville, Kentucky
August 16, 1998


Not a smoke screen

Woody Harrelson's visit to the Louisville Forum last week started
the conversation about hemp anew. What a shame that it takes a comedic
actor to keep a serious topic on the public agenda. That's life in the
star-studded '90's.

Mr. Harrelson made his audience laugh, but he also scored a few
important points. One was, "It's silly to let farmers and the
environment and the economy lose out because of paranoia about drugs."
In the case of hemp, the fear does border on paranoia. Hemp and
marijuana are cousins, but they certainly aren't the same. It's possible
to care deeply about the dangers of drugs and still believe that hemp
could be a valuable crop.

Hemp used to be important to Kentucky. The climate here - and in
Tennessee and Missouri - is just about perfect for it. Our rolling
topography suits it. Given all the uncertainties about tobacco, we need
a serious look at returning to hemp cultivation.

It may not be as lucrative as its most enthusiastic supporters hope.
But it takes years to develop new markets, and this is an industry that
has been dormant for about 70 years. A Canadian hemp farmer who also
spoke at the Louisville Forum said he found it "exciting that America
wasn't into hemp yet. It will give my country a strong start in the
industry." Hemp now is being used for paper, clothing, carpeting, as
well as for food products.

What Kentucky needs isn't more celebrity gawking, but folks brave
enough to stand up and make the case for hemp. The question isn't
"Should we legalize marijuana?" It's "Should we legalize hemp?" As time
passes, the evidence continues to lead to the answer "Yes."

Woman Cites US Trickery In Drug Case ('The Los Angeles Times'
Says A Mexican Investment Counselor Entrapped By US Agents
During The Massive 'Operation Casablanca' Money Laundering Sting
Was Threatened With Violence When She Tried To Back Out)

From: "Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Woman Cites U.S. Trickery in Drug Case
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:12:37 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net
Sunday, August 16, 1998
Woman Cites U.S. Trickery in Drug Case
[Los Angeles Times?]
By DAVID ROSENZWEIG, Times Staff Writer

A 26-year-old Mexican investment counselor says she was tricked into
becoming involved in the biggest drug money laundering sting in U.S.
history, and then threatened with physical harm when she tried to back out
of the deal.

Katy Kissel Belfer, who is charged with laundering $1 million in drug
cartel money, contends that federal agents failed to prevent threats and
other misconduct by undercover operatives employed in the probe.

In documents filed last week in Los Angeles federal court, Kissel asked
a judge to dismiss her indictment or, failing that, to sever her trial from
that of other defendants in the case.

She also charged that U.S. authorities violated Mexican sovereignty and
treaty obligations by conducting the cross-border probe without Mexico's

It was the first of what promises to be many defense attacks on
Operation Casablanca, the nearly three-year-long U.S. Customs investigation
that resulted in the indictment in May of more than 100 people, including
more than 25 bankers from Mexico and Venezuela.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Joseph A. Brandolino said the prosecution will
file a response to Kissel's claims. "At that time we will set out the real
facts in this case," he said, "and we will demonstrate that the motion is
without merit."

In his court papers, defense attorney Michael Pancer of San Diego said
that Kissel, who worked for CBI Casa de Bolsa in Mexico City, was conned
into believing she was getting involved in a legitimate investment deal.

While attending a social event, he said, a business acquaintance told
her of a man named Rafael who represented some wealthy investors looking to
place large amounts of money.

A meeting was arranged with Rafael--he was not further identified by
the defense--after which Kissel went to Los Angeles to meet the purported

Not until she arrived in Los Angeles, Pancer said in his court papers,
was Kissel told by undercover customs agents that the "investors" were
high-ranking members of the Cali drug cartel who wanted her to launder a
large amount of money from drug transactions.

Kissel said in the court documents that she feigned willingness to go
along with the deal because she was reminded that the Cali cartel had a
substantial presence in Mexico and was not reluctant to use violence.

When she returned to Mexico, however, she said she told Rafael she
wanted to drop out, but he warned her that doing so could result in physical
harm to her and her family.

"These threats appeared genuine," the court documents said, "especially
in light of the fact that 'Rafael' made it clear that he and the cartel had
knowledge of intimate details of her day-to-day activities, of which he made
her aware."

Although the prosecution maintains that Rafael was not a government
agent, Pancer said the mysterious intermediary worked directly or indirectly
at the instructions of the government informant in the case.

Kissel was arrested several weeks after she laundered the $1 million
while attending a Las Vegas party hosted by the same government informant
cited by Pancer.

That informant apparently was given no instructions to limit his
recruitment efforts to those in the Mexican financial community who showed a
predisposition to launder money, the defense attorney said.

"I believe that the government enlisted the assistance of an informant
whose job it was to entice as many members of the financial community in
Mexico as possible to become involved in a scheme to invest money for
persons they would eventually be told were members of the Cali cartel," he

By casting the largest net possible, he added, it was inevitable that
the sting would draw in innocent people.

Pancer also argued that the charges should be thrown out because U.S.
authorities violated Mexico's sovereignty as well as the U.S.-Mexican
extradition and mutual legal assistance treaties.

Although U.S. authorities denied it, Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo
and Foreign Minister Rosario Green protested that officials there were kept
in the dark during Operation Casablanca, a violation of treaty obligations.
The Clinton administration later apologized.

Pancer has asked for a Sept. 9 hearing on his motions.

President To Propose Relaxed Sentence For Marijuana Possession
(According To 'The Associated Press,' The Government Of Guyana
Will Move To Phase Out Mandatory Jail Sentences For People Caught
With Small Quantities Of Marijuana, Guyanese President Janet Jagan
Said Sunday)

Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 09:57:27 -0800
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
Subject: MN: Gyana: Wire: President To Propose
Relaxed Sentence For Marijuana Possession
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: Associated Press
Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998


GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) - The government will move to phase out mandatory
jail sentences for people caught with small quantities of marijuana,
Guyanese President Janet Jagan said Sunday.

Speaking on a weekly state television program, Jagan said she will
introduce a bill that would punish marijuana users with a fine or require
them to do community service. The lighter sentences would apply only to
cases involving possession of five grams or less of the drug.

Laws enacted in 1988 require a five-year jail sentence in addition to a
maximum fine of dlrs 70 (Guyana dlrs 10,000) for marijuana possession.

``We want to give a more common sense approach,'' Jagan said in an
interview on the GTV-11 television station. ``What I am saying is that
small cases are being given heavy fines and I don't think it is right. In
the whole narcotics trade, the hard drugs are the real drugs that are
dangerous to people.''

Jagan's People's Progressive Party holds a majority in the Guyanese

New Colombian Environment Minister - Crop Eradication Program A Failure
(According To 'The Associated Press,' Juan Mayr, A Renowned Conservationist,
Was Quoted By Bogota's 'El Tiempo' Newspaper Saying The Aerial Crop-Spraying
Program Favored By The United States To Reduce Colombian Cocaine
And Heroin Production Had Failed, And He Would Seek Alternatives)

From: "Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Colombian crop eradication program a failure
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:04:53 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

New Colombian environment minister: crop eradication program a failure
By Jared Kotler, Associated Press, 08/16/98 15:11

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - The aerial crop-spraying program favored by the
United States to reduce Colombian cocaine and heroin production has failed,
the new environment minister said in an interview published Sunday.

``The cultivated areas have increased, which demonstrates that fumigation
hasn't worked,'' Juan Mayr, a renowned conservationist, was quoted by
Bogota's El Tiempo newspaper as saying.

Mayr said he would seek alternatives to spraying coca and opium crops with
herbicides, which environmentalists say endanger humans and animals and
threaten the Amazon rain forest.

Though he didn't say whether he favored scrapping the current program
altogether, Mayr added: ``We can't permanently fumigate the country.''

Currently, the herbicide glyphosate is used in the spraying. U.S. officials
favor changing to the more toxic tebuthiuron because it is granular, can be
dropped from higher altitudes and dissolves less readily.

Last year, a record 160 square miles of coca were sprayed but coca
cultivation nevertheless increased to 307 square miles, according to the
United States.

TurboThrush prop planes, their pilots contracted by Washington and including
Americans, carry out the spraying in areas dominated by leftist rebels, who
periodically fire on the aircraft and the U.S.-donated helicopter gunships
that escort them.

The rebels levy taxes on the drug crop cultivation and production, using the
proceeds to fund their war.

President Andres Pastrana, who took office Aug. 7, has said he prefers an
alternative to eradication. He is seeking international funding for programs
to encourage poor coca and opium farmers to switch to legal, but less
lucrative crops.

President Clinton said in a letter to Pastrana last week that he would
support those efforts. But American officials insist eradication remains the
central element of U.S. anti-narcotics policy in Colombia - the producer of
80 percent of the cocaine sold in the United States and a growing share of
the heroin.

Drug Clinics Might Be 'Necessary Evil' / Drug Clinic Better Than Nothing
(An Article And Letter To The Editor Of 'The Canberra Times'
Discuss The Increasing Demand For Government-Run Heroin Injecting Clinics
In The Australian Capital Territory)

To: mattalk@islandnet.com
Subject: The Canberra Time Sun 16 Aug 1998
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 98 16:54:28 +1000
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)
Organization: P.I.C.

---- The following is the original message ----

To: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: The Canberra Times Sun 16 Aug 1998
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 98 16:52:52 +1000
From: petrew@pcug.org.au (Peter Watney)

Newshawk: petrew@pcug.org.au
Source: The Canberra Times
Contact: letters.editor@canberratimes.com.au
Pubdate: Sun 16 Aug 1998
Section: Issues p.11 (Op-ed)
Journalist: Peter Clack

[Picture from inside looking out at "Michael Moore at the Civic
Methadone Clinic: in favour of injecting clinics for Canberra."]

Drug clinics might be 'necessary evil'

Special injecting clinics are the latest proposal in the fight against
a worsening drugs problem where heroin is getting cheaper, purer and
more accessible, says Peter Clack.

GOVERNMENT-RUN clinics for injecting heroin users have been placed
squarely on Canberra's agenda.

Some will deplore it and others will praise it. But a growing number
of people from across the health, law-enforcement and welfare sectors
see it as a necessary evil.

Heroin, as with all illicit drugs, has the ability to stir deep
emotions. There are those that shrink uncomfortably from the idea of
addicts shooting up in a Government-run clinic. They might see this
latest move as a gimmick, another humiliating retreat from the front
line of the drug wars.

But whichever side of the argument you come down on, things are
getting worse.

It seems clear that the concept of zero tolerance, the hard-line views
taken by many governments and law-enforcement agencies, are not the
answer to the complex phenomenon.

Last week the state conference of the Western Australian National
Party supported controlled heroin trials.

The mayors of Australia's capital cities, meeting in Brisbane, sought
a new approach to drugs, saying the current strategy was not working.

Aided by improving technology, heroin and other drugs pour into the
country in quantities so huge that the frequent drug busts by federal
agencies make no difference to street prices or availability.

Heroin is getting cheaper, purer and more accessible. Police probably
detect no more than 1 per cent of heroin being brought into Canberra.
There is a growing list of casualties. The national death toll from
heroin overdoses Pproached 800 in the 12 months to July. Probably four
to five times as many overdosed but survived.

In Canberra, 10 heroin users died from overdoses in the 12 months to
June and 300 were treated by ACT Ambulance Service paramedics.

They treated 42 overdose victims last month alone.

Given the worsening scenario, the ACT Health Minister, Independent MLA
Michael Moore, is seriously considering what he terms "early
intervention centres", which would contain rooms used as injecting

Providing syringes

At first glance this raises some staggering problems of public
liability if users died on the premises. Would government officers
inspect or test the heroin? Would they help with injections and
provide syringes?

How would such a network be put in place in a city of scattered town
centres such as Canberra? And who would pay to have clinics open 24
hours a day?

These questions were put to senior ACT officials and ambulance
workers, who said they saw the potential benefits of offering drug
users the chance to inject drugs in a clean and supervised

One experienced ambulance parmedic told of his emotions when the
overdose victim was dead before he got there. He and other officials
and police spoke of the sense of shock and grieving of parents when
they were told their child had died from a drug overdose.

There are serious questions to be overcome. How can laws be changed so
police, who are duty bound to arrest drug offenders, do not intervene
and arrest frug offenders as they arrive at or leave the clinics?

The chief executive of the ACT Department of Health and Community
Care, David Butt, told of his visit to Frankfurt, Germany, this year,
where he went to see injecting clinics in operation.

He said Frankfurt had had a "very open drug scene", with as many as
6000 users a day in just one local shooting haunt. There would be 20
calls a day to treat overdoses.

But opening Government administered clinics had had a deep and
profound effect. In 1991, 141 had died of overdoses in Frankfurt. By
1997 the number had fallen to 22.

An estimated 70 to 80 per cent were diagnosed with HIV. By 1998, this
ration had fallen to 18 per cent.

Crime had fallen and police and the drug-using community had better
relationships. Medical staff, including junior doctors, did not
interfere in the injecting process or in the substances. They provided
sterile trays or syrup for methadone users and were there to help them
if they collapsed.

The clinics were made possible by using harm-minimisation rather than
stern law enforcement. Heroin problems were treated in a bipartisan
way, and police, prosecutors and health and drug agencies worked

Called "crisis centres" in Frankfurt, counsellors and social workers
are on hand to help drug users if they want help.

City police no longer arrest for the personal use of heroin. Instead,
they focus on dealers.

Overdoses reduced

Dr Alex Wodak is the director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at
Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital, and president of the Australian Drug
Law Reform Foundation, and he is among Australia's most prominent in
the field. Michael Moore is the Foundation's past president.

Wodak spoke of injecting clinics in several cities in Switzerland,
Germany and Holland. Overdose rates and rates of drug-related crime
had been reduced dramatically.

Australia's rate of overdose deaths was rising at 12 per cent a year.
In NSW alone 12,000 people were on methadone programs. Australia had
about 200,000 people who were injecting heroin amphetamines and

Drugs were widely used in prisons, where the dangers of HIV infections
were extremely high, because of shared needles. Fifty per cent of male
prisoners and 80 per sent of female prisoners injected drugs. When
they returned to the community, they brought the diseases with them.

A user would inject 50 times a month outside prison and once or twice
a month inside prison.

The 1996 Royal Commission into the NSW Police called for the
introduction of safe injecting rooms, but a NSW parliamentary
committee rejected it in favour of the status quo.

"This left police in a terrible position and they had to keep turning
a blind eye to injecting rooms in NSW," Wodak said.

Unofficial injecting sooms were set up in the back rooms of sex shops.

There were many myths about heroin. It could be injected for life in
safe amounts and the only health issues were the addiction itself and

British doctors have had the legal right since 1926 to prescribe
heroin to patients, and some do. Heroin is widely used in Britain in
serious illness to alleviate pain.

Many wealthy people use heroin and still have stable lives.

Moore plans to introduce proposals in the next sittings of the
Legislative Assembly to create the clinics. His proposal will meet
with guarded support from the Labor Party, rejection by Independent
Paul Osborne, and sympathy from former policeman Dave Rugendyke.

But the strongest opposition is likely to come from within the Liberal


Section: Letters to the editor p.10
Correspondent: Peter Watney

Drug Clinic better than nothing

ALMOST a decade ago Michael Moore initiated a study by the National
Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health (NCEPH) into a heroin
trial. The Legislative Assembly thought the situation sufficiently
serious to support the initiative.

Three years ago a spate of heroin deaths prompted the formation of
Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, a group largely made up of
respectable hard working people who had lost loved ones to the curse
of heroin and who refuted the popular image of the heroin addict.
They knew the quality of the people they had lost and knew that the
demon that had killed them was a sickness and that they were not
criminal scum.

Two and a half years ago the the Legislative Assembly approved the
detailed proposals and carefully worked out protocols for a trial,
that would enable clinical quality heroin to be injected in safe
surroundings, under medically qualified supervision, by carefully
selected local addicts, and with records of the medical and social
outcomes to be made available to the world.

Two years ago the Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy failed to
approve the trial, but decided to leave it on the table for the 1997
meeting of the Council.

One year ago the Ministerial Council with federal Cabinet approval had
authorised a trial in accordance with the NCEPH protocols only to
have the trial vetoed a week later by the Prime Minister immediately
on his return to duty from a spell in hospital. He demanded more of
the same old zero tolerance, ineffective, law and order campaign and
authorised the odd few extra millions to execute it.

Today the situation is predictably worse, so all that Michael Moore is
able to attempt is the clinical surroundings and trained supervision
without the clinical quality heroin or the research findings that the
trial would have provided.

And even that is better than nothing, provided the Nation's
intellectually challenged leadership does not again exercise its veto.




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