------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dan Koozer (email@example.com) To: Multiple Recipients of List (firstname.lastname@example.org), Multiple Recipients of List (email@example.com) Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 experience. Dan *** Dan Koozer, President Cannabis Liberation Society PO Box 10957 Eugene, Oregon 97401 Voice Mail & Event Line: (541) 744-5744 http://www.efn.org/~cannlib/
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Why Must I Suffer At The Hands Of The Law? Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk:John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 16 August 1998 GOLDEN PEN AWARD-TODAYS WINNER IS JEROME MAN,WHO LIVES IN SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO. 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 available. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Tim Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com Pubdate: 16 Aug 1998 TRICKY QUESTIONS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA 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 consumers? 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: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: "MN" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: MN: US: CA: Opinion: Prop. 215 On Trial In The McWilliams Case Date: Tue, 18 Aug 1998 16:59:26 -0500 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 8-16-98 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.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 trial? 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 Constitution. 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 pains. 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 himself.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA/Nicaragua: Drug Dealer Benefited From Agencies' Strife Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 Author: Seth Rosenfeld OF THE EXAMINER STAFF Section: Page A1 DRUG DEALER BENEFITED FROM AGENCIES' STRIFE 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 process. "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 source." 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US CA/Nicaragua: A Smuggler, The Dea And The Fbi Source Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 Section: Page A 10 A SMUGGLER, THE DEA AND THE FBI SOURCE: U.S. Department of Justice 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 prosecution. * 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Comments: cc: email@example.com To: DPFT-L@TAMU.EDUProtesters 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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE: Officers Had No Warrant In Fatal Drug Raid Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Rolf Ernst (rolf_ernst@legalize_usa.org) Source: Dallas Morning News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 Author: Rolf Ernst OFFICERS HAD NO WARRANT IN FATAL DRUG RAID 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 Frisco
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Society to face rising cost of aging prison population Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 11:35:46 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Society to face rising cost of aging prison population Experts wonder if Texas system can keep up with a trend toward longer-term sentencing 08/16/98 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 Texas. 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 prisoners. 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 years. 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 population. 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 laws." 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 sentencing. 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 time. "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: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (MAPNews) Subject: MN: US NYT: Mayor Steps Up His Criticism of Methadone Programs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Holly Catania (HCatania@sorosny.org) Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: 16 Aug 1998 MAYOR STEPS UP HIS CRITICISM OF METHADONE PROGRAMS 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" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Sports guy (Webber) fined for marijuana Date: Mon, 17 Aug 1998 11:36:22 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Webber fined for marijuana 08/16/98 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 possession. 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFCA: Fwd: KY Hemp: Brave Leaders Needed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:17:35 -0400 From: Joe Hickey (email@example.com) Subject: KY Hemp: Brave Leaders Needed THE LOUISVILL COURIER-JOURNAL Louisville, Kentucky August 16, 1998 EDITORAL PAGE (Forum) 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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Woman Cites U.S. Trickery in Drug Case Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:12:37 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 consent. 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 investors. 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 wrote. 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: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) Subject: MN: Gyana: Wire: President To Propose Relaxed Sentence For Marijuana Possession Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 PRESIDENT TO PROPOSE RELAXED SENTENCE FOR MARIJUANA POSSESSION 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 parliament.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 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" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Colombian crop eradication program a failure Date: Sun, 16 Aug 1998 19:04:53 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com Subject: The Canberra Time Sun 16 Aug 1998 Date: Mon, 17 Aug 98 16:54:28 +1000 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Watney) Organization: P.I.C. ---- The following is the original message ---- To: email@example.com Subject: The Canberra Times Sun 16 Aug 1998 Date: Mon, 17 Aug 98 16:52:52 +1000 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter Watney) Newshawk: email@example.com Source: The Canberra Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 clinics. 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 environment. 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 together. 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 cocaine. 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 constipation. 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 Party. *** 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. PETER WATNEY Holt -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1998 Daily News index for August 13-19
to Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980816.html