------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Louisiana Governor Backs Unprecedented Drug Testing Plan Despite Costs, Legal Problems; Government's Household Survey Data Contradicts Proposition 215 Critics; Private Researcher Plants First Medical Marijuana Crop; DEA Says Federal Marijuana Prohibition Trumps Tribal Law Okaying Hemp Cultivation) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 11:34:00 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 7/28/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org August 27, 1998 Louisiana Governor Backs Unprecedented Drug Testing Plan Despite Costs, Legal Problems August 27, 1998, Baton Rouge, LA: Governor Mike Foster vowed to implement random drug testing to nearly 30,000 state welfare recipients after criticizing the results of a questionnaire that determined few recipients used drugs. If approved, the state-sponsored drug testing program would likely be the largest in the nation. "It is unprecedented for a Legislature to single out indigents and compel them to prove they are 'drug free' as a condition of receiving financial assistance," said attorney Tanya Kangas, Director of Litigation for The NORML Foundation. A 1997 law mandates drug testing for virtually all residents receiving moneys from the state, including welfare recipients, state employees, elected officials, state university students, and those holding state contracts. Thus far, efforts to implement the new law have focused almost exclusively on welfare recipients. "There is no chance this law will survive a court challenge," NORML Legal Committee member William Rittenberg said. In May, Rittenberg successfully argued before the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that teachers and other public school employees may not be tested for drugs following an accident on the job. "This Legislature likes to provide work and easy cases to civil rights lawyers," he said. State officials began screening welfare recipients for drugs this summer by administering a written questionnaire that contained questions regarding substance abuse. Governor Foster sharply criticized the procedure after it netted fewer than 100 potential drug abusers out of 2,600 candidates. A Department of Social Services spokesman said the initial screening is necessary because the state cannot test welfare recipients without reasonable suspicion of drug use. Apart from Constitutional issues, Foster's plan also raises some serious financial questions. Rittenberg estimates that implementing urine tests to the state's large welfare population will cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Individuals who refuse to comply with the policy or who test positive on more than one occasion will no longer receive state aid, the 1997 law stipulates. For more information, please contact either attorney William Rittenberg @ (504) 524-5555 or Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Government's Household Survey Data Contradicts Prop. 215 Critics August 27, 1998, Washington, DC: Use of marijuana and other drugs among adolescents has not increased in California since the passage of Proposition 215, according to data released Friday by the government's National Household Survey on Drug Abuse. "These figures belie claims of Prop. 215 opponents, led by Attorney General Dan Lungren and Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, that the approval of medical marijuana will lead to an explosion of teen drug abuse in California," Dale Gieringer said. The survey found that adolescent marijuana use is lower in California than in other states. Among youth age 12 to 17, less than seven percent of Californians reported using marijuana monthly versus ten percent nationwide. Survey data did find that a higher percentage of California adults reported using marijuana than the national average, but noted that this figure has remained stable since 1994. "The new Household data, the first to cover the post-1996 period, flatly contradict claims that Proposition 215 sent a 'damaging signal' to both adults and children," Gieringer said. This year's Household survey included special close-up data for California at the request of Office of National Drug Control Policy head Barry McCaffrey. After the passage of Proposition 215 in November 1996, McCaffrey alleged that "increased drug abuse in every category will be the inevitable result" of the medical marijuana law. Nationwide, the survey determined that more adolescents reported using marijuana in 1997 than the previous year. For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Private Researcher Plants First Medical Marijuana Crop August 27, 1998, London, England: The first private researcher to receive a federal license to grow marijuana for medical purposes planted his initial crop Monday. He will grow the plants at an undisclosed greenhouse research facility in the south of England. Dr. Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, received permission from the federal government in June to grow marijuana for medical research. He announced in July that he will begin clinical trials to examine the therapeutic effects of whole smoked marijuana on multiple sclerosis patients, and discouraged efforts to synthesize medical compounds in the plant. "I don't see the value in taking apart something that seems to work at the moment," he previously told a House of Lords committee. Private researchers in America who wish to follow in Guy's footsteps will be disappointed. Presently, only the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has permission to grow marijuana for research purposes. The agency almost exclusively limits it supply of marijuana to federal researchers hoping to determine harmful effects of the plant. In August 1997, a National Institute of Health (NIH) expert panel on medical marijuana urged NIDA to implement policy changes to expedite medical marijuana research, but the agency has refused to do so. For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or NORML board member Rick Doblin @ (617) 484-9509. *** DEA Says Federal Marijuana Prohibition Trumps Tribal Law Okaying Hemp Cultivation August 27, 1998, Pine Ridge, SD: Federal officials will not recognize legislation passed recently by Council members of the Oglala Sioux Indian Tribe legally distinguishing between marijuana and hemp, a DEA spokesman announced recently. The conflict appears to set the stage for a federal lawsuit if tribal members go through with plans to cultivate the non-psychoactive strain of the plant. Tom Cook, who is overseeing the Sioux hemp project, said that the tribe anticipates filing an injunction against the DEA. "[This is] a question [of] whether the tribe has sovereignty over its own land." Earlier this month, council members approved an ordinance recognizing hemp as a "safe and profitable" crop that is legally distinct from marijuana. Responding to the measure, DEA Acting Associate Chief Counsel May Kate Whaelen said that the agency would still move to prosecute anyone cultivating hemp on the reservation. For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano or attorney Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. Tom Cook may be contacted @ (308) 432-2290. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Says Teens Especially Prone To Traffic Accidents (According To 'The Oregonian,' Oregon Department Of Transportation Statistics Indicate Nearly 28 Percent Of Car Accidents Involving Teens Also Involve Alcohol, So, Despite The State Equivalent Of The Hatch Act, The Oregon Department Of Transportation Will Lobby For Legislation In 1999 That Would Establish A Graduated Licensing System To Limit Teen Drivers To Daytime Driving And Passengers Older Than 25) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ State says teens especially prone to traffic accidents * An Oregon safety official says young people tend not to heed warnings about the dangers of reckless driving Friday, August 28 1998 By Art Marroquin of The Oregonian staff In driver-education class, teens learn the importance of stop signs, signaling turns and yielding the right of way. "I try to get across to the kids to slow down and think about what they're doing behind the wheel," said Roger Jones, owner of Northstar Driver Education Center in Portland. But the fact remains that teens are nearly two times as likely as other drivers in Oregon to get into an automobile accident because they are less experienced and tend not to heed warnings about the dangers of driving recklessly, according to Walt McAllister, youth program manager at the Oregon Department of Transportation's traffic safety section. Oregon has 187,070 licensed drivers younger than 19, out of more than 2.5 million total drivers. Although teens make up only 7 percent of drivers on Oregon roadways, they are responsible for about 14 percent of the accidents. Nearly 28 percent of those teen car accidents involve alcohol, according to ODOT statistics. Because the number of accidents is so high, some agencies are pushing for more restrictions. According to current law, a youth can get a driver's permit at age 15 and a provisional license by 16 that grants the privileges of any driver. But the Oregon Department of Transportation will lobby for legislation in 1999 that would establish a graduated licensing system to limit teen drivers to daytime driving and passengers older than 25. "Youths are more likely to get into an accident with youth passengers in the car because of distractions," McAllister said. "And most teens are not too confident about driving at night." Also, AAA Oregon/Idaho is pushing for graduated licensing that would limit night driving, make driver training mandatory and force teen-age drivers to be accident-free behind the wheel before they become eligible for an unrestricted license at age 18. Graduated licensing has been tried in other nations and recently in eight U.S. states. California was the latest to adopt stricter guidelines, including no passengers younger than 20 for the first six months and no driving between midnight and 5 a.m. without a licensed driver 25 or older. But beyond the basic rules of the road, lessons on drinking and driving are especially important. Oregon has a zero-tolerance alcohol policy for drivers younger than 21. The penalty for a minor who drinks and gets behind the wheel is at least a 90-day license suspension, said Natalie Barnes, a spokeswoman for Driver and Motor Vehicle Services. "We do the best we can to make youths aware of the dangers of drinking and driving, and (tell them) that driving is a not a right but a privilege with a lot of responsibility," said Debra Downey, impaired-driving program manager for ODOT. To help curb teen drunken driving accidents, Portland police are doing sting operations at liquor stores, said Detective Sgt. Cheryl Kanzler, a police spokeswoman. "Obviously a young driver's inexperience coupled with alcohol creates an especially dangerous situation for themselves and other drivers on the road," Kanzler said. "Part of that problem is how young people are getting their hands on the liquor, and that's one aspect we're focusing on." But the responsibility for teens and their driving ultimately falls to parents, McAllister said. If parents suspect their teen is abusing driving privileges, they may have the license suspended until the driver turns 18. "A parent can't protect their child from everything that can happen," McAllister said. "But a parent who is involved in their teen's driving habits makes for a safer teen."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Approve Grant To Hire 240 Oregon State Police Troopers ('The Associated Press' Says That If The Oregon Legislature Agrees To Provide Matching Funds, Bloating The Outrageous Proportion Of The State's Budget Already Devoted To Law Enforcement, Courts And Prisons, A Grant From President Clinton's COPS Program - The Office Of Community Oriented Policing Services - Will Provide Enough Money To Nearly Double The Ranks Of The State Police) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Feds approve grant to hire 240 Oregon State Police troopers The Associated Press 8/28/98 12:12 PM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon State Police could nearly double its ranks of troopers with a grant approved by the federal government. The program, however, requires matching funds that the Oregon Legislature must decide whether to provide. The grant from President Clinton's COPS program -- the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services -- totals more than $18 million over three years and could allow the state police to hire 240 troopers to boost the 360 uniformed officers already on patrol. State Police Superintendent LeRon R. Howland said the U.S. Justice Department would set the money aside to allow state lawmakers flexibility in deciding how much to spend on new troopers. Howland said the agency has lost 250 uniformed patrol positions since 1981, closed several police offices and left some areas of the state without 24-hour coverage. More troopers to patrol interstate and state highways also would free up county and city police departments to spend more time on criminal investigations, Howland said. Senate Majority Leader Gene Derfler, R-Salem, said support for expansion was likely. "I think it would be very favorable because we didn't fund the state police with many positions last time," Derfler said. Studies have shown since 1992 that Oregon has only about half the number of troopers it should have. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Panel Stands By Viagra Payment Stop Decision ('The Associated Press' Says The Oregon Health Services Commission Refused Thursday To Change Its Decision To Quit Paying For Pfizer's Impotency Drug Under The Oregon Health Plan Insurance Program For Poor People)Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Panel stands by Viagra payment stop decision The Associated Press 8/28/98 5:27 AM By CHARLES E. BEGGS Associated Press Writer SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A state panel refused to change its decision to quit paying for the impotency drug Viagra under the Oregon Health Plan. Despite protests by several physicians, the Health Services Commission on Thursday defended its action as a technical correction on the list of hundreds of medical services and procedures it ranks under the plan. Dr. Alan Bates of Medford, chairman of the panel, said he intended that the issue be reconsidered in six months. "This is not a closed discussion," he said. The commission in June voted to remove Viagra from coverage on grounds that listing it as an organic problem was erroneous because it also has psychological causes. Insurance payments for the drug, at $10 a pill, are to stop on Oct. 1. "Not all impotence is psychogenic, but all impotence should be on the same line," said Dr. Andrew Glass, a panel member from Portland. "We thought all sexual dysfunction should be in the same group." Dr. Bruce Blank, a Portland urologist, told the commission the emergence of Viagra as an "erectile dysfunction" aid has caused men's underlying problems to be disclosed when they decide to seek help from Viagra. "Men are coming forward and allowing doctors to find life threatening conditions," Blank said. Physicians say ailments such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer or spinal cord injury can cause erection problems, as well as psychological troubles. The state health plan provides Medicaid coverage to more low-income people by limiting the number of services covered. The commission ranks the coverages on a priority list, and the Legislature's decision on how much money goes into the plan determines where the line is drawn. The commission move of Viagra to put it with all impotence disorders, including psychologically based ones, shifted it to number 578 on the list. The present cutoff line for health plan payment is 574. Philip Leveque, a doctor and retired pharmacology professor, said the drug "is important in holding families together. If it is available, it should be available to all people." Glass said the main function of the commission is to preserve the integrity of the prioritized list. "The (payment cutoff line) is not set by the commission," he said. He and other panel members urged people unhappy with the decision to lobby legislators to eliminate the problem by putting more money into the health plan. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doctor's Family Sues Psychiatrist ('The Associated Press' Says The Family Of Dr. Richard K. Dickson, A Doctor In Lake Oswego, Oregon, Who Committed Suicide Nearly Three Years Ago, Is Suing His Psychiatrist, Dr. John Lingas, For $3.5 Million, Claiming Dr. Dickson Was Addicted To 'Drugs' And Dr. Lingas Should Have Hospitalized Him And Required Him To Undergo Drug Testing) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Doctor's family sues psychiatrist The Associated Press 8/28/98 5:31 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The family of a Lake Oswego doctor who committed suicide nearly three years ago is suing his psychiatrist for $3.5 million, claiming the death could have been prevented. Dr. Richard K. Dickson, who died Oct. 28, 1995, was addicted to drugs and had been suicidal for some time, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court. The lawsuit claims Dickson's psychiatrist, Dr. John Lingas, provided care that was below the standard of a reasonable psychiatrist and was a "substantial factor" in causing Dickson's death. Dickson was a patient of Lingas' from 1988 until about three weeks before his death. The lawsuit says Lingas should have hospitalized Dickson in 1994 or 1995 and required him to undergo drug testing. Dickson, who was 41 when he died, ran a general medical practice and also worked in Legacy Emanuel Hospital's emergency room. Dickson's widow, Laura Wallace-Dickson, is seeking $3 million in lost earnings, $500,000 for loss of companionship and $7,500 for funeral expenses. The Dicksons' two children are now 11 and 15 years old. Mrs. Dickson's lawyer, Timothy J. Jones, said he did want to comment beyond the court documents. Lingas was out of the office Thursday and could not be reached for comment. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. *** [ed. note: The editor (email@example.com) would appreciate learning what 'drug' the dead man was allegedly 'addicted' to.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- State Agrees To Waive Bill ('The Associated Press' Says A Man Who Was Stuck With A $4,517.20 Cleanup Bill After He Reported Finding A Methamphetamine Lab In A Horse Trailer On His Property Near Eagle Point, Oregon, Won't Have To Pay Because He Exercised Due Diligence In Reporting The Mess) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org State agrees to waive bill The Associated Press 8/28/98 7:40 PM MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- A man stuck with a $4,517.20 cleanup bill after he reported finding a methamphetamine lab in a horse trailer on his property near Eagle Point won't have to pay after all. The state has agreed to waive the bill, said state Rep. Judy Uherbelau, D-Ashland. Uherbelau, a lawyer, said she checked state law when it looked like landowner Al Doty would be penalized for having reported a crime. "This guy was an innocent person in the whole thing," she said. Uherbelau said the law was designed to make landowners pay because it's usually the landowner's fault. The bills aren't supposed to go to landowners who exercise due diligence in reporting an illegal lab, she said. "It's not a good idea to discourage people from doing this," she said. Doty said he still would encourage others to report drug activity. "They ought to turn in all the druggies," he said. Doty still has several bills to pay, including the cost of having a local firm test soil in the area, but "it's not so horrendous now," he said. "That's a relief." Uherbelau did not know if the state can go after other responsible parties for the cleanup costs. If not, the state will absorb the cost, she said. Doty said he was grateful for Uherbelau's help. "I just wanted it brought to people's attention that the state does respond when it's brought to their attention," she said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer's File Shows Problems ('The Columbian' In Vancouver, Washington, Says Five Months Before Vancouver Police Officer Aaron Gibson Was Fired For Leaving Behind Flash-Bang Grenades That Blew Off The Hand Of A 13-Year-Old Girl, He Received A 'Below Average' Performance Review) The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: email@example.com Web: http://www.columbian.com/ OFFICER'S FILE SHOWS PROBLEMS Friday, August 28, 1998 By STEPHANIE THOMSON, Columbian staff writer Five months before Vancouver Police Officer Aaron Gibson was fired for leaving behind flash-bang grenades that blew off the hand of a 13-year-old, he received a "below average" performance review. He was also judged by his peers to be a poor role model for new officers. The transcript from Gibson's arbitration hearing, released to The Columbian Thursday, show the city justified its disciplinary actions in part by arguing Gibson had problems in the department long before he was fired last December. The Vancouver Police Officers Guild, which had contested the firing, insists the punishment was too severe. The closed hearing was July 20-24 in Vancouver in front of Seattle arbitrator Janet Gaunt. Her decision is expected in October. During the arbitration hearing, which focused on Gibson's history with the department, the guild debated the severity of some of his past offenses, including four minor traffic accidents. The guild also took issue with police supervisors that suggested Gibson had an attitude problem. Police Chief Doug Maas testified a pivotal factor for him in deciding Gibson should be fired was how he reacted after Lieshell Booth blew her hand off. Officer Steve Neal, who received a 45-day suspension without pay for his role in leaving the flash-bang grenades behind, came to Maas' office "teary-eyed" and told the chief he hadn't been able to sleep. "I feel like he learned something deeply," Maas said, with regard to Neal. But for Gibson, "I didn't have the feeling that it had really sunk in with Aaron that he had, again, accepted that he had a real personal part of this." Other officers testified that Gibson, father of two daughters, did say he was sorry for the girl. When the guild's attorney asked Maas, "And when somebody says they are sorry about something, that suggests an acceptance of some level of personal responsibility, doesn't it?" "Not necessarily," Maas replied. "People can say anything. In this case they dealt with Aaron Gibson over a period of time, watched his nonverbal reaction during numerous meetings, heard him express those words, and I'm not saying he was happy, and I suppose that he was sorry. ... You know, the best predicator of the future is sometimes history. (In no previous case) was I able to find something where he stepped up and acknowledged that the things were his fault. And his records showed repetitive problems of various degrees. And that, along with his behavior in this case, again, left me ... wondering if he if he came back to work what I would be dealing with next." Guild attorney Dave Snyder said if Gibson was such an attitude problem, supervisors failed to document it in his personnel file. The guild also shifted the focus to the fact that the city had no written policy on dealing with flash-bang grenades. They also protested City Manager Vernon Stoner's involvement in the firing decision. Police contracts stipulate the police chief, not the city manager, will determine discipline. However, Maas testified it was a joint decision among himself, Stoner and department heads, including Human Resources Director Mary Kaye Fisher and Deputy City Manager Mary Jo Briggs. It was appropriate for Stoner to step in, Maas testified, because Maas himself was disciplined over the incident, and there could have been questions about his ability to make an objective decision. When asked if Stoner ever told him to fire Gibson, Maas replied, "No, he did not." Prior suspensions Before Gibson, 30, joined the Vancouver Police Department, he worked for the Los Angeles Police Department. While a patrol officer with the LAPD from 1989 to 1992, he received a one-day suspension for failing to appear in court to testify and a four-day suspension for discharging a shotgun. In Vancouver, he received: * a one-day suspension for a 1997 on-duty car accident that cost the city about $5,000; * a written reprimand for missing court appearances in 1996; * "below average" rankings in a 1997 performance review for mishandling police equipment and showing up late to work; * notes in his file for three other on-duty traffic accidents deemed his fault; * notice from a sergeant in July 1997 that four supervisors had taken the rare step of determining he lose his status as a field training officer because the recent performance review made him a poor role model for new recruits. Referring to this record, Jeff Hollingsworth, an attorney for the city, told the arbitrator "the city concluded, based on a review of Mr. Gibson's entire record, that he had a history of creating potential liability ... that his past behavior revealed a consistent pattern of denying responsibility for his actions." In his five years, Gibson was never promoted above the entry-level status of patrol officer but was a member of the SWAT team, had more than 100 hours of tactical training and early performance reviews that were all positive. Last year, he was appointed range master and began supervising training at the firing range. His performance review issued last July said the department had been receiving an increasing number of calls regarding public dissatisfaction with his "aura" and that Gibson seemed to suffer from "officer burnout." "I sort of slowed down my activity, clearly," Gibson testified. "I mean, I wasn't the I certainly wasn't getting the same marks. And I think he was saying that I was starting to stabilize and not just running, you know, 500 miles an hour with my hair on fire." But he still loved his job: "It was challenging, it was exciting. I was glad to do it. It's one of those ego investment careers. You know, you ask people what are you. Well, I'm a human being. You ask others, I'm a cop, I'm a lawyer, I'm a doctor. That's what I was, I was a cop." As to why Gibson was asked to run the training exercises Aug. 1 at the Liberty Court Apartments, Sgt. Jim Rogers testified he selected Gibson because "he had just a good reputation for being very knowledgeable and conscientious. "I just felt he was probably one of the best people we had in the department to conduct that sort of training," Rogers added. The Liberty Court incident The Aug. 1, 1997, training exercises at the boarded-up apartments in west Vancouver included two demonstrations by Gibson on operating flash-bang grenades. Technically known as distractive devices and used to scare or disorient suspects, the grenades use reload shells about 6-inches long and 1-inch in diameter. At the training site, Gibson had forgotten to bring the flash-bang grenades so he sent officer Steve Neal back to the police station to pick them up. He testified he did not know how many Neal brought. Gibson said if he would have known there were live shells in the building, he would have picked them up before leaving. The missing shells went unnoticed until Aug. 12, when Booth found the shells and detonated one. No one from her family testified at the hearing. Officer Neal testified that on the morning of a training exercise in July, neighborhood children were caught playing in the building and had to be chased out by officers. Last December, Stoner and Maas announced the punishments: Gibson was fired, Neal, whose record was described in testimony as "spotless," would get a 45-day suspension without pay and Maas would take a 5 percent pay cut. During his testimony, Gibson recalled meeting with Stoner before he was fired and discussing who was at fault. "Steve Neal and I miscommunicated, and because of that miscommunication, those diversion devices were left in the building," Gibson testified. "Now is that a factor for this girl losing her hand? Absolutely, there is some responsibility there, absolutely there is. Am I fully responsible for it? I'm sorry, I know too much about this to say that this was solely my fault. And I was not going to say that in that meeting that day." Sherri Nee contributed to this story. TIMELINE September 1996: City plans to buy and demolish 83 properties to make way for Mill Plain extension. Aug. 1, 1997: Vancouver police patrol officers use Liberty Court Apartments for training. Three reload shells for "flash-bang" grenades are left behind. Aug. 12, 1997: Lieshell Booth, 13, climbs into second-story window, finds shells and detonates one, blowing off her right hand. Aug. 13, 1997: Booth's parents retain attorneys Mark Muenster and John Muenster. Aug. 15, 1997: Vancouver police start an internal-affairs investigation to determine who left the shells behind. Dec. 8, 1997: City Manager Vernon Stoner fires patrol officer Aaron Gibson. Officer Steve Neal gets 45-day suspension without pay. Chief Doug Maas takes 5 percent pay cut. Vancouver Police Officers Guild appeals the punishments. July 7, 1998: Booth's parents file a claim with the city for an unspecified amount of money. The city has yet to respond. July 20-24, 1998: Seattle arbitrator Janet Gaunt hears Gibson's case. Her decision is expected in October. WHAT WITNESSES SAID AT GIBSON HEARING Here's a list of the witnesses who were called in the Aaron Gibson arbitration hearing, July 20-24, in Vancouver: For the city of Vancouver Steve Neal: Corporal with the Vancouver Police Department suspended for 45 days without pay. Testified miscommunication resulted in flash-bang grenades being left behind after the Aug. 1 training exercises at the Liberty Court Apartments. Also testified children had been in the building the morning of a July 23 training session. Steve Lobdell: VPD patrol officer present at the training. Testified to the lack of formal procedures in dealing with flash-bang grenades. Chris Sutter: VPD internal affairs investigator. Testified no sweep of the building was done after the exercises and also testified about Gibson's past problems in the department. Doug Maas: VPD chief. Received a 5 percent pay cut for not having written procedures on handling flash-bang grenades. Testified it was his recommendation Gibson be fired and that he considered past problems with Gibson in making his decision. Scott Creager: VPD sergeant who responded to the Liberty Court Apartments Aug. 12 after Booth had blown her hand off. Testified it was a flash-bang grenade that caused her injury. Patrick Fitzimons: Former Seattle chief of police called as an expert in police administration. Testified the city's disciplinary actions were fair and warranted. Keith Hyde: VPD sergeant. Testified that before the accident he had convened a four-person panel of supervisory officers who voted Gibson should lose his status as a field training officer because of his recent below-average performance review. They believed Gibson did not set a good example for rookie officers. Fred Wolfe: VPD lieutenant. Testified that he investigated the scene on Aug. 12 and believes Gibson should have known better than to leave the grenade devices behind. Janet Thiessen: VPD lieutenant. Testified about the policies under which Gibson was fired and that he had past problems including four at-fault traffic accidents and not showing up when called to court to testify by the city's prosecuting attorney. Rex Gunderson: VPD sergeant and former SWAT team leader. Testified that at past training exercises a sweep was always done to make sure items weren't left behind. For the Vancouver Police Guild James Burgara: VPD patrol officer. Testified Gibson attended a SWAT team leaders' course with him in Seattle a few years ago. Michael Cobb: Patrol sergeant with city of Richland Police Department. Testified about SWAT training policies. Aaron Gibson: Former VPD patrol officer who was fired last December for, among other things, leaving the flash-bang grenades behind at the training site. Testified to the contents of his personnel file, including a recent performance review ranking him "below average." Also testified he accepts some responsibility for a 13-year-old losing her hand but said the department was also to blame for not having better policies in place. Joseph Callanan: Retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy called as an expert witness to refute testimony by Patrick Fitzimons. Testified the firing of Gibson was too extreme. Howard Anderson: VPD corporal and president of the Vancouver Police Officers Guild. Testified the firing of Gibson stirred public outrage and that the guild objected to City Manager Vernon Stoner taking part in handing out the discipline. Scott Bieber: VPD lieutenant. Testified about negotiating with the city on behalf of the guild in 1992 and that the officers' contracts stated the chief of police would hand out discipline, not the city manager. Jim Rogers: VPD Sergeant and former training officer. Testified he asked Gibson to run the Aug. 1 training exercises at the Liberty Court Apartments because of Gibson's solid reputation. Excerpts from the hearing "I called him up and said, 'Steve, have you heard what happened to that girl?' He said, 'Yeah.' And I asked him, 'I just want to be sure, how many devices did we take out there that day?' And he said, 'I don't know, four or five.' Four or five? That kind of surprised me because I wasn't sure how many he brought. So I tried to ask another question. OK. 'Steve, I brought two out, how many did you take? I brought two back, how many did you take?' And he said, 'I didn't take back any. And my heart stopped. And I told him that I was going to try to get ahold of (officers) Lobdell and Janisch and see whether they had, you know, picked these things up, hoping, praying they did." Aaron Gibson, on calling fellow officer Steve Neal after hearing the news a 13-year-old girl blew off her hand at a police training site "And then the city manager looked at me and said, 'Chief, where are you at, then, in regards to Officer Gibson?' And I can't remember exactly how I phrased this. I know that I said to him, I said, 'Vernon, I can't look you in the face and guarantee you that if we bring Officer Gibson back, that there won't be some subsequent problem.'" Police Chief Doug Maas, on meeting with department heads to discuss punishments "Most of her right hand was missing. There was a lot of tissue damage to her right hand with some I don't know what, a lot of tissue damage to her hand, and some things hanging out, some fleshy things that I couldn't tell what they were." Sgt. Scott Creager, describing what he saw upon arriving to the Liberty Court Apartments on Aug. 12, 1997 "I personally think that (Aaron Gibson) has painted quite a target on himself that, that if he were to be hired by another agency, and I don't think another agency would touch him, but if he were, he would be a walking liability." Former Seattle Chief of Police Patrick Fitzimons, testifying the city was justified in firing Gibson "At the time that this event happened, (Aaron Gibson) was being held up by the department as an expert ... That's hardly an embarrassment to the department. It's hardly something that is censurable. It's actually something very commendable. Now if you let 12 days go by and a horrible event takes place, you look at it differently. But at that time that he was acting and including his oversight, that was not conduct unbecoming." Retired Los Angeles Sheriff's Department deputy Joseph Callanan, witness for the guild, testifying Gibson did not deserve to be fired [Sidebar:] Newspaper filed request for transcript The Columbian obtained a copy of the Aaron Gibson hearing transcript after the newspaper filed a public disclosure request under the Freedom of Information Act with City Attorney Ted Gathe. Gathe said the city would release a copy unless prevented by court order. At 10 a.m. Thursday no order had been filed and the city released the transcript. Earlier, The Columbian had requested the arbitration hearing be open. The city agreed, but the Vancouver Police Officers Guild protested. Arbitrator Janet Gaunt ruled to not open the hearing.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmate, Denied 'Playboy,' Files Suit Against County ('The Columbian' In Vancouver, Washington, Says A Clark County Cocaine Offender Filed The Lawsuit August 6 In US District Court In Tacoma, Citing A Decision By The Ninth US Circuit Court Of Appeals This Summer That Found A Blanket Ban By Arizona's Maricopa County Jail On Publications Showing Frontal Nudity To Be Unconstitutional) The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion >From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.columbian.com/ INMATE, DENIED PLAYBOY, FILES SUIT AGAINST COUNTY Friday, August 28, 1998 By BRUCE WESTFALL, Columbian staff writer How much are the monthly issues of Playboy magazine worth? About $500,000, according to a Clark County Jail inmate who filed a federal lawsuit this month against the county for denying him a subscription to the magazine. Dale L. Thompson, 40, filed the lawsuit Aug. 6 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma. "Jail staff denied me my subscription to Playboy magazine, stating that they were not going to change jail policy for me, and that I would have to take them to court," Thompson wrote in a complaint filed with the county. Thompson, a chronic critic of his treatment in jail, claims the Playboy subscription is constitutionally guaranteed, and he appears to be right. Most inmates aren't in the jail long enough to make subscribing to a magazine worth it. The average stay is only 14 or 15 days. But Thompson may be one of those inmates who'll be behind bars long enough to actually receive a subscription. He was convicted Thursday of possession of cocaine and two counts of bail jumping. He will be sentenced Sept. 9. In addition, he's awaiting trial in U.S District Court in Tacoma on three federal weapons charges. Thompson's lawsuit follows a decision of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this summer that found a blanket ban by Arizona's Maricopa County Jail on publications showing frontal nudity to be unconstitutional. The 9th Circuit hears appeals from western federal courts including Washington. The Clark County Jail policy is similar to the one in Arizona, said Jail Chief Joe Dunegan, and it was "unfortunately" just made stricter last June, he said. The court decision apparently doesn't open the door for all sexually explicit magazines, Dunegan said, "but it forbids a total ban and we'll probably have to look at them on a case-by-case basis." Dunegan believes few county inmates actually seek magazine subscriptions because of their short stays. Nevertheless, he said, some kind of policy is needed for a couple reasons. "One thing we really looked at was the atmosphere of sexual harassment in the workplace," Dunegan said. "Our staff isn't allowed to have or post those kinds of pictures, so why should they be exposed to that because an inmate posts a picture or leaves a magazine out? We felt it was staying with the trend as far as sexual harassment in the workplace." In Maricopa County, inmates had used photos to taunt female guards. In addition, Dunegan said, "you take a large group of same-sex people, crowd them into a housing area and bombard them with sexually explicit materials and it could increase the number of assaults and sexual assaults." In the Arizona decision, a federal appeals judge said she questions "whether all materials depicting nudity are reasonably likely to be the cause of violence or a tool of harassment." Thompson has not been a stranger in federal court. He filed two federal lawsuits against the county and various police officers in connection with a 1995 murder arrest. One case settled for $5,000; the other is pending. And he has signaled that he could generate other legal actions. In addition to the Playboy matter, Thompson has filed two claims with Clark County asking $11.75 million over other allegations that he was mistreated in jail. Those claims typically precede a lawsuit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Bust Huge California Marijuana Farm ('Reuters' Says Prohibition Agents On Wednesday Discovered The Largest Marijuana Plantation Ever Found In California, And Uprooted More Than 21,000 Plants In Santa Clara County They Valued At $4,000 Each, About $84 Million) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 12:46:41 -0400 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: CanPat - Marijuana Bust in CA Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org 09:05 PM ET 08/28/98 Police bust huge California marijuana farm SAN JOSE, Calif. (Reuters) - Police have seized the largest marijuana plantation ever found in California, uprooting and confiscating more than 21,000 plants worth about $84 million, officials said Friday. The massive marijuana farm was found Wednesday in a remote rural canyon on land owned by the San Francisco Water Department, said Sgt. Jim Arata of the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department. ``This was the largest,'' Arata said. ``These kind of operations usually average between 10,000 and 12,000 plants.'' Arata said the farm was detected by a National Guard helicopter crew flying over the area on a training exercise. Four sheriff's deputies and a number of other anti-drug personnel were airlifted to the site, where they discovered three separate base camps, several pistols and ammunition -- but no suspects. Arata said the farm appeared to be a large-scale growing operation complete with an elaborate, gravity-fed irrigation system fed by nearby streams and creeks. He estimated that the plants would have been ready for harvest in about two weeks, and said it took workers more than 24 hours to uproot and remove them all from the site. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Gets Life Term For Drug-Related Killing ('The Fort Worth Star-Telegram' Says Freddie Lee Pendley Will Spend At Least 40 Years In Prison After A Texas Jury Convicted Him This Week Of Killing A Man And Wounding The Man's Wife In 1996 While Stealing Unspecified 'Drugs' From Them) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: TX Man gets life term for drug-related killing Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 20:27:06 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Friday, Aug. 28, 1998 at 00:08 CDT Man gets life term for drug-related killing By Gabrielle Crist Star-Telegram Staff Writer FORT WORTH -- A Fort Worth man will spend at least 40 years in prison after a jury convicted him this week of killing a man and wounding the man's wife in 1996 while stealing drugs from them. Jurors in state District Judge James Wilson's court deliberated about four hours Wednesday before convicting Freddie Lee Pendley, 34, of capital murder and attempted capital murder. Because prosecutors waived the death penalty, Pendley received an automatic life sentence on the capital murder charge. Wilson sentenced Pendley to 25 years in prison for the attempted capital murder conviction, after prosecutors Fred Rabalais and Robert Martinez reached an agreement on the sentence with defense attorneys Brantley Pringle and Mike Sadler. Pendley and his girlfriend, Audrey Weaver, 28, of Azle, killed William C. Wollfarth, 53, and wounded Wollfarth's wife, Rhonda Fallin, 30, on June 13, 1996. Pendley and Weaver had gone to the victims' home in the 1000 block of West Jefferson Avenue to steal drugs from them. Pendley had supplied Wollfarth and Fallin with drugs before, according to court testimony. Weaver testified against Pendley and received a 15-year sentence for attempted capital murder in a plea agreement reached with prosecutors. Weaver also pleaded guilty to capital murder, but prosecutors agreed not to prosecute her on that charge on the condition that she testify against Pendley. Gabrielle Crist, (817) 390-7662
------------------------------------------------------------------- Witness Testifies Huge Marijuana Stash Is 'Delivery' Amount ('The Kalamazoo Gazette' Says A Michigan Woman Who Is On Trial For Marijuana Trafficking Because Prohibition Agents Found 132 Pounds Of The Herb In Her Basement - But Not Her Fingerprints - Told The Jury That She Didn't Use Cannabis And Someone Else With Access To Her House Stored It There Without Her Knowledge) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 15:11:27 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MI: Witness Testifies Huge Marijuana Stash Is 'Delivery' Amount 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: The Kalamazoo Gazette Contact: http://fl.mlive.com/about/toeditor.html Website: http://kz.mlive.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Author: Stephanie Esters, Gazette Staff WITNESS TESTIFIES HUGE MARIJUANA STASH IS 'DELIVERY' AMOUNT Jury deliberating case against woman who had 132 pounds of drugs in her basement. The cubes of marijuana taken from a house at 1703 Princeton was enough to last a lifetime, an undercover officer testified at a drug possession trial on Thursday. "That will last more than the lifetime of one person," the Kalamazoo Valley Enforcement Team agent testified, referring to the six boxes of confiscated marijuana. The 132 pounds of marijuana were taken from the house rented by Beatriz Valdez Pina, who is charged with possession with intent to deliver more than 45 kilograms of a marijuana and maintaining a drug house.That quantity of marijuana has a street value of $150,000, according to the prosecution. Defense attorney Patti Shirley said Pina was not aware there was marijuana in the basement and maintained that someone else with access to the house was storing it there without her knowledge. The Kalamazoo County Circuit Court jury of 10 women and two men received the case late Thursday afternoon. During the one day of testimony, the undercover agent said he went into the house with a search warrant on Nov. 29. He said he was met with an overpowering aroma of marijuana as he started to descend the basement stairs. At the bottom of the stairs was a lot of cellophane plastic wrap, and cubes of marijuana were found to the side of the furnace in the center of the basement. "When you have that amount of marijuana, that is delivery amount," as opposed to user quantity, he said. None of Pina's fingerprints were recovered from the mounds of evidence removed from her basement, the officer testified. Assistant prosecuting attorney Dave DeBack also called on Ollie Chambers, the landlord, who testified that Pina was the only person to whom he rented the house. The undercover agent's supervisor, Sgt. Michael Mastromatteo, testified that Pina told him she knew he was there because of the "stuff in the basement," which she later clarified as being "marijuana."He said she also told him she did not use the drug. But Shirley maintained Pina knew the KVET officers were there to search her house for drugs because the undercover officer said so when he returned to the residence with a search warrant. In closing arguments, DeBack said Pina was clearly maintaining a drug house. He then started to stack the six boxes of marijuana on the edge of the prosecution table. "The reason I'm stacking this up is because the defendant has built herself a wall of ignorance," he said."She's basically hiding behind this wall of ignorance and saying 'I don't know anything.' "I think it flies in the face of common sense that a person can have 132 pounds of marijuana in her basement, stinking to high heaven, ... (and claim ignorance of its presence)." Shirley maintained that the prosecution had insufficient evidence to link Pina to the marijuana seized. As she made her closing arguments, Patti removed, one by one, the boxes DeBack had stacked on the table in front of him. "Well, this wall is very impressive Mr. DeBack built," Shirley said. "There's a lot of marijuana, pot, here. There's a lot of plastic here, there's a lot of stuff here. But what's not here is any evidence of intent. "The proofs in this case were short, or brief, because this case is lacking substance."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Needle Exchange Plans Gain Ground ('The Boston Globe' Says City Counselors In Springfield, Massachusetts, Voted 8-0 To Seek A Non-Binding Referendum On A Needle-Exchange Program) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:23:16 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MA: Needle Exchange Plans Gain Ground Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Kendra E. Wright) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 NEEDLE EXCHANGE PLANS GAIN GROUND In Massachusetts, Springfield city counselors voted 8-0 to seek a non-binding referendum on a needle-exchange program. The council passed a needle-exchange program one month ago by a vote of 5-4. The referendum still requires the approval of the state legislature.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Denver Pleads No Contest (An 'Associated Press' Item In 'The St. Louis Post-Dispatch' Says Bob Denver, The Star Of Television's 'Gilligan's Island,' Was Sentenced Last Week To Six Months' Unsupervised Probation For Possessing Marijuana And 'Drug' Paraphernalia)Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:22:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Denver Pleads No Contest 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: Saint Lewis Post-Dispatch Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 DENVER PLEADS NO CONTEST (Headline by newshawk) PRINCETON, W.Va. (AP) -- Bob Denver, who played the title character on ``Gilligan's Island,'' made a surprise appearance at the courthouse and pleaded no contest to possessing marijuana. Denver's plea agreement means he won't have to stand trial Sept. 3 on the misdemeanor charge, which accused him of possessing about 1.5 ounces of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Denver was placed on six months' unsupervised probation. ``It's not uncommon for people to come in and plead early,'' Mercer County prosecutor Tom Bogges said Thursday. ``A lot of people want to get these things off their back.'' Denver, who entered his plea last week, declined comment Thursday. Police arrested him June 4 after being tipped that a package containing marijuana was sent by a delivery service to his Princeton home. Denver played the beatnik best friend Maynard G. Krebs on television's ``The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis'' from 1959 to 1963 and starred on ``Gilligan's Island'' from 1964 to 1967.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Gilligan' Gets Probation For Pot Bust (Yahoo's United Press International Version) found at Yahoo daily news: http://dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/human_interest/crime_news/ Friday August 28 12:16 PM EDT 'Gilligan' gets probation for pot bust PRINCETON, W.Va., Aug. 28 (UPI) - Actor Bob Denver, best known for his title role in the 1960s comedy ``Gilligan's Island,'' is serving six months of unsupervised probation (Friday) after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Denver's attorney tells United Press International the 63-year-old actor avoided a trial by entering the plea on Aug. 18 after reaching an agreement with the county prosecutor.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Gilligan' Gets Probation For Pot Bust (A Lengthier United Press International Version Says That, According To Denver's Attorney, The Sequence Of Events Surrounding The Search Warrant Served At The Actor's House Was The Main Reason He Was Able To Secure His Client's Freedom - Under West Virginia Law, Authorities Erred By Asking For The Warrant While The Package Was Already In Their Possession) Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 10:39:19 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WV: Wire: 'Gilligan' Gets Probation For Pot Bust Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 09:45:43 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: #W# US: WV: Wire: 'Gilligan' gets probation for pot bust Newshawk: email@example.com (Tim Meehan) Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Source: United Press International 'GILLIGAN' GETS PROBATION FOR POT BUST PRINCETON, W.Va., Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Actor Bob Denver, best known for his title role in the 1960s comedy ``Gilligan's Island'' is serving six months of unsupervised probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession. Denver's attorney, Randal Roahrig, tells United Press International The 63-year-old actor avoided a trial by entering the plea on Aug. 18 after reaching an agreement with the county prosecutor. Roahrig said: ``After six months the court will dismiss all charges against Mr. Denver. Six months after that his arrest record will be expunged.'' In June, West Virginia authorities were tipped off that a package containing marijuana was to be delivered to Denver's home. After securing a search warrant, an undercover officer delivered the package. Shortly thereafter, a drug task force executed the warrant, finding slightly more than one ounce of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in Denver's home. Roahrig told UPI the sequence of events surrounding the search warrant was the main reason he was able to secure his client's freedom. Roahrig said under West Virginia law authorities erred by asking for the warrant while the package was already in their possession. He said a legal search would have required the parcel to be first spotted on Denver's property. Denver has not commented since his arrest, but Roahrig said, ``It certainly appeared that the media exposure was much greater for Mr. Denver than it would have been for anyone else in a similar situtation.'' If the case had gone to trial on Sept. 3, Denver could have faced six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hidden Cameras Capture Suspected Jury Fix ('The Associated Press' Says Tiny Cameras Hidden In Fake Briefcases And Document Boxes Thwarted An Attempt In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, By A Juror And Two Accomplices Who Allegedly Offered To Deliver A Mistrial In Return For A $175,000 Bribe From Defendant Thomas Schwab, Accused Of Laundering $770,000 Through His Demolition Firm) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Hidden cameras capture suspected drug jury fix Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:28:42 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Hidden cameras capture suspected jury fix 08/28/98 Associated Press FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Tiny cameras hidden in fake briefcases and document boxes thwarted an attempt to fix a jury in a money-laundering case, federal agents said Thursday. Juror Angela Chiles, 27, and two men are accused of seeking a $175,000 bribe from Thomas Schwab, who is accused of laundering $770,000 through his demolition firm. Mr. Schwab, 43, was approached during a break in his trial Friday by Ray Hernandez and Ricardo Canword, investigators said. Mr. Hernandez told Mr. Schwab that he had a cousin on the jury who could deliver a mistrial. Mr. Schwab's lawyer alerted federal prosecutors. At their direction, Mr. Schwab met with the two men and agreed to pay them but demanded proof Ms. Chiles would cooperate, investigators said. The two men allegedly said that Ms. Chiles would wear a green jacket to court on Monday and remove it when Mr. Schwab signaled with a glass of water. When Ms. Chiles did her part, the hidden cameras caught her on videotape, investigators said. Ms. Chiles was arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and bribery. Mr. Canword and Mr. Hernandez, both 24, face the same charges. The judge declared a mistrial in Mr. Schwab's case. He still faces a retrial on the money-laundering charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three Charged In Alleged Jury-Tampering Plot (A Slightly Different 'Associated Press' Version In 'The Chicago Tribune') Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:23:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: 3 Charged In Alleged Jury-tampering Plot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 Author: Associated Press 3 CHARGED IN ALLEGED JURY-TAMPERING PLOT FT. LAUDERDALE -- Tiny cameras hidden in fake briefcases and document boxes captured the signal that the fix was in. First, at the defense table, the defendant took a sip of water and put his empty glass on the table upside-down. Then, Juror No. 11 took off her green jacket and folded it neatly over her chair. That was the signal, federal agents said, that the juror had agreed to take a bribe to fix the case. Juror Angela Chiles, 27, and two men face 30 years in prison and $1 million fines for allegedly seeking a $175,000 bribe in exchange for a hung jury. Thomas Schwab, 43, who was on trial for allegedly laundering $770,000 in drug profits through his demolition business, was approached Aug. 21 by Ray Hernandez and Ricardo Canword during a break in the trial, investigators said. Hernandez told Schwab he had a cousin on the jury, someone who could deadlock the jury and deliver a mistrial, investigators said. Schwab notified his lawyer, who alerted the court and prosecutors. Schwab then agreed to cooperate with the federal investigation. "I've never seen anything like this in 27 years on the bench," U.S. District Judge Norman Roettger said. "What you have here is a man who by day is defending himself against these very serious charges at trial and by night he's wearing a wire and working with his prosecutors." In a meeting Sunday with Hernandez and Canword, Schwab agreed to pay the men $175,000, but he first wanted proof the men could deliver. They allegedly agreed that Chiles, a bartender-waitress, would wear a green jacket to court Monday and remove it when Schwab signaled her with the glass of water. When Chiles did her part, cameras hidden in files on the prosecution and defense tables and in fake briefcases caught her on videotape, investigators said. Schwab paid Hernandez and Canword $5,000 Monday night and $20,000 the next day during meetings at a restaurant, investigators said. After the second payment, agents arrested the two men. Chiles was arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy, obstruction of justice and bribery. Canword and Hernandez, both 24, face identical charges. All were in custody pending a hearing Monday. The judge declared a mistrial Wednesday in Schwab's money-laundering trial. He faces a retrial on the charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Odyssey ('The Chicago Tribune' Profiles Mike Gray, Screenwriter For 'The China Syndrome' And Author Of The Important New History Of The War On Some Drug Users, 'Drug Crazy - How We Got Into This Mess And How We Can Get Out' - Gray Says, 'The Drug Problem We Have Today Is A Totally Self-Inflicted Wound, And It's A Much Greater Threat To Our Country's Future Than Nuclear Power Plants') Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 14:20:30 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Drug Odyssey: profile of 'Drug Crazy' author Mike Gray Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Tempo, p. 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://chicago.tribune.com Author: Paul Galloway DRUG ODYSSEY Thirty years ago, on a Wednesday afternoon in late August, Mike Gray and his film crew were shooting a television commercial for Kentucky Fried Chicken in his studio on Chicago's North Side. It starred the company icon, Col. Harlan Sanders himself. It was not just any Wednesday afternoon in August. The Democratic National Convention was being held in Chicago that week, and the emotion and tumult engulfing that watershed political event was moving toward what would become a chaotic and storied crescendo. "We got a phone call from a friend who said all hell was breaking loose in Grant Park," Gray said. "We decided we had to be there. The colonel had taken a fancy to our receptionist, so we asked if he would mind taking her to get a bite to eat while we took a break. He was delighted to do that, of course, and we grabbed our camera gear and headed for Grant Park." Gray and his people filmed throughout the afternoon and into the night, when Chicago police erupted in their notorious assault on demonstrators outside the Conrad Hilton Hotel. "When we came back to our studio at 3 a.m., we were different people," Gray said. "We had been changed, transformed." To use a term from those times, they'd been radicalized. Gray chuckled. "I never saw Col. Sanders again," he said. Now 63 and a resident of Los Angeles for the past 25 years, Gray was tracing his odyssey from small-town Indiana native to graduate in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University to ad-agency copywriter and owner of a TV production house in Chicago to maker of film documentaries, Hollywood screenwriter/director and author. His third book, which was recently released, is "Drug Crazy: How We Got Into This Mess and How We Can Get Out" (Random House), an engrossing, unsettling, 198-page look at the country's dubious narcotics policies, past and present. "When I met Mike in the early '60s, he was a Goldwater Republican," said Chicago filmmaker Gordon Quinn, a co-founder of Kartemquin Films, which produced "Hoop Dreams," the celebrated 1994 documentary. "But his politics were something that grew out of his experiences. He gets out into the world and is deeply affected by what he finds there." One of those things is the country's war on drugs. "The polls show that something like 75 percent of Americans see the war on drugs as a terrible failure, and I'm one of them," Gray said. "When you count the federal, state and local outlays for direct law enforcement, plus the costs of prisons and courts, we're spending $50 billion a year on suppression of illegal drugs. And we've not only failed to stop the drug trade to any significant degree, the situation is getting worse each year." Harder-Than-Expected Job Gray set out to solve the problem with a nice, neat, 90-minute documentary. "My idea was to videotape all the experts on all sides, put it together and come up with a sensible new approach," he said. "I figured it would take me six or eight months." Gray chuckled again. "That was six years ago." He discovered the story was far more complicated than he had thought, and he soon inaugurated Plan B, financing his research with a $40,000 book advance from Random House and an assortment of temporary jobs, one of which was working for his longtime friend, Hollywood director and former Chicagoan Andrew Davis, as a second-unit director on Davis' 1993 hit, "The Fugitive." "I look at Mike as a Renaissance man," said Davis, who recalls collaborating with Gray early in their Chicago careers on a dog food commercial. "He has a wonderful ability to explain technology -- or any complex subject -- in human terms, so we can see it and understand it. And he has an amazing instinct for the most important topics of our times. He showed that with his documentaries and with `China Syndrome' (for which he wrote the script) and with a book he did on the Apollo mission ("Angle of Attack," 1992) . . ." Still, Gray was continually strapped for money, so much so that his success in staying the course is testimony to his stubborn streak of idealism. "You might say I'm used to tilting at windmills," he said. "And I look at everything I'd done as training for this book." Gray's training began with two searing, 90-minute documentaries that he co-produced in Chicago in the early 1970s with his friend, Howard Alk, both underwritten with profits from his TV production company. The first was "American Revolution II," a 1970 film about the social and political upheavals of the '60s, which incorporated the footage that Gray had shot during the '68 convention. The second was "The Murder of Fred Hampton," released in 1972, an indictment of the infamous, FBI-directed, predawn 1969 raid on a West Side apartment in which Chicago Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton and another Panthers member were killed. "Both films won awards, and the Hampton film was shown at the Cannes film festival," Gray said. "A lot of people liked it; Jack Nicholson was one of our biggest supporters." The Importance Of Color "I think Mike's greatest talent is as a storyteller, which makes his work so important," said producer Quinn. Yet Gray was unable to persuade Hollywood studios to distribute either film to theaters. "It was 10 years before the films were finally shown on television, well after the issues they were about had been put to bed," Gray said. "But I learned something. When I talked to the people in Hollywood about distributing the Hampton film, all anybody wanted to know was `Who's this guy Hampton?' and `Why did you shoot it in black-and-white?' "I'd discovered the soft underbelly of Western civilization! The studios didn't care about content. They didn't care if the film was a record of state murder. What they cared about was shooting movies in color so they'd sell more tickets. I realized there was an opening there for someone who wanted to tell stories that were important." Toward that goal, Gray moved to Hollywood in 1973, worked in the movie and TV business and began writing the screenplay that would be made into "The China Syndrome," which was about the potential hazards of nuclear power plants. The movie starred Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas and Jane Fonda, and 12 days after its release in 1979, the same kind of "meltdown" emergency at the center of Gray's script occurred at a nuclear power plant at Three Mile Island, Pa. "I meant `China Syndrome' to educate people about what I'd found by reading books and interviewing scientists, which was that nuclear power could be dangerous and that our heavy reliance on nuclear plants hadn't been clearly thought through," Gray said. In his view, the same can be said for our drug policy. "Before I started looking into this, I was under the impression there was some logical reason for our drug laws," he said. "I assumed that they were originally a response to a terrible wave of addiction. In fact, when the first federal anti-narcotics law was passed in 1914, drug use was declining." The effect of that initial law would be to shift responsibility for addictive drugs such as cocaine and heroin from doctors to police, transforming what had been addressed as a medical issue into a crime. "The drug problem we have today is a totally self-inflicted wound, and it's a much greater threat to our country's future than nuclear power plants," Gray said. His assessment is that our drug policy was born of scientific ignorance, naivete and political ambitions of a few misguided fanatics, but in recent years, he blames political cynicism and cowardice for blocking efforts to change present policies -- or even to seriously consider substantial changes. Gray sees our drug policy's parallels to Prohibition as its inherent flaw. "The country actually began enacting alcohol and drug prohibition laws about the same time," he said. "Up until then, if you passed a law, people obeyed it. The supporters of Prohibition thought, `We'll simply pass this law, and the world will be a much better place.' "When Prohibition took effect nationwide in 1920, people were stupefied by what happened. The temperance movement had been enormously successful, but once its moral suasion was replaced with police power, we were rewarded with an instant black market, the birth of organized crime, widespread public disrespect for law, rampant corruption of police and courts and violence on a scale that was unimagined." When people finally became sufficiently fed up, Prohibition was repealed. "Drug prohibition should have ended at the same time, for the same reason, but there simply weren't enough drug users to form a constituency," Gray said. "Instead, they became convenient scapegoats for any passing officeseeker who needed to prove he was tough on crime." The damage has been severe. "Our policy of prohibition has created a drug trade of incredible wealth," he said. "The United Nations estimates that the drug lords take in $400 billion a year. That kind of money has corrupted the governments of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru and Mexico, not to mention the corruption it has caused in police departments in this country. "The reality on the street is a destructive relationship between police and their drug informants. It's to an informant's advantage to turn in his competitors, and it's to the police's advantage to have a list of drug dealers to bust. So one dealer becomes dominant, and his enforcers are the police." `Medicalization' Of Drugs Gray advocates several steps toward an effective policy. "I'm for regulation and taxation," he said. "I think `legalization' has become a useless term because it means so many different things, but to those of us who want reform, it means drugs by prescription only, with medical supervision. So the term `medicalization' is closer to the mark." One step is to remove marijuana from the list of hard drugs. "The number of drug users that the federal government (cites) most is 13 million. If you take marijuana users out of the equation, you're only talking about 3 million serious drug users, and how do you justify $50 billion a year to get 3 million people to behave themselves?" Gray noted a hopeful development in the support of drug reform that mirrors the move toward Prohibition repeal. "Prohibition was repealed after prominent business and social leaders began to speak out and organize opposition," he said. "The same sort of thing is happening now." On June 8, an open letter to United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan appeared in The New York Times under a headline that read: "We believe the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself." The letter, which was sponsored by the Lindesmith Center, a nonprofit drug policy research institute, criticized drug policies that emphasized "criminalization and punishment" and was signed by 500 prominent business executives, scientists, religious leaders, intellectuals, federal judges, police chiefs and government officials from 39 countries, liberals and conservatives alike. The American signees included former Secretary of State George Shultz; retired CBS-TV anchor Walter Cronkite; Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate in economics; Ira Glasser, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union; Patrick Murphy, former New York City police commissioner; businessman Laurance Rockefeller; and the author of "Drug Crazy." "When my wife saw my name," Gray confided, "she said, `499 world leaders and one low-brow.' "
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fila Ends Webber's Endorsement Deal ('The Associated Press' Says That, According To An Anonymous Source, The Sporting Goods Company Has Dropped Sacramento Kings Forward Chris Webber From A Multimillion Dollar Endorsement Contract After US Customs Said Webber Was Stopped In San Juan's International Airport With A Carry-On Bag Containing 11 Grams Of Marijuana - The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, Said 'Fila USA Is Doing What Is Right For The World Of Sports And For Our Nation's Children')Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 11:55:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: Fila Ends Webber?s Endorsement Deal Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Source: AP FILA ENDS WEBBER'S ENDORSEMENT DEAL Company Upset Player Was Fined For Marijuana Possession ASSOCIATED PRESS Aug. 28 -After a series of legal troubles, Sacramento Kings forward Chris Webber has been dropped from a multimillion dollar endorsement contract with Fila U.S.A. The sporting goods company terminated Webber's contract last week under a good-conduct clause, sources said Friday on condition of anonymity. "THE BOTTOM LINE is that obviously he's upset," said Webber's agent, Fallasha Erwin. "Fila does not have a unilateral right to just terminate. Period." Erwin said he didn't know what Fila's motivation was and that his client had not decided what steps he would take, if any, to counter the company's action. Two weeks ago, Webber was stopped during a Fila promotional trip in San Juan's international airport with a carry-on bag containing 11 grams of marijuana, U.S. Customs Service reported. Customs said Webber admitted owning the bag and paid an administrative penalty of $500. Webber, who was traded to Sacramento by the Washington Wizards, has maintained the bag belonged to a female companion and that customs officials pinned ownership on him. Fila would not comment on the end of Webber's contract, spokeswoman Meredith Geisler said. "In no way does Fila condone the use of illicit drugs," Fila U.S.A. president Jon Epstein said last week. "We expect our athletes to conduct themselves in an exemplary manner on and off the court, and we are taking this issue very seriously." Webber will not receive money he would have earned from the remainder of the three-year contract that was signed in March 1997, sources said. They would not reveal the total amount of the contract. The White House was quick to applaud Fila's action. "Fila U.S.A. is doing what is right for the world of sports and for our nation's children," said Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Because of the small "personal-use" amount of marijuana involved, customs said Webber was not cited for smuggling and would not be prosecuted for possession. Webber recently had a number of legal tangles. He is awaiting trial for an arrest in January 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. In May, a grand jury declined to prosecute Webber in a complaint filed by a woman who said she was sexually assaulted at a party in Maryland in April. Webber's lawyer said he left the party before the attack allegedly happened. The Kings could not comment on the situation because of the restrictions of the lockout by NBA owners.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Are Muscle Enhancers Fair Game? ('Seattle Times' Sports Columnist Elliott Almond Discusses The Quandry Arising From Inconsistent Standards Facing Mark McGwire, The St. Louis Cardinal, And Randy Barnes, An Olympic Champion Shot-Putter, Who Have Both Used The Same Substance, Androstenedione, Which The Body Converts Into The Male Sex Hormone, Testosterone - While McGwire Is Pursuing Baseball's Home-Run Record, Barnes Faces Banishment For Life) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 20:00:15 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Are Muscle Enhancers Fair Game? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: 28 August, 1998 Author: Elliott Almond, Seattle Times staff reporter ARE MUSCLE ENHANCERS FAIR GAME? While one chases immortality in packed American stadiums, the other throws stones in Switzerland. Mark McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinal who is pursuing baseball's home-run record, and Randy Barnes, an Olympic champion shot-putter, apparently have used the same substance to help their athletic performance. But while McGwire goes for the glory, Barnes is reduced to a Swiss stone-throwing contest as he faces a possible lifetime ban from international track-and-field competition. Welcome to the world of androstenedione. "Andro," as it's known by those who use it, is a hormone found in animals, plants such as pine pollen, and the adrenal glands and gonads of humans. It is legal if you are McGwire or any Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association or National Hockey League player. It is illegal if you are Barnes or any Olympian, collegiate athlete or National Football League player. Such is the quandary facing drug experts, sports officials and athletes as they debate the merits of androstenedione (pronounced andro-STEEN-die-own), the latest fad in the multimillion-dollar sports-nutrition business. Androstenedione is controversial because the body converts it into the male sex hormone testosterone through enzymes in the liver. Elevated testosterone levels enable athletes to train longer and potentially build lean muscle mass. It also can increase sexual arousal and function. Although the substance has been produced synthetically since the 1930s, no one has produced solid scientific data on its safety. Some officials say they have enough evidence to restrict its use. The International Olympic Committee, National Collegiate Athletic Association and NFL ban androstenedione because their medical experts consider the substance to be an anabolic steroid. An anabolic steroid is a derivative of testosterone and makes the bodies of men and women more masculine. It also comes with potential side effects such as liver damage, heart disease, cancer and aggressive behavior. Don Catlin, director of the Olympic-accredited UCLA drug-testing laboratory, said the molecular structure of androstenedione so closely resembles testosterone that it is difficult to tell them apart. "It's powerful," Catlin said. "Not as powerful as testosterone, but that's a matter of dose." But Scott Connelly, founder and chairman of Met-Rx, a California sports-nutrition company that markets androstenedione, counters: "They are a different universe of activity, effect and toxicity" from anabolic steroids. On this much, experts agree: Adolescents and children should not ingest the agent because little is known about its effect on teenagers' delicate hormonal balance. Although it cannot be purchased in Canada without a permit and is restricted in some European countries, the substance is legally sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. It costs about $50 for 100 tablets of 100 milligrams. GNC, a national chain of nutrition outlets, no longer sells the product because of the scarcity of data about its safety, a spokeswoman said. But after last Friday's disclosure that McGwire has used androstenedione for more than a year, sales increased dramatically at Seattle stores that sell it. As long as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration classifies the substance as a food supplement, it will continue to be sold without restriction. FDA officials say they have no reason to consider changing the status because no problems with it have been reported to them. That doesn't placate Terry Todd, University of Texas kinesiology professor and one-time champion weight-lifter: "It is a bit of a stretch to consider an anabolic steroid as a food substance. Androstenedione really fits in the camp of anabolic steroids: It stimulates the body to produce more testosterone." Because of the growing controversy, baseball leaders this week called for scrutiny of the supplement. But some question the sport's sincerity. Although baseball bans anabolic steroids, it does not rigorously test for the drug as other sports do. Chuck Yesalis, a Penn State University professor and co-author of the book "The Steroids Game," said baseball might be forced to change its testing regimen. "The only reason elite sports drug-test is public relations," he said. "They are concerned about their business and image. This could drive them to it." Baseball has generally been spared drug scandals involving performance-enhancing agents. "Baseball doesn't have this history of steroid use," said a National League team administrator who asked not to be identified. "The perception is it is not a problem. Maybe it is a bigger issue than we think, and it probably is." Yesalis thinks so: "We're focusing on a leaf where there is a forest fire," he said. "Three to eight guys on a roster are taking anabolic steroids. Baseball doesn't even go through the motions of drug testing. They're all flustered over androstenedione when HGH is out there." HGH, or human-growth hormone, promotes growth for children who suffer from dwarfism. It also is a long-time favorite of elite lifters, football players and other power athletes, and is legal only by prescription. The controversy over "andro" comes in a summer of drug scandals. The Tour de France was tarnished when French police arrested members of the world's best cycling team for possessing an illegal drug that produces oxygen-rich red blood cells. The use of supplements has long played a role in athletics, particularly after drug-testing was introduced at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Athletes strive to find something to give them an edge - even a psychological one - without being sanctioned. At this summer's World Cup soccer championship, U.S. captain Thomas Dooley considered injecting calves' blood into his muscles, a practice he credited with having an almost miraculous healing effect on a variety of muscular injuries. McGwire, who is seven home runs away from Roger Maris' 37-year-old record of 61, says androstenedione helps keep him injury-free. He also acknowledges using creatine, an amino acid that promotes muscle mass and is reportedly being taken by thousands of high-school, college and professional athletes. Seattle Mariner Edgar Martinez is included in that group. "I can feel the strength from creatine, but it makes me feel bloated," he said. Mariner trainer Rick Griffin said he doesn't know of any Seattle players using androstenedione. M's first baseman David Segui said he doesn't use it but has tried just about everything else found in nutrition stores. "None of it works," he concluded. Athletes such as Segui might try a variety of legally sold products for a variety of reasons, including chromium picolinate, ephedra, guarana, willow bark, bladderwrack, gotu kola, Siberian ginseng, astragalus, licorice root, ginger root, bee pollen, rehmannia root, reishi mushroom ma-huang, cola nut, ginkgo biloba, saw palmetto, cola nut extract, beet and boron proteinate. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs, who is chasing McGwire with 52 home runs, said he doesn't use androstenedione or other testosterone boosters. But Sosa does take creatine after games and ginseng before he plays. The M's Ken Griffey Jr., the American League home-run leader at 44, also said he doesn't use andro. Still, McGwire insists many ballplayers do use it. "In his sport, it is legal - end of question," said McGwire's agent, Bob Cohen. "Let's play baseball." Baseball leaders would like nothing better. But the growing debate has forced officials in and out of the sport to focus on the supplement. The federal Drug Enforcement Agency has decided to re-examine androstenedione to determine if it should be classified as a Schedule 3 drug with anabolic steroids. Schedule 3 drugs are illegal to possess without prescription. A DEA official who asked not to be identified said the agency is struggling with the same issues as the sports-medicine community. "We've not been able to find any credible scientific evidence," the agent said. "We have all kinds of anecdotal reports but haven't found anything to support" the definition of an anabolic steroid. While officials await more information, other, more efficient supplements are being developed all the time, said Victor Uralets, a Russian drug expert. If so, the debate is likely to continue long after McGwire's home-run pursuit ends. Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Finnigan contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Baseball Isn't Just About Playing By The Rules ('New York Times' Columnist Bob Herbert Writes That Androstenedione Is Legal In The United States, And Baseball Star Mark McGwire Has A Right To Use It To Enhance His Performance - But Whether It Is A Good Idea To Do So Is Another Matter) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 15:35:09 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Baseball Isn't Just About Playing By the Rules Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.iht.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Author: Bob Herbert, NY Times Service BASEBALL ISN'T JUST ABOUT PLAYING BY THE RULES NEW YORK-- Androstenedione is legal in the United States, and Mark McGwire, a remarkably muscular man who hits home runs for a living, has a right to use it. Whether it is a good idea to use it is another matter. Mr. McGwire, a first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals, has had a glorious summer and is now closing in on the single-season home run marks of Babe Ruth and Roger Maris. Kids idolize him. Fans have been filling ballparks from coast to coast to watch him swing his mighty bat. When he comes to town, it is not enough to see the ball game. You have to show up early enough to catch batting practice, to watch his screaming line drives and long, towering flies. Even when Mr. McGwire is on the road he gets standing ovations. After a McGwire home run on Sunday at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, the delirious Pittsburgh fans demanded a curtain call, an extremely rare honor for a visiting player. Mr. McGwire, somewhat embarrassed, obliged. He stepped from the dugout and tipped his cap. The fans went wild. Later Mr. McGwire would say, "I wish every baseball player could feel what I'm feeling now." Androstenedione is a controversial substance, currently classified as a dietary supplement, that is taken in pill or capsule form. It is converted by the body into testosterone. Athletes take it because they believe that this temporary testosterone boost can help build muscle and increase strength and endurance. Mr. McGwire, who in past years has lost substantial playing time to injuries, recently acknowledged that he uses androstenedione, He said it increased the efficiency of his weightroom workouts. This acknowledgment has cast a shadow over his dream season. While it can be purchased over the counter and its use has not been prohibited by Major League Baseball (although the National League is now, belatedly, taking another look), androstenedione has been banned by the National Football League, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the International Olympic Committee. Randy Barnes, the Olympic shot put champion, is facing a lifetime ban because he tested positive for androstenedione in April. So what gives? Is Mark McGwire in better shape to hit home runs because he is taking a pill that promotes the development of lean muscle mass? A pill that can make a strong man even stronger? Nobody knows. The Cardinals and Mr. McGwire issued a joint statement this week that said androstenedione "has no proven anabolic steroid effect nor significant side effects." Charles Yesalis, professor at Penn State University and author of the book "The Steroids Game," said: "The whole idea is to convince people that you are not really taking a drug, that this is not cheating, and most certainly that you are not taking steroids. "Well, of course, this is a steroid. What is debatable is whether this is an anabolic steroid. Does it have anabolic qualities - tissue-building qualities?" Gary Wadler, professor of clinical medicine at the New York University School of Medicine and the lead author of the influential textbook "Drugs and the Athlete," said: "I don't think anybody particularly knows whether androstenedione itself has anabolic qualities. But the substance that androstenedione is converted into unequivocally has anabolic properties. It's the father of all anabolic steroids: testosterone. So if, in fact, depending on the dose---a critical issue---if you can raise the amount of testosterone in your blood by taking enough of this stuff, then it's anabolic, provided you lift the weights and do all the other stuff." The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is looking at androstenedione, but federal officials have not determined whether it should be regulated and controlled as anabolic steroids are. Too little is known about it, officials said, including its long-term effects. So Mark McGwire is operating safely within the boundaries of the law and the rules of his sport. But there are other considerations. Each new home run gives the nation a thrill. As Mr. McGwire draws closer to Babe Ruth's 60 and Roger Maris's 61, each at-bat will likely be televised live to the nation. A lot of young people will be looking on, admiring their hero, trying to follow his example, trying their best to be like him. The New York Times.
------------------------------------------------------------------- McRole Model (A Staff Editorial In 'The San Jose Mercury News' About The Use Of Androstenedione To Boost Testosterone By St. Louis Cardinal Home-Run Hitter Mark McGwire Ascribes To The Belief That The Supplement Is Harmful And That McGwire Could Give It Up And Still Hit A Record Number Of Home Runs)Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 07:27:46 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: McRole Model Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 McROLE MODEL Give up the androstenedione -- it would be a classy move ``PSSSSST, kid! Wanna hit 70 homeruns? Then don't take androstenedione.'' What a classy thing it would be for super-slugger Mark McGwire to issue that advice. Obviously, he'd have to stop taking the diet supplement himself, to have any credibility. And that's the point. As he belts balls out of parks almost daily and closes in on the single-season home run record, Big Mac may be America's highest-profile athlete. What he does or doesn't do will influence thousands of young wannabes. That's why we wish he would rise to even greater stature by voluntarily dis-endorsing the controversial product he has been using. McGwire's example would be all the more powerful because it would be motivated solely by recognition of his influence as a role model. And because nobody can make him do it. Androstenedione is a legal, over-the-counter product. While the National Football League and some amateur athletic organizations forbid its use, professional baseball has no rule against it. McGwire's team, the St. Louis Cardinals, defends his use of it. But even the label on Andro-6, the brand name under which the supplement is sold, says it should not be used by anyone under age 18. And there is anecdotal evidence that when young athletes bulk up their bodies, they risk impairing their long-range health. You can make a case that androstenedione contributes to injuries in football while preventing them in baseball. The supplement stimulates the body's production of testosterone, which enables an athlete to train harder and build more lean muscle. That, in turn, is said to produce strength and speed. Football, especially in the NFL, is a contact sport. Stronger athletes, smashing into each other at higher speeds, could sustain more injuries. By contrast, baseball injuries are more likely to result from the body's wearing down over the course of the season. And this, McGwire says, is what androstenedione helps him avoid. If the strength supplement helps him hammer home runs, it is probably in this indirect sense. There's no hard evidence that it helps him at all. Nor is there any identified evidence that it hurts anyone. But if the label itself says young people shouldn't take it, there's certainly cause for concern. McGwire did not attain his 6-foot-5, 250-pound size by taking androstenedione over the last year. He established himself as one of the great hitters of all time back when he played for Oakland. He surely doesn't want this year's performance attributed to pills out of a bottle. And he already has demonstrated a concern for kids, establishing a foundation to help victims of child abuse. Combine those factors and you have a good case for his getting off the supplement and setting an example for young people. A better case than McGwire's rationalization, the other day, that ``Everybody that I know in the game of baseball uses the same stuff I use.'' Not quite. Sammy Sosa, McGwire's neck-and-neck competitor for the home run record, says he doesn't.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Women Have Access To Potent Love Drug - Testosterone Is Female Viagra, Doctors Say (Knight-Ridder Tribune News Interviews Several Women Physicians Who Suggest That Women Who Are Envious Of The Effects Of Viagra On Men's Sexual Drive Could And Should Obtain The Same Effect From Testosterone, Which Is Readily Available At Pharmacies) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Women's potent love drug Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 20:44:30 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 8:55 PM 8/28/1998 Women have access to potent love drug Testosterone is female Viagra, doctors say By USHA LEE McFARLING Knight-Ridder Tribune News WASHINGTON -- The phenomenal success of Viagra for men has sparked some sexual envy among women. Many say their sex life isn't what it used to be and they want help, too. Some are even experimenting with Viagra, though the drug isn't approved for use by women. While the little blue pills may spectacularly enhance erections, they do little to remedy the lack of desire that is women's chief sexual complaint. But there's no need for hand-me-down drugs, experts say. Women already have a powerful tool to fuel sexual desire, and it's been on pharmacy shelves for years. The potent elixir? Testosterone. Testosterone has a brawny reputation as a steroid that gives men hairy chests, deep voices and rippling muscles. But it's a woman's hormone, too. Testosterone flows from ovaries, adrenal glands and placentas to build bones and muscle and, not so incidentally, fire up sex drive. Before menopause, women have from one-tenth to one-twentieth the testosterone of men -- enough to support a healthy libido. But testosterone levels ebb as women age, and experts say that decline may be responsible for the evaporating sexual desire, low energy and darkening mood reported by many menopausal women. "Women start to feel poorly," says Dr. Gloria Bachmann, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "They lose their sex drive, and feel depressed, anxious and irritable." Many menopausal women take estrogen to help with some of these problems. A better answer for some, many physicians now say, is taking testosterone as well. "Testosterone can cause a woman to re-experience the sexual desire she lost," said Barbara Sherwin, a professor of psychology at McGill University in Montreal, who conducted landmark studies showing that adding testosterone increases sexual fantasies and desires. Other recent research shows women who are taking testosterone are "more composed, elated and energetic" than those who aren't. It also enhances math skills and memory. If testosterone makes women smart, happy, strong and sexy, why isn't it selling like Viagra? Well, for one thing, there's the hair-on-the-chest factor. Lots of women worry about using a drug so powerfully associated with masculinity. It's also difficult to find doctors who have mastered the complexities of prescribing it. But those who do prescribe it say low doses won't put hair anywhere. Ten years ago, Dr. Susan Rako, a Boston-area psychiatrist, noticed that at 48 she wasn't enjoying sex as much and her energy levels had dropped. Estrogen, a hormone commonly taken to reduce menopausal symptoms, didn't help. She researched the medical archives, and learned about testosterone. For her, it worked a miracle. Rako, the author of The Hormone of Desire, has launched something of a personal crusade to educate other physicians and women about the health benefits of testosterone. "I'm 58, and I feel better than I did 10 years ago," Rako said. It's not just about sex. Testosterone can help reverse osteoporosis. "It not only protects against bone loss, it builds bones," said Dr. Michael Rosenberg, president of Health Decisions, a North Carolina center that studies reproductive health. Despite the clear benefits, a few hundred thousand of nearly 40 million post-menopausal women take testosterone/estrogen tablets. Others are using creams or injections. "I think generally it's underused," said Rosenberg. Many gynecologists have taken a wait-and-see attitude because the field is new and testosterone is challenging to prescribe. Its levels vary widely among women, and the same amount of the hormone has different effects on different women. Each patient must be checked after the initial prescription, so the dose can be adjusted. "The one-size-fits-all mentality really needs to go by the wayside," said Dr. James Simon, a George Washington University reproductive endocrinologist who has studied the effects of testosterone on women. Because it appears to be safe in low doses and may offer large benefits, "you don't lose anything in a short-term trial," said Dr. Paul Carpenter, an endocrinologist at the Mayo Clinic. But a minority of critics worry that the powerful hormone may cause problems over time. For instance, it lowers good cholesterol levels. "It's in its infancy," said Peter Casson, an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston who has written articles recommending testosterone be used judiciously. And it's important to remember that even this potent hormone is not a cure-all for sexual woes. "A 60-year-old is not going to have an orgasm like a 19-year-old," said Simon. A woman's sexual problems may not be hormonal at all. They may be linked to depression or a troubled relationship. "A lot of patients don't need a doctor giving them testosterone, they need a good sex therapist," said Baylor's Casson. "Maybe the husband has to be kicked in the butt."
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Please Tell Me My Son Is All Right' ('The Vancouver Province' In British Columbia Travels To Honduras To Interview The Mother Of A 19-Year-Old Man Who Allegedly Sells Crack Cocaine On The Streets Of Downtown Vancouver, One Of An Estimated 200 Honduran Boys And Young Men Whom Police Believe Were Lured By An Organized Drug-Trafficking Ring)From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Please Tell Me My Son Is All Right Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 07:11:58 -0700 Lines: 136 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri 28 Aug 1998 Author: Adrienne Tanner `Please tell me my son is all right' The plea from a mom who says her boy isn't dealing drugs SIRIA, Honduras -- Virginia Consuelo Calis Arteaga comes to the door in a tattered T-shirt and bare feet. Her tiny house is exactly as her son in Vancouver described -- a simple two-room adobe casa shaded by three palm trees. It stands beside the school in this dusty village three hours north of Tegucigalpa. When I met Rudolpho at the Metrotown SkyTrain station, he agreed to tell me his real name so I could visit his mother. I agreed to call him only Rudolpho, the street name he has adopted in Vancouver. Virginia's eyes light up at the mention of her youngest son, first with excitement, then fear. ``Is he OK? How did he look?'' I assure her that her handsome, green-eyed son was healthy and seemed a very polite young man. I don't have the heart to say I picked him out of the crowd at the station, dressed in designer jeans and quite likely selling crack cocaine. Vancouver police believe most of the estimated 200 Honduran boys and young men who have arrived in the city since Christmas are part of an organized drug-trafficking ring. A trip along the SkyTrain route with stops at Main Street in Vancouver, Metrotown in Burnaby and finally New Westminster suggests they are right. Young Hispanic men hang around on every corner, some so brazenly cutting crack deals that a local television station was able recently to film a buy. In Siria, Rudolpho's older brother, Marvin, says he has heard that some migrant workers in North America have turned to selling drugs. But Marvin and his mother do not believe Rudolpho is mixed up in the drug trade. ``He is not a guy who would do anything wrong, who would leave the country to get into hanky-panky,'' Virginia says. At 19, Rudolpho stands a lanky six feet tall, his body not yet filled out. He is friendly in the cautious way of all the Honduran boys and young men who have come as ``wetbacks'' to Canada in search of work. Rudolpho insisted he was not working, that he was looking for a job. But he asked if I could take his mother some gold. I declined -- and later, when I meet her, feel a twinge of regret. She could use the money. Rudolpho was three when his father died, Virginia says. A single mother, she has struggled alone for 16 years to raise her five children. She scratches out a living on a small plot of land, growing corn to make Rosquillas, doughnut-shaped crusty crackers. They're a popular snack in Honduras and she hawks them on the buses that travel the gravel roads near her village. ``As you can see, our situation is pretty bad,'' she says, pointing to the dirt floor where her grandchildren pester a few chickens and a small pig. There are no phones here, no running water and no mail service. Still, there are reasons to be thankful. The family is healthy and all five children graduated, which in Honduras means they have had six years of free education. Rudolpho was itching to go north the day he finished school, but held off because Virginia begged him not to go. She'd heard the stories from illegal migrants who'd been caught, slapped in jail and finally sent home. Often, they are worse off than when they started, having spent their meagre savings on the trip. ``I said, `We are poor, but we can handle it.''' But when the best job available at the local lumber mill pays only $2 US per day, the temptation was too great. Virginia says Rudolpho left four months ago and has yet to send any money home. ``He says he can't get a job. That he eats and sleeps and that the government helps him.'' Like all the Honduran youth I met in Vancouver, Rudolpho was happy to describe the 5,000-kilometre journey from Honduras. Bus from the capital, Tegucigalpa, to the border of Guatemala and Mexico, across the dangerous Mexican border on foot, then hopping freight trains north to the edge of the United States. Rudolpho walked across the U.S. border; others claim they crossed in a boxcar. After that they're home free -- the crossing into Canada is famously easy. ``It takes about 20 days, unless you get caught,'' Rudolpho said. What he and the others never say is who showed them the way. And it's obvious someone must. One young Honduran in Vancouver didn't even know which direction his village was from Tegucigalpa. ``You just get on the bus,'' he said. Nor will they talk about where they live in Vancouver, or how they earn the money that buys them thick gold chains and rings, baggy designer jeans, Nike runners and slinky soccer jerseys. Rudolpho told me he hoped to find a job. ``I'm waiting for immigration to get my papers in order, and then I'll work. I also want to learn English,'' he said. Virginia begs me to help her son: ``I would like you to help him find a job. He feels he can't come back, that there's nothing worthwhile here.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mounties Seize 400 Pot Plants ('The Kamloops Daily News' Says The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Kicked Off The Fall Marijuana Harvest Wednesday With The Seizure Of More Than 400 Plants Spotted By Air And Cut From Three Different Plots In The Momish Valley At The North End Of Adams Lake) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Mounties seize 400 pot plants Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 07:14:55 -0700 Lines: 44 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Kamloops Daily News (Canada) Website: http://www.southam.com/kamloopsdailynews/ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Friday, August 28, 1998 Author: ROBERT KOOPMANS, Daily News Staff Reporter Mounties seize 400 pot plants RCMP kicked off the fall marijuana harvest Wednesday with the seizure of more than 400 plants. Sgt. Dennis Ryan, head of the RCMP's southeast district drug section, said the marijuana plants were spotted by air and cut from three different plots in the Momish Valley at the north end of Adams Lake. The outdoor grows were located in rugged country accessible only by boat. Officers cut down and took away all the marijuana found. The plants were about three weeks from harvest. No arrests were made. All the marijuana seized was destroyed, Ryan said. The drug section is planning numerous other flights this fall in a variety of remote back-country areas, Ryan said. Police usually search for outdoor grows in the late summer and early fall as the plants are near maturity and easier to spot from the air. "We plan to get out there lots more this fall. The more we take out of production, the less harm it can do," Ryan said. Each adult marijuana plant can produce about $1,000 of dope. This is also the time of year that hikers, hunters or other outdoor enthusiasts encounter illegal crops in the woods. Ryan said any marijuana found should be left alone and reported to RCMP. It's not uncommon for growers to post armed guards in their crops, he said -- mostly a way to guard against theft from other growers. Most times, the sentries won't hassle people, but there has been the odd case where forestry workers or hikers have been told to get out of an area by a grower with a gun. "It's not uncommon to have people sitting in these plots guarding them," said. "There is some risk to the public."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Parents Protest School's Drug Policy ('The Edmonton Journal Extra' Says Jocelyn And Glen Best, Their Children And Family Friends Demonstrated Outside The Edmonton Catholic School Board's Annual Staff Liturgy Thursday To Protest Pressure By Their Son's School To Put Him On Ritalin, Holding Up Signs Outlining Its Side Effects, Which Can Include Nervousness, Insomnia, Dizziness, Headaches And Nausea - 'They're Coercing Parents To Put Their Child On Ritalin - You Can't Force Anyone To, But They Can Coerce,' Said Jocelyn Best)From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Parents protest school's drug policy Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 15:47:18 -0700 Lines: 76 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Edmonton Journal Extra (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: August 28, 1998 Author: James Wood Parents protest school's drug policy Edmonton - An Edmonton family demonstrated outside the Edmonton Catholic school board's annual staff liturgy at the Winspear Centre Thursday to protest what they say is pressure by their son's school to put him on the controversial drug Ritalin. Jocelyn and Glen Best, seven of their nine children and some family friends held up signs in the lobby that outlined the side effects of the drug, which can include nervousness, insomnia, dizziness, headaches and nausea, before being asked to leave. "They're coercing parents to put their child on Ritalin, you can't force anyone to, but they can coerce," says Jocelyn Best. "They're making our lives miserable if we don't put them on Ritalin, but then they're throwing it back on us and saying 'oh no, it's the parents' decision with the doctor." Ritalin is used to treat Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) which was previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder. Best's son, Glen Jr., was diagnosed with ADD when he was in Grade 1. Best says she was told last year by a social worker working for St. Alphonsus school that Glen, then 12-years-old and in Grade 7, had to go on Ritalin or he would end up in trouble at school and eventually with the police. The school pushed for the boy to be assessed by a doctor, she says, but Best refused because Glen had already been assessed. Best, who does not believe in using drugs in these situations, feels that doctors will automatically prescribe Ritalin. "He didn't need to go to the doctor for a new assessment, he only needed to go to the doctor to be put on Ritalin," she says. In response, Best says, the school first said they would send Glen home when problems occurred. They then said he would have to be in a special education class unless he went for the doctor's assessment, she says. To avoid sending her child to the doctor, Best agreed to put Glen into the class but withdrew him in the spring from both the class and the school because he was being beaten up by other boys in the class. Glen will return to regular classes at St. Alphonsus this fall but Best expects Ritalin to still be an issue. Best says her son requires firm discipline, but after studying ADHD she has become skeptical about the validity of it as a diagnosis. "They are children who are boisterous, rambunctious children and they like to use the words, hyperactive and attention deficit disorder," Best says. Donna Gingera, the spokesperson for the Edmonton Catholic board, can not speak about individual cases, but she says staff will not pressure anyone to go on any kind of drugs. "A staff member in our jurisdiction would not do that," she says. Gingera says staff members can suggest that a child should see a doctor if behaviour or school work is suffering. "We have administrative policies to ensure that a child is getting the best care they can to get an education," she says. Best says her family undertook the protest at the Winspear Centre to educate staff about what Ritalin does. "They think it's a miracle cure that lets kids sit still, but it's a drug and they're drugging them into submission," she says.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Firm Accused Of Threatening Doctors ('The London Free Press' In Ontario Says About 140 Doctors Have Signed A Petition Demanding An Independent, External Inquiry Into Allegations That The Drug Firm Apotex Inc. Threatened To Sue Researcher Dr. Nancy Olivieri At The Hospital For Sick Children When She Wanted To Tell Patients About The Potential Hazards Of An Experimental Drug, Deferiprone, Used As A Treatment For Thalassemia, A Deadly Blood Disorder) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Drug firm accused of threatening doctors Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 07:27:31 -0700 Lines: 73 Source: London Free Press Contact: email@example.com Friday, August 28, 1998 Drug firm accused of threatening doctors with trhe Sick Kids doctors demand inquiry into dispute over research of experimental drug By SHARON LEM, Sun Media Newspapers TORONTO -- Several of Canada's top doctors at The Hospital for Sick Children say they've been threatened and intimidated for supporting a colleague in a dispute with a drug company. And about 140 doctors have signed a petition demanding an independent, external inquiry into allegations drug firm Apotex Inc. threatened to sue researcher Dr. Nancy Olivieri when she wanted to tell patients of potential hazards with an experimental product. "We believe a full, independent inquiry is needed to find out the answers," Dr. Brenda Gallie, an ophthalmologist and leading retinoplastoma specialist, said yesterday. "I have been threatened because of my position in support of Dr. Olivieri." Last week, the hospital said an outside team of experts will examine the issue of research funded by drug companies, but won't investigate the specific incident involving Olivieri. Doctors and researchers called that move "inadequate." To be effective, the review must include the dispute, they said. "Our objectives have not been heard," Gallie said at a news conference yesterday. "They've only become stronger." Olivieri, a world-renowned hematologist at Sick Kids, tested the experimental drug deferiprone as a treatment for thalassemia, a deadly blood disorder, in 1995, but later had concerns the drug might cause liver scarring. Olivieri said Apotex threatened to sue her if she went public with her concerns. Olivieri said she believed Sick Kids would support her but it didn't. She said the hospital has twice tried to fire her. Olivieri said Apotex fired her as principal investigator and the trials were halted. They are now going on in Italy. Dr. Peter Durie, head of the cystic fibrosis research group at Sick Kids, said he has also been threatened. The hospital said yesterday an investigation into the allegations with Apotex would be ineffective since many policies have changed since 1996. "We believe we've come a long way at solving any problems that might have arisen," said spokesperson Cyndy DeGiusti. And the review of current policies would ensure they are adequate and effective, she said. But Olivieri said the hospital's stand "will be viewed by many individuals, patients and parents, scientists and physicians and nurses both in the national and international community as a coverup." Apotex spokespeople didn't return calls from Sun Media Newspapers yesterday.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Fatso' May Be Big Break Against Cali Drug Bosses (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Seattle Times' Says US Prohibition Agents Hope To Use The Arrest In Bogota, Colombia, Last Week Of Fernando Jose Flores, A Venezuelan Nicknamed 'Fatso,' To Extradite Miguel And Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, The Cali Cartel Chiefs Imprisoned By Colombia Since 1995 - Colombia's 1991 Constitution Prohibited The Extradition Of Cartel Bosses, But Congress Lifted That Ban Late Last Year For Crimes Committed After December 1997) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: `Fatso' may be big break against Cali drug bosses Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 12:30:41 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 06:44 a.m. PDT; Friday, August 28, 1998 `Fatso' may be big break against Cali drug bosses by Jared Kotler The Associated Press BOGOTA, Colombia - After years of failed efforts to extradite the leaders of one of history's most powerful drug mafias to the United States for trial, U.S. prosecutors may have finally gotten the break they needed. The arrest in Bogota last week of a Venezuelan nicknamed "Fatso" could be a big problem for Miguel and Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela, the Cali cartel chiefs captured in 1995. If, as expected, he is extradited or expelled to the United States, the alleged longtime cartel associate could provide the testimony needed to get the Rodriguez brothers into a U.S. courtroom, where they would face life terms. Extraditions formerly forbidden U.S. authorities consider Colombia's dismantling of the Cali cartel one of the greatest strikes ever against organized crime. But extraditing cartel bosses was forbidden by Colombia's 1991 constitution. Congress lifted that ban late last year, but in an apparent bow to traffickers' threats and payoffs, it allowed extradition only for crimes committed after December 1997. The measure virtually guaranteed that the Rodriguez brothers would remain in Colombia, provided they didn't violate U.S. laws again. Now it appears they may have. During the past three months, police say, 308-pound Fernando Jose Flores visited the Rodriguez brothers 17 times at La Picota prison. What the men discussed, if police indeed know, has not been made public. But the mere fact that they had contacts with the 37-year-old Venezuelan, who was carrying false documents when arrested, has raised intense speculation that the Cali kingpins have continued to traffic in cocaine from prison, a longtime contention of U.S. officials. The arrest apparently put the Rodriguez brothers on edge. In a letter sent to Semana magazine, which reported that Flores owed the two money, the brothers admitted to the Venezuelan's visits but said he was just a friend. If Flores was trafficking in drugs at the time "it was on his own behalf and without any conniving by us," the brothers wrote, insisting they had put their "sordid past behind." Brothers already doing time U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who tracked Flores and asked Colombian police to arrest him refused to discuss the case. But other U.S. officials said they would seek his extradition. The Americans do not want Flores expelled to Venezuela, because that country does not extradite its own citizens for trial abroad. Flores is under U.S. indictment for allegedly helping the Cali cartel ship nearly eight tons of cocaine to Florida in 1991, hiding it in concrete posts and moving it through a Venezuelan front company. If Flores' capture does eventually lead to extradition for the Rodriguez brothers, the process is bound to be lengthy. The first step for prosecutors is to get Flores to the United States - where he faces life in prison if convicted - and see if he accepts a plea bargain and implicates his associates. Colombian drug cartels have a long history of murdering turncoats - or their families - and the Venezuelan is being held under heavy guard at a Bogota police station. Under Colombian law, the Rodriguez brothers could only be sent to the United States after they finish serving 22- and 10-year Colombian sentences. With good behavior, both men could be free much sooner.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Allies Of Samper Eye Asylum ('The New York Times' Says A Colombian Court Is Opening An Investigation Into A 1996 Decision By Congress To Clear The President At The Time, Ernesto Samper, Of Criminal Charges, So A Group That Championed Samper In Congress Is Trying To Obtain Asylum For Him In Europe) Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 11:20:21 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: The Allies Of Samper Eye Asylum Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Wolf (email@example.com) Source: The New York Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 Author: Diana Jean Schemo THE ALLIES OF SAMPER EYE ASYLUM BOGOTA -- As a court investigation opens into a 1996 decision by Congress to clear the President at the time, Ernesto Samper, of criminal charges, a group that championed him in Congress is trying to obtain asylum in Europe. In meetings over several weeks, 17 senators and deputies, led by Martha Catalina Daniels, mapped a plan to request asylum in Germany, Britain, France and Italy on the ground of political persecution. None of the countries have extradition treaties with Colombia. Ms. Daniels left for Germany with her two youngest children last week after reportedly bidding farewell to her husband, Hernando Rodriguez, in a room at a police training center that has been turned into a jail for public officials gone wrong. Rodriguez landed in jail after stealing $10 million when he was in charge of privatizing Colpuertos, a public riverport administration. On her way out, the newspaper El Tiempo reported, Ms. Daniels gave farewell hugs to jailed friends: former Congressman Rodrigo Garavito and David Turbay and Rodolfo Gonzalez, two of six former Colombian comptrollers who have landed in prison. Samper's supporters had been more accustomed to diplomatic postings for family and friends, control over patronage jobs and Government largesse in their districts. Their troubles began when the court made its decision days after Andres Pastrana won the presidency on June 21; he took office on Aug. 21. It was Pastrana who had made public taped conversations of Samper's 1994 campaign soliciting contributions from drug chiefs in exchange for promises of lenient treatment. Two years after a large majority of Congress voted to clear Samper of charges that Cali drug dealers had bankrolled his election, the Supreme Court said it would determine whether deputies had ignored "overwhelming evidence" of his guilt, and whether any of them profited from the decision. If found guilty, their sentences could range from six months to eight years. Under Samper, the public budget and patronage machine was openly used to dole out favors to figures who could keep him in office, along with their family and friends. Heyne Mogollon, a deputy whose Committee of Accusations decided against allowing all the evidence against the President to go before the full Congress, found that a new road had been built clear to his home in Cordoba. Members of Congress have been meeting to plan a counterattack. Senator Carlos Alonso Lucio, a former deputy who has publicly supported measures to benefit drug traffickers in Congress, was designated to pitch the group's case before Amnesty International and the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, El Tiempo said. In a phone interview Thursday, Senator Alonso said he had not yet determined whether to seek refuge in Europe, but would most likely decide as he saw the course of the investigation. "It's a possible answer," he said. Enrique Parejo, a former Justice Minister who brought one of several public complaints that prompted the court's investigation, confessed that he was surprised at the decision to take up the case after such a long period and at the idea of Samper's supporters seeking asylum. "It's ridiculous," said the former minister, who survived an assassination attempt by Medellin drug dealers in the late 1980's. "They're doing the same thing they did under Samper: using the laws to help themselves and erode the image of Colombia." Copyright 1998 The New York Times Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crime Takes A Tumble (An Editorial In 'The Irish Times' Discusses The Latest Figures Indicating A Further 10 Per Cent Decline In The Rate Of Reported Crime In Ireland) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 18:37:15 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Ireland: OPED: Crime Takes A Tumble Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: Friday, August 28, 1998 Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org CRIME TAKES A TUMBLE The latest figures which indicate a further 10 per cent decline in the rate of reported crime, suggest that we may have reached a turning-point. The latest steep decline confirms a trend evident over the past three years. There are good grounds for optimism that we do not have to consider an annual increase in recorded levels of crime and violence as inevitable. This is not to suggest that some kind of panacea has been found. By its nature, crime is random and unpredictable. And a drop in gross figures may tend to mask or divert attention from serious crimes. The Garda must be concerned over the unsolved disappearances of so many women and the failure to make arrests in a number of murder inquiries. But it seems that the declining levels of reported crime are already having a beneficial effect on the streets, in business, and in people's homes. The fear of crime which appeared to grip parts of the major cities and isolated rural areas for much of the past decade, has receded. For the moment, there appears to be less concern about crime on the streets - and on the airwaves. The Minister for Justice, Mr O'Donoghue, and his predecessor, Mrs Nora Owen - who established the Criminal Assets Bureau - are both entitled to some credit. The vigour with which the Garda authorities approached Operation D=F3chas, the anti-drugs campaign, with some 17,000 arrests and over 7,000 people charged, also deserves recognition. The drugs crisis has not disappeared. Heroin still holds large swathes of working-class Dublin in its grip. For many young people, the use of so-called recreational drugs, like ecstasy, has now become an integral part of a night out, as a report in today's editions of this newspaper makes clear. But it is also the case that the Garda and the Criminal Assets Bureau have largely succeeded in breaking up the major drugs gangs and tackling the supposed 'godfathers' who were allowed to cock a snook at the criminal justice system. The lack of detailed research and information on crime patterns makes it difficult to explain the fall-off in the statistics. Undoubtedly, the strong growth in the economy has played a part by generating employment opportunities. Stronger action by the gardai and the courts, the firm response of individual communities and more favourable demographics - there are fewer males aged 18-25 in the population - may have also contributed to the fall-off in the crime statistics. The continued buoyancy in the public finances now presents an opportunity to make serious inroads into the causes of crime. Greater investment in education and child-care facilities in underprivileged communities must now be given the priority it deserves. The Government might also support plans - like those mooted by Dublin Corporation this week - to redevelop some of the worst enclaves of social deprivation in the State. In making the case for a £100 million allocation, the city manager, Mr John Fitzgerald, put it starkly; "These areas have been stubbornly excluded from the boom. If we can't do something about them now, what hope have we got when the inevitable downturn comes around?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ban On British Magazine Urged Over Drugs Article (According To 'The Irish Times,' The Irish Director Of European Cities Against Drugs, Mr Con O'Leary Of Cork, Has Urged The Government To Ban A 'Sky' Magazine Edition That Gives Details On Drugs In 20 Countries, Caiming It Makes A Mockery Of The Government's £30 Million Drugs-Awareness Programme) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 18:35:25 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Ireland: Ban On British Magazine Urged Over Drugs Article Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke
Pubdate: Friday, August 28, 1998 Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com BAN ON BRITISH MAGAZINE URGED OVER DRUGS ARTICLE The Government has been urged to ban an edition of a British magazine which gives details on drugs in 20 countries, amid claims it makes a mockery of the Government's £30 million drugs-awareness programme. SKY magazine offers readers a guide to drugs across three continents, outlining "the house speciality" in each country as well as explaining the local slang for drugs such as cannabis, acid and ecstasy. The Irish Director of the European Cities Against Drugs, Cork-based councillor, Mr Con O'Leary, said allowing the magazine to remain on sale here made a mockery of the Government's drugs-awareness programme for teenagers. "The Government is spending £30 million on a drugs-awareness programme for kids through the Drugs Task Force and here this magazine is telling our kids how to get drugs on their holidays - it makes a laughing stock of our drugs programme," he said. Mr O'Leary described the article as "an irresponsible drugs guide" and expressed surprise that there had not been a greater reaction to it by the authorities. He said he would raise the matter when the D=E1il resumes. A spokesperson for the magazine yesterday defended the article and denied it was irresponsible. "SKY doesn't endorse a way of life, it just describes one," said the spokesperson. "Our readers are over 18 and independent and we present them with interesting information each month. The article has additional information offering a drug helpline, so to say we are irresponsible is misplaced."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Seize Body Shop Hemp Products ('The Scotsman' Says French Gendarmes Entered A Body Shop Store In Aix-En-Provence And Seized Lip Conditioner, Hand Oil And Elbow Grease Containing Hemp Seed Oil, Claiming The Products Encouraged Drug Use, Even Though The Hemp Used In The Products Was Grown In France) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 13:22:06 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: France: Police Seize Body Shop Hemp Products Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: 28 Aug 1998 POLICE SEIZE BODY SHOP HEMP PRODUCTS FRENCH police seized lip conditioner, hand oil and elbow grease containing hemp seed oil from a Body Shop store - because they claim the products encourage drug use. Body Shop founder Anita Roddick yesterday said she was "amazed" by the action of gendarmes who entered her shop in Aix-en-Provence and took products from the Hemp range, as well as promotional material. Ms Roddick said: "You'd have to smoke a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole to get the least buzz and you'd die from carbon monoxide first. "France is in the forefront of the hemp revolution, in fact the hemp seed oil in The Body Shop range comes from France. "However, we are being restricted in Aix-en-Provence from promoting our Hemp range. "I know the French perfected the art of irony in the past, but right now I'd like to see them get a better grip on the future." The Body Shop said it had launched the Hemp range in the UK, the US and other markets over the past few months with tremendous success.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Body Shop's Hemp Products Blow Up A Storm In France (The Version In Britain's 'Times') Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 15:36:49 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: France: Body Shop's Hemp Products Blow Up a Storm in France Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 Author: Susan Bell BODY SHOP'S HEMP PRODUCTS BLOW UP A STORM IN FRANCE THE Body Shop may be prosecuted for promoting drug use after French police raided a branch of the ecologically friendly retail group in Aix-en-Provence. They seized stocks of hand lotion, lip conditioner and body oil from the company's new hemp product range, claiming that they encouraged the use of cannabis. The Body Shop products are made with industrial-grade hemp seed oil extracted from the hemp plant, which is part of the cannabis family. The oil does contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that provides the "high" from marijuana, but only in negligible quantities. "You'd have to smoke a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole to get the least buzz and you'd die from carbon monoxide first," Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop, said yesterday. She expressed "amazement" at the action of the gendarmes, who also seized all promotional material on the products during the raid on Wednesday. The seized items were returned, but a report was submitted to the public prosecutor in Aix-en-Provence. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said yesterday that any legal action would probably focus on the packaging rather than the products. Posters advertising the range show the hemp leaf. A Body Shop spokesman denied that the range encouraged drug use and said the company's aim was to distance industrial hemp from marijuana by educating people on the ecological benefits of cultivating hemp and the uses to which it could be put. There are more than 25,000 known uses for hemp, including fuel, textiles, building materials and fabrics. The hemp seed oil used to make the Body Shop products comes from France, which Ms Roddick described as "being in the forefront of the hemp revolution". The Body Shop launched the hemp products in its 22 shops in France on Monday. The range has already enjoyed huge success in Britain and America. In Britain, it accounted for 5 per cent of total sales in April, a month after it was introduced.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 56 (An Original Summary Of Drug Policy News From The Drug Reform Coordination Network, Including - Household Survey Reports Teen Marijuana Use Up Again; Trial In Canada Brings Medical Marijuana To National Attention; Media Alert - DARE Criticized In Houston; New DRCNet Mailing Lists) Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1998 14:39:32 -0400 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 56 Sender: email@example.com THE WEEK ONLINE WITH DRCNet, ISSUE No. 56 -- AUGUST 28, 1998 -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html.) CORRECTION: Oops! In the email version of Issue No. 55, the editorial failed to include the source of the report which showed that one in every thirty-five American adults is either in prison or jail, on probation or parole. That report was issued by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the U.S. Department of Justice (as was indicated in the news story in the same issue). NOTE: You can also find Adam's editorials each week in G-21 "The World's Magazine" a terrific online zine featuring news, satire, humor and more. Check out G-21 at http://www.g21.net. DRCNet needs your support! Join the more than a thousand dues-paying members and cast your vote for reform today! Use our secure form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to make a pledge or a credit card donation. BUMPER STICKERS ARE SENT TO ALL NEW MEMBERS -- check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/bumpersticker.gif. A batch of stickers went out last week to the 50 or so of you who've donated during the last few weeks -- be part of the next 50! Help us by recruiting more e-mail subscribers too -- over 6,600 now, help us reach 7,000! (But please get their permission first, before signing them up.) Please note that donations to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. You can make tax-deductible donations to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The DRCNet Foundation will gradually be taking over much of the educational work currently being carried out by the Drug Reform Coordination Network. Help us celebrate the inauguration of the DRCNet Foundation by making a tax- deductible contribution! Note that the Foundation is not yet set up for credit cards, only checks or money orders. Donations by check, tax-deductible to the DRCNet Foundation, or non-deductible to the Drug Reform Coordination Network (to support our lobbying work), may be mailed to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Thanks to the 360 of you who have signed for the eyegive online fundraising program with DRCNet as your recipient non-profit, and who collectively are earning us over $17 per day in much needed revenue. If you haven't signed up yet, and would like to do so, or just want some more information, please visit http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 to read more and automatically select DRCNet, or visit the eyegive home page at http://www.eyegive.com. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Household Survey Reports: Teen Marijuana Use Up Again http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#householdsurvey 2. Trial In Canada Brings Medical Marijuana To National Attention http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#canadatrial 3. Private Researcher Plants First Medical Marijuana Crop http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#privateresearch 4. Media Alert: DARE Criticized in Houston http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#houstondare 5. News Briefs http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#newsbriefs 6. New DRCNet Mailing Lists http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#newlists 7. Events http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#events 8. Editorial: Spin, You Win http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#editorial *** 1. Household Survey Reports: Teen Marijuana Use Up Again The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services this week (8/24) released the results of the 1997 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (NHSDA). The survey, which polled approximately 24,500 Americans, showed that while overall rates of drug use remained stable over the past year, rates of youth marijuana use increased. In 1997, for instance, 9.4% of teens, aged 12-17 admitted to having used marijuana during the month prior to the survey, compared with 7.1% in 1996. Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project told The Week Online, "These numbers clearly indicate that an unacceptable number of adolescents are still using marijuana, which indicates that arresting even record numbers of adults for marijuana possession has had no bearing on teenage use patterns." The Office of National Drug Control Policy, which is involved in a brewing legislative battle over funding for the administration's current drug war plan, had a different take on the numbers. "This excellent study confirms the significant threat from illegal drugs to our children. We must face this threat head-on, which we intend to do" said Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey in a statement released to the press. "We embrace today's findings as further proof of the need to fully fund the National Drug Control Strategy." Interestingly, of the 24,500 people surveyed, over 8,700 of respondents came from just two states, California and Arizona, illustrating the federal government's hopes of gaining rhetorical ammunition against the medical marijuana movement. But so far at least, medical marijuana has not led to higher rates of youth drug use. Among youth age 12- 17, the results are mixed. Teens in Arizona report more drug use than the national average, whereas California teens report less. For marijuana, the numbers on past-month marijuana use are: 9.9% for U.S. excluding AZ and CA, 13.1% for Arizona, and 6.6% for California. Rob Stewart, director of communications for the Drug Policy Foundation, reports that: "Because the sample populations surveyed in California have been large in past NHSDAs, HHS was able to compare previous years with the 1997 oversampling data. There appears to be no increase between 1996 and 1997 in marijuana use, either by adults or youth. (Curiously, HHS says that they can compare California data back till 1994, but don't provide a glimpse of what was happening before the Prop. 215 campaign caught fire in 1996.) In addition, there was no significant change in attitudes about the risks associated with most drug use from 1996 to 1997." And despite McCaffrey's contention that the rise in teen marijuana use indicates the need for a redoubling of current efforts, many people, including drug educators, hold a different view. Sandee Burbank, director of Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA), told The Week Online, "After decades of this type of punitive approach, marijuana is more available than it has ever been to our kids. This study, like the studies that have come before it, underscores the need for honest, fact- based drug education and information, regarding both licit and illicit substances." The survey, and the complete results, can be found online at http://www.samhsa.gov/oas/nhsda/nhsda97/httoc.htm. The Marijuana Policy Project can be found online at http://www.mpp.org. Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse can be found online at http://www.mamas.org. *** 2. Trial In Canada Brings Medical Marijuana To National Attention - Kris Lotlikar In a trial with potential national ramifications in Canada, medical marijuana user and proponent Grant Krieger has been convicted of possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking after admitting to giving a wheelchair-bound Calgary man marijuana to treat his aliment. The judge is faced with what Krieger's lawyer, Adriano Iovinelli, calls a "catch-22". The court can either give him a fine, which would be seen as condoning Krieger's actions, or put a man suffering from multiple sclerosis in jail for promoting what he sees as a miracle medicine. Krieger previously attempted suicide after being largely crippled by multiple sclerosis. Since using marijuana to treat his condition, he is able to walk without a cane and enjoy other activities such as jogging. Krieger says that he will continue his usage whatever the court decides to do. Iovinelli told The Week Online, "Grant is a man on a mission. He could have ended this quickly without the media coverage and low chance of conviction. He chose to see this all the way thought." "I'm in this for the long term; I'm hoping for the best," Krieger stated to the Lethbridge Herald. "This issue has become bigger than me and that's what I intended." On October 19, Judge Bob Davie adjourned, allowing Iovinelli to gather information about the medical value of marijuana to present to the court. Rob Kampia, Director of Government Relations for the Marijuana Policy Project told The Week Online, "For many patients marijuana reduces the spasticity caused by MS." Many multiple sclerosis users die from starvation after the stomach muscles tighten and don't allow them to eat. "Marijuana can relieve the muscle locking caused by MS in effect helping to stir an appetite for the patient." "Krieger is a lamb being lead to slaughter to bring marijuana's medical value to national attention," commented Iovinelli. Krieger has been successful in his efforts as there has been national coverage of the trial and talk in parliament for a sub-committee on medical marijuana. *** 3. Private Researcher Plants First Medical Marijuana Crop (reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org) August 27, 1998, London, England: The first private researcher to receive a federal license to grow marijuana for medical purposes planted his initial crop Monday. He will grow the plants at an undisclosed greenhouse research facility in the south of England. Dr. Geoffrey Guy, chairman of GW Pharmaceuticals, received permission from the federal government in June to grow marijuana for medical research. He announced in July that he will begin clinical trials to examine the therapeutic effects of whole smoked marijuana on multiple sclerosis patients, and discouraged efforts to synthesize medical compounds in the plant. "I don't see the value in taking apart something that seems to work at the moment," he previously told a House of Lords committee. Private researchers in America who wish to follow in Guy's footsteps will be disappointed. Presently, only the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has permission to grow marijuana for research purposes. The agency almost exclusively limits it supply of marijuana to federal researchers hoping to determine harmful effects of the plant. In August 1997, a National Institute of Health (NIH) expert panel on medical marijuana urged NIDA to implement policy changes to expedite medical marijuana research, but the agency has refused to do so. For more information, please contact either Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500 or NORML board member Rick Doblin at (617) 484-9509. *** 4. Media Alert: DARE Criticized in Houston An article in the Houston Chronicle yesterday (8/27) reported that a Houston study had found the city's $3.7 million/year DARE program to be "only marginally successful" in discouraging young people from using drugs. Social Sciences professor Bruce Gay concluded "there is very little compelling evidence to suggest that the primary goal of the DARE program is being reached at a statistically significant level." Nevertheless, Houston Mayor Lee Brown (former US Drug Czar) insists that "DARE does work," and has opposed efforts by some members of the city council to scale back the program. Houston Police Chief C.O. Bradford also insists that the program works, and that they will be able to use the study results to find ways to make it work better. Brown is himself a former Houston police chief. Please send letters to the Chronicle, asking why the Mayor and Police Chief prefer that Houston's children go through an ineffective program, when numerous more effective programs are available. Brown and Bradford's insistence on sticking with the less effective program is likely to result in higher rates of drug use among kids than could otherwise be the case. For example, a Washington think tank called Drug Strategies (http://www.drugstrategies.com) has published a report called "Making the Grade," which discusses 34 drug prevention programs and 14 general health programs available to school systems. Even better still might be "harm-reduction" based programs, such as that designed by Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (http://www.mamas.org). One of the reasons that police like the DARE program is that it brings police into more contact with youth, which the police naturally regard as a positive (and which often is positive, though there are horror stories of DARE kids turning in their parents for drug possession, not realizing that it will result in the arrest of the parents, sometimes resulting in the breakup of the family). But in any case, the purpose of the program is to keep kids of drugs; building relationships between youth and police is a secondary goal at best. You can read the Houston Chronicle article online at http://www.chron.com/content/chronicle/page1/98/08/27/dare_2-1.html (or go to http://www.chron.com and click on "news" if that link doesn't work). You may have to register for a free account before you are able to view the page. Send your response to firstname.lastname@example.org (click on mailto:email@example.com if your e-mail reader works that way), and be sure to include your name, mailing address and phone number. Letters to the editor typically need to be under 200 words to get published. As usual, please send us copies of your letters, to firstname.lastname@example.org. A substantial amount of information about DARE is available on DRCNet's web site at http://www.drcnet.org/DARE. A DARE discussion group is hosted by Calyx Internet Access, at email@example.com. (Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "subscribe dare-list your name" in the body of the message, to join the discussion.) *** 5. News Briefs - Kris Lotlikar * Casualty of the Drug War: Officer Michael Ceriale died Friday night after being shot while on a drug stake out a week ago. The 26 year old officer is the first police officer in Chicago to die in the line of duty this year, after being shot below his bullet proof vest. Ceriale had only been on the force for 15 months. * Timothy Weltz faces felony charges for cultivating marijuana to treat the nausea caused by the cancer treatment he receives. More than 20 marijuana plants were found in his yard last month which he claims is allowed under proposition 215. "I won't accept this," he told the Fresno Bee. "I would rather take my chances with serious jail than make a deal for probation... I'm fighting for my life here." * National Public Radio reported that a recent survey of college undergraduates revealed that the new most popular college past time is surfing the Internet. It replaced drinking beer, which has long been college students' favorite activity. * Royal Canadian Mounted Police are being investigated for causing environmental damage after burning $2 million worth of marijuana. Three residents have complained to Manitoba Environment about the diesel fuel used to burn the marijuana, which may have contaminated an underground reservoir. *** 6. New DRCNet Mailing Lists DRCNet is offering a few new e-mail services that may interest some of you. One anouncement-only list: DRC-EXTRA: A one-way list for extra alerts and information, similar to the rapid response team, but for those of you who want to get more alerts and information, more often. (We announced this a few weeks ago, but it was in the midst of our technical problems, and many of you might not know about it. The Houston DARE alert printed above was first distributed on DRC-EXTRA. To subscribe, send e-mail to email@example.com, with the line "subscribe drc-extra your name" in the body of the message. (Make sure to put the command line in the body of the message, *not* the subject, don't include the quotation marks, and substitute your own name.) And two discussion groups: FFDLR: Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, a collaboration with the Australian organization by the same name (http://www.adca.org.au/ffdlr/). FFDLR is a group led by parents, siblings and friends of persons who have died or been harmed as a result of addiction problems. They have played a major role in advancing the drug policy debate in Australia and advocating for alternatives to prohibition. DRCNet is providing and promoting the FFDLR discussion group, in order to help the organization spread to other countries, hopefully including the United States, where such a group is very much needed. To subscribe, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the line "subscribe ffdlr your name" in the body of the message. WDPR-L: West Coast Drug Policy Reform Mailing List, an open talk group for activists and others concerned with drug policy reform in west coast and other western states. With medical marijuana a big issue in California, and initiatives soon to run in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and Nevada, with an anti-recrim initiative in Oregon, with massive incarceration and three-strikes laws in California, the west coast and nearby states are sure to be a hotbed of political activity on drug policy reform issues. Readers from any of these states, or from Hawaii or anywhere else nearby (use your own best judgment), and others who just want to know what's going on, are welcome to subscribe. To do so, send e-mail to email@example.com with the line "subscribe wdpr- l your name" in the body of the message. WDPR-L is an experiment, as we haven't figured out yet whether a regional discussion group is the way to go; we decided to try it out and see. If you think that a different geographical or topical subdivision would be superior to this one, please send us a note and let us know. We also aren't set on the name "WDPR-L", and if you think you have a better name, please send that along too, and we'll consider your suggestion. When joining either of these discussion groups, please bear in mind that they have been formed for specific purposes. Both of them have been formed as open lists, and all are welcome on them. But please respect the topical nature of the lists, and either keep your posts relevant to those topics, or just listen in. *** 7. Events 9/1, Brisbane, Australia -- VOICE DAY, open forum at the at the Parliament House in Brisbane. Admission $12, 9:15am - 4:00pm (registration opening at 8:30). For info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, call (07) 3260 6277 or (07) 3260 7016 or fax (07) 3260 6277 for further information, or visit http://www.adca.org.au/ffdlr. 9/2, Minneapolis, MN -- JUST SAY NO DOESN'T WORK: HEALTHY ALTERNATIVES TO CURRENT YOUTH DRUG PREVENTION PROGRAMS, featuring Dr. Joel Brown, Executive Director of the Center for Educational Research and Development in Berkeley, CA. Free public forum by the Open Debate Project, co-sponsored by the Minnesota Drug Policy Fund and the Minnesota Drug Policy Council. Dr. Brown is a leading authority on evaluation of youth drug prevention programs. He was principle investigator of one of the largest evaluations of drug education in the United States. (Brown's study is online at http://www.lindesmith.org/library/tlcbrow.html.) At the U of M Law School (West Bank of the U of M, Auditorium, Room #25, 229 19th Avenue So., reception at 6:00pm, forum from 7:00-9:00pm. For further information, contact Scott Warnick, (612) 827-1068, email@example.com, or Mark Willenbring, (612) 839-4482, firstname.lastname@example.org. 9/5, London, England -- REGULATING CANNABIS: OPTIONS FOR CONTROL IN THE 21ST CENTURY -- AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM. At Regent's College, sponsored by The Lindesmith Center and Release. For further information, contact Mireille Jacobson at the Lindesmith Center, (212) 548-0603, x1469, e-mail email@example.com, or Vicki Charles at Release, at (44/171) 729-5255, fax (44/171) 729-2599, or visit http://www.lindesmith.org/news/cannabis_conference.html. 9/25, New York City -- EXPANDED PHARMACOTHERAPIES FOR THE TREATMENT OF OPIATE DEPENDENCE, a conference presenting the latest research, policies, and practices related to the use of opiates and other drugs -- including codeine, morphine, diacetylmorphine, buprenorphine, methadone, and amphetamine -- for maintenance treatment of addiction. At the New York Academy of Medicine, 5th Ave. & 103rd Street, 9:00am - 5:00pm, admission $50 (lunch included), $20 for students. For info, call (212) 822-7237, fax (212) 876-4220, visit http://www.nyam.org/meded/announcements/treatment.html, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. 9/25-9/27, Berkeley, CA -- CRITICAL RESISTANCE: BEYOND THE PRISON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, a National Conference and Strategy Session. Building a campaign to resist the expansion of the punishment industry. For further information, contact: Critical Resistance, P.O. Box 339, Berkeley, CA 94701, (510) 643-2094, fax: (510) 845-8816, email@example.com, http://www.igc.org/prisons/critical/. 9/26, New York City -- THE FIRST METHADONE ADVOCACY CONFERENCE, Roosevelt Hospital Auditorium, 1000 Tenth Avenue. "The voice of the methadone patient has been excluded from methadone treatment for too long. This conference will discuss the empowering of methadone patients, stigma and important issues that impact the lives of methadone patients such as physician prescribing." This is a Methadone Patient Organized Conference for Methadone Patients. To register, send NAMA a coupon with your name, address, and phone number, with 1) a check or money or order for $25.00; or 2) a photocopy of your patient ID card and a donation of whatever you can afford. Mail it to: NAMA, 435 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10010. 9/26-29, New York City -- AMERICAN METHADONE TREATMENT ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE 1998, 9/26-29, Marriott Marquis, New York City, registration $360. For more information and to register visit http://www.assnmethworks.org. 10/7-10, Cleveland, OH --- THE SECOND NATIONAL HARM REDUCTION CONFERENCE, sponsored by the Harm Reduction Coalition. For further information, call (212) 213-6376, or visit http://www.harmreduction.org on the web. 11/12-14, Bethesda, MD -- CRIME AND POLITICS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE QUALITY OF JUSTICE. Conference of the Campaign for an Effective Crime Policy, a coalition of progressively minded criminal justice professionals, legislators, advocates and other concerned citizens, coordinated by The Sentencing Project. For further information, see http://www.crimepolicy.org. *** 8. Editorial: Spin, You Win It has been said that Washington DC is the birthplace of "spin". But whether or not the practice of creative, interpretive media interaction originated in our nation's capital, nowhere has it evolved more completely into an art form. Take the release this week of the results of the National Household Survey on Substance Abuse, which show that teenage marijuana use is once again on the increase. To those who are unfamiliar with the "all news proves we're right" school of Washington thought, it might appear that whatever it is that we are doing to combat teen drug use is not working. In fact, the truth, as promulgated by Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, (and we know that he tells the truth because, well, he's a federal official working for the taxpayers for goodness sake) is that the numbers indicate that we are on exactly the right track, and that things will be great as long as we keep doing the same things... only more so. In a press release from the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) this week, Barry McCaffrey told the nation's media: "This excellent study confirms the significant threat from illegal drugs to our children. We must face this threat head-on, which we intend to do. We embrace today's findings as further proof of the need to fully fund the National Drug Control Strategy." In this, the opening paragraph of the press release, McCaffrey makes at least three important points: 1. There are kids in America who are using drugs. 2. It is important to disregard the fact that we have been trying to stop kids from using drugs for the past three decades or more, and focus on what we intend to do. That is, we intend to "face the problem head-on," so you just wait for the results of that collision before you make any judgments about our progress. And, 3. The rising numbers of kids smoking pot proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that our plan must be fully funded by Congress. Trust us, we have over 80 years worth of experience with prohibitionist plans just like this one, and we know what we're talking about. It is interesting to note that McCaffrey, upon finding out that teen marijuana use is rising, actually said that he "embraces" the findings of the survey, so thoroughly does it prove that he is right. Flash back one year to 1997, when the Department of Health and Human Services released the results of the Household Survey measuring drug use for 1996. That survey showed teen marijuana use leveling off after several years of steady increase. Not surprisingly, the administration's take on those results had a familiar ring. ".drugs are a sustained threat to our young people," McCaffrey said in a press release issued by HHS in August of `97. "That is why the President's budget increases funding by 21% for the number one goal of the National Drug Control Strategy: to educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs..." In the real world, people analyze the results of a study or a survey in order to find out what they mean and, thereby, what actions ought to be taken. In Washington, however, people are paid big money to find ways to spin the results to justify whatever strategy has already been decided upon. And since most of the strategies that the government employs cost millions if not billions of dollars, and since there are always several interested parties, including the agency whose budget the money will flow through and the private sector interests that will be enriched in the end, there is always a demand for people who can "give good spin." So, to recap: If teen drug use goes down, it is because the government is doing the right thing and it is imperative that we continue to fund their efforts at ever-increasing levels. If, on the other hand, teen drug use goes up, it means that (pay attention, this is the tricky part) it is imperative that we increase funding for their strategy, perhaps under a new and improved title or a "four year" or a "ten year" plan which, of course, cannot be blamed for the current crisis since it will only go into effect once the new funding comes through. Got it? The facts though, show that in every city and town in the country (outside of the beltway, of course), drug use rates, and especially teen drug use rates, have run in cycles wholly independent of how much money the federal government appropriates to the issue. In fact, with the monster's share of drug war funding from all levels of government going to enforcement, and with record numbers of arrests for even the most non-violent of drug offenses (85% of the record 640,000 marijuana arrests in 1997 were for possession), if the results of the Household Survey show anything, it is that we cannot possibly arrest enough Americans to scare teens off of marijuana. And that under Prohibition, and the black market that it inevitably engenders, we cannot keep it out of their hands either. Teen drug use surveys are notoriously unreliable in their findings, but they are also tremendously important to those whose budgets and careers depend upon the continued prosecution of the Drug War. It makes no difference whether the numbers show a marked increase in use, a marked decrease in use, or no change at all. Any result can be spun to argue for more of the same failed strategy, and for more money to carry it out. This is, after all, Washington DC. And in Washington, more than any other place on earth, to the spinners go the spoils. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html on the web. Contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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