------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Activist Stumps For Measure 67 ('The Albany Democrat-Herald' Interviews Harrisburg, Oregon, Reform Activist William Conde, Who Is Hosting A 'Cannabis Carnival' At His Harrisburg Property Over Labor Day Weekend In Support Of The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, And In Opposition To Ballot Measure 57, Which Would Recriminalize Possession Of Less Than An Ounce Of Marijuana) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 17:01:12 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Hemp Activist Stumps For Measure 67 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 Source: Albany Democrat-Herald Section: Front page Connect: email@example.com Website: http://www2.mvonline.com/MV/ Author: Les Gehrett - Albany Democrat-Herald Note: The same article was published in the Corvallis Gazette, OR, titled: "Harrisburg Man Fights For Marijuana Measure" HEMP ACTIVIST STUMPS FOR MEASURE 67 HARRISBURG - Critics of statewide Ballot Measure 67, which would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana, contend the measure is a "back door" for those who want to end the war on drugs. But for William Conde, owner of Conde's Redwood Lumber near Harrisburg, there is nothing back door at all about his reasons for supporting the measure. "My long-range goal is to live in a world where my children can live peacefully, and not have to worry about their government declaring war on them," said Conde, 55. To that end, Conde is hosting a "Cannabis Carnival" at his Harrisburg property over Labor Day Weekend in support of Measure 67. He also hopes to raise awareness of Ballot Measure 57, which would make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment. He opposes the measure. Currently, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction punishable by fines ranging from $500 to $1,000. These efforts are nothing new for Conde. "It has taken a major portion of my time and energy over the past twenty years," Conde said. His activism began in earnest after he was arrested in Cottage Grove in 1976 for possession of marijuana and spent four months in jail, followed by three years of probation. Conde said he thought long and hard about the incident. "I did a lot of soul searching, because I thought I must have done something really wrong to have sixteen people break down the door and come in with all their guns ready," Conde said. "But the more I investigated, I found it's (marijuana use) not evil, it's good." In addition to his work on the ballot measures, Conde is also working hard to legalize the use of hemp. It is a product that Conde thinks could revolutionize agriculture in the Willamette Valley. "It's the most useful plant of the face of the planet," Conde said. It is his work to legalize and popularize the use of hemp which ties together two seemingly contradictory facets of Conde's life: being an activist for drug and environmental issues and selling lumber for a living. "I'm fifty-five, and I've been selling dead Redwood trees for thirty-two years. I could never figure out why I was conscious and in the timber industry," Conde said. He sees hemp as his salvation. "I believe in karma and this is the only way to cover my soul. If I can be the one to help push hemp into widespread use, that would be it," Conde said. When asked if legalizing medicinal use of marijuana would send young people the wrong message about drug use, Conde responded by questioning the messages society is sending. "What kind of a message is it when people who are suffering and dying are criminalized for using marijuana?" Conde asked. "Or having DARE go into schools and tell kids, `We're you're friends,' and then get them to snitch on their parents. What message is that?" As with the World Hemp Expo Extravaganja that he hosted in July, Conde does not plan to acquire a mass gathering permit for the Labor Day weekend event. The fee for the three-day festival, Sept. 4-6, is $12.50, which includes camping, and come-and-go privileges, Conde said. Musical acts will include Linda Hornbuckle, Rubberneck and Kerosene Dream. Linn County Commissioner Catherine Skiens said the county has not made any enforcement decisions at this time. "We'll just have to see how the carnival plays out this weekend. The board would then need to discuss what direction we would go in, according to whatever information we have available," Skiens said. District Attorney Jason Carlile said no charges have been filed to this point relating to the July hemp festival. "I know that no charges have been filed, but whether or not that happens in the future, I don't know," Carlile said. "I would trust that he would comply with all county ordinances and not tolerate any violations of the law."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Parents Sue Hospital For Son's Brain Damage; Morphine Blamed ('The Associated Press' Says The Parents Of A 20-Year-Old Man Who Underwent Routine Surgery Are Suing Rogue Valley Medical Center In Medford, Oregon, For $15.73 Million, Claiming The Hospital Failed To Monitor An Adverse Reaction That Left Their Son In A Coma) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Parents sue hospital for son's brain damage; morphine blamed The Associated Press 8/29/98 4:11 PM MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- The parents of a 20-year-old man who underwent routine surgery are suing Rogue Valley Medical Center for $15.73 million in damages, claiming the hospital failed to monitor an adverse reaction to morphine that left their son in a coma. C.W. Smith and Gina Lee Smith filed the lawsuit Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleging negligence by the hospital that left their son, Morgan, paralyzed and blind. The complaint says that, during surgery Feb. 2 to repair a hole in his lung, Morgan Smith suffered brain damage because the hospital staff did not monitor, recognize or properly treat an adverse reaction to morphine. The Smiths also claim that the certified nursing assistant monitoring Morgan did not have the experience, education or qualifications to recognize the symptoms indicating the morphine reaction. C.W. Smith, who is the police chief in Talent, and his wife both declined comment. But they issued a statement through their attorney, saying: "Our only concern is that Morgan receive the best medical care possible for the remainder of his life." The hospital also issued a written statement saying that Morgan Smith suffered serious post-operative complications, and that Rogue Valley Medical Center has been "actively participating with the Smith family in Morgan's recovery and subsequent rehabilitation." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hempfest Safer Than Bite Of Seattle (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Herald' In Everett, Washington, Contrasts The Recent Hempster Festival In Seattle With The City's Annual Bash For Alcohol-Sodden Suburbanites, Noting Cops Didn't Bust Teens Who Were Smoking Cigarettes At The Bite) Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 14:40:15 -0700 (PDT) From: email@example.com (Darral Good) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: PRINTED: letter about hempfest [email@example.com: letre-12.htm] Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org  Letters Saturday, August 29, 1998 [INLINE] HEMPFEST Safer than Bite of Seattle I was in attendance at Seattle Hempfest on Sunday in Myrtle Edwards Park. I felt much more comfortable and safe there than I did at the "Bite of Seattle." There were three beer gardens at the Bite and none at the Hempfest. I did not see any police give out tickets to any minors for smoking tobacco at Hempfest. Maybe this is because the tobacco companies just won a victory in court over the FDA on regulating tobacco as a drug, which everyone knows it is, except the tobacco companies! Yet we have over 400,000 deaths every year attributed to tobacco. And zero to marijuana. DARRAL GOOD Lynnwood *** 4. http://www.heraldnet.com/Stories/98/8/29/letre-12.htm please! send some mail to: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rally In San Francisco Monday (A Bay Area Activist Says There Will Be A Demonstration 2 PM August 31 At The Federal Courthouse, Where Judge Breyer Will Render A Decision On The Federal Request For An Injunction Against Six Northern California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries) From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Rally in SF Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 14:43:48 PDT Saturday August 29, 1998 Everybody, There will be a support rally on Monday august 31, 1998 at the Federal court House at 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco at 2 pm The judge (Breyer) will be rendering a decision on whether to dismiss charges against the 6 clubs or not. Be there for support, if you can. AS far as meetings go, I have not been held privy to the meeting at Oakland CBC this saturday the 29th whether it has been cancelled or not. I was called by someone and told the meeting was cancelled and will be held on saturday september 5th, but I don't know. I have designated my authority as info center to Lynn Waltz of Fremont. She will fill in for me when I am not available to be there. I plan on being in San Francisco for support on monday august 31st at 2 pm. Ralph
------------------------------------------------------------------- Disappointed By Reaction To 215 (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune' Criticizes Local California Law Enforcement Officials Who Don't Seem To Have Read The California Compassionate Use Act Of 1996) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 18:15:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Disappointed By Reaction To 215 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Pubdate: Saturday, August 29, 1998 Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://sanluisobispo.com/ Section: Letters to the editor, page B-9 Author: Jo-D Harrison DISAPPOINTED BY REACTION TO 215 To the editor: In November 1996, it was quite disappointing to find that our community is so brainwashed by our drug warriors that only half of the registered voters voted yes on proposition 215 to allow "seriously ill Californians with a doctor's recommendation" access to medical marijuana. It was frightening to find one year after the initiative became H&S 11362.5 to hear that our former local sheriff, Ed Williams, insisted that the citizens who attempted to work with the board of supervisors and local law enforcement were "marijuana dealers" and compared them to murderers. (The Looming Pot war, Telegram-Tribune, Nov. 3 1997) It is inexcusable that our Deputy District Attorney, who supposedly specializes in 11362.5, has publicly shown his ignorance by stating that this law only covers possession. ("Atascadero eyes ban on pot clubs, Aug 21). The law states, in plain English, "possesses or cultivates marijuana". Your overly complicated correction of Aug. 26 leads me to believe that neither you nor Mr. Schloss has taken 5 minutes to actually read the text of the law. Jo-De Harrison [sic!] National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws San Luis Obispo
------------------------------------------------------------------- National Guard Discovers Largest Pot Operation In State (According To 'The Contra Costa Times,' Sheriff's Officials In Santa Clara County, California, Said Friday A National Guard Helicopter On A Training Exercise Spotted The Largest Marijuana Farm In State History, With More Than 21,000 Plants They Valued At $4,000 Each, About $84 Million Total) Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 07:28:06 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: National Guard Discovers Largest Pot Operation In State 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: Contra Costa Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.hotcoco.com/index.htm Pubdate: 29 Aug 1998 Author: AP NATIONAL GUARD DISCOVERS LARGEST POT OPERATION IN STATE HISTORY SANTA CLARA -- A National Guard helicopter on a training exercise spotted what authorities are calling the largest marijuana farm in state history, sheriff's officials said Friday. It took deputies more than a day to remove the 21,000 plants, which they estimated were worth about $84 million on the street. "Nothing's ever come close to 21,000," said Santa Clara County Sheriff's Sgt. Jim Arata, who added that most marijuana busts average 10,000 to 12,000 plants. The marijuana was discovered Wednesday in a remote canyon in a rural area of the county owned by the San Francisco Water Department. Also found were three base camps, as well as several pistols. The plantation was vacant when deputies arrived, and no arrests had been made as of late Friday. Authorities said the suspects may be Mexican nationals, because Spanish reading material was found at the site and radios were tuned to Spanish-language stations. The marijuana farm was nourished by an elaborate water system, gravity-fed from nearby creeks and springs. Arata estimated the plants would have been ready for harvest within the next two weeks.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cops Harvest Massive Bay Area Pot Farm ('The San Francisco Examiner' Version) Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 18:48:33 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Cops Harvest Massive Bay Area Pot Farm Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 Author: Eve Mitchell COPS HARVEST MASSIVE BAY AREA POT FARM 19 million potential joints cut down Authorities seized more than 21,000 marijuana plants with a street value of $84 million this week in Santa Clara County in one of the largest finds of its kind in state history. "It's the largest (outdoor) seizure that the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program has ever been involved in," said Gil Van Attenhoven, operations commander for CAMP, which was created in 1983 and involves state, local and federal authorities. There were 21,142 plants of high-quality sinsemilla marijuana that were uprooted late this week from the massive growing operation five miles southeast of the Calaveres Reservoir, authorities said. The plants have been destroyed. The operation was found in a remote canyon area known as Poverty Ridge and Bl ack Mountain on land owned by the San Francisco Water Department. "The (growing) organization was definitely impacted," Van Attenhoven said. "This was a major loss for them. You're looking at over 21,000 plants. That's a tremendous number of plants." Just how much marijuana was there? Enough to make 19 million joints, Van Attenhoven estimated. It is not the biggest pot farm discovered in the state, however. Glenn County set the record for the largest seizure of pot plants in 1983 with 60,000 plants valued at $50 million. No arrests have been made in the Santa Clara County case. "This is very unusual for the Bay Area to have this kind of find," said sheriff's Sgt. Jim Arata. Authorities were notified about the plantation near the Calaveres Reservoir after the farm was spotted Wednesday by a National Guard helicopter crew on a routine training flight. "The hills were starting to turn brown and the color green of marijuana is very distinguishable from the a Arata said. When sheriff's deputies and CAMP agents arrived about 6 a.m. Thursday, they found guns and three abandoned campsites, Arata said. Arata said all of the plants were chopped down, ground up with other plants and wood pulp and buried in a landfill. Van Attenhoven said that the plants were 3 to 5 feet tall and several weeks away from being harvested. The find is the second in a week in Santa Clara County. On Monday, authorities seized 1,590 plants valued at $8.7 million at the base of Mount Umunhum near Los Gatos. No arrests have been made in that case, said Arata, adding the marijuana was burned. When authorities arrived at the second pot farm early Thursday morning, they found two handguns, an assault rifle and numerous knives as well as crude cooking stoves made out of clay. At both growing sites, caretakers watered the marijuana plants by tapping into nearby springs and creeks through gravity-fed irrigation systems, Arata said. "Someone had a sizable investment in (the site outside the Calaveras Reservoir). I'm sure that someone is very disappointed," he said. 1998 San Francisco Examiner
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Farm In Bay Area Called The State's Biggest ('The Orange County Register' Version) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 14:51:44 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Marijuana Farm In Bay Area Called The State's Biggest Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: john W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 MARIJUANA FARM IN BAY AREA CALLED THE STATE'S BIGGEST A National Guard helicopter on a training exercise spotted what authorities are calling the largest marijuana farm in state history, Santa Clara County sheriff's officials said Friday. It took deputies more than a day to remove the 21,000 plants, which they estimated were worth about $84 million on the street. The marijuana was discovered Wednesday in a remote canyon in a rural area of the county owned by the San Francisco Water Department. Also found were three base camps, as well as several pistols. The plantation was vacant when deputies arrived.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer's Arrest Triggers Corruption Probe ('The Los Angeles Times' Says The Arrest Of Los Angeles Police Officer Rafael Antonio Perez For Stealing Six Pounds Of Cocaine From An Evidence Room Has Broadened Into A Wider Corruption Probe, With Detectives Receiving Tips From Informants And Illegal Drug Sellers Who Say The Nine-Year Veteran And Other Prohibition Agents Stole Drugs And Money From Street Dealers)From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: LAPD Officer's Arrest Triggers Corruption Probe Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 19:08:43 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles Times Saturday, August 29, 1998 Officer's Arrest Triggers Corruption Probe * LAPD: Broader investigation focuses on tips from informants who say police stole drugs and money from dealers. By MATT LAIT Times Staff Writer The criminal investigation into a Los Angeles police officer accused of stealing six pounds of cocaine has broadened into a wider corruption probe, with detectives acting on tips from informants and narcotics dealers who say the nine-year veteran and other officers stole drugs and money from street dealers. Some drug dealers allege that they were robbed by Officer Rafael Antonio Perez and one or more other officers, a police official close to the investigation said. The source said detectives are "focusing on several" officers who worked with Perez at the LAPD's Rampart station. Since Perez's arrest, detectives have fanned out through the community, interviewing informants and drug dealers as well as former and recent partners of the 31-year-old officer in an effort to determine whether there are other "dirty cops" on the force, several sources said. According to one knowledgeable police source, informants and people involved in the illicit drug trade allege that Perez and other officers would "shake down" dealers under the guise of arresting them. Then, the officers allegedly confiscated the drugs and money and released the drug dealers, knowing that the victims would be unlikely to report them. The source acknowledged, however, that some of the people who have come forward with information "don't always make the best witnesses" because of their criminal backgrounds. Perez, a former Marine, worked undercover narcotics and anti-gang assignments as well as patrol, police said. Detectives are looking into the personal contacts he made within and outside the department during all his assignments, sources said. Details of the widening probe into other officers comes one day after prosecutors revealed that a pound of cocaine was discovered missing from the Rampart station in February. Prosecutors also accused Perez of criminal activity beyond the March 2 theft of the six pounds of cocaine from an LAPD property room. In addition to the charges stemming from the property room theft, prosecutors allege that Perez tried to sell a kilogram of cocaine "through a confidential informant" in December. Prosecutors further allege that Perez "obtained leniency" in the sentencing of two convicted drug dealers who, police now believe, helped him distribute the cocaine. Veronica Quesada, one of the two suspects for whom Perez allegedly sought leniency, is his girlfriend, prosecutors say. The other alleged associate was her brother, Carlos Antonio Romero, whom Perez once arrested on a drug charge. Prosecutors, however, have only charged Perez with the theft of drugs from the property room. Perez, who is married and has a young daughter, faces eight years and four months in prison if he is convicted. Earlier this week, he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Attorney Winston McKesson, who represents Perez, said his client is innocent and is "shattered" by the accusations. McKesson said the district attorney's case against Perez is weak and is not based on any eyewitness account or fingerprints linking the officer to the crime. Investigators, however, contend that they have solid evidence against Perez, including handwriting samples they say match the signature used to check out the cocaine from the property room. Police allege that Perez impersonated another officer with the same last name to obtain the drugs. According to a search warrant affidavit, which was made public Friday at The Times' request, witnesses place Perez at the LAPD property room on the day of the theft. The property room clerk remembered that Perez was "rude and condescending" when she handled a transaction for him, but she did not recall if it involved the three individually wrapped kilograms of powder cocaine, which is equivalent to 6.6 pounds. One LAPD colleague also helped investigators focus on Perez when he was interviewed about Rampart's missing pound of cocaine. Investigators questioned the colleague, a former Rampart officer, because he was initially under suspicion for checking out the drug from a property room, the affidavit shows. Officer Armando Coronado convinced investigators that he had nothing to do with the missing pound of cocaine, the records show. However, during the interview, he revealed to investigators that he left Rampart's anti-gang unit and was transferred to another division because of personality problems with some of the officers, including Perez. Coronado said he complained to a supervisor that Perez "was conducting narcotics searches without concern for proper LAPD procedures or tactics . . . [and] without appropriately documenting his findings," according to court documents. After his complaint, Perez and his partner gave Coronado "the cold shoulder," according to a statement he made to investigators. Coronado also told investigators that a paid LAPD informant told him that Perez "had tried to convince the informant to work exclusively for Perez" because "he could pay him immediately for the cases they worked together and that the informant would not have to wait until the [department] paperwork was completed to get paid," the affidavit states. The informant said Perez offered him "some of the dope and some of the money" if they worked together, according to the court documents. Coronado said he initially discounted the informant's story because the person "B.S.'d a lot," the court documents show. Investigators interviewed the informant, who confirmed to them that Perez wanted to get involved in "large cases involving 10-20 kilos of narcotics," court records show. "Perez offered to pay the [informant] out of his own bank account so that [the informant] would not have to wait," according to the affidavit. In December, the documents contend, Perez said he would pay the informant $1,000 from his own pocket if the informant could find a buyer for a kilogram of cocaine. Sting operations involving undercover drug buys are routinely documented by officers and must meet department approval. But investigators said Perez did not have formal approval for the transactions he was allegedly arranging. Suspecting that Perez was involved in the theft, investigators started following him in April, the search warrant affidavit says. During this surveillance, Perez was spotted driving in an "erratic manner," which investigators believed was intended to lose the officers who were following him, the documents state. A couple of times, Perez drove erratically while he was accompanied by another LAPD officer. On April 15, Perez told his supervisor that he believed he was being tailed by FBI investigators because of his friendship with another LAPD officer, David A. Mack, who was charged with robbing a bank in December. Moreover, Perez had reported that he believed gang members wanted to kill him, the affidavit shows. The court documents also allege that Perez frequently used telephones and pagers in a manner characteristic of drug dealers. The documents also allege that Perez made calls to and received calls from numbers listed under the names of suspected drug dealers. As part of the investigation into Perez, detectives interviewed Quesada and Romero. During that interview, according to court records, investigators discovered that Romero was carrying a "plastic baggy which contained what appeared to be powder cocaine . . . [that] appeared to have been broken off from a larger brick." A subsequent search of the siblings' apartment turned up a photo of Perez "in plain clothes apparently giving a gang hand gesture," and his pager number, the documents state. The searches of Perez's LAPD locker, cars and home did not yield any drugs, according to court records. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- LAPD Probes Corruption Allegations (The United Press International Version) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 23:00:21 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: LAPD Probes Corruption Allegations Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Tim Meehan Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 Source: United Press International LAPD PROBES CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The arrest of an officer last week on charges of stealing six pounds of cocaine from a property room has prompted a Los Angeles Police Department investigation into allegations of widespread corruption. The Los Angeles Times reports today that detectives are investigating tips from informants and drug dealers who say 31-year-old Officer Rafael Antonio Perez and other officers stole money and drugs from them. The drug dealers allegedly told police that Perez and the other officers would ``shake down'' dealers with the excuse of arresting them, then confiscate the drugs and money before releasing them. Perez, a nine-year police veteran, pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this week. He faces up to eight years and four months in prison if convicted. Perez allegedly impersonated another officer with the same last name when he checked the drugs out of the property room on March 2. Police revealed that a pound of cocaine was also taken from the same station in February. Perez is also accused of trying to sell a kilogram of cocaine through a police informant in December, and of obtaining leniency in the sentencing of two convicted drug dealers, one of whom was allegedly his girlfriend. Police believe the woman, Veronica Quesada, and her brother helped him distribute drugs. Court documents show that one colleague complained that Perez and his partner did not follow police procedure in conducting narcotics searches. The officer also said Perez tried to convince an informant to work exclusively for Perez, who allegedly offered to pay him ``some of the dope and some of the money'' that were seized as a result of their collaboration.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legislature OKs Limit On Informants ('The Orange County Register' Says The Death Of 17-Year-Old Chad MacDonald Of Yorba Linda, California, Led State Lawmakers Friday To Send A Bill To Governor Pete Wilson That The Newspaper Dubiously Claims Would Limit The Use Of Teen Drug Informants)Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 20:10:16 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Legislature OKs Limit On Informants Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 29 Aug 1998 Author: Stuart Pfeifer and Martin Wisckol OCR LEGISLATURE OKS LIMIT ON INFORMANTS Law Enforcement:The bill was prompted by the slaying of a Brea teen who worked undercover for police. The death of a teen-age police informant from Brea that sparked controversy over using juveniles as undercover agents led state lawmakers Friday to send a bill to Gov. Pete Wilson that would limit the practice. "It's just good policy. We shouldn't be putting kids in harm's way to fight our war on drugs," said Assemblyman Scott Baugh, R-Huntington Beach, who authored the bill in reaction to the March beating and strangulation of Chad MacDonald. The state Assembly voted 70-1 to send the bill to Wilson, who is expected to sign it into law. The Senate voted 37-0 for "Chad's Law" on Thursday. The bill would prohibit police from using anyone 12 or younger as an undercover informant. Teen-agers 13 to 17 could work as informants with the approval of their parents and a judge. MacDonald was 17 when Brea police arrested him in January for possessing about one-half ounce of methamphetamine. At the urging of police and with his mother's approval, MacDonald agreed to work undercover for police instead of facing prosecution in juvenile court. He made one buy - while detectives listened through a hidden "wire" - and gave police information about other dealers. MacDonald was no longer working as an informant when he was killed, but witnesses said the killers called him a "snith." Orange County law enforcement agencies have said they support the legislation because it offers them guidance. MacDonald's survivors have sued Brea police, contending detectives misled the youth and his mother. Brea police have denied that.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmate Numbers Worry Officials ('The Tulsa World' Says The County Jail In Tulsa, Oklahoma, Had Its Highest Ever Monthly Average Number Of Inmates Last Month - 'We Have 881 Beds, And We Were At 113 Percent Of That Today,' Chief Deputy Bob Mackechney Said Friday - 'We Can't Go Beyond 125 Percent' Because Of A Federally Imposed Limit On Overcrowding) Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 07:05:26 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OK: Inmate Numbers Worry Officials Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Tulsa World (OK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com Pubdate: 29 Aug 1998 Author: Tim Hoover World Staff Writer INMATE NUMBERS WORRY OFFICIALS The Tulsa Jail's inmate population could exceed federally imposed limits, officials warn. The Tulsa Jail had its highest ever monthly average number of inmates last month, provoking concern among jail authority members Friday. If the trend for July continues through the rest of the year, Tulsa County sheriff's officials warned, the inmate population could break records and exceed federally imposed limits at the lockup. "We have 881 beds, and we were at 113 percent of that today," Chief Deputy Bob Mackechney said Friday. "We can't go beyond 125 percent." Officials also worry that if the trend continues, it could threaten efforts to contain the population at the new, still-under-construction Tulsa Jail, filling the facility's 1,476 beds long before projections. Sheriff's officials have been sounding increasingly louder alarms for the last several months as the inmate population in the old jail system crept up well past a monthly average of 900 inmates to almost 1,000. For July, the average was 1,003 inmates, a 3.8 percent increase over the previous month, and a 16.22 percent increase over July 1997, when there was an average of 873 inmates. Prior to July, the record high monthly average was 999 inmates in May 1995. And though 1998 is only a little more than halfway over, the yearly jail population average of 932 inmates already is the highest it has been since 1995, when crowded conditions resulted in a yearly average of 946 prisoners. The inmate population average has increased for the past four months in 1998, reversing a trend for almost the last three years in which sheriff's officials, prosecutors and judges have worked to keep the average population below 900 inmates. This has included work-release efforts, sentencing alternatives and quicker release of those serving time for fines and misdemeanors. Mackechney said sheriff's officials weren't sure what was contributing to the increased number of inmates, noting mainly an increase in the number of arrests. "We've also had an increase in the numbers of people who just refuse to pay their fines, and a judge just gives them jail time," he said. Jail authority members also wondered about the higher numbers. "I fear a change of attitude among our criminal judges," County Commissioner Lew Harris said. Tulsa Mayor Susan Savage shared the same concern, saying, "We're in an election year, and you get somebody demagoguing about letting people loose." The new jail -- located in the northwest corner of downtown -- is set to open in April. With every cell filled, it could hold more than 1,800 inmates. To do so, though, would violate the standards of the American Correctional Association, which says that some 30 percent of a facility's bedspace should be reserved for single-cell use. Governments typically use the ACA standards as a benchmark in defending themselves from civil rights lawsuits and federal intervention. So, without triggering this ACA pressure valve, there are effectively 1,476 beds available at the new jail. But officials don't want to come anywhere near that total until after the turn of the century. That's why the budget for Corrections Corporation of America to run the new jail is only for 1,100 inmates. Anything above 1,100, and the county must pay the private corrections company more money, though the amount per inmate, per day actually decreases. County Commissioner John Selph said the lockup is "dangerously close" to noncompliance with a 1995 federal settlement order that mandated the county's inmate population not go beyond 125 percent of its bed capacity. "We've got to look at other options, whether it's jailing people on weekends rather than during the week or other programs," Selph said. "When you have people sitting in jail for failure to pay a fine, it becomes very costly to keep them there. "I want to have room in the jail for people accused of committing serious crimes." Tim Hoover can be reached at 581-8336.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kay County Raids Result In 28 Drug-Related Arrests (According To 'The Oklahoman,' Thanks To A Drug-War Grant From The US Justice Department, Kay County Now Has 28 Prisoners It Has To Spend A Big Chunk Of Money On To Prosecute And Incarcerate) Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 07:06:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OK: Kay County Raids Result In 28 Drug-Related Arrests Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Oklahoman, The (OK) Contact: http://www.oklahoman.com/?ed-writeus Website: http://www.oklahoman.com Pubdate: 8/29/98 Author: Michael McNutt Staff Writer KAY COUNTY RAIDS RESULT IN 28 DRUG-RELATED Arrests NEWKIRK -- Authorities made additional drug arrests Friday after raiding several houses in three Kay County cities. Officers arrested 28 people on a variety of drug charges. Two will be charged with additional counts of using minors, ages 15 and 16, in the illegal drug trade, said Bruce Surber, an assistant Kay County district attorney. One man allegedly sold marijuana to minors, he said. A woman allegedly gave her cocaine to a minor, apparently hoping authorities would not search the child. Many of the arrests involved selling or possessing crack cocaine or marijuana, Surber said. Most of the arrests occurred in Ponca City, he said. Other arrests were made in Tonkawa and Blackwell after a six- month investigation. Most of the arrests were the result of citizen tips, Surber said. The biggest drug seizures were a pound of marijuana at one house and a package of methamphetamine already prepared for individual sales, he said. Several law agencies in a multi-county drug force conducted early-morning raids Thursday and made follow-up arrests Friday, he said. The task force was set up with the help of money from the U.S. Justice Department. More arrests are possible, Surber said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Failure - DARE To End Ineffective Anti-Drug Program In Houston (A Staff Editorial In 'The Houston Chronicle' Endorses Ending The Drug Abuse Resistance Education Program, Which Several Studies Have Found To Be Ineffective Or Worse - The 63 Police Officers It Costs $3.7 Million A Year To Send Out To Teach 27,000 Houston Fifth-Graders And 24,000 Seventh-Graders Should Be Out Patrolling Unsafe Neighborhoods) From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 08:32:11 -0500 (CDT) Subject: EDITORIAL: DARE to end ineffective anti-drug program in Houston To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org This editorial will give you a warm fuzzy feeling. WAYTOGO to the Houston Chronicle's editorial staff!!!! Now, if their next editorial would address the other ineffective anti-drug program called the war on drugs...... *** 8-29-98 Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com email@example.com Failure - DARE to end ineffective anti-drug program in Houston It is safe to assume that few people would want to continue a program that costs millions of dollars but helps only a few people. That is especially true if the program's costs are borne by taxpayers. For some reason, though, years of studies showing the anti-drug program DARE does not keep students off drugs have failed to persuade Houston city officials to stop funding it. Launched in 1983 by Los Angeles police and schools, DARE, which stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, costs Houston taxpayers $3.7 million a year, including $3.3 million to pay salaries and benefits for the 63 police officers who teach the program. Along with lectures, "Hugs not Drugs" bumper stickers, T-shirts, pencils and other paraphernalia are part of the DARE curriculum for about 27,000 fifth-graders and 24,000 seventh-graders. Meanwhile, the evidence of DARE's ineffectiveness keeps mounting. In 1994, the Research Triangle Institute, a university-affiliated research organization in Durham, N.C., concluded that DARE's short-term effectiveness is small and less than the success of programs that emphasize social skills and use interactive teaching strategies, such as role-playing. A study presented at the 1997 American Psychological Association found that DARE failed to lessen students' use of alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana six years later. In an independent report, University of Houston social science professor Bruce Gay found Houston's DARE program "only marginally successful" at its primary goal. Nor does DARE increase homework time, prevent truancy, raise educational aspirations or improve attitudes toward school. According to Gay, Houston's DARE program actually increased negative feelings toward law enforcement. Today's students have heard anti-drug messages their whole school careers, yet drug use is increasing. These findings have prompted DARE advocates only to call for increasing the funding and scope of DARE lessons. But fine-tuning DARE is something program advocates have had 12 years in Houston schools to do. It makes no sense to continue funding DARE or any other program with a track record for failure. The 63 police officers in the program would be better employed patrolling unsafe neighborhoods, while community volunteers could be used to lecture children about the dangers of drugs. It is time to just say no to DARE in Houston.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crack Cocaine Babies Aren't Doomed To Failure, Studies Find - Poverty Is Main Factor In Child's Ability To Learn ('The Houston Chronicle' Belatedly Discovers That 'Crack Babies' Are A Media-Generated Myth) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Study: Crack babies aren't doomed Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 20:20:28 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org:57 PM 8/29/1998 Crack cocaine babies aren't doomed to failure, studies find Poverty is main factor in child's ability to learn By SHANNON WRIGHT Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle To see Shelly Williams dance around her living room and laugh fondly at her little sister's antics, you would never guess she was a crack baby. And believing she recently tested into the gifted program at her HISD elementary school might be very difficult to accept. But recent studies on children born addicted to crack cocaine indicate that this scenario is not rare. Bright, good-natured Shelly, who likes to read and wants to be a dancer and a nurse, is not an anomaly. When crack cocaine first flooded the streets of urban America in the mid-1980s and with arrival of the first wave of crack babies soon after, doctors noticed unsettling things about the newborns. Often they were underweight. They cried incessantly and jerked at the slightest noise. They went through agonizing withdrawals, stiffening like boards and rejecting any touch. Doctors and sociologists offered dire predictions about these children. Crack would affect their heart, lungs and nervous system; it would affect their cognitive abilities and ability to empathize, thus producing ruthless predators; it would reduce them to genetic inferiors, forever burdens on society. But as the children grew, and researchers followed their progress through babyhood, preschool and elementary school, evidence was providing a different story. The children are not misfits. In fact, they perform on par with peers, scoring at the same level or only slightly below them on standardized tests. The problem is their peers are performing poorly, too. Jacquelyn Edwards directs the Cradles program, a service that identifies drug-addicted newborns and then works with their mothers to rehabilitate them and to teach them to parent. Edwards notes that the peers of crack babies tend to be, as the crack babies usually are, from single-parent, impoverished homes. Their education is inadequate; their environment is often violent. The equalizing factor may be poverty, Edwards said. Dr. Susan Robbins, associate professor at the University of Houston's Graduate School of Social Work, argues poverty is the only factor. "There is no such thing as a crack baby," asserts Robbins, who calls it all "media hype." "Crack, by itself, has no long-lasting detrimental effects. What does have long-term effect is poverty," Robbins said. When compared to middle-class cocaine users who maintained good nutrition and prenatal care throughout their pregnancy, crack babies lagged behind because of the ill effects of poverty, not crack cocaine. "The most important factor (in a child's development) is a stable environment, and you don't have that in an impoverished environment, drugs or not," Robbins said. But other experts argue there are definite cognitive differences between drug-exposed children and nonexposed peers. "The gap is just a few points, maybe 3-6 points. If you're starting with an IQ of 120, that doesn't matter. If you're starting in the 80s, it makes a significant difference. Those few points are enough to push a child over the edge into abnormality or to require special education," said Dr. Barry Lester of Brown University, who has conducted extensive research of cocaine-exposed children. Lester also agrees that poverty is probably the most crippling factor. The findings of Dr. Gideon Koren of Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children confirm this. Koren is studying 47 cocaine-exposed children who were adopted as infants. As they entered school, an IQ gap of 10 points opened up between the crack-exposed children and their non-exposed peers. That still left them, at 106, more than 20 points higher than the 82 averaged by non-exposed children raised in disadvantaged homes. Robbins argues that the brain is adaptable enough to recover from infant addiction. While cocaine is in the system, the brain ceases to produce its own dopamine, a neurotransmitter, and its receptors disappear. When cocaine is removed from the system, the brain returns to producing its own dopamine and the receptors reappear. Other experts maintain that crack cocaine affects the prenatal brain in ways we don't yet fully know. The reliability of some of the studies showing crack babies to be no different from their peers is being called into question by these scholars because children are tested in small rooms with no distractions -- a far cry from the crowded, rowdy classrooms they enter in school. Since the part of the brain believed to be most affected by prenatal cocaine exposure is the part that enables children to screen out unwanted stimuli, these experts assert, it is impossible to determine from IQ tests how the children will fare in school. And of 119 studies tracking crack babies, only six have followed them past the age of 3. "Isn't that ridiculous? Ninety percent of what we know is confined to the first month of life. This problem has been going on for so long, you'd think we'd know by now what's going on with these kids," Lester said. "There is so much contradictory evidence," Lester said. "Much of what we're seeing is the effects of poverty. And many of the mothers who use cocaine also use other drugs. So are we looking at just cocaine use or a polydrug effect?" Lester is involved in a study commissioned by the National Institute of Health, which will track 20,000 infants from four hospitals in Providence, Detroit, Miami and Memphis over seven years. He is hopeful the long-term commitment of the study and its broad scope will enable researchers to "tease out these confounding, intervening factors." Previous studies may not be reliable because they were not geared toward drug-affected children. "We just pulled whatever IQ test or motor skills test we had off the shelf without considering if it was applicable to drug-exposed children," Lester said. Now researchers are composing a new battery of tests that will examine what Lester calls the four A's: Attention (how well a child can pay attention and screen out stimuli), Arousal (how much a child cries and his consolability), Affect (interaction with parents and peers) and Action (motor activity and coordination). "With these tests, if we discover there's nothing wrong with these kids, there's really nothing wrong," Lester said. Much of the evidence so far is anecdotal. Natalye Henderson, children's activities coordinator at Star of Hope Transitional Living Center, said, "My observation is that the children I know to have been exposed to it are more hyperactive and have shorter attention spans. Even if you put them in a room with no distractions, they'll get bored faster than other children. They'll use their own bodies as distractions: play with their hair, look at their hands." Lester agreed. "We know we're no longer losing a generation. But when they do show effects is when you stress them out, tweak them a little bit," he said. These observations are affirmed by a pilot study at Wayne State University in Detroit, in which teachers, not knowing which children were crack-exposed and which were not, rated the exposed children as significantly less attentive than their non-exposed peers. Robbins calls the children's conformance to the crack baby stereotype the "self-fulfilling prophecy syndrome." "The worst thing you can do to a kid is label them. We see these behaviors in children because we expect to see them, and we reward them when we do see them. So the children live up to our expectations for them. Even infants are very adept at learning to play to expectations," Robbins said. As the first "crack babies" enter high school, the prognosis is better than anyone anticipated, with one caveat. "If there's early intervention, these children can catch up to their peers. But the home environment has to change. If they go back to violence and chaos and neglect they won't catch up," Edwards said. She echoed what national experts are saying: The biggest hazard for these ch ildren is not that they are born as crack babies but that they are raised by crack mothers. That is immensely more difficult to overcome.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Disability Benefits For Vets Who Smoked ('The San Francisco Examiner' Says The US Veterans Administration Has Prohibited Vietnam Veterans From Receiving Disability Payments If They Develop Lung Cancer, Emphysema Or Other Diseases From Smoking The Cigarettes The Government Packed Into Their C-Rations While They Were In Service) Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 16:17:42 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: No Disability Benefits For Vets Who Smoked Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Tom O'Connell) Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: 29 Aug 1998 Author: Kathleen Sullivan, Examiner Staff NO DISABILITY BENEFITS FOR VETS WHO SMOKED Troops in Vietnam were given cigarettes in their C-rations During the Vietnam War, the U.S. government tucked miniature packs of cigarettes into boxed meals for combat soldiers and dropped cartons of cigarettes by helicopter to troops on long-range reconnaissance missions in the jungle. About 30 years later, the government has decided those soldiers "smoked on government time" and has prohibited them from receiving disability payments if they developed lung cancer, emphysema or other diseases from smoking. A law banning disability pay for ailments tied to tobacco use was added as an amendment to the 800-page Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century. The bill was signed by President Clinton in June. The Department of Veterans Affairs requested the law, which amends federal statutes governing veterans benefits. "The VA believes veterans' compensation benefits were designed to assist veterans who become ill or are injured in service to their country," said Ozzie Garza, a VA spokesman. "It goes beyond the government's responsibility to pay compensation for veterans just because they smoked on government time." Michael Blecker, executive director of Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco veterans' rights group, says it is ironic that the government has decided to deny smoking disability claims given its role as a purveyor of cigarettes. Blecker, who served two years in Vietnam, says the military tucked tiny cigarette packs in every C-ration box, which contained the canned meals soldiers ate in the field. "In the packet with the napkins there would always be a package of four cigarettes -- Newports, Chesterfields, Lucky Strikes, Winstons, Pall Malls or another one of the brands of the time," he said. Blecker says cartons of cigarettes were also dropped by helicopter to soldiers on long-range reconnaissance missions. "If you were 18 or 19 years old, you could pick up a habit big time," said Blecker, who started smoking in Vietnam and quit several years later. "They were free in the field, and back in the PX they were very, very cheap." The military discontinued the practice in 1975, eight years after the U.S. surgeon general issued a report saying smoking was the principal cause of lung cancer. "Sure, a lot of veterans have (medical) conditions as a result of that practice," said VA spokesman Ken McKinnon, "but the VA's position is that the government cannot be held responsible for all the sins of smoking." Richard Daynard, chairman of the Tobacco Products Liability Project, a public health advocacy group at Northeastern University in Boston, says the ban on smoking claims is an "ugly response" by a government unwilling to take responsibility for its actions. "It's ironic, it's unfair, and, to understate the situation, it's in very bad grace for the government to say: "We've tracked this (smoking and health) problem down pretty far, and we're certainly going to hold the tobacco industry responsible -- but when it comes to our own responsibility, forget it,' " he said. Tobacco industry documents made public in recent years have shown that cigarette companies knew 30 years ago that nicotine was addictive and that smoking caused numerous health problems. But the industry hid the evidence from the public. In 1993, a legal opinion by the VA's general counsel opened the door to smoking claims from veterans. But the agency didn't begin processing most of the cases until 1997, when another opinion clarified the ground rules for granting benefits. In the 1997 opinion, VA general counsel Mary Lou Keener said the agency should approve the claims if three conditions were met: if nicotine dependence was a disease; if veterans started smoking while they were in the service; and if smoking was considered the cause of the disability or death. The opinion immediately raised financial concerns at the VA, which began lobbying Congress to change the law. The VA said it would be deluged with claims - 350,00 over the next five years - and swamped with $17 billion in bills if the agency followed the ruling. The VA delivered a draft bill prohibiting such claims to House Speaker Newt Gingrich on March 30, and within two months the ban became part of the massive highway bill. While the House and Senate veterans' affairs committees had held hearings to discuss the possibility of banning claims, they did not conduct hearings on the veterans' smoking amendment after it was attached to the highway bill. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., the ranking minority member on the Committee on Veterans Affairs, tried to kill the amendment as the highway bill made its way through Congress, but was thwarted, said Don Marshall, a spokesman for Rockefeller. "Sen. Rockefeller objected to the fact that they were robbing from veterans' programs to offset the cost of highway spending," Marshall said. The VA's McKinnon says the agency is processing cases filed before the law was enacted and reviewing rejected claims. By June, the VA had received 8,830 smoking claims from veterans, or from their surviving spouses or children, he says. Of the 4,977 cases the VA has decided, the agency has denied 4,618 claims and awarded payments in 359, he says. The VA's regional office in Oakland has 250 pending claims. McKinnon says the VA expects to approve most of the 8,830 claims filed before the new ban went into effect, even those already denied. A majority of the rejected claims were missing documents that veterans should be able to provide when they resubmit their claims, he says. However, no new claims will be accepted now that Congress has changed the law, McKinnon says. David Ewing, managing attorney at Swords to Plowshares, was stunned to hear that most of the previous claims will be accepted. "That's unbelievable," said Ewing, who helps veterans file claims. "These are extremely difficult cases to win, because they have such a difficult evidentiary burden. They're so difficult to prove, and as an attorney, I know they're difficult for the VA to analyze. The idea that nearly all of the claims would be awarded benefits would be preposterous." If it's true, the situation would be "staggeringly unfair" to veterans with smoking disorders who didn't file claims before the statute was changed, Ewing says. "It's almost like a reward for people who made a deadline and punishment for those who didn't -- even though no one knew what the deadline would be," he said. "It's completely arbitrary." Ewing is helping James Epps, a 54-year-old Vietnam veteran with emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fight for benefits. Epps filed his claim in 1997. "James should be rated 100 percent disabled," Ewing said. "He's extremely ill. He has a legitimate claim. But will it go his way or not? It's hard to know what the VA will do. It's an uphill battle." Epps, speaking from his bed at a VA hospital in Martinez, where he is awaiting lung surgery, says he started smoking at 18 at a Marine Corps boot camp, where a cigarette break was a reward for a job well done. "When we did well, our drill instructor allowed us to march to the corner of the parade deck and stand at ease and have a smoke," Epps said. "That was part of the initiation ritual of Marine boot camp -- learning how to smoke and be a tough guy." Ewing says the prohibition on smoking claims threatens to undermine confidence in the VA's compensation system. "If smoking claims can be denied because they're deemed too expensive, what else can be deemed too expensive," he asked. The VA's monthly disability payments range from $95 (10 percent disabled) to $1,964 (100 percent disabled), and are meant to compensate for the loss of working ability. If disability claims are approved, veterans win a coveted "service-connection" rating, which guarantees free VA medical care. "That's really why they're so important," Ewing said. Veterans with smoking disorders may also obtain free VA medical care if they fit into one of six priority groups -- for example, if they are disabled from another injury or illness, are former prisoners of war, or are impoverished. Otherwise, they are charged co-payments, said Dr. Josh Adler, assistant chief of staff at the San Francisco VA Hospital. But they will never be turned away, Adler said. "Any veteran can always get medical treatment here," Adler said. "If they don't have a service-connected illness and do not fit into one of the priority groups, we will still provide the care, but we are obligated to send them a bill."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexico City Police Chief Fired Amid Scandals, Crime Rate ('The Dallas Morning News' Says Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas On Friday Fired His Military-Trained Police Chief, Lt. Col. Rodolfo Debernardi, After Eight Months Of High Crime Rates And Police Department Scandals) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Mexico City police chief fired amid scandals, crime rate Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 19:20:06 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Mexico City police chief fired amid scandals, crime rate 08/29/98 By Laurence Iliff The Dallas Morning News MEXICO CITY - The mayor of Mexico City fired his military-trained police chief Friday after eight months of high crime rates and Police Department scandals that included the gang rape of three young women by officers on horseback. Mayor Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, an opposition leader who took office in December promising to reduce crime, sacked retired Lt. Col. Rodolfo Debernardi amid calls by all three major political parties for the police chief's resignation. In his place, Mr. Cardenas named a prominent lawyer and private university rector to head the Mexico City Public Safety Ministry, as the police department is called. The new chief, Alejandro Gertz Manero, has served on a civilian police commission during the last several months and said he quickly realized the capacity of the city's corrupt police force to resist change. "We cannot accept for even one more day security forces that are a symbol of inefficiency and, in many cases, a constant threat to the population," Mr. Gertz said after assuming his new post. Last month, members of a police horse patrol abducted three young women, ages 13, 15 and 18. More than a dozen officers allegedly gang raped them in the stables at their police station before the young women escaped, according to authorities. In addition, the number of reported crimes in Mexico City has hovered at about 700 per day, twice the level of four years ago. Analysts said that Mr. Cardenas - a two-time presidential candidate widely expected to seek the office again in 2000 - so far has failed in his promise to "take back the city" from criminal gangs and cannot afford to hold on to his ineffective police chief any longer. "There is enormous pressure on the Cardenas government because of crime levels that have become a form of social terrorism," said Homero Aridjis, a political columnist and well-known poet. The mayor's choice of Mr. Debernardi was controversial from the start, given that during his mayoral campaign Mr. Cardenas had criticized the widespread use of military officers to run the city's police force. Mr. Cardenas has now turned to a civilian as had been expected from the start of his term on Dec. 5, when he became the first elected mayor of Mexico City. President Ernesto Zedillo maintains some constitutional responsibilities over the capital, including the right to name the police chief. Hence, Mr. Cardenas and Mr. Zedillo agreed on Friday's changes in the police department, according to the president's office. On Friday, Mr. Debernardi defended his performance, saying he was satisfied with his progress in fighting crime. The removal of Mr. Debernardi, who was not a member of Mr. Cardenas' center-left Party of the Democratic Revolution, comes two days after the president and all of the nation's governors signed a national $350 million anti-crime plan. Mr. Cardenas, as the nation's most important mayor, also signed the plan. Within its formal boundaries, the capital, called the Federal District, has a population of 8.5 million. Another 9.5 million live in the metropolitan area. Meanwhile, some opposition parties in Mexico City repeated their calls Friday for the resignation of Mexico City Attorney General Samuel Del Villar, who is a close friend of Mr. Cardenas' and a prominent member of his party. As city attorney general, Mr. Del Villar is the commander of his own investigative police force, which has been accused of corruption and botching investigations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- We Should Punish Tobacco Pedlars Too (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Canberra Times' In Australia Notes Tobacco Is Addictive And Lethal, Like Heroin, Only A Lot More People Die From Tobacco) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 15:39:22 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: LTE: We Should Punish Tobacco Pedlars Too Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Russell) Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Pubdate: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 Authors: Tom and Romas Leffers WE SHOULD PUNISH TOBACCO PEDLARS TOO THE ARTICLES by Peter Clack (CT, August 22, p.2, and by Athol Moffitt ("Panorama", CT, August 22, p.12) did not mention that both tobacco and heroin are viciously addictive with lethal potential. Thousands die from use of heroin, millions die each year from the use of tobacco. Sellers of tobacco are not punished! Not only that, they target youngsters. Should not the sellers of tobacco be punished, like the sellers of heroin? TOM LEFFERS ROMAS LEFFERS Fisher
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bringing In The Hemp ('The Financial Post' Says Canada's First Legal Harvest Of Non-Hallucinogenic Cannabis In 60 Years Is Just Underway And Will Continue Through September, But It Will Be A Couple Of Years Before The Agricultural Community Finds Out Whether Hemp Will Reshape The Industry) From: "Dave Cull" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "nozone-L" (email@example.com) Date: Sat, 29 Aug 1998 20:21:48 -0600 Reply-To: "Dave Cull" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Canada: Financial Post, Aug 29-31/98 -- Bringing in the Hemp Bringing in the hemp The Financial Post Weekend Aug 29-31, 1998 by Ian McKinnon, Calgary Bureau First there was hemp, hope and hype -- now comes the harvest. Canada's first legal reaping of non-hallucinogenic cannabis in 60 years is just underway and will continue through September. However, it will be a couple of years before the agricultural community finds out whether hemp is the canola of its generation, reshaping the fundamentals of the industry. It's almost a chicken-and-egg propositions for true believers trying to develop hemp as a legitimate alternative crop to oilseeds and cereals, says Peter Brown, senior manager of agriculture for Bank of Montreal. Farmers won't grow the crop unless they are confident of demand, and buyers won't alter manufacturing processes and equipment unless they are assured of supply and quality. "I think there will be a tug and pull for two, three of four years until volumes get up to a point that people will commit to that fibre," he says. If supply and demand cna be balanced, hemp should provide a reasonable return and be competitive with other alternative crops, including canary seed, peas and lentils, says Brown from his Toronto office. Far from Bay Street, in the picturesque valley that cradles Dauphin, Man., Don Dewar hopes farmers will gamble on hemp -- and use his seeds. The owner of Dewar Seed Farms Ltd. has dedicated 16 hectares to hemp because all of the seed growing in Canada today is imported from Europe. However, generous European Union subsidies for growing hemp have driven up the price there. That and rising transportation costs are creating a niche for Dewar, who raises a variety of seeds on his 1,400 ha farm. Dewar, who was convinced by his son Mark to try the crop, has encountered a few obstacles leading up to this virgin harvest: a late and time-consuming process to obtain a licence, poor germination and slow initial growth. His leafy two-metre-tall plants form a canopy and scent the air with a fragrence some describe as minty and others liken to that of its illegal cousin. The next few weeks will be a challenge as the tries to use conventional equipment to harvest a distinctly unconventional crop. For instance, hemp stalks gum up the works in a regular combine. Alternative settings and extra sharp blades are being tested. Drought and grasshoppers are reducing the prospects for Jerome Scory, who works 880 ha with his father, Ivan, near Oyen in east-central Alberta. He planted 4 ha to gain experience collecting seed and fibre, but a losing battle with Mother Nature wiped out the seed side of the trial. He intends to try again next year. The experiment, partially funded by the Alberta Department of Agriculture, attracted a fair bit of attention in the small town. "It was quite a deal, quite the snicker factor," Scory relates with a laugh. "There was a well beaten path to the field. If it wasn't for the signs (describing the test and its sponsors), I'm sure people would have walked off with leaves stuffed in their pockets." Showing a farmer's typical tenacity, he is holding off on his harvest, hoping additional rain will prompt renewed growth. There are still many unknowns when it comes to raising hemp, says Stan Blade, a scientist with Alberta's agriculture department. This is the fourth year he and his colleagues have conducted trials on planting density, fertilizer and varietal suitability for Canadian conditions. This work, which he calls standard agronomic research, hasn't solved the key issue: how to ease the tradeoff between seed and fibre production. Farmers interested in seed, for growing or for crushing into vegetable oil with an attractive essential fatty acid profile, have different timetables from fibre seekers. The best fibre comes about six weeks before optimal seed production. "Farmers are still hoping they can get a dual-purpose seed where they can get both seed and fibre." says Blade. "I think the data indicates the fibre quality declines as you wait." Despite the uncertainties, interest behind the farm gate is high. Health Canada has issued 262 licences to individuals, companies and co-operatives to plant 2,500 ha. Commercial cultivation is taking place in every province except Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, with Manitoba and Ontario receiving 96 and 98 permits respectively. Hemp is a strain of cannabis low in delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical that gives marijuana its high. To keep out drug traffickers, licence holders have to provide geographic co-ordinates of their fields, which can be used by police and government officials for inspection. Mandatory testing is required and hemp that contains more than 0.3% THC is subject to seizure and destruction. Some of the farmers' interest sprouted from the missionary zeal of hemp enthusiasts, who tout the crop as a miracle plant that grows like a weed, dosn't need costly herbicide and fertilizer inputs, and has almost as many end uses as duct tape. Gordon Scheifele is quashing some of these claims. The University of Guelph researcher is spending $200,000 this year, with much of the money coming from the provincial government, to study the suitability of hemp for Northern Ontario. From his station in Thunder Bay, he supervises 28 plots, of 2 ha each, on farms in six distinct micro-climates scattered across the province. A well-prepared, moist and fertilized seed bed is required by the plant, which doesn't fare well in compacted or poorly drained soil, he says. Comparing hemp to a young child who hasn't learned to hide emotions, he says farmers learn quickly how their plants are doing. "It's an extremely sensitive and unforgiving crop." Grasshoppers love hemp, which is also susceptible to sclerotinia, a disease that effects canola and soybeans, he says. Another big obstacle to hemp commercialization is the cost of transportation. Brown says shipping the light, but bulky, fibres further than 80 km is uneconomic. A series of small processing plants across Canada is one possible solution. He says hemp needs to capture only a small portion of existing markets - such as clothing, carpet or pressed board - to create strong, sustainable demand. The wealth of opportunities is attracting entrepreneurs and should alleviate concerns about finding buyers, he says. California-based Consolidated Growers & Processors Inc. is eager to fill the gap between growers and users. the two-year-old public company, with offices in Winnipeg, the U.S. and Europe, intends to build at least one plant in Canada, perhaps as many as three, each worth $10 million to $20 million and employing 30 or more people. General manager Douglas Campbell says CGP's committment to help farmers master the new crop is evident from the more than $250,000 it spent to import a specialized Dutch combine. While not wishing to hype hemp, he says major players in the automotive, pulp and building sectors have serious interest in incorporating it into their products. Global competition means everyone is looking for an edge, he says. "And in a whole series of areas, hemp looks like it could be lighter, or stronger, or cheaper than existing parts of the manufacturing chain." The Canadian hemp industry is in its infancy, but he predicts over the next few years it will make increasingly confident steps toward becoming and established option for farmers. "This kid is standing up and just left the coffee table and is going somewhere," says Campbell. "It's not going in a straight line, but it's moving." Producers seeking to develop markets should look locally first, says Jean Laprise, president of Kenex Ltd., near Chatham, Ont. The private firm is pouring millions of dollars into developing diversified hemp seed, grain and fibre operations. Laprise says co-operation between growers and processors is essential to ensure the yield coming off the land is of the quality and and form to suit users. "We're at the birth of a new industry and there has to be some very close relationships between growers and processing plants," he says. "Buyers, like in any other industry, are very concerned with quality, consistency and the continuity of supply." Kenex has contracted to buy about 800 ha of hemp from southern Alberta farmers this year with hopes of doubling that in 1999. It has a seed division that researches, grows and imports seed, a press operation to extract oil, a hulling line so the hemp nut can be sold for cooking and several fibre enterprises, including a material that can be used by automotive makers for door panels. Building on its proximity to the manufacturing might of Detroit and a huge portion of the U.S. and Canadian population, Kenex is conducting research on value-added products to stay ahead of the competition. As well as being president, Laprise is also a contract grower for Kenex on his 600 ha Laprise farms Ltd. and therefore understands both sides of the new industry. Like many others, he would like to see federal regulations streamlined to ease cultivation. But generally, he is optimistic hemp is here to stay. "I think if there are enough people doing a good job on marketing, there will be good opportunities for people in the agricultural community. Is it a get-rich-quick for every farmer in Canada? No way, it doesn't work like that." For farmers hard pressed by the slump in commodity prices, a reasonable return will be reward enough. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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