------------------------------------------------------------------- Physicians Must Be Free To Relieve Pain Of The Dying (An Op-Ed In 'The Houston Chronicle' Opposing Congressional Attempts To Nullify Oregon's Unique Assisted Suicide Law, By Ronald A. Carson Of The Institute For The Medical Humanities At The University Of Texas Medical Branch At Galveston) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 11:17:41 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: OPED: Physicians Must Be Free to Relieve Pain of the Dying Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Author: Ronald A. Carson PHYSICIANS MUST BE FREE TO RELIEVE PAIN OF THE DYING WHEN a dying patient complains of unbearable pain, the doctor needs to be able to provide relief without fear of being sanctioned. People at the end of life have a right to treatment of moderate pain as well, since persistent discomfort erodes the quality of those last weeks and months. Gradually, care for the dying has been improving. Public interest in hospice and other alternatives to high-tech hospital death has been on the rise. Barriers to effective pain treatment were beginning to come down. Then last month Congress got into the act with a proposal to require the Drug Enforcement Administration to revoke the license of any physician who intentionally causes a patient to die. If it becomes law, the Lethal Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 1998, introduced by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., and Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., will put a damper on progress now being made in providing pain relief to dying patients. If the politicians who crafted this legislation truly want to prevent physician-assisted suicide, they're taking the wrong approach. Fear of unrelieved pain ranks among the main reasons people give for requesting help ending their lives. Intimidating doctors into being stingy with painkillers is not the solution. Granted, the proposed bill allows physicians free rein in prescribing drugs to alleviate pain, but the amount of morphine, for example, required to relieve the severe pain of bone cancer may also repress respiration to a point that may be lethal. Physicians in fear of losing their licenses are likely to err on the side of caution and underprescribe. And the message that this bill sends to patients and their families is that pain control is dangerous, that expecting to be comfortable near the end is unrealistic and maybe even immoral -- that it's better for the dying to tough it out. Last year the Supreme Court ruled that physician-assisted suicide was a matter for the states to decide. Since then, legislatures around the country have taken up that issue. Regardless where one stands on the question of whether physicians should be permitted to help dying patients voluntarily end their lives, a consensus is growing that your doctor should be able to ease your passage. What worries people most is the prospect of dying in misery. With good family support, good nursing care and adequate pain control, dying in misery is not necessary. Adequate pain control has been an option since 1989, when Texas became the first of several states to pass an Intractable Pain Act that authorizes physicians licensed by the Board of Medical Examiners to prescribe or administer dangerous drugs to treat intractable pain. Not that passing a law necessarily solves problems, but it can pave the way to a solution. Despite recent advances, the reluctance of physicians generally to relieve dying patients' pain is widely documented. Doctors need to be informed about what the law says and to be confident that they will not be punished for practicing state-of-the-art end-of-life care. State medical boards, which are responsible for disciplining physicians who abuse prescribing privileges, are bringing their members' knowledge of this issue up to date. Our health-care system still has trouble treating patients once treatment comes down to comfort, rather than cure. The art and science of palliative care -- the comprehensive management of the physical, psychological, social, spiritual and existential needs of patients -- finally are being introduced into medical and nursing school curricula and continuing education programs. Public awareness of the need for end-of-life planning is growing. Choosing the right course when the choice is between prolonging life and maintaining life's quality happens one patient, one family member, one doctor at a time. More people are realizing how important it is to talk with those closest to them, and with their doctors, about how they want to be treated when the end is near. The ham-fisted proposal before Congress would stymie this hard-won progress. When dying patients say the pain is unbearable, doctors must be free to provide comfort. These very personal decisions should remain in the hands of those who have the biggest stake in their outcome -- patients and their families, and the doctors and nurses entrusted with their care. Carson is director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities, the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Rejects City-Run Cannabis Club But Denies Immediate Shutdown ('The Associated Press' Says US District Judge Charles Breyer Today Rejected Oakland's Attempt To Shield Its Medical Marijuana Cooperative By Making It Part Of City Government, But Refused To Order The Immediate Shutdown Of The Dispensary In Oakland Or Those In Ukiah And Marin County - A Hearing Is Scheduled September 28 On Whether There Should Be A Jury Trial To Decide The Issue Of Medical Necessity, And Allowed The Clubs To Remain Open At Least Until Then - Plus Commentary From An Informed List Subscriber) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 20:32:57 -0700 (PDT) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate shutdown Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Found at: www.sfgate.com: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate shutdown BOB EGELKO Associated Press Writer Monday, August 31, 1998 Breaking News Sections (08-31) 21:20 EDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge on Monday rejected Oakland's attempt to shield its medical marijuana club from federal drug laws by making it part of city government, but refused to order the immediate shutdown of clubs in Oakland and two other cities. Instead, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said he may allow a jury to decide whether patients at the clubs need marijuana to relieve pain and survive treatment for cancer, AIDS and other illnesses. Breyer rejected both a request by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to dismiss the federal government's suit and a motion by the government to declare the clubs in contempt of court and close them without a trial. The other two clubs are in Ukiah and the Marin County community of Fairfax. The judge tentatively scheduled a hearing Sept. 28 on whether there should be a trial, and allowed the clubs to remain open at least until then. The clubs sprang up around California after passage of Proposition 215, the November 1996 initiative that allows seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief, with a doctor's recommendation, without being prosecuted under state law. But many of the clubs have been shut down through the efforts of Attorney General Dan Lungren, who obtained state court rulings limiting the scope of Proposition 215, and the Clinton administration's Justice Department, which sued six clubs to enforce federal laws against marijuana distribution. Breyer issued an injunction in May prohibiting the six Northern California clubs from distributing marijuana while the government's suit was pending. Three of the clubs have remained open, including the Oakland club, which claims 2,000 members. ``We're going to remain open,'' the club's director, Jeff Jones, said after Monday's hearing. ``We feel what we're doing is a necessity to these patients.'' The club had hoped to win immunity from federal prosecution as a result of Oakland's apparently unprecedented action Aug. 13, previously authorized by the City Council, declaring club officials to be city agents who were distributing marijuana to patients on the city's behalf. In court, the club invoked a federal drug law that protects state and local officers from legal liability while legally enforcing drug-related laws. That law was intended to shield police from prosecution for undercover drug transactions, but its wording also covers city agents who distribute medical marijuana, argued Gerald Uelmen, a Santa Clara University law professor representing the club. ``We're not dealing with a subversive effort to undercut the government's drug war,'' Uelmen said. ``This is a careful and good-faith effort to implement the will of the people, consistent with federal law.'' Breyer called the argument ``creative'' but ``not persuasive.'' He said club employees are not legally enforcing a drug-related law when their ``purpose is to violate federal law.'' Uelmen said the club would appeal the ruling, though he did not know whether an immediate appeal was possible. But Breyer rejected government lawyers' arguments that there was conclusive evidence the clubs were violating his injunction and should be shut down immediately. The judge said he may order a jury trial on the issue of ``medical necessity'': the clubs' claim that violation of a federal drug law was the only way to pain that was serious, and in some cases life-threatening. He did not rule on the government's argument that a club would have to be closed if necessity could not be proven for every one of its patients. *** To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Robert Goodman (email@example.com) Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 01:06:58 +500 Subject: Re: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >``We're not dealing with a subversive effort to undercut the >government's drug war,'' Uelmen said. ``This is a careful and >good-faith effort to implement the will of the people, consistent >with federal law.'' >Breyer called the argument ``creative'' but ``not persuasive.'' He >said club employees are not legally enforcing a drug-related law >when their ``purpose is to violate federal law.'' Show me how their purpose is to violate a federal law. The federal law says, to distribute a controlled substance you must be registered, except in certain cases; this is one of those cases. The federal law in question says nothing more, so how can these people be said to have the purpose of violating it? Is the judge trying to impute some purpose that isn't there? Anyway, just because the club didn't win a motion to dismiss based on this point, doesn't mean that the point won't be won if it becomes material at some later stage. Robert *** Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 09:06:26 -0400 From: Tim Sheridan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate Sender: email@example.com > ``This is a careful and >>good-faith effort to implement the will of the people, consistent >>with federal law.'' > >>Breyer called the argument ``creative'' but ``not persuasive.'' He >>said club employees are not legally enforcing a drug-related law >>when their ``purpose is to violate federal law.'' > > Show me how their purpose is to violate a federal law. The federal law > says, to distribute a controlled substance you must be registered, except in > certain cases; this is one of those cases. The federal law in question says > nothing more, so how can these people be said to have the purpose of > violating it? Absolutely. The law must be clear. And judges should not be putting words into congress's edicts. This case is like having a law against drinking on Sundays. So somone who drinks on Saturday night and Monday morning is guilty of trying to circumvent the law. We might as well have drug control law that says: "No person may say anything unwholesome". There will, of course, have to be a wholesomeness "Schedule" from 1 to 5 which lays out increasing penalties from fee to life in prison. And then the judges can decide all by themselves what is unwholesome and how badly. The entire fedreal code can be reduced to one page. Tim Sheridan *** Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 00:16:03 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: R Givens (email@example.com) Subject: Humpty Dumpty Justice Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Judge Breyer's Humpty Dumpty decision may not stand any serious court challenge because this exemption is used daily by the narcs for specific purpose of violating Federal drug laws. Hell, the narcs buy, sell and make crack cocaine and every other drug every day of the week. And they don't always make arrests of those they supply. But what the hell, they're exempt. If Breyer's ruling were enforced evenly across the board hundreds of narcs would go to prison every year for outrageous violations of drug laws. Like being involved with the importation of tons of drugs and failing to make even one arrest! Or that recent case in Sacramento where the judge directly told the narcs that if it were not for this specific exemption that he would have THEM tried as co-conspirators in a drug case where the defendants got 20 years! If Breyer's ruling really meant what he claims it does, the narcs would be in deep deep trouble. Frankly, I think Breyer will fall on appeal because Congress delegated this power to the people. The fact that the prohibitionists never considered the idea that any legislative body would ever defy their narcomania is irrelevant. The law either means what it says or ... Breyer's ruling is a Humpty Dumpty decision because it defies the context and purpose of the laws involved. His use of the word "creative" to describe a straightforward reading of the law reminds me of Humpty's exchange with Alice: 'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.' 'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.' 'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master - - that's all.' Alice was too much puzzled to say anything, so after a minute Humpty Dumpty began again. 'They've a temper, some of them -- particularly verbs, they're the proudest - adjectives you can do anything with, but not verbs - however, I can manage the whole of them! Impenetrability! That's what I say!' 'Would you tell me, please,' said Alice 'what that means?' 'Now you talk like a reasonable child,' said Humpty Dumpty, looking very much pleased. 'I meant by "impenetrability" that we've had enough of that subject, and it would be just as well if you'd mention what you mean to do next, as I suppose you don't mean to stop here all the rest of your life.' R Givens >from the AP story on the California/federal lawsuit against CBC's: > >>Oakland responded in July with an ordinance designating operators of the >>club in that city as city officials, claiming the designation gave them >>immunity from prosecution under a section of the federal law that was >>designed for undercover agents participating in drug deals. >> >>Defense lawyer Gerald Uelmen said in court Monday that the city's action >>was ``a good-faith effort'' to ``harmonize'' Proposition 215 and the >>federal law. >> >>Breyer replied, ``While I think it's creative, it's not persuasive.'' He >>said the city lacked the power to carve away part of the federal anti-drug >>law. >> >>In rejecting the strategy, Breyer did not foreclose other defenses. > >It may be early to make heads or tails of Breyer's ruling on this, but it's >worth posing the question. Is the "officer" exemption of the CSA now >officially moot as a loophole/defense to be used by would-be "legal" >medical marijuana distributors? > >Evidence for 'yes': It didn't help get Oakland's club out of the crosshairs >of the federal lawsuit. > >Evidence for 'no': The feds haven't actually tried to bust anyone in >Oakland to put the exeption to the test. > >- dave fratello *** To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Robert Goodman (email@example.com) Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 09:19:26 +500 Subject: Re: CA/CBC's - Is CSA exemption moot? Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >I certainly think it's moot in the manner in which Oakland >invoked/used 885(d) --- after indictment, after being enjoined, >after letting the DEA into their club without appropriate >documentation/verification. How with a straight face >can you then claim to be enforcing the law (take your pick which >one) ? As a lawyer friend once told me--whatever you argue in >federal court has to pass the laugh test. Dean Uelmen's credible >articulation notwithstanding, I'm not this one did. >The tragedy here is that none of these "creative" legal theories >ever get tested--BEFORE shit hits the fan. Not that they'd come >out any different mind you. But we'll just never know. The fact >is all the case law is being made by the clubs that are in hot >water. I guess that's always the case no matter what the issue, >but it doesn't make it any eaisier to watch as every possible legal >argument is burnt up by a club with a less than optimal factual >basis. But as I understand it, the case in question is not a retrospective, criminal matter. The issue is whether a PERMANENT injunction against operation of the co-op shall be ordered. If the co-op can prospectively conform its operation to the requirements of the statute, then no permanent injunction will be issued. It's a question similar to those of the adult entertainment businesses in Times Square, as to whether they can conform their operation to the new zoning ordinance. While these questions are being examined, there's a temporary injunction against enforcement. The zoning law apparently has features that are subject to interpretation in light of the facts w.r.t. each such establishment. Why loopholes such as this exist is a fair question. I'm sure politicians in many cases would like the power to say to each individual involved with narcotics, adult entertainment, or whatever, "You're in, you're out,..." However, two factors prevent that. One is the general idea of gov't of laws, not men, and more specifically prohibitions on bills of attainder. The other is that politicians also have the countervailing concern of NOT being responsible or accountable for unfavorable decisions involving individuals and specific interests. W.r.t. controlled substances and this whole idea of "potential for abuse", we saw that develop re benzodiazepines. Robert
------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter To California Attorney General Lungren From Peter McWilliams (The Federal Medical Marijuana Defendant Demands That Dan Lungren Defend Him, Citing California Laws That Require Lungren To Do So, And The Experience Of Oregon In Establishing An Assisted Suicide Law Despite Federal Opposition) From: "Todd McCormick" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Letter to California Attorney General Lungren from Peter McWilliams Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 11:52:20 -0700 Letter to California Attorney General Lungren from Peter McWilliams Honorable Daniel E. Lungren Office of the Attorney General 1300 I Street Suite 1740 Sacramento, California 95814 916-324-5437 August 31, 1998 Dear Attorney General Lungren, I am an AIDS patient and recent cancer survivor. I own a Los Angeles-based publishing company, Prelude Press, Inc., which employs six people. Since my dual diagnosis in March 1996, I have used medical marijuana-under the guidance and supervision of three California physicians-to fight the nausea caused by the prescription anti-AIDS and anti-cancer medications I must take. If I cannot keep down my life-saving medications, I will die. Medical marijuana, in my case, has been 99.9 percent effective in alleviating nausea for more than two years. On July 23, 1998, I was arrested by DEA Special Agents and charged with nine counts of marijuana cultivation, possession, intent to distribute, and a variety of "conspiracy" charges related to marijuana. No other drugs are mentioned; no cash was found. In fact, two of my co-conspirators are fellow medical marijuana patients. Each has a doctor's written recommendation for medical marijuana. Each is a California resident. The remaining co-conspirators merely happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is not a single incident of marijuana sales in the federal government's extensive indictment. I will not take the time to delineate my defense here. I can state that what I was doing was fully covered by California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5, the 1996 California Compassionate Use Act, also known as Proposition 215. I ask you, as the principal law enforcement officer of the state, to fulfill your Oath of Office and your duties under the California Constitution and come to my immediate legal aid. I know defending a medical marijuana patient who was peaceably trying to treat his life-threatening illness under a doctor's care while following the provisions of 11362.5 is counter to your own personal beliefs and policy. It is, however, the law of California, and it is your duty to "protect and defend" me in this case, whether you personally want to or not. I have four reasons for making this request, all grounded in the California Constitution: 1. The California Constitution, Article III Section 3.5 states: "An administrative agency has no power . . . to declare a statute unenforceable or to refuse to enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a determination." You cannot deny my request with the simple brush-off you have used so often about 11362.5, "Federal law supercedes state law." According to the California Constitution, the one you have sworn to uphold, the Attorney General must fight such federal encroachment until an appellate court has made a determination. As you know, no "appellate court" has made a "determination" as to the federal government's power to interfere with the private medical treatment and the laws of California protecting the sick of California. It appears you made a determination on this matter by December 30, 1997 - without ever bothering to check with the judicial branch of government. You stated on that date that you agreed with the harsh medical marijuana line drawn by the federal government, essentially ignoring the will of 56.4 percent of the California voters. You said you reached such a conclusion after "recent discussions...with federal officials." Alas, the California Constitution calls on you to do more than have "discussions" with "federal officials." Indeed, you have publicly - and one must assume privately - lobbied for an increase in federal law enforcement on marijuana within the state of California. You stated, for example, that the federal minimum thresholds for marijuana were too high. As you told the press on December 30, 1997: "There have been complaints in the past by local law enforcement officials on cases they thought ought to go to federal court and U.S. attorneys saying, 'No you don't have a large enough amount of marijuana for us to pursue,'" In my case, growing 300 plants would not have been a federal case. I would be charged-if charged at all-under California law, tried by a California jury, under California law. Please keep in mind, I have never sold a drug in my life. 2. Should you have any doubts as to your role in enforcing 11362.5, allow me to remind you that the California Constitution, Article III Section 3 states: "Persons charged with the exercise of one power (legislative, executive or judicial) may not exercise either of the others except as permitted by this Constitution." You, in consort with "federal officials," have given your own extremely narrow and limited interpretation of 11362.5 the full force and effect of law. If you don't agree with the will of the people, then it is a matter for the courts to decide. The California Constitution, in two places, prohibits the political fiat you have forced on the sick and dying of California, myself included. 3. The California Constitution, Article V Section 13 states: "The AG has the duty to see that the laws of the state are . . . adequately enforced." The American Heritage Dictionary defines "enforced" as, "To compel observance of or obedience to," and "adequate" as "Sufficient to satisfy a requirement or meet a need." Let's review how "adequately" you have "enforced" the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. Allow me to quote the three major elements of 11362.5 and compare each with my own present situation: (A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person's health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. You have certainly done nothing to "ensure" me of "the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes." Indeed, if I use medical marijuana today, the federal authorities will take away my mother's house and my brother's house-such are the terms of my $250,000 release bond. (I spent a month in federal custody.) (B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. Again, you have done nothing to "ensure" this provision, so I am facing a mandatory ten-year (possible life) sentence and a $4,000,000 fine-all for actions covered under 11362.5, which assures me that I will not go to jail as one who "possesses or cultivates marijuana for the personal medical purposes of the patient." (C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. Here you have not only failed but have waged your own campaign against this very clear mandate from the people of California. Were you to have fulfilled this portion of California Law, I would not be in jeopardy today. Allow me to give but two examples of Western-state Attorneys General who have acted courageously-and, in one case, against her personal convictions-to fulfill their Oaths of Office and the laws of their states against federal encroachment. This is to counter your expected argument, "There was nothing I could have done!" First, consider Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. The federal government was uniformly against the referendum and firmly in favor of the federal government, through the DEA, stepping in. Here is an excerpt from an April 1998 letter sent to Attorney General Reno from 138 members of Congress, including House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Senator Orrin Hatch, and Rep. Henry Hyde, the latter two, as you know, chairmen of the Senate and House judiciary committees: A decision by a state to rescind its own penalties for assisting a suicide cannot supersede federal laws, compel federal support or remove federal responsibility to uniformly enforce laws passed by Congress and approved by the president. Sound familiar? Among the signers of the letter were 34 senators, including seven members of the 18-member Senate Judiciary Committee. Of 104 signers in the House, 12 are members of the 35-member House Judiciary Committee. Those committees oversee the Justice Department. Only six members of Congress-all five Oregon Democrats plus Rep. Barney Frank-have argued that the federal government should not intervene in Oregon law. Nevertheless, Oregon's Attorney General, Hardy Myers, stood firm, maintaining that the central issue is "the question of who has the authority to control the practice of medicine-the federal government or the states.... Oregon voters have made the decision that assisted suicide is a legitimate medical purpose." Attorney General Myers continued: "Our view is that this agency [the DEA] does not have the authority to interpret medical purpose in a way that interferes with Oregon's assisted-suicide law." Here an Attorney General fought the federal government for the right of a state to have physicians kill people. Surely, had you applied yourself, you could have just as successfully argued that physicians can recommend a medicine that has never caused an overdose or allergic-reaction death. A second example is Colorado's Attorney General, Gale Norton's, vigorous defense of the state referendum measure, Amendment 2. She took it all the way to U.S. Supreme Court. Amendment 2 limited gay rights. Attorney General Norton's personal belief and political stance was pro-gay. Nonetheless, she recognized her higher calling-her Oath to defend the Colorado Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. She took a stand that made her unpopular with her own party, her circle of friends, and even members of her family. You, on the other hand, have continually failed to enforce a referendum measure merely because you do not personally like it. Might I point out that 450,000 more Californians voted for Proposition 215 than voted for you as Attorney General? 4. The California Constitution, Article V Section 13, states: "The Attorney General has the duty to see that the laws of the state are uniformly . . . enforced." The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word uniform as: 1. Always the same, as in character or degree; unvarying. 2. Conforming to one principle, standard, or rule; consistent. 3. Being the same as or consonant with another or others. 4. Unvaried in texture, color, or design. One need only compare your own vigorous defense of Proposition 209 with your suppression of Proposition 215-both voted into law in the same election-to illustrate that you have not "enforced" 11362.5 "uniformly." In conclusion, allow me to challenge a misconception that you have often repeated. Often, you have referred to "Proposition 215 proponents" as those whose job it is to protect and defend 11362.5. Not so. Proposition 215 was a political campaign. Its proponents have gone their several ways. It is a piece of history. The California Health & Safety Code 11362.5 is, however, the law, and you are-by your Oath of Office and the California Constitution-its primary proponent. Like it or not. I must, therefore, respectfully demand that you, as Attorney General of California, immediately intercede and defend me against the federal government with all the power of your office and of your persuasion. If your response does not appear to provide me the protections guaranteed by state law, I will file suit to compel your compliance with your oath of office and with the referenced sections of the California Constitution. Sincerely, Peter McWilliams P.S. Ask Bill Buckley whether or not I'm a drug dealer. This letter printed on hemp paper. No trees were destroyed in writing you.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Agencies Urged To Team Up (An Update In 'The San Antonio Express News' On The Campaign By The US Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, To Coordinate The Prohibition Efforts Of 22 Federal Agencies Under A US-Mexico Border Drug Czar) From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 07:14:50 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Drug agencies urged to team up To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cc: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 8-31-98 San Antonio Express News http://www.expressnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org Drug agencies urged to team up By Mark Helm HEARST WASHINGTON BUREAU WASHINGTON -- Barry McCaffrey, the nation's director of drug policy, recalled his astonishment during his first tour of U.S.-Mexico border crossings two years ago. "You've got 800 people working at these border crossings," he said, pausing for a moment as he leaned forward in his chair and whispered with wide eyes, "And nobody's in charge." At the checkpoints, McCaffrey saw Immigration and Naturalization Service agents patrolling some lanes, while U.S. Customs officials patrolled others. But the INS employees didn't share their findings with their customs counterparts, he said. McCaffrey also discovered that each agency had to follow separate union rules controlling how its inspectors would search vehicles. Officials at one agency actually were forbidden to open the trunks of cars -- a policy well known among drug dealers. Looking at the cars down the line, McCaffrey could "see drug dealers with binoculars watching the various lanes . . . to see where to drive their vehicles to avoid getting caught," he said in his office Friday. McCaffrey said drugs will continue to flow unimpeded across the border until America's federal and state agencies charged with fighting narcotics start working together. He'll stress that point in a two-day visit to San Antonio starting today. "Nothing in life works without coordination," said the former four-star general, who directed policy and strategic planning for the Joint Chiefs of Staff before becoming the nation's drug czar in 1996. McCaffrey will be in San Antonio tonight to address the 99th Veterans of Foreign Wars national convention. Before speaking at the VFW's dinner banquet, he's to discuss new plans for border drug control after a 4:30 p.m. forum at Montgomery Elementary School, 7047 Montgomery Drive, with Bexar County Sheriff Ralph Lopez. The forum will showcase a community policing program in the Camelot/Glen Oaks area and include a neighborhood walk-through starting at 5 p.m. McCaffrey is expected to reveal more anti-drug efforts after visiting the northeast Bexar County neighborhood. Coordination is a crucial component of a plan McCaffrey announced Wednesday that would shore up federal anti-drug efforts along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border. Under the plan, huge portable X- rays machines capable of quickly scanning entire truck cargoes would be installed at each of the 39 crossings along the Southwest border by 2003. Only six of the $3.5 million X-ray machines are in place. The plan also calls for added fences, sensors, video cameras and lighting along the border, and for raising the number of border agents from 12,000 to 22,000. But the part of the plan that could prove most difficult to implement may be its call for more efficient use of drug-fighting personnel. More than 50 federal and state agencies are involved in fighting narcotics, but their efforts are hampered by poor communication and turf wars. McCaffrey's plan would create a regional drug czar, most likely based in El Paso, to coordinate law enforcement efforts of the 22 agencies most active in the area's anti-narcotics war. The plan also calls for coordinators at each of the 39 points of entry along the border, which stretches from Texas to California. McCaffrey said he expects the main fight over his Southwest initiative to come from agency heads reluctant to give up control of their employees. The problem, he said, "will be in Washington among the departments and in Congress because there are separate congressional committees that support customs, DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration), etc." DEA and INS officials declined comment on McCaffrey's proposal, referring questions to their parent agency, the Department of Justice. Justice Department spokesman Gregory King said officials there were "studying" the initiative. Although his plan has received a cool reception in Washington, McCaffrey said drug-fighting authorities and community leaders in the Southwest have supported it. "I've been up and down that border . . . and these people are prepared to move forward." The need for a tighter border is clear. More than 60 percent of the estimated 300 tons of cocaine and more than half of the methamphetamines and marijuana that enter the country each year are believed to pass through the U.S.-Mexico border. The U.S. Customs Service estimates interdiction efforts now stop 10 percent to 20 percent of that drug flow. Local authorities put the number even lower. Last year, U.S. officials inspected 900,000 of the 3.7 million trucks crossing the border. Cocaine was found in only 16 trucks -- a figure McCaffrey called "incredible." "The people working on the border are doing a good job, so it's not their fault," he said. "We have no choice but to give them the equipment they need." McCaffrey said the X-ray machines in place have performed well. "Essentially it is impossible that I'm not going to see your two kilograms of heroin if your truck drives into that machine." McCaffrey said he didn't know how much money his plan would add to the $2 billion a year spent on fighting drugs along the U.S.-Mexico border, but he insisted that whatever the price, it would be only a fraction of the cost society pays for drug use. "The lowest estimate of the cost to society of drug use is around $110 billion annually," he said. "If we can put even a dent in that use, we will be saving the country billions of dollars, not to mention saving a lot of people a lot of pain and suffering." Express-News Staff Writer Sig Christenson contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Border Idea Is Touted Here ('The San Antonio Express-News' Covers General Barry McCaffrey's Visit To Texas To Drum Up Support For A US-Mexico Border Drug Czar) From: email@example.com Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 08:48:23 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Border idea is touted here To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cc: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com OK, who slipped the LSD in McCaffrey's coffee? Surely, he was hallucinating when he said that he could cut the flow of drugs across the border by 80% in 10 years. Wait, maybe he is correct. Maybe it could be cut by 100% if the drug war would come to an end. >From the 8-31-98 San Antonio Express-News http://www.expressnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org *** Border idea is touted here By Susana Hayward and Nathalie Trepanier Express-News Staff Writers A multistate drug chief, overseeing more law enforcers using better technology, would curtail drug trafficking, corruption and illegal immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border, Barry R. McCaffrey said Monday. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's director of drug policy, was in San Antonio to stump for what he called a new, long-term initiative to "change the nature of law and order on the border." Montgomery Elementary sixth-grader Jennifer Landeros hands Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey a DARE bear Monday during a forum held at the school. Sheriff Ralph Lopez is behind McCaffrey. Photo by Kevin Geil/Staff The retired Army four-star general stressed that his aim is not to close the 2,000-mile frontier with trade-giant Mexico. "The big problem is the Southwest frontier," McCaffrey said in a meeting with the San Antonio Express-News Editorial Board. "We have a gigantic movement of people and cargo." McCaffrey offered few details, saying the plan has yet to be completed. According to a written outline of the proposal he provided, a single federal officer would have overall responsibility for counter- drug efforts along the border. Such a drug czar would be a presidential appointee, confirmed by the Senate to serve a four-year term, and would supervise a small staff called the Southwest Border Counter-Drug Coordinating Authority. He or she would have authority to review border drug policy, allocate funds, coordinate with state and local drug authorities and serve as a liaison with Mexican officials, according to the proposal. McCaffrey said the key to the success of such an effort would be the support of the Mexican government, which he said had been "cooperative but anxious" in preliminary discussions. He said the center likely would be headquartered in El Paso because of that city's existing and extensive federal law enforcement resources. U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-El Paso, said he welcomed the effort, which he said actually dates to the 1970s when President Nixon wanted a border management agency. "That never went anywhere. There were a lot of competing forces. Politically, the climate is better now," Reyes said by phone. "There is a lot of frustration and concern in Congress about the impact of drug trafficking in our communities and across the country." McCaffrey said his office estimates the proposed program could curtail cross-border drug smuggling by 25 percent in five years and 80 percent in 10 years. Reyes, who was with the Border Patrol for 29 years, said the alternative to McCaffrey's project is the militarization of the border, which no one wants -- although some critics maintain it is already occurring. "There is no other proposal other than the military," Reyes said. "I think there will be support for this project . . . It is better control of the border without having to resort to militarization." Reyes added that recommending a single executive who would coordinate counter-drug activities along the border wouldn't mean that existing agencies -- the U.S. Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, the Border Patrol, the Drug Enforcement Administration and others -- could not communicate with each other. "This is not a situation where anyone is criticizing that there is no cooperation or agencies are not getting along," Reyes said. "It is an idea that we can do a better job with all the agencies involved." Customs spokeswoman Judy Turner said cooperation between her department and other border agencies is improving. She cited Operation Brass Ring, a six-month initiative to tighten drug inspections at U.S.-Mexico border crossings, as an example. McCaffrey later took his anti- drug message to Montgomery Elementary School in the North East School District. As he approached a lectern in the school's cafeteria, McCaffrey was greeted by a crowd of screaming students in what amounted to a rally in support of community policing in the area. McCaffrey lauded the community service sectors of both the Bexar County Sheriff's Department and the San Antonio Police Department as models for the rest of the nation. "At the end of the day it comes down to parents and the community," McCaffrey said about the war on drugs. The general spoke of several programs introduced to curb a rise in drug use among youths. McCaffrey said teen drug use has risen steadily since 1991, and in the case of eighth-graders, the figures have tripled. But he also noted that serious crime has declined in the county and said he hopes the downward slide will extend to drug use. He pointed to a national anti-drug media campaign recently launched to discourage young people from using drugs. "I was really impressed that (McCaffrey) came to Montgomery," said Kimberli Philips, a 12- year-old former Montgomery student. "It's known as a low-grade school but that's not the case." Philips, who now attends Ed White Middle School, presented McCaffrey with a medal at the end of the half-hour forum, drawing smiles as she struggled to fit the ribbon over his head. A parent, Mary Ann Hall, said the day's events were "very positive." "I was glad to see so many people come out to support the events going on," she said, adding that McCaffrey's presence there provided an incentive in community anti-drug efforts. Community policing in Bexar County is not perfect, said Sheriff Ralph Lopez after he addressed the crowd, adding that it's "been an uphill climb" and calling the county's drug problem "horrendous." "When third-graders bring guns and drugs to school, you know you have a problem," Lopez said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Criticizes Drug Case Decision ('The Des Moines Register' Says Judge Robert W. Pratt, A Federal District Court Judge In Des Moines, Has Declared Unconstitutional The Conviction Of Lewis Atley, Saying The Iowa Supreme Court Failed In Its Duty To Determine If The Man's Lawyer Had A Conflict Of Interest When The Lawyer Agreed To Work As A Prosecutor In The Same County - Plus A Letter To Iowa NORML Activist Carl Olsen From The Victim, Just Paroled After Almost Four Years In Prison) Date: Fri, 04 Sep 1998 23:53:03 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET) Subject: Judge criticizes drug case decision - August 31, 1998 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/DPF/atley-002.html The Des Moines Register Monday, August 31, 1998, Page 2M firstname.lastname@example.org Judge criticizes drug case decision * Scott County lawyer had a conflict of interest and shouldn't have taken on the case, he says. By FRANK SANTIAGO REGISTER STAFF WRITER A federal judge has sharply criticized the Iowa Supreme Court for what he called an "unreasonable" decision about a man's legal representation in a drug case. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt, in an opinion filed in Des Moines last week, said the court failed its "duty" to determine if the man's lawyer had a conflict of interest when the lawyer agreed to work as a prosecutor in the same county. Wrote Pratt, "The state courts in this case made absolutely no inquiry into the conflict-of-interest issues despite the timely complaints of petitioner Atley, his lawyer and the state prosecutor." "In so doing," added Pratt, "the Iowa Supreme Court disregarded the explicit command of the United States Supreme Court." Lewis Atley was convicted by a Scott County jury June 8, 1995, for various drug-related crimes. Records show he had three lawyers, the first two of whom withdrew because of differences with Atley. Atley's third court-appointed lawyer learned months after his appointment that he been hired by the Scott County attorney's office. He replaced another lawyer who handled many drug cases for the county attorney. Citing a conflict of interest, Atley asked the court to dismiss the lawyer, who also asked to withdraw. But, the trial court judge refused. The judge said he knew of Atley's concerns, but "I don't give that a huge amount of weight" because Atley, the judge said, had tried to delay the proceedings. About Atley's lawyer, the judge said, "He will be expected to provide Mr. Atley with his usual high quality of representation and be zealous in his representation." After reviewing the case, the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the trial court, saying it was "unlikely that further questioning" would have changed the outcome. Pratt disagreed and wrote, "For this court to accept as 'adequate inquiry' the failure to make any inquiry whatsoever, it would have to effectively and obviously eviscerate the spirit and letter" of U.S. Supreme Court rulings. Pratt continued, "In lieu of probing and specific questions to any real inquiry, the Iowa Supreme Court chose to accept the untested general observations of the trial court." Bob Brammer, spokesman for the Iowa attorney general's office, said it wasn't immediately known if there would be an appeal. Pratt's decision required Atley's immediate release. But, Pratt stayed that order to give the state time to decide if it wants to recharge him. Records show, however, that Atley has recently been paroled. The state might appeal to settle issues raised by Pratt. Reporter Frank Santiago can be reached at (515) 284-8528 or email@example.com *** 29 August 1998 Carl Olsen P.O. Box 4091 Des Moines, Iowa 50333 Dear Carl, On 24 August 1998, Judge Robert W. Pratt, Federal District Court Judge in Des Moines, granted my Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus and declared my Iowa conviction unconstitutional! Finally, and I might add, "about time." Gee, lets see, here I served almost four years, and was released on parole 19 days ago - now the courts say my conviction was unconstitutional to begin with. Do you suppose I'll get a letter of apology from the Iowa authorities? I won't hold my breath! Of course the state of Iowa can retry me, and I hope they are so foolish as to do so. I would love to bring out into open court their dirty dealings .. the destruction of evidence, the lies and the, not to mince words, "railroad" job they did on me. I seriously doubt they will give me the opportunity. It is a sad state of affairs that this country's untenable "War on Drugs" has gone so far as to put a person in prison for almost four years for something not even listed as illegal in the first place! That it took four years before an honest court overturned my conviction makes the old adage "Justice delayed is justice denied" ring true. Not only has this insane "War" done irreparable damage to untold numbers of our citizens, but it has stripped the protections of the Bill of Rights, and left our Constitution tattered and torn. Any abuse of power and the judicial system is justified and applauded when the excuse is given that it is necessary to fight this "War." A "War" our government has declared on its own citizens for attempting to enjoy life and liberty as they see fit. A "War" against something that is natural, peaceful and, for the most part, safe. Any harm, from health consequences to crime, is directly attributable to the laws and not the various substances used. Yet Big Brother's propaganda has gone on so long that this disgrace, this insanity, this ... this ... "War" is supported by many citizens without question. While my freedom is now a reality, and my conviction declared unconstitutional, bothers and sisters are still POW's the "War" still rages. As before this happened, and as I have my whole life, I will continue to fight against the insanity. The first, upcoming, legal action is to make sure that a conviction for a plant, or substance, not listed as illegal can never happen again. This will take time, and some money, but it is because of the time I spent in Iowa's prisons that I can even do it. The legal research and preparation the monastery-like life allowed me to do would have cost a million dollars to hire a law team to do. I do not regret the opportunity I was given (although I know that wasn't their intent). Carl, I can't thank you for all your support over the years. There were times you came through with a legal brief, a statute copy, or some similar item when I was at a loss how to get something. The postings on the internet, the NORML newsletter, and helping my Mom get to the parole hearing .. and more.... I am eternally in your debt. As things progress through my other challenges to the statutes I will keep you posted. Also, if I get back to Iowa (and I will for several reasons) I would like to take you out to lunch or dinner to thank you personally. Also, there are some other legal information I think you should post with my Supreme Court Petition on the web sites you have that on. (i.e., the Reply Brief in the certiorari, the Religious Freedom Brief I have readied, and the §1983 pre-enforcement suit brief when I get it filed.) Let me know if you can still do this. (I got on the net at my daughter's last weekend for the first time. My, oh my, it can be pretty overwhelming. I stayed up for 24 hours on it!!) Thanks again. Hope to hear from you soon. P.S. If there are any POW's could use some good paralegal help, have them contact me. Since I'm out I can now write them and do what most lawyers don't do ... try to win. (By the way the federal judge made it a point to mention twice in his ruling how I asked that a lawyer not be appointed. I really don't trust lawyers after my Iowa experience, and can do better than 98% of them anyway....) Lewis J. Atley 720 North Drive East Marshall, Michigan 49068 (616) 781-7874
------------------------------------------------------------------- Top Court Reaffirms Forfeiture Trial Right ('The Star-Ledger' Says The New Jersey Supreme Court, In A One-Page Order Made Public Yesterday, Rejected A Request By The State Attorney General To Narrow Its Ruling Giving The Right To Jury Trials To Some 2,500 People Whose Property Was Seized In Connection With Drug Cases Or Other Crimes)Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:20:54 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NJ: Top Court Reaffirms Forfeiture Trial Right Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: FEAR list http://www.fear.org/ Source: Star-Ledger (NJ) Pubdate: 28 August 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nj.com/starledger/ Author: Kathy Barrett Carter, Staff Writer TOP COURT REAFFIRMS FORFEITURE TRIAL RIGHT The state Supreme Court has rejected a request by the attorney general to narrow its ruling giving the right to jury trials to some 2,500 people whose property was seized in connection with drug cases or other crimes. The justices, in a one-page order made public yesterday, said virtually anyone with a pending forfeiture case, including those on appeal, is entitled to a jury trial. Attorney General Peter Verniero had asked the court to apply its ruling only to future cases, saying to do otherwise would clog the courts. Since the late 1970s, prosecutors throughout New Jersey have seized cars, cash, even homes as part of the state's "war on drugs." The idea was to take the financial incentive out of drug trafficking. Money raised from the sale of seized items is funneled back to law enforcement and used to buy bulletproof vests and other equipment for police. Law enforcement officials love the program. Last year they seized $16.9 million worth of property. But since its inception it has had its critics. The hearings on whether the seizures were proper have been held before judges. In July, the Supreme Court ruled that people who were subjected to the forfeiture laws of the state are entitled to a jury trial. Yesterday, the court said trials would be available to anyone with a case that is still active, including those on direct appeal. "I think it will go a long way to restoring some sanity," said John T. Paff of Forfeiture Endangers American Rights Inc., a group that believes forcing people who have not been convicted of a crime to give up property is an abuse of power. Paff said it is only fair that people with active cases be able to ask for a jury trial, if they want one. Verniero said yesterday it was "too early to tell what the impact of this decision will be," since he had no idea how many people will request jury trials. But he continued to express concern that it could create problems for the courts and undermine the effectiveness of the forfeiture programs used by all 21 county prosecutors. "I don't take back anything I said previously," said Verniero. "My reaction to the case originally is it really did concern me because of its impact on the administration of justice, management of jury trials and the effect on our anti-drug strategy. But the court has now spoken, and obviously we'll comply with the court order." On July 15, the court said Lois McDermott of Highlands was entitled to jury trial. McDermott, a 67-year-old mother whose 1990 Honda was seized when her adult son used it in connection with a drug deal, felt a jury would be more sympathetic than a judge. Elizabeth Macron, McDermott's lawyer, essentially argued that it was unfair to take McDermott's car because she did not have anything to do with the drug dealing and never gave her 46-year-old son permission to use the vehicle. Paff said a jury probably would look at the McDermott case, realize she had nothing to do with her son's drug activities, and view seizure as improperly punishing her. While judges are more inclined to rigidly follow the law, Paff said, "Juries will take a humanistic approach." Paff further argued the forfeiture laws are "an invitation for abuse" because the same police and prosecutors that seize property benefit financially from the seizure.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Giuliani Plan To Close Methadone Clinics Makes Sense Only To Him (A Staff Editorial In 'The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel' Says New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Reckless Plan To Prohibit Methadone Treatment For Heroin Addicts Would Have Clear Results, Nearly All Of Them Negative) Date: Sat, 5 Sep 1998 12:03:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Giuliani Plan To Close Methadone Clinics Makes Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Holly Catania Source: Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel Pubdate: Monday, 31 August 1998 Contact: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/services/letters_editor.htm Website: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/ GIULIANI PLAN TO CLOSE METHADONE CLINICS MAKES SENSE ONLY TO HIM New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani evidently listens to no one but himself. Not for him the accumulated wisdom of physicians, scientists and drug counselors who know the proven value of methadone in treating heroin addicts. Giuliani's reckless plan to stop methadone treatments in New York would have clear results, nearly all of them negative. The vast majority of methadone patients would relapse, seeking and getting heroin instead. That means they would be on the streets, panhandling or committing crimes _ or finding a way to get on welfare. They'd be full-blown heroin addicts again, only this time probably with more drastic outcomes because the drug has become stronger and more deadly in recent years. Heedless of the opinons of others, especially those who have spent stressful years helping addicts fight against drug addiction, Giuliani ordered city-run hospitals to wean their 2,000 methadone patients from the substance within a few months. He also wants 30,000 private patients to quit methadone. What can Giuliani be thinking? Is he so headstrong that no one can reach him with anything resembling common sense? Barry McCaffrey, the president's chief drug policy adviser, is rightly outraged at Giuliani's strange plan. As McCaffrey said, the problem isn't too many methadone programs; in reality, there are too few. Across the nation, some 115,000 addicts are taking methadone to break their addiction to heroin. For three decades or so, methadone has been used to blunt the craving for heroin and to make it easier to kick the habit. Methadone is a liquid narcotic, which Giuliani claims ''enslaves'' patients who receive it. In the real world _ outside the New York mayor's office _ of course methadone isn't considered a panacea, but when given under closely regulated conditions, it has helped many heroin addicts break free and become self-reliant and productive citizens. Not every heroin addict becomes clean through methadone treatments, but experience shows it does much more good than harm. If Giuliani can somehow summon up whatever remnant of common sense remains in his head, he ought to call off his destructive plan. Copyright 1998 Sun-Sentinel Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Big Tobacco Accused Of Linking GOP Senators' Votes, TV Ads ('The Chicago Tribune' Says The US Justice Department Is Reviewing Whether Tobacco Companies Promised Some Senate Republicans That They Would Pay For Television Advertisements If The Senators Voted To Defeat The McCain Tobacco Bill) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 09:36:35 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Big Tobacco Accused of Linking GOP Senators' Votes, TV Ads 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: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Section: Sec. 1, p. 6 BIG TOBACCO ACCUSED OF LINKING GOP SENATORS' VOTES, TV ADS WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Justice Department is reviewing whether tobacco companies promised some Senate Republicans that they would pay for television advertisements if the senators voted to defeat the tobacco bill. The advertisements were not to have been direct endorsements of the senators but were meant to explain the tobacco issue in a way that might provide the senators with "political cover" for their vote, said a complaint filed by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, an advocacy group. Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), the minority leader, received a letter dated Aug. 17 from the Justice Department confirming that it was reviewing charges that several companies violated federal election law, his spokeswoman, Ranit Schmelzer, said Sunday. Justice Department spokesman Michael Gordon acknowledged that the department was looking into the matter, but added, "I wouldn't call it an investigation yet." Scott Williams, a spokesman for the tobacco industry, said Sunday that the accusations were "without merit" and that the tobacco companies had run only "substantive" advertisements. No money has been spent on advertisements for candidates, Williams said. In its complaint, filed with the Federal Election Commission in June, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids accused the tobacco industry of violating federal campaign law that bars corporations from making direct contributions to a candidate's campaign. The complaint said that on June 17, hours before the Senate took a critical vote on the tobacco bill, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told other Republican senators in a private meeting that the industry was promising to run advertisements to give "political cover" to senators who voted to kill the legislation. The bill was defeated. Robert Steurer, McConnell's press secretary, said Sunday, "What Senator McConnell said was a statement of the obvious: that the companies would continue to fight for their interests, and they have."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Justice Department Examines Tobacco Ad Allegations (The 'Reuters' Version) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 19:46:39 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Justice Dept. Examines Tobacco Ad Allegations Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Source: Reuters JUSTICE DEPT. EXAMINES TOBACCO AD ALLEGATIONS WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott Monday predicted the Justice Department will find no basis for allegations by an anti-smoking group that some Republicans killed tobacco legislation in exchange for promises of improper campaign support from the cigarette industry. ``I assume they'll (Justice) take a look at it. That's their responsibility. And they will see that there's nothing to it,'' Lott told a news conference. The Justice Department, replying to a letter from Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, said it was ''presently examining'' allegations initially lodged against the tobacco companies by the National Center for Tobacco-Free Kids and would determine ``whether any further investigation is warranted.'' The anti-smoking group filed a complaint in June with the Federal Election Commission, which has primary responsibility for campaign law violations. Daschle had requested in July that the Justice Department also look into the matter. The anti-smoking group based its allegations on news accounts of a closed-door Senate Republican meeting. It said the industry had promised to run advertisements supporting Republicans who voted against the tobacco bill. Corporations can take out ``issue ads'' about a pending piece of legislation, but they are not supposed to make contributions in connection with federal elections. The Senate killed the bill, sponsored primarily by Arizona Republican John McCain, in June. Democrats had largely backed the McCain bill, and Republicans were deeply divided; ultimately Republicans killed it on a technicality. Lott said the tobacco companies had indicated they would make their case ``against a massive tax increase and government bureaucracy, and they were going to do that anyway.'' He said there was no ``specific commitment or promise'' that would have been an illegal campaign contribution.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Consensus On Cause But Not Cure (A Staff Editorial In 'The Vancouver Sun' Says City Planners In Vancouver, British Columbia, Believe The Principal Cause Of The Eastside's Accelerating Deterioration Is 'Drugs,' But Not Much Can Be Done Until Leaders Reach Consensus On Remedies) Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 15:39:37 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Editorial: A Consensus On Cause But Not Cure 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: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/ Pubdate: Monday 31 August 1998 A CONSENSUS ON CAUSE BUT NOT CURE An epidemic of heroin and cocaine on the Downtown Eastside is the overriding factor behind a host of social ills, but solutions to the area's problems require leadership at all levels. In July city planners delivered six reports on the Downtown Eastside to the mayor, city council and media. By late August, when they met with The Vancouver Sun's editorial board, they had singled out the principal cause of the community's accelerating deterioration: drugs. The Downtown Eastside has historically been a low-income neighbourhood filled with the elderly, ill, disabled or chronically unemployed and the simply unlucky. Originally an entertainment centre, Hastings on either side of Main, along with adjacent blocks, are still rife with hotels, long-converted to single occupant residences. Most had beer parlours then, and the strip still has the highest ratio of bar seats to population in the Lower Mainland, which helped account for the area's earlier troubles. Those crimes of passion, bar fights and muggings are now fondly recalled by police as something like a golden age, manageable with a firm grip on the arm, a spacious drunk tank and charity work. Days recalled with warm nostalgia now that crack cocaine and heroin have moved in. The arrival of high-grade, low-cost heroin had been deadly for the area and its citizens, crime rising throughout the city as addicts were forced farther away to steal to feed their habits. Overdoses rose, frighteningly, but even that period holds quaint charm next to the current epidemic of crack and injection cocaine, whose users are even more violent and desperate. The great majority of addicts share needles with others and, of an estimated 6,000 addicts in the neighbourhood, a study estimated 40 per cent are HIV positive, the highest rate in the developed world. Drugs are sold and used on the street with nonchalance, and non-resident criminals and addicts flock to the area; the reports show more than half the crimes committed there are by non-residents. Legitimate businesses are driven out. Many female junkies who become prostitutes to finance their addiction spread disease further afield. The rot grows. City hall calls it the single most important issue facing the city, and believes solving the area's other problems -- housing, new business, personal safety -- depends on solving this one first. It's one they can do little about alone. Money is not the whole solution. More police and a pawnshop crackdown have done little; the courts release addicted criminals almost immediately. The answer is for leadership to reach consensus on remedies, both within the community where a variety of advocacy and interest groups are at loggerheads, and at higher political levels. But there is more concern in Ottawa, where MP Libby Davies has raised the issue, than in Victoria, although Premier Glen Clark lives on the east side and Municipal Affairs Minister Jenny Kwan is the area MLA. Other members of cabinet represent neighbouring ridings. Until they see the urgency in the Downtown Eastside, the situation, if it can be believed, will get worse.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Taxing Talk On Cannabis (Britain's 'Guardian' Says Scientists, Doctors And Lawyers From Europe, Australia And North America Are Gathering In London Next Saturday For The First International Conference On How Cannabis Should Be Regulated If It Were Legalised Or Decriminalised - The Conference Is Being Hosted By Release, The British Drugs Advice Agency And Charity, And The Lindesmith Centre, A New York-Based Drug Policy Research Institute Funded By George Soros)Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 19:37:18 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Taxing Talk On Cannabis Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Author: By Duncan Campbell TAXING TALK ON CANNABIS First global conference to address problems of legalised drug If cannabis was legal, who would sell it? How would it be taxed? What restrictions would there be on advertising it? And how would its use be regulated? These questions are to be addressed in the first international conference on how cannabis should be regulated if it were legalised or decriminalised. Scientists, doctors and lawyers from Europe, Australia and North America are gathering in London for the Cannabis Congress next Saturday, which is being hosted by Release, the drugs advice agency and charity and the Lindesmith Centre, a New York-based drug policy research institute funded by the financier George Soros. "Most prominent scientists, medical professionals and policy experts agree that alternatives to cannabis prohibition need to be developed to both prevent further harm and protect individual civil liberties," said Mike Goodman, director of Release. "Since opinion polls from around the world show growing support for decriminalisation, the purpose of this conference is to determine the best ways to regulate the distribution of cannabis." Lindesmith Centre director, Ethan Nadelmann, said: "As support for cannabis reform grows, more policy makers throughout the world are being faced with the challenge of regulating both the use and the distribution of cannabis. This conference will address the challenge of cannabis control and seek practical alternatives as cannabis prohibition continues." The organisers say the conference marks a dramatic shift in the debate, from discussions of whether cannabis should be legalised to how it could be regulated after decriminalisation. Supporters of changes in the law argue that not only would legal cannabis cut crime and be a money-earner for governments, but it would also allow health risks to be monitored. Among speakers at the conference at Regent's College will be academics from the universities of Krakow, Amsterdam, Toronto and California, including experts in jurisprudence. Copyright Guardian Media Group plc.1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Chief Resigns With Attack On Blair ('The Scotsman' Version Of Yesterday's News About Director David Macauley Bailing Out Of Scotland Against Drugs) Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 14:51:24 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Scotland: Drugs Chief Resigns With Attack On Blair Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Source: The Scotsman Website: http://www.scotsman.com Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Author: John McCann DRUGS CHIEF RESIGNS WITH ATTACK ON BLAIR DAVID Macauley, the director of Scotland Against Drugs, has blamed his decision to resign on a "lack of political will" on the part of senior Government figures, including Tony Blair and Sam Galbraith, the Scottish health minister. Mr Macauley will tender his resignation from the £40,000-a-year post today, claiming that he has had to fight a "confused message, if there is one at all" on the drugs problem. In a devastating broadside as he prepared to step down, Mr Macauley warned of a funding crisis in drugs education as businesses begin to resent having to finance essential Government projects. Mr Macauley, 37, said that the visit of Noel Gallagher, the Oasis guitarist, to Downing Street had given young people the impression that the Prime Minister was prepared to tolerate drug abuse. "It's not just me criticising Tony Blair; the young people I talk to say they felt he was supporting drug taking, The Gallaghers are in their magazines and on the television and that message is getting across." Mr Macauley feels the decision not to prosecute the son of the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, for selling cannabis was a symptom of Government-led confusion. "If you are caught drunk-driving in Ayr or Sauchie you know it's unacceptable and you'll get banned. If you're caught with a couple of joints, prosecution depends on where you are. It confuses the police and the public. "In January, SAD's budget was slashed from £2 million to £500,000 as ministers decided to give it a new role as purely a fundraising body." Mr Macauley said that that role could be in jeopardy as the revamped organisation lacked the "public face" to attract companies such as Marks & Spencer and Scottish Power, which have contributed to the more than £2 million raised in two years. He said that the chairman of an unnamed utility company had warned him that business was becoming reluctant to support schemes that should be publicly funded. He added: "It was left to us to finance drugs awareness training for staff in 2,500 primary schools across Scotland. What does that say about the Government's priorities?" Mr Macauley said that Mr Galbraith had "accepted a policy that encourages harm reduction without acting on the difficult social problems that have to be addressed" and said that, with 64 deaths in Strathclyde this year, "harm reduction alone is not enough". He praised Henry McLeish, the Scottish home affairs minister, for his visit to Easterhouse, where he met parents and children after the death of Alan Harper, 13, who died of a heroin overdose. But he said that Mr McLeish must take action to improve the quality of life in housing schemes to offer an alternative to drug use. Mr Galbraith said: "Mr Macauley helped to get SAD off to a strong start, but given the need to have the director fully on board, he is right to stand down and let someone else drive it forward." Councillor Gaille McCann, who works with the Mothers Against Drugs group in Easterhouse, said: "I'm absolutely devastated to hear this, David was the only one who knew what the situation is and what the answers are." Mr Macauley defended last year's press advertising campaign. accused of perpetuating the "Just say no" message that has failed in the past. He insisted the campaign addressed the real concerns of young people. "Our research showed that some teenage girls felt that they had been taken advantage of while on drugs, while teenage boys are more worried about getting spots on their gums than overdoses," he said. He said the need for a coherent social and criminal policy is obvious, and that British culture must do with drugs what it did with racism and drink-driving. "Noel Gallagher's PR people would never let him go on television and say things that were racist. We need to apply the same rules to drug abuse," he said
------------------------------------------------------------------- Experts Say Fat Rivals Smoking As Health Threat ('Reuters' Says Medical Experts Told Reporters At The Start Of The Eighth International Congress On Obesity, Which Began On Monday In Paris, That Obesity Was Rapidly Becoming A Problem In The Developing World As Well As Industrialised Nations And Could One Day Rival Tobacco Smoking In Its Impact On Public Health)Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 19:58:50 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: WIRE: Experts Say Fat Rivals Smoking As Health Threat Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Reuters Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Author: Irwin Arieff EXPERTS SAY FAT RIVALS SMOKING AS HEALTH THREAT PARIS, Aug 31 (Reuters) - Medical experts warned on Monday that obesity was rapidly becoming a problem in the developing world as well as industrialised nations and could one day rival smoking in its impact on public health. ``This is a pandemic, probably one of the top five public health problems in the world. Scientists are already beginning to wonder whether it will be worse than smoking,'' Dr Philip James told reporters at the start of the Eighth International Congress on Obesity, which began on Monday in Paris. James, who heads a task force for the International Association for the Study of Obesity, and other scientists said there was considerable hope that new drugs would soon be coming on line to help fat people lose weight and stay fit. Until then, they said, public health officials in India and the South Pacific as well as the United States and Australia should begin to modify eating behaviour in both children and adults. ``If we wait, in 10 to 20 years from now it really looks like we are going to have a catastrophe on our hands,'' said James, who is also director of the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland, and head of a United Nations commission on nutrition. ``We are emphasising the need to begin tackling the problem earlier, to deal with childhood weight problems and to completely rethink the way we approach physical activity and diet to ensure a healthy, active lifestyle,'' said Dr Stephen Rossner of Stockholm's Karolinska Institute. Rossner dismissed the stereotype of the jolly overweight person, saying research has found that obese individuals generally are financially less well off and have a lower quality of life than thinner people. ``We can't rule out that there are happy fat people. But the evidence is against it,'' he said. Organisers of the four-day conference said the outlook was not all gloom and doom. They were particularly optimistic about a new drug called orlistat that has been found in clinical trials to promote weight loss by reducing the body's absorption of dietary fat. The drug, to be marketed by Roche Holdings AG under the name Xenical, is to go on sale in Europe in September and in the United States some time next year. U.S. approval was delayed when health officials requested additional research on data hinting at a possible link between orlistat and breast cancer. While orlistat has undergone extensive testing in humans, the medical experts cautioned consumers against relying on the many untested over-the-counter drugs that claim to help weight loss. ``There is a great desire for weight-loss drugs as everyone is tired of the 'eat less, exercise more' approach. But there are so many fraudulent products and so many gullible people,'' Rossner said. ``I always tell my patients: 'You use them at your own risk because there is no data demonstrating effectiveness and they may not be safe','' said Dr George Bray, president of the International Association for the Study of Obesity. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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