Portland NORML News - Monday, August 31, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: OPED: Physicians Must Be Free to Relieve Pain of the Dying
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Contact: viewpoints@chron.com
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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate
shutdown
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Robert Goodman (robgood@bestweb.net)
Date: Tue, 01 Sep 1998 01:06:58 +500
Subject: Re: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

>``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 (sparky@navpoint.com)
Reply-To: sparky@navpoint.com
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Re: ART: Judge rejects city-run cannabis club but denies immediate
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

> ``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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: R Givens (rgivens@sirius.com)
Subject: Humpty Dumpty Justice
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Robert Goodman (robgood@bestweb.net)
Date: Wed, 02 Sep 1998 09:19:26 +500
Subject: Re: CA/CBC's - Is CSA exemption moot?
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

>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" (todd@a-vision.com)
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

8-31-98
San Antonio Express News
http://www.expressnews.com
letters@expressnews.com

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: adbryan@onramp.net
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 08:48:23 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: ART: Border idea is touted here
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

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
letters@express-news.net

***

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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET)
Subject: Judge criticizes drug case decision - August 31, 1998
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/DPF/atley-002.html

The Des Moines Register
Monday, August 31, 1998, Page 2M
letters@news.dmreg.com

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
santiagof@news.dmreg.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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:20:54 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US NJ: Top Court Reaffirms Forfeiture Trial Right Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org 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: eletters@starledger.com 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Giuliani Plan To Close Methadone Clinics Makes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Big Tobacco Accused of Linking GOP Senators' Votes, TV Ads
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Justice Dept. Examines Tobacco Ad Allegations
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Editorial: A Consensus On Cause But Not Cure
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 19:37:18 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: UK: Taxing Talk On Cannabis Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk Pubdate: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk 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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Scotland: Drugs Chief Resigns With Attack On Blair
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk
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)
Link to earlier story
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 19:58:50 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: WIRE: Experts Say Fat Rivals Smoking As Health Threat Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Sender: webmaster@mapinc.org Reply-To: shug@shug.co.uk Newshawk: shug@shug.co.uk 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. -------------------------------------------------------------------

[End]

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