------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Intimidate Oregon State Fairgoers Away From Portland NORML Booth (An E-Mail From Portland NORML Director TD Miller At The State Fair In Salem Indicates The Cops Are Trying To Quash Portland NORML's First Amendment Rights While Campaigning For Measure 57 And Against Measure 67) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:29:28 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) Subject: Cops interfering with our booth? From the state fair: Two policeman are right now outside of the PDX NORML booth in the Central Canopy area. They are the same two policemen who, two hours ago, we asked security to have move from the proximity of our booth. They had stayed directly across from our booth for over an hour passing out decals of a policeman's badge. Since our booth passes out literature on Measure 57 and 67, both opposed by the Police Chiefs Association, we have to wonder if this is some form of intimidation to those who would come by and pick up literature on the two ballot measures. They arrived for the second time at 8:40 pm and have nearly been here for 25 minutes. Additionally, there seems to be an abnormally large number of state troopers here. As I left to go to another area of the fair I saw over ten different officers roaming the fair. I have no clue as why tonight we have a large number of officers present. I suspect that there is no crime anywhere that can be solved so all have converged here. The officers names are Trooper Smartt and Officer Plummer. It has now been 30 minutes for a total of 90 minutes across from our booth. As an additional note, we have no donuts. TD [Terry Miller, Director Portland NORML] *** Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:12:38 -0700 (PDT) From: Terry Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Police in helicopters at Oregon State Fair (fwd) It's now been nearly 40 minutes. TD >From the state fair: > > Two policeman are right now outside of the PDX NORML booth in the Central > Canopy area. They are the same two policemen who, two hours ago, we asked > security to have move from the proximity of our booth. They had stayed > directly across from our booth for over an hour passing out decals of a > policeman's badge. Since our booth passes out literature on Measure 57 and > 67, both opposed by the Police Chiefs Association, we have to wonder if > this is some form of intimidation to those who would come by and pick up > literature on the two ballot measures. They arrived for the second time at > 8:40 pm and have nearly been here for 25 minutes. *** Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:43:55 -0700 (PDT) From: Terry Miller (email@example.com) To: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Police in helicopters at Oregon State Fair (fwd) On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, Anti-Prohibition Lg wrote: > I'll forward this to the chapter list. Should I send it to press and > media too? Yes. After 50 minutes, I contacted security who told me to go to the Lt. of the State Troopers to see about getting the State Troopers to move on. Does this sound a little strange to anyone? The Fair closes in a few minutes and now the troopers have moved on. All that has happened is apparently moot now. TD > On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, Terry Miller wrote: > > > Its now been nearly 40 minutes. > > > > TD *** Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 09:44:30 -0700 (PDT) To: email@example.com From: [name deleted to protect source] I was there last night when the state police were stationing themselves across from the NORML booth. It was pretty blatant, pretty fucked-up.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Dr. No Strikes Again (A List Subscriber Confirms An Article In Wednesday's 'Willamette Week,' Which Shows Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber Has Flip-Flopped Again And Now Says He Will Vote Against Measure 57, The Referendum To Recriminalize Possession Of Less Than One Ounce Of Marijuana - Kitzhaber Could Have Killed The Bill Last Year But Signed It After First Pledging Not To Do So) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 12:16:41 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Phil Smith (email@example.com) Subject: DPFOR: Re - Dr. No Strikes Again Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Is this a misquote? I thought voting "No" on Measure 57 (recrim) was what we wanted. Below, Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber says he'll do just that. Since he signed the recrim bill, why would he vote against it? Do we really want people to vote "yes" on it? Is 'Willamette Week' trying to confuse the voters? What's going on? Phil Smith >DR. NO STRIKES AGAIN [snipped to avoid duplication. Follow link to original article - ed.] *** Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 12:18:46 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Re - Dr. No Strikes Again Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org VOTE NO on MEASURE 57! That is correct, that's what we want. A "YES" vote would re-criminalize pot, a "NO" vote keeps it decriminalized. It should be Dr. Flip-flop. I called Joshua Schrag, the WW writer who did this piece. He verified the guv's No on 57. (Even though Kitzhaber signed the bill after passed by the Legislature last year, just before we stopped it with nearly twice the number of required signatures needed to do so.) I was actually more surprised by the no on 67 positition he took. Schrag told me that the guv is voting no on it because he doesn't think it's workable, that it would be too easy for pot to be misdirected... All this must be kind of embarasing to the Yes on 67 campagin, the new glossy literature says he endorses it. Floyd. On Sun, 6 Sep 1998, Phil Smith wrote: > Is this a misquote? I thought voting "No" on Measure 57 (recrim) was what we > wanted. Below, Oregon Gov. Kitzhaber says he'll do just that. Since he > signed the recrim bill, why would he vote against it? Do we really want > people to vote "yes" on it? Is 'Willamette Week' trying to confuse the > voters? What's going on?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Should Mark McGwire's Use Of Performance-Enhancing Drugs Disqualify Him As A Role Model? (Pro And Con Staff Editorials In The Vancouver, Washington, 'Columbian') The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion >From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: email@example.com Web: http://www.columbian.com/ In Our View: Sunday, Sept. 6, 1998 Face to Face - Columbian editorial writers beg to differ Should Mark McGwire's use of performance-enhancing drugs disqualify him as a role model? Yes: Mark McGwire is a big, strong guy. He has been that way for years. In his rookie season of Major League Baseball more than a decade ago, he jacked the ball out of the park an amazing 49 times. So why does McGwire, now poised to surpass Roger Maris' all-time season record of 61 home runs, feel the need to take androstenedione, an over-the-counter steroid linked to sterility, liver and heart problems? Maybe those 35-year-old biceps aren't as thump-worthy as they used to be. Perhaps McGwire, hungry for his spot in the record books, just wanted a little extra insurance. Androstenedione is legal in big league baseball, but not in a lot of other sports. Pittsburgh Steelers tackle Paul Wiggins has been suspended for four weeks for taking the same drug. The message McGwire is sending to young athletes around the country? If talent, training and dedication aren't enough to make you a winner, then by all means resort to a magic pill, even if it means risking your health -- not to mention your credibility. -- Michael Zuzel No: After purists get done disqualifying would-be role models for breaking any rule or otherwise falling short of perfection, there will be no role model left. Of course young boys should not be taught that it is all right to ingest chemicals that may enhance their natural talents. Clearly short-term benefits are more than offset by long-term effects. Role modeling should not be about total behavioral recapitulation, however. Babe Ruth was the worst of all possible role models in that sense. Whole generations of baseball players and other achievers supposed they too could excel while staying drunk, getting fat and being beastly to women. A few were lucky enough to model their efforts on Ruth's dogged determination and basic dedication to his team. The androstenedione Mark McGwire started taking shortly before he set off on his current string of blasting baseballs into orbit was not ruled out by his sport. That he took determination to win over a line that some find distasteful should be kept in context. -- D. Michael Heywood
------------------------------------------------------------------- Physicians Beware (An Op-Ed In 'The Oakland Tribune' By John Jabobs, Political Editor For McClatchy Newspapers, Recounts The Disturbing Revocation Of The Medical License Of Dr. Robert Sinaiko, A San Francisco Internist And Allergist) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:47:36 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: Physicians Beware Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jerry Sutliff Source: Oakland Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 Author: John Jacobs PHYSICIANS BEWARE When a physician has his or her license to practice medicine taken away, it is usually a personal tragedy, sometimes the result of alcohol or drug addiction, sometimes incompetence, greed or worse. But it is also, usually, a social good, a determination by the disciplinary body that this doctor is a danger to the community and should no longer be free to practice. Unfortunately, the case of Dr. Robert Sinaiko, a San Francisco internist and allergist, is not quite so simple. Sinaiko, 53, is an impressively credentialed physician whose practice consists of treating difficult cases involving complicated environmental and other allergies with experimental therapies. He works on the frontiers of medicine, where there are no easy or well-trod paths to clinical success. Sinaiko's license was revoked last month by an Oakland administrative law judge after a 25-day hearing. The decision was approved by the Medical Board of California. He also was fined $99,000 for the cost of the proceeding. No patient complained about Sinaiko's treatment. No patient testified against him. No patient was shown to have been harmed. Judge Ruth Astle ruled that Sinaiko was practicing "fringe" medicine because he was prescribing experimental drugs in four specific cases, including drugs for "off-label" uses -- that is, for things other than what the label calls for. This, she said, constituted" an extreme departure from the prevailing standard of practice among the community of licensed California practitioners," even though many physicians assert that they do this all the time. In the case that triggered the initial investigation by the attorney general's office, Sinaiko was caught in the cross-fire of a divorce and child custody dispute in which the parents differed over the treatment he prescribed for their hyperactive child. He has appealed the decision to the Medical Board, which has granted a stay until Sept. 14, when it will decide the appeal. If this decision is allowed to stand, Sinaiko's attorney, Richard Turner, wrote in his petition, "All doctors who say to a patient,'I'm not sure what's wrong with you. Let's try this,' now risk losing their license. All progress in medicine through clinical observation of patients in day-to-day medicine will become too hazardous." The license revocation has outraged many in the medical community, who have come to Sinaiko's defense, including the California Medical Association, highly reputable medical school physicians and even San Diego attorney Robert Fellmeth of the Center for Public Interest Law, which has often challenged the Medical Board for going too easy on disciplining bad physicians, The grounds cited for revocation, they say, threaten and chill every doctor who practices medicine in California. One of Sinaiko's defenders is Dr. Phillip Lee, a former chancellor of the UC San Francisco medical school. One of the most respected physicians in the nation. Lee until last year served four years as U.S. assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services. Lee was one of some 10 expert witnesses who testified for Sinaiko. All of their testimony was dismissed by Astle with one sentence in a 27-page decision. These experts, who testified on such things as chronic fatigue syndrome, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, multiple chemical sensitivity and other areas at the crux of his practice, "were of questionable credibility in that their testimony was not based on generally accepted scientific and medical principles," she concluded. "Absolutely no analysis was given to these experts individual, and no explanation was offered as to where or how their testimony failed to be based on 'generally accepted scientific principles,'" CMA President Robert Reid wrote in a blistering letter to the Medical Board this week. "There were no patient injuries, no patient complaints, and much of the medicine alleged to be inappropriate by the Medical Board.," Reid wrote, "apparently has ay least a significant, if not a majority, following among the medical profession. "The Medical Broad's decision does not inspire confidence," Reid continued. "The decision fails to show how the Medical Board proved by clear and convincing evidence that Dr. Sinaiko was guilty of the charges alleged." Indeed, Reid said, the board's action "raises a question as to exactly why the Medical Board went after Dr. Sinaiko with such vengeance, a vengeance reflected amply in its ($99,000) cost recovery bill. If the Medical Board just wants to 'get the doctor' it any cost, this decision shows how its (sic) done." Unrepentant because he believes he has done nothing wrong, Sinaiko faces bankruptcy, professional ruin and years of expensive legal appeals. "This is an abuse of the Medical Board's authority," said Lee. "The judge went to extremes to dismiss our testimony as though it had no legitimacy. We have alcoholic doctors and drug-addicted doctors. We put them in rehab and suspend their license for a month. Here we take his licence away. The remedy far exceeds the alleged infraction." So why did the Medical Board pursue Sinaiko so vindictively? John Jabobs is political editor for McClatchy Newspapers. His e-mail address is email@example.com OR firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Los Angeles Cops Accuse A Colleague (A 'San Jose Mercury News' Story About The Bust Of Los Angeles Police Department Officer Rafael Antonio Perez For Stealing Three Kilograms Of Cocaine From An Evidence Locker Claims The LAPD Has Long Held Itself All But Immune To Graft)Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:59:47 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: L.A. Cops Accuse a Colleague Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 Author: New York Times L.A. COPS ACCUSE A COLLEAGUE Officer charged: An alleged drug theft rocks a police force that, whatever other controversy dogged it, long held itself all but immune to graft. LOS ANGELES -- As a police officer in the LAPD's busiest precinct, near downtown Los Angeles, Rafael Antonio Perez was responsible for investigating gang crimes and testifying against suspects in court. Last month, it was Perez who entered the courtroom in handcuffs and a blue county jail jumpsuit to hear charges against him: stealing three kilograms (about 6 1/2 pounds) of cocaine from an evidence locker at the Los Angeles Police Department. Perez, 31, a nine-year employee who was arrested by his fellow officers Aug. 25, pleaded not guilty to charges of drug possession, grand theft and forgery. The felony complaint against Perez contends he checked out, and never returned, the cocaine from the property room March 2 by forging on the evidence log the signature of another police officer with the same last name. If convicted, Perez, who is still in jail, faces a maximum sentence of more than eight years in prison. Contrary to reputation While the brazen nature of the theft, according to the charges, is surprising enough, it is made all the more so by the Los Angeles Police Department's reputation for being intolerant of graft. The department has had no shortage of problems over the years, accused by civil rights advocates and others of poor treatment of minorities, political spying and use of excessive force, most publicly in the beating of Rodney King. But even the department's harshest detractors say it is relatively incorruptible. ``If anything, it's been a consistent theme that the LAPD has done a good job when it comes to that issue,'' said Paul Hoffman, a civil rights lawyer and former legal director of the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. That has not always been the case. Through the early half of the 20th century, the department, in tandem with City Hall, was known for accepting payoffs from gambling dens and prostitution houses, shaking down unions and business owners, even dynamiting the car of a former officer who had begun documenting police misdeeds. A change of heart Backlash against those years of corruption eventually resulted in the recall of Mayor Frank Shaw and a revision of the city charter that made the department virtually autonomous from City Hall. It also brought about the rise of William Parker, who became chief of the department in 1950 and is given credit for purging it of corruption. Another part of his legacy is a paramilitary style of law enforcement that did not shy from use of force. It was a theme carried on under Chief Ed Davis, who took over from Parker, and then under Daryl Gates, who was chief from 1978 until 1992. ``Their credo was, `Bust somebody's head and we'll back you up, but if you lie, cheat or steal, you're in trouble,' '' said Joe Domanick, author of the book ``To Protect and to Serve'' (Simon & Schuster, 1994), a critical history of the department. New chief's project To be sure, the department has had some high-profile corruption cases over the years, including thefts of radios from shops along Hollywood Boulevard in the 1980s and the convictions of three officers in the late '80s in a murder-for-hire scheme. The investigation of Perez, one police official said, has been driven by the current chief, Bernard Parks, who took over last year. In a bail hearing last week, Deputy District Attorney Richard Rosenthal said that in addition to stealing the narcotics, Perez tried to sell a kilo of cocaine through a confidential informer last December. Rosenthal also told the judge that Perez lied in court to obtain leniency for two drug dealers, one of whom he was having a romantic relationship with. The authorities now suspect that dealer distributed the three kilograms of stolen cocaine, Rosenthal said. Perez's lawyer, Winston McKesson, said that his client ``categorically'' denied the charges and that a search of his home revealed no evidence of drug dealing. McKesson also said that Perez's fingerprints were not found on the evidence-room ledger that contained the forged signature. Perez's case is not the only one proving nettlesome for the department's reputation. Another officer, David Mack, is awaiting trial in federal court on charges of robbing $722,000 from a Bank of America branch with the help of a girlfriend who worked at the bank. Mack has pleaded not guilty. Considered an anomaly But police officials, who are now investigating ``everything that surrounds'' Perez, say they believe the cocaine theft is an anomaly. ``The department wanted to show that we can police our own,'' Cmdr. Dan Shotz said. ``But there's a lot of disappointment, and it's embarrassing. We got our highs, and this is one of our lows.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Controversial Marijuana Question On November Ballot (KRNV, A Nevada MSNBC Affiliate, Notes A Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Face State Voters In November) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 18:46:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NV: Controversial Marijuana Question On November Ballot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Pubdate: 6 Sep 1998 Source: MSNBC/KRNV Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.msnbc.com/local/KRNV/default.asp CONTROVERSIAL MARIJUANA QUESTION ON NOVEMBER BALLOT RENO, NV September 6 - If you're planning on voting in November, you may want to start considering both sides of the medical Marijuana issue. The controversial question will appear on Nevada's November ballot. The Secretary of State's office released the official list of statewide ballot questions for the November general elections and the question whether to allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes was designated as number 9 on that list. Those aiming to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal use argue that scientific research indicates marijuana has medicinal value for some patients and that safeguards are built in to prevent abuse. On the other side, those arguing against medicinal marijuana say there are other medicines that can do the job and that the plan would open the door to more widespread illegal use of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Marijuana Is Ballot Question 9 (A November Election Preview In 'The Las Vegas Sun') Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 05:25:36 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NV: Medical Marijuana Is Ballot Question 9 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS BALLOT QUESTION 9 CARSON CITY (AP) - "Prescription Pot" will be Question 9 on Nevada's November ballot. The Secretary of State's office on Friday released the official list of statewide ballot questions for the November general elections. The Secretary of State's office numbers the questions, writes explanations of each one as well as arguments for and against non-legislative initiatives. The question whether to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes was designated as number 9 after a list of legislatively approved questions. Arguments for passage include scientific research indicating marijuana has medicinal value for some patients and that safeguards are built in to prevent abuse. The arguments against say there are other medicines that can do the job and that the plan would open the door to more widespread illegal use of marijuana. Also on the ballot is term limits for federal congressional offices. Term limits has already been approved by Nevada voters once. If approved again in November, it will require that Nevada's congressional delegation and state legislators impose term limits on themselves and other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. The state already has term limits for members of the Nevada Legislature. There are no questions on the ballot numbered 10-16. The term limit issue is Question 17 because the Nevada Constitution requires questions be put to voters two times in consecutive general elections with the same number and language. The marijuana question would allow a patient, on advice of a doctor, to use marijuana to relieve symptoms of major diseases including cancers, glaucoma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and the effects of treatments such as chemotherapy. It would create a confidential registry of patients authorized to use the drug so police could make sure a user had a valid medical reason. General use of the drug would still be illegal in Nevada. Questions 1-8 are all legislatively approved changes that range from cutting off legislative sessions at 120 days to making Nevada Day a floating three-day holiday instead of fixed at Oct. 31. Question 5 was proposed to cut down the growing length of Nevada's biennial legislative sessions. Nevada hasn't had a Legislature end in less than 120 days since 1977. The 1997 session cost a record $15.5 million before adjourning after 169 days. The proposal would make any legislation passed after 120 calendar days void. Question 2 would remove the Supreme Court from control over the Judicial Discipline Commission, which investigates complaints against judges in Nevada. Question 6 authorizes a property tax break for water conservation and allows district courts in the state to meet in cities other than the county seat. Governmental stores would have to impose and collect sales taxes to make their prices closer to private companies under Question 7. And the lieutenant governor would lose his post as President of the Senate if Question 8 passes. Question 1 sets up a system to resolve unintentional problems caused when one constitutional amendment causes problems with another part of the constitution.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Iowa's Forfeiture Law Takes The Profit Out Of Crime ('The Des Moines Register' Examines Forfeiture As Practiced In Iowa, Where The Police Take About $1 Million A Year Just In Cash, And Get To Keep 90 Percent Of It) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 14:39:00 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Iowa's Forfeiture Law Takes The Profit Out Of Crime Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Carl Olsen Source: Des Moines Register (IA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dmregister.com/ Pubdate: 06 Sep 98 Author: Jonathan Roos, Register Staff Writer Fax: (515) 286-2511 IOWA'S FORFEITURE LAW TAKES THE PROFIT OUT OF CRIME Millions in cash and property have been seized by police and sheriffs Samuel Vallejo lost more than his freedom when authorities nabbed him for drug dealing. They also seized four vehicles, $7,000 in cash, a cell phone and pager from a rural Polk County residence. "It'll put him out of business for a while," said Chief Deputy Dennis Anderson of the Polk County Sheriff's Department, which plans to sell the vehicles at a public auction next month. Vallejo, 25, is not alone in feeling the sting of Iowa's forfeiture law. Police and sheriff s departments across the state have used the law to acquire millions of dollars in cash, cars and other property from people involved in drug dealing or other crimes. While Iowa law enforcement agencies don't come across art deco mansions and powerful cigarette boats like you might find in South Florida, authorities say the property seizures are a significant tool in their war against drugs. Critics, though, complain that the law is not fair and can lead to abuses. Here is a rundown on the property that's been seized in recent years: * Since January 1992, Iowa has tallied 3,350 cases in which money was forfeited. The total amount of cash seized each year has averaged nearly $1 million. * More than 1,000 vehicles have been confiscated since 1992. Polk County has led the way with 339 vehicle seizures. * Contrary to images of drug lords driving expensive sports cars, the newest vehicle seized under Iowa's forfeiture law this year was a 1995 Chevrolet. The oldest was a 1972 Ford. Older cars are typical, said Doug Marek, Iowa deputy attorney general for criminal justice. Drug dealers use them to transport drugs and often modify them with false paneling and hollowed-out areas in seats. * Smaller items too numerous to count also have been seized. Examples from recent cases include a scanner, coffee maker, computer, VCR and a Chinese assault rifle. Sometimes you never know what will turn up, like a stuffed toy monkey that was filled with cash, Marek said. Seizures of real estate under the Iowa law have been infrequent, he said. In recent years, law enforcement agencies sold four forfeited properties for about $277,000. One was a bar-restaurant in Marshall County where drugs were being sold out of the bar, Marek said. Another was a Jasper County acreage where drugs were being sold from a trailer home. In a third case, rural property in Sioux County was being used to grow marijuana. The vast majority of forfeiture cases are related to drug dealing, Marek said. But drugs had nothing to do with the fourth real estate case: a home in Scott County that was purchased with the proceeds from schemes to defraud people. In major drug cases in which real estate, airplanes or heavy equipment are involved, federal officials are more apt to initiate forfeiture actions because they are better equipped to handle the property. Under lowa's law, property can be forfeited if authorities are able to show it was used to commit an indictable crime other than a driving offense or was purchased with the proceeds from such a crime. In the case of Samuel Vallejo, he was transporting methamphetamine from the southwestern United States, said Anderson. He made trips with different pickup trucks so that he would not be easily recognized. Anderson said the sheriff's department expects to receive "a reasonable amount" of money from the sale of the vehicles, which were forfeited in April. Vallejo pleaded guilty in February to federal charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. In May, he received a 10-year prison term that subsequently was reduced to about seven because he cooperated with authorities. Iowa law enforcement agencies typically get to keep 90 percent of the cash that is forfeited, the rest goes to the Iowa Department of Justice. The money has to be spent for something that is outside the agency's regular budget and it must be used to enhance law enforcement efforts. That can take the form of undercover drug buys, training or equipment. Police and sheriffs departments also can use or sell forfeited property. Cars, for example, may be useful for police surveillance work. The state has had a comprehensive forfeiture law since 1986, but it was revised in 1996. Marek said the changes made the law more workable and consistent with other states' forfeiture laws, and they addressed perceived abuses. One of the changes is that forfeitures no longer can be based on simple misdemeanor offenses. On the other hand, the law was expanded to allow the forfeiture of a person's homestead. A legislative committee recently reviewed rules proposed by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller that outline procedures for using, distributing or destroying forfeited property. The rules are expected to be adopted. Supporters of the law say it takes the profit out of crime. "I don't know if it's a deterrent, but it's an additional punishment," said Anderson. The law also turns the criminal's resources against him. "It gives us the ability to generate the money we can use to investigate and apprehend the drug dealer without turning to the taxpayer," Anderson said of the money used for undercover drug buys. But critics of the law say it has made the property of people accused of crimes a tempting target of law enforcement agencies. Marty Ryan, a lobbyist for the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, said the newer version of the law is an improvement, but abuses are still possible. "There are still ambitious law enforcement officers who look with envy upon somebody's goods and say, 'I'd like to have that.' " Ryan noted that not even a conviction or charge is necessary before property can be forfeited. The courts have ruled that "it's the property committing the crime and not the person, and property has no constitutional rights," he said. Seized property * Iowa law enforcement agencies have used the state's forfeiture law to seize millions of dollars in cash, cars and other property from people charged with crimes, especially drug-dealing. Here is a look at the crime-related property that has been forfeited since 1992: Cash $6.3 million Motor vehicles 1,053 Real estate $277,000 Other items - cell phones, pagers, scanners, computers, guns, drug paraphernalia NOTE: Figures for Iowa do not include property forfeitures approved by federal courts. SOURCE: Iowa Attomey General's Office Matthew Chatterley / The Register Reporter Jonathan Roos can be reached at (515) 284-8443 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Des Moines Register
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Drug-Enforcement Standards ('Des Moines Register' Columnist Rekha Basu Suggests Two Recent Cases - Along Interstate 80 And In The Tony Suburb Of Clive, Iowa - Illustrate How The Same Drug Laws Apply Differently To The General Public And Public Officials) Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 21:25:12 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET) Subject: Two drug-enforcement standards - September 6, 1998 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com http://www.commonlink.com/~olsen/DPF/clive-004.html The Des Moines Register, Sunday, September 6, 1998, Page 6AA Two drug-enforcement standards REKHA BASU [clive-3.jpg (15411 bytes)] This is a tale about drug enorcement - two different kinds. One is set in the tony suburb of Clive, another on the highways of Iowa and the inner-city streets of Des Moines. One applies to the general public, the other to public officials. Worst of all, your support for one kind might wane when you hear about the other. If you happened to drive on I-80 east this summer, you might have come up against a mobile flashing sign warning, in about these words: "Drug Enforcement Ahead: Be Prepared to Stop." Of course, if you know your Fourth Amendment rights, you'd be suspicious, since stops and searches of cars without probable cause are illegal. As you kept going, however, you'd discover it was a ruse sponsored by the Iowa Department of Public Safety in collaboration with county attorneys. No actual stop, just a ploy to make you panic, so that if you had drugs, you might do something rash like try to dump them at the nearest rest area or jump the median. Some might call that clever. Others might call it entrapment. Marty Ryan, assistant director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union, calls it "very sleazy." He encountered one such sign about 4 miles east of Altoona last week, and worries they might force people to pull off in search of a side road, fearing they'll be unnecessarily detained. "If this was a business, the attorney general would be all over them for false advertising," he said. The jury was still out, Public Safety Commissioner Paul Wieck told me earlier this sumnier, as to how successful the approach was in its debut appearance in Iowa. But it did send some people to jail, so I suppose, by some measure, it worked. When I first heard about it, though it sounded kind of deceptive, I decided to wait and see. It didn't seem like law enforcement was breaking any laws. Iowa's got a growing methamphetamine problem and the state's highways apparently are a conduit for some major trafficking. But by last week, my tolerance had worked itself into outrage when I read of something unrelated but very relevant. An off-duty state trooper attending a late July party in Clive had witnessed a group, possibly including Clive City Council member John Schiefer and Dave Ennen of the planning and zoning commission, smoking what he believed to be marijuana. He neither arrested them nor confiscated the alleged drugs. Instead he went off and filed some sketchy report with his patrol district, in Mason City, later telling City Manager Dennis Henderson he didn't think he had enough information for criminal charges. You could argue - and I'd agree - that marijuana is relatively benign. But it is sending other people without the same official protection to jail. I spoke to the girlfriend of one young man who spent the night in the Scott County Jail because of the so-called drug stops. She'd believed the state's drug crackdown was on meth and cocaine, but people were being hauled into jail for marijuana. Yet a trooper from the same public safety team is virtually handed three drug arrests, and he walks away. By week's end, Ennis and Schiefer had quit their posts, without admitting any wrongdoing, as the city manager's office closed in on them with its own investigation. But that doesn't erase the cynicism that there are two sets of law-enforcement standards, and one is for public officials protecting their own. It has barely been long enough for wounds to heal from the case of Urbandale Officer James Trimble, the 18-year police veteran who pleaded guilty to a Class C felony for possession and intent to distribute after being stopped driving around in a poor part of town with $20,000 worth of meth in his van. The drugs were stolen from a police department evidence locker. He could have gotten 10 years in prison, but he got probation, a $1,000 fine and community service. The police department never even pressed charges for the theft. Meanwhile, last Wednesday's paper had a spread on the drug crackdown in Des Moines' near-north side. As usual, the pictures showed young African-American men being stopped by police for questioning. Try convincing them the law works the same for everyone. Either drug enforcement is serious business warranting extreme measures or it isn't. Either minor marijuana possession should result in arrests or it shouldn't. If we can't all play by the same rules, let's drop the charade. REGISTER COLUMNIST REKHA BASU can be reached at (515) 284-8208 or firstname.lastname@example.org The Des Moines Register Sunday, September 6, 1998, Page 6AA email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Arrests Drop In City, Up In Suburbs (An Article In 'The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel' Of Interest To Oregon Voters Who Will Cast Ballots In November On Measure 57, A Proposal To Recriminalize Possession Of Marijuana, Says A Year After Officials In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Decriminalized Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana, Newly Released State Figures Show Marijuana-Related Arrests Declined In The City While Similar Arrests In The Suburbs Continued To Increase) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 07:16:26 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WI: Marijuana Arrests Drop In City, Up In Suburbs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: 6 Sep 1998 Fax: (414) 224-8280 Author: James H. Burnett III, Journal Sentinel staff MARIJUANA ARRESTS DROP IN CITY, UP IN SUBURBS A year after Milwaukee officials decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, newly released state figures show the number of marijuana-related arrests, both criminal and non-criminal, has declined in the city while similar arrests in the suburbs continue to grow. City officials, academics and police officers disagree as to why there was a 6% drop-off in the number of pot arrests, while police activity in the suburbs against marijuana use rose 7.5% over the same period. One suburban police detective speculated that decreasing city figures indicate that arrests for sale and possession have taken a lower priority in Milwaukee to more serious crimes. A suburban police chief said marijuana-related arrests continue to increase outside of Milwaukee because suburban police forces aggressively pull vehicles over for traffic violations and marijuana is found in many of those instances. The head of the Milwaukee Police Association believes that decriminalization has demoralized police efforts to curb drug use, a contention that a top police official said was untrue. Yet others said it was simply too early to judge the impact of decriminalization. They view the dip in Milwaukee arrests as meaningless. Ald. Michael J. Murphy, who introduced Milwaukee's decriminalization measure last year, questioned the significance of the numbers. He pushed for the new law to balance penalties with those in the suburbs where marijuana possession is generally a non-criminal offense. "The numbers are not statistically significant to make any trend analysis right now," said Murphy. "I'd like to see an evaluation at the end of the year." Whatever bent is taken on the decline in city arrests, none of the experts interviewed believed it showed that marijuana use was declining. According to crime statistics compiled by the state Office of Justice Assistance, arrests for the sale or possession of marijuana in Milwaukee declined by 6% since the enactment of the decriminalization ordinance by the Common Council last year. From May 1997 through April 1998, Milwaukee police made 2,210 marijuana-related arrests -- 1,651 adults and 559 juveniles -- a drop of 144 arrests from the same time period a year earlier when 1,785 adults and 569 juveniles were arrested. In comparison, Milwaukee County suburban police made 1,385 arrests from May 1997 through April 1998, which was a 7.5% increase over the previous 12 months. From May 1996 through April 1997, 1,288 youth and adults were arrested for sales and possession. Robert MacCoun, a professor and researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, said that growing suburban marijuana use was only "normal." Yet declining arrests in Milwaukee do not mean that drug use has fallen. "I wouldn't interpret a lightened penalty in your area as affecting a change in marijuana use," MacCoun said. "My guess is that police are either too busy with other things or that they just see it as less of a priority now." Bradley DeBraska, president of the Milwaukee Police Association, said that he wasn't surprised by the dip in arrests. "One of our concerns was that when the City of Milwaukee chose to decriminalize the statute, that we would likely see some type of reduction in the arrests," DeBraska explained. "This seems to be directly related to the city's legislative effort." But police Capt. Ray Susik of the vice control division disagreed. Susik said the numbers aren't significant and do not accurately reflect the intensity of the department's drug enforcement effort. Other police officials in Milwaukee County say Milwaukee's decline in marijuana arrests has more to do with the high number of serious emergency calls in the city. "(Milwaukee police) are extremely busy. Not that we aren't (busy), but we just aren't taking as many calls as them," said Andre Antreassian, an Oak Creek narcotics detective. "I would say the suburbs are probably enforcing more traffic laws. Since narcotics are obviously being transported in cars, we're probably just coming across it more." Glendale Police Chief Thomas Czarnyszka agreed. He attributed most of his city's marijuana-related arrests to traffic stops and subsequent searches of vehicles. Pot arrests also are made at hotels in the city, he said. "We have a very active hotel interdiction program that is responsible for a good many of these arrests," Czarnyszka said, "and that program has only been in place a few years." Milwaukee's decriminalization marijuana law, enacted in 1997, makes possession of marijuana in amounts of 25 grams or less a city ordinance violation rather than a crime. Penalties range from $200 to $1,000. Most suburbs have had decriminalized pot laws for more than 10 years. Larry Ganschow, a drug-addiction counselor at Aro Counseling Center in Greenfield, offered his own explanation as to why marijuana-related drug arrests have continually climbed in the suburbs. "It's much easier today to produce homegrown marijuana, especially in the suburbs. Everything is so wide open," he said. Ganschow, a recovering addict himself -- clean for 14 years -- described how suburban pot users have great access to farm fields and undeveloped land on which to grow marijuana. He said the sprawling nature of the suburbs gives drug users a lesser chance of encountering police, unless, of course, they are transporting it by car. Ganschow said marijuana, although relatively easy to find anywhere, is just not a major inner-city issue anymore. "My argument is that (marijuana) is just easier to get in the suburbs now," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Delaware Resident Faces Jail Time For Medicinal Marijuana ('The Delaware State News' In Dover Describes The Heartbreaking Story Of William R. Powell Of Townsend, An AIDS Patient Facing Prison After His Third Arrest In Less Than A Decade For Growing And Possessing Marijuana) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 08:57:10 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DE: Delaware Resident Faces Jail Time For Medicinal Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Sunday, 6 Sep 1998 Source: The Delaware State News (Dover) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newszap.com/ Author: Tom Eldred, Staff writer Note: Tom Eldred can be reached at 302-741-8212 or at firstname.lastname@example.org DELAWARE RESIDENT FACES JAIL TIME FOR 'MEDICINAL' MARIJUANA TOWNSEND - William R. ''Randy'' Powell desperately wants to stay out of jail. But prison may become reality. Mr. Powell is facing his third arrest in less than a decade for growing and possessing marijuana. ''If I'm incarcerated, I will die,'' he said during a recent interview at his home in Townsend. ''I will just commit suicide. Period. And I believe the system could care less.'' Mr. Powell, 40, has AIDS. He smokes marijuana as part of his own personal battle against the deadly disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Diagnosed HIV-positive in 1992, Mr. Powell was told the following year he had ''full-blown AIDS.'' He thinks he may have been infected as early as 1990. One doctor gave him only two years to live. He's alive today, he emphatically believes, because his endless, regular diet of aggressive AIDS medications also included - by his own doing - smoking marijuana daily. But growing and possessing marijuana is a crime in Delaware. ''I knew it was illegal, but it gave me a peace and it kept me calm,'' Mr. Powell said. ''It was a conscious decision on my part. I knew I needed it, in spite of the law.'' Honors in school and college degrees Mr. Powell was born the youngest of five children to Edward L. and Cora B. Powell on the family's farm in Townsend. His father died in 1979. His mother is 81 years old. His oldest sibling, Barbara E. Armstrong, 62, lives in Clayton. She ha been a strong supporter in the battle with AIDS. ''We all had chores to do on the farm when we were growing up,'' said Mrs. Armstrong. ''The only excuse to miss chores was church activities. We had a religious upbringing. We were taught the right way to go in life.'' Mr. Powell attended Townsend Elementary School and graduated from Middletown High School. He was an honor student and class valedictorian. He went to Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tenn., earning degrees in psychology and religious education. He taught school for a year in York., Pa., before returning to Delaware, where he began studying towards an MBA degree at Wilmington College. During the 1980s, Mr. Powell worked in several corporate marketing jobs. But everything shuddered to a stop when he had a nervous breakdown. ''I just felt like I couldn't deal with life anymore,'' he said. ''I'd tried to be a pillar of strength to everybody. I was a perfectionist. I just broke. I just couldn't keep the cup full anymore.'' ''You were the only one out of five children that went to college,'' Mrs. Armstrong pointed out. ''You were trying to be so perfect and live up to all the expectations your family had of you. You were on a pedestal you placed yourself on. All of a sudden you couldn't cope.'' Booze, marijuana and AIDS. Villain or victim? By 1990, Mr. Powell's life had changed dramatically. ''I started meeting people, there were parties,'' he said. ''It actually took a medical person to get me to smoke a joint for the first time. I smoked that joint and I said, 'Oh my God, that's what relaxation is all about.' '' There was also drinking. Lots of drinking. ''I was introduced to alcohol at the parties,'' Mr. Powell said. ''I still think alcohol is the most dangerous drug. I think alcohol is what contributed to my AIDS. It shuts down your memory, it shuts down your thought waves, it causes blackouts. It's a horrible drug.'' As time wore on, Mr. Powell fought bouts of depression, alternating with anxiety attacks, mounting stress and a general feeling of approaching sickness. ''I knew I was sick,'' he said. ''It was like a big mix.'' Marijuana became more important. ''I found that by using marijuana, I was at least able to perform,'' he said. ''I was finally able to relax, to slow myself down. It gave me a chance to stop and think. It gave me a peace. ''In 1991, I met a friend. I told him my dream was to build a grow-room, some place I could grow pot, just for me. I didn't want to involve anybody else. I decided to do it secretly, in the middle of my house, underground. He showed me how to grow it.'' Working by hand, Mr. Powell scooped out a 12-foot-by-12-foot space under the house. The entry was a hidden door in his bedroom closet. ''It became my little secret world,'' he said. ''I loved it. I could go into my bedroom, go through the hatch, and nobody would know. I could actually grow and produce something that could help me.'' The secret world collapsed Nov. 27, 1991. Delaware State Police learned the friend was a fugitive and was staying at Mr. Powell's residence. Troopers raided the home, collared the friend, and by chance discovered Mr. Powell's marijuana growing operation. They confiscated 49 live marijuana plants, more than 100 grams of dried leaves and buds, and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia. Mr. Powell was arrested and indicted on drug charges, including five felonies. Ten days later, he learned he was HIV-positive. Represented by Dover attorney Barry W. Meekins, Mr. Powell negotiated a guilty plea to one count of growing marijuana. He got three years' probation. ''The thing that really got me is they took away my drivers' license,'' he said. ''Why? what's the point? It was such an inconvenience for a sick person who had to go get medication.'' The loneliness and stigma of AIDS; more marijuana ''I was so lonely and cold that winter,'' Mr. Powell said. ''My mother was the only one I told. I knew I was dying. I had no hope, no future, no money. I had to rely on my family to take me to the doctor.'' Unwilling to admit his plight, Mr. Powell and his mother developed a cover story. ''We decided to tell everybody I had Lyme disease,'' he said. ''I was able to get disability and Social Security, but the family still didn't know.'' Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory illness, transmitted by ticks. It can be fatal if left unchecked. ''I remember I rented the movie, ''Philadelphia Story'', and watched it maybe 20 times,'' Mr. Powell said. ''I would cry and cry to myself. I really just wanted to die, but inside I wanted to live.'' He joined an experimental AIDS program in Wilmington for people without health insurance. ''I became a guinea pig, a literal pin cushion for more and different medicines,'' he said. ''I never knew if it was a placebo or an actual medication.'' The pills - averaging 20 to 30 a day - produced nausea, lack of appetite, vomiting and pains in his joints and legs. ''It was extreme sickness,'' he said. ''It exhausted my whole body. I couldn't be normal.'' Except with marijuana. ''The marijuana helped me eat,'' Mr. Powell said. ''It helped me relax. It helped me so much with the side effects of the medication. I believed I had to prolong my life somehow, in some way. So I started another grow-room. I told the doctors I smoked pot. They basically said, 'Do whatever you have to do.' My psychiatrist said it was wrong. But she was wrong. She didn't know my mind.'' Busted again On May 12, 1995, with the help of an undercover police informant, troopers raided Mr. Powell's home a second time. ''I was naked. I had just gotten out of the shower,'' Mr. Powell said. ''I went down into the grow-room. They were ordering me to come up. I thought maybe I would do myself in right there. Just take the (electric) wires and electrocute myself.'' Police said Mr. Powell refused to exit, despite repeated demands. Finally, they said, he was flushed out with a pepper-based irritant called Cap-Stun. They said he resisted arrest. He was taken outside, still naked, where he was hosed down to remove the Cap-Stun. Troopers said they could not give Mr. Powell his clothes because of the Cap-Stun gas in the house. The fire department came to ventilate the home. ''That was the first time I openly said I had AIDS,'' Mr. Powell said. ''Oh my God, you should have seen the cops. They were afraid to touch me. When I told them, the rubber gloves came out. There were rubber gloves everywhere.'' Besides fire and police personnel, a group of neighbors and family members gathered near the home. Mrs. Armstrong was there. ''As far as I could see, it was just a big public display,'' she said. ''They had these big lights on and everything. It was a very horrible time. We weren't even allowed to go to him.'' A fireman threw him a blanket. ''They were seeing an injustice being done,'' Mr. Powell said. ''Here I had been brought out of my house, totally nude, in front of all those people. I was humiliated beyond belief.'' Police reported an ''abrasion'' on Mr. Powell's head from an ''unknown source.'' He claims officers roughed him up and knocked out one of his teeth. He was indicted on drug-related charges and resisting arrest. On the recommendation of the prosecutor, after documenting his AIDS, he was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges. The sentence, once again, was probation. Staying alive; marijuana, but no grow-room Although he never reopened the grow-room, marijuana remained a part of his life. ''After I got that probation, I believed even stronger of my need for marijuana,'' he said. ''It kept me alive.'' Doctors, for the first time, added Marinol to his medical diet. Marinol, a synthetic derivative of marijuana in pill form, is a legal prescription drug. Mr. Powell said Marinol has some benefit, but is not nearly as effective as natural marijuana. ''I didn't want to tell the hospital it didn't work as well,'' he said. ''It was the only proof of the pudding of my need for marijuana.'' A three-time loser? Mr. Powell was arrested for a third time Aug. 20. Court records said troopers confiscated 555 grams of marijuana, ''both in plant form and in the dried form and ready to smoke,'' along with drug paraphernalia. He is now free on unsecured bond and the case is pending in New Castle Superior Court. ''I believe now I have a future I thought I never could have,'' Mr. Powell said. ''I believe marijuana has been a substantial part of keeping me alive. I want to see the archaic laws regarding marijuana changed. ''I believe I'm the voice of tens of thousands of people who can't have a voice or who don't have a voice,'' he continued. ''They're scared to talk about it. I worked in the corporate world, I know.'' If he avoids jail a third time, will he continue to smoke pot - in defiance of the law? ''With my life at stake, and respecting the law, I can't really answer that,'' Mr. Powell said. ''I will say, though, that I want very much to live, as long as I am able to.'
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Legalization Tough Issue For Delaware ('The Delaware State News' Interviews A Variety Of Officials From A Number Of Different Groups On The Prospects For Statewide Medical Marijuana Reform) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 08:56:59 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DE: Pot Legalization Tough Issue For Delaware Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Sunday, 6 September1998 Source: The Delaware State News (Dover) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.newszap.com/ Author: Tom Eldred, Staff writer Note: Tom Eldred can be reached at 302-741-8212 or at email@example.com POT LEGALIZATION TOUGH ISSUE FOR DELAWARE DOVER - Should marijuana be legalized for medical use? Like many controversial issues, it depends on who's talking. One side claims ''pot'' has positive therapeutic medicinal value for an array of diseases, including cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, depression and AIDS. On the other side are the federal government, most state governments and many people who strongly believe any change in current regulations will only increase public dependency on a drug that they deem dangerous, unhealthy and evil. At issue is whether marijuana - which was actually legal in the United States until 1937 - should be reclassified from a Schedule I drug (possibly addictive, with no medical use) to a Schedule II drug (possibly addictive, with medical use) so that it can be legally prescribed by physicians for medical purposes. Federal officials staunchly defend the present status, warning that liberalizing the law could lead to increased drug abuse across the country, especially among the young. A recent survey by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America found 44 percent of teenagers say they have already used marijuana. Currently - with the exception of recent marijuana-for-medical-use initiatives passed in California and Arizona, and an Alaska law permitting possession of small amounts of an ounce or less - possessing and using natural marijuana is illegal in Delaware and other states. Dr. Samuel B. Hoff, a political science professor at Delaware State University, favors a change to permit strictly-controlled marijuana use, specifically for medical purposes. ''The exception should be for those who can document the medical need for marijuana,'' Dr. Hoff said. ''There are obvious advantages to medical marijuana. Because its use is certainly valid, it would have to be prescribed legally through doctors.'' Dr. Hoff pointed to the irony of a now-defunct federal program, initiated in 1975, that provided select patients with legal marijuana for medical purposes. Although the program was discontinued in 1992, eight Americans, who were ''grandfathered'' when the program stopped, still receive 300 marijuana cigarettes a month from the federal government. Dr. Hoff said Delaware's marijuana laws probably won't see any substantial change soon because ''most legislators won't touch that issue with a 10-foot pole,'' mainly due to concerns about crime. ''It really is going to take some courageous and forward-looking individuals,'' Dr. Hoff said. ''But at the same time, people shouldn't have to go to Alaska the get the drug necessary to alleviate their pain.'' Capt. Raymond W. Hancock is commanding officer of the Delaware State Police Criminal Investigation Unit. As he spoke last week, troopers were unveiling a giant 72-pound marijuana stash confiscated along Interstate 95 in New Castle County. The supply, Capt. Hancock said, has a wholesale value of $115,000. ''We are against any legalization of marijuana in the state,'' Capt. Hancock said. ''We stand behind the existing Delaware marijuana laws.'' Heidi A. VanGilst, 21, is a case manager for AIDS Delaware in Wilmington, an organization offering free and confidential testing at seven locations in New Castle County, as well as a statewide hotline. ''I don't see a lot of clients using marijuana,'' Ms. VanGilst said. ''Marijuana is a starter drug that leads to stronger drugs. We don't encourage marijuana use because we don't want clients going on to other drugs. We like them to see their doctors and we like to see their doctors prescribe other drugs.'' She said many of her contacts in the medical community also express fears that any liberalization of current marijuana laws could easily lead to other addictions, such as crack cocaine and heroin. ''I personally have never used marijuana,'' Ms. VanGilst said. ''My fear would be that it would be used for other purposes. Where would the legality lead to?'' But Nolan W. Brinkley, 47, an outreach specialist for AIDS Delaware, offered a different analysis. ''I've been a recovering person for nine years after 25 years of drug use, so what I'm saying may be considered a bit radical,'' Mr. Brinkley said. ''But I'm inclined to say - if it helps prolong a life, I think it's OK. If everything else has failed, who am I to be judgmental?'' He said he's worked with AIDS patients during the past four-and-a-half years who list marijuana as a vital component of their treatments. ''I've seen where the other drug therapies, the drug ''cocktails'', just didn't work,'' he said. ''Even as a recovering person, I'd vote to for that kind of legalization. I don't see anything in my personal beliefs against that.'' Richard J. Schimelfenig of Wilmington is president of the Delaware Cannabis Society and the Delaware chapter of National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He's a self-described ''activist.'' Mr. Schimelfenig, 47, has glaucoma. He also has bone spurs on his feet and spine, along with chronic back pain and spasms from an accident when he was 17. ''I started using marijuana when I was younger for recreational purposes,'' Mr. Schimelfenig said. ''When I was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1988, I found prescription medications caused more problems than they were solving. On the other hand, I was able to get through the whole day after smoking a joint.'' As part of his personal battle to make therapeutic marijuana legal, he joined approximately 200 other plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed this summer against the federal government in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia. The lawsuit claims laws regulating marijuana are unconstitutional and that citizens should be free to use marijuana for health purposes without control or interference by the government. He's also helping to organize a ''medical marijuana march'' scheduled to kick off in Boston Oct. 3 and pass through Newark Oct. 31. ''We're trying to get the public to realize that it's not a war on drugs,'' Mr. Schimelfenig said. ''It's a war on users.'' Attorney General M. Jane Brady is the top law enforcement officer in Delaware. The responsibility of the Attorney General's Office, she said, is to prosecute those who break the law - even if an individual breaks the law because he's convinced it's a medical necessity. ''If he wishes to use marijuana for medical purposes, he needs to get the law changed to permit that,'' Ms. Brady said. Mark A. Meister, executive director of the Medical Society of Delaware, said the society has not taken a stand on the issue. ''We don't have a formal position on it as a medical society,'' Mr. Meister said. ''But I would say physicians in Delaware don't tend to recognize the therapeutic value of marijuana.'' Dr. Susan Szabo, medical director of the HIV program at the Christiana Care Center at Christiana Hospital, pointed out the legal alternative to marijuana - a synthetic derivative called Marinol - has proved successful as an element of AIDS therapy. ''We use it not as a treatment, but as an adjunctive, to control nausea and weight loss,'' she said. ''However, with the newer, more-potent therapies available now, weight loss is not as great as it was in the past.'' Dr. Szabo acknowledged she's heard some patients say Marinol is not as effective or quick-acting as natural marijuana. Would she favor legalization under strict medical guidelines? ''I think it is a very difficult issue, a societal issue,'' she said. ''But if it were legalized, I think I would use it, under strictly-controlled circumstances, as a drug of intervention. The active substance (of marijuana) does have some medical value.'' Dover attorney Barry W. Meekins represents Townsend resident Randy Powell, an AIDS patient who has been arrested three times for violating the state's marijuana law. Mr. Meekins called the law a ''major piece of hypocrisy.'' ''These people are in a fight for their lives,'' Mr. Meekins said. ''These people want to live. This is not a Jack Kevorkian-type program. This is a fight for life. I am anti-drug. I do not smoke, I do not drink. I don't even take aspirin. But I'm pro-life too. If a person is in a fight for their life, I'm not going to throw out the first rock.'' The hypocrisy, Mr. Meekins said, lies within a society that permits - and often promotes - other so-called ''evils'' to exist, with mere strokes from lawmakers' pens - but continues to legislate, and prosecute, people who believe they need marijuana to save their lives. ''What about your booze in college?'' he asked. ''Your crime was OK, wasn't it? Was it for your amusement? Your coming of age? Randy Powell wants to live, so he smokes marijuana. His 'crime' is a desire to see the sun come up tomorrow. ''Politics is the business of whores . . . That's exactly what's going on here. It's like asking someone on board the sinking Titanic for a passport.'' Finally, Mr. Meekins referred to the Constitution: 'Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.' ''What great societal harm is Randy Powell doing to deny him his right to life?'' Mr. Meekins asked. ''Where is the horrendous moral tragedy here? Is it because others abuse it? Is that why we legislate against it? We tried that once with alcohol, didn't we?''
------------------------------------------------------------------- General Assembly Examines Marijuana Use (Contrary To Its Headline, 'Newszap! The Delaware State News,' In Dover, Quotes Several Legislators Who Suggest The Delaware General Assembly Is Not Likely To Legalize Marijuana In The Near Future, Or Even To Discuss The Issue) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:17:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DE: Delaware General Assembly Examines Marijuana Use Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 Source: Newszap! The Delaware State News (Dover) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newszap.com/ Author: D.L. Bonar DELAWARE GENERAL ASSEMBLY EXAMINES MARIJUANA USE DOVER - The Delaware General Assembly is not likely to legalize marijuana in the near future, according to legislators who have studied the issue. "We began to look at the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes several years ago," said retiring Rep. Jane P. Maroney, R-Talleyville. "I was on the study committee with the late Sen. Herman R. Holloway, a Wilmington Democrat, who felt there was room for this change in law." Rep. Maroney who, although a Republican, calls herself a "bleeding heart liberal" said she read a great deal about the subject as the measure was discussed, but that no decision was ever reached by legislative action. "With all of the new drugs on the market and experimentation going on, I don't know as I'd support it today," she said. "On the other hand, watching people with things like full blown AIDS and cancer die a slow, painful death makes me wonder if something couldn't be done." Rep. Maroney said the entire idea of using marijuana for strict medicinal purposes is popularly viewed as a possible gateway to its legalization. Even noted conservatives like William F. Buckley are today open to the issue, she said. Other drugs are commonly used for medicinal purposes while remaining illegal for use outside that purpose. "Morphine is illegal for non-medicinal purposes," said Rep. Richard A. DiLiberto, Jr., D-Newark. " But there are several people who are able to use it to relieve pain, through prescription. ''Before we can begin again to look at the medicinal use of marijuana, I would need to get a full update from the Delaware Medical Society and consider all of the evidence," he said. "Obviously we don't want people using this as an excuse to use marijuana or any other illegal substance. ''Throughout history, new science comes along to alter the way substances are looked at, but I would never rely on the testimony of just one patient to make a decision of this magnitude." "I would think you would have to look at the issue very closely," said Rep. Charles W. Welch, R-Dover, majority whip of the House of Representatives. "The immediate question is whether there is a legitimate medical use for the substance and if so, what alternatives are available. We obviously don't want someone using a medical loophole to purchase an illegal substance then selling it to others. There would have to be some very stringent controls." According to Rep. Maroney, the issue died several years ago and has not been revisited on any significant basis since. D.L. Bonar can be reached at 302-741-8228 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Quarterly Potency Reports (One List Subscriber Seeks The URL For Marijuana Potency Statistics Regularly Reported By NIDA, The National Institute On Drug Abuse - Another List Subscriber Provides It, And A Third List Subscriber Provides A Summary For The Years 1975 Through 1996 Showing The Average Potency Of Marijuana Seized In The United States Ranged From 1.38 Percent To 3.5 Percent, With The Most Recent Figures Hovering Around 2.9 Percent) From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 12:29:53 -0500 (CDT) Subject: Quarterly Potency Reports To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Has anyone ever seen the quarterly reports referred to below? They don't seem to have made it to the NIDA's website. If no one has seen these reports, I'll track 'em down. I think they'd make a great addition to the online library. >Dr. Elsohly said he didn't think you would find much information on >potency testing from the 60's. The testing program here began in the >l970's, and all of the potency monitoring tests have been done here in the >NIDA Marijuana Project laboratory. All of the results from research done >here is forwarded to NIDA in quarterly and annual reports, therefore NIDA >would definitely be the best source since they would have to release the >information. Alan B. *** Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 22:38:19 -0700 (PDT) From: "katrina.lee" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Quarterly Potency Reports To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) the price/potency reports can be found in exhibit e-9 of nida's quarterly guide to assessing drug abuse within and across communities. try going to the following: http://126.96.36.199/DEPR/Assessing/ExhibitE9.html (firstname.lastname@example.org) >Has anyone ever seen the quarterly reports referred to below? They >don't seem to have made it to the NIDA's website. > >If no one has seen these reports, I'll track 'em down. I think they'd >make a great addition to the online library. *** Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 01:31:31 -0400 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Jon Gettman (Gettman_J@mediasoft.net) Subject: Re: Quarterly Potency Reports Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Source: Quarterly Report #59, Potency Monitoring Project, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Mississippi. NIDA Contract #N01DA-4-7404. Table 5. Domestic Cannabis Samples by Year Seized Year Seizures %THC 1975 17 1.99 1976 3 1.77 1977 7 1.38 1978 18 2.32 1979 9 3.50 1980 73 2.78 1981 81 1.64 1982 144 2.22 1983 406 2.02 1984 330 2.57 1985 846 2.21 1986 801 1.84 1987 553 2.38 1988 651 2.56 1989 511 2.00 1990 475 2.58 1991 943 2.57 1992 1025 2.96 1993 1346 2.75 1994 1210 3.02 1995 992 2.93 1996 417 2.91 Total 10,942 2.56
------------------------------------------------------------------- Failing Grade For Safe Schools Plan ('The Los Angeles Times,' While Noting The Number Of Homicides At Public Schools Has Declined Over The Last Five Years From 55 Annually To 45, Says The US Department Of Education Has Poured Nearly $6 Billion During The Last 12 Years Into The Ambitious But Flawed Safe And Drug-Free Schools And Communities Act, Billed As The Federal Government's Largest Program To Deter Student Drug Use And Aggression - Records And Interviews Show That With Virtually No Strings Attached, Much Of The Money Has Been Spent On Initiatives That Are Either Ineffective Or Appear To Have Little To Do With Reducing Youth Violence And Substance Use) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 10:34:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Failing Grade For Safe Schools Plan Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 Author: RALPH FRAMMOLINO, Times Staff Writer SUNDAY REPORT FAILING GRADE FOR SAFE SCHOOLS PLAN U.S. has given $6 billion to combat drugs, violence. With little oversight, money has gone for marginally successful programs, investigation finds. WASHINGTON--Over the last dozen years, the U.S. Department of Education has poured nearly $6 billion into an ambitious yet flawed program that has fallen far short of its mission to control violence and narcotics abuse in the nation's public schools. Billed as the federal government's largest program to deter student drug use and aggression, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act provided an average of $500 million annually to local school districts with virtually no strings attached. The result: Much of the money has been spent on initiatives that either are ineffective or appear to have little to do with reducing youth violence and substance abuse, records and interviews show. "We are wasting money on programs that have been demonstrated not to work," said Delbert S. Elliott, director of the University of Colorado Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. The program's track record takes on added import in the wake of half-a-dozen school shootings during the past year in which 16 people were killed and 50 wounded. The crackle of gunfire in schoolyards from Oregon to Kentucky not only riveted public attention to the problem of youth violence but exposed gaping holes in government attempts to ensure safe schools. A Times investigation found that taxpayer dollars paid for motivational speakers, puppet shows, tickets to Disneyland, resort weekends and a $6,500 toy police car. Federal funds also are routinely spent on dunking booths, lifeguards and entertainers, including magicians, clowns and a Southern beauty queen, who serenades students with pop hits. The program illustrates how Washington sometimes deals with vexing social issues: Politicians pass reform legislation that steers federal funds into their districts, then unleash a torrent of speeches and press releases promising immediate action. Yet few notice how the money is actually spent or what gets accomplished. Left to thrash about for any strategy that works, local officials scatter federal money in all directions and on unrelated expenses. If the problem persists, many lawmakers resort to a familiar solution: More money. "Every elected official wants these programs in their district," said Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. "Once you succumb to that pressure, you're just dealing with a political program. You're not dealing with drug prevention or violence prevention." The Los Angeles Unified School District used some of its $8-million grant last year to purchase a new car, four guns, ammunition and an ultrasonic firearms cleaner at the request of a detective who rarely steps foot on school grounds. After The Times raised questions about the purchases, district officials last week decided to return the money. In Richmond, Va., where a ninth-grader shot and wounded a basketball coach and a teacher's aide two days before school let out in June, state education officials spent $16,000 to publish a drug-free party guide that recommends staging activities such as Jell-O wrestling and pageants "where guys dress up in women's wear." Although critics say the spending is a waste of federal money, it is permitted under the general guidelines of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program. And some school administrators contend the activities, which represent a fraction of their expenditures, help reinforce the anti-drug and violence themes that are taught in the classroom. A cottage industry of consultants, publishers and small-time "edutainers" has grown up around the program, competing for the attention of school officials with slick promotions and networks of commissioned sales reps. "This is big business," said Mathea Falco, president of Drug Strategies, a nonprofit institute in Washington that has analyzed dozens of school drug- and violence-prevention programs. Nonetheless, a pair of highly critical reports released last year--one done for the Department of Justice and the other commissioned by the Education Department itself--all but pronounced Safe and Drug-Free Schools a failure. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office suggested eliminating the program as part of its annual recommendations for reducing federal spending in 1997. The proposal was rejected. Even critics agree that eradicating drug abuse and violence in the nation's schools is a critical issue that should command the attention of the federal government. It is for this reason that most experts say the program needs to be cured, not killed. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley said the program has succeeded in "taking a national interest in a problem" and sending money to local school districts to fix it "without controlling how they do it." But Riley acknowledged in an interview that he is "concerned" about the results, particularly in the wake of his own department's study. His concern is shared by Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, the Clinton administration's drug czar. The program simply "mails out checks" without holding anyone accountable, McCaffrey said in an interview. He added: "There are almost no constraints on it." Program Aimed at Preventing Violence The official purpose of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program is to help schools "offer a disciplined environment that is conducive to learning" by the year 2000. To that end, the act directs money to support a wide range of student, teacher, parental and community programs aimed at "preventing violence in and around schools and . . . strengthening programs that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs . . . ." Since it was launched in 1987, the Safe and Drug-Free Schools effort has paid out $5.7 billion. Nearly all of the country's 14,881 school districts participate in what Education Department literature calls the federal government's "primary vehicle for reducing the demand for illicit drugs through education and prevention activities." Top department officials admit they have no idea how much of the money is spent on programs, training, even metal detectors, because all of the decisions are made by state and local officials. But it is the way the money is distributed that hurts the cause, say experts and lawmakers. Congress wrote into the law a per-capita spending formula that spreads the prevention money so thin that six out of every 10 school districts get $10,000 a year or less. In some cases, small districts receive only $200 to $300--far less than the estimated cost in staff time to fill out application forms. Governors are given 20% of their state allotments to award as grants. "The funds are so spread out that some school districts really don't get enough money to make a difference, and that's a problem," Riley said. In Northern California's Humboldt County, the tiny Greenpoint Elementary School District was awarded $53 last year. Principal Kelaurie Travis said that she held on to the paltry sum for a year, hoping to scrape together at least $100 to spend on an anti-drug speaker or a field trip for her 20-student district. "It's crazy," Travis said. Questions about the program's shortcomings prompted Congress to slash funding by 25%, from $624 million in 1992 to $465 million in 1995. Since then, however, spending has risen and the Clinton administration is seeking a raise to $605 million next year. Within the past year, the two federal examinations gave the program poor marks. The Justice Department study, which reviewed 78 government-financed juvenile delinquency programs, found that Safe and Drug-Free Schools "funds a relatively narrow range of intervention strategies, many of which have been shown either not to work . . . or to have only small effects." That finding was echoed in a report by the Department of Education that tracked 10,000 students for four years and concluded that "few schools employed program approaches that have been found effective in previous research." The study's bottom line: The attitudes and behaviors of youths enrolled in the prevention programs "mirrored national trends," in which drug use has increased sharply since the early 1990s. "If you ask from a taxpayer's standpoint, most people in the Department of Education say they are very disappointed . . . ," said Judy Thorne, the study's principal investigator. "[The program] is not doing what Congress intended it to do." Nationwide, drug statistics show that students continued to experiment with drugs at earlier ages, with the number of eighth-graders trying marijuana more than doubling, from 10.2% to 23%, since the early 1990s. Under the first year of a federal law requiring all kids carrying weapons to be expelled, 6,093 students were disciplined during the 1996-97 academic year for toting firearms, mostly guns but also rockets and grenades. Still, U.S. education officials insist the program is worthwhile and that schools are safe, with 90% of the nation's campuses never reporting any acts of serious violence. Recently the Justice Policy Institute, a Washington criminal justice research group, lashed out against media coverage of the school shootings that all but ignored the fact that the number of school homicides has actually dropped over the last five years, from 55 annually to 45. Even those who were touched by the tragedies say no amount of federally financed instruction on anger management or impulse control could keep a gun out of the hands of disturbed kids. "A school program wasn't going to do it," said Kathryn Henderson, a prevention coordinator who served on a Springfield, Ore., emergency response team in the days after Kip Kinkel, then 15, was accused of killing four people and wounding 22 others in a May shooting spree. Rather, top education officials warn against making the program a scapegoat for problems beyond the schoolhouse door--among them broken homes, the waning influence of churches, easy access to drugs, and TV programming that exposes children to 11,000 murder scenes by age 16. "We do not believe--and I say this strongly--we do not believe this is a school problem alone," Gerald N. Tirozzi, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, told more than 300 school prevention coordinators at a Washington conference in June. "It is a community problem." But the head of the Education Department's 28-member Safe and Drug-Free Schools unit conceded in an interview that the program has produced "mixed results," adding that it is difficult to pinpoint any effect on student behavior. William Modzeleski, the program director, said: "If the drug use goes down, it's not an indicator that we've been successful, just as if the drug use goes up, it's not an indicator that we've been a failure." Frustration in Congress Rises Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), who chaired a House Education and the Workforce subcommittee that examined the program last summer, said there is widespread frustration among legislators and educators. "Most of the numbers on Safe and Drug-Free Schools will tell you that the federal program has failed miserably. . . . Lots of strange things happen with this money." Federal funds have gone for uses that appear to have little to do with encouraging kids to stay off drugs or resolve their conflicts peacefully, according to interviews, records and legislative testimony. Months before the March rampage that left five people dead and 11 wounded at a Jonesboro, Ark., middle school, local officials spent part of their federal dollars to hire a magician. Police in Hammond, La., recently spent $6,500 in prevention funds to buy a 3-foot replica of a police car, a prop featured prominently in anti-drug talks at elementary schools. "It breaks the mold of a big, bad policeman talking to them if you can bring something that the students can play with," Capt. Kenneth Corkern said about the remote-controlled toy. In Eureka, Utah, 80 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, Tintic School District officials spent $1,000 last year for a new unit in their drug-prevention curriculum: fishing. The district purchased poles, tackle boxes and bait so that 33 students could accompany health teacher Tom Taylor on a field trip to nearby Burston's Pond. "The thought was, I love to fish, and if I could get that feeling into a lot of these kids, I figured that . . . instead of spending their time being out and drinking and trying drugs, they could go out to the mountains and go fishing," Taylor said. Plans for next year: Pay for fly-tying kits "because I'm going to teach a course on that," he said. In Virginia, Safe and Drug-Free funds paid for lifeguards in Virginia Beach and dunking booths in Pittsylvania County, all part of a statewide effort to promote drug-free activities to students during graduation week. At the state Capital last November, the Virginia Department of Education published the sixth edition of a drug-free party guide that explains how to make decorations, conduct cow chip bingo and hold Jell-O wrestling matches. "Jello should be lemon-flavored," the guide says. "Red flavors stain everything." Sometimes the money doesn't get anywhere near the students it is supposed to help. Schools in Virginia's Fairfax County spent $181,400 in prevention funds to send 876 county supervisors, school board members, community members and a contingent of business leaders to a series of weekend "coalition building" sessions at a resort four years ago. Although no federal laws were violated, auditors concluded the trips were "excessive, unnecessary and social in nature," according to a U.S. Government Accounting Office report. The trips ceased. In Michigan, complaints from the state's former drug czar ignited a series of audits and hearings from 1992 to 1994 that revealed questionable expenditures by schools throughout the state, including $1.5 million for full-scale models of the human torso; $81,000 for sets of large plastic teeth and toothbrushes, and $18,500 for recordings of the "Hokey Pokey." "They taught everything from brushing teeth to combing your hair to sex ed and self-esteem," said Robert E. Peterson, who brought the questionable expenditures to light as Michigan's former top drug official. "I went down to the U.S. Department of Education for years but they didn't want to hear it," said Peterson, now a New York consultant to philanthropic organizations. "All they wanted to do is save the program and spend the money." Secretary Riley declined to say whether these and other federal prevention expenditures disclosed by The Times were proper. "I don't want to sit up here in Washington and say some program is a crazy program and I don't know that much about it . . . ," Riley said. But Riley didn't hesitate to mince words when it came to federally funded fishing. "It doesn't sound like a good use to me," he said. Guns, Car for L.A. School Police Records show that the Los Angeles Unified School District used Safe and Drug-Free Schools funds to purchase four Glock Model 26 handguns, four magazine clips, a $22,000 Pontiac Grand Prix and an ultrasonic firearm cleaner for the district's police force. The request came from Norm Clemons, a detective who helps coordinate undercover drug sting operations at high schools. Clemons said he asked for the items because the district's security unit didn't have the money. Clemons said he specifically requested the Glock model because he wanted a "more modern weapon" to carry as a backup than his bulky .38-caliber revolver. "I just thought under the circumstances . . . that the older I get, I need a little protection," said Clemons, whose surveillance operations take place in neighborhoods surrounding school sites. He's now making the rounds in the Grand Prix. In the wake of questions raised by The Times, Supt. Ruben Zacarias sent a memo July 28 informing school board members that he would review the effectiveness and "fiscal integrity" of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program. Last week, Zacarias directed officials to reimburse the federal program for the guns and car out of LAUSD's general fund. "I think that when people start to find out about [the purchase], they're going to start to criticize it . . . ," said Deputy Supt. Francis Nakano. Ruth Rich, director of the district's Drug, Alcohol and Tobacco Education Program until her retirement last month, said she reluctantly approved the gun purchase last year at the general direction of her bosses and because federal guidelines permitted it. "You know what?" Rich said in an interview. "I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't." Her boss at the time, John Liechty, recalled encouraging Rich to "bring some support" to the district police. But Liechty said he didn't learn until recently that prevention money was used to buy weapons and a new vehicle--purchases he now questions. "Obviously, that sounds terrible," said Liechty, now assistant superintendent for instruction in the San Fernando Valley. "In hindsight, if that was going to be a discussion, I would have said, 'Wait a minute guys. Drug-Free money? Why are we buying guns?' " If any school district typifies how a well-intentioned federal program plays out in the classroom, it's Los Angeles Unified, which scatters money in many directions. As one of the urban, high-crime school districts favored by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools funding formula, the 660,000-student Los Angeles Unified system received $8 million last year--an average of more than $12 per student, compared with the national average of $8. The bulk went for training, books and salaries. Other expenditures included $15,000 worth of Dodger tickets and $850 in Disneyland passes. Rich said these were intended as rewards for students who participated in last summer's recreational programs and made pledges such as cleaning up school grounds, obeying their mothers--even learning to swim. "You need after-school sports and you need all these programs, as questionable as they may be," Rich said. "To do nothing is unconscionable." Far and away the biggest share of the district's money--$4.5 million--purchased instructional materials, including $3.3 million in character education books sold by Young People's Press, a small, privately held San Diego area firm that largely owes much of its existence to federal prevention dollars. Most of the books were "Lessons in Character," a series of brightly illustrated, multicultural stories targeted at second-to fifth-graders. The objective is to teach "pillars" of character--virtues such as respect, responsibility, fairness and trustworthiness. The curriculum calls for teachers to weave the lessons into regular classroom instruction for a minimum of 24 40-minute sessions during the school year. Another set of books, called "Americans of Character," seeks to influence sixth-graders through a set of short biographies about notable historical figures, such as Harriet Tubman, Abraham Lincoln and the late Pittsburgh Pirates baseball great Roberto Clemente. The district paid $2.2 million for teachers and administrative salaries to help administer the program. The amount includes a $1,000 annual bonus awarded to teachers who serve as program coordinators at each of the district's schools. Nearly $900,000 was set aside in substitute pay to replace 2,354 regular teachers who missed classes to attend seminars on how to inculcate character in elementary school students or lead discussion groups of "at-risk" middle- and high-school students. The use of these so-called student assistance groups--an approach that gobbles up about half of the national Safe and Drug-Free Schools budget, according to the Justice Department report--forms the backbone of prevention efforts for many districts, including Los Angeles. In all, LAUSD organized about 2,450 student groups at 141 middle, high and continuation schools, records show. Run by specially trained teachers, each group included up to 10 students who were pulled out of one regular classroom period a month to discuss personal problems ranging from drug use to alcoholic parents. But it is exactly these kinds of attempts that often backfire, according to a 1997 University of Maryland review of government-funded juvenile delinquency programs. "Treatment students reported significantly more drug use," said the report, written for the Justice Department. The reason: Such support groups "brought high-risk youths together to discuss--and therefore make more salient to others--their poor behavior." Gail Bluestone, who serves as coordinator for 20 student counseling groups at LAUSD's Sun Valley Middle School each year, said the program works. "I've seen kids who were doing so poorly and had such poor self-esteem, who were using [drugs] and were ready to drop off the face of the earth," she said. "I've seen them come back and make it." But one former Los Angeles High School teacher, who has led 30 such counseling sessions since early 1996, said the counseling program is ineffective. Part of the difficulty, said Robin Neuwirth, is that teachers are ill-prepared to deal with the enormity of the problems that surface during the in-school counseling sessions. Five days of training and a script on drug use are no match for heart-wrenching situations better addressed by professional psychologists, she said. But the biggest problem, Neuwirth said, is that "the kids will lie and tell me that they're sober when they really are not. "I've never had a successful drug-alcohol group, where I've gotten the kids to stay off drugs or the kids have actually told me the truth. I don't really find that it changes their behavior." One student agreed. Guelda Voien, a junior at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, said she didn't take the anti-drug and violence instruction she received in elementary and junior high school seriously. "I don't think many of my peers did," Voien said. "It was kind of like a chore--we have to go through this and answer the questions but we're going to disregard it anyway." Merchants Make Money Off of Program Other districts use Safe and Drug-Free Schools money to bolster school security--a move educators acknowledge is necessary to ensure the safety of students. Federal guidelines permit local schools to spend up to 20% of their annual allotments for safety measures such as installing metal detectors and hiring security guards. In El Paso, for example, one metal detector company that caters to the school market has been overwhelmed with new orders during the last six months. The demand at Ranger Security has been so overheated that the firm expects to sell more than 300 portable walk-through detectors this year, about triple its normal volume. Security merchants are just the latest to join the network of entrepreneurs seeking to make money off the Education Department's prevention program. Most are publishers, consultants and behavioral experts who compete in an increasingly crowded field for the opportunity to sell off-the-shelf curricula to needy schools. The textbook business, in particular, has taken off since 1994, when Congress approved the use of Safe and Drug-Free funds to purchase violence-prevention materials. "Edutainers"--motivational speakers, puppeteers, improvisational theater troupes and other small-time entertainers--also have found work on what is tantamount to the Safe and Drug-Free Schools vaudeville circuit. At Los Angeles Unified, Rich said she received frequent solicitations from "people who are trying to make a living" off the federal program. "Sometimes recovering addicts will call me. We'll have people with shows, plays, musical stuff." Mette Boving, the 1997 Miss Louisiana, has been paid with prevention funds to give anti-drug talks at schools, where she has occasionally serenaded students with the love theme from "Titanic" and Elvis Presley's "If I Can Dream." California school districts have used prevention funds for a variety of speakers. The Galt district near Sacramento paid $400 for a biographical portrayal of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet who died an alcoholic. Elitha Donner Elementary School in nearby Elk Grove brought in former Harlem Globetrotter Spinny Johnson, who attempts to underscore the themes of respect and staying off drugs while bouncing a basketball off his head. Joe Romano of Washington makes a full-time career as an "illusionist" by giving 200 drug awareness shows each year on the East Coast. He estimates that 25% of his fees are paid through Safe and Drug-Free Schools. "We might cut a girl in half and talk about drugs damaging a body," Romano said of his 45-minute show, which costs $500 and up. Fellow magician Tim Moss of Arlington, Va., says that school officials are becoming increasingly leery about booking anti-drug entertainment. So this summer, Moss piled his family into a motor home and drove across the country to drum up business in an emerging market: year-round schools. "I have some dates in North Carolina and Colorado so far," Moss said before departing. "I'm also looking to book in Texas and Utah as well." New Requirement on Spending It wasn't until July 1 that the Education Department required school districts to spend the federal funds on effective, "research-based" strategies--a move that critics point out came more than a decade and $5.7 billion after the program began. The change took place as the spate of schoolyard shootings heaped even more political pressure on the program to produce. Riley said the tragedies "have caused everybody in the country, including us, certainly to step up our interest in the program." Now, education officials are scrambling to bolster the program by redirecting federal dollars to strategies that show results. Last month, Riley convened a task force of 18 national experts to figure out how to define a "research-based" approach. The panel also will be charged with creating a list for school officials of what strategies fit the bill. But as recent research indicates, the list for now may be relatively short. An examination of 450 school and community prevention programs by the University of Colorado last year found that "80% have had no credible evaluations," said Elliott, director of the school's Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence. Yet enough scientific data exist to upset conventional wisdom and point the way to a new generation of promising programs, Elliott said. Of the 450 programs included in the Colorado study, 10 were deemed to be scientifically effective. "We know what works and other popular programs that do not work," Elliott said. The best prevention programs teach "social competency skills" to students who often resort to cigarettes, booze and drugs to resist peer pressure and overcome shyness in social situations, the research indicates. "Kids need a set of skills to navigate their way through the treacherous shoals of adolescence," said Gilbert J. Botvin, a Cornell University Medical School professor who has studied substance abuse prevention for 20 years. Botvin's own program, Life Skills Training, made the top of both the Colorado and Maryland lists for effective programs with staying power. A 1995 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn. showed that kids who went through Botvin's course in seventh grade were 66% less likely to use tobacco, alcohol and drugs as high school seniors. San Diego Unified School District officials applied for and received a special $1-million federal grant last year to implement Botvin's program in its middle schools, a move they hope will break the cycle of marginal success that has plagued prevention programs. On Aug. 27, President Clinton unveiled a government guide to help teachers, parents and fellow students recognize potentially violent youths and respond to early warning signs. "We have worked hard, especially in the schools with the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program," Clinton said during an address on school safety in Worcester, Mass. "But it's not enough, as we know from the recent rash of killings in our schools all over the country." Next month, Clinton and Riley will host the first White House Conference on School Safety. "We have to do a much better job of making sure that what we are doing is effective," Riley said in a recent speech. "There is a science of prevention, and we need to use it." Times staff writers Judy Pasternak and Erin Trodden and researchers John Beckham in Chicago, Lianne Hart in Houston, Edith Stanley in Atlanta and Anna M. Virtue in Miami contributed to this story. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- Notion Of Prozac-Dependent Nation Relies On Heavy Dose Of Myth ('The Chicago Tribune' Suggests Several Reasons Why Many Americans Who Need Anti-Depressants Aren't Getting Them, While Many Others Get Prescriptions They Don't Need) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:28:19 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Notion Of Prozac-Dependent Nation Relies On Heavy Dose Of Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young
Pubdate: Sun, 6 Sept 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Author: Bob Condor Section: Woman News NOTION OF PROZAC-DEPENDENT NATION RELIES ON HEAVY DOSE OF MYTH Whether Americans take too many anti-depressant medications is less clear-cut than some might think. Data show anti-depressants are underprescribed for patients with severe clinical depression, said Laura Miller, psychiatrist and chief of the Women's Services clinic at the University of Illinois at Chicago Medical Center. Yet too many women with mild depression and life problems are helping to make best sellers of anti-depressants such as Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil and Luvox. Even as researchers work to eliminate these contradictions, they find many explanations for them. For those who perhaps should be taking anti-depressants but aren't, a likely reason is that people simply don't get medical attention for their problem. "There is a stigma attached to seeing a psychiatrist," Miller said. Doctors also may undertreat depression because many stick to the belief that people can lift themselves out of it without drugs. Complicating matters is that anti-depressants don't work for everyone--about 30 to 40 percent of patients don't respond to them, said Eva Redei, researcher and associate professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Northwestern University Medical School. If the medication is effective--which requires two weeks to two months to find out-- the patient should stay on the regimen for at least 6 to 12 months to reduce the risk of the depression returning. Even if the drugs do help with the depression, they can affect the body in other undesired ways. Common side effects (affecting about 10 to 25 percent of patients) include nausea, diarrhea and sexual dysfunction. The drugs also can seem to erase feelings altogether rather than help patients to modify behavior and emotions. "Lots of women eventually complain about feeling flat when using anti-depressants," Redei said. Women represent about two-thirds of patients who are diagnosed with depression, estimated to affect more than 17 million Americans. Theories that more women are diagnosed because of willingness to consult doctors have not been confirmed in recent studies. There also are hypotheses that today's U.S. women are stretched emotionally by work and family roles. A landmark cross-cultural research project, however, showed similar gender ratios for depression across ethnic groups and among 10 industrial nations. To help determine whether anti-depressants are necessary, Miller said women need to distinguish between depression and normal life problems. Midlife can create a series of new challenges for women, especially hormonal fluctuations and role changes in the family. "Anti-depressants are not intended as a way to make more friends or address an unhappy or unfulfilled life," Miller said. "Women should insist on a thorough evaluation (from a psychiatrist) and maybe even allow a spouse or loved ones to be interviewed." Any physician seemingly too quick to write a prescription for anti-depressants should be suspect. Miller said depressive illness has numerous variations that are difficult to analyze in a short visit. "For someone whose depression can be traced to stress or a traumatic event, psychotherapy will typically be more effective than medications," Miller said. "But if the depression is chronic, a course of anti-depressants might prove beneficial." A recent meta-analysis of 19 anti-depressant studies published in New Scientist magazine showed that the placebo effect plays a greater role in treatment results than drug companies report. Industry-sponsored studies show anti-depressants result in 40 percent greater relief of symptoms (decreased energy level, sleep disruption, appetite changes), while researchers Irving Kirsch of the University of Connecticut and Guy Sapirstein of Westwood Lodge Hospital in Needham, Mass., reported the drugs were 25 percent better than dummy pills. "Depression is far from solved (by today's medications)," Redei said. "We need to develop more specific drugs and study more closely depression in women, who are significantly more prone during their reproductive stages of life. Finding out why can provide clues for better drugs used more narrowly."
------------------------------------------------------------------- It's OK To Elevate Our Pleasure With Viagra - But Not Marijuana ('The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Says A Recent Survey By The Fraser Institute Of The Canadian Media's Drug Policy Coverage Uncovered A Surprise - The Bulk Of Editorials And Columns - 82 Percent - Called For An End To The So-Called War On Drugs) Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 17:48:09 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: It's OK To Elevate Our Pleasure With Viagra - But Not Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Herb Source: The Province (Vancouver, B.C.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 6 September 1998 Authors: Patrick Basham and Tracey Nicholls IT'S OK TO ELEVATE OUR PLEASURE WITH VIAGRA - BUT NOT MARIJUANA A recent survey of the media's drug coverage uncovered a surprise; the bulk of editorials and columns called for an end to the so-called war on drugs. Of 1,336 statements in newspapers or on television during 1997, 82 per cent of the coverage advocates reform (i.e. legalization, decriminalization, or harm reduction) while 18 per cent advocated continued criminalization. The Fraser Institute's research found the media put forth the following reform arguments: First, current legislation is hypocritical, sending mixed messages about drugs alcohol is an acceptable "party" drug, but cocaine isn't. Cigarette smokers are tolerated, yet marijuana smokers can be jailed. Mood-enhancement drugs like Prozac, and lifestyle enhancement drugs like Viagra, are cited as evidence of society's ability to improve our well-being; heroin, on the other hand, is evidence of the moral depravity of its users. According to one opinion writer, "It may be that drug users are fools, maybe they are immoral, but as long as its legal to drink and smoke yourself to death, it makes no sense to imprison some of our immoral fools and not others." Second, prohibition has been an abject empirical failure. It has not stemmed the drug supply, reduced drug use, or minimized social costs (addiction and crime) associated with drug abuse. According to one national paper, the escalating violence among biker gangs and other drug organizations makes prohibition " a state-dictated subsidy to gangsterism." One that actually fuels the availability of illicit drugs. Thirdly, since the Opium Act of 1908,our drug laws have been based on the rationale that government is obliged to curtail Canadian's drug use for their own good. But many people today say drug use is a matter of personal choice and individual responsibility. Fourth, considering the high costs of overdose, AIDS and hepatitis infection among intravenous drug users,curbing the use of drugs is a public-health issue, not a criminal one. Surveys of countries that offer heroin maintenance programs show that homelessness, unemployment, crime, disease transmission, and anti-social behaviour among addicts lessen under a system in which drug use isn't criminalized. Such programs are also attractive financially - the cost-per-patient is less than that of current enforcement and public-health costs. Taxpayer dollars currently allocated to health and policing would go a lot farther and do a lot more if our drug laws were revamped. But no matter how one prioritizes the arguments, the fact remains; the war on drugs is unwinnable. The media got that one right. The authors are researchers at The Fraser Institute, a Vancouver-based economic think-tank. * Should drug use be removed from the Criminal Code? Give us your comments at 605-2029 or fax us at 605-2786.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Unholy Trinity (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Edmonton Sun' Says Police, Press And Politicians Co-Operate To Bamboozle The Public Into Supporting Drug Prohibition) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: PUB LTE: Unholy Trinity Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 09:04:41 -0700 Lines: 30 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 09/06/1998 Author: Pat Dolan Comment: Parenthetical remarks by the Sun editor, headline by hawk KIM BRADLEY'S report, "Top cops want bucks to fight organized crime" (Aug. 25) is another example of how that unholy trinity of police, press and politicians co-operate to bamboozle the public. I wonder who stands to gain by spreading scare stories like this one? Obviously, the police - to pad the budget. And the press - nothing better to sell newspapers with than a nice, juicy, police-backed scare story. And the politicians - enough already! All these articles have one thing in common: the common-sense solution is never mentioned. Andy Scott knows what to do: "Tackle the problem with a nationally organized police force set up to hit them where it hurts the most - in the pocketbook." Well, why aren't the bikers shooting each other for control of the liquor trade? Obviously, because the government controls the liquor trade. If Scott and the police were really concerned, they could put the gangs out of business tomorrow by taking control of the drug trade. It would put a real dent in their pocketbooks. It might involve having to admit society's regulators were wrong. As we know, presidents and politicians would rather start or continue a war than do that. So don't look for this one to end any time soon. Pat Dolan (Sadly, the drug trade would find a way to get around the rules.) *** Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 13:56:00 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Pat Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Canada: PUB LTE: Unholy Trinity The Letters Editor of the Edmonton Sun did rather a messy job. I crave a few moments indulgence to set the matter straight: Her version: "If Scott and the police were really concerned, they could put the gangs out of business tomorrow by taking control of the drug trade. It would put a real dent in their pocketbooks. It might involve having to admit society's regulators were wrong." (An obvious non-sequitur and stylistically repugnant.) I wrote: "If the police and politicians were really concerned, they could put the gangs out of business tomorrow by taking control of the drugs trade. It seems to me that would put a real "dent in their pocket-books." That might involve having to admit they were wrong, of course, and as we all know, presidents and politicians would rather start - or continue - a war than do that. So don't look for this one (the WoD) to end any time soon. A closing thought: Christine Silverberg said the public needs to understand 'the crippling effects of organized crime'. Much more deadly, in my view, are the crippling effects of ignorance and public apathy." *** Thank you for your patience. pd
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Ailing Prison Drug-Smuggler Gets Jail Time (A Letter Sent To The Editor Of 'The Winnipeg Free Press' Wonders Why A Sick Old Garbageman Who Smuggled Marijuana And Cocaine Into A Prison Was Sentenced To 26 Months In Jail, But The Prohibition Agent Who Supplied Contraband For The Sting Earned $150,000) Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 12:42:18 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Ailing prison drug-smuggler gets jail time Sent to the Winnipeg Free Press, at email@example.com. To the editor: Re: Ailing prison drug-smuggler gets jail time (Friday, September 4, 1998) I'm confused -- an agent who supplies drugs that are brought into a prison gets $150,000 tax dollars for her efforts, but an old, frail man who actually smuggles the very same drugs into the prison gets jail time? If drugs are so dangerous, what on earth are our law enforcement organizations doing in paying someone huge amounts of money to help smuggle them into prison? Do they not have to follow the same laws as everyone else? Are they really that careless with drugs, and our tax dollars? Where is the outrage at this truly troubling series of events? Dave Haans Toronto
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feeble Law Hasn't Stopped Trade In Khat (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Toronto Star' Says That Since Last Fall, When Khat Was Added To The Canadian Controlled Substance Act, Making It Illegal, The Price Has Increased By A Factor Of 10 And The Khat Business Is Flourishing, Openly Traded In The Markets Of Major Canadian Cities, Especially Toronto) Date: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 11:52:05 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Subject: PUB LtE: TorStar: Feeble law hasn't stopped trade in khat Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star (Canada) Pubdate: Sunday, September 6, 1998 Page: E5 Website: http://www.thestar.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Feeble law hasn't stopped trade in Khat Khat is a green leaf grown in Kenya and Ethiopia. It is chewed while fresh and its bitter juice swallowed. Khat, which is addictive, is mainly used by East Africans, especially Somalis. In Somalia, khat chewing is socially acceptable. After the arrival of Somali refugees in Canada a few years ago, khat became a hot-selling commodity among the Somali population, estimated at about 80,000 in the Toronto area. Since last fall, khat is under the Controlled Substance Act, which means it is illegal and being convicted of possessing it carries a sentence of up to three years and a $1,000 fine. That said, one hopes that this law will put an end to the khat trade in Canada. But that is not what is happening; khat is openly traded in the markets of major Canadian cities, especially Toronto. Many more shops are opening and the khat business is flourishing. Now people chew in their homes, on the streets and even behind the wheel. The irony of the situation is the indifference of the federal government to the khat trade. Khat is confiscated only at major entry points into the country (airports and at the border with the United States). Once khat hits the streets, the traders have nothing to worry about, because there is no one who will go after them. They sell, trade and distribute as they wish. This "do-nothing" attitude of the government benefits only the khat traders. Let me give you an idea. One hundred to 150 grams of the stuff costs as little as 75 cents Canadian in Kenya, where the plantations are. The same amount sells for about £2 (roughly $6 Canadian) in the United Kingdom, where khat is legal and where the bulk of khat consumed in Canada comes from. In Canada, the same 100 to 150 grams fetches about $65 to $70 Canadian. It is rumoured that most of the khat proceeds end up in the accounts of the Somali warlords in Rome. It is known that traders use a network to bring khat into the country. One way is to use mules, mainly white Canadian and British citizens, who carry the stuff through airports. Another way is to use the cargo system and the last method is to smuggle it through the border using tractor trailers. The government and the media ignore this problem as long as it affects an obscure segment of society. Why does the government pass a law that it can't enforce? Most of the law enforcement agencies do not know what khat is or what it looks like. The federal government should implement its law regarding khat more diligently and consistently or else repeal the act so khat can be regulated and taxed and generate some revenue, as most European nations do. If the government will do that, the khat price will be $7 and not the $70 that the traders charge now. Farah Jacma Toronto
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thai Monks Might Take Urine Tests ('The Associated Press' Says Thailand's Ministry Of Education Wants Men Applying To Become Buddhist Monks To Submit To Urine Tests For Drug Use And HIV) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 21:11:18 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Thailand: WIRE: Thai Monks Might Take Urine Tests Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 Source: Associated Press Thai Monks Might Take Urine Tests BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) -- Thailand's Ministry of Education wants men applying to become Buddhist monks to submit to urine tests for drug use and the virus that causes AIDS, a ministry spokesman said Friday. More than 60 complaints have been filed with Thai police in the past two years involving drug abuse at Buddhist temples, the spokesman said. Amphetamine abuse is soaring in Thailand. The country is also the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic in Southeast Asia. Traditionally, almost all Thai Buddhist men become a monk for a brief period at some point during their lives to make religious merit. Education Minister Akhom Engchuan has asked the Religious Affairs Department, which the ministry controls, to study the proposal before submitting the recommendation to the Sangha Supreme Council. The council, made up of the education minister and the country's top Buddhist monks, oversees policies pertaining to Buddhism and temple management. Under the plan the abbot of each temple will be held responsible for making sure that those who wish to become monks must obtain the required medical documents.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Congress Explores How To Legalise (Britain's 'Independent On Sunday' Describes The Conference Yesterday In London, 'Regulating Cannabis - Options For Control In The 21st Century,' Attended By Delegates From Europe, Australia And The United States) Date: Sun, 6 Sep 1998 07:16:07 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Congress Explores How To Legalise Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 1998 Independent on Sunday 1 Canada Square Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL, England CANNABIS CONGRESS EXPLORES HOW TO LEGALISE A UNIQUE symposium on the future of drugs legislation across the world brought more than 150 prominent scientists, sociologists and lawyers to London yesterday, writes Vanessa Thorpe. Delegates from Europe, Australia and the United States met to discuss "Regulating Cannabis: Options for Control in the 21st Century". The event was specifically designed to take the debate into new territory and develop "blueprints for post-decriminalisation regulation". It had been billed by its organisers as the first conference to concentrate on the practical problems of administering liberalised drug laws rather than simply looking again at the arguments for change. "This conference marks an historic turning point in the cannabis debate," said Mike Goodman, director of Release, the UK-based drug policy organisation which co-hosted the symposium. "We now expect the debate to shift away from 'should it be decriminalised?' to 'How cannabis should be regulated responsibly'." Mr Goodman believes yesterday's discussions were the first time that the alternative and fringe groups involved in drugs law campaigning have met with academics to work out a practical future. Speakers included Dr Nicholas Dorn of the Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence and Dr Geoffrey Guy, the British doctor whose company, GW Pharmaceuticals, was granted a groundbreaking licence to farm cannabis for scientific research purposes earlier this year. They were joined by representatives of many of the smaller British groups that have campaigned for change in the drugs laws for the last 30 years. Academics from universities in Germany, Holland, Canada and Australia also attended and the conference was addressed by Benedikt Fisher, the co-ordinator of the Addiction Research Foundation in Toronto. The symposium was run by Release in tandem with the New York-based drugs policy research institute, the Lindesmith Center, itself established in 1994 by the philanthropist George Soros and his Open Society Institute. The founder and director of the Lindesmith Center, Ethan Nadelmann told delegates that he saw the conference as an inevitable step forward from the campaign stage. "As the public demands legal access to cannabis for both therapeutic and other responsible uses and as policy makers are forced to take up the challenge of cannabis regulation, we plan to advise them on how the drug can best be regulated." The symposium was dubbed by delegates as the first international cannabis congress and it had been prompted by recent moves towards decriminalisation both in Britain and the United States. Speakers from the Lindesmith Center explained how the situation for therapeutic cannabis users in California has recently improved. The city council in Oakland has given designated "cannabis buyers clubs" special immune status as "officers of the city" in order to protect their suppliers from federal prosecution. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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