------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Carnival Unity Fair Critique (A Eugene List Subscriber Says The Labor Day Weekend Festival Near Harrisburg, Oregon, Was A Good Time But Useless Politically)Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 06:39:38 -0700 From: Dan Koozer (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple Recipients of List (email@example.com) Subject: CanPat - Cannabis Carnival Unity Fair Critque Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Greetings; The Cannabis Carnival was a real success. Great music, food & products. The turnout was one of the best I've seen. I'd say that it was better than the WHEE2!. Certainly better organized. As far as it being a Unity Fair it was a flop. It was the usual big names in the reform movement ignoring the issue of legalization and more importantly ignoring the ONLY legalization petition in the state. Why?? In my opinion it's because there isn't any money to be made. As long as there is money to be made from prohibition, it will continue. Both law enforcement and "reform employed activists" are profiting. If it were legal, there wouldn't be any money to be made trying to get it legal (or trying to keep it illegal). I'm not a "follower" of the Bible but I'm starting to understand why Jesus threw the money changers out of the temple. Dan *** Dan Koozer, President Cannabis Liberation Society PO Box 10957 Eugene, Oregon 97401 Voice Mail & Event Line: (541) 744-5744 http://www.efn.org/~cannlib/
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Mother's Advice About Drugs (An Op-Ed In 'The San Francisco Chronicle' By Marsha Rosenbaum, Director Of The Lindesmith Center-West, A Drug Policy Institute In San Francisco, Shows What A Drug Policy Reform Activist Might Reasonably Say To Her Son As He Enters High School) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 13:51:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: A Mother's Advice About Drugs 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: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Monday, September 7, 1998 Author: Marsha Rosenbaum A MOTHER'S ADVICE ABOUT DRUGS Marsha Rosenbaum, director of The Lindesmith Center-West, a drug policy institute in San Francisco, wrote this letter to her son, an Urban High School freshman. DEAR JOHNNY, This fall you will be entering high school, and like most American teenagers, you'll have to navigate drugs. As most parents, I would prefer that you not use drugs. However, I realize that despite my wishes, you might experiment. I will not use scare tactics to deter you. Instead, having spent the past 25 years researching drug use, abuse and policy, I will tell you a little about what I have learned, hoping this will let you to make wise choices. My only concern is your health and safety. When people talk about ``drugs,'' they are generally referring to illegal substances such as marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine (speed), psychedelic drugs (LSD, Ecstasy, ``Schrooms'') and heroin. These are not the only drugs that make you high. Alcohol, cigarettes and many other substances (like glue) cause intoxication of some sort. The fact that one drug or another is illegal does not mean one is better or worse for you. All of them temporarily change the way you perceive things and the way you think. Some people will tell you that drugs feel good, and that's why they use them. But drugs are not always fun. Cocaine and methamphetamine speed up your heart; LSD can make you feel disoriented; alcohol intoxication impairs driving; cigarette smoking leads to addiction and sometimes lung cancer; and people sometimes die suddenly from taking heroin. Marijuana does not often lead to physical dependence or overdose, but it does alter the way people think, behave and react. I have tried to give you a short description of the drugs you might encounter. I choose not to try to scare you by distorting information because I want you to have confidence in what I tell you. Although I won't lie to you about their effects, there are many reasons for a person your age to not use drugs or alcohol. First, being high on marijuana or any other drug often interferes with normal life. It is difficult to retain information while high, so using it -- especially daily -- affects your ability to learn. Second, if you think you might try marijuana, please wait until you are older. Adults with drug problems often started using at a very early age. Finally, your father and I don't want you to get into trouble. Drug and alcohol use is illegal, and the consequences of being caught are huge. Here in the United States, the number of arrests for possession of marijuana has more than doubled in the past six years. Adults are serious about ``zero tolerance.'' If caught, you could be arrested, expelled from school, barred from playing sports, lose your driver's license, denied a college loan, and/or rejected for college. Despite my advice to abstain, you may one day choose to experiment. I will say again that this is not a good idea, but if you do, I urge you to learn as much as you can, and use common sense. There are many excellent books and references, including the Internet, that give you credible information about drugs. You can, of course, always talk to me. If I don't know the answers to your questions, I will try to help you find them. If you are offered drugs, be cautious. Watch how people behave, but understand that everyone responds differently -- even to the same substance. If you do decide to experiment, be sure you are surrounded by people you can count upon. Plan your transportation and under no circumstances drive or get into a car with anyone else who has been using alcohol or other drugs. Call us or any of our close friends any time, day or night, and we will pick you up -- no questions asked and no consequences. And please, Johnny, use moderation. It is impossible to know what is contained in illegal drugs because they are not regulated. The majority of fatal overdoses occur because young people do not know the strength of the drugs they consume, or how they combine with other drugs. Please do not participate in drinking contests, which have killed too many young people. Whereas marijuana by itself is not fatal, too much can cause you to become disoriented and sometimes paranoid. And of course, smoking can hurt your lungs, later in life and now. Johnny, as your father and I have always told you about a range of activities (including sex), think about the consequences of your actions before you act. Drugs are no different. Be skeptical and most of all, be safe. Love, Mom 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A23
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Dateline' Special On Will Foster Online! (A List Subscriber Posts The URL For A RealVideo Version Of Saturday Night's 'NBC Dateline' Newscast About The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Patient Sentenced To 93 Years In Prison For Growing His Own Medicine) Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 13:05:33 -0400 To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Richard Lake (email@example.com) Subject: Dateline special on Will Foster Online! Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Thanks, Rolf! 19 minutes of RealVideo at: http://www.legalize-usa.org/video6.htm Richard Lake Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/ At 06:07 AM 9/7/98 -0500, Rolf Ernst wrote: >The NBC Dateline special is now available on the Legalize! server ... > >Kind regards > > Rolf Ernst > > Visit us at http://www.legalize-usa.org >The resource for the anti-prohibitionist activist!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dare To Rethink Drug War (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Houston Chronicle' Compares The Failed DARE Program To The War On Some Drugs Itself - Counterproductive But Politically Popular) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 22:11:06 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: PUB LTE Dare To Rethink Drug War Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Mark Trentalange (Trentalang@AOL.COM) Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: 7 Sep. 1998 Author: Mark Trentalange, MD DARE TO RETHINK DRUG WAR Julie Mason's Aug 27 Page One article, "Study questions DARE program," highlighted exactly what is wrong with our current approach to the drug problem. While it is patently obvious that the war on drugs is a complete and expensive failure, our elected officials continue to promote empty but "politically safe" programs over more effective strategies. The truth is that DARE (while popular with politicians, police and some parents) fails to produce results. Studies of other cities have shown this; we now have proof that this is true even in our town. We have had 30 years of law enforcement, advertising, and interdiction with absolutely no effect on drug use. We currently spend $17 billion for the war on drugs alone. What we are getting are glamorous advertising campaigns, insane efforts here and abroad to defoliate farmland and forest, naive hopes that the Taliban will cooperate with us and harebrained proposals to put our nation's borders under the control of yet another layer of bureaucracy. We see "exceptions" to our constitutional rights with forfeiture of property without a trial and armed home invasions by the police, such as the recent one here in Houston. Our antidrug hysteria has created a problem much worse than the original and contributed to the erosion of respect for law enforcement. Yet self-supporting or less costly programs such as needle exchange or the decriminalization of marijuana -- advocated by every federal and impartial investigation -- are overridden for the sake of appearances. Since these programs don't promise an elusive zero tolerance, the work of serious investigations is set aside for the opinions of politicians. We rely, instead, on propaganda programs of half-truths, when what we need is a complete rethinking of tactics. Our own mayor, Lee Brown, as a former drug czar, should know the war on drugs is a waste of money, yet he clings to these bankrupt ideas. We need to courageously face these problems directly, instead of worrying about some implied message being sent. The "message" we are sending now is totally insane. I applaud the Houston City councilmen Ray Driscoll and Carroll Robinson for their reasoned attempts to use our tax dollars more wisely. Let's dare to investigate to the unthinkable. Mark Trentalange, Houston. Ashley H Clements 1416 Brookvalley lane Atlanta, GA 30324 email@example.com (404) 636-6426 www.november.org www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Searches Of Clinic Ruled Unreasonable - News Crews Violated Doctor's Rights, Judge Says ('The Associated Press' Says US District Judge Lynn Hughes Ruled August 28 In A Partial Judgment For Dr. Tommy E. Swate Of Houston, Texas, That The Presence Of Television News Crews During Drug Enforcement Administration Searches Of The Doctor's Clinics Was Unreasonable And Violated His Rights) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: DEA searches of clinic ruled unreasonable Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 16:27:34 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org DEA searches of clinic ruled unreasonable News crews violated doctor's rights, judge says 09/07/98 Associated Press HOUSTON - The presence of TV news crews during Drug Enforcement Administration searches of a Houston doctor's clinics was unreasonable and violated his rights, a federal judge has concluded. "Including wholly extraneous outsiders in a search unreasonably exceeds the legal scope of the warrant, violating the owner's rights under the Constitution," U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes ruled Aug. 28 in a partial judgment for Dr. Tommy E. Swate. The Houston Chronicle reported the decision in Sunday's editions. "In the hands of the . . . [DEA], the tradition of public service in law enforcement has gone from 'one riot - one Ranger' to 'one search warrant - one regional press officer, six assistants and a television crew,' " Judge Hughes wrote. DEA agents searched two clinics operated by Dr. Swate in 1992 for the illegal distribution of methadone, the synthetic opiate used to treat heroin addiction, after an undercover officer obtained the drug there. Crews from a Fox TV station and CBS' 60 Minutes went along. Dr. Swate sued DEA Agent Teresa Hayth Pack, contending that he was subjected to an unreasonable search. A pretrial conference to consider awarding damages to the doctor is set for Oct. 13. Houston Fox affiliate KRIV accompanied the agents into one of Dr. Swate's clinics during the first search for its City Under Siege program. A 60 Minutes crew tagged along when the DEA shut down another clinic, making Dr. Swate the first doctor in the United States to have his methadone license suspended on an emergency basis. At the time, officials said the two clinics posed a threat to public health because of numerous violations of state and federal laws. However, the DEA agreed not to pursue additional action in exchange for promises that Dr. Swate would stop using methadone in his clinic practice. KRIV news director Denise Bishop said the opinion concerned her but will not affect news-gathering at the station. "City Under Siege is no longer a go-along-with-the cops type show, but purely investigative," Ms. Bishop said. "But for those other shows like Cops and Wildest Police Chases and others that are tremendously popular with the public, it may have a chilling effect." 60 Minutes spokesman Kevin Tedesco said he was uncertain how the opinion would affect other television shows that depend on following law enforcement officials around during arrests, searches and seizures. "We don't do a lot of that [accompanying law enforcement]," he said. "It's occasionally warranted, but so many programs use it now that it's almost become a cliche." Judge Hughes' opinion counters several legal precedents in favor of letting the media show the public how searches are performed. "This opinion is showing law enforcement that it is not in their best interest to encourage any media coverage," said Jane Kirtley, executive director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Arlington, Va. "The media serves the purpose of telling and showing God-fearing, law-abiding people what happens to a subject of a search. They need to see the tactics." The judgment specifically named the DEA officer in charge of the scene, Agent Pack, as ultimately responsible for allowing the media to intrude. She contended that she should not be held responsible for the presence of outsiders because they were alerted and brought by her supervisors. Judge Hughes disagreed, noting that ". . . excesses of superiors do not justify excesses of subordinates." Media law expert Bill Ogden, a Houston lawyer, called the opinion poorly researched. "There have been courts in six states as far back as 1980 that expressly held journalists can accompany officers serving warrants or on ride-alongs," Mr. Ogden said. "Most courts have rejected arguments that the U.S. Constitution forbids the media from encroaching on private property during a police search." U.S. attorney's office spokesman John Lenoir said government lawyers were studying the opinion and had no comment. Patrick Gilpin, Dr. Swate's attorney, said his client still has both a medical degree and a law degree but is no longer practicing in Houston. He declined to say where his client is practicing. But he said he was pleased with the ruling. "It was a very scholarly opinion," Mr. Gilpin said. "They did him [Dr. Swate] a very big injustice." *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Hold On To Seized Drug Money (United Press International Says An Analysis By 'The Cincinnati Enquirer' Of Illegal Drug Money Forfeited To Ohio Law Enforcement Agencies Shows Millions Of Dollars Are Not Being Used Lawfully) From: "Mike Scott" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: UPI: Police hold on to seized drug money Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 19:53:55 -0400 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Police hold on to seized drug money CINCINNATI, Ohio, Sept. 7 (UPI) An analysis of drug money seized by Ohio law enforcement agencies shows the millions of dollars are not being used the way a 1990 state law requires for drug-fighting equipment or programs. The Cincinnati Enquirer has examined agencies in nine Ohio counties to determine how they used money seized in drug raids. The newspaper reported the agencies took in $33.5 million since 1993, and spent or invested $26 million. The remaining $7.5 million, however, goes unspent even though police departments request annual budget increases or ask for higher taxes. The Cincinnati police department has an average balance of $1 million in confiscated money, while Cleveland's surplus is $949,000 and the Hamilton County sheriff's office has $828,000. The Enquirer study also shows: The Cincinnati Police Division spent $1,000 a year from 1993 to 1996 on community drug education, while state law required the agency to spend $119,000 annually. Interest from $1.2 million in invested drug money goes to the Cuyahoga County sheriff's office central drug fund, while the remaining confiscated funds are in bank accounts. Cleveland police spent $47,000 in 1995 for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program, when a state formula required the city to spend $166,000. No state agency monitors the detailed records kept by the sheriffs and police chiefs. Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation superintendent Ted Almay told the Enquirer he had not heard that Ohio law enforcement agencies were investing drug money. The Enquirer found the departments use some of the confiscated funds to contribute to regional narcotics teams, supply undercover operations, and match federal grants. Most law enforcement officials said they have never been questioned over their use of the confiscated money. The study included the state's six largest counties and three counties in southwestern Ohio.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Holding Drug-Raid Loot ('The Cincinnati Enquirer' Version) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 22:10:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OH: Police Holding Drug-raid Loot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Contact: http://Enquirer.Com/editor/letters.html Website: http://enquirer.com/today/ Pubdate: Mon, 7 September 1998 Author: ANNE MICHAUD The Cincinnati Enquirer POLICE HOLDING DRUG-RAID LOOT Millions not being spent on deterrence Law enforcement agencies throughout Ohio are sitting on millions of dollars seized from drug dealers instead of spending it to put more of them behind bars. Agencies explain the surpluses by saying they want to keep reserves or because they can't find anything to spend the money on. But one of the state's top law enforcement officials says the whole point of drug seizure and forfeiture laws is to reinvest proceeds in drug-fighting equipment and programs. The Cincinnati Enquirer examined drug money in the three biggest agencies in Ohio's six largest counties, and three smaller counties in the state's southwestern corner. As a group, the agencies have taken in $33.5 million since 1993. They spent or invested $26 million. They have a balance of $7.5 million, or about 22 percent of the money confiscated. Cincinnati and Cleveland police and the Hamilton County sheriff top the chart for unspent drug money. Cincinnati has an average balance of $1,015,499 at the end of each year; Cleveland's is $949,966; the sheriff's is $828,840. The balances are growing each year, as agencies continue to confiscate more than they spend. The unspent money languishes, even while departments request annual budget increases and fight for higher taxes on the ballot. What's more, few agencies are meeting the only spending requirement written into state law: that a percentage of drug money confiscated each year be used for anti-drug education in the community. Among the Enquirer's findings: The Cincinnati Police Division should be spending up to 100 times more on community drug education. The department spent $1,000 a year from 1993 through 1996, when drug receipts indicate spending should have reached $119,810 annually. Cuyahoga County Sheriff Gerald McFaul has invested $1.2 million of drug money in interest-earning accounts, including U.S. Treasury bills. According to the sheriff, only the interest is returned to the central drug fund. The rest appears to be kept in separate bank accounts. Agencies provide detailed records of the money and property they confiscate. But nobody monitors the spending, including such potential watchdogs as the state attorney general, state auditor or state Office of Criminal Justice Services. The ramifications of unspent money go far. With leftover money each year, Cincinnati could put five more police officers on the street, and Hamilton County could pay the salaries of three more. The large drug money balances and investment accounts worry Ted Almay, superintendent of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation. "That's a lot of cash," Mr. Almay said. When told about the investments, he responded, "I've never heard of anybody doing that." Drug forfeiture laws emerged from a belief that drug dealers were not being punished forcefully enough. Dealers were hiding assets in other people's names, and they had the money to mount well-paid legal defenses. Or they could start up business again after serving jail time. A 1984 federal law allowed police to seize the "tools" of the drug trade, including cash, cars and things bought with drug profits: homes, boats, jewelry, artwork. Also, the law was intended to promote cooperation among law enforcement agencies, which can share the confiscated money and goods. Ohio, like other states, copied federal law in 1990 and began allowing local agencies to collect drug money, even when federal agents were not involved in the capture. "We were finally able to tap into the assets of the bad guys, and, in turn, use them to fight drugs," said former Assistant Police Chief Ted Schoch, who oversaw drug money for Cincinnati police until July. He now heads the police training academy. Cincinnati police confiscate an average $1.4 million annually in state and federal seizures; the Hamilton County sheriff, $661,947. Cleveland police collect $711,145 each year in state cases alone. With the money, many departments contribute to regional narcotics teams. Departments also supply undercover operations with training, offices, vehicles and electronic surveillance equipment. Often, the drug money serves as a ready pool of money to match federal grants. Except for salaries, Cincinnati pays for its entire 17-officer undercover street corner unit with the drug money. The department also finances its pharmaceutical diversion unit, which polices phony prescriptions, and the department's share of the multijurisdictional Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit. "The whole idea is to make sure the money is being put back into fighting crime so the citizen is the beneficiary of it," Mr. Schoch said. The department does not pay salaries with the money, which is permissible under state law but not federal law. Most departments keep two funds: one for cases charged under federal law, the other for state law. Mr. Schoch said that relying on drug arrests is too irregular to pay salaries. "This money is not guaranteed. It could stop today," he said. Cincinnati police have maintained an average balance of $375,993 since 1994 in the state forfeiture account alone. The unused balance could put five more officers on the street and still leave a federal fund balance of $487,211. But Mr. Schoch argued he liked to keep a surplus on hand. Offices for undercover agents are leased, for example, and he has to cover future payments. Also, when the federal or state government has a grant to bestow, the department can dip into the drug fund to match the grant without jumping through political hoops. Recently, the department was able to contribute to a $40,000 piece of hospital equipment -- a videocolposcope -- that aids in rape investigations, Mr. Schoch said. While state law gives departments broad spending discretion, it requires just one minimum payment from law enforcement agencies: It says anti-drug education programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) must receive 10 percent of the first $100,000 an agency receives, and 20 percent of any amount over that. Most law enforcement agencies in Ohio are not meeting those legal requirements, according to the Enquirer's investigation. Mr. Schoch said he didn't know there was such a requirement and instructed his staff to look into it. They came up with a 1992 solicitor's opinion that said the department must contribute only part of the "forfeitures" it seizes, not the "contraband." The opinion's author, assistant city solicitor John Hanselman Jr., said contraband is what is seized immediately at the scene, and forfeiture is property that police are able to trace as the fruits of drug profits, such as a painting or a bank account. But no one is keeping track of which is which. "It's all put in the same fund," Police Spc. David Kelly said. "I don't think there's ever been a breakdown." Other law enforcement agencies also fail to distinguish between "contraband" and "forfeiture" money in their public reports. Using their total receipts, the Enquirer found most agencies are not meeting the law's requirements. For example, Cleveland police spent $47,452 in 1995 when its total receipts indicate it should have spent $166,943. Columbus, Akron and Toledo police did not show any drug education donations when they submitted annual reports to the attorney general. Clermont County Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg said he has increased DARE spending as a way to make better use of a $128,304 surplus collected by his office and a regional drug task force he administers. The Office of Criminal Justice Services warned Sheriff Rodenberg, he said, that the surplus was too high. "They want that money to keep moving. They don't want it just sitting there," he said. In his nearly two years on the job, he has searched for new, drug-related ways to spend the money: on a K-9 unit, for DARE graduation awards, to buy Breathalyzers. Other departments said they like to keep money on hand, as much as $100,000, to use as "buy money" or "flash money" for undercover agents posing as drug customers. Annual reviews by the state auditor look at a small sample of transactions to make sure they are following accounting procedures. A spokeswoman for the office, Kate Buchy, said it cannot vouch for the propriety or legality of each expenditure. "It would be impossible to look at every transaction," she said. "The idea is we're looking at a representative sample." Two other departments, those of Summit County Prosecutor Maureen O'Connor and Hamilton County Sheriff Simon L. Leis Jr., are investing in certificates of deposit, $175,110 and $1.1 million, respectively. Sheriff Leis refused an interview to explain his department's expenditures and investments, and the unspent balance of $828,840. But he did supply spending records. They show he has built several crime-fighting units with the money, including a marine patrol, a SWAT team and a computer crime division. Area agencies depend on the sheriff's helicopter for search and rescue. Over five years, the sheriff also paid $120,209 to build, carpet, tile and equip gymnasiums; $27,987 for kilts, bagpipes, drums and other expenses of the Sheriff's Bagpipe and Drum Corps; $18,137 to construct bathrooms; $12,246 for landscaping. "The statutes are quite clear in that these funds are expended at the discretion of the law enforcement agency," Sheriff Leis wrote in response to a request for an interview. Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin, who is often at odds with the sheriff over spending, said he trusts the sheriff is using the money for good programs. But Mr. Dowlin said he would use some of the money to expand drug court, which fast-tracks drug offenders through the court system if they participate in rehabilitation. It costs about $200,000 to equip a courtroom for a year and an additional amount for the treatment services associated with a drug court. Money also could be used for rehabilitation, said John Young, who retired in July after eight years as director of Hamilton County's Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. Ohio law recommends police consult with someone in his position about the spending. "We have waiting lists for virtual every service in our system," Mr. Young said. The underspending worries Ohio House Speaker JoAnn Davidson, R-Reynoldsburg. "If the question is dollars not being used for a specific purpose that was the intent of the legislature, that would cause me some concern," she said. Most law enforcement officials said nobody has ever questioned their use of the drug money. That is possibly because no one is watching. Agencies file annual reports to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Ohio attorney general. The reports do not have to give details, just total dollars. At the state level, filing the report is strictly voluntary. Some departments simply don't send them. And nobody in the attorney general's office reads the reports. "There is really no entity that monitors that spending beyond the press and local governments," said Mr. Almay of the state investigations bureau, a branch of the attorney general's office. During its last session, the General Assembly amended the law to eliminate copies of annual reports for the Senate president and House speaker. Not that it mattered. "When I took over the speaker's office, there were boxes of these things around, and I had no idea what they were and why they were here," Ms. Davidson said. "If we find more oversight is needed, we've got to have a better method than boxes in legislative leaders' offices." [SIDEBAR] Drug forfeiture funds Numbers are an annual average for the past five years in selected law enforcement agencies. Spending includes state and federal accounts combined, except where noted. In some cases, the unspent money is greater than what was received because a balance has built up over time. Cincinnati Police Division Average receipts: $1,351,933 Average spending: $951,973 Average unspent: $1,015,499 Hamilton County prosecutor Average receipts: $178,632 Average spending: $75,964 Average unspent: $456,721 (no federal funds) Hamilton County sheriff's office Average receipts: $661,947 Average spending: $562,712 Average unspent: $828,840 Clermont County sheriff's office Average receipts: $94,139 Average spending: $90,293 Average unspent: $128,304 (no federal funds) Clermont County prosecutor Reports not provided Union Township Police Department Reports not provided Hamilton Police Department Average receipts: $23,294 Average spending: $20,886 Average unspent: $20,412 (no federal funds) Butler County prosecutor Average receipts: $27,151 Average spending: $14,743 Average unspent: $22,102 (no federal funds) Warren County prosecutor Average receipts: $29,194 Average spending: $19,850 Average unspent: $52,162 (no federal funds) Mason Police Department Average receipts: $9,059 Average spending: $5,999 Average unspent: $30,469 (no federal funds) Warren County sheriff's office Average receipts: $6,257 Average spending: $147 Average unspent: $36,586 Sources: Ohio attorney general's office, individual departments Copyright 1998 The Cincinnati Enquirer
------------------------------------------------------------------- Winning The Drug War Isn't So Hard After All ('The New York Times Magazine' Responds To Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's Campaign Against Methadone Maintenance Programs With A Lengthy Background Piece That Explains How Americans' Penchant For Punishment Has Blinded The Country To The Most Effective Strategy For Combating Drug Use - Offering Comprehensive Treatment To Every Addict Who Requests It) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:47:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Winning the Drug War isn?t so Hard After All Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Lanier http://harmreduction.org/ Source: New York Sunday Times Magazine Pubdate: 7 September 1998 Contact: email@example.com Mail: Letters to the Editor, Magazine, The New York Times, 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036 Author: Michael Massing WINNING THE DRUG WAR ISN'T SO HARD AFTER ALL Don't let Rudolph Giuliani fool you: methadone works. Since its introduction in the mid-1960's, studies have consistently shown that the synthetic narcotic cuts addicts' craving for heroin, enabling onetime street junkies to restart their lives. In so doing, methadone helps boost employment, inhibit the spread of H.I.V and cut crime. That's why the New York City Mayor's recent attacks - he denounced methadone as 'a chemical that's used to enslave people' and promised to abolish it from the city over the next few years - have left experts scratching their heads. The Mayor appears driven by a moral conviction that complete abstinence from drugs is the only acceptable course. Yet if Giuliani were truly interested in promoting abstinence from drugs, he would have not simply condemned methadone but also announced a major expansion of treatment programs whose express goal is to wean addicts from the substance. (The city has virtually no such programs now.) He would also have announced the creation of more residential programs that seek to change addicts' behavior. The Mayor's failure to do any of this raises the suspicion that it is not just methadone he dislikes, but drug treatment in general. In this respect, Giuliani reflects a national mood. For nearly 20 years, the United States has waged a relentless war on drugs, with treatment discounted as a weak weapon. Instead, the Government has sent spy planes swooshing over the Caribbean, built a paramilitary base in Peru, mounted coca-eradication programs in Bolivia - and invaded Panama. On the home front, narcotics agents have infiltrated hundreds of drug gangs and busted countless drug dealers. In 1996, more than 1.5 million people were arrested for drug offenses; the nation's prisons, which in 1980 housed fewer than 30,000 drug offenders, today harbor nearly 300,000. But this punitive approach has failed. Cocaine is cheaper than ever, and heroin is selling at purity levels three times greater than those of the mid-1980s. And drug abuse remains rampant. In 1996, the number of cocaine-related visits to hospital emergency rooms topped 144,000, an all-time high. This despite an increase in the Federal antidrug budget from $1 billion in 1981 to $16 billion in 1998. Looking at numbers like these, it may seem as if the nation's drug problem is all but intractable. But it isn't. Our penchant for punishment has blinded us to the most effective strategy for combating drug use: offering comprehensive treatment to every addict who requests it. Unfortunately the case for expanding our commitment to treatment programs frequently gets drowned out by more extreme voices. Law-and-order types like Giuliani call for ever more police dragnets and undercover investigations. On the opposing side, reformers push for drastic measures like drug legalization. Legalize drugs, they say, criminal networks that traffic in them will disappear - much like the repeal of Prohibition led to the demise of speakeasies and bathtub gin. The end of Prohibition, however, also led to a sharp rise in alcohol use. Between 1934 and 1944, per capita consumption in the United States rose from 0.97 gallons to 2.07 gallons. (Today it is 2.25 gallons.) If illicit drugs were suddenly legalized, might not consumption similarly rise? By now, the risks of legalization have become so evident that many one-time advocates have flocked to a new standard: harm reduction. Drugs, it is argued, are here to stay, and society needs to learn how to live with them. Our goal should be to reduce the harm that drugs cause. To that end, they advocate a variety of reforms, like expanding needle-exchange programs and creating "safe injection rooms" as alternatives to shooting galleries. Some of these ideas clearly make sense. Needle-exchange programs, for one, have been shown to reduce the transmission of H.I.V. Yet harm reduction has serious limitations. For the most part, it does not seek to get people off drugs but merely to help them use drugs more safely. To express disapproval of addiction would, in the harm reductionists' view, reinforce society's intolerance of drug addicts. While promoting tolerance is admirable, the harm reductionists take it too far: if you should not stigmatize addicts, neither should you condone addiction. And with its learn-to-live-with-drugs approach, harm reduction offers no guidance on how to bring down the appallingly high levels of drug addiction in this country. Harm reduction does, at least, acknowledge one key fact: helping chronic users should be the target of drug policy. Washington doesn't understand this. From recent actions in the nation's capital - like Congress's decision to earmark $1 billion for antidrug advertising aimed at teenagers - you might logically conclude that the threat drugs pose to the nation consists mainly of adolescent use. In fact, teen-age drug use, while up some in recent years, remains well below the peak levels of the late 1970's. What's more, most of that increase consists of marijuana use. And while pot is not harmless, and young people should be discouraged from using it, it is not the problem heroin and cocaine are. In contrast to teen-age pot smokers, adults who regularly use heroin, cocaine and crack do pose problems: they commit muggings, abuse children, suffer overdoses and spread disease. In all, there are an estimated 3.6 million hard-core users in the United States. While these addicts constitute only 20 percent of all drug users in the country (most of the rest being casual, occasional users), they consume about three-fourths of all the cocaine and heroin used here. Who are these problem users? Contrary to the many media accounts of strung-out stockbrokers and models, addicts tend to be found not in posh condominiums or suburban split-levels but in the housing projects of urban America. Heavy users are disproportionately poor, unemployed and members of minority groups. No headway can be made in alleviating the nation's drug problem without finding a way to get such users off drugs. A good place to begin is suggested by a 1994 RAND study. The researchers C. Peter Rydell and Susan Everingham set out to compare the effectiveness of four types of drug-control programs: source-country efforts (attacking drug production abroad), interdiction (seizing drugs in transit to the U.S.), domestic law enforcement (arresting and incarcerating sellers and buyers) and drug treatment. How much additional money, they asked, would the Government have to spend on each approach to reduce national cocaine consumption by 1 percent? Rydell and Everingham developed a model of the national cocaine market, then fed into it more than 70 variables, from seizure data to survey responses. They were amazed at the results. Relying solely on domestic law enforcement, the Government would have to spend an additional $246 million to reduce U.S. cocaine consumption by 1 percent. Relying on interdiction, it would have to spend $366 million, and on source-country programs, a whopping $783 million. Relying solely on drug treatment, however, the Government would have to spend just $34 million more. In other words, treatment was 7 times more cost effective than domestic law enforcement, 10 times more effective than interdiction and 23 times more effective than attacking drugs at their source. Such results contradict the conventional wisdom that treatment does not work. Many Americans know of someone who entered a program and did well while in it, only to relapse afterward. Nevertheless, failed treatments do not cost very much and so do not dilute the cost-effectiveness of treatment overall. More important, study after study has demonstrated the efficacy of treatment. In one recent analysis, the Government tracked the performance of 4,400 clients who entered treatment between July 1993 and October 1995. Those clients were interviewed at the time they began treatment, at the time they finished and a year later; the accuracy of their responses was checked by random drug tests. Seeking to study the most severe cases, the researchers concentrated on programs serving people in public housing, on welfare and in the criminal-justice system. The number of clients saying they used crack dropped from 39.5 percent prior to treatment to 17.8 percent a year later; for heroin, the number went from 23.6 percent to 12.6 percent. All told, drug consumption decreased by roughly 50 percent. Well, skeptics will say, treatment might be effective for addicts who receive it, but how many really want it? junkies, it's commonly believed, simply do not want help. And to an extent, that's true. Drugs not only impart intense pleasure but also provide great comfort to people coping with various crises in their lives. Yet for many, the point eventually comes when the drugs themselves begin to cause problems, from physical ailments to family quarrels to legal troubles. And when that happens, addicts are often open to help. That openness, however, is usually quite fleeting, and unless it is exploited immediately, most will end up back on the streets. Alas, help is rarely available immediately. Consider the situation in New York State. An estimated 1.6 million residents have a drug or alcohol problem serious enough to require treatment. In any given year, roughly 25 percent of that number, or 400,000, will seek help. To serve them, the state has 121,000 publicly funded slots. With those slots turning over throughout the year, the state can accommodate nearly 300,000 people annually. That leaves more than 100,000 people a year unable to get help. Scarcity is just the start of the problem. In the world of New York health care, drug treatment is the Balkans: a chaotic realm full of internal strife and rivalries. Each treatment program features a different regimen and serves distinct populations. Not every program is right for every individual. Yet the city has no central place where addicts can go to apply for admission. There is not even a registry listing openings. If a Holiday Inn is full, it will at least call the Ramada down the street to see if it has a vacancy; not so two treatment programs. As for addicts who do enter the system, there's no one to monitor their progress and make sure they stay on course. Fortunately, there exists a remedy to such problems: 'central intake units,' places where addicts can go to get immediate attention. Appearing here, addicts would meet with the first available counselor to discuss the nature of their problem and the best way to address it. After deciding on the proper therapy - a detox, a methadone program, a residential facility - the counselor would consult a computerized directory of openings. Once a specific program was selected and the client accepted for admission, central intake would arrange transportation and assign an escort. If a program didn't work out, central intake could arrange an alternative. While such units might seem to constitute yet another layer of bureaucracy, their coordinating role would actually help reduce red tape. In addition, central intake could dispatch outreach teams into drug markets to recruit addicts into treatment. Approaching users on the street, such workers would inform them of the services available and encourage them to visit central intake. If these teams worked in the early morning hours, when many addicts are coming down from their drugs, they could significantly boost the number of people entering the system. Of course, recruiting addicts into treatment will accomplish little if there is nowhere to put them. And sadly, the treatment shortages present in New York are common throughout the country. According to the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, fully half of the nation's hard-core users - 1.7 million people - cannot get help due to the lack of slots. (Methadone is in particularly short supply, with just 1 1 5,000 of the 800,000 chronic heroin users receiving it. In New York City, only 35,000 out of 200,000 users do.) During the 1992 Presidential campaign, Bill Clinton promised to rectify this. "In a Clinton/Gore Administration, Federal assistance will help communities dramatically increase their ability to offer drug treatment to everyone who needs help," he wrote in "Putting People First." Six years later, the nation is no closer to reaching that goal. Under Clinton, fully two-thirds of the Federal drug budget goes for law enforcement and interdiction, with the remainder going for treatment and prevention - the same proportion as under the Bush Administration. The current drug czar, Barry R. McCaffrey, is a retired four-star general who before taking office had no experience with drug treatment, and while he has frequently acknowledged the importance of treatment, he has made this a low priority. And so the treatment gap persists. That a focus on treatment can work is apparent from the one time it was actually tried - during the Nixon Administration. A staunch advocate of law and order, Nixon deferred to no one in his strident pronouncements on drugs, but during the 1968 campaign he promised to bring down the nation's crime rate, and once in office, he faced the need to deliver. At the time, the nation was in the throes of a raging heroin epidemic; if something could be done to sap it, Nixon's advisers believed, the crime wave might abate. One obvious approach was to try to reduce the flow of heroin into the country. At the time, the main conduit was the French Connection, a 5,000-mile pipeline originating in Turkish poppy fields and passing through France. The Nixon Administration began pressing the French and Turkish Governments to crack down on local drug trafficking. But the more Nixon's drug officials looked into the problem, the more they became convinced that reducing the supply of drugs would prove futile unless something was also done to reduce the demand. On that front, a new weapon was available: methadone. Early studies showed that addicts maintained on methadone were much more likely to hold jobs and far less likely to commit crimes. At the time, methadone, like drug treatment in general, was largely unavailable in most cities. An exception was Chicago, where a young psychopharmacologist named Jerome Jaffe had set up a network of treatment programs that was helping get addicts off the streets. A central intake unit was opened in downtown Chicago, and addicts appearing at it were assigned to the type of program they needed - detox, residential, methadone maintenance, methadone-to-abstinence and so on. Impressed, President Nixon announced in 1971 the creation of a Drug Abuse Prevention office; to head it, he brought in Jaffe from Chicago. Once in place, Jaffe found that about 30,000 people were on treatment waiting lists; resolving this problem became his top priority. He faced resistance from many quarters, including Congress, the bureaucracy and his fellow mental-health professionals, but Jaffe - a brilliant if prickly iconoclast - managed to outmaneuver them all. By the fall of 1972, treatment was available to all those who wanted it. The impact was immediate. In New York City, the crime rate in 1972 dropped 18 percent, and in Washington, 26.9 percent. Nationally, the crime rate fell by 3 percent, the first decline in 17 years. Declines were also recorded in the rate of heroin overdose deaths, hepatitis transmission and drug-related hospital visits - strong testimony to the efficacy of a national treatment system. Yet from the moment it was created, that system came under attack. And so in the 1972 Presidential campaign, Nixon began shifting the focus back toward drug enforcement. During the Ford and Carter years, the treatment budget suffered from the effects of both 'inflation and neglect. The real turning point came under Rea gan. In his view, addicts were morally responsible for their behavior and therefore undeserving of Government help. As Nancy Reagan toured the country, urging Americans to "just say no" to drugs, her husband slashed the funding for drug treatment and boosted it for drug enforcement. By the time crack hit in the mid-1980's, the treatment system Jaffe built had been gutted, and addicts - showing up at clinics desperate for help - were regularly turned back onto the streets, there to commit more crime. It was not until the late 1980s that the Federal Government finally began pumping more funds into treatment. In fact, the nation's treatment budget is now larger than it was in the 1970's. Sadly, our drug problem is larger as well, as long waiting lists attest. It is time to follow the example of Jerome Jaffe and make elimination of those lists a top priority. But how much would that cost? According to in-house calculations by the drug czar's office, filling the nation's treatment gap would require increasing the Federal treatment budget by $3.4 billion a year. Of the $16 billion Washington now spends to fight drugs, $10.6 billion goes for supply reduction and $5.4 billion for demand reduction. If the overall budget was held constant but the allocation for these two areas equalized at $8 billion, the demand side would receive an additional $2.6 billion - close to the sum in question. But the Clinton Administration - worried about looking soft on drugs - seems little interested in making such a transfer. By itself, of course, such a change would not "solve" the nation's drug problem. Rooted as it is in low-income communities, that problem is inseparable from the nation's other social ills, like inadequate housing, poor schooling and unemployment. Until these conditions are addressed, drug abuse will remain a fixture of American life. But by following the public health approach outlined here, Washington could reduce that problem to a far more manageable scale. When it comes to drug policy, Americans need not choose between their hearts and their heads; in this area, compassion is itself cost effective. Clearly, the war on drugs is not.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Users Take Risks Coming Into City ('The Washington Times' Rails Against Washington, DC's Laissez-Faire Market For Illegal Drugs Created By Prohibition) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 11:18:08 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: Drug Users Take Risks Coming Into City 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: Washington Times Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.washtimes.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Author: Kristan Trugman DRUG USERS TAKE RISKS COMING INTO CITY Suburbanites drive into crime-infested D.C. neighborhoods every day to score drugs. If they're lucky, they drive away. The unlucky buyers are mugged, robbed, beaten or killed. But still they come, looking for easy buys and cheap drugs, enticed by city laws that are more easy on drug buyers and users than tougher suburban codes. They burden the city's police force, contribute to the demise of troubled neighborhoods and put themselves at grave risk. "Nothing matters to them but the next hit," says Lt. Gary Fitzgerald who supervises the 1st Police District's vice unit that fights drugs in many Capitol Hill neighborhoods and others in Northeast. Michael Peterson, 29, a Vienna, Va., resident injects heroin as he sits in a Southeast alley in the Arthur Capper public housing community. "It's all about the addiction and how strong it is," says the blond-haired blue-eyed auto mechanic who rode Metro to the city to buy heroin one recent warm Sunday. "This is where the drugs are. It's where [drugs] are easiest to get," Mr. Peterson said. "It's the only available place I know," said a 23-year-old Fairfax County, Va., resident who drove his Volkswagen into a Southwest neighborhood called Greenleaf to buy a $20 bag of marijuana. Marijuana dealers stand on street curbs for drive-through service. The business is so competitive that two dueling dealers this particular Sunday run up to an unmarked police truck in hopes of selling a bag to Investigator Mike Jewell, 30, of the vice unit. The seller soon realizes he has approached a police officer and darts off. Cocaine and heroin dealers are more discreet. Their customers, clutching small wads of cash, jump out of cars parked along the street and scramble into apartment hallways to quickly swap money for drugs. Undercover vice police Investigators Sherrie Forester, 38, and Robert Clark, 33, confiscate the drugs from the Fairfax man in the Volkswagen. "Get back in your car and return to Virginia," Investigator Forester says to the man, sending him on his way at dusk. Most young suburban drug users don't realize the danger of trekking into unfamiliar neighborhoods to buy drugs, police say. Older drug users are addicts who know the risks, but need the fix. Police say the suburban drug shoppers exact a toll on the city as police stop droves of buyers, lecture them about the dangers and then usually send them home. "It's a drain on our resources to have to deal with not only the people involved in the drug trade in D.C., but with the added problems of people coming in from the suburbs to buy narcotics," said Commander William P. McManus, who heads the 1st District. The drug business ruins neighborhoods and keeps some residents prisoners in their homes. On the corners, drug dealers swarm, selling their wares to the middle class, who ride into the inner city from their safe communities far from the violence fueled by drugs. "There are decent people who live in these neighborhoods and are tired of it. I've had people at their windows saying, 'Please, please, help me.' It's like they're under siege," Investigator Forester says. "It's a city under siege." D.C. prosecutors require a minimum seizure of eight or nine $20 zip bags -- each about one-sixth of a gram -- to bring a felony charge, police say. To charge suspects with a felony, prosecutors must be able to prove that a defendant possessed the drugs to distribute or with the intent to distribute, said Channing Phillips, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in D.C. "You have to have evidence that it's not [just] for personal use. It's easier to convince a judge or jury when you have eight or nine bags. Otherwise they will knock it down to a simple possession," Mr. Phillips said. Detained suburbanites might, at most, see a temporary holding cell, where they are held for a brief court appearance in D.C. Superior Court. Once they pay an attorney and court fees, their arrest might end up costing $1,000. Despite complaints by police officers that prosecutors do not pursue some drug cases, prosecutors say they are aggressive against drug sellers and buyers in the District. But they can work only with laws on the books. "Under the D.C. code, selling marijuana is a misdemeanor no matter how much you sell. Only in federal court can you charge it as a felony," Mr. Phillips said. "The risk level is much lower in terms of sentences" for selling marijuana than for heroin or cocaine. "But it also has made [marijuana sales] more competitive and has been associated with a lot of violent crimes because it's territorial." Law enforcement officers believe about 20 people were murdered as a direct result of the drug trade in the Greenleaf area of Southwest and about 20 others died indirectly related to drug trafficking in the neighborhood, where mostly marijuana is sold. News of the violent crimes in that neighborhood apparently did not spread into suburban homes. One recent Friday afternoon in Greenleaf, a man on a bicycle cruised Delaware Avenue watching for police. He was on the drug-dealers' payroll, police said. It was a big day for drug sales -- payday for many workers and the beginning of the weekend. Cars, many sporting Virginia tags, moved slowly along the street. Knowing two police officers are watching, the dealers instruct buyers to drive into a parking lot shielded by buildings. "This is an open-air drug market all day long," Investigator Clark said. A few blocks away on I Street SE, a woman got out of a van and hurried across the street until she was intercepted by vice officers. "Tell me the truth. What are you doing here?" Officer Clark asked. "Looking for my sister," the woman replied. "They will tell you every lie in the book," Investigator Forester. The woman eventually admitted she was in search of heroin. "You need to go back to Virginia," Investigator Forester told her. "And be careful. You're in a dangerous neighborhood." Moments later at Potomac Garden public housing complex, a 39-year-old woman from Arlington, Va., sat behind the wheel of a rusty car with her 15-year-old son in the back seat, her swollen hands an indication of heroin use. "This is really sad. What kind of life are you showing him?" Investigator Forester asked her, looking at the teen-ager. "I should lock you up for bringing a 15-year-old boy down here to buy drugs. I wish there was a charge like that."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Backpacks Becoming Casualty Of School Violence ('The Associated Press' Says 90 Percent Of Youngsters Ages 12 To 17 Have A Backpack And Use It Almost Every Day, But School Officials In Isolated Districts Around The United States Are Beginning To Ban Them As Potential Hiding Places For Guns, Knives And Other Contraband - The News Service Doesn't Mention The Number Of Homicides At Public Schools Has Declined Over The Last Five Years From 55 Annually To 45) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Backpacks becoming casualty of school violence The Associated Press 9/7/98 4:59 PM By MARTA W. ALDRICH Associated Press Writer NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Educators who once looked on backpacks as little more than a tidy way for students to carry books and papers now are surveying them warily as a potential arsenal for guns, knives and other contraband. After a year of schoolhouse bloodshed that shook the nation and left administrators searching for ways to prevent more violence, the humble backpack has made some lists of threats to school safety. In Paris, about 90 miles northwest of Nashville, Lakewood Elementary School pupils are allowed this year to carry only transparent backpacks made of mesh netting or plastic. The same goes for elementary school students in Marshall County, Ky., which has banned backpacks for students in grades 6 to 12. In Westmoreland, N.Y., backpacks were prohibited on the last day of school last spring. "Backpacks are an ideal place for children to hide a weapon, drugs, cellular phones, beepers or anything else they don't need," said Marshall County schools superintendent Kenneth Shadowen. "We know that someone wanting to bring a weapon in school will get it in one way or another, but we hope to make it as difficult as possible." An incident in May -- when a student pulled an ice pick from her backpack and threatened a classmate -- crystallized the issue for Shadowen. "We can't go around searching backpacks and book bags all day," he said. "This approach isn't trouble-free and it punishes a lot of good students, but we think it's best for the system." The backpack of 15-year-old Kip Kinkel, the suspect in a May 21 school shooting that killed two students and wounded 22 others in Springfield, Ore., contained several ammunition clips, fully loaded, and an assortment of loose ammunition, police said. Also in May, a 5-year-old kindergartener in Memphis brought a loaded pistol to school, a 16-year-old in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and an eighth-grader in Hereford, Md., hid a handgun. All the incidents involved backpacks. In Chino, Calif., a fifth-grade girl caused havoc at her school on May 18 by writing "B-O-M-B" on her backpack, which was accidentally left in the wrong classroom. Authorities evacuated the 950 students at Alicia Cortez Elementary School and detonated the bag, only to find it contained school supplies and books, including a library copy of "Old Yeller." "We banned backpacks on the last day of school ... in response to these various incidents and acts of violence across the nation," said school superintendent Marilyn Pirkle in Westmoreland. Market research by manufacturers shows 90 percent of youngsters ages 12 to 17 have a backpack and use it almost every day. School administrators say backpacks -- with their monster clips, daisy chains and special compartments for CD players, laptop computers and roller blades -- have become status symbols for kids. JanSport Inc., the nation's leading backpack manufacturer, developed the mesh packs after schools started changing policies. But the transparent styles still make up less than 2 percent of the company's sales, spokeswoman Gigi deYoung said. "Different schools have taken different approaches to the safety concern," deYoung said. "Some schools have abolished lockers rather than backpacks and, to meet those needs, the kids are asking for larger backpacks to carry their things all day." Boston-based Eastpak, the second-largest U.S. backpack manufacturer, developed its mesh-style Malibu line two years ago for the beach but has begun selling more as school bags, spokeswoman Julie Mazzman said. "We have noticed that we keep selling out of that bag, particularly in the Southeast. But I don't think it's necessarily a trend yet," she said. Lakewood officials asked the local Wal-Mart to stock more transparent backpack styles during the summer to accommodate the ban on conventional packs that went into effect when school resumed Aug. 10. "I'm not aware of any negative reaction (to the policy) at this point," principal Doug Mosley said. "Frankly, I think people are more worried about the violence right now." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- HempFest Scheduled For Same Weekend As UF Homecoming (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Tampa Tribune' Says City Officials In Gainesville, Florida, Tried To Get The Cannabis Action Network Not To Hold This Year's HempFest During The University Of Florida's Annual Homecoming Weekend November 14-15) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 14:38:20 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: HempFest Scheduled For Same Weekend As UF Homecoming 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: Tampa Tribune (FL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tboweb.com/ Pubdate: 7 Sep 1998 P.O. Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601-4005. HEMPFEST SCHEDULED FOR SAME WEEKEND AS UF HOMECOMING GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) - There will be the parade up University Avenue, the popular Gator Growl pep rally attracting thousands of alumni, the usual parties, and of course the football game, this year against South Carolina. But also in Gainesville during the University of Florida's homecoming weekend this year will be HempFest '98, an annual event extolling the benefits of hemp and marijuana. City officials tried to get organizers not to hold this year's HempFest during the homecoming weekend Nov. 14 and 15. Organizers said that wasn't possible because their only other choice, on Halloween weekend, the Gainesville Community Plaza was already booked. The event is sponsored by a group called the Cannabis Action Network. City officials told the group they will have to call in extra police from neighboring towns to help with security during the event. The group favors the legalization of industrial hemp for manufacturing and the legalization of marijuana for medicinal use. Some members have in the past also advocated legalization of marijuana for recreational use. The annual HempFest, which has been going on for nine years in Gainesville, used to feature the ``Doobie Toss,'' during which festival organizers tossed marijuana joints into the crowd. Police arrested those doing the tossing in 1994 and put a stop to that part of the festival. Also that year, marchers protested at the police department after one person was arrested for smoking marijuana. In 1995, the city denied the network's permit application for the event, saying it posed a threat to the public. But C.A.N. sued the city and U.S. District Judge William Stafford barred the city from withholding the permit, saying the First Amendment prevented that. The network continues to pursue litigation against the city, asserting that some laws on the licensing of public events are unconstitutional. Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Action Alert - The Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act (A List Subscriber Forwards An Alert From The Colombia Support Network Opposing The Bill Making Its Way Through Both Houses Of The US Congress - Section 201 Provides $200 Million In Military Aid To Colombia, But Only $15 Million For Alternative Crop Development, Compared To $150 Million For Alternative Crop Development In Peru) Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 13:25:13 -0400 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Paul Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: ACTION ALERT -- THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE DRUG ELIMINATION ACT Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ACTION ALERT -- THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE DRUG ELIMINATION ACT *** Dear friends: The Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act is a bill making its way through the U.S. Congress. The WHDE Act is intented to provide countries, primarily in Latin America, with assistance to ostensibly help curb the flow of narcotics into the United States. In the House of Representatives, this bill is known as H.R.4300 [introduced by Rep. Bill McCollum (R) of Florida]. In the Senate, the same bill is known as S.2341 [introduced by Senator Mike DeWine (R) of Ohio]. The House bill has 46 co-sponsors, indicating a broad base of support. The vote in the Senate will follow the vote in the House. We are concerned with Section 201 of the WHDE Act, which deals specifically with Colombia. We are not asking for the wholesale discarding of the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act. We are only asking for Section 201 to be striken from the final version. Compare the aid provided to Peru under this Act with that for Colombia. 86% ($150 million) of the aid to Peru is targeted to enhance USAID alternative development programs. In contrast, only 7% ($15 million) of the aid to Colombia is targeted for an alternative development program. The balance of the Colombian aid, roughly $200 million, is in the form of helicopters and other military gear. If the United States government truly wishes to eliminate drugs in the western hemisphere, a more concerted effort should be made to provide Colombian peasants with alternatives to growing coca and opium. Alternative development programs are not a panacea, but they are a more constructive approach than the increased militarization of Colombia. By arming the Colombian security forces, the United States is becoming entangled in a "dirty war" that is slaughtering thousands of civilians and has displaced 1.2 million people over the past few years. U.S. support for the so-called "War on Drugs" in Colombia does not strengthen democracy or respect human rights, nor does it stem the flow of drugs to the United States. Our support of the Colombian security forces, and their paramilitary allies, is a tragic mistake. Please join us in this letter writing campaign to ask our representatives to strike Section 201 from this bill. You can find out more about the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act, and our letter writing campaign, by visiting our webpage at: http://www.prairienet.org/csncu Solidarity, Dennis Grammenos *** COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK: To subscribe to CSN-L send request to email@example.com SUB CSN-L Firstname Lastname (Direct questions or comments about CSN-L to firstname.lastname@example.org) Visit the website of CSN's Champaign-Urbana (Illinois) chapter at http://www.prairienet.org/csncu Subscribe to the COLOMBIA BULLETIN For free copy and info contact CSN, P.O. Box 1505, Madison WI 53701 or call (608) 257-8753 fax: (608) 255-6621 Email: email@example.com Visit the COLOMBIA SUPPORT NETWORK at http://www.igc.org/csn Visit the COLOMBIAN LABOR MONITOR at http://www.prairienet.org/clm
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mexican Congress Takes Aim At Illegal Guns From US ('The Los Angeles Times' Says Mexican Lawmakers Who Are Angry About The Flow Of Arms Coming South, Many Linked To Drug Trafficking Cartels, Are Expected To Approve Harsher Penalties For Smugglers) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 14:12:29 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Mexican Congress Takes Aim At Illegal Guns From U.S. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: 7 Sep 1998 Author: James F. Smith, Times Staff Writer MEXICAN CONGRESS TAKES AIM AT ILLEGAL GUNS FROM U.S. Weapons: Angry over flow of arms coming south, many linked to drug trafficking cartels, lawmakers are expected to approve harsher penalties for smugglers. MEXICO CITY--Next time you pop across the Mexican border for a visit, remember to leave your AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle at home. This year, 123 U.S. citizens have been arrested in Mexico on weapons charges, according to the U.S. Embassy here, and about 70 Americans--including an Orange County man--are now being held, accused or convicted of violating the country's strict Firearms and Explosives Act. In some cases, people honestly forget that they have a gun in the trunk or bullets in the glove compartment, U.S. and Mexican authorities acknowledge. But other cases are more sinister: Mexico is awash in guns smuggled in from the United States and used by organized crime syndicates, many of them linked to brutal drug cartels. The Mexican Congress is close to giving final approval to a new law that would give border officials more discretion in cases in which visitors obviously have inadvertently brought weapons with them. But be warned: The law also will make the penalties even harsher for those who do try to smuggle arms into Mexico. Already, those convicted face up to 30 years in prison. The law will make more weapons offenses subject to such tough prison terms. Just as Washington is dismayed about illegal drugs flowing north from Mexico, so the Mexican government is angry over the flood of illegal weapons coming south. More than 1,000 illegal weapons a month were seized from 1995 to mid-1997, nearly 40% of them linked to drug trafficking cartels, according to the Foreign Relations Ministry. Pointing to the flow from the north, Mexican officials like to note, for example, that the gun used to assassinate presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994 was traced to Texas. "Just as the Americans pressure us on certain issues, we are going to do the same thing and make this fair," Jesus Silva Herzog, a former ambassador to the U.S., told a radio interviewer last year. "While there has been a lot of racket about the movement of drugs from Mexico to the United States, we have been insisting on the need to study the movement of arms into Mexico." His comment came just days after customs officials in San Diego seized two truckloads of illegal weapons, including grenade launchers and automatic rifles, that were about to be smuggled into Mexico. Scott McClung, the Orange County ship captain arrested last month on charges he transported two AR-15 rifles and three shotguns into Mexico, doesn't fit neatly into either common profile: forgetful, innocent or purposeful gun-runner. Yet his case illustrates the potential dangers for U.S. citizens who bring guns to Mexico. In a jailhouse interview hours before his indictment on the weapons charge, McClung, who runs deep-sea religious voyages for youths, said he knew the Mexican gun and maritime laws and complied with them. Ships may dock with arms aboard if the weapons are declared upon landing, but they may not be brought ashore. The 36-year-old skipper said he declared his guns--aboard for protection against pirates, he said--as soon as his ship reached the harbor of the resort island of Cozumel on Aug. 10 during an unexpected stop because of engine trouble. He collapsed and was hospitalized after being ordered to stand trial. McClung, who remains in an island hospital while awaiting trial, charges that he is the victim of a local prosecutor who thought he could solicit a quick bribe. The prosecutor argued that McClung made no declaration of weapons aboard. Beyond that, the prosecutor has said he is prohibited from commenting on the case, including the accusations against him, other than to note that a trial judge considered the evidence presented by both sides and ruled that McClung must stand trial--and be held without bail until then. McClung's 71-year-old father, Eugene, who also was jailed with his son for nine days until charges against the elder man were dropped, said: "I don't have any problem with them controlling the flow of guns into the country. All they need to do is abide by their own laws." The gun issue has long been a sore point in U.S.-Mexican relations, to the extent that Mexican officials prepared the legal change earlier this year to alleviate some of the irritants. "There are different perceptions [about weapons] in the U.S. and Mexico," a senior official in the attorney general's office said. "In Mexico, we believe that carrying a gun implies the potential to commit a crime. Historically, the U.S. has had greater political stability. Here, since the '60s and '70s, there have been guerrilla uprisings, and there is more and more violent crime, with firearms, that ends up in killings." The Mexican Senate approved the bill in April, and the lower house is expected to give its assent by November. Among other provisions, the law would allow nonresidents who are considered innocent bearers of arms to be turned back or fined rather than face automatic arrest and prosecution. "We have found ourselves faced with some cases where Americans who are accustomed to carrying guns forget them and bring them into Mexico," said Sen. Jose Alvaro Vallarta, a retired general who is head of the National Defense Commission in Congress. But Vallarta noted that the leniency is limited to first-time offenders who have brought in no more than a single weapon. Furthermore, the weapon must be among those that may legally be owned in Mexico and are not restricted to military use. In Mexico, guns larger than .38-caliber are defined as being for military use only. Therefore, McClung would not have been eligible for leniency, because he had more than one gun and the AR-15s are for military use only in Mexico. The charge against McClung is particularly severe: clandestinely transporting weapons reserved for military use into Mexico, with conviction bringing a prison term of five to 30 years. Lawyers are mounting dual legal and political campaigns to get the charges dropped, arguing that McClung and his millionaire father are hardly arms smugglers. In May, Mexico formally ratified an inter-American convention against arms trafficking, adopted last year by the Organization of American States. The convention requires member states to monitor arms sales strictly, mark guns clearly for easier tracing, share information on weapons and work together to track down stolen arms. The U.S. has not yet ratified it. The official in the attorney general's office described two categories of arms smugglers: the major organized crime syndicates, often linked to drug traffickers, and the "ant smugglers" who slip a gun or two and a few bullets into the country each time they cross the border. "What we've seen is that all the drug cartels are involved in the importation of illegal arms," he said. "It is obvious that these criminal organizations arm themselves with smuggled guns to carry out their wars. And once these guns arrive, they filter into regular street-crime gangs." A U.S. Embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Mexicans are concerned not only about major arms trafficking but also "this bit-by-bit smuggling, one or two bullets at a time." He said the U.S. government has mounted a broad publicity campaign, including prominent signs on highways leading to the Mexican border, warning U.S. citizens not to bring guns into Mexico. The nine consular districts in Mexico frequently respond to calls from people arrested on arms and other charges, although the diplomats' powers to intervene are severely limited. Consular officials visit suspects, provide lists of lawyers and seek to ensure that detainees are decently treated, but they cannot provide legal advice. A week before McClung's arrest in Cozumel, the State Department issued a warning to U.S. citizens saying, "The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of firearms and ammunition along all land borders and at air and seaports." It noted that the only way to import certain firearms legally is to get a permit in advance from a Mexican consulate. Such advance permission is sometimes given for hunters and gun collectors. In its "Tips for Travelers to Mexico," the State Department notes that Mexico traditionally has the highest prison population of U.S. citizens outside the United States and that the Mexican judicial system regards accused people to be guilty until proved innocent. The document adds, "The U.S. Embassy has noted an increase of Americans being detained for illegally smuggling arms into Mexico" and points out that "some Mexican cities have ordinances prohibiting the possession of knives or anything that might be construed as a weapon." The pamphlet's advice is blunt: "Do not bring firearms." This story did not appear in all of Sunday's editions of The Times because of a late-breaking story.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Wins Greater Support (According To 'The Hobart Mercury,' Professor David McDonald Of The Australian National University Told An International Conference On Cannabis Law In London That The Government-Regulated Sale Of Marijuana Appears Closer To Being Placed On The Agenda Of State And Federal Governments In Australia) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:53:59 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Cannabis Wins Greater Support Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Source: The Hobart Mercury (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Section: Page 7 CANNABIS WINS GREATER SUPPORT THE prospect of the government-regulated sale of marijuana appears closer to being placed on the agenda of state and federal governments, say some of Australia's most influential advisers on drug policy. Speaking before an international conference on cannabis law in London, Professor David McDonald of the Australian National University said Australians were relatively big users of the drug compared with other countries. Professor McDonald added that there was a growing body, of opinion among Australians, as seen in recent opinion polls, that total prohibition of cannabis may not be the best approach to regulating the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana - Regulated Sale Urged (The Version In 'The Canberra Times') Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:45:29 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Marijuana: Regulated Sale Urged Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Russell) Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Australian Associated Press MARIJUANA: REGULATED SALE URGED LONDON, Sunday: The prospect of the Australian Government-regulated sale of marijuana has been raised by an influential adviser on drug policy. Professor David McDonald, of the Australian National University, attending an international conference on cannabis law in London's Regent College, said there was a growing body of opinion among Australians, as seen in recent opinion polls, that total prohibition might not be the best approach to regulating the drug. "We now have the situation in Australia where there is a huge cannabis market but it is not regulated by government," he said. "But here we are [at the conference] talking about government getting control of the market in the interest of the people and in the interest of the government, through taxation." "What we have not got in Australia is a clearly thought-through range of other ways of dealing with [cannabis]." The London conference is billed as the world's first on the regulation of cannabis. The main form of regulation discussed was the Californian model, in which recognised "buyers clubs" are allowed to supply cannabis to those who need it for medical reasons. The chairman of the Australian National Illicit Drugs Expert Committee, Robert Ali, said that "nationally there is a lot of interest in looking at alternative models" for the regulation of Marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Games Athletes Who Smoke Dope Risk Jail ('The Australian' Issues A Travel Advisory To Swimmers And Gymnasts Who Will Be Taking Part In The Commonwealth Games In Malaysia - The Malaysian Dangerous Drugs Act Mandates Jail Without Bail For Those Charged With Using Marijuana, And A Mandatory Death Penalty For Possession Of More Than 200 Grams Of Cannabis)Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:15:17 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Games Atheletes Who Smoke Dope Risk Jail Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry Source: The Australian Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/ Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Author: Warwick HadfieldGAMES ATHLETES WHO SMOKE DOPE RISK JAIL AUSTRALIAN swimmers and gymnasts would be best advised to hightail it out of Malaysia at the first opportunity if they tested positive to marijuana, the medical director of Australia's Commonwealth Games team, Brian Sando, said yesterday. The Malaysian Dangerous Drugs Act puts in place some of the most draconian anti-drug laws in the world, with death the penalty for the more serious trafficking offences. Dr Sando said those charged with using marijuana were jailed without bail. Anyone found guilty of being in possession of more than 200 grams of cannabis faced a mandatory death penalty. "It's not a country where you would want to step over the line," he said. "I was asked what would happen to swimmers and gymnasts who did test positive to marijuana. "My answer to that is they would be out of the Games and the smart thing to do would be to be out of the country before the tests became public." Dr Sando said he did not expect any problems with the drug among Australian athletes.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Dealing 'Worse Than Ever' ('The Sydney Morning Herald' Says Senior Prohibition Agents In New South Wales Are Claiming That Poor Management By The Police Service Has Been Partly Responsible For Drug Dealing In Kings Cross Flourishing To A Level That Business Leaders Say Is Worse Than Before The NSW Police Royal Commission - 'Our Biggest Problem Is That There Is A Huge Demand For Drugs And Nothing We Do Reduces That Demand,' Said Superintendent Ray Adams Of The Kings Cross Patrol) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 10:51:46 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Drug Dealing "Worse Than Ever" Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Author: Greg Bearup DRUG DEALING "WORSE THAN EVER" Senior NSW detectives are claiming that poor management by the Police Service has been partly responsible for drug dealing in Kings Cross flourishing to a level that business leaders say is worse than before the NSW Police Royal Commission. Dozens of dealers are now openly selling drugs on the street around Darlinghurst Road and adopting techniques first used in Cabramatta - selling small quantities of heroin and cocaine concealed in balloons. Dr Raymond Seidler, a GP who has had a practice in Springfield Avenue since 1978, says he had never seen as much open dealing as now goes on in Kings Cross. "In many ways things were better before the Royal Commission," Dr Seidler says. "I thought at one one stage that things would change, that they would get things to an acceptable level, that Kings Cross would become a great suburb to live and do business in. "Now I walk out my door and see people dealing drugs openly and users pissing and shitting in the street, and the police don't seem to be doing too much about it." According to a senior NSW detective, part of the problem dates from the disbandment of the elite unit, Task Force Bax, late last year following revelations in the Police Integrity Commission involving a small number of task force members. While three members of the task force were charged with giving false or misleading evidence, the 30-strong unit of detectives had been extremely successful in "picking off" some of the major dealers and their associates. It allowed the detectives from Kings Cross to focus on the street-level dealers. In its 18 months of operation, Bax detectives arrested more than 80 people, including a number named in the royal commission as being major dealers, and 20 for offences that carry a life sentence. "In my opinion the senior management have turned a blind eye to the Cross," a senior detective said. "They disbanded Bax but they didn't replace it with anything as effective and the local blokes haven't got the resources to be chasing the bigger fish. That eventually filters down to the streets and now the whole thing is out of control." The Herald understands that there is a covert unit examining some of the bigger players in Kings Cross but that unit has had to "start from scratch" in gathering information and recruiting informants. Insiders claim that the response following the closure of Bax was neither swift nor adequate. The commander of Kings Cross patrol, Superintendent Ray Adams, says he is "very much aware" of street dealers and many arrests have been made in the area. Overall, crime in the Kings Cross area was down significantly, particularly break and enters, theft, assaults and car theft, and drug arrests were up. Police had aggressively policed the night clubs and strip clubs in the area and a number of clubs had lost their licences and were facing fines of more than $1 million. The heavy policing of the clubs and strip joints had driven the dealing to the streets. "Our biggest problem is that there is a huge demand for drugs and nothing we do reduces that demand," Superintendent Adams said. Last week the Herald observed about a dozen dealers coming and going from around the public telephone boxes in Springfield Mall, dealing openly with clients in the street. Dr Seidler says: "I get tourists and backpackers come into my clinic from all over the world and I don't think it leaves a very good impression with them that every time they leave their hotel or hostel someone is badgering them to buy drugs."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Face It - Booze Killed Diana (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Toronto Star' Wonders Why The Press Is Still Looking For Answers In The Death Of Princess Diana Of England, When The Driver Of The Car She Was Riding In Had Three Times The Legal Alcohol Limit In His System) Date: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 11:19:49 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Subject: PUB LtE: TorStar: Face it: Booze killed Diana Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star (Canada) Pubdate: Monday, September 7, 1998 Page: A11 Website: http://www.thestar.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Larry Beale Face it: Booze killed Diana I'm getting increasingly angry at a world that seems to want to live in total denial. Case In point: Princess Diana! One year ago, a drunk driver killed the princess. That's what happened. It's really simple. The driver had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system and he crashed the car, killing himself, Dodi Al Fayed, and the princess. However, for a year now, the press has searched desperately for other explanations to this tragedy. Photographers! That's it! Photographers killed the woman! Let's ban the photographers! Why? Well, they were driving behind her car. That's why! I've found that generally when driving a car there will be other cars behind you. Mohamed Al Fayed, Dodi's father, has grabbed onto any theory that the National Enquirer will print. These range from murder conspiracy to alien intervention. Why as a society do we refuse to look at the destruction that is being caused by this drug - alcohol? Thousands of people are killed each year in car accidents! Countless acts of violence! Brain and liver damage! Broken lives! We've declared war on much milder drugs. But for more than a year now, we have refused to look at the obvious: Booze killed the princess! And even though members of the press were on the scene, they still haven't got the story right! Larry Beale Toronto
------------------------------------------------------------------- I Know My Father Died Of Drink - I Watched Him (An Op-Ed In Britain's 'Independent' Says British Physicians And Statisticians Cover Up The Number Of Deaths Caused By Alcohol, As Well As The Horrible Effects Of Alcoholism) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 12:25:52 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: I Know My Father Died Of Drink. I Watched Him 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) Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Mon, 07 Sep 1998 Author: Rosie Brocklehurst I KNOW MY FATHER DIED OF DRINK. I WATCHED HIM. My father died from chronic alcoholism but I cannot prove it. I cannot prove that in July 1982, when my father had been in intensive care for three days and the plug was pulled on his life, alcohol was the cause of his death. I cannot prove it because nowhere on his death certificate is alcohol even mentioned. My father's death is not included in the statistics of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales for 1982. In that year, the official number of alcohol-related deaths in England and Wales was put at the very low figure of 2,624. Those statistics are not going to put alcoholism very high up on anybody's agenda, or shock the nation for that matter, but those statistics are wrong. Alcohol is no respecter of persons, of internal organs or of bodily functions. But although research has improved since 1982, and official statistics have risen, there still exists a web of denial, ignorance and confusion in assessing the true picture of alcoholism, illness and mortality. Difficulties in collection of data, collusion between families, individuals and the medical profession which incorporates the stigma still associated with the word "alcoholic" are factors in masking the problem's real nature. If someone dies from alcohol-related causes, it is unlikely to appear on the death certificate. The debate within the medical profession - and within society as a whole - about the effects of alcohol abuse is based on poor understanding fuelled by inadequate research; an area as murky as the dregs in the bottom of a bottle of inferior plonk. How do I know what killed my father? Because I was there. I was there for years. I brought him his last bottle of strong liquor. He was not eating then. He could not. He was in terrible physical and mental pain. I witnessed his physical and mental decline over a period of years as he drank his way through a minimum of two bottles of Scotch a day. He never mentioned suicide, but his life was ebbing away pitifully each day. It was not just the physical disintegration but also the mental degeneration that was so horrific. His spirit was atrophying. In the two years before his death, my father's body was bloated, and his skin a greyish colour. His face was jowly and ill-kempt. His eyes were bulbous and yellow. He could not walk without extreme pain in his legs. He smoked, but this was not all to do with smoking. It is known that chronic alcoholism causes polyneuropathy - tender calf muscles, discomfort in walking, numbness, weak legs, tingling in feet and hands and can lead to paralysis of the legs. His name was William, and he had once, some 30 years before, been a fit and wiry fitness instructor in the RAF. At the age of 45 he was made redundant, and dealt with his anxiety and disappointment in life with drink. He moved the family to a house next door to a pub and when he was not drinking there, he was brewing up pear wine and consuming it before it had fermented. It was the kind of stuff you used to get under the counter in the Gorbals. Moonshine. 100 per cent proof that could also be used as paint stripper. The violent mood swings, such a consistent pattern in the early years of his drinking, in the later stages, changed to an all-enveloping depression. As his body and his mind weakened he withdrew into a space few could penetrate. He spent most of his last days in a council bungalow, staring into the middle distance. His memory came and went. He began to believe that he had fought in the Second World War, when in fact he had not been old enough to do so. This type of confabulation is documented. Extreme cases are known as "Korsakoff's Psychosis". On a hot July day in 1982, my father was found by a friend of the family who was passing by his home. He was sitting naked and shivering on a kitchen chair. He had removed all his clothes for they, like every sheet and towel in the house was covered in a foul bloody liquid, which he was passing from his bowel and mouth. The family friend recalled the look of abject fear on my father's eyes as the ambulance took him to hospital. That was the last time anyone saw him conscious. Soon after arrival at the hospital his oesophagus ruptured and his stomach erupted. His brain was monitored in intensive care. It had been severely damaged. He was 56 years old when he died. In the Liver Unit of King's College Hospital, it is the nurses who witness most of the agonising death throes of the alcoholic patients; the foaming at the mouth in alcohol-induced epileptic fits, the swelling of the brain from inflammation. If the patient survives then he or she may become one of those placed in a psychiatric hospital, the so-called "wet brains" who do not know who they are or where they have come from, and whose brain damage is irreversible. For those with chronic liver disease who are in physical agony, a painkiller may not always be administered because death may be caused by the drug itself. All death and its details make grim conversation but there is a particular aura of shame and taboo which surrounds the subject of alcoholic death. Moreover, the medical terminology used to describe physical states leading to death shrouds the subject further with clinical objectivity, and removes the emotional shock from a general public who might wish to avoid hearing about the gruesome details. The horrific nature of the alcoholic death - from cerebral atrophy or liver disease for example - is confirmed by Dr Sarah Jarvis of Alcohol Concern's medical committee. "It is, without doubt, one of the most unpleasant deaths imaginable," she says. "Of course it is the hardened alcoholic who ends up in hospital - the hopeless case - and I think this gives doctors a very distorted view of the whole subject of alcoholism in our society." But why is it the case that accurate statistics are so hard to come by? Dr Peter Anderson of the World Health Organisation says: "There is reticence on the part of the medical profession to put alcoholism down as a cause. This is perhaps partly to do with a certain ambivalence in the profession, because of the way alcohol is used by the profession itself. There is also the added desire to protect the family afterwards from the associated social stigma." Dr Jarvis agrees and says that collusion has meant it is hard to come up with accurate statistics. Researchers have had to develop systems of analysis of an epidemiological nature, by looking at the relationship between drink and ill health or accidents related to alcohol consumption. "A lot of death certificates are written out in the primary health care setting where the doctor will have known the family. The truth might strain the doctor-patient relationship." There may also be financial reasons. Lucy, is an example of what often happens. Her husband died in a London hospital at the age of 29. He had fought a battle with drink for nine years. Lucy accepted he was dying of alcoholism, but it did not appear as the cause of death. If it had, it may have jeopardised the life insurance which enabled her to pick up the pieces of her shattered life after his death. Statistics do matter. 100,000 a year is the figure for smoking-related deaths. But Drs Jarvis and Anderson agree it is easier to assess smoking-related illness, and even with changes in attitudes, there is not the same social stigma associated with smoking oneself to death. Part of the problem is recognising early signs in the pathology of the patient. Many illnesses caused by alcohol could have been caused by something else. Despite the commonly held belief that the consequences of alcohol misuse are well understood, expert evidence suggests this is not true. Figures vary between 4,000 and 40,000 deaths per annum in England and Wales. Dr Anderson quotes a figure of 28,000 deaths (Lord President's Report, Action on Alcohol Misuse, 1991). It is these statistics, of course, which when waved in front of Government Health Departments influence the importance assigned to any particular health problems. Since the University of York's Centre for Health Economics report in May 1992, which put the annual alcohol-related mortality rate at between "8,700 and 33,000", there has been no change in the statistical data. But more recently the Government has proposed, in its Healthier Nation White Paper, a strategy designed to tackle the whole issue. Alcohol Concern is in the process of developing a body of work which will help to inform that strategy. Perhaps the key statistics here are financial. Alcohol misuse costs British industry an estimated UKP2bn per annum; and alcohol-related crime costs an estimated UKP50m a year. It is to be hoped that financial considerations will influence strategy in such a way that death and alcohol become a more transparent subject. We must overcome our squeamishness and shame. It is the tragic human consequences of such illness and death which needs to be revealed if more lives are not to be wasted.
------------------------------------------------------------------- HIV, Tobacco Are Biggest Killers Worldwide ('Reuters' Says Richard Peto, A Professor Of Medical Statistics And Epidemiology At Oxford University, Told A Science Conference Monday In Cardiff, Wales, That The Only Two Causes Of Death That Are Increasing Rapidly Worldwide Are AIDS And Tobacco - 'You Can Save Far More Lives By A Moderate Reduction In The Big Causes Of Death Than By A Large Reduction In Smaller Causes,' He Said) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 19:11:13 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: WIRE: HIV, Tobacco Are Biggest Killers Worldwide 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) Pubdate: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 Source: Reuters HIV, TOBACCO ARE BIGGEST KILLERS WORLDWIDE CARDIFF, Wales (Reuters) - The best way to reduce death rates worldwide is to target the biggest killers -- the HIV virus and tobacco, a British scientist said on Monday. Richard Peto, a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at Oxford University, told a science conference that the only two causes of death that are increasing fast worldwide are the HIV virus that causes AIDS and tobacco. ``You can save far more lives by a moderate reduction in the big causes of death than by a large reduction in smaller causes,'' he said. ``Tobacco is still the biggest killer we've got,'' he told the British Association of Science, adding that 100 million people will die from smoking worldwide over the next 20 years. While infant deaths have decreased at amazing rates in the last 100 years, with only about one percent of children worldwide dying before their fifth birthday, Peto said the emphasis has shifted to preventing deaths in middle age which is becoming a global priority. In the United States tobacco causes one third of all deaths in people before the age of 70. Twelve percent of deaths among middle-aged American men in 1990 were caused by smoking, which was responsible for nearly a third of the deaths in women of the same age group. Britain has experienced one of the biggest drops worldwide in middle-age death rates in the past 30 years, mainly because of a decline in smoking. In 1965, 42 percent of men died before the age of 70 and nearly half of these deaths were due to smoking. By 1995 the death rate dropped to 28 percent and only a third were attributed to tobacco. ``The decrease in mortality is being driven by a decrease in tobacco,'' Peto said. Smoking is also the cause of most of the differences in death rates between the rich and poor because the people from lower social classes and on smaller incomes are more likely to take up the habit. But the news, he added, was not all bad and even heavy smokers still had a chance to beat the statistics. ``Half of all smokers are killed by tobacco, but stopping works amazingly well; even in middle age smokers who stop avoid most of their risk of death from tobacco and stopping before middle age avoids almost all the risk,'' he said. Turning his attention to the HIV virus, Peto said it will evolve differently in different populations. The newest drugs have prolonged the lives of many AIDS sufferers but they are expensive and unaffordable in developing countries where the virus is spreading at alarming rates. Experts at the World AIDS conference in Geneva earlier this summer agreed that a vaccine against the virus is still years away and prevention is the best way to deal with the disease, particularly in poor nations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 90 Percent Of Cot Death Babies Have Nicotine In Their Bloodstream (The Irish 'Examiner' Says Research Conducted By The Karolinska Institute In Stockholm, Sweden, And Published In The US Journal, 'Pediatrics,' Also Found A Quarter Of All Victims Had As Much Nicotine In Their Bodies As Regular Smokers, For The First Time Substantiating A Direct Link Between Tobacco And Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 13:49:08 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Sweden: 90% Of Cot Death Babies Have Nicotine In Their Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Examiner (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 7 Sep 1998 Author: Mark Gallagher 90% OF COT DEATH BABIES HAVE NICOTINE IN THEIR BLOODSTREAM A SCANDINAVIAN study has found 90% of all cot death babies have "significant" level of nicotine in their bloodstream. The research, conducted by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, also found a quarter of all victims had as much nicotine in their bodies as regular smokers. The institute published the findings in the US Journal of Paediatrics. They offer the first direct link between tobacco and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, long thought to be connected. This was the first study of its kind to measure the nicotine levels in the bodies of infants who had died suddenly. It also offered the first scientific evidence parental smoking is linked directly to the cot death of children. The researchers, led by Dr Joseph Milerad, neonatologist at the Department of Women and Child Health at the institute, looked at samples of pericardial fluid, the fluid which is deposited around the heart, from every child under seven who had died suddenly in the greater Oslo region between 1990 and 1993. Dr Milerad and his team took samples from 45 babies, 24 of whom had suffered SIDS. The others had died from either infection or accident. Unfortunately, they were unable to compare pericardial fluid of those SIDS victims and healthy babies, as it is not possible to take the fluid from a living baby. The fluid was tested for cotinine, a nicotine component which is produced as the body metabolises nicotine. The result of the test gives a fairly healthy indication of the level of tobacco exposure from between four to eight hours before death. The evidence was strong enough for Dr Milerad to conclude nicotine did pose a direct risk to the health of infants. In the past, parents were told not to smoke around infants to prevent the development of asthma and other bronchial complaints. Dr Milerad now believes secondary smoking by infants poses a much greater danger, saying past studies of rats and unborn babies indicated exposure to nicotine depresses the body's response to a fall in oxygen and delays arousal from sleep. "If you ask mothers whether they smoke near their babies, you get the answer not so much, but we have shown how strong the link is between smoking and cot death," Dr Milerard said. A report released by the Irish Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Association (ISIDA) earlier this year did say smoking posed a risk factor to infants with regard to cot deaths, with 80% of Irish parents of cot death victims smoking. "The Irish data certainly mirrors the Swedish study," said Prof Tom Matthews of ISIDA. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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