------------------------------------------------------------------- Phone Bank Needs You (Floyd Ferris Landrath Of Portland NORML And The American Antiprohibition League Seeks Volunteers To Make Phone Calls Urging Voters To Oppose Measure 57, The Recrim Bill, Measure 61, Setting Minimum Sentences For Some Crimes And Increasing Sentences For Repeat Offenders, And To Support Measure 57, The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 02:28:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (email@example.com) To: AAL@inetarena.com Subject: Phone Bank Needs You Portland Area Activist News -- Tuesday, Sept. 8, 1998 Voter Power & Antiprohibition League "NO" on 57+61, "YES" on 67 PHONE BANK READY TO BEGIN OPERATION Now that the US West strike is over and thanks to John Sajo and Voter Power, the phones are in. The list is hot and the room is cool. Now all we need is you. Here's an opportunity to help a good cause and have a good time in the process. All you have to do is talk to people, people who already support and agree with you. There's no pressure to sell anything or even change people's minds. We're educating and motivating supporters to make sure they are registered to vote at their current address, to make sure that they know about "NO" on 57+61, and "YES" on 67. When we get closer to the election we'll also help people fill out their ballots, direct them to their polling place and do whatever we can to make sure we get their vote. The phone bank is located in Southeast Portland, calling starts at 6:30 p.m. and runs to about 9:30 p.m. on week nights, noon to 9p.m. on weekends (if I get enough help so we can do the Market too). The bank will run through November 2nd. So if you have a evening to spare and want to help spread the word please give me a call and we'll make it happen. Come on now. Make 20 calls and I promise you'll be high just on the contact... it's intoxicating to make a difference, empower a supporter. Thank you. Floyd Ferris Landrath - Director American Antiprohibition League 503-235-4524 P/S: You can also make calls from home. Please email me for details.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Vote For A Supreme Court That Puts Your Rights First ('Seattle Times' Columnist Michelle Malkin Notes Voters In Washington State Get To Elect Their Supreme Court Justices, Unlike In Oregon, But Ratings By Traditional Groups Such As The Seattle-King County Bar Association Provide Little Information About Where The Dozen Candidates Vying For Three Open Seats Next Week Stand On The Proper Relationship Between The Government And The Governed - So Malkin Reviews An Alternative Set Of Ratings Provided By The Libertarian-Oriented Northwest Legal Foundation, Which Includes A Strong Endorsement Of Incumbent Richard Sanders, The Lone Supporter Of Ralph Seeley's Constitutional Challenge To Washington's Ban On Medical Marijuana) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-Hemp Talk" (email@example.com) Subject: HT: Vote for a Supreme Court that puts your rights first Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 18:48:54 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 06:47 a.m. PDT; Tuesday, September 8, 1998 Michelle Malkin / Times staff columnist Vote for a Supreme Court that puts your rights first YOUR property. Your taxes. Your privacy. Your freedom. These are just a few small reasons to cast informed votes for state Supreme Court candidates in next Tuesday's primary election. If some political theorists are to be believed, much of the electorate picks judicial candidates based on the pleasant ring of their names. But you wouldn't pick your own personal lawyer or your kids' baby-sitter that way, would you? Why settle for the eeny-meeny-miny-moe method of selecting the powerful panel of men and women who are sworn to uphold your constitutional rights? Three seats on the state's highest bench are up for election; a dozen candidates are running. Ratings by traditional groups such as the Seattle-King County Bar Association provide little information about where those candidates stand on the proper relationship between the governed and the governors. But this year, an alternative set of ratings provided by the libertarian Northwest Legal Foundation (NLF) gives voters the views of a citizens committee less impressed by a lifetime of schmoozing in legal and corporate circles than by a demonstrated commitment to individual rights: Position 6. Incumbent Richard Sanders, a former NLF member, scored an "exceptionally qualified" rating from the group. It is richly deserved. The NLF committee headed by Tacoma lawyer Rich Shepard was "extremely impressed with Justice Sanders' consistent and principled judicial philosophy, and his willingness to zealously advocate it in the face of personal attacks from various quarters of the legal community." Sanders is the first judge to distribute an exhaustive list of his written opinions to voters. His remarkable lone dissent in Seeley vs. State of Washington, in which the majority ruled against the late cancer patient Ralph Seeley's right to smoke physician-recommended medical marijuana, may be the single most widely read (and cherished) opinion ever produced by the court. Whether supporting the privacy rights of a dying man, upholding the people's right of referendum or defending the constitutional reasonableness of term limits, Sanders has shown a vigorous and noble commitment to the rule of law. Sanders' sole opponent, assistant attorney general Greg Canova, earned a "not qualified" rating from NLF. "Canova failed to respond to written questions or an invitation to interview. Thus, the committee was unable to discern Canova's judicial philosophy, except that his record indicates that he favors `good government' over individual rights." A hot-headed career government bureaucrat, Canova's campaign offers "no assurance that he would be able to control himself on the court and not further fracture an already splintered court." Position 5. Only one of the three candidates in this race earned the NLF's highest ranking - incumbent justice Barbara Madsen. Moderate and diligent, she was rated by the organization as "exceptionally qualified" because it was "impressed with her understanding of the dynamics of the Supreme Court, the importance she placed upon an independent judiciary and with her friendly manner." Position 1. The race to fill retiring justice James Dolliver's seat is the most contested on the court, drawing seven candidates in all. My choice, Seattle attorney Kris Sundberg, scored a "highly qualified" rating from NLF: "Mr. Sundberg believes the Supreme Court needs to adopt a more common-sense approach to its decision-making, and to stop allowing politics to influence its decisions. Volunteer counsel for three Supreme Court challenges to the Mariners stadium, Sundberg impressed the committee with his "respect for constitutional principles and willingness to preserve them." Front-runner Hugh Spitzer, a well-connected Seattle bond lawyer, garnered a "not qualified" ranking from NLF. The committee observed that while Spitzer advocates a "non-political" court in public appearances, his campaign co-chairs and statewide endorsers read like a "who's who" of Washington insider politics. Spitzer's campaign received an early $8,000 loan from fellow bond king Jay Reich of Seattle's Preston, Gates and Ellis. The candidate earned more than $300,000 in 1996-97 as a bond, real-estate and special investment counsel for the government. His firm's governmental clients total more than 200 public entities from Aberdeen to Yakima, with almost every known FPD, PHD, PUD, port, county, city, sewer, school and water district in between. While his lips now promise constitutional conservatism, Spitzer's pen says otherwise. In a 1979 column for the defunct Seattle Sun, Spitzer called the state constitutional ban on public expenditures for private projects a "perennial ogre" and discussed techniques to "escape" the prohibition. His methods have been used to secure your tax dollars for stadiums, garages and countless constitutionally suspect public projects. The NLF committee concluded "that Mr. Spitzer's judicial philosophy favors expedience over principle." There is no stronger reminder of the importance of these three races than in Article I, Section I, of the state Constitution: "All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights." That power is too precious to be squandered; the rights at stake are too fundamental to be left to chance. By supporting a Sanders-Madsen-Sundberg slate, voters can tip the scales of justice in favor of the taxpayer over the tax usurper, and the citizen over the state. Michelle Malkin's column appears Tuesday on editorial pages of The Times. Her e-mail address is: email@example.com.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Seven Is A Crowd In Supreme Court Race (A Different Account In The Tacoma 'News Tribune' Of The Candidates Competing For One Of Three Open Seats On The Washington Supreme Court) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen"
To: "-Hemp Talk" Subject: HT: 7 is a crowd in Supreme Court race Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 18:52:47 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 7 is a crowd in Supreme Court race Dolliver's retirement touches off wide-open battle for Position No. 1 Peter Callaghan; The News Tribune The wide-open race for position No. 1 on the state Supreme Court has attracted the most candidates with the widest variety of motivations for running. There's the trial court judge, the law professor, the anti-stadium activist and the property rights proponent. And then there are the three lawyers who hope lightning will strike - again - and put an unknown on the state's court of last resort. Only if one of the seven wins more than 50 percent of the vote on Sept. 15 will the race be decided in the primary. Most likely, the top two vote-getters will move onto the general election ballot Nov. 3. The free-for-all was sparked by Justice James Dolliver's decision to retire after 23 years on the Supreme Court. The 73-year-old jurist would have faced the court's mandatory retirement age of 75 in the middle of his next term. As soon as Dolliver announced his retirement, two candidates were ready to go for his seat. Hugh Spitzer, a private practice attorney and teacher at the University of Washington School of Law was first. An expert on state constitutional law, Spitzer said he wants to be a force for civility and consensus building on a court with a reputation for division. Then came King County Superior Court Judge Faith Ireland, 15 years on the bench. She finished third in a race for the Supreme Court in 1994 and is the only judge and the only woman in the field. Next in was Kris Sundberg, a Mercer Island attorney who has helped challenge the legality of spending tax dollars for news stadiums for the Mariners and Seahawks. The former board member of Citizens for Leaders with Ethics and Accountability Now has used his entire campaign to criticize Supreme Court rulings that the stadium deals are constitutional and not subject to citizen referendums. Filing week in July brought four candidates who hadn't announced before then. Doug Smith of Everett is most familiar to state voters, having lost a Supreme Court race in 1996 to Justice Charles Johnson. The one-time aide to former President Gerald Ford has been an active opponent of state growth management laws he thinks abridge private property rights. The others are newcomers who are waging minimal campaigns with no outside contributions. They are Glen Prior of Graham, James Foley of Raymond and Eric Nielsen of Seattle. Johnson may be the inspiration for the final three. He too waged a low-budget campaign against better known opponents yet won a seat on the court in 1990. Here's a look at the candidates: Hugh Spitzer leads two lives. By day he's an attorney specializing in municipal finance. That is, he helps state and local government borrow money and sell bonds to pay for public projects such as roads, schools and other civic buildings. By night, he teaches budding lawyers at the UW law school. His academic specialties are state constitutional law and Roman law. His expertise on the state constitution has led to publication of scholarly and general interest articles on the areas where the state constitution gives citizens greater rights and protections than the U.S. constitution. Spitzer admits he's less of an expert on how to get elected to the Supreme Court. "I'm working hard," he said. "But no one knows how to do it. I'm just getting my name out and what I've done." His campaign has two focuses: bringing some legal order to the top court and using the office to promote a greater understanding of the courts to average voters. Spitzer thinks he can help the justices work better together, not necessarily to reach unanimous opinions but to come out with decisions that state the law clearly and fairly. "I care about a neutral, nonpartisan court," Spitzer said. Faith Ireland likes to point out that she's not only the only woman in her race, but the only judge. To her, both are important distinctions. "On the Superior Court, I've tried hundreds of civil cases in every area of the law and my track record with over 2,000 criminal defendants is such that I'm the only candidate endorsed by all three statewide law enforcement organizations," Ireland said. The Seattle native said one of the most important jobs of a justice is to decide which cases are accepted for review and which are not. Of the 1,500 cases sent to the Supreme Court each year, the justices agree to hear 150 or so. "One of the important things it does is to decide what to decide," Ireland said. Ireland said the current court is divided between those who want to decide cases narrowly and those who want to make more sweeping pronouncements. She said her philosophy is to make the most narrow decision possible and leave broader policy statements to the Legislature. "Jurisprudence should be incremental rather than take giant pendulum swings," she said. And Ireland said she would like to work on the more mundane but vital issue of court administration - adequate funding, good computer systems, proper training of judges and court workers. Kris Sundberg was sure that the state Supreme Court would find that the Legislature violated the constitution when it approved a bill to build a stadium for the Seattle Mariners. First, lawmakers had declared a new stadium an emergency - "necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety." That made the stadium plan ineligible for a voter referendum. Second, Sundberg was sure the stadium deal violated the constitution's ban on the giving away of public assets to private companies. Written to block subsidies for the railroads, the provision is designed to protect taxpayers. But the court found that the stadium was legal and constitutional. Sundberg, a volunteer lawyer against the stadium, decided to try to change the members of the court by running himself. "Are the courts to be an independent branch of government or a lap dog of the Legislature?" Sundberg said. "When you're sitting around and wondering why we don't have enough money for police overtime, why we don't have enough money for libraries, why don't you think about the fact that the courts are letting government spend $2 billion over 20 years for these projects?" While Sundberg's complaint is against the current court, he aims some of his concerns at Spitzer, who helps government put together so-called public-private partnerships. Doug Smith should be familiar to state voters. Not only did he receive 600,000 votes in 1996, he has run for the U.S. Senate, Congress and Snohomish County executive. "My definition of integrity is standing up when the world's against you but you think you're right," Smith said. "Maybe that's why I haven't had much of a career in politics beyond the Ford administration." As a political candidate, Smith was an economic conservative and an anti-abortion advocate. Running for judge, Smith has expressed concerns that the courts have whittled away the rights of individuals against government power. As an attorney, he lost a Supreme Court appeal brought by a group of property owners in Snohomish County. They wanted to submit the county's growth management plan to voters, but the top court said that since the county was following the orders of the Legislature, its plan wasn't subject to referendum under the county's home-rule charter. "The public is very much aware of and is confused about the relative power of government as opposed of the rights of the individual," Smith said. "My goal would be to get a balanced court that balances the relationship between the government and individuals." Smith wouldn't be able to complete a full term on the court before bumping into the mandatory retirement age of 75. Glen Prior is frank when asked why he's running. "It's a good job," he said. But he goes on to say that he loves liberty and the court has a role in preserving that liberty. "Every time we have new laws - ridiculous laws - they take some liberty away from us," said Prior, who practices law in Fife. Prior takes issue with Ireland's contention that being a trial judge is the best qualification for being a Supreme Court judge. He notes that eight of the 16 chief justices of the U.S. Supreme Court had no court experience. And of the current nine state Supreme Court justices, four had no prior experience as judges. Prior's earlier venture into public issues came in 1995 when he sued the Fife School District on behalf of his daughter. He claimed that the district was in violation of the state constitutional requirement to educate all students because a teachers strike had lasted one month. Prior is a former percussionist in the Detroit Symphony and a bagpiper. He lost a race for Pierce County Superior Court in 1997. James Foley has a well-known surname but isn't related to former congressman Tom Foley. He said he's running because he's always wanted to be on the Supreme Court. He pledges to bring common sense to the bench. The jack-of-all-legal trades is one of a handful of lawyers in Pacific County. In addition to a private practice, he has been a city and port attorney. He was an unsuccessful candidate for county judge in 1993. Eric Nielsen is an appellate attorney with 16 years experience. His campaign has been late-starting and minimal. Nielsen has said he thinks his experience preparing cases and arguing them before appeals courts gives him the ability to sit on the other side of the bench. "I have briefed and argued hundreds of appeals court cases, more than all the other candidates combined," he wrote in the judicial voters' pamphlet. Staff writer Peter Callaghan covers politics. Reach him at 253-597-8657 or by e-mail at email@example.com *** Supreme Court candidates Faith Ireland Seattle, age 55 Family: husband Chuck. Occupation, experience: King County Superior Court judge, private practice. Education: University of Washington, Willamette University law school, Golden Gate University. I'm running because: "I'm different from the other candidates, not just because I am the only woman. I am the only candidate with judicial experience." Reach her at: 206-669-6114, 1301 Fifth Ave., Seattle 98101. *** Glen Prior Graham, age 44 Family: wife Rosa, three children. Occupation: private practice attorney. Education: Eckerd College, Seattle University law school. I'm running because: "This is a good job. I am qualified. I love liberty." Reach him at: 253-926-8931 *** Douglas Smith Everett, age 69 Family: four grown children. Occupation, experience: private practice, special assistant to President Ford, deputy prosecutor for Yakima County, U.S. Navy Education: Whitman College, University of Washington law school. I'm running because: "I have been a very strong defender of the constitution and I think one of the most important functions of the court is how to enforce the law to protect everyone's individual rights, property rights and constitutional freedoms." Reach him at: 425-258-4539 *** Hugh Spitzer Seattle, age 49 Family: wife Ann, three children. Occupation, experience: Private practice attorney, professor UW School of Law, legal counsel to Seattle Mayor Charles Royer, legislative assistant to Seattle City Council. Education: Yale, University of Washington law school, University of California (masters in constitutional theory). I'm running because: "I'm the right person for this court at this particular time. I'm a consensus builder, I'm a listener, I'm a leader." Reach him at: 206-447-1992, PO Box 75448, Seattle 98125; homepage: www.hughspitzer.com *** Kris Sundberg Mercer Island, age 48 Family: wife Nancy, one child. Occupation, experience: private practice, assistant city attorney for Newport News, Va., administrative assistant for chief judge of U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. Education: University of Washington, William and Mary law school. I'm running because: "I see judicial erosion of the constitution in our state courts and I'm the only candidate willing to talk about it." Reach him at: 206-726-2989, 9015 Holman Road N.W., Suite 4, Seattle 98117; homepage: www.sundberg.wa.net *** James Foley Raymond, age 43 Family: wife Nancy, three children. Occupation, experience: private practice, attorney for Port of Willapa Harbor, attorney for City of Raymond, public defender, Peace Corps. Education: Western Washington University, University of Puget Sound law school. I'm running because: "The people of Washington need to have confidence in their Supreme Court. They need to know that when rulings are made, they are not only made with legal knowledge, but with a large dose of common sense." Reach him at: 360-942-2114, PO Box 206, Raymond 98577. *** Eric Nielsen Seattle, age 45 Family: married. Occupation: private practice, assistant director of Washington Appellate Defenders Association. Education: The Evergreen State College, University of Puget Sound law school. I'm running because: Says his experience as an attorney specializing in appeals would help on the courts. Says appeals courts are vital in order to check the power of government. Reach him at: 206-364-8317, 6016 N.E. Bothell Way, Suite 108, Seattle 98155.
------------------------------------------------------------------- March To End The Drug War In Berkeley On September 26 (A List Subscriber Forwards A Notice About A Saturday Afternoon Rally - Don't Miss The Planning Session September 21) Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 13:20:22 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "Adam J. Smith" (email@example.com) Subject: [Fwd: March to End the Drug War in Berkeley on Sept 26th] Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Hey gang, Just thought I'd pass this along. Feel free to help them get the word out... and, for all of you out there in the Bay Area, contact info appears at the bottom. - adam > >Dear Drug Peacemakers, > >Thought that some of you may be interested in joining or helping >with the following event: > >MARCH TO END THE DRUG WAR >SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 1998 >at 1PM, HASTE & TELEGRAPH AVE. >BERKELEY > >There has been a 6% increase of people in prison population and a 3% >increase of people on probation or parole in 1997. These increases >have been at the same annual rate since the late l980's. There are, >at the present, over 1.7 million people in prison. of the total number >of adults in the U.S, one percent are incarcerated and 3% are on >probation or parole. The incarceration rate of 645 per 100,000 of >all the people in the U.S., which is 10 times higher then most >European countries (Holland's incarceration rate is 59). > >What's even worse from a man's point of view, is that the figure is >almost doubled or 1229 per 100,000 men, because men constitute 94% >of those people going to jail. Even a more appalling figure is the >incarceration rate of 3822 per 100,000 of African-American men, which >now make up half of the prison population in the U.S. In California, >African-American men between the ages of 18 to 29, are 3% of the >state's population but are 40% of the prison inmate population! > >How are these unfortunate statistics related to the Drug War? Well >over 60% of present convictions are due to the drug war. In Berkeley, >it is high time to demand a moratorium on drug arrests and a >discussion of alternatives to the costly drug war policies. The drug >war is a war on people! > >The March to End the Drug War is being organized by The Committee to >End the Drug War, Green Panthers, Rosebud Archive Project, November >Coalition, Cannabis Action Network, Alameda County Peace and Freedom >Party, Gina Sasso, member of Berkeley Labor Commission, former >candidate for City Council, Jon Crowder, human rights activist, >candidate for Mayor of Berkeley, Michael Diehl, human rights >activist, Michael Delacour, Boilermakers Union #549, candidate for >Mayor of Berkeley. > >Please call (510) 649-0874 about a planning meeting on Sept. 21, or >for more information.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colorado Schizophrenia Patient To Invoke Choice Of Evils' Defense In Marijuana Cultivation Case (Warren C. Edson, The Denver Attorney For Michael Domangue, Says Domangue Has A Prescription For Marinol, But His Doctor Indicates Marijuana Is More Effective - The Trial Will Begin October 14)Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 11:16:13 -0600 From: chandler@ACCNETCO.NET (Warren C Edson) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: (no subject) Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Michael Domangue is being charged with a Felony 4, Growing/Manufacturing Marijuana, in Grand County case 98CR130 People of the State of Colorado v. Michael Domangue. He was caught with 1 four inch plant and less than 2 grams of "cured" marijuana. Mr. Domangue suffers from schizophrenia and paranoid delusions. Mr. Domangue has a prescription for Marinol, however his Doctor indicates that marijuana is more effective. Mr. Domangue notified the Court that he wanted to use a "choice of evils" defense. The District Attorney in the case, Craig Henderson Esq., filed a Motion in Limine to prevent Mr. Domangue's use of the defense. On Friday September 4, 1998, after hearing testimony from Mr. Domangue and his Dr., the District Court denied the District Attorney's Motion in Limine. The Law Offices of Warren C. Edson, the attorney for Michael Domangue, is pleased to announce that Mr. Domangue is set for a trial to the Jury in Grand County, Colorado on October 14, 15, and 16th, 1998, and that he will use the "choice of evils" defense. This appears to be the first time in Colorado and the U.S. that a "choice of evils" defense will be allowed to be presented to the Jury in a Medical Marijuana case. For more information please feel free to contact: Warren C. Edson 1490 Lafayette St., #407 Denver, CO. 80218 (303) 831-8188 (303) 832-2779 (fax) Chandler@accnetco.net *** Date: Wed, 09 Sep 1998 09:13:20 -0600 From: chandler@ACCNETCO.NET (Warren C Edson) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Choice of Evils Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Colorado's Choice of Evils Statute Reads as Follows: Colo. Stat. 18-1-702 Choice of Evils 1) Unless inconsistent with other provisions of sections 18-1-703 to 18-1-707, defining justifiable use of physical force, or with some other provision of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable and not criminal when it is necessary as an emergency measure to avoid an imminent public or private injury which is about to occur by reason of a situation occasioned or developed through no conduct of the actor, and which is of sufficient gravity that, according to ordinary standards of intelligence and morality, the desirability and urgency of avoiding the injury clearly outweigh the desirability of avoiding the injury sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense in issue. 2) The necessity and justifiability of conduct under subsection (1) of this section shall not rest upon considerations pertaining only to the morality and advisability of the statute, either in its general application or with respect to its application to a particular class of cases arising thereunder. When evidence relating to the defense of justification under this section is offered by the defendant, before it is submitted for the consideration of the jury, the court shall first rule as a matter of law whether the claimed facts and circumstances would, if established, constitute a justification.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Free Will Foster (The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Patient Sentenced To 93 Years In Prison For Growing His Own Medicine Has Been Recommended For Parole - But Governor Keating Must Sign The Papers Soon Or Foster Will Rot In Prison For Decades - Will's Wife, Meg, Has Given The Green Light For Concerned Citizens To Write To The Governor Before The Deadline, So Here's Everything You Need To Help Save A Good Man's Life) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:23:18 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: R Givens (email@example.com) Subject: Green Light From Meg Foster: FULL SPEED AHEAD! Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Here are the marching orders from Meg Foster. It's time to bury Oklahoma Governor Keating in a blizzard of protest about Will Foster's 93 year prison term for growing medical marijuana. The parole board has unanimously approved Will's parole. All Keating has to do is sign it. No more excuses. *** Yo! LET'S HIT HIM! Be nice and let him know that our response is triggered from this [Dateline] interview. Go ahead, and lets springboard this......just stress politeness and that all have seen Will on many other interviews as well. Stress the fact that the parole board, gives him a go, so lets go ahead and start writing the gov. Make sure that people stress that they heard about the parole from the dateline interview. Pass this on to all, tell them they have my green light to go! - meg (Foster) *** Meg was responding to this: firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > > Yo Meg, > The Dateline NBC segment on Will is being aired tonight. Many on the net > think this could be a springboard to put some real pressure on Keating to > sign the parole papers. > > If this piece is a slam on Will we should respond instantly and with great > vigor because idiots like Keating interpret "messages" from people's > reactions to things. If we remain silent, this Reefer Maniac is apt to > dismiss Will's case. That's my thought. > > Needless to say, we will respect your wishes in this matter. > > If you wish I will pass your instructions along to the groups. > R Givens *** Meg Foster says let the attack begin. Bombard the Oklahoma Statehouse with a snowstorm of protest about Foster's outrageous sentence! Submerge Governor Keating in a storm of protest against Will Foster's incarceration. Mention the Dateline show as your reason for writing. (as per Meg's request) Be polite, but be firm. No one deserves to do a day over a phony Reefer Madness law. Tell Keating that. Hit him with the medical issues. Demand that Keating sign Will Foster's parole immediately. Keating loved to say before that he had no control over the situation, well now he does and we want this parole signed! Immediately! Contacts for Oklahoma Governor Keating's office: Phone:(405) 521-2342 Fax (405) 523-4224 Fax (405) 522-3492 A lot of netizens prefer e-mail, but a fax lands right on the Governor's desk. Send a couple of Faxes in addition to your e-mails. When we bombed Keating about Jimmy Montgomery, he shut off his office phones and fax for a week! He also caved in and granted Montgomery's release! Let's see if we cannot overwhelm Keating again the same way. Sending faxes at night costs abt 10 cents a page. Web users can contact Gov. Keating (THE GOVERNOR OF OKLAHOMA), via a web form at: http://www.state.ok.us/osfdocs/gov_mail.html. Gov. Keating's wife, Cathy Keating at: email@example.com according to the State of Oklahoma's web site, http://www.state.ok.us. Cases like Will Foster's cause the emotions to run strong. Please remember that we make the best impact when we are polite, even while stating the issue directly and forcefully. Here's a Bcc List for Oklahoma Newspapers AdaNews (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ardmorite (email@example.com) Bartlesville Examiner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Capitol Beacon (email@example.com) Chickasha Express (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cushing Citizen (email@example.com) Duncan Banner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Durant Democrat (email@example.com) Enid Eagle (firstname.lastname@example.org) Henryetta Lance (email@example.com) Hugo News (firstname.lastname@example.org) Lawton Constitution (email@example.com) Lincoln News (firstname.lastname@example.org) McAlestor Democrat (email@example.com) McLoud News (McLoud_News@okpress.tfnet.org) Norman Transcript (firstname.lastname@example.org) Okmulgee Times (email@example.com) Pauls Democrat (firstname.lastname@example.org) Ponca News (email@example.com) Sapulpa Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org) Seminole Producer (email@example.com) Stillwater Newspress (firstname.lastname@example.org) Weatherford News (email@example.com) Woodward News (firstname.lastname@example.org) *** [Links to more information at this site:] Will Foster On 'Dateline' (9/5/98 - A List Subscriber Says The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Patient Sentenced To 93 Years In Prison For Growing His Own Medicine Will Be Featured Sunday Night On NBC Television) Will Foster Update And Letter Writing Request (8/25/98 - Meg Foster, The Wife Of The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Defendant Sentenced To 93 Years In Prison For Cultivation, Confirms He Has Been Granted Parole By The Parole Board, But Needs Your Letters To Persuade Governor Keating To Sign The Papers - Oops, Belay That Request) Will Foster Is Getting Released (8/19/98 - A List Subscriber Says The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Patient Sentenced To 93 Years In Prison For Cultivation Will Be Granted Parole, According To A Telephone Call From Foster's Wife) Marijuana Case Sentence Slashed By Appeals Court (8/19/98 - According To 'The Tulsa World,' The Oklahoma Court Of Criminal Appeals Said Monday That Will Foster's 93-Year Prison Term For Marijuana 'Shocks Our Conscience,' And Modified It To 20 Years) The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 36 (4/3/98 - The Drug Reform Coordination Network's News Summary For Activists Features 13 Original Articles Including - 'Free Will Foster' Rally To Be Held In Oklahoma City. Ninety-Three Years For Pot (3/29/98 - 'Waco Tribune-Herald' Columnist John Young Recounts The Case Of Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Prisoner Will Foster) Hysteria About Marijuana (2/25/98 - Pharmacist's Letter To Editor Of 'Oklahoma Gazette' Faults Prohibition Hysteria That Has Stifled Virtually All Therapeutic Research Into Cannabis In United States - Cites Will Foster And Jimmy Montgomery Cases As Examples Of Oklahoma's War On Sick People) Medical Marijuana - The Will Foster Case In Oklahoma (1/23/98 - Reprint From 'AIDS Treatment News' Notes Foster Was Using Cannabis As An Antiinflammatory Drug, Just As AIDS Patients Often Do)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin Blamed In Anti-Drug Activist's Death ('The Dallas Morning News' Says 24-Year-Old Elliot Lizauckas, Who Had Finished The Dallas-Based Homeward Bound Drug-Treatment Program Last Spring And Had Begun To Impart A 'Don't Start' Message To Youngsters In His Home Town Of Allen, Texas, Was Found Dead Saturday In North Dallas) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 12:25:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Heroin Blamed In Anti-Drug Activist's Death Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Author: Joy Dickinson, Morning News Staff HEROIN BLAMED IN ANTI-DRUG ACTIVIST'S DEATH When Eleanor Bronschidle talked to her 24-year-old son, Elliot "Eli" Lizauckas, on Saturday afternoon, Mr. Lizauckas was full of excitement, full of plans, full of life. "He was saying he was going to make me so proud of him, finish school, pay back everything he owed me," Ms. Bronschidle said. "I thought, 'Oh, we made it. We finally made it.' " She was wrong. Saturday evening, a friend of Mr. Lizauckas' found him dead in his North Dallas apartment, apparently of a heroin overdose. Syringes and capsules were found in the apartment, according to a police report. Mr. Lizauckas' death shocked relatives and friends who had seen him battle back from a drug problem that began several years ago and start taking his "don't start" message to young people in his hometown of Allen. "We had no idea, no sign at all. But that's the nature of that beast [heroin]," said Mr. Lizauckas' stepfather, David Liles of Allen. Although Allen hasn't received the same publicity for drug problems as its neighbor to the south, Plano, residents said Mr. Lizauckas wasn't the only young person there fighting against the pull of heroin, cocaine and other drugs. Eighteen young people with Plano connections have died of heroin overdoses since September 1994. In July, a 50-page federal indictment for dealing heroin and cocaine in Plano was issued against 29 people, 16 of them students in Plano schools. In Allen, though, "people say, 'That's Plano, that's not our kids,' " said Vicki Jamieson, a parent who knows many of the affected families. "But it is. They're having a lot of problems up here, too. A lot of tragedy." More than a dozen teens gathered at the Jamieson house Monday to grieve for Mr. Lizauckas, Mrs. Jamieson said. "They're struggling pretty hard with this," she said. "I think they think that trying to help other people, dealing with the media, that maybe Eli was doing that too soon and that's what pushed him over again. They're resentful of that." Mrs. Jamieson's son, Jeramy, died three years ago at age 21 of complications from an enlarged heart. Jeramy, who was Mr. Lizauckas' best friend, had some minor drug problems, but Mrs. Jamieson said they didn't cause his death. "I do think that a lot of the kids in the group they [Jeramy and Eli] grew up with, the ones who turned to heroin and other drugs, did so after Jeramy's death. They had so much grief and no way of dealing with it." Mr. Liles said his stepson had minor drug problems, "pot and that kind of thing," beginning at age 16 or 17. Mr. Liles said Mr. Lizauckas' problems with more deadly drugs began "when he started hanging with older kids from Allen and Plano. I think they decided to just go a little deeper, and before they knew it, they were caught." From all outward appearances, though, Mr. Lizauckas seemed to have wriggled free of the trap. He had finished the Dallas-based Homeward Bound drug-treatment program last spring, was living in a Dallas apartment and was enrolled at Richland College, taking classes toward a career in computers. He was also working part-time at a Blockbuster Video. He also had started working with parents and teens who were having similar drug problems. "He did a Channel 8 town-hall meeting, and he did a eulogy for one of his friends who died of heroin," Mr. Liles said. His mom, Ms. Bronschidle, said her son seemed to be doing fine. "I could tell that he was fighting so hard," she said. "His eyes were crystal-clear, bright blue and the whites of his eyes were so clear. "I felt like I'd had a 1,000-pound weight lifted off of me. There was no way I thought he'd take a wrong turn again. . . . Now all I want is to be with him, but I can't because I have other children." Mr. Lizauckas' younger brother and step-siblings are having a tough time dealing with his death, Mr. Liles said. "They're kind of mad at him because they know it's preventable," he said. "We've been very open with them because they need to know this can be the end result of making a bad decision. "No matter how hard he tried, it came back and got him in a weak moment. Once you've started on heroin, every day you wake up, it's a crisis. You're doing well, and it knocks you back down. It's a battle every day, every night." In addition to his mother and stepfather, Mr. Lizauckas is survived by his brother, Timothy Kent Bronschidle, stepsister, Stephanie Liles, and stepbrother, Steven Liles, all of Allen; grandmother, Norma Catland of North Tonawanda, N.Y.; and several other relatives. The family will receive guests from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Turrentine Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home, Highway 75 at Exit 37 in McKinney. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Turrentine Jackson-Morrow.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Seizure Laws Ripe For Abuse ('The Cincinnati Enquirer' Surveys How Prohibition Agents And Illegal Drug Sellers Use The Forfeiture Laws In Different Ways - Small-Time Possession Offenders And Innocent People Never Charged With Any Crime Get Taken Most Often) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:26:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OH: Drug Seizure Laws Ripe for Abuse 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: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) Contact: http://Enquirer.Com/editor/letters.html Website: http://enquirer.com/today/ Pubdate: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 Author: Anne Michaud - The Cincinnati Enquirer DRUG SEIZURE LAWS RIPE FOR ABUSE Police tactics bring cries for reform On New Year's Eve, Adam Townley sold marijuana to an undercover police officer. He would end up paying for it with his car. Eager to gain ownership of Mr. Townley's two-door 1990 Nissan -- taken during his arrest -- Fairfax police agreed to a deal in which two counts of drug trafficking against the 20-year-old from Union Township in Clermont County were reduced to a lesser charge. Police holding drug-raid loot Mr. Townley got his freedom. The police got the Nissan. The exchange, though perfectly legal under drug forfeiture law, raises questions about the legitimacy of such tactics and the zeal with which some police agencies pursue material goods enjoyed by the drug dealers they arrest. Clermont County Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg, a former prosecutor, calls it "let's-make-a-deal justice." "It almost looks like a person is buying his way out of a punishment," he said. "Say you catch a different person doing the same thing a month later, and he doesn't have a car to turn over. So he's got no bargaining chip." Mr. Townley's case and scores of others illustrate how drug forfeiture laws are in need of change, say lawyers and experts in Ohio and nationwide. The laws allow police to seize property that is thought to be a tool of a crime -- such as Mr. Townley's Nissan -- or things that may have been bought with profits of drug dealing, such as houses, jewelry and boats. The property is converted to cash at auction. Cash is also commonly seized. The prosecutor and law enforcement agencies share the proceeds, and they use the money to pay for more investigations, arrests and prosecutions. Millions of dollars are at stake in Ohio alone, and the incentive for police to seize property is just too strong, some argue. This incentive can cause problems: Police can seize property that appears to be disproportionate to the crime. In one case, Cincinnati police took $8,500 from an Avondale woman who had a small amount of marijuana in her apartment. Because most forfeiture cases are heard in civil court, low-income people who challenge a forfeiture have no right to a court-appointed attorney. Challengers must prove their innocence. In criminal court, the burden of proof is on the government. Law enforcement can win a civil property forfeiture even if the defendant is found not guilty of the crime that led to seizing the property. John Murphy, executive director of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, defended the last point. "There may not be enough to convict on drug trafficking because the burden of proof may be much higher, but the court may be satisfied that these are the proceeds of drug money," he said. The criticism of drug forfeitures is not unique to Cincinnati or Ohio. At the federal level, a coalition including defense lawyers and conservative organizations is fighting to strengthen defendants' rights. The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys would have courts appoint attorneys for people who cannot afford them and would shift the burden of proof to law enforcement. Law enforcement would have to show by clear and convincing evidence the seized property is connected to drug dealing. In the Townley case, the agencies that approved the deal -- Fairfax police and the Hamilton County prosecutor's office -- shared the proceeds. By longstanding agreement with local police agencies, the prosecutor takes 20 percent. Fairfax Police Chief Richard Atkins said his office turned the case over to the prosecutor, and he could not answer for the outcome. "As far as how the prosecutor's office handles these cases, I have no control over that," he said. But he did say throwing a car into a plea bargain was common, and he did not find the result unfair. "You talk about fair. Is it fair for this guy to come into Fairfax and sell our people drugs?" Chief Atkins said. Defense attorney Raymond Faller, who represented Mr. Townley, contends Fairfax police, not the prosecutor, were the ones pushing for the car. (He advised Mr. Townley not to be interviewed or photographed for this story.) James Harper, chief deputy prosecutor, defended the deal and said Mr. Townley had retained an attorney, knew his rights and should not have felt pressured to give up the car. "We are not in the business of squeezing property out of people. If you're going to take a plea, fine," Mr. Harper said. "This fellow apparently thought that what he was doing was in his own best interest because he was guilty. "That's what the plea means: "I was selling drugs out of this vehicle.' " Property is used in plea bargaining every day in courtrooms here, said Cincinnati defense attorney Thomas Miller. Once, in Texas, he turned it to his client's advantage. The client had been driving a rental car when he was arrested with a large amount of cocaine. When it became clear the local sheriff wanted the car, Mr. Miller said, his client bought it and used it to bargain. "We kept this guy out of jail," he said, "for a $15,000 car." Innocent people hurt People who feel safe from a drug-related arrest or seizure may be surprised to learn about Juanita Hazley, a 32-year employee of the U.S. Postal Service. In July 1997, she lent one of her two cars to her son, Robert Chappell Jr. She thought he was using it to travel to his job at a delivery service and to visit Children's Hospital Medical Center, where his 10-month-old son was dying. With such family trouble, it never occurred to Ms. Hazley that her son, then 31, would be meeting a customer to sell crack cocaine. The customer turned out to be a police informant wearing a hidden microphone. Springfield Township police seized the car, a 1985 Nissan, arguing that Ms. Hazley knew her son was dealing drugs. Police would have to release the car if Ms. Hazley could show she knew nothing of the crime. "I'm not that kind of parent. If he's selling drugs, don't do it around me," she said during an interview at her Forest Park apartment. The nine-month court battle cost her $2,500, but she won. "It was more the principle than the car," Ms. Hazley said. "How can you take something of mine like that?" Autos seized often The financial stake in recovering drug assets is high. Cincinnati police collected $1.2 million in 1996, the latest year for which the department could provide figures. The Hamilton County sheriff's office received $425,521 in 1997 and the county prosecutor $233,294. Cars are by far the most frequently seized property. Some are sold at auction, and police use others as official vehicles. One Cincinnati defense lawyer, Stephen Felson, said the horse trading for those assets is blatant. He once saw a note attached to a forfeiture case that informed the judge that the police needed the vehicle in question for undercover work. David Smith, a national expert on forfeitures, said such incentives lead to bad seizures. "The department benefits," said Mr. Smith, a former deputy chief of asset forfeiture for the U.S. Department of Justice. "Most forfeitures are OK in terms of proof, and most people don't have a problem with taking away the proceeds of drug profits. "There are bad cases. There's a big incentive for (police) to make bad seizures, to take the law into their own hands, in effect." Drug dealers have gotten wise to this incentive, said former Assistant Police Chief Ted Schoch of the Cincinnati Police Division, who oversaw drug forfeitures until July, when he took over the police training academy. "The crooks have gotten smarter. They lease cars rather than buy. They use a rental car that wouldn't be worth our while to take," he said. "The great thing is when we find a paid-for vehicle." But do police sometimes go too far? In one developing case, three lawyers have charged that Cincinnati police are shaking down residents, mostly in Over-the-Rhine and Walnut Hills, taking their money and charging them with misdemeanor marijuana possession. The confiscated cash in six cases ranged from $1,131 to $8,500, according to the lawsuit filed June 24 in U.S. District Court by constitutional-rights lawyer Scott Greenwood and brothers Stephen and Edward Felson. The brothers share a law practice. The suit, which seeks class-action status, names nine Cincinnati police officers and the city as defendants. The lawyers want police to give back the money along with attorneys' fees. But mostly, these lawyers said, they want the practice to stop. It twists the intention of drug forfeiture law, Mr. Greenwood contended, which is to target drug dealers. "These people aren't even charged with trafficking," he said. "People who possess (marijuana) for personal use are not the dealers," he said. Stephen Felson said such cases often go unchallenged. Many people can't afford a lawyer and they do not want to make themselves targets of police retaliation. He claims police focus on poor, black neighborhoods for these reasons. "Most of these cases are defaulted because the person doesn't want to deal with it," Mr. Felson said. "Kiss it goodbye, almost." Karl Kadon, a deputy city solicitor for Cincinnati, said he thinks police were investigating drug crimes in each incident cited. He said the city is conducting its own investigation into the allegations because of the lawsuit. Money from a Bible Even a defendant who is acquitted of the crime and challenges the forfeiture commonly pays something to law enforcement. Defense lawyer Victor Dwayne Sims said he represented an elderly woman whose boyfriend was a suspected drug dealer. Cincinnati police picked him up at her apartment and confiscated her possessions: a couple of purses and $1,500 she kept in her Bible. Police found a Valium in her purse and charged the West End woman with drug abuse. The woman was cleared of the charge but lost her subsidized apartment, which had rules about drug use among tenants. Police returned all but about $200, which the police kept, Mr. Sims said. "We had to bargain to get her money back. A lot of times, it's like a compromise: You keep some property and return some," he said. Like other defendants in property forfeiture cases, the woman had to prove she had some way of obtaining money, other than by dealing drugs. In this case, she had a job. The case left Mr. Sims with a sour taste for forfeitures, he said. "It's not about guilt or innocence," he said. "They deprive people of their property rights before they've had an opportunity to be heard. That's inherently unfair." U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, has prepared a bill that would reform asset forfeiture in all its forms. There are more than 100 federal statutes authorizing forfeiture, for such things as money laundering, contraband and abandoned property in addition to drug crimes. His legislation is up against opposition from the Justice Department and a collection of law enforcement groups. "The Department of Justice is trying to block this; the police chiefs are allied against this," said Mr. Smith, the former justice department official. "They see it as an assault on their pocketbooks."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Taint An Annual Round Of Gay Revels ('The New York Times' Notes A Man Attending The 'Morning Party' Dance Benefit On Fire Island For An Organization Called The Gay Men's Health Crisis 'Overdosed And Died' August 16 After Apparently Taking Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, Or GHB, And Says 'Many' Gay Men Are Questioning The Propriety Of Such Benefits, Which 'Seem To' Inspire The Kind Of Drug Consumption 'Widely Thought' To Increase The Likelihood Of Unsafe Sexual Behavior And The Spread Of AIDS) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 21:05:40 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: Drugs Taint An Annual Round Of Gay Revels Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Author: David Bruni DRUGS TAINT AN ANNUAL ROUND OF GAY REVELS NEW YORK -- It began in the early stages of the AIDS epidemic as a relatively modest affair, a respite for the living and remembrance of the dead that was held in daylight, so that even the ill might be able to go, and it was given a double-edged title resonant of grief. A decade and a half later, the Morning Party has evolved into a glamorous social event that attracts hordes of gay men to Fire Island and reliably raises enormous sums of money for Gay Men's Health Crisis, perhaps the United States' most respected AIDS service organization. This year's gathering, on Aug. 16, was no different. About 4,500 men went, $450,000 was raised and a good time was had by many. But the hangover has been formidable, underlining the way the event has become an albatross around the health group's neck and a flash point in an increasingly bitter debate over the alliances between AIDS service organizations and a network of dance-oriented fund-raisers at which a substantial number of participants are high on drugs. In the predawn hours leading up to this year's Morning Party, a 35-year-old man from Bronxville overdosed and died. In the three weeks since, many gay men are again questioning the propriety of the group's endorsement of a party that seems to inspire the kind of drug consumption widely thought to increase the likelihood of unsafe sexual behavior and the spread of AIDS. ``It gives the organization not only money but future clients,'' said Troy Masters, the publisher of LGNY, a twice-monthly newspaper for lesbians and gay men in New York. ``In a way, it's like a self-perpetuating machine.'' Criticism of this kind has been aimed at Gay Men's Health Crisis for several years. In 1996, a man was evacuated by helicopter from the Morning Party after slipping into a drug-induced coma. But the complaints seem to be taking on a heightened urgency with the proliferation around the country of other large-scale gay dance events, some of which funnel part of their profits to AIDS service organizations. These events have come to be known as ``circuit parties'' because they are linked by similar music and because some of them attract the same core crowd, lavishly muscled and wealthy enough to buy plane tickets and plenty of drugs like cocaine, Ecstasy and ketamine, or ``special K.'' In addition, the chemicals taken by a few of the men who attend circuit parties has expanded recently to include a liquid anesthetic, gamma hydroxybutyrate, or GHB, that has been implicated in a string of medical emergencies at circuit parties this year. GHB is extolled by some as an aphrodisiac. Suffolk County law-enforcement officials said that GHB appeared to have caused the death of Frank Giordano, 35, at the Pines on Fire Island around 4 a.m. on Aug. 16, seven hours before the Morning Party officially began on a stretch of beach nearby. Three other men at the Pines who apparently took the same batch of GHB were taken to hospitals on Long Island, treated and released, law-enforcement officials said. Several people who attended the Morning Party said that one of the three men made it back to the Pines in time to join the festivities. ``People are partying harder than ever with substances that are more volatile than ever,'' said Alan Brown, a management consultant from New Haven, Conn., who annually attends about two dozen circuit parties, from Montreal to Miami, and recently sat on a panel at a gay physicians' conference in Chicago to discuss health issues relating to the events. ``People have been leaving parties in ambulances routinely for three years now.'' Brown and other gay men familiar with circuit parties emphasized that many men who attend the events use illegal drugs infrequently, if ever, and that the vast majority of gay men have never been to any of the parties. Officials of Gay Men's Health Crisis, which stages (and profits from) the Morning Party, said that educating the minority of gay men involved in the party circuit about the perils of drugs is a principal reason the organization remains committed to the event, which they said would occur with or without the group's involvement. Jeff Soref, who was president of the board when the organization began to assume full responsibility for coordinating the event in the early 1990s, said, ``GMHC does need to be involved in harm reduction, and it does need to be where the community is.'' Others stressed that during recent years the organization had intensified its efforts to rid the Morning Party of illegal drugs, distributing written warnings. Many people who attended the Morning Party this year said that drug use was noticeably less prevalent and conspicuous than in the past. Ronald Johnson, the organization's managing director for public policy, said that linking the GHB overdoses that occurred more than eight hours earlier to the event was gratuitous. But critics said that the Morning Party, like other circuit events, has spawned several days of revelry around it, and cannot divorce itself from those often reckless festivities. ``If GMHC officials don't think they have some responsibility for the overdoses, they're kidding themselves,'' said Michael Trovato, 41, who spends summer weekends on Fire Island. Many gay men said the organization could do prevention work at the party without sponsoring it. Several said they had stopped donating money to the organization because of its affiliation with the gathering. Johnson said he had seen no evidence of that. The circuit embraces New York; New Orleans; Palm Springs, Calif.; and Pensacola, Fla., though many events have no connection to AIDS organizations. It usually features shirtless men dancing all through the night, their energy and euphoria often enhanced by powders or pills. But what most alarms many gay men and public-health experts is not the drug use itself but the implications for responsible conduct. ``The extent to which gay men use drugs is a strong, significant predictor of becoming HIV-positive,'' said Ron Stall, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco. Others said that some circuit parties even feature darkened back rooms, and that a few men who flock to circuit extravaganzas also attend sex parties before or after the main event and may not adhere to precautions against HIV transmission. That has provoked critics into greater anger at AIDS service organizations around the country for staging circuit parties or signing on as beneficiaries. ``Circuit parties got the imprimatur of their local AIDS organizations and, bingo, instant, total respectability,'' said Gabriel Rotello, author of ``Sexual Ecology: A IDS and the Destiny of Gay Men'' (Dutton, 1997). ``And the irony of that is just so awesome.'' To varying degrees, officials with AIDS service organizations that are involved in circuit parties are wrestling with that accusation, a process complicated by their difficulty raising money in other ways. They said that sunny news reports about better treatments for AIDS have left many individual donors with the mistaken impression that the epidemic is waning and have discouraged them from giving. ``We are more dependent than ever on special-events fund raising,'' said Bryan Delowery, the events coordinator for the AIDS Information Network in Philadelphia, which stages a circuit party every January. The event, called the Blue Ball, raises $125,000, more than 10 percent of the group's annual budget. Profits from the Morning Party, for which tickets cost $100 apiece, account for a much smaller percentage of GMHC's annual budget of $25 million. But proponents of circuit parties said the case for them transcends the economic vitality of AIDS service organizations that do crucial work. They said that many gay men attend the events not to indulge chemical or sexual appetites but simply to bask in an environment free of the bigotry they face elsewhere in society. Critics counter that circuit parties have an impact beyond their perimeters, idealizing dangerous habits in a manner that has particular influence over young gay men. The experience of Jeffrey W. supports that viewpoint. He said that when he moved to Manhattan after graduating from college a few years ago, he ``had no desire to be part of a drug and intense sex culture.'' But he said conversations with other gay men and glossy ads in some periodicals piqued his curiosity, and even left him with the impression that the circuit scene was the very definition of gay identity. ``I figured if there were 5,000 other men who are considered the upper crust in the gay world doing this, it must be all right and it must be the norm,'' said Jeffrey, who spoke on the condition that his last name not be used. ``I experimented quite heavily with drugs, and I began to be unsafe.'' One such moment occurred in December. Several months later, Jeffrey said, he tested positive for HIV.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Question May Hit Ballot ('The Washington Post' Says Initiative 59 May Be On The Washington, DC, Ballot In November, Depending On A New Review By The City's Board Of Elections And Ethics Prompted By A Court Decision Last Week That Said The Board Was Wrong To Set Aside More Than 4,600 Signatures Gathered By A Resident Of A Shelter For The Homeless)Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 05:32:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: Marijuana Question May Hit Ballot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: 8 Sep 1998 MARIJUANA QUESTION MAY HIT BALLOT The referendum question on whether to legalize the medical use of marijuana in the District, which failed to qualify for the November ballot because of a problem with petition signatures, may go before the voters after all. It will depend on a new review by the city's Board of Elections and Ethics prompted by a court decision last week that said the board was wrong to set aside more than 4,600 signatures gathered by a resident of a shelter for the homeless. In July, organizers of Initiative 59 submitted petitions containing about 32,000 signatures in support of the measure that would legalize the possession, use, cultivation and distribution of marijuana if recommended by a physician for people with illnesses such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. To place their measure on the ballot, organizers had to collect 16,997 valid signatures of registered D.C. voters and meet several other tests. In August, after reviewing the petitions, the board verified 17,092 signatures but set aside thousands of others, citing problems with an affidavit of a person who had circulated the petitions and other details. Although 17,092 signatures were more than the minimum amount required, the board ruled the measure would fail a required statistical sampling process because virtually every signature would have to be validated. Organizers challenged the board in court, and D.C. Superior Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled Thursday that the board was wrong to reject thousands of signatures gathered by Tanya Robinson. The board said it had to reject Robinson's petitions because the address she listed on her circulator's affidavit -- her family's home in Northeast -- was not the one on her voter registration, Mount Vernon Place Shelter in Northwest. The judge called the address discrepancy "harmless" and said that to set aside the signatures for that reason would be "silencing the voices of over 4,600 voters." Alice Miller, executive director of the Board of Elections and Ethics, said that the petition signatures will now be recalculated and that "there's still time" for the question to qualify for inclusion on the ballot. -- Julie Makinen Bowles
------------------------------------------------------------------- Chemical In Fluoridated Water May Cause Violent Behavior (According To 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education,' Roger D. Masters, An Emeritus Professor Of Government At Dartmouth College, Explained His Evidence Friday At The Annual Meeting Of The Association For Politics And The Life Sciences, That Silicofluoride, A Chemical Used To Fluoridate The Drinking Water Of 150 Million Americans, May Unwittingly Foster Violent Behavior And Cocaine Use By Causing People To Absorb More Lead, Which Blocks The Action Of Calcium Atoms In Fostering The Production Of Neurotransmitters In The Brain) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:11:17 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Chemical In Fluoridated Water May Cause Violent Behavior Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, The (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://chronicle.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Author: Vincent Kiernan CHEMICAL IN FLUORIDATED WATER MAY CAUSE VIOLENT BEHAVIOR, COCAINE USE, SCHOLAR SAYS A chemical used to fluoridate the drinking water of 150 million Americans may unwittingly foster violent behavior and cocaine use in some of those who drink the water, a scholar said Friday at the annual meeting of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences. Communities that use a fluoridation agent known as silicofluoride have higher rates of violent crime than communities that use an alternative method or do not fluoridate their water, said Roger D. Masters, an emeritus professor of government at Dartmouth College. He based his conclusions on a series of statistical analyses of the characteristics of communities in Massachusetts and Georgia. Mr. Masters said that previous work by other researchers suggested that the statistical pattern may reflect the way silicofluoride in water causes people to absorb more lead. The lead blocks the action of calcium atoms in fostering the production of neurotransmitters in the brain -- such as dopamine and serotonin -- that appear to suppress violent behavior, he said. Thus, the silicofluoride ultimately is responsible for more aggressive behavior among people who drink the water that has been treated with silicofluoride and whose diets are lacking in calcium, he said. Calcium deficiency is more common among black people than among white people, which might help explain racial patterns of violent behavior, he said. In one of his studies, Mr. Masters found that residents of 25 Massachusetts communities that used silicofluorides were more likely to have elevated levels of lead in their blood than were residents of 25 other Massachusetts communities that did not. Myron J. Coplan, a retired chemical engineer who has collaborated with Mr. Masters, told The Chronicle that silicofluoride was less expensive than the only other widely used fluoridation agent. Mr. Masters' analysis of 129 rural counties in Georgia also found that communities that used silicofluoride had elevated rates of cocaine use. Lead in the brain because of silicofluoride may be the link in that case as well, he said: cocaine addiction appears to be tied to low levels of dopamine in the brain, and lead in the brain depresses dopamine levels. Use of many other drugs is unrelated to dopamine, and the Georgia communities that had silicofluoridated water had no increase in the use of such drugs -- such as Valium, marijuana, and PCP -- he said. Mr. Masters said his study may challenge the common view that drug abuse and violent behavior are caused by a "moral defect" in the individual. In the case of silicofluoridated water, he said, the government may share in the responsibility for violence in society. "It is governments that determine what goes into our water supply," he said. Copyright 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- Party's Over For US Teens Trying To Drink In Tijuana (An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Seattle Times' Says A Year After Operation Safe Crossing Supposedly Began A Crackdown On 'Border Binge Drinking,' About 20 Percent Fewer Americans Are Entering Mexico To Drink This Year Than Last Year From San Diego) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Party's over for U.S. teens trying to drink in Tijuana Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 18:51:04 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 07:17 a.m. PDT Tuesday, September 8, 1998 Party's over for U.S. teens trying to drink in Tijuana by Michelle Koidin The Associated Press TIJUANA - American teenagers once loved this border city's neon-lit, disco-infused nightclub strip - a lawless playground that served up tequila shots and all-you-can-drink specials, no matter your age. These days, the party's coming to a sobering end. Public-health advocates, together with police on both sides of the border, are celebrating the first anniversary of their crackdown on border binge drinking, dubbed Operation Safe Crossing. While many San Diego-area college students - most too young to drink legally in California but old enough to get drunk in Mexico - still proclaim the Avenida Revolucion strip an ideal party destination, authorities are pleased with the progress they've made stopping high-schoolers. Because of ID checks at the U.S. border, fewer would-be partyers are heading to Revolucion's 30-odd bars and discos, which translates into fewer fights and fewer drunken drivers, officials say. About 20 percent fewer Americans are going to Tijuana to drink this year than last year, said James Baker, executive director of the San Diego-based Institute for Health Advocacy, an organization studying the problem. San Diego and state police have worked harder to enforce the law barring Americans under 18 from crossing the border without parental permission. On Friday night, the start of the Labor Day weekend, 99 minors were detained for trying to cross the border, and letters were sent to their parents. On Saturday night, 140 minors were denied entrance to Mexico. "When we went down a year-and-a-half ago, you could see 14- and 15-year-old American kids drinking," Baker said. "Now it's uncommon to see that, and that thrills me." More than 50 officers - federal, state and local police - kept drunk Americans on their way home from fighting or getting into their parked cars on the U.S. side of the border. On the Mexican side, Operation Safe Crossing entails keeping Americans under 18 - the legal drinking age in Mexico - out of bars by fining owners who allow them inside and by sending city inspectors from club to club for spot ID checks. That means some Americans end up showing their IDs three times: at the border, at the bar door and again inside. Authorities also persuaded bar owners to take down cheap-drink promotion signs. "Far fewer are going and far fewer are coming back intoxicated," San Diego police Capt. Adolfo Gonzales said. "Within the last year, we've seen fewer fights, fewer assaults, drastically fewer rapes." Tijuana bar employees can now take a course on how to recognize a fake American ID card. Over the summer, bartenders participated in workshops teaching them to refuse service to drunk patrons. "We have much more control now," said Arnulfo Palomera Hernandez, a program inspector. "With respect to the past year, we have 60 to 70 percent fewer minors in the bars." The new series of ID checks worked to stump three disappointed 17-year-old San Diego high-school girls on Friday night; while they managed to cross the border using fake IDs, they couldn't get into any of the discos. They still found a bar willing to serve them, however. "The cops let us in but the clubs won't," one girl in a drunken stupor complained. "The clubs are harder to get into than the border," another said, staggering.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dangerous Times For Mexico's Writers (A 'Washington Post' Article In 'The International Herald-Tribune' Says In The Last 16 Months, Four Mexican Journalists Have Been Killed At The Behest Of Illegal Drug Sellers, Corrupt Police, And Old-Style Political Bosses, And Scores More Have Been Attacked, Threatened Or Intimidated, Making The Period One Of The Most Violent In A Decade) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 11:49:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Dangerous Times For Mexico's Writers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Pubdate: Sept 8, 1998 Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Author: Molly Moore, Washington Post Service DANGEROUS TIMES FOR MEXICO'S WRITERS MEXICO CITY---For nine months, Homero Aridjis, a Mexican poet and international spokesman for freedom of expression, has not stepped out of his house without the bodyguards that shadow him everywhere: to poetry readings, to lunch with friends, to walk his dog. Now, the telephone warnings that prompted the Mexican government to assign guards to the president of PEN International, a global writers' organization, have escalated with new and more chilling death threats that reflect a pattern of increasing violence against Mexican writers and journalists. "Despite the enormous political opening in the last two years, it is still extremely dangerous to be a journalist in Mexico," said Jorge Zepeda, presldent of the Society of Journalists, one of two new Mexivan watchdog organizations recently created to assist journalists and publicize attacks against them. Many journalists argue that it is the growing independence and power of the Mexican media, fed partly by reforms in Mexico's one-party political system, that have provoked the surge in attacks and threats against journalists and photographers in the past two years. Once largely pawns of the govemment, many newspapers and magazines are professionalizing their staffs and pursuing aggressive investigations of drug cartels and official corruption. In the last 16 months, four journalists have been killed in Mexico in job-related slayings. Scores have been attacked, threatened or intimidated, making the period one of the most violent for journalists here in a decade, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. In 1997, threats against joumalists were up 55 pereent over the previous year with 187 assaults, threats and acts of intimidation, a Mexican group, Network for the Protection of Journalists, reported. The attacks have been waged by drug cartels, corrupt law enforcement officials and old-style political bosses, according to Mr. Zepeda, who said his organization was attempting to "convince Mexican society that an attack against a journalist is an attack against the whole society and its right to he well-informed." Many of the attacks appear to have been related to the journalists' aggressive reporting. Benjamin Flores Gonzalez. editor of the newspaper La Prensa in San Luis Rio Colorado, on the U.S. border, was shot and killed on the front steps of his office in July, the target of drug traffickers angered by his unflinching coverage. A Mexico City joumalist was murdered last year and five others abducted, reportedly by police officers who resented their coverage of corruption. The authorities have made few arrests. The telephone threats received by Mr. Aridjis, one of Mexico's best-known writers and a frequent government critic, have been particularly troubling to journalistic organizations hecause of his high-profile position as president of PEN International, the prestigious London-bascd organization of poets, novelists and othel writers. "Homero Aridjis becomes a lightning rod because of his visibility," said Joel Simoll of the Committee to Protect Journalists. The New York-based PEN American Center wrote in a letter last week to President Ernesto Zedillo of Mexico: "We suspect that whoever is behind these calls is trying to inhibit Mr. Aridjis's activities as a writer, International PEN president, and an editorial page columnist." "Previous threatening phone calls also occurred within weeks of a public appearance by or press interview wih Mr. Aridjis regarding human rights in Mexico and contemporary dangers faced by writers," it added.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Okays Ill Man's Marijuana Use ('The Vancouver Sun' Says Stanley Czolowski Of Vancouver, British Columbia, Who Was Charged With Growing And Trafficking In Three Kilograms Of Marijuana, Argued Successfully That Marijuana Is The Only Substance That Allows Him To Combat The Crushing Pain And Nausea Caused By Glaucoma And The Prescription Drugs He Takes For It - In A Decision That Appears To Be The First Of Its Kind In Canada, Provincial Court Judge Jane Godfrey Granted A Discharge Both For Possession And Trafficking To Czolowski, Who Was Selling His Home-Grown Pot To The Compassion Club, An Illicit Medical Marijuana Dispensary) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:23:57 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Judge Okays Ill Man's Marijuana Use Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Author: Rick Ouston JUDGE OKAYS ILL MAN'S MARIJUANA USE A Vancouver man who, police say, grew up to $50,000 worth of marijuana in his basement has been granted a discharge by a judge who believed his argument that he used the drug to battle glaucoma. Stanley Czolowski, charged by police with producing and trafficking in three kilograms of marijuana last August, admitted he was guilty but successfully argued that marijuana is the only substance that allows him to combat the crushing pain and nausea that are side-effects of his condition and the prescription medications he must ingest. In the transcript of a decision released to his lawyer, John Conroy, late last week and obtained exclusively by the Vancouver Sun, provincial court Judge Jane Godfrey said she accepted that Czolowski used and trafficked in the restricted drug. The litany of problems suffered by 44-year-old Czolowski because of his condition -- including pressure in the eyeball, deteriorating vision, nausea from other drugs, lack of appetite and crushing fatigue -- was a powerful argument against banning marijuana from people who use it medicinally, she said. "I have heard from the accused and I have read the material that is filed in terms of what his daily existence is like, and I have no difficulty whatsoever in understanding his personal motivation and I have extreme sympathy for his personal situation," she said. In a judgment that appears to be the first of its kind in Canada, she granted him a discharge both for possession and trafficking. Czolowski was selling his home-grown pot to the Compassion Club, a Vancouver group that distributes free or low-cost marijuana to people suffering from diseases ranging from glaucoma to cancer, AIDS and epilepsy. An Ontario justice ruled in December that Canada's marijuana laws unfairly denied the right of a Toronto epileptic to an effective medication for his condition, but Terry Parker had been charged only with possession, not trafficking. In the Vancouver ruling, Judge Godfrey took the Parker decision into consideration, saying the judge in that case had ruled that denying Parker possession of marijuana did little or nothing to enhance the state's interest in better health for a member of the community. She wrote: "I have considered the facts before me and the case law and in all of the circumstances I am satisfied it's not contrary to the public interest, notwithstanding the volume involved, and certainly it's in the interests of the accused to grant him a discharge, and I do so conditional on his entering into a probation order to keep the peace and be of good behaviour for a period of one year. Those are the only terms of the order." Godfrey also noted that her stance on pot applied only to medicinal marijuana. "I should indicate that I consider this case to be unique on its facts," she said. "This is not an open invitation to others to follow the accused's approach, absent medical problems of their own." Lawyer Conroy, who has also represented clients arguing a constitutional challenge of the country's pot laws, told the court he would try to get a doctor to prescribe marijuana to Czolowski, a way to circumvent the federal law restricting access to narcotics and other drugs from general use. Court was told that police raided Czolowski's rented Marpole home in August 1997, acting on a tip. In the basement they found hydroponic equipment, 14 full-size pot plants, 20 small plants from five to 30 centimetres tall and 28 infant plants a few centimetres tall. Police estimated the value of the plants at $35,000 to $50,000. Czolowski, a freelance photographer and silversmith, produced medical evidence at his trial showing he suffers from a type of glaucoma called open-angle, which causes deterioration of vision, a condition he believes he inherited from his father, Ted, who also worked as a photographer and suffers glaucoma. Although he receives no criminal record and was given no jail time or fines -- marijuana cultivation can be punishable by up to seven years in prison, while the maximum penalty for trafficking is life -- police did seize and retain about $2,500 worth of growing equipment, Czolowski's wife, Trudy Greif, said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Token Presence ('The Edmonton Sun' Says Edmonton Cops Were 'Disgusted' By The Sight And Smell Of Stoned Teens At Yesterday's Annual Hempstalk On The Lawn Of Alberta's Seat Of Power, And Will Recommend The Festival Lose Its Right To Use The Grounds Around The Legislature's Band Shell) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 12:25:32 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: No Token Presence Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/ Pubdate: Tuesday, September 8, 1998 Author: Bernard Pilon, Edmonton Sun NO TOKEN PRESENCE Cops concerned by number of teens at legislature pot party Cannabis worshippers used to getting high on legislature grass may have to find a new home for their yearly pot party. Edmonton cops, disgusted by the sight and smell of stoned teens at yesterday's annual reefer madness on the lawn of Alberta's seat of power, will recommend Hempstalk's annual home base go up in smoke. "Our liquor laws don't allow anyone under 18 to drink in public but here, we're noticing a lot of teens doing illegal drugs and I don't have the resources to do anything about it without starting a riot," Sgt. Garet Bonn said. "We'll tell the province a large group of youngsters appear to be partaking," Bonn said from the site of Hempstalk '98. "Quite possibly, (bureaucrats) may not be so willing to allow this event on their property next year." For three years, pot backers and users have flocked to the legislature band shell to hear speakers rail against anti-pot laws as punitive and hypocritical, given that harmful cigarettes and booze are legal and generate billions in tax revenue. Cops - who typically turn a blind eye at these rallies - got tough with two kids caught smoking weed just outside an informal non-enforcement zone. The duo was served with what Bonn would only describe as "court documents" related to pot possession - but not before a swarm of angry tokers surrounded the arresting bicycle officers and the handcuffed pair. "The whole crowd took exception to us dealing with two people smoking marijuana. They wanted us to let them go. It got quite tense for a few minutes," Bonn said. Hempstalk '98 organizer Troy Stewart, who owns the True North Hemp Co. clothing store at 10760 Whyte Ave., blamed overzealous cops for the fracas. "This isn't a protest or a rally. It's a festival," Stewart said. Some 250 people took in what Stewart dubbed "a celebration" of the cannabis plant, a day-long bash that included a joint-rolling competition and a pro-pot speech by Saskatchewan multiple sclerosis patient Grant Krieger. Krieger has been in court several times on trafficking charges for buying the only item he claims curbs the disease's debilitating effects. "We want people to come here, smoke a little herb and have a good time," said Stewart, who is also a director of the Cannabis Relegalization Society of Alberta. Welder and tattoo artist Bill Schmidt celebrated his 27th birthday by getting high and chortling that for one day, at least, cops weren't going to bust peaceful dope-smokers. "It's great to come out, smoke some pot in the fresh air and not get (grief) for it," Schmidt said after lighting up.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drink Still The Bane Of Youth ('The Age' Says The First National Survey Of Mental Health And Wellbeing In Australia, Carried Out In Mid-1997 By The Australian Bureau Of Statistics, Found More Than 10 Per Cent Of Younger Australians Had A Drinking Problem, And Substance Abuse Disorders Were Relatively Common Among The Australian Population As A Whole) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 19:21:54 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Drink Still The Bane Of Youth Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Tue, Sep 8, 1998 Source: Age, The (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.theage.com.au/ Author: Andrew Darby DRINK STILL THE BANE OF YOUTH More than 10 per cent of younger Australians have a drinking problem, according to the most detailed survey yet conducted on the nation's common mental disorders. The extent of alcohol abuse disorders among 18 to 34-year-olds is twice that of other drugs. This age group is said to be the worst affected of all by alcohol and other drugs. The first national survey of mental health and wellbeing found substance abuse disorders were relatively common among the Australian population as a whole. But the findings also challenged perceptions alcohol abuse among the young could be dismissed as a phase. ``The young are not only drinking, they are experiencing serious problems as a result,'' said Dr Maree Teesson from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. Details of the substance abuse data collected in the survey of 10,600 adults carried out in mid-1997 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics were released yesterday at a national mental health services conference in Hobart. Dr Teesson said a disorder was assessed under World Health Organisation guidelines as occurring when a person had three or more indicators of problems, such as impaired physical control, withdrawal symptoms like hangovers, a need for larger doses, or the taking of a substance despite physical problems. Disordered people may be seriously drug-dependent or just making harmful use of a substance, but often this abuse was present in people who had other mental disorders such as depression. In the year before the survey, 6.5 per cent of all Australians aged 18 or over had an alcohol use disorder, and 2.2per cent abused other drugs, including cannabis, stimulants, sedatives and opiates. Men were more likely to suffer than women: nearly three times as often with alcohol, and twice as much with other drugs. But the extent of the problem was highlighted by comparing age groups. Among people aged 55 or older, 4.4 per cent met criteria for an alcohol use disorder, and just 0.8 per cent for drug use. By contrast, 10.6per cent of people aged 18 to 34 met the criteria for alcohol and 4.9per cent for other drugs. The survey also discovered sharp differences in social groups likely to suffer from alcohol and other drug disorders. Unemployed people were roughly half as likely again to be victims, those who had never married were three times more likely. Among the least to suffer were non-English-speaking migrants. The centre's Professor Wayne Hall said that even adjusting for a greater prevalence of young people among them, the unemployed and never-married groups still were more susceptible. As for non-English-speaking migrants, he said they often came from cultures that had less of a tradition of heavy drinking and typically were more hard-working and keen to get ahead. ``Their problems emerge in the next generation,''Professor Hall said. The findings are said to be reasonably comparable with surveys done in the United States, but show that people are still unprepared to seek professional help for their problems, mainly because of stigmas attached to them.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Let's Learn From The Swiss On Drugs (An Op-Ed In 'The Sydney Morning Herald' By Dr Alex Wodak Of The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation Provides Some Compelling Arguments Against Recently Announced Plans To Institute US-Inspired 'Drug Courts' In New South Wales - Dr Steven Belenko Of Columbia University In New York Concluded In A Recent Review That 'None Of The Drug Court Evaluations To Date Have Been Comprehensive Enough And Of Long Enough Duration To Enable A Full Calculation Of The Long-Term Costs And Benefits' - We Should Keep An Open Mind On Their Pros And Cons Until More Independent Research Becomes Available - In The Meantime, There Are Many Warnings That Drug Courts May Not Turn Out To Be The Long-Desired Leap Forward - If Drug Courts Are To Be Introduced In NSW, Substantial New Funding Will Be Needed For Treatment Programs)Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 22:10:44 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: OPED: Let's Learn From The Swiss On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 Author: Dr Alex Wodak [Opinion] LET'S LEARN FROM THE SWISS ON DRUGS LAW enforcement is an ineffective way of solving serious social problems. Billions of dollars spent on police, courts and prisons have failed to control Australia's illicit drug problem. We should have known better. After all, the failure of all the king's horses and all the king's men to control property crime in poverty-stricken England 200 years ago led directly to the establishment of a prison colony in Australia. But suddenly drug courts have emerged as the answer to Australia's apparently intractable illicit drugs problems. Returning from a recent visit to the United States to investigate drug courts, the Sydney barrister Ross Goodrich spoke encouragingly of the new American phenomenon. Impressive results are claimed from this attempt to combine the pressure of the criminal justice system with the behaviour-changing ability of drug treatment. The Premier, Bob Carr, was sufficiently impressed to quickly announce that NSW would move soon to establish drug courts. Combining health and law-enforcement approaches to illicit drugs has some appeal. If prisons are an expensive way of making offenders worse, drug treatment is an inexpensive and relatively effective way of helping many to abandon (drugs & crime). The Rand research group in the US showed a $7.48 return for each dollar spent on cocaine drug treat-compared to only 17 to 52 cents in the dollar from different kinds of law enforcement. Also, it was the understanding reached between health and law enforcement in Australia in the l980s that allowed needle-exchange and methadone programs to flourish, preventing an epidemic of HIV among injecting drug users that would have spread to the general community. Since then, the two sectors have quietly been collaborating much more, realising that neither could achieve its aspirations acting alone. In response to increasing drug-related crime and corruption, State police commissioners recently recommended switching the emphasis on illicit drugs from punishment to rehabilitation. The community is, of course, very concerned about increasing numbers of illicit drug-related deaths, crimes and corruption. Roughly half the 700 drug overdose deaths in Australia each year occur in NSW. So there is a strong case for NSW to consider seriously any new approach which has a reasonable chance of working. Should drug courts be added to the list of innovations we should consider along with injecting rooms and prescribed heroin? Dr Steven Belenko, of Columbia University, New York, concluded in a recent review that "none of the drug court evaluations to date have been comprehensive enough and of long enough duration to enable a full calculation of the long-term costs and benefits of drug courts". Drug courts may well be an advance. But we should keep an open mind on their pros and cons until more independent research becomes available. In the meantime, there are many warnings that drug courts may not turn out to be the long-desired leap forward. There have been previous attempts in Australia to blend drug treatment and law enforcement. The NSW Drug and Alcohol Court Assessment Program (DACAP) in the 1980s was one of many less than successful attempts. Any 'success" of the drug courts in the United States is a direct result of closer supervision of drug treatment and related services. We could provide this closer supervision in Australia without the expense of setting up a new court system. There is also the concern that drug courts are really an attempt to reinvent failed law enforcement, disguising an ineffective wolf in sheep's clothing. Drug users are not the only ones to have difficulty kicking an unproductive habit Another risk is the concern that treatment under coercion will crowd out a chronically underfunded voluntary treatment sector. "Perverse incentives" could develop so that young drug users seeking help to regain control of their lives could be turned away unless they have committed enough crimes to qualify for treatment. In Australia, drug treatment including, detoxification, drug-free counselling and methadone has never been funded adequately. Entry to detoxification and methadone programs often requires repeated applications. Many drug users give up in frustration after a few unsuccessful phone calls. Most government and non-government agencies struggle to provide a reasonable service. Although governments generate billions of dollars from alcohol and tobacco excise, less than 1 per cent of health expenditure is allocated to alcohol and drug treatment. Methadone programs are subjected to relentless ill-informed attacks despite compelling evidence of effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness and despite having a singular ability to attract and retain large numbers of drug users seeking help. If drug courts are to be introduced in NSW, substantial new funding will be needed for treatment programs. Our political leaders will have to be prepared strongly to support and fund effective, evidence-based treatments. Where will the new funding come from? The most obvious source is the criminal justice system. A million dollars will pay for the cost of arresting, prosecuting and jailing 17 offenders for 12 months. The same sum could pay for 133 offenders diverted for 12 months to drug-free rehabilitation, or 625 treated in a methadone clinic or 1,425 pre-scribed methadone by a general practitioner. One of the real benefits of the current voluntary treatment system is an in-built flexibility. It takes time to correct a childhood of sexual abuse or deprivation, deficient education or years of self-neglect, prolonged unemployment and aimless living. The slow and steady pace of the drug treatment tortoise is usually effective after a while but impatient attempts to force quick, heroic results all too often end in spectacular failure. Can drug courts be flexible enough to accept and build on gains when they happen? If an offender before a drug court has made great strides by getting a job, starting to pay off debts and healing family rifts, but still has a few positive urine tests, a wise drug court would allow extra time. Will that be possible? There are sound reasons for diverting certain drug offenders from the criminal justice system into supervised treatment. Drug courts may have some role to play in a comprehensive and more effective approach to illicit drugs in Australia. But it will not be easy and there are real risks. If our aim is to reduce deaths, disease, crime and corruption, why not use as a model Switzerland, where real progress is being made; rather than the US, which spends tens of billions of dollars but has increasing numbers of deaths, rampant HIV infection and very high crime rates? Illicit drug use needs to be treated primarily as a health rather than a law-enforcement issue. Drug courts may encourage our decision makers to further delay the inevitable. Dr Alex Wodak is President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
------------------------------------------------------------------- Futile 'Drugs War' (Three Letters To The Editor Of Britain's 'Independent' Criticize Statements Made By David Macauley In A Recent Op-Ed Explaining Why He Quit As The Director Of Scotland Against Drugs) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 20:29:18 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: 3 PUB LTE's: Futile 'Drugs War' 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: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 Letters to the Editor FUTILE 'DRUGS WAR' Sir: Having lost two young patients in the past month from the injecting of a particularly pure form of heroin that appears to be currently available on the streets of London, leaving behind an orphaned eight-year-old and fatherless seven-year-old, I feel extremely angry David Macauley's article explaining why he quit as the director of Scotland Against Drugs (Comment, 4 September) said nothing new ("education has to be at the forefront, availability must be reduced, must shift the culture" etc) and quitting is not going to help. We must get away from the "war on drugs" and get into the field of "peaceful negotiation", as in Northern Ireland. Education has failed our children, who are dying. Reducing availability has failed. Changing the culture is a long-term goal, which might ultimately succeed. We must listen to our youngsters who want desperately to get out of the grip of heroin and other drugs but cannot, largely because of the illegality of their action. We must consider providing locally based, user-friendly, legal, controlled, specialist outlets for these drugs so that young people can get and administer their drugs in clinical and social safety. And then we must provide the rehabilitation facilities in which they can be guided back into society and in which they can be trained in the skills which will enable them to make a positive contribution. This approach will immediately reduce the crime rate, it will put the current providers out of business and it will reduce the appalling mortality rates from drug use. For the sake of our children and grandchildren, let's talk about it. -- Dr Nick Maurice, General Practitioner, Marlborough, Wiltshire *** Sir: It is a good thing that David Macauley has resigned as director of Scotland Against Drugs. He criticises the Government for being ineffective in tackling the drugs problem, but the only positive suggestion he makes is that "the availability of drugs on our streets must be drastically reduced". He says, "Enforcement is key." What on earth does this mean? Enforcement has never worked. It does not work now and it never will. It is the only thing we have ever tried and the demand for drugs has continued to escalate. Mr Macauley is right to criticise the Government: they cannot succeed if most of their effort is concentrated on enforcement and so little is spent on helping those whose misuse of drugs causes problems to themselves and society. Mr Macauley seems to be proposing that we waste further resources in doing even more of the wrong things. The only solution is to try to bring drugs under reasonable legal control. When the criminals cease to have a monopoly over the supply and distribution of drugs, drug-related crime and deaths will diminish. Then, harmful use can be openly discouraged and those who have a problem will come forward and be helped without fear of repression. -- Mick Humphreys, Creech St Michael, Somerset *** Sir: David Macauley states that the global drug business represents 8 per cent of world trade ("the same as the oil business"), that it is responsible for 70 per cent of thefts in the UK and, that it costs the NHS a huge amount. He says the profits of the criminal drug business are so great that serious bank robbery is in terminal decline, and yet he is against the decriminalisation of drugs. Why do the UK and US governments continue to ignore the lessons of US alcohol prohibition between the wars? -- GEORGE HORNBY, Bournemouth, Dorset
------------------------------------------------------------------- Unrealistic (A Similar Letter To The Editor Of 'The Scotsman') Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 06:06:02 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: PUB LTE: Unrealistic Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 UNREALISTIC In your article "Drugs Chief Resigns With Attack On Blair" (31 August), David Macauley blames the government for his resignation. He is as out of touch with reality on this, as he is in his attempts at eliminating drug abuse. Scotland Against Drugs had its funding cut, and its role changed, because it was ineffectual, clinging to unrealistic beliefs that people will stop taking drugs when told: "Just say no". Hugh Robertson, Perth [aka Shug]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Sting Rocks UK Parliament (Britain's 'Times' Says Joseph Phillip Sebastian Yorke, The 10th Lord Hardwicke, Age 27, Who Runs A Motor Scooter Shop And Admits He Only Shows Up At The House Of Lords Twice A Week To Collect His $330 In Attendance Fees, Was Suspended Yesterday After Allegedly Trying To Sell Cocaine To An Undercover 'News Of The World' Reporter In The Corridors Of Parliament) Date: Tue, 8 Sep 1998 10:25:26 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Drug Sting Rocks U.K. Parliament Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Tuesday, September 8, 1998 DRUG STING ROCKS U.K. PARLIAMENT Peer allegedly offered cocaine to reporter LONDON (AP) - One of the youngest members of Britain's House of Lords was suspended yesterday after allegedly trying to sell cocaine to an undercover reporter in the corridors of Parliament. Joseph Phillip Sebastian Yorke, the 10th Lord Hardwicke, could face expulsion from the Conservative party. The move follows a report in the tabloid News of the World on Sunday that the lord tried to sell cocaine to one of its undercover reporters last week when members of the House were recalled to debate stricter security legislation after a fatal bombing in Northern Ireland. Yorke, 27, runs a motor scooter shop and admits he only shows up at the House of Lords twice a week to collect his $330 in attendance fees. He said he was "shocked and distressed" by the scandal. "These articles are serious distortions, and it is my intention to correct them and address them at the appropriate time and place," he said in a statement issued by his lawyers. The Times yesterday quoted an unidentified senior Tory source as saying Lord Cranborne, the party's leader in the House of Lords, gave Yorke "a chance to defend himself and clear his name. "You can take it that he hasn't justified his position at all and such behaviour will not be tolerated," the Times quoted the source as saying. 'LORD SCOOTY' The matter will likely be referred to the party's ethics and integrity committee. Set up to counter allegations of sleaze, it has the power to expel Yorke from the party. Yorke, known to his friends as "Lord Scooty," was just three when he inherited the peerage from his grandfather, his father having died the year before. News reports said he only agreed to take his seat in the House of Lords at the request of his cousin, Lord Hesketh, a former Tory chief whip.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Global Alert For Undetectable Black Cocaine (Britain's 'Independent' Notes The War On Some Drugs Just Got A Lot More Complicated And Expensive) Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 06:27:23 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Global Alert For Undetectable Black Cocaine 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: 8 Sep 1998 Author: Phil Davison Latin America Correspondent GLOBAL ALERT FOR UNDETECTABLE BLACK COCAINE Colombian drug smugglers have tried most tricks to get their product out of the country. They have mixed it into coffee sacks, dissolved it in bottles of whisky and shampoo, paid couriers to swallow it in plastic bags for later excretion, even encouraged women to hide it in their private parts. Now, Colombian police are faced with a new smuggling gambit, the use of "coca negra", or black cocaine. Typically, the mixture is made up of pure cocaine (40 per cent) with cobalt and ferric chloride, which is said to make the lucrative drug undetectable even by highly trained sniffer dogs. Colombian police seized their first shipment of black cocaine last May - more than 250lb in two containers, bound for Italy from El Dorado airport in Bogota. Documented as bubble-jet printer cartridges, the containers passed the police dogs unnoticed and the drugs were uncovered only because police were already suspicious of the Colombian exporters. Black cocaine is transformed back to the familiar white powder by being passed through solvents such as acetone or ether. It has recently been found in police raids in Germany, the Netherlands and Albania, all in packages originating from the same exporters, a Colombian police spokesman said. Klaus Nyholm, the director of the United Nations drug control programme in Colombia, said his office had alerted the country's police a few months earlier to watch out for the black cocaine after UN officials in Asia found heroin smugglers using a similar technique. "We had heard reports of it but I never really thought black cocaine existed," Colombia's police chief, Roso Jose Serrano, said. "What this shows is that, for good or bad, Colombians have a boundless imagination." The Brussels-based Customs Co-operation Council put out an alert for black cocaine to member countries several months ago and, although the shipments seem to pass by the sniffer dogs, customs agents are confident that the latest ruse is just a temporary advantage by the smugglers. "Stopping drugs is also about intelligence work and risk assessment," said Douglas Tweddle, head of enforcement at the council. "And dogs are of limited use anyway because their noses get saturated quickly. What this shows is how innovative the drug smugglers are, but we have already alerted our network and hope to prevent it becoming a problem." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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