------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Governor's Signature All That Stands In The Way Of Freedom For Medical Marijuana User Originally Given 93 Year Sentence; Court Challenges Boost Hopes For Colorado, DC Medical Marijuana Initiatives; Patient's Glaucoma Justified Medical Marijuana Use, Cultivation, Canadian Judge Rules) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 16:33:39 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 9/10/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org September 10, 1998 *** Governor's Signature All That Stands In The Way Of Freedom For Medical Marijuana User Originally Given 93 Year Sentence September 10, 1998, Oklahoma City, OK: A parole board recently ordered the release of medical marijuana patient Will Foster contingent upon the governor's approval. The board's decision came days after an appeals court determined that Foster's 93-year sentence for cultivating medical marijuana "shocked the conscience." Governor Frank Keating has yet to okay the board's decision, and The NORML Foundation urges medical marijuana proponents to contact the state office and encourage him to do so immediately. An Oklahoma jury sentenced Foster in 1997 to 93 years in jail for cultivating marijuana in a 25-square foot underground shelter and other marijuana-related charges. Associate District Judge Bill Beasley ordered the sentences to run consecutively. Foster maintained that he grew the marijuana to alleviate the pain of rheumatoid arthritis; however, Oklahoma law does not accept the defense of medical necessity as a basis for acquittal on a marijuana charge. Last month, an appeals court judge found Foster's sentence excessive and reduced the term to 20 years. At Foster's first parole board hearing days later, officials unanimously voted to release him upon approval from the governor. Supporters of Foster, who was featured on NBC's Dateline Magazine television series last Sunday, are encouraging Gov. Keating to follow the parole board's recommendations and authorize his release. Those close to Foster maintain that his arthritis has become significantly worse while incarcerated and has spread to his fingers, wrists, and ankles. "Will Foster is a loving husband and father of two children who has been wrongly imprisoned for his efforts to treat a painful and debilitating condition with medical marijuana," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup said. "The parole board acted in a responsible manner to correct this injustice. It would be unconscionable for Gov. Keating to permit this travesty of justice to continue. It is time for Will Foster to go home." The NORML Foundation urges concerned parties to contact the governor and voice your support for medical marijuana patient Will Foster. Contact Gov. Frank Keating at the following address: Governor Frank Keating State Capitol Building, Room 212 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 (P) (405) 521-2342 (F) (405) 521-3317 or (405) 523-4224 e-mail: email@example.com url: http: www.state.ok.us/osfdocs/gov_mail.html For further background on the Will Foster case, please visit the May 1997 issue of Reason Magazine online at: http://www.reasonmag.com/9705/col.smith.html. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Adam Smith of the Drug Reform Coordination Network @ (202) 293-8340. Will Foster's wife Meg is available for comment @ (918) 584-0027. *** Court Challenges Boost Hopes For Colorado, DC Medical Marijuana Initiatives September 10, 1998, Washington, DC: Backers of a pair of medical marijuana initiatives previously disqualified from this fall's ballot remain confident that their measures will go before a public vote in November. Last week, DC Superior Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ordered the Board of Elections (BOE) to include nearly 5,000 additional signatures in support of Initiative 59, the District's medical marijuana proposal. Initiative backers Act-Up contend that the inclusion of the signatures will be sufficient to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. BOE officials had previously "set aside" the signatures because the address stated on the circulator's affidavit failed to match that in the Board's voting records. In Colorado, medical marijuana proponents Coloradans for Medical Rights (CMR) will appeal to a judge tomorrow to have their initiative immediately placed on the fall ballot. Petitioners allege that the Secretary of State's office made frequent errors when processing a random-sample check of the more than 88,000 signatures in support of the proposal. Attorneys for CMR argue that an independent review of the Secretary of State's sampling technique demonstrates petitioners collected an adequate number of signatures to qualify for this year's ballot. The Colorado initiative seeks to allow seriously ill patients who have a doctor's recommendation to possess up to two ounces of marijuana or grow three plants for medical use. The measure also encourages patients to enroll in a state identification program, and allows individuals to raise an affirmative defense in court if they possess more marijuana than the set amounts. DC's Initiative 59 seeks to exempt patients who use marijuana under a doctor's supervision from criminal marijuana penalties. The measure also proposes allowing residents to "organize not-for-profit corporations for the purpose of cultivating, purchasing, and distributing marijuana exclusively for ... medical use." For more information, please contact Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. *** Patient's Glaucoma Justified Medical Marijuana Use, Cultivation, Canadian Judge Rules September 10, 1998, Vancouver, British Columbia: A provincial court judge in Vancouver recently ruled that a patient's medical need for marijuana shielded him from criminal drug charges. "This case is significant because a judge, not known to be lenient in this Province, was nevertheless persuaded that it was ... not contrary to the public interest to grant [the defendant] a conditional discharge" for possessing marijuana, said NORML Legal Committee member John Conroy, who argued the case. The judge was clearly influenced by the "nature of the defendant's motives, namely self medication, and the absence of any harm to others by his conduct," he said. Defendant Stanley Czolowski, who uses marijuana medicinally to treat glaucoma and nausea, faced charges of cultivating marijuana and possessing the drug for the purpose of supplying a local medical marijuana dispensary. The Crown dropped the trafficking charge in exchange for a guilty plea to the cultivation charge. Judge Jane Godfrey exercised judicial discretion when sentencing Czolowski and gave the defendant only one year probation. Godfrey based the mitigated sentence on the fact that Czolowski grew marijuana solely for medical purposes. "I have heard from the accused and I have read the material that [details] what [the defendant's] daily existence is like, and I have no difficulty whatsoever in understanding his personal motivation and I have extreme sympathy for his personal situation," Judge Godfrey said. "I have considered the facts before me and ... am satisfied it's not contrary to the public interest ... to grant [the defendant] a discharge." Czolowski will not have a criminal record if he successfully completes his probation. This decision is the latest in a series of recent Canadian court rulings distinguishing medical marijuana users from other criminal offenders. For more information please contact either NORML Foundation director of litigation Tanya Kangas @ (202) 483-8751 or NLC member John Conroy @ (604) 852-5110. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon - Measure 57 And Measure 67 Poll (A List Subscriber Says A Poll By KPTV Channel 12 News In Portland Suggests The Ballot Initiative To Recriminalize Less Than One Ounce Of Marijuana Is Opposed By 51 Percent Of Voters, While The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Is Favored By 64 Percent) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 22:39:30 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Oregon: 57/67 Poll Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com TV Channel 12 just announced : M57 Yes = 43% NO = 51% M67 YES = 64% No = 43% Margin of error 4% *** Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 22:43:40 -0700 (PDT) From: Anti-Prohibition Lg (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Oregon: 57/67 Poll Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Oops: M67 should be YES = 64% No = 33% Sorry about that... Floyd.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Voter's Guide Now Online! (A Bulletin From The Washington Hemp Education Network Publicizes Its Impressive Guide For Washington State Voters Interested In Cannabis Issues)Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 06:24:11 -0700 (PDT) From: Robert Lunday (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: HT: Hemp Voter's Guide now Online! Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Hi Hemp-talkers, The 1998 Washington Hemp Voter's Guide is now online at: http://www.hemp.net/vote The online Voter's Guide has all the information that the printed version does, plus a few responses received after the deadline. Also included are a few candidate notes that were too long to print in the guide. The initial response to the guide has been very positive. Thanks to a few deadline contributions, we were able to print 30,000 copies of the guide. As a result, distribution of those guides is now our main priority, and we are looking for a few good volunteers to help. Ideally volunteers would cover distribution to several establishments in their area. We are especially in need of volunteers in Eastern Washington. If you are able to help distribute the guide, please send me e-mail with your snail mail address and expected distribution (plan 30-100 per location, depending on the size of the establishment) and I will mail you guides ASAP. Thanks to many of the dedicated volunteers and generous organizations, the guide has in it's first week been distributed to the following locations. While, we expect most of the candidates will still be valid after the primaries, the guides are most relevant before the Sept. 15th primaries. Thanks to Beth, Ben & Purple Stripe Publishing, the Voter's Guide is now (or will be soon) available at all these fine establishments: In Seattle: Capitol Hill: Crescent Downworks, Disc Go Round, Godfather's Pizza, Kincora's Pub, Pistil Books, Red & Black Books, The Comet, Vivace Downtown: Left Bank Books, Sit N Spin, The Crocodile Cafe The OffRamp Fremont: Rain City Video, Still Life Cafe, Wit's End Bookstore Pioneer Square: Elliott Bay Book Co., OK Hotel, The Colourbox Queen Anne: Tower Books U District: Bulldog News, Cellophane Square, Recollection Books Tower Music Wallingford: Honey Bear Bakery, Nice Day Coffee Edmonds: Chanterelle's Lynnwood: Homegrown, Wherehouse, Zumiez Olympia: Bulldog News Bellingham: Hemp Emporium, Michael's Books, The Newsstand It is also available at the Speakeasy Cafe on 2nd Ave in Belltown and tomorrow should be distributed in many of the Ballard hangouts. Ben is planning a trip to Olympia this weekend and looking for a local to hemp distribute the guide & the also "hot off the press", Hemp Activist Times (see www.hemp.net/hat). Tyree has taken a stack north and is working his crew to distribution guide around Bellingham (and beyond?). Magic has distributed to the Queen Anne Library and will be hitting many other Seattle branch libraries as well. The Anti-Prohibiton league in Portland is distributing the guide. It was passed out at Bumbershoot during the March to End Prohibition, and at the W.H.E.N. booth at Harbor Days in Olympia. And the guide is being sent to the mailing lists of the Marijuana Policy Project, the Herbivores and the November Coalition. Also, anyone can receive a printed copy of the guide by sending a self-addressed, stamped, business size envelope to: The Washington Hemp Education Network PO Box 1217 Olympia, WA 98507 If you can, please help us fill in the distribution gaps. We hope you enjoy the online version of the guide! Sincerely, Robert Lunday Washington Hemp Education Network
------------------------------------------------------------------- State May Receive $1 Million To Fight Methamphetamines (The Everett, Washington, 'Herald' Says The Money May Come From A $29.9 Billion Spending Bill To Fund The Treasury Department And Related Agencies That Cleared The Senate On A 91-5 Vote Last Week - The Newspaper Says Prohibition Agents In Washington State Last Year Found 203 Illegal Labs That Produce Methamphetamines, Up From 36 In 1990, But Omits The Rate Of Increase In Prohibition Agents) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 09:58:17 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: State May Receive $1 Million to Fight Methamphetamines Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Source: Herald, The (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Author: Herald news services STATE MAY RECEIVE $1 MILLION TO FIGHT METHAMPHETAMINES WASHINGTON -- Congress may send an extra $1 million to Washington state to help officials battle skyrocketing use of methamphetamines. The funding is included in a $29.9 billion spending bill to fund the Treasury Department and related agencies. That bill cleared the Senate on a 91-5 vote last week. But there is no guarantee Washington state will get the extra money. The House version of the Treasury funding bill does not include the extra $1 million. The Senate and House bills will be reconciled in a conference committee. Washington state has been beset by increased use of the drug, also known as speed. Officials last year found 203 illegal labs that produce methamphetamines, up from 36 in 1990. Seven labs were in Snohomish County Officials will break down more than 200 labs this year. Already in 1998, the state Department of Ecology has taken apart 180 labs in southwestern Washington alone.
------------------------------------------------------------------- HIV-Positive Participants Sought For Medical Marijuana Study ('The Bay Area Reporter' Publicizes Dr. Donald Abrams' Ongoing Research Into Pot And Protease Inhibitors At San Francisco General Hospital, Which Began In May And Is Slated To Run For Two Years - Because The Hospital Can Only Accommodate A Few Participants At A Time, A Continual Stream Of Enrollees Is Needed)Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 05:41:02 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: CA: HIV-Positive Participants Sought For Medical Marijuana Study Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Pubdate: Thurs, 10 Sept 1998 Source: Bay Area Reporter (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ebar.com/ Author: Liz Highleyman HIV-POSITIVE PARTICIPANTS SOUGHT FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA STUDY Not just free pot - subjects get $1,000! Dr. Donald Abrams and colleagues at University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), and the Community Consortium are seeking participants for their study of the effects of medicinal marijuana on the immune system, and its interaction with protease inhibitor drugs. Many people with HIV/AIDS use medical cannabis to help relieve drug-induced nausea and to stimulate their appetite and prevent weight loss.Participants taking part in the study will be hospitalized at SFGH's General Clinical Research Center (GCRC) for 25 nights. They will be randomized (selected by chance) to receive smoked marijuana, Marinol pills (an oral drug that contains THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana), or placebo (inactive) pills for 21 days. Regular blood and urine tests will be conducted. Participants are expected to have follow-up outpatient visits five days and 37 days after the end of the hospital stay. Those who complete the study will receive $1,000. The study began in May and is slated to run for two years. However, because the GCRC can only accommodate a few participants at a time, a continual stream of enrollees is needed. Eleven patients have entered the study so far, Abrams said, out of a total projected enrollment of 63. In part because the federal government has imposed strict limitations on the study of marijuana, there are several criteria that potential participants must meet. They must have documented HIV infection and have been on a stable antiretroviral treatment regimen that includes either indinavir (Crixivan) or nelfinavir (Viracept) for at least eight weeks, with a stable viral load for at least four weeks. Participants cannot have active opportunistic infections or be taking other medications that affect weight gain or immune function (for example, Megace, anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, or interleukin-2). Women may not be pregnant. Several study restrictions involve the use of other substances. Those who wish to take part in the study must have used marijuana at least six times before in their lives, but not within the 30 days prior to enrolling. In addition, participants cannot have smoked tobacco for the previous 30 days, be on methadone maintenance, or be dependent on alcohol or any street drugs. The current study will focus on metabolic interactions between medicinal marijuana or Marinol and protease inhibitors. It will also attempt to gauge marijauna's effect on the immune system, as measured by changes in HIV viral load and various immune markers. Abrams's team will also look at the short-term effects of marijuana on appetite, food intake, energy expenditure, body composition, and wasting. However, the study is not intended to determine the effectiveness of medicinal cannabis, since it will include too few people. "Although though the study is focused on safety," said Abrams, "we will still be getting a lot of information about efficacy." The federal government demanded that a study first prove the safety of medical marijuana before examining its effectiveness, according to Abrams. Two earlier proposed effectiveness studies were disallowed; both the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Drug Enforcement Agency refused to allow access to government-grown cannabis, the only officially approved source of marijuana for research purposes. The current study is the first federally sponsored study of marijuana in people with HIV/AIDS, and is being funded by a $1 million NIH grant. Participation in the study is a way to help advance the body of knowledge about medical marijuana at a time when the drug is receiving a great deal of attention from the federal government as well as from local health departments. People who participate, said Abrams, "are contributing to a really pioneering project." Those interested in the "Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in HIV Patients" study can call (415) 502-5705 for further information and eligibility requirements.
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACT UP/San Francisco Says Members Absconded With $9,000 In Medical Pot ('The Bay Area Reporter' Says Two Members, Chris Abbott And Carl McGarry, Allegedly Were Given Money To Buy Medicine For AIDS Patients But Disappeared In Two Separate Incidents) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 15:29:27 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: ACT UPSF Says Members Absconded With $9K In Medical Pot Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Source: Bay Area Reporter (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ebar.com/ Pubdate: Thurs, 10 Sept 1998 Author: Cynthia Laird ACT UP/SF SAYS MEMBERS ABSCONDED WITH $9K IN MEDICAL POT MONEY Members of ACT UP/San Francisco are scouring the city trying to find Chris Abbott, a former associate they accuse of absconding with just under $5,000 of the group's revenue from medical marijuana sales. The group posted flyers about Abbott throughout town, with an emphasis on the South of Market area, last Friday, September 4, although ACT UP/San Francisco member Michael Bellefountaine said the group suspects Abbott may have fled home to Orange County. Abbott is described on the flyers as being a Caucasian gay man, 27-years old, about five feet, 10 inches tall, and weighing approximately 290 pounds. He "wears Coke bottle glasses, t-shirts, and baggies," stated the flyer. According to Bellefountaine, Abbott walked out of the group's medical marijuana dispensary with over $4,000 in cash nearly two weeks ago. Flyers also went up around town last week targeting a man named Carl McGarry; ACT UP/San Francisco members claim he also took off with $4,000 of the club's money to purchase medical marijuana. That incident allegedly occurred three months ago. "We tracked him to Chicago," Bellefountaine told the Bay Area Reporter, Monday, September 7, adding the group thinks McGarry now may be back in San Francisco. "This man was also going to procure weed for us and he took off with $4,000." Bellefountaine said that while the group "is not in the habit" of going to the police, they may file a civil lawsuit against Abbott. He also acknowledged that ACT UP/San Francisco, a group that is relentless in its criticism of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation because of issues concerning SFAF's accountability or the lack of it regarding high salaries, administrative overhead, and services, has had to re-look at its own financial accountability procedures in light of the two alleged embezzlements. "These are learning processes for us. To some extent it's our fault. We've really reviewed our security and now if we have to send someone we always send two people with finances," Bellefountaine told the B.A.R., adding the organization operates "on a shoestring" budget. ACT UP/San Francisco is not affiliated with ACT UP/Golden Gate. Butt of jokes? Bellefountaine said ACT UP/San Francisco has just moved into a building that is accessible for patients in wheelchairs, on Market Street near the corner of Laguna, although the two thefts nearly derailed the move, he added. ACT UP/San Francisco's pot operation is one of a dwindling number of medical marijuana establishments in San Francisco since the May 25 closing of Dennis Peron's Cannabis Healing Center. Bellefountaine said the fate of the group's 600 patients is a symptom of the larger issue of the city providing some way for people to have access to medical marijuana. "We can't fault ourselves for trusting our members. Our books are really public and the big issue is how patients will get pot and how clubs procure it and not get ripped off," said Bellefountaine. "[Abbott] really stole from the dispensary, he really stole from the 600 clients. We trusted this guy," he said. "We've contacted his parents and family." He added that Abbott had been a member of the group for the last five years. Although he acknowledged ACT UP/SF is aware it is not high on the list of respected community organizations in the minds of many people, Bellefountaine emphasized that the group has learned from the two alleged thefts. "We're going after both of them," he said. "We don't mind being the butt of jokes if it prevents people from being ripped off." And, Bellefountaine told the B.A.R., he's hopeful that Abbott will return the money. "If he needs help, we'd like to help him," he said. "If he's just a thief, we'd like our money back."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trial Ordered For Suspects In Death Of Teen Informer ('The Orange County Register' Says Los Angeles Municipal Court Judge Stephen Marcus Ordered Michael L. Martinez, 21, Florence Noriega, 29, And Jose Ibarra, 19, To Stand Trial Wednesday For The Strangulation Of 17-Year-Old Chad MacDonald, Who Had Been Recruited By Police In Brea, California - MacDonald's Girlfriend Said Ibarra Raped Her Before The Three Suspects Drove Her To A Ditch, Choked Her With A Rope And Shot Her In The Face) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 11:34:04 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Trial Ordered For Suspects In Death of Teen Informer Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Author: Stuart Pfeifer - OCR TRIAL ORDERED FOR SUSPECTS IN DEATH OF TEEN INFORMER If convicted, the three held in Chad MacDonald's killing could face death. A Los Angeles judge ordered three suspects to stand trial Wednesday for the strangulation of a teen-ager who had worked as a Brea police informant. Michael L. Martinez, 21, Florence Noriega, 29, and Jose Ibarra, 19, could face the death penalty if convicted of the March 3 slaying of 17-year-old Chad MacDonald, a crime that sparked debate about the use of minors as police agents. Municipal Court Judge Stephen Marcus ordered the suspects to trial after three days of testimony that included the first account of the killing from MacDonald's teen-age girlfriend. According to the girlfriend's testimony, the suspects accused her and MacDonald of working for the police, strip-searched them while looking for a hidden "wire," then strangled MacDonald. The girlfriend said Ibarra raped her before the three suspects drove her to a ditch, choked her with a rope and shot her in the face. She survived. The hearing also focused on MacDonald's involvement in methamphetamine trafficking and use, which took place even after he had agreed to help police arrest other drug dealers to avoid his own prosecution on sales charges. Brea police officials said they severed their relationship with MacDonald in February after he was arrested a second time in possession of methamphetamine. Attorneys for Martinez and Ibarra said they belive the evidence will show MacDonald was killed as payback for his work for the Brea police, not during a robbery or sexual assault, special circumstances that could lead to the death penalty. Ibarra's lawyer, Forrest Latiner, said he will urge the District Attorney's Office not to seek the death penalty, in part because of MacDonald's drug-dealing background. "He didn't deserve to be beaten and strangled and dumped in an alley - but he's not a babe in the woods," Latiner said. MacDonald's family has sued the Brea police, contending officers misled the teen-ager and his mother and put him in danger. State lawmakers have passed a bill that would restrict the use of minors as police informants.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Violence . . . Followed By A Pay Raise (A Staff Editorial In 'The San Jose Mercury News' Notes Prison Guards Were The Only State Workers Whom The California Governor And Legislature Deemed Worthy Of A Wage Increase This Year - Coming So Soon After Legislators Heard About The Brutality Of The Guards At Corcoran State Prison And Their Code Of Silence In Covering It Up, The 12 Percent Pay Raise Implied One More Official Sanctioning Of Bad Acts)Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 05:30:18 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Prison Violence Followed By A Pay Raise Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 PRISON VIOLENCE . . . FOLLOWED BY A PAY RAISE ONE moment, legislators were hearing about the brutality of the guards at Corcoran State Prison and their code of silence in covering it up. Next moment, they were awarding them and others in the 27,000-strong California Correctional Peace Officers Association a double-digit pay raise as part of the state budget. The officers were the only state workers whom the legislature and the governor deemed worthy of a wage increase this year. The timing was disturbing, and so was the generosity. The pay raises were at odds with the record of institutional violence. They implied one more official sanctioning of bad acts. But then, the ugly history of Corcoran was has been rife with collusion and a misuse of power: by prison guards, by the union that protects them, and by the governor who, with $667,000 in union campaign contributions over the past 10 years, is deferential to it. A long-standing tolerance of misbehavior will make reforming the prison system difficult to achieve. For the first half-dozen years after it opened in 1988, Corcoran was the bloodiest prison in the bloodiest state penitentiary system in America. In a series on the prison, the Los Angeles Times found that guards sanctioned, even orchestrated, the rape of inmates by another inmate. In at least one case, they beat inmates en masse, like a fraternity hazing gone wild. And they shot 50 inmates, seven fatally. Corcoran is not a nice place to work. It's where Charles Manson, Juan Corona and 5,300 of the state's most dangerous felons live in crowded conditions. But even within the repressed fury that is prison life everywhere, the violence in Corcoran's early days was unparalleled. Yet no one in power raised questions. No one professed to see a pattern, until a guard and a lieutenant risked their jobs to come forward, the Times published its expose, and the FBI started poking around. Only then did Attorney General Dan Lungren and the Department of Corrections launch separate inquiries, and they did nothing. Lungren's was limited to one incident. The department's was hamstrung by Gov. Wilson's aide Del Pierce, whose restrictions impeded interrogations. Given the option of refusing to answer questions, most guards stayed silent. The results: no criminal charges and one disciplinary action. And that was against the whistle-blower who went to the FBI. Since then, the FBI has issued eight indictments, and more may be coming. Federal prosecutors are looking into the possible obstruction of justice. And, as the five days of combative hearings last month showed, prison administrators continue to profess ignorance of events. There has been some progress under Corrections Director Cal Terhune. No shots have been fired at Corcoran in three years. And the legislature and Gov. Wilson strengthened the oversight process. The three-tiered system includes ombudsmen, an internal affairs operation under Corrections, and an independent Office of Inspector General, with its own investigative staff. The legislature should have placed all oversight functions under the inspector general, to reduce potential conflicts of interest and political influence. That's what the Legislative Analyst's Office recommended. But legislators did nearly double the budget for oversight, to $6 million, which is a good first step. Oversight alone, without confronting the ingrained nature of prison violence, may not be enough, however. The problems at Corcoran occurred during explosive growth in the prison system that a former corrections commissioner called ``unmanageable.'' In 15 years, the inmate population has tripled. The power of a fast-expanding correctional union grew with it. Rapid growth and crowding feed a siege mentality. They seed conditions for abuse that an oversight process can detect but may not be able to prevent. That, too, was one of the messages of the hearings on Corcoran. But a huge pay raise for the guards' union surely was not the answer. 1997 - 1998 Mercury Center.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Conviction Of Drug Dealer In CIA Expose Is Upheld ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says The US Court Of Appeals In San Francisco Yesterday Rejected An Appeal By 'Freeway' Ricky Ross, A Major Southern California Cocaine Seller Who Was A Central Figure In The 'Dark Alliance' Series Published By 'The San Jose Mercury News,' Which Suggested That The CIA Had Secretly Encouraged The Crack Cocaine Plague In The Early 1980s As A Funding Mechanism For The US-Backed Contras In Nicaragua - The Court Ruled There Is No Evidence Of Government Misconduct) Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:28:35 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Conviction Of Drug Dealer In Cia Expose Is Upheld Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Bill Wallace CONVICTION OF DRUG DEALER IN CIA EXPOSE IS UPHELD There is no evidence of government misconduct in the drug conviction of a cocaine dealer who was the focus of controversial news stories that purported to link the CIA and the crack epidemic, a federal appellate panel ruled yesterday. The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the conviction of ``Freeway'' Ricky Ross, a major Southern California drug trafficker who was a central figure in a series of stories that suggested that the CIA had secretly encouraged the crack cocaine plague in the early 1980s as a funding mechanism for U.S.-backed rebels in Central America. Ross was convicted of buying 220 pounds of cocaine from Oscar Danilio Blandon for $169,000 in 1996. The drug deal was a sting operation set up by federal agents, and Blandon, a former drug dealer who worked with CIA-backed insurgents in Central America, was an informant for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Ross was a central figure in the San Jose Mercury News' ``Dark Alliance'' series two years ago. The series suggested that the CIA had fostered the spread of crack cocaine in Southern California the 1980s. ``Dark Alliance'' became the target of widespread criticism, and the Mercury News eventually acknowledged that there was no evidence of direct CIA involvement in the crack epidemic. In his appeal, lawyers for Ross argued that his conviction should be thrown out because the government had not released details about the relationship between Blandon and the CIA. They also argued that key evidence had been withheld by the government, including tape recordings that showed Blandon was a notorious drug dealer in his own right and evidence that prosecutors had snared Ross in an undercover sting operation through entrapment. In the ruling issued yesterday, Judges Mary Schroeder, Harry Pregerson and Stephen Reinhardt rejected Ross' arguments. As for the assertion that the government should have disclosed Blandon's relationship to the CIA, the judges said: ``The allegation that Blandon was linked to the CIA was conclusory, and even if true, would not necessarily rise to the level of outrageous conduct.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colorado Town Adopts Fugitive As Folk Hero ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says Federal Prohibition Agents' Pursuit Of Neil Murdoch In Crested Butte, Colorado, Has Been Impeded By Residents' Widespread Refusal To Cooperate - The Fugitive And Widely Respected Member Of The Community Moved To Crested Butte 25 Years Ago After Jumping Bail In 1973 In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Where He Was Arrested As Richard Gordon Bannister For Intent To Distribute 26 Pounds Of Cocaine) Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 08:18:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: Colorado Town Adopts Fugitive As Folk Hero Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ COLORADO TOWN ADOPTS FUGITIVE AS FOLK HERO CRESTED BUTTE, Colo. (AP) - For a man in hiding, Neil Murdoch lived a very public life. For 25 years, when he wasn't feuding with town leaders over buildings for the arts, he was promoting mountain biking. Or wearing a diaper to a frosty night's New Year's Eve party. Or tangling with the law for scattering rocks on a road to stop speeders in this mountain town of 1,500. So folks were astounded when U.S. marshals marched in last April, announcing that Murdoch wasn't Murdoch but Richard Gordon Bannister, 57, wanted for jumping bail in 1973 in Albuquerque, N.M., after his arrest on charges of intending to distribute 26 pounds of cocaine. Murdoch bolted again, and now he's a folk hero to many of the locals, who refuse to help the marshals find him. `He's already paid' ``I don't know Bannister. I knew Murdoch, and he did a lot for this community,'' said former Mayor Mickey Cooper, a developer. ``He's already paid for what he did in ways none of us could ever guess. If someone wants a manhunt, I won't help them.'' That Attitude Angers Marshals. ``He's not a folk hero. He's an accused drug trafficker,'' said Larry Homenick, chief deputy in the Denver office of the U.S. Marshals Service. Early on, Homenick said, ``people were not cooperating, not giving us information that could've led to an immediate capture.'' But now, he said, investigators do not believe Murdoch is keeping in touch with anyone in Crested Butte. Investigators learned of Murdoch's true identity when he slipped up, using his real Social Security number in applying for a job. Marshals questioned him April 28 but let him go, convinced they had made a mistake. Two days later, the marshals returned to this town 250 miles southwest of Denver, intending to arrest him, only to find Murdoch had fled. Residents rallied, and sold 2,000 ``Free Murdoch'' stickers for $2 apiece. Council members donned Murdoch masks and marched in the Fourth of July parade, pursued by someone in an FBI hat. One local, Jay Mayfield, wrote ``Ode to Murdoch,'' which reads in part: ``Don't know the specifics / of his chosen name and crime/ but it seems like he's been/ rehabilitated with time.'' Theater officials gave the fugitive a Golden Marmot award, their lighthearted version of the Oscar, for best acting. ``We gave it to him in absentia, of course,'' Cooper said. ``He did a great job of acting for 25 years.'' In Crested Butte, Murdoch lived alone in a downstairs apartment and opened a shop devoted to mountain biking. He volunteered at the community theater and at a day care center. ``He raised my two kids,'' said Jeff Neumann, who worked with Murdoch at a printing business. No one knew Murdoch's background, and no one asked, Neumann said. ``In a small town like Crested Butte, we take people for who they are. We don't hold their past against them,'' he said. He added: ``People feel they've lost a valuable member of the community. It's like he died. We feel a loss, and we're grieving.'' Not A Hero To All Town Manager Bill Crank, who has known Murdoch for 25 years, insisted Murdoch is ``not my hero.'' ``I don't think the people who are touting Murdoch have talked to the guy who had his Social Security number stolen. I understand he's pretty angry,'' Crank said. At the same time, Crank said: ``Hell, I don't know if I'd turn him in or not. It's kind of comical: The feds lost him for 25 years, then they found him, then they lost him again. It's all sort of amusing.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug War Masquerade (A Lengthy Account In 'The San Antonio Current' Of The Killing Of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., A High School Goatherder In Texas, By Camouflaged Marines Along The US-Mexico Border, Says Putting Troops In Such Places Is A Compromise - It Allows Congress To Appear Tough On Drugs, While Not Hindering Trade) Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 07:33:29 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Drug War Masquerade Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: San Antonio Current Website: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0292715803/latinolink/ Pubdate: 10 Sep 1998 Author: Monte Paulsen, National Editor, San Antonio Current DRUG WAR MASQUERADE On the day he died, Esequiel Hernandez Jr. took his goats to the river. He let them from their makeshift pens of wire and branch, then shooed them down the dusty lane. They wandered past the ruins of the Spanish mission, through the abandoned U.S. Army post and down a stony bluff to the Rio Grande. When he reached the crest of the bluff, Hernandez stopped. Behind him lay the mud-red adobe homes and melon-green alfalfa fields of Redford. Before him stretched the Chihuahuan desert, Texas' vast gravel backyard, speckled with squat greasewood bushes and whip-like ocotillo plants. Except for Hernandez, whose goats brought him here late each afternoon, the residents of the little oasis rarely ventured into this no-man's-land. But on this, his final walk to the river, Hernandez spotted something in the desert. It looked small and shaggy. He'd lost a goat not long before. He suspected wild dogs had taken it. His herd was already at the river's edge, halfway to the gray-brown creature. It moved. He couldn't afford to lose another goat. He raised his ancient .22-caliber rifle and aimed into the desert. Twenty minutes later, Hernandez's 18-year-old body lay grotesquely twisted across a stone cistern at the edge of the village. He died trying to protect his goats. He was killed by a 22-year-old soldier trying to protect America's youth from drugs. On the day Esequiel Hernandez Jr. died, he became the first civilian killed by U.S. troops since the student massacre at Kent State University in 1970. His death led to a temporary suspension of troop patrols near the U.S.-Mexican border. And last month, the government paid his family $1.9 million to settle a wrongful death claim. Clemente Manuel Banuelos became the first ever member of the United States Marine Corps to kill a fellow citizen on U.S. soil. Four investigations and three grand juries probed the May 1997 shooting. Each concluded that because Banuelos followed orders, he was innocent of criminal wrongdoing. Those who issued the orders were never tried. Both young men became victims of the Pentagon's quixotic $1 billion-a-year war on drugs. Hooked on Drug Money Hernandez's days were numbered since 1989, the year then-President George Bush waved a bag of crack on TV. Seated in the Oval Office with pictures of his family behind him, Bush held up the clear plastic bag and told the nation that it was crack cocaine seized in the park located directly across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. U.S. presidents have been declaring "war on drugs" ever since the Nixon administration. Bush's remedies were much the same as those proposed by his predecessors: More cops, stiffer sentences. But because few police officers and no judges report to the White House, most presidents waged this war rhetorically. Bush changed that. He ordered the Pentagon to the front lines of the drug war. For more than a century, stationing U.S. soldiers in American backyards was against the law. The Posse Comitatus Act, passed by Congress in 1878, made it a felony to deputize the armed services for domestic duty. Thus, since Reconstruction, not the U.S. Army but state-run National Guard units were called on to suppress labor strikes, race riots, student protests and other acts of civil disobedience. Though it no longer exists, this separation of military and police powers is still touted in high school civics textbooks as a hallmark of U.S. society and democratic ideals. Congress began chipping away at Posse Comitatus in 1982, the same year then-Vice President Bush was put in charge of the War on Drugs -- with a defense bill that allowed the military to loan equipment and facilities to civilian law enforcement agencies. A 1989 bill went further, allowing military personnel to work in the field. And a 1991 act authorized the services to conduct armed anti-drug reconnaissance missions. The definition of these missions has been expanded in every defense bill since. Just two months after Bush waved his bag of crack, the Pentagon created Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6). Headquartered in a former Army stockade near El Paso, JTF-6 was initially conceived of as a temporary operation, with duties confined to the U.S.-Mexican border. As it now approaches its 10th birthday, JTF-6 is one of the longest running task forces in U.S. military history. More than 72,000 soldiers have served in JTF-6 operations scattered across 30 states. Many JTF-6 missions do not involve combat troops. The Army Corps of Engineers, for example, has built hundreds of miles of fencing and roads along the U.S.-Mexico border. Others, such as the mission to Redford, have placed armed soldiers in American backyards. JTF-6 cannot launch a mission on its own. The work must be requested by a civilian law enforcement agency fighting drugs within one of the nation's 21 High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas. (San Antonio is on the list.) But the U.S. Border Patrol is JTF-6's main client. The two agencies have collaborated on an average of 157 missions a year. The mission to Redford began with a request from the Border Patrol's sector headquarters in Marfa. Spanning 2,200 square miles of West Texas desert, Marfa is the most rural and least active of nine sectors along the U.S.-Mexican border. As a result, Marfa also has the fewest agents. So in 1996, the sector chief requested JTF-6's help. The request was approved by Operation Alliance -- JTF-6's civilian sister agency -- and the El Paso task force issued a call for military volunteers. The 1st Marine Expeditionary Force quickly signed on. Like the Border Patrol, the California-based 1st Marines were regulars at JTF-6's desert headquarters. The 1st Marines participated in 119 missions prior to Redford, with 28 scheduled for 1997 alone. And like the Border Patrol, the 1st Marines were hooked on drug interdiction money. The division burned an extra $9.1 million worth of JTF-6 green during the four years prior to the Redford mission. Wrote the ranking general: "Unequivocally, my commanders depend on, and plan for, this annual infusion." Friendly Fire Late one afternoon in February 1997 -- the very same month that JTF-6 and the 1st Marines began planning the Redford mission -- Border Patrol agents Johnny Urias and James DeMatteo heard gunshots while patrolling the Redford riverfront. Urias and DeMatteo were at the landing used by Juan Olivas, Redford's part-time boatman. Olivas rows passengers across the Rio Grande for 50 cents a head. If a friend lacks the fare, Olivas has been known to take groceries in trade. The service isn't legal. Nor is it lucrative. For most of the year, the river is shallow enough to ford without getting a knee wet. The two agents were walking among the cottonwood trees by the river when Urias remembered a "firecracker kind of pop at a distance." DeMatteo recalled "three popping sounds coming from out left." Unsure what was happening, they climbed back into their truck and drove slowly up the dusty lane to Farm Road 170, the two-lane blacktop that winds through Redford. Before they reached the village, a beat-up truck approached them from behind. It flashed its headlights. The agents stopped. So did the old white pickup. A boy hopped out and ran up to the Border Patrol vehicle. "I'm sorry that I was shooting," the agents recalled the boy telling them. "I thought someone was doing something to my goats. I didn't know you were back there." The tall, lanky teenager was Esequiel Hernandez Jr. Known as "Skeetch" or "Zeke" to his friends and simply as "Junior" to the adults in the village, Esequiel was the sixth of eight children of Maria de la Luz and Esequiel Hernandez Sr. Esequiel Sr. farms a small tract of land in the oldest part of Redford, called El Polvo. It was named after a Catholic mission established here in 1684. The Franciscans called it San Jose Del Polvo, or St. Joseph of the Dust. The name fits. The Hernandez family draws its blood from this river, and this dust. High mountains let few raindrops pass into this part of the desert. But where the river floods there are small strips of muddy soil. The adobe-and-cinder-block village of Redford stands in the desert above the precious red soil, every inch of which is planted in alfalfa, melons, pumpkins or other crops. Esequiel Jr. was a popular kid at Presidio High. He was the only boy to sign up for the folk dance troupe. He was a straight kid who didn't smoke, drink or do drugs, according to his peers. His only brushes with the law were a result of his habit of driving without a license -- a common West Texas transgression. Esequiel wasn't college bound. The only visible indication of personal ambition was a large Marine Corps recruiting poster mounted on the wall above his bed. For the time being, he played cowboy. He rode horses in parades wearing an embroidered shirt and large white hat. When he wasn't on horseback, he helped his father tend the family's 43 goats. It was his chore to walk them to the river each afternoon. And he usually took with him a World War I-era .22-caliber rifle his grandfather had given him. The old gun was mechanically unreliable, but straight shooting. This, too, he hung on the wall above his bed. As the February sun crept behind the high, hard mountains to the west, Urias and DeMatteo studied the boy who had followed them down the dusty lane. No harm intended, they figured. No harm done. Urias left the boy with a friendly warning. "Use more discretion when shooting your weapon," he later recalled telling Esequiel. "Especially at night." Unready Soldiers Cpl. Banuelos first set foot in the Redford desert three months later. On the morning of May 13, 1997, he scouted the stony bluff just downstream from El Polvo with his commanding officer, Capt. Lance McDaniel. Banuelos noticed an empty cardboard bullet box that had contained .22 caliber rounds. Unaware of the Hernandez's habits, they speculated that the box had been left by drug smugglers. McDaniel picked Banuelos to lead a four-man team that would surveil the Redford crossing. The 22-year-old corporal's team, called Team 7, was to watch the crossing at night, and radio reports of any illegal activity to the Border Patrol. During the day, Banuelos and his men were to retreat to a "hide site" in an arroyo just down river. There the soldiers were to conceal themselves from the villagers. The assignment was a coup for Banuelos, who was not much older than Hernandez when he joined the Marine Corps. The boy from San Francisco had matured noticeably during his three years in service, earning an achievement medal rarely awarded such a junior enlisted man. And now, while still a corporal, he had been selected to lead an observation team at Redford. All the other team leaders were sergeants. If the mission went smoothly, Banuelos would soon be a sergeant, too. But mission No. JT414-97A, as the soldiers called it, was not going smoothly. For while McDaniel's senior officers at 1st Division HQ were hot to take JTF-6's money, their support for the captain's efforts to prepare for the mission was tepid at best. McDaniel was hamstrung at every turn by bureaucracy, paperwork, and the fact that 1st Division's command viewed the mission as little more than a free training exercise. That's the conclusion of an exhaustive report authored by retired Maj. Gen. John T. Coyne, from which many of the operational details described in this story were drawn. The Coyne report highlights how different police work is from military action, and harshly rebukes the 1st Division for failing to adequately prepare its soldiers for this policing mission. In one striking example, McDaniel's men were pulled away from a training exercise in order to participate in a dress uniform review. The officers' club mentality was visible in a statement from the man who ordered McDaniel's men to participate in the formality. Maj. Steven Hogg said he was comfortable with the order because he "was satisfied that Capt. McDaniel was hitting all the wickets." As a result of this type of bureaucratic interference, Capt. McDaniel was able to conduct only three days of training before his teams departed Camp Pendleton for Texas. And because mission assignments weren't settled until the last minute, Team 7 never trained as a unit. Cpl. Roy Torrez Jr., Banuelos' second in command, hadn't received any field instruction since his basic Marine Combat Training after boot camp. Torrez, whose main job in the Marine Corps was driving a tow truck, was also Team 7 medic. He had completed a first aid course in order to meet a quota at the garage where he worked. Like Torrez, Lance Cpl. Ronald Wieler had received no field training since basic. Wieler was a radio operator. Most of his preparation consisted of cutting rags and sewing his own camouflage "ghillie suit." Lance Cpl. James Blood, the team's junior man, did attend the three days of training. But Blood was assigned to another team during that time. He didn't even meet his teammates until the day before McDaniel and Banuelos found the empty bullet box by the river. Upon returning from that walk, McDaniel briefed his men at a Marfa base camp. The two-hour talk addressed safety issues, communication protocols and the "rules of engagement." The soldiers were handed ROE cards that listed specifically what they could and could not do. They were told what to do if they encountered drug smugglers. But they neither discussed nor rehearsed what to do if they came across a civilian. Staff Sgt. Daren Dewbre concluded the briefing. Dewbre warned the soldiers that drug gangs posed an "organized, sophisticated, and dangerous enemy." He told them that other teams had taken fire on previous missions. He told them that "the enemy" would employ armed lookouts -- and that some villagers were in cahoots with the smugglers. His briefing notes read: "Redford is not a friendly town." Men With Guns Redford is one of the most remote towns in the United States. It is also one of the oldest. And it's among the most often visited by soldiers. Eight hours west of San Antonio and five hours east of El Paso, Redford is in many ways more Mexican than American. Spanish is the language of choice. The most popular shopping center is in Ojinaga, a Mexican border town half an hour upriver. An American flag flies out front of Redford Elementary School. But its flagpole erupts from the center of the school's basketball court, leaving visitors to wonder whether the patriot who erected the pole was entirely familiar with the rules of the game. Directly across Farm Road 170 -- which until it was paved in the 1960s was called Muerte del Burro, or Death of the Donkey -- stands the Madrid library. In 1979, schoolteacher Lucia Rede Madrid started the small library in her husband's store. She loaned books to the kids in Redford, and also to Mexican kids from across the river. By the mid-'80s, her library had swelled to an estimated 50,000 volumes, overflowing both the store and the attached stucco home. Lucia's "bridge of books" earned her two presidential medals, and made her the most famous person in Redford -- until Zeke. The books in the Madrid library show that Cpl. Banuelos was far from the first soldier to ride into Redford. First came the Apache. Then came the Spanish. In 1747, Captain Joseph de Ydoiaga led an expedition of 150 men and 1,000 horses. Ydoiaga's report led to the construction of a Spanish fortress, near present day Presidio. Next came the Mexicans, who in 1821 won independence from Spain. And in 1836 the Texans separated from Mexico. The Mexican-American War brought the U.S. Army in 1846. The United States won a bloody victory over a Mexico torn apart by civil unrest. The Treaty of Guadalupe de Hildago cut Mexico in half. The United States took everything from the Rio Grande to California. The treaty also divided the village of El Polvo, placing the fields on the south side of the river in Mexico. And the new border attracted a new breed of men with guns. A private trading post just upriver on the American side became a haven for profiteers such as John Burgess, a war veteran who traded American guns and slaves for Mexican silver. When President Ulysses S. Grant began paying cash for Indian scalps, Burgess scalped dark-skinned Mexicans and pawned off the hairpieces. The new Anglo settlers also changed the name of the dusty village. The English name -- "REDFORD" -- is painted in block letters on the small silver water tower at the west end of town. The Army built a fort at Redford called Camp Polvo during the Mexican Revolution, which spilled across the Rio Grande after 1910. Pancho Villa campaigned near the border. For years, whichever side was losing would surrender to the U.S. Army rather than their enemy. When the revolution ended, the Army left several buildings behind, including an adobe officers' house, and a small stone cistern. Three Days in the Desert Banuelos and his team were dropped off along Farm Road 170 late Saturday night, May 17. The soldiers leaped out of the Chevy Suburban wearing camouflage face paint and shaggy burlap "ghillie suits." They carried two five-gallon water cans, two radios and assorted gear. Each carried his M-16A2 rifle. Team 7 walked half a mile to the observation post. The team they were replacing was dehydrated and nauseous after its three-day tour. The departing team commander told Banuelos: "Watch out for the goats." Banuelos, Torrez, Wieler and Blood settled into the stony bluff above the river. A canopy of stars revealed itself overhead. They saw two vehicles cross the river that night, and radioed the Border Patrol both times. As dawn came Sunday, Banuelos moved his men to the arroyo. The day passed slowly, punctuated by fitful naps. The goats came in the afternoon. Dozens of them, scrabbling through the hide site, foraging among the greasewood bushes. Some came so close that one soldier feared they would gnaw on his leaf-like ghillie suit. Team 7 moved up to the observation post early that evening, sometime between 7 and 8 p.m. This was a departure from mission JT414-97A's plan, which instructed them not to move until after dark. The soldiers reported more vehicle crossings that night -- pickups, Suburbans and Blazers rolling back and forth across the river. But the Border Patrol only stopped one or two. On Monday the desert began to be very hot. At mid-day, the surface temperature of the Chihuahuan desert can reach 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Snakes stay in their burrows to avoid being cooked. The soldiers had no burrows. They lay on hot stones, wrapped in their burlap suits. Each man had only three quarts of water per day. All they had to eat were fibrous goo bars called Meals Ready to Eat, like Slim-Fast shakes without the liquid. The goats returned in the afternoon. They stuffed their mouths with desert weeds. They gurgled as they drank deeply from the river. By that evening, Team 7 had begun to realize that El Polvo was a well-worn crossing, and that most of what was smuggled across wasn't drugs. Vehicles of every description arrived laden with tires, cement, furniture, produce and other contraband. Torrez and Blood griped about how rarely the Border Patrol responded to their calls. "If they don't care," Blood recalled asking, "why do we need to be out here?" Wrong Place, Wrong Time They didn't need to be there -- at least not in May. A decade's worth of federal statistics prove it: More than 85 percent of all illegal drugs entering the United States arrive via official Ports of Entry monitored by the Customs Service. Most comes concealed within legitimate cargo. Nearly 100 percent of all heroin shipped to the United States last year flowed through official ports, according to federal estimates. Ninety-nine percent of the methamphetamine tumbled through those ports. Ninety-seven percent of the cocaine blew in this way. Marijuana is the lone exception. Half the weed consumed in this country is grown here. Much of the rest comes across at places like El Polvo. Last fall, the Border Patrol caught a motor home stuffed with 2,700 pounds of marijuana. Its driver claimed he crossed at El Polvo. Large busts like this happen every fall. That's because marijuana is a crop. Most of it gets harvested and shipped across the border in the fall and winter. Only tourists and amateurs bother smuggling in May. If Congress were serious about employing the armed forces to stop the northward flow of drugs, it would post search teams at each of the 39 customs checkpoints along the 2,000-mile border. Three and a half million trucks rolled through in 1996. Customs was able to inspect but a quarter of them. The main reason these trucks go uninspected is because truckers -- and the corporations who hire them -- complain the wait at customs is too long. These corporations, which finance political life in America, complain to Congress that more searches would slow down the progress of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Washington wants it both ways. It wants to stop the flow of drugs and immigrants, while increasing the flow of goods and services. Putting troops in places such as Redford is a compromise. It allows Congress to appear tough on drugs, while not hindering trade. Congress has strained to expand the military's role along the border ever since JTF-6 was created. Both the House and Senate versions of the 1989 bill would have given the military the power to arrest civilians. These provisions were killed as a result of strong opposition from the Pentagon, which trains soldiers to kill their enemies, not arrest them. Many, many military scholars warn that training the armed services to do police work will render them unprepared for actual combat. *** (Sidebar:) Timothy Dunn chronicles America's longstanding efforts to station soldiers along the Rio Grande in his book "The Militarization of the U.S.-Mexico Border" $12.76 from Amazon.com. The El Paso-based professor explains how "complex international issues such as undocumented immigration and illegal drug trafficking are reduced to one-sided, domestic border-control problems, and framed as threats to national security, which in turn require strong law enforcement, or even military responses." Even as Banuelos was struggling to prepare his team for mission JT414-97A, U.S. Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was pushing a 1997 bill that would have put 10,000 troops on the U.S.-Mexican border. Traficant reintroduced the troop plan this year, and tore a page from Dunn's book when he said on the House floor: "The border is a national security issue, and, by God, the Congress of the United States better start securing our borders." The House passed the Ohio congressman's amendment in June, along with proposals for bigger fences, fancier technology and more agents along the border. The Senate nixed the Traficant plan, but moved to swell the ranks of the Border Patrol from 6,200 to more than 20,000 agents. "It's an easy, simple and politically safe target," says Kevin Zeese, who heads the nonprofit group Common Sense for Drug Policy. "Shout 'drug war' as loud as you can and you sound like you are protecting America's youth.") Part 2: Drug War Masquerade "Fire Back" Esequiel Jr. got home from school about 4 p.m. on the day he died. He thanked the driver of the big yellow bus and walked down the lane to his family's little rancheria. He studied his driver's handbook, then he helped his father unload some hay. After that it was time to walk the goats. Banuelos led his men out of the hide site even earlier that afternoon. It was three full hours before nightfall. They hadn't even seen the goats yet. They were hot, tired, hungry, dehydrated and still dressed like shrubs. They looked forward to being relieved shortly after dark. As Team 7 crept toward the observation post, Banuelos spotted a man on a horse on the Mexican side. The corporal put his team in a halt. Just then, Esequiel and his goats crested the small bluff. The soldiers -- who had been warned to expect armed lookouts and "unfriendly villagers" -- saw a young man of Latino descent carrying a .22 rifle. Banuelos whispered into the radio: "We have an armed individual, about 200 meters from us." A time-stamped recording of the radio traffic showed it was 6:05 p.m. "He's in front of the old fort. He's headed toward us. He's armed with a rifle. He appears to be in, uh, herding goats or something." Hernandez saw something move in the brush at the bottom of the far ravine. He had warned friends and family members of what he would do if he ever found the wild dog he believed had taken his goat. The goatherd may have fired once, as Banuelos and Blood claimed. (One spent shell was later found in the rifle.) Or he may have fired twice, as Torrez and Wieler recalled. Or he may not have fired at all, as the lack of gunpowder residue on his hands later suggested. What is certain is that the four tired soldiers believed they had been fired at by a drug smuggler. None was hit. Banuelos ordered the men prone. Face down in the hot gravel, he told them to "lock and load." Hernandez stood on his toes. He peered across the desert. Torrez recalled he was "bobbing and weaving ... like when you look at something in the distance, you stand on your tippy-toes and try to move your head around to see." "We're taking fire," Banuelos radioed at 6:07 p.m. Capt. McDaniel was working out in a gym at the Marfa compound when he heard the news. He sprinted to the nearby operations center. He and his fellow officers immediately began debating what actions were authorized under the JTF-6 rules of engagement. Banuelos and his team mates were still carrying the ROE flash cards they were given a week earlier. The first of six points listed was: "Force may be used to defend yourself and others present." The second and third points were: "Do not use force if other defensive measures could be effective" and "Use only minimum force necessary." But Banuelos didn't have time to reread his card. Nor was he aware that McDaniel and the other officers were in the midst of an intense debate about what he could and could not do. At 6:11 p.m., he radioed the operations center: "As soon as he readies that rifle back down range, we are taking him." Lance Cpl. James Steen was manning the radio in Marfa. He replied: "Roger, fire back." McDaniel exploded. He and the other officers in the operations center believed Steen's authorization to "fire back" was wrong, according to written statements. Steen was pulled off the radio. Sgt. Dewbre took the chair. But the order to "fire back" was neither corrected nor withdrawn. Dewbre radioed at 6:14 p.m.: "Just give us an update." To keep the boy within his line of sight, Banuelos led his team down another stony arroyo and up the opposite bank. From the top of the next plateau, the soldiers could see in all directions. Banuelos told Dewbre: "We have a visual." Dewbre replied: "You're to follow the ROE." Banuelos did not acknowledge Dewbre's order. Nearly four minutes had passed since the incorrect order to "fire back" was issued. McDaniel and the other officers discussed whether or not Banuelos had heard Dewbre. But they did not retransmit the instruction. Worse Than Drugs The war that Esequiel Hernandez wandered into is not confined to the U.S.-Mexican border. The Pentagon spends about $1 billion a year fighting drugs. JTF-6 has conducted missions in 30 states and the Caribbean territories. An estimated 4,000 National Guard troops are involved in 1,300 counter-drug operations nationwide. And 89 percent of police departments now have paramilitary "SWAT" teams, which primarily serve drug warrants. In spite of all this, the drugs are winning. The availability and potency of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine has skyrocketed over the past decade. At the same time, street prices have fallen. The United Nations estimates the annual revenue generated by the illegal drug industry at $400 billion. That's 8 percent of the total international trade, or about the same size as the global automobile industry. The war has not proved either as easy, simple or politically safe as its proponents had hoped. Days after he waved the plastic bag of crack on TV, Bush was embarrassed by revelations that it was not "seized" in Lafayette Park -- but in fact had been purchased for $2,400 by an undercover agent who had lured a drug dealer there. The seller was baffled by the agent's request. On a DEA tape of the phone call, the 18-year-old dealer asked, "Where the fuck is the White House?" "We can't even keep drugs out of prison," says Zeese of Common Sense for Drug Policy. "To think we could keep them out at the borders is absurd." Common Sense for Drug Policy argues that drug abuse is a social problem that requires a combination of social, not military, solutions. The evidence bears them out. Where drug use has fallen, experts attribute the difference to lifestyle changes, not law enforcement. Reagan's Secretary of State George Shultz, right-wing economist Milton Friedman and broadcaster Walter Cronkite all make the same case. They are among the hundreds of signers of a June 1998 letter urging the United Nations to abandon the War on Drugs. The signatories hailed from 40 nations, and included federal judges and Nobel laureates from across the political spectrum. Published in the New York Times and elsewhere, the letter was blunt: "We believe that the global war on drugs is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself. This industry has empowered organized criminals, corrupted governments at all levels, eroded internal security, stimulated violence, and distorted both economic markets and moral values," the letter stated. "These are the consequences not of drug use per se, but of decades of failed and futile drug war policies." Death in the Desert Border Patrol agent Johnny Urias was picking up undocumented immigrants 15 miles away when he heard the 6:07 p.m. radio call: "They're taking fire from a man with a rifle at position three ... Please assist position three." Urias and partner Rodolfo Martinez sped back to the Presidio station. They dropped off their suspects. They picked up M-16 rifles and protective vests. Two other agents arrived, and did the same. Within minutes, the four agents were speeding toward Redford, lights and sirens blaring. Urias radioed Banuelos, who told him that Hernandez was at the old fort. "He's armed with a rifle, a .22," the corporal said. Banuelos and his team were atop a plateau about two football fields away from Hernandez. They knew the Border Patrol was only minutes away. But Banuelos wanted to be closer. He handed the radio to Torrez, then waved for Wieler and Blood to follow him into the next ravine. From that moment on, Banuelos was out of radio contact with both McDaniel and the Border Patrol. The next arroyo was steeper than the last. Wieler stumbled several times. He scraped his hands on the sharp, loose gravel. He didn't understand what Banuelos was doing. He said later that he "would have stayed and let the Border Patrol handle the situation." Instead, he followed orders. Once atop the next plateau, the Marines moved toward the abandoned fort. Soon they were within 130 yards of Hernandez. They scurried forward one by one, in short rushes. They crouched low among the waist-high greasewood bushes. Banuelos watched Hernandez through the scope on his M-16 as his men moved. At 6:27 p.m., Banuelos believed he saw the boy raise his old .22 and aim toward Blood. (Neither Torrez nor Blood were watching Hernandez. Weiler initially stated he didn't see Hernandez move, then later testified that he did.) The corporal, an expert marksman, squeezed the trigger. The bullet entered Esequiel Hernandez Jr. beneath his right arm. It fragmented and cut two trails through his chest, destroying every organ in its path. Torrez looked up just in time to see the boy's feet fly in the air. Myth of the Frontier The books in Lucia Madrid's library tell many stories. They tell of the soldiers who came through Redford, and of the powerful men who sent them. But these books do not explain the shooting of Esequiel Hernandez. Enrique Rede Madrid still lives in the white stucco home where his recently deceased mother built the library. An anthropologist, he has spend much of his life resisting the military. Way back in 1967, he was the first student at the University of Texas to return his draft card. A gutsy move for a young Chicano from La Frontera. He waged a three-year court battle challenging the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. Today, he translates books and works at a community college. Sifting through the artifacts of his life, Madrid pulls out newspaper clippings and photographs. One picture shows President Bush awarding his mother her medal of honor. Another shows her reading to a group of village children. At the center of that photograph is a squirmy little boy, hamming a grin for the camera. The boy is Esequiel Hernandez Jr. "Isn't it schizoid?" he asks, fingering his mother's silver and gold medals. Madrid speaks through a clenched jaw, as if he is holding back anger. "Two presidential medals and an M-16 bullet in a kid's chest. She received these medals for educating Esequiel. "America has a schizoid mentality about the border," Enrique continues. "We address the problem with the wrong tool. It's a failure of our ability to test reality. ... A psychiatrist would call it a psychosis of some sort." Richard Slotkin, a historian who has spent the past 25 years studying the stories that Americans tell each other, calls it America's oldest and most powerful story: the myth of the frontier. Slotkin argues that "regeneration through violence" is the heart of the myth. The United States has pursued violent regeneration through a series of "savage wars" fought first against Native Americans, and later against competing settlers such as the Mexicans. This century, distant enemies such as the Soviet Union filled the savage shoes. These heroic tales of men with guns have been handed down through literature, culture and ritual for three centuries. The repetition of this mythology is easy to spot in dozens of newspaper and magazine reports on Esequiel's murder. Rather than describing a quiet little village of alfalfa and pumpkin farmers, many thrilled readers with exaggerated descriptions of a rough-and-tumble Wild West border town populated with "drug lords" and "illegal aliens." Likewise, these myths are at the heart of the many western movies filmed at the Contrabando Creek movie set, a faux village just downriver from Redford. "The reporter's role is to see the reality in terms of the established myth," Slotkin says. "The reporter goes back and tells the tale to a congressman, who is prepared to believe it because he already knows the story. It has the power of familiarity. It confirms what we've known all along." The war on drugs has invoked the myth of savage war to rationalize its illogical use of violence. "Here the myth of the frontier plays its classic role," Slotkin says. "We define and confront this crisis -- and the profound questions it raises about our society -- by deploying the metaphor of 'war' and locating the root of our problem in the power of a 'savage' enemy." Following Orders Corporal Banuelos was standing over Hernandez's body when the Border Patrol arrived. Agent Urias recognized the boy he had warned only three months before. Hernandez had dragged himself 10 yards through hot gravel after he was shot. From atop the old Army watering hole, Hernandez could have seen see the adobe home where he was born, the lush green oasis that fed his family, the cinderblock schoolhouse where he had dreamed of becoming a soldier, and the village graveyard, where he soon would be buried. A desert thunderstorm approached. More cops arrived. Texas Rangers. A justice of the peace. The district attorney. FBI. Marines. They trampled through the evidence for hours. Then the storm rumbled through. Hard rain washed over the body, the gun, the scene. Team 7 was driven back to Marfa, put in a motel room, given a six-pack of beer, and told to write statements. The story that emerged was that Banuelos was not "pursuing" Hernandez -- as prohibited by the rules of engagement -- but was "paralleling" the goatherd out of fear that the boy was running a "flanking maneuver." Banuelos was frank and forthright about what he had done. He reportedly concluded one interview by stating: "I capped the fucker." The Texas Rangers investigated the shooting. The Justice Department investigated the shooting. JTF-6 investigated the shooting. And the 1st Marine Division investigated the shooting. All concluded that Banuelos followed orders. All concluded that he committed no crime. A county grand jury refused to indict Banuelos on criminal charges. A federal grand jury refused to indict Banuelos. And a second county grand jury, given substantially more evidence than the first, also refused to indict Banuelos. All concluded that Banuelos followed orders. All concluded that he committed no crime. Banuelos was under investigation for more than a year. But the orders that sent him to El Polvo in May, the orders that put him in the field with an under-prepared team, and the incredible order to "fire back" -- these were never put on trial. And by agreeing to pay the Hernandez family a mere $1.9 million, the Navy and the Justice Department effectively closed the most viable legal route through which the family or the village could have put those orders on trial. Human rights activists fear the settlement will clear a political path for JTF-6 to resume armed border patrols in the near future. And if they take such missions, future Marines will follow orders just as Banuelos did. In a response to the scathing Coyne report, Gen. C.W. Fulford Jr. noted that even the best trained Marines would likely behave much as Team 7 did. "Indeed," Fulford wrote, "it is probable that a superbly trained team of infantrymen would have immediately returned fire." Clemente Manuel Banuelos is no longer a member of the Marine Corps. His promising military career died the same day Hernandez did. The 23-year-old now struggles to support his young wife, Luz Contreras, in their modest Southern California home. He is looking for work as a physical therapist. Rounding Up The Goats On the day Esequiel Hernandez Jr. died, his father brought the goats back from the river. Hernandez Sr. was chopping wood when he saw the crowd of Border Patrol agents, sheriff deputies and other authorities gather on the hill across from his adobe home. He drove the old white pickup over to see what was happening. Not knowing who he was, a deputy sheriff asked whether Hernandez Sr. might be able to identify the victim. The old man stared curiously at the soldiers, still dressed in their ghillie suits. The leather-faced father was then shown the lifeless body of his son. He wept, and wailed, in Spanish. The Hernandez family was kept away from the murder scene that night. Pushed back by sheriff's deputies, sobbing family members shared their grief and anger within the privacy of the Hernandez rancheria. Later, the old man went down to the river to round up the goats. Ten-year-old Noel went with him. After the goats were put away, Noel marched into Esequiel's bedroom and tore the Marine recruiting poster from his dead brother's wall. Monte Paulsen (email@example.com) is national editor of SanAntonio Current.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marines Who Shot Teen Lacked Adequate Training, Report Says (An Updated 'Associated Press' Account In 'The Dallas Morning News' Of AP's Story Yesterday About Developments In The Case Of Esequiel Hernandez, Jr., Particularly The Military Report That Found The Camouflaged US Marines Who Killed The Texas Teenager Along The US-Mexico Border Were Not Adequately Trained For An Anti-Drug Operation Which Placed Them Among Civilians) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 19:32:34 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Marines Who Shot Teen Lacked Adequate Training, Report Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Author: Associated Press MARINES WHO SHOT TEEN LACKED ADEQUATE TRAINING, REPORT SAYS EL PASO - A military report that cleared the Marines involved in the fatal shooting of a West Texas teenager of any crime also said that they were not adequately trained for an anti-drug operation that placed them among civilians. The internal report also said commanders did not do enough to prevent escalation of the Marines' encounter last year with Esequiel Hernandez Jr. The mission "appears to have been viewed at every level of Marine Corps command as more of a training opportunity than a real world deployment. The failure to appreciate the difference had tragic consequences," wrote retired Marine Maj. Gen. John T. Coyne, who investigated the shooting. Parts of the report had been released earlier this summer. The report specifically said brief training on the appropriate use of force did not balance combat responses drilled into Marines. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Scott Campbell said Wednesday that officials stand by their original statements regarding the report. The Marine Corps has previously rebutted the report in a written response denying the contention that military officials failed to recognize the operation as a real mission. The rebuttal argues that Gen. Coyne arbitrarily concluded the training was inadequate. It notes several investigations, including those conducted by state and federal grand juries, which concluded the Marines followed established rules of engagement and civil rules regarding the use of force. Mr. Hernandez, 18, was killed May 20, 1997, after crossing paths with a four-man Marine team conducting anti-drug surveillance in Redford, 200 miles southeast of El Paso, at the request of the Border Patrol. Mr. Hernandez, who was herding goats near the Rio Grande, fired at the Marines twice and had raised his .22-caliber rifle a third time when team leader Cpl. Clemente Banuelos shot him once with an M-16, according to the military. Gen. Coyne agreed that Cpl. Banuelos was acting according to his training and had committed no crime. The report did question some of Cpl. Banuelos' actions, including his decision to follow Mr. Hernandez after the initial gunfire. No motive was ever given for Mr. Hernandez's actions and his family disputes the military's story. Relatives said the 10th-grader only carried the rifle to protect his livestock from wild dogs and occasionally shoot targets. The shooting led to the suspension of armed military patrols on the border and a national outcry among civil rights advocates, who said the report Wednesday proves the patrols are wrong.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marine Training Faulted In Fatal Border Shooting (A Different 'Associated Press' Version In 'The Orange County Register') Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 19:41:14 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Marine Training Faulted In Fatal Border Shooting Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 10 Sep 1998 Author: Eduardo Montes, The Associated Press MARINE TRAINING FAULTED IN FATAL BORDER SHOOTING Military: An internal report says the anti-drug patrol in Texas was inadequately prepared for armed duty among civilians. EL PASO, Texas - Marines involved in the killing of a teenage goatherd during an anti-drug patrol along the Mexican border were not adequately trained for an armed operation among civilians, the military concluded in an internal report. In the harshest official criticism of the operation yet released, the report also said Marine commanders did not do enough to prevent the encounter that ended in the shooting death of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr. The mission "appears to have been viewed at every level of Marine Corps command as more of a training opportunity than a real-world deployment," wrote retired Marine Maj. Gen. John T. Coyne, who investigated the shooting. The report was obtained through the Freedom of Information Act by the San Antonio Current, a weekly newspaper, and by Common Sense for Drug Policy, a nonprofit group in Falls Church, Va. "The whole sense of the report was that the military should not be involved in domestic law enforcement," said Kevin Zeese, president of Common Sense for Drug Policy. "They are not prepared for it. They're not trained for it. They're inappropriate for it." The Marine Corps submitted an internal response, also released under the Freedom of Information Act, in which it disputed Coyne's conclusions. Hernandez was killed May 20, 1997, while herding goats along the Rio Grande near Redford, 200 miles southeast of El Paso. The military said he fired his .22-caliber rifle twice at members of a Marine Patrol assigned to guard against smuggling along the border, and that he had raised the weapon to fire a third time when Cpl. Clemente Banuelos shot him one with an M-16 rifle. Relatives said Hernandez would never knowingly have shot at anyone and that he carried the rifle solely to protect his livestock from wild dogs and to shoot targets. Military patrols along the border were suspended after the shooting. No criminal or military disciplinary charges were filed against the Marines, and they were cleared by both state and federal grand juries. The Hernandez family received a $1 million settlement from the government. Coyne said the Marines did not get enough training on the appropriate use of force among civilians. He also said mission commander Capt. Lance McDaniel, who was in contact with the Marine patrol by radio from a command center more than 60 miles away, was too passive in deferring to Banuelos' judgment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court Rules School's Drug Policy Is Illegal ('The Indianapolis Star' Says The Seventh US Circuit Court Of Appeals Ruled Wednesday That A High School In Anderson, Indiana, Improperly Required A 15-Year-Old Student To Take A Drug Test In Order To Return To Classes After He Was Suspended For Fighting - During The First Semester The Policy Was In Effect, Only 18 Percent Of All Students Suspended For Fighting Tested Positive For Drugs) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 05:56:10 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IN: Court Rules School's Drug Policy Is Illegal Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marla R. Stevens, PointsRUs@aol.com Source: Indianapolis Star (IN) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.starnews.com Pubdate: Thursday, Sept. 10 1998 Fax: 317-656-1435 Author: John M. Flora, Star/News Staff Writer COURT RULES SCHOOL'S DRUG POLICY IS ILLEGAL * Appellate judges say Anderson district's testing program violates the U.S. Constitution ANDERSON, Ind. -- The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that Anderson Community Schools' drug-testing policy is unconstitutional. The decision came five months to the day after Indiana Civil Liberties Union attorney Ken Falk argued against the expulsion of Anderson High School freshman James R. "Buddy" Willis II before the appeals court in Chicago. Buddy, 15, was suspended for five days Dec. 10 for fighting with another student. Under a drug-testing policy adopted in August 1997, he was directed to take a drug test when he returned to school Dec. 19. He repeatedly refused the test and eventually was barred from school for the rest of the 1997-98 school year, while Falk and school attorneys battled over the constitutionality of the drug-test policy. The policy, modeled after one adopted n early 1997 in Carmel schools, is based on a presumed link between student misbehavior and drug use. Students suspended for three or more days for any rule infraction must take a drug test before being readmitted to school. Students who test positive for drugs are not punished, but their parents are notified, and they are referred to counseling. Falk argued unsuccessfully in January before U.S. District Judge John Tinder in Indianapolis that the connection between breaking school rules and student drug use is not strong enough to override Fourth Amendment constitutional guarantees against unreasonable search. In their unanimous ruling, federal appeals court Judges Walter Cummings, Richard Cudahy and Kenneth Ripple in Chicago noted that during the first semester in which the policy was in effect at Anderson High School, only 18 percent of all students suspended for fighting tested positive for drugs. They further observed that Philip Nikirk, dean of students at Anderson High, testified that when he saw Buddy minutes after the fight, he noticed "nothing at that time that would give me reasonable suspicion" that the teen was on drugs. "We ... cannot find that the [school] Corporation's data is strong enough to condlusively establish reasonable suspicion of substance abuse when a student is suspended for fighting, or that it was unreasonable for Dean Nikirk to conclude that Willis' conduct did not give rise to individualized suspicion," they wrote. In the absence of reasonable suspicion, the court held, school officials are precluded from drug testing. School attorney David Gotshall said he could not comment on the decision until he has a chance to review it. "The Constitution doesn't stop at the front doors of Anderson High School," a relieved Buddy Willis said Wednesday night. Pointing out that he is repeating his freshman year and remains ineligible for sports because of the expulsion, he said, "I've suffered harm that will not be able to be fixed by a snap of the fingers." His father, James "Randy" Willis, was the only member of the public to speak against the drug policy when it came before the School Board in August 1997. That night, the father warned the board, "Get ready, folks. It won't be the drug users that are suing you. It'll be the innocent people." "The ball is in the school corporation's court," the elder Willis said Wednesday night, acknowledging that it is up to school officials to decide whether to continue the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.
------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Doesn't Advocate Pot Use, Just Prohibition (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Daily Gazette' In Schenectady, New York, Rebuts The Newspaper's Past And Present Mischaracterizations Of NORML's Mission, Which Is To Advocate For An End To Prohibition) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 16:13:11 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: PUB LTE: NORML Doesn't Advocate Pot Use, Just Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Anonymous Source: Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dailygazette.com Pubdate: 10 Sep 1998 Author: Jonathan von Linden NORML doesn't advocate pot use, just prohibition I would like to correct an impression left by Brian Nearing's Sept. 3 news story, in which he stated that I was an advocate of marijuana use. Neither I nor the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws have ever advocated the use of marijuana; rather, we support the ending of prohibition, which has caused more problems for our society than marijuana ever could. Study after study, including a recent report by the U.N.'s World Health Organization that was suppressed by the federal government, have concluded that marijuana does little harm either to the people who use it or to the society in which they live.Compare this to the results of prohibition, which continues to fill our prisons with non-violent offenders, while reducing personal rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. In a country that allows adults to choose to use alcohol and tobacco, it is insane to persecute marijuana users, especially when in many cases they face penalties that are more severe than those for violent crimes such as rape and manslaughter. Any objective review of prohibition based on cost vs. effectiveness must conclude that prohibition is a flawed, failed policy. It is time to explore new solutions. JONATHAN von LINDEN Schoharie
------------------------------------------------------------------- Highlights Of Survey On Police Conduct ('The Associated Press' Selects A Few Highlights From A Recent Survey Of Connecticut Residents About Their Perceptions Of Police Conduct - 23 Percent Know Someone Who Has Been Physically Abused By Police) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CT Police attitude survey Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 18:17:09 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Highlights of survey on police conduct Associated Press, 09/10/98 01:35 Some highlights of a recent survey of Connecticut residents on police conduct: -49 percent believe racism is very common or fairly common among police. -36 percent believe they are at risk of police brutality in some communities. -76 percent think minorities are more likely to be victims of police brutality. -23 percent know someone who has been physically abused by police. -84 percent think outside authorities should investigate complaints against the police instead of police departments whose officers are subjects of the complaints. Source: The University of Connecticut Center for Survey Research and Analysis. *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Louis Armstrong, Tight Like Gage! (A List Subscriber Forwards A Cannabis Quote From The Great Jazz Musician) Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 15:23:45 -0700 (PDT) From: email@example.com (Darral Good) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: LOUIS ARMSTRONG, tight like gage! Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org man! that thunderstone search engine is great! I just found out some more info about my hero SATCHMO here's the URL, http://www.teleport.com/~rfrederi/wgage.htm and here is an excerpt for those who don't have web access: "Speaking of 1931 - we did call ourselves Vipers, which could have been anybody from all walks of life that smoked and respected gage. That was our cute little name for marijuana, and it was a misdemeanor in those days. Much different from the pressure and charges the law lays on a guy who smokes pot - a later name for the same thing which is cute to hear nowadays. We always looked at pot as a sort of medicine, a cheap drunk and with much better thoughts than one that's full of liquor. But with the penalties that came, I for one had to put it down though the respect for it (gage) will stay with me forever. I have every reason to say these words and am proud to say them.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Annals Of Emergency Medicine' Presents New Studies On Alcohol Intoxicated Drivers, Marijuana Use, And Domestic Violence (PRNewswire Says A New Study In The September Issue Of The Peer-Reviewed Medical Journal, The First Population-Based Study Of The Relation Between Marijuana Use And Injury Incidence, Found That Marijuana Use Was Not Associated With Outpatient Injury, But Users Had More 'Personal Problems' And 'Employment Problems' - Like Most Persecuted Minorities - Another Study In The Same Issue Shows Alcohol Intoxicated Drivers Are Rarely Prosecuted Or Referred For Help) From: BulldogUSA@aol.com Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 23:20:06 EDT To: email@example.com Subject: DPFCA: Fwd: Annals of Emergency Medicine Presents New Studies on... Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ From: ChaXH@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, BulldogUSA@aol.com, email@example.com Subject: Fwd: Annals of Emergency Medicine Presents New Studies on... Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 21:17:11 EDT From: AOLNews@aol.com Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 19:58:16 EDT Annals of Emergency Medicine Presents New Studies on Alcohol Intoxicated Drivers, Marijuana Use, and Domestic Violence WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Alcohol intoxicated drivers are rarely prosecuted or referred for help, according to a new study in the September issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine. The issue also presents two new studies -- one showing that marijuana use is not associated with outpatient injury and another showing how women with assault-related injuries were more likely to have certain injuries or characteristics than women with unintentional injuries. Injured Intoxicated Drivers: Citation, Conviction, Referral, and Recidivism Rates The study of 70 drivers injured in motor vehicle crashes in Cleveland with blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of .10 gm percent or higher found that 23 of the drivers were cited for DUI (32.8 percent) and 15 were successfully prosecuted and convicted (21 percent). Eight of the 70 drivers who were admitted with high BAC levels were referred for outpatient alcohol counseling after discharge. None of the drivers were offered counseling as inpatients. Thirty-nine percent of cited intoxicated driver- patients were repeat offenders. "Driving while intoxicated is the most frequently cited cause of death on the nation's highways, injuring approximately 500,000 people in alcohol-related collisions," said Rita K. Cydulka, MD, of the MetroHealth Medical Center/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. "The study found that citation and prosecution rates are low for legally intoxicated drivers injured in motor vehicle crashes and that physicians often fail to address the underlying alcohol problem, even when patients are charged with DUI." Results of other studies have suggested that alcohol interventions at discharge can successfully initiate alcoholism treatment, and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism has stated that trauma centers are ideally situated to implement programs for alcohol screening, intervention, and referral. Marijuana Use and Medically Attended Injury Events This study - the first population-based study of the relation between marijuana use and injury incidence -- found that marijuana use was not associated with outpatient injury within 3 years of study of participants in a California health maintenance organization. A total of 1,611 study participants had at least 1 injury-related outpatient visit: 1,057 had 1 event, 338 had 2 events, and 216 had 3 or more events. Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit substance in the United States, and the presence of marijuana has been reported in case series of trauma patients and homicide perpetrators. The study found that both former and current marijuana use were associated with increased prevalence of personal problems and current users had an increased prevalence of employment problems. Previous studies that have evaluated the relation between marijuana use and injury have been limited to more severe injury and not considered variables such as psychological distraction, indicators of physical status, or lifestyle characteristics. Indicators of Assault-Related Injuries Among Women Presenting to the ED A study of 8,051 patient records from women who visited two public hospital emergency departments in New Zealand found that women with assault-related injuries were approximately two times more likely to present with internal injuries; fractures to the head, spine, or trunk; or open wounds than women with unintentional injuries. Women with assault-related injuries were also 12 times more likely to present with injuries to the head. Despite these associations, the nature and anatomic site of injury were found to have limited predictive value as indicators of assault. Of the 8,051 records studied, 260 (9 percent) were identified as victims of assault. Of assault victims with known assailants, most were injured by a partner or former partner. "The results of the study support the growing body of evidence that women are more likely to be assaulted by an intimate partner and that clinicians must be aware of, trained, and supported in appropriate ways to respond to intimate- partner violence," said Janet L. Fanslow, Ph.D., currently with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Health care professionals should be encouraged and supported to undertake routine screening for abuse among all women present to emergency departments." Women with assault-related injuries were more likely to be discharged from the emergency department without referral for follow-up treatment and were more likely to leave without completing treatment. The study was conducted by the Injury Prevention Research Centre, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Case Report: A Novel Source of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Explosives Used in Construction This article discusses a rare incident of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by CO migrating through soil after nearby detonation of explosive charges, causing the death of one employee. Employees working in a newly installed, unconnected manhole without incident and finished shortly before underground explosives were detonated 50 feet south of the manhole to break up rock and soil. A worker entering a manhole 45 minutes after the explosion collapsed within minutes, as did two coworkers who rescued him. One of the workers died. Other Studies * Randomized Clinical Trial of Melatonin After Night-Shift Work: Efficacy and Neuropsychologic Effects. This study found no beneficial effect of melatonin on sleep quality, tiredness, or cognitive function in emergency physicians after night-shift duty, suggesting that it is of limited value in recovering from night-shift work in emergency physicians. * Editorial: Assault-Related Injury: What Do We Know, and What Should We Do About It? The editorial summarizes the problems associated with documenting domestic violence and addresses the emergency physician's responsibility in cases of assault-related injury. * Editorial: Marijuana and Injury: Is There a Connection? The editorial discusses the movement to promote the medicinal use of marijuana and issues surrounding marijuana research. * Case Report: Death by "Ecstasy": The Serotonin Syndrome? The case report discusses the case of a 20-year old women who had ingested 2 tablets of MDMA for recreational purposes. Annals of Emergency Medicine is the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a national medical society representing almost 20,000 physicians who specialize in emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to improving the quality of emergency care through continuing education, research, and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and a Government Services Chapter representing emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. SOURCE American College of Emergency Physicians CO: American College of Emergency Physicians ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: 09/10/98 19:51 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Drug Offers Fresh Approach To Depression (According To 'Reuters,' A Report In The Journal 'Science' Suggests An Experimental New Anti-Depressant Being Investigated By Merck And Company, MK-869, May Lead Researchers To Discover A Biochemical Link Between Depression And Pain) Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 19:26:26 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: WIRE: New Drug Offers Fresh Approach To Depression Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Source: Reuters NEW DRUG OFFERS FRESH APPROACH TO DEPRESSION WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who describe their depression as mental pain may not be so far off the mark, researchers said Thursday. They said an experimental new drug that targets the body's pain processes also works against depression. The findings, by scientists at Merck and Co., may open new approaches for anti-depressant drugs. Mark Kramer and colleagues at Merck were investigating substance P, a chemical known to play a role in pain. It was discovered 67 years ago, but its exact chemical structure was not defined until 1970. Early research has indicated that drugs that interfere with substance P might help relieve anxiety, psychosis, pain and inflammation, as well as depression. Kramer's team has developed a drug that does interfere with substance P, known as MK-869. Reporting in the journal Science, they said the drug stopped baby guinea pigs from crying out for their mothers when separated. They gave about 200 human patients with major depression either MK-869, paroxetine, a popular antidepressant sold by SmithKline Beecham under the name Paxil, or a placebo dummy pill. Of the patients given MK-869, 54 percent showed a 50 percent improvement in depression symptoms, they wrote. Forty-six percent of those given Paxil showed that much improvement, and just 28 percent of the placebo group. ``These findings suggest that substance P may play an important role in psychiatric disorders,'' the researchers wrote. Side-effects included headaches, sleepiness and nausea. Merck has been telling pharmaceutical industry analysts about its work with substance P, and other drug companies are working on drugs that take the same approach.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Toronto, Ontario, Man Loses Bid For Legal Grass ('The Toronto Sun' Version Of Yesterday's News About AIDS Patient James Wakeford Losing The First Round Of His Medical Marijuana Lawsuit) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: T.O. man loses bid for legal grass Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 07:28:14 -0700 Lines: 39 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thursday, September 10, 1998 Author: MICHAEL CLEMENT, TORONTO SUN T.O. man loses bid for legal grass A Toronto man living with AIDS has lost a bid to have an Ontario court exempt him from the law controlling the use of marijuana. Jim Wakeford smokes about two marijuana joints a day and says they help him with his nausea and loss of appetite -- both symptoms of the disease. Wakeford, 53, was seeking an exemption from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), which prohibits the use and possession of marijuana and other drugs. "I feel that the government has deprived me of my constitutional right to use marijuana as medicine to deal with AIDS," Wakeford said at a press conference yesterday. In a judgment released Tuesday, Justice Harry LaForme said that while the law does infringe upon Wakeford's Charter rights of both his "liberty" and "security of the person" -- those infringements are in accordance with the "principles of fundamental justice." "The infringement is not unconstitutional because the judge believes that there is a provision available in the CDSA to obtain lawful access to marijuana," Wakeford's lawyer, Alan Young, told The Toronto Sun. That mechanism is a little-known special application directly to the federal minister of health for an exemption. Young says Wakeford plans to make the application. Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two-Thirds Of Teens Try Drugs ('BBC Online' Says Researchers From The Department Of Social Policy And Social Work At Manchester University Who Followed The Progress Of 500 Ordinary British Youths From The Age Of 14 Until 18 Found That 64 Percent Had Tried Illicit Drugs And Around Three In 10 Were 'Recreational Drug Users' - The Study, Called 'Illegal Leisure - The Normalization Of Adolescent Recreational Drug Use,' Concludes That Recreational Drug Use 'Has Been Widely Accommodated Amongst British Youth') Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 07:42:05 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Two-Thirds Of Teens Try Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 Source: BBC Online Website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/ TWO-THIRDS OF TEENS TRY DRUGS Two-thirds of teenagers have tried illegal drugs and around a third are recreational drug users. The finding comes as the result of a five-year study of teenagers' drug habits and offers the first solid evidence of a culture shift towards recreational drug use in the UK. The study also found that teenagers were using drugs intelligently and made rational decisions to guide their drug-taking. Research fellows from the department of Social Policy and Social Work at Manchester University followed the progress of 500 youths from the age of 14 until they were 18. Ordinary Youths The report authors say these were ordinary adolescents who led conventional lives and are now in work or at university. By the time the subjects were 18, 64% had tried illicit drugs while around three in 10 were recreational drug users. The researchers defined recreational use as "non-dependent, not using hard drugs". Most of those who used drugs wanted to limit their use to avoid becoming addicted. They also weighed up the risks of their drug-taking by considering the possibility of being caught by adults, feeling ill, losing self-control and dying. However, they identified being relaxed and having energy, a special awareness of their surroundings and increased sociability as benefits of drug use. Judith Aldridge, one of the study's authors, said: "Most are careful and rational consumers, who plan their drug use to occur with friends in places they feel safe and secure. "They often report feeling relaxed, friendly, happy, carefree and confident. These good experiences many times outweigh the bad, especially for drugs like cannabis, amphetamines and ecstasy." Regular Use Co-author Fiona Measham added: "We live in a society where recreational drug use is becoming normalised. "This does not mean everyone is using drugs, but there is a shift underway with most young people regularly in situations where drugs are on offer." Those who chose not to take drugs were forced to remake the decision frequently due to the widespread availability of drugs. An early decision not to take drugs was by no means permanent, the researchers found. Some teenagers who consistently said no to drugs during their school career took ecstasy once they got to university. Widely Accommodated The study, called Illegal Leisure: The Normalization of Adolescent Recreational Drug Use, concludes that recreational drug use "has been widely accommodated amongst British youth". This is despite the fact that the subjects are part of a generation which has frequently received preventive "say no" education on drug use, the researchers point out. Ms Measham said there was a blurring between illegal drugs such as cannabis and legal ones such as alcohol or tobacco in youth culture. She added that there was "an increasing cultural belief that we can take drugs like Prozac or Viagra to improve our performance, appearance, mood or leisure time". -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1998 Daily News index for September 10-16
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/980910.html