------------------------------------------------------------------- Just Vote No On Measure 57 (A Bulletin From The American Antiprohibition League In Portland About The Oregon Ballot Measure That Would Recriminalize Possession Of Less Than One Ounce Of Marijuana Makes A Number Of Good Points, Such As That The State Says It Would Cost $1.2 Million To Enforce The New Law, Whereas The Legislative Record Suggests It Could Actually Cost As Much As $18 Million, But Only $300,000 Has Been Budgeted, Which Means Millions Of Tax Dollars Would Have To Come From Schools, Roads And Other Priorities) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 13:11:50 -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 Portland, Oregon -- What could cost up to $18 million and instantly create 500,000 new "criminals?" Ballot Measure 57 could. JUST VOTE NO ON MEASURE 57 If Measure 57 passes in the Nov. 3 election it would create criminal penalties (Class C misdemeanor) for possessing less than an ounce of pot which, since 1973 has been classified as a simple violation like a parking ticket, subject only to a fine albeit an outrageous one, $500 - $1,000). In 1973 then Gov. Tom McCall, with the backing of the Portland City Club, reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana. On the day he signed the bill, July 21, he said, "...the solution is not to toss youthful users into jail or prison. We long ago recognized alcoholism to be a disease, and abandoned efforts to treat alcoholics simply by locking them up." But last year the Oregon Legislature and Gov. John Kitzhaber made possession of any amount of pot a crime, blithely pissing upon the grave of the much beloved Tom McCall. Refusing to be branded a "criminal" by our own government and in coalition with others, we stopped this stupid law with a Referendum petition drive last summer, now it's on the ballot. Please Vote "NO" on Measure 57. Drug war zealots, like State Sen. Eileen Qutub, R-Beaverton think it's worth it "because it sends a message to young people..." Just what "message" is the Senator sending? That we'd rather build prisons for Johnny instead of schools? And when some fat cat Republican brags about cutting taxes or reducing gubmit, remind him or her of Measure 57 and what it would cost. The State says it would cost $1.2 million to enforce this new law. But according to the Legislative Record it could actually cost as much as $18 million. Only $300,000 has been budgeted which means millions of tax dollars will have to come from schools, roads and other priorities. Enforcement of this law will also result in even more violent prisoners being released early. Already in Multnomah County 500 prisoners are released early every month. As County Circuit Court Judge Frank Beardon said, [Measure 57] will make the already revolving door of the jail house "spin like a top." The state estimates 6,000 people will be charged with marijuana possession in 1999. Prosecutors and law enforcement admit they will apply this law selectively, thus adding more disrespect for the law in general. STOP RECRIMINALIZATION * Register & Vote NO on MEASURE 57
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cayetano Supports Legalization Of Industrial Hemp ('The Associated Press' Says Hawaii Representative Cynthia Thielen, A Republican, Was The One Who Persuaded Democratic Governor Ben Cayetano) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 20:04:59 -0500 From: davewest (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Hawaii: Cayetano supports legalization of industrial hemp AP-HNL-09-11-98 1420PDT Cayetano supports legalization of industrial hemp Hilo, Hawaii (AP) - Republican Rep. Cynthia Thielen, an outspoken advocate of the legalizaton of industrial hemp, has won over a new supporter. And it's none other than Democratic Gov. Ben Cayetano. Cayetano said Thursday that he occasionally wears an aloha shirt made of hemp fibers given to him by the Kaneohe-Kailua representative. Cayetano said the shirt has shown him the benefits of industrial hemp seeds, which differ genetically from those grown for marijuana. While recognizing the concerns about the illegal use of hemp, Cayetano said the legalization of industrial hemp would help Hawaii's agricultural industry. Supporters of industrial hemp point out it can be used for fibers, fuel and food. Cayetano said the movement to legalize industrial hemp needs to improve its image by using more respected spokespeople, such as Thielen.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Governor Supports Hemp Use ('The Hawaii Tribune-Herald' Version) Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 17:14:58 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US HI: Governor Supports Hemp Use Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Roger Christie email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo, HI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Jason Armstrong GOVERNOR SUPPORTS HEMP USE Candidates asked to state their positions in upcoming election guide. Gov. Ben Cayetano says he supports the legalization of industrial hemp and believes the non-narcotic variety of the marijuana plant will someday be grown in Hawaii. That's one of the governor's positions on a number of issues reported in the coming Sunday Tribune-Herald "Campaign '98" election guide. The election guide featuring Cayetano's positions and those of more than 75 other candidates will be offered in Sunday's edition at no extra charge to Tribune-Herald readers. Noting he wants to keep an open mind on the issue, Cayetano elaborated his position Thursday, saying he accepted an aloha shirt made of hemp fibers from state Rep. Cynthia Thielen, R-Kaneohe, who is an outspoken hemp advocate. "I wear occasionally a product made of hemp," Cayetano said of the shirt, adding it has shown him the benefits of industrial hemp. Hemp seeds differ genetically from those used to grow marijuana, which has been cultivated to achieve greater concentrations of THC. Hemp, which reportedly has only 2 to 3 percent THC content, can be used to make food, fuel and fiber like that used in Cayetano's shirt. "I recognize the concerns that people may have about its illegal use," Cayetano said. The governor said his stand supporting legalization of industrial hemp is based on the condition that concerns regarding smokable marijuana are first addressed. He said legalization of hemp could help Hawaii's agricultural industry. Cayetano said the hemp movement needs to improve its image by using more respected spokeswomen like Thielen. The 28-page supplement features stories on voting changes in this year's elections along with proposals to amend both state and county laws regarding such issues as same-sex marriages and an irradiation ban. Also included is career information provided by the candidates who responded to the political survey along with their answers to an essay question asking the most important issue of their respective campaigns. The candidates also provide yes/no answers to a number of questions on current issues ranging from legalization of hemp and construction of a Big Island prison to building a food irradiator and use of the county's Hamakua lands. The guide may be used as a reference to help voters make informed decisions at the polls.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes On 692 (Timothy W. Killian, Campaign Manager For Initiative 692, Says 'The Seattle Post-Intelligencer' And KOMO Will Announce The Results Of A Statewide Poll Monday Suggesting 62 Percent Of Voters Favor The Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure Sponsored By Washington Citizens For Medical Rights) Subject: HT: I-692 Polling... Date: Fri, 11 Sep 98 22:28:36 -0700 From: YES on 692 (email@example.com) To: "Hemp Talk" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Sender: email@example.com Hi Hemp Talk: I just thought I would pass this along to the list... On monday, the Seattle P.I. and KOMO will announce results of a statewide poll on the November Initiatives. Here are the results of their polling (800 voters, statewide, margin of 3.5 points) On the ballot question of I-692: Yes 62% No 28% Un 10% This by no means assures victory in November, but it is good news nonetheless... Timothy W. Killian Campaign Manager Initiative 692 Washington Citizens for Medical Rights *** em: firstname.lastname@example.org url: http://www.eventure.com/I692 *** Postal Box 2346 Seattle, WA 98111 ph: 206.781-7716 fx: 206.324.3101
------------------------------------------------------------------- Todd McCormick's Book On Growing Medical Marijuana (Peter McWilliams Of Prelude Press, A California Medical Marijuana Patient And Federal Defendant, Publicizes The Online Book By Co-Defendant Todd McCormick) From: "Peter McWilliams" (email@example.com) To: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Todd McCormick's book on growing medical marijuana Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 21:50:24 +0100 Hello. It's finished at last, the book for which I paid Todd McCormick a $150,000 advance. (This is the money the DEA claims to prove I am a drug kingpin by financing Todd's grow operation, completely ignoring the fact that I have been a publisher for 32 years.) Please have a look at www.growmedicine.com Please tell all your friends and especially the medical marijuana patients who can use this information the most. Take good care. Enjoy, Peter McWilliams *** From: "Todd McCormick" (email@example.com) Subject: www.growmedicine.com Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 10:40:29 -0700 www.growmedicine.com Dear Friends, My first grow book is finished and available on-line, the file is in Adobe Acrobat PDF format and is 5.1megs zipped and 6.4megs uncompressed. Adobe Acrobat Reader is available free: http://www.adobe.com/supportservice/custsupport/download.html For the general public the first half is free and the second half is $4.95, I hope it helps with the defense fund. The book will be printed soon and sold for something like $5.95. If you're interested in reading it and letting others know what you think, please reply to this message and I will send you a password so you can download the whole thing free. http://www.growmedicine.com Peace and Hempyness, Todd "One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws." - MLK
------------------------------------------------------------------- Customs Agent Pleads Guilty To Kickback Charges In Hashish Case ('The San Francisco Chronicle' Says Senior US Customs Special Agent Frank Gervacio Has Pleaded Guilty To Accepting $4,000 From An Informant In The Case Of Thanong Siriprechapong, A Former Member Of The Thai Parliament Arrested In 1996 On Charges Of Smuggling 49 Tons Of Hashish Into The United States - Attorneys For Siriprechapong Want Charges Dismissed) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 15:29:27 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Customs Agent Pleads Guilty to Kickback Charges in Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Author: Bill Wallace, Chronicle Staff Writer CUSTOMS AGENT PLEADS GUILTY TO KICKBACK CHARGES IN HASHISH CASE The lead U.S. Customs agent in a politically sensitive hashish smuggling prosecution has pleaded guilty to accepting a kickback from a key informant in the case. The guilty plea, entered yesterday by Senior Special Agent Frank Gervacio, has raised new questions about federal drug trafficking charges that are pending against Thanong Siriprechapong, a former member of the Thai parliament who was arrested in 1996 on charges of smuggling 49 tons of hashish into the United States. Gervacio could be sentenced to one year in federal prison and fined $100,000 when he appears before U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker for sentencing October 26. As part of his plea, Gervacio was dismissed from the Customs Service post he held for 15 years and declared unfit for employment by federal, state or local law enforcement agencies. Should Gervacio apply for such a job, the Justice Department will inform the agency of his crime. In his plea agreement, Gervacio admitted taking $4,000 in cash from the informant after helping the man collect a $110,875 federal reward for his assistance in the Siriprechapong case. Papers filed in U.S. District Court say that the informant attempted to hand Gervacio an envelope containing the money while riding with the agent in his government issue car in August 1992, but Gervacio told him it would be better to drop the envelope on the car's floor. Gervacio then lied to federal investigators looking into the kickback by telling them that he had not solicited the kickback. In fact, he had asked for the money in a telephone conversation with the informant in April 1992. Because of the kickback, attorneys for Siriprechapong have filed papers with Judge Walker asking that the indictment against the former Thai politician be dropped due to government misconduct. They have noted that prosecutors were aware of the payment to Gervacio for nine months and did not disclose it until just before Siriprechapong's trial was scheduled to begin. They also said that Gervacio's past misstatements about the payment raise questions about his credibility if he is called to testify during Siriprechapong's trial. Federal prosecutors acknowledge that Gervacio played a crucial role in the investigation that led to Siriprechapong's arrest, and was a central witness before the grand jury that issued the indictment. But they have said they have ample evidence and witnesses to win a conviction without Gervacio's testimony at trial. 1998 San Francisco Chronicle
------------------------------------------------------------------- Over-Avid Policemen (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Orange County Register' Complains That Two Police Officers On Monday Walked From Group To Group At Aliso Creek Beach, Asking To Look In People's Coolers For Alcoholic Beverages) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 10:09:17 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Over-Avid Policemen 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: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 OVER-AVID POLICEMEN Monday, while I was trying to enjoy a quiet day at Aliso Creek Beach, I noticed two police officers (Beach Patrol) walking from group to group asking people to look in their coolers. Nobody denied them for fear of further hassles, but some people actually were caught with alcoholic beverages in their coolers. They were immediately required to dump their booze and were given a citation. I always thought that a police officer wasn't supposed to bother you unless your activity was suspicious, but, in this case, everybody on the beach was suspect. This was not about protecting or serving the community, but more a form of extortion to raise money. And to see this happen on the last summer holiday of the year disgusted me. I respect and support our police department, but these tactics have to stop. Bob Ipema-Laguna Niguel
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colorado Initiative On November Ballot (Dave Fratello Of Americans For Medical Rights Says A Denver Judge Ruled This Morning That Colorado Secretary Of State Victoria Buckley Wrongly Excluded Thousands Of Voter Signatures For The Medical Marijuana Initiative Sponsored By Coloradans For Medical Rights) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 22:55:28 GMT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Colorado initiative on Nov. ballot Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org News from Colorado this morning: A Denver judge has ordered the Coloradans for Medical Rights (CMR) initiative to appear on the November 3 ballot, reversing a finding that the measure had insufficient signatures of registered voters. CMR appealed an August 6 ruling by secretary of state Victoria Buckley, which held that a random sample of 4,000 signatures had fallen 2% below the threshhold of valid signatures needed to conduct a line-by-line check of the entire petition. CMR proved that hundreds of signatures were improperly held invalid due to sloppy data entry errors and a process that was flawed on several other counts. Secretary Buckley is under heavy fire in Colorado for her office's deeply flawed work on several petitions this year. One measure, for instance, pertaining to term limits, was placed on the ballot "by default" after Buckley's office failed to even conduct the random-sample check within 30 days. CMR convinced Secretary Buckley and the Attorney General of 2 things before the morning hearing: 1) that the sample had been fatally flawed, and that a proper count would have shown the petition DID have sufficient signatures to proceed to the next stage of verification, and 2) that the remedy sought by CMR -- immediate placement on the November ballot -- was agreeable to both the state and the petitioners. The only issue at the hearing was whether a line-by-line check on the petition would now be conducted on the 88,815 signatures turned in over 2 months ago. The judge ruled that such a count now was unnecessary, unworkable in view of Buckley's office's recent history, and also not authorized by Colorado law. Thus begins the campaign... dave fratello *** Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 18:16:24 GMT To: "AMR.coordinators":@lainet1.lainet.com, ";AMR.Internal.list" From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: !!! Colorado init is ON BALLOT ! Cc: "AMR/updates.list":; This morning in Denver a judge overturned the Colorado Secretary of State's finding that the Coloradans for Medical Rights initiative did not appear to have sufficient signatures. The judge ORDERED THE INITIATIVE ONTO THE NOVEMBER BALLOT, with no further work by the secretary's office... Thanks to PCI for gathering signatures, Klinton Kinder of PCI for working overtime for weeks and proving that the initial signature drive was sufficient, and everyone on the campaign and legal teams for preparing the successful appeal. This makes FIVE initiatives sponsored by AMR that will appear on the November ballot... -- dave fratello The secretary's office has indicated that she may appeal the decision immediately to the state supreme court, most likely on the narrow issue that the secretary ought to have the right to conduct a line-by-line check of the entire petition's 88,815 signatures.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Loopholes Cited In Petition Process (According To 'The Rocky Mountain News' Version, A Temporary Clerk In The Colorado Secretary Of State's Office Said Her Group Of Ballot Petition Checkers Had Almost No Supervision Or Training And Didn't Understand The Rules For Rejecting Petition Signatures) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 16:24:30 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CO: Loopholes Cited In Petition Process Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/ Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Author: Deborah Frazier Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer LOOPHOLES CITED IN PETITION PROCESS Signatures checked by temporary workers with little experience A temporary clerk in the secretary of state's office said her group of ballot petition checkers had almost no supervision or training. They also didn't understand the rules for rejecting petition signatures, said Laurie Gaylord Simco, who worked in the election office from July until late August. "It is so dumb to leave a bunch of temps, including me, to do something in the public interest," said Simco, who has a master's degree in finance and marketing. "Training was a five-minute deal. "The temps tried as hard as they could. They were all either high school or college kids and mommies, like me. We asked for more people and we got an absolute stonewall. "America deserves better." Secretary of State Victoria Buckley has come under criticism in recent weeks for her office's failure to verify two ballot-measure petitions within 30 days. The issues were automatically placed on the November. Buckley did not respond to requests for comment. But Mike Fortinberry of the state Republican Party defended Buckley, who is up for re-election in November. "Checking signatures only takes five minutes of training. We continue to have faith the secretary of state is doing the best job possible." Buckley has said the elections office was short-staffed because of resignations, illness and the difficulty of finding good people through the state's personnel system. She also has said the turnover in temporaries was high. Under previous secretaries of state, an experienced elections officer stayed with the temporary workers for the whole shift, answering dozens of questions on what was valid or invalid, fixing errors and checking the results. But during Simco's tenure, the petition supervisor was in the counting room in the mornings to get new temporaries started and after lunch to count noses. If they had questions, they were to ask a "veteran" temp -- someone with a few days experience. "He gave it his best effort and so did we," she said. Simco said the lack of supervision was critical on a marijuana petition, which Buckley ruled did not have enough valid signatures to be placed on the November ballot. The proposal would have legalized use of marijuana for medical reasons. Not all petition signatures are checked. A computer selects several thousand signatures at random, and the temporary clerks see if they belong to registered voters. A statistical forumla is used to determine whether the random sample results indicate the entire petition contains enough signatures to be placed on the ballot. Simco said the crew started to verify the random sample of marijuana signatures, but received several different sets of directions. Many of the clerks wanted to save time by checking the first 1,200 signatures, rather than the random signatures selected by the computer. "There was no one to ask," she said. Simco said she convinced the other temps to use the random sample. When they were nearly finished, they were told the random sample was faulty, Simco said. The crew was then ordered to do a line-by-line count, but was told to stop after about 1,500 signatures were checked. Buckley, based on the random sample results, disqualified the petitions for not having enough valid signatures. "We don't know that," said Simco, who has worked for other state agencies. "We had trouble with the random sample and only worked for a limited time on the line-by-line before we were told to stop." The random sample also was faulty for the petition requiring parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion, Simco said. The temps were told to do a line-by line count, but ran out of time. The 30-day limit for the verification process had expired, and by law, the measure was put on the ballot by default. Backers of the marijuana initiative will be in court today to have a judge overrule Buckley and put their issue on the ballot. "They have grounds. We screwed it up," said Simco. "We worked on it and tried hard and no one should be hung on it." Luther Symons, spokesman for the marijuana initiative, said backers were never told about the line-by-line count. Their own check of the random sample found 211 signatures ruled invalid that should not have been. Most of the 211 names were entered into the computer incorrectly, he said. Ed Ramey, attorney for the marijuana backers, said, "It looks like it occurred because there was ... inadequate training or inadequate supervision in a context of a very high volume of work." Carolyne Kelley was a full-time elections office employee in charge of checking petitions until she quit in July -- a week before Simco started. She said Simco's supervisor had about a year's experience in elections, but had never worked with petition initiatives. "I don't think any of the petitions were proofed," said Kelley. "We used to proof them and pick up the entry errors. You have to have someone there with the temporaries." Simco said she blamed the process, not Buckley, for the problems. She described Buckley as a friendly person who wasn't there often, but was empathetic to the temporary workers. "In public accounting, I've never seen anything with this level of hazard," said Simco. "There have been some serious errors, but no malfeasance."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Author Calls Drug War A 'Disastrous Failure' ('The Ft. Worth Star Telegram' Covers A Talk At The Local Rotary Club By Mike Gray About His New Book, 'Drug Crazy') From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 11:25:43 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Author calls drug war a `disastrous failure' To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cc: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Here's the Mike Gray piece from the 9-11-98 Ft. Worth Star Telegram. http://www.star-telegram.com firstname.lastname@example.org Author calls drug war a `disastrous failure' By Susan Gill Vardon Star-Telegram Staff Writer PLANO -- The country is experiencing a heroin epidemic, but the escalating U.S. drug war is only making matters worse, author Mike Gray says. "What we have to show for our efforts is eighth-grade heroin users," he told an audience of about 100 yesterday. "It is happening here and in Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver. It is a tragedy of monumental proportions." In Plano, where the heroin- related deaths of at least 18 young people have shocked residents and made national headlines, Gray had a captive audience at a Rotary Club meeting as he described why he believes that the government's war on the $400 billion worldwide illegal drug business has been a "disastrous failure." By funneling billions of dollars to beef up law enforcement efforts and to imprison scores of small-time drug users and dealers, the U.S. policy has led to more violence and prison crowding, he said. The government's zeal has made narcotics more attractive to young people and has created a booming black market for drugs, he said. "For God's sake, get this stuff out of the hands of children," said Gray, the author of Drug Crazy, published this year. "But we have created a market where the children are on the front lines and have to be armed." Alternatives, Gray said, are to provide treatment instead of punishment for users and to put drug distribution under government control through medical regulation and taxation. Gray said he spent six years researching and writing his book, hanging out with Chicago police officers during street drug busts, touring the U.S.-Mexico border to see smuggling interdiction efforts and visiting England to see a program that provides heroin addicts with daily doses. Gray, who also wrote the screenplay for the movie The China Syndrome, said that he isn't advocating making drugs such as heroin and cocaine available to anyone on the street. "I want to make them less available," he said. "You can have drugs controlled by the state or by the mob. The mob doesn't ask for I.D." Howard Shapiro, a Plano attorney who is representing one of the defendants facing a possible life sentence in a Plano drug trial scheduled to begin Jan. 5, said he thought that Gray's talk was excellent. "For 25 years I've been representing kids whose lives have been ruined by drugs," Shapiro said. "We've just created a generation of criminals. Punishment is not the answer." Shapiro's wife, state Sen. Florence Shapiro, R-Plano, is among legislators leading the charge to toughen drug laws and to increase criminal penalties for dealers. Mike Teague, a reserve officer with the Collin County Sheriff's Department, said he agreed with most of Gray's talk, but not all. "We're definitely not winning the war on drugs," Teague said. "I do know we're creating a lot of prisoners who we need to give hope to. They make a mistake and their lives are ruined. "But I'm not sure about legalizing drugs," he said. "There's a big difference between legalizing alcohol and cocaine or heroin." Susan Gill Vardon, (817) 685- 3805 Send your comments to email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp's Benefits Outlined (According To 'The Bismarck Tribune,' A Study Directed By David Kraenzel Of The North Dakota State University Agriculture Economics Department Was Presented To The State Legislative Interim Commerce And Agriculture Committee Thursday Afternoon - The Report Says Industrial Hemp Has Potential As An Alternative Crop And Recommends That It Be Grown For Experimental Production And Processing) Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 07:30:59 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US ND: Hemp Study Released By North Dakota Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Joe Hickey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Bismarck Tribune (ND) Contact: BismarckTribune@ndonline.com Website: http://www.ndonline.com/ Pubdate: 11 Sep 1998 Author: Mark Hanson, Bismarck Tribune HEMP'S BENEFITS OUTLINED A North Dakota State University study says industrial hemp has potential as an alternative crop in the state and recommends that the crop be grown for experimental production and processing. The study, led by David Kraenzel of the NDSU agriculture economics department, was presented to the Legislative Interim Commerce and Agriculture Committee Thursday afternoon at the Capitol. "There's real potential for this as a rotation crop with North Dakota crops," Kraenzel told the committee via telephone. NDSU did the study at the request of the state Legislature. The objective was to assess the economic feasibility and desirability of industrial hemp production in North Dakota. Since the crop has been illegal to grow in the United States since 1937, very little information is available on its production. But the NDSU report, as well as comments by the committee members, were positive and supportive of growing the crop on an experimental basis. "In a year we will have better data from Canada and that will give us the best bench mark figures," said Tim Petry of NDSU. Canada legalized industrial hemp last year. Industrial hemp has more than 25,000 uses from cardboard, construction products, cosmetics, fabrics and foods to inks, paper and plastics. Nick Boutrous of Bismarck, whose brothers own a company in San Francisco that sells products such as clothing and cosmetics made of industrial hemp, told the committee that North Dakota needs to take the lead role. If enough pressure is placed at the federal level, he said, then Congress and President Clinton would have to look at legalizing the growing of industrial hemp. Another concern is law enforcement's feelings about the crop. Because the plant resembles cannabis, or the hemp that is smoked to get high, law enforcement officials are worried that cannabis plants would be grown with hemp plants. Industrial hemp contains less than 1 percent of the chemical that causes the high, making it worthless as a drug, but marijuana contains 10 to 20 percent. "How do you regulate it? Someone could put a patch of say 100 plants of regular marijuana in a farmer's field and we couldn't tell the difference," Jerry Kemmet, chief agent of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation's narcotics division in Bismarck, said in a March interview. "They put me in the position where I have to arrest the farmer and the federal government can come in and seize the land." Aside from law enforcement issues, which will better be understood now that Canada has grown the crop for a year, the NDSU study looked at the positives industrial hemp could create in the state. The crop would perform best in the eastern one third of the state, or under irrigated conditions and the produce could be used as an oil seed, as a raw product or to create certified seed. The biggest cost for growing the crop today is lack of seed. It would have to be imported. Profitability, however, could be as high as $141 an acre, based on the study. The study also found that the crop naturally controlled Canadian thistle as well as other weeds. Kraenzel also asked during the meeting if he can release the report to the public. "Growers and processors have been champing at the bit to get their hands on the report," he said. (END)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fee Increase Will Pay For Drug Testing ('The New Haven Register' Says Two Lifeguards In Orange, Connecticut, Who Were Fired Last Summer For Allegedly Possessing Marijuana On The Job Prompted Town Officials To Raise Parks Department Fees To Pay For A Random Drug Testing Program) Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 14:16:54 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CT: Fee Increase Will Pay For Drug Testing Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Source: New Haven Register (CT) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ctcentral.com/ Pubdate: 11 Sep 1998 Author: James Kane FEE INCREASE WILL PAY FOR DRUG TESTING ORANGE - Two town lifeguards fired for allegedly possessing marijuana on the job last summer prompted town officials to raise parks department fees to pay for a random drug testing program. The Board of Selectmen unanimously supported a 5 percent cost increase on programs run through the Park and Recreation department in order to pay for the drug-testing initiative. "There was previously no drug testing for camp counselors and lifeguards, and these are the people who watch our children," said First Selectman Robert Sousa. The selectmen proposed the random testing and pre-employment screening earlier this year, in the wake of last year's firing of two lifeguards and the suspension of their supervisor. No arrests were made in the incident. Although most officials agreed the drug prevention program is a good idea, there's been some debate about how to pay for the safety measures. Last month, the Park and Recreation Commisson asked the Board of Finance for a special allocation, but the board said no. Finance officials said the drug tests should be paid for through revenues from parks department programs, considering that most of the employees to be screened are summer workers and not full-time town employees. "Why should the taxpayers pay for drug tests on workers in programs which fund themselves?" Finance Director Chiarenzelli asked. Parks department Director Al Baines approached the Board of Selectman and asked for the fee increase to pay for the drug tests. "With these increases, we're looking to take in an additional $6,000 to $10,000 a year," Baines said. Each drug test costs $51, and the program would randomly test all camp counselors and lifeguards. The department employs more than non-union 150 workers over the summer, and 50 during the rest of the year, town officials said. In November, two lifeguards at the town pool at High Plains Community Center allegedly in possession of marijuana were fired, and their supervisor was suspended for failing to report the incident in a timely fashion. "We want lifeguards and other people around our kids to not be on drugs," First Selectman Robert Sousa said. "Everyone who works for the Town of Orange and is in a position in which they are dealing with our children will be fired if it is discovered they have used drugs," Sousa said. Full-time town employees will also be drug-tested in the future to comply with state rules, Chiarenzelli said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-Cop Jailed, Stole Pot ('The Philadelphia Inquirer' Says Michael McCue, A Former Philadelphia Police Officer Who Was Assigned To A US Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force In The Early 1990s, Was Sentenced Yesterday To A Year And A Day In Prison By A Federal Judge For Stealing About 70 Pounds Of Marijuana In 1992 That He And A Partner Were Supposed To Destroy) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 16:19:40 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US PA: Ex-Cop Jailed, Stole Pot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ Pubdate: September 11, 1998 Author: Jim Smith Daily News Staff Writer EX-COP JAILED, STOLE POT A former Philadelphia police officer was sentenced yesterday to a year and a day in prison by a federal judge for stealing about 70 pounds of marijuana that he and a partner were supposed to destroy. At the time of the theft in 1992, the defendant, Michael McCue, had been a trusted undercover "narc" who had been detailed to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration task force for several years. His police and DEA supervisors apparently didn't notice, but McCue also was heavily addicted to drugs, himself, including cocaine and methamphetamine, throughout the time he was out busting street drug traffickers, according to McCue's own testimony. The marijuana McCue was supposed to destroy was no longer needed as evidence, and was to be burned at an incinerator in Harrisburg. McCue and his partner, who wasn't identified and is still a Philadelphia police officer, merely substituted books and burned the books, authorities contend. The prosecutor said evidence against the partner -- primarily McCue's confession and testimony -- will now be turned over to the Police Department, prompting the judge to suggest that this should have been done a long time ago. It's too late to prosecute the partner for criminal conduct, since the statute of limitations has expired. McCue's 366-day sentence -- he'll get about 47 days off for good behavior -- was a break. His sentencing guidelines called for a prison term in the range of 24 to 30 months. But U.S. District Judge Jay Waldman found that McCue had turned his life around, had been drug free for more than five years, had been counseling drug addicts and had begun a new career, as a chef.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Resolution 372 Scheduled For Next Week (A Bulletin From Americans For Medical Rights Says Congress Has Decided To Hold A Vote Next Week On The Anti-Medical Marijuana Legalism That Was Quietly Put On The Back Burner After The California Medical Association Endorsed Rescheduling Cannabis So Physicians Could Prescribe It) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 19:34:40 GMT To: "AMR.coordinators":@lainet1.lainet.com, ";AMR.Internal.list" From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: HR 372 scheduled for next week Cc: "AMR/updates.list":; I have just learned that Congress has scheduled the long-delayed, not-forgotten vote on House Resolution 372 for next week. HR 372 is the resolution stating that marijuana is a dangerous, addictive drug that should not be used for medical purposes. The resolution expressly urges voters to reject ballot initiatives or other efforts to legalize the medical use of marijuana. Take note, this has been scheduled for a vote several times before, since it was introduced in February, but without coming up for real. A key issue in the vote on H. Res. 372 will be whether it comes up on Tuesday evening "under suspension of the rules," meaning: 1) no amendments will be permitted, 2) opponents could be barred from speaking on it, and 3) a 2/3 vote of the House would be required to pass it. We have learned over the months that the 2/3 vote may not be there for the Republican-sponsored bill... - Dave Fratello Americans for Medical Rights *** [A few of the most items at this site about House Resolution 372:] Medicinal Marijuana Vote Postponed (May 4 - Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, Says The Republicans In Charge Of The US House Of Representatives Have Again Put Off A Vote On House Resolution 372 - Call Your Congressman Now!) Status Of Vote On House Resolution 372 (May 4 - More Details From Keith Stroup Of NORML) Letter To US Representative Conyers From The American Bar Association Opposing House Resolution 372, The Anti-Medical Marijuana Legalism) Urgent Alert - First Ever Medicinal Marijuana Vote To Be On Tuesday (May 2 - The Marijuana Policy Project Asks You To Call Or Fax Your US Representative Monday To Vote Against House Resolution 372, Opposing Medical Marijuana - Instructions Included) Medical Marijuana Insanity (April 30 - A Letter To The Editor Of 'City On A Hill Press' At The University Of California-Santa Cruz Urges Readers To Contact Their US Representative And Ask Him Or Her To Vote 'No' On House Resolution 372, The Anti-Medical Marijuana 'Message') Update On House Resolution 372, Notes On Republican Drug War News Conference (An Excellent First Person Account Of The GOP Hatefest From Chuck Thomas Of The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC - Gingrich Vows That 'Any Other Federal Spending Program Would Be Cut If Necessary To Fund The New Drug War')
------------------------------------------------------------------- North Texas Named High-Intensity Drug Zone ('The Dallas Morning News' Says The White House Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey, On Thursday Named Dallas, Tarrant And Collin Counties In Texas The 21st High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Under A Federal Program Begun In 1990 - The Region Will Reap As Much As $5 Million Extra In Federal Anti-Drug Money Next Year) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 12:51:48 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: N. Texas Named High-Intensity Drug Zone 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: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Authors: David LaGesse and Bill Lodge, The Dallas Morning News N. TEXAS NAMED HIGH-INTENSITY DRUG ZONE Area eligible for more enforcement money North Texas has received its long-awaited designation as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and stands to reap as much as $5 million in additional anti-drug money next year, federal officials said Thursday. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey named Dallas, Tarrant and Collin counties as part of the new 13-county North Texas zone, making the area eligible for money recently approved by Congress. U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins and Special Agent Julio Mercado, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Dallas office, requested the designation more than a year ago. Lobbying intensified in the last year with the wave of heroin-related deaths in the Dallas area. "I'm ecstatic that it finally came through," Mr. Coggins said. Agent Mercado predicted the infusion of cash and equipment will enable about 50 local, state and federal agencies to wage a more efficient war against drug rings in the area, which has a population of more than 4 million. "We've identified 86 different drug organizations in North Texas and Oklahoma," he said. "The majority are in Texas. We'll know who the enemy is." High-intensity spending, already used in Houston and El Paso and proposed for East Texas, helps encourage cooperation among local and federal police agencies. "The illegal use of narcotics and the trafficking of narcotics are the root of much of the violent crime in North Texas," said Mr. McCaffrey, White House drug policy director. Agent Mercado said he has worked in the San Juan, Puerto Rico, high-intensity area, which yielded almost immediate results. "In the first year of operation, we took out three major drug organizations," he said, adding that one of the groups was responsible for at least 40 deaths. "We'll be able to do that here, now." More than 100 investigators from member agencies will be housed in one building, which will contain an intelligence center that should allow investigators to track drug distributors more quickly, Agent Mercado said. "Everybody can get a clearer picture of what is going on in North Texas," he said. "It's long overdue. There is a problem in Dallas that must be addressed." Agent Mercado and Mr. Coggins said the Dallas area has become a major collection point for heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamines and other illegal drugs shipped to other cities nationwide. They emphasize that 40 percent of those drugs remain in the Dallas area, many of them sold to teenagers. The heroin-overdose deaths of 18 young people with Plano ties since 1994 have made national news. In July, a 50-page federal indictment for dealing heroin and cocaine in Plano was issued against 29 people, 16 of them students in Plano schools. Dallas police officials, who have supported the high-intensity designation as a tool for coordinating anti-drug efforts, said Thursday they were pleased with the new designation. Police Chief Ben Click supports information-sharing between law enforcement agencies, calling the job of battling transnational drug networks too diffuse for a single department. "Chief Click believes it will be very beneficial in our fight against drug trafficking in Dallas," said Sgt. Jim Chandler, a department spokesman. The North Texas area includes Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Henderson, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lubbock, Parker, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Congress voted $5 million in spending for the North and East Texas areas in the fiscal year that begins next month, although the money needs final congressional and White House budget approval. East Texas isn't expected to receive final approval for several months, leaving most of next year's money for North Texas, officials said. The North Texas zone can begin operating soon with a $250,000 stake from the drug czar's office, officials said. Houston was one of the first zones approved for the high-intensity program. The money has helped police there discourage trafficking, said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas. "Houston has made great strides, and the dealers have started to come to Dallas," she said. Administration officials credit Ms. Hutchison with leading the congressional fight for funding, aided by Dallas-area House members. "We've had tremendous support from our politicians in Washington on both sides of the aisle," Mr. Coggins said. North Texas becomes the 21st drug-trafficking zone named under the federal program, which began in 1990. Selecting the high-intensity zones has become very political, said Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Dallas. "But we were able to get the drug czar to say that Dallas was the most deserving, non-HIDTA area," he said. Staff writer Dave Michaels in Dallas contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Anti-Depression Drug Targets Different Brain Chemical (According To An 'Associated Press' Article In 'The Seattle Times,' An Account Published Today In The Journal 'Science' Says Scientists With Merck And Company Have Stumbled Onto An Experimental Anti-Depressant That Targets A Mysterious Brain Chemical That Until Now, Doctors Did Not Know Was At Work In Mental Disorders) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Anti-depression drug targets different brain chemical Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 18:33:42 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 08:22 a.m. PDT; Friday, September 11, 1998 New anti-depression drug targets different brain chemical by Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Scientists may have stumbled onto an entirely new way to treat depression: an experimental drug that targets a mysterious brain chemical that until now, doctors did not know was at work in mental disorders. Merck & Co.'s new drug, the subject of an account published today in the journal Science, works on a chemical pathway that differs from every antidepressant sold today and offers hope to patients who get no help from standard therapies. "This is really very important," said Dr. Steven Hyman, director of the government's National Institute on Mental Health, who is familiar with the findings. "To everybody's surprise, it (the new drug) was robustly effective for depression." Encouraged by the first positive results in human testing, Merck is rapidly planning the large-scale Phase III studies required before its new drug would be eligible to sell. Depression is the nation's most prevalent mental-health problem, affecting about 15 million Americans at some point in their lives. Americans spend about $3 billion a year on drugs to battle it. Those drugs do help many patients, but they can cause serious side effects. Also, some 20 percent of patients get no help from today's medicines, which all target either serotonin or norepinephrine, brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, Hyman said. So scientists have long hunted another way to attack depression. Merck says its new drug, MK-869, may succeed by targeting a brain chemical called substance P. In a study of 213 patients with moderate to severe depression, Merck tested MK-869 against Paxil, a popular and effective antidepressant, or against a placebo. During the six-week study, MK-869 relieved depression as effectively as Paxil did, but with fewer side effects, Merck lead researcher Dr. Mark Kramer reported in Science. "The idea of a whole new neurochemical system that might be in hyperdrive . . . is a really exciting thing, and offers a new window for understanding" depression, Kramer explained.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rising Star In Mexico Cocaine Trade Killed ('Reuters' Says Rafael Munoz Talavera, Who Was Allegedly Trying To Become The Godfather Of The Mexican Drugs Trade, Was Gunned Down Thursday In The Northern Border City Of Ciudad Juarez And Found Stuffed In An Armored Pick-Up Truck) Date: Sat, 12 Sep 1998 09:10:01 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: WIRE: Rising Star In Mexico Cocaine Trade Killed 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: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Source: Reuters RISING STAR IN MEXICO COCAINE TRADE KILLED MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - A man allegedly trying to become the godfather of the Mexican drugs trade was gunned down Thursday in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, state news agency Notimex reported today. Rafael Munoz Talavera, described by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as an emerging drug kingpin, was found stuffed in an armored pick-up truck in a suburb of the city, which has been hit hard by drug violence recently, the news agency said. The report could not immediately be confirmed. Munoz Talavera's family had identified the corpse, Notimex said, quoting Hugo Chavez, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office in northern Chihuahua state. Chavez said residents in the Juarez suburb of El Colegio reported an abandoned vehicle with a body slumped inside early on Thursday to police. Juarez lies across the border from El Paso, Texas. U.S. officials said earlier this year that Munoz Talavera, whose age was not widely known, was trying to replace the late Amado Carrillo Fuentes at the helm of the so-called Juarez cartel, one of Mexico's most powerful drug gangs. ``(Munoz Talavera) is a very capable drug trafficker and he is out there trying to form alliances,'' one U.S. official said at the time. Carrillo Fuentes, known as ``Lord of the Skies'' for his brazen tactic of flying a plane from Colombia loaded with drugs, died during a botched plastic surgery operation to alter his appearance in Mexico City on July 4, 1997. Shortly after his death, a deadly turf war broke out in Juarez that claimed the lives of at least 60 people. Scores of bodies have turned up in the trunks of cars with plastic bags around their heads. Mexican authorities said Munoz Talavera appeared to be fighting other lieutenants in the cartel for control. U.S. intelligence officials also said Munoz Talavera was trying to forge an alliance between the Juarez cartel and other cartels, notably the bloodthirsty Arellano Felix gang in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California. Notimex on Friday described Munoz Talavera as a top member of the Arellano gang, which is led by three brothers. One of the brothers, Ramon, is on the FBI 10 Most Wanted List. Munoz Talavera always denied being a drug trafficker. Late last year, he took out full-page newspaper advertisements saying he was just a ``simple, hard-working person.'' Mexican and U.S. anti-drug officials, however, said Munoz Talavera was closely linked to Carrillo's predecessor at the cartel, Rafael Aguilar Guajardo, gunned down by rivals in a Cancun restaurant in 1993. Munoz had already been caught and jailed the previous year and received a 15-year sentence for drugs offenses. He was released in 1996 after serving just 3-1/2 years in a move that angered the DEA.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cloud Over Mexican Anti-Drug Force (A 'Washington Post' Article In 'The International Herald-Tribune' Discusses The Investigation Into Systemic Corruption In Mexico's GAFE, Consisting Of US-Trained Airmobile Special Forces, Established In Response To Other Corrupt Mexican Law Enforcement And Military Groups) Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 14:03:57 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Cloud Over Mexican Anti-Drug Force Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Peter Webster Source: International Herald-Tribune Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.iht.com/ Pubdate: 11 Sept 1998 Author: Douglas Farah and Molly Moore, Washington Post Service CLOUD OVER MEXICAN ANTI-DRUG FORCE Two years ago, U.S. and Mexican officials, frustrated by corruption in Mexican law-enforcement agencies called on the Mexican Army to take the lead in fighting the drug war. Forming the backbone of the effort were new, screened units trained by the U.S. Special Forces and given helicopters for mobility. But now the program is facing the same evil it was formed to combat. About 80 members of the elite units have been under investigation in recent weeks amid allegations that some of them took hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to sneak cocaine-filled suitcases and illegal immigrants through the Mexico City airport on their way to the United States. Nine of these Mexican soldiers have been jailed on formal charges and five more have been detained. On Sunday, civilian authorities removed 40 of the troops trained under the Special Forces program from their assignments at the airport as a result of the corruption investigation. The Mexican units, whose leaders were given Special Forces training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, are called Airmobile Special Forces and are widely known by their Spanish acronym GAFE. The United States pays $28 million a year for the program, and 252 Mexican officers were trained in its -first 18 months, with another 156 officers scheduled for training by the end of fiscal 1998, according to the Pentagon. The U.S.-trained officers then train other groups in Mexico, and by now there are supposed to be 42 units of 100 soldiers each stationed around the country. Candidates for the elite units are vetted by Mexican and U.S. officials. Those sent for training in the United States have their names checked against databases of suspected drug traffickers kept by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency. They also receive higher salaries than troops outside the units to make bribes less tempting. The elite troops who worked at the Mexico City airport were trained by Mexican trainers, not directly by U.S. Special Forces. But U.S. officials said the indications of possible graft were a blow to their efforts to establish several corps of incorruptible drug fighters on both sides of the border. "After a while you wonder what the hell you are doing there,': said a law-enforcement official. "There is no one there we can trust completely. This was supposed to be the group we could trust and work with. " Said a Mexican official: "They are supposed to be the door-kickers and have the capacity to go after the drug traffickers and offer the best support available. It is a matter of concern to us they reportedly were loaned out to other agencies, and we are investigating why that is." Law-enforcement operations at Mexico City's Benito Juarez International Airport were taken over by an elite unit in April 1997. Within the last five months, nearly 20 of the approximately 80 officers and troops assigned there have been arrested on charges of protecting drug shipments, assisting illegal immigrants and shepherding electronics and other high-duty imports past customs agents, according to Mexican investigators. The most recent case, in which 14 soldiers were detained on Aug. 9, involved members of the anti-drug unit who protected suitcases each containing cocaine that arrived on a flight from Bogota every Tuesday for the past six months. Military officials reportedly were paid $2,500 for each suitcase delivery, the investigator said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Child Dealer Downs Coke During Raid ('The Province' In Vancouver, British Columbia, Says A 10-Year-Old Boy Who Swallowed 28 Rocks Of Cocaine During A Vancouver Police Sweep Of Hastings Street Is Recovering In Children's Hospital)Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 12:51:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Child Dealer Downs Coke During Raid Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Province, The (Vancouver, B.C.) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/news-c.html Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 News A4 Author: Adrienne Tanner, Staff Reporter CHILD DEALER DOWNS COKE DURING RAID A 10-year-old Honduran boy who swallowed 28 rocks of cocaine during a Vancouver police sweep of Hastings Street is recovering in Children's Hospital. Police took the child to hospital after they saw him furiously swallowing the drugs during the raid, Staff-Sgt. Doug MacKay-Dunn said yesterday. The boy spit up eight of the rocks on the way to hospital. Twenty more were later pumped from his stomach. ``The kid could have died,'' said MacKay-Dunn. ``There's no way the officers could have prevented him from swallowing.'' Police are no longer allowed to use choke-holds to prevent dealers from swallowing evidence. Another 14-year-old Honduran youth also working as a ``runner'' at Hastings and Abbott streets was turned over to the ministry of children and families. He was placed in a group home where he is being counselled by a youth worker. Neither child has immediate family in Honduras. The youngest child's mother is known to Vancouver police and is believed to be dealing drugs in the United States. MacKay-Dunn said the investigating officers were ``disgusted'' to find such young children being used as mules by dealers. ``One made it known to the males present what he thought of people who would use a child as a repository for their illegal drugs.'' Police believe there are more than 100 Hondurans dealing crack cocaine along the Hastings strip and SkyTrain stops in Burnaby and New Westminster. They come to Canada overland and make refugee claims when they arrive. Among them are children who are lured north by the promise of jobs and then used as indentured dealers by older gang members. Immigration, police and provincial government officials have been scrambling for solutions since spring, when the influx of young Hondurans was first noted. The Children and Families Ministry can only offer help. Immigration Department spokesman Rob Johnston said his staff have been assigned to work with police and ministry social workers to ensure the Honduran children are protected.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Top Cops And Money (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Edmonton Sun' Says The Drug War In America Was Set Up For Illegal Seizures Of Personal Property By Law Enforcement, Who Only Put More Drugs On The Street) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 12:51:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: Top Cops And Money Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/ Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Author: A. Solomon Comment: Parenthetical remarks by the Sun editor TOP COPS AND MONEY. It's called grab as grab can. The whole drug war in America was set up as a backdrop for illegal seizures of personal property and assets by politicians and law enforcement. Many of the fruits of cocaine busts ended up back on the streets as crack, made by law enforcement operations to "sting" the population and further the war. So says Nick Navarro, Broward County sheriff in the '80s. Check him out, you'll see. A. Solomon (Systemic corruption is unavoidable but hardly the rule in the war on drugs.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Moderate Drinkers 'Healthier' (An 'Ottawa Citizen' Article In The Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Says The First Study Of Its Kind On Younger Adults, Carried Out On 9,605 British Men And Women By Dr. Chris Power At The Institute Of Child Health In London And Colleagues At The Australian National University In Canberra, Suggests The Link Between Alcohol And Its Effect On A Person's Health And Longevity Is Solidly Established By Age 33) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 10:05:47 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Moderate Drinkers 'Healthier' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Author: Richard Starnes, The Ottawa Citizen MODERATE DRINKERS 'HEALTHIER' British study focuses on people in their 30s If you are a moderate 30-something drinker you can expect to live longer than either abstainers or heavy consumers. What's more, the link between alcohol and its effect on your health is solidly established by the time you are 33, British researchers say. The latest study reinforces studies of middle-aged and elderly people which indicated direct links between alcohol consumption, an individual's health and how long he or she lives. The findings come from the world's first study of its kind on younger adults, carried out on 9,605 British men and women by Dr. Chris Power at The Institute of Child Health in London and colleagues at the Australian National University in Canberra. Dr. Power is a Weston Scholar and is financially supported by the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research. "This is the first time there has been a study of people at a younger age," she says. "Showing high rates of poor health among never drinkers and heavy drinkers at this age is a first. It was clear that moderate drinkers show a consistent pattern of better health that mirrors the patterns you see in later life." In the study, published in today's edition of The Lancet, three indicators of ill health were used -- psychological distress, limiting long-standing illness and poor general health. "Using these three criteria, people with light or moderate drinking habits are doing better than either non-or heavy drinkers from a health point of view," says Dr. Power. For the study, alcohol consumption was set at one unit of alcohol equivalent to half a pint of beer, one measure of spirits or one glass of wine. Light drinkers were judged to be those consuming 0-5 units for women and 0-10 for men per week; moderate drinkers were 6-20 units for women and 11-35 for men; and the heavy-drinker measure was more than 20 units for women and more than 35 for men. Dr. Power suggested that outside factors may have minor bearing on the results. These include those who are unable to socialize because of ill health and those on low income who cannot afford to buy alcohol. "Initially we wanted to establish that the relationship you see between alcohol and health at older ages is matched at a younger age. This study has done that." Copyright 1998 The Ottawa Citizen
------------------------------------------------------------------- Junkie Justice (According To 'The Daily Telegraph,' Premier Bob Carr Said Yesterday Australia's First Experiment With American-Style Drug Courts Would Begin Next Year In Parramatta, New South Wales, With A $5 Million State Program Inspired By Theories Rather Than Evidence - Opposition Health Spokeswoman Jillian Skinner Said The Trial Was A Farce Because The Government Had Already Slashed Funding For Drug Treatment)Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 09:55:55 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Junkie Justice Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Author: Katrina Beikoff JUNKIE JUSTICE AUSTRALIA'S first court exclusively for drug addicts will operate at Parramatta under a $5 million State Government trial next year. Premier Bob Carr said yesterday the two-year trial based on American-style drug courts will aim to rehabilitate addicts instead of jailing them. People who steal or deal small quantities of drugs may escape jail by entering a 12-month treatment program. But people facing charges for sexual offences or offences involving violence will not be allowed into the program. District Court Judge Gay Murrell has been appointed the first Drug Court Judge. She will be assisted by a magistrate and a team of health and legal specialists. Mr Carr told Parliament yesterday people eligible for the drug court would have committed non-violent theft including stealing or unarmed robbery that did not cause physical harm, possession or dealing in small quantities of drugs or fraud or forgery. They must plead guilty. Those people accepted for the program, but who committed further crimes or breached drug guidelines, could be sent to jail or face other sanctions. "We need, of course, to punish the crime, but we need to tackle the cause," Mr Carr said. Attorney-General Jeff Shaw said about 70 per cent of NSW prison inmates were there because of a drug related crime. "If we can get people off heroin and out of the crime cycle, that's obviously a plus for NSW," he said. The Drug Courts would save other courts time and reduce the prison population, he said. "There will be a strong emphasis on rehabilitation programs and where the defendant can show that he or she is following a program to get off heroin, then jail can be avoided," Mr Shaw said. "This is not a soft option - it's a means of protecting the community." Mr Shaw said the offender would have to appear before the judge regularly - as often as every week - to give reports of progress and drug test results. Mr Shaw said the system also meant a significant shift in the role of courts with judges required to "case manage" the progress of addicts rather than hear cases and pass sentences. Barrister and advocate of the system, Ross Goodridge, said the move meant as many as 62,000 crimes a year in NSW could be stopped or alleviated by the Drug Court system - based on research which showed drug addicts committed about one crime a day. Salvation Army Commander of Rehabilitation Services, Major Brian Watters, said: "I constantly meet people who say it's easier to go to jail than it is to go to rehab because in jail they can just go through the motions until they come out again." But Opposition health spokeswoman Jillian Skinner said the trial was a farce because the Government had already slashed funding for drug treatment programs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Popular Among Teens ('The Daily Telegraph' In Australia Notes The Secondary Schools Survey, Completed In 1996 But Not Released Until Yesterday, Shows Cannabis Prohibition Has Led To About 40 Per Cent Of High School-Aged Boys In New South Wales And 31 Per Cent Of Girls Having Smoked Cannabis) Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 11:50:08 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Cannabis Popular Among Teens Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Ken Russell) Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Author: Katrina Beikoff Section: Page 9 CANNABIS POPULAR AMONG TEENS ABOUT 40 per cent of high school-aged boys in NSW and 31 per cent of girls have smoked cannabis, new research shows. And 5 per cent of boys and 3 per cent of girls have used heroin or other opiates, a survey of 12 to l7-year-olds has found. The Secondary Schools Survey, completed in 1996 but not released by the State Government until yesterday, shows 4 per cent of males and 3 per cent of female students have used ecstasy. The report found boys were almost twice as likely to report recent cannabis use as females. Health Minister Andrew Refshauge yesterday also released new evidence yesterday that "explodes the myth that cannabis is a harmless drug" by establishing a link between it and mental illness. Cannabis was more potent now than ever before and could cause psychotic illness including losing contact with reality, hearing voices or seeing things that were not there or having confused thoughts, he said. Between 1993 and 1997 there had been a 10 per cent increase in the number of cannabis-dependent patients suffering drug-induced psychotic illness, he said. The Government announced $15,000 would be spent developing a new drug treatment program for young people. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre spokesman Paul Dillon said yesterday cannabis and other drug use among teenagers had increased markedly. The Secondary Schools Survey statistics showed cannabis had become a more acceptable drug for females when compared to a 1995 national drug report which found only 24 per cent of 14 to 19-year-old girls had used it. The Secondary School Survey also found 27 per cent of boys and girls reported having used inhalants such as sniffing spray cans, glue, paint, petrol or thinners. Mr Dillon said the report based on 1996 research, should have been released much earlier. "This kind of information should be independent of politics. If we don't know what's really happening, how can we do something about it?" he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- One Youth In 20 Has Tried Heroin - School Survey ('The Sydney Morning Herald' Version) Subj: Australia: One Youth In 20 Has Tried Heroin, School Survey Pubdate: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Author: Linda Doherty ONE YOUTH IN 20 HAS TRIED HEROIN, SCHOOL SURVEY FINDS Heroin experimentation appears to be on the rise among NSW teenagers, with a schools survey revealing that one in 20 male youths had tried the drug, a tenfold increase on an earlier national study. The 1996 secondary schools survey of 12- to 17-year-olds, released yesterday by the State Government, also shows that girls are now almost as likely as boys to try cannabis, previously considered more of a problem among young men. Drug experts said the best comparable data was the 1995 National Drug Household Survey, where 44 per cent of male 14- to 19-year-olds had tried cannabis, compared to 24 per cent of females. The NSW schools survey shows that 39 per cent of boys and 31 per cent of girls had tried cannabis but males were twice as likely to report recent use than females. The information manager for the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, Mr Paul Dillon, said the two-year-old figures were "pretty useless" because drug use changed constantly but the survey suggested that drug education should start earlier in schools. The Minister for Health, Dr Refshauge, said yesterday there had been a 10 per cent increase in cannabis-dependent patients suffering drug-induced psychosis between 1993 and 1997. He committed $75,000 for new treatment programs for young people due to the possible link between cannabis use and mental illness.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 58 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original Summary Of Drug Policy News And Calls For Action) Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 05:39:07 -0400 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 58 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 58 -- September 11, 1998 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We do ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. NOTE: The new book offer mentioned last week and originally scheduled for last Tuesday has been rescheduled for this Sunday night. Stay tuned! TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. A Note to Our Readers http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#note 2. US-Trained, "Incorruptible" Mexican Anti-Narcotics Squad Widely Corrupted http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#corrupted 3. ALERT: McCollum Drug Act Would Further Militarize Andean Drug War http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#andes 4. Texas Paper Releases Scathing Pentagon Review of Esequiel Hernandez Shooting http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#hernandez 5. Whitman, AIDS Council Still at Odds Over Needle Exchange http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#whitman 6. Fayetteville City Council Rejects Random Drug Testing http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#drugtesting 7. New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Right to Jury Trial in Forfeiture Cases http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#jurytrial 8. March To Stop The Drug War, Berkeley, CA, 9/26 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#march 9. First-Ever Global Conference on How To Legalize Cannabis http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#globalconf 10. Attention College Students! http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#U-net 11. NY Attorney General Candidates Admit Past Marijuana Use http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#nycandidates 12. Patient's Glaucoma Justified Medical Marijuana Use, Cultivation, Canadian Judge Rules http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#canada 13. EDITORIAL: Long, Hot Summer http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#editorial *** 1. A Note to our Readers Well, summer is over, and while we hope that everyone had a relaxing season, there is much to be done this fall. So, while many of you were enjoying vacation and weekends at the beach, DRCNet has made some major changes, including several new lists, a major overhaul of our web sites, a great opportunity for students to get active, and much more which you will be hearing a lot about in this issue of The Week Online and over the next few weeks. In addition, while the weather begins to cool off, things in the reform movement are really heating up. And because the movement is entering such an important phase, it is vital that you, the people who understand the enormity of the damage being done in the name of the Drug War, step up your efforts and make your voices heard. DRCNet enters this new season nearly 7,000 strong, with plans in place that could increase our numbers many-fold. If you think you can help us in that mission, please get in touch and we'll send out email sign-up sheets or help you in any other way possible. Remember, the more people that we can reach in your state, the more impact your efforts will have. Our first action alert of the fall went out early yesterday morning, regarding the possible parole and release of Will Foster, originally sentenced to 93 years, and who has spent more than two years in jail, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and separated from his family for cultivating medicinal marijuana. So far, more than 120 of you have written to let us know that you did take action on behalf of Will Foster, in response to our alert. Thank you! You'll be interested to know that in response to the flood of phone calls, the governor's office has set up a special voice mailbox just for calls about Will Foster. If you have not yet taken a moment to write, fax or call Governor Keating of Oklahoma in response, please consider doing so today. We are committed to increasing our response rate significantly in the coming months, but that will only happen if YOU take a moment to respond, with a letter, phone call, fax or email, when an action alert arrives in your in- box. Your voice IS important, and politicians, the media and other decision-makers DO take notice. The Will Foster case is indicative of that, and we, as a movement, are only just beginning to flex our political muscle. (If you missed the alert, you can access it on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/9-10.html.) Please note that article three of this issue is another action alert, opposing a bill in Congress that would further arm Latin American militaries in the name of the drug war, militaries that in some cases have appalling human rights records and even sponsor death squads to deal with dissenters. The source country strategy on which this bill is based has failed -- not partially, but completely -- to reduce the global availability of opium or cocaine -- and in its wake has fueled political instability and sometimes outright civil conflict in these nations that are struggling to establish democracy against a history of dictatorship. An article in issue #43 of The Week Online -- http://www.drcnet.org/wol/043.html#bolivia -- describes a personal tragedy that resulted directly from the U.S. government's fraudulent Andean drug war. Take some of the excitement you've shown for the Will Foster case, and use it to mobilize on this alert as well. Your action here -- less directly but just as surely -- will help prevent more innocent people from falling victim to the war on drugs. And please, send copies of your correspondence, or just a note letting us know what actions you've taken, to alert- email@example.com (or just reply to this message). Your feedback will help us document our impact and give our donors and potential donors confidence that their support is building a potent force for change. Can we get another 100 letters on this one? (A long-standing alert that is still important is helping promote the book Drug Crazy -- a book which happens to give a devastating account of the war on drugs in the Andes, among other topics, and which promotes groups in the movement through an Internet appendix, especially DRCNet. This exciting book by DRCNet advisory board member Mike Gray, author of the China Syndrome among other credits, is capable of changing the debate on drug policy if only it goes big. See http://www.drcnet.org/wol/057.html#slate for some background and suggestions for what to do.) So welcome back from vacation, and get ready to act. Because YOU represent the leading edge of the next great political and social movement in the history of the United States, and of the world. The Drug War is beginning to crumble, but after decades of violence, profits, repression and injustice, it will not go down without a fight. *** 2. US-Trained, "Incorruptible" Mexican Anti-Narcotics Squad Widely Corrupted More than 80 members of an "elite counter-narcotics" force within the Mexican Army are under investigation for corruption, and more than a dozen have already been charged or detained. According to the Washington Post, more than 40 of the troops have been removed from their station at the Mexico City Airport due to allegations that they have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars for shepherding drug shipments as well as illegal aliens past customs. The special force, which goes under its Spanish-language acronym GAFE, came into existence in 1996 in response to frustrations over corruption within both the police and military structures in Mexico. Many of the officers involved (around 10% of the total personnel) in the program were brought to the U.S. for training at a cost of over $28 million to U.S. taxpayers, according to the Post. The corruption in Mexico was so ingrained, in fact, that over the past two years, both the nation's Drug Czar and the brother of former President Salinas have been implicated. Lt. Colonel Darley at the U.S. Pentagon told The Week Online, "None of (the most recent report) is wholly unexpected. In fact, what we've seen is that anything touched by drugs and drug money becomes corrupted. It's not just a Mexican problem, we see the same thing all over the world. Even here, you can look at the problems in the Florida police force, in the New York police force. So it's not a matter of saying that Mexico is a corrupt society. There are millions of Mexicans who hate the drug trafficking, and there are plenty of honest politicians and military personnel and police, many of whom have died fighting against it." "No one, and this certainly includes the Department of Defense, believes that this (the drug trade) is a problem that will be solved militarily. What it comes down to is a moral issue, and moral choices that are made by individuals. But having said that, we do feel that we are having some impact. We've intercepted tons of drugs which were therefore kept off the streets. But if you ask, 'can we stop the flow through interdiction,' the answer is no. But you can't just throw up your hands. It's a matter of registering disapproval through our actions and, if nothing else, there's value in fighting the good fight. And, if you look at the destruction that drugs do to our society, this is certainly a good fight." But some critics disagree with that moral equation. Eric Olson of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) told The Week Online, "International counter-narcotics efforts have been singularly ineffective in large part because they are so militarily-focused. The U.S. has tried to fight this problem as a war. Specifically, when we look at Mexico, the military was brought more deeply into anti- drug efforts because of the perception that the civilian police were widely corrupted and that the military was not. The fact is, however, as indicated by these recent reports, that the process of counter-narcotics itself is corrupting. And so if the Mexican military wasn't corrupted before, it is now. Also, by putting more responsibility in the hands of the military, we have further weakened civilian institutions there, which is the opposite of what we should be striving for in our foreign policy, which would be to build and strengthen civil institutions. "The Mexican military is problematic in that it is not a transparent and accountable institution. When they commit human rights violations, as they are prone to do, it is nearly impossible to hold them accountable to civilian authorities." "The broader view, of course, is that anyone who has taken an objective look at our international counternarcotics policy has concluded that it doesn't work. What we need, clearly, is a much broader public debate on the issue and a focus on harm-reduction here at home." You can visit the Washington Office on Latin America on the web at http://www.wola.org. *** 3. ALERT: McCollum Drug Act Would Further Militarize Andean Drug War Personnel at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) have informed us that a bill being voted on the floor on Congress this coming Wednesday (9/16) will dramatically increase the flow of dollars and equipment to Latin American militaries for drug fighting. The "Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act," sponsored by Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) would authorize $2.3 billion over three years for equipment (mostly military hardware), personnel and training. In the House, the bill has the solid support of the Republican leadership, and he sponsors are so confident, they have decided to bring the bill to the floor under "suspension of the rules." This is a technical procedure whereby "non-controversial" proposals can be brought to a vote in an expedited fashion, but must pass by a 2/3 majority instead of the usual 50%. This means that the bill can be defeated if its opponents muster 145 votes instead of the usual 217. Please call or fax your U.S. Representative, and ask him or her to oppose the McCollum Drug Act and the expansion of the failed Andean drug war. You can reach your Representative (or find out who your Representative is) through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. (You can also use http://www.house.gov/writerep/ to look up the office contact info online.) Points you can use, courtesy of WOLA: * By offering this bill under suspension, the sponsors intend to rush it through Congress without sufficient debate. This should be a time to debate and re-evaluate current U.S. antinarcotics policy. Instead, the sponsors plan to authorize a lot of money on a policy that has had absolutely no success. * By offering military equipment and training to Latin American police and militaries with questionable human rights records, the bill undermines fundamental U.S. foreign policy goals of supporting democracy and human rights. Such a policy can also embroil the United States in brutal counterinsurgency wars. The equipment and training received by anti-drug forces can be easily used for counterinsurgency purposes. In the case of Colombia, for example, many Members of Congress reduce guerrillas and drug traffickers into one enemy, the "narcoguerrilla," thereby erasing the line between counternarcotics and counterinsurgency - but in doing so they ignore the army's and right-wing paramilitaries' ties to the drug trade. In Mexico, the same units receiving U.S. counternarcotics training are operating in Chiapas, Guerrero, and Oaxaca. * By training Latin American militaries in anti-drug police work, the United States is encouraging them to perform domestic law enforcement duties prohibited of the U.S. military. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, "there is little proof that the involvement of [Mexican] soldiers in police work has helped stem the flow of drugs. But there is growing evidence that this controversial program has led to serious human rights abuses." * The bill pours billions of dollars into counternarcotics programs that have produced only failure. Rep. McCollum claims that if you "prevent drugs from entering the country, ..you drive up the price of drugs. Drive up the price of drugs and you save lives." But supply reduction, as this is known, has actually had the paradoxical result of increasing prices, thus attracting new producers and distributors to the market, and eventually driving prices back down again. The U.S. government has already spent more than $25 billion on interdiction programs and efforts to disrupt drug production in "source countries," but prices for a pure gram of both heroin and cocaine (as measured in 1994 dollars) have declined markedly in the last 15 years. Consider these startling statistics about U.S. counternarcotics aid to Latin America: * For Latin America overall, U.S. government funding for antidrug efforts has increased more than 150 percent over the last ten years; yet by the U.S. State Department's own estimates, coca cultivation is 11.7 percent higher and opium production has doubled over that time period. * U.S. antidrug efforts have failed most spectacularly in Colombia, the largest recipient of U.S. counter-drug assistance (a total of nearly one billion dollars to date). Yet over the last decade, total drug production in Colombia has risen an estimated 260 percent. Coca production in Colombia has more than tripled, making Colombia the world's leading coca producer. Only four years ago, no heroin was produced in Colombia; it now ranks third in the world in poppy cultivation and fourth in heroin production. For further information on the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act or the impact of counternarcotics policy on human rights in Latin America, contact Eric Olson, Winifred Tate, or Laurie Freeman at WOLA, (202) 797-2171. *** 4. Texas Paper Releases Scathing Pentagon Review of Esequiel Hernandez Shooting Some drug war tragedies can never be undone. One such tragedy is the death of Esequiel Hernandez, shot by a United States Marine on an anti-drug patrol on the U.S.-Mexico border at Redford, Texas. A recently released internal Pentagon report has cleared the Marine, Cpl. Clemente Banuelos, of wrongdoing, but made scathing criticisms of practices that led to the shooting. Retired Marine Maj. Gen. John T. Coyne found that the marines on patrol were not adequately trained for a law enforcement-type operation, and that the missions "appears to have been viewed at every level of Marine Corps command as more of a training opportunity than a real world deployment," among other observations. The Marine Corps has disputed the findings in a written response. The San Antonio Current has obtained a copy of the Coyne report and posted it on the web, with a detailed article discussing the shooting and related issues. You can read the article at http://www.metrotimes.com/border.html and the Coyne report at http://www.metrotimes.com/coynereport.html on an affiliated paper's site. Visit the Esequiel Hernandez photo gallery at http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/hernandez/gallery/. *** 5. Whitman, AIDS Council Still at Odds Over Needle Exchange - Taylor West The New Jersey Governor's Council on AIDS has hit a brick wall in their attempts to persuade Governor Christine Todd Whitman to consider needle exchange programs as a way to help alleviate the state's growing AIDS epidemic. The Council announced Wednesday the temporary suspension of its focus on the legalization of needle exchange for drug addicts, following Chairman David Troast's receipt of an unsolicited letter from the Governor reiterating her absolute opposition to such programs. Troast stated his plan to form a panel to respond to the Governor's letter and consider whether the Council should back away from the issue of needle exchange more permanently. The Governor's Council on AIDS first gained public attention in 1996, when they openly opposed Governor Whitman's stance against needle exchange. Since that time, they have continued to advocate needle exchange programs to Whitman, but with no measurable success. New Jersey has the third highest statewide AIDS infection rate in the country, and half of those cases can be attributed to injection drug use. However, the state's laws against the possession and distribution of syringes remain unusually strict, and needle exchange activists operating illegally have been arrested, tried, and convicted in New Jersey courts. In her August 5th letter to Troast, Governor Whitman restated her unwavering refusal to support the use of needle exchange programs as HIV prevention. She cited her concerns that the programs "seem" to encourage illegal drug use and "send the wrong message to our children" as the major causes for her opposition. She also encouraged the Council to focus instead on slowing the spread of AIDS among minority females and teenagers. (It may be worthwhile to note that the Centers for Disease Control lists the number one cause of AIDS for minority women as "injection drug use".) New Jersey activist Diana McCague, director of the Chai Project in New Brunswick, wasn't surprised to hear of Whitman's latest unwillingness to consider needle exchange. "I used to get really upset and agitated to hear the inflexibility coming out of the Governor's Office. Now there isn't much to do but shake your head. Once again, Governor Whitman is showing that she has no idea what the lives of regular people in New Jersey are like." Members of the New Jersey legislature are pressing on in their attempts to bring a bill legalizing needle exchange through the chambers. Michelle Jaker, a legislative aide for Sen. Joseph Vitale, cosponsor of one of the bills, admitted that the Governor's continued opposition "certainly makes it more difficult" to get such legislation passed. "We're hoping to bring about more awareness of the issue by having this bill in the Senate," she said Thursday. Meanwhile the Governor's Council is undecided as to how to proceed following this latest setback. Riki Jacobs, a member of the Council and the executive director of the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation in New Brunswick, recognized the apparent irreconcilable nature of Governor Whitman's opinions but wondered, "If we stop talking about this, does this mean we can't discuss any issues that might be controversial or politically unfavorable?" Jacobs said she felt the Council would continue to advocate needle exchange, despite the Governor's apparent resolve against it. Chai Project director McCague had a different suggestion for the Council. "I think they ought to resign," she stated Thursday. "What are they there for? They're handpicked by the Governor to inform and advise her on AIDS issues. If she's going to refuse to listen to their advice over and over, they aren't being allowed to do what they were brought together for." "Governor Whitman is again exposing her ignorance and total lack of compassion. For fear of being labeled soft on drugs, she's more than willing to sacrifice drug users, their families and their communities to the AIDS epidemic." *** 6. Fayetteville City Council Rejects Random Drug Testing On Tuesday, September 1, the city council of Fayetteville, Arkansas rejected a proposal which would have subjected the council to random drug tests. The proposal, sponsored by Alderman Trent Trumbo, died for lack of a second. "I view this resolution as dangerous political grandstanding, an invasion of the privacy of every alderman" Alderman Kit Williams, a former U.S. Army officer told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Trent Trumbo spoke with The Week Online: "I introduced this measure because I have a problem with double standards. We test our fire and police personnel, and beginning next year we will be randomly testing every student in our public schools. The reaction that I've had from my constituents is, 'why are we getting tested but you, who make the rules, don't have to submit to tests.' That came from a number of sources, including students, and I didn't have a good answer for them." Trumbo continued, "I have a lot of respect for the people with whom I serve on the council, we're all friends and if they think that random drug testing is an invasion of their privacy, I can understand that. But it seems to me that you then have to consider whether you ought to be mandating that someone else submit to something that you find objectionable when it pertains to you." Regarding the city's plan to randomly drug test its students, Trumbo added: "Personally, I think that testing students might well be beneficial, in that it gives kids a way to say no, to resist peer pressure. But I didn't think it was right to test only those students who participate in extra-curricular activities, the way we have it right now, without testing everyone. Again, that's a double standard. And I would add that the reason that I support the testing of students at all is that the results are completely confidential. We offer help and counseling. This isn't about catching people and getting kids in trouble, its about finding out who may need help and then offering it to them." Alderman Kit Williams, who strongly opposed the measure, told The Week Online, "I can certainly understand Alderman Trumbo's concern over double standards, but two wrongs, in this case two invasions of privacy, certainly don't make a right. I'm opposed to random drug testing under any circumstances. If there's cause, or if, in the case of a driver there's an accident, okay. But to test someone without cause, to me, is improper. Until this vote, I wasn't really aware of the new policy for students, which is under the direction of the board of education, not the city council. My son recently graduated from high school here. He was a swimmer and he made good grades. He was never tested, and I'm not sure he would have objected, but I sure as heck would have." Williams continued. "Now, we're under federal mandate to test our drivers, but here we are looking to expand that program to include a whole bunch of new city employees. Anyone whose job is 'safety sensitive', and let me tell you that the city plans to interpret that very broadly. I know that the supreme court has ruled on this, and that they have been generally supportive of testing, and I tend to think that they have it wrong. But there's a difference between what is legal and what constitutes good policy. The constitution defines only the outer limits of governmental power." "I was a prosecutor in this state for over five years," Williams, who is now a defense attorney concluded. "And let me tell you that my experience taught me that the drug which causes the most problems, the most violence and the most suffering in our state is alcohol. Hands down." *** 7. New Jersey Supreme Court Finds Right to Jury Trial in Forfeiture Cases New Jersey's highest court last week affirmed a lower court decision giving people whose property had been forfeited by authorities the right to a jury trial in their quest to get it back. The ruling affects more than 2,500 New Jersey residents whose cases are either pending or on appeal, as well as all future cases. Last year alone, New Jersey police seized $16.9 million in property. That money is added to the budgets of local law enforcement agencies. More than 80% of people who have their property seized nationwide are never charged with any crime. The underlying case involved Lois McDermott, a 67 year-old woman whose 46 year-old son used her 1990 Honda in connection with a drug deal. Elizabeth Macron, McDermott's attorney argues that not only did her client have nothing to do with the crime, but that she never even gave her son permission to use the car. John T. Paff of the organization Forfeiture Endangers American Rights (FEAR) told the Newark Star-Ledger "I think (the decision) will go a long way toward restoring some sanity." You can visit FEAR on the web at http://www.fear.org. *** 8. March To Stop The Drug War, Berkeley, CA, 9/26 On Saturday, September 26, activists will gather at 1:00 pm at the corner of Haste and Telegraph Ave. for a March Against the Drug War. The march is sponsored by The Committee To End The Drug War, Cannabis Action Network, Alameda County Peace and Freedom Party, November Coalition, Jon Crowder, candidate for Mayor of Berkeley, and the Rosebud Archive Project, among others. There will be a planning meeting on September 21. For further information, please call (510) 649-0874. (Other upcoming events were listed two issues ago at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/056.html#events.) *** 9. First-Ever Global Conference on How To Legalize Cannabis Experts from around the world gathered in London last weekend (9/5 - 9/6) to tackle the question that they see as the next logical step in the growing movement for cannabis law reform under the title, "Regulating Cannabis: Options for Control in the 21st Century". The conference was hosted by Release, a UK-based drug information organization, and The Lindesmith Center (http://www.lindesmith.org), a NY-based think tank on drug and drug policy issues. The conference featured scientists, doctors, lawyers and academics from across Europe, Australia and North America who discussed issues such as taxation, age restrictions, advertising and marketing limits within a legal but regulated paradigm. Mike Goodman, director of Release, told The Guardian (UK) "Most prominent scientists, medical professionals and policy experts agree that alternatives to cannabis prohibition need to be developed to both prevent further harm and protect individual civil liberties." Rob Kampia, legislative director of the US-based Marijuana Policy Project (http://www.mpp.org), told The Week Online, "Previously I had not spent a whole lot of time looking into the marijuana policies and reform efforts in other countries, because the U.S. congress doesn't care what's happening in other countries. While I still believe that Congress doesn't care, I found the conference to be useful in that it provided a menu of strategies and tactics that we can use in the U.S. to bring about the end of marijuana prohibition." *** 10. Attention College Students! Labor Day has come and gone which means that summer is definitely over. Here at DRCNet, that means that its time to re-open our campus-based U-net discussion list for current and potential drug policy activists. If you are a college or grad student who would like to become more involved in the movement for drug policy reform, both on a campus-wide and on a national level, or, if you are currently active but want to significantly broaden the scope and impact of your efforts, U-net is for you. U-net is an email discussion list where you will interact with activists on campuses nationwide, share ideas and strategies, learn how to strengthen your media efforts and find new ways to make a difference. Launched during the Spring '98 semester, U-net attracted participants from over 70 schools in just a few months. This year, we are hoping to reach 125 different campuses and to provide not only a forum for discussion but a central meeting place to plan activism that will resonate far beyond your campus. Some of our plans include: * Ways to offer your members an easy means of staying connected with the movement -- even the ones who don't come to meetings! * "College Reform Spotlight" A special section of the DRCNet web site devoted to campus-based activism, issues that affect students and ways to get involved. (Due to a technical snafu, the Spotlight isn't online as of this writing -- but it's going up this AM, and will probably be up and running by the time you get this e-mail -- check it out at http://www.drcnet.org/U-net/.) * A monthly e-zine highlighting campus activism and activists, as well as campus drug policies, around the country. * Opportunities for dedicated activists to become regular reporters for The Week Online and for the student monthly (a great way to build a portfolio of published materials). * Media skills support: How to write a press release that will get noticed, who to send it to, how to get reporters interested in your organization or activities, how to write op-eds for your campus paper, how to make the most use of campus and local radio and TV stations, etc. * And much more! In addition, U-net subscribers will have constant access to each other via the list, allowing you to learn from some of the most successful on-campus drug policy activists in the country, coordinate your activism regionally or nationally, and share your insights and experience with others who are working to make a difference. Subscribers will also receive "stopthedrugwar.org" bumper stickers and future discounts on DRCNet merchandise. TO SUBSCRIBE: send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "subscribe U-net your name" in the body of the message (not the subject). Be sure to leave off the quotes and substitute your own name. (Note that last year's subscriber list was lost due to a hardware failure, so you will need to subscribe again if were on last year.) Write to Troy Dayton at email@example.com or Kris Lotlikar at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance subscribing. (Other are welcome on the list, but please respect the purpose of the list for campus issues.) *** 11. NY Attorney General Candidates Admit Past Marijuana Use Three out of the four Democratic candidates for New York Attorney General, the highest law enforcement post in the state, have admitted that they smoked marijuana in their youth. Eliot Spitzer, Catherine Abate and Evan Davis have all confirmed prior use of the Schedule I substance, while the fourth candidate, Oliver Koppel, will not comment at all. Davis' use seems to have negatively impacted his memory, as he says, "Maybe three, four times, something like that, in the late 60's, mid-60's, maybe early 70's -- I can't remember the dates -- I smoked marijuana... I never bought it, it was always at parties." Abate, a Vassar College student and anti-war activist in the 60's, admits to smoking it but says that she now tells her 19 year-old son to do otherwise. Spitzer, a Princeton grad who has promised, if elected, to abolish New York's draconian Rockefeller drug laws, fessed up. "Absolutely. With pride, at the time." Mike Zabel, spokesman for incumbent Republican Dennis Vacco, who opposes even the medicinal use of marijuana, cut off inquiring journalists on the issue. "Never" he said. *** 12. Patient's Glaucoma Justified Medical Marijuana Use, Cultivation, Canadian Judge Rules (reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org) 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. *** 13. EDITORIAL: Long, Hot Summer The passage of Labor Day traditionally signifies the end of summer, and for the people of Oklahoma, who have suffered through scorching, searing, record-breaking heat, relief cannot come soon enough. But daily temperatures in the triple digits have not been the only factor in equating the Sooner State with hell this year. There is also the case of Will Foster. Foster, a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer arrested in 1996 for cultivating and using marijuana to ease his pain, began the summer as he had the previous two, serving an astounding 93-year prison term for his victimless "crime". But now, just as the end of summer portends a break in Oklahoma's Hades-like weather, there is a chance that Will Foster will gain reprieve from his own hellish odyssey. At the time of his arrest, Foster was 38 years-old, was sole proprietor of a growing computer software business, and was living with his wife Meg, and three children. An anonymous tip brought more than a dozen police, both state and county, to their home, and, after kicking in the door and holding the family, including a seven year-old girl, at gunpoint, spent the next four hours tearing apart everything the Fosters owned. They found Foster's garden under lock and key in a converted bomb shelter under the house. More than 60 plants, many of them just inches tall, were seized. The state offered Foster a deal. Twelve years for him and ten for Meg. But Foster, a former U.S. Army MP, would not agree to any terms which would result in jail time for Meg. Instead, he went to trial and Meg was forced to testify against him in return for her freedom. Local attorneys could not remember the last time that anyone had taken a drug case to trial in Tulsa county. Foster was about to find out why. Despite Foster's condition, and owing to the fact that the state of Oklahoma does not recognize a medical necessity defense for the possession of marijuana, Stuart Southerland, his attorney, decided not to call a doctor to the stand in his defense. Neither did he call Will to the stand. Despite an absence of evidence that Foster had ever sold marijuana (he admitted to sharing some with a friend in his home, and with Meg - police found a total of $23 in the house) the prosecutor painted Foster as a scourge and a menace to society. "Pick a number, any number" he urged jurors during closing arguments, "and add two or three zeroes to it. Make sure that this man never walks free in our community again." And they did. Seventy years for cultivation. Twenty years for possession in the presence of a minor (his daughter). Two years for intent to distribute, and an additional year for failure to have a state tax stamp for his crop. Ninety-three years for a man who had never so much as been accused of hurting a soul. Long enough to insure that he never breathed free again. Longer, in fact than Oklahoma has been a state. Just months after Foster's sentencing, another story emerged from Oklahoma. This time a man who had admitted guilt in the beating death of his four year-old child was sentenced to four years in a plea bargain deal. The outcry was so great that the state's Governor, Frank Keating, wrote an op- ed in an Oklahoma newspaper blaming the short sentence on a lack of prison space and calling for money for more to be built. Still, Will Foster sat in jail, taking up a space that was not being used for a violent, dangerous criminal. In a stroke of sheer irony, within a year of Foster's arrest and imprisonment, two states, California and Arizona, passed, by significant margins, initiatives which legalized the possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In addition, while Foster was shuffled from institution to institution, far from his family, research conducted at the University of California showed that certain cannabinoids in the marijuana plant were quite effective in the control of the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. None of this, of course, would be of any use to Foster, who sat, under-medicated, behind bars. Over the past two years, Will Foster and his case have become a rallying point for people around the country, and in fact around the world, who have become concerned by the excesses of America's Drug War. Supporters, united primarily over the Internet, wrote letters and spread the word. Foster's case was featured on national and international television, in magazines and on web sites. No one, it seemed, could stomach the thought that this man had been sentenced to 93 years, to death, really, for choosing to treat his pain in an unauthorized manner. Foster's family, Meg's family really, dug deep. They hired the best appellate attorney in the state, and despite the fact that they are people of modest means, have spent over $100,000 trying to free Will. Finally, after serious questions were raised about the validity of the (unsigned) search warrant, about the veracity of the police claims regarding the confidential informant (the warrant claimed that the informant, who was not required to appear at trial, had bought methamphetamine from the Foster home just days before the bust, yet absolutely no evidence of methamphetamine was found, not a trace) and even regarding the existence of an informant at all, a ruling came down from the Court of Appeals. In it, the appellate court said that the sentence handed down to Will Foster "shocked the conscience," and ordered that the four, consecutively- running sentences be reduced to a single, twenty-year term. As it happens, the Oklahoma legislature, during its 1998 term, passed a law called the "Truth in Sentencing Act," requiring that violent offenders serve at least 85% of their sentences before being eligible for parole. But because they could not decide whether to include non-violent offenders under the act, and because the bill was considered late in the short term, the legislature adjourned before making the decision, thus leaving such offenders out of the equation. The exclusion, combined with the appellate decision, made Foster eligible for parole immediately. The Oklahoma parole board heard Foster's case within weeks of the appellate ruling, and, noting Foster's condition, as well as the knowledge of at least one board member of an acquaintance who benefited from the medicinal use of marijuana, and the absence of any conceivable threat that Foster posed to the community, recommended his immediate parole. Suddenly, summer had broken in Oklahoma. So now, the recommendation of the parole board is on its way to the desk of Governor Frank Keating. And the same Governor Keating who was so justifiably outraged that a child murderer in his state was able to cop a plea to a four-year sentence because of a lack of prison space, has the opportunity to free up a cell, Will Foster's cell, by releasing a man who has never, in his life, harmed a soul. Over the past several days, concerned citizens from around the world have been contacting Keating's office and urging him to do just that. It would be a victory for the cause of justice, and would mean the world to Will Foster's family. Foster's release would herald the coming of the end of Oklahoma's long, hot summer of oppression. And it would pull the man himself from the very depths of hell. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, same address. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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