Portland NORML News - Sunday, September 13, 1998

Lungren And Medical Marijuana (A Letter To The Editor
Of 'The Los Angeles Times' Says California Attorney General Dan Lungren's
Campaign To Nullify The California Compassionate Use Act Shows He's Unfit
To Be The People's Governor)

Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 07:30:49 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Lungren And Medical Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Pubdate: 13 September 1998
Fax: 213-237-4712


Lungren's claim that he will be a governor the people can trust has a
hollow ring to it. How can we trust a man who used the full force of the
attorney general's office for the past two years opposing the people's will
about medical marijuana?

Lungren brags about an egotistical inability to compromise under any
circumstance, as though it is a virtue. Such an attitude will mean big
trouble for California if Lungren is elected, because the governor's
office will be constantly embroiled in Lungren's personal political battles
instead of taking care of important state business.

Fredrich Staten
Mill Valley, Calif.

Pro-Pot Activist Arrested In Latest Marijuana Raids
('The Hawaii Tribune-Herald' Says County Council Candidate
And Marijuana Law-Reform Activist Jonathan Adler
Was Arrested On Felony Cultivation Charges After Helicopter Surveillance
Led Police To 89 Plants At Adler's Home In Hawaiian Paradise Park -
Adler Said The Plants Were For Medicinal Use)

Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 07:35:00 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US HI: Pro-pot Activist Arrested In Latest Marijuana Raids
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Roger Christie pakaloha@gte.net
Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald (Hilo, HI)
Contact: htrib@interpac.net
Pubdate: Sun, 13 Sep 1998


(Ed's note: Am uncertain whether Pubdate is 27 Aug 1998 or as above. pd)

County council candidate and pro-marijuana activist Jonathan Adler was
arrested Wednesday on felony drug charges after police found marijuana
plants and stalks and drug paraphernalia at Adler's home in Hawaiian
Paradise Park.

Hilo vice Lt. Chadwick Fukui said that the arrest was made in connection
with this week's ongoing "counter cannabis field operation," which police
describe as "maintenance" efforts to eliminate patches of the illicit plant
around the island.

"We did not even know that this was his house," Fukui said.

Officers spotted plants outside the home by helicopter during the operation
and obtained a search warrant for the 19th Avenue home and property.

Fukui said that once police were inside the home, they found identification
that pointed to Adler as being the resident.

At Adler's rented home police allegedly recovered 89 growing marijuana
plants ranging in height from seedlings to 4 1/2 feet tall, 15 stalks
believed to be from marijuana plants, smoking pipes and containers with
marijuana residue.

Adler, 46, later turned himself in to police. He was arrested for
commercial promotion of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia,
both felonies. He was released pending further investigation, which is a
routine process in drug investigations.

Adler, who has made several unsuccessful runs for political office, told
the Tribune-Herald that the marijuana was being grown for medicinal
purposes and he was looking forward to his day in court.

Adler's arrest was the third in connection with this week's marijuana raids.

On Monday police arrested two Hawaiian Paradise Park residents on whose
property police allegedly found 92 marijuana plants.

Police said Wednesday's eradication efforts resulted in the seizure of
8,371 marijuana plants ranging in size up to 10 feet from Hamakua and North
and South Hilo. That brought the total number of plants seized over the
past three days to 13,863.

Participating with police in the campaign were officers from the Honolulu
and Maui police departments, the Hawaii Army National Guard and agents from
the State Narcotics Enforcement Division and the U.S. Drug Enforcement

Disorganized Crime ('The Dallas Morning News' Describes 'La Eme,'
Also Known As The Texas Mexican Mafia, A Violent, Prison-Born
Crime Organization In Which 'Everyone Is Expendable - When You Take Them Out,
Whether It's The Leaders Or The Soldiers, There Is Someone
To Take Their Place')

Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 16:27:05 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US TX: Disorganized Crime
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: adbryan@onramp.net
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Contact: letterstoeditor@dallasnews.com
Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/
Pubdate: Sun, 13 Sep 1998
Author: David Mclemore / The Dallas Morning News


SAN ANTONIO - On a hot August night last year, a cramped apartment on a
faded block of West French Place became a slaughterhouse.

Inside, police found five bodies, four of them teenagers. Each lay
face-down, tightly bound with duct tape, shotgunned to death. It was the
worst mass murder in San Antonio in recent memory. It also was a mistake,
police said. One that would prove costly to the Texas Mexican Mafia, a
violent, prison-born crime organization that calls San Antonio home.

Also known as La Eme (Spanish for the letter M), the Texas Mexican Mafia
long ago spilled out of the Texas prison system, where it began as a
protective organization for Latino inmates in the early 1980s.

Through intimidation and brute violence, La Eme has gained control over
heroin trafficking, extortion and prostitution in San Antonio and throughout
South Texas. Now, thanks to aggressive recruiting in and out of prison, La
Eme seeks new territory in El Paso, Lubbock, Bryan, Dallas and Fort Worth.

At the same time, the apparent pointlessness of the French Place murders
underscores faltering discipline within La Eme, authorities say. And it
signals a dangerous instability in what the FBI calls the most powerful
crime organization in South Texas.

On July 20, following a lengthy investigation by the FBI and San Antonio
police, a federal grand jury indicted 16 La Eme members, including key
leaders. They were charged with racketeering, extortion and murder in
connection with the French Place slayings.

Federal prosecutors believe the indictments severely damaged the leadership
of the gang. Among those arrested was Robert "Beaver" Perez, an alleged La
Eme general, who, according to prosecutors, has orchestrated 14 murders
since 1994. They include the assassination of a gang rival and the five
people killed on French Place - where the gang mistakenly thought drugs were

"French Place didn't break the case on the Mexican Mafia. But it lit the
fuse," said FBI Special Agent Mike Appleby, who has investigated the
organization for nearly six years. "It does show just how La Eme has

"Five years ago, retribution was dealt out only to the offender, not his
family," Agent Appleby said. "Today, they largely kill each other in
disputes over drugs and money or in power struggles for gang leadership. If
family members or bystanders get hit, too, that's tough."

Like some homegrown Cosa Nostra, La Eme has operated for more than a decade
in a shadowy world of drug dealing, extortion and assassination.

In 1992, the known membership of La Eme in Texas prisons totaled about 700.
Today, prison officials confirm 1,425 members, making La Eme the largest of
10 active prison gangs, said Sam Buentello, director of the anti-gang
division for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Membership in La Eme outside prison is less precise. Law enforcement
officers estimate it's in the low thousands.

In 1993, when gang warfare sent San Antonio homicides spiraling above 200,
La Eme was considered responsible for 73 murders. Now, with homicides
averaging about 120 a year, La Eme is still responsible for about 10 percent
of the city's violent deaths, according to San Antonio police homicide Lt.
Ed Quintanilla.

"They look like any street thug. But the big difference between La Eme and
the regular street criminal is that the street criminal is only in it for
himself," Lt. Quintanilla said. " La Eme is in it for the organization.
They've taken the pledge. It's their way of life."

Taking a hit

Heroin remains the drug of choice for La Eme, both to sell and to use.
"Almost every one of them is a heroin user. They shake down the small-time
street dealers. They prey on people in the housing projects. They pretty
much stay in their own neighborhoods and don't branch out to the rest of the
city," Agent Appleby said.

"They're like fire ants, though. Get in their way and they swarm all over
you," he said. "If you are driving around on the weekend and stop at a
convenience store to get a Coke and look funny at these guys, they will kill

Inmates take La Eme home with them when they leave prison, Mr. Buentello
said. From San Antonio headquarters, tentacles reach out to Corpus Christi,
El Paso, Houston and Dallas and smaller cities in South Texas. La Eme also
has a small presence in California and the Midwest, thanks to the federal
prison system.

"La Eme is now actively recruiting youth gangs. For many of these kids,
moving up to La Eme is seen as a promotion," Mr. Buentello said.

Dallas connections

In Dallas, La Eme's presence is felt but isn't a major factor in
gang-related crime, according to Lt. Victor Woodberry, head of the Dallas
Police gang unit.

"We know they're there, particularly in the Southeast side of Dallas," he
said. "We have 8,700 street gang members in the city, and 63 percent of them
are Hispanic. Our biggest concern is their recruitment of young gang members
to move heroin and marijuana."

La Eme is the brainchild of San Antonio native Heriberto Huerta, who formed
the gang in 1984 in the state prison at Huntsville while serving a sentence
for drug distribution, authorities said.

In his Constitution of the Texas Mexican Mafia, hand-drafted in Spanish in
his cell in Huntsville, Mr. Huerta articulated a manifesto to a life of
crime - and a strict code of unquestioned obedience to the organization.

Despite spending the last two decades in state and federal prisons, Mr.
Huerta, 44, remains La Eme's president and chief executive officer,
according to federal investigators and prison officials.

Commander in chief

Under his command, La Eme is overseen by a hierarchy of generals, captains,
lieutenants and soldiers, who imposed a 10 percent street tax, called "the
dime," on criminal enterprises working in gang territory. Allegiance to La
Eme is for life. Violation of the rules is treason.

Mr. Huerta also conceived La Eme as a quasi-religious organization, overlaid
with deep strains of racial pride, Latino mysticism and references to
Aztlan, the mythic homeland of descendants of the Aztecs. Members are known
as Mexikanemi, street slang for "free Mexican."

He directed the organization's business from behind bars through coded
messages to trusted generals, through prison mail or via conference calls
conducted during routine phone calls to his mother in San Antonio, according
to some of the 17,000 intercepts the FBI had on the phones, pagers and cell
phones of La Eme members.

In echoes of the current indictments, federal prosecutors charged Mr. Huerta
and 31 others affiliated with La Eme in 1993 on multiple criminal
racketeering and drug trafficking charges.

On Feb. 24, 1994, a federal jury in San Antonio found Mr. Huerta guilty.
Also convicted were Mr. Huerta's wife, Cindy Huerta, and mother, Sofia
Nanez, who helped smuggle heroin to him in prison.

Now serving a life sentence at the maximum security federal facility at
Florence, Colo., Mr. Huerta is isolated from other inmates and can make only
one call per week, federal investigators said. "It's cut down on his
effectiveness" Agent Appleby said. "But Herbie is still the boss."

The disruption in the leadership caused by the 1994 convictions didn't end
La Eme, Agent Appleby said. It, however, put cracks in La Eme's leadership
and structure.

"Herbie lost a lot of respect internally when he got his mom and wife sent
to prison. There are also questions of how the money collected from the
'dime' is being spent," Agent Appleby said. "Factions have developed, and
there's not that sense of total allegiance to a leader or to the

For example, the murder contract was once considered an honorable act within
La Eme, Agent Appleby said.

"They call it 'bringing down the light,' and it was for serious violations
of the gang's laws and required a vote by the membership and approval by the
membership," he said. "Now, minor infractions that used to get you a beating
will get you killed. We've seen where a dispute over an $80 dope deal
results in a green light."

How deeply La Eme has changed emerged during the French Place investigation.
Binding victims hand and foot with tape and the overkill brutality were
unmistakable trademarks of the Texas Mexican Mafia, according to

Rodolfo Vara, 49, a disabled veteran, lived at the duplex with his daughter,
Elbira Vara, 19, and her boyfriend, Ricardo Gonzalez, 18. None were
associated with La Eme or drug dealing. Neither was Chris Tobias, 18, and
Edward Mendel, 18, who had dropped by to see the younger couple at the wrong

"It wasn't supposed to be a hit. We have information that the local
leadership heard drugs or money were at the apartment and sent six soldiers
to rob it. They apparently had the wrong address or bad information," an
investigator said. "As the soldiers ransacked the place and roughed up the
older man, the daughter insulted their manhood with an insult in Spanish.
They went berserk and killed them all."

Paying the price

On Aug. 14, 1997, six days after the killings on French Place, the body of
Robert de los Santos, identified by police as one of the shooters, was found
dumped on a road in an isolated part of south Bexar County. He had been
choked, stabbed and run over by a car. Another shooter, Adam Tenorio, was
found stabbed to death a week later.

"We believe they were ordered killed because they'd been talking too much,"
an investigator said. "There are some indications, however, they were hit
because higher-ups wanted to know what happened to the drugs or money that
was supposed to be at French Place."

La Eme's unpredictability makes doing business with the gang a scary
venture, said an attorney who once defended gang members years ago.

"The new guys are loose cannons," said the attorney, who asked that his name
not be used. "I stay as far away from them now as I can. One day, you're
great; the next day, they think you're a federal snitch because you didn't
get them out of jail."

Although he acknowledged that gang members engaged in criminal activity, the
attorney said that the older members held certain admirable values.

"The old guys would treat you with respect and expect the same. They acted
like gentlemen. This new bunch has no respect," the attorney said. "They
kill people based on rumor. The old guys didn't kill the innocent."

San Antonio police say they are pleased they've been able to hit La Eme hard
twice in four years. They say they're glad to see the leaders behind bars.
But they harbor no illusions.

"They are part of an organization where everyone is expendable. When you
take them out, whether it's the leaders or the soldiers, there is someone to
take their place," Lt. Quintanilla said. "They're not going away."

Mr. Huerta said as much in La Eme's constitution. "Above these sacrifices,
in bad times or good times, there is no one or anyone that can kill or
destroy our sacrificing spirit," he wrote. "Brothers, truthfully I say to
you, we will win."

By The Numbers ('The Salt Lake Tribune' Notes The US Government
Estimates Americans Spent $7 Billion Last Year On Marijuana, While NORML
Estimates $7.5 Billion Was The Minimum Amount Federal, State,
And Local Governments Spent Combating Marijuana)

Date: Mon, 14 Sep 1998 16:28:43 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US UT: By The Numbers
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sun, 13 Sep 1998
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Contact: the.editors@sltrib.com


$4,500,000,000: Average annual amount the U.S. will spend on
nuclear-arms programs through the year 2008

$3,700,000,000: Average annual U.S. spending on nuclear-arms programs
during the Cold War

1/3: Portion of the Defense Department's ``critical'' computer systems
that are not vulnerable to the year 2000 bug

+460: Percentage change since 1991 in total Microsoft contributions to
the Democratic and Republican parties

+1,863: Percentage change since then in Microsoft contributions to the
Republican Party alone

4:3: Ratio of political contributions made last year by the
consumer-credit industry to those made by tobacco companies

23: Percentage of Americans who are in favor of outlawing cigarettes

$7,000,000,000: Estimated amount Americans spent on marijuana last
year, according to the federal government

$7,500,000,000: Minimum amount federal, state, and local governments
spent combating marijuana, according to NORML

47,000: Estimated number of American senior citizens who played tackle
football last year

8:1: Ratio of miles of logging and other roads in U.S. national
forests to the total length of the interstate highway system

0: Number of months since January that have not broken a record for
average global heat

Clinton Releases Drug-Fighting Grants; Atlanta Among Recipients
('The Atlanta Journal-Constitution' Says President Clinton Told Americans
'We Must Stay Focused On Your Business' And Released $8.7 Million
Saturday In New Drug-Fighting Grants)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Clinton releases drug-fighting grants; Atlanta among recipients
Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 18:06:00 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

September 13, 1998
Clinton releases drug-fighting grants; Atlanta among recipients
By Sandra Sobieraj, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Washington--President Clinton told Americans "we must stay focused on your
business" and released $8.7 million Saturday in new drug-fighting grants.

Although overall drug use has dropped by half since 1979, Clinton said,
drug-abuse trends among young people suggest that half this year's high
school seniors will have smoked marijuana by their graduation.

"When we know that drugs lead to crime, to failure in school, to fraying of
families and neighborhoods, we know we must do better," he said in his
weekly radio broadcast from the Oval Office.

He called the grants "high impact, low red tape" and said they would attack
drug use by working together at the community level neighborhood by
neighborhood, block by block, person by person."

The federal money--in grants of up to $100,000 apiece for use next year--is
being awarded to coalitions working with Big Brother-Big Sister, the Elks,
YMCA and other groups in 93 sites nationwide, including Los Angeles,
Atlanta, Chicago and Miami.

The bulk of the money is being awarded to 54 predominantly urban areas, and
36 of the grants are going to rural communities.

"The program we are launching today will help all of us come
together--parents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, volunteers, law
enforcement--to address this problem and to encourage youth to understand
that any drug use is not only unacceptable but harmful," said retired Gen.
Barry McCaffrey, director of Clinton's Office of National Drug Control

Spending bills drafted in the House and Senate would fund the grant program
at $20 million for fiscal 1999.

Clinton, at the end of what he called "an exhausting and difficult week in
the capital," laid out his other priorities that Congress has not
funded--including school construction and modernization and America's
contribution to the International Monetary Fund.

"It is truly encouraging to me how we have put aside partisan differences to
save our children and their future from drugs," Clinton said.

"We have to do that on other issues critical to our future--now and even in
the weeks before the election in November. We must stay focused on your


When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an
e-mail to majordomo@hemp.net. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put
"unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail
instead (No quotation marks.)

Drug-Fighting Money Released ('The San Francisco Examiner' Version)

Date: Sun, 13 Sep 1998 17:17:38 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Drug-Fighting Money Released
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Sept. 13, 1998
Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA)
Contact: letters@examiner.com
Website: http://www.examiner.com/


Clinton Orders Award Of Grants To Discourage Use By Young

WASHINGTON - President Clinton ordered the distribution of more than
$8.7 million in new drug-fighting grants Saturday and told the nation
he would "stay focused on your business."

Clinton, in his weekly radio address, made no mention of independent
counsel Kenneth Starr's report to Congress but acknowledged he had "an
exhausting and difficult week."

Clinton announced the federal grants aimed at funding programs to
discourage drug, alcohol and tobacco use by young people and urged
lawmakers to enact legislation to help the International Monetary Fund
deal with the financial crises gripping Asia and Russia.

"The most important thing to do now is to stay focused on the issues
the American people sent us here to deal with, from health care, to
the economy, to terrorism," he said.

The "high impact, low red tape" drug-fighting grants are being awarded
to 93 community-based organizations nationwide. The bulk of the money
will go to urban areas and rural communities.

The grants go to programs that focus on uniting parents, teachers,
religious leaders and law enforcement agencies to help "give kids an
option after school from 3 to 7 p.m. and on weekends," Clinton's drug
czar Barry McCaffrey said.

"It is a very fundamental new initiative in the national drug strategy
that says let's get community-based in what we are trying to achieve,"
he said.

Ranging in size from $16,000 to $100,000, the grants will be used by
community groups such as the Elks and the Lions to finance education
programs and other efforts to discourage substance abuse.

"Their dollar amounts are not large," Clinton said. "But if these
grants empower communities to do more of what works, to keep young
people away from the scourge of drugs, their effect will be enormous."

While overall drug use has dropped by half since 1979, Clinton said
drug-abuse trends among young people suggest half of this year's high
school seniors will have smoked marijuana by the time they graduate.

"When we know that drugs lead to crime, to failure in school, to
fraying of families and neighborhoods, we know we must do better," the
president said in his weekly radio broadcast. "We can reverse this
terrible trend if we attack it in the way we did the crime problem, by
working together at the community level, neighborhood by neighborhood,
block by block, person by person."

Don't Go Soft On Cannabis ('The Mail On Sunday' In Britain
Says Police Are Urging The Government Not To Legalise The Use
Of Cannabis For Medical Treatment, Alleging That In 'Some' American States,
Police Have Given Up Prosecuting Drug Users Because Courts
'Routinely' Accept Medical Usage As A Defence)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 17:28:35 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Don't Go Soft On Cannabis
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: webbooks@paston.co.uk (CLCIA)
Pubdate: 13 Sep 1998
Source: The Mail on Sunday (UK)
Author: Chester Stern, Crime Correspondent
Contact : letters@mailonsunday.co.uk


THE Government is being urged not to legalise the use of cannabis for
medical treatment.

Police chiefs are strongly opposed to the move on the grounds that drug
users will escape prosecution for possession by claiming they are
undergoing treatment.

The Police Superintendents' Association, meeting in Bristol this week, will
ask home Secretary Jack Straw to fund research into the therapeutic uses of
cannabis so that proper controls can be introduced. It points to the
American experience where police have given up prosecuting drug users in
some states because courts routinely accept medical usage as a defence.

But the Association which has campaigned against the legalisation of
cannabis because of its proven damaging effects and links with crime, is
generally in favour of the Government's 10-year drugs strategy..

The superintendents - the frontline operational managers of the police
service - are also set for confrontation with ministers over plans to
reduce the prison population and save money by finding alternatives to
custodial sentences. The central theme of their annual conference will be
a debate on the subject Does Prison Work? At which controversial former
Director-General of the Prison service, Derek Lewis, will be a guest speaker.

The president, Superintendent Peter Gammon, is expected to tell the Home
Secretary that prison is the only acceptable penalty for persistent
offenders even if their crimes are not serious.

He will produce figures showing that reductions in crime are directly
proportional to an increase in the prison population.

The superintendents argue that the greater the number of offenders locked
up, the less the public are subjected to crime, disorder and fear. This
situation increases the economic, social and political well-being of the
country, they say.

They strongly favour new measures brought in under the Crime and Disorder
Act to reduce crime by cracking down on anti-social behaviour among

Chief Supt. Gammon said: 'Unless we take a tough stance and oppose the
dubious penal reform that is being proposed by some, ultimately society
will pay both in terms of the impact on the individual crime victim and the
wider social issues.'



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