Portland NORML News - Thursday, September 17, 1998

The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Ninety-Three Members Of Congress
Stand Up For Medical Marijuana; Colorado Medical Marijuana Initiative
Will Appear On November Ballot; University Study Gives Green Light For Hemp
Cultivation In North Dakota; DEA Raids Humbolt Cannabis Center,
Destroys Patients' Medicine)

From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 16:56:33 EDT
Subject: NORML WPR 9/17/98 (II)

The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release

1001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Ste. 710
Washington, DC 20036
202-483-8751 (p)
202-483-0057 (f)

September 17, 1998


Ninety-Three Members of Congress Stand Up For Medical Marijuana

September 17, 1998, Washington, DC: Nearly one hundred members of
Congress expressed their support for a seriously ill patient's right to
medical marijuana during a historic vote on the House floor Tuesday. The
vote marked the first time in recent memory the House has deliberated
over the issue of medical marijuana.

The strong show of support surprised majority Republicans, but failed
to prevent the passage of a House Joint Resolution expressing opposition
to statewide efforts to legalize medical marijuana under a doctor's
supervision. The House approved the measure by a vote of 310-93.

NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup voiced a mixed reaction to
the vote. "On the down side, this vote demonstrates how out of touch
Congress is with the American people on this issue," he said. "On the
positive side, we now have a significant base of support for medical
marijuana on which to build in the next Congress." Stroup noted that
NORML waged a high profile campaign against the measure, and generated
more than 4,500 faxes to House members in support of medical marijuana.

Representatives William Delahunt (D-Mass.), Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas),
Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)
led the charge against the resolution, sparking a heated, forty minute
debate. Also expressing their opposition to the measure were Reps.
Julian Dixon (R-Calif.), Gerald Nadler (D-NY), and Nancy Pelosi

"Republican leadership ... want[s] to deprive seriously ill patients
of potential therapies because they have a political agenda," said Rep.
Waxman. "They think we should just say no to sick and dying patients
because it looks like we are getting tough on illegal drugs."

Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett agreed. "The New England Journal of
Medicine, one of the most respected publications in the medical community
in this country, and a number of oncologists ... believe that [marijuana]
has [medical] benefits, and for this Congress to mingle politics into
medicine is a mistake," Doggett said. "The basic difference we have on
this issue is whether we entrust [a medical] decision to the scientific
community, to the medical community, or repeatedly turn to Dr. Newt

Longtime champion for medical marijuana reform, Rep. Barney Frank,
criticized the resolution for failing to separate the medical use of
marijuana from the issue of recreational drug use. Such a policy
diminishes the credibility of our nation's overall anti-drug campaigns,
he argued. Representative Delahunt agreed.

"What [this resolution] is saying is that we are willing to allow
patients to suffer excruciating, debilitating conditions so as to not
send a signal to others who might wish to use [marijuana]
recreationally," Delahunt argued. "With all due respect, I do not
believe that anyone who has watched an AIDS or cancer patient suffer ...
could make such a statement. That is not the signal that we want to

Joint House Resolution 117 expresses a "sense of the Congress ... [in]
support of the existing federal legal process for determining the safety
and efficacy of drugs, and opposes efforts to circumvent this process by
legalizing marijuana." Backers of the measure significantly watered down
the bill's language at the last minute to assure passage. An earlier
version of the measure sought to express a "sense of the Congress that
marijuana is "a dangerous and addictive drug [that] should not be
legalized for medical use." Resolution sponsor Bill McCollum (R-Fla.)
also amended the measure to remove language urging the defeat of upcoming
state ballot initiatives that seek to legalize medical marijuana.
Ironically, McCollum previously introduced legislation in Congress to
permit the legal use of medical marijuana in 1981 and 1983.

For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul
Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500.


Colorado Medical Marijuana Initiative Will Appear On November Ballot

September 17, 1998, Denver, CO: A Denver judge ordered state
officials to place an initiative on the November ballot that would allow
the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Petitioners Coloradans for
Medical Rights (CMR) sought the court ruling after discovering that the
Secretary of State's office made frequent errors when processing a
random-sample check of the more than 88,000 signatures gathered in
support of the proposal.

"We are delighted," initiative backer Martin Chilcutt said. "I'm very
happy that the citizens of Colorado and patients throughout the state
have prevailed."

State officials originally disqualified the initiative in August after
a review of 4,500 signatures found that petitioners apparently failed to
gather the necessary number of signatures to qualify for the ballot.
However, after petitioners reviewed the random sample, they discovered
mistakes made by the Secretary of State's office and sufficient
signatures to qualify for a line-by-line review. District Judge Herbert
Stern determined that there no longer remained adequate time to conduct
such a review and authorized the initiative to appear on the ballot.

The Colorado initiative seeks to allow seriously ill patients who have
a doctor's recommendation to possess up to two ounces of marijuana or
grow three plants for medical use. Voters in Alaska, Oregon, Nevada,
Washington, and most likely the District of Columbia will decide on
similar medical marijuana initiatives this year.

For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @
(202) 483-5500 or Dave Fratello of Americans for Medical Rights @ (310)


University Study Gives Green Light For Hemp Cultivation In North Dakota

September 17, 1998, Fargo, ND: Hemp has the potential to be a
profitable cash crop for state farmers, a one-year study by North Dakota
State University determined this week. The study recommends allowing
farmers to grow test plots of the crop for experimental production and
research purposes.

"There's real potential for [hemp] as a rotation crop with North
Dakota crops," said David Kraenzel of the NDSU agriculture economics
department, who headed the study. The state Legislature mandated the
study in 1997 by overwhelmingly approving House Bill 1305. North Dakota
is the third state to authorize and complete such a study.

Authors of the study predicted that hemp could yield profits as high
as $141 per acre to farmers, particularly those in the eastern one third
of the state. Authors also noted that they will have a better
understanding of the economics of hemp by observing Canadian efforts to
commercially farm and process the crop. At least 29 nations -- including
Canada, France, England, Germany, Japan, and Australia -- allow farmers
to cultivate hemp for industrial purposes.

For more information, please contact either NORML board member Don
Wirtshafter of The Ohio Hempery @ (740) 662-4367 or Allen St. Pierre of
The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751.


DEA Raids Humbolt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine

September 17, 1998, Arcata, CA: Federal law enforcement officials
raided the collective medical marijuana garden of the Humbolt Cannabis
Center last week and destroyed over 150 plants intended for medical use
by its members, reported California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents did not raid the center's
office or arrest any of the medical marijuana dispensary's employees.
The DEA has executed similar operations against medical marijuana gardens
at the San Francisco Flower Therapy Club and Dennis Peron's Lake County

The Humbolt Cannabis Center is a patient collective with over 300
members. It operates according to an Arcata city ordinance that
explicitly recognizes the right of patients to form "medical marijuana
associations" to help acquire their medication, Gieringer said.

"This raid is an outrageous example of government piracy against what
is widely respected as one of the best-run medical cooperatives in the
state," Gieringer charged.

For more information, please contact Dale Gieringer of California
NORML @ (415) 563-5858.

				- END -

Harrisburg Concert Results In 39 Citations ('The Statesman Journal'
In Salem, Oregon, Says William Conde Was Charged With State
And County Violations Wednesday For Holding The 'Cannabis Carnival'
At His Rural Lumberyard This Month)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 01:12:14 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots - Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com) Subject: CanPat - Harrisburg:Concert Results in 39 Citations Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com Statesman Journal 9-17-98 Police charged a Linn County man who held a " Cannabis Carnival" on his property with 39 different state and county violations Wednesday. William Conde, who lives on North Coberg Road in Harrisburg, was cited after he held the mass gathering and concert event on his property Sept. 4 through Sept. 6. The charges accuse Conde of sanitation and septic violations, operation of a park without a license, illegal water pollution, building code violations, and conducting a commercial enterprise without first obtaining land use approval. Conde already had been charged with similar violations Sept. 4 as a result of a gathering he held on the property in July.

Measure Filled With Pain (An Excellent Staff Editorial
In 'The Orange County Register' Opposes Henry Hyde's Bill In Congress
That Would Nullify Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law, Noting, For Example,
It Exacerbates The Problems Of Undertreated Pain And The Demand
For Assisted Suicide By Making An Impossible Requirement That Pharmacists
Second-Guess Physicians' Motives For Writing Some Painkiller Prescriptions)

Date: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 11:02:11 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Measure Filled With Pain
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 1998


Decent intentions have gone awry in a bill by Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) that
Congress has fast-traked for House and Senate votes in the coming week.In
an attempt to outlaw assisted suicide, the measure would also make doctors
less likely to prescribe adequate painkillers for terminally ill patients.

Hyde, saying he was concerned that Oregon's implementation in January of a
law allowing physician-assisted suicide would encourage the practice in
other states, introduced the bill in June to overturn the Oregon law. The
bill, however, also authorizes federal Drug Enforcement Administration
agents to investigate any doctor who prescribes "a controlled substance" in
amounts that might be lethal and revoke a doctor's license if it finds any
evidence of intent to hasten death. But who would decide, since tolerances
to such drugs can vary wildly?

Hyde's bill has rightly inspired a chorus of opposition from medical
groups, including organizations like the American Medical Assn., which
staunchly oppose any legalization of physician-assisted suicide. The groups
argue that the Hyde bill would further discourage doctors from prescribing
adequate pain control at a time when they are already under medicating. One
recent study found that of nearly 900 physicians caring for cancer
patients, 86% reported that most patients were under medicated for pain.

Since pain and suffering are the leading reasons patients seek to commit
suicide in the first place, Hyde's bill, by discouraging doctors from
relieving severe pain, would only exacerbate the problem it was meant to

The bill is peppered with impractical provisions. For instance, it requires
pharmacists to record the medical factors that led a physician to prescribe
a painkiller, a literally impossible task. Should the pharmacist guess
wrong, the entire pharmacy could lose its ability to dispense all federally
controlled drugs, not just the one in question.

The biggest problem with Hyde's bill is that it puts the DEA, which by its
own admission has no experience in pain management, in charge of medical
decisions that 90% of Americans say ought to be left to doctors and their

Hyde is right to be concerned that the growing field of "palliative care,"
which uses painkillers to make patients comfortable in the final stages of
a disease - could be abused by unscrupulous health care providers simply
wishing to trim the expenses they incur in caring for terminally ill

But the solution to that problem does not lie in Hyde's punitive,
ill-conceived legislation, which House and Senate leaders irresponsibly
scheduled for a vote without allotting the discussion time that would have
enabled Congress to understand the ways in which the bill would overturn
existing medical practices in America.

First, Congress should defeat this bill. Then lawmakers could let doctors
and their patients safely and responsibly discuss how to best bring needed
comfort and dignity to the terminally ill.

Study Could Stall Attack On Assisted Suicide Law ('The Oregonian'
Says That With The US House Of Representatives Scheduled To Vote Today
On Henry Hyde's Bill To Nullify Oregon's Assisted Suicide Law,
The Clinton Administration Attempted To Stall The Legislation Yesterday
By Proposing A National Commission To Study The Use Of Pain-Killing Drugs
By The Terminally Ill)

The Oregonian
letters to editor:
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201
Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/

Study could stall attack on assisted suicide law

* The Clinton administration proposes a commission to look
into the use of pain-killing drugs for the terminally ill

Thursday, September 17 1998

By Jim Barnett
of The Oregonian staff

WASHINGTON - On the eve of a possible House vote to
block Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law, the
Clinton administration proposed Wednesday to create a
national commission to study use of pain-killing drugs by
the terminally ill.

The commission could shed new light on the
circumstances that lead some terminally ill patients to
seek physician-assisted suicide. The practice is allowed
by the Oregon law, the only one of its kind in the nation.

But on Capitol Hill, the administration proposal could
have a more immediate effect: It could help stall
legislation that would override the Oregon law, possibly
halting it until a new Congress convenes next year.

"I think it's clear that they're saying this requires more
time, more thought," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who
has been preparing for a last-ditch defense of the Oregon

Today, the House is scheduled to vote on a bill that
would prevent doctors from prescribing lethal doses of
controlled substances with the intent of helping a
terminally ill patient commit suicide. The bill, sponsored
by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House
Judiciary Committee, is expected to pass easily.

The vote was held over from Wednesday and could be
postponed again. But opponents of the Hyde bill
attributed the delay to a crush of business before
Congress' scheduled adjournment on Oct. 9, not to
waning support.

"This is not a high priority," said Kathie Eastman, an aide
to Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore. "There are other things
that are ready to go," she said, including must-pass
spending bills.

Support for the Hyde bill comes largely from
conservative Republicans, but some Democrats have
signed on. President Clinton opposes the practice of
assisted suicide as well. But until Wednesday,
administration officials said only that they oppose the bill
because doctors would fear being investigated by federal
drug agents.

With its proposal, the administration hopes to enlist an
unlikely ally, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the
Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch also dislikes the Hyde
bill, but he is under pressure from Assistant Majority
Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla., to act on a companion bill
in the Senate.

The administration offered its proposal in a letter sent to
Hatch on Wednesday. The letter asked if Hatch would
agree to turn over the issue to a panel representing
doctors, nurses, consumers, theologians, ethicists and
law enforcement to study the issue.

"If you find this advisory board concept acceptable we
would be pleased to work with you to establish - through
legislation or, if legal and appropriate, by Executive
Action - any such entity," wrote L. Anthony Sutin, an
acting assistant attorney general. Asked about the idea of
a commission, Hatch was noncommittal, saying he
would raise the idea during a Judiciary Committee work
session planned for today.

"It's a serious issue, but there are a lot of issues involved
around it," Hatch said. "We'll see what the colleagues
think tomorrow."

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., who supports the Nickles
bill, welcomed the administration's proposal as "a good

"We're interested in relieving pain and providing comfort,
not in killing patients," Smith said. "I think in the end,
frankly, that's where most Oregonians are."

If the Nickles bill moves to the Senate floor, Smith has
said he would offer amendments to ensure that it is not
retroactive and that it does not discourage doctors from
alleviating pain.

But with only a few working days remaining before
adjournment, time may be the Nickles bill's biggest
enemy, Smith said. Republican leaders need floor time to
finish debate on more pressing matters, including annual
spending bills.

"Anything that detracts in these limited numbers of days
from that effort is likely not to remain on the agenda very
long," Smith said.

Hatch's committee is scheduled to take up Nickles' bill
today, but any action is likely to be postponed for a
week. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., a Judiciary member,
plans to request the delay as a procedural matter at the
request of Wyden, who does not sit on the committee.

Meanwhile, the National Right to Life Committee said
Wednesday that 64 percent of Americans think federal
law should not allow the use of federally controlled drugs
for assisted suicide or euthanasia.

Right to Life paid the polling firm Wirthlin Worldwide to
include the question in its September national survey.
Pollsters posed the question in telephone interviews with
an explanation that "the use of narcotics and other
dangerous drugs is generally prohibited by federal law
except when a doctor prescribes them for a 'legitimate
medical purpose.' "

The survey was conducted with 1,010 adults between
Sept. 11 and 14 with a margin of error of plus or minus
3.08 percentage points. Thirty-five percent of
respondents said that federal law should allow the use of
drugs for assisted suicide or euthanasia. One percent said
they did not know.

Erin Hoover Barnett of The Oregonian staff contributed
to this report.

Doctors Team With Law Enforcement To Launch Medical Marijuana Review Panel
Program ('The Contra Costa Times' Says Physicians And Law Enforcement
Officials In Sonoma County, California, Have Created A Patient Case
Review Panel That Offers Benefits To Physicians And Law Enforcement
Officials, But None To Patients Protected By Proposition 215, Who Would
Be Forced To Allow Cops To Inspect Their Homes And Otherwise Require
Them To Jump Through A Bunch Of Illegal Hoops)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 06:51:39 -0700 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US CA: Doctors Team With Law Enforcement To Launch MMj Review 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) Source: Contra Costa Times (CA) Contact: cctletrs@netcom.com Website: http://www.hotcoco.com/index.htm Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998 AP: DOCTORS TEAM WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT TO LAUNCH MEDICAL MARIJUANA REVIEW PANEL PROGRAM SANTA ROSA -- Sonoma County physicians and law enforcement officials have teamed together to unveil a new approach to resolve sticky legal issues regarding medical marijuana. A patient case review panel has been formed to keep all parties involved in the medical marijuana process in compliance with the law. Patients who want to use marijuana as medicine can now submit their medical cases for a physicians panel review. If the panel finds the use is legitimate, the panel's findings can be (made known? Ed.,pd) to the District Attorney's Office and the police. The proactive approach, believed to be the first of its kind in the state, is designed to reduce the anxiety of doctors who fear legal or criminal repercussions for prescribing marijuana as medicine. Sonoma County's public health director Dr. George Flores said the medical association's pledge to inform county physicians of the process is an essential component to making the new approach work. "There are many in our ranks who are not aware of the law that allows use" of medical marijuana, Flores told the Press Democrat. Proposition 215 allows marijuana use by seriously ill patients who have a doctor's approval, the plant remains a federally outlawed drug. A patient wishing to have his case reviewed by the medical association's Professional Standards and Conduct Committee must ask his doctor to submit medical records to the panel. The doctor must practice in Sonoma County. The committee then considers whether there is a relationship between the doctor and the patient, whether the doctor has recommended the use of marijuana, and whether marijuana use would alleviate the serious condition. The panel's decision cannot be appealed. If the patient so desires, the panel will convey its positive finding to an intermediary who would inform the police department or the Sheriff's Department. Sheriff's officers would then visit the patient to ensure the use of marijuana complies with the law and the marijuana is not for sale or distribution.

Houston DARE Study Online (List subscribers publicize the URLs
for Adobe Acrobat and .html files with the recent report that led
the city of Houston, Texas, to cancel its DARE program.)

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 01:07:22 EDT
Errors-To: server-admin@calyx.net
Reply-To: dare-list@calyx.net
Originator: dare-list@calyx.net
Sender: dare-list@calyx.net
From: "Rolf Ernst" (rolf_ernst@buyer-link.com)
To: Multiple recipients of list (dare-list@calyx.net)
Subject: Houston study


there is a first crack at the scan at

Due to the complexity of the tables I have not and most likely will not come
up with an HTML version. Maybe Jim can get around to it, but it is hard to
scan ...

Kind regards

Rolf Ernst


Visit us at http://www.legalize-usa.org
The resource for the anti-prohibitionist activist!


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:32:56 -0700
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Jim Rosenfield (jnr@insightweb.com)
Subject: Houston PD study
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

see http://mall.turnpike.net/~jnr/houston.htm

for Evaluative Assessment of the Houston Police
Department's D.A.R.E. Program

Jim Rosenfield
tel: 310-836-0926
fax: 310-836-0592
Visit http://www.insightweb.com

DC To Vote On Medical Marijuana ('The Associated Press' Says It's Official -
The District Of Columbia Board Of Elections Has Placed Initiative 59,
Sponsored By ACT UP!, On The November 3 Ballot - In A Characteristic
Response, The US House Of Representatives Amended Its Version Of A Bill
Appropriating Money For The District Of Columbia To Make It Illegal
To Spend Money Carrying Out The Initiative, Which Would Prevent Officials
From Printing The Ballot Or Processing Its Results)

From: LawBerger@aol.com
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 20:49:55 EDT
To: ocdla-list@pond.net, dpfor@drugsense.org, nlc@norml.org
Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/

From: AOLNews@aol.com
Subject: D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 19:10:21 EDT

D.C. To Vote on Medical Marijuana

.c The Associated Press


WASHINGTON (AP) -- Election officials approved an initiative Thursday to let
voters decide whether to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in the
nation's capital.

The District of Columbia Board of Elections had rejected the initiative a
month ago but reconsidered because of a Sept. 3 ruling by D.C Superior Court
Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle that the board wrongly dismissed 4,600 signatures
that a petitioner collected.

The board threw them out because the petitioner provided an incorrect address
for herself on an affidavit. Huvelle ruled the woman's mistake was not enough
to invalidate the signatures she collected.

AIDS activists hailed the reversal. ``We are certainly pleased that D.C.
voters are going to have a chance to decide for themselves on this important
initiative,'' said James Millner, a spokesman for the Whitman-Walker Clinic,
which treats AIDS patients.

``We don't like pot, but when other medications fail you should not have to
face a jail sentence just because you're trying to keep weight on,'' said
Wayne Turner of the activist group ACT UP.

The White House drug policy office disagreed. ``We are confident that the
voters of the District of Columbia will make the right decision that science,
not politics, should determine what is safe and effective medicine,''
spokesman Bob Weiner said.

Marijuana should not be used for medical purposes unless the Food and Drug
Administration approves it, Weiner said.

The Republican-led Congress also is critical of medical marijuana initiatives.
On Wednesday, the House passed a resolution condemning attempts to legalize
marijuana for medical use.

The House version of a bill appropriating money for the District of Columbia
was amended to make it illegal to spend money carrying out the initiative.

If passed, that would prevent officials from printing the ballot and
processing its results, but it is unlikely to be acted on before the Nov. 3
election. The Senate has yet to pass its appropriations bill for the district,
and it is unclear if the House amendment would make it into final legislation
or be signed into law before the vote.

In 1996, voters in California and Arizona passed initiatives similar to the
district's, but the Arizona Legislature enacted legislation forbidding sale in
the state of drugs not approved as medicine by the FDA. Advocates contend
marijuana helps patients of serious diseases such as AIDS and cancer contend
with pain and nausea.

AP-NY-09-17-98 1906EDT

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP
news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.

A Nonsense Resolution (A Staff Editorial In 'The Orange County Register'
Criticizes The US House Of Representatives For Passing House Joint
Resolution 117, Saying Congress' Opposition To Medical Marijuana
Ignores Evidence Both Anecdotal And Factual, And Borders On The Inhumane)

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:58:43 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: A Nonsense Resolution
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998


Casually and with virtually no debate, U.S.representatives rejected the
idea that marijuana might have medicinal application for patients who seek

It is a position that ignores evidence both anecdotal and factual.

It borders on the inhumane.

House Joint Resolution 117, passed 310-93 Wednesday, with no public
hearings, is not a new law. It's simply a "sense of the Congress"
resolution to the effect that Congress believes marijuana to be dangerous
and addictive, and that Congress is unequivocally opposed to the
legalization of marijuana for medical use.

It also directs the U.S. attorney general to prepare reports on how much
marijuana has been eradicated through federal efforts in recent years and
the annual number of arrests and prosecutions for federal marijuana offenses.

In essence, the House stuck its finger in the eye of California and Arizona
voters, who recently passed initiatives to make marijuana available to
patients with the recommendation of licensed physicians.

Even more important, it told thousands of patients and their doctors - who
believe that marijuana can alleviate their conditions, often with less
serious and dangerous side-effects than "standard" prescription medications
- that Congress is pleased to see them continue to suffer or to obtain
relief only at the price of becoming criminals.

Perhaps it should be called the "Congress has no sense" resolution.

Even more distressing is the fact that most of the orange County delegation
voted for this resolution. Reps. Dana Rohrabacher and Loretta Sanchez vote.
But Reps. Chris Cox, Jay Kim and Ron Packard, all of whom should know
better, landed on the "yea" side.

The stated intention of this resolution was to chide California and Arizona
voters and to weigh in on medical-marijuana initiative races in Alaska,
Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and possibly the District of Columbia.
The message? A Congress filled with lawyers should have a veto power when
patients and doctors are considering the medicinal use of a plant about
which the Chief Administrative Law Judge of the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration reported that "there are simply no credible medical records
to suggest that consuming marijuana has caused a single death."

The old joke is that if 'pro" is the opposite of "con," then Congress must
be the opposite of progress. Sadly, Congress sometimes makes the quip seem
more truth than joke.

Drug Search Barred At Fed Buildings ('The Associated Press'
Says The Ninth US Circuit Court Of Appeals In San Francisco Ruled Thursday
In A Case From Hawaii That Heightened Security Rules For Searches
At Federal Buildings Imposed After The Oklahoma City Bombing
Are Unconstitutionally Allowing Guards To Look For Drugs)

Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 18:56:24 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: Drug Search Barred at Fed Buildings
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 1998


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Heightened security rules for searches at federal
buildings imposed after the Oklahoma City bombing are unconstitutionally
allowing guards to look for drugs, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The rules must be narrowed to allow only searches for weapons and
explosives, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a case from
Hawaii. Officers would still be allowed to seize any contraband they see in
plain view while looking for dangerous objects, said lawyers in the case.

The ruling will not affect many cases in the circuit's nine Western states
but represents a victory for the constitutional right to be free of overly
broad searches, said Alexander Silvert, the first assistant federal public
defender in Hawaii.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Nakamura said the government's main concern
was keeping its authority to search for weapons and explosives.

Federal buildings nationwide had been placed on ``yellow alert'' status
since the April 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. The
alert required officers to search all bags for anything that was either
dangerous or prohibited in the building by federal regulations, including
drugs, alcohol and gambling materials, the court said.

Drug Czar Wants Interdiction Bill To Lose In Congress
('The Orange County Register' Says That As The US House Of Representatives
Voted To Add $2.6 Billion Over Three Years To Drug-Interdiction Efforts,
General Barry McCaffrey Was Urging Lawmakers To Reject The Legislation
As An Ill-Conceived Exercise In Micromanagement Possibly Motivated
By Election-Year Politics)

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:59:13 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Drug Czar Wants Interdiction Bill To Lose In Congress
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W.Black
Source: Orange County Register (CA)
Contact: letters@link.freedom.com
Website: http://www.ocregister.com/
Pubdate: 17 Sep 1998


As the House voted to add $2.6 billion over three years to the government's
drug-interdiction efforts, the White House's drug-policy coordinator was
urging lawmakers to reject the legislation.

Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey said he would welcome extra money but
criticized the bill, passed 384-39, as an ill-conceived exercise in micro
management possibly motivated by election-year politics. The Senate has not
yet voted on the measure.

The bill would authorize spending $2.6 billion over three years for
drug-fighting efforts involving interdiction, law enforcement and U.S.
activities in countries where illegal drugs are produced. The bill does not
say where the money would come from.

The measure's goals are unrealistic, McCaffrey said, and its provisions are
not tied to a coherent strategy or based on informed analysis of the drug
problem. Furthermore, he said, some provisions authorize the purchase of
equipment he's never heard of and micromanages decisions that would be
better left to officials paid to make them.

House OKs $3.2-Billion Measure To Bolster The Fight Against Drugs
('The Los Angeles Times' Version)

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 11:32:06 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: House OKs $32-Billion Measure To Bolster The Fight
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: September 17, 1998
Fax: 213-237-4712
Author: Stanley Meisler, Times Staff Writer


Congress: Bill opposed administration as too costly earmarks funds,
equipment for Coast Guard, Customs Service and Latin American nations.

The House on Wednesday turned aside Clinton administration objections and
overwhelmingly passed a $3.2-billion bill to bolster the Coast Guard, the
Customs Service and Latin American governments in their struggle to stop
drugs from reaching this country's borders.

The House of Representatives passed the bill, 384 to 39, just hours after
White House drug czar Barry R. McCaffrey testified in the Senate that a
similar measure awaiting action there would be too expensive and would
represent "micro-management of drug tactics based on a shallow analysis
of the problem and our available tools." In the House, Republican leaders
insisted that they were boosting the budget for drug interdiction because
they believe that President Clinton has failed to stem the flow of drugs
into the country.

"By the summer of 1992," House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) said, "we were
winning the war on drugs." But he charged that after Clinton took office in
1993, "for a variety of reasons, the war on drugs went off track." The bulk
of the bill's funds would be spent during the next three years on the
purchase and maintenance of airplanes for the U.S. government--$917 million
for the Coast Guard and $889 million for the Customs Service. The money
would be in addition to $1.67 billion the administration has set aside for
drug interdiction during each of the next three years.

Despite some grumbling over Gingrich's decision to allow the bill to reach
the House floor without committee hearings or approval, Democrats joined
Republicans in supporting it.

Latin America specialists were troubled by provisions that would increase
funding for foreign military units engaged in drug interdiction. The bill
earmarks $177 million for helicopters and planes for Colombia and $18
million for helicopters for Mexico. Bolivia and Peru also would receive
extra funds.

The Washington Office on Latin America, a private, nonprofit think tank
that has often fretted over increased military assistance to the region,
warned that the bill would "undermine U.S. policy goals of supporting
democracy and human rights around the world." Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los
Angeles) sought to delete the funding for Colombia and Mexico, urging
Congress to "stop dumping our dollars on corrupt police" in those two
countries. But her amendment eliminating these funds was defeated, 354 to 67.

McCaffrey, in his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
said the bill "proposes authorizations that are far in excess of expected
appropriations and the president's budget without specifying where these
funds will come from." He seemed most upset by the congressional attempt
to, in his eyes, exert excessive control over administration drug policy.
As an example, he cited a provision that set aside $1.25 million for
"concertina wire and tunneling detection systems at the La Picota prison"
in Colombia.

Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved

City Cops Use US Agents In Drug Bust ('The Vancouver Province'
In British Columbia Says Vancouver Police Used Four US Navy Undercover Agents
To Gather Evidence For A Marijuana Bust At Hemp BC And The Cannabis Cafe)

From: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Subject: Canada: City cops use U.S. agents in drug bust
Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 07:34:54 -0700
Lines: 69
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
Pubdate: Thu 17 Sep 1998 News A4
Author: Jack Keating, Staff Reporter

City cops use U.S. agents in drug bust

Use of foreign investigators `bizarre, chilling'

Vancouver police used U.S. military undercover agents to gather
evidence for a marijuana bust at Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Cafe.

Court documents show that four U.S. Navy undercover agents were used
in an attempt to buy marijuana and then smoke it at the
internationally known emporiums in the 300-block of West Hastings.

The four agents were named in an application for a search warrant that
led to a raid on the stores on April 30. The documents show the U.S.
Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents worked in a joint
operation with Vancouver police in April.

Jim Millar, lawyer for Shelley Francis, who owns the stores, called
the use of the U.S. agents ``absolutely bizarre.''

``Politically, it raises real issues about having the American war on
drugs coming across our border to a [hemp] store. The fact that the
Vancouver police department is using U.S. military intelligence agents
as undercover agents on our city streets and on our sovereign turf is
a chilling prospect.''

Vancouver Const. Anne Drennan, who said earlier that Vancouver
undercover officers were used, now confirms that the force used agents
from the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service in the operations.

``Yes, in fact there were naval officers involved,'' she said.

The use of U.S. agents ``raises questions about who is really driving
drug policy in Vancouver -- who is really controlling drug policy in
Vancouver,'' said Neil Boyd, professor of criminology at Simon Fraser

``It gives the impression that part of the American government is
interested in being involved in regulating Canadian criminal law,''

Federal authorities were also surprised.

``It's not common at all that I'm aware of to use foreign
investigators,'' said Bob Prior, head of the justice department's
criminal-prosecution section in Vancouver, which swore the charges --
three of possession and sale of drug paraphernalia -- against Francis.
The trial is set for July 19.

The court documents say the navy agents were escorted to Hemp B.C.,
``where they shopped for merchandise and tried to buy marijuana.''
They bought drugs elsewhere in Vancouver, the documents show.

George Roberts, the assistant special agent in charge of the NCIS in
the Pacific northwest, said his agents work with local police when
U.S. ships are in port ``so that local people who might be trafficking
in drugs don't want to sell to navy people.''

``We're not up there enforcing our laws or your laws,'' he said.

More than 3,400 sailors from the USS Constellation and the USS Rainier
were in Vancouver in April.

Millar, meanwhile, says he'll file an application in B.C. Supreme
Court today to quash the search warrant.

Market Forces Cut Heroin Price (The Toronto 'Globe And Mail'
Suggests Low Demand Rather Than Increased Supply Explains Why
The Street Price Has Plummeted And Purity Has Increased
In The Past Five Or Six Years - While A Gram Of Heroin Might Have Sold
For About $700 In Toronto A Decade Ago, It's Now Readily Available
For $100 To $200)

Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 15:46:32 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Market Forces Cut Heroin Price
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: carey.ker@utoronto.ca
Pubdate: Thursday, September 17, 1998
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Contact: letters@globeandmail.ca
Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/
Author: Salem Alaton


Canadian police forces are unhappy to observe a buyer's market in the past
five or six years for a particularly ugly consumer product: heroin.

Not only has the street cost of the narcotic plummeted, but since 1992-93
the purity of the substance on offer has gone up considerably, says
Detective Ed Roseto of the heroin section in the Toronto Police special
investigations unit.

While a gram of heroin might have sold for about $700 in Toronto a decade
ago, it's now readily available for $200. And Det. Roseto adds: "We've had
grams which we've bought [during undercover operations] for $100."

Hard numbers for the heroin-addicted population in Canada don't exist, but
Richard Garlick, spokesman for the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse in
Ottawa, puts the figure at about 25,000 to 30,000, and says that the number
has probably been fairly stable for the past 20 years.

That suggests the current market reflects increased supply, with dealers not
yet succeeding in widening demand.

"Once people are addicted after three or four weeks, the theory goes that
the traffickers can up the price, but that in fact doesn't seem to have
happened," said Mr. Garlick. "The price has been fairly low and the purity
has been very high for a number of years now."



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