------------------------------------------------------------------- No On Measure 67 (A Staff Editorial In The Bend, Oregon, 'Bulletin' Opposes The Statewide Ballot Measure On Medical Marijuana, Saying 'It's Anybody's Guess How Medical Necessity Would Be Determined, Except Subjectively,' Despite The Text Of The Initiative, Which Clearly Indicates Doctors Licensed In Oregon Would Determine Medical Necessity Based On Their Professional Expertise)From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 18:08:13 -0700 (PDT) To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner Source: Bend Bulletin (firstname.lastname@example.org) Mail: 1526 NW Hill St., Bend, OR., 97701 Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: 9-18-98 Page: A-4 Section: Editorial NO ON MEARSURE 67 Supporters of Measure 67, which would legalize marijuana for medicinal use, are fond of repeating the morphine analogy. It goes something like this: Doctors can prescribe morphine to people in pain, so why can't they prescribe marijuana to those with severe nausea and emacipation, which pot use is reputed to alleviate? This analogy, we suspect, makes more and more sense with each hit of the hookah. Marijuana would not be prescribed under Measure 67. Rather, doctors would be permitted to help patients with symptoms like severe pain, nausea, seizures, muscle spasms and emacipation register as legal pot users. Once registered, patients would plant a pot garden containing up to three mature plants. When away from home, they would be permitted to carry up to one ounce of marijuana with them - but larger amounts would be permitted if deemed medically necessary. Given variations in potency and tolerance, though, it's anybody's guess how medical necessity would be determined, except subjectively. This is analogous to allowing people in severe pain to cultivate their own opium poppies instead of going to the drug store to pick up a prescription of morphine, which is refined from the juice of the plant's seed pods. Like morphine, in fact, the active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is already available by prescription. Marketed under the name of Marinol, THC pills have all the medicinal qualities of marijuana - they boost appetite and cut nausea - but with the added benifits of extensive testing and carefully controlled dosing. Plus, "Want a piece of my Marinol tablet?" doesn't have the quite the cachet among impressionable kids as, " Hey want a hit of my joint?" Supporters of medical marijuana object to Marinol because it takes longer to act than pot, which is usally smoked rather than eaten. Also, they say it can be difficult for those with nausea to keep the pill down. If these objections have merit, and smoking marijuana does, in fact, provide relief that no other drug can, then we are open to its use for medical purposes. Even in that case, however, allowing people with broadly categorized symtoms to grow their own plants with virtually no oversight would be a ludicrous soulution. Instead, they should have to pick up their pot at the pharmacy - in measured doses, and with a doctor's prescription - just like people who take morphine. Far from doing this, Measure 67 seems to be little more than an attempt to bring about incremental legalization of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Doesn't Take Up Bill To Derail Oregon's Assisted-Suicide Law ('The Associated Press' Says The US House Of Representatives Didn't Get Around To Taking A Vote Scheduled For Thursday On The Legislation Sponsored By Henry Hyde - Prospects For A Vote Friday Were Unclear) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com House doesn't take up bill to derail Oregon's assisted-suicide law Friday, September 18 1998 From the Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House did not take a vote Thursday on a bill that would derail Oregon's assisted suicide law despite heightened expectations on both sides of the issue. The House Majority Whip's Office, which on Wednesday had scheduled the bill as the first issue the House would take up on Thursday, pushed it back to fourth in line on Thursday morning. Then the House entered into a longer-than-expected debate on a foreign operations spending bill. Prospects for a vote Friday were unclear. Under the bill by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., doctors who give patients lethal doses of federally-controlled drugs could lose their license to prescribe such drugs. Voters in 1994 and again in 1997 made Oregon the only state in the nation with a law that allows doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill patients. Since it took effect this year, at least eight people have used the law to end their lives. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which also been scheduled to vote on its version of Hyde's bill on Thursday, delayed consideration until next Thursday. Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., said he was going to use his prerogative as a committee member to delay the bill. But ultimately, Judiciary Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, decided himself to delay the bill because of a full committee schedule, a Judiciary spokeswoman said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Radford Woman Sues Drug Test Lab Over Lost Job ('The Roanoke Times' In Virginia Says Melissa Simpkins Is Seeking $400,000 From The Laboratory Corporation Of America After Being Denied A Job At Corning Glassworks In Christiansburg Because Her Urine Test Indicated She Had .25 Percent Alcohol In Her Blood) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: Radford woman sues drug test lab over lost job Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 19:40:19 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: The Roanoke Times Pubdate: Friday, September 18, 1998 Online: http://www.roanoke.com Writer: Laurence Hammack Newshawk: email@example.com Lawsuit: Bad test showed she was too drunk to drive Radford woman sues drug test lab over lost job Medical workers would have noticed if Melissa Simpkins really had .25 percent alcohol in her blood, her lawyer said. Melissa Simpkins figured her new job was a sure thing. After applying for a position with Corning Glassworks in Christiansburg, she was told June 10 that she could report to work the following Monday -- provided she passed a drug test required for all prospective employees. Simpkins was so sure she would pass that she quit her job as manager of a McDonald's restaurant and submitted a urine sample to Laboratory Corporation of America, the company that conducts drug tests for Corning. Two days before she was to start work, Simpkins got a call from Corning. The drug test had detected a .25 percent alcohol content in her blood, she was told, and the job offer no longer stood. In a $400,000 lawsuit filed this week in Roanoke Circuit Court, Simpkins claimed that the laboratory, also known as LabCorp, somehow botched the test -- costing her not just a job, but damage to her reputation. "I think it was particularly distressing to her because she knew that she did not have alcohol in her system at the time," said Terry Grimes, a Roanoke attorney who filed the suit. Grimes said that if the case goes to trial, witnesses at a Christiansburg doctors' office that took Simpkins' urine sample and sent it to LabCorp will be called to testify that she showed no signs of intoxication at the time. A .25 percent blood alcohol content is more than three times the level at which someone is considered too intoxicated to drive. If Simpkins really had that much alcohol in her blood, it would have been obvious to the trained medical workers, Grimes said. LabCorp, a North Carolina-based company that is one of the largest clinical laboratories in the world, declined to comment. "As a matter of policy, we normally do not discuss claims or pending claims," said Pam Sherry, a spokeswoman. The lawsuit does not elaborate on how the mix-up allegedly occurred. Grimes said his client obtained a second drug test from a different lab the following day that showed no presence of alcohol, but that may not be meaningful because of the amount of time that had passed since the first test. Simpkins, who is from Radford, declined to comment. *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- MPP Pleasantly Surprised With First Congressional Vote (A Bulletin From The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, Finds Silver Linings In Tuesday's Vote For House Joint Resolution 117, Against Medical Marijuana Patients) Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 11:33:30 +0000 From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG) Organization: Marijuana Policy Project Reply-To: MPP@MPP.ORG Sender: email@example.com Subject: MPP pleasantly surprised with first congressional vote To: MPPupdates@igc.org *** TO: Interested persons FROM: Robert D. Kampia, MPP director of government relations DATE: Friday, September 18, 1998 SUBJECT: Please follow up on first congressional roll-call vote on medicinal marijuana *** After months of delays and false alarms, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 310 to 93 in favor of House Joint Resolution 117 (H.J.Res. 117), the non-binding anti-medicinal marijuana resolution. While we lost the vote, 93 votes in favor of medicinal marijuana was more than we expected, given that these House members are nervous about their chances of re-election on November 3. This first-ever roll-call vote has identified our allies in the House -- we now know that we have almost half the votes we need to pass positive legislation in the House (93 votes out of 218 votes needed). H.J.Res. 117 was similar to House Resolution 372 (H.Res. 372), which MPP has been organizing against for the past six months. Indeed, MPP helped orchestrate protests in the districts of two key Republicans who supported the measure, helped organize two acts of civil disobedience in the Capitol Hill offices of those same two Republicans (which received media coverage nationwide), faxed all House offices several times, engaged in targeted one-on-one lobbying, provided talking points to supportive House members, and helped generate hundreds of calls and letters from MPP supporters nationwide. The resolution that finally passed was a far cry from the original extremist language of H.Res. 372 -- H.J.Res. 117 omitted the words "unequivocally opposed" and removed direct references to state ballot initiatives -- and your dedicated efforts are undoubtedly part of the reason for the change. But there is still more work to be done! First, please determine how your U.S. representative voted (http://www.mpp.org/117votes.html). Second, tell your U.S. representative what you think of his or her vote: * If he or she voted "yes" on this bad resolution, say that you oppose how he or she voted. Also say that you will be telling your friends that he or she supports the status quo, which means arresting seriously ill people for using their medicine. * If he or she voted "no," say that you strongly support how he or she voted. Say that his or her vote shows compassion for seriously ill people -- and that you hope that he or she will now be willing to push for legislation in the House that would end the war on patients who have a medical need for marijuana. *** To find out the name of your U.S. representative (on the Web): First, find out your ZIP+4 ... http://www.usps.gov/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html Then, use it to get the name of your U.S. representative ... http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html TO CALL: To call your U.S. representative's office, please call the congressional switchboard operator at 202-225-3121. The operator will ask you for your zip code if you do not know who your U.S. representative is. TO FAX: To fax your U.S. representative, please call your U.S. representative's office for his or her fax number. TO WRITE: To write your U.S. representative, please send a brief letter to U.S. Rep. _______, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C. 20515. TO E-MAIL: Please DO NOT e-mail your U.S. representative unless you have already called, faxed, or written. *** MORE INFORMATION ON ... Cheryl Miller's civil disobedience .. http://www.mpp.org/millers.html Renee Emry's civil disobedience ..... http://www.mpp.org/nr091798.html AP story on H.J.Res. 117 ............ http://www.mpp.org/117ap.html THE VOTE on H.J.Res. 117 ............ http://www.mpp.org/117votes.html House floor debate on H.J.Res. 117 .. http://www.mpp.org/117debate.pdf (To view the debate, you need Adobe Acrobat. If you don't have it, get it for free at http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/readstep.html.) *** HOW TO SUPPORT THE MARIJUANA POLICY PROJECT: To support MPP's work and receive the quarterly newsletter, "Marijuana Policy Report," please send $25.00 annual membership dues to: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) P.O. Box 77492 Capitol Hill Washington, D.C. 20013 http://www.mpp.org/membrshp.html 202-232-0442 FAX
------------------------------------------------------------------- Focal Point - Marijuana Regulation (The Lindesmith Center, A New York Drug Policy Reform Group, Publicizes Some Interesting And Important New And Old Documents Just Uploaded To Its Web Site - One Report Of Particular Interest To Oregon Voters Who Haven't Yet Made Up Their Minds About Ballot Measure 57, Which Would Recriminalize Possession Of Less Than One Ounce Of Marijuana, Is 'Effects Of Decriminalization Of Marijuana In Oregon,' The 1976 Study By Paul H. Blachly In The 'Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences,' Which Found That Since The Abolishment Of Criminal Penalties In 1973 For Simple Possession Of Marijuana, 'Significant Medical Problems Resulting From Marijuana Use Have Decreased') Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 11:28:37 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Jeanette Irwin (email@example.com) Subject: The Lindesmith Center Web Site Activities Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org September 18, 1998 T H E L I N D E S M I T H C E N T E R ...on the Web http://www.lindesmith.org Periodically TLC will announce by email recent additions to its online and traditional libraries, as well as changes, updates and additions to its Web site. To be automatically removed from this list by email please click here: mailto:Majordomo@soros.org and type the words (no quotes) "unsubscribe tlc-web" in the body of the email message, (not in the subject line). Or contact: Jeanette Irwin mailto:email@example.com. To re-subscribe: email Majordomo@soros.org and type "subscribe tlc-web" in the body of the message. *** NEW FEATURE Focal Point: Marijuana Regulation http://www.lindesmith.org/library/focal4.html The Lindesmith Center Online Library is pleased to announce our newest collection of full-text documents on our Web site. This Focal Point examines the causes and consequences of cannabis decriminalization in various countries as well as proposals for the responsible regulation of cannabis. These articles, studies, reports, and papers were collected in conjunction with "Regulating Cannabis: Options for Control in the 21st Century," the September 5, 1998 symposium held in London. Bringing together prominent drug policy experts, legal scholars, scientists, doctors and public health officials from around the globe, this conference moved the debate from the question of "whether" to decriminalize cannabis to "how" to best regulate the drug. This question is increasingly relevant as support grows for therapeutic and other responsible uses of marijuana. We will make available papers presented during this symposium shortly, so look for that announcement soon. * Some highlights from Focal Point: Marijuana Regulation: *** California's Separate Peace Dan Baum asks how will Proposition 215, the Medical Marijuana Initiative, be applied in California? Rolling Stone, October 31, 1997, 43-51, 76-77. (44K) http://www.lindesmith.org/library/peace.html *** The Dutch Cannabis Debate, 1968-1976 Marcel de Kort explains the rise of liberal marijuana laws in The Netherlands. Journal of Drug Issues, 1994, 24(3), 417-427. (45K). http://www.lindesmith.org/library/DeKort.html *** Effects of Decriminalization of Marijuana in Oregon According to this study by Paul H. Blachly, since the abolishment of criminal penalties in 1973 for simple possession of marijuana "significant medical problems resulting from marijuana use have decreased" in Oregon. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1976, 282: 405-415. (42K). http://www.lindesmith.org/library/blachly.html *** The Effect of Marijuana Decriminalization on Hospital Emergency Room Drug Episodes: 1975-1978 Karyn E. Model found that although decreased penalties for marijuana led to a decrease in emergency room visits for other drugs, visits for marijuana-related problems increased. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 1993, 88(423): 737-747. (.PDF, 236K) http://www.lindesmith.org/library/model.pdf *** Italian Referendum Deletes Criminal Sanctions for Drug Users Background and exploration of Italy's new marijuana laws are given by Giancarlo Arnao. Journal of Drug Issues, 1994, 24(3), 483-487. (18K) http://www.lindesmith.org/library/arnao.html *** The Legislative Response to Marihuana: When the Shoe Pinches Enough Michael P. Rosenthal presents the conditions that made possible the relaxation of marijuana laws in California in the 1970's. Journal of Drug Issues, 1977, 7(1), 61-77. (90K) http://www.lindesmith.org/library/rosenthal.html *** Monitoring the South Australian Cannabis Expiation Notice Initiative Adam Sutton and Rick Sarre take a look at new laws passed in Australia governing the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana. The Journal of Drug Issues, 1992, 22(3), 579-590. (39K) http://www.lindesmith.org/library/Sutton.html IN ADDITION: There are two collections of Marijuana Regulation- related materials available online: Marijuana Subject Index Links to all the full-text materials on our Web site related to marijuana regulation are listed here alphabetically by title. http://www.lindesmith.org/library/marijuana_index.html *** Marijuana Regulation Bibliography With over 100 library materials listed, this is an excellent resource for those interested in the reform of marijuana laws. The majority of these documents are included in the collection of the Lindesmith Center Library in New York, NY, and some can be downloaded from our Online Library. http://www.lindesmith.org/library/marijuana_bib.html *** OTHER FEATURES * Online Library Listed here are all of the TLC library materials accessible from the Web, organized by subject. http://www.lindesmith.org/library/subject.html * Database of the Lindesmith Center Library With over 4000 documents, TLC has one of the largest drug and drug policy-related libraries in the country. Although TLC does not lend its materials, the library is open during business hours by appointment. These holdings can be searched from our Web site: http://188.8.131.52/lindq.htm * Web Resources Over 100 hundred links to other drug and drug policy- related Web sites. Got a question about medical marijuana? Drug testing? Can't find it at our site? Chances are one of the many organizations listed here can help you. http://www.lindesmith.org/cites_sources/links.html *** * Seminar Series Each month the Lindesmith Center hosts a Seminar Series featuring prominent scholars, activists, researchers and policy makers. A list of upcoming seminars is posted at this site, as is an archive listing past seminars. In the future, there will be sound files of selected past seminars. http://www.lindesmith.org/news/seme.html *** The Lindesmith Center A Project of the Open Society Institute 400 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019 (212) 548-0695 ph, (212) 548-4670 fx http://www.lindesmith.org TLC - West 2233 Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA 94123 (415) 921-4987 ph, (415) 921-1912 fx Office of Legal Affairs 1095 Market Street, Suite 503, San Francisco, CA 94103, (415) 554-1900 ph, (415) 554-1980 fx
------------------------------------------------------------------- Massacre In Mexico ('The San Jose Mercury News' Says At Least 19 Men, Women And Children Were Shot To Death Thursday Near The Resort Town Of Ensenada In Baja, Mexico, 60 Miles South Of San Diego, In What Police Said Could Be A Drug-Related Massacre Ordered By Leaders Of One Of Mexico's Biggest Trafficking Cartels) Date: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 09:12:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Massacre In Mexico Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) (Page 1) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: 18 Sep 1998 MASSACRE IN MEXICO Suspicions: Weapons used in attack are called guns of choice for drug gangs. Survivor: Girl, 15, escapes death by hiding under bed during predawn raid. Some targets of gunmen were involved in crime, radio report says BY RICARDO SANDOVAL Mercury News Mexico City Bureau MEXICO CITY -- At least 19 men, women and children were gunned to death Thursday near the resort town of Ensenada, 60 miles south of San Diego, in what police said could be a drug-related massacre ordered by leaders of one of Mexico's biggest trafficking cartels. Police say the families were rousted by gunmen at about 4:30 a.m. Thursday, dragged outside, lined against concrete walls and shot repeatedly with assault rifles, handguns and at least one shotgun. ``In all my life, I've never seen anything like this. It looked like a scene from `Rambo,' '' said Capt. Humberto Hernandez del Parra of the Federal Highway Police. Eight children -- including youngsters ages 1, 2 and 4 -- were among the dead, but one teenager who hid under a bed survived. Authorities said the 15-year-old girl, whom they plan to interview for clues to the identity of the killers, was in shock after the massacre. The attorney general of Baja California state, Marco Antonio de la Fuente Villarreal, shied away from stating a motive for the killings during a Thursday afternoon news conference. ``We cannot say 100 percent that it was an aspect of drug trafficking or for some other motive,'' he said. ``Information is still lacking.'' Earlier in the day, the government news agency Notimex quoted him as saying the head of one of the households, Ferm(acu)n Castro, was a cultivator of marijuana for the Arellano-F=E9lix drug cartel, headquartered in Tijuana. The weapons used in the attack, guns of choice for Mexican drug gangs, were the first clues for Ensenada police as they responded to reports of a shootout in the quiet seaside suburb called El Sauzal. If the narcotics connection is confirmed, the massacre would be one of Mexico's worst crime-related killings. It would be the latest incident in a growing wave of drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Teen hid, survived attack Three people initially survived Thursday's massacre, including the girl who hid under a bed and was not injured. One person died later, and police said another survivor remains hospitalized in a coma. He was identified only as Castro, 35. The dead included five women, one of whom was pregnant. They all were members of three related families. Two of the families were identified as Castro and the other as Flores. They lived in adjoining homes in an upper-class neighborhood in El Sauzal, just north of Ensenada. The families operated farms in nearby valleys. About a month ago, a member of the Castro family was gunned down in front of an Ensenada shopping center, according to police sources and Baja California press reports. A Mexico City criminologist, contacted by Baja authorities shortly after Thursday's shooting, said that descriptions of the scene bear signs of a drug-gang hit. ``This is because of the methodical nature of the incident,'' said the criminologist, who asked not to be identified. ``The assailants took the time to drag 22 people out of bed, line them up and then shoot them. And it's usually drug gangsters who can afford these types of weapons.'' The criminologist said there were several farmworkers also on the property in the predawn hours, but none was among the victims. Assault rifles used in raid Some adults were clad in underwear and T-shirts. Others wore pajamas. All were riddled with bullet holes. Shell casings from assault-rifle bullets littered the dirt driveway in front of the two homes, where horses and other farm animals wandered about. Toys were tossed around the driveway, as was shattered glass and overturned patio furniture. Inside, there were few signs of struggle. An Ensenada radio reporter said the families were not rich, but that some were involved in organized-crime rings that also ran high-stakes cockfighting matches in the area. Police would not comment on that report. The stronger suspicion remains on drugs. The region of Baja California, near the U.S.-Mexico border, is the stronghold of the Arellano-F=E9lix cartel, Mexico's biggest and richest drug trafficking gang. Police say drug-related violence has been on the rise in Ensenada in recent years, as the Arellano-F=E9lix gang spreads its distribution network. Drug shootouts have been a common occurrence along the border, especially in the past year. The Arellano-F=E9lix family is locked in a struggle over Mexico's lucrative drug-trafficking business with the Ju=E1rez cartel, which operates along much of the U.S.-Mexico border from Texas to Arizona. Last week the co-founder of the Ju=E1rez cartel, Rafael Mu=F1oz Talavera, was found dead in the trunk of a car near the Mexico-Texas border. His death came a year after the Ju=E1rez cartel chief, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, died after plastic surgery in a Mexico City hospital. U.S. drug agents say that since Carrillo Fuentes' death, the cartels have been fighting among themselves -- and against each other -- for control of trafficking lanes that move north as much as 70 percent of the cocaine and marijuana imported annually by U.S. drug gangs. Mercury News wire services contributed to this report. 1997 - 1998 Mercury Center. The information you receive online from Mercury Center is protected by the copyright laws of the United States. The copyright laws prohibit any copying, redistributing, retransmitting, or repurposing of any copyright-protected material.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Search For Clues In Mexico Massacre (The 'Reuters' Version In 'The San Jose Mercury News') Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 09:12:15 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Police Search For Clues In Mexico Massacre Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: 18 Sep 1998 POLICE SEARCH FOR CLUES IN MEXICO MASSACRE MEXICO CITY, (Reuters) - Police on Friday searched for clues in the brutal massacre of 19 members of two northern Mexican families, but suspicion quickly fell on the region's powerful drug lords. Police interviewed neighbors of the Fermin Castro and Flores families. The victims were dragged from their beds Thursday as they slept in a quiet ranch complex near Ensenada, just south of the U.S.-Mexican border, lined up against a wall and executed. Media reports also said police questioned a 15-year-old girl who reportedly survived the massacre by hiding under a bed or in a closet, but police declined to confirm this. Most observers said the killings bore the hallmarks of Mexico's powerful and well-armed cocaine mafias, although Mexicans were shocked at the sheer atrocity of the crime. Five children were killed, including a one-year-old, as well as a woman who was eight months pregnant. ``The massacre...appears to be a vendetta among drug traffickers, not only for their vast firepower, but for their sheer lack of human sentiment and the impunity with which these groups operate,'' Mexico City daily La Jornada said in an editorial on Friday. Five members of the families worked for the powerful Arellano Felix cocaine cartel based in Tijuana, across the border from San Diego, California, according to Jesus Blancornelas, editor of a local weekly newspaper which closely follows the drugs trade. Several theories about the killings emerged. Some said it could be an internal fight for power within the Tijuana cartel, whose leaders, a set of brothers, have been forced to keep a low profile under intense persecution by judicial authorities. Others suggested the rival Juarez cartel from Ciudad Juarez -- across the border from El Paso, Texas -- could be taking revenge for efforts by the Arellano Felix clan to take over that cartel following the death of its former kingpin Amado Carrillo Fuentes last year. ``It could be revenge for some other recent violent episode, or a `calling card' from a new drug trafficking group that wants to establish itself in the region,'' Peter Smith, head of U.S.-Mexico studies at the University of California at San Diego, told the government news agency Notimex. ``There is a battle for power. If the Arellanos are trying to get Juarez, this could be the Juarez cartel's way of telling them don't mess with us,'' said Victor Clark, a leading member of a binational human rights group based in Tijuana. The killing came in the aftermath of the execution in Juarez of Rafael Munoz Talavera, a top drug capo there who had been trying to take over from Carrillo Fuentes and who law enforcement officials say may have struck an alliance with the Arellano Felix organization. But one thing seems sure: by killing women and children and not just the one or two intended victims, the gunmen broke an unwritten code among organized criminals. ``Until now, the unwritten rule that was almost sacred among drug lords was not to touch the families, the wives, kids, parents, grandparents,'' said Clark. ``But this is starting to change. The code of honor, so to speak, is breaking down.'' Observers like Clark fear the tit-for-tat violence in the region will degenerate into widespread and indiscriminate killings. Phil Jordan, former head of the DEA Intelligence Center in El Paso, Texas, said the killings could be the start of an all out war between rival cartels along the border region. ``This suggests a wider war in the Mexican drug underworld,'' Jordan told Notimex.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gunmen Kill 18 In Mexico ('The Dallas Morning News' Version) Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 09:12:06 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: Gunmen Kill 18 In Mexico Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 Author: Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News GUNMEN KILL 18 IN MEXICO Slayings of kids, others may be drug-related MEXICO CITY - Gunmen swarmed into a quiet Pacific fishing port early Thursday and massacred at least 18 men, women and children in an apparently drug-related attack, authorities said. The victims - including two teenagers, six children and a baby - were rousted from their beds and shot about 4:30 a.m., Red Cross workers said. At least two other people were gravely injured, and some Mexican radio stations were reporting unconfirmed death tolls of 20 and 21. Police were questioning a 15-year-old survivor, a girl who hid under a bed and escaped the slaughter in El Sauzal. The town is a suburb of Ensenada, a popular tourist spot about 60 miles south of San Diego, Calif. No one had been arrested late Thursday in the crime, which shocked Mexicans and Americans alike. "If drug traffickers did this, it's a new kind of attack," said Victor Clark, a Tijuana human rights activist. "Usually, they execute one or two people, not entire families. At least not here in Baja California. By killing these children, the traffickers have broken their own unwritten code." The motive wasn't clear late Thursday. Some law enforcement sources speculated that the killings could be retaliation for the Sept. 10 slaying of convicted drug trafficker Rafael Munoz Talavera in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, across from El Paso, Texas. Mr. Munoz Talavera was released from a Mexican jail in 1995 after serving time for engineering a record 21.5-ton cocaine shipment that landed in Southern California. He wrote a letter to Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo in December, saying he had quit the drug trade and feared he was going to be assassinated. But some current and former American law enforcement officials disputed that and said they had seen signs that Mr. Munoz Talavera had taken control of the Ciudad Juarez-El Paso drug corridor after the death of last year of Amado Carrillo Fuentes. The Arellano Felix drug gang, traditionally based in Tijuana, may have seen Mr. Munoz Talavera as a rival and killed him, officials said. In retaliation, traffickers loyal to Mr. Munoz Talavera may have carried out Thursday's attack, officials said. Among those shot and gravely wounded was Fermin Castro, a suspected Arellano Felix associate in charge of marijuana cultivation in the nearby Valley of Trinity, said Marco Antonio de la Fuente, the attorney general of Baja California state. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says that the Arellano Felix gang, led by brothers Ramon, Benjamin and Javier, is "one of the most powerful and aggressive drug trafficking organizations in Mexico . . . and undeniably the most violent." The brothers operate, often under police protection, in the Mexican states of Baja California, Jalisco, Michoacan, Chiapas and Sinaloa, their home state, DEA agents say. "If this was indeed retaliation, whoever did it sent a heck of a message to the Arellano Felix gang," said Phil Jordan, a Dallas security specialist and former senior agent with the DEA. "It's the kind of drug-related violence that puts Mexico one step closer to Colombia. It's not good for Mexico, and it's not good for the United States. And as long as narco-political corruption exists in Mexico, I don't think the situation will get any better." Federal authorities, who have jurisdiction over drug-related crimes, had not taken charge of the case as of late Thursday. A spokeswoman for the federal attorney general's office had no comment. Some critics suggest the attorney general's office isn't getting involved because the agency is mired in drug corruption itself. "Their lack of attention is incredible. It's totally unexplainable, unless they are really brain-dead," said Kent Alexander, an American who has trained drug-sniffing dogs for the attorney general's office in a number of Mexican states. Red Cross workers said the victims were members of three families who lived in neighboring houses. Mexican television showed images of their bodies, some clad in pajamas, next to toys, broken chairs and shell casings. Baja California residents say the attack comes during the summer tourist season and is another stain on the region's image. "Now everyone's going to be talking about Baja California like there's terrorism here, bandidos with bandannas over their faces and carrying guns, waiting to hijack the next bus. But it's not like that," said Keith Rolle, owner of a Spanish-language school near El Sauzal. "Violent crime is low here. It's not part of the culture." The slayings come at a time of disarray for law enforcement in Baja California. The federal attorney general's office is in the midst of a reorganization, and state and federal authorities have been busy lately accusing each other of incompetence and corruption. "Whoever did this terrible crime probably knows that law enforcement authorities are weak and divided. That won't help the investigation at all," Mr. Clark said. This year, Zeta, a Tijuana weekly, published an investigative report alleging that traffickers had virtually taken over Ensenada and had scores of police officers and other government employees on their payroll. The paper sold out so quickly that extras had to be printed. Zeta publisher Jesus Blancornelas, an award-winning journalist who has written hard-hitting exposes on the Arellano Felix gang and police corruption, barely survived an assassination attempt near his office last November. Police blame drug traffickers. Federal authorities in Mexico City have said the Ensenada-Tijuana area is one of the nation's hottest drug transit spots. Cirilo Corona Gallegos, the new head of the attorney general's office in Ensenada, recently told Zeta that the situation was not so bad and that petty drug use was a bigger problem than large-scale smuggling. Ensenada, famous for tasty fish tacos and a 105-year-old cantina named Hussong's, is about an hour's drive south of the bustling border city of Tijuana. It's nestled in the Todos Santos bay, home base for a large tuna-fishing fleet. Baja Studios, where the movie Titanic was filmed, is nearby. "It's a spectacular place," Mr. Rolle said. "But after this, I expect a major drop in tourism. What a pity. People are extremely disappointed and sad about those people and kids who got killed."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Needed For Health, Says Accused ('The Edmonton Sun' Says John Klaver, An Edmonton, Alberta, Firefighter Charged With Growing And Selling Marijuana At His Stony Plain Home, Says He Was Forced To Start A Hydroponic Operation To Help Cope With Ill Health) Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 13:20:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: Pot Needed For Health, Says Accused 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, 18 Sep 1998 Author: Jerry Ward, Edmonton Sun POT NEEDED FOR HEALTH, SAYS ACCUSED A city firefighter charged with growing and selling marijuana at his Stony Plain home says he was forced to start a hydroponic operation to help cope with ill health. "It's something a health condition has forced me into and I can't see where I've become a criminal because of it," John Klaver, 50, said last night. He declined to outline the nature of his health problems, but CHQT radio reported last night the captain and 29-year veteran in the city emergency response department has suffered from severe back pain and depression over the last two years. Cops charged Klaver and his wife Wendy Klaver, 48, after a search of their acreage home west of Stony Plain yesterday. Police said about 40 mature marijuana plants with a street value of about $30,000 were seized from a wing of the house. RCMP Cpl. Amrik Virk said a woman was at the home when Mounties and city cops from the drug unit arrived. The man turned himself in to police yesterday afternoon. Rob Hartmann, president of the city firefighters' union, said last night he wasn't certain of Klaver's status with the department. "I'm not sure if he's off or active at this point," Hartmann said. "He had been off for a while (sick), but I'd have to check (today)." The Klavers are to appear in Stony Plain provincial court Oct. 23 to face charges of producing a controlled substance and trafficking in marijuana. "They've been released on their own recognizance," Virk said. "There's no risk they're not going to show up to court." Copyright (c) 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US General Sees Turning Of Corner In Colombia ('Reuters' Says Marine General Charles Wilhelm, Commander In Chief Of The US Southern Command, Or SOUTHCOM, Said Thursday That With A New President And A Change In The Armed Forces Leadership, There Were Signs Colombia Was 'Turning The Corner') Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 20:10:18 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: WIRE: US General Sees Turning Of Corner In Colombia Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: Reuters Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 Author: By Angus MacSwan U.S. GENERAL SEES TURNING OF CORNER IN COLOMBIA KEY WEST, Fla. (Reuters) - The general leading the United States' war against the Latin American drugs trade said Thursday the situation was looking better in frontline Colombia, where American personnel have been helping the beleaguered military against traffickers' armies. Marine General Charles Wilhelm, commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), said that with a new president and a change in the armed forces leadership, there were signs Colombia was ``turning the corner.'' Earlier this year, as the Colombian army reeled from a string of defeats by drug lords' armies allied with leftist guerrillas, Wilhelm had expressed concern about its abilities. The then president, Ernesto Samper, was persona non grata in the United States because of his reputed links to drug lords. Wilhelm met the new president, Andres Pastrana, armed forces chief General Fernando Tapias, and other officials during a recent visit to Colombia. Pastrana took office last month. ``I was very impressed by the new military leadership team and with the national leadership team,'' Wilhelm told Reuters. ``I think we've seen some significant successes by the joint (Colombian military) task force which has been executing Operation Invincible...I think that organization symbolizes a turning of the corner.'' ``Recently we've seen not only the takedown of some fairly significant laboratories but we've seen some small-scale but nevertheless encouraging tactical successes against the insurgents and the narcotraffickers. It's a good team.'' The fight against the illegal drugs trade is a main mission of the Miami-based SOUTHCOM, the U.S. military's Latin American and Caribbean command. Its help to Colombia, the main source of cocaine reaching the United States, includes counter-narcotics training personnel and radar technicians monitoring flight paths and smuggling routes. Wilhelm was speaking in an interview at the Naval Air Station in Key West, where he will host a meeting Friday of top officials involved in the drugs fight from Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. U.S. drugs czar Barry McCaffrey, himself a former SOUTHCOM commander, will deliver the keynote address. Wilhelm said co-operation between the countries of the region was growing ever closer and it showed in the number of drug seizures. ``There are a lot of success stories...I think our activities, particularly in the Caribbean with (operations) Frontier Shield and Frontier Lance, have been very productive.'' But as anti-drugs forces clamp down in one area, the traffickers switch to new routes. They had moved across the Caribbean from east to west and were now increasingly using the east Pacific, the general said. ``I'm concerned about the transit routes through the east Pacific. Some of our intelligence analysis indicates fairly clearly that there's an extensive flow of cocaine out of source zone ports through the eastern Pacific, the Sea of Cortez and into Mexican ports'' from where it is smuggled over the U.S. southwest border. ``We have designed an operation that targets that particular sector. The plan is complete,'' said the general, a crop-haired, personable veteran of conflicts from Vietnam to Somalia. Wilhelm declined to discuss the fate of a planned multinational anti-drugs base in Panama. The original plan envisaged turning the U.S. Howard Air Force base in the canal zone into the regional center, with a U.S. troop presence of 2,000 plus soldiers from other countries. But Washington said in July that talks were at an impasse, locked over the time issue in an agreement allowing U.S troops to stay in Panama beyond the end of 1999, the date set in a 1977 treaty for Panama to regain full control of the canal. One alternative that has been mooted is to move and merge the present U.S. anti-narcotics base in Panama, the Joint Interagency Task Force South, which oversees South America, with its counterpart the Joint Interagency Task Force in Key West, which covers the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Troops Get The All-Clear To Dose Up On Energy Drugs ('The Sydney Morning Herald' Says Australian Military Troops Have Been Officially Cleared To Use Performance-Enhancing Chemicals, Including Drugs And Methods Banned By International Sports Authorities To Improve Their Physical And Mental Strength) Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 21:59:17 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: Troops Get The All-Clear To Dose Up On Energy Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Source: Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.smh.com.au/ Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 Author: James Woodford, Defencve Correspondent TROOPS GET THE ALL-CLEAR TO DOSE UP ON ENERGY DRUGS Australian troops have been officially cleared to use performance-enhancing chemicals, including drugs, and methods banned by international sports authorities, to improve their physical and mental strength. Guidelines on the use of the substances and techniques have been issued to the commanders of Australia's special forces units - the Special Air Service Regiment, 1 Commando Regiment and 4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment. The senior nutritionist at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Mr Chris Forbes-Ewan, said that unlike in sport "all's fair in love and war". "What we are trying to gain is an advantage over any potential adversary," Mr Forbes-Ewan said. "What we will have is a head-start." Commanders and doctors have now been given advice on the use, dosage, benefits and side-effects of performance enhancers including: Blood loading, illegal for Olympic athletes. The technique involves taking between up to a litre of blood from a soldier and putting it in deep freeze. Over a period of days the soldier will make up for the loss of blood and then, before the battle or exercise, when endurance is required, the blood is infused back into the veins. Instead of having the usual four or five litres of blood the soldier has five or six. Creatine powder, a naturally occurring substance in the muscles which stores high-energy phosphate. Caffeine, which in doses equivalent to six or seven cups of strong instant coffee leads to significant improvements in endurance. Oral rehydration drinks containing electrolytes and carbohydrates. Ephedrine, banned in sport but which, in combination with caffeine, seems to give a bigger boost that either ephedrine or caffeine. Modafinil, invented as a medical aid for people who have sleep problems but also helps people such as soldiers keep going on all-night missions . The decision to issue the guidelines follows surveys of special forces troops, revealing that more than 50 per cent of soldiers are using, without authorisation or supervision, energy boosters and performance aids, which scientists call "ergogenic aids". Most of the aids used by soldiers were simple and harmless substances that were available legally. No evidence of steroid use was uncovered. Scientists have ruled out about 50 other performance-enhancing substances, including steroids.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Campaign Gets Up Close And Personal On Heroin Issue ('The Australian Financial Review' Says The Australian Election Campaign Turned Bitter And Personal Yesterday When Senator Bolkus, Shadow Attorney-General, Issued A Statement Before The Prime Minister's Drugs Policy Release Stating That 'Under John Howard, The Price Of A Cap Of Heroin Has Dropped From $40 To As Little As $5') Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 06:21:47 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: Campaign Gets Up Close And Personal On Heroin Issue Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 Source: Australian Financial Review Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Michelle Grattan CAMPAIGN GETS UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL ON HEROIN ISSUE The election campaign turned bitter and personal yesterday when the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, accused Labor frontbencher Senator Nick Bolkus of making a despicable claim and called on the Opposition Leader, Mr Kim Beazley, to bring him into line. Mr Howard in effect accused Mr Beazley of letting others play dirty while he kept his hands clean. Senator Bolkus, shadow Attorney-General, issued a statement before Mr Howard's drugs policy release which said: "Under John Howard, the price of a cap of heroin has dropped from $40 to as little as $5." The statement said Mr Howard had put the lives of young people at risk through two years of neglect of Commonwealth law enforcement. The statement was headed "John Howard's Drug Legacy - 60 dead in Perth alone". Campaigning in Perth where he announced a $75 million four-year package to fight illicit drugs, Mr Howard said the Bolkus statement was outrageous. He likened Senator Bolkus's claim to the suggestion by Labor's Aboriginal affairs spokesman, Mr Daryl Melham, that there was a similarity between Coalition attitudes and those of the Ku Klux Klan during the native title debate. He also likened it to the suggestion by the Deputy Opposition Leader, Mr Gareth Evans, that Mr Howard liked bashing blacks. Mr Howard said Mr Beazley was adopting the practice of not engaging himself in these tactics. "He and I have been able to conduct at a personal level a very civil campaign. I regard him as a civil man," Mr Howard said. "But his minions are running amok - and they are apparently allowed to say anything without rebuke." Mr Howard said that to imply the Government's policies had reduced the price of heroin was an outrageous claim. "The whole context of that press release was quite despicable, personal in the extreme and the kind of cheap political jibe that has no part in a sensible debate about trying to tackle the drug problem," he said. Mr Howard said the community wanted politicians to sink their partisan differences on issues such as drugs. "The people's disgust of too much political point-scoring on an issue like this is evident. If I were my opposite number, I would have a quiet word, at the very least, with Senator Bolkus. "I'd show a bit of authority and strength and stop this sort of practice of walking down the straight and narrow oneself, but turning a blind eye to what the minions do on the side." Among its initiatives in the drug fight, the Government is promising an extra $23.4 million to set up four more Australian Federal Police mobile strike teams; another $10 million for the drug education strategy; another $10 million to expand community-based treatment services; and a $31.6 million increase in funding for border protection.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 59 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's Original Summary Of Drug Policy News And Calls For Action) Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 05:48:45 -0400 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #59 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #59 -- September 18, 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/059.html. Due to some Internet down time, the web version may be unavailable until sometime later today.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We 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. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Shattered Lives Book Offer Continues, Eyegive Participants Raising Valuable Funds for DRCNet http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#bookoffer 2. Alert Feedback http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#feedback 3. Free Will Foster Campaign Continues http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#freewill 4. Attention Students http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#U-net 5. DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#arcata 6. House Approves Anti-Medical Cannabis Resolution, Patient Arrested For Medicating in McCollum's Office http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#emry 7. Medical Marijuana On Ballot In D.C. http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#sign59 8. Industrial Hemp Making Strides Worldwide http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#hempworld 9. Methadone Clinic Sues Fairfax Police http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#fairfax 10. Immigrant Children Used to Sell Cocaine in Vancouver's Black Market http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#vancouver 11. EDITORIAL: Whose Privacy? http://www.drcnet.org/wol/059.html#editorial *** 1. Shattered Lives Book Offer Continues, Eyegive Participants Raising Valuable Funds for DRCNet Earlier this week we announced our new book offer to new and renewing members -- free copies of "Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War" to members who donate $35 or more to the organization -- or $23 including postage to those who just wish to buy the book and not pay dues right now ($24.15 for D.C. residents including sales tax). If you are on this list, chances are that this book will tear your heart out. Read more about it on the web site of the exhibit that preceded the book, http://www.hr95.org. Or just use our online form to order -- secure encrypted version at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (recommended for credit card donors) or unsecured version at http://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (recommended you print it out and pay by check). A heartfelt thanks to those of you who are participating in the eyegive online fundraising program. Daily revenues have recently topped $20 a day on weekdays -- over $6,000 a year, earned entirely by your visiting the eyegive home page and clicking on ads up to five times a day. And in case you were wondering, we have received checks from eyegive in the promised amounts. Keep it up! If you haven't signed up for eyegive yet, you can sign up, or find out more about it, by visiting http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060. If you've signed up but have trouble remembering to visit, a good way to remind yourself is to set http://www.eyegive.com as your "home page" that your browser points to when opened -- go to edit-preferences to make that selection. *** 2. Alert Feedback Over 230 of you have responded to our Free Will Foster alert last week. Thank you for doing your part! It's important that the pressure be maintained until Will Foster goes free. If you haven't contacted Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating on Will Foster's behalf, please do so today! Complete information is included in the next article (below). This past week we asked our readers to contact their U.S. Representatives in opposition to two bills: H.J. Res. 117, a "Sense of the House" resolution against medical marijuana, and H.R. 4300, the "Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act," increasing the militarization of the U.S.-led war on drugs in the Andes. Unfortunately both bills passed, but the news is not all bad. While H.J. Res. 117 passed 310 to 93, it is encouraging that 93 members of the House would vote in favor of medical marijuana during a contentious election year, and in fact that number is higher than was expected in this first-ever Congressional vote on medical marijuana -- six Republicans even voted our way. Furthermore, the language of the resolution was very much diluted relative to its former incarnation, H.J. Res. 372 (as discussed in our article below). Keep those letters going in, and someday Congress will turn our way! You can find out how your Rep. voted by visiting http://clerkweb.house.gov/evs/1998/ROLL_400.asp and clicking on roll number 435. H.R. 4300 was a harder vote for us, and that passed by a wider margin, 384-39. Most people simply don't understand that supply reduction is not partially but totally ineffective, and that Andean militarization is closely connected with serious human rights abuses. Those 39 representatives, then, deserve to be congratulated for taking a tough vote and doing the right thing. You can read who voted for and who voted against by visiting the same page listed above, and clicking on roll number 442. Some reps, however, are willing to do the wrong thing, whether or not they understand the issue. One of our members has informed us that he got in a heated debate with a staffer at the office of Rep. Tom Bliley (R-VA), culminating with his being information that Bliley thinks that fighting drug abuse in our own country is more important that human rights in other countries. Perhaps the staffer exaggerated in the heat of the moment, but even if so, the episode shows how warped a perspective some policymakers have developed in the war on drugs. Can Rep. Bliley truly believe it is moral for the U.S. government to indirectly fund torture and death squad executions, to supposedly save some Americans from the consequences of their own choices? If this makes you as angry as it makes us, give Tom Bliley a call at (202)225-2815 and ask if he really believes this. The second issue is whether the 384 reps who voted for this bill actually believe it will help. Report after report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, for example, have found these strategies to be ineffective. (Check out http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/GOVPUBS/gao/gaomen1.htm to read many of them online.) Many members of Congress undoubtedly have bought into the party line and think this militarization bill will help. But the problem isn't that Andean peasants are growing coca. The problem is the ignorance of our public officials who haven't read even the government's own evidence on the subject. (See our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#andes to learn more about this important topic.) Another of our members caught H.J. Res. 117's sponsor, Bill McCollum, in what can charitably be characterized as a factual error on the House floor during the debate. McCollum remarked, "According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, HIV positive smokers of marijuana progress to full blown AIDS twice as fast as non- smokers and have increased incidences of bacterial pneumonia." But in private correspondence, a researcher at that agency wrote "I am unaware of any study that shows that marijuana smoking speeds HIV progression. A number of studies, conducted both by NIAID-sponsored investigators and others, have concluded that cannabis and other psychoactive substances are not co-factors in HIV disease progression." The letter went on to list several relevant studies. Any member of the House or Senate can be reached through the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. *** 3. Free Will Foster Campaign Continues Concerned citizens from around the world continue to urge Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating to sign off on a state parole board recommendation that Will Foster, medical cannabis user, be immediately paroled. Foster, who was sentenced in 1996 to 93 years in prison for cultivation had his sentence reduced to 20 years on appeal. Due to serious overcrowding in the Oklahoma prison system, as well as a new law mandating that violent offenders serve a minimum of 85% of their sentence, Foster became eligible for parole immediately. If you haven't yet taken a moment to contact Governor Keating on Will's behalf, please consider doing so today. Remember, a letter has the greatest impact, followed by a phone call, fax and email, respectively. Foster, who owned his own computer software business at the time of his arrest, poses no threat to anyone, yet has already been separated from his family for two years. To reach the Governor, call (405) 521-2342, e-mail email@example.com (the governor's e-mail has bounced in the past, so we don't know for sure whether it works now -- click on mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org if your browser recognizes URL's), fax to (405) 521-3317, 523- 4224 or 522-3492, or write to: Governor Frank Keating State Capitol Building, Room 212 Oklahoma City, OK 73105 Very important: Be polite! Remember, there is no reason to assume he is against us at this point, and we need to always present ourselves as credible and reasonable. And make sure to let us know you've written! We need to know if you've acted, to evaluate our effectiveness and demonstrate it to our donors. Drop us a note at alert- email@example.com, or just reply to this message, to let us know. (You can read our original alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/9-10.html.) *** 4. Attention Students DRCNet's U-net discussion list is now online, as is our U- Net web site at http://www.drcnet.org/U-net. If you are a campus activist, or if you'd like to become more involved in the movement, check it out. On the discussion list you'll be in touch with students from across the country. You'll be able to learn from the experience of committed activists, share your own knowledge, discuss ideas for activism and coordinate your activities on a regional and a national scale. There's no pressure to commit any more time than you're able, just a great way to make the most of the time, the resources and the skills at your disposal. To subscribe, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words "subscribe U-net your name". (Leave out the quotations and substitute your actual name.) Hope to see you there! (Note that if you subscribed last year, you need to subscribe again this year, due to a technical glitch.) *** 5. DEA Raids Humboldt Cannabis Center, Destroys Patients' Medicine - Dale Gieringer, California NORML Arcata, CA: Sept. 9, 1998. DEA agents raided the collective medical marijuana garden of the Humboldt Cannabis Center in Arcata, destroying over 150 plants intended for medical use by its members. Eyewitnesses report that a team of fourteen agents landed by helicopter at the center's garden last Wednesday, Sept. 9th. Included were four state narcotics agents, who claimed to be observers but participated in destroying the crop. The DEA did not raid the center's office nor arrest any of its personnel. The DEA has staged similar raids against medical marijuana gardens at the San Francisco Flower Therapy club and Dennis Peron's Lake County Farm. The Humboldt Cannabis Center is a patient collective with over 300 members. It operates in accordance with an Arcata city ordinance which explicitly recognizes the right of patients to form "medical marijuana associations" to help acquire marijuana for themselves. The Center has worked in close cooperation with local authorities, including Arcata police chief Mel Brown, who runs a patient identification card program. In an effort to cooperate with local authorities, Humboldt Cannabis Center had notified law enforcement of the location of its garden. Insofar as cultivation of marijuana by medical patients is protected under Proposition 215, state officials have no authority to disturb collective gardens. However, DEA agents act under federal law, under which medical marijuana remains strictly illegal. Observers suspect that a disgruntled local law enforcement official tipped off the DEA to come in. "I guess they'd rather that patients buy on the black market," commented Humboldt Cannabis Center director Jason Browne, "The federal government is promoting illegal drug dealing." California NORML denounced the raid as an outrageous example of government piracy, noting that the Humboldt center is widely respected as one of the best-run medical cooperatives in the state. (CA NORML is on the web at http://www.norml.org/canorml.) *** 6. House Approves Anti-Medical Cannabis Resolution, Patient Arrested For Medicating in McCollum's Office On Tuesday, September 15, Renee Emry, a multiple sclerosis patient and mother of three, lit a marijuana cigarette in the Washington, D.C. office of Rep. Bill McCollum (R-FL) to protest an anti medical marijuana resolution being debated that day on the floor of the House of Representatives. McCollum, who once co-sponsored a pro-medical marijuana bill in the early eighties, was the chief sponsor of House Joint Resolution 117. H.J. Res 117 is a non-binding sense of the House Resolution stating Congress's opposition to marijuana as medicine. In front of dozens of media and spectators, Emry was soon arrested by Capital police, placed in a wheel chair, handcuffed and sent to a local D.C. jail to await a hearing. Before committing the act of civil disobedience, Emry stated in a press release, "I got arrested today so that hopefully some day, other patients will not have to." Emry was released from custody and will appear for trial on December 7th, 1998, where she faces up to six months in jail, but not before having two conditions placed on her release by Hearing Commissioner Aida Melendez. Condition one: Emry is not allowed to enter any Congressional office buildings. "My First Amendment rights have been stripped without even having the benefit of a trial," Emry said the day after being released. "I had an appointment with my Senator that I had to cancel to avoid being sent back to jail. My citizenship has been reduced because I have been charged with -- not yet convicted of -- marijuana possession." Condition two: Emry is not to use her medicine -- marijuana -- until after the trial. On this Emry explained, " I have to be urine tested every week. If I test positive for my only medicine, I will be sent back to jail until my trial. When I was locked up on Tuesday, I was so scared and cold the my shivers nearly resulted in convulsions." Emry also told the WOL that while in a jail cell awaiting her hearing she was placed with prostitutes and several women arrested for assault. "I will surely be severely injured or assaulted if they send me back to jail. My condition has been stabilized for over ten years, but if I'm forced to go without my medicinal marijuana for nearly two months, I will be bedridden. Even worse I could start a downward spiral that would kill me in a few years." Chuck Thomas, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, which led the lobbying efforts against the resolution, said of all this, "Renee's case exemplifies why the House's recent vote was so inhumane." While Emry was awaiting her hearing, Congress debated the Resolution for forty minutes. H.J. Res. 117 states among other things, "Congress continues to support the existing Federal legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of drugs and opposes efforts to circumvent this process by legalizing marijuana and other Schedule I drugs for medicinal use without valid scientific evidence and the approval of the FDA..." This language is similar to, though significantly less hostile than, an earlier Resolution, H.J. Res. 372, which passed the House judiciary committee in late March, an event that was marked by another multiple sclerosis patient, Cheryl Miller, getting arrested for consuming marijuana in the office of Rep. Jim Rogan (R-CA). (See our coverage at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/036.html#protest.) Although Rep. McCollum's office would not comment to the WOL about Renee Emry's act, he stated on the house floor during debate, "Everybody here today in this body is sympathetic with people who suffer from pain in this country and the many Americans who have been told in some cases that the smoking of marijuana will relieve that pain to them. But the ingredients that they need the medical profession has already laid forth in medicine that is available and approved." Although several Congressmen spoke in opposition to the measure, there was little talk of criminal penalties for patients who use, grow and possess their medicine pending government approval. Only Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) brought that up, observing, "The logic of the authors of this legislation therefore seems to be that a very ill person should be sent to jail because he or she used the smokable form of a drug whose active ingredient is currently licensed for oral use." The debate instead focused on drug use among children, the FDA approval process and the legalization movement. Several hours later the House took a roll call vote and passed the resolution by 310 to 93. "Fortunately, nearly 100 members of Congress opposed H.J. Res. 117," said MPP's Chuck Thomas. "We're almost halfway to the number of congressional votes that will be required to remove criminal penalties for patients like Ms. Emry. Until that happens, the only hope is for voters to pass state initiatives that will be on the ballot in November in five states and the District of Columbia." The states which will be voting on medical cannabis initiatives in November are Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Alaska. (You can find the Marijuana Policy Project on the web at http://www.mpp.org.) *** 7. Medical Marijuana On Ballot In D.C. - Kris Lotlikar After a long effort to qualify a medical marijuana initiative for the District of Columbia ballot, ACTUP DC has succeeded. The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics today certified I-59 for the ballot. Organizers of I-59 had turned in 32,000 signatures in support of the measure in July, but almost half of the signatures were dismissed after the election board cited problems with the affidavit of a person who circulated the petition. On September 3rd, Superior Court Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle ruled that the election board was wrong to set aside more than 4,600 signatures based on a "harmless" discrepancy. Wayne Turner of ACTUP was stunned by the decision. He told The Week Online, "Getting on the ballot was a monumental achievement. This has been grassroots politics at its finest." The campaign to legalize the possession, use, cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical if recommended by a physician will begin on September 15. "We have seven weeks to get the word out and get our people to the polls." I-59 and its predecessor, I-57, were originally sponsored by Steve Michael, who passed away from complications resulting from AIDS early this summer. Persons interested in volunteering with the I-59 campaign can call (202) 547-9404 or e-mail DCSign59@aol.com. Further information is available at http://www.actupdc.org. *** 8. Industrial Hemp Making Strides Worldwide - Troy Dayton This week, industrial hemp supporters won major victories in three different parts of the world. The Rand Corporation pledged 25 million dollars for a five year project to develop a strong South African Hemp industry, Gov. Ben Cayetano, governor of Hawaii, came out in favor of industrial hemp, and a North Dakota State University (NDSU) study says industrial hemp has great potential and should be grown in the U.S. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald asked candidates to give their positions on a number of issues for its election guide. Cayetano went as far as to tell the Hawaii Tribune-Herald, "I wear occasionally a product made of hemp." "Hawaii is in a severe economic slump. Industrial hemp can provide a viable substitute for failing crops," said Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R-Kenoehe) "I believe Governor Cayetano is the first governor in the nation to support it and we are delighted. Now, it's time for the federal government to get out of the way and let our state farmers make money again," Thielen told The Week Online. David Kraenzel, of the NDSU agriculture economics department, presented his study to the legislative Interim Commerce and Agricultural Committee last Thursday at the State Capitol. The Bismarck Tribune reported a favorable reception to the idea of allowing hemp cultivation by the committee. Since Canada has recently legalized industrial hemp, Tim Petry of NDSU believes progress will be easier in a year when there is better data available. Businesses seem very interested in getting involved with South African Hemp. James Wynn of the South African Hemp Company (SAHC) told Engineering News that "Demand for hemp products worldwide has increased by 233% over the past two years." Unfortunately there are some legislative hurdles that may impede the viability of this plan. The Department of Health must issue permits for growing hemp. But, it only meets once every six weeks and hemp permits are often pushed aside for more pressing matters of business. "A whole season can be missed because it takes months before a permit is cleared," said Wynn. Chris Conrad, president of the Business Alliance for Commercial Hemp, told the Week Online that Canada has "set the tone for competition." "The developments of this past week are a good example of how economics and science are slowly but surely taking precedence over the politics of marijuana," said Conrad. The office of National Drug Control Policy has a very different view of industrial hemp. Its official statement on the subject says that "legalizing hemp would send a confusing message to our youth... and may lead to de facto legalization of marijuana cultivation." The statement goes on to say that the "production of hemp appears to offer no relief to farmers or manufacturers of textiles or paper as an alternative crop or product." *** 9. Methadone Clinic Sues Fairfax Police - Kris Lotlikar On August 14, the Fairfax police department presented a warrant to search the Fairfax Methadone Treatment Clinic in connection with a stolen car which had been park in the vicinity of the center. During the search, which lasted for about four hours, 8-10 officers seized patient files, wrote down confidential information and collected license plate numbers in the parking lot. Patients arriving to receive their treatment were turned away at the door and when a nurse objected to the search she was threatened with being arrested. After the search was over, the staff of the treatment clinic were left to pick up the pieces of the clients' broken confidence. The Fairfax Methadone Treatment Clinic has chosen to file a civil rights suit against the Fairfax Police Department. This search is not the first time the Fairfax police have come to the clinic looking for patient information, according to David Tripp, the attorney representing the clinic. Patient records are protected under federal law against this type of seizure. "People who take the extraordinarily difficult step to seek drug addiction treatment are protected under federal statute," Tripp told The Week Online. The clinic is looking for assurances that there will be no more of these privacy violations and that all the material seized is returned to the clinic. "We want to make sure that the patient information is not sitting in some database for future use," commented Tripp. He explains that the warrant was unconstitutionally broad and that the officers used this opportunity to get information on clients they knew they could not obtain by any other means. The stolen vehicle was part of a jewelry robbery investigation in the area. The suspect the police were looking for was reported to be a white man. Patient files of black males were also seized during the search. Kent Willis, executive director of the Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, called the search "one of the most outrageous violations of the 4th amendment I have ever witnessed." Police many times become overzealous when investigating a crime, and it is the job of the magistrate to protect citizens' rights. "The magistrate was either asleep at the wheel or unaware of the 4th amendment when he granted that warrant." As program director of the clinic, Ofelia Sellati has had to deal with the lost trust of the patients. "Many of them are angry and stunned by the action. Some are taking legal action of their own," she told The Week Online. "This has affected the goodwill of our business. Clients come to us and we promise to protect their confidence. We can no longer promise that. Who would have thought that the police would show up and shatter that goodwill and trust? Drug treatment is built on trust. Where do we go from here?" *** 10. Immigrant Children Used to Sell Cocaine in Vancouver's Black Market In yet another stunning example of the dangers of prohibition to children, police in Vancouver, British Columbia have reported this week (9/11) that over the summer they have picked up seven Honduran children, aged 10-15, who were selling crack cocaine. The most recent, and most shocking, incident occurred last week when a ten year-old child swallowed at least 18 pieces of the substance as the police approached him. The unidentified boy was taken immediately to a local hospital where his stomach was pumped. The children, according to BC police, are being used as "mules", holding the drugs while adults transact the sales. Adam J. Smith, associate director of DRCNet, who spent more than a decade working with children and teens in New York City, commented, "the use of children, and the luring of young teens into the drug trade, is an inevitable consequence of prohibition. We had the same problem with Alcohol Prohibition, which was one reason why mothers across the nation came together to overturn the eighteenth amendment." Smith continued, "Clearly, in this case, we have a situation where very young children were being exploited, which is in itself horrifying. We see that a lot with border crossings where children are made to either carry drugs on them or to swallow balloons or condoms filled with heroin or cocaine. But there is also the problem of young teens who find that there is money to be made in selling drugs on a small scale to their friends who use them. Put simply, prohibition insures that the drug trade remains in the hands of children and criminals and out of societal control. If we look, on the other hand, at alcohol, despite very lax enforcement of existing regulations, kids are not selling it and, for the most part, they cannot directly buy it. Prohibition is not 'drug control'. In fact we've abdicated control over the market in illicit drugs. For children, the consequences of the drug war are disastrous." *** 11. EDITORIAL: Whose Privacy? With Washington, D.C. and, to a lesser extent it seems, the nation consumed by the steamy details of Bill Clinton's extramarital dalliances, the question has been posed, by the President himself no less, "what, exactly constitutes private vs. public conduct, and where should the line be drawn?" Clinton clearly believes it is wrong for the government to use its vast powers to snoop around in people's lives and pry into the decisions and actions of consenting adults. Or does he? Every day in America, hundreds of doors are kicked in by gun wielding agents of the state in search of evidence of conduct which by any reasonable standard should be considered private. What coherent set of principles would allow, on the one hand, the government to seek out and criminally punish people who ingest unacceptable substances in their own home, on their own time, whether for medicinal or recreational purposes, yet prohibit the state from looking into the behavior of public servants, acting on public time, who occupy an office whose very stability is of vital import to the functioning and the future of the free world? The people whose lives are turned upside down by intrusions incident to the Drug War owe no debt of service to their countrymen comparable to that of the President. They have neither sought out positions of public responsibility, nor committed themselves to public accountability. They do not ask for secret service protection, they want no free air time from TV networks, they do not seek a paycheck, nor a pension, nor access to Air Force One courtesy of their fellow taxpayers. What they want most from their government is radical indeed. They simply want to be left, as much as possible, alone. There is no articulated right to "privacy" in the Constitution of these United States. The word does not appear in the Preamble, nor in the articles, nor in the Bill of Rights. But when one reads the text of the document upon which a nation and an enlightened system of government was founded more that 200 years ago, one thing is perfectly clear: before the government interferes in your life, searches your house, seizes your property, infringes on your liberty, they -- or more accurately, under a government of, by and for the people, we -- had better have a damn good reason. Our Chief Executive seems offended, even outraged, that his privacy has been so offhandedly disregarded by agents of the State. He did not see fit to mention, however, that during his administration there has been a steady erosion of privacy on all fronts, from economic to personal, under the guise of fighting the Drug War. Or that each year of his presidency has brought record numbers of arrests -- including over 640,000 in 1997 for marijuana -- over 80% of those for simple possession. Even if not impeachable, is Clinton's behavior, and the integrity of the office of the President, less compelling than the question of whether or not your next door neighbor is smoking a joint while watching Saturday Night Live? Isn't it conceivable that the adulterous affairs of a President could leave him vulnerable to untoward political pressures? Even blackmail? What comparable threat is posed by the consensual private conduct that daily gives rise to countless "no-knock" warrants under Clinton's Drug War? "Even Presidents have private lives," Bill Clinton scolded. But judging by his actions, this statement does not entirely encapsulate his beliefs. To be sure, Clinton wants his privacy, and believes that he is entitled to such basic consideration. In Bill Clinton's mind, a President deserves the right to keep the most intimate and personal details of his existence out of the reach of government scrutiny and power. He just doesn't think that the rest of us deserve the same protection. 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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