Portland NORML News - Friday, September 25, 1998
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medical Marijuana (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Bulletin' In Bend, Oregon,
Says That Whatever You Believe About The Medical Properties Of Marijuana,
Jailing Sick People For Using It Does More Damage Than The Drug Itself,
And We Should Not Be Inflicting Greater Harm Than The Problem
We Are Trying To Solve)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 20:04:17 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Curt Wagoner
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Bulletin, The (OR)
Section: My Nickles Worth
Page: A-6
Contact: bulletin@bendbulletin.com
Mail: 1526 NW Hill St, Bend, OR 97701
Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

Your editorial on medical marijuana misses one major fact and the real
point. The fact is that smokable marijuana is a medicine under federal
law. The U.S. federal government distributes it to a number of
patients, after one of them went to court and proved to a legal
certainty that 1) smokable marijuana is a medicine and 2) it is the
only medicine suitable for their conditions.

To help you understand the point you missed, let's try another
analogy. Let's suppose that these people were growing their own
tobacco and rolling their own cigars, because they thought they made
them feel better. We all know, of course, that tobacco has no
significant beneficial medical effects and, in fact is pretty bad for
their health. Should we jail them and seize their property to persuade
them to stop smoking homegrown cigars?

Smoking cigars is certainly harmful, but the effects of jailing sick
people and seizing their property is even worse. The real point is
this - whatever you believe about the medical properties of marijuana
- jailing sick people for using it does more damage than the drug
itself. We should not be inflicting greater harm than the problem we
are trying to solve. And, I would recomend that you read Major Studies
of Drugs and Drug Policy at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer. You
need to catch up with the research on these issues.

Cliff Schaffer. Canyon Country, Calif.
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Lawn Signs For Measures 57 And 67 (A Portland NORML Activist
Says Voter Power Is Distributing Lawn Signs And Other Materials
Urging Oregonians To Vote 'No' On Recriminalization And 'Yes'
For Medical Marijuana)

From: Perjanstr@aol.com
Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 23:07:13 EDT
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - Cannabis Patriots
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

CanPats,

Voter Power now has lawn signs [No on 57/Yes on 67] as well as other materials
relating to both initiatives. In Portland: (503) 736-0907

Or, can obtain materials relating to each initiative directly from campaign
headquarters in Salem; No on 57 Committee: 371-6222; Oregonians for Medical
Rights: 371-4711

Perry
[Portland] NORML
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Sheriff Sees Marijuana Measure As Ploy To Legalize Other Drugs
(An 'Associated Press' Story In 'The Oregonian' Quotes Multnomah County
Sheriff Dan Noelle Of Portland Telling The State Criminal Justice Commission
On Thursday That 'We Don't Believe Measure 67 Has Anything To Do
With Medicine' And That Marijuana 'Contributes To Violent
And Assaultive Behavior')

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 09:45:45 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US OR: Sheriff Sees Marijuana
Measure As Ploy To Legalize
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Oregonian, The (OR)
Contact: letters@news.oregonian.com
Website: http://flash.oregonlive.com/
Author: Charles E. Beggs, The Associated Press

SHERIFF SEES MARIJUANA MEASURE AS PLOY TO LEGALIZE OTHER DRUGS

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A medical marijuana measure on the Nov. 3 ballot
is a ploy to legalize other drugs, says the sheriff of the state's
most populous county.

"We don't believe Measure 67 has anything to do with medicine,"
Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle told the state Criminal Justice
Commission on Thursday.

The commission is taking testimony to compile an informative report
for the public, but won't take a formal position on the initiative
measure.

Noelle said in the field of pharmaceuticals, marijuana "would be the
least effective and most risky" option.

He also claimed the drug "contributes to violent and assaultive
behavior."

But the sponsor of the measure, Dr. Richard Bayer of Portland, said
marijuana is a time-tested remedy for some ailments and was used as
far back at the late 1800s to relieve pain.

He said it's the only pain reliever that has no side effects on the
gastrointestinal system.

And he said the drug's use needs to be tightly controlled.

"We don't want people driving who are under the influence," Bayer
said.

Other supports said the drug has been shown to relieve chemotherapy
side effects and glaucoma.
Link to correction
Portland psychologist and addiction counselor Roger Burt argued that marijuana "is definitely in the big leagues of addiction." He said its use damages learning ability and health and even shrinks the brain. "This sounds like physician-assisted suicide to me," Burt said. "I think it's nothing but trouble for Oregon."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Re - Sheriff Sees Marijuana Measure As Ploy To Legalize Other Drugs
(A List Subscriber In Salem, Oregon, Says He Checked With The State Board
Of Psychological Examiners, The Board Of Counselors, And The Board
Of Licensed Social Workers And It Turns Out The 'Portland Psychologist
And Addiction Counselor Roger Burt' Quoted By 'The Associated Press'
Making Ludicrous Assertions About Cannabis Is Not Licensed Or Registered
In Oregon - Plus Commentary From Other List Subscribers)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 00:01:22 -0700
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

PLEASE SEE MY COMMENTS BELOW THIS ARTICLE

Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy to legalize other drugs

The Associated Press
9/25/98 4:58 AM

By CHARLES E. BEGGS
Associated Press Writer

[snipped to avoid duplication. This version was identical to 'The Oregonian'
version (see above) - ed.]

***

Paul wrote:

I called the board of Psychological Examiners today
to complain about the so-called psychologist who
is quoted in the above article. I was told he is
not a certified psychologist in Oregon. I checked
with the Board of Counselors and the Board of Licensed
social Workers. He is not registered! So I called
The Oregonian and got the news editor's phone machine.
I voiced my complaint and asked if I can represent
myself ad a M.D. to rebut him :-) I told them to call.
Any ideas? I want to persue this because this is not
a small matter in my mind. The person at the one
board suggested I send a copy to the Board of
Psychological Examiners.

Paul

***

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 03:02:05 -0700
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Letter to the Editor- Oregonian
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Letter to the Editor- Oregonian
sent in for submission

The man quoted in your AP piece on medical marijuana is not
a registered psychologist in Oregon. He is not registered with the
Board of Psychological Examiners, Board of Counselors or the
Board of Licensed Social Workers. Since when does a newspaper
quote someone as a professional who is not? May I represent myself
as an M.D.? If your going to print refer madness about pot shrinking the
brain (9-25-98) at least quote someone with the proper expertise.
This is an example of the mainstream press not even checking one
source. Has the AP and the Oregonian now stooped to the caliber of
the tabloids? In this case it appears they did. I challenge you to print
this letter. The Oregonian doesn't seem to accept criticism when it
hits home. Prove me wrong.

Paul Stone

***

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 22:07:48 -0500
From: "Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr." (rpearl1@hotcom.net)
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

You may want to notify the sheriff that the Anmerican Psychiatric
Association disagrees with him when he says, "He also claimed the drug
"contributes to violent and assaultive behavior."

According the the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,
marijuana does not make people violent. In fact, it says if the person
is violent, look to alcohol or some other drug. It's not marijuana. I
think the medical doctors who wrote that know more than your sheriff.

Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr.

***

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 01:49:33 -0700
From: Paul Freedom (nepal@teleport.com)
Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots
To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com)
Subject: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy to legalize other drugs
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Oregon State Psychologists and Examiners Board
3218 Pringle Road SE Suite 130
Salem, Oregon
97302-6309
PH-503-378-4154

***

From: LawBerger@aol.com
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 02:22:33 EDT
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

For what it's worth, I told the commission that having been a criminal lawyer
for 15 years, and having represented over 1600 people, I'd certainly been lied
to before and received disinformation from the government as a part of the
discovery process, but had never heard as many lies or received as much
disinformation in as short a period of time as I did on thurs. listening to
this fellow who wants to be an addictions counselor tell the commission, among
other things, that marijuana causes brain atrophy, yet, at the same time,
telling them that Bruce Lee's death was attributed to his brain expansion
caused by his chronic use of marijuana.

He also claimed someone died in Houston last year. I pressed him in the hall
for a reference for this assertion (no one has ever died from consuming
cannabis; the mortality co-efficient is zero) and he was not forthcoming.

Anyway, it didn't seem like the comm'n gave his testimony much credence,
especially when contrasted with Dr. Bayer's.

Lee Berger
Portland

***

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 10:15:34 -0400
From: Kim (vocal@mint.net)
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy to legalize other drugs
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

Paul,

Just a thought.

I have a friend whom is a psychologist (that's what I thought anyway). The
other day I called her a "psychologist" and she corrected me saying, "Well, I'm
not licensed, but, I have my bachelors degree in psychology."
Surprise!, learn something new everyday!

Btw, she has worked in counseling for many years.

***

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 09:35:09 -0500
From: "Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr." (rpearl1@hotcom.net)
To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com
Subject: Re: CanPat - Sheriff sees marijuana measure as ploy to legalize other drugs
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@lists.teleport.com
Reply-To: cannabis-patriots-l@teleport.com

My Friends,

About the "Psychologist." I don't know the laws in Oregon, but in
Tennessee you cannot call yourself a psychologist unless you are
licensed by the state as such. I can call myself a doctor of psychology
if I am, but I cannot call myself a psychologist uness I have that
license, which entails p[assing a national exam and a state oral exam in
most states.

When I write to this board, I write as a citizen and a human being who
has views I wish to express. I do not write as a psychologist, usually,
because this is not my area of expertise. When I write as a
psychologist, I sign my full name. When I write as an ordinary citizen,
I sign my first name only. I am sure many of you have noticed that
difference.

The APA can do nothing to someone who is not a member, but your state
board can if he is falsely representing himself as a psychologist, and
they should. Everyone who lives in the state should write to the Board
of Psychological Examiners and demand that action be taken against this
person if he is not credentialed to be what he said he is.

By the way, kudos to Kim's friend who ensured that she was not called by
a title she had not earned. I had to fight constantly with my
girlfriend to STOP calling me a psychologist before I got my license.
She could only say I had my doctorate in psychology. Honest people in
the psychology profession will ALWAYS do what Kim's friend did.

By the way, I AM a psychologist.

Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr.
Tennessee Psychologist License 2205

***

From: "Patrick O'Connolly" (poc@hevanet.com)
To: "Phil Smith" (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: Re: Portland NORML News - A few recent headlines . . .
Remember Dan Noelle
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 17:45:30 -0700

It seems that ole Dan Noelle, Sheriff ADL Elect, is dead set about making
sure the Oregon Mob doesn't share the profits. Witness his absolutism on the
use of marijuana.

I know many folks who have gone through ChemoTherapy and still are, and
before they fell victim to the ol' weed they didn't want to eat and felt
like general shit, hell even my own grandma found that the ol' weed helped
her cataracts!

Anyway who is Dan Noelle let's all remember that a few years back when he was
just a chair warmer for the Portland Police Department, he was given the
task of investigating the ADL (Anti-Defamation League, Remember Meyer
Lansky, or is that Meier & Frank Lansky) well anyway Dan gave the ADL a
clean bill of health even though a character down in San Francisco (CIA/ADL)
was found with the entire 'secret' files from Portland's own Civilian
Intelligence Department (CID?, yes myrtle the Portland Cops have files on
everyone with the exception of criminals). So old Dan Noelle, cleaned up
the case and gave the ADL a clean bill of health and within a couple months
he was handed the job of Multnomah County Sheriff.

Well Ol' Dan is fond of the mob, old Lansky himself was involved in setting
up most drug rackets in this country since the 1920's when incidently he
set up the ADL as a cover.

Basically Lansky's heirs don't want drugs legalized, because then they would
have to share the profits with the Government, but when they simply own the
Government its a cheaper deal that they have now, just to control a few
cronies.

Hell, if Dan Noelle can give the ADL a clean bill of health, then certainly
he can demonize the killer weed!

Keep up the good work Dan, p.s. make sure your retirement's not dependant on
PERS, those folks at the OREGONIAN, KKR (who control you) have just about
bankrupted the State Retirement, I hope your handlers have promised you more
than just the job and cozy public retirement.

Sincerely, Patrick

Anyone that wants to review old Meyer Lansky and his empire check out the
book 'Mogul of the Mob', old Lansky was responsbile for setting everything
up during prohibition he owned everyone.

***

Patrick O'Connolly, An Irish Rebel
A leisure class exists at both ends of the economic system.

***

Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 08:26:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: Terry Miller (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
To: Bob Tiernan (zulu@teleport.com)
cc: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: Re: Sheriff Noele

On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Bob Tiernan wrote:

> You might want to keep an eye (time permitting)
> on when Sheriff Dan is speaking out against
> M57 and/or M67. I believe that if it's during
> his working or duty hours, he's violating the
> Hatch Act by lobbying for or against something
> while on the clock. I am currently trying
> to catch Tri - Met officials doing the same for
> M26-74.

I don't know for sure, but it seems like that, even if he does and it is
against the Hatch Act, how do you make something happen to stop that?

TD

***

Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 07:02:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob Tiernan (zulu@teleport.com)
To: Terry Miller (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
cc: Phil Smith (pdxnorml@pdxnorml.org)
Subject: Re: Sheriff Noele

On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, Terry Miller wrote:

> I don't know for sure, but it seems like that, even if he does and it is
> against the Hatch Act, how do you make something happen to stop that?

I've been asked to send a short letter to [Secretary of State Phil] Keisling
regarding Tri-Met officials doing this regarding the North/South
measure, at least to get a clarification and to draw attention
to this. I might as well add the Noelle lobbying to my letter.
I did not cut the article out, but about what time of the day
did Noelle and the doctor make their presentation?

Bob

***

[ed. note - Be sure to cite Oregon state election laws ORS 260.432 (1) & (2).
See also this web site on the Hatch Act, for federal civilian and military
personnel:

http://www.access.gpo.gov/osc/#11

Last time I checked the address for the Secretary of State was:

Phil Keisling
Secretary of State
136 State Capitol
Salem OR 97310-0722
Tel. (503) 986-1523
Fax: (503) 986-1616
E-mail: phil.keisling@state.or.us
Web page: http://www.sos.state.or.us/soshome.htm]
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Senate Panel OKs Suicide Ban ('The Oregonian' Says A Bill That Would Block
Oregon's Physician-Assisted Suicide Law Cleared The Senate
Judiciary Committee On Thursday)

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

Senate panel OKs suicide ban

* Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., pushes to nullify Oregon's assisted-suicide law
before Congress adjourns, but even allies prefer to hold off and have a
thorough debate

Friday, September 25 1998

By Jim Barnett
and Dave Hogan
of the Oregonian staff

WASHINGTON -- A bill that would block Oregon's physician-assisted suicide
law cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. But many who voted
in favor said they hoped Congress would proceed slowly and cautiously.

"I will vote to move this process along for now, but I have serious
reservations about this bill," Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, said before the
vote. "We need to consider the intended consequences as well as the
unintended consequences."

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., would prohibit doctors
from prescribing lethal doses of pain-killing drugs to deathly ill patients.
It passed 11-6, encouraging Nickles to push for a quick vote by the full Senate.

"It is my intention to help the Senate pass this important bill before we
adjourn" on Oct. 9, said Nickles, assistant majority leader and the Senate's
No. 2 Republican.

But Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other committee
members said the full Senate is unlikely to vote on the legislation before
next year because of time constraints and procedural roadblocks.

Several members, including some of the Republicans who supported the bill,
had bigger concerns as well.

During a chaotic work session in a crowded Capitol anteroom, some members
echoed doctors' objections. Doctors have said the prospect of investigation
by federal drug agents would prevent them from prescribing sufficient doses
of pain-killing drugs for patients facing death.

In a telling exchange, Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., told Hatch that he had
concerns about this "chilling effect" on doctors. Quietly, Hatch replied, "I
do, too. I do, too."

Specter then gave Hatch his proxy to vote for the bill. But before leaving
the work session, he told the chairman, "I want to make the record explicit
that I will oppose it on the Senate floor."

The hourlong debate reached an emotional peak when Sen. Dianne Feinstein,
D-Calif., told the committee that several people close to her, including her
father and her second husband, required palliative care before dying of cancer.

"I don't think this does a whit for retarding assisted suicide," Feinstein
said. "I do sincerely believe that this is going to retard prescribing for
terminally ill, deeply suffering patients."

"You may be right," said Hatch, an ardent opponent of assisted suicide.

The bill that passed the Judiciary Committee, in fact, was a version of the
Nickles bill that Hatch amended in hopes of allaying doctors' concerns.
Among other things, the amended bill would:

* Increase the prosecutor's burden of proof to show "clear and convincing
evidence" that a doctor prescribed medication intended to assist in a suicide.

* Include officials from the Department of Health and Human Services as part
of an advisory board to the Drug Enforcement Administration, with which
doctors must register to prescribe certain drugs.

* Make the bill effective only after the date of enactment, meaning that
doctors who participated in an assisted suicide or euthanasia prior to the
bill's passage would not be penalized.

In an interview after the Thursday meeting, Hatch said he regarded his
version of the bill as an improvement. But he also said he did not consider
it to be "the last word."

"We're going to keep our minds open and see what we can do to make sure it's
perfected as much as we can," he said. "Anybody can stop any bill right now
on the floor . . . and I suspect that unless we have more of a bipartisan
consensus, it will be stopped."

Under Senate rules, any member can prevent a floor vote on a bill or
nomination by placing it under a procedural "hold." Shortly after the
Judiciary Committee voted, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., did just that, denouncing
the Judiciary Committee's vote in a floor speech.

Wyden said he would ensure that the Senate gives the issue of assisted
suicide its full attention rather than push through a bill with little
debate. But he also said that he was overmatched by Republican leaders who
pressed for support in the Judiciary Committee and could easily pass the
bill by adding it to other legislation.

"I think certainly Senator Nickles is busily looking for vehicles to attach
it to this year," Wyden said. "We're going to have to be vigilant to be sure
this isn't going to be railroaded through."

Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., said he and Hatch had discussed the bill and
concluded that they shared a dilemma: Both would rather go slowly but would
support Nickles' bill if pressed.

"I have had long talks with Senator Hatch now, and I think he is trying to
be sensitive to the complexities involved," Smith said. "But like Senator
Hatch, if you push me to vote, I cannot as a matter of personal conscience
vote to kill people in these circumstances."

The debate about assisted suicide has come to a head in Congress in the past
two weeks, thanks to an end-of-session push by Republican leaders, including
Nickles and Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., the House Judiciary chairman.

Hyde began turning up the heat on the assisted suicide issue in early June,
when he introduced a bill that served as the model for Nickles' proposal.
The Hyde bill has been awaiting a floor vote since Sept. 17.

But in the House, some members also have had second thoughts about moving
too quickly on an issue that many have not had to confront and know little
about. Opponents of the Hyde bill think they have raised enough questions to
delay a vote at least until next year.

In the Senate, Smith said caution and further study would be a better
course. Now, he just has to convince Republican leaders.

"I think perhaps some in leadership can be accused of pushing it too fast,"
Smith said. "But I think with the passing of time, many are seeing the
complexity and the shades of gray in this issue and want to think it through."

Assisted-suicide activists in Oregon continue to watch the issue in Congress.

Barbara Coombs Lee, executive director of the Compassion in Dying Federation
and a co-author of Oregon's law, was buoyed by Hatch's prediction that the
bill is not likely to be voted on this year.

"When the chair of the committee that considered the bill says that
essentially he doesn't support it, I think that sends a strong message that
this is a bad piece of legislation," Lee said.

But Gayle Atteberry, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, said she
thinks the mission of stopping assisted suicide has not been derailed.

"I am quite positive they will work something out at some point," Atteberry
said. "I'm really not dismayed at all."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Study - Marijuana, Morphine Work On Same Area Of Brain
(The Knight Ridder Newspapers Version In 'The Seattle Times'
Of Wednesday's News About Cannabinoid Research By Ian Meng
And Associates At The Medical School Of The University Of California
At San Francisco)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 20:08:07 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Study: Marijuana, Morphine Work On Same Area Of Brain
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Seattle-Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://seattletimes.com/
Author: Andrea Widener, Knight Ridder Newspapers

STUDY: MARIJUANA, MORPHINE WORK ON SAME AREA OF BRAIN

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - A new study shows that the active ingredient in
marijuana combats pain in the same part of the brain as morphine,
potentially giving pot-for-pain advocates more fuel to make the prohibited
drug available for suffering patients.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco have shown for
the first time that delta-9-THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, stops
pain signals in the base of the brain before they reach pain-awareness
centers.

Doctors and patients have claimed for years that smoking marijuana helps
their patients cope with immense pain caused by injuries or chronic
diseases such as AIDS or cancer, based mostly on anecdotal evidence and
studies conducted in the early 1970s.

In 1996, California voters agreed and passed Proposition 215, which allows
marijuana for medical uses. But scientific evidence has been lacking and,
despite Prop. 215, federal law-enforcement agencies have shut down attempts
to distribute the drug.

The UC-San Francisco study and additional medical studies may be key to
persuading federal agencies to let doctors use the drug, said Steve Heilig,
director of the San Francisco Medical Society - the only medical
organization to endorse Prop. 215 during the campaign.

The UC-San Francisco animal study shows that THC affects the same part of
the brain as morphine, a common treatment for severe pain.

"There is absolutely no question that it has an impact," said Ian Meng, a
post-doctoral researcher and primary author of the study, published today
in the scientific journal Nature. "It was really clear."

Research on humans has been unable to dissociate the drug's pain-numbing
positives with its mind-altering side effects because they couldn't go into
the brain and find out where the drug was working, Meng said. In recent
years, several studies have shown that THC is effective in treating
localized pain, such as that around wounds, and in stopping pain at the
spinal cord. But none has shown if it worked in the brain to stop pain.

Meng and other UC-San Francisco researchers injected rats with a synthetic
form of the drug and tested the animals' response to pain. They compared
the rats' reaction to THC with their reaction to morphine and found that
both drugs work at the base of the brain near the spinal cord, turning off
some pain messages and preventing others from being amplified as they
travel to the brain regions that regulate how pain is perceived.

"It is an important finding," said Michael Walker, a Brown University
professor of psychology and neuroscience who has studied THC's impact on
pain messages traveling through the spinal cord. "We previously showed that
cannabinoids (marijuanalike drugs) suppress the response of stimuli, but we
don't know much about how they do that."

Although THC works on the same part of the brain as morphine, researchers
found it does not work in the exact same way. That means further studies
should examine whether the drugs could be used together to treat pain, Meng
said. Other potential research areas include finding out exactly how THC
works in the brain stem and exploring better ways to deliver the dose, such
as by pill or inhaler, because smoking it damages the lungs.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Six Clubs' Federal Court Date Changed (A List Subscriber Notes The Hearing
Scheduled September 28 On The Legality Of The Oakland Cannabis Buyers'
Cooperative And Other Northern California Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Has Been Postponed A Week, Until Monday, October 5)
Link to earlier story
From: "ralph sherrow" (ralphkat@hotmail.com) To: ralphkat@hotmail.com Subject: DPFCA: 6 clubs federal court date changed Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 20:26:38 PDT Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Hey boys and girls, Don't go to the federal court in San Francisco 9-28-98. The court date has been changed to 10-5-98. It is also a Monday. The time is 2:30 pm on the 5th of October, 450 Golden Gate Ave. San Fran. Judge Breyer's courtroom, as always. We need as much support as possible. Everybody that can make it, be there. See you there. Ralph
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Los Angeles Times' Cartoon (Commentary On Wednesday's News
That In The Last Seven Years, Appropriations For Higher Education
In California Dropped 3 Percent While Prison Spending Rose 60 Percent)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 07:53:57 -0700
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: Jim Rosenfield (jnr@insightweb.com)
Subject: CARTOON/LAT: Prisons as Minority Recruitment Program
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org
link to earlier story
Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield
Source: LAT
Date: Sept 25 1998

Attached Cartoon

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










-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pilot Dies In DEA Chopper Crash (According To An 'Associated Press' Story
Broadcast By WFAA-TV In Texas, A Training Pilot Who Worked
For Raytheon Aerospace Died Near Fort Worth, While DEA Pilot Matt Fairbanks
Is Expected To Live)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 01:07:03 -0500
From: "robert w. frazier" (fz2@usac.net)
Reply-To: fz2@usac.net
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: Pilot dies in DEA chopper crash
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

WFAA-TV
http://www.wfaa.com/news/9809/25/chopper.shtml

Pilot dies in DEA chopper crash

Drug Agency Chopper Crashes; One Dead

Channel 8 News

FORT WORTH, September 25 --

A Drug Enforcement Agency helicopter crashed north of Fort Worth today,
killing one man and critically injuring another.

It happened about 11:30 a.m. during a training flight just east of Eagle
Mountain Lake.

The helicopter slammed into a field and burst into flames.

Based on a witness report, investigators say it's possible the pilot was
trying a maneuver called an auto-rotation.

"Just as it completed this turn, it began to descend, and he described it as
a steep descent," said Georgia Snyder of the National Transportation Safety
Board. "The descent continued, and the helicopter hit the ground. He then
immediately -- after the ground impact -- saw the flames and drove over to
render what assistance he could."

The helicopter was a Hughes OH-6, a model which saw extensive use in the
Vietnam War.

The instructor who died in the crash was identified as Larry Steilen, 51. He
was a training pilot who worked for Raytheon Aerospace.

DEA pilot Matt Fairbanks, 34, was in critical condition Friday night, but he
was expected to survive.

Investigators hope he can help them determine what caused the crash.

Reporter: Jim Douglas, The Associated Press

Copyright 1998 WFAA-TV, Inc., a subsidiary of A.H. Belo Corporation
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Wasteful Drug War (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Rockford Register Star'
In Illinois Notes The Government Estimates Its $17 Billion Federal Budget
For A Small Part Of The War On Some Drug Users Reduces The Amount Of Drugs
On The Maket By Only 3 Percent To 10 Percent)

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 19:13:04 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US IL: PUB LTE: Wasteful Drug War
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: msimon@tefbbs.com
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Rockford Register Star
Contact: talktome@wwa.com
Website: http://www.rrstar.com/
Fax: 1-815-987-1365
Author: M. Simon

WASTEFUL DRUG WAR

Editor

President Clinton's drug war budget is way out of balance. We spend
17 billion a year on the drug war (official government figures). Sixty
percent or a little over 10 billion is spent on drug supply
interdiction. Estimates are that this rate of spending reduces the
amount of drugs on the maket by 3 to 10%. Suppose the spending went up
to the 80% congress wants. Suppose it was done today. That would mean
almost 14 billion for interdiction. Suppose this money was spent as
effectively as current money. We would then be collecting between 4%
and 14 % of all the drugs flowing into the country. Not much
improvement.

Let us stop messing around. To stop all drug flows into the country we
would have to spend between $100 billion and $300 billion a year (the
equivalent of a new Dept of Defence). If we can't spend it as
effectively, then for $200 billion a year to $600 billion a year we
could prevent drugs from coming in to the country. This would be in
about the range of a Vietnam War. Fought in America. Continously. Forever.

Why worry about where a piddling 9 million is going when there is real
money at stake? If we are going to fight drugs taxes will have to go
up. To keep them from going up too much we will have to reinstitute a
draft.

If this is a war let's get serious. If not let's quit.

M. Simon
Rockford, Illinois
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Pesky Citizen-Made Law (A letter to the editor of The Tampa Tribune
in Florida about the attempt in Congress to nullify Oregon's unique physician
assisted suicide law notes the Republican Congress was elected in 1994
on a platform which included 'devolution' - returning power to the states.
Instead, they are 'devolving' power to the DEA to thwart citizens'
initiatives that the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee don't happen
to like.)

Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 03:20:01 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US FL: PUB LTE: Pesky Citizen-Made Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Chase
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Contact: tribletters@tampatrib.com
Website: http://www.tampatrib.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 25 Sep 98
Author: John Chase

PESKY CITIZEN-MADE LAW

On September 18th you reprinted a New York Times editorial about Rep. Henry
Hyde's misguided bill to allow the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) to punish
any physician who prescribes lethal doses of drugs with the intent of
assisting in a patient's suicide. Rep Hyde initiated it in response to the
passage of an Oregon citizens' initiative to allow physician-aided death in
certain specific situations.

This bill is an example of how the House Judiciary Committee has begun to
use the DEA to thwart citizen-made law of individual states.

Oregon passed its Death With Dignity law not once but twice, even though
opponents outspent proponents four to one. Michigan will vote on their own
similar initiative this November. Florida is one of the few states east of
the Mississippi whose constitutions allow citizen-made law.

The same committee provided another example this week by persuading Congress
to pass a 'sense of the house' resolution against future medical marijuana
initiatives. The resolution is intended to pressure the citizens of the four
states who will vote on medical marijuana initiatives this November.

The Republican Congress was elected in 1994 on a platform which included
'devolution' - you know - returning power to the states. Instead, they are
'devolving' power to the DEA to thwart citizens' initiatives which the
leaders of the House Judiciary Committee doesn't happen to like.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Medicine Not Subject To 'Opinion,' But It Is At Mercy Of Politics
(An Op-Ed In 'The St. Paul Pioneer Press' By Jacob Sullum, Senior Editor
Of 'Reason' Magazine, About House Joint Resolution 117,
The Anti-Medical Marijuana Vow Of Ignorance Recently Passed
By The US House Of Representatives)

From: Ethan Nadelmann (ENadelmann@sorosny.org)
To: TLC_CANNABIS (TLCCANNABIS@sorosny.org),
TLC_EN (TLCEN@sorosny.org)
Subject: Jacob Sullum re med mj
Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 22:07:48 -0400
Sender: owner-tlc-cannabis@server.soros.org
-----Original Message-----
From: davewest
Sent: Friday, September 25, 1998 4:48 PM
To: davewest@pressenter.com
Subject: Medicine ...at mercy of politics
SOURCE: St. Paul Pioneer Press
Pubdate: Sept 25, 1998
Author: Jacob Sullum

Medicine not subject to 'opinion,' but it is at mercy of politics

Polls consistently find that most Americans think patients who can
benefit from marijuana should be able to obtain it legally. Yet the
House of Representatives, on a vote of 310 to 93, recently approved a
resolution saying it is "unequivocally opposed to legalizing marijuana
for medicinal use."

Rep. Bill McCollum, the Florida Republican who sponsored the resolution,
told the Associated Press that "science cannot be based on opinion
polls." Apparently, though, it cap be based on demagogic declarations by
legislators terrified of seeming soft on drugs two months before an
election.

The resolution implies that marijuana .cannot be a medicine because it
is "dangerous and addictive." Yet the Drug Enforcement Administration's
chief administrative law judge has described marijuana as "one of the
safest therapeutically active substances known to man." Doctors
prescribe a host of pharmaceuticals with side effects far more serious
than marijuana's.

They also prescribe a wide variety of narcotics, stimulants and
sedatives that people have been known to use for nonmedical reasons.
Since the federal government recognizes legitimate uses for powerful
psychoactive substances such as morphine, cocaine and barbiturates, it's
hard to see why marijuana should be excluded because of its potential
for abuse.

The House resolution does not dispute marijuana's effectiveness at
relieving nausea and restoring appetite in patients undergoing cancer
chemotherapy or suffering from AIDS wasting syndrome.

But the resolution insists that "the use of crude marijuana for
medicinal purposes is unnecessary" because adequate alternatives are
available. Many patients disagree. They say they tried other nausea
medications without success before finding relief by smoking marijuana.
In a 1990 survey of oncologists, 44 percent said they had recommended
marijuana to at least one patient.

Marijuana's relative advantages as an antiemetic nevertheless remain
controversial. So does its utility in treating other conditions, such as
glaucoma, muscle spasms and chronic pain.

But instead of calling for more research to help resolve these issues,
the House has simply declared -- hardly scientifically -- that
"marijuana is not a medicine."

The Clinton administration, by contrast, officially favors gathering
more data. After the 1996 elections, drug czar Barry McCaffrey and
Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala condemned voters in
Arizona and California for legalizing medical marijuana through ballot
initiatives, circumventing the scientific process. McCaffrey and Shalala
say marijuana's legal status should be determined by the government's
experts.

There are reasons to doubt that science is the administration's main
concern. For U.S. research, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part
of the National Institutes of Health, is the only legal source of
marijuana. But NIDA is not eager to share its stash with scientists
investigating marijuana's medical utility.

It's doubtful that bureaucrats are more reliable as arbiters of science
than voters or legislators. In any case, the issue of who may use
marijuana and under what circumstances will not be resolved on
scientific grounds, because it is fundamentally a political question.
The fact that the question has been raised may be encouraging, but
the need to raise it is depressing. We long ago surrendered to the
government the authority to determine what chemicals we may put into our
bodies. Now we're just quibbling over the details.

Sullum, who lives in New York, is senior editor of Reason magazine,
Distributed by Creators Syndicate, which maintains a Web site
(www.creators.com) from which Sullum can be emailed.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US Senate To Vote On Anti-Medicinal Marijuana Resolution
(The Marijuana Policy Project In Washington, DC, Urges You To Write Letters
To Your Two US Senators Asking Them To Oppose Senate Joint Resolution 56,
The Anti-Medical Marijuana Legalism)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 18:13:01 -0400
From: Marijuana Policy Project (MPP@MPP.ORG)
Reply-To: MPP@MPP.ORG
Organization: Marijuana Policy Project
To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
Subject: U.S. Senate to vote on anti-medicinal marijuana resolution
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org

***

TO: Interested persons
FROM: Robert D. Kampia, MPP director of government relations
DATE: Friday, September 25, 1998
SUBJECT: Please ask your two U.S. senators to oppose S.J.Res. 56

***

On Monday, September 21, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), along
with U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) and U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch
(R-Utah), introduced Senate Joint Resolution 56 (S.J.Res. 56).
This non-binding resolution is identical to the anti-medicinal marijuana
resolution that passed the U.S. House of Representatives
on September 15 (H.J.Res. 117) by a vote of 310 to 93. (You can view
S.J.Res. 56 on-line at http://www.mpp.org/SJRes56.html.)

S.J.Res. 56 -- which would declare the Senate's opposition to
changing the medicinal marijuana laws until the FDA approves marijuana
as a prescription medicine -- is now pending on the floor of the Senate.
(The resolution went straight to the Senate floor after it was
introduced; there was no debate or vote in committee.)

Please fax, call, or write your two U.S. senators to ask them
"to oppose Senate Joint Resolution 56, the anti-medicinal marijuana
resolution." It is likely that the Senate will vote on this measure in
the next two weeks, so please do not delay!

If you are writing a letter, please consider using one of these
three arguments:

* Marijuana-using patients should not be arrested for using their
medicine. By blindly adhering to the FDA drug approval process,
the Senate would in effect be saying that patients should
continue to be arrested until the FDA approves marijuana as a
prescription medicine.

* If Congress continues to support the status quo of hoping for
more research while patients continue to be arrested, it will
continue to be necessary to pass state initiatives and bills to
remove criminal penalties for patients who have a medical need
for marijuana.

* Additional research into marijuana's medical uses should not be
used as an excuse for further delay on changing the medicinal
marijuana laws. While dozens of studies were conducted in the
late 1970s and early 1980s which showed that marijuana has
medical value for some people, there have been no new research
studies in the last 15 years. With this track record, the FDA
will not be approving marijuana anytime soon.

(Reminder: If you have not already done so, please tell your U.S.
representative what you think of his or her vote on H.J.Res. 117 last
week. To determine how your U.S. representative voted, please see
http://www.mpp.org/117votes.html.)

***

To find out the names of your two U.S. senators, see
http://www.senate.gov/senator/state.html.

TO CALL: To call your U.S. senators' offices, please call the
congressional switchboard operator at 202-225-3121.
The operator will be able to give you the names and phone
numbers of your two U.S. senators.

TO FAX: To fax your U.S. senators, please call their offices for
their fax numbers.

TO WRITE: To write your two U.S. senators, please send brief letters
to U.S. Sen. _______, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510.

TO E-MAIL: Please DO NOT e-mail your U.S. senators unless you have
already called, faxed, or written.

				-END-
-------------------------------------------------------------------

'Drug Crazy' Goes Into Second Printing (The Media Awareness Project
Forwards A 'Thank You' Note From Mike Gray, The Author Of The Seminal
New History Of The War On Some Drug Users, Published By Random House)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 07:55:26 -0400
To: medmj@drcnet.org, drctalk@drcnet.org, harmred@drcnet.org
From: Richard Lake (rlake@mapinc.org)
Subject: DPFCA: DRUG CRAZY goes into second printing! (FWD)
Sender: owner-dpfca@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfca@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/

Friends:

I've just been advised by Random House that they have ordered a second
printing of "Drug Crazy."

This outstanding accomplishment came through the herculean efforts of
you people and your organizations. The only way I can express my
gratitude is to assure you that I'm in this battle for the long haul and
I hope to be with you on the day of victory.

Mike Gray

***

Forwarded by:

Richard Lake
Senior Editor; MAPnews, MAPnews-Digest and DrugNews-Digest
email: rlake@MAPinc.org
http://www.DrugSense.org/drugnews/
For subscription information see:
http://www.MAPinc.org/lists/
Quick sign up for DrugNews-Digest, Focus Alerts or Newsletter:
http://www.DrugSense.org/hurry.htm

***

Information on the state and topic discussion lists supported by DrugSense
is at: http://www.drugsense.org/lists/

***

The FACTS are at:
http://www.drugsense.org/factbook/

***

"DRUG CRAZY: How We Got Into This Mess and How We can Get Out," is a
gripping and dramatic review of the drug war over the last 100 years. It is
being published by Random House. More at: http://www.drugsense.org/crazy.htm

***

We also sponsor an interactive chat room for activists. Point your web
browser to: http://www.mapinc.org/chat/
And join the discussion. The chat starts at about 9:00 p.m on Saturday and
Sunday night Eastern time. Folks drop in and leave as their time allows
over about a three hour period.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Morbidity And Mortality Weekly Report - Recommendations And Reports
(A List Subscriber Forwards A Notice From The US Government
About New Online Information)

Date: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 08:57:58 -0500 (CDT)
From: adbryan@onramp.net
Subject: September 25, 1998 MMWR
Recommendations and Reports(TOC)
To: mattalk@islandnet.com

---- Begin Included Message ----
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 15:22:00 -0400
Reply-To: mmwrq@CDC.GOV
Sender: "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) - Table of
Contents" (MMWR-TOC@LISTSERV.CDC.GOV)
From: MMWR-Questions (MMWRQ@CDC.GOV)
Subject: September 25, 1998 MMWR Recommendations and Reports (TOC)
To: MMWR-TOC@LISTSERV.CDC.GOV

The September 25, 1998 edition of the MMWR Recommendations
and Reports is is now available in Adobe Acrobat format
on the Internet.

September 25, 1998/Vol. 47/No. RR-17 (file size 221,109 bytes)
http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/mmwr_rr.html

* Management of Possible Sexual, Injecting-Drug --- Use, or Other
Nonoccupational Exposure to HIV, Including Considerations Related
to Antiretroviral Therapy

Public Health Service Statement
The file type available is Adobe Acrobat (PDF).
The PDF files, contain graphics and figures and
are true representations of the hard copy of the MMWR.
The Adobe Acrobat format requires an Adobe Reader (see
instructions below on requesting the free reader).

The Adobe Acrobat files will be e-mailed
in uuencoded format. If your e-mail system does not
automatically uudecode the file, you will need to
uudecode the file manually.

***

Unsubscribing from MMWR-TOC

***

To remove yourself from MMWR-TOC, send a
message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.CDC.GOV with
the following in the body of your message:

SIGNOFF MMWR-TOC

***

Accessing MMMWR Using E-mail

***

If you have World-Wide Web (WWW) or File Transfer
Protocol (FTP) capabilities, we strongly recommend
that you access MMWR by using WWW or FTP rather
than through e-mail. This is due to the large size
of the PDF files and the complexity of sending
e-mail to different systems.

***

MMWR is available at:

http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/mmwr.html
and
ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/mmwr

***

ENTIRE ISSUES

***

To obtain copies of the entire MMWR issues via e-mail,
send a message to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.CDC.GOV with the following
in the body of your message:

GET MMWR LOG9809D

If you have problems or questions, send e-mail to
mmwrq@cdc.gov
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Overdose Death Target Of Third Investigation ('The Vancouver Sun'
Says The Canadian Justice Department Is Reviewing The Overdose Death
Of A Government Chemist Who Analysed Drugs Seized By Police To Determine
What Impact The Death Will Have On Drug Prosecutions And Whether
The Circumstances Of The 1997 Death Should Have Been Disclosed
To Defence Lawyers)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 17:10:14 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Overdose Death Target Of Third Investigation
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/
Pubdate: Friday 25 September 1998
Author: Lindsay Kines

OVERDOSE DEATH TARGET OF THIRD INVESTIGATION

The federal justice department is reviewing the overdose death of a
government chemist who analysed drugs seized by police. Officials will
try to determine what impact the death will have on drug prosecutions
and whether the circumstances of the 1997 death should have been
disclosed to defence lawyers.

The Mounties don't share the justice department's concerns. "No drug
prosecutions or investigations were put at risk as a result of the
actions of this analyst," the RCMP said on Thursday.

Vancouver lawyer Ken Young, who is defending a number of clients up on
drug charges, said the chemist's death raises serious questions about
where he obtained his drugs. "He had to get it somewhere, let's put it
that way. Now, the question is, where did he get it?"

Any case handled by the Burnaby lab -- whether Henry John Sadkowski
was involved or not -- could be called into question, the lawyer said.
As in the O. J. Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles, defence lawyers
would be permitted to question the integrity of techniques used by lab
analysts, Young said. He is reviewing his files, checking for cases in
which Sadkowski was the analyst.

Health Canada and the RCMP conducted separate investigations last year
into the Burnaby lab where the chemist had worked for more than 20
years. They say the probes found no proof he had stolen narcotics from
the lab or that any drug cases had been put at risk.

Federal justice officials, however, say they only learned of the
chemist's drug overdose when The Delta Optimist broke the story last
week. Reporter Maureen Gulyas uncovered the bizarre tale while
researching a series on drug use in the suburbs.

"Because it's such a recent revelation, I'm simply starting to gather
some information at this point to find out what steps we need to take
in light of this information," Bob Prior of the federal prosecution
service said Thursday.

According to a coroner's report, Sadkowski, 51, died in his bed of a
drug overdose in Delta on May 30, 1997. Tests showed Sadkowski had
snorted a lethal mixture of cocaine and heroin -- more commonly known
as a "speedball."

Coroner Pat Harrison stated in his report that the cause of
Sadkowski's death came as a "total shock to his family and
co-workers." But tissue samples revealed the chemist "had been using
cocaine for some time without the knowledge of those close to him."

Once Health Canada learned the cause of death, it launched an internal
review and asked Burnaby RCMP to conduct its own investigation.

Greg Smith, western regional director of the health protection branch,
said he wanted to find out what safeguards existed to prevent an
employee from stealing drugs for personal use, and whether such a
theft had occurred in this case.

The lab -- one of six in Canada -- employs 11 to 12 analysts who
primarily test drugs seized by police in B.C., Alberta and the Yukon.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Safe Site For Addicts 'Saved Lives' ('The Vancouver Sun' Says A Proposal
To Set Up Four Safe-Injections Sites For Heroin Addicts In Vancouver,
British Columbia, Was Debated For The First Time At A Meeting Thursday Night
Of The Vancouver/Richmond Health Board - Ann Livingstone, One Of Five
Committee Members Who Prepared The Proposal, Recounted An Unauthorized Site
She Used To Oversee That Provided A Place To Escape The 'Death Camp'
Which Is The Downtown Eastside, But It Was Shut Down By Police, Who Say
It Had The Impact Of 'A Grenade' On The Safety And Security
Of The Neighbourhood)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 17:10:04 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Canada: Safe Site For Addicts 'Saved Lives'
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada)
Contact: sunletters@pacpress.southam.ca
Website: http://www.vancouversun.com/
Pubdate: Fri, 25 September 1998
Author: Cori Howard

SAFE SITE FOR ADDICTS 'SAVED LIVES'

A member of the Vancouver/Richmond health board panel that proposed
safe-injection sites for drug addicts says an unauthorized site she
used to oversee provided a place to escape the "death camp" that is
the Downtown Eastside.

Ann Livingstone was one of five committee members who prepared the
proposal, debated for the first time at a health board meeting
Thursday night, for four safe-injections sites. She said The Back
Alley, at 356 Powell Street, was used by between 80 to 200 addicts
three to four times a night.

"It helped them save each other's lives and strengthen a sense of
community," she said.

The health board advanced the issue only slightly Thursday night,
voting to further study the concept and to begin discussions with the
federal and provincial governments, whose approval is necessary for
the sites to go ahead. But for board member Bud Osborn, it was a
positive step.

"This shows addicts that someone cares," he said. "And if someone
cares about you, you start to care about yourself." Osborn, a former
addict himself, says there are other things that can be done in the
meantime to stop the death toll from rising like installing public
telephones and establishing a safe place for people to escape the drug
scene.

Livingstone, who works for the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users,
said she doesn't believe either level of government will approve the
proposal.

She said the safe site she used to run, with a phone, TV, heat and
needles, may have been in a substandard building, but she said it
helped save lives.

After about a year of operation, it was shut down by police, who say
it had the impact of "a grenade" on the safety and security of the
neighbourhood.

Staff Sergeant Douglas MacKay-Dunn, who works at the neighbourhood
safety office on Hastings, is shocked this matter is being revisited.
He says safe-fixing sites are "a quick fix" that attract addicts and
dealers from other parts of the province and other parts of the country.

He said The Back Alley was shut down because people inside were
dealing drugs. "They were around there like bees around honey," he
said. "If you want to create a huge magnet to destroy a neighbourhood
and community and further marginalize this community, you'll throw in
safe-fixing sites."

The difference between The Back Alley and the proposal currently being
debated by the health board is the new site would be a health facility
with nurses and medication, said Livingstone.

If approved, the pilot project would include four safe-fixing sites: a
free-standing site near the old Woodward's store; two sites "within"
the Portland/Sunrise/Washington hotel group; and a fourth site near the
Astoria
Hotel.

The proposal describes a uniquely West Coast amalgam of half coffee
bar, half social service outlet. While the front coffee shop would
offer coffee and snacks at "a nominal price," a space behind the
coffee shop would provide private cubicles equipped with apparatus for
injecting, mirrors, lockers for clients' belongings and washrooms with
sinks.

The report containing the proposal was commissioned by the board in
July.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Arrests Of Two Drug Agents In Mexico Criticized (A 'New York Times' Article
In 'The Chicago Tribune' Says Two Mexican Prohibition Agents Who Were Part
Of An Anti-Drug Unit That Works Closely With The United States Were Preparing
To Buy A Ton Of Marijuana From Tijuana Traffickers As Part Of A Buy-And-Bust
Operation When They Were Arrested By Baja California State Police Summoned
By One Of The Traffickers, And Charged With Kidnapping)

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 12:27:48 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Mexico: Arrests Of 2 Drug Agents In Mexico Criticized
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young (theyoungfamily@worldnet.att.net)
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/
Pubdate: Sat, 25 Sept 1998
Author: New York Times News Service

ARRESTS OF 2 DRUG AGENTS IN MEXICO CRITICIZED

TIJUANA, Mexico -- In a new case raising friction between American and
Mexican law enforcement officials, two Mexican drug enforcement agents are
in jail here on kidnapping charges that might have been trumped up by
corrupt police working with traffickers.

The two Mexican agents, part of an anti-drug unit that works closely with
U.S. officials, were preparing to buy a ton of marijuana from Tijuana
traffickers as part of a buy-and-bust operation when they were arrested by
Baja California state police summoned by one of the traffickers.

The traffickers, a father and son, have made protection payments to the
state police who came to their rescue, according to testimony and Mexican
and American government documents in court files.

"The whole thing smells," said an American official familiar with the case.
Several U.S. officials portrayed the arrest as the latest example of how
pervasive corruption frustrates attempts to work with Mexican law
enforcement.

U.S. officials are perplexed because several Mexican Federal Police took
part alongside the state police in arresting men who are, technically, their
own colleagues.

Mariano Herran Salvatti, who heads Mexico's Federal anti-narcotics agency,
said in Mexico City on Thursday that he believes corrupt Baja state police
were seeking vengeance against the two federal agents because, since their
15-member intelligence unit arrived in Tijuana in early September, it has
made several large drug seizures.

Baja state police, who have visited the two agents in jail, have asked them
to name their undercover colleagues and commanders and to divulge the
addresses of their undercover offices, Herran said. The state police also
threatened to kill the federal agents, he said.

The commander of the Baja California state police, Alvaro Castilla Gracia,
insisted that the agents must stand trial, although he acknowledged that
circumstances surrounding their arrest are more consistent with an
undercover drug operation than a kidnapping.

Since the agents' arrest on Sept. 11, he said, other kidnapping complaints
have been filed against them. The two incidents for which the state
authorities provided dates occurred before the federal agents say they
arrived in Tijuana.

The two agents, Eligio Garcia Reyes, 29, and Nicolas Carrillo Jimenez, 24,
were recruited about a year ago into Mexico's elite anti-narcotics force,
the Special Prosecutorial Agency for Drug Crimes, known by its Spanish
acronym FEADS, as part of an effort to rejuvenate Mexico's discredited drug
enforcement agencies with honest young agents.

After passing lie detector tests and other examinations of their integrity,
they were trained in investigative and intelligence procedures by Drug
Enforcement Administration officers at an American training center in
Leesburg, Va., according to Garcia and American officials.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

US To Leave Unexploded Bombs Behind In Panama ('Reuters'
Says The Admission Friday By US Military Officials That They Would Leave
Behind Unexploded Ordnance In The Jungles Of The Panama Canal Zone
When The United States Concludes Its 90-Year Military Presence In Panama
Next Year Became An Issue After The United States And Panama Failed To Reach
An Agreement On A Drug Interdiction Base That Would Have Extended
The US Presence)

Wire: US To Leave Unexploded Bombs Behind In Panama
Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (mmfamily@ix.netcom.com)
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Reuters

U.S. TO LEAVE UNEXPLODED BOMBS BEHIND IN PANAMA

PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - U.S. military officials said Friday they
will leave behind unexploded bombs buried in the jungles of the Panama
Canal Zone when the United States concludes its 90-year military
presence in Panama next year.

The issue emerged as a source of conflict between the United
States and Panama after the two sides failed Thursday to reach an
agreement that would have extended the U.S. presence here with 2,000
troops into the next millennium.

The United States is to hand over the famous Central American
waterway to Panama on Dec. 31, 1999.

``Certainly there will be some areas with unexploded ordnance, but
we are recommending that these places be restricted for limited use, as
there is a great potential for injury out there,'' Lt. Col. Byron
Connover, spokesman for U.S. forces in Panama, told Reuters.

The Panama Canal Zone, a swath of land governed by the United
States that runs through the middle of Panama on both sides of the
51-mile-long Panama Canal, was home to 12 military bases and as many as
12,000 troops at its peak.

U.S. troops used some areas as testing zones for weapons.

A 1977 treaty outlines every aspect of the handover of the canal,
including the surrounding areas, and states that the United States must
clean its bases of dangerous material using any
"viable means."

U.S. officials contend they have met the guidelines of the treaty
but will be unable to remove all dangerous material.

The United States and Panama had been negotiating terms for a
multinational anti-drug base in the canal zone that would have ensured a
continued U.S. military presence in the canal zone after the handover.

Talks fell apart after the United States insisted on maintaining a
longer presence and broader mandate than the Panamanians would allow.

``Panama has always maintained the position that although the
(anti-drug base) has not been agreed upon, it does not take away the
U.S. obligation to clean the bases before 1999,'' Panamanian Foreign
Minister Jorge Ritter told reporters late Thursday after both sides
announced that the anti-drug base plan had been scrapped.

Fernando Manfredo, Panamanian co-director of the joint task force
to clean up the area, was quoted in Thursday's La Prensa newspaper as
saying, ``It is unacceptable for us that they leave without removing
threats to life, health, and human security.''

Most of the area in question is hilly terrain in heavy jungle,
making it inaccessible for normal cleanup techniques, Connover said.

One U.S. official, who asked not to be identified, said:
''Panama's complaint about the firing ranges is like someone receiving a
Mercedes and complaining there are ashes in the ashtray.''
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Senior Detective Risked Officers For Bribe From Britain's Top Drug Baron
(Britain's 'Independent' Says The Former Deputy Head Of The Merseyside
Drugs Squad, Elmore Davies, Was Convicted Yesterday Of Disclosing Information
To Pervert The Course Of Justice - A Detective Chief Inspector
With 30 Years' Service And A Son In The Force, Davies Is The Most Senior
British Police Officer Jailed For Corruption In Modern Times)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 10:02:06 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Senior Detective Risked Officers For Bribe
From Britain's
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Mail: The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf,
London E14 5DL, England
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Author: Jonathan Foster

SENIOR DETECTIVE RISKED OFFICERS FOR BRIBE FROM BRITAIN'S TOP DRUG BARON

Things began to go wrong for the drugs surveillance operation in the
Liverpool 8 ghetto when the two old steel containers were drenched in
petrol and set on fire. Someone had told the dealers that inside the
containers was a front-line police observation post housing five "bizzies".

The same fate befell the camera, recording deals from an empty
upstairs flat through a tiny aperture drilled in a window sealed up
with breeze blocks. Just to be sure, the dealers torched the flat,
terrifying the old dear next door.

The dealers were working with a bent cop, someone with advance
knowledge of police operations who had by 1988 opened a hot line to
the drug sellers around Granby Street. Down the road at Admiral Street
police station, detectives began to suspect betrayal.

Only a senior officer informed of all drugs policing could be so
well-briefed about undercover operations. The name of the then deputy
head of the Merseyside drugs squad, Elmore "Elly" Davies, was
pencilled in the log of detectives under suspicion.

Yesterday, he was convicted of disclosing information to pervert the
course of justice. A detective chief inspector, with 30 years' service
and a son in the force, Davies is the most senior British police
officer jailed for corruption in modern times. He sold the inside line
on an investigation to an organised crime syndicate. He tried to get
the son of an alleged drugs baron off a firearms charge. He was to be
paid UKP20,000.

The trial dealt only with Davies's final act of corruption.There was
no evidence about abortive exercises around dismal Granby Street
during the 1980s, or the two years from 1990 when Davies was a chief
of detectives in the Turks and Caicos Islands, on the Caribbean
mainline for drug runs to Florida.

What turned Davies crooked was in part a mix of brooding hubris and
insecurity. In the witness box, his knuckle-size gold and ebony signet
ring catching the light, he made awkward, embarrassing jokes. He
agreed he had been passed over twice for promotion to superintendent
and was too old for the sort of force Merseyside was becoming, too
down-to-earth, too gold-chained Elly-the-lad.

Then he was asked about a bugged chat in his sitting room, when he
told Michael Ahearne, his friend Warrior from the Gladiators TV show -
who was also jailed, with another associate, Tony Bray - that he was
"very, very pissed off". He replied it was just a throwaway line, "a
load of bullshit".

When he was arrested, on 13 March last year, Davies was a chief
inspector on UKP36,000 a year. Aged 50, proud, garrulous,
twice-divorced, hard-living and a Freemason, he ran CID in Tuebrook
division, Liverpool, where crimes are committed at the rate of one an
hour.

He had high hopes that a back "injury" would retire him soon from the
force "on a nice pension - UKP500 a week in my hand just for sitting
on my extremely fat arse". He reckoned he could work as a security
consultant on cruise liners - "UKP500 a week and all your keep and
ale".

Davies was greedy for more money when, in July 1996, who should get in
touch from exile in the Netherlands but Curtis Francis Warren, the
country's 401st richest person, through his property holdings,
according to the Sunday Times "Rich List", and the most successful
British criminal ever captured.

Warren was worth UKP180m, garnered from drugs dealing and smuggling on
a grand scale, who needed a favour from a well-placed policeman. The
son of a "business associate" was in trouble after shooting at a
police officer - could Elly fix it for an appropriate payment? Davies
agreed.

Warren was riding his luck. He stood trial in 1992 charged with
importing 18 lead ingots concealing a ton of cocaine, worth UKP260m.
After being acquitted on a technicality, he told Customs officers as
he left the court: "I'm just off now to spend my UKP87m and you can't
touch me."

Despite his brush with the courts, he resumed his transatlantic trade.
"He was greedy," a Customs man said. "And there are no escape clauses
in Colombian contracts. If they want you to carry on working for them,
it's prudent not to quit."

Warren assumed Customs officers were watching him, so he moved his
cocaine concession to the Netherlands, but he was caught and last year
began a 12-year jail term after bungling the import of 317kg of
cocaine, 67kg of heroin, and 1.76 tonnes of cannabis.

He was caught after Customs told Dutch police all about the
semi-literate Scouser who had moved in to the mansion at 53
Hoofdstraat in Sassenheim. The Dutch listened to Warren's phone calls.
Among the conversations were discussions about an attempted murder
inquiry involving Philip Glennon, scion of a notorious Liverpool crime
family who had amassed a fortune from drug-running.

Warren's closest business associates included Philip "Philly" Glennon
senior, father of Warren's lover, Stephanie, and chairman of his local
Neighbourhood Watch. Each week he buys at least UKP25 of lottery
tickets - driving to the newsagent in his Mercedes.

Glennon junior's machismo had got the better of him on 14 July 1996.
He quarrelled in the Venue nightclub, with members of the rival Ungi
family and shot at the bouncer who threw him out, then fired at the
constable who pursued him. The bouncer was allegedly paid UKP50,000
from Glennon. Next day, he retracted his statement.

That left the officer's evidence and the gun. The family turned to
Warren and Warren turned to Elly Davies. The incident had taken place
on Davies's patch. Phone calls collected by the Dutch made clear that
the detective chief inspector was only too keen to help. He could get
information on anything Warren wanted. Elly was "made up"
(delighted).

While the Dutch had been bugging Warren, suspicions about Davies were
growing in the Merseyside police and, in December 1996, they arranged
for "friends" from another law enforcement agency to install a
miniature microphone in Davies's sitting room. Merseyside police had
justification for cocking an electronic ear to his sitting room. The
microphone picked up Davies plotting to have the attempted murder
investigation "boxed off". Davies disclosed to Warrior, and other
Warren emissaries, forensic information, warnings about bugged
telephones, and strategies to get Glennon junior bail.

Warren was going to meet Davies in North Wales, but there was a delay
and then Warren got arrested. Davies was heard on the secret bug
saying if the appointment had been kept, that Warren "wouldn't be in
prison in Holland. I would have said to him, 'Don't talk on the phone
and don't go back to Holland'. I bet he would have paid UKP50,000 for
that."
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Police In Seven Forces Investigated For Drugs, Bribery And Robberies
(Britain's 'Independent' Says More Than 110 Police Officers
In At Least Seven Forces In England And Wales Are Being Investigated,
Or Face Charges, In An Unprecedented Series Of Anti-Corruption Inquiries)

Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 10:16:57 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Police in Seven Forces Investigated for Drugs,
Bribery and Robberies
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Source: Independent, The (UK)
Contact: letters@independent.co.uk
Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Author: Jason Bennetto and Jonathan Foster

POLICE IN SEVEN FORCES INVESTIGATED FOR DRUGS, BRIBERY AND ROBBERIES

MORE than 110 police officers in at least seven forces in England and Wales
are being investigated, or face charges, in an unprecedented series of
anti-corruption inquiries.

There are at least 25 investigations into allegations of wrongdoing by
police officers, involving a wide range of suspected offences, including
taking bribes, planning robberies and providing confidential information to
criminals.

The scale of the national anti-corruption drive emerged as Detective Chief
Inspector Elmore Davies, of the Merseyside force, was jailed yesterday for
five years for selling sensitive police information for UKP20,000 to a
crime syndicate.

A senior officer said last night: "It has not been politically convenient
to accept there is a growing danger of corruption. But this is the policing
issue for the next century."

Merseyside Police said a special team formed to investigate Davies,
described in court as "a bent copper stewed in corruption", would continue
its work.

The Chief Constable, Sir James Sharples, said: "This took place when there
was a large amount of shooting between various gangs. There was a
considerable danger to the community of Merseyside."

Superintendent Phil Jones, of Merseyside Police, said the case had revealed
the vulnerability of British police officers to corruption and the
"fabulous" bribes that drug dealers could offer. "Officers have seen their
income decrease sharply as overtime and allowances have been abolished. At
the same time, the money at the disposal of the drug dealers has become
huge. It has not been politically convenient to accept there is a growing
danger of corruption. But this is the policing issue for the next century."

Davies became the most senior policeman to be convicted of corruption for
almost three decades when a jury at Nottingham Crown Court decided he had
perverted the course of justice in return for UKP20,000 from one of
Europe's biggest drug traffickers.

Bugged phone calls and conversations caught Davies, 50, betraying personal
details of a police constable shot at while arresting a gunman outside the
Venue nightclub, Liverpool, in July 1996.

Two accomplices, including his friend Michael Ahearne, who played Warrior
in the TV show Gladiators, were convicted of perverting the course of
justice. Ahearne, 36, was sentenced to 15 months, and Tony Bray, 38, was
jailed for three years. The three, all from the Wirral, Merseyside, had
denied a total of six charges.

Davies passed case notes and advice through intermediaries to Curtis
Warren, a drug dealer with a fortune estimated at UKP180m.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

Weed Takes The Bloom Off Prizewinning Floral Display (Britain's 'Guardian'
Says That After Civic Leaders In Glastonbury Gave The First Prize
For The 'Glastonbury In Bloom' Competition To The Shop, In Harmony
With Nature, The Police Busted The Owner, Free Rob Cannabis, For Including
13 Tiny Plants With Distinctive Leaves Among His Award-Winning Arrangement
Of Chrysanthemums, Roses And Heathers - Glastonbury's Deputy Mayor,
Alan Gloak, Said Cannabis Plants In The Town's Displays Were 'Endemic' -
'People Scatter These Seeds All Over The Place')

Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 06:50:27 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Weed Takes The Bloom Off Prizewinning Floral Display
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998
Source: Guardian, The (UK)
Contact: letters@guardian.co.uk
Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/
Author: Geoffrey Gibbs

WEED TAKES THE BLOOM OFF PRIZEWINNING FLORAL DISPLAY

Civic leaders in Glastonbury liked the tubs and hanging baskets full of
colourful plants, which brightened up one of the town centre shops. So much
so, that they awarded the shop, In Harmony With Nature, a first prize in the
Glastonbury in Bloom competition.

But the police were less impressed. They discovered, among the
chrysanthemums, roses and heathers, 13 tiny plants with distinctive leaves.
Swiftly, the plants were uprooted and Free Rob Cannabis, the shop owner, was
arrested - on suspicion of cultivating an illegal drug.

Mr Cannabis, aged 31, who changed his name from Robert Christopher last year
as part of his campaign to get the substance legalised, has been bailed
while the plants are analysed. But Glastonbury's deputy mayor, Alan Gloak,
who chaired the floral judging panel, said cannabis plants in the town's
displays were "endemic". Council workers had had to remove them from around
the war memorial and from other tubs. "People scatter these seeds all over
the place," he said.

Mr Cannabis sells hemp products, such as clothing and wallets, and a big
plastic cannabis plant stands like an object of worship in his shop window.
He denied sowing the plants now under scrutiny, but said: "It is my belief
that the cannabis plant is a gift of God and its attempted prohibition is in
itself a crime. At my trial I shall present evidence that proves... the
Misuse of Drugs Act contravenes 11 articles and all five principles of the
UN Declaration of Human Rights. It will be to the jury to judge on the
legality of this... harmful law."

Mr Cannabis, who was last year convicted of possession of a controlled drug
after trying to give a cannabis plant to the Home secretary, is planning to
press for the drug's legalisation by leading a peace pipe ceremony at
Speaker's Corner, Hyde Park, London, this weekend, which will mark the 70th
anniversary of cannabis prohibition in the UK.
-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Week Online With DRCNet, Issue Number 60 (The Drug Reform Coordination
Network's Original Summary Of Drug Policy News And Calls For Action,
Including - DRCNet Nearing The 7,000 Mark - Your Voice Needed; Alert -
Congress Considers Jailing Children With Adults; Alert - From The Andean
Information Network; Canadian Hemp Shop Bust Aided By US Agents; Media Note -
CBS Drama To Highlight Medical Marijuana; Volunteers Needed For Washington,
DC Medical Marijuana Initiative; New Study Indicates That Cannabis Relieves
Pain; Drug War Militarization Bill Passes House Over Objections Of Colombia;
Background On Juvenile Justice Bill; Massacre In Ensenada, Mexico Hits Close
To US; Minnesota Marijuana Law Faces Constitutional Challenge In Court Case;
Human Rights Activists Accuse Russian Police Of Planting Drugs; National
Conference On Prisons This Weekend; Editorial - Repentance For The Drug War)

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 01:35:54 -0800
To: drc-natl@drcnet.org
From: DRCNet (drcnet@drcnet.org)
Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #60
Sender: owner-drc-natl@drcnet.org

The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #60 -- September 25, 1998
A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network

-------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE --------

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(This issue can be also be read on our web site at
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PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the
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(202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail
drcnet@drcnet.org. Thank you.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. DRCNet Nearing the 7,000 Mark -- Your Voice Needed
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#voice

2. ALERT: Congress Considers Jailing Children With Adults
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#juvejust

3. ALERT: from the Andean Information Network
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#ain

4. On The Web
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#web

5. Canadian Hemp Shop Bust Aided by U.S. Agents
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#uscanada

6. Hemp B.C. Business License Hearing Scheduled for Next
Week
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#hempbc

7. MEDIA NOTE: CBS Drama to Highlight Medical Marijuana
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#medianote

8. Volunteers Needed for Washington, D.C. Medical Marijuana
Initiative
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#dc59

9. New Study Indicates that Cannabis Relieves Pain
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#painrelief

10. Drug War Militarization Bill Passes House Over
Objections of Colombia
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#militarize

11. Background on Juvenile Justice Bill
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#juvejust2

12. Massacre in Ensenada, Mexico Hits Close to U.S.
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#ensenada

13. Minnesota Marijuana Law Faces Constitutional Challenge
in Court Case
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#minnesota

14. Human Rights Activists Accuse Russian Police of Planting
Drugs
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#russians

15. National Conference on Prisons This Weekend
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#conference

16. EDITORIAL: Repentance for the Drug War
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/060.html#editorial

***

1. DRCNet Approaching 7,000 Mark -- Your Voice Needed

As autumn approaches in the United States, new subscribers
are signing on to DRCNet, and our numbers have broken 6,900
and are rapidly approaching 7,000. Think about the letters
hundreds of you have sent to Oklahoma (see alert summary
below), and think how much impact you will have for drug
policy reform when those hundreds turn into thousands and
tens of thousands. We need your help to get there. Here
are a few ways you can be involved:

1) Take Action: Keep watching for our alerts and write
those letters, make those phone calls, let the powers that
be know that we are there, that we vote and that we want a
new drug policy. Send copies of your letters, or just short
notes letting us know how you are using our alerts and
information; write to us at alert-feedback@drcnet.org or
just reply to any of our bulletins.

2) Join DRCNet: About 1,050 of you have made a donation of
some size to DRCNet. We need help from all of you to keep
the organization healthy and able to pay its staff -- and
eventually to prospect for members, take out ads, the sky's
the limit -- it depends on you. Your money goes further
than you think, as each month we report to our major donors
on how many new members have come on board and how much
members have donated. Your financial support for DRCNet is
a vote of confidence that gives our donors confidence to
invest in the organization -- making much more possible and
enabling us to advance the cause further and further.
DONATE $35 OR MORE AND GET A FREE COPY OF SHATTERED LIVES:
PORTRAITS FROM AMERICA'S DRUG WAR -- to donate, use our form
at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (encrypted
transmission, especially for credit card donations), or
http://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (no encryption,
recommended you print it out and mail in with a check), or
just send your check or money order to: DRCNet, 2000 P St.,
NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036.

3) Recruit: Our Rapid Response Team/Week Online e-mail list
is free to all interested parties. Send your friends or
local reporters to http://www.drcnet.org or
http://www.stopthedrugwar.org to fill out our "quick-signup"
form, and they will be in touch with the issue every week,
getting all the most important news and action items in the
war over the war on drugs. (Please don't sign them up
without their prior permission.) Another great way to get
the word out is to redistribute our articles and get them
reprinted online or in print -- see our reprint policy at
the top of this issue.

4) Eyegive: Nearly 500 of you have signed up for the
eyegive online fundraising program, raising $20 a day for
DRCNet -- $6,000 a year -- and growing fast! You can raise
needed funds for the organization, without spending a penny,
just by visiting http://www.eyegive.com and clicking on the
page 1-5 times, any day that you can -- one person pointing
and clicking for just a few seconds each day can earn DRCNet
up to $125 a year! Point your web browser to
http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 to
automatically select DRCNet as your recipient non-profit.

5) Gather Information: Let us know what's going in the drug
war and drug reform efforts in your region. Events,
incidents, legislation, local organizations, all of this
will help us make DRCNet maximally useful. Thank you for
your participation!

***

2. ALERT: Congress Considers Jailing Children with Adults

A barbaric, extremist bill sponsored by Rep. Bill McCollum
(R-FL), for which House leaders were not able to gain
support in the Senate, has been attached as an amendment to
a highly popular bill funding programs for missing children.
S. 2073 would require schools to expel students caught with
possession of small quantities of drugs, give prosecutors
unreviewable power to try children as young as 14 as adults,
whether or not violence was involved in the offense, would
allow these children to be incarcerated with adult
offenders, remove judicial discretion in sentencing, and
force states to focus on punitive approaches to juvenile
crime instead of positive alternatives. Please call your
two Senators at (202) 225-3121 and President Clinton at
(202) 456-1111 -- or send faxes for free through the ACLU's
web site at http://www.aclu.org/action/juvenile.html.

***

3. ALERT: from the Andean Information Network

(From Lee Cridland, 9/23, concerning the state of
negotiations between the Bolivian Government (GOB) and the
cocaleros.)

On August 10, the coca growers from the Chapare started a
peaceful and legal march to La Paz to take their demands to
the seat of the national government. The march was the
culmination of a series of protest against the
militarization and violence in the tropics since April 1.
The growers' demands are as follows:

1. Demilitarization of the Chapare region.

As of April 1 the entire zone has been militarized and
troops are being used to forcibly eradicate coca plants.
The entrance of the military into the zone and into the
antinarcotics forces has increased violence and human rights
violations, especially during eradication operations.
Fifteen people have died during confrontations, including
two policemen. The military, as well as UMOPAR (drug
police) and the Ecological Police, are reported to be
participating in robberies, beating and torture during
eradication operations.

2. Compliance by the GOB with the treaty signed October of
1997 with the cocaleros.

This is the treaty that was signed at the end of last year
which enabled the GOB to be certified by the U.S. government
and continue to receive certain categories of foreign aid.
The coca growers agreed to voluntarily eradicate 3,600
hectares of coca before December 1st 1997. The Bolivian
government in turn agreed to several still unfulfilled
promises including the development of an agricultural-
industrial complex which would advance alternative
development in the region.

3. Dialogue over various components of the GOB infamous Five
Year Plan which calls for the eradication of all illegal
coca in the country during Banzer's term.

This plan, which proposes to be a product of national
consensus, has in fact never been debated by the county's
Congress or any of their standing committees. Cocaleros as
well as other sectors of civilian society would like the
plan to be analyzed, especially those sections of the plan
which are in violation of the already existing antinarcotic
law, Law 1008.

4. Compensation for those families who lost members during
the violent confrontation in April and May of this year.

The cocaleros, accompanied by other sections of the popular
movement, including the COB, arrived in La Paz on August 31
and found the doors to the negotiating table closed. On
September 14, approximately 50 cocaleros, including the
president of the union, Evo Morales, entered into an
indefinite hunger strike. After much pressure from human
rights organization and unions, the Catholic church has
agreed to serve as negotiator. This is viewed as a positive
step and it is now up to the GOB to agree to enter in
negotiations.

In a national meeting last weekend, the cocaleros gave the
government a week to demonstrate good will toward serious
negotiations. If progress isn't seen by September 28, they
intend to once again block the main highway between
Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

The following day, the government announced the movement of
more military units into the area and guaranteed the right
of passage for all. Monsignor René Fernandez responded by
stating "that the church wants to approach both sides in a
dialogue. The problem of the coca is complex, but we
understand that the innocent citizens of Chapare should not
be punished."

AIN and other organizations in the country believe that
negotiations are the only manner in which further violence
and ultimately deaths can be avoided. It is crucial that
the GOB understand that the international community is aware
that the decision rests with them. The willingness of the
government to negotiate is critical in preventing further
escalation of violence in the region. AIN is asking that
letters be sent to the President and Minister of Government
asking them not to follow the path of further violence but
to instead agree to sit down at the bargaining table and
begin to search for peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Please send your letter this week and e-mail a copy to AIN
at paz@pino.cbb.entelnet.bo (and as always to DRCNet at
alert-feedback@drcnet.org).

Minister of Government
Guido Nayar
Avenida Arce Esq. Wahaya
La Paz
Bolivia
Fax: 591 2 370460

President of the Republic
Hugo Banzer
Palacio de Gobierno
La Paz
Bolivia
fax: 591 2 359779

***

4. On the Web

WAR OR PSEUDO-WAR? -- A new article by Joseph Miranda,
editor of California Liberty and DRCNet's consultant on
military affairs, appears in this month's edition of "Social
Justice" magazine. Social Justice is not an online
publication, but an earlier version of the article is online
at http://home.earthlink.net/~jamiranda/pseudowar1.html,
and Social Justice can be contacted at SocialJust@aol.com.
See another of Miranda's articles on our web site at
http://www.drcnet.org/military.

FOCAL POINT: MARIJUANA REGULATION -- The Lindesmith Center
presents its newest collection of full-text documents,
examining 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 in London. See
http://www.lindesmith.org/library/focal4.html.

***

5. Canadian Hemp Shop Bust Aided by U.S. Agents

On September 17, the Vancouver Province reported that U.S.
military agents had participated in the undercover
investigation of Hemp B.C. and the Cannabis Cafe which lead
to a raid on the hemp stores last April. According to court
documents, four U.S. Navy agents were escorted by local
police to Hemp B.C., where they attempted to purchase
marijuana. The U.S. agents were not successful, but their
involvement has raised eyebrows among Canadians, who are
concerned about the reach of the U.S. Drug War into a
country in the midst of its own dialogue about drug policy.
Simon Fraser University criminology professor Neil Boyd told
the Province that the Navy's participation "raises questions
about...who is really controlling drug policy in Vancouver."

Vancouver Police were not available for comment at press
time.

***

6. Hemp B.C. Business License Hearing Scheduled for Next
Week

The Vancouver City Council is set to hold a "show-cause"
hearing on September 29 to determine whether Hemp B.C.
should be granted a business license. City officials have
so far denied Hemp B.C.'s application for a license,
disputing Shelley Francis' ownership of the store and citing
criminal charges pending against the store's founder and
former owner, Marc Emery. Hemp B.C. encourages Vancouver
residents to meet at City Hall on September 29 to show their
support for the store. To read Hemp B.C.'s description of
the problem, and to learn about the $1,000,000 suit they
have filed against the City of Vancouver, visit their web
site at http://www.hempbc.com.

***

7. MEDIA NOTE: CBS Drama to Highlight Medical Marijuana

DRCNet has been informed that next Monday's episode (9/28)
of the CBS medical drama "L.A. Doctors" will deal with the
issue of medical marijuana. We do not know whether the
subject will be dealt with in a positive or a negative
light, or whether it will be factually accurate. Let's
check it out and tell CBS what we think next week.

***

8. Volunteers Needed for Washington, D.C. Medical Marijuana
Initiative

Supporters of Initiative 59, which would allow for the
possession and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in
the nation's capitol, are looking for volunteers. D.C.
residents can help by making phone calls, putting signs up
in their yards, flyering neighborhoods and parking lots, or
just registering to vote and making it to the polls. To
volunteer call (202) 546-2845 -- ask for Troy or Marc, send
e-mail to MarcBrandl@mpp.org or fax to at 202-232-0442.

***

9. New Study Indicates that Cannabis Relieves Pain

Dr. Ian Meng and researchers from the University of
California at San Francisco released the results of a report
this week (9/23) which indicates that cannabinoids act upon
the same part of the brain as morphine and, while they
effect the brain differently, reduce pain without the
unpleasant side effects or the threat of addiction commonly
associated with opiates.

The study, conducted with a synthetic drug that mimics
marijuana, showed that cannabinoids affect the rostral
ventromedial medulla (RVM), an area of the braid responsible
for the sensation of pain. "These results indicate that the
marijuana-like drug can reduce pain by affecting the same
pain modulating neurons as morphine, but through separate
mechanisms" said Meng.

Meng continued, "the implications for future development or
treatment would be looking at different combinations of
therapies, a lower dose of morphine combined with a low dose
of cannabinoid. Perhaps you could eliminate the nausea
(caused by the opiates) or at least reduce it and increase
the pain-killing effects."

***

10. Drug War Militarization Bill Passes House Over
Objections of Colombia

H.R.4300, the "Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act,"
which would target more than $200 Million in military and
related aid to Colombia passed the house last week (9/16) by
a vote of 384-39. The overwhelming victory came despite the
protestations of both U.S. Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey and
newly elected Colombian President Andres Pastrana, who is in
the midst of negotiations aimed at ending his nation's 35
year-old civil war.

Of major concern to Pastrana is an amendment to the bill
stipulating that the aid will not be forthcoming if
Pastrana's plan to withdraw troops from a swath of
Colombia's southern region as part of his negotiations with
guerilla leaders interferes with counternarcotics efforts in
the area. Pastrana has worried U.S. drug warriors with his
recent statements regarding the unworkability of aerial
herbicide sprayings of coca and opium-producing regions, a
favorite U.S. drug warrior program. Disagreement over the
sprayings came to a head earlier this month when Ruben
Olarte Reyes, the anti-drug chief of the new Pastrana
government, publicly stated that the use of Tebuthiuron, an
herbicidal substance favored by the U.S. State Department,
"is not on the agenda." The U.S. has pushed Colombia to use
Tebuthiuron, a granular substance that can be dropped from
much higher altitudes than traditional liquid herbicides,
despite warnings from its manufacturer, Dow Chemical, that
such uncontrolled application could be hazardous both to
people and to desirous plant life in the Andean region (see
http://www.drcnet.org/wol/47.html#herbicide).

Despite broad support among drug war hawks for the strategy
and increasing implementation of herbicidal eradication, it
has been estimated that during the past four years coca
cultivation in Colombia has doubled to nearly 80,000
hectares. According to Reyes, "Unfortunately, we have to
recognize that crop eradication, in the manner that it has
been carried out so far, has failed. There is no doubt that
there will have to be a profound revision of the crop
eradication program."

Pastrana, elected by a wide margin this year, has already
shown great determination in fulfilling his mandate to end
Colombia's horrific and longstanding civil war. Almost
immediately after his election, Pastrana took his life in
his hands by traveling into guerrilla-controlled territory
for a face to face meeting with the opposition's legendary
leader, 68 year-old Manuel Marulanda, to discuss possible
scenarios for ending the three-sided conflict. At the heart
of the struggle is the issue of agrarian and economic
reform. But the presence of the drug crops, and their
prohibition-enhanced value, has become inexorably
intertwined in the struggle as drug money feeds and arms
each side to one degree or another.

On Sunday (9/20) President Pastrana, speaking from Bogota,
accused Republican lawmakers of politicizing the issue.
"They politicized it for Colombia, and it's the worst thing
that has happened to us in the last four years" and that
they (Republicans) were narrowly focused on "the simple
thesis of an all-out war against drug trafficking" to the
detriment of a delicate and complex process of peace in the
war-torn nation. Pastrana praised U.S. Democrats, saying
that they, at least, understand that "we can't just talk
about repression, fumigation and eradication."

Barry McCaffrey this week called on the Senate to reject
H.R. 4300 (now S. 2341), saying that while the money was
important, the stated goals of the bill (including an 80%
reduction in the flow of illegal narcotics into the US) were
"completely unrealistic" and not tied to a coherent
strategy. He said that the bill's passage in the House
might well have been driven by election year politics and
decried micromanagement by legislation.

Pastrana quickly arranged for a trip to Washington, set for
Thursday (9/24), during which he will come to Capitol Hill
to speak with House and Senate leaders. Pastrana had
already been scheduled to visit the United Nations in New
York earlier in the week.

Before beginning his meetings on Thursday, Pastrana told the
press, "The peace process is moving on." Pastrana's schedule
included meetings with senior House members, including Rep.
Benjamin Gilman (R-NY), chairman of the International
Relations Committee, as well as Rep. Lee Hamilton, the
committee's ranking Democrat, and members of Congress'
Hispanic Caucus.

Contacted by The Week Online, an official at the Colombian
Embassy said, "There are three topics which will be
discussed, and these are all intertwined. The peace
process, eradication, and bilateral cooperation. I cannot
say what the content of President Pastrana's message will
be, only that he will come with a large amount of
information. It is our hope that after these talks, many
things will be clarified, as there currently seem to be some
misunderstandings between the parties, perhaps particularly
with regard to the House of Representatives. We believe,
however, that this visit will mark a very important juncture
in the relationship between the countries."

As to the question of the U.S. Congress overstepping the
bounds of Colombia's sovereignty, the official would say
only ,"The one thing that is clear is that the decision
about where, when and how much the United States will help
Colombia is a decision to be made by the United States
government. It is their prerogative. The process and the
relationship between our two countries is an ongoing one,
and we feel that President Pastrana will move that
relationship forward with his visit tomorrow."

***

11. Background on Juvenile Justice Bill - Shawn Heller

(This article provides further information on the
legislative process surrounding the Juvenile Crime Control
Act, alert for which appears above.)

On 9/15, Rep. Bill McCollum, with five other House
Republicans, attached a controversial trailer (Juvenile
Crime Control Act of 1997) onto a bill introduced by Senator
Orrin G. Hatch last spring (S. 2072). This bill was
intended to authorize appropriations for the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children.

The trailer, H.R. 3, would give federal prosecutors the
power to remove cases involving juvenile offenders from the
state court system and try them in adult federal criminal
court. If this bill passes, children as young as 13 will be
placed in adult federal criminal prisons and jails with
adult criminals, both before trial and after conviction.

H.R. 3 is the House version of the Senate Bill S. 10, which
has been under much scrutiny in the Senate because of its
controversial features. The Senate has not engaged in a
significant floor debate and has not come to any majority
decision on S. 10. However, it has now bypassed Senate
debate and has been handed over to its supporters in the
House/Senate Conference Committee for their stamp of
approval.

In the minority view, published in the Committee Report on
S. 10, Senators Leahy, Kennedy, Biden, Kohl, Feingold and
Durbin write: "This bill chooses sound bite over sound
policy. It reacts to the headlines about remorseless young
criminals committing horrific crimes with a hodgepodge of
so-called "get tough" fixes, an amalgam of good and bad
ideas on how to spend federal funds, and one-size
"Washington-knows-best" approach to juvenile crime that will
undoubtedly worsen the juvenile crime problem."

Shannon Gravitte, press secretary for Rep. McCollum, told
The Week Online, "In May 1997 H.R. 3 passed the house and is
a compromise to the Senate's S. 10." She went on to say
that they are not using roundabout methods to attach H.R. 3
to S. 2073, rather that there is language in S. 2073 that
allows for such procedural bypass of debate. Although H.R.
3 has been amended in the House, it has not been debated or
amended by the full Senate, nor will it.

The final bill will not be subject to amendment or debate;
rather, the bill, as amended, will come to a "yes" or "no"
vote by the full Senate. Hence, the Senate may enact H.R. 3
without having the chance to ever amend the proposal,
causing radical changes in the relationship between the
federal government and the states regarding juvenile crime.

Opponents of the bill include Chief Justice of the United
States Supreme Court William Rehnquist and the Children's
Defense Fund.

***

12. Massacre in Ensenada, Mexico hits close to U.S.
- Marc Brandl

At approximately 4:30am, Thursday, 18 family members,
including two teenagers, six children, and one infant, where
led out of their bedrooms at gun point, lined against a
patio wall and gunned down with eighty bullets coming from
nine or ten AK-47 wielding gunmen. The incident happened in
a sleepy suburb of the Mexican resort town of Ensenada, a
popular destination for American tourists, only a ninety
minute drive from the U.S. Mexico border and home to
hundreds of American ex-patriots.

The gruesome scene of the shooting, shown across Mexico and
on several Spanish language U.S. channels, depicted a line
of bloodied bodies still in their sleepwear with the
children holding on to their toys and teddy bears.

The cause behind the Ensenada massacre is believed to be a
rivalry between two Mexican drug cartels. Fermin Castro,
one of the only survivors, in critical condition with
gunshot wounds to the head and body, is allegedly in charge
of marijuana cultivation for the Arellano Felix drug gang
which controls the drugs flowing through the Southwestern
corridor into the U.S. The lead theory at this point is
that it was drug traffickers retaliating for the killing of
drug kingpin Munoz Talavera, who are thought to control the
Ciudad Juarez-El Paso section of the border. Both groups
are thought to have been violent rivals for sometime.

"If this was indeed retaliation, whoever did it sent a heck
of a message to the Arellano Felix gang," Phil Jordan, a
Dallas security specialist and former senior agent with the
DEA told the Dallas Morning News on Friday, 18th. "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."

John Walsh, a research associate for Drug Strategies
concurs. "There is a recognition that the way the Mexicans
have taken over cocaine trafficking from the Colombians has
emboldened them in terms of corruption and the level of
violence. This incident falls into that category. But even
if the situation doesn't become as dire as Columbia, the
fact that its on our border makes it a serious situation."

So far the investigation into the massacre has had few
leads. Mexican officials did find a cache of guns nearby
that may have been used in the killings, but as of press
time no suspects have been brought into custody, and few
local residences are willing to talk.

The violence along the border "continues to be a concern,"
said John Woodard, chief of staff to Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-
CA). Woodard told the WOL, "We've seen similar drug related
incidents in Coronado and San Diego. It's obvious this type
of stuff spreads across the border." Rep. Bilbray's 49th
Congressional district begins the western border between
Mexico and the U.S. and continues along past the two main
Southwestern border checkpoints leading into Tijuana. In
the past Rep. Bilbray has supported the certification of
Mexico as a drug war ally , but with incidents such as this
and several high profile drug corruption related cases in
the Mexican military and police, "it's too early to tell
whether he'll support certification" again when it comes up
for a vote next spring in the 106th Congress.

***

13. Minnesota Marijuana Law faces Constitutional Challenge
in Court Case

On Tuesday (9/29), the Minnesota Court of Appeals will hear
oral arguments in the criminal appeal of Thomas Wright, who
was earlier convicted on a marijuana charge. Wright is
arguing that the state's marijuana prohibition is in
violation of the Minnesota Constitution, Article XIII,
Section 7, which states, "Any person may sell or peddle the
products of the farm or garden occupied and cultivated by
him without obtaining a license therefore."

During Wright's trial, his attorney, Randall Teague, made a
motion for dismissal based on A13, S7, explaining to Judge
Alan Oleisky that the state cannot have the greater power of
making marijuana completely illegal if it does not have the
lesser power of requiring a license. Teague produced
evidence that marijuana was a "product of the farm or
garden" in 1906 when the section was voted into the
Minnesota constitution, and continued to be so until 1935
when the state adopted the Uniform Narcotics Control Act and
its optional marijuana provision. He argued that the
state's controlled substances act says that you can be in
legal possession and be a manufacturer if you have a license
through the board of pharmacy.

Wright told The Week Online, "The truth of the matter is
that the truth doesn't matter. The logic of my claim is
undeniable but I know that they'll develop a legal construct
that usurps the right of farmers. No matter, though, I'm
prepared to take this to the Supreme Court."

***

14. Human Rights Activists Accuse Russian Police of Planting
Drugs

On Monday (9/22), human rights activists in the former
Soviet Union accused Russian police of planting drugs on
innocent persons. At a press conference in Moscow, human
rights activist Lev Ponomaryev told reporters that "an
organization of crooked policemen... are persecuting people
who have nothing to do with drugs" and that the police were
acting "either under orders, or else to embellish their own
track records."

Sergei Bachinin, editor in chief or the newspaper Vyatski
Nabliodatel, who was arrested last year after police
allegedly found less than a gram of marijuana in his office,
headed the inquiry into the corruption. He told reporters
that he was "convinced that there are many files falsified
with the help of fake testimonies and provocation."

***

15. National Conference on Prisons This Weekend

"Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex",
a national conference on the rise and destructiveness of the
world's largest prison state, will be held this weekend
(9/25-9/27) at the University of California at Berkeley.
Featured speakers will include Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem
and the 1998 MacArthur "Genius Award" winner Ellen Barry of
the San Francisco-based Legal Services for Prisoners With
Children. For more information call (510) 238-8555. If you
make it to the conference, stop by DRCNet's table to say
hello.

The U.S. jail and prison population (federal, state and
local) stands at nearly 2,000,000 up from just over 200,000
in 1972.

***

16. EDITORIAL: Repentance for the Drug War

Sundown on Tuesday, September 29, marks the beginning of the
Jewish Holiday of Yom Kippur, day of atonement. Judaism is
not alone among the world's religions in setting aside a
time for personal reflection and repentance through fasting
or self-sacrifice -- Catholics observe Lent, for instance,
and Muslims observe Ramadan to name two -- indicating that
an understanding of the value of setting aside a time for
taking stock of one's actions, for acknowledging wrongdoing
and seeking forgiveness is deeply embedded in the human
spirit.

In honor, then, of Yom Kippur, the oldest of such
traditions, I write today in respectful suggestion to a
handful of people who might want to spend some time in
communion with their maker, if not this week than certainly
soon, seeking forgiveness for behavior which, under any
rational understanding of the intent of a supreme being,
must be considered sinful.

Christine Todd Whitman, Governor of New Jersey, for her
steadfast refusal to consider the advice of either the
world's scientific community or her own commission on AIDS
to allow implementation of syringe exchange programs in that
state. New Jersey has the third-highest rate of injection-
related AIDS in the nation and ranks near the top in the
incidence of childhood HIV infection, which is nearly always
caused, indirectly, by dirty needles.

Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey, who, during the past year has
proffered blatant misinformation regarding the medicinal
potential of cannabis, the efficacy of needle exchange, the
commercial viability and practical applications of hemp,
domestic policies and their impact in such nations as
Switzerland and The Netherlands, the impact and intent of
the US policy for which he is an apologist, and the nature
and intentions of those with whom he disagrees.

Rep. James Traficant, (OH) for continuously pushing for
legislation which would further militarize the U.S.-Mexican
border, despite the fact that his district is more than a
thousand miles away from that border and despite the fact
that representatives from border districts, whose
constituents would bear the costs and dangers of such
legislation, have voiced grave concerns over such plans.

Speaker Newt Gingrich, once a sponsor of pro-medical
cannabis legislation and a staunch opponent of the broad
powers of the FDA over the lives and decisions of doctors
and patients, for shepherding through the House legislation
that hides behind the FDA approval process for the purpose
expressing opposition to the personal choices of medical
cannabis users everywhere.

House Republicans, for overwhelmingly supporting legislation
which would both further militarize the civil conflict in
Colombia and attempt to dictate the actions of newly elected
President Andres Pastrana to the detriment of his courageous
and delicate peace plan.

And again, for their willingness to speak out about the need
to get the government out of the lives of Americans while
hypocritically championing the single most intrusive
government policy in existence, the "right" of the
government to go to any lengths to find and to punish those
who would ingest, into their own bodies, unapproved
substances.

House Democrats, for their willingness to compromise their
"core values" of civil rights, help for the disadvantaged
and the reigning-in of corporate power in the name of a
policy that is imprisoning enormous numbers of the poor and
the non-white, as well as those who choose either a medicine
or an intoxicant that is not owned and patented by either a
pharmaceutical, liquor or tobacco company.

President Clinton, for bemoaning an invasion of his privacy
in the Lewinsky affair, while presiding over a drug war
which arrested over 600,000 people for possession of a plant
in 1997.

The list goes on, of course. But the point is that war, the
most terrible and destructive of all human endeavors, is
being waged as domestic policy by a generation of American
leaders in the false name of morality itself. And while
this is not to suggest that the people named above should
observe the ritual of any particular religion or belief,
perhaps the coming of Yom Kippur can at least serve as a
reminder to them that given their behavior over the past
year, a little atonement is definitely in order.

Adam J. Smith
Associate Director

***

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