------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Effectiveness Outside Law's Purview (A Staff Editorial In Oregon's 'Albany Democrat-Herald' Criticizes Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle For Practicing Medicine Without A License When He Said Last Week That Marijuana Would Be 'The Least Effective And Most Risky' Medication To Give To Someone - And Says Marijuana 'Should Be Legal To Use If And When It Can Help Somebody Who Is Sick') The Albany Democrat Herald Albany Democrat-Herald 600 Lyon St., SW Albany, OR 97321 Telephone 541-926-2211 http://www2.mvonline.com/MV/ Letters to the editor: firstname.lastname@example.org Opinion - Medical effectiveness outside law's purview By Hasso Hering, Editor Albany Democrat-Herald If the sheriff of Multnomah County had a medical degree and had acquired experience treating patients as a doctor, what he says about the medical marijuana initiative would have some weight. Since he does not and has not, he has no standing to declare, as he did last week before the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, that marijuana would be "the least effective and most risky" medication to give to someone. On the subject of the effectiveness of various substances in treating people for illnesses, you would think sheriffs would disqualify themselves. Sheriff Dan Noelle and other sheriffs think that the medical marijuana initiative should not be approved. They believe that it would weaken the notion of marijuana as an illegal drug, that it would lead to more use of marijuana among the young, and that it would lead to more lawlessness and suffering. These are legitimate worries for law enforcement people and anybody else. Some doctors, though, among them initiative sponsor Dr. Rick Bayer of Portland, see the initiative strictly as a medical issue. They make the case that smoking marijuana does have some benefits for some patients in some situations, and they want to be able to advise patients to get it and use it without breaking the law. Logic is on their side. Morphine is addictive and dangerous. Yet doctors are able to prescribe it as needed. The same is true of other powerful pain relievers that make the patient feel wonderfully woozy for a while. (Remember getting high on the stuff the dentist gave you after your last oral surgery?) Nobody says doctors should not be able to prescribe them on the chance that their use could become epidemic among the young. Doctors could legally prescribe marijuana if the federal government reclassified it and put it in the same category as various opiates. It is instructive that in the 1930s, when marijuana was made completely off limits, the American Medical Association opposed the action. Like most sheriffs, the editor of the D-H has no professional knowledge of the effectiveness of marijuana as a medication. But at least some doctors, who should know, say it is effective. It should be legal to use if and when it can help somebody who is sick. (hh)
------------------------------------------------------------------- University Of Oregon Fraternity Goes Dry ('The Associated Press' Says New Members Of Delta Sigma Phi In Eugene, Oregon, Will Supposedly Be Forced To Go On The Wagon - Three Other UO Fraternities Have Agreed To Ban The Use Of Alcohol Within Five Years, Another Plans To Launch A Dry Chapter In A Couple Of Weeks, While Some Sororities - Which Already Prohibit Alcohol - Are Doing Their Part By Pledging To Party Only With Dry Fraternities - The University Has Also Decided To Implement New Dorm Policies) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com University of Oregon fraternity goes dry The Associated Press 9/28/98 5:17 PM EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Trying to shake an image more associated with "Animal House" than academics, new members of the University of Oregon's Delta Sigma Phi fraternity are going "dry." Three other university fraternities have agreed to ban use of alcohol within five years, and another plans to launch a dry chapter in a couple of weeks. Some sororities, which already prohibit alcohol, are doing their part by pledging to party only with dry fraternities. The university has also decided to implement new dorm policies in hopes of keeping a lid on student alcohol abuse. Dorm residents are now prohibited from possessing even empty alcohol containers. And noticeable intoxication, such as staggering, is prohibited in the dorms. Students who are written up will be charged $10 to recover enforcement costs and required to attend a class on drinking issues. Dorms drew attention because they attract mostly freshmen, who are both new to campus and usually too young to drink legally. Both university officials and Eugene police have intensified efforts to curb alcohol abuse since two campus-area parties erupted into riots last October. Police used tear gas on each occasion to break up crowds of about 300 people after officers were showered with beer bottles, rocks and other objects. "We're not happy with what happened here last fall in the slightest," university President Dave Frohnmayer said in a recent interview. "We will crack the whip to whatever degree necessary." But the reforms may have only a moderate effect on college drinking. Supporters of the lose-the-booze effort say it's part of a greater plan to restore the Greeks' relevance and respect as houses struggle with low grades, declining membership and high liability insurance rates. At the university, where Greeks account for about 10 percent of students, fraternity membership fell by 25 percent in just three years, from 820 in fall 1994 to 619 in fall 1997. Sorority membership fell 8 percent during that time, from 849 to 780. Rena Adelstein, spokeswoman for the university's Panhellenic Council, which oversees sororities, said "if this (drinking ban) doesn't happen, basically the Greek system is going to die in about five years." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Veteran Claims Work Around Hazardous Chemicals Led To Terminal Illness ('The Associated Press' Says Dennis Marshall, A 43-Year-Old Former Army Mortician In White City, Oregon, Is Dying From Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease And Suffers From Congestive Heart Failure Connected To Exposure To Formaldehyde, But The US Department Of Veterans Affairs Is Denying His Request For Benefits, Maintaining His Smoking Likely Caused His Health Problems) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Veteran claims work around hazardous chemicals led to terminal illness The Associated Press 9/28/98 4:55 PM WHITE CITY, Ore. (AP) -- Dennis Marshall doesn't figure he'll live long enough to benefit from the military disability pension he seeks. "I'm doing this for her and for them," he said, nodding toward his wife and their four children. Marshall, 43, is in the final stages of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and suffers from congestive heart failure. He and his doctors believe his illness is connected to exposure to formaldehyde during the three years in the early 1970s that he worked as a mortician at the Army's medical facility at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. "I remembered getting ill," he said of breathing in formaldehyde fumes throughout each work day. "But I was in the medical field. You don't go to sick call." The result was that he was never treated in the military for the nausea, dizziness or shortness of breath he experienced at work. He figured he was being a good trooper. Now he believes he is paying for his military work ethic with his illness. Two years ago, after he could no longer work, he applied for a service-connected disability pension. But the Department of Veterans Affairs, which had initially granted him the pension only to immediately withdraw it, continues to deny his request. The department concluded that his smoking likely caused his health problems. His case is now before the Board of Veterans Appeals in Washington, D.C. Tom Furukawa, the service center manager in the regional VA office in Portland, said he could not discuss the specifics of the case because of privacy laws. As the name indicates, a service-connected disability pension must have originated in the service or be determined to have been pre-existing disability while in the service. In making the determination, the agency combs the veteran's service medical records. Congressman Bob Smith, R-Medford, has joined the battle for Marshall, urging the department to reconsider its findings. In a letter to the VA last month, Smith noted that Marshall is relatively young, yet a doctor has determined his internal organs have deteriorated to the condition of someone more than 80 years old. Noting that Marshall worked in the military morgue with large quantities of formaldehyde without the benefit of any breathing protection, Smith observed that, unlike the 1970s, experts now concur that the chemical is very toxic to humans. Marshall spent eight years in the Army before he was discharged in 1979. Three of those years were spent helping to train Army physicians in the military morgue at Fort Sam Houston. "I worked 12 to 15 hours a day, sometimes six days a week," he recalled. "I did everything. Brain removal, eyes. The doctors needed the organs as part of their training." He routinely inhaled the fumes from the toxic chemical used to preserve the cadavers. The fumes were never pleasant, but he said he got used to it. After a military tour of duty in Germany, he was discharged. He returned to Medford and worked at what is now Rogue Valley Medical Center as a nurse's technician for about a year. He and his family later returned to Germany, where he worked as a truck driver for a decade. But Marshall began noticing shortness of breath that wouldn't go away in the late 1970s. In 1981, a German doctor started treating him for lung disorders. Marshall has a non-service-connected disability pension but, because he receives Social Security benefits, he receives no money from the pension. His wife works as a housekeeper. "It's real tough to make it," he said, noting the family often doesn't have enough money to buy medications he needs. "We just barely get by now." If the disability is determined to be service-connected and is 100 percent, a single veteran receives $1,964 a month, regardless of any other income. A married veteran with children receives more benefits, which would continue to benefit the family after his death. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Customs Official Files Suit Against '60 Minutes' (A 'New York Times' Story In 'The Orange County Register' Says Rudy Camacho, A US Customs Official, Is Suing CBS, '60 Minutes' Correspondents Mike Wallace And Lesley Stahl, And A Show Producer For Libel, Contending A Scathing Report On The Customs Service In San Diego Was Based On A Falsified Internal Memo) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 15:47:55 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Customs Official Files Suit Against '60 Minutes' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: The New York Times CUSTOMS OFFICIAL FILES SUIT AGAINST '60 MINUTES' A U.S. Customs official is suing CBS, "60 Minutes" correspondents Mike Wallace and Lesley Stahl, and a show producer, Lee Zeidman, for libel, contending their scathing report on the Customs Service in San Diego had as its crux a falsified internal memo. Rudy Camacho, director of the Customs Management Center in San Diego, contends the memo - which characterizes the border as a sieve through which huge drug cargoes pass with impunity - was a forgery and that no trace can be found of it on agency computers. Camacho is also suing a former customs inspector, Michael Horner, who provided "60 Minutes" with the disputed memo. Since he left the Customs Service in 1992, Horner has been a source in border-corruption reports by at least five news outlets. Customs officials besides Camacho say there is strong evidence that the memo, shown on "60 Minutes" on April 20, 1997, was forged. They say they can demonstrate the disputed June 1996 memo is filled with titles and bureaucratic coding that had been changed and updated the year before.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Give Terminally Ill Pot (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Arizona Daily Star' Protests House Joint Resolution 117, The Anti-Medical Marijuana Vow Of Ignorance, Noting Current Policy Exists Because It Produces The Two Things Politicians Crave The Most - Power And Money) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 09:40:18 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AZ: PUB LTE: Give Terminally Ill Pot Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ Pubdate: Monday, 28 September 1998 GIVE TERMINALLY ILL POT I write to protest the recent House resolution regarding the medicinal use of marijuana (``House condemns efforts to make medical pot legal'' - Sept. 16). Evidence of marijuana's usefulness for terminal cancer and AIDS' patients abounds. Evidence that marijuana is no more, and in fact, less harmful than tobacco and alcohol, also abounds. Yet this evidence is regularly ignored simply because it does not jibe with policy. Let's not kid ourselves: Policy exists because it produces the two things most politicians crave the most - power and money. The most recent antics involving the tobacco tax bear witness to this. But why are we so concerned about terminal patients becoming addicted to anything? These people are dying in a horrible way and consuming chemicals much more detrimental to their systems than any street drug, including marijuana, just to try to combat their illnesses for even one more day. If any drug, legal or otherwise, gives these people comfort, give it to them! If anyone is concerned with the message this would send to teen-agers, think about what the present message is: Relieving human suffering is not nearly as important as maintaining allegiance to a dogma-driven policy based upon fear and ignorance. Isn't that a great thing to teach children? David Harris
------------------------------------------------------------------- Choice Of Evils - Michael Domangue (Colorado Attorney Warren C. Edson Says District Attorney Paul McLimans Is Challenging His Ability To Mount A 'Choice Of Evils' Defense For His Client Based On Edson's Affiliation With NORML)Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 10:18:47 -0600 From: chandler@ACCNETCO.NET (Warren C Edson) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Choice of Evils:MD Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Update and Request for Comments: On September 25, 1998, DA Paul McLimans filed a Motion to Reconsider Order Permitting Assertion of 'Choice of Evils' Defense in People v. Domangue. It's 8 pages long. The first 6 pages readdress the issue regarding the imminency of MD's problem and the fact that growing is long a long term solution and thus can't meet an imminent need. The second argument is that because Marinol is available, even though its more expensive, harder to control the dosage level, and a tolerance is quickly built up, its mere availability prohibits the use of Med. Mj. The final and most frightening argument reads as follows: "12. The effort of the defense to utilize this case as a vehicle to achieve political change has been rather apparent for some time, but the underlying goal has been articulated quite clearly in recent newspaper articles. For example, an article in the Rocky Mountain News, dated September 20, 1998, counsel for the defendant is identified as a part of NORML's (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) 'legal team.' It is indicated that NORML 'helps with the expenses of such cases, including Domangue's' The article quotes not only the Defendant's counsel, but 'Tanya Kangas.... director of litigation for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws...' She states, 'The legal precedent that's important to NORML is that a defendant ought to be able to tell a jury why he or she smokes marijuana.... Then the jury can decide whether that information is important in that particular case.'" "13. While the People strongly believe that the Defendant's evidence fails to satisfy the basic principles ingrained in the 'choice of evils' defense, and that his motives for the assertion of the defense are therefore irrelevant, Colorado Law clearly disapproves of the defense's utilization as a tool for social change. 'No state has enacted legislated that makes the choice of evils defense available as a justification for behavior that attempts to bring about a social and political change outside the democratic governmental process." Andrews v. People, supra, p. 609, footnote 3.'" What the hell? I guess they are claiming that my involvement in NORML prohibits the Defendant from using Choice of Evils as an affirmative defense. Anybody seen anything like this? At least since McCarthy? Can prosecutors now be prevented from taking part in WOD cases if they are members of DARE? Can attorneys who are members of NACDL now be prevented from defending criminals? How about those who belong to religious organizations?-W
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fort Worth Officer Shoots, Kills Suspect Fleeing In Van (According To 'The Dallas Morning News,' Prohibition Agents Said The Man Appeared To Have Crack Cocaine In His Hand When He Was Stopped, But A Police Spokesman Would Not Say Whether Officers Had Confirmed The Presence Of Illegal Drugs In The Suspect's Van Or What Else Was Found Inside) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: FW officer shoots fleeing drug dealer Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 18:58:13 -0700 Sender: email@example.com FW officer shoots, kills suspect fleeing in van Patrolman in window as driver pulled off, police say 09/28/98 By John McCoy / The Dallas Morning News FORT WORTH - A Fort Worth police officer shot and killed a drug suspect late Saturday night when the man began driving away after a traffic stop with the officer hanging out his van window, police said. The incident began southeast of downtown Fort Worth about 10:45 p.m. when Officer B.W. Randolph pulled the man over after seeing him drive away from a known narcotics house, police said. Police said the man appeared to have crack cocaine in his hand when he was stopped. When Officer Randolph told the man to turn off the van's engine, he refused, police said. The officer reached into the van to turn off the engine himself, but the man began driving off, police said. The man punched Officer Randolph several times in the head, police said, then the officer pulled his revolver and shot the man twice in the upper body. The van, which had swerved from curb to curb, came to a stop near the intersection of East Richmond and Mississippi avenues, three blocks from where the stop had occurred, police said. The suspect died during surgery at John Peter Smith Hospital, police said. The Tarrant County medical examiner's office said the man's name was being withheld until relatives could be notified of his death. Officer Randolph, 31, was treated for leg bruises at Harris Methodist Fort Worth hospital and released. He could not be reached for comment Sunday. Results of a police investigation of the incident will go to a grand jury for review, said Lt. Mark Krey, a police spokesman. Preliminary findings suggest that the shooting was justified, he said. "In this particular case, there doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary," Lt. Krey said. "The officer reacted appropriately to the situation presented to him." Officer Randolph has been with the department three years and has no previous shootings on his record, Lt. Krey said. Whether Officer Randolph will go on leave during the investigation had not been decided, police said. Lt. Krey would not say whether officers had confirmed the presence of illegal drugs in the suspect's van or what else was found inside. A male passenger in the van who got out when Officer Randolph ordered him to ran away and is not wanted by police, Lt. Krey said. Police said Officer Randolph also had a passenger in his patrol car, a member of the Boy Scouts' Police Explorer program who was riding along to see what police work is like. "That's a way for young people to learn about a profession," Lt. Krey said. "They do ride-alongs." The youth could not be reached. The last fatal shooting by a Fort Worth officer occurred June 6, when 24-year-old Domingo Artea tried to rob a police officer at gunpoint, police said. The officer, C.L. Sadler, was found to have acted appropriately, Lt. Krey said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Growth May Deplete Surplus (According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a Wisconsin legislator said Sunday that if the state's prison population increases nearly 50 percent in three years as projected, it could deplete much of an expected budget surplus.) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 09:38:48 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WI: Prison Growth May Deplete Surplus Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff Fax: (414) 224-8280 PRISON GROWTH MAY DEPLETE SURPLUS If projections that the state's prison population will jump nearly 50% in three years prove true, it could deplete much of the state's expected budget surplus, a legislator said Sunday. The Department of Corrections last week proposed a two-year budget that seeks an increase of $280.7 million. More money is needed because the number of adult inmates is expected to leap by 8,000 to more than 25,000, according to estimates by corrections officials. Building and staffing new prisons to house the ever-growing criminal population as well as sending prisoners to other states will mean a large increase in the corrections budget. State Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee) said that will siphon off money from the the projected state surplus. "One thing it does, it eliminates the talk of what to do with the surplus," Burke said Sunday night. "We have to pay our bills first, make the payments (for public schools funding) that should have been made in the last biennium and then we have to set aside the money to meet the need in the rising corrections costs," said Burke, the ranking Democrat on the Joint Finance Committee. Revenue estimates released this month projected the state budget surplus at $193 million this fiscal year. That is in addition to $352.2 million in projected surplus funds already spent on a variety of state programs and tax cuts in the last budget. Together with the surplus amount already included in the budget bill, the total projected surplus for this fiscal year is about $550 million. State Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen said that a hefty increase in corrections spending would still leave room for tax cuts. "As long as we're cutting taxes and increasing public safety through additional prison space I think we'll get public support (for the additional corrections spending)," said Jensen (R-Town of Brookfield). "It does mean the next state budget will have room for tax cuts, increased school aids and prison beds and little else." The proposed two-year corrections budget of $1.52 billion includes money for staffing three new prisons that were already approved as well as a 300-bed prison for elderly inmates and shipping an additional 4,500 inmates out of state. Wisconsin already houses nearly 3,000 inmates in Minnesota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. "It is a large increase, no question about it. It may not be the final budget but that's what they're starting with," said Robert Goetsch, chairman of the Assembly Criminal Justice and Corrections Committee. Goetsch (R-Juneau) pointed out that while the Legislature already approved construction of several prisons, funding for guards and other employees is now coming due. Of the additional funding sought, $70 million is needed to pay for staffing at new prisons or additions at existing penitentiaries. "We authorize the building of the prisons a few years before we have to staff them. Then people forget that we have to staff them," said Goetsch. The prison bulge is due to several factors. Judges are sentencing criminals to longer terms, fewer inmates are being released early for electronic monitoring and prisoners are serving more years before being paroled, Goetsch said. The state inmate population has nearly tripled in the last decade, to more than 17,000. It is expected to swell past 25,000 by 2001. However, projections don't take into consideration the new "truth-in-sentencing" law, scheduled to take effect on Dec. 31, 1999. That worries Burke. "It was widely assumed that once we passed truth-in-sentencing that we would have a marked increase in the prison population. But what's disturbing is this study does not take into account truth-in-sentencing,'" said Burke. By the end of 1999, anyone convicted of a felony and sentenced to prison will be required to serve the entire sentence, with no chance for early release. Jensen said it was no surprise that corrections officials are asking for a 22.5% increase in their budget. "Part of this is the price of truth-in-sentencing and longer sentences, but it's a price I'm willing to pay for the public's safety," said Jensen. "I've never had anyone complain that we spend too little money in locking up prisoners," Jensen said. "I do think people think we pay too much for each individual prisoner and that's something we're working on." Goetsch said he expects "close scrutiny" of the budget request. "It's not more than what we spend on education; nobody should be saying that. But it is still getting up there in terms of the total budget. I don't like to see that. I guess we pay for them if we want safe streets," said Goetsch. "It's not going to be an easy thing but we do have the need to protect our citizens. And . . . if we have too much overcrowding it's dangerous to the guards."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Former State Trooper Of The Year Takes Own Life ('The Associated Press' Says William Johnson, Once Named Massachusetts' Trooper Of The Year, Shot Himself After Being Demoted From The Narcotics Squad At The Boston Airport To A Job Patrolling A Parking Garage - The Former Green Beret From Revere Never Recovered From The Direction His Career Took After An Encounter With One Of Boston's Most Infamous Mobsters More Than A Decade Earlier) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: MA police suicide - morale suffers Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 18:54:50 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Former state trooper of the year takes own life By ALEXIS CHIU The Associated Press 09/28/98 4:30 PM Eastern BOSTON (AP) -- There will be no long blue line at the funeral of William Johnson, once named Massachusetts' Trooper of the Year. Embittered by what he regarded as a demotion from the narcotics squad at the Boston airport to a job patrolling a parking garage, Johnson left explicit burial instructions before committing suicide Friday: "I do not want a Massachusetts state trooper in uniform within 100 miles of my funeral -- I mean it." Johnson, 50, was found Friday in a field in Sandown, N.H., dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Johnson's sister said the decorated 22-year state police veteran and former Green Beret from Revere never recovered from the direction his career took after an encounter with one of Boston's most infamous mobsters more than a decade earlier. "I used to say, `Billy, try to get past this,"' said Jane Johnson, 38, of Scarborough, Maine. "He couldn't, because it went directly to his name and his honor." The incident occurred in 1987, when Johnson was working the narcotics squad at Logan Airport. That day he stopped James J. "Whitey" Bulger, who was refusing to let security officers search one of his bags. Bulger tossed a bag to an unidentified man who fled and never was caught. Federal authorities believe it contained large amounts of cash. Johnson apparently questioned Bulger and his girlfriend but let him go after seizing another bag containing around $10,000 in cash. Family members say Johnson's troubles began a week later. That was when he heard that David Davis, then-head of the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, was seeking a copy of Johnson's report on the Bulger incident. Johnson insisted Davis told him he had come for the report at the request of Bulger's brother, then-state Senate President William Bulger. Davis has denied requesting a report on Bulger's behalf, saying he was merely interested himself in a story "everybody at the airport was fascinated by." Johnson said he refused to turn over the report because Davis would not promise him a receipt. In the end, Johnson wound up patrolling the airport's parking lot, he told the Boston Herald earlier this year. "I was ordered back in the cruiser and told to watch for people ripping off car radios," he said. Bulger has been on the lam for several years, even as he remains a defendant in one of the biggest racketeering cases ever in New England. Those proceedings have revealed that Bulger was an FBI informant who may have been given carte blanche to commit crimes in return for information. Johnson was cited in 1993 as Trooper of the Year for catching a knife-wielding man at Logan who threatened to kill three airport employees. But Johnson's fortune slid quickly again in 1994, when he was handed a punitive transfer to state police barracks in Andover. The move stemmed from a dispute with his superiors after Johnson escorted then-Lt. Gov. Paul Cellucci around Logan without getting permission. Last year, he retired from the force. State police spokesman Sgt. Tim White on Monday said parking lot duty at the airport is not considered a demotion. And he said the transfer to another barracks was for a breach of departmental rules. Jane Johnson said that despite a file full of commendations, her brother blamed his encounter with Bulger on his subsequent troubles. In recent years, Johnson, who was divorced, had tried to get U.s. Justice Department officials and others to try to open an investigation into his treatment, she said. "If there's anything he was guilty of, it's being passionate about his work," she said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Flyovers Spoil Pot Harvest (An 'Associated Press' Update On Efforts To Eradicate New York State's Number One Crop) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: NY police flyovers spoil pot harvest Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 18:55:50 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Police flyovers spoil marijuana harvest Associated Press, 09/28/98 13:50 BATAVIA, N.Y. (AP) - The apples and pumpkins are about ready for harvest. Like other crops planted in late spring and early summer, so is the marijuana. Police are ready, too, taking to the air to get to the plants first. They have been busy. Using helicopter flyovers, police have zeroed in on thousands of plants in the last several weeks. The Southern Tier Drug Task Force estimates it has destroyed 3,800 plants in the four counties under its jurisdiction: Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany and Wyoming. Erie County Sheriff's deputies have uprooted about 1,930 plants since July, including 1,500 on Aug. 14 near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport in Cheektowaga. Last weekend alone in Niagara County, sheriff's deputies pulled nearly 250 plants in the town of Hartland. Police estimate each plant yields about a pound of the drug. "We feel we're getting to the root of the problem," said Erie County Sheriff's Capt. Kevin Caffrey, who flies the helicopter. "If we get 10 plants out of some village, we're taking it out of the hands of the kids there, because that's where it's going to go." Sgt. Scott Norcutt flies a state police helicopter from his base at the Genesee County Airport in Batavia. Hovering 500 feet above the ground, he floats over cornfields and clearings, looking for the distinctive, almost fluorescent green plants with the jagged-edged leaves. "Sometimes you have to get down low to take a better look at it," Norcutt told The Buffalo News. "Other times you know right away." Marijuana plants need a steady supply of water and light so spotters look for low-lying areas near natural water sources. And they look for clearings or obviously disturbed ground in an otherwise natural area. In Monroe County this year, troopers have found several plants growing in cornfields, obscured by the tall stalks of the corn. Spotters relay the sites to officers on the ground who then pull up the plants. Law enforcement officers in the Southern Tier attribute an increase in plantings this year to a marijuana eradication push in Pennsylvania. "The majority of plants we harvested this year (in Chautauqua County) were very close to the Pennsylvania border," said Sgt. Leo Jones, who heads the Jamestown office of the drug task force. "Growing marijuana is just a misdemeanor in New York. It's a felony in Pennsylvania." But in most cases, no arrest is ever made. Staking out sites once they have been discovered is often impractical. "We'd certainly like to get the grower," Caffrey said. But if they kept watch over every field they found "we'd be tying up a lot of manpower. It's a little frustrating sometimes." *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Information On Saliva Drug And Alcohol Test (A List Subscriber Forwards An Advertisement And URL Regarding A New Hand-Held Device That Will Allow Cops To Take A Saliva Sample Which Will Produce Results In Five Minutes Acceptable To Courts) Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 20:58:37 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (byoung) Subject: HT: INFO ON SALIVA DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST Sender: email@example.com Judging by the sickening tone of the message and the particular addressee, I must assume that I received this because of posts to the alt.law-enforcement newsgroup..... >Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 19:27:53 -0700 (PDT) >From: firstname.lastname@example.org >To: Member, of, Law, Enforcement >Subject: INFO ON SALIVA DRUG AND ALCOHOL TEST > >Wouldn't it be great if you could take a saliva sample at a traffic stop >and in five (5) minutes have your court accepted results? > >SOON YOU WILL BE ABLE TO. > >A hand held device is in the final development that will let all Law >Enforcement officer's test an individual in the field. > >For detailed info go to www.webstnews.com > >Or call > >Lifepoint, Inc. >Linda Masterson >10410 Trademark St >Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730 >909-466-8047
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reefer Madness (A List Subscriber Forwards A Quote From Senator Jesse Helms, Who Thinks 'Social Signs Of Regular Users' Of Marijuana Include 'Excessive Preoccupation With Social Causes, Race Relations, Environmental Issues, Etc. . . .') Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 14:45:48 -0700 (PDT) From: "Bryan A. Krumm RN" (email@example.com) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Fwd: Reefer Madness (fwd) Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org It looks like Orrin Hatch is always on the lookout for his enemies. ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 10:12:27 -0600 (MDT) From: Ted Cloak (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: Green List (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd: Reefer Madness (fwd) ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Subject: Fwd: Reefer Madness Can you believe this?!? In a message dated 98-09-28 10:17:13 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes: Here's a quote from Senator Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) 1997 pamphlet on "How Parents Can Help Children Live Marijuana Free: "Social Signs of Regular Users... 4. Excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc...." *** Peter Anderson RecycleWorlds Consulting 4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15 Madison, WI 53705-4964 Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011 E-mail:email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Science Notebook - Taking A Leaf From Marijuana's Effect ('The Washington Post' Version Of Wednesday's News About Ian Meng and Colleagues At The University Of California At San Francisco Demonstrating The Analgesic Qualities Of Cannabinoids) Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 18:14:35 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: Science Notebook: Taking A Leaf From Marijuana's Effect Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 SCIENCE NOTEBOOK Compiled from reports by Curt Suplee, John Schwartz and Rob Stein. BIOLOGY: Taking a Leaf From Marijuana's Effect New research suggests that scientists may be able to develop a powerful new painkiller modeled on the active ingredient in marijuana. In rats, a drug that mimics delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in marijuana, deadens pain like morphine, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco showed. The findings indicate that marijuana-like drugs kill pain without producing the side effects of morphine. "Given their unique side-effect profile (for example, cannabinoids increase appetite, whereas opioids can cause nausea and respiratory depression), cannabinoids may be useful in improving the treatment of pain," Ian D. Meng and colleagues write in the Sept. 24 Nature. Rats given a synthetic cannabinoid kept their tails near a heat source longer than rats that did not get the drug. And when the researchers shut down a region of the rats' brain known as the rostral ventromedial medulla, which is affected by drugs like morphine, they no longer had an insensitivity to pain. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Senate To Vote On Anti-Medical Use Resolution This Week (Keith Stroup, Director Of NORML In Washington, DC, Urges You To Write To Your Two US Senators, Asking Them To Oppose Senate Joint Resolution 56, Denying The Medical Utility Of Marijuana - Send A Fax Free From NORML's Web Site) From: RKSTROUP@aol.com Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 17:01:35 EDT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Senate to Vote on Anti-Medical use Resolution: Contact Your Senators Today Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com U.S. Senate to Vote on Anti-Medical Use Resolution This Week S. J. Res. 56, the anti-medical use of marijuana resolution introduced by Senators Hatch (R-Utah), Grassley (R-Iowa) and Kyl (R-Arizona), may be called up for a vote in the U.S. Senate as early as Thursday of this week. This resolution is identical to the one adopted by the House of Representatives two weeks ago. Please contact your two US senators now to register your opposition to this resolution. While the resolution has no legally binding effect, it will be used by opponents of the medical use of marijuana as fodder in the five states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Alaska) and the District of Columbia which have medical use initiatives on the ballot on November 3. For your convenience, you can send a free fax to both your senators from the NORML web site (www.norml.org). We have a draft opposition letter ready to send, which you can edit or revise as necessary. NORML has provided background packets of information, including an exhaustive listing of medical organizations that have endorsed the medical use of marijuana, a summary of the medical research and polling data demonstrating strong support from the public, to all Senate Democrats. Please act today. Let's let the Senate know that Americans favor the medical use of marijuana for seriously ill patients. Call NORML (202-483-5500) if we can be of assistance or answer any questions you may have. Keith Stroup NORML Executive Director
------------------------------------------------------------------- Juvenile Injustice (Syndicated 'Washington Post' Columnist William Raspberry Says It's Hard To Know Which Is More Cynical - The Content Of The Juvenile Crime Bill Republicans Have Crafted Or The Way They Are Trying To Railroad It To Enactment) Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 18:48:53 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WP: Juvenile Injustice Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kendra E. Wright) Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: William Raspberry JUVENILE INJUSTICE It's hard to know which is more cynical -- the content of the juvenile crime bill Republicans have crafted or the way they are trying to railroad it to enactment. If you haven't heard about the pending legislation - well, that's part of the cynicism. Even a fairly alert observer at the Capitol last Tuesday - assuming such an observer wasn't distracted by the roaring Clinton/Lewinsky scandal or by the party primaries in the Washington area - might have missed it. He might have seen a notice for a vote to reauthorize the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children - a piece of legislation so noncontroversial it might have sparked little interest. In the meantime, however, the House had passed two separate - and hardly noncontroversial - juvenile justice measures, attached them to the National Center reauthorization bill and sent the packet back to the Senate. By the end of last week, Republican legislators were scurrying to put together a House-Senate conference committee to consider the now-mislabeled package. It gets worse. A conference bill would not be subject to amendment - just a yea-or-nay vote. Thus the measure might have been passed - indeed it still might be - without debate on its contents. And what contents. One of the House-passed measures whose language has been substituted for the National Center reauthorization bill would mandate that in order to be eligible for federal juvenile-justice funding, a state must agree to try children as young as 15 as adults - either at the discretion of the prosecutor or automatically for certain offenses. No more judicial discretion, as is presently the case. Another would ease requirements for separating child offenders from adults once they are convicted and sentenced. Critics of the legislation include the Justice Policy Institute, the Youth Law Center and the Children's Defense Fund. For CDF particularly, it's a case of deja vu. More than 20 years ago, CDF staffers visited 449 jails in 126 counties and nine cities and found children in adult jails in every state. Many were rough kids, but many were ordinary delinquents, were awaiting juvenile court hearings or were status offenders - runaways and so on. That report helped to produce some of the legislative protections for child offenders that the current legislation would roll back - almost certainly throwing more children into adult prisons. Why do I call it cynical? Because if the legislation's sponsors had been interested in crime prevention or rehabilitation -- even if they'd just been interested in trying to understand what's happening with young people in America - they would have held hearings, open debates, serious discussions. Because little in their legislative packet has anything to do with helping young people stay straight (unless the thought is that threatening to expose them to sexual and other abuse at the hands of adult offenders is "prevention"). Because the legislation seems calculated more to appease frightened voters this election season than to address seriously the deadly serious problems of juvenile justice. Moreover, the gentlemen who introduced these measures - Rep. Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) in one case, and Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in the other - have been around long enough to know that Draconian legislation is nearly always more effective at making voters feel better than at reducing crime. Maybe that's why they've chosen this fiendishly clever way of steering their bill toward passage. The normal process might expose its cynicism. For certain it's not because they can't find anything better to occupy their time. Hatch, after all, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee that shortly will be considering the impeach . . . . Never mind. One cynical subject at a time. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- DRCNet Launches Weekly Radio Show (A List Subscriber Says The Weekly Drug Reform Coordination Network News Is Available In Broadcast Quality To Interested Stations, Producers And Announcers Via The Web, And New Editions Will Be Uploaded Each Friday) Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 15:19:39 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: "Adam J. Smith" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DRCNet Launches Weekly Radio Show! Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Hello all, Well, after several months of planning, DRCNet is proud to launch our new weekly radio show, DRCNN (Drug Reform Coordination Network News). Each week's show will be 4-6 minutes in length, and will be based upon the current issue of The Week Online. It features drug war headline news, taped comments from a different expert/reformer each week, and an editorial commentary. The show is available (in broadcast quality) to interested stations, producers and DJ's via the web, and new editions will be uploaded each Friday. To hear the show, go to http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/ and follow the instructions. We're hoping that our friends and colleagues will help to get the show to a wide audience by contacting appropriate radio outlets/personalities and suggesting that they consider making it a regular part of their program/schedule. (There is a press release at the site itself, or, if you'd like, contact us and we'll send/fax a press release to you or to your local station). I hope that you'll all take a few minutes to listen to the show (this week's runs 5:46 and features MPP's Rob Kampia -- who will one day be the answer to the trivia question, "what activist appeared on the first-ever edition of DRCNN) and tell us what you think. Remember, we're new at this multi-media stuff and we're depending upon your input! Thanks to all and I look forward to hearing from you! - adam
------------------------------------------------------------------- Caine Court Case (Randy Caine Says An Appeal In His Constitutional Challenge To Canadian Pot Prohibition Begins Tuesday In Vancouver, British Columbia) From: "Randy Caine" (email@example.com) To: "Mattalk" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Caine Court Case Date: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 14:21:53 -0700FYI, We return to court Tueday and Wednesday (29 & 30) to argue for an appeal. We will now be in the BC Supreme Court. Not sure of the courtroom number but it will start at 9:30am. The address of the court is 800 Smythe in Vancouver. In unity, Randy Caine email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- A legal triumph for pot (An Alberta Report account of the constitutional challenge of multiple sclerosis patient Grant Krieger says the medical use of marijuana is winning converts in Canadian courts.)Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 16:20:30 -0700 Subject: ALTA REPORT: A legal triumph for pot From: "Debra Harper" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) Alberta Report September 28, 1998 A legal triumph for pot Marijuana's medicinal use is winning converts in court In the summer of 1997, Grant Krieger tried to cheer up a buddy who had been convicted of cultivating marijuana. A 44-year-old multiple sclerosis sufferer and pot smoker, Mr. Krieger stood on the steps of Calgary's courthouse and fired up a joint in front of a crowd of reporters and friends. "When I stepped into the courthouse, a cop put his hands on me and said, 'You're under arrest for simple possession of marijuana.'" he recalls. While Mr. Krieger's act of civil disobedience had the desired effect, developments on other legal fronts could mean that, one day, he will be able to smoke pot without breaking the law. At the Calgary courthouse, police found 23 grams of marijuana on Mr. Krieger and charged him with intent to traffic in a narcotic. He had been deported from the Netherlands two years ago after being busted with more than two pounds of it. Last month Provincial Court Judge R.H. Davie found him guilty, but delayed sentencing until October 19 to allow the judge time to study the medicinal uses of marijuana. The prosecution had asked for Mr. Krieger to be jailed for 14 to 30 days. However, "I want to ask for life imprisonment with no chance of parole," argues Mr. Krieger. "I'm a repeat offender here, I guarantee it. The Government of Canada should not be allowed to tell you how to heal your body." A Vancouver trial which ended earlier this month has given his argument some timely ammunition Stanley Czolowski, a glaucoma sufferer, received a conditional discharge from B.C. Provincial Court Judge Jane Godfrey on charges of growing and trafficking six pounds of marijuana. The 44-year-old Mr. Czolowski admitted he uses pot to reduce the symptoms of his disease, including pressure in his eyes, nausea and fatigue. He sold his homegrown grass to Vancouver's Cannabis Compassion Club, which provides discount marijuana to sufferers of AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and cancer. "I have no difficulty whatsoever in understanding [Czolowski's] personal motivation and I have extreme sympathy for his personal situation," said Judge Godfrey. She cited the case of 42-year-old epileptic Terry Parker; in December an Ontario judge stayed possession and cultivation of marijuana charges against Mr. Parker, ruling that sections of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act prohibiting marijuana for medical purposes were unconstitutional. "I am satisfied it's not contrary to the public interest, notwithstanding the volume involved, and certainly it's in the interests of the accused to grant him a discharge," Judge Godfrey said of Mr. Czolowski. Neither he nor his lawyer John Conroy could be reached for comment. But Mr. Krieger is more than happy to discuss the Czolowski legal triumph. "This is a monster case for me," he says. "Marijuana is the best muscle relaxant I've ever taken. When I took [commercial relaxants] I would have muscle spasms, lose control of my bodily functions and have accidents. I used to walk with knee braces, crutches, a cane. Now I can walk by myself. Hey, I just helped my kids put up a fence around our new place." Mr. Krieger says the cannabis also helps him bear the pain of regular massages, which are agonizing for MS sufferers but keep his muscles limber and tremor-free. "It takes away my spasticity so I can function," he says. "The massages fix everything." Everything. perhaps, but his legal troubles. In 1996, police raided his home in Regina and seized three ounces of marijuana, a scale and some smoking paraphernalia. He was charged with possession of cannabis; his wife Marie was charged with possession and trafficking. Both Kriegers are to appear in court in December. "All this trouble for a little bit of pot," says Mr. Krieger, who is looking for donations to pay more than $15,000 in legal fees. "The bills are piling up. It's expensive, but it's worth it. I'll do it all over again if I have to." Another marijuana advocate is trying to derail the law in another fashion. James Wakeford, a 53-year-old Toronto resident, smokes marijuana to offset the crushing effects of the chemotherapy treatments he takes to fight AIDS. "I was wasting away because of the drugs and they nearly killed me," says Mr. Wakeford, who was hospitalized in April after losing 20 pounds in a month and shrinking to 118 pounds. "I smoke every day before dinner. It stimulates my appetite; things taste more pleasurable and eating is okay again." This summer Mr. Wakeford, who has no criminal record, filed a suit against the federal government.He sought an exemption to the marijuana ban in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act on the grounds it violates his right to liberty and security, as outlined in Section 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. On September 9, Ontario Court General Division Justice Harry LaForme said he would "have no hesitation in granting perhaps even all the relief Mr. Wakeford seeks." However, one technicality dissuaded him from doing so. Section 56 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act allows people to apply for an exemption to a ban on a drug if they can prove it is "necessary for a medical or scientific purpose." On September 15 Mr. Wakeford applied for the exemption. If it is denied, he will appeal the LaForme decision on the grounds that the refusal violates his charter rights. Mr. Wakeford, who is also accepting donations to help defray his lawyer bills, is confident he will win either the exemption or the appeal. "I'm not sure anyone ever applied for this exemption before," he says. "I'm trying to set a precedent here. I want safe, clean marijuana for medical purposes. That's all I'm looking for." -- Davis Sheremata Copyright (c) 1998 United Western Communications Ltd. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
------------------------------------------------------------------- It's A Girl - Have A Joint (An Op-Ed In 'The Toronto Sun' By Marianne Meed Ward, Managing Editor Of 'Faith Today,' Who Just Gave Birth To Her First Child, Says It's Time To Decriminalize Doobies For Medical Use, Noting The Recent News About Ian Meng Demonstrating The Analgesic Utility Of Cannabis) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Canada: Column: It's a girl - have a joint Date: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 14:02:55 -0700 Lines: 91 Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Toronto Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: September 28, 1998 Author: Marianne Meed Ward It's a girl - have a joint Having just given birth to my first child last week, I know about pain. That the process was drug-free was due in no small part to its speed: careening through the pre-rush hour dawn of Toronto we arrived at the hospital emergency entrance at 6:45 a.m. We welcomed our daughter into the world at 6:51. Most women are not so fortunate. And labour is only one kind of pain. Thankfully, in this country we have a long tradition of chemical pain relief - from the most common over-the-counter oral tablets - aspirin and acetaminophen - to cocaine derivatives administered through a spinal injection. But we still get our knickers in a twist over some forms of pain relief. Consider the drug examined by researchers at the University of California who published their findings in the Sept. 24 issue of the weekly magazine Nature. In tests on lab rats, researchers found that said drug acted on certain brain cell receptors to prevent pain signals from travelling to the brain. The drug in question has milder side effects than morphine and is less addictive. The name of this breakthrough drug? Cannabis, also known by its street names: pot, grass, weed, Mary Jane, reefer, joint or doobie. But cannabis is illegal in Canada. Simple possession is a criminal offence and can result in jail time. Clearly, not all pain relievers are created equal. One criticism of cannabis is that, for the moment at least, it has to be inhaled, (I guess that rules out President Bill Clinton from ever benefitting from its medicinal powers.) It is within the realm of possibility, though, that scientists will be able to create a synthetic form of cannabis that could be ingested. Other criticisms of cannabis could be levelled against many legal substances: it is potentially addictive (so is caffeine); it may lead to experimentation with stronger drugs (so can cigarettes); and in sufficient doses may cause impairment (so can alcohol). Alcohol and tobacco are, in fact, more dangerous than cannabis. According to 1992 figures from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, tobacco was directly responsible for the deaths of 33,498 Canadians that year and alcohol 6,701 deaths. By comparison, all illegal drugs combined resulted in 732 deaths. Other criticisms of cannabis are baseless. At the August, 1997 trial of London, Ont. man Chris Clay, who had deliberately sold marijuana plants with the intent of bringing a constitutional challenge to Canada's pot laws, Clay's lawyers argued that cannabis does not cross a "sufficient threshold of harm" to either the user or society. Though the judge convicted Clay on three counts of possession and trafficking, he agreed there is no hard evidence of irreversible mental damage; that marijuana does not cause criminal behaviour or violence; and that consumption does not increase where it is decriminalized. The judge based his conviction on the belief that Parliament should decide the legality of marijuana. About the most offensive pot smokers become is sitting for hours with loopy grins on their faces, forgetting to finish sentences and indulging in munchy cravings with cheesies and pizza. Still, mindful of stereotypes, a pro-pot group in Vancouver has developed a sort of smoker's code of ethics. Members of the Harm Reduction Club agree to four conditions: they pay a $10 membership fee; they must be over 13; they don't drive heavy machinery while impaired; and they don't disturb the neighbours. (I wish some of the people on my street were so considerate.) So why the continued double standard in banning this substance despite its medicinal value while other more dangerous substances are legal, if controlled? It seems we can't get past the fact that pot is a hallucinogen, though it rarely produces hallucinations. It does produce euphoria and pleasure, though, alongside pain relief. Heaven forbid that we actually enjoy ourselves while we're recuperating. It's time to decriminalize doobies for medical use. Then maybe, with Baby No. 2, I can enjoy a celebratory joint instead of the traditional cigar. Marianne Meed Ward is managing editor of Faith Today
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - The Last Days Of The War On Drugs (A Dutch Citizen's Letter To The Editor Of The Toronto 'Globe And Mail' Praises The Newspaper For Accurately Describing The Effectiveness Of Dutch Drug Policies) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:56:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: PUB LTE: The Last Days Of The War On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Carey Ker Pubdate: September 28, 1998 Source: Globe and Mail (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.globeandmail.ca/ Author: Ingee Genee THE LAST DAYS OF THE WAR ON DRUGS Thank you, Gwynne Dyer, for producing the first balanced account of Dutch drug policy I have seen in a North American newspaper. I have been upset many a time by the way Dutch society is pictured in what are supposed to be the "best" newspapers. You would think we routinely kill of our senior citizens when they become troublesome, think of abortion as another type of birth control, wean our babies on marijuana and earn our pin money sitting behind a window in the red-light district. The fact that our statistics in all those areas always prove the pragmatic Dutch policies to be extremely successful is generally ignored. What a relief to see an article that actually presents the relevant figures and represents my country for what it is: one with a highly successful drug policy that has resulted in one of the lowest rates of hard-drug addiction in the Western world. Ingee Genee, Lethbridge, Alberta
------------------------------------------------------------------- Indian Criminals Face Holy Deadline ('The South China Morning Post' Says Resentment At Widespread Lawlessness, Kidnapping And Drug Abuse In The Indian Port City Of Chittagong Has Spawned A 'Citizens' Committee To Resist The Anti-Socials' - If The Criminals Repent Their Sins By Friday, They Will Be Saved From The Wrath Of The Angry Vigilantes) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Indian Criminals face holy deadline Date: Sun, 27 Sep 1998 19:01:24 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Source: South China Morning Post Pubdate: Monday September 28 1998 Online: http://www.scmp.com/news/ Writer: Arshad Mahmud in Dhaka Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Criminals face holy deadline Bangladesh -- Resentment at widespread lawlessness, kidnapping and drug abuse in a district of the port city of Chittagong has spawned a "citizens' committee to resist the anti-socials". Its leader, Rafiq Mia, was murdered two weeks ago, sparking a declaration of war on the criminals. If the criminals repent their sins, they will be saved from the wrath of the angry vigilantes. So far, more than two dozen "branded criminals" have taken part in a religious ceremony in which they vowed to return to normal life and swore never to indulge in any kind of anti-social activities in the future. Time is running out for their brethren. They have been told: repent by Friday or else. At the ceremony at Chittagong's Pahartali mosque, hundreds of worshippers watched 25 drug peddlers and hijackers read out a towba, a religious edict forbidding unlawful acts. At one stage during the ceremony two drug peddlers broke into tears, the daily Ittefaq reported. The converts were presented with bouquets of flowers and embraced by religious and community leaders. Moulana Mohammad Rafiquddin, the mosque's chief priest who conducted the ceremony, used his sermon to order all the anti-social elements in Pahartali "to emulate the path of the new converts" and be good citizens by Friday or "face the consequences".
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Law Protest Group Hold 'Smoke-In' ('The Sheffield Star' In Britain Says The Group Smokey Bears' Picnic Met On Devonshire Green In Sheffield To Campaign For The Legalisation Of Cannabis, Smoking Joints In Public To Celebrate The 70th Anniversary Of The Misuse Of Drugs Act And To Show How Banning The Drug Has Failed) UK: Cannabis Law Protest Group Hold 'Smoke-In' Newshawk: email@example.com (CLCIA) Source: Sheffield Star (UK) Contact 1: Letters to the editor, The Star, York Street, Sheffield S1 1PU. Contact 2: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sheffweb.co.uk/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 CANNABIS LAW PROTEST GROUP HOLD 'SMOKE-IN' Campaigners for the legalisation of cannabis smoked joints in public to show how banning the drug has failed. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act, capaign group Smokey Bears' Picnic met on Devonshire Green in Sheffield. They claim the prohibition of cannabis is "immoral in principle and unworkable in practice". Smokey Bears' Picnic spokesman Gary said: "There's no reason for cannabis to be illegal. If we don't obey the laws they won't work." The group claim cannabis is not harmful to health, is not addictive and does not lead to hard drugs. Instead they say it is widely used to relieve stress, as a social relaxant and has many medicinal uses. There are 15 million otherwise law-abiding cannabis users in the UK who are branded as criminals. A police spokesman said if offences were committed they had a duty to prosecute the offenders but no-one was arrested. Last year the British Medical Association said it favoured decriminalising cannabis because it was "safe". * What do you think? -------------------------------------------------------------------
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