------------------------------------------------------------------- Planting Evidence ('Willamette Week,' Portland's Leading Spokesman For The Law Enforcement Community, Ignores The Sick And Dying Who Would Benefit From Measure 67, The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, In Order To Emphasize The Unfounded Fears Of Cops That 'Virtually Every' Small-Time Pot Grower Will Be Able To Find A Physician Willing To Endorse His Or Her Use Of Cannabis, Begging The Question, 'So Why Are We Busting So Many Sick People,' And Ignoring The Experience In California, Where Non-Medical Prosecutions For Cannabis Increased After Proposition 215) Sept. 30, 1998Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.wweek.com/ Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to letters of 250 words or less. illustration by STAN SHAW Planting Evidence * Local prosecutors say the proposed medical-marijuana law would pose big problems for law enforcement. BY MAUREEN O'HAGAN email@example.com If Multnomah County prosecutors are to be believed, the state police academy had better be prepared to start teaching classes in horticulture. According to a recent analysis by the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, the proposed medical-marijuana law poses all sorts of problems for police and prosecutors. Under Measure 67, people with "debilitating medical conditions" would be allowed to possess and grow marijuana to help treat their illnesses. The measure requires the Oregon Health Division to issue medical-marijuana permits to people who present notes from their doctors saying that marijuana may help with their condition. Show the permit to the police, and, if you have less than one ounce of usable pot and no more than seven (four mature and three immature) plants, they're supposed to go away. That sounds pretty clear, but Mark McDonnell, who heads one of two drug units in the district attorney's office, says the law presents all sorts of loopholes and complications. Two of his points, outlined in the analysis, have the most credibility. First, McDonnell says, the measure allows people with debilitating illnesses to claim the medical defense even if they don't have the permits at the time they're busted. Others who are not ill may be growing marijuana for a sick friend, which is allowed under the measure. In either case, the measure allows a person to avoid conviction if it can be established that the pot was being used to treat a medical condition. According to McDonnell's analysis, "persons who have never obtained, or even applied for, a marijuana-use permit can wait until the day of trial and claim for the first time that they suffer from a debilitating medical condition." If the measure passes, McDonnell expects more and more marijuana defendants to claim that they were using or growing pot for medical purposes. "We'll likely see it in virtually every case," he says, "except where it's a marijuana sale to an undercover officer [the measure prohibits sales] and large commercial grows where not even a defense attorney could argue medical necessity with a straight face." Lawyers who represent marijuana defendants agree that the defense will probably be used frequently, both by people with real health problems and by others with bogus medical claims. "I think it's in people's nature, if they're in trouble, to try to get out of trouble," says defense lawyer Pat Birmingham. "Sure there's going to be people that try to abuse it." "Theoretically, I believe it is a defense that could be used," says defense lawyer Michele Kohler, although she believes that it will only be effective in cases in which the person is legitimately and obviously ill. McDonnell's second point is that even if prosecutors can weed out bogus claims, the law would suck up resources. The measure, he says, prohibits authorities from "harming" or "neglecting" any property seized by the police until the defendant's case has been resolved. McDonnell says the provision includes the plants themselves. "As a result," the analysis says, "the police will be required to maintain and care for all growing marijuana plants they seize until the defendant's case is finally resolved." McDonnell, who says that last year 7,917 marijuana plants were seized by local police, pictures a vast police greenhouse filled with the budding plants. David Fidanque, the director of the Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped write the measure, says the provision was not designed to protect plants but other property that may be seized as part of a marijuana case. "I think it's a ludicrous reading of the statute," he says. If the courts do require police to care for growing marijuana plants, he adds, "I think we would be the first ones to support a clarification of that statute." To the district attorney's office, the bottom line is that the law is difficult to enforce. "The measure puts the police and prosecutors in the untenable position of trying to enforce a law with huge loopholes," McDonnell says. "What the measure really intends to do, under the guise of medical purposes, is to legalize marijuana or make it extremely difficult to prosecute these cases." While the district attorney's analysis is being criticized by proponents as an attack on medical-marijuana users, it does not directly oppose the measure. "Personally, I don't think half the DAs care one way or another," says Kohler. "But professionally it's their duty to uphold the law." *** [these paragraphs were laid out in a separate column in the online version of this story:] Over the past three years, there have been just 19 cases in which marijuana defendants in Multnomah County claimed their pot was for medical purposes. In some of these cases, the charges were dismissed. "I think it's in people's nature, if they're in trouble, to try to get out of trouble. ...Sure there's going to be people that try to abuse it." --Pat Birmingham
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Activist Wants PC's Back (The Version In The Bend, Oregon, 'Bulletin') Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:55:25 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: Pot Activist Wants PC's Back Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Source: Bulletin, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Section: New Briefs, B-8 POT ACTIVST WANTS PC'S BACK ALBANY- An embattled marijuana activist has gone to court to try to get back computers police took during a drug raid two weeks ago, seizures his lawyer said violates privacy rights and constitutional freedoms of speech and association. Bill Conde, 55, was charged with a felony count of marijuana possession when Linn County sheriffs deputies found slightly more than an ounce of marijuana at his property near Harrisburg on Sept. 15th. Searching for drug records, authorities took computers that Conde said he uses to run his redwood lumber business, as well as to store political action committee information.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gambling Addict's Survivors May Ask Voters To Overturn Game ('The Associated Press' Says Video Poker Opponents Are Planning An Oregon Initiative Campaign In 2000 Aimed At Ending Or At Least Curtailing State-Sponsored Gambling - Even Though Apparently The Percentage Of Dependent Players Has Plummeted From 7 Percent To 3 Percent In Two Years) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Gambling addict's survivors may ask voters to overturn game The Associated Press 9/30/98 3:37 AM By BRAD CAIN Associated Press Writer SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Friends and relatives of a man who committed suicide after becoming hooked on video poker are hoping to ask Oregon voters to pull the plug on the game two years from now. The video poker opponents gathered on the front steps of the Capitol Tuesday to remember Bob Hafemann, a Milwaukie man who fatally shot himself three years ago after falling deeply into gambling-related debt. Hafemann's sister, Rhonda Hatefi, said her brother enjoyed his life as a $45,000-a-year steelworker before he became addicted to the Oregon Lottery's video poker game and lost his life's savings. "He only paid his rent. He let all of his other bills slide," Hatefi told reporters. "His death has devastated us as a family." Tom Grey, executive director of the National Coalition Against Lottery Expansion, said he will help Hatefi and others with an initiative campaign in 2000 aimed at ending or at least curtailing state-sponsored gambling. Grey, who lives in Hanover, Ill., said the campaign will be launched soon after this November's election to give gambling opponents plenty of time to round up signatures for the ballot two years from now. To give voters a choice, the opponents plan to push one initiative to get rid of the Lottery altogether and another one to ban just video poker -- by far the biggest moneymaker of the Lottery's games. "Our ultimate goal is to eliminate video poker," he said. "We see it as the crack cocaine of gambling." The opponents will have their work cut out for them, though, because various polls have indicated wide public support for the highly profitable game. "I think people understand that if the Lottery were to go away, you would lose $500 million in state revenue," said David Hooper, spokesman for the Oregon Lottery. "You would either have to lose services or increase taxes." Plus, he said, the state has allocated $4.5 million to run a 24-hour telephone hot line and treatment programs for problem gamblers, who make up about 3 percent of the total number of people who play the lottery. Still, Grey and other opponents said the state's own estimates are that there are more than 70,000 problem gamblers in Oregon and that state government is cashing in on those people's addiction. "Obviously, we've got a feeding frenzy in this state," he said. Hafemann's father, Harvey, said he knows only that video poker ruined his son's life. "He was trying to stop, but video poker took him down a road of no return," he said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Scientific Proof Linking Pot, Violence Nonexistent (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Oregonian' From Portland NORML Director TD Miller Rebuts An Assertion By Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle That Cannabis 'Contributes To Violent And Assaultive Behavior' And Therefore Shouldn't Be Used As Medicine For People With Serious Illnesses) Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 06:37:14 -0700 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com) Subject: CanPat - Published Letter to the Oregonian! T.D. Miller Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Great Work TD! I really doubt the Oregonian will publish any of our letters regarding the phony psychologist. I will just send a copy to the Board of Pshc. Ex. and drop it. We decided they have shot down there own case by having such a fool. The following is a terrific letter by T. D. : Oregonian 9-30-98 *** Scientific Proof Linking Pot, Violence Nonexistent Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle and Roger Burt should do a little research on marijuana before testifying about it's properties ("Sheriff argues against legalized marijuana," Sept, 25). When Noelle suggests marijuana "contributes to violent and assaultive behavior," he takes a position that even the National Institute on Drug Abuse won't support. Why? Because there is no peer reviewed scientific evidence linking pot and violence. When Burt asserts that marijuana is "...in the big leagues of addictions he must have missed the report in the Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle (Sept. 24) on Dr. Ian Meng's research at the University of California comparing pain relievers and saying, "The addiction potential of marijuana is also much lower." Of course, neither mentioned that the National Institute of Mental Health in July showed that cannabinoids could protect the brain from the damage caused by injuries and stroke. T.D. Miller, director PDX NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) Southeast Portland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Activist Goes To Court To Seek Return Of Computers ('The Associated Press' Says Reform Activist Bill Conde Of Harrisburg, Oregon, Has Gone To Court To Try To Get Back Computers Police Took During A Drug Raid Two Weeks Ago, Seizures His Lawyer Said Violate Privacy Rights And Constitutional Freedoms Of Speech And Association)Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Marijuana activist goes to court to seek return of computers The Associated Press 9/30/98 3:42 AM ALBANY, Ore. (AP) -- An embattled marijuana activist has gone to court to try to get back computers police took during a drug raid two weeks ago, seizures his lawyer said violate privacy rights and constitutional freedoms of speech and association. Bill Conde, 55, was charged with a felony count of marijuana possession when Linn County sheriff's deputies found slightly more than an ounce of marijuana at his property near Harrisburg on Sept. 15. Searching for drug records, authorities took computers that Conde said he uses to run his redwood lumber business, as well as to store political action committee information. One computer was used to operate a reader board visible from Interstate 5 that displayed messages about marijuana initiatives on the Nov. 3 general election ballot. Conde's attorney, Brian Michaels, argued Tuesday that authorities are going after Conde because of his outspoken political views. "There's no scintilla of probable cause to hold these records," Michaels told Linn County Circuit Judge Rick McCormick. "There was no scintilla of probable cause to have even obtained these records." But sheriff's deputies say the computers are relevant to their probe of drug use and drug sales at the marijuana-themed events, most recently the three-day "Cannabis Carnival" over Labor Day weekend. "He profits by selling tickets to events where people know they can get drugs," sheriff's Lt. Dar Holm said Tuesday about Conde. Holm testified that drug sales were "rampant, widespread" at the Cannabis Carnival and said he believes Conde knew it, and profited from it. He noted that Conde advertised the $10-per-person festival on the Internet, ads that boasted that there would be "no cops" there. Michaels said the computers' records include names of people who support marijuana legalization and lists of people who registered to vote during events held on Conde's property. Now, he said, political contributions are drying up and people who are named in the computer records fear authorities are going to harass them. The computers are believed to hold lists of vendors, and possibly lists of security guards. "This investigation is hindering the political process in the state of Oregon," Michaels said. "What you have is a situation where a lot of people are going to be investigated who are not identified as criminals." Undercover narcotics officers bought drugs, primarily marijuana, 26 times during the Cannabis Carnival and witnessed numerous other drug transactions, according to the affidavit filed in support of the search warrant. "It was a valid seizure for reasons of a criminal investigation," Linn County deputy district attorney George Eder said in court. The computers' hard drives were turned over to state police computer specialists, who won't have time to examine them until Monday, Holm said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Audit Finds 54 People With Criminal Backgrounds Caring For Kids ('The Associated Press' Says A Recent Audit Of Oregon's Adult And Family Services Division Showed That 54 People Receiving State Money To Provide Child Care Had Outstanding Warrants And Criminal Histories, Including Endangering A Minor, Drug And Drunken Driving Charges, Child Neglect, Credit Card Fraud And Assault - No Word On How Many Children Were Put In Foster Care Because A Parent Had Been Charged With Marijuana Possession) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Audit finds 54 people with criminal backgrounds caring for kids The Associated Press 9/30/98 3:42 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A recent state audit showed that 54 people receiving state money to provide child care had outstanding warrants and criminal histories, including endangering a minor, drug and drunken driving charges, child neglect, credit card fraud and assault. Cathy Pollino, deputy director of the Secretary of State's Audit Division, said auditors were so surprised to discover the warrants that they double-checked with the Law Enforcement Data System, the computer program used to do the checks. "To me, those sound like significant offenses," Pollino said. The audit of the state Adult and Family Services Division showed that 15 of the child-care providers had criminal backgrounds before they were approved by the division, and the remaining 39 were issued warrants after the initial background check. Jim Neely, deputy administrator of family services, said that 54 is a small number when compared with the 12,000 child-care providers who are active each month. "We're always surprised to see things like this," Neely said. "But we are grateful to have seen this potential loophole." The 54 providers who did have more serious warrants and were active in child care were issued denial letters revoking their state registration and payments, except for one woman with a larceny-theft warrant who completed probation and is limited to care for her grandchild. The family services agency has conducted more than 117,000 screenings of child-care providers to determine if they are eligible for state subsidies to provide child care for low-income families. The state spent $112 million for the 1995-97 biennium. The audit screened all 117,000 child-care providers, including 12,000 active providers. The audit team discovered 250 child-care providers who potentially had outstanding warrants, but after going over the list, the majority of the warrants were for minor offenses such as parking tickets, had been satisfactorily cleared, or were issued to inactive providers. JaNell Welker, co-chairwoman for the Oregon Family Child Care network, a communication link for child-care provider groups, said the audit is the best thing that could have happened for Adult and Family Services. "It put them on their toes to say, 'Hey, we can't even let that few slip through the cracks,"' she said. "I think AFS is really on the ball now, and they will not let this happen again." The family services agency has been rechecking the backgrounds of active providers and those who want reactivation every two years. It also is planning to perform quarterly reviews of child-care providers who are classified as "limited," or licensed to care for only one child, usually a family member. "The best thing to say about this is that, as with any large-scale system like this, as we do checks, someone might not be included in that check," Neely said. "But we got into this business to make sure that child-care providers are safe for our kids to be with." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Women Will Occupy Part Of The Eastern Oregon Prison ('The Associated Press' Says By Next Summer, 160 Women Will Join More Than 1,500 Male Inmates At The Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution In Pendleton As Part Of What Prison Officials Call A Temporary Overcrowding Fix That Could Last Four Years) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Women will occupy part of the Eastern Oregon prison The Associated Press 9/30/98 3:37 AM PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) -- By next summer, 160 women will join more than 1,500 male inmates at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution in what prison officials say is a temporary overcrowding fix that could last four years. The move is designed to alleviate overcrowding at the Oregon Women's Correction Center in Salem and keep the state from having to send as many inmates to prisons elsewhere. Starting in December, the first group of women inmates will be transported from a private prison in Gallup, New Mexico, where the state rents 119 beds. The rest will come from the state prison in Salem. To make room at Eastern Oregon, about 200 men are being shipped to the state's Snake River prison in Ontario. Ninety-five have already moved and the rest will be gone by mid-October. "It's not every time you get the luxury of a phase-in," said Jean Hill, prison superintendent. "It'll give us time to adjust." The women's unit will be carved out of what is known as H Building, a two-story building tucked into the southeast corner of the institution. The building also is home to the men's disciplinary segregation unit, where inmates are housed in single cells rather than the larger dormitory-style units. "The idea of putting the women in Unit H was pretty creative on our part," said Corrections Department spokeswoman Perrin Damon. "You don't usually think of mixing men and women in the same facility, but it's so segregated, there shouldn't be any problems." The two blocks will share a wall: On one side is the segregation unit's exercise yard, on the other will be the women's exercise yard. That wall poses some concern to officials. But measures will be taken to prohibit the passing of notes or contraband over the wall, Hill said. One solution could be restricting the men to individual exercise cubicles or wire cage-like structures for their allotted time outdoors. Windows along the sidewalk leading to the yard will be frosted, as will any windows through which men and women inmates might catch glimpses of each other. Seventeen security staff, three nurses and a pharmacy technician will be hired and assigned strictly to the women's area. A new structure, a work and programs building, will be built at the open end of the women's exercise yard, Hill said. "We just didn't have enough space to keep the women working, so that's going to assist us a great deal," she said. Some work will be created simply in meeting the needs of the block, such as cleaning and setting up rooms. Women inmates also will prepare and serve the food cooked by male inmates in the institution's kitchen. "Everything that needs to be done, it'll be the women's unit so they will be doing it," Hill said. The mixed-population arrangement isn't unique in the state. The Columbia River Correctional Institution near the Portland airport currently houses 317 men and 162 women. Both arrangements will come to an end once the state opens its new women's prison and intake center, expected to house more than 1,300 at the site of the old Dammasch State Hospital in Wilsonville. "If we break ground in May, like we'd like to do, we could start housing people in February 2001," Damon said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sims Says Crime Drives Plan To Raise Property-Tax Rate ('The Seattle Times' Says King County Executive Ron Sims Is Calling For A 5.5 Percent Tax-Rate Increase To Hire 367 More Jailers, Police And Prosecutors, Using The Specter Of Criminals Roaming The Streets To Justify What Could Be One Of The State's Largest Property-Tax-Rate Increases In 1999) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-Hemp Talk" (email@example.com) Subject: HT: Crime drives plan to raise Seattle property-tax rate Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:01:28 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 08:41 a.m. PDT; Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Sims says crime drives plan to raise property-tax rate by Brier Dudley Seattle Times Eastside bureau The specter of criminals roaming the streets is being used by King County Executive Ron Sims to justify what could be one of the state's largest property-tax-rate increases in 1999. Sims said higher taxes are needed to hire 367 more jailers, police and prosecutors. "I'm not willing to jeopardize the safety of the citizens of King County," Sims said yesterday at a news conference previewing his Oct. 12 budget proposal to the Metropolitan King County Council. Sims is calling for a 5.5 percent tax-rate increase - six times higher than the inflation-based limit of 0.85 percent set by Referendum 47, the statewide ballot measure voters approved in 1997. Even at the higher tax rate, Sims said, parks and human-services budgets must be cut to feed the voracious growth of criminal-justice needs. "Our criminal-justice costs, we have to face; they're there, they're not going away," Sims said. Police and jails are sacred cows to council Republicans, but several scoffed at Democrat Sims' approach. "Ron Sims is using public safety as the human shield to justify his tax increases," said Councilman Chris Vance, R-Kent. Vance said there's plenty of money for criminal justice available by cutting costs; he suggested starting with Sims' executive office. There's no danger of closing the Sheriff's Office, as Sims had warned earlier, because the tax-rate increase affects only a fraction of the $440 million budget, Vance said. He said the higher rate would bring in just $8.5 million. Council may not see it his way It remains to be seen whether Sims can find enough votes on the council to pass his budget and accompanying legislation needed to override Referendum 47's limit. The budget is finalized in November. Council Budget Chairman Greg Nickels, D-West Seattle, said there's an obligation to voters who told government to keep spending in line with inflation. He expects the council will lower the rate from what Sims requests, but maybe not to all the way to 0.85 percent. Rob McKenna, R-Bellevue, said "it's very unlikely" that Sims' plan will be approved. But "it's good politics, he's daring us to touch his criminal-justice budget." Last year, Sims also proposed a 5.5 percent tax-rate increase. The council agreed because the Medic 1 levy had failed, forcing the county to scramble for $8 million to keep the emergency medical-response system afloat. Vance said the Medic 1 crisis met Ref. 47's criterion of an exceptional need justifying a higher tax rate, but the unsurprising growth of public-safety costs does not. Crime taking bigger bite of budget Debate centers on the expense budget, the roughly $440 million in discretionary spending. Overall, the county's budget is around $3 billion, including transit, sewage and other programs with little leeway. There's no disagreement that criminal justice is taking an ever greater share of the budget as the county loses revenue to newly formed cities. It accounts for 66 percent of Sims' 1999 budget proposal, up from 62 percent last year. Jail statistics show that bookings decreased over the last five years, but have begun increasing this year. Average jail time is also rising, from 15.9 days last year to 16.2 days. Sims said jails are more crowded because the county's population is growing. His analysts said the crowding is largely from nonviolent offenders serving time for crimes such as drunken driving or drug offenses. Amid that growth, the county has used up a special dispensation of motor-vehicle excise-tax revenue that it used to launch the Regional Justice Center in Kent. Starting next year the county must use its general revenue instead, adding $4.8 million worth of expenses. Altogether, Sims proposed raising jail spending from $68 million to $79 million, largely to open the remaining sections at the Kent jail and add 259 employees. He also proposed spending another $1.5 million on District Court operations - including a new mental-health court suggested by judges after a transient with a history of mental illness and criminal activity fatally stabbed a retired firefighter near the Kingdome. Public defenders wouldn't get any more money under Sims' plan, but prosecutors would get $2.6 million to add 14 people. Sims also proposed increasing Sheriff Dave Reichert's budget by $5.5 million, to $74 million, allowing him to hire 50 more people. Included is money for traffic officers, transit police and airport patrols. Although there are big spending increases, Sims said his budget is fiscally careful and includes numerous cuts that he'll unveil later. "This budget, we were doing a lot of bottom feeding," he said, "looking for what scraps we could to make it go." Brier Dudley's phone message number is 206-515-5687. His e-mail address is: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge tosses out medical usage defense; pot grower (The Union, published in Grass Valley, California, describes a Proposition 215 case in which a Lake Wildwood man was convicted Tuesday of growing marijuana for sale after a judge ripped the heart out of his medical-marijuana defense. However, J. Tony Serra, the lead defense attorney for Ronald Enos, 54, said "This submission allows us to appeal every issue and, in the meantime, Mr. Enos is free.") Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 07:47:48 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Judge tosses out medical usage defense; pot grower Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Theresa Taylor Pubdate: 30 Sep 1998 Source: The Union (Grass Valley and Nevada City, CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Webform: http://www.theunion.com/forms/lteform.html FAX: (530) 477-4292 Mail: Letters to the Editor, The Union, 11464 Sutton Way Grass Valley, CA, 95945 Website: http://www.theunion.com/ Author: James Nash JUDGE TOSSES OUT MEDICAL USAGE DEFENSE; POT GROWER CONVICTED A Lake Wildwood man was convicted Tuesday of growing marijuana for sale after a judge ripped the heart out of his medical-marijuana defense, cutting short what was expected to be a colorful test case of California's medical pot law. Ronald Enos, 54, faces up to six months in jail after prosecutors and his San Francisco defense attorneys reached a deal to convict Enos on one of three counts pending against him. The Nevada County district attorney's office agreed to drop charges of cultivating marijuana and stealing electricity to power his indoors growing operation. Tuesday's deal - which occurred after a lengthy pretrial battle, but before a jury could be seated - will allow Enos' lawyers to appeal a ruling by Superior Court Judge Frank Francis that struck down Enos' claims that he needed marijuana to relieve his chronic pain, and that state laws on growing medical marijuana was too vague to prosecute him. "Without a defense, our best bet is to appeal the judge's decision," said J. Tony Serra, Enos' lead defense attorney. "This submission allows us to appeal every issue and, in the meantime, Mr. Enos is free. "If we were lucky enough to win on appeal, this case would have broad-ranging consequence for all people who are similarly situated," said Serra, a prominent San Francisco defense attorney and marijuana legalization activist. Police arrested Enos in July after finding 91 marijuana plants growing in buckets in two rooms of his home. Enos said the marijuana was intended for his personal use and to sell at cost to cannabis clubs, which, under state law, may distribute the drug to people with certain medical conditions. However, prosecutors said they were prepared to present evidence that Enos profited from his growing operation and that, as a consequence, he couldn't claim a legitimate case under Proposition 215, the voter-approved medical marijuana initiative. "We're happy with the result," said county Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson. "We had a trial in the form of motions, essentially an entire trial in the pretrial phase. We are anxious and interested, as the (state) attorney general is, in seeing this case go up on appeal so that we can get resolution to some of the issues that were raised." Wolfson said the district attorney's office was able to get a conviction on the most serious charge - growing marijuana with intent to sell - and that the lesser charges probably wouldn't have made a difference in Enos' sentence. Wolfson credited staff in the district attorney's office and the Nevada County Sheriff's Department for their homework leading to Enos' conviction. Serra said he was optimistic that he could win the case on appeal because Judge Francis' ruling Monday was the first decision denying a Proposition 215 defendant a "due process" case - a claim that the state's marijuana law was so confusing that it shouldn't be used to prosecute someone. State law is clear that people with certain medical conditions may be prescribed marijuana to relieve their symptoms, Serra said. "You can't legalize milk and outlaw the cow," he said. Enos' trial promised to be an entertaining spectacle. The defense attorneys - a prominent group of San Francisco marijuana advocates - had subpoenaed attorney general and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Lungren and his former rival for state office, Dennis Peron, who ran the cannabis club to which Enos sold his goods. Prosecutors were prepared to tear into the cannabis club with evidence that it, far from being a benevolent helper of the chronically ill, was more like a commercial operation. "We are confident that the possibility that any particular juror might have voted for the law (Proposition 215), they would have easily distinguished the facts in this case from what the law allowed," Wolfson said. [Sidebar] FAMOUS "ROBIN HOOD" DEFENSE LAWYER BREEZES THROUGH COUNTY COURT Nevada County got only a taste of the tactics of J. Tony Serra, the self-styled "Robin Hood" defense lawyer whose clients have included a Black Panther leader, a Symbionese Liberation Army member and a woman who shot to death a man accused of molesting her son. Serra, a charismatic trial attorney based on San Francisco's waterfront, said he agreed to represent Lake Wildwood pot grower Ronald Enos at no cost because the lawyer believes that marijuana should be made fully legal. Enos, soft-spoken and methodical in his testimony, couldn't have presented a starker contrast to his lawyer, whose graying ponytail swayed as the defender dramatically enunciated arguments. No Nevada County jury ever had the chance to witness Serra's style first-hand. Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson, who handled the Enos case, said he would have relished the chance to match wits with the legendary attorney and pot advocate. "It would have been a very interesting case to try," Wolfson said. Serra has represented Black Panther leader Huey Newton, Symbionese Liberation Army member Russel Little, molestation-revenge killer Ellie Nesler, American Indian activist and accused killer Bear Lincoln and a group of Humboldt County logging protesters whose eyes were swabbed with pepper spray by sheriff's deputies. So why Enos? "I've been doing this from Haight-Ashbury onwards," Serra said of defending accused marijuana growers and users. "For 30-plus years, I've been a marijuana activist and believe that it should be wholly legalized." Serra, who has a doctor's license to use marijuana to relieve job-related stress, said he decided to try the Nevada County case because Bay area prosecutors aren't as aggressive in pot cases. "The Bay area is very tolerant, and they won't prosecute anything," he said. "If this had been in the Bay area, this probably would have washed out before the trial." Serra calls himself a "Robin Hood" lawyer because he uses fees collected from his wealthier clients to represent poorer people at no cost.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sonoma Judge Sets Full Hearing for Return of Medical Marijuana (A news bulletin from the web site of Californians for Compassionate Use, associated with Dennis Peron, says Sonoma County Judge Raima Ballinger accepted on Tuesday the county's first petition ever filed for the return of medical marijuana plants. The judge issued a stern order to the sheriff and county counsel that they appear for a full hearing on October 30, where the patients whose plants were forfeited will present their side of the story.) Californians for Compassionate Use http://www.marijuana.org/ San Francisco, CA Lake County Farm, Lower Lake, CA (707) 994-1901 Fax: (707) 994-2165 E-mail: email@example.com For Immediate Release: September 30th, 1998 Sonoma Judge Sets Full Hearing for Return of Medical Marijuana Santa Rosa, CA - Sonoma County Judge Raima Ballinger accepted on Tuesday the County's first petition ever filed for the return of medical marijuana plants. The Judge issued a stern order to the sheriff and county counsel that they appear for a full hearing on October 30th where the patients whose plants were forfeited will present their side of the story. While it's true that Ed Learn, Will Larson and Robert Bonencamp had hoped for a quick quiet victory, the scheduling of a full hearing and the growing number of Judges getting involved means that even greater good will come from their loss. "Good things are coming from this action: an air-tight precedent is being established for the return of medical marijuana plants in Santa Rosa and we're teaching local Judges about legal medical marijuana so they won't be as likely to sign search warrants for medical gardens in the first place," explains John Entwistle, patient-farmer & co-author of Proposition 215. Ed & Will & Robert: (707) 526-1695 Attorney Steve Mittleman: (707) 996-5258
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prison Guard Union Breaks With Tradition, Backs Davis ('The Contra Costa Times' Says That In A Surprise Move, California's Powerful Prison Guards Union, Which Has Been Republican Governor Pete Wilson's Biggest Financial Supporter And A Backer Of GOP Gubernatorial Contenders For 16 Years, Voted Tuesday To Support Democratic Contender Gray Davis Over Dan Lungren, The Republican Candidate And Nemesis Of Proposition 215 - Rank And File Members Cited Davis's Military Service) Date: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 10:36:55 -0500 From: Arthur Sobey (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: PRISON GUARD UNION BACKS DAVIS Sender: email@example.com Edition: Contra Costa Times, Section: A, Page: 12 Sept 30, 1998 PRISON GUARD UNION BREAKS WITH TRADITION, BACKS DAVIS Democrat's military service swayed rank-and-file correctional peace officers, association president says By John Howard ASSOCIATED PRESS SACRAMENTO -- California's powerful prison guards union endorsed Democrat Gray Davis for governor on Tuesday, a surprise move for a group that has been Republican Gov. Pete Wilson's biggest financial supporter and a backer of GOP gubernatorial contenders for 16 years. Don Novey, president of the 28,000-member California Correctional Peace Officers Association, said his rank-and-file favored Davis over GOP rival Dan Lungren in part because of Davis' service in the military and his opposition to Proposition 226, an unsuccessful June ballot initiative that sought to cut unions' political clout. "We've got a lot of veterans in our crowd, and this thing about military service being a test of character, well, it resonates with us. ... He's walked the walk. When duty called, he was there," Novey said. Lungren, although of draft age during the Vietnam War, did not serve in the military because of health problems that included kidney surgery at an early age and knee surgery later on. Davis served in the Army in Vietnam and was awarded a Bronze Star. Novey said the association has endorsed Davis four times for lower-level state offices. "We've seen him grow. He's got a genuine concern about our officers' safety. He's a capable administrator ... and he will challenge the privatization of prisons, the corporate sponsorship prisons. That's a big issue," Novey said. The endorsement means major financial backing for Davis, although Novey declined to say how much. The union, which has donated $1.5 million to Wilson during the past decade, has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of California's mammoth prison construction programs, largely under GOP administrations. The number of prisons has nearly tripled in less than two decades. The inmate population has increased fivefold to nearly 160,000 prisoners at 33 prisons and 38 work camps. Davis spokesman Michael Bustamante said the campaign was "pleased at the endorsement of a law enforcement organization that traditionally has endorsed Republicans." Lungren said at a campaign event in Sacramento that his support of Prop. 226 and his opposition to binding arbitration were crucial in the officers association decision. The union supports binding arbitration and opposed the ballot initiative, which would have barred workers' union dues from being used for political purposes without their written permission. "I had a very good meeting with CCPOA," Lungren said. "A very, very good meeting with them. There were some things on which we agreed to disagree on. ... Would I rather have them with me than against me? Of course I would, but I won in 1990 without them." The group, however, did endorse him for re-election as attorney general in 1994. During a televised debate last week, Lungren denounced binding arbitration, declaring that arbitration hearings had forced the Golden State Warriors to reinstate basketball player Latrell Sprewell, who had attacked his coach. "I will not allow the voters of California to be Latrell Sprewelled," Lungren said to the bemusement of many observers. In explaining its reasons for backing Davis, the union echoed a criticism that Davis made during the debate: the fact that Lungren accepted a pay raise as attorney general during tight financial times in 1991. Wilson "took a pay cut. Dan accepted the 5 percent pay raise and we took a 5 percent cut," Novey added.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Drug War's No Failure (John Jonik, a columnist for The Anderson Valley Advertiser in Boonville, California, says the war on some drug users has succeeded in massively enriching the Prison Growth Industry, in creating a "holy" distraction from real crimes against people and their environment perpetrated by corporate and government entities, and has generated a lot of other little-discussed benefits that go unrecognized by "the left.") THE DRUG WAR'S NO FAILURE Newshawk: d9 http://www.civilliberties.org/ Pubdate: Wed, 30 September 1998 Source: The Anderson Valley Advertiser (Weekly; Boonville, CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org FAX: 707/ 895-3355 Mail: 12451 Anderson Valley Way, Boonville, CA 95415 Columnist: John Jonik Note: We at MAP were at first a little skeptical about this item. Our newshawk has assured us that it was published, and words capitalized as shown. He writes "Indeed there are *several* independent, and community sponsored news sources in Mendocino and Humboldt Counties that have regular and often excellent reporting and commentary on drug policy issues." We hope that more of these items will be sent to email@example.com THE DRUG WAR'S NO FAILURE In a recent issue [of the AVA] there was some quote that, once again, suggested that the "War on Drugs" is a failure. This myth is perpetuated in just about every good, decent and half-decent publication. It has become a tenet of faith for the left. It is incorrect. It is an indication of an inability of the left to scope things out from the viewpoint of the opposition. The War on Drugs is a FLAMING SUCCESS. It has massively enriched the Prison Growth Industry; it gives cops the pretense to stop minorities, bohemian types, or anyone who doesn't look like a servant of the Corporatocracy; it offers a scam excuse to send the US military to all sorts of "trouble spots" in the Western Hemisphere; it gave Bush the pretense to keep US military presence in Panama; it enriches the suppliers of the military equipment for the Drug Warriors; it gets lots of votes for authoritarian politicians from the Puritanical, fundamentalist religious retrogrades within the population; it gives "law enforcement" agencies source of income via forfeited property so that corporations don't have to chip in with equitable taxes; it creates a "holy" distraction from REAL crimes against people and their environment perpetrated by corporate and government entities; it gives the manufacturers of untested or barely-tested synthetic pharmaceuticals a virtual monopoly of the market; it keeps hemp out of the hands of farmers so that trees can be stolen from the public for paper and building material; it leaves many farmers with little option but to turn land over to developers or ag-biz; it gives an excuse to search and monitor citizens who are traveling; it eliminates the good example of hemp as a non-toxic, pesticide-free agricultural product; it removes great numbers of "disobedient" people from voting roles; it allows kids to be kicked out of public schools; it leaves pesticide-drenched cotton and synthetic fabrics as the materials of use for most of the population; and by its cruelty, ignorance and gross insensitivity to humanity, it terrorizes the entire population to all the better limit opposition to the business-uber-alles authorities. The War on Drugs, especially on marijuana, STILL benefits the alcohol industry which was one of the promoters of the prohibition in the first place. And booze is just about the prime excuse for the intense police presence on the highways... "for our protection," of course, like most authoritarian policies. Corporations that benefit greatly are: pharmaceuticals, the oil/petro-chemical industry, logging, pulp, paper, chlorine, pesticides, security, military contractors, private prisons and all prison construction, cotton, corporate farming, waste disposal, liquor, insurance, developers, energy (hemp being a source of biomass-energy) and the corporate media that enjoys various business relationships with all of the above. The War on Marijuana is so zealously waged NOT because the narcs want to protect us from ourselves and from natural plants but because pot is a BIG competitive threat to some of the most powerful (and most toxic and environmentally-destructive industries). The War on Drugs has also succeeded in weakening the left/progressive side by making many afraid to open their mouths about the horrors caused by the campaign. Many fear being accused of SEEMING to be "potheads" or "drug pushers" or WORSE, "relics of the 60s." Many fear being investigated by the feds it they utter a peep of complaint and, therefore, do harm to their own integrity and trustworthiness. Many fear losing their base of economic support from the white middle-class if they too openly condemn the Drug War oppression of black or Latino people. And the inevitable violence, money-laundering, tax evasion and other spin-off crimes created by the illegality of the drug business gives the authorities MORE excuses to "get tough" and intensify their war. And sadly, many community groups are convinced to JOIN the authorities in their War on Drugs out of desperation in dealing with the EFFECTS of the prohibitions. Pretty nifty, no? What to do? Well, at LEAST check the campaign funding of all officials who "fight drugs" and the economic backers of groups who do the same. Look for bankers, insurance companies and other investors too. At least expose the ECONOMIC motives for their insane, oppressive programs and expose their hypocrisy when they tolerate and facilitate TRULY harmful crimes against people or their environment. Any prosecutor, legislator or judge who has an interest in the businesses which benefit by drug prohibition MUST be required to recuse themselves from active participation. Any prosecutor, legislator or judge who has religious bias against natural "drugs" must also be asked to disqualify themselves from official capacity. It's a Constitutional issue. At the same time, do NOT help corporate authoritarians by perpetuating the idea that the War on Drugs is a Failure and, therefore, insane. People tend to be DEFERENTIAL to insane maniacs. They OBEY them out of fear of insane retaliation. And the more people who get the idea that Law Enforcement agencies are stupid morons, the more who will end up in their clutches when they assume the authorities are stupid morons who can be easily scammed. The system is SMART and has NOT created the insane-LOOKING "war on drugs" by accident. Remember that the most effective terrorism, for the purpose of controlling the population, is the most arbitrary and unjust. What harmless, socially-beneficial citizen would be controlled if only HARMFUL criminals were prosecuted?
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Likes Federal Methadone Plan (According To 'The San Francisco Examiner,' Local Health Officials Say A White House Initiative To Expand Methadone Treatment And Allow Physicians To Dispense It Is Precisely In Line With Their Goals) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:52:06 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: SF Likes Federal Methadone Plan 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) Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Ulysses Torassa, Examiner Medical Writer S.F. LIKES FEDERAL METHADONE PLAN U.S. proposes to train doctors to give heroin addicts synthetic substitute A White House initiative to expand methadone treatment for heroin addiction is getting a warm response from San Francisco health officials, who say it is precisely in line with their own goals. In February, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution asking the federal government for a waiver so that doctors, with training, could prescribe the synthetic narcotic designed to lessen heroin cravings. Currently, strict regulations prevent anyone but specially-licensed clinics from dispensing it. White House drug policy chief Gen. Barry McCaffrey said Tuesday there are plans to begin training programs for physicians to become accredited to prescribe methadone. "This is an area where there are too many regulations," said Barbara A. Garcia, director of community substance abuse services for the Department of Public Health. "This puts us in a very, very opportune situation in terms of our ability, on a local level, to push this issue." Currently, about 1,800 people are being served at five methadone clinics in The City, each governed by a complex web of state and federal regulations. Another 415 are on a waiting list for treatment. Garcia said she hopes more people will choose methadone if they know they can get it confidentially through their doctor. It could also lead to better medical care for conditions that often crop up in injection drug users, she said. Still, Garcia said it will likely be at least a year and maybe longer before regulations can be rewritten on both a state and federal level to make methadone access easier. Last year, the National Institutes of Health issued a sharply-worded report saying the nation's heroin addiction policies are outdated and that plenty of evidence exists that methadone works well. The treatment remains controversial, however. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has said it only swaps one addiction for another and announced a plan in that city to get users to quit. A few states have no methadone clinics. The cost for treatment is usually about $3,400 a year per person and involves frequent visits to the clinics. Medi-Cal, the state's health insurance for the poor, pays for its members to receive methadone, but some people pay for it themselves, Garcia said. She said they are able to do that because methadone stabilizes addicts and allows them to hold down jobs. Eventually, The City hopes to provide treatment, including methadone, on demand for all addicts. That goal remains years away, Garcia said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Police Chief's Daughter Fails To Show In Court ('The Orange County Register' Says Michelle Lynette Parks, 37, The Daughter Of Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks, Has Been Free On Her Own Recognizance, But Failed To Enter Pleas On Cocaine Sales And Trafficking Charges In Las Vegas Tuesday, So The Judge Set A New Hearing For October 13 And Said She Would Issue A Bench Warrant For Parks If She Did Not Show Up)Date: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 20:02:05 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NV: Police Chief's Daughter Fails To Show In Court Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: 30 Sep 1998 POLICE CHIEF'S DAUGHTER FAILS TO SHOW IN COURT A Las Vegas justice of the peace issued an ultimatum Tuesday when the daughter of Los Angeles Police Chief Bernard Parks failed to appear on drug charges. Michelle Lynette Parks, 37, was scheduled to appear before Justice of the Peace Nancy Oesterle to enter pleas on cocaine sales and trafficking charges. She has been free on her own recognizance. Oesterle set a new hearing for Oct. 13 and said she would issue a bench warrant for Parks if she did not show up. Her attorney, Robert Lanyford, said it is typical for the attorney to make initial appearances, such as he did Tuesday. He would not say why Parks did not make Tuesday's appearance. From Register news services
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Camouflage ('The Arizona Republic' Notes There Are A Lot Of Jerks Out There Who Are Stealing From Gilbert Area Farmer Malcolm Scott And His 40-Acre Crop Of Kenaf, A Plant Grown For Fiber That Looks Like Marijuana And Is Included In The US Department Of Agriculture's List Of Preferred Alternative Crops) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 08:23:28 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AZ: Cannabis Camouflage Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Contact: Opinions@pni.com Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/ Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Author: Edythe Jensen The Arizona Republic CANNABIS CAMOUFLAGE Gilbert area farmer Malcolm Scott gives visitors a quick disclaimer about his 40-acre crop: "It's not what you think it is." Tell that to the drivers who put on the brakes and tiptoe out of their cars to snatch a few leaves from what looks like a giant field of healthy marijuana plants along Warner Road near 178th Street. Or the do-gooders who call the sheriff's office to report some criminal agriculture. Scott, however, isn't harvesting that kind of weed. What he is sowing is cannabis hibiscus, otherwise known as kenaf, a close relative of the illegal cannabis sativa but without the hallucinogenic properties. A hardy fiber crop that's drought- and pest-resistent, kenaf is on a U.S. Department of Agriculture list of preferred alternative crops, authorities say. According to the USDA, kenaf stalks can be used to make paper, cloth, animal bedding, cat litter, plastics extenders, oil slick absorbers, livestock feed and packing material. "It is a problem for people who try to use it as a controlled substance," said Robert Armstrong, a USDA official in Washington, D.C. Armstrong, who heads USDA's Alternative Agriculture Research Corp., says his office has received reports that young thieves who tried to smoke the crop got nothing more than inflammed throats and irritated airways. Scott said he doesn't know if any of his passers-by-turned-thieves inhale. "But," he added, "my neighbor said he'd like to have a nickel for everybody he sees stopping to take some." Nearly identical in appearance to marijuana plants, kenaf has seven instead of five parts to its leaves. "It took me two years of growing it to figure that out" Scott said of the difference. Olgia Scott drove into son Malcolm's driveway Tuesday and ran over to the irrigation ditch to announce the latest visitor. "Somebody in a company truck is out there trying to collect some marijuana!" She laughed. Sgt. Dave Trombi of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers have received numerous calls "reporting a marijuana field" on Scott's farm. "But we've been out there," he noted, "and we know it's not the case." Although the kenaf thieves can't be arrested on drug charges, Trombi said they can be arrested for theft. Olgia, and her husband of 58 years, Jessie, moved to the East Valley from New Mexico in 1950 and bought 300 acres near Gilbert and Mesa to farm cotton. She is pleased that her son has found a crop with more potential for profits. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Malcolm sought advice from university experts a few years ago after drought conditions forced him to stop a portion of his farming operation on leased land in the Gila River Indian Community. "I became good friends with those people, and I made a promise to them that when I found something profitable, I'd come back," he said. After three years of experimenting with kenaf, Scott and the Gila River Community are ready to plant thousands of acres on the reservation next year. Construction will begin in April on Arizona's first kenaf processing plant near Sacaton. Scott's first harvests will eventually be turned into soft, splinter-free animal bedding, but the dried stalks will be stored pending construction of the Gila River processing plant. The versatile crop can be cut with traditional corn harvesting equipment and stored for years without spoiling, he said. For Armstrong, kenaf has more global implications. "One of our mandates is to expand the crop base and replace our petrolium-based economy with a bio-based economy," he said. "We're trying to save the world here. "Eighty percent of the U.S. crops today are corn, wheat or soybeans. We're setting ourselves up for a bit of a genetic disaster if we don't expand the crop base." Edythe Jensen can be reached at 444-7939 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Carrying Only Herbs Charged With Driving Under The Influence (A 'Houston Chronicle' Update On The Case Of George Singleton Of Vermont - Originally Busted While Driving Through Oklahoma, The African-American With Dreadlocks Spent 25 Days In Jail Charged With Possessing 'An Imitation Controlled Substance' - Medicinal Rosemary And Mullein - And Faces A Court Date Thursday On Charges That He Was Intoxicated While Driving Under Their Influence) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:53:35 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US VT: Man Carrying Only Herbs Charged With Driving Under The Influence Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ MAN CARRYING ONLY HERBS CHARGED WITH DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- George Singleton was driving from California, where he was working with inner-city gangs, back to his organic farm in Vermont when an Oklahoma state trooper pulled him over. Trooper Alvin Lavender told him he was speeding and weaving, Singleton says. A bag of what looked like marijuana was seized. Singleton, 49, was jailed on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. But his blood tests for intoxicating substances came back negative. And the marijuana turned out to be organically grown rosemary and mullein, common herbs that Singleton said he uses to treat his tuberculosis. He was never charged with speeding or a drug offense after the stop in February, though he still faces a court date Thursday in Oklahoma. The charge: driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance. This despite the tests showing no intoxicating substance in his blood. "He's not guilty of anything but being black and having ... dreadlocks and driving in Oklahoma," said his lawyer, Jim Hadley of Vinita, Okla. Singleton said he is convinced he was pulled over because he fit the "profile" of a drug suspect. Gene Haynes, the district attorney in Craig County, Okla., acknowledged, "It is an unusual case because of the fact that we don't have proof of any illegal substance." But he told the Tulsa World, "We're continuing to pursue it because we feel he was under some type of influence that rendered him a danger on the roadway." The trooper reported that Singleton was unsteady on his feet and had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. Singleton, 49, runs an organic farm in Dummerston. He helped found Hope-LA-USA in 1992, a national group that tries to get teen-age gang members involved in organic gardening. He also has an East Coast office. After his arrest, Singleton spent 25 days in jail. Singleton said that at one point, he was told he would be charged with carrying "an imitation controlled substance," a crime under Oklahoma law. But his lawyer said the authorities later decided that rosemary and mullein would be a poor imitation. Singleton said he brews the rosemary into tea and smokes the mullein, a tall wildflower of the figwort family. If convicted of driving under the influence, Singleton could get a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He is also accused of failing to display current license tags. Singleton's lawyer said the district attorney told him last week that the state was willing to reduce the charge to careless driving, impose a $50 fine and court costs of less than $100. Hadley said he and Singleton weren't buying. "I'm not scared of dealing with fascist government people because that's all I've been dealing with all my life," Singleton said. "This is normal for me. This is the dark side of America."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Urban Farmer Uses State Constitution In Court ('Minneapolis Star-Tribune' Columnist Doug Grow Describes The Appearance Tuesday Of Thomas Wright Before The Minnesota Supreme Court, Where The Marijuana Cultivator Argued That His Conviction For Possession Of Marijuana With Intent To Sell Violated Article 13, Section 7 Of The State Constitution, Which Says, 'Any Person May Sell Or Peddle The Products Of A Farm Or Garden Occupied And Cultivated By Him Without Obtaining A License') Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 18:17:09 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MN: Column: Urban Farmer Uses State Constitution In Court Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Chris Wright (TCW@genesis-computer.com) Pubdate: Wednesday, 30 Sep 1998 Source: Minneapolis Star-Tribune (MN) Contact: http://www.startribune.com/stonline/html/userguide/letform.html Website: http://www.startribune.com/ Columnist: Doug Grow, Star Tribune Note: Our newshawk writes: "If you could help bring attention to this landmark case being fought in Minnesota I would be grateful." Done! Doug Grow: URBAN FARMER USES STATE CONSTITUTION IN COURT The Urban Farmer had his day in court Tuesday and it did not appear to go well. The Urban Farmer is Thomas Wright. In the summer of 1996 he was growing his crop of choice, marijuana, in his Minneapolis home. It was an excellent crop. "Some of the best grown in Minnesota," he said proudly. But following an anonymous tip to police, Wright was busted, his crop was destroyed and the Urban Farmer was found guilty in Hennepin County district court of possession of marijuana with intent to sell. He was fined and reprimanded but received no jail time. Many people in such circumstances would have breathed a sigh of relief and found new crops to plant. But Wright is different from many people. He seemed to view being busted as an opportunity to prove a constitutional point. Wright, 40, spends a lot of time doing such things as reading constitutions. And it is his belief -- and the belief of his attorney, Randall Tigue -- that under the Minnesota Constitution it's perfectly legal for farmers to grow and sell marijuana. Article 13, Section 7 of the state constitution says: Any person may sell or peddle the products of a farm or garden occupied and cultivated by him without obtaining a license therefor . . . . "I've been preaching for years that Article 13 was there for anyone who wanted to use it," said Tigue, a frequent defender of unpopular causes. "It's unrefutable, either legally or logically -- if our judges have the courage . . . ." Even Paul Scoggin, the Hennepin County assistant district attorney who opposed Wright and Tigue in Tuesday's appeal, was intrigued by their constitutional points. On the surface, the case has appeal, Scoggin said. "He's not being frivolous in any shape, manner or form." Article 13, Section 7 came into existence in 1906, apparently because Minnesota farmers were outraged by large license fees the city of Minneapolis was charging them to sell their products on city streets. (At the time, it should be noted, it was legal to grow marijuana and hemp in the state. Laws banning marijuana didn't come onto the state scene until 1935.) Farmers, who had great political clout in the state in 1906, won the adoption of Article 13. Ninety-two years later, it is the view of Tigue and Wright that the only way the state legally can ban growth and distribution of marijuana is to amend Article 13. "We would welcome nothing more than a proposed constitutional amendment," Tigue said. "That would give us a public debate on marijuana in general." But if Tigue and Wright had any confidence that the Appeals Court would be moved by their position, the confidence quickly was dashed. From the outset of the hearing Tuesday morning, the questions of the three appeals judges, Gary Crippen, Gordon Schumacher and Roger Klaphake, ranged from skeptical to incredulous to hostile. Tigue had barely cleared his throat in preparation when one of the judges fired off a question about whether people can have farms in the basements or upper floors of their houses in the city. "Location is irrelevant," Tigue answered, adding that it would be perfectly permissible for somebody to grow blueberries in his basement and sell them on the corner. Tigue started his argument again and another judge fired off a question about whether farmers could sell "adulterated" beef?" Tigue, growing slightly exasperated, suggested that Minnesota farmers growing marijuana "can't sell adulterated marijuana, either." The judges who were so quick to interrupt Tigue listened closely to the points put forward by Scoggin, who argued that Article 13 never was meant to exclude issues such as the health and safety of the people. He also talked of how constitutions are balancing documents. In Article 1, Section 1, Scoggin noted, the constitution declares that one of the prime reasons the state exists is to protect the health and safety of the people. Scoggin concluded that if Tigue and the Urban Farmer want the growth and sale of marijuana to be legalized they should take their case to the Legislature, not the courts. The judges all but applauded Scoggin, though they somberly told Tigue and Wright that they'd think about the case and come to a decision at a later date. "I'd say that was a fairly skeptical court," Tigue admitted at the end of the hearing. "We were here to see if there was the political will in the court to do something that it ought to do." Wright seemed frustrated, though mellow. "I believe in the constitution of Minnesota," Wright said. "They hold me to observance of the law, but if I try to hold them to observance of the law, nothing happens." (c) Copyright 1998 Star Tribune.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Justification For Continuing War On Marijuana (A Letter To The Editor Of 'The Daily Gazette' In Schenectady, New York, Says It's Time To Bury The Fiction That Smoking Pot Is Bad) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:48:35 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: PUB LTE: No Justification For Continuing War On Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Walter F. Wouk Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Source: Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dailygazette.com Author: Thomas Ellis NO JUSTIFICATION FOR CONTINUING WAR ON MARIJUANA The war on drugs, especially marijuana, is among the stupidest policies the federal and state governments have ever undertaken. Half a million people in the United States will be arrested this year for marijuana possession. There are about 70 million living Americans who have smoked hemp (and inhaled). I imagine most of them have gotten bored with pot, or lost interest in it for some reason or another, but tens of millions of Americans are smoking it this year. It is time to bury the fiction that smoking pot is bad. Most people who smoke hemp do so because it is fun. Having an altered state of consciousness - at least occasionally - is good. While working as a substitute teacher years ago, students would often ask me about marijuana. I said the most dangerous things about marijuana are that it is illegal and it may have been sprayed with deadly herbicides. I would rather see a 16-year-old getting high once or twice a week on pot than smoking a pack of Winstons a day or getting drunk every weekend. Tobacco and alcohol are addictive and can kill you, but not marijuana. I do not recommend marijuana for everyone. Some people cannot handle it well. I have seen more than a few people waste 10 or 20 years of their lives smoking pot daily, and amounting to nothing. But I know just as many people who smoke it daily or frequently, and work regular jobs, pay taxes, own or rent houses, raise good kids, and contribute positively to their communities. If one reads American, European, or Asian history, one will see that hemp has been cultivated for centuries and used for dozens of products, including paper, fuel, cooking oil, rope, clothing and medicine. Hemp is an incredibly versatile weed. Instead of the now-common middle-aged politicians describing their past marijuana use as a "youthful indiscretion," I look forward to the day when electoral candidates have the guts to say, "I smoked pot, had lots of fun doing it, and I do not care if you do." It is time to re-legalize marijuana. THOMAS ELLIS Albany
------------------------------------------------------------------- Decriminalize Marijuana (A List Subscriber Publicizes An Online Petition To Reform Marijuana Laws, Sponsored By E-ThePeople.Com, A Nonpartisan Web Service Promoting Communication Between Citizens And Government) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:01:44 -0400 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur.Livermore@www.nynow.com To: email@example.com Subject: Decriminalize Marijuana As the movement to eliminate criminal penalties for the medical use of cannabis grows, it becomes even more important for everyone to take every opportunity they can to speak out. By signing this petition, you will demonstrate that the American public has passed the point of tolerance for the persecution of suffering people by denying them medication that is safe and effective. Please sign this petition and then pass it on to at least ten more friends. The petition is located at: http://www.e-thepeople.com/etp2/affiliates/national/fullview.cfm?ETPID=0&PETI D=50381&ETPDIR=affiliates/national Login: Thomas Password: Jefferson CASE SENSITIVE! *** This petition is hosted by E- The People, http://www.e-thepeople.com, a nonpartisan Web service promoting communication between citizens and government. At E- The People, you can: -Send a letter to any one of 140,000 local, state, and federal officials in 7,000 towns and cities! -Start a petition to fix a pothole or change a policy, and promote it on our national site! -Sign a petition about a cause you care about! E- The People is sponsored by the Alex Sheshunoff Initiative, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of communities through technology.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War Going On In Internet Poll (List Subscribers Invite You To Make Your Opinion Known At An Online Survey On 'Whether The US Military Should Help Combat The Influx Of Illegal Drugs And Immigrants Along The US-Mexico Border') Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 11:43:10 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: Re: MAP: Re: War Going on in Internet Poll Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org It's now Y 237- N 531. A surprising Yes turnout. There is a concerted effort by the opposition here unless I miss my guess. If you haven't voted please do so. This is a great way to influence newspapers. At 06:21 AM 9/30/98 -0500, email@example.com wrote: The drug warriors are REALLY losing now. Here are the totals as of 6am (9-30-98). I believe this poll will run the rest of the week. When it is over, we should cruise the comments area and recruit new members and have fun sending the drug warriors email countering whatever they have to say. Vote Totals: Yes=151 (26 %) No=432 (74 %) Not Sure=2 (0 %) Either the poll is rigged, or we have an internet poll war going on with the drug warrior types. The current totals as of 4:10PM are as follows: Should the U.S. military help combat the influx of illegal drugs and immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border? Vote Totals: Yes=130 (64 %) No=70 (35 %) Not Sure=2 (1 %) You can vote by aiming your browser at http://www.startext.net/starvote-cgi/starvote Larry Nickerson *** Mark Greer DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Congress Votes To Let Colleges Tell On Students ('The Washington Post' Says Congress Has Approved And President Clinton Will Likely Sign Legislation That Will Allow Colleges To Notify Parents When Students Younger Than 21 Commit A Violation Involving Alcohol Or Other Drugs) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 09:26:32 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Congress Votes to Let Colleges Tell On Students Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sept 1998 Author: Ann O'Hanlon Page: B01 CONGRESS VOTES TO LET COLLEGES TELL ON STUDENTS Parents Could Be Notified Of Alcohol, Drug Abuses Congress has approved legislation that would allow colleges to notify parents when students younger than 21 commit an alcohol or drug violation, a measure sparked by a string of five alcohol-related deaths on Virginia campuses last fall. The bill, which passed the Senate yesterday and the House on Monday, needs only President Clinton's signature to become law. Clinton said he is likely to sign the measure. Current federal law prohibits universities from disclosing their records on students 18 and older, and most schools interpreted that to mean that they could not notify parents about a student's drug and alcohol use. A Virginia task force on college drinking, led by state Attorney General Mark L. Earley (R), recommended in July that Congress exempt drug and alcohol records from the privacy requirement. Advocates of the change argued that many parents have no idea their children are abusing drugs or alcohol and thus can't intervene to help them. Some advocates also said that students might think twice about such behavior if they knew that their parents would be told. Officials at most Washington area colleges said yesterday that they would have to study the issue carefully before deciding whether to change their policies in response to the new legislation. Under the measure passed by Congress, colleges would be allowed to tell parents not only about student violations of alcohol and drug laws, but also about violations of the schools' own rules against drinking and drug use. Some privacy advocates criticized the legislation, saying that it strips young adults of their rights. "It's a ridiculous amendment," said David Banisar, the policy director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center. "Even drug and alcohol violations shouldn't override an adult's right to privacy. An adult student for better or worse is still an adult. . . . This amendment would basically be turning the university into a babysitter for them." But Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), who sponsored the amendment at Earley's request, argued that some restrictions on privacy rights are appropriate. "I just felt we had to make an exception, as much as I believe in personal freedom," he said. "These situations not only jeopardize the health of the person who consumes too much alcohol, but that individual in turn can do harm to others. Why shouldn't a parent be brought in?" Warner and Earley both said they will encourage Virginia's state colleges and universities to implement the new policy as soon as the bill becomes law. Officials at several universities said they now will have to study whether they want to establish a parental notification rule -- and which students and which kinds of drug and drinking violations should be covered by such a rule. "We clearly will be looking at it and trying to figure out when this might be an appropriate thing to do," said Louise Dudley, director of university relations at the University of Virginia. Officials at Radford University, however, did not wait for the federal okay. This fall they approved a policy of full parental notification, based on the state task force's recommendation. Virginia Tech considered doing the same, but decided to wait for congressional action. "We wanted to ensure that if we put in place a policy that said we would do that, we would not be in violation of federal law," said Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker. In the meantime, new students at the Blacksburg, Va., school were asked to sign a waiver allowing the school to notify their parents of a drug or alcohol offense. Now the school will consider toughening that policy. Officials at the University of Maryland at College Park already were discussing such a change at the request of several parents, but they said they have not made a decision. "We've heard from parents that they would like to be informed in situations like this," said Andrea Goodwin, coordinator for rights and responsibilities in the university's department of residence life. "The students will probably be concerned about it, especially because it would be a change from our past procedures." David Z. Rose, 20, a third-year student at U-Va., called the new legislation a "ridiculous" encroachment on students' rights but said it will have little or no impact on student behavior. "No matter what the government does, college students are going to be college students," he said. But Darren Freeman, 19, a sophomore at U-Md. at College Park, said the bill is a change for the better. Freeman, who said he doesn't drink, believes that a parental notification policy at his campus would affect what students do. "I definitely think that -- just the fear of having parents know that you're breaking a rule or law is certainly a means of controlling," he said. Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senate Resolution Calls For Colleges To Wage War On Binge Drinking (Related News In 'The Chronicle Of Higher Education') Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 18:17:29 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: Senate Resolution Calls For Colleges To Wage War On Binge Drinking Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, The (US) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://chronicle.com/ Author: Leo Reisberg SENATE RESOLUTION CALLS FOR COLLEGES TO WAGE WAR ON BINGE DRINKING The Senate approved a resolution Tuesday urging college administrators to take specific steps to combat binge drinking. The measure, sponsored by Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr., calls for colleges and universities to appoint committees to set alcohol regulations, provide alcohol-free social activities, eliminate sponsorship by beverage companies of on-campus events, and enforce a zero-tolerance policy against underage drinking. Growing numbers of colleges have already taken such steps, in response to a series of high-profile alcohol-related deaths on college campuses in recent years. "Last year alone, there were at least 18 college students who died in binge-drinking incidents -- drinking so much so fast that it literally killed them," said Mr. Biden, a Delaware Democrat. "They were not the only kids who suffered from excessive drinking. You can bet that at the very least, if a student lives in a dorm room next to a binge drinker, he or she won't get many peaceful nights of sleep and study. It is time to get smart." Mr. Biden cited the efforts of the University of Delaware, which has recently stiffened its penalties and changed its judicial system. The resolution was part of the bill to extend the Higher Education Act. Copyright 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education
------------------------------------------------------------------- Methadone program planned to counter heroin (An Associated Press article in The Seattle Times covers General Barry McCaffrey's speech yesterday before the American Methadone Treatment Association in New York, where he outlined plans to allow physicians to prescribe and dispense methadone.)From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: methadone program planned to counter heroin Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 18:00:19 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 06:53 a.m. PDT; Wednesday, September 30, 1998 Health Expanded methadone program planned to counter heroin by Beth J. Harpaz The Associated Press NEW YORK - The White House plan to help heroin addicts sounds simple: Doctors would dispense methadone, a synthetic substance designed to lessen heroin cravings, in their offices for the first time. But for now, the new policy doesn't include any money - just a government endorsement for improving and expanding the use of methadone. "Methadone treatment is simply not available for Americans in all parts of the country in a manner called for by rational drug policy. We've got to do better," Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the national drug-policy director, told a meeting of the American Methadone Treatment Association in New York yesterday. There are an estimated 810,000 chronic heroin users in the United States, but only about 115,000 are receiving methadone. It is dispensed at about 900 clinics only at certain times, making it hard for some addicts to hold jobs and get treatment. In announcing the policy, McCaffrey said study after study has shown that methadone not only eliminates the misery of heroin addiction but makes it possible for addicts to lead productive lives, hold down jobs and stay away from crime. Eventually, McCaffrey said, individual doctors would be licensed to dispense methadone outside of clinics. The policy for the first time would also establish an accreditation process for methadone clinics and set standards for effective dosages, counseling and care. Asked about federal funds for implementing the policy, McCaffrey said, "The money will follow; first, the policy."
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Clean And Sober NBA (An op-ed in The Washington Post by General Barry McCaffrey, the White House drug czar, says professional basketball players should be drug tested for marijuana.) Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:50:26 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WP: A Clean And Sober NBA Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Lewin Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sept 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Barry McCaffrey Section: A17 A CLEAN AND SOBER NBA There is tragic irony in the fact that the same game that provided many of the players in the National Basketball Association a way out of drug-infested neighborhoods has now become a symbol of drug use. As Darcy Frey writes in his book "The Last Shot," for many young people growing up in tough neighborhoods "there is basketball, and when that doesn't work out, there is drugs." Now a significant number of NBA players, it seems, escaped the streets only to move up the social ladder of drug use. Sadly, the league that once embodied their dreams now provides a safe haven for drug abuse, a culture that effectively encourages it, a large bankroll to support it, and maybe a habit that will eventually destroy them. According to some estimates, as many as 70 percent of NBA players may be current drug users. Marijuana, which players can use with impunity from league sanctions because it is not prohibited under the existing NBA rules, accounts for the bulk of this use (making it routine for players to build an addiction bad enough to run afoul of the law before their problem receives attention). To their credit, NBA Commissioner David Stern and the league have made it clear the marijuana loophole must close. But the NBA Players' Association has refused to go along with this effort so far. This impasse has been one factor in the lockout that now threatens the 1998-99 season.The NBA and the players need to break this stalemate and craft an effective drug policy that is fair to all -- the league, the players, the fans, the game and our children. Youth drug use is driven by attitudes; drug use by NBA players sends the wrong message to our nation's children. Millions of young people emulate these sports heroes -- from their free throw stance to their drug use. When young people see elite athletes using drugs, they get the false message that they can use drugs and still be winners. Worse yet, they fail to grasp the risks drugs pose to their lives, health and dreams. And the risks here are real. As the Len Bias tragedy shows, drugs can kill. Studies also show that marijuana and other drugs increase a ballplayer's likelihood of a career-ending injury. One reason injuries increase is that drug use impairs coordination and athletic abilities, which for many players may mean the difference between riding the NBA bench and walking hard streets. The impacts go beyond the individual player; everyone around him is affected. Team morale and achievement suffer when drug use compromises the game of a player. The fans, who pay to watch these players at their best, are shortchanged. These risks trickle down to all the youngsters trying to make the NBA grade; think of how many young people blow a chance at the big league when they fall into drug use. And when basketball no longer offers an opportunity to make it -- into the league, or to college or to a better job in a better place -- more children will turn to drugs instead of sport. The prevalence of drug use in basketball also diminishes the stature of the game and the men who play it. Parents, whose primary concern today is youth drug use, do not want to pay ever increasing ticket prices to raise the stature of athletes who, in effect, promote drug use. Some players are trying to change the game's reputation. For example, the New York Knicks' Charlie Ward has spoken out strongly against drugs. The San Antonio Spurs' David Robinson has helped organize anti-drug programs for kids. And Charles Barkley, noted for his role-model reticence, has called for a Draconian NBA drug-testing scheme. Others, however, continue to display an above-the-law attitude about drugs. The league needs to join the millions of Americans who work in drug-free workplaces -- and for wages far less than the average NBA player's $2.6 million salary. Roughly 70 percent of full-time adult American workers are employed by companies that have drug-free workplace programs. A 1995 Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Americans want drug testing in their workplace. Sixty-seven percent supported random drug testing by employers. Sixty-one percent of people believe that professional athletes should be subject to more significant penalties if they fail a drug test. As these results reflect, in the eyes of most Americans, ending drug use in the NBA is not about imposing a higher standard; it is about asking athletes to meet the same bare minimum standard that applies to our society as a whole. The NBA and the players need to develop a strengthened drug policy that, among other things, closes the marijuana loophole and provides standards for effective drug testing. The policy should be based on fairness; like any good drug-free workplace program it should apply to everyone -- from the players to management. It also should be part of a comprehensive program that focuses on prevention and treatment, but holds out sanctions where appropriate. Such a change in approach is overdue and must result from this round of talks. The writer is director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Senator Jesse Helms Agrees, Legalize It - Signs on to SJR 56 to Reschedule Nationally (A news bulletin from the web site of Californians for Compassionate Use has an original spin on the intent of Senate Joint Resolution 56, the supposed anti-medical marijuana resolution. In this interpretation, SJR 56 is seen as a first step toward the federal rescheduling of marijuana because it supports the existing legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, and calls for a report from the FDA in 90 days.) Californians for Compassionate Use http://www.marijuana.org/ San Francisco, CA Lake County Farm, Lower Lake, CA (707) 994-1901 Fax: (707) 994-2165 E-mail: email@example.com For Immediate Release: September 30th, 1998 Senator Jesse Helms Agrees, Legalize It - Signs on to SJR 56 to Reschedule Nationally. Washington, DC - It's official! Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) is cosponsoring S.J.R. 56 as of Tuesday (9/29). This is significant because S.J.R. 56 is seen by many as the first step toward federal rescheduling of marijuana to allow for prescriptive access nationwide. The measure supports "existing legal process for determining the safety and efficacy of drugs, including marijuana and other schedule I drugs, for medicinal use." S.J.R. 56 then goes on to call for a report from the FDA, due in 90 days that could recommend moving marijuana to schedule two of the Controlled Substances Act. This conclusion is the most probable in light of the DEA decision of several months ago to support such a recommendation from the FDA. What a nice Christmas present...
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 66 (An Original Summary Of Drug Policy News, Including The Feature Article, A Review Of The Book 'Shattered Lives' By Mikki Norris And Chris Conrad; With The Recent Week's News In Review, Including The Legal Battle Over Constiutional Rights Occasioned By The War On Drugs, Prisons, The Annals Of Interdiction, Medical Marijuana, And Mexico, Plus International News - Other Features Include Hot Off The 'Net - Drug War Graphical Charts Site; Medical Marijuana Petition; E-Thepeople Site; DrugSense Tip Of The Week - The MapNews Service; Quote Of The Week - Thomas Jefferson; Fact Of The Week - The 'Gateway Theory') Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 13:08:13 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, September 30, 1998, No. 66 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, September 30, 1998 No. 66 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Book Review: Shattered Lives by Mikki Norris and Chris Conrad * Weekly News In Review *Constitutional Guarantees- Drug Search Barred at Fed Buildings Editorial: Search for Justice? Prisons- In The Joint on The Job Report: Gap In Education, Prison Funds Seeing Through the Illusions of the Prison-industrial Complex Prison Growth Stealing Funds From Schools, Activists Say Annals of Interdiction- US General Sees Turning of Corner in Colombia Admiral James M. Loy, USCG, On the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act New Drug Strategy Sought Medical Marijuana- UCSF Study Backs Claim Pot Kills Pain UK - Don't Go Soft on Cannabis Mexico- Drug Gangs Devastate Indian Villages In Baja Salinas Warns Mexico Against Drug Probe OPED: Mexico Battles Plague of Corruption Mexico: In Celebration Of Drug Smugglers International News- Use Of Crack Increases to Record Level UK: Drugs Seizures Double UK: Police in Seven Forces Investigated for Drugs, Bribery and Robberies Canada: Kids Reported Used As Drug Mules Australia: Easy Street For Hard Drugs * Hot Off The 'Net Drug War Graphical Charts Site MMJ Petition E-Thepeople Site * DrugSense Tip Of The Week The MAPNews Service * Quote of the Week Thomas Jefferson * Fact of the Week The "Gateway Theory" *** FEATURE ARTICLE Editor's Note: We don't normally insert a book review as our feature article but we feel that "Shattered Lives" deserved a little attention. This is a quality publication that puts a face on the drug war and its victims. It includes pictures of both victims and families, horror stories, and personal accounts of the devastation caused by the "War on Drugs" and is a very effective tool for quickly converting the uninformed, apathetic, or "fence sitters." We encourage our readers to both obtain a copy and to consider "Shattered Lives" as a holiday gift to someone who needs to realize how the drug war is destroying our country and our freedoms. "SHATTERED LIVES" (the book) A wake-up call to every American. Shattered Lives, Portraits from Americas Drug War By the creators of Human Rights and the Drug War: Mikki Norris, Chris Conrad and Virginia Resner "The federal agents promised that if I refused to help them gain the information against my husband, they would destroy my life. This they did." Amy Pofahl, age 37 Meet Amy Ralston Pofahl, a victim of overzealous law enforcement. They took her home, her business, her bank savings even her wedding ring. Now they have her life. Amy is seven years into a 24-year sentence for a crime she did not commit her estranged husband's conspiracy to import and manufacture MDMA (ecstasy). In the name of the Drug War, families are being torn apart, children orphaned, and homes and property seized as first-time, non-violent drug offenders are thrown into U.S. prisons, serving harsh sentences of 10, 20 years and longer. Learn how we got here, the costs and the statistics, and what can still be done to bring a just end to what has become America's longest war. In this photo essay, you will see the faces and read the compelling stories of America's new POWs. Your image of the Drug War may never be the same... 1998. ISBN 0-9639754-3-9. Paperback. 12 color pages. Mail check or money order for $19.95 + $3.95 s/h.to: Creative Xpressions PO Box 1716, El Cerrito CA 94530 www.hr95.org Toll-free credit card ordering 888-265-2732 Wholesale/distributor inquiries: 510-215-8326 *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Constitutional Guarantees- *** COMMENT: Two Ninth Circuit decisions affected police powers; one, which refused to allow a check for weapons at federal buildings to be routinely expanded into a search for drugs was a victory for common sense. This was offset by another case in which the court gave police carte blanche to perform unannounced searches on parolees. These will, of necessity, intrude on the privacy of their families or living companions as well. *** DRUG SEARCH BARRED AT FED BUILDINGS SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Heightened security rules for searches at federal buildings imposed after the Oklahoma City bombing are unconstitutionally allowing guards to look for drugs, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. The rules must be narrowed to allow only searches for weapons and explosives, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in a case from Hawaii. Officers would still be allowed to seize any contraband they see in plain view while looking for dangerous objects, said lawyers in the case. [snip] Source: Associated Press Pubdate: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n828.a03.html *** SEARCH FOR JUSTICE? A troubling California Supreme Court ruling on Monday could encroach on Americans' protection from unreasonable searches and seizures under the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment. [snip] The case under review involves the rights of parolees from prison and people they associate with. The ruling enlarges police powers at the expense of private citizens' rights and, once again, that expansion of power is tied to waging the war on drugs. [snip] Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n836.a03.html *** Prisons *** COMMENT: A report by the Criminal Justice Foundation directed attention to the oft-forgotten conflict between higher education and prisons. The Foundation was headquartered in San Francisco before moving to Washington; with Berkeley also hosting a symposium on prison issues, it isn't surprising that Bay Area newspapers produced three excellent articles on the subject. One reports on the marked increase in prison labor, one is devoted to the foundation's report (plus a lame rebuttal from Wilson's office); the third is an excellent op-ed by Angela Davis. Her detailed analysis is right on the money; unfortunately her Sixties reputation may lead some to deny it the attention it deserves. She points out that continuing prison expansion has the potential to unite many disparate grass roots organizations in opposition to further expansion. Finally, a very cogent overview is supplied by a the Chicago Tribune, which gives a good appraisal of the connection between the report and the Berkeley conference. Expect incarceration to receive more press attention as prison rolls increase; especially if gross tax revenues should diminish. *** IN THE JOINT ON THE JOB State prisons staff $155 million-a-year enterprise with inmates Behind razor wire and lethal electric fences at more than 70 factories in California lies a hidden industrial empire, churning out an astonishing array of goods ranging from eyeglasses and flags to chairs and muumuus. It makes things that even Sears Roebuck & Co. does not usually stock, like the ``bear proof'' locker for $425. Many prices are hard to beat - women's blue jeans for $12.10, men's shoes $31.25, 100 percent cotton nightgowns for $8.25. The home of this $155 million-a-year enterprise is the California state prison system, viewed by most people as the maker of license plates, not a vast network of modern industrial plants producing 24,000 varieties of 1,800 different items. [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: 21 Sep 1998 Page A17 Author: Charles Burress, Chronicle Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n832.a03.html *** REPORT: GAP IN EDUCATION, PRISON FUNDS Wilson's Office Calls Study `Drivel' Under the administration of Gov. Pete Wilson, more state tax dollars have gone to prisons and corrections than to the state's top two college systems - a gap that has never been wider in at least 30 years - according to a study released Tuesday. The report, which was quickly denounced by Wilson's office, was issued by a liberal think tank called the Justice Policy Group, and it cited a growing trend across the United States to spend on corrections, not instruction. [snip] Pubdate: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 Source: Examiner, The (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Author: Brian Carroll, Security Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n828.a04.html *** SEEING THROUGH THE ILLUSIONS OF THE PRISON-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (Angela Y. Davis is History of Consciousness professor at the University of California - Santa Cruz and an organizer of the upcoming conference Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex. An earlier version of this article appeared in Colorlines magazine.) Imprisonment has become the response of first resort to the problems facing people living in poverty. Our prisons thus appear to perform a feat of magic. But prisons do not disappear problems - they disappear human beings. And the practice of disappearing vast numbers of people from poor, immigrant, and racially marginalized communities has literally become big business. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: 21 Sep 1998 Page C-1 Author: Angela Davis URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n832.a02.html *** PRISON GROWTH STEALING FUNDS FROM SCHOOLS, ACTIVISTS SAY LOS ANGELES -- During the 1960s and early '70s as college students were protesting the Vietnam War, another movement began pushing its way to the fore: prisoner rights. Inspired in part by Angela Davis, the young black militant who was imprisoned before being acquitted of kidnapping and murder charges in 1972, the movement focused on overcrowding, rapes and other inhumane conditions in the nation's jails and prisons. [snip] Davis, 53, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, as well as college students and other former prisoners, have scheduled a conference this weekend at UC-Berkeley titled "Critical Resistance: Beyond the Prison Industrial Complex" to draw attention to the issue. The conference is expected to call for a moratorium on prison construction and a focus on preventive measures to keep people out of prison. [snip] Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: 23 Sept 1998 Author: V. Dion Haynes Section: Metro Chicago *** Annals of Interdiction *** COMMENT: As the implementation of drug prohibition falls increasingly under military control it's to be expected that, despite what McCzar says, the "war" in drug war will become less a metaphor and more a realistic descriptive term. Evidence for this can be found in statements made last week by two serving officers; first McC's successor as head of the Southern Command weighed in with an assessment of the Colombian quagmire which was eerily reminiscent of Westmoreland-. Don't these guys read history? The second came from the head of the Coast Guard, who in classic bureaucratic jargon, told Congress that he loved their concept of purging drugs from the Western Hemisphere, but needed more dough to do the job right. Finally, we have McCzar himself, clearly unwilling to give up the idea of interdiction, but smart enough not to say anything too stupid. He seems to be hoping for a high-tech magic bullet which will somehow detect drugs without slowing the commercial flows that NAFTA demands. Lots of luck, general. *** U.S. GENERAL SEES TURNING OF CORNER IN COLOMBIA KEY WEST, Fla. (Reuters) - The general leading the United States' war against the Latin American drugs trade said Thursday the situation was looking better in frontline Colombia, where American personnel have been helping the beleaguered military against traffickers' armies. Marine General Charles Wilhelm, commander in chief of the U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), said that with a new president and a change in the armed forces leadership, there were signs Colombia was "turning the corner." [snip] Source: Reuters Pubdate: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 Author: By Angus MacSwan URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n827.a09.html *** STATEMENT OF ADMIRAL JAMES M. LOY, USCG, ON THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE DRUG ELIMINATION ACT Good morning, Mr. Chairman Grassley, Chairman Coverdell, and distinguished Committee and Caucus members. It is a pleasure to appear before you today to comment on Coast Guard drug interdiction and the proposed Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act. I applaud the Act's goal of strengthening our Nation's counterdrug effort. This legislation recognizes that the security of our maritime borders is a critical component of a balanced national strategy to reduce drug use and its destructive consequences. [snip] First and foremost the Coast Guard must be able to maintain current Services for all mission areas in fiscal year 1999 as requested by The President. As a 3-year authorization, this legislation could result in outyear funding risks. Without adequate outyear funding, I will not be able to operate additional assets or to sustain the operational increases for assets now in the Coast Guard inventory. [snip] Source: Congressional Testimony Pubdate: 16 Sep 1998 Website: http://www.senate.gov/~foreign/loy.htm URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n834.a06.html *** NEW DRUG STRATEGY SOUGHT Director wants single official to coordinate border operations New York Times WASHINGTON - U.S. border inspectors searched slightly more than a million commercial trucks and railway cars entering the United States from Mexico last year. They found cocaine stashed in cargo compartments on only six occasions, said Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House director of drug-control policy. [snip] He said that more efficient cooperation and superior technology were needed to interdict illegal drugs at the southwestern border and its 24 ports of entry and 39 other sanctioned crossing points. Buying more sophisticated radar, scanning and night-vision equipment, he said, would cost a fraction of the $2 billion that the government already spends annually to combat border smuggling. "I'm not talking about the Marshall Plan," McCaffrey said. "I'm talking about better organization." [snip] Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 Author: CHRISTOPHER S. WREN URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n831.a09.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: Without a doubt, the story of the week was the report from UCSF that animal studies support the concept that cannabinoids reduce pain by acting on specific neural pathways in a fashion similar to, but demonstrably separate from, opioids. This will be pure gold in arguing for passage of medical marijuana initiatives. The story, broken by the afternoon Examiner, was picked up around the world; as were comments by the Marijuana Policy Project. Maybe we're finally seeing some balance in the coverage of drug issues. Even though the article from the UK was posted late, the views of British LEOs dovetail so well with the logic of American sheriffs on medical marijuana and the need for prisons that I just had to include it. Clearly the prison-industrial complex is an idea with an international following. *** UCSF STUDY BACKS CLAIM POT KILLS PAIN Research adds to evidence drug is medically useful A circuit in the brain stem that is switched on and off by the active ingredient in marijuana is the latest in a mounting pile of scientific evidence pointing to the drug's ability to kill pain, a new UC-San Francisco study said Wednesday. The substance, a synthetic form of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), has an effect similar to morphine in an area at the base of the skull that is known to block pain impulses. Importantly, researchers found that the substance uses a different way to trigger the blockage, suggesting that marijuana-like drugs might be developed as effective painkillers without the unwanted side effects of opiates. [snip] Five states and the District of Columbia have initiatives on the November ballot similar to California's Proposition 215, which allows seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief, with a doctor's recommendation, without being prosecuted under state law. To cannabis advocates like Chuck Thomas of the Marijuana Policy Project, the study is further proof that the thousands of people with cancer, AIDS and other diseases who are using the drug to feel better are on the right track. "These patients are not stupid and should not be going to jail," Thomas said. [snip] Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Pubdate: September 23, 1998 Author: Ulysses Torassa, Examiner Medical Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n827.a01.html *** DON'T GO SOFT ON CANNABIS THE Government is being urged not to legalize the use of cannabis for medical treatment. Police chiefs are strongly opposed to the move on the grounds that drug users will escape prosecution for possession by claiming they are undergoing treatment. The Police Superintendents' Association, meeting in Bristol this week, will ask home Secretary Jack Straw to fund research into the therapeutic uses of cannabis so that proper controls can be introduced. It points to the American experience where police have given up prosecuting drug users in some states because courts routinely accept medical usage as a defence. [snip] The superintendents - the frontline operational managers of the police service - are also set for confrontation with ministers over plans to reduce the prison population and save money by finding alternatives to custodial sentences. The central theme of their annual conference will be a debate on the subject Does Prison Work? At which controversial former Director-General of the Prison service, Derek Lewis, will be a guest speaker. The president, Superintendent Peter Gammon, is expected to tell the Home Secretary that prison is the only acceptable penalty for persistent offenders even if their crimes are not serious. [snip] Pubdate: 13 Sep 1998 Source: The Mail on Sunday (UK) Author: Chester Stern, Crime Correspondent Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n839.a06.html *** Mexico *** COMMENT: Mexican events continued to embarrass the American drug war; the man thought to be the main target in last week's shocking mass assassination was, in addition to being a successful drug trafficker, also an indigenous person from a tribe with an unsettled relationship with both drugs and trafficking. That relationship was examined in a long NYT article. Exiled ex- President, Carlos Salinas, now living in Dublin reacted strongly to Swiss allegations (they are investigating banking violations) of his brother's complicity in drug trafficking. As if that weren't enough, the article by Holger Jensen describes the present chaotic state law enforcement agencies south of the border. A somewhat different perspective is provided by a long article in the Baltimore Sun describing how narcotrafficantes have come to be revered as heroes in Culiacan, the smuggling capital of Mexico's wild west. *** DRUG GANGS DEVASTATE INDIAN VILLAGES IN BAJA CALIFORNIA SANTA CATARINA, Mexico - After five centuries of killing and pestilence that began with the Spanish conquest, only a few hundred of Baja California's indigenous people are left alive. And now they are being hunted down and killed by drug traffickers. The violence began two years ago when the leader of an indigenous village that resisted traffickers' efforts to take over communal lands for drug cultivation was gunned down, along with another Indian, in an ambush along a rural road. While some have resisted, other Indians have been seduced by the quick fortunes that can reward those who manage desert airstrips or offer other services to the drug cartels. And that has resulted in a string of killings in the Indian communities that cling to the arid hills 60 miles south of the California border. The violence took on horrifying new dimensions last week when two entire families of Indians from the Pai-Pai ethnic group, along with a household of neighbors, were dragged from their homes and shot to death in a driveway in Ensenada, a coastal city to which some Indians have migrated. It was Mexico's worst incident of drug-related bloodshed in memory. [snip] Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: 26 Sep 1998 Author: Sam Dillon URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n834.a05.html *** SALINAS WARNS MEXICO AGAINST DRUG PROBE MEXICO CITY-Former President Carlos Salinas Gortari lashed out from his self-imposed 0 seclusion Monday, warning Mexico's top justice officials that they could be implicated in a widening scandal about drug trafficking during his administration. Salinas counterattacked after the leak of a report claiming that his brother Raul virtually ran narcotics traffic in Mexico during the 1988-94 Salinas presidency. That secret report was drawn up by Swiss police investigating possible money laundering by Raul Salinas. [snip] His brother also denies criminal activity. But the secret report prepared by the Swiss police during their three-year investigation paints a devastating portrait of Raul. Expanding on previously reported allegations that he was tied to leading drug traffickers, it reportedly depicts the former president's brother as a virtual godfather. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 22 Sep 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Mary Beth Sheridan, Times Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n823.a04.html *** MEXICO BATTLES PLAGUE OF CORRUPTION Mexico is a country where crooked cops are the norm rather than the exception and the worst of them prey on the capital. Authorities in Mexico City admit a daily average of 700 crimes involving weapons and resulting in the deaths of at least six people. That's the official figure. The Mexican press says it's much higher. [snip] About 70 policemen are fired every month for failing drug tests. But police involvement in the drug trade and other crimes is so routine that only the most horrific raise public ire. [snip] Ideally, says Mexico City's mayor, the only way to reform the force is to fire all the cops and begin again. But, he points out, "past administrations have fired thousands and then we just end up with thousands of armed, unemployed cops on the street, many of whom become criminals." [snip] Source: Santa Maria Times (CA) Contact: Santa Maria Times PO Box 400 Santa Maria, CA 93456-0400 Fax: 1-805-928-5657 Pubdate: Monday, September 21 1998 Section: Opinion, World View, page A-4 Author: Holger Jensen URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n829.a05.html *** IN CELEBRATION OF DRUG SMUGGLERS `Narcoculture': In northwest Mexico, a culture of adoration grows for narcotics smugglers, who beat the odds by getting their goods across the border to feed the habits of gringos. CULIACAN, Mexico - Near the stage at a recent concert by the band Los Tigres del Norte stand four young men in cowboy boots, large belt buckles, tight jeans and cowboy hats. Three are college students - studying computers, architecture and dentistry - and one is a teacher. But they are dressed like country boys, as if they were not, in fact, born and raised in Culiacan, a city of more than 700,000 people, capital of the Pacific coast state of Sinaloa. [snip] The "narcocorrido" has become the favored pop music for much of northwest Mexico. Ballads - telling of bandits or revolutionary heroes - have been a part of Mexican folk music for at least a century. Recently, the "narcoballad" has taken over the genre. Narcocorridos limn the exploits of drug smugglers - executions, betrayals, shootouts with the "federales" - bloody events set to a polka beat and obliviously cheerful accordion line. [snip] Source: Baltimore Sun (MD) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sunspot.net/ Pubdate: 21 Sep 1998 Author: Sam Quinones , Special To The Sun URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n823.a10.html *** International News *** COMMENT: English-speaking nations continue to read a litany of drug war failures in their daily press; record seizures, record drug use, and record police corruption. The headlines say it all. *** USE OF CRACK INCREASES TO RECORD LEVEL RECORD AMOUNTS of crack cocaine, the highly addictive drug, are available on the streets of Britain, the Home Office and criminologists have discovered. [snip] Cocaine seizures by customs and excise have risen sharply in the past three years, from 940kg in 1995 to 2,074kg last year. [snip] Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 Author: Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n822.a03.html *** DRUGS SEIZURES DOUBLE ILLEGAL drugs with an estimated street value of more than UKP6m were seized by the RUC last year - double the total for the previous year, it was revealed today. The RUC Drug Squad recovered UKP 6,614,955 worth of drugs in 1997, compared to UKP 3,282,110 in 1996 - a rise of over UKP3m. In comparison, statistics released in Scotland show UKP 9m of drug seizures last year in an area roughly three times the size of Northern Ireland. [snip] Source: Belfast Telegraph Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Mon, 21 Sep 1998 Author: Peter McVerry URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n822.a03.html *** 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. [snip] 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." [snip] Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 25 Sep 1998 Author: Jason Bennetto and Jonathan Foster URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n837.a02.html *** KIDS REPORTED USED AS DRUG MULES TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (Reuters) - Honduran children are being used by drug gangs to peddle cocaine in Canadian cities, a children's rights group said yesterday. Casa Alianza officials said several children from Honduras had swallowed stones of the drug crack, derived from cocaine, and were seriously ill in Canadian hospitals after being caught by Vancouver Police. [snip] Source: Toronto Star (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thestar.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 19 September 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n821.a11.html *** EASY STREET FOR HARD DRUGS HARD drugs such as heroin and speed are readily available in Adelaide. Inquiries by The Advertiser suggest most users have "contacts" from whom they can easily buy drugs such heroin. Some dealers are also known to sell drugs in and around hotels, although the risk of being caught is far higher. [snip] Source: Advertiser, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sat, 19 Sep 1998 Author: Police Reporters, Jeremy Pudney and John Merriman URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n822.a11.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET Thanks to Tom Paine for the following: Below is a web page of nothing but CHARTS against the Drug War. It has clickable LINKS and a clickable TABLE OF CONTENTS. It is a one-of-a-kind compilation, and it succinctly, quickly, and graphically exposes the truth about the horrors of the U.S. Drug War. Feel free to use any or all of it in any way anywhere. C:\eudora\attach\all charts.v3.default font.htm *** http://www.E-thepeople.com As the movement to eliminate criminal penalties for the medical use of cannabis grows, it becomes even more important for everyone to take every opportunity they can to speak out. By signing this petition, you will demonstrate that the American public has passed the point of tolerance for the persecution of suffering people by denying them medication that is safe and effective. Please sign this petition and then pass it on to at least ten more friends. Let me know about your efforts! The petition is located at: http://www.e-thepeople.com/etp2/affiliates/national/fullview.cfm?ETPID=0&PET ID=50381&ETPDIR=affiliates/national Login: Thomas Password: Jefferson CASE SENSITIVE! *** The petition above is hosted by E-The People, http://www.e-thepeople.com a nonpartisan Web service promoting communication between citizens and government. At E- The People, you can: -Send a letter to any one of 140,000 local, state, and federal officials in 7,000 towns and cities! -Start a petition to fix a pothole or change a policy, and promote it on our national site! -Sign a petition about a cause you care about! E- The People is sponsored by the Alex Sheshunoff Initiative, an organization dedicated to the empowerment of communities through technology. *** TIP OF THE WEEK *** The MAPNews Service. One of the DrugSense missions is to provide you with current news on drug policy related topics. By visiting and becoming familiar with our many services you can decide what best suits your needs. It is a combined effort of hundreds of NewsHawks, editors and volunteers worldwide. It is designed not only to keep you informed but to encourage you to reply to various articles via letters to the editor. MAPNews - Is the service that sends you the whole enchilada. All articles all the time. This service is for the very serious drug news reader. You will receive hundreds of full text news articles each week from all over the world. DrugNews-Digest - is a quick read synopsis of all drug news with links to the full text that can be easily emailed to you or read on-line. Subscribe or unsubscribe to either service easily at: http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ The DrugSense Weekly - Which you are reading now, is our attempt to further simplify your life by selecting the most important drug news of the week. It is replete with some easily identified, concise, and informative editorial comment by Dr. Tom O'Connell. Subscribe to the weekly at: http://www.drugsense.org/ The DrugNews Archive - is a easily searchable collection of nearly 20,000 news articles it is an amazing information resource that is limited only by your imagination on what you wish to search for information about. It is very effective at finding answers to drug policy questions, cites, quotes, etc. quickly and reliably. See: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK "A strict observance of the written laws is doubtless one of the high virtues of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of higher obligation." --Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), U.S. president. Letter, 20 Sept. 1810 *** FACT OF THE WEEK *** The "Gateway Theory" The gateway theory takes a statistical association between an extremely popular behavior, marijuana use, and an unpopular behavior, cocaine use, and then implies that one causes the other. There is no evidence to this assertion, and CASA (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse) acknowledges that it has not been able to determine if there is any causal relationship between the two. Source: Merrill, J. C. &; Fox., K.S., Cigarettes, Alcohol, Marijuana: Gateways to Illicit Drug Use, New York, NY : The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (1994). *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (email@example.com) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (firstname.lastname@example.org) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to email@example.com PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. 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