------------------------------------------------------------------- Voters To Decide Question Of Medical Marijuana Use (An Article In The Bend, Oregon, 'Bulletin' About Measure 67, The Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, Says A Few Local Doctors Who Have Treated Patients With Multiple Sclerosis Or HIV Or Those Undergoing Chemotherapy Say The Patients Who Used Marijuana Experienced Some Benefits) From: email@example.com Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 18:48:16 -0700 (PDT) Subject: DPFOR: Voters to decide question of medical marijuana use To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (email@example.com) Source: The Bulletin (firstname.lastname@example.org) Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: 10-3-98 Section: Election 98 Page: A-3 VOTERS TO DECIDE QUESTION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE * Some patients say the drug helps, others worry about message Will smoking marijuana make me feel better? It's a question a few local doctors have been asked by patients being treated for multiple sclerosis, HIV ans AIDS, and side effects of chemotherapy. The patients who have used marijuana for medical relief experienced some benefits, the physicians say. For MS patients, those included pain relief and mental clarity. For AIDS patients and those with chemotherapy-induced nausea, the drug apparently increased appetite and helped them keep down their food. Those are the patients who would benefit most if voters approve a measure on the Nov. 3 ballot to make marijuana legal to use for medicinal purposes in Oregon. Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, would allow patients, with a doctors approval, to use the illegal drug to relieve symptoms of specific diseases and illnesses, including cancer, glacoma, Lou Gehrig's (ALS), AIDS, multiple sclerosis and spinal cord injuries. Supporters of the measure say it would not permit the sale of marijuana, would not allow marijuana to be smoked in public places, and would not make marijuana legal for use or possession by the general public. They also argue that marijuana is an age old remedy that suffering people should have the right to choose. But opponents say the measure is a gateway effort to legalize marijuana, and eventually all drugs. They say the measure sets a poor example for children, who are taught that drugs such as marijuana are dangerous and detrimental. And they say enforcing such a law would be a nightmare, especially because the measure only requires patients to be suffering from pain for a doctor to authorize use of the drug. If the measure passes, patients would be required to obtain a letter of permission to use marijuana from a physician. With the letter, patients then would be able to recieve a medical marijuana user identification card from the Oregon Health Division. The card would allow the patient to carry up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to three plants. The chief petitioners for the measure are Dr. Richard Bayer, a retired Portland physician, and Stormy Ray, a grandmother from Ontario who suffers from multiple sclerosis. Ray began using marijuana to combat the symptoms of the disease after several alternative methods failed. Measure 67's supporters include some physicians and sufferers who believe in the healing power of marijuana. But funding for the campaign to pass the measure is coming from out-of-state coffers. Opponents fear Measure 67 is just a method of legalizing drugs. Among the chief opponents are political action committees representing law enforcement officers in Oregon. Many district attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs also have come out against the measure. Local law enforcement officals are among those who oppose legalizing marijuana for medical use. Redmond Police Chief Jim Carlton said he personally feels the law would be a bad for children and would be impossible to enforce. "My primary concern is that I think it sends the wrong message to children," Carlton said. "Marijuana smoking has adverse factors, and it's a gateway drug," meaning people who start smoking marijuana often move on to using other illegal drugs. Prineville Police Chief Jim Soules echoed Carlton's concerns, adding that he personally is unconvinced of the medical benefits of marijuana. "My first concern is that there are no legitimate, respected medical studies that show there is any benefit," Soules said." And it's never been through the FDA ( Federal Drug Administration ) test." Local doctors remain ambivalent about the measure. They say Marinol, a synthetic version of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is a reasonable alternative. That's the drug prescribed when patients ask if marijuana might help them. "That's the medicine I can prescribe legally," said Dr. Richard Boone, an oncologist with Bend Memorial Clinic. " Marijuana doesn't need to be legal. It's already available by prescription, and in a much safer form." Boone says he has an arsenal of anti-nausea and other drugs to prescribe to his patients, and that he only writes half a dozen prescriptions a year for Marinol. When he does write a prescription, it's at a patients request. Patients that smoke marijuana, including Stormy Ray, say Marinol does not work as well as smoking the real, and that it takes longer for the synthetic version to take effect. To reach Oregonians for Medical Rights, the Yes on 67 committee, call 503-371-4711. To reach Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, the No on 67 committee, call 503-598-8806. *** Date: Fri, 02 Oct 1998 21:08:37 -0500 From: "Dr. Richard E. Pearl, Sr." (email@example.com) To: Cannabis Patriots (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: CanPat - Voters to decide question of medical marijuana use Sender: email@example.com My friends, I read this story with interest for one simple reason. My history. One particular paragraph in the story caught my attention like no other. >"But opponents say the measure is a gateway effort to legalize >marijuana, and eventually all drugs. They say the measure sets a poor >example for children, who are taught that drugs such as marijuana are >dangerous and detrimental." I was taught that, and I also saw "Reefer Madness" and all the other propaganda films. But like many kids, I decided to try marijuana anyway. Well, I found out that they lied about marijuana. It didn't do any of the things they said it would. It just gave me a nice, mellow buzz that was very pleasant. I even saw that some of my rowdier friends even calmed down when they smoked it. No one had problems when we couldn't get any, we just said oh well and went on. Nobody got addicted. When I realized how much they had lied, I decided that they must be lying about everything else, too. I tried heroin and began a 3 year nightmare in hell. They weren't lying about that. My point is this. When kids find out they are lying about marijuana, they don't believe anything else they say, so even when they tell the truth, it's not believed. Many people make the choices they do based on the quality of information they get. If the information from one source about one thing is bad, they assume all the information from that source about everything is also bad. The government lying to me about marijuana is the reason I spent three years on heroin. I assumed they were lying again. This is all the more reason why the rhetoric about harmful marijuana must be stopped. It's just plain flat not true, and when people consider other substances, they will assume that their experience with marijuana will be followed by a similar experience with the other substance. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I know. Been there. Done that. Richard PS I do not use marijuana now. I don't drink alcohol either, except on VERY rare occasions. But the day we win and marijuana is legal again, I'm going to roll up the biggest bomber you ever saw and smile for a week. firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: > Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (email@example.com) > Source: The Bulletin (firstname.lastname@example.org) > Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com > Pubdate: 10-3-98 > Section: Election 98 > Page: A-3 > > VOTERS TO DECIDE QUESTION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA USE [snip - ed.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Four Dogs Shot In Drug Raid ('The Associated Press' Says Portland Police Shot And Killed Four Rottweilers Friday During A Methamphetamine Raid That Revived Memories Of A 1979 Drug Bust In The Same Location, Then The Clubhouse Of The Outsiders Motorcycle Club, In Which Officer David Crowther Was Fatally Shot - Arrests In That Raid Later Were Dismissed After An Investigation Found Officers Lied To Obtain Their Search Warrant) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Four dogs shot in OR drug raid Date: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 22:02:35 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Four dogs shot in drug raid The Associated Press 10/03/98 12:26 AM Eastern PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Police shot and killed four Rottweilers during a drug raid Friday at a Harley Davidson motorcycle shop and adjacent house in Portland's St. Johns neighborhood. The raid revived memories of a 1979 drug bust in the same location, then the clubhouse of the Outsiders Motorcycle Club, in which Officer David Crowther was fatally shot. Arrests in that raid later were dismissed after an investigation found officers lied to obtain their search warrant. On Friday, officers from the Portland Police Bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Drug and Vice Division, assisted by officers from the Washington County sheriff's SWAT team, surrounded the property about 12:10 p.m. "The information they had was that the home was fortified with attack dogs," said Officer Henry Groepper, police spokesman. "They shot and killed two guard dogs that were inside the house and two that were in the business." Four adults, including owner Larry Anderson, 50, and a child were inside at the time. Anderson was arrested on charges of drug distribution and possession. He also was charged with three counts of possession of a destructive device, two counts of manufacturing a destructive device and one count of child neglect. Anderson was being held under $70,000 bond. Police seized a small amount of methamphetamine, drug packaging material, rifles and handguns, bulletproof vests, three explosive devices and stolen motorcycle parts, Kanzler said. Anderson has owned the house since 1977, but was not living there when the 1979 raid occurred. He has run the motorcycle shop since 1974. Mark Savely said he came to the house to pick up a friend when police arrived and told him to move out of the way. "They started firing," Savely said. "I didn't know what at." Jason Hamman, who works at Baxter Auto Parts across the street, said he heard the gunshots and ran outside to see what was going on. Police had detained Anderson outside the house, and Anderson was shouting to his wife to run inside the house and shut the door, Hamman said. "Police were going up to the door, and I could hear automatic gunfire," Hamman said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Portland Drug Raid Brings One Arrest (The Oregonian version) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Portland drug raid brings 1 arrest * Police kill four dogs during the action that revisits the North Lombard Street site of a notorious 1979 bust Saturday, October 3 1998 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Gunfire rang out Friday afternoon as teams of police raided a North Lombard Street home and fatally shot four Rottweilers when officers burst through the front doors of the residence and the adjacent bike shop. The noontime commotion drew onlookers in the St. Johns neighborhood and revived memories of a 1979 drug bust-gone-bad at the same location, which was the clubhouse of the Outsiders Motorcycle Club. Portland Police Officer David Crowther was fatally shot during that raid 19 years ago, and arrests from that drug bust later were dismissed after a probe found that three narcotics officers lied to obtain their search warrant. On Friday, Portland police burst into 9014 and 9020 N. Lombard St. with a search warrant, suspecting that the same owner of the home and adjacent Harley Davidson motorcycle shop was selling methamphetamine. Officers from the Portland Police Bureau's Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Drug and Vice Division, assisted by officers from the Washington County sheriff's SWAT unit, surrounded the property about 12:10 p.m. "The information they had was that the home was fortified with attack dogs, said Officer Henry Groepper, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman. They shot and killed two guard dogs that were inside the house and two that were in the business. The owner, Larry Anderson, 50, and three other people were detained as narcotics detectives moved in to Groepper said. Anderson later was arrested on suspicion of distributing and possessing methamphetamine and manufacturing explosives, Detective Sgt. Cheryl Kanzler said. Anderson was accused of distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance, three counts of possession of a destructive device, two counts of manufacturing a destructive device and one count of child neglect. Anderson was being held in lieu of $70,000 bond. Police confiscated a small amount of methamphetamine, drug packaging material, rifles and handguns, bulletproof vests and stolen motorcycle parts, Kanzler said, and a 2-year-old at the home was taken into protective custody. Rebukes from residents The surprise raid drew rebukes from area residents. Some contend the police action is part of an effort to push Anderson from the site, which the Multnomah County Health District has been considering for years as a future home for its health clinic. "That is the property the county has been looking at, and they have been negotiating with the owner, said Gina Mattioda, a spokeswoman for the county Health Department. The current health clinic doesnt address the needs, and we need a larger facility to provide more comprehensive service to more people. The county's North Clinic is now at 8918 N. Woolsey Court and has reached maximum capacity, Mattioda said. Anderson's house is about a mile away, on a mostly vacant block. The county has been trying to get Anderson to sell the North Portland parcel, but Anderson, who has owned the house since 1977, has refused to budge. He has tacked up red- and blue-painted Not for Sale signs all around his home and motorcycle shop, which he's run since 1974. When the 1979 raid occurred, Anderson was not living at the site. "There's always been this animosity between the owner and the county, said Chris Knight, an area resident. I kind of wonder whether they're trying to get him out. Portland police dismissed those suspicions. "Were independent of the county, Groepper said. This is strictly our drug unit, our investigation. Kanzler said Portland police had worked several months on the investigation with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Neighborhood takes notice The heavy police presence and gunfire on North Lombard Street did not go unnoticed Friday afternoon. Tonya Rayley was walking to a neighborhood market when she saw an officer in camouflage standing behind a truck and pointing a gun at the house. "I thought, Oh, my god, that guy has a gun. What the heck is going on here? Rayley said. Mark Savely said he came to the house to pick up a friend when police arrived and told him to move out of the way. "They started firing Savely said. I didn't know what at. Jason Hamman, who works at Baxter Auto Parts across the street, said he heard the gunshots and ran outside to see what was going on. Police had detained Anderson outside the house, and Anderson was shouting to his wife to run inside the house and shut the door, Hamman said. "Police were going up to the door, and I could hear automatic gunfire, Hamman said. Animal control officers promptly removed the dogs from the property, and detectives spent more than five hours searching the home and bike shop.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Report Suggests Tax On Liquor, Fast Food ('The Associated Press' Says A 36-Page Report, 'Searching For Fairness,' Presented Friday To The Oregon Health Council, The Group That Makes Recommendations Regarding The Oregon Health Plan, Which Insures 350,000 Low-Income Residents, Says Most Oregonians Believe Health Care Should Be Available To All, But An Unspecified Percentage Believes Those Who Smoke, Drink, Or Eat Fast Food Should Pay More) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Report suggests tax on liquor, fast food The Associated Press 10/3/98 3:33 PM SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Most Oregonians believe health care should be available to everyone, especially people who can't afford to pay. But some believe those who smoke, drink and eat fast food should pay more, a new report says. The comments come from about 2,200 people statewide who suggested ideas on making the system fair to everyone. "Taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, McDonald's, etc., would help to pay for the cost of later self-imposed disease," according to the report. "People don't see the connection between personal responsibility and the right to health care." The 36-page report, "Searching for Fairness," was given Friday to the Oregon Health Council. The body makes recommendations on the Oregon Health Plan, which insures 350,000 low-income residents. The report is supposed to help council members consider the voices of ordinary people in making future decisions on health insurance. Council members didn't make specific comments on the report, but they talked about how they could make it useful in the future. Council member Michael Bonazzola, a Portland doctor, said he found the report interesting but full of contradictory opinions. "There are clearly conflicting values here," he said. He suggested the council "distill it into a set of core values" that members can use as a guide as they make decisions. "Maybe it will link grass-roots field work with policy making," he said. Comments were collected by Health Decisions, a group appointed by the council in 1983 to keep it in touch with what citizens statewide want from health-care programs. For this report, the group held 165 meetings around the state and guided people as they discussed fairness and health care. The community discussions may be wide-ranging, but ideas from the field meetings have actually influenced Oregon's approach to health care. Past discussions have helped the Health Services Commission prioritize medical services and treatments covered by the health plan. Comments from the field reinforced the idea that the state should pay for effective medical treatments for the highest number of low-income people possible rather than spending tax dollars on costly treatments with a low success rate. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical association rejects marijuana initiative (The Associated Press says the Washington State Medical Association took a voice vote at its annual conference Saturday, resulting in a resounding "no" for Initiative 692, which would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for people who are dying or suffering a debilitating illness. How the doctors might have voted privately is anyone's guess.) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "-News" (email@example.com) Subject: WA Medical association rejects marijuana initiative Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 18:27:26 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Medical association rejects marijuana initiative The Associated Press 10/03/98 11:43 PM Eastern BELLEVUE (AP) -- On a voice vote at its annual conference Saturday, the Washington State Medical Association said a resounding no to an initiative that would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for people who are dying or suffering a debilitating illness. But Initiative 692, which is one of the measures on the Nov. 3 ballot, remains controversial among the association's 8,000 Washington members. "There is disagreement whether there is scientific data showing whether smoking marijuana helps in any way," said Pete Marsh, president of the Washington State Medical Association. Several physicians on Friday debated the pros and cons of the initiative, with supporters noting the measure offers hope and reduces suffering for the terminally ill and those with debilitating illnesses. Opponents argued it's compassionate but "unscientific" at best, socially irresponsible at worst. Both sides agree Initiative 692 -- which focuses only on medicinal marijuana and not other drugs -- is "narrower" in scope than last year's Initiative 685, which the association opposed. That measure failed to win approval of voters. "This measure is far more restricted, limiting marijuana to the chronically debilitated and terminally ill," said William Robertson, who gave Initiative 685 the thumbs down, but this year is urging his peers to endorse medical marijuana. "The NIH (National Institutes of Health) is looking at whether marijuana works or not, but I don't feel compelled to be quite so stringent regarding the terminally ill," he said. "Why raise such a fuss for a very, very limited group?" *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Doctors And Marijuana (Three Letters To The Editor of 'The Los Angeles Times' Discuss The Medical Marijuana Issue - The First Letter Cites A Survey From 1971, When Marijuana Use Was Still A Felony And Before Many People Knew About Its Medical Uses, Suggesting 72 Percent Of Students At A Southern California Medical School Had Tried Marijuana At Least Once, 18 Percent Had Smoked It At Least Once Weekly, And More Than 40 Percent Used It At Least Once Monthly) Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 14:23:14 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: 3 PUB LTE's: Doctors and Marijuana Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ DOCTORS AND MARIJUANA Scott Gottlieb (Opinion, Sept. 27) suggests that making marijuana available medically will result in U.S. physicians regularly abusing marijuana, causing the "stoned age" of medicine. That certainly has never happened with physicians prescribing morphine and the other opiates, cocaine and even methamphetamine. Gottlieb cites the British experience, where medical use of marijuana is encouraged, and he alleges that "46% of medical students in England have tried marijuana at least once, while 10% claimed to smoke one joint or more per week." He connects this with Britain's early efforts to legalize recreational marijuana use. Interestingly, we have data on American medical students' use of marijuana in 1971, before anyone thought about its medical uses. Fully 72% of medical students surveyed in a Southern California medical school had tried marijuana at least once, 18% smoked at least once weekly and over 40% used at least once monthly, far more than our British colleagues (Ungerleider, et al., Journal of the American Medical Assn., 1971). Before 1975 in California, being "under the influence of" marijuana was a felony; conviction resulted in a minimum mandatory sentence of 90 days in jail. Thus the high use was despite draconian laws. J. THOMAS UNGERLEIDER MD Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry UCLA Medical Center *** Perhaps the American Medical Assn. is recommending a review of the demonized weed because there are stacks of scientific research that show it has numerous benefits and few side effects, not to mention anecdotal evidence. Has Gottlieb ever spoken to a cancer or AIDS patient who uses it? They usually prefer inhaled pot over Marinol because they can't adjust the dosage in pill form. The great irony is that the "legal pot pill" gets you more stoned than its inhaled parent. As for this sending the wrong message: Does prescribing opiates for those in chronic pain send a message that heroin is a desirable party drug? MICHAEL SIMMONS Los Angeles *** Gottlieb should develop the first requirement of being a useful physician: the ability to objectively evaluate facts. Marijuana is a relatively safe drug with few minor side effects. The worst "side effect" is the possibility of criminalization by the justice system. Marijuana has a 5,000-year recorded history of being used for its therapeutic benefits: relaxation, euphoria and pain relief. One might think that doctors and medical students might appreciate those benefits. If someday I need marijuana to treat nausea, vomiting or pain from any cause, I certainly would give it a try, rather than those toxic, synthetic substances that can be had in any pharmacy or grocery store. GREGORY WENTZEL La Mesa
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bay Area Students Cut Class, Protest Spending On Prisons (The San Jose Mercury News notes about 2,000 students from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area cut classes Thursday to protest the $60,000 per year California spends to incarcerate each prisoner versus the $8,000 it spends on each student, and the 19 prisons built by California in the past decade, versus only one university.) Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 03:20:02 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Bay Area Students Cut Class, Protest Spending On Prisons Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 Author: E. Mark Moreno, Mercury News Staff Writer BAY AREA STUDENTS CUT CLASS, PROTEST SPENDING ON PRISONS 2,000 march, urge lawmakers to give priority to education SAN LEANDRO -- About 2,000 students from throughout the Bay Area cut classes to march and rally Thursday, protesting that the state spends more to lock up young people than to educate them. Teens from Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, Oakland, San Francisco and Daly City, among others, took part in the march. The protesters gathered at a San Leandro BART station, started marching about 10 a.m. and then walked to the Alameda County juvenile hall before circling back. Police rerouted traffic in places. Some scuffles and other incidents were reported, such as the hurling of plastic bottles and rocks at police, but no arrests were made. The young organizers of the walkouts -- members of an Oakland-based youth group called OLIN, named after the Mexican Indian word for ``movement'' -- claimed victory in getting their message across. They said the government spends up to $60,000 a year to incarcerate someone and $8,000 to educate a student, and that the state has built 19 prisons and only one university in the past decade. ``That's the reason we do the walkouts. They're not listening to our petitions, our voices,'' said Patricia Sanchez, 20, of San Francisco, a march organizer. ``The issue is education, not incarceration,'' said Cindy Wiesner, another protest organizer and Oakland high school student. ``This is a protest demonstrating the student priorities of the state.'' But California is spending $35 billion on kindergarten through 12th-grade education and $4.4 billion on the juvenile and adult correction system, said Sean Walsh, spokesman for Gov. Pete Wilson. ``Kids who can't get into Berkeley aren't enrolling into San Quentin,'' Walsh said. ``The government has an obligation to educate its citizenry and protect the public. We can't choose one or the other.'' In San Leandro, workers and residents stepped outside momentarily to watch the three-hour protest, which was led by students with megaphones. While the march was mostly peaceful, many were startled when a fire extinguisher was taken from the group's supply truck and its contents sprayed into the air as the march ended at the Bay Fair BART station. Valley Times Staff Writer Michael Pena and Mercury News wire services contributed to this report. 1997 - 1998 Mercury Center.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Thousands Turn Out For Annual Marijuana Rally; More Than 40 Arrested (An 'Associated Press' Account Of The The Ninth Annual Freedom Rally On Boston Common Saturday - The Rally Supporting Legalization Of The Herb Saw Attendance Increase From 10,000 To 40,000 And Arrests Drop From 150 Last Year, Despite Police Vows Of A Crackdown) From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Thousands at MA pot rally;over 40 arrested Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 15:56:09 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Thousands turn out for annual marijuana rally; more than 40 arrested By DAVE HOWLAND The Associated Press 10/03/98 6:49 PM Eastern BOSTON (AP) -- With swirls of marijuana smoke wafting through the air, about 40,000 people poured into Boston Common on Saturday for a rally supporting legalization of the drug. Police, who had vowed a crackdown on the 9th Annual Freedom Rally, arrested about 40 on drug possession charges. That's far fewer than the 150 arrests at last year's event, which attracted about 10,000 more people. "The cops were trying to intimidate people from coming ... but I don't think it worked," said Bill Downing, president of the Massachusetts Cannabis Reform Coalition. At one police checkpoint, Amy Cook and three other students prayed for pot smokers to turn away from drugs. "They're going to do what they're going to do. But they might see us and think twice later," she said. Doug Goudreau, 19, of Peabody, said marijuana was plentiful at the rally -- at about $5 per cigarette, or $20 to $30 for a small bag. The police, he said, missed a lot of the dealing. "They don't know what's going on," Goudreau said. "They look for the fools who are acting stupid." Tie-dyed shirts, mushroom-shaped hats and marijuana-leaf motifs were everywhere, as was the unmistakable odor of pot -- masked occasionally by the smell of tobacco or clove cigarettes. Richard Elrick, a councilman in the Cape Cod town of Barnstable, sold "Decriminalize Marijuana" buttons to help raise money for the cause. "Marijuana is less of a public health threat than alcohol or tobacco," he said. "I can't think of a more counterproductive way for society to spend its resources than to arrest marijuana users." On the west side of the park, 16-year-old Jake Sealine of Cambridge displayed homemade didgeridoos -- a musical wind instrument. Many mistook them for marijuana bongs and Sealine had to explain himself again and again.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Supporters Sue Orlando To Use Park ('The Orlando Sentinel' Says The Cannabis Action Network In Gainesville, Florida, Has Sued The City Of Orlando In Federal Court, Contending Its Right To Free Speech Is Being Denied Because The City Wants To Charge The Group About $1,500 To Stage A Rally With Live Music At The Lake Eola Park Amphitheater October 11) Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 14:17:54 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: Marijuana Supporters Sue Orlando To Use Park 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: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/ Author: Dan Tracy MARIJUANA SUPPORTERS SUE ORLANDO TO USE PARK A Gainesville group trying to legalize marijuana has sued Orlando in federal court, contending its right to free speech is being denied because the city wants to charge it to use Lake Eola Park. The Cannabis Action Network is seeking a temporary injunction that would allow it to stage a rally with live music at the Lake Eola amphitheater Oct. 11. City officials say the network is welcome to use the park if it pays fees of about $1,500, including $800 to lease the stage and $700 for insurance. Such charges, the hemp backers counter, are unconstitutional because they prevent poorly funded groups from getting out their messages. "What that means is if you're rich, you can have a rally. If you're poor, you can't. I don't think that's what the Constitution says," said Orlando lawyer Dick Wilson, who represents the network. City Attorney Scott Gabrielson said Orlando always charges rent for the amphitheater, regardless of a group's politics. The amphitheater, he said, is no different than the Orlando Arena, where acts are charged rent in order to perform. "Arguably," Gabrielson said, "Garth Brooks is going to exercise his right to free speech soon, but we are going to charge him for it." As a compromise, Gabrielson said, the city offered virtually free access to the east side of Lake Eola, where there is no stage, but the group refused. "We want to be where we can attract the most attention," said Kevin Aplin, a network spokesman. The Cannabis Action Network wants doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana for patients suffering from illnesses such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. Supporters say marijuana often soothes the nausea caused by drugs used to combat AIDS and cancer and can lower blood pressure in people suffering from glaucoma. U.S. District Judge Patricia Fawsett in Orlando has been assigned the case but has not scheduled a hearing date.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pentagon To Spend $50 Million To Supply Troops - With Viagra (The Chicago Tribune says if Pfizer's new impotence drug were given to everyone who wanted it, the cost could top $100 million, but the military is dispensing it only to men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction by a physician, and no one is allowed more than six pills a month.) Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 18:30:59 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Pentagon To Spend $50 Million To Supply Troops--With Viagra Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicago.tribune.com/ Pubdate: 3 Oct 1998 Author: From Tribune News Services Section: Sec. 1 PENTAGON TO SPEND $50 MILLION TO SUPPLY TROOPS--WITH VIAGRA WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Pentagon estimates it will spend $50 million in the coming year to provide the impotence drug Viagra to American troops and military retirees. The cost is roughly the price of two new Marine Corps Harrier jets or 45 Tomahawk cruise missiles and is among unexpected military expenses Pentagon officials recently told Congress have come up since they made their original 1999 budget requests. "Viagra sort of burst on the scene," Pentagon spokesman Jim Turner said Friday. Defense Department health officials estimated that if the drug were given to everyone who wanted it, the cost could top $100 million. But the military is limiting Viagra to men diagnosed with erectile dysfunction by a physician, and no one is allowed more than six pills a month. Since Viagra was authorized for sale in the United States in March, the drug has been prescribed to more than 4 million American men, according to its maker, Pfizer Inc.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Destroying Propaganda - Anslingerisms (A list subscriber learns that a Texas newspaper editor, and presumably a lot of other people, are unaware of the origins of marijuana prohibition. So he compiles a brief history and numerous quotes from Harry Anslinger, the rabidly ignorant liar and chief of the Federal Narcotics Bureau who was most responsible for the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 and the Single Convention Treaty of 1961.) Date: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 09:49:48 -0700 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: R Givens (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Destroying Propaganda: Anslingerisms A while back I got a call from the editor of a major Texas newspaper verifying a letter. Whenever members of an editorial team call, I always try to give them a witness about the insanity of drug prohibition. Imagine my shock when I learned that this fellow had no idea of who Harry Anslinger was or how the marijuana laws got enacted in the first place. Naturally I told him a few things about Anslinger's Reefer Madness claims and how they were the ONLY basis for marijuana prohibition. A lot of people think there's scientific evidence to support a marijuana ban, but Anslinger and the Treasury Department never presented a single piece of documented primary evidence to support their absurd claims and no factual support for Reefer Madness has EVER been found! In other words, an intelligent investigator soon concludes that marijuana prohibition is a complete fraud without the slightest basis in truth. The fact that any member of the editorial staff of a major paper, including letter readers, is ignorant of Harry Anslinger and his Reefer Madness is totally unacceptable. We have to educate these people about the origins of these drug laws because in every case the narcomaniacs failed to prove the necessity of prohibition. Anslinger cut such an absurd figure with his over the top damnation of marijuana that modern drug warriors shudder when a repealer begins talking about Anslinger. They simply cannot deal with the absurd claims Anslinger made. Starting off a debate by conceding that the main protagonist of your prohibition law was a complete liar makes it pretty tough to convince an audience. Even case-hardened narcs run for cover when you bring Anslinger into the conversation. Spice up your letters with an Anslingerism or two and knock the bottom out of bombastic Reefer Maniacs. Defy them to come up with something better than Anslinger's propaganda. After 70 years the narcs still haven't come up with a good reason to outlaw marijuana, but what do you expect from people who lie for a living. R Givens PS: If anybody has some hot Anslingerisms not in this list, please post. *** Here are some examples of Anslinger's lies, dissembling and propaganda to help in educating the media. Anslinger stops research! The response to that project was reminiscent of an incident that occurred nearly half a century ago. In 1950, when he found out that the Navy was investigating the use of coca to prevent muscular fatigue, Harry Anslinger, director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, wrote to the principal researcher. "The fact that a domestic scientific project was in progress in the United States, involving the study of the effect of chewing of coca leaves on fatigue, would have a most unfortunate effect on our efforts to achieve international agreement on limitation of production of the leaves," Anslinger said in a letter uncovered by historian Paul Gootenberg. "I therefore must strongly urge that that part of the project involving the use of coca leaves be abandoned." It was. *** During the hearings on the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act, Harry J. Anslinger read this letter into the official record, "I wish I could show you what a small marijuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That's why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions." Discriminatory intent was not limited to the Federal level. In Texas, the anti-marijuana proponents included this statement in the official records; "All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff (referring to marijuana) is what makes them crazy." Perhaps even more disturbing is the testimony of Dr. Fred Fulsher during Montana's prohibition; "Marijuana is Mexican opium, a plant used by Mexicans and cultivated for sale by Indians. When some beet field peon takes a few rares of this stuff, he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico so he starts out to execute all his political enemies. I understand that over in Butte where the Mexicans often go for the winter they stage imaginary bullfights in the "Bower of Roses" or put on tournaments for the favor of "Spanish Rose" after a couple whiffs of Marijuana. The Silver Bow and Yellowstone delegations both deplore these international complications." *** UNITED STATES PHARMACOPEIA listed cannabis until 1942 , after which it was removed under political pressure. The U.S. PHARMACOPEIA recommended cannabis for the treatment of over 100 illnesses, such as: fatigue, fits of coughing, rheumatism, asthma, delirium tremens, migraine headaches, and the cramps and depression associated with menstruation . UNITED STATES DISPENSATORY  also listed cannabis as a useful medicine. The 1851 edition states: The complaints in which it [cannabis] has been specially recommended are neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, tetanus, hydrophobia, epidemic cholera, convulsions, chorea, hysteria, mental depression, delirium tremens, insanity and uterine hemorrhage. Cannabis was removed from the US Pharmacopeia in 1942 because of political pressure from Harry Anslinger and the U S Treasury Department. *** Little Known Fact The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (MTA) permitted the medical use of cannabis until 1969! That's right folks. Medical marijuana was legal in the US until the Controlled Substance Act went into force in the early 1970s after the MTA had been declared unConstitutional. The new law "neglected" to make provision for industrial hemp or medical cannabis, so these uses became illegal by default. Many people think that "medical marijuana" is a new idea, but the fact is that cannabis was used medically in both the US and Britain for well over 150 years. The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 also permitted industrial HEMP until 1969. There was never any specific legislation outlawing medical cannabis or industrial HEMP. The new laws merely neglected to make any provision for these uses, so they became illegal by (deliberate) omission. These facts show that the debate about cannabis's medical utility and the arguments about industrial HEMP are pure hypocrisy and ignorance. The fact that HEMP and medical marijuana were legal for over 30 years without any law enforcement problems while recreational use was forbidden proves that the Reefer Maniacs are lying about so-called problems distinguishing licensed crops from outlaw grows. The fact that the MTA was in force for so long without causing any special problems proves that the Reefer Madness crowd is purely lying. *** "If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana he would drop dead of fright." *** "But here we have drug that is not like opium. Opium has all of the good of Dr. Jekyll and all the evil of Mr. Hyde. This drug is entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured." *** "Some people will fly into a delirious rage, and they are temporarily irresponsible and may commit violent crimes. Other people will laugh uncontrollably. It is impossible to say what the effect will be on any individual." *** SENATOR DAVIS: How many [marihuana] cigarettes would you have to smoke before you got this vicious mental attitude toward your neighbor? MR. ANSLINGER: I believe in some cases one [marihuana] cigarette might develop a homicidal mania, probably to kill his brother. It depends on the physical characteristics of the individual. Every individual reacts differently to the drug. It stimulates some and others it depresses. It is impossible to say just what the action of the drug will be on a given individual, of the amount. Probably some people could smoke five before it would take that effect, but all the experts agree that the continued use leads to insanity. There are many cases of insanity. Sworn Congressional testimony 1937 *** "Those who are habitually accustomed to use of the drug are said to develop a delirious rage after its administration, during which they are temporarily, at least, irresponsible and liable to commit violent crimes. The prolonged use of this narcotic is said to produce mental deterioration. It apparently releases inhibitions of an antisocial nature which dwell within the individual." Sworn Congressional testimony 1937 *** "In many respects, the action of cannabis sativa is similar to that of alcohol or morphine. Its toxic effects are ecstasy, merriment, uncontrollable laughter, self-satisfaction, bizarre ideas lacking in continuity, and its results are extreme hyperacidity, with occasional attacks of nausea and vomiting. It has also been described as producing, in moderate doses, from a mild intoxication to a dead drunk, a drowsy and semicomatose condition, lapsing into a dreamy state, with a rapid flow of ideas of a sexual nature and ending in a deep sleep, interrupted by dreams. On awakening, there is a feeling of great dejection and prostration." Sworn Congressional testimony 1937 *** MR. DINGELL: I am just wondering whether the marihuana addict graduates into a heroin, an opium, or a cocaine user. MR. ANSLINGER: No, sir; I have not heard of a case of that kind. I think it is an entirely different class. The marihuana addict does not go in that direction. Sworn Congressional testimony 1937 *** By 1951, Anslinger changed his tune and invented the "steppingstone theory" claiming that pot inevitably lead to HEROIN addiction. Commissioner Anslinger told a Senate committee that "eventually if used over a long period, [marijuana] does lead to heroin addiction." Mr. Boggs. From just what little I saw in that demonstration, I have forgotten the figure Dr. Isbell gave, but my recollection is that only a small percentage of those marijuana cases was anything more than a temporary degree of exhilaration .... Mr. Anslinger. The danger is this: Over 50 percent of those young addicts started on marijuana smoking. They started there and graduated to heroin; they took the needle when the thrill of marijuana was gone.45 Congressional testimony for Boggs Act 1951 *** Obviously Anslinger was not one to concern himself with differences in correlation and causality. He also didn't mind perjuring himself whenever necessary. *** Often repeated accusation "How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries, and deeds of maniacal insanity it (marijuana) causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured." Harry Anslinger These things could only be "conjectured" because they never happened. Anslinger's claims were all based on yellow journalism which he himself had inspired. For instance, Anslinger would attend a conference of newspaper editors and then the papers would print the Reefer Madness stories he had told them. Then Anslinger used the newspaper articles as EVIDENCE that he was right. Anslinger did this again and again. However, never once in his lying career did Anslinger ever present one shred of scientific evidence to support any of his Reefer Madness accusations. *** "As a matter of fact the staminate leaves are about as harmless as a rattlesnake." *** MR. REED: Is there any cure for a person who becomes an addict? MR. ANSLINGER: I do not think there is such a thing as not being able to cure an addict. Marihuana addicts may go to a Federal narcotic farm. But I have not seen many addicts who could not be cured. An addict could drop it and he will not experience any ill effects. Sworn Congressional testimony 1937 *** "This drug is as old as civilization itself. Homer wrote about, as a drug that made men forget their homes, and that turned them into swine. In Persia, a thousand years before Christ, there was a religious and military order founded which was called the Assassins and they derived their name from the drug called hashish which is now known in this country as marihuana. They were noted for their acts of cruelty, and the word "assassin" very aptly describes the drug." *** "Inasmuch as the harmful effects of the use of the drug is becoming more widely known each day, and it has been classed as a narcotic by the statutory laws of 17 American states, England, and Mexico, and persons addicted to its use have been made eligible for treatment in the United States narcotics farms, the United States Government, unquestionably, will be compelled to adopt a consistent attitude toward this drug, and include it in the Harrison antinarcotic law, so as to give Federal aid to the States in their effort to suppress a traffic as deadly and as destructive to society as the traffic in the other forms of narcotics now prohibited by the Harrison Act." from statement Anslinger submitted to Congress for The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 *** MR. MCCORMACK: Is it used by the criminal class? MR. ANSLINGER: Yes, it is. It is dangerous to the mind and body, and particularly dangerous to the criminal type, because it releases all of the inhibitions. I have here statements by the foremost expert in the world talking on this subject, and by Dr. Cutter a noted and distinguished medical man in this Those who are habitually accustomed to use of the drug are said to develop a delirious rage after its administration, during which they are temporarily, at least, irresponsible and liable to commit violent crimes. The prolonged use of this narcotic is said to produce mental deterioration. It apparently releases inhibitions of an antisocial nature which dwell within the individual. *** MR. MCCORMACK: What are its first manifestations, a feeling of grandeur and self-exaltation, and things of that sort? MR. ANSLINGER: It affects different individuals in different ways. Some individuals have a complete loss of sense of time or a sense of value. They lose their sense of place. They have an increased feeling of physical strength and power. Some people will fly into a delirious rage, and they are temporarily irresponsible and may commit violent crimes. Other people will laugh uncontrollably. It is impossible to say what the effect will be on any individual. Those research men who have tried it have always been under control. They have always insisted upon that. *** In 1909, the importation of smoking opium was prohibited altogether.l5 This law was successful in the sense that smoking opium imported through the customhouses fell to zero, but it did not solve the opium-smoking problem. Congress in January 1914 found it necessary to amend the 1909 law 16 and to pass an additional statute imposing a prohibitive tax ($300 per pound) on opium prepared for smoking within the United States.7 In December 1914 Congress passed the Harrison Narcotic Act, with far broader provisional~ (see Chapter 8). Yet as late as 1930, according to Federal Narcotics Commissioner Harry J. Anslinger and United States Attorney William F. Tompkins, "opium dens could be found in almost any American city." 19 19. Harry J. Anslinger and William F. Tompkins, The Traffic in Narcotics (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1953), p. 54.
------------------------------------------------------------------- BC Stinkweed Smoking Sparks Health Warning (The Calgary Herald tries to launch a nationwide drug menace with an article about one teenage boy taken to a British Columbian hospital after ingesting jimson weed.) Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 02:32:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Canada: BC Stinkweed Smoking Sparks Health Warning Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 B.C. STINKWEED SMOKING SPARKS HEALTH WARNING Some young people in B.C. are smoking a wild weed that's toxic enough to land them in a hospital bed. At least one teenage boy was taken to Kelowna General Hospital after smoking stinkweed, an indigenous plant that grows in the warmer regions of North America. He got sick and spent a night in hospital last week. `Some of this plant is being circulated', said John Waters of the Ministry of Children and Families. `Some is on the street. We don't know where he picked it up.' Ministry staff have contacted the hospital, the RCMP and the medical health office to warn them stinkweed may be making its way into the young crowd.Waters said it is a new product authorities need to be aware of. `If someone comes to KGH with undiagnosed symptoms and it looks like it's drug-related, this may be something they want to check on,' he said. Users usually smoke its leaves, but also steep it to make tea. Last week, health authorities in a region of Ontario also issued a warning about stinkweed, also known as jimson, locoweed, devil's weed, gypsy weed and thornapple. Some students fell ill after ingesting seeds from the weed. Symptoms include fixed pupils, drowsiness, nervousness, light-headedness, agitation, confusion and delirium. `In severely poisoned patients, seizures or comas may occur,' said Ken Cooper, deputy chief public health inspector in Kelowna. `breathing decreases, the body usually heats up.' Stinkweed can be identified by the rank smell when its leaves are crushed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alleged Trafficker Dies Of Wounds In Ensenada Attack (The Orange County Register says Fermin Castro Ramirez died as a result of complications from bullet wounds he received during the massacre last month of 18 members of his extended family.) Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 18:17:08 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: Alleged Trafficker Dies Of Wounds In Ensenada Attack Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 ALLEGED TRAFFICKER DIES OF WOUNDS IN ENSENADA ATTACK An alleged drug trafficker who survived the massacre of his extended family last month died Friday in the Baja California town of Ensenada, police said. State police Officer Cesar Beltran Lopez said that Fermin Castro Ramirez died at a hospital as a result of complications from two bullet wounds in the Sept. 17 killings that left 18 people dead near Ensenada. Also on Friday, police arrested four more suspects in connection with the massacre.
------------------------------------------------------------------- More Face Random Drug Tests At Work (The Guardian suggests urine testing of workers is about to become as common in Britain as it is in the United States. Unfortunately, the newspaper avoids discussing the junk science behind such claims that workers' use of cannabis or other illegal drugs harms productivity in Britain to the tune of £3 billion, endangers others, or that urine testing even achieves its goal of reducing illegal drug use.) Date: Sun, 4 Oct 1998 18:20:58 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: More Face Random Drug Tests At Work Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 MORE FACE RANDOM DRUG TESTS AT WORK Nick Hopkins on how Prince Andrew may be one of many randomly checked, as industry tries to plug UKP3bn losses from drug-related illness Michelle de Bruin, the Olympic gold medallist from Ireland, was caught out in a dawn drugs raid at home, though she protests her innocence. But for Prince Andrew there was no such humiliation when he took the test two weeks ago for the Ministry of Defence. For sports people and the military, random drugs tests have been a fact of life for years. But anyone who imagined that strict rules on substance abuse applied only to certain professions, had better think again. Random tests could be coming to a workplace near you. Some companies, such as London Transport and Railtrack, already have them for safety reasons. And there are signs that corporate Britain is waking up to the advantages too, as firms look for ways to cut the staggering UKP3 billion lost every year to drink and drug related illness. Although the drugs testing is a civil liberties minefield, the Health and Safety Executive is quietly encouraging businesses to act, and Tessa Jowell, the Health Minister, is considering all options for the forthcoming White Paper, Our Healthier Nation. The Government will doubtless look to the United States for a lead, where random screening is commonplace. Medscreen, which does drug testing for companies all over Europe, already has 300 big clients in the UK, and says the market is expanding rapidly. Medscreen mainly does pre-employment drug screening, but recently has noticed a shift among companies towards random tests. "To a certain extent, the pre-tests are to weed out idiots," said Fiona Begley, Medscreen's sales and marketing manager. "If a person cannot stay off drugs or alcohol during the selection process, either they have a serious problem, or they are too stupid to employ." The random tests are more telling, and keep employees on their guard. Workers cannot easily hide a problem when a test is sprung at short notice, and those who use drugs recreationally are just as vulnerable. The clubber who takes ecstasy on a Saturday night is just as likely to be caught out as a heroin addict, if the test is done within three days. And cannabis, being stored in fat, does not flush out of the body easily; the residue from a joint can linger for up to 31 days. "The tests are extremely sensitive, and will pick up almost any kind of recent abuse, however mild," said Ms Begley. Testing is a two-stage process. The first involves an 'immunoassay' screening, which identifies any of the main drug groups, such as cocaine, cannabis, barbiturates, amphetamines and opiates, present in a urine sample. If positive, there is a second, more comprehensive test, involving gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS). "It provides a chemical finger print," said Ms Begley. "It will pinpoint the kind of drug that has been used and eliminate false positives. The GCMS differentiates between legal and illegal drugs." The tests, she said, do not discriminate between the casual user and the addict. "We are searching for traces of substances. The tests cannot assess quantity or regularity of use. Companies want to know if workers are taking substances that could impair their ability." At London Transport, a tenth of the 16,000 staff will be tested every year. "If positive, workers will be brought before a disciplinary board, charged with gross misconduct, and asked to explain how the drug got into their system," said Nigel Radcliff, who coordinates the testing. "If there is not a good medical reason, the chances are they will be dismissed." Cannabis users are caught frequently. "There might be sympathy for someone who claims they only smoked a joint at a party, but there is no leeway in the policy. You cannot smoke dope and work for the underground." Mr Radcliff said employees who confess to a drug or alcohol problem before they are tested stand the best chance of keeping their jobs. "The golden rule is own up before you get caught." There has been concern over the inflexibility of the tests. Last year, an industrial tribunal in Glasgow called for Railtrack to review its procedure after a signal man, Ian Patterson, claimed unfair dismissal. Mr Patterson, aged 32 and described by colleagues as loyal and enthusiastic, was sacked when traces of cannabis were found in his blood. He said he might have inhaled cannabis through passive smoking at a party, or had his food spiked. The tribunal ruled in favour of Railtrack, saying dismissal was not unreasonable, in terms of public safety demands, but the judgment described the case as "particularly troubling". Medscreen insists the tests are sophisticated enough to distinguish between passive and "proper" smoking, but says that with cannabis they are "non-time specific", which can give misleading results. Liberty, the civil liberties group, has cautioned against random drug testing for "vetting and disciplinary purposes". But Keith Hellawell, the Government's chief drugs adviser, recently called for routine testing of emergency service and hospital staff. "I'm not talking about penalistic policies, but for recognition of the dangers that drugs can cause and acceptance by the workforce that there is benefit for everyone in having a comprehensive policy," he told a conference in Birmingham. Concern about the introduction of random tests is growing. Advice on 'how to pass a piss test' was recently posted on the Internet.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Eton Expels Boy Who Took Cannabis (The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, says the unnamed youth, in the same lower sixth year as Prince William, was caught by a housemaster at Common Lane House. John Lewis, the headmaster from New Zealand, has maintained a strict approach towards illegal drugs since he took over in 1994.) Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 01:56:18 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Eton Expels Boy Who Took Cannabis Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com ETON EXPELS BOY WHO TOOK CANNABIS A BOY at Eton, where Princes William, 16, and Harry, 14, are pupils, has been expelled for smoking cannabis. A school spokesman said yesterday: "A boy was asked to leave the school earlier this week in connection with a drugs incident. This is an internal matter that has been dealt with by the headmaster, who will not comment on disciplinary matters within the school." The boy, who has not been named, was caught smoking cannabis by Angus Graham-Campbell, housemaster at Common Lane House. A report in a newspaper yesterday said the boy was in the same lower sixth year as Prince William. John Lewis, the headmaster from New Zealand, has maintained a strict approach towards illegal drugs since he took over in 1994. In March, two sixth formers aged 17 and 18 were excluded from Eton after a policeman caught them smoking cannabis in Windsor, a mile from the school. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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