Portland NORML News - Monday, October 5, 1998

Governor Kitzhaber's position on medical use of marijuana (A letter
sent to the editor of The Oregonian notes Oregon's governor, a physician,
thinks that patients should be arrested for using marijuana as medicine on
their doctors' advice. Shame on him.)

Date: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 07:53:58 -0700
To: letters@news.oregonian.com
From: Arthur Livermore (alive@pacifier.com)
Subject: DPFOR: LTE: Gov. Kitzhaber's position on medical use of marijuana
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/

October 5, 1998

The Oregonian
1320 SW Broadway
Portland, OR 97201

To the editor:

I'm shocked to read that Governor Kitzhaber will not support the medical
use of marijuana. As a doctor, he has taken an oath to "prescribe regimen
for the good of my patients according to my ability and judgment and never
do harm to anyone".

Dying and suffering patients should not be arrested when they use marijuana
as medicine. Governor Kitzhaber thinks that patients should be arrested
for using marijuana as medicine. Shame on him.

Arthur Livermore, Director
Falcon Cove Biology Laboratory
44500 Tide Avenue
Arch Cape, OR 97102

Re - Medical Marijuana Will Lead to Doped-Up Docs (A physician rebuts
a letter to the editor that appeared in the Bend, Oregon, Bulletin, and The
Los Angeles Times, in which a medical student mischaracterized physicians'
motives for recommending marijuana to patients.)

Reply-To: (dlbck@nwol.net)
From: "Don Beck" (dlbck@nwol.net)
To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (medmj@drcnet.org)
Subject: Respected Dr.'s Reply to Gottlieb's Rant
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 23:31:17 -0500
Sender: owner-medmj@drcnet.org

Note: The Los Angeles Times and The Bend Bulletin in Oregon have both
printed the op-ed piece from Scott Gottlieb Dr. Trentalange is rebutting.
The contact info for each is:

URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n842.a04.html
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Fax: 213-237-4712
Website: http://www.latimes.com/


URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n870.a03.html
Source: Bulletin, The (OR)
Contact: bulletin@bendbulletin.com
Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com

-----Original Message-----
From: Trentalang@aol.com [mailto:Trentalang@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, October 05, 1998 4:50 PM
To: dlbck@nwol.net
Subject: Re: Medical Marijuana Will Lead to Doped-Up Docs

I just finished reading the LTE by this fourth-year medical student. As a
physician who has been in practice for 8 years, I take exception to many of
his statements. I'll try to keep this short as I address these points.

He claims that medical students reason that they can't prescribe a substance
if they don't experience it for themselves. While it is always admirable to
speak from experience, it's funny how this rarely occurs for common
medications such as insulin, blood pressure medications, or chemotherapy.
Only the mood-altering drugs have this appeal.

I disagree with his assertion that marijuana use has "exploded" among any
group in the U.K. when these numbers have been roughly the same for years.
If the percentages go from 35-46% this hardly represents an "explosion." By
his own admission, these number don't differ from students in general and may
merely represent the period of experimentation common in young intelligent
and curious people. Obviously if they are able to function as physicians,
most have had no further problem with marijuana. If their memory has been
affected by so much pot smoking, then how do they pass their exams? Perhaps
this is another example of the alarmist antidrug hysteria which labels every
use as abuse.

If they avoid tobacco because they perceive it as more unhealthful than
marijuana...good for them, they are right! Over 400,000 Americans a year
and a comparable number of British die from tobacco, a truly addictive drug,
whereas there has never been a fatality ascribed to marijuana. Certainly for
all the investigation into the adverse effects of marijuana, the bottom line
is that it has very mild negative effects. Certainly much less than any
other commonly used agent excepting caffeine.

Contrary to his assertions, we have many drugs which are legal in the US
which doctors don't have to try. Does medicinal morphine and demerol send
the wrong message that narcotics are "OK"? Of course not. How stupid do you
think people are? I have been a physician for many years and guess what? I
have no desire to try narcotics and sedatives merely because they are legal.
And because they are legal does not mean that they are dispensed in soda and
candy machines at the public schools. They can be regulated just like any
other medication.

Certainly physicians have substance abuse problems just like any other
group. And their proximity to addictive drugs makes them particularly
vulnerable. It is funny however, how despite this high addiction rate that
very few turn into the rabid, violent fiends which are the common perception
of drug addicts. This demonstrates that it is the criminalization of these
substances which causes the violence, not the substances themselves.

Lastly, there are many reasons why Marinol is not as effective as smoking
marijuana. First, I'd like to point out that if THC was the only active
substance in pot then marinol would be much more popular than it is. Smoked
marijuana, while not the most healthful delivery system, is advantageous
because it may contain a variety of cannabinoids which may have therapeutic
effects. Secondly, smoking is easier to titrate to effect than pills.
Thirdly, people who are nauseated can't hold oral medications down very
well. Which would you rather have: a supository, an injection, or a
cigarette? Furthermore, while chewing leaves may seem primitive,
what about the logic of mixing medication with potentially lethal drugs in
order to discourage abuse (e.g. NSAIDS or acetominophen with narcotics,
phenothiazines with narcotic cough suppressants). What is the logic behind
killing people in order to save them from the supposed horrors of addiction?

Mark Trentalange, M.D.

County Jails Getting Crowded (The Wisconsin State Journal says state
statistics show county jails are housing nearly 11,500 inmates, compared to
about 2,000 in 1978 and 6,000 in 1988.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 13:05:49 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WI: County Jails Getting Crowded
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Contact: wsjopine@statejournal.madison.com
Website: http://www.madison.com/index.html
Pubdate: 5 October 1998
Author: Richard W. Jaeger, Wisconsin State Journal


Most counties plan on building space for more prisoners

County sheriffs around Wisconsin have to be part magician when it comes to
using their jails these days either they have too many rabbits in the hat
or not enough. State statistics show county jails are housing nearly 11,500
inmates, compared to about 2,000 in 1978 and 6,000 in 1988.

Those same statistics show that more than a third of the county jails in
the state, 30 of 71, are at 100 percent or more capacity and that more than
40 of 71 counties are building or planning to build more jail space.
Menominee County does not have a jail.

State statistics show 11,127 inmates in county jails at the end of June.
That is 103 percent of the rated capacity of 10,829, according to Marty
Ordinans, director of the office of Detention Facilities, a division of the
state Department of Corrections.

Rock County Sheriff Howard Erickson and most other sheriffs around the
state blame their bulging inmate populations on more arrests, an increase
in the number of crimes that call for mandatory jail sentences and a
growing population of state prisoners being held for probation violations.

''There are now some crimes such as domestic abuse along with some drunk
driving cases that now require mandatory jail sentences,'' Erickson said.
''We also are now faced with jailing 17-year-olds in some cases.''

Sheriffs also feel there is a trickle-down effect of some judges sentencing
more people to serve time in county jails because of crowding in the
state's prisons, Erickson said.

State prison populations have reached a record of about 17,000 with
capacity for only about 13,000.

Additional cells are needed to house an inmate population that is expected
to top 25,000 by the time the 1999-2001 budget period ends, Department of
Corrections officials predict.

The state DOC is seeking a 20 percent increase in its budget for new
prisons, expansion of several of its present prisons and the rental of
4,500 additional beds which corrections officials believe may ease some of
the jail burden.

The problem of using county jails to house more prisoners held on probation
or parole violations may be resolved as the state starts looking at
regional sites to hold probation violators. The first such probation jail
is scheduled to open in Milwaukee.

Many sheriffs, however, see no relief in sight to their overcrowding
problems and are pushing ahead with plans for new jails or jail additions.

''Right now, we are hoping things will stabilize until we can complete
plans for expansion,'' Erickson said about his overcrowding situation. He
noted that he and other county officials predicted overcrowding during the
last county budget sessions and began planning for it.

For many years since moving into its present jail in 1987, Rock County has
had the luxury of renting jail space to other counties with crowding problems.

''We have collected $12.5 million in rentals from Kenosha County alone in
the past decade,'' Erickson said.

That all came to an end in May when the population exceeded its rated
capacity of 477 inmates.

''We had to turn down Kenosha and start rearranging our own prisoners,''
Erickson said.

Rock County plans to hire a jail study consultant and begin planning for
expansion. In the meantime, the county is making some adjustments to handle
current crowding.

Erickson has been working with state parole and probation agents to reduce
the number of state prisoners being held for probation or parole
violations. Erickson said his jail has between 130 and 140 prisoners per
day being held on possible probation violations.

While no target dates have been set, there is talk of adding 300 beds to
the Rock County Jail within the next four years.

Planning for more beds

In neighboring Walworth County, where they opened a new jail in 1996,
officials are already making plans to add at least another 150 beds.

The reason for concern is a 23 percent increase in the county's crime rate
over the past five years.

''By the year 2000 or 2001, we'll be pretty much maxed out,'' said the jail
administrator, Lt. Ben Harbach.

Officials hope to begin construction plans for some kind of addition by
January, with construction to start in 2000.

There are several large jail additions in the planning or building stage,
including a 600-bed jail in Milwaukee County, a 600-bed facility in Brown
County and a 396-bed facility in Kenosha County. There also are new lockups
in Winnebago and Waupaca counties.

Dane County, which has exceeded its capacity by more than 100 inmates a day
for months, has several expansion plans in the works, including reopening
the second floor of the Huber Center at the Dane County Exposition Center.
Another plan involves remodeling the City-County Building jail starting
next year.

In Sauk County, officials are looking for land to build either a separate
jail or combination jail and law enforcement center.

Grant County is a step further, having purchased land adjacent to the
present jail with plans under way for a 200-bed addition in the next couple
of years.

Dodge County is expecting to break ground this fall on the first phase of a
law enforcement building that will contain 358 beds and four courtrooms.
The second phase will involve remodeling the present jail to accommodate
the sheriff's department. The completion date is targeted for September 2000.

Adams County just opened its 112-bed jail in 1995 and is filling it with
out-of-town prisoners.

Neighboring Juneau County is a big customer, with 14 prisoners in the Adams
County Jail. Juneau jail administrator Randy Tyler said his jail has been
over its 31-bed capacity for many months. The population last week was 41,
Tyler said.

Ironically, while the 59-year-old jail is overflowing without any plans for
expansion, the state is building two large prisons within the county. The
first will go up in Mauston and house the state's most serious sex
offenders. Another 250-cell medium security prison is planned for New Lisbon.

Some surplus cells

Not all area jails are overcrowded. Besides the new Adams County Jail,
Jefferson County is renting beds to other counties and the state.

In Lafayette County, Sheriff Scott Pedley is on the phone daily offering
jail beds for rent. In fact, his beds are going at a bargain rate reduced
from $60 per day to $45, Pedley said with a chuckle.

Although he only has a 22-bed jail with just nine inmates, Pedley and other
county officials just completed a study of entering into a partnership with
an Oklahoma firm to build a 300-bed jail that the county would lease and run.

Pedley said that plan has been set aside for now because most of the cell
space would have to be used by outside entities such as other counties and
the state.

One of the reasons for looking at a larger jail, Pedley said, was the
county's need for separate juvenile housing. That need may now disappear
when the state opens juvenile detention quarters in Prairie du Chien.

''We were forced to take our juveniles to La Crosse, which means additional
costs of care and transportation,'' he said.

Pedley said while it may be years before his tiny jail reaches capacity,
county officials have contingency plans ready including an addition to the
jail for 38 adults and 10 juveniles and an off-site jail with 100 beds for
adults and juveniles.

''We may not need it now, but we will be ready when the time comes,''
Pedley said.

51 arrested during drug sweep (Life imitates art in a Tampa Bay Online
article about police in Pompano Beach, Florida, carrying out a drug sweep
prompted by the discovery of young children pretending to be drug dealers.)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: 51 arrested during FL drug sweep
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 19:33:53 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net
Newshawk: ccross@november.org
Source: Tampa Bay Online
Pubdate: 10/5/98
Online: http://www.tampabayonline.net
Writer: AP

51 arrested during drug sweep

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A total of 51 people, including three teen-agers,
were arrested during a drug sweep that was prompted by the discovery of
young children pretending to be drug dealers.

Police seized 7.2 ounces of marijuana, about 1 ounce of powdered cocaine,
nearly an ounce of crack and $2,600 in cash, Broward County Sheriff's Office
Chief Dave Carry said Monday.

Eight search warrants were served Friday. The operation began three months
ago when police found a dozen children playing drug dealer in the driveway
of a boarded up crackhouse, selling slivers of plastic ``crack´´ for 20 tree

The children, ages 4 to 11, were rounded up and lectured by a sheriff's

The children built a plywood clubhouse in an unincorporated Broward County
neighborhood north of Pompano Beach for their game. Police and county
officials have boarded up two houses in the neighborhood because of drug
sales, and deputies raided a third home in June, according to sheriff's

The pretend dealers charged 20 tree leaves for a small piece of white
plastic resembling a sliver of crack, in a small plastic bag. A larger piece
cost 50 tree leaves, and a bag of pine tree leaves resembling marijuana went
for five leaves.

``Everybody that thought they had seen it all were pretty shocked,´´ said
sheriff´s spokesman Jim Leljedal. ``The long-range goal is to not have these
people in the neighborhood for the kids to emulate.´´

Battling Demon Rum (An interesting review in The Wall Street Journal
of the new book by Ivan R. Dee suggests the history of alcohol prohibition
in America provides some contemporary lessons.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 18:26:00 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: WSJ Book Review: Battling Demon Rum
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: G. A. Robison http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/
Source: Wall Street Journal
Section: Bookshelf
Contact: letter.editor@edit.wsj.com
Website: http://www.wsj.com/
Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct 1998
Reviewer: Christopher Caldwell
Note: Mr. Caldwell is senior writer at the Weekly Standard.


America has had two Prohibition eras: a revivalist temperance campaign that
saw liquor banned in 13 Northern states on the eve of the Civil War; and
the better-known constitutional ban on alcohol sales from 1920 to 1933. In
"BATTLING DEMON RUM" (Ivan R. Dee, 207 pages, $24.95), Loyola University
historian Thomas R. Pegram traces anti-alcohol movements -- and their
generally baleful consequences -- from the Federalist era to the 21st
Amendment. These long-dead battles, well-described in Mr. Pegram's
account, put our own lesser war on cigarettes and narcotics (but,
bizarrely, not alcohol) in sharp relief.

It is too simple to caricature prohibitionists as reactionary scolds. True,
America's anti-alcohol movements have often been driven by religious
forces. But they have also drawn on progressive causes like feminism. ("You
refused me a vote, and I had to use a rock," said Carry Nation after a
saloon-smashing rampage in Kansas in 1901.) In any case, the early "dries"
were hardly extremists. They "aimed primarily at changing the behavior of
moderate drinkers so as to undermine the American culture of drinking."

Understandably so, since American alcohol consumption in 1830 -- 7.1
gallons per capita -- was the highest in the country's history. By the
1840s, after a decade of local regulation and homiletic haranguing,
drinking had dropped by three-quarters. Curiously, it was then that a push
for bans began, with Maine becoming the first state to outlaw booze in
1851. This shift from moral suasion to coercion occurs in every American
prohibition movement -- often at the very moment when most of its goals
have been attained.

Another constant has been the demonization of the industry being regulated.
Massachusetts agitators sought to deny licenses to saloons in the 1830s to
put the alcohol business "on the level of brothel-keeping." Meanwhile,
Gilded Age prohibitionists raised saloon licensing fees up to $1,500 a
year, forcing saloon-keepers to seek financing from breweries. Once that
happened, saloons and distillers alike were lumped together as a "liquor

For a movement that always claims to rest on common sense and shared ideas
of decency, "dry" agitation has shown a flair for propaganda and marketing
savvy. It was the Anti-Saloon League that spearheaded 20th-century
prohibitionism -- and invented modern interest-group politics in the
process. The ASL focused solely on removing from office those who didn't
vote with them. They distributed questionnaires to candidates. They set up
Protestant Youth Groups. They distributed voter guides and published 40
tons of publications a month. Most important, they raised scads of money --
$2.5 million for the 1914 elections alone -- and struck fear into
politicians. By the eve of World War I, the league had the backing of Teddy
Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson.

The ASL disingenuously focused its outrage on saloons rather than drinkers.
It disguised its ultimate aims, claiming to seek only a "local option" on
drinking laws. Once Prohibition passed, of course, there was no local
option anywhere. Just as, in our own time, once we adequately protect "the
children" from tobacco, there will be no smoking for anyone of any age. The
logic of regulation almost always leads to prohibition.

And corruption: Wayne Wheeler, the ASL's flamboyant strategist, lobbied for
Prohibition to be administered by the IRS -- an agency already stacked with
his allies. This allowed him to control both a huge patronage empire and a
J. Edgar Hoover-style satrapy of personalized law enforcement. Crime
flourished. Thousands were killed in gangland violence; ASL bigwigs were
convicted of fraud. By 1930, a third of federal prison inmates were liquor
offenders, and Herbert Hoover had to build a whole new series of lockups to
house them. Juries routinely nullified booze cases: Thousands of arrests in
Chicago and Philadelphia led to only a handful of convictions. A San
Francisco jury was indicted for drinking the evidence.

The most curious fact that Mr. Pegram culls is that, after a series of
advances between 1907 and 1909, the prohibitionists stalled out. By 1912,
all the states that wanted prohibition had it, and the movement looked
doomed. But aggressive lobbying brought the dries back from the brink. As
soon as the moment was ripe -- after the introduction of the income tax in
1913, which obviated the need for saloon taxes, but before the 1920 census,
which would have counted six million new, presumably "wet" immigrants --
the ASL moved for a constitutional amendment.

Thus, at the very moment when a movement appears most broad-based, it may
in fact be confined to a band of radical opportunists, generating
indifference and even hostility among middle-of-the-road voters. This may
explain why antismoking leaders have lately fallen silent in the face of
polls showing little desire for new smoking laws and taxes.

But don't think they won't be back.

US High Court Opens New Term, Allows Drug Tests (Reuters
says The US Supreme Court opened its new term Monday with a decision
allowing a public high school in Rushville, Indiana, to require drug tests
for all students involved in extracurricular activities.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 18:25:50 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: U.S. High Court Opens New Term, Allows Drug Tests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: G. A. Robison http://www.mapinc.org/DPFT/
Source: Reuters
Author: James Vicini
Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct 1998


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court opened its new term Monday,
acting on 1,700 cases that piled up during its summer recess and siding
with school officials on student drug tests and the power to set the

The high court allowed a public high school to require drug tests for all
students involved in extracurricular activities, and it let stand a ruling
that limited the free-speech rights of teachers in selecting the curriculum
for their classes.

Formally beginning its 1998-99 term, the court also agreed to hear and
decide six more cases next year, including an immigration dispute to
clarify when some aliens may be deported despite fears they would be
persecuted in their home country.

As the justices returned to the bench for the first time since the end of
June, hundreds of protesters gathered on the sidewalk outside the building
across from the U.S. Capitol to demonstrate over the lack of minority law
clerks hired at the high court.

The protest, sponsored by the NAACP (National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People), included demonstrators carrying signs that
said, "Disrobe Inequality," and "Stop Giving Minorities the Gavel."

Kweisi Mfume, the leader of the civil rights group, and 18 others were
arrested when they crossed over the police barriers and went on the Supreme
Court steps in an attempt to deliver the resumes of qualified minorities to
Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

Of the 394 law clerks hired over the years by the court's nine members,
less than 2 percent have been black, only 1 percent have been Hispanic and
fewer than 5 percent have been Asian-American. None of the clerks have been
Native Americans and less than 25 percent have been women.

Of the 1,700 cases that arrived over the past three months, the Supreme
Court took the following action:

-- for the first time allowed a high school to require drug tests for all
students who want to take part in extracurricular activities in a case from
Rushville, Indiana. The justices previously have upheld drug tests just for

The justices rejected a constitutional challenge arguing that the drug
tests amount to an invasion of privacy rights and violate the
constitutional guarantee under the Fourth Amendment to be free from
unreasonable searches.

-- broadened the powers of school authorities to select the curriculum by
denying the appeal of a public high school drama teacher in North Carolina
who was disciplined after putting on a controversial play.

The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that school boards have
absolute control over decisions that affect the curriculum, and that a
teacher has no First Amendment right to take part in the makeup of the

-- denied an appeal by the news media seeking access to grand jury
documents and closed court proceedings in connection with independent
counsel Kenneth Starr's sex-and-perjury investigation in the Monica
Lewinsky affair.

The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that there is no First
Amendment right under the constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press
for access to secret grand jury proceedings.

-- let stand the conviction of Mexican drug kingpin Juan Garcia Abrego for
smuggling huge amounts of cocaine and marijuana into the United States for
nearly two decades.

The justices rejected an appeal by Garcia Abrego, who once was considered
the top cocaine trafficker in Mexico, claiming he had been denied a fair

-- agreed to decide how difficult it should be for disabled workers to sue
their employers over alleged discrimination after they apply for or receive
Social Security benefits. The case involved a Texas woman who was fired
from her job after suffering a stroke.

-- will hear a U.S. Justice Department appeal arguing that a Guatemalan
alien should be deported because he committed "a serious nonpolitical
crime" by burning buses and vandalizing stores as a student protest leader
in his home country.

A federal appeals court ruled that the deportation order must be
reconsidered, saying there must be a balancing of Juan Anibal
Aguirre-Aguirre's offenses against the danger he faces if returned to

Court Upholds Random Drug Tests (The Associated Press version
says the Supreme Court left intact a federal appeals court ruling and therefore
sets no national precedent. But it left in place a ruling that remains binding law
in three states - Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Unlike a 1995 case, Acton
v. Vernonia School District, allowing an Oregon high school to test student
athletes, the rural Indiana school provided little evidence of drug use among
its students.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 16:48:05 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Wire: Court Upholds Random Drug Tests
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Drug Policy Foundation http://www.dpf.org/
Source: Associated Press
Pubdate: 5 Oct 1998
Author: Richard Carelli, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Public schools nationwide may be encouraged to require
more students to take drug tests after the Supreme Court allowed an Indiana
district to continue such tests.

Rejecting an appeal by teen-agers and their parents on Monday, the court
let a rural school district conduct random drug tests for all students in
extracurricular activities -- from sports teams to the library club -- even
if they are not individually suspected of using drugs.

The justices, acting without comment, left intact a federal appeals court
ruling that said such testing does not violate students' privacy rights.

Starting its 1998-99 term with a flurry of paperwork, the court issued
orders in more than 1,600 cases. It granted full review to just six.

Outside the stately courthouse, more than 1,000 members of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People noisily demonstrated
Monday to protest the court's lack of minority law clerks. NAACP President
Kweisi Mfume and 18 other people were arrested for trying to demonstrate on
court property rather than on the public sidewalk.

The court's action in the drug-testing case is not a decision and therefore
sets no national precedent. But it left in place a ruling that remains
binding law in three states -- Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. And it may
entice educators in other states to expand drug testing.

But Julie Hunter Wood, the National School Boards Association's general
counsel, discounted such a development. ``I would not expect a wave of new
drug-testing programs in the public schools,'' she said. ``Most schools
approach this issue as one of prevention, not detection, and I expect they
will continue such diligent efforts.''

In 1995, the justices voted 6-3 to uphold random drug tests for student
athletes, citing both their ``role model'' status among peers and the
importance of ``deterring drug use by our nation's schoolchildren.''

Monday's action does not preclude the possibility that the highest court
will someday spell out more definitively the bounds of permissible drug

Rush County High School in rural Indiana adopted its drug-testing program
in 1996 even though there was little evidence of drug use among its
students. The program bars students from all extracurricular activities --
sports teams, library club, Future Homemakers of America and the like --
unless they and their parents or guardians consent to random urinalysis tests.

The testing is conducted by a service in a vehicle parked on school grounds.

If a student tests positive, his or her family can explain the result by,
for example, showing that the student is taking certain prescription
medicine. Absent such proof, the student is suspended from all
extracurricular activities until passing a new test.

The program was challenged by Matthew Todd's parents when he was a freshman
working as a volunteer who videotaped the football team. Matthew's parents
refused to consent to the drug testing and Matthew, now a junior, was
barred from his volunteer work.

Steve and Gina Hammons also refused to let their three children be tested.
Two had been members of the library club and Future Farmers of America.
Only a daughter, Jennifer, now a senior, remains at the high school.

The Todds and Hammonses sued, but a federal trial judge upheld the drug

A three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed,
stating that ``successful extracurricular activities require healthy

The appeals court panel ruled that the program was ``sufficiently similar''
to an Oregon school district's drug-testing of student athletes that the
Supreme Court had condoned in 1995.

The parents asked the full 7th Circuit court to consider the case, but were
denied. The dissenting judges said the panel's decision ``takes us a long
way toward condoning drug testing in the general school population.''

In other cases Monday, the Supreme Court:

--Agreed to use the case of a Guatemala man living in California to clarify
when some aliens can be deported, despite fears they would be persecuted in
their home country.

--Rejected an appeal aimed at forcing a Minnesota church to return the
$13,450 in donations it received from a couple within a year of their
seeking federal bankruptcy protection.

--Said it will decide in a Texas case how difficult it should be for
disabled workers to sue employers over alleged discrimination after they
apply for or receive Social Security disability benefits.

--Left intact rulings denying the news media access to federal court
proceedings and documents related to a grand jury's investigation of
President Clinton's relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

(c) Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

Action Alert - House, Senate Voting on "Drug War" Legislation (The Drug
Policy Foundation in New York urges you to contact your Congressional
representatives about proposed laws that would expand the federal
government's search and seizure powers. Please ask House members to vote
against H.R. 4005, and members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject
S. 2024 and S. 2011.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 15:47:37 EDT
Errors-To: dpf-mod@dpf.org
Reply-To: dpnews@dpf.org
Originator: dpnews@dpf.org
Sender: dpnews@dpf.org
From: "Drug Policy News Service" (dpf-mod@dpf.org)
To: Multiple recipients of list (dpnews@dpf.org)
Subject: ACTION ALERT: House, Senate Voting on "Drug War" Legislation




Congress Set to Act on "Drug War" Legislation
Urge House Members to Vote Against H.R. 4005
Senate Judiciary Committee Should Reject S. 2024, S. 2011

Released: October 5, 1998
Please Redistribute

Today the House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on H.R. 4005, a
bill that would dramatically expand the federal government's search and
seizure powers. On July 10 the House Banking and Financial Services
Committee approved H.R. 4005, the "Money Laundering Detterence Act of
1998." H.R. 4005 would amend the U.S. Code to require the secretary of the
Treasury to set up a national money laundering surveillance strategy which
would open up personal banking and business records to "fishing expeditions"
to identify suspected drug funds. H.R. 4005 would also grant law enforcement
officials and banking regulators easier access to sensitive records from car
dealerships and other merchants, according to Congressional Quarterly. The
Drug Policy Foundation opposes this bill as a dangerous expansion of
government intrusion which provides too few protections for innocent

The Senate Judiciary Committee will consider a bill (S. 2024) Wednesday
that would increase the penalties for methamphetamine trafficking to align
them with sentences for trafficking in crack cocaine. In a letter to the
House of Representatives regarding a similar bill, DPF's Public Policy
Director, H. Alexander Robinson, joined representatives of the ACLU, NAACP,
and the Justice Policy Institute in stating that "increasing the penalties
for methamphetamines is moving in the wrong direction." According to the
government's own statistics very few Americans have ever used
methamphetamine (2.5% as of 1997) and its use was down among 12th graders in
1997, thus making the increased penalties unnecessary. The bill is also
costly, adding $14 million a year in prison costs, and making it necessary
to build a new federal prison in 10 to 20 years at a cost of $85 million,
according to the Congressional Budget Office.

In addition, most Americans disagree with the current crack cocaine
sentencing policy. Even the conservative Family Research Council's January
1998 survey found that 67% of the respondents to its survey stated that they
believed that current sentencing disparities between crack and powder
cocaine were unfair, only 27% believed that the disparity was fair and 6%
did not know. DPF opposes all mandatory minimum sentencing schemes. DPF
strongly objects to laws that single out a specific drug unrelated to its
potential harm.

Finally, the Senate Judiciary Committee will also consider S. 2011. The
so-called "Money Laundering Enforcement Act of 1998," S. 2011 is a thinly
veiled effort to expand the government's civil asset forfeiture powers. The
whole bill has profoundly negative consequences for all sorts of legitimate
businesses and other innocent property owners, and threatens to turn every
legitimate businessperson into a money launderer. Money laundering statues
are already the most expansive, and abused, of the government's current
civil and criminal forfeiture laws. S. 2011 would substantially expand the
scope of the government's forfeiture powers by expanding the ways the money
laundering charges can be triggered and by broadening the government's
electronic eavesdropping powers.


Call Your Representative -- The Drug Policy Foundation urges you to contact
your representative and ask him/her to vote 'NO' on H.R. 4005, the "Money
Laundering Deterrence Act of 1998."

Call or Write Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee--The Drug Policy
Foundation urges you to contact your Senator and ask him/her to vote 'NO' on
S. 2024 "Methamphetamine Trafficking Penalty Enhancement Act of 1998" and S
2011 "Money Laundering Enforcement and Combating Drugs in Prison Act of

Senate Judiciary Committee

Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.)
Arlen Specter (R-Penn.)
Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.)
Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.)
Mike DeWine (R-Ohio)
John Ashcroft (R-Mo.)
Spencer Abraham (R-Mich.)
Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.)
Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.)
Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-Del.)
Herb Kohl (D-Wis.)
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)
Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.)
Robert G. Torricelli (D-N.J.)


Call Your Representative and Senator -- Calling your representative or
senator is the most effective way to make your views known to them. You

-- Find out who your representative is by calling the U.S. Capitol
Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Have your zip code ready to give the

-- Speak with the legislative assistant who is working on drug policy or
criminal justice issues.

-- Keep the message simple. Urge your representative to oppose H.R. 4005,
and your senator to oppose S. 2024 and S. 2011 for the reasons outlined
above. Ask for a return letter explaining your representative's position on
the legislation.

Fax, Write a Letter, or Email Your Representative and Senator -- Call the
Capitol Switchboard, then call your representative's or senator's office to
get the fax number. You can also go to the ACLU's website
 for all contact information.
Letters can be sent to your senator by writing: The Honorable (name of your
senator), U.S. Senate, Washington, DC 20510. Finally, please don't use email
unless you have already called or faxed.

Please send a copy of your letter and response to: H. Alexander Robinson,
Public Policy Director, Drug Policy Foundation, 4455 Connecticut Ave. NW,
Suite B-500, Washington, DC 20008-2328fax: (202) 537-3007; email:


To support the Drug Policy Foundation's efforts to create reasoned and
compassionate drug policies, please send $35+ to the address below for
membership. Benefits include the quarterly magazine, The Drug Policy Letter,
Action Alerts, drug policy updates, and discounts on books and videos. You
can also join the Foundation through our website at: http://www.dpf.org.

To join DPF's Drug Policy News Service, please send email to:
listproc@dpf.org with the following message in the body of the email:
subscribe dpnews Firstname Lastname.


The Drug Policy Foundation
"Creating Reasoned and Compassionate Drug Policies"

4455 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite B-500
Washington, DC 20008-2328
ph: (202) 537-5005 * fax: (202) 537-3007 * email: dpf@dpf.org
web: www.dpf.org * www.drugpolicy.org

Amnesty Finds 'Widespread Pattern' Of US Rights Violations
(The New York Times version of yesterday's news
about Amnesty International for the first time making the United States'
criminal injustice system the focus of its human rights campaign.)

Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison
Source: New York Times (NY)
Contact: letters@nytimes.com
Website: http://www.nytimes.com/
Pubdate: 5 Oct 1998
Section: International/Global Issues
Author: Barbara Crossette


Amnesty International, in its first campaign directed at any Western
nation, intends to publish a harsh report on the United States on Tuesday,
saying U.S. police forces and criminal and legal systems have "a persistent
and widespread pattern of human rights violations."

Amnesty International, the 37-year-old human rights organization based in
London, plans to make its report the focus of a yearlong effort in more
than 100 countries and in international bodies like the United Nations to
protest what it calls a U.S. failure "to deliver the fundamental promise of
rights for all."

The report is part of a growing effort among human rights organizations to
seek "balance" in reporting by looking at industrialized as well as
developing nations. The Clinton administration has encouraged that trend
more than its predecessors, welcoming monitors from the U.N. Human Rights
Commission in the face of sharp criticism from some members of Congress.

But U.S. officials and U.S human rights groups that are also often critical
have had mixed reactions to some international reports, describing some as
selective or lacking in nuance and context and often deliberately excluding
background information on civil rights protections in the United States.

The new Amnesty report is bound to be among the most controversial of the
recent surveys. Officials in New York, which figures prominently, and in
Washington declined to comment because they had not seen the report.

The 150-page report pulls together widely reported cases of abuses around
the United States and incorporates the work of U.S. advocacy groups and
Amnesty investigations. Without responses from U.S. officials, it concludes
with this statement:

"Across the country thousands of people are subjected to sustained and
deliberate brutality at the hands of police officers. Cruel, degrading and
sometimes life-threatening methods of constraint continue to be a feature
of the U.S. criminal justice system."

The report also condemns what is sees as a general failure to punish
offending officials. It criticizes the treatment of people who seek asylum
by U.S. immigration authorities and calls, as Amnesty has done in the past,
for the abolition of the death penalty, which the report says is "often
enacted in vengeance, applied in an arbitrary manner, subject to bias
because of the defendant's race or economic status, or driven by the
political ambitions of those who oppose it."

Pierre Sane, a development expert from Senegal who has been secretary
general of Amnesty International for six years, said in an interview that
the United States was chosen as the first Western target because human
rights conditions were deteriorating.

"We felt it was ironic that the most powerful country in the world uses
international human rights laws to criticize others," Sane said, "but does
not apply the same standards at home."

Sane does not deny that the report, some of it in strong, often polemical
language, seems to hold government officials more responsible for
violations than the individuals who exceed their authority in committing

"Responsibility to uphold human rights lays with the federal government,
lays with the Congress, lays with authorities in the different states," he
said. "I think that what our research has found is a generalized failure of
the systems of monitoring, of accountability for the police, for the prison
guards, for immigration officials."

The report criticizes the United States for failing to sign international
rights conventions, among them the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Sane said it was not relevant that some countries that had signed the
convention did not act against abuses of children, as in southern Asia,
where more than 50 million children are thought to be forced to work, many
of them in bonded labor.

"The covenant is extremely important, because the covenant represents a
consensus of all nations," he said. "That a country does not respect its
laws once it becomes part of the covenant is another problem."

Sane said the purpose of the Amnesty campaign against the United States was
"to raise awareness of the need to take action."

"I think in terms of the severity of what is happening in the U.S., more or
less people are aware," Sane said. "They are aware that in the States
police can be brutal. They're aware that prisons are not the best place to
be in. But what we are concerned with is the lack of action and the

"It seems to me that the international community, in terms of standards, is
moving really ahead of the standards obtained in the United States today."

US Abuses Human Rights, Amnesty International Says (The Seattle Times

Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 05:24:34 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US WA: U.S. Abuses Human Rights, Amnesty International Says
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John Smith
Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct, 1998
Source: Seattle Times (WA)
Contact: opinion@seatimes.com
Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/


WASHINGTON - The world's leading human-rights group, Amnesty International,
is launching its first worldwide campaign aimed at the United States, citing
abuses such as "widespread and persistent" police brutality, "endemic"
physical and sexual violence against prisoners, "racist" application of the
death penalty and use of "high-tech repression tools" such as electro-shock
devices and incapacitating chemical sprays.

The London-based group kicks off a yearlong USA Campaign with the release
tomorrow of a 150-page report highlighting what Amnesty calls an American
"double standard" of criticizing human-rights abuses abroad while not doing
enough to remedy those at home.

With Americans accounting for a third of its million members worldwide,
Amnesty might be taking a risk in deciding to focus on alleged abuses in
this country.

The campaign's theme, "Human rights aren't just a foreign affair," is
intended to highlight what Amnesty says is the need for the United States to
"peek into its own closet" and recognize that it can't criticize abuses by
other nations unless it is willing to take a hard look at its own practices.

Curt Goering, deputy executive director of Amnesty USA, said he expects
"overwhelming support" from American members for this effort. "Our interest
is not to embarrass; it is to highlight these issues and make

This is the first time in its 37-year history that Amnesty has undertaken a
major human-rights campaign focused on any Western country. The watchdog
group won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for its crusading efforts on behalf
of people around the world mistreated by their own governments.

Obligations not met

Amnesty says that the United States is "failing to meet" its human-rights
obligations and that the movement for greater protection of human rights
around the world is endangered by American violations.

Critics might challenge Amnesty's decision to use both its financial
resources and moral authority on its high-profile USA Campaign when
repressive regimes - Iraq, Afghanistan, North Korea, to name a few - openly
brutalize their citizens with little regard to due process of law,
international public opinion or criticism by Amnesty International.

Many countries, however, particularly those criticized by the State
Department's annual report, might be pleased to be able to point to
Amnesty's criticism of the U.S.

State Department spokesman James Foley, avoiding a clash with Amnesty, said,
"We welcome their scrutiny. . . . In keeping with our recognition of the
universality of human rights and our openness as a democratic society, we
are proud of our political and judicial systems, which we believe are the
envy of the world."

The head of Amnesty International, Secretary General Pierre Sane, plans to
make the case for the report - and remedial measures Amnesty proposes - in
Washington tomorrow, followed by visits to Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and
New York. In Chicago next week, Sane is to speak to the Chicago Council on
Foreign Relations and the American Civil Liberties Union, as well as to meet
with community leaders, police officials and supporters of Operation PUSH.

`Background of injustice'

"The report is played out against a national background of economic and
racial injustice, a rising tide of anti-immigrant sentiment and front-page
stories of violent crimes committed by children," says the report's
executive summary. "Human-rights violations in the U.S. occur in rural
communities and urban centers from coast to coast. They are committed by
sheriffs and judges, by Immigration and Naturalization Service officials and
by police and corrections officers in jails and prisons across the country."

Amnesty calls the U.S. the "world leader in high-tech repression," for
police and prison use of painful, sometimes fatal, electro-shock devices suc
h as stun guns and stun belts.

Also, Amnesty said that more than 60 people have died in police custody
since 1990 after being exposed to pepper spray.

Violence against inmates

Amnesty points to a high level of physical and sexual violence against
prisoners "with guards at times inciting attacks or not acting to prevent
them," and it notes that minorities, particularly African-American men, make
up a disproportionate share of the prison population. "A particularly
disturbing development is the growth of high-tech security units, where
inmates are placed in long-term or even permanent isolation," the executive
summary says.

"Despite being outlawed under international standards, shackling of
prisoners - including their transportation in leg irons - is widespread in
the U.S. prison system."

Amnesty also challenges what it says is the U.S. practice of imprisoning
foreign citizens who arrive seeking political asylum, sometimes putting them
in jail for months alongside convicted criminals.

The State Department's Foley said that detention is required by law until a
person's asylum claim can be evaluated and that authorities "make every
effort to balance legitimate law-enforcement responsibility with equally
important humanitarian concern."

Death penalty criticized

Having long crusaded against the death penalty, Amnesty criticizes the U.S.
for having "the largest known death-row population on Earth," more than
3,300 inmates sentenced to die.

Amnesty notes that 24 states permit the execution of people who were under
18 at the time of the crime. Since 1990, Amnesty says, the U.S. has been one
of only six countries in the world known to have executed juveniles. The
five others are Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. It also
cites the execution of 30 mentally impaired people in the past decade.

The report says many local authorities ignore their international obligation
to inform arrested foreigners promptly of their right to consular assistance
under Article 36 of the Vienna Convention, which the U.S. ratified in 1969.
More than 60 foreign nationals are under death sentences, and most were not
informed of their Vienna Convention rights, the report says.

Amnesty's recommendations

Amnesty's USA campaign makes a series of recommendations, including
establishing independent bodies to investigate alleged police brutality and
prisoner abuse, banning electro-shock devices, curtailing detention of
asylum seekers and ratifying several international human-rights accords.

Amnesty asked that the U.S. ban the death penalty for juvenile offenders as
a first step toward abolition of the death penalty. Although that is
unlikely, the Clinton administration is - as Amnesty urges - pressing the
Senate to ratify an international convention to eliminate all forms of
discrimination against women.

Belize's Quiet Despair (The San Francisco Chronicle says the tiny coastal
nation is plagued by crack cocaine addicts known as "sprungheads" because of
their notoriously volatile personalities. Many Belizeans say a
well-intentioned US drug eradication program is partially to blame for the
explosion of local cocaine use. In the late 1980s, the US Drug Enforcement
Agency brought in aircraft to spray herbicide on the Belize marijuana crop.
The program was so effective that the local ganja supply dried up almost
overnight. "After the spraying, people were looking for another drug," said
Francis Vaizar, head of the government's National Drug Abuse Control Council.
"They switched to cocaine.")

Date: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 10:11:53 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Belize: Belize's Quiet Despair
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: tjeffoc@sirius.com (Tom O'Connell)
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Contact: chronletters@sfgate.com
Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/
Pubdate: Mon, 5 Oct 1998
Author: Edward Hegstrom Chronicle Foreign Service
Page: A8


Tiny coastal nation plagued by misery brought by crack cocaine addiction

Orange Walk, Belize

The center of this little town looks so wholesome that you expect to see
Andy Griffith come whistling around the corner. There's a small white
church near the town hall and a shaded park where girls in school uniforms
gather after class to gossip and giggle.

But the wholesome image is only a facade. Trouble lies just around the corner.

A town of 14,000 nestled into the sugar cane fields of northern Belize,
Orange Walk is overrun by crack cocaine addicts known as "sprungheads"
because of their notoriously volatile personalities.

The sprungheads loiter on the side streets smoking $2.50 rocks of crack as
fast as they can scrounge or steal the money to buy them. The most
desperate addicts hang out in the cemetery, sleeping on top of tombs or at
an adjacent crack house. "We're here all the time, always looking for the
next hit," said Chris Garland, one of a half-dozen addicts gathered in the
cemetery one recent morning.

"Cocaine just messed up my whole life," said Leroy Young, combing his white
beard from his perch atop a tomb.

Once a successful cabinetmaker with a family and enough money to visit
London, the 62-year-old Young now lives alone in a crack-house room barely
large enough to stretch out his lengthy frame.

He coughs regularly, a symptom of chronic bronchitis. His hazel brown eyes
show desperation, his waist has shriveled away and his once-powerful arms
have gone flabbier than chicken wings.

Orange Walk wasn't always like this. Although marijuana has been grown and
smoked here for decades, crack cocaine only really blossomed in the past
few years, changing Belize dramatically.

The tiny country, which was once relatively free of crime outside the
capital city of Belmopan, is now overrun by drug-related crime and misery,
the sort of problems formerly associated only with inner cities of the
United States

"People used to say cocaine gringo problem," said Miguel Segura, an officer
in the Belize Force. "But now we have all the same problems: Broken homes,
crime, violence, even gangs." It's not just Belize. Thanks to changes in
the international flow of drug trafficking, crack cocaine addiction has
suddenly become a problem all along the Central American Atlantic Coast,
experts say.

Colombian traffickers increasingly use the poorly patrolled coastline
between Costa Rica and to transport drugs bound for Mexico and then on to
the United The trade has inadvertently introduced cocaine to remote coastal
villages where it was never seen before.

Bales of cocaine sometimes wash ashore by accident, dumped by boats fleeing
authorities or spilled while being transferred from one ship to another.
The drug is also left behind as payment to local middlemen.

Wherever the coke winds up, people try it. Like a nasty virus, cocaine
refuses to respect political boundaries or cultural traditions, destroying
lives indiscriminately.

There are now crackheads; among the blacks of eastern Costa Rica, the
Miskito Indians of Nicaragua, the Spanish-speaking fishermen of Honduras,
the Garifuna Indians of Guatemala and the Creole-speaking people of Belize.

Alarmed by the trend, the Organization of American States put together a
special task force last year to combat the addiction now sweeping through
Central America's seven nations.

"Everything we're seeing indicates an increase in drug use throughout the
region," said Anna Chisman, who coordinates the OAS' Atlantic Coast
drug-prevention program from Washington, DC.

Belize has been particularly hard hit, which some believe is related to the
country's longtime acceptance of marijuana. Belizeans see themselves as kin
of the Jamaicans, and so smoking the milder drug has long been an accepted
part of the local Rastafarian culture.

By the mid-1980s, exports of "Belize Breeze" made the country the
fourth-largest marijuana producer in the world, according to the U.S. State
Department. The drug became so socially accepted that semi-professional
soccer teams were typically funded by their own private pot farms.

In Orange Walk, the export of marijuana was practically uncontrolled.
Smugglers began using the main highway just outside town as a night landing
strip for drug planes. Workers with flashlights politely stopped cars along
the highway so the planes could land and be loaded with pot.

Unable to control the smuggling through traditional policing, the desperate
government eventually resorted to putting metal posts along both sides of
the highway, so planes could no longer land without clipping their wings.

Despite the heavy use and the lucrative exports, marijuana never brought
much violence or even petty crime to Belize.

"People who smoke ganja remain calm," said Segura, the police official.
"But people who smoke crack do crazy things. They leave their family. They
steal. They kill."

Gangs modeling themselves after Southern California's Crips and Bloods now
prowl the streets of Belize City, and drive-by shootings are becoming routine.

People accustomed to small-town tranquility have had to quickly revise
their lifestyles. Door locks have been reinforced, bars added to windows,
fences built. Many Belizeans no longer hang their laundry outside to dry,
fearing that a crack addict will steal it.

"The crime here is no worse than what you would see in Houston or Dallas,"
said Chris Heaton, a police officer from Plano, Texas, who recently spent
two weeks patrolling Belize City as part of an exchange program. "But you
have to remember that Belize City has a population of 50,000," he added,
compared with more than a million in the Texas cities.

Ironically, many Belizeans say a well-intentioned U.S. drug eradication
program is partially to blame for the explosion of local cocaine use.

In the late 1980s, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency brought in aircraft to
spray herbicide on the Belize marijuana crop. The program was so effective
that the local ganja supply dried up almost overnight.

"After the spraying, people were looking for another drug," said Francis
Vaizar, head of the government's National Drug Abuse Control Council. "They
switched to cocaine."

Cocaine flowed so freely through Belize that the State Department decided
to place economic sanctions on the government last year, lumping Belize
with Colombia as countries that did not cooperate sufficiently in the war
on drugs.

The sanctions were lifted early this year after Belize officials seized
more than two tons of cocaine over the previous several months.

The transition from marijuana to cocaine is particularly strong in Orange
Walk, which once served as the heart of pot-growing country. The region's
location along the border with Mexico made it perfect for smuggling.

The social acceptance of pot has now transferred to cocaine and crack,
creating a strangely surreal small-town scene. Unlike in Belize City,
police have managed to keep Orange Walk from becoming overrun with violent
crime. But petty crime is pervasive, and the smoking and dealing of crack
are tolerated.

Just around the corner from the picturesque central square, at least three
bars openly sell crack over the counter, according to Victor Pollard, the
government's local drug counselor.

Walking farther up a side street, Pollard points to well-kept homes with
new paint jobs. The owners, who he says are well respected, deal crack from
their porches.

The police accept bribes to allow the dealing to continue. The problems are
so ingrained that Pollard sometimes wonders how long he will be able to
keep up his morale in the losing battle.

"I've got so much into this, but sometimes I just want to quit," he
lamented. "The place is so corrupt, and it will never change."

Drug tackles shyness (An Agence France-Presse article
in The South China Morning Post says Seroxat, an anti-depressant
marketed by SmithKline Beecham that increases the level of serotonin
in the brain, will go on the British market this week.)

From: "W.H.E.N. - Bob Owen" (when@olywa.net)
To: "-News" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Drug tackles shyness
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 18:24:47 -0700
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net
Newshawk: ccross@november.org
Source: South China Morning Post
Pubdate: Monday October 5 1998
Online: http://www.scmp.com
Writer: no byline

Medicine - Drug tackles shyness


A pill to conquer chronic shyness is to be launched on the British
market this week.

Developed by scientists at Bristol and Southampton universities, and
marketed by SmithKline Beecham, the pill, Seroxat, could help more than
three million people in Britain, the Sunday Times reported.

Initially approved as an anti-depressant, the drug increases the level
of serotonin in the brain, creating a feeling of well-being and

"It is not a wonder drug to turn anoraks into witty after-dinner
speakers but it will help people with a serious medical condition," Dr
Brian Goss, of the British Medical Association, said.

But the report questioned the price to the national health service if
the some 10 million Britons who confessed they felt embarrassed in
society demanded Seroxat.

The cost could reach £700 million (HK$9.2 billion) a year, it said.

It is not a wonder drug to turn anoraks into witty after-dinner speakers
but it will help people with a serious medical condition.

Bar Warns Straw That His Reforms Could Break Law (The Times says the British
Bar set itself on a collision course with the Home Secretary over the weekend
with a warning that Jack Straw's criminal justice plans, such as confiscation
of property without a criminal trial, could run foul of the Government's own
human rights law.)

Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 15:42:31 -0700
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: UK: Bar Warns Straw That His Reforms Could Break Law
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Martin Cooke (mjc1947@cyberclub.iol.ie)
Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct 1998
Source: Times, The (UK)
Contact: letters@the-times.co.uk
Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/
Author: Frances Gibb


THE Bar set itself on a collision course with the Home Secretary at
the weekend with a warning that Jack Straw's criminal justice plans
could fall foul of the Government's own human rights law.

Heather Hallett, QC, chairman of the Bar, said that reforms in the
pipeline - such as confiscation of property without a criminal trial -
could be challenged under the new Human Rights Bill, soon to reach the
statute book. "It would be a dreadful irony if the very first
challenge in the courts was to legislation passed in the same session
by the same Parliament," she told the annual Bar conference in London.
"If the reports of some of the proposals emanating from the Home
Office are accurate, that is exactly what will happen."

In a blistering attack, she pointed out a range of proposed or enacted
changes that, together, amounted to a "chipping away at the edges of
the present system in the name of cost-cutting and market forces that
could prove disastrous for the country in the long term".

These included recently announced plans to allow property to be
confiscated without a criminal trial, further restrictions on the
right of defendants to cross-examine people accusing them of rape, and
the law, now in force, which makes the opinion of a police officer
admissible evidence in court.

Ms Hallett told some 500 barristers and judges that there were other
threats to the criminal justice system, including plans to allow crown
prosecutors to present cases in the higher courts and a public
defender system, soon to be piloted in Scotland, in which defence
lawyers are employed by the state.

Taken together, such moves posed a risk that the British justice
system, in which top advocates defend and prosecute in the criminal
courts and appear for both sides in the civil courts, would be lost
for good, said Ms Hallett.

"We still have a system whereby some of the best advocates in the
world can be seen day in, day out, in our criminal and civil courts
... acting for the state and for the ordinary man and woman in the
street, prosecuting one day, defending the next, acting for the
injured plaintff one week, the insurance company the next."

She also expressed concern about the Lord Chancellor's "no win, no
fee" reforms, which give lawyers a financial interest in a case, and
about block contracts in legal aid, which remove an individual's
choice of lawyer.

Such contracts would put law firms under financial pressures to offer
the cheapest deal to the Government, however good or bad they might
be, Ms Hallett said. In one American state, the defence brief in a
capital murder trial was on offer to local lawyers "for the princely
sum of $100".

She said: "If this country cannot afford to ensure that all litigants,
rich and poor, have access to suitably qualified and experienced
lawyers, if there is to be one set of lawyers for the well-heeled and
another less able set for those unable to afford a cobbler, someone
should have the courage to say so."

She expressed fears about increased state involvement in the criminal
courts, through allowing crown prosecutors into the higher courts and
the creation of public defenders, and said she was astonished by
claims from the Scottish Legal Aid Board, which is running the pilot
on public defenders, that other jurisdictions operated such a scheme

"I wonder if they have spoken to the New Orleans Public Defender, Rick
Tessier, who sued himself because he was being forced to take on three
times more cases each year than the recommended maximum."

As for crown prosecutors being allowed to take the serious cases in
the higher courts, which are now taken by the Bar, she cited examples
in which crown prosecutors had failed, in preparing cases, properly to
disclose crucial evidence to the defence.

In one case, in which a mother was charged with assaulting her child,
the prosecutor had written on a file originally not disclosed: "May
undermine the strength of the prosecution case".

Ms Hallett said many asked why the English Bar was so concerned about
the proposed changes and offered the unequivocal answer that the Bar
did not wish to move to a system where, as in most countries, top
lawyers specialised only in commercial work. In Britain, a top
advocate could specialise in publicly funded work, but that was "fast
becoming unique".

She said: "We do not want to became a small cadre of highly specialist
commercial practitioners available to just the few. We want to remain
as specialist advocates and advisers available to all. It is in the
public interest that we should remain so."



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