------------------------------------------------------------------- Conflicting measures could change the way Oregonians look at marijuana (An Associated Press article in The Argus Observer, in rural eastern Oregon, examines the two very different marijuana-related initiatives on the Nov. 3 ballot, Measure 57, which would recriminalize possession of less than one ounce of cannabis, and Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.) From: "Stormy Ray" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "dpfor" (email@example.com) Subject: DPFOR: Conflicting measures could change the way Oregonians look at marijuana Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 01:44:00 -0700 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ From: Stormy Ray Argus Observer 10-07-98 (541) 889-5387 Subject: Conflicting measures could change the way Oregonians look at marijuana . Portland (AP) - Two people - one in a wheelchair in a cramped apartment, the other skateboarding through the city streets - have the same craving for a joint, but for very different reasons. For Craig Helm, a middle-aged man who suffers from multiple sclerosis, smoking pot is the only thing he's found that can calm his violent and painful muscle spasms. Matt Smith, a 20-year-old wearing dread- locks and grunge-green clothes, calls marijuana his "freedom" and says he's just looking for another high. Their lives could be drastically changed under conflicting measures on the Oregon ballot this November that address the way the state looks at marijuana. One would legalize the medical use of marijuana, the other would restore crimi- nal penalties for possession of small amounts of the drug. Backers of medical marijuana in Oregon say they have learned lessons from two years of growing pains with the law in California, where cannabis buyers clubs have sprouted up and local ordinances allow patients under marijuana therapy to keep up to 1 1/2 pounds of pot. Oregon's measure, which would let those dying or suffering from debilitating illnesses use the drug with a doctor's prescription, would control how much prescribed pot can be used and ensure that it only goes to those who truly need it. "It's not like it is making it available to every Tom, Dick and Harry," said Kristen Van Anden, a breast cancer patient who uses the drug to curb the nausea that comes from her chemotherapy treatments. "It would be far healthier to grow it on my own, rather than rely on the something that is grown who-knows-where," she said. Under the measure, marijuana would only be allowed to treat a limited number of illnesses, such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS and glaucoma. Patients would have the right to carry up to an once of marijuana and grow as many as three marijuana plants to maturity. But opponents of medical marijuana say it is just a ruse to legalize pot. "It is designed to move Oregon to such a position where it appears like marijuana is not a dangerous drug," said Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle. "We see this as an attempt nationally to take one of the tools away from the issue of dealing with drugs." The measure is unusual in that it is being financed from entirely outside the state. It is sponsored by California- based Americans for Medical Rights, which was the backing of billionaire philanthropist George Soros of New York. He worked to persuade Californians to approve marijuana for medical purposes two years ago and is behind similar ballot measures this year in Alaska, Colorado and Washington state. Soros' group is also the main opponent of the other marijuana measure on the ballot, which would make possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a misdemeanor instead of a civil violation. Currently, there is no jail time for such an offense, just a minimum fine of $500. Opponents say the measure would put too much pressure on prisons, leading to higher numbers of criminals released early. Law enforcement officials who are leading the campaign for the measure say it would help discourage curious teens from ever trying the drug. "The nature of the bill isn't mean-spirited. It allows us to send a message that it is wrong to use marijuana," said Molalla Police Chief Rob Elkins, who directs a political action group that supports the recriminalization effort.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Voter Power Dinner for No on 57 and Yes on 67 (Make your reservations now for the $50-per-plate benefit 5-9 p.m. Sunday night, Oct. 11, at the DoubleTree Hotel at Lloyd Center in Portland.) From: "johns" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Voter Power Dinner for No on 57 and Yes on 67 Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 20:43:10 -0700 Please join Voter Power for a special evening with the chief petitioners of the Yes on 67 and No on 57 campaigns. Where: DoubleTree Hotel Lloyd Center. When: This Sunday, October 11, 1998 5PM to 9PM Attire: Semi formal Admission: $50/plate Speakers: Rick Bayer M.D., chief petitioner Oregon Medical Marijuana Act; Michael Rose chief petitioner Measure 57 (referendum on marijuana recrim); Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor Wears no Clothes"; John Sajo, director of Voter Power; and other invited guests. The election campaign for these measures is at a critical point. Please come and help us make a final push to win these crucial elections. Please RSVP at 736-0907.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study finds pain went up sharply among dying in late '97 (The Associated Press says a survey by researchers at Oregon Health Sciences University of relatives of patients dying in hospitals around Oregon showed a sharp increase in the level of pain suffered by their loved ones during the last two months of 1997. Some medical leaders speculate the increase is related to the threat of federal sanctions against doctors who help terminally ill patients die under the state's physician-assisted suicide law.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Study finds pain went up sharply among dying in late '97 The Associated Press 10/7/98 5:01 PM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Family members of patients dying in hospitals reported a sharp increase in the level of pain suffered by their loved ones during the last two months of 1997, according to a statewide study. Researchers can't explain why the levels increased, but some medical leaders believe it's related to the threat of federal sanctions against doctors who help terminally ill patients die under the state's physician-assisted suicide law. "What made it happen? Is it still happening? We don't know," said Dr. Susan Tolle, an expert in end-of-life care at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland who led the study. The phenomenon began in November, the month after the Death With Dignity Act took effect. Voters rejected by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin repealing the law, first approved by voters in 1994. The preliminary finding is being released in the Oregon medical community in hopes of turning around what researchers called a "worrisome trend." "It's one possibility that it's physicians who were holding back in palliative care, and if that's the case, we could do our part to get the word out to physicians" to give better care to dying patients, said Kathleen Haley, executive director of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners. The organization's fall newsletter includes news of the finding. Congress is considering legislation that would block the assisted-suicide law. A Senate version of the bill would prohibit doctors from prescribing controlled drugs for suicides. The bill's chances of passage have dimmed as lawmakers push to adjourn by the weekend. Tolle said several factors could explain the study's results. Publicity from the political campaign over assisted suicide may have given families heightened expectations about pain control, she said. Doctors may have been worried about a threat earlier this year from the Drug Enforcement Administration to punish doctors who aid in suicides. Or it may have been nurses or pharmacists who were concerned about providing large doses of pain medication and possibly hastening death. Haley said that the preliminary finding is surprising in that Oregon is perceived as a leader in end-of-life care and that this finding could indicate a "step backward." Part of the study, called "Barriers to Care for the Dying," included interviews with 475 families three months after the death of a loved one in Oregon. Complete results of the study will not be released for another year. For most of 1997, families reported relatively constant levels of moderate to severe pain during the patient's last week of life. The levels of pain were similar for people who died at home, in a long-term care center or in a hospital. But with deaths occurring in hospitals last November or December, family members reported severe to moderate pain significantly more often than at any other time during the year, Tolle said. Tolle said analysis of the patients' medical records and interviews with their care providers will show the true causes for the finding. But Ann Jackson, who heads the Oregon Hospice Association, contends that the DEA scrutiny and the increase in reported pain are related. "I think that it's very likely that there's a connection here," Jackson said. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Assisted suicide bill falters on Capitol Hill (The Associated Press says that with Congress trying to adjourn by the weekend, time may be running out on a bill to block Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Assisted suicide bill falters on Capitol Hill The Associated Press 10/7/98 4:41 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- With Congress trying to adjourn by the weekend, time may be running out on a bill to block Oregon's doctor-assisted suicide law, The Oregonian reported in today's editions. The effort to block the law was led in the Senate by Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla., who acknowledges that time is running out. But he did not say he was ready to give up the fight on the bill. "I'd love to get done this year, but I also recognize the clock is running, and it's hard to get everything done," said Nickles, the Senate's No. 2 Republican. Nickles sponsored a bill that would prevent doctors from prescribing lethal doses of controlled drugs to assist in a suicide. The bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, 11-6. Although the bill would effectively block Oregon's groundbreaking law, Nickles told The Oregonian that wasn't his intention. Instead, he said he wanted to reassert federal jurisdiction over drugs covered by the Controlled Substances Act. "What I'm trying to do is say, these drugs will not be used for assisted suicide," Nickles said. "Assisted suicide is not a legitimate medical purpose, and that's what I'm trying to clarify." In August, a House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., cleared the Judiciary Committee, of which Hyde is chairman. It stalled before a floor vote last month after opponents questioned its unintended effects. The bill, they said, would make doctors reluctant to prescribe sufficient doses to ease the pain of terminally ill patients. That argument had persuaded many lawmakers not to support the Senate version of the bill, but it was expected to win passage if it came up for a floor vote. Nickles still could offer his bill as a last-minute amendment to the omnibus spending bill likely to emerge this week. Some interest groups that support the Nickles and Hyde bills, however, concede that no further action was likely until after the Nov. 3 election. "There's just too many forces conspiring against it at this point," said Richard Doerflinger of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Hyde has been particularly busy with possible impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Meanwhile, two other bills affecting the Northwest are moving ahead. The items, which could be included in a massive, end-of-session spending bill, are a provision requiring congressional approval for removal of Northwest dams and a proposal to revamp guest worker laws covering field hands. Clinton has threatened to veto the dam proposal. The administration also said it would object to the guest-worker plan, sponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore. Smith and Wyden told The Oregonian Tuesday they were still trying to broker a three-way deal with the administration and House Republicans who object to allowing in more workers who could become illegal immigrants. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Measure to block assisted suicide appears sidelined (The Oregonian version) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Measure to block assisted suicide appears sidelined * As Congress hurries to adjourn, bills affecting Northwest dams and guest workers may yet pass Wednesday, October 7 1998 By Jim Barnett and Dave Hogan of The Oregonian staff WASHINGTON -- With Congress rushing to adjourn by this weekend, prospects dimmed Tuesday for a bill that would block Oregon's physician-assisted suicide law. However, other legislation affecting the Northwest moved ahead. Two items that could be included in a massive, end-of-session spending bill are a provision requiring congressional approval for removal of Northwest dams and a proposal to revamp guest-worker laws covering field hands. Both measures irked the Clinton administration, and the dam provision elicited the threat of a veto. But proponents said they hoped for compromise to win President Clinton's signature. "We're making headway," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who co-sponsored the guest-worker measure with Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore. It would expand the number of foreign workers available to farmers and growers at harvest time. The threat to Oregon's assisted-suicide law has been led in the Senate by Assistant Majority Leader Don Nickles, R-Okla., who acknowledged that time was short. But he stopped short of calling an end to the fight this year. "I'd love to get done this year, but I also recognize the clock is running, and it's hard to get everything done," said Nickles, the Senate's No. 2 Republican. Nickles sponsored a bill that would prevent doctors from prescribing lethal doses of controlled drugs to assist in a suicide. The bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last month by an 11-6 vote. Although the bill would effectively block the Oregon law, Nickles said in an interview that was not his goal. Rather, he said he wanted to reassert federal jurisdiction over drugs covered by the Controlled Substances Act. "What I'm trying to do is say, these drugs will not be used for assisted suicide," Nickles said. "Assisted suicide is not a legitimate medical purpose, and that's what I'm trying to clarify." In August, a House version of the bill, sponsored by Rep. Henry Hyde R-Ill., cleared the Judiciary Committee, of which Hyde is chairman. It stalled before a floor vote last month after opponents expressed doubts about its approach. The bill, they said, would make doctors reluctant to prescribe sufficient doses to ease the pain of terminally ill patients. Nickles has another option remaining. He could offer his bill as a last-minute amendment to the omnibus spending bill likely to emerge this week. Although Nickles downplayed the possibility, Wyden plans to keep an eye out. "We're still being vigilant," said David Seldin, a spokesman for Wyden, who opposes the bill. Nevertheless, some interest groups that back the Hyde and Nickles proposal conceded no further action was likely until after the Nov. 3 election. "There's just too many forces conspiring against it at this point," said Richard Doerflinger of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Hyde has been especially busy with possible impeachment proceedings against Clinton, he noted. Bargaining on regional issues The Northwest dam proposal, sponsored by Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., could prove a sticking point in negotiations this week between the administration and Republican leaders. The administration has threatened to veto an omnibus spending bill that contains the Gorton proposal or any of 38 other objectionable "riders" that had been tacked on to several of the annual spending bills stalled in Congress. In addition to the dam rider, the list contains a Senate plan to end funding for the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Without the money, the administration said, species could be endangered and timber sales withheld. Gorton said Tuesday he had revised his dam rider to allay administration concerns that it would interfere with dayto-day operations of dams along the Columbia and Snake rivers. But the veto threat stands for now, administration officials said. In public remarks Monday Clinton said: "If they insist on sending these anti-environmental riders to my desk, again I will veto them." Separately, the administration had said it would object to the Smith-Wyden guest-worker plan, which passed the Senate this summer as an amendment to the annual spending bill for the commerce, justice and state departments. But both Smith and Wyden said Tuesday they were still trying to broker a three-way deal with the administration and House Republicans who object to allowing in more workers who could become illegal immigrants. Amid the last-minute bargaining, the House passed an annual spending bill for the Veteran Affairs Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development that includes $750,000 for the Oregon Garden Project in Silverton. The federal money will be used for purposes such as signs and an irrigation system that will utilize treated wastewater. U.S. Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore. said she expects the bill to be passed by the Senate and signed by President Clinton this month. Today, the Senate is expected to return to consideration of a bill sponsored by Wyden, that would place a temporary freeze on new taxes on Internet transactions while a federal commission studies the issue. A similar bill from Rep. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., was endorsed by Clinton and passed the House in a near-unanimous voice vote earlier this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Voters should OK medical use of marijuana (A staff editorial in The Columbian, in Vancouver, Washington, endorses Initiative 692, the medical marijuana ballot measure.) The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.columbian.com/ In Our View Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1998 Voters should OK medical use of marijuana Marijuana is no different than morphine. If used properly, both can have therapeutic benefits for people with severe health conditions. If used improperly, both can have health-threatening side effects. But if a doctor prescribes morphine, he's a healer. If he provides marijuana, he's a felon. Initiative 692 doesn't legalize drugs or turn drug dealers loose or allow kids to trade joints on the school playground. All it does is treat marijuana like any other medicinal chemical: tightly controlled, but available for patients who truly need it. There is ample research and overwhelming anecdotal evidence that marijuana can, in certain cases, provide relief from pain, nausea and seizures more effectively than any other substance. The latest is a federal study that finds cannabidiol, a component of marijuana, can help the survival rate of stroke victims by blocking the compounds caused by a restricted blood supply to the brain. Likewise, marijuana has proved effective in fending off the nausea caused by chemotherapy in cancer patients; in stimulating the appetites of those stricken by AIDS; and in controlling or reducing the spasticity in those afflicted by multiple sclerosis. This isn't just the opinion of a few stoner doctors. Ten years ago, an administrative law judge for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration concluded: "The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision." Unlike last year's medicinal marijuana initiative, which The Columbian opposed, I-692 is narrowly drawn and provides ample safeguards. Only qualifying patients, as defined by the state Medical Quality Assurance Board, would be eligible to use marijuana. Only certified physicians, conducting themselves under the strict licensing and oversight rules of the state, would be allowed to prescribe marijuana. Our society has long outgrown the goofy notion of marijuana as "devil weed." It's a drug, with capacity to help or hurt, and should be treated as such. -- Michael Zuzel, for the editorial board
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Product May Aid In Traumas (The Boston Globe says a study being released today at the American Association of Neurological Surgeons conference in Seattle shows a synthetic cannabinoid called dexanabinol - already in use in Israel - could offer hope to hundreds of thousands of victims of severe head trauma, reducing the death rate and letting 50 percent more patients resume a normal life. The findings are drawing substantial interest, in part because head injuries are the leading cause of death among young people in the United States, and there are few if any treatments. If early results are substantiated, the new drug would be the most medically useful treatment derived from the cannabis plant.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 10:39:53 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MA: Marijuana Product May Aid In Traumas Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Pubdate: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 Author: Larry Tye, Globe Staff MARIJUANA PRODUCT MAY AID IN TRAUMAS Test fuels hope for head injury victims A drug modeled after a chemical found in marijuana could offer hope to hundreds of thousands of victims of severe head trauma, reducing the death rate and letting more people resume a normal life, according to a study being released today at an international conference in Seattle. The findings are drawing substantial interest, in part because head injuries are the leading cause of death among young people in the United States, and there are few if any treatments. And if these early results are substantiated, the new drug, called dexanabinol, would be the most medically useful treatment derived from the cannabis plant. ''It's hugely exciting,'' said Dr. Brian Andrews, who chairs the neurotrauma program of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, which is meeting in Seattle and will hear today a presentation on the new drug. Dexanabinol, he added, appears to be just the sort of treatment ''that we have been looking for for years and years.'' Dr. William Beaver, professor emeritus of pharmacology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, is even more upbeat: ''This kind of treatment, if it works, would have tremendous impact on the treatment of neural injury and it could, of course, also be of value in something like strokes.'' The new drug also would be, ''beyond any doubt,'' the most medically significant use ever made of marijuana, said Beaver, who chaired a panel assembled last year by the National Institutes of Health to review possible medical uses of marijuana. Scientists have been searching for 40 years for medicinal uses of the more than 400 chemicals in the marijuana plant, which is used to treat nausea and severe weight loss. Dexanabinol is one in a series of compounds made in the laboratory and modeled after chemicals found in marijuana. Dexanabinol's founder, Professor Raphael Mechoulam of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, sought to capture the neuroactive properties of the marijuana chemical, but not the psychoactive ones that induce a ''high.'' Mechoulam licensed dexanabinol to Pharmos Corp., an Israeli-based pharmaceutical firm, which has run two stages of clinic trials. The first showed the drug was safe. The second, results of which are being released today, showed it could be remarkably effective. The mortality rate among the 30 head trauma patients who took the drug was 10 percent, compared to 13.5 percent with 37 patients getting a placebo. The incidence of low blood pressure, which can worsen a patient's condition, also was significantly reduced in the treated group (13 percent) versus placebos (38 percent). And, even more encouraging, the drug accelerated recovery and let 50 percent more patients resume a normal life six months after their injury. How does dexanabinol work? The original trauma not only kills brain cells that were directly hit, but it also generates the release of chemicals that can kill or dangerously inflame surrounding cells. Dexanabinol, which is given within six hours of the injury, protects the brain in three different ways, explains Anat Biegon, Pharmos' vice president for research and development. The drug mops up some of the dangerous chemicals, forms a protective barrier around at-risk brain cells, and limits intracranial inflammation. Pharmos, which has just 45 employees, is looking for a bigger partner to help it launch a last phase of clinical trials involving as many as 900 patients worldwide. Those tests, which could begin next year, would take about two years, predicted Pharmos chairman Haim Aviv. ''There are about 370,000 eligible patients with head trauma in the US, worldwide there are 700,000 to 800,000, and currently there is not a single drug there for them,'' Aviv added. ''We estimate there are 10,000 lives that could be saved by this drug ... and it could mean 37,000 more patients who could go back to a normal life.'' Dr. Christopher Ogilvy, director of cerebrovascular surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, cautioned that ''a lot of chemical compounds used to treat head injury initially looked encouraging, but with rigorous testing they proved to be only marginally beneficial.'' *** Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 17:19:44 -0300 (ADT) Sender: email@example.com From: Chris Donald (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Boston Globe: Marijuana Product "Tremendous Impact" For Trauma Cases (fwd) This product derived from the cannabis plant, dexanabinol, has been used in Israel to treat stroke and head injury cases for years, and was recently found by the US military to be the best possible defense against nerve gas. NATO troups are "likely" to be issued this marijuana product in the near future.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pharmos Announces Successful Phase II Head Trauma Study; Marijuana Analog Benefits Brain Injured Patients (A Pharmos Corporation press release on PRNewswire says highlights of the trial use of dexanabinol, manufactured by Pharmos, resulted in a 26 percent reduction in mortality. No drug is currently approved to treat severe head trauma.) From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 08:48:43 -0700 (PDT) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFCA: Fwd: ...dexanabinol is difficult to overstate, since there is no drug currently available for the treatment of... Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ She Who Remembers http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7525 http://www.remembers.com From: "Todd McCormick" (email@example.com) To: "Todd P McCormick" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: ...dexanabinol is difficult to overstate, since there is no drug currently available for the treatment of... Date: Fri, 9 Oct 1998 01:41:42 -0700 Wednesday October 7, 5:00 am Eastern Time Company Press Release SOURCE: Pharmos Corporation Pharmos Announces Successful Phase II Head Trauma Study; Marijuana Analog Benefits Brain Injured Patients SEATTLE, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmos Corporation (Nasdaq: PARS - news) will present the results of a successful Phase II clinical study with dexanabinol, a non-psychotropic synthetic analog of marijuana, in the treatment of severe head trauma patients. Highlights of the study included a significant reduction in intracranial pressure, a 26% reduction in mortality, and a higher percentage of patients able to resume a normal life (``Good Neurological Outcome'') among the treated group. No drug is currently approved to treat severe head trauma, the leading cause of death among children and young adults in the U.S. ``These study results are promising and open the door to a Phase III study in the U.S. and Europe next year,'' said Dr. Haim Aviv, Pharmos Chairman and CEO. ``The demand for a product like dexanabinol is difficult to overstate, since there is no drug currently available for the treatment of head trauma. In the U.S. alone, about 370,000 cases of severe head trauma are hospitalized every year, with the global incidence more than twice that amount,'' said Dr. Nachshon Knoller, the study's principal investigator and a neurosurgeon at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel. Dexanabinol Shown to be Safe and Well-Tolerated Clinical endpoints established an excellent safety profile of the drug in the treated patients. There were no unexpected adverse experiences reported for either the drug treated or placebo group. Intracranial pressure above a threshold of 25 mmHg, an important risk factor and a predictor of poor neurological outcome, was significantly reduced in the drug-treated patients through the third day of treatment, without concomitant reduction in systolic blood pressure. The incidence of low blood pressure, which may worsen the patient's condition, was also significantly better in the treated group at 13%, compared to 38% in the placebo group. The mortality rate of 10% (3/30) in the dexanabinol group compared favorably with a 13.5% rate in the placebo group (5/37). The investigators concluded that dexanabinol was shown to be safe and well-tolerated in severe head trauma patients. Neurological Outcome Measures Established a Trend of Efficacy Neurological outcomes in the study, assessed periodically up to 6 months after injury, established a trend of efficacy. The percentage of patients achieving Good Neurological Outcome, the highest score on the five level Glasgow Outcome Scale used to assess the recovery of head trauma patients, was higher in the drug-treated group at each measurement. Among the most severely injured patients in the study, a better outcome was consistently observed among the treated group than among the non-treated group. However, no difference was observed at six months after treatment between the treated and non-treated groups in the top two levels of the Glasgow Outcome Scale, combining patients who resumed normal life with those requiring some assistance in daily life. Study Subjects Characteristic of Severe Head Trauma Patient The multi-center, double-blind, placebo controlled, randomized study was carried out in all six trauma centers in Israel. Patients received an intravenous injection of either dexanabinol or placebo within 6 hours of the injury. Demographically, all 67 patients were fairly representative of the characteristics describing the severe head trauma patient, which are often young men injured in motor vehicle accidents. The drug (30 patients) and placebo (37 patients) groups were found essentially to be balanced for all known important baseline parameters including age, severity of coma, and brain computerized tomograph (CT) classification. ``I am very excited that dexanabinol was beneficial to this initial group of patients and I look forward to confirming these findings in a Phase III trial,'' said Dr. Anat Biegon, Pharmos Vice President of Research & Development. Dexanabinol is one compound in a family of synthetic analogs of marijuana invented by Prof. Raphael Mechoulam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and licensed to Pharmos for commercial development. The market for dexanabinol in the treatment of severe head trauma may reach $500 million annually and could exceed $1 billion if other neurological conditions such as stroke are treated with the drug. Dr. Knoller will present the Phase II trial results later today at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons' Conference in Seattle. Pharmos Corporation is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the redesign, development and commercialization of proprietary products that enhance the efficacy of existing compounds and reduce their side effects. The Company focuses primarily on drugs for post-surgery and allergy related eye-care, neuroprotective agents for the treatment of central nervous system disorders, newly designed molecules for the treatment of cancer and unique drug delivery products. In March 1998, the Company, together with its marketing partner Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals Inc., received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to manufacture and market two ophthalmic products, Lotemax(R) and Alrex(R). Both products were launched in June 1998. This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risk and uncertainties. The development of the company's products may differ materially from the company's expectations. Among the factors that could result in a materially different outcome are the inherent uncertainties accompanying new product development, action of regulatory authorities and the results of further trials. SOURCE: Pharmos Corporation
------------------------------------------------------------------- Peter McWilliams Sues Dan Lungren (The AIDS and cancer patient, medical marijuana activist and best-selling author says he has filed a lawsuit today, requesting that a Superior Court order California Attorney General Lungren to uphold his oath of office and fulfill his duties under the California Constitution concerning Proposition 215 by defending McWilliams against the federal government.)From: "Peter McWilliams" (email@example.com) To: "Peter McWilliams" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Peter McWilliams Sues Dan Lungren Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 19:22:43 -0700 Hello. Please help get this to as much media as possible. Thank you. Peter *** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 7, 1998 AIDS Patient and Federal Medical Marijuana Defendant Peter McWilliams Sues Attorney General Lungren for His Failure to Enforce Proposition 215 McWilliams Calls for Lungren's Impeachment PRESS CONFERENCE: 10:00 AM FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 1998, HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT HOTEL, ACADEMY ROOM Los Angeles. AIDS patient and recent cancer survivor Peter McWilliams filed a lawsuit today, requesting that the Superior Court order California Attorney General Lungren to uphold his Oath of Office and fulfill his duties under the California Constitution concerning Proposition 215. The suit asks for no monetary damages. It asks the judge to instruct Attorney General Lungren to fulfill his Oath of Office to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California." McWilliams' attorney, Thomas Ballanco, commented: "The lawsuit is simply asking Attorney General Lungren to do his sworn duty, nothing more." The suit charges AG Lungren with four breaches of the California Constitution: 1. The California Constitution, Article III Section 3.5 (c) states: "An administrative agency...has no power. . . (c) To declare a statute unenforceable, or to refuse to enforce a statute on the basis that federal law or federal regulations prohibit the enforcement of such statute unless an appellate court has made a determination that the enforcement of such statute is prohibited by federal law or federal regulations." AG Lungren likes to brush aside Proposition 215 by saying, "Federal law supercedes state law." According to the California Constitution, however, the Attorney General must fight such federal encroachment (a "domestic" "enemy") until "an appellate court has made a determination." No "appellate court" has made such a "determination" as to the federal government's power to interfere with Proposition 215, a law specifically designed to protect the sick of California from governmental interference in medical treatment. Indeed, AG Lungren urged federal authorities to override Proposition 215 and arrest medical marijuana users. McWilliams is but one of them. 2. The California Constitution, Article III Section 3 states: "The powers of state government are legislative, executive, and judicial. Persons charged with the exercise of one power may not exercise either of the others except as permitted by this Constitution." The suit argues that AG Lungren overstepped his executive-branch duties and acted both judicially and legislatively by giving his own extremely narrow and limited interpretation of Proposition 215 the full force of law. 3. The California Constitution, Article V Section 13 states: "It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the State are...adequately enforced." The lawsuit argues that a quick review of the basic tenants of Proposition 215 illustrates how inadequately AG Lungren has enforced the law. To quote from Proposition 215, now the California Health and Safety Code Section 11362.5, the 1996 California Compassionate Use Act: (A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes.... (B) To ensure that patients and their primary caregivers who obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes upon the recommendation of a physician are not subject to criminal prosecution or sanction. (C) To encourage the federal and state governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need of marijuana. The lawsuit maintains this law is clearly not being "enforced" in California, although it has been almost two years since 56.4 percent of California voters made Proposition 215 California law. (450,000 more Californians voted for Proposition 215 than voted for Lungren as Attorney General.) 4. The California Constitution, Article V Section 13, states: "It shall be the duty of the Attorney General to see that the laws of the State are uniformly...enforced." The lawsuit claims that one need only compare AG Lungren's vigorous defense of affirmative-action-ending Proposition 209, which AG Lungren personally supported, with his open suppression of Proposition 215-both Propositions voted into law in the same election-to illustrate that AG Lungren has not "enforced" Proposition 215 "uniformly." McWilliams, 49, a writer and publisher for 31 years, whose books have appeared five times on the New York Times Bestseller List, was diagnosed with AIDS and cancer in March 1996. He successfully used medical marijuana under his doctor's supervision to treat the side-effects of prescription medications until July 23, 1998, when he was arrested by the DEA on federal medical marijuana charges. Since that date, he has been denied medical marijuana by the federal government and undergoes drug testing. All of McWilliams' actions-cultivating, possessing, and using medical marijuana-fall well within the protection of Proposition 215. "If Attorney General Lungren had stood up to the federal government rather than encouraging it to arrest the sick of California," said McWilliams, "my life would not be in danger today." The lawsuit maintains AG Lungren has placed McWilliams' life is at risk in two ways. First, McWilliams faces a mandatory 10-year minimum sentence in federal prison-a virtual death sentence to someone with AIDS. Second, without medical marijuana McWilliams suffers extreme nausea, a side effect of the prescription "combination therapy" used to treat his AIDS. "If I can't keep down the medications that are keeping me alive, I will die. I am a California citizen. I deserve better than this from California's Attorney General." The lawsuit also compares AG Lungren's actions with two other West Coast Attorneys General, Colorado's Attorney General Gale Norton and Oregon's Attorney General Hardy Myers. Attorney General Norton made a vigorous defense of the Colorado State referendum measure, Amendment 2, taking the battle all the way to U.S. Supreme Court. Amendment 2 limited gay rights. Attorney General Norton's personal belief and political stance, however, is pro-gay rights. Nevertheless, she did her duty as Attorney General and fought to fulfill the will of the people of Colorado. Oregon's Attorney General Myers has boldly defended his state's assisted suicide referendum, stating, "In the question of who has the authority to control the practice of medicine-the federal government or the states-Oregon voters have made the decision that assisted suicide is a legitimate medical purpose." AG Myers even stood up to the DEA. "Our view is that this agency [the DEA] does not have the authority to interpret medical purpose in a way that interferes with Oregon's assisted-suicide law." Attorney General Reno agreed, and prohibited the DEA from interfering with the doctor-patient relationship in Oregon. McWilliams sent a letter to AG Lungren on August 31, 1998, asking AG Lungren for protection from federal intervention into McWilliams' medical treatment, protection McWilliams thought Proposition 215 provided him. The AG's office refused the request. In addition to the lawsuit, McWilliams will be contacting the State Legislature, calling for the impeachment of AG Lungren based on the allegations in the lawsuit. "Attorney General Lungren has lately been praising his 'character,' presumably because he claims to have never cheated on his wife," said McWilliams. "But doesn't fulfilling your Oath of Office have something to do with character, too?" A web site has been established (www.lungrendoyourduty.com), containing documents relevant to the case. This web site is for both press and public. CONTACT: Ed Hashia 213-650-9571 x125
------------------------------------------------------------------- SLO Hemp Rally (California NORML invites you to attend the 11th annual hemp festival on Sunday, Oct. 18, on the courthouse lawn in the city of San Luis Obispo.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 17:16:18 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: SLO HEMP RALLY Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Looking for an excuse to visit the central coast during the campaign season? Here it is: 11th Annual HEMP RALLY Sun, Oct 18, 1998 all day live music, speakers on the Courthouse lawn in SLO city (ie: City of San Luis Obispo) 1000 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo from 101, take the Osos Exit east (southeast) ie: inland from the freeway to Monterey St Courthouse is just one block north of Osos We will be there. Can you come? Let us know and we will try to get some places for you to sleep. Steadfast for Liberty, gail lightfoot Richard E. Venable Gary L. Kirkland Edward E. Moss LPCA of SLO Cty Pass this on to others. Thanx! *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Spitfire Tour at UC Berkeley (Get your tickets now! Medical marijuana patient/activist/defendant Todd McCormick and hemp activist Woody Harrelson are scheduled to speak on Sunday, Oct. 18, together with Exene Cervanka of the band, X, veejay Kennedy of MTV, and Michael Frante.)From: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com Subject: Fwd: Re: Fwd: SLO Cty HEMP RALLY Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 14:53:49 PDT Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 13:36:42 -0700 To: "ralph sherrow" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: tuany vo (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Fwd: SLO Cty HEMP RALLY Dear Ralph, Can you please send out an e-mail about SPITFIRE at UC Berkeley. date: Sunday, October 18 time: 5 pm location: UC Berkeley Zellerbach Hall price: $12 UCB students; $20 community Appearances by: Todd McCormick -- medicinal marijuana Woody Harrelson Exene Cervanka Kennedy Michael Frante note - although the seats cost the same, the sooner you buy your ticket, the better the seat you receive. Yes I can and I did. Ralph Apparently you changed the price from $24.00 to $20. That's good. Ralph
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sacramento - Medical Pot Curb Backed (The Sacramento Bee says the Sacramento, California, city council's law and legislation committee Tuesday tentatively supported a ban on smoking pot within 100 feet of another person or public access building, and within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other open or recreational space.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 19:02:35 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Sacramento: Medical Pot Curb Backed Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Author: Tony Bizjak Section: Local News SACRAMENTO: MEDICAL POT CURB BACKED A City Council committee agreed Tuesday to recommend to the full council that smoking of medicinal marijuana in public be severely restricted, but the panel forwarded the matter with more questions than answers. Under Proposition 215, passed by voters in 1996, it is legal to use marijuana as medicine with a doctor's approval. The council's law and legislation committee members tentatively supported a ban on smoking pot within 100 feet of another person or public access building, and within 1,000 feet of a school, park or other open or recreational space. Committee members, however, asked for more information for the council about the effects of secondhand marijuana smoke at shorter distances.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Saturday Night With The Camo Buddies (The Anderson Valley Advertiser, in Boonville, California, describes a Mendocino County controversy over a judge ordering the release of a prisoner on her own recognizance. What's interesting is the account of how the Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team busted and terrorized Helen Ochoa, an ailing 68-year-old Leggett woman.) Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 18:25:59 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Saturday Night With The Camo Buddies Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 http://www.civilliberties.org Pubdate: 07 October 1998 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (Boonville, Mendocino County, CA) Copyright: (c) 1998 Anderson Valley Advertiser Contact: email@example.com FAX: (707) 895-3355 Author: Bruce Anderson, Editor, Anderson Valley Advertiser SATURDAY NIGHT WITH THE CAMO BUDDIES Helen Ochoa is a 68-year-old Leggett woman in failing health. For many years, she and her husband, Bill, devoted many thousands of volunteer hours to the safety and welfare of people living and traveling the northern reaches of Mendocino County. For most of three decades, the Ochoas' Leggett home served as emergency central for Mendocino County's deepest outback. Ambulances and fire trucks got their directions from the Ochoas' command center. Both Helen and her husband would often rouse themselves in the middle of the night to aid a stranded motorist or transport an injured neighbor to the hospital. Name the go-to people in your community and substitute the name Ochoa and you will understand the Ochoas' standing in the Leggett-Laytonville area. When Bill Ochoa died a few years ago, a neighbor who doesn't seem to have anything better to do than monitor the property of the widowed senior citizen next door, sicced the county's Department of Environmental Health on Mrs. Ochoa because, the neighbor alleged, the old lady's septic tank wasn't working properly. Environmental Health, conveniently among the missing when it comes to the toxic behavior of the county's largest employers, wasted no time visiting the widow's modest property on the banks of the Eel, only minutes from Highway 101. Environmental Health also managed to visit Mrs. Ochoa's theoretically confidential file sequestered at the Department of Mental Health, a second highly politicized agency whose craven, incompetent staff has managed to kill three of its "clients" in as many years as one of its psychiatrists goes unprosecuted for beating his wife. As you see, we are neck deep in the usual Mendo morass of official misconduct, wholesale snitching, tax-funded bullying, and random confirmations that the authorities themselves are, likely as not, completely ape shit. Mrs. Ochoa's worldly goods consist of her small piece of Eel River property and her meager monthly Social Security stipend. But she's got billions of friends and support. Helen Ochoa's home parcel is small but, it seems, highly coveted, which may account for the ongoing harassment she faces in what might gave been her golden years. Beset by the relentless neighbor and the neighbor's allies in what passes for legitimate authority in Mendocino County, Mrs. Ochoa scraped up enough money to hire an attorney to defend herself against the official onslaught and her neighbor's hyper-vigilance. Her septic system works perfectly; there is no evidence it has ever malfunctioned. That case is at the deposition stage and just may be related to what happened two Saturday nights ago. About ten o'clock, Saturday night the 26th of September, comes the cop-style jackhammer knock on the Ochoa door, just west of the Leggett School. Mrs. Ochoa and her 19-year-old granddaughter, Leeann St. Clair, are confronted by Bruce Smith and elements of the Mendocino Marijuana Eradication Team. The Camo Buddies were at the door! It was Old Ladies Night in Leggett! Deputy Smith and his fellow tax-funded commando fantasists were picking up some serious OT picking off senior citizens to pad their annual devil weed stats. The Great Crusade against cannabis being no respecter of age, what followed, I understand from outraged neighbors, was an hour or so of low-intensity bullying by the forces of law and order. But Helen Ochoa is not easily intimidated at remarks from publicly-funded cartoon cops like "Jail is a hard place for people your age," and "If you don't admit the marijuana garden is yours we'll add on the guns and your bail will be a lot higher." The guns were old hunting rifles belonging to the late Bill Ochoa. They were locked up in a gun cabinet. Smith and his overtime banditos are alleged to have busted open the gun cabinet and made its antique contents sound like a Mexican Mafia's pot field arsenal of AK-47s. Helen Ochoa didn't budge. Neither did Miss St. Clair who just happened to be visiting her gran's house when the camo clowns arrived. The young woman and the senior citizen were cuffed, stuffed and sped south to the County Jail in Ukiah where they spent most of the next three days. Judge Joe Orr used to live with the Ochoas. Orr is the sitting justice court judge for the large but sparsely settled area from Laytonville north to the county line and east to where the Eel meanders north to Alder Point, and marijuana grows in great visible fields like Kansas corn. Alerted that his old friend Helen Ochoa had been hauled off to the County Jail on a Saturday night, Orr called the jail and asked that Mrs. Ochoa be released on her own recognizance. Doing the right thing isn't necessarily doing the legal thing, although Orr quickly backed off when a lot of indignant harumphing about judicial favoritism began in the local media, and even though presiding judge of the county's courts, Eric Labowitz, said Monday that a judge had every legal right to call the jail to suggest a person held there be released on his or her own recognizance. But Mrs. Ochoa stayed in jail on the original warrant auto-signed by Cindee Mayfield, Lousiana-Pacific's and Jared Carter's contribution to California jurisprudence, and confirmed by Judge Ron "Hum Baby" Combest of Covelo, neither of whom had either the sense or the ordinary humanity to see an elderly woman of years of upstanding citizenship in the dock on a comprehensively phony beef. Bail was kept at $40,000 for both Mrs. Ochoa and Miss St. Clair. The late Bill Ochoa's hunting rifles became an additional felony charge, you see, because the Overtime Banditos claim the North County senior citizen was not only growing pot, she had guns on the premises, adding up to felony cultivation plus felonious possession of firearms at a place where devil weed is believed to be cultivated. From Saturday night until late Monday the Ma Barker of Leggett and her menacing granddaughter were off the streets of Mendocino County, and solid citizens from Rockport to Yorkville rested easier in their beds. An indignant editorial in the Ukiah Daily Journal marveled at how local judges and the judges' protection agency called the State Commission on Judicial Performance stonewalled the Journal when staffers tried to find someone in authority to talk to about Orr's call to the County Jail on behalf of his friend, Helen Ochoa. Where's the surprise? Federal, state, and certainly Mendocino County fudges have been beyond all but electoral accountability for years, and electorally they are also all but a demagogic line or two beyond even that slim tether. Just in the last year we've seen DA Susan Massini dispatch Judge Henry Nelson to expel Joel Steed, last year's Grand Jury foreman, from the Grand Jury room of the County Courthouse. A judge will run a political errand expelling a former Grand Juror from his work site for the DA because she's unhappy with the Grand Jury's assessment of severe dysfunction in her office? Yes, he ran it and they both got away with it. On the heels of that one, presiding judge Eric Labowitz issues a barely coherent statement that future county grand juries should include the self-serving rebuttals of the public agencies the grand jury criticizes. Why Labowitz's sudden public appearance on the teensy issue of grand jury report format? Think collegiality; several powerful county department heads (by the standards of Mendo-Lilliput, anyway) didn't like the fact that for the first time since the berserk reverend from Redwood Valley, Jim Jones, Mendocino County saw Mr. Steed and company render a competently critical report on several public bureaucracies--including the DA's ever-bubbling caldron. Of course, Labowitz isn't going to censure or otherwise add to the discomfort of Joe Orr on the Ochoa matter, After all Labowitz, and much of the rest of the local judicial posse, just got their lawyer-colleagues in the state legislature to elevate their outback, once-a-week justice court sinecures to Superior Court status, complete with a lucrative raise. The reason? Why, to ensure "the quality of justice" of course. These guys (and their token gal Mayfield) have a terrific deal going here -- life jobs at big pay with no supervision. (Conrad Cox was the only judge to resist the in-house promotion of his junior colleagues.) None of them are about to go out and blab to the papers about one of their co-beneficiaries, even though they are definitely not fond of one another. Adding to this only-in-Mendoland farce, is the fact that most of the County's judges were themselves committed pot smokers during that period of the late sixties and early seventies when the secure middle-class dropped out for a while to take dope and engage in serial hepatitis sex. When the counterculture fad ended in a sort of mass national amphetamine psychosis, the people who now occupy all levels of Mendocino County's public powers apparantly dropped back in as blithely as they'd dropped out. In other words, we've got pot smokers sending other pot smokers to jail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Rules Of The Justice Game (An inspired but unknown author in The Anderson Valley Advertiser succinctly explains what everyone knows about the criminal injustice system as it has evolved through decades of the uncivil war on some drug users.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 12:41:10 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: The Rules Of The Justice Game Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 www.civilliberties.org Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Pubdate: 7 Oct 1998 FAX: (707) 895-3355 Author: Unknown THE RULES OF THE JUSTICE GAME Rule 1: Almost all criminal defendants are, in fact, guilty. Rule 2: All criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, and judges understand and believe Rule 1. Rule 3: It is easier to convict guilty defendants by violating the Constitution than by complying with it, and in some cases it is impossible to convict guilty defendants without violating the Constitution. Rule 4: Almost all police lie about whether they violated the Constitution in order to convict guilty defendants. Rule 5: All prosecutors, judges, and defense attorneys are aware of Rule 4. Rule 6: Many prosecutors implicitly encourage police to lie about whether they violated the Constitution in order to convict the guilty defendent. Rule 7: All judges are aware of Rule 6. Rule 8: Most trial judges pretend to believe police officers who they know are lying. Rule 9: All appellate judges are aware of Rule 8, yet many pretend to believe trial judges who pretend to believe the lying police officers. Rule 10: Most judges disbelieve defendants about whether their constitutional rights have been violated, even if they are telling the truth. Rule 11: Most judges and prosecutors would not knowingly convict a defendant whom they believe to be innocent of the crime charged (or closely related crime). Rule 12: Rule 11 does not apply to members of organized crime, drug dealers, career criminals, and potential informants. Rule 13: Nobody really wants justice.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Choctaw Women File Suit After Mistaken Drug Raid On Their Home (The Oklahoma Gazette says two traumatized women whose home was raided during "Operation Red Rain," spearheaded by the state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, have filed a lawsuit. The raid was prompted when a prohibition agent in a helicopter spying on their back yard thought he saw marijuana growing. It turned out to be be a plant called vitex, which one of the victims bought nearly a decade ago from the state Forestry Commission.) Date: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 07:05:34 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OK: Choctaw Women File Suit After Mistaken Drug Raid On Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson (email@example.com) Source: Oklahoma Gazette (OK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 7 Oct 98 Author: Phil Bacharach CHOCTAW WOMEN FILE SUIT AFTER MISTAKEN DRUG RAID ON THEIR HOME Kathleen Huffman and Teresa Sweeden came home from work one night in late July to discover that someone else had been in their house in rural Choctaw. "The drawers had all been opened," Huffman said. "Doors that normally would have been shut were open. All the hall closets were still open." They inspected the area outside and noticed that part of a wire fence around the back yard was bent, as if someone had climbed over it. The women thought their house had been burglarized, but were confused because nothing was missing. "We were scratching our heads," Huffman said. "We were, like, 'Obviously, somebody's been here, but nothing's stolen.' We didn't understand what happened." A neighbor then told the women about a bizarre scene earlier that day. A group of law enforcement agents and police officers, the neighbor told them, had descended on the house shortly after 10 a.m. Huffman couldn't believe what she was hearing. She phoned the sheriff's office, but was told that no outstanding warrant had been issued for a search of the house. As it turned out, their house had been targeted as part of a marijuana eradication program, "Operation Red Rain,," spearheaded by the state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. OBNDD spokesman Mark Woodward confirmed that a drug agent in a helicopter July 30 mistakenly identified plants in the women's yard as pot. "This was just one of several targets they investigated that morning,"he said. "In this instance, it would appear they simply made a mistake. We have rarely ever made aerial mistakes when it comes to identifying marijuana. This is a highly unusual case." But that hardly placates Huffman and Sweeden. They have filed a claim against the agencies involved in the sweep -- OBNDD, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, the Norman Police Department and state Department of Public Safety. The women's attorney declined to reveal the monetary figure they are seeking in compensatory and punitive damages. What the OBNDD agent initially thought was marijuana proved to be a plant called Vitex, which Huffman had bought nearly a decade ago from the state Forestry Commission. OBNDD general counsel Scott Rowland said law enforcement agents entered the Choctaw house, but he said they departed as soon as they realized the plants were legal. Moreover, he said agents had "probable cause" to go inside. Rowland said the officers believed people were home because two cars were parked in the driveway, the front door was ajar and a television and fan were on inside. "When no one came to the door, these officers got concerned," Rowland said. "There have been situations in the past where our officers have been shot at through the windows of a house. There was every reason to think somebody was home. There was every reason to think the people at home were tipped." Rowland said two officers not with the OBNDD swept through the house in search of occupants, but did not look through any cabinets or drawers. Around that time, agents outside determined there was no marijuana on the property. "I think we did everything right," Rowland said. "Sometimes when we do things right, it has negative consequences for people, and I regret that." In cases in which there is no search warrant to leave, he said, agents typically leave a business card with a phone number to call. "It would have been better in this case if we had left a business card or something," said Rowland. "I think there wouldn't have been the hard feelings involved." Huffman said the experience has left her paranoid and fearful, currently is on medication to calm her verves. Their home now is protected by a burglar alarm system. "This has been terrifying," Huffman said. "I don't know what these people did. I don't know why they did it. I don't know who they are. We're private people. I'm going to be forever changed, whatever the outcome is. Nothing like this has even happened in my life." The women's attorney, Julie Kelley, said OBNDD has refused to offer monetary compensation or even issue a formal apology for the mistake. Rowland disputed that contention, but he declined to be more specific. The incident has led to an internal OBNDD probe, according to Woodward. "We're not in any way going to brush this under the rug," he said. "We're going to see what happened and if something needs to be changed, as far as how we handle things." Woodward said that "Operation Red Rain," slated to continue until winter, has resulted in the destruction of about 52,000 cultivated marijuana plants, which have a combined street value of about $78 million.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two Accused In City Hall Drug Ring (The Associated Press says the FBI taped three telephone conversations that led to the arrest of the chief computer programmer and a payroll clerk for the city of Gary, Indiana, who ran a $1,000-a-day cocaine business.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:44:45 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IN: WIRE: Two Accused In City Hall Drug Ring Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GDaurer@aol.com Pubdate: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 Source: (AP) TWO ACCUSED IN CITY HALL DRUG RING GARY, Ind. (AP) -- The city's chief computer programmer and its payroll clerk ran a $1,000-a-day cocaine business, even taking calls in City Hall, authorities alleged. FBI agents arrested Arthur L. Harris, 46, and Karen Laverne Shivers, 41, at their apartment Monday and said they seized five ounces of cocaine, six ounces of crack cocaine and $6,000. Federal agents said they taped three telephone conversations in which Harris, speaking from a phone in City Hall, arranged to sell crack. Harris, the computer programmer, was charged with distributing and possessing cocaine, and maintaining a crack house. Shivers, the payroll clerk, was accused of maintaining a crack house. Both were suspended from their jobs, and hearings were planned to determine if they would be fired. ``This is tragic ... to have a couple of bad apples here. It just really makes it tough on the city,'' Mayor Scott King said. Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
------------------------------------------------------------------- 400 Applicants Caught Attempting to Cheat Drug Test, SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index Reveals (A press release from SmithKline Beecham on PRNewswire provides some comprehensive statistics on the results of urine tests in the United States workforce from 1988 through the first six months of 1998. Surprise - not a single false positive is recorded, nor anyone using alcohol. Workplace drug testing procedures now include the option of an analysis for the use of adulterants as well as "substances of abuse." If surveys that suggest illegal drug use is increasing are correct, such users must be getting smarter - among the more than 2.7 million tests performed in the first six months of 1998, the overall positivity rate was 4.9 percent, compared to 5 percent for all of 1997.) From: GDaurer@aol.com Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 10:37:55 EDT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Marijuana Accounts for 60% of All Positives Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com 400 Applicants Caught Attempting to Cheat Drug Test, SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index (C) Reveals Overall Positivity Continues to Decline: Marijuana Accounts for 60% of All Positives COLLEGEVILLE, Pa., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- In the first 10 weeks of screening for adulterants in workplace drug testing samples, approximately 400 job applicants were reported as positive for the use of nitrites, as reported by the SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C). Nitrites are used as a masking agent to prevent the detection of drug use. "We detected an average of eight cases of nitrite use per work day," said John B. Okkerse, Jr., Ph. D., President, SBCL. "In reviewing the data from the first group of employers requesting adulterant testing, we find there is a definite pool of job applicants who are still using drugs and attempting to defeat the testing process." Workplace drug testing procedures now include the option of an analysis for the use of adulterants as well as substances of abuse. From the more than 2.7 million tests performed in the first six months of 1998, the overall positivity rate was 4.9%, as compared to 5% for all of 1997. Among confirmed positive samples, marijuana was detected most frequently at 60%. Cocaine was detected in less than 17% of all positive test results, and opiates (including heroin) were found in less than 10% of all positives. Those who are tested fall into one of two categories; workers in safety-sensitive positions and all others (referred to as the "general workforce"). Among those samples from workers in safety-sensitive positions, 3.4% of all tests were positive for drugs, as compared to 2.8% for tests done on a random basis. In the general workforce, 5.1% of all tests were positive for drugs, as compared to 7.6% for tests done on a random basis. For those samples submitted from the general workforce for testing on a "for cause" basis (at the request of a supervisor), more than 25% were positive for drugs. Maps of the U.S. depicting overall drug test positive rates and positive rates by specific drug have been created to provide more localized workplace drug test data. The maps will be available at the SmithKline Beecham web site today. Some of the regional differences in the detection of specific drugs among U.S. workers show above average detection rates of amphetamines and opiates in western and northwestern states, while southeastern and southwestern regions were above average for the detection of cocaine. The SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C) is released every six months as a service for government, media and industry. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories is part of SmithKline Beecham Healthcare Services -- a unit of SmithKline Beecham. SmithKline Beecham -- one of the world's leading healthcare companies -- discovers, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, vaccines, over-the-counter medicines and health-related consumer products, and provides healthcare services including clinical laboratory testing, disease management and pharmaceutical benefit management. Color graphics of the SmithKline Beecham Drug Testing Index(C), including regional maps, which show positivity rates by type of drug, will be available online today at http://www.sb.com/news/dti.html. For company information, visit SmithKline Beecham on the World Wide Web at http://www.sb.com. Annual Positivity Rates Year Drug positive Rate 1988 13.6% 1989 12.7% 1990 11.0% 1991 8.8% 1992 8.8% 1993 8.4% 1994 7.5% 1995 6.7% 1996 5.8% 1997 5.0% Six months 1998 4.9% Prevalence Rates Testing Category First six 1997 1996 1995 months 1998 Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce 3.4% 3.5% 3.6% 3.4% General Workforce 5.1% 5.2% 6.4% 7.5% Combined U.S. Workforce 4.9% 5.0% 5.8% 6.7% Positive Drug Test Results By Testing Category (For Federally Mandated, Safety Sensitive Workforce) (More than 320,000 tests from January to June 1998) Testing Reason 1997 January-June 1998 For Cause 14.4% 15.5% Periodic 1.9% 1.3% Post-Accident 4.3% 4.3% Pre-Employment 3.8% 3.8% Random 2.9% 2.8% Returned to Duty 5.9% 4.3% Positive Drug Test Results By Testing Category (For General Workforce) (More than 2.7 million tests from January to June, 1998) Testing Reason 1997 January-June 1998 For Cause 26.7% 26.4% Periodic 5.2% 5.5% Post-Accident 6.8% 6.5% Pre-Employment 4.7% 4.7% Random 8.3% 7.6% Returned to Duty 6.1% 7.2% Positive Result By Drug Category (For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests) (More than 320,000 tests from January to June, 1998) Drug Category 1997 January-June, 1998 Amphetamines 0.30% 0.25% Cocaine 0.73% 0.75% Marijuana 2.0% 1.9% Opiates 0.53% 0.56% PCP 0.04% 0.05% Positive Result By Drug Category (For General U.S. Workforce, as a percentage of all such tests) (More than 2.3 million tests from January to June, 1998) Drug Category 1997 January-June, 1998 Amphetamines 0.26% 0.23% Barbiturates 0.35% 0.34% Benzodiazepine 0.59% 0.57% Cocaine 0.90% 0.90% Marijuana 3.4% 3.3% Methadone 0.07% 0.06% Opiates 0.50% 0.51% PCP 0.01% 0.01% Propoxyphene 0.27% 0.28% Positive Result By Drug Category (For Combined U.S. Workforce, as a Percentage of All Positives) (More than 2.7 million tests from January to June, 1998) Drug Category 1997 January-June, 1998 Amphetamines 4.9% 4.4% Barbiturates 3.0% 2.8% Benzodiazepines 3.9% 3.6% Cocaine 16% 16.8% Marijuana 60% 60% Methadone 0.41% 0.35% Methaqualone 0.0002% 0.0% Opiates 9.4% 9.7% PCP 0.34% 0.35% Propoxyphene 1.6% 1.6% Positive Result By Drug Category (For Federally Mandated, Safety-Sensitive Workers, as a percentage of all positives) (More than 320,000 tests from January to June, 1998) Drug Category 1997 January-June, 1998 Amphetamines 8.1% 7.1% Cocaine 20% 20.8% Marijuana 56% 54.9% Opiates 15% 15.5% PCP 1.2% 1.5% SOURCE SmithKline Beecham CO: SmithKline Beecham ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA CHM FIN MTC SU: 10/07/98 10:01 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Guilt By Aspiration (The Washington Post notes a 66-page pamphlet called "How Parents Can Help Children Live Marijuana Free" says the "Social Signs of Regular Users" include "Excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc.")Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 16:17:15 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WP: Guilt By Aspiration Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Al Kamen GUILT BY ASPIRATION Washington may be focused on the House Judiciary Committee these days, but other issues still stay on the front burner for many Americans. One of those issues, of course, is drug use, especially among teenagers. And there's a handy, 66-page pamphlet to be had on this matter called "How Parents Can Help Children Live Marijuana Free." The primer was published last year by Gerald Smith, director of the criminology program at the University of Utah, and others. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah), in a prefatory "Letter to Parents," says "a morally deprived society . . . has chosen to embrace, rather than attack, this plague" of marijuana abuse. But "this book serves as a primary resource to help guide you" in giving kids a "marijuana-free life," he says, so "carefully study this book . . . and look for the many warning signs of any children who are using marijuana or drugs of any kind." On page 28, there's a listing of the "Social Signs of Regular Users," including traditional ones like staying out all night and unexplained needs for money. Beware if your kid "avoids the family while at home," and watch carefully for any "interest in Ras Tafari religion (Marijuana use is part of that religion.)" Then there is this most troubling sign indicating drug use: "Excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc." So if your kid comes home talking about things like clean air, do you check for dilated pupils?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Monica Backs Perot on Clinton Drug Charge (NewsMax.com says Monica Lewinsky and Ross Perot think President Clinton's using illegal drugs in the White House. What's really in those allergy shots?)From: "Bob Owen @ WHEN, Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Monica Backs Perot on Clinton Drug Charge Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 20:37:54 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: NewsMax.com Pubdate: October 7, 1998 Online: http://www.newsmax.com/contact.html Writer: Carl Limbacher Monica Backs Perot on Clinton Drug Charge Larry King, Tim Russert, and Wolf Blitzer were aghast this past week when Ross Perot told them he suspected that President Clinton may be using drugs in the White House. But when Perot levels that allegation, he's not as far out on a limb as the TV talk hosts pretend. Saturday's New York Post reported that transcripts of phone conversations between Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp reveal that Lewinsky thought "Clinton sometimes seemed to 'zone out' on her." Then Monica got more specific, telling Tripp, "I think he's on drugs." In a column published in the New York Times Magazine section just before the 1996 election, Max Frankel quoted author Richard Reeves, who said that Clinton, while president, was sometimes "so punchy he has trouble thinking coherently." Reeves said that these episodes followed Clinton's regular injections of allergy medicine, after which the president "tries to avoid heavy lifting or meetings." There have been substantial questions raised about the true nature of those injections. The New York Post's Andrea Peyser reported in September 1996 that during the first week of Clinton's presidency an unusual package with an Arkansas postmark turned up in the regular White House mail. It contained a vial of "mystery serum," as Peyser described it, labeled as allergy medicine. White House physician Burton Lee was instructed by Clinton's appointments secretary, Nancy Hernreich, to inject the president with its contents. But the world-renowned Lee refused to do so. He told Peyser that the vial was inadequately labeled and that, in any event, he would not inject the president with anything without first checking Clinton's medical records. Lee was told that Clinton's Arkansas doctor, Susan Santa Cruz, had his medical file. But when he called Santa Cruz she told him she would have to check with Hillary Clinton first before she could release the records to Lee. Lee expected that Santa Cruz would do just that, and that Hillary would quickly order her husband's file released to him. He was wrong. Just one hour after his phone call to Santa Cruz, Burton Lee was fired from the Clinton White House. An unnamed Army doctor relieved Lee and apparently injected Clinton with the "mystery serum" without checking his medical file. Lee told Andrea Peyser, "There isn't any doubt in my mind that the person who fired me was Hillary." In March 1996, the Washington Times reported that Clinton's Little Rock allergist, Dr. Kelsey Caplinger, had told the press in 1992 that Clinton is allergic to cat dander, weed and grass pollen, and beef. Yet Clinton has a cat, spends half his life on pollen-laden golf courses, and loves McDonald's hamburgers. At the same time, Santa Cruz revealed that Clinton's surgical history included "a procedure to open his sinuses in 1979," according to the same Washington Times report. Cocaine abuse can sometimes make sinus surgery necessary. Now that Monica Lewinsky has seconded Ross Perot's suspicion about the president's White House drug use - based on firsthand experience, no less - perhaps it's time Clinton made his full medical file available to the public.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dateline NBC Oct. 12 on drug war (A forwarded message says Monday night's newscast will focus on the case of Chad MacDonald, a 17-year-old recruited as a drug informant by police in Brea, California, only to be tortured and killed when he was found out.)Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 06:09:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (Maptalk-Digest) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 No. 403 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Subj: NBC Dateline 10/12 on drug war From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 11:47:05 -0700 Joe McNamara advises: Dateline NBC is airing a program on Oct. 12, on the Brea Police Department using a teenage boy as an undercover informant. Tragically, but predictably the drug dealers found out and tortured him to death. Maria Shriver interviewed me and in my usual subtle way, I said cops are supposed to protect kids not get them killed - typical drug war madness. Joe *** Mark Greer DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Canadian hemp isn't going to pot (An update on Canada's new industrial hemp industry in USA Today says the DEA and the White House have found themselves increasingly isolated in their refusal to grant licenses for low-THC hemp. Farm bureaus in 17 states now support hemp, and since July, agricultural experts at three universities - North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and the University of Kentucky - have completed studies that concluded hemp can be a valuable niche crop.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 16:23:50 -0600 (MDT) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) Reply-To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) Subject: Hemp in USA Today (10/7/98) USA TODAY October 7, 1998 http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/nwswed05.htm Canadian hemp isn't going to pot [Photo: Farmer Jean-Marie Laprise (in a hemp field) has invested millions in getting agricultural cannibis off the ground in Canada] By Dennis Cauchon USA TODAY PAIN COURT, Ontario - The cannabis sativa plants rise tall and sunward under a blue Canadian sky. The plants sway wheatlike in the wind, hundreds of thousands of plants, acre after acre of professionally grown cannabis, so thick you can't walk through the fields. "I'm very pleased with this crop," says farmer Jean-Marie Laprise, who is Ontario's largest grower of cannabis and Brussels sprouts. His brother starts a big John Deere combine, ready to harvest a cannabis field just 15 miles north of the U.S. border. And it's all legal - for the first time since 1938. In a new policy being closely watched by farmers and law enforcement officials in the USA, Canada is letting farmers grow cannabis sativa, best known as the source of marijuana. By the end of October, 251 farmers will have harvested 5,930 acres of cannabis for its ancient use as hemp, a source of fiber and food oil. This cannabis hemp can't get a person stoned. It's bred to have too little THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, to produce a high, no matter how much is smoked. Some disappointed locals have tried. But the Canadian hemp crop could reshape the contentious debate over whether farmers should be allowed to grow hemp in the USA. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) bans growing hemp, saying it would make enforcing drug laws harder because hemp and marijuana look alike. The White House and its drug czar support the ban. Hemp and marijuana are essentially varieties of the same plant. It would be impossible to tell them apart, outside of a chemical analysis for THC content, if they were not bred and cultivated differently. Hemp is grown densely - 300 plants a square yard - for low THC, high fiber content and a minimal amount of branches and leaves. Marijuana is grown one or two plants a square yard to be rich with branches, leaves and THC. The DEA and the White House have found themselves increasingly isolated in their refusal to grant licenses for low-THC hemp. Since 1990, hemp has been legalized in most of Western Europe, including Great Britain, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Australia joined Canada in legalizing hemp this year. In the USA, hemp has gone mainstream, too. Originally pushed by marijuana legalization activists, hemp has won growing support from farmers, agricultural researchers, environmentalists and large corporations. They say hemp is an environment-friendly fiber that could reduce demand for timber and synthetic fibers. Farm bureaus in 17 states now support hemp. A cooperative of Kentucky farmers has sued the DEA in federal court over the issue. The North American Industrial Hemp Council's board of directors includes executives from 3M, the giant materials manufacturer; Interface, a large carpet maker; and the former head of the National Corn Growers Association. Since July, agricultural experts at three universities - North Dakota State University, Oregon State University and the University of Kentucky - have completed studies of hemp that reached the same conclusion: Hemp can be a valuable niche crop. "Among people in agriculture, the myth of its being the same thing as marijuana is long gone," says North Dakota state agricultural economist David Kraenzel, who did a study for that state's Legislature. "You'd croak from smoke inhalation before you'd get high on hemp." Hemp excites farmers mostly as a crop that can be rotated with plants such as soybeans, wheat and potatoes. They say hemp's deep roots aerate the soil. After the harvest, its roots and discarded leaves replenish the soil with nutrients. Its early growth and thick canopy choke off weeds, and it breaks disease cycles that reduce the yields of other crops. It also can be grown largely without pesticides and herbicides. "North Dakota desperately needs a good rotation crop," Kraenzel says. "Even if hemp isn't profitable itself, it is profitable as a rotation crop. Farmers need to take some money off the land in years when they can't grow wheat or potatoes." North Dakota potato farmers take fields out of production every few years because potatoes, while exceptionally profitable, drain nutrients from the soil. Farmers plant tall grass or sunflowers to improve the soil. But tall grass produces no revenue, and sunflowers only break even. Hemp would turn a modest profit of $73 an acre while improving the soil better than either tall grass or sunflowers, the North Dakota study predicts. Hemp opponents maintain the crop is a loser both economically and politically. White House drug czar Barry McCaffrey says that the push to grow hemp is "a subterfuge" for efforts to legalize marijuana and that hemp is unlikely to be a profitable crop anyway. "Legalizing hemp sends the wrong message about marijuana," says David Des Roches, an aide to McCaffrey who specializes in hemp. "These poor farmers are being conned by the marijuana legalization groups. If hemp were a viable crop, we'd have a harder time putting forward our agenda. Thankfully, it's not." The critics note that world hemp production has fallen from 1 million acres in 1960 to 250,000 acres today. The traditional big growers - China, Romania, Hungary - have always relied on cheap labor for a profitable crop while the new Western European farmers depend on government subsidies worth $222 an acre in 1998. But Canadian farmers operate much as U.S. farmers would: They are heavily mechanized, unsubsidized and are building a processing industry from scratch. The success of the crop won't be known for five years, Canadian farmers say, but this year's crop looks profitable. Neil Strayer, who farms 1,000 acres in Saskatchewan, says his 40 acres of hemp will return double the $200 to $300 Canadian ($128 to $192 U.S.) an acre he makes on barley. He was thrilled by the hardiness of his Finnish dwarf hemp, which grows 4 feet tall: "The hemp came through beautifully despite many obstacles." Strayer's government license was delayed, so his crop wasn't planted until July 1, late in Saskatchewan's growing season. The spring weeds had already come in, a problem for Strayer, an organic farmer who doesn't use herbicides. "Lo and behold, the hemp came in right on schedule - 70 days," he says. His hemp will be turned into oil and sold mostly in U.S. health food stores. He plans to plant 600 acres of hemp next year. To get a hemp license, a clean police record is required. A farmer pays $25 (about $16 U.S.) for a check. The farmer provides the location of hemp fields to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), who may inspect in person or by helicopter. Hemp fields must be at least 10 acres for easy identification. Hemp must have a THC content of less than 0.3% - the same requirement as in Western Europe and about one-tenth that of average marijuana. Health Canada, the government health ministry, conducts random audits of THC levels. In Canada, the hemp program has been largely free of controversy. The agriculture ministry spent $500,000 ($321,000 U.S.) to research the crop before it was legalized. The Mounties raised no objections. "It's Health Canada's decision, not ours. We enforce drug laws. We don't make them," says Corporal Gilles Moreau, spokesman for the RCMP. Jean Pert, hemp project manager at Health Canada, says no problems with illegal marijuana have been reported. The Canadian farmer taking the biggest risk on hemp is Laprise, whose family has farmed in Pain Court for 145 years. The 44-year-old entrepreneur has invested $4 million ($2.6 million U.S.) in hemp, including money for a new processing plant, research and a breeding operation. Laprise's 1,500-acre farm has a 9.5-acre greenhouse that is one of the region's biggest suppliers of vegetable transplants. His plant breeding operation generates sales of $65 million ($42 million U.S.) a year, one-third of his farm's revenue. He expects to be a major hemp seed supplier. In addition to hemp, Laprise harvests corn, soybeans, sugar beets and 8,500 tons of tomatoes a year for Heinz ketchup. He's not an organic farmer, but he became interested in hemp in 1995 when Claude Pinsonnault, a farmer he works with, read an article about hemp in Earthkeeper, an environmental magazine. "The first thing I thought is: what a great rotation crop," Pinsonnault says. "Farmers are getting killed by soybean cyst nematodes (small worms that attack the plants). You see fields where the yield has gone from 50 to 15 bushels an acre. Hemp breaks this disease cycle." The two farmers began researching hemp on their own, including several trips to Europe to visit hemp farms. They got permission to test (but not sell) a hemp crop: one-tenth of an acre in 1995, 15 acres in 1996, 122 acres in 1997. This year, Laprise grew 300 acres of hemp and contracted with 50 local farmers to grow another 2,000 acres. He hopes to double that next year to supply his processing plant. Laprise smiles at the suggestion that he's being manipulated by marijuana activists. "It's a different crop. Any farmer knows that," he says. "The plants are bred differently, grown differently, used differently." Cannabis pollen is light and blows freely in the wind, giving this area the distinctive smell of cannabis on a breezy day. Laprise requires that hemp fields be 3 miles apart so different varieties do not contaminate one another. Pollen from marijuana bred for high THC would damage his low-THC hemp bred for thick stocks, and vice versa. "To put a marijuana plant in a hemp field would be ridiculous: First, because we told the RCMP where it is, and second, because it would hurt the hemp crop," he says. He expects hemp to be unusually profitable in the next few years, partly because the U.S. ban on growing it gives Canadian farmers an edge. But long term, he predicts, hemp will become a niche crop - about 100,000 acres a year in Canada - and produce profits similar to corn and soybeans. "It's a new market," he says. "But, hey, somebody started growing soybeans just a few decades ago, and now it's our second-biggest crop."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pioneer harvests hemp idea into business (USA Today notes a new edition of Jack Herer's book, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes," was released Thursday. The publication of the first edition in 1985, after 11 years of research, argued that cannabis sativa is a wonder crop which could save the world, and sparked a movement that led to the rebirth of hemp.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 16:23:50 -0600 (MDT) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Hemp in USA Today (10/7/98) USA TODAY October 7, 1998 http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/nwswed06.htm 10/07/98- USA Today By Dennis Cauchon, USA TODAY Pioneer harvests hemp idea into business The rebirth of hemp began in 1985 when counterculture activist/entrepreneur Jack Herer published his eccentric book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes. Printed on cheap newsprint, the self-published book argued that cannabis sativa is a wonder crop that could save the world. Only a conspiracy of drug agents and powerful corporate interests had prevented this glorious plant from clothing the poor, saving the environment and helping end famine, Herer wrote. "I had a vision about hemp in 1974 when a bunch of us were stoned," Herer recalls. "I thought when we came down, the idea would be ridiculous. Instead, I realized it was even a better idea than I'd thought." He opened the nation's first hemp store in Venice Beach, Calif., in 1981. For his book, he researched hemp for 11 years, harvesting a wealth of U.S. Agriculture Department material on the wonders of cannabis hemp and a now well-known government propaganda film, Hemp For Victory, that encouraged farmers to grow cannabis for fiber during World War II. The 1942 film echoes Herer's claims about hemp. The Emperor Wears No Clothes has sold 600,000 copies since 1985, including 150,000 in German and French. A new edition was released Thursday. Although still self-published, the book, subtitled The Authoritative Historical Record of Cannabis and the Conspiracy Against Marijuana and How Hemp Can Save The World!, is now available in major bookstores for $24.95 and printed on high quality paper (made from trees, excluding 1,000 copies on hemp available for $100 each). In the early 1990s, farmers and agricultural researchers began examining Herer's ideas. Although most found his claims overstated, a consensus developed that he was right about his most important point: hemp was a valuable crop, long used for fiber and oil, that answered many of today's environmental concerns because it replenishes the soil and can be grown with few herbicides or pesticides. "Jack kept the idea of hemp from being lost in the dustbin of history," says David West, who has a Ph.D. in plant breeding and was one of the first agricultural professionals to re-examine hemp. "But many farmers squirm at this counterculture connection." West says the Drug Enforcement Administration makes the same mistake Herer made in his original 1985 book: "They both see hemp and marijuana as the same thing. To an agricultural professional, this just is not so." Herer expresses disappointment that marijuana legalization has lost its importance as hemp has gone mainstream. In their desire to separate hemp and marijuana, many farmers ignore excellent hemp that is above the legal THC limit, he says. THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that causes a high. But Herer lives to fulfill a pledge he first made in 1974 with his now deceased best friend and business partner, "Captain Ed" Adair: "We'd swear to work every day to legalize marijuana and get all pot prisoners out of jail, until we were dead, marijuana was legal, or we could quit when we were 84. We wouldn't have to quit, but we could." Herer, 59, is founder and director of Help End Marijuana Prohibition, or H.E.M.P. *** Re-distributed as a public service by the: Colorado Hemp Initiative Project P.O. Box 729, Nederland, CO 80466 Vmail: (303) 448-5640 Email: (email@example.com) Web: http://www.welcomehome.org/cohip.html http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html "Fighting over 60 years of lies and dis-information with 10,000 years of history and fact." ARE YOU REGISTERED TO VOTE? *** To be added to or removed from our mailing list, send email with the word SUBSCRIBE or UNSUBSCRIBE in the title.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Amnesty report slams US prisons (The Toronto Star version of Sunday's news about Amnesty International focusing on human rights abuses in the United States during the next year.) Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 09:18:20 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Dave Haans (email@example.com) Subject: TorStar: Amnesty report slams U.S. prisons Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star Pubdate: Wednesday, October 7, 1998 Page: A20 Website: http://www.thestar.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Amnesty report slams U.S. prisons Rights group pushes for end to juvenile death penalty WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The human rights group Amnesty International has launched a one-year campaign for penal reform in the United States, which has more prisoners known to be awaiting execution than any other country. The group called on U.S. authorities to abolish the death penalty for juveniles, ban restraint devices such as stun belts, stop jailing asylum seekers and set up independent bodies to investigate allegations of police brutality. In Rights for All, a 153 page report released for the campaign launch yesterday, Amnesty said it saw a "persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations." "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 restraint continue to be a feature of the U.S. criminal justice system," it added. "In U.S. prisons and jails, inmates are physically and sexually abused by other inmates and by guards ... Sanctions against those responsible for these abuses are rare," it said. A state department official said the United States welcomed scrutiny by Amnesty but believed its political and judicial systems were "the envy of the world." The report said prison guards restrain the inmates with electric shock stun guns, leg irons, pepper spray and restraint chairs. Some women prisoners have given birth in shackles. Amnesty International said it calculated that U.S. prisons for adults also hold at least 3,500 child convicts in violation of an international convention on civil rights. People convicted for crimes committed as children can even face the death penalty, putting the United States in the same category as Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. U.S. states have executed more than 460 prisoners since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Unlike in most industrialized countries, the trend is toward more and more executions. About 3,300 people wait on death row. Some of those executed have been mentally disabled. Blacks who kill or rape whites are far more likely to face execution than if the criminals are white or their victims black, the report said. "The death penalty 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 impose it," the report said. A similar pattern emerges for America's 1.7 million prisoners, over 60 per cent of whom are from racial or ethnic minorities. Half of them are African Americans, who make up 12 per cent of the population.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Human Rights Abuse 'Widespead' (The version in The Independent, in Britain) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:22:43 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Us Human Rights Abuse 'Widespead' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 Author: Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles US HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE 'WIDESPEAD' UNITED STATES police forces and criminal and legal systems have "a persistent and widespread pattern of human rights violations," and the country fails "to deliver the fundamental promise of rights for all," according to a harsh report published by Amnesty International today. The report will be a shock for a country that prides itself on the protection of human rights and which regularly deplores abuses in other countries. Amnesty has published reports on the United States before, campaigning to bring an end to the death penalty. But the approaching campaign is the first comprehensive review of the state of human rights in the US, or any other Western country. The group's most recent campaigns have focused on China and Turkey. "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 US criminal justice system," the report says, according to advance leaks of the 150-page document. The death penalty 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" it says. It examines the use of electric shock stun belts to tame unruly inmates, which according to Amnesty can be fatal, and says that some illegal immigrants suffer summary confinement in jails and police custody for long periods without legal redress. The report is expected to be particularly scathing of California's maximum-security state prison, in Corcoran. Home to the killer Charles Manson and Bobby Kennedy's assassin, Sirhan Sirhan, it houses numerous convicted murderers, rapists and violent gang members. But it is the officers and prison guards that have been causing most concern. Around 50 prisoners have been shot by staff at Corcoran in the past nine years, seven fatally. The prison has already been investigated for an incident in 1995 when 36 black inmates were kicked, punched, slammed against walls and grabbed by the testicles as they came off a bus in shackles. Most disturbing of all were allegations that attempts to investigate such incidents were covered up at the highest state level. An official inquiry led to a cursory disciplinary response, and three official investigators later reported that their efforts had been directly hampered by political decisions in Sacramento, the state capital. Amnesty says it does not want to equate the problems in the US with those in countries that routinely arrest and abuse dissidents, but it believes there are some areas in which the US "competes" with other countries in the seriousness of violations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Focus Alert No. 84 - Amnesty International Focuses on US Abuses (DrugSense asks you to write a letter to The New York Times or any of the dozen papers who covered the story. Amnesty International taken a bold step in at long last recognizing the human rights abuses in the United Sates by various enforcement agencies carrying out the war on some drug users.) Date: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 17:51:39 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: FOCUS Alert #84 Amnesty Intn'l Focuses on US Abuses PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE DrugSense FOCUS Alert #84 10/7/98 Amnesty International Focuses on US Abuses. *** Amnesty International made a bold step in at long last recognizing the human rights abuses in the United Sates by various enforcement agencies nationwide. This is a big step in uncovering and bringing attention to various patterns of abuse that directly relate to drug issues. Examples include asset forfeiture without due process, imbalance in racial enforcement, sentencing, and incarceration rates, police brutality, failure to recognize individual rights, and weak enforcement of offending officers. Please write a letter on the subject to the New York Times or any of the dozen papers who covered this story. All these stories can be found by visiting http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews and searching on "Amnesty International" (no quotes). IMPORTANT Please encourage Amnesty International by sending a CC of your letter to them at the email address provided below. Thanks for your effort and support. You CAN make a big difference WRITE A LETTER TODAY It's not what others do it's what YOU do *** PLEASE SEND US A COPY OF YOUR LETTER OR TELL US WHAT YOU DID ( Letter, Phone, fax etc.) Please post your letters or report your action to the MAPTalk list if you are subscribed, or return a copy to this address by simply hitting REPLY to this FOCUS Alert and pasting your letter in or by E-mailing a copy directly to MGreer@mapinc.org *** CONTACT INFO Letters firstname.lastname@example.org Please CC your letter of encouragement to Amnesty International to: Email: email@example.com URL: http://www.amnesty.org/aisect/email.htm NOTE There are a more than a dozen related articles to choose from at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ search on "Amnesty International" (no quotes) *** Original Editorial: US: Amnesty Finds 'Widespread Pattern' of U.S. Rights [snipped to avoid duplication. - ed.] *** ADDITIONAL INFO to help you in your letter writing efforts 3 Tips for Letter Writers http://www.mapinc.org/3tips.htm Letter Writers Style Guide http://www.mapinc.org/style.htm SAMPLE LETTER Note: This letter was in response to the Calgary Herald (Canada) piece at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n876.a07.html Date: Tue, 06 Oct 1998 20:38:22 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Kathy galbraith
Subject: Yanks are Brutes Too Editor: Ms. Ford's commentary on the U.S. "biting the hand that feeds it", it full of reversals and contradictions. Of course Amnesty International does NOT ignore the "real" brutes of the world, that is who they are fighting against constantly. Because they are honest enough to reveal that some of these "real" brutes are AMERICANS- she gasps in so-called shock and horror. Is this a polite, pretend gasp of horror, or is it "real"? Surely she must know that the U.S. have their own little repressive regime stationed at the borders, where they delight in oppressing Mexican Nationals, blacks, and anyone they "don't like the looks of", subjecting them to tortuous waits, inspecions, skin-searches including women and young people who have done nothing wrong. A 1990 study of pregnant drug users found that a black woman was ten times more likely to be reported than a white woman. Over 90 percent of the drug-trafficking defendants in the nation's courts were African-American. Not even South Africa under apartheid at its worst had a higher percentage of black males in prison. The drug war is really a race war Catherine. How can you think A.I. is offensive when State Dept. spokesman Foley welcomes the scrutiny? There's some bad and wrong stuff going on that shouldn't be and he knows there is. Sorry Ms. Ford, A.I. is fighting for the rights of all and bottom of the list or not, the U.S. is still on that list, whether we like it in our own back yard or not. It's very real, and we,too, should be fighting against it. Kathy Galbraith Raymond, Alberta *** Kathy Galbraith e-mail: GALBRAITH@upanet.uleth.ca Public Access Internet The University of Lethbridge *** WRITE AWAY! Mark Greer DrugSense MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.DrugSense.org/ http://www.mapinc.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Task force tackles dealers (The Province, in Vancouver, British Columbia, says Immigration Canada is working with a police task force to fight an organized Honduran crime wave. Most of the young Hondurans follow the same routine, entering Canada illegally and applying for refugee status in Vancouver.) From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Task force tackles dealers Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 11:19:21 -0700 Lines: 58 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Wednesday 7 October 1998 Author: Ann Rees, Staff Reporter The Province Task force tackles dealers Immigration Canada is working with a police task force to fight an organized Honduran crime wave. "We have made a lot of special efforts to address the problem through various means of inter-agency work, working with police forces, and we have got staff now located in our New Westminster, Surrey RCMP office and Vancouver police department," said Rob Johnston, manager of enforcement for Immigration Canada in Vancouver. "We have been meeting and doing inter-agency work on how to deal with the problem effectively." Canadian border officials "strongly feel there's an organized smuggling ring operating to assist in bringing in 'new guys' to Canada," according to a New Westminster police report. Most of the young Hondurans follow the same routine, entering Canada illegally and applying for refugee status in Vancouver. Immigration Canada figures show that of the 250 Hondurans claiming refugee status so far this year, 209 made their claim in Vancouver rather than at the point of entry. "They came into Canada via the use of smugglers or across the border at points other than at points of entry," said Johnston. More than 70 per cent of the Honduran refugee claimants processed failed to show up for the refugee hearing. Only three of 52 Honduran applicants processed for refugee status were found to be legitimate convention refugees and allowed to remain in Canada. Most applicants have no identification and claim to be 18 or over. Just seven of 250 claimed to be 17 or under. The pattern is evidence of an organized smuggling ring, said Vancouver Staff-Sgt. Doug MacKay-Dunn. "They know the system. That is something you don't pick up in a small village in Honduras." The drugs are professionally packaged for sale on the street. Each chunk is shrink-wrapped in plastic and sealed. "To go to the process of shrink-wrapping would tell me that this is reasonably sophisticated. That tells me this is organized. It's not just somebody doing this in the back yard. " Wrapping the drugs allows the dealers to hold them in their mouth and swallow the evidence when police approach.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tory Party Conference - Fowler Attacks Blair On Drugs (The Independent, in Britain, says Sir Norman Fowler, the shadow Home Secretary, accused the ruling Labour Party yesterday of wasting money on illegal asylum seekers while cutting down on police officers. Sir Norman also called for "zero tolerance" on illegal drugs and took a swipe at Tony Blair for receiving Noel Gallagher of the band Oasis, who said last year that taking drugs might be as normal as getting up and having a cup of tea in the morning.) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 16:24:19 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Tory Party Conference - Fowler Attacks Blair On Drugs Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Independent, The (UK) Pubdate: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Mail: The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL England Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Author: Sarah Schaefer TORY PARTY CONFERENCE - FOWLER ATTACKS BLAIR ON DRUGS Sir Norman Fowler, the shadow Home Secretary, accused the Government yesterday of wasting money on illegal asylum seekers while cutting down on police officers. Calling for tough measures on law and order, Sir Norman also insisted that sex offenders should be kept behind bars indefinitely if necessary to protect children. "The Government estimates that over the next three years the taxpayer will spend at least UKP1bn in supporting asylum applicants, the vast majority of whom are bogus. It is ludicrous to see the police cut back while we are planning to spend this amount of money on illegal immigration," he said. Sir Norman told representatives at the conference that people "do not want to see sex offenders released to go free until there is some sensible belief that they will not offend again. "We will therefore be consulting on how our sentencing system can be strengthened to meet that aim, including the use of more indeterminate sentences," he said. Sir Norman added he did not believe that the early release of more convicted offenders into the community was the answer "to all our problems". On drugs, Sir Norman called for "zero tolerance" and in a swipe at Tony Blair's association with pop artists, he said: "The Prime Minister needs to be cautious about his guest list. Frankly, Mr Blair, you don't invite to No 10 people who support drug use." Roger Gale, the Tory MP for Thanet North, warned, to warm applause from representatives, that there could be social unrest if immigration was not curbed. "I am all for supporting those in genuine need. Quite another thing is to see our social security system, hospitals and schools used by those whose chief ambition is to spin it hard at the taxpayers' expense while others in greater need have to go without," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officer Stole Cannabis In 'Drugs Sting' (The Independent says Detective Constable Terence McGuinness of Scotland Yard and two fellow officers were filmed breaking into an east London flat and stealing 80 kilograms of cannabis in December 1996 in a trap set by anti-corruption police.) Date: Wed, 7 Oct 1998 18:20:53 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Officer Stole Cannabis In 'Drugs Sting' Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Pubdate: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 OFFICER STOLE CANNABIS IN 'DRUGS STING' A SCOTLAND Yard detective and two former Flying Squad officers were filmed stealing 80kg of cannabis in a trap set by anti-corruption police, an Old Bailey court heard yesterday. Detectives from the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) planted the drugs in a flat in east London and then videotaped the three defendants breaking in and stealing the cannabis. Detective Constable Terence McGuinness, 41, from the CID unit of Limehouse police station and retired Flying Squad Officer Detective Constable Kevin Garner, 38, have pleaded guilty to burglary and conspiracy to supply class B drugs, the jury was told. Former detective sergeant Keith Green, 41, who retired from the Flying Squad in July 1996 on the grounds of ill health, pleaded not guilty to aggravated burglary and conspiracy to supply class B drugs. David Waters, for the prosecution, said the CIB "set a trap" and left the cannabis at a flat in Silvertown in December 1996. They set up several video cameras inside and outside the property and kept it under 24-hour surveillance Eighty blocks of the drug were wrapped in green plastic bags and left in a cabinet in the bathroom. The jury was shown the video of the three men breaking into the flat above a shop. McGuinness forced the door open and was followed up the stairs by Mr Green, who was carrying his old police truncheon, and Garner. Mr Green acted as "look out". The prosecution said that the supplying of drugs is "hardly unique", but the circumstances of this case are "unusual" because it involves police officers. The court heard that all the men had served together in the Flying Squad, which is responsible for targeting armed robbers, between 1988 and 1993. They were stationed in Rigg Approach in Walthamstow, east London. Garner and Mr Green both retired and McGuinness later transferred to CID. The court heard that McGuinness was on duty at the time and drove to the flat in a CID vehicle, a blue Vauxhall Astra, after the men had met up outside Limehouse police station. Garner and Mr Green travelled in a separate car. The three arrived at the flat after 10 pm on 4 December 1996. They all left carrying bags of the drugs, but they were not arrested immediately because McGuinness is a serving officer and the three defendants were "very surveillance sensitive," said the prosecution. The drugs were later transferred to a another car. McGuinness then returned to duty and finished his shift. The men were arrested four days later and 54 kilos of the drug were recovered. Mr Green allegedly told police after his arrest that he had no idea he had removed drugs from the property. He said that Garner had arrived "out of the blue" at his home at in Ilford, east London. He claimed that Garner asked him to help recover "some property". He said: "I went to the premises and thought I was involved in a lawful activity. I believed Garner ran a debt recovery business." Mr Green complained after his arrest that he had been "set up". The trial continues.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Random Drug Tests At 100 Independent Schools (According to The Daily Telegraph, in Britain, the Headmasters' Conference said yesterday that random drug testing - of pupils - had been introduced by more than 100 leading independent schools. Heads now assumed that, in line with national statistics, at least 25 per cent of their pupils had experimented with illegal drugs and about 10 per cent took them regularly. However, the number of schools that automatically expel children for a first offence is declining.) Date: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 22:26:55 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Random Drug Tests At 100 Independent Schools Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Misty) Source: Daily Telegraph (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ Pubdate: Wednesday 7th October 98 Author: By John Clare, Education Editor RANDOM DRUG TESTS AT 100 INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS RANDOM drug testing of pupils has been introduced by more than 100 leading independent schools, the Headmasters' Conference said yesterday. Heads now assumed that, in line with national statistics, at least 25 per cent of their GCSE pupils had experimented with illegal drugs and about 10 per cent took them regularly. The number of schools that automatically expelled children for a first offence was now declining, they said. The Rev Dr John Barrett, head of The Leys School in Cambridge, who led a conference working party on drugs, said: "We are recommending heads to adopt a more flexible approach. We think the rules should be that any pupil involved in drugs loses the right to be a member of the school community but may remain, subject to random tests." He was speaking after the conference in Jersey had been told by Trevor Grice, an international expert on the effects of drugs, that the jury on marijuana was back and their verdict was "guilty". "We now know that short-term memory - which is what young people need when they are learning - is the first thing to go when they take dope," he said. "In the same way as sunburn doesn't disappear when the sun goes down, so 50 per cent of the effect of smoking dope over the weekend is still there between four and six days later. The second thing to go is the drug-taker's ability to think about the future which is followed by disrespect for authority, lying, secret phone calls and stealing from their parents." Some heads disagreed with the flexible approach that the conference was recommending. Ian Templeton, head of Glenalmond, near Perth, said: "Our policy is one offence and you're out. That's it." Michael Mavor, head of Rugby, said: "Our aim is to reduce the number of pupils who experiment with drugs. So we expel anyone we catch. We also use random testing if pupils' behaviour or academic performance leads us to suspect that they may be taking drugs. It's proved to be very effective. We used to have quite a lot of people smoking cannabis; now there are almost none." However Mark Pyper, head of Gordonstoun, where Princes Philip, Charles, Andrew and Edward were pupils, said drugs were so freely available that taking them was equivalent to smoking cigarettes in the Sixties. "We use random testing after a first offence." Edward Gould, the head at Marlborough, where urine testing is used after a first offence and if staff have reason to be worried about a pupil's lifestyle, said: "In this respect, we mirror society. Drugs affect every school in this conference."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Taleban offer poppy ban for UN nod (A Reuters article in The Toronto Star says Mullah Mohammad Omar, the leader of the Islamic Emirate, said on Voice of Shariat radio yesterday that if the Islamic militia - known as the Taleban in the West - were accorded recognition without condition by the United Nations, the government would "seriously ban unconditionally cultivation of poppy" throughout Afghanistan. Afghanistan was identified by the United Nations last year as the world's leading producer of opium, but only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Taleban as its government.) Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 09:09:02 -0400 To: email@example.com From: Dave Haans (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: TorStar: Taleban offer poppy ban for U.N. nod Newshawk: Dave Haans Source: The Toronto Star Pubdate: Wednesday, October 7, 1998 Page: A14 Website: http://www.thestar.com Contact: email@example.com Taleban offer poppy ban for U.N. nod KABUL (Reuters) - The Taleban movement is offering to stop growing poppies that make Afghanistan the world's second-biggest opium producer, in exchange for recognition as the government of the country. "If the Islamic Emirate (Taleban) is accorded recognition without condition by the U.N., the Emirate will seriously ban unconditionally cultivation of poppy throughout the country," Mullah Mohammad Omar, supreme leader of the Islamic militia, said on Voice of Shariat radio yesterday. BORDER STANDOFF Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Taleban as the government of Afghanistan. The offer was made as a United Nations envoy was in Iran for talks on easing a border standoff with the Taleban involving around 200,000 Iranian troops. The Taleban, on a mission to create the world's purest Muslim state, imposes the death penalty for drug use but turns a blind eye to its export.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, Number 67 (An original summary of drug policy news, including the feature article, Massing Around, by Dr. Tom O'Connell; the Weekly News In Review includes Drug War Policy & Politics articles - Amnesty Finds "Widespread Pattern" of US Rights Violations; Expanded Methadone Program Planned to Counter Heroin; Congress Delays Border Law Vote; Group Stops Needle Exchange After Leader Is Rearrested; The Drug Crisis Isn't Just in Mexico; Prison Guards - The Union Throws Its Weight to the Democrat; news about Prisons includes Bay Area Students Cut Class, Protest Spending on Prisons; Prison Growth May Deplete Surplus; Prison Mental Health Workers on Alert After Third Inmate Hanging In A Month; news about Medical Marijuana includes Medical Effectiveness Outside Law's Purview; Allow Medical Marijuana - Measure 67; Marijuana Vote Brings Out Big Societal Issues; California Cooperative Gives, Sells Marijuana to Suffering; Science Notebook - Taking a Leaf From Marijuana's Effect; international news includes Eton Expels Boy Who Took Cannabis; More Face Random Drug Tests At Work; Drugs Laws to Copy US and Ireland; Iran Says Drug Traffickers Face Death Sentence; Mexico - The Drug War Corrupts Absolutely; plus Hot Off The 'Net - MAP Published Letters Hit One Million Dollar Milestone; CCUA Medical Marijuana update site; Poll - 89 Percent of Atlantic Monthly Readers Favor Reform of Draconian Drug Laws; The New Republic Ad - A Winner; DrugSense Volunteer of the Month - Frank S. World Recognized for Outstanding NewsHawk Efforts; Quote of the Week - Clarence Darrow) Date: Wed, 07 Oct 1998 14:14:31 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, Oct. 7, 1998 No. 67 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY In about 10 minutes a week you can stay aware and informed on drug policy developments worldwide. Consider investing another 10 minutes to write a letter to the editor using the email addresses provided in this publication. You CAN make a difference! *** DrugSense Weekly, Oct. 7 ,1998, No. 67 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org/ *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Massing Around by Dr. Tom O'Connell * Weekly News In Review Drug War Policy & Politics- Amnesty Finds 'Widespread Pattern' of U.S. Rights Violations Expanded Methadone Program Planned to Counter Heroin Congress Delays Border Law Vote Group Stops Needle Exchange After Leader Is Rearrested The Drug Crisis Isn't Just in Mexico Prison Guards: The Union Throws Its Weight to the Democrat Prisons- Bay Area Students Cut Class, Protest Spending on Prisons Prison Growth May Deplete Surplus Prison Mental Health Workers on Alert After Third Medical Marijuana- OPED: Medical Effectiveness Outside Law's Purview Editorial: Allow Medical Marijuana: Measure 67 Marijuana Vote Brings Out Big Societal Issues California Cooperative Gives, Sells Marijuana to Suffering Science Notebook: Taking a Leaf From Marijuana's Effect International News- Eton Expels Boy Who Took Cannabis More Face Random Drug Tests At Work Drugs Laws to Copy US and Ireland Iran Says Drug Traffickers Face Death Sentence MEXICO The Drug War Corrupts Absolutely * Hot Off The 'Net MAP Published letters hit ONE MILLION DOLLAR milestone CCUA Medical Marijuana update site POLL - 89% of Atlantic Monthly Readers Favor Reform of Draconian Drug Laws The New Republic Ad - A Winner * DrugSense Volunteer of the Month Frank S. World Recognized for Outstanding NewsHawk Efforts * Quote of the Week Clarence Darrow *** FEATURE ARTICLE Massing Around The September 6th New York Times Sunday Magazine carried an essay- "Winning the Drug War Isn't so Hard After All," written by Michael Massing, yet another authority on drug policy. Massing's main opus, "The Fix," (Simon & Schuster) is due this month; reading his Sept. 6th article in tandem with Kirkus Reviews (Sept.1) suggests that it's intended to promote the book's theme- if not overtly the book itself. Massing quickly segues from a topical subject- Mayor Giuliani's anti-methadone campaign- to an exposition of what he believes America's drug policy to be, where he thinks it goes wrong, and how it can be put right. In any such undertaking, history is a logical starting point, one which also signals the author's bias. Massing's history begins with Nixon's war on drugs, omitting the critical five-and-one-half decades between the Harrison Act of 1914 and the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Beyond that, his account of the origins of methadone maintenance and the motivation ascribed to the Nixon Administration seem revisionist in the extreme. With inaccurate "history" for his foundation, it's no surprise that Massing's conclusions are muddled and his recommendations fatuous. That such a piece should foreshadow a serious book and be published by the New York Times is a measure of the poor intellectual quality of mainstream discussions in this critical policy area. That the Times book review section hasn't yet reviewed Mike Gray's "Drug Crazy" is an equally disturbing reminder that opinions contrary to official doctrine are rarely aired in mainstream media (it's a safe bet "The Fix" will be promptly reviewed in the wake of this feature). Massing's core proposition is simple; "legalization" of drugs is unthinkable because staggering numbers of addicts would result; he thus justifies basing a punitive, costly policy entirely on an unfounded fear. Until now, he agrees, our policy can't be claimed to be working well; he obligingly recites a litany of drug war abominations: military intrusion into Latin America, coca-eradication programs, the invasion of Panama; domestic drug arrests which set new records each year and create bulging prisons. Yet, he concedes, "this punitive approach has failed. Cocaine is cheaper than ever, and heroin is selling at purity levels three times greater than those of the mid-1980's. And drug abuse remains rampant." Even so, Massing contends, our policy has really been registering successes in the area of "treatment," therefore appropriate changes in our bloated drug budget should increase those successes to a point where drug prohibition might finally earn passing grades as responsible policy. The intellectual dishonesty implicit in this claim is staggering; it involves a seeming willingness to lie about every aspect of the subject. Concern for addicts didn't give rise to methadone maintenance in the first Nixon Administration; Dan Baum, ("Smoke and Mirrors," 1996) was far more specific (and accurate) when he related how Nixon declared the present drug war to punish political dissent. Baum also gave a more credible account of how methadone maintenance was initiated by Jerome Jaffe, Nixon's first "drug czar" and one of the few physicians to hold that post. Jaffe was an essentially inadvertent appointment Nixon later regretted. The implication that Jaffe's desire to treat addicts humanely was ever shared by Nixon, John Mitchell or Ed Meese is ludicrous. Massing's methadone history is correct on three points: methadone maintenance proved immediately effective in treating heroin addiction; it reduced crime; it has always been resented by doctrinaire prohibitionists. Despite being chronically under funded and hobbled by regulations, methadone maintenance remains the most successful federal contribution to drug policy. That a punitive zealot like Giuliani would single it out for elimination is predictable; he understands that addiction maintenance is the same straw man federal narcs once attacked to justify criminal prohibition. Giuliani's doctrine is purer than Massing's because he understands the historic moralistic underpinnings of current policy. Massing's article isn't just about methadone however, it's a defense of current policy with more money for treatment and less for interdiction and enforcement. Although admitting law enforcement's failure to control the criminal market, he's unconcerned by the price of that failure; policy is seen as only concerned with reducing the numbers of drug users, therefore he's content to have criminal prohibition as the mechanism which coerces users ("addicts/criminals") into "treatment." Massing cautiously endorses some aspects of "harm reduction," but finds any suggestion that drug use be condoned to be completely unacceptable: "Harm reduction has serious limitations. For the most part, it does not seek to get people off drugs but merely to help them use drugs more safely. To express disapproval of addiction would, in the harm reductionists' view, reinforce society's intolerance of drug addicts. While promoting tolerance is admirable, the harm reductionists take it too far: if you should not stigmatize addicts, neither should you condone addiction." Massing thus reveals his complete agreement with Barry McCaffrey that the futility of American drug prohibition policy can be entirely justified by an irrational, and bogus fear of addiction. When they insist that policy is concerned only with addiction, they want us to close our eyes to the fact that most drug users aren't, and will never become addicts, that teens are daily being seduced into tragic experiments with the unsafe products of a criminal market, that hundreds of thousands of lives are destroyed each year by encounters with that market; one created solely to perpetuate a myth. Tom O'Connell, MD *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW COMMENT: Although the gamut of drug -related news stories during the week (Sept. 26-Oct. 4) had included several typically dumb and/or dishonest policy stories, none seemed truly dominant. Then, on Sunday, there was a rumor that Amnesty International was going to target abusive American police practices. The rumor was borne out by a pre-release story on Monday, suggesting that this may have become a major topic by the time this newsletter is being read. *** Drug War: Policy & Politics *** COMMENT: The next biggest policy item was the methadone spat between McCzar and NYC Mayor Giuliani . Viewed from within its proper context, ONDCP's sudden enthusiasm for methadone maintenance, a therapy of proven value which was strongly endorsed at a 1997 NIH meeting, is actually a year overdue and seriously under funded, especially if compared to an expensive program of no proven value, like the recently announced $2 billion ad campaign. More confusion surfaced over border security against drug smuggling when Congressional bunker mentality ran up against reality in the form of the numbers of people who cross our borders daily. Congress opted to dither until Oct. 15; are they hoping the numbers will change? Speaking of borders, a revealing LAT op-ed pointed out that crime and corruption on our side of the border isn't covered in nearly the same detail as the Mexican side. Because the author is clearly not a reformer, and has himself been the target of an assassination attempt by American gangsters, this criticism is especially telling The implacable doctrinaire stance of New Jersey's Governor Whitman against needle exchange was again evident when Chai outreach workers were arrested for the second time - purely a local decision insisted the DA. Sure; and no one consulted Whitman's office in an election year- "just doin' our duty, ma'am." The good news from California was that the prison guards union isn't backing smiling fascist Dan Lungren; the bad news is that it's backing tough-on crime, but wussy on civil liberties Gray Davis, everybody's "lesser of two evils" candidate. *** AMNESTY FINDS 'WIDESPREAD PATTERN' OF US RIGHTS VIOLATIONS 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." [snip] Source: New York Times Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Pubdate: 5 Oct 1998 Section: International/Global Issues Author: Barbara Crossette URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n867.a01.html *** EXPANDED METHADONE PROGRAM PLANNED TO COUNTER HEROIN NEW YORK - The White House plan to help heroin addicts sounds simple: Doctors would dispense methadone, a synthetic substance designed to lessen heroin cravings, in their offices for the first time. But for now, the new policy doesn't include any money - just a government endorsement for improving and expanding the use of methadone. "Methadone treatment is simply not available for Americans in all parts of the country in a manner called for by rational drug policy. We've got to do better," Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the national drug-policy director, told a meeting of the American Methadone Treatment Association in New York yesterday. [snip] Source: Seattle Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 Author: Beth J. Harpaz, The Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n853.a04.html *** CONGRESS DELAYS BORDER LAW VOTE Lawmakers fear stricter checkpoints would lead to traffic gridlock WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress voted Thursday to delay a law that lawmakers from states bordering Canada feared could create a traffic nightmare by requiring new, stricter checks at border crossings. [snip] "Nothing will change with our inspection process," said Elaine Komis, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service. "We don't even have the infrastructure to begin to do this." [snip] There are 250 entry points in the United States - either airports, sea ports or land crossings, and hundreds of millions of people use them each year. While Abraham, head of the Senate immigration subcommittee, pushed to get the stopgap bill on the Senate floor, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, his counterpart in the House, indicated he favored moving it quickly through the House. [snip] "With just a 30-second inspection required for every border-crosser, backups at the Ambassador Bridge in Detroit would immediately exceed 24 hours. That would be unbearable, and the border would be effectively closed," Abraham said. [snip] Source: Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 2 Oct 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n856.a06.html *** THE DRUG CRISIS ISN'T JUST IN MEXICO Baja's traffickers are well-known, but their peers in California are invisible; why does the press ignore them? From Crescent City to San Ysidro, Californians have had preferential seating to watch the murder and drug trafficking thrillers being played out in Tijuana and Ensenada. But what the people from California don't know, and maybe cannot even imagine, is that seated next to them may be some of the criminals whose job it is to come down to Baja California to execute people. [snip] Source: Los Angeles Times Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www. latimes. com/ Pubdate: 27 Sep 1998 Author: J. Jesus Blancornelas-J. Note: Jesus Blancornelas is the editor of the weekly Zeta. Less than one year ago, he suffered an attempt on his life that left his bodyguard dead and Blancornelas with several bullet wounds. URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n852.a06.html *** GROUP STOPS NEEDLE EXCHANGE AFTER LEADER IS REARRESTED The only AIDS organization openly distributing clean needles to drug users in New Jersey has decided to stop the practice after its director, Diana McCague, was arrested Tuesday for the second time. McCague, who flouted New Jersey's drug paraphernalia laws, said her organization will fight in the courts instead of continuing to hand out syringes, a practice the organization believes will slow the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. [snip] Source: Bergen Record (NJ) Contact: email@example.com Webform: http://www.bergen.com/cgi-bin/feedback FAX: (201) 646-4749 Website: http://www.bergen.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 01 Oct 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n854.a04.html *** PRISON GUARDS: THE UNION THROWS ITS WEIGHT TO THE DEMOCRAT, SENDING LUNGREN SCRAMBLING. SACRAMENTO - For the first time in 16 years, the state's powerful prison-guard union on Tuesday chose to support the Democrat in the race for governor, prompting an immediate escalation in the battle between Lt. Gov. Gray Davis and Atty. General Dan Lungren over who can claim the mantle of crime-fighter. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 Author: MARY ANNE OSTROM, Mercury News Sacramento Bureau URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n856.a08.html *** Prisons *** COMMENT: A Berkeley Conference on the impact prisons are having on education was followed by a Bay Area student protest which received state wide publicity, and helped dramatize their contention that California's prison expansion has occurred at the expense of public schools. More dreary evidence that America's ill-conceived orgy of incarceration will have serious social consequences continued to accumulate. *** 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. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Sat, 3 Oct 1998 Author: E. Mark Moreno, Mercury News Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n862.a07.html *** PRISON GROWTH MAY DEPLETE SURPLUS If projections that the state's prison population will jump nearly 50% in three years prove true, it could deplete much of the state's expected budget surplus, a legislator said Sunday. The Department of Corrections last week proposed a two-year budget that seeks an increase of $280.7 million. More money is needed because the number of adult inmates is expected to leap by 8,000 to more than 25,000, according to estimates by corrections officials. [snip] Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (WI) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.jsonline.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: Meg Jones of the Journal Sentinel staff Fax: (414) 224-8280 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n846.a05.html *** PRISON MENTAL HEALTH WORKERS ON ALERT AFTER THIRD INMATE HANGING IN A MONTH SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Mental health workers are on alert after the body of an inmate was found hanging from a bedsheet in a Pendleton prison cell in the third apparent suicide the state prison system has seen in the past month. Solomon Abernathy, 21, was found about 2:30 a.m. Monday in a disciplinary cell at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 29 Sep 1998 Source: Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n850.a04.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: Shades of November, 1996! As election day approaches, we're again reminded how important the medical use of cannabis is to the reform movement. The more things change, the more that stay the same; two years ago, following a McCzar opinion that marijuana couldn't possibly be medicine, the San Francisco Chronicle chided him for "exceeding his credentials." Last week, the Albany, Oregon Democrat-Herald offered the same admonition to the Portland sheriff. Another intelligent editorial comment from Oregon pointed out the illogical nature of the "sheriff's fallacy" which claims that prescriptive use of a drug will increase its recreational use. The Oregonian's Patrick O'Neill wrote a long, well-balanced article on the evolution of Oregon's Initiative. Another long article describing the operation of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative was especially important because it appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Nevadans will also vote on a medical marijuana initiative in November. Even as sheriffs and legislators were claiming that marijuana has no valid therapeutic use, researchers at UCSF were reporting elegant laboratory studies which demonstrate that cannabinoids possess unique pain blocking properties. *** OPINION - MEDICAL EFFECTIVENESS OUTSIDE LAW'S PURVIEW If the sheriff of Multnomah County had a medical degree and had acquired experience treating patients as a doctor, what he says about the medical marijuana initiative would have some weight. Since he does not and has not, he has no standing to declare, as he did last week before the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, that marijuana would be "the least effective and most risky" medication to give to someone. [snip] Source: Albany Democrat-Herald (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www2.mvonline.com/MV/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: Hasso Hering, Editor, Albany Democrat-Herald URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n851.a07.html *** ALLOW MEDICAL MARIJUANA: MEASURE 67 WOULDN'T LEGALIZE DRUG Physicians who prescribe morphine to relieve intense pain are not seen as promoting drug addiction, even though morphine is a terribly addictive drug. Yet a proposal to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana is criticized as promoting drug abuse, even though marijuana is far more benign than many widely accepted prescription drugs. Oregonians should understand that they can support humane medical practices without undermining efforts to control dangerous drugs. They should support Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. [snip] Pubdate: 26 Sep 1998 Source: Register-Guard, The (OR) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.registerguard.com/ *** MARIJUANA VOTE BRINGS OUT BIG SOCIETAL ISSUES Oregonians will decide whether legalizing medical marijuana offers compassion to the sick and dying or an open door to widespread drug use [snip] Early statewide polling points to widespread support for legalizing medical marijuana, with strong backing across age, income, political and geographic lines. Ironically, Oregonians also will vote in November on Ballot Measure 57, which would make possession of small amounts of marijuana a criminal offense. Early polling shows more voters opposing than supporting that measure. Rob Elkins, Molalla police chief and a director of Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, views the medical marijuana measure as an open door for all marijuana use. [snip] But Dr. Richard Bayer, a Portland internist and a chief petitioner for the marijuana initiative, said the ultimate goal isn't legalization of all drugs - just to make it possible for sick people to obtain marijuana at a pharmacy, with a prescription. [snip] Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 Author: Patrick O'Neill of the Oregonian staff URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n848.a09.html *** CALIFORNIA COOPERATIVE GIVES, SELLS MARIJUANA TO SUFFERING Nevada to vote on illegal drug for medical use OAKLAND, Calif. - Step up to the counter at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative. Today you'll find baggies of Big Bud and Humboldt Octane sell for $55 per one-eighth ounce. African Sativa fetches $50, AA Sativa goes for $20 and RX Sativa, just $15. [snip] The Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative is the model of the marijuana dispensing operations that opened in California after 56 percent of its voters approved Proposition 215 in 1996. About 2,200 people, presumably all with appropriate recommendations from doctors, acquire their marijuana here. For users who cannot afford the specialty prices, the cooperative gives them a "compassionate use" baggie with enough marijuana for about three joints. [snip] Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/ Fax: 702-383-4676 Pubdate: 4 October 1998 Author: Ed Vogel Donrey Capital Bureau URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n866.a06.html *** SCIENCE NOTEBOOK Compiled from reports by Curt Suplee, John Schwartz and Rob Stein. BIOLOGY: Taking a Leaf From Marijuana's Effect New research suggests that scientists may be able to develop a powerful new painkiller modeled on the active ingredient in marijuana. In rats, a drug that mimics delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in marijuana, deadens pain like morphine, researchers at the University of California at San Francisco showed. The findings indicate that marijuana-like drugs kill pain without producing the side effects of morphine. [snip] Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Pubdate: Mon, 28 Sep 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n848.a08.html *** International News *** COMMENT: As we've noted recently, reefer madness is no longer a purely American affliction, but has spread across the Atlantic; disturbing evidence of this idea is found in the first three articles from the UK. It's quite apparent that as press and public attitudes toward the drug war is cool, politicians and enforcement agencies around the world push feverishly for harsher, even more restrictive laws. Draconian as laws are becoming in English-speaking nations, they can't hold a candle to the Moslem world (which nevertheless remains an important source of opium products). Finally, no newsletter is complete without an article on Mexico. The futility which Bertram and Sharp detail in this well written piece could be applied, not only to Mexico, but to the entire drug war. *** 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." [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 Source: Telegraph, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n865.a09.html *** 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 [snip] 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. [snip] 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. [snip] Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Pubdate: Sat, 03 Oct 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n864.a09.html *** DRUGS LAWS TO COPY US AND IRELAND THE clampdown on criminals who live in luxury with no visible income is being adapted from American tactics used to break the power of the Mafia. It is an admission that previous efforts to seize criminals' assets have failed. Only UKP5m was seized under the Drug Trafficking Offences Act last year, but the drugs trade is estimated at UKP9.9 billion annually. Under existing law, assets can be seized only after a conviction, and many criminals transfer them to their families or associates. In the US the 1970 Racketeer and Influenced and Corrupt Organisations Act has been credited with 23 Mafia convictions since 1981. It reversed the burden of proof, so that suspects had to account for their assets. [snip] Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Fri, 02 Oct 1998 Author: Richard Ford URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n864.a05.html *** IRAN SAYS DRUG TRAFFICKERS FACE DEATH SENTENCE TEHRAN, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Iran, faced with widespread smuggling and abuse of drugs, reiterated on Wednesday it would execute traffickers under tough new laws. Prosecutor General Ayatollah Morteza Moqtadaei said armed smugglers, as well as traffickers caught in possession of five kg (11 lb) of opium, would face the death penalty, Iranian television reported. Smugglers held with 30 grams (1.1 ounce) of heroin or morphine would receive a death sentence on a second offence under the new laws which took effect recently, Moqtadaei was quoted as saying. [snip] Source: Reuters Pubdate: Thu, 1 Oct 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n859.a01.html *** MEXICO - THE DRUG WAR CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY WASHINGTON- "Progress" and "cooperation" are the official watchwords Washington likes to use to describe the U.S.-backed drug war in Mexico. The cheery rhetoric is essential to protecting relations with Mexico. When reality intrudes and the official drug-war story threatens to unravel, the story is revised. Just how deeply corrupting the drug war is on Mexico's political institutions and, ultimately, on U.S.-Mexican interests is glossed over, if mentioned at all. [snip] Regrettably, stories to protect Mexico's image as a loyal drug-war ally will continue to be told and retold, and they will continue to be dashed by reality. But as debate focuses on how much progress we are making against the widening corruption in Mexico, we risk missing a deeper truth. Fighting drug abuse at home through a war on supply abroad is not good policy, and it will make us both bad neighbors. [snip] Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Pubdate: Sunday, 4 October1998 Author: Eva Bertram, Kenneth Sharpe Note: Eva Bertram, a Policy Analyst, and Kenneth Sharpe, Professor of Political Science at Swarthmore College, are coauthors of "Drug War Politics: the Price of Denial." URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n853.a04.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET MAP Published letters hit ONE MILLION DOLLAR milestone The Media Awareness Project of Drugsense archives and attempts to put a value on the letters to the editor that get printed and discovered by our NewsHawks. These are posted to the archive by the hard working Ashley Clements. There are 1022 total published LTEs on-line to date (collected from 96-98) with an estimated value of $1,020,978. To review this valuable searchable archive and to review our method of placing a value on these published works please visit: http://www.mapinc.org/lte/ The 1998 to date figures are 521 published LTEs with a value of $520,479. Which indicates that we have already accomplished more in 1998 than in all of 1996 and 1997 combined. The MAP letter writing effort may be one of the most successful and sustained efforts in reform history. The above numbers do not take into account the hundreds of radio and television talk show that DrugSense has arranged on behalf of reform. Hearty congratulations to the dedicated, consistent, and effective cadre of MAP letter writers, NewsHawks and editors. Keep it up. We ARE making a difference! *** CCUA Site by Tod H. Mikuriya, M.D. Before, during, and after Proposition 215 passed Attorney General Dan Lungren has done his best to suborn the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996. He has managed to elude scrutiny of his use of his office to defy rather than implement or comply with Health and Safety Code section 11362.5. Please visit the CCUA (Prop 215) web site at: http://www.drugsense.org/ccua/ the Lungren 215 Updates reveals his strategy of enabling and facilitating blocking access to medicinal cannabis and intimidation of physicians. [snip] Editor's Note: DrugSense takes no stand on political races or candidates. The above is provided as a courtesy to inform our readers of items of possible interest. *** The Atlantic Monthly, which hosts very active on-line discussion groups, recently did a survey of sorts. They offered 3 possible solutions to the 'drug problem,' a) Draconian enforcement, b) markedly increased funding for treatment, c) legalization. 55% of their (very conservative) participants favored legalization and an amazing 89% were in favor of reforming existing policy. Check out: http://www.theatlantic.com/trans.atl/politics/decision/drugs2.htm *** McCaffrey Ad In case you missed the outstanding ad in The New Republic (10/5 edition) "Is the Truth a Casualty of the Drug War" which depicts a Pinoccio like caricature of Barry McCaffrey and cites a number of his inaccuracies be sure to check out a reproduction. There is a link at the top of http://www.drugsense.org/ *** DrugSense Volunteer of the Month Frank S. World - NEWSHAWK OF THE MONTH This month DrugSense starts a new tradition, recognizing one of our superb NewsHawks, who make the Media Awareness Project possible. Frank S. World is recognized for his consistent high quality news hawking for over a year. Frank roams the web to bring us items of importance, and focuses on medicinal marijuana, the San Francisco area and Wisconsin newspapers. Frank is not our NewsHawk's real name. He uses a pen name with good reason. Frank has glaucoma, and has been successfully using medicinal marijuana for over twenty-five years to preserve his remaining eyesight. While the U.S. government recognizes that medicinal marijuana is of value in treating glaucoma by issuing it to two citizens every month, thousands more, like Frank, are not so fortunate. In order to do his NewsHawking, Frank must use a 21" monitor and be quite close to the screen. This added difficulty has in no way deterred Frank from making a highly valued contribution to our efforts. Frank also has a website at: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ On learning of his selection, Frank wrote: "Wow, I'm delighted to receive this award! NewsHawking is a good way for me to help out, and it's been a real learning experience too. I really enjoy finding articles that inspire LTEs. I've seen a lot of great letters inspired by articles I've hawked and that makes me feel good, knowing that I've made a positive contribution to getting the truth out." "In my year or so of NewsHawking, I've seen a lot of positive developments, and I can see what a great bunch of volunteers like the people of MAP can do to help end this drug war madness." As a token of appreciation from all of us, Frank will be receiving a personally autographed copy of DRUG CRAZY from Mike Gray. Folks interested in helping Frank with the news hawking effort may find the basic instructions at: http://www.mapinc.org/hawk.htm *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK `Laws should be like clothes. They should be made to fit the people they are meant to serve' - Clarence Darrow - *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. News/COMMENTS-Editor: Tom O'Connell (email@example.com) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (firstname.lastname@example.org) We wish to thank all our contributors and Newshawks. NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. REMINDER: Please help us help reform. Send any news articles you find on any drug related issue to email@example.com PLEASE HELP: DrugSense provides this service at no charge BUT IT IS NOT FREE TO PRODUCE. We incur many costs in creating our many and varied services. If you are able to help by contributing to the DrugSense effort please make checks payable to MAP Inc. send your tax deductible contribution to: The Media Awareness Project (MAP) Inc. d/b/a DrugSense PO Box 651 Porterville, CA 93258 (800) 266 5759 MGreer@mapinc.org http://www.mapinc.org/ http://www.drugsense.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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