------------------------------------------------------------------- Our Guide To The 1998 Ballot Measures - Chainsaws, Bongs & One-Eyed Jacks (Willamette Week in Portland opposes Measure 57, recriminalizing possession of less than one ounce of cannabis, and endorses Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.) Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - email@example.com Web: http://www.wweek.com/ Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to letters of 250 words or less. Our Guide To The 1998 Ballot Measures - Chainsaws, Bongs & One-Eyed Jacks originally published October 14, 1998 [excerpted] Measure 57 Recriminalizes Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana Perceived Problem The demon weed How It Would Work This measure's history is as long as a Rastafarian's dreadlocks and just as twisted. Twenty-five years ago, Oregon was the second state in the nation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot. Last session, the Legislature suddenly started worrying about it. Lawmakers passed a bill to recriminalize possession of less than an ounce, which the governor "reluctantly" signed. Then some motivated marijuana advocates (how's that for an oxymoron?) gathered enough signatures to force the Legislature to halt enactment of the law and refer it to the ballot for voters to decide. Hence we are forced to wade into a silly debate that was resolved a quarter of a century ago. Under current law--and if the measure fails--an adult caught with less than an ounce of marijuana is simply given a citation and ordered to pay a fine between $500 and $1,000. If Measure 57 passes, pot-carrying adults could be charged with a crime (a misdemeanor) and fined. They could also be incarcerated, but that's highly unlikely. Authorities say they'll continue to treat most marijuana possession cases as infractions. Many other pot offenders will probably be sentenced to probation. Juvenile offenders will be forced into diversion programs and lose their driver's licenses. Ultimate Conclusion Why are we suddenly threatening pot smokers with criminal sanctions? Proponents say it's about kids, and they point to a statistic from the state Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs that at first glance seems startling: Since 1990 Oregon eighth graders' use of marijuana has tripled and is 36 percent above the national average. Even us squishy liberals at WW don't think pre-pubescent puffing is a good thing. But we're sober enough to see through the smoke and mirrors. That statistic has nothing to do with decriminalization 25 years ago. Marijuana use among Oregon teens has risen and fallen over the last 10 years, independent of any changes in laws regarding its use. And although reported pot use among Oregon eighth graders is higher today than in 1990, it's lower than in 1986 and 1988. Furthermore, the surveys don't necessarily show how much pot is being used. It just shows how many people are reporting pot use. Blame this measure on Portland Police Chief Charles Moose and his buddies in blue. They won't admit it, but the Police Chiefs Association, which brought recriminalization to the Legislature last session, wasn't so much worried about kids. Instead, it was frothing to expand its search and seizure powers. Making pot use a crime would allow police to search people caught with a joint--and perhaps find evidence of more serious crimes. We're opposed to expanding search and seizure powers any further, particularly since those powers were just expanded in July to allow more searches of people who haven't even been accused of any crime. We're also concerned about abuses of power that recriminalization could bring. Police have already conceded that the new law will be only selectively enforced. So who, exactly, are they going to bust? Interestingly, even the proponents have backed away from this one. They've raised exactly $309. Chief Moose, meanwhile, is nowhere to be seen on this issue. You Oughta Know This one is kind of confusing, so put down that bong and listen very closely: A vote in the no column is a vote for peace, love and understanding. Vote yes and you're just saying no to drugs. Got it? *** Measure 67 Exempts People With Debilitating Conditions From State Laws That Prohibit Growing And Using Marijuana Perceived Problem Too hard to score if you're sore How It Would Work Despite what opponents may claim, if this measure passes, your doctor won't have free reign to say "take two hits and call me in the morning," every time you get a case of the sniffles. The measure is limited to specific conditions such as cancer, glaucoma and HIV, as well as things like cachexia (malnutrition or "wasting," frequently associated with AIDS), severe pain and nausea, seizures and muscle spasms. People with these ailments or symptoms would need a doctor to confirm that medical marijuana may help. Patients would then register with the State Health Division for a medical-marijuana card. With the card they would, in essence, have permission from the state to maintain seven marijuana plants (three mature, four immature) and carry up to one ounce on their person. For those who can't grow their own, a "primary caregiver" can be chosen to be the green thumb. Ultimate Conclusion Opponents raise three serious concerns. First, Measure 67 would send the wrong message to children. If Johnny sees grandpa light up after chemotherapy, the little tyke may think there's nothing wrong with taking a toke himself. Second, there is debate over the actual medicinal value. There need to be more studies of marijuana, Measure 67 foes say. If the feds consequently approve the drug, reefer should be reclassified and available through doctors, who can control and monitor usage with clearly understood guidelines. The current measure allows people to self-medicate as if pot were echinacea. Finally, law-enforcement officials say Measure 67 would disrupt their lives. For starters, they're not too keen on the requirement that if police officers seize plants from someone who uses the medical-marijuana defense, they have to keep the cannabis alive. But their biggest gripe is that the measure provides an out for people who don't get a card: Anyone who gets busted can attempt to use medical marijuana as a defense in court--even for conditions not listed in the law. Cops and prosecutors fear that defense attorneys and sympathetic doctors will tie the courts up with medical-marijuana claims, some of them bogus. If the measure is truly about medicine, they ask, why leave that loophole? But all those arguments fall flat for people who are sick and dying. WW has spoken with several people with a variety of ailments who have been secretly using marijuana for years. We're not talking about Deadheads; we're talking about members of the Elks Lodge. For them, Marinol, the synthetic THC, does not work. It's true that some able-bodied stoners will try to use medical marijuana as a defense when they get busted. And the courts will have to deal with that. If it becomes a serious enough problem, the Legislature can fix it. As for further study, whether you blame it on the drug war, the pharmaceutical companies, the politicians or the American Medical Association, there hasn't been enough pressure on the feds to get them to take action on medical marijuana. If this measure, and similar measures elsewhere, pushes them in that direction, all the better. Until then, sick people should not have to buy their medicine on the street. You Oughta Know So far, all the money in support of this measure ($153,897) has come from Americans for Medical Rights. AMR originally formed in California for Proposition 215, which legalized medical marijuana there, and is now funding six other medical-marijuana measures--in Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado and the District of Columbia. AMR advocates legalizing marijuana for everyone, not just sick people. But the chief petitioner, Dr. Richard Bayer, is no pothead. His drug of choice is Mountain Dew, and he says he's not trying to make pot legal. He just wants to make it available for those who need it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Measure 67 KBOO debate (Dr. Rick Bayer, chief petitioner for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act, says he will debate Mollala Police Chief Rob Elkins and invites Oregonians who support the rights of medical marijuana patients to call KBOO, 90.7 FM, between 7:30 and 9 am on Wednesday, Oct. 21.) From: "Rick Bayer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "Rick Bayer" (email@example.com) Subject: m67 kboo debate Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 14:18:51 -0700 Friends I was just informed that I will be debating Mollala Police Chief Rob Elkins on KBOO-FM 90.7 Portland and other call letters in the gorge (?White Salmon) and the Willamette Valley (I think their other remote transmitter is in Corvallis but I can't recall for sure). I know KBOO carries to Salem as well but don't really know about Eugene. On Wednesday 21 October at 7:30 am (yeah, in the morning) there will be 3 minutes for me, 3 for Chief Elkins and then call-ins to KBOO until 9 am. That's a lot of time for callers. So tune in and you will learn their call-in number and then CALL. PLEEZE! Tell all of your friends, especially patients, and listen and call in if you can. We have "home field advantage" at KBOO and we should let Chief Elkins know what we think about arresting dying and suffering patients who use med mj. I really would prefer to let you all do the talking. I do enough as it is. In summary, this is your chance to participate in the debates and get your voice heard. Don't be shy. You are helping patients and our opponents want to arrest them. Tell Chief Elkins his side is wrong and you support M67. Thanks so much for your support. Rick Bayer
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Matrix Files (Willamette Week says Multnomah Sheriff Dan Noelle has been able to fulfill his campaign promise of ending matrix releases of jail inmates, thanks to removal of a court order limiting overcrowding, taxpayers' contribution of new jail beds, and continued use of jails in other jurisdictions.) Willamette Week 822 SW 10th Ave. Portland, OR 97205 Tel. (503) 243-2122 Fax (503) 243-1115 Letters to the Editor: Mark Zusman - firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.wweek.com/ Note: Willamette Week welcomes letters to the editor via mail, e-mail or fax. Letters must be signed by the author and include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Preference will be given to letters of 250 words or less. Follow-Up - The Matrix Files - Inmates in Multnomah County have lost their "Get out of Jail Free" cards. Three months ago Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle quietly ended the "matrix system," the decade-long program under which inmates were released from overcrowded county jails before their sentences were up. Ending the practice was one of Noelle's top campaign promises. The problem had been seared in the minds of county residents in 1986, when a former sheriff, Fred Pearce, invited TV crews to document the release of one batch of inmates. According to planning and research administrator Larry Reilly, the sheriff's office was forced to release more than 500 inmates each month last year. The problem peaked in January 1998, when 670 inmates were sprung early. No inmates have been matrixed in about three months. Three factors led to the change. In November 1997 Noelle convinced a federal judge to lift the 10-year-old cap on the jail population, allowing him to double-bunk inmates ("Double Trouble?" WW, Nov. 5, 1998). Then, between March and July of this year, about 280 additional beds were opened at the expanded Inverness Jail. Meanwhile, the sheriff has continued to rent about 150 jail beds from other jurisdictions. Corrections officers cheer the victory. "It just kills us anytime we have to release anybody," says Darcy Bjork, president of the corrections officers union. But Bjork believes it may be only temporary: "I would foresee that once word gets out that there's empty jail beds, the rest of the corrections system will start reacting." For example, Bjork says, if they know there are empty beds, probation officers will be more likely to send their charges back to jail when they violate the conditions of their release. In addition, the Portland Police Bureau has promised to hire 80 new officers by early next year, which could boost the number of people arrested each day. That may be one reason Noelle hasn't been trumpeting his victory. "Before I start buying everybody champagne," he says, "I want to see if we can sustain it." Bjork suspects there may be another motive. The sheriff is currently seeking support to build a new county jail. "If you're trying to site a jail, you probably don't want to say you're not releasing people right now," Bjork says. --Maureen O'Hagan
------------------------------------------------------------------- Notorious pot grower pleads guilty to federal court (The Associated Press says Rhett "Tom" Phillips, a star high school quarterback as a senior in McMinnville, Oregon, in 1971, built a marijuana-growing empire in the 1980s, then eluded authorities for more than five years before US marshals captured him in late 1997 near San Jose, California. He likely faces 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Notorious pot grower pleads guilty to federal court The Associated Press 10/14/98 5:21 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- One of Oregon's most notorious marijuana growers has pleaded guilty in federal court. Rhett "Tom" Phillips built a marijuana-growing empire in the 1980s, then eluded authorities for more than five years before U.S. marshals captured him in late 1997 near San Jose, Calif. Under a plea agreement announced Tuesday, Phillips, 44, faces a likely prison term of 10 years. He also agreed to pay a $1 million fine. He's scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 14. Phillips, one of more than a dozen people to be prosecuted as part of a lengthy federal investigation, faced a 16-count indictment but pleaded guilty to only one count of conspiracy and one count of money-laundering. Phillips was a star high school quarterback as a senior in McMinnville in 1971. According to a 1993 federal indictment, Phillips began growing marijuana as early as 1976. By 1981, he ran a major growing operation that included more than a dozen grow houses. Phillips admitted in the plea agreement to growing 1,000 to 4,000 plants. In the early 1980s, Phillips funneled about $1.2 million in profits into a Swiss bank account, then removed it before authorities could track down the money, according to a federal affidavit. In 1990, federal authorities seized Phillips' home west of Portland, which had hidden rooms to grow marijuana. That same year, the U.S. Attorney's office began prosecuting more than a dozen of Phillips' alleged cohorts, including his wife and brother. Most served time in prison. After several of them pleaded guilty, Phillips fled in the summer of 1992. He had a foreign passport in another name and spent at least some of his time hiding in Switzerland. U.S. marshals arrested him Nov. 1, 1997 in a mall near San Jose while he was meeting secretly with his estranged wife. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- UO gets grant to battle drinking (The Register-Guard in Eugene says a survey of students at the University of Oregon suggests surprisingly many think everyone else is doing drugs but them, sort of like the McCarthy era, when everyone suspected everyone else was a communist. Although students thought 90.9 percent of other students used marijuana in the past month, only 29 percent did - 66 percent were thought to have consumed cannabis in the past week, but only 18 percent did.) Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon http://www.registerguard.com/ letters to editor: http://www.registerguard.com/standingdocs/feedback.html UO gets grant to battle drinking October 14, 1998 By REBECCA HUNTINGTON The Register-Guard University of Oregon students believe their peers drink alcohol and smoke marijuana more than they actually do. And that perception, UO officials say, leads students to consume more themselves. The UO announced plans Tuesday to launch an educational campaign to clear up those misperceptions, thanks to a $236,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The UO is one of seven universities nationwide selected for the grant, out of 58 that applied, under the Education Department's Drug Free Schools Program. "This grant is very significant in that it affirms the efforts already under way at the University of Oregon to help address and combat a serious problem of alcohol and drug abuse," UO President Dave Frohnmayer said Tuesday. The UO began an effort last year to educate students about the actual rates of campus drinking after a survey found that students far overestimated the percentage of their peers who drink and use drugs. Students, especially freshmen, are "going to try to fit into the norm, whether that's real or imaginary," said Linda Devine, a UO assistant dean of student life. Changing perceptions could be a tough sell, however. UO students interviewed Tuesday said they don't think the UO's findings reflect reality. Education campaigns have gained credibility as the schools that pioneered the efforts have reported positive results. Northern Illinois University, for example, launched a mass-media campaign to change student perceptions. Six years later, students reported a 35 percent reduction in binge drinking. They also reported 31 percent fewer alcohol-related injuries to themselves and 54 percent fewer alcohol-related injuries to others. College efforts to change student drinking habits have also gained urgency in the wake of a string of alcohol-related deaths on campuses across the country, said Laura Blake Jones, a UO associate dean of student life. She also cited a national study showing that drinking has a significant impact on academic performance. The new UO campaign will target freshmen through their professors, dormitory staff, the Greek system, interest groups and athletic staff. The plan also calls for expanding late-night activities to keep students on campus and to give them nonalcoholic forms of entertainment. The UO will also intensify an advertising campaign, using posters and other displays to spread the slogan: "When they party, 80 percent of UO students drink zero to four drinks." The slogan is based on a UO student survey. If students know how much their peers are drinking, Jones said, "they're less likely to drink up to the misperception." In addition, the UO next year will become one of the first colleges to target misperceptions about marijuana, Devine said. In last year's survey, students said 96 percent of their peers drank at least once a week. But only 52 percent of students surveyed reported drinking that often - a 44 percent gap between perception and reality. Likewise, while students said 90 percent of their peers smoke marijuana at least once a month, only 29 percent reported doing so. However, students interviewed at the student union Tuesday expressed skepticism about the UO's findings of actual use. "I would definitely guess higher," said junior Alex O'Brien, 20. "My friends drink a lot. It just depends on who you hang out with." Sophomore Whitney O'Neill, 18, said she and her friends drink eight to 12 beers each at parties. "Usually it's like three trips to the store," she said. Louise Powell, a junior, said the findings on actual marijuana use appear low. "It's illegal, so are a lot of people going to admit `Yeah, I smoke it once a month'? " REALITY GAP A University of Oregon survey of 477 students in winter 1997 found that students believe that their peers are drinking and taking drugs at a much higher rate than they actually are. Use at least once a month Use at least once a week Substance Perceived use Actual use Perceived use Actual use Alcohol 99% 72% 96% 52% Tobacco 96% 38% 89% 29% Marijuana 90.9% 29% 66% 18% Cocaine 24% xx 6% xx Amphetamines 37% 2% 11% 1% Sedatives 22% 1% 5% xx Hallucinogens 32% 2% 6% xx Opiates 16% xx 4% xx Inhalants 14% xx 3% xx Designer drugs 23% xx 5% xx Steroids 20% xx 5% xx Other 22% xx 7% xx - xx denotes that use was less than 0.5 percent Copyright (c) 1998 The Register-Guard
------------------------------------------------------------------- State RICO law snares four of worst gangsters (The Oregonian notes the imminent incarceration of four racketeers in Portland, but not what they were racketeering in.) [ed. note: It is odd that the ensuing article doesn't mention what these four people were racketeering in. There is not even a single mention of "drugs," for example. From this story, the defendants could have been stealing cars, or selling atomic bombs, or smuggling illegal aliens, or any number of other possible criminal enterprises. But if their "criminal enterprise" indeed involved "drugs," you can bet these four guys won't show up in the statistics as drug war prisoners. This article provides additional evidence to Portland NORML's ongoing efforts to show how such prisoners are intentionally and systematically undercounted.) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ State RICO law snares 4 of worst gangsters * The men, rated among the most dangerous in Portland, plead guilty or no contest Wednesday, October 14 1998 By David R. Anderson of The Oregonian staff Four gang members accused by prosecutors of being among the most dangerous in Portland have pleaded guilty or no contest to racketeering charges. The four agreed on Monday and Tuesday to sentences ranging from 4 1/2 to 7 1/2 years in prison rather than face trial. The case against six members of the Kerby Blocc Crips is the second time that the Multnomah County district attorney's office has used the law against street gangs. And the racketeering prosecutions, along with tougher sentences under Measure 11, are two factors that helped account for a relatively quiet summer among Los Angeles-style gangs in Portland, prosecutors said. "They may be still carrying guns, but they're not using them like they used to," said Tom Edmonds, a senior deputy district attorney. Quantrill Thomas Bright, 27, Lamont David Carter, 23, and Harry James Villa III, 23, pleaded guilty to racketeering. Tamir Hassan Lawrence, 21, pleaded no contest to racketeering. The 1981 Legislature passed the Oregon Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, which is patterned after federal statutes, commonly called RICO. Prosecutors must prove a criminal enterprise exists and that the defendants are members of the enterprise and have committed at least two crimes on behalf of the enterprise. Multnomah County Circuit Judge Henry Kantor followed a deal between prosecutors and Carter's attorney and sentenced him to 7 1/2 years in prison. The three others will be formally sentenced in January. But Bright agreed to four years and nine months in prison, Lawrence to 4 1/2 years in prison and Villa to five years and 10 months in prison. All four are eligible for good-time credits, so they might have their sentences reduced by as much as 20 percent. A fifth suspect, Amonne Lee Brown, 26, is scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. today. And the sixth defendant, Jonathan Demetrius Norman, 27, has a racketeering charge pending against him, but prosecutors would not comment on the status of his case. Prosecutors originally planned to use the Oregon racketeering law against eight Crips members. However, before indictments were prepared, Marcus Catrell Jones, 23, was shot and killed as he played dominoes in a North Portland house on Aug. 26, 1996. Then, Anthony Branch Jr., known on the streets as " 'lil Smurf," was killed when shot in the neck outside a Northeast Portland nude dance bar on Oct. 9, 1997. Carter's attorney, James Halley, said that all the crimes committed by his client were as a juvenile. "My view is that the statute wasn't written for this type of prosecution," Halley said. "It certainly smacks of punishing a person again for something they've already been punished for." But prosecutors said these men continued to be the leaders among the Crips gang and several committed crimes while they were released pending trial. Police examined the criminal records of more than 400 suspected gang members and used a secret formula to determine the most dangerous members within that gang. The first time prosecutors used the law, 15 members of two Bloods sets -- the Woodlawn Park Bloods and the Loc'd Out Pirus -- were convicted of racketeering and other crimes in 1995. The average sentence was nearly eight years, ranging from 18 months to 39 years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man caught in North Portland raid faces charges (An Oregonian update on the case of Larry Anderson says the owner of property coveted by county officials is not being charged with trafficking, only possession.)The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Man caught in N. Portland raid faces charges Larry Anderson's attorney says his client will plead not guilty to counts involving drugs and destructive devices Wednesday, October 14 1998 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Court records show that Portland police seized two baggies with a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana, 17 guns, two cannons, two grenades and two police vests during a raid on a North Portland property that involved the shooting of four dogs. The Oct. 2 search of Larry Andersons home at 9014 N. Lombard St. and his adjacent motorcycle-parts shop led to a grand jury indictment this week. Anderson, 50, is expected to plead not guilty Monday to possession of a controlled substance, child neglect, four counts of unlawful manufacture of a destructive device and four counts of possession of a destructive device, his attorney, Zack Lorts, said Tuesday. "We're going to vigorously defend the case, and he denies the charges," Lorts said. The grand jury did not indict Anderson on charges of selling methamphetamine, which police alleged when he was first taken into custody. Search warrant records filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court show police confiscated a small amount of methamphetamine and marijuana from the office of Andersons motorcycle parts shop. They found one baggie containing methamphetamine on the office floor in his shop and another baggie containing marijuana in a file cabinet drawer. Police also seized a Tupperware container holding a "white crystalline substance" and a "glass pipe with residue" located in the shop office, the documents show. Also confiscated from the office were two homemade hand grenades, two carbide cannons and eight books on guns, booby traps, explosives and demolitions, and motorcycle gangs, court records show. A couple of scales, numerous baggies and various chemicals, including ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate, were also taken from the shop. Most of the guns, including one shotgun and several rifles, were seized from the shop. Anderson has described himself as a gun collector and said the cannons are like toys. He said he set off one of his black powder cannons outside his home last Veterans Day, which drew dozens of police officers to his home. Portland narcotics detectives, assisted by the police Special Emergency Reaction Team and the Washington County sheriff's SWAT Team, surrounded the house and motorcycle shop shortly after noon Oct. 2. Anderson was taken into custody outside his home, but police forced their way into the house and business when Andersons wife attempted to block them, police and witnesses said. Police shot and killed Andersons four Rottweilers, which police described as attack dogs, as they burst into the house and shop. Anderson thinks law enforcement officials are trying to push him from the property, which Multnomah County has wanted for several years for a new health clinic. Anderson owns the one parcel of land that is holding up the clinics construction.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Orders Oakland CBC Shut - Protest! (California NORML breaks the news that federal judge Charles Breyer will close the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative without allowing any jury trial. A protest will be held 4 pm Friday at an unspecified location.) Date: Tue, 13 Oct 1998 22:48:30 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Judge Orders Oakland CBC Shut: Protest! Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ - PRESS EMBARGO UNTIL WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 14, 00:00 PDT - . FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS OAKLAND CANNABIS COOPERATIVE SHUT DOWN DEADLINE FOR MARSHALS: FRIDAY, OCT. 16th, 5 PM MEDICAL MARIJUANA SUPPORTERS TO PROTEST San Francisco, Oct. 13, 1998: In a surprise ruling, U.S. court Charles Breyer cleared the way for federal marshals to shut down the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative this Friday, October 16th, for violating an injunction against distributing medical marijuana. Judge Breyer rejected all of the Oakland cooperative's defenses, ruling that the OCBC was not eligible for a jury trial on grounds of medical necessity because it had not proven that its members would face "imminent harm" by the removal of their medicine. (In a related case, Breyer ruled that the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana could stay open pending a jury trial to determine whether it had in fact sold marijuana. ) Medical marijuana supporters plan to protest the federal closure, which is scheduled for 5 PM, October 16th (unless an appeals court grants a delay). "This decision will have a devastating impact on our patients," warns OCBC director Jeff Jones, "closing the Cooperative will force patients with AIDS, cancer and other debilitating diseases to turn to street dealers for the medicine they need." The Oakland CBC, which currently serves over 2,000 patient-members, is widely respected for its responsible operation, and has been officially endorsed by the city council. "Judge Breyer's decision makes a travesty of fundamental American values regarding local government, patients' rights, and states' rights," argues California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. "It took a constitutional amendment for the federal government to outlaw alcohol; how can it prohibit seriously ill Californians from using medical marijuana given the state's approval of Proposition 215?" Supporters are urged to come protest the federal shutdown in Oakland this Friday beginning at 4 p.m. For details, contact Dale Gieringer, Coordinator, California NORML: (415) 563-5858 / email@example.com *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // firstname.lastname@example.org 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge rejects marijuana clubs' defenses (The Associated Press updates its version.) found at sfgate.com Judge rejects marijuana clubs' defenses BOB EGELKO, Associated Press Writer Wednesday, October 14, 1998 Breaking News Sections (10-14) 01:38 EDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge has taken another step toward closing medical marijuana clubs, ruling they cannot fight off a federal shutdown by claiming the drug is essential to relieve patients' pain or save their lives. Unless an appeal is successful, Tuesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will allow federal marshals to close the 2,000-member Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative on Friday, said Rachel Swain, a spokeswoman for the clubs sued by the federal government. A second club, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in the city of Fairfax, was not ordered to close immediately, said its lawyer, William Panzer. He said Breyer allowed a trial on the narrow question of whether the club actually distributed marijuana on the day that it was under a federal agent's surveillance. But Panzer said Breyer rejected the defenses that would allow the club to operate, including the claim that enforcing the ban on marijuana violates patients' constitutional right to relieve excruciating pain. Panzer said he planned to appeal. The clubs sprang up around California after passage of Proposition 215, the November 1996 initiative that allows seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief, with a doctor's recommendation, without being prosecuted under state law. Advocates, backed by medical testimony, say only marijuana can make certain treatments for AIDS and cancer bearable, and ease pain from glaucoma and other conditions. Longstanding federal law declares, however, that marijuana has no medical use and cannot be administered safely under medical supervision. Many of the marijuana clubs have been shut down through the efforts of Attorney General Dan Lungren, who obtained state court rulings limiting the scope of Proposition 215, and the Clinton administration's Justice Department. The Justice Department originally sued six Northern California clubs to enforce federal laws against marijuana distribution. Breyer issued an injunction in May prohibiting the clubs from distributing marijuana while the government's suit was pending. His latest ruling involved the government's motion to hold the two surviving clubs in contempt of court and require their immediate closure for violating the injunction. Breyer concluded he had no authority to decide whether the ban on marijuana was irrational, Panzer said, reading from the ruling. He said the judge found that the only legal way to challenge the ban was to ask the government to lift it, wait for a denial and then go to a federal appeals court. The government's position is ``absurd, considering that marijuana is one of the safest substances known to mankind,'' Panzer said. He said Congress should not be able to pass a law that prevents judges from deciding whether a prohibition of a medical treatment is rational. The clubs also argued that administering marijuana was justified by ``medical necessity,'' the legal doctrine that allows someone to violate a law when it is the only way to prevent a more serious harm. But Panzer said Breyer effectively rejected that defense by requiring the clubs to show that each patient had no alternative, rather than allowing the clubs to argue to a jury that their screening procedures admitted only patients who needed marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot clubs can't remain open, US judge rules (The San Francisco Examiner-Associated Press version) Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:31:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Clubs Can't Remain Open, US Judge Rules Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 14 Oct. 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Copyright (c) 1998 San Francisco Examiner Author: Bob Egelko, ASSOCIATED PRESS & Ray Delgado of The Examiner staff Oct. 14, 1998 Oakland co-op to be shut Friday A federal judge has taken another step toward closing medical marijuana clubs, ruling they cannot fight off a federal shutdown by claiming the drug is essential to relieve patients' pain or save their lives. Unless an appeal is successful, Tuesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer will allow federal marshals to close the 2,000-member Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative on Friday, said Rachel Swain, a spokeswoman for the clubs sued by the federal government. Jeff Jones, the club's director, said he hadn't been able to review the ruling delivered late Tuesday afternoon and would not comment on the club's future. "We don't really know what to do," Jones said. "We don't have plans solidified as of yet." A second club, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax, was not ordered to close immediately, said its lawyer, William Panzer. He said Breyer allowed a trial on the narrow question of whether the club actually distributed marijuana on the day that it was under a federal agent's surveillance. But Panzer said Breyer rejected the defenses that would allow the club to operate, including the claim that enforcing the ban on marijuana violates patients' constitutional right to relieve excruciating pain. Panzer said he planned to appeal. The clubs sprang up around California after passage of Proposition 215, the November 1996 initiative that allows seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief, with a doctor's recommendation, without being prosecuted under state law. Advocates, backed by medical testimony, say only marijuana can make certain treatments for AIDS and cancer bearable, and ease pain from glaucoma and other conditions. Federal law declares, however, that marijuana has no medical use and cannot be administered safely under medical supervision. Many of the marijuana clubs have been shut down through the efforts of Attorney General Dan Lungren, who obtained state court rulings limiting the scope of Prop. 215, and the Clinton administration's Justice Department. The Justice Department originally sued six Northern California clubs, including the Cannabis Cultivators Club in San Francisco, to enforce federal laws against marijuana distribution. (c)1998 San Francisco Examiner Page A 2
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Orders SF Jury Trial In Marin Pot Club Case (The Sacramento Bee version) Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:11:03 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Judge Orders SF Jury Trial In Marin Pot Club Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Oct. 14, 1998 Source: Sacramento Bee (CA) Contact: http://www.sacbee.com/about_us/sacbeemail.html Website: http://www.sacbee.com/ Copyright (c) 1998 The Sacramento Bee Author: Claire Cooper, Bee Legal Affairs Writer JUDGE ORDERS S.F. JURY TRIAL IN MARIN POT CLUB CASE In the latest development in the federal government's attempt to shutter marijuana buyers' cooperatives in the wake of Proposition 215, a judge Tuesday ordered a jury trial in San Francisco in the government's case against a Marin County pot club. However, in a ruling mostly favorable to the government, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer gave federal marshals clearance to shut down a similar club in Oakland at 5 p.m. Friday. Breyer also ruled that the jury in the case of the Marin club may consider only whether the government has enough evidence that marijuana actually was sold there. Such evidence would indicate whether the Marin club, like the one in Oakland, was in contempt of a prior court order. The clubs wanted the jury to decide the broader issues posed by Proposition 215, which was passed by California voters two years ago: whether banning medical marijuana is irrational and whether medical uses of the drug should be legal. Bill Panzer, a lawyer representing the Marin club, said an appeal of that part of Breyer's ruling is likely. He said he was disappointed because the judge's decision will prevent "a fair review of the scientific evidence" of the medical efficacy of marijuana. Lawyers for the Oakland club and government could not be reached for comment when word of the ruling came after 5:30 p.m. In a hearing before Breyer last week, a U.S. Justice Department lawyer argued that Congress had settled the debate over medical pot by officially declaring marijuana has no accepted value or use.At the hearing, Breyer expressed concern over the strength of the government's evidence that pot was being sold at the Marin club. He said federal agents merely saw people enter the building housing the club and other businesses, and saw some smoking cigarettes as they left. In Oakland, an agent entered the club and saw 14 people buying a substance presumed to be marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- End May Be Near for Embattled California Marijuana Clubs (The Reuters version) Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 15:35:41 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Wire: End May Be Near for Embattled Calif. Marijuana Clubs 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, 14 Oct 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright (c) 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. END MAY BE NEAR FOR EMBATTLED CALIF. MARIJUANA CLUBS OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - The end may be near for California's embattled medical marijuana movement. In a surprise injunction, a federal judge this week ordered the state's most respected medical marijuana club to close by Friday for violating federal narcotics laws. And the two other clubs still struggling to distribute the drug under the terms of California's 1996 state law which legalized medical marijuana use are under similar pressure. In an emergency news conference called Wednesday, Oakland city officials and patients of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative said U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer's decision against the club would have a devastating effect. ``Closing the cooperative will force patients with AIDS, cancer and other debilitating diseases to turn to street dealers for the medicine they need,'' said Oakland City Council member Nate Miley. ``This decision will have a devastating impact on our patients and our city and we will fight it every step of the way.'' Breyer's decision issued late Tuesday ordered the Oakland club to close by Friday or face forcible closure by federal marshals. While lawyers say they plan to appeal the decision, it marks a shattering defeat in their long effort to uphold the clubs' right to provide marijuana to sick people. Breyer, while noting that closing the club would likely cause ``human suffering,'' said club lawyers had failed to demonstrate that enforcing a federal ban on marijuana distribution would violate the constitutional right of sick people to relieve excruciating pain -- a cornerstone of the medical marijuana movement's legal strategy. The order to close the Oakland club came as a particular blow. Boasting some 2,000 members and bright, downtown offices that resemble a pharmacy, the Oakland cooperative has been repeatedly praised by health officials as one of the most responsible marijuana distribution organizations to emerge since voters passed the state law in 1996. That law, which allowed patients to use marijuana under a doctor's prescription, drew immediate fire from federal officials, who have mounted a legal campaign to shut the medical marijuana clubs for violating federal narcotics laws. Ten of an original 13 clubs up and down the state have already closed under the federal pressure. But three clubs, including the Oakland group and another in northern California's Marin County, have continued to operate while they fight on in court. Breyer's ruling said the Oakland club had violated an injunction issued earlier this year which directed it to stop distributing marijuana to patients who say it eases nausea, wasting, and chronic pain associated with cancer, AIDS, chemotherapy, and other conditions. He also ordered lawyers for the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in Fairfax to schedule a jury trial to determine whether their group had violated the same injunction. Lawyers for the Oakland club vowed to fight Breyer's order, which they said was based on a ``legal technicality''. ``Even though our members testified that medical cannabis has actually saved their lives, they didn't say they would die tomorrow without medical cannabis,'' said lawyer Robert Raich. ``As a result, over 2,000 people may lose their access to a necessary and life-saving medicine.'' But with legal clouds gathering, medical marijuana supporters are already considering their fallback positions. Oakland officials have said in the past that if the federal government shut the club, they would consider taking on the job of marijuana distribution themselves - becoming the first municipality in the country to distribute the drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alert - Protest Closure of Oakland Medical Marijuana Co-op (The Drug Reform Coordination Network asks you to write letters to President Clinton and your congressional representatives. The protest rally 4 pm Friday will be at the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative - call the contact number for an address.) Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:33:05 -0400 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: ALERT: Protest Closure of Oakland Medical Marijuana Co-op Sender: email@example.com *** Drug Reform Coordination Network Rapid Response Team *** ALERT: Protest Closure of Oakland Medical Marijuana Co-op -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) Earlier this week, Federal Judge Charles Breyer cleared the way for federal marshals to shut down the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative this Friday, October 16th. Judge Breyer rejected all of the Oakland cooperative's defenses, ruling that the OCBC was not eligible for a jury trial on grounds of medical necessity because it had not proven that its members would face "imminent harm" by the removal of their medicine. The Oakland CBC, which currently serves over 2,000 patient-members with serious conditions like AIDS, cancer and other debilitating diseases, is widely respected for its careful, responsible operation, and has been officially endorsed by the city council. OCBC Director Jeff Jones asks that supporters call President Clinton, whose administration brought the lawsuit against the CBC's, as well as their U.S. Representatives and Senators, to voice your opposition to the federal government's intransigence against the will of California voters who passed Prop. 215 and other states where voters will be deciding this question next month. Remind them that more Californians voted for medical marijuana than for Bill Clinton, and ask them to support medical marijuana and to oppose the administration's efforts to close down the medical marijuana providers. Call President Clinton at (202) 456-1111, between the hours of 9:00am and 5:00pm EST. Call your Rep. and your two Senators (or find out who they are) via the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. And if you live in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado or the District of Columbia, be sure to show up on Election Day and vote in favor of medicinal marijuana for patients. Letters to the editor are also a good idea. (As always, please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what actions you've taken in response to our alert -- it helps us figure out how well we are doing and document our impact.) There may be a protest at the OCBC on Friday, 4:00pm, depending on the outcome of the appeal and other factors. For further information, contact Dale Gieringer at California NORML, (415) 563-5858, email@example.com. *** Drug Reform Coordination Network 2000 P St. NW Suite 615 Washington, DC 20036 (202) 293-8340 (voice) (202) 293-8344 (fax) firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.drcnet.org *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Mikuriya In Sonora (The Anderson Valley Advertiser, in Boonville, California, does a feature article about Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya, the Berkeley psychiatrist whose experience as the former director of marijuana research for the federal government has led hundreds of patients to seek his recommendation for cannabis under California's Proposition 215. Dr. Mikuriya's activism has led Attorney General Dan Lungren's office to single out the Quaker-raised patient advocate for scrutiny, but district attorneys find it difficult to challenge his testimony successfully.) Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 16:42:25 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Mikuriya In Sonora Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 www.civilliberties.org Pubdate: Wed, 14 October 1998 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Contact: email@example.com Fax: 707/ 895-3355 Author: Fred Gardner MIKURIYA IN SONORA At 5 a.m. on a Friday morning in late September, Tod Mikuriya, MD, leaves his house in the Berkeley hills to drive to Sonora to testify in what he sarcastically calls "a wrong metabolite syndrome case." The defendant, Robert Hemstalk (his people must have grown hemp once upon a time), is a man in his 50s who tested positive for cannabinoids back in March, one day after Mikuriya had recommended that he use marijuana for relief of chronic pain and as an alternative to alcohol. "He suffers encephalopathy, including cerebellar degeneration with obvious ataxia when he walks," says Mikuriya, who interviewed Hemstalk at the Oakland cannabis Co-op last spring. (You may have heard the condition described as "wet brain.") Robert Hemstalk's original crime was cultivation of three plants -- "for self medication," according to Mikuriya. "But in most of the 215 cases people plea bargain their rights away. They're facing time, they're scared, and they take probation with the usual conditions -- meaning you give up every civil right. They can come by any hour of the day or night and do a full search with digs, trash your apartment...." Hemstalk accepted diversion and had to report to a substance abuse program for urine testing. He tested clean for eight months. After his counselor, Travis S. Busey, Jr., told Hemstalk that a doctor's recommendation would entitle him to use marijuana, he drove to Oakland and got one from Dr. Mikuriya. When he then tested positive he was violated, as they say, and found himself facing prison time. For three plants. "It's just blatant non-compliance with the law," says Mikuriya, who, at 62, still seems slightly surprised that not everybody took their civics lessons as seriously as he did. "You have the government blocking safe, affordable access when the law says it has to ensure safe and affordable address. They're acting directly contrary to the wording of the law and the will of the people." The law he refers ro is section 11362.5 of the California Health and Safety Code -- born as Prop 215. Mikuriya was not keen to make the three-hour drive to the Sierra foothills. He's had to cancel appointments because Tuolomne County Superior Court Judge Eric DuTemple -- a Republican, like every superior court judge appointed in California in the last 16 years -- had refused to accept into evidence a written declaration confirming and explaining Mikuriya's recommendation of marijuana to Hemstalk. DuTemple had also rebuffed the public defender's attempt to have Mikuriya designated an expert witness -- which would have meant remuneration of $400 an hour, the going rate for medical expert testimony. Mikuriya has been denied expert witness status by other judges in several other counties and is filing complaints against them with a state agency called the Commission on Judicial Performance. He testified without remuneration at a hearing in Humboldt for Pebbles Trippet, and will do so again at her Trial (it's scheduled for October 19). The four charges against Trippet are possession and transportation, which she doesn't deny, and intent to sell and driving while impaired, which she denies unequivocally. Because threats from the federal government have left so few doctors in California willing to provide written recommendations for patients with conditions covered by Prop 215, more than 1,000 people have sought out Mikuriya; he has given the green light to cannabis to some 900. "I've never induced anybody to take cannabis," he says. "In my contact with patients I passively listen and trust what they tell me." Attorney General Lungren's office has singled out Mikuriya fro scrutiny. Last September John Gordiner, the senior assistant whom Lungren assigned to enforce his "narrow interpretation" of Prop 215, sent a memo to the District Attorneys of California's 58 counties asking to be informed of any cases involving Mikuriya. Gordiner -- who provides the local DAS with lines of argument and motions to file in prosecution 215 cases -- deposed Mikuriya at great length in connection with People v. Peron last summer. Last month, when he was leading a raiding party on a garden in Red Bluff, Gordiner ridiculed the written recommendations from Mikuriya that the growers produced as their bona fides. "So far the harassment I've received has been kind of soft-core," says Mikuriya. "Attacks on my credibility, forcing me to make drives like this... But I wouldn't be surprised if Ayatollah Lungren issued a fatwa against me before he leaves office." Add Lungren lore: one of Dan's closest friends at Notre Dame was a classmate named Eddie de Bartolo, Jr. They graduated in `68. Dan managed to avoid Vietnam by claiming bad knees. Since his father was Richard Nixon's personal physician, his draft board probably didn't question his letter of diagnosis as closely as Lungren now questions the letters Mikuriya writes for poor, sick people like Robert Hemstalk. Mikuriya is not unprepared for his showdown with the DA in Sonora. He has been studying cannabis his entire career. He grew up in Eastern Pennsylvania. His mother, who shaped his politics, was a Quaker. "The Quakers were proprietors of the Underground Railway, I'm proud to say. The cannabis prohibition has the same dynamics as the bigotry and racism my family and I experienced starting on December 7, 1941, when we were transformed from normal-but-different people into war-criminal surrogates." He attended the classy George School, flunked out of Haverford, graduated from Reed, then went to Temple University School of Medicine, where he read through all the pre-prohibition literature on cannabis. He graduated in `62 and did his residency at Mendocino State Hospital in Tallage. In 1967 he became the first director of marijuana research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He left when he was instructed to look only for negative effects. He came out to Berkeley, where he has been in private practice for three decades. When Dennis Peron opened the first cannabis buyers club in San Francisco, Mikuriya saw "a unique research opportunity," signed on as medical director, and began interviewing patients. For what conditions were people actually using marijuana? In what forms and at what dosages? Mikuriya developed a registration form designed to collect and organize the members' anecdotal evidence. It included a list of more than 50 conditions for which cannabis provided relief according to the pre-prohibition literature, updated to include "conditions that people who seemed to be credible had been treating with marijuana." Versions of Mikuriya's form are being used by most of the surviving clubs, including the Oakland Cannabis Co-op. He's still collecting data and is the de facto medical director of the clubs in Hayward, Arcata, and San Francisco (CHAMP), Since the passage of Prop 215 in November `96, he has made three trips to Arcata to see people who want to use marijuana for medical purposes. Mikuriya claims that video-teleconferencing will enable him to conduct adequate interviews, and that he and Jason Brrowne, the proprietor of the Arcata club, are close to installing a workable system. Mikuriya charges the clubs $1,000 for four hours. Interviews last roughly 15 minutes per individual, "depending on how simple of complex the case is." On a sojourn to Arcata in early September, Mikuriya spent two days straight interviewing people who wanted recommendation for cannabis. "Cannabis appears to be a unique immunomodulator analgesic that is useful in the control of auto-immune inflammatory diseases throughout the body," Mikuriya generalizes. He considers it "a gateway drug back" for alcoholics and heroin addicts. "A Scottish physician named Clendenning first used cannabis in 1843 for the detoxification of alcoholics," he comments as the old moon fades into Lafayette. There's already traffic in both directions. "Chronic pain is a large category. Post-traumatic arthritis. Post-injury muscular-skeletal problems. I run into a lot of people who have suffered substantial injuries either in childhood of through some sort of severe trauma -- car accidents, for example -- that result in chronic problems. Construction workers who have suffered on-the-job injuries. There are a lot of people out there who are suffering needlessly as a result of inadequate medication. And believe me they've tried. In most cases cannabis is a last resort. Usually the history involves some sort of misadventure with prescribed medication, such as GI bleeds from non-steroidals of significant incapacitation from antispasmodics and benzodiazapenes." "I see quite a few multiple sclerosis patients. In fact, there are some people who have been trying to see me but can't because of being housebound in the middle of nowhere. People hear about me by word of mouth. I have a significant practice in Nevada County -- people come down in groups and I see them in my office, which is now in my house. I lost my office at the Claremont Hotel after Prop 215 passed. There was a big crush of people wanting to see me -- patients for certification, journalists for stories, police for surveillance or verification. One of the Bay Area police entities requested of the management that they keep me under close observation. That outraged them but scared them at the same time. So, after 16 years, since there was a threat form police, it's good-bye Dr. Mikuriya, `You're not part of our mix anymore,' to quote the mealy-mouthed bureaucratic phrase they used. By the way, the manager was a man whom I'd given a credit reference to when he was new on the job, and played tennis with. So much for friendship. *** Public defender Gerry Kahl's office is a block east of the courthouse, not in one of the old brick building favored by the private-sector lawyers, but in a modern rectangle next to the 7-11. Kahl seemed embarrassed - offended, almost - as Mikuriya told him what a drag it was having to appear. The one matter they talked about before the hearing was remuneration. The courthouse in Sonora is a solid, old three-story building made out of yellow brick, with big windows and high ceilings - the kind they used to build before all the money disappeared. The handsome oak door leading to Judge Eric DuTemple's courtroom has been retrofitted to accommodate a big, ugly metal detector -- three girders in an inverted U. DuTemple looks like Mr. Burns [from the prime-time television cartoon The Simpsons] in his 40s -- your basic, mean, white man with hair a slightly unnatural rust color. Hemstalk is gray-haired, sunburnt, handsome, wiry and has a prominent scar on his cheek. His voice is a rasp. Kahl's polyester suit looks like it might have been worn to a disco in the `70s. His first client doesn't show and Mikuriya takes the stand almost immediately. The DA, Clancy, is young and sallow. He interrogates Mikuriya according to Gordiner's script. Mikuriya is dignity personified as he describes his March 26, 1998, interview of Hemstalk. He made a recommendation under section 11362.5 of the state Health & Safety Code. Written? Yes. The original is entered into evidence. The diagnosis? Post-traumatic arthritis, alcoholic encephalopathy with cerebellar atrophy leading to vocal chord paralysis. Did you perform a physical examination? No. Was your opinion based on what Hemstalk said? Yes. Plus an examination of his records and conversance with the medical literature. [Mikuriya got in that he'd edited a collection called the Marijuana Medical Papers 1839-1972.] What percent of your practice is devoted to time spent at the so-called cannabis clubs? About ten percent. The rest? Going to hospitals. I'm called in by attending physicians to see patients and evaluate psychotropic medications. On a typical day at Oakland, how many patients do you see? Three of four. What percentage do you recommend marijuana for? About 85 percent. Do you get paid for the work you do at these so-called clubs? $150 cash, per patient. Are you board-certified? No, I'm board eligible. The judge continued the DA's line of questioning. What do you charge for a follow-up session? $120. With which hospitals are you associated? Eden in Castro Valley, Vencor and St. Luke's sub-acute in San Leandro, Vintage Estates in Hayward. The prosecutor summed up: Hemstalk had simply paid $150 for a recommendation to use marijuana. He and Mikuriya did not have a "legitimate doctor-patient relationship as contemplated by 11362.5." Mikuriya's recommendation was based on "a very superficial examination." Gerry Kahl argued that Hemstalk had tested clean for eight months and assumed he was in compliance with the law by getting a doctor's approval. He added that Mikuriya's recommendation reminded him of "the way in which my own doctor has said, `we'll try this and see if it works.'" Judge DuTemple said he would consider the matter and rule in a week. *** Leaving Sonora we passed a crew from the Sierra Conservation Center picking up trash along the roadside -- seven men in green jumpsuits supervised by one deputy. "There they are, the fruit of the criminal justice system," observed Mikuriya. He thought his testimony had gone okay. "That young DA was really giving it the old college try. Asking questions about how much I charged and how much time I spent in the interview -- I'm sure that's part of the script suggested by Gordiner. I think I would stack up favorably with almost any physician in the amount of time I spend taking the history and the depth of information I elicit. It was gratuitous prosecutorial effort. Asking if I conducted a physical examination -- does a psychiatrist typically conduct a physical examination? I should remind the defense attorneys to ask me `What percent of psychiatrists do physical examinations on office visits?' Most of them would probably go out of business if they had to. It takes time and it takes staff." "The judge was just a prosecutor-surrogate. But he's going to have some problems as hee deliberates about what happened at the hearing. The record will make him look pretty bad if he sends Hemstalk to prison. Assertions by the prosecutor that I really didn't do a good-faith examination and adequate medical work-up are not going to hold up. The defense attorney appropriately rebutted them and we got in enough material about the evaluation." Mikuriya says he decided not to take the exam for certification by the American Board of Neurology and Psychiatry "based on how much preparation and study I would have had to have done, and the overall impact on my professional career. I'm board eligible, which opens up most of the jobs available for psychiatrists. Certainly it's a desirable status to have. I guess I'm suspicious of some of these institutions -- I've practiced as much as I can on the periphery. A lot of people in medicine think that one more brownie point is going to make for a better career. It's not necessarily so." A week after the trip to Sonora Mikuriya called Kahl and was informed that the judge was not going to send Hemstalk to prison. Nevertheless, Mikuriya has filed a complaint against DuTemple with the Commission on Judicial Performance. He charges that the judge with wrongfully insisting that he testify in person and then wrongfully denying him expert witness status. It's the principle of the thing, says Mikuriya.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cocaine Theft From Police Raises Security Concerns (The Orange County Register notes someone ripped off fellow police in Riverside, California, for $3.2 million worth of cocaine planned for a reverse sting operation.) Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 19:14:52 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Cocaine Theft From Police Raises Security Concerns Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 14 Oct 1998 Source:Orange County Register(Ca) Contact:(firstname.lastname@example.org) Website:(http://www.ocregister.com/) Author:Mark Katches and Stuart Pfeifer-OCR Copyright 1998 The Orange County Register Crime: The drug had been held in Riverside to be used in a reverse sting operation. The drugs, about $3.2 million worth of cocaine, first came into police custody in Anaheim four years ago.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Kids' Inhalant Abuse Doing Serious Damage (The Orange County Register tries to launch a nationwide drug menace, quoting the White House drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, saying Thursday that kids using inhalants is "probably the single biggest cause of unnecessary destruction in our society.") Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:31:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Kids' Inhalant Abuse Doing Serious Damage Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W.Black Pubdate: 14 Oct 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright (c) 1998 The Orange County Register KIDS' INHALANT ABUSE DOING SERIOUS DAMAGE The war on drugs has a new target.While cops and parents worry about marijuana, crack and heroin, growing numbers of young kids are doing serious damage to their bodies and even dying from using inhalants, many of which are commonly found around the house and at school. "As we look at the nation's drug problem, probably this is the single biggest cause of unnecessary destruction in our society," Gen. Barry R.McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, said Thursday. Inhalants are everyday items that contain toxic gas or liquid, such as aerosol air fresheners kept under the kitchen sink, butane cigarette lighters left on the coffee table, and Freon stolen from a neighbor's air conditioning unit. Some teen-agers have poured gasoline into a plastic bag, put their head inside and inhaled the fumes. The effects of "huffing" or "sniffing" can result in death. Teen-agers sometimes suffer permanent brain, bone marrow, liver and kidney damage, McCaffrey said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Transport Tips (A letter to the editor of The Anderson Valley Advertiser, in Boonville, California, explains how Humboldt County medical marijuana patients who are supposed to be protected by Proposition 215 can harvest, manicure and transport their medicine while circumventing the occupying force.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 23:23:31 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Pot Transport Tips Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 Pubdate: 14 October 1998 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Author: Name withheld by AVA POT TRANSPORT TIPS Editor, Although Proposition 215 has passed, the public is still not safe from intrusion by our citizen police. We are still being harassed, searched, and stolen from, thus causing various inconveniences as we go our lawful ways. The following suggestions are offered to help our lawful citizens in alleviating if not circumventing entirely the intent of the occupying force at this critical time of year: harvest, manicure and transportation. After you harvest and set to cure, remove all your clothing keeping it separate and away from your domicile, bathe thoroughly and put on fresh clothes. After manicuring, place your harvest in sealed plastic bags or other air-tight container. WASH THE CONTAINER, and have a second party, who has not touched or been too near the operation, recover the washed containers and place them in a second uncontaminated container and WASH AGAIN. It is also important to remember that anyone who has been in contact with the harvest not be allowed to touch or be in contact with the transportation vehicle. If you are profile-stopped by the police and they detect the smell of harvest on you and call in the dogs, what the dogs detect first are you, the unwashed containers, and things that were in contact with the harvest and transport vehicle, thus providing probable cause for further search. Check your car for possible violations as it is unwise to do infractions and misdemeanors while committing perceived felonies. And finally, think of a room you use most every morning. After you have been in there for a while you become unaware of the odors you have produced. When you open the door, everybody knows but you. Name Withheld, Ukiah PS. Use your resin bag to wipe down vehicles known to belong to the opposing force. It'll drive 'em coo-coo.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Right On! (Another letter to the editor of The Anderson Valley Advertiser praises the recent column by John Jonik on the very real "successes" of the war on some drug users.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 20:16:48 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: PUB LTE: Right On! Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 Pubdate: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Contact: email@example.com Fax: 707/895-3355 Author: David D'Apollonia RIGHT ON! Dear Editor: After reading THE DRUG WAR'S NO FAILURE, by Columnist John Jonik, in The Anderson Valley Advertiser I wanted to comment! RIGHT ON! I wanted to congratulate your columnist, John Jonik and your newspaper for having the bravery and integrity of reporting honestly about the undercurrents of Prohibition in America. It's time American people return to a free society and claim back the civil liberties they once enjoyed many, many decades ago. It's so sad that a once great and productive nation as the the United States of America has degraded into the repressive and hypcritical Police State it is today! It's tragic! God help America! David D'Apollonia Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada
------------------------------------------------------------------- New York Times In Epic Climb-Down - CIA - We Knew (Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn in The Anderson Valley Advertiser in Boonville, California, present an insightful analysis of The New York Times' recent biased coverage of the CIA-Contra-Cocaine scandal.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 10:35:31 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: OPED: New York Times In Epic Climb-Down: Cia: We Knew Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: d9 Source: Anderson Valley Advertiser (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: Anderson Valley Advertiser Pubdate: 14 Oct 1998 Fax: 707-895-3355 Author: Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn NEW YORK TIMES IN EPIC CLIMB-DOWN: CIA: WE KNEW ALL ALONG The New York Times has taken the first step in what should by rights be one of the steepest climb-downs in journalistic history. We allude to a story by the Slut of Langley, James Risen, which appeared on page five of the NYT, on October 10. The story, headed "CIA Said to Ignore Charges of Contra Drug Dealing in `80s," must have been an unappetizing one for Risen to write, since it forced him to eat rib-sticking amounts of crow. The CIA, Risen wrote, "repeatedly ignored or failed to investigate allegations of drug trafficking by the anti-Sandinista rebels in the 1980s." Risen went on to report that according to the long-awaited second volume of CIA Inspector General Fred Hitz's investigation the CIA " had concealed both from Congress and other government agencies its knowledge that the Contras had from the very beginning decided to smuggle drugs to support its operations." Probably out of embarrassment Risen postponed till his fourteenth paragraph the information from Hitz's explosive report that should rightly have been the lead to a story that should rightly have been on the front page: "In September, 1982, as a small group of rebels was being formed from former soldiers in the National Guard of the deposed Nicaraguan dictator, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, a CIA informant reported that the leadership of the fledgling group had decided to smuggle drugs to the United States to support its operation." Thus does Risen put the lie to all past reports on this topic in the New York Times and his own previous story in the Los Angeles Times parroting CIA and Justice Department press releases to the effect that vigorous internal investigations had entirely exonerated the Agency. In that single paragraph just quoted we have four momentous confessions by the CIA's own Inspector General. One: the Contras were involved in drug running from the very start, just as Gary Webb had described it in his San Jose Mercury News series. Two: the CIA knew the Contras were smuggling drugs into the US in order to raise money. Three: this was a decision not made by profiteers on the fringe of the Contras, but by the leadership. Four: the CIA, even before it got a waiver from the Justice Department, was concealing its knowledge from the Congress and from other US government agencies such as the DEA and the FBI. Remember also that the Contra leadership was hand-picked by the CIA, both in the form of its civilian head, Adolfo Calero, and of its military director, Enrique Bermudez. The fact that the New York Times chose to run this story on the Saturday of a three-day holiday, on and inside page suggests considerable embarrassment on the part of a newspaper that has had a long history of attacks on those who have charged CIA complicity in Contra drug smuggling, from Senator John Kerry, to Gary Webb, to our book Whiteout, The CIA, Drugs , and the Press. >From 1986 to 1988 Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts probed allegations about Contra drug running and CIA complicity in same, and issued a 1000-page report. Even while the hearings were under way, the New York Times belittled his investigation in a three-part series by its reporter Kenneth Schneider, who attacked Kerry for relying on the testimony of Contra pilots, many of them in prison. Some months after this series was published, Schneider was asked by the weekly paper In These Times why he had taken that approach. Schneider replied that the charges were so explosive that they could "shatter the Republic. I think it's so damaging, the implications are so extraordinary, that for us to run the story, it hd better be based on the most solid evidence we could amass." So now, over a decade later, the "explosive" and the "extraordinary" charges are confirmed by the CIA's own Inspector General and the story ends up on an inside page on Saturday. The New York Times's vilification of Gary Webb was obsessive and even in the midst of his October 10 climb-down Risen cannot resist another stab at the man. Two weeks earlier the NYT Book Review featured an article on Whiteout and Webb's book Dark Alliance. The author was James Adams, a Washington-based hack who used to eke out a twilit existence as correspondent for the Murdoch-owned London Sunday Times before transferring from that lowly billet to the ignominious function of relaying Agency handouts and news droppings from Congressional Intelligence committees for UPI. Adams leveled two charges against Whiteout, to the effect that there was no evidence that any Contras were running drugs, and that our book could not be taken seriously because we had not solicited a confession of guilt from the Agency. In fact, as long ago as 1985, reporters accumulated and published evidence of Contra drug running. Among these reporters were Bob Parry and Brian Barger of the Associated Press, and Leslie Cockburn, in documentaries for CBS. So far as Agency confessions are concerned, Whiteout, completed in late June and published at the start of September, contained precisely the main thrust of the Inspector General's conclusions in the second volume, now discussed by Risen. Hitz anticipated this written in his verbal testimony to Congress in May, when he acknowledged the Agency's knowledge of Contra/drug links and also disclosed that in 1982 CIA director William Casey had gotten a waiver from Reagan's attorney general, William French Smith, allowing the CIA to keep secret from other government agencies its knowledge of drug trafficking by its assets, contractors and other Contra figures. Unlike the Washington Post, the New York Times never reported Hitz's sensational March 1998 testimony, and in his October 10 story Risen disingenuously does not mention the 1982 waiver Hitz disclosed at that time. The omission has the effect of implying that the Agency was somehow acting in a "rogue" capacity, whereas the 1982 waiver shows clearly that the Reagan presidency was four-square behind the whole strategy of concealment of what the Agency was up to. As we wrote on the opening page of Whiteout: "Whether it was Truman meddling in China, which created Burmese opium kings; or the Kennedy brothers' obsession with killing Fidel Castro; or Nixon's command for `more assassinations' in Vietnam, the CIA has always been the obedient executor of the will of the US government, starting with the White House." For readers of the New York Times in its home port, the Newspaper's climb-down was not nearly as drastic as in the edition distributed through the rest of the country. The edition available in New York City did not have the fourteenth paragraph (quoted above) nor indeed five other concluding paragraphs. Why? A Times editor simply chopped them off to allow space for a large Bloomingdale's ad for a rug sale, thus confirming the truth of A. J. Leibling's observation years ago that the news diet of New Yorkers depends entirely on a bunch of dry goods merchants. The full story was also available on the New York Times's web site, but not on the Lexis-Nexis database where it ends at paragraph 13, plus a bland and uninformative final three-line resume of the missing material. Lexis-Nexis is where most people looking for the Risen Story will go.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Legalizing Pot for Medical Use a Largely Overlooked Ballot Initiative (The Las Vegas Sun says the most vocal opponents to Question 9 have been a group of senators, none from Nevada, who called a press conference against the initiative in Washington, DC. Dan Hart, the spokesman for the initiative, said internal polls are "very encouraging." "It's seen, by and large, as a noncontroversial issue," Hart said.) Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 16:50:04 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NV: Legalizing Pot for Medical Use a Largely Overlooked Ballot Initiative Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Wed, 14 Oct, 1998 Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright (c) 1998 Las Vegas SUN, Inc. Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/ Author: Steve Kanigher LEGALIZING POT FOR MEDICAL USE A LARGELY OVERLOOKED BALLOT INITIATIVE With Nevadans focused on high-profile races for governor and Congress a statewide ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes isn't generating much smoke. The initiative, which will appear as Question 9 on the Nov. 3 general election ballot, is actually drawing more attention from outside the state. Nevadans for Medical Rights, author of the initiative, has received all its financial support from a like-minded California organization. The most vocal opponents have been a group of senators, none from Nevada, who called a press conference against the initiative in Washington, D.C. That Nevadans aren't talking much about this issue doesn't bother Dan Hart. As Las Vegas spokesman for the initiative's sponsor, Hart is content with internal polls that are "very encouraging." "It's seen, by and large, as a noncontroversial issue," Hart said. "Ours is more a word of mouth campaign. This is an issue of individual rights, and this is a state where individual rights are prized." The Nevada Attorney General's Office opposes the initiative but hasn't been outspoken on its position. "A main issue is the fact it can never be implemented because federal law will prevent the sale of marijuana in any event," said assistant attorney general Brooke Nielsen. "That's a complete hurdle to implementation." The Nevada State Medical Association also opposes the initiative, preferring instead to support clinical research to determine whether marijuana does have health benefits. The association doesn't believe that science should be legislated. Larry Matheis, executive director of the association, noted that heroin was legally prescribed earlier this century but was replaced by far less lethal medication. "Right now there is evidence that marijuana can be used for some things but in each case there is a better alternative available," Matheis said. Matheis said doctors already may prescribe Marinol, which contains THC, the same active ingredient found in marijuana. He said ophthalmologists use the drug to relieve eye pressure in some patients. The drug is also used to help stimulate appetites. But Dr. Jerry Cade, co-founder of the AIDS unit at University Medical Center, and a supporter of the ballot measure, said many of his patients believe the plant works better than Marinol. He estimated that 10 to 20 percent of his AIDS patients have admitted to him that they use the plant to stimulate weight gain, and that it works in most cases. Cade said several other local physicians who treat either AIDS or cancer patients, both of whom suffer from nausea, supported marijuana for medicinal purposes. "At least anecdotally smoking marijuana seems to help a good number of my patients," Cade said. "They have gained weight. With the HIV disease, that's the enemy to us, weight loss." Although the Nevada Secretary of State's Office noted in its neutral summation of Question 9 that "most law enforcement agencies" oppose the initiative, some of the state's major crime-fighting organizations actually have taken no position. These include the Las Vegas Police Protective Association, which represents Metro officers, the Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs, and the Nevada District Attorney's Association. Ben Graham, legislative liaison for the district attorney's association, said the group's only concern is that if the initiative becomes law, "we would have to assure there are safeguards to make sure there are no abuses." The Nevada initiative, similar to the Proposition 215 ballot measure approved in California in 1996 by 56 percent of the vote, would allow possession of marijuana to treat a variety of ailments. These include cancer, AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy and other seizures, persistent nausea and multiple sclerosis. Adult users must get permission from their physicians. Minors would require a diagnosis and written authorization from their physicians, along with parental consent and parental control of the plant. The initiative also would establish a confidential registry of users that would be available only to law enforcement officials, and authorize appropriate methods to supply eligible patients. Hart noted that supplying the marijuana to the patient is the major legal sticking point. Since federal law prohibits physicians from prescribing marijuana, Hart said he is hopeful that either that ban will be lifted or the state agrees to operate its own supply network. In California, the plant is sold through marijuana clubs. California Attorney General Dan Lungren, the Republican candidate for governor in that state, attracted national headlines in 1996 when he ordered the raid and closure of the Cannabis Buyers' Club in San Francisco. A judge ordered the club reopened after Proposition 215 passed. Later in 1997, San Jose, Calif., became the first city in the nation to treat marijuana clubs like any other commercial business. Medical marijuana proponents in Nevada will have at least two years to work out methods of supplying the plant because ballot initiatives to amend the state's Constitution must be approved in two consecutive general elections. Since the initiative is appearing for the first time in November, it will have to pass both next month and in 2000 to become law. Even then, the state Legislature will be asked to develop enabling legislation to implement the law. Hart is no stranger to Nevada politics, having managed campaigns for Las Vegas Mayor Jan Laverty Jones and Las Vegas City Councilman Michael McDonald. "It's purely and simply an issue of compassion," Hart said of medical marijuana. "It would allow doctors to use a tool on some patients where it could be effective. "I talked to a fellow who was paraplegic from a car accident four or five years ago. He still gets spasms. He's on barbiturates, but they ate away his stomach. Marijuana is the only thing that will reduce the spasms, and it doesn't affect the lining of his stomach." But Republican Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Wayne Allard of Colorado and Frank Murkowski of Alaska urged voters in Nevada and Washington state as well as their own states to vote against their medical marijuana initiatives. Arizona approved a medical marijuana initiative in 1996, but that state's legislature nullified the law. The U.S. Justice Department also has filed a legal challenge to California's law. The senators, who were joined by former national drug czar William Bennett, argued that such ballot measures "send the wrong message to youth." They also argued that marijuana isn't medicine, that the restrictions would be difficult to enforce, and that it would be the first step toward total legalization of illicit drugs. Hart resoundingly disagreed. "We're not trying to legalize marijuana other than for medicinal purposes," he said. Nevadans for Medical Rights raised $232,733 through mid-August, all of which was contributed by Americans for Medical Rights of Santa Monica, Calif. The California group was a major backer of Proposition 215. Advertising in Nevada on this issue has been virtually nonexistent. Nevadans for Medical Rights has run only newspaper advertisements encouraging supporters to call them. Hart said a "couple hundred" people called, many of whom were using marijuana for medical purposes. The ads were scheduled to run for only one day last week but were repeated because of a wrong number in the original ad. Nevada political candidates, for the most part, have avoided discussing their views on the issue. It is the type of issue they'll talk about only if asked to do so. In the governor's race, Democrat Jones said she favors the initiative. Republican opponent Kenny Guinn said he is opposed, unless the American Medical Association voices its support. The national association hasn't supported such initiatives but favors research to determine whether marijuana has medicinal uses. Matheis and Cade agreed, however, that current federal drug policies have discouraged research. The federal government, with its long-standing war on drugs, has emphasized law enforcement crackdowns on production and possession of the plant. The government also has threatened to strip physicians of their licenses if they have anything to do with the plant. "Part of the problem is that the federal government has been schizophrenic in dealing with drug issues," Matheis said. "If there are benefits to marijuana, we should know that." About the only controversy generated by the ballot measure in Nevada has been procedural in nature. Supporters of the initiative in March challenged a state constitutional amendment that placed a $5,000 limit on contributions from groups and individuals to a ballot measure. Proponents argued that the contribution limitation was a constitutional violation of free speech. U.S. District Judge Philip Pro agreed. He prohibited the state from penalizing contributors who gave more than $5,000, effectively nullifying that provision. There were also doubts that the medical marijuana initiative would even qualify for the ballot. But a recount of petition signatures in Nye and Lyon counties indicated that the initiative did qualify. Proponents gathered 74,466 signatures in 13 of the state's 17 counties, far exceeding the 46,764 required statewide.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Officials Find Convict Who Fled In 1970 (The Dallas Morning News says Charles Edward Garrett, convicted of heroin possession, fled a Dallas courtroom in 1970 just before he was sentenced to life in prison. Nearly 30 years later, having avoided all trouble with the law, Garrett probably will begin serving his life term this week.) Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:11:03 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Officials Find Convict Who Fled In 1970 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Copyright (c) 1998 The Dallas Morning News Author: Rick Klein / The Dallas Morning News OFFICIALS FIND CONVICT WHO FLED IN 1970 Dallas man left court but didn't return, officials say On Feb. 12, 1970, Charles Edward Garrett was convicted of heroin possession. After the jury retired to decide on a sentence, Mr. Garrett - whose release on bond was still in effect - told his lawyer and family he was going to the bathroom and he left the courtroom. When the jury returned about an hour later with a life sentence, Mr. Garrett was nowhere to be found. He didn't return to court for 28 years. Dallas County Sheriff's Department officials on Monday found a man they say is Mr. Garrett, 56, living in Dallas under a new name. They were led to him by an undercover officer who had heard Mr. Garrett was living in Dallas with a new identity. Investigators think Kowl Emil Williams, a maintenance technician at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, is Mr. Garrett, said Detective George Arrieta of the Sheriff's Department. "We found him at work, and we asked him, 'Does the name Charles Edward Garrett mean anything to you?' " Detective Arrieta said. "He turned to us and said, 'Yeah, that's me.' " Mr. Garrett this week probably will begin serving the life term jurors handed down in 1970 - a sentence that was not unusual for the time, said Dallas County District Attorney John Vance. A judge probably will send him to a state penitentiary this week, Mr. Vance said. "I thought he'd be caught pretty quickly," said Mr. Vance, who presided over Mr. Garrett's trial as a second-year judge. "He surprised me." Mr. Garrett's arrest brought to an end a 28-year odyssey that took him to Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and New York before he returned to North Texas in 1984, Detective Arrieta said. Mr. Garrett, who was being held in Lew Sterrett Justice Center without bail pending a hearing, could not be reached for comment. Mr. Garrett apparently went to California first after his conviction. Records indicate that a Kowl E. Williams received a Social Security number in that state in 1970. Detective Arrieta said Mr. Garrett probably used forged documents to establish his new identity. A Social Security card could lead to a job, and a driver's license and credit cards would not be far behind, he said. Mr. Garrett steered clear of the law for nearly 30 years. A warrant for his arrest was issued shortly after his disappearance, and he knew that any slip-ups would bring him back to jail, said Detective Pete Castillo, who assisted on the investigation. "When we arrested him, he said it was a relief," Detective Castillo said. Mr. Garrett married in 1986 and has several children, officials said. His closest associates knew him only as Mr. Williams, Detective Arrieta said. Mr. Garrett even kept his secret from his wife. Asked if she was surprised to learn of her husband's double identity, Earline Roberts Williams said: "That's not even the word for it, but I don't want to talk about it." Mr. Garrett technically is not an escapee, but the DA's office could try to build a case against Mr. Garrett for counterfeiting identification, officials said. In an odd twist of fate, the man whose courtroom Mr. Garrett walked out of nearly three decades ago can pursue further charges against him. Mr. Vance said he doubts that will happen. "I'm not interested in filing anything on him," Mr. Vance said. "He's got about all he can handle [with a life sentence]."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-senator guilty of drunken-driving assault (The Houston Chronicle says Don Henderson, a former Texas state senator, was convicted Wednesday on three counts of "intoxication assault" for a March 31 drunken-driving accident in which three people were injured.) From: "Bob Owen @ WHEN, Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: TX Ex-senator guilty of drunken-driving assault Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 11:37:57 -0700 Sender: email@example.com October 14, 1998, 08:35 p.m. Ex-senator guilty of drunken-driving assault By STEVE BREWER Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle Former state Sen. Don Henderson was convicted Wednesday on three counts of intoxication assault for a March 31 drunken-driving accident in which three people were injured. Jurors found Henderson, 49, guilty after deliberating three hours in state District Judge Mary Lou Keel's court. He declined comment afterward. Henderson was northbound in his Jaguar on Stuebner-Airline near Cypresswood when he crossed the median into oncoming traffic and struck two other cars. Two people in one car were hurt, and so was a women in another car. Bottles of scotch were found in Henderson's car, and paramedics and others said his attitude was belligerent and that he smelled of alcohol. A blood test found he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.172, well above the legal limit of 0.10 percent. He later refused to take a breath test and seemed shaky on a videotape in which a deputy can be seen putting him through a series of sobriety tests. In closing remarks, defense attorney George Parnham attacked the validity of the blood test taken at the hospital and noted that two of the bottles in the car were sealed and that a third was in the trunk. He said prosecutors wanted jurors to believe "we have behind the wheel of a Jaguar a drunken senator, smoking a cigar, drinking while driving and tossing bottles out the back." Parnham, referring to the testimony of defense experts and others, said Henderson only had one or two drinks that night and was in pain after the accident, which he contends was caused by a steering malfunction. Prosecutor Colleen Barnett defended the blood test and dismissed testimony on a steering malfunction as "junk science." Barnett said Henderson has since bought a new Jaguar, which would seem odd in light of such a mechanical problem. She also attacked the defense experts. "It's as if the defense witnesses have said, `If you've got the money, I've got the theory,' " Barnett said. "Send him a message that justice is not for sale in the state of Texas and that you can't get an expert, get a theory and get off." Henderson, a lawyer, served in the state House for 10 years, then the Senate until 1995. He ran for a U.S. House seat, but lost in the 1996 Republican primary. Punishment testimony starts today.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three Debate Crime, Drugs (According to The Capital Times in Madison, Wisconsin, the Republican candidate for district attorney of Dane County, Diane Nicks, says she's the most experienced at prosecuting cases and managing an office. Democrat Deirdre Garton says she has the best long-term vision to fight crime. And Libertarian Peter Steinberg says we'd all be better off if Dane County would quit prosecuting marijuana offenses.) Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 11:07:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WI: 3 Debate Crime, Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank S. World) Source: Capital Times, The (WI) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thecapitaltimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Capital Times Pubdate: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 Author: Luke Timmerman [Newshawk Note: Peter Steinberg's website is at http://www.mailbag.com/users/plsteinberg/] 3 DEBATE CRIME, DRUGS DANE COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY Republican Diane Nicks says she's the most experienced at prosecuting cases and managing an office. Democrat Deirdre Garton says she has the best long-term vision to fight crime. And Libertarian Peter Steinberg says we'd all be better off if Dane County would quit prosecuting marijuana offenses. It's clear the candidates for Dane County district attorney have carved out three distinct ideological niches for voters to choose from. On Tuesday, they continued to differentiate themselves in front of 50 people at a Dane County Bar Assoclation lunchtime debate. Incumbent Nicks told the group she has worked to trim a large backlog of cases left by her predecessor, improved office communications technology, and received support from most of the county's 29 prosecutors in her 11-month tenure after being appointed by Gov. Tommy Thompson. Nicks also defended policies that are tough on crime, such as the life-without-parole sentence given in April to convicted murderer Brandon Grady. "Some of the legislation is tough, but some of it makes us safer in our own homes," Nicks said. All three candidates gave detailed descriptions of their experience. Garton pointed to her 16 years of experience as an attorney, including seven years a deputy district attorney working adult and juvenile cases under former District Attorney Bill Foust. Although she's never worked a murder trial she said some were "cakewalks", and that misdemeanors she prosecuted -- such as drunk-driving -- often could be much more complicated. On the management side, Garton has worked since 1996 as a consultant for the state Department of Administration to develop a computerized case management system for prosecutors. Nicks countered Garton's work with her own wide-ranging work as an elected district attorney in Columbia County in 1977, 16 years as an attorney in the state Department of Justice, and experience of prosecuting at least six murder trials. Steinberg was less specific and more blunt, saying his 20 years of experience as a trial lawyer on a variety of cases -- including appearances before the U.S. and state supreme courts -- make him the most qualified. "I've seen the mistakes prosecutors make from the other side, and as the district attorney, I would be on guard for that," Steinberg said. The biggest mistake the District Attorney's Office makes involves its case backlog, Garton said, and though she acknowledged progress Nicks has made, Garton said juvenile crime would be a primary focus under her leadership, because of a demographic rise in the number of teenagers over the next decade. "We must focus on kids and be sure they're on a fast track to consequences," Garton said. "We're not talking about weeks, not months, but days." Steinberg agreed with the importance of fighting juvenile crime, and stressed his view that violent crime would decrease if drugs were legalized. "As long as the 'War on Drugs' lasts, its program will be more police, prisons, and prosecutions," Steinberg said. "There will be more violence and more deaths unless people have the courage to end a failed policy."
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 68 (An original summary of drug policy news, including the feature article, How to win, by Mark Greer. The Weekly News In Review includes - Drug War Policy - US abuses human rights, Amnesty International says; Amnesty International bites the hand that feeds it; Joe Camel boosted smoking in teens; Students' substance use increases; Top court allows wider testing for drugs in schools; CIA said to ignore charges of Contra dealing in '80s. Articles about Incarceration include - County jails getting crowded; Jail stays grow with the backlog; Jury indicts prison guards; Second prison probe. Medical Marijuana stories include - Accounting of pot petitions ordered; Editorial - I-692 a proper use for marijuana; Public nuisance or therapy? cannabis clubs. Stories relating to Recreational Marijuana include - Rally call for drugs goes to pot; A pot professor's day in court. International News stories include - UK - Bar warns Straw that his reforms could break law; UK - Random drug tests at 100 independent schools; UK - Police chiefs plan biggest blitz yet on drug dealers; Belize's quiet despair; Canada - Task force tackles dealers. Hot off the 'net - MAP hits $1 million in published letters; DrugSense tip of the week; Quote of the week - US Supreme Court.) Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 15:49:25 -0700 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, Oct. 14, 1998 No. 68 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, Oct. 14, 1998, No. 68 A DrugSense publication http://www.drugsense.org/ This newsletter is available online at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1998/ds98.n68.html *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article How to Win By Mark Greer * Weekly News In Review Drug War Policy- U.S. Abuses Human Rights, Amnesty International Says Amnesty International Bites The Hand That Feeds It Joe Camel Boosted Smoking In Teens Students' Substance Use Increases Top Court Allows Wider Testing for Drugs in Schools CIA Said To Ignore Charges of Contra Dealing in '80S Incarceration- County Jails Getting Crowded Jail Stays Grow With the Backlog Jury Indicts Prison Guards Second Prison Probe Medical Marijuana- Accounting of Pot Petitions Ordered Editorial: I-692 A Proper Use For Marijuana Public Nuisance or Therapy? Cannabis Clubs Recreational Marijuana- Rally Call for Drugs Goes to Pot A Pot Professor's Day in Court International News- UK: Bar Warns Straw That His Reforms Could Break Law UK: Random Drug Tests at 100 Independent Schools UK: Police Chiefs Plan Biggest Blitz Yet on Drug Dealers Belize's Quiet Despair Canada: Task Force Tackles Dealers * Hot Off The 'Net MAP Hits $1 Million in Published Letters * DrugSense Tip Of The Week * Quote of the Week U.S. Supreme Court *** FEATURE ARTICLE How to Win by Mark Greer It seems to me that our movement needs a template on how to end the drug war. To me it has always been a fairly simple plan that is difficult to implement. Our objectives need to be the dissemination of honest, accurate, facts about drugs and drug policy to largest possible audience. That is all that is required to win. Intransigent politicians and arcane laws will drop like rotten apples once the public knows the truth. If we could snap our fingers tomorrow and the entire nation was reading the DrugSense Weekly every week or had read "Drug Crazy" or "Marijana Myths Marijauna Facts" or if every American had "Shattered Lives" as a coffee table book the drug war would be over in a matter of months. The problem of course is that we are battling a huge, entrenched, and well funded propaganda machine dedicated to keeping the average citizen afraid, dumbed down, uninformed, and buying into the foolishness that "drugs are bad so the drug war must be good." So how do we make this huge transition from inaccurate propaganda and a brainwashed public, to a populace that is at least moderately aware of the facts, science, logic, and reason pertaining to the "War on Drugs?" There are a number of tools that we can use to slay Goliath. Most already exist but need expanding and more important the public needs a broad awareness of the truth. The tools to accomplish this include media activism, volunteerism, and most important the Internet, information archives, and Email. The Drug Library at: http://www.druglibray.org/ The Drugnews archive at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/ The Factbook at: http://www.csdp.org/factbook/ The Multimedia archive at: http:/www.legalize-usa.org/ ... and a hundred other sites have provided the information database. Now it is time to make the leap from preaching to a relatively small choir and to dramatically increase our impact by using these resources to influence the media and thereby educating the public. We have accomplished truly amazing things over the last few years but we have barely begun on the full scale frontal assault that will result in the education of an entire nation. The Media Awareness Project, DRC, DPF, Lindesmith and the efforts of many other effective reform organizations have begun to move the mountain of disinformation. Now it's time to pull out the stops and to begin sharing this information with the millions who have never even thought of the drug war as a problem. They are there for the taking. The vast majority of the American public is little more than one or two rational conversations or articles away from being pro reform. This is not an essay with all the answers. It is a call for ideas. We are heading in the right direction but it is crucial that we make the jump from being a relatively obscure and small albeit effective and timely movement to being a mainstream discussion and concern on the lips and minds of our entire population. Articles and ideas on how we take the next step from a few thousand dedicated reformers to millions of aware informed and involved citizens are hereby requested and encouraged. The best will be published in this newsletter or, if more appropriate, be discussed in some of the behind the scenes strategy groups. To date we have done a very respectable job of creating the tools, preparing ourselves for the coming battle and educating dedicated reformers. It's time to start providing these tools and information to Mr. and Mrs. Middle Class America. *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Drug Policy Issues- *** COMMENT: Amnesty International's report criticizing American police and incarceration abuses hasn't yet received detailed comment from official government sources. AI's failure to specify the drug war as an important engine of those abuses serves to call attention to the policy's "Sacred Cow" status. There was a rebuke issued to AI from an unexpected Canadian source, but in general, press response to their charges could be described as muted. Two separate, but related reports on adolescent substance use appeared last week: the CDC offered an evaluation of the effect of cigarette advertising on teen smoking, and a report from Washington state confirmed that today's teens are open to experimentation. Two stories on recurrent themes round out the policy news: the ever-vigilant Supreme Court extended the ability of school boards to withhold civil rights from both students and teachers. Also, long after the Mercury-News left Gary Webb swinging in the wind, the CIA's Inspector General admits there was something to the CIA-contra-crack connection after all. Imagine that. *** U.S. Abuses Human Rights, Amnesty International Says WASHINGTON - The world's leading human-rights group, Amnesty International, is launching its first worldwide campaign aimed at the United States, citing abuses such as "widespread and persistent" police brutality, "endemic" physical and sexual violence against prisoners, "racist" application of the death penalty and use of "high-tech repression tools" such as electro-shock devices and incapacitating chemical sprays. The London-based group kicks off a yearlong USA Campaign with the release tomorrow of a 150-page report highlighting what Amnesty calls an American "double standard" of criticizing human-rights abuses abroad while not doing enough to remedy those at home. [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n871.a07.html *** GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST OPPRESSION AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL BITES THE HAND THAT FEEDS IT New campaign against the United States for rights abuses ignores the real brutes of the world Amnesty International opens a world-wide, morally sound but realistically questionable year-long campaign against the United States today. It must have its own peculiar death wish, something along the lines of biting the hand that feeds it. [snip] Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.calgaryherald.com/ Pubdate: October 6, 1998 Author: Catherine Ford URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n876.a07.html *** JOE CAMEL BOOSTED SMOKING IN TEENS ATLANTA - The number of American youths taking up smoking as a daily habit jumped 73 percent between Joe Camel's debut in 1988 and 1996, the government said yesterday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said tobacco ads that rely heavily on giveaways and kid-friendly cartoons are partly to blame. [snip] Source: Standard-Times (MA) Contact: YourView@S-T.com Website: http://www.s-t.com/ Pubdate: 9 October, 1998 Author: Russ Bynum, Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n884.a11.html *** STUDENTS' SUBSTANCE USE INCREASES By the time Washington students graduate from high school, more than 80 percent have experimented with alcohol, more than 60 percent have smoked cigarettes and more than half have used drugs. And the use of all three among adolescents is up from 1995, according to the latest Washington State Survey of Adolescent Health Behavior, which was released yesterday. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 08 Oct 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Tamra Fitzpatrick URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n881.a02.html *** TOP COURT ALLOWS WIDER TESTING FOR DRUGS IN SCHOOLS WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court on Monday gave school officials broader authority to administer drug tests to students and to discipline teachers who inject controversial ideas into the curriculum. Acting on two closely watched appeals on the first day of the court's new term, the justices dismissed a constitutional challenge to an expanded school drug-testing program in Indiana and rejected a First Amendment challenge filed on behalf of a North Carolina drama teacher. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: Tue, 6 Oct 1998 Author: David G. Savage - LA Times URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n877.a01.html *** CIA SAID TO IGNORE CHARGES OF CONTRA DEALING IN '80S WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 1998 - Despite requests for information from Congress, the CIA repeatedly ignored or failed to investigate allegations of drug trafficking by the anti-Sandinista rebels of Nicaragua in the 1980s, according to a newly declassified internal report. In a blunt and often critical report, the CIA's inspector general determined that the agency "did not inform Congress of all allegations or information it received indicating that contra-related organizations or individuals were involved in drug trafficking.'' [snip] Pubdate: 9 Oct1998 Copyright: (c) 1998 N.Y. Times News Service Source: N.Y. Times News Service Author: James Risen, N.Y. Times News Service URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n891.a06.html *** Incarcertion- *** COMMENT: One tangible benefit of the Amnesty International report, is that while it didn't single out the drug war specifically, its focus on law enforcement and prison issues will mean that news stories on those subjects will receive more critical scrutiny than usual. Wisconsin's prison issues are much in their local news; this long article from the State Journal detailing the rapid growth in their jail population is an indicator of major problems in the near future, especially if tax revenues decline. A long investigative piece from the San Jose Mercury News carries a simple basic message: over-crowded jails and prisons can be exacerbated by several factors, not the least of which is a self-indulgent, undisciplined Bench, addicted to long golf week-ends. Also in California, home of the nation's largest prison system, fall-out from the AI report highlights the indictment of 5 Corcoran guards. To add insult to injury, in an obvious slap at the guards' union for defecting from his gubernatorial campaign, Dan Lungren, allowed yet another prison investigation to go forward. *** COUNTY JAILS GETTING CROWDED Most counties plan on building space for more prisoners County sheriffs around Wisconsin have to be part magician when it comes to using their jails these days either they have too many rabbits in the hat or not enough. State statistics show county jails are housing nearly 11,500 inmates, compared to about 2,000 in 1978 and 6,000 in 1988. [snip] Source: Wisconsin State Journal Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.madison.com/index.html Pubdate: 5 October 1998 Author: Richard W. Jaeger, Wisconsin State Journal URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n868.a04.html *** JAIL STAYS GROW WITH THE BACKLOG Length of time defendants are held has more than doubled in 6 years On a typical Friday, Santa Clara County's Hall of Justice looks like it is going out of business. Some judges are toiling away in their chambers, but, with the exception of a few clerks and bailiffs, courtroom after courtroom has been abandoned. Despite a crushing criminal caseload, a five-month Mercury News investigation documented that by lunch time on most Fridays, a cadre of veteran judges, the men who hear the most notorious and heinous cases, have left for home, are off running errands or are on their way to play golf. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Pubdate: 4 Oct 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n872.a03.html *** JURY INDICTS PRISON GUARDS Inmate rapes investigated Los Angeles Times FRESNO - Five correctional officers have been indicted by a special Kings County grand jury on conspiracy and other charges stemming from a 1993 rape at Corcoran State Prison by an inmate enforcer nicknamed ``the Booty Bandit.'' The five officers, including a lieutenant, were booked at Kings County Jail late Thursday on a variety of criminal charges including conspiracy to aid and abet sodomy and preparing false reports. The indictments came after a three-month investigation by the state attorney general's office into allegations of planned rapes and cover-ups at the San Joaquin Valley prison. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: John Howard Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n890.a02.html *** SECOND PRISON PROBE Alleged abuse investigated at Susanville SACRAMENTO - A day after five prison guards were charged with helping to arrange the rape of an inmate at maximum-security Corcoran State Prison, Attorney General Dan Lungren on Friday announced an investigation at a second prison, High Desert State Prison near Susanville. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 10 Oct 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: John Howard Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n889.a07.html *** Medical Marijuana *** COMMENT: On election day, the medical use of cannabis will be voted on in Alaska, Arizona, Washington state, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, and the District of Colombia. In Nevada and Colorado, hostile state officials nearly kept the issue off the ballot, claiming insufficient qualifying signatures. In a bizarre twist, Colorado voters learned last week that their votes on election day may or may not be for real. In Washington state, the measure, known as I-692 , picked up an important endorsement from the Post-Intelligencer. Playboy afforded Dr. Grinspoon an opportunity to extol the medical benefits of cannabis while countering the negative public image of buyers' clubs. *** ACCOUNTING OF POT PETITIONS ORDERED State Supreme Court calls for signature count on marijuana initiative The state Supreme Court Monday ordered a line-by-line count of petitions to legalize marijuana for medicinal use. Issue 19 is already on the Nov. 3 ballot. But if the count shows too few signatures by registered voters, the election won't count. [snip] Source: Rocky Mountain News (CO) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://insidedenver.com/news/ Pubdate: 6 Oct 1998 Fax: (303) 892-5499 Author: John Sanko Rocky Mountain News Capitol Bureau URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n881.a08.html *** I-692 A PROPER USE FOR MARIJUANA There are two simple motives for voting yes on Initiative 692 Nov. 3. They are compassion and common sense, two solid virtues possessed by the majority of Washington voters. [snip] Removal of marijuana from the DEA's Schedule 1 list would be sensible federal policy. In the meantime, decriminalizing the medical use of marijuana is sensible policy for Washington state. Decisions involving personal health and private suffering are best made by patient and physician, not police, politicians and prosecutors. [snip] Pubdate: Sunday, 11 October, 1998 Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n893.a01.html *** Public Nuisance Or Therapy? Cannabis Clubs On one side stand the millions of Californians who voted in favor of Proposition 215, the 1996 referendum that approved the possession and use of marijuana for gravely ill patients. [snip] On the other side stand California's politically ambitious attorney general, Dan Lungren, and his allies in Washington: Attorney General Janet Reno, drug czar Barry McCaffrey and President Bill Clinton. Presumably, these agents of the war on drugs have family members who feel no pain, whose joints function effortlessly and whose appetites are never ravaged by serious disease. [snip] Source: Playboy magazine Section: The Playboy Forum Pubdate: November, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.playboy.com/ Author: Dr. Lester Grinspoon URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n878.a05.html *** Recreational Marijuana *** COMMENT: MassCann's annual Freedom Rally on behalf of marijuana legalization continues to be controversial, both inside and outside the reform movement, but no one can doubt that it generates more media coverage than any other rally- witness a long article in the Hong Kong Standard.. Closer to home, those who've seen the name of Julian Heicklen in news articles, but can't quite place it, are urged to read Tom Gibb's story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. A dozen Professor Heicklens, willing to risk jail, might finally get the issue of jury nullification out of the closet. *** RALLY CALL FOR DRUGS GOES TO POT BOSTON: With swirls of marijuana smoke wafting through the air, about 40,000 people gathered in Boston on Saturday for a rally supporting legalisation of the drug. Police, who had vowed a crackdown on the 9th Annual Freedom Rally, arrested about 40 on drug possession charges. That's far fewer than the 150 arrests at last year's event, which attracted about 10,000 more people. [snip] Pubdate: October 4, 1998 Source: The Hong Kong Standard Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.hkstandard.com/ URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n870.a01.html *** A POT PROFESSOR'S DAY IN COURT BELLEFONTE, Pa.-Centre County President Judge Charles Brown paused, delicately felt around for the right touch of understatement, then told jurors in his courtroom yesterday they were hearing "a rather unusual case." He expected something different? The man on trial was Julian Heicklen, retired Penn State University chemistry professor-a man so incensed by marijuana laws that he repeatedly showed up at the campus gate last winter, smoked joints and preached individual rights to lunchtime crowds. [snip] Pubdate: Thu, 8 Oct 1998 Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Tom Gibb URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n888.a011.html *** International News *** COMMENT: Last week's news from the UK tended to confirm a suspicion that as editorial comment has become more supportive of drug policy reform, those in charge of have become enamored of the American model of enforcement. Drug testing of students, police "blitzes" on dealers and forfeiture of property seem very un-British. Elsewhere, the story from Belize underscores the massive dimensions of the illegal drug industry: pollution incidental to trafficking is causing social devastation in several small nations along a trade corridor. Further evidence that the illegal drug market has become just as globalized as legitimate markets is seen in the article from Vancouver describing the latest wrinkle in that city's burgeoning drug problem: use of underage illegal "immigrants" from Honduras as retail workers. *** 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. [snip] 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 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n882.a02.html *** POLICE CHIEFS PLAN BIGGEST BLITZ YET ON DRUG DEALERS McLeish heralds crackdown backed by initiatives aimed at reforming addicts SCOTLAND'S eight chief constables are preparing to launch the biggest crackdown on drug dealers in the country's history. Police will work hand in hand this winter with customs officers, benefits agency workers and The Inland Revenue, targeting not just the criminals but also their assets, tax dodges and benefit frauds. [snip] Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Pubdate: 8 Oct 1998 Author: Jenny Booth Home Affairs Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n883.a06.html *** BAR WARNS STRAW THAT HIS REFORMS COULD BREAK LAW THE Bar set itself on a collision course with the Home Secretary at the weekend with a warning that Jack Straw's criminal justice plans could fall foul of the Government's own human rights law. Heather Hallett, QC, chairman of the Bar, said that reforms in the pipeline - such as confiscation of property without a criminal trial - could be challenged under the new Human Rights Bill, soon to reach the statute book. "It would be a dreadful irony if the very first challenge in the courts was to legislation passed in the same session by the same Parliament," she told the annual Bar conference in London. "If the reports of some of the proposals emanating from the Home Office are accurate, that is exactly what will happen." [snip] Pubdate: Mon, 05 Oct 1998 Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Frances Gibb URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n868.a06.html *** BELIZE'S QUIET DESPAIR Tiny coastal nation plagued by misery brought by crack cocaine addiction Orange Walk, Belize The center of this little town looks so wholesome that you expect to see Andy Griffith come whistling around the corner. There's a small white church near the town hall and a shaded park where girls in school uniforms gather after class to gossip and giggle. [snip] Bales of cocaine sometimes wash ashore by accident, dumped by boats fleeing authorities or spilled while being transferred from one ship to another. The drug is also left behind as payment to local middlemen. Wherever the coke winds up, people try it. Like a nasty virus, cocaine refuses to respect political boundaries or cultural traditions, destroying lives indiscriminately. There are now crackheads; among the blacks of eastern Costa Rica, the Miskito Indians of Nicaragua, the Spanish-speaking fishermen of Honduras, the Garifuna Indians of Guatemala and the Creole-speaking people of Belize. [snip] Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 Author: Edward Hegstrom Chronicle Foreign Service URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n873.a03.html *** TASK FORCE TACKLES DEALERS Immigration Canada is working with a police task force to fight an organized Honduran crime wave. [snip] 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. [snip] Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/ Pubdate: 7 Oct 1998 Author: Ann Rees, Staff Reporter The Province URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n878.a02.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: 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! *** FACT OF THE WEEK Assuming recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 of every 20 Americans (5%) can be expected to serve time in prison during their lifetime. For African-American men, the number is greater than 1 in 4 (28.5%) Source: Bonczar, T.P. & Beck, A.J., Lifetime Likelihood of Going to State or Federal Prison, Washington D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of Justice (1997, March), p. 1. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK William Capps from Salem, Oregon USA writes: "It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error. -U.S. Supreme Court, American Communications v. Douds, 339 U.S. 382,442 *** 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 and COMMENTS Editor: Tom O'Connell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Senior-Editor: Mark Greer (email@example.com) 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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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