------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Oakland Medical Marijuana Club Scheduled For Shut Down Monday; High Court Won't Revive Tax Stamp Law On Illegal Drugs) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 17:02:50 EDT Subject: NORML WPR 10/16/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org October 16, 1998 Oakland Medical Marijuana Club Scheduled For Shut Down Monday October 16, 1998, Oakland, CA: In a ruling called "reprehensible" by Oakland Council member Nate Miley, U.S. Court Judge Charles Breyer granted federal marshals the authority to close the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative at 5 p.m. Monday. The Judge initially ordered the club closed Friday, October 16, but granted the Cooperative a three day reprieve pending an appeal from the club's attorneys. "Judge Breyer's decision makes a travesty of fundamental American values regarding local government, patients' rights, and states' rights," said California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer, who is organizing a patient protest outside the club at 4 p.m. Monday. Breyer rejected several defenses raised by the club's attorneys, including arguments that closing the Cooperative would violate a patient's constitutional right to relieve excruciating pain. "Defendants have failed to proffer evidence that each and every person to whom they distributed marijuana needed the marijuana to protect such a fundamental right," he wrote. Ironically, Breyer acknowledged that closing the club may cause "human suffering," and admitted that attorneys provided sufficient evidence that Cooperative members used marijuana for medical reasons. Robert Raich, an attorney for the Oakland Cooperative, strongly criticized Breyer's ruling and the federal ban on medical marijuana. "Even though our members testified that medical cannabis has actually saved their lives, they didn't say they would die tomorrow without [it,]" he said. "As a result, over 2,000 patients may lose their access to a necessary and life-saving medicine. "There is no rational basis for the federal government to deny patients medical marijuana," he continued. "It's like Congress has passed a law declaring the world is flat and that we don't need to consider any facts." Oakland city officials said they will continue to support efforts to make medical marijuana safely available to patients. Officials previously deputized the Oakland club staff in an attempt to immunize them from federal prosecution, but Judge Breyer rejected that argument. Breyer refused to order the closure of a second medical marijuana dispensary, the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana in the city of Fairfax. NORML Legal Committee member William Panzer, an attorney for the club, said that Breyer ordered a jury trial to determine whether the club sold marijuana in violation of federal law. For more information, please contact either Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858 or NORML Legal Committee member William Panzer @ (510) 834-1892. *** High Court Won't Revive Tax Stamp Law On Illegal Drugs October 16, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding North Carolina's tax on illegal drugs unconstitutional. The lower court based its decision on evidence that the Constitution's ban on double punishment for the same crime prohibits the collection of such taxes. "Drug tax stamp laws are based on nothing more than a legal fiction," said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of The NORML Foundation. "How can the state require individuals to pay a tax on products they may not legally own after they have already been criminally prosecuted?" The Supreme Court's failure to revive North Carolina's tax law raises speculation regarding the legality of similar laws in other states. State courts in Indiana, Texas, and Wisconsin recently struck down similar drug tax laws. "The High Court agrees that states may not treat the imposition of its drug tax as a civil sanction," said St. Pierre. "It is clearly a punitive criminal penalty." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Attorney Tanya Kangas of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- KINK FM 102 - No on 57 (A list subscriber says one of the most popular radio stations in Portland, Oregon, has broadcast a staff editorial urging voters to oppose Measure 57, which would recriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 10:13:54 EDT Sender: email@example.com From: Perjanstr@aol.com To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: KINK fm 102 / NO on 57 f.y.i On wed, Oct. 14th, I heard over the radio at 102FM, the KINK editorial stating we should vote NO on measure 57. The great part was the points they used. They DIDN'T talk about better 'wastes' of our money, NOR the fact that the police will have full search and seizure powers under this bill (all your stuff ... house, car, bank account ... for any amount - even half a roach ! ), NOR did they take a dig at the claims of violent behavior under the influence of marijuana ... nor at the 'experts' with vested interests who make said claims. So little time, so much propapganda to refute. ! BUT they DID state: * The double standard that exists for marijuana with compare to alcohol and tobacco. * The claims of gateway as known falsehood * C'mon, we're talking less than an ounce ... hardly candidates for incarceration. * Will strain already overload system, esp. w/. Other anti-crime measures in the ballot. This is the first time I've heard these opinions (? Facts!) expressed on mainstream media. The points about gateway effect AND relativity to legal, much more harmful drugs were especially brave strands in the 'new' (latest) era of zero tolerance. I felt I was watching a chunk fall out of the Berlin wall. The silence on this war of Vietnam proportions in our own back yard has been ignored far too long. KINK's my station from now on. Consider my radio dial stuck. I went to KINK's web site (www.kinkfm102.com) ... but they do not have the text on-line yet. I greatly appreciate the courage of the KINK managers and owners in allowing such truths to be spoken. I couldn't have said them better. from their site ... "KINK Considers is a combination of 'radio column' and station editorial. We believe it is the only regularly scheduled editorial on Portland radio. It never shies away from taking a stand on controversial or emerging issues of importance to our listeners and always welcomes your comments. Subjects are the product of consensus of the KINK editorial committee and are written and produced by KINK's News Director, Mike Rich. KINK Considers airs on Wednesdays and Fridays at 5:20 A.M., 10:30 A.M. and 3:20 P.M. To comment on an editorial, you can call 460-2545 or e-mail us right here: KINKConsiders@kinkfm102.com " Perry PdxNORML Portland, OR
------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter to the editor of The Olympian published (An item from the Olympia, Washington daily newspaper by a retired physician says he's ashamed that the Washington State Medical Association voted not to endorse medical marijuana Initiative 692. Recounting the extensive research authorized by legislatures in six states from the late 1970s to mid-1980s, he asks, "How much needless suffering by countless thousands of patients is needed for 'anecdotal' evidence to be validated as real?") From: MJDOCDLE@aol.com Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 12:18:37 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org, RKillian@aol.com, email@example.com Subject: HT: LTE Olympian Published Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Letters to the Editor The Olympian Post Office Box 407 Olympia, Wash., 98507 16 Oct 98 Kind Madam/Sir: The Washington State Medical Association voted not to endorse the Medicinal Marijuana Initiative 692. As a retired physician who believes that we owe it to patients to relieve suffering, I am ashamed of this callous, spineless political action that hides behind the flimsy excuse that more research is needed. This is particularly hypocritical in that our Government has consistently blocked the very research that would show that marijuana is safe and effective. Dr. Donald Abrams (U. Cal., S.Francisco ) has been denied for 4 years access to the legal marijuana needed to implement his FDA-approved study comparing appetite stimulation by smoked marijuana vs. oral Marinol (synthetic THC) in AIDS patients. While ths stone-walling goes on countless thousands of patients are denied relief. Research verifying marijuana's merits has been done. In the late 70's to mid 80's, Legislatures in six states ( CA, GA, MI, NM. NY,TN ) authorized studies on nausea relief in cancer patients whose nausea was not controlled by conventional anti-nausea medicines. Between 71% - 92% of these patients experienced relief with smoked marijuana. The studies all involved over 119 patients ( except for Tennessee - 27 patients). When penicillin was first introduced it was not subjected to the rigorous standards now being selectively applied to marijuana : it worked, therefore let's use it. How much needless suffering by countless thousands of patients is needed for "anecdotal" evidence to be validated as real? Sincerely, David L. Edwards, M.D. 2715 Schirm Loop, NW Olympia, WA, 98502 (360) 866-7165
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reefer Foolishness (A staff editorial in The San Francisco Chronicle blasts foes of Proposition 215 who have ordered the shutdown of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative as "zealots" and says "this reefer foolishness among state and federal drug warriors has gone on long enough. Where are the state lawmakers with the creativity and guts to set up a plan for the distribution of medical pot the voters approved two years ago?") Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 09:49:39 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Reefer Foolishness 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: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Chronicle REEFER FOOLISHNESS A FEDERAL judge's order closing down an Oakland medical marijuana club should goose state legislators into creating a system for the legal distribution of pot for sick people. When 56 percent of California voters approved Proposition 15 in 1996, it was meant to establish a safe and humane way for patients to obtain marijuana that many insist is an effective folk medicine. But as soon as the law was passed, state and federal anti-drug zealots began harassing pot distribution clubs until most have closed their doors. This week, District Judge Charles Breyer rejected arguments by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative that it should be allowed to defy federal laws against handing out marijuana because of ``medical necessity.'' Even as he ordered the Oakland club shut down sometime today, Breyer conceded that the closure would cause suffering among some of its clients. This reefer foolishness among state and federal drug warriors has gone on long enough. Where are the state lawmakers with the creativity and guts to set up a plan for the distribution of medical pot the voters approved two years ago?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland Club Wins Three-Day Stay (California NORML notes federal judge Charles Breyer postponed the closure of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative scheduled for 5 pm Friday. A demonstration in support of the club - at 1755 Broadway - will begin 4 pm Monday. Take BART to the 19th and Broadway stop. Bring signs and all the friends you can muster.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 13:30:53 -0800 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Oakland Club Wins 3-Day Stay Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ OAKLAND CLUB GIVEN 3-DAY REPRIEVE CLOSURE RESCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, OCT. 19, 5 PM DEMONSTRATION RESCHEDULED Judge Charles Breyer postponed the closure of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative by federal marshals, originally scheduled for 5 pm today, Friday, October 16th, until 5 pm Monday the 19th pending appeal. The demonstration in support of the club that was originally scheduled for today has accordingly been postponed to 4 pm Monday. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // firstname.lastname@example.org 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Club given time to appeal (The version broadcast by KTVU-TV Channel 2 in the Bay Area) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 19:43:25 -0400 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: ltneidow@VOYAGER.NET (Lee T. Neidow) Subject: Cannabis Club given time to appeal Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com This bulletin from KTVU-TV Channel 2 Oakland/San Francisco: CANNABIS CLUB GETS BRIEF RESPITE A federal judge in San Francisco issued a brief stay in his decision to close the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative today. The closure was ordered by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer for violating his May order to stop selling marijuana, pending a trial. But Breyer today moved the time for shutdown by U.S. marshals back from 5 p.m. today to 5 p.m. Monday so the group can make its case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge halts closure of medical marijuana club until Monday (The Associated Press version in The San Francisco Examiner) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 21:22:22 -0500 From: "Frank S. World" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: US CA SFX BREAKING NEWS: Judge halts closure of medical marijuana club until Monday Sender: email@example.com Source: San Francisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com Pubdate: Friday, October 16, 1998 JUDGE HALTS CLOSURE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLUB UNTIL MONDAY (10-16) 20:37 EDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- A federal judge allowed an Oakland medical marijuana club to remain open a few days longer than a Friday deadline for its closure. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer said the 2,200-member Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative could stay open until at least Monday. The time will allow attorneys to seek an additional stay from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals so it can continue to operate. The Justice Department has sued six Northern California clubs to enforce federal laws against marijuana distribution. In May, Breyer prohibited them from distributing marijuana while the lawsuit was pending. The judge ruled Tuesday that the Oakland club violated the order and could have been closed Friday. The clubs sprang up around California after passage of a 1996 initiative allowing seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief, with a doctor's recommendation, without being prosecuted under state law. But federal law says marijuana has no medical purpose and cannot be administered safely under medical supervision.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wednesday, Oct. 14 (A list subscriber says the trial of Steven McWilliams and Dion Markgraaff, charged in connection with growing and supplying medical marijuana to local patients, has been delayed two months.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 02:23:28 EDT Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd: San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wed 10-14-98 Oct.15: I heard from Barbara McKenzie in San Diego, this morning. She said that the judge has delayed this case for two months. I'll keep you updated. Genie Subject: Fwd: San Diego Medical Marijuana Trial Commences Wed 10-14-98 [snipped to avoid duplication. - ed.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Bumper Crop Of Pot Targeted (The Fresno Bee says members of the Fresno County Narcotics Enforcement Team and US Forest Service have spent the past several weeks chopping down a county-record 43,000 plants they valued at $90 million. Last year's eradication effort netted 6,400 plants. US Forest Service special agent Bob Hernandez estimated the haul represents only 20 percent of the actual crop, which would mean the total value of marijuana grown in the county would rank among its top three crops, alongside grapes and cotton. No word on how much taxpayers paid for the prohibition agents' failed eradication effort.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 12:35:30 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Bumper Crop Of Pot Targeted 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: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: The Fresno Bee Contact: email@example.com website: http://www.fresnobee.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Fresno Bee Author: Kimi Yoshino The Fresno Bee BUMPER CROP OF POT TARGETED Fresno County hills give up 43,000 plants worth $90m. Tucked away in the remote areas of the Sierra National Forest, hiding in the branches of the manzanitas, a bumper crop of marijuana is being meticulously grown and nurtured. But harvest came a little early for some of this pot crop, as members of the Fresno County Narcotics Enforcement Team and U.S. Forest Service have spent the past several weeks chopping down a county-record 43,000 plants - worth an estimated $90 million. "It's been a great year for us, not too good for the crooks," said Lt. Ron Wiley, head of the narcotics team, which found another 600 plants Thursday. The number of plants chopped down this year dwarfs last year's statistic of 6,400 plants. Much of this year's seized plants came from the mountainous areas of the county, where growers appear to be setting up shop in increasing numbers. Even with those high numbers, U.S. Forest Service special agent Bob Hernandez figured the growers had already dried and removed about half their crop. The pot harvest season is waning as fall temperatures drop. Wiley agreed that their haul makes only a dent in the bigger drug picture. He estimated that the 43,000 plants probably represent only 20% of the marijuana being grown in Fresno County. Based on that estimate, the total value of marijuana grown in the county would rank among its top three crops, alongside grapes and cotton. "This was just an exceptional year," Wiley said. "They had a lot more water up here, a lot of opportunity to grow. It's something else we can blame on El Nino." Eagle-eye helicopter pilots and drug agents have been trained at marijuana observation schools to spot the concealed gardens. "You gotta know what you're looking for," Wiley said. Although the agents get tips from hikers and hunters, the gardens chopped down Thursday were a good trek beyond any dirt trail. Twenty-three officers took part in the raid. After officers cleared a landing zone for their helicopters, a SWAT team moved in and searched the site for suspects (no one was found). Then the narcotics agents pushed through brush to forge their own paths to the marijuana gardens. "The growers don't use the same trail twice," Wiley said. "Two weeks ago, we spent five hours looking for the garden." Growers are becoming more sophisticated, officials said. A few years ago, they would plant their marijuana in rows clearly visible from the sky. Now, gardens are smaller, camouflaged under tree lines. And they are tended with expertise. Around the marijuana patches on the rugged terrain, growers had set down hundreds of yards of rubber hose in a sophisticated drip-irrigation system that fed water individually to each plant. Fertilizer bags littered the mountainside. Leaves had been pruned, allowing room for virtually entire stems of buds to grow. Wiley estimated that each plant could yield $2,000. "It's an amazing amount of work they go through," he said. Officers quickly hacked through the marijuana plants and destroyed the irrigation system. They loaded the plants onto nets, which were lifted away by helicopter. The pot was burned at another location. One of the most recent developments in marijuana growing is that growers set up camp near their scattered gardens, living in the hills for three to four months, Wiley and Hernandez said. When narcotics officers swooped into the Haslett Basin area Thursday, they found a campsite but no suspects. The camp was equipped with a makeshift tent and stocked with bags of groceries such as tortillas, Top Ramen and vegetables. Elsewhere in the Valley, other law enforcement agencies also have been cracking down. In Madera County, the Sheriff's Department narcotics enforcement team seized 7,333 marijuana plants outdoors and 521 plants indoors between Jan. 1 and Aug. 31, Lt. Frank Benard said. In July, deputies pulled up 7,000 plants in one bust along the Fresno River and near Road 31 east of Madera. Five people who allegedly tended the gardens were arrested, Benard said. In Tulare County, sheriff's narcotics officers have seized about 1,000 plants so far this year, authorities said. Bee staff writer Pablo Lopez contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The State Ballot Questions (The Las Vegas Review-Journal urges a "yes" vote on Question 9, the constitutional amendment that would allow qualified patients to use medical marijuana.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 16:54:37 GMT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: Las Vegas R-J Urges 'Yes' on medical marijuana Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Las Vegas Review-Journal, Friday, October 16, 1998 (Editorial) THE STATE BALLOT QUESTIONS Ten issues to consider in the voting booth. Nevada voters will pass judgment on 10 statewide ballot questions this election, dealing with matters that range from the irrelevant to the significant. Undoubtedly the most controversial measure confronting residents is Question 9: "Should the Nevada Constitution be amended to allow the possession and use of (marijuana) for the treatment or alleviation of certain illnesses upon advice of a physician, to require parental consent for such use by minors, and to authorize appropriate methods of supply to patients authorized to use it?" Critics argue this is a back-door effort to legalize drugs, and there can be little doubt that many of who backed similar measures in California and Arizona also advocate the widespread liberalization -- if not the abolishment -- of many drug laws. But the motivation of a handful of initiative supporters should not obscure the specific issue at hand; besides, without a sudden widespread shift in public opinion, fears that this measure represents a foot in the door to full-blown drug legalization remain wildly overblown. In reality, the measure is carefully tailored and would tightly regulate the distribution of marijuana to sick Nevadans whose medical doctors believe the drug could be of use to alleviate nausea associated with chemotherapy or to treat diseases such as glaucoma. With the proper safeguards, the measure represents a compassionate effort to give doctors one more tool to treat the ill. Vote yes on Question 9. [snip] ["snip" inserted by original sender, apparently to delete discussion of other ballot measures. - ed.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- No. 8 About Compassion, Not Permissiveness (An op-ed in The Anchorage Daily News from 10 physicians and three nurses employed in the medical industry in Anchorage, Alaska, urges voters to approve the state medical marijuana ballot measure.) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 06:30:57 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AK: MMJ: No. 8 About Compassion, Not Permissiveness 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: Anchorage Daily News (AK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.adn.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Anchorage Daily News Author: WALTER JOHNSON, ARNDT VON HIPPEL, and ILEEN SELF Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 NO. 8 ABOUT COMPASSION, NOT PERMISSIVENESS Ballot Measure No. 8 would allow patients to use marijuana as a medicine only if they have a debilitating disease and an authorization from their doctor. Dozens of scientific studies, including government- and university-sponsored studies, have shown that marijuana can help patients with cancer and other diseases get relief from severe pain, nausea or muscle spasticity. Yes on Ballot Measure No. 8 would give physicians the option of authorizing medical use of marijuana for patients in pain, protecting them from being treated as criminals. At the same time, Ballot Measure No. 8 retains current laws against nonmedical use of marijuana and contains strict controls on medical use. This common-sense measure will help thousands of Alaskans and future Alaskans with debilitating diseases. Yes on No. 8 will help many cancer chemotherapy patients. Currently one in three chemotherapy patients discontinues treatment because of severe nausea and vomiting. When standard anti-nausea drugs fail, marijuana can often ease a patient's nausea and permit continued treatment. New scientific evidence is emerging that helps prove marijuana's value as an alternative treatment for other medical conditions, including stroke and neuropathic pain. Marijuana would still be illegal for nonmedical use. Ballot Measure No. 8 provides full protection against abuse of the new law: * Nonmedical (or fraudulent medical) use of marijuana would still be a crime. * Only licensed physicians could authorize medical marijuana use. * Amounts that patients could possess would be strictly limited. * No use would be authorized in public or the workplace. * A state of Alaska registration and ID card system would be established for medical users. * Only specific diseases would be covered, including cancer, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, epilepsy or severe pain and nausea. Doctors should be able to help their patients. Opponents of Ballot Measure No. 8 believe that doctors shouldn't be able to recommend medical marijuana for any medical condition. However, doctors are currently allowed to prescribe morphine. Shouldn't we trust them to recommend a less dangerous substance like medical marijuana? Yes on No. 8 is a humane policy for Alaskans suffering extreme pain. Alaska law should show compassion for people who suffer severe medical conditions. Yet while polls show most Alaskans support the medical use of marijuana, both patients and doctors are now subject to prosecution for using or even recommending it. Please vote yes on Ballot Measure No. 8 to join the 24 other states that have adopted a policy of compassion. * Walter Johnson, M.D., Arndt von Hippel, M.D., Ileen Self, R.N., are members of the Anchorage medical community. Eight other physicians and two other nurses also signed this piece.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man recalls 28 years on the run (The Dallas Morning News recounts the secret life of Charles Edward Garrett, a Texas fugitive from a life sentence for heroin possession who was recently recaptured. Here's one way to quit heroin cold turkey.)From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 08:20:56 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Man recalls 28 years on the run To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org My hat's off to Rick Klein (email@example.com) at the DMN for sticking with this story. I don't ever recall the DMN sticking with a more or less anti-drug war story for three days in a row. Send letters of encouragement to Rick. He seems like a good guy. He was also the reporter that covered the DPFT protest at DEA headquarters in Dallas. Charles Garrett's story was covered by the local Fox affiliate although I didn't see it. It was also the subject of discussion on one or more of the talk radio programs, although I never heard any of the comments. Once again, District Attorney John Vance's phone is 214-653-3600. Try and be polite. *** 10-16-98 Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org Man recalls 28 years on the run He says survival meant always being on guard, lying to some he cared about 10/16/98 By Rick Klein / The Dallas Morning News Charles Edward Garrett figured the jury that had just found him guilty of heroin possession would send him away for a long time. "I had a bad feeling," he said, "so I just dismissed myself." Still free on bond while jurors deliberated his sentence, Mr. Garrett walked away, leaving his life and identity behind on Feb. 12, 1970. By the time the jury came back with exactly what he feared - a life sentence - Mr. Garrett was in his car headed west. He drove as far as Weatherford and climbed aboard a bus to Los Angeles. And the way he sees it, Charles Edward Garrett never really left Dallas all those years ago. "To me, I'm Kowl Emil Williams," he said Thursday. Dallas County sheriff's deputies finally found Mr. Garrett on Monday, right back where he started. After years on the run across America, Mr. Garrett said, he spent the last 14 years working at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, paying taxes and obeying the law. Now 56, gray and dressed in an orange jail jumpsuit - reserved for flight risks - he folded his 200 pounds into a molded plastic chair at the Lew Sterrett Justice Center and told his story. When he reached Los Angeles, he started to create his new identity slowly, he said. He used a notary public to obtain a birth certificate for himself as Kowl Emil Williams, a name suggested by a friend. Before long, he had a Social Security card, a driver's license, credit cards and something he never had as Charles Edward Garrett: a steady job. Mr. Garrett was a hard-core drug addict who would have used the 23 capsules of heroin found on him in 1968 had police not arrested him first. Mr. Williams quit drugs cold turkey and stayed within the law as much as possible, knowing that one misstep could blow his cover and put him in prison for life. "When I left the courtroom that day, before that night, I was a pretty sick person" from withdrawal symptoms, he said. "I said, 'That's not something I'll do again.' That's why I didn't get caught for 30 years." He said he drank heavily to get over the heroin addiction, then quit drinking, too. He also made it tough for the law to catch up with him by moving constantly. After a few years in California, he bounced back to Dallas for a couple of weeks, moved to Chicago and then to Detroit and New York. "I looked over my shoulder every day," he said. "I didn't trust nobody." He told no one his secret, not even the woman he married 16 years ago. When he ran into people from his past, he swore to them that he was Kowl Williams, not Charles Garrett. "It hurt because some of these people I really cared for," he said, fighting back tears. "I'm sorry, but I had to do what I had to do. I thought it was right at the time." He fathered 14 children by eight women and today has more grandchildren than he can count. His children range in age from 2 to 38, he said. Those who depended on his support always drew him back to North Texas, he said. He returned to the Dallas area for good in 1984. "I could care less about myself now. . . . My life is just about over," he said. "There's a lot of people who depend on me. Who's going to care for my children?" Mr. Garrett said he agrees with those who say it would be a waste of his time and the state's money to send him to prison after all these years. He said those 23 capsules held only 2 or 3 grams of heroin, an amount that probably would result in probation for a first offense today. "I didn't consider myself a criminal," he said. "They're getting away with murder now." And no matter how one views the fairness of his 1970 sentence, Mr. Garrett said, his turnaround from drug addict to productive citizen should cancel out his prison time. "I believe I paid my debt to society," he said. "If I go to jail now, what is that going to prove? What do they expect to get out of this?" To those who say he must be punished for his original crime and his flight from justice, Mr. Garrett said the years of lying to his loved ones - especially his wife - is punishment enough. "It was a big punishment to me," he said. "It don't hurt for me. I'm hurting for someone else." Still, Mr. Garrett knows that there is little he can do at this point. "If society still thinks I owe society something to them, I guess I have to pay it," he said. "That's the state rules, so what are you going to do?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- At city officers' trial, drug dealer says they robbed, threatened him (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a man who admits to a history of drug dealing testified Thursday against David Arnett and Brian Nelson, two police officers in St. Louis, Missouri, on trial in St. Louis Circuit Court for drug trafficking and felony theft. Kevin Harrell said Arnett and Nelson approached him last year at a pay phone, robbed him of $462, and then threatened to plant drugs on him if he objected to the holdup.) From: "Bob Owen @ WHEN, Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: At city officers' trial, drug dealer says they robbed, threatened him Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:50:10 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Pubdate: Friday, October 16, 1998 Online: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet Writer: Tim Bryant Of The Post-Dispatch At city officers' trial, drug dealer says they robbed, threatened him A man who admits to a history of drug dealing testified Thursday that two St. Louis police officers approached him last year at a pay phone, robbed him of $462, and then threatened to plant drugs on him if he objected to the holdup. The man, Kevin Harrell, said he complained to police investigators immediately after the incident Aug. 1, 1997, alleging that the two officers "took my money and . . . were riding around with dope." Charged with drug trafficking and felony theft are officers David Arnett and Brian Nelson. Their trial in St. Louis Circuit Court was expected to conclude next week. Defense attorneys attacked Harrell's testimony on several fronts. First, defense attorney Daniel Bruntrager got Harrell, 31, of the 2500 block of Prairie Avenue, to admit he sold cocaine in 1996 and 1997 in the 4100 block of Clarence Avenue, near his grandmother's house, where he grew up. Harrell also acknowledged that some of the money allegedly taken by the officers "could have been drug money." Bruntrager pointed out that Harrell previously told police investigators the money was not from drug sales. In addition, Harrell acknowledged he was on probation in a previous case at the time of the alleged police shakedown. In addition, Arnett and Nelson are witnesses against Harrell in a pending felony case, Bruntrager said. But Harrell said in questioning by Assistant Circuit Attorney Joseph Warzycki that he saw the officers with the drugs they threatened to plant on him. Harrell said he was walking to a supermarket when the officers approached him at a pay phone near his grandmother's house. Nelson and Arnett were charged after investigators allegedly found packets of cocaine and heroin in the officers' briefcases. The officers, both 25 at the time of the incident, also were charged with drug possession and falsifying police reports. The drugs found in their briefcases were not turned in as evidence, violating procedures, police said. Nelson's attorney, Jim Towey, got Harrell to acknowledge Thursday he had pretended to make a call from the pay phone when he spotted the officers approaching. On Wednesday, a cousin of Harrell's said he had called her to say the defendants were near. Harrell testified Thursday that he called his cousin later. Also in dispute is the time the shakedown allegedly happened. At first Harrell told investigators it happened before noon. Later, he said it took place about 10 a.m. This past summer, Harrell alleged it happened about the time of 9 a.m. television program that was on at his grandmother's house when he left to go to the supermarket. Towey has said Arnett and Nelson were nowhere near the area at those times. Police suspended the officers without pay a week after the incident. Both were assigned to the department's 6th District.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man going to adoption hearing busted on pot charges (An Associated Press article from PostNet says a man from Glen Carbon, Illinois, who was on his way to an adoption hearing was arrested on marijuana charges at the Madison County courthouse, putting in doubt his efforts to adopt two children.) From: "Bob Owen @ WHEN, Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Man going to adoption hearing busted on pot charges Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:51:21 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: PostNET Pubdate: 10/16/98 Online: http://web3.stlnet.com/postnet/ Man going to adoption hearing busted on pot charges EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) -- A Glen Carbon man on his way to an adoption hearing was arrested on marijuana charges at the Madison County courthouse's security entrance, putting in doubt his efforts to adopt two children. Wesley Earl Lowry, 34, was charged Thursday with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Deputies said they seized 4.9 grams of marijuana and a small pipe used to smoke it. As his family, relatives and lawyer watched in shock, Lowry was handcuffed and taken to the County Jail. He later was released on $2,000 bond. Lowry's arrest caused the adoption hearing to be canceled. The state immediately took under review his family's application to adopt the two children, ages 6 and 4, who have been in the Lowry's foster care for nearly two years. His attorney, Barbara S. Joiner of Edwardsville, said she still hoped to salvage the adoptions. She said that if Lowry gets drug counseling, it might persuade the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to proceed with the adoptions. ``I´ve been doing this for 19 years, and I´ve never had this happen before,´´ she said. ``It was traumatic to his wife and family.´´
------------------------------------------------------------------- Looking For A Few Good Dudes (Boulder Weekly runs an interesting feature article about the Green Panthers, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, who are waiting for the collapse of the prohibitionist regime and the consequent establishment of a "stoner homeland" stetching from 10 miles south of Portland to "due north" of San Francisco. Terry Mitchell, a founding member of the Panthers, says statistics show there has been a steady flow of bud smokers moving to the Pacific Northwest since the 1960s to escape draconian laws elsewhere. Mitchell believes the recent increase in arrests has exacerbated this trend. "According to our sources . . . the migration has sped up considerably over the past five years due to the Drug War. With property seizures being the way they are, they have fewer things to move anyway.") Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 16:12:14 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: Looking For A Few Good Dudes Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Eric Kennedy) Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: Boulder Weekly (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.boulderweekly.com/ Author: Cletus Nelson LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD DUDES Potheads Taking Up Arms In The War On Drugs The tactics used by activists to voice their dissent against the prohibition of marijuana have changed very little since the 1960s. Despite the fact that the drive to legalize cannabis began in an environment that spawned such violent, armed groups as the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), today's hemp advocates are firm adherents to the peaceful protest. Each year a myriad of non-threatening marches, candle-light vigils, demonstrations, and sit-ins are held in the hope of ending the herb's illegal status. Although the tireless efforts of these many tie-dyed warriors are to be commended, the war against America's pot smokers keeps escalating. Casualties of war The government's own statistics betray this fact. Consider the FBI's 1995 Uniform Crime Report, which shows a record 600,000 Americans arrested on marijuana charges. Of these, 86 percent were charged with the simple possession of a substance that has caused far fewer fatalities-zero, to be exact-than alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications, or aspirin. Will Foster is a living example of a victim of the hysterical anti-pot crusade popular among politicians. The father of three and a successful owner of his own software company sits in an Oklahoma prison after being handed a 93-year sentence for the "crime" of growing a few plants to help assuage his painful arthritic condition. High Times magazine reports that over 25 percent of the 1,630,000 prisoners in America's prisons and jails are doing time for drug crimes, with the majority of these non-violent offenders serving sentences for growing or possessing marijuana. "In 1994, at least 25 marijuana users were killed by police officers or died while in custody," hemp activist Ed Rosenthal notes in Why Marijuana Should be Legal. This statistic alone gives evidence that these laws which were originally intended to protect the health of the public have long since strayed from their dubious goal. As the criminal prohibition of a herb that has yet to be linked to a single death continues, those who aren't arrested (or dead) often live in constant fear of anonymous tips, urine tests, asset forfeiture, and other components of the "zero tolerance" juggernaut that continues to victimize law-abiding citizens. When a militia ... isn't a militia Today, many a casual smoker must fearfully wonder if a paramilitary team of black clad "no-knock ninjas" brandishing semi-automatic weapons will break down their door in a dramatic pre-dawn raid. Out of this miasma of fear, oppression and intolerance emerge the Green Panthers. Shifting their focus from protest to resistance, the Panthers - referred to as the "fanged mouthpiece" of the hemp movement - are adjusting their tactics to a drug policy they predict will one day devolve into outright bloodshed on the cannabis using community. They openly reject the posture of non-violence and pacifism adopted by their ideological peers and have given up trying to "change the system." This loosely based cadre of activists is boldly choosing to move in a different direction. Fiercely asserting their Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Panthers represent an interesting social phenomenon: They are the first marijuana group preparing to openly espouse armed rebellion against federal drug policy. Their strong defensive position is not unlike today's burgeoning patriot movement. But although the two may share a common mistrust of the federal government and a firm belief in the right to own and bear arms. Terry Mitchell, one of the founding members of the Panthers, finds the comparison inaccurate. "We found, with very few exceptions, [members of] the militia movement think the drug war is a good idea," he scoffs. The Waco siege, a rallying cry for militia groups, registers little with these new-model pot heads who have a strident dislike of drug war supporters. "As a group the Panthers have very little sympathy for them [Branch Davidians] because they were anti-drugees-Heaven's Gate, too," Mitchell says. Opinions such as these have not endeared him to local patriot groups and he says they have threatened his life on four different occasions. However, they aren't dealing with your typical bong-toking peacenik. "I can shoot the asshole out of a rat at a thousand miles and you can print that," snaps the native Texan. Pipe bombers? Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, these hard-liners are mainly recognized by drug policy activists for their incendiary publication Revolutionary Times. However, if events occur as they predict, they may be the forward guard in a revolution among the nation's tokers. The Panthers foresee a time when stoners will be forced to take up arms for their right to use the holy herb. "The actual dynamics of an armed struggle haven't formed up yet," says the 47-year-old activist. Articulate, well-read, and politically astute, Mitchell is emblematic of a growing segment of society who at one time "played by the rules," but now views the Washington establishment as corrupt, and any attempts to change the system futile. Far from a backwoods political neophyte, the ex-'60s radical carries extensive experience with the Libertarian party of Texas and in 1988 served as Interim-Director for the Washington, D.C. office of the National Association to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML). The Panther finds no ethical dilemma in activists arming themselves. "We think an armed society is a polite society," he says in his rich Texas twang which crackles over the phone like machine-gun fire. Mitchell believes the virulent anti-gun stance found among the modern left is unrealistic in the post-Waco 1990s. "That actually is some hangover politics from the '60s," he observes. Above all, Mitchell says the Panthers hope to sound a much needed wake-up call to those who still believe these pernicious laws can be reformed. "What we're trying to convey to the pot movement is that the system isn't the one we grew up with ... the Tenth Amendment is a myth," he says bitterly. Birth of a movement The genesis of the Panther weltanschaung began ironically in the backyard of the nation's most powerful drug war hawks. Some eight years ago, a small core of firebrands gathered in Washington, D.C., hoping to provide a "new wrinkle" to end the senseless criminalization and harassment of America's estimated 10,000,000 pot smokers. Seeking to provide tools, strategy and political focus to other groups across the nation, they began to study the tactics used by fellow dissidents with other agendas. "We had to get out of the narrow focus of the pot movement," Mitchell says. Analyzing the methods of such successful political factions as Aids Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT-UP), Queer Nation, and Earth First!, Panther experts came to an interesting conclusion: The entrenched powers had quickly learned how to nullify these confrontational tactics, which the Panthers are convinced have become obsolete. "Our enemies learn real fast-you try these methods of direct action now and you'll get zilch," he says heatedly. Their continued studies led the Panthers to come upon what Mitchell calls an "endgame strategy": secession. "Once the U.S. starts to rumble like the old Soviet Union did, that is when our people have the biggest opportunity in our cultural history," Mitchell says enthusiastically. He envisions a day when a repressive federal government will declare martial law, and the nation will be plunged into civil war-not unlike the post-Cold War conflicts that arose in many nations, such as the former Yugoslavia. When this time comes, the Panthers plan to be prepared. The armed pot smokers and their supporters hope to stake out a coastal strip of land 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean beginning due north of San Francisco and extending ten miles south of Portland. If they succeed, they will create what they call the first "Stoner Homeland." The nation will be based on libertarian values, community-based government and the Gross National Product will be high quality marijuana, and the many other products which can be produced with the versatile Cannabis sativa plant. Mitchell is a fatalist who is convinced this is the only choice left for the pot community. "If we don't win, nothing is lost. We were marked for extermination anyway," he says. A trend toward secession Today's post-modern mindset may find such an idea laughable, but a number of similar movements already dot the national landscape. The Nation of Islam, the Aryan Nations, and the well-publicized Republic of Texas are the most visible examples of the many divergent factions who view secession within America's borders as the only antidote to an oppressive federal government. The national Libertarian party has noted this growing trend; their 1998 platform includes a plank calling for the "right to political secession-by political entities, private groups, or individuals." The Panther's designated homeland was chosen for a number of reasons other than the high-quality buds indigenous to the region. Mitchell's previous experience with NORML and the Libertarian party gave him insight into the marijuana-sympathetic demographics of the Pacific Northwest. While examining databases for both organizations, he found that the majority of the nation's libertarians and card-carrying members of the pot legalization lobby reside in this small section of the country. There is already a steady flow of bud smokers who have been relocating to the Pacific Northwest since the 1960s to escape draconian marijuana laws in their respective states. Terry believes the recent increase in arrests has exacerbated this trend. "According to our sources in the areas, the migration has sped up considerably over the past five years due to the Drug War-with property seizures being the way they are, they have fewer things to move anyway," he comments. The new prospective country already has its own set of by-laws based on the U.S. Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, and other landmark documents. "Some of the best forward thinking minds came up with the by-laws," he says. Will the armed Panthers expect resistance from the government when they declare their sovereignty? Mitchell doesn't expect it to be an obstacle. "When our roadblocks go up on the highways and our voices start coming over the radios and televisions ... we expect most of the cops and National Guard will have left their non-paying jobs and there won't be much trouble with them," he says optimistically. Those who choose to remain and possibly obstruct the new homeland will be promptly asked to leave. "This will probably not be pretty," Mitchell says. "But it is a political imperative. This calls for leadership that has nerves of steel and an iron determination not to be stopped," he adds. Currently, the Panthers believe the first step in achieving their homeland is providing vital intelligence to other dissident groups who stand opposed to the War on Pot. Their efforts include their unique "diagram of the war on drugs." Posted on their website, the chart tracks major anti-drug policy from the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy in Vienna, Austria all the way down to what they term "snitch groups," like the Girl Scouts of America and Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Mitchell says the schematic that alleges the United Nation micro-manages US anti-narcotic policy was originally met with skepticism by the reform community. However, Terry points out that Global Days, a series of demonstrations held worldwide in June to protest the UN's role in drug prohibition, was directly influenced by their efforts. "A lot of people thought we had made it up-now we're starting to see a real focus," he says. The information war Gleaning information from teachers, scientists, police officers, military veterans, prisoners and others, the Panthers publish Revolutionary Times (formerly the Revolutionary Toker), providing excellent coverage of the drug war. The small periodical scooped Time magazine and their non-mainstream competition last year when it reported on experiments conducted on behalf of law enforcement in the use of allegedly "non-lethal" weapons, such as infra-sound technology. Their publishing house, Panther Press, sells important survival materials for the '90s pot smoker. Like a pot-focused Paladin Press, the Panthers distribute publications on building resistance groups, surviving police encounters, "guerrilla growing," cold weather survival, and other vital resources for renegade bud smokers. They also furnish free legal referrals for busted potheads, and their POW support project raises the awareness of the prison population by sending free copies of Revolutionary Times to inmates. On toward a "stoner homeland" These many activities lend credibility to a group of activists who appear to take themselves and their mission seriously. Could we one day see a stoner homeland enriched by hemp-related commerce flying their own flag-a white field bearing a large green pot leaf? Mitchell hopes that if enough people get involved, America's "last outcasts" will join them in fighting for their "light at the end of the tunnel." "I believe that the odds for the pot culture are better now than they ever have been for the formation of an independent Homeland," he says. Mitchell grimly foretells a day when many will be faced with the choice of joining the Panthers or death. "It's either gonna be a stoner homeland or a stoner last stand," he warns. Find more information on The Green Panthers at www.green-panthers.com, or at the DRCNet site at www.stopthedrugwar.org. *** [Ed. note - From perusing the web site previously, the editor suspects Boulder Weekly is engaging in a little agitprop itself. The correct URL is www.greenpanthers.org.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty To Smuggling Drugs To Inmates (An Associated Press article in The Dallas Morning News says Eli Gottesman, a diminutive 73-year-old "Rabbi of the Year," was released without bail Thursday on a charge that he tried to smuggle a bottle of shampoo filled with cocaine and marijuana into the Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook, New York, where he ministered to inmates. "I was tricked," Gottesman said, but he faces 20 years in prison.) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 16:52:56 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NY: Rabbi Pleads Not Guilty To Smuggling Drugs To Inmates Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News (TX Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Dallas Morning News Author: Associated Press RABBI PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO SMUGGLING DRUGS TO INMATES Associated Press ALBANY, N.Y. - A diminutive 73-year-old rabbi in a rumpled pinstripe suit was released without bail Thursday on a charge that he smuggled drugs into a federal prison where he ministered to inmates. Eli Gottesman, a former "Rabbi of the Year," has pleaded not guilty to the charge of attempting to provide contraband, a felony. Authorities say Mr. Gottesman tried to smuggle a bottle of shampoo filled with cocaine and marijuana encased in balloons into the Federal Correctional Institute at Ray Brook in the Adirondack Mountains. "God knows I didn't do anything wrong. I was tricked," Mr. Gottesman said after his court hearing. Mr. Gottesman was arrested by a special agent of the U.S. Justice Department on Oct. 7. Authorities said he had been under investigation for the last several months by prison officials, as well the Justice Department, the FBI and state police. "This didn't just come out of nowhere," Ray Brook prison spokesman Michael Lamitie said. Mr. Gottesman could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, said federal prosecutor Richard Hartunian. Mr. Gottesman has worked on a contractual basis since 1991 at the federal prison, providing religious services to Jewish inmates every other week for $3,420 a year. He has worked since 1984 as a chaplain at five state prisons in northeastern New York, earning $53,875 a year. State prison spokesman Michael Houston said the department will suspend Mr. Gottesman without pay and seek his dismissal from state service. His contract with the federal prison has been terminated. Mr. Gottesman's lawyer, Brian Premo, said the case will probably center on whether the rabbi knowingly brought the drugs into the prison. "Obviously he's upset," Mr. Premo said. "He's a religious man who's spent his whole life trying to help people."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marion County Sheriff Ken Ergle arrested, resigns (The Associated Press says the sheriff in Florida who instituted a no-frills approach in the county jail, charging inmates $1 a day for meals and a $10 copayment if they wanted to see a doctor, was charged with stealing $170,000 from a department fund used for investigations.) From: "Bob Owen @ WHEN, Olympia" (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: FL Sheriff Ken Ergle arrested, resigns Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 20:25:23 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Marion County Sheriff Ken Ergle arrested, resigns The Associated Press 10/16/98 10:31 PM Eastern OCALA, Fla. (AP) -- A sheriff who instituted a no-frills approach in the county jail resigned on Friday on theft and misconduct charges. If convicted, he could face up to 35 years behind bars. Marion County Sheriff Ken Ergle surrendered to state investigators. He was charged with stealing $170,000 from a department fund used for investigations. If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison and $20,000 in fines. Ergle, sheriff since 1992, was known for his handling of the jail in this central Florida county. In 1993, he removed televisions from the jail and in 1996 started charging inmates $1 a day for meals and a $10 copayment if they want to see a doctor. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement began investigating Ergle a week ago after receiving a tip, said agency spokeswoman Mandy Montalvo.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Grant Krieger Update (A list subscriber notes the Canadian multiple sclerosis patient and medical marijuana defendant is scheduled to be sentenced Monday, Oct. 19, for possession of 23 grams of cannabis with intent to distribute.)Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 23:28:12 -0700 Subject: Grant Krieger Update From: "Debra Harper" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) Next Monday, October 19, Grant Krieger will appear for sentencing for the third and hopefully last time. To recap: Grant is an MS sufferer who was charged with possession and intent to traffic 23 grams of pot. He launched a Constitutional Challenge which was rejected and he was found guilty. But upon hearing the testimony of the only two witnesses, Grant and his daughter Lindsay, a second year University of Calgary Law student, the judge was intrigued enough to ask for information on medicinal marijuana. At the first sentencing appearance the Crown Prosecutor asked Judge Davies for an adjournment because she was out of town on a verifiable family emergency. At the next sentencing appearance, Judge Davies requested undisclosed information that only Grant himself could provide and delayed sentencing until this current date. He implied that upon receiving this information, this case could have implications up to the international level. The information has been passed on and no notification has been given that the court date will delayed. Grant says "it is black and white". He will also be appearing on Canada A.M. on Tuesday morning. Grant Krieger requested I post his contact info: 64 Erin Circle S.E. Calgary, Alberta T2B 3H9 (403) 235-1244 His access to a computer is fairly limited but I would ensure he received any email sent to him via my address firstname.lastname@example.org . It wouldn't surprise me if major inroads into reform came from Alberta / Saskatchewan because it is here the punishments for illegal drug crime are the harshest in the nation. Historically, Alberta was home too many in the women's suffrage movement and the CCF and Reform Party among others, sprang out of prairie soil. A lasting influence, whether viewed as good or bad, has played a role in shaping this nation. Coincidentally, the majority of members of the fledgling reform organization FACTSS (Family Action Coalition Toward Sensible Solutions) are Alberta women.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pastrana Cools To Coca Policy (The Miami Herald says Colombian President Andres Pastrana distanced himself from US drug policy on Thursday, asserting that US-financed aerial eradication of coca "has not worked" and is simply pushing peasants deeper into the Amazon jungle.) Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 07:35:42 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: Pastrana Cools To Coca Policy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Explorer [mailto:email@example.com] Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: Miami Herald (FL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: (c) 1998 The Miami Herald Website: http://www.herald.com/ Author: TIM JOHNSON, Herald Staff Writer PASTRANA COOLS TO COCA POLICY BOGOTA, Colombia -- President Andres Pastrana marked his distance from U.S. anti-drug policy on Thursday, asserting that U.S.-financed aerial eradication of coca ``has not worked'' and is simply pushing peasants deeper into the Amazon jungle. Pastrana called on Washington to spend more on development to lure coca-growing farmers out of the drug trade and less on forcible eradication. Turning a deaf ear to Pastrana, the U.S. House appeared within hours of approving an omnibus spending bill that included nearly $160 million in aid --including 40 helicopters -- to beef up Colombia's drug eradication program. In far-ranging remarks at a breakfast with foreign correspondents, Pastrana provided details of upcoming peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the hemisphere's largest and oldest insurgency. The talks began Nov. 7 in a huge region of jungle that will be cleared of almost all military and police presence. The peace negotiations will last through Feb. 7. Sounding optimistic about the talks, the first with FARC leaders since 1992, Pastrana said, ``I believe there is a desire on the part of the guerrillas to make peace.'' Pastrana affirmed that the legendary leader of the FARC, Manuel Marulanda, says the insurgency is willing to end its practice of protecting coca fields, for which it is believed to earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year. U.S. officials say 70 percent of FARC units are involved in the cocaine trade, through protecting coca fields or processing laboratories. `Get the resources' ``They have said, `We are willing to eradicate the crops,' '' Pastrana said. ``We said, `Let's start now' and they said, `Sure. Get the resources and we are willing to do it.' '' Pastrana, a conservative former mayor of Bogota who came to office Aug. 7, has made seeking peace with Colombia's two major guerrilla groups a top priority. The two groups have grown in strength and now present a threat to the country's stability. Emphasizing environmental and development concerns, Pastrana said he is opposed to a U.S. counter-narcotics policy with an overarching focus on the use of fumigation planes to drop herbicide on coca fields in the eastern savannas and jungles. Washington has pushed aggressive spraying, and by Sept. 30, aircraft had fumigated 131,232 acres of coca, more than in all of 1997. `Environment being destroyed' Pastrana said peasant farmers are pushing and expanding their coca fields deeper into the Amazon basin, outpacing the aerial spraying, and unwilling to quit planting coca unless the government launches massive spending to develop the region, making other crops profitable. `The figures that we are seeing clearly demonstrate to us that it [aerial fumigation] has not worked,'' Pastrana said. ``When we go in the last four years from 40,000 to 80,000 hectares [98,840 to 197,680 acres] of coca, something bad is happening. And if you add to this . . . that the environment is being destroyed, clearly we have to look for an absolutely different policy.'' McCaffrey defends spraying White House drug policy director Barry McCaffrey, speaking in a telephone interview, said aerial spraying must remain a tool that Colombia uses to fight coca. ``Sixty percent of all the drugs that enter the United States start from or pass through Colombia,'' McCaffrey said. ``There has to be a continued willingness to confront this threat to the hemisphere, and aerial eradication has to be a part of it.'' On Capitol Hill, new aid for Colombia under the spending bill includes $40 million for 34 UH-1H helicopters, $96 million for six Black Hawk helicopters, $6 million to protect jungle anti-narcotics bases, $2 million to rebuild the Miraflores jungle base overrun by FARC rebels Aug. 3-4, and at least $15.2 million in other assistance. Rebel cooperation expected While not rejecting fumigation aid, Pastrana made clear that he believes FARC leaders will collaborate with his administration in replacing coca with other crops if enough money can be raised to bring roads and development to Colombia's vast Amazon and Orinoco regions. ``The guerrillas have said they are interested, so we are going to work with them and we will design [eradication] plans with them to see what results we get,'' he said. Pastrana said soldiers in the five townships comprising the 16,266-square-mile demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Caqueta and Meta states had begun leaving the region Thursday. Only a few army administrative personnel will remain at an army base in San Vicente del Caguan, 180 miles south of Bogota, where the peace talks will unfold over three months. Civil units to supplant police Since police also must leave the region, elected mayors in the DMZ will deputize civilians to enforce the law, said Victor G. Ricardo, Pastrana's envoy to the peace talks. No agenda has been established for the peace talks, Pastrana said. Nor has any arrangement been made to meet a FARC demand to swap imprisoned guerrillas held by the government for captured soldiers and police in the hands of rebels. The FARC retains some 245 police and soldiers, while Colombian prisons hold about 705 guerrillas, some of them from insurgencies other than the FARC. ``We are going to arrive at the peace table. We will see what happens. This is what's most important. In 90 days, we will know if this desire [for peace by the guerrillas] exists,'' Pastrana said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Priest Calls For Legalised Cannabis And Ecstasy (The Scotsman says Father Bob Gardner, a Roman Catholic priest who runs a youth centre for children in Easterhouse, a slum in Glasgow, called for the personal use of ecstasy to be decriminalised yesterday and said that cannabis should no longer be illegal. Father Gardner was also featured yesterday as Channel 4 launched a series about the results of its Citizens' Commission on Drugs. The television company set up the panel after the government refused to appoint a Royal commission on drugs.) Date: Sat, 17 Oct 1998 15:32:31 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Priest Calls For Legalised Cannabis And Ecstasy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Author: Matt Wells PRIEST CALLS FOR LEGALISED CANNABIS AND ECSTASY A ROMAN Catholic priest argued yesterday that today's young people have been cast as a generation of "modern-day lepers" simply because they take ecstasy. Father Bob Gardner called for the personal use of the drug to be decriminalised and said that cannabis should no longer be illegal. The priest, of St Benedict's in Easterhouse, Glasgow, conceded that his views, which will be seen in a television documentary this weekend, would provoke controversy. However he was confident of the support of his superiors, and stressed that he did not advocate taking ecstasy. Channel 4 yesterday presented the results of its Citizens' Commission on Drugs, of which Fr Gardner is a member, and launched an accompanying series of programmes. The television company set up the panel in the light of the Government's refusal to appoint a Royal commission on drugs. The commissioners called for more research on the medical effects of ecstasy, the legalisation of cannabis and the setting up of a national heroin prescription trial. They were split on the issue of ecstasy, but voted five to three in favour of decriminalisation. Their report coincided. with comments at a conference in Stirling by Professor John Davies, an academic at Strathclyde University, who called for the legal controls on heroin to be relaxed. If the drug was available over the counter, he argued, its quality could be regulated and fewer people would die. Fr Gardner, who runs a youth centre for children in Easterhouse, said at the Channel 4 launch in London yesterday that he had come to his conclusions only after carefully examining the arguments over a number of months and after speaking to users, care professionals and law enforcement officials. Young people simply ignore the law, he said. "We need to stop treating this as a political issue and start treating it as a human issue. As a priest, I can't be party to making modern-day lepers of people. This is an area which has nothing to do with faith, but my brothers and sisters." Fr Gardner said that society had to realise that vast numbers of people take ecstasy every weekend - estimates put the figure at between 500,000 and a million. Decriminalising ecstasy use would allow police and other agencies to concentrate their resources on tackling the causes of the problem. He acknowledged that the report might upset some people, particularly residents of the Cranhill area of Glasgow where a 12-year-old boy recently died from a heroin overdose. "People might think this report is crap, but I can stand up and say that it is honest. For what it is worth, I can say that it is what I think." Eight commissioners, including a lawyer, teacher, electricity worker and magistrate, complied the report over four months. They visited eight European cities, spoke to 30 organisations, 50 drug users and five politicians from Britain and elsewhere in Europe. Ken Temple, the panel's chairman and the chief registrar with John Lewis, said that present drugs policy was unsatisfactory. In the documentary he points out that Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, promised to speak to anyone, anywhere, at any time" about the issue of drugs. But neither Mr Straw nor any other government minister would speak to the commissioners. Prof Davies, professor of psychology at Strathclyde, said at a conference on heroin yesterday that all drugs should be legalised. Speaking to reporters later, he said; "It's really quite rational. If heroin was available over the counter, the argument goes that you would reduce harm because the heroin would he marketed over the counter in a standardised form." Such a move would allow for better control. "If you've got a lousy lifestyle and you're living in a deprived inner city area, heroin use is likely to be as good as life gets for you, so it is going to be harder to control. "On the other hand, if you come from a more privileged part of the world and there's other goals you can achieve, you're less likely to get in a jam with it if you do use it." Also at the conference, Dr Charles Lind, medical director of the Ayrshire and Arran Community Health Care Trust, said the debate between legality and illegality was not "black and white". But he stressed that allowing heroin to be sold would be fraught with difficulties. Yesterday Janet Betts, whose daughter Leah died on her 18th birthday after taking an ecstasy tablet, denounced calls for the loosening of legal controls on drugs. She claimed that there has already been plenty of research done on ecstasy use, and said of the Channel 4 commissioners: "One would hope that a Royal commission would have a bit more savvy." * Altered Minds: The Channel 4 Citizen's Commission on Drugs will be broadcast tomorrow at 7:45pm.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Rules Swiss Trade In Aromatic Hemp Illegal (Reuters says Switzerland's budding domestic marijuana trade took a direct hit Friday when a Zurich district judge ruled that selling cannabis in aromatic sachets was against the law.)Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 09:57:38 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Switzerland: Wire: Judge Rules Swiss Trade In Aromatic Hemp Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Petter Tiilikainen) Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Pubdate: Oct 16, 1998 JUDGE RULES SWISS TRADE IN AROMATIC HEMP ILLEGAL ZURICH, Oct 16 (Reuters) - Switzerland's budding domestic marijuana trade took a direct hit on Friday when a judge ruled that selling cannabis in aroma sachets, long in legal limbo, was clearly against the law. The ruling in a test case, although likely to be appealed, could spell the end of a quirky three-year boom in marijuana selling in Switzerland based on an apparent loophole in the wording of the law. ``It is quite clear that cannabis is a narcotic and falls under the narcotics law,'' Zurich district judge Thomas Meyer told a courtroom packed with friends of shop owner Bruno Hiltebrand and supporters of legalising marijuana. Consumption of drugs made from the hemp plant is illegal in Switzerland, as in most countries, but hemp enthusiasts in the mid-1990s discovered what they saw as a turn of phrase that bans marijuana only if it is sold specifically as a narcotic. The Swiss law against narcotics refers only to ``hemp when it is cultivated in order to produce a narcotic,'' not to the hemp plant as such, which is also grown for its fiber and other agricultural uses. Swiss hemp growers started selling the dried leaves and buds packed as aroma sachets and labelled ``not for consumption'' about three years ago, and hemp shops now number over 200, with 50 in the Zurich area alone. But judge Meyer ruled that other parts of the law and decisions by the Swiss supreme court made it clear that dried hemp was an illegal narcotic regardless of how it is labelled. Hiltebrand was sentenced to a suspended 14 month sentence and fined 120,000 Swiss francs. ``I am shocked by the sentence. I had counted on an acquittal,'' said 39-year-old Hiltebrand after appearing in court. Hiltebrand's lawyer said they would probably appeal, a process that could go all the way to the supreme court in one or two years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Latest From Switzerland (A list subscriber says the ruling by a Swiss judge that cannabis is illegal no matter how it is packaged is an empty victory for prohibitionists, except for its propaganda value in the United States, thanks to the American media's inability to convey the whole story.) From: Phillizy@aol.com Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 22:30:52 EDT To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Latest From Switzerland Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com The recent ruling by a Swiss judge that cannabis is illegal no matter how it is packaged is an empty victory, except for its propaganda value here in the U.S. media. Mr. Hiltebrand, arrested owner of the hemp shop in question, has appealed. A ruling on the appeal by the Swiss Supreme Court will take two years. By then, the Droleg referendum ... and other referenda ... will probably broaden, if not cancel, the laws under which Mr. Hiltebrand was arrested in the first place. Each of the 27 Swiss cantons can interpret and apply the laws as it sees fit. This accounts for the open sale of marijuana in Zurick, let's say, where cannabis is prohibited but tolerated, while other cantons are practicing straight Prohibition. The Swiss call this process "living jurisprudence." Mr. Hiltebrand is not expected to go to jail, or even pay a fine. Lizy
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 63 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original summary of drug policy news and calls for action, including - The Reformer's Calendar is back; Why DRCNet?; Federal judge orders Oakland cannabis buyers' club shut down - city to consider providing marijuana to patients; Oregon poll - reform positions hold lead; Pain went up sharply among Oregon's dying in late 1997; Swiss okay controlled heroin distribution; Oklahoma police chief threatens harassment of man who opposes the drug war; Marijuana ranks fourth largest cash crop in America despite prohibition; Social concern a sign of teen drug use? Ask Orrin Hatch; Car seizure law upheld in Oakland; "Driving while black" lawsuit grows; Web news - URL for University of North Dakota hemp study; and an editorial, Put people before ideology) Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 11:53:10 -0400 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #63 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #63 -- October 16, 1998 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto: email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail email@example.com. Thank you. The Reformer's Calendar is back! Check out the new graphical look at http://www.drcnet.org/calendar/, designed by our newest staff member, Kris Lotlikar. Please help us make the Calendar comprehensive by sending us events announcements -- not only of drug policy events, but also notable events from related areas like criminal justice, AIDS, human rights, civil liberties, Latin America, etc. -- e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. YOU can be a crucial part of the Network, just by participating. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Why DRCNet? http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#whydrcnet 2. Federal Judge Orders Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club Shut Down -- City to Consider Providing Marijuana to Patients http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#oaklandcbc 3. Oregon Poll: Reform Positions Hold Lead http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#oregonvotes 4. Pain Went Up Sharply Among Oregon's Dying in Late 1997 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#deapain 5. Swiss Okay Controlled Heroin Distribution http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#swissheroin 6. Oklahoma Police Chief Threatens Harassment of Man Who Opposes the Drug War http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#freespeech 7. Marijuana Ranks Fourth Largest Cash Crop in America Despite Prohibition http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#normlreport 8. Social Concern a Sign of Teen Drug Use? Ask Orrin Hatch http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#socialconcern 9. Car Seizure Law Upheld in Oakland http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#forfeiture 10. "Driving While Black" Lawsuit Grows http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#aclu-dwb 11. Web News http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#webnews 12. EDITORIAL: Put People Before Ideology http://www.drcnet.org/wol/063.html#editorial *** 1. Why DRCNet? DRCNet readers are often people who believe in many good causes and support, or are in some kind of contact with, many nonprofit organizations working on those issues. Many of us receive frequent pleas from good organizations, whether by e-mail as in our case, or by mail to our homes. Some will respond to requests from all groups in whose work they believe. But most of us have to pick and choose. How do we pick which groups we will support financially, which groups to which we pledge our loyalty and our commitment to action? A good reason to support drug policy reform groups is that the number of people supporting our cause, whether at the major donor level or the member level, is still small compared with the numbers of people and level of resources available to most other issues. This is not to say that other issues don't need and merit your support. But in the drug issue you are in a position to make a big difference, because at this early stage you are one of the few. For example, earlier this year, contributions from members added up to more than we expected, helping DRCNet to climb out of the debt in which it had ended 1997, and paving the way for us to be able to hire our webmaster, Karynn Fish, and our membership coordinator, Kris Lotlikar, both of whom have done wonders to enhance the scope and professionalism of our operation. But while major gifts have increased, member donations during this second half of the year have not kept pace with the excellent support you provided during the first half. Your contribution to DRCNet this month, be it $10 virtual membership, $35 to become a full member and receive a copy of Shattered Lives: Portraits from America's Drug War, $100 to become a Friend or a monthly donation by credit card to continue to fuel DRCNet's work on a regular basis, in a real way will determine how many of our strategic goals we will be able to accomplish this year and early next year. Will we be able to continue to develop our soon to be announced web site on needle exchange, intended to be the most comprehensive source of policy-related information on that topic? Will we be able to continually work the net to increase our hit rates and bring in more and more new subscribers and supporters for the movement, or promote this newsletter to the media and our radio segment to stations, carrying the reform voice even further? We have a corps of talented young people who have interned or volunteered here, and who are willing to work here part- time if only we can set aside the $80 or $100 a week that they are earning on their current jobs, and their help can produce much added value for the organization and the cause if we can make that happen. This is an amount of money that your small contributions can easily add up to, if only a few more of you decide to take that step and bring DRCNet into your family of organizations that you support one or more times a year. Hence, you have a role in deciding how many strides DRCNet and the movement can take this year, through what you decide to put into the organization. To donate, use our form at https://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (encrypted transmission, especially for credit card donations), or http://www.drcnet.org/cgi-shl/drcreg.cgi (no encryption, recommended you print it out and mail in with a check), or just send your check or money order to: DRCNet, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036. Please note that contributions to DRCNet are not tax-deductible, and please consider signing up to make a monthly contribution by credit card. If you wish to contribute beyond the basic membership dues and are looking to make a deductible gift, you can support our educational work through a tax-deductible donation to the DRCNet Foundation. You can also help DRCNet by joining the 578 supporters who have enrolled in the eyegive online fundraising program and who are collectively earning DRCNet over $30 on the typical day, over $9,000 per year! If you don't know about eyegive, visit http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060 on the web to find out. If you've signed up but haven't kept up, you can make it easy by selecting http://www.eyegive.com as your browser's home page. You can earn valuable dollars for the cause, just by pointing and clicking on the eyegive home page whenever you feel like it, up to fives times a day. And yes, we have gotten checks from them, in the right amounts, it's legit! Whether or not you choose to support DRCNet at this time, we are glad to have you among our readers. *** 2. Federal Judge Orders Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Club Shut Down -- City to Consider Providing Marijuana to Patients Oct. 13, 1998: In what was called a surprise ruling, Federal District Judge Charles Breyer ruled that Oakland's Cannabis Buyers' Club is not entitled to a jury trial on the issue of medical necessity, thus clearing the way for federal marshals to shut the club down as early as Friday evening, October 16. The club is charged with violating a previous injunction against distributing cannabis to its registered patients. Breyer ruled that patients would not face the requisite "imminent harm" necessary to the medical necessity defense. "This decision will have a devastating impact on our patients," warned 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." Or perhaps not. On Tuesday, October 20, the Oakland City Council will meet to determine whether or not to declare a state of medical emergency in reaction to the expected federal shutdown. They will also discuss possible courses of action, up to and including distributing marijuana themselves. Council member Nate Miley spoke with The Week Online. WOL: The council has been very supportive of the Oakland club. Can we assume that you are all comfortable with how it's been run? Councilman Miley: "The club has been very well run and operated. It's run like a clinic. It's been investigated by our staff, law enforcement, insurance, our attorneys. They check the patients who come in there to make sure their certified, they turn away those who are not. We're very comfortable working with Jeff and the club and we're glad to stand by them in the face of this. WOL: But this week the federal government, in the person of Judge Breyer, essentially overruled the express intent of both the city of Oakland and the people of California. What is your gut reaction to that? Miley: Well, people are angry. People have talked to me, both members of the council and ordinary citizens who are dismayed. They just don't understand why the federal government would push so hard to shut down an operation that has been run so professionally. We see the need for the drug, we've got patients who testified, documentation that shows the legitimacy of cannabis as medicine. We've also got a proposition that our voters have voted on. That's democracy. We've got a local government that is trying to come up with guidelines to implement a law, and it's dismaying, it's unfathomable that this is the response of the federal government. WOL: So assuming that the club is shut down, and the council cannot keep it open in the face of the federal response, what then? Miley: Well, I think that if all else fails, then the city council will discuss the possibility of having the city distribute cannabis to the patients. We are committed to this in that these are our citizens, and they've demonstrated, clearly I believe, a need for this medicine. WOL: Are there people in the city government who would be willing to risk arrest and federal charges to do that? Miley: Yes. I think that there are people in the city government who are willing to risk arrest once we have tried every means, every legal means and the only other alternative is arrest and civil disobedience. If it takes us going that far then I believe that some of us will. (Please call Congress and the White House and tell them to stop blocking the will of the voters and to cease their campaign against the medical marijuana cooperatives. See our alert at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/10-14.html for the details.) *** 3. Oregon Poll: Reform Positions Hold Lead - Bear Wilner With campaigns across the nation entering the homestretch, Oregon's No on 57 and Yes on 67 forces began their radio and television advertising efforts this week. These ads are supported by money from Americans for Medical Rights (Yes on 67) and Citizens for Sensible Law Enforcement (No on 57). While the opposing side has certainly been fighting hard on the rhetorical front, their financial resources for political activity have proven far smaller than those available to Oregon's anti-drug-war coalition. Even before the ads began running, however, reformers were buoyed by results from a new poll. This statewide survey, released on October 11, was conducted for Portland's Oregonian newspaper and KATU-TV under the supervision of experienced local pollster Tim Hibbetts. It found that 54% of voters are opposed to Measure 57, which would recriminalize possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, with 38% backing the proposed law. Measure 67, which would permit the medicinal use of marijuana within certain boundaries, was favored by 59% of voters, with 37% against. State medical marijuana campaigns with web sites: AMR-affiliated: Alaska -- http://www.alaskalife.net/AKMR Washington -- http://www.eventure.com/i692 Oregon -- http://www.teleport.com/~omr Colorado -- http://www.medicalmarijuana.com Other initiatives: District of Columbia -- http://www.actupdc.org Florida (petitioning) -- http://www.medicalrights.org) *** 4. Pain Went Up Sharply Among Oregon's Dying in Late 1997 A statewide study found that family members of patients dying in Oregon hospitals reported a sharp increase in the level of pain suffered by their loved ones during November and December 1997. The study's lead investigator, Susan Tolle, an expert in end-of-life care at Oregon Health Sciences University, told the Associated Press, "What made it happen? Is it still happening? We don't know." Tolle suggested it could have been heightened expectations about pain control from the publicity surrounding the political campaign over assisted suicide, nurses or pharmacists concerned about providing parge doses of pain medication and possibly hastening death, or doctors' fears from a threat by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to punish doctors who aid in suicide. The DEA's threat was leveled a week after Oregon voters voted to keep a state law permitting physician-assisted suicide in early November. Skip Baker, President of the American Society for Action on Pain (http://www.actiononpain.org), told the Week Online that he believes the DEA is at the root of the problem: "I would say that it's the DEA that has doctors terrified of providing pain medication, not only to the dying, but to patients living with long-term chronic pain. I get letters almost daily from patients who are contemplating suicide because they can't get adequate pain medication from their doctors, and in many of the cases their say it's their fear of the DEA that keeps them from providing their medicine." Ann Jackson, head of the Oregon Hospice Association, also believes there is a connection between the DEA threat and the increase of reported pain, telling the Associated Press, "I think that it's very likely that there's a connection here." (Last July, DRCNet forwarded an alert on a federal bill that pstensibly was to allow the DEA to revoke the controlled substances licenses of physicians who prescribe controlled substances for assisted suicide, archived on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1998/7-30.html. In actuality the bill would have set unrealistic limits on pain prescription quantities, the exceeding of which would trigger DEA scrutiny. A wide array of medical organizations opposed the bill, and their efforts under the umbrella group Coalition for Effective Pain Management, succeeded in educating enough Senators and Representatives on the issue to prevent the bill's passage this year. Another fight is anticipated next year, and DRCNet plans to let our readers know how they can help get the DEA out of our doctors' offices. We also hope to provide a report on the Coalition's efforts next week.) *** 5. Swiss Okay Controlled Heroin Distribution The upper house of the Swiss Parliament this week (10/9) approved a plan which will allow doctors to prescribe heroin to long-term addicts. The plan, which passed by a vote of 30-4, comes on the heels of a successful three-year trial in which 1,100 Swiss heroin addicts were offered regular access to the opiate in a clinical setting. The results of the Swiss trial showed that among enrollees, homelessness and crime fell significantly, employment rose, drug use stabilized or declined, and many participants voluntarily entered treatment. (You can find the Swiss Report online at http://www.lindesmith.org/presumm.html.) Opiate maintenance is a promising addition to currently accepted modalities for dealing with addiction, but it is also politically controversial. Soon after the results of the Swiss trial were released, the Australian government indicated that it was interested in launching a similar experiment. Just days before approving that protocol, however, Australian Prime Minister Howard nixed the plan. It was later revealed in the Australian press that the U.S. State Department had threatened to have the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy shut down Tasmania's legal opiate industry if the plan went ahead. (See http://www.drcnet.org/wol/004.html#blackmail for further background.) But despite the pressure being applied by the U.S., at least three nations (Germany, The Netherlands and Great Britain) are currently in various stages of discussion or action with regard to heroin maintenance. Proposals have also been presented in Canada. In September, a conference on opiate maintenance was held at the New York Academy of Medicine that was attended by over 125 people from more than a dozen countries. Ty Trippet, spokesman for The Lindesmith Center, a drug policy think tank in New York, told The Week Online, "This action by the Swiss reaffirms that governments can, in fact, deal rationally with issues such as opiate maintenance. The evidence is clear that stripped of political and moralist rhetoric, there is a case to be made for a whole range of modalities in dealing with addiction. The Swiss Parliament acted out of concern for their citizens, and after three years of clinical experience during their trials, there is every reason to believe that they have voted responsibly." Switzerland itself faced an internal challenge to its burgeoning harm reductionist drug policy in September of 1997 when a group calling itself "Youth Against Drugs" placed a referendum on the ballot which would have sent the country back to a punitive, rather than a public health approach to substance use. That referendum was defeated at the polls, however, by a margin of 71% to 29%, giving Swiss officials the political leeway they needed to move forward. The current plan is expected to take effect this Saturday and estimates are that at least 2,000 Swiss citizens will soon be receiving heroin legally. *** 6. Oklahoma Police Chief Threatens Harassment of Man Who Opposes the Drug War Chet Olsen of Oklahoma City doesn't believe that escalating the drug war is an effective or rational policy. Mr. Olsen, in fact, wrote a letter which was printed in the September 3 edition of the Woods County Enterprise, a local newspaper, urging the town of Waynoka to reconsider its planned purchase of a drug dog. His letter sparked some interest, apparently, and the debate raged for some weeks on the letters page of that publication. Until October 8, that is, when John Fuqua, the chief of police in Waynoka, let it be known what could happen to those citizens who are not fully behind the War effort. Chief Fuqua's letter to the editor included the following statement: "Also a couple of my friends who work for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics in Oklahoma City were so impressed with (Olsen's) letter that they told me they were going to contact Mr. Olsen and visit with him about his concerns." Michael Camfield of the Oklahoma ACLU told The Week Online "This reference is an egregious violation of the First Amendment. The idea that Americans have an inalienable right to espouse views which are not held by those in power is the very essence of the freedom of speech. The chilling effect of this type of threat goes beyond the individual and impacts the community at large. How can the people of that town feel free to express their views if they believe, if in fact they've been told that the chief of police will have officers 'visit with them' if he disagrees with their positions?" The Week Online contacted Chief Fuqua, who said, "(Olsen) called me after the letter ran and he was all bent. The guy obviously can't take a joke." (Ed. - Fuqua may have been joking, but if so, it is not dissimilar to joking about bombs in an airport.) *** 7. Marijuana Ranks Fourth Largest Cash Crop in America Despite Prohibition (reprinted from the NORML Weekly News, http://www.norml.org) October 15, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Marijuana remains the fourth largest cash crop in America despite law enforcement spending approximately $10 billion annually to enforce prohibition, a new report from The NORML Foundation concluded. Nationally, only corn, soybeans, and hay rank as more profitable cash crops to American farmers. "These findings clearly illustrate the failure and futility of marijuana prohibition," charged Allen St. Pierre, executive director of The NORML Foundation. "Marijuana should be legally controlled like any other legitimate cash crop." The report, entitled "1998 Marijuana Crop Report: An Evaluation of Marijuana Production, Value, and Eradication Efforts in the United States," estimates that farmers harvested 8.7 million marijuana plants in 1997 worth $15.1 billion dollars to growers and $25.2 billion on the retail market. The report used marijuana's wholesale value to compare it to other cash crops. "Had the author's calculated marijuana's total value to growers by street market prices, marijuana would decidedly rank as America's number one cash crop," St. Pierre said. Marijuana stands as the largest revenue producing crop in Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. It ranks as one of the top five cash crops in 29 others. Increases in state and federal spending since 1980 to reduce marijuana cultivation demonstrated little effect in limiting overall production. The report bases its findings on Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) marijuana eradication statistics, a survey of state police eradication self-appraisals, and published marijuana price reports. Authors calculated marijuana weight and yield estimates based on a conservative ten ounce per plant model. Had the authors accepted the government's one pound per plant standard, 1997's marijuana crop would have been worth $26.3 billion to growers and $43.8 billion on the street. The report also found that law enforcement eradicated over 237 million ditchweed plants in 1997 compared to only four million cultivated marijuana plants. Ditchweed, otherwise known as feral hemp, is non-psychoactive and has no retail value or market value to farmers. Nevertheless, it comprises more than 98 percent of all the marijuana eradicated annually by law enforcement. The NORML Foundation is a nonprofit educational, research, and legal foundation that explores alternatives to marijuana prohibition. Its sister organization, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), published previous marijuana crop reports between 1982 and 1992. Hard copies of the report are available upon request from The NORML Foundation. An electronic version of the report is available online from the NORML website at http://www.norml.org/news/index.shtml#story1. *** 8. Social Concern a Sign of Teen Drug Use? Ask Orrin Hatch A 66-page booklet called "How Parents Can Help Children Live Marijuana Free," was published earlier this year by the Salt Lake Education Foundation. The pamphlet features a forward by Utah Senator and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Orrin Hatch. Included in the book is a list of warning signs for parents to be aware of which might indicate that their child is a marijuana user. In the forward, Hatch urges parents to "carefully study this book... and look for the warning signs of any children who are using marijuana or drugs of any kind." Among the "warning signs" of marijuana use, the book lists "excessive preoccupation with social causes, race relations, environmental issues, etc." Feminism might also be suspect, as the pamphlet, on page 51, expresses longing for those happy days of yore when "teenage sons helped their fathers work the family farm" and "teenage girls helped prepare family meals, sew clothes and care for younger siblings." The booklet was distributed to parents of children in the Salt Lake City school district. A spokesman for Senator Hatch's office in Washington told The Week Online that Walt Plum, one of the book's co- authors, was an old friend of the Senator's who had asked him to write the forward which appeared in the format of a "letter to parents." Hatch's office could not confirm whether or not Hatch had actually read the pamphlet. *** 9. Car Seizure Law Upheld in Oakland An Alameda County judge this week (10/8) rejected a challenge of an Oakland ordinance which allows the city to confiscate the cars of alleged drug buyers and people who do business with prostitutes. The case involved a woman whose car was seized after a friend of her husband attempted to buy drugs while using the vehicle. The woman was not present at the time of the man's arrest. The challenge, mounted by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California in July, charged that the ordinance violated the spirit of California law, which they said implied that only the state should be able to seize vehicles. Superior Court Judge Henry Needham Jr. disagreed. Oakland Deputy City Attorney Marcia Meyers told The Week Online that community support for the new law was so strong that the proceeding had to be moved to a larger courtroom to accommodate spectators. Those spectators were thrilled with the decision. "You've got to understand that in parts of Oakland, entire blocks have become open air drug bazaars. For people living in those communities, it's impossible to let their kids out of doors, or even to be assured of their own safety" Meyers said. "It's at the point where one block will be known for heroin, another for meth, another for crack... and with the prostitution, why should an elementary school kid have to be confronted with someone bargaining for, or even having sex on his block. It's quite apparent that arresting a whole bunch of low-level dealers hasn't impacted these communities one bit. By creating this pressure on the consumers of these goods, on the demand side, we have seen some results." Individuals who have their cars seized have only ten days to file a claim with the city for a hearing, otherwise their cars automatically become property of the city. The fee for filing the claim with the court is $193. Tom Gordon, executive director of Forfeiture Endangers Americans' Rights (FEAR) told The Week Online "Over 80% of the Americans who have property seized are never charged with criminal conduct. Most of these laws are simply an excuse for governments to take possession of private property. There are plenty of laws on the books to punish people for wrongdoing." "Another troubling aspect of these laws is the fact that a person has a very short time to respond. Usually, as in the Oakland ordinance, they have ten days before they lose all rights to their property. Add to that the fact that once they do respond, they will have to hire a lawyer, out of their own pockets, to represent them, and that the burden of proof is on the citizen rather than on the government, and you begin to understand why 90% of forfeitures are never contested. The government not only wants your property, they want it without having to justify their actions." Meyers told the San Francisco Chronicle that her office has been inundated with calls from other cities who would like to pass similar ordinances. And being that the decision might well clear the way those cities, Oakland's chief of police, Joseph Samuels, warned in the Chronicle that "(this law) will be coming to a neighborhood near you." (You can find FEAR online at http://www.fear.org.) *** 10. "Driving While Black" Lawsuit Grows Seven new plaintiffs have joined the American Civil Liberties Union's lawsuit against the Maryland State Police for race-based selection of African American motorists for traffic stops, and the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a Friend of the Court brief in support of the plaintiffs. Read more about it on the ACLU web site at http://www.aclu.org/news/n100898a.html, and check out the rest of the ACLU's redesigned web site, including their new drug policy section. *** 11. Web News A report, conducted by the University of North Dakota on the potential of industrial hemp as a cash crop can now be found online at http://agecon.lib.umn.edu/ndsu/aer402.html. *** 12. EDITORIAL: Put People Before Ideology This week in Switzerland, the upper house of Parliament voted 30-4 to allow doctors to prescribe heroin to their addicted patients. The measure comes on the heels of a successful three-year experiment in which 1,100 Swiss addicts were given access to the drug under clinical supervision. The experiment was, by all accounts, a success. A success, that is, if you define that term by measures such as a decrease in crime, an increase in employment, stable lives, greater numbers of people voluntarily entering treatment, reduced rates of disease, increased overall health, a near-total elimination of homelessness and lower overall economic costs to the state. And oh, not a single overdose fatality. In the eyes of American drug warriors, however, the experiment was a harrowing failure. Driven by both an ideological fanaticism that demands abstinence from every individual at any cost, and by the dollars which flow from their increasingly punitive and expansive war effort, they see no virtue in any process that undermines either. In fact, within weeks of the end of the three-year trial, the U.S. Senate held hearings with the title, "Legalization and the Failure of the Swiss Heroin Experiment." Fortunately, the good citizens of that country were listening to the facts, and had little interest in political bluster from across the pond. Within weeks of the release of the heroin maintenance report, Swiss voters, by a 71-29% margin, told their government to move forward with just this type of drug policy, one that puts people over ideology. And in the aftermath, governments across the world have begun debating, in some cases even undertaking, their own trials. And now, in Switzerland, the only nation in the world with scientifically-controlled data on the impact of allowing addicts access to heroin, the upper house of Parliament has given doctors a green light to make this an option for their patients. The U.S. State Department, which has gone so far in the recent past as to blackmail Australia out of starting its own maintenance experiment, has yet to comment on the new Swiss law. But it doesn't really matter anymore, does it? Because despite the best efforts of American "diplomacy," the rest of the world is finding its own definitions of success. And with greater frequency, they are definitions borne of humanity and pragmatism. These definitions of success do not require the state to drive people underground and to treat a whole segment of its society like animals, putting them in cages, for their failure to live up to the State's dictates on the composition of their bodily chemistry. It's over, of course. The drug war is crumbling around the U.S., which try as it might will not long be able to ignore the results attained in other trials and by other reforms in civilized nations around the globe. And if it seems that drug policy reform is the farthest thing from anyone's mind in Washington, D.C., where oral sex is far more interesting, and easy to pontificate about, than the complexities of the global economy or the failure of our drug policy, don't worry. It will happen. Because very soon the American public will have plenty to compare it with. And when that happens, American politicians will find that their definition of success doesn't ring true with their constituents either. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization, same address. *** DRCNet *** 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/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
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