------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter from Senator Gordon H. Smith (An Oregon constituent of the right-wing know-nothing shares a letter from the Republican shill for corporate interests rationalizing why he thinks sick and dying medical marijuana patients should be sent to prison. Plus commentary from a Britisher working in Holland.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:30:34 -0700 To: email@example.com From: Arthur Livermore (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFOR: Letter from Senator Gordon H. Smith Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Gordon H. Smith Oregon United States Senate Washington, DC 20510-3704 October 5, 1998 Mr. Arthur Livermore 44500 Tide Ave. Arch Cape, OR 97102 Dear Mr. Livermore: Thank you for sharing your thoughts regarding the legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs. I found your comments informative and welcome this opportunity to respond to your concerns. I strongly oppose any effort to legalize marijuana, or any other illegal drug. I am greatly concerned that marijuana is one of the most commonly abused drugs by our nation's teenagers. In fact, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is used by an average of 10 million Americans each month. Of our nation's 8th grade students, 15.8 percent use marijuana. I believe that any effort to legalize marijuana or any other illegal drug would only exacerbate this problem and increase the incidence of drug-related violent crimes in our state. In recent years, there has been growing support for legalizing the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes nationwide. For patients suffering from terminal illnesses such as AIDS or cancer, marijuana is used legally in some states, including California, to relieve the side-effects of chemotherapy and other painful treatments. However, studies have shown that long-term use of marijuana not only destroys nerve cells but causes serious respiratory problems similar to those caused by tobacco use, including chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. Since there are other, more effective, legal pain-relieving medications available in the marketplace, I do not support efforts to legalize marijuana, nor do I believe that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes is a viable argument. After the passage of a state initiative in California which legalized the medical use of marijuana, approximately 30 marijuana distributing clubs, or "Pot Cafes" opened throughout the state. Additionally, since the passage of this state legislation, marijuana use by teenagers in California has doubled. Understanding these statistics, I cannot, as a U.S. Senator, support legislation which would undoubtedly bring these same results to our state. Again, I appreciate your comments in regards to this matter of mutual concern. Please be assured, should this issue come before the full Senate for consideration, I will continue my commitment to ensure that all illicit drugs remain illegal. Warm regards, Senator Gordon H. Smith GHS:hj www.senate.gov/~gsmith email@example.com *** From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Phil Stovell) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Letter from Senator Gordon H. Smith Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 11:02:00 GMT Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com A Limey lurker working in Holland de-lurks:- On Tue, 20 Oct 1998 13:40:00 -0700, Arthur Livermore (firstname.lastname@example.org) jotted some Wise Words of Wisdom: >I strongly oppose any effort to legalize marijuana, or any other illegal >drug. I am greatly concerned that marijuana is one of the most commonly >abused drugs by our nation's teenagers. In fact, according to the National >Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), marijuana is used by an average of 10 >million Americans each month. Do you have enough prisons to lock up 10 million people for 93 years each? >Of our nation's 8th grade students, 15.8 >percent use marijuana. So you have more dope smokers in the US than in Holland? Why is that when cannabis is decriminalised here? >I believe that any effort to legalize marijuana or >any other illegal drug would only exacerbate this problem and increase the >incidence of drug-related violent crimes in our state. So cannabis makes you violent? There wasn't any trouble in the bar I was in last night. >In recent years, there has been growing support for legalizing the use of >marijuana for medicinal purposes nationwide. For patients suffering from >terminal illnesses such as AIDS or cancer, marijuana is used legally in >some states, including California, to relieve the side-effects of >chemotherapy and other painful treatments. Glad to hear that people who are dying are allowed to have medicine. >However, studies have shown that long-term use of marijuana not only >destroys nerve cells but causes serious respiratory problems similar to >those caused by tobacco use, including chronic bronchitis and lung cancer. >Since there are other, more effective, legal pain-relieving medications >available in the marketplace, I do not support efforts to legalize >marijuana, nor do I believe that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes >is a viable argument. So he would like to lock up those dying people for using a medicine that is approved in some states but not by him personally? Is he medically qualified? Does he know that the UK and NL are trialling medical cannabis? Could he name these studies he mentions? >After the passage of a state initiative in >California which legalized the medical use of marijuana, approximately 30 >marijuana distributing clubs, or "Pot Cafes" I like the name "Pot Cafes". We call them coffeeshops here in Holland. >opened throughout the state. >Additionally, since the passage of this state legislation, marijuana use by >teenagers in California has doubled. Understanding these statistics, I >cannot, as a U.S. Senator, support legislation which would undoubtedly >bring these same results to our state. Where's his proof of this doubling? Sounds a bit doubtful to me. >Again, I appreciate your comments in regards to this matter of mutual >concern. Please be assured, should this issue come before the full Senate >for consideration, I will continue my commitment to ensure that all illicit >drugs remain illegal. > >Warm regards, > >Senator Gordon H. Smith Idiot. Phil Stovell Petersfield, Hants, UK email@example.com http://www.shuv.demon.co.uk/| Coming to you direct from Eindhoven, Holland
------------------------------------------------------------------- Conde Won't Get Files Back (The Register-Guard, in Eugene, Oregon, says Linn County Circuit Judge Rick McCormick has ruled that computers belonging to marijuana-law reform activist Bill Conde will stay in police hands for now. At the request of sheriff's authorities, the computers are being examined by state police experts in computer forensics. "They're not going to find anything, but they might learn something," Conde said, noting that his files contain articles and e-mail from around the world that take aim at the war on drugs.)Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 17:31:37 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: Conde Won't Get Files Back Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: bernieX (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR) Copyright: 1998 The Register-Guard Pubdate: Thursday, 20 Oct 1998 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.registerguard.com/ Author: Janelle Hartman, The Register-Guard Related: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n827.a08.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n834.a01.html CONDE WON'T GET FILES BACK Computers belonging to marijuana activist Bill Conde will stay in police hands for now, a Linn County judge has decided. Circuit Judge Rick McCormick ruled that police acted within the law when they seized computers, business records and other materials during a raid at Conde's North Coburg Road property near Harrisburg on Sept. 15. Conde, who is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Albany on a felony count of marijuana possession, said he wasn't surprised by the ruling. Authorities said they were trying to identify vendors, security guards and guests who allegedly bought or sold drugs at Conde's latest marijuana-themed event, the Cannabis Carnival, over Labor Day weekend. According to the search warrant affidavit and court testimony, undercover Linn County sheriff's detectives had reason to believe they would find pertinent lists of names on the computers. Conde and his attorney, Brian Michaels of Eugene, challenged the seizures in court three weeks ago, charging that a broad search of Conde's computers violated his and others' constitutional freedoms. The hard drives contain information about political action committees and names of donors, information that Conde said isn't illegal and isn't the government's business. "We were asking, in a civil fashion, to stop what's going on," Conde said, referring to his request to bar police from accessing the private data. "We're asking because of the other people whose names are in my computer, and it's not because they're a bunch of criminals." At the request of sheriff's authorities, the computers are being examined by state police experts in computer forensics. "They're not going to find anything, but they might learn something," Conde said, noting that his files contain articles and e-mail from around the world that take aim at the war on drugs. "There's a lot of really, really strong arguments being made in other parts of the world saying, `Enough is enough.' There's some wonderful stuff in there. We've got statements by lots of very, very high statesmen from different countries." In his brief ruling, McCormick said police had reason to suspect that the computer files contained evidence. Furthermore, he said, there is no evidence or testimony from the defense that the type of material Conde says is on the computers is actually there. Even if the records supported the defense claim, McCormick said he would uphold the police action. "There is no evidence, in this case, that the police had motives to secure any information other than that directly related to the alleged criminal activity discussed in the affidavit," he wrote.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marvin Chavez's court hearing (A list subscriber says a trial date of Nov. 2 has been set for the medical marijuana patient and founder of the Orange County Patient, Doctor, Nurse Support Group.)Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 00:55:48 EDT Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: WBritt420@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Marvin Chavez's court hearing Update: Marvin's trial date is Nov. 2nd. Bill
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Chavez Case (A staff editorial in The Orange County Register recounts yesterday's news about the postponement until Nov. 2 of the trial of Marvin Chavez, the medical marijuana patient and founder of the Orange County Patient, Doctor, Nurse Support Group, in order to allow Chavez's attorneys time to review donation slips and other papers withheld by the prosecution.) Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 11:26:34 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: The Chavez Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 THE CHAVEZ CASE The county's case against Marvin Chavez, founder of the Orange County Patient, Doctor, Nurse support Network for selling marijuana to an undercover officer was scheduled to begin Monday amid a flurry of activity on the medical marijuana front. Last week in Oakland, a federal judge had ordered the Cannabis Buyers Cooperative closed, then stayed the order to give club attorneys a chance to file an appeal. A case against two San Diego men who were involved in what they said was a "buyer's club" for patients who needed marijuana for medical purposes was continued until December because one of the defendants had contracted diabetes and needed more time to prepare for the trial. And Marvin Chavez's case was delayed also, until 9 a.m. Nov. 2 in the Orange County Courthouse. In the Chavez case the delay was because defense attorney James Silva discovered that the district attorney's office had not furnished the defense about 600 hundred documents - receipts and donation slips - that bore on how Mr. Chavez and his patient group operated. Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust said he believed the documents weren't relevant, given that two courts had already ruled in this case that Prop. 215, the medical marijuana initiative passed by voters in 1996, would not be available as a defense. Nevertheless, defense attorney Silva had already filed a motion asking Judge Frank F. Fasel to hear evidence not previously presented and to reconsider the decision regarding Prop. 215. So Judge Fasel, aware that it would take time to go through the new trove of documents, reluctantly granted a continuance. All parties now say they really expect the trial to begin Nov. 2, that there will be no more delays. We'll keep track of developments.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Somayah's Hearing (A local correspondent says Sister Somayah, the Los Angeles sickle cell patient and medical marijuana prisoner, has a court hearing 8:30 am tomorrow morning.)Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 10:55:54 EDT Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: brenda (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Somayah's Hearing Sister somayah's hearing is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, October 21, at 8:30 AM at the criminal courts building at 210 West Temple, Downtown, LA, according to her brother akile (213-965-0935). Everyone is welcome to show their support for Somayah. akile said "she is a soldier, and her spirits are hight." brenda *** X-Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:01:57 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum"
From: Jim Rosenfield Subject: Sister Somayah preliminary Hearing Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Listprocessor-Version: 8.2.08 -- ListProc(tm) by CREN Sister Somayah's preliminary hearing on possession of marijuana charges is scheduled for 8:30am tomorrow, Wednesday October 21, at the Los Angeles Municipal Court Building at 210 West Temple Street, Division #37. Please attend and show your support. There will be no demonstratiion outside. Show up, looking well-groomed and polite at the courtroom. Though scheduled for 8:30am, the hearing could start as late as 10am but please be there at 8:30am, if possible. Jim Rosenfield email@example.com tel: 310-836-0926 fax: 310-836-0592 Visit http://www.insightweb.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland Pot Club Closes - Leader to Fight On (The San Francisco Chronicle version of yesterday's news about the federal government forcing the closure of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 10:07:16 -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 SF CHRON: Oakland Pot Club Closes -- Leader to Fight On Sender: email@example.com Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Tuesday, October 20, 1998 OAKLAND POT CLUB CLOSES -- LEADER TO FIGHT ON Appeals court denies request to stay open Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer Oakland's beleaguered medical marijuana club, the state's largest remaining dispensary, closed its doors yesterday, but its leaders vowed to find other ways to serve its members. In the latest blow to the medical marijuana movement, the U.S. Court of Appeals denied a request by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative to stay open pending its appeal of a federal judge's shutdown order. Employees of the 2,200-member club on Broadway closed voluntarily at 3 p.m. yesterday, two hours before federal marshals could have padlocked the doors. At a news conference, Jeff Jones, the club's executive director, said he would hand over his keys to federal marshals in compliance with the court's decision. But he vowed to work with Oakland to find other ways to help those who rely on medical marijuana to survive or ease pain. ``They may have won a battle, but they haven't won the war,'' Jones said to the cheers of 40 club members who rallied outside the cooperative. ``We will prevail.'' Jones decried the closure in the wake of Proposition 215, the 1996 voter-approved medical marijuana initiative. ``The voters of the state of California have had their votes nullified today by a heavy-handed and misguided federal government,'' Jones said, adding at one point, ``I'm kind of saddened to be an American right now.'' Matt Jacobs, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in San Francisco, declined comment on the matter. In January, the federal government filed a civil lawsuit seeking the closure of the Oakland club and five others in Northern California. In May, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer issued an injunction barring the clubs from distributing marijuana. Of the six targeted clubs, only two remain open, one in Fairfax and another in Ukiah. Breyer ordered the Oakland club shut down last Friday after rejecting arguments by the cooperative that medical marijuana relieves pain and saves lives. The judge then granted the club a three-day reprieve while its attorneys sought an additional stay from the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The club's appeal before the appellate court stands despite the closure. Jones complimented Breyer for allowing the club to remain open for nine months after the federal government's lawsuit. As the smell of marijuana wafted through the club yesterday, workers gave away trays of marijuana plants to members. Steve Scott of San Francisco and his partner, Tom Wahl, left the building with a tray, saying they would nurture their plants at home and share it with others. ``We're going to use our medicine, instead of letting the government store it on shelves and letting it mold,'' said Scott, 25, a club member who uses marijuana to combat nausea as a result of AIDS. As he spoke, club volunteer Stacie Traylor yelled out, ``Last call!'' and workers emptied glass display cases of marijuana plants. Security guard Ernest Grayson herded out stragglers, saying, ``We are closed. Thank you for your support.'' Even as Jones announced the closure yesterday, the mood was buoyant as club advocates insisted that their fight was far from over. ``DEA, go away!'' dozens of protesters chanted on Broadway as motorists honked in support. They rallied around an emotional Jones as he told of his father's death to cancer 10 years ago. ``I vowed at that time not to allow other families to go through this suffering without compassionate response,'' said Jones, 24, his voice quavering. Jones said it was possible his club could break into small groups to dispense marijuana, adding he would have no way to prevent individual members from taking such action. The Oakland City Council is expected tonight to consider an emergency declaration that would allow the city to dispense medical marijuana. The city has already been on the forefront of the issue. In August, Oakland designated club employees as ``officers of the city,'' allowing them immunity from prosecution, but Breyer rejected that argument. In July, the city passed a policy allowing medical marijuana users to store 1 1/2 pounds of the drug at home. (c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle Page A13
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland Pot Club Closes Its Doors (The San Francisco Examiner version) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 20:18:38 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Oakland Pot Club Closes Its Doors 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: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: San Francisco Examiner (CA) Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Examiner Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.examiner.com/ Author: Robert Selna OAKLAND POT CLUB CLOSES ITS DOORS Director Says Ruling Will Force Clients To Seek Street Drugs Oakland's medical marijuana club has closed its doors. The end came Monday after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco denied a request by lawyers for the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to keep the club operating during an appeal of a federal judge's ruling, which found the club in contempt of court for continuing to distribute marijuana in violation of federal law. At a rally Monday protesting the cooperative's closing, leaders of the 2,200-member club, one of the larger ones in the state, said they would cooperate with the court's decision, but expressed their disappointment. "I think this is sad and irresponsible, and it makes me feel like I don't want to be an American," said Jeff Jones, the cooperative's executive director. "All of us here know too well the imminent harm and suffering that will come to the numerous patients that have received medicine from the Oakland CBC when we close our doors tonight." Jones said the cooperative will work with Oakland officials to try to find alternative ways to dispense medical marijuana, but that the club would not open without the support of the courts. Jones predicted that 1,300 to 1,700 club members will now go to the street to find the marijuana they need to ease the suffering associated with AIDS, cancer and numerous other conditions. Some club members said Monday they would do their best to grow pot at home, although they said that's not a desirable alternative. "You have to wait a long time and you are not allowed to grow very much, so it's hard to depend on," said Tom Wahl, 43, who suffers chronic pain from a hand smashed by a car jack. His partner, Steven Scott, 25, said he needs medical marijuana to ease nausea caused by AIDS. Proposition 215, passed by California voters in 1996, allowed patients to legally possess and grow marijuana for a variety of conditions, including AIDS and cancer, if recommended by a doctor. However, the initiative clashed with federal laws against distributing the drug. When U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued an injunction in May barring six Northern California clubs from distributing marijuana, Oakland city officials responded by designating marijuana club officials as city agents, invoking a federal law that protects state and local officers from liability while enforcing drug laws. But Breyer said the club was violating the drug law, not enforcing it. Last week, Breyer refused to listen to club lawyer's arguments that patients had a constitutional right to use the medication of their choice in order to be free of pain. He also rejected the lawyers' "necessity" defense, which allows a person to violate a law when it is the only way to prevent a greater harm. Both of Breyer's decisions are pending appeal with the 9th Circuit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court shuts Oakland pot club (An Associated Press version in The Seattle Times) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "-News" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Court shuts Oakland, CA pot club Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:04:10 -0700 Sender: email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 07:22 a.m. PDT; Tuesday, October 20, 1998 Court shuts Oakland pot club by Jordan Lite The Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO - One of the largest medical marijuana clubs in California has been shut down in a dispute with the federal government over distribution of a substance some patients say eases their pain. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday denied a request by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to remain open while it appeals a ruling finding the club in contempt of court for continuing to distribute marijuana. The club, which claims 2,200 patients as members, was one of six in Northern California sued by the Justice Department for violating the federal law against distribution of marijuana. Of the six, only two remain open, along with a handful of others around the state. "It's going to be devastating," said Dave Fratello, whose group, Americans for Medical Rights, sponsored the 1996 California proposition legalizing marijuana use for medical reasons and is pushing hard for similar measures in other states this year. "In a lot of cases we're talking about people who are dying," he said. "If they don't have easy access, they may not have any access at all." Proposition 215 allows patients and their caregivers to possess and grow marijuana without prosecution under California law, if recommended by a doctor to relieve the pain from AIDS or cancer treatment, glaucoma or other conditions. The initiative had no effect on federal laws against distribution. Nearly 30 medical marijuana suppliers were in operation in California last year, Fratello said. A Los Angeles club is now the only sizable one still open, he said. About 12,000 people in California have received doctor recommendations saying they would benefit from marijuana, Fratello said. Voters in six states - Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Colorado and Arizona - and the District of Columbia will be asked Nov. 3 whether to allow the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical reasons.
------------------------------------------------------------------- State's Largest Medical-Pot Club Closed By US (The Orange County Register version) Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 11:23:04 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: State's Largest Medical-Pot Club Closed By US Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 STATE'S LARGEST MEDICAL-POT CLUB CLOSED BY US The Oakland group's appeal of a federal judge's contempt ruling goes nowhere. OAKLAND- California's largest remaining medical-marijuana club was closed Monday by a court order obtained by the Clinton administration's Justice Department. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, without comment, denied a request by the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative to remain open during an appeal of a federal judge's ruling that held the club in contempt of court for continuing to distribute marijuana in violation of federal law. Shortly before the 5 p.m. deadline, leaders of the organization started carrying out boxes of files and said they were closing voluntarily and cooperating with federal marshals. Jeff Jones, executive director of the club, issued a statement saying Californians who backed Proposition 215, the November 1996 medical-marijuana initiative, "have had their votes nullified today by the efforts of a heavy-handed and misguided federal government." "We fear for our patients," Jones said. He said he would work with city officials to try to find a way to distribute the dug to patients who need it and would form a political-action committee to lobby the federal government to lift restrictions on medical marijuana. The club, which claimed 2,200 patients as members, was one of six in Northern California sued by the Justice Department for violating the federal law against distribution of marijuana. Of the six, only clubs in Ukiah and Fairfax remain open, along with a handful of others around the state. Prop. 215 allowed patients and their caregivers to possess and grow marijuana without prosecution under California law, if recommended by a doctor to relieve the pain from AIDS or cancer treatment, glaucoma or other conditions. The initiative had no effect, however, on federal laws against distribution of marijuana. The federal government puts marijuana in the same category as the most dangerous drugs and says it has no medical use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Patrons Say Goodbye To Oakland Pot Club (The San Jose Mercury News version) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 20:24:14 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Patrons Say Goodbye To Oakland Pot Club Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Author: Dan Reed PATRONS SAY GOODBYE TO OAKLAND POT CLUB The sick who smoke marijuana to soothe what ails them won't be getting their leafy medicine from Oakland's downtown pot club anymore -- a federal appeals court panel on Monday refused a request to keep the club open. But almost everyone at the raucous, sometimes teary farewell to the 2,200-member club Monday evening figured they'd still get their medical fix, either by scoring on the streets -- a somewhat dangerous proposition -- or by tapping into an expected underground network of former pot club members. Jeff Jones, president of the Oakland Cannabis Buyers Cooperative, said the club's stash is in safekeeping with members of the cooperative. And he expects many to be able to provide for themselves as the club's public arm tries to form a political action committee to fight for the right of the sick who want to smoke. ``Who am I to stop the patients from helping themselves?'' Jones said in a news conference outside the club's Broadway offices. The club's closing is a sizable victory for the federal government, which has been trying to override Proposition 215 since it was approved in November 1996. The ballot measure approved medicinal marijuana for patients with a doctor's recommendation. Voters, by a majority of 56 percent, apparently agreed with Proposition 215 advocates who said marijuana could help stimulate appetites for cancer and AIDS patients, and that it generally offers a pain-dulling alternative to harsher, legal narcotics. But federal law supersedes state law, and federal law says distributing marijuana, even for medicinal reasons, is a crime. The Clinton administration in January sued the Oakland cooperative and several other clubs, aiming to drive them out of business. Last week, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer rejected the club's argument that the government's ban on medicinal marijuana violates patients' constitutional rights to relieve pain. On Monday, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to extend Breyer's deadline for the club to shut down. Federal prosecutors could not be reached for comment. ``We are bitterly disappointed for the voters of the state of California who have had their votes nullified today by the efforts of a heavy-handed and misguided federal government,'' Jones told reporters, as about 40 pot club supporters held aloft protest signs and alternately listened, cheered and chanted. ``Many of those I have come to know as patients and as friends since I opened this organization almost two years ago will suffer unnecessary pain and suffering without the Oakland CBC.'' While it is clear some sort of underground distribution is in the works, it is not clear how many will be able to benefit from it. And that, for club supporters, was sobering. Robert Raich, the club's attorney, said the ruling, in effect, is a death warrant for some. ``There are people who are going to die as a result of this,'' Raich said of Breyer's ruling. ``And he doesn't really seem to care about that.'' The club still has two appeals pending, although no one seems overly optimistic about their chances. Also, Raich said the club might try to persuade Breyer to let it operate some of its other services -- such as pot cultivation classes, massage therapy or support groups. Jones said the group will reform as Patient Action Now, a political action committee that will lobby the White House and Congress to get marijuana off the controlled-substances list. Tonight, the Oakland City Council, which has strongly backed the Oakland cooperative, will also consider declaring a state of emergency now that the club has been shuttered. While not legally binding on federal agents, the resolution would show how seriously the city takes the government's actions, Raich said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Initiative Up In Smoke (A staff editorial in The Denver Post says "We're relieved" that Colorado Secretary of State Victoria Buckley disqualified a medical marijuana ballot measure.)Date: Sat, 24 Oct 1998 11:25:37 -0700 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CO: MMJ: Editorial: Pot Initiative Up In Smoke Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis (email@example.com) Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.denverpost.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Denver Post POT INITIATIVE UP IN SMOKE Oct. 20 - The off-again-on-again adventures of the proposed medical-marijuana initiative may be nearing an end. Although the measure will still appear on most Colorado ballots as Amendment 19, Secretary of State Victoria Buckley has ruled that supporters' petitions fell 2,338 signatures short of the required 54,242. As a result, unless there's a new twist in the courts, whatever votes are cast on the measure simply won't be tallied. We're relieved. Although there is surely a compassionate need for more effective therapy for those suffering the effects of cancer chemotherapy, AIDS and glaucoma, the initiative proposed for passage in Colorado offered the wrong solution. First, the actual benefits are suspect. There is no conclusive evidence that smoked marijuana is any more effective than the prescription drug Marinol, which contains synthetic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that is known to relieve nausea and induce weight gain. But there's evidence aplenty that smoked marijuana, which contains over 400 chemicals, can cause a host of ills and may, indeed, aggravate illnesses. The initiative made no provision for quality control. Second, the initiative had frightening law-enforcement implications. It would, essentially, permit patients to purchase marijuana on the existing illegal market, but to be immune from prosecution for possession. The notion of thus legalizing selected illegal purchases is absurd. In addition to failing to provide a legal source for the drug, the initiative was filled with loopholes. The list of illnesses it could be construed to cover was virtually endless. The right to possess the drug included not just patients but any "primary caregiver'' over the age of 18. And, opponents say, the required health-department certification could be based, merely, on presentation of "pertinent medical records'' - sidestepping the need for a formal, written, physician's prescription. Like the American Medical Association, we support additional, aggressive studies of the medical applications of marijuana. But even if research does eventually reveal benefits, a controlled source of a safe drug is also essential. The Colorado initiative just didn't have it. And constitutions aren't the place to make medical policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wealthy Benefactors Stoke Campaigns for Medical Marijuana (Washington Post syndicated columnist David S. Broder erroneously says the District of Columbia medical marijuana ballot measure is being funded by George Soros and other millionaires. Focusing on the campaign by Arizona residents to re-institute Proposition 200 reforms nullified by the legislature, Broder says the campaign there has become a fight over the initiative process - that is, open democracy - without noting that's what Soros has been promoting in eastern Europe for decades.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:59:07 GMT To: ";AMR/updates.list" From: Dave Fratello (email@example.com) Subject: W. Post's Broder on initiatives/donors The Washington Post, Tuesday, October 20, 1998 - page A-5 WEALTHY BENEFACTORS STOKE CAMPAIGNS FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA By David S. Broder Washington Post Staff Writer PHOENIX -- A war against the "war on drugs," fueled by millionaires, not pot-smoking hippies, is taking place in six states and the District of Columbia this month. Voters in Alaska, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and the District will find initiatives on their Nov. 3 ballots allowing physicians, under defined conditions, to obtain and dispense marijuana as a palliative to their patients. Here in Arizona, the medical marijuana question is before the voters as part of a broader referendum on decriminalizing a wide category of drugs. Sponsors say they think they will win in every state and opponents in the law enforcement community, Congress and the Clinton administration fear they may be right. One reason for the optimism among proponents is the money that has come in from three men: New York financier George Soros, Cleveland insurance executive Peter B. Lewis and Phoenix entrepreneur John Sperling, who are staunch critics of the anti-drug policies pursued by successive Republican and Democratic administrations. The three are financing most of the $2 million campaign being run by the Los Angeles-based Americans for Medical Rights, which is coordinating the ballot drives everywhere but Arizona. Sperling is the principal backer of the Arizona referendum, which has raised $1.4 million so far. Dave Fratello, spokesman for the national organization, said, "The goal is to change national policy, but we know we will have to win more battles in 1999 and 2000 before that happens." California voters approved a medical marijuana initiative in 1996, but state and federal authorities have made a persistent effort to prevent people from selling marijuana to individuals who obtain a doctor's prescription. Nonetheless, some "cannabis clubs" are operating in the state. Proponents of the initiatives, such as Portland, Ore., physician Richard Bayer, claim there are many cancer and AIDS patients for whom marijuana is the most effective drug in relieving nausea and other debilitating side effects. The Oregon campaign is using a multiple sclerosis patient as a spokeswoman for the initiative. A poll this month showed the proposal with a 64 percent to 30 percent lead, but sponsors said they expect it to narrow. On the other side, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy is distributing talking points to community anti-drug coalitions and urging newspapers in the initiative states to editorialize against these propositions. Its position papers contend that other drugs can meet the medical needs of cancer and AIDS patients and urge that marijuana not be legalized at least until the Food and Drug Administration and the Institute of Medicine complete ongoing studies on its safety and effectiveness. But Barry R. McCaffrey, director of that office, is doing no campaigning in the initiative states, in part because his allies thought there was a backlash against White House interference when he stumped in Arizona and California in 1996. Local law enforcement agencies have not mobilized major money or strong grass-roots opposition to the initiatives. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), an opponent of the Arizona decriminalization effort, said, "When it's everybody's responsibility, it's nobody's responsibility." The Arizona battle may be the most significant because of the breadth of the referendum. In 1996, Sperling, president of the Apollo Group Inc., which owns, among other enterprises, the for-profit University of Phoenix, launched the "Drug Medicalization, Prevention and Control" initiative, with financial backing from Soros and Lewis. In addition to permitting marijuana prescriptions, it provided that instead of jail, the first two possession convictions would result in probation and participation in a drug treatment or education program. He enlisted bipartisan support from Marvin S. Cohen, a Carter administration chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and John Norton, the No. 2 in the Reagan administration Agriculture Department. His big catch was former senator Dennis DeConcini (D-Ariz.), who said in a television commercial, "As a former prosecutor and U.S. senator I've spent my life fighting against drugs, and I can tell you that the Drug Medicalization Act will strengthen our drug policy." The TV spots in the 1996 initiative campaign stressed the provision requiring those convicted of violent crimes while under the influence of drugs to serve their full sentences, without parole. The ads also argued that clearing prisons of people convicted of simple possession would save money and make space for hardened criminals. The measure passed with little opposition. It was only afterward, said state Rep. Mike Gardner (R), that legislators discovered it had been written to include not just marijuana but 116 other "Schedule I" drugs including LSD, heroin and PCP. "We want to medicalize all of them -- and not be namby-pamby," Sperling said in an interview last week. "Even though," campaign coordinator Sam Vagenas interjected, "we believe marijuana is the only one that meets the [medical] standards today." Gardner, chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee, immediately met with his state Senate counterpart, and they drafted and passed two bills. One ordered jail time for anyone convicted of possession who refused treatment and the other suspended medical use of any of the 117 drugs, including marijuana, until it is approved by Congress or the FDA. No sooner were the bills signed than Sperling and his team, now calling themselves "The People Have Spoken" coalition, rounded up the signatures to force Gardner's bills to referendum. The conflict quickly escalated. Sperling's side filed a second initiative for the Nov. 3 ballot that would bar the legislature from making anything other than technical changes in voter-approved measures and require a three-fourths majority even for those. The legislature replied with a countermeasure that would sunset initiatives after five years and permit substantive amendments on a two-thirds vote. Sperling and his allies are running their campaign on a "people vs. politicians" theme. Their first radio ad, which began last week, noted that their 1996 initiative "received approval of 65 percent of Arizonans. . . . But that didn't stop the politicians from gutting it. They had the nerve to say that voters were ignorant." Voting against the legislature's repeal measures "will let the politicians know that we're smarter than they think." In a way, the battle has become a fight over the initiative process itself. Gardner said in an interview, "The initiative was part of our constitution when we became a state, because it was supposed to offer the people a way of overriding special-interest groups. But it's turned 180 degrees and now the special-interest groups use the initiative process for their own purposes." Referring to Soros, who is funding an Arizona campaign finance reform initiative as well as helping on the drug referendum, Gardner asked, "Why should a New York millionaire be writing the laws in Arizona?" Soros replied in a phone interview: "I live in one place, but I consider myself a citizen of the world. I have foundations in 30 countries, and I believe certain universal principles apply everywhere -- including Arizona."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Proposition 300 Prompts Anti-Drug Rally (The Arizona Republic says Republican leaders rallied in front of 150 children at the Thomas J. Pappas school for the homeless Monday, urging a "yes" vote on Proposition 300, to gut Arizona's medical-marijuana law. Proclaiming that drugs are bad and cheerleading the children, Reps. Matt Salmon, John Shadegg and J.D. Hayworth and Sen. Jon Kyl joined Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan in the media event. Apparently the tyrants couldn't find a non-captive audience of adults who wouldn't lynch them.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:24:05 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AZ MMJ: Proposition 300 Prompts Anti-Drug Rally 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: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Copyright: 1998, The Arizona Republic. Contact: Opinions@pni.com Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/ Author: Mike McCloy PROPOSITION 300 PROMPTS ANTI-DRUG RALLY Republican leaders rallied in front of 150 children at the Thomas J. Pappas school for the homeless Monday, urging a "yes" vote on Proposition 300, to gut Arizona's medical-marijuana law. Proclaiming that drugs are bad and cheerleading the children, Reps. Matt Salmon, John Shadegg and J.D. Hayworth and Sen. Jon Kyl joined Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Graham Keegan in the media event. Supporters of the 1996 medical-marijuana initiative want to legalize street drugs and to use the legalization of those drugs as medicine as an opening wedge, the children were told. University of Phoenix founder John Sperling and millionaires from New York and Cleveland have spent more than $1 million for the initiative and against a Nov. 3 referendum on changes made by the Legislature, said Stan Barnes, president of Arizonans Against Heroin and an announcer on KFYI-AM (910). Proposition 300 would require Food and Drug Administration approval of marijuana as medicine before Arizona doctors could prescribe street drugs for side effects of cancer, AIDS and other ailments. If Proposition 300 fails, the 1996 law would remain in effect. Sam Vagenas, consultant to The People Have Spoken, said using the tax-supported school for the rally was an "abuse of public power." "If there's no law against it, there ought to be," said Vagenas, whose group opposes Proposition 300. "If we called up to do a press conference at the school, they wouldn't let us do it, and we certainly wouldn't do it." Maricopa County schools Superintendent Sandra Dowling said she would allow Vagenas' group to present an anti-drug message to students. *** Mike McCloy can be reached at 444-8111 or at email@example.com via e-mail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Goals Similar For Props 104, 105 (The Arizona Republic explains two state ballot measures prompted by the legislature's nullification of Proposition 200. Both would make it harder for the legislature to change or repeal citizen initiatives. Opponents of medical marijuana in the legislature put Proposition 104 on the ballot. Supporters of medical marijuana gathered petition signatures to qualify Proposition 105. If both proposals pass, the measure with more votes will take effect.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 19:39:16 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AZ: MMJ: Goals Similar For Props 104, 105 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: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Arizona Republic (AZ) Contact: Opinions@pni.com Website: http://www.azcentral.com/news/ Copyright: 1998, The Arizona Republic. Author: Chris Moeser GOALS SIMILAR FOR PROPS. 104, 105 Both Initiatives Push People Power Propositions 104 and 105 are both aimed at making it harder for the Legislature to change or repeal citizen initiatives. Which one is better? It all depends on whom you ask. But the answer is closely tied to two other items on the ballot -- Propositions 300 and 301 -- the medical-marijuana proposals. Last year, the Legislature gutted a medical-marijuana law that voters passed 2-1 in 1996. The move inflamed voters and sparked both debates this year. Opponents of medical marijuana in the Legislature put Proposition 104 on the ballot. Supporters of medical marijuana gathered petition signatures to qualify Proposition 105. If both proposals pass, the measure with more votes will take effect. Both have tough provisions. Proposition 104 would apply retroactively, protecting every voter-approved law in state history. But Proposition 105 slaps more shackles on the Legislature, making it virtually impossible to change a citizens initiative without referring it back to the people. Both propositions would prohibit the governor from vetoing any voter-approved ballot measures. But that's where the similarity ends: Proposition 104 would prevent the Legislature from repealing any voter-approved measure for five years. After five years, it would require a two-thirds vote. By contrast, Proposition 105 would forbid the Legislature from ever overturning a ballot measure. Proposition 104 would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to change a measure or to transfer funds spent on the measure's behalf. By contrast, Proposition 105 would require a three-fourths vote to make changes or transfer funds, and the changes would have to "further the purposes" of the measure. In addition, Proposition 104 would: Prevent the Legislature from using "emergency" legislation to change a measure. Allow the governor to veto legislative changes to a voter-approved measure, and require a three-fourths vote of the Legislature to override that veto. Take effect retroactively, protecting all voter-approved laws. Other provisions of Proposition 105 would: Allow the Legislature to refer any matter to the ballot, including proposals to repeal citizen-approved measures. Apply only to measures approved in November or later. Both sides acknowledge each proposal contains improvements. "(Proposition) 104 is a vast improvement over the status quo," said Jack LaSota, a former Arizona attorney general and the legal counsel for the Voter Protection Alliance, which is supporting 105, known as the Voter Protection Act. "But 105 is better because ... it eliminates the sort of arrogant "we know better than you' mentality in the Legislature. That power is watered down in 104." But critics say it's the Voter Protection Act that smacks of arrogance. "I think you have to be pretty darned arrogant to say, "I can draft a bill perfectly the first time without unintended consequences,' " said Rep. Mike Gardner, R-Tempe, who sponsored the resolution that put Proposition 104 on the ballot. "105 is bad because it makes it virtually impossible for an initiative to ever be changed." Bart Turner, executive director of the Valley Citizens League, calls Proposition 105 a "poorly written" law. The three-quarters supermajority is too tough, Turner said, because legislative amendments designed to fix mistakes could be defeated by opponents who want to kill the entire law. LaSota counters that legislators are free to refer anything back to the ballot to allow voters to approve changes. Turner, who wrote Proposition 104, says the three-fourths supermajority gives too much power to a handful of legislators -- eight senators -- who could block any changes. The two-thirds vote standard in Proposition 104 provides a higher bar than a simple majority without making changes too difficult. And he points out 105 only affects initiatives on the November ballot and in the future, while 104 would protect everything. Turner suggested that reveals the motives behind the Voter Protection Act: to protect the medical-marijuana law. "They are obviously not trying to protect the voice of the people," Turner said. "The only piece of existing law that 105 would protect is the drug initiative." He also criticizes the provision requiring any amendment to "further the purpose" of the measure. Turner says the language is too broad and leaves all legislative amendments open to court challenge. But LaSota says Proposition 104 isn't strong enough because it allows the Legislature to pass amendments that essentially gut voter-approved measures. He adds that legislators would not have put Proposition 104 on the ballot if it were not for the Voter Protection Act. Lawmakers added Proposition 104 to the ballot, LaSota says, in a classic "bait and switch" move to confuse voters. "I doubt that 104 would be on the ballot but for 105," LaSota said. "The Legislature correctly discerned that 105 would provoke a debate that the people would win and the Legislature would lose." Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has joined Attorney General Grant Woods and former Secretary of State Richard Mahoney in endorsing the Voter Protection Act, agreed. SIDEBAR: Summary of provisions Proposition 104: Prohibits the governor from vetoing a voter-approved measure. Prohibits the Legislature from repealing a voter-approved measure for five years. After five years, it would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Allows the governor to veto legislative changes to a voter-approved measure and requires a three-fourths vote of the Legislature to override that veto. Proposition 105: Prohibits both the governor and the Legislature from vetoing a voter-approved measure. Requires a three-fourths vote of the Legislature to amend a citizen-approved measure. Allows the Legislature to refer any matter to the ballot, including proposals to repeal citizen-approved measures. Prop. 105 supporters There are no organized campaigns to support or oppose Proposition 104. Nor is there an organized campaign to oppose Proposition 105. But a campaign committee has been organized to support Proposition 105, and it is called the Voter Protection Alliance. According to the Secretary of State's Office, there are two contributors who have raised $400,000: John Sperling of Phoenix, chairman of the Apollo Group of Phoenix, which owns 88 private colleges nationwide under the name University of Phoenix: $150,000. Peter Sperling of Phoenix, son of John Sperling and an executive with the Apollo Group: $250,000. *** Chris Moeser can be reached at 444-8069 or at email@example.com via e-mail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Yes On Proposition 104 (A seemingly coincidental staff editorial in The Arizona Daily Star encourages a "yes" vote for what it calls "the more thoughtful" of two ballot measures that would prevent the state legislature from nullifying voter-approved initiatives such as Proposition 200.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 23:23:31 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US AZ: OPED: Yes On Proposition 104 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: Tue, 20 October 1998 Source: Arizona Daily Star (AZ) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ YES ON PROPOSITION 104 The right of voters to enact their own laws was contained in one of the first amendments to the state constitution in 1914, two years after Arizona became a state. This year, voters have the chance to change the constitution once more, and in doing so to ensure that the power claimed by voters in 1914 cannot be usurped by the Legislature. A ``yes'' vote on Proposition 104 is the best way to do that. Propositions 104 and 105 would both forbid the Legislature from thwarting the will of the people, as expressed in initiative measures passed by popular vote. The differences between the two measures are differences of degree, rather than intent. Proposition 104, which was referred to the ballot by the Legislature, is the more thoughtful approach. It forbids a veto of any voter-passed initiative by the governor. This has never been done, but it was threatened by Gov. Symington two years ago on a couple of measures he disliked. Proposition 104 also prohibits repeal of any initiative measure for five years and it requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to do so even then. That same two-thirds vote would be needed to change any portion of an initiative measure, including all initiatives passed previously by the voters. It gets the job done with a minimum of fuss and with zero ambiguity. Proposition 105 is itself an initiative, placed on the ballot by backers of last year's measure to ``medicalize'' marijuana and offer treatment rather than imprisonment for those convicted of minor drug offenses. Those folks were understandably upset when the Legislature passed laws that undid their initiative and they gathered signatures for a measure to insure that it wouldn't happen again. Proposition 105 forbids a gubernatorial veto and it forbids any legislative repeal of an initiative measure. It also requires that any amendment to an initiative law be passed by a three-fourths vote of the Legislature and that any such change ``furthers the purposes'' of the initiative passed by voters. This language is ambiguous and subject to legal fights. And the three-fourths requirement is too high. Initiatives are not perfect. Often they contain minor mistakes or produce unintended results. The will of the voters should not be tinkered with cavalierly, but the Legislature should be able to correct mistakes made by the drafters of voter initiatives. The two-thirds test proposed by Proposition 104 is high enough to guarantee that the Legislature will not thwart the will of the voters. The Arizona Daily Star urges a ``yes'' vote on Proposition 104. We do not, however, urge a ``no'' vote on Proposition 105. If voters pick one measure and vote against the other one, they could end up defeating both. If both measures pass, the one receiving the most votes will prevail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Panel clears six from Houston Police Department of homicide - one cop indicted on trespass (The Houston Chronicle suggests there will be no justice for the killers of Pedro Oregon Navarro, an innocent man shot 12 times from behind by Houston prohibition agents who broke into his apartment without a warrant.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 06:07:06 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Panel clears six from HPD of homicide To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org I'm **sure** the prosecutors **really** did their best when presenting evidence against the killers. 10-20-98 Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com email@example.com Panel clears six from HPD of homicide 1 cop indicted on trespass By STEVE BREWER Copyright 1998 Houston Chronicle One of six Houston police officers under investigation in the death of Pedro Oregon Navarro was indicted Monday on a misdemeanor criminal trespass charge, while the others were no-billed on all charges. The indictment of James R. Willis, 28, who has been an officer since December 1992, ended the Harris County grand jury's extensive eight-week investigation into the July 12 shooting. Oregon, 22, died in a hail of bullets fired by officers following up on a tip from an informant that drugs were being sold in the southwest Houston home. Willis' attorney, Brian Benken, said he wasn't sure why only one officer was indicted and not the others, but that his client will post bail and await his day in court. He said he was relieved the officers were cleared of more serious charges and praised the grand jury. But the jury's decision was quickly characterized as "disgusting" by attorneys for Oregon's family, who vowed to proceed with their planned civil suit and demand a federal civil rights investigation. Mayor Lee Brown said he will ask Attorney General Janet Reno to investigate whether Oregon's civil rights were violated. Mayoral spokesman Don Payne said Brown would formally submit that request today.. Prosecutor Ed Porter said the jury, which has been investigating the case since late August, has seen all the evidence and was given several possible options, from no-bill, to lesser offenses to murder. Prosecutors finished addressing jurors about noon Monday and the panel reached a decision after a little more than three hours of secret deliberations. The man who gave police the tip on July 12 was not a registered confidential informant and he was not handled by narcotics officers. The officers who entered the apartment where Oregon lived were in a gang task force in HPD's Southwest Patrol Division and had no search or arrest warrants. The officers have contended that Oregon pointed a gun at them. Police officials have said one officer fired his weapon, hitting another officer in his bullet-resistant vest and knocking him to the floor. The officers apparently thought that shot came from Oregon, and they opened fire. They fired about 30 rounds, 12 of which hit Oregon. Nine struck him in the back, one in the back of the head, one in back of the shoulder and one in the back of the hand. No drugs were found in the apartment and Oregon had not fired at police, though his gun was found nearby. Oregon also had no drugs or alcohol in his system and had no criminal record. The job status of the officers involved was still unclear late Monday. Besides Willis, the officers involved are David R. Barrera, 28, a five-year veteran; Lamont E. Tillery, 30, a two-year officer; Pete A. Herrada, 28, a three-year officer; David Perkins, 30, a four-year officer; and Sgt. Darrell H. Strouse, 34, who has been with HPD for 12 years. Strouse has undergone grand jury scrutiny before. In 1992, he was no-billed by a San Jacinto County grand jury looking into an icehouse brawl involving him and two other off-duty Houston police officers and their civilian friends. All three officers were no-billed. "The department is not in a position to say anything about the grand jury's decision yet," HPD spokesman Robert Hurst said of the Oregon case. "The six officers will remain relieved of duty with pay pending the outcome of the department's internal affairs investigation." Porter said grand jurors heard from about 25 witnesses, including the officers, with connections to all facets of the case. Prosecutors said attorneys for Oregon's family and the officers were also invited to suggest potential witnesses to grand jurors, a common practice. "We've done an extensive investigation," said Porter, who presented the evidence to the panel. "This has been the longest presentation I've ever been involved in and quite frankly, as I recall, the longest presentation that anyone can remember around here. We have taken our time. We have questioned the witnesses thoroughly to try and make sure all the facts were before this grand jury." Porter said the investigation basically concerned two areas -- the entry into Oregon's home and the shooting. Grand jurors chose not to indict on any charges connected with the shooting, clearing the officers of any murder charges, Porter said. They also chose to no-bill five of the officers on any charges connected to the entry. But Porter or Benken would not speculate on why Willis was charged for the entry. They would not say if Willis was the officer who handled the informant or if he was the first person to go into Oregon's home. That one indictment was insufficient for attorneys representing Oregon's family, who said they will file a federal lawsuit within 30 days. Richard Mithoff said, "I am struck by the tragic ironies, considering a few weeks ago a Hispanic killed a cop and was almost immediately indicted for murder and here we have six cops killing a Hispanic and two months later it's a trespass?" Nugent added, "I'm not surprised, but I'm disgusted." He said when the federal lawsuit is filed he will be allowed to question the officers aggressively, which he could not do during the grand jury proceedings. "I can't understand the logic, where only one officer is indicted," Nugent said. "When we file, we will vigorously cross-examine, investigate and question these officers on why they repeatedly shot a man who was on the floor of his apartment." Nugent said he's sure the Justice Department will show interest in Monday's decision because it was motivated by some kind of "double standard" for police officers. "If this had happened in the suburbs, where police broke into a house and killed the owner, there would be an outcry," Nugent said. Porter and Harris County District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. defended the panel's work and said the decision came down to the facts and the law. "The bottom line is that nobody knows better what the facts are in the case than those 12 (grand jurors)," Holmes said. Benken, attorney for Willis and the other officers, said the six have been portrayed unfairly in the media as "rogue and renegade cops." Porter said any perception that evidence was kept from the panel to protect the officers or that there was a double standard are unfounded. Holmes said while the officers should clearly have obtained a warrant and exercised better judgment with the informant, state law says that no one can use force to protect themselves from an arrest or search by the police -- even if it is illegal. Holmes and Porter said the legal system provides non-violent remedies for such situations. The law allows an officer -- or any person -- to use deadly force if he perceives a reasonable threat to his life, Holmes said. In this case, prosecutors say the officers felt there was such a threat. The charge against Willis is a Class A misdemeanor and if convicted he could receive up to a year in the county jail and a $4,000 fine. The case has not been assigned to a court yet. Chronicle reporters Julie Mason, Jo Ann Zuņiga and S.K. Bardwell contributed to this story.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Protesters Vow To Press Fight Over Oregon (A sidebar in The Houston Chronicle says members of the Hispanic community vowed to fight for further action against the killers. Claudia Navarro, the mother of the victim, Pedro Oregon Navarro, said "I'm very sad about what has happened. Maybe if I could speak English, they would have listened to me." Houston City Councilman John Castillo said, "It offends anyone who has any sense of justice.") Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:53:43 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Protesters Vow To Press Fight Over Oregon Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Author: Jo Ann Zuiga And S.K. Bardwell PROTESTERS VOW TO PRESS FIGHT OVER OREGON The mother of a man killed in his home by police expressed disappointment Monday at a grand jury's decision to indict only one officer involved in the fatal raid, and that for criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. "I'm very sad about what has happened. Maybe if I could speak English, they would have listened to me," said Claudia Navarro, mother of Pedro Oregon Navarro. "I'm very frustrated, but I believe there is a God, and we are still waiting for justice." Members of the Hispanic community vowed to fight for further action against the officers involved while police and a civil rights group asked those angered by the decision to remain calm. Demonstrators from the Justice for Pedro Oregon Coalition protested in a steady drizzle Monday in front of the Harris County Criminal Courthouse chanting, "No justice, no peace." "This gives the green light for cops to go into homes and kill," said protester Travis Morales. "A trespass charge is not going to stop any police officer." The demonstrators previously had scheduled a march Thursday as part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. The protest will begin with a rally at Market Square Park, at Preston and Travis, and proceed to the police station. Benito Juarez, a spokesman for the Houston Immigrant and Refugee Coalition, said: "We were expecting this case to be an example so it would not happen again. "But it's sending the wrong message. The way Pedro Oregon was killed was very clearly a civil rights violation." Johnny Mata, spokesman for the League of United Latin American Citizens, said the civil rights group has already requested that the U.S. Justice Department investigate the case. "We will continue pressing them on that matter," he said. "This is a travesty of justice. We're asking for the community to be calm, but there is a lot of outrage." "It offends anyone who has any sense of justice," said City Councilman John Castillo. "There are going to be great feelings of helplessness, anger, frustration, which can lead to awful conclusions. I think people need to be aware this can still be handled at the federal level." Rick Dovalina, national president of LULAC, said: "Good police are tainted by this process. We believe there's enough information right now for the chief to fire those police officers ... It's not fair to the other good officers you have over there." The National Latino Peace Officers' Association, under the presidency of HPD police Officer Adrian Garcia, released a statement "calling out to the Hispanic community to stand strong on whatever their position may be on this issue, but to reaffirm their position in a nondestructive manner." "Our concern is, there may be persons who would encourage this kind of behavior, such as what happened in Houston in 1978 when the Moody Park riot occurred. "Unfortunately, it has taken over 20 years to repair the morale of that community because of that riot." But other police officers are not sure that calm will prevail. "There's going to be trouble," one Houston officer said. "The public isn't going to understand. I'm not sure I do." Mayor Lee Brown and three City Council members said Monday they are seeking a federal grand jury investigation of the incidents surrounding Oregon's death. Brown, Castillo, Orlando Sanchez and Annise Parker dispatched the joint request soon after the grand jury verdict was announced. "We feel it is very important for Houstonians to know that this is not the end of the road," Sanchez said. "Even though the county grand jury found only one indictable offense, we want to ensure that no federal laws were broken." Oregon was killed July 12 when officers assigned to an HPD gang task force raided his apartment based on information supplied by a drug suspect. As at least six officers crowded into a narrow hallway outside Oregon's bedroom, one officer shouted that Oregon had a gun. When an officer's gun discharged accidentally, others said, they believed Oregon had fired on them. More than 30 shots were fired in the confined space, 12 hitting Oregon, mainly in the back and from above. The 22-year-old father of two died. No drugs were found in his apartment. The single indictment handed down Monday was against Officer James R. Willis. "I understand how they could all not be indicted for the shooting," said one officer. "I'm not really sure how just one of them could be indicted for criminal trespass." Several officers who spoke to the Chronicle Monday did so on condition they not be identified. Although the criminal investigation concluded Monday, HPD's administrative investigation is ongoing, and officers are prohibited from discussing it. None of the officers expressed surprise at the lack of indictments. As one put it: "I thought from the beginning that the shooting was a tragic accident. It was what led them to go into the apartment that I thought might have been criminal." That officer, assigned to another gang task force, said the officers involved in the Oregon raid made mistakes. Such raids, the officer explained, might be based on an informant's tip, but the tip has to be taken to a judge who reviews it and issues a warrant if the tip is found to be sufficient cause for a raid. HPD policy requires all such informants to be registered with the department. The one used in the Oregon raid not only was not registered, he was on probation, which would have made him ineligible to become an HPD informant. What surprised most of the officers about the grand jury's action, they said Monday, was that only one officer was indicted for entering the apartment illegally. All the officers who spoke expressed concern about how the public would view the matter. Said one officer, a 23-year veteran: "I don't think this is going to be as bad as Joe Campos Torres -- but I say that hopefully." Torres, a young Vietnam veteran, died in May 1977 after Houston police who arrested him for being drunk beat him and threw him into Buffalo Bayou, where he drowned. Some of the officers involved later got probated one-year sentences. In May 1978, anger over the death and the lack of punishment prompted the Moody Park riot, which sent 15 people to the hospital.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Denton DA candidate pleads guilty to marijuana delivery - Democrat remains eligible for office if elected (The Dallas Morning News says Stephen Hale, the Democratic candidate for Denton County district attorney, was given two years' probation Monday, receiving "deferred adjudication." "If elected, I am eligible to serve," he said Monday evening, "and I'm thinking about it . . . . I believe that people who would support me don't care about my giving a little bit of marijuana to a former girlfriend, and those who hate me will hate me anyway.") From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 08:21:00 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Denton DA candidate pleads guilty to marijuana delivery To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org I hate it when a good story isn't on the online edition. Skewz any tpyos. At least Denton County has a sensible candidate for district attorney. Colonel, GET THIS MAN ELECTED. :) *** 10-20-98 Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com email@example.com Denton DA candidate pleads guilty to marijuana delivery Democrat remains eligible for office if elected By Nita Thurman Denton Bureau of The Dallas Morning News DENTON -- The Democratic candidate for Denton County district attorney pleaded guilty to delivery of marijuana Monday and was given two years' probabtion. Because Stephen Hale received deferred adjudication, he will have no criminal conviction if he successfully completes the probation. So he apparently could take office if elected Nov. 3. After his arrest in March, he had said he was withdrawing as a candidate, but he did not submit the necessary paperwork to the Texas secreatary of staet's office. His name remains on the ballot. "If elected, I am eligible to serve," he said Monday evening, "and I'm thinking about it....I believe that people who would support me don't care about my giving a little bit of marijuana to a former girlfriend, and those who hate me will hate me anyway." District Attorney Bruce Isaacks, the Republican incumbent on the ballot, has denied any involvement in the charges against his rival. Mr. Isaacks withdrew from prosecuting the marijuana case against Mr. Hale, and Collin County Distrct Attorney Tom O'Connell was appointed special prosecutor. On Monday, Mr. Isaacks called his opponent's guilty plea "further evidence of the little regard Mr. Hale has for the law and the office he was seeking." "However, I don't have any ill will toward him," Mr. Isaacks said. "I hope he can get this chapter behind him and can continue to be a practicing attorney and a productive citizen." Mr. Hale was charged with delivering more than a quarter- ounce of marijuana to a woman in June 1997. "She was strung out on Valium," he said. "I finally agreed to give her a little marijuana. And when I did, she was wired." Five officers arrested Mr. Hale at his Denton apartment, he said. "This Ranger from Wise County had a big smile on his face," Mr. Hale said. "... They put me in their narcmobile, but they didn't even know where the jail was. I gave them directions to the jail, me being the big criminal that I was." As Wise County attorney from 1993 through 1996, Mr. Hale dismissed several hundred marijuana cases. He said he developed that policy after he was charged with possessing the drug as an Army draftee in the 1970s, near the close of the Vietnam War. He was given deferred adjudication then, too, so he has no felony conviction, he testified Monday. "Almost every GI I knew smoked marijuana, but I got caught," he said in 1994 after Wise County police groups called for his resignation as county attorney. "I came home from serving my country on felony probation for not hurting anybody." Officers have accused him of being soft on marijuana and drunken-driving cases, and he said he thinks some of them targeted him for his latest arrest. "I dismissed over 500 marijuana cases because I did not see how it was in the interest of justice to punish someone for a victimless offense," he said. "That's still how I feel about it. On the DWI's, I tried to get as many convictions as I could. There was an overwhelming caseload. Sometimes I would reduce the charge to get a guilty plea." He said he agreed to plead guilty Monday on the advice of his attorneys, Jerry Cobb and Ricky Perritt. "I did it," he said. "I gave this old girl some marijuana... I'm happy that I had the best legal defense team around. And I'm happy I'm still on the ballot. I'm a lawyer, not a pot dealer."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Policy Items In Federal Budget Plan (The Las Vegas Sun says the $520 billion federal budget bill includes an item banning funds to count votes on Initiative 59, the District of Columbia referendum on medical marijuana, and also bans local or federal funding of needle exchange programs in DC.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 23:23:40 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NV: Policy Items In Federal Budget Plan 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: October 20 1998 Source: Las Vegas Sun (NV) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.lasvegassun.com/ Copyright: 1998 Las Vegas SUN, Inc. Author: ASSOCIATED PRESS POLICY ITEMS IN FEDERAL BUDGET PLAN Some major policy items in the $520 billion fiscal 1999 budget package. -Allows U.S. food exports to India and Pakistan, despite sanctions on other exports. -Prohibits FBI user fees for its instant check system for gun purchases. -Links U.N. back due payments to passage of a bill banning aid to international family planning groups promoting abortion. -Bans local and federal funding for needle exchange programs in the District of Columbia and bans federal funding for a D.C. referendum on legalizing marijuana. -Eliminates funding for the U.N. Population Fund, which is starting new programs in China. -Prohibits introduction of wolves or grizzly bears in wilderness areas in Idaho and Montana. -Establishes a six-month moratorium on new Indian gambling licenses. -Prohibits funds for implementing national education tests. -Bans the implementation of regulations changing how organs for transplants are allocated. -Prohibits federal funding for a rerun of the Teamsters election. -Bars federal funding for human embryo research. -Prohibits the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration from issuing a final rule on national identification cards. -Blocks a pay raise for members of Congress. -Requires health plans for federal workers to cover prescription contraceptives. -Allows 40,000 Haitian refugees to gain permanent residency. -Provides temporary visas for foreign nationals with high-tech skills. -Establishes a three-year moratorium on state and local Internet taxation. -Approves the Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Ex-agents accuse US of ignoring Mexico corruption - Administration officials deny overlooking Salinas' actions (The Dallas Morning News quotes Hector Berrellez, 52, a retired DEA agent who says "I once had information that Raul Salinas had allegedly brokered deals with Pablo Escobar," the late Colombian drug lord. "Washington ordered me not to write it up." Berrellez and other former DEA agents say US officials turn a blind eye to drug corruption in Mexico because they don't want to jeopardize commercial and diplomatic ties.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 07:17:46 -0500 (CDT) Subject: ART: Ex-agents accuse U.S. of ignoring Mexico corruption To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org These former DEA agents actually think the drug trade can be stopped. They are only deluding themselves. There is only one threat to the drug trade and that comes from those of us in the drug policy reform movement. When the threat becomes real, the Feds take action. IMO, that's why they are trying to disrupt the various medmj initiatives. It's also why the medmj clubs are being shut down in California. Marijuana legalization, even for medical purposes, is a direct threat to the drug trade. (If anyone wants to use this type of theme in a letter to the DMN, be my guest. I can't have one published for a few more weeks.) 10-20-98 Dallas Morning News http://www.dallasnews.com email@example.com Ex-agents accuse U.S. of ignoring Mexico corruption Administration officials deny overlooking Salinas' actions By Tracey Eaton The Dallas Morning News MEXICO CITY - When Raul Salinas de Gortari, brother of the former Mexican president, was charged in 1995 with taking huge payoffs from drug traffickers, even some of the most jaded Mexicans were shocked. But some former U.S. agents barely blinked. "We know a lot about what goes on. The problem is, we don't do anything about it. We tolerate corruption in Mexico," said Hector Berrellez, a former veteran agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration. "I once had information that Raul Salinas had allegedly brokered deals with Pablo Escobar," the late Colombian drug lord. "Washington ordered me not to write it up. 'Stop writing that stuff,' they told me. So what am I supposed to do? Go to the movies? Go see Zorro?" Disillusioned, Mr. Berrellez said he actually did spend some of his afternoons at the movies in Washington, D.C., before retiring in September 1996. Now 52, his take on the continuing Salinas affair is that some U.S. officials turn a blind eye to drug corruption because they don't want to jeopardize America's commercial and diplomatic ties with Mexico. "Don't tell me we couldn't go to Mexico and stamp out drug trafficking. Of course we could," Mr. Berrellez said. "But we don't. There is no drug war." If U.S. officials did shy away from investigating Raul Salinas, Swiss authorities certainly did not. And on Tuesday, they plan to announce the results of a three-year investigation into allegations that former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's brother had become a big-time money launderer. Details of their investigation - first published in The New York Times - are expected to show that Raul Salinas controlled the shipment of tons of drugs through Mexico during his brother's six-year term, which ended in 1994. Raul Salinas, now in a maximum-security prison outside Mexico City, has denied any connection with drug trafficking. And after a Mexican prosecutor earlier this month announced that the government had traced to Mr. Salinas bank accounts containing about $250 million, the former president's brother fired off an angry response: "Don't let yourselves be fooled. I don't have any more accounts." Clinton administration officials, for their part, strongly reject the suggestion that they looked the other way while Raul Salinas is alleged to have raked in hundreds of millions of dollars in drug bribes, perhaps with the consent of his powerful brother. "Certainly at the policy level, there was no such understanding or sense that there was a problem with Carlos Salinas," said one official, who requested anonymity. Raul Salinas held a midlevel government post during his brother's term and was called "Mr. 10 Percent" - a reference to rumors that he took a 10-percent cut on back-room deals with the government, the official said. But "we had no serious concerns about narco-corruption." "Now it strikes us as unfair that law enforcement says, 'We've known this for eons.' They say, 'Didn't you know they were corrupt?' Well, no, we're not intelligence agents. We're policy-makers." A spokesman for the DEA declined to comment. Carlos Salinas, now living in exile in Ireland, has denied promoting drug corruption and has said he was "astonished by the huge amount" of money traced to his brother. Michael Levine, who spent 25 years with the DEA and other federal agencies, ran a sting operation called "Operation Trifecta" in 1987, which he said revealed "massive government corruption in Mexico." He said informants said that Carlos Salinas intended "to open his country up for drug traffickers" after his election in 1988. But he said federal officials, including some at the CIA, hushed up the details of his undercover operation and discouraged him from targeting the Salinas family. U.S. officials didn't want to sink the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, he said. "It's mind-blowing," he said. "Sometimes I look back and say, 'Did this really happen?' You can't make up this kind of stuff." The CIA declined to comment. Mr. Levine said he remains convinced that the Salinas family had deep drug-trafficking ties and that Carlos Salinas must have been involved at some level. "Raul could have never done anything without Carlos. I think Raul's the fall guy. That's the story," said Mr. Levine, who has written three books about his experiences and has a weekly radio show in New York City. There are other DEA veterans who agree with Mr. Levine. One is Celerino "Cele" Castillo, who worked as an agent in Central and South America and has testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. "Our hands are tied. We are not allowed to conduct major operations against well-known officials that we believe are involved in drug trafficking unless it's approved in Washington. And approval is unlikely. The U.S. government doesn't want to embarrass the Mexican government," said Mr. Castillo, the author of a book called Powderburns. Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center, jointly run by the DEA and other federal agencies, said during the debate over NAFTA five years ago that his superiors in Washington ordered him not to talk about his concern that free trade would boost drug trafficking. Since then, a U.S. Customs-led task force called Operation Alliance has concluded that trafficking gangs are exploiting NAFTA to send more drugs northward across the U.S.-Mexico border. "Our worst fears have been realized," said Mr. Jordan, head of a corporate security company in Dallas. Peter Lupsha, a former University of New Mexico researcher specializing in organized crime, contends that drug trafficking in Mexico is simply a low priority for Washington. "For recent Washington administrations, whether they be President Bush's or President Clinton's, free trade, investment, development and other economic issues are paramount," he wrote in the journal Trends in Organized Crime. "Drug trafficking, immigration, environmental concerns . . . are all issues to be swept under the rug and ignored." But in the end, "consistently ignoring or downplaying Mexico's problems . . . will only work against the successful creation of the much-desired free trade hemisphere," researcher Silvana Paternostro wrote in World Policy Journal.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man vows to continue pot crusade after fine (According to The Calgary Herald, Saskatchewan multiple sclerosis patient Grant Krieger said he would continue to lobby for the rights of medical marijuana users after a Calgary judge fined him $550 Monday for possession for the purpose of trafficking.)Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 18:11:30 -0700 Subject: Man vows to continue pot crusade after fine From: "Debra Harper" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Calgary Herald (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: Tuesday 20 October 1998 Author: Daryl Slade, Calgary Herald Man vows to continue pot crusade after fine A Saskatchewan man said he will continue to crusade for the medicinal use of marijuana after a Calgary judge fined him $550 Monday for possession for the purpose of trafficking. "This won't change the way I do things," Grant Krieger, 44, who has taken the drug for four years because he believes it moderates his multiple sclerosis symptoms, said outside court. "Society does not have the right to tell anyone how to heal their bodies or what they can use in the healing process. Who gives them that right?" Krieger, of Preeceville, Sask., wouldn't say what his next step will be. "Just wait for a few days and see what I'm gonna do next," he said with a grin. "I realize that for trafficking I'm gonna get a fine every time out. I'm getting rather used to the judicial system here in Calgary, so see how many more times I can make the courtroom in the next while. It's still against the law!" Krieger said the fact that he is now walking without the aid of a cane or crutches attests to what marijuana has done for him since he began taking the drug after attempting suicide in 1994 because of the unbearable pain. His legal case began when Krieger was arrested in front of Court of Queen's Bench on June 26 1997, after he intentionally lit up a marijuana cigarette in full view of the public, media and police, and told all he intended to give some of the drug to another man afflicted with MS. Three bags of marijuana, totalling 15 grams, were found in his pockets. Provincial court Judge Robert Davie said he chose not to send Krieger to jail because he considered Krieger's actions a "publicity stunt" to draw attention to what he considered a bad law. "Trafficking in marijuana will result in a jail term -- except in exceptional cases. He flouted the law, that is clear," Davie said in sentencing Krieger. "Given his motivation for his offence, this is an exceptional case. "His personal belief is that the drug assists him in the healing process, but it is not for me to debate this. That is best left to the scientific medical community and Parliament." Krieger's lawyer, Adriano Iovinelli, said the decision was a starting point in his client's tangled legal battle to have marijuana legalized for medical reasons. "I was grateful a probation order wasn't issued, where he'd have to abstain from marijuana, because he'll probably breach it tonight or tomorrow," said Iovinelli. "He considers it his medicine and takes it on a daily basis." Krieger's daughter, Lindsay, 20, said outside court she is proud of what her father has done with his legal battle. "He's taught me to stand up for what I believe in, as he does," she said. "I'm happy with the decision, because it shows he's not gonna back down. And it also shows he's making some headway. He has started to make a difference." Krieger said he cannot afford to pay the fine and will take some time to decide what to do about it. The court gave him until Jan. 31, 1999 to pay or spend 12 days in jail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dope Backer Fined (The Calgary Sun version) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 20:15:28 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Dope Backer Fined Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Lynn Harichy Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Calgary Sun (Canada) Copyright: 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canoe.ca/CalgarySun/ Author: Mike D'amour, Calgary Sun DOPE BACKER FINED Advocate Wants Club To Distribute Marijuana In City Moments after he was sentenced yesterday for trafficking pot on the courthouse steps, Grant Krieger said he's planning to broaden his distribution operations. "I'm starting a Compassion Club," said Krieger, who was fined more than $500 for trying to give pot -- in front of reporters and cops -- to a fellow multiple sclerosis sufferer in June 1997. Krieger said he would pattern the local club on a Vancouver-based group of the same name, which cultivates and distributes pot to the terminally ill and other chronic pain sufferers. "I have enough people to get this started in about a week," he said. During sentencing for possession for the purpose of trafficking, provincial court Judge Robert Davie called Krieger's actions a "publicity stunt." "I'm satisfied he was motivated by his belief in marijuana as a pain-killer," Davie said. "But that does not justify breaking the law." Krieger told the court he no longer walks with crutches or a cane because of the beneficial effects of pot, but Davie stopped him, saying he wouldn't debate the issue of marijuana for medicinal purposes. "That's better left to the medical community and Parliament," he said, noting the charges against Krieger were for trafficking marijuana, not possessing or smoking it. Davie told Krieger selling grass usually warrants jail, even for first-time offenders, unless there's "exceptional" circumstances. "I'm convinced these are exceptional circumstances," the judge said. "(Krieger) didn't incite violence or public disorder and I'm satisfied he was trying to draw public attention to an issue," he said before fining Krieger $550 for the approximately 15 grams of pot he had when arrested. If Krieger doesn't pay by Jan. 31 1999, he will spend 11 days in jail. Krieger said he may choose jail as a way to further his protest.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Australia Finds No Peril In Potsmoking Drivers (High Times News says transportation authorities who administered blood tests to 2,500 drivers involved in car wrecks in South Australia discovered that marijuana was not a significant factor in causing such accidents. In fact, Transport South Australia researchers determined that drivers who smoked cannabis were statistically less likely to cause traffic accidents than drivers who used no intoxicants at all.) Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998 09:40:28 -0400 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - Pot Drivers safer than Non-Pot Drivers (Australia) Sender: email@example.com AUSTRALIA FINDS NO PERIL IN POTSMOKING DRIVERS BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA--Marijuana is not a significant factor in causing auto accidents, transportation authorities discovered after administering blood tests to 2500 drivers involved in car wrecks in South Australia. In fact, Transport South Australia researchers have determined, drivers who smoke cannabis are statistically a little less likely to be found the cause of traffic accidents than drivers who use no intoxicants at all. "It may be that people driving on cannabis compensate for the impairing effects of the drug," Dr. Jason White, a Transport SA researcher, told reporters. "They are more cautious, less likely to take risks, and drive slower." The broad-scale driver survey was made possible by South Australia legislation which requires all motorists admitted to hospital after a crash to provide blood samples for drug testing. The results, showing that by far the major cause of car accidents is alcohol, replicate and underscore previous studies by the US Department of Transportation in showing that marijuana is not a statistically significant cause of accidents. Unlike urine tests, which will show the presence of THC in the bladder days after the last use of pot, blood testing only shows THC positives during the four-hour period of acute intoxication. Therefore these new Australian transportation figures are even more reliable than the US DoT's surveys in eliminating potsmoking as a significant cause of highway havoc. Dean Latimer - HT News, filed 10/20/98
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Dirty Money Found in Everyone's Pocket (The Scotsman says 90 percent of Scottish Ģ20 banknotes are contaminated with ecstasy, or MDMA.) Date: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 09:48:27 -0700 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Scotland: The Dirty Money Found in Everyone's Pocket Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Tue, 20 Oct 1998 Source: Scotsman (UK) Contact: Letters_ts@scotsman.com Website: http://www.scotsman.com/ Copyright: The Scotsman Publications Ltd Author: Jenny Booth THE DIRTY MONEY FOUND IN EVERYONE'S POCKET DID you know that 90 per cent of all Scottish UKP20 notes are contaminated with ecstasy? No, neither did I. Not until the red light started flashing and the klaxon went off on the new drugs detection machine I was to report on in Shotts prison visiting hall. Having my fingers dusted by a pioneering electronic sniffer device seemed an interesting way of passing the time until the VIPs turned up for the press conference. Seconds later: BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! I was testing positive for MDMA. That's ecstasy, if you're not a raver - and I'm not, though it was briefly flattering to have it suggested that I might be young and trendy enough to go clubbing. The prison officers are nice about it. The amount of E the ionscan spectrometer had found on my fingers - 1,850 units, according thescrap of paper printout I now intend to frame - was still within the range where I had probably got it on my fingers by touching money contaminated with drugs, they said. That is most UKP10 and UKP20 banknotes, the denominations used in street drugs deals. It probably happened when I bought petrol that morning. The readout would be around 4,000 to 6,000 units if I had handled drugs myself. If I was a proper prison visitor I would now be retested, searched and thrown out if I was found to be carrying drugs. I would then be prosecuted and my prisoner relative punished as well. I wasn't the only one with illicit drugs on my hands - a photographer and another reporter were also contaminated with ecstasy. News of the positive tests had apparently found its way ahead to the visiting dignitaries, because the Scottish home affairs minister, Henry McLeish, refused point blank to have his fingers sniffed. "Minister Tests Positive" wouldn't have been a helpful headline in these pre-election days. Especially not for any SNP followers: in the prison workshops a nationalist lag had pasted a Salmond for President poster on the woodcutter. Still, it makes you think. Are there really that many drugs around that the very currency is steeped in it? Yes. there are. Drugs is the second biggest global industry after arms. Drugs are behind nearly half of all the cases in the High Court. Stealing to get money for drugs accounts for more than half of all theft. Society, is up to its neck in filthy drugs money made from other people's addiction, misery and death. There is probably drugs on everybody's hands. That's probably why the prison sniffer dog seemed to take such a shine to me. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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