------------------------------------------------------------------- Clinton Anti-Drug Deputy Attacks Marijuana Measures (The Oregonian quotes Donald Vereen, deputy director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, saying "I didn't know you went to the ballot box for medicine," ignoring the fact that that's essentially what Oregonians did when they twice voted for physician-assisted suicide.) Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 00:38:58 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: MMJ: Clinton Anti-Drug Deputy Attacks Marijuana Measures Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Olafur Brentmar Pubdate: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: Oregonian, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Copyright: 1998, Oregon Live AE Author: Joe Freeman of The Oregonian staff CLINTON ANTI-DRUG DEPUTY ATTACKS MARIJUANA MEASURES Donald Vereen Tours States To Warn That Effective Medical Use Of The Drug Has Not Been Proved A White House anti-drug spokesman Friday urged Oregonians to let doctors -- and not voters -- determine what is medicine. "I didn't know you went to the ballot box for medicine, said Donald Vereen, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Vereen was in Portland briefly, speaking on behalf of the Clinton administration in opposing medical marijuana initiatives. There are initiatives on the ballots in five states and the District of Columbia. >From Oregon, he was flying to Washington state and planned a conference call for radio broadcast in Alaska. In past weeks, he has campaigned against medical marijuana in Nevada, Arizona and the District of Columbia. In Oregon, Measure 67 allows patients to grow and smoke marijuana if their doctors say it will alleviate symptoms of debilitating illnesses. "Medicine must be safe and effective, Vereen said. There is a system in place to determine this, but, unfortunately, these initiatives bypass these efforts. No science has demonstrated marijuana to be of medicinal value. Dan Noelle, Multnomah County sheriff and co-director of Oregonians Against Dangerous Drugs, said the real goal of legalizing medicinal marijuana is to legalize drugs. He views the campaign as an effort to make marijuana mainstream. Dr. Richard Bayer, a chief petitioner for Measure 67, countered that the measure contains no hidden or misguided agendas. The only issue, he said, is to provide dying and suffering patients medicinal marijuana if they so desire. "Measure 67 does not legalize anything, period, Bayer said. It simply creates a safe harbor so seriously ill patients are not arrested for using medicinal marijuana under a doctors supervision. Vereen said he is not against having tests conducted on the validity of using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Until we see the results, he said, the drug has no place as a medicine. But Vereens message may be falling on deaf ears. Polling indicates that about 60 percent of Oregonians favor Measure 67. "The issue is about practicing compassion, Bayer said. And showing empathy and concern for others sends a good message to everyone. Noelle said using the compassion issue is a ploy. He said 70 percent of people who are arrested have serious drug or alcohol issues, and legalizing marijuana in any way cannot help the problem. Vereen said everyone who is sick needs the best possible care. Until the side effects of smoking marijuana are determined, he said, the drug is not a safe medical alternative. Meanwhile, three former presidents -- George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford -- have written a Dear Fellow Citizen letter to point out why medical marijuana initiatives should be defeated. These initiatives are not based on the best available science, the letter argues. Prejudging research through a political process would be irresponsible and is not in our national interest. *** From: "Cliff Schaffer" (schaffer@SMARTLINK.NET) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: CLINTON ANTI-DRUG DEPUTY ATTACKS MARIJUANA MEASURES Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 07:38:20 -0800 Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org For the record, I am still waiting for ONDCP's answer to my question. So far I have written to Francis X. Kinney (who offered to answer all my questions), Charles Blanchard (Chief Counsel), and James McDonough (Director of Strategy). I have written four separate times since August and still haven't gotten a reply. The question is: Can you name any significant study of drug policy in the last 100 years which supports our current policy on marijuana? It is a simple yes or no question. I don't know why they would have any trouble answering it. But, if an ONDCP clown is going to be touring the country with his circus act, I think he ought to be asked publicly in a situation where he can't avoid an answer. Let him know you are already aware of the collection of studies in the online library.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical marijuana a mistake (An op-ed in The Bulletin, in Bend, Oregon, by Eric Bush, apparently a law-enforcement official, opposes Measure 67, asking "how much of a victim you would feel like if a person crashed into you or your family while driving down the road, coming from the marijuana store in town," as if the Oregon Medical Marijuana allowed marijuana dispensaries.) From: email@example.com Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 08:21:08 -0800 (PST) Subject: DPFOR: Medical marijuana a mistake To: DPFOR@drugsense.org Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: the Bulletin (email@example.com) Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: 10-31-98 Section: In my view Page: A6 Medical marijuana a mistake By Eric Bush For the Bulletin For years I have been involved in the "war on drugs." While many debate the effectivness of our nation's laws and policies in regards to the fight against drugs, one thing is clear: They are here and it is a problem that is not getting any better. In my experiences, I have spoken with many marijuana addicts, both recovered and not. I have been involved in the seizure of thousands of marijuana plants in Oregon, and hundreds of pounds of finished marijuana for sale on the street. Does anyone remember the old phrase from the early 20th century when someone was caught with an amount of alcohol "just for medicinal purposes "? We laugh about that now, but many believed in the early 20th century that there was medicinal value to alcoholic beverages. There are genuine alternatives that are more effective and less dangerous to the medical patient for pain control then smoking marijuana... which by itself can and often does cause the developement of many health proplems. According to Dr. Janet Lapey, executive director of Concerned Citizens for Drug Prevention Inc., The American Medical Association, American Cancer Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Food and Drug Administration all testified that marijuana had not been found to be safe and effective medicine. Unfortunantly , The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) would disagree, but their overall objectivity and motivations should be challenged. In 1979 the director of NORML, Keith Stroup, told an Emory University audience that his organization would use the medicinal use of marijuana "as a red herring to give marijuana a good name." NORML is promoter of measure 67 and is working to defeat measure 57. Their long range goal is clear... the total legalization of this dangerous drug. There are hundreds of other hard-core drug addicts I have spoken with, hooked on harder drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine. I have never met one who told me that they had not used marijuana before becoming hooked on harder drugs. That, by itself, demonstrates the hideous nature of this drug. Next time you hear or see some advertisement or news clip advocating the legalization of marijuana where there is a medical patient taking a hit from a pipe or a joint, telling you that this is the only way their pain can be relieved, ask yourself why that patient wasn't simply prescribed an even more effective substitute that had fewer side effects. Surely it would be easier on the person's lungs if nothing else. Or perhaps ask who financed that commercial on TV and why they did. Or ask yourself how much of a victim you would feel like if a person crashed into you or your family while driving down the road, coming from the marijuana store in town. *** [The letter above also appeared in today's Oregonian. - ed.]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Medical marijuana a mistake (A letter sent to the editor of The Bulletin, in Bend, Oregon, criticizes today's op-ed opposing Measure 67, the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Subject: Sent: DPFOR: Medical marijuana a mistake Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:39:30 -0800 Lines: 35 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ To the editor, In his editorial of October 31, (Medical marijuana a mistake), Eric Bush asked, "how much of a victim you would feel like if a person crashed into you or your family while driving down the road, coming from the marijuana store in town." I would certainly be annoyed if the person had not followed the advice of the store and waited to consume their cannabis until they had returned to their home. I would be more annoyed if the person had been taking legally prescribed tranquilizers and/or pain killers, responsible for thousands of automobile accidents annually, because they were unable to obtain cannabis. It has been shown that people tend to substitute cannabis for alcohol and other more profoundly impairing drugs when cannabis is available. In a statistical analysis, Frank Chaloupka, an economist at the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois, found that states without criminal sanctions against cannabis possession suffered fewer auto fatalities. More recently, the largest study ever done linking automobile accidents with drugs and alcohol has just found drivers with cannabinoid metabolites in their blood are no more at risk than those who are drug-free. In fact, the findings by a pharmacology team from the University of Adelaide and Transport South Australia found that drivers who had smoked cannabis were marginally less likely to have an accident than those who were drug-free. How much of a victim would Eric Bush feel if a family member with cancer were arrested and sent to prison for using a time-tested medicinal herb to fight their chemotherapy-induced nausea? Matthew M. Elrod 4493 [No Thru] Rd. Victoria, B.C. V9C-3Y1 Phone: 250-[867-5309] Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
------------------------------------------------------------------- Suspected Oregon Pot Grower Dies In Shootout, 2 Deputies Hurt (An Associated Press article in The Seattle Times updates yesterday's Associated Press account.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:20:27 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OR: Suspected Oregon Pot Grower Dies In Shootout, 2 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Author: Jeff Barnard, The Associated Press SUSPECTED OREGON POT GROWER DIES IN SHOOTOUT, 2 DEPUTIES HURT TILLER, Ore. - A suspected marijuana grower stormed out of his remote forest home shooting yesterday, wounding two sheriff's deputies before being killed himself in a hail of gunfire. Seven officers from the Douglas Interagency Narcotics Team were serving a search warrant about 12:45 p.m. to the home, where they suspected marijuana was being grown, said Douglas County Sheriff's Lt. Norm Nelson. Before the officers could get out of their vehicles, the suspect came out firing, Nelson said. "It was a gunfight," said Jim McDonald, who lives nearby and heard the shots. "It was semiautomatic and very rapid fire. It was boom, boom, boom." The two deputies, who were clad in black and wore bulletproof vests, were flown by helicopter to Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg, where they were listed in stable condition. The suspect, whose name was withheld pending notification of his family, was pronounced dead at the scene. "There's always a potential for danger when you go in for a search warrant," Nelson said. "They weren't even out of the car yet." More than a half-dozen police cars, ambulances and a rescue helicopter were sent to the heavily wooded area about 25 miles east of Tiller in the Umpqua National Forest. The property, a former homestead, is in the foothills of the Cascades. Homes in the area are powered by generators and have no telephones. McDonald said his 16-year-old daughter Donna and a friend were walking on the gravel road near the suspect's house when shooting broke out. They ran back home crying. He estimates he heard about 20 to 30 gunshots. Sandy and Perry Burdic, who were deer hunting in the area, drove by the home soon after. Police had not removed the body by yesterday evening while the investigation continued. After the shooting, police called in the Technical Response Team to search the house for other occupants. The house was empty, Nelson said. McDonald, who did not know the suspect well, said the man had rented the house for about a year. He said the man once invited his wife and children inside and showed them his workshop, where he made music boxes and grandfather clocks. Once the man brought over some homemade banana ice cream after borrowing some tools, McDonald said. This is the first time an officer has been shot in Douglas County since 1978, when two deputies were wounded in the course of an arrest.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Initiative 692, Do Right For The Sick (A letter to the editor of The Herald, in Everett, Washington, says opponents of the medical marijuana ballot measure are cruel, illogical and hypocritical.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:20:26 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US WA: PUB LTE: MMJ: Initiative 692, Do Right For The Sick Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: Herald, The (WA) Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Co. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: Thomas H. LaBelle, Clearview INITIATIVE 692 DO RIGHT FOR THE SICK All the shrieking and lamentations against Initiative 692 (medical marijuana) are cruel, illogical and hypocritical. First, the cruelty: Would you like to have your spouse prefer death from cancer (as many do) because the endless, violent retching caused by chemotherapy simply can no longer be tolerated? How about seeing your kid go blind from glaucoma when a toke or two each day would save his or her sight? Now for the illogic: All pain killers and anesthetics can be - and often are - used for recreation. If we are to follow the line of reasoning put forth by the opponents, then we must deny all pain killers to all people under all circumstances. To proscribe one drug out of so many makes as much sense as saying it's OK to drive down to the grocery in a Chevrolet or a Ford, but illegal in a Plymouth! And finally the hypocrisy, inadvertent though it may be: I know a few people who are foaming at the mouth over the possible use of medical marijuana and they are the very ones who, at the first sign of a cold, head home for a few stiff belts. Let's end the "reefer madness." Let's do the right thing for the sick and hurting and vote for I-692. THOMAS H. LaBELLE Clearview
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative Office Re-Opens (California NORML says US District Judge Charles Breyer has allowed the OCBC to resume activities other than the distribution or production of marijuana.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 11:31:39 -0800 To: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: OCBC Office Re-Opens Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ The Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative has re-opened its office for activities other than distribution or production of marijuana. Federal marshals returned the key to the OCBC at the direction of a court order by Judge Breyer. The judge appears to have been favorably impressed by the peaceful and cooperative spirit in which the OCBC complied with his directive ordering closure of the club earlier this month. Attorneys for the OCBC are currently filing an appeal to the Ninth Circuit asking for reconsideration of Breyer's ruling shutting the club. In the meantime, the OCBC will continue to assist its members, validate medical marijuana patients for the city of Oakland, and lobby for federal rescheduling of marijuana. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- County Settles Suit Filed by Drug Test Takers (The San Francisco Chronicle says Contra Costa County has agreed to pay $1.2 million to thousands of former welfare applicants to settle a legal challenge to the county's use of a controversial written test to identify substance abusers.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:50:04 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: County Settles Suit Filed by Drug Test Takers 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: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Author: Bernadette Tansey, Chronicle Staff Writer COUNTY SETTLES SUIT FILED BY DRUG TEST TAKERS Screening Was Required For Welfare Thousands of former welfare applicants will share in a $1.2 million settlement of a legal challenge to Contra Costa County's use of a controversial written test to identify substance abusers. Deputy County Counsel Bernard Knapp announced yesterday that the county has agreed to compensate applicants who were forced into drug and alcohol abuse treatment based on the test results. Civil rights attorneys filed a class-action suit against Contra Costa in 1995, saying the test wrongly identified many applicants as substance abusers and funneled half the client population into an arduous six-month treatment program as a condition of receiving general assistance grants. Checks were withheld from those who refused to take the test, refused treatment or failed to complete the substance abuse program. Each applicant who lost benefits after taking the test from 1994 to 1997 will receive about $300, the equivalent of a monthly general assistance grant, assuming the settlement is approved by U.S. District Judge Maxine Chesney. The three lead plaintiffs, Jerry Hunsaker, Martha Jensen and Hubert Hardge, will each receive $10,000. Brad Seligman, an attorney for the applicants, said the lawsuit has blocked county efforts to reduce its welfare rolls by raising unnecessary hurdles for the destitute. ``It stopped the county from using a wildly inaccurate test as a bludgeon to force people off general assistance,'' Seligman said. Deputy County Counsel Bernard Knapp said welfare advocates failed to prove their case in court, but the county settled to avoid a costly trial. Chesney ordered the county in 1995 to stop using the test, but an appeals court overturned that injunction in July. Knapp acknowledged, however, that the lawsuit spurred changes in the assessment procedure and that a study showed the test was ``less than accurate.'' Seligman said the study indicated that half the people sent to treatment were not chemically dependent, while the questionnaire failed to identify half the applicants with substance abuse problems. The county stopped giving the test, called the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Instrument (SASSI), in 1997 after Chesney issued the injunction. Contra Costa did not revive the test after an appeals court in San Francisco upheld the county's right to administer the questionnaire, as long as a counselor made the final decision to require drug treatment after a client interview. Seligman said the plaintiffs may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if the county does not promise to refrain from using the test in the future. He said the true-false exam includes invasive questions about applicants' personal beliefs such as ``I believe everything is turning out just the way the Bible said it would.'' Under the settlement, the county will be required to use newspaper ads, postings and a toll-free telephone line to alert former applicants, numbering as many as 5,000, who may be eligible for the payments. Claim forms will likely go out next spring if the agreement is finalized. Any unclaimed amounts will be donated to soup kitchens and other agencies that serve Contra Costa's homeless population. In separate proceedings, Chesney will determine whether the county must pay attorneys' fees to Seligman and other civil rights lawyers on the case.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Campaign ad misleading on marijuana (According to The Anchorage Daily News, a newspaper advertisement paid for by Alaskans for Truth on the Medical Marijuana Initiative Committee says "The American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have rejected marijuana as medicine." In fact, the cancer society takes a more neutral position, questioning whether marijuana is any more effective than legal medicines, including Marinol, a synthetic form of one of dozens of cannabinoids found in natural cannabis. The newspaper fails to note the AMA also supports research into marijuana.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:33:04 -0600 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 AK MMJ: Campaign ad misleading on marijuana Sender: email@example.com Source: The Anchorage Daily News (AK) Contact: Letters@adn.com Website: http://www.adn.com/ Pubdate: Saturday, October 31, 1998 CAMPAIGN AD MISLEADING ON MARIJUANA By PAUL QUEARY The Associated Press JUNEAU - A newspaper ad opposing a ballot measure that would legalize marijuana for some medical uses misrepresents the American Cancer Society's position on therapeutic pot. The ad paid for by Alaskans for Truth on the Medical Marijuana Initiative Committee reads: "The American Medical Association and the American Cancer Society have rejected marijuana as medicine." While the AMA does oppose medical marijuana, the cancer society takes a more neutral position, questioning whether marijuana is any more effective than legal medicines, including a marijuana derivative available as a pill to treat nausea in chemotherapy patients. "As a medication for controlling nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy, smoked marijuana appears to offer little if any benefit over legally available medications," the society wrote in a position statement that does not endorse or denounce the initiative. "The most significant disadvantages cited against broader availability of marijuana are social and legal rather than medical and, as such, are best resolved by social and legal institutions." Matthew Fagnani, chairman of the Anchorage-based anti-initiative group, said the ad was based on a pamphlet provided by the Drug Free America Foundation that apparently referred to the cancer society's opposition to a more sweeping measure that passed in California two years ago. "We are going to make the technical change in our ad," Fagnani said. "They're not supporting it either." Medical marijuana advocates contend that smoking marijuana can ease nausea, promote appetite, assuage chronic pain and still muscle spasms. The initiative would allow patients with a doctor's recommendation to grow and smoke marijuana to treat a short list of ailments including cancer, AIDS, chronic pain and muscle spasms. Opponents contend the measure is part of a campaign for broader legalization of marijuana and other illegal drugs. They also say it would hamper enforcement of other marijuana laws and send the wrong message to children about marijuana use. David Finkelstein, campaign manager for the initiative, challenged the ad after it appeared in newspapers this week. "It's sad to see these last-minute ads misrepresent the ballot measure," Finkelstein said Friday. The American Cancer Society is letting local chapters decide what position to take on medical marijuana initiatives on ballots in their states. The Anchorage and Fairbanks units voted to remain neutral, saying they support new ways to ease pain and discomfort but don't have sufficient information to take a position, said Melinda Fowler, a spokeswoman for the Anchorage unit.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Money man gets behind 5 props (A feature article in The Arizona Republic spotlights John Sperling, the founder of the University of Phoenix who has contributed more than $1 million for or against five of the 14 propositions on Tuesday's ballot in Arizona. The initiatives range from medical marijuana to stopping the Legislature from thwarting voters to enabling all voters to participate in candidate nominations.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 10:40:16 -0600 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 AZ MMJ: Money man gets behind 5 props Sender: email@example.com Source: The Arizona Republic Contact: Opinions@pni.com Website: http://www.azcentral.com/indexmain.html Pubdate: Oct. 31, 1998 MONEY MAN GETS BEHIND 5 PROPS By Steve Yozwiak The Arizona Republic What 77-year-old man named John will have the most significant impact on Arizonans in the next week? Astronaut John Glenn? Wrong. John Sperling, the founder of the University of Phoenix, will spend more than $1 million -- more than any single contributor -- to persuade voters to vote for or against five of the 14 statewide propositions on Tuesday's ballot. From medicinal marijuana to stopping the Legislature from thwarting voters to enabling all voters to participate in candidate nominations, Sperling puts his money where his mouth is. And the self-described activist and self-made man has plenty of money and mouth. But he is also a portrait in contradictions: While building a half-billion-dollar fortune on the idea that private colleges are the best way to enhance the nation's workforce, Sperling continues to live in the same relatively modest Phoenix home he bought when he moved here from the Bay area 22 years ago (although he's renovating a $1.5 million fixer-upper at the base of Camelback Mountain). Twice divorced (he last was married more than a quarter-century ago), he maintains a close relationship with his son, Peter, 39, an executive in the Apollo Group, Sperling's umbrella firm for a half-dozen business and philanthropic ventures. He is one of the state's richest men. Only his son and Bennett Dorrance, the heir to the Campbell Soup fortune, rated higher on this year's Forbes 400. Yet Sperling believes in higher income taxes for the wealthy so they can contribute more to social services. He spurns fast cars, yachts and other material trappings of the rich in favor of scientific and educational pursuits. Even his major occupation is based on the ideal of making people smarter, richer, more productive and socially conscious. On no subject is Sperling more passionate than his quest to end the war on drugs, which he calls "a social disaster wrought by a bankrupt policy." His goal is to switch the nation's emphasis from warehousing addicts through the revolving door of the criminal-justice system to providing drug users with the medical treatment they need to become healthy, self-supporting citizens. His $900,000 contribution to support "no" votes on Propositions 300 and 301 has helped make The People Have Spoken the best-funded issues committee in this election. Defeating both propositions would reinstate the medical use of marijuana and diversion programs for drug abusers. Rounding out the campaign's $1.6 million war chest are fellow philanthropists George Soros of New York, a currency trader; and Peter Lewis, head of a Cleveland insurance firm, each of whom contributed $366,000 to the cause. Sperling, who for 20 years was a professor of economic history at such top colleges as the University of Maryland and Ohio State University, has done his homework. For more than a decade, he has studied the drug war as if pursuing another thesis, reciting statistics that show that the effort has failed and people are fed up with it. But his convictions are also backed by personal experience. He cites a rich New York banker-friend whose life was saved because he smoked marijuana to stimulate his appetite, relieve nausea and ease pain during radiation treatments. In 1996, nearly two-thirds of the voters in Arizona and California approved ballot measures that allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for victims of cancer, glaucoma and other diseases. The Arizona measure also established a beefed-up diversion program so that non-violent drug offenders could be given therapy instead of prison time. But the Arizona Legislature last year moved to scrap the citizens initiative. Lawmakers said voters were confused and the measure was just the first dangerous step toward drug legalization. A new citizens measure put a freeze on the Legislature's action until the voters could again decide the matter Tuesday. "I think this might be the first small step in reforming our national drug policies," said Sperling, who is also supporting drug-medicalization measures in other states. Sperling says that the $350 billion spent each year on illegal drugs is going to drug lords in this and foreign nations, who in turn use their wealth to corrupt police, border agents, judges and politicians. Just as President Eisenhower warned of a military-industrial complex, Sperling warns of a bureaucratic-industrial complex that has resulted in laws and enforcement measures that have given our nation the highest rate of imprisonment in the industrialized world. The cabal, he said, is composed of police and prison guards, their unions, the construction firms that build prisons, the private firms that run the growing number of private prisons, the food and other commodity firms that supply prisons, and the politicians whose campaign coffers are filled by all those who benefit from the current system. Sperling's greatest scorn is reserved for the Arizona Legislature, which is why he and his son are the principal contributors -- $425,000 -- to the Voter Protection Alliance, a committee supporting a "yes" vote on Proposition 105, and a "no" vote on Proposition 104. Both propositions would make it more difficult for the Legislature to overturn citizen initiatives, as lawmakers did with the 1996 medicinal marijuana measure. But Proposition 105 is more stringent. "Here's a Legislature that is just totally indifferent, not only to the will of the citizenry, but also to a bankrupt (drug war) program," Sperling said. The fifth ballot question influenced by Sperling is Proposition 103, which would enable the 14 percent of Arizona voters registered as independents or affiliated with small parties to vote in the primary election of their choice. Sperling initially gave $50,000 to Open Primary Elections Now to promote Proposition 106, which would have enabled any voter of any party to vote in any primary election. But that measure failed to make the ballot. Backers of Proposition 106, including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Johnson and Republican Attorney General Grant Woods, then shifted their support to Proposition 103. Including independent voters in the primary elections, Sperling hopes, will produce more moderate, higher-caliber candidates to run in future general elections. Sperling was in the news last month when a Texas paper reported that he gave $2.3 million to a Texas university to clone his dog, Missy. Only one problem. Sperling said he doesn't have a dog, or a cat or any other pet. He said the cloning involves the pet of California friends. But the professor never speaks out of school, and declined to name them. Steve Yozwiak can be reached at (602) 444-8810 or at firstname.lastname@example.org via e-mail.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal Marijuana Has Ally In Judge (The Philadelphia Inquirer notes US District Judge Marvin Katz suggested last week that the federal government settle Lawrence Elliott Hirsch's class-action lawsuit challenging medical marijuana prohibition by re-opening the Compassionate IND program under which eight patients still receive 300 joints every month.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 13:10:16 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US PA: Medicinal Marijuana Has Ally In Judge 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: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA) Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com Website: http://www.phillynews.com/ Copyright: 1998 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc. Author: Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer MEDICINAL MARIJUANA HAS ALLY IN JUDGE He suggested settling a suit over a program by expanding it. Officials are reviewing the idea. In a move that surprised both sides, a judge has asked government lawyers to consider settling a class-action lawsuit by implementing a federal program supplying marijuana to anyone "whose medical conditions could be improved by it." The suggestion by U.S. District Judge Marvin Katz was made last week in a conference with Justice Department lawyers and Lawrence Elliott Hirsch, a Center City attorney who in July filed the lawsuit on behalf of 165 individuals who the suit says would benefit medically from smoking marijuana. But perhaps as surprising as the settlement proposal suggested by Katz, a former law partner of U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R., Pa.) and who was appointed to the federal bench in 1983 by President Reagan, was the response of government lawyers. After first balking at the suggestion, calling it too expensive to implement and monitor, a Justice Department lawyer on Wednesday asked Katz for 60 more days for federal officials to consider the settlement proposal. Department lawyer Gail F. Levine referred questions to the department's public information office. "I think we simply asked for the time necessary to respond to the judge's proposal," said Justice Department spokesman Gregory King. "I don't think that this should be taken as any indication, in any way, that we are reconsidering our position [on medical marijuana]. King said the government had already filed a motion to dismiss the federal lawsuit and would continue pressing that motion. While remaining skeptical that the government might change its mind about legalizing the medical use of marijuana, Hirsch said he was surprised and pleased by Katz's tack during the conference. "I think this was the first time that I know about where any judge in the federal system has taken such a rational and compassionate approach," Hirsch added. Hirsch said that during the Oct. 21 conference, Katz suggested that to settle the case, the government should revive and expand its "compassionate use" program, in which seriously ill individuals were supplied marijuana grown on a government farm in Mississippi. Some medical researchers have said that the use of marijuana seems to help treat the eye disease glaucoma and helps combat the nausea that often accompanies the treatment of cancer and AIDS. Although a synthetic form of a key compound in marijuana has been marketed as the prescription drug Marinol, marijuana advocates contend that it is not as effective as smoking the herb itself. In the late 1970s, in response to a federal lawsuit, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began supplying up to 300 marijuana cigarettes monthly to people found to have serious medical conditions that benefited from marijuana use. Hirsch said the program expanded to 14 people before the government closed it to new participants in 1992; eight people continue to receive marijuana under the program. According to court documents, Katz's proposed settlement would involve the government establishing a "carefully monitored, scientifically controlled program" to distribute marijuana to people selected for medical reasons. Those individuals would then become the base population providing "useful scientific research results that would help decide whether marijuana was medically beneficial or not." The lawsuit comes two years after California voters approved a ballot question legalizing medical use of marijuana, and when researchers are again examining the medical potential of the herb, which proponents prefer to call by its Latin name, cannabis. At the same time, officials of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in December asked HHS scientists to study whether marijuana and its chemical components should be removed from DEA's Schedule I list of most dangerous drugs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- ACLU Sues to Guard Marijuana Measure - Congress Ordered DC Vote Voided The Washington Post notes the American Civil Liberties Union is challenging an amendment to the District of Columbia appropriations bill inserted Oct. 21 by Representative Robert L. Barr Jr., a Republican from Georgia, which prohibits the District from using money on an initiative that would "legalize or otherwise reduce penalties" for users of marijuana. "The Barr amendment prohibits any initiative that would reduce the penalties for marijuana, but allows any initiative that would increase those penalties," said Arthur Spitzer, the ACLU's legal director. "That is like saying voters can vote for Republicans but not for Democrats, or can vote to build nuclear power plants but not to ban them.") Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 23:09:44 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US DC: WP MMJ: ACLU Sues to Guard Marijuana Measure Congress 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: Sat, 31 Oct 1998; Source: Washington Post (DC) Page: A04 Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Author: Bill Miller Washington Post Staff Writer ACLU SUES TO GUARD MARIJUANA MEASURE CONGRESS ORDERED D.C. VOTE VOIDED Saying that D.C. voters have a right to decide political issues, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit yesterday to prevent Congress from voiding the results of a measure on Tuesday's ballot that would make it legal for seriously ill people to use marijuana for medical reasons. Activists had gathered enough signatures to put Initiative 59 on the ballot, contending that marijuana can help alleviate the symptoms of illnesses such as AIDS, cancer and glaucoma. Five other states will decide similar issues Tuesday. Only in the District did Congress step in to the debate. Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) sponsored an amendment to the D.C. appropriations bill that prohibits the District from using money on an initiative that would "legalize or otherwise reduce penalties" for users of marijuana. Barr's amendment, passed with the fiscal 1999 D.C. budget on Oct. 21, was targeted at Initiative 59. During deliberations in Congress, Rep. J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) expressed support for Barr's amendment, saying the legislation ensured that the District "should not and shall not make marijuana a legal substance." The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics had already prepared ballots and set up computers to count Tuesday's vote, so people still will be able to vote "yes" or "no" for Initiative 59, officials said. The votes will be counted, but the outcome cannot be officially certified. If the measure passed, it would not become law. The lawsuit, filed against the D.C. elections board, asks the court to order city officials to certify results so that the measure can become law if it passes. The matter was assigned to U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts. A hearing has not been set. "We are outraged that once again Congress has tried to exert its parochial interests on the District of Columbia," said Mary Jane DeFrank, executive director of the ACLU of the National Capital Area, which teamed with proponents of the initiative to file the lawsuit. ACLU leaders said the action marked the first time that Congress had stepped in to block results of a D.C. election, saying it was yet another blow to home rule. The lawsuit contends that Congress has violated the constitutional rights of D.C. voters by imposing a restriction based on a particular point of view. Had the District wanted to increase penalties for marijuana, the lawsuit states, the congressional action would have no impact. But because the initiative met with "disfavor" in Congress, the members took action to block it, the suit states. "The Barr amendment prohibits any initiative that would reduce the penalties for marijuana, but allows any initiative that would increase those penalties," said Arthur Spitzer, the ACLU's legal director. "That is like saying voters can vote for Republicans but not for Democrats, or can vote to build nuclear power plants but not to ban them." Initiative 59 would change D.C. law to legalize the possession, use, cultivation and distribution of marijuana if recommended by a physician for serious illnesses. It also would require the city to provide for the "safe and affordable" distribution of marijuana to Medicaid patients and others whose doctors recommend it. Mayoral candidate Anthony A. Williams (D) favors the measure, along with a majority of D.C. Council members, including his opponent, Carol Schwartz (R-At Large). People suffering from AIDS-related symptoms contend that marijuana combats nausea and enables them to eat better and take medication. Joining in the lawsuit: Wayne Turner, who led the initiative campaign; the "Yes on 59" association; and activists including Jim Graham, a D.C. Council candidate and executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic, the city's largest provider of AIDS-related medical services. Turner urged supporters and opponents to vote on Tuesday, vowing to make the results count.
------------------------------------------------------------------- US, China Team Up In Drug War - Report (According to Reuters, The Washington Post said Saturday that the United States and China established a secret electronic surveillance post in 1995 along China's border with Burma to eavesdrop on narcotics trafficking from the Golden Triangle. In addition, Chinese sources said, the United States has established a secret fund that Chinese officials can access to run the surveillance center and fight drug trafficking.) Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 13:48:58 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: WIRE: U.S., China Team Up In Drug War - Report Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Pubdate: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and China have established a secret electronic surveillance post along China's border with Burma to eavesdrop on narcotics trafficking from the Golden Triangle, one of the world's biggest sources of heroin, the Washington Post reported Saturday. Quoting U.S. and Chinese sources, the newspaper said the Clinton administration has also given China several dozen Jeep-like Humvee vehicles for narcotics interdiction in mountainous terrain along the Burmese border. In addition, Chinese sources said, the United States has established a secret fund that Chinese officials can access to run the surveillance center and fight drug trafficking. The listening post, staffed by Chinese and U.S. agents near the Chinese border town of Ruili in southern Yunnan Province, marks a significant step forward in a U.S. intelligence-sharing relationship with China dating back to 1971, the Post said. The newspaper said the post opened in 1995 and the arrangement was unaffected by subsequent bickering between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan and other issues. Intelligence cooperation is insulated from what one Chinese source called ``short-term'' troubles in the relationship. The Ruili listening post is the most advanced of a host of new initiatives that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are launching with China to battle international crime, the newspaper said. According to the report, a liaison group for law enforcement agreed last month to draw up a list of U.S. and Chinese criminal suspects who are believed to be operating in each other's country. The group also is to arrange the exchange of law enforcement personnel and an agreement to share evidence and harmonize judicial procedures.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Why China Would "Team up" With US in Drug War (Michael Levine, a former DEA agent, now an author and radio talk-show host, says the United States is giving China an excuse to make foreign military incursions into neighboring countries such as Burma under the banner of the "war on drugs," just as the United States has done. The Chinese government also recognizes that, with the rapid growth of capitalism in China, it needs an "acceptable" excuse to continue police-state tactics.) Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 10:59:32 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - [Fwd: Why China Would "Team up" With Us in Drug War] Sender: email@example.com Ex-DEA agent, Mike Levine..... From: Expert53@aol.com Received: from Expert53@aol.com Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 02:45:52 EST Subject: Why China Would "Team up" With Us in Drug War Dear Editor, The below piece is herewith submitted as either a Letter-to-the Editor or an op-ed piece. THE EXPERT WITNESS RADIO SHOW WBAI New York City (99.5 FM-Tuesdays 7-8pm)) KPFK Los Angeles (90.7 FM) (Los Angeles: Roy Tuckman's "Something's Happening Show, re broadcasts all Expert Witness Shows on Thursdays at 1:am) Expert53@aol.co 212-209-2800 (voice mail #2970) Host: Michael Levine, 25 Year veteran federal agent and author of NY Times best seller "DEEP COVER" - (just optioned for movie) "THE BIG WHITE LIE" -The fact-based thriller (now in paperback) THE TRIANGLE OF DEATH (a/k/a The CIA's Worst Nightmare- Problem with phantom ISBN number still exists, so make sure that, if you order the book, the ISBN number is 0-440-22367-9, or it will never arrive. ) http://www.radio4all.org/expert - which includes many of the shows, taped and archived, books, photos and opinion articles. Shows may be downloaded free of charge. http://www.universalprosthesis.com/news/expert.html - which includes the ability to order tapes of the old shows, at cost, $8 per show. FIGHT BACK ANTI-DRUG PROGRAM: http://idt.net/~dorisaw CHINA TEAMS WITH US IN DRUG WAR? DUH! I WONDER WHY? Today's Washington Post announced that China is now "teaming up" with the US in the drug war. We are actually giving China military equipment and our "expertise" to help them to patrol their Burma border. I mean Holy Monica Lewinsky. How dumb can we get? Think about this a second. Between 1948 and 1951 China rehabilitated 70 million heroin and opium addicts. There were a total of 27 executions in all that time (See FIGHT BACK above for research). And now they have such an "internal problem" (as the article intimates) that they are "teaming up" with the same country that has not been able to reduce its less than 3 million hard core addicts by a single percentage point in the last decade? Puhleeeze, even if I wasn't a front line witness to the whacky trillion dollar, drug war boondoggle for 25 years, this story would smell of long dead tuna. "Gee Mike Levine, Duh! If they can handle their own drug problems so effectively, why would they be teaming up with us?" you ask. Or at least I hope you do. The answer seems relatively simple for all but the crew now running this drug war. Our "brilliant" leaders are once again missing the forest for the trees. They are now giving China an excuse to make foreign military incursions into neighboring countries under the banner of "war on drugs" the way we do. I mean let's suppose a few months from now China decides to declare "Drug War" on Burma or some other country and invade, positioning itself as our ally - can we protest? Hell, they'll be invading using some of our donated drug war armament. The Chinese government also recognizes that, with the rapid growth of capitalism in China (even I now have two books translated there) and the need for increased freedoms among its citizenry to accommodate this growth, they need an "acceptable" excuse to continue police state tactics. What better excuse than the same one our government now uses to violate our Constitutional rights? This latest US "drug war" move is so incredibly dumb and shortsighted that I can only conclude that the CIA is behind it. Best Mike Levine Interview of Mike Levine and wife and co-writer, Laura Kavanau in November's on-line magazine WRITING NOW at http://www.writingnow.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Swiss Referendum Repeals Prohibition (A list subscriber draws your attention to the "droleg" referendum November 29. Switzerland may repeal the prohibitions on currently illegal drugs. Hard drugs, soft drugs - all drugs.) From: Phillizy@aol.com Date: Sat, 31 Oct 1998 23:33:22 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Swiss Referendum Repeals Prohibition Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org On November 29th, the Swiss will vote on the Droleg Referendum which, if passed, will repeal Prohibition of all drugs. Hard drugs, soft drugs -- ALL drugs. Under the Droleg Referendum, only government authorized dealers may dispense the drugs -- and only Swiss citizens may legally buy the drugs. Drug traffickers, Mafia connections, and black marketeers will continue to be penalized. Leading up to the vote, the Swiss media are presenting a cool, calm and collected view of the drug scene. They are not demonizing drugs or dealers or users nor recommending a particular action. They are just presenting a balanced overview of the problem. The media are giving the Swiss a refreshing look at the real thing, up close and personal, without the propaganda, and the Swiss are feeling a lot differently about drugs and users. More tolerant, actually. The general view, according to most Swiss, is that "freedom is better than Prohibition." Lizy -------------------------------------------------------------------
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