------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical marijuana proponents move toward mainstream (The Associated Press suggests Dr. Rob Killian and supporters of Initiative 692 in Washington state won at the ballot box last week because they put away their tie-dye clothing and cut their long hair. Apparently something more is required in Nevada, where the state attorney general, Frankie Sue Del Papa, says she won't enforce her state's new constitutional amendment - if it's reaffirmed as required in 2000 - without federal approval.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Medical marijuana proponents move toward mainstream Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 20:21:53 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Medical marijuana proponents move toward mainstream By Michelle Boorstein Associated Press 11/08/98 12:26 After seeing Washington state voters shoot down a medical marijuana measure in 1997, Rob Killian tried a new strategy this year: no tie-dye. Killian and other medical marijuana proponents realized it wasn't the prospect of giving sick people the drug that bothered most voters. The fear was that supporters of the measure secretly wanted to make all drugs legally available, and not just for the ailing. So they remade their image. Ties instead of tie-dyed T-shirts. Short hair. Think suburban moms. It worked. By courting the mainstream, medical marijuana proponents succeeded in getting measures passed last week in Washington as well as Alaska, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada. And that, say activists, is the future of the movement. ``I don't fit in well with general drug legalization groups. I don't wear hemp T-shirts, I don't use drugs ... I'm a bit of a geek,'' said Killian, a family physician who led the campaign to put the measure on the ballot. ``But part of it was that we were unknown to the public last year. This time I spent hours with people from both sides of the political landscape ... that's how we were successful in mainstreaming the issue.'' Things have changed since 1996, when medical marijuana backers shocked many - including federal drug officials - by getting measures on the ballot and approved in Arizona and California. Arizona's was put on hold by legislators but reaffirmed by voters this year. This year, they were more organized and more sophisticated, attracting new support from legislators, law enforcement officials and state and national medical leaders. Last year, the New England Journal of Medicine editorialized in favor of medical marijuana and the American Medical Association altered its policy and voted to urge the National Institutes of Health to fund and support more research on the subject. Advocates argue, and some research has suggested, that marijuana can help some patients, principally by relieving nausea after chemotherapy or increasing the appetites of cancer and AIDS sufferers. Marijuana also is touted as helping some patients control glaucoma. ``We're still amateurs and drug policy reform is still a nascent political and social movement, but we're not rank amateurs anymore,'' said Ethan Nadelmann, director of the New York-based Lindesmith Center, a research project of billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Soros and several others funded the measures this year and in 1996. With their new image and ballot box successes, medical marijuana proponents say they'll focus next on getting measures passed in other states, promoting more scientific research. They also want to make sure the laws are enforced. After the California measure passed, state Attorney General Dan Lungren worked with the Justice Department to shut down marijuana clubs. Now Nevada Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa says she won't enforce her state's new constitutional amendment - if it's reaffirmed as required in 2000 - without federal approval. Oregon officials say they haven't decided what to do. However, Arizona and Washington officials have already said they will honor their new laws, and Alaska officials say they don't prosecute small possession cases and won't start now. Federal officials haven't yet decided their next move. While in 1996 they threatened to arrest doctors who prescribe marijuana, Justice Department spokesman Gregory King said Friday the department will review the new laws before making any decision. ``Just as we have in the past, we'll make enforcement decisions on a case-by-case basis,'' he said. Opponents of the medical marijuana movement say its new mainstream image can't hide the underlying goal of all-out legalization. After all, they note, the Arizona measure and the first, failed Washington measure also legalized other drugs for medical reasons. And they point to comments Soros and others have made about the country's failed drug policy and possible alternatives, including limited decriminalization - such as making heroin available to addicts in order to reduce crime and help them kick their habits. ``They've been successful by misrepresenting their intentions and by preying on the American public's compassion,'' said Barnett Lotstein, special assistant to Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley in Phoenix. ``If they want to really have a debate on this, why characterize this as a medical marijuana issue?'' Some medical marijuana backers feel the public is ready for a broader debate and that voters passed the new measures because they are open to new drug control strategies. Others said it shows a growing interest in alternative medicine. ``Instead of accusing the medical marijuana proponents of not being scientific, we were the ones not being scientific,'' Dr. John Nelson, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Salt Lake City and a member of the AMA's board of trustees, said of the AMA's new position on medical marijuana. ``We were trying to open our minds.'' ``There's a whole group of doctors calling for a public health model of drug addiction, treatment instead of incarceration,'' Killian said. ``There's a lot going on.'' *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Look At The Political Leaders Behind Three Winning Ballot Measures (The Seattle Times suggests Dr. Rob Killian became the prime mover behind Initiative 692, Washington state's medical marijuana ballot measure, because of his cousin's death from AIDS. Previously he had aspired to become the first Mormon senator from Washington state.) Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 21:16:13 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US WA: A Look At The Political Leaders Behind Three Winning Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Sunday, 08 November, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Author: David Schaefer, Seattle Times staff reporter Note: Newshawk forwarded only the portion relevant to drug policy A LOOK AT THE POLITICAL LEADERS BEHIND THREE WINNING BALLOT MEASURES THEY'RE NOT YOUR typical political leaders: a doctor fixated on marijuana, a new city librarian who balked at her lofty title and a talk-show host who gave up his job to promote his cause. They weren't on the ballot, yet Deborah Jacobs, Rob Killian and John Carlson emerged as three of the biggest winners from Tuesday's election. All overcame long odds to direct a ballot measure to victory. Jacobs, the Seattle librarian, came from Corvallis a year ago to revive and re-energize a failed drive for a new downtown library and improved neighborhood branches. Killian, the physician only a year removed from losing an initiative campaign to legalize medical use of marijuana, refined the measure and his tactics to score with I-692. Carlson, closest of the three to being a politician, kept his focus on amending state affirmative-action laws even after losing his radio talk show and being outspent by opponents of Initiative 200. Here, beginning with Jacobs, is a look at the three of them. COUSIN'S DEATH FROM AIDS STEERED DOCTOR TOWARD MARIJUANA MEASURE By David Schaefer, Seattle Times staff reporter Dr. Rob Killian went to Brigham Young University and studied political science and international relations, "planning to become the first Mormon senator from Washington state." But when his cousin contracted HIV from a blood transfusion - she was the first woman in Utah to die of AIDS, he said - his career headed in another direction. Now it has brought him full circle back to politics. The prime mover behind Initiative 692, which will legalize marijuana for medical uses, Killian is one of the political winners in last week's general election. Vindicated after a more aggressive initiative was turned down a year ago, Killian said he plans to remain active in the movement for a more benign national attitude toward medical marijuana. "Medicine gave my life meaning," Killian said. "(But) my appetite (for politics) is whetted. I like the discussion of the issues." Instead of reveling in an election-night victory, Killian took the red-eye to Washington, D.C., where he held a Wednesday-morning news conference about marijuana's electoral victories in the West. Noting that seven states now have voted to allow marijuana use, the Seattle doctor said, "I am not going away soon." He added, however, that he'll confine his political activity to the issue at hand and has no plans to run for office. Killian, 38, grew up in Issaquah. He lives in Kent. He's divorced, and his two sons, 12 and 10, live in Utah but visit him frequently. Killian graduated from BYU, then earned a medical degree and a master's in public health from the University of Utah. He became involved in HIV testing and counseling after his cousin died in 1984, but it was during his medical residency in Rochester, N.Y., that Killian says he first became familiar with marijuana's potential to relieve suffering. Inspired in a hospice He was volunteering in a hospice, where death and dying were a daily presence, and he became impressed with how doctors handle recurring tragedy. Reporting for duty one day in the hospice, Killian noticed that a breast-cancer patient was smoking marijuana. "I was familiar with the smell," said Killian, who notes that he tried marijuana twice but that "a little wine with dinner" is his drug of choice. Killian moved back to the Northwest in 1996 and became involved in the politics of the drug after a vote in California that same year. California OK'd use of medical marijuana and authorized "buying clubs" for patients to obtain the drug legally. The federal government, however, has never approved of the clubs. There were a number of arrests and some of the clubs were shut down. Killian became incensed that the federal government would hassle physicians and wrote a letter to the editor of the (Tacoma) Morning News Tribune. It later was picked up by USA Today and Time, and Killian was recruited by a local group, the Washington Drug Policy Foundation, to help with an initiative campaign in this state. Last year, Killian was the main spokesman for Initiative 685, a measure that was modeled on an Arizona law. But I-685 would have legalized a variety of other drugs and was attacked by state law-enforcement officials as an easy route out of jail for convicted dealers. Home-grown proposal After the defeat, Killian went to the main financial backers - now known as Americans for Medical Rights - and said he'd like to run a narrower, home-grown measure. Killian and his campaign-manager brother, Tim - who runs a marketing and communications business - wrote I-692 aimed solely at marijuana. It is similar to - though more restrictive than - measures that passed Tuesday in Oregon, Alaska and Nevada. Killian said his next steps will be to work both with law enforcement and other doctors on how marijuana should be used as medicine. He and King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng spoke on election night about helping law enforcement distinguish between legitimate medical use and abuse of the system. "And doctors need to be taught as well," Killian added. "We can't explain how some medicines work and some don't. It's not a perfect science."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Case Delayed (The Press-Telegram, in Long Beach, California, notes a sick juror delayed the beginning of the trial scheduled for Friday of Marvin Chavez, the founder of the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group.) Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 21:25:13 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Pot Case Delayed Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: FilmMakerZ Pubdate: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/ Copyright: 1998 Press-Telegram. Author: Joe Segura POT CASE DELAYED Friday's scheduled opening of the drug-sales case against a medicinal- marijuana activist Friday was put off until Monday, because one of the jurors called in ill. Defense attorneys contend that Marvin Chavez, through the Orange County patient-doctor-nurse support group, had been attempting to implement Prop. 215, the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, by providing medicinal marijuana to seriously or terminally ill patients. Prosecutors say that he's actually involved in illicit drug activities. The hearing continues in Westminster in Div. 16, with Judge Thomas Borris presiding.
------------------------------------------------------------------- California marijuana growers flourish (A sensational and factually challenged article in The Miami Herald says armed and dangerous marijuana growers in Northern California are flourishing and cannabis is the lifeblood of some towns. Marijuana is being cultivated not only in remote, camouflaged plots, but brazenly in cornfields, next to farms and along roads and highways. Pot cultivation has become so rampant in some counties that federal agents often ignore groves with less than a thousand plants.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: California marijuana growers flourish Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 20:16:05 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Published Sunday, November 8, 1998, in the Miami Herald California marijuana growers flourish EUREKA, California -- (AFP) -- Marijuana growers -- some armed and tied to a Mexican cartel -- are flourishing here in Northern California, where pot is the top cash crop and the lifeblood of some towns. Marijuana plants are not only being cultivated in remote, camouflaged plots in the lush mountains of federal forest lands, but are brazenly popping up in cornfields, next to farms and along roads and highways. Pot cultivation has become so rampant in some counties of Northern California that federal agents often ignore groves with less than a thousand plants unless they are booby-trapped or protected by armed guards. ``It's like trying to hold back the Pacific with a tablespoon,'' said Humboldt County marijuana eradication supervisor Steven Knight, whose three agents patrol thousands of square miles of prime marijuana territory. ``One thousand plants, that seems to be the magic number,'' said Knight of the point at which federal prosecutors become interested enough to devote time and resources to prosecuting a marijuana case. This is the situation after federal drug enforcement officials vowed to redouble their efforts following California's referendum last year that legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. The number of agents patrolling the vast, fecund area known as the ``Emerald Triangle'' ---- made up of Humboldt, Trinity and Lake counties ---- were slashed as federal drug efforts were diverted to methamphetamines. Marijuana growers, particularly Mexicans, have been quick to capitalize on the risk versus profit equation. Each plant is worth between 5,000 and 6,000 dollars and the risk of arrest is relatively slim. The hardy weed is ---- at an estimated 60 billion dollars ---- the nation's biggest cash crop with corn a distant second at 15 billion dollars, according to Ralph Weisheit, author of ``Domestic Marijuana: A Neglected Industry.'' ``One ounce of premium marijuana is worth more than an ounce of gold,'' said Weisheit, who teaches criminal justice at Illinois State University. ``And it is being grown in every state of the nation.'' Agents in California this year seized 543 million dollars worth of marijuana, though they quickly conceded that that amount is only a fraction of what has been harvested and distributed. Growers have proven to be an adaptable lot. When the federal government began seizing the property wherever marijuana was found growing, marijuana farmers sidestepped that problem by growing crops on federal lands. As growers learned there was less risk with fewer than 1,000 plants, they grew smaller, more numerous plots. Those with tens of thousands of plants have moved operations indoors. With picky prosecutors and first-time offenders getting probation or light jail sentences, the obvious question arises: Why doesn't everybody here have a profitable little plot of marijuana? ``Damned if I know,'' said John Allendorf, a Vietnam War veteran and US Forest Service agent in Humboldt County, who busts the growers he said have become increasingly nonchalant about their business. He banged on the door of a luxury home recently to arrest one grower he could see through the window. Oblivious, the grower was sitting on a couch listening to music through headphones and smoking a joint. When agents finally got in the house, the owner shrugged, ``I'll be on a beach in Thailand drinking a beer before you poor schmucks are even done with the paperwork.'' (They arrested him for declaring his intent to flee.) ``People get busted and it is not considered a big deal here. There's no stigma,'' Allendorf said. ``And look what it does for the local economy. It has kept some towns alive.'' In the small town of Garberville, for example, signs in the windows of gas stations and restaurants warn that anyone associated with the marijuana eradication program is not welcome in the establishment. ``When they see us in our trucks, they make it known that we are not welcome,'' said Gil Van Attenhoven, operations commander for the California Department of Justice. But growers do not want the drug to become legal, Allendorf said. The perception of risk keeps out competitors and helps keep the price of premium marijuana high. In fact, when Californians voted on a referendum last year to legalize growing marijuana for medicinal purposes, 73 percent of Humboldt County voters opposed it, among the highest percentage anywhere in the state. Colorado, Nevada and Washington state adopted similar measures on Tuesday, while voters in Arizona rejected an initiative that would have re-criminalized its use for medical reasons. The US Forest Service wants growers off federal lands because they threaten hikers and hunters and use herbicides and poisons that not only kill other plants and rodents but poison the streams. Agents say domestic growers may threaten the environment but Mexican growers, who make up about a third of the growers in Northern California and about 70 percent in Southern California, pose a lethal threat. ``This is the part that worries me,'' Knight said. ``They tend to be armed with high-powered weapons and are more prone to shoot.'' *** Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 22:35:56 EST Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Re: MN: US CA: California Marijuana Growers Flourish To the Miami Herald: Your article on Humboldt County's marijuana growers wrongly states that 73% of the county's voters opposed California's 1996 initiative to legalize medical cultivation of marijuana. In fact, Humboldt County voters supported the initiative by 57%-43%. It is noteworthy that the voters of neighboring Mendocino County just elected a sheriff and district attorney who favor decriminalizing marijuana altogether. Dale Gieringer, Cal. NORML
------------------------------------------------------------------- Transcript - Jesse Ventura on "Meet the Press" (The Reform Party governor-elect of Minnesota tells NBC that he does not support decriminalization of marijuana at this time, though he does support industrial hemp and medical marijuana. "I believe you've got to fight the war from the demand side, not the supply side. I mean, for goodness sake, we have Stillwater State Penitentiary here and we can't keep drugs out of there, and these people are locked up 24 hours a day. You get people to be smart and intelligent. It's like a business. You don't create a product because of supply; you create it because there's a demand for it.") Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 18:47:35 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Transcript: Jesse Ventura on Meet the Press Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: DrugSense Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Meet the Press Copyright: 1998 National Broadcasting Company, Inc. Contact: MTP@NBC.com Website: http://www.msnbc.com/news/MEETPRESS_Front.asp Note: Only the part of the transcript that is on topic for this service is provided. 'MEET THE PRESS' MR. RUSSERT: Our issues this Sunday morning: Newt Gingrich is gone. Who will be the next speaker? We're joined by four important Republican House members who will make that decision: Jennifer Dunn, Lindsey Graham, Steve Largent and David McIntosh. Is the Republican revolution over? Then, the most stunning upset of the year. A former wrestler, actor, action figure, football coach, talk show host is elected the next governor of Minnesota. (Videotape): GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: What is so gratifying about this is being able to prove the experts wrong. (End videotape) MR. RUSSERT: In his first and only Sunday morning interview, Jesse "The Body" Ventura. (snip) MR. RUSSERT: We're back. Governor-Elect Jesse Ventura, welcome to MEET THE PRESS. GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: Thank you, Tim. It's very nice to be here. MR. RUSSERT: What was Tuesday's election all about? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: Well, running for governor, for me. I mean, we put in a lot-we started well over a year ago, and I had to go through the reform party convention, which I won unanimously, and then it was just a matter of us getting our message out to the people of Minnesota. And the people, obviously, accepted our message, more than they did the Democrats and Republicans, and I'm the governor-elect of the state of Minnesota. MR. RUSSERT: There is a caricature of you that is emerging. Here's Time magazine. Body Slam! Get A Life. We've Got One. Who is Jesse Ventura? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: Well, Jesse Ventura is a young kid that grew up in south Minneapolis. My mom was a nurse. My dad was a city laborer. And I enlisted in the Navy. I spent four years as a romping, stomping Navy SEAL frogman. I went to college for a year. Went out on an 11-year professional wrestling career. Switched to broadcasting and film work and became mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, in 1991 and served for four years, through 1995, and went back to broadcasting career, and then attempted to become governor, and I'm now the governor-elect. I guess that's who I am in a nutshell. (snip) MR. RUSSERT: You've said a couple of controversial things during the campaign, and I want to give you a chance to talk about them so we have your full beliefs in context. The first involved drugs, and let me put on the screen some comments and give you a chance to talk about them. "Hemp or marijuana is not addictive. Decriminalize it and get those drug dealers to start paying taxes. And what you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business. If someone takes LSD and locks themselves up at home, why should I care? Anyway, I've done way more stupid things on alcohol than I've ever done on pot." What is your sense of drugs, Governor-Elect? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: Well, my sense is this, you know, I believe you've got to fight the war from the demand side, not the supply side. I mean, for goodness sake, we have Stillwater State Penitentiary here and we can't keep drugs out of there, and these people are locked up 24 hours a day. If you're going to fight the war on drugs, you fight it on the demand side. And I don't believe that government should be invading the privacy of our own homes, and I also believe that you shouldn't be legislating stupidity. If there are stupid people out there doing stupid things, it's not the government's job to try to make them be smarter. We live in a land of freedom. And again, if we can't keep drugs out of the state penitentiary, how on earth do they propose we're going to do it out on the street corner? You fight it on the demand side. You get people to be smart and intelligent. It's like a business. You don't create a product because of supply; you create it because there's a demand for it. MR. RUSSERT: Would you consider decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: I said absolutely not at this time. I do believe in industrial hemp. I think we're missing the boat on that. You can make food out of-or, I mean, clothing out of it. Excuse me, not food, but you can make clothing out of it. You can make paper out of it. It's an industry that will create jobs out there. Canada is using it. We're not. And I also believe medicinal marijuana should be allowed. I mean, my goodness, a doctor can give you a prescription for morphine and yet they can't prescribe you marijuana? I think that should be left up to the medical community for people that are that ill and in that much pain. I don't believe the government should be telling them what they can or cannot use. It should be in the medical community and up to the doctors and physicians to do that. (snip rest of transcript)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Is One Of The Least Dangerous Drugs (A letter to the editor of The Boston Globe says it is especially cruel and indefensible to be incarcerating marijuana users when both the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have concluded that marijuana is one of the least dangerous drugs, legal or otherwise, and creates less of a public health danger than either alcohol or tobacco.) Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 14:21:57 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: Pub LTE: Marijuana Is One Of The Least Dangerous Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1998 Globe Newspaper Company. Author: Richard D. Elrick MARIJUANA IS ONE OF THE LEAST DANGEROUS DRUGS I'm writing to express my complete agreement with Thomas Clark's view that the ``criminal penalties for personal marijuana use should be abolished'' (``A realistic prescription to mix marijuana and moderation,'' Nov. 1, Focus). As a father, attorney, and elected official (Barnstable town councilor) I have come to realize that, like alcohol prohibition before it, the policy of criminalizing marijuana use has done far more harm than the use of that substance ever could. It is especially cruel and indefensible to be incarcerating marijuana users when both the National Academy of Sciences and the World Health Organization have concluded that marijuana is one of the least dangerous drugs, legal or otherwise, and creates less of a public health danger than either alcohol or tobacco. Even an administrative law judge for the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Francis Young, said in 1988 that ``marijuana is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man.'' It is time to look honestly at how the present drug policy, with its focus on exaggerated rhetoric, has failed. Unless we are willing to evaluate our options, including various decriminalization strategies, objectively, we will never find the best solution to the problems of substance abuse. It is time to move from incarceration to education and treatment, the approaches most of the medical experts (rather than the politicians) tell us are the only truly effective and moral solutions.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Be free, but be careful about what you say (A letter to the editor of The Centre Daily Times, in Pennsylvania, from a junior in high school, says retired Penn State Professor Julian Heicklen's pot-smoking protests violate the "undisputed sagacity" of prohibition by "countering the efforts of literally millions to keep children healthy and drug-free.") Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 09:49:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Maptalk-Digest) To: email@example.com Subject: Maptalk-Digest V98 No. 447 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/ Subj: CDT opinion article From: JF (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 11:48:43 -0500 This is an opinion article from the Centre Daily Times http://www.centredaily.com letters: email@example.com Sunday, November 8, 1998 Be free, but be careful about what you say By Adam Smeltz Julian Heicklen is a remarkable man; he labors for liberty and American principles of freedom. And that alone is noble. That said, the so-called "pot-smoking professor" is no model of integrity. The passion and the vigor in the eyes of members of Heicklen's cohort were intense during mid-July's Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. Assembling at their usual spot, the gates at the foot of the University Park campus' mall, they elicited some peculiar facial contortions from passers-by in State College for the celebration. These visiting art lovers included children not yet 10 years of age, who can easily confuse a message advocating individuals' liberties with an assertion that puffing on grass is beneficial. Heicklen's method for pushing legislative changes also leaves a subtle and indirect impression on adolescents. Who among people my age would not consider, at least momentarily, that if a professor emeritus lights up a joint each week without incurring noticeable effects, marijuana may not be as damaging as health class suggests? Now, please, do not get the wrong idea here, because to legalize marijuana would be to amplify the soundness of our country's laws - that is, if legislation is to thoroughly follow the nation's founding principles. And in all fairness, Heicklen has, throughout his battles, maintained that the objective is liberty - the right to possess a vegetable, as he puts it. But actions make a much louder statement than do words. In this respect, the sole distinction between Heicklen and tobacco companies that solicit minors' business is that the tobacco industry aims to get youngsters smoking; Heicklen, meanwhile, does not intend to encourage the fatal habit. Still, he manages to have an impact on the thought processes of many of the area's inexperienced minds. Being in a town that has one of the highest alcohol-consumption rates for its size in the state, and where marijuana is readily available to those who seek it, Heicklen needs to reconsider his methods. Regardless of how well-intentioned he is when it comes to social issues, mere children are picking up perilous ideas. The community must emphasize personal restraint and responsibility to its youths, as should be evident from State College's disturbingly long police logs of drug- and alcohol-related crimes, injuries and deaths. To a conscientious adult, though, the to-be-expected repercussions of certain actions should be obvious; accountability should be automatic. Americans almost unanimously agree that children deserve protection -- protection from physical and psychological abuse, protection from exploitation, protection from corruption, and protection from being faced with decisions that they are unable to handle. The result is much legislation with the goal of shielding youngsters from situations that could cause poorly reasoned judgment calls, choices that could threaten their well-being. Heicklen has violated this undisputed sagacity by countering the efforts of literally millions to keep children healthy and drug-free. As a member of a society, every adult has an implied obligation to realize that particular deeds affect others and, therefore, to act responsibly. The questions that arise from Heicklen's social crusade absolutely should command our attention. Even so, until he incorporates some accountability into his battle plan, to respect and to offer earnest consideration of his claims will remain impossibilities. Adam Smeltz is a junior at State College Area High School.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal Weed Makes A Stand In Tallahassee (The Tallahassee Democrat says about 1,500 people signed petitions at polling places Tuesday to put a statewide referendum on the ballot in 2000 legalizing the medical use of marijuana. Fort Lauderdale-based Floridians for Medical Rights needs 435,000 signatures by Aug. 1, 2000, to get the issue on the ballot. So far, statewide volunteers have collected more than 20,000 signatures.) Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 12:35:00 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US FL: MMJ: Medicinal Weed Makes A Stand In Tallahassee 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: November 8, 1998 Source: Tallahassee Democrat (FL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.tdo.com/ Copyright: 1998 Tallahassee Democrat. Author: David Twiddy MEDICINAL WEED MAKES A STAND IN TALLAHASSEE Local voters last Tuesday got a whiff of the politics of pot. About 1,500 people signed petitions at polling places to put on the ballot in 2000 a statewide referendum on legalizing the medical use of marijuana. The effort was headed by Ross and Candace Dormon, owners of Epitome Coffee House off Tennessee Street. Besides a sign-up sheet in the coffee shop, the Dormons had 14 people collecting signatures on Election Day. "I was excited by what we did here," said Ross Dormon. "Of course, I wish we'd have had some more people out there." The Dormons are working with the Fort Lauderdale-based Floridians for Medical Rights, which needs 435,000 signatures by Aug. 1, 2000, to get the issue on the ballot. So far, statewide volunteers have collected more than 20,000. "It's coming in in drips and drabs," said Toni Leeman, the group's chairwoman. "It's not a problem of getting the people to sign. What has been a problem is being able to do it on a regular basis." Studies have indicated that marijuana could be used to treat a wide range of ailments, including arthritis, glaucoma and lessen the symptoms of AIDS and the side effects of cancer treatment. Voters in five Western states -- Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Nevada and Alaska -- approved such a referendum Tuesday. Similar referendums were proposed in Colorado and Washington, D.C., but failed for technical reasons. In Colorado, elections officials invalidated many of the petitions and disqualified the election after the ballot went out. In Washington, D.C., the referendum was held, but Congress forbade election officials from releasing the results. Federal officials do not believe marijuana carries any medical benefits and have threatened doctors in California -- which passed its own referendum two years ago -- with losing their ability to prescribe medicine if they prescribe marijuana. -- David Twiddy
------------------------------------------------------------------- Groundswell For Medical Marijuana (A staff editorial in The Chicago Tribune says the opponents of medical marijuana have yet to make a convincing case why cannabis should not be available to people who need it to relieve serious ailments. The medical potential of pot is undeniable by now.) Subj: US: Editorial: MMJ: Groundswell For Medical Marijuana Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 14:44:37 -0800 Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company GROUNDSWELL FOR MEDICAL MARIJUANA Two years ago, voters in California and Arizona registered their dissatisfaction with a drug war that refuses to make important distinctions. They approved measures legalizing marijuana for therapeutic purposes, a step that was denounced by drug czar Barry McCaffrey and other hard-liners. But the opponents of medical marijuana have yet to make a convincing case why cannabis should not be available to people who need it to relieve serious ailments. Tuesday, the ripple of public support that appeared in 1996 swelled into a good-size wave. Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington approved measures to loosen the unreasonably strict rules on the use of cannabis to alleviate illness. By a large margin, Oregonians also rejected a proposal to restore criminal penalties for marijuana possession, which the state had lifted. The medical potential of pot is undeniable by now. Many cancer specialists recommend it to patients for the severe nausea that often accompanies chemotherapy. As a stimulus to appetite, it has proven invaluable to AIDS victims, who frequently suffer severe weight loss because they lose interest in food. It also appears to arrest the advance of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, in some patients. A federal administrative judge recommended in 1988 that cannabis be reclassified so that it could be prescribed by physicians, noting that it "has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision." The New England Journal of Medicine has endorsed such a change. Critics say there is a dearth of serious studies documenting marijuana's value. But that's because the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the only legal supplier of cannabis, has been reluctant to facilitate such research. Little clinical work can be done until the federal government makes it a priority. But funding and cooperating in such studies would require elected officials and bureaucrats to concede that cannabis may not be an unmitigated evil. So far, such open-mindedness is far more common among ordinary people than among those who make policy.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nearly No Research Done on Pot (The Associated Press notes that, despite ongoing controversy over marijuana's medical efficacy, almost no research is being done on the topic, despite an expert panel established by the Institutes of Health which found in August 1997 that existing research showed some patients could be helped by the herb, principally to relieve cancer patients' nausea after chemotherapy, to increase AIDS patients' appetites, and to help some patients control glaucoma.) Date: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 21:32:03 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Nearly No Research Done on Pot 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: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. Author: Michelle Boorstein NEARLY NO RESEARCH DONE ON POT Despite ongoing controversy over marijuana's medical efficacy, almost no research is being done on the topic. Some proponents of medical marijuana say sufficient research was performed in the 1970s and '80s, when the federal government provided marijuana for studies done mostly by states. Many of those studies were suspended in 1991 when the National Institutes of Health concluded there wasn't enough proof that marijuana would be better than a synthetic version of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the drug's major chemical component. Proponents said the studies were going to prove the opposite, but the government stopped supplying the marijuana. Work was mostly suspended until 1996, when California and Arizona passed initiatives to legalize marijuana and other drugs for medical use. An expert panel formed by the Institutes of Health found in August 1997 that existing research showed some patients can be helped by the drug, principally to relieve nausea after cancer chemotherapy or to increase AIDS patients' appetites. The drug also has helped some patients control glaucoma, the panel found. The institutes' director, Dr. Harold Varmus, said at the time that applications for marijuana research were welcome, but the agency has approved only one project, a study of smoked marijuana in AIDS patients. "The government is saying out of one side of its mouth that we need more research, but then they don't provide the marijuana," said Bill Zimmerman, director of Americans for Medical Rights, a private advocacy group which sponsors state initiatives to legalize medical marijuana. Others, however, say research isn't funded because marijuana is so hard to study. It's difficult to create a placebo that accurately replicates the experience of smoking the drug and to measure how much of the drug each patient ingests from the smoke. In addition, no drug companies are lined up to invest in it. "There isn't a government conspiracy to discourage it," said Dr. Reese Jones, a psychiatry professor at University of California-San Francisco and a longtime marijuana researcher. "The issue is, what else are we not going to do in order to pay for it?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Nixon Had It Right (An op-ed in The Washington Post by Michael Massing, author of "The Fix," says that of the District of Columbia's estimated 65,000 "substance abusers," barely 10 percent can be accommodated by local treatment programs today. It wasn't always like this. A little more than 25 years ago the District fought the drug war successfully with a comprehensive drug treatment system that was considered a model for the nation.)Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 19:35:58 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: OPED: Nixon Had It Right Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul_Bischke@datacard.com (Paul Bischke) Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Michael Massing NIXON HAD IT RIGHT A '70s Project Showed Drug Treatment Works Few American cities have been more devastated by illegal drug use than Washington. Abusers of heroin, crack and cocaine have fed robbery and burglary rates, sent child welfare caseloads soaring and clogged courts and jails. They also have overwhelmed the city's treatment centers; of the District's estimated 65,000 substance abusers, barely 10 percent can be accommodated by local treatment programs today. It wasn't always like this. Hard as it may be to believe, a little more than 25 years ago the District fought the drug war successfully--and a crucial element of that success was a comprehensive drug treatment system, one that was considered a model for the nation. The system's brief but remarkable history provides compelling evidence of just how effective treatment can be in reducing drug abuse and crime in the nation's cities. Today, of course, drug treatment is not held in high regard. From Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's bitter attacks on methadone programs in New York City to President Clinton's utter indifference in the White House, treatment seems the least favored weapon in the war on drugs. Of the $16 billion the federal government is spending this year to fight drugs, fully two-thirds goes for enforcement and interdiction and just one-third for treatment and prevention. Next year's budget will be even more lopsided, as a result of the recent budget negotiations in which Congress voted $942 million in emergency appropriations for drug enforcement. The Coast Guard is to get new high-speed Barracuda patrol boats, the Customs Service new P-3B surveillance planes, and the Colombian police six new Black Hawk helicopters. The National Guard is to step up its patrols along the Mexican border, and X-ray machines are to be installed from Tijuana to Brownsville so agents can peer into the holds of container trucks. Drug treatment, meanwhile, will receive an increase of a mere $275 million. Lost in this game of numbers is any recognition of the real benefits a full-service treatment system could have for Washington and other cities. But they are clear enough from the one time such an approach was tried. In the late 1960s, Washington, like many other cities, was gripped by a heroin epidemic. Among those seeking to confront it was a Harvard-educated psychiatrist, Robert DuPont. Tall and sandy-haired, DuPont (no relation to the Delaware family) had come to Washington in 1966 to work at the National Institutes of Health, then had gone on to counsel inmates at the D.C. Department of Corrections, many of whom were hooked on heroin. At the time, treatment was all but unavailable in Washington. In Chicago, however, a pioneering psycho-pharmacologist named Jerome Jaffe had set up a network of clinics offering the synthetic narcotic methadone and other treatments to help addicts get off heroin. Impressed, DuPont convinced Mayor Walter Washington to set up a small-scale version in the District, and in the fall of 1969, methadone became available in the nation's capital for the first time. The program soon expanded, thanks to the support of the Nixon White House. It's not that Richard Nixon had any special compassion for drug addicts. But during the 1968 campaign, he had promised to reverse the steep rise in the nation's crime rate, and he had singled out the District for special attention. Once in office, he turned for help to one of his top aides, Egil "Bud" Krogh Jr. Krogh, remembered mainly for his role in the break-in into the offices of former Pentagon official Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist in 1971, was an earnest pragmatist, he soon began riding around in squad cars to see what might be done. Throughout 1969, Krogh helped increase the size of the D.C. police department, procured a helicopter for its use, and had sodium-vapor lights installed on many of the city's streets. The more Krogh looked into the District's crime problem, though, the more he felt the need to stem the city's drug problem. Learning of DuPont's work in the District, Krogh summoned him to his office at the Old Executive Office Building, where DuPont described the success his program was having in reducing the criminal activity of its clients. Intrigued, Krogh asked DuPont if he would like to expand the program, and when he agreed, Krogh quickly found the necessary funds. On Feb. 19, 1970, the Narcotics Treatment Administration (NTA) opened its doors, offering mainly methadone but also residential treatment and drug-free outpatient care. The system was immediately swamped with applicants. Krogh regarded the program as a sort of laboratory. If the District's crime rate went down, then perhaps more money could be made available for treatment nationally. And, in fact, in 1970, crime in the District fell by 5.2 percent--the first such decrease in years. D.C. police officials credited the expansion of the police force, the use of more aggressive tactics--and the availability of drug treatment. Armed with these results, Krogh began lobbying for a national treatment offensive. The White House was at first reluctant, but, shaken by reports that as many as 10 to 15 percent of the GIs then returning from Vietnam were addicted to heroin, Nixon announced on June 17, 1971, that he was setting up a special-action office under the direction of Jaffe, the Chicago treatment specialist, to expand services for addicts. Over the next year, Jaffe spent hundreds of millions of government dollars to open methadone clinics and residential programs around the country. By the fall of 1972, treatment was available nationwide to all addicts who wanted it. In addition to finding treatment, the Nixon administration successfully attacked the suppliers of heroin, including the infamous French Connection. But fully two-thirds of the government's resources went to stop the demand for drugs. In Washington, the NTA, which initially had to limit its intake to 25 patients a day, was now able to admit all those who wanted help. The impact was immediate. Throughout 1972, the number of District residents dying from heroin-related overdoses declined month by month; in September of that year, the city recorded not a single heroin death. The city's crime rate, meanwhile, declined a remarkable 26.9 percent for the year. (Nationally, crime fell by 3 percent in 1972--the first such decline in 17 years.) By 1973, the heroin epidemic in the District--as in the nation as a whole--was ebbing. That, however, was the system's high point. In 1973, when Jaffe left the government, DuPont replaced him, and without his direction, the NTA quickly lost its focus. It was further hurt by cuts in federal treatment. Under the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the system completely collapsed, and enforcement absorbed 80 percent of its budget. Just as treatment was lagging, crack hit Washington and other cities. By 1989, the crack scourge was causing such alarm that President George Bush vowed to stop it. William Bennett, his drug czar, decided to make the District of Columbia a "test case" for his policy. To that end, he proposed a $100 million plan for the city, with some of the money going for more treatment. Unlike Krogh, however, Bennett failed to involve local officials, and the D.C. government--led by a mayor convicted of crack possession in 1990--was rudderless. Today, the District's treatment system is a shambles. Residential facilities are so overwhelmed that many drug offenders--mandated to treatment by judges--languish in prison for months for lack of a bed. At any one time, the District's Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA) has about 600 people on its waiting list for methadone maintenance. The crush is due in part to bureaucratic inefficiency, but even more to inadequate funding. Between 1993 and 1998, APRA's budget fell from $31.3 million to $19.7 million--a 37 percent drop. The crisis is hardly limited to the District. Today, the United States has an estimated 4 million hard-core users of heroin, crack, cocaine and methamphetamine. While making up only 20 percent of all the drug users in the country (the rest being mainly recreational users), these chronic users account for an estimated 75 percent of all the drugs consumed, as well as most of the crime, child abuse and other associated problems. At the moment, the nation's treatment programs can accommodate only about 50 percent of these users. In other words, nearly 2 million people who might benefit from help are unable to get it. According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, making up this difference would cost an additional $3.4 billion a year--more than 10 times the amount appropriated by Congress. Could a return to the approach and funding patterns of the Nixon era work today? Of course, the problems are different today. Like other cities, the District has many more addicts than it did in the early 1970s. And those addicts have many more problems, from homelessness and mental illness to AIDS and tuberculosis. What's more, many of today's users are hooked on crack and cocaine, for which treatments like methadone are useless. Nonetheless, study after study has confirmed the cost-effectiveness of treatment in dealing with addiction. In 1996, for instance, the U.S. government, in a study of hard-core users entering treatment, found that the number who used cocaine fell from 39.5 percent before treatment to 17.8 percent a year later; for heroin, the rate went from 23.6 percent to 12.6 percent. A 1994 Rand Corp. study found that drug treatment was seven times more cost-effective than domestic law enforcement, 10 times more effective than interdiction, and 23 times more effective than drug-suppression efforts in countries that supply drugs. It's time to reflect that reality. Rather than buying more exotic hardware, we should expand treatment in drug-afflicted cities, such as Washington. For the cost of a single Customs' surveillance plane ($47 million), the District could treat all those on its waiting list--and more. If we gave treatment a chance again, we might learn what works. We know what doesn't. Michael Massing is the author of the newly published book, "The Fix" (Simon & Schuster), a study of U.S. drug policy since the 1960s.
------------------------------------------------------------------- UK Lords call to legalise cannabis - Lords call for cannabis to be legalised as painkiller (The Observer, in Britain, says a 70-page report to be released this week by the Science and Technology Committee in the House of Lords urges a change in the law to allow cannabis derivatives to be used legally. Labour MP Paul Flynn, whose wife, Samantha, has endured a year of painful chemotherapy which he says could have been relieved if cannabis had been legally available, said yesterday, "This is a major breakthrough. I'm very pleased." However, "The report is defective in that it deliberately excluded evidence that legalising cannabis leads to a reduction in heroin use, because it takes away the need for users to go to the criminal market.") From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: UK Lords call to legalise cannabis Date: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 19:19:27 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: The Observer Pubdate: Sunday November 8, 1998 Online: http://reports.guardian.co.uk/articles/1998/11/8/32035.html UK Lords call to legalise cannabis Lords call for cannabis to be legalised as painkiller By Andy McSmith, Chief Political Correspondent The campaign to legalise cannabis will get its most powerful boost this week when a House of Lords committee calls for the drug to be available for use to relieve pain. A 70-page report of the Lords Science and Technology Committee urges a change in the law to allow derivatives of the drug to be used legally. But it stops short of saying the drug, banned in any form for more than a quarter of a century, should be permitted for recreational use. Labour MP Paul Flynn, whose wife, Samantha, has endured a year of painful chemotherapy which he says could have been relieved if cannabis had been legally available, said yesterday: "This is a major breakthrough: I'm very pleased." Gordon Prentice MP, secretary of the Commons MS group, which has lobbied for cannabis to be used to relieve multiple sclerosis, said: "There will be a huge sigh of relief from thousands of people. The question is whether the Government has the courage to act on good advice, because all its rhetoric is anti-drugs." The Lords committee findings will increase pressure on the Health Department, which claims the evidence in favour of medical benefits from cannabis is too weak to justify a change in the law. But the British Medical Association concluded last year that "individual cannabinoids have a therapeutic potential in several conditions in which other treatments are not fully adequate". It said there was "good evidence" that several cannabinoids had analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also believed to help muscle spasticity and prevent convulsions. The American Food and Drug Administration has approved the oral use of dronabinol, a cannabis derivative, to help Aids sufferers. The BMA pointed out that no one has died of a cannabis overdose, although heavy cannabis smoking can damage lungs and heart in the same way as cigarette smoking. The Home Office has granted 22 licences for research studies involving cannabis, 19 of which were still going on earlier this year. But Paul Boateng, a former Health Minister promoted last month to the Home Office, told MPs: "We are not prepared to accept lesser standards in relation to cannabis for the relief of suffering than would be applied to any other drug. That is the duty we have to patients." Doctors have been banned from prescribing cannabis under any circumstances since 1971, when the Tory government passed the Misuse of Drugs Acts to discourage hippies. The Lords committee spent eight months investigating the scientific evidence for and against the use of cannabis, including 12 days interviewing expert witnesses. The committee is dominated by retired scientists rather than retired politicians. Flynn criticised the committee yesterday for not looking into the wider social and criminal implications of the anti-cannabis law. He said: "The report is defective in that it deliberately excluded evidence that legalising cannabis leads to a reduction in heroin use, because it takes away the need for users to go to the criminal market." But committee chairman Lord Perry of Walton, former professor of pharmacology at Edinburgh University - who refused to discuss the report's conclusions before publication on Tuesday - insisted it had been a specialist inquiry that had heard from everybody with medical or scientific knowledge. *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Tsar Tells Customs To Go Soft On Cannabis Smugglers (Scotland on Sunday says Keith Hellawell has ordered British customs officers to take a softer approach to cannabis smugglers and to concentrate their resources on interdicting heroin and cocaine.) Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 00:45:57 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Drugs Tsar Tells Customs To Go Soft On Cannabis Smugglers Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Scotland On Sunday (UK) Page: 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Author: Neil Mackay DRUGS TSAR TELLS CUSTOMS TO GO SOFT ON CANNABIS SMUGGLERS THE government's drug tsar has ordered customs officers to take a softer approach to cannabis smugglers. Keith Hellawell has told them to concentrate resources against heroin and cocaine. The move was attacked yesterday by the former Grampian chief constable, Dr Ian Oliver, but backed by some anti-drugs groups. "This amounts to admitting we have lost the fight against drugs," said Oliver. He added that Hellawell's directive appeared to be the first step towards the legalisation of cannabis. Seizures of heroin in the UK more than doubled last year, forcing the customs service to revamp its approach to the fight against large-scale commercial drug smuggling. Hellawell is demanding higher priority be given to the search for Class A drugs such as heroin - even if it means going soft on cannabis smugglers. Customs and Excise has been given until March to work out exactly how it will change its operations to incorporate the directive. The move has divided the service and the Scottish police. Both Strathclyde and Lothian and Borders Police have vowed to continue to target suppliers of cannabis and anyone possessing the drug. A spokesperson for Strathclyde said: "We are committed to upholding the law against all controlled drugs, including cannabis."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Germany Weighing Pot Legalization (According to Reuters, Germany's new coalition government said it will study the case for legalizing possession of small quantities of soft drugs such as cannabis. The Greens, junior partners in the new coalition, have long been in favor of decriminalizing the use of soft drugs but the Social Democrats have so far resisted such a move.) Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 00:50:02 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Germany: WIRE: Germany Weighing Pot Legalization 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: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. GERMANY WEIGHING POT LEGALIZATION BONN (November 8, 1998 08:56 a.m. EST) - Germany's new government said it will study the case made for legalizing possession of small quantities of soft drugs such as cannabis. "We're certainly going to look at it. There have been some interesting essays on this and an EU report on it, too," Interior Minister Otto Schily told Spiegel news magazine in an article made available on Sunday. The ecologist Greens, junior partners in the new coalition, have long been in favor of decriminalizing the use of soft drugs but Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats have so far resisted such a move. Schily, a former Greens member who as a lawyer during the 1970s achieved notoriety in Germany for defending Red Army Faction guerrillas, said he would be seeking expert consultation on the issue. Schroeder's government has announced plans for a more liberal drugs policy, including state methadone programs and controlled heroin prescription to serious addicts. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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