------------------------------------------------------------------- Medicinal pot's win in 5 states stuns backers (An Oregonian article whose headline shows the newspaper's tendency to engage in projection quotes Dave Fratello saying Americans for Medical Rights plans to back campaigns in Colorado, Florida and Maine in 2000. Phil Lemman, executive director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, predicts that the Legislature will amend the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. But Oregon's legislative leaders said they first will monitor the law, which won in 16 of the state's 36 counties.) Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 07:53:35 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Arthur Livermore
Subject: DPFOR: Medicinal pot's win in 5 states stuns backers Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ http://www.oregonlive.com/todaysnews/9811/st110902.html Medicinal pot's win in 5 states stuns backers Friends and foes of the marijuana votes start weighing how to best implement the laws Monday, November 9, 1998 By Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff Supporters of medicinal marijuana are still recovering from their shock at winning a clean sweep in last week's elections. At the same time, both supporters and opponents are trying to figure out what such victories mean for the future of marijuana, both medicinal and recreational. Voters in Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Nevada approved the use of marijuana as medicine. In Arizona, voters defeated a measure that would have blocked the use of medicinal marijuana; in doing so, they approved the use of drugs including marijuana, heroin and LSD for medicinal purposes. "It's amazing, it's amazing," said Dave Fratello, spokesman for the Los Angeles-based Americans for Medical Rights, the organization that gave technical and financial assistance to backers of each state initiative. "I wasn't counting on winning everything. . . . I've been nervous. In Nevada and Washington, the newspaper polls showed us lower than we needed to be. "I think this is surprising a lot of people. It's going to take a little while to sink in. The majority of voters in all parts of America support this," Fratello said. "It's not just a fluke in California or any of the states that passed it. It has enormous implications for how the issue should be addressed politically." Americans for Medical Rights plans to back campaigns in Colorado, Florida and Maine in 2000, he said. Fratello said the range of options includes direct action by Congress to push for reclassifying marijuana as a beneficial drug and action by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and the Food and Drug Administration to change their anti-marijuana regulations. "The DEA got the biggest black eye out of these votes," he said. "That single agency has done more than any other in the last 20 years to hold up research on medicinal marijuana." Study assessing medical value The Institute of Medicine, the policy arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has undertaken the most comprehensive study to date of marijuana's usefulness as a medicine. The study, being done at the request of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, is to assess what is known and not known about the medical effects of the drug. Results of the study are to be released sometime in December. Fratello, whose organization is heavily financed by billionaire financier George Soros, said he thinks the votes will put enormous pressure on Congress to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Masquerades of compassion? Don't be too sure about that, admonished Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., a vocal opponent of medicinal marijuana. Smith said he wasn't particularly surprised by the vote results. "I don't think its surprising when you think how much money was spent masquerading this issue in the clothes of compassion," he said. If Congress wants to change national policy on marijuana, he said, "it will do it without my vote. I may be politically incorrect, but I feel very strongly that these kinds of drugs rob us of our free agency, of our future, of our ideals -- and that we should find every other way to promote compassion and comfort and care." Smith said he doesn't "fault the people who voted for this with a heart full of compassion -- I have the same heart. I just question their means." What Oregon's law does The Oregon measure requires the state Health Division to issue registration cards to patients whose doctors recommend marijuana as a treatment for conditions that include nausea, wasting, muscle spasms and pain brought on by debilitating diseases, including AIDS, cancer and multiple sclerosis. Under the law, a patient or caregiver could own as many as seven marijuana plants, plus 1 ounce of usable marijuana for each plant. The law doesn't specify where a sick person might obtain the plants. Selling marijuana would still be against the law. Backers of the law say those who now grow plants illegally for medicinal purposes probably will give plants away when the law takes effect. Although the Health Division won't have the registration system in place until May 1, the law can be used as a defense in court when it goes into effect on Dec. 3. Phil Lemman, executive director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission, predicts that the Legislature will amend the Oregon law. "There will be some move in the Legislature to tighten up some of this stuff -- limiting (medical) conditions or requiring that patients exhaust other avenues of treatment," he said. Legislative maneuvers But Oregon's legislative leaders said they first will monitor the law, which won in 16 of the state's 36 counties. "I'm disappointed that this has occurred," said Sen. Brady Adams, R-Grants Pass, state Senate president. "I personally did not support it. But the voters have spoken." Adams said he probably will assign responsibility of monitoring the law to health and human services or judiciary committees. If it becomes apparent that the law should be amended, Adams said, the Legislature would conduct hearings into the issue. "I think it's important that the Legislature be respectful of the results of the ballot box, no matter how strongly we might feel about a particular issue," he said. "Those in leadership positions have the responsibility to implement it." Rep. Lynn Lundquist, R-Powell Butte, the House speaker, said he, too, opposed the measure but doubts that the Legislature will try to change it. "The Legislature will look at it and see if there are any problems with it," he said. "And if there are, we'll try to fix them." Lundquist said, however, that the "mood of the Legislature is to simply help implement the legislation." Federal prohibitions still apply Even though the measures legalize medicinal marijuana under state law, U.S. Department of Justice officials are quick to point out that possession, cultivation and distribution of the drug still violate federal law. Gregory King, a Justice Department spokesman in Washington, D.C., said the newly passed initiatives have "no impact" on federal anti-marijuana laws. In theory at least, federal agents could swoop down on sick Oregonians who are growing marijuana legally under state law and prosecute them for breaking federal law. King said that's not likely to happen. Federal agents haven't arrested individual medicinal marijuana users in California, where medical use of the drug has been legal for two years. There, the federal government has not prosecuted anyone for possessing or growing small amounts of medicinal marijuana, though it has shut down marijuana clubs. Michael Schrunk, Multnomah Countys district attorney, said that with passage of the Oregon law, police will have to investigate each marijuana possession case more thoroughly. Before deciding to prosecute a case, he said, "We'll have to come up with evidence that the law isn't applicable. It's going to take a case-by-case analysis. We're not going to come out with a policy that says there will be no more marijuana prosecution." The district attorney said he's anxious to see how defense attorneys will use the law. "My suspicion is that it (the law) is going to become a tool of advocacy in prosecutions and that it will be raised no matter what the original contemplated use (of the marijuana) is." Michelle Burrows, a Portland attorney who defends clients in marijuana cases, said she wouldn't use an inappropriate defense because of the threat of censure. But as for raising the issue of medical necessity as a defense, she said, "Any good defense attorney is going to look for any defense that's available."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Truck drivers now supervising inmate deliveries in cost-cutting plan (The Associated Press says the Oregon Department of Corrections, in order to save money, now allows inmates who help deliver laundry to hospitals, schools and nursing homes to be supervised by truck drivers instead of corrections officers.) From: "sburbank" (email@example.com) To: (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: DPFOR: Truck drivers now supervising inmate deliveries incost-cutting plan Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 07:02:29 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ I couldn't believe it when I read this last night. They are more worried about the guards not being able to drive the truck because they are not properly trained, then they are about the drivers, who are not trained as guards. I wonder which is more predictable, the trucks or the prisoners. Are they saying that the guards can't be trained as drivers? If these prisoners are as harmless as this implies, why are they in prison in the first place. Oh ya, I forgot. Probably prisoners of the drug war. Sandee *** Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFOR: Truck drivers now supervising inmate deliveries incost-cutting plan Date: Tuesday, November 10, 1998 11:53 PM Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Truck drivers now supervising inmate deliveries in cost-cutting plan The Associated Press 11/10/98 4:05 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- In a cost-cutting move, inmates who help deliver laundry to hospitals, schools and nursing homes now are supervised by truck drivers instead of corrections officers, prison officials have confirmed. Starting this month, as many as 10 inmates a day will be let out of minimum-custody prisons in Salem, supervised by truck drivers who run routes from the Oregon State Penitentiary's laundry. Those inmates had been guarded by certified corrections officers who also operated the trucks. "They made a business decision to try to operate cheaper," said Gary Harkins, president of the Association of Oregon Correctional Employees. "But we are sworn to let the public know when their safety is at risk. If we're going to have felons out in the community, they should be supervised by staff that is trained to deal with them." David S. Cook, Department of Corrections director, confirmed that the move was intended to cut costs but said there is no additional safety risk because the drivers have been trained. "If we thought this was an unsafe practice, we would not be doing it," Cook said. "We have a lot of history that says if (truck drivers) are properly trained, they can do this job safely, and we can have the kind of outcome we have when corrections officers are driving." Cook said the move was prompted after several accidents involving the laundry delivery trucks. He said the shift to professional drivers was intended to reduce the cost of damaged vehicles and save money on corrections officer salaries. "It's a trade-off," Cook said. "We're making the best of a situation by choosing to downsize the risk of people who don't drive professionally and having truck drivers supervising inmates." Harkins said the change would save the corrections department about $2,000 a month. "That's not a lot of money when you think about the increased risk out there," said Harkins, who does not believe the truck drivers have been properly trained to deal with inmates. "They have no security skills," he said. "If the inmates were to start a fight or run off, the only thing the truck drivers are told to do is call 9-1-1. They're not trained to break up fights. They are told to back away and go get some help. A corrections officer is trained to intervene and deal with the problem right then and there." The truck drivers and other corrections employees who are called upon to supervise inmate activities receive 88 hours of training, corrections officials said. Even so, the change has prompted the Association of Oregon Correctional Employees to send warning letters this week to customers of Mill Creek Laundry, the prison system's largest commercial laundry. Customers include Oregon State University, OHSU Hospital, the Salem Clinic, Oregon State Hospital in Salem and Portland, and two school districts. "The (corrections department) classifies these inmates as minimum custody inmates," the letter reads. "They are still felons with convictions ranging from murder, molestation, rape assault to other sex crimes and drug offenses." But Cook said the inmates chosen for such assignments have proven records of good behavior, and many are nearing release. He said other minimum security inmates are working outside prison walls and are supervised by people other than corrections officers. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Chavez Trial (The Orange County Register covers the trial of Marvin Chavez, the medical marijuana patient and founder of the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group, on trafficking charges. Judge Thomas J. Borris allowed jurors to hear references to Prop. 215, the medical marijuana initiative voters passed in 1996, but will not make a final ruling as to what laws the jury will be allowed to consider as relevant to the charges until the end of the case.) Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:12:04 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: The Chavez Trial Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: 10 Nov 1998 THE CHAVEZ TRIAL The trial of Marvin Chavez on marijuana sales and transportation charges began on schedule yesterday in Judge Thomas J. Borris courtroom in Westminster. Amid numerous questions, sparring by the attorneys for both sides and occasional conferences in the judge's chambers, the prosecution and defense gave their opening arguments to the jury and the first witnesses were called. Most compelling, the judge allowed jurors to hear references to Prop. 215, the medical marijuana initiative voters passed in 1996 - a change from an earlier judge's decision. Judge Borris, however, will not make a final ruling as to what laws the jury will be allowed to consider as relevant to the charges until the end of the case. But if jurors are permitted to weigh the issue of medical marijuana and Prop. 215 (now Section 11362.5 of the Health and Safety Code), not only Mr. Chavez but the entire issue will receive consideration beyond that of previous court proceedings. Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust told the jury the case was simple. His office has evidence of nine instances when Marvin Chavez sold marijuana to individuals and undercover officers and one instance when Mr. Chavez sent marijuana through the mail. Selling or mailing marijuana is against the law, and the evidence will show that Mr. Chavez did it. Defense Attorney James Silva told the jury the case would be much more interesting than that. The jury would be told about Mr. Chavez's rare medical condition, about the relief he got from smoking marijuana, with fewer side-effects than from prescription medications, and how Mr. Chavez had helped to form the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group to help patients learn more about marijuana and work out ways to acquire it. The defense said it didn't plan to contest allegations that Mr. Chavez had supplied marijuana to Thomas Jerry Pollard, for a friend of his now dead of cancer, or Glen Hoffer, but would explain that the circumstances represented a bona fide effort to operate within the law, Prop. 215. Mr. Pollard testified under a grant of immunity. Mr. Armbrust asked him if Mr. Chavez had furnished marijuana to him or to his friend and if Mr. Chavez or his associate, David Herrick, had received money, on more than one occasion. Mr. Pollard acknowledged that had been the case, but said the money was a donation. The defense asked what Mr. Pollard's relationship had been to his friend and whether the friend's doctor had recommended marijuana, which Mr.Pollard said was the case. The fact that Mr. Pollard and his friends had to identify themselves, fill out forms, get their photos taken and be issued membership cards before marijuana was furnished was discussed. Mr. Pollard said he was told the donations were to keep the club going and that he had received marijuana on several occasions without making a donation. The next witness was David Reyes, an undercover officer with the Garden Grove Police Department. He said he was first brought into the case to investigate a Jack Schanchter, described as an associate of Mr. Chavez, and eventually posed as the nephew and caretaker of another undercover officer who told Mr. Chavez of back pain and furnished a false doctor's letter. At an evidentiary hearing, out of the presence of the jury, the court heard from a Dr. Del Dalton, a pain management specialist who furnished a physician's recommendation to many of the members of Mr. Chavez's support group and others, and from Mr. Hoffer, who had received a recommendation and joined Mr. Chavez's organization. The attorneys explored to what extent Mr. Chavez functioned as Mr. Hoffer's caregiver. The hearing, to determine ground rules under which Dr. Dalton and Mr. Hoffer could appear before the jury, will continue this morning. This case has the potential to begin what is likely to be a difficult process of furnishing ground rules to determine how Section 11362.5 will be implemented and under what circumstances patients who have a legal right to possess and use marijuana may actually acquire it. We will continue to follow it.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Club's Owner Cites Prop 215 (A second article in The Orange County Register on the same trial says Superior Court Judge Thomas Borris has already tentatively ruled that Chavez is legally a caregiver under Prop. 215, but only for two of the 10 sale or transportation charges he faces.) Date: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 18:18:04 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Pot Club's Owner Cites Prop 215 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: 10 Nov 1998 Author: John McDonald-OCR POT CLUB'S OWNER CITES PROP 215 Courts: If the judge allows the defence in the medical-marijuana co-op founder's trial. It would be a first. The marijuana-sale trial of Orange County Cannabis Co-Op founder Marvin Chavez opened with testimony from a physician on why Chavez should be allowed to defend himself under provisions of Proposition 215, which allows for medical use of the drug. If permitted, the defense would be the first in California under the 1996 measure. Superior Court Judge Thomas Borris has already tentatively ruled that Chavez is legally a caregiver under Prop. 215, but only for two of the 10 sale or transportation charges he faces. Borris has also allowed defense lawyers James Silva and J. David Nick to ask prosecution witnesses about their medical reasons for buying pot from Chavez. The physician said he referred about 250 patients to the co-op. "Under Prop. 215 I can only recommend it (marijuana use)," said De. Del Dalton, an anesthesiologist from Laguna Niguel. "What I'd like to do is prescribe it on a milligrams-per-day basis. Right now there is no way to do that." Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust maintains that sale of marijuana is not sanctioned by Prop. 215. The first witness to testify before the jury was Fountain Valley landscaper Thomas Pollard. Pollard described how an old friend, who had been best man at his wedding, was terminally stricken with cancer. "The marijuana was not helping his condition but it was making him feel a lot better" by relieving the pain from chemotherapy, Pollard testified. Pollard testified earlier this year at the trial of co-op officer David Herrick, but was barred from describing his friend's medical need for marijuana. Herrick, a retired San Bernardino County deputy sheriff, lost his bid to use a Prop. 215 defense, and was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Letter to Gray Davis (A letter to the Governor-elect of California from California NORML asks the Democratic victor to support efforts to fulfill the mandate of Proposition 215 to assure "safe and affordable" access to medical marijuana for all patients in need; to consider measures to reduce the number of marijuana prisoners, which increased 1,200 percent during 16 years of Republican misrule with no change in marijuana use rates; and to support decriminalizing cultivation of small amounts of cannabis for personal use, as recommended by the state Research Advisory Panel in 1990.) Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 22:06:58 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Letter to Gray Davis Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Nov. 10, 1998 Gov.-Elect Gray Davis 980 - 9th St. #1800 Sacramento CA 95814 Dear Gov.-Elect Davis: Congratulations on your election! We are glad that Californians have chosen a governor committed to moderate progress, rather than divisive obstructionism. We are also glad that voters in seven states approved nine out of nine drug reform initiatives to legalize medical use of marijuana and eliminate prison sentences for minor drug offenders. We hope you will support efforts to fulfill the mandate of Proposition 215 to assure "safe and affordable" access to medical marijuana for all patients in medical need. The recent closure of medical cannabis dispensaries in Oakland and San Francisco has left thousands of Bay Area medical marijuana patients without safe and reliable sources of medicine. The interests of public health and safety militate for establishing a legal distribution system. Insofar as it is likely to require several years for the federal government to establish a fully legalized distribution system through pharmacies, the best interim solution may be to allow for locally regulated, non-profit medical patients' cooperatives. We hope you will also consider measures to reduce California's excessive number of marijuana prisoners. Sixteen years of Republican misrule have brought a 1,200% increase in the number of marijuana prisoners; despite this, the use of marijuana remains largely unchanged. Taxpayers do not want law enforcement resources wasted locking up pot smokers: last week, Oregonians voted 2 - 1 against recriminalizing marijuana. A problem with California's current marijuana laws is that they treat small-scale home cultivation as a felony. The result is to encourage otherwise law-abiding users to patronize criminal traffickers rather than risk arrest for growing their own at home. This perverse incentive should be eliminated by decriminalizing personal use cultivation, as recommended by the state Research Advisory Panel in 1990. This policy has been successfully applied in Australia, where it has been found to decrease the costs of enforcement without increasing the use of marijuana. We urge you to undertake a careful review of the drug enforcement policies of your predecessors. We believe an impartial analysis will show that they have done more to create crime than reduce it. Sincerely, Dale H. Gieringer, Ph.D. Coordinator cc: Sen. John Vasconcellos Sen. John Burton Assy. Carole Migden Assy. Antonio Villaraigosa *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Justices Let Two Sue Irvine Police (The Orange County Register says the US Supreme Court reinstated the lawsuit by two Orange County men against police in Irvine, California, on the grounds that officers illegally obtained their blood samples after arresting them on suspicion of drunken driving. Attorney Jeffrey Wertheimer, who represents the city of Irvine, said the court's decision would not change police DUI policies.) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 19:31:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Justices Let Two Sue Irvine Police Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: 10 Nov. 1998 Author: Susan Kelleher-OCR JUSTICES LET TWO SUE IRVINE POLICE Law: Supreme Court reinstates case filed by men who say officers illegally took blood samples for DUI tests. The U.S. Supreme Court gave two Orange County men the green light to sue Irvine police on the grounds that officers illegally obtained blood samples from the men after arresting them on suspicion of drunken driving. Mauricio Baez Fernandez and Jeffrey Capler accuse police of forcing them to undergo blood tests to measure alcohol levels, though they requested breath tests instead. The men could not be reached for comment. The court's decision is "a vindication of individual liberty and stands for the proposition that no one is above the law, not even the police," said attorney Barry T. Simons, who filed the federal suit in 1996 and is seeking to have it certified as a class-action suit. The suit, which seeks unspecified damages and a court order banning the alleged abuse of blood tests, says police violated state law and the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. A federal judge dismissed the suit when it was filed, but it was reinstated in May by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The city appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, which denied the appeal Monday. Attorney Jeffrey Wertheimer, who represents the city of Irvine, said the court's decision would not change police DUI policies because officers always read a list of testing options and allow suspects to pick one. When they don't choose, he said, police usually select blood tests. Police followed that policy in the cases brought to the Supreme Court, he said People suspected of drunken driving must allow police to measure their blood-alcohol content.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Vote Secret Pending Dec. 18 Hearing (The Washington Post says US District Judge Richard W. Roberts refused yesterday to order the immediate release of results from last week's vote on a medical marijuana initiative in the District of Columbia in order to take a comprehensive look at the legal issues.) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 20:12:51 -0700 (MST) From: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (email@example.com) To: "Colo. Hemp Init. Project" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: D.C. I-59 Vote to Remain Secret (11/10/98) Washington Post Tuesday, November 10, 1998; Page D03 Web: http://www.washingtonpost.com MARIJUANA VOTE SECRET PENDING DEC. 18 HEARING By Bill Miller Washington Post Staff Writer A federal judge refused yesterday to order the immediate release of results from last week's vote on a medical marijuana initiative in the District, a move that means the outcome will remain a mystery for at least five more weeks. Despite protests from D.C. officials, who said residents have a right to know immediately how they voted, U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts said he wants to take a comprehensive look at the legal issues stemming from an act of Congress that has put the future of Initiative 59 on hold. The ruling was a setback for D.C. officials and leaders of the American Civil Liberties Union, who went to court to challenge a congressional amendment that bars the District from spending money on any initiative that would "legalize or otherwise reduce" penalties for users of marijuana. Initiative 59 would permit seriously ill people to use marijuana for medical purposes. Lawyers for the city and the ACLU wanted a temporary restraining order to learn the results, a first step in a fight to have the election results certified. "I am offended that my own vote cannot be counted, and I am sure that everybody else in this room is offended that their own votes cannot be counted," D.C. Corporation Counsel John M. Ferren said during a hearing before Roberts yesterday. Ferren said 137,523 D.C. residents voted, adding, "Every day we are not having these ballots counted, our rights are violated." Lawyers for the D.C. government and ACLU argued that the congressional action, sponsored by Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.), violates the First Amendment rights of D.C. residents to vote and be heard on an important issue. The judge set a hearing for Dec. 18 so that lawyers for the District, the ACLU and perhaps Congress can prepare briefs and arguments on the issues. Justice Department lawyers said they needed two weeks to decide whether to enter the dispute on behalf of Congress, and they urged Roberts not to order the release of the tally. Because ballots had been printed by the time Congress passed Barr's amendment on Oct. 21, the vote still took place. A computer automatically tallied results, following a preset program, but it didn't output the Initiative 59 count. D.C. officials said doing so would entail a push of a button -- and $1.64 in labor. Voters in five states passed similar initiatives last week. Congress moved to block the measure in only one place -- the District -- acting in its role as the final decision-maker on D.C. budget issues. Ferren said it was "virtually silly" for Congress to act before the election because Congress has veto power over D.C. legislation. The initiative's supporters said they want to know the vote now so they can begin a campaign that would urge Congress to honor the wishes of D.C. residents. (c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company *** WHAT YOU CAN DO: 1) Call the president and your representatives and senators and tell them you are appalled that they have prevented the votes on I-59 from being released. Tell them to pass legislation immediately that will allow the D.C. Board of Elections to spend the $1.64 they estimate it would cost to release the votes for I-59 and allow the BoE to spend whatever money is needed to officially certify the passage of I-59. President Bill Clinton (202) 456-1111 U.S. House of Representatives (202) 225-3121 U.S. Senate (202) 224-3121 Directory of U.S. Senators: http://www.senate.gov/senator/membmail.html http://www.earthlaw.org/Activist/senatadd.htm Directory of U.S. Representatives: http://clerkweb.house.gov/mbrcmtee/mbrcmtee.htm http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/ *** 2) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers about this outrageous attempt at election fraud. Send a copy to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org To find your local papers, see: http://www.newspaperlinks.com/ http://dir.yahoo.com/News_and_Media/Newspapers/ For help with writing letters to the editor, see: http://www.mapinc.com *** 3) Make a donation to help fund the campaign to release and certify I-59. Stand up for your right to vote!!! Yes on 59 Campaign Wayne Turner 409 H Street N.E. - Suite #1 Washington, D.C. 20002-4335 Phone: (202) 547-9404 Fax: (202) 547-9448 *** Initiative 59 Web Page http://www.actupdc.org Background on Congress trying to prohibit this D.C. Election: http://www.levellers.org/dcstat.htm For more information about the struggle for Home Rule in DC, see: http://emporium.turnpike.net/P/ProRev/freedc.htm http://emporium.turnpike.net/P/ProRev/dckill.htm *** Protect the Patients! *** ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! ACT UP! FIGHT BACK! FIGHT AIDS! *** Distributed by: Colorado Citizens for Compassionate Cannabis P.O. Box 729 Nederland, CO 80466 Phone: (303) 448-5640 Email: email@example.com Web: http://www.levellers.org/cannabis.html To get on our mailing list, send an email with the word SUBSCRIBE in the title.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Courts Reduce Crime And Save Money, Study Says (An Associated Press article in The Seattle Times says the Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy, a bipartisan group of health experts, released findings today from a study on so-called drug courts purporting to show that programs allowing nonviolent offenders to undergo treatment rather than serve time - programs that coerce nonviolent "drug abusers" into rehabilitation instead of prison - help them "kick the habit" while saving taxpayers' money.) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 19:31:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Drug Courts Reduce Crime And Save Money, Study Says Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Tuesday, 10 November, 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Author: Kalpana Srinivasan, The Associated Press DRUG COURTS REDUCE CRIME AND SAVE MONEY, STUDY SAYS WASHINGTON - Programs that force nonviolent drug abusers into rehabilitation instead of prison help them kick the habit while saving taxpayers' money, a bipartisan group of health experts said today. The Physician Leadership on National Drug Policy released findings from a study on so-called drug courts - programs allowing nonviolent offenders to undergo treatment rather than serve time - that shows reduced drug abuse and re-arrest rates among enrolled defendants. Coerced rehabilitation offers a much-needed alternative to punishment alone, concluded the group of prominent physicians and public-health leaders from the Clinton, Bush and Reagan administrations. The research comes as the White House's drug-policy office seeks to triple the number of drug courts, which now total about 300 nationwide, by 2000. With $30 million set aside for drug-court grants in 1998, the Office of National Drug Control Policy believes it can cut the prison population by a quarter of a million in the next five years through continued expansion of the program. "The data is persuasive," said Dr. David Lewis, director of the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University and project director for the physicians' group. "You can get a lot out of treatment, and it's quite cost-effective." Based on the discretion of law-enforcement officials or judges, offenders who commit nonviolent crimes are eligible for hearings at a designated drug court rather than a regular court. A drug-court judge then orders the defendant to enter a rehabilitation program, and the court monitors for compliance through routine drug testing. Defendants who fail a drug test or to show up for treatment can end up serving real time. The study, conducted by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, was one of five reports released today on rehabilitation and the criminal-justice system. The study found that drug courts succeeded in reducing drug use among those in the program. One survey found 10 percent of urine tests for those enrolled in drug courts turned up positive, compared with 31 percent for defendants just under supervised probation. The study also found criminal behavior substantially lower during treatment: Only 4 percent of participants in the Delaware drug-court program were re-arrested. The first drug court began operating in Dade County, Fla., in 1989, where an early champion was then-chief prosecutor Janet Reno. Her vocal support as attorney general and the 1994 Violent Crime Act, which calls for federal support for drug courts, has aided the program's growth. Scientists and some policy-makers also believe rehabilitation will alleviate overcrowding in prisons. James McDonough, chief strategist at the national drug-control office, says the goal is to break "the cycle of addiction, crime, prison," while reducing costs. Incarcerating an offender costs about $25,000 a year, while treatment costs less than $3,000. The drug-court approach could be a hard sell to a "get tough on crime" public and to congressional Republicans who have pushed for spending on drug enforcement rather than on treatment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Good News? / Drug Courts (One list subscriber is reticent about criticizing drug courts. Another says they are a desperate measure to save prohibition, and a self-evident pointer to the fact that drug "crimes" are not crimes at all.) Date: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 21:53:21 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Mike Gogulski (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Good News? / Drug Courts Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Lee Neidow wrote: >I try to avoid telling anyone what to think. If anyone feels that >drug courts and rehab efforts are a bad idea, then they should >enthusiasticly support efforts to build more prisons, because that's >the only alternative. And they oughta buy blocks of stock in the private >prison industry, the fastest growing enterprise in the country. Though I agree that drug court is preferable to criminal court, I disagree with the thrust of this. Drug courts seem to be to have been developed as a desperate measure to save prohibition. The criminal courts are clearly clogged with drug cases, and the prisons are overcrowded. The justice system had to adapt to this huge influx of cases, and so created drug courts. In a larger sense, drug courts are a self-evident pointer to the fact that drug "crimes" are not crimes at all, and shouldn't be tried in criminal courts. Peace, Mike
------------------------------------------------------------------- US nabs cocaine-laden Colombian air force plane (According to Reuters, Colombian President Andres Pastrana accepted the resignation of Air Force chief Gen. Manuel Sandoval late Tuesday after a Colombian air force plane was seized at a Florida airport with more than 1,600 pounds of cocaine.) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 09:35:22 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: US Nabs Columbian Air Force Aircraft w/coke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org 06:51 PM ET 11/10/98 U.S. nabs cocaine-laden Colombian air force plane (Recasts with air force chief's resignation) By Tom Brown BOGOTA, (Reuters) - A Colombian air force plane was seized at a Florida airport with more than 1,600 pounds of cocaine, forcing a top-ranking officer to resign in disgrace Tuesday over an incident that reinforced Colombia's drug-tainted image abroad. Government officials said President Andres Pastrana accepted the resignation of Air Force chief Gen. Manuel Sandoval late Tuesday after summoning him to the presidential palace to discuss the incident, the second involving drug-smuggling and the air force since 1996. ``This has hurt our image, and not just the image of the air force,'' a grim-faced Sandoval told reporters before entering the meeting. U.S. Customs officials and drug agents discovered the cocaine on Monday in the cargo bay of a Colombian Air Force C-130 ``Hercules'' transport plane, after it landed at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport outside Miami. A customs spokesman said a total of 1,639 pounds of cocaine, with a wholesale value in the United States of $12.7 million, were seized. Sandoval said the plane had been searched by drug-sniffing dogs before it took off from Bogota's Catam military air base. The general had told a news conference early Tuesday that as air force commander he assumed all responsibility and was willing to leave the post to which he was promoted last August, two days after President Andres Pastrana was sworn into office. ``I answer for all my men ... In this case, as commander, I must take responsibility,'' Sandoval said. Spokesmen for the armed forces said Sandoval would be replaced, effective Wednesday, by deputy Air Force chief Gen. Hector Fabio Velasco. In Miami, the U.S. Customs Service said inspectors examined three pallets of cargo and five empty pallets on board the aircraft, which was carrying a crew of six and a family of five as passengers. ``Inspectors noticed that some of the large metal aircraft pallets had unusual rivets and smelled of fresh glue,'' it said. A sniffer dog was brought in and alerted them to the presence of drugs. Customs inspectors drilled into the pallets and discovered a white powder which field tested positive for cocaine. The inspectors then dismantled the pallets and discovered the cocaine. Sandoval said the plane's crew, headed by two lieutenant colonels, had been detained for questioning about the drug shipment. But U.S. Customs said later the crew and passengers were released and that no arrests were made. In Washington, where Pastrana paid a state visit late last month, State Department spokesman James Rubin sought to play down the embarrassment to Colombia and said the aircraft's crew members were cooperating fully with U.S. investigators. ``This incident need have no effect whatsoever on our views of President Pastrana's determination to work with us to fight the export of drugs from Colombia,'' Rubin said. Colombia is the source of about 80 percent of the world's cocaine and is an increasingly important supplier of the heroin sold on U.S. streets. Just last week, three junior Colombian air force officers were sentenced to 7-1/2-year prison terms for conspiring to smuggle nearly nine pounds of heroin to the United States aboard Colombia's presidential jet. The heroin was discovered in the nose section of the jet on Sept. 20, 1996, shortly before it was due to fly then-President Ernesto Samper to a U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. The judge who handed down last week's sentence said there was evidence of involvement by senior air force personnel in the drug trade, and referred in his ruling to the existence of a so-called ``blue drug cartel'' -- a reference to the color of Colombian air force uniforms. Sandoval denied any large-scale military involvement in the drug trade, saying it was unfair to blame an entire institution for a few bad elements. But he conceded, based on Monday's evidence, that ``a small number of people are committing crimes inside the air force.'' Armed Forces chief Gen. Fernando Tapias, who was widely believed to have ordered Sandoval's removal, said the drug incident filled the entire military with a sense of ``disbelief, indignation and moral suffering.'' ``All corrupt elements will be extracted and kicked out of the armed forces,'' Tapias said, vowing to crack down on trafficking and any other illicit activity in the ranks of Colombia's military. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Colombia Air Force Chief Resigns Over Drug Flap (A different Reuters version) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 11:11:47 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Colombia: WIRE: Colombia Air Force Chief Resigns Over Drug Flap Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Patrick Henry (email@example.com) Pubdate: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited COLOMBIA AIR FORCE CHIEF RESIGNS OVER DRUG FLAP BOGOTA - Colombia's Air Force chief resigned in disgrace Tuesday after saying he felt personally responsible for the embarrassment caused by a huge cocaine shipment found aboard an air force plane seized at a Florida airport, authorities said. Spokesmen for President Andres Pastrana said he accepted the resignation of Gen. Manuel Sandoval, shortly after summoning him to the presidential palace to discuss the international incident involving about 1,400 pounds (640 kg) of cocaine. U.S. Customs officials and drug agents discovered the cocaine Monday in the cargo bay of a Colombian Air Force C-130 ''Hercules'' transport plane, after it landed at the Fort Lauderdale International Airport outside Miami. A grim-faced Sandoval had told a news conference early Tuesday that as air force commander he assumed all responsibility and had offered to step down from the post to which he was promoted last August, two days after Pastrana was sworn into office. "This has hurt our image, and not just the image of the air force,'' he said. "I answer for all my men... In this case, as commander, I must take responsibility,'' Sandoval said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Customs Agents Find Cocaine On Colombian Air Force Plane (The CNN version) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 20:05:21 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Customs Agents Find Cocaine On Colombian Air Force Plane Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: CNN (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.cnn.com/ Copyright: 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company Pubdate: 10 Nov 1998 CUSTOMS AGENTS FIND COCAINE ON COLOMBIAN AIR FORCE PLANE FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- U.S. Customs Service agents held a Colombian Air Force cargo plane in Florida Tuesday, while investigators tried to determine why 1,639 pounds of cocaine was hidden on board. Customs agents were conducting a routine search of the plane Monday when they noticed unusual rivets and the smell of fresh glue on several metal cargo pallets on the C-130 transport. That prompted them to bring drug-sniffing dogs on board. Based on the dogs' reactions, the agents drilled holes in four pallets and found the cocaine inside. Customs officials estimate that if drug dealers sold the 1,639 pounds wholesale in south Florida, it could have brought $12.7 million. The six crew members and a family of five on board were questioned and released Tuesday. No direct evidence could be found connecting them with the drugs. No one has been arrested. The passengers and crew were cooperating with the investigation, according to the State Department. U.S. Customs Commissioner Raymond Kelly called the incident "disturbing" but said his agency is getting cooperation from the Colombian government. U.S. State Department Spokesman James Rubin said Tuesday, "The Colombian government has been notified and has been fully cooperating with this investigation from the start. ... This incident need have no effect whatsoever on our views of President (Andres) Pastrana's determination to work with us to fight the importation -- export of drugs from Colombia." General offers resignation Colombia's Air Force Chief Gen. Manuel Sandoval offered his resignation over the incident, but he denied the Air Force was systematically involved in drug trafficking. "In this case, as commander, I assume the responsibility," he said. "I have submitted my resignation to the president of the republic." Three junior Air Force officers were sentenced last week in Colombia to prison terms for a 1996 incident in which 4 kilograms of heroin was found aboard Colombia's presidential jet shortly before it was to fly former President Ernesto Samper to New York for a meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. The judge who handed down the sentence said there was evidence of involvement by senior Air Force officers in drug trafficking and referred to the existence of a "blue cartel," a reference to the color of Colombian Air Force uniforms. Colombia is the world's leading cocaine producer and an increasingly important supplier of the heroin sold on U.S. streets. The United States is the world's largest market for illicit drugs. The cargo plane makes several trips to Fort Lauderdale each month from Colombia to pick up supplies and has been searched before, Customs officials said. This is the first time drugs have been found. A State Department official said the flight was carrying equipment for repair in the United States, including an aircraft engine and three small crates with aircraft parts. Reuters contributed to this report.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Politics Of Prescribed Prohibition (An excellent op-ed in The Canberra Times, in Australia, notes the scientific and scholarly evidence we have about drugs and drug use are routinely overlooked in favour of policies based on ideas that are the intellectual and academic equivalent of a belief in witchcraft. The overwhelming bulk of scientific and scholarly evidence suggests that prohibition has greatly exacerbated the problems associated with drugs, drug use and drug users. Even so there are still those who try to argue that reliance on prohibition has prevented an explosion in availability and usage, and that any change in policy would send out the wrong message. There is no evidence to support this. Indeed, what evidence there is suggests the exact opposite.) Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 19:30:59 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Australia: OPED: The Politics Of Prescribed Prohibition Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Ken Russell) Pubdate: Tue, 10 Nov 1998 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Page: 7-8 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Michael Booth (email@example.com) THE POLITICS OF PRESCRIBED PROHIBITION The evidence about drug use is often overlooked when it comes to making decisions about drug control, as MICHAEL BOOTH reports. GOOD politics, it is often said, is about good policy, and, good policy often depends upon our scientific knowledge of the relevant issues. One area where this adage definitely does not apply is drug policy. Here, unfortunately, the scientific and scholarly evidence we have about drugs and drug use are routinely overlooked in favour of policies based on ideas that are the intellectual and academic equivalent of a belief in witchcraft. It is difficult for many people to understand why another human might smoke tobacco, drink alcohol, or inject substances to the point where their wealth, health, or indeed their life itself is placed at risk. Regardless of what motivates people to use drugs, however, we do in fact know a surprising amount about the people who use different drugs, the drugs they use, and the ways they use them. The evidence tells us that the overwhelming majority of humans are drug users of one sort of another. Almost everybody consumes some sort of mood-altering drug, whether it is chocolate, tea or coffee, alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, opiates, stimulants, hallucinogens or a substance prescribed for them by a medical practitioner. The true deviants (statistically speaking), are those who never consume any mood-altering substance at all. Indeed, there has probably never been a human culture without some form of intoxicating substance available to its inhabitants. The same evidence also tells us that for the overwhelming majority of people, their drug use, whether illegal or legal, medical or non-medical, will remain a relatively harmless activity with few or no adverse consequences. Indeed, for many people drug use will be something from which they derive considerable benefits, both real and perceived. We also know that drug use is largely an activity for young people. The years of experimentation and exploration are largely restricted to the teenage years and the early 20s. If people get to their mid-20s without trying a drug then they will most likely go through the rest of their lives without ever trying it. Of people who do try a particular drug, only a minority will go on to become regular users, and an even smaller proportion, will develop any kind of dependence on a drug. Even dependent users retain the capacity to control and modify their drug taking in response to a variety of factors, the most powerful one of which appears to be age. By the time most dependent drug users reach their mid 30s they will modify and reduce their drug use of their own accord, and the rate at which they do this appears to be largely independent of the external conditions in which they are living. Opiate dependent people appear to give up the drug at approximately the same rate whether they are in a rehabilitation program, in prison, or left to their own devices with a regular and assured supply. The proportion of ex-smokers in a population increases as the population ages. As some authorities have put it, there appear to be natural levels of drug-use among people that are largely independent of the legal, economic, political and cultural conditions that have determined how and where drugs are grown, marketed and distributed. This is not to argue that these factors are unimportant - merely that there are probably natural limits below which is almost certainly impossible to reduce drug use, regardless of the persuasive or coercive efforts on the part of the state. The evidence also tells us about the various attempts by governments and states to control and restrict drug use. As late as 1900, all the drugs that we are now called to have zero-tolerance for were perfectly legal. Attempts to restrict and control drugs were motivated by baser political motives. Historical studies have dispelled the myth that some drugs were banned because of the damage caused by them. Rather the ban on some drugs emerged as the bastard child of social reform, the temperance movement, religious fundamentalism, out and out racism and the real politik of international diplomacy in the age of Empires. The early treaties aimed at curbing the opium trade, for instance, were motivated by as much by international pressure to curb the influence of the British in Asia as they were by the domestic need to exclude the cultural group most associated with opium - the Chinese. The bans on cannabis were first implemented in American states where large Hispanic populations lived and worked. The laws against cocaine can be traced in large part to fears of African-Americans in the southern states of America. Under the international auspices of the United States in particular, the world has become locked into an approach to drugs that is dominated by prohibition. This has been particularly evident in the years since the World War II, when America's undisputed superpower status enabled it to impose its prohibitionist domestic policies on the rest of the world as well. As a result of US influence, the world is now confronted by a towering wall of prohibition that is, to all intents and purposes, unassailable. We know that the availability and cost of illicit drugs do not appear to have been restricted by the world-wide legal prohibitions on manufacture, distribution, and consumption. On the contrary, all the available evidence about illicit drugs informs us that weaker and dilute forms of drug have been replaced by ever concentrated varieties - opium by heroin, cocoa by cocaine and then crack, marijuana leaf by seedless buds. This is not new. During the prohibition of alcohol in America in the 1920s and 1980s, distilled spirits replaced beer and wine. At the same time as the potency of illicit drugs has increased, real prices have fallen, and ever increasing quantities are being produced and distributed. And this while ever increasing resources have been committed to enforcing the prohibition. The record of 80 or so years of prohibition as the major tool for governments to control and regulate drug use has been an abject failure. The overwhelming bulk of scientific and scholarly evidence suggests that prohibition has greatly exacerbated the problems associated with drugs, drug use and drug users. Even so there are still those who try to argue that reliance on prohibition has prevented an explosion in availability and usage, and that any change in policy would send out the wrong message. There is no evidence to support this. Indeed, what evidence there is suggests the exact opposite. The Dutch experience shows that possession and small-scale trafficking of cannabis can be effectively ignored. Indeed it can be tolerated, permitted, and taxed without society failing apart in a cloud of marijuana smoke. The Dutch have lower levels of cannabis use among their citizens than countries where the ban on possession and small-scale trafficking is much more heavily enforced. Those people who think about drug policies must deal with one basic question: Do they agree that the overwhelming bulk of scientific and scholarly evidence suggests that our current approach to drugs is unscientific and inadequate? There are only two possible answers to this question. One is that they do agree with the scientific and scholarly evidence, in which case they should withdraw their opposition to any change in policy. The other is that they really believe that the scientific and scholarly evidence does not matter. Just why drug policy should be exempt from the normal criteria of evidence and best practice is seldom addressed by people in favour of the status quo and policies based on prohibition, but the fact is that every other area of contemporary life - the economy, agriculture, law, medicine relies on scientific and scholarly evidence. It is time that drug policy was similarly reliant. Michael Booth is an associate lecturer in the Faculty of Communication at the University of Canborra. He has worked for the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, Australia, the Drug Referral and Information Centre, and served on the Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations. He is currently attempting to become an ex-user of tobacco. firstname.lastname@example.org -------------------------------------------------------------------
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