------------------------------------------------------------------- "Cannabis Conversations" at Reed College (A bulletin from Portland NORML publicizes a public seminar on medical marijuana 7 pm Friday, Dec. 4, in Portland. Speakers include Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya of Berkeley, the author of "Marijuana: Medical Papers (1839-1972)" who was formerly in charge of marijuana research for the federal government; and Dr. Rick Bayer, the chief petitioner for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.) Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 17:23:34 -0800 (PST) From: Terry Miller (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Cannabis Conversations at Reed The Portland Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws announces the first in a series of lectures with Dr. Tod Mikuriya, past director of the National Institute Of Mental Health as the featured speaker. Speakers begin at 7:00 pm at Vollum Lecture Hall at Reed College on December 4. Suggested donation is $3. In addition, Dr. Mikuriya will be joined by 67 chief petitioner Dr. Rick Bayer, patients Tony Leger and Craig Helm, attorney Leland Berger for a panel discussion question and answer. With the recent total victories for medical marijuana, PDX NORML has begun this series of talks to inform and educate the public about marijuana and current drug policy. Our goal is to further examine current policy and act accordingly. Each "Conversation" will be at the different colleges around Portland and each will examine differing aspects of marijuana in our lives. At Reed College a student organization is the campus co-sponsor of this event. For more information contact us at 503-777-9088, email@example.com or visit our award winning web page at http://www.pdxnorml.org. TD Miller Director PDX NORML
------------------------------------------------------------------- Internal police report says police gave man CPR (According to The Associated Press, Portland police say they gave CPR to Richard "Dickie" Dow after beating him senseless. But witnesses say they're lying.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Internal police report says police gave man CPR The Associated Press 11/13/98 3:39 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A mentally ill man was given CPR when he collapsed and stopped breathing during an arrest, according to an internal police report. But the family of Richard "Dickie" Dow disputes the four-page report summarizing the findings of a Portland Police Bureau internal investigation into Dow's death Oct. 20. The police account conflicts with statements witnesses made after Dow's death but states that two neighbors changed their stories from the initial statements they gave police the night of the incident. Dow, 37, a paranoid schizophrenic, collapsed on Oct. 19 as officers tried to restrain him after he allegedly assaulted a school police officer responding to a call of a fight. Dow died the next morning at Legacy Emanuel Hospital. Police said Thursday they initially did not dispute witness statements that officers failed to conduct cardiopulmonary resuscitation because they did not want to interfere with the investigation. "They were scrupulously loyal to this investigation and didn't even broach the allegations that were flying around," said Detective Sgt. Derek Anderson, a police spokesman. "Now that the investigation is complete, the facts are what we hope people will hang their hats on." A Multnomah County grand jury is hearing testimony on the investigation. Once the grand jury completes its work, police will release the full investigative report. The report also will go to federal officials, who will determine whether any civil rights violations occurred. An independent inquiry into Dow's death also continues at the request of his family. Dow's mother, Barbara Vickers, who testified before the grand jury, said Thursday that she does not accept the police account. "They're going to say what they want to say, and everybody else is a liar," she said. Dr. Larry Lewman, the state medical examiner, ruled that Dow died of "positional asphyxia," which he said usually occurs during forcible restraint involving an agitated person with a mental illness or who has used an excessive amount of stimulant drugs. No stimulant drugs were found in Dow's system. According to the police investigation, Officers were at Dow's side when he stopped breathing at 10:18 p.m. They checked for a pulse, cleared his airway, performed chest compressions and eventually mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with a protective face mask, the report says. An ambulance arrived 3 minutes and 8 seconds after it was called, and paramedics were able to revive Dow, the report says. Deborah Howes, a neighborhood resident, told reporters that she saw officers surrounding Dow when he stopped breathing, but they refused her offer to do CPR on Dow. The report said Howes told officers the night of the struggle that she had gone back to her house while police waited for an ambulance. "This then would preclude her from having seen any CPR efforts on the part of Officers Rebman and Pahlke," the report said. Howes said Thursday that she returned to her house only briefly and saw a protective mask over Dow's mouth but no one performing CPR. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon could gain $2 billion from national settlement (The Associated Press says Oregon stands to gain as much as $2 billion over 25 years under a new national tobacco settlement, some of which could be used to shore up the Oregon Health Plan, the state's low-income health-insurance program.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Oregon could gain $2 billion from national settlement The Associated Press 11/13/98 5:06 PM By BRAD CAIN Associated Press Writer SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon stands to gain as much as $2 billion over 25 years under a new national tobacco settlement, some of which could be used to shore up the Oregon health plan, officials said Friday. Details of the settlement being negotiated by eight state attorneys general and the nation's big cigarette makers aren't expected to be released until early next week. But Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers, stopping short of formally endorsing the plan, said it contains a large amount of money and could end the uncertainty over the states' lawsuits against tobacco companies. "I think the agreement may represent a good thing for Oregon and the other states," Myers said at a news conference. To be eligible for the money, Oregon and other states would have to drop their lawsuits alleging the cigarette makers knowingly sold an unsafe product and marketed it to young people. In Oregon's case, the settlement could generate as much as $80 million a year for 25 years. Bob Applegate, spokesman for Gov. John Kitzhaber, said if the settlement money became available early enough, his boss would ask the 1999 Legislature to earmark some of it to help pay for the Oregon health plan. The health plan, which has been used to extend insurance to 130,000 previously uninsured, low-income people, has been experiencing rising costs, prompting some Republican lawmakers to urge that it be scaled back. Applegate said while the Legislature ultimately would decide how to use the settlement money, the governor hopes that at least some of would be put toward the health plan. "The principal is that this tobacco settlement money would come to us as a result of the bad health effects of tobacco use," he said. "The money should be used to improve the health of Oregonians." The Oregon Health Division has estimated that smoking costs Oregon about $1 billion in health benefits and lost wages yearly. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Southern California news briefs (According to The Associated Press, Los Angeles prohibition agents seized 54 marijuana plants Tuesday night and arrested Josh Bempechat, who said police refused to look at a note from his doctor showing he needs marijuana for medicinal purposes.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: CA Police have seized 54 marijuana plants Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 21:16:40 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Southern California news briefs By The Associated Press LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Police have seized 54 marijuana plants and arrested a man who claims he needs the drug for medical reasons. Josh Bempechat, 29, was arrested Tuesday night. He was released on a $15,000 bond and was scheduled to be arraigned Dec. 2. Bempechat said police refused to look at a note from his doctor showing that he needs marijuana for medicinal purposes, a practice legalized under Proposition 215, approved by voters in 1996. Detective Ed Auerbach said officers confiscated the plants Thursday from the apartment Bempechat shares with Ginger Greco, 28. Greco, who was not arrested, said she has cervical cancer and that Bempechat has asthma, frequent headaches and back pain. Proposition 215 allows people to grow enough marijuana for personal use, the detective said. "This went far beyond that. A person can't be growing a lot of plants and use that as an excuse," Auerbach said. "You don't need to have two rooms full of marijuana plants." But Greco said each plant yields about a quarter of an ounce marijuana but she needs an ounce a day. *** SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Eight alleged gang members believed responsible for producing up to a $1 million worth of methamphetamine a week have been arrested. "It's a very notorious gang involved in shootings and assaults," said Police Chief Paul Walters. "This stops the gang totally." Raids late Wednesday and early Thursday at eight homes in Santa Ana and Anaheim led to the arrests. Five suspects remain at large. Several handguns and a small quantity of drugs were confiscated, but no drug labs were found, Walters said. Those arrested included Jose Ponce "Lobster" Castellon, 36, of Santa Ana, whom police say is the gang's leader. He was charged Thursday in U.S. District Court with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cast Of Characters In The Chavez Trial (Alan W. Bock, the senior editorial writer for The Orange County Register, shares his impressions of the judge, defendant, prosecutor and defense attorneys at the trial of Marvin Chavez, the medical marijuana patient and founder of the the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 12:04:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Cast Of Characters In The Chavez Trial 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: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Author: Alan W. Bock-Mr. Bock is the Register's senior editorial writer. CAST OF CHARACTERS IN THE CHAVEZ TRIAL Marvin Chavez is a small man who almost always wears a chest brace because of a rare spinal disorder.He found that marijuana offered him pain relief without the side effects of prescription drugs.He became a campaigner for Proposition 215. The Marvin Chavez trial in West Orange County Court in Westminster, features an interesting cast of characters assembled in a proceeding that could have a profound impact on how Proposition 215 (now Section 11362.5 of the California Healthy and Safety Code) will be implemented. Section 11362.5 specifically provides a defense against California laws against the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for patients with a recommendation from a licensed physician and for their "primary caregivers." However, California still has laws against the sale, transportation, importing and furnishing of marijuana. While appellate court decisions have suggested that some leeway in these areas might be appropriate since a "right" that can't be exercised would be an absurdity, they have so far declined to specify just how much leeway if any. Marvin Chavez, the defendant, is a small man who almost always wears a chest brace because of a rare spinal disorder that was aggravated by an injury several years ago. It took doctors several years to figure out that he was still having severe back pain long after his injury should have healed because he has ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's disease. They prescribed a wide range of pain medications which, according to Marvin, left him severely depressed and almost a recluse. "I hardly ever left my room for almost two years," he told me. Finally, having heard something about purported therapeutic effects, he tried marijuana and found that it offered him pain relief without the disturbing side effects of the prescription drugs. He became a campaigner for Prop. 215 and after it passed he took steps to organize an Orange County Cannabis Co-Op, later renamed the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group. With Dr. Del Dalton, a pain-management specialist in Laguna Niguel as an informal medical adviser, along with Anna Boyce, the registered nurse who was instrumental in getting 215 passed, he (and others) put together a program of educational activities, meetings among patients and distribution of marijuana to patients with a doctor's recommendation. But the cooperation he had hoped for from public and law-enforcement officials was not forthcoming. He was arrested for selling marijuana. Despite occasional flashes of bitterness ("We're disabled people, and mostly poor people, just trying to get a reliable supply of our medication. Why are they going to so much trouble to make a hard life even harder?") Marvin is mostly cheerful and optimistic. He knows he might have to go to jail and it will be hard to get his preferred medication there, but he's prepared for the possibility. Judge Thomas J. Borris, 45, has been presiding judge in the West Orange County Judicial District since 1993. A Republican, he was appointed by Pete Wilson. A Kansas City native who went to high school in Buena Park (where he played football), he was graduated in 1976 from the Claremont Colleges with a political science degree and received his law degree in 1979 from Loyola Law School. He was a deputy district attorney in Orange County from 1980 to 1990 and in private practice from 1990 to 1993. According to his short biography in the 1998 edition of "California Courts and Judges," a standard reference work published by James Publishing, Inc., Judge Borris was named "Judge of the Year" in 1995 and "District Attorney of the Year" in 1984 by the Orange County Narcotics Officers Association. That is an interesting distinction to have earned, given his current case. My observation, based on sitting in his courtroom for several days, is that he is the fairest and most thorough judge to have had this case so far. He listens, he has a sense of humor (when denying a motion from an attorney he's prone to say "that's not gonna happen") and while he keeps things moving along he also takes the time to consider issues and make sure both sides have their say. He has ruled against the defense on most of the issues germane to the case, but he has allowed the defense to build a foundation for an entrapment defense on some of the charges. He loves sports analogies. Carl Armbrust, the deputy district attorney prosecuting this case, is almost a caricature of what you would expect an anti-marijuana crusader to be. Tall, balding, gaunt, this former career Air Force officer projects a stern demeanor at first. But he is also approachable, pleasant and reasonable to talk with even when he disagrees with you. He has a wry sense of humor. He's fond of exaggerated pronunciation; he enunciates "may-ri-wanna." I think he's doing a terrible thing in pursuing this case rather than dropping it, but heaven help me, I like him. It is not surprising to learn that defense attorney James Silva, with his short, dark hair and intense demeanor, grew up in New York, where he graduated from Pace University in Pleasantville. He got his law degree from Pepperdine in December 1994, took the Bar in February 1995 and passed it the first time. Since then he has had a solo practice in Venice and has handled several medical marijuana cases. He has represented Steve McWilliams in San Diego (whose criminal case is scheduled in December), Andrea Nagy in Ventura County (whose civil case closing her growing plot is on appeal) and has been a co-counsel for the Oakland and San Francisco cannabis clubs. Silva, who much prefers his BMW motorcycle to any car, is the earnest explainer to the jury, pleading with them to understand how sincere Marvin Chavez's efforts have been. J. David Nick is the polite but persistent and unrelenting cross-examiner, especially skilled at finding holes in the stories policemen tell on the stand. Born in Miami, he has lived in San Francisco for 17 years and got his law degree from the University of San Francisco in 1990. Since then he has been a solo practitioner criminal defense attorney, with a special interest in constitutional issues. Nick handled his first case involving medical marijuana in 1992 and got several acquittals on "medical necessity" grounds before Prop. 215 was passed. He was one of the lawyers for "Brownie Mary," the 70-year-old woman who used to bring marijuana-laced brownies to AIDS patients in San Francisco hospitals and has an appeals case pending before the 9th Circuit on the constitutionality of drug-sniffing dogs in schools. Much of what happens in court is routine and boring, but there are usually moments of drama or turning points. With this cast of characters and the issues involved, this case has had and should have more of these than usual.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Prop. 215 Defense (The Orange County Register summarizes Thursday's proceedings in the trial of Marvin Chavez.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 12:22:02 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: MMJ: Editorial: No Prop. 215 Defense 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: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 EDITORIAL: NO PROP. 215 DEFENSE Marvin Chavez's trial on charges of marijuana sales continued Thursday in West Orange County Court in Westminster. The first business was the conclusion of a preliminary evidentiary hearing involving Shirley Reaves of Chico, to whom Mr. Chavez allegedly sent marijuana through the mail. Judge Thomas Borris then announced that a "Prop. 215" defense - an instruction to the jury that the circumstances warrant a defense because of their medical and/or caregiver nature - would not be allowed on any charges, including those involving Shirley Reaves. He did allow the defense to lay a foundation, however, to claim illegal entrapment by investigators in four of the 10 charges. The cross-examination by defense attorney David Nick of undercover investigator Joseph Moreno, who posed as a man with chronic back pain to induce Mr. Chavez to furnish marijuana to him, concluded with certain interesting admissions. Mr. Nick reinforced the fact that Mr. Moreno at first said he didn't think he had any written notes of his conversations with Mr. Chavez, but such notes did indeed exist. Mr. Moreno had said that the plan at the outset of the investigation was to tape record all conversations with suspects, but it turned out some conversations had not been tape recorded. Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust then played the tape of a phone conversation between Mr. Moreno and Mr. Chavez, in which Mr. Moreno said he was "bedded down" with pain and wanted to send his "cousin" (another undercover officer) to get some "medication." The next witness was Gregory Hoffer, who testified that he did have a valid recommendation from a licensed physician for marijuana for pain due to chronic back troubles, pain, and that he asked Mr. Chavez to furnish him marijuana. He said Mr. Chavez met him and agreed to do so after he showed his physician's letter, his drivers license and filled out some forms. The prosecution emphasized that money as well as marijuana changed hands in that meeting. The defense emphasized that the money was viewed by both parties as a donation to the co-op Mr. Chavez had founded. After the jury was out of the courtroom, defense attorney Nick reminded Judge Borris that the court had the option of dismissing the charges "in the interests of justice" and urged Judge Borris to do so. Judge Borris declined the invitation. The afternoon was taken up mostly with questions about Jack Shachter, slated to be the defense's main witness. Mr. Shachter is facing, in a separate action, marijuana-selling charges due to be considered in December, and his attorney, public defender Claudia Gaona, has advised him not to take the stand in the Chavez case. Mr. Shachter still wants to testify. So the defense has offered to prepare the questions it intends to ask, present them to Ms. Gaona, and let her give Mr. Shachter more informed advice on Monday - when the trial resumes. We'll be there. This case has the potential to be instrumental in developing guidelines for the implementation of Prop. 215. It will be fascinating to see how the jury responds to the complex information it has received, some of which it may well be told to disregard in its deliberations.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Young Voters Rule (Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page suggests in The San Jose Mercury News that Jesse Ventura's upset victory in the Minnesota governor's race heralds the rise of an alternative party that appeals to young people. Minnesota had the highest voter turnout of any state in this off-year election, largely because of Ventura, who opposes current drug policy and favors industrial hemp.) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 12:04:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: OPED: Young Voters Rule Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: CLARENCE PAGE, Chicago Tribune YOUNG VOTERS RULE Ventura's win crushes the myth of generational apathy ON the day after the recent elections I put a riddle to Michele Mitchell, author of a fascinating new book on the political views of Generation X. ``What,'' I asked, ``do you get when young voters show up at the polls?'' She demonstrated her expertise by giving the correct answer: ``Jesse `The Body' Ventura.'' Watching the election returns in her Brooklyn apartment, Mitchell, 28, was delighted with the former professional wrestler's upset victory in the Minnesota governor's race. She had been predicting that young people would fuel the rise of an alternative party. But she had expected it to come in 2000 or later, not this soon. Nor, like most of us, had she expected it to come on the shoulders of a bald former professional wrestler running under the banner of Ross Perot's Reform Party. A former press secretary to former Rep. Pete Geren, D-Texas, from 1993 to 1996 and later the youngest writer the New York Times editorial board ever had, Mitchell has written ``A New Kind of Party Animal: How the Young are Tearing Up the American Political Landscape'' (Simon & Schuster, $23). In it she argues that people born between 1961 and 1981 are not the politically apathetic slackers us geezers tend to think they are. For example, in 1992, when the Clinton-Gore campaign actively sought their vote, 42 percent voted in national elections, the second highest number of young voters since 1972. In 1996, when all age groups had a low turnout, young voters still had a 21 percent turnout, only 2 percentage points lower than senior citizens, Mitchell says. While seniors are heavily courted by both parties, young voters are the jilted lovers. These young voters are presumed to be apathetic and, therefore, pretty much ignored until politicians need them. Quite the contrary, Mitchell finds the young voting generation to be largely independent, less committed than their elders to parties or doctrines and more eager to see the rise of an alternative party. Her findings have been supported by a variety of independent studies and surveys, including exit polls of the Minnesota governor's race. Minnesota had the highest voter turnout of any state in this off-year election, largely because of Ventura. Exit polls showed most of his vote came from voters under age 40. Twelve percent of those who voted in the state said they would not have voted had there been no alternative to the Republican and Democratic candidates on the ballot. Almost all of that vote went to Ventura, who drew equally from women and men to win with 37 percent of the vote in the three-way race. Mitchell's book argues that young people are largely interested, active and involved, but mostly in local matters, not the great global issues that pass daily across the radar screen of major media. Ventura's voters said they appreciated his ``straight talk,'' which is largely libertarian, in an age when too many politicians won't say a word unless it has been thoroughly vetted by polls, focus groups and highly paid consultants. With that in mind, I was disappointed to hear Ventura say he would not be a candidate for president in 2000. For now, he is putting a choke hold only on our preconceived notions about the appetites of voters, especially the new generation of voters. If Republican and Democratic leaders don't want to go the way of the Whigs, they had better start paying more attention to young voters. They do get older every day.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Maryland Orders Drug Tests For Addicts On Parole - 25,000 to Face Biweekly Checks, Escalating Penalties (The Washington Post says Maryland has begun ordering every drug addict released on parole or probation to report for urine tests twice a week in an ambitious attempt to force about 25,000 criminals statewide to undergo drug treatment and kick their habits, or face a series of quick, escalating punishments. More than a million tests annually might be required, compared with the 40,000 tests the state administered last year.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Md. Orders Drug Tests For Addicts On Parole Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 21:15:35 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Online: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/WPlate/1998-11/13/124l-111398-idx.html Md. Orders Drug Tests For Addicts On Parole -- 25,000 to Face Biweekly Checks, Escalating Penalties By Philip P. Pan Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, November 13, 1998; Page A01 Maryland has begun ordering every drug addict released on parole or probation to report for urine tests twice a week in an ambitious attempt to force about 25,000 criminals statewide to undergo drug treatment and kick their habits, or face a series of quick, escalating punishments. The enormous project, which began last month and will be phased in over the next two years, could redefine how the state deals with a group of repeat drug offenders who have strained local courts and jails and make up perhaps half of all the state's hard-core substance abusers. The program, known as Break the Cycle, is based on the theory that frequent drug testing coupled with swift, graduated punishments for drug use will force more addicts off drugs than the threat of long jail terms or treatment programs alone ever could. Drug courts in the District and other cities have experimented with this "coerced abstinence" approach before, but no state has tried to require such frequent testing of all its drug-addicted parolees and probationers. Nor has any state tried to use a set of automatic, mild sanctions to force them to go clean. More than a million tests annually might be required to make the plan work in Maryland, officials said, compared with the 40,000 tests the state administered last year. Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D), chief advocate of the plan, said it could move enough addicts off drugs to cut demand for cocaine and heroin in Maryland by as much as 50 percent. That would undermine drug markets that have resisted traditional police crackdowns. She said it also could produce dramatic reductions in the kind of crimes that drug users routinely commit -- burglaries, car break-ins, prostitution and similar low-level offenses that can wear down a neighborhood. "I think this has tremendous potential to stop the revolving door of addiction and crime," said Townsend, who won $3 million from the General Assembly this year for the program and expects to seek $2 million more next year. "This ends the debate over more punishment or more treatment. We need both." But Townsend and other state officials acknowledged that the program must overcome serious obstacles to succeed, particularly if many addicts repeatedly fail or skip the tests and must be arrested and jailed. Mark A.R. Kleiman, a criminologist at the University of California at Los Angeles who focuses on drug policy, said Maryland is basically trying to overhaul its probation department -- an agency he considers critical to crime control but that most states have neglected. "This is a very, very big rock to push up a very steep hill. We should expect a couple of years of tough start-up," he said. "But Maryland at the moment is on the cutting edge. . . . Everyone's watching Maryland to see how this goes." For years, drug addicts released on parole or probation in Maryland have been required to enroll in treatment programs, usually on an outpatient basis. But supervision of those offenders was so lax and drug testing so infrequent as to be meaningless. Offenders routinely quit treatment without the state's approval, and many would go for months without ever being tested for drug use. Because of budget constraints, officials said, probation agents were permitted only seven tests a month to cover their caseloads of more than 100 offenders. "This is an instance of government trying to get back on course, having deviated a long time ago, and it's about time," said Charles County Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley, who was told by state officials in 1994 to stop ordering drug testing for so many offenders. "It doesn't make any sense to tell a guy not to use drugs, and then not be able to police it." Although the testing portion of the program is in place, the punishment end remains a work in progress. Ideally, Townsend said, offenders who fail a test or miss a treatment session would draw an immediate sanction, the severity of which would increase with each new violation. The challenge has been finding a way to impose the punishments quickly, and that means transferring some authority from judges to probation agents -- which raises tricky legal questions about due process. In Prince George's, Montgomery and Howard counties, judges have agreed to allow probation agents to impose a range of predetermined sanctions without waiting to prove each new violation in court: community service, tighter supervision, home detention and "jury box" detention -- in which the addict is forced to spend a day sitting in a courtroom. But the judges in those counties have refused to allow agents to use brief stints in jail, which Townsend favors. The Break the Cycle program rejects the conventional wisdom that addicts must "want to change" for treatment to work and instead tries to compel them to change. "It takes outside pressure to force people to confront their addictions, and that pressure can come from families or from jobs. But for the most crime-prone addicts, the only real pressure on their lives is the criminal justice system," said Jay Carver, the trustee appointed to run the District's probation and parole agencies and a longtime advocate of expanded drug testing. Carver said drug courts have shown that "the constant pressure of immediate and measured sanctions eventually leads people to get serious about treatment. And there's a lot of research showing that the longer people stay in treatment, the better the outcomes." More than 1,200 offenders already have been placed on the new testing schedule, and officials expect to enroll 15,000 by the end of next year, focusing first on Baltimore City and six counties: Prince George's, Montgomery, Howard, Charles, Baltimore and Washington. In the next year, officials plan to add 10,000 addicts from the rest of the state. The addicts are tested twice weekly during the first three months after being released. If they stay clean, they are tested once a week for three more months and at random during the remainder of their terms of supervision. The state has expanded an existing laboratory in Baltimore and opened two new labs to accommodate the increased workload. Offenders report for the tests at their local probation offices, and their urine samples and test results are tracked using a new statewide computer system. Each jurisdiction is drawing up its own schedule of sanctions for failed or skipped tests, but the discussions have stalled over whether probation agents should be able to impose short jail stints on offenders. Judges in Baltimore have worked out a possible compromise with the city's public defenders, who have agreed that two- to 10-day stints in jail may be better for their clients than two-month waits in jail for court hearings. "The defendant will be consenting to these sanctions, they'll have adequate warning, and I'll be signing the orders," said Joseph H. Kaplan, the administrative judge in Baltimore. "If you go the regular probation route, there's a lot of time wasted waiting for the hearing, and everybody recognizes that a sanction delayed is worthless. You've got to do it before the person forgets what they're being punished for." The state Division of Parole and Probation has established minimum guidelines for punishments that give probation agents as long as 30 days to meet with an offender who fails a test. Townsend said those guidelines are inadequate. "We need sanctions that have bite to them and send the message that drug abuse is unacceptable and will be punished," she said. "But we're going to have to build trust in this system. This is going to take time."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Actor's Hemp Case Returns to Trial (The Associated Press says the Kentucky Court of Appeals on Friday sent Woody Harrelson's challenge to the state's prohibition on industrial hemp back to Lee County District Court, where he was first cited for marijuana possession after he planted four hemp seeds in June 1996.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 02:59:41 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Fraglthndr@aol.com To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd: Actor's Hemp Case Returns to Trial From: AOLNews@aol.com Subject: Actor's Hemp Case Returns to Trial Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 20:18:49 EST Actor's Hemp Case Returns to Trial c The Associated Press FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Actor Woody Harrelson will have to start all over in his attempt to have the courts recognize a legal distinction between marijuana and industrial hemp. The state Court of Appeals on Friday sent Harrelson's case back to Lee District Court, where he was first cited for marijuana possession after he planted four hemp seeds in June 1996. Harrelson has argued that the statute outlawing marijuana possession was unconstitutional because it made no distinction between the plant that contains the drug THC that gives marijuana smokers their high and its industrial cousin, which contains minute amounts of the drug. The district judge agreed that the statute was too broad. The prosecutor quickly appealed to Lee Circuit Court, which upheld the district court. But the appeals court Friday said the prosecutor jumped the gun because the district court had not yet answered a crucial question: Were Harrelson's seeds capable of germinating into hallucinogenic marijuana? ``We appreciate that this case involves issues of significant interest to the parties and to the public at large,'' Judge William Knopf said. ``It is not this court's intention to cause undue delay in the adjudication of this case upon its merits.'' AP-NY-11-13-98 2017EST Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------- MD Scoffs At Medical Marijuana (The Associated Press says a study published Thursday in the American Medical Association journal, "Archives of Ophthalmology," by Keith Green, a Medical College of Georgia professor of ophthalmology, claims it is a "fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." Plus commentary from list subscribers.) From: GDaurer@aol.com Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:30:25 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Unbelievable. Try telling the information below (``the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma") to Elvy Musikka or Robert Randall or anybody else getting IND supplies from the government who has retained their eyesight. Yes, marijuana needs to be smoked often by glaucoma patients -- at least that's the case with the leaves (yes, leaf--no bud) from the low-THC strain which is grown and rolled into medical joints in Mississippi by the US government. I'd be interested to see what kind of sample he based his reasoning on. Gregory Daurer Denver, CO *** M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- A person with glaucoma would have to smoke a marijuana cigarette every two hours -- about 4,000 a year -- to experience any medical benefits from the drug, according to new research. In a study published Thursday in the American Medical Association journal Archives of Ophthalmology, Keith Green, a Medical College of Georgia professor of ophthalmology, attacks ``the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma.'' Voters in Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Washington last week approved measures allowing use of marijuana for medical reasons. Those reasons include reducing side effects of cancer chemotherapy and treating glaucoma. Glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects between 2 percent and 3 percent of people and is more likely in those with a family history of the disease. The normal eye maintains a constant pressure of fluid, but glaucoma causes a chemical change that blocks the outflow, Green said. That leads to increased pressure that can lead to blindness. Chemicals in marijuana called cannabinoids do seem to help improve the outflow in about 60 percent of the people who try it. But the pressure builds back up within four hours, Green said. In order to keep the pressure down, a person would have to smoke a joint every two hours, he said. ``Smoking a joint a week is not going to cure glaucoma,'' said Green. Advocates for medical marijuana say even temporarily alleviating the pressure is better than doing nothing. ``Should these patients suffer so?'' asked Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws Foundation. AP-NY-11-13-98 0738EST *** Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 09:43:49 -0600 From: David C Dalton (email@example.com) Organization: Dalton's Interiors To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana References: (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.comMmm. If it is a choice between blindness and smoking a joint every two hours, I sure know what I'd pick. I could improve my vision, and cut back on my smoking at once. :) *** From: Joe Wein (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: RE: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 00:52:26 +0900 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- A person with glaucoma would have to smoke a marijuana >cigarette every two hours -- about 4,000 a year -- to experience any medical >benefits from the drug, according to new research. As usual they ignore that MJ can be used in many different ways, not just by smoking its leaves or flowers. It is well known that the effects of orally consumed MJ (tea, cookies, hot chocolate, etc) can last much longer than of smoked MJ. Why didn't they test for the effects of orally consumed THC on intra-ocular pressure? As I remember, the surviving 8 patients in the IND program receive 300 joints per month, which works out as 10 per day or about one for every 2 1/2 hours. And that's leaf with less than 3% potency. Best regards Joe Wein http://www.taima.org "Hemp in Japan" *** Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 10:36:41 -0500 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: cheechwz@MINDSPRING.COM (A H Clements) Subject: Re: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Hey hey talkers & Doug, Georgia is the political outback of the US, exceeded only by Alabama & Oklahoma in drug-warriorism, IMHO. Aside from a few DPR, needle-exchange, AIDS & med mj activists, mostly those who hail from Georgia are ill-informed prohibitionist fanatics. For example, PRIDE is based in Atlanta. Even the Libertarian candidates didn't emphasize either DPR or medicinal cannabis in this years elections. In the 2000 elections things will be different (I hope). Since Georgia doesn't have a citizen-based voter initiative system (legislators must approve initiatives before they are put on ballot) there isn't a great opportunity here for DPR. ashley (surrounded by prohibitionists) in atlanta At 10:03 AM on 11/13/98, Doug Keenan wrote: > Georgia, huh? Wonder who else hails from there. > > Anybody know, what's the title of this "study?" *** From: CroneSpeak@aol.com Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 14:42:24 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Who paid for his study?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study casts doubt on marijuana's effectiveness as glaucoma treatment (The CNN version - plus more commentary from list subscribers) From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 15:15:57 -0800 (PST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: DPFCA: Study doubts MJ treatment of Glaucoma Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Curious that this report appears on the heels of a victorious election (for mmj) and the reoprt from the House of Lords. Now we get this from our "experts". Too bad they didn't talk to Elvy Musikka, Robert Randle or any of the other thousands of glaucoma patients who are helped by cannabis. Too bad they didn't talk to my friend who's been blind since birth, but is reading this email right now (on webtv), because of cannabis. By the way, this doctor claims that glaucoma is a painless disease...... Anyone want to challenge him? I wonder how many gov't / pharmacuetical $$$$$ he's recieved to do this "study". *** From: CNN website ( as reported on CNN news ) http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9811/13/marijuana.glaucoma/index.html Study casts doubt on marijuana's effectiveness as glaucoma treatment November 13, 1998 AUGUSTA, Georgia (CNN) -- A new study that says smoking marijuana is a hazy and impractical way to treat glaucoma is the latest twist to the medical marijuana debate. The study, by ophthalmologist Keith Green at the Medical College of Georgia, found the medical benefits of smoking marijuana are slight and relief is temporary. "Glaucoma is a 24-hour-a-day disease, 365 days-a-year disease and you cannot get away from it," he said. The battle over legalizing marijuana for medical purposes has been smoldering for over 30 years. But the issue has been recently fueled by voters in five states --Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Washington -- who passed laws legalizing the drug to ease the symptoms of certain diseases such as glaucoma, AIDS and cancer. Glaucoma is a chronic eye disease that can lead to blindness if left untreated. It is caused by an abnormal increase of fluid pressure in the eye which leads to the gradual loss of vision. Researchers suspect a chemical in marijuana called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can reduce interocular pressure which can prevent the disease from progressing. But to be effective, Green said a patient would have to smoke an unrealistic amount of marijuana. "If you want to maintain a low interocular pressure with marijuana, then you have to smoke a joint every 1 to 2 hours which is 10 to 12 joints a day, which is 4,000 a year," he said. "That's by anybody's definition -- no matter how liberal you are -- a considerable consumption." His study is published in the recent issue of the American Medical Association's journal Opthamology. Marijuana contains over 400 different chemicals, some of which cause a euphoric feeling that eliminates or lessons pain associated with many diseases. But since glaucoma is a painless disease, some doctors feel the negative effects associated with smoking marijuana outweigh the known benefits, and patients would be better off using the available prescription medications until scientists can duplicate the effects of THC in a pill or topical ointment. "For those who smoke cigarettes, marijuana has 50 percent more tar and volatile cancer-inducing compounds," Green said. "It causes emphysema, changes hormones, changes a whole bundle of things. It is quite a toxic chemical." But advocates for medical marijuana say temporary relief is better than nothing. "Should these patients suffer so?" said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws Foundation. Next month the Institute of Medicine plans to release its year long study on the medicinal benefits of marijuana use for many diseases, including glaucoma. Food & Health Correspondent Holly Firfer and The Associated Press contributed to this report. (c) 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. All Rights Reserved. *** From: Phillizy@aol.com Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 21:37:18 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Fwd:Re: Glaucoma Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Phillizy@aol.com Return-path: (Phillizy@aol.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: Glaucoma Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 14:43:29 EST In a message dated 98-11-13 13:47:17 EST, you write: >The University of Georgia just released a study that claims marijuana > has no effect on glaucoma unless taken in excess, and then the result is >small. It is being carried as a lead story on Headline News now. Yeah, the way it was reported, one needs to smoke a joint every two hours for minimal relief. This study leads one to question the quality of cannabis used in the research. Ditchweed comes easily to mind. The average glaucoma user controls his/her disease with an ounce of marijuana a week. Lizy *** Delivered-To: email@example.com@fixme Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 20:17:33 -0700 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Steve Dunn (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Glaucoma Article... Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com I went to the AMA web site and read the article. Contrary to news media like CNN this is absolutely NOT a "new study" - rather it is a REVIEW ARTICLE - an interpretation and summarization of older studies. Not one new experiment was done. It's clear from the introduction that the author greatly dislikes marijuana - anyway, he points out that the fall in pressure only lasts a few hours and then says that you'd have to smoke a joint every few hours to benefit and then extrapolates the toxic effects from that amount of smoking. So the question is whether his statment is true and he doesn't go into the kind of detail about the methodology of the studies he reviews that I am used to seeing in other review articles. If the tests he reviews were of just a single dose then given that the persistence of MJ in the body might lead to a more chronic lowering of the pressure with chronic moderate use this is not a fair method - if the tests involved patients given a moderate dose over a period of time and found that there was no overall drop in ocular pressure except proximate to smoking another joint then he really does have a substantial point. MJ does not have to prove out for every indication to be a valid medicine - it only needs to prove out for ONE. -Steve Dunn PS: I am a layman - but I read lots of journal articles in oncology... The possibilities are infinitely greater than the averages CancerGuide: http://cancerguide.org "When you need the right questions" *** From: adbryan@ONRAMP.NET Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 14:27:35 -0600 (CST) Subject: Re: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org I couldn't find the study on MCG's website. http://www.mcg.edu/som/eye/research.html But I did a couple of other things: GREEN , KEITH P email@example.com (706) 721-4804 REGENTS PROF BG-123 OPHTHALMOLOGY Keith Green Major research interests - ocular physiology, pharmacology and toxicology. Areas of research include, drug pharmacokinetics in the eye; ion transport in and across corneal endothelium and ciliary epithelium relating to the maintenance of constant corneal thickness and aqueous humor formation processes, respectively; toxicology of potential ophthalmic products; investigation on new drugs to decrease intraocular pressure and their mechanisms of action; drug and chemical interaction with contact lenses; and, marijuana effects on the eye. Examinations have been made on the kinetics of distribution of several drugs, ranging from cationic (benzalkonium chloride) or anionic (sodium lauryl sulfate) surfactants to indomethacin. These studies have established the distribution patterns of a number of drugs in the eye and the kinetic relationships in adult versus young versus neonatal animals. More drug is taken up in younger eyes although the temporal distribution is almost the same, indicating a faster and greater, uptake and loss by younger tissues. Ion transport studies have shown that a net sodium and bicarbonate transport occurs across the rabbit corneal endothelium which are separable from each other through the use of different stimuli or perturbations in the bathing solution. The intracellular endothelial potential is lower (-45 mV) than that of the ciliary epithelium (-80 mV) but each cell type is joined in a syncytium. Many techniques are employed in these studies, such as pneumotonography; Scheimpflug photography of the anterior segment of the eye; fluorophotometry for blood-aqueous barrier and blood-retinal barrier permeability, corneal endothelial and epithelial permeability and aqueous humor turnover rate; use of ion-sensitive intracellular fluoroprobes; transtissue radioisotopic ion or non-electrolyte fluxes; electrophysiologic studies to determine transmembrane and intracellular ionic events; and use of radioactive compounds to follow pharmacokinetic parameters of drug distribution within the eye. Has published over 310 papers in refereed journals with co-editorship of several books on ocular toxicology. Was a founder-member of the International Society of Ocular Toxicology (ISOT) in 1986 and wrote the Constitution and By-Laws that were adopted by the Society. Served as the Secretary/Treasurer from 1986 to 1992, and most recently as President of ISOT from 1/1/95 through 12/31/96. Has been recipient of NIH Career Development Award (1970-1974); Fogarty Senior International Fellow (1982-1983) for sabbatical leave at University of Edinburgh, Scotland with Drs. Randall House, Calbert I. Phillips and Ruth Clayton; Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc. (RPB) Manpower Award (1980); and RPB Senior Scientific Investigator Award (1994). Was member (1978-1981) and chair (1981-1982) of Visual Sciences A Study Section. *** To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: Robert Goodman (email@example.com) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 00:28:25 -500 Subject: Re: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com >I couldn't find the study on MCG's website. >http://www.mcg.edu/som/eye/research.html >But I did a couple of other things: >GREEN , KEITH P >firstname.lastname@example.org >(706) 721-4804 >REGENTS PROF BG-123 >OPHTHALMOLOGY >Keith Green >Major research interests - ocular physiology, pharmacology and >toxicology. Areas of research include, drug pharmacokinetics in the >eye; ion transport in and across corneal endothelium and ciliary >epithelium relating to the maintenance of constant corneal >thickness and aqueous humor formation processes, respectively; >toxicology of potential ophthalmic products; investigation on new >drugs to decrease intraocular pressure and their mechanisms of >action; drug and chemical interaction with contact lenses; and, >marijuana effects on the eye. >Examinations have been made on the kinetics of distribution of >several drugs, ranging from cationic (benzalkonium chloride) or >anionic (sodium lauryl sulfate) surfactants to indomethacin. These >studies have established the distribution patterns of a number of >drugs in the eye and the kinetic relationships in adult versus >young versus neonatal animals. More drug is taken up in younger >eyes although the temporal distribution is almost the same, >indicating a faster and greater, uptake and loss by younger tissues.... I remember those studies. Seems he got a lot of publicity from this because of the implication that shampoo might damage eyes. All he actually showed was that soap penetrates eyes, not that it causes damage. But he seems to have a knack for making general news from his published studies. I'm interested in the details of the one at hand. Are they the result of clinical studies I didn't know about? Or animal research? Or what? Although he may have put a "spin" on it you don't like (probably because he thought pointing out the LIMITATIONS of cannabotherapy is more newsworthy than pointing out its therapeutic potential, which I guess by now is old hat), it is more evidence of the therapeutic usefulness of cannabis. Robert *** Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 14:01:31 -0800 (PST) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: R Givens (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: RE: M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org >M.D. Scoffs At Medical Marijuana > >AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) -- A person with glaucoma would have to smoke a marijuana >cigarette every two hours -- about 4,000 a year -- to experience any medical >benefits from the drug, according to new research. So what, the Feds give glaucoma patients in their program 300 joints a month, so that conforms to the need to smoke a joint every two hours. There is no cure for glaucoma at present. Patients using standard meds have to take the pills or eye drops every day to reduce eye pressures to safe levels the same way cannabis users must continue taking their medication, so Green's hypocrisy on this point fails, unless, of course, we outlaw every medicine that requires multiple daily doses. Every standard glaucoma med on the market has lethal side effects when used as directed. The warning sheet for Timolol advises: "Severe breathing problems, including death due to bronchospasm (spasm of the bronchial tubes), have been reported in patients with asthma following use of some ophthalmic beta-adrenergic blocking agents." In one six month period over 57 people died of bronchospasms because of using beta-adrenergic blocking agents. They call it the "sudden death syndrome." The patient gets up one morning and simply drops dead. From my information, asthmatics were not the only victims. Contrast that with the fact that marijuana use has never caused a death. Moreover, Keith Green's own conclusions dispute his claims: Results: Although it is undisputed that smoking causes a fall in IOP in 60-65% of users, continued use at a rate needed to control IOP would lead to substantial systemic toxic effects revealed as pathological changes. I'd like to see Green's Reefer Madness research overturning countless studies that showed no "substantial systemic toxic effects" for marijuana. Also Green's hypocritical logic fails to account for the LETHAL qualities of standard glaucoma medications compared to zero deaths from marijuana. Lastly, Green admits that marijuana IS effective for 60-65% of glaucoma patients. I guess Green just doesn't give a damn about patients who develop tolerances to his glaucoma wonder drugs and could save their sight with marijuana. R Givens *** To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Robert Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 22:11:03 -500 Subject: toxicity Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org On 1998-11-16 email@example.com said: >-------------- >I didn't know that Marihuana was toxic. Haven't studies confirmed >this? >Scott The trouble comes in defining toxicity. Someone can always point to an effect undesired by the commentor, and say that's toxicity. With marijuana, that'd be behavioral toxicity: making people giggle, etc. Robert *** Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:48:11 -0600 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET) Subject: Re: Glaucoma Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org At 11:24 AM 11/16/1998 -0500, Scott Dykstra wrote: >I didn't know that Marihuana was toxic. >Haven't studies confirmed this? Judge Young said it was non-toxic in 1988. The National Center for Toxicological Research said it was non-toxic in 1985. Maybe there's something more recent that I don't know about. Sincerely, Carl Olsen *** Reply-To: "SUEVOS" (email@example.com) From: "SUEVOS" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Re: Refuting medical claims Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 19:31:41 -0800 For information about cannabis as treatment for glaucoma, I recommend pages 45-49 of Marijuana Medical Handbook, a Guide to Therapeutic use by Rosenthal, Geirenger and Dr. Tod Mikuriya. On page 229, Bibliography, there are two more references to glaucoma. Post message if you would like this information. There's also tons of research articles whose citations you can find online at the Lindesmith Center (TLC). suevos -----Original Message----- From: R Givens (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: DRCTalk Reformers' Forum (email@example.com) Date: Monday, November 16, 1998 3:07 PM Subject: Re: Refuting medical claims >>I think that actually before deciding to 'refute' the claims - one has to >>consider that they could be correct! Maybe cannabis really isn't a good >>treatment for glaucoma just as the good doctor says - on the other hand >>maybe he's full of it. What is needed to INVESTIGATE his claims - based >>on the DATA then decide if they are wrong or not. > >I believe the claim is correct that if mj is used as glaucoma treatment, >joints must be smoked every 2-4 hours. The question is: Is it harmful >to smoke that much? I do not personally believe that it is. If so, >the Jamaican and Costa Rican studies would have revealed at least some >indication of harm in long-term heavy users. Little, if any, harm was >revealed. The question isn't whether a drug causes harm, almost every drug sold has serious, even potentially lethal effects, but whether the potential benefit exceeds the risks involved. Many chemotherapy medications are so lethally toxic that they actually kill a small percent of patients (maybe 5% maybe more). Chemotherapy is used because it helps many more patients than it kills. The potential benefit - saving or extending a life from cancer - outweighing the risk of being poisoned by the chemotherapy. None of the narcomaniacs ever mention this standard, which is almost universally included in drug fact sheets: In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For (this medication), the following should be considered: (A list of possible negative consequences of taking the drug follows.) - Quoted from the Timilol fact sheet. So the question isn't whether there are possible negative effects, but whether the drug provides enough benefits to justify the risks. Marijuana passes on both counts because Mr. Green admits that marijuana IS effective for 60-65% of glaucoma patients and there has never been a recorded death from marijuana. Green's dubious findings, if provable, should be put in the drug fact sheet, but they are not sufficient reason to keep cannabis off the market if it provides substantial relief for a medical condition. Hundreds of toxic and lethal drugs are on the market. R Givens
------------------------------------------------------------------- White House Fact Sheet on Honoring, Protecting Law Enforcement (A White House press release on US Newswire says President Clinton signed two bills into law today, one providing college scholarships to the families of police killed in the line of duty, and another increasing penalties for "drug traffickers" who possess, brandish, or discharge a gun when committing a crime.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Stronger penalties for gun involvement Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 21:14:22 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org White House Fact Sheet on Honoring, Protecting Law Enforcement 11/13/98 10:03:00 AM To: National Desk Contact: White House Press Office, 202-456-2100 WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was released today by the White House: Today, President Clinton will sign two bills to: (1) honor law enforcement killed in the line of duty by providing college scholarships to their families; and (2) strengthen penalties for violent criminals and drug traffickers who possess, brandish, or discharge a gun when committing a crime. -- Honoring Our Police College scholarships for the families of slain officers. On October 3, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Federal Law Enforcement Dependents Assistance Act (FLEDA). The law provides higher education benefits for the spouses and children of Federal law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. Last fall, 11 young men and women were able to go to college as a result of the Act. Expanding assistance to more families. Last year, President Clinton called on Congress to pass legislation to provide similar educational assistance to the families of state and local law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Today, President Clinton will sign the Police, Fire, and Emergency Officers Educational Assistance Act of 1998, which expands FLEDA to provide college scholarships to the dependents of all public safety officers slain or incapacitated in the line of duty. In addition to the families of slain state and local law enforcement officers, this new law will benefit the families of firefighters, correctional officers, and rescue and ambulance squad members. -- Enforcing Tougher Punishments Applying the law to more gun-carrying criminals. The President will also sign S. 191, a bill that clarifies and strengthens the federal penalties that apply to violent criminals and drug felons who commit crimes while carrying a gun. Prior to a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, courts had applied a broad interpretation of what constituted ``use´´ of a firearm during the commission of a federal crime. The Supreme Court narrowed that interpretation allowing, for example, drug traffickers with guns in their car trunks to avoid the 5-year mandatory minimum sentences intended by Congress. This new law makes clear that violent criminals and drug felons who simply possess a firearm during the commission of a federal crime are subject to an additional -- and mandatory -- sentence of 5 years. Increasing penalties. S. 191 also increases the stiff, mandatory penalties that apply to criminals who actually use firearms during the commission of certain federal crimes. Specifically, this new law provides that -- in addition to the penalties that apply for underlying violent or drug crimes -- criminals receive a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 7 years for brandishing a firearm and of at least 10 years if the firearm is discharged. The bill also increases the penalty for subsequent convictions for these offenses from 20 years to 25 years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- House Report Assails Agencies In Shooting Of Teen Near Border (The Chicago Tribune notes a 249-page report released Thursday by the US House of Representatives blames the shooting death of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr. on negligence by the Justice and Defense Departments, who set the stage for the May 1997 homicide of the West Texas teenager as he herded his family's goats near a Marine Corps drug-interdiction mission. The report also accuses the two departments of obstructing investigations.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:27:38 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: House Report Assails Agencies In Shooting Of Teen Near Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: 13 Nov 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://chicago.tribune.com Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Author: From Tribune News Services HOUSE REPORT ASSAILS AGENCIES IN SHOOTING OF TEEN NEAR BORDER WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Negligence by the Justice and Defense Departments set the stage for the May 1997 shooting death of a West Texas teenager as he herded his family's goats near a Marine Corps surveillance mission, a House report alleged Thursday. A 249-page report examining the shooting and its aftermath, also accused the two departments of obstructing investigations into the death of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez Jr. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, issued the report, saying: "When the nation's chief law-enforcement agency will not make even a cursory attempt to hold itself and its employees accountable for the wrongful killing of an American citizen, the life and freedom of every citizen is threatened." The Marine Corps disciplined four commanders and investigated the internal breakdowns that led to the killing, but Smith faulted the Justice Department for failing to investigate its shortcomings. The Border Patrol, an arm of Justice, had requested the military presence for anti-drug missions along the Texas-Mexico border. Two grand juries investigated but issued no indictments. Justice conducted a civil rights inquiry and declined to prosecute.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lawmaker Faults Justice, Defense In Goatherd's Death (A lengthier version of the same article, attributed to The Associated Press.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:27:38 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Lawmaker Faults Justice, Defense In Goatherd's Death Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. Author: MICHELLE MITTELSTADT, Associated Press LAWMAKER FAULTS JUSTICE, DEFENSE IN GOATHERD'S DEATH WASHINGTON -- Negligence by the Justice and Defense departments set the stage for the 1997 shooting death of an 18-year-old West Texas goatherd during a Marine Corps surveillance mission, a House report alleged Thursday. A 249-page report examining the shooting and its aftermath, also accused the two departments of obstructing investigations into the death of Esequiel Hernandez Jr. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee, issued the report at a Capitol news conference. ``When the nation's chief law enforcement agency will not make even a cursory attempt to hold itself and its employees accountable for the wrongful killing of an American citizen, the life and freedom of every citizen is threatened,'' Smith said. The Marine Corps disciplined four commanders and investigated the internal breakdowns that led to the fatal shooting, but Smith faulted the Justice Department for failing to investigate its own shortcomings. The Border Patrol, an arm of Justice, had requested the military presence for anti-drug missions along the Texas-Mexico border. Two grand juries investigated the shooting but issued no indictments. Justice conducted a six-month civil rights inquiry and declined to prosecute. The Justice Department noted in a statement that several investigations, both federal and state, have determined that evidence does not exist for a prosecution. ``The shooting of Mr. Hernandez was a tragic event,'' the statement said. ``Without sufficient evidence to show that there was an intentional violation of Mr. Hernandez's constitutional rights, however, we are unable to bring a federal criminal case.'' For its part, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, parent agency of the Border Patrol, said it ``strongly disagrees with any claim that the U.S. Border Patrol was directly responsible for this tragic incident.'' A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Mike Milord, said officials had not seen Smith's report and thus couldn't comment. Hernandez, a 10th grader tending his goats near the Rio Grande, was shot by one of four camouflaged Marines doing surveillance near Redford, Texas, 200 miles southeast of El Paso. Amid a national outcry over the shooting, the Pentagon suspended armed military patrols on the Southwest border. To settle a claim filed by Hernandez's survivors, the government bought a $1 million annuity for the family.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Negligence Alleged In Fatal Border Shooting (The San Antonio Express-News version in The Orange County Register) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 12:14:41 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Negligence Alleged In Fatal Border Shooting 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: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Author: Gary Martin-San Antonio Express-News NEGLIGENCE ALLEGED IN FATAL BORDER SHOOTING Inquiry: a congressional report criticizes the Marines and Border Patrol in the death of a young goatherd(sic). Washington-U.S. Marines and Border Patrol officials were negligent in the death of a young man who was tending his family's goats when he was shot by an anti-drug surveillance patrol on the U.S.-Mexico border,according to a congressional report released Thursday. The report said Marines involved in the incident failed to give emergency aid to Esequiel Hernandez Jr., 18, who died about a half-hour after the May 20, 1997, shooting. The 249-page report "tells the story of how two powerful federal agencies ... were negligent in the shooting and killing" of Hernandaez, said Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on immigration. "Both agencies made serious mistakes that contributed to this terrible tragedy," said Smith, R-Texas. He also accused the Justice and Defense departments of not disclosing information about the deadly encounter near the Rio Grande. "They withheld necessary information that had the effect of seriously crippling any possibility of finding the truth in a criminal investigation," Smith said. The Justice Department issued a statement Thursday night saying it shared evidence with Texas prosecutors "to the extend permitted by law." The Marines released a statement saying that while the death "was tragic," there was no criminal wrongdoing and the patrol "complied with the rules of engagement and acted to protect a fellow Marine." Earlier this year, the Hernandez family agreed to a $1.9 million out-of-court settlement over the death. Conclusions in the congressional report mirror those reached earlier this year in an inquiry conducted for the Marines by retired Maj. Gen. J.T.Coyne. Coyne found the four-man Marine patrol was inadequately trained for the mission, lacked thorough knowledge of the area, and had poor communications with their superiors, who were 70 miles away. The report also questioned the use of troops for law-enforcement purposes on U.S. soil. The Justice Department also investigated whether there were civil-rights violations involved in the shooting, but the probe was closed without public comment. Documents obtained by congressional investigators show that Justice Department attorneys believed Hernandez's wounds and statements by Lance Cpl. Ronald Wieler Jr., who was part of the patrol, contradict the claim that the shooting was an act of self defense. Cpl. Clemente Banuelos told investigators that Hernandez raised a .22-caliber rifle to fire at one member of the patrol. Banuelos said he fired to protect the Marine. The autopsy and information gathered by Texas Tangers and FBI agents, however, question whether the goat herder was raising a rifle to fire at the Marines, who were camouflaged in shredded burlap and facial paints, "or raising his hands to surrender," the congressional report said. The shooting took place on the outskirts Hernandez's hometown of Redford, an agricultural town in the sparsely populated Big Bend region of west Texas. The congressional documents also show that the Justice Department sought immunity for the Marines to protect them from state prosecutors who wanted to take the shooting before a grand jury. The shooting subsequently went before state and federal grand juries, but neither issued an indictment. Smith said the congressional investigation did not look into whether the four Marines were criminally responsible for the death. Banuelos has since received an honorable discharge. The Marine Corps has reprimanded supervisory personnel over the incident and criticized the lack of training and preparations that the four men were given. "The Justice Department should do its job right and hold accountable those responsible for this needless death," Smith said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cover-Up Alleged In Death Probe (The Houston Chronicle version) Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 16:50:30 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Cover-Up Alleged In Death Probe Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: STEVE LASH COVER-UP ALLEGED IN DEATH PROBE Official hits agencies in killing by Marine WASHINGTON -- The Justice and Defense departments undermined criminal investigations by withholding information about the inadequate training of Marines who killed a Texas teen-ager while on border patrol, Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, said Thursday. Smith said the two agencies refused requests from him and Texas prosecutors for documents related to the fatal shooting of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old Redford goatherd, on May 20, 1997. "It certainly has the appearance of a cover-up, at a minimum," Smith said in releasing a 249-page report his staff prepared on the shooting and its aftermath. Cpl. Clemente Banuelos has testified that he shot Hernandez when the teen-ager aimed his rifle at another Marine on anti-drug patrol. The information the government departments did provide reveals the camouflaged Marines had no knowledge of the Texas community and little border patrol training before encountering Hernandez, armed only with the .22-caliber rifle he used to ward off thieves and snakes, Smith said. The congressman, who chairs the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, said the departments' failure to provide information to Texas law enforcement "had the effect of seriously undermining any possibility of finding the truth in a criminal investigation." Two Texas grand juries declined to issue indictments in the summer of 1997. A federal grand jury also issued no indictments after conducting a civil rights investigation. The federal government has agreed to pay $1.9 million to the Hernandez family to settle a wrongful death claim. The Marine Corps issued a statement defending its investigation of the Redford shooting, saying it reprimanded officers in the chain of command for failing to properly supervise and support the operation. "In addition to investigating the incident itself, the investigating officer looked at every aspect of Marine Corps support of counter-drug operations," the military service stated. "Our efforts to make this an open, thorough and responsible investigation enabled us to identify that the level of support and priority of effort that [border patrol] missions received from higher headquarters was, in some instances, less than acceptable." The Justice Department said there was insufficient evidence to show an intentional violation of Hernandez's civil rights and rejected Smith's contention the agency impeded criminal investigations. "After our investigation, we shared all of our evidence with the local prosecutor to the extent permitted by law," the department's statement said. The Texas congressman reviewed information that the departments provided to him voluntarily and under congressional subpoena. He said the Justice Department was more culpable than the Pentagon, because the Marine Corps at least conducted a detailed investigation and punished several officers. The Justice Department, which supervises the Border Patrol, has refused to take any action or acknowledge any responsibility for the incident, Smith said. "It is troubling that the Justice Department, which is responsible for enforcing the law, decided instead to obstruct law enforcement in the Hernandez case," he added. "Life and liberty are dependent upon citizens and their government being held accountable. "When the nation's chief law enforcement agency will not make even a cursory attempt to hold itself and its employees accountable for the wrongful killing of an American citizen, the life and freedom of every citizen are threatened." Smith, who said he has no plans to conduct hearings on his report's conclusions, placed most of the blame for the shooting on the Border Patrol for failing to teach law enforcement techniques to the Marines and to tell them that many law-abiding residents in the area carry light rifles for protection. "They [the Marines] were not made to understand how threatening they might appear to local residents with no knowledge of their presence," Smith said. "The Marines were not told that their observation post was located near a number of family homes, including the Hernandez home. They were not told that Hernandez regularly brought his goats to the Polvo Crossing area." The congressman said the goatherd might have fired two shots at the Marine patrol to protect his animals, not knowing that the sounds he heard in the underbrush were U.S. military. However, those shots -- followed quickly by Hernandez's return to tending his goats -- did not warrant the four-member Marine patrol's decision to shadow the goatherd for 20 minutes, Smith said. The Pentagon has suspended the use of military personnel in border enforcement. Proposed legislation to bar military border patrols died in Congress this year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Are you willing to pay for more police officers? (Constable Mark Tonner, a Vancouver Province columnist, wants your feedback about whether an overwhelming police presence is necessary to "impose order" on the east side of Vancouver, British Columbia, and whether you agree with him that if voters knew a tax increase would be devoted solely to police patrols, they'd authorize more than the one per cent the city proposes.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Culture) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: Are you willing to pay for more police officers? Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 08:48:21 -0800 Lines: 100 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) Constable Mark Tonner, weekly columnist for the Vancouver Province, wants your feedback. He's known for his virulent anti-pot, anti-drug, lock 'em up stance, and he needs to be shown that the people of Vancouver, and the people of the world, do not agree with his police-state ideology or his ideas. Please take a look at his most recent column, and take a moment to send him an email and let him know what you think about solving property crime and getting drug use off the streets, firstname.lastname@example.org Techniques like prescription of drugs to addicts (it's working in Switzerland) and increasing the number of beds for detox are going to be far more successful than spending more money on cops and "overwhelming police presence", who only serve to drive up the price of hard drugs when they bust dealers, and thereby increase property crime. See: http://www.csdp.org/factbook/treatmen.htm for facts and figures on treatment versus domestic law enforcement outcomes. *** Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Date: Friday 13 November 1998 Author: Mark Tonner Are you willing to pay for more police officers? While Vancouver's police board, police union, mayor and police chief wrangle over law enforcement budgets, the rest of us are left wondering why such issues should be difficult to resolve. If voters knew with certainty that a tax boost would be devoted solely to increased police patrols, they'd likely authorize more than the one per cent the city proposes. Vancouverites have not lost their taste for law and order; indeed, they demand more whenever they're given a chance to speak. Such discussions inevitably settle on the city's downtown east side. Given the current legal climate, the only way to impose order there is with an overwhelming police presence. The most effective approach: Keeping crooks in jail, is simply not permitted. To clean up the east side, and keep it that way, would require more than the 40 new officers under discussion, but they'd be a decent start. It must also be borne in mind that skid row is a small part of a large city. Citizens everywhere in Vancouver are keen on public safety, and though most would approve of increased police patrols in skid row, few would support them at the expense of their own neigbourhoods. Whether or not the current police budget is sufficiently lean is a contentious issue, and for good reason: If we were flying ourselves all over the country, and driving Cadillacs while our streets ran wild, more money for policing would be pointless. Yet the management and membership of this department have not been sidling up to the buffet. We've honed our spending in conscientious fashion, to the point where the whittle marks are starting to show. VPD members are remarkably loyal to their work, but aren't above showing a certain cynicism in their humour. Let me share a few of the comical budget reduction ideas making the rounds: It's been suggested we could shut our patrol function down one day a week, choose the day at random and keep it secret. Most crooks would never figure it out, thousands of dollars would be saved, and the drop in arrest stats could be touted as some sort of victory. Police could be sent out on rollerblades, rather than on bikes, or in cars. Money would be saved, and the silent approach would be an effective tool, so long as quick stops weren't needed. Of course, the truly frugal gendarme would be issued the much-underrated pogo stick. Instant status and mobility, instant self-defence accessory! One especially misdirected fellow proposed a new category of 911 call, the "T" file. As budgetary restraints tighten, prohibiting response to certain incidents, these "T" or "teddy bear" files could be opened. A fuzzy stuffed bear could be sent to comfort the caller, in lieu of an officer. It would be simple enough to set up a catapult, or some kind of air cannon on the roof at HQ, and our accuracy, it was suggested, would improve with practise. Humour helps, but it won't change this: The notion that we're living in a time when funding for police should be reduced appears in every version of the budget discussion I've heard. Is this truly such a time? I say, ask the people. My guess is they want more officers out there, and they'd be willing to pay for them. Are you for, against, or indifferent? Share your take on this- spare a moment to call my voice mail at 717-3349 (enter #1373) or read the subscript and drop me a line. Const. Mark Tonner is a Vancouver police officer. His opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the city's police department or board. Tonner may be contacted at The Province, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org *** CClist, the electronic news and information service of Cannabis Culture To unsubscribe, send a message to email@example.com containing the command "unsubscribe cclist". *** Subscribe to Cannabis Culture Magazine! Write to: 324 West Hastings Street, Vancouver BC, CANADA, V6B 1A1 Call us at: (604) 669-9069, or fax (604) 669-9038. Visit Cannabis Culture online at http://www.cannabisculture.com/
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs Taint Mexican City (A Chicago Tribune article in The San Jose Mercury News says a "full-scale drug war" has broken out in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just across the border from El Paso, Texas, home to more than 1 million people. To hear police officers tell it, there is not much they can do. Despite an army of Mexican and US law enforcement officials stationed along the border, authorities from both countries say their actions are doing little to stem the flow of drugs into the United States.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 16:27:48 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: Drugs Taint Mexican City Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: Paul de la Garza Chicago Tribune DRUGS TAINT MEXICAN CITY We will never be able to guard the border completely. Not even with the best technology from the gulf war. International problem: Battle for control of cartels raises havoc on both sides of the border. CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- The banner headline splashed across the front page of a local newspaper blared, ``Another two found in the trunk of a car.'' The victims, both men, had been strangled, each found with a green cord tied around his neck. The article mentioned a possible motive: that it was a drug-related hit. But residents of Ciudad Juarez could have guessed that. In fact, many have become inured to the drug-related violence that has changed their city, and the way of life of its more than 1 million residents. This city, just across from El Paso, Texas, is home to arguably the most powerful drug-running organization in the world, the Juarez cartel. With the death of its leader last year, a full-scale drug war has erupted, with all the trappings: gangland-style murder. Official corruption. Increased domestic drug use. And a sullied international reputation. ``This is a city where anarchy reigns,'' says a local newspaper editor. Billions of dollars are at stake. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates $200 million a week flows through the hands of Juarez-area drug dealers. Most of it, officials say, comes from helping cocaine move from Colombia across the U.S. border. A struggle has broken out over control of the trade. In Ciudad Juarez, cartel hitmen have entered restaurants in search of their enemies, shooting indiscriminately and killing bystanders. Last month in Ensenada, Baja California, 19 people were massacred. The victims included women and children. Both Mexican and U.S. officials say the massacre was a drug-related revenge killing. The first arrests in that case were made this week, when three members of a gang that allegedly worked for Ramon Arellano-Felix were taken into custody by Mexican police. Police say the gang had set out to settle a drug feud with Ferm(acu)n Castro, an alleged small-time narcotics dealer who was among the victims. As a result of such bloodletting, citizens of Ciudad Juarez are changing the way they live, choosing to stay at home, for example, or avoid crossing the border for entertainment. ``I don't go out at all,'' said Lucia Hernandez, 20, who works at one of the maquiladoras, or factories, that dot the border. ``I don't like Ciudad Juarez. But I came here to work, not to play.'' A newspaper reporter said he no longer takes his family out. ``Here, you go out to dinner, to play, you know something can happen,'' said the journalist, who requested anonymity because he says he has received death threats for reporting on drugs and corruption. Hands tied, cops say To hear police officers tell it, there is not much they can do. Despite an army of Mexican and U.S. law enforcement officials stationed along the border, authorities from both countries say their actions are doing little to stem the flow of drugs into the United States. Javier M. Benavides, the city's newly appointed police chief, until recently was helping to lead the charge in the drug war nationally as a federal field commander. ``We will never be able to guard the border completely. Not even with the best technology from the gulf war,'' Benavides said. ``You can bring in the Marines. You can put submarines in the Rio Grande.'' But, he added, ``So long as there is demand, there will be a problem.'' U.S. officials agree, but say official corruption in Mexico still presents a major obstacle to effective law enforcement. In places such as Ciudad Juarez, drug barons generally operate with impunity. The now-deceased leader of the Juarez cartel, Amado Carrillo Fuentes, reportedly was spotted in town last year campaigning with a politician. U.S. law enforcement officials say they learned a bitter lesson last year, after Mexico's top drug fighter, Gen. Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was arrested on charges of protecting the Carrillo organization in exchange for money, cars and a luxury apartment. Praise from U.S. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Gutierrez's U.S. counterpart, had lavished Gutierrez with praise in the days before his arrest. Gutierrez is now in prison. Last year, the Juarez cartel lost Carrillo, once described by the DEA as the world's most powerful drug chieftain, to plastic surgery gone awry. Carrillo, who apparently underwent the procedure to disguise his identity, did not survive the lengthy operation, possibly because of a reaction between the drugs used during surgery and the cocaine in his system. His death, according to authorities, prompted the latest blood bath in the city. The ensuing yearlong power struggle has left more than 50 people dead. With Carrillo no longer in the way, authorities say the Tijuana cartel, run by the Arellano-Felix brothers, apparently has tried to push into the Juarez cartel's territory. Officials believe that after Carrillo's death in a women's clinic in Mexico City on July 4, 1997, the Tijuana group banded with the Ciudad Juarez-based narcotrafficker, Rafael Munoz Talavera. Munoz Talavera was making a run at the leadership of the Juarez cartel until he was shot to death about a month ago in Ciudad Juarez. During his reign, authorities say Carrillo helped keep the peace in this city, preferring negotiations or bribery to violence in order to settle disputes. Officials believe that his younger brother, Vicente Carrillo Fuentes, 36, has taken over control of the organization. The younger Carrillo, described by law enforcement officials as a vicious boss, was indicted in the United States this month on drug-trafficking charges. He remains at large. Drug flow continues In the 15 months since the death of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the drug flow into the United States has not skipped a beat, said Robert Castillo, special agent in charge of the El Paso field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Trouble began brewing in Mexico early in this decade when the Colombians, facing increased pressure from U.S. interdiction efforts in the Caribbean, switched cocaine-trafficking routes to Mexico. The State Department estimates annual drug trafficking in Mexico yields $27 billion to $30 billion in revenue. Castillo said the stakes in Mexico are higher now because unlike the old days, when the Colombians paid the Mexicans in cash to smuggle the drugs into the United States, they now pay them with drugs. The Mexicans, he said, ``can set their own price.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 67 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original summary of drug policy news and calls for action, including - 84 percent of mandatory minimum drug sentences in Massachusetts served by first-time offenders; Protesters in District of Columbia call for release of I-59 results; Students fight back against Higher Education Act drug provision; Medical marijuana signature gatherers harassed by sheriff in Florida; Oregon police illegally tapped agricultural supply store's phones - perhaps for years; British House of Lords committee calls for medical marijuana access; New German government to consider legalizing cannabis; Quote of the week; And an editorial by Adam J. Smith, Remembering veterans, ignoring lessons) Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 03:30:43 -0500 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: DRCNet (email@example.com) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 67 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 67 -- November 13, 1998 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:email@example.com with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail email@example.com. Thank you. * Live in or near DC? Why not volunteer for DRCNet? Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 293-8340 and ask for Karynn Fish. Help out the movement during this busy, exciting time! * DRCNet is looking for good-quality videotapes of TV shows dealing with drug policy for our archives. If you have such tapes and can make a copy, please get in touch. Reimbursement for the cost of tapes and postage is available. Please be sure to contact us before making or sending copies in case it is something we already have. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. 84% of Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences in Massachusetts Served by 1st-Time Offenders http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#84percent 2. Protesters in District of Columbia Call for Release of I-59 Results http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#secretvote 3. Students Fight Back Against Higher Education Act Drug Provision http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#education 4. Medical Marijuana Signature Gatherers Harassed by Sheriff in Florida http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#florida 5. Oregon Police Illegally Tapped Agricultural Supply Store's Phones -- Perhaps for Years http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#phonetap 6. British House of Lords Committee Calls for Medical Marijuana Access http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#lords 7. New German Government to Consider Legalizing Cannabis http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#germany 8. Quote of The Week http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#quote 9. EDITORIAL: Remembering Veterans, Ignoring Lessons http://www.drcnet.org/wol/067.html#editorial *** 1. 84% of Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentences in Massachusetts Served by 1st-Time Offenders The Boston Globe this week (11/8) reports that it has received figures from the Massachusetts Department of Corrections indicating that 84% of state inmates serving mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses are first-time offenders. These inmates are serving an average of five years, or, according to The Globe, one year longer than the average sentence for violent offenders. Mandatory minimum sentencing has come under attack in recent years by judges, defense attorneys and justice advocates, because it eliminates the court's ability to take into account the circumstances of a particular case or individual. Further, it has been shown that while high- level drug dealers often have information to trade to prosecutors in exchange for reduced sentences, small-time dealers and users, at the bottom of the supply chain, rarely have information that is of interest to the state. Monica Pratt of Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) says that the numbers in Massachusetts come as no surprise. "The findings of the report are in line with the findings of a long line of reports on the impact of mandatory minimum sentences" she said. "It is overwhelmingly the lowest level offenders who are caught up in these laws." "A number of states have undertaken to study the impact of these laws and they're all going to find essentially the same thing. The laws simply aren't doing what they were intended to do, they're not reducing the demand for drugs, and they're not slowing the supply of drugs into the country. They're sweeping up the addicts and the bottom rung dealers and the people caught up on the fringes of conspiracies. It's becoming obvious that the biggest impact of these sentencing laws are the enormous cost that they entail to the taxpayers." (Find FAMM online at http://www.famm.org.) *** 2. Protesters in District of Columbia Call for Release of I-59 Results - Marc Brandl Over 50 protesters turned out in front of the DC Board of Elections and Ethics on Tuesday (11/10) to demand the release of the results from last week's vote on Initiative 59, which would allow marijuana to be used in the District for medicinal purposes. The results were never released due to an amendment in the DC appropriations bill by Rep. Bob Barr (R-GA) that prohibited any money being spent by the District of Columbia on the initiative and future marijuana reform initiatives. The protest, organized by Wayne Turner of DC ACT-UP, was an effort to show support for the democratic process as well as an attempt to get Alice Miller, chair of the Board of Elections and Ethics to commit civil disobedience and release the results before the matter is decided in the courts. Several local politicians, community activists and drug policy reformers were on hand to speak to supporters and spectators. Included among the speakers was Phil Mendelsohn, just elected to the DC city council, who urged other elected local office holders to come forward and show their support for democracy. During the campaign season every major politician running for office in DC, including Mayor-elect Tony Williams, voiced their support for Initiative 59. In the background of the protest, a court battle is going on between lawyers representing the federal government, the District and the local ACLU. The first hearing was held on Monday (11/9), where Judge Richard Roberts denied a motion to release the results at this time. During the hearing John Ferren representing the District argued that it would cost $1.64 to tabulate and release the results and thus the Barr amendment forbids it. But city officials are caught in a tight spot between what Congress dictates and their own urge for more home rule. Said Ferren, while arguing that DC cannot release the results, "Every single moment this vote is not counted is an injury to you and me and everyone in this room." Another hearing has been scheduled for December 18th. A Freedom of Information Act has also been filed by the ACLU to learn the results of the initiative. If the results are released by the courts and certified, congressional debate on medicinal marijuana is almost a certainty. Under federal law, the new 106th Congress will have a thirty day review period to decide whether any initiative passed in DC will be implemented or blocked. *** 3. Students Fight Back Against Higher Education Act Drug Provision - Kris Lotlikar The Higher Education Act of 1998 was signed into law by President Clinton on October 7. Included in the law was a provision that would deny federal financial aid eligibility to students with previous drug convictions, including possession. Student groups, collaborating through DRCNet's U-Net campus activism project, have been gearing up to mount a campaign against the drug provision, and are circulating a resolution opposing it. Students across the country are approaching their student governments, seeking endorsements for the opposition resolution. "We have met with African American, empowerment and civic campus groups to discuss the effects of this law on students. The resolution has been presented to our student government and so far the feedback has been very positive," said Davis Terrell, an officer of Students for Sensible Drug Policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. The RIT student government will be voting on the resolution in early of December, and a signature is being mounted on the campus. "Many of the students we talk to can't believe the drug war has been extended this far", commented Terrell. A new drug policy group developing at George Washington University will also be working on reforming the Higher Education Act provision. "The Higher Education Act is a blatantly wrong law that impacts a diverse segment of the population. The newly forming George Washington University drug policy group is very much opposed to this law and as one of our first effort as a group will work to overturn it." "This is an issue that will have a devastating impact on students, therefore it is up to students to get active and stand up for themselves," said Troy Dayton, President of American University NORML. "We will make a difference." For an information packet on what you can do at your campus about the Higher Education Act, call (202)293-8240 or e-mail email@example.com. Check out the U-net web page to get the latest on news involving the student effort for Higher Education Act reform at http://www.drcnet.org/U-net/. *** 4. Medical Marijuana Signature Gatherers Harassed by Sheriff in Florida On Election Day, even as Americans in five states and the District of Columbia resoundingly approved medical marijuana initiatives, signature gatherers from Floridians for Medical Rights (FMR) were harassed and threatened with violence and arrest at a polling place in Jacksonville Florida. FMR is in the midst of a two-year effort to collect the more than 435,000 signatures necessary to get a constitutional amendment allowing for the medical use of the plant placed on the 1999 ballot in that state. Petitioners were first asked to leave the polling place, at the Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, by representatives of the church itself, who eventually called the police when the petitioners, who were there legally, refused to leave. The police, ignoring the right to petition at the polls, took the side of the church employees and demanded that the petitioners leave. FMR director Toni Leeman told The Week Online, "The petitioners showed up at the polling place and began to set up their table. As soon as they pulled out the sign indicating that they were collecting signatures for medical marijuana, representatives of the church came over and told them that they were not permitted to distribute marijuana- related information on their premises. "When the petitioners refused to leave, citing their right to be there under state and federal election law, one man who worked for the church lunged at one of the petitioners across the table. The representative of the Supervisor of Elections, who is required to be at the polling place for just this kind of situation, did absolutely nothing. Finally, the people from the church called the police, who showed up and told the petitioners that they could either leave or face arrest. It was a blatant violation of our rights. It was a dereliction of duty by both the election supervisor and the police. How could either party not have known that you cannot disallow political speech based on its content? The petitioners were operating wholly within the guidelines for petitioning at a poll. It's simply unimaginable." A formal complaint has been filed with Sheriff Nathaniel Glover, requesting that the office adopt a written policy and training program to assure that such violations do not occur in the future. A complaint filed with the Supervisor of Elections alleges violations of the rights of petitioners, as well as failure to maintain good order at the polling place. It also demands that the church be removed from the list of polling places in future elections. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Department did not return calls for comment on this story. (Find Floridians for Medical Rights online at http://www.medicalrights.org.) *** 5. Oregon Police Illegally Tapped Agricultural Supply Store's Phones -- Perhaps for Years Defense attorneys in Portland, Oregon are furious this week in the wake of information indicating that local police have conducted an ongoing "phone trap" of all incoming calls to American Agriculture, a greenhouse supply store. The trap allows the police to monitor the numbers and addresses of those who called the store, without actually listening in or recording the calls themselves. Such traps require warrants, and it appears that the police have them, although the defense bar claims that they were obtained illegally. State law says that a trap can stay in place for 30 days, with an additional 30 allowable with a judge's okay. The warrants in this case appear to have been renewed over and over again, perhaps for years. In addition, the trap failed to target an individual, but rather anyone and everyone who called the store. Police have apparently used the information obtained via the trap to go to people's homes and conduct "knock and talk" investigations, seeking evidence of marijuana cultivation. *** 6. British House of Lords Committee Calls for Medical Marijuana Access A 70-page report to be released this week by the Lords Science and Technology Committee will call for a change in British law to allow marijuana to be made available medicinally. The report is certain to raise the call for cannabis law reform in the UK, which has gained enormous support recently from British health authorities, in the media and even inside the government, to new heights. Labour MP Paul Flynn called the report "a major breakthrough." The British Medical Association weighed in on the issue last year, pointing our that there was "good evidence" of the effectiveness of marijuana for certain conditions "in which other treatments are not fully adequate." The Lords Committee, a large percentage of whose members are retired scientists, spent eight months on the inquiry, which included extensive interviews with expert witnesses. *** 7. New German Government to Consider Legalizing Cannabis Otto Schily, the Social-Democratic minister for Internal Affairs, told the German newspaper Der Spiegel this week that the government, in coalition with the Green party, is considering moving toward the legalization of soft drugs such as cannabis. It appears at this point that the coalition will authorize a government study of the issue before pressing further. The Social-Democrats are said to have been internally divided on the issue, while the Greens have long called for cannabis law reform. The new government has already announced plans for some drug policy reforms, including expansion of methadone treatment and an opiate maintenance trial. *** 8. Quote of The Week "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 have to 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 smarter. We live in a land of freedom. And again, if we can't keep the drugs out of the state penitentiary, how on earth are we going to do it out on the street corner?" Minnesota Governor-elect Jesse Ventura, 11/8/98, Meet the Press *** 9. EDITORIAL: Remembering Veterans, Ignoring Lessons This past Wednesday, November 11, marked Veterans Day in the US. It is a day on which wreathes are laid, and soldiers mourned, and the memories of fallen Americans, lost to war, are honored. It is a day to reflect on the meaning of sacrifice, and perhaps, at its best, a day to consider the price to be paid, thereby tempering our patriotic zeal with grim comprehension, when we as a nation consider sending our citizens to war. Over the past twenty-five years, Veterans Day has indeed brought up difficult questions, as many, perhaps a majority of Americans ponder the reality of more than 58,000 killed in Vietnam with the understanding that they should never have been sent. We were America, we were strong, and we were confident in the moral authority of our leadership. And so they went. And fought. And died. And today, with the hard-to-swallow but dangerous-to-ignore lessons of history floating in our collective memory, Vietnam stands as a stark symbol of the horror and the waste and cultural divisiveness inherent in making the wrong decision. And all that we can do is promise ourselves, and promise our dead, that we will not make the same mistake again. But this week, even as veterans and families and friends paid tribute, another war was being fought. It is a lower- intensity conflict than they saw in Vietnam, but it is no less a war. Fought with guns and surveillance, backed up with prison camps and the curtailing of liberties, the Drug War has its own vets, its own dead, and its own legacy. It is primarily a domestic war, but our soldiers also serve and fight in Colombia, Bolivia, Panama, and countless other outposts. And they are armed. And they kill. And they are killed. Police, federal agents, members of the military, civilians, all are represented among the casualties. They are no less dead than those who fell in Vietnam. And, to the dishonor of the memory of those who fell in Nam, the war they died in is no less pointless. Decades into the Drug War, after all of the billions spent, and the lives wasted, and the millions jailed, we are no closer to a "drug free America" than South Vietnam was to free-market capitalism when the last Marines, clinging to the landing gear, took off from the roof of the American embassy. Our kids, the generation in whose name we fight, have better access to drugs today than did the high school students who marched to end the last war, before they too could be sent to shed pointless blood, at a time when the current war was just getting underway in earnest. This week America remembered its fallen, and, in the case of the veterans of our last foreign war, dishonored them as well. Once again, we have engaged in a conflict with no foreseeable endpoint. Once again, we have misjudged the nature of both the terrain and the enemy. Once again we are saddled with a national leadership who have staked reputations and careers on a struggle they cannot win. And once again we continue to put American lives at risk long after the futility of our strategy has become apparent. There are always lessons in history, perhaps none so important as those that come from our gravest mistakes. 58,000 men and women in uniform lost their lives in service to a lesson that we ignored this week, even as we laid flowers on their graves. Perhaps next year we will remember. Perhaps one day we will never forget. But for today, the fighting continues. There is no greater tragedy than a pointless war. Adam J. Smith Associate Director *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. Deductible contributions supporting our educational work can be made by check to the DRCNet Foundation, a 501(c)(3) tax- exempt organization, same address. *** DRCNet *** JOIN/MAKE A DONATION http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html DRUG POLICY LIBRARY http://www.druglibrary.org/ REFORMER'S CALENDAR http://www.drcnet.org/calendar.html SUBSCRIBE TO THIS LIST http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html DRCNet HOME PAGE http://www.drcnet.org/ -------------------------------------------------------------------
The articles posted here are generally copyrighted by the source publications. They are reproduced here for educational purposes under the Fair Use Doctrine (17 U.S.C., section 107). NORML is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit educational organization. The views of the authors and/or source publications are not necessarily those of NORML. The articles and information included here are not for sale or resale.
Comments, questions and suggestions.Reporters and researchers are welcome at the world's largest online library of drug-policy information, sponsored by the Drug Reform Coordination Network at: http://www.druglibrary.org/
Next day's news
Previous day's news
to the 1998 Daily News index for November 12-18
to the Portland NORML news archive directory
to 1998 Daily News index (long)
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/981113.html