------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot and glaucoma (A scientifically illiterate staff editorial in The Bulletin, in Bend, Oregon, finds undue significance in the recent survey of the literature on cannabis and glaucoma published by a biased Georgia professor who failed to address, among other things, the science evidenced in court rulings that Elvy Musikka and Robert Randall have a right to use marijuana because it's the only thing that preserves their eyesight. The newspaper imagines Measure 67's backers are happy that the vote on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act occurred almost two weeks ago.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 09:48:25 -0800 (PST) Subject: DPFOR: Editorial: Pot and glaucoma To: email@example.com, DPFOR@drugsense.org Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: the Bulletin (email@example.com) Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com Pubdate: 11-15-98 Section: Editorial Page: E-2 Pot and glaucoma One argument used this year in the successful campaign to legalize the medical use of marijuana held that Measure 67 would encourge scientists to scrutinize the effects of pot on the human body. Presumably, such studies would back up abundant anecdotal evidence that pot-- but only in its natural, smokeable form-- is a miricale drug, effective in treating a number of disorders from chronic pain to nausea and glaucoma. Ultimately, supporters hoped, such incontrivertible evidence would force the federal government to see the error of its prohibitionist ways and allow doctors to prescribe pot as they now prescribe pills. Well the results of one such study are in, and they appear in the issue of the American Medical Association journal Archives of Ophtalmology published last week. According to the studies author, Keith Green at the Medical College of Georgia, it is a " fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." Green discovered you'd have to smoke 12 joints a day to derive any medical benefit from them. We can only imagine how happy Measure 67's backers are that the election occured almost two weeks ago.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Re - Pot and Glaucoma (A letter sent to the editor of The Bulletin notes Bob Randall receives 300 cannabis cigarettes per month from the federal government for his glaucoma, about 10 cigarettes per day, while Keith Green at the Medical College of Georgia thinks marijuana is bad medicine based on his contention that patients need 12.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:13:34 -0600 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET) Subject: Fwd: Pot and glaucoma Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:13:01 -0600 To: email@example.com From: "Carl E. Olsen" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Pot and glaucoma Dear Editor: I can't believe you are lending credibility to Keith Green at the Medical College of Georgia, whose article regarding the use of marijuana in the treatment of glaucoma was published last week in the American Medical Association journal Archives of Opthalmology. According to Green, marijuana is ineffective in the treatment of glaucoma because a person would have to smoke approximately 10 marijuana cigarettes per day to achieve a significant reduction in intraocular pressure. For over two decades, the federal government has been supplying marijuana to Bob Randall for glaucoma. He receives 300 cigarettes per month. Break that down and you have approximately 10 cigarettes per day. Green wasted our tax dollars to tell us something we knew over twenty years ago. I can't believe a study comes out saying exactly what we've know for over two decades and it gets reported in the media as if it were something new. People don't care what scientists say any more, because they've lost their credibility. All people care about is sick people being persecuted for trying to relieve their suffering. That's why ballot initiatives legalizing marijuana for medical use won in every state where the issue was on the ballot in the last election. Sincerely, Carl Olsen 1116 E Seneca #3 Des Moines, IA 50316 515-262-6957 email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- 2 Lawmen Who Favor Marijuana Are Elected (Actually, according to the Associated Press, Norman Vroman, the district attorney-elect of Mendocino County, California, and Tony Craver, the sheriff-elect, favor only decriminalization of the herb, and that won't stop them from busting or prosecuting people.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: 2 CA Lawmen Who Favor Marijuana Are Elected Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:20:06 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org November 15, 1998 2 Lawmen Who Favor Marijuana Are Elected By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS UKIAH, Calif. -- This county of spectacular forests, canyons and rocky coastal cliffs is also home to some of the finest marijuana in the world. And home also, as of last week, to a top law-enforcement officer and top prosecutor who support decriminalization of the drug. Mendocino County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, is a county of mountain people, former hippies, yuppies and refugees from big cities. The biggest cash crop in the county, which has a population of 87,000, is its famously potent marijuana, which retails for $5,000 a pound. Last week voters elected a former convict, Norman Vroman, to be District Attorney. Vroman ran on a platform that included the drug issue and defeated a three-term incumbent who was president-elect of the California District Attorney Association. "People tell me one of two things," said Vroman, who went to prison for failing to pay several thousand dollars in income taxes. "It's either, 'I wish I had the guts to do what you did against the I.R.S.,' or it's, 'How in the world do you believe you can be the top prosecutor if you've served time in Federal prison?' " Vroman, a lawyer, served nine months behind bars in the early 1990's. The new sheriff is Tony Craver, a longtime sheriff's officer who also supports decriminalization of marijuana. In Vroman's race, voters were displeased with the incumbent's handling of a case in which a sheriff's deputy searching for a suspect was shot to death. Vroman has been quoted as saying he will not retry the defendant after a jury acquitted him of murder and deadlocked on a manslaughter charge. But Vroman, a folksy and engaging man, was also admired as a rebel. Craver has a blunt, genial manner that went over well with people. The two men's stance on marijuana figured in both campaigns. "It was a hot issue," said Marvin Lehrman, who runs a 200-member medical marijuana club. "Up until now, there has been a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy. They have not harassed us, but on the other hand, they have not cooperated with us. Vroman's slogan was, 'It's time for a change,' and that's what we want." Craver, 61, a by-the-books sheriff's officer, has arrested drug dealers and growers for years here. But he also believes marijuana use should be decriminalized, downgraded from an offense that can bring jail time to the equivalent of a traffic violation. Commercial growers and traffickers should be prosecuted, Craver said, but "if you light up a joint in your home, who are you hurting?" Mendocino County has produced more marijuana since 1995 than any of California's 57 other counties. But both Craver and Vroman said their personal views on marijuana use would not affect their official duties. "It's illegal," Vroman said. "If he arrests them, I'll prosecute them."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp fest - a sobering show of potential (The San Francisco Examiner covers the San Francisco Industrial Hemp Expo '98, examining the economic potential and broad range of uses for industrial hemp, as well as some historical background. Vendors included Jason Davis and his mom, Rose Marie Reeder, who drove down from Oregon to peddle Hemp Pops. The lime-green candy, which is made in Switzerland, tastes a bit like marijuana without the attendant brain buzz. Reeder said the confection is popular with baby boomers such as herself. She quit smoking grass long ago but still has a nostalgic feel for the flavor. "I brought one to my Bible study group," she said. "And they fought over it.") From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Hemp fest: A sobering show of potential Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:16:44 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Hemp fest: A sobering show of potential By Michael Dougan OF THE EXAMINER STAFF Sunday, November 15, 1998 Fort Mason expo trumpets banned plant's many uses Ron Sarnataro listened politely as the young man with long hair mumbled into his left ear. "We're really not showing any paraphernalia at the show," Sarnataro replied. The man -- a vendor at San Francisco Industrial Hemp Expo '98 -- hustled back to his booth, suppressing his disappointment. Sarnataro produced the hemp show, which continues through Sunday. He said the exchange illustrated a problem dogging those who endorse the commercial cultivation of hemp on U.S. soil. Paraphernalia is for pot, which makes you high. Hemp, a benign form of the marijuana plant, does not. "I think the resistance (to legalized hemp cultivation) comes from confusing industrial hemp with recreational marijuana," Sarnataro said. "There's a public education problem." A visit to the Expo, held at the Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason, reveals that those promoting hemp haven't always heard the message. Two vendors call their company Mary Jane, a nickname for smokable reefer. While paraphernalia is banned, books on growing marijuana are displayed at several booths, as is the magazine High Times, a periodical for drug users. A hemp clothing booth features a shirt emblazoned with the words "If you can't smoke it, wear it." Almost endless applications Organizers and most vendors insist that the impetus to legalize hemp cultivation is separate from movements to legalize marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes. Hemp, they said, is a profoundly prolific plant with an almost endless array of applications, including fiber products -- paper and fabrics -- and oils for culinary, industrial and cosmetic application. In addition to clothing, Hemp Expo vendors are selling hammocks, work gloves, backpacks, American flags, body oil, hemp-flavored lollipops, decorative envelopes ("hempalopes") and meals including hemp crust pizza and "hempen" shepherd's pie. Mark Hornaday of the Hemp Shak, a store with outlets in San Louis Obispo and Los Angeles County's Claremont, said it's estimated that between 10,000 and 50,000 products can be made from the hemp plant. Hornaday admitted that hemp's connection to marijuana attracts buyers who have also sampled the potent form of the plant. "I know that if it weren't for the popularity of marijuana then hemp wouldn't be as popular, but we're definitely at the point where we need to move on and get people to understand that it's not the same thing and if you're not into marijuana then you can still use these products," he said. The proponents said hemp contains less than 1 percent of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, while puffable pot typically contains from 2 percent to 30 percent THC. More importantly, they said, hemp is a superior source for many products, such as paper. "You can make four times as much paper from an acre of hemp as you can from an acre of trees," Hornaday said. Sarnataro added that paper from hemp is acid-free, so it won't turn yellow and decompose like wood-based paper. And, he said, it can be grown without pesticides or herbicides. Cultivated throughout history While hemp cultivation -- widespread throughout the United States from the country's inception until the 1930s -- is against the law, "it is legal to import fiber and it is legal to import sterilized seeds" for making oil, Sarnataro said. Hemp production was legalized in Canada last year, said David Bata of Commercial Hemp, a quarterly trade magazine published in Vancouver. He said 241 licenses to grow hemp were issued to Canadian farmers, who planted 6,195 acres. The magazine's Jason Freeman said the crops are used to blend into recycled paper, make composite products for the auto industry and manufacture body oils and cosmetics. Pursuing legislative remedy The move to legalize hemp cultivation in the United States is being spearheaded by Lloyd Casey, a former state senator from Colorado who, during his term in office, introduced the first bill to permit American farmers to plant hemp. It died in committee. Bruce Myer, representing Casey's lobbying effort, said his organization is targeting Colorado and North and South Dakota for quick legislative endorsements of hemp. They've added Minnesota, he said, because its new governor, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, has endorsed the crop. Myer said hemp cultivation is still forbidden because law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, mount fervent opposition. "They're focusing on a drug issue," he said. If no state has legalized hemp by 2000, Myer said, his group will promote voter initiatives on hemp's behalf. They could begin by handing out lollipops. Jason Davis and his mom, Rose Marie Reeder, drove down from Oregon to peddle Hemp Pops at the Expo. He said customers find the lime-green candy, which is made in Switzerland, to taste a bit like marijuana without the attendant brain buzz. Reeder said the confection is popular with baby boomers such as herself. She quit smoking grass long ago but still has a nostalgic feel for the flavor. "I brought one to my Bible study group," she said. "And they fought over it."
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Bar Has LA Waiting To Inhale (A Los Angeles Times feature article on O2, Los Angeles' first oxygen bar, which is co-owned by Woody Harrelson, the hemp promoter and former bartender on television's "Cheers.") Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:54:40 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: New Bar Has LA Waiting To Inhale Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times. Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998 Author: Nita Lelyveld NEW BAR HAS L.A. WAITING TO INHALE WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. -- Oh, the air can get thin out here in the land of limos and liposuction. Oh, the air can get brown, too, hovering over the celebrities and swimming pools like sludge. Oh, what to do when it all gets too, too much? Go to O2, Los Angeles' first oxygen bar -- co-owned by Cheers bartender and hemp crusader Woody Harrelson. This hip Sunset Strip salon comes not a moment too soon, say the patrons, as they sink back into soft pillows and breathe deep. Outside, cars rumble along in a steady stream down Sunset Boulevard. Horns beep. Neon flashes. Inside, from the hoses of brass hookahs, actors and lawyers and businesspeople serenely suck oxygen-enriched air through the same clear plastic nostril tubing in vogue at the emergency room. They pay through the nose, too: $13 for a 20-minute session, with an extra $2 for flavors (lemon, mint, orange) or aromatherapy scents (joy, clarity, energy). No one complains. "It's pleasing. You can really feel it," said Ricky Paull Goldin, a 31-year-old actor dressed in black T-shirt, black sunglasses and jeans, who was testing out the air with his photographer. "It really makes sense, doesn't it, to feed the body oxygen?" said Goldin, who spent five years on the soap Another World. "When you see the old guys keel over in Vegas, what do they do? Rush over with oxygen. And the air we breathe here daily is so bad." Tokyo has had oxygen bars for a few years now. China and India have them to counterbalance smog. "Oxygen therapy" already has hit New York and Aspen. But O2 is something new, the owners explain; it's about much more than breathing. Complete with DJs, beautiful people and black lights, it's also a nightclub (open until at least 2 a.m.), as well as a restaurant and a watering hole -- of a sort. Last year, California banned smoking at bars. O2 takes the clean-living bar concept one step further: no alcohol. Instead, customers belly up to a "herbar" for fruit and herbal elixirs and shots -- floura "for a happy colon," spirulina, an alga, for protein. All the fabric is hemp, from the elegant ecru valances in the front windows to the staff T-shirts, which bear the slogan "eat . . . drink . . . breathe . love." Even the regular room air is filtered through an "ozonator." The food is all vegetarian and nondairy -- and served raw, the better to keep in the nutrients. The menus, printed with soy-based ink on hemp paper, offer suggestions for living the good life: "Instead of capping off a late night with a crawl to your standard greasy spoon, order something from our organic menu that will actually help you get out of bed in the morning. Healthy, yeah, but hopefully you came to party. So go all-out. There never has been or will be a hangover created here." "Our idea is to provide the highest-content nutrition without animal products for your body, mood-altering herbal drinks for your mind, and a breath of fresh air for your soul," says Richard DeAndrea, a medical and naturopathic physician who goes by the name Dr. D. Dr. D owns the bar with Harrelson and Harrelson's wife, Laura Louie. He came up with the concept and sold the activist couple on it after they heard his alternative-medicine radio show and sought him out about two years ago. "We did some orange-flavored oxygen at my house, some herbal drinks, some raw food, and said, 'Let's do it,' " the goateed healer explains as he sits in 02's intimate round front room, eating a mock Caesar salad whose egg and anchovy flavorings have been concocted from a mixture of yeast, nuts, herbs, spices and seaweed. The threesome hope soon to start holding yoga workshops and other events at the club. They spent months decorating the small Sunset Boulevard property, which has a round Roman-temple-inspired front room, with faux columns, semicircular bar, and a small, silvery dance floor. Often people walk in and assume it's a nightclub like any other. "We had a guy walk up to the bar saying, 'Give me the stiffest screwdriver that you have,' and the bartender sat for a second thinking, 'God, do you actually know how stiff our screwdrivers are?' Because they're very strong. They give you a total buzz,' " says Dr. D, gazing into the Moroccan-inspired breathing area in the back, visible through a large window. There, Robin Riker stretches out, reading the Los Angeles Times and breathing happily. Riker, an actress, already is a regular, as is her husband, Evan Nesbitt, a cameraman. "We came here about three or four weeks ago," she says as she inhales the energy-laced air. "We tried clarity the first time. And we had had nothing before we came. We were totally straight, hadn't had a drink or anything like that. And we sat here and ordered a kava [ root ] cocktail and felt so lifted. "After our 20 minutes with the oxygen, we wanted to try everything on the menu, so we ordered a menu sampler, and we were just talking and watching everybody. And I felt a real lift of energy and a mental acuity that I hadn't had when I came in." She leans back on the pillows, relaxing. "I was tired. This makes me sit right up," she says. "It would be really great before a workout." Since the first visit, Riker and Nesbitt have brought many of their friends, all of whom raved, she says. Still, the concept sometimes makes Riker laugh. "We've spent some serious money here," she says, grinning. "That first night, as we were driving home, my husband looked at me and he said, 'You know, only in L.A. can you drop $100 on oxygen and cabbage!' "
------------------------------------------------------------------- Goatherd's Killing Calls For Changes (A staff editorial in The Chicago Tribune comments on the report by the US House of Representatives on the killing of Esequiel Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old goatherder from the tiny border town of Redmond, Texas, by camouflaged US Marines on an anti-drug mission. The House report is missing one crucial ingredient - a proposal for legislation or policy changes to ensure that such a tragedy never occurs again.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 18:45:27 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Goatherd's Killing Calls For Changes Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998 Section: 1 GOATHERD'S KILLING CALLS FOR CHANGES A tragic combination of human errors and bureaucratic bungling killed Esequiel Hernandez Jr., an 18-year-old goatherder from the tiny border town of Redmond, Texas, on May 20 of last year. Two federal agencies were involved in this tragedy: the Department of Justice, which runs the U.S. Border Patrol Service, and the U.S. Marines, which had assigned some young and inexperienced servicemen near the border to assist in the interdiction of illegal drugs coming from Mexico. A report issued Thursday by the House Subcommittee on Immigration confirms what many had suspected all along. The two agencies got their communications mixed up, and the four-man unit of young Marines, not trained to do narcotics work, shot young Esequiel by mistake. The report on the incident rightly praises the Marines for conducting a thorough investigation, but slams the Department of Justice, which refused to carry out a similar review, much less own up to its responsibility. In fact, the latter obstructed the investigation of the case by the Texas Rangers by withholding information. Despite its eloquence in describing the incident, the House report is missing one crucial ingredient: A proposal for legislation or policy changes to ensure that a tragedy like the one that led to Esequiel Hernandez's death never occurs again.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Herbal remedies starting to take root (The Bergen Record, in New Jersey, takes note of last week's special edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, which focused on alternative medicine, with a feature article about the herbal remedy market. One in three Americans is said to use herbal remedies, a $4 billion industry. Warner-Lambert and other pharmaceutical giants are starting to put out their own products, making the market "mainstream." Doctors are beginning to bone up on the approximately 200 medicinal herb products available, if only to know how to advise patients who use them. Meanwhile, the FDA - and some in the business - bemoan the lack of government regulation.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Herbal remedies starting to take root Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:56:03 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Bergen Record Pubdate: Sunday, November 15, 1998 Online: http://www.bergen.com/news/herbalbg199811156.htm Herbal remedies starting to take root By BOB GROVES, Staff Writer At a big media gathering in Manhattan recently, Warner-Lambert Co., the worldwide pharmaceutical maker based in Morris Plains, introduced two humble herbal supplements with the fanfare usually reserved for major medical breakthroughs. "There is a new age of legitimacy for herbal remedies," cried Barry Turner of Warner-Lambert, who has the impressive title of vice president for global complementary medicines. Reporters were handed sample packets of tablets -- saw palmetto ("supports male prostate health") and ginkgo biloba ("promotes and maintains mental sharpness") -- the first two products in Warner-Lambert's new Quanterra line of herbal supplements. Herbal remedies, Turner continued, "are rapidly becoming mainstream. Ninety percent of physicians and pharmacists are seeing patient interest in alternative medicine and herbal supplements." Warner-Lambert, like other pharmaceutical giants that earn billions from sophisticated prescription drugs, is reaching back to the folk medicines and "natural" remedies of Native Americans, the Chinese, and other ancient cultures to make billions more in the modern market of vitamins, minerals, and herbs. Until recently, it was a market served mainly by hundreds of small independent manufacturers, loosely regulated by the government, and largely ignored by the medical establishment. Just last week, the Journal of the American Medical Association, a bible of the profession, devoted an entire issue to herbal remedies and other "alternative" therapies in response to readers and patients who increasingly are turning to self-medication and who often know more about the subject than their doctors. Among other findings, JAMA reported that a mix of Chinese herbs, including magnolia bark, tangerine peel, and peony root, was more than 50 percent effective in treating irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic condition that afflicts nearly 20 percent of Americans. On the other hand, JAMA said a study found the herb garcinia cambogia, long touted as a natural diet drug, did nothing to help people lose weight. Unlike Europe -- especially Germany -- where supplements proliferate under watchful government eye, regulation of herbal remedies in the United States is minimal. What there is falls under the 1994 federal Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, known as DSHEA (pronounced "De-shay"). DSHEA was passed after intensive lobbying by supplement manufacturers and consumers to head off stricter Food and Drug Administration oversight. DSHEA prohibits herbal supplement makers from claiming that their products can cure, treat, or prevent disease. They can claim, however, that a product benefits an organ, such as the brain or bones, or a bodily function, such as digestion. The FDA can only look for false advertising, or step in when a supplement is suspected of being harmful. A German report published last week concluded, for example, that echinacea, an herb long reputed to be beneficial in preventing and treating colds, worked no better than a placebo. Moreover, medical experts cautioned recently that because echinacea appears to stimulate the immune system, it should not be taken by pregnant women, or by people with AIDS, tuberculosis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, or autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. In patients with these diseases, an overstimulated immune system can cause the body to attack itself. As the herbal industry grows, however, "we're working on establishing good manufacturing practices to help the whole industry have better quality control over supplements and their ingredients. It's an ongoing process," said a spokesman for the FDA. By March, for example, the FDA will require all dietary supplements to carry a "facts panel" on the package listing ingredients, much like those on a box of cereal. Ineffective rules said to hinder FDA But critics say the weak federal guidelines do more harm than good. Congress "tied the FDA's hands" with the passage of DSHEA, said Bruce Silverglade, a consumer advocacy lawyer who is director of legal affairs for the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington. "That law makes it difficult for the FDA to remove potentially hazardous products from the marketplace, and permits companies to make label claims without FDA approval," Silverglade said. By allowing manufacturers to tout the health benefits of their supplements, he said, the federal rules also help them foster the impression "that the product can reduce risk of disease. "The FDA has no power to approve those claims before they are used on supplement bottles," he said. Manufacturers should have to show the FDA that their products are safe, and that their claims are valid, before they can be marketed, Silverglade said. Unfortunately, he added, "It may take a large tragedy before Congress rethinks the wisdom of the '94 DSHEA approach." Though relatively toothless at this point, "DSHEA is evolving and will be modified," said Dr. Stephen Holt, a physician, author, and head of BioTherapies Inc., a research and development company in Fairfield that markets 15 nutritional supplements. "We're trying to play by the rules." Inappropriate claims by some manufacturers have caused the biggest criticism of the supplement industry, Holt said. "The key issue here," he said, "is consumer safety and hyperbolic claims, and the FDA must play an important role in this." Holt warned that people who use these remedies should inform their doctors they're doing so, because herbs may interact with other herbs and conventional drug therapies and can cause harmful side effects. Advocates see need for more research The increasing popularity of "unconventional therapies, including herbal remedies, reflects a need" for more research, said Anita Greene, a spokeswoman for the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a division of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland. The center, which provided financial backing for some of the studies described in the most recent issue of JAMA, "is committed to funding quality research" on herbal supplements, and has about 50 projects under way, Greene said. About 70 percent of the center's $50 million budget goes to researching alternative medicine, she said. "Complementary medicine," practiced in conjunction with traditional therapies, is replacing "alternative medicine," the more confrontational term for a range of non-traditional and holistic therapies -- from herbal remedies, acupuncture, and biofeedback to yoga and massage therapy. One in three Americans is said to use herbal remedies, helping to make this a $4 billion industry. Although more than 200 different herbal supplements are on the market, about 10 -- including ginkgo, saw palmetto, echinacea for colds and flu, ginseng to fight stress, garlic to lower cholesterol, and kava kava to fight anxiety -- account for half the profits. Other big players moving into the herbal remedy arena include Bayer Corp. of Morris Township, maker of One-A-Day vitamins, and American Home Products Corp., the multibillion-dollar prescription drug firm that recently bought out the Solgar Vitamin and Herb Co. of Leonia. Warner Lambert, meanwhile, "is committed to the Quanterra line," and will offer its version of the anti-depressant St. John's wort in January, spokesman Turner said. The company's new herbal supplements are "clinically proven by doctors" to be safe and effective, and backed by its reputation, Turner said. But, he cautioned, "standards throughout the industry are not uniform, and quality varies. . . . Quality control is much needed." The move by big pharmaceutical firms into herbal supplements was "inevitable" as more people self-medicate, Holt said. The acquisition of smaller nutrition-supplement makers by the big companies is "very positive" and will help raise standards in the industry, he said. "A lot of dietary herbs are not manufactured with any degree of consistency, and it's very difficult for the consumer to be aware of that variability in quality," Holt said. BioTherapies, which does about $10 million in business annually, is "like an ant" compared with a big outfit such as Warner-Lambert, he said. But his company still is competitive because its research, patents, proprietary knowledge, and intellectual property "is a strategic advantage," Holt said. Michael Fedida, a pharmacist and owner of J & J Pharmacy Cedar Chemists Inc. in Teaneck, agrees that standardization and regulation of supplements are needed. "We get telemarketing calls for stuff that's just crap in a bottle, going fad to fad. A lot of small businesses are really running wild making claims. Patients pick up the cheapest bottle thinking it's good, but there are definitely deviations [between products], so you need the government in there," Fedida said. The involvement of big pharmaceuticals in dietary supplements will be good for everybody's business, he said. "It will give an endorsement to [herbal remedies] as viable," Fedida said. Supplements are about 30 percent of Fedida's business, but they are becoming bigger, he said, because "people are more willing to accept zinc and other products. They're much more mainstream. "Before, they looked at us like we were nuts. Five years ago, doctors were considered quacks if they recommended supplements." Doctors, too, need greater information Physicians as much as consumers need to be educated about supplements, said Dr. Louis Teichholz, chief of cardiology and medical director of the new complementary medicine program at Hackensack University Medical Center. "One of the biggest problems is that patients are sometimes afraid that a physician will laugh or tell them not to take [supplements] because he doesn't understand their potential," Teichholz said. Physicians must learn more about supplements, he said, because "the patients are demanding it, and doctors have to keep up. "I'm not saying a physician has to agree [that supplements work], but we have an obligation to advise patients about them," he said. Colleagues have shown "tremendous interest" in supplements, he said. "When we started this, I was afraid people would think I'm 'new age,' and that this is weird," but the opposite happened, said Teichholz, who has a special interest in Native American medicine. "We as normal, [traditional] physicians still have a lot to learn from other cultures and traditions. Remember, a lot of drugs we use, like digitalis, were herbal products. Quinine for malaria came from the bark of a tree," he said. Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, who teaches and practices at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, said he told patients for years that alternative medicine was "garbage and a waste of time." "But I realized this was intellectually dishonest, because I realized that, in many areas, it works safely and effectively," said Rosenfeld, who also is health editor of Parade magazine and author of a guide to alternative medicine. Rosenfeld, who took part in a Warner-Lambert panel discussion of the company's new herbal line, said he takes ginkgo and saw palmetto himself, but is not completely sold on the remedies. "Memory loss associated with aging -- the ability to hide your own Easter egg type of thing -- is a serious problem for which we have no solution," he said. But ginkgo is good because it dilates arteries and increases blood flow to the brain and to the extremities, and also works as an antioxidant. And although there are no data showing that saw palmetto shrinks an enlarged benign prostate as effectively as the drug Proscar, the herbal remedy "is very useful and has virtually no side effects," he said. "I believe there's a little poison in every medicine and herb, and you should take any therapy only when needed and indicated," Rosenfeld said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Activist wants young to focus on personal rights (A letter to the editor of The Centre Daily Times, in Pennsylvania, by convicted marijuana possessor Julian Heicklen, the civil liberties activist and retired Penn State professor, rejects a previous letter writer's suggestion that his weekly marijuana-smoking protests were subtle and indirect.)Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:51:26 -0500 From: JF (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Heicklen Responds Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Centre Daily Times http://www.centredaily.com firstname.lastname@example.org Stop complaining. VOTE LIBERTARIAN! Jay Ferguson Graduate Student Computer Science and Engineering Pennsylvania State University email@example.comActivist wants young to focus on personal rights *** Activist wants young to focus on personal rights I am responding to an opinion column by Adam Smeltz in the Nov. 8 CDT. Mr. Smeltz criticizes me for smoking marijuana cigarettes at the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street on Thursdays at noon. He says that my method for pushing legislative changes also leaves a subtle and indirect impression on adolescents. I am disappointed. My intent is to leave a blatant and direct impression. That impression is that the most fundamental of human rights is the right to your own body. That includes the right to do stupid things. It is immoral to arrest someone for owning a vegetable. Mr. Smeltz says that if I light up a joint in public every week, some adolescents will consider that marijuana is not as damaging as health class suggests. I hope that all adolescents will consider that. Marijuana is a relatively harmless substance. The teachers in the school system are lying to our children about the dangers of marijuana. The children know it and the teachers know it, or should know it, too. The danger of teachers lying to children is that the children will not believe them when they tell the truth. I do not advocate or recommend the use of marijuana or any other illicit drug except for medical purposes. I do not use illicit drugs (except marijuana at political demonstrations) or tobacco. It is forbidden to use either in my home. I do advocate truth and freedom. The issue is not marijuana. Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The issue is whether we are going to live in freedom or under tyranny. Choose freedom! Julian Heicklen State College (The writer is a local activist calling for the reform of drug laws.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug toll worsens, political willpower still missing (Vancouver Province columnist Jim McNulty notes British Columbia's death toll from so-called heroin overdoses has passed 300 for the year, overlooking the exponentially greater toll from cigarettes and alcohol. Government officials who are about to discuss the issue should read up on European successes with harm reduction, which includes safe-injection sites in Germany, Switzerland and Holland. In Frankfurt, drug overdose deaths fell to 31 in 1996 from 147 in 1991. Trafficking, smuggling, drug-related crime and costly court appearances have all been reduced. Canadians ignore these victories and continue to rely on the failed, criminal-based "War on Drugs.") From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Canada: Editorial: Drug toll worsens, political willpower missing Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 15:19:26 -0800 Lines: 83 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Sunday 15 November 1998 Author: Jim McNulty Drug toll worsens, political willpower still missing The last time I wrote about the drug crisis in B.C., the death toll from overdoses this year had gone above 200 people. That was three months ago. In what is becoming a depressingly familiar update, I can report that deaths from overdoses in this province are now above 300 for the year. To be precise, 303 deaths as of Oct. 21, with 213 of those occurring in the Lower Mainland. One would think that by now, such a horrendous roll call of death, repeated year after year, would have spurred our three levels of government into taking bold, rapid measures to start saving lives. But no. Still, there is no comprehensive plan in place. No politician in a position of authority has stepped forward to lead the process. Stacks of reports have been written on drug abuse and how to deal with it, and a consensus is apparent in many of the recommendations. Instead of moving ahead on these areas of agreement, the public and the politicians waste precious time bickering over controversial suggestions such as safe-injection sites and clinical heroin maintenance trials. Former premier Mike Harcourt has the right idea. In a recent article he outlined a plan that has even won the support of hardline Reform MP John Reynolds. In addition to the usual calls for tough policing of drug dealers, Harcourt wants expanded methadone and possibly heroin treatment programs. He wants expanded detox centres, more facilities for the mentally ill, a drug court, federal funding for low-income housing, and expanded drug and alcohol treatment programs in every Lower Mainland community. "He's right," says Reynolds, a law-and-order man who also recognizes that busting heads alone won't solve the dilemma. "It's going to take leadership, and it's going to take money," says Reynolds. "Well, this is a wealthy country." East Vancouver MP Libby Davies, who wants clinical heroin trials, and Vancouver-Richmond health board member Bud Osborn, who wants trials of safe-injection sites, have both met recently with federal Health Minister Allan Rock and say he's well-informed about the issues at hand. Presumably Premier Glen Clark, B.C. Health Minister Penny Priddy and Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen are also well-informed. The question is why they haven't yet sat down at the same table to enact a common-sense plan like Harcourt's. While they're at it, they should read up on European successes with a harm- reduction approach to drug abuse, which includes safe-injection sites in Germany, Switzerland and Holland. In Frankfurt, for example, drug overdose deaths fell to 31 in 1996 from 147 in 1991. Trafficking, smuggling, drug-related crime and costly court appearances have all been reduced. Here at home, we ignore these victories and continue to rely on the failed, criminal-based "War on Drugs." Davies correctly notes that co-operation from all governments is essential. Ottawa to approve heroin trials, restore money (axed in 1993) for low-income urban housing and add health funds for the drug emergency now declared in Vancouver. Victoria to commit resources for detox, rehabilitation, treatment and other support services. And the municipalities to build region-wide resources as recommended by medical health officer Dr. John Blatherwick, who notes the problem now exists in virtually every community. Governments can find money when they have to. The cost of doing nothing, in human, economic and social terms, far outweighs the cost of needed programs. How many more must die before Rock, Clark and Owen make the necessary moves? Jim McNulty's voice mail: 605-2094. E-mail: email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- May the Lords be with us (Columnist Jim Meek in The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, in Nova Scotia, marks the occasion of the British House of Lords' recommendation that marijuana be legalized for medical purposes with an essay on prohibition that recognizes most people have a natural inclination to alter consciousness, or "get off.") Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 20:24:39 -0400 (AST) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Chris Donald (email@example.com) Reply-To: Chris Donald (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: email@example.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Column on Lords: Paper Finally Does Anti-Prohibitionist Column! All, for the first time that I can remember, the stodgy and conservative Halifax Chronical-Herald (known as the Chronically-Horrid to most local readers and all local reporters) has done a column on prohibition that was solidly, sanely against it. This is a breakthrough, and on page A3 to boot, and they should be congratulated for it. Wonder how the columnist learned of the House of Lords cannabis report so quickly?-) He also mentions Krieger, attacks arresting MS patients, and nails Priddy in BC for her stupidity. We finally get a crack at Halifax's other paper, and the only one available outside of Halifax in Nova Scotia. They specify a 200 words max, but it is hard to ignore lte's that praise you for what you have published;) Subj: OPED May The Lords Be With Us Source: Halifax Sunday Herald (Canada) Date: Sunday, November 15, 1998 Contact: email@example.com Copyright: 1998 The Halifax Herald Limited Author: Jim Meek (firstname.lastname@example.org) May the Lords be with us By Jim Meek ON NOV. 11 - Remembrance Day, already - a committee of the British House of Lords recommended the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. The Peers of the Realm in England endorsed the use of pot to treat certain diseases and ailments - including multiple sclerosis. Why? Because it works. It alleviates pain and suffering. In Canada, meanwhile, we're still making criminals of MS patients who treat themselves with pot. Just last month, MS patient Grant Krieger was convicted on a cannabis charge in Calgary. The Krieger conviction, so out of touch with common sense, had me wondering about how uptight official Canada can be. And how zealous. Hard on the heels of the Praise-the-Lords report on marijuana, British Columbia Health Minister Penny Priddy took on big tobacco. B.C.'s suing the cigarette makers for addicting people and killing 6,000 British Columbians a year. To which I say, why not sue every industry that's making us sick - carmakers, oil-burners, animal-slayers, sugar-cane cutters in Cuba - even as we live longer than any generation in history. Now, let me retreat from my rant to the ageless wisdom of the report of the House of Lords' science and technology committee. Not only do we learn in its pages that herbalist John Gerard (1597) recommended pot as it "consumeth wind and drieth up seed." Reading on, I also started to suspect that history began sometime before Canada sent soldiers to the Boer War: "The earliest known reference to cannabis is in Assyrian tablets of the seventh century BC. It has thus been in use for at least 2,600 years. Like very many other herbs, it has been used medically for a wide variety of ailments, especially throughout Asia and the Middle East. The mild euphoria that it induces led to its use as an intoxicant, perhaps most notably in countries where Islam prohibited the use of alcohol." I'm sorry, but that paragraph makes me warm and fuzzy all over. If you come from a culture that scorns alcohol, it may well be one that embraces hemp. Many women who campaigned in the temperance movement were sly clients of Ladies Cordial - a polite drink laced with alcohol. I have a friend who has never touched alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs - and is quietly sanctimonious about it all - yet soars on black tea and sugar cookies. (I like her too much to slag her obvious and blessed and human hypocrisy.) So here's my message to that Calgary court: you should have given Mr. Krieger a break. And here's my message to the B.C. health minister: People like to get off, have used dubious substances for centuries, and will continue to get high or wired or whatever. It's human nature - in all its glorious perversity - and Ms. Priddy will not legislate it away, or get a court to rule it out of order. So remember what old William Blake said: "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." (As for those addicts who can't get off the road, they're as inevitable as the road itself. For them, I recommend that the state provide soft shoulders and a comfortable ditch stocked with air mattresses and down sleeping bags.) Yes, many a man has been ruined by drink. But it's just as certain (as Mordecai Richler wrote in Bye Bye Mulroney) that "an abrupt lapse into abstinence has led to even more of them unravelling." (The essay is from Belling the Cat, published by Knopf Canada.) As Richler says, Mulroney stopped drinking and ended up "changing his shirt three times a day to mix with dozy Ronald Reagan." So there you have it. There are worse things in life than taking your pleasures, even in a flight from pain. So enjoy, and endure. Contact Jim Meek at email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Halifax Herald Limited
------------------------------------------------------------------- Reputed Jailed Druglord Slain In A Vendetta-Style (The Chicago Tribune says Jose Orlando Henao Montoya, the imprisoned leader of the Norte del Valle drug gang in Colombia, was shot six times in the head by Jose Manuel Herrera Moncada, a fellow inmate and brother of Helmer Herrera, one of the leaders of the Cali drug cartel who was also recently assassinated while serving time. Supposedly, the murder had all the hallmarks of a personal vendetta to avenge the murder of Herrera.) Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 20:16:52 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Colombia: Reputed Jailed Druglord Slain In A Vendetta-Style Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Author: From Tribune New Wires REPUTED JAILED DRUGLORD SLAIN IN A VENDETTA-STYLE SHOOTING BOGOTA, COLOMBIA -- Another reputed druglord was killed inside a Colombian prison Friday, and the gunman was a brother of a jailed Cali cartel drug boss killed in a recent gangland-style murder, authorities said. Police identified the latest victim as Jose Orlando Henao Montoya, 45. He was a suspected leader of the Norte del Valle drug gang, which has been linked in local media reports to the Nov. 5 killing of Helmer Herrera, one of the leaders of the Cali drug cartel. He was shot six times in the head by Jose Manuel Herrera Moncada -- a fellow inmate and brother of the slain Cali drug kingpin -- who somehow managed to get a .38-caliber pistol, police and prison officials said. They said the crime had all the hallmarks of a personal vendetta to avenge the murder of Herrera. Jose Manuel Herrera was wounded while carrying out the attack, apparently by another prisoner wielding a knife, but spokesmen for the National Prisons Institute said they were unable to comment on his exact condition. Helmer Herrera, 47, was considered one of the top three members of Cali drug mob, which once controlled up to 80 percent of the world's cocaine trade. He was shot seven times in the head by a gunman masquerading as a lawyer in the Palmira prison near Cali.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heroin To Be Distributed First In Hamburg And Frankurt (A translation of an article from Siegener, in Germany, says Federal Health Minister Andrea Fischer told the German newsmagazine, Der Spiegel, that preparations were already well advanced for a heroin-maintenance trial program in the two cities.) Newshawk: Pat Dolan Source: Siegener (Germany) Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.pipeline.de/ Translator: Pat Dolan (from German) HEROIN TO BE DISTRIBUTED FIRST IN HAMBURG AND FRANKURT Hamburg (AP) The trial of a state controlled distribution of heroin to sick addicts will begin in Hamburg and Frankfurt. Federal Health Minister Andrea Fischer told the German newsmagazine 'Der Spiegel' that the preparations were already well advanced in the two cities. The Greens Minister declared that the distribution would be expanded to include convicts. She would also seek agreement from her colleagues on a unified sanctions policy on marihuana possession. Comparing marihuana with alcohol, Fischer said moderate life-long consumption caused no harmful effects: "Some can manage that, many others can't." The drug mortality figures dropped a further 200 last year to 1,500, the 1990 figure. At the same time, however, there was a sharp increase in the number of first time consumers of so-called party drugs. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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