Portland NORML News - Sunday, November 15, 1998

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: cwagoner@bendnet.com
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 09:48:25 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DPFOR: Editorial: Pot and glaucoma
To: editor@mapinc.org, DPFOR@drugsense.org
Sender: owner-dpfor@drugsense.org
Reply-To: dpfor@drugsense.org
Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/
Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (cwagoner@bendnet.com)
Source: the Bulletin (bulletin@bendbulletin.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" (drctalk@drcnet.org)
From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@COMMONLINK.NET)
Subject: Fwd: Pot and glaucoma
Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org
Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:13:01 -0600
To: bulletin@bendbulletin.com
From: "Carl E. Olsen" (carl@commonlink.net)
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.

Carl Olsen
1116 E Seneca #3
Des Moines, IA 50316

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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: 2 CA Lawmen Who Favor Marijuana Are Elected
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:20:06 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

November 15, 1998

2 Lawmen Who Favor Marijuana Are Elected

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

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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Hemp fest: A sobering show of potential
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 12:16:44 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net

Hemp fest: A sobering show of potential
By Michael Dougan
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

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

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: New Bar Has LA Waiting To Inhale
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Jim Galasyn
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Contact: letters@latimes.com
Website: http://www.latimes.com/
Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times.
Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998
Author: Nita Lelyveld


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

"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

"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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US: Editorial: Goatherd's Killing Calls For Changes
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: Steve Young
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Contact: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company
Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998
Section: 1


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." (when@olywa.net)
To: "_Drug Policy --" (when@hemp.net)
Subject: Herbal remedies starting to take root
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:56:03 -0800
Sender: owner-when@hemp.net
Newshawk: ccross@november.org
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

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

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

"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.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 11:51:26 -0500 From: JF (jhf102@psu.edu) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (drctalk@drcnet.org) Subject: Heicklen Responds Reply-To: drctalk@drcnet.org Sender: owner-drctalk@drcnet.org Centre Daily Times http://www.centredaily.com wreader@centredaily.com Stop complaining. VOTE LIBERTARIAN! Jay Ferguson Graduate Student Computer Science and Engineering Pennsylvania State University jhf102@psu.eduActivist 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: creator@islandnet.com (Matt Elrod)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
Cc: editor@mapinc.org
Subject: Canada: Editorial: Drug toll worsens, political willpower missing
Date: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 15:19:26 -0800
Lines: 83
Newshawk: creator@mapinc.org
Source: Vancouver Province (Canada)
Contact: provedpg@pacpress.southam.ca
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

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: jmcnulty@pacpress.southam.ca

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: ai256@chebucto.ns.ca
From: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
Reply-To: Chris Donald (ai256@chebucto.ns.ca)
To: mattalk@listserv.islandnet.com
cc: maptalk@mapinc.org
Subject: Column on Lords: Paper Finally Does Anti-Prohibitionist Column!


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: newsroom@herald.ns.ca
Copyright: 1998 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Jim Meek (jmeek@herald.ns.ca)

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

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

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 jmeek@herald.ns.ca

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: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Colombia: Reputed Jailed Druglord Slain In A Vendetta-Style
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
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: tribletter@aol.com
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company
Author: From Tribune New Wires


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

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

Newshawk: Pat Dolan
Source: Siegener (Germany)
Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998
Website: http://www.pipeline.de/
Translator: Pat Dolan (from German)


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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