------------------------------------------------------------------- AIDS increasing among minorities, women (The Associated Press says AIDS-related deaths in Oregon dropped 62 percent from 1996 to last year, from 238 to 90, according to the annual AIDS/HIV report released Tuesday by the state Health Division. However, a greater percentage of women and minorities have contracted the disease. No mention is made of what proportion of new cases were attributed to intravenous drug users sharing needles, but Jim Looney, a Salem man who has AIDS and is on a prevention committee for Marion and Polk counties, said, "We are seeing infection at a younger age, so outreach to street youth is especially important.") Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com AIDS increasing among minorities, women The Associated Press 11/18/98 4:29 PM SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The number of Oregonians diagnosed with AIDS declined dramatically last year, but a greater percentage of women and minorities have contracted the disease, according to a new state report. AIDS-related deaths in Oregon dropped 62 percent from 1996 to last year, from 238 to 90, according to the annual AIDS/HIV report released Tuesday by the state Health Division. Since 1981, 2,497 Oregonians have died of complications from the disease. Nationally, AIDS-related deaths dropped 26 percent in 1996. In 1997, 291 Oregon people were diagnosed with AIDS, a 38 percent decrease from the 468 cases diagnosed in 1996. That is the sharpest decline since 1993, when AIDS cases first started decreasing. Oregon health officials cautioned that breakthroughs in treatments and medication are not reasons to relax prevention efforts. "It's good news that there is actually a treatment that dramatically seems to be reducing death and end stages of the disease," said Steven Modesitt, the state's HIV surveillance manager. "But we have to recognize there are new groups where the epidemic is evolving." Overall, the number of people with AIDS rose to 4,162 in 1997 from 3,870 in 1996. Other trends outlined in the 74-page report: In the past decade, AIDS cases in homosexual men decreased as a proportion of total cases from 89 percent to 69 percent. During the same period from 1987 to 1997, the proportion of cases increased from 3 percent to 7 percent among women; from 1 percent to 6 percent among blacks; and from 3 percent to 8 percent among Hispanics. By the end of 1997, only 14 teen-agers were reported as having AIDS. But health officials suspect a significantly larger number are infected with the virus that leads to AIDS. That's because 17 percent of all AIDS cases in Oregon -- 710 -- are of people ages 20 to 29, and it takes from seven to 10 years for the virus to progress from infection to disease. "We are seeing infection at a younger age, so outreach to street youth is especially important," said Jim Looney, a Salem man who has AIDS and is on a prevention committee for Marion and Polk counties. Warnings about AIDS often don't get to teen-agers, especially those who skip school, said Barb Schmidt, who coordinates AIDS services for Polk County. Reaching minorities also is a problem if they don't speak English. "They don't have the same access to education and services," Schmidt said. "I hate to see this turn into a disease of the disenfranchised." (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical-Pot Advocate's Trial Now In Jury's Hands (The Orange County Register says the outcome of the trial of Marvin Chavez, founder of the Orange County Patient, Doctor, Nurse Support Group, on trafficking charges, could determine police conduct in future medical-marijuana cases.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 11:12:11 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Medical-Pot Advocate's Trial Now In Jury's Hands Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Author: Teri Sforza-OCR MEDICAL-POT ADVOCATE'S TRIAL NOW IN JURY'S HANDS Courts: The defendant's lawyer says he was entrapped;the prosecutor says the case is one of simple drug dealing. Marvin Chavez is either a compassionate crusader who bravely stuck his neck out to ease others' suffering,or he's a street-level drug dealer who tried to cloak his dirty business in California's new medical-marijuana law. In an impassioned oratory Tuesday, Chavez's attorney, J. David Nick, accused police and the district attorney of "a political witch hunt" riddled with deception and gross misconduct that entrapped a well-meaning man. Prosecutor Carl Armbrust calmly stated that the case was simple: Chavez exchanged marijuana for money, and selling marijuana is illegal in California. Chavez is charged with 10 counts of selling or transporting marijuana, which could land him in prison for a decade or more. A gallery of about 20 ardent Chavez supporters filled the courtroom, some on canes, some on crutches, some missing limbs, but all hanging on the outcome of the trial that could determine police conduct in future medical-marijuana cases. Chavez is founder of the Orange County Patient, Doctor, Nurse Support Group, the local "cannabis club" that popped up after Proposition 215 passed in 1996. Chavez suffers from severe back pain, and his group's mission was to distribute marijuana to sick people who had a doctor's permission to use it. The marijuana was given for free, Chavez maintains, but the group accepted donations to cover operating costs. Police mounted an undercover operation with officers posing as a sick man and his caretakers, and police were expected to make "donations" when they received their "medicine," they said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Final Arguments Made In Pot Case (The version in The Long Beach Press-Telegram) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 19:37:25 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Final Arguments Made In Pot Case Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: FilmMakerZ Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/ Copyright: 1998 Press-Telegram. Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Author: Joe Segura FINAL ARGUMENTS MADE IN POT CASE Court: Jury to begin deliberations on man charged with drug sales. WESTMINSTER - The jury in the trial of medicinal marijuana advocate Marvin Chavez was ordered Tuesday to consider only the law, while the defense cried foul over the police undercover operations. The six-man, six-woman panel is to begin deliberations today. Chavez completed his testimony, punctuated by tears, in an emotional session Tuesday. Chavez is facing nine felony charges of drug sales and one drugs- transportation count. He told the jury he provided marijuana for medicinal uses under Proposition 215, known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. However, Deputy District Attorney Carl Armbrust reminded the jurors that Prop. 215 is not to be part of their decision, and that any exchange of marijuana for cash or favors is considered an illegal drug sale. "The law is specific," he said. "And we have to abide by that specific law." Armbrust said Chavez was using Prop. 215 as a shield to camouflage his drug sales activities. "There is no doubt that this was a very sophisticated marijuana sales business," the prosecutor added. Attorney J. David Nick of San Francisco, however, said that the case was an example of abusive governmental process. "There was a political witch hunt," he said, adding that the jury process is meant to prevent oppression by the government's "corrupt or overzealous prosecutors." Nick complained about having to use "dental procedures" to extract complete testimony from undercover officers about their activities, and he criticized their failure to mention or produce all recordings of their encounters with Chavez. Armbrust shared in the effort to hide key information from the jury, Nick charged. "He purposely fell asleep at the wheel ... so that their unbelievable conduct could be hidden from you." Nick portrayed Chavez as a compassionate man, attempting to assist those who had lived in dark closets so that they could relieve severe or terminal illnesses. The defendant had attempted to live by the law, even when providing medicinal marijuana to undercover officers who posed as patients. At this point, Chavez quietly wiped tears away at the defense table. "Don't show them any sympathy," Nick pleaded, referring to the undercover officers' case. In rebuttal, Armbrust said that the undercover officer did nothing improper in probing the drug-sales case, and rejected Nick's assertion that the case represented oppressive activities. And he again emphasized that the jurors are not to consider Prop. 215. "It's not relevant," he said. "It doesn't apply here."
------------------------------------------------------------------- NORML Opposes Drug Testing of Taxi Drivers (A press release from California NORML follows up on its bulletin Monday about a new study showing companies that drug test employees have lower productivity. California NORML will cite the study Thursday at a hearing before the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee. At issue is a proposal to require urine testing for employment and renewal of licenses for Communication Workers of America and San Francisco taxi drivers.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 01:24:56 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: NORML Opposes Drug Testing of Taxi Drivers Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ - PRESS RELEASE Nov. 18, 1998 - Cal NORML Opposes Drug Testing of S.F. Taxi Drivers Board of Supervisors Hearing Nov. 19th, 10 a.m. San Francisco: California NORML is testifying in support of the city's taxi drivers and the Communication Workers of America against a proposal to require drug urine testing for employment and renewal of licenses, at hearings before the S.F. Board of Supervisors' Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee on Thursday, November 19, at 10 a.m. in Room 410 of Veterans' Hall. NORML is presenting scientific evidence that drug testing has no relevance to job fitness or driving safety. Included is a newly released study indicating that testing may even be counterproductive for worker productivity. Drug urine tests do not detect current impairment, but past drug use. They are especially sensitive to marijuana, use of which is detectable for days or weeks after its effects have passed. In contrast, other, more dangerous drugs wash out more quickly, while tests entirely neglect alcohol. Driving studies in the U.S. and Australia have shown that alcohol is by far the leading drug cause of accidents, while marijuana appears to play a negligible role. Drug testing may therefore actually exacerbate accident risks by encouraging drivers to switch from pot to alcohol. "The bottom line is that workers shouldn't be judged by the chemicals in their urine," argues California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer, "We urge the city to do everything in its power to protect workers from this unwarranted invasion of personal privacy." San Francisco currently has an ordinance forbidding drug testing except in strictly limited circumstances. However, the city is obliged by state law to implement drug testing for taxi drivers. Opponents, including NORML and the Communications Workers of America, want to assure workers maximum protection from unwarranted dismissals, confidentiality, and protection from false test results. Contact: Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 firstname.lastname@example.org. *** Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Alterna Hemp Hair Care Company Sues President Of DARE America In Support of Salons - Alterna Seeks Public Retraction of False Statements (A company press release says the lawsuit was prompted by a statement in the Nov. 6 Los Angeles Times by Glenn Levant, president and founding director of DARE America, Inc., which nationally promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, or DARE. Levant said Alterna was "promot[ing] an illegal substance.") Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 12:20:06 EST Errors-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Originator: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From: Jim Rosenfield (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Alterna press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MEDIA CONTACT: Kimberlee Mitchell 310-824-2508 ext:258 ALTERNA HEMP HAIR CARE COMPANY SUES PRESIDENT OF DARE AMERICA In Support of Salons Alterna Seeks Public Retraction of False Statements November 18, 1998 LOS ANGELES- Alterna Applied Research Laboratories, maker of professional hemp hair care products, filed a lawsuit today against Glenn Levant, who currently serves as president and founding director of DARE America, Inc., which nationally promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Alterna filed the lawsuit in reaction to defamatory statements made by Levant appearing on Friday, November 6 in an article in The Los Angeles Times. I want to make it clear that our issue is not with DARE nor is this lawsuit a critique of DARE's commendable work. Alterna believes strongly in DARE'S drug education programs that teach our nation's children about the evils of drugs. Our lawsuit was filed against Glenn Levant as an individual, who made false and malicious public comments about Alterna, which have not only maligned our company but pose a reputational and financial threat to the thousands of salons who sell our THC (Drug) free product across the nation. As a manufacturer I have a responsibility not only to protect my own company, but the business of my customers, reasons Mike Brady, vice president of sales and marketing for Alterna. In The Los Angeles Times article, Levant stated that Alterna was "promot[ing] an illegal substance." Even after Alterna provided the documented facts demonstrating that Levant is incorrect, he nevertheless refused to acknowledge that Alterna's hemp product is a viable and legal commodity, as is clearly stated in Public Law 91-513, section 102 : sterile hemp seeds [the source from where Alterna gets the oil used in their products] are specifically excluded from the definition of marijuana and are not controlled substances under federal law. Levant's continual denial of these facts helped precipitate the forced removal of Alterna's hemp shampoo ads from more than 100 bus benches in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The Los Angeles Times also quoted Levant as saying, "the shampoo is a subterfuge to promote marijuana." Since incorporating hemp seed oil into its products, Alterna has undertaken an aggressive national hemp education campaign, called LEARN MORE, which is designed to dispel myths and misinformation about the marked differences between hemp and marijuana. Alterna perceives Levant's irresponsible and misleading comments to be slanderous and far from the truth. Proactive in its approach to educate the nation of hemp's many environmental, economic and cosmetic benefits, Alterna holds fast to two proven facts: hemp is not marijuana and hemp is not a drug. By associating a hemp leaf with the word "HEMP" and the phrase "THC (Drug) free" in its advertising Alterna has sent a clear message to the public that the company is opposed to the drug culture. In addition, Alterna's information laden hemp educational packages are mailed out to anyone who calls looking to learn more about hemp. The company does not align itself with any group that advocates the use or legalization of marijuana. Alterna can not excuse the derogatory and erroneous statements made public in The Los Angeles Times article, which have negatively affected the reputation of their Los Angeles-based business. Alterna's goal is to resolve the lawsuit with Levant through means of non-litigation. Ultimately, the hair care company would be satisfied to receive a retraction in The Los Angeles Times, Levant's payment of Alterna's legal fees as well as correctional advertising to inform all Alterna customers of Levant's inaccurate comments. Mike Brady, vice president of sales and marketing for Alterna, deems this an appropriate response for the ill informed and damaging statements Levant made publicly. Since the forced removal of the city-owned bus benches early this month, Alterna's awareness campaign has been temporarily impeded. Alterna has been denied the opportunity to further create dialog generating awareness about THC (Drug) free hemp, explains Mike Brady. We plan to post a new billboard in Los Angeles this week to keep our message alive. What we are doing is not only legal but ethical. Hemp's many environmentally friendly uses can not be ignored. The billboard, which is an oversized version of the fallen bus benches, will be posted in Los Angeles on Westwood Boulevard and Olympic by Friday, November 20. Unconventional in its approach, Alterna consistently sets new standards in the beauty industry in the fields of advanced formulation and product performance. The first professional hair care company to harness the power of nutrient-rich hemp seed oil in January of 1997, Alterna continually redefines itself as an industry innovator. *** Jim Rosenfield firstname.lastname@example.org tel: 310-836-0926 fax: 310-836-0592 Visit http://www.insightweb.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- War on Crime (The San Francisco Bay Guardian describes the The San Francisco Police Department's use of SWAT-style equipment to carry out a drug raid Oct. 30 on a Western Addition housing project. At a Nov. 4 police commission meeting, a train of furious and sobbing residents from the raided housing complex - all of them African American - described how officers slapped them, stepped on their necks and put guns to their heads while other officers ransacked their homes. Weeping and terrified children, some as young as six, were handcuffed and separated from their parents. SFPD narcotics lieutenant Kitt Crenshaw said the operation was designed to "put fear in the hearts" of a gang called the Knock Out Posse. "The raid went off, more or less, without a hitch," Crenshaw said. "I feel bad for the innocent women and children that were there, but in a way they do bear some responsibility for harboring drug dealers.") Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 17:27:42 -0800 To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Gerald Sutliff (gsutliff@DNAI.COM) Subject: War on Drugs, "Army Style" Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Subject: War on Crime Source: SF Bay Guardian, November 18, 1998 (Note: This is "late" but I'm posting it just in case it was missed last month. If it has already been posted, it's worth reading again. As Bob Dole said, "Where's the outrage?" WAR ON CRIME The SFPD used SWAT-style equipment to raid a Western Addition housing project. Does military gear encourage military policing? by Christian Parenti JUST BEFORE, DAWN on Oct. 30, 90 law-enforcement officers wearing black masks and fatigues and armed with assault rifles stormed the Martin Luther King Jr./Marcus Garvey Cooperative in the Western Addition. They used special "shock-lock" shotgun rounds to blow apartment doors off their hinges and cleared people out of rooms by throwing "flash- bang grenades," which produce nonlethal explosions that terrify and disorient people. At a Nov. 4 police commission meeting, a train of furious and sobbing residents from the raided housing complex - all of them African American - described how officers slapped them, stepped on their necks and put guns to their heads while other officers ransacked their homes. Weeping and terrified children, some as young as six, were handcuffed and separated from their parents. Some urinated in their pajamas. (Police chief Fred Lau told the San Francisco Chronicle that officers wanted to keep the kids from "running around.") Residents of the complex say the raid was a violation of their civil rights. Scores of people with no charges against them and no criminal records were put in disposable plastic "flex-cuffs." Civil servants and grand mothers were held at gunpoint. One woman was hospitalized after a fit of seizures; other people were so distraught they couldn't return to work for days. And a pit bull named Bosco - which many residents described as well liked and friendly - was shot inside an apartment, dragged bleeding outside, and shot again. Deputy chief Richard Holder told police commissioners that, according to police intelligence gathered during covert operations," the dog was "known for its jumping ability and was shot in midair." The squad that raided the housing complex included agents from the San Francisco Police Department's tactical squad and narcotics division, the District Attorney's office, the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. According to SFPD narcotics lieutenant Kitt Crenshaw, who initiated and planned the operation, the action was designed to "put fear in the hearts" of a gang called the Knock Out Posse. "The raid went off, more or less, without a hitch," Crenshaw said. "I feel bad for the innocent women and children that were there, but in a way they do bear some responsibility for harboring drug dealers." Agents made 11 arrests and netted a pound of what Crenshaw described as "high-grade" marijuana, almost four ounces of crack cocaine, seven pistols, and $4,000 cash. Residents say that money was not drug lucre, that it had been collected to help pay for the funeral of Germain Brown, a recently deceased friend. Thanks to state and federal asset forfeiture laws, the SFPD may get to keep and spend 80 percent of the seized money. SWAT NATION Though the raid on the King/Garvey project was brutal and audacious, it was not unusual. Paramilitary or tactical policing -law enforcement that uses the equipment" training, rhetoric, and tactics of warfare is on the rise nationwide. According to a study by sociologist Peter Kraska, there are more than 30,000 heavily armed, militarily trained police units in the United States and the number of paramilitary police "call-outs" quadrupled between 1980 and 1995. The tactical buildup has been fueled by fattened drug-war budgets and a wave of federal largesse. Between 1995 and 1997 the Department of Defense gave local police 1.2 million pieces of military hard- ware, including more than 3,800 M16 automatic assault rifles, 2,185 Rugar M 14 semiautomatic rifles, - 73 M79 grenade launchers, and 112 armored personnel carriers (APCs). One tactical outfit calls its APC ,'mother"; another, in east Texas, has named its APCs "Bubba One" and "Bubba Two." Military gear given to the SFPD includes two helicopters, several electrical generators, vehicles, and office furniture, according to tactical officer Dino Zografos. Several years ago the department acquired two APCs from the United Kingdom. The department's 45-officer tac-squad buys its own AR 15 and MP53 assault rifles. Most of the SFPD's tactical training is done in- house, though SWAT officers have received special instruction from FBI, military, and private instructors. Nationwide, tactical units have metastasized from emergency response teams into a standard part of everyday policing. SWAT teams that would once have been called in only to handle the occasional barricaded suspect now conduct routine drug raids like the one on the King/Garvey co-op. In Fresno, Indianapolis, and San Francisco they even patrol high-crime areas. Critics of SWAT-style policing say militarized training, weaponry, and organization cause cops to over- react and treat ordinary policing situations as military operations. "The fundamental problem with the SWAT model is that if police become soldiers, the community be- comes the enemy," says Sacramento State University sociologist Tony Platt, one of the first scholars to analyze the rise of tactical policing. "Paramilitary policing erodes the idea of police as pubic servants subordinate to community needs." And Kraska says, "The more paramilitary police units exist, the more all policing will be militia rized." Considering what's happening around the country, those charges don't seem far-fetched. According to a CBS News survey of SWAT encounters, police use of deadly force has increased 34 per- cent in the past three years. TACTICAL FUTURE For a look at the future of American law enforcement, travel south on Highway 99 from San Francisco to Fresno, and turn off on one of the city's southern exits. On the pocked side streets of southwest Fresno's sprawling ghetto, among fading stucco bungalows and dying rail yards, massive paramilitary police operations take place almost every night. It's a cold October night; 30 police officers (three squads of 10) don black jumpsuits, military hel- mets, and bulletproof vests, lock and load their Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns, and fan out for a routine patrol. Meet Fresno's Violent Crime Suppression Unit (VCSU), the Fresno P.D.'s "special forces" and America's most aggressive SWAT team. Since 1994 the VCSU has patrolled the city's have-not suburbs in full military gear, with automatic assault rifles (the same model used by Navy SEALS) at the ready. The unit is backed by two helicopters with infrared scopes and an army- surplus APC; it's equipped with at- tack dogs, flash-bang grenades, smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper spray, metal clubs, and "blunt trama ordinance," essentially beanbags fired from shotguns, designed to daze rather than kill. "It's a war," Sgt. Margaret Mims of the Fresno Sheriff's Department says. In the name of crisis management, the VCSU is free to use aggressive and unorthodox tactics. Sometimes the unit quietly deploys troops on foot to surround targeted corners or sweep through neighborhoods. At other times, like this autumn night, agents move in a fleet of regular patrol cars "like a wolf pack" looking for "contact," as a VCSU officer put it. "Contacts" generally involve swooping onto street comers, forcing pedestrians to the ground, searching them, running warrant checks, taking photos, and entering all the new "intelligence" into a state database from computer terminals in each patrol car. The area of operation is a poor and desolate African American neighborhood Fresno residents call the Dog Pound. As the patrol makes a routine traffic stop, a man is standing on the sidewalk talking to the driver. When the VCSU pull up, he flees into a nearby house. The VCSU immediately surround the area. Officers with AR 15s and H&K MP5s "hold the perimeter," some watching the house, others looking out at the neighborhood. Five officers rush the door. The VCSU are not, technically, in "hot pursuit." They have no legal right to enter the premises. But the elderly woman behind the black metal door is confronted with five SWAT-style officers with submachine guns, and they want to search her house. She consents. Five big, white cops move into the living room and grab a young African American man. They demand to know his name; it's David. "What?" he says. "Man, I didn't do anything!" As he protests, his voice cracks and a tearful grimace clouds his face. With consent from David's trembling grandmother, three cops search the little bungalow. For all the agents' science fiction-esque uniforms and state-of-the-art gear, they call up an awful specter from the past. More than anything else, the robocops of the VCSU resemble the "patrollers" of the Old South, the slave-catching militias that spent their nights rousting plantation shacks looking for contraband, weapons, and signs that slaves were planning to escape north. "Are you on parole, probation? Hub?" a VCSU officer demands. "Let's go outside, David." The suspect is cuffed, searched, interrogated, and forced to the ground. His name is fed into a computer. A flashlight is continuously pointed at his face. No drugs are found. But David lied, saying he wasn't on parole, and he is. "That's a violation fo parole, David."The white cops send another black man off to jail. For much of the rest of the night, a standoff occupies 30 cops from three different agencies and two from three different agencies and two helicopters. The target is a teenager who hasn't been charged with any- thing; he's just wanted for questioning. "If you're 21, male, living in one of these neighborhoods, and you're not in our computer, then there's definitely something wrong," VCSU officer Paul Boyer says. WIDESPREAD ABUSES Fresno's is the only police department in the country that deploys its tactical units for routine patrol work. But big, aggressive SWAT operations like the one at the King/ Garvey co-op are becoming more common. From Albuquerque to Miami, tactical teams have repeatedly shot and killed unarmed civilians in the course of botched drug raids. In a recent case in Bethlehem, Pa., a SWAT team killed a suspect, then burnt his house down. And thanks to confusion and the overzealous use of flash-bang grenades, tactical officers are increasingly shooting one another; a case in Oxnard, Calif., is the most recent example. Perhaps the most infamous police tactical operation took place several years ago in Chapel Hill, N.C. In "Operation Ready-Rock," police received a blanket warrant allowing them to search every person and vehicle on the 100 block of Graham Street. "We believe that there are no 'innocent' people at this place," the police department's warrant request stated. "Only drug sellers and drug buyers are on the described premises." Forty-five heavily armed commandos from local and state law- enforcement agencies seated off the street and made what police would describe as a "dynamic entrance" into a pool hall by smashing in the front door and holding occupants at gunpoint. Whites were allowed to leave the area; more than 100 African Americans were searched. Agents found only minor quantities of drugs. It's not every municipal agency that can afford equipment that's too powerful for the task at hand. Else- where in North Carolina, the Greensboro public library's bus- sized "bookmobile" was recently retired for lack of funds. Shortly thereafter, the police department bought the bookmobile and converted it into a mobile command- and-control center for its elite 23- member Special Response Team. The cops were delighted: a six- foot-five SRT officer had trouble standing up in the previous van. "It's a great piece of equipment," police spokesperson M.C. Bitner said, "It's really much betten than we had. *** Parts of this article were adapted from the author's forthcoming book, "Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis (Verso).
------------------------------------------------------------------- Session On Drug Tests Is A Bust (The Deseret News, in Utah, says a national school-athlete drug-testing conference came to Salt Lake City Monday, but no Utah school representatives showed up, and only about two dozen officials from neighboring states attended. American Bio Medica Corp., a pharmaceutical and drug-testing company, funded the appearance of Randall Aultman, the retired principal of Vernonia High School in Oregon, where random drug-testing of athletes was endorsed by the US Supreme Court in 1995.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 16:26:23 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US UT: Session On Drug Tests Is A Bust Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Anonymous Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Source: Deseret News (UT) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.desnews.com/ Author: Jennifer Toomer-Cook SESSION ON DRUG TESTS IS A BUST A national school athlete drug-testing conference came to Salt Lake City Monday, but no Utah school representatives came, and only about two dozen officials from neighboring states attended. "We're kind of taken aback by the lack of people. Maybe they don't have any drug problems in Salt Lake City," said Randall Aultman, retired principal of Vernonia High School in Oregon whose random athlete drug-testing policy prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995. "The (drug) problem has grown in schools. Not enough is being done to stem it." Aultman speaks at conferences, funded by pharmaceutical and drug-testing company American Bio Medica Corp., across the country. Feelings on drug testing student athletes vary in Utah school districts. The 6,800-student Murray School randomly drug tests athletes monthly, with names and alternates selected by a private company via computer. Students participating in interscholastic activities in junior high or high schools sign an agreement for such tests, which have overall community support. Those testing positive for drugs can be suspended for up to 10 days and put on probation from athletics. "It's gone fairly well," said Steve Hirasi, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction who oversaw drafting of the drug-testing policy. Nobody has tested positive for drugs; reasons why could be in data being compiled from drug-use surveys, he said. "We feel student athletes are an example or role model to other students, and we feel it's important for them to set a proper example," he said. Tests costs $25 apiece; the district has budgeted $2,000 for tests, which bus drivers also must take. Box Elder High School has been there, done that, and moved on. The school earlier this decade abandoned drug testing just two years into the policy, which applied to students in extracurricular activities from student government to basketball. "The number of kids we actually nailed on it . . . was just one kid," said Jay Stuart, former Box Elder principal who is now an administrative assistant for Box Elder School District. The somewhat controversial program, which forwarded specimens to the University of Utah, was not cost-effective, Stuart said. The program dried up when its grant money did. The state's largest school district, Jordan, is turned off by drug testing of student athletes. "Even though the Supreme Court has determined it is legal to test student athletes, we still have some very strong concerns about privacy," said Melinda Rock, spokeswoman for the district enrolling more than 73,000 students. Rock says time involved in drug testing, the district's strict drug and alcohol policy, and the fact that "we sincerely believe our coaches are taking care of these problems among their own teams" solidifies its stance. But Aultman believes all school districts should implement such tests, used in about 30 schools and districts in 16 other states. Aultman, a "law and order principal" and former cop, said he tried everything from drug-sniffing dogs to suspension policies to get students away from drugs - but to no avail. Drug testing of athletes, however, worked. Those students, armed with a reason to eschew drugs, set an example to start an anti-drug wave. "It doesn't stop all of it, but it does give an aura to the school," Aultman said. "I saw such a difference in my school . . . my students had convinced me this was a good thing."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Common sense and drug woes (Houston Chronicle columnist Thom Marshall previews a local presentation on drugs and the drug war by Sandee Burbank of Mosier, Oregon, founder of MAMA, Mothers Against Misuse And Abuse. Sandee believes that education and individual common sense can be far more effective than the government's oppressive war on drugs.) From: email@example.com Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 10:57:50 -0800 (PST) Subject: DPFOR: ART: Common sense and drug woes To: DPFOR@drugsense.org Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 08:11:04 -0600 (CST) Subject: ART: Common sense and drug woes To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Cc: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Those of you who have not attended Sandee Burbank's presentation should be sure to attend one. She gives a super presentation on common sense drug policy. For those unfamiliar with MAMA see: http://www.mama.org *** From the 11-18-98 Houston Chronicle http://www.chron.com email@example.com Common sense and drug woes Mama always says we need to teach people social skills so they know how to manage their lives without drugs. MAMA says that a lot. As a matter of fact, Sandee Burbank, 54, director of Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse since she co-founded the organization in 1982 in Oregon, is going about the country with a slide show called "Listen to MAMA, We Can Solve Our Drug Problems." Sandee believes that education and individual common sense can be far more effective than the government's oppressive war on drugs. Just look at nicotine addiction, for example. The more folks learn about its dangers and harmful effects, the more they avoid it. And Sandee pointed out that this has been accomplished without putting people in prison, without seizing property, without officers bursting into apartments and shooting people. She said the idea for starting MAMA grew out of conversations she had with a friend about the ways drugs had been hurting so many people close to them. The friend's husband was an alcoholic, Sandee's grandmother was overmedicated to the point she could no longer communicate, a cigarette-smoking uncle was dying from emphysema, a friend was addicted to nasal spray ... Mostly legal substances Maybe you notice that all these problems involved substances that can be obtained legally -- booze, prescription medicine, tobacco, over-the-counter stuffy nose sniffers. Sandee and her friend noticed that, too. They noticed that a person who misuses or abuses legal drugs can be just as sick or just as dead as a person who misuses or abuses illegal drugs. We should teach kids to consider the health issues of all drugs, legal or illegal, Sandee said. Before taking anything, a person should be aware of the main effects to expect, the possible side effects, the appropriate dosage for the person's weight, possible interactions or allergic reactions. Will a person develop a tolerance and have to increase dosage or switch to another drug? Can a person develop a dependence upon the drug? While information can be obtained on legal drugs, Sandee said that a person cannot know the extent of risks involved with illegal drugs because it isn't possible to make the producers and dealers adhere to any standards of purity. "Our laws actually increase the negative health effects," she said. Having worked almost two decades for changes in the way society deals with drug problems, Sandee said that lately she is noticing an increase in the number of others who want reform. The national discussion, she said, is picking up steam. More people are expressing concern about problems with prescription drugs. The issue of medical marijuana has fueled the debate. More people are starting to question the federal government's war tactics, the seizing of assets, locking so many people in prison when it would cost less to provide treatment and fact-based education. Sandee said she is starting to see more and more "mature moral outrage" as she takes MAMA's message around the country. "It will take a bunch of us who can really see what is going on to say: `Wait a minute. Tell me how this makes any sense.' " Right now, she said, many kids are dying because of heroin and "what is killing them is the ignorance. And it's so tragic." Improving people's lives The war on drugs is about money and power, Sandee said. While it is being conducted under the guise of protecting people from illegal drugs, it actually has nothing to do with health. Obviously, there is no easy answer to the complicated drug problem, but Sandee said we should examine our social fabric for causes and solutions. She cited illiteracy as one example -- so many people landing in jail who cannot fill out simple forms. We must teach them to read and write before we can realistically expect them to absorb much information about the health effects of drugs. I'll bet when she is in our town Thursday, Sandee will be impressed if someone tells her about the new Houston READ Commission KEYS (Keep Educating YourSelf) program that is using donated computers with locally developed software to teach reading and writing to inmates in some area lockups. She is bringing her MAMA slide show to Houston at the invitation of the Drug Policy Forum of Texas. It will begin at 7 p.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church. Thom Marshall's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Congressman's Son Sentenced In Marijuana Conspiracy (Reuters says Randall Todd Cunningham, 29, of San Diego, the son of US Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:13:57 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Congressman's Son Sentenced In Marijuana Conspiracy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: GDaurer@aol.com Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. CONGRESSMAN'S SON SENTENCED IN MARIJUANA CONSPIRACY BOSTON (Reuters) - The son of U.S. Rep. Randy ``Duke'' Cunningham was sentenced Tuesday to two-and-a-half years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana, federal prosecutors said. Randall Todd Cunningham, 29, of San Diego, was sentenced for one count each of distributing marijuana and conspiracy to distribute marijuana. Cunningham's father, a California Republican, was recently elected to his fifth term in Congress.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Oregon's Kin File Suit Against City, 6 Officers (The Houston Chronicle says the family of Pedro Oregon Navarro filed a federal civil rights lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Houston and six Houston police officers, alleging the officers acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when they killed the Mexican immigrant in a botched drug raid July 12."I think the forensic, physical and photographic evidence will clearly point to a man who was not in a position to resist, did not resist, had no reason to resist and was gunned down, indeed probably executed, without cause," Oregon family attorney Richard Mithoff said at a news conference.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 16:24:52 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Oregon's Kin File Suit Against City, 6 Officers Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Author: Ed Asher OREGON'S KIN FILE SUIT AGAINST CITY, 6 OFFICERS Pedro Oregon Navarro's family Tuesday filed a federal civil rights lawsuit alleging six Houston police officers acted as "judge, jury and executioner" when they killed the Mexican immigrant in a botched drug raid July 12. "I think the forensic, physical and photographic evidence will clearly point to a man who was not in a position to resist, did not resist, had no reason to resist and was gunned down, indeed probably executed, without cause," Oregon family attorney Richard Mithoff said at a news conference. The suit, which asks for an unspecified amount in damages, names the city of Houston and the six officers. It blames Oregon's death on a systemwide failure of the Houston Police Department's policies in recruiting, hiring and training officers. It also alleges that HPD practices discriminate against low-income, minority neighborhoods, particularly when it comes to "authorizing a raid of a residence in a predominately non-Anglo neighborhood." "The fundamental problem here is not just with these particular officers," Mithoff said. "The problem is the underlying policies and practices and that's what we want to change. "This kind of practice does not occur in other neighborhoods, in River Oaks, in Tanglewood, in West University. "We believe we'll be able to show from their own records, as well as proof from experts, that there is a discriminatory pattern and practice." The suit, alleging the officers violated Oregon's constitutional rights, was filed on behalf of his mother, Claudia Navarro Pineda; daughters Ashley, 4, and Belinda, 2; and other family members. Police Chief C.O. Bradford has fired the six officers, calling the shooting an "egregious" case of official misconduct. Five of the officers are appealing their firings, contending their actions were justified. An internal investigation found that the officers had violated HPD policies and state and federal laws, but a Harris County grand jury cleared five of them and charged the sixth with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. However, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation is ongoing. An HPD spokesman referred questions to City Attorney Anthony Hall, who said, "It is the judgment of every city official I've talked to that this was a tragic event, that this was not a good day for the city. "The issues that remain are obviously issues of who is legally responsible and liable for money. This lawsuit is obviously simply about money. We will be determining those issues during the course of this litigation." Hall said it is too early to speculate whether the city would settle the suit out of court. The suit alleges that several HPD policies and practices led to the shooting, including: - "Applying or allowing a different standard in authorizing a raid of a residence in a predominantly non-Anglo neighborhood than would be applied in a predominantly Anglo neighborhood." - Relying on unauthorized informants. - Relying on HPD's gang task force rather than the more highly trained narcotics squad. - Allowing lax standards in recruiting, training and supervising gang task force members. The suit describes Oregon, 22, as a landscaper and soccer coach who provided for his mother's care and "did not smoke, drink or use drugs." Mithoff said Oregon came to Houston from Mexico eight years ago and was applying for citizenship. Based on an unauthorized informant's tip that drugs were being sold at an apartment, the suit says, the officers went to Oregon's residence "as judge, jury and executioner; entered his home without a warrant and without probable cause; and fired approximately 33 rounds into the bedroom of (Oregon), pausing only to reload." Oregon never fired a weapon and no drugs were found in the apartment, the suit said, and autopsy found no trace of drugs in his body. Asked to elaborate on his comment that Oregon was "probably executed," Mithoff said, "We know he was shot in the back, that 12 shots were fired from the back, that nine were shot into his back, one on top of his head, one in the back of his shoulder, one in the back of his hand. We know he was lying on the ground. "Certainly the physical evidence points toward a planned escapade if not a totally botched escapade. "I think the facts will establish ... that this killing was totally unjustified and constituted clear excessive use of force." Paul Nugent, another attorney representing the family, disagreed with Hall that the case is only about money. "The family wants something positive to come of Pedro's tragic death," Nugent said. "They don't want other families to have to suffer the loss of a son. "Hopefully, this lawsuit can help the police department better train and better supervise its officers so they don't have violations of the law and they don't have citizens killed in their own homes." The suit has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Simeon Lake.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Congress Lands A Historical Blow To Democracy (River Cities Reader columnist Jenny Lesner provides an Iowan's perspective on Congress's decision to quash Initiative 59, the District of Columbia medical-marijuana ballot measure.) Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 06:36:16 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Opinion: Congress Lands A Historical Blow To Democracy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Carl Olsen Source: River Cities Reader (IA) Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 98 Author: Jenny Lesner Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.rcreader.com/ POLITICS by J.M. Lesner CONGRESS LANDS A HISTORICAL BLOW TO DEMOCRACY On November 4th, the Congress of the United States, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, passed an amendment that stopped democracy cold. The amendment, introduced by Congressman Bob Barr (RGA), makes it illegal for DC to fund the processing of any initiatives that would legalize marijuana. The amendment was a last minute addition to DC's FY 1999 Budget, in the face of an Initiative (Initiative 59) on DC's November general election ballot that would allow terminally ill patients access to marijuana, while protecting their physicians from prosecution should they prescribe it. Voters in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington recently voted on similar Initiatives that would legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. All but the District of Columbia approved the Initiative. While exiting polls in DC reported overwhelming support for their Initiative 59, the amendment kept the DC's Board of Election from counting the votes and registering the results. The amendment was held back by Congress for a few months, then strategically placed into the 40-pound FY. This tactic was used in direct defiance of the process of democracy. The ballots were printed at the time the amendment was passed indicating the will of the people to make a decision about the issue. "It's absolutely unbelievable that our Congress thinks that they have the authority to do this," said Carl Olsen, Head of Iowa's branch of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws (NORML). "We must definitely send a message to these guys that this is unacceptable." Extensive research has proven that marijuana can provide necessary relief to people with serious or terminal illnesses, such as cancer and AIDS. A 1997 study by the Institutes of Health found some patients can be helped by the drug, principally to relieve nausea after cancer chemotherapy or to increase AIDS patients' appetites. The drug has also helped some patients control glaucoma. DC's Initiative 59 proposes to protect patients with serious and terminal illnesses from facing criminal penalties for the medicinal use of marijuana. It would also exempt doctors, who prescribe small amounts of marijuana to help ease their patients pain and suffering, from facing criminal charges. Existing polls indicated that the voters in DC are strongly in favor of this policy. Those on Capitol Hill who oppose Initiative 59, use the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 to justify their position with the amendment. According to the Act, "All controlled substances in Schedule I that are possessed, transferred, sold or offered for sale in violation of the Act shall be deemed contraband and seized and summarily forfeited to the United States." The Board of Elections intends to bring suit against Congress for their action on the grounds that the amendment is a direct infraction of citizens' constitutional rights to decide an issue by, majority vote of the people. Meanwhile, grass roots organization for legalizing medicinal marijuana continues to grow as voters in Arizona, Alaska, Oregon, Nevada and Washington State fight to have their recently passed initiatives implemented. According to AIDS activist Wayne Turner, "This Initiative is about protecting the sick and dying from criminal prosecution, giving them relief, and hope." More information can be found at a web site posted by Yes on 59, [http://www.actupdc.org/press/legalupdate.html] It is not yet known if, or when, the District of Columbia votes for Initiative 59 will ever be counted. Congress has created a deeply disturbing, possibly unconstitutional, situation by burying those votes, and it appears that the courts will have to decide if what Congress has done is unlawful. It is also a situation that will go down in history as a blow to democracy. Medical Marijuana Initiative Passed in Other States In Arizona, voters have cleared the way to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana and several other Schedule I drugs for seriously ill patients. In Alaska and Oregon, new laws passed that legalized the possession of specified amounts of medical marijuana, but only to patients enrolled in a state identification program. Although Nevada voters approved a similar initiative, state law there requires voters to reapprove medical marijuana again in the year 2,000 before the measure can officially become law. Washington States' new medical marijuana law allows patients with certain terminal and debilitating illnesses, to grow and possess a 60-day supply of marijuana.
------------------------------------------------------------------- NYC Parade Permit Law Is Struck Down (The Boston Globe version of Monday's news about a federal judge ruling that New York City unconstitutionally stymied the Million Marijuana March. US District Judge Leonard Sand said guidelines that allow police to delay their response to permit requests raise a "risk" of censorship.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:39:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NY: Wire: NYC Parade Permit Law Is Struck Down Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1998 Globe Newspaper Company. Author: AP Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 NYC parade permit law is struck down NEW YORK - A law that regulates how New York City grants permits for rallies and parades is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. US District Judge Leonard Sand said the law lacks guidelines on when police must respond to a permit request, and thus does not sufficiently restrict the risk of censorship. A law that allows police to ''routinely grant applications either immediately or only after extensive delay is dangerous precisely because it lacks consistency and predictability,'' the judge wrote Monday. The case grew out of a dispute involving a planned march by the 1998 Marijuana March Organization in May. The permit process for that event took months, and the march never took place. By contrast, a permit for the parade for astronaut John Glenn, held Monday in lower Manhattan, was granted in a few days. Richard Wilson, a lawyer who represented plaintiff Robert MacDonald, called the judge's decision a victory for the First Amendment. City lawyers were still studying the ruling and were not ready to comment, said their spokeswoman, Lorna Goodman. Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani has tussled with groups seeking permission to hold parades, including a black effort to hold the ''Million Youth March'' in Harlem.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Two soldiers arrested after fleeing pot deal (According to the Associated Press, the soldiers from Fort Polk, Louisiana, were stopped for speeding and told police they were trying to flee "drug peddlers" from whom they had taken money without delivering marijuana.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Two GA soldiers arrested after fleeing pot deal Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 18:36:18 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org November 18, 1998 Two soldiers arrested after fleeing pot deal By The Associated Press TIFTON -- Two soldiers from Fort Polk, La., who were stopped for speeding told police they were trying to flee drug peddlers from whom they had taken money without delivering marijuana, officers said. Plimpton S. Everett, 21, and Wade S. Lancelin, 23, were arrested Sunday afternoon after a patrol officer using radar caught them traveling 76 mph in a 35 mph zone, Tifton police said Tuesday. Detective Mitch Williams said the men told police they had planned to sell 20 pounds of marijuana to drug dealers in Tifton for $12,500. But they fled with the cash before delivering any drugs, Williams said. ``They said they were being chased when they ran the red light,'' he said. ``I guess they figured it was better to be stopped by the police instead of the drug dealers.'' Everett was charged with attempting to elude police, speeding and failing to stop at a red light. Lancelin was charged with carrying a concealed weapon. Both men posted bond and were released Tuesday. The money and a handgun were confiscated from the car. Williams said Everett also is facing a court martial on charges that he had 12 pounds of marijuana on the Army base.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study Finds A Sharp Rise In Smoking Among College Students (According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, a study released in today's Journal of the American Medical Association says the smoking rate among students at four-year colleges rose by 28 per cent from 1993 to 1997. In previous studies, students were less likely to smoke than adults or peers who were not in college. In the new study, however, 25 per cent of the students surveyed said that they had become regular smokers while they were in college.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:08:17 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Study Finds A Sharp Rise In Smoking Among College Students Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (email@example.com) Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Source: Chronicle of Higher Education, The (US) Copyright: 1998 by The Chronicle of Higher Education Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://chronicle.com/ Author: Karla Haworth STUDY FINDS A SHARP RISE IN SMOKING AMONG COLLEGE STUDENTS Washington The smoking rate among students at four-year colleges rose by 28 per cent from 1993 to 1997, fueled in part by an increase in adolescent smoking in the 1990s, according to a study released Tuesday. The smoking study, which appears in today's issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, is part of the Harvard School of Public Health's College Alcohol Study. The project tracks drinking, smoking, and other high-risk behaviors of students at four-year colleges in the United States. All student groups, regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, or year in college, were smoking more, the study found. The smoking rate increased at 99 of the 116 colleges in the study, and smoking grew faster at public colleges than at private ones, said Henry Wechsler, the director of College Alcohol Studies for the School of Public Health and a co-author of the study. Mr. Wechsler said that the higher smoking rates could increase the incidence of severe health problems as the current college population ages. "Unless this problem is checked, it will say much about the future health of this country," he said in a news conference here Tuesday. The authors of the study said it showed alarming evidence that college students were not as resistant to the lure of smoking as they once were. In previous studies, students were less likely to smoke than adults or peers who were not in college. In the new study, however, 25 per cent of the students surveyed said that they had become regular smokers while they were in college. The researchers said that the more that students smoked, the more that other students who may have experimented with cigarettes in high school were encouraged to become regular smokers because they thought it was the norm. "As more teens start smoking, more smokers are going to college, and that sort of feeds on itself," said William D. Novelli, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a private organization that aims to reduce tobacco use among children and young adults. The researchers attributed the jump in student smoking to increased tobacco use among children and adolescents. They lambasted tobacco companies for targeting children by using cartoon characters, such as Joe Camel, to sell their products. "The young person who saw Joe Camel at age 8 is now smoking at age 18," said William Mahood, a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association. The study compared the responses of 14,521 college students surveyed in 1997 with 15,103 surveyed in 1993. Researchers polled students at 116 colleges in 39 states. Although the study found across-the-board increases in smoking, some colleges and groups had lower smoking rates than others. For instance, Asian, black, and Hispanic students had lower smoking rates than white students. Seniors and fifth-year students reported smoking less than freshmen, sophomores, and juniors did. And some colleges -- including commuter colleges, defined as institutions at which 90 per cent or more of the students live off campus, and "highly-competitive" colleges -- showed a lower prevalence of smoking. The researchers said there was hope for college smokers, however. The study found that half of all college smokers had tried to quit in the previous year, compared with 30 per cent of adults not in college. Nancy Rigotti, director of Tobacco Research and Treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a co-author of the study, said that college health officials should take advantage of that statistic by offering smoking-cessation and outreach programs both to "full-time" and occasional smokers. Dr. Rigotti said that colleges must discourage smoking by making dormitories and other public places smoke-free. "Smoke-free areas not only eliminate secondhand smoke," she said. "They limit the visibility and accessibility of cigarettes around those who are trying to quit or are still only occasional smokers." She said that raising the price of cigarettes on and near campuses also would deter smoking. Background stories from The Chronicle: "A Tobacco Company Ends Voluntary Ban on Advertising in Student Newspapers," 5/1/98 "Students Engage in Behavior Posing Serious Health Risks, CDC Study Finds," 9/5/97 For a new essay by Mr. Wechsler on a related topic, see: "Getting Serious About Eradicating Binge Drinking," 11/20/98
------------------------------------------------------------------- 28% Jump In College Smokers - Researchers Alarmed (The Los Angeles Times version) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 14:58:01 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: 28% Jump In College Smokers-- Researchers Alarmed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Rosenfield Pubdate: November 18, 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times. Author: Alissa J. Rubin 28% JUMP IN COLLEGE SMOKERS-- RESEARCHERS ALARMED WASHINGTON--Smoking among college students has risen by 28% in the last four years, alarming researchers who say the new trend likely signals a reversal of the 30-year decline in adult smoking rates and could lead to further increases in tobacco-related illness. The new study, released Tuesday by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., showed that college students, who for years have been among the demographic group most resistant to smoking, are rapidly catching up to their non-college-educated contemporaries. The shift is hardly surprising since it was presaged by an increase over the last decade in the percentage of teens who smoked and since it is those children who are now in college. Of the students surveyed in the study, 90% had experimented with cigarettes in high school. But the increase is still disturbing to public health experts, who until now had focused little on whether the children who had experimented with smoking as teenagers would become regular smokers. "This is a very dangerous sign and it may signal an increase in the general population of adult smokers," said Harvey Wechsler, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, one of the study's authors. "When the most resistant group changes, we have to worry about the rest of the population. That's why something has to be done." Until recent years, the percentage of adult Americans who smoked declined steadily from a high of nearly 43% in 1966 to a fairly steady 25%, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Within these broad statistics, however, different groups had widely varying habits, with college educated adults among the least likely to smoke. Now, according to the Harvard study, which surveyed nearly 15,000 students, 28% of college students count themselves as smokers. That is still fewer than the general population--about 34% of non-college-educated people under 25 are smokers--but it is a substantial increase over previous years. As recently as 1991, 12% of college-educated men smoked. Although Asian, black and Latino college students all had lower rates of smoking than white college students, the only demographic group whose smoking did not increase at record rates were Latinos. According to the study, smoking by Latino college students rose 12%. Researchers were particularly concerned that of those students who were smoking in college, 25% reported becoming daily smokers after previously smoking only occasionally. Since the majority of college smokers are not yet deeply addicted--fewer than 11% smoke more than a pack a day--they are prime candidates for anti-smoking messages, said Nancy Rigotti, an internist at Massachusetts General Hospital, another of the study's co-authors. "Clearly, the college years are a time of great flux . . . it is a window to intervene in students' smoking habits," said Rigotti, who, along with other experts, advocated that colleges undertake a range of anti-smoking initiatives. Among their recommendations: Schools should make dormitories smoke-free and increase the number of public spaces, such as classrooms and meeting areas, where smoking is barred. College health services also need to promote smoking cessation programs, they said. The tobacco industry's proposed settlement with several state attorneys general, which was announced Monday, includes billions of dollars for public health initiatives at the state and national levels, and a portion of that money needs to be aimed at college smokers, said William Novelli, president of the National Center for Tobacco Free Kids, a nonprofit group. Said Rigotti: "This is a group that has fallen below the radar screen because in the past we thought they didn't smoke much. We were really focused on younger people because they were such a good political cause. Now we have to do something about it."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trial Of Marijuana Crusader Delayed By Wait For Ruling (The London Free Press, in Ontario, says the trial of multiple sclerosis patient Lynn Harichy, for sitting on the police station steps and lighting up a joint, was postponed again yesterday, to Feb. 3. The Ontario Court of Appeal continued to ponder its long-awaited decision in the medical marijuana case of Terry Parker, a 43-year-old Toronto epileptic who won the first round of a constitutional challenge to Canada's ban on medical marijuana after being busted for cultivation in 1996.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:41:07 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Trial Of Marijuana Crusader Delayed By Wait For Ruling Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: London Free Press (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/LondonFreePress/home.html Copyright: 1998 The London Free Press a division of Sun Media Corporation. Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Author: Don Murray, Free Press Court Reporter TRIAL OF MARIJUANA CRUSADER DELAYED BY WAIT FOR RULING Pot crusader Lynn Harichy had her trial postponed again yesterday while the Ontario Court of Appeal continues to ponder a long-awaited decision on another marijuana-as-medicine case. Harichy, a 37-year-old Londoner who sat on the police station steps and lit up a joint last year to protest marijuana laws, says she needs the illegal weed to ease the spasms and pain of multiple sclerosis. She is facing one charge of possessing marijuana and now has had two scheduled trials postponed while waiting for the appeal court. Federal prosecutor David Rowcliffe told Judge Kathleen McGowan yesterday that with the defence's consent the case will be adjourned to Feb. 3 to set a new trial date. It is hoped that the appeal court ruling will be in by then because "it may determine the outcome of this case," he said. The top court is considering the case of Terry Parker, a 43-year-old Toronto epileptic who came out on top legally after being busted for cultivating marijuana in 1996. In a precedent-setting Charter of Rights and Freedoms case, a Toronto judge ruled Parker has a medical need to smoke marijuana. The judge ruled the best way for Parker to get a supply was to grow it. The Crown immediately appealed. The judge stayed charges of cultivation and possession against Parker, but convicted him of trafficking because he admitted giving a joint to other seizure sufferers. He was sentenced to time served and put on probation for a year. Also bound for the appeal court is the case of former Londoner Christopher Clay, who was convicted of possessing and selling marijuana after a highly publicized trial last year. Now living in Vancouver, Clay is crusading for the legalization of pot on the grounds that maintaining it as a criminal substance violates the Charter.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Heads In Clash With Minister On Drugs (The Times, in Britain, says Estelle Morris, the Schools Minister, defended the government's new guidelines recommending that schools not adopt a zero tolerance approach. The minister's suggestion that possession of drugs should not automatically lead to exclusion caused disquiet among some heads who felt that she had created a conflicting message for pupils.) Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 15:26:16 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: UK: Heads In Clash With Minister On Drugs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Author: Susie Steiner HEADS IN CLASH WITH MINISTER ON DRUGS HEAD teachers yesterday criticised the Government's call for leniency over pupils caught with drugs as Estelle Morris, the Schools Minister, defended her advice not to adopt a "zero tolerance" approach. Ms Morris, who on Monday told the Girls' Schools Association that possession of drugs should not automatically lead to exclusion, caused disquiet among some heads who felt that she had created a conflicting message for pupils. King Edward VI Camp Hill boys' school in Birmingham, one of the country's top grant-maintained grammars, has had two or three drug-related incidents with expulsions in the past ten years. Mervyn Brooker, the head teacher, said: "At this school there is a very hard line. My governors expect a hard line. "I am concerned about what Estelle Morris is saying. Heads need discretion on particular circumstances, but I certainly wouldn't want the Government to tie my hands and say, 'You can't exclude.' We take the view that, by and large, students know what they are doing and have to accept the consequences." Harrow School operates a zero-tolerance policy and several drug incidents in the past three years have resulted in expulsion. Nicholas Bomford, the Head Master, said: "Our standard policy is that, if any boy is found to be in possession of unauthorised drugs or to have used them during term time, he must expect to be required to leave." Ms Morris was criticised by David Willetts, the Shadow Education Secretary, for "undercutting the position" of head teachers. Downing Street defended Ms Morris's remarks. The Prime Minister's spokesman said: "She was saying that the Government has a very tough approach to drugs, not just in schools but at all levels of society, but was making the obvious point that head teachers have to be allowed some flexibility and that she would support them over the decisions they have to take." Although few schools practise zero tolerance, they are universally strict on drug dealing. Heads fiercely maintain the right to set their own anti-drugs policies. St Bede's College, a Roman Catholic independent in Manchester, has had two fifth-form boys expelled and 18 suspended for drugs in three years. John Byrne, the Headmaster, said: "The boys were expelled because they brought drugs into the school and sold them. "At the same time, we gave a 24-hour amnesty for people who had been tempted to purchase or try out cannabis and those people were suspended but not expelled. I reserve the right to expel pupils for drugs, but I wouldn't wish to tie myself down to do it every time." Gordonstoun School said that not every drugs incident resulted in expulsion. "There have been temporary suspensions," said Richard Oliver, its development director."We would regard each offence individually. Anyone dealing in hard drugs would almost certainly be asked to leave." Ramsgate School, in Kent, which is fighting its way up from the bottom of the GCSE league tables, has had one drugs incident in the past three years but did not expel. Brian Lippitt, the Headmaster, said: "We operate a policy which is sympathetic to what Estelle Morris is doing. If we were to find a child with a small amount of cannabis and there was no evidence that the child had been selling or encouraging other youngsters to use, then the child would be handed to the youth services for help and advice. He may well have a short-term exclusion but not a permanent one."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Christa Nickels New Federal Drug Czar (According to a translation and summary of an article from Schwaebische Zeitung, in Germany, the former state health minister said she would be tackling drug addiction as a health problem rather than a law-enforcement problem, and that a bill would be drafted to establish safe injection rooms for addicts.) Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 15:44:39 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Germany: Christa Nickels New Federal Drug Czar Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pat Dolan Source: Schwaebische Zeitung (Germany) Copyright: Schwaebischer Verlag KG 1998 Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.schwaebische-zeitung.de Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) Note: Main points summarised. Direct speech given in quotes. dpa=German Press Agency. CHRISTA NICKELS NEW FEDERAL DRUG CZAR Bonn (dpa) - Christa Nickels, the 46 year old former State Health Minister, has been appointed to the post of Federal 'Drug Czar'. She has announced that she will be tackling drug addiction as a health rather than a law enforcement problem. She will strengthen prevention measures and will put assistance before punishment. "Addicts are sick people. It is our duty to help them. The criminal prosecution of drug dealers will remain, however, an important task." She said a bill would be drafted to place 'injection rooms' on a legal basis. Provision would be made to supply emergency relief to a carefully chosen group, for whom access to counselling and therapy would be provided. She said she would also concern herself with health problems arising from addiction to alcohol and tobacco.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Countdown To The First Fixing Rooms (A translation of excerpts from an article in Sueddeutsche Zeitung, in Germany, says an "emergency room" will be opened in Sshwabingen next summer with the support of the red-Green coalition government. However, the Catholic Party threatens to force a referendum over the proposal.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 22:54:27 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Germany: Countdown To The First Fixing Rooms Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Pat Dolan Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) Copyright: Sueddeutscher Verlag GmbH, Munich (SouthGerman Publishing Co.) Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/ Author: Martin Thurau Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) Note: Summary of main points. Quotes given in inverted commas. COUNTDOWN TO THE FIRST FIXING ROOMS Afterwards the Bonn Coalition wants to alter the illegal drugs statute An 'Emergency Room' will be opened in Sshwabingen next summer. The Catholic party threatens to hold a referendum After nearly 2 years of heated controversy, a plan for a realistic way forward has been proposed. It has now been officially announced that an emergency room could open in Schwabigen as early as next summer. Andrea Fischer's announcement of legal 'Fixing Rooms' has sparked further discussion. This will require altering the law as it now stands. Up to this point such establishments in Frankfurt and Hamburg have operated in a 'grey zone'. The political parties are sharply divided on the issue. The red-Green coalition see them as a means of survival for hard core addicts, a place where they can inject themselves in a clean, supportive environment without fear of presecution. There would be less risk of deadly infection and would reduce the spread of AIDS and hepatitis. The government of Upper Bavaria saw them as illegal and sought to have them delayed until a legal clarification had been obtained. The Catholic Workers Party refected them out of hand, saying they would be a step backwards and would send "the wrong message". So the struggle continues with the possibility of protracted legal wrangling ahead. Alle Rechte vorbehalten - Sueddeutscher Verlag GmbH, Muenchen
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 74 (The weekly summary of drug policy news features a special edition, "The Pendulum Swings Toward Reform," linking news with original commentary. The Feature Article discusses the Swiss vote on complete decriminalization of drugs later this month. The Weekly News In Review includes Medical Marijuana news articles and editorials such as Get your hands off those ballots; A man caught in a Kafkaesque trap; Mainstream voters buying into medical marijuana; Pot politics - Lords back cannabis use for patients suffering pain. Other articles on Drug War Policy include Nixon had it right; A big-time bust; Report criticizes probe of Texas border shooting; Transcript - Jesse Ventura on "Meet the Press." International News includes And what if the state should take charge; Weighing pot legalization; Drugs Tsar tells customs to go soft on cannabis smugglers; Drug reform - US says yes; Vetter wants to give Heroin to sick addicts; Heroin on prescription as addiction solution urged; War on drugs has failed; Editorial in The Lancet - Dangerous Habits. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net features UK Cannabis Internet Activists. The Quote of the Week cites Thomas Jefferson. The Tip of the Week gives you the URL for the recent NORML conference. The Fact of the Week notes letters to the editor are the second most read feature in print media.) Date: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 09:35:46 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, November 18, 1998 No. 74 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, November 18, 1998, No. 74 A DrugSense publication SPECIAL EDITION - THE PENDULUM SWINGS TOWARDS REFORM This newsletter is available on-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1998/ds98.n74.html Do you find this Newsletter useful? Can you help us with a donation? Please see: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm You can donate on-line quickly and easily! Or see below for other options. *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article Swiss to Vote on Complete Legalization of Drugs Later This Month By D. Paul Stanford * Weekly News In Review Medical Marijuana- Get Your Hands off Those Ballots A Man Caught In A Kafkaesque Trap Mainstream Voters Buying Into Medical Marijuana Pot Politics Lords Back Cannabis Use For Patients Suffering Pain Drug War Policy- Nixon Had It Right A Big-Time Bust Report Criticizes Probe of Texas Border Shooting Transcript: Jesse Ventura on Meet the Press International News- And What If The State Should Take Charge Weighing Pot Legalization Drugs Tsar Tells Customs To Go Soft On Cannabis Smugglers Drug Reform - US Says YES Vetter Wants To Give Heroin To Sick Addicts Heroin On Prescription As Addiction Solution Urged War On Drugs Has Failed Editorial: Dangerous Habits - The Lancet * Hot Off The 'Net UK Cannabis Internet Activists (UKCIA) On-Line Vote on Marijuana Running - Vote Now! * Quote of the Week Thomas Jefferson * Tip of the Week NORML Conference Now Viewable On-Line * Fact of the Week Letters to the Editor - The Second Most Read Feature *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** Swiss to Vote on Complete Legalization of Drugs Later This Month By D. Paul Stanford On November 29th, the people of Switzerland will vote on "DroLeg," an initiative that could end the prohibition of all currently illegal drugs. The text of DroLeg begins, "The consumption, possession and purchase of narcotics for personal use are exempt from punishment." If DroLeg passes, the Swiss government will have to regulate the adult market for all controlled substances. The vote on DroLeg comes at a time of remarkable innovation by the Swiss regarding their drug policy. The Swiss, in a variety of unique programs, have been offering those addicted to heroin access to free supplies of the drug, or drug maintenance, in several Swiss cantons since 1994. The Swiss citizens' exceptionally broad personal legislative powers and rights led the Swiss Supreme Court, in a judicial decision earlier this year, to allow the large scale, commercial cultivation of cannabis flowers (see photos links below.) Over 200 "hanf" stores, which sell and, in some cases, even grow and process cannabis in-house, have opened across Switzerland in the past three years. Cannabis flavored drinks are advertised with cannabis leaf logos in stores and train stations across the country, even in rural areas. Switzerland, which is the richest country in the world, with an average annual income of over US$43,000, appears to be rejecting the rest of the world's emphasis on punitive law enforcement as the primary solution for substance abuse problems. Last year, in a different national referendum that was brought by those seeking to increase the severity of drug laws, the Swiss people voted against increasing penalties by 71 percent. DroLeg was filed by the Swiss "Initiative for a Reasonable Drug Policy" in 1993 and began gathering signatures then. In November 1994, they turned in over 107,000 signatures and qualified DroLeg for the vote later this month. Under Swiss initiative rules, the government can review an initiative for up to 10 years before a vote takes place. DroLeg organizer Francois Reusser, a Zurich hanf store proprietor, said that they do not expect to win this vote. Reusser said, "We will consider anything above 35 percent a win. We have to get more than the 29 percent that voted for stricter laws last year, but we really don't know how it will turn out. We may win." In Bern, the Swiss national capitol, federal authorities said that while they oppose DroLeg because they think that it "goes too far," they are preparing rules to regulate a legal market for cannabis drugs in Switzerland. A federal report on their proposals for cannabis regulation in Switzerland is due in May 1999. Swiss studies show that heroin maintenance, through medical prescriptions for those already addicted, are successful. The Swiss government says that this drug maintenance program will be expanded. The November 29th vote on DroLeg will determine the extent to which drug policy will be further liberalized in Switzerland. DroLeg's English language web site: http://www.droleg.ch/e_index.htm Photos of a legal 8 hectare/20+ acre commercial Swiss cannabis farm: http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-1.jpg http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-2.jpg http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-3.jpg http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-5.jpg http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-10.jpg Swiss road crew laying a new sewer as seen from a Swiss cannabis field: http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-4.jpg Swiss greenhouse full of 100 meter long aisles of drying cannabis: http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-6.jpg Swiss barn full of drying cannabis: http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-7.jpg Huge Swiss greenhouse full of growing and drying cannabis: http://www.crrh.org/cannabis/images/ch-hanf-9.jpg *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** COMMENT: Is it just me or does there seem to be a an almost worldwide penchant leaning in favor of drug policy reform over the last few weeks and months? Practically everywhere one looks there are indications of a media and public that has become much more open to innovative ideas in regards to drug policy. Some examples are included in the articles below. These articles include international decisions on the horizon including the DroLeg referendum in Switzerland, the recently announced German decision to re-evaluate marijuana laws, Jesse "The Mind" Ventura's pro reform stand on Meet the Press and the UK House of Lords positive stand on medical marijuana. All seem to indicate an international leaning towards rethinking drug policy on an international scale. When we factor in the incredible landslide votes in the recent elections on various ballot initiatives all over the U.S. it is heartening indeed for all in the reform movement to ponder. This week's newsletter attempts to focus on these various subtle yet important indicators of what is to come as the drug policy reform movement continues to develop and gain momentum. *** Medical Marijuana- *** GET YOUR HANDS OFF THOSE BALLOTS Good morning, and welcome to Democracy Held Hostage, Day 9. My fellow Americans, who'd have thunk that the results of a free and fair vote held nine days ago right here in the United States of America, the land of the free, would be unknown to this day -- would be impounded, in fact -- because Congress canceled the ballot initiative in question? Flat out told the national capital to kiss its sweet electoral dreams goodbye? [snip] US DC: WP: MMJ: Get Your Hands off Those Ballots NewsHawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Author: Steve Twomey *** A MAN CAUGHT IN A KAFKAESQUE TRAP The Situation - Register senior columnist Bock is closely following the trial of Marvin Chavez in connection with Proposition 215, the medical marijuana law approved by California voters. The main reason Marvin Chavez is standing trial before Judge Thomas J.Borris in Orange County's West Court in Westminster this week is that the government failed-in most cases quite stubbornly and in conscious and purposeful defiance of the people's will-to do its job. If this were a world imbued with some Platonic ideal of justice, Dan Lungren, Brad Gates and others would be sitting at defense tables with their lawyers desperately trying to explain how the actions they took, presumably in good faith, did not constitute willful violations of the law. [snip] Subj: US CA: OPED: MMJ: A Man Caught In A Kafkaesque Trap URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1027.a10.html Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: 9 Nov. 1998 Author: Alan W.Bock *** MAINSTREAM VOTERS BUYING INTO MEDICAL MARIJUANA But Opponents Still Believe It's A Smokescreen For Drug Legalization (AP) -- After seeing Washington state voters shoot down a medical marijuana measure in 1997, Rob Killian tried a new strategy this year: no tie-dye. Killian and other medical marijuana proponents realized it wasn't the prospect of giving sick people the drug that bothered most voters. The fear was that supporters of the measure secretly wanted to make all drugs legally available, and not just for the ailing. So they remade their image. Ties instead of tie-dyed T-shirts. Short hair. Think suburban moms. It worked. [snip] US WA: MMJ: Mainstream Voters Buying Into Medical Marijuana NewsHawk: John Smith Pubdate: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 Source: Herald, The (WA) Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Co. Contact: email@example.com URL: http://www.heraldnet.com/ Author: Michelle Boorstein, Associated Press *** POT POLITICS As More States Approve The Use Of Marijuana For Medical Purposes, The White House Should Pay Heed. [snip] Subj: US NY: Editorial: Pot Politics URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1023.a08.html Pubdate: Mon, 09 Nov 1998 Source: Times Union (NY) Copyright: 1998, Capital Newspapers Division of The Hearst Corporation Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 518-454-5628 Website: http://www.timesunion.com/ *** (UK) LORDS BACK CANNABIS USE FOR PATIENTS SUFFERING PAIN Doctors should be legally allowed to prescribe cannabis for multiple sclerosis sufferers and other patients who find it helps relieve pain, says a report from a scientific committee of the House of Lords, published today. The report was hailed as courageous by patients who buy the drug on the streets and smoke it in fear of the law. [snip] Subj: UK: Lords Back Cannabis Use For Patients Suffering Pain URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1033.a07.html Pubdate: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 Source: Guardian, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/ Copyright: Guardian Media Group 1998 Author: Sarah Boseley *** Drug Policy- *** COMMENT: From a Nixon era retrospective, to the failure of mandatory minimum sentencing and from the ongoing and critical reports on the murder of Ezequiel Hernandez to the reform-minded views of Jesse "The Mind" Ventura, there is a steady stream of OpEds and articles that seem to be saying "We've had enough of this drug war lunacy. Let's examine some sensible alternatives." NIXON HAD IT RIGHT A '70s Project Showed Drug Treatment Works Few American cities have been more devastated by illegal drug use than Washington. Abusers of heroin, crack and cocaine have fed robbery and burglary rates, sent child welfare caseloads soaring and clogged courts and jails. They also have overwhelmed the city's treatment centers; of the District's estimated 65,000 substance abusers, barely 10 percent can be accommodated by local treatment programs today. It wasn't always like this. Hard as it may be to believe, a little more than 25 years ago the District fought the drug war successfully--and a crucial element of that success was a comprehensive drug treatment system, one that was considered a model for the nation. The system's brief but remarkable history provides compelling evidence of just how effective treatment can be in reducing drug abuse and crime in the nation's cities. [snip] US: OPED: Nixon Had It Right NewsHawk: Paul_Bischke@datacard.com (Paul Bischke) Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Washington Post (DC) Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Author: Michael Massing *** A BIG-TIME BUST Finally, There Is Hard Evidence That Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Clogs Prisons With First-Time Offenders A prime weapon in the war on drugs since the mid-1980s has been mandatory minimum sentences that give judges no leeway in determining how many years an offender should spend behind bars. [snip] NewsHawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dick Evans) Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Page: D1 Copyright: 1998 Globe Newspaper Company. Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Author: Matthew Brelis *** REPORT CRITICIZES PROBE OF TEXAS BORDER SHOOTING A congressional report to be made public Thursday is critical of the Justice Department investigation into the shooting death of a Texas man by U.S. Marines on an anti-drug patrol. "They simply did not do their job,'' Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, said Wednesday. "The next step is for the Department of Justice to take some additional actions.'' [snip] Subj: US TX: Report Criticizes Probe of Texas Border Shooting URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1037.a12.html Source: San Antonio Express-News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.expressnews.com/ Copyright: 1998 San Antonio Express-News Pubdate: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 Author: Gary Martin *** JESSE "THE MIND" VENTURA MEET THE PRESS MR. RUSSERT: You've said a couple of controversial things during the campaign, and I want to give you a chance to talk about them so we have your full beliefs in context. The first involved drugs, and let me put on the screen some comments and give you a chance to talk about them. Hemp or marijuana is not addictive. Decriminalize it and get those drug dealers to start paying taxes. And what you do in the privacy of your own home is your own business. If someone takes LSD and locks themselves up at home, why should I care? Anyway, I ve done way more stupid things on alcohol than I ve ever done on pot. What is your sense of drugs, Governor-Elect? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: Well, my sense is this, you know, I believe you ve got to fight the war from the demand side, not the supply side. I mean, for goodness sake, we have Stillwater State Penitentiary here and we can't keep drugs out of there, and these people are locked up 24 hours a day. If you re going to fight the war on drugs, you fight it on the demand side. And I don't believe that government should be invading the privacy of our own homes, and I also believe that you shouldn't be legislating stupidity. If there are stupid people out there doing stupid things, it's not the government's job to try to make them be smarter. We live in a land of freedom. And again, if we can t keep drugs out of the state penitentiary, how on earth do they propose we re going to do it out on the street corner? You fight it on the demand side. You get people to be smart and intelligent. It's like a business. You don't create a product because of supply; you create it because there s a demand for it. MR. RUSSERT: Would you consider decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs? GOV.-ELECT VENTURA: I said absolutely not at this time. I do believe in industrial hemp. I think we re missing the boat on that. You can make food out of or, I mean, clothing out of it. Excuse me, not food, but you can make clothing out of it. You can make paper out of it. It s an industry that will create jobs out there. Canada is using it. We're not. And I also believe medicinal marijuana should be allowed. I mean, my goodness, a doctor can give you a prescription for morphine and yet they can't prescribe you marijuana? I think that should be left up to the medical community for people that are that ill and in that much pain. I don't believe the government should be telling them what they can or cannot use. It should be in the medical community and up to the doctors and physicians to do that. Subj: US: Transcript: Jesse Ventura on Meet the Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1023.a07.html Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Meet the Press Copyright: 1998 National Broadcasting Company, Inc. Contact: MTP@NBC.com Website: http://www.msnbc.com/news/MEETPRESS_Front.asp Note: Only the part of the transcript that is on topic for this service is provided. *** International News *** COMMENT: International news may even be more indicative of the International tendency towards reform. Switzerland will soon vote on the Droleg referendum, Germany seems to have suddenly come to life on a number of reform fronts and the UK, Canada, and even Ireland are beginning to embrace reform ideas. *** AND WHAT IF THE STATE SHOULD TAKE CHARGE A half-century of drug prohibition has not impeded the exponential growth of the black market and has enriched the increasingly-efficient criminal elements who trade in drugs. According to the promoters of the DROLEG initiative, to be voted on at the end of the month, it is time to change course and initiate a regulated market for the now-prohibited drugs. [snip] Switzerland: DROLEG: And What If The State Should Take Charge page://www.archive/1998/11/09/fait_1.htm Contact: Website: http://www.letemps.ch/ Copyright: Le Temps 1998 Authors: Ed.Staff, Sylvie Arsever, and Sylvain Besson Translation: Peter Webster (from French) *** GERMANY WEIGHING POT LEGALIZATION BONN (November 8, 1998 08:56 a.m. EST) - Germany's new government said it will study the case made for legalizing possession of small quantities of soft drugs such as cannabis. "We're certainly going to look at it. There have been some interesting essays on this and an EU report on it, too," Interior Minister Otto Schily told Spiegel news magazine in an article made available on Sunday. [snip] Subj: Germany: Wire: Germany Weighing Pot Legalization URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1021.a01.html Pubdate: Sun, 08 Nov 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. *** DRUGS TSAR TELLS CUSTOMS TO GO SOFT ON CANNABIS SMUGGLERS THE government's drug tsar has ordered customs officers to take a softer approach to cannabis smugglers. [snip] Subj: UK: Drugs Tsar Tells Customs To Go Soft On Cannabis Smugglers URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1021.a04.html Pubdate: Sun, 8 Nov 1998 Source: Scotland On Sunday (UK) Page: 1 Contact: email@example.com Author: Neil Mackay *** DRUG REFORM: US SAYS YES FOR DECADES, conventional drug policy has been sustained by powerful myths. One of the most potent of these myths was the widespread belief that support for drug-policy reform inevitably meant political suicide at the ballot box. Results in this week's United States mid-term Congressional elections are further evidence that support for a rigid "tough on drugs" approach may soon he a political liability. Perhaps that day has already arrived. [snip] Pubdate: Sat, 7 Nov 1998 Source: Canberra Times (Australia) Page: C4 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/ Author: Alex Wodak, President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation and director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent's Hospital Sydney. *** VETTER WANTS TO GIVE HEROIN TO SICK ADDICTS Precis: Another German politician has broken with his party's hard line on (the war on) drugs policy and has come down decisively on the side of a trial of the Swiss model of heroin distribution to hard core addicts. His reasons are two-fold: on compassionate grounds, (it is not humane to lock up sick people on ideological grounds); and because the Swiss model has proved conclusively that it works; that it reduces significantly the social harm caused by the hard line policy. [snip] Germany: Vetter Wants To Give Heroin To Sick Addicts NewsHawk: Harald Lerch (HaL@main-rheiner.de) Source: Stuttgarter Nachrichten Pubdate: 7 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.stuttgarter-nachrichten.de Copyright: 1998 Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Germany Author: Arnold Rieger Translator: Pat Dolan, from German *** HEROIN ON PRESCRIPTION AS ADDICTION SOLUTION URGED The Government should consider new approaches to the drug problem, including prescribing legal heroin, according to a member of the National Drugs Strategy Team (NDST). Father Seen Cassin, former head of the Merchants Quay project, told a Deil Committee yesterday that a Swiss project prescribing heroin to addicts had claimed "significantly good" results. The NDST is the statutory agency set up to co-ordinate the work of local drugs task forces. [snip] Subj: Ireland: Heroin On Prescription As Addiction Solution Urged URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1042.a04.html Pubdate: Thu, 12 Nov 1998 Source: Irish Times (Ireland) Contact: email@example.com Mail: The Irish Times, 11-15 D'Olier St, Dublin 2, Ireland Fax: ++ 353 1 671 9407 Website: http://www.irish-times.ie/ Copyright: 1998 The Irish Times Author: Catherine Cleary, Drugs and Crime Correspondent *** WAR ON DRUGS HAS FAILED The War On Drugs Has Failed, Mayors' Meeting Told Seattle -- The war on drugs has been a dismal failure and new tactics are needed, Canadian and U.S. civic officials agree. "We can't afford the police, we can't afford the gaol time and we can't afford the costs," Seattle Mayor Paul Schell told a Cascadia Mayors' Council conference that included Vancouver Mayor Philip Owen. [snip] Subj: US/CAN : War On Drugs Has Failed URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1042.a05.html Pubdate: 12 Nov 1998 Source: The Province (B.C. Can) Section: p.A25 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://vancouverprovince.com Copyright: Pacific Press 1998 *** DANGEROUS HABITS 3 years ago, a Lancet editorial began, "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health" (Nov 11, 1995); an assertion criticized by many readers as encouraging an indulgence that is illegal in many countries. Predictably, the legalise-cannabis lobby seized on The Lancet's apparent endorsement of this substance's safety. This week we publish a seminar on the adverse effects of cannabis (p 1611) . Wayne Hall and Nadia Solowij conclude that the most likely adverse effects of smoking cannabis are bronchial irritation, the risk of accidents when intoxicated, dependence, and possible cognitive impairment with heavy, long-term use. The evidence summarized in this seminar was considered by a committee of the UK House of Lords which reported on Nov 11 . The committee recommended that clinical trials be done on the effects of cannabis in multiple sclerosis and in chronic pain, and that the UK Government should reclassify cannabis so that it can be prescribed by doctors under certain circumstances. [snip] Subj: UK: Editorial: Dangerous Habits URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1042.a09.html Pubdate: 13 Nov 1998 Source: Lancet, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thelancet.com/ Section: Vol. 352, Number 9140 Copyright: The Lancet 1998 *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** ONLINE VOTE RUNNING NOW! Thanks to John Chase for this heads up: Perhaps you already know. Full legalization is winning. I found this in NYTimes this AM online. Marketplace, a radio feature on National Public Radio, is conducting an online poll on medicinal marijuana. Cast your vote at: http://features.yahoo.com/finance/survey/ Results will be tallied for the end of the week so act now! *** NewsHawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Saturday, 14 Nov 1998 Source: British Medical Journal 1 (Volume 317, Issue 7169) Copyright: 1998 by the British Medical Journal Website: email@example.com Contact: http://www.bmj.com/ Reviewer: Douglas Carnall Reviews WEBSITE OF THE WEEK http://www.ukcia.org/ The UK Cannabis Internet Activists met on line back in 1995, taught themselves HTML (the markup language used by all web browsers), and got to work on building a site that is clearly organised and nice to look at. A site edited by partisans must be interpreted with caution, but the approach seems responsible and incorporates links or references to information from many reputable sources. These include the BMA, whose report recommending a change in the law to allow research on the use of cannabinoids in chronic illness, published almost a year ago to the day, has plainly been influential. This week the House of Lords' Science and Technology Committee concurs (p 1337), and there seems little doubt that change in the law will follow. Events in the United States are moving in the same direction, following pressure from groups such as the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp ( http://www.crrh.org/ ). A total of seven states covering a fifth of the nation's population have directly contradicted federal drug laws in recent referendums. Far more sites argue for reform than for the status quo: despite an assiduous morning's browsing on a high speed network, anti-drug sites proved elusive. On the internet at least, those fighting the war on the "war on drugs" are definitely winning. While advocacy abounds, hard scientific evidence about cannabis is hard to find. There are, for example, no trials reported at: http://www.controlled-trials.com/ although its presence refutes earlier reports http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/317/7167/1258/c that the website does not exist. Hint for press officers: if you want to publicise your website take care to supply the correct URL. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK `A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither' - Thomas Jefferson' *** TIP OF THE WEEK NORML Conference Now Viewable On-Line If you missed the CSPAN coverage from Thursday, the first 78 minutes are on line now, with more to follow (Rolf says he has two computers crunching video as fast as they can). So you can see the start of the NORML conference, and check back later to see more. Go to: http://www.legalize-usa.org/TOCs/video7.htm Check out Rolf Ernst's excellent newly updated Table of Contents here as well. A really outstanding video and audio drug policy archive *** FACT OF THE WEEK Letters to the Editor - The Second Most Read Feature From: G. A ROBISON (GALAN@prodigy.net) Subject: Houston Chronicle Readership Of possible interest to all, I just found out that the average daily readership of the Chronicle is now over 500,000, and that the second most widely read feature is the LTE column (called "Viewpoints" in the Chronicle). So much for the story that someone was trying to float a year or so ago that talk radio had made LTE's obsolete. Cheers / Al G. Alan Robison Executive Director Drug Policy Forum of Texas *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. 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