------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (Government Health Officials Deny Marijuana and Pain Study, Again; House of Lords Backs Prescription Cannabis, But Parliament Balks; Drug Testing Negatively Impacts Employee Productivity, Study Concludes.) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 17:04:26 EST Subject: NORML WPR 11/19/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org November 19, 1998 *** Government Health Officials Deny Marijuana and Pain Study, Again November 19, 1998, Washington, DC: Federal health officials rejected a scientific proposal last week to conduct research on marijuana's effectiveness as a pain reliever in human patients. The denial marked the second straight year National Institute of Health (NIH) officials refused to sponsor human trials regarding marijuana's analgesic potential. "There remains a remarkable disconnect between Washington bureaucrats who oppose any rational debate on the medical marijuana issue, and those doctors, nurses, and patients who strongly support research and therapeutic access to marijuana," said NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. "It is disturbing that NIH officials would deny legitimate medical marijuana research only days after voters in seven states overwhelmingly affirmed their support for the use of marijuana as a medicine." Neurologist Ethan Russo, M.D. of the Western Montana Clinic sought federal permission to compare smoked marijuana to synthetic THC and an injected painkiller in acute migraine treatment. Russo has attempted since 1996 to obtain official clearance to conduct an FDA approved clinical trial evaluating marijuana's therapeutic value on migraine patients. He recently authored an authoritative review of marijuana's history as a treatment for migraine in the peer reviewed journal Pain, the official publication of the International Association for the Study of Pain. "I am disappointed that I will not have the opportunity to study this important clinical issue this year," said Russo, who speculated that as many as 10 million migraine sufferers could potentially benefit from inhaled marijuana. "Our bureaucrats seem hopelessly mired in political place. They are ignoring the science, as well as the rising tide of public opinion that is clamoring for clinical studies of cannabis." In the past year, a growing body of medical evidence has emerged indicating marijuana's effectiveness as a pain reliever. At the 27th Annual Meeting of Neuroscientists, researchers announced, "Substances similar or derived from marijuana ... could benefit the more than 97 million Americans who experience some form of pain each year." Recent animal studies demonstrate marijuana constituents relieve pain on par with those of opiate-based drugs like morphine. Some researchers maintain that the use of cannabinoids like THC and other chemical compounds found in marijuana do not appear to carry the risk associated with the use of opiates, such as addiction and tolerance. Russo's latest rejection comes more than one year after a NIH expert panel recommended federal health agencies implement policy changes to expedite medical marijuana research. So far, no visible changes have been made. "It remains federal officials -- not voters or the medical community -- that continue to thwart the use and study of marijuana as a legal medicine," St. Pierre said. "In 1982, the National Academy of Sciences strongly recommended the federal government to undertake definitive scientific studies to determine marijuana's therapeutic value. It is a morally unconscionable that 15 years later, we are still battling to allow this research to take place." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. Dr. Ethan Russo may be contacted @ (406) 329-7238 or via e-mail at: email@example.com *** House of Lords Backs Prescription Cannabis, But Parliament Balks November 19, 1998, London, England: The government should allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical use, concluded a report by England's House of Lords Science and Technology Committee last week. However, Health Minister George Howarth immediately rejected the findings, and said that Parliament will not change federal law until more research is completed. "Political stalling at the expense of patients who would benefit from the legal use of marijuana as a medicine is not confined just to America," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. Lord Walter Perry, chairman of the House of Lords committee, said ample evidence already exists to legalize medical marijuana. "[Clinical trials] take five or more years to complete and we felt that the evidence of the benefit to these patients with very distressing symptoms was such that we shouldn't make them wait that long." The report found marijuana to be most effective at treating chronic pain and the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. "We have seen enough evidence to convince us that a doctor might legitimately want to prescribe cannabis ... and that the criminal law ought not to stand in the way," Perry said. The report also noted that the development of marijuana derivatives and analogs as medicines should not preclude politicians from legalizing use of the whole plant for medical use. "This committee should be commended for placing science and compassion above politics," Stroup said. The upper chamber of Parliament first began its inquiry into the medical potential of marijuana in April. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. Copies of the House of Lords report are available upon request on online at: http://www.parliament.uk. *** Drug Testing Negatively Impacts Employee Productivity, Study ConcludesNovember 19, 1998, Syracuse, NY: Companies adopting drug testing programs experience significantly lower productivity than those that do not, according to a new study by the Le Moyne College Institute of Industrial Relations. The study found that pre-employment and random testing procedures result in nearly a 20 percent lower level of productivity. "Based on standards of increased workplace productivity, drug testing flunks big time," said NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. The Le Moyne study examined 63 "high tech" firms using an economic model to estimate the effect of drug testing programs on productivity. Authors found that "drug testing programs do not succeed in improving productivity," and speculated that such procedures may create "a negative work environment, or cause substitutions of more dangerous drugs or alcohol." The authors contend that their study is the first to examine the quantified potential productivity effects of workplace drug testing. NORML's St. Pierre praised the research study. "Despite its popularity, drug testing is a bad investment for employers," he said. He noted that The NORML Foundation opposes suspicionless drug testing, particularly urinalysis, because such procedures are intrusive searches that lack the ability to determine job impairment. The Foundation further maintains that urine testing unfairly targets marijuana smokers who may test positive for weeks after the drug's euphoric effects have worn off. The release of the Le Moyne study comes less than one month after Congress approved legislation providing for federal incentives to encourage small businesses to adopt workplace drug testing. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Groups want to snub out tobacco deal (The Oregonian says the three most influential anti-smoking organizations in Oregon are urging Attorney General Hardy Myers to reject a $206 billion multistate tobacco settlement - the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and the American Lung Association.) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Groups want to snub out Groups want to snub out tobacco deal * Three anti-smoking groups urge Oregon not to join other states in a $206 billion settlement Thursday, November 19 1998 By Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff The three most influential anti-smoking organizations in Oregon are urging Attorney General Hardy Myers to turn a thumbs down on a $206 billion multistate tobacco settlement. Myers is scheduled to announce Friday morning whether Oregon will join 16 other states in a settlement of suits about the costs of treating sick, low-income smokers. Myers' office has estimated that the deal would bring Oregon $70 million to $75 million a year for 25 years. But in a memo to Myers on Tuesday, the American Heart Association in Oregon, the American Cancer Society in Oregon and the American Lung Association of Oregon urged him to seek more time to study the proposed settlement. The organizations are worried that the deal contains hidden pitfalls that could hamper future anti-smoking efforts. Myers and attorneys general in many other states received the settlement proposal on Monday. They must decide by Friday whether to sign on or to proceed with their own lawsuits against the tobacco industry. Thirty states have yet to decide. Jerry Spegman, government relations director for the American Cancer Society in Oregon, said Myers should reject the settlement. "Without a doubt there's simply an insufficient amount of time to scrutinize it to the degree that is warranted," Spegman said. Without more study, he said, "we are not comfortable accepting a settlement that will have implications for decades to come." Spegman acknowledged that public health organizations aren't parties to the litigation. "But we are folks who are interested and concerned," he said. "Attorney General Myers has been very gracious over the last few months, feeling us out, getting our input. But on the ultimate question of whether to accept this particular deal, we don't feel he has enough time to analyze it." The agreement would limit tobacco advertising, especially in places where youths gather, and keep the industry from lobbying against state and local anti-tobacco laws. But Spegman said the cancer society is worried that the national agreement doesn't go far enough and might : * Allow tobacco companies to continue marketing to children as long as that is not the primary intent. * Not hold the industry accountable for an increase in smoking among youth. * Permit the industry to keep secret many of its most incriminating documents. * Not provide enough financial compensation to states. * Fail to restrict vending machine sales, self-service displays, Internet sales or in-store advertising. The Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon, of which the three organizations are members, has taken a softer stand on the issue. Wendy Bjornson, project director of the coalition, said the group is not specifically asking Myers to dump the agreement. "What we are asking is for him to be very judicious about signing off and then working very closely with all the public health groups to make sure that all the funds are allocated to assist people who are suffering from these (tobacco-related) problems and to keep people from becoming addicted in the future." The coalition includes representatives of state and county health agencies. On Tuesday, Myers met with about 30 representatives of organizations with interests in the tobacco issue. Among the groups represented were the Oregon chapters of heart, lung and cancer organizations. Kristen Grainger, executive assistant to Myers, said that despite the short review period, he and his staff have studied the agreement thoroughly. "The attorney general has been involved for months in this agreement and has seen versions of this agreement for the past couple of months," she said. "So we've had an opportunity to look at it prior to now. There aren't any surprises in the latest version." Grainger said that while Myers has asked for the opinions of public health organizations "it is ultimately he who must make the call and take the heat." Oregon's own suit against the tobacco industry is scheduled to go to trial in April. That suit alleges among other things that the industry has violated the states Unlawful Trade Practices Act, committed wire and mail fraud, conspired restrain trade, and deceived the public about the "carcinogenic, pathological and addictive properties of tobacco."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco sales to minors increase despite pressures from authorities (According to the Associated Press, the Oregon Human Resources Department said Wednesday that the Oregon Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs reported minors were able to buy tobacco 29 percent of the times they tried this year, up from 23 percent in 1997. The state inspections involve youths 14-16, accompanied by police, who try to buy tobacco products.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): email@example.com Tobacco sales to minors increase despite pressures from authorities The Associated Press 11/19/98 3:39 AM SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- More stores sold tobacco to minors in the latest round of state inspections despite campaigns for better identification checks. The state Human Resources Department said Wednesday that monitoring by the its Office of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs showed minors were able to by tobacco 29 percent of the time this year, up from 23 percent in 1997. The figures are down from minors' 39 percent success rate in illegally buying cigarettes in 1996. State law limits tobacco sales to persons 18 and older. But each day, the equivalent of a classroom of Oregon kids starts using tobacco, officials say. Barbara Cimaglio, director of the alcohol and drug office, called the latest results "dismaying." "I'm confident that retailers are concerned about this as we are about this problem, but stores need to do a better job checking identification," she said. The state inspections involve youths 14-16, accompanied by police, who try to buy tobacco products. The Health Division says a recent survey indicated the inspections might underestimate the problem of illegal tobacco sales. According to a poll of 9th to 12th graders, about 42 percent those who smoke said they bought cigarettes from a store or service station during the previous month and that 58 percent reported they were able to buy every time they tried. Overall tobacco consumption has dropped by 10 percent since voters approved funds for a tobacco prevention program in 1996, the department said. The recent monitoring program of sales to minors involved checks on 689 establishments statewide. Sales rates ranged from a low of 11.4 percent in Multnomah County to an average of 48 percent in Eastern Oregon. Sales rates were very high in some small counties because the number of inspections was based on population. In some instances 100 percent of stores checked sold to minors, but that just two stores were checked. (c)1998 Oregon Live LLC Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The C(ocaine)I(mportation)A(gency) (Seattle Weekly reviews the book, "Whiteout: The CIA, Drugs, and the Press," by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair, calling it more than just a history of the US government's role in international drug dealing. Whiteout is an encyclopedia of covert psychological and sociological research and experimentation performed on unknowing subjects since the early 1900s. And it's the kind of expose that people like Katherine Graham, former publisher of The Washington Post, don't think should be available in bookstores.) Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 09:01:46 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Book Review: The C(ocaine)I(mportation)A(gency) Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thursday, 19 November, 1998 Source: Seattle Weekly (WA) Copyright: 1998 Seattle Weekly Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattleweekly.com/ Author: Mark Worth Note: BOOK REVIEW, WhiteOut - The CIA, Drugs, and the Press by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair (Verso, $17) The C(ocaine)I(mportation)A(gency) Drug dealing only begins to tell the story of the CIA's handiwork. If the only thing you know about the US Central Intelligence Agency is that a 1996 San Jose Mercury News report accusing the CIA of contributing to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles was dismissed by government officials and mainstream journalists as African-American hysteria, you're likely to take their word for it. The US government helping the Contras purchase weapons with the proceeds of crack sales by gang members in South Central Los Angeles? Yeah, right. Veteran muckrakers Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair will make you a believer. Cockburn, the well-known columnist for The Nation, joins with St. Clair, a colleague at the hard-driving newsletter Counterpunch, to write a book that's more than just a history of the US government's role in international drug dealing. Whiteout is an encyclopedia of covert psychological and sociological research and experimentation performed on unknowing subjects since the early 1900s. It's the kind of expose people like Katherine Graham don't think should be available in bookstores. "We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know--and shouldn't," the now-retired Washington Post president told an audience of CIA recruits in 1988. "I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows." Some of the most closely held government secrets--secrets the press has decided not to print--are unmasked in Whiteout's shocking third chapter, "The History of Black 'Paranoia.'" The government had a lot practice targeting African Americans and other minorities in the decades prior to the CIA's alleged crack-cocaine enterprise. Distributing cholera-infected blankets to Native Americans; the Tuskegee syphilis experiments; the FBI's "COINTELPRO" campaign against the anti-war movement, the Black Panthers, and other dissenting voices of the '60s; forced sterilization of "mental degenerates" (which inspired the Nazi program); using cattle prods and LSD to prevent homosexuality among children; infecting black prisoners with malaria (cited by Nazi doctors in their defense at Nuremburg); releasing millions of yellow-fever- and dengue-fever-infected mosquitoes over predominately black Southern towns--these are hardly the signs of a flourishing democracy. During the '50s and '60s, sadistic "doctors" and "scientists" flourished under the CIA's MK-ULTRA program. One, Dr. Harris Isbell of the Center for Addiction Research in Lexington, Kentucky, kept black heroin addicts high on LSD for up to 77 days in a row (some were strapped to tables and injected through the eyes). Government-funded researchers secretly gave LSD to children, San Francisco prostitutes, New York partygoers, prominent European leftists, and to CIA agents themselves, one of whom freaked out and mysteriously "jumped" out of a 10th-story window. Scientists even considered, according to a CIA memo, "putting some in a city water supply and having citizens wander around in more or less a happy state, not terribly interested in defending themselves." Equally appalling is the story, colorfully told by Cockburn and St. Clair, of the US government's affiliation with mobsters such as Charles "Lucky" Luciano. In exchange for help in fighting Mussolini and preventing sabotage of American ships, Luciano and other mafiosi won protection from law enforcement officials, cushy government positions in postwar Italy, and--with a hand from immigration officials in the Americas and Europe--their freedom. Luciano went on to build one of the world's largest heroin operations; the predominately black ghettos of New York and Washington, DC, ranked among his most profitable distribution points. The US government's postwar rescue and assimilation of former Nazi military officers, doctors, and scientists makes for even more sickening reading. "Operation Paperclip" perpetuated the careers of Nazis who dissected live prisoners, infected people with bubonic plague, detonated germ bombs above men tied to stakes, locked people in low-pressure chambers until their brains exploded, and sewed mustard gas and glass into the wounds of women prisoners. Within a few years, American scientists were feeding radioactive oats to mentally retarded boys, injecting poor blacks with plutonium, and releasing clouds of radioactive iodine over residential communities. Aided by the US in his escape to South America, Klaus Barbie helped the Bolivian government hunt down, torture, and murder priests, union organizers, Native Americans, and opposition leaders--while profiting from and helping to build a $3 billion-a-year cocaine operation. Relying on vast primary and secondary source material, Cockburn and St. Clair also document the roles of the CIA and other US intelligence agencies in drug trafficking enterprises in Afghanistan, the Bahamas, Burma, Colombia, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Thailand, and Vietnam. They devote a chapter on the purported Contra-supply, drug-dealing, and money-laundering operation Oliver North helped establish in Mena, Arkansas, during the gubernatorial watch of Bill Clinton. Just for fun, the authors recount the CIA's sometimes comical efforts to assassinate Fidel Castro--and to get him high, like when operatives tried to get him to smoke LSD-laced cigars. When it comes to the CIA, what you don't know might not hurt you. But it just might make you want to throw up.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marvin Chavez Trial Update - Jury's Still Out (A local correspondent says there has been a full day of deliberations in the trial of the founder of the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group.. It seems jurors are having a hard time defining what a "sale" is.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 08:54:40 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Remembers@webtv.net (Genie Brittingham) To: Multiple recipients of list (email@example.com) Subject: Marvin Chavez Trial Update: Jury's Still Out From: WBritt420@aol.com Date: Thu, Nov 19, 1998 Subject: Marvin Chavez Trial Update: Jury's Still Out After spending a full day of deliberating, the jury is still out in the trial of Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group founder Marvin Chavez Sr.. It seems that they are having a hard time defining what a "sale" is. At the end of the day the Forman brought out questions to the judge for clarifications of the law. Def. Atty. Jim Silva told me the longer the jury stays out, the more chance of a hung jury, which after an acquittal, would be the next best ruling. Both lawyers Nick and Silva felt there would be a hung jury. The jurors a facing 30 options on 10 counts. Guilty, guilty of lesser charge (giving away as opposed to sales) or innocent for each charge. He's facing a possible 15 years. I can't begin to relay the excellent job David Nick and Jim Silva did in representing Marvin. After watching the Public Pretenders assist in the railroading of Dave Herrick and You-get-what-you-pay-for Pro-Bono lawyers in Marvin's early hearings, it was exhilarating to see them taking turns, attacking unrelentlessly. Unfortunately, because I was going to be a witness for the 215 defense (which the judge ended up not allowing) I missed Dave Nick's cross exam of the undercover officers. I heard he tore them a new asshole, getting them to admit they lied, pleaded and cajoled Marvin to get him to provide them with "medicine" The judge allowed and a strong case was given for entrapment in 4 of the 10 charges. Dave Nick also gave final statements and talked for a little over an hour, he began with "We all knot what this trial's about, its about a political witch hunt to attack the people's decision to allow the medical use of cannabis." He spoke of the history of jury's, due process, the deception by the DA's office and their skewed view of events. He told the jury that with all the begging and pleading and the phony doctor's letter, Mother Theresa would have provided cannabis to the undercover officers if she were in Marvin's place. He did a great job of closing arguments. Prosecutor Carl Armbrust didn't fare as well. He didn't have Judge Borris in his back pocket like Froeberg or Fitzgerald, who seemed to sustain his every objection and overrule the defense endlessly. He used the same argument that Marvin was just a dope dealer. He said Mother Theresa would probably have not distributed marijuana, but if she did in his county, he would arrest her. He also said that legally, Robinhood broke the law and that he would have arrested him too. All we can do now is wait, they should reach a verdict tomorrow. (Thursday) Bill Britt (Patient Advocate) Marvin is in great need of help to pay for legal expenses that have been pilling up. Please send contributions to: OCPDNSG Legal Defense Fund C/o The Law Offices of James M. Silva Ph. (310) 450-2690 33 Clubhouse Ave. #3 Venice, Ca 92091 *** She Who Remembers http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/7525 http://www.remembers.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Jury reaches verdict in trial of Marvin Chavez (A local correspondent says the medical marijuana patient and founder of the Orange County Patient Doctor Nurse Support Group has been convicted of eight out of 10 charges.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 15:31:49 -0800 From: Tim Perkins (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Cannabis Freedom Fund To: Friends (email@example.com), DPFCA (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFCA: JURY REACHES VERDICT in trial of Marvin Chavez Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 17:46:56 EST From: WBritt420@aol.com Counts 1-5 - GUILTY, misdemeanor Sales. Counts 6-7 - GUILTY, FELONY SALES. (Undercover arrests) Counts 8-9 - NOT GUILTY - Entrapment (Same charges as CO-Director Jack Shachter's) Count 10 - GUILTY, FELONY TRANSPORTATION. As the verdicts were read, I thought about my friend Gil, and how Marvin helped him out by providing Cannabis and support while he was dying. I tried not to get too angry or sad but it was difficult. After seeing how he helped so many people who were suffering and knowing his reward will be sitting in prison with murders, robbers and rapists. Sentencing will be in 20 days. We can only hope Judge Borris will show some compassion. He has been pretty fair so far. William Britt (Patient Advocate)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marvin Chavez Verdict (Another version from a different local correspondent. Sentencing will be Jan. 8.) From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 23:27:30 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Marvin Chavez Verdict Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com After not being allowed to consider Proposition 215, the jury came in with a verdict in Marvin Chavez's case around 9:45 am this morning (Wednesday, November 19). He had 10 charges against him, and was found not guilty on two charges, but guilty of 5 misdemeanors and 3 felonies in the rest. Counts 1-5, where he was charged with felony sales to a patient and a caregiver who were members of the club, the jury found him not guilty of felony sales, but guilty of misdemeanor furnishing after hearing testimony from those involved that they donated money to the Co-op and weren't paying for the cannabis. On counts 6 and 7, which involved undercover police, Marvin was found guilty of felony sales. In one charge, he gave undercover narcs an ounce of cannabis and the narcs voluntarily donated $80 to the Co-op. In the other, Marvin gave undercover narcs 1/4 of on ounce and the police voluntarily donated $20 to the Co-op. On counts 8 and 9, which involved another undercover narc, one who was a caregiver for the undercover "patient" narc, the jury found Marvin not guilty. Police had no tape recordings of those transactions. The narc involved in these counts said Marvin called the cannabis a "lid." Funny how he has never used that term around any of us patients, and most of us wouldn't even know what a lid is. This narc also was a member of the California Narcotics Officers Association, the organization which gave the largest donation to the anti-215 campaign. Another narc in one of these charges testified onstage that he had seen a newspaper article about Marvin, but had no idea how Marvin was trying to work under 215. He also testified that he had no idea what Proposition 215 is. Being a narc who has read about Marvin, that testimony is hard to believe. It is interesting that the jury found Marvin guilty of felony sales on two of the charges that involved police entrapment and not guilty on the other two police entrapment charges. Finding police entrapment on two of the charges sends a message to police trying to pose as patients to infiltrate cannabis co-ops and harass sick people. The tenth charge, for transportation of a package of cannabis to the post office, where he tried to mail over an ounce (although the DA's method of weighing was questionable) of medicine to a patient living in Northern California. The jury found him guilty of felony transportation in that charge. Marvin will be sentenced on Friday, January 8. DA Carl Armbrust said he expected Marvin to get about 7 years in prison. Attorney James Silva said he will file an appeal. We need help with Marvin's mounting legal costs. Most of us patients are on limited incomes and have donated all we can spare, but we still have many unpaid bills. Please send donations to: Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Support Group (OCPDNSG) Legal Defense Fund c/o The Law Offices of James M. Silva 33 Clubhouse Ave. #3 Venice, Ca 92091 Phone: (310) 450-2690
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Breyer Raises Interesting Questions . . . (Ellen Komp of The 215 Reporter says US District Court Judge Charles Breyer, the person officiating the federal government's dispute with the Oakland Cannabis Buyers' Cooperative and other Northern California medical marijuana dispensaries, asked a federal prosecutor Tuesday if the Clinton Administration would be "fashioning an appropriate response" to what he called the "handwriting on the wall" - the passing of medical marijuana initiatives in five states besides California.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:51:37 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Ellen Komp (email@example.com) Subject: DPFCA: Judge Breyer Raises Interesting Questions... Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ In Federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday, Nov. 17, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer, suddenly and without prompting, asked prosecutor Mark Quinlivan if the administration would be "fashioning an appropriate response" to what he called the "handwriting on the wall"--the passing of medical marijuana initiatives in five other states. Breyer asked about the initiatives, as well as the "secret vote" in D.C. under litigation. (Attorney for the Marin club William Panzer noted that exit polls showed the initiative had passed in D.C. as well.) Breyer also asked about the pending lawsuit in Philadelphia, showing he has been following all aspects of the issue with interest. "What is the government's position if patients brought a lawsuit under the administrative procedures act regarding the decision on rescheduling?" Breyer asked. Quinlivan responded that a rescheduling petition has been refered to HHS, and that the NAS's IOM would be filing a report in January or February. Breyer's eyebrows raised at that. Panzer added that the IOM was in California, at the Oakland and Southern California clubs. "It's interesting...we'll find out if all this has an impact...I guess it's up to the administration," Breyer said. "It has always been the administration's position in this and similar cases that the FDA process has to be followed in all cases," Quinlivan said, mentioning that the House of Representatives recently passed a resolution with that position. "This is a difficult and controversial area," he added. "There seems to have been a shift," Breyer said, "and now the ball is in the court of the administration to determine whether or not to reschedule under certain circumstances. . .All I observe is that the politics are ever changing and now they seem to be more than in the past as viewing medical marijuana as favorable, by the majority of the population, in more discticts." He also said that the Congress's resolution must be considered. Breyer said he had not yet reconsidered Panzer's motion regarding the court's jurisdiction in the area of substantive due process, but promised he would before the scheduled pre-trial hearing of December 17. A begining trial date of January 4 was set. *** Ellen Komp 215 Reporter
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Poppy Paradox (The San Luis Obispo County NewTimes recounts the bust of local medical marijuana activists and cultivators Tom Dunbar and Jo-D Harrison - for growing poppies - amid a discussion about the peculiar laws that let people buy, sell and grow the ubiquitous Papaver somniferum, but only if they don't know it's the opium poppy.) Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 14:09:42 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: The Poppy Paradox Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: San Luis Obispo County NewTimes (CA) Section: Cover Story Contact: email@example.com Website: http://newtimes-slo.com/ Author: Steven T. Jones THE POPPY PARADOX Beware: Reading This Article Could Make You Into A Felon, But Not Reading It Could Get You Arrested They are grayish-black flecks, such weightless objects for their potential. Poppy seeds grow into beautiful flowers, taste good in muffins, and produce opium. It is this latter trait that got Tom Dunbar and Jo-D Harrison into so much trouble. Take the smallest pinch of poppy seeds, the exact same kind that top your bagel, and plant them. In a few days, they will sprout tiny white stems, then slender green leaves, and will keep growing into hardy annuals with vibrant flowers. A couple of months into the spring growing season, the flowers will fall away, leaving in their place round seedpods filled with thousands of seeds and a milky sap that will ooze out through any slits made in the pod walls. That dried sap is opium, an illegal narcotic even in its most natural form, possession of which can send you to prison. Opium is a highly addictive drug that can be smoked or eaten, inducing a dreamy high that can last a few hours, or it can be processed into morphine (an alkaloid found in opium that is its main psychoactive component), heroin, codeine, or other drugs. Yet the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is widely grown in San Luis Obispo County and across the country as an ornamental flower, and the seeds used to grow the opium poppy are available in any grocery store. "We bought our poppy seeds at Vons," said Dunbar, who goes on trial next month for the 203 poppy plants that grew in his Arroyo Grande garden until they were seized by police in May. "They were right between the paprika and the parsley." Alphabetically, Dunbar may not be right. But he is correct that the poppy seeds available in the spice section are usually Papaver somniferum and can be easily grown into opium poppy plants. McCormick, the world's largest spice company, even identifies its poppy seeds as Papaver somniferum on its website, noting, "The tiny poppy seed actually comes from the plant that produces opium." Conversely, such seeds grow the opium poppy. The spice company claims it has developed varieties with "low narcotic potential" - a claim disputed as not possible by some poppy experts - yet classic opium poppy varieties can still be legally purchased from garden and seed companies, often advertising them with no warning that they produce opium or are illegal. That connection between the commonly available poppy seed and the illegal opium plant is one that many of those charged with meting out justice don't understand, such as San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Gerry Shea, who was surprised by most of the above information. "That's news to me - that it is available commercially," Shea said. Nonetheless, our country's drug laws put possession of the opium poppy - just the plant, regardless of whether the drug has been extracted - in the same felony category of such Schedule II narcotics as cocaine, morphine, and methamphetamine. Sowing Information Opium poppies have a rich and storied history nearly 5,000 years long, one that has swung from almost universal acceptance of opium use, in which wars were fought to preserve its trade, to its condemnation on moral grounds at the dawn of the 20th century. But it is only in the last couple of years that popular knowledge of the opium poppy's narcotic potential has truly blossomed among those Americans inclined to experiment with recreational drugs. That change began largely with Seattle author Jim Hogshire, who wrote a book called "Opium for the Masses," which in turn formed the basis for an April 1997 cover article in Harper's magazine called "Opium, Made Easy." "Jim Hogshire and his book punctured a set of myths that served the government well for decades," Michael Pollan wrote in the Harper's article, in which he chronicled his own experience growing opium poppies while examining their legality. That "set of myths" was the portrayal of opium poppies as an exotic plant grown only in the Far East, from which opium was mysteriously extracted, not a common flower easily grown anywhere in the United States, from which a child could extract opium with his or her fingernail. "After reading the article in Harper's, I was curious," said Dunbar, whose case is by many accounts one of the first opium poppy prosecutions ever brought in San Luis Obispo County. While several of the poppies in Dunbar's yard had the slit seedpods that indicate opium had been extracted, Dunbar and Harrison deny using the drug, saying they used the substance in the incense they make and grew the poppies for their beautiful flowers and for the seeds to feed to their many pet birds. While that intent may not be enough to beat the rap, Hogshire notes that prosecution for possession of opium or opium poppies is not a simple matter. Hogshire himself got raided two years ago by Seattle police, who found poppy seedpods in his house, but the charges were eventually dropped. "The prosecutors were forced to back down from their opium poppy charges because they could not prove they were Papaver somniferum," Hogshire said in a telephone interview with New Times. It is difficult to prove a particular seedpod is a banned opium poppy, even tougher to show someone knew what kind of poppy seed they were planting. Testing a sample of the sap from a pod - the main opium possession evidence against Dunbar and Harrison - can only show it contains alkaloids found in opium, alkaloids also naturally produced by other plants. "If anybody brought that charge against me and pretended that that was evidence, I would challenge that. I would hold them to their burden of proof, which is the state's, not mine," Hogshire said. "There is no scientific or legal definition that even comes close to precisely describing what opium is exactly." Criminal statutes vaguely define an opiate as "any substance having an addiction-forming or addiction-sustaining liability similar to morphine" and opium as being the sap from the seedpod of an opium poppy, which is "the plant of the species Papaver somniferum L., except its seeds." Yet rather than highlighting the difficulties the government faces in prosecuting poppy growers, Hogshire sees his successful legal battle differently. "It highlights what an uphill battle a defendant has when the government pretends to codify nature and tries to enforce laws that have no basis in reason," he said. "But the penalties are high and the government's got a lot of money, and a lot of guns, and they have some serious threats they can use." The San Luis Obispo County Narcotics Task Force may not have known they would even end up with a poppy case when they raided the home of Dunbar and Harrison, mostly because they were high-profile advocates and growers of medical marijuana. The Raids Just before 10 o'clock in the morning on May 14, police gathered near Dunbar's Arroyo Grande home and the Los Osos home of John and Violet McLean, armed with guns and search warrants signed by Superior Court Judge Roger Picquet (the affidavits for which were immediately sealed by the judge, concealing from public scrutiny the reason for the simultaneous drug raids). Dunbar saw the pack of police approaching his Maple Street home, ran into his backyard, and started pulling the heads off his poppy plants. The police also saw him and pursued into the backyard. "I saw Dunbar kneeling in the garden pulling off the tops of the row of plants that he was kneeling in front of," Detective Brad Melson wrote in the police report. "As I was securing Dunbar, I looked at the row of plants that he was pulling the tops off of. The tops of the plants appeared to be poppy pods and the plant itself appeared to be a poppy plant." Police counted 203 plants in all, 53 with pods, 24 of which had been lanced. Inside the garage, they found an indoor marijuana growing operation with 72 plants, along with a note indicating they belonged to Dunbar and were for legal medical use. Police also found a few large bags of marijuana and more than $2,000 in cash and seized all manner of pro-marijuana literature and paraphernalia. Meanwhile, a similar scene was taking place at the McLean residence, as police found an indoor marijuana growing operation and a backyard poppy garden with 446 plants, as well as poppy heads in the kitchen. "I scored one of the opium bulbs seized from the garden. I tested the fluid and it tested positive for opiates," wrote Detective Nicholas Fontecchio. The raids themselves came as no surprise to anyone. Both couples were extremely vocal marijuana advocates, telling anyone who would listen of their pot growing operation. A photo of Dunbar's plants ran on the front page of the Telegram-Tribune last spring. "Being as high profile as we are, we figured sooner or later, they were going to raid us," Dunbar said. "We definitely wanted to make a statement against this goddamn drug war." Both Dunbar and the McLeans have doctor's prescriptions for using marijuana, making for an interesting showdown with the authorities. The McLean case was settled with a plea bargain that got all of the felonies, including the poppy charge, dropped. John McLean pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge and got a $200 fine and two years probation, with conditions modified to allow him to continue smoking and possessing marijuana. The McLeans have since moved to Fresno. Asked why the poppy charge was dropped, Dennis Schloss, the deputy district attorney prosecuting Dunbar and Harrison, said, "I was not satisfied that we had adequate proof of knowing possession of opium in that case." His statement is surprising considering the McLeans had twice as many poppy plants as Dunbar, and police discovered opium poppy pods in the kitchen being processed in a way consistent with making opium tea, while there was no evidence in the police report indicating Dunbar was using opium as a drug. Dunbar says he doesn't want a plea bargain, but wants to put the issue of growing poppies and marijuana on trial. As a convicted felon - 20 years ago, he was sent to prison for armed robbery - Dunbar could be facing a long prison term for his stand. "I'm just a sacrificial lamb in all this," Dunbar said. "I'm not the epitome of the all-American boy to stand up for our rights, but I'm doing it. They can't threaten me with prison because I've been there. I'm not scared of this." While more cautious than Dunbar about what she would say about her alleged crimes, Harrison did outline her views on drugs derived from plants. "I don't think any human being has the right to say what natural items on our planet are good or bad," she said. "Not if it grows out of the earth." Gardener's Perspective "Poppies are among the easiest of all flowers to grow. Their brilliantly colored flowers look like crinkled sheer silk and are often delightfully fragrant," emoted "Annuals," a book from the Time-Life Encyclopedia of Gardening found in local libraries. The prized "Taylor's Guide to Annuals" offers detailed directions for growing all the Papaver varieties, but notes under somniferum, "The juice of the unripe pod yields opium, the production of which is illegal in the U.S." "Rodale's Annual Garden" contains the same simple warning, but goes on to rave, "The flower is, however, of great beauty and available in a number of different cultivars. Plants will often grow 4 feet tall and bear blossoms up to 5 inches wide. A large bed of these flowers is a breathtaking sight." Unfortunately, a large bed of these flowers is a felony, even for the gardener who never intends to extract the opium and who bought the seeds from a company that didn't even identify the Papaver somniferum as the opium poppy. "It sounds to me like they're sending out kits to commit a felony, yet nobody goes after them," Hogshire said. "You rely on a company that sells seeds not to trick you into committing a crime, and certainly not one where you could end up in a cage for a few years. But they do. And I think the reason is clear. It's a political thing who gets charged with a crime." Eighty-year-old grandmothers simply aren't going to face police drug raids because they have poppy gardens. And even if that did happen, ignorance of their flowers' narcotic alter-egos would probably result in no charge being filed. "The law does require `knowing possession,'" said Schloss. What of the gardener reading this article, or otherwise learning the opium poppy's secrets? With that knowledge, the gardener goes from growing flowers to committing felonies without any change in her actions. Mary (not her real name) from Los Osos made that change in May. It was three seasons ago that Mary's friend gave her some poppy seeds, with a wink and a nudge she wouldn't understand until this year. She scattered her garden with them in early spring, unaware of the potential within the seeds she sowed. They grew large and bushy, almost weedlike, rising into stems topped with large, drooping buds that would unfold into brilliant red flowers with slightly ruffled petals and a black heart cradling a yellow puff. "They are just so huge and beautiful, such gorgeous flowers," Mary said. She paid little attention to the green seedpod that formed after the flower fell away, almost perfectly round, but topped by a lighter green crown. The plants themselves would wither away with the coming of winter, but in the spring, the poppies would almost magically regenerate themselves. Another poppy season came and went as gloriously as the one before. And again they returned, in the spring of this year, although Mary's poppy patch wouldn't make it through a third season. Poppies became big news locally in May, both with the raid of the McLean's home and the discovery of several acres of opium poppies growing wild in Montana de Oro, which were removed by Narcotics Task Force agents. Mary became suspicious of her flowers and brought pictures to her gardening club, asking if they could be opium poppies. One woman told her, "Oh, no, they're just Oriental poppies." But another woman, seeing the picture, identified them as opium poppies with no prompt. More research confirmed Mary's new status. She felt a mix of excitement and dread. Curious and open-minded, Mary tried to extract some opium, but got very little, too little to even use. Slowly, such thoughts were overcome by fear. "It's the first time I owned a house, and I didn't want to lose my house. I just started to panic, so I pulled them out," Mary said, pausing a moment, "Oh, I kept a couple, I must admit." Question of Intent Given how easy it is to grow opium poppies, and how widely they are grown with no intent other than to enjoy the beauty and fragrance of the flower, those who enforce our laws are presented with difficult choices, over which they have wide discretion. "It really is a question of the content of the circumstances surrounding the proof of knowledge about the character and substance of the narcotic," Shea said. To establish that knowledge, police can seize whatever materials they believe indicate knowledge. For example, finding a copy of this very article in a home with poppies in the garden would likely be enough to establish knowledge. Faced with detailed questions about Papaver somniferum, how it is tested, whether opium samples can be definitively identified as being from this plant, and the legality of closely related cultivars - questions that would seem essential to a successful prosecution. Schloss, who is prosecuting the Dunbar/Harrison case, was perplexed. "I couldn't even spell that word you're saying," Schloss said of Papaver somniferum. "I'm not a plant guy." Schloss is more certain about answers to questions that many innocent gardeners wouldn't even know to ask. "Is it possible to possess opium while it's still in the poppy? Of course," Schloss said. If such questions seem strange, and their answers troubling, that's largely because our society is still struggling with how to deal with new fears of an old plant. Poppies were cultivated for their opium as early as 3400 B.C. in lower Mesopotamia. They called it hul gil, or "joy plant." Later, it would take on the scientific name somniferum, which means "sleep inducing," after doctors found it to be perhaps the best natural pain reliever ever discovered. References to the opium poppy are found throughout classical literature, from references in many Shakespeare works to Thomas DeQuincey's autobiographic "Confessions of an English Opium Eater" to the scene when Dorothy and friends fell asleep in the poppy field on their way to see the Wizard of Oz. Many of our country's founding fathers used opium, including Benjamin Franklin, an opium addict most of his life, according to historians. In the 1800s, opium was the main ingredient in many of the most widely used elixirs and patent medicines. But by 1890, William Randolph Hearst's sensational tabloids began writing stories about white women being seduced by Chinese men and their opium, tying the drug to our growing nationalist fears of the East. In 1905, Congress made opium possession illegal. Most opium at that time was imported from potent strains, but opium poppy varietals grew throughout the United States. "There is no part of the United States where poppies, even opium poppies - maybe especially opium poppies - won't grow. They can adapt to a lot of conditions. They are very common. It's hard to stop them from growing," Hogshire said. The flowers can be red, pink, white, purple, or bicolored, and the petals can be either flat or fringed, yet the plant's aesthetics have little impact on its narcotic potential. Dunbar and Harrison have a list of several dozen addresses around the county where they have discovered opium poppies growing, most in people's front yards, some in flower gardens maintained by businesses, even a few on government property. "Poppies are everywhere," Hogshire said. As winter approaches, opium poppy plants have gone dormant. Most gardening books advise sowing poppy seeds in the late fall and letting them "winter over." All this winter, the seeds will sit below the surface of the soil, waiting for the warmth of spring to sprout forth and grow. It is then that we will find out whether the prosecution of Dunbar and Harrison is an isolated incident, or whether they are the first of many San Luis Obispo County residents to face prison terms for the flowers they choose to grow. Staff writer Steven T. Jones is currently planning his spring garden, which will include poppies, but not opium poppies. Send gardening tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco Cabbies, NORML Persuade Supervisors to Reconsider Drug Testing Proposal (A press release from California NORML follows up on two of its previous bulletins - the first, about a new report that shows drug testing workers reduces productivity nearly 20 percent, and the second, about California NORML testifying before a San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee about a proposal to require urine testing for Communication Workers of America and San Francisco taxi drivers.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 22:06:02 -0800 To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) Subject: DPFCA: Drug Testing Opponents Win in S.F. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ S.F. Cabbies, NORML Persuade Supervisors to Reconsider Drug Testing Proposal SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 19, 1998: Opponents of drug testing prevailed upon the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Housing and Neighborhood Services Committee to defer a proposal to require annual licensing and pre-employment drug tests of taxi drivers. California NORML joined drivers and union representatives in opposing the plan, testifying that scientific studies have failed to demonstrate any benefits from drug testing and that new studies suggest it may even be harmful to performance and driving safety. NORML cited government accident studies showing that marijuana and other illicit drugs have a negligible impact on driving fatalities compared to alcohol. NORML argued that drug testing could have an adverse impact on accident safety by encouraging drivers to turn from marijuana to alcohol. Cab drivers were solidly opposed to the drug testing plan, which was drawn up by the city attorney's office to comply with a 1995 state law requiring cities to establish drug testing programs for cab drivers. Cab driver Hal Womack questioned whether it was necessary for the city to implement the mandate, having already waited two years to do so. Police permit officer Farris Suslow professed that the proposal was drafted in response to repeated requests by drug testing companies. United Taxicab Workers representative Mark Ruberg expressed concern that the proposal did not contain adequate provisions for confidentiality or for challenging suspect test results. He asked that it be referred for further consideration to the city's new taxi commission. Supervisor Mark Leno asked how many cases of driving under the influence had been reported among the city's 5,000 taxi drivers. Suslow called it a "minimal concern for drivers on duty," amounting to only a couple of cases per year. The committee unanimously voted to refer the proposal to the taxicab commission, which is scheduled to convene in March. Copies of Cal. NORML's testimony against drug testing are available from: 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
------------------------------------------------------------------- Hemp Shampoo Maker Sues For Defamation (The Los Angeles Times says Alterna Inc., of Westwood, California, filed a civil suit against Glenn Levant of DARE America, Inc., the private organization that promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, alleging Levant made false and malicious statements when he said that the company's Alterna Hemp Shampoo "is a subterfuge to promote marijuana" because its ads feature a cannabis leaf.)Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 18:31:34 EST Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "Charles P. Conrad" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Alterna Sues DARE America LAT Business Section, 11/19/1998, Thu, pg C2 THE STATE SMALL BUSINESS HEMP SHAMPOO MAKER SUES FOR DEFAMATION A Westwood shampoo manufacturer has sued the head of a national drug organization, alleging that he defamed the company in a recent newspaper article. Alterna Inc. filed the civil suit against Glenn Levant, a former deputy Los Angeles police chief and founder of DARE America, Inc., a private, nonprofit program that promotes the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program to schoolchildren nationwide. The suit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that Levant made false and malicious statements about the company when he said in a Nov., 6 Los Angeles Times article that the company's Alterna Hemp Shampoo "is a subterfuge to promote marijuana" because its ads feature a cannabis leaf. In a news release, the company said it would drop the suit if Levant retracted his statement in the newspaper, paid the company's legal fees, and financed "correctional advertising to inform all Alterna customers of Levant's inaccurate comments." Levant called the suit "a cheap publicity gimmick" that is without merit. (Stephen Gregory)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cal Poly Survey Linked Alcohol, Violence (The San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune says a 1996 survey found that 80 percent of students who reported they were victims of unwanted sexual intercourse had consumed alcohol or other drugs. Quotes from several people suggest the real problem is alcohol, but the newspaper annoyingly refuses to break down the figures for "alcohol" and "other drugs.") Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 20:02:20 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US CA: Cal Poly Survey Linked Alcohol, Violence Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jo-D Harrison Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune (CA) Section: SLO County Copyright: 1998 San Luis Obispo County Telegram-Tribune Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/ Author: Jamie Hurly, Telegram-Tribune CAL POLY SURVEY LINKED ALCOHOL, VIOLENCE Alcohol and violence are far from strangers. A 1996 Cal Poly survey found that 80 percent of students reported they were victims of unwanted sexual intercourse had consumed alcohol or other drugs. "There's just a higher likelihood of being involved in an issue of violence ... when alcohol is involved," said Juan C. Gonzalez, Cal Poly's vice president for student affairs. Gonzalez, however, stressed that two Cal Poly students who disappeared after drinking should be not held responsible for their fates. Rachel Newhouse disappeared last week, and Kristin Smart disappeared two-and-a-half years ago. "No one should be a victim of violence just because they've been out partying," he said. The October 1996 survey of 843 students questioned whether they had experienced threats of physical violence, actual physical violence, theft involving force or threat of force, forced sexual touching or unwanted sexual intercourse around campus during the previous year. In all but the theft category, more than half the victims said they had used drugs or alcohol. Only 1.3 percent of the students surveyed reported being involved in a theft and of those, 30 percent had used drugs or alcohol. Of the 843 students surveyed, about 51 percent of the 81 students who said they had been threatened with violence had used alcohol or drugs. It was the same for 68 percent of the 34 students who reported they had suffered physical violence and 72 percent of the 34 students who reported forced sexual touching. Unwanted sexual intercourse was reported by 27 students. About 23 percent of the students reported drinking alcohol more than three times in the previous week. More than half of the students reported drinking two or fewer drinks a week, said Mary Bragg, Cal Poly's director of health and psychological services. That means "some students are out there drinking 25 drinks a week," he added. Although college students drink somewhat more than other people of the same age, the percentage of heavy drinkers remains at about 5 percent to 10 percent for all age groups, he said. "Is this a serious problem? Yes. Is this a serious problem for lots of Cal Poly students? No," Bragg said. Cal Poly students' drinking experiences in the 1996 survey showed a decline from studies in 1992 and 1993 and is about or below the national average, he said. Poly has several programs to discourage excessive drinking, Gonzalez said. Among them is the Violence Intervention and Prevention or VIP program, which promotes alcohol-free social events and safety awareness. "When you're somewhere where there are alcohol or drugs ... your personal risks go up and you need to be more careful," Bragg said. "You shouldn't go somewhere without a buddy," he said, and you should always tell someone where you're going. "If you're going to drink heavily, you are going to need someone watching over you that you can trust." One of the problems is perceptions about drinking that young people bring to college, said Mary Peracca, a prevention specialist with the county Drug and Alcohol Services. Rather than going out and having one or two drinks, many young students belive "the norm is to go out and really get hammered," she said. Gonzalez said the emphasis on responsible drinking begins even before students arrive on campus and continues during Week of Welcome and beyond. "One of the realities of our society is that alcohol is available," he said. "Frankly our desire is to help people understand responsible consumption," he said. "Consumption in excess is not reasonable, it's not healthy. It increases vulnerability and has a serious impact on your life, academically, socially, and on your safety."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Prescription drugs contributed to Sonny Bono's death (The Associated Press says the widow of Sonny Bono, Mary Bono, who replaced him as a US representative from California, told TV Guide that he was taking 15 to 20 pills a day for chronic back pain and neck problems, and the prescription drugs contributed to his death in a skiing accident last January.)From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Prescription drugs contributed to Sonny Bono's death Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 18:53:30 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Bono's widow says prescription drugs contributed to his death Associated Press, 11/19/98 16:16 NEW YORK (AP) - Sonny Bono's secret battle with prescription drugs contributed to his death in a skiing accident last January, his widow says. Rep. Mary Bono, who replaced Bono as a lawmaker from California, told TV Guide that her husband took painkillers for chronic back pain and neck problems aggravated by a neck injury in 1995. Bono was taking 15 to 20 pills a day around the time he died, she said in the magazine's Nov. 28 issue. ``I am 100 percent convinced that is why he died,'' she said. ``What he did showed absolute lack of judgment. That's what these pills do. They take away your thought process.'' Tests on Bono's body showed no evidence of drug or alcohol abuse. Mrs. Bono said the levels of Vicodin and Valium were in the prescribed range at the time of his death, but she noted the drugs come with warnings that normal levels can make activities such as operating machinery more risky. She said the drugs made Bono behave erratically outside the public view. ``People don't know this. They don't know the true struggle that was there,'' she said. ``One time Cher said, `You know, Mary, you've got to get out of there.' She knew how bad it was. His mood swings were so hard. In the middle of the night, he would wake up and be angry about something.'' An accident two years before Bono's death also may have been drug-related, Mrs. Bono said. At that time, Bono fell about 16 feet from a balcony but was unhurt. *** When away, you can STOP and RESTART W.H.E.N.'s news clippings by sending an e-mail to email@example.com. Ignore the Subject: line. In the body put "unsubscribe when" to STOP. To RESTART, put "subscribe when" in the e-mail instead (No quotation marks.)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Sonny Bono's widow blames drugs for his death (The Reuters version) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 23:45:35 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "email@example.com" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CanPat - Well, well, well...What do we have here? Another Elvis? Sender: email@example.com 12:30 PM ET 11/19/98 Sonny Bono's widow blames drugs for his death NEW YORK (Reuters) - The widow of Sonny Bono blames his use of prescription drugs for his death last winter in a skiing accident, according to an interview in the latest TV Guide magazine. Rep. Mary Bono, who has since been elected to her late husband's seat in Congress, said he was taking ``15, 20 maybe'' pills a day, all prescribed by doctors, that badly impaired his judgment. ``I am 100 percent convinced that is why he died,'' she said in the interview in TV Guide, which was released Thursday and will be available on newsstands Monday. ``What he did showed absolute lack of judgment. That's what these pills do. They take away your thought process,'' she said. Sonny Bono, who rose to fame as half of the singing duo Sonny and Cher in the 1960s and later was a Republican congressman from California, died in January at age 62 when he hit a tree while skiing in the Sierra Nevada. He had been taking prescription drugs for chronic back pain and neck problems, his widow said. The drugs made him moody, withdrawn and angry and caused severe problems in their marriage, which she called ``a very difficult 12 years of my life.'' His mood swings were so severe that he would wake up in the middle of the night in a rage or grow infuriated if she were just five minutes late coming home, she said. Adding that they had not signed any prenuptial agreements, she said, ``I could have left him at any time and done well. But I chose to stay and work it out because I truly loved him.'' She added that Cher, from whom Sonny Bono was divorced, was very supportive. ``She, having been there, was so very comforting,'' Bono said. ``She knew how bad it was.'' Bono also blamed the drugs for a 16-foot fall her husband took off a balcony two years before he died. A Republican like her late husband, Bono was elected to his seat in the House three months after his death. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Tobacco Agreement Criticized (The San Jose Mercury News says that with Friday's deadline to approve the $206 billion tobacco settlement fast approaching, California health professionals and anti-smoking advocates lambasted Attorney General Dan Lungren Wednesday, saying it does little to stop the industry from recruiting new smokers and will cover less than 50 percent of the state's smoking-related health costs.) Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 14:04:03 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Tobacco Agreement Criticized Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ TOBACCO AGREEMENT CRITICIZED Settlement: State Letting Industry Off Too Easy With Deal That Hurts Taxpayers, Protesters Argue. PASADENA (AP) -- Critics lambasted Attorney General Dan Lungren and the $206 billion tobacco settlement Wednesday, saying it does little to stop the industry from recruiting new smokers and leaves taxpayers footing most smoking-related medical bills. With Friday's deadline to approve the deal fast approaching, health professionals and anti-smoking advocates told the state Senate Judiciary Committee the agreement will cover less than 50 percent of California's smoking-related health costs. What's more, critics said, it contains numerous loopholes that will allow tobacco companies to avoid paying the price for the damage they have caused. ``This is one of the most important issues to affect the health industry,'' said Dr. Stanton A. Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco. ``To have this jammed down the public's throat is outrageous.'' The largest civil settlement ever reached in the United States would force the tobacco industry to pay the sum to states over 25 years for health costs of treating sick smokers. Attorneys general of 46 states must decide by midday Friday whether to sign the agreement. Lungren and state health director Kim Belshe have said they would approve it. A San Diego County Superior Court judge handling California's lawsuit against the tobacco companies must sign a consent decree by Dec. 11 to make it valid. The settlement reached this week by four major tobacco companies and the attorneys general of eight states, including Lungren, would give California nearly $24 billion over the next 25 years plus annual payments that would initially total about $900 million. The money would be evenly split between local governments and the state.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dutch student sent home after drug bust (The San Antonio Express-News says a Dutch foreign exchange student was yanked out of a high school math class Thursday in Universal City, Texas, and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia after his host parent called police Nov. 2, suspecting his mail from back home contained more than warm wishes. Something that wouldn't get a second look back home will get his visa terminated in America.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Dutch student sent home after US drug bust Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 20:26:54 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org [or - 'Dutch exchange student busted by nosy, self-righteous American host'. He's being sent home "in disgrace". Maybe there are some of us who would like to send him off with a little note; expressions of dignity and respect and thanks for trying to bring some of his culture to this country and sorry for the way they slammed the door in his face -- America, the Intolerant.]-cc *** Newshawk: email@example.com Source: San Antonio Express-News Pubdate: Thursday, November 19, 1998 Online: http://expressnews.com/ pantheon/news-bus/crime-crisis/2001bgwb.shtml Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Dutch student sent home after drug bust By Kate Hunger Express-News Staff Writer A Dutch foreign exchange student learned about the long arm of the law Thursday when it yanked him out of math class for something that wouldn't have gotten a second look back home. Tobias Stinjs, 18, was arrested on the Judson High School campus by Universal City police and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, Lt. Charles Dewey said. Stinjs came to Texas in August to spend his junior year at Judson, where he was a varsity soccer player. But Thursday's arrest will cut his stay short, said Judy Coles, South Texas state coordinator for the American Intercultural Student Exchange Service. "His visa is terminated, and he's being sent home," Coles said. "He's being sent home in disgrace." Stinjs' host parent called police Nov. 2, suspecting his mail from back home contained more than warm wishes. Authorities turned up nothing after monitoring his mail for two weeks, but a search of his room turned up a substantial stash of evidence. "It's evident he's been smoking for quite some time," Dewey said. Besides small amounts of marijuana and hashish, police discovered rolling papers and other paraphernalia, including "blunts" - cigars stuffed with pot. Dewey said Stinjs' supply came from both sides of the Atlantic. "He was getting small amounts of marijuana sent to him" from the Netherlands, Dewey said. While not legal in his home country, marijuana is decriminalized there, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Dutch law lets coffee shops sell up to 5 grams of marijuana to people over age 16, he said. Coles said Stinjs was told more than once during his orientation that marijuana is illegal in the United States. "My quick answer to this is: You're not in the Netherlands. You're in the United States," she said. Dewey wants exchange students to know that breaking the law has a price. "There's a lot at stake," he said. "If they violate the laws like this, they're going back home." Stinjs was charged with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $200 on conviction, Dewey said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Former Sheriff's Deputy And Wife Are Indicted On Drug Charges (The Houston Chronicle says Lawrence Rhea Underwood, a former Harris County sheriff's deputy who was fired when cocaine was found in his system, and his wife, Lisa Jannell Underwood, were indicted Wednesday on charges of possessing methamphetamine and cocaine.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 23:40:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Former Sheriff's Deputy And Wife Are Indicted On Drug Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle FORMER SHERIFF'S DEPUTY AND WIFE ARE INDICTED ON DRUG CHARGES A former Harris County sheriff's deputy, who was fired when cocaine was found in his system, and his wife were indicted on drug charges Wednesday. Lawrence Rhea Underwood, 29 and Lisa Jannell Underwood, 30, were indicted on charges of possessing more than one and less than four grams of methamphetamines on Oct. 29, prosecutors said. Underwood was also indicted on a cocaine possession charge. All the charges are third-degree felonies and could carry a punishment of from 2 to 10 years in prison. Sheriff's Department officials said Underwood's wife was arrested during a drug transaction in the 4800 block of East Mount Houston on Oct. 29. After her arrest, sheriff's deputies obtained a search warrant to test her husband's blood. He tested positive for cocaine. Underwood, who worked as a deputy for eight years, was arrested at the couple's home in the 4800 block of Cicada in northeast Harris County and fired for violating the department's drug policy, officials said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smoke-Out Seen As Joke (A letter to the editor of The Houston Chronicle responds to yesterday's news of a 28 percent increase in cigarette smoking among college students over the last four years, saying the increase shows the utter hypocrisy of lawsuits demanding billions in damages from tobacco companies. It also ridicules the vast education efforts to stem the tide of smoking and, in effect, reduces the Great American Smoke-Out to a giant joke.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 19:39:09 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: LTE: Smoke-Out Seen As Joke Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Author: Jerry K. Deutsch SMOKE-OUT SEEN AS JOKE The 28 percent increase in college-aged smokers over the past four years (Chronicle, Nov. 18) shows the utter hypocrisy of those lawsuits demanding billions in damages from tobacco companies. It also ridicules the vast education efforts to stem the tide of smoking and, in effect, reduces the Great American Smoke-Out to a giant joke. Consumption of tobacco has gone up, not down. In the face of the overwhelming evidence of dire health consequences, thousands of young Americans have made the decision to begin smoking. This is only a slightly lower hurdle than the decision whether or not to experiment with pot, cocaine or heroin. We are a country that imprisons citizens for possession of a controlled substance, but not for its existence in our bodies. We declare it legal to produce and market tobacco, known to cause cancer, emphysema and birth defects, yet we punish only the producers and not the users. We prefer to accept the psycho-babble philosophy that users are victims and somehow not responsible for their actions. Jerry K. Deutsch, Houston
------------------------------------------------------------------- Number Of Pregnant Smokers Dropped 26 Percent In '90s (The Associated Press says a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 13.6 percent of pregnant women smoked in 1996, down from 18.4 percent in 1990.) Date: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 18:55:33 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Number Of Pregnant Smokers Dropped 26 Percent In '90s Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. NUMBER OF PREGNANT SMOKERS DROPPED 26 PERCENT IN '90S WASHINGTON -- The number of women who smoke during pregnancy dropped 26 percent in the 1990s, but hundreds of thousands still smoke while pregnant -- and more teen-age mothers are among them, the government reported Thursday. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 13.6 percent of pregnant women smoked in 1996, down from 18.4 percent in 1990. The drop was fueled mostly by strong declines in smoking by women in their 20s and 30s. But mothers-to-be ages 15 to 19 have the highest smoking rates during pregnancy, rates that actually inched up in recent years. The CDC said 17.2 percent of pregnant teens smoked in 1996, up from 16.7 percent in 1994. Smoking during pregnancy can cause babies to be born smaller, sicklier and at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. Pregnant smokers are using fewer cigarettes: 33 percent smoked at least a half pack a day in 1996, down from 42 percent in 1990, the CDC said. Four states and Washington, D.C., already have reached the government's goal of having no more than 10 percent of pregnant women who smoke by 2000. The states are Connecticut, Hawaii, Texas and Utah. The CDC study was based on data collected from birth certificates in all but four states: California, Indiana, New York and South Dakota.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Slave Of Smoke In An Anti-Smoke Land (The New York Times examines extreme anti-smoking attitudes in America through the eyes of a widow whose husband died from smoking and lung cancer, leaving her with two daughters who hate her because she herself can't quit smoking. Medical experts say nicotine has a powerful effect on the chemistry of the brain, improving mood and in some cases masking depression.) Date: Sat, 21 Nov 1998 14:38:54 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: NYT: A Slave Of Smoke In An Anti-Smoke Land Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Source: New York Times (NY) ontact: email@example.com Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The New York Times Company Pubdate: Fri, 19 Nov 1998 Author: DIRK JOHNSON A SLAVE OF SMOKE IN AN ANTI-SMOKE LAND SYCAMORE, Ill. -- It was not quite 8 a.m. as Jan Binder stood on the sidewalk in a cold Midwestern drizzle. Her fellow workers hustled past her toward the office, some of them shaking their heads in dismay. "They're thinking," Ms. Binder said, "she doesn't have the sense to come in from the rain." Despite the shivers, the tall woman with auburn hair stood in the drizzle, her fingers clutching the last precious inch of a burning cigarette. To be a smoker in America today is to be an outcast. It means being viewed as weak, offensive and, perhaps most of all, dimwitted. These are people, after all, who do not seem to have the sense to come in from a toxic thunderstorm. Most people who have never smoked cannot fathom why anyone would put a cigarette in her mouth and draw the noxious fumes. It should be simple to stop. But almost anyone who has smoked heavily knows otherwise. There are few riddles in life more enigmatic than the spell that smoking can cast, even to smokers like Jan Binder, a smart 38-year-old who has walked the horror chamber of nicotine. It was two years ago, in a hospital room, that a doctor looked into the eyes of her husband, James, and told him, "Mr. Binder, you have lung cancer." That evening her husband walked in the door at home, switched on a lamp, turned to her and sized up his life. "I don't regret anything," he told her, "except a few million cigarettes." Seven months later, he was dead. He was 37. His daughter Mary was 7. Kate was 5. "When they told Jim he was going to die," Ms. Binder said, "and I saw the look on his face, I knew I would never smoke again." She was certain sheer will power could do it. But it was like willing herself to stop drawing breath. She has tried going cold turkey. She has tried the nicotine patch. She has tried the drug Zyban. Nothing has worked for more a week. "People look at me and think, 'How can you still smoke?"' Ms. Binder said. "And God knows, I don't want to smoke. But I am like a slave to it. It rules your life." This is a woman who scarcely lacks fortitude. Besides her full-time job for a state education consortium that oversees programs for disabled students, she fills her late husband's partnership in his pizza business, doing the books and overseeing the payroll. She digs deep into her pockets to pay for her daughters to attend private school, to take piano lessons, to play soccer and softball. She rises before daybreak to clean the house and wash school uniforms. She carries 50-pound bags of water softener down the stairs to her basement. But when it comes to those feather-light sticks of tobacco, she feels helpless. "Sometimes I think they should just lock me up," she said. Her girls, Mary and Kate, have come to view cigarettes the way some children think of monsters under the bed. They have thrown their mother's cigarette packs into the trash. In some cases, they have taken each cigarette out of the pack and broken every single one into pieces. They have begged, pleaded and cajoled her to stop. And they have thrown tantrums. Kate erupted in the kitchen one afternoon after seeing her mother light a cigarette, shouting that she hated her, over and over again. Ms. Binder listened for a long time, motionless and ashamed. She knew that the girls worshiped the memory of their father. In one of those moments of weakness that every parent experiences, and regrets immediately, she looked for mercy. Why, she asked the girls, did they so scorn her for smoking, when they had given a pass to their father when he smoked. "Because," Kate screamed, her eyes blazing with anger, "I didn't know he was going to get tumors and die." It is the rare smoker who does not wish to quit. A recent survey found that two-thirds of smokers have tried seriously to stop, most of them at least three times. Medical experts say nicotine has a powerful effect on the chemistry of the brain, improving mood and in some cases masking depression. One treatment for that is an anti-depressant like bupropion hydrochloride, which has been marketed as Zyban as an aid to quitting smoking. What is not as commonly understood, is the way that smoking makes people feel guilty and ashamed, looking at themselves as failures for not being able to kick a habit. As a child growing up in the Wisconsin suburb of Monona, just outside Madison, Ms. Binder rode with her family in the car almost every weekend to see her grandparents in the farm town of Dodgeville. The car was always full of smoke, a cloud that billowed from the cigarettes of her father, a high school history teacher and football coach. "I hated the smoke," Ms. Binder recalled. "It made me sick." As a 12-year-old, walking home from Winnequah Junior High School, she watched a girlfriend pull out a pack of cigarettes and light one. "Give me one of those," young Jan Louise Rundle told her friend. She took a puff and coughed, puffed again and coughed harder. Determinedly, she kept smoking until she could draw the smoke into her lungs without gagging. Moments later, feeling dizzy and lightheaded, she walked home to her family's three-bedroom ranch on Arrowhead Drive. The next day, she reached into her father's pockets and took one of his cigarettes. She smoked it on the way to school, cupping it in her hands to hide it. In high school, she was a talented artist, the queen of the "Snowball" dance, a star athlete. She was named to the all-state team of top basketball players in Wisconsin. Through it all, she smoked. She did not sit in the parked cars outside the school building and puff, like many of the other students who smoked. That was far too dangerous, especially for a girl whose father was a teacher at the school. She picked her spots more carefully. Sometimes, she used lunch money to buy cigarettes, plunking her change in vending machines or buying packs at the corner store. If the clerk raised any question about an adolescent's buying cigarettes, she simply explained that they were for her father. But usually, there were no questions. A generation ago, it was hardly scandalous for young people to smoke. Many of their parents, after all, had started smoking themselves as teen-agers. And the signals from popular culture made cigarettes seem acceptable, even downright wholesome. Anybody over age 35 can remember flickering images of Johnny Carson on the living room television, smoking away as he chatted and laughed with guests. Even Andy Griffith, as nice a sheriff and as fine a Pa as television ever created, would occasionally relax with a cigarette in his Mayberry home. President John F. Kennedy was known to sometimes smoke a cigarette. Baseball star Richie Allen would smoke in the dugout before strutting to the batter's box, where he often slammed home runs. And the great Green Bay Packers coach, Vince Lombardi, smoked on the sidelines and racked up football championships. Teachers' lounges were usually hazy with smoke. Some high schools even had smoking lounges for students. No table was properly set without an ashtray. People smoked just about everywhere they went, even at wakes, puffing away as they paid their last respects. After Jim Binder was diagnosed with cancer, he tried valiantly to live a pristine life. Facing death, he bore a crushing guilt, a husband and father who would be leaving his family behind. "He wanted so desperately to undo what he had done," Ms. Binder said To extend his days, he ate organic foods and drank herbal tea. He meditated. He prayed. And he tried his very damndest to give up cigarettes. But there were moments, early in the morning before the children would rise, that he would sit out on the back porch, gazing into the distance, drawing hard on a cigarette, shrouded in a smoky cloud that, for the moment at least, served as a kind of scutcheon. It is now his wife who carries the guilt, a mother who cries in the shower about her fatherless children, and about their terrible, completely logical fears when they see her light up. She has gotten rid of the ashtrays in her house. She has vowed so many times to her children that she will quit, often setting a date. And when that time comes, she tries. The minutes crawl like years, and she feels as if she is coming out of her skin, a jangle of nerves and emotion. And suddenly her hand is reaching for a pack, almost reflexively. Or she is standing at the counter of a convenience store, with the $3 that will feed an insatiable craving. "I am going to quit -- I have to," she vowed one recent day, as a cigarette burned on a plate, a makeshift ashtray, in the kitchen of house that falls quiet, too quiet, in the nighttime. "I just don't know how."
------------------------------------------------------------------- There Are None So Blind As Ophthalmologists Who Don't Want to See (Richard Cowan of marijuananews.com debunks the recent "research" about cannabis and glaucoma, by Keith Green, PhD, of Georgia, with a devastating line-by-line rebuttal of the original Nov. 13 Augusta, Georgia, Chronicle story on which the AP story was based.) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 17:42:29 EST To: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: FYI: Debunking the AP story debunking MJ & Glaucoma Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ From: CUTLERMJ@aol.com Subject: FYI: Debunking the AP story debunking MJ & Glaucoma Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 17:21:41 EST There Are None So Blind As Ophthalmologists Who Don't Want to See Analysis By Richard Cowan November 18, 1998 When I first saw the AP reports on the "new study" by Keith Green with headlines saying "M.D. Scoffs at Medical Marijuana" and "Marijuana Treatment Called Fallacy" my suspicions were aroused by quotes like "Smoking a joint a week is not going to cure glaucoma." And it supposedly attacks "the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." (Never mind that Green, PhD, DSc, is not an M.D.) I also knew without asking that Allen St. Pierre of NORML was being short- changed in the quotes of his response. It happens all the time. However, only after a kind reader sent me the original the Augusta Georgia Chronicle story on which the AP story was based -- and after I had read the "new research" in the Archives of Ophthalmology, -- and after I had talked to Allen St. Pierre about his long conversation with the reporter, did I fully understand how bad this really is. So bear with me. First, this is not "new research" or even a new study. There is no new data here, not a single new datum. The editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology says it "elegantly reviews clinical issues." If this is his idea of "elegance" I would hate to see what he thinks is sloppy. It is certainly gullibly edited, but it is definitely not new. In fact, many of the studies, especially by Green himself - he cites himself several times - are from the 1970s. Second, it does not say that it is "a fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." It makes quite clear that marijuana can be used to treat glaucoma. Its arguments are that the frequency of use and volume required make it both impractical and dangerous, because of the side- effects. This is quite different from saying that it has no value. Third, when I talked to Allen St. Pierre he confirmed that he had talked to the reporter at the Augusta Georgia Chronicle at great length and had given him contact numbers for legal medical marijuana users. He also confirmed that he had NEVER TALKED TO THE AP. The AP had simply taken one sentence even further out of context than had the Augusta Georgia Chronicle. None had bothered to check on the legal eight. Inasmuch as Green is arguing that precisely the volume consumed for years by these people -- under a Federal program -- would be both ineffective and dangerous, it would seem that this is of great relevance. But, no. As it happens, two of the eight legal users, Elvy Musikka and`Irvin Rosenfeld, were at the NORML conference. Elvy was nearly blinded by the failures of standard medicine in treating her glaucoma. Medical marijuana has stabilized her vision for many years in precisely the way that Green and the news stories claim is impossible. Elvy's Ophthalmologist who approves of her medical marijuana use is a Professor of Ophthalmology, and an M.D. Irvin Rosenfeld smokes all day for relief of a neuromuscular disorder and is a very successful stockbroker. He is certainly more rational than the people whom Green cites. Both Elvy and Irvin appear to be in good health. But neither Green nor his editor nor the reporters acknowledge their existence. Well, that is not quite true. Green says, "No indication has been obtained or reported that those highly limited number of persons who consume marijuana cigarettes as a compassionate investigational new drug have shown any maintenance of visual function or visual fields or stabilization of optic disappearance." In short, the government is not gathering data that it does not want us to know, and neither is Green. Somehow that is perfectly okay with both the Archives of Ophthalmology and the Associated Press. This failure is made all the more absurd by the fact that the program was begun by the successful lawsuit of Bob Randall, a glaucoma patient who has used medical marijuana to preserve his vision for over 2 decades after conventional medicine had failed him. Finally, a look at Green's sources gives the game away. He cites well-known prohibitionists like Nahas, and Voth et al. but never Grinspoon or Morgan. For example, Green cites an article by Schwartz and Voth on "Marijuana to prevent nausea and vomiting in cancer patients: a survey of clinical oncologists. South Med J. 1997;90:167-172." This is a critique of the Doblin and Kleiman survey of oncologists, but neither the original survey nor the Doblin/Kleiman response to Schwartz and Voth are cited. In short, Green gives only one side of the question. Nahas and Voth are both highly political, so there can be no excuse for not citing Grinspoon, whose credentials are much better. (That is the faintest of praise.) In spite of such a one-sided presentation the editor of the Archives of Ophthalmology, Paul L. Kaufman, MD, actually says "This editorial ... like the review, concludes that data, not demagoguery, should guide our path." What is the demagoguery that they are rejecting? That people with glaucoma should not be arrested for using medical marijuana with their doctors approval? Is that demagoguery? That is all that the recent initiatives propose. Green is quoted as saying "There is no reason for anyone to go blind from glaucoma in this day and age," if it is caught early enough. Is that so? Well, first, what about the tens of thousands who went blind before "this day and age" -- while the federal government was suppressing the information that marijuana could be used to treat glaucoma? Second, why are thousands of Americans still going blind from glaucoma every year? Third, can everyone - glaucoma is not just an American problem -- get access to the best medical care? Can everyone afford the pharmaceuticals that Green says will work better than marijuana? Is being arrested good for people with glaucoma? He never addresses any of these questions. It is a scientific fact that people who ignore Green's advice are subject to arrest. Not dealing with this fact, indeed pretending that it does not exist, is the reason that the people are rightly rejecting the pseudo-science that says that sick people should be punished because medical marijuana is one of the many things that doctors cannot explain. The following news articles demonstrate why people don't trust journalists. *** From the Augusta Georgia Chronicle November 13, 1998 Marijuana ineffective for treating glaucoma Glaucoma relief temporary By Tom Corwin Staff Writer Even though voters in five states approved the medical use of marijuana last week, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says that would be a mistake, at least for treating glaucoma. In a study published Thursday in the Archives of Ophthalmology, MCG ophthalmologist Keith Green attacks "the fallacy that marijuana is of any value at all in the treatment of glaucoma." (Marijuananews note: That is not in the "study." Glaucoma is a degenerative disease that affects between 2 percent and 3 percent of people and is more likely in those with a family history of the disease, Dr. Green said. The normal eye maintains a constant pressure of fluid coming in and going out. Glaucoma causes a chemical change that is "plugging up the sink; it's blocking the outflow," Dr. Green said. That leads to increased pressure that can choke off nerve cells at the back of the eye and lead to blindness, Dr. Green said. Chemicals in marijuana called cannabinols do seem to help improve the outflow in about 60 percent of the people who try it, though doctors still are exploring why. But the effect is only temporary, and the pressure builds back up within four hours, Dr. Green said. In order to keep the pressure at the safer lower levels, a person would have to smoke a joint every two hours, or about 4,000 a year, Dr. Green said. "I personally would not want to be in a cab or a bus or any public transportation where the individual (driving) was smoking that much," Dr. Green said. (Marijuananews note: Excuse me, but we are talking about glaucoma and blindness. Generally that precludes driving, except in some retirement communities.) Glaucoma is a round-the-clock condition and must be treated that way, in much the same way as hypertension, Dr. Green said. "If I took my blood pressure medicine once a week, I'd die a lot faster than I'm going to," Dr. Green said. "Smoking a joint a week is not going to cure glaucoma." Advocates for medical marijuana, however, say it is better than doing nothing. "Should these patients suffer so?" asked Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws Foundation. "Should their doctors be intimidated so?" Before last week's election, only eight patients were legally prescribed marijuana, three of those for glaucoma, Mr. St. Pierre said. Approval for medical use of the drug opens up the treatment to more patients who are not getting relief, Mr. St. Pierre said. (Marijuananews note: Notice that their existence is reported but no one checks to see if they can see.) But Dr. Green argues there are already effective treatments, using eye drops or possibly surgery to install tiny shunts that can relieve the pressure. "There is no reason for anyone to go blind from glaucoma in this day and age," if it is caught early enough, Dr. Green said. His study, which outlines the damage marijuana smoking can do to the lungs, brain and other organs, does not address the other uses touted for medical marijuana, such as helping to control nausea among chemotherapy patients and those with AIDS. But having offered it, he now expects to be part of the debate. (Marijuananews note: Yes, it does. At the very end he says that marijuana has no medical uses!) "I'd hate to think my work was going to be used as a political football," Dr. Green said. "(But) I think anybody that knows me knows darn well that nothing is going to stop me from standing up and saying, 'The emperor has no clothes,' if the emperor has no clothes." While marijuana itself is not a treatment, some of the chemicals in it may be, Dr. Green said. His research has been focusing on the cannabinols, some of the active ingredients in marijuana that produce both the pressure-lowering effect and the euphoric effect. A chemical cousin, dexanabinol, seems to produce the pressure-lowering effect without the euphoria, which would be ideal, Dr. Green said. Instead of releasing fluid through a vent in the front of the eye at the juncture of the cornea and sclera, or the clear and white parts of the eye, marijuana may actually create a chemical change in the eye that allows fluid to the be absorbed more readily by veins at the back of the eye, Dr. Green said. His experiments with that chemical are ongoing. One of the problems with researchers is they are also looking to turn the cure into a pharmaceutical, Mr. St. Pierre said. If anyone can plant a seed and grow a marijuana plant, "Why should I be forced to buy a more expensive and less effective drug?" Mr. St. Pierre asked. But part of the problem with using marijuana as a treatment is it is so variable, Dr. Green said. Ask for marijuana and "you're liable to get anything," Dr. Green said. "How can you call that a medication?" (Marijuananews note: He clearly does not know what he is talking about.) Tom Corwin covers health issues for The Augusta Chronicle. He can be reached at (706) 823-3213 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Co-Op Man Arrested (The Guardian, in Britain, says Colin Davies, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, the founder of a co-operative intended to supply free cannabis to people with multiple sclerosis and other illnesses, has been arrested on cultivation-related charges.) Date: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 18:51:56 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UK: Cannabis Co-Op Man Arrested Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Martin Cooke (email@example.com) Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Source: Guardian, The Copyright: Guardian Media Group plc.1998 Contact: Fax: (902) 566-9830 Author: David Ward CANNABIS CO-OP MAN ARRESTED A founder of a co-operative formed to supply free cannabis to people with multiple sclerosis and other conditions has been arrested. He will appear in court next month charged with drugs offences. Colin Davies, of Stockport, Greater Manchester, was arrested at his flat on Tuesday and questioned for eight hours at a police station. Officers removed 28 cannabis plants from his bedroom, and other property, including letters, address books and details of co-op members. Mr Davies, who smokes cannabis to relieve a painful back condition, is charged with cultivating, possessing, possessing with intent to supply, and supplying cannabis. The arrest comes within a week of the Government rejecting the recommendation of a House of Lords committee that doctors should be able to prescribe the drugs to patients with an accepted medical need. It is also exactly a year since Mr Davies was arrested and charged with cultivating cannabis. He defended himself in the crown court and was acquitted. With two colleagues, Mr Davies set up the Medical Marijuana Co-operative in October to provide those seeking pain relief with cannabis of consistent quality. They have had inquiries from all over the country. "I have never denied that I have been growing cannabis for my own use to help with the pain I suffer and to help relieve the pain and suffering of others in the co-operative," he said yesterday. "I have already faced the ordeal of criminal prosecution and been vindicated. The jury at my trial was convinced that I was growing marijuana as a medical necessity. I have no reason to believe that a new jury will not come to the same conclusion." Mr Davies's arrest at the end of a spell of debilitating illness was greeted with outage by co-operative members. One its founders demanded to be immediately arrested. "Colin has supplied me with cannabis," said Andrew Coldwell, from Huddersfield, who has MS and is confined to a wheelchair. "I asked him to supply me and he has met my medical needs. I challenge the police to come and charge me. "They are persecuting a man who has already been through the courts." He vowed the co-operative would continue to supply people who did not want to become involved with street dealers. "This is a hiatus which we will overcome. The Home Office waited for the Lords report and the political response to it - and then went for Colin." -------------------------------------------------------------------
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