------------------------------------------------------------------- Tell The Whole Story (A letter to the editor of The Bulletin, in Bend, Oregon, protests the newspaper's recent biased editorial about Keith Green and his anti-marijuana article in the Archives of Ophthalmology.) Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 21:23:36 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OR: PUB LTE: Tell The Whole Story Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Curt Wagoner (firstname.lastname@example.org) Source: Bulletin, The (OR) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.bendbulletin.com/ Author: Allan Erickson Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Section: My nickel's worth Page: A-6 TELL THE WHOLE STORY I read your Nov 15 editorial concerning the Keith Green article against marijuana for glaucoma patients and wanted to respond. I suspect your editorial is why your paper is known by some as the Bend Bull. Keith Green is an anti-marijuana activist and his article (in the recent AMA Journal, Archives of Ophthalmology) is a summary of SOME research, obviously a compendium assembled to present his viewpoint. It is interesting that prop 67 passed in Deschutes county despite your antiquated, pro-government prohibition stance to the contrary. Someone should tell Elvy Musika and Bob Randall (two recipients of doctor prescribed, federally produced marijuana) that all these years that they have SMOKED marijuana to treat their glaucoma that it doesn't work. Many who campaigned for medical marijuana rights did so in order that folks need not go to jail for using what is an effective medicine for them. Many medicines currently in use are deadly in a large dose, yet marijuana has no level for overdose. In fact there are 100,000 deaths a year from legal, pharmaceutically produced drugs in the US. Mr Green's article alludes to some of the hazards of pot smoking for medicine, such as "euphoria." I can understand why the government would want to stop that! Your editors should realize that this drug war is far more hazardous to our health than any drug.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Feds Sought Bigger Drug Deal To Ensure A Stiffer Prison Sentence (Part of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's 10-part series about the newspaper's two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. The government entrapped Michael Staufer into a bigger LSD deal than he could really handle, just so they could double his prison term.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 10:34:15 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Feds Sought Bigger Drug Deal To Ensure A Stiffer Prison Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "WIN AT ALL COSTS" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com FEDS SOUGHT BIGGER DRUG DEAL TO ENSURE A STIFFER PRISON SENTENCE Michael Staufer lost his minimum wage job at about the same time he was robbed and beaten in August 1992 on a Los Angeles street. Times were so tough he lived in a garage. So when a friend named Scott suddenly pressed Staufer to find him 10,000 hits of LSD, Staufer wondered if the guy might have been high on the drug himself. Staufer was 21 years old, partied hard and used LSD when he could afford it. Once, he'd bought 20 or 25 hits of the drug that he resold to his friends, but he wasn't a dealer, and he certainly didn't have the money to finance 10,000 hits. What Staufer didn't know was that federal agents had busted Scott on drug charges and promised him leniency if he would help the feds snare other drug dealers. So Scott pressed Staufer, hoping to set him up in a drug deal that agents could then bust. So persistent was Scott that Staufer almost lost a part-time job he'd landed because of Scott's repeated phone calls. Finally, Staufer gave in and was introduced to the supposed buyer, who was an agent of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The agent wanted 10,000 hits of LSD. Staufer's LSD supplier, who barely knew Staufer, initially resisted the deal because he knew Staufer was not in a position to pay for it. Then, the dealer told Staufer he would sell him 5,000 doses of the drug. That wasn't good enough for the undercover agent, who insisted on buying 10,000, knowing it would double Staufer's prison time. After several conversations, Staufer finally cajoled his supplier to provide the larger amount. He was arrested when he showed the LSD to the agent. A judge sentenced Staufer to the mandatory 12-year sentence federal law required. "[The judge] explained to Staufer that the court of appeals had just reversed him for giving a life sentence to a man who had killed his wife by throwing her off a ship where they were spending their honeymoon, and [the judge] expressed his disapproval of a system that compelled him to 'give Mr. Staufer for the transaction more time in prison than [he was] authorized to give a man who murdered his wife on their honeymoon,' " according to Staufer's appeal. An appellate court eventually affirmed his conviction, but it was sent back to the lower court for re-sentencing. The court ruled his sentence should be reduced because of "sentencing entrapment" -- the government forced Staufer into a bigger deal than he could really handle, just so the feds could double his prison term. Staufer's sentence was reduced to just more than six years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Federal Sting Often Put More Drugs On The Streets - Win At All Costs series (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. Not only did Rodney Matthews have the government's permission to fly 700 kilograms of cocaine into a remote Houston airstrip on New Year's Eve in 1989. He had their permission to sell it, too.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 10:02:03 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Federal Sting Often Put More Drugs On The Streets - Win At All Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com FEDERAL STING OFTEN PUT MORE DRUGS ON THE STREETS Rodney Matthews noticed lawmen waiting as he veered his airplane loaded with 700 kilograms of cocaine toward a remote Houston airstrip on New Year's Eve in 1989. He landed anyway. Police sirens blared, and officers drew their guns, thinking they had made a major bust Matthews didn't flinch. He handed over the high-quality Colombian cocaine with a street value of more than $50 million, and before the new year was even a few hours old, Matthews -- who could have been imprisoned for life based on the weight of his load -- was at home in Texas with his family, with the blessing of the U.S. Customs Service. All it took, Matthews said, was a phone call to a key federal agent. For not only did he have the government's blessing to bring in the drug; he had permission to sell it, too. That might seem like a strange way to fight the war on drugs, but it's a common tactic used in government sting operations, the Post-Gazette found. The object is to snare key leaders in drug smuggling operations. In this case, it succeeded only in putting more drugs onto America's streets. When Feds Deal In Drugs It is against the law for federal agents to distribute illegal drugs, just as it is for ordinary citizens, but there are exceptions. Under "extraordinary" circumstances -- to nab big-time dealers or smugglers, for example -- top Drug Enforcement Administration, FBI or Custom's officials may issue an order to allow it. It is that kind of order that Matthews said he was given, but two years after his close encounter near Houston, Matthews was arrested with a boatload of cocaine in Florida and eventually sentenced to three life terms in prison. He insisted that he was double-crossed, that he was busted for an operation that the government had approved. Two U.S. Customs agents corroborated his story in court, but top officials at the U.S. Justice Department denied that. They even brought perjury charges against the two agents who vouched for Matthews, saying they wouldn't go along with what Matthews calls a "high-level coverup." A jury acquitted the agents. The only certainty in this mess is that Matthews is doing life in prison at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, one of the toughest in the country. >From his cell, he has staged a one-man assault against the government, which, he says, tried to cover up its deals with him by asking him to perjure himself and then condemned him to life in prison because he refused. A Criminal's Initiative Often, it's the criminals who suggest this country's drug stings -- even when those suggestions seem far-fetched. Mustaq Malik knew the only way he'd be freed early from his 24-year sentence at the federal prison in Petersburg, Va., for drug trafficking was to help federal agents set up a sting that would snare other big-time drug dealers. The native of Pakistan would do anything to ensure the sting's success, even lie in court, he later told a defense attorney. Malik testified in 1993 that he had lied in court before and that he was willing to testify against people he didn't even know, so long as prosecutors agreed to shave years off his prison sentence. Defense Attorney: "What you would do is . . . use the government in any way that you possibly could [in] . . . getting your sentence reduced from 24 years and five months to something lesser, wouldn't you?" Malik: "Well, that's the system." The deal that Malik offered federal agents in 1990 seemed especially odd. The guy he set up, 63-year-old New Yorker Raphael Santana, was already serving a life sentence in prison. As part of the sting, Malik persuaded Santana to arrange from prison for the distribution of a shipment of heroin that Malik would bring into the country. Then the federal government would bust everyone involved. But in its zeal to grab a few small-time colleagues of this lifer, the federal government turned over a package of almost pure heroin from its own drug lockers to Frank Fuentes, a small-time criminal with a bad drug habit. Agents could have arrested Fuentes, Santana and the other conspirators before Fuentes took possession of the heroin. For reasons not clear, they did not. So Fuentes promptly got the heroin into the hands of street dealers in New York City. Experts testified that it would have been cut into 8,500 individual packets and sold on the street for $170,000. Federal agents arrested Santana; Fuentes, a down-on-his-luck former dealer who was so broke that he once missed a meeting with federal agents because he didn't have money to get his car out of a tow pound; Santana's wife, who was dying of cancer; and four street-level dealers. A Senior U.S. District Judge eventually ordered that the conspiracy charges against the defendants be dropped, saying the amount of heroin given to Fuentes "boggles the mind" and constituted outrageous government misconduct. His ruling was overturned on appeal, and Fuentes is again appealing his life sentence. Most of Malik's court records are sealed, so his fate isn't clear, but the Post-Gazette found a few records that show he continued to buy down his prison term as an informant in New York and Chicago. One court paper also shows the government paid him $50,000 for his efforts. At last report, he was in the federal witness protection program. A Little Help From His Friends There's another problem with government drug stings: They sometimes create a drug problem where none existed. Ben Kalka had been a bit player in the San Francisco drug world off and on for most of his life -- mostly scoring small hits of cocaine -- but at the time of his arrest in 1982, he'd become a major supplier of methamphetamine on those same San Francisco streets. Cheaper than cocaine and heroin, it induced many of the same sensations, including quick addiction. Federal agents had set Kalka up in a sting. But by the time Kalka began manufacturing the drug, the Drug Enforcement Administration insists the sting had ended, an argument Kalka finds bizarre. By the time the government caught up with him, Kalka figures he'd produced 8,000 pounds of drugs worth $10 million, using ingredients federal agents had arranged for him to buy. Kalka should have been suspicious of his good fortune in 1980. A chemist friend had asked him to find a barrel of phenyl acetic acid, a key precursor for the manufacture of methamphetamine. Kalka had a contact at a chemical company who said there was no way he could get him the chemical. While it wasn't illegal, the government scrutinized who bought and sold the chemical. A week later, this contact called to say he could get Kalka a semi-truck load of the chemical precursor weighing 25,000 pounds. All Kalka needed was the money -- $250,000. What Kalka didn't know was that in the interim, the contact, Paul Palmer, had become an informant for the government after being busted for selling the very precursors Kalka had bought. By now, Kalka was hooked. He set up a partnership with another drug dealer, Paul Morasco, to get the money, then began his search for the last ingredient he'd need for the speed -- monomethylamine. Palmer put him in touch with Michael Riconosciuto, whose past included shadowy connections with various U.S. intelligence agencies, unbeknownst to Kalka. Riconosciuto greeted Kalka like a long, lost brother. He claimed Kalka had once talked him out of suicide when they were imprisoned in the 1970s at Lompoc federal prison. Kalka vaguely remembered Riconosciuto. Riconosciuto said in a recent interview that he was working for the FBI when he connected with Kalka and the agency told him to find the monomethylamine for Kalka as part of the sting operation. When the chemical was delivered, the FBI planned to bust Kalka and various subordinates. The plan failed miserably, an array of court documents show. Kalka, naturally mistrustful of almost everyone, managed to divert the tractor-trailer truck carrying the chemicals away from federal agents who were tailing it. Even so, Kalka wonders today why the FBI didn't track him down once the methamphetamine began hitting the streets. The agency maintains it eventually stumbled across Kalka's drug enterprise during another undercover operation. Soon, he had produced what might have been the largest batch of methamphetamine produced in this country. And it was all with chemicals supplied with the help of federal agents. When he was finally arrested, Kalka gave the government $1 million and 1,000 pounds of methamphetamine, all that remained of the 8,000 pounds of the drug he'd produced, in exchange for a promise that he would serve no more than 10 years in prison. A judge ignored the prosecutor's request and slapped Kalka with a 20-year sentence. In the meantime, Riconosciuto was arrested and convicted on a methamphetamine manufacturing charge. From his prison cell in Coleman, Fla., he described the role of federal agents and their authorization for him to sell Kalka the final ingredient needed to make the methamphetamine. Kalka says the government's complicity in supplying the drugs might yet win him release from prison if he can convince a court to hear him. In the meantime, he has been moved from one prison to another because of his repeated attempt to sue the government over his case and the conditions of his incarceration. A Drug-Related Millionaire Charles Hill also earned a fortune in illegal drugs, but he did it legally. He opened Triple Neck Scientific Co. in 1985 near San Diego. Four years later, he had amassed more than $9 million in profit from the specialty chemical business, selling the precursors needed to manufacture methamphetamine, which was becoming popular in Southern California. Hill didn't need to hide his operation from the government. He was working for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which tracked down more than 100 of his customers, arresting them for using the precursors in illegal drug-manufacturing operations. The only problem was that the government didn't recover all the chemicals that Hill had sold. Federal officials admit that the precursors they didn't recover were likely transformed into thousands of pounds of methamphetamine that was eventually sold on American streets. Most of those caught in the government's web quickly pleaded guilty and went off to prison. Those who appealed based on the government's tactics were rebuffed. The appeals court said convictions could be overturned only if "government misconduct has been so outrageous that it results in a violation of due process," or was "so grossly shocking and so outrageous as to violate the universal sense of justice." The court ruled it was not. "Unsavory conduct alone will not cause the dismissal of an indictment." Turning The Tables Rodney Matthews was the centerpiece in the government sting called "Operation Shanghai," an example of just how little control the U.S. sometimes has in its drug interdiction efforts. Matthews agreed to smuggle drugs with the government's blessing in 1984 to avoid a three-year prison term for smuggling marijuana. It wasn't a bad trade. Government agents said he could keep anything he earned from the smuggling operations, and he earned millions. The government sting had two objectives, Matthews said in several letters responding to questions the Post-Gazette posed: Snare a South Texan named Vic Stadter, an outspoken government critic who made his opinions known through his newspaper. Federal agents believed he was a longtime drug smuggler. Stadter denied the charge and accused the government of harassment. Bust Pablo Escobar, the notorious leader of the once-feared Medellin Cartel in Colombia, which the government said was responsible for 80 percent of the cocaine that came into this country during the 1980s. Matthews said he got nowhere with Stadter, managing only to take one of his secretaries on a few dates. His pursuit of Escobar was more complicated and ultimately unsuccessful. Escobar died of multiple gunshot wounds after a shootout with Colombian police in December 1993, before U.S. agents ever laid a hand on him. During the years in between, Matthews smuggled more than 50 loads of cocaine for the U.S. Customs Service. At the direction of federal agents, he delivered his loads to illegal drug syndicates in the United States, which then distributed them across the nation. Matthews said he invested most of his profits in property and aircraft and made sure the operation never cost the government a cent. He said the government wasn't interested in pursuing the people who bought his drugs. By not busting them, agents hoped to enhance Matthews' reputation with Escobar and Stadter, creating an image of a super trafficker who could avoid the government's web. That he never got close to Escobar wasn't for lack of imaginative schemes. At one point, Matthews tried to sell the cartel leader the coastal schedules of U.S. AWACS surveillance planes, used to detect smugglers in boats and planes, for $6 million. It was all a scam, he said. He was hoping the ploy would get him closer to the Colombian. He said his encounter with scores of federal agents in 1989 at the airport near Houston was a wakeup call. His contacts for the smuggling sting were two Customs Service agents and two Texas Department of Public Safety narcotics agents, and he no longer believed they had enough support for the operation to protect him. "It was glaringly apparent that the people who had given me authorization had over-reached their authority, so from that point on I made sure that no cocaine hit the street," he said. Soon, he was accepting only contract assignments from federal law enforcement agencies, for a fee of $50,000 a flight. He brought in the drugs and let the federal agents take it from there. These flights often included overnight stops at U.S. military bases in the Carib-bean, including Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba, "where I would fly in loaded with Colombian cocaine, using prearranged code names like 'Dark Cloud' and 'Hot Rod' for tower clearance." The final irony: The government still owes him $180,000 for those flights, which agents corroborated during his trial. Matthews' last operation was in 1992 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. An old friend set him up to be busted. Jimmy Norjay Ellard was an ex-police officer from Texas, a pilot and a longtime associate of Escobar, and he had served as liaison for Matthews with the cartel leader. Ellard's resume was bloody. He had instructed Escobar in how to attach a bomb to an Avianca Airlines plane, which the drug leader did in the early 1980s to eliminate two informers. More than 100 innocent people died in the mid-air blast. Federal agents busted Ellard in 1985 for cocaine smuggling, and he was sentenced to life in prison. He had been in jail for four years when he cut a deal with an assistant U.S. attorney in Fort Lauderdale, based on his promise to deliver Matthews. From prison, he arranged an illegal drug shipment that Matthews would pick up. Federal agents had falsely told Ellard that Matthews not only worked for the government but had been responsible for setting Ellard up in his 1985 arrest, Matthews said. Federal prosecutors and agents in South Florida told Matthews they didn't believe his story about working for the federal government, despite the drug agents' corroboration. During pre-trial meetings, when Matthews' lawyer named the agents he was working with, prosecutors suggested they had conspired in his crime. So prosecutors offered Matthews a deal: Implicate the agents in some of his crimes, and he'd be recommended for a reduced sentence. Matthews refused; they were honest officers, he said. Matthews was convicted of drug conspiracy and sentenced to three life terms in prison, based on the amount of drugs he'd smuggled. Ellard, because of his help in nailing Matthews, got only five years, but his luck didn't last. In September, he and his son were arrested in Fort Lauderdale and charged with conspiring to import marijuana. He is back in jail. The agents were charged with conspiracy based on facts that came out of Matthews case. Both were acquitted. Matthews thought he would find some relief, because he believed the government would surely come to its senses -- the government's agents, after all, had corroborated his story and been found innocent of trumped up perjury charges. He sent a package of information to 140 Members of Congress. He got five responses, most of them "offering good wishes," he said. Last summer, he did an extensive interview with the ABC show "Prime Time Live" in which he explained his story. Shortly before that story aired, he was put into an isolation cell at Leavenworth, where he is only allowed out for a short walk each day.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Informant Lured Him Into A Costly Deal - Win At All Costs series (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. Bobby Thomas, who had no prior criminal record, was sentenced to more than 12 years in federal prison after being entrapped into drug trafficking by a professional government informant.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 10:23:05 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Informant Lured Him Into A Costly Deal - Win At All Costs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com INFORMANT LURED HIM INTO A COSTLY DEAL It was the kind of part-time job that never makes the classified pages. Albert Barruetta needed money. The U.S. Customs Department needed to nab drug dealers. So Barruetta told agents he had a line on a major methamphetamine dealer in Pasadena, Calif. Barruetta knew no major drug dealers, but he did know Cristobal Crosthwaite-Villa, a Mexican citizen whose car U.S. Custom's officials had seized in September 1992 at Tijuana, Mexico, as he was trying to cross the border illegally. Barruetta tried to fleece Crosthwaite, telling him that for $1,000 he would not only get his car back but would get him permanent residency status in the United States. Then he learned Crosthwaite sometimes used drugs, so he told Customs agents that Crosthwaite was a major drug dealer. The agency, without checking Crosthwaite's background, agreed to hire Barruetta as a confidential informant and pay him, on a contingency basis, cash for each drug dealer he could lure into a sting operation. Barruetta began cajoling Crosthwaite to find him a source who might buy methamphetamine. Crosthwaite had no luck until he encountered Bobby Thomas, who had used drugs with Crosthwaite in the past and, on one or two occasions, had sold Crosthwaite a few $20 doses of the drug. Barruetta offered to sell Thomas drugs, saying the deal would also get Crosthwaite's car returned. Thomas told him he couldn't help. Barruetta kept pressing him with offers to sell him cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine. Thomas finally relented, agreeing to buy three pounds of methamphetamine in the hopes of helping Crosthwaite get his car. Thomas, who had no prior criminal record, was arrested, found guilty and sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. The amount of drugs Barruetta had pressed Thomas to buy determined the sentence length. In January, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Thomas's conviction, in part because he'd been cajoled and entrapped into committing the crime. He is awaiting a new trial.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Charge Beaten, But At High Price - Win At All Costs series (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. John Gardner, a 33-year-old Pittsburgh postal employee, was arrested on drug charges in 1989 after a government informant with an expensive drug habit talked him into buying drugs to help feed the informant's drug habit.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:24:58 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Drug Charge Beaten, But At High Price - Win At All Costs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com The first part of the series (posted in three parts) is at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a04.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a05.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1069.a01.html Drug Charge Beaten, But At High Price John Gardner was a 33-year-old Pittsburgh postal employee when he was arrested on drug charges in 1989. Gardner had worked for seven years at the post office distribution facility in Warrendale and had won awards for his exemplary service. He was charged after a government informant with an expensive drug habit talked him into buying drugs to help feed the informant's drug habit. It was all part of a government sting. Two years later, a federal judge dismissed the charges, saying the government had "acted outrageously in inducing the defendant to engage in conduct that led to his prosecution." By that time, Gardner had lost his job and most of his assets fighting the case. No federal agents or prosecutors were punished.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Fighting To Prove Innocence Led 3 To Stiffer Sentences (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. Three men, all about 60 years old - Loren Pogue, George Pararas-Carayannis, and Beryl L. Johnston, who were entrapped by government sting operations were successful in their careers and active in their communities. After refusing plea bargains and fighting to prove their innocence, their lives are ruined, their assets gone. Two are serving long prison terms. The third expects to begin serving his sentence soon.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 08:53:59 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Fighting To Prove Innocence Led 3 To Stiffer Sentences Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com The first part of the series (posted in three parts) is at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a04.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a05.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1069.a01.html FIGHTING TO PROVE INNOCENCE LED 3 TO STIFFER SENTENCES The three men were all about 60 years old, successful in their careers, active in their communities. They were snared in three government stings. Two are serving long prison terms. The third expects to begin serving his sentence soon. Their lives are ruined, their assets gone. Two say they have little hope of leaving prison alive. The government offered them deals if they would plead guilty to minor criminal offenses. They would have done little, if any, prison time, but all steadfastly maintained their innocence, and because they fought for that innocence, they are paying dearly. They say they cannot understand how their government could have lured them into situations that federal prosecutors would then describe as crimes. They say they have learned one thing from the shadowy world of government sting operations: The line between guilt and innocence is a shifting one, and federal law enforcement officers control the strings. *** Loren Pogue Loren Pogue, an Air Force veteran and co-founder of a home for orphans, is serving 22 years in prison on charges he conspired to smuggle drugs into the United States and launder drug money. Pogue never bought drugs, never sold them, never held them, never used them, never smuggled them. But a government informant with an alcohol and drug habit, who would later lie at Pogue's trial, managed to snare Pogue in a 1990 government sting operation that had little else to show for the hundreds of thousands of dollars it cost. A real estate agent and Missouri native who'd made a second home for himself and his family in Costa Rica, Pogue admits he'd had a previous scrape with the law. In the 1970s, he served 14 months for tax evasion related to an ill-fated business venture. His life since had been free of trouble. Pogue and his wife, Delores Jean, have 27 children, 15 of them adopted. Friends, neighbors and preachers have written letters to the federal government detailing his contributions to their communities and their outrage at his treatment. Federal prosecutors said he set up and completed a deal to sell a parcel of land in Costa Rica to drug dealers who intended to use it as a stopover airstrip for illegal drug shipments to the United States. He denied the charges vehemently. After his conviction, Pogue obtained government documents that showed the key witness in his case committed perjury at his trial, weaving a web of lies that convinced jurors of Pogue's guilt. The witness, Mitchell Henderson, was a government informant, a disgraced ex-police officer, an abuser of alcohol and drugs whom the Drug Enforcement Administration had promised $250,000 to set up a sting operation to try to snare Latin American drug dealers. Henderson testified that a high-ranking official of the Cali Cartel in Colombia had arranged to buy the land for the airstrip. However, DEA documents that Pogue obtained after his conviction show Henderson never met the cartel official, and the DEA knew it. Henderson also testified that Pogue, from the start, knew that the land sale was connected to Colombian drug runners, a key point in proving conspiracy charges. But at a later trial, Henderson testified that Pogue knew nothing about the deal until the day he showed up to close the agreement on the land. The DEA documents also make clear that government officials knew Henderson was lying at Pogue's trial. Neither Pogue nor the court was informed of that fact, despite discovery rules that require it. DEA tapes show Pogue balked at the land deal when the subject was first raised in the Tampa hotel room where the deal was to be closed. Pogue admits he finally agreed to sell the land, partly out of fear of what the supposed drug dealers might do to him if he did not. Pogue says he knew something else about the property they did not: No one could build an airstrip on the land. It was a rocky parcel on a steep hillside with a view of the Pacific Ocean. Building an airstrip there would be nearly impossible. Because he listened for a little more than two hours to undercover agents talk about the thousands of pounds of cocaine that would go through this airstrip and the thousands of dollars in drug money they would use to pay for it, the federal charges he faced were major: drug and money laundering conspiracies. His lawyer says the jury believed the lies of the government's key witness because at one point, Pogue told the supposed drug smugglers he didn't care where the money came from. The 11th United States Court of Appeals upheld Pogue's conviction, not even issuing an opinion after its judges had peppered attorneys in the case with questions. *** George Pararas-Carayannis The federal government needed an estimated $4 million and a sexy undercover police officer to snare Dr. George Pararas-Carayannis in a government sting operation aimed at drug dealers who were laundering money. The only person to face charges was Carayannis. There was no evidence he was involved in drugs. Carayannis was accused of laundering $4,000 and netting all of $35 for himself. He faces a 41-month sentence, though he has so many medical problems that doctors have postponed his trip to prison, fearing it might kill him. It was the first time he was charged with a crime. Carayannis is one of the world's foremost authorities on tsunami, tidal waves that earthquakes trigger and that have killed thousands in coastal communities around the globe. He was named director of the International Tsunami Information Center in Hawaii in 1974 and was responsible for assisting more than 28 nations with natural disaster preparedness. He was fired from the post after he was indicted in 1995 on money laundering charges. His nightmare began after a friend who was an interior decorator introduced him to Lauri McEwen in 1992. Carayannis didn't know that the interior decorator was an illegal alien whom federal agents had arrested on drug charges. She agreed to help in the sting in exchange for the right to stay in the country. McEwen told Carayannis she was a 26-year-old Canadian who had recently broken up with her boyfriend. Carayannis said she was beautiful, often dressing in tight, revealing clothing that highlighted a spectacular figure. Carayannis, then 56 and divorced, was amazed she found him interesting. Soon they were meeting for lunch and dinner. They held hands and kissed tenderly as he courted her, he said. They talked about life and trips they might take together. What he didn't know was that McEwen's real name was Dana Kresich, an undercover Honolulu police officer assigned to the government's sting. Kresich told Carayannis that she recently had started an escort service, a euphemism often implying a prostitution ring, but Caray-annis said he never made that connection. In government tapes of conversations between him and Kresich, she is never heard to define escort service as being anything illegal. He said the undercover agent assured him that the business was not only legal but that it was registered in the State of Hawaii. Kresich insisted in court that Caray-annis knew it was an illegal operation. Since her escort business was new, Kresich told Caray-annis she had not yet established a credit card account. So several times she asked him if she could run credit card bills from her business through the machine at a small jewelry business that Carayannis owned as a sideline to his government job. Carayannis gladly agreed. He reimbursed her for the $4,000 or so that the charges totaled. He earned $35 in fees on the charges, the government said. Because the credit card companies also charged him that amount as their fee for the service, the transaction was a wash. Government documents showed that Carayannis listed the $35 on his tax returns and paid taxes on it. Federal prosecutors said his actions constituted money laundering because he ran transactions from a prostitution ring through his credit account. Carayannis couldn't believe it. After his arrest, he next saw Kresich in court. Gone were the low-cut dresses, short-shorts and bedroom eyes. "She was dressed like a nun," he said. Prosecutors quickly offered a deal. "They told my lawyer to pick any one of the charges [to plead guilty to] and this would end," he said. "But I wasn't guilty of anything, and I wasn't going to plead guilty to something I didn't do." Now he's not sure he did the right thing. Fighting the government has cost him everything. Carayannis emigrated to this country from Greece as a young man. He is the grandson of Lela Carayannis, who led that nation's largest anti-facist resistance organization during World War II. She and 71 of her followers were executed. Other members of Carayannis' family were tortured in concentration camps. "I had faith in this system," he said. "I thought with this kind of evidence and due process, I would be acquitted." But he wasn't. He was convicted and sentenced to 41 months in prison. Hundreds of supporters have sent testimonials to the offices of federal judges and congressmen on Carayannis's behalf along with questions about the government's tactics. They have accomplished nothing. Carayannis is in a legal limbo because doctors have said he is not healthy enough to travel to prison because of the effects of three heart attacks. So his seven-year odyssey continues. He says he's sure of only one thing: Because of his medical problems, the 41 months in prison he faces amounts to a death sentence. *** Beryl L. Johnston Beryl L. Johnston was a Pappillon, Neb., gentleman farmer, contractor and finance company owner who thought he was getting a good deal on refinancing a farm, but his 1993 trip to Florida to seal the deal ended in a 78-month federal sentence for money laundering. As often occurs in government stings, Johnston wouldn't learn until after his conviction that the key witness against him had lied to him, to the government and to the court in the sting that would cost him his freedom, his farm and most of his assets. Based on the evidence, the government violated its rules when it snared Johnston in the sting, but because appeals take so long to resolve, vindication might come after his sentence is completed sometime next year at the Federal Correctional Institution at Yankton, S.D. It all started in June 1993 when Jerry Woody, a man Johnston had tossed out of his office years earlier, met two U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents who were posing as agents for the Cali Drug Cartel. The agents told Woody and an acquaintance that they needed to launder $10 million from cocaine proceeds. People who operate on the fringes of the law usually know that Cali Cartel members don't share their affiliation with new acquaintances unless they plan to kill them, but these agents had no trouble hooking Woody, who had once been a banker but was as financially unstable in 1993 as he had been most of his life. Although he'd never laundered anything more than a load of clothes, Woody told the smugglers he owned a bank on the Island of Palau, a U.S. Territory off the coast of the Philippines. He said he'd laundered "billions of dollars" over the past decade through connections in Lichtenstein. He didn't mention that he couldn't pay his phone bill, had recently run out on several hotel bills and that his foreign bank was simply a piece of paper. His bank charter in Palau had been revoked years earlier because Woody didn't pay the $50 renewal fee. Virtually everything he told the agents was a lie. The clincher came when Woody said he could arrange to launder money already in the United States through a Nebraska farmer who would be willing to put up his farm as collateral. The undercover police officers said they wanted to meet the farmer -- they had $2 million in small bills ready to launder. That complicated things a bit. The farmer was Johnston, and Woody hadn't spoken to him in years. Johnston simply happened to own a 25 percent interest in a $6 million Nebraska farm and Woody had added his name to the growing list of lies he was feeding the feds. Woody called an old friend, John Velder, in Kansas City, Mo. -- a man who knew Johnston through business dealings. Velder, who'd helped Johnston with a loan in 1991, listened as Woody told him that friends he knew had recently inherited $20 million -- another lie -- and wanted to invest it. Woody thought that Johnston, a partner in Fleetwood Farms, might be a candidate for a low-interest loan. He also asked Velder not to tell Johnston that Woody was behind the deal, since Johnston had refused to deal with him on financial matters because of Woody's tendency to skirt the law. Velder agreed and called Johnston, who jumped at the offer of a 6 percent loan. The deal would get worked out on July 7, 1993, in Orlando, Fla. Johnston was outraged when Woody showed up with Velder, but the good interest rate kept him talking. At a motel room, the undercover agents joined them. That's when Johnston says he first learned of the money laundering scheme. "They told me they were going to give me the loan, but you're going to launder our money," he said in a recent phone interview from prison. Velder left the room before they discussed specifics and was acquitted of charges filed against him. Johnston's apprehension with the agents is evident in several conversations the government recorded, but in the end he agreed to the money-laundering deal. Why would he do something so stupid? Fear, Johnston says. Woody took him aside during the talks, informed him the men were members of the Cali Cartel and pointed out guards stationed in the hall -- to make sure no one tried to sneak away. They were actually FBI agents in disguise. After his arrest, the government offered Johnston a deal if he would plead to a lesser charge. He refused. "I told [my attorney to tell prosecutors], 'You know there's a law against perjury, and if I admit doing this, I've committed perjury.' " But based mostly on the videotaped conversations from the room, he was convicted. After the trial, he began to discover evidence that the government should have given to his attorneys. Woody wasn't interested in laundering money. He was trying to rip off $25,000 in front money from the supposed Colombian money men, and because he was broke, there was no way Woody could launder money. In court, the FBI presented him as an accomplished money launderer of some wealth. Sting operations aren't supposed to target people who don't have the means to pull off the crime in question. Johnston's attorney asked DEA Agent Russell Permaul, "Do you have any evidence that Woody handled billions of dollars?" "No, not short of him owning a bank," replied Permaul. There was no bank. Woody had been living on his girlfriend's credit cards. Johnston maintained at the trial that he'd known nothing about the money laundering deal until the day he walked into the motel room, which the government disputed. Johnston's son would later learn that DEA documents showed no record of Johnston until the day before the Orlando meeting. Further, Woody was prepared to verify Johnston's story on the witness stand, if prosecutors granted him immunity for those statements, since otherwise he might face still more charges. Federal prosecutors refused, Johnston said. So the witness who had lied to set him up was denied the opportunity to set him free. Woody was sentenced to 80 months for his role in the deal. Finally, Johnston wasn't satisfied with the videotaped conversations from the sting that prosecutors had played in court. The tape abruptly ended the moment they announced his arrest. After he was convicted, the jury foreman told his attorney that he couldn't understand why Johnston didn't simply flee the room. Had the foreman seen the agents throw him to the ground and handcuff him, he might have appreciated the fear Johnston says he experienced. "I was scared; what else can I say," Johnston said. "I'd like to see the jury foreman in my shoes when they grabbed me." Johnston's repeated requests that the government turn over the original tape have been denied. Johnston figures the DEA's real interest in him stemmed from one thing: his substantial interest in a Nebraska farm that could be seized under federal forfeiture laws. He was right. The DEA seized Johnston's $1 million interest in the farm then sold it for $360,000 to his former partners.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Trapped Into Trying To Settle Vendetta - Win At All Costs series (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. Qubilah Shabazz, daughter of assassinated black leader Malcolm X, was arrested in June 1995 and charged with plotting to kill Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the man she thought murdered her father 30 years before. The story behind the headlines was even more bizarre.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:40:59 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Trapped Into Trying To Settle Vendetta - Win At All Costs Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com TRAPPED INTO TRYING TO SETTLE VENDETTA Qubilah Shabazz, daughter of assassinated black leader Malcolm X, was arrested in June 1995 and charged with plotting to kill Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the man she thought murdered her father 30 years before. The story behind the headline was even more bizarre: Michael Fitzpatrick, the government informant from New York who tipped the feds to the plot, had a history of trying to persuade people to commit violent acts, dating to the 1980s. He also had a history as a paid informant for federal agents. He told federal agents that, for a fee, he could deliver evidence about the supposed plot. They agreed to pay him $45,000 to nail Shabazz in the sting, court records show. He sought out Shabazz, whom he'd known since high school, lured her from New York City to Minneapolis, convincing her his interests were romantic, then planted the idea of arranging to have Farrakhan killed, according to court records. She never went to trial. Instead, she signed a statement accepting responsibility for her involvement in the plot and agreed to two years of psychiatric and drug and alcohol treatment. She received two years probation, which ended last year and all charges were dismissed. Prosecutors said the paper she signed proved her guilt. Defense attorneys insisted it proved nothing but a government conspiracy that had entrapped an innocent person.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Sting Gone Awry - Win At All Costs series (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette continues its 10-part series about its two-year investigation that found federal agents and prosecutors have pursued justice by breaking the law hundreds of times. Seven small companies employing more than 100 people went bust after "Operation Lightning Strike," an expensive government sting operation that at first yielded no results. So the government set out to entrap the little guys to save face.) Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 18:16:25 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: A Sting Gone Awry - Win At All Costs series Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Nora Callahan http://www.november.org/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer Note: This is the second of a 10 part series, "Win At All Costs" being published in the Post-Gazette. The part is composed of several stories (being posted separately). The series is also being printed in The Blade, Toledo, OH email: email@example.com The first part of the series (posted in three parts) is at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a04.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a05.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1069.a01.html A STING GONE AWRY When A Trap Didn't Net Big Game, Government Targeted The Little Guys Dale Brown was a poster boy for the American dream, an athletic former Eagle Scout whose start-up company near the Johnson Space Center outside Houston hustled contracts with NASA. Brown worked seven days a week, 18 hours a day getting his company started in the late 1980s, trying to pair clients and their promising technologies with niches in the billion-dollar needs of the U.S. space program. Like most small companies, Brown's Terraspace Technologies Inc. sometimes struggled to make ends meet. A man who bragged about his Mississippi roots and his ability to make things happen promised to change that in 1992. John Clifford told Brown he had developed a product that NASA might use and he was prepared to spend big money to get it noticed. It was called a miniature lithotripter, an ultrasound device whose technology might one day be used to improve the medical monitoring of astronauts in space. Brown checked out Clifford and his companies with Dunn & Bradstreet, the Better Business Bureau and the banks that worked with him. All gave the Mississippi man a thumbs-up. "I came to believe this guy was our savior, our knight in shining armor," Brown said. Brown, though, was wrong. John Clifford was actually Hal Francis, an agent for the FBI. His new device was phony, though legitimate companies had agreed to help the FBI by pretending to manufacture it. It was part of an FBI sting operation aimed at trapping Brown and several others who worked in the space program or on its periphery. Francis and dozens of other federal agents and prosecutors had set their sights much higher: Key employees at NASA and a few of its contractors were suspected of giving and taking bribes, but the feds had failed to snare these high-placed managers. Millions already had been spent on Operation Lightning Strike, including enormous bills for luxury hotel suites, gourmet meals, deep-sea fishing trips and booze-filled nights at Houston strip clubs. Federal agents needed something to show for their effort. So they went to work trying to lure minor space agency players into doing something illegal. Brown would be one of these consolation prizes. It was a scenario similar to dozens of other failed government stings that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette uncovered in a two-year investigation of federal law enforcement officers' misconduct. Brown, now 38, eventually was charged with 21 counts of mail fraud and one count of bribery. After a jury deadlocked, all charges were dismissed, but the price of fighting for his innocence proved costly. Brown lost his business, his savings, his fiancee, his health and his belief in the American dream. Not An Isolated Case Brown was in good company. The other 14 targets in Operation Lightning Strike were also college graduates. Most had families. Only one had previously been the target of a criminal investigation. In 1994, two years into the government sting, federal prosecutors charged each with violating federal laws. Several of the cases started with the lithotripter. The government contended that Brown knew the device was phony, and thus every act he performed in trying to win a NASA contract for it constituted a crime, but that argument eventually self-destructed in court. Brown produced a picture of the prototype he took while visiting a firm that would supposedly manufacture the lithotripter. Francis showed Brown the device to assure him it was real, and he didn't know Brown had taken the picture. Francis cajoled other sting targets into situations that would bring criminal charges, even though several said they couldn't imagine that what they were doing might be construed as a crime. All but two of the 15 suspects were coerced into quickly pleading guilty. Federal agents assured them that fighting the charges in court would result in long prison terms, huge fines and prolonged humiliation for their families. The physical and psychological toll of "Operation Lightning Strike" was great. Seven small companies employing more than 100 people went bust.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Assistant principal gets 30 years for dealing drugs near his school (An Associated Press article found at Tampa Bay Online says Willie James Young Jr., 52, an assistant principal at North Miami Community Middle School, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for trying to buy 66 pounds of cocaine from undercover drug agents two blocks from his middle school.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Assistant principal gets 30 years for dealing drugs near his school Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 17:49:16 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Tampa Bay Online Pubdate: 11/23/98 -- 12:50 PM Online: http://www.tampabayonline.net/news/flor1000.htm Assistant principal gets 30 years for dealing drugs near his school MIAMI (AP) - An assistant principal was sentenced Monday to 30 years in prison for trying to buy 66 pounds of cocaine from undercover drug agents two blocks from his middle school. Willie James Young Jr., 52, an assistant principal at North Miami Community Middle School, was convicted Sept. 9 of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to possess cocaine with intent to distribute. Young had met with police informant Osvaldo Marcial and Thomas Walden, a Drug Enforcement Administration agent posing as a cocaine dealer. Young was trying to buy cocaine and had agreed to sell the drugs, then pay back the dealer. He was arrested April 3. Federal agents said they didn't have any evidence that Young had sold cocaine to students at the school, which is in a drug-free zone, but Young negotiated drug deals with undercover agents in his office and on school grounds while classes were in session. He bragged to undercover agents that he had made more than $750,000 trafficking in cocaine, investigators said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- An After-Hours Lifestyle Can Mess Up Your Style At Work (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch surveys lifestyle protection laws around the nation. In states with no such legal protections, your company can use what you do on your own time to determine how well you perform your job. Only three states - New York, North Dakota and Colorado - have statutes protecting employees from job discrimination based on any legal activity they choose to engage in after work. In half the states, the only protected after-hours activity an employee can engage in is smoking. In his just-published book, "Job Discrimination II," Jeffrey Bernbach, an attorney in New York City who specializes in workplace law, writes that an employer might terminate workers for such offenses as "drinking six martinis before dinner or riding your Harley-Davidson or taking herbal medications for your arthritis, which may label you as a 'health nut,' or even seeking counseling to get through a bad relationship, divorce, or the death of a loved one.") Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 18:37:12 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MO: An After-Hours Lifestyle Can Mess Up Your Style At Work Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: MMcNamara@bridge.com (McNamara, Mark P.) Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.stlnet.com/ Forum: http://www.stlnet.com/postnet/index.nsf/forums Copyright: 1998 Post Dispatch Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 98 Author: Sherwood Ross, Reuters Section: BUSINESS PLUS AN AFTER-HOURS LIFESTYLE CAN MESS UP YOUR STYLE AT WORK Watch what you do after you get off work: your employer may also be watching - and fire you for it, even if it's legal. In states that have no lifestyle protection laws, "Your company can use what you do on your own time to determine how well you perform your job," warned Jeffrey Bernbach, an attorney in New York City who specializes in workplace law. "Only three states - New York, North Dakota and Colorado - have statutes protecting employees from job discrimination based on any legal activity they choose to engage in after work," Bernbach pointed out. In half the states, he added, the only protected after-hours activity an employee can engage in is smoking. In his just-published "Job Discrimination II" (Voire Dire Press), Bernbach writes that an employer might terminate you for such offenses as "drinking six martinis before dinner or riding your Harley-Davidson or taking herbal medications for your arthritis, which may label you as a 'health nut,' or even seeking counseling to get through a bad relationship, divorce, or the death of a loved one. "If your company doesn't approve of your lifestyle, your job may be in jeopardy," he said. "The best data we've got indicates that at least 6,000 companies discriminate against people who smoke off duty," said Lewis Maltby, director of the workplace rights office of the American Civil Libverties Union in Princeton, N.J. "You can't work at CNN (Cable News Network) if you smoke off duty, and there are some companies that discriminate against off-duty drinking," Maltby continued. "When you sign up as an (CNN) employee, you sign a paper saying that you won't smoke," confirmed an official of Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Atlanta, which operates CNN. He also said that no one has been fired as a result of this policy, and that certain states like New York have anti-discrimination laws that negate such policies. "Smoking, drinking, riding a motorcycle or having any hobby that the company presumes is risky - such as skiing or scuba-diving - have their risks, but is it your boss's business?" Maltby asked. In one Indiana case, he said, a hard-working machinist and model employee stopped off at a bar one Friday night after work for a couple of beers and his employer fired him. The firing was legal because the company had a written policy against off-duty drinking. "Smoking marijuana (off-duty hours) will definitely get you in trouble," Maltby added. He noted that "80 percent of the 'Fortune 1000' companies now have a drug testing program and if you're smoking (marijuana) on weekends, there's a good chance it can cost you your job." "There are people who have been fired because of off-duty sex life, including women cops who have posed for centerfolds. And if you're gay, it can cost you your job in a heartbeat if anybody finds out about it," Maltby said. According to Bernbach, some biased employers, who can't fire employees for their race or nationality, use their after-hours conduct as an excuse to terminate them. "Off-the-job surveillance has become more prevalent as employers look for tools to get rid of people without running afoul of the anti-discrimination laws," Bernbach said. If employers seek to discriminate against you because you are a member of a minority group or are over 50 years of age, he said, the employers could say, "We did it because the individual is a known drug abuser."
------------------------------------------------------------------- On the Hill, Barring Democracy (Washington Post columnist Dick Evans contrasts the noble words about democracy posted at the web site of US Representative Robert L. Barr Jr. with the Georgia Republican's ignoble quashing of Initiative 59, the District of Columbia medical marijuana initiative.) Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 10:08:22 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US DC: Column: MMJ: On the Hill, Barring Democracy Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Dick Evans) Source: Washington Post Copyright: 1998 The Washington Post Company Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Page: B01, front page, second section Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ Columnist: Steve Twomey - email firstname.lastname@example.org ON THE HILL, BARRING DEMOCRACY On Oct. 5, the day the House Judiciary Committee voted to open a formal inquiry into whether President Clinton should be impeached, Robert L. Barr Jr., a committee member who nearly foams with disgust at our president's behavior, put the Lewinsky scandal into historical context with some sobering thoughts, now available on his Web site ( www.house.gov/barr ), should you care to check. "Imagine," the Georgia Republican began, "a place where a dictator, a king, a prime minister or a president could walk into your home at any time, and force you to accede to any demand, however unreasonable." Imagine such a place. Terrible. "Throughout history -- including 18th century Britain -- such regimes have been the norm," Barr went on. "The system of rule by law under which we live stands as a stark exception to the historically prevalent notion that a ruler can take whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, from any subject." Imagine such a ruler. Horrible. But there is, really, no need to trouble your fantasy cells. A place where people are forced to accede to unreasonable demands exists right here, and a ruler who takes what he wants from his subjects exists right now. The District is the place, Barr the ruler. The man who embalmed himself last month in sanctimonious blather as defender of democratic virtues against a brutish president is the same man who was in August the chief assassin of a free and fair election, sponsoring an ultimately successful piece of legislation to steal from a group of Americans -- those in the nation's capital -- the right to decide at the polls a public policy issue. Perhaps the next edition of Webster's will feature Barr when it gets around to defining "two-faced." His amendment forbade city officials to spend any funds to supervise or conduct a particular part of the Nov. 3 election: Initiative 59, a ballot measure on whether doctors should be able to prescribe marijuana to ease the pain of serious illnesses. Because the Barr Amendment passed after the ballots had been printed, residents still got a chance to say yea or nay. They just never found out the results. Twenty days on, the outcome remains known only to a computer because the Board of Elections and Ethics fears that even the nearly invisible cost of printing the results would represent illegal spending under Barr's amendment. The wishes of 137,523 Americans -- the number of residents who voted -- are being held hostage by an act of the Congress of the United States, may it rest in perpetual shame. What country is this? Anybody? I keep waiting for U.N. teams under Jimmy Carter to show up, dispatched to look into the suppression of voting rights. But the abuse of Washington has gone on for so long that nobody cares, certainly not the nation, 99 percent of which doesn't even know the District is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Hill, its people bereft of voting representation in the House and Senate and at the mercy of 535 holy patriots who see no irony in walking into the District's house and forcing it to accede to any demand, to use Barr's colorful description. Yes, the Constitution gives Congress that power. But it doesn't require its use. It doesn't require meddling on the most mundane of issues, in ways that mock the notion that being a citizen means being equal to all other citizens. Other Americans get to control their destinies. Those in America's capital don't. "Our Founding Fathers understood the importance [of] restraining unbridled power," Barr said in his Judiciary statement. At least he didn't claim he does. Barr has said the issue in the District is illegal drugs. His constituents hate them and won't tolerate having their money used -- in the form of federal support for the District budget -- for an election that might liberalize drug laws. In Barr's World, I guess, governing yourself is not an inherent right. It's a matter of money. Who knew there was such a thing as too high a price to pay for democracy? Well, $500 is apparently too much. That's what the election board says the total cost of printing, advertising and tabulating the marijuana initiative would be. Maybe Clarke v. United States will free the District 137,523. A decade ago, Congress ordered the D.C. Council to pass a certain law or lose its entire budget. But the city argued, and the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed, that to tell a group of Americans what to say by ordering them to pass a particular law -- laws being a form of speech, reflecting community thought -- violates the First Amendment. The court said in Clarke that under the Constitution, Congress didn't have to create a city council in the District, but once it did, it had to let it operate like one, which means leaving it free to speak legislatively or not. It is the same here and now. The city's Home Rule Charter gives citizens the right to vote on initiatives. To disembowel that right is to deny their right to speak. And on Dec. 18, that is precisely what the city will argue to a federal judge. "It is our job as legislators to diagnose threats to our democracy and eliminate them," Barr said in his Judiciary statement. What if the legislators are the threat?
------------------------------------------------------------------- Five states approve medical marijuana (The American Medical News says the success of all five medical marijuana initiatives in the Nov. 3 elections means doctors must now decide whether they want to recommend the drug to patients. Under the new laws, physicians need only write their recommendation in patients' medical records. Patients can then request a copy to protect against prosecution.) Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 16:16:06 -0800 (PST) From: email@example.com (Darral Good) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: HT: American Medical News - What doctors should do Cc: mpp@MPP.ORG, email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Database: Gen'l Ref Ctr Gold Key Words: Marijuana Library: Seattle Public Library Source: American Medical News, Nov 23, 1998 p5(1). Title: Five states approve medical marijuana. Author: Leigh Page Subjects: Marijuana - Therapeutic use Pharmaceutical policy - Analysis Electronic Collection: A53334148 RN: A53334148 Full Text COPYRIGHT 1998 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. AT A GLANCE MEDICAL POT Following a sweep for all medical marijuana initiatives, doctors must now decide whether they want to recommend the drug to patients. With the victory of all five ballot initiatives legalizing marijuana for medical use, doctors who want to recommend pot to patients will have to weigh their legal risks. Despite a federal ban on the drug, medical marijuana was approved in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington on Nov. 3. The measures become law within weeks in four states, while the Nevada item requires a second vote in two years. What doctors should do Federal authorities have warned that physicians who prescribe marijuana for medical use will lose their prescription authority and be subject to exclusion from Medicare and Medicaid. But proponents say doctors will not be prosecuted in states with the new laws as long as they simply recommend pot and don't prescribe or procure it. That doctrine was endorsed by federal authorities in a Feb. 27, 1997, statement after a similar initiative passed in California two years ago. But the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy cast doubt on that doctrine in a lawsuit that challenged the initiative, said Alice Mead, an attorney with the California Medical Assn. In testimony, officials did not unequivocally endorse a doctor's right to discuss marijuana with patients, she said. Federal agents in California have closed several cannabis buying clubs, arrested some patients using the substance and even entered a doctor's office to inquire about his recommendations. But no physician has been prosecuted for recommending the drug, Mead said. Still, medical marijuana is one of the few issues where the Clinton administration and the Republican-controlled Congress agree, and the administration has not indicated any policy changes following the election. Proponents attribute the clean sweep -- following the 1997 defeat in Washington state of a medical marijuana initiative -- to clearer wording that limits the drug's potential abuse. Except for the Arizona initiative, which upheld a successful 1996 initiative that the Legislature tried to overrule, the new laws specify that marijuana can be used only by patients with certain conditions, such as AIDS, epilepsy glaucoma and multiple sclerosis, and do not require doctors to prescribe pot. Under the laws, physicians need only write their recommendation in patients' medical records. Patients can then request a copy to protect against prosecution. Although the measures don't legalize any supply channels, they direct the use of identification cards or confidential registries of medical marijuana users. "Patients will no longer have to feel like criminals," said Rob K. Killian, MD, a Seattle hospice physician who organized a ballot initiative. "I felt really sleazy to have to recommend marijuana and then turn my back." The Washington measure gleaned 59% of the vote this year, despite appearances in the state by high-profile opponents such as former First Lady Barbara Bush and the federal drug czar, Barry McCaffrey. "Before you vote, ask yourself, 'What medicines do you smoke?"' warned McCaffrey aide David Vereen, MD. "Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs and immune system." Organized medicine mostly silent But marijuana's medical efficacy got scant attention from state medical societies, which were largely neutral on the initiatives. Only the Nevada society opposed medical marijuana, and only the Alaska society endorsed it. The rest argued that more research is needed to understand marijuana's effects, the same stance taken by the AMA and the CMA. Despite inadequate evidence of its medical efficacy, several national polls showed two-thirds of voters endorsing medical marijuana. "This is really a social issue rather than a medical issue," asserted David Landrith, vice president for policy and political affairs at the Arizona Medical Assn. "People aren't satisfied to jail every offender or put a cop in every window" Indeed, voters in Arizona and Oregon soundly defeated separate initiatives that would have strengthened penalties for marijuana possession. Adding to the sweep, exit polls showed voters in Colorado and the District of Columbia also appeared to approve unauthorized ballot items in favor of medical marijuana. State authorities quashed the Colorado measure, claiming there were not enough valid signatures on petitions to put the measure on the ballot. Congress upheld federal drug policy and barred the District's initiative. Both invalidations are under legal challenge. Proponents hope the sweep of victories for medical marijuana will convince cautious legislators in other states to pass laws. If lawmakers don't act, the initiative mechanism is available in 20 more states. The measure has already been approved for the 1999 Maine ballot. -- End --
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Online Drug War - A virtual breeze comes to Washington (USA Today columnist Sam Vincent Meddis heaps praise on the Drug Reform Coordination Network online library and the web sites and organizations that belong to it, including Common Sense for Drug Policy, the Lindesmith Center, NORML and DrugSense. "The Internet is starting to level the playing field between drug warrior and reformer.") From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Cannabis Culture) To: email@example.com Subject: CC: The Online Drug War Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 13:33:30 -0800 Lines: 116 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Cannabis Culture (http://www.cannabisculture.com/) The Online Drug War Nov. 23, 1998 A virtual breeze comes to Washington By Sam Vincent Meddis, USA TODAY http://www.usatoday.com/life/cyber/cc.htm One of the real nice things about working at USA TODAY is the view. From my cube on the 22nd floor of the company's tower in Arlington, Va., I'm afforded what can only be described as a spectacular panorama of Washington, D.C. What I like best is that on a clear day you can almost see the hot air rising from the various government buildings there. As you might expect, the bombast, deception and exaggeration of official Washington get particularly thick when some hot-button issues pop up on the political agenda, anything from taxes to gun control to Monicagate. But it seems to me that nothing has caused more sustained government hot air than the so-called drug war. Now thanks to the Internet, a cool breeze may be moving in. Let me explain. I personally braved many an anti-drug wind as a reporter for the paper covering criminal justice issues. It even seemed fitting that the last story I wrote before becoming online tech editor here was about our nation's misguided drug policies. The story, which ran on Nov. 20, 1995, was about the FBI's annual report of crime across the USA. What caught my eye were statistics showing that, contrary to drug warriors' get-tough pronouncements, police were arresting more low-level users and fewer dealers, while busting as many people for marijuana as for the hard-core drugs cocaine and heroin combined. Over the years I saw how billions of dollars were misspent on law enforcement efforts to battle drugs: thousands of arrests from inner-city dragnets with military-sounding names, sweeps that turned neighborhoods into war zones; huge increases in prison populations because of mandatory sentences that rivaled punishment for rape and homicide, incarcerations that often only made inmates more crime-prone and violent; extravagant and largely futile measures to prevent illegal drugs from entering our country, such as the ill-conceived dirigibles strung on our southern border that smugglers all-too easily sidestepped. All the while, insufficient attention was paid to the underlying reasons why our nation has such a gigantic drug appetite. Or as Barry Krisberg, president of the National Council of Crime and Delinquency, once described it to me, "why so many people in America want to blot out their existence with drugs." What we need is increased education and less scare tactics, more treatment and fewer busts. But the leaders of America's drug war are, in a sense, addicted to their get-tough policies. What has been lacking on the national scene to help cure them is a stronger reform voice. Until now. The Internet is starting to level the playing field between drug warrior and reformer. ''It's an incredible tool for the reform movement,'' says Kevin Zeese of the group Common Sense for Drug Policy. ''It's been a way to get people communicating, getting the information flow flowing and coordinating.'' The Lindesmith Center, for example, promotes what it calls "harm reduction," an alternative approach to the drug problem that tries to minimize the adverse effects of both drug use and prohibition. Another reform site, DrugSense, serves as a kind of clearinghouse for breaking stories and editorial opinion. Paul Armentano of NORML, which advocates the legalization of marijuana, says it's not a matter of drug-reform Web sites preaching to the converted. NORML's site gets several thousand visitors each day, and the feedback from many first-time visitors is quite positive, he says. "Eventually this is going to cause a very big groundswell for this issue." In addition to providing news reports and backgrounders on issues such as the medical use of marijuana, the site also takes advantage of the Web's interactive capabilities by allowing a visitor to send a free fax to members of Congress. David Borden of the Drug Reform Coordination Network says that federal authorities have historically downplayed studies that contradict their get-tough approach. As then-President Richard Nixon did in 1972 by ordering limited printings of a report calling for decriminalization of personal amounts of marijuana, Borden says. Another government technique is to release critical studies late on a Friday, when little media interest is likely, he says. Because of the organization's Drug Library, studies now are widely available to the public. The internet, says Borden, "is changing things in a fundamental way." Can the Net blow away the anti-drug cloud that hangs over our nation's capitol? I'll be watching. *** Web sites mentioned: Common Sense for Drug Policy http://www.csdp.org/factbook/ Drug Library http://www.druglibrary.org/ Drug Reform Coordination Network http://www.drcnet.org/ DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Lindesmith Center http://www.lindesmith.org/ NORML http://www.norml.org/
------------------------------------------------------------------- DEA Agent From Texas Slain In Colombia Bar Fight (The Dallas Morning News says Frank Arnold Moreno, 37, was shot once in the chest about 1 am outside the El Divino bar in downtown Bogota after what one US Embassy official called "a bar brawl.") Date: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 17:47:32 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: DEA Agent From Texas Slain In Colombia Bar Fight 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: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Copyright: 1998 The Dallas Morning News Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Author: Associated Press DEA AGENT FROM TEXAS SLAIN IN COLOMBIA BAR FIGHT BOGOTA, Colombia - A U.S. drug agent from Texas was shot and killed early Sunday in an entertainment district of Bogota, apparently after an argument in a bar, authorities said. Frank Arnold Moreno, 37, was shot once in the chest about 1 a.m. outside the El Divino bar, U.S. officials said. A bystander was shot in the neck, they said, and police were pursuing a suspect. Mr. Moreno of Edinburg, Texas, had gone to the bar with a male Colombian friend and was killed after what one U.S. Embassy official called "a bar brawl." "I don't think it had anything to do with drugs," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "I understand he was walking away and then boom, boom." Witnesses took Mr. Moreno to a Bogota hospital, where he was declared dead. It was not immediately known whether Mr. Moreno was carrying a gun, and the police official said it did not appear that Mr. Moreno had fired any shots. Authorities said Mr. Moreno, his friend and the gunman had been told to leave the bar because of aggressive behavior that included shouting insults. Mr. Moreno had been in Colombia for about a year and was recently married, officials said. His wife lived with him in Bogota. Police said the body was being flown to the United States on Sunday night. Mr. Moreno had previously been assigned to Oklahoma City. Authorities would not say whether the killing was directly related to a drug investigation. They said they believed the last time a DEA agent was shot in Colombia was in 1982, when two agents investigating marijuana smuggling were wounded in an attack in the Caribbean port of Cartagena. The DEA has about 50 agents in Colombia, the world's leading producer and exporter of cocaine. About 80 percent of the cocaine sold on U.S. streets comes from Colombia, as does an increasing amount of heroin. Colombia has one of the world's highest murder rates, with about 27,000 murders a year.
------------------------------------------------------------------- NT Drugs Shock - They're Rife Among Pupils (According to The NT News, in Australia's Northern Territory, a national survey taken in 1996 suggests that students' cannabis use in the territory was as prevalent as tobacco use, though no more prevalent than in other states or the Australian Capital Territory. The survey found 75 per cent of 17-year-old males had used cannabis at some time in their lives, and half had used cannabis in the seven days before the study.) Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 03:34:14 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Australia: NT Drugs Shock: They'Re Rife Among Pupils Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Ken Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 23 Nov 1998 Source: NT News (Australia) Contact: Fax: +61 8 8981 6045 Page: 1 & 2 Author: Ross Irby NT DRUGS SHOCK: THEY'RE RIFE AMONG PUPILS Report Reveals Dope, Speed Popular Territory school students are big users of cannabis, many sniff petrol, glue or paint, and others have tried LSD and speed, a survey has found. The national survey found cannabis use in the NT is as prevalent as tobacco. But Territory Health officials said drug use among NT students was no worse than in other states or the ACT. Surprise A health spokesman said high use of cannabis and petrol was not a surprise. The 1996 study included 716 students from 10 Territory high schools and four primary schools. It found 75 per cent of 17-year-old male students had used cannabis - half of them used cannabis in the seven days before the study. Of the 16-year-olds surveyed, two in 10 reported using cannabis in the past seven days. About 50 per cent of 15 and 16-year-olds and 17-year-old females said they had tried cannabis. The details are part of the 1996 national study of 29700 students revealed last week at a Ministerial Council on Drug Strategy. It was conducted by the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer but leaked by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre. The survey also found, like the rest of Australia, Territory students aged 12 to 17 were big users of painkillers. Most students, with the exception of 17-year-old males, reported using painkillers in the previous month. Half of 16 and 17-year-old females had used painkillers in the past week. But less than 10 per cent of Territory students reported they had tried ecstasy. Disputed The study also found one third of Territory students aged 16 and 17 had tried LSD - with 16 per cent trying speed (amphetamines). But this figure was disputed as "questionable" by Territory Health Services director of Alcohol and Other Drugs Program, Dr Ian Crundall. Dr Crundall said there was no evidence these drugs were common among the older community and he doubted their use by students. But he agreed NT petrol sniffing was the worst. He said: "We have no evidence LSD is prevalent." "Obviously petrol is an issue -particularly in central Australia. He said: "The use of cannabis is no different here from other states. "Alcohol and tobacco are our major drugs." Health Minister Denis Burke said he was concerned about statistics which found any high use of drugs by Territory youth.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DrugSense Weekly, No. 75 (The weekly summary of drug policy news leads with a feature article by Keith Stroup, director of NORML - So, no one goes to jail for marijuana offenses and they don't arrest medicinal users, about the case of Jean Marlowe. The Weekly News In Review features such articles about Medical Marijuana as - Chavez found guilty in pot club bust; Democracy takes a blow for medical marijuana; Research on medical marijuana still politicized; In England the Lords say yes to medical marijuana, the government no and police arrest patient. Articles about Drug War Policy include - Reform of drug policy - an idea whose time has come; MAMA says education not law enforcement; Family of Mexican slain by Texas police files suit; Arrests soar in crackdown on marijuana; Poppy seeds - everything you wanted to know about growing poppies in your backyard; Bribery of informants questioned in court; Supreme Court looks at need for warrants in auto searches; Drug testing loses a round in Louisiana; No one shows up for national drug testing conference; Home drug test marketers still pushing home testing; Nearly 10 percent of truckers fail Oregon drug test; Random drug testing comes home. Several International News articles include - Germany appoints a czarina who wants to treat drug use as a health matter; Germany moves to open drug injection rooms; Germany moves to begin heroin prescription trials; Australia federal and local elected officials call for heroin trials; England debates whether to expel students involved with drugs or not; Colombia - a new start or the same old problems. The weekly Hot Off The 'Net points to - Prosecutorial abuse examined in ten part series; Marijuana Policy Project analyzes arrests and incarceration of marijuana offenders. The Quote of the Week cites Abraham Lincoln. The Tip Of The Week points to - USA Today conducting on-line poll on drug testing now! The Fact Of The Week notes a Yahoo! online poll supports marijuana law reform by a whopping 84 percent to 15 percent margin.) Date: Wed, 25 Nov 1998 11:02:15 -0800 To: email@example.com From: Mark Greer (MGreer@mapinc.org) Subject: DrugSense Weekly, November 23, 1998 No. 75 *** DRUGSENSE WEEKLY *** DrugSense Weekly, November 23, 1998, No. 75 A DrugSense publication Guest Editor: Kevin B. Zeese, firstname.lastname@example.org This newsletter is available on-line at: http://www.drugsense.org/dsw/1998/ds98.n75.html Do you find this Newsletter useful? Can you help us with a donation? Please see: http://www.drugsense.org/donate.htm You can donate on-line quickly and easily! Or see below for other options. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! *** TABLE OF CONTENTS: * Feature Article So, No One Goes to Jail For Marijuana Offenses and They Don't Arrest Medicinal Users by R. Keith Stroup, Executive Director, NORML * Weekly News In Review Medical Marijuana- Chavez Found Guilty in Pot Club Bust Democracy Takes a Blow For Medical Marijuana Research on Medical Marijuana Still Politicized In England the Lords Say Yes to Medical Marijuana, the Government No and Police Arrest Patient Drug War Policy- Reform of Drug Policy--An Idea Whose Time Has Come. MAMA says Education Not Law Enforcement Family of Mexican Slain by Texas Police Files Suit Arrests Soar in Crackdown on Marijuana Poppy Seeds: Everything you wanted to know about growing poppies in your backyard Bribery of informants questioned in court Supreme Court Looks at Need for Warrants in Auto Searches Drug Testing Loses a Round in Louisiana No One Shows Up for National Drug Testing Conference Home Drug Test Marketers Still Pushing Home Testing Nearly 10% of Truckers Fail Oregon Drug Test Random Drug Testing Comes Home International News- Germany Appoints a Czarina Who Wants to Treat Drug Use as a Health Matter Germany Moves to Open Drug Injection Rooms Germany Moves to Begin Heroin Prescription Trials Australia Federal and Local Elected Officials Call for Heroin Trials England Debates Whether to Expel Students Involved with Drugs or Not Colombia: A New Start or the Same Old Problems * Hot Off The 'Net Prosecutorial Abuse Examined in Ten Part Series Marijuana Policy Project Analyzes Arrests and Incarceration of Marijuana Offenders * Quote of the Week Abraham Lincoln * Tip of the week USA Today Conducting On-line Poll on Drug Testing Now! * Fact of the Week YAHOO On-line Poll Supports MJ Law Reform By a Whopping 84% - 15% *** FEATURE ARTICLE *** So, No One Goes to Jail For Marijuana Offenses and They Don't Arrest Medicinal Users by R. Keith Stroup Executive Director, NORML RKSTROUP@aol.com Marijuana prohibitionists like to claim no one goes to jail for marijuana offenses and that they don't arrest people who are merely using marijuana for medical purposes. The case of medical patient Linda Jean Marlowe shows both those claims to be false. The NORML legal committee has been involved in the prosecution of Ms. Marlowe's for some time, first when the state of North Carolina was prosecuting her and then in the federal prosecution that followed. Yesterday, Tuesday, November 24, 1998, Asheville, NC Federal District Court Judge Lacey Thornburg sentenced this medical marijuana patient to 6 months' home confinement after being jailed for a month. Mrs. Marlowe, known to her friends as "Jean," was arrested and charged with several federal felonies, based on her receipt of a package of marijuana from Switzerland. Jean, 45, has several rare and debilitating diseases, and had obtained the marijuana for her personal medical use. She suffers from porphyria (a congenital liver abnormality), degenerative disk disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. These diseases cause Jean constant, severe pain and the pain causes Jean to vomit repeatedly. Because of her liver condition, Jean can not take conventional pain medications. Dr. Frederick Bissel, Jean's treating physician, explained at a recent hearing that conventional pain medications can harm Jean's diseased liver, while marijuana is a highly effective analgesic and does not damage the liver. Jean's attorneys asked the Court for leave to present evidence of her medical need for marijuana, but the Court refused. Without the option of asserting her only defense, Jean was found guilty by a jury on June 8, 1998. She retained her right to appeal the court's refusal to permit her to raise a medical necessity defense. While out on supervised release awaiting sentencing, Jean continued to smoke marijuana to alleviate pain, causing her to fail several court ordered drug tests, and resulting in her bond being revoked and Jean being incarcerated on November 9, 1998. During her first nights in jail, she had to sleep on the floor of an overcrowded, cold cell with no blankets. Eventually she was moved to solitary confinement since that cell had a bench for sleeping. The cell lacked a sink or toilet, however, and Jean was forced to urinate and vomit into a crack in the floor. Pain is a part of Jean's family history. Jean's father died from multiple sclerosis, and her brother recently killed himself because of the ravaging effects of multiple sclerosis. Jean visited her brother in his hospital room as he lay dying from his own hand. After he died, Jean walked to the hospital parking lot with her husband, Steve, where she was surrounded and arrested by law enforcement officers for her medical use of marijuana. NORML had offered to make Dr. Morgan available as a witness at the sentencing hearing, but the judge again ruled against permitting any medical evidence to be introduced. Thus, the judge is going to sentence Jean while ignoring the significant mitigating fact that she was using marijuana for medical purposes for which there is a great deal of scientific evidence. In this case justice has chosen to be blind of pertinent facts. Earlier this week the FBI reported that for the first time in US history there were 695,201 marijuana arrests last year, 87% of which were for possession. A good deal of those -- no doubt in the thousands -- will spend some time incarcerated. A larger percentage will be put on probation and, like Jean, be subjected to regular urine screens. No doubt some will fail those tests and be incarcerated. Because of record arrests, lengthy sentences and high levels of incarceration, ending marijuana prohibition is perhaps a more pressing matter than ever before. While the highest priority is ensuring that medical patients like Jean Marlowe do not face arrest and incarceration, it is also urgent for marijuana policy to end its reliance on law enforcement and find more sensible approaches to dealing with a substance that many Americans use responsibly. Visit http://www.norml.org for more information on NORML and the work of its legal committee. If you have any questions contact or for more information, please contact: Keith Stroup, Esq. or Tanya Kangas, Esq. at 202-483-5500. *** WEEKLY NEWS IN REVIEW *** Medical Marijuana- *** COMMENT: Medical marijuana continues to be a hot topic both at home and abroad. Martin Chavez, the Orange County marijuana club operator was found guilty in a case where the court refused to allow a Proposition 215 defense and a police investigator testified that police had not been given any training on enforcing Proposition 215 and its relation to marijuana prosecutions. Reformers need to make sure that we will not be hearing many more cases like this as a result of the Democratic sweep in this year's elections. We also need to undo the damage done by people currently in power who have ignored the will of the people as expressed by Proposition 215. Medical marijuana continues to undermine research. Keith Green, a anti-medical marijuana researcher who testified for the DEA in the mid-1980s when marijuana's scheduling was challenged, published research that showed marijuana needs to be smoked throughout the day for glaucoma patients.It's not surprising that a politicized researcher reached a political conclusion. But, even if true there are some patients and doctors who would prefer regular smoking to blindness. Green's political research does not mean police should decide and not patients with their doctors. Democracy continues to be undermined in DC, and the rest of the country is starting to notice. Across the ocean in Great Britain the House of Lords, equivalent to the US Senate, recommended allowing the medical use of marijuana. The government immediately rejected the recommendation and the police arrested a medical marijuana patient putting an emphasis on the point. *** VERDICT IN, JURY STILL OUT ON PROP. 215 The cops and prosecutors got their man: Marvin Chavez is facing prison. To hear them tell it, a drug dealer has been taken off the streets. At moments like these, the rest of us are supposed to feel good because our law enforcement people have used their cunning and muscle to nail a criminal--especially one like Chavez, who, according to the prosecutor, ran "a very sophisticated marijuana-selling business." Or did he? I'd be surprised if the jurors who convicted him Thursday, the police, the judge, or even the prosecutors--really believe that. I'd be surprised if any really believe that Chavez is a threat to anyone. The prosecutors and cops will say they only wanted to remove Marvin Chavez from society; I suspect they're trying to stamp out a social movement toward liberalizing marijuana usage. . . . [snip] Source: Los Angeles Times, Orange County Edition Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/ORANGE/ Pubdate: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 Author: Dana Parsons URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1067.a06.html *** Related articles: POT TRIAL GUILTY VERDICT Source: Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ptconnect.com/ Copyright: 1998 Press-Telegram. Pubdate: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 Author: Joe Segura URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1063.a10.html *** THE CHAVEZ TRIAL Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Pubdate: 20 Nov 98 Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1063.a12.html *** CONGRESS LANDS A HISTORICAL BLOW TO DEMOCRACY On November 4th, the Congress of the United States, which has jurisdiction over the District of Columbia, passed an amendment that stopped democracy cold. The amendment, introduced by Congressman Bob Barr (RGA), makes it illegal for DC to fund the processing of any initiatives that would legalize marijuana. The amendment was a last minute addition to DC's FY 1999 Budget, in the face of an Initiative (Initiative 59) on DC's November general election ballot that would allow terminally ill patients access to marijuana, while protecting their physicians from prosecution should they prescribe it. Voters in Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington recently voted on similar Initiatives that would legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. All but the District of Columbia approved the Initiative. While exiting polls in DC reported overwhelming support for their Initiative 59, the amendment kept the DC's Board of Election from counting the votes and registering the results. [snip] Source: River Cities Reader (IA) Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 98 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.rcreader.com/ Author: Jenny Lesner URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1067.a07.html *** POT AND GLAUCOMA NOTE: This is the source article for an AP and CNN story which has caused much discussion among some of our readers. Source: Archives of Ophthalmology Copyright: 1998 American Medical Association Pubdate: Nov 1998 Section: Clinical Sciences Author: Keith Green, PhD, DSc (e-mail: email@example.com) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org See: http://www.ama-assn.org/public/journals/opht/letters.htm Website: http://www.ama-assn.org/public/journals/opht/ophthome.htm The magazine also published an editorial, posted separately at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1058.a03.html Some of the resulting articles are at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1052.a05.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1048.a11.html http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1046.a07.html *** LORDS RECKON IT'S HIGH TIME FOR A CHANGE BRITISH law should be altered to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana and pharmacists to supply it, according to an influential House of Lords committee. At present, doctors in Britain are not permitted to prescribe cannabis, and patients who want it to relieve the symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis must turn to the black market for supplies. In an unexpectedly forthright report, the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology concludes that this "exposes patients and in some cases their careers to all the distress of criminal proceedings". [snip] Source: New Scientist (U.K.) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.newscientist.com/ Pubdate: 14 Nov 1998 Author: David Concar Section: "This Week" Page 24 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1059.a08.html *** 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. [snip] Source: Guardian, The (Canada) Copyright: Guardian Media Group plc.1998 Contact: Fax: (902) 566-9830 Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Author: David Ward URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1061.a03.html *** Drug Policy- *** COMMENT: This week saw more recognition that it is time for a change in drug policy. Texas-based syndicated columnist Molly Ivins surveyed the drug scene and saw reform in the wind. Also in Texas, the road tour of Sandee Burbank of Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse resulted in a column applauding her sensible -- education-based, not law enforcement-based -- approach to drugs. At the same time in Texas, the harms of the drug war were evident as the family of Pedro Oregon sued Houston for his fatal shooting. Just to the right hand side of Houston -- in New York City -- police were reporting that Mayor Giuliani's drug war was resulting in large increases in marijuana arrests. And, if you think the marijuana situation is bad, imagine what it will be like now that the media is reporting on how to cultivate poppy seeds and get opium. Will we see increases in arrests for people growing poppies? The impact of the drug war on the Constitution was evident in several cases. In Kansas a court of appeals was reviewing whether a mainstay of drug prosecutions was constitutional -- bribing witnesses to testify against drug offenders. The use of informants is widespread and a key tactic in drug enforcement. Courts in Kansas may join courts in other parts of the US who see this is inappropriate. The Supreme Court delved into the privacy of automobiles -- reviewing a case which examines whether police need a warrant to search cars impounded when the occupants are arrested. And, in Louisiana the increasingly common practice of drug testing lost a round as a portion of a very broad Louisiana drug testing law was held unconstitutional -- more suits will be following. Speaking of drug testing, in Utah virtually no one showed up for a national conference on testing student athletes. The Christian Science Monitor reports that employers are having a hard time find good employees if they drug test because applicants avoid their companies. While these may be signs that drug testing has reached its apex, at the same time marketers of home drug test kits got some media coverage for their product for parents who can't parent and Oregon is reporting that spot checks of truckers found ten percent tested positive. *** IT'S TIME FOR NEW TACTICS IN AMERICA'S WAR ON DRUGS AUSTIN -- Heads up, team: I think we're starting to see a major change in the old `Zeitgeist' on the issue of drugs. This is one of those seismic shifts when the unsayable suddenly becomes sayable, when we notice that the emperor is wearing no clothes. The main problem with the war on drugs -- you've probably noticed -- is that we're losing. We're also seeing the start of a consensus that it's time to try something else. One way you can tell when one of these major shifts is happening is when some of those speaking out are so respected and respectable that they give cover to others who are more conformist. [snip] Source: Ft. Worth Star-Telegram (TX) Copyright: 1998 Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas Pubdate: Monday, 16 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.star-telegram.com/ Columnist: Molly Ivins, Fort Worth Editorial Columnist URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1059.a04.html Note: Molly Ivins is a columnist for the 'Star-Telegram.' You may write to her at 1005 Congress Ave., Suite 920, Austin, TX 78701; or email her at email@example.com *** COMMON SENSE AND DRUG WOES Mama always says we need to teach people social skills so they know how to manage their lives without drugs. MAMA says that a lot. As a matter of fact, Sandee Burbank, 54, director of Mothers Against Misuses and Abuse since she co-founded the organization in 1982 in Oregon, is going about the country with a slide show called "Listen to MAMA, We Can Solve Our Drug Problems." Sandee believes that education and individual common sense can be far more effective than the government's oppressive war on drugs. [snip] Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Author: Thom Marshall URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1058.a01.html *** FAMILY OF MEXICAN SLAIN BY TEXAS POLICE FILES SUIT HOUSTON (Reuters) - Family and friends of an illegal Mexican immigrant shot and killed by police during a botched drug bust sued the city of Houston Tuesday. The suit seeks unspecified damages in the death of Pedro Oregon Navarro, who was shot 12 times -- nine times in the back -- when six police officers burst into his Houston apartment without a warrant in search of drugs on July 12. ``We are making allegations against the city of Houston that policies and practices have failed... particularly in the recruiting, hiring and training of officers,'' attorney Richard Mithoff told a news conference. . . . They entered Oregon's apartment without a legal warrant after an informant, drunk and on cocaine, told them he bought drugs there. [snip] Pubdate: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 Source: Wire: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Author: Jeff Franks URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1059.a06.html *** Related article: FBI CHIEF MEETS WITH OREGON FAMILY Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Author: JO ANN ZUIGA URL:http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1046.a01.html *** ARRESTS SOAR IN CRACKDOWN ON MARIJUANA NEW YORK -- Arrests on marijuana charges here have jumped to a record level this year, driven by the Giuliani administration's "zero tolerance" approach that has police officers pursuing anyone found possessing, selling or smoking even small amounts of marijuana. Law enforcement officials project that at the current pace, the New York City Police Department could arrest as many as 40,000 people by the end of the year on charges of possessing or selling marijuana. That would be eight times the number of arrests just six years ago. [snip] Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The New York Times Company Section: Metro, Page B1 Pubdate: 17 November 1998 Author: Kevin Flynn URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1052.a04.html *** 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. . . . 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 seed pods filled with thousands of seeds and a milky sap that will ooze out through any slits made in the pod walls. [snip] Source: San Luis Obispo County NewTimes (CA) Section: Cover Story Contact: email@example.com Website: http://newtimes-slo.com/ Pubdate: Thu, 19 Nov 1998 Author: Steven T. Jones URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1065.a05.html *** COURT TO DECIDE LEGALITY OF REWARDING INFORMANTS WICHITA, Kan. - Sonya Singleton's name may soon go down in legal history - right beside Ernesto Miranda, Dred Scott and Jane Roe as people whose battles in the courts dramatically changed American society. On Tuesday, lawyers for Ms. Singleton will ask a federal appeals court in Denver to make a decision that legal experts say could throw the criminal justice system into immediate upheaval. Hundreds of thousands of cases could be dismissed, and law enforcement could be stripped of its most powerful investigative tool. The issue is whether prosecutors are committing bribery when they use witnesses who have been paid money or given reduced prison sentences in return for testifying in criminal trials. Ms. Singleton's chances of winning are good, according to analysts. Since July, four separate federal courts, including a Denver appeals court, have ruled that it is illegal for paid informants to testify during a trial. [snip] Source: Dallas Morning News (TX) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.dallasnews.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Dallas Morning News Pubdate: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 Author: Mark Curriden / The Dallas Morning News URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1054.a05.html *** JUSTICES CONSIDERING DRUG SEARCH LEGALITIES High court to decide if police need warrants WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court on Monday delved into the constitutionality of the war on drugs by agreeing to decide whether police need a warrant before searching a car suspected of having been used in a cocaine deal. The case, from Florida, questions the extent to which police may examine the automobiles they impound while investigating illegal drug activity. While courts have upheld the right of police to seize the vehicles, a question remains whether officers may then search them without first getting a judge's permission. [snip] Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Pubdate: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 Author: Steve Lash URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1052.a01.html *** COURT VOIDS LOUISIANA DRUG TEST LAW NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- A federal judge on Friday struck down a Louisiana law requiring random drug testing of elected officials, rejecting arguments that the governor made in court in support of the law. U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon said the law violates the Constitution's Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search and seizures. He said the state failed to show a special need to test elected officials. [snip] Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Pubdate: Sat, 20 Nov 1998 Author: Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1066.a01.html *** SESSION ON DRUG TESTS IS A BUST A national school athlete drug-testing conference came to Salt Lake City Monday, but no Utah school representatives came, and only about two dozen officials from neighboring states attended. "We're kind of taken aback by the lack of people. Maybe they don't have any drug problems in Salt Lake City," said Randall Aultman, retired principal of Vernonia High School in Oregon whose random athlete drug-testing policy prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995. "The (drug) problem has grown in schools. Not enough is being done to stem it." Aultman speaks at conferences, funded by pharmaceutical and drug-testing company American Bio Medica Corp., across the country. [snip] Source: Desert News (UT) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.desnews.com/ Pubdate: Wed, 18 Nov 1998 Author: Jennifer Toomer-Cook URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1059.a01.html *** HOW DRUG TESTING HAS CHANGED THE JOB MARKET Fearing A Bad Result, Many Job Seekers Are Not Applying For Positions That Require Mandatory Testing. And With Jobless Rates Low, Many Firms Are Now Feeling The Crunch. DENVER When Noel Ginsberg, president of Intertech Plastics Inc., discovered that half the candidates for jobs at his firm are eliminated because they fail or refuse to take a drug test, he was astonished. [snip] Source: Christian Science Monitor (US) Copyright: 1998 The Christian Science Publishing Society. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.csmonitor.com/ Pubdate: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 Author: Jillian Lloyd URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1069.a05.html *** NEARLY 10% OF TRUCKERS FAIL OREGON DRUG TEST 2-They should worry about the equipment instead of drivers that might have used marijuana a week ago. Safety: Checkpoints Turn Up Evidence Of Drivers Using Marijuana, Cocaine And More. But Some Of Their Vehicles Were In Even Worse Shape. PORTLAND, Ore.-A 48-hour check of trucks along Oregon's southern border showed nearly one in 10 drivers tested positive for drug use, an Oregon State Police report says. And the numbers may be higher. The trucks themselves were in even worse shape. [snip] Pubdate: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 Source: Los Angeles Times (CA) Copyright: 1998 Los Angeles Times Contact: email@example.com Fax: 213-237-4712 Website: http://www.latimes.com/ Author: Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a02.html *** RANDOM DRUG TESTING COMES HOME On a weekday afternoon in 1992, Sunny Cloud, an insurance saleswoman and single mother in Marietta, Ga., dropped by her home unexpectedly and found her 16-year-old son, Ron, smoking marijuana. Stunned, Ms. Cloud hustled the boy off to the nearest hospital emergency room, where she asked doctors to screen his urine. "I was scared," she said recently, "and I didn't know what else to do." The procedure was expensive, and embarrassing. So Ms. Cloud, still suspicious of her son, decided to do her own drug tests, sending him into the family bathroom in boxer shorts with instructions to come out with a cup full of urine that she could ship to a local laboratory for analysis. That is how Ms. Cloud began a cottage industry: the home drug testing business. As more teenagers experiment with illicit drugs, a small but growing roster of companies, including Parents Alert, founded by Ms. Cloud. [snip] Source: New York Times (NY) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.nytimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The New York Times Company Pubdate: 17 Nov 1998 Section: Health & Fitness, Page F7 Author: Sheryl Gay Stolberg *** International News *** COMMENT: Holland and Switzerland may soon have to be running to catch up to Germany. The new progressive government has appointed a drug czarina who favors trials on heroin by prescription, injection rooms for drug users and treating marijuana like alcohol. Already, the drug branch has been moved into the Department of Health. In Australia pressure continued to mount for a heroin by prescription trial. A joint group of federal and state officials along with mayors called for a change in policy that would test prescribing heroin. In England a debate is beginning on whether students involved with drugs should be expelled. The School Standards Minister has said expelling students only drives them into the drug scene. Traditionalists are outraged at the suggestion and calling for a continued hard line. The US is claiming it is a new day in Colombia. The White House is getting out the message that we can trust Colombia, they are serious about drug control and really trying to end human rights abuses. At the same time, law enforcement officials busted Colombian military personnel -- without letting the government know in advance -- sure we're working with them. The White House is talking a good game, but the actions of the police show it is the same old story. *** FIRST QUESTION: WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH? The `Red-Green' Way To A More Liberal Drug Policy `Red-Green' federal government will hold to a more liberal path in its drug policy than its predecessor. Proceeding on the principle that addiction is a sickness, the newly appointed federal `drug czar', Christa Nickels, will emphasize education and "Assistance not Punishment". Christa Nickels is satisfied. Her office has been transferred from the Home Office to the Department of Health. That sends the signal that drug policy will henceforth be based on a humanitarian, health model, and not a law enforcement model. Eduard Lintner, her predecessor, saw things quite differently. The Swiss model he regarded as a "Horror," as he announced after a visit. The number of drug related mortalities rose steadily during his term in office. A Swiss model will be followed also in the proposed clinics where addicts can inject in a safe, supportive environment. Heroin will also be provided as soon as the law has been revised. Frankfurt's experience with its trial since 1994 has been very encouraging. What all the experts have been demanding for a long time is now a step closer. [snip] Source: Frankfurter Rundschau Copyright: Frankfurter Rundschau 1998 Pubdate: 20 Nov 98 Contact: email@example.com Fax: +49 +69 2199 3421 Author: Jutta Redmann Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1066.a09.html Note: Main points summarized. *** Related articles: CHRISTA NICKELS NEW FEDERAL DRUG CZAR Source: Schwaebische Zeitung (Germany) Copyright: Schwaebischer Verlag KG 1998 Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.schwaebische-zeitung.de Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1066.a07.html *** COUNTDOWN TO THE FIRST FIXING ROOMS Source: Sueddeutsche Zeitung (Germany) Copyright: Sueddeutscher Verlag GmbH, Munich (S.German Publishing Co.) Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/ Author: Martin Thurau Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1049.a08.html *** HEROIN TO BE DISTRIBUTED FIRST IN HAMBURG AND FRANKFURT Hamburg (AP) The trial of a state controlled distribution of heroin to sick addicts will begin in Hamburg and Frankfurt. Federal Health Minister Andrea Fischer told the German newsmagazine 'Der Spiegel' that the preparations were already well advanced in the two cities. The Greens Minister declared that the distribution would be expanded to include convicts. She would also seek agreement from her colleagues on a unified sanctions policy on marihuana possession. Comparing marihuana with alcohol, Fischer said moderate life-long consumption caused no harmful effects: "Some can manage that, many others can't." [snip] Source: Siegener (Germany) Pubdate: 15 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.pipeline.de/ Translator: Pat Dolan (from German) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1053.a07.html *** Related article: LOERRACH APPLIES TO JOIN THE NEW DRUG PROJECT Source: Stuttgarter Zeitung (Germany) Copyright: 1998 Stuttgarter Nachrichte Pubdate: 21 Nov 1998 Website: http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/ Translator: Pat Dolan (from German text) URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1067.a02.html *** HEROIN TRIALS URGED A joint group of State and federal politicians - and the nation's lord mayors - have issued a united call for controlled heroin trials. The group, which came together for the first time yesterday in Adelaide, will compile a direct submission to the Prime Minister, Mr Howard, urging him to relax his opposition to the trial. The chairman of the Capital City Lord Mayors Conference, Brisbane Lord Mayor Mr Jim Soorley, said drug law reform was long overdue in Australia's cities. [snip] Source: Advertiser, The (Australia) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.advertiser.com.au/ Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Page: 10 Author: Annabel Crabb, Political Reporter URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1049.a05.html *** Related article: DRUG TOLL WORSENS, POLITICAL WILLPOWER STILL MISSING Editorial calling for immediate action instead of heroin injection trials. Source: Vancouver Province (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.vancouverprovince.com/newsite/news-c.html Copyright: The Province, Vancouver 1998 Pubdate: Sun, 15 Nov 1998 Author: Jim McNulty URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1048.a09.html *** GIVE A SECOND CHANCE, SAYS MINISTER Don't Expel Drug Takers, Schools Told CHILDREN who experiment with drugs should not be expelled from school automatically, teachers will be told in government guidelines to be published tomorrow. Estelle Morris, the School Standards Minister, told independent school headmistresses yesterday that she understood parents' desire for "zero tolerance" , but it was often better to give a second chance to lessen the risk of children sliding into regular usage. [snip] Source: Times, The (UK) Copyright: 1998 Times Newspapers Ltd. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: Tue, 17 Nov 1998 Author: John O'Leary, Education Correspondent URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1055.a08.html *** HEADS IN CLASH WITH MINISTER ON DRUGS HEAD teachers yesterday criticized the Government's call for leniency over pupils caught with drugs as Estelle Morris, the Schools Minister, defended her advice not to adopt a "zero tolerance" approach. [snip] Source: Times, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.the-times.co.uk/ Pubdate: 18 Nov 1998 Author: Susie Steiner URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1063.a08.html *** IT'S AN ENTIRELY NEW GAME IN COLOMBIA WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Not long ago, many Americans' perceptions of Latin America revolved around images of drug training, human rights abuses, anti-democratic leaders, and guerrilla insurgences. Now, open-market democracy is the norm. Human rights are generally respected. And even though significant problems remain, the United States is now turning to its Latin American partners--rather than turning on them--to seize opportunities while working to solve those problems that continue to exist. Nowhere is this promise truer than in Colombia. On Oct. 28, President Clinton welcomed Colombia's new president, Andres Pastrana, to the White House for an official state visit--a remarkable turnaround from the previous government of Ernesto Samper, whose U.S. visa had been revoked. [snip] Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1 Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Author: Eric Farnsworth, Former White House policy adviser, Senior Adviser, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP Pubdate: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1055.a05.html *** COLOMBIAN SAYS U.S. MISHANDLED BUST BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- President Andres Pastrana accused the United States of mishandling a drug bust on a Colombian air force plane, saying U.S. officials should have told his government before the plane took off from Colombia that it carried cocaine. [snip] Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle Pubdate: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 Author: Associated Press URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1046.a02.html *** HOT OFF THE 'NET *** The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is running a ten part series on prosecutorial abuse, "Win At All Costs." It can be found on line at: http://www.post-gazette.com/win/ Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) Copyright: 1998 PG Publishing. Pubdate: Sun, 22 Nov 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.post-gazette.com/ Author: Bill Moushey, Post-Gazette Staff Writer URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1068.a04.html *** The Marijuana Policy Project reports that last year there was a record number of marijuana arrests and that over 35,000 people are incarcerated on marijuana charges. MPP's report is available on-line at: http://www.mpp.org/prisoners.html. *** QUOTE OF THE WEEK *** NOTE: submitted by Rick L. Meredith Just released from a Federal prison camp. "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." -- Abraham Lincoln *** FACT OF THE WEEK *** ON-LINE POLL SUPPORTS MJ LAW REFORM BY A WHOPPING 84% - 15% Yahoo conducted a web poll asking: "Should marijuana be legalized in the United States? Of 11,462 votes (final) Yes, for any use. 68% Yes, but only for medical purposes. 16% No, it should never be legalized. 15% *** TIP OF THE WEEK USA TODAY CONDUCTING ON-LINE POLL NOW http://www.usaweekend.com/ Drug-testing students for after-school activities, even yearbook and chess club, is ... Results so far: 38% Student drug-testing is an excellent idea. 61% No, it is unreasonable. -- 2491 USA WEEKEND visitors weighed in with their opinion on this topic. *** DS Weekly is one of the many free educational services DrugSense offers our members. Watch this feature to learn more about what DrugSense can do for you. 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