Portland NORML News - Friday, November 27, 1998

Prosecutor In Pot Case Suspended, Investigated (The Associated Press
says Assistant US Attorney John Lyons, the prosecutor in a marijuana
smuggling case in San Francisco against a onetime member of Thailand's
Parliament, has been suspended for a month during an investigation of his
conduct. The lawyer for Thanong Siriprechapong, who is charged with smuggling
four tons of marijuana into the United States, accuses Lyons of concealing
the fact that a US Customs agent who was the chief investigator and sole
grand jury witness for the prosecution took a $4,000 kickback
from an informant.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 11:05:48 -0800 From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews) To: mapnews@mapinc.org Subject: MN: US CA: Prosecutor In Pot Case Suspended, Investigated Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: Nov 27, 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. PROSECUTOR IN POT CASE SUSPENDED, INVESTIGATED Courts: Federal attorney is accused of lying in bid to convict former Thai lawmaker accused of smuggling. SAN FRANCISCO--The prosecutor in a marijuana smuggling case against a onetime member of Thailand's Parliament has been suspended for a month during an investigation of his conduct. Assistant U.S. Atty. John Lyons is accused by the defendant's lawyer of concealing the fact that a customs agent who was the chief investigator and sole grand jury witness for the prosecution took a $4,000 kickback from an informant. The agent, Frank M. Gervacio, pleaded guilty in September to a misdemeanor charge of illegally augmenting his salary. According to court documents, Lyons tried to get Gervacio's prosecution delayed while the smuggling case was pending. The drug defendant, Thanong Siriprechapong, is charged with smuggling 4 tons of marijuana into the United States, conspiring to smuggle 15 more tons and leading an organization that smuggled marijuana in freight containers and aboard ships between 1973 and 1987. He was a member of Thailand's Parliament from 1983 to 1986 and from 1992 to May 1994. He also is the first Thai citizen extradited to the United States. His lawyer, Karen Snell, is seeking dismissal of the charges because of Gervacio's conduct, which then-U.S. Atty. Michael Yamaguchi and several aides knew about for months but failed to disclose to either the defense or the trial judge. Snell contends that Lyons, who led the prosecution team against Siriprechapong, lied to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker about the matter. Papers filed Tuesday by the office of Yamaguchi's successor, U.S. Atty. Robert Mueller, acknowledge that Snell has made "credible allegations of errors in prosecutorial judgment and possible post-indictment misconduct." But the prosecutor's office also said the allegations did not involve the heart of the case against Siriprechapong or justify the dismissal of the charges. Mueller's office said Lyons has been placed on 30 days' administrative leave, with pay, while his actions are investigated.

Prisons - Shootings by Guards in 24 of 31 Cases - Seven of Them Fatal -
Were Unjustified, Investigators Say (According to The Associated Press,
a report released Wednesday by an independent panel in response
to a Los Angeles Times request filed under the California Public Records Act,
concluded that two dozen shootings of inmates at Corcoran State Prison
from 1989 to 1995 were unjustified.)

Date: Sun, 29 Nov 1998 08:27:27 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US CA: Prison Shootings Unjustified
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: John W. Black
Pubdate: Nov 27, 1998
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1998 Associated Press.


Los Angeles-An independent panel concluded that two dozen shootings of
inmates at Corcoran State Prison were unjustified, it was reported Thursday.

In a report released Wednesday, The Select Shooting Review Panel found that
24 of 31 inmate shootings at Corcoran from 1989 to 1995-seven of them
fatal-involved an unjustified use of force.

The panel also said the State Department of Corrections' entire system for
investigating and prosecuting prison shootings is flawed.

The 53-page report was released at the Los Angeles Times' request under the
state Public Records Act.

The panel, comprising two former police chiefs and a retired FBI agent, was
appointed by Corrections Director Cal Terhune to look into the shootings.

Terhune said he was troubled by the findings but viewed the probe as

"There is no way to do it without us taking a risk. And that's the only way
you're going to change something," Terhune said.

Sen. Richard Polanco, D-Los Angeles, who was co-chairman of earlier
legislative hearings on the San Joaquin Valley prison, said the panel's
findings proved that state officials were irresponsible in their handling of

"We had a shooting gallery going on at Corcoran and the blue-ribbon panel
basically verified it. That's incredible,'" he said.

The report criticized the process of investigating inmate shootings.

"There is neither fact nor perception that such incidents are scrutinized by
anyone outside of the prison system and no one is required to render a
decision concerning the legality of a shooting," the panel determined.

State prison guards did not understand which situations dictated the use of
deadly force, the panel said, and the policy on use of such force was poorly

Terhune said the department has begun steps to restrict the use of deadly
force, provide more training and beef up oversight and investigations of the

The incidents reviewed included 1994 death of inmate Preston Tate, who was
killed by a guard while fighting in the recreation yard.

The Tate case was the subject of a four-year FBI probe at Corcoran. It led
to a federal indictment of eight officers accused of setting up fights for
"amusement and blood sport." A trial was scheduled for next year.

Earlier this month, the state agreed pay $825,000 to settle a civil rights
lawsuit filed on behalf of Tate's family.

NORML Benefit in Las Vegas on Saturday Nov. 27 (The Las Vegas
Review-Journal publicizes an evening of local entertainment at Legends
Restaurant & Lounge.)

Date: Wed, 2 Dec 1998 19:56:34 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: US NV: NORML Benefit in Las Vegas on Saturday Nov 27
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: compassion23@geocities.com (Frank S. World)
Pubdate: November 27, 1998
Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV)
Copyright: Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1998
Contact: letters@lvrj.com
Fax: 702-383-4676
Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/
Author: Mike Weatherford Review-Journal


Local Performers Showcased On Various Stages

A slow weekend for national touring acts gives locals in need of small
sanctuary a chance to check out some of their hard-working Las Vegas
performers. Many of those undiscovered talents have been convening
under the banner of WorldFolk, a nonprofit organization devoted to
"letting people know there's more culture in Las Vegas than Wayne
Newton and The Flying Elvi," says spokeswoman Leslie Belford. The
group stages eclectic and "very casual" events that give local
performers "a forum to hone their skills," Belford says. WorldFolk
also presents an hour of home-grown tunes called "Music Milieu" that
airs at midnight Saturdays (early Sundays) on KLAV-AM 1230.

On Saturday, the group stages a daylong benefit for NORML -- the
National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws -- at Legends
Restaurant & Lounge, 865 N. Lamb Blvd. Admission is a $5 donation for
the event that begins at 9 a.m. with hemp pancakes and ends at 3 a.m.,
or whenever August West, a local Grateful Dead cover band, decides to
hang it up.

In between comes everything from poets to belly dancers, Belford says.
Performers range from established local pros such as Conni Emerson to
new acts.

Among those scheduled to drop in: Andrew Hall, Dale Downing, Lane
Weight, The King Cartel, Lo-C, Chris Ewell, Zarinah, Soul Diva, Mike
Vaughan, The Buzznutz, Trinity, Soul For Sale, B-Sick, Flip The Cat,
Bob Crossland, Sky-9, 420 One Adam, The Zulu Nimrods, Opium, Jess
Romero, Rose Oyamot, Uncle John, Francine, Glen Volgunza, James
Jackson, Mike Lee and Marcello del Giudice.

Is Pacifism a Mental Problem? (Terry Mitchell, director of the Greenpanthers,
protests pacifists' "control" of the marijuana-law-reform movement.)
Link to earlier story
Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 13:16:08 -0500 From: Scott Dykstra (rumba2@earthlink.net) Reply-To: rumba2@earthlink.net To: "rumba2@earthlink.net" (rumba2@earthlink.net) Subject: Greenpanthers Reality Article/Pacifism Nearing it's End? IS PACIFISM A MENTAL PROBLEM? by Terry Mitchell--- Executive Director, Greenpanthers IS PACIFISM A MENTAL PROBLEM? As a longtime pot legalization activist, I never cease to be amazed at the control of the pot movement by pacifists --- and the resulting problems. One need only listen to the speeches coming from the stage of a pot rally to hear the words that hobble our culture. The constant boo-hooing over the deaths of police, the appeals for working through the system and the espousing of false hopes makes me sick. To hear the pacifists tell it, all we have to do is write or email our "representatives", vote Libertarian, mediate for peace, sign the petition and voila we'll be free. If it were only that easy. Anyone who takes the time to look, can easily see the weaknesses in such methods. :-( Letters and email, no matter how well written, mean nothing to politicians with vested interests in keeping the war going. This includes ads in the "NY Times." It's about power. :-( Voting Libertarian, while a reward to one's conscience, is of little value. The Libertarian Party has no power on Capitol Hill or in The White House. :-( Mediating for peace, as practiced at the numerous Anti-UN War on Drugs rallies, changes absolutely nothing. :-( Petitions abound. Some have merit but there is little to show for such efforts in any area. Bills for legal hemp and medical marijuana get passed, but the arrests and jailings go on. Don't believe me? Go answer the phones at NORML. But don't repeat these things to their face. Some proponents of pacifism can be very self-righteous about their methods and react angrily when the weaknesses are pointed out. According to them, only their methods are right and anyone who disagrees is wrong. If you think pacifists react strangely when confronted with the ineffectiveness of their methods, just mention the real solution to the problem of oppression --- the armed struggle. ( You'll want to drink some coffee first.) What you'll be treated to is a trip down memory lane about Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King. You'll hear great pronouncements about how their methods accomplished so much and how they are the solution to all of life's problems. Many pacifists can drone on endlessly. According to them Hitler and Pol Pot could have been rendered politically impotent if only people would have staged sit down protests in the German beer halls and Cambodian jungles. Truth is, they would have been beaten to a pulp and skinned alive. Even on Internet anti-war on drugs discussion groups pacifist myths flourish. I received one email in particular stating that the Vietnam War ended solely because of non-violent protests, the Soviet Union fell because of people chanting in front of the Berlin Wall and Suharto resigned as head honcho of Indonesia because of negative emails. The truth is the Vietnam War ended because the North Vietnamese army pushed the South Vietnamese and American armies into the sea, the Soviet Union spent itself to death trying to keep up with western weapons technologies and Suharto resigned because if he hadn't, the citizens would have burned down the other half of their capitol city Jakarta. Nothing pacifistic about it. Undoubtedly the most bizarre example of pacifism was when a respected Libertarian whose name escapes me, stated that " if kidnapped, it would be unethical to cut the rope and escape --- because it is the kidnapper's rope." But shit! Not only would I cut the rope, I'd use it to strangle the kidnapper. Pacifism under such circumstances is just plain crazy. The real street-level experiences of our culture in this War on Drugs are horrible and growing in numbers every day. How people can keep entertaining delusional ideas in the face of such evidence is a shining example of another symptom of mental disorder; denial of reality. The odds are pacifists will be shouting for petitions, ballot status and mediations for peace even as they are thrown into the gas chambers. The only real solution to our culture's problem is a land where we can live in peace. A separate nation made up of the refugees from this global War on Drugs. Like the Pilgrims from Europe who fled to North America in search of religious freedom and wound up founding a nation that puts freedom of religion first, we must found a nation that puts personal freedom alongside the freedom of religion. Then defend those freedoms with force, not helpless pacifism. http://www.greenpanthers.org

Medical marijuana initiatives shift the front of the drug war (An op-ed
in The Philadelphia Inquirer by Mike Gray, author of "Drug Crazy,"
says the electoral earthquake that rocked the Republican Party this month
also jolted the foundations of another prominent ideological temple -
the federal drug war establishment. No longer can politicians count on
automatic support for the war on marijuana users.)

Newshawk: Richard Lake http://www.MAPinc.org/
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Nov 1998
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)
Section: Opinion
Contact: Inquirer.Opinion@phillynews.com
Website: http://www.phillynews.com/
Copyright: 1998 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Author: Mike Gray http://www.drugcrazy.com/
Note: Printed in the Inquirer: Mike Gray, author of Drug Crazy, is on the
board of directors of Common Sense for Drug Policy.

Medical marijuana initiatives shift the front of the drug war

By Mike Gray

The earthquake that rocked the Republican Party this month
also jolted the foundations of another prominent ideological temple: the
federal drug war establishment.

In nine separate ballots in six states and the District of Columbia, voters
ignored the advice of former presidents and high government officials,
opting instead for the most significant challenge to drug war orthodoxy
since President Jimmy Carter called on Congress to decriminalize marijuana
in 1977.

For 25 years, the government has maintained that marijuana is so dangerous
we couldn't even talk about it. Now the issue is on the table, like it or
not, and if it turns out that marijuana is a medicine instead of the
devil's handmaiden, public support for arresting nonmedical users will
begin to erode.

Over the strenuous objection of politicians and lawmakers of every
persuasion, voters in Alaska, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Washington
state and the District of Columbia decided that it's OK for sick people to
smoke marijuana. As if to make sure the message was understood, several of
the most outspoken foes of medical marijuana had their hats handed to them
on a platter. California Attorney General Dan Lungren battled tooth and
nail against this idea when his fellow Californians kicked off the revolt
two years ago, but he found himself cast as the heavy in a war against
cancer patients. It contributed to the ultimately fatal image problems of
his gubernatorial campaign.

The drug warriors clearly understand this is a defining moment, but they
are in a tight spot. Two years ago, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the White House
drug czar, led a frontal attack on California's medical-marijuana
initiative, Proposition 215 ("Cheech and Chong medicine," he called it),
but his take-no-prisoners assault apparently backfired, and it passed with
room to spare.

This time McCaffrey maintained a lower profile, avoiding any direct
engagement with the other side. Though he lost every battle in the
anti-marijuana campaign, he did manage to keep the war off the front page.

The urgency of this confrontation for both sides is demonstrated by the
back-door effort to keep the issue from even coming to a vote wherever
possible. When medical marijuana qualified for the ballot in the District
of Columbia, North Carolina Sen. Lauch Faircloth said, "I'd do anything I
could to block it," and he did. But even taking the unprecedented step of
forbidding local officials from counting the votes could not keep the lid
on. Exit polls showed that the initiative had been approved in D.C. by a
ratio of 2 to 1. So the issue will undoubtedly return to the nation's
capital, but Faircloth will not. He lost to a moderate Democrat.

Officials in Colorado similarly tried to prevent a vote on that state's
medical-marijuana initiative. At the last minute, they decided that the
measure had not qualified even though the initiative already was on the
ballot. But the voters voted anyway, and medical marijuana finished with a
14-point lead.

In states in which the vote was unimpeded, the spread was even more
impressive. Washington state's medical-marijuana initiative not only won by
a landslide, it also led in every county -- which means that every member
of the Washington congressional delegation from Spokane to Cape Flattery is
from a district that voted for medical marijuana.

But nowhere was the battle more clearly drawn than in Arizona. Two years
ago, 65 percent of Arizona voters passed a medical-marijuana initiative --
only to have it thrown back in their faces by the state legislature. Under
pressure from the White House, the state nullified the will of the voters.

Officials convinced themselves that the public had been duped by clever
advertising. But you don't stiff 65 percent of the electorate without
paying a price down the line, and this time the voters not only underscored
their original intention, they also passed a second law that severely
trimmed the legislature's power to do anything about it. This time there
was no talk about who had been duped.

The long-term problem for the drug warriors was most visible in the erosion
of support in the state of Oregon. Medical marijuana wasn't the main issue
there. Possession of an ounce or less has been virtually legal since 1973.
But the state legislature, in a classic misreading of the public mood,
decided to outlaw the weed once and for all. They placed a measure on the
ballot that would have restored criminal penalities for any amount of
marijuana, and it went down in flames, 2-1.

The aftershocks from these votes could have profound implications for the
future of the drug war itself. As author Dan Baum noted in his 1996
critique, Smoke and Mirrors, if you take marijuana out of the equation, the
number of so-called serious drug users drops from 13 million to 3 million,
and the drug war shrinks from a cabinet-level jihad to a sideshow.

To maintain its $50-billion-a-year effort, the government must defeat
medical marijuana at all costs. The current strategy is to ignore these
storm clouds and hope they blow away. But if this latest referendum is a
clue, they will have to stick their heads in the sand more deeply.

How a DC Referendum Wound Up in Limbo - Marijuana Ballots May Never
Be Tallied (The Washington Post presents a history, including recent
developments, of Initiative 59, the medical marijuana initiative quashed
by a voice vote in the House of Representatives. This week, the Justice
Department announced it would fight the ACLU's lawsuit seeking to certify
the election results.)

Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 00:21:32 -0600
From: "Frank S. World" (compassion23@geocities.com)
Reply-To: compassion23@geocities.com
Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/
To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (medmj@drcnet.org)
Subject: US DC: How a D.C. Referendum Wound Up in Limbo
Sender: owner-medmj@drcnet.org
Source: Washington Post
Contact: http://washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/edit/letters/letterform.htm
Website: http://www.washingtonpost.com/
Pubdate: November 27, 1998

How a D.C. Referendum Wound Up in Limbo
Marijuana Ballots May Never Be Tallied

By David Montgomery Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, November 27, 1998; Page A01

Wayne Turner was home watching C-SPAN the night the House of Representatives
tried to end his crusade.

Turner and his partner, Steve Michael, had launched a petition drive for a
ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for seriously ill District
residents. Michael, who had AIDS, died in May. Near the end of his life, he
removed his name as sponsor of the drive and added Turner's, because he knew
the sponsor must be a living D.C. voter. And he made Turner promise to keep
the initiative alive.

Now, on Aug. 6, Turner flicked on the TV. It was past Hour Six of the
droning debate on the D.C. budget.

On screen, Rep. Robert L. Barr Jr. (R-Ga.) rose to his feet. He started
assailing "these drug legalization people" -- and Turner realized that Barr
was talking about him. The former federal prosecutor introduced an amendment
forbidding the city to spend money on a medical marijuana referendum.

Turner yelled at the television. What could this mean? He'd been gathering
signatures for a year and a half -- was it all about to go down the drain?

The latest installment had begun in the long-running melodrama starring the
District and its constitutional keeper, Congress. Each player -- the
determined congressman, the outraged home rule partisans, the besieged D.C.
delegate, the trapped bureaucrat, the earnest city lawyers -- acted out
well-rehearsed roles.

The result: impasse.

Three weeks after D.C. voters cast their ballots in a legally valid
referendum, those votes have not been counted. They may never be counted.
What started as an argument over public health policy has blossomed into the
most bizarre -- though perhaps inevitable -- consequence to date of the
Founding Fathers' curious invention of a federal city-without-a-state.

Congress has imposed or vetoed laws and policies over the objections of the
city's elected leaders many times before, but not since home rule has the
right to run a local election been denied.

Congress passed Barr's amendment as part of the national budget last month,
and President Clinton signed it into law. On Election Day, because the
ballots had already been printed, residents were able to vote for or against
Initiative 59, as the medical marijuana ballot question was called. But to
comply with the new law, the election board's software specialist instructed
the computer not to spit out the results.

The fight over Initiative 59 is now before a judge in U.S. District Court.
Attorneys for the city and the American Civil Liberties Union have argued
that the law violates the First Amendment right of District residents. A
hearing is set for Dec. 18.

The ACLU initially sued the city to have the election results released.
Never before, according to an ACLU lawyer, has the local chapter sued a
defendant and had the defendant throw up its hands and say, in effect:
You're right! We join you in this sagacious lawsuit against ourselves.

Turner, who moved to the city from Seattle five years ago, finds that
out-of-towners have trouble understanding the District's circumscribed
autonomy. "This is really driving it home for them," he said. "This really
illustrates for people these aren't ethereal, abstract concepts. These
affect people's day-to-day lives."

Barr's Trump Card

It all started with one congressman's outrage.

Barr saw permitting the medical use of marijuana as the first step toward
letting anyone smoke dope. There was nothing he could do about the ballot
initiatives scheduled in Alaska, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Washington
state, and voters in those states approved medical marijuana measures this

But because he is a congressman, the Georgia Republican did have a trump
card when it came to the District. He resolved to play it, because he had no
doubt that voters in the city would support medical marijuana, too.

"Is there legitimate speculation to think, given Marion Barry's history and
the liberal leanings of D.C. voters, that they've decided to fight drugs?"
Barr said in a recent interview. "I doubt it."

Barr said his duty was to the people who elected him back home in Georgia's
7th District, which stretches from Atlanta to the Alabama line. "They don't
want their taxpayer dollars used to legalize marijuana," he said.

With the end of the annual federal payment to the District, federal dollars
increasingly go to specific uses, such as paying D.C.'s pension liability,
not into the general budget that supports the board of elections. But one
could argue that the federal contribution to pensions and other expenses
frees locally raised dollars for purposes such as holding a referendum on
medical marijuana.

According to election officials, the referendum costs less than $500.

Norton's Plea

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton was bracing for Congress's annual attempt to
attach amendments to the D.C. appropriations bill. The D.C. Democrat's job
was to try to beat back the ones she believed intruded on home rule. By
courtesy and custom, Norton received advance notice of proposed amendments.
But she said she learned of Barr's amendment only after the budget debate
was underway.

Norton, who cannot vote in Congress, raced to the Republican side of the
aisle, where Barr was standing in line for the microphone to introduce his
proposal. She begged him to drop the idea. He refused.

That left Norton with a decision to make: Should she request a roll-call
vote, forcing members to go on the record?

She suspected the Republicans were looking for ways to embarrass Democrats.
She didn't expect to win, so why put her allies on the hook? In an election
year, a vote to let D.C. residents vote on medical marijuana easily could be
depicted as support for medical marijuana itself, something many Democrats
in fact oppose.

Barr's amendment was approved by a voice vote.

"This will go down in the annals of history as one of the most outrageous
acts that Congress has ever done," Norton said last week.

The Activist's View

The medical community is undecided on the value of marijuana, and some
doctors warn that its side effects may harm people whose immune systems are

Steve Michael resisted using marijuana until a few months before he died. By
then, his body was wasting away for lack of nourishment, and doctors warned
that he would suffer multiple organ failure if he couldn't keep some food

Michael smoked a small amount of marijuana, according to Turner, and it
helped him start eating again.

But Turner remains skeptical of pot advocates who have an overly expansive
view of the wonders of the weed. The drive to get the initiative on the
ballot was never about advocating this particular medicine, he said. He sees
it as a patients rights issue -- letting patients have access to a broader
array of palliatives.

The initiative would change D.C. law to legalize possession and distribution
of marijuana if recommended by a physician for serious illnesses, and it
would require the city to provide affordable distribution to poor patients.

A National Institutes of Health panel said last year that there is evidence
marijuana may be medically useful but that proof that it is more effective
than legal drugs would require further study. A study this month in the
journal Archives of Ophthalmology denied that marijuana is effective in
treating glaucoma, one of the conditions that advocates say it helps.

The Bureaucrat's Dilemma

Alice P. Miller, executive director of the D.C. Board of Elections and
Ethics, heard about Barr's amendment the day after Clinton signed the
federal budget.

"Now what do we do?" she wondered.

One thing she couldn't do was stop the vote. Ballots had been printed, and
technicians had begun the painstaking three-week process of combing the
elections software for bugs. The software could not be manipulated to ignore
medical marijuana votes.

Miller knew she must not appear to be leaning toward the home rule advocates
on one side or Congress on the other. She had to follow the law.

But which law: Barr's amendment, instructing her not to spend money on an
election, or home rule, bidding her to conduct elections?

The three-person elections board, to which Miller reports, decided it would
not certify the result of the medical marijuana vote -- whatever the result
happened to be. And it would stiff the printer for $165, the cost of
printing the ballot question.

The Counsel's Call

When he heard of Barr's amendment a few days later, D.C. Corporation Counsel
John M. Ferren said, "It took me a millisecond to realize this was
unconstitutional, and there was no way I would support that."

Art Spitzer, legal director of the local ACLU, had alerted Ferren that the
ACLU planned to sue the elections board for release of the results. As the
District's chief lawyer, it is Ferren's duty to defend the city when it gets

But Ferren, a former D.C. Court of Appeals judge, also is an advocate of
home rule and a student of the constitution.

He decided to file papers joining the ACLU lawsuit. "I am offended," he
said, "that my own vote cannot be counted."

The Rejected Check

After the polls closed, the activists went ahead with their post-election
gathering in a house on Capitol Hill. It was neither a victory dance nor a
wake. It was limbo.

Turner didn't know whether he had fulfilled his promise to his partner,

A preliminary hearing in the lawsuit came six days after the election.
Turner sat at the plaintiff's table, flanked by attorneys, including Ferren
and Spitzer.

This week, the Justice Department announced that it would enter the case to
defend the constitutionality of Barr's amendment.

Also this week, U.S. Capitol Police officers ejected Turner and about 14
pro-democracy demonstrators from Barr's office, where they presented a check
for $1.64 to pay for the labor of pushing a button on the computer to print
out the election results.

Barr's staff refused to accept the check.

(c) Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

Binge Drinking Tied to Rise in Russian Death Rate (An Associated Press
article carried by foxnews.com says a British and Russian study published
in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests an increase
in binge drinking in Russia over the last decade has played a large role
in the rise in sudden cardiac deaths and deaths due to violence, accidents,
and alcohol poisoning.)

Date: Fri, 27 Nov 1998 21:44:38 -0900
To: Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com
From: chuck@mosquitonet.com (Charles Rollins Jr)
Subject: CanPat - Russian drinking
Sender: owner-cannabis-patriots-l@smtp.teleport.com

Here's an article on Russian drinking. I must wonder why more wasn't said
about this? We certainly heard enough about one doctors veiws on glaucoma
and cannabis a few weeks back

See ya


Binge Drinking Tied to Rise in Russian Death Rate

10.45 a.m. ET (1545 GMT) November 27, 1998

NEW YORK - An increase in binge drinking in Russia over the last decade has
played a large part in the rise in sudden cardiac deaths and deaths due to
violence, accidents, and alcohol poisoning in that country, according to a
British and Russian study.

These findings suggest that heavy or binge drinking can contribute to heart
disease-related deaths, write the researchers who conducted the study, Dr.
Laurent Chenet of the European center on Health of Societies in Transition
in London, UK, and colleagues. Their study is published in the Journal of
Epidemiology and Community Health.

Russian death rates have risen significantly since Mikhail Gorbachev's
anti-alcohol campaign ended in the late 1980s, according to Chenet and
colleagues. The rate of deaths from alcohol poisoning, accidents, violence
and other alcohol-related causes have all increased markedly in Russia over
the last decade. But the leading cause of death contributing to the overall
increase in death rates is coronary vascular disease, they report.

Though research findings suggest that moderate drinking may lower risk of
heart disease, heavy drinking appears to injure heart muscle and may cause
dangerous irregularities in heartbeat, or cause a heart attack, the
researchers note. And binge drinking - particularly on weekends - rather
than moderate drinking, is common in Russia, they add.

In order to investigate a possible link between binge drinking and deaths
due to heart disease, Chenet and colleagues studied records of deaths in
Moscow between 1993 and 1995, and analyzed daily variations.

The researchers found a significant increase in coronary deaths - and deaths
from alcohol poisoning, accidents, violence, and other alcohol-related
causes - on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. The increase in sudden coronary
deaths was particularly marked.

"This pattern is consistent with the known pattern of drinking in Russia,
which is more likely to take place in (weekend) binges than is the case in
other countries," the researchers write.

"A possible causative role for alcohol in sudden cardiovascular death is
suggested as there are no other obvious explanations for this pattern, which
cannot be accounted for by daily variations in traditional risk factors such
as smoking," Chenet and colleagues conclude.


(c) 1998, News America Digital Publishing, Inc. d/b/a Fox News Online.
All rights reserved. Fox News is a registered trademark of 20th Century Fox
Film Corp.

(c) 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Cocaine Flood Raises Fears Of HIV Upsurge (The Australian
says cheaper and purer cocaine is flooding Sydney. A survey commissioned
by the federal government, titled the Illicit Drug Reporting System,
to be released today, reveals that six in 10 heroin users surveyed
have injected cocaine in the past six months, while one in five
has injected cocaine daily - an eight-fold increase from last year.)

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 06:33:24 -0800
From: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org (MAPNews)
To: mapnews@mapinc.org
Subject: MN: Australia: Cocaine Flood Raises Fears Of Hiv Upsurge
Sender: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Reply-To: owner-mapnews@mapinc.org
Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/
Newshawk: kenbo01@ozemail.com.au (Ken Russell)
Pubdate: Fri, 27 Nov 1998
Source: Australian, The (Australia)
Contact: ausletr@matp.newsltd.com.au
Website: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/
Author: Justine Ferrari


Cocaine has shed its yuppie image of the 1980s, with an epidemic in its use
among heroin addicts, who are injecting the drug, threatening the stability
of HIV rates in Australia.

Cheaper and purer cocaine is flooding Sydney, where it is being sold like
heroin, breaking into new markets in the western suburbs where cocaine use
is just as common as in the more affluent eastern suburbs.

A survey entitled the Illicit Drug Reporting System, to be released today,
reveals that six in 10 heroin users surveyed have injected the drug in the
past six months, while one in five has injected cocaine daily - an
eight-fold increase from last year.

The IDRS, commissioned by the Federal Government and conducted by the
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, is a sentinel survey of 176
injecting drug users and 42 workers in the drug and alcohol field in NSW,
Victoria and South Australia to identify early trends in drug use.

Chief researcher Shane Darke said the results indicate the early stages of
a drug epidemic in Sydney, which would undoubtedly follow the same path as
heroin and spread to other States.

"The question is not, do we have an epidemic, we do; it's happening now.
The question is what do we do about it," he said.

Cocaine epidemics in other parts of the world have resulted in large
outbreaks of HIV among drug users, who tend to inject cocaine more
frequently than heroin, as often as every 10 or 15 minutes, and share
needles more often.

In Vancouver, where cocaine replaced heroin as the drug of choice among
injecting users, the prevalence of HIV rose from 2 per cent to 15 per cent
between 1994 and 1997, despite a well-established needle-exchange program.

Cocaine is a short-acting drug, while the effects of heroin last hours.
While a heroin user might inject one to three times a day, Dr Darke said
cocaine injectors use seven to 10 times a day and not uncommonly up to 20
times a day.

As well as the damage to veins inflicted by injecting more often, cocaine
causes more physical problems than heroin, destroying the heart and
vascular system and causing brain damage. Frequent use is also associated
with psychosis, which in a severe form is like paranoid schizophrenia.

The IDRS says cocaine prices in NSW have dropped to $200 a gram, but remain
steady at about $250 a gram in Victoria and South Australia, where it is
more difficult to obtain.

Marketing the drug like heroin has made cocaine more affordable, with
cocaine caps, sold like heroin as a single injection, now the most common
way to buy the drug.

Cocaine caps in NSW and South Australia cost about $50, but are yet to
appear in Victoria.

Dr Darke said Interpol believed that South American cocaine producers had
targeted Australia because the US market was virtually saturated.

He said there was an urgent need to educate users about the dangers of
cocaine and to explore drug therapies such as methadone for heroin



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