------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (High Court Overturns Iowa Blanket Search Law, Marijuana Conviction; Clinton Administration Calls Amendment Nixing DC Medical Marijuana Vote "Sensible"; Michigan Man Must Return To Virginia Jail To Serve Out 24 Year Old Marijuana Conviction; Jamaican Custom Officials To Order Drug Tests For Airline Passengers; Congress Allocates $23 Million To Develop Anti-Marijuana Fungus) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 18:33:23 EST Subject: NORML WPR 12/10/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org email@example.com December 10, 1998 *** High Court Overturns Iowa Blanket Search Law, Marijuana Conviction December 10, 1998, Washington, DC: An Iowa law allowing police to conduct blanket searches of motorists and their vehicles after citing them for minor traffic violations is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. "This decision demonstrates, thankfully, that there are still limits regarding law enforcement's power to conduct a non-consensual, warrantless search," said NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. In a unanimous decision, the Court found that Iowa police violated the Fourth Amendment when they arbitrarily searched a motorist's vehicle after citing him for speeding. Writing for the Court, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the search was not necessary to ensure officer safety or prevent the destruction of evidence. Past courts have allowed blanket searches only when such conditions apply and the suspect has been placed under arrest. By striking down the statute, the Court overturned the conviction of an Iowa man found in possession of marijuana during a traffic stop. Police searched the defendant's car without consent or probable cause after citing him for speeding. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or NORML Foundation Litigation Director Tanya Kangas @ (202) 483-8751. *** Clinton Administration Calls Amendment Nixing D.C. Medical Marijuana Vote "Sensible" December 10, 1998, Washington, D.C.: The Department of Justice filed legal papers last week supporting a Congressional amendment that forbids the D.C. government from certifying the results of November's election on medical marijuana. Initiative sponsors and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) are challenging the constitutionality of the amendment in federal court. "This motion places the Clinton Administration clearly on the side of thwarting democracy," announced NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre. "They are supporting efforts to stifle the voice of the more than one hundred thousand D.C. residents who voted to legalize medical marijuana in the District of Columbia." The amendment in question, introduced by Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) and attached to the District's appropriations bill, mandates the D.C. government to withhold funds for any initiative that minimizes marijuana penalties. Officials estimate that certifying the results would cost the city $1.64. A legal brief filed by the Justice Department said "[Congress] has sensibly prohibited the use of public funds to conduct an election on Initiative 59," the District's medical marijuana proposal. Exit polls indicate that 69 percent of D.C. voters approved the measure. A federal judge will rule on the issue later this month. Several area groups, including the D.C. chapter of the League of Women Voters, the D.C. Statehood Party, the Gay and Lesbian Activist Alliance, the Metropolitan Washington Council of the AFL-CIO, and the D.C. Chapter of the Republican National African-American Council filed court papers siding with the ACLU. If the judge orders city officials to tabulate and certify the vote results, Congress then has 30 days to accept or veto the new law. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup of NORML @ (202) 483-5500 or Wayne Turner of ACT-UP @ (202) 547-9404. *** Michigan Man Must Return To Virginia Jail To Serve Out 24 Year Old Marijuana Conviction December 10, 1998, Detroit, MI: A Michigan businessman convicted of selling $10 worth of marijuana 24 years ago must return to Virginia to serve jail time, a Circuit judge ruled Monday. "It's all the more difficult [to send the defendant back to Virginia] when you see [his] family here and understand that the family is a credit to the state [of Michigan] and [that the defendant] has been a credit to the state," Circuit Judge William Cahalan said. He said he had no choice but to honor the extradition warrant issued by Virginia state officials. Defendant Alfred Martin, 49, received a ten year prison term in 1974 for the sale of a small amount of marijuana. Martin spent two days at a prison farm before escaping and relocating to Michigan. He now owns his own business and is married with children. Judge Cahalan said Martin has led "an exemplary life since his conviction 24 years ago." NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said the case exemplifies the "lack of proportionality" in marijuana sentencing. "One wonders how many more families will be sacrificed before our elected officials agree to end marijuana prohibition," he said. Virginia officials previously sought to extradite Martin in 1976, but then-Gov. William Milliken refused their request. Since then, the U.S. Supreme Court has found that governors do not have discretion over legitimate extradition requests. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Jamaican Custom Officials To Order Drug Tests For Airline Passengers December 10, 1998, Kingston, Jamaica: Custom officials will subject random passengers to drug tests at the island's two international airports to determine if they are smuggling illegal substances, a November 17 article from the Jamaican news service, The Gleaner Company, reported. The article stated that Customs officials will request "suspicious-looking passengers" to take a standard urine test. Officials will take those who test positive to an area hospital and check to see if they have ingested illegal drugs. If drugs are retrieved, police will then make an arrest. Customs official Ivy O'Gilvie told The Gleaner Company that passengers who refuse to take the test will likely be taken to the hospital anyway. She said the on-the-spot test takes only minutes to complete and is "90 percent accurate." "It's hard to imagine that any tourist or business traveler will want to pass through Jamaican Customs under the threat of excreting on demand for law enforcement," NORML Foundation head Allen St. Pierre said. "A country so reliant on foreign travel should immediately rescind such a foolish invasion of privacy." For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. *** Congress Allocates $23 Million To Develop Anti-Marijuana Fungus December 10, 1998, Washington, D.C.: Legislation approved by Congress last month allocates $23 million toward developing a new fungus aimed at destroying drug-producing plants like marijuana. U.S. officials stated that they hope to introduce the soil-borne fungi to foreign nations such as Columbia, Peru, and Bolivia. "We are setting a dangerous precedent by promoting the development of biological agents in the war on marijuana," NORML Executive Director R. Keith Stroup, Esq. said. "There is a real danger that such a toxic agent may have serious adverse impacts on surrounding plants and the ecosystems of these nations. Is this really a path we want to pursue?" Professor Paul Arriola, a expert in plant genetics at Elmhurst College in Illinois, agreed. "It's frightening to think that in the search for a quick fix, we might cause ourselves more long-term ecological and social problems," he said. Representatives Bill McCollum (R-Fla.) and Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) spearheaded the legislation, which they called a potential "silver bullet" in the war on drugs. For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- State outlines medical pot use (An Associated Press article in the Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, says state Attorney General Hardy Myers issued a set of guidelines for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Wednesday, spelling out how police should comply with the voter-approved law. A spokesman for Oregonians for Medical Rights said the guidelines follow the law closely.) Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 11:17:35 -0800 To: AMR/updates list From: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: OR: Police guidelines issued for medical marijuana Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon http://www.registerguard.com/ letters to editor: http://www.registerguard.com/standingdocs/feedback.html Thursday, December 10, 1998 State outlines medical pot use By The Associated Press SALEM - Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers said Wednesday that the state's new medical marijuana law won't shield people from prosecution if they sell the drug or grow too many plants. Myers issued a set of guidelines for how police should approach the voter-approved law, which permits use of the drug to ease symptoms for illnesses such as cancer, glaucoma and AIDS. The guidelines state that a medical defense could be lost if there has been an attempt to sell pot or grow more than the law allows - four immature plants, three mature plants and up to an ounce of dried marijuana for each mature plant. Investigators seeking evidence of medical conditions were advised to focus on whether the person has submitted documentation to the Oregon Health Division. A spokesman for Oregonians for Medical Rights, a sponsor of ballot measure, said the guidelines follow the law closely. ``It was never meant to be a shield behind which people who are illegally growing marijuana could hide,'' said Geoff Sugerman of Silverton. ``It asks patients to seek a written recommendation from their doctors and keep it in their possession. If they have that they are going to be protected.'' Kevin Campbell, executive director of the Oregon Association Chiefs of Police, said that the guidelines appear to leave some room for discretion. ``This makes what used to be a routine marijuana bust ... more difficult,'' he said. ``All of them will be more difficult unless there is clear evidence of a sale or a large illegal grow.'' Myers' guidelines say nothing about whether authorities should enforce federal law, which prohibits marijuana use. Under his guidelines, investigators should determine whether doctors' instructions are being followed, whether the person will release medical records and why the individual prefers marijuana to other medical practices. When an officer has an indication that there is no valid medical claim, he can usually seize the marijuana, the guidelines say.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Smoke Clears On Medical Marijuana (The Yahoo! version) From: "Todd McCormick" (todd@A-VISION.COM) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Medical marijuana guidelines have been issued to police agencies in Oregon Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 10:53:06 -0800 Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Yahoo! News Oregon Headlines Thursday December 10 7:00 AM ET Smoke Clears On Medical Marijuana - (SALEM) -- Medical marijuana guidelines have been issued to police agencies in Oregon by the attorney general's office. The guidelines will have to be sufficient until the Health Department adopts a package of rules next spring. The A-G's office says police need to anticipate a medical-use claim when they conduct a marijuana investigation. That should be considered before officers seek a search warrant or arrest warrant. The six pages of guidelines also explain how much marijuana is acceptable... and how police should care for it until a decision is made on criminal charges.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical marijuana law stymies police (The Oregonian version hides behind unnamed sources in order to assert that nonmedical users will take advantage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act to escape prosecution, without explaining how such recreational users would get a physician to stand up for them in court.) Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 04:21:29 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (firstname.lastname@example.org) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: Cannabis Patriots (Cannabis-Patriots-L@teleport.com) Subject: CanPat - Medical marijuana law stymies police Sender: email@example.com Medical marijuana law stymies police * Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are trying to set up guidelines for marijuana arrests in light of a law Thursday, December 10 1998 By Patrick O'Neill of The Oregonian staff Until a week ago, law officers could assume that anyone they caught with marijuana was a lawbreaker. Not anymore. Now officers have to answer a critical question: Is it dope or is it medicine? On Dec. 3, Oregon's new medical marijuana law made it legal for gravely ill people to grow and own a small amount of marijuana to treat symptoms of certain diseases. With the law came the possibility -- for the first time in Oregon -- that someone who was found in possession of marijuana was not violating a state law. That means law officers have to try to figure out whether the person with the marijuana is permitted to have it under the law. It also leaves open the possibility -- likelihood, some say -- that recreational users will try to hide behind the marijuana law to escape prosecution. Oregon's new law, passed by voters Nov. 3, allows seriously ill people to apply for a special permit through the State Health Division to possess marijuana. The permit system is scheduled to go into effect by May 1. But even before then, the law can be raised as a defense in court. This week Oregon Attorney General Hardy Myers released a list of recommendations designed to help law enforcement officers tell the difference between criminal and medicinal use of marijuana. The recommendations suggest that officers verify claims of medical use by asking questions to determine whether someone who has been found with marijuana: * Has submitted documentation to the Oregon Health Division; * Has been diagnosed with debilitating medical conditions and, if so, what they are; * Will give the name of his or her doctor and the hospital or clinic where treatment takes place; * Has documentation from the doctor indicating that marijuana might help alleviate symptoms. Because the sale of marijuana is still a crime under the law, the recommendations suggest officers should look for scales, packaging equipment and records that would indicate a commercial operation. The recommendations urge caution before seizing or destroying marijuana plants and growing equipment. The new law prohibits officers from destroying or even neglecting marijuana plants that they've seized from someone who is protected under the law. Rob Elkins, Molalla police chief, said the law requires officers to return marijuana plants to their owners if the owners qualified for protection under the law. But Elkins said giving back the marijuana would put officers at odds with federal laws against trafficking in drugs. While the new law gives immunity from prosecution under state law, federal law still forbids even sick people to use marijuana. Elkins, a member of the working group that drew up the recommendations, said the list wasn't perfect. "We realized there were going to be no absolute clear guidelines that we could give," he said. Michael Schrunk, Multnomah County district attorney, said the working group's recommendations are close to those drawn up by his office. Schrunk said he did not expect a flood of requests for medical exemptions from marijuana law. His office prosecuted about 900 felony marijuana cases during the past year. But in the past three years, his office has had only 19 cases in which suspects said they were using the marijuana for medical reasons. Of those cases, he said, all but two or three were dismissed. The law permits marijuana to be used by anyone who has been diagnosed with a "debilitating medical condition" and who has been advised by an attending physician that marijuana might help alleviate symptoms. Those conditions include cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma as well as severe nausea associated with chemotherapy. Patients and certain designated caregivers are allowed to cultivate a maximum of three mature and four immature marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana per plant.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Court upholds Rider's marijuana conviction (An Associated Press article in The Register-Guard, in Eugene, Oregon, says an Oregon appeals court on Wednesday upheld the 1997 conviction of Portland Trail Blazers guard Isaiah Rider for marijuana possession.) Register-Guard Eugene, Oregon http://www.registerguard.com/ letters to editor: http://www.registerguard.com/standingdocs/feedback.html December 10, 1998 Court upholds Rider's marijuana conviction By The Associated Press SALEM - An Oregon appeals court upheld Portland Trail Blazers guard Isaiah Rider's 1997 marijuana conviction Wednesday, saying there was clear evidence the player was in possession of the drug. The three-judge panel unanimously said the evidence showed Rider possessed less than an ounce of marijuana, a non-criminal violation in Oregon carrying a minimum fine of $500. The troubled Blazers star was cited in October 1996 after a sheriff's deputy saw him in the back seat of a car in the suburb of Lake Oswego, allegedly preparing to smoke marijuana from a crude pipe made from a soda can. Rider denied the marijuana was his and appealed his Clackamas County District Court conviction. Rider's lawyer, Robert Weaver, said the conviction and $500 fine should be overturned because the deputy who testified against Rider was ``confused'' and not credible. The Oregon Appeals Court said it found that Rider was guilty without considering the deputy's testimony and that there was ``persuasive circumstantial evidence'' that he possessed the drug. The court noted Rider was in a car from which marijuana, a smoking device and a lighter were recovered and that testimony put the light and smoking device close to him. Douglas Zier, an assistant attorney general, argued there was no doubt marijuana was found in the car. And he said the deputy ``saw the defendant holding the Coke can about two inches from his mouth'' as he was preparing to light it. Rider's marijuana possession citation came after two Clackamas County sheriff's deputies saw two cars stop in a dark spot and turn off their lights in Lake Oswego. The deputies, who were walking back to their cars after checking out another call, approached the two cars, expecting to find young people drinking or using drugs. The NBA suspended Rider last season for five games - two following his marijuana conviction and for possessing unregistered cellular phones in California, and three for spitting at a fan in Detroit. During his two seasons with the Blazers, Rider also has been repeatedly benched for missing team meetings, shootarounds and flights. The Blazers had no comment on Wednesday's court decision, citing league rules that prohibit teams from discussing player matters during the NBA lockout.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Memorial fitting for officers who died in duty (A staff editorial in The Columbian, in Vancouver, Washington, speaks favorably about a proposed memorial for public safety officers in Clark County who have died in the line of duty, including two Prohibition agents killed in 1932, B.W. Turner and Edward Vlasich, whose misfortune is recounted.) The Columbian 701 W. Eighth St. Vancouver WA 98666 Tel. (360) 694-2312 Or (360) 699-6000, Ext. 1560, to leave a recorded opinion >From Portland: (503) 224-0654 Fax: (360) 699-6033 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.columbian.com/ In Our View: Thursday, Dec. 10, 1998 Memorial fitting for officers who died in duty It took our nation 14 years to realize that Prohibition was a failure. Had we wised up several months sooner, the murders of two federal agents near Camp Bonneville -- the only double loss of life in Clark County law enforcement history -- might have been avoided. Now a group of local residents, led by District Court Judge John Wulle, is studying the possibility of converting the old war memorial in front of the county courthouse -- now outdated, thanks to the new Clark County Veterans War Memorial at Vancouver Barracks -- into a memorial for public safety officers who have died in the line of duty. Among the names that would be affixed there are those of an undetermined number of firefighters and at least six police officers, including the two slain Prohibition agents, B.W. Turner and Edward Vlasich. The pair had been investigating illegal liquor production in Clark County for several months when, on the evening of Sept. 19, 1932, they made an undercover visit to the farm of Jesse Cousins, south of Hockinson. Within moments, Turner lay dead; Vlasich, severely wounded, lingered for two weeks before succumbing. Cousins fled and was located a month and a half after the shooting, living in a tarp-covered pit near the railroad tracks northwest of Vancouver. The subsequent trial, as described by former Columbian reporter Cathy Kessinger in the 1987 edition of Clark County History, hinged on the simple question of whether or not Cousins acted in self-defense. Before dying, Vlasich testified that he and Turner had agreed to buy two gallons of moonshine from Cousins for $10, and that when they tried to arrest him, he opened fire. Cousins' account, delivered at trial, differed hardly at all. He said the agents had never identified themselves, and when they threw him to the ground and began to draw their guns, he took them for robbers and shot them both. Cousins was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on Jan. 23, 1933. Eleven months later, Prohibition was repealed. The cause was misguided, but the sacrifice was noble. Turner, Vlasich and the other public safety officers who have been killed doing their jobs deserve to be remembered and thanked. -- Michael Zuzel, for the editorial board
------------------------------------------------------------------- Help Keep Marvin Chavez Free: Write the Probation Department (A list subscriber says your letter could help save the medical marijuana patient and founder of the Orange County Cannabis Co-op from wasting years in prison. Complete instructions included.) From: FilmMakerZ@aol.com Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 18:02:30 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: Help Keep Marvin Chavez Free: Write the Probation Department Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com The probation department will be sending a report on Marvin Chavez to Judge Thomas Borris with recommendations that will be influential in Judge Borris's sentencing of Marvin. You can help keep this medicinal cannabis patient free by writing a letter to the probation department. On January 8, Marvin will be sentenced for being found guilty of five misdemeanor furnishing marijuana counts, two felony sales of marijuana counts, and one felony transportation of marijuana count for trying to implement Proposition 215. He could be facing seven years in prison for compassionately trying to help other sick and disabled medical cannabis patients. *** Write the probation department about Marvin. CC it to Judge Borris. Points to emphasize: - How you heard about Marvin Chavez. - Impressions of his trial, if you know about it. - Synopsis of what you knew Marvin was doing for 215 patients and how you felt about that. - Why what Marvin has done doesn't rise to the level of criminal conduct. -- Don't criticize the judge in your letters. -- Express concern for what is going to happen to Marvin if he goes to jail. When he was there earlier this year, he was denied his back brace which helps his Ankylosing Spondylitis, and only given four Tylenol a week for his pain. -- Hand written letters have the best impact. -- Include your name and address in your letters. *** Write a short cover letter to Judge Borris telling him you have enclosed your letter to the probation department stating why you feel Marvin Chavez shouldn't go to jail. Judge Thomas J. Borris Division 16 West Justice Center 8141 -- 13th Street Westminster, CA 92683 *** Send your letters to Marvin's attorney, James Silva. He will address them and send the letters to the probation department and submit all the letters to Judge Borris to him directly. This guarantees he reads every letter sent. Some people who have written letters directly to Judge Borris had them returned saying they couldn't be read by him unless submitted by Marvin's attorneys. The Law Offices of James M. Silva 33 Clubhouse Ave. #3 Venice, CA 90291 *** Email: You can email a letter which we will print out and send to the probation department and submit to Judge Borris, but hand written letters will make a stronger impact. firstname.lastname@example.org *** Background: Marvin has Ankylosing Spondylitis, a degenerative spinal arthritis for which he uses medicinal cannabis. He wears a body brace for his spine which he was denied while he was mistreated in jail earlier this year. Marvin started a medicinal cannabis co-op where other patients could get together, find friendship and understanding, and educate themselves on their rights under Proposition 215. He gave advice on growing. He gave away free cannabis to confirmed medical patients who couldn't grow themselves. Patients gave donations to keep the co-op going, to pay for copies, phone bills, etc. Some patients made donations, others didn't. But everyone received free cannabis regardless. Marvin was open and honest about the co-op and tried to seek out government support for the good of all patients. He contacted the police and sheriff about what he was doing and asked for guidance. He spoke in front of the Garden Grove city council when he was trying to establish an office there. He had the sheriff-elect, Mike Carona, speak at a support group meeting. He did everything he could to get the support of elected officials and law enforcement. The response was to have undercover narcs pose as patient and caregivers, forge doctor letters, and call Marvin constantly complaining of pain to try to entrap him. The prosecution went further by waiting to prosecute until they could get him with 10 felony charges. DA Carl Armbrust subpoenaed patients' medical records which he used in the trial, and withheld evidence from the defense. The narcs blatantly lied on the witness stand. One narc said even though he had read a newspaper article about Marvin and is a narcotics officer, he knows nothing about Proposition 215. Another narc said Marvin referred to the cannabis as a "lid," a term no one has ever heard him use. On two of the charges of sales to undercover officers, Marvin was found not guilty based on his entrapment defense, but on two others, he was found guilty of felony sales. The jury reduced five felony sales charges to misdemeanors when they heard patients and caregivers involved in those charges testify that the cannabis was always free and they donated money to the Co-op out of their own free will for the operations of the Co-op. Marvin mailed cannabis to a Co-op patient who lives in Northern California and because he was denied a 215 defense in that count, the jury didn't get to hear the patient's testimony and they found him guilty of felony transportation. The jury was told that they could not consider Proposition 215 in their deliberations on this case which clearly revolved around 215. Marvin could be facing seven years in prison for trying to help disabled and dying people. Because he operated openly and tried to get the cooperation of government officials and law enforcement, he was an easy target. Marvin is disabled himself. Because of his empathy and compassion, he reached out to help others, and has improved the lives of many patients. He doesn't belong in jail. *** Just 32 cents can possibly help keep Marvin from spending years in prison. *** If you can also make a donation to the Orange County Patient-Doctor-Nurse Legal Defense Fund, it would greatly help with all the costs incurred: OCPDNSG Legal Defense Fund c/o The Law Offices of James M. Silva 33 Clubhouse Ave. #3 Venice, CA 90291 Phone: 310-450-2690 *** Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 12:24:39 EST Errors-To: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: email@example.com (Dale Gieringer) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Re: Help Keep Marvin Chavez Free: Write the Probation Department IF YOU WRITE TO JUDGE BORRIS, YOU SHOULD ALSO "CC" YOUR LETTER TO (1) ASS'T D.A. CARL ARMBRUST (2) ATTORNEYS JAMES SILVA and DAVID NICK. Judge Borris returned our letter saying he could not read it unless we sent copies to both the prosecution and defense attorneys. Dale Gieringer (415) 563-5858 // email@example.com 2215-R Market St. #278, San Francisco CA 94114
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teen Crime Wave Called Myth (The San Francisco Chronicle says the MacArthur Foundation's two-year study of juvenile crime statistics found that laws aimed at youthful lawbreakers are based on "deeply flawed analyses of juvenile violence statistics." "We're not any more violent than we were 10 or 20 years ago. We're just paying more attention to the violence," said Franklin Zimring, author of the study and a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Zimrlng's findings will be published as a book by Oxford University Press but were released at a news conference yesterday.) Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:13:47 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Teen Crime Wave Called Myth Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom O'Connell) Pubdate: 10 Dec 1998 Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Section: Page 18 TEEN CRIME WAVE CALLED MYTH Study finds no more juvenile violence than decades -- Cox News Service Washington Fear rather than fact Is fueling unnecessarily harsh juvenile justice policies throughout the United States, according to a study by a Berkeley professor was released yesterday. The MacArthur Foundation's two-year study of juvenile crime statistics charges that laws aimed at youthful lawbreakers are based on "deeply flawed analyses of juvenile violence statistics." "We're not any more violent than we were 10 or 20 years ago. We're just paying more attention to the violence," said Franklin Zimring, author of the study and a law professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Zimrlng's findings will be published as a book by Oxford University Press but were released at a news conference yesterday. The study was paid for by the private MacArthur Foundation, which is best known for its annual "genius grants" but also supports public policy research. Zimring said a change in how police report juvenile crimes, particularly assault and aggravated assault has resulted in "an artificial crime wave." Zlmrlng said his study shows "what you find out about aggravated assault and assault since mid.1980s, quite independent of whether youth behavior has been changing, police behavior been changing significantly." Police have been reducing the threshold of what constitutes assault and aggravated assault, the study charges, resulting In the apparent increase In crime. Some Other major findings of Zimring's Study include: Arrest rates for juvenile, ages 13 to 17 accused of rape and robbery show no significant trend either up or down since 1980 and have actually declined slightly Over the last five years. The homicide arrest rate for juveniles ages 13 to 17 rose shot between 1984 and 1992 but fell by more than a third by 1996, according to FBI crime figures. The number of juveniles arrested for homicide dropped an addItional 18 percent in 1997. Zimring said that in order to counter what is seen as a "coming storm of juvenile violence," many states have enacted laws that lower the age at which juveniles can be charged as adults for certain crimes Evidence of a juvenile crime wave, "either current or on the horizon, is no more substantial than the evidence that supports the existence of the Loch Ness monster," Zimring said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Three-Strikes' Economics (A staff editorial in The Orange County Register says the California legislature should take small but definite steps to reform the voter-approved "three strikes" law, so the third strike must be violent to trigger a lengthy sentence.) Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 16:44:47 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Editorial: Three-Strikes' Economics Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Black (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register THREE-STRIKES' ECONOMICS As California's "three strikes" law catches more nonviolent offenders in its snare, support is growing to amend it so the third strike must be violent to trigger a lengthy sentence. Even in Orange County, where 80 percent of voters supported the 1994 ballot initiative, Proposition 184, that shaped the law, many residents are concerned about its unintended consequences, according to a Register frontpage article earlier this week. Passed by voters in the wake of the brutal slaying of Polly Klaas by a career criminal, "three strikes" mandates a 25 years-to-life sentence for a third felony by anyone with two previous "serious or violent" felony convictions. The problem is, while the first two strikes must be serious crimes, the third strike can be for nonviolent offenses such as drug possession or writing bad checks. It is the most severe three-strikes law in the nation. Bob Goss, an assistant public defender in Orange County, told us the law's current safeguard of discretion - judges and prosecutors have leeway so that, say, a minor drug offender doesn't face decades in prison - is inadequate. Local district attorneys almost always go for the harshest possible sentences, he said, to burnish their tough-on-crime image. As a result, Mr. Goss said "even guys with barely useable amounts of a narcotics" often face harsh penalties because of previous strikes received 10 or more years ago. It's no longer unusual to hear that the theft of a slice of pizza or carton of cigarettes triggers a draconian third-strike punishment. The California Department of Corrections reports, in about 70 percent of cases, the third strike is not a "crime against persons." The practical answer is straightforward. The law's "purpose was to put away people who are dangerous to society," Mr. Goss told us. "I feel it should apply to people who continue to commit" violent crimes. In other words, the third strike should be like the first two strikes - applying only to "serious and violent" felonies. The problem is political. Many Democrats and Republicans fear that reforming the law will enable their opponents to portray them as soft on crime. There are "a lot of political cowards," Assemblyman Scott Baugh, R-Huntington Beach, told us. Because of the political reality, Mr. Baugh says the Legislature needs to take "baby steps" toward reforms such as supporting a study to evaluate the unjust applications of the law. When crafting revisions to the law, legislators should pay heed to the advice of David Friedman, a professor at the University of Santa Clara Law School in San Jose. He told us the three-strikes law, as it is currently written, reflects what economists refer to as the problem of "marginal deterrence." This economic idea, he said, is best expressed by the old English proverb, "As good be hanged for a sheep as a lamb." As Mr. Friedman wrote in a 1993 paper: "A thief has the opportunity to carry off one animal from the flock. If the penalty is the same whichever animal he chooses, he might as well take the most valuable." What does this mean for three-strikes laws? If a criminal faces the same punishment whether he shoplifts or robs a bank, he is more likely to commit the higher payoff crime. And if getting caught with a lesser felony will automatically yield a three-strike punishment, the criminal will be more apt to kill his victims and pursuers, according to Mr. Friedman. This simple economic analysis, along with the issues of proportionality and fairness, should propel the Legislature to fix a law that increasing numbers of Californians view as broken.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Supreme Court Prohibits Police From Routinely Searching Vehicles (The Denver Post notes the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that police officers cannot routinely search motorists and their cars after stopping them for traffic violations.) Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 Source: Denver Post (CO) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.denverpost.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Denver Post SUPREME COURT PROHIBITS POLICE FROM ROUTINELY SEARCHING VEHICLES WASHINGTON - Police officers cannot routinely search motorists and their cars after stopping them for traffic violations, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The 9-0 decision marked a rare win for privacy rights and overturned the drug conviction of an Iowa man who was stopped for speeding, searched and then arrested when an officer found a bag of marijuana under his seat. The Iowa case became a closely watched test because it is the only state that authorizes officers to search all cars that are stopped for traffic violations. Its police do not even need a specific reason for searching the vehicle. The court ruled that this broad authority to search violates the Fourth Amendment. Tuesday's ruling calls a halt to the trend of giving the police ever more leeway to search vehicles, especially for drugs. Normally, the police must have a specific reason to search a person or his car. For example, if officers chase a car that sped away from a robbery, they would have good reason for searching the occupants and the vehicle. But in recent years, many motorists have complained they were stopped by police for vague reasons and then pressed to allow their cars to be searched. Writing for the court, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the officer was not in danger when he wrote the traffic ticket, and the speeding violation itself did not justify a full search of the car. Officers who fear for their safety can require drivers and passengers to step out of the car to be checked for weapons. Further, officers who have reason to believe a motorist is carrying drugs can search the vehicle. But the Supreme Court drew a line at allowing searches during routine traffic stops where there is no apparent danger and no evidence of other criminal activity.
------------------------------------------------------------------- No Blanket Searches (A staff editorial in The Las Vegas Review-Journal applauds the US Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that a routine traffic violation doesn't justify a warrantless search of a vehicle.) Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:43:17 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NV: OPED: No Blanket Searches Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (Frank S. World) Pubdate: 10 December 1998 Source: Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.lvrj.com/lvrj_home/ Fax: 702-383-4676 Copyright: Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1998 NO BLANKET SEARCHES High court bolsters Fourth Amendment. It was refreshing to see the U.S. Supreme Court come down strongly and unanimously on behalf of the right of citizens to be secure from unreasonable, warrantless police searches. Tuesday's ruling buttressed the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which had been fraying at the edges as state and local police forces in recent years became more bold in conducting warrantless searches. The case on which the high court rendered its unanimous decision involved an Iowa man, Patrick Knowles, who was stopped for speeding in 1996 and ended up in jail for 90 days on a marijuana possession rap. The officer who conducted the routine traffic stop had no evidence that Mr. Knowles had committed any other infraction or crimes. Yet he proceeded, under Iowa law, to conduct a blanket, warrantless search of the vehicle. The search turned up a marijuana pipe, which was enough to land Mr. Knowles in lockup for three months. But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned Mr. Knowles' conviction. The officer had no evidence, no probable cause or even reasonable suspicion that Mr. Knowles was breaking any law except the speed limit. Writing for the court, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said: "No further evidence of excessive speed was going to be found either on the person of the offender or in the passenger compartment of the car." The chief justice pointed out that police do possess the power to order occupants out of the car, and even pat-down search them -- if such officers have cause to believe the occupants are armed and the officers' safety is in jeopardy. But the Iowa case met no such standard. The officer decided to search Mr. Knowles' car just because he felt like it. The Supreme Court, viewed it for what it was -- an unreasonable, warrantless search in clear violation of the Bill of Rights' Fourth Amendment.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot Use 'No Big Deal' To Teens (The Daily Herald, in Arlington Heights, Illinois, gives the usual one-sided coverage of an anti-marijuana conference Wednesday at the College of DuPage, where 200 people from throughout the area supposedly learned how to teach teens to shun pot.) Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 16:03:21 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US IL: Pot Use 'No Big Deal' To Teens Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Daily Herald (IL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.dailyherald.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Daily Herald Company Pubdate: Thur, 10 Dec 1998 Author: KAREN KUTZ Section: Sec. 1 POT USE 'NO BIG DEAL' TO TEENS Jeff Nudera, a health teacher at Naperville Central High School, says teenagers think smoking marijuana is "no big deal." He wants to prove them wrong. To gather ammunition, Nudera attended a marijuana conference Wednesday at the College of DuPage. About 200 people from throughout the area also took part to learn how to teach teens to shun pot. "We've seen an increase of use among the mainstream of students," said Debra Quinn, a counselor at West Aurora High School. "They will admit to using, and they don't wish to stop." "Prevalence has so dramatically increased, and the attitude is so blase or lackadaisical," agreed Mary Bernhardt of Breaking Free, a drug treatment center in Naperville and Aurora. Yet marijuana has changed significantly from the 1960s to the 1990s, she said. Susan Dalterio, a professor at the University of Texas and Wednesday's conference speaker, told the group that marijuana is up to 25 percent stronger than it used to be, and the drug is highly addictive. On top of that, a new way to smoke it can be lethal and can cause more aggressive behavior, she said. "Blunts," or cigars stuffed with marijuana and soaked in a solvent, have started appearing in places like Houston, she said. "If a child is asthmatic and decides to experiment with any drug soaked in a solvent, it can be life threatening," said Dalterio, an expert on drug use and its dangers. Blunts also allow more THC, which produces marijuana's high, into the body's system. In the '60s, marijuana contained only trace amounts of THC, she noted. "In the 1980s, it was up to 10 percent. Now it is up to 15 or 17 percent," and in some cases it's up to 25 percent. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, hashish can contain up to 28 percent THC. The problem with THC - and the more than 450 other chemicals in marijuana - is that it alters brain chemistry, Dalterio said. And unlike alcohol and other drugs, marijuana is not water soluble. It is stored in fat cells for weeks at a time. "Marijuana has staying power," she said, noting that's why it doesn't produce a hangover. "There's no withdrawal." If used often enough, the drug can change brain chemistry, leading to changes in behavior. "People are slower," she said. "They get very relaxed about important things." That's because long-term use slows down the absorption of hormones and other chemicals in the brain. Dalterio said parents should become alarmed if their child once had "huge" dreams and now seems unmotivated. "They aren't stressed if they lose a girlfriend or a boyfriend," she said. "They lose their edge." Rhonda Sweedler, coordinator of Hazelden Chicago at Lombard, the group that hosted Dalterio at COD, said at least 90 percent of their clients report they use marijuana. The center has treated 150 young people aged 14 to 25 since opening in March. "Schools are reporting to us that most kids having drug and alcohol problems say their first use was in the sixth or seventh grade," Sweedler said. "We really need to band together and look at this problem earlier than high school, when it becomes a matter of intervention," she said. Craig Boura, a clinician with DuPage County's Psychological Services, said that won't happen until better statistics on local use become available. "There really is a lack of quality material that has information that I really trust," said Boura, who teaches a class to adolescents arrested for marijuana possession. In a given year, county courts will order about 200 people aged 15 to 25 to take his class. "I would suspect that's a small percentage of the people using," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Man Sues Drug Task Force (The Dayton Daily News, in Ohio, says Howard Johnson of Spring Valley has filed a $13 million lawsuit charging the Greene County Drug Task Force engaged in a "pattern of corrupt activity" to finance itself. In April, Johnson's brother, Fairborn businessman Bobby Johnson, filed a $10.4 million lawsuit against the task force, alleging it similarly engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity by trying to force him to pay it money and surrender property in order to have false charges dismissed.) Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 00:34:08 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US OH: Man Sues Drug Task Force Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Source: Dayton Daily News (OH) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.activedayton.com/partners/ddn/ Pubdate: Thur, 10 Dec 1998 Author: Margo Rutledge Kissell, Greene County Bureau MAN SUES DRUG TASK FORCE A Spring Valley man has filed a $13 million lawsuit charging the Greene County Drug Task Force engaged in a "pattern of corrupt activity" to finance the activities of the group. Howard Johnson, whose home was raided by the task force in 1993, filed the lawsuit in Greene County Common Pleas Court. Defendants also include the cities of Beavercreek, Fairborn, Xenia, the Greene County sheriff's and prosecutor's offices and individuals involved in the task force. The group, which is now called the Interagency Investigative Unit, is an undercover police unit that pursues the county's drug offenders. Task force commander Richard Bishop said he has not seen the lawsuit and declined comment. Greene County Prosecutor William Schenck and Johnson's Norwalk attorney, Gregory A. Shell, could not be reached for comment. In the lawsuit, filed Monday, Johnson refers to the defendants' "pattern of corrupt activity, theft of property, extortion and/or causing the expenditure of costs, legal fees and defamation of character and reputation, and deprivation of (constitutional and legal) rights." The drug task force, assisted by other agencies, raided Johnson's home three times in August 1993 based on informant claims that Johnson, then 54, was a major cocaine distributor in Ohio and other states and that he also engaged in the marketing of stolen property. The investigation included the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration. Authorities seized more than 100 items, including $25,770 in cash, 77 guns, two lawn tractors, a pickup, a log splitter and a welder, but police found no drugs. Greene County Common Pleas Judge M. David Reid later ruled authorities had exceeded the scope of their search warrants. On March, 3, 1994, Reid ruled 94 seized items were not admissible as evidence. On Aug. 3, 1994, Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property--a rifle. Five other counts were dismissed. In his plea bargain, he agreed to surrender his guns. He was placed on five years' probation, spent 30 days in jail and was fined $2,500. Johnson's lawsuit alleges he was told other charges could be filed "if he did not agree to plea and forfeit an expensive gun collection" and claims certain items of property seized still have not been returned. In April, Johnson's brother, Fairborn businessman Bobby Johnson, filed a $10.4 million lawsuit against the task force, alleging it engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity by trying to force him to pay it money and surrender property to have false charges dismissed. During searches of his home and other properties, the task force seized more than $200,000, including his guns and video games, according to court records. Charges against Bobby Johnson were later dismissed.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Texas Tobacco-Suit Lawyers Reportedly Get $3.3 Billion (According to an Associated Press article in The Seattle Times, The Dallas Morning News said today that the lawyers involved in the Texas tobacco settlement have been awarded nearly $3.3 billion by a national arbitration panel, the largest attorney-fee award in US history.) Date: Sat, 12 Dec 1998 14:07:54 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US TX: Texas Tobacco-Suit Lawyers Reportedly Get $3.3 Billion Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Friday, 10 December 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Author: The Associated Press TEXAS TOBACCO-SUIT LAWYERS REPORTEDLY GET $3.3 BILLION DALLAS - The lawyers involved in the Texas tobacco settlement have been awarded nearly $3.3 billion by a national arbitration panel, The Dallas Morning News reported today. The decision, which the newspaper said is the largest attorney fee award in U.S. history, means Texas will not have to pay any money to the five plaintiffs' lawyers. The money will come from tobacco companies. The panel, appointed by cigarette makers and a group of trial lawyers, deliberated 15 hours yesterday in Washington before agreeing to give the attorneys 19 percent of the $17.3 billion settlement reached earlier this year, the newspaper reported, citing lawyers familiar with the case. The award was nearly $1 billion more than called for in the original contract, but it is considerably less than the $6 billion to $25 billion that the lawyers requested last weekend. The Texas lawyers should get their first $200 million paycheck Tuesday. Texas, Florida, Minnesota and Mississippi reached settlements for a combined $40 billion before a national settlement, valued at $206 billion, was reached for the remaining 46 states seeking reimbursement for treating sick smokers.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Take a toke, minimize stroke, research says (According to a Knight-Ridder news service article in The Calgary Herald, a study reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says researchers at the National Institute of Health, led by A.J. Hampson, found that cannabidol, one of a class of marijuana constituents called cannabinoids, is a powerful antioxidant. When tested on rat neurons in a lab dish, the substance prevented the death of brain cells during conditions simulating a stroke.)Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 19:47:27 -0700 Subject: Take a toke, minimize stroke, research says From: "Debra Harper" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: mattalk (email@example.com) Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Calgary Herald Pubdate:Dec.10, 1998 Contact:email@example.com Take a toke, minimize stroke, research says Knight-Ridder Newspapers There may be a silver lining in a cloud of marijuana smoke. While most medical researchers donıt condone recreational marijuana use, marijuana derivatives may prevent brain cell damage in strokes. Researchers at the National Institute of Health, led by A.J. Hampson, found that cannabidol, one of a class of marijuana constituents called cannabinoids, is a powerful antioxidant. When tested on rat neurons in a lab dish (no smoking was involved) the substance prevented the death of brain cells during conditions simulating a stroke. Another cannabinoid, commonly known as THC, proved to be an equally effective antioxidant and neuron protector. However, the researchers said THCıs euphoric side effects would not allow doctors to administer it in high doses. The study was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Five Months In Jail For Pot Promoter (The Edmonton Journal says Alberta provincial court Judge David Tilley sentenced Ken Kirk to five months in jail Wednesday, even though Kirk uses cannabis to help control his epilepsy and other medical problems, including bipolar disorder and a chronic inflammation of the lower back. The judge said Kirk's crimes were aggravated by the large amount of pot police seized from him, the fact he re-offended while on bail and because he sold to a minor.) Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:43:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Five Months In Jail For Pot Promoter 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: 10 December 1998 Source: Edmonton Journal (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Edmonton Journal Author: Kerry Powell, Legal Affairs Writer FIVE MONTHS IN JAIL FOR POT PROMOTER Edmonton - Ken Kirk's crimes are too serious for him to avoid jail, even if it means cutting off the marijuana supply he says he needs, a judge said Wednesday. Kirk, who says he smokes pot to control his epilepsy and other ailments, pleaded guilty to two counts each of trafficking and possession for the purpose of trafficking. Provincial court Judge David Tilley said five months in jail was the best he could do in light of Kirk's medical difficulties. He said Kirk's crimes were aggravated by the large amount of pot police seized from him, the fact he re-offended while on bail and because he sold to a minor. Kirk isn't motivated by profit or greed, Tilley said. He only sells marijuana to make enough money to support his own habit. According to his pre-sentence report, Kirk has been smoking about 0.6 grams of pot a day for the past 22 years. He says it helps control his epilepsy and other medical problems, including bipolar disorder and a chronic inflammation of his lower back. As an advocate for legalization of marijuana, Kirk sees his crimes as a political statement, the judge noted, adding Kirk's psychological assessment showed he has little or no respect for the justice system. "I'm not going to penalize him for his attitude and beliefs," Tilley said. "I do not make the laws. My sole function is to interpret and apply the laws." Kirk, a self-proclaimed pope in the Church of the Reformed Druids, was first arrested Dec. 21, 1996, after a seven-gram sale. Police raided a residence occupied by 11 people, including four minors. They seized cash, customer lists, baggies, a scale and more than 300 grams of marijuana. Kirk was on bail for the first charges when he was seen smoking a joint in the Old Strathcona area on Oct. 1, 1997, and arrested again. Police seized a pipe, 25 grams of marijuana in baggies and $15. One youth told police Kirk had sold a small quantity to him for that amount. Tilley said the Crown's request for a nine-to-12-month sentence was too high and the defence lawyer's suggestion of a fine or parole was entirely inappropriate. Tilley said he considered defence counsel's request for a sentence to be served on weekends but the longest intermittent term allowed is 90 days and that wasn't enough.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Pot-for-Health Claim Still Draws Jail Term (The Edmonton Sun version) Date: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 11:45:49 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: Pot-for-Health Claim Still Draws Jail Term Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org Source: Edmonton Sun (Canada) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonSun/ Copyright: 1998, Canoe Limited Partnership. Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 Author: Amanda Morrall POT-FOR-HEALTH CLAIM STILL DRAWS JAIL TERM A chronic pot smoker was jailed for five months yesterday despite claims he needs his daily tokes for health reasons. A provincial court judge told Kenneth Kirk that he was compelled by law to send the 37-year-old marijuana advocate to jail and that fining him would be inappropriate. "I don't make the laws," Judge David Tilley told Kirk as he delivered the sentence. "My sole purpose is to interpret them. The best I can do in light of your medical condition is to impose a sentence I consider the rock bottom of the range," he said. Kirk suffers from epilepsy and other ailments including bipolar disorder and chronic inflammation of his lower back. Crown prosecutor Larry Ackerl had asked that Kirk - the self-proclaimed pope of the Church of Reform Druids - be jailed between nine months and a year for the drug offences. He pleaded guilty earlier to two counts each of trafficking and possession of marijuana for the purpose of trafficking. One of the sets of charges was laid while Kirk was out on bail for the first offence in December 1996. Tilley said Kirk's actions were an aggravating factor that had to be taken into account along with the fact that some of the drug sales involved minors. "It would be immoral and against community standards to try to change the laws so minors can buy hemp," he remarked. But he said he wouldn't hold it against Kirk that he was a staunch advocate for the legalization of marijuana and that he wanted to make a political statement with his actions. Kirk's lawyer Mike Furman said his client wasn't trying to profit from selling drugs and that he was doing it only to support his 22-year-old habit. He asked Tilley to consider an intermittent sentence that would allow Kirk to serve the time on weekends to minimize any potential injury that could befall him in jail. Tilley rejected the proposal but asked that Kirk's medical condition be made known to corrections officials.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug trade violence stalks Tijuana (An Associated Press article in The Detroit News says Tijuana sits between the haves and the have-nots: those in Mexico who have cocaine, marijuana, heroin and speed, and those in the United States who do not but will pay lots for it. With 2 million people, there is an average of one murder every 30 hours, the overwhelming majority connected to the smuggling of drugs, arms or undocumented workers. US officials seized more than 188 tons of drugs worth an estimated $308 million at five Mexico-California border crossings in the 1998 fiscal year - up 44 percent. Struggles between mid-level and emerging dealers have made 1998 the bloodiest on record: 156 homicides in Tamaulipas state, 49 in Chihuahua, and 216 in Sinaloa.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Drug trade violence stalks Tijuana Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 19:14:54 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org [..$1 million a week in bribes to federal, state and local officials...cc] Newshawk: email@example.com Source: The Detroit News Pubdate: Thursday, December 10, 1998 Online: http://www.detnews.com/1998/nation/9812/10/12100173.htm Drug trade violence stalks Tijuana * Smugglers turn border city into a battlefield: Is it a new Medellin? By Michelle Ray Ortiz Associated Press TIJUANA, Mexico -- On the border in northwestern Mexico, Tijuana sits between the haves and the have-nots: those in Mexico who have cocaine, marijuana, heroin and speed, and those in the United States who do not but will pay lots for it. Small-time dealers cook speed, or methamphetamine, in backroom labs hidden in poor neighborhoods. Big-time traffickers tally their profits behind guarded fortresses. Others in this border city of 2 million people just do their best to keep out of the line of fire. Every 30 hours, on average, violence claims another life in this gritty metropolis or in the barren deserts nearby -- the overwhelming majority of them connected to the smuggling of drugs, arms or undocumented workers. Some fear Tijuana is on the edge of becoming the new Medellin, the Colombian city that fell into chaotic drug violence in the 1980s and early '90s. Tijuana newspaper publisher Jesus Blancornelas said Tijuana has not yet seen the level of violence that characterized Medellin, but added: "I can't deny that at any moment it could happen." The city, home to the busiest border crossing on Earth, is one of the main ports of entry for drugs heading into the United States -- the world's largest drug market. U.S. officials seized more than 188 tons of drugs worth an estimated $308 million at the five Mexico-California border crossings in the 1998 fiscal year -- up 44 percent from the previous year. Along the 2,000-mile border, homicides this year have hit record levels near drug passage points: 156 in Tamaulipas state, 49 in Chihuahua, and 216 in Sinaloa, not a border state but a prime trafficking center, according to the Binational Center of Human Rights, an independent Tijuana group. The fragile balance that had checked drug violence in the past was upset by the July 1997 death of Amado Carillo Fuentes, who led a powerful cocaine smuggling cartel based in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso, Texas. In Tijuana, big-time trading still is firmly controlled by the Arellano Felix brothers, whose group brings multiton drug shipments into the western United States and beyond to Chicago, Kentucky, Ohio and New York. Yet struggles between mid-level and emerging dealers have made 1998 the bloodiest on record for the city, according to Victor Clark, director of the human rights center. "It has provoked a feeling of uncertainty, of insecurity along the border," he said. In September, a hit squad pulled an alleged marijuana trafficker and 18 of his relatives from their beds and killed them in El Sauzal, 45 miles south of Tijuana. In October, young men with a Kalashnikov assault rifle killed six strangers and wounded a seventh in what police say was a drugged, thrill-seeking spree. Fear keeps middle-class people from going out at night and private bodyguard services and security companies are booming. "This was never seen on the border before," Clark said. "This is new in Tijuana." Yet the city long has borne an outlaw reputation -- at least for foreigners. For decades, Americans - thousands of them -- have dipped south of the border for prostitution and gambling. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said last year that almost 90 percent of police officers, prosecutors and judges in Tijuana and in the state of Baja California were reportedly on the Arellano Felix payroll. Witnesses have said the brothers pay up to $1 million a week in bribes to federal, state and local officials. But one DEA official said Tijuana's violence is not as bad as Medellin once was -- simply because the Arellano Felix organization is so dominant. The Colombian city, caught in a war between two rival cartels, saw daily outbursts of violence.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drugs-Related Deaths Double In Glasgow (According to The Independent, in Britain, a new police report says illegal-drug-related deaths in the Scottish city have more than doubled in the past year. The increase - to 63, of which 55 were directly linked to heroin - breaks a downward trend over the previous three years. No word on whether more people die from falling down stairs, as is the case in the United States.) Subj: UK: Drugs-Related Deaths Double In Glasgow Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 18:54:20 -0800 Newshawk: Martin Cooke (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, 10 Dec 1998 Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd. Author: Stephen Goodwin, Scotland Correspondent DRUGS-RELATED DEATHS DOUBLE IN GLASGOW DRUGS-RELATED deaths in Glasgow have more than doubled in the past year, according to a new police report. Heroin is the main killer, with a growing number of users injecting the drug in a highly risky cocktail with temazepam - a benzodiazepine used to treat anxiety. Of the 63 drugs deaths in the city so far this year, 55 are directly linked to heroin, Strathclyde Police said. The increase breaks a downward trend over the previous three years - there were only 30 drug deaths in 1997. Glasgow's drug culture is a picture of social degeneration and related crime. An estimated 9,500 people inject substances in the city. Whereas drugs are generally used to cushion reality, on the housing estates there they tend to be used to block it out completely. According to Andrew Horne, manager of the Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre, adding in temazepam has just that effect. "If a heroin user was told Celtic had lost 6-0 to Rangers he would understand the information but not feel the pain," explained Mr Horne. "If he was using temazepam on top, he wouldn't even know about it." The new generation of users is mindless of the horrors of a decade ago. They start by smoking the drug, move on to injecting and then try cocktails. Doctors and drugs specialists believe that the rise in deaths is directly linked to a flood of illegally manufactured temazepam and probably the increased purity of heroin on the market. "Temazepam jellies are back in a big way," said Mr Horne. He charts the decline in deaths after 75 in 1995 to tighter controls on prescribing temazepam. But with its return in an easily injectable jelly form, he estimates that one-third of the 3,500 heroin users seen by the centre in a year are on the potentially deadly cocktail. Similar to cod liver oil capsules, jellies cost UKP1.50 to UKP2 each on the street. The Strathclyde Police drugs co-ordinator, Detective Superintendent Barry Dougall, said: "We are very disappointed in the rise in drug deaths because we thought last year we were making some impact. "The purity levels of heroin on the street has risen from between 15 and 30 per cent to between 20 and 60 per cent in recent times. We believe it is in response to the market trend to smoke heroin rather than inject it, as smokers require stronger purity." But as users turned to injecting, Det Supt Dougall said, it had "double the effect, double the consequences and double the danger". According to Greater Glasgow Health Board drugs unit, the cocktailing of heroin was certainly a factor in the rise in deaths. "We are seeing a new generation of kids starting to smoke heroin and then some of them are sliding down into injecting, and it is there that you get the deaths," a spokesman said. "Once into the culture of injecting and using other drugs as well as the heroin, then it is one of the most risky things a young person can do."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies, Year 4, No. 41 (A summary of European and international drug policy news, from CORA in Italy) Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 10:55:47 +0100 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: CORA Belgique
Subject: CORAFax #41 (EN) Sender: email@example.com ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 4 #41, December 10 1998 Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org CORA NEWS ITALY-THE PUBLIC SERVICES FOR DRUG ADDICTS DO NOT WORK PROPERLY The Cora has written a letter to the Parliamentary Commission On the Health System, to remind its members about the 60 accounts of facts that have been deposited in the offices of 60 State Attorneys. The President of the commission, Senator Antonio Tommasini, replies that he will set up an inquiry. ITALY-ANTI PROHIBITIONISTS IN THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT On the 19th of December the CORA will organise demonstrations in various Italian cities to propose a list of candidates for the 1999 European elections. *** "NEWS FROM THE WORLD" *** 000384 09/12/98 ADDICITION L'EXPRESS Given the invasion of new products that induce artificial happiness it has become impossible to distinguish between legal and illegal substances. Furthermore, the idea of a drug free world as seen by the United Nations is purely utopian. It is instead necessary accept the existance of 'drugs', as many civilizations have done for thousands of years. *** 000388 09/12/98 E.U. / FRANCE ADDICITON L'EVENEMENT DU JEUDI The number of people who smoke marijuana, and who do it openly, is rising. The opinion of the French in this public opinion poll: 30% think that cannabis is less harmful than tobacco; 75% think that alcohol is a great deal more harmful than cannabis; 25% would punish those who use it, and 41% would not vote for a party that pursues legalization of drugs. *** 000383 10/12/98 E.U. / GB / LONDON ADDICTION PANORAMA A research by the Financial Times shows that many London stock brokers and buying agents are drug addicts. In the City everyone knows this but does not make an issue out of it. It is thought that these professionals are under continuous stress, and therefore need extra 'help' to keep up the rhythm. *** 000381 04/12/98 E.U. / FRANCE HEALTH LE MONDE The Observatory on Drug Addiction says that use of substitutive products (above all Subutex) is spreading. Over 55000 heroin addicts are being cured by their general phisician, and that number is rising. *** 000380 03/12/98 E.U. / FRANCE INFORMATION LE MONDE Dominique Voynet, Minister of the Environment says that the time has come to discuss depenalisation of cannabis. Laws that cannot be contested are obsolete, especially in the light of the 50th anniversary of the declaration of human rights. *** 000382 07/12/98 E.U. / GB PUSHERS HERALD TRIBUNE A well known documentary on Columbian drug dealers that also won the CBS '60 minutes' prize has been showed to be a put-on in which actors and pre planned situations were used. *** 000387 07/12/98 E.U. / GB RECYCLING THE TIMES The National Criminal Intelligence Service is investigating 60 Companies and their lawyers for it is alleged that they are involved in recycling billions of puonds made through drug traffic. *** 000389 04/12/98 E.U. / GB TRAFFIC THE TIMES An alarm sounded by the National Criminal Intelligence Service: Beware of the Beanie Babies, a toy that is being widely sold, because they are produced to cover the illegal activities of drug traffickers and because they are made with materials that are harnful for children. *** 000390 05/12/98 AMERICA / USA / TEXAS TRAFFIC THE ECONOMIST Organized crime today resembles what it was in 1930s Chicago: A capillary structure based on drug traffic and capable of controlling everything, even in the prisons. *** 000385 05/12/98 E.U. / AUSTRIA WAR ON DRUGS SUEDDEUTSCHE Z. Anti drug tests have been performed on some high school students without them knowinng about it. The Minister of Justice says this is an anti constitutional act, which intrudes on the citizen's privacy. *** 000386 07/12/98 WAR ON DRUGS THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 03/12 / FINANCIAL TIMES 05/12 After Raul Salinas's wealth was confiscated in Switzerland an American Court has expressed doubts regarding the illegal provenance of the money. Many of those who testified have reamined anonymous and are scarcely reliable. In the meanwhile the Swiss bank that has the money in custody has nominated an appropriate commission to investigate the situation. *** 000391 07/12/98 E.U. / GB WAR ON DRUGS THE TIMES The National Crime Squad has especially employed, part time, some police officials in the fight against drug traffic. Their task will be to gather information and proof of crimes committed. *** 000392 02/12/98 EUROPE / ALBANIA WAR ON DRUGS THE TIMES Albania is one of the major cannabis producers. The drug is grown on hills and this year its price has gone down from 600 to 180 USD per Kilo. It is then exported through Greece or Italy. *** 000393 07/12/98 Lunedi E.U. / GERMANY WAR ON DRUGS DER SPIEGEL The police workers union is asking more freedom of choice in the fight against drugs. If someone is found with 30 grams of marijuana it should be the policeman's right to decide wether to arrest or not. The union is also favourable to controlled distribution of heroin. *** 000394 08/12/98 AMERICA / USA WAR ON DRUGS FINANCIAL TIMES / HERALD TRIBUNE President Clinton has cancelled Iran and Malaysia from the list of countries that are considered to be dangerously involved in drug traffic. Now 28 countries remain in the list. Thanks to the work of their Governments, Iran and Malaysia are not two af the main drug routes towards Europe and America anymore. *** CLIPPINGS ITALY- About 350 billion Lire have been set aside by the Government so that new projects for fighting drugs can be started -------------------------------------------------------------------
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