------------------------------------------------------------------- Brownie Mary Could Use a Pick-Me-Up (San Francisco Chronicle columnist Scott Ostler notes "Brownie" Mary Rathbun, the 69-year-old grandmother who baked pot brownies for AIDS patients she knew from volunteering at San Francisco General Hospital, has been hospitalized herself after a recent fall. She'll be at Ralph K. Davies Medical Center a long time, but hardly anyone stops by. "It's sad," says a friend. "No one has brought Mary her favorite medicine.")Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 10:21:57 -0600 From: "Frank S. World" (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Rx Cannabis Now! http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/7417/ To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (email@example.com) Subject: US CA: Brownie Mary Could Use a Pick-Me-Up Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Excerpted from Scott Ostler's column in today's SF Chronicle: Source: San Francisco Chronicle Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Pubdate: Monday, December 14, 1998 (c)1998 San Francisco Chronicle BROWNIE MARY COULD USE A PICK-ME-UP SCOTT OSTLER If all the people that Brownie Mary has comforted over the years were to visit her in the hospital, the room would be extremely crowded. Unfortunately, most of those people are dead. So Brownie Mary's hospital room is a very quiet place these days. Mary Rathbun is the 69-year-old grandmother who for years has baked marijuana brownies for ``my kids,'' the people dying of AIDS at San Francisco General, where she works as a volunteer. If Brownie Mary is a menace to society, someone forgot to tell the hospital, which has named her Volunteer of the Year several times. Now she's recovering from a fall. She'll be in the hospital (Ralph K. Davies Medical Center) a long time, but hardly anyone stops by. ``It's sad,'' says a friend. ``No one has brought Mary her favorite medicine.'' *** Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 12:10:02 -0800 From: Ted (Ted@rxcannabis.org) Organization: BRxCGC Newsgroups: sci.med.cannabis To: DRCNet Medical Marijuana Forum (firstname.lastname@example.org) CC: email@example.com Subject: Brownie Mary is in Hospital. Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Brownie Mary (Mary Rathbun) is the 69~year-old grandmother who for years has baked marijuana brownies for "my kids," the people dying of AIDS at San Francisco General, where she worked as a volunteer. Mary's Brownies were the begining of the S.F. Medicinal Cannabis Movement. Now she's recovering from a fall. She'll be in the hospital (Ralph K. Davies Medical Center) a long time. We are asking you to show her your love, support and thanks by sending her a "get well" card. Mailing address: Mary Rathbun Rm # 159 c/o California Pacific Medical Center, Davies Campus Castro and Duboce SanFrancisco, CA 94114 *** From: Movement@webtv.net (Marianne Haas) Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 17:38:32 -0800 (PST) To: email@example.com Subject: Re: DPFCA: US CA: Brownie Mary Could Use a Pick-Me-Up Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/dpfca/ The number you can reach Brownie Mary at is area code 415 565 6000 rm 159 bed a, but check with hospital operator. She hurt her arm, but is doing better according to her personal sitter nurse. Marianne *** [High Times interviewed "Brownie Mary" in the magazine's January 1993 issue while she was under indictment from a July 1992 bust. A follow-up article in June 1993 said: "Charged with possession for sale and distribution, she faced five years . . . because she had a previous marijuana felony on her record. But when her case reached the national media, the local prosecutor, Gene Tunney - who had sworn to give her the maximum allowable prison time - discovered that public sentiment was largely in Brownie Mary's favor. At a preliminary hearing he reduced the charges to misdemeanor possession. "In an unusual turn of events, Brownie Mary refused to plead guilty to the lesser charge, and the prosecutor then refused to prosecute the misdemeanor. 'Which essentially left the case dangling,' says David Nick, one of Rathbun's attorneys. Faced with a prosecutor unwilling to prosecute, the judge eventually dismissed all charges." (p. 23) - Portland NORML]
------------------------------------------------------------------- Inmates On Hold Burden Jails (The San Jose Mercury News says that even as crime in California falls to its lowest levels in decades, a ballooning population of prisoners awaiting trial is filling the state's county jails to record levels. Unsentenced inmates - men and women whom judges have refused to release until their cases go to trial and who cannot come up with bail - were once a minority in the state's jails. But in the past 10 years, their ranks have swollen by 50 percent, surpassing those jailed for minor crimes, according to statistics from the California Board of Corrections.) Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 18:54:22 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Inmates On Hold Burden Jails Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: Noam Levey INMATES ON HOLD BURDEN JAILS Fewer being let out while awaiting trial Even as crime in California falls to its lowest levels in decades, a ballooning population of prisoners awaiting trial is filling the state's county jails to record levels. Unsentenced inmates -- men and women whom judges have refused to release until their cases go to trial and who cannot pay the bail to get out -- were once a minority in the state's jails. But in the past 10 years, their ranks have swollen by 50 percent, surpassing those jailed for minor crimes, according to statistics from the California Board of Corrections. The population surge has accounted for nearly all the growth in county jail populations statewide since the late '80s. It has pushed up the costs of criminal justice and is prompting questions about how the courts are doing their job. In Santa Clara County, three of every five prisoners are unsentenced. In Alameda County, it is seven of 10. In San Mateo County, which has studied the problem extensively, a recent analysis of the county's courts suggests that the jail crunch may be the result of court decisions to release fewer people while their cases are processed. Judges in the Peninsula county said they were unaware of the trend and argue they are just watching out for the public's safety. But the plummeting release rates -- which have dropped by half since the early '90s -- are troubling county leaders who have been forced to scramble for money to watch the bulging jail population. ``It's incredibly frustrating,'' said San Mateo County Sheriff Don Horsley. ``If I had sentenced prisoners, I might be able to do something with them,'' he said, listing alternatives for sentenced inmates. ``With these unsentenced prisoners, I have no options. . . . They have to stay in jail.'' This population shift has not been cheap for California's counties, many of which have spent the past decade or more wrestling with serious overcrowding in their jails. Santa Clara County spent more than $65 million in the mid-'80s to build a new jail after being placed under court order to reduce crowding. San Mateo County completed its own new $35 million lockup in Redwood City four years ago. And just this fall, with that new jail filling to record levels primarily as a result of unsentenced inmates, San Mateo County was forced to commit $1.5 million more to hire sheriff's deputies to watch all the new inmates. San Mateo County this decade has not experienced the same level of increase as other counties around the state. There are still more sentenced than unsentenced inmates in San Mateo County's jails, according to the California Board of Corrections. Similar trend But San Mateo County is becoming more and more like its neighbors. While the number of sentenced inmates in the county has declined steadily over the past six years, the unsentenced population has increased by more than a third. Some county leaders, including the sheriff, lay responsibility for the increases squarely with the courts, who decide daily how many unsentenced prisoners will be locked up. Every afternoon, on the fourth floor of the San Mateo County Hall of Justice, a judge or commissioner reviews the day's crop of accused drug users, unlicensed drivers and the occasional murderer or rapist, and with a quick glance over each file, decides whether to set the accused free or to set bail and send the inmate back to jail. These decisions are usually made with information from the county bar association's Release on Own Recognizance Program, which interviews inmates before their ``in-custody hearings'' and recommends release for those who meet certain criteria, such as residency in the county and stable employment. Earlier this decade, about two-thirds of inmates who were recommended for release would be set free by the court at the in-custody hearing. Today, the release rate has dropped to 35 percent, according to an analysis prepared for the county by the program. Misdemeanor releases down And, the own recognizance program found, the release rate for those accused of misdemeanors has fallen most dramatically. At the same time, crime in the county is down. In the past year, as the number of unsentenced inmates in the county jail has increased most noticeably, arrests for violent felonies and violent misdemeanors have dropped, the program found. ``It's hard to understand why judges feel it's necessary to keep more people in jail,'' said San Mateo County Supervisor Rich Gordon, one of several county leaders who are questioning the court's decisions. Gordon and others are asking if judges are changing their approach to releasing those charged but not convicted of crimes. Members of the San Mateo County bench interviewed in recent weeks said they were unaware of this trend. And most categorically dismissed the idea that they are being tougher on unsentenced inmates. ``The judges who are doing the in-custody (hearings) are the same ones who have been doing them for 10 years,'' said San Mateo County's presiding judge, Judith Kozloski. ``I can't imagine there's been any change in the way they look at things.'' No decision Judge Richard Livermore, who started his career on the bench presiding over in-custody hearings in the early '90s and is now presiding over them again, said he knows of no decision to change the way the courts release prisoners. Most judges instead suggest that it is those arrested who have changed. ``It used to be that if a person was arrested and then released, he would come to court when he had to. Not anymore,'' said Judge Gregory Jensen, a 19-year veteran of the San Mateo County bench. ``People know that if you get arrested and released and you don't show up for court, you'll never be caught. . . . There's no more respect for the court.'' Jensen said the courts have been forced to keep people in jail so they don't run away while their cases are being processed. Others, including Commissioner Joseph Gruber, who presides over many of the county's in-custody hearings, said the courts are seeing more unsentenced inmates with long criminal records, who have violated their parole or who have illegally immigrated to this country. And, the 22-year veteran of the bench noted, as law enforcement has taken a more aggressive approach to domestic violence, he is seeing more accused spousal abusers. ``These are not people you want to just release back into their homes,'' Gruber said. There is some statistical evidence that some inmates at the in-custody hearings are different. Police are indeed arresting more people for domestic abuse. There are more inmates facing conviction under California's ``three strikes, you're out'' law. The ``three strikes'' law is prompting more accused felons to take their cases to trial and hence stay in jail longer, according to Bill Crout, deputy director of the Board of Corrections. But Crout and others say the law can only explain a portion of the growth statewide. Beyond this, there are few indications that those being denied release by the courts today are much different than those who were released five or six years ago. Released prisoners are in fact less likely to flee than they were earlier this decade, statistics from the own recognizance program show. In 1993, 11.1 percent of those released on their own recognizance by the courts did not return when scheduled. Last year, the failure to appear rate had declined to 8.6 percent, according to the program. It is unclear if those denied release are any more criminal today, but at least in the past year while release rates have continued to decline, the inmates appear to have become, if anything, less dangerous. Last year, 11.5 percent of those who were recommended for release but denied by the court were classified as higher-risk based on their criminal history. This year, just 7.7 percent were so classified, according to the own recognizance program. Police may, as Gruber suggested, be arresting more people wanted for parole violations or immigration problems, but these inmates would not affect the release rates because the program does not recommend them for release. Instead, county leaders are suggesting that the lower release rates most likely reflect the bench's increasingly hard-line approach toward everyone. ``The courts are becoming more and more just like us,'' Horsley said. ``They hear the politicians talking tough about crime. They see the new crime laws passed by the Legislature. . . . And they sense the mood of the public. Sensitive to critics ``They are stung by criticism of liberal judges who are soft on crime. Nobody wants to be the judge who releases a drunk driver who then hits a mother and child.'' This get-tough attitude has never pleased defense attorneys, but it is increasingly worrying some county leaders, who say the tough line taken toward unsentenced inmates is costing taxpayers millions while delivering little added security. ``There's no question we should be tough on crime,'' said county Supervisor Mike Nevin, a retired San Francisco police officer and one the court's harshest critics. ``But we have a responsibility to talk about who's in our jails and make sure we are locking up the right people.'' Some, including the sheriff, have suggested that inmates arrested for less serious crimes could be put on electronic monitoring or some other form of supervision while they await trial instead of being confined to the jail. But those ideas have attracted little interest from the bench. ``You have to consider the safety of the community,'' Kozloski said. ``It may be that (release) isn't granted as readily, but maybe that's as it should be. . . . I think that's what the people want.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Texas Ranger Says Military Acted To Obstruct Border Death Inquiry (According to an Associated Press article in The Houston Chronicle, Sergeant David Duncan, who investigated the killing of 18-year-old goatherder Esequiel Hernandez Jr. along the Mexican border by camouflaged Marines on a drug-interdiction mission, told the San Antonio Express-News that the military obstructed an inquiry into the death and says he wants a grand jury to consider the case a third time.) Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 18:50:45 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Texas Ranger Says Military Acted To Obstruct Border 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: 14 Dec 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle TEXAS RANGER SAYS MILITARY ACTED TO OBSTRUCT BORDER DEATH INQUIRY SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- A Texas Ranger who investigated the killing of an 18-year-old goatherder during a Marine Corps surveillance mission contends that the military obstructed an inquiry into the death and says he wants a grand jury to consider the case a third time. "The federal government came in and stifled the investigation," Rangers Sgt. David Duncan told the San Antonio Express-News. "It's really depressing. The system we hoped would work failed at the federal level." Duncan maintains that subpoenas were ignored, documents were hidden and Marines at times were kept from him and others who wanted to question them. He said Cpl. Clemente Banuelos, the Marine who shot Esequiel Hernandez Jr., and Banuelos' team had ample time to rehearse their stories and retrace their steps before state investigators could question them the day of the shooting. Last month, the chairman of the House Judiciary immigration subcommittee accused members of the Justice and Defense departments of negligence that set the stage for the May 1997 death of Hernandez. The teen had crossed paths with a four-man Marine team doing surveillance near Redford, about 200 miles southeast of El Paso. Banuelos shot Hernandez once in the chest with his M-16 after Hernandez fired twice through the brush and reportedly raised his 22-caliber rifle. Two grand juries that investigated the shooting issued no indictments. The Justice Department, which conducted a six-month civil rights inquiry, did not prosecute. The Navy Department, which oversees the Marine Corps, agreed in August without admitting wrongdoing to pay $1.9 million to the Hernandez family to settle a wrongful death claim against the government. The dispute over the shooting was reignited by partial release of a 13,000-page Marine Corps report in September. It faulted the Marines' behavior and training but concluded the shooting wasn't a crime. Maj. Gen. John Coyne, who headed the Pentagon's investigation, said there was no evidence a crime was committed and disputed the notion of a military cover-up. Coyne attributed the shooting to inadequate training and failures in the chain of command.
------------------------------------------------------------------- DC & Medical Marijuana on All Things Considered (A transcript of a National Public Radio newscast about Congress quashing Initiative 59, the District of Columbia medical-marijuana initiative.) Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 06:12:26 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: MMJ: Transcript: DC & Medical Marijuana on All Things Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Frank S. World Source: All Things Considered Copyright: National Public Radio, 1998 Pubdate: Mon, 14 Dec 98 Forum: http://www.npr.org/yourturn/ Website: http://www.npr.org/ Realaudio: Direct link to the RealAudio clip (Barr begins at 2:11): http://www.npr.org/ramfiles/atc/19981214.atc.05.ram Note: Yes, MAP does accept transcripts of radio and TV shows and news broadcasts at firstname.lastname@example.org Website introduction: DC & MEDICAL MARIJUANA -- Carol Van Dam reports that more than a month after Washington DC voters cast their ballots in a referendum to legalize marijuana for medical purposes, no one knows the outcome of the vote. That's because shortly before the November election, Congress added an amendment to the city's budget barring it from spending any money on the medical marijuana initiative. But the city couldn't stop the vote from taking place, because the ballots - with the initiative on them - had already been printed. DC officials say the amendment is an unconstitutional interference in their right to hold a local election and they and the ACLU have filed suit to allow the results to be revealed. TRANSCRIPT of segment on I-59, the DC medical marijuana Initiative from NPR's All Things Considered-Air Date 12.14.98. The segment aired at 1 hour and 20 minutes into the show. LEAD IN: Its been a month since voters in the District of Colombia cast their ballots in a legally binding referendum to legalize marijuana for seriously ill patients. No one knows the outcome of the initiative, even though all it takes is the press of a button. That button may never be pressed if a judge stands behind a new law forbidding the district to spend as much as one dime on the medical marijuana initiative. Carol Van Dam filed this report. For Wayne Turner, legalizing marijuana for medical purposes used to be a patients rights issue. But when he saw his partner, Steve Michael suffer from what's called "the wasting syndrome", a byproduct of AIDS, the drive for the medical marijuana initiative got personal for Turner: (Turner #1 643 He went from 185 to about 110 in 2 and a half months. So he used just a little bit of marijuana and he didn't like it. He didn't like the smell or the taste, but it was enough to get him to eat. That bought us a couple of extra months at the end of his life.") The medical community is undecided on the value of marijuana. Michael, who died in May, was the sponsor of a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and distribution of marijuana for the seriously ill. If approved, the measure would also force the city to provide poor patients with affordable marijuana. Shortly before his death, Michael removed his name as sponsor of the drive and added Turner's; knowing the sponsor had to be a living DC resident. And, he made Turner promise to never give up the fight: (Turner #2: 656) "His death really mobilized people in a very powerful way. Part of our AIDS activism is turning grief into action. And I lost Steve. I mean I watched him suffer. I wasn't gonna lose his initiative too.") But Turner has been unable to make good on that promise because of legislation introduced by Representative Bob Barr of Georgia. Barr says medical marijuana initiatives are simply a back door attempt to legalize illicit drugs. Barr saw the DC referendum as an opportunity to do something about it. Unlike any state, the district budget must be approved by congress. So Barr inserted into the DC budget bill an amendment banning the city from spending any money on the medical marijuana initiative. The Georgia lawmaker rejects assertions by DC officials that his amendment has thwarted the will of city residents: (Barr #1 900) What we're saying is that the federal taxpayer dollars are not to be used to be part of an effort to legalize marijuana. That's what this is a thinly veiled effort to legalize mind-altering drugs, namely marijuana. My constituents, who pay federal tax dollars to support the District of Colombia, and obviously, most taxpayers around the country because most members voted for my amendment feel the same way. They're simply saying you in DC do what you want but you're not using our money to do it."). Though Congress passed Barr's amendment on a voice vote, District residents were able to vote for or against the initiative on Election Day because the ballots had already been printed. Exit polls paid for by supporters show the referendum passed overwhelming. Yet the results remain a mystery because the district is barred from counting the votes. The ACLU filed a lawsuit attempting to have the congressional action ruled unconstitutional. DC chapter Executive Director Mary Jane DeFrank says they're also trying to get the ballot results released under a freedom of information request: (De Frank #1 758 "We think its outrageous that district residents cast their ballots and we are unable to find out even what the results are. But we are also in court, suing the DC Board of Elections and Ethics, that's who we have to sue, asking them to release the results and to certify the results of the ballot election that we had.") Strange as it may seem, the Board joined the ACLU in the suit against itself, saying it agreed Congress overstepped its boundaries. In the meantime, to comply with the new law, Alice Miller, the Board's executive director, instructed her computer specialist not to push the button that would spit out the results of Initiative 59. Miller says the Board is stuck between a rock and hard place: (Miller #1 56 "We've got two laws telling us to do two different things and that's why we're in the position that we're in and that's why we've gone to court to get the court to tell us what to do.") Miller says the cost to certify the initiative would be less than 500 dollars. She says the Board has stiffed the printer for 168 dollars while it awaits a ruling by a federal judge. The DC Corporation Counsel, which normally defends the City against lawsuits, represents the board of elections and ethics in the suit. Counsel spokesman Walter Smith says the Barr amendment violates the first amendment rights of DC residents: (Smith #1 "This is a provision that interferes with basic political processes. The right of the people to express their viewpoint on issues of public importance.) But Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, who chairs the congressional panel that oversees all legislation involving the District, sees nothing wrong with the Barr amendment: (Davis #1` " I think if Congress doesn't want the city to become a drug zone, they have a right to do that. That's Congress' purview and if President Clinton wants to sign the bill with that in, he has the right to do so and that's exactly what happened in this case.) And the Clinton administration agrees with Davis. The justice department has decided to represent congress in the suit. On the same day Dc's Referendum was supposed to be held, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada Oregon and Washington State all passed medical marijuana initiatives. In DC, All sides are hoping the federal district court judge will end the impasse once and for all. A hearing is scheduled for December 18th. For NPR News, I'm Carol Van Dam in Washington.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Have You Been Drinking or Using Drugs? Police Officers Will Soon be Able to Answer Both Parts of This Question in Just Minutes (A former prohibition agent's press release on Business Wire says LifePoint Inc., a Rancho Cucamonga, California-based company will soon be marketing a saliva test that will allow police to check drivers for the ingestion of illegal drugs. The former Los Angeles cop also asserts that alcohol is not a drug, and cites two articles from The Journal of Forensic Sciences, in 1993, and The New England Journal of Medicine, in 1991, which he claims show about 50 percent of drivers under the influence are actually under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, disregarding evidence from around the world showing that cannabis users are safer than drivers who use no substances at all.) From: GDaurer@aol.com Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:44:07 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: New Drug Test Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com Have You Been Drinking or Using Drugs? Police Officers Will Soon be Able to Answer Both Parts of This Question in Just Minutes LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 14, 1998-- Fred Reno, Former L.A.P.D. Detective Lieutenant and Narcotics Officer, Available for Interviews What if a police officer could tell if a suspect was under the influence of illegal drugs in a matter of minutes, as easily as the officer could administer a breathalyzer test for alcohol? At holiday checkpoints across the nation this month, police officers will routinely administer breathalyzer tests to determine if a suspect is under the influence of alcohol. However, statistics show that about 50 percent of drivers under the influence are actually under the influence of drugs, not alcohol ("Prevalence of Drugs and Alcohol in Fatally Injured Truck Drivers," Journal of Forensic Sciences, Vol. 38, No. 6, November 1993; "Testing Reckless Drivers for Cocaine and Marijuana," New England Journal of Medicine, Aug. 25, 1991). Breathalyzer tests, while simple and reliable, cannot test for the presence of drugs of abuse in a person's system. Testing blood for the presence of illegal drugs requires an invasive blood or urine collection procedure and exposes technicians to health risks from contact with contaminated substances. "People are driving under the influence of a lot more than alcohol these days, and police officers can't easily tell if someone's using rock cocaine, PCP or other illicit drugs without time-consuming and invasive blood or urine tests," said Fred Reno, 58, a retired detective lieutenant and former narcotics officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, adding, "A device that could test instantaneously for drugs and alcohol will make breathalyzers obsolete." Saliva testing currently exists as an option only for alcohol tests. The only way to currently test for drug-related driving (impairments) is with a blood test. Urine testing, while useful in determining whether a person has used drugs as recently as two days prior to the date of the test, cannot reveal whether a person is currently under the influence of drugs. With an innovative, new device designed to make testing for drugs as easy and noninvasive as a breathalyzer for alcohol, saliva testing can now uncover drugs of abuse. The new technology is being incorporated into a hand-held device by LifePoint Inc. (OTC BB:LFPT), a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based company. The company's first product application will offer simple, reliable saliva testing for drugs of abuse and alcohol. This noninvasive option will allow police departments to reduce the time and risk involved in current testing methods, while maintaining accuracy. Another advantage will be the device's ability to simultaneously test for drugs and alcohol in less than five minutes. The company hopes to complete testing and have the product available for use in the 1999-2000 holiday period. This new technology is easily adaptable to a wide variety of settings, with potential applications ranging from screening for heart disease and cancer, to drug monitoring in nonmedical settings, to use by law enforcement. The LifePoint device will supply the user with a painless testing alternative that is speedy and reliable at the same time -- welcome news for medical and law enforcement personnel and for everyone who would prefer to avoid needles whenever possible. LifePoint recently appointed Burrill & Co. to help the company find corporate partners to take this technology to a wide variety of diagnostic applications. For more information on LifePoint, visit www.lifepointinc.com or call 909/466-8047, ext. 222. This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding future events and the future performance of LifePoint Inc. that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These risks include, but are not limited to, the early stage of product development; the need for additional funding; the initiation and completion of clinical trials; and dependence on third parties for clinical testing and marketing. These risks are described in further detail in the company's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Fred B. Reno Professional Biography Fred B. Reno retired as a police lieutenant from the Los Angeles Police Department in January 1993, with 29 years of diversified management and investigative experience. He was directly responsible for investigations ranging from vice, narcotics and homicides to computer crimes, political corruption and major financial investigations. He has 12 years of investigative hypnosis experience as a trained investigative hypnotist. Reno is currently a member of the board of directors of the International Society for Investigative and Forensic Hypnosis. He is an assistant professor, Administration of Justice, at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Calif., specializing in investigative and management courses. Reno graduated from the University of Southern California in 1979 with a masters degree in public administration. He is also a member of various criminal justice and academic organizations and societies. Reno is available for interviews on drug and alcohol testing methods used by law enforcement personnel. To reach Reno, contact Tom Evans at 800/600-7111, ext. 228. CONTACT: Halsted Communications Inc. 805/648-9844 or 213/957-3111 Jennifer Zide, ext. 236 Wendy P. Basil, ext. 222 KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA
------------------------------------------------------------------- New Surveillance Proposed for Bank Accounts (Reuters and Wired say a proposed government plan that has drawn fire as an Orwellian intrusion into Americans' privacy would require US banks to monitor their customers and alert federal officials to "suspicious" behavior.) Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 12:34:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: New Surveillance Proposed for Bank Accounts Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Author: Declan McCullagh NEW SURVEILLANCE PROPOSED FOR BANK ACCOUNTS WASHINGTON (Wired) - US banks must monitor their customers and alert federal officials to "suspicious" behavior under a government plan that has drawn fire as an Orwellian intrusion into Americans' privacy. A set of proposed regulations released last Monday requires banks to review every customer's "normal and expected transactions" and tip off the IRS and federal law enforcement agencies if the behavior is unusual. "It turns us into surveillance agents for the government," said John Ehrensperger, compliance director for Atlanta-based Sun Trust Bank. Ehrensperger stressed that he was not speaking on behalf of his employer. Adopting so-called "Know Your Customer" programs will stifle drug-related money laundering, the Federal Reserve Board has claimed for years. "The proposed regulations will reduce the likelihood that banks will become unwitting participants in illicit activities," the proposed rules say. Government officials argue the rules are not overly intrusive, and that privacy critics are overreacting. "It's overly alarmist," said Bob Moore, a spokesman for the Federal Reserve Board. "We're not going to invade anyone's privacy." Unless regulators change their minds, banks will be required to comply no later than 1 April 2000. The Federal Reserve, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation have published identical requirements. As written, the rules will not apply to credit unions. When a bank detects any "suspicious activity," current regulations require that the company complete a five-page report that includes the customer's name, address, Social Security number, driver's license or passport number, date of birth, and information about the transaction. The banks are required to telephone law enforcement "in situations involving violations requiring immediate attention." The bank sends the information to a computing center in Detroit, where it becomes part of the Suspicious Activity Reporting System, a mammoth searchable database jointly administered by the IRS and FinCEN that went online in April 1996. Over a dozen agencies-including the FBI, IRS, Secret Service, bank regulators, and state law enforcement-share access to the data. The proposed rules require banks to determine the "source of a customer's funds"- such as payroll deposits-and authorize federal agents to inspect "all information and documentation" of accounts upon request. An alliance of conservative, libertarian, and privacy groups is mobilizing to fight the Know Your Customer plan. "The idea that the average American is going to have to justify to a federal agency where they got their money and how they used it- and proving it to those agents-is just beyond the comprehension of most Americans," said Lisa Dean, vice president of the Free Congress Foundation. "It's not done in a free society." Dean is preparing a report to be published by the end of December, but in the meantime she's encouraging groups to submit their own comments to the government by the 8 March 1999 deadline. The American Civil Liberties Union believes the proposed rules are "a major concern" and an unwelcome extension of the drug war, said legislative council Rachel King. The ACLU plans to fight the proposal, as will the Electronic Privacy Information Center, director Marc Rotenberg said. In 1996, Federal Reserve Board Governor Edward Kelley ordered the agency to begin developing Know Your Customer regulations, and the first draft was finished in summer 1997. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's money laundering task force also has endorsed Know Your Customer rules, calling them "the cornerstone" of the group's recommendations to member nations. "The program should also be designed to allow banking organizations to monitor the transactions of their customers to ensure that they are consistent with their expected transactions, and identify and report, as necessary, those transactions that are unusual or suspicious," Herbert Biern, a top Fed official, told the House banking committee in June 1998. The Fed and other banking regulators that have developed the rules say no new laws are required, arguing existing law gives them more enough authority. "The FDIC has the statutory authority to promulgate this proposed regulation," the agency said. But Congressman Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who serves on the House Banking committee, plans to nix their plans. "This massive new program-euphemistically called 'Know Your Customer'-would convert our nation's banks into wholly owned subsidiaries of the government-wide movement to invade every aspect of Americans' privacy," Paul wrote in a recent column. Paul plans to introduce legislation early next year to prevent Know Your Customer from becoming reality, an aide said. "These costs get passed on to consumers," said Brad Jansen, legislative assistant to Paul. "We've already effectively deputized bank tellers. Now we're making them private investigators as well." In the final draft of the rules, the effective date was postponed from October 1999 to April 2000 to allow for Y2K repairs of banks' computer systems. Some banks have opposed the measure, but outcry has been muted since federal law immunizes financial institutions from liability when disclosing suspicious customer activities to the government. "The majority of our membership doesn't need to fill out more forms and profile people because they already know them," said Steve Scurlock, executive vice president of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas. "They've seen these people for the last 20 years," Scurlock said. "They go to church with them. They coach their sons in Little League baseball. To have more forms to fill out is exactly the wrong thing to do." These regulations are another example of the government asking the private sector to do its dirty work, economist Richard Rahn argues. "Businesses ought not to do the things that government should do. And governments ought not to be in business," said Rahn, CEO of Novecon and author of the forthcoming book The End of Money. The combination of sky-high compliance costs for banks and the relatively few money laundering prosecutions isn't worth it, Rahn said. "The real cost of each money laundering conviction is more than $100 million dollars," he said. Rahn estimates that between 1987 and 1996, banks have filed more than 77 million currency transaction reports-weighing in at 308,000 pounds-with the US Treasury. That's 531 pounds per conviction. (Reuters/Wired)
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marijuana Advocates Continue Push For Legal Use (Reuters summarizes the recent annual conference in Washington, DC, sponsored by the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws. Activists do not agree on the best way to legalize marijuana, but all agree that the success of multiple medical marijuana initiatives Nov. 3 marks a watershed for their movement. Some believe medical marijuana should be the first goal and the acceptance of marijuana at a grass-roots level will lead ultimately to wider progress for personal freedoms.) Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 18:37:46 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Wire: Marijuana Advocates Continue Push For Legal Use Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Dave Fratello (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Author: Mahmoud Kassem MARIJUANA ADVOCATES CONTINUE PUSH FOR LEGAL USE WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One by one, they came to the podium -- lawyers, doctors and business executives -- to confess publicly their years of marijuana use. "I've smoked marijuana for 30 years, and inhaled too," Paul Kuhne, a Tennessee businessman, told a recent conference called by the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) to explain the difficulty of smoking marijuana and being a social conservative at the same time. Kuhne came to the conference to defend medicinal marijuana. His wife, who died recently, also used marijuana, he said. "My business partner told me I had to stop smoking marijuana if I wanted to keep my job," he said. So he stopped. He drank martinis instead and wrote letters to newspapers calling for the legalization of marijuana, prompting police to raid his home after a surveillance operation. There they found posters and leaflets calling for the legalization of marijuana. And again his partner warned him. "My business partner told me I had to take down those posters if I wanted to keep my job," he said. Kuhne, with other successful middle-aged professionals, came to Washington to press for legalization of marijuana and for the day when adults would not be penalized for using it. According to the FBI's most recent Uniform Crime Report, state and local officials arrested about 700,000 people on marijuana charges in 1997. Activists want to cut this figure to zero. MANY HAVE SMOKED, FEW ADMIT IT NORML could not have timed its annual conference better. In the Nov. 3 elections more than 55% of voters approved measures legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes in Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state. More than a quarter of all Americans have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives, according to polls conducted for NORML, but few have come to the capital to make a declaration, and fewer still in high office are prepared to put an end to what activists say is hypocrisy. "Look where marijuana got Bill Clinton. Politicians confess their youthful indiscretions, then call for tougher drug laws," sniped Ethan Nadelmann, a professional activist against anti-drug measures. Clinton, in his first run for president in 1992, said he had tried marijuana but had not inhaled. Other participants in the conference justified marijuana legalization by citing well-known figures such as Britain's Queen Victoria who allegedly ingested cannabis regularly. Some even showed their defiance by openly smoking the drug. Irvin Rosenfeld, a stockbroker and one of a handful of legal users in the country who obtain their marijuana from the U.S. government for medical purposes, sat at the back of the conference hall puffing on one of his rationed joints. "Law enforcement can't touch me," he explained with some relish as he flaunted a bag of marijuana cigarettes that he receives freeze-dried from the government. Every year the Office of National Drug Policy reminds the conference that smoking marijuana is illegal. Only a handful of marijuana smokers are exempt, certified by an experimental 1978 program that the government is phasing out. GOVERNMENT INSISTS MARIJUANA BAD FOR HEALTH The government says it has not shifted from a long-standing line: "Smoked marijuana damages the brain, heart, lungs and immune system." It spent $17.1 billion this year to combat drugs, and the Education Department alone is spending $739 million to warn children off drug use. Barry McCaffrey, head of the White House anti-drug office, said after the election that marijuana reformers ignore scientific principles in their drive to legalize the drug. "The propositions (to legalize medicinal marijuana) are thinly veiled attempts to legalize marijuana for general use," McCaffrey said. "Marijuana advocates have mounted a well-financed, sophisticated public relations campaign to persuade Americans to their point of view. They use personal anecdotes rather than science to support their position." Despite last month's approval of medical marijuana in five states, the federal government has maintained its opposition to the drug by denouncing the methods of medical marijuana activists and in one case by blocking election procedures. In Washington, D.C., exit polls by NORML showed that 69 percent of voters backed legalization, but a provision inserted in the budget by Rep. Bob Barr, a Georgia Republican, bars the district from using any funds to count the vote, so the referendum has no legal effect. "These initiatives in Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state are deceptive and dangerous," McCaffrey said. "Allowing a purported medication to circumvent federal approval does a great disservice to the American public." 'TIME FOR GOVERNMENT TO GET OUT OF OUR LIVES' Marijuana activists reject federal interference in state initiatives, saying it only shows how out of touch with public opinion the government is. "It's time for the government to get out of our personal lives and let us as individuals decide ... how we conduct ourselves in the bedroom and whether we smoke marijuana or drink alcohol when we relax," NORML director Keith Stroup said. Activists do not agree on the best way to legalize marijuana, but all agree that the recent success of medical marijuana initiatives marks a watershed for their movement. Some believe medical marijuana should be the first goal and the acceptance of marijuana at a grass-roots level will lead ultimately to wider progress for personal freedoms. "A modicum of discretion and a low-key approach is the key to success for medical marijuana," said Robert Raich, a lawyer for the Cannabis Co-operative in Oakland, California, where the city council declared a medical state of emergency when federal authorities ordered the co-operative to close on Oct. 20. It has since reopened but Raich fears too much publicity galvanizes federal agents to file closure orders. "Vociferous and aggressive calls to legalize marijuana are not always good for the immediate cause of legalizing medical marijuana," he said. REUTERS
------------------------------------------------------------------- Rx: Marijuana (Dan Baum, author of "Smoke and Mirrors," writes in The Nation that he once thought the main problem for medical marijuana patients was marijuana's classification under Schedule I of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970, which describes it as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Moving it to Schedule II would make clinical research possible and eventually permit prescriptions. In the present political climate, however, this course seems unlikely.) Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 16:29:14 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: RX;Marijuana Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: 14 December 1998 Source: Nation, The (US) Author: Dan Baum Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.thenation.com/ Copyright: 1998, The Nation Company RX: MARIJUANA Initiatives authorizing the medical use of marijuana passed in five states in the last election. (Another one would have passed in the District of Columbia, according to exit polls, but it was consigned to limbo by a blatantly antidemocratic amendment introduced by Representative Bob Barr forbidding federal funds to be spent tallying the vote.) On this subject the words of Dr. Lester Grinspoon, a leading authority on the drug (he is author of Marijuana: The Forbidden Medicine) and professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, are apropos: "As the number of people who have used marijuana medicinally grows, the discussion is turning from whether it is effective to how it should be made available." I once thought the main problem was its classification under Schedule I of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Control Act of 1970, which describes it having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. Moving it to Schedule II (Representative Barney Frank has introduced a bill to do just that ) would make clinical research possible and eventually permit prescriptions. In the present political climate, however, this course seems unlikely. Schedule II drugs must undergo rigorous, expensive, and time-consuming tests before they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Who would pay for the tests? Not the drug companies, because there is no profit for them in marijuana, which can't be patented. Only the US government has sufficient resources to explore medical marijuana, but it opposes loosening present restrictions on clinical research. A second problem is that as a Schedule II drug, marijuana would still be classified as having a high potential for abuse, as well as limited medical use. Pharmacies might be reluctant to carry it, knowing the DEA would be keeping close tabs on them. The DEA could hound physicians who, by its standards, prescribed cannabis too freely or for purposes that the government considered unacceptable. Many thousands of people now obtain it illegally, often at great risk, to relieve conditions ranging from appetite loss due to AIDS to pre-menstrual syndrome and chonic pain, and they are teaching doctors that marijuana has therapeutic uses and that the risks now associated with obtaining it are needless. A half million citizens are arrested in this country each year for possession of marijuana, many of htem for medical purposes. Regulated availability under the same rules applied to alcohol may be the only way to make its judicious medical use possible. Fortunately, patients and doctors have now begun to create the conditions for the enormous change in our understanding of this drug that will make it possible to implement new laws and policies."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Herbal Medicine (A letter to the editor of Time wonders why the magazine's special issue on herbal medicine never mentioned marijuana, the one herb thousands of Americans take for anxiety, fatigue, chronic depression, nausea, pain and other ailments.) Date: Fri, 11 Dec 1998 11:07:34 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: PUB LTE: Time: What About Marijuana? Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Doc Hawk Source: Time Magazine (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.time.com/ Copyright: 1998 Time Inc. Pubdate: 14 Dec 1998 Author: Chris L. Legreid Note: On 23 Nov 1998 Time published an issue with herbal medicines as the cover article. WHAT ABOUT MARIJUANA? Time failed to mention the one herb thousands of Americans take for anxiety, fatigue, chronic depression, nausea, pain and other ailments: marijuana. In spite of the fact that laws make possession or use of marijuana a worse crime than assault in some states, thousands of people recognize the value of this natural herb. Strange how society can sanction the use of processed drugs and purely manufactured substances yet harbor such defiant hostility toward one of nature's gifts. Chris L. Legreid
------------------------------------------------------------------- Loud music as addictive as drugs, study says (The Ottawa Citizen says a study published last week in Ear and Hearing, by researchers at Northeastern University, supposedly found that people who "need" high-decibel music experience the same withdrawal symptoms as substance abusers. The group adapted a 32-question survey used to diagnose alcoholism and recruited 90 self-professed loud-music lovers, eight of whom showed signs of addiction. However, according to Will Hunter, a substance-abuse specialist and one of the researchers, "There really is no need to be worried. It needs to be clinically significant distress or impairment - which means pretty serious.") From: email@example.com (Matt Elrod) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: US MA: Loud music as addictive as drugs, study says Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 08:50:22 -0800 Lines: 101 Newshawk: email@example.com Source: Ottawa Citizen (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Monday, December 14, 1998 Author: Allison Hanes Loud music as addictive as drugs, study says Researchers find those who need high-decibel fix experience same symptoms as substance abusers Whether you prefer to blast Mozart, left, or James Hetfield of Metallica, the effects are equally troubling. Loud music addicts can experience hearing loss and symptoms of withdrawal like mood swings, lethargy and depression. Listening to Mozart or Metallica cranked full-blast may be an addiction, a group of American researchers concludes. People dependent on a high-decibel "fix" may experience the same symptoms and side effects as alcohol, tobacco and drug addicts, says a study published last week in Ear and Hearing by researchers at Northeastern University in Boston. The group adapted a 32-question survey used to diagnose alcoholism and recruited 90 self-professed loud-music lovers, eight of whom showed signs of addiction. The addicts displayed symptoms such as craving, loss of control over their music-listening habits, detrimental side effects like hearing loss, an infringement on other activities and symptoms of withdrawal like mood swings, lethargy and depression. Mary Florentine, a professor of audiology research and one of the study's authors, says people with noise-induced hearing loss who insisted they couldn't stop cranking their stereos planted the seeds for the project. She adds that the subjects themselves suspected their music-listening habits might be out of control. "This doesn't apply to the normal condition of teenage music listening, where teenagers will listen to music for long periods of time. The problem is when it's too loud for too long and it's taking over their lives." The range of loud-music addicts crosses lines of gender, age and musical taste, and takes in people ages 15 to 58 who listened to music ranging from heavy metal to classical. "We had a 56-year-old man who listened to classical music and would blast classical music and his normally hearing daughter would tell him 'dad, turn it down'," Prof. Florentine says. "So it doesn't appear to make any difference what type of music, it's just that the person likes that type of music." This voracity for volume is surfacing as one of a number of new addictions linked to technological change, like addiction to gambling at video-lottery terminals and obsession with the Internet. Soren Buus, a professor of electrical and computer engineering who did the number-crunching, says despite the 10 per cent addiction rate in the study, loud-music addiction would be rare in society at large. "A good part of the population we recruited in a CD store, so I don't think we should expect to find anywhere near 10 per cent of the population as a whole would have this problem," he says. "But one or two per cent, maybe." The study says music can be loud without being annoying and the more a person enjoys a song, the louder they tend to play it -- to the point that well-liked music may be perceived as less loud than unliked music even when played at the same intensity. The researchers say this, coupled with the popularity of equipment like walkmans, is what prompts people to pump the volume in the first place. Music "has the capacity to induce rapid potent changes in mood and level of arousal, the ability to reduce negative states and the tendency to elicit the experience of craving," the study says. "These three elements seem to be present in all addictive substances around which patterns of addictive behaviour tends to develop." The study, which has been in the works for three years, will next have loud-music addicts clinically diagnosed by a psychologist. Will Hunter, is director of substance-abuse at Mayo Regional Hospital in Maine, and one of the researchers. He says he was surprised by the results because his background in addiction research made him a natural skeptic. "My criteria for looking at the results was very stringent," says Mr. Hunter. "I was especially careful to avoid a false positive above all else." But Mr. Hunter says while high-decibel dependence is possible, family members shouldn't jump to the conclusion that their loved one who loves music is an addict. "There really is no need to be worried," he says. "It needs to be clinically significant distress or impairment -- which means pretty serious." Copyright 1998 Ottawa Citizen -------------------------------------------------------------------
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