------------------------------------------------------------------- Implementation of Measure 67 (Stormy Ray, a multiple sclerosis patient and chief petitioner for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act of 1998, provides some potentially helpful advice to other Oregon patients about how to comply with the voter-approved law.) From: "Stormy Ray" (email@example.com) To: "dpfor" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DPFOR: Implementation of Measure 67 Date: Thu, 17 Dec 1998 19:11:28 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ Dear People, I know things are working themselves out. The difficulties we're having are good problems to have. But for those of us that are feeling undue stress and concern about OMMA's implementation, I hope this helps. I've received several calls regarding Medical Marijuana. I've spoken to people from several states across the US. More and more people (including all walks of society) are realizing it's helping someone they care about. Some of them may not have been on the front line with us, but they are aware now and need to learn all they can about the law where they live, how medical marijuana works, do's and don'ts, etc. After several days on a roller coaster of being up (having medication) and down (having body drawn and bed ridden due to no medication) I'd like to suggest that patients try to get their doctor's notation as soon as possible. For anyone having trouble opening up a conversation with their doctor, here's a suggested dialog. "Have you heard that it isn't the THC-Delta-9 that medical patients are after. Instead of the "getting high"aspects, they're really interested in the effect the cannabinoids have on their affliction. Studies are finding it's the cannabinoids (over 60) in the natural marijuana plant. Here is a copy of our (Oregon) law that allow patients to __(Process, medicate, and grow without buying or selling) to alleviate their symptoms. _(Doctor's name)_ all I need from you so I can comply with our law. I need _(a copy of my patient chart saying, it (marijuana or cannabis "may alleviate symptoms". (You may want to share your personal experience with medical marijuana, that's up to you) There's also several websites where you can learn more about the law and medical marijuana. Shall I just make arrangements at the desk to pick up my copy? Here's what my doctor wrote: "Please note that with Stormy Ray she has been taking Marinol in tablet form. She gets a better form of cannabis by smoking and it has been shown to alleviate symptoms in her definitely." I'm hearing surprise from patients that didn't think their doctors were even approachable, finding they are and glad to help patients comply to the new law. One other concern that keeps popping up is the harm done by smoking, the smell, and the second hand smoke. For those concerned, please look into a vaporizer. For instance, the brand name "Cloud 10 Vaporizer can be used to extract the active ingredients of medicinal herbs, thereby releasing the desired active ingredients in a vapor form that you inhale from a tube. All the harsh by-products of combustion are left behind. This leaves no burning in the back of the throat, no cloud of smoke when exhaling, just a flavor of the medicinal herb. To get a free catalog call 1-888-265-8277. To help with the implementation of Oregon Medical Marijuana Act Measure 67, please give people this tool free toll # to call 1-877-600-6767 or for information call. OMR (Oregon Medical Rights) Geoff Sugerman or Amy Klare at 1-503-371-4711, or call me at 1-541-889-3876 or e-mail me at: email@example.com God Bless, Stormy Ray
------------------------------------------------------------------- Task Force: New office needed to improve pain management (The Associated Press says a state task force has recommended that Oregon should set up a new office to improve pain management and ease doctors' fears about treating pain with narcotics. The recommendations will be given to Governor John Kitzhaber and the legislature next month in hopes that lawmakers will act on them.) Associated Press found at: http://www.oregonlive.com/ feedback (letters to the editor): firstname.lastname@example.org Task Force: New office needed to improve pain management The Associated Press 12/18/98 2:07 AM PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon should set up a new office to improve pain management and ease doctors fears about treating pain with narcotics, a state task force has recommended. During a six hour session Thursday, the group put finishing touches on its recommendations, which include hiring an ombudsman to oversee programs aimed at improving pain management. The recommendations will be given to Gov. John Kitzhaber and the Legislature next month in hopes that lawmakers pass them into law. Oregon has been looked on as a national leader in pain management especially for terminally ill patients. But patients with chronic pain -- especially those not suffering from a terminal illness -- often do not get adequate relief. That reality prompted the Legislature to organize the 30-member task force last year. "It's difficult to get help with pain relief because of doctors fearing what the (state) board is going to do," said Ellie Jenning, a disabled woman who has followed the task force. "It's mainly the perception of what they will do, but those fears still exist. "This will give doctors a place to go and air complaints and it would let patients know that they have a place to go for help," said Jenning, who also represents Project Equality, a consumer group supporting the Oregon Health Plan. The task force held public hearings all over the state and the recommendations are the results of hours of testimony from doctors, insurers, advocates and patients. What the task force found was that doctors and other health care providers are not always familiar with state-of-the-art pain treatments, and state regulations sometimes inhibit the best treatments. The fear of causing a patient to become addicted to narcotics often makes doctors underprescribe pain killers and shy away form narcotics. And chronic pain is not detected well in children, the elderly and minorities with language differences. Roger Weeks, a retired hospice chaplain and task force member said the new state office and ombudsman are a start. "This is a good thing from a consumer point of view," Weeks said. "This will allow people to find out about resources they may not have known existed."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Raid yields guns, ammunition, drug paraphernalia (An Oregonian account of North Portland residents being awakened at 5:30 a.m. Thursday by a police raid characteristically fails to say what the "paraphernalia" consisted of or whether the weapons were illegal, or on what evidence Portland police charged Leroy Sylvester Long with conspiracy to commit first-degree distribution of a controlled substance, or how one person could engage in a conspiracy and/or why nobody else was apparently charged.) The Oregonian letters to editor: email@example.com 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ Raid yields guns, ammunition, drug paraphernalia * Neighbors on North Greeley are awakened by the police operation, in which a man is arrested Friday, December 18 1998 By Maxine Bernstein of The Oregonian staff Police raided a North Portland home early Thursday, seizing nine guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and drug paraphernalia before leading away one man who is accused of firing a gun inside the house earlier this month. Neighbors, who were awakened by the 5:30 a.m. police operation, looked on with satisfaction, hoping that the arrest would put an end to the gunshots, loud parties and constant car traffic at the house. "They've been nothing but trouble," said Helen Andrews, who lives across the street from the house on the 7000 block of North Greeley Avenue. "I hope they move them out of here." Leroy Sylvester Long, 25, of 7104 N. Greeley Ave., was roused from sleep and taken into custody. He was arrested on suspicion of unlawful use of a firearm, unlawful possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to commit first-degree distribution of a controlled substance, Lt. Steve Hollingsworth said. Long was being held Thursday in the Justice Center jail in lieu of $60,000 bail. North Precinct police are continuing to investigate whether Long was involved in burglaries along his street. Several neighbors said they had aluminum siding, planters and other items stolen from outside their homes within the past year. Police were called to the house Dec. 6 on a report of a fight. Long was assaulted that night during a party in his home and allegedly fired nine shots into the ceiling to scare off his attackers, police said. Officers went to the house but were not granted permission to enter the home that evening, Hollingsworth said. Portland police from the Youth Gun Anti-Violence Task Force obtained a warrant and surrounded the single-family rental home early Thursday with members of the police Special Emergency Reaction Team. Using a loudspeaker, they announced they had a warrant to search the house, awakening Long and his mother and father, Hollingsworth said. Police found a loaded AK-47 rifle an the kitchen and other guns in Long's bedroom. Among the weapons seized were two .40-caliber semiautomatic handguns, a .22-caliber handgun, a sawed-off shotgun, a 12 gauge shotgun and three rifles, Hollingsworth said. Portland firefighters also were called to help police tear through the dining room ceiling, where they found several bullets they think lodged there in the Dec. 6 shooting, Hollingsworth said. "This has been a chronic problem location, a thorn in the neighborhood," he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- County considers taking cars of drunken drivers (The Oregonian says the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners unanimously endorsed a resolution Thursday to consider forfeiting vehicles operated by drivers who have suspended or revoked licenses as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol or "drugs." The resolution, introduced by Commissioner Lisa Naito, allows Sheriff Dan Noelle to appoint a committee to consider the ramifications and potentially recommend a county ordinance.) The Oregonian letters to editor: firstname.lastname@example.org 1320 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97201 Fax: 503-294-4193 Web: http://www.oregonlive.com/ County considers taking cars of drunken drivers * The proposed ordinance aims for consistent practice countywide on vehicle forfeitures for suspended or revoked licenses Friday, December 18 1998 By Dan Hortsch of The Oregonian staff Multnomah County officials took a step Thursday toward increasing the cost of repeatedly driving while drunk. The Board of Commissioners unanimously endorsed a resolution to consider seizing vehicles operated by drivers who have a suspended or revoked licenses as a result of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The resolution, introduced by Commissioner Lisa Naito, allows Sheriff Dan Noelle to appoint a committee to consider the ramifications and potentially recommend a county ordinance. Dan Oldham, executive assistant to the sheriff, said that U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a former Portland City Council member who pushed for a forfeiture law in the city, had found interest in such an ordinance among the smaller cities in the county. One goal of the ordinance would be to have consistent practices countywide, Oldham said. Noelle has met with officials in Deschutes County, which has a law matched by ordinances in cities within that county. The Deschutes law appears to be effective without additional costs to the county, he said. In Portland, police can seize a vehicle if it is being driven by someone with a suspended or revoked license as a result of driving while intoxicated. Portland police also can seize vehicles used in prostitution or illegal drug sales. The state also allows forfeiture in cases of illegal gambling and promotion of prostitution. In addition, state law allows towing without forfeiture when drivers do not have proof of insurance. The vehicles can be reclaimed when owners provide that proof. Noelle said one problem is storage space for seized vehicles. Other issues include how to handle hardship exemptions and vehicles owned by someone other than the driver. Background material with the resolution said that an ordinance could have start-up costs but eventually be self-sustaining. The sheriff will be asked to provide details on costs.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Medical Pot Not A Problem (A letter to the editor of The Columbian, in Vancouver, Washington, responds to an op-ed against medical marijuana by Sandra Bennett, the notorious local drug warrior.) Date: Thu, 24 Dec 1998 11:20:43 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Lock Up the Drug Warriors Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: The Columbian (WA) Copyright: 1998 The Columbian Contact: email@example.com Mail: P.O. Box 180, Vancouver, WA 98666 Website: http://www.columbian.com/ Forum: http://www.webforums.com/forums/trace/host/msa70.html Author: Rob Smithdeal Note: Molly Ivins' column, which appeared in many newspapers, is at: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v98.n1151.a01.html OUR READERS VIEWS MEDICAL POT NOT A PROBLEM Was it only irony that Molly Ivins' Dec. 6 column, "Blind Justice: America's love affair with prisons is about to bankrupt us," was placed side by side with Sandra Bennett's local view column, "Medical pot is not about compassion, but getting stoned?" Or was it just fortuitous that Ivins came as a breath of fresh air after Bennett's diatribe? Bennett apparently is not happy that there are times when, inexplicably enough, reason prevails and voters make decisions based on the information at hand and not knee-jerk reactions. To suggest that millions of voters in six states were fooled into voting for medicinal marijuana by well heeled interlopers from out of state overlooks the obvious fact that maybe we did it because we care about the people who qualify to use it for that purpose. I do not believe that we will suddenly have a large segment of the population stoned out of their gourds because we have done so. I am much more worried about some middle-aged accountant who has a little problem with alcohol and a large automobile. Even if some people do use this law for nefarious purposes, I, along with increasing numbers of Americans, am sick to death of pawning our children's futures in the vain hope that absolutely nobody in this country will do anything that is bad for them. It would actually probably be cheaper to lock up Bennett and all those like her who still don't think we have enough prisons. Rob Smithdeal Vancouver
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illegal Plant Grown For Medicine, Man Claims (An Associated Press article in The Houston Chronicle notes Musa Ahmed Gelan of Prunedale, California, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in San Jose to charges related to growing more than 1,000 khat plants. Gelan's lawyer said the native of Yemen used khat to help control his diabetes. Prohibition agents said Gelan's garden was the first such outdoor "plantation" discovered in the United States.) Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 07:19:20 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Illegal Plant Grown For Medicine, Man Claims 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: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: Houston Chronicle (TX) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chron.com/ Forum: http://www.chron.com/content/hcitalk/index.html Copyright: 1998 Houston Chronicle ILLEGAL PLANT GROWN FOR MEDICINE, MAN CLAIMS SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The first person in this country arrested for growing a rare and exotic East African stimulant claimed on Thursday that he was cultivating the plant for medicinal purposes. Musa Ahmed Gelan, 40, of Prunedale, Calif., pleaded innocent in U.S. District Court to manufacturing a controlled substance known as khat, pronounced "cot." His lawyer, Donald Foley, said Gelan was growing khat to help control his diabetes. "He had no idea anything was illegal about this," Foley said. "The plants are part of his ethnic background." If convicted, Gelan could face up to 20 years in prison. The leafy, reddish khat is popular with people in Ethiopia, Somalia and Tanzania, and the Middle Eastern country of Yemen, Gelan's homeland. When chewed, users say it produces a mild euphoria. Khat is illegal in the United States because it contains an amphetamine-like substance in the same category as heroin. Gelan was arrested in September when federal and state authorities raided his quarter-acre field and seized more than 1,000 plants. Drug enforcement officials said it was the first outdoor khat plantation discovered in the country.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Not Guilty Plea In Exotic Drug Case (A lengthier San Jose Mercury News version) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 02:31:37 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Not Guilty Plea In Exotic Drug Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: Mercury News Wire Services NOT GUILTY PLEA IN EXOTIC DRUG CASE Prunedale man says he grows khat as medicine The first person in this country arrested for growing khat, a rare and exotic stimulant, claimed on Thursday he was cultivating the leafy plant for medicinal purposes. Musa Ahmed Gelan, 40, a Prunedale convenience store owner, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in San Jose to a charge of manufacturing a controlled substance. His attorney, Donald Foley, said Gelan wants to fight the charge because he was growing it to help control his diabetes. A legal resident of the United States, Gelan immigrated from Yemen several years ago and was unaware the plant was illegal, Foley said. These people are from countries "that have laws against alcohol, but occasionally chew khat," he said. At the time of the raid on Gelan's property, Monterey County sheriff's investigator Sgt. Terry Kaiser said there was evidence Gelan had distributed the drug, which he said sells for $800 per kilogram on the street. He said 4,840 pounds of khat were seized from Gelan's house. Foley denied the distribution allegation. "Not at any time was it furnished for anyone else," he said. The leafy, reddish khat -- pronounced "cot" -- is popular with people in Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and the Middle Eastern country of Yemen. It's used by stuffing wads of the leaves in your mouth and chewing throughout the day. Users say it produces a mild euphoria. Khat is illegal in the United States because, according to federal drug laws, it contains an amphetamine-like substance in the same category as heroin. Foley said his client acquired the plants from khat growers around the country for cultural and medicinal purposes. "He had no idea anything was illegal about this," said Foley. "The plants are part of his ethnic background." Gelan was busted in September, when federal and state authorities raided his quarter-acre field and seized more than 1,000 plants. Drug enforcement officials said it was the first outdoor khat plantation discovered in the United States. Contains potent narcotic When growing, or within 48 hours of harvesting, khat contains a potent narcotic called cathinone, said Drug Enforcement Agency spokeswoman Evelyn James. "The fact that these plants were being grown and contained cathinone makes it a felony," she said. If convicted, Gelan could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1 million fine. There is little precedent in this country in khat cases, and none for cultivation. Foley said Gelan sought his help because he represented the first California resident to be arrested for khat possession. In that case, a Berkeley businessman had a quantity of khat flown from New York to be used at his daughter's wedding. Federal agents followed the shipment from the East Coast to Berkeley and arrested the man, whom Foley declined to name. Foley said he and prosecutors were so unfamiliar with khat laws that they were unsure how to proceed with the case. The man eventually pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of possession of a controlled substance and received no jail time or fine. Other cases Two years ago, Jeremy Rankine of London was caught smuggling 70 pounds of khat through Pittsburgh International Airport. He pleaded guilty in a plea bargain and was sentenced to less than a year in custody. And in April, Mohamud Abdi, 33, of New York was arrested during a traffic stop on the New Jersey Turnpike after state police found a suitcase with 100 pounds of khat in his car. Sgt. Ron Kushner said that Abdi's charge of possession of a controlled dangerous substance was downgraded because that khat had lost its potency. "As the drug gets older, it becomes less illegal in New Jersey," he said. Gelan's trial is expected to begin in March.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Texas reporter was murdered in Mexico, authorities say (The Dallas Morning News says an autopsy shows Philip True, the Mexico City correspondent for the San Antonio Express News, was strangled and may have been sexually assaulted before his death. The newspaper says American law enforcement sources "privately" suspect drug smugglers.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: TX reporter murdered in Mex Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 21:36:46 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Texas reporter was murdered in Mexico, authorities say 12/18/98 By Tracey Eaton / The Dallas Morning News MEXICO CITY - A Texas journalist whose body was found in the wilds of western Mexico was murdered, autopsy results showed Thursday, and some American law enforcement sources privately suspect drug smugglers. Philip True, 50, the Mexico City correspondent for the San Antonio Express News, was killed in a remote corner of Jalisco state, where gangs of marijuana and heroin traffickers have grown in strength in recent years. He was strangled, Jalisco medical examiner Mario Rivas Souza said. Sources at the Express-News, said there is also some evidence that the journalist may have been sexually assaulted before his death. "He could have stumbled onto something he wasn't supposed to see," one source said. "Drug trafficking or something." Although U.S. diplomatic sources said they hadn't seen any evidence of a sexual assault, some American drug-trade experts said the possibility is very real. It isn't unusual, they say, for Mexican traffickers to use sexual abuse as a tool of interrogation. "Sexual torture is a favorite method of Mexican traffickers," said Phil Jordan, former director of the El Paso Intelligence Center, jointly run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and other agencies. "And if they tortured Philip, the only reason they would do it is to find out if he was working for the DEA, the CIA or some other agency." DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena and DEA pilot Alfredo Zavala were tortured before being murdered in Mexico in 1985. Agent Camarena's injuries included three broken ribs and a broken right arm, and doctors suspected he had been sexually assaulted. Mr. Zavala was also sexually assaulted before being buried alive and suffocating, a DEA autopsy report said. In another chilling case in Mexico in 1985, two other Americans - Alberto Radelat, a 32-year-old dental student from Fort Worth, and John Walker, a 36-year-old aspiring novelist - were killed after unwittingly walking into a private party hosted by notorious trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero. Desperados, a 1988 book about drug trafficking in Mexico, said that the drug lord's men beat and kicked the two Americans, then Mr. Caro Quintero and eight of his underlings "stabbed them with knives and ice picks for more than half an hour." Mr. Caro Quintero is in prison after being convicted of ordering Agent Camarena's torture and slaying. Mr. True had left for the rugged Sierra Madre Occidental on Nov. 29. On Wednesday, a Huichol Indian told authorities there was a body at the bottom of a ravine near a village called San Miguel Huaisita. Rescuers went to the scene by helicopter but found only blood stains. The body was later found half buried about a 30-minute walk away. "The Huichol Indians are very religious. They may have seen the body and dragged it away to bury it," said Jose Ramirez, a spokesman for the attorney general in Jalisco state. Mexican forensic experts say they suspect that Mr. True had been dead for more than 10 days. They said the journalist was strangled to death, most likely by a bandanna found around his neck. Mr. Ramirez said he did not know whether Mr. True had been sexually assaulted. After the body was found, U.S. officials and many of the writer's colleagues suspected that Mr. True may have slipped and fallen to his death. Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo ordered state officials in Jalisco and neighboring Nayarit on Thursday not to spare any expense in carrying out a full investigation. "The Mexican government condemns the violence and expresses sorrow over the death of American journalist Philip True," the president's office said in a statement. Some of Mr. True's friends have speculated that he may have been robbed. There has been no word as to whether the camera and backpack he was carrying has been found; Jalisco officials said his watch and two rings were on the body when they recovered it. Carolina Garcia, managing editor of the Express-News, said the newspaper is sending two staffers to Mexico to continue looking into the case. "We are going to pursue this investigation very doggedly," she said. She said she has not confirmed whether Mr. True was sexually assaulted but called for "a full-scale investigation." Jalisco was ranked fifth and Nayarit eight in drug cultivation in 1996, but the growing of marijuana and poppies - used to make heroin - has been on the rise, said Ignacio Rodriguez, a Mexican journalist who covers the drug trade. "I've been out there and been in little Podunk villages where there are locals wearing huge gold necklaces and other jewelry," he said. "These guys are smugglers and growers. Philip could have crossed paths with them. It could have just been bad luck. He was in the wrong place, seeing something they didn't want him to see."
------------------------------------------------------------------- US Journalist In Mexico Sexually Assaulted, Slain (The Chicago Tribune version in The Orange County Register says True was indeed sexually brutalized, but that he may also have stumbled upon an illegal logging operation.) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 02:31:36 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Mexico: US Journalist In Mexico Sexually Assaulted, Slain Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John W. Black Source: Orange County Register (CA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ocregister.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Orange County Register Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Author: Paul le la Garza-Chicago Tribune US JOURNALIST IN MEXICO SEXUALLY ASSAULTED, SLAIN Crime: Philip True, a UCI graduate, might have been killed while investigating drug trafficking. Mexico City-An autopsy has revealed that Philip True, a Mexico City-based reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, was sexually assaulted and slain in a remote area of western Mexico, authorities said Thursday. The U.S.Embassy had said Wednesday that True, 50, a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, apparently died of injuries suffered in a fall while hiking in the mountains of Jalisco. But Gerrry Keener, an embassy spokeswoman, said Thursday that an autopsy had shown True was the victim of foul play. She would not elaborate. Mexican government officials, however, said in television interviews that True had suffered head injuries and had been strangled with a cord. He also had been sexually brutalized, officials said. Word of True's slaying sent a chill through Mexico's journalism community because it appears he might have been killed while investigating drug trafficking. Although on vacation, True apparently was reporting on the Huichol Indian community. The area reportedly has ruthless drug-trafficking gangs who often employ the local indigenous population. Joel Simon, program coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, said True might have stumbled upon an illegal enterprise, like drug running or illegal logging. "I'm afraid that there are strong suggestions that this was carried out because of his work," Simon said. "He wasn't robbed." True's body was recovered in a canyon Wednesday on the border of the states of Jalisco and Nayarit. He was wearing his watch and his wedding ring, and his wallet was on him. People familiar with the drug trade in Mexico speculated that the sexual assault could have been an attempt by drug barons to intimidate reporters. On Thursday, the office of President Ernesto Zedillo issued a statement condemning the slaying. Zedillo ordered federal authorities to launch an all-out investigation. The president also asked the governments of Jalisco and Nayarit to cooperate in the investigation. Although the motive is uncertain, True's slaying has rattled some of his colleagues in Mexico. American reporters generally have believed they are off-limits to violence at the hands of narcotics traffickers. Mexican journalists often are targeted by the cartels. Born June 18, 1948, in San Fernando, True graduated from UCI and had planned to be a teacher. Among the high-profile stories he covered for the San Antonio paper were the Zapatista rebel conflict in the southern state of Chiapas and Pope John Paul 11's trip to Cuba. The Express-News managing editor said True's wife, Marta, is expecting their first child.
------------------------------------------------------------------- American Journalist Is Killed In Mexico (The original Chicago Tribune version - slightly different) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 13:55:29 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Mexico: American Journalist Is Killed In Mexico Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Pubdate: 18 Dec 1998 Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Section: Sec. 1 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Author: Paul de la Garza AMERICAN JOURNALIST IS KILLED IN MEXICO MEXICO CITY -- An autopsy has revealed that Philip True, a Mexico City-based reporter for the San Antonio Express-News, was sexually assaulted and killed in a remote area of western Mexico, authorities said Thursday. The U.S. Embassy had said on Wednesday that True, 50, apparently died of injuries suffered in a fall while hiking in the mountains of Jalisco. But Gerry Keener, an embassy spokeswoman, said Thursday that an autopsy had shown that True had been the victim of foul play. She would not elaborate. Mexican government officials said in television interviews that True had suffered head injuries and had been strangled with a cord. He also had been sexually assaulted, officials said. Word of True's slaying sent a chill through Mexico's journalism community because it appears he may have been killed while investigating drug trafficking. Although on vacation, True apparently was reporting on the Huichol Indian community. The area reportedly has ruthless drug-trafficking gangs that often employ the indigenous population. Joel Simon, program coordinator for The Committee to Protect Journalists in New York, said True may have stumbled upon an elicit enterprise, such as drug running or illegal logging. "I'm afraid that there are strong suggestions that this was carried out because of his work," Simon said. "He wasn't robbed." True's body was recovered in a canyon on Wednesday on the border between the states of Jalisco and Nayarit. He was wearing his watch and his wedding ring and his wallet was on his person. People familiar with the drug trade in Mexico speculated that the sexual assault could have been an attempt by drug barons to intimidate reporters. On Thursday, the office of President Ernesto Zedillo issued a statement condemning the slaying. Zedillo ordered federal authorities to launch an all-out investigation. The president also asked the governments of Jalisco and Nayarit to cooperate in the investigation. "The Mexican government," the statement said, "ratifies its respect for journalism and for freedom of expression." Although the motive is uncertain, True's slaying has rattled some of his colleagues in Mexico. American reporters generally have believed they are off limits to violence at the hands of narco-traffickers. Mexican journalists often are targeted by the cartels. In February, a Mexican reporter who covered drug trafficking for a Mexico City daily was killed. Simon said that True's death serves as a reminder of the dangers of working as a journalist in Mexico. "Clearly," he said, "there are special risks that journalists face . . . when they visit isolated villages."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Express-News news release relating to Philip True (The San Antonio Express-News says news reports that the newspaper's slain Mexico City correspondent was investigating drug trafficking or cultivation are false. There is no evidence to suggest he was the victim of foul play by drug traffickers or cultivators. Also contrary to published reports, True's wallet and other effects were missing, suggesting robbery may have been a motive.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 12:07:27 -0600 (CST) Subject: ART: Express-News news release relating to Philip True To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Sender: email@example.com From the 12-18-98 San Antonio Express-News http://www.expressnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org Express-News news release relating to Philip True NEWS RELEASE Dec. 18, 1998 This statement is made on behalf of the San Antonio Express-News and all of its journalists and employees, and Marta True, the widow of Philip True, from her home in Mexico City. We hope it will serve as an accurate expression of our feelings about the current investigation. We also want to dispel media reports based more on speculation rather than fact or evidence. First, we wish to express our profound gratitude to all the different authorities and individuals in Mexico whose timely actions enabled us to find and recover the remains of Philip True from his makeshift grave in a remote mountain canyon in the state of Jalisco. Our first debt of gratitude is to all the Huichol Indians who participated in a ground search of the rugged sierra where Philip was last seen hiking, which led to the first reliable report of his whereabouts. We never would have found Philip, or discovered that he was a victim of a homicide and not a hiking accident, without the concerted search efforts ordered by President Zedillo and key officials in his administration. The Mexican Army from the Fifth Military Zone in Guadalajara, as well as the state governments of Jalisco and Nayarit, responded swiftly with on-the-scenes search efforts. Officials at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and consular offices in Guadalajara also took extraordinary measures to assist us at all times and considerably eased the logistical challenges through this shocking episode. Although it especially painful for Marta to endure additional medical procedures to the remains, we welcome a second autopsy ordered by President Zedillo and scheduled for Saturday, 9 a.m. in Mexico City. We appreciate the gesture by the PGR to invite the Federal Bureau of Investigation to observe the procedure, and we believe a second report will eliminate any doubts, if they exist, that Philip was the victim of a homicide and not an accident. Reports that Philip was in the Sierra Madre Occidental to investigate drug trafficking or cultivation are false. He was combining a hiking vacation with a long-held desire to produce a report on the Huichol culture, which he admired and wanted to explore as a journalist. There is no evidence to suggest he was the victim of foul play by drug traffickers or cultivators. Any speculation about motive behind his murder would have to include robbery, or the possibility he somehow offended area ranchers or other residents suspicious of outsiders, or opposed to the presence of a foreign journalist. At this point, unless authorities have developed leads, the motive remains unknown and the killer or killers unidentified. What is known is that much of the personal property Philip was carrying at the time of his death remains unaccounted for, despite a thorough search of the surrounding area where his body was first dropped and around the site of his makeshift grave. The missing property includes a new Canon camera and lenses, approximately 4,000 pesos, his wallet, his passport and all personal identification, his boots, an array of camping gear and outdoor wear, and the backpack he used to carry it. The Express-News is paying a 10,000-peso reward to the Huichol Indian who first located Philip's body on Monday, before unknown persons subsequently buried it for undetermined reasons, and who enabled authorities to locate the grave and recover the remains of Philip True on Wednesday morning. A second reward of 10,000 pesos will be paid to the person or persons who provide authorities with reliable information leading to the identification and arrest of the person or persons responsible for the homicide. Robert Rivard Editor San Antonio Express-News email@example.com
------------------------------------------------------------------- Texas Lawyer Battles Highway Department, Anti-drug Police (A Dallas Morning News article in The San Jose Mercury News says Pat Barber of Colorado City, Texas, erected a big billboard on his ranch at the edge of town next to Interstate 20 saying, "Just Say NO to Searches! 915-728-5505." Law enforcement officials were not amused and the Texas Department of Transportation said the billboard violated the Highway Beautification Act and threatened to fine Barber $1,000 a day if he didn't remove it. "Nobody wants to see us turn into a Third World police state," says Barber. "Police may want it, but people don't want it.") Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 13:55:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US TX: Texas Lawyer Battles Highway Department, Anti-drug Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center Author: Scott Parks, Dallas Morning News TEXAS LAWYER BATTLES HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT, ANTI-DRUG POLICE A 1-man fight against searches COLORADO CITY, Texas -- The signpost on I-20 warns thousands of travelers that the war on drugs has taken a strange turn here in west Texas. This lonely stretch of interstate highway between Abilene and Midland once seemed an unlikely spot to spawn debates about First Amendment rights to free speech and Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches. But that was before Colorado City lawyer Pat Barber erected a big billboard on his ranch at the edge of town. Just past the Dairy Queen and the state prison, it rises from the rocky landscape next to Interstate 20. "Just Say NO to Searches! 915-728-5505." A phone call reveals a tape-recorded message encouraging law-abiding travelers to "just say no" when police ask to search their vehicles for drugs during routine traffic stops. "An innocent citizen . . . should know that when an unreasonable search request is refused, the officer must let him go," Barber advises. The message concludes, "Good luck, and have a safe trip." Law officers were not amused. "I think it would be fair to say we resented it at first," said Mitchell County Sheriff Pat Toombs. "But he has a right to his opinion." Texas Department of Transportation officials also had a problem with Barber's sign. They said his billboard violated the Highway Beautification Act and threatened to fine him $1,000 a day if he didn't remove it. Barber, 52, filed suit against the highway department. The sign, he argued, sits on his own property and carries a political opinion that cannot be censored. In October, District Judge Suzanne Covington of Austin granted Barber an injunction, which means the sign can stay up until a trial next year. In her order, Covington said Barber "will probably prevail on his claim that the statute (Highway Beautification Act) as written and as enforced is an unconstitutional infringement of his rights of free speech under the Texas and U.S. constitutions." Highway department officials said agency policy prevents them from commenting about active court cases. Barber said his main goal is to create a fundamental debate about roadside searches. He asks: Do they yield enough criminal cases to justify intrusions into glove compartments, trunks and luggage of law-abiding travelers? "Most people don't know they have a right to say no," he said. "And a lot of others are afraid to say no. These officers count on that." Barber conducts a one-attorney law practice out of a historic bank building in downtown Colorado City. Sharon Barber, his wife, is the legal assistant. Colorado City, population 4,600, has seen better times. Barber fondly disparages it as "a ghost town." Folks said he's never been concerned about being popular with the chamber of commerce crowd. In the 1970s, as a county prosecutor, he accused local law enforcement officers of beating jail inmates. Two police officers were prosecuted but acquitted. In the early 1990s, he sued the local school board when his son's hair length collided with the dress code. He lost before the Texas Supreme Court. Now, he's crusading against roadside searches. "Nobody wants to see us turn into a Third World police state where you can't walk across the street without a drug dog in your crotch," he said. "Police may want it, but people don't want it." Thus far, Barber has aimed most of his barbs at the West Central Texas Interlocal Crime Task Force, which operates in a 15-county area surrounding Abilene. Billy Schat, the task-force commander, said no one has complained about his interdiction officers and that they have never used threats or intimidation to get consent to search a vehicle. "We don't operate that way," he said. "We don't have to. Most people give permission to search." Schat's group is one of 47 regional drug task forces funded by the Texas Narcotics Control Program. The governor's office administers the program with $26 million a year in federal funds. Barber's sign and his opposition to roadside searches has had no effect, Schat said. "He hasn't affected anything of ours," he said. The Abilene-area's highway interdiction program and others statewide generally operate this way: Officers stop a motorist for a minor traffic violation. The officer then tries to engage the traveler in conversation and to look for "indicators" that the car may contain drugs. Based on a quick assessment, an officer either sends the traveler down the road with a warning or asks permission to search the vehicle. The officer does not have to warn the motorist that the right to say "no" is an option. "Texas law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions hold that everyone presumably knows that you don't have to let the cops search your car or home," said Ted Wilson, a criminal law expert in Houston. Officers with probable cause -- the smell of marijuana coming from the car, for example -- don't need a warrant to search the car. And officers without probable cause cannot pressure travelers into a consensual search by threatening to detain them while a magistrate issues a search warrant, Wilson said. "The law says you cannot coerce someone into allowing a search," he said. "Once the officer is told `no,' it's over." Barber said it is impossible to determine the program's effectiveness. The task force is not required to report how many traffic stops are made each day, or how many vehicles are searched. Searches that do not yield drugs are not reported. "If we ever got an accurate assessment of what they are doing, it would show an enormous number of people being terrorized and harassed by an ineffective policy," Barber said. "They can't stop the flow of drugs. How far do we go to allow them to erode our constitutional rights in an unwinnable war on drugs?"
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drake nurse allegedly stole patient's morphine (The Cincinnati Enquirer says the woman had a history of substance abuse when a temp agency placed her at the Drake Center, raising questions about the effectiveness of an Ohio law requiring background checks for health care workers. "We arrest a health professional every six days," said Sgt. John J. Burke, commander of Cincinnati's pharmaceutical diversion squad. About 70 percent of the health workers the squad arrests are nurses. The rest are pharmacists, doctors and other health care workers.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Nurse allegedly stole patient's morphine Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 16:25:11 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: email@example.com Source: The Cincinnati Enquirer Pubdate: Friday, December 18, 1998 http://enquirer.com/editions/1998/12/18/loc_drake_nurse.htmlOnline: Drake nurse allegedly stole patient's morphine BY TIM BONFIELD and BEN L. KAUFMAN A former nurse with a history of substance abuse was indicted this week on charges of stealing morphine from Drake Center, raising questions about how thoroughly employers check out their health care workers, especially their part-time workers. On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted registered nurse Leslie Burchenal on charges she stole morphine intended for a patient and tried to replace it with tap water. The event occurred Oct. 30, 1997. Ms. Burchenal, hired through a temporary nursing agency, had been working at Drake on and off for about a month. Since the incident, her nursing license has been suspended pending the outcome of her criminal case. The charges against Ms. Burchenal are based on one incident involving one patient. However, the case still raises questions about the effectiveness of an Ohio law requiring background checks for most health care workers. That's because Ms. Burchenal managed to get a nursing job with access to narcotic medications despite a documented history of substance abuse problems stretching back to the late 1980s. Despite increasingly strict requirements for background checks, police say drug-addicted health care workers still find ways to get jobs and get drugs. "We arrest a health professional every six days," said Sgt. John J. Burke, commander of Cincinnati's pharmaceutical diversion squad. About 70 percent of the health workers the squad arrests are nurses. The rest are pharmacists, doctors and other health care workers. Ms. Burchenal, 43, got her nursing license from Ohio in 1979. She worked in Ohio for an unclear amount of time, then moved to Virginia. According to police and the Ohio State Board of Nursing, Ms. Burchenal's record of drug problems started in 1987. That year, she was convicted of felony morphine possession in Culpeper County, Va., and put on probation. Then in 1988, she was convicted of felony use of a forged prescription in Newport News, Va. Her nursing license in Virginia was suspended following the convictions. But she moved back to Ohio sometime around 1990. The Ohio Board of Nursing caught up with her in 1992, suspending her nursing license indefinitely because of the actions taken against her by the Virginia nursing board. At that time, she was given a chance to complete a drug rehabilitation program. Ms. Burchenal completed that program and was awarded a nursing license in 1995 with no restrictions. However, any employer who called to check her credentials would have been told that Ms. Burchenal had a history, said Marsha Strauss, compliance manager for the Ohio Board of Nursing. Drake Center runs more extensive background checks on full-time employees than required by state law, said spokesman Guy Karrick. The center regularly uses temporary nurses to fill in for vacations and when people leave for other jobs. However, Drake Center expects the temporary agencies to run checks on the personnel they offer. Neither Mr. Karrick nor Ms. Strauss could say whether a background check had been made on Ms. Burchenal before she started working at Drake. On Oct. 30, 1997, police say, Ms. Burchenal obtained three premeasured doses of morphine sulfate from a drug cart. Ms. Burchenal falsely reported that one dose was given to the patient, another was broken and the third was refused by the patient. Police say a nurse who was asked to help Ms. Burchenal verify the disposal of a partial dose of the morphine noticed something unusual, then notified her boss. Drake started an internal investigation and called in the police. Tests revealed one of the tubes had been emptied and refilled with tap water. "This is an example of Drake Hospital doing the right thing," Sgt. Burke said. "This is the way it is supposed to work." The patient, who has since died of unrelated health problems, may have missed some pain-killing doses of morphine, but probably was not injected with tap water. The main risk of being injected with a small amount of unsterile tap water instead of morphine would be the chance of an infection, said Dr. David Waterhouse, a Cincinnati oncologist familiar with giving patients morphine. While the pharmaceutical diversion squad regularly arrests nurses for stealing narcotics, Ms. Straus of the Ohio Board of Nursing said those arrests should be put in perspective. "There are more than 180,000 nurses in Ohio (including RNs and LPNs)," she said. In fiscal 1998, ended June 30, the Ohio Board of Nursing took action - either revocation, suspension, or placing special restrictions - in 185 drug or alcohol-related cases.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Taylor Turns Himself In On Drug Rap (UPI says former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor, a virtual lock to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month, faces crack cocaine charges in Teaneck, New Jersey.) Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 20:07:40 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US NJ: Wire: Taylor Turns Himself In On Drug Rap Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 18 Dec 1998 Source: United Press International Copyright: 1998 United Press International TAYLOR TURNS HIMSELF IN ON DRUG RAP TEANECK, N.J., Dec. 18 (UPI) _ The troubles continue for former New York Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor. On Thursday night, Taylor turned himself in to police to face charges of possession of narcotics and narcotics paraphernalia after an investigation by the Teaneck Police Department bureau of narcotics. After turning himself in, Taylor posted $2,500 bond and was released on his own recognizance. The case now will be referred to the Bergen County prosecutor. In September, police officers carried out a search warrant on a hotel room rented in Taylor's name. Crack cocaine and narcotics paraphernalia were found and seized. Taylor was not present when the search took place. This is the latest in a series of legal troubles for Taylor, who is a virtual lock to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month. There is no specific conduct clause for Hall of Fame election. Taylor was arrested on Oct. 19 for purchasing crack cocaine from an undercover police officer in St. Petersburg, Fla. Taylor claimed he had been set up, but later entered a New Jersey drug rehabilitation clinic. In May of 1996, Taylor was arrested in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on charges he tried to buy crack cocaine. He was arrested in the summer of 1997 for failing to pay child support payments on time and pleaded guilty to filing a false 1990 federal income-tax return. In 1988, Taylor was suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and entered a rehabilitation clinic. Taylor is credited with revolutionizing the position of outside linebacker in the 1980's and early 1990's. He was named to 10 Pro Bowls and led the Giants to two Super Bowl titles. Taylor retired in 1993.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Dealer's house is officer's - Drug conduit's forfeited Hilltown Twp. home is sold to Philadelphia policeman (The Morning Call, in Allentown, Pennsylvania, gives a quick history of Bucks County District Attorney Alan M. Rubenstein's campaign since 1986 to forfeit people's homes for illegal-drug-related offenses. It's still not clear though how Ralph Mirarchi is able to afford a $315,000 house on a policeman's salary.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: Cop get's dealer's house Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 16:23:27 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Newshawk: ccross@november,org Online: http://www.mcall.com:80/html/news/quaktwn/43113.htm Dealer's house is officer's Drug conduit's forfeited Hilltown Twp. home is sold to Philadelphia policeman. 12/18/98 By LISA KOZLESKI of The Morning Call Irony is rarely lost on Bucks County District Attorney Alan M. Rubenstein, and when he learned who would be buying a sprawling Hilltown Township home that had been forfeited by a major player in a busted Bucks County drug ring, he savored the moment. The new owners of the four-bedroom, six-bathroom home on a three-quarter-acre lot on Brinkley Drive are Ralph Mirarchi, an 18-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, and his wife, Linda. The couple purchased the house for $315,000 from the district attorney, moving in Thursday after the settlement. ''I must say I enjoy the irony of the fact'' that a former police officer purchased a home that had been forfeited by a man Rubenstein described as ''a major conduit for dope in the Central Bucks area.'' Thursday's sale netted more than $27,000 for the county's drug forfeiture fund and will be used to finance operations like the 17-month multi-jurisdiction investigation that culminated in September with the arrest of David Campbell and six cohorts. Law enforcement officials recovered 289 pounds of cocaine while busting that drug ring, which was the largest seizure of cocaine in the history of Bucks County. The sale of the Brinkley Drive home marked the 16th such forfeiture since Rubenstein implemented the county's drug forfeiture program shortly after taking office in 1986. The previous 15 sales were all done in public auction and netted more than $845,000 after all liens were paid off with the $1.96 million the 15 sales grossed. Those funds are combined with cash seized from drug dealers and to date have brought in $4.2 million, according to Rubenstein. ''The dope business is very lucrative,'' Rubenstein said. ''It just has a terrible retirement plan.'' Campbell, who told police he was a plumber, had lived in the home with his wife and their two small children since November 1997. Rubenstein said the home was purchased with money made from the sale of narcotics and, as such, was eligible for forfeiture. Although most forfeitures take place after a drug conviction is made, Rubenstein said Campbell agreed to give up the home and $99,000 found in a small safe in the master bedroom when police searched the home. He did not comment on whether agreeing to the forfeiture would prompt a more lenient sentence if Campbell is convicted. Campbell, 32, could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all the drug charges. Unlike most forfeitures, which are sold through public auction, the home was sold through a Doylestown real estate agent because officials feared sale at public auction might not bring in enough to pay for the $270,000 outstanding mortgage and closing costs. Four of the county's 15 previous home forfeitures took place in Upper Bucks. They include: The Hilltown Township home that belonged to Terry Besch at 1971 Cherry Lane after he was sentenced to 2-6 years in prison in 1991 on drug charges. That home sold for $75,431, and netted $37,716 for the drug enforcement fund. A 24-acre East Rockhill Township property that belonged to Alan DeCristoforo, who was sentenced to 3-6 years in prison in 1994. The property sold for $22,000 and netted $17,535. The Hilltown Township home belonging to Thomas and Margaret Harrington at 2121 Rickert Road after he was sentenced to 1-4 years and she to 1-23 months in prison in 1991. The home sold for $133,000 and netted $22,000. A 138-acre horse farm in Springfield Township known as Wingait Farms that belonged to George Reitz, who was sentenced to 7-20 years in prison. That property sold for $966,000 and netted $404,964, the largest home forfeiture received in the history of the state, according to Rubenstein.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Joe Hart - Key West Buyers Club (A list subscriber says the case against one of the founders of a medical marijuana club in Key West, Florida, was thrown out today by a judge who ruled that the "no-knock" raid on his apartment was illegal.)Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 13:12:57 EST Originator: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org From: "James R. Dawson" (email@example.com) To: Multiple recipients of list (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Joe Hart Key - West Buyers Club Joe Hart who was recently arrested by state and federal agents in Key West, Florida for posession of cannabis had his case thrown out of court today by a judge that ruled the "no-knock raid" of his apartment in March was not legal. Joe is one of the founders of the Key West Florida Buyers Club and is now the Director of the Medical Cannabis Providers Club of Key West. Back in March 1997 Approximately 25 state and federal agents smashed their way in after Joe received a package delivered by a federal postal inspector dressed in a mail carrier's uniform. In the package it was alleged there were approximately; 2.8 pounds marijuana in two sealed bags. 46.5 grams of marijuana in six packages. The cannabis seized was shipped to Mr Hart from SWIHTCO http://gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/swihtco.htm (Swiss hemp Trading Company) . The police held Joe at gunpoint, "bodyslammed" him to the floor and were verbally abusive. Police and detectives ransacked the place and allegedly found an additional kilo in the freezer already packaged for patients. Joe Hart was also deprived of several personal items including a notebook containing addresses and names and a 35mm camera with film intact. After interrogating Joe for nearly three hours he was transported to the Dade county jail. Joe was released after posting a $25,000.00 bond a couple of days later. updates as they happen. Sincerely, James Dawson ps If you have recieved this and do not wish to recieve drug policy updates of this nature the please reply to this mailing by entering CANCEL in the subject line. *** "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate...." Isaiah 13:9.... The Governments Own Programs PROVE that marijuana is a safe an effective medicine! There are currently Eight (8) Human Test Subjects that are provided marijuana from the Governments own Pot Farm. Am I so different from them that I am denied equal access to this most beneficial medicinal herb? The Action Class for Freedom of Therapeutic Cannabis http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/lawsuit.htm FAIRLAW.ORG Will Foster 93 sentence slashed to 20 Years by appeals court Judge! See http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willsrelease.htm Meg Fosters Letter http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/megsrant.htm How you can Help...Write the Governor of Oklahoma insisting that he sign Will Fosters' Parole Papers http://www.gnv.fdt.net/~jrdawson/willsparole.htm Free Will Foster in 1998!
------------------------------------------------------------------- Judge Hears Medical Marijuana Case (The Associated Press says U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts will hear oral arguments today by lawyers for the District of Columbia and the American Civil Liberties Union, who want to overturn the move by Congress to censor the results of medical-marijuana Initiative 59 in November's election.) From: LawBerger@aol.com Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 02:40:27 EST To: email@example.com Subject: DPFOR: Fwd: Judge Hears Medical Marijuana Case Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: DrugSense http://www.drugsense.org/ From: AOLNews@aol.com Subject: Judge Hears Medical Marijuana Case Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 01:45:18 EST Judge Hears Medical Marijuana Case .c The Associated Press By NANCY ZUCKERBROD WASHINGTON (AP) -- Forty-five days after voters in the nation's capital passed judgment on a medical marijuana initiative, lawyers for the District of Columbia and the American Civil Liberties Union are asking a federal judge to let the ballots be counted. Five states passed referenda Nov. 3 making it easier for seriously ill people to use marijuana to ease pain or nausea. But Congress in October barred the district government from spending any money tallying the results on the initiative here. ``This is democracy held hostage,'' said AIDS activist Wayne Turner, who led the petition drive to get the initiative on the Nov. 3 ballot. Turner is getting legal help from the ACLU, which argues the budget provision violates the First Amendment right to free speech. U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts was to hear the case today. The Justice Department is defending the authority of Congress to forbid this city of 530,000 from counting the votes. The author of the amendment, Rep. Bob Barr, R-Ga., argues, ``If the district wants to move forward with their efforts to legalize marijuana or other mind- altering drugs, that's their problem. But my constituents, and obviously the constituents of many other congressional districts, aren't interested in paying for Washington D.C.'s folly.'' The D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics was the original defendant, but it has sided with the plaintiffs in calling for the release and certification of the results. ``We believe Congress acted in a constitutional way when it said Congress can't spend any money on it,'' said Justice Department spokesman Gregory King. But King added that while the Justice Department objects to any attempt to certify the vote, it does not oppose releasing the results of the ballot. Turner said that is not enough. ``That's basically turning an election into a public opinion poll,'' Turner said. ``This is about the right of the people of the District of Columbia to have their votes counted and to have them count,'' he said. The initiative calls for the legalization of marijuana for people who are seriously or terminally ill. Advocates argue that the drug can help some patients, principally by relieving nausea after chemotherapy or increasing the appetites of cancer and AIDS sufferers. Nationwide, medical marijuana proponents succeeded in getting measures passed this year in Washington state, Alaska, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada. AP-NY-12-18-98 0144EST Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without prior written authority of The Associated Press.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Anti Climax (A list subscriber notes U.S. District Court Judge Roberts didn't issue a decision today regarding Initiative 59, but provides the URL for "almost all" the written arguments presented by the various parties.) Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 21:28:21 -0700 (MST) From: ammo (email@example.com) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: DC: Anti Climax Reply-To: email@example.com Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org ---------- Forwarded message ---------- Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 17:19:10 -0500 From: Peace through Reason (email@example.com) Subject: Anti Climax After hearing oral arguments from proponents of Initiative 59 (articulated by the ACLU's Graham Boyd), the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics (represented by John Ferran), and the United States, United States District Court Judge Roberts took the matter under advisement. In other words, the court did not enter a judgment. Almost all of the written arguments of all parties are available at http://prop1.org/thomas/dcvotergate/aclu/ca982634.htm
------------------------------------------------------------------- Study finds smoking marijuana and cocaine can cause cancer (CNN apparently failed to ask for an objective interpretation of the science while conveying the latest US government anti-marijuana propaganda released Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Supposedly the study was the first of its kind, and found that smokers of marijuana and crack cocaine show the same kinds of precancerous conditions caused by smoking tobacco. Unfortunately, neither CNN nor the phony scientists explained why the government has never able to point to a single person who has contracted lung cancer by smoking cannabis.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 12:31:11 -0900 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: TerraCore Communications (email@example.com) From: "CRRH mailing list" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Study finds smoking marijuana and cocaine can cause cancer To unsubscribe from CRRH's email@example.com e-mail list, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org *** Study finds smoking marijuana and cocaine can cause cancer August 18, 1998 Web posted at: 5:43 p.m. EDT (1743 GMT) WASHINGTON (CNN) - In the first study of its kind, researchers found that smokers of marijuana and crack cocaine show the same kinds of precancerous conditions caused by smoking tobacco. The findings were released Tuesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In the study, researchers examined samples of respiratory tract tissue from participants who ranged in age from 21 to 50. To be eligible, the participants had to be in one or more of the following categories: Marijuana smokers who smoked an average of 10 or more marijuana cigarettes a week for the last five years or longer; crack cocaine smokers who smoked one gram or more of crack cocaine a week for nine months or longer within the past year; or tobacco smokers who smoked 20 cigarettes or more a day for the last five years. The researchers looked at genetic markers known to be associated with increased risk of lung cancer. Changes or overproduction of some markers were found in a majority of the study participants. The findings suggested that tobacco was not the only smoked substance that set the changes preceding lung cancer development in motion. The study also showed that habitual smoking of tobacco, marijuana or crack cocaine in combination could potentially lead to more cancerous alterations in the molecular makeup of cellular structure than single-smoking alone. Dr. Sanford Barsky, co-author of the study and a member of the University of California, Los Angeles' Jonnson Comprehensive Cancer Center, said he was not surprised by the findings. He said any substance that is inhaled, regardless of chemical makeup, releases carcinogens into the lungs and throat. In an editorial accompanying the study, Dr Li Mao and Dr. Yun Oh at the University of Texas's M.D. Anderson Cancer Center conclude that the nationwide teen anti-tobacco effort might have an "unintended consequence"- teens will substitute tobacco with marijuana. They write while these anti-tobacco campaigns are expected to reduce the numbers of teenagers and children who smoke tobacco cigarettes, the rate of marijuana use is increasing. They note the percentage of students smoking marijuana on a daily basis has risen from 1.9 percent in 1992 to 4.6 percent in 1995. *** Note from TerraCore: CNN chose to leave out several important pieces of information: #1 The majority of cannabis smokers don't 'smoke 10 or more marijuana cigarettes per week'. Most people smoke via various devices such as waterpipes which may remove most of the carcinogens. Also devices such as vaporizers are available allowing people to use MJ without ANY smoke or its cancer-causing compounds, and lastly, many people would instead choose to EAT MJ or smoke with a cigarette-style filter, but its black-market status makes it too expensive to consume in these manners. The best thing to come out of cannabis prohibition is it forced people to grow highly potent cannabis in very small spaces. Therefore we can smoke far less in the 90's to achieve the same effect we did in the 70's. #2 Just because cannabis smoke causes 'pre-cancerous' conditions does not mean it leads to cancer. Other studies show MJ contains various cancer fighting compounds and at least one study has shown smoking cannabis may shrink cancer tumors. Living in polluted cities like LA causes 'pre-cancerous' conditions in the lungs, but the government does not outlaw driving in Los Angeles. #3 As one cannabis reformer asked, "where are the bodies?" The government would lead us to believe cannabis is a highly dangerous drug but they have been unable to produce a single corpse that died from smoking cannabis.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teenage use of stimulants levels off in 1998 (An Associated Press article in The Seattle Times says the annual Monitoring the Future survey of teen drug use conducted by the University of Michigan was released today. According to the summary, it paints an optimistic picture of American teenagers, with a few exceptions. Use of marijuana, by far the most popular "drug," dropped among 10th-graders. But there was an increase in the number of 8th-graders who had tried crack or cocaine.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (email@example.com) To: "_Drug Policy --" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Teenage use of stimulants levels off in 1998 Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 21:06:01 -0800 Sender: email@example.com Copyright (c) 1998 The Seattle Times Company Posted at 07:28 a.m. PST; Friday, December 18, 1998 Teenage use of stimulants levels off in 1998 by Laura Meckler The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Teenage use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs remained stable for a second straight year after years on the rise, with younger teenagers even less likely to have used drugs over the past year, according to a government report being released today. The annual report offers a comprehensive look at drug, alcohol and cigarette use among 8th-, 10th- and 12th-graders. With a few exceptions, it paints an optimistic picture of American teenagers, according to a summary of the findings. The Monitoring the Future survey, conducted by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, has tracked teenage drug use since 1975. Based on nearly 50,000 responses to questions about drug use and attitudes, it offers the first look at adolescent drug use in 1998. The findings were being released today by Donna Shalala, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, and Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Last year's report found drug use stabilizing for the first time after several years on the rise. It also found more adolescents disapproving of drug use. This year, the survey finds a drop in the number of 8th- and 10th-graders reporting the use of any type of illegal drug. Use among high-school seniors was steady. Overall, 35 percent of 10th-graders said they had used drugs during the past year, down from 38.5 percent in 1997. Use among 8th-graders in the past year dropped to 21 percent from 23.6 percent. Use of marijuana, by far the most popular drug, dropped among 10th-graders. But there was an increase in the number of 8th-graders who had tried crack or cocaine, with 3.2 percent saying they had tried it at some point and 2.1 percent using it in the past year. Also, fewer 8th-graders said they disapproved of people taking LSD or saw great risk in LSD use.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teen Drug Use Steady In 1998 (The CNN/Associated Press version) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 12:30:15 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Teen Drug Use Steady In 1998 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Jim Galasyn Pubdate: 18 Dec 1998 Source: CNN (US) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.cnn.com/ Copyright: 1998 Cable News Network, Inc. A Time Warner Company Author: Associated Press TEEN DRUG USE STEADY IN 1998 WASHINGTON (AP) -- Teen-age use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs remained stable for a second straight year after years on the rise, with younger teen-agers even less likely to have used drugs over the past year, according to a government report being released Friday. The annual report offers a comprehensive look at drug, alcohol and cigarette use among 8th, 10th and 12th graders. With a few exceptions, it paints an optimistic picture of American teen-agers, according to a summary of the findings provided by a Clinton administration official on condition of anonymity. The Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked teen-age drug use since 1975, asks nearly 50,000 teen-agers questions about drug use and attitudes and offers the first look at adolescent drug use in 1998. Teen-agers were surveyed anonymously at 422 schools across the country over the 1997-98 school year. The findings were being released Friday by Donna Shalala, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department, and Barry McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. "This consistent progress gives reason for optimism," McCaffrey said. "It demonstrates that our balanced approach -- focusing on preventing children from turning to drugs, treating drug addicts, and breaking trafficking organizations -- works." He added, "Our commitment must be to continuing to make progress through a 10-year generational effort to lock in and build on today's gains. If at any point during this long-term process we let down our guard or squander our momentum we risk repeating with today's youth the wasted mistakes of past generations." Last year's report found drug use stabilizing for the first time after several years on the rise. It also found more adolescents disapproving of drug use. This year, the survey finds a drop in the number of 8th and 10th graders reporting the use of any type of illegal drug. Use among high school seniors was steady. Overall, 35 percent of 10th graders said they had used drugs during the past year, down from 38.5 percent in 1997. Use among 8th graders in the past year dropped to 21 percent from 23.6 percent. Use of marijuana, by far the most popular drug, dropped among 10th graders, with just under 40 percent saying they had smoked pot at some point in their lives. Marijuana use was steady among 8th and 12th graders. More young teen-agers said there was a "great risk" in trying marijuana once or twice, up to 28.1 percent from 25.3 percent among 8th graders. A full 45 percent of them said there was great risk in occasional pot smoking, also up from 1997. But the news was not all good among 8th graders. There was an increase in the number who had tried crack or cocaine, with 3.2 percent having tried it at some point and 2.1 percent using it in the past year. Crack use among older teen-agers was steady. Also, fewer 8th graders said they disapproved of people taking LSD or saw great risk in LSD use. The survey, conducted for the government by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research, also found: -- Use of heroin, a drug on the rise in recent years, stable across all the age groups. -- Some declines in the use of inhalants and LSD. -- A drop in cigarette smoking from last year -- an all-time high _ among high school seniors, with 22.4 percent smoking daily. That still was higher than the low point of 17.2 percent in 1992. Black teen-agers continue to have the lowest smoking rates, with just under 15 percent of black seniors saying they smoked in the past month. -- Continued stable use of alcohol among 8th and 10th graders. After increasing among 12th graders last year, it was stable among them, too, this year. About seven in 10 sophomores said they have drunk alcohol. There was a drop in the number of those who reported having been drunk at some point. The government gauges teen-age drug use twice each year: once through this school-based survey, and a second time as part of a survey at homes that looks at drug use among both teen-agers and adults. The household survey shows significantly smaller percentages of teen-agers using drugs, perhaps because teen-agers are being surveyed at home where their parents' presence might influence answers. This year's household survey, released in August, showed an increase in drug use among 12- to 17-year-olds, led by rising marijuana smoking, though the overall percentages were still lower. But the administration official noted that, taken together, several surveys in the last two years have pointed to a slowdown in illicit drug use
------------------------------------------------------------------- Teen Use Of Pot, Booze, Cigarettes Down Slightly (The San Francisco Chronicle version) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 09:33:42 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Teen Use Of Pot, Booze, Cigarettes Down Slightly 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) Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Copyright: 1998 San Francisco Chronicle Pubdate: Sat, 18 Dec 1998 Page: A13 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle/ Forum: http://www.sfgate.com/conferences/ Author: Roberto Suro TEEN USE OF POT, BOOZE, CIGARETTES DOWN SLIGHTLY Teenagers' use of marijuana, alcohol and cigarettes dropped slightly across all age groups and most adolescents reported a greater awareness of the risks associated with those activities, according to an annual federal survey of high school students released yesterday. Through most of the 1990s, the survey, known as the Monitoring the Future Study, showed steady increases in cigarette smoking, alcohol and drug abuse among teenagers. Last year, the survey showed those trends leveling off, and this year for the first time there are indications they might be reversing direction. ``We are still at this tilt point where things are moving in the right direction but not necessarily by great magnitude,'' said Lloyd D. Johnston, who heads the survey team at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. The survey results were greeted by administration officials as a modest cause for hope. ``Not a lot,'' said Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala. ``And not nearly as much as we want. But enough to say we're making a little bit of a dent in a very big problem.'' For the survey, a representative sample of nearly 50,000 students completed a questionnaire. For the first time in the 1990s, the survey recorded declines in cigarette smoking by respondents at all three grade levels. Johnston said he believed that publicity about lawsuits against tobacco companies and the administration's efforts to enact national tobacco legislation cast greater attention on the adverse consequences of cigarette smoking and helped change attitudes among young people. The survey results on marijuana were especially important, Shalala said, because it is the most widely used drug among teenagers and because it accounted for most of the increase in overall illicit drug use by adolescents in the 1990s. This year's survey found slight decreases in marijuana use in all three of the grades surveyed, with eighth-graders reporting a decline for the second year in a row. Barry R. McCaffrey, director of the White House national drug policy office, declared that ``the 1998 study shows that we have turned the tide of youth drug use.'' Most of the declines in overall illicit drug use were of less than 1 percentage point, barely enough to be statistically significant. The survey also showed that nearly a quarter of eighth-graders and about half of all high school seniors said they had tried marijuana, and those figures are still much higher than just a few years ago. Taking a more cautious approach than McCaffrey, Shalala said, ``The bottom line is that we have not achieved victory -- and I am not declaring it.'' The mixed picture was evident with the students who reported regular recent marijuana use. Among eighth-graders, 9.7 percent said they had used marijuana in the month preceding the 1998 survey -- a drop from 10.2 percent last year, but well above the 3.2 percent of 1992. As marijuana use increased in the mid-1990s, the number of adolescents reporting that they perceived risks in the drug decreased. Over the past two years, this perception seems to have changed toward a greater appreciation of the risks, most clearly among the youngest teens.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Highlights Of Teen Drug Use Survey (The Associated Press cites some selected statistics from the annual Monitoring the Future survey of teen drug use. Among high school seniors, 54 percent had used an "illegal drug" at least once. Apparently that didn't include alcohol or tobacco, though both are illegal for kids.) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 02:31:50 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Wire: Highlights Of Teen Drug Use Survey Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. Author: The Associated Press HIGHLIGHTS OF TEEN DRUG USE SURVEY The annual Monitoring the Future study has examined teen drug use and attitudes since 1975. Some highlights from the 1998 report: ANY DRUG: Nearly 30 percent of eighth-graders have tried an illegal drug at least once. It was 45 percent for 10th-graders and 54 percent for high school seniors. It was the first year this figure has dropped for the older two groups and the second year's drop among eighth-graders. MARIJUANA: The most widely used drug had been tried by 22 percent of eighth-graders, 40 percent of 10th-graders and nearly half of all 12th-graders. Use among eighth-graders dropped for a second year in a row; use among other teens dropped after several years on the rise. STIMULANTS: Use has declined for two years among eighth-graders, for one year among 10th-graders and is level among 12th-graders. About 7 percent of eighth-graders used amphetamines in the past year. It was 11 percent of 10th-graders and 10 percent of 12th-graders. HALLUCINOGENS: Downward movement in all grades, though not statistically significant. INHALANTS: Most popular among younger teens, use began to gradually decline three years ago. HEROIN: Stable use across all grades and increasingly viewed as risky. COCAINE: Small increases in use of crack cocaine in younger grades. TRANQUILIZERS: Steady among eighth-graders but continuing to gradually increase among 10th- and 12th-graders. ALCOHOL: Continued stable use among eighth- and 10th-graders. After increasing among 12th-graders last year, it was stable among them, too. About seven in 10 sophomores said they have drunk alcohol, and one-third of seniors reported being drunk in the last month. CIGARETTES: A drop from last year's all-time high among high school seniors, with 22.4 percent smoking daily. That still was higher than the low point of 17.2 percent in 1992. Black teen-agers continue to have the lowest smoking rates, with just under 15 percent of black seniors saying they smoked in the past month. The anonymous survey was administered early this year to nearly 50,000 teen- agers in 422 randomly chosen classrooms by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.
------------------------------------------------------------------- UN Official Seeks Reforms In US Prisons (Reuters says Radhika Coomaraswamy, a top United Nations official concerned with violence against women, on Friday called for stronger monitoring of women's prisons in the United States to control widespread sexual misconduct.) Date: Sat, 26 Dec 1998 16:13:20 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: UN: UN Official Seeks Reforms In US Prisons Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Author: Farah Mihlar UN OFFICIAL SEEKS REFORMS IN US PRISONS COLOMBO, Dec 18 (Reuters) - A top United Nations official on Friday called for stronger monitoring to control widespread "sexual misconduct" in women's prisons in the United States. "We concluded that there has been widespread sexual misconduct in U.S prisons, but there is a diversity -- some are dealing with it better than others," said Radhika Coomaraswamy, U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women. "We had a whole host of recommendations, primarily that there should be external monitoring of misconduct in the prisons and that it shouldn't be only the warden that decides," she told Reuters in an interview. Coomaraswamy visited the U.S in June to investigate human rights violations in womens' prisons there. Her findings will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in March 1999. She said contrary to U.N. regulations on prisoners the United States allows men to guard female prisons leading to widescale abuses. "The U.S has its own interpretation of equality in their statute which allows men to guard women and women can guard men so you have a situation where male guards are running in and out of female prisons," Coomaraswamy said. She said rape and assault was high in most U.S prisons, but added that guards using female prisoners for sexual contractual favours and the lack of privacy were also big problems. Coomaraswamy said some prisons had taken steps to deal with the problem but more needed to be done. "Georgia has sexual misconduct but has set up a very strong scheme to deal with it. In California and Michigan nothing has been done and the issue is very prevalant," she said. Coomaraswamy also called for a review of U.S. drug laws, which she said were dragging more women to prison. "Largest number of women being incarcerated are black because of draconian laws to do with drugs. There is a massive flow in the number of women entering prison, specially black." "All these women have families and children and just because the court puts them in prison for being the wife of a drug dealer many of them lose their children," Coomaraswamy added.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Wiseman Noble cancels all Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre projects (A company press release from Wiseman Noble, the research-based events and publications company in Vancouver, British Columbia, whose aim is to facilitate change through consensus, cites financial losses. Wiseman Noble produced seven events across Canada related to hemp and non-wood fibres since 1997, and published eight issues of Commercial Hemp magazine.) From: "ralph sherrow" (email@example.com) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Fwd: Wiseman Noble cancels all Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre projects Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 21:24:41 PST From: email@example.com (events) Reply-To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" (email@example.com) To: "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" (email@example.com) Subject: Wiseman Noble cancels all Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre projects Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 19:03:51 -0800 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wiseman Noble cancels all Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre projects Vancouver, December 18th, 1998 - Wiseman Noble Sales and Marketing Ltd. announced today that they will not be proceeding with any Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre projects at this time, citing financial constraints and considerable debt associated with losses. As a result, Wiseman Noble will not be producing the Commercial & Industrial Hemp Symposium III: Market Catchers, the Non-Wood Fibre Symposium II, or the Non-Wood Fibre Journal, projects previously announced. "We believe Commercial Hemp Magazine should continue to be published for Canadian farmers and industry, provided a non-partisan group could take it on," states President of Wiseman Noble, Sotos Petrides. " The Commercial Hemp team is keen on continuing to work on this publication and with hope, a government or non-profit funding mechanism can be found to facilitate the continuation of this very important resource." Jason Freeman, Director of Sales, adds, "The Commercial Hemp team is eager to continue providing accurate information to its readership. Over the past two years, Commercial Hemp has helped facilitate infrastructure for the hemp industry. I am excited about the future of hemp in North America and the role of this valuable publication." "There is a continuing need for Commercial Hemp," states Arthur Hanks, Editor. "With a legal crop grown and harvested in Canada in 1998, the hemp adventure is just starting. We have taken risks with our publishing and conference projects, and we know there is still much more work to be done." Wiseman Noble is a research-based events and publications company whose aim is to facilitate change through consensus. Wiseman Noble has produced seven events across Canada related to hemp and non-wood fibres since 1997, as well as publishing eight issues of Commercial Hemp magazine, which features provincial and specialty pages and reports on regional hemp initiatives. "It has been a great pleasure working on Hemp and Non-Wood Fibre related issues and Wiseman Noble has experienced a great deal of success and notoriety as a result," states Petrides. " Wiseman Noble will continue to deliver research and to produce events relating to emerging industries and pending legislative change." An official announcement will be made in January 1999, relating to the future of Commercial Hemp magazine. Petrides has also announced his intention to sell Wiseman Noble hemp and non-wood fibres research to interested stakeholders. For those interested in an upcoming agricultural trade show in British Columbia, the Pacific Agriculture Show will be held in Abbottsford, BC on February 17-19th, (Contact JGS Events at (604) 291-1553). For those interested in an upcoming hemp event, please contact Bob Lamonica of the Santa Cruz Hemp Expo, to be held March 20-21at (831) 457-2670 For more information about Wiseman Noble and Commercial Hemp, [WN1] please contact: Sotos Petrides, President, Wiseman Noble 302-505 Hamilton Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2R1 PH: (604) 662-8600 Fax: (604) 662-8621 Jason Freeman Director of Sales, Wiseman Noble 302-505 Hamilton Street Vancouver, BC V6B 2R1 PH: (604) 662-8600 Fax: (604) 662-8621 Arthur Hanks Editor,Commercial Hemp 909 Windermere St. Vancouver, BC V5K 4J6 H: (604) 255-4332 Fax: (604) 662-8621
------------------------------------------------------------------- Illegal Drug Trade Is Tool Of Power Elite (An op-ed in The Victoria Times-Colonist, in British Columbia, by Jim Hackler, a professor of sociology at the University of Victoria and the author of "Crime and Canadian Public Policy," says it is difficult for Canada to have a sensible drug policy when its neighbor, the United States, the most powerful country in the world, supports the drug trade and then lies about it. Clearly, enough powerful people are benefiting from the current drug policy that it will be hard to develop intelligent alternatives.) Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 02:31:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Canada: PUB OPED: Illegal Drug Trade Is Tool Of Power Elite Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Alan Randell Source: Victoria Times-Colonist (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Author: Jim Hackler ILLEGAL DRUG TRADE IS TOOL OF POWER ELITE It is difficult to have a sensible drug policy in Canada when the most powerful country in the world supports the drug trade and then lies about it. Three illustrations will suffice. First, the Central Intelligence Agency has a long career in drug dealing. The agency was embarrassed when the bank that was laundering its money in Sydney, Australia, and its private airline for flying drugs were exposed. There was less concern when the world realized the CIA routinely helped dictators to get their cut of the drug profits. This was seen as necessary to keep these ruthless leaders co-operating with American business and squelching left-wing activities. If a dictator didn't co-operate, such as Noriega from Panama, charging him with drug dealing was logical. Deceitful perhaps, but who cares when you are dealing with dictators? Thus, when former CIA director, George Bush became vice-president and was given the task of "co-ordinating" drug enforcement, one could be assured that the drug business would thrive. Secondly, the tobacco companies like this setup. The most smuggled product in the world is tobacco (not heroin, marijuana, or other banned substances). Tobacco companies have been known to establish smuggling routes. Naturally, they swear this is not true, just as they swore before Congress that they did not know that tobacco was addicting. One tobacco company in Canada has vastly increased its production to keep those Canadians wintering in Florida happy. The fact that most of those cigarettes don't get smoked in Florida, but get smuggled back into Canada, isn't their fault. Since the smuggling routes for tobacco are well established, isn't there room for a little heroin and cocaine? Conclusion: Tobacco companies support the illegal drug trade. Thirdly, financial institutions find it profitable to launder the huge sums of money from the drug trade. Like the Swiss bankers who were oblivious to the funds stolen by the Nazis from the Jews, or the presidents of tobacco companies who denied that cigarettes could cause cancer, bankers were completely unaware that all that money could possibly come from illegal sources. Selective inattention is well developed among those in leadership positions. When a politician calls for a "war on drugs" he/she is either stupid or dishonest. You choose. Clearly, enough powerful people are benefiting from the current drug policy that it will be hard to develop intelligent alternatives. The primary damage arising from the drug trade is not from the drugs themselves. Heroin and cocaine do less damage than tobacco and alcohol, but that is another debate. Smokers are not criminalized. Harassed perhaps, but they remain accepted members of society. I am not arguing for outright legalization of all drugs but we should be aware that it is the criminalization of drugs that produces the following problems: 1) Great wealth is provided for the very vicious criminals. They must be willing to murder, bribe, and exploit the young. The police will protect their interests by eliminating competition from minor players in the drug business. This enables the big dealers to expend into other businesses with offers that are hard to refuse (such as a broken kneecap). Waste disposal can be a profitable business if your ethics permit the pouring of contaminants into sewers or putting them into fuel oil to be sold to hospitals and schools. Then the smoke will spread the toxic materials over the surrounding area. 2) Drugs corrupt the police. As one police chief told researchers at a major criminology conference, it is not a matter of "if" but "when" police officers will be bribed by drug dealers. In larger police forces, drug traffickers can start with all sorts of minor help, such as information etc. The slippery slope to corruption has been well greased. 3) Very young juveniles are used to carry drugs and money. Because they are carrying valuables, they are inclined to carry guns. You know the result. 4) Unwise behavior and risk-taking on the part of young people is criminalized. Most of us would agree that experimenting with many of these substances, including tobacco and alcohol, is risky. But young people who survive their adventures with smoking, partying vandalism on Halloween, bungee-jumping etc. become reasonable adults who delight in telling stories about their youthful adventures. Those involved with illegal drugs, which are not inherently worse than legal ones, face severe risks to their life chances because of societal responses. (Have you heard parents say they were only drinking booze, not smoking marijuana?) Criminalizing reckless behavior has not prevented it, but it has increased the social damage. What to do? Harm-reduction strategies show some promise, but the first step is to recognize the hypocrisy and dishonesty that drive drug policies in North America. Jim Hackler is adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Victoria. The author of "Crime and Canadian Public Policy", he is currently doing research on small court systems in Western Canada.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Torture Scandal Stirs Dominicans (The Associated Press says a videotape of a drug suspect being beaten in the presence of the Dominican Republic's top anti-drug official, General Humeau Hidalgo, is drawing public outrage.) Date: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 20:07:51 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: Dominican Republic: Wire: Torture Scandal Stirs Dominicans Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 18 Dec 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) A videotape of a drug suspect being beaten in the presence of the Dominican Republic's top anti-drug official is drawing public outrage. The video, shown on television earlier this week, was filmed by the agency in 1994 as agents allegedly intercepted a shipment of more than a ton of cocaine en route from Colombia to the United States. The video shows an agent hitting the ears of one suspect, while Gen. Humeau Hidalgo, who was later named head of the National Directorate for the Control of Drugs, stands at his side. On Friday, Hidalgo accused the drug suspect's lawyers of releasing the tape to discredit his anti-narcotics campaign. He made no comment on the tape's content. The suspect's lawyer, Carlos Balacer, said he gained access to the tape during his client's trial, which is under way. Human rights groups have accused police agencies in this Caribbean country of abuse. And the president of the Dominican Human Rights Committee, Domingo Porfirio Rojas Nina, said the video was additional evidence of such abuse. The 1994 arrest was a major one for drug officials because it also netted Florian Felix, the Dominican Republic's most-wanted alleged drug trafficker at the time.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Ifs And Butts (The New Zealand Herald says that after eight months of deliberation, the New Zealand parliament's health select committee released its report on the mental health effects of cannabis yesterday. "Based on the evidence we have heard in the course of this inquiry," the committee concluded, "the negative mental health impact of cannabis appears to have been overstated . . . . Cannabis should be viewed as a lesser threat to cognitive functioning than alcohol." The committee said the evidence also suggested that cannabis did not cause behavioural difficulties, rather that cannabis was frequently used by youths who misbehaved. Neither was it a cause of suicide.)Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 02:31:27 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: New Zealand: Cannabis Ifs And Butts Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (David Hadorn) Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: New Zealand Herald (New Zealand) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.herald.co.nz/nzherald/index.html Copyright: New Zealand Herald Author: Eugene Bingham CANNABIS IFS AND BUTTS Marijuana use may be inching towards decriminalisation. After eight months of deliberation, a parliamentary committee has blown away the smoke and found that the fire may not be as bad as first thought. The health select committee tabled its report into the mental health effects of cannabis yesterday, finding that the drug has probably been unduly criticised. "Based on the evidence we have heard in the course of this inquiry," the committee concluded, "the negative mental health impact of cannabis appears to have been overstated, particularly in relation to occasional adult users of the drug." Pro-cannabis campaigners are already touting the report as a breakthrough. "It shows there has been a shift both in public opinion and the opinion of Parliament," Chris Fowlie, a spokesman for the group Norml, said yesterday. But the committee has been careful that it does not underplay the serious consequences of use of the drug for some people. "Evidence received in the course of this inquiry has raised serious doubts about commonly held beliefs about cannabis," wrote the committee. "Moderate use of the drug does not seem to harm the majority of people though we do not deny the serious impact cannabis use may have on certain individuals, particularly those with schizophrenia or those with a vulnerability to psychotic illness." The chairman of the committee, Brian Neeson, said the inquiry found that there was inadequate research into some areas. "We are concerned that cannabis use may accelerate the onset of schizophrenia in predisposed individuals and may be a complicating factor in the treatment of people with mental illnesses. "We found that treatment services for people with drug-related mental illnesses are inadequate. 'We have recommended that the Government address this issue through funding, the greater provision of facilities, workforce development and better service coordination." The other MPs on the committee were Shane Ardern, Phillida Bunkle, Judy Keall, Annette King, Roger Maxwell, Tukoroirangi Morgan, Katherine O'Regan, Jill Pettis and Ken Shirley. The committee noted that cannabis was the third most popular recreational drug after alcohol and tobacco. "While the abuse of any drug is undesirable, we accept that people will continue to use drugs," says the report. "Therefore, this inquiry has not focused on the legality of cannabis use but has concentrated on its mental health effects." In its conclusions, the committee noted that many of the 70 submissions stated that the mental health risks for adult users was low. "A number of submissions made the point that risks posed by cannabis are currently less than those posed by alcohol. The weight of available evidence suggests that long-term heavy use of cannabis does not produce severe or gross impairment of cognitive function. "Evidence received during the inquiry supports the view that there can be subtle cognitive impairment in cannabis users." In this respect, the committee drew to a large extent on the work of Wayne Hall of the Australian National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, who was commissioned to report on scientific research in this area. He found that long-term use of cannabis may cause subtle impairment in the higher cognitive functions of memory, attention and the organisation and integration of complex information. "Hall and the Health Funding Authority pointed out that cannabis should be viewed as a lesser threat to cognitive functioning than alcohol." The committee said the evidence also suggested that cannabis did not cause behavioural difficulties, rather that cannabis was frequently used by youths who misbehaved. Neither was it a cause of suicide. The 18 recommendations contained in the report call for increased funding of research, particularly among Maori, and for greater provision and coordination of services to help people seeking drug treatment. It was also believed that a change in the law may help to draw more people who need help. Some submissions told the committee that the criminal status of cannabis heightened paranoia and anxiety. Those who develop problems are less likely to seek help because they use an illegal substance and may spiral into alienation, anti-social behaviour, criminality, mental illness or violence."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Cannabis Laws Should Be Reviewed (The version in The Press, in New Zealand.) Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 20:54:46 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: New Zealand: Cannabis Laws Should Be Reviewed Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: email@example.com (David Hadorn) Source: The Press (New Zealand) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.press.co.nz/ Copyright: 1998 The Christchurch Press Company Ltd. Pubdate: Friday, 18 Dec 1998 CANNABIS LAWS SHOULD BE REVIEWED The Government should review the legal status of cannabis, Parliament's health select committee has recommended. In its report on its inquiry into the mental health effects of cannabis, tabled in Parliament yesterday, the committee says that the effectiveness of the present policy on cannabis requires examination, given the high level of use in New Zealand. "It is acknowledged that cannabis prohibition enforced by traditional crime control methods has not been successful in reducing the apparent number of cannabis users," the report says. "That the police are open-minded on the issue of decriminalisation of cannabis is an indication that thinking on the subject is changing . . . Methods other than prohibition certainly deserve consideration." The committee concluded that the negative mental health effects of cannabis appeared to have been overstated. Occasional cannabis use posed few risks to the mental health of most adult users, and the weight of available evidence suggested that even long-term, heavy use of cannabis did not produce severe or gross impairment of cognitive function, the committee found.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Britain Is Drugs Capital Of Europe (Britain's Independent says the 1998 Annual Report on the State of the Drugs Problem in the European Union, carried out by the European Commission, shows that the war against drugs is being lost, and that proportionately more people in the United Kingdom use cannabis, ecstasy, amphetamines and solvents than in any other country in Europe.) Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 23:53:18 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Britain Is Drugs Capital Of Europe Source: Independent, The (UK) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/ Copyright: Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd. Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Author: Jason Bennetto, Crime Correspondent BRITAIN IS DRUGS CAPITAL OF EUROPE MORE PEOPLE in the United Kingdom take drugs than any other country in Europe, an international survey has found. Drug users in the UK are the biggest consumers of cannabis, ecstasy and amphetamines. In addition, British youngsters were the highest abusers of solvents, with 20 per cent of 15- and 16-year-olds having sniffed dangerous substances. The study of all 15 members of the European Union, makes depressing reading for law enforcers and drugs agencies in the UK. It also highlights a number of European trends that include a rise in amphetamine and cocaine abuse, as ecstasy falls in popularity, as well as the spread of heroin from large urban areas to rural ones and smaller towns. On the positive side, the incidence of new AIDS cases is falling sharply, although the number of people contracting the liver disease hepatitis C from sharing equipment used to inject drugs is rising. The 1998 Annual Report on the State of the Drugs Problem in the European Union, which was carried out by the European Commission, shows that the war against drugs is being lost. It says the availability of heroin, although only used by about 1 per cent of the population, is increasing in some EU countries, including the UK, and warns that "several countries report heroin smoking by new groups of young people, both from socially integrated populations and from minority groups." The study estimated that between 0.2 and 0.3 per cent of the EU population is addicted to heroin - about 900,000 people. Seizures of cannabis, while increasing fourfold from 1985 to 1994, have stabilised and it remains the number one drug of choice. The popularity of the dance drug ecstasy may have peaked. It has been tried by as few as 0.5 per cent of the population in Belgium to 3 per cent in Britain. Deaths from ecstasy are relatively rare, says the report. The use of amphetamines (speed) and cocaine appears to be on the increase. Speed has been used by 9 per cent of the UK population - the highest level in the EU. The report says: "Despite rising concern about ecstasy in recent years, it is amphetamines that may increasingly dominate the market in synthetic drugs in the future." British teenagers aged 15 and 16 are top of the league for cannabis use - with 40 per cent having tried the drug - compared with Finland and Portugal where about 4 per cent have indulged. Britons are also among the highest users of amphetamines, hallucinogens and ecstasy. Crack, a highly addictive cocaine derivative, is found in only a small number of countries - Britain, the Netherlands and France. On the law enforcement side, seizures of cocaine, heroin and amphetamines have continued to increase in the past year while the amount of cannabis has tailed off slightly. The UK accounted for more than a fifth of cannabis seizures. Trafficking routes remain unchanged. The Balkan route from Asia is used primarily to supply Europe with heroin, whilst the route across the North Atlantic from South and Central America remains the most popular for transporting cocaine. There has been an increase in the production and trade in synthetic drugs, such as ecstasy, especially in eastern Europe. Morocco and Pakistan are major suppliers of cannabis resin along with Colombia, South Africa, Nigeria, Thailand and most recently Albania.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gambians Arrested For Drug Crimes (A translation of an article from Dagens Nyheter, in Sweden, says the illegal heroin and khat trade in Stockholm is growing at an immense rate - despite the most repressive anti-drug laws in Europe - with police alleging that 400 of the county's 900 Gambians are involved.) Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 07:30:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Sweden: Gambians Arrested For Drug Crimes Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Abel B Pubdate: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 Source: Dagens Nyheter Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: 1998 Dagens Nyheter Website: http://www.dn.se/ Author: Kjell Nilsson Translation by: Abel B Stockholm. GAMBIANS ARRESTED FOR DRUG CRIMES. Heroin trade. 400 of the county's 900 Gambians are involved in drug trade in Stockholm according to the Police. The Drug trade in Stockholm is growing at an immense rate. County police commissioner, Leif Jennekvist, gave an alarming picture of the situation this Thursday. He points out the African nation Gambia to be responsible for as good as all of the heroin trade, he also revealed that Somaliska Foreningen (The Somalian Association) in Stockholm has pleaded to the prosecutors office to take immediate measures against the strong increase in the use of Khat. Khat is an amphetamine preparation that is chewed to the size of a golf ball and which is now flooding, not only Sweden, but also entire Europe. "Somaliska Foreningen doesn't want the Khat problem here in Sweden," Jennekvist says. They are scared for their fellow countrymen, and don't want Swedish youths to get in contact with the drug. In Somalia, located in eastern Africa, khat is somewhat of a national drug. It consists of tobacco like leaves that are chewed - in what seems like an eternity. According to division chief Jan Andersson there is one plane landing in London a week, with the controversial drug in its baggage space. Couriers take over, and are sent out in Europe, carrying as much as 15kg of the drug. "It is a risk free smuggling," Andersson informs. Khat is strongly habit-forming and has a bracing effect. No arrests have yet been made in the sale of the drug in Stockholm. That Somaliska Foreningen acts with preventive purposes is of course appreciated by the Police management. Khat trade is yet in its infant stage. And the heroin trade at Sergel plattan (Stockholm's major drug scene) and in Stockholm's most vulnerable suburbs is at a whole different level. Jan Andersson has made a unique survey and there exists today no doubt that as good as all of the trade is organised by a number of heads from Gambia. Andersson has formed a picture with identified heads and the branches these men have. A unique and yet scary picture. "It is an organised, mob-like activity, and I am prepared to take possible diplomatic consequences that the identification of the Gambian nation can mean. We have names, transactions and we have today, above all, 48 in custody who have taken part in the heroin trade in different ways," says Jennekvist. According to the County's Police department there is about 900 Gambians in Stockholm's county today. And about 400 of these are active in the heroin trade, as couriers and dealers or in a different way. They are controlled by a number of heads, of which several have Swedish citizens. The City is divided in different districts, based on the subway networks reach. The trade takes place partly at "plattan", and partly in connection to some of the larger subway stations. Jennekvist paints up a frightening scenario. The organization recruits new abusers all the time. Every fifth capsule is free is a well-known sales trick. The dealers keep the capsules in their mouths, under the upper lip, and in case of an arrest the capsule is quickly swallowed. It is the beginning of a complicated process and where our technical division is put in a trying job. Several narcotics investigators, and unit chiefs, that Dagens Nyheter has been in touch with testifies of a miserable situation. Goran Eriksson, reconnaissance chief of the southern division and drug fighter since 1972 resembles Stockholm to a drug trade supermarket. "We "serve" the entire northern region and parts of the southern land. There the Malmo division takes over. We are experiencing a break in the trends; there have never been so much drugs in Sweden as it does now. We get to pay a larger price for a Europe without borders. The seizures we do have the characteristics of a fire-brigades turn out. We are always a step behind, that is the frightening truth," Goran Eriksson says. For the year 1999 the authorities signal for an improvement of the organization, the reconnaissance groups are going to get better leadership, there is going to be more narcotics officers out on the streets along with other resources and strengthening measures. "I am positive to the idea, the way it is now all my surveillance officers have to stop what they are doing by 1 am. It is an overtime stop, but the dope and its dealer never rest," Eriksson finishes. Facts/Heroin and Khat: * Trade organization: Approximately 400 Gambians, living in Stockholm's county, can all be linked with the open heroin trade according to County Police commissioner Leif Jennekvist. Khat is distributed via London, a trade that Somaliska Forreningen wants to end. * The drug situation in Stockholm: Worse than ever and a steep climbing curve. * Proposed measures: Jennekvist proposes "the Danish model". A form of proclaiming a state of emergency that gives authorities the right to intervene with every Gambian that resides in a public environment, public squares and subways.
------------------------------------------------------------------- The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue No. 71 (The Drug Reform Coordination Network's original summary of drug policy news and calls to action, including - Diana McCague sentenced for syringe exchange - including McCague's statement to the court and links to prior coverage of the Chai Project; Action opportunity: protest on steps of New Jersey Statehouse; Bills seeking to decriminalize marijuana, legalize medical marijuana and legalize hemp cultivation to be introduced in New Hampshire legislature in 1999; Patient who was denied liver transplant for using medical marijuana dies; Media spotlight: drug smuggling by U.S. Marines a growing problem; and an editorial by Adam J. Smith, Unrighteous indignation.) Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 04:06:11 -0500 To: email@example.com From: DRCNet (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #71 Sender: email@example.com The Week Online with DRCNet, Issue #71 -- December 18, 1998 A Publication of the Drug Reform Coordination Network -------- PLEASE COPY AND DISTRIBUTE -------- (To sign off this list, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org with the line "signoff drc-natl" in the body of the message, or mailto:email@example.com for assistance. To subscribe to this list, visit http://www.drcnet.org/signup.html.) (This issue can be also be read on our web site at http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html. Check out the DRCNN weekly radio segment at http://www.drcnet.org/drcnn/.) PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of The Week Online is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: Drug Reform Coordination Network, 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you. TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Diana McCague Sentenced for Syringe Exchange (Including McCague's Statement to the Court and Links to Prior Coverage of the Chai Project) http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#sentenced 2. ACTION OPPORTUNITY: Protest On Steps of New Jersey Statehouse http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#protest 3. Bills Seeking to Decriminalize Marijuana, Legalize Medical Marijuana and Legalize Hemp Cultivation to be Introduced in New Hampshire Legislature in 1999 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#newhampshire 4. Patient Who Was Denied Liver Transplant For Using Medical Marijuana Dies http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#plotner 5. MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: Drug Smuggling by U.S. Marines a Growing Problem http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#marines 6. EDITORIAL: Unrighteous Indignation http://www.drcnet.org/wol/071.html#editorial *** 1. Diana McCague Sentenced for Syringe Exchange Diana McCague, founder of the Chai Project of New Jersey, was sentenced this week (12/17) for the crime of distributing clean syringes to addicted individuals in New Brunswick. This was the second time that McCague had been arrested and convicted of the same charge. At her first trial, in 1997, the judge called McCague "a modern day Joan of Arc" and said he'd be proud to have her as a daughter, though he claimed he was bound by the law and found her guilty, fining her $500 and suspending her drivers' license for 6 months. This time, however, McCague was given a 90 day suspended jail sentence, plus fines of $750, another six months' license suspension and 100 hours of community service, which the judge has indicated he wants her to serve for the local DARE program. "50,000 people in New Jersey are infected with the HIV virus" McCague told The Week Online. "Of those, half were infected by sharing a syringe, and another 25% were infected because they are the sexual partner or the child of an IV drug user. So what we are saying is that three fourths of New Jersey's HIV infections could have been prevented by the availability of sterile syringes." The suspended sentence means that if McCague is caught with a syringe again, she faces certain jail time. Suspending her drivers' license was also painful because McCague has earned much of her income in recent years driving a cab. The community service will be problematic, she said, because 100 hours will be difficult to spare for someone who is struggling to make ends meet. But the suggestion that she might have to serve that service in the DARE program was the most shocking of all. "I don't know, and even the judge doesn't know, whether he can make me do my service for DARE. I'll tell you though that I will not be made to say anything that I don't believe. If they want me to go into schools and do drug education, however, I'm going to go in there and tell the truth. And truth has nothing to do with what the state means when it talks about drug education." Since her most recent arrest, the Chai Project has stopped exchanging syringes, though they are still doing outreach, providing condoms and legal safe drug use equipment, as well as providing information and treatment referrals. But if McCague has decided to obey the law of New Jersey, that doesn't mean that she respects it, or the people who write or enforce it. "The facts being what they are, there is simply no excuse for the denial of sterile injection equipment to addicts. It's very simple: this law is killing people. Those in the legislature who support the law are murderers, the governor, who refuses to change the law, is a murderer, and the people who enforce this law are murderers. No one can dispute the fact that there are people in New Jersey right now who are addicted, who are sharing needles, and who are contracting HIV because we are no longer out there doing exchange. Those people are going to die. Plain and simple. And this law, and those who wrote and enforce it, are responsible for those deaths." "They're throwaway people, according to the state" she added. "It's sad, but their lives apparently aren't as valuable as the political points that our esteemed governor is trying to make for herself." McCague has provided DRCNet with her statement to the Court: The Chai Project's mission is -- and always has been -- to reduce the harm of substance use and sexual activity. Always mindful of harm and the causes of harm, we have been diligent in asses- sing the effects of our activities. What sense would it make to work to reduce some harm only to produce other harm which might not otherwise have occurred? There is no evidence of our activities ever having caused damage -- either to an individual or to our community. The prosecutor may argue that the simple act of defying the law is harmful because it undermines the moral authority of the law. Assistant Prosecutor Bill Lamb made this argument before the appellate division in my first case and more recently in an op-ed piece that was published in the Home News Tribune. If this argument is accepted, we must define the activities of many Americans as having been harmful - including participants in the Boston Tea Party, those who facilitated the freeing of slaves via the Underground Railroad, Susan B. Anthony who voted when it was illegal for women to do so, and Rosa Parks who refused to give her seat on the bus to a white man. I am not so arrogant as to rank myself among these incredibly courageous people. In fact, there are many activists in the United States who have taken exactly the risks that I have taken in order to save the lives of drug users and their families by giving out clean syringes in defiance of the law. It is their lead that I have followed during the past five years -- though with radically different results: to date, no one who has been arrested in the U.S. for dispensing syringes in an effort to protect the public health has been punished to the degree that I have -- including those who have been charged and convicted more than once. Further- more, in every city and/or state where people have taken the lead on this issue by getting out onto the street to save lives, the government -- sometimes local authorities and sometimes state authorities -- has always followed by making syringe exchange legal. I was hopeful that my government would follow as others have and would acknowledge that the statute which I am accused of violating was never intended to condemn drug users and their loved ones to chronic disease and death. What's more, I thought my government would surely acknowledge that the statute was never intended to punish those who were engaged in emergency prevention efforts. In April of 1996, when I was arrested on this charge for the first time, my resolve was strengthened. I would continue no matter what. In August of 1997 my commitment was further reinforced when, during my trial in this very courtroom, I admitted that the Chai Project's activities had continued. Judge Brenner did not admonish me to stop -- in fact he commended our work by calling it noble. I believed then that, armed with the truth, my personal forti- tude could withstand the power of the state. Recently, however, the state has unleashed its power in greater measures. The seizure of the Chai Project's van, the establishment of a high bail, and the threat of a felony charge have had their intended effect -- my resolve has been broken, and consequently I have announced publicly through the press and in other forums that I will no longer distribute syringes and that as long as the Chai Project is running under my direction, the organization will refrain from this activity as well. I would add that this was a difficult and painful decision; I am convinced that what we have been forced to discontinue is a public health service that has saved lives. I believe there is no purpose then, to punishing me to a greater extent than the criminal code requires. Certainly I've received the intended message and responded clearly. Indeed, everyone watching this situation has gotten the message -- further violations will result in ever harsher sanctions. Despite the fact that much political mileage would be gained were I to be sentenced to a jail term I know that it would be contrary to my own best interests and the interests of the Chai Project and those it serves for me to be incarcerated. The Chai Project continues in its mission to reduce the harm associated with drug use and sexual activity by engaging only in legal activities. We continue to practice Harm Reduction, which compels us always to act peacefully and non-judgmentally. We will continue to distribute safer sex and legal safer drug using materials and information. We will continue to support our participants as they seek out other services, including drug treatment. We will continue to educate our participants and the community about how to be as healthy and safe as possible under current conditions. In fact, since our ability to collect used and potentially deadly syringes has been removed, we have established a plan to work with the New Brunswick Police Department to clean up inappropriately discarded syringes under the supervision of law enforcement officials -- resulting in the continued protection of our community from accidental needlesticks. For us to continue our work and to function at the most efficient possible level I must be present and available, I must be able to drive, I must be able to move about at will. Finally, I ask for leniency for my own sake. It's been months since I've known a sense of joy or contentment -- I'm exhausted and broke. My family and friends worry about my ability to endure additional stress and hardship. Over the past three months, an inordinate amount of my time and resources have been focused on these legal difficulties: I want to get back to my work and move forward; I want to fulfill my part in the mission of the Chai Project. Previous DRCNet coverage of the Chai Project: http://www.drcnet.org/wol/069.html#chaiproject ALERT: Show of Support Needed for New Jersey Needle Exchange, 12/4/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/061.html#chaibust New Jersey Needle Exchange Busted Again, 10/2/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/058.html#whitman Whitman, AIDS Council Still at Odds Over Needle Exchange, 9/11/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/052.html#chaiproject NJ NEP Workers' Conviction Upheld in Appeals Court, 7/31/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/048.html#njpoll On Polling Numbers and Syringe Exchange in New Jersey, 7/2/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/030.html#chaiproject Needle Exchange Volunteer Arrested in New Jersey, 2/20/98 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/019.html#chai NJ Needle Exchange Continues Legal Battle, 11/15/97 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/016.html#mothers Mothers March on New Jersey State Capitol, 10/24/97 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/009.html#editorial Needle Exchange is Still Illegal... but That Doesn't Make it Wrong, 8/29/97 http://www.drcnet.org/wol/007.html#chai Media Alert: Needle Exchangers Convicted, 8/15/97 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1997/8-13-1.html Action Alert: Needle Exchangers Convicted, 8/13/97 http://www.drcnet.org/rapid/1996/3-19-2.html URGENT: Prosecutors Targeting NJ Needle Exchange Program, 3/19/96 For the latest information on the extent of injection- related AIDS in the African American and Latino communities, read the Dogwood Center's Health Emergency 1999 report, online at http://www.drcnet.org/healthemergency/. *** 2. ACTION OPPORTUNITY: Protest On Steps of New Jersey Statehouse On Tuesday, January 12, at twelve noon, citizens of New Jersey and surrounding regions will gather on the steps of the statehouse in Trenton to protest Governor Christine Whitman's intractability on the issue of syringe exchange. The protest will coincide with Whitman's State of the State address and will be sponsored by the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition, the New Jersey chapters of the National Organization for Women and American Civil Liberties Union, the New Jersey Collegiate Consortium for Health in Education, ACT-UP Philadelphia, and ACT-UP New York among others. New Jersey has the nation's third-highest rate of injection- related AIDS. If you are in the area, please make an effort to attend this one-hour demonstration. Donations to defray transportation and other expenses are welcome. Checks can be made out the New Jersey Harm Reduction Coalition and sent to NJHRC, P.O. Box 1459, New Brunswick, NJ 08903. For further information, call NJHRC at (732) 247-3242. *** 3. Bills Seeking to Decriminalize Marijuana, Legalize Medical Marijuana and Legalize Hemp Cultivation to be Introduced in New Hampshire Legislature in 1999 - Scott Ehlers, Drug Policy Foundation The state that lives by the motto "Live Free or Die" will decriminalize marijuana, legalize medical marijuana and permit farmers to grow hemp if Rep. Timothy N. Robertson has his way. The Democrat from Keene will introduce legislation in the New Hampshire legislature early next year to decriminalize the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana, as well as legislation to permit a patient and his/her caregiver to possess and cultivate up to three cannabis plants. The decriminalization legislation will reduce marijuana possession offenses from a class A misdemeanor to a violation, the same status as a parking ticket. "It's time we put some sense into our drug policies," says Robertson, who doesn't believe in putting people in jail for "getting high in different ways than most people." According to Robertson, current drug policies "haven't accomplished much except throw a lot of people in prison." In regard to medical marijuana, Robertson noted that "California legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and the world didn't come to an end and everyone hasn't become a drug addict like Republicans predicted." He believes that the medical marijuana initiative victories across the country prove that "politicians have to catch up with the people" on the medical marijuana issue. This isn't the first time that Robertson has introduced legislation to reform New Hampshire's marijuana laws. In the last House session he introduced similar bills to decriminalize the possession of 1 1/2 ounces or less of marijuana and legalize the medical use of the plant. He also sponsored a hemp legalization bill that passed the agriculture committee but not the full House. This year other legislators are doing much of the work on behalf of the hemp bill so as to separate the issue of hemp, which is not psychoactive, from the pharmacologically-active marijuana. While Rep. Robertson believes there is a good chance that the hemp bill will pass the House, he concedes that the marijuana decriminalization and medical marijuana bills will have a harder time making it through the legislature. He is hopeful that they will be passed out of committee, though, because of the momentum created by the drug policy reform victories around the country. "The press and the people are becoming more liberal on drug policy reform issues. It may take a while for these bills to pass, but I believe it will eventually happen." (Scott Ehlers is Senior Policy Analyst at the Drug Policy Foundation, and can be reached at email@example.com. Visit http://www.dpf.org or http://www.drugpolicy.org to find DPF on the web.) *** 4. Patient Who Was Denied Liver Transplant For Using Medical Marijuana Dies - Dale Gieringer, California NORML California NORML is sorry to note the death of Ed Plotner, who was removed from a liver transplant list for using medical marijuana. Plotner, who suffered multiple hepatitis infections, had used marijuana to combat severe appetite and weight loss. He was accepted but then dropped by a liver transplant program which demanded that he pass a drug test for marijuana. Unlike other drugs, including cocaine, heroin, and alcohol, marijuana is not a risk factor for hepatitis. Even though many patients find medical marijuana is useful -- not only for weight gain, but also for helping to avoid drugs that are toxic to the liver -- it is banned in most transplant programs. California NORML attorney Eric Shevin attempted to get Plotner restored to the transplant list, but his efforts proved too late. After being kept off the list a year, Ed expired on November 21. "Ed was a tragic victim of drug testing abuse," says California NORML coordinator Dale Gieringer. "He was killed by the anti-marijuana bigotry and ignorance of medical 'experts' who should have known better." Ironically, Plotner, who was from Redding, California, had sought treatment in San Francisco, where voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana by 80%-20%. (Dale Gieringer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. California NORML is online at http://www.norml.org/canorml/. *** 5. MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: Drug Smuggling by U.S. Marines a Growing Problem Last Sunday (12/13) the Los Angeles Times reported that more than fifty members of the U.S. military have been investigated for drug smuggling in recent years. The piece highlights the realities of prohibition enforcement and the fact that even the world's strongest military is not immune from corruption. This was a concern that was voiced strongly by numerous military leaders during the debate, in the 1980's, over whether or not America's military ought to be deployed in service to the Drug War. You can find the Los Angeles Times article online at http://www.latimes.com/HOME/NEWS/STATE/UPDATES/lat_marines1213.htm. *** 6. EDITORIAL: Unrighteous Indignation Adam J. Smith, DRCNet Associate Director This week, while the House continued to debate articles of impeachment against the President, Bob Livingston, the speaker-elect, announced that he had been unfaithful to his wife of 33-years, conducting a long-term affair. Livingston indicated that his revelation came under pressure from unnamed people who had been "investigating" him, and vowed that he would nevertheless be undeterred from his duty regarding impeachment. Bob Livingston was not the first member of Congress to make an embarrassing admission during this process, and the rumors around Washington are that as the process continues, more will follow. It may be that there are people who are loyal to the President, perhaps people in the administration itself, who are attempting to use the dark secrets of President Clinton's Republican inquisitors against them in an effort to swing votes. These admissions in advance of imminent disclosure are nothing new. Several years ago there were a rash of admissions, by then-speaker Newt Gingrich and Vice President Al Gore among others, to "youthful experimentation" with marijuana. Now it's sex. The problem here is not that our elected leaders are human, or even somewhat twisted, as no doubt some of them are. The problem is that despite their own "indiscretions," these people insist upon passing laws regulating, even prohibiting the private consensual behavior of others. And they are willing, even eager to see that the private conduct of American adults be punished, and punished severely. Last year in America, approximately 600,000 people were arrested for the possession of marijuana. Tens of thousands of others were arrested for the possession of other banned substances. The majority of those people had not harmed anyone, save arguably themselves. And every year, from Capitol Hill, bastion of morality and virtue, comes the call for harsher sentences, more prisons and greater police powers in order that the state might better find, sentence and incarcerate these wayward Americans to the satisfaction of our elected hypocrites. No one, of course, is kicking in the doors of our legislators, or of their well-to-do neighbors, in the hopes of finding some forbidden substance. In fact, none of the members of Congress, nor their social and economic peers, have much to worry about at all from the state-sponsored terrorism masquerading as vice-law enforcement. Any invasion of privacy that they suffer now is borne solely of their own volitional rise to public office, and the circus that they have created of our political reality. The laws they pass are for other people. Those of us not upstanding or trustworthy enough to determine what is best put in our bodies, or to hold public office. We have come to a point in our history when our leaders pass laws which punish humanity itself, with the full force of the prison state behind them. And the full knowledge that they themselves, and many of their friends and colleagues, would fail the test of their own punitive puritanism if only they were subject to its dictates. Today, in Washington DC, our leaders are grudgingly confessing to things that would otherwise become public anyway. These are the same leaders who, with righteous indignation and contempt for the weakness of others, have declared war on the private, consensual acts of the citizens of this nation. These leaders are sinners beyond redemption. Not for being human, with all of the messiness that the condition entails, but rather for having the nerve to legislate while shamelessly pretending that they're not. *** DRCNet needs your support! Donations can be sent to 2000 P St., NW, Suite 615, Washington, DC 20036, or made by credit card at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. Donations to the Drug Reform Coordination Network are not tax-deductible. 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