------------------------------------------------------------------- Anderson Faces Prison for Drugs (According to The Associated Press, an interview with Greg Anderson of the Houston Hawks, in Sunday's Houston Chronicle, says the professional basketball player blames himself for being entrapped by the FBI into participating in a cocaine deal, leading to his imminent prison sentence. Anderson, a 10-year veteran of the NBA who was a first-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs in 1987, faces up to 40 years.) Date: Wed, 23 Dec 1998 20:46:33 -0800 From: Paul Freedom (email@example.com) Organization: Oregon Libertarian Patriots To: "Cannabis Patriots" (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: [cp] Anderson Faces Prison for Drugs DECEMBER 20, 16:16 EST Anderson Faces Prison for Drugs HOUSTON (AP) - Greg Anderson blames bad judgment and a poor choice of friends for his fate: an imminent prison sentence for participating in a cocaine deal to which he has pleaded guilty. Anderson, in an interview in Sunday's Houston Chronicle, said that as a favor to friends, he allowed himself to be drawn into a drug deal - one that turned out to be a setup in an FBI drug sting. Anderson and three others pleaded guilty Oct. 20 to possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He faces a maximum of 40 years in prison, but federal sentencing guidelines mean he'll probably serve three to four years in prison with no chance for parole. ``The caught me red-handed,'' said Anderson, a former University of Houston star who earned the nickname ``Cadillac'' because he rode his bicycle to school. ``I could have said, `No.' I could have stopped this. But I didn't. ``I'm not in a state of thinking, `Why did this happen?' I should have been saying that before it happened. I should have said a lot of things before it happened.'' Anderson has spent 10 years in the NBA. He was a first-round draft pick by the San Antonio Spurs in 1987, spending two two-year stints with the team. He also played for Milwaukee, Denver, Detroit. He played for Atlanta in 1994-95 and rejoined the Hawks last year. His almost certain road to prison began last season while with the Hawks. He says he didn't know new friend Howard Hill, whom he met at an Atlanta nightclub earlier this year, was a Biloxi, Miss., drug dealer. He also wasn't aware the other man he met that night with Hill, Anthony Bates, was a federal informant. The pair began to hang out with Anderson last spring, going out to eat after practices and attending games at Anderson's invitation. Anderson became curious how the men could keep up with the NBA lifestyle seemingly without a job. He said one of the men told him he was an offshore worker on oil rigs. ``I know people who go offshore for two weeks and are home for two weeks,'' he said. ``So it didn't dawn on me they were doing anything illegal.'' After the season, Anderson said Hill and Bates finally told him what they did for a living and wanted to know if the player had any drug connections in Houston. It happened that around the same time, Anderson's estranged wife moved out of their home with their four children and most of the family belongings. Hill and Bates moved in to fill the void. Anderson soon introduced hometown friend Kevin Blackmon to them, and he said Blackmon sold the pair 2.2 pounds of cocaine. Hill and an associate were arrested after taking the drugs back to Mississippi. The bust was set up by Bates and the FBI. Hill then worked with federal agents to snare Anderson, whom he recruited to pick up Blackmon's money at a Biloxi casino hotel room. Anderson says he grudgingly agreed to participate in one last drug deal, at which time the FBI rushed in. Anderson quickly admitted his involvement and agreed to implicate Blackmon, just as Hill had turned on him. Hill, associate Kevin Porter, Blackmon and Anderson will be sentenced Feb. 9.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Tests Proposed For Gaston Athletes (The Charlotte Observer, in North Carolina, says the Gaston County School Board will consider a countywide drug-testing program Monday night under which high school athletes could lose their right to play if they test positive for the kind of drugs that make them high - but they won't be tested for substances that make muscles grow big and strong.) Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 20:57:33 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US NC: Drug Tests Proposed For Gaston Athletes Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 20 Dec 1998 Source: Charlotte Observer (NC) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.charlotte.com/observer/ Copyright: 1998 The Charlotte Observer Author: Chip Wilson and Joe Wojciechowski DRUG TESTS PROPOSED FOR GASTON ATHLETES GASTONIA -- Gaston County's high school athletes could lose their right to play if they test positive for the kind of drugs that make them high or make them hallucinate. But they won't be tested at all for substances that make muscles grow big and strong. The countywide drug-testing program the Gaston County School Board will consider Monday night will focus only on illegal street drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and LSD. The randomly administered urine tests won't cover prescription steroids or "performance enhancers" such as creatine and androstenedione. "Cost is a real factor," said Reeves McGlohan, the deputy Gaston schools superintendent who helped formulate the policy. He said a urine test for steroids would cost $80, compared to the $20 per-student cost of the one for drugs and marijuana. McGlohan said the school board committee that formulated the policy kicked around the idea of steroid testing but decided not to include it initially. That could happen later, however. "This is what we came up with, and we feel like it's adequate at this time," said Don Saine, the schools' county athletic director. He said he tells his coaches to discourage supplement use, but doesn't think it's a big enough problem to include it in the new testing program. Coaches agree. "The ideal situation is that you would test for everything, but financially it isn't possible" said Mickey Lineberger, athletic director at South Point High School. "This is a step in the right direction." If the policy survives a first vote Monday and final approval in January, Gaston will become one of only five N.C. school systems with a districtwide drug-testing program for high school athletes. The proposal first emerged last summer when Gaston County commissioners were considering the schools' local budget. That board voted unanimously to encourage schools to test as many Please see POLICY / page 6L POLICY from 1L School board will consider drug tests for school athletes students as legally possible, and pledged to pay for the tests. The idea is slowly gaining acceptance in school circles, especially as federal courts have ruled drug testing legal for students involved in extracurricular activities. Lincoln County launched a more comprehensive pilot program earlier this year at East Lincoln High School. Using donated money, about 10 percent of the school's male and female athletes have been tested, and so far all have turned up negative for drugs and steroids. Though Lincoln's policy targets "performance enhancers," East Lincoln athletic director Bruce Bolick said he's not sure it would apply to supplements such as creatine or "andro" because both are legal. Indeed, some Gaston student athletes are taking advantage of the supplements' easy availability. Ashbrook senior John Woody, a guard on his school's football team, said he has friends and teammates who have taken creatine during school hours. And andro and creatine have been big sellers at Gastonia's General Nutrition Center and Gold's Gym, sales clerks said Friday. Both stores try to sell only to adults, but the clerks concede some of the supplements end up with teen-agers. Andro, in particular, gained popularity as a supplement because baseball player Mark McGwire used it during his 70-home run season this year. Baseball doesn't ban andro, though the NFL, the NCAA and the International Olympic Committee do. Still, the Olympic Committee stopped short last week of applying a similar ban to creatine because it's more of a protein supplement, according to ESPN's Internet site. The controversy over McGwire's use helped spur the N.C. High School Athletic Association to strengthen its opposition to all supplements. It is sending a resolution to all the state's coaches and athletic directors next month. Though Gaston's proposed policy doesn't address legal performance enhancers, Saine said he expects all his coaches to abide by the NCHSAA guidelines. Even the association's leaders admit an outright ban would be hard to enforce. "One of the things you have to be careful of with andro and creatine is they are dietary supplements," said Que Tucker, the NCHSSA's deputy director. "You can go into any GNC or gym to buy them. There's no minimum age." Woody said he'd like to see illegal steroids included in athletes' drug tests, though he questions the fairness and legality of testing for legal supplements. He said he doesn't take supplements because he questions their safety and effectiveness. Among students, Woody said, the only opposition to drug testing has come from those worried their own recreational use might be found out. "Most people -- once they sit back, think about and see that the intentions are good -- agree with it," Woody said. Saine stressed that the proposal the school board will consider Monday is not intended to punish drug use as much as prevent it. A positive test won't go on a student's academic record and students will be allowed three failed tests before being totally banned from sports. The policy rewards nontested students who first tell coaches that they've used drugs by giving them a shorter suspension than those who test positive. It also encourages early involvement of parents and drug-abuse experts. The best thing the new policy does for coaches, they say, is give them a uniform set of rules. Up to now, different coaches had different ideas about drug enforcement. "I've always had a policy that anybody caught with drugs or drinking is automatically gone," Lineberger said. "It's lighter than the policy I've used and the policy most coaches have used." Another coach said the testing reduces the possibility that drug users will evade detection by officials who don't know the signs. "Coaches out there who turn the other cheek and say they didn't know anything might not have that option any more," said Lloyd White, Ashbrook's athletic director. WANT TO GO? The drug-testing policy will be considered at a 5:30 p.m. work session Monday. The vote is scheduled for the board's regular 7 p.m. meeting. Both will take place at the Gaston schools' office at 943 Osceola St., Gastonia.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Screening Tests Makers Improve Product Tamper-Resistance (The Akron Beacon-Journal, in Ohio, says there is a thriving industry in "drug testing aids" - products designed to beat urine tests. The hundreds of available products and companies that sell them are involved in an elaborate and ever escalating cat and mouse game, with the "cheaters" constantly raising the bar and the drug-testing companies constantly jumping higher, in tandem with the prices of their tests.)Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 20:57:35 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Drug Screening Tests Makers Improve Product Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 20 Dec 1998 Source: Akron Beacon-Journal (OH) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.ohio.com/bj/ Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?abeacon Copyright: 1998 by the Beacon Journal Publishing Co. Author: Melanie Payne, Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio DRUG SCREENING TESTS MAKERS IMPROVE PRODUCT TAMPER-RESISTANCE Dec. 21--Drug tests have become almost as common in the job application process as listing a previous employer. And just as some applicants fudge their job history and overstate their academic credentials, many are trying to thwart drug screening tests. The result is a thriving industry in "drug testing aids" -- products designed to beat drug screening tests. The hundreds of available products and companies that sell them are involved in an elaborate and ever escalating cat and mouse game of drug testing. The drug testing cheaters raise the bar and the companies that test for drugs jump higher, as do the prices for those tests. Workplace industry groups estimate that nearly 87 percent of all employers use drug testing as a pre-employment screening method, a percentage that has grown exponentially in the last few years. SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories, for example, performed 300,000 tests in 1987; this year, it will do 5.5 million. The company is "trying to keep ahead of the curve" said spokesman Thomas Johnson. Fortunately, for Johnson and his company, many of the drug-foiling products are little more than diuretics designed to flush the system. "The solution to pollution is dilution," is the motto of the anti-testing trade, Johnson said. That strategy makes detection easier -- diluted urine is easy to spot. Another method is to put something into the urine that will mask the presence of the drug or invalidate the test. He said some employers have taken the stance that a tampered-with test result should meet with the same consequences as a positive test result. That kind of philosophy makes John Hartman, president of the Northcoast chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, cry "foul." Drug testing doesn't indicate on-the-job intoxication, he said, but past use. "Smoke a joint over the weekend and you can fail the test," Hartman fumed. Hartman sells drug testing products at his store, Cannibas Connection, in Lakewood and said he knows of only three failures among the thousands of people who have used the product. "People who are on drugs will do anything to beat the system," conceded Amy Cunningham, an account representative with Zenza Mobile Medical Service, a mobile drug testing service based in Twinsburg. As people begin to tamper with specimens, Zenza has become more vigilant. It added a blueing agent to toilets so that during a test, employees can't dip the specimen cup in the water and dilute their urine. They also turn off the water. People are required to wash their hands before being tested so that any substances on their hands or under their nails can't be added to their urine collection. The specimen cup even comes with a temperature strip that determines the urine is between 90 and 100 degrees. Over or under and the specimen is automatically rejected, Cunningham said. The next step is to test the concentration of the urine. Diluted urine is flagged as possibly tampered with or the result of a person flushing his or her system. The company also tests for nitrates, which are common in products popular with the drug test-thwarting set. The products are expensive and often not worth the money, said John Boja, assistant professor of pharmacology at the Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. He recently examined a popular product in the Akron area. "Thirty-five dollars for water, sugar, flavorings, creatinine and vitamins," Boja scoffed. "With that much money, they could have made enough solution for several hundred bottles ... The profit margins are enormous." By drinking a lot of water for a few days, depending on the type of drugs and the quantity used, a person may be able to flush his system so chemical traces would be below levels detected in a standard drug screening test, Boja said. The other methods of tampering -- adding eye drops, drain cleaners, bleach or chemicals to the urine sample -- are usually foiled, he said. People do desperate, silly and sometimes dangerous things to pass drug tests, Boja said, when there's one easy way to pass -- stop using drugs. One company that makes drug-test passing products agrees with him. Detoxit Inc. in Dallas caters to the former drug user who doesn't want past use to show up in his system, not active imbibers, said Devon Allen, a medical technologist with the company. Some drugs can linger in your system for 30 days, and Allen said, that's a long time for a person who has quit using and wants to find a job. Allen's products aren't designed to mask or cover up the drug use, he said. "Anyone who says they can get (drugs) out in three hours, or overnight, is lying and cheating people," Allen said. But most of the sites and products on the Internet are touting the quick-fix method. Most of these sites have clever names like Tommy Chong's (of the Cheech and Chong comedy team) "Urineluck." There's also "Testclean" and "Notatrace." Other product ads find their way into alternative magazines, such as High Times. Richard, an executive at a drug testing aid company in Georgia who asked that only his first name be used, is so confident of his products that he offers a double-your-money-back guarantee on the urine sample additives, herbal capsules and cleansing drinks. He agreed, however, there are limits. "There's nothing by any company that will help with blood," Richard said. Most employers don't use blood tests for drug screening. There is also no antidote for the new sweat testing patch, which is worn on the skin and detects drugs through perspiration. But an antidote for that, too, may just be a matter of time. "We spend a lot of time and money on research and development," Richard said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Breaking Addiction's Hold (A Cox news service article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says the answer to America's drug problem may be ibogaine, which comes from an obscure plant that grows wild in African rain forests. With a single capsule - or perhaps several over a period of weeks - heroin addicts, alcoholics, cocaine users, even smokers might erase or at least interrupt their cravings. Efforts to understand the plant have foundered on a tangle of lawsuits and conflicting scientific results.) Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 20:57:23 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Breaking Addiction's Hold Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 20 Dec 1998 Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/ Forum: http://www.accessatlanta.com/community/forums/ Copyright: 1998 Cox Interactive Media. Section: ScienceWatch BREAKING ADDICTION'S HOLD Could an African plant help drug users overcome their cravings? Some say yes, but research results are mixed and legal battles hinder the work. The answer to America's drug problem may lie somewhere in the roots of an obscure plant that grows wild in African rain forests. That is, if only scientists could read and follow the directions the plant seems to be giving them. With a single capsule --- or perhaps several over a period of weeks --- heroin addicts, alcoholics, cocaine users, even smokers, might erase or at least interrupt their cravings. One researcher talks hopefully of a skin patch from which addicts would slowly absorb a compound that blocks the biochemical events that trigger the desire to smoke, shoot up or drink. But after several million dollars' worth of federally funded research, efforts to understand the plant and the properties of a compound squeezed from its cells have foundered on a tangle of lawsuits and conflicting scientific results. That is unfortunate, said Dr. Stanley Glick, chairman of the department of pharmacology and neuroscience at Albany Medical College in New York. "In my view, it is something that certainly should be investigated," Glick said. "When you hear the same stories from enough people enough times, you have to believe that there's something at least worth investigating." The stories Glick and others have been hearing for a decade involve the results of "offshore" treatment of drug addicts at clinics in the Caribbean and Panama with a substance called ibogaine. In dozens of cases, addicts report that a day or two after taking ibogaine, a relatively mild hallucinogen, they are strangely free of cravings. The plant from which ibogaine is extracted is Tabernanthe iboga, and hunters in the African nation of Gabon have known about it for centuries. They say eating small quantities of iboga root enables them to remain alert, yet motionless, for hours on end. But until 1962, when Howard S. Lotsof, then a New York film student, decided to try the drug, no one knew of its effect on addiction. Lotsof explained that he and several friends were experimenting with a variety of psychoactive drugs, including LSD and heroin. He had no intention of ending any kind of drug use when he heard about ibogaine and decided to give it a try at the age of 19, he said. "Thirty hours later, my desire to use heroin had vanished," he recalled. He suggested that several other friends give it a try, and they had the same experience. For years, Lotsof did nothing about ibogaine. But in 1980, he decided the discovery was too important to be ignored. He filed patents on the use of the drug to treat addiction and formed a New York corporation, NDA International Inc. The purpose of the company is to market a preparation he named Endabuse, composed of capsules that contain an ibogaine compound, and to pursue research. He sought Food and Drug Administration approval for clinical trials of the drug. By then, ibogaine had been designated a controlled substance by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, like cocaine and marijuana. With the cooperation of physicians in the Netherlands, Lotsof opened a clinic to treat heroin addicts there, where it was legal. Several patients reported the treatments relieved their cravings. Others were not helped. One young woman died. Meanwhile, Lotsof met Dr. Deborah Mash, a brain researcher at the University of Miami School of Medicine. In 1992, Lotsof's company and the university signed a contract for Mash to conduct research on ibogaine and seek FDA approval for human trials. Under the contract, Lotsof and NDA retained the rights to ibogaine and any "discoveries, inventions or improvements" growing out of Mash's research. In 1993, FDA approved her proposal for a clinical trial in which a few volunteers would take ibogaine to assess its side effects. About the same time, animal studies into the drug's effect were beginning to show results. In studies at Albany Medical College, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Glick found that drug-addicted laboratory rats injected with ibogaine appeared to lose their craving for heroin, cocaine and nicotine. Other researchers found that ibogaine interfered with addiction to alcohol, Glick said. Although no one knows why this happens, Glick and others theorize that something in ibogaine hinders the molecular processes by which drugs stimulate the feeling of pleasure and craving in the brain. "I think there is enough information to warrant doing reputable clinical investigations," Glick said. "There is a wealth of animal data. I think there is very good evidence, and some of it we provided, that the drug may interfere with addiction to opiates, stimulants, (alcohol) and nicotine." But other animal experiments were not so encouraging. Scientists at Johns Hopkins University reported that ibogaine destroyed brain cells in rats. Another study showed it caused heart problems. Then the lawsuits began. In 1997, Mash sued NDA and Lotsof, accusing him of failing to keep up his end of the contract by not obtaining adequate patent protection for a new ibogaine-related compound she and her associates had discovered. She sought $50,000 in damages and asked a federal court in Miami to let her and the university out of the contract. Lotsof countersued, accusing the university and Mash of defrauding him and stealing his patented uses of ibogaine. He also said that by operating an ibogaine clinic on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts, the university and Mash were illegally competing with a similar clinic he had opened in Panama to obtain clinical data. Mash said she owned no interest in the St. Kitts clinic, where she acknowledges ibogaine is used to treat addicts, but said her husband, a Miami lawyer, is legal adviser to "investors" behind the St. Kitts clinic. She also said patients pay up to $10,000 for her treatments. The FDA-approved trials are on hold because of lack of funds to continue and because of the lawsuits, she said. Meanwhile, after spending more than $2 million on research grants, the National Institute on Drug Abuse is losing interest in ibogaine. "The drug doesn't look terribly promising in terms of the risks and benefits," said Frank Vocci, director of its Medications Development Division. Vocci said he believes Glick is the only researcher still receiving support from the institute for ibogaine experiments. And Glick said he thinks it is unlikely ibogaine will ever be approved as a drug to treat addiction, but he still believes further research is worthwhile. "I also think there is a good possibility that safer and more (effective) derivatives of ibogaine could be successfully developed," he said. "Ibogaine is a benchmark against which such derivatives will be compared and, for that reason alone, it is important to know as much about ibogaine as possible." Mash said she remains optimistic about ibogaine, despite the problems she has had in obtaining funding for research. She said ibogaine and its derivatives offer hope of "a very gentle way for an addict to detox," perhaps someday through a skin patch. Lotsof said ibogaine allows addicts, especially heroin users, to put aside their fears of withdrawal and begin the process of detoxification. The legal fights and discouraging scientific findings have not kept an ibogaine subculture from growing in several countries, and a variety of Internet sites now offer information that is, for the most part, biased in favor of the drug. One of the sites recently posted a long account from a self-described ibogaine patient who happily described the wonderful effects it had on her. The essay is followed by a sad postscript, stating that a few months after writing her account, the patient relapsed into drug addiction and committed suicide. *** From: "chuck beyer" (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: RE: ibogaine in the news Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 01:46:13 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org I imagine that alcohol wholesalers will not be thrilled with this substance and will lobby heavily to keep it scheduled as a dangerous drug. *** From: HSLotsof@aol.com Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 19:37:53 EST To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) Subject: RE: ibogaine in the news Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org In a message dated, Tue, Dec 22, 1998 06:05 AM EDT, email@example.com (chuck beyer) writes: >I imagine that alcohol wholesalers will not be thrilled with this substance >and will lobby heavily to keep it scheduled as a dangerous drug. Chuck, Truth is sometimes strange than fiction. Ibogaine was scheduled as a dangerous drug (Schedule 1) shortly after I informed Federal officials in 1966, that it was effective in treating heroin dependence. CIA researchers at the Federal Narcotics Hospital in Lexington, KY may have actually discovered its anti addictive effects in the mid to late 1950s. The Medical Director of the Hospital's Addiction Reseach Center, Harris Isbell, was in charge of the research. All records of the work, except for a brief letter, have vanished from public access.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Gang leader gunned down in Vancouver (A Canadian Press article in The Edmonton Journal says Bindy Johal, 27, was gunned down early Sunday at a crowded night club by a gunman who blended into the crowd and escaped undetected. Johal, a self-admitted drug dealer, was one of the men tried for the 1994 murders of brothers Ron and Jimmy Dosanjh. He and five others were acquitted.) From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Matt Elrod) To: email@example.com Date: Mon, 21 Dec 1998 08:24:26 -0800 Subject: Gang leader gunned down in Vancouver Lines: 87 Source: Edmonton Journal Extra (Canada) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Pubdate: 20 Dec 1998 VANCOUVER (CP) - A notorious gang leader was gunned down early Sunday as he danced in a crowded night club. Bindy Johal, 27, dropped to the floor and the club erupted in chaos after an unknown assailant fired a shot into the back of his head just before 2 a.m. closing time. Police said the gunman blended into the crowd and escaped undetected. There were about 300 people in the club, said police spokeswoman Const. Anne Drennan. "Its doubtful anything of value will come out of (witness interviews) right away because of the kind of chaos," she said. Johal was best known as one of the men on trial in the 1994 murders of brothers Ron and Jimmy Dosanjh. He and five others were acquitted. One of the acquitted men was Peter Gill, who had an affair with juror Gillian Guess. Guess was convicted of obstruction of justice last summer for her affair with Gill while she served on the jury. She is appealing. The Crown is appealing four of six acquittals in the 1995 trial. Guesss conduct is one of several grounds for the action. Johal, a self-admitted drug dealer, was well-known to police. He was to have appeared in court Monday on weapons charges and he faced a trial in January for the 1996 kidnapping of Randy Chan, the younger brother of Lotus gang leader Raymond Chan. Roman Mann and Davinder Singh Gadey were also charged in that case. Mann was gunned down in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond last month. Gadey was left in a wheelchair after someone tried to kill him a couple of years ago. Gadey later pleaded guilty in the kidnapping and is in prison. Johal had served time in prison - most recently for assault - and "was a suspect in numerous investigations in the past few years," Drennan said. Johal had said publicly that he was on a hit list. "Mr. Johal, through his lifestyle and activities, put himself at risk," Drennan said. Within days of the death of Ron Dosanjh, Johals next-door neighbor Glen Olson was shot to death while walking his dog. Police believe he was mistaken for Johal. Many of Johals known associates have been killed in recent years, Drennan said. Gill was the victim of a drive-by shooting at his home in October. Police have few leads and no suspects in the Sunday morning shooting. A semi-automatic gun was recovered and an autopsy was set for Monday. Two other murders the city during the weekend are also believed to be gang-related, said police. Chieu Thanh Nguyen, 22, was found dead in his apartment Friday night. Police believe he died from trauma to the head and may have been in the apartment for several days. Another male whose name was not released was found in the trunk of an abandoned vehicle. Both men were known to police to be gang associates. Police said they have found no links among the three deaths, and said theres no gang war going on in the city. Still, they are worried about an escalation in gang tensions following Johals death. "Were always concerned when anybody in this group of individuals . . . is struck down," Drennan said. "There is always the possibility of retaliation." There have been 18 murders in Vancouver this year. (c) The Canadian Press, 1998
------------------------------------------------------------------- Caught In The Unforgiving Grip Of Thai Justice (A book review in The Miami Herald about "4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison," by Warren Fellows, calls it an "unrelievedly horrible tale." The author, a native of Australia, was sentenced in 1978 to life in prison for smuggling heroin. After a dreadful interrogation, torture and preliminary confinement in unspeakable conditions, he was shipped off to Bang Kwang, the most feared prison in the world. Fellows writes, "While doing my business in Bangkok, I had been aware of the possibility that, if caught, I might be sent to Big Tiger. But somehow it had seemed a distant chance - I did not belong in Bang Kwang. It was a place for the lowest, most hopeless forms of humanity. Nobody thinks of themselves in that way. Not even criminals." Without self-pity, he makes a compelling case that his punishment was wildly out of proportion to his crime.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 17:40:48 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US FL: Caught In The Unforgiving Grip Of Thai Justice Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 Source: Miami Herald (FL) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.herald.com/ Forum: http://krwebx.infi.net/webxmulti/cgi-bin/WebX?mherald Copyright: 1998 The Miami Herald Author: JONATHAN YARDLEY Note: 4,000 Days: My Life and Survival in a Bangkok Prison. Warren Fellows. St. Martin's. 206 pages. $22.95. CAUGHT IN THE UNFORGIVING GRIP OF THAI JUSTICE In the course of this almost entirely gruesome narrative, Warren Fellows describes an incident in which it seemed certain that his best friend would be shot to death by a malicious Thai police officer nicknamed Mad Dog. The person to whom he told this, he writes, "seemed to think that the story was too horrible for me to have made up." Many readers are likely to have the same reaction to 4,000 Days, Fellows' account of the 11 1/2 years he spent in various Bangkok prisons on charges (which he scarcely denies) of heroin peddling. It is an unrelievedly horrible tale, save for notes of release and redemption that creep in toward the end, so horrible that the temptation to disbelieve it is severe. But those who have read Midnight Express, to which of course Fellows' publisher compares 4,000 Days, know all too well the extraordinarily brutal punishments that have been inflicted on drug pushers in some of the world's more merciless societies; thus there seems little reason to doubt that Fellows is telling the truth. Along with a friend, Fellows was arrested in Thailand in 1978 for attempting to smuggle heroin to Australia, his home country. He was in his mid-20s and, like many drug couriers of that day, had drifted into criminal activity almost unaware of where he was headed. He makes no effort to justify what he did, beyond saying: "I was a courier. I never had to look at the damage I may have inflicted." He knows that heroin is pure poison and blames no one who believes that any punishment, however cruel, is appropriate for someone who helps lead others -- many of them innocent -- to addiction and self-destruction. Still, he writes: "My punishment seemed way out of proportion and I couldn't see the lesson that was to be learned. How much suffering was I to go through before the world agreed that I'd paid my price?" Assuming that Fellows' story is accurately told, it is hard not to agree with him. Sentenced to life imprisonment after a dreadful interrogation, torture and preliminary confinement in unspeakable conditions, he was shipped off to serve his time in Bang Kwang, a k a Big Tiger. "I was well aware of Bang Kwang's reputation as quite simply the most feared prison in the world. While doing my business in Bangkok, I had been aware of the possibility that, if caught, I [might] be sent to Big Tiger. But somehow it had seemed a distant chance -- I did not belong in Bang Kwang. It was a place for the lowest, most hopeless forms of humanity. Nobody thinks of themselves in that way. Not even criminals." That Bang Kwang did not destroy Fellows, as it has destroyed so many others, is testimony to his strength of body and spirit. Through a variety of tortures both physical and spiritual, it made him "a slave and an animal for a period of time I could never regain," and it's clear from his narrative that it took a great deal away from him that he will never recover; but he survived, he was freed on a King's Pardon on Christmas Day 1989, and he returned promptly to Australia, where he lives now with his mother. At a clinical level Fellows' story is interesting, but its details are heartbreakingly brutal and obscene. Without self-pity, he makes a compelling case that his punishment was wildly out of proportion to his crime.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Shan Rebels Blame Myanmar Military For Opium Boom (According to Reuters, Colonel Yod Suk of the Shan State Army says frequent attacks by the Myanmar military against the SSA and its followers as they fought for their own homeland and autonomy has caused local production of opium and heroin to expand. Local residents need permanent plots of land to grow rice and other crops, so they have turned to growing poppy because it takes a short time to harvest and they can shift the location of plots easier.) Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 05:59:43 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: Myanmar: Wire: Shan Rebels Blame Myanmar Military For Opium Boom Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Sun, 20 Dec 1998 Source: Reuters Copyright: 1998 Reuters Limited. Author: Vorasit SHAN REBELS BLAME MYANMAR MILITARY FOR OPIUM BOOM MONG PAN, Myanmar, Dec 20 (Reuters) Rebel Shan State Army (SSA) guerrillas have said oppression by the Myanmar military of the northeastern state's native population has caused the boom in the local opium and heroin trade. "Myanmar (government) troops unrelenting oppression of the Shan people and other ethnic nationalities has forced them to continue growing opium," SSA commander Colonel Yod Suk told Reuters at his jungle hideout in Shan state on Saturday. "This is because they need permanent plots of land to grow rice and other crops and they don't have them," he said. "People in the Shan state have turned to growing poppy because it takes a short time or few months to harvest and they can shift the location of opium fields in the jungles," Yod Suk, said. Shan rebels had no permanent land because of frequent attacks by the Myanmar military against the SSA and its followers as they fought for their own homeland and autonomy, he added. The SSA claims to control about 40 percent of Shan state and is one of a handful of armed rebel groups that have not signed ceasefire pacts with the Yangon government. Shan state is on the fringes of the infamous Golden Triangle poppy growing area which straddles the borders of Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Drug traffickers move large quantities of opium and heroin from the mountainous zone. The U.S Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) estimated that some 70 percent of heroin in the street market in the United States originates from the Golden Triangle. The SSA's Yod Sok used to be a lieutenant of the former drug warlord Khun Sa who controlled the state's opium trade before surrendering to the Yangon government two years ago. Khun Sa now lives in Yangon. SSA was formed by Yod Suk and the remnant guerrillas of Khun Sa's once powerful Mong Tai Army (MTA) which claimed to be fighting for Shan state autonomy but was deeply involved in the drug trade. Yod Suk, 40, dressed in army fatigues and guarded by about 40 armed guerrillas, estimated that in 1998, Shan state would produce more than 2,000 tonnes of opium. He gave no comparison figure for last year. One tonne of opium can be refined in factories into 100 kg of pure heroin. "There are 40 heroin factories in Shan state near the (eastern) border with Thailand, opposite the Mae Hong Son and Chiangmai provinces," Yod Suk said. He accused the Myanmar army of providing security for the heroin factories and collaborating with ethnic Chinese and Thai businessmen to produce heroin. Yod Suk, said he had about 12,000 guerrillas under his command in the SSA and was ready to help in drugs suppression in the Shan state. In return, he demanded cooperation and support for his movement from the the United States and the United Nations. "The Americans have dumped millions of dollars on the Myanmar government in their attempt to eradicate opium fields and heroin production in Myanmar but it has not worked," Yod Suk said. "So if the U.S. really wanted to eradicate opium and heroin in Myanmar they should come to us, cooperate with the SSA and we will help eradicating opium with them in 1999," he added. He also urged U.N. assistance for Shan state to improve the living conditions of the Shan people so they could be discouraged from cultivating poppies. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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