------------------------------------------------------------------- The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release (New Zealand Health Committee Advocates Relaxing Marijuana Laws, Finds Moderate Use Harmless; Marijuana May Offer Protection Against Tumors, Research Shows; Maine Will Decide Medical Marijuana Question In '99; New California A.G. Says Legalizing Medical Marijuana Will Be A Priority) From: NORMLFNDTN@aol.com Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 12:06:11 EST Subject: NORML WPR 12/31/98 (II) The NORML Foundation Weekly Press Release 1001 Connecticut Ave., NW Ste. 710 Washington, DC 20036 202-483-8751 (p) 202-483-0057 (f) www.norml.org firstname.lastname@example.org December 31, 1998 *** New Zealand Health Committee Advocates Relaxing Marijuana Laws, Finds Moderate Use Harmless December 31, Wellington, New Zealand: A Parliamentary health committee recommends that government officials review the appropriateness of existing marijuana policies after it determined that moderate use of the drug posed few health hazards. "Based on the evidence we have heard in the course of this inquiry, the negative mental health impacts of cannabis appears to have been overstated, particularly in relation to occasional adult users of the drug," a committee spokesman said. "The weight of available evidence suggests that long-term heavy use of cannabis does not produce severe or gross impairment of cognitive function. ... Moderate use of the drug does not seem to harm the majority of people [who try it.]" The ten-member health select committee examined evidence regarding marijuana's potential health effects for eight months before issuing its conclusions. In July, officials from the New Zealand Health Ministry testified before the committee that moderate marijuana use posed less of a public health risk than alcohol or tobacco. Committee chairman Brian Neeson said he hoped parliament would reconsider the legal status of marijuana when it convenes in February. He voiced concern that the drug's illegality may dissuade some people from seeking treatment for marijuana-related problems. Chris Fowlie, a spokesman for NORML New Zealand praised the committee's findings. "The Inquiry heard that many of the harms often associated with cannabis are actually created by its prohibition, while the actual harms presented by cannabis have been exaggerated," he said. "NORML [New Zealand] welcomes [these] recommendations to review the [federal] law and demands an immediate moratorium on arresting cannabis users." The New Zealand government has three months to respond in writing to the health committee's recommendations. The inquiry is the first since 1973 to review federal marijuana policy. For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. Additional information is also available online from NORML New Zealand at: http://www.norml.org.nz or from the New Zealand Drug Forum at: http://www.nzdf.org.nz. *** Marijuana May Offer Protection Against Tumors, Research Shows December 31, 1998, Madrid, Spain: Cell studies performed by researchers at Madrid's Universidad Complutense demonstrate that THC, one of the active compounds in marijuana, can induce cell death in certain brain tumor cells without effecting the surrounding healthy cells. Dr. Franjo Grotenhermen of the German-based Association for Cannabis as Medicine (ACM) proposed that marijuana's constituents may one day play a role in cancer treatment. "It is desirable to have a substance that induces programmed cell death in tumor cells but not in health cells for the treatment of cancer," he wrote in the December 13 issue of the ACM-Bulletin. "It has been demonstrated by the Spanish scientists ... that THC could be such a substance." The Spanish research team said that their findings "might provide the basis for a new therapeutic application of cannabinoids." At least one previous American animal study documents that THC may potentially protect against malignancies. The study, which went unpublicized by federal officials for more than 2 1/2 years, found that rats given high doses of THC suffered from fewer cancers than those not treated with the agent. The $2 million federal study became known only after copies of the draft report were leaked to the publication AIDS Treatment News in January of 1997. The Boston Globe broke the story nationwide days later. Details of the Spanish cell research are available in the latest editions of the scientific journals FEBS Letters and Molecular Pharmacology. For more information, please contact The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751. For additional information, please contact the ACM online at: http://www.hanfnet.de/acm or by e-mail at: ACMed@t-online.de. *** Maine Will Decide Medical Marijuana Question In '99 December 31, 1998, Augusta, ME: Voters will likely decide this November whether to allow the medical use of marijuana under a doctor's supervision. Secretary of State Dan Gwadosky said proponents turned in sufficient signatures to place the measure on the 1999 state ballot. The proposal seeks to allow seriously ill patients to possess and cultivate marijuana for medical purposes if they have a recommendation from their physician. Maine law mandates that all ballot questions must first go before the Legislature. Unless lawmakers approve the initiative exactly as proposed, voters have the opportunity to accept or reject it in November. The proposal asks, "Do you want to allow patients with specific illnesses to grow and use small amounts of marijuana for treatment, as long as such use is approved by a doctor?" Maine's medical marijuana is modeled after an unsuccessful 1997 Senate bill that sought to exempt patients from criminal penalties if their use of marijuana was approved by a physician. For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup, Esq. or Paul Armentano of NORML @ (202) 483-5500. Additional information is also available from Americans for Medical Rights @ (310) 394-2952. *** New California A.G. Says Legalizing Medical Marijuana Will Be A Priority December 31, 1998, Sacramento, CA: Properly implementing California's two-year old medical marijuana law is one of the top ten priorities for Attorney General-elect Bill Lockyer, The San Francisco Examiner reported this week. Lockyer said he supports the law and criticized outgoing Attorney General Dan Lungren for opposing its adoption. "I think [Lungren] was overly zealous in continuing to oppose [Prop. 215] even after the [voters approved it,]" he said. "I joke that there are days when I thought Dan had a copy of 'Reefer Madness' at home." Lockyer appointed a task force to examine ways to better implement Proposition 215, and said he backs a regulated system for distributing the drug. California NORML Coordinator Dale Gieringer called Lockyer's victory critical toward helping officials better define the state's medical marijuana policies. Americans for Medical Rights spokesman Dave Fratello agreed. "The change from Lungren is potentially very significant," he said. "Lockyer has said he understands the conflict we have with federal law and would like to see this initiative work." For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre of The NORML Foundation @ (202) 483-8751 or Dale Gieringer of California NORML @ (415) 563-5858. - END -
------------------------------------------------------------------- Lockyer Submits Budget Proposal (According to an Associated Press article in the San Jose Mercury News, California Attorney General-elect Bill Lockyer says he wants to make Proposition 215 work. "That means cooperating with local communities if they have different approaches. So San Francisco would be different than Kern County," he said.) Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 00:06:43 +0000 To: email@example.com From: Peter Webster (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: Lockyer Submits Budget Proposal Pubdate: 31 Dec 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1998 Mercury Center LOCKYER SUBMITS BUDGET PROPOSAL Attorney general-elect puts emphasis on civil rights, consumers, environment SACRAMENTO (AP) -- Democratic Attorney General-elect Bill Lockyer has submitted a 1999-2000 budget proposal that calls for a 5 percent spending increase for his civil rights, consumer and environmental units. While his Republican predecessor, Dan Lungren, focused almost exclusively on crime and punishment, Lockyer's campaign promises include beefing up civil rights, environmental and consumer protections and passing an enforceable ban on assault weapons. Lockyer also wants to reform the death penalty appeals process, curb school violence and regulate the state's gambling industry. Focus on Proposition 215 The new attorney general told reporters in published reports that he wants to focus on legalizing the use of medicinal marijuana in the wake of Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that was intended to allow seriously ill patients to grow and use marijuana for pain relief with a doctor's recommendation. The initiative has largely failed because of efforts made through the courts by Lungren and the federal government. But Lockyer says he wants to make Proposition 215 work. ``That means cooperating with local communities if they have different approaches. So San Francisco would be different than Kern County,'' Lockyer said. Lockyer hasn't announced his picks for many top-level positions, from the criminal law division to civil rights and, perhaps, a new position in charge of environmental enforcement. Lockyer has asked Democratic Gov.-elect Gray Davis for $25 million in extra funding over the current year's budget to hire more attorneys in some departments and to strengthen the state's crime labs. After campaigning on a promise to broaden the mission of the Attorney General's Office beyond Lungren's primary focus on criminal enforcement, Lockyer has moved quickly since his Nov. 3 election to convene task forces and begin to develop policy initiatives. During a recent meeting with veteran consumer activists, Lockyer listened to ideas on how to beef up consumer protection. He also held similar brainstorming sessions with environmental and civil rights activists who, like the consumer groups, were often at loggerheads with Lungren's pro-business philosophy. Lockyer said he was astonished to find the division of civil rights enforcement somewhere below the Registry of Charitable Trusts on an internal organizational chart. Range of issues Eva Paterson, executive director of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights, said she was impressed with the broad range of advocates Lockyer assembled to discuss issues such as affirmative action, voting rights, rights of immigrants and refugees, women's rights and rights of the disabled. ``He said something that just warmed my heart that you don't expect to hear from a government official. He said, `I'm here to make the world a safer place.' Who do you hear that from these days?''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Woody's Weakness; Woody's Strength (According to the San Jose Mercury News, actor and hemp activist Woody Harrelson admitted to being a cannabis consumer to the Los Angeles Times Magazine but revealed that he didn't know the difference between addiction and dependency.) Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 17:03:48 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US CA: Woody's Weakness; Woody's Strength Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Marcus/Mermelstein Family (firstname.lastname@example.org) Pubdate: Thu, December 31, 1998 Source: San Jose Mercury News (CA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sjmercury.com/ Copyright: 1999 Mercury Center WOODY'S WEAKNESS; WOODY'S STRENGTH Woody Harrelson, high-profile proponent of hemp for industrial use, admits to being a bit of a toker. ``I have to deal with certain issues about who I am,'' the actor says in an L.A. Times Magazine interview. ``Certainly I have an addiction.'' His efforts to give up the weed have lasted from one to seven weeks. ``I don't want to just be a pothead,'' says Harrelson. ``The natural way, the straight-edge way, that's where I'm heading, I think. I'm just dillydallying a bit on the road.'' From Mercury News wire services
------------------------------------------------------------------- Foster Care Drug Policy Is Focus of Reform Plan (The Los Angeles Times says its May investigation into the overprescribing of psychiatric medications to foster children in California is causing judges, psychiatrists and government officials to develop an unprecedented plan to prevent such abuses.) From: "Bob Owen@W.H.E.N." (firstname.lastname@example.org) To: "_Drug Policy --" (email@example.com) Subject: CA Foster Care Drug Policy Is Focus of Reform Plan Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 20:07:59 -0800 Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Los Angeles Times Thursday, December 31, 1998 Foster Care Drug Policy Is Focus of Reform Plan Government: Task force will advise Legislature on steps needed to protect children from improper and poorly supervised use of psychiatric medications. By TRACY WEBER Times Staff Writer Judges, psychiatrists and government officials are developing an unprecedented plan to protect abused children in the state's care from improper and unmonitored doses of potent psychiatric medications. The effort, which is intended to lead to reform legislation, is in response to a Times investigation in May that found that thousands of children in California's group and foster homes are routinely given psychiatric drugs, at times simply to keep them docile for their overburdened caretakers. "Right now there are no standards," said Dr. Penny Knapp, medical director for the state Department of Mental Health. "This is going to set the standard for how these children should be worked up and what the criteria should be for assessing whether they need medication. "The key phrase is: Raise the bar," said Knapp, a child psychiatrist leading the reform effort. "Everybody knows this is a problem and the meds are just the tip of the iceberg." Knapp said the task force, formed as a result of a Senate bill passed in August, must report to state lawmakers with a plan by July 1. The revelations about the use of the mood- or behavior-altering medications on vulnerable children were part of a series of stories this year on the plight of children taken from abusive parents and placed under state protection. Foster children are given drugs in combinations and dosages that psychiatric experts say are risky and could cause irreversible harm. The drug use was revealed in a review of hundreds of confidential court files and prescription records, observations at group homes and interviews with judges, attorneys, doctors and child welfare workers statewide. The Times found children getting several types of psychiatric drugs at the same time, even though most of the drugs have never been tested for use in children, and foster children as young as 3 taking potentially dangerous psychiatric drugs to control their "depression" and "rage." Officials responsible for these children's welfare often did not know who put the children on the medications or why, and sometimes were not even aware the children were drugged. In numerous incidents, children seemed to be misdiagnosed, given the wrong medication or given too much medication. Although many psychiatrists defend the use of psychotropic medications on children in foster and group homes--contending that the benefits of using them on very troubled children outweigh future risk of harm--most agreed that the lack of consistent monitoring is disturbing. In many instances, the doctors who prescribed what their colleagues call "chemical straitjackets" aren't psychiatrists and have little training in the highly specialized field of psychiatric medicine. Some of these doctors and psychiatrists, according to group home directors and child care workers, examine a child for minutes before prescribing powerful medications. The task force, set to meet for the second time Monday, hopes to enact statewide standards that would prevent knee-jerk drugging of children who often are expressing normal despair and anger in response to abuse and abandonment, Knapp said. "One thing we can do is make sure any child on medication has a thorough exam," she said, to prevent a doctor from simply looking at "a rap sheet of a child's bad behavior and giving him what I call a 'bad-boy cocktail' of Ritalin, Depakote and Clonidine. "Right away there would have to be a certain amount of time spent with a child before he could receive medication and a standard for reporting it," Knapp said. Now, she said, some group homes hire a doctor for, say, four hours a week and expect the physician to examine more than 20 children. Social workers also would have to spend more time with children who are being given psychiatric medications, she said. And doctors would be required to monitor the child's progress. In response to previous stories, The Times received more than 600 phone calls, e-mails and letters. Doctors, judges, attorneys and child welfare workers across California, as well as in 13 states and Canada, said such drugging occurs in other areas of the country as well. Pat Leary, a former consultant to the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, said the children's plight was so disturbing that lawmakers ordered a solution be found as part of a massive foster care bill passed in August. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Friedman, who supervises the courts that oversee the cases of foster children in Los Angeles, said the stories forced the state to face a troubling problem that had long been festering out of public view. "Once brought out of the darkness, it's much more likely that reforms will be enacted that protect children," said Friedman, who will serve on the state task force. Friedman imposed a system designed to regulate the use of psychiatric drugs on youths in foster care in Los Angeles last spring. Knapp, head of the child psychiatry unit at UC Davis, said the task force also hopes to enforce the use of health passports, detailing a child's medical and medication history, that would accompany children as they move among group homes and physicians. An 8-year-old state law requiring such passports has been routinely ignored as too burdensome, and foster children's medical records often are incomplete. Knapp said the state would have to "come up with the resources" to make such changes. "It's not going to be a cheap and easy fix." In addition to problems with medication, in many group homes food is scarce, the surroundings are filthy, schooling is poor and the surrogate parents are $7-an-hour employees who often quit after a month. Abused children as young as 18 months old who sometimes have no mental problems are mixed together in homes designed for some of the system's most disturbed children. August's $160-million foster care Senate bill also provided $40 million for more social workers so that every child receives at least one face-to-face monthly visit, and $500,000 for a fraud unit to check that group home operators aren't misusing funds. Knapp is optimistic. "It's almost like you're grateful to be told you have to do something you needed to do," she said. Copyright 1998 Los Angeles Times. All Rights Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------------- 'Mob' Attack On Cops Yields Riot Charges (The Arizona Daily Star says four police officers found themselves surrounded by an "angry mob" Tuesday afternoon when interrogating a man they suspected of smoking marijuana near a southside park.) Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 16:57:29 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US AZ: `Mob' Attack On Cops Yields Riot Charges 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: Arizona Daily Star (AZ) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.azstarnet.com/ Pubdate: Thursday, 31 December 1998 `MOB' ATTACK ON COPS YIELDS RIOT CHARGES Four bicycle officers found themselves surrounded by an ``angry mob'' Tuesday afternoon after checking on a man suspected of smoking marijuana near a southside park, police said. The officers were doing a routine check of Mirasol Park, near South Kino Parkway and East Silverlake Road, just after 2 p.m. when they spotted Victor Clark, who they believed was smoking pot, said Tucson police Sgt. Brett Klein. ``They were talking to the individual when someone came out of a nearby house and began to physically interfere with the arrest,'' Klein said. Between 10 and 12 people came from the house, in the 1000 block of East 28th Street, and the nearby park and began to assault the officers, Klein said. ``They were punching at them and spitting,'' Klein said. Responding to the officers' call for backup, about 15 more officers arrived to get the crowd under control, Klein said. Clark was not arrested on drug charges, but he was one of four people who were arrested on various other charges, ranging from inciting a riot to aggravated assault on a police officer. Both are felonies. Arrested were: Clark, 19, on suspicion of inciting a riot and hindering prosecution; Stephanie Clark, 17, on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, hindering prosecution and criminal damage; Janeece Oneal, 16, on suspicion of resisting arrest and hindering prosecution; and Anthony Clark, 16, on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer and inciting a riot.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Testing Policy Would Be Far-ranging (The Tulsa World says education officials are pushing for Drumright to be the first school in the Tulsa area with a random drug-testing policy for students involved in all extracurricular activities. If the proposal is approved at a February school board meeting, it would affect more than 80 percent of students in grades 6 through 12, including those in organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Science Club. Northeastern Oklahoma schools in Commerce, Colcord and Kansas already test student athletes. "To me, that's not sending out the right message," said Drumright Superintendent Roxie Terry. "I want this to say we care about everybody. We don't want to leave anyone out.") Date: Sat, 2 Jan 1999 13:27:34 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US OK: Drug-Testing Policy Would Be Far-ranging Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Michael Pearson (email@example.com) Source: Tulsa World (OK) Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.tulsaworld.com/ Copyright: 1998, World Publishing Co. Author: Micheal Smith, World Staff Writer DRUG-TESTING POLICY WOULD BE FAR-RANGING Drumright Wants To Test All Students Who Take Part In Any Extracurricular Activities. DRUMRIGHT -- School officials are pushing for Drumright to be the first school in the Tulsa area with a random drug-testing policy for students involved in all extracurricular activities. If the proposal is approved at a February school board meeting, it would affect more than 80 percent of the students in sixth through 12th grades, including those in organizations such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Science Club, Drumright Superintendent Roxie Terry said. Northeastern Oklahoma schools in Commerce, Colcord and Kansas already have adopted such a policy. It expands upon measures instituted in recent years with regard to testing student athletes. ``To me, that's not sending out the right message,'' Terry said. ``I want this to say we care about everybody. We don't want to leave anyone out.'' He said the program would send students a message that they will get caught if they do drugs. It will also give students a good opportunity to ``say no'' to drugs when peer pressure might persuade them otherwise, he said. Other area schools want to institute similar drug tests for extracurricular activities and are watching Drumright's progress, he said. The U.S. Supreme Court this year allowed an Indiana high school to continue having students take drug tests in order to take part in extracurricular activities. The decision, however, did not set a national precedent. At a school board meeting on Monday, Terry will ask board members for final input on the proposal and to schedule a town meeting on the subject. It would be the third town meeting to address the drug-testing policy in the past three months, during which time Terry has drummed up support. ``The response has been excellent. There's a great deal of support from parents and students,'' he said. ``We really don't have much of a drug problem here, but I believe in this program, and so do others.'' If approved at a February school board meeting, testing would begin almost immediately, Terry said. Random drug-screening tests would be administered to a small percentage of students at periods of as long as 14 days between the tests. All of the students involved in extracurricular activities would be tested at some point during the school year, Terry said. He said the policy would affect 82 percent of the 387 students in sixth through 12th grades. Students participating in Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, Student Council and the yearbook would be among those to be tested. Terry said he expects a volunteer spirit to bring the testing number closer to 100 percent. He said several students who are not involved in extracurricular activities have expressed a desire to participate in the drug testing, as have teachers and athletics coaches. ``I can tell you that I'll be first in line,'' said Terry, who added that he's witnessed little opposition to the proposal. Ed Turlington, principal of Colcord High School in Delaware (( End of Column 1 )) County, said he's received no complaints from parents or students since testing began there in August. Even more remarkably, he's seen no negative test results yet, with more than half of the students having been tested. ``It's unbelievable. I mean, you know that somebody in any small town is smoking pot or something,'' he said. ``But then, these kids know they're going to be tested.'' Joann Bell, state executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union, calls the testing a ``terrible invasion of privacy.'' Expanding testing to include academic achievers is hard to figure and largely a waste of money, she said. ``Everybody has rights in this country -- young people, too,'' she said. ``They're seemingly picking on the good kids here. It's atrocious and a slap in the face to the 4th Amendment.'' Bell said she welcomes any complaints about the drug-testing proposal, though she realizes that some people are hesitant to come forward because ``they might think it makes them look like they're involved in drugs in some way.'' ``This whole thing will be very invasive, and school officials will learn things through this testing that should be private,'' Bell said. Terry said an initial drug screening would cost an estimated $17 per student at Drumright. Follow-up tests for the 387 students would increase the thousands of dollars the testing would cost the school district, but the expense is worth it ``if we can save even one child,'' Terry said. A student's first positive test would result in a nine-week suspension from extracurricular activities, he said. A second offense would bring an 18-week suspension from activities and required counseling for the student. A one-year suspension would follow a third offense. Confidential information from the testing, which would be known only to Terry or his representative at the school, would not be forwarded to local law enforcement authorities, he said. ``They've expressed an interest in that information, but we think we really might be treading'' on student's rights, he said. ``Could there be some problem like that we're aiding and abetting by not turning that information over? I'll let a court decide that.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- High On Hemp (A fashion article in the Boston Globe says the Hempest, a boutique on Newbury Street in Boston, has thrived for the last three years selling clothing, accessories, and beauty products made of hemp. What's the store's cachet? Like a lot of things in fashion, it has a nuance of naughtiness. Some frequent the shop as a political statement. Others appreciate that hemp doesn't have pesticides in it. And a few favor hemp because - it's fashionable.) Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 22:23:32 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MA: High On Hemp Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: The Media Awareness Project Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Section: Fashion, page C01 Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1998 Globe Newspaper Company. Author: Suzanne C. Ryan, Globe Staff HIGH ON HEMP Strong, Versatile, And Pesticide-free, This All-Natural Fiber Has Its Fans Here's a risky business plan: Open a retail store based on a plant theme in the most exclusive shopping district in Boston. Think you can survive? Newbury Street's The Hempest has. For three years, the boutique has thrived selling clothing, accessories, and beauty products made of hemp (that environmentally friendly plant that is a cousin of marijuana). What's the store's cachet? Like a lot of things in fashion, it has a nuance of naughtiness. ''Every single day, people come in to ask if they can smoke the clothing,'' says co-owner Mitch Rosenfield. (The answer is no.) ''People ask me if we sell marijuana. It's the biggest joke when it happens. I usually ask them if they have any.'' Shake your head if you want. But sometimes double takes and over-the-top ideas are what it takes to survive in the fashion world. Consider Abercrombie & Fitch's sexy (and very successful) ad campaign. Or the imaginary characters in Calvin Klein's cK one commercials, whom consumers are encouraged to e-mail. The Hempest is Boston's example of pushing the envelope. It stands out because - amid world-class salons like Chanel and Giorgio Armani - it thumbs its nose, boldly selling hemp rolling papers, hemp greeting cards (with giant green leaves on the cover), and some popular hemp lollipops that are flavored (supposedly) to taste like pot. The store also sells women's and men's clothing, including hemp skirts, dresses, pants, and shoes, along with accessories like hemp backpacks, coin purses, and hats. There are also hemp skin creams and shampoos, lip balms and, believe it or not, baking flour. The offbeat concept is appealing to consumers for a number of reasons. Some frequent the shop as a political statement. ''I don't think they should arrest [marijuana] drug users. A lot of legal drugs are more lethal,'' says Peter Wetherbee, a regular shopper. ''I do believe in voting with my dollars,'' he says. Other folks appreciate the fact that hemp material doesn't have pesticides in it. ''I went through this massive spiritual revolution when I dropped out of school,'' says Kelly Reed of Boston, who owns three hemp sweaters, several skirts and dresses, pants, shoes, hats, socks, coin purses, and jewelry. ''I became a vegetarian. I had to have veggie shoes. I had to have hemp. Hemp supports us. We should support it. So many pesticides are used with cotton,'' she says. Some people favor hemp because it's fashionable. ''My friends told me about it,'' says Colin Allen of Wellesley, who owns hemp pants and enjoys hemp lollipops. ''It's great.'' Hemp has been used widely in fashion for a few years now. Giorgio Armani had it in his Emporio Armani collections over the last several years. The Body Shop introduced a line of hemp skin-care products in May. And actor Woody Harrelson has promoted hemp extensively, wearing hemp Armani tuxedos to the Golden Globe Awards and the Academy Awards last year. What is hemp exactly? It's an herb grown for the strong fiber in its stem. Some sailcloth and rope are made out of it, and it has a long seafaring history. (Warehouses at the old Charlestown Navy Yard routinely made hemp into rope in the 1800s.) And, as a large part of its modern cachet, marijuana comes from the leaves and flowers of a particular strain of hemp. Supporters like hemp because it's a versatile and hearty plant. Almost every part of the plant can be used (to make paper, fiber, fuel, medicine, plastic, and particleboard, among other things), and there's that matter of not requiring pesticides to survive, says Rosenfield. Surprisingly, hemp can be made to look like fine linen, not the rough burlap you might expect. Though it can be imported readily enough for industrial use, it's illegal to grow hemp in the United States. To be sure, industrial hemp does not have the psychoactive elements of its relative, marijuana. ''You can smoke a field of this stuff and you're not going to get high,'' says Rosenfield. But that hasn't stopped some anti-marijuana activists from protesting. Adidas America received numerous complaints after introducing a hemp sneaker. ''There were so many critics writing to say `How dare you make a shoe out of marijuana,''' says John Fread, a company spokesman. ''We had to explain to people that the Navy has been using commercial hemp for years because it's so strong.'' Fread said that Adidas discontinued the shoe last year, but not because of the complaints. ''Sales just dwindled,'' he says. Rosenfield, who founded his store in 1995 with friends Jon Napoli and Leah Johnson, says they've had no protests. Instead, he says, ''People always come in here and want to tell me the story of how they got busted one time.''
------------------------------------------------------------------- Murder Rates Drop In US Cities (The Associated Press says murder took a holiday in most major American cities in 1998. The theories AP gives for the decline include the waning crack cocaine trade - but it doesn't explain why the decline in murders would come more than a decade after the peak in cocaine's popularity.) Date: Sun, 3 Jan 1999 00:03:24 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: WIRE: Murder Rates Drop In US Cities Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 Source: Wire: Associated Press Copyright: 1999 Associated Press. Author: DONNA DE LA CRUZ Associated Press Writer MURDER RATES DROP IN U.S. CITIES Peggy Naylor is no longer is afraid to go to the grocery store by herself in Washington Heights, once the drug hub of New York City. "It used to be so awful here, with all those drug dealers on the streets, day and night," said Ms. Naylor, whose community had 13 murders this year compared with 122 in 1991. "Now my grandchildren can play outside," she said. "There's Christmas lights on the block." Murder took a long holiday in most major American cities in 1998, with several seeing their lowest homicide tallies in decades. New York, whose total peaked in 1990 with 2,262 killings, and Los Angeles each posted a 20 percent drop in murders for the second straight year. Only a few big cities including Dallas, Minneapolis, Newark, N.J., Phoenix and Seattle had more murders this year than last, but most were still well below their peaks, according to an Associated Press survey of big-city police departments. "The economy's good, apprehension rates are high and the emergency clinics are excellent in saving people's lives," said police Lt. A.J. Biello of Atlanta, which had 146 murders in 1998 as of Monday, four fewer than last year. New York dropped from 767 murders last year to 616 as of Monday the lowest toll since 1964. Los Angeles went from 566 in 1997 to 414 on Monday, a level not seen since 1970. Among the next three largest cities, Chicago's toll is comparable with that of the late 1980s, Houston to the late 1960s and Philadelphia to the mid-1980s. Miami's homicide rate is similar to that of the mid-1970s. The trend began in the early 1990s. Aside from the booming economy, the reasons given for the decline include a waning crack cocaine trade, mandatory prison sentences, better police work and perhaps even changing attitudes toward crime. "There's been a rising revulsion in personal violence in those neighborhoods," said Eric Monkkonen, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who specializes in studying murder in American cities. "And violent young men are no longer honorable." In New York, officials credit drug crackdowns and a war on "quality of life" crimes, such as jaywalking and riding bicycles on the sidewalk. "The people who are involved in minor crimes are sometimes the same people who are involved in major crimes, or have knowledge of major crimes," Police Commissioner Howard Safir said. Other cities with lower numbers than last year were Chicago (695 from 755); Houston (229 from 241); Philadelphia (333 from 418); Miami (94 from 97); Boston (35 from 42); Nashville, Tenn. (96 from 112); Denver (56 from 72). Even cities that saw more murders were still off totals from just two years ago. Newark had 94 murders in 1996, 58 last year and 59 so far this year. Minneapolis went from 86 in 1996 to 58 last year and 61 this year. Despite an 8 percent decrease from 755 murders last year, Chicago was headed for the highest toll in the country, with 695 as of Tuesday. And Baltimore had 310 murders, the same as 1997, despite the city's strong push to get below 300 for the first time in nine years.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Crime Down, Reasons Up (A staff editorial in the Chicago Tribune says the decline in murder and other crime is undeniably good news. It would be even better news if the nation managed to cut through the pet theories and self-serving explanations and actually learned something from its success. The theory that the crack market has settled into a less-lethal, business-as-usual mode does not satisfy law-and-order professionals, nor does it explain why all kinds of crime, violent and non-violent, from rape to car theft, are trending down.) Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 19:45:13 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US IL: Editorial: Crime Down, Reasons Up Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Steve Young Source: Chicago Tribune (IL) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/ Forum: http://www.chicagotribune.com/interact/boards/ Copyright: 1998 Chicago Tribune Company Pubdate: 31 Dec 1998 Section: Sec. 1 CRIME DOWN, REASONS UP Trial-and-error is the more powerful method of human advancement because trial-and-success, though more satisfying, is more subject to interpretation. When it fails to rain after a ceremonial dance, the lesson is relatively clear. A post-dance cloudburst can be misleading. So it is with another year's worth of favorable crime statistics. The FBI's final totals for 1997 show that national rates for homicide and other serious crimes have declined, again, for a sixth consecutive year. Similar findings are reflected in the Justice Department's annual household survey. The best news: The murder rate last year was the lowest in 30 years--just 6.8 homicides per 100,000 population, or 7 percent below 1996 levels. Chicago's rate also was down for the third year in a row (though New York's is falling so fast that, this year, Chicago may end up with more homicides than Gotham.) Some experts say this reflects an inevitable recovery from the years of 1992-93 and before, when gangs battled for supremacy in the then-novel crack cocaine trade. Now the crack market has settled into a less-lethal, business-as-usual mode. But this theory does not satisfy law-and-order professionals, nor does it explain why all kinds of crime, violent and non-violent, from rape to car theft, are trending down. Demographers explain that Baby Boomers have moved past the crime-prone years and there aren't enough Baby Busters to cause that much mayhem. This reasoning, in turn, galls those who've been trying new anti-crime methods and want some of the credit. One such is Chicago's Community Policing, or CAPS program, which tries to prevent crimes before they happen. In New York, former police commissioner William Bratton credited his own leadership in a recent autobiographical book. In Chicago, Mayor Richard Daley can be expected to do something similar on the campaign stump. Then there's the lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key explanation. Last year the number of Americans in jail rose to 1.7 million, a one-year increase of 5.2 percent. Get-tough advocates say this is no coincidence--that the price of safer streets is our willingness to jail record numbers of felons. Which is fine, as far as it goes, though evidence also mounts that jails are filling with substance-addicted repeat offenders whose non-violent crimes might be more efficiently prevented by drug treatment. It is undeniably good news, this continuing decline in the crime rate. It will be even better news if the nation manages to cut through the pet theories and self-serving explanations and actually learn something from our success.
------------------------------------------------------------------- A Holiday Gathering Behind Jail's Walls (The Baltimore Sun covers a Christmas party for 150 inmates at the Women's Detention Center in downtown Baltimore. Darlene Green, who is awaiting trial on a drug conspiracy charge, won't let her two sons and two daughters visit during the rest of the year because they are barred from making contact, separated by a metal screen. But on this day, "I can touch my children," Green said. LaMont W. Flanagan, commissioner of the city detention center, said "Children miss their mothers, which further contributes to juvenile delinquency.") Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 19:45:14 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US MD: A Holiday Gathering Behind Jail's Walls Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Rob Ryan Source: Baltimore Sun (MD) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.sunspot.net/ Forum: http://www.sunspot.net/cgi-bin/ultbb/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro Copyright: 1998 by The Baltimore Sun, a Times Mirror Newspaper. Pubdate: 31 Dec 1998 Author: Peter Hermann A HOLIDAY GATHERING BEHIND JAIL'S WALLS As inmates meet with their children, the question is: `When will you be home?' Darlene Green's four children gathered around and traded stories about Christmas, schoolwork and friends yesterday. But most of all, Green said, "They want to know when I'm going to come home." It is not an easy question to answer at a Christmas party for inmates at the Women's Detention Center in downtown Baltimore. Doing time is something they want to forget. "My children understand that I can't go home until somebody lets me," said Green, 38. For 150 women awaiting trial or sentencing, yesterday's party in the jail's gym -- with gifts, Santa Claus and food -- gave mothers a rare chance to talk, hug and cry with their children. Green, who is awaiting trial on a drug conspiracy charge, won't let her two sons and two daughters visit during the rest of the year because they are barred from making contact, separated by a metal screen. But on this day, "I can touch my children," Green said. The annual event began five years ago when Gwendolyn Oliver, director of inmate activities, saw a need for the children to come together for the holidays. Most of the female inmates are raising their sons and daughters alone. The children stay with relatives or foster parents while their mothers are in jail. "It is very important that children be able to bond and maintain a relationship with their parents," said LaMont W. Flanagan, commissioner of the city detention center, adding that the program helps inside and outside jail walls. "Children miss their mothers, which further contributes to juvenile delinquency," Flanagan said. "It is extremely important that the children be able to relate to their parents during the most important holiday in our society." Workers transformed the drab gym into a Christmas party room, with tablecloths decorated with candy canes and bows, a lighted tree, red poinsettias and a pile of gifts. Parents and children sat around long tables and took pictures with Santa. Children were given gifts -- all donated by local businesses. The food was different -- hot dogs and hamburgers and spicy beans instead of the usual prison fare of bologna sandwiches. Joann Coleman, 38, has been behind bars for most of her 4-year-old son's life. She had just completed a three-year stint in prison in Jessup on a drug conviction when her house was raided by police for drugs last month, and she was arrested again. "I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and now I'm right back here," Coleman said, while holding her son Jerry McNutt. Her trial is scheduled for Feb. 10. "He asks why I'm here, and I tell them that I did something bad and this is my punishment." The day is especially important for the children. "I love my mother," said Dominique Williams, 14. "As soon as I walked in here, she shouted, `Let me hug my babies.' " Lisa Williams, 31, is spending 30 days in jail for violating probation on a drug conviction. She failed to show up for a drug test. "I really messed up this time," she said, "but this day is a blessing." For many of the children, the gifts of toy cars, stuffed animals and games were the only presents they got for Christmas. The incarcerated mothers wanted family time. "This is like a Christmas present for me," said Eartha Evans, 43, who was with her two sons, Marty Johnson, 6, and Bernard Williams, 11. She was arrested on a drug conspiracy charge in October -- she said she was just standing at a corner -- and her trial is scheduled April 14. She said she wants to get into a heroin clinic to kick her addiction. "My children don't understand," Evans said. "I tell them that Mommy did something wrong, and this is the price she has to pay. They keep asking me when I'm going to come home. I can't answer that."
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug-Study Subjects Given Hallucinogen Without Warning (According to an Associated Press article in the Seattle Times, the Boston Globe said today that researchers with the National Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda, Maryland, who were trying to find ways to treat schizophrenia gave more than 100 healthy people ketamine, or "Special K" - supposedly a powerful hallucinogen and "date-rape" drug - without fully informing them that the drug could potentially produce psychotic episodes.) Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 16:57:32 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US MA: Drug-Study Subjects Given Hallucinogen Without Warning Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: John Smith Pubdate: Thursday, 31 December 1998 Source: Seattle Times (WA) Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.seattletimes.com/ Copyright: 1998 The Seattle Times Company Author: The Associated Press DRUG-STUDY SUBJECTS GIVEN HALLUCINOGEN WITHOUT WARNING BOSTON - Researchers trying to find ways to treat schizophrenia gave more than 100 healthy people a powerful hallucinogen without fully informing them that the drug could potentially produce psychotic episodes, The Boston Globe reported today. The studies involved the drug ketamine, also known as "Special K" and considered a "date-rape" drug because of the stupor like condition it can cause. The Globe said the studies, which began in 1994, involved mentally ill and healthy people, and participants often were not told they were being given ketamine specifically to induce conditions similar to schizophrenia. Ketamine is available by prescription only, and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an anesthetic. Its primary use is as an animal tranquilizer. Healthy people given the drug reported feelings of floating, having a radio in the ear, tearfulness and sad moods and feelings of "life and death at the same time," The Globe said. The possibility of long-term harm from drug-induced psychosis is less likely in healthy people, but there is a possibility of flashbacks months later, the report says. Disclosure is important because there is the possibility of "hooking someone" on the drug, said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. Experiments were done primarily at the National Institute of Mental Health at Bethesda, Md., or facilities financed by the institute, such as medical schools at Yale University and New York University. The NIMH's institutional review board approved the studies. "This is a medicine which is given under close scrutiny for a short-term basis. There is no repeat long-term exposure," said Dr. Trey Sunderland, chairman of the review board. Sunderland said consent forms mention that "you might get an altered mood, hallucinations . . . The main side effects of the medication are listed in black and white." *** To: "DRCTalk Reformers' Forum" (email@example.com) From: Robert Goodman (firstname.lastname@example.org) Date: Fri, 01 Jan 1999 21:54:23 -500 Subject: Re: Healthy People Given "Date Rape" Drug Sender: email@example.com Ltneidower kindly posted an AP story: >Healthy subjects reportedly >used in hallucinogen tests >BOSTON (AP) -- Researchers >trying to find ways to treat >schizophrenia gave more than 100 >healthy people a powerful >hallucinogen without fully informing >them that the drug could potentially >produce psychotic episodes, The >Boston Globe reported Thursday. >The studies involved the drug >ketamine, also known as "Special K" and considered a >"date-rape" drug because of the stupor-like condition it can cause. I think it's hilarious the way various substances at various times become associated with "date rape". >The Globe said the studies, which began in 1994, involved both >mentally ill and healthy people, and participants often were not >told they were being given ketamine specifically >to induce conditions similar to schizophrenia. >Ketamine is available by prescription only, and is approved by the >Food and Drug Administration Wrong. It is only LICENSED by FDA (i.e., there's and approved New Drug Application in effect for it). No drugs are approved by FDA, although they do certify food colors. >Disclosure is important because there is the possibility of >"hooking someone" on the drug, said Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at >the University of Pennsylvania. Meaning, I suppose, that if people aren't told what the substance is, there's no way they can become hooked on it. Of course. Robert
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Study Ethics Questioned (A different Associated Press version) Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 19:45:17 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Drug Study Ethics Questioned Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Paul Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org) and General Pulaski Pubdate: 31 Dec 1998 Source: Associated Press Copyright: 1998 Associated Press. DRUG STUDY ETHICS QUESTIONED BOSTON (AP) -- Medical ethicists are raising objections to a study in which 100 healthy volunteers were given a powerful hallucinogen in an effort by scientists to better understand mental illness. In studies conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health, Yale University and several other places, test subjects took small doses of ketamine, also known as ``Special K'' or the ``date rape drug.'' Scientists conducting the study said volunteers were carefully screened for mental illness and signed consent forms that warned of side effects such as hallucinations and mood changes. But some critics said the risks of the drug are not fully known and questioned the ethics of inducing psychotic behavior in healthy people. ``The idea of inducing psychosis, in psychology or psychiatry, is the worst thing that can happen,'' Carl Tishler, an adjunct professor at Ohio State University, said Thursday. ``If you are a cardiologist do you induce a heart attack in someone to see what its like to you can study it?'' Ketamine is a trendy new designer drug used mainly by young people who pay $20 to $40 per dose. Nationwide, the drug has been connected to at least one death of a teen-ager who mixed it with heroin; numerous sexual assaults; and thefts from veterinarians' offices and hospitals. Often used as a prescription surgical anesthetic for people and animals, the Food and Drug Administration-approved drug can cause mild hallucinations, confusion and fear with regular use. Severe hallucinations are possible with large doses. The Boston Globe reported Thursday that healthy subjects run the risk of flashbacks months after using ketamine. ``If this is what they do to normal (people), God help us with the cognitively impaired,'' Adil Shamoo, a University of Maryland bioethicist, told the newspaper. But scientists say ketamine can help unlock the mysteries of mental illness, especially schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease, by giving researchers insight into the nature of hallucinations and mood disorders. The experiments began in the early 1990s and ended more than a year ago. They were designed to provoke symptoms of schizophrenia in healthy people during a one-time exposure, said Dr. Trey Sunderland, chairman of NIMH's review board. He said the volunteers were screened for mental illness, drug use and medical problems before being injected with approximately one-twentieth of an average surgical dose. Some subjects were paid between $30 and $40, he said. Sunderland said that there is no documentation that ketamine has ever caused flashbacks in surgical patients and that no NIMH volunteers have complained of side effects from the study. But Tishler said the NIMH project had serious ethical shortcomings and more research into ketamine's long-term effects is needed. ``They're saying that this is a safe thing, when maybe it's not,'' he said.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Drug Studies Are Questioned (The original Boston Globe version) Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 23:50:31 -0800 From: email@example.com (MAPNews) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: MN: US: Drug Studies Are Questioned Sender: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: Richard Lake Pubdate: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 Source: Boston Globe (MA) Contact: email@example.com Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1999 Globe Newspaper Company. Page: A01 - Front Page Author: Dolores Kong, Globe Staff DRUG STUDIES ARE QUESTIONED Psychiatric researchers over the past several years have given about 100 healthy individuals across the nation a powerful hallucinogen, known to drug abusers as ''Special K,'' to study psychosis, often without fully disclosing the nature of the drug or the experiments. The studies using ketamine have involved both mentally ill and healthy subjects, placing them both at potential risk of psychotic episodes, according to documents reviewed by the Globe. Using ketamine on healthy volunteers especially troubles some medical ethicists, because there is no possibility that healthy people as a class will achieve any benefit to offset the risk of harm. The mentally ill, at least in theory, would be aided by any knowledge gained about the biology of psychosis. Most of the ketamine experiments have been conducted at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, Md., or at NIMH-funded facilities such as the medical schools of Yale and New York University. A Globe review of their research and some of the consent forms that participants are asked to sign indicates that subjects are often not being told that the drug is being given to specifically induce symptoms such as hallucinations or memory loss, or that it is abused as a psychedelic drug. On the streets and on drug-subculture Internet sites, ketamine is known for being able to create near-death experiences, feelings of floating, and other hallucinations. It has recently been used as a date-rape drug and at all-night parties known as ''raves,'' prompting several states to make illegal possession a felony. Some critics see these experiments as an echo of 1950s and 1960s research in which psychiatrists gave people LSD without fully informing them of the risk. ''It's just like shades of LSD research as far as I'm concerned,'' said Carl Tishler, an Ohio State University psychologist who has written on the ethics of ketamine experiments. LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, was made illegal across the nation in the 1960s. Ketamine is primarily used as an animal tranquilizer, particularly for cats and nonhuman primates. It had once been commonly used as a human anesthetic, until its hallucinogenic properties were discovered. Ketamine, also known on the streets as ''KitKat'' or, simply, ''K,'' is a chemical cousin of PCP, or ''angel dust.'' In a series on psychiatric research last month, the Globe documented the harm done by the use of ketamine and other ''challenge'' agents to induce psychotic symptoms in people with schizophrenia, as well as from other research approaches. An additional review has revealed studies involving ketamine in more than 100 healthy people since 1994 - and the growing illicit use of the drug. Such studies do not appear to have been done in Massachusetts, although a bill has been filed by a private citizen to strengthen research protections here. ''If this is what they are doing to normal [people], God help us with the cognitively impaired,'' said Adil Shamoo, a University of Maryland bioethicist and editor of the journal Accountability in Research. As a result of the Globe's review, Shamoo said the New York-based advocacy group he co-founded with Vera Hassner Sharav, Citizens for Responsible Care in Psychiatry and Research, will expand its call for a moratorium on challenge studies, to include those involving healthy people. Among some of the results of ketamine in healthy subjects reported in the literature: Feelings of floating and of having a transistor radio implanted in the ear; acute psychotic states; ''psychedelic effects''; ''tearfulness, a sad mood''; and feelings of ''life and death at the same time.'' While the possibility of experiencing long-term harm from a drug-induced psychosis is less likely among healthy people, there is still the risk that some normal subjects will have flashbacks months afterward, even if they apparently have no history of substance abuse or mental illness that would make them vulnerable, according to the Globe's review of LSD and ketamine research, and ethicists familiar with the research. There is also a possibility that healthy subjects would refuse to disclose elements of their medical history to researchers for fear it would mean they would be unable to participate. (Some of the ketamine studies paid $100 per subject.) ''That is something to worry about,'' said Jonathan Moreno, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Biomedical Ethics and a specialist on the history of LSD research. A top NIMH official and a Yale psychiatrist who has conducted some of the studies said they do not believe that ketamine's illict use needs to be spelled out in informed consent forms, since the drug is still approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an anesthetic. Above all, the careful use of ketamine in research may help yield answers for some of the most devastating mental illnesses, they say. ''This is a medicine which is given under close scrutiny for a short-term basis. There is no repeat long-term exposure,'' said Dr. Trey Sunderland, chairman of NIMH's institutional review board, which has approved ketamine studies involving both healthy subjects and those with schizophrenia. As a result, ketamine's street use is ''not an issue in these studies'' and not brought up with subjects. ''I don't think there's a direct comparison between the ketamine research and the LSD research,'' Sunderland said, since ketamine is FDA-approved and shorter acting. In addition, ''I know of no such long-term effects with this kind of study,'' like flashbacks, although he said it is not a matter of routine for researchers to check up with subjects months later. Dr. John H. Krystal, a Yale professor of psychiatry who has conducted studies in both healthy people and people with mental illness, said that his group began using ketamine ''based on a reading of the old PCP literature. There might be symptoms or cognitive deficits or emotional problems associated with schizophrenia that might be modeled by ketamine.'' ''The hope ... is that we might gain new insights into treatment of these symptoms,'' Krystal said. Ketamine is thought to provide a better model of schizophrenia than LSD or other psychostimulants, because it appears to induce both hallucinations and bizarre thoughts, or so-called positive symptoms, as well as the social withdrawal and other negative symptoms of the disease. Krystal said he is certain that during his early studies, first published in 1994, subjects were not told of ketamine's use as a street drug, but he did not have available the most recent consent forms to verify what subjects are now told. However, he said, ''People who participate are made aware that it has effects on mood that may make some people want to use it.'' But James Childress, a member of the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, which is calling for special research protections for the mentally ill, said the illicit use of ketamine is ''exactly the sort of thing that should be disclosed'' to study participants. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at the University of Pennsylvania, said such disclosure is particularly important because ''There's always the danger of hooking someone, getting someone down a road they don't even want to travel.'' One legislator in Florida, a state that has considered making possession of ketamine a felony, agreed. ''If government is going to do studies on people, I think they need to tell people what they're ingesting. It seems government should have learned that lesson a long time ago,'' said Florida state Representative Tracy Stafford, a Democrat who has filed a bill to make ketamine a controlled substance. Some ethicists who reviewed an NIMH consent form obtained by the Globe said they were most worried about its failure to fully explain the effects of ketamine. ''If in fact the purpose of the NIMH study was to produce a psychotic state, or if they knew it would produce a psychotic state, then they should tell their subjects that,'' said Leonard Glantz, a medical ethicist and professor of health law at Boston University School of Public Health. ''It's not a side effect or a hazard. It's a desired outcome.'' NIMH's Sunderland defended the form. ''It does mention you might get an altered mood, hallucinations... The main side effects of the medication are listed in black and white.'' But he acknowledged that challenge studies are under ''intense review'' at NIMH and elsewhere, because of the questions that have been raised. In February, an advisory council to NIMH is set to take up challenge studies. NIMH director Steven Hyman has publicly stated that the research community has ''to get its house in order'' to fend off restrictive regulation and legislation.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Report: Drug Tested Without Disclosure (The UPI version) Date: Fri, 1 Jan 1999 20:34:21 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: Wire: Report: Drug Tested Without Disclosure Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: General Pulaski Pubdate: 31 Dec 1998 Source: United Press International Website: http://www.boston.com/globe/ Copyright: 1998 United Press International REPORT: DRUG TESTED WITHOUT DISCLOSURE BOSTON, Dec. 31 (UPI) - A review of research by the National Institute of Mental Health in Maryland reported in The Boston Globe says about 100 healthy people across the country were given a powerful hallucinogen without being told the drug can induce memory loss and is used as a psychedelic and date-rape drug. The Globe reports ethicists are questioning the use of ketamine, also known as ``Special K,'' on humans without full disclosure. The Globe says the studies using ketamine have involved both mentally ill and healthy subjects, placing both at potential risk of psychotic episodes. Ethicists said they are particularly troubled because there is no possible benefit to healthy people that would offset the risk. Ketamine, which is primarily used as an animal tranquilizer, has also been used recently as a date-rape drug and at parties known as ``raves.'' Dr. Trey Sunderland, chairman of NIMH's institutional review board, said the medicine was given under close scrutiny for a short-term basis. Sunderland said there is ``no repeat long-term exposure,'' and consequently ketamine's street use is ``not an issue in these studies'' and was not brought up with subjects.
------------------------------------------------------------------- War On Drugs, War On Women (The Winter 1998 issue of On The Issues magazine examines several ways in which the war on some drug users has been particularly harmful to women. Since 1986, the number of women in prison has increased by 400 percent For black women the increase is 800 percent. In the drug war, women's concerns have historically been ignored, dismissed, or exploited. Women often incur long sentences because they refuse, or are unable, to give prosecutors evidence about their husband's or boyfriend's crimes and connections. Indeed, a 1997 review of over 60,000 federal drug cases by the Minneapolis Star Tribune showed that men were more likely to sell out their women to get a shorter sentence than vice versa. The average first-time, non-violent drug-sales offender sentenced in the federal system receives a 10 year jail term, more than twice as long as sentences given the average rapist, and just 18 percent shorter than the typical manslaughter sentence.) Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 22:45:39 -0800 From: firstname.lastname@example.org (MAPNews) To: email@example.com Subject: MN: US: War On Drugs, War On Women Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org Reply-To: email@example.com Organization: Media Awareness Project http://www.mapinc.org/lists/ Newshawk: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.november.org/ Source: On The Issues Magazine Copyright: 1998 On The Issues Pubdate: Winter 1998 issue Contact: email@example.com Fax: 718-349-9458 Mail: 29-28 41st Avenue, 12th Floor, Long Island City, NY 11101-3303 Website: http://www.igc.org/onissues/ Author: Maia Szalavitz Note: Maia Szalavitz has written for The New York Times, New York magazine and the Washington Post and recently served as series researcher for Bill Moyers On Addiction: Close to Home, a five-part PBS series. WAR ON DRUGS, WAR ON WOMEN Since 1986 The Number Of Women In Prison Has Increased 400%. For Black Women The Rise Is 800%. Here Are Their Stories. When President Clinton announced this year that he would spend $1 billion on anti-drug advertising, not everyone saw it as occasion for celebration. Buoyed by the President's earlier promises that he would shift spending from its long-standing emphasis on enforcement and interdiction to prevention and treatment, experts in the field of addiction had expected something better. Though there are several proven techniques for preventing substance-abuse problems, ad campaigns are not among them. "I had hoped that President Clinton would have put more money into treatment and research on the causes of addiction," says one expert in the field, Joseph Volpicelli, M.D., a senior scientist at the Treatment Research Center at the University of Pennsylvania. The President's failure to make any significant change was disappointing, but not surprising. Historically, the American response to drug problems has been to ignore the facts and to support strategies that "send a message" to voters rather than approaches that actually save lives. Nowhere does this become more apparent than in the effect of the drug war on women. Since 1972, when President Nixon named drugs "public enemy number one" and declared all-out war, America has been fighting a losing battle. A survey by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a government mental-health agency in Rockville, Maryland finds that although there was a drop in casual drug use of around 50% between its peak in 1979 and its low point in the early 1990s, it is on the rise again, while the number of addicts has remained at pretty much the same high level throughout. There are presently around 5 million Americans who have serious problems with severe drugs. Approximately one third of them, according to SAMHSA, are women. In the drug war, women's concerns have historically been ignored, dismissed, or exploited. In the late 19th century, for example, one of America's first "drug panics" occurred when cocaine and heroin (and the opium from which heroin is derived), which were obtainable without a prescription, found their way into numerous patent medicines. Women in particular were seen as gullible victims of unscrupulous patent-medicine salesmen. The fear that people would overdose on these so-called remedies was a sensible reaction to the unregulated elixirs. Far less sensible-and less tolerable to society was the conviction that mothers and wives were being diverted from their responsibilities at home by their drug-induced stupors. Indeed, it was "opium inebriety" among women that lead to the push for the labeling of drugs and passage of the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906. "Female addicts are [seen as] doubly deviant," explains Sheigla Murphy, Ph.D., director of the Center for Substance Abuse Studies at the Institute for Scientific Analysis, a California think-tank. "A drunk man is one thing, but a drunken woman is [considered] disgusting." Murphy theorizes that the traditional expectation that a woman will take care of her husband and children and make the care of others her priority is upset by a woman doing something as selfish as using a substance for her own pleasure. "It really rocks the boat," she says, adding that this is one reason why our response to addicted women tends to be even more punitive than our admittedly harsh treatment of male addicts. The complete outlawing of cocaine and heroin wasn't accomplished on the basis of ethical concerns alone, however. Racism was called into play early on. Popular literature of the time shows that racist propaganda, which played on white men's insecurities about their own power, flourished at the end of the 19th century. Among other things, the notion that using cocaine would heighten the desire of black men to rape white women was widely proclaimed. The same was held to be true with regard to the use of opium by Chinese men. Fears of "hopped up Negroes" and "opium smoking Chinamen" fueled anti-drug sentiment, especially in the South and West. Despite the fact that, at the time, the majority of addicts were actually those white housewives hooked on patent medicines, the alleged threat to "our women," viewed as poor innocents, was used to heighten moral outrage over intoxication. As a consequence, several states moved to ban the substances. The federal government, further motivated by the understanding that a ban on opium smoking would improve U.S. relations with China, where opium was a symbol of unwanted foreign influence, followed the states lead and criminalized recreational drug use in 1914. Making medical use the only legitimate use of opiates and cocaine also settled a long-running turf war between doctors and pharmacists over who should control the lucrative drug business. STAND BY YOUR MAN Profitable as the drug trade may be to some, women are rarely among the beneficiaries. Serena Nunn, 28, is serving 14 years for her involvement in her boyfriend's multimillion-dollar cocaine business. Serena's role was little more than secretarial: She drove her boyfriend to the sites of drug deals and confirmed details on the phone. The government has tapes of her threatening a witness, but there is no evidence that she engaged in violence. A senior partner in the same business, however, a man who made millions from the operation and had been previously convicted of manslaughter and rape, received a sentence only half as long as Serena's - just seven years. His sentence was reduced because he helped convict his own partner, Serena's boyfriend. Serena's refusal to testify against her boyfriend, even when his family suggested that she do so to help herself, cost her dearly. And her case is typical. Women often incur long sentences precisely because they refuse, or are unable, to give prosecutors evidence about their husband's or boyfriend's crimes and connections. Indeed, a 1997 review of over 60,000 federal drug cases by the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows that men are more likely to sell out their women to get a shorter sentence than vice versa. Two-thirds of the $15 billion a year the federal government spends on the drug war is devoted to such "supply-reduction" efforts as policing and imprisonment. States devote another $15 billion to drug law enforcement and incarceration. The people, mostly men, who sell drugs in quantity and direct smuggling operations, are usually well-informed about the penalties they face, and are quick to implicate others in order to reduce their own sentences. They also tend to have information to trade. Those who aren't heavily involved are either unwilling to be disloyal, or, as minor characters in the business, they lack information useful to prosecutors. Plea bargains go to the big players, who "have something to trade"; the little fish, with nothing to put on the table, get the tough sentences. Such tactics have the effect of switching sentencing judgments from the judge to the prosecutor. They also enable hardened criminals to be back on the streets and dealing again much more quickly. The average first-time, non-violent drug-sales offender (such as Serena) sentenced in the federal system receives a 10 year jail term, more than twice as long as sentences given the average rapist, and just 18% shorter than the typical manslaughter sentence. The U. S. Sentencing Commission reported to Congress that more than half of all incarcerated federal drug offenders were either street-level salespeople or "mules" (people hired to smuggle drugs); only 11% could be considered to be "kingpins." Suzan Penkwitz, the San Diego mother of a two-year-old son, had never even seen heroin until she was arrested when returning to the U.S. from Mexico. Her friend Jenny had asked her to go along on a drive south of the border avowedly to help Jenny get her mind off a recent break-up with her boyfriend. Suzan did what she thought a good friend should do. She had no idea that Jenny was really going to Mexico to pick up 43 pounds of heroin. "I never imagined myself going to prison. Never ever!" says Suzan, who is serving a six-and-a-half-year sentence at the Federal Prison Camp for women in Dublin, California. Because of the way the system works, Jenny, who admitted her involvement and agreed to testify against Suzan, got out after serving only six months. "Out of the 300 women here, I'd say 80 percent have stories similar to mine." Suzan says. "First-time, non-violent, low-level drug offenders. I've met women who got five years for what the Feds call 'improper use of the telephone': answering the phone for what later turned out to be a drug sale. Not being involved, mind you, but just answering [their own] phone. And of course, the snitches that helped put them here all get off with little or no time. I don't think I've met any high-level drug dealers here. All these women had boyfriends, or husbands, or acquaintances who used them and then let them hang. It's amazing. My roommates are 48, 50, and 58 years old. Sweet, talented ladies. Grandmas, doing 14 years for `drug conspiracy.' It all seems so pointless and tragic." THE MANDATORY SENTENCE Suzan, who didn't have anyone to testify against because she was unaware of the plot, was seen as 'uncooperative' and therefore subject to harsh federal sentencing guidelines. The severe penalties for possession or sale of large quantities of drugs, which are mandatory for those without the ability to plea bargain, are the main reason American prisons are full beyond capacity, according to Justice Department statistics. They account for why we imprison a much larger percent of our population than do other Western democracies. As a result of the introduction of mandatory sentencing to the federal drug laws in the mid 1980s, and its adoption by many states at about the same time, the number of women in prison has risen 400% since 1986, according to a recent Department of Justice report, "Survey of State Prison Inmates"; for black women, the figure is 800%. Other statistics from that survey tend to support Suzan's contention: More than two thirds of women are in prison for committing non-violent crimes. Justice Department figures further show that a similar percentage have young children, only one quarter of whom are in the custody of their fathers. The rest are with various extended-family members or friends, or in foster care. What's even more distressing is that long before these draconian sentences were introduced, there was good evidence that they would not cut drug-related crime or drug use. New York State was among the first to try mandatory sentencing for drug offenders, instituting the notorious "Rockefeller drug laws" in 1973. Under these laws, anyone possessing over four ounces of cocaine or heroin-even a first time offender-is subject to a mandatory 15-years-to-life sentence. Still on the books, the Rockefeller laws were in place even as New York became the epicenter for the crack cocaine epidemic. Crack cannot be manufactured without cocaine-so it wasn't that the penalties didn't apply to the new drug. Had those laws been effective deterrents, one would have expected the crack plague to have been less intense in New York State than in states that had less severe punishments for drug crimes. In fact, the opposite was true. According to the Bureau of Justice, crack spurred a rise in violent crime in the mid-to-late 198Os to rates that have not been seen before or since. While crack isn't especially criminogenic - alcohol, in fact, is more closely associated with violent behavior - a confluence of factors such as recession, high unemployment in the inner city, and the introduction of a new product by multiple, independent, gun-carrying crime groups caused the spike in the crime rate. And none of this was stopped by the Rockefeller laws. WHEN THE TREATMENT IS THE CRIME A recent study by the Drug Policy Research Center of the California-based RAND Corporation found that every $1 million spent on imposing lengthy, mandatory sentences on drug dealers would prevent consumption of just 12 kilos of cocaine. Using shorter, traditional sentences and locking up a greater number of dealers for shorter periods would reduce consumption by over twice as much. And using the same amount of money to treat drug addicts would cut use by over 100 kilos. Yet, despite these findings, spending is continually increased for prison, and reduced for treatment. The insanity of our spending priorities has devastating effects on women. Gloria St. James, for example, was heavily involved in drugs and crime in her South Bronx neighborhood from the age of 16. Fifteen years later, by the time she recovered from heroin and cocaine addiction, she'd been arrested 66 times and had served numerous short sentences for petty theft, syringe possession, and embezzlement. Though it was clear that her crimes were related to her drug use, she was never once offered drug treatment; instead, prison constantly introduced her to new ways of using drugs and committing crimes. "When I went to jail, I learned how to pick pockets," she says. "Then... I learned how to forge checks." Like Gloria, more than 80% of inmates never get drug treatment while incarcerated, according to a recent report from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, a research center at Columbia University in New York. Not until after her 66th arrest, when a Christian outreach group visited the prison, did Gloria see there might be a way for her to break free of her addiction. "There was a woman [from the outreach group] who said that she had had a life like mine," Gloria explains. "I couldn't believe it because she looked so good. What she said Jesus did for her, that's what I held onto." The program was neither paid for nor run by the prison. What's more, when women are able to seek help for drug problems, they rarely get what they need. "At a structural level, most existing drug treatment centers are abusive to women. They are not set up to deal with women's experiences," says Sheigla Murphy, who has studied the issue for decades. Many centers, particularly the long-term residential programs called "therapeutic communities," were developed to break down the tough street identity of male addicts. The treatment techniques in these facilities tend to replicate the abuse which often traumatized young girls (and many boys) into becoming addicts in the first place. (According to NIDA, more than half the women in treatment centers have been abused before they get to the center.) Before its "methods" were exposed, one such center was praised by Nancy Reagan and George Bush, and described by a former head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse as "one of the best programs of its kind in the country." Moll (not her real name), who grew up in an upper middle-class home, recounts her experience at the facility, which is still in operation: "As soon as you woke up, you were immediately confronted with your past. "What are you lying about today?" they would ask. If you talked back or didn't do what they said, they would respond with what they called `restraint.' They would throw you to the floor; someone would be holding your arms and legs." At the same time, Moll says, someone else would cover her mouth and nostrils so she couldn't breathe. While boys were subject to the same rough treatment, there was special sexual humiliation reserved for the girls. Julia (not her real name), another patient in "treatment" with Moll, says, "Guys didn't have to talk about losing their virginity in front of the whole group, but girls did. I had to relive that incident in front of 150 people. And the guys said, `You know how I used to feel about girls like you - you were sick and disgusting sluts.' "You couldn't talk to anyone other than your counselor," Moll explains. "[Doing] that was `breaking chain of command,' and you could be punished with restraint. There was no ombudsman or patient complaint procedure-hell no. No one's required to take your side." Because the parents of such young people don't know much about treatment, and sources of information confict, they are easy prey. Tell parents that their child will die if they don't get him or her into a treatment center, and show them a positive profile of your facility written up in a leading newspaper-how are they to know what to think? The rhetoric of the drug war is "by any means necessary," and it sets up parents and kids to be victimized by greedy providers who tell them, as Moll said her parents were told, that "any drug use is abnormal and requires hospitalization." Moll claims that her entire drug use consisted of smoking marijuana "maybe 20 times"- a "drug problem" that in fact does not meet the standards for in-patient treatment, as defined by the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), a specialty group affiliated with the American Medical Association. If she had been evaluated by a reputable treatment provider, she would have been given out-patient counseling, according to ASAM. Instead, she spent three years in a center where she was subjected to 18 hours a day of confrontational "therapy." Another way in which treatment centers fail women is that most of them have no provision for dealing with the children of their patients. Says Sheigla Murphy: "My opinion is that all of today's treatment is predicated on male ways of viewing the world. For one, without facilities for children, you are effectively excluding women with young children. Also, those who have lost their children need to be helped to prepare for when they will get them back. And most treatment doesn't deal with post-traumatic stress disorder or with the long-term mental health care needs of addicted women, who've commonly experienced molestation, rape, and other violent traumas." In a recent study, Murphy found that 75% of women who used drugs while pregnant, for example, had long histories of significant victimization. Murphy adds: "If you put women in a confrontational situation in a mixed gender group, as is done often, they will drop out or they will get even further damaged by the experience. We wrote about this in the seventies, yet with some notable exceptions, [the situation is] still the same." WOMEN AS VESSELS One of the newcomers to the war against drugs is the anti-abortion movement, which has found in drug-using women a target for its campaign to end choice. Pictures of tiny, sickly "crack babies" provide powerful visual support for anti-woman oratory; the defenders of mothers whose drug use endangers their babies are few and far between. Laws recently passed in some states that criminalize the use of drugs by pregnant women reflect this attitude. Such legislation may open the door to broader definitions of fetuses as legal "persons." It is apparent that measures enacted to "crack down" on women who use drugs while pregnant often serve racist and sexist agendas; they are also counter-productive. A recent study funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, which finances research on health policy, found that laws that seek to punish the mothers of babies who test positive for drugs tend to keep many from getting help with their addiction. "They drive women underground and they avoid prenatal care," said one of the study's authors, Lawrence Nelson, a bioethicist and lecturer in philosophy at Santa Clara University. But prenatal care is the one thing known to reduce harm to these babies. "There are already penalties for drug use and these women have ignored them," Nelson says. "Why is adding one more going to make a difference?" "Drug mother" laws reinforce racist stereotypes. In Wisconsin, for example, what legislators dubbed the "crack mother" law was passed after an unidentified black woman called "Angela" tested positive for cocaine use during two separate pregnancies. According to the Congressional Black Caucus, by using the term "crack mother law" legislators evoke images of poor, typically black, welfare queens having dozens of illegitimate children even though the law also covers alcohol, powder cocaine, and other drugs more often used by whites. People think that such mothers "don't deserve to reproduce," says Lawrence Nelson. His study found that in South Carolina, 40 out of 41 women arrested on charges of delivering drugs to their fetuses were black, even though the majority of pregnant drug users are white. Nationally, according to Nelson, of the 240 women prosecuted in 35 states for these offenses, 70-80% were minorities. In South Dakota, a woman who is found to be using drugs or drinking heavily during pregnancy can be held in a treatment center for her entire pregnancy. A 1998 Wisconsin law allows women in the third trimester of pregnancy to be confined until they give birth. Similar bills have been introduced in 13 other states. Nelson says that while anti-choice conservatives have tended to support these laws, they may actually increase the incidence of abortion. "There are anecdotal reports of women who have gotten abortions to avoid prosecution for delivering drugs to the fetus," he says. During the debate over Wisconsin's laws Francine Feinberg, director of a local drug treatment center that is one of the relatively few devoted exclusively to the treatment of women and their children, said that calls for help had already dropped dramatically. "The primary reason pregnant women with alcohol and drug problems do not seek prenatal care or treatment for their addiction is fear of being turned in to the authorities and ultimately losing their children." said Feinberg. "In terms of public health and better outcomes, these laws don't get us anywhere," Nelson adds. "There is no evidence that criminalization or any of these laws improve the lives of mothers or their children." TELL WOMEN THERE IS HOPE "At least 80% of the women I see in recovery have experienced incest or sexual abuse," says Ada "Cookie" Rodriguez. "I used to think I was unique." Cookie, who now works as assistant director at Exponents, Inc., an organization which helps addicts deal with HIV issues and trains them to educate others, grew up in the Marcy Projects in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, New York. She was raised in a single-parent home, with three half-siblings. She describes the men her mother dated as "abusive, alcoholics, dope fiends or all three." At five, Cookie was molested by an uncle. She was also sexually abused by her grandfather - and when she told her mother about it years later, her mother said, "He did that to me, too." Cookie was initially outraged that her mother hadn't tried to protect her; now she says, "Parents do the best they can with what they know, and that gives me some solace." But she adds, "I'm still angry and resentful sometimes." In elementary school, Cookie was classified as gifted, but she dropped out of junior high. She couldn't take the teasing other kids inflicted on her for being fat. At age 11 or 12, she started smoking pot and at 13, she remembers, she had "one of the best experiences I have ever had in my life," after stealing LSD from the uncle who had molested her. By 14, she was shooting cocaine and heroin; by 16, she was addicted. Her relationships with men were violent and abusive. One man, whom she finally fled with just the clothes on her back, "kicked my ass for breakfast, lunch and dinner." She adds, "The sick thing is, I got my own apartment, but then I went back. I used to tell myself `a little bit of love is better than no love,' and after he beat me up, he would tell me how much he loved me and how beautiful I was." It took several hospitalizations-in one of which the crack she was smoking crystallized in her lungs, causing cardiac arrest, but eventually Cookie realized that drugs were killing rather than helping her. She joined Narcotics Anonymous, and after three years clean in that self-help program, she sought further care to deal with her abuse history. "I was having flashbacks," she says, and describes how her boss asked her what was wrong when she returned after a two-week vacation noticeably heavier. She'd been trying to avoid her pain by eating. Now 12 years clean and married for six years to a kind and caring man, Cookie says, "I would tell women that there is hope. It's a cliche, but there's life after drugs and there's life after abuse." Female addicts are demonized by our drug laws-and drugs are blamed for their problems when in fact, they are simply one way they've found to cope with often painful, horrifying, heart-breaking lives. If we want to help women recover and break the cycle of abuse, which is passed on from one generation to the next, we need to stop punishing the victims and start looking at why so many Americans want to blot out their lives so badly that they get addicted to illicit drugs. Until we decide to treat those wounded in the battles against illicit drugs with the same dignity and respect we reserve for others who have been hurt and are desperate for relief, we will continue to fight a losing war.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Marihuana Decriminalization Supported By NAC Grads (A translation of an article in Le Monde, in France, says a group of graduating students at the National Administration College - which produces the country's ruling elite - reached the same conclusion, that the laws governing cannabis use should be changed.) Date: Mon, 04 Jan 1999 11:35:10 -0800 To: firstname.lastname@example.org From: Pat Dolan (email@example.com) Subject: Marihuana Decriminalization Supported By NAC Grads Article in 'Le Monde' (France) 31/12/98. Author: Jean-Yves Nau Translator: Pat Dolan Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org Decriminalization Supported By 'NAC' grads Supporters of marihuana decriminalization have received an unexpected new year gift, one which should give their cause a powerful boost. In 'Le Monde'(France) 31/12/98, Jean-Yves Nau reports on conclusions reached by some final year students of the National Administration College which support a change in the law governing cannabis use. The report can be summarized as follows. Responding to one of the papers set as part of the 'Finals', some graduating students reached the conclusion that the law regarding cannabis should be changed. Possession of cannabis for personal use should be decriminalized and made subject to a fine as is the case with minor traffic violations. For some of these future state prefects, councilors and highly placed bureaucrats, marihuana is a perfect example of the "problems of integrating the politics of public safety and public health". All reached the same conclusion: the current law, dating from Dec. 31, 1970, under which marihuana consumption is treated as a felony punishable by up to a one year gaol term, is no longer respected. When one considers the number of regular consumers, estimated at one million, a strict application of the law would require an 'unimaginable increase in the number of law enforcement personnel'. Of course, if health considerations are primary, account should be taken of tobacco and alcohol. To be consistent, these should be banned also since "their harmful effects are worse than those of cannabis." The maintenance of the status quo in which repressive laws are practically unenforceable leads to disrespect for the law. If due consideration is to be given to the social acceptance of marihuana, and to the lack of disturbance of the public order caused by consumers, when compared with consumers of the hard drugs, including alcohol, a more 'proportional' penalty should be imposed. The authors of this analysis also proposed an increase in and a standardization of the taxes on all tobacco products. "To justify a sales price which is less by one third in Corsica, on the basis of administrative considerations, seems curious from the public health standpoint." Jean-Yves Nau, Le Monde, 31/12/98.
------------------------------------------------------------------- Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies, Year 4, No. 44 (A summary of European and international drug policy news, from CORA in Italy) Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 14:43:27 +0100 To: email@example.com From: CORA Belgique (firstname.lastname@example.org) Subject: CORAFax #44 (EN) Sender: email@example.com ANTIPROHIBITIONIST OF THE ENTIRE WORLD .... Year 4 #44, December 31 1998 *** Weekly Action Report on Drug Policies Edited by the CORA - Radical Antiprohibitionist Coordination, federated to - TRP-Transnational Radical Party (NGO, consultive status, I) - The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War *** director: Vincenzo Donvito All rights reserved *** http://www.agora.stm.it/coranet mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org NEWS FROM THE WORLD *** 000415 24/12/98 E.U. ADDICTION LE FIGARO Neapolitan and Californian researchers disagree about the effects that chocolate can have on the brain. The Californians say that it has effects similar to those of cannabis, while the Neapolitans say that the anandamide contained in chocolate reaches the brain in quantites too small to produce any effect on the nervous system. *** 000422 29/12/98 E.U. / GERMANY ADDICTION FRANKFURTER Christa Nickel, the new minister responsible for drug policies, says that health is the main priority. She wants to extend her field of action to alcohol, nicotine and pharmaceutical products. Regarding illegal drugs, together with the usual repression, cure and prevention policies, she wants to start a plan of contolled distribution of heroin for serious addiction cases. *** 000418 29/12/98 E.U. / GB CONSUMERS CORRIERE DELLA SERA The periodical review 'Narcomafie' says that a trend in drug use in London's nightlife is to mix the usual substances with Viagra pills. *** 000421 28/12/98 E.U. / GB HEALTH CORRIERE DELLA SERA / THE TIMES About a thousand patients have been accepted to take part in an experiment on the therapeutic effects of marijuana under medical surveillance. A laboratory seems to have permission to grow marijuana in a secret place. *** 000412 23/12/98 E.U. / SPAIN INFORMATION EL PAIS Sociologist Antonio Escohotado has dedicated 30 years of his life, including two of imprisonment, to writing his 'Historia General de las Drogas', which is being published in its integral version. *** 000411 28/12/98 E.U. / GERMANY JURISPRUDENCE DER SPIEGEL Each one of the 16 German Laenders punishes possession of drugs in a different way. Nonetheless an interesting fact emerges: Bavaria has the most severe sanctions, while Silesia has the most tolerant ones. *** 000419 29/12/98 E.U. / SPAIN JURISPRUDENCE EL PAIS The Supreme Court has established that even a small dose of hashish for personal use is punishable with a fine. *** 000420 28/12/98 ASIA MARKET NEUE ZUERCHER Z. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Central Asia has become a freeway for drug traffic from Afghanistan. Drug traffic is a serious problem for the new republics of Kirgistan abd Tadschikistan. *** 000413 27/12/98 E.U. / ITALY PREVENTION CORRIERE DELLA SERA The Minister of Interiors, while participating in a Christmas celebration organized by a rehabilitation center for drug addicts, said that there is the risk of a generalized drop in tension regarding the fight against drugs. *** 000414 28/12/98 E.U. / ITALY PREVENTION IL GIORNALE The Region of Emilia Romagna has started a study to understand how the building of new high-speed train lines could influence consumption of drugs among young people living in those areas that will be crossed by the trains. *** 000416 24/12/98 E.U. / ITALY TRAFFIC IL GIORNALE After the discovery of various trucks containing drugs, it is now sure that the frontier near Trieste is one of the most important passage points for illegal substances entering Italy. *** 000417 24/12/98 AMERICA / MEXICO WAR ON DRUGS HERALD TRIBUNE After having already tried, often with many problems, the USA are launching again a plan to help Mexico fight drug traffic. *** CLIPPINGS ITALY-PALERMO Over three thousand people have participated in a demonstration organised by the Citizen Anti Prohibitionist Co-ordination. The demonstration took place around a joint five meters high. -------------------------------------------------------------------
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