WP 02/28/93 Truce in Needle Park; Time to End the Drug War By Peter Reuter IN AMERICA, when issues that once blanketed the political map suddenly slip off altogether, the usual scapegoat is a notoriously fickle public - one that fixes briefly and avidly on, say, Star Wars, Somalia or Los Angeles and then forgets its sheer existence. But sometimes, when an issue slips out of public attention, there's a politician nudging it on its way. That's what's happening today with that one-time national call to arms, the "war on drugs." With little fanfare, the Clinton administration is now de-escalating that war. In the recent White House staff cuts, the office of the drug czar lost 121 of 146 staff positions, to little media attention and no public outcry. Which may be just as well. After the costly and largely ineffectual policies of the '80s, drugs are one issue that may benefit from benign neglect. The costs of the drug problem in inner cities and prisons and treatment centers are likely to remain high throughout the '90s unless, that is, we begin to construct a sensible alternative - one that still takes seriously the need to protect communities from the worst damages of violent drug traffickers and continues to signal society's disapproval of drug use, while retaining the basic criminal prohibitions on use and sale. Clinton's challenge will be to detach his policies from the zero-tolerance rhetoric that was once so attractive to politicians and the public and to rethink the objectives of federal drug control. For fiscal, practical and humanitarian reasons, it would make sense to modify the goal of a drug-free America in favor of the more realistic goal of reducing the harm caused by drugs. It won't be easy. As long as drug use and crime are synonymous in the minds of most Americans, any new approach to the nation's drug-related social problem is likely to face strong political resistance. The success of the hawks in the drug policy debate during the Reagan-Bush era was in part a function of how the drug problem is characterized by the media. Americans are uncomfortable with moral ambiguity; if nothing else, the war on drugs, as it has played out before television cameras over the last decade, delivered the villains clearly labeled. The popular desire to "get tough" on drug users gave the hawks an extraordinary degree of control over drug policy in the 1980s. The federal budget for drug control increased from $1.5 billion in 1980 to almost $13 billion in 1992, two-thirds of which went to enforcement programs. State and local governments, which together spent another $18 billion or so on drug control in 1990, were even more enforcement-oriented, with 80 percent of their money going for enforcement. A rough estimate of the total national governmental budget for drug control in 1990 was $28 billion, of which $21 billion went to enforcement. Congress and state legislatures also dramatically increased the penalty for drug offenses. In 1988, for example, Congress raised the mandatory sentence for selling 5 grams of crack cocaine to five years. Michigan imposed mandatory life imprisonment without parole for those convicted of selling 650 grams of cocaine, a law that was finally overturned by the Michigan Supreme Court. Nor were these legal changes just paper acts. At the federal level the number of persons sent to prison on drug charges rose from 2,300 in 1980 to 13,000 in 1990. Moreover, the expected time served on average rose dramatically from 20 months to 66 months, reflecting the impact of the Sentencing Commission guidelines as well as congressional mandates. At the state level the number sentenced to more than 12 months rose from 11,500 in 1981 to 90,000 in 1989, while several hundred thousand spent weeks or months in local jails. By contemporary American standards, drug use and drug selling have become quite risky, at least for certain groups. A study of street-level drug dealers in the District of Columbia in the late 1980s estimated that a regular dealer had almost a one in four chance of going to prison in the course of a year. Yet the effect of these increasingly punitive and expensive policies on the nation's drug-related social problems has been modest. Illegal drugs are just as widely available as a decade ago. The price of cocaine is lower than ever (adjusting for inflation). The price of marijuana is higher, reflecting the one clear success of enforcement. Drug use in the general population has sharply decreased, probably reflecting increased health concerns generally, as well as greater awareness of the dangers of drug use (cocaine) and smoking (marijuana). In the politically powerless inner-city communities the effects of hawkish policies have been harsh. These neighborhoods not only suffer the most from the drug trade's effects - from crime, violence, AIDS, crack babies and a host of other ills - they also bear the brunt of law enforcement. African Americans now account for 40 percent of drug offenders, compared to less than one quarter 10 years ago, and a much higher percentage than for other criminal offenses. The vast majority of those who are locked up (black or white) are the small fry of the drug trade, not because the police avoid the upper levels but because there are so many more low-level dealers. A study of those sentenced in the federal prison system, supposedly reserved for the more serious offenders, found that nearly half were either street-level dealers or minor participants in something larger. A cruel irony of tough federal sentencing guidelines is that the only mitigating circumstance for shortening a mandatory sentence is cooperation with the prosecutor. Unimportant dealers have little to offer; higher-ups can provide valuable information and get off more lightly. Moreover, it seems that many of those being incarcerated on drug offenses are not violent offenders; with prisons overcrowded, offenders posing more serious threats to community safety are being kept out. Moreover it is clear that there has been, at most, only a slight reduction in the number of persons who are drug dependent, especially in the inner city, and probably no reduction in the damage they cause themselves and others, especially crime and the spread of AIDS and, more recently, tuberculosis. Drug abuse (as opposed to use) is increasingly concentrated among the inner-city poor, particularly young, African-American males. Other drug-related harms may be exacerbated by tough enforcement. Frequent harassment of street drug sellers may increase the incentives to use violence to maintain market share. More variability in the purity of heroin, resulting from occasional large seizures, may cause more overdose deaths. Stringent enforcement has raised marijuana potency, possibly increasing the hazards of consuming the drugs, at the same time that head shop laws prevent marijuana smokers from using water pipes - the least harmful method of consuming the drug. The "harm reduction" approach would relegate criminal law to a marginal role in dealing with drug offenders and focus instead on the health consequences of drug use. It evolved in Western Europe, where illicit drug use also ranks high on the list of social concerns, but where associated crime and violence have not reached the epic levels found in the United States. Thus Europeans tend to support policies that risk increasing the extent of drug use but that lower the incidence of disease, especially AIDS. Syringe exchange schemes, scarcely permitted even on a pilot basis here, have become commonplace in Britain, the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland. Europeans prefer less stringent enforcement if getting tough lessens the likelihood that drug addicts will seek treatment. Markets that generate violence are subject to intense enforcement aimed at curbing that violence; orderly drug markets may be left alone except for recruiting users into treatment and AIDS prevention programs. The Clinton administration is likely to have little sympathy for the very tough approach that has been institutionalized in both federal- and state-level drug control efforts. However, implementing "harm reduction" policies - such as less stringent sentencing of federal drug offenders or reduced aggression in our overseas programs - offers hostages to right-wing foes. The accusation of being "soft on drugs" is one that Democrats are likely to be sensitive about. Even the first step of moving towards a harm-reduction drug policy - building an effective public drug treatment system - is likely to be difficult for the new administration. The existing drug treatment system is isolated from other medical and social service systems, lowering both morale and effectiveness. In recent years, the emphasis has been on increasing the number of persons in treatment rather than improving the quality of treatment. When subject to serious scrutiny, the current public sector drug treatment system looks weak. The heart of the problem is that the clients of drug treatment are people who cause the rest of society many problems. There is little enthusiasm for providing good services to such an unattractive bunch of clients. But in the later stages of the drug epidemic, which is our current situation, most of what we think of as the nation's drug problem is more amenable to a good treatment system than to continued growth in incarceration. Law enforcement, instead of aiming to punish, should aim to get those most needing treatment into the system. Perhaps the best the Clinton administration can hope for is that the punitive apparatus will collapse of its own weight. Not only is there the burden of all those billions of dollars to support strict enforcement and the crowding of prisons to 150 percent of capacity, but there is also a tremendous emotional and professional drain on judges and police in carrying out what many have come to regard as unfair laws and dead-end policies. Or, perhaps, the hawks will simply declare the war won and, in the flush of victory, reach out a helping hand to the vanquished. It would be overdue. Peter Reuter is co-director of RAND's Drug Policy Research Center. Portions of this essay were adapted from an article in the Summer 1992 issue of Daedalus. APn 03/01/93 1148 Drugs in the EC Copyright, 1993. The Associated Press. All rights reserved. By JON HENLEY Associated Press Writer AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) -- To European Community partners that criticize their permissive attitude toward illicit drugs, the Dutch suggest that all EC nations legalize soft drugs together. "The international community has to choose between two alternatives," said Robert Samsom, the Dutch government's main adviser on drugs. "One is to continue on its present course and face failure. The other is to accommodate itself to the existing realities." Legalization may seem unlikely at a time when removal of the community's internal customs barriers inspires of an explosion in drug traffic. But a senior EC official, who is not Dutch, feels the integration will ultimately help Holland's approach gain acceptance. Although the 12-nation has no formal mandate to develop a single drug policy, it plans to establish a joint Drug Monitoring Center this year. "There'll be a formal structure for comparing strategies, which there's never been before," said the EC official in Brussels, who requested anonymity. "The weight of Dutch evidence will be huge." Not everyone sees it that way. A British customs official, who would not let his name be used, said police in his country were outraged that Holland allows some drugs to be freely available while most other countries try to stamp them out. Peter Cohen, a University of Amsterdam lecturer, said British officials "are basically just interested in tracking down drug users and locking them up." "In general, they overreact wildly," said Cohen, also a consultant to the United Nations and World Health Organization. "They're just not capable of a balanced view on the drugs issue." Britain ranks the Netherlands as a prime distributor of illegal drugs on a par with Colombia, Pakistan and Thailand. Dutch law distinguishes between users and traffickers, and between hard drugs and such soft ones as marijuana and hashish. Use of soft drugs is no longer criminal in the Netherlands and the sale of small quantities is tolerated. Addicts are rarely prosecuted even for possessing small amounts of heroin, but dealing in larger quantities of any drug can bring a long prison sentence, up to 12 years for heroin trafficking. In Britain, marijuana possession carries a two-year prison sentence, usually commuted to a heavy fine. France makes no distinction between soft and hard drugs in its penalties for possession. A report on the world drug situation in 1992 by the U.N. International Narcotics Control Board, issued in February, noted that Dutch policy on soft drugs contravenes international drug treaties. Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers responded in a letter that Holland's death rate from drug abuse "is very low by international standards." Editorials in Dutch newspapers said the report had "serious shortcomings" and was based on "pure ideology." Algemeen Dagblad of Rotterdam declared: "The U.N. agency is poorly informed as to the true state of affairs" in the Netherlands. Samsom, former chairman of the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs, said in an interview that the danger of national economies being corrupted by drug money "far exceeds the threat posed to society by drug abuse." In the legalized system he suggests, growers of narcotic plants would be licensed, given quotas and required top sell their crops to a government monopoly. The monopoly would control retail outlets, prices and quality. Soft drugs would be sold with health warnings and directions for safe use. While Samsom acknowledged the plan would work only if implemented jointly by several European countries, he said it "could compete successfully with illicit suppliers, reducing their market share and increasing their operational risks." Many EC officials already worry about the lifting of internal customs controls that occurred Jan. 1, however, and have little enthusiasm for legalizing soft drugs. "There's no doubt more Germans are heading to Holland for drugs now that they've seen TV pictures of unmanned customs posts," said a spokesman for the German federal criminal office, who asked not to be identified. Police in Arnhem, near the border, reported detaining as many German nationals on drug charges in the first 14 days of 1993 as in the last four months of 1992. Experience in the Netherlands seems to support the government view that decriminalization does not necessarily mean an increase in drug use. Although marijuana and hashish are freely available, consumption is low. An official survey in 1990 indicated only 2.7 percent of minors used the drugs, compared with 6.1 percent in the United States reported two years earlier. The estimated number of heroin addicts in Amsterdam has declined nearly one-third since the early 1980s and the average age rises each year, suggesting fewer people are becoming addicted. Holland's approach seems to be making some headway abroad. Hamburg, Zurich and Liverpool, England, have adopted some elements of it. Germany's new National Drug Council plans to consider the "consequences of liberalization and legalization of soft and hard drugs for the prevention of addiction." But in general, other countries follow the course of penalties and law enforcement. Cohen said the barrier is ideological. "We're talking about a clash of worlds here," he said. "They don't want to listen. Yet where do most people die of drug-related illnesses? Certainly not Holland." APn 03/07/93 0000 Ganja Wars By KEVIN NOBLET Associated Press Writer LEEDS, Jamaica (AP) -- Ganja growers Roy and Teddy Dunkerly straddled their knobby-tired bicycles and glared at the army helicopter on its hopscotch mission of search and burn. "I feel it, mon," confided Teddy, 22, who lost 50 pounds of carefully tended marijuana a day earlier, up in a thick column of smoke. "I feel it badly." Cousin Roy, 28, was more angry than mournful: "If time and time they keep comin' and mash it up, some time I'm goin' to say, `OK, it's war."' Mark it down as bravado. The Caribbean island's war on marijuana has gone on for nearly two decades now, becoming a kind of institution. Bloodshed may be commonplace among drug dealers in the Kingston slums, but it's rare in the pale-green growing fields. Why fight to the death when neither side envisions total victory? "It's a game," explained Sgt. Maj. Stanford Williams, who leads the army's eradication effort, "a pepper-potting kind of thing" in which authorities target a particular district for a few months, hunting for ganja patches to slash and burn. "We want to keep the guys' heads down," he said. "When you don't have the assets, you use strategy." Soldiers and growers spoke during a recent operation staged from a soccer field in Leeds, a small town in southwest Jamaica's fertile St. Elizabeth Parish. "In St. Elizabeth, the land is so arable you can grow old boots," said Maj. Leo Campbell. The United States, the main market for Jamaican marijuana, sends in extra firepower for special offensives. In early 1991, three big, mean-looking U.S. Blackhawk choppers joined the eradication campaign for a few weeks, to the awe of local farmers. But most of the time, one or two of the four Hueys provided by the United States play a cat-and-mouse game that began with the first anti-ganja operations in 1974. The government has little more than the $1.2 million in U.S. aid to spend on the effort. "It has been institutionalized for some time now," conceded Bertrand Milwood, the assistant police commissioner. "But we are moving. Something is being done." He said marijuana is planted on about 10,000 acres, down two-thirds from the peak 15 years ago. Milwood sees the ganja threat as relative. "The demand is over there" in America, he said, "and the supply is over here." He is more worried by the crack cocaine epidemic in Jamaica's slums, where there has been an explosion of drug-related crime and violence. Soldiers and police are gentle with the ganja farmers, most of whom live hand-to-mouth. When eradication teams descend on a planted field, the chopper roaring and blowing, officers do not even try to catch the fleeing farmer. "They always run away," said Pvt. Herman McLean. "Sometimes they run into fence wire and get cut. Some just fall down faint." He watched other soldiers dismantle a caretaker's tent where pillow-sized mats of ganja supplied an aromatic mattress. "This guy had sweet dreams," one officer joked. McLean explained that growing good marijuana requires constant care. "They take care of it better than a young baby," he said. "They pet it. If you want it to grow, you have to pet it and sleep with it." It can be worth the trouble, growers say. A quarter-acre of quality herb can bring $18,000 if prices are running high. That will buy a small house. Many Jamaicans are ambivalent about the weed, which East Indian immigrants introduced to Jamaica centuries ago. They recognize that most farmers make only a little profit, and also that the business brings scarce hard currency into the economy. Ganja is sacred to the Rastafarians, a Jamaica-based sect that worships the late Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, who use it to heighten their religious awareness. Many rural Jamaicans consume it in a medicinal tea. "It's good for the pain o' belly and the pain o' head," said Michael Grun, 32, a ganja grower. Grun, dressed in a ragged T-shirt and broken shoes, spoke as his quarter-acre patch was being razed and set ablaze by cutters working for the army. The cutters, who know their herb, scornfully called Grun's crop "mad weed" -- poor-quality marijuana of little commercial value. Asked about those who smoke ganja, Grun said: "I'm a Christian. I go to church. I don't know nothing about that." Among the jet set, and in tourist areas, marijuana is readily available. "At an elegant dinner party, after everyone eats, a waiter always comes along with a tray carrying cordials and three or four joints," said the manager of an exclusive Montego Bay hotel. Contrary to the popular notion abroad, most Jamaicans are not dreadlocked, reggae-addicted Rastafarians like the late Bob Marley. Jamaican society is basically conservative, Bible-based and frowns on marijuana. Only about 5 percent of the people have tried it, according to studies. The reality of ganja use "is probably more than surveys show and certainly not as much as the myths suggest," said Edna Francis-McLaren, a specialist in social work at the University of the West Indies' psychiatric hospital in suburban Kingston. "The sacred aspect of it confuses and clouds the (government's) management of it," she said. "The ambivalence runs right through the culture." Commodore Peter Brady, chief of staff of the Jamaica Defense Forces, is not troubled by doubt. "I don't condone it at all," he declared in an interview. "We will never wage less than a relentless campaign against it." End Adv for Sunday, March 7 - - - - KORONADAL, Philippines - Police burned 12 hectares (30 acres) of marijuana in the southern Philippines, they said. - - - - UPn 03/08/93 0625 Eleven killed in stampede on festival of color NEW DELHI, India (UPI) -- Eleven people were reported killed and six seriously injured early Monday in a stampede while trying to take a holy dip in the Ganges river during one of the country's most celebrated festivals, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. The stampede occurred near Shimla, capital of Himachal Pradesh state 160 miles from New Delhi, as tens of thousands of devotees surged through a narrow lane toward the sacred river, PTI said. The stampede took place on "Holi," one of India's most acclaimed Hindu festivals, celebrated on the first full moon of spring. Known as the "festival of color," it is renowned for its frivolity and goodwill, with people exchanging sweets and throwing vibrant colored powder and water upon each other. Holi is predominantly celebrated in northern India and is believed to have evolved from an ancient ceremony honoring Lord Kama, the god of love. Known as the "poor man's festival," Holi traditionally is a day when usual barriers of age, sex or caste are removed. All government offices are closed on Holi and many people choose to stay indoors and keep their cars off the streets to prevent them from being bombarded with food coloring and water balloons. Many people consume "bhang," a traditional concoction of marijuana leaves, nuts, milk and sugar. UPce 03/09/93 1332 Police officer's home scene of drug bust FORT WAYNE, Ind. (UPI) -- Acting on a tip, Indiana State Police Monday raided the home of a Fort Wayne police officer and confiscated three marijuana plants and equipment for cultivating plants indoors. ISP Sgt. Richard L. Dinehart said no arrests have been made since Monday's raid, but investigators will be talking with Fort Wayne officer Deeanne Carey, 35, and her male roommate. Dinehart said it is not clear whom the plants belonged to. State police obtained a search warrant for the house in Allen Superior Court. Carey was not at home when the search began, but reported to the scene after being contacted by law enforcement officials, Dinehart said. UPma 03/09/93 1230 Erie man sentenced for drugs, money laundering ERIE, Pa. (UPI) -- An Erie man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to conspiring to violate drug laws and engaging in money laundering. Donald Hadberg, 28, entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Maurice Cohill. Prosecutors say Hadberg assisted Glenn Zeny and others in setting up a marijuana growing operation in Erie. Hadberg also admitted he obtained marijuana from Zeny, which he sold in the Erie area. Hadberg admitted in March 1992 he purchased a boat and trailer and structured three separate cash payments in order to conceal the fact the source of the money was from his sales of marijuana. Hadberg is scheduled to be sentenced May 12. He faces up to life in prison and a fine of $4 million, or both. UPne 03/10/93 1958 Cop shot on Lower East Side NEW YORK (UPI) -- An undercover police officer was shot and killed Wednesday during an undercover drug bust on Manhattan's Lower East Side, police said. Detective Louis Lopez, 35, a seven-year veteran of the force, died on the operating table at Bellevue Hospital at approximately 5 p.m., said Sgt. Tina Mohrmann, a police spokeswoman. He was the first officer slain in 1993. Lopez apparently was slain when an undercover drug transaction at the Screen Printing Company at 114 E. First St. went awry, said Police Commissioner Ray elly at a press briefing at the hospital. "Lopez had previously placed an order for 10 pounds of marijuana before he arrived," Kelly said. When the officer went inside, the dealer offered him a lesser quantity of the drug and Lopez left, ostensibly to get the money. "When he returned with backup to make the arrest and opened the door, shots rang out, and Detective Lopez was mortally wounded," Kelly said. Three men were arrested and charged with the shooting. They were identified as David Degondea, 22,Edward Arce, 39 of 130 Avenue D and Robert Heleneck, 37, 153 Norfolk St., both in Manhattan. Degondea suffered a graze wound to his hip during the shooting and was in stable condition at St. Vincent's Hospital. Police said two handguns, a 9mm and a .25 caliber were recovered at the scene. "We believe one was used in the shooting," said Officer Scott Bloch, a police spokesman. Lopez, assigned to Manhattan South Narcotics, lived in Staten Island with his wife and two children. He was the 15th officer shot this year. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The family of a millionaire shot to death during a mistaken drug raid at his Malibu area ranch filed a federal civil rights lawsuit claiming he was murdered so the government could seize his land. Donald P. Scott, 61, had refused to sell his ranch to the government so it could expand the adjacent Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Scott was shot twice on Oct. 2 when he left his bedroom carrying a .38-caliber revolver as deputies and federal agents burst into his home. No drugs were found. Law enforcement agents used a phony allegation that marijuana was seen on the 200-acre Ventura County ranch to obtain a search warrant, according to the lawsuit filed Monday on behalf of Scott's widow and three children. The shooting was tentatively ruled as justified by Ventura County District Attorney Michael D. Bradbury. ------ RTw 03/11/93 2154 DUTCH CONFERENCE TO ARGUE FOR SOFT POLICY ON DRUGS By Sara Henley ROTTERDAM, March 12, Reuter - Accused of being too soft on drugs, the Netherlands is sponsoring an international conference to argue that its critics' hard line may actually aggravate drug abuse problems. "People call us the Sodom and Gomorrah of Europe, but we say if you are less strict it helps," says Jelle Zijlstra of the Bouman drug and alcohol centre, host and co-organiser of the Fourth International Conference on the Reduction of Drug-Related Harm. Six hundred drug experts from throughout the world will gather in Rotterdam from March 14-18 to discuss trends in drug use and assess the controversial approach pioneered by the Dutch. Known as harm reduction, its aim is simply to limit the damage drug users do to themselves and society. For the Dutch this means first decriminalising drug use to create trust. Cities from Liverpool to Hamburg and Melbourne to San Francisco have imitated aspects of the Dutch approach. But with increasingly open European borders, the Netherlands is being portrayed by some of its neighbours as the enemy within on drugs. French officials, fearing their young are flocking to "Europe's drugs hypermarket" in Amsterdam, have lashed out at Dutch permissiveness, warning they may boycott European freedom of movement accords unless the Dutch clamp down. The United Nations said recently that the Netherlands risked becoming a regional supplier of a potent locally grown cannabis which is sold almost as freely as beer or wine in thousands of hash cafes, euphemistically known as "coffee shops." "People believe demand for drugs is led by supply," said Zijlstra. "It doesn't work like that." Dutch data partly supports his view. Individuals caught with small quantities of cannabis and heroin are not prosecuted here, yet the number of addicts in Amsterdam has recently stabilised and their average age is increasing. Foreign concern has produced some tightening in Dutch policy. Action is being taken to curb the spread of cannabis outlets, stop local cultivation of hemp for drugs and crack down on drug-runners who peddle to tourists at border towns. But the Dutch have refused to back down on the core approach and the theme of next week's conference. The government, which spends more than $2,000 a head on heroin and cocaine addicts each year, believes the threat of criminal charges drives drug abuse underground rather than deterring it, and that this in turn aggravates crime and health risks. "The only drawback to the Dutch approach is that other European countries have concentrated on repression," Robert Samsom, director of drugs policy at the Dutch health ministry, wrote in a recent policy paper. Samsom argued that drug abuse cannot be contained by repression, noting that no country in the world has achieved this. With addicts, harm reduction starts by checking their health and building trust so they will accept medical help when ill. Handing out the heroin substitute methadone -- or in theory even heroin itself -- can be used to curb crime, create regular contact with health workers and establish trust. "The first contact is not moralistic, we just give them good tips," said Zijlstra. "About 10 per cent of them try to clean up. In our experience about half of them stay clean for a year." The basic principle can be used with any addiction -- for example by showing alcoholics how to limit brain damage by taking Vitamin B, which is found in bananas and even some beers. The Dutch say harm reduction achieves its prime objective of limiting damage, and the few comparative statistics available on drug abuse appear to support this. More than two per cent of Germany's estimated 100,000 addicts died of drug abuse last year, according to the German Anti-Addiction Centre. But less than half a per cent of the Netherlands' 25,000 addicts die annually from their habit. More than one in three of France's 150,000 drug users are estimated to be infected with the AIDS virus, according to French charity Medecins du Monde. Just under a tenth of drug injectors in the Netherlands were HIV-positive in 1991. Comprehensive needle-exchange programmes mean addicts in the Netherlands need not share needles. Dutch policy also draws a line between soft drugs like cannabis, which are thought to pose little danger to the individual or society, and addictive hard drugs, such as heroin, which kill and are disruptive. That frees resources to target addicts. Dutch data also appears to disprove the theory that soft drug use is a slippery slope to hard drug addiction. The 25,000 or so hard drug addicts here are but a fraction of the 500,000 to 600,000 whom the authorities estimate regularly use cannabis. "Western countries hit hardest by drug abuse have failed so far to take adequate operative measures," said Samsom. "It is absolutely indispensable that they allocate sufficient funds to this area. Their continued failure to do so will only result in spreading the drug abuse problem." REUTER SAH VB LS UPse 03/11/93 0946 Former FSU football star arrested on bribery charges MIAMI (UPI) -- Metro-Dade County Police Officer Fred Jones, a former defensive football star at Florida State University, is facing charges of taking $1,000 to fake an arrest report. Jones, whose brother Marvin Jones also played for Florida State and is expected to be a top-five pick in the NFL draft, was arrested Wednesday. He was charged with official misconduct, unlawful compensation, grand theft, bribery, possession of marijuana and forgery. When other officers arrested Jones, they said they found a paper bag of 5 grams of marijuana under the seat of his patrol car and a second bag containing 34 grams of marijuana in the trunk. Police said Jones, 27, accepted $1,000 to prepare a phony arrest report that would make a narcotics dealer believe someone the dealer knew had been arrested. Jones allegedly used a false name and badge number when he prepared the bogus report. Jones, a three-year police veteran, made more than 300 career tackles at Florida State. He played briefly for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987. 03/15/93 Liberal Dutch policy may be the best way to combat abuse by Guido De Bruin Rotterdam, Mar 15, 1993 (IPS) - The often criticised liberal Dutch policy of combating drug abuse by reducing its harmful effects rather than trying to stamp out its use, may be the right approach after all, health officials admitted here Monday. "The harm reduction approach has gradually received acceptance and respectability,'' said Marcus Grant of the World Health Organisation's Programme on Substance Abuse (PSA). He was among several health officials attending the opening of a four-day Fourth International Conference on the Reduction of Drug Related Harm, who stressed the importance of a drugs policy aimed at harm reduction rather than the illusion of complete eradication of drug use. "This implies a realistic and pragmatic approach to the drug problem,'' said Dutch State Secretary for Welfare, Health and Culture, Hans Simons, referring to the Dutch strategy -- often called the public health approach -- of combating drug trafficking while providing care for drug users. ''The Dutch policy has been the model we follow with great success, and harm reduction has become an accepted practice in many countries,'' added Pat O'Hare, director of the Mersey Drug Training and Information Centre in Liverpool, Britain, and one of the conference directors. According to O'Hare, the alternative hardline approach which seeks to eradicate heroine and cocaine use, has been "a spectacular failure, a colossal waste of money." Far from eradicating cocaine use, it has resulted in the spread of cocaine and crack and the rapid spread of aids, he said. But buses driving around Dutch cities where intravenous drug users are provided with methadone as a non-addictive substitute for heroine, and clean needles to prevent the spread of AIDS, have not yet become a familiar sight in all European countries. France is a case in point, a country where, as health minister Bernard Kouchner admitted, the public health approach has still not gained the respectability it needs. "Many still talk about drug addicts as madmen who must be locked up," he said. "A society without drugs is a myth,'' Kouchner said, advocating the need for methadone and needle exchange programmes. "...There is no contradiction between repression of trafficking and care for addicts." "Harm reduction is a cruel necessity," he added, noting that of the 150,000 problematic drug users in France, 30 percent are infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. According to Kouchner, harm reduction methods would help to bring that percentage down. Anne Coppel of the French health ministry blames the antagonistic attitude of the Interior Ministry for hindering the introduction of the public health approach to drug use in France. "There is a fight between the health and interior ministries. While the public health approach is gaining ground, the repression strategy is also becoming stronger," Coppel noted. She is one of those behind Monday's launch of the Euro-Methwork -- a European information network on methadone programmes. "We have no methadone programme in France, so we need the experience of other countries to be able to set one up. The government has chosen not to see the drug problem in France, it was afraid to frighten the people and to be looked upon as advocate of drug use," Coppel charged. The Dutch drug policy has also come under critical scrutiny recently -- at home and abroad. In November, French interior minister Paul Quiles lashed out at the Dutch for their lenient attitude towards soft drugs. A report released recently by the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board further charged that Dutch drug policy goes against international conventions. And at home, Dutch justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin has in recent months taken a stronger stance on soft drugs. In the Netherlands, selling soft drugs like cannabis is prohibited, although its sale is allowed under strict conditions in so-called coffee shops. But a raid on 21 coffee shops by the Amsterdam police in December is an indication of a tougher line being taken even if the raids were carried out on the premise that the coffee shops were not adhering to regulations. "Soft drug use is a type of behaviour that pushes people a little closer to the edge of their functioning in society,'' Christian-Democrat Hirsch Ballin told the Dutch daily 'Volkskrant' recently. But Social-Democratic alderman of Rotterdam, Johan Henderson, thinks the minister's approach is "too ridiculous for words." The shortage of policemen does not even allow the police to keep hard drug related crime within limits, he argues. "Besides, soft drugs are absolutely harmless," he said. Simons merely counted the blessings of Dutch policy with regard to both soft and hard drugs. He noted that of the 600,000 cannabis users in Holland, only 1,200 are addicts. With regard to hard drugs, Simons is of the opinion that the 21,000 problematic hard drug users constitute a very low percentage of the Dutch population of 15 million. Furthermore, he said the number of drug-related deaths remains relatively low (74 in 1991); that Dutch drug users commit less property crime than drug users in other countries; that aid workers are able to reach up to 80 percent of drug addicts; and that three in every four heroine users are no longer intravenous users, reducing the risk of HIV infection. Henderson noted that the U.S. city of Baltimore, which has about as many inhabitants as Rotterdam, harbours 35,000 hard drug users, whereas Rotterdam has only 3,500. "Baltimore," he said, is very interested in your approach." UPwe 03/16/93 1509 Club owner charged in huge marijuana growing operation SEATTLE (UPI) -- An owner of RKCNDY, a popular Seattle "grunge rock" club, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to drug charges. Thomas Harold O'Neil, 35, was charged Friday in King County Superior Court with four counts of violating the uniform controlled substances act. Prosecutors believe O'Neil purchased his share of the club with profits from a massive indoor marijuana-growing operation run out of several homes he owns. Prosecutors are trying to seize the club property. Prosecutors say police began their investigation when an informant tipped them that Thomas O'Neil supported himself through growing marijuana. After finding higher-than-normal power usage at three homes O'Neil owns, then conducting surveillance, police seized more than 250 marijuana plants and several guns. Regan Hagar, 27, a Seattle drummer who recently joined a band formed by guitarist Stone Gossard of the nationally known band Pearl Jam, was charged with two drug counts. Also charged with two counts were RKCNDY operations manager Leigh Anne Bryan, 23, Craig Alan Porter, and O'Neil's brother, Richard O'Neil. Prosecutors believe Thomas O'Neil has been growing and selling marijuana in the Seattle area for years. UPce 03/17/93 1100 Goshen man indicted in drug conspiracy SOUTH BEND, Ind. (UPI) -- A 28-year-old Goshen man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges he conspired to sell marijuana over the past five years. U.S. Attorney John Hoehner announced Wednesday that Mark Hayes was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to distribute marijuana from 1988 to early 1993. The charges each carry a maximum prison term of 45 years. Hoehner said the Hayes indictment was part of an on-going investigation into illegal drug activities in northwestern Indiana. Three other men were indicted in January in the case. Hayes is scheduled to appear in federal court in South Bend Friday. UPne 03/22/93 1407 Justices to review government drug seizure authority By GREG HENDERSON UPI Supreme Court Reporter WASHINGTON (UPI) -- The Supreme Court announced Monday it would decide if the government must scale a new set of hurdles to seize homes used in the drug trade or to take swift control of failing banks. In the first of a pair of unrelated cases to be argued next term, the court will decide if homeowners who use their property to sell drugs are entitled to hearings in court before the government can claim ownership of their homes under its aggressive drug seizure laws. Last month the court limited the scope of the drug laws when it ruled 6-to-3 that people who are given gifts such as homes paid for with drug money can keep the property if they are unaware of its illegal origin. This case involves whether someone who knowingly uses his property to commit a federal drug crime is still entitled to a due process hearing to fight government seizure, and whether the government may be restricted by more than the law's five-year statute of limitations. The second case granted Monday involves an important aspect of the government's role in protecting federally insured financial institutions. The court will decide if an official with a bank or savings and loan is entitled to a hearing before he can be fired when the government takes over his institution. The government argues that any such requirement would handcuff federal regulators when even a slight delay could mean the difference between a bank failing or staying afloat. It also said direct lawsuits against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and other such entities are illegal, even though the FDIC was sued in this case and ordered to pay $130,000 to a fired California bank official. The court's orders Monday came without any reference to the announcement Friday by Justice Byron White that he would retire this summer after 31 years on the court. White, the only member of the court appointed by a Democrat but considered conservative on most social issues, will not play a role in deciding either the drug seizure or bank failures case, which will be argued next term. In other action Monday the court: --Let stand a ruling that adventurers who spent 13 years searching for an estimated $1 billion in gold in the largest sunken treasure in U.S. history are not its rightful owners. The justices refused to disturb a decision that insurers of the SS Central America, which sank in 1857 and was found four years ago some 180 miles off the South Carolina coast, retain ownership of the gold. The discoverers will get a chunk of the booty as its "salvors", but how large a portion will be up to a jury. --Allowed competitors to continue selling devices that modify Nintendo of America's popular video games. The court declined to hear Nintendo's claim that add-on hardware allowing players to experiment with video cartridges violates federal copyright laws. The drug case involves James Daniel Good, sentenced to a year in jail in 1985 after Hawaii police found 89 pounds of marijuana and drug paraphernalia in his home. The federal government seized Good's home 4 1/2 years later on the grounds that it had been used to commit a federal drug offense. The Controlled Substance Act allows such seizures within five years of an applicable drug crime. Good claimed he was entitled to a court hearing before his home was taken away, and that the government illegally delayed seizing the property. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed, voting 2-1 that in cases involving homes and other "real property" a due process hearing is required before the government can take ownership. It also called the drug law's five-year statute of limitations an "outer limit" that may not apply if the government is found to have procrastinated and violated its internal guidelines. Three Talents IPSWICH, Mass. (AP) -- New Englander Daniel Treadwell (1791-1872) was an inventor, publisher and educator. He fabricated a power printing press and machines for making wood-screws and for spinning hemp for cordage. Treadwell also invented an improved method of making mix-pounder cannons of iron and steel for the U.S. government. In 1822, Treadwell established a magazine, the Journal of Philosophy and the Arts. From 1834 to 1845 he was Rumford professor at Harvard University. ------ INDIANAPOLIS (UPI) -- Two prisoners were indicted Wednesday on charges of having drugs inside the U.S. Penintentiary at Terre Haute. Rickey Lane Dotson, 37, of Memphis, was charged with obtaining and possessing crack cocaine and marijuana, while Noah Wayne Bennett, 42, was charged with obtaining and possessing hydrocodone. Both men are now in the U.S. Penitentiary at Lompoc, Calif., serving sentences for firearms violations. UPsw 03/23/93 1507 State lawmaker proclaims innocence in Valley drug case By MARK LANGFORD AUSTIN, Texas (UPI) -- A state lawmaker indicted on federal drug charges in South Texas proclaimed his innocence Tuesday and vowed not to resign from the Legislature while the case is pending. State Rep. Sergio Munoz, D-Mission, said it was "weird" that federal officials took a year to "dream up a good scheme" in building their case against him. Munoz, a first-term legislator representing parts of Cameron and Hidalgo counties, was indicted on charges of possessing 626 pounds of marijuana and conspiring to distribute over 100 kilograms of the drug. He surrendered to federal officials in McAllen Monday and was released on a $50,000 bond. Upon his return to the Texas House Tuesday, Munoz was warmly greeted by several House members who shook his hand, patted his back and offered their condolences and support. Munoz told reporters that, "On the two charges we're innocent, and we're waiting for a day in court. We feel that when we get an opportunity to really present the facts, then we'll be okay. We just want to be given that opportunity to actually talk about our side of the story and what actually transpired." The indictment alleges that Munoz was part of a plot to steal 626 pounds of marijuana from the police department in Palmview, a small Rio Grande Valley town where he served as city administrator. Former Palmview Mayor Ramiro Vela and Rodolfo Rodriguez, the city's former police commissioner, have already pleaded guilty to marijuana conspiracy charges in the case and are waiting sentencing. Munoz said he was implicated by Rodriguez in an apparent attempt to get less prison time or "pass the blame on somebody else." He said, "I know the people involved, I know the informant involved. The so-called informant worked for me. I was his supervisor. When we get to trial we'll get to present our side of the story and we'll let the accusers present their side of the story, and then we'll let a jury of our peers decide what is and what is not true. "But I feel very confident that we're going to be found not guilty. We're innocent." Munoz said he did not plan to resign from the Legislature and that he could continue to be an effective lawmaker while the case is pending. A trial is not expected until after the regular session ends in May. Munoz said, "If it was up to me, I'd say 'let's go for it tomorrow. I'm ready.' I want to get it behind me. I know we're going to come out clean on this." RTw 03/26/93 1559 CANADIAN LEADERSHIP CANDIDATE SAYS SHE SMOKED POT OTTAWA, March 26, Reuter - Defence Minister Kim Campbell, favoured to become Canada's first woman prime minister, said she smoked marijuana when she was a university student, a newspaper reported on Friday. "And I inhaled the smoke," she told Ottawa's French-language daily Le Droit in a reference to U.S. President Bill Clinton's remark last year that he had tried "pot" but never inhaled. Campbell, a 46-year-old lawyer from Vancouver, launched her bid on Thursday to become leader of Canada's Conservative party and succeed retiring Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. She said in the newspaper interview that an architecture student pased her a marijuana cigarette when she was a student at the University of British Columbia in the 1960s. She said it didn't do anything for her and she didn't try it again. Campbell, a former justice minister, evaded a question about whether marijuana should be legalised, saying no one was asking for legislation on the issue. If she wins the party leadership in June, Campbell will automatically take over from Mulroney to become, like Clinton, her country's first leader born after World War Two. Political analysts said smoking marijuana would not be blown into a campaign issue as happened with Clinton. "Canada is more open than the United States," New Democrat party member of Parliament Lorne Nystrom said. "Canadians judge politicians according to their policies and programmes." REUTER AEB BRO SJ UPma 03/27/93 1334 Man gets seven years for pot farm ELIZABETH, N.J. (UPI) -- A 30-year-old New Jersey man must spend at least 18 months behind bars for farming marijuana in a public park in Union County. A judge in Elizabeth sentenced Hugh Christopher Faggins of Rahway to seven years with an 18-month parole disqualifier. Faggins was one of three people who pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute after authorities found more than a ton of the drug being grown in three fields in Elizabeth River Park. Police say the crop was in an isolated area of the park. Two co-defendants are awaiting sentencing. UPwe 03/30/93 2028 D.A. says drug raid lacked legal justification VENTURA, Calif. (UPI) -- Investigators said Tuesday drug officers who shot and killed a reclusive millionaire had no legal right to raid his secluded Malibu area ranch and were inspired in part by their desire to confiscate the $5 million property. The Ventura County District Attorney's Office released a report saying there was no legal justification for the raid that ended with a deputy shooting Donald Scott, 61, Oct. 2, 1992. But although District Attorney Michael Bradbury said the raid was unjustified and "the officers should not have been on Scott's property, " the shooting itself was ruled justifiable self-defense. Investigators said the raid was motivated, at least in part, by a desire to seize Scott's ranch under federal drug forfeiture laws. The 200-acre Trails End ranch is worth approximately $5 million. Authorities said they believed a significant marijuana growing operation was housed at the ranch. No trace of drugs was found. The report concludes that a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy shot Scott in self-defense, but the deputy should not have been on the remote ranch in the first place. Authorities said when Deputy Gary Spencer ordered Scott to lower his gun from over his head, the gun came down in the direction of the deputy, causing him to fear for his life. He said there was no evidence to disprove Spencer's story. The report concluded the search warrant authorizing the raid was invalid because there were material misstatments or false statements in the affidavit, which was prepared by Spencer. Scott was a playboy fixture on the Hollywood party scene until he dropped out about 20 years ago and spent the rest of his life at the ranch. His family is suing for $200 million. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A sheriff's deputy acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a millionaire rancher during a drug raid, but the search warrant for the raid shouldn't have been granted, a prosecutor concluded. Ventura County District Attorney Michael D. Bradbury decided against filing perjury charges, saying it cannot be proven that investigators knew that information in their affidavits for a search warrant were false. His conclusions were reported by the Los Angeles Daily News and Los Angeles Times, which cited sources they didn't identify saying the warrant was granted on the basis of false or misleading information. About 40 law enforcement agents raided Donald P. Scott's ranch near Malibu on Oct. 2 after a federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent claimed to have spotted marijuana plants during an aerial surveillance. No marijuana was found. Scott, the 61-year-old heir to a European chemical fortune, was shot when he came out of a bedroom holding a revolver. Bradbury concluded that sheriff's deputy Gary Spencer, who shot Scott, acted in self-defense. ------ LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A scientist testing a marijuana-sniffing device was part of a task force that raided the home of a wealthy Malibu-area rancher and shot him to death, according to a published report. The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department invited Andrei Yavrouian of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Oct. 2 raid by a 27-member federal, state and local task force, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Thursday.. The researcher had a device to take air samples at the 200-acre Trail's End Ranch in Ventura County. The test was canceled after a detective shot Donald P. Scott, 61, to death when he confronted authorities with a handgun. The scientist was invited on the raid because the Sheriff's Department has a federal grant to explore "some high-tech approaches to marijuana eradication," Capt. Larry Waldie said. The raid was called after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said aerial surveillance had detected marijuana at the ranch. However, no marijuana was found. WP 03/30/93 'Benign Neglect' Means Danger By Herbert D. Kleber Peter Reuter, describing the country's drug policies of the 1980s as "costly and largely ineffectual," suggested in a recent Outlook piece that the drug issue could do with a little benign neglect - that is to say, a change in focus from public intolerance of drugs to reducing the harm they cause society. Specifically, this would mean cutting down on enforcement activities and improving the public treatment system - including use of law enforcement to push addicts into treatment instead of jailing them. While Reuter's goal of expanded treatment is good, his suggestions for getting us there don't stand up to much scrutiny. In fact, if the country adopts a posture of benign neglect and backs away from public intolerance, there is a big danger that the recent progress made against drugs will be slowed or reversed. Reuter attributes the sharp decrease in drug use in the general population to increased health concerns and greater awareness of the dangers of cocaine and marijuana. But he leaves out a more crucial factor: "denormalization." In the 1960s, '70s and early '80s, drug use became normalized throughout our country. It was acceptable behavior in many circles to use marijuana and cocaine at school, in the workplace and at social gatherings. The change in this point of view was brought about by a number of factors, including the work of the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the public pronouncements of both Democratic and Republican leaders, the stance taken by our last two presidents and, most important, outspoken community leaders, parents and teachers. Not only were employers no longer willing to tolerate drug use in their workplaces, the workers themselves became more intolerant of use by their co-workers, recognizing both the heightened accident risk and the likelihood that their companies would become less competitive. Social norms at parties changed, as did teenagers' tolerance for drug use among their peers. To assume that these events occurred simply because of changing general attitudes about health is to misread the message of these years. Reuter pointed out, and I agree, that we have not been successful in making drugs physically unavailable. But we can help make them "psychologically unavailable" through denormalization and the stigmatizing of their use. The difference in numbers between alcoholics (18 million) and cocaine addicts (2 million) shows what happens when addicting drugs are "normalized" and not stigmatized. Nor would the funds badly needed for treatment be forthcoming under benign neglect. As Reuter pointed out, many of the people who need drug treatment are not seen as worthy recipients by the public at large. Funding for treatment has been a bipartisan failure, with Republican administrations asking for inadequate funds and Democratic Congresses providing even less. Would neglect improve this situation? It is also evident to treatment professionals that, while many people need treatment for drug abuse, the demand for it is not great. Most people using illicit drugs don't come into treatment voluntarily. Many need some push from the criminal justice system. If the justice system relaxes its sanctions, and the addicts know the threat has little to back it up, their willingness to go into involuntary treatment will be substantially less. There is good data showing that individuals who go into treatment under pressure do just as well as those who enter voluntarily. While it makes sense to shift priorities so that treatment, prevention and research receive 50 percent rather than 30 percent of federal dollars, this is unlikely to happen unless the public intensifies its pressure rather than just ignoring the drug problem. The effectiveness of the European harm reduction attempts that Reuter advocates is also overstated. The Swiss recently closed their "needle park" because the tolerance of drug abuse it represented had led to up to 20,000 people congregating there, instead of the few thousands they had predicted. The Italians have paid for their decriminalizing possession of small amounts of heroin for personal use with the highest heroin overdose death rate and one of the highest addiction rates in Western Europe. It is difficult to determine just what drug policy will be like in this era of new leadership. While the Office of National Drug Control Policy has been proposed for Cabinet level, it has been reduced in size, and no one has yet been named to head it. The House of Representatives has voted to eliminate its Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control. The change at the drug policy office may not be for the worse if a strong and articulate leader there has President Clinton's support and sufficient funding. But the elimination of the House select committee could do great harm. While 18 or so congressional committees and subcommittees have some aspect of the drug issue within their purview, drugs cannot be adequately covered in such a fragmented fashion, the problem that brought the select committee into being. One committee in Congress needs to remain focused on the drug issue. While the economy and health care reform get the headlines, neither will be adequately resolved without attention to substance abuse. Every drug treatment professional, every law enforcement officer on the beat, every family with a member struggling to overcome the problem of drug abuse, every social service worker who must go into homes racked by drugs, AIDS and tuberculosis, every community leader worried about drugs and crime in his or her neighborhood should be worried about benign neglect. The writer is executive vice president and medical director of the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. ------ SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) -- A prosecutor says the public should not misinterpret his decision to drop charges against a woman who smokes marijuana to control epileptic seizures. Valerie Corral of Davenport was to have started trial Monday, but Santa Cruz County District Attorney Art Danner dismissed the charges Friday. Danner said he acted because he became convinced there was "no reasonable possibility" a jury would convict her. Santa Cruz County voters approved a nonbinding medical marijuana referendum last November, but Danner said the measure did not influence his decision. "It's really a case that puts everybody in a dilemma," said Danner. "It was a round peg in a square hole that the law doesn't account for." Corral suffered severe head injuries in a 1973 auto accident and suffered seizures up to five times a day, according to court records.
to the Hemp News directory page.
This URL: http://www.pdxnorml.org/HN_03.html